On Corny Life Advice, Courtesy of The Internet

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Earlier today, I was looking online for some FYD-inspiration. Instead, I ended up trolling the big thought-piece websites (Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, Jezebel, and the like) for a solid hour. After digesting the mass load of lists about what I should do in my 20’s, things I should tell my BFF like RN!!, who I should have sex with, and how I can learn to let go of an ex, I couldn’t help but take a step back and realize: we really do eat this shit up like candy. We read content (which, might I add, The FYD even contributes to) that is so empty yet so fulfilling. All right, maybe “empty” isn’t the right word. But it’s stuff we already know–it’s stuff we already feel. We love the internet because it puts into words what, often, we cannot.

My best friends and I are currently dispersed around the country. 50% of our communication is laced into the cutesy articles we Facebook message back and forth on a daily basis. Finding a new one that no one’s sent yet is like finding a puzzle piece or a love letter. These articles, posts, or whatever you’d like to call them, help us confirm and communicate what we’re feelin’. Guess what? Now, we don’t even have to hide behind our iPhone screens to send a passive-aggressive iMessage. We can just send a “20 things” list! If you’re feeling risqué, you can even send an open letter.

Though I can’t really imagine myself ever being passive-aggressive, I love this internet phenomenon almost as much as I love a good pair of overalls. If you don’t feel like joining the movement, I’ll sum up the best of the best for you. Here’s a round up of everything you really need to know about love, dating, sex, and being 20-something as told to you by millennials who write the stuff that always comes up on your Facebook newsfeed:

  1. Only your true best friend knows when you’re pooping, and how good, bad, or average it was.
  2. Loneliness makes us make some pretty bad decisions.
  3. Not every person you’re with has to be someone you want to be with forever.
  4. Sometimes, binge eating is necessary and ok. But when you binge, there is always an underlying reason for it, and that usually means something’s not ok.
  5. Everything happens for a reason.
  6. For some people, eating 4 slices of cake is something you should definitely do. For other people, it isn’t. Just do what makes you happy.
  7. Pay attention in class.
  8. We are born alone, and we die alone, so it’s ok to be alone sometimes. Actually, it’s really good.
  9. Finding “the one” only matters if you find him or her at the right time.
  10. It’s hard, but often necessary, to unlove someone.
  11. You know you’re really close with someone if you can sit in silence together.
  12. Nobody cares when you subtly complain about how little you ate.
  13. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone.
  14. You also really don’t have to wear so much makeup.
  15. When women are alone, they do not wear pants.
  16. When a friend asks you about her outfit, be honest.
  17. And even though the internet is throwing all of this advice at you, telling you how you should feel about being alive, remember that you have a gut (regardless of whether or not you ate the four pieces of cake) and first and foremost, you should always go with that.

On #WhiteGirlProblems

After years of some deliberation, I’ve decided it’s pretty much impossible to “be” a girl.

I can start off by talking about the sexual double standard (thank you, sociology prof): the idea that the same action is perceived by the general public completely differently depending on if it was executed by a male or by a female. A guy sleeps around with a lot of girls, his friends applaud. A girl does that, and other girls think she’s disgusting; everyone is well versed in this example. The constant complaint of amateur feminism revolves around the idea of the “slut.”

A girl can be a slut, and not only will guys get with her, but they’ll get with her because of it. They won’t love her and they won’t want to date her. But she’s a dime, right? A guy can be a slut, and girls will be both a-ware and war-y of it. But will they still get with him? Probably. If a man whore wanted to take a girl out, would she hesitate to say yes? No. But let’s be real here: would a guy ask a slut out if he knows she’ll be an easy bang in the first place? Never.

The unrealistic expectations don’t end here. The next topic I’d like to elaborate on is my personal favorite: fashion. We’re supposed to dress “trendy.” And right now, trendy looks a lot like all black, vintage t-shirts, ghetto-fab, rocker-chick-ish, but also polished, put together, and expensive. Naturally, I would take this advice and walk around in ripped boyfriend jeans and a small t-shirt with my black high top Converse 24/7. And, naturally, I do. But most of the time I lack the element of “hot.” It takes one helluva effort to find the perfect mix of Kurt Cobain circa 1992–though most girls who strive for “trendy” have no idea that the MTV Unplugged in New York album even exists–and maybe, like, Kendall Jenner or something. We’ve gotta dress like a tomboy, but in crop tops and skinny jeans. Um, what?

