After a couple of months of neglecting the topic of bodies and a long week of binge-eating my birthday candy, I decided it was time again to have a little chat about our skin and bones.
A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to my guy friend about “The Freshman 15,” which, at Brown, seems to be more like “The Freshman Negative 15.” Not that people I know are necessarily losing weight, but there’s a definite fear of gaining it. We’re so aware of the possibility to gain that we can’t stop thinking about trying to keep it off. This, of course, is probably more unhealthy than the 2a.m. pizza I’m yet to have thus far.
He said, “I’ve been eating really well since I’ve been here. I work out every day, I watch what I eat… I’m all about that whole ‘My body is a temple’ thing. You know?”
Why, yes, I did know. “My body is a temple” is one of my personal favorite phrases. It sounds so nice, in theory of course, to treat your body with so much respect–to only give it beautiful and natural things like grilled chicken and chopped salad and lots and lots of Fiji water. That mantra reminds me of gentle yoga and intense SoulCycle in a candlelit room. I love saying “My body is a temple” because it sounds so pretty on the outside. And, in reality, we really should become conducive to that lifestyle. So when my friend told me that his body was a temple, what was my response?
Obviously, “Oh my God, I’m the same way!”
Do I feel like my body should be a temple? Probably. Do I always treat it like it’s a temple? Debatable. Does my body look like a temple? HA. Let’s be real… I love fro-yo too much to avoid chemical food products, and we all know it.
When guys tell you in a casual conversation that they are true believers that their bodies are temples, it says a lot about them. Generally, I jump to one of two conclusions:
1. You’re an asshole, or
2. You’re really effing earthy
And that about sums it all up. But if you’re good looking and your body not only is a temple in your minds eye, but it’s clear to see that you treat it like one, you’ll have nice Jewish girls lined up for miles to take a turn davening in your sanctuary. Screw the pews… they’ll be down to get all up in your bimah.
Guys that are earthy love treating their bodies as temples. That’s why the smoke the green stuff–because it’s “organic” and au naturale. They also love being skinny, because if you aren’t lanky and try to convince people that you’re earthy, they’re just not going to believe you. It’s a part of the look.
If you’re an asshole, you just tell girls that you like treating your body as a temple because you… (wait for it… wait for it…)
1. “…Just feel better, like all around, you know?”
2. “…Have more energy”
3. “…Like to wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and like what I see.” (I swear on my life I’ve literally heard this one before)
4. “…Gotta compensate for the beer somehow”
5. “…Deserve to look good”
etc., etc., etc.
I have a very vivid memory of reading Siddhartha in my ninth grade English class. We learned about how he would only eat very little, as little as needed, as not to be selfish or indulgent. I’ve also learned that when on a tight budget I’d rather spend my money on things other than food (things meaning the necessary waxes, fro-yo runs, and shoes) that I’ll just eat and then complain about eating for the next five days until my temporary bloat/love handles fade and I start to be able to feel my hip bones again. All of these things, when put together, paint an idealistic picture of my body being a temple. The phrase just sounds so nice, the image it engrains in your mind is so zen, but no matter how long I rant upon it, I don’t know if it will ever be possible.
The next weekend, the guy who told me that his body was a temple went home drunk from a party and spent a good hour vomiting into a trash can. Doesn’t look so sacred to me.
I can’t even say the word “Tobi” without loling. Seriously.
I felt that it was time to write an ode to Tobi, our beloved online shopping friend. Old wealthy men indulge themselves in Russian mail-order brides. Every college girl indulges herself in mail-order Tobi. It’s just the way it is.
Tobi is odd because it doesn’t exist in real life. It’s like some warehouse in California where all of your wildest 50% off dreams come true. At first, Tobi attacked the newsfeeds of girls around the country. I would use the term “rape,” because if you remember what I’m talking about, it was literally that bad. However my (extremely) liberal arts college really doesn’t approve of using that term lightly so I took it out of my vocabulary. Whoever is the chief over there is actually a genius, and uses an incredible marketing strategy. In order to get the ridiculously huge discount on already fairly-priced clothing, you have to link Tobi to your Facebook. Great for you, Tobi, but shitty for us.
