The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

The Pepperbox

The Pepperbox

Navigating life and school after an attempt
Navigating life and school after an attempt
Ell Franklin and Anthony Vasek November 3, 2023
“I’ve been focusing more on myself and what I need because I used to be a really bad people pleaser. I’ve always put everyone else first before me.”
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The CCLL Leadership team 

(top row, left to right: Erika Homan, Carolyn van Mantgem, Melanie Zapper, Taylor Nada, Tim Clewell.
bottom row, left to right: Johanna Mauro, Fionn Conroy, Kayla Gaskill)
Hello CCLL!
Taylor Nada, Online Editor • December 7, 2023
This year, the Arcata Arts Institute joined a new program known as the Creative Careers Leadership Lab (CCLL), an organization aimed at helping art students gain skills to succeed in future careers in the arts.  
Pepperbox Broadcast
Pepperbox Broadcast
Rey Barber, Art Director • November 17, 2023
“It’s the first time we’ve ever had a broadcast,” Kloe Bryant said, “so it’s really just testing everything out,”
Difference Between America and Other Countries
Shu Yamashita November 14, 2023
“In Italy, we have just one class and the same classmates, we don’t change classes. We have been in the same class for four years. We have twelve subjects,”
Is study hall really for studying?
Kyndle Eisner, Production Manager • November 14, 2023
“I feel like it’s less strict than last year, but the pass system is stupid and doesn’t work.”

Muscles and “mommies”

Kleo Gaiera
Bella Packer lifting in the AHS weight room.

In recent years, almost all teenagers struggle with self-image, especially young women. For so long, the media has told men they need to go to the gym in order to be secure in their bodies. While telling women they need to starve to be happy with their body. 

Recently, there has been a craze developing online. Muscular women have been going viral on social media and are being called “muscle mommies.” Could this trend possibly send the body positivity movement in a whole other direction? 

Femininity is too often linked to weakness and softness. Women with muscles contrast that conception in such a perfect way. Ever since I started working out and really building muscle, my self-image has increased positively. I can’t recommend anything more for women who struggle with body image issues.

 “For me, it’s better to be strong, than to be frail and weak,” said senior Bellagrace Packer. She has been going to the gym for a couple years, but has just recently started powerlifting. “I started lifting because I wanted a big butt, but it gradually became I want to be ripped, I wanna be big, and I wanna be strong,” Packer said. “Honestly, I can’t get hurt by men anymore, if I can lift more than their body weight.”

Many women find that being strong is empowering, and is reassuring in the presence of strange men. Ironically, sometimes the gym is where those strange men are.  

Lifting as a woman can be intimidating. “A lot of the time I’ll look around and realize I’m the only girl in there,” Packer said. 

Many women have dealt with a lot of unwanted male attention at the gym. Some men can be weird, however, most of the time gym bros are very supportive. “I was doing a bunch of pull-ups, and after I was done this big guy came over and nodded at me,” said October Minty, a Sophomore at Arcata High.

 It feels good to contradict the stereotype that women aren’t as strong and less dedicated to becoming stronger. When asked where she gets her motivation: “I just really want to be called a muscle mommy,” said October. “Just look up @leanbeefpatty, and your whole outlook on life will change.” TikTok celebrity, LeanBeefPatty has popularized the muscle mommy movement. “Now I’m getting to a point where I’m really happy I stuck with it,” Packer said. Putting in the work and consistency is key to building muscle – Woman or not.

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