We could never forget the bod. We can’t be too skinny, because then guys won’t like us. But we have to be fit; toned. We have to have some curves in some places–the right places–but not too many. We also have to love food, because we all are striving to be Hilary Duff in A Cinderella Story when she chooses the Big Mac over the rice cake. Besides, Chad Michael Murray likes a girl with a hearty appetite. But then this happens…

…and we all are, like, well, sorry not sorry you’re always too busy talking to the girls who eat the rice cakes.

Do you see our dilemma now? If we eat whatever we want but don’t look like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, then it’s gross. But if we eat whatever we want and still look like Lindsay Lohan pre-rehab, then we’re in the clear.

In the end, it’s all about making it seem like we care and we also don’t care at all. I probably look like I was dressed by a blind person four out of seven days a week. But guess what? I spent forty minutes picking out that outfit in my hot pink fuzzy robe. #Appreciate. It relates to the fact that we ignore your texts for an hour but, to no surprise, were staring at your little “typing” bubble the entire time. Do ya notice the pattern yet?

The fact that perfection consists of so many things makes perfection itself impossible. If perfection wants to really exist, then it should just be one thing that you can hold, or pet, or grab, or something, and when you have it you know exactly what it is and how it feels and what it looks like and then you can just be happy.

I could be wrong. Maybe instead, perfection should change for us. In reality, HA HA. Unfortunately, we know that perfection can never change. There will always be an idea of what we have to do, what we should look like, and who we have to be that exists in girl world. But since it’s so unattainable, then why the hell am I wasting time trying to convince myself to wear normal jeans?


Flavor of the Week: Jaden Smith Instagram Roundup

This has been going on for far too long and has been flying under the radar far too quietly. I feel as though I must take the liberty of exposing Jaden Smith’s Instagram account to the public.

Jaden Smith looks like The Weeknd and spits godly phrases like Yeezy. He acts on screen like Taylor Lautner circa The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl. And that about sums it up.

I have a really strange talent for finding semi-famous people’s social media accounts and then obsessively following their lives until I know almost everything about them. I tried to make Jaden Smith one of my stalkees, but it just didn’t work. His guard is too raised; his thoughts too deep. As I attempt to deconstruct the Instagram photos shared by @iputthesocietyonmyback (something Jaden really does, especially valued at $8 million at the age of 15), you’ll hopefully see what I mean.

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Here, Jaden turns geometry into something trippy as balls. I am wondering if he is implying that this is just the start of his passion for paper pyramid building. Will he be building more pyramids? Will he be gifting those pyramids? Will Jaden Smith send me a paper pyramid? I am v excited to see where his paper pyramid endeavors take him.

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In other words, “selfié.” Jaden freestyles in this caption, revealing a passion for the Twilight series, which he wants to watch in a light blue room. He’s lucky that he has enough money to paint a room light blue just to watch a Twilight movie in it. Jaden comes to terms with his ridiculousness, warning others not to end up like him, “Young Black And Delirious.” Don’t ignore the second stanza, either. BTW, I think you mean *too, Jaden.

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Oh, cool. Thx 4 the update.

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Yes, yes. Enchant them with the White Silk Pants. Those are always a winner. Also, I do not see any young dumb scamps in this black and white photo of LA!!!! I wonder if his fingers ever get tired of typing with capital letters. Eh?

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Ready for Hawaii or ready to become a dementor? I’m kinda into this one, though. Super ironic.

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Yes, Jaden, you protect the Kardashian sisters and their pretty blonde friend in an Iron Man suit. Jaden posted this to remind us of his inability to blend into society–the society that is, after all, on his back. I wish I was the privileged child of a celebrity. Then maybe I could look cool pretending every word is a proper noun, too.

That’s all for this week. Check out Jaden Smith: the philosophical poet of our generation on Insta to gain more wordly insights.


Flavor of the Week: How I Really Met Your Mother

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As we’ve come to know too well, the times are a-changin’. What once was nice and traditional has now become outdated and prudish. Girls bare more skin at Bar Mitzvahs than I do on the beach. Hell, they don’t even wear dresses to Bar Mitzvahs anymore. Now, it’s all about the crop top and shorts combo. I commend the trend, but when I have a daughter of my own I’ll make sure she relies on other “in” pieces… like oversized turtlenecks, for example.