From then on, Tobi is attached to you by something seemingly as strong as an umbilical cord. Every time you “like” something on Tobi from that moment on, or any time you put something in your cart, essentially all of Facebook will automatically see it. It’s really awkward. Like, no, I don’t want to know what you’re shopping for and yeah, it’ll be a little weird when I see you wearing that out the next weekend.
Tobi sends you daily emails which I have not attempted to unsubscribe from because I’m automatically assuming that there is no physical way to unsubscribe, no matter how hard I try. Tobi is clingy as f—. Let me guess–today, you got an email with the subject line, “50 new items today – 30% off the first 7 days for you!” And let me also guess–you get that email on the effing daily.
The funniest thing is when you see someone wearing something and it’s clearly from Tobi. This is easily recognized as Tobi thinks that it’s OK to make a million different articles of clothing that all look exactly the same but are in different forms (dress version and shirt version… and tank top version) and colors. The site doesn’t even have an “If you like this, you might also like…” function because everything looks exactly the same so that wouldn’t even be helpful.
Once, I was visiting a “friend” at an anonymous Big Ten school, and we were going out for the night. While walking outside, we encountered four girls emerging from a freshman dorm. I pointed at each of them, “That’s from Tobi, that’s from Tobi, that’s from Tobi, and that’s from Tobi.” They were all wearing the same thing in different colors, and it was the most ridiculous thing ever.
That same night, I also happened to be wearing Tobi. I was wearing the long-sleeved version of the exact same shirt that they were wearing, obv:
Now do you know the shirt that I’m referring to? Of course you do.
Tobi, we love you for being convenient. We also hate you for being both unoriginal and a pain in the ass. You’re great for staple tops, I suppose. Hmph.
My second post (ever) on The Fro-Yo Diaries was about “not knowing how old I am,” metaphorically, of course. Often, I feel like I really don’t. I can take care of myself, sometimes I can’t; I’m independent until I need someone desperately; I sometimes cry for hours (but then again, this could be somewhat unrelated to age and instead related to the menstrual cycle).
So on today of all days–my birthday–I would think that age would feel like more than just a number. I would expect to know how old I am for just this one day, if ever. I haven’t really had that epiphany of self-awareness ever before. But then again, I’ve never been as old as I am right now, in this millisecond. I’m getting older with each word that I type, and I’ve never been this old and I’ll never be that young again. This doesn’t worry me yet, but then again, my boobs haven’t started to sag yet and hopefully they won’t for a couple more decades. When they do, I’m sure I’ll freak the fuck out come every September 22nd.
I feel like the fact that we don’t abide to the law takes away from a birthday. Everyone says that it’s impossible to survive your 21st without vomiting all over yourself even though you’ve probably vomited all over yourself before. The only difference is that the alcohol you’re regurgitating was consumed legally. Maybe it will make you feel cooler to have covered yourself in “legal vomit,” but vomit is vomit and it’s absolutely disgusting either way. When you break it down, no one cares about the legality of your vomit. It seems cool for a second until you realize that you’ve been drinking underage since you were thirteen or fourteen, perhaps even since the sacred moment of a sip of Manischewitz from the kiddish cup at your very own Bar or Bat Mitzvah. In reality, vomit is vomit. You’ve done it before, you’ll do it again, and congrats, you’re 21.
But don’t get me wrong–I absolutely love birthdays. I always was very into themed parties. Kindergarten was Dalmatian themed. A clown came and did Britney Spears karaoke with us. We got spots painted on our faces and made our own dog ears. First grade was Luau. Everyone wore bathing suits, grass skirts, and leis. I had an epic sandbox in my backyard and we obviously played limbo. A week before the party, a girl who I didn’t like much from my class in school came up to me and told me that she got her invitation, to which I responded, “You did? But you weren’t invited.” To my knowledge, she wasn’t. And clearly, things haven’t changed much since then as my lack of both a filter and a patience for people who piss me off remains to this day. If you were wondering how the story ends, she insisted that she was invited, which was odd because she was talking to me and it was my party. She didn’t show up, but, like, whatever. She also peed in her pants once and I told everyone about it, so I guess the lesson learned is don’t go where you aren’t welcome/karma’s a bitch/all things happen for a reason/God has a plan or something like that.
