Author Archives: Megan

Exploring Style: Styling Your Hair the Old Fashioned Way, a.k.a, The Best Way!

Image above generated by DALL-E.

Recently, I have discovered the secret to achieving voluminous hair styles in a healthy, heat free way. That’s right, we’re going back to the 1960’s and pulling out the hair rollers!! I always knew of the hair roller technique, but the process seemed too difficult and time consuming so I never gave it a try until recently. I always relied on heat powered tools like a curling iron or a straightener when I felt like changing up my hair style or dressing up, but now that I know how to use these plastic rollers, it will be my go-to method! As we know, applying heat onto your hair regularly is very damaging and can greatly impact your hair health over time. Plastic hair curlers are the perfect way to reduce the possibility of harming your hair, as well as achieve what I think are better styling results! 

There are several ways you can style your hair curlers depending on the sort of look you are going for. For example, if you are going for a more voluminous movie star look, you will want to place the curlers in when your hair is about 80-90% dry, and start by placing the roller on top of the section of hair you’re curling, followed by rolling the curler upwards (leaving them in for about 30-40 minutes). If you are going for a look where you want the ends of your hair to curl inwards and towards your face (perfect for face framers and layered haircuts!), you will want the curlers to be rolled downwards. To achieve this, you will want to place the roller under the piece of hair you have sectioned out instead of on top, and roll it towards your head from there. Again, you will want to do this when your hair is about 80-90% dry, and leave the rollers in for about 30-40 minutes. To get the best results, you may want to roll sections of your hair in different directions, using both of the methods described above. I am definitely still learning and practicing how to master the use of these rollers, so instead of me providing a tutorial I suggest you take a look at TikTok as that is where I have discovered these different techniques so far! If you are not on TikTok, there are plenty of step-by-step tutorials on Youtube as well that are just as helpful! 

I highly recommend using the plastic hair rollers that I have been mentioning throughout this post so far, rather than other options such as velcro hair rollers. This is especially true when you are just learning how to put in the rollers properly and getting the hang of things.

When I got my first set of rollers, I had thought I had done my research properly and purchased velcro rollers as many websites and content creators recommended this kind. I was hesitant because I just envisioned my hair getting stuck in the velcro and it being a mess, and that vision soon became a reality. Not all of the rollers got stuck in my hair, but the few that did were a pain and just caused me to go into a state of panic because there was no way I wanted to cut out a big chunk of my hair! After about 30 minutes I was able to get them out, losing a bit of hair in the process, and boycotted those rollers for months until I gained the desire to try them out again. I figured that since it was my first time using the rollers I must have put a few of them in the wrong way and hence the mess I was left with, but the same thing happened the second time I tried them out. So, I concluded that my hair type is not suitable for the velcro rollers and went back on Amazon to try and find some all-plastic ones. After a bit of searching, I found some really good plastic rollers that came with a covering to help hold them in place, and these were game changing! They are super easy to use, and I have never had them get stuck in my hair. The rollers have also allowed for me to achieve the voluminous movie star hairstyle that I desired, and with a bit more practice I think I’ll be able to perfect it! Here’s what the plastic rollers look like…

The last tip that I will mention is that curling your hair before you put in the rollers can help you achieve a very voluminous look that is harder to achieve with just the use of the rollers. I have tried both ways and like the results, so I suggest trying out each method to see which you prefer! Of course, not applying any heat to your hair and just using the rollers on their own is the healthier option for your hair, but once in a while you may want to curl your hair before hand. Make sure to use heat protectant! That is one way you can help keep your hair healthy and protected from the heat of your curling iron or straightener! If you are going to curl your hair before applying the rollers, stick to using the large size rollers to prevent your hair curls from becoming super tight (unless this is what you would like to achieve of course!). Just remember, the smaller the hair roller, the tighter and more bouncy the curl in your hair will be.

That’s all for this issue of Exploring Style! Have fun testing out your hair rollers, and watch how they can make your hairstyle elevate your look!

Peer Review #3: MindfulNous

For my last peer review of the semester, I had the pleasure of taking a look at Maren’s site MindfulNous, which you can find here: definitely go and check it out! Through this review, I will be analyzing the content and design of Maren’s website, as well as the intended audience and marketability of the site. Let’s get started! 