My grandparents met through a mutual friend. My grandfather called my grandmother, introduced himself, and asked if she would “marry [him] this afternoon.” It was classy. My grandma wore white gloves on their date to the zoo. I’m all about it.

My parents met in standards more era-appropriate–on a college street corner on Halloween. Later that night, my dad serenaded my mom by playing her righty guitar upside down (he was a lefty). Slightly more edgy, but as charming as ever, to say the least.

I thought I’d share some ways for you to tell your children in ten or fifteen years from now about how you really met their mother–likely a story neglect of white gloves, potentially containing a good serenade (but only if one of you was, like, on molly at a rave or something like that).

1. “We liked the same @JewBoyProblems tweet. Then, I stalked her on Twitter and she seemed like the perfect balance of Long Island and sleepaway camp-cool for me.”

2. “As soon as I found out that he was @JewBoyProblems, I knew Bubbe would approve.”

3. “So, son, there used to be this thing called Tinder…”

4. “We were both waiting on line at Juice Generation and she complimented me on my desert boots.”

5. “We didn’t go to the same co-ed camp, but we had socials…”

6. “She made a naked video of herself and somehow every thirteen-year-old in the Tri-State Area got a hold of it. I used it as a conversation starter when we met in college.”

7. “My mom was her SoulCycle instructor.”

8. “I know you wouldn’t think that the Boca West club pool could be a romantic spot, but…”

9. “I was ZBT, she was SDT, and the rest was history.”

10. “We were on the same Westcoast Connection Europe teen tour!” (Funny sidenote: I went to the Westcoast website to find a photo to pair with this, but I recognized too many of the kids in all of the promos and didn’t want to make them feel super awk when they heard their face was plastered across The FYD)

11. “I held her hair back for her at a tailgate. She thought I was the nicest guy in the world.”

12. “We had friends in common and I kept liking all of her #tbt’s.”

13. “I was standing behind her in line at Pinkberry and offered to pay for her fro-yo.” (My husband to my child)

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On Feminism

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Do you believe in the complete equality of men and women?

If you answered yes to that question, then according to AmIAFuckingFeminist.com, you’re a fucking feminist.

This simple question is meant to eradicate the stigma involved with feminism. If you answer “No” to this question, you look pretty stupid.

Last night I was talking to a guy who called me out for being a feminist. I don’t even think I was wearing my “feminist hat” at the time, but I must have said something about not wearing a bra. He asked me why I was “such a feminist,” even though I don’t consider myself to be “such” a feminist. I always thought I was more of just “a” feminist.

My reply: “Do you believe that men and women should have equal rights?” He paused.

“Not really,” he said.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” I said. My jaw dropped.

A long conversation ensued. It contained utter disbelief and pure resentment on my part, and strong defense on his. I asked what he thought about a potential female president. I asked him about abortion and birth control. He agreed with me on all of these matters with little to no hesitation whatsoever.

“So… you’re a feminist.” He still insisted he wasn’t.

There is a problem with the definition of feminism and with the idea of what a feminist looks like and what she (or he?) believes in. Traditionally, we believe feminists are 70’s hippies that don’t shave their body hair. We believe feminists think that women are better than men, and that they should reign supreme in what is currently a male-dominated society. The modern movement rooted in websites like Jezebel and in media forms like episodes of Girls attempts to alter this preconceived notion. Now, feminism is all about the idea that everyone should be a feminist, because if you’re not, you sound like a huge asshole. It’s about proving how easy feminism is to understand and believe in as we strip its definition down into its skimpy Victoria’s Secret lingerie.

By doing this–by making feminism relatable–are we devaluing the concept? Should we be changing the ideas of feminism to accommodate a stubborn society, or should we be focusing on changing the stubborn society to legitimize females?

To me, it seems silly to try to encourage people to put a label on themselves that they historically haven’t been comfortable using. Because of websites like Am I A Fucking Feminist, people know what feminism is. But at the same time, I feel like we’re settling.

There’s a pretty good chance I sound really stupid right now. The chance to spread feminism? Why not take that by the reigns and run with it, right?! Any good girl lover would surely do that! It’s just that throughout my entire life, I was under the impression that I should feel proud to be a feminist–to be one of the few who are knowledgable about what women deserve and appreciate my role in society as a female. Maybe I’m being selfish. Maybe I’m just a victim to feminism, which, after all, is really just a word.