My mom would always get me a cupcake on my half birthday, and all of my friends thought that was weird. It’s not weird, it just bolstered my reputation as a
chunky bodacious preteen and made my mom the coolest mom ever.
The most interesting thing about birthdays to me is how well-celebrated they are. It’s as if someone is patting you on the back and saying, “You’re alive!!!! Yayy!!!!!” Last night I went out to celebrate the eve of my birth, and I happened to run into a lot of my international friends. Each of them kept telling me “Congratulations!!!!!!!!!” I think they only said that because of the literal translation of whatever the word they use at home to send well wishes on a birthday is. But, I could be wrong. Maybe they mean “congrats” when they say it. As cliché as it sounds, today I keep thinking about how I should celebrate being alive every day. I’m dead serious. Before I get sappy enough to film an Activia commercial–maybe even a birth control one–I’m going to stop. But you get what I mean.
To close, I would like to show everyone to a great BuzzFeed article I saw that lets you find out which fictional character has the same birthday as you. So, I would like to cordially wish a very happy birthday to Frodo and Bilbo Baggins!
If you are not iPhone savvy, which essentially means kbye…
READ RECEIPT: An indication of whether a sent iMessage has been read by its recipient. If the most recently sent message has been read, the word “Read” along with the time at which it was read will appear underneath the message. If the message has not been read, the word “Delivered” will appear underneath. In order for this to function properly, the sender of the messages must have enabled his or her read receipts to be turned on in “Settings.”
An homage (and a very-needed pro/con list) to our favorite little thing to hate:
1. Apple stole it from Blackberry, which is why “betches loved BBM.” We thought it was the best invention since sliced whole wheat bread that you could see when someone read your text. Oh yeah… remember that??
2. If you’re attractive enough for a boy to stalk you, he’ll know you’re blatantly ignoring him.
3. If you’re passive-aggressive enough to ignore your best friend’s outspoken text, she’ll know you’re ignoring her.
4. The “Mom, I swear I fell asleep and didn’t see your text asking me to come home” excuse goes down the drain… like, sayonara.
5. The only way you can see if someone’s reading your messages if if their read receipts are on. So you can totally get away with having yours off but still being able to tell if they’re ignoring you.
1. If you’re trying to play hard-to-get, you can let the other person know that you immediately read every text they send you the second you receive it yet still do not respond.
2. If you’re a guy, your girlfriend will know if you’re reading/ignoring her texts vs. if you genuinely haven’t looked at them yet. Let me emphasize that these PROS are geared towards the ladies.
3. You create an aura of trust with the people whom you text. They know you’re a hella honest babe if you’re putting yourself out there so much.
4. Most people in serious relationships have theirs on. I don’t know how this is a PRO, but it’s a funny thing to notice.
5. You come off as a total badass if your read receipts are on and you ignore people, hence you clearly not giving a f***.
Most people say that they “don’t believe in read receipts” like how I say “I don’t believe in people who chew so loudly that they literally could start another tsunami.” No matter how much you think you can ignore this cultural movement, it’s still going to exist. You don’t like read receipts because you believe in
being super self-conscious privacy. Don’t worry–my receipts are shut off (post-serious boyfriend, of course). But if we could indulge in them without making people think we care too much, wouldn’t we all?
I was going to write about the potential differences between mistake and regret; when you should feel one over the other, why you feel one over the other, etc. Instead, I figured I should forget all the hypotheticals and just dive right into it: the mistake is how you fuck up. The regret, on the other hand, is the unnecessary feeling we seem to convince ourselves we need afterwards.