Marketability and Intended Audience Group

Just by reading the name “MindfulNous”, I was inclined to believe that the overall theme of this website was going to be around mindfulness, well-being, and self-awareness. I also could infer that the intended audience was anyone who was looking for clarity within themselves, as well as guidance and practices that will help them become more mindful and present. After reading through the content and becoming familiar with the site, my first impression was pretty much spot on! The overall look of the site is very fun as it includes lots of colour and a creative signature logo, so it welcomes a wide age range audience. Based on the content, I would say that more specifically all stages of adults, ranging from younger to older, could resonate with this site and fully understand  and appreciate the context of the content the most. As discussed in the early weeks of our class in Micheal Warner’s journal article, Publics and Counterpublics, Maren has created her own public with MindfulNous within the broader public of meditation/mindfulness, and she has done a great job at doing so! 

A feature that Maren has incorporated into her site that I haven’t even touched on for my website personally, is advertising. When you are on MindfulNous, you can find advertisements located on the sidebar of the website, along the bottom of the page, and in the occasional pop-up. As we read On Advertising – Maria Popova, by Tom Bleymair, opinions on advertisements being a part of websites are both negative and positive (2013). As a visitor of a website, it can be annoying to be bombarded with various pop-up ads when you are trying to read an article or navigate the site. This is not the case for MindfulNous I will note, as the advertisements on the site do not disrupt the users visit/experience!  On the other hand from the perspective of an author/blogger, ads on their websites can be used to aid and drive traffic to their affiliate marketing links, which have the ability to be highly profitable. Overall, I think the incorporation of advertisements onto Maren’s site has definitely increased MindfulNous’ marketability, and I admire her for taking this step in advancing her website! 


MindfulNous appears as if it has been around for a long time (and I mean that in the best way possible!). From plenty of well thought out and interesting content, to a design layout that incorporates every feature you would expect to see on a long-time professional blog/website, Maren has done an excellent job developing her website throughout the semester and I very much admire her for that! What I like the most about the design aspect of Maren’s website is the use of colour throughout the entire home page and in each of her pages as well as posts. As we learned earlier in the semester from a guest speaker we had in class, Mauvé Page, sometimes the use of too much colour can be overwhelming and distracting for viewers. However, MindfulNous uses a balanced and effective colour scheme that enhances the overall design of the website. For instance, Instead of having a white background like most websites do, Maren decided to have a very light beige, almost pale yellow background that distinguishes the navigation bar/menu from the content of the page, and makes the entirety of the site visually easy to comprehend and follow.

On the theme of colour, integrating coloured text into blog post titles was also a very effective design technique as it ties back to the blog’s logo that we see at the top of the page. I also noticed that each category uses a certain colour for the related post titles, which I thought was a really nice touch! One thing that I noticed however, is that the yellow titles in the “Mindfulness” category bring out the background colour of the page, which slightly reduces the immediate visibility of the post titles as they do not stick out quite like the green titles under the “Philosophy” category do for example. A suggestion for this may be to make the post titles a darker shade of yellow if possible, but overall if that is not an option the current yellow text should not have much of an impact on viewers. Like I stated earlier, Maren has done a fantastic job developing her site, so in order to try and provide any constructive feedback I’ll have to get into the very specific, minor details! 


Each content post on MindfulNous is well thought out, informative, easy to read, and inspiring. Maren has done a great job keeping up with both her original posts and PUB 101 assignments, which has kept a steady flow of content throughout the site. One of my favourite sections on Maren’s blog is her “About” page. Here, I gained an idea of Maren’s inspiration behind MindfulNous as well as who she is as a person, which allowed for me as a visitor of her site to see the website from a more personal and meaningful perspective. I especially like the four pictures and categories at the end of her “About Me” introduction, that enlightened me that Maren’s favourite activity is swimming, her favourite food is a smoothie bowl (good choice!), and that one day she would like to visit Costa Rica! This short list of personal facts was a really nice touch! 

