Flavor of the Week: Open Letters

It’s trendy to write in list form (i.e. “10 Things You Learn By Being A Slut in College” or something like that on BuzzFeed) and it’s trendy to be dry, witty, cynical, and funny. In other words, the Internet is experiencing the writing phenomenon I went through during the few months in which my OCD/anxiety peaked. This phenomenon includes the trendy way to tell someone to shut the f*** up in the most PC manner possible: by writing an “open letter.”

An open letter is exactly what it sounds like–a letter addressed to one person that everyone can read. Since we no longer believe in the Postal Service (deuces, Saturday mail), these letters are published digitally for all the world to see. The open letter is the over-exercised protest of the 21st century.

I’m sick of reading civilian pleas against the narcissism in our society, exemplified here on McSweeney’s nonfiction series of “Open Letters To People Or Entities Who Are Unlikely To Respond.” So, I threw together a little list of pitches for open letters we’d actually want to read.

Open Letter to: The People That Work At Chipotle
Subject: We need to discuss the guac sitch

Open Letter to: Lindsay Lohan
Subject: Don’t screw this one up, we are rooting for you

Open Letter to: Girl Sitting Next To Me On Airplane
Subject: Stop looking at my screen

Open Letter to: Chris Christie
Subject: No offense, but you couldn’t seriously have thought that causing a traffic jam would cause people to hate their mayor which would consequently cause you to win a presidential election

Open Letter to: Justin Bieber
Subject: How can you be wasting Grade A eggs if there are starving children in Africa?

Open Letter to: My Ancestors
Subject: My slow metabolism

Open Letter to: Cake
Subject: Your high calorie count

Open Letter to: Miley Cyrus
Subject: Twerk all you want but we want your bun back and we want it now

Open Letter to: Condé Nast
Subject: You closed your internship program, you crushed my dreams

Open Letter to: Hilary Duff
Subject: Sorry to hear about your divorce but it’s time to marry Gordo

Any ideas for open letters you’d want me to actually write? Let’s talk about it in the commentz.

Image via


Flavor of the Week: Jennifer Lawrence

This year, Jennifer Lawrence became the girl that everyone loved. Guys want to get with her, girls want to be her. And if they aren’t her, then they want to be her best friend. Like me, she gives off the “I don’t give a shit what people say or think” attitude, except unlike me, people like her because of it. Maybe if I was Katniss Everdeen I’d be more liked by people who do archery and appreciate a girl with a big mouth. With the Golden Globes around the corner, I thought the time had come for me to join the JLaw bandwagon. After all, her year wouldn’t be that accomplished without a shoutout from The FYD.

Whenever I try to picture Jennifer Lawrence in my mind, I, for some odd reason, can only think of the Disney Channel star Debby Ryan (from “Suite Life on Deck” and “Jessie”) who is cute–def not as hot as JLaw though–and actually smiles for pics. Whenever this happens I get so frustrated that I google “Jennifer Lawrence” on my iPhone so that I can remember her face and let a wave of relief wash over me. I’ve seen every movie JLaw has been in (including Like Crazy, one of my fav movies of all time) and I seem to google her face ten times a day yet it still refuses to ingrain itself in my mind. I think that really says something.

It’s underrated how she got her start in The Hunger Games. I mean, she had a small career beforehand, but you didn’t really know her until you knew Katniss. The Hunger Games reminds me of my tomboy literary phase in sixth grade. I never went through a tomboy phase in terms of how I dressed, but I read “boy books” for a while. How can just a literary work of tomboy-ness bring out someone regarded as one of the most glamorous people in the world?

I do love JLaw, however. I think that she is very real and has intentions of being the role model that wasn’t out there before. I love that she fell on her way to receive her Oscar and I love that she fell because she was thinking about cake. I also love how genius it was of her to finally tell the media that she fell because she was thinking about cake so strategically right before Golden Globes, as if to say, “give me the Golden Globe for my role in American Hustle and I promise I will do something that will further prove how much of a real, down-to-earth food-lover I am!” Her fall also means that when I inevitably fall on the way to get my Oscar one day I won’t be the first one to do it. The experience will be much less scarring.

As much as I love her, I also think she’s slightly overrated. Some people say they think she’s overrated in terms of her looks, which I totally disagree with. The people that say that are just jealous. I think she’s overrated in terms of how special she is, so to speak. We decided she was amazing because of how vivid she seems through the screen of a MacBook or captured in a magazine photograph. We love her because she’s young, and she’s fresh. I never would have picked her acting skills out of a crowd. Don’t get me wrong, she mastered Katniss, but… well… it’s Katniss.

