Friday, August 29, 2014

Happy birthday to, uh, me

So it's my birthday this Monday, no big deal. I'm turning 27. Which is either old or young, I guess, depending on whether you're 50 or 16.

Last year, I did a '26 things I'd like to learn by 27' post where I listed all the things I was hoping to learn by this time this year. Can we just be honest? I haven't looked at that list since I made it. So instead of just making more empty promises to myself (I'll save that for Monday's post), I thought I'd tally how many of the things I actually bothered to learn. My 26-year-old-self would be so proud.

This is the photo I used last year. Always charming, I know.
These hopes and dreams are from last year's post:

1. How to actually do a french braid. I mean, I know. But I don't. Right now it takes several tries and lots of cursing to get my braid where I want it to be. I just want to be able to do it on the first try.

NO OKAY. I didn't learn this. It's not 2005--who wears French braids still? (Everyone, you dumbass, everyone.)

2. How to make a delicious baked brie recipe. Who doesn't love brie?

It's called you just smear some jam and random nuts on top and cover it in a pastry sheet. Why on earth did I think that was something you needed to learn?

3. How to eloquently tell someone off when the situation is appropriate and they deserve it. 

No, but I know how to think really mean thoughts in my head. 

4. How to read Vogue without thinking mean thoughts about how rich and unbelievably out of touch all the writers are.

Oh shit. So many mean thoughts. Of course, I'll never learn how not to do this. How else am I supposed to feel superior to people who are so rich I want to vomit?

5. How to always approach people with confidence. 

Ugh, what is this shit? No. Okay. No. I'm shy. That's not how it works.

6. How to put my hair up into anything but a pony-tail. Right now my hairstyles vary between straight, wavy and fishtail braid. 

Well, I've perfected the wavy so that count's for something, right? And I finally got over having bangs, so that has to mean I'm growing up or something.

7. How to not bite my nails when they don't have polish on them. 

Never.going.to.happen.

8. How to express myself better verbally so it's not constant word vomit. 

I'm going to give myself a B on this. No plus, no minus. 

9. How to enjoy sweet wines so I can just have all wine all the time.

Gross, never. 

10. How to make-up my eyes in a way I actually like that doesn't involve black eyeliner.

YES. Oh my god, yes, you guys. I'm really into the no eye-liner look right now.

11. How to enjoy fish. Slimy, slimy fish.

Not really. My love for shrimp cocktail continues to grow though, so there's something.

12. How to enjoy vodka again. Ugh. One mistake can just haunt you forever.

Kind of. Sort of. I don't know. I rarely order vodka-based drinks. I will say my love for tequila increased as my love for vodka decreased. So I'm okay with being more of a tequila person. 

13. How to once again read at least one novel a month. I spend so much time reading, but not enough time reading for pleasure and I miss getting lost in a good book.

Well now I really feel like shit. No. This didn't happen.

14. How to accept that I'm not at an age anymore to just listlessly go through life without a purpose.

What the hell, Katie?

15. How to exercise on a regular basis so I feel energized and good about myself.

Ugh. Fuck this list. 

16. How to eat oysters. 

I think I meant like shucking them, which, no, I have not learned. But I have eaten oysters in the past year, and also sometimes I get really random cravings for mussels, which aren't oysters but I'm going to give it to myself anyway.

17. How to not be jealous of women who I think are better than me is some way.

HA. I mean, I'm overconfident in a lot of ways so it all evens out.

18. How to beat oily hair, because I'm over it. 

YES. Thank you, Crystal, for introducing me to Alba's mango shampoo and conditioner. It smells amazing and my hair doesn't get nearly as oily as it used to. Apparently the no-poo method is great against fighting oily hair, but ya'll my shampoo smells like mango.

19. How to feel important while reconciling that I'm rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things. 

Oh, good lord. What was my deal last year?

20. How to wear lipstick in a way that doesn't feel stupid.

Kind of? I have like 20 of the Revlon chubby sticks or whatever the fuck they're calling them. I wear them sometimes, as in, like, twice every two months. Orange is my shit, followed by pinkish-purple. 

21. How to be better at staying in touch with friends I don't live near anymore. 

Somewhat. And by somewhat, I mean not really at all. 