What I really like about Maren’s posts is that almost all of them have a feature image or some visual to go along with the content. After reading through all of the posts on this website, I felt inspired and reminded to stop and take the time to relax and look after myself. I felt this way especially after reading the Mindfulness vs Mindlessness post. This post reminded me the importance of appreciating and living in the moment, and how much peace doing so can bring you. As a student it is so easy to become hyper fixated on school work and the various stresses that come along with doing so, so this was a good reminder for me to practice being more present amongst all the chaos. Something that I also really like in regards to content, is that Maren has incorporated her studies into her website by adding a “Philosophy” category. The posts in this category differ from the rest of the content and main themes of mindfulness and well-being, but still fit nicely within the website not only because Maren is studying philosophy, but because philosophy itself often explores reason, wonder, and awareness; which appears to align with some of the characteristics and values of the site. 

One recommendation I would make is not so much directed to the posts themselves, but to include a short blurb at the top of each category’s page that describes what the main goal of the category is, as well as what type of content you can expect to find there. I have been working on incorporating this into the category pages on my site as well, and find that it adds a lot of clarity and enhances navigation for users! 

Overall, I am a huge fan of MindfulNous! I very much admire how much Maren has been able to develop her website throughout the semester, and was definitely inspired to incorporate some more features onto my own site! As far as the content, I think that MindfulNous can act as a good reminder for us all to incorporate more mindfulness into our lives, and I highly recommend that you check it out! Here is a link to the mindfulness content!:


Bleymaier, T. (2013). On Advertising – Maria Popvova. 

Page, M. (2023). Design. Lecture 6. The Publication of Self in Everyday Life. Simon Fraser University. 

Warner, M. (2002). Publics and Counterpublics. Quarterly Journal of Speech. 88.4.

Weekly Inspiration: Lorelai Gilmore

This week’s fashion inspiration comes from the star of the Gilmore Girls herself, Lorelai Gilmore, who is played by Lauren Graham. Lorelai’s character is very personable, outgoing, witty, and energetic. These characteristics are often perfectly reflected throughout her outfit choices, as she typically puts a bold twist on comfy and casual outfits. How she does this best, is through a very large T-shirt collection that she uses to both dress up or down her outfits. 

With the weather getting nicer, I figured now would be the perfect time to recognize Lorelai’s clever utilization of the T-shirt. T-shirts on their own are a fairly basic clothing item that have the ability to be styled in a variety of ways. It is typically thought that t-shirts are meant for more casual instances and appear less professional, but Lorelai’s outfit choices challenge this assumption and prove this sort of standard to not necessarily always be true. Her character makes the best of both worlds in terms of being able to style a t-shirt in both professional and bold looks, along with casual. A large portion of her collection includes many different graphics and texts/sayings on the t-shirts. From bands and movie characters, to goofy sayings and phrases, Lorelai’s t-shirt choices break the typical everyday “boring” plain tees and allow for them to be a focal point of her outfit. While still maintaining a comfy/casual look, these graphic tees alone are able to leverage her more subtle outfits and make them unique. 

In terms of styling a t-shirt with a more professional look, Lorelai too embodies this challenge well. As the manager and owner of an Inn, Lorelai always has a more professional and put together appearance when she is at work. In many cases throughout the show we see Lorelai wearing a t-shirt with a blazer or a more sophisticated looking coat, typically paired with a skirt or more formal dress pants. These countless looks prove the versatility of the t-shirt and how at the end of the day it is not a clothing item that is limited to one specific attire. 

Complementary accessories are also a great style tool that Lorelai utilizes within her outfit choices to make her look more distinct and different. Rather than lots of jewelry, Lorelai typically utilizes other fashion accessories such as purses, handbags, sunglasses, scarfs, hats, and hair accessories such as bandanas. Each accessory choice helps aid the portrayal of her character through her appearance, as well as elevate her more simple looks. 

For this week, I challenge you to channel your inner small town Stars Hollow fashionista and try to style a t-shirt in a way that you don’t normally do. Whether that looks like pairing the shirt with a blazer or a skirt, wearing a graphic tee that adds personality to your look, the possibilities are endless! Oh, and don’t forget your accessories! Some of the looks that I have put together through the inspiration of Lorelai Gilmore include the use of graphic baby tees, and my personal favorite, a blazer paired with shorts, a mock turtleneck tank, and cowgirl boots! You can check out some of these looks below…

Have fun channeling your inner Lorelai Gilmore this week. Trust me, you’ll be the talk of the town (and not just in Stars Hollow)!