We regret things because we have a conscience. If you do something that you know is bad but you don’t regret it, you might feel like a total asshole. So we use regret as a mechanism of self-torture which, paradoxically, makes us feel better about ourselves. Leave it to us to make ourselves feel shitty about not feeling shitty. People say that you shouldn’t regret anything you do because there’s no way to change the past. There’s no point in trying to convince ourselves that we can.
The scariest thing about time is its uncanny ephemerality in that every second we spend we will never get back. Unfortunately, you will not realize the value of its currency until you spend it all in the wrong place, like how you feel after you buy that ridiculously overpriced but cheaply made Urban Outfitters sweater. You just wish it didn’t happen. But it did, so we have to give it to the Salvation Army and watch hard-earned babysitting money go down the drain. I just wasted both time and calories by eating peanut butter straight from the jar with my pointer finger. There is nothing in life more vicious than that.
Although I am neither old nor wise, I would like to say that I have made many more mistakes than I have regrets–a pretty desirable ratio. I know I regret something when I think back to something I’ve done and immediately feel my cheeks burn. I get embarrassed for myself, and my embarrassing moments don’t even resurface themselves anywhere besides the comfort of my own memory. Mistakes we can always create and sometimes, although it doesn’t seem like often, control.
Today, we are obsessed with the way the world views us. Everything is everywhere, privacy is a sacred gift, and we tend to invest ourselves in other people emotionally and vicariously. Your favorite sports team affects you as much as your best friend does. Miley Cyrus has the ability to make you cry of deep concern (or maybe she only has that impact on me). Regardless, when you make a mistake, it’s likely going to have an aftermath that involves other people. Maybe these people were rooting for you, and maybe they simply saw a photo of you on Facebook or heard about it through the grapevine. Others are going to view you, and maybe if they didn’t, we wouldn’t regret things as much as we usually do.
I really think that everything happens for a reason. If you screwed up, then you screwed up because you screwed up. There’s no clear answer as to why you did it, and there never will be. The most important thing is to realize why you feel the way you do after the fact. There definitely is a reason for that. And just because you figure out what it is, the speckled rosiness in your cheeks might not fade and the increase in heart rate at the slightest recollection of your world-crashing mistake might not, either. But instead, you will hopefully learn something.
Once, I really wanted something that I thought I deserved. I am very hard headed, and because of this (not because I was spoiled as a child and not because I have an endless flow of resources, which I absolutely do not) I was used to getting things that I worked for. When, for what felt like the first time, I didn’t get this “thing,” I was crushed. I didn’t get it because I was told I needed to learn a lesson; that I needed a character build. I didn’t get it because I needed to learn what it felt like not to get it. I pretended that I learned something from this experience, and that I changed for the better. I think that in some respects, I definitely did. But in others, I am still sour because I know–or, at least I think–I deserved it. And I always will.
Recently, I made another mistake. I did something I knew I didn’t want to do. My friends all told me that I shouldn’t stress over it, that it isn’t a big deal at all, and that if I didn’t want it to happen again it wouldn’t. I said the same thing to myself after the first time. If it happens for a third, which I’ll make sure it doesn’t, then I’ll regret it. I just know it.
I’ve always known that if I were to ever become a millionaire, it would not be due to a million-dollar idea. It would be more likely that I’d receive a million-dollar book deal, and even more likely that I’d win the lottery (just to put things into perspective for you). Steve Jobs had a million-dollar idea by transforming the world of transportable music. To do something like that, I figured, one would have to be wildly intelligent. My intelligence about technology and other 21st century “things” extends no further than my aptitude for Facebook etiquette. If I were to ever be inventive in any sort, I would have to create something so simple that the world would change forever. I would have to create something like Post-its: the smartest dumb invention of all time.
When you break it down, Post-its are small scraps of brightly colored paper with a centimeter-wide strip of sticky shit on the back. There’s no excuse as to why I can’t invent something like this. After all, the inventor of the Post-it must have been an OCD mother of four (maybe temple sisterhood president?) who makes us question, “Oh, just how does she do it all?!” with the utmost amazement and sheer respect.
