Author Archives: Emaan Ali

Why do girls wear make-up?

Research done in 2013, found that the average American woman will spend $15,000 on make-up during her lifetime and at least 20 minutes a day applying it. As a girl I understand the struggle of spending way more time and money than I should at Sephora/Ulta, trying to find the perfect lipstick shade or foundation for my skin type; the struggle of accidentally waking up late and quickly trying to make that perfect eyeliner wing. But, why? Why do women put so much effort into making themselves look “good” – aren’t we all perfect the way we are?

A BuzzFeed survey asked women why they wear make-up and among the responses were “because it’s fun” and “because it makes me feel more confident”. I think these are in fact the two main reasons and so I’ll be looking at them specifically. In today’s world, confidence is considered the key to success, so it makes sense women spend that extra time doing whatever they need to, in order to feel better about themselves. On average, women look at themselves in a mirror 16 times a day and unlike men who look at themselves to admire their favorite features, they focus on their insecurities. A poll done in the UK, showed that 85% of women said wearing make-up helped them feel better on a bad day and 78% believed wearing make-up meant they would be treated better by other people. 

YouTube sensation, NikkieTutorials created the movement, “The Power of Make-up”, where she films herself applying make-up to only half her face. The point of the video was to show her viewers that make-up is supposed to be fun and it’s okay to experiment with different products and create super dramatic looks. Photographer, Steve Osemwankhae made a series featuring a hundred women with their bare faces and thoughts on wearing make-up. The most common comments made were about self-expression, having fun and actually being okay without any make-up.

This video by Em Ford went viral a few months ago so you might have already seen it but I think it perfectly captures what girls often feel. (You should definitely watch if you don’t understand why girls wear make-up.)


Regardless of whether you wear make-up or not, remember you are beautiful. (That sounded a lot less cheese-y in my head, haha).

Other sources:


Is eating breakfast actually important?


Everyone’s heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it refuels our bodies after a night’s sleep and gives us the energy we need to go about our days. In 2011, Kellogg’s surveyed 14,000 Americans and found that 77% of children, 36% of high school students and 34% of adults actually eat breakfast. Are the people who don’t eat breakfast at some sort of disadvantage? Recent research has shown that it might not actually be as essential as we think.

Eating a well-balanced breakfast in the morning has many benefits for our health. Firstly, eating protein restores our glucose levels (which fluctuate between rising and falling throughout the night) and gives us the energy we need to function adequately throughout the day. Furthermore, since it’s our brain’s only source of energy, eating the correct carbohydrates in the morning makes us sharper and more alert. Secondly, research has shown that eating breakfast means you are less likely to become overweight. A study done by Yunsheng Ma et al. looked at the link between eating patterns and obesity. The results showed participants who skipped breakfast were 4.5 times more likely to become obese.

On the other hand, there has been research and studies that prove eating breakfast isn’t absolutely necessary, especially for weight loss. A study conducted by the University of Alabama proved that eating breakfast has almost no effect on your weight. Their study had 300 participants who were randomly allocated to the groups: eat breakfast, skip breakfast or continue with current breakfast habits. After sixteen weeks, their initial and current weights were compared and on average each person had only lost a pound.

Additionally, breakfast isn’t the only way you can get energy in the morning. Many people prefer working out. In one study, researchers looked at 70 different studies on the effects of exercising and energy levels. Over 90% of the studies showed that people who exercised regularly had more energy and less fatigue, compared to those who didn’t exercise.

Another factor to consider is that many of the studies claiming breakfast is very important are done by health and nutrition companies which means they are likely to be biased. Kelloggs, The Quaker Oats Company etc. are obviously going to try to promote their products as helpers with weight loss and good health.

In conclusion, I think that eating a healthy and well-balanced breakfast will help you throughout the day (definitely for college students who often have long and tiring schedules). However, if you’re eating breakfast to help with weight loss, you might want to look more into that as the fact is not totally accurate.

Other sources:

[1] [2] [3]

Is Diet Coke worse than regular Coke?

It’s a well-known fact that soda has detrimental effects on your health so as an alternative many people choose to drink “diet” versions of their favorites such as Diet Coke, Sprite Zero, Diet Mountain Dew etc. What many people don’t realize is that despite having no sugar, diet drinks contain many other chemicals – some which are a lot more harmful than sugar.

36kszt Image found here

A study by the University of Texas at Austin found that 59% of Americans drink diet soda regularly. I think what appeals to people about these diet drinks is the big fat “0 CALORIES” printed on their labels. I mean, if a drink is calorie free then it must not be bad for you, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, diet sodas contain other addictive, dangerous and artificial sweeteners that have a serious negative impact on your health. The most common artificial sweeteners are aspartame, sucralose and saccharine.

Aspartame is much sweeter than sugar, it is used in small amounts which as a result reduces the amount of calories. It is the combination of the amino acids: aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Aspartic acid in liquid form is absorbed much quicker by the body and can cause an individual to have headaches, nausea, sleep problems and fatigue. The consumption of excessive aspartic acid could eventually lead to neuron damage in your brain which could lead to chronic illnesses, including: ALS, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. On the other hand, phenylalanine decreases the levels of serotonin in your brain which leads to depression.

Although sucralose and sugar taste extremely similar, they have one big difference: our bodies can’t metabolize sucralose so it goes right through us. Our body detects that something sweet has been eaten and activates mechanisms to capture the energy that sugars usually provide but receive nothing. After some time, our body stops responding to all sugars, even the real ones from sweets and fruits! As a result, people who drink diet drinks are 34% more likely to develop metabolic syndrome (which could lead to various heart diseases as well).

Saccharine is considered to be sweeter than sugar but has a bitter aftertaste. Until 2010, anything with saccharine had a warning label on it because it was considered that dangerous. Although it has no calories, the two main potential side effects of consuming it are weight gain and diabetes. A study done with rats, showed that the group given artificially sweetened food had a slowed down metabolism, higher calorie intake and gained more weight (compared to rats given real sugar food).

To conclude, I think regular sodas might just be better than diet sodas. Excessive consumption of either one could lead to serious health issues but if you’re desperately craving soda, drinking regular in a small amount is probably best. However, if you want a calorie free drink but don’t want to be obese, have diabetes or rotting teeth, stick with water!

Other sources used:

[1] [2] [3]


First Blog Post!

Hi! My name’s Emaan Ali and I’m an international freshman that just moved here from Saudi Arabia. Although I’m originally from Pakistan, I was born in Belgium and spent a lot of my childhood there so I’d like to think I’m prepared for the cold weather here! I’m majoring in Psychology and possibly minoring in French. I enjoy watching TV (love f.r.i.e.n.d.s), working out, baking and travelling. My family and I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to over 20 countries including: France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey!


Compared to my high school which had about 15 subjects to choose from, Penn State seems to offer everything imaginable including SC 200! I chose to take this course because it seems super interesting and I’ve never taken or even heard of anything like it. Just from reading the list of topics we might cover, I can see myself really loving this course.  I was never great at science during school (hence why I’m not a Science major) and I honestly find it kind of boring sometimes, I really think this will be different! My biology teacher once sent us this link to some cool facts that I think you guys might enjoy reading too 🙂