Process Post #8: Artificial Intelligence: Challenging Copyright Standards

Image generated by DALL-E

With the emergence of new Artificial Intelligence (AI) resources like DALL-E and ChatGPT, comes the question of whether or not it is ethical to use these sources in regards to the possibility of infringing copyright standards/laws. When both of these applications became popular early this year and was the talk of the town around school, I was hesitant to try them out as more advanced AI applications always seemed quite daunting and sort of freaky to me. As ChatGPT and DALL-E became more and more prevalent however, I decided to try out DALL-E first when I was stumped as to how I could incorporate pictures on my blog/blog posts. When I was designing my homepage, I wanted an artistic picture that screamed fashion, New York, and creativity. With several prompt generations, I was able to get the perfect picture that resembled very closely what I had in mind, and I have used DALL-E a number of times throughout different posts and instances on my website ever since then. I find it to be a great creative tool that aids my ability to achieve the desired aesthetic and look of my blog. 

As copyright for DALL-E generated images is still being discovered, I always reference the resource when I use an generated image on my blog posts, assignments, etc. From what we know, DALL-E generates its images from combining a number of sources that it finds on the web. Whether or not these images are copyrighted, or in the public domain, we are unsure. According to Dr. Gregory Younging’s, Traditional Knowledge Exists:; Intellectual Property Is Invented Or Created, a journal we read for class, the Intellectual Property Rights system is based on the premise that, “ although the author or creator deserves recognition and compensation for his or her work because it is the product of his or her genius, all of society must eventually be able to benefit from that genius” (Younging, 2015). I think that this statement speaks a lot of truth.

Ultimately, the goal of many artists, writers, etc, is to share their work to the public and put themselves out there in their desired industry. Sharing their work is the part of their job that allows them to generate success and build a name for themselves, so it is not fair that a part of their career often involves their work being stolen or not being referenced/given credit. Copyright has helped reduce the number of cases like this and has made the internet a safer place for artists and others to share their work while still being able to protect it, but the introduction of AI has now reversed and altered a lot of the progress that had been made in regards to established copyright standards. If Artificial Intelligence is going to be using the work of other artists and writers to transform their output into something “original”, there should be a reference/works cited list that gives credit to the artists whose work was incorporated into the creation of a DALL-E image for example. We already know that Artificial Intelligence is very capable and smart enough to generate many complex as well as creative outputs, so including a reference list should not be outside of the applications limits, and rather, quite easy for it to do. Doing so would enhance the ethics of the source, and allow for artists to continue getting credit for their work, regardless of whether or not only a part of it has been integrated into the output of an AI piece. 

Until we gain a better understanding of the copyright aspect to Artificial intelligence applications, I encourage you to reference the source when you use it to generate an image, paragraph, or anything for that matter. This way, you will not only be practicing the act of citing your sources, but you will also be protecting yourself from possible copyright infringement if OpenAI or any Artificial Intelligence application suddenly comes out with a set of copyright laws on their work in the near future. In short, it is always better to reference/cite work that you did not create on your own, especially in cases where you are unsure if it is necessary or not. It is better to have more work cited, than to have none. 

If you would like to take a look at Gregory Younging’s journal article that I referenced earlier, you can find it here:


Antonelli, W. (2022). How to use DALL-E mini, the viral AI tool that can turn any prompt into a series of pictures. Insider.

Younging, G. (2015). Traditional Knowledge Exists; Intellectual Property Is Invented Or Created. University of Pennsylvania.

Just For Fun: SZA’s “SOS” Tour Did In Fact Save My Soul

This past weekend I was lucky enough to get tickets to SZA’s “SOS” concert, and it was worth every dollar. I spent all day Sunday trying to get tickets and after about 8 hours of hunting, I managed to score some for my friend and I and it was well worth the full time job I had for the day. Everything about the concert was perfect. From the set designs and graphics, to the set list and SZA’s performance in general, I don’t think us fans could have asked for a better show. An honorable mention is the merchandise that was being sold at the concert. If I could, I would have bought every item. Unsurprisingly, the line-ups were crazy all night, and especially for the merch table. I couldn’t make up my mind as to whether I wanted a t-shirt or a tote bag, but once I got to the table my decision was made for me as the t-shirt was sold out. I wasn’t too heartbroken though as I am in love with the tote bag I was able to get and I will use any chance to wear it! Here’s how I’ve already styled it…

Below are the top 10 SZA Songs that I swear by, check them out!