22. How to not roll my eyes at poetry. (or maybe I'm okay doing that)

Still no. Which isn't to say wonderful poets don't exist, but it's just not my jam. 

23. How to not chip my nails so damn soon after I paint them.

Yes. Because I found gel manicures. But then I lost gel manicures because they weakened my nails too damn much. (Just kidding, I'm going again next week before I go out for my birthday. Vanity > Healthy nails.)

24. How to drink an adequate amount of water each day.

I'm already the person who pees the most at work, as in once-an-hour, so no I don't need to drink more liquid. 

25. How to stand up for myself. 

If by standing up for myself I meant ranting about it on the blog I made, then yes. Sure.

26. How to not dwell on past mistakes because life is where it should be. 

Um. Yeah? I guess.

So. 10 out of 26. If I'm being nice. Who knew I was so good.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Let me explain how a 26-year-old can love Taylor Swift

via
Because this seems to be a confusing point for people who really hate when other people like pop music. The thing is, I know Taylor Swift isn't perfect and sometimes the lyrics in her older songs completely conflict with my feminist ideals, but there are plenty of reasons why non-tweens are into her.

Here are some of them.

1. Her songs are catchy as fuck. Don't tell me you never, ever listen to music just for fun.

2. The constant shit she gets for singing almost exclusively about her relationships is odd and, in lots of case, rooted in nothing but sexism. Don't most singers sing about their relationships most of the time? If you don't like the way she sings about her relationships, then say that, but don't act like she's the only artist ever to almost exclusively sing about what's happening in her love life. To suggest that means she's obsessed with boys to the exclusion of everything else is some bullshit.

3. Her Instagram is a constant parade of her friendships with other women. Should that make you like her music more? I guess not. But it makes me like her more.

4. I don't feel like holding everything she's ever said that I've disagreed with against her for the rest of her life. It's a little too exhausting.

5. She's growing up and even, apparently, calling herself the 'f' word.

6. Her songs are more mature than critics would have you believe. For some reason, she's routinely criticized for pushing this "pure" image thing, when she's never (to my knowledge) made any comments about the importance of remaining a virgin. Which isn't to say some of her lyrics haven't been slut-shamey, but if you actually listened to any of her songs on Red or, even, Speak Now, she consistently references pretty standard 20-something relationships, sex and all.

7. I can't get behind the criticism against her lyrics in "Fifteen." The entire fucking song is about realizing who you are at 15 and what's important at 15 doesn't define your life and who you'll grow up to be--so you know what, no, I can't work up the outrage over the suggestion that a 15-year-old girl might regret losing her virginity to a guy who doesn't give a shit about her. To suggest that Taylor's slut-shaming her best friend disregards the entire point of the damn song.

8. #Basicbitches love other #basicbitches. Someone said this in the comments of an article about Taylor Swift, but I guess it's pretty sound.

9. This song gets me every damn time.



10. Did I mention I can't hate on her for her past stupid, sexist lyrics for the rest of her life? Ya'll, I don't like the message behind "Better Than Revenge" any more than the next person, but it's not going to convince me she's a shit person who should be forever reviled. The words of a teenager should probably be taken with a grain of salt, you know?

11. I'm not going to criticize her for seeming too perfect. Yeah, she's got a brand and she's obsessive about maintaining it, but I can't hate on her because there are no photos of her being a drunken mess or whatever it is that would humanize her to you. If she doesn't want pictures of herself out there with her head in a toilet, then as the owner of her own image, that's her right. I don't think it actually means she never, ever parties or is critical of people who do.

12. She befriended the last person who criticized her for being too perfect, which means she can't be total asshole.

13. She also has distaste for Justin Bieber. And isn't that the most important reason of all?

via
So, that's where I stand. Now it's up to you to determine if anything I've said has validity or if I'm just a rabid Taylor Swift fangirl. Which, you know what? Fangirls unite. What do we even call ourselves? Swifties? Tay's bitches? I'm dying to know.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Let's get real about blogging


Oh, hey. It's Friday--let's get meta and talk about blogging.