I use Post-its more than I used Google translate in high school and more than I used this girl I knew in elementary school just to eat Nutella at her house combined. Here is why we effin’ love Post-its:
The discussions I typically have amongst my friends are usually intelligent. For example, we enjoy talking about theoretical concepts in religion and politics. We also graze upon public policy and amongst public policy, we indulge in the topic of education. As a group of friends that is, for the most part, pretty intellectual, we care about education and are rather opinionated about it. Now that school is back in session, these tiny movie clips of conversation are playing on a reel inside of my head like memories I can’t seem to get my mind off of. I’m wondering if over the next “x” amount of years I spend learning, I’ll figure out the answers to some of the questions about the way stuff works. But for now, I figured that these bits of discussion and information would be good to share. Mean Girls has relevance because we can’t stop quoting it, so my everlasting questions about our system of higher education are important because I can’t stop thinking about them, right? Like is that not the basis of all logic?
The topic we’ve discussed most was more of a thesis than anything else, and it is this: not everyone should go to college.
Today, you constantly see ad campaigns pushing for a college education. Is it true that in today’s society, it seems as though lack of a four-year bachelor’s degree and even some form of post-graduate education is necessary to land a well-paying steady job? Yes, it definitely seems that way. So when I say that not everyone should go to college, I am totally aware of the fact that 9 times out of 10 in the world we live in today, higher education is necessary. But do I think that society should have remodeled itself the way it did to fit that statistic? No, not at all.
You used to not need to go to college to live pretty well-off. If you think about it, that’s why so many millennials are the first in their families to attend college. A university education is incredibly expensive (and perhaps overpriced, a topic I will delve into a little later). If you know that the career path you plan on following is not going to ever require that you know half of the things you are going to learn in college, then why waste your money and time? Economically, it doesn’t make sense.
Because of the influx in the amount of people who want to attend four-year institutions, the application process is increasingly competitive. A college acceptance is starting to become similar to winning Willy Wonka’s golden ticket. Or, for those of you who stick to diets of lettuce and coffee, think of it as willing the mega-millions. I happen to not be a huge fan of the lottery example because there’s a larger likelihood that from your college education you’ll spend around $100,000 and graduate unemployed and in debt to your parents, the bank, or if you’re lucky, both!!!! But, hey, I’m just a pessimist.
If you’re aiming for a career that will really require four years (or more) of higher education, then go for it. If anyone is in favor of being as educated as possible, it’s me. I have binders full of worksheets I made while I was in elementary school. Every weekend–hell, every chance I got–I would force my younger brothers to “play school.” My parents bought me a giant whiteboard and a set of Expo markers. If it were up to me, I would be in school forever. But why continue going if a) you aren’t super passionate about learning, like I and the other anomalies out there are, b) it isn’t necessary for the lifestyle you want to lead, and c) the expenses are outrageous?
You could say that the real problem here is the very cost of education; if higher education wasn’t so expensive, then it wouldn’t be so difficult to give another four years of your life to learning, and although your career may not require all of the learning that is non-specific to your trade, the price of the education would make the whole experience worth it regardless.
And, now, on the topic of expense: why is college getting increasingly expensive? I’m not so great at economics, but I know the rule of supply and demand. When supply is low, demand goes up, and price goes up. When supply is high, and demand is low, price goes down. Although college is getting more competitive, there is a larger number of students now than there ever was before. So demand is high, but it also seems that supply is high. And… price is high? Something isn’t right here. I’m no Econ major, but what do you expect from a pointless liberal arts education anyways?!?!
If anything, I feel like the value of a college education is going down. When everyone’s getting a college degree, no one’s getting a college degree. What I mean by this: when everyone’s wearing Doc Martens, they lose their cool. Now do you get what I’m saying? So, we’ve resorted to various graduate degrees. When something is less unique, it’s less valuable. This is not to say that I don’t feel absolutely #blessed for the education experience I’m receiving. I wouldn’t change a thing for the world. But maybe I’m just a victim to the times.