  1. All The Stars – SZA and Kendrick Lamar, Black Panther: The Album (2018)
  2. Low – SOS Album (2022)
  3. Good Days – Single (2020)
  4. Love Galore (feat. Travis Scott) – Ctrl Album (2017)
  5. Open Arms (feat. Travis Scott) – SOS Album (2022)
  6. Kill Bill – SOS Album (2022)
  7. Broken Clocks – Ctrl Album (2017)
  8. Consideration (feat. SZA) – Rihanna’s ANTI Album (2016)
  9. Blind – SOS Album (2022)
  10. Used (feat. Don Toliver) – SOS Album (2022)

* Also check out Forgiveless (feat. Ol’ Dirty Bastard) and Smoking on my Ex Pack from the SOS Album!*

Mini Assignment #4: Friends x Gossip Girl??

For this mini assignment, my task was to remix anything of my choosing. After some thought, the idea of combining two of my favorite shows together, Friends and Gossip Girl, came to mind and it seemed perfect! I thought I would maybe try and somehow recreate a scene/picture with my two favorite (and most stylish!) characters from each show, Serena van der Woodsen and Rachel Green, but I had no idea how to go about my idea. I don’t have much experience with photoshop, so I turned to DALL-E to see if it would be able to help me generate anything remotely close to the image I was picturing in my head. Here are the results that I got…

Prompt: gossip girl tv show character Serena van Der wooden sitting with Friends tv show character Rachel Green at the central perk coffee shop, digital art, painting

I decided to add “painting” into my prompt because often the more realistic digital art of humans on DALL-E appears quite distorted and freaky! After I altered and changed the prompt a few times I still wasn’t able to get exactly what I had in mind, so I tried to integrate characters from both shows into the well known Central Perk coffee house set from friends…

Prompt: gossip girl tv show characters sitting on the orange coach in the friends central perk coffee shop set, with the friends tv show characters, abstract oil painting, digital art 

Some of the results were pretty cool, but still not exactly what I wanted to create as you can’t really tell the characters apart from each other . After a few more tries, I figured that I wasn’t going to be able to get the result I was looking for using DALL-E, so instead I thought, “I wonder what a conversation between Serena and Rachel would look like?” So I headed over to chatGPT and put in this prompt, “show a conversation between gossip girl character Serena van der Woodsen and Friends TV show character Rachel Green talking about fashion”, and got a pretty cool response! 

Serena van der Woodsen: Hey, Rachel! I love your outfit today. You look amazing as always.

Rachel Green: Thank you so much, Serena! Coming from you, that means a lot. You always look so stylish.

Serena van der Woodsen: Aw, thank you. I’m just really into fashion, you know?

Rachel Green: I can definitely tell. You always seem to be on top of the latest trends.

Serena van der Woodsen: Yeah, I like to keep up with what’s happening in the fashion world. It’s always changing and evolving, so it’s important to stay on top of it.

Rachel Green: I totally agree. I used to work in fashion, you know.

Serena van der Woodsen: Really? That’s amazing! What kind of work did you do?

Rachel Green: I was a buyer for Bloomingdale’s.

Serena van der Woodsen: No way! That’s such a cool job.

Rachel Green: Yeah, it was definitely exciting. I got to see all the latest collections and work with some amazing designers.

Serena van der Woodsen: That’s so cool. I would love to do something like that one day.

Rachel Green: You definitely have the eye for it, Serena. Your outfits are always so put together.

Serena van der Woodsen: Thank you, Rachel. I really appreciate that. You know, I’ve been thinking about starting my own fashion line.

Rachel Green: That’s a great idea! I think you would do really well. Your style is unique and fresh.

Serena van der Woodsen: Thanks, Rachel. It’s still just an idea right now, but maybe someday.

Rachel Green: Well, if you ever need any help, let me know. I have a lot of experience in the fashion industry.