This nuanced-feminism would reply to my thoughts by saying that we aren’t changing the movement at all–that the stigma has always existed and has always been incorrect from its inception. But just because the stigma is incorrect does not mean that we cannot ignore it. The argument that movements like Am I A Fucking Feminist are trying to make is that feminism isn’t a “big deal” and it never has been; it simply stands for the respect of women that men typically always receive. I agree with this new perspective on feminism and I think it’s pretty cool. But if you don’t want to be considered a feminist, then I don’t know if I want you to be one, either. Does the point diminish when we have to change the outward nature of the movement to appeal more to the masses?

I also don’t know why we even use the word “feminist” anymore. Isn’t it more of an equal-ist? An everybody-ist?

The guy I was speaking to last night said that there are definite differences between men and women that we can’t ignore. We just aren’t smart enough as a society yet to figure out how to let that respectfully reflect in every day life. Interesting. Interesting, indeed.

Thoughts on feminism? GO!


Flavor of the Week: The Real Biggest Losers

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I’ve never watched a full episode of The Biggest Loser. I only have one friend who’s really into it (though I don’t believe she even watched this season), and the only other person I know who liked it was my grandma (who is now deceased). Regardless, it seems like a pretty inspirational show. People change their lives for the better, have happily ever afters, etc. etc. etc. The concept is really great. But in a society where we teeter back and forth between being too thin and too fat, does The Biggest Loser prompt people to feel like… big losers?

Rachel Frederickson was just crowned this season’s winner, dropping from 260 to 105 pounds. Before I read the first of many articles I would eventually read about her, I saw her “after” photo. She looked good–toned, fit, thin. I assumed she was in her early-mid 30s. It turns out that Rachel’s only 24. That was the first unsettling fact to me.

Then, I learned that she now weighs only 105 pounds. Then, I learned that Rachel is 5’4”. I’m 5’4”. I’m not nearly 105 pounds. Yes, bodies come in every shape and size, and weight is just a number. Body fat is proportioned differently depending on the person, and no one should feel the need to conform to a number on an outdated BMI index. But there is an undeniable fact that everyone is aware of, and it is that being 105 pounds and 5’4” usually means you’re too thin.

Obviously, controversy sparked from every corner of the body-centric world. Two very valid arguments arise: the first, that The Biggest Loser is a weight loss show and Rachel accomplished (very well) exactly what she went on the show to do. This side argues Rachel shouldn’t be penalized and she didn’t take things too far. The second argument pleads the opposite: that Rachel clearly has a problem; one drilled into her head by a show that monitors contestants as if it was the NSA for fat people.

Those of you who blame The Biggest Loser for turning an obese young woman into a petite someone who other women will envy–you are wrong. You cannot blame a television production based on helping unhealthy people lead healthy lifestyles for a contestant’s weight loss. At the same time, you can’t say that Rachel’s weight loss is okay just because you “wouldn’t call her skeletal,” as Betches Love This likes to put it. “Have you ever seen an actual anorexic person or like, a Holocaust survivor?” The “Betches” continue, “That is fucking skeletal.” They also say that Rachel “is the size of a mother of three who spends a lot of time at Soul Cycle or like, Kate Middleton,” and therefore we shouldn’t be concerned.

No, no, no, no, no. We can be funny all we want–we can make fun of ourselves, of the pettiness of young women, of the ridiculous obsessions we have with things like social media and men, but we cannot make jokes about body image. Just because someone doesn’t “look” like they have an eating disorder–like they aren’t “skeletal”–doesn’t mean they aren’t suffering mentally.

Last week, I called my mom in hysterics because I felt comparable to a very large whale. Moms are used to the complaints of their daughters, many of whom are perfectly fine and healthy but suffer from a paranoia and awareness of the body that is unnecessarily overwhelming. My mom, however, could sense the extreme level of shittiness I was feeling. When I told her that it pained me to look in the mirror and to have more than one sit-down meal a day–that the thought of giving in to a plateful of food rather than the Chobani and then the apple and then the Fiber One bar snacking regimen I had perfected to a tee–she knew I was falling into a trap.