The first time I saw Silver Linings Playbook, I thought that someone had secretly done an autobiography of my life without my knowledge or approval. JLaw’s diner-freakout scene could easily have been directly taken from any time between November and April of my senior year of high school. People thought her acting in that movie, and in that scene in particular, was crazy. For me it was just like a #tbt or whatever.

Recently, I read a really interesting article about JLaw and all of the things she says about body image–how no one can ever make her diet, she loves a burger and fries, etc. The article, which I believe was on HuffPost, said that the only reason we commend JLaw for being so “real” about her secretly naughty eating habits and her curves is because she manages to portray this persona while still looking thin, beautiful, and healthy all of the time. If someone who needed to lose weight made such a statement about loving a cheeseburger almost every time she opened her mouth, we would probably be disgusted. We would think that she’s being careless and sloppy and needs to go on a diet. But when JLaw does it, we clap for her because she does it and still looks like she doesn’t. This is something I’ve thought about for a long time, but never felt resonated with enough people that I could actually say it and believe it was true. But it totally is.

So, where does that leave us with JLaw? Still love her. Still think she’ll win a shitload of awards for everything she’s done. Still think she’ll continue to talk about food like it’s nobody’s business. But also still think she should make us think about what’s really real and what isn’t.


Flavor of the Week: 2013

Good bye fro-yo, good bye 2013.

Good bye fro-yo, good bye 2013.

Congratulations! You survived your hangover. How does it feel? Rewarding, I bet.

2013 is officially over and we are no longer in that awkward limbo state between Christmas and New Year’s known as “the holidays.” During “the holidays,” everyone talks about everything that’s happened over the past year as if the year has already ended. In reality, the next year hasn’t started yet, either. Our society sets aside a week for us to reminisce and resolute and think about the reasons why we hate ourselves and how we can strive to change in the year to come. The holidays are a strange concept–everyone kind of stops doing everything and doesn’t start real life until the next year gets here. It’s a week that, though it sits on the calendar, doesn’t actually exist.

Now that we are in a new year, I thought it would be appropriate to accurately and fully asses the year that’s passed us by–FYD style, of course. 95 (!!!) posts later and I think I’ve got a pretty good sense of what 2013 was about. Here’s the shortlist of what you really shoulda taken out of that wild year. As the Grateful Dead says, “Oh, what a long, strange trip it’s been.”

1. Your Facebook pro pic says a LOT about you. And by a lot, I mean 4,926 post views in twelve hours-a lot. 

2. The selfie had a revolution. It was the thing of the year, by far.

3. 2013 brought us Thanksgivukkah–a chubby JAP’s dream come true!

4. Every. One. Got. Mono.

5. Kimye is everything.

6. FYD lesson: the balance between being a bitch/playing hard to get and being a slut is very, very difficult to find.

7. Celebrate the anniversary of your Bat Mitzvah by handing out the leftover kippahs you’ve been storing, because there is always a bald man somewhere in need of a hat!

8. Tobi.com took over young women’s “trendy”/mundane going out clothing.

9. Everyone used read receipts. Then, they didn’t.

10. Miley came in like a wrecking ball.

11. We acted like chopped salad was just born, even though it wasn’t. Overpriced chopped salad was born, transforming the dirty water dog-type lunch into one better suited to the women taking over the workforce.

12. FYD lesson: your relationship with your boyfriend is really a threesome between you, him, and Facebook.

13. Everyone wrote about kale, but I wrote about it first. Trust.

14. Cady Heron would not have survived a plastics’ group text. That is why being a girl nowadays is so frickin’ difficult.

15. We speak emoji.

16. FYD lesson: there is a time to laugh, and a time to cry. There is a time to Instagram, and a time to mupload.

17. We were labeled the “me me me generation.” But millennials rock. We’re going places, and they can’t stop us and our selfies.

18. I read Fifty Shades of Grey while living in a rural Eurasian town of conservative Muslims. You might not remember that, but it’ll make you laugh.

19. I wrote my first post, “On Not Being a JAP,” for The FYD. But, obviously, there’s a little JAP in all of us.

20. A lot of other stuff happened that I didn’t get to cover. Gay marriage! Legal weed! Love! Loss! Sex! (GASP!) Breaking Bad! But, obviously, we still have 2014 for all of that.

Cheers to another fro-yo filled year of all of the above. May it bring you all overalls, muploads, selfies, shoe sales, peace, and low fat goodness.