Serena van der Woodsen: Thanks, Rachel! I definitely will. It’s always great to have someone to bounce ideas off of.

After I was finished exploring chatGPT, I wasn’t sure if this was enough to exactly fulfill the assignment as I had sort of taken the “remix something” in the direction of creating a crossover between the two shows as sort of a “what if” scenario, instead of altering an already existing image/piece. With that being said, I came across a new AI app called Viola that animates images and turns them into different cartoon avatars. This gave me the idea to see what Gossip Girl characters would look like in a cartoon series, so here’s the result from a  picture that I used of Serena and Blair… 

I thought the results turned out pretty good, and if anything the AI recognized their sense of fashion! If you’re interested to see what your favourite characters would look like as a cartoon, or how they might interact with a character from another show, check out these AI applications and have fun with them!

The Biggest Day of the Year for Fashion is Almost Here. Are You Ready?

The best day of the year is soon approaching…. That’s right! The 2023 Met Gala is returning in about a month and a half as it always does, on the first Monday of May (which happens to be May 1st!). The steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will soon be walked by the industry’s most credited celebrities, wearing designs that profoundly display fashion as its own artform. This is by far the most prestigious fashion event of the year, and designers never fail to leave the audience in awe of their creative abilities. One of the most powerful figures in fashion, Anna Wintour, who has been the longtime editor in chief of Vogue Magazine, has been in charge of hosting and organizing the Met Gala since 1995. Throughout the years Anna Wintour has directed the Met Gala, we have seen many stunning themes of this event such as last years 2022: In America: An Anthology of Fashion, the very extravagant 2019: Camp: Notes on Fashion, and the very imaginative and more self directed theme we saw in 2009, The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion. Let’s take a look at what the Met Gala will have in store for us this year…

This year, the theme of the Met Gala will be paying tribute to the late designer Karl Lagerfeld who passed away in 2019, titling the theme: Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty. Costume Institute creator Andrew Bolton who worked very closely with Lagerfeld, will be in charge of this years exhibition and states that the dress code is “in honor of Karl”, and that guests will be able to choose pieces from the creative directors vast archives at Chanel, Fendi, Chloe, Balmain, Patou, and Lagerfeld’s own eponymous brand (McDermott, 2023). What I am most excited for are the Chanel looks that we will be seeing this year on the steps of the Metropolitain. Karl Lagerfeld transformed the Chanel brand and modernized the designs while still staying true to the attributes that make Chanel so recognizable and unique. After he produced his first couture collection for Chanel in 1983, he quickly became a major name and face for the brand and their designs. 

What I am expecting to see at this year’s Met Gala are more elegant, sophisticatedly glamorous looks that emphasize the use of accessories including head pieces, the use of pearl jewelry, gloves, and some other bold accessory pieces and hairstyles that will be the statement of the look. I think this year’s Met Gala looks will step away from the more absurd and drastic styles we typically see from many designers each year, while still showcasing and demonstrating fashion in its art form. Here are some looks designed by Karl Lagerfeld throughout the years that I hope to see on the carpet this year…

Photos found via “Karl Lagerfeld’s 100 Greatest Chanel Runway Moments” (Algoo et al, 2019) and Pinterest.

I can’t wait to see the looks at this years Met, and I am excited to see top stars like Blake Lively rule the carpet once again!


Algoo, J., Sheffield, L. (2019). Karl Lagerfeld’s 100 Greatest Chanel Runway Moments. BAZAAR.

McDermott, K. (2023). Everything You Need To Know About The Met Gala 2023. British Vogue.

Process Post#7: The Technology and Social Change Project

For this week’s process post, I will be focusing on one of the readings we did for class that I found to be very interesting. The theme for this week’s lesson focuses on digital literacy and critical thinking. Social media has become a main source of news for many people, and with this, the rise of fake news and mis-infoirmation has become more prevalent in today’s society and media. The Technology and Social Change Project (TaSC) based out of Harvard University has been a leading group of individuals in researching, detecting, and combatting media manipulation, so learning that the project will be shut down in 2024 came as a shock (Harwell et al, 2023). Before we continue, you may be wondering what media manipulation is exactly. Essentially, media manipulation is media that we are exposed to that influences ideas, opinions, and attitudes that we most likely would not have adopted on our own. With social media only becoming a more powerful tool and popular source of news, the work of projects like TaSC is essential to allow for the public and all of the world for that matter, to be able to decipher which media is truthful or false.