My mom asked me why I hadn’t spoken to anyone about this–my friends, a therapist, etc. I told her something I consider to be one of the most wretched mindsets of our image-infatuated generation: I just didn’t look like I had a problem. I’m not “thin,” I’m curvy with a butt and boobs and legs, and I’m pretty sure I’ve been like that since the fourth grade. What are the odds that someone takes me seriously when I walk up to her and tell her I’m having trouble eating? You can claim someone would listen to me, and if it was a real problem, someone would be able to tell. But unfortunately, I can fill you in from experience–that isn’t the case. It seems like you can’t have a problem unless you look like you do.

Okay, so if I lose 30 pounds, will you believe me then?

Luckily, I swung out of my funk and adjusted back to a normal, healthy routine. But there are thousands upon thousands of girls that won’t. Did Rachel Frederickson’s drastic weight loss pose a bad influence on self-conscious teens? I didn’t watch The Biggest Loser, but I’m assuming they only showed her losing weight healthily. They probably didn’t showcase her anorexia, or her bulimia, or any other eating disorder she might have. As I said before, her size doesn’t have to correlate to her mental state, and her mental state doesn’t have to correlate to her size.

In truth, the people who tend to be sensitive to the appearances of people in the media will be affected by Rachel’s weight loss just as they would the body of any other celebrity. The less sensitive people won’t. The job of The Biggest Loser is to help its contestants become healthier. The job of me–and of every other young lady, and even the job of every young man–is to make sure that I am healthy, that my friends are healthy, and that my family is healthy. Rachel’s weight loss was startling to me, too. But can we please get over the battle of too thin versus thin enough and realize the bigger picture?

Please?

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On Facebook Stalking

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I’ve gotten so used to the shame that comes with Facebook stalking, I subconsciously avoid directly addressing it in posts.

Well, people, it’s time.

Facebook stalking is something everyone does. Naturally, then, there’s no reason for it not to be addressed. It is as unavoidable as me getting my period for the first time in the middle of my hiking trip during sleepaway camp–in other words, it is unavoidable as f***. If we’re all Facebook stalking, then there must be a reason why. Though the practice is mindless in itself and only requires the clicking of a mouse every couple of seconds (next photo, next photo, next photo), its significance as a contributor to the millennial persona is wholeheartedly huge.

Apparently, Facebook is a “sharing” site, though we know that isn’t true. Is sharing really sharing if it’s a one-way kinda-sorta thing? We don’t really communicate via wall post (um, excuse me, I mean timeline post) as often as Zuckerberg wants us to. In fact, if you do post on someone’s timeline, you are hard core judged by everyone else who sees it. We all have iMessage–the greatest invention since whole wheat sliced bread–and if you really wanted to speak to someone quickly and efficiently, you would text her. Nothing pisses people off more than siblings or best friends who write to each other publicly on Facebook. Clearly you already have a texting convo going, so whatever you’re writing you clearly are just writing for the sake of publicity.

We have driven Facebook off it’s given beat and path. We mock those that use it for it’s original intention. So if you aren’t stalking someone, are you doing it wrong?

In theory, Facebook stalking makes sense. We’re drawn to seeing photos of other people–especially, of course, people we know. Pictures have always intrigued us. I obviously would not have liked Madeline nearly as much if she wasn’t wearing such a cute jumper all of the time. But when we look at photos of other people on Facebook, it’s in almost no context at all. There aren’t really words to this picture book. It’s just… well… pictures.

Everyone has a few people that they focus their energy into stalking, habitually typing a name into the search box. Then there are the people you forget about until they pop up on your news feed because they were tagged in your best camp friend’s best home friend’s photo. Come Sunday mornings, we sit on the edges of our seats, anxiously awaiting the mass mupload like it’s the fricking messiah.

However, we find ourselves in knee-deep contradiction. When those whom we do not desire the stalking rights to post solo shots of themselves or even a 50-photo collection of the previous weekend’s events, we give them shit. We get annoyed. We want some to use Facebook as a canvas, and we want others to sit quietly behind a screen (as some of us stalkers might) and join in the could-be thoughts of pretty, skinny girls sipping on cranberry colored cocktails.

So when you stalk someone, are you truly engaged in learning more about her? Are we just jealous of the identities these people have created for themselves on intangible social media? Are we so unsettled in our own lives that we yearn to live vicariously through other people (no matter how many hours we spend looking through the same album of muploads repeatedly)?

Facebook makes it so damn easy for people to judge you. But don’t you want to be stalked, and not a stalk-er? Don’t you want to be judged?

They say that any publicity is good publicity. In a world of being “Facebook famous,” I guess so.