What's a California girl to do when it's 20 degrees below? Brittni Chicuata explains.

By Reilly Pruitt

Today it was the purple shoes. For Brittni Chicuata, getting dressed every morning doesn’t simply mean picking up the cleanest article of clothing off the floor. Nope, first she picks an accessory and from there an ensemble is created. An American Studies and Political Science Major, Brittni talks fashion, reputation and even reveals the secrets behind her connection with Sponge Bob.

So, coming from San Francisco, what made you choose Macalester?

BC: I went to the Irving School, where there were about 56 people from my graduating class. It was a small liberal arts school, pretty prestigious. Pretty comparable to Macalester. I knew I would be comfortable with the size and everything. I didn’t want to get lost in the shuffle.

What about Minnesota? Pretty different from California.

I honestly didn’t know where Minnesota was on the map. I came out here for a multicultural weekend and I had no idea where in America I was. Before I came to this school I had never seen snow, I didn’t even own a heavy jacket.

And how about the winters?

Winter is not my thing.winter fashion is either you look like you are going to rob somebody or you just put on as many layers of clothing as you want. So I go for the layering effect and just try to stay color-coordinated.

Fair enough. But you were able to miss out on last winter. Where did you go abroad?

I went to Brazil and it was honestly the best experience of my life. I recommend it to all Macalester students.

And where were you?

I started in San Pau and then four and a half months in Salvador.

Tell me a good story about Brazil.

There are too many to say. Although I was once stopped by the police and I knew I was going to die. They pulled my friend’s car over and took out all of our stuff and started going through it. They recognized that I was American and they pulled my friend aside and started asking, “does she have drugs?” Since we were going to the beach I had a bag of clothes. So there I was on the edge of this slum with my underwear, my bikinis, a box of crayons and a coloring book of Sponge Bob.

Ah, yes, Sponge Bob.

Yeah, I think they were confused. But they let us go, so it was OK.

You have been known to have a great love of Sponge Bob. Where does it come from?

Well, I don’t know. My earliest memories are of when I had a Sweet Sixteen that was completely Sponge Bob. I identify with him. He has an annoying laugh, I have an annoying laugh. We both have that gap-toothed smile. We are both really charming and annoying at the same time. I feel like sometimes I can be really infantile and make a joke about anything and laugh forever.

How do you feel Macalester relates style wise to the rest of the world?

Well, Macalester doesn’t have style- I’m just going to put that out there. Macalester students don’t really care how they look in the morning. I’m not saying it’s the most important thing to care about how you look. But I do take pride in my appearance and I don’t think it’s something I should be demonized for. I like fashion and I like to express myself through clothing and bright and bold colors.

Is there a certain celebrity that you think has particularly great style?

I think Diddy has great style. He’s not my guide. I don’t pull from anyone, I’m just kind of a sucker for what’s going on. I’m really into high-waisted pants right now.

Right, well, you don’t see too many of those around here yet.

I already have two pairs. I wore some last Saturday-you missed it.

As an African-American student of color, do you feel Mac relates to and represents multiculturalism well?

When I talk to people I sometimes feel as though they are automatically aggressive when they approach me. Like I get that aggressive black female label sometimes just because I have a strong personality. Because I’m not going to take your shit. If you are bullshitting me I’m going to call you out on it. I don’t think that has to do with my race it has to do with my personality. I think people just expect me to be aggressive so they take that tone with me, but I am not a bitch all the time. I’m a very nice person.

So you do feel like you have a certain label around here as being that here? Like people unfairly label you?

It’s not always unfair. You see me in a certain situation you are going to make an assumption. That’s how it is. I mean I’m not inviting everyone to come up and try to get to know me because I don’t necessarily want to know everybody. It’s too much sometimes.

As a senior, what are your overall impressions of the Macalester social scene?

Socially, Macalester is not for me, because I’m a person who loves to dance and have fun. A generic Macalester party consists of going to someone’s keg in the basement, living room, whatever, insert location here. It’s just standing around and talking to people and I feel like I can do that here during a regular weekday or hanging out versus that being called a party.

Where do you look for outside entertainment?

I like to go to clubs. I go to other schools, like the U of M has had some really good frat parties this year.

So, how are you feeling about your senior year overall?

I mean going abroad was the best decision I have made. Second semester is the perfect time. I felt like I was on the brink of discussion and just needed to get out. You just get tired and you come back with this whole new perspective. Basically I’m over this shit. It’s just a countdown now.

And finally, what is it that you would want people to remember about you? One specific thing?

I don’t know. I would like to be remembered as someone who is real. I guess it’s kind of generic, but whatever.

Do you think that most people at Macalester aren’t real?

Hell no. No. From the administration on down. People aren’t real.