Portland, Oregon: home of hipsters, hikers, and the meth capital of the West Coast? Drug addiction and overdoses plague populations across the globe, specifically those living on the streets and others with mental health problems. In particular, my rainy hometown has recently struggled with overdose numbers increasing by almost 400%. The city has attempted to create better policies surrounding addiction, moving away from the traditional American policy of criminalization, with naloxone kits for opioid crises, and banning pseudoephedrine, but as the homeless population grows, the impact of these policies has been small. As these numbers keep rising, it is clear…


A photo from the famous “Faces of Meth” campaign ran by the city of Portland, Oregon.

Portland, Oregon: home of hipsters, hikers, and the meth capital of the West Coast? Unfortunately, the drug has found a niche in my rainy hometown, specifically in the troublingly ever-growing transient population of the city. The famous “Faces of Meth” campaign originated here in Multnomah County, as an attempt in local high schools to reduce the number that turn to the drug. Thanks to the rise of gentrification pushing out affordable housing downtown, people increasingly live on the streets, and find themselves susceptible to mental illness, turning to meth in an attempt to help. The endless rain that so many…


One of the most popular images from Portland, Oregon’s “Faces of Meth” Campaign.

Across social media, many have seen the “Faces of Meth” campaign, a 2004 series of photos which documented chronic methamphetamine users and the effect the drug has on many. But most people probably don’t know that the campaign originated in my home city, Portland, Oregon, which has struggled with a meth problem, specifically in the significant (and alarmingly growing) homeless population. Once the city with the highest meth users per-capita, the state of Oregon attempted to combat the problem in 2006, by requiring a prescription to purchase pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used to brew meth in “Breaking Bad” style home labs…


A Uniqlo store in Bellevue, Washington. The storefront looks incredibly high-tech, and the store is filled with basics.

With glimmering lights, and a high-tech LED screen displaying the latest deals running throughout its 56 American stores, Japanese brand Uniqlo boasts an intriguing storefront. The mystery of the brand is quickly lost when entering for most Americans, however, with revenue of the brand so popular in China and eastern Asia operating at a loss here overseas. So where exactly does the brand, which made owner Tadashi Yanai the richest person in Japan, fail? The answer lies not in business tactics, but the difference in cultural attitudes and customs between Japan and the United States. …


Despite the brand’s simple identity and innovations in technology, American stores have still operated at a loss, thanks to the American ideals of individualism and the consumer attitude. After the financial crisis of 2008, Uniqlo’s popularity skyrocketed worldwide, but as the economy, and a culture around social media grew, the brand’s basics failed to translate. The picture of wealth in the United States is not someone wearing understated, yet tailored basics, but someone who drenches themselves in designer logos, and flaunts their luxury cars on Instagram. The over-the-top, even campy look that social media has popularized reflects the wealth of…


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WblNctc3ys0

From the Streets of Tokyo to the Met Gala-Japanese Street Fashion

From the streets of Shibuya to Harajuku, in Tokyo, many Japanese young adults and teenagers are dressed to the nines. Full of subcultures and often years ahead of the United States in trends, Japanese street fashion has intrigued many a fashion fanatic up and down the West Coast. Rising to popularity in the 1990s and early 2000s, the avant-garde looks have coined themselves a reputation in the industry, even earning the theme of fashion’s coveted Met Gala in 2017, inspired by designer Rei Kawakubo and his brand, Commes des Garcons. …


Black Lives Matter protesters walk around the globe. What began as uprising in Minnesota forced the world to step back and examine how their own countries treat black citizens.

How in the world could someone possibly be a “global citizen”? While the idea has become a buzzword for media, universities (I’ll admit, I said I wanted to further my education as a global citizen in my applications essays), and in politics, the concept has useful implications for policy change, and brings up a healthy debate on the concepts of locality vs globality. With the rise in social media, global issues have come to the forefront, and national issues become global as soon as you can type a Tweet. The world has a new need to be interconnected, and identifying…


How in the world could someone possibly be a “global citizen”? While the idea has become a buzzword for media, universities (I’ll admit, I said I wanted to further my education as a global citizen in my applications essays), and in politics, the concept has useful implications for policy change, and brings up a healthy debate on the concepts of locality vs globality. With the rise in social media, global issues have come to the forefront, and national issues become global as soon as you can type a Tweet. The world has a new need to be interconnected, and identifying…


Growing up in a world post 9/11, the idea of nationalism and a strong identity as a proud, free American citizen is something I’ve heard countless times. I never questioned it, because every media source and adult I listened to made it sound like things were “us against the enemy”. In middle school, I became best friends with a proud Pakistani Muslim, and hearing her experiences with Islamophobia and even blatant racism here in the US forced me to take a step back and look at my worldview.

Becoming older and taking a world history class in my sophomore year…

Maddy Wood

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