So, I've read a lot of 'blogging how-to' posts out of curiosity because I like to see what other bloggers recommend, especially bigger bloggers. Because, hey, they must be doing something right. But one thing I've noticed is that the tips can sometimes lack perspective or just be too general in a way that isn't actually helpful for the very beginner blogger. And then there are other bloggers who've deluded themselves into thinking their follower count is exclusively a result of their own amazing-ness.

Obviously, this isn't true of every how-to post out there--lots are great. But I thought it might be helpful to share some tips from someone who's not that far removed from a just-beginning blogger because I still get all the frustrations involved.

THINGS YOU SHOULD TRY TO DO  

 

1. Sponsor a big blogger right away, but make sure to purchase a good sponsorship spot that includes a post about you, the promise of twitter shout-outs, and, above all, a giveaway. The exposure and the followers you get from the giveaway will give you the initial boost your blog needs to get out there, and then you can take advantage of the momentum. Just make sure you're updating your blog regularly so the blogger you're sponsoring actually has something to promote.

1a. Just go sponsor Helene in Between. It was totally worth every penny. Also, The Happy Type. Yes, okay, full disclosure--she's my best friend. But she was also a PR powerhouse in another life.

2. Continue to sponsor other bloggers. This advice becomes moot when you can't afford to, but that's the shitty secret of blogging. You have to put money in to increase your follower count which means you basically have to pay a bigger blogger to say nice things about you. (And you know, if you're really serious, you could ask for a sponsorship for a birthday gift or something.)

3. Use giveaways to get followers. Yes, you will find that some of the people who end up following you don't actually give a shit about you or your blog, but the more followers you get, the more people will pay attention to your blog. Giveaways are the primary way bloggers grow their blogs quickly. If you think it sounds like bribing, that's because it is--and if you're above that, then don't expect your blog to grow very quickly.

4. Once you finally start getting comments (after you've gotten some exposure via a sponsorship), keep track of who's commenting and what their blogs are. If you never show them some love back, you're kind of already setting yourself up as an asshole.

5. If you have a friend who's already blogging, then use that shit. Crystal (a.k.a. The Happy Type) was my tireless promoter when I first started and it was really helpful. I kind of piggy-backed off her for awhile, introducing myself to her little group of blogger friends until I found my own niche, but it was a great entry into the world of blogging.

6. Comment on other people's blogs and interact on social media. I've written about how much I suck at this, but I've definitely found that the more involved I am, the more I get back. If none of your tweets or posts get any likes or comments despite that you're starting to get a decent follower count, it's probably because you never share the love but yet you still expect the entire world to fall at your feet at your own brilliance. (I kind of do this all the time, it's okay).

THINGS YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN'T DO


1. Don't set yourself up as the blogger who only interacts with big bloggers. It's not always about the hustle, okay?

2. Don't take new follows for granted. Check out who followed you, you narcissistic bitch (that was said with love). And maybe even consider following them back. BUT to be clear, the "I followed you, so you have to follow me back" mentality really sucks. Don't follow someone solely because you want them to follow you back and then un-follow them two days later when they don't. That's lame. Follow someone because you want to.

3. Don't use a social media platform just because you read you should. Those platforms only work if you actually use them well. If you have one just to have one but it's half-assed, it's not going to do anything for you. I had a Facebook page for awhile and I hated maintaining it. And the thing is, I only used it to post MAYBE once a day and I never interacted with anyone so my posts, realistically, probably only showed up in a handful of people's news feeds. And like they gave a shit.

4. Don't think just because your blog post is really good, the people will come to you. If you don't have a large readership, then it will take a hell of a lot of luck for your blog post to get in the right hands to make it viral.

5. Don't pay to be a tiny side-bar ad. When was the last time you clicked on one of those?

6. Don't suck up to big bloggers. They're not stupid. Also, they probably don't need your 50-follower ass to share their blog posts. I mean, it's nice, and I'm sure they think it's nice, but maybe consider #1 and share a blog post from another newbie instead. (Note to self: become way better at sharing other bloggers' posts).

7. Don't be the blogger that doesn't respond to comments. Look, if you get responses in the double digits, then you've earned the right to do what you want. But we're talking newbie bloggers here. There's no excuse for not responding to the handful of comments you receive.

8.  Don't save blog post ideas for when you get more followers because you think your idea is brilliant and people will lap it up. It never turns out as awesome as you think it will. Just regularly post quality content even if your page-views aren't great so you can set that precedent. 

THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER LOSE SLEEP OVER


1. Guest posts. Seriously. It's one thing when you and a blogger friend get together and do guest posts for each other. That's done for enjoyment. But if you sponsor a big blogger with high hopes about the promised guest post, just let your dreams die right now. Nobody who regularly reads that blogger gives a fuck about your guest post. Honestly.

Go find a big blog and find a guest post from a blogger who isn't already big and you'll see the comments go drastically down. Nobody cares. They go to that blog to read that blogger, not you. I have never seen a significant uptick in page-views after a guest post. But I will tell you what I have seen--when I co-posted with a bigger blogger once, more than half the comments were about a story the blogger told BEFORE she had even gotten to introducing me.

2. Shitty blog posts that get way more adoring comments than your naturally brilliant posts. Look, the blogger in question could've paid their way to the top and fake people comment on their blog to suck up OR they're having an off day and they already put the time in to get a loyal crowd of readers OR maybe their writing style just isn't to your taste but other people actually like it. No matter, you shouldn't waste your time comparing yourself to them.

3. If you lose some of the followers you gained after a giveaway ends. Of course you will. People like free stuff, but that doesn't mean you won't also get some awesome followers in the process. Giveaways are by no means an invalid way for people to be introduced to your blog.

4. If you don't get as many comments as you think you will even though you're finally starting to regularly get comments. Some things just don't connect with readers the way you think it will. It doesn't mean you're shit.

5. When you do something that another blogger tells you should never, ever do. It's cool. You're your own person.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Reconciling that some opinions don't matter

One part of aging, I think, is to reconcile that not everyone's opinions matter. Does that sound harsh? I guess it is, and I also guess that I don't really care.

For Americans, we grow up believing in freedom of speech and how everyone deserves to be heard. And you know what? It's not true, kids. Some people don't deserve to be heard.

My friend's ex-boyfriend liked to make fun of gay people, or people he simply perceived as being gay. One time, he laughed with his friends about two men riding a motorcycle together. He didn't deserve to be heard.

My roommate's friend liked to throw racial slurs around like it was nothing. She did it drunk. She did it sober. She didn't deserve to be heard.

Rush Limbaugh likes to suggest women who fight for birth control are sluts. He doesn't deserve to be heard.

It's not that I actually want to bar anyone from expressing their opinions. That's not what I'm getting at. But there's so much bigotry in this world and it's just humored, tolerated and even pandered to because we're so set on "seeing the other side."

Maybe I'm writing this because I just entered a world of stupid reading the comments on an article on what's happening in Ferguson, or maybe I've wanted to write something like this for awhile.

There have been so many monumental moments that have happened in the past two years in the U.S. that should have led to a deep and long introspection about our society, and yet somehow a vocal group of people was seemingly able to distract from any real dialogue each time.

Which isn't to say dialogue didn't happen, just that it was constantly undermined by (white) people who don't like the suggestion that the U.S. of A. isn't already perfect. People who are so dead-set on denying that any kind of prejudice still exists that they stay willfully ignorant on the prejudice that occurs every day in this country.

My guess is that acknowledging our nation isn't perfect and that not everyone is treated equally means acknowledging that some people are privileged, and, goddamnit, that just erodes the very foundations of this country. If everyone isn't treated equally then that means maybe your accomplishments don't mean as much, and god forbid not everyone constantly marvel at your singular hard work and perseverance.

But the bottom line is there are dialogues that need to happen, and they can't be allowed to be undermined by people who are terrified of change.

We don't need to humor stupid opinions. We don't need to humor bigotry. It's not just another perspective. It's being on the wrong side of history, and we can be so much better than that.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Let me count the ways beauty vloggers have ruined my life

Even my Youtube home-page knows I love Katy Perry, crappy pop and make-up tutorials.

If there's anything you need to know about me, it's that I'm obsessed with joint cracking videos Youtube make-up tutorials. Don't doubt me when I say I could easily spend eight hours watching them. I'll do it just to make you eat your words and I'll goddamn enjoy it.

But the thing about these videos is that they're slowly ruining my life. Beauty vloggers, if you come across this, please know everything I'm writing is said with the deepest of love. Sincerely.