 


Flavor of the Week: Eating Stuff Out Of The Jar

I decided to get creative. Instead of blurring out the photo, I “anonymified” it. As I sit at my computer screen, hysterically laughing at this devious creation (thank you photo editing apps), I can’t help but recall when this photo was taken: four days before I broke up with my boyfriend. We went into the city for a night, and all I kept saying was that I wanted to buy a pint of Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ben & Jerry’s and eat out of it with a spoon. Needless to say, we bought the pint at 2 a.m., shared a sparse amount (whatever I was willing to give up) with some friends, and finished the entire thing. Therefore, I can scientifically prove to you that eating stuff out of the jar is a comfort, easing some of the most difficult curveballs life throws our way.

My first instinct was to write about Nutella. But honestly, what am I going to tell you about Nutella that you don’t already know? Nutella and the young woman are inseparable. We rely on Nutella like we rely on tampons. To put it bluntly, they just soak everything up.

If you’re happy, you might celebrate with a thing of Nutella. If you’re high as hell sad, you’ll head right for the Nutella. But in reality, it isn’t the hazelnut that gives you a sense of satisfaction. It’s eating shit right out of the jar that does.

For being obsessed with being skinny, we seem to let all f**** go when a jar of something yummy comes our way. Ben & Jerry’s just isn’t the same in a cup or a cone or a bowl. It’s only great out of the tub. Bethenny Frankel says that “naturally thin” people never eat stuff out of the jar. You end up eating without thinking, eating too much, and getting fat, and dying alone. Or, god forbid, you might decrease the size of your thigh gap. We all know that a decreased thigh gap is only good for catching crumbs of food as they fall on the way to your mouth. So not worth it.

In honor of the food coma that Christmas instills in all people–if you aren’t eating a ham right now, then you’re definitely going ham on kosher Chinese food–it’s important to come to terms with the fact that we love eating shit out of the jar. I spend most of my weeknights on the floor on my room sticking my fingers in a jar of Justin’s almond butter with my best friend. We love getting dirty with some Nutella, ice cream, almond butter, and obviously peanut butter (the indulgent version of almond butter). Eating out of the jar, for most girls with ridiculous body image issues, is the closest you’ll ever get to going skydiving or something like that. Risky as hell. Living life on the edge. Not counting calories for a slim (or not so slim) second.

On a day like today when I’m having serious trouble coping with my own #fatgirlproblems, I’m going to give you shitty advice: eat out of the jar. But keeping “thin” in mind, maybe only have a few bites. Also, remember that committing to not eating out of the jar is, by association, committing to not taking swigs out of the bottle. Now that is a bond I’m not sure any of us are ready to break.


Flavor of the Week: An FYD Christmas List

(elF)YD

ELF-YD

Dear Santa,

I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering why a nice Jewish girl like me would be writing to you, asking for gifts on a holiday that doesn’t even belong to the chosen people. Well, Santa, it turns out I had a rough year. It was also a great year–don’t get me wrong–but I would venture to say there were times where I, usually a hard headed independent woman that don’t need no man, boarded the struggle bus. I think I deserve a present or two. On that note, I want to introduce to you the Jewish concept of mitzvah–a worthy deed. You would really be doing a mitzvah by helping your marginalized friend (a.k.a. me) out. If I were you getting me a gift, here’s what I would just hypothetically get for myself. If you were my boyfriend or my family member or a good friend getting me a present for the holidays, still totally in theory, Santa, I would also recommend anything on this list. Santa, I think this will be a great role playing game for you. I feel like you’re really going to get to know me.

  • Tickets to the Beyoncé concert at Barclay’s, either of the nights. (I’m not very picky, Santa. But I would prefer GA seats, if you were wondering.)
  • A tobi.com gift card! JK LOL, do not get me this. Seriously, don’t.
  • But feel free to get me a Free People one.
  • An iTunes gift card, because I’m poor and like music.
  • Some makeup, because I’m really ugly and need it. Pity me.
  • An unlimited supply of zero calorie fruity drinks, preferably carbonated ones.
  • A new iPhone. Mine is literally degenerated (the selfie camera is really bad quality).
  • This phone case. Make sure you get the size that fits my new iPhone (mentioned above).

  • A new Facebook profile pic. Mine is getting really old. Can we arrange an artsy photo shoot with the Nikon you got for your Bar Mitzvah? Oh, shit… I forgot you didn’t… um… sorry, Santa.
  • A book deal.
  • The opportunity to babysit Nori West.

