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Monday, December 04, 2023

Plus-size people, people of color and the LGBTQ+ community don’t always conform to the Eurocentric beauty standards that have become so prevalent in contemporary culture. These communities consistently face certain scrutinies and oppressions, which often leads to invisibility of these individuals in popular media. How can we put an end to this? The answer is simple: Fill media with the images and the stories of these people.
At UF, one of the largest platforms these communities have is Rowdy Magazine. On Oct. 14, this student-run fashion publication will release its second issue after nearly a year of silence, and anyone interested in the magazine has a lot to be excited about.
The themes of the issue are diversity and inclusivity — hallmarks that Ana Escalante, assistant creative director, is very proud to tout. She said, “Representation is the most important thing to me. Because I am a plus-size Latino woman, and a lot of traditional fashion magazines don’t have me in mind.” 
Rowdy offers students the opportunity to write for a very different type of publication than what is offered through conventional channels here at UF. It offers much more creative flexibility among its staff and speaks of diversity within its pages as its mission.
At the same time, outlets for fashion at UF are few and far between, with no dedicated clubs or organizations other than the two recently founded publications, Strike and Rowdy. Students interested in careers in the fashion industry have been flocking to these magazines looking to make their mark and improve their resumes. 
Torri McFarlane already knew that she was going into the fashion industry, but because of her time with Rowdy, she has become even more cemented in her goals. UF doesn’t offer majors, minors, programs or certificates in writing for these types of publications, but McFarlane said that Rowdy has helped her meet people in Gainesville also interested in fashion. 
The magazine does face struggles, though. Escalante says that the cost of printing is a hurdle that the team has to overcome every time they set out to publish a new issue.
While Rowdy receives funding from the ads between its pages and the copies that it sells, its primary source of funding is the profits from its launch party; which is set to be held Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. at the SL8 Gallery on 10 E University Ave. 
Copies of the magazine will be sold throughout the prior week at Turlington Hall, Plaza of the Americas and the Reitz Union.
If you’re interested in supporting intersectional feminism or care about students pursuing careers in fashion, I suggest you lend your support to publications like Rowdy and Strike. 
Next week, when you see Rowdy’s cart and they call you over, try to give them a bit of your time – you’re supporting some valid causes.
Editor’s Note: Ana Escalante is a reporter at The Alligator.
Myles Gibbs is a UF journalism junior.

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