Loud and proud


photo by Peyton Sutch

Junior Amy Joachim poses in the butterfly garden. Joachim’s outfit consists of almost entirely thrifted materials.

As a self-proclaimed vegan, aerial acrobatic and activist, junior Amy Joachim has always expressed her beliefs in ways that ultimately grab the attention and judgement of her peers.

For some students, the need to conform in high school can be overwhelming and the thought of sticking out too far from the crowd leads them to suppress their personal beliefs out of fear. However, in today’s atmosphere,  students like Joachim have no problem expressing themselves in and out of the school environment. 

“I honestly wouldn’t describe myself as a ‘hippie’ or ‘boho’, “ said Joachim. “I really just do what I like; sometimes I don’t even feel like I’m conscientiously rebelling against anything.” 

From taking a stand against conventional beauty standards by not shaving her legs since the sixth grade to exclusively wearing thrifted materials to protest “fast fashion,” Joachim has always prioritized the betterment of society and specifically the environment in her day to day life.

“My focus lately has been mainly on limiting my contribution to ‘fast fashion’, which just refers to the mass production and waste of low quality materials created in poor working conditions. Some clothes are so cheaply made that a lot of the pieces people buy  have to be replaced very quickly and just end up in landfills,” said Joachim. “Thrifting is just much more sustainable and ethical.”

Despite the seemingly tedious job of checking to make sure her clothing meets her moral standards, Joachim says that finding new ways of upping her style has never been hindered by sustainability factors. 

“A lot of my best pieces have been recycled from family members like my mom,” said Joachim. “Some sustainable brands can be really expensive so I try to cut costs where I can. ‘Lucy and Yak’ is probably one of my favorite, affordable eco-friendly brands.” 

Additionally, Joachim has participated in environmental marches and strikes, including the Climate Strike organized at Orlando City Hall last December. The event corresponds with Greta Thunberg’s “Friday’s for the Future” Movement. 

“We were basically rallying to get renewable energy laws passed locally and state-wide,” said Joachim. “I’m definitely planning to attend the one in April. Together, we have the means to fight against abuses of power,” said Joachim. “Not saying everyone has to be a super activist or anything, just do your part.” 

As a student, being vocal and public about controversial topics can often lead to social suicide. However, in Joachim’s case, the majority of people have supported her public displays of defiance. 

“I truly believe we’re the generation that’s most unafraid to be different,” said Joachim. “If something’s important enough to you, you don’t mind sticking out a little to make it known. I don’t care if people think I’m a ‘hippie feminist’, I’ve been more focused on making changes in my own life than trying to change the way the world perceives me lately. ”