Merry Christmas! (Or, as one of my favorite TV characters, Schmidt from New Girl, likes to call it, “White Anglo Saxon Winter Privilege Night.”)

Love, your biggest non-gentile fan,
Hannah

p.s. Here’s one more for the road:

elfyd2


Flavor of the Week: The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

victoria's secret fashion show

Because it clearly doesn’t receive enough media attention as it is, right?

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is the one time a year girls decide to work out for like, a solid week. Then we remember that it’s winter and we’re actually in hibernation so jk lol we aren’t going to work out. But if the fashion show happened during March, perhaps, we would definitely all continue to do an impressive 20 jumping jacks and 10 sit-ups before bed. Right? Right.

The fashion show was an exciting time for me until I watched The Social Network and learned that the founder of VS committed suicide because he thought that his company, which now produces bras with a greater value than my house, would fail. Now it’s just depressing. It’s especially depressing because it also pulls a trigger that causes thousands of teenaged (and not-so teenaged) girls struggling with body image to give a public cry for help. The fashion show prompts the immediate overload of a Facebook estrogen presence. “Why don’t I look like that?” (which usually looks more like “y dont i looookkk likkkeee thttt ughh fml :/”) along with a million other self-hating statuses go up for the world to see. This year, it was ALL about the cover photo switch to a feature of the models wearing bras made out of gold and other flakey metals.

The fashion show is an interesting concept–yes, these models are not “typical” or “accurate” representations of women, but should it get to the point where we cannot handle watching them? A while ago I wrote about the controversy of plus-sized models. It turns out there’s just as much controversy about coke-thin models. You shouldn’t be at a point where you can’t bear to watch the show because it makes you feel shitty about who you are. At the same time, you also shouldn’t watch the show and obsess about these women as body role models you strive to become.

If the show does get you down, which is totally normal, think about these things:

1. BOYS LIKE BUTTS. I promise.

2. If you don’t have a butt, boys will still like you. BECAUSE BOYS LIKE GIRLS WITH ACTUAL PERSONALITIES. AND BOOBS. (just kidding) (well, kinda kidding)

3. Buy yourself an overpriced ridiculously bedazzled push up bra. No, not because boys like boobs. Buy one so that you can walk up to one of the models and say, “OMG, twinsies!!!!!!!” or “GET ON MY LEVEL, BITCH.” I’m a personal fan of option two.

Image via


Flavor of the Week: The Jonas Brothers

joejonas

You may have seen it, you may not have, but Joe Jonas spilled all of his dirty little secrets in a killer essay published in New York Magazine. With all of the hubbub surrounding Mr. Jonas and his artsy choice of facial hair, I thought it would be nice to throw it back to the Jonas Brothers. At one point or another, you loved them.

They had such an interesting family dynamic. You had Nick, who was the cutest and the youngest. He seemed like a wise, old soul who was inevitably the brains behind the operation. There was Joe, who was absolutely gorgeous but lacked a certain depth I was really seeking out in a teenaged male pop star to fall in love with. Then there was Kevin. Ah, Kevin. He smiled with his mouth closed a lot, nodded his head often, and wasn’t… well… hot. And I respected him for that. I’m not going to say he was my favorite Jonas just because that would be the alternative thing to do, because he wasn’t. But he seemed like a genuinely nice guy.

I was never obsessed with the Jonas Brothers nor was I ever obsessed with any boy band. I think that ability to obsesses is either something you have in your system, or you something you don’t. Every girl I know that was obsessed with the Jonas Brothers had also been obsessed with a million other Disney stars at some point in her life. And when I say obsessed, I mean obsessed. I try to understand how someone else’s life can be that interesting. Why is it that we attach ourselves to people we’ll never really know? There are the obvious excuses–we’re bored, we don’t like ourselves, we don’t like the lives we choose to lead, etc. I feel like there must be something bigger than that, though. Human fascination with other humans is just as troubling as human fascination with crazy things like aliens and killer whales… and the Jonas Brothers.

When the JoBros broke up, they had already fizzled out. While it was sad to the die-hards in my generation, it didn’t mean much to society. They had their peak, they did their thing. And let me tell you, Joe Jonas went out as gracefully as ever. Though his piece is long, it’s worth reading every word. He’s brutally honest in a way that sort-of shattered my view of the Disney star and sort-of was exactly what I needed to hear. As I submerged myself in his words about losing his virginity (but what about the promise rings?????!!!!!) and smoking weed with Miley (every current teenager’s dream come true), I realized that along with Joe Jonas, a chapter of my life had also closed. He’s growing up, and we are too. Farewell, JoBros.