1. I can't go without foundation.


And by foundation, I mean really expensive, dear-god-why-do-you-cost-so-much foundation. Do I actually need to cover much? No, not really. But is it absolutely imperative I slather flesh-colored goop all over my face? It is. It really is. 

Also, did ya'll know some people routinely wear foundations too dark for them because they tan their bodies but they don't tan their faces? So they have to match the color to their necks instead? How am I almost 27 and I never knew this? I thought not matching your foundation to your face was sacrilegious. I HAD NO IDEA.




2. I constantly buy make-up I'm not talented enough to do anything with.




3. I know what Coastal Scents is now and I want all of it.


Did you guys know this palette is perfect for people who exclusively wear brown eyeshadows? Wait, that doesn't sound right. I've been a proud owner of this baby since 2009. I still have it. All the brown shades are worn down and all the other shades haven't been touched. Yeah, that sounds more right.


4. I over-explain the shit out of everything.


 

I assume the over-explanations from beauty vloggers are because they've learned to be as specific as possible all the time or they'll get 500+ questions asking the same thing in the comments. Which I can't really fault. But I can fault them for making me more long-winded. Call it a habit picked up from osmosis.


5. I own 25+ make-up brushes.




I mean, I know what I use them for. What they're intended for... well that's to each their own, right?


6. I've learned that you can just want to create cute make-up videos and there will still be people who hate you enough to create Tumblrs about how much they hate you.


Girl, how do you even deal? I can't decide if I'm supposed to hate Michelle Phan after perusing this or if it's just meant to illustrate that there are some creepy motherfuckers on this planet.


7. I've also learned that people get really, really upset when you change your appearance.



There goes that neck lift I've always wanted. (What? I've got a chicken neck, okay?) At least it makes me feel better to know the plastic surgery shaming comes from a concern for bitches misrepresenting themselves and not actual pettiness or anything. 


8. They make me feel bad for saying make-up shaming isn't a thing. 



I'm sorry, Sam. I read the comments on your videos and some are annoying as shit. I get it, okay? I get it.


9. Their always adorable manicures led to my gel manicure addiction. 


Which led to this:


Do you know how gel manicures are removed? You scratch at that shit until it's finally gone. Who knew that would weaken my nails so much?


10. No matter how much I try, my eyes will never look as cool as this. 




 Godamnit, easyNeon. You're beautiful.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The writing process tour

Let's pretend this photo from the Great Ocean Road is metaphorical in some way.

Marielle from This Flooded Sky tagged me in the Writing Process Tour that's been going around and obviously I can't say no to Marielle, so let's do this. 

1. What am I working on?

Who even knows? I'm so disorganized. I'm basically the antithesis of bloggers who keep cute little journals that cost $65 and are full of blog ideas and schedules for posts. (Does that blogger actually exist, though?)

For regular readers, you know I only post three times a week now max, and I've been playing with the idea of posting one beauty post, one style post and one 'wild-card' post a week (which would probably be on feminism, let's not kid ourselves). But I don't know that I could stick to that. Maybe I'll combine the style and beauty to just one post on either a week. I just really want to fulfill my first vision of this site, which is that it would be for women (or men--that's cool too) who like to critique pop culture and talk about feminism but who could also talk about their favorite beauty products for an hour.

2. How does my work differ from others of its type/genre?

I'm not sure that it really does, to be honest. Snark isn't exactly uncommon, but I do think it helps that I'm just as willing to snark on myself as I am celebrities and my favorite reality TV housewives. It makes it seem less judgmental, maybe?

I would never in a million years consider myself a style blogger, but one thing I did notice when reading a lot of my favorite style bloggers is that--though I'm sure they were great people--they never really injected their personality into their posts. In fact the writing seemed like an afterthought, or just trendy buzzwords would be thrown around (macarons! tea! white and gold!). So I kind of made this blog to do the opposite of that. We'll see if I ever regularly do outfit posts.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I try not to really plan out my posts because I find when I think I have a good idea but I log it away to write later, I end up having to force the post because the moment when I was inspired has been lost. Some of my best posts have just been a reaction to something I read/saw that day and that's what I prefer because, as anyone knows, it takes a hell of a lot less time when you're writing in a moment of inspiration. 