The Technology and Social Change Project is led by the widely known media expert, Dr. Joan Donovan. As I briefly stated above, TaSC explores the impacts of media manipulation and most importantly, how it serves as a means to control public conversation, politics, and disrupt society. What TaSC focuses on is conducting research in this area, developing methods on how to combat and detect media manipulation, and hosting workshops that can share their knowledge with journalists and other media workers (Harvard). Some of the projects best known published work consists of research and content regarding Covid-19 hoaxes throughout the pandemic, as well as the online response after the riot in the U.S. Capital in 2021. Joan Donovan is not a faculty member, and because of the school’s policy, she is no longer able to continue leading the project as she would have to be a faculty member of the University to do so. 

While I can understand the school’s policy, I am curious as to why Harvard is deciding to shut down the project now, after it has been up and running (as well as successful), for a couple of years now. Donovan is a research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy within the Harvard Kennedy School Institution. The Institution is clearly familiar with Donovan and her work, and if anything, her expertise and knowledge has made a very positive impact on the University by founding TaSC. The Technology and Social Change Project has made breakthroughs and significant research that has expanded outside of the University walls and into educating society on media manipulation. Not only is society and media research going to be losing a significant resource with this project shutting down, but Harvard students will be losing out as well. 

I am interested to see whether or not Donovan will continue to develop the TaSC independently or if she is even allowed to do so. It would be a shame to see an organization that has contributed meaningful work into such an important and emerging field completely disappear. To learn more about Harvard’s decision, you can check out the article I have been referring to for this week:


Harvard Kennedy School. Faculty Profiles: Joan Donovan. Cambridge, MA, USA.

Harwell, D., Menn, J. (2023). Harvard is shutting down project that studied social media misinformation. The Washington Post.

Artificial Intelligence: Friend or Foe?

With the continued development and advancements of technology comes the growing presence of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Whether we like it or not, the reality is that Artificial Intelligence is only going to become more powerful and prevalent in our lives from this point forward. Recently, we have been hearing about AI quite a bit with the emergence of sources like ChatGPT and DALL-E, and this is likely just the beginning of what will be a new digital era. It is difficult to decide whether we should see AI as an asset or as a threat, as there is so much to still discover and decipher such as, whether or not elements of the source are ethical. From the perspective of a content creator designing their own website, AI has the ability to be a great tool and asset, but at the same time, can hinder originality.

The thought of being able to generate content through an AI application with just a few words and the click of a button is something so remarkable that it is almost frightening. For a content creator it can be hard to keep up with creating original material, so the idea of an application that can do the work for you is appealing. Knowing that Artificial Intelligence is only going to continue growing, it is an important application that we should get used to and try to understand as best as we can. With that being said, we should keep in mind that AI is a tool that can aid and support our work and creativity, not replace it entirely. When we let AI take away the originality and creativity of our own personal work, that is when the resource can become more of a threat than an asset. 

“Although current Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies outperform humans in many areas, tasks requiring common sense, contextual knowledge, creativity, adaptivity, and empathy are still best performed by humans” ( van der Aalst, 2021). There are three key words in this quote that are of value to the role of content creators: contextual knowledge, creativity, and empathy. Without these three characteristics being used to their best ability, the content that creators produce becomes less personable, original, and relatable. When most people are reading content, they are most engaged in material that is presented in a way that is easy to understand and that evokes some sort of emotion within them (Gajos et al, 2022). This is where the use of AI can fall short of being able to provide the emotional aspect of content that provides a more long lasting effect, as well as a meaningful understanding of the message. It is often the way that content is portrayed that best allows for readers to receive and process information, and this comes from understanding your audience. Word choice, tone, the integration of personal opinion, and other related factors are all critical aspects of creative control that allow for creators to make their content powerful and original, as well as cater to a specific demographic/audience. AI does not know your audience, and therefore it can not provide content in the needed tone and language that your audience best responds to. It may be able to generate text for you with the click of a button, but the content within the message itself will not be as effective as an original, self-written piece.  At the end of the day, only content creators themselves know how to write content for their audiences. 

