Contrasting aesthetics cultivate individuality, habits

Contrasting aesthetics cultivate individuality, habits
Minimalist sophomore Hannah Baum

From her tidy beige and white room adorned with twinkling fairy lights to her planned-out, simple and enjoyable lunches, sophomore Hannah Baum enjoys her minimalist lifestyle.

“I’m an organized person, and I like everything straightforward and simple,” she said. “I started by doing small things, such as tidying up my room every night or making my lunch the night before.”

Color-coded calendar events and apps also bring order to Baum’s life, as do simple room decorations.

“I like working with a few pieces that work well together and cohesively,” she said. “I try to match elements together — I have some gold pieces scattered throughout my room and wood pieces.”

That said, Baum does sometimes find herself losing motivation to follow her routines.

“It’s hard to (be organized) all the time,” she said. “Sometimes, I just want to relax and not think about
having everything routinely.”

To balance her minimalistic organization, Baum expresses herself in other places such as food and clothing. For instance, she likes to use her creativity to experiment with new salad recipes.

Baum also incorporates minimalism into her running routine. As part of the Gunn track and field team, Baum goes to practice with a plan of when and how much to run. This organized schedule allows Baum to focus on her running rather than worry about creating a new plan every day.

“When I go on a run, minimalism has made me not worry about timing and pacing,” she said. “I can just
run and relax.”

With a clean and organized mindset, Baum enjoys using her minimalism in her daily life.

“I experience less stress,” she said. “The things that I can control I’ve made relatively stress-free by staying organized.”

Maximalist sophomore Helios Zepka

Safety pins on jackets, doodles on jeans and ever-changing hair colors: Sophomore Helios Zepka’s style is bold, eccentric and completely their own. Over the years, they have embraced maximalism through their style, hair and makeup, using their aesthetic to express and accept themselves.

“The way I like to dress is more out of comfort, and I just like looking good,” Zepka said.

“It’s also a mix of my gender identity and music, and definitely things I get from my friends that I like to include.”

Certain songs, according to Zepka, also impact their style and aesthetic.

“Some songs (that also influence me) are ‘Cariño’ by The Marias and ‘Fences’ by Destroy Boys,” they said.

Zepka describes their personality to be dramatic and intense. These attributes influence their aesthetic — for instance, they use stars and thick eyeliner to accentuate their eyes. Dressing this way has not always been easy for Zepka, and they have been ridiculed for their stylistic choices in the past. Over time, however, they have become increasingly immune to insults.

“(Thinking back), that was so dumb of me to take that personally because (the people who made comments) were strangers,” Zepka said. “Why should I care about their opinion if they don’t even know me?”

This mindset shift allowed Zepka to develop new ways of displaying their individuality.

“(Cutting and dyeing my hair) is like a coping mechanism,” they said. “A lot of the time, you can’t control change, but this is just one small change you can control,and sometimes I (end up) actually really liking it.”

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Aeron Man
Aeron Man, Graphics Artist
Senior Aeron Man is a graphic artist for The Oracle. He additionally works on graphics for Gunn Theater, and enjoys spending time doing art, music and cooking.
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