I've realized that I really, really love writing about feminism. Sometimes, yes, it feels like I'm preaching to the choir because I (somewhat surprisingly) have yet to receive a nasty comment on any of my feminism posts. But I like that my audience for them is primarily female but I care about how women feel about themselves than how men feel about women.

Also, I write a lot of lists. I don't necessarily want to be a mini-Buzzfeed, but lists are so suited for the way that I write. They're also easier because you don't have to thing about transitions and flow and all that, so I'm going to challenge myself to do less and do more though-out posts.

4. How does your writing process work?

See that photo above? That took me 20 minutes to make. I AM SO SLOW. At everything. I have no idea how people bang posts out in 30 minutes. Even when I'm inspired, it takes longer than that. I learned this as a reporter too, but the majority of the time spent writing a post is used just writing my lead. Once that's written, the tone for the post has been set so the rest goes quicker. But I can't skip the lead and do the body and then go back to it. Nope. My lead has to be set and I'll ponder that shit for 45 minutes.

But the thing is, I never want to feel like I have to write a post--I want to enjoy writing posts, so I've gotten to the point where I just say screw the 3 times/week schedule if I'm not feeling it.

So, who I am tagging? 

1. Crystal at The Happy Type. (Duh). Crystal writes about fitness, health, life crises and so much more. 

2. Kate from Thoroughly Modern. I've been reading this girl since a Halloween link-up where she wrote about Pretty Little Liars. It was cemented then.

3. Natalie from her namesake blog, Natalie Blair. Natalie writes about everything under the sun. Also, she's funny, which is all I require.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Why I'll never be a proper style blogger

Cheers, bitches.
So I started this blog with the intention of being somewhat of a style blogger, but in between my feminist rants and talking about all of the words I hate (all of them), I'm realizing the style blogger life just isn't for me.

Also, I kind of just suck at it. Don't take any of the following reasons as a fault against actual style bloggers. It's always about me and my own failures.

1. I don't have the confidence to look at a camera and make a, "I'm so hot, look at how hot I am" face. Which is weird, because I'm super vain. Yeah, I just called myself super vain. Self-awareness and all that.

2. I have no idea where I can buy macarons around here, much less photograph myself with them.

3. I own maybe four pair of shoes that I regularly wear. And most of the time (i.e. 99 percent of my life) I just wear a pair of light tan ballet flats because they go with anything. That's right I wear them just so I don't have to do the whole okay-these-shoes-are-black-but-my-purse-is-brown-and-even-though-that-doesn't-bother-me-I-know-other-bitches-will-side-eye-it routine.

4. I don't know of any brightly-colored picket fences to take pictures in front of.

5. Or large, empty fields.

6. Or absurdly cute downtown areas.

7. Okay, well at least no absurdly cute, downtown areas not inhabited by people all the time. Wait, I'm supposed to take pictures in front of other people? Gross. No thanks.

8. My apartment isn't decorated in shades of white and gold.

9. I don't have a lucite desk.

10. I don't even have lucite shoes. (Oh wait, I think that's a good thing.)

11. I don't own an oversized Michael Kors watch.

12. I do own an oversized Fossil watch, but it stopped working and I don't know what to do about it. If your solution is to expend energy on taking it to the jewelry store, then we really just won't relate.

13. The only hairstyles I know are straight (never happens, takes too long), structured waves (i.e. my hair every day) and an over-the-shoulder fishtail braid (the braid of people too lazy to learn French braids).

14. I only own two clutches. TWO.

15. I don't eat at cute, little cafes with patio seating except maybe once every two months. (Yeah, I don't know how my instagram maintains itself either.)

16. My hair doesn't look good in a top-knot.

17. I still have no idea how to do a side-braid incorporating my bangs.

18. I mean I know how, but I don't know how to do it so it actually looks good.

19. I still haven't mastered the cat-eye liner, even though I wear it at least 75 percent of the time. It's always a struggle.

20. I'm always an hour late to the party. Hey, did you guys know spikes are super cool and on trend? As in, I'm still deciding they're super cool because I went crazy during the spike trend and bought way too much shit with spikes on it. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

In defense of Katy Perry

Yes