Artificial intelligence is designed to provide a fast, structured, logical response that is designed to process information in a way that achieves a particular result, which does not leave much room for spontaneous creativity that often comes with human innovation (Leos, 2022). Creativity is an essential characteristic of content creation and being a content creator in general. The beauty of creativity is that it can be inspired out of nowhere, it does not have any structure, and there is nobody telling you creative ideas except for yourself. Artificial Intelligence limits this ability by often providing a single structured response, when in reality there are many possible answers to creative ideas. 

If you think about it, AI can only be creative with the ideas you provide. Take DALL-E for example. The application is only able to generate images and be creative based off of the imaginative prompt that you, as a creator, are generating in the search bar. On its own, the application does not have much value until we offer our ideas and creativity. A real life example of this is explained in Garret Sloane’s journal article, How ChatGPT, DALL-E and Midjourney are fueling unusual brand mashups: Creators are obsessed with using AI image generators to design the wildest brand combos. “Creators are coming up with totally unreal mashups, using AI image generators DALL-E and Midjourney to experiment,” states Sloane. With the help of AI, we have seen the creation of what possible absurd brand collaborations such as, designer brand Hermes and 7-Eleven, would look like, with DALL-E generating an image of a scarf in the signature 7-Eleven logo colors. While this image was generated through AI, the idea was created by human innovation and creativity. This once again reiterates the fact that Artificial Intelligence is a tool that can be used to support the creative ideas you already have. 

In all, Artificial Intelligence can be seen as a great tool for content creators, but it cannot replace what they have to offer. The difference between Artificial Intelligence being an asset or a threat relies on how much we begin to rely on the source. If content creators work with AI to strengthen their own ideas and creative abilities, then it can be a great source or “friend” to rely on. Moreover, it has the ability to aid creators in expressing their creative abilities. If, however, we let Artificial Intelligence begin to dominate our platforms and ideas, it will become more of a “foe”, as it will greatly limit the ability for content creators to share and produce work that includes their personal opinions, visions, ideas, and expressions. Where the future of AI will go from here is uncertain, but we know that it is only going to progress and become more involved in our day-to-day activities. What we as creators and creative individuals need to remember is that Artificial Intelligence is only as threatening as we make it to be, and that in the end, human creativity will forever be a powerful tool. 


Gajos, K., Mamykina, L. (February 11, 2022). Do People Engage Cognitively with AI? Impact of AI Assistance on Incidental Learning. Cornell University. Ithaca, New York, NY, USA.

Leos, D. (December 12, 2022). Is AI A Risk To Creativity? The Answer Is Not So Simple. Entrepreneur.

Sloane, G. (2023). How ChatGPT, DALL-E and Midjourney are fueling unusual brand mashups:  Creators are obsessed with using AI image generators to design the wildest brand combos. 3rd Edition. Crain Communications Inc. Chicago. EBSCOhost.

van der Aalst, W.M.P. (2021). Hybrid Intelligence: to automate or not to automate, that is the question. Volume 9, Issue 2. International Journal of Information Systems and Project Management. Lisbon.

Just For Fun: “Shine Bright Like a Diamond” with Fenty Beauty’s Platinum Highlight

I have to admit… I have fallen victim to being influenced by Tik Tok to go out and purchase an item that had made its way onto my for you page. Typically, I am not easily influenced by Tik Tok trends, but this one I just couldn’t resist! The Fenty Diamond Bomb All Over Diamond Veil in the shade “How Many Carrots?” is my latest obsession. Makeup is definitely not my expertise and I don’t use it often, but when I do, I often lean towards sparkly eye looks and highlighters. This highlighter is the most shimmery, platinum, eye-catching makeup product that is not overpowering and is easy to apply. I bought it to use primarily as an eyeshadow rather than a highlighter, and it has not disappointed. It is long-lasting, does not smudge or lose its sparkle by the end of the night, and is easy to take off. This is definitely my go to makeup product and I will be using it any chance I get! 

Tip: If you want a shimmery lip look, you can apply some of this highlighter before lipgloss or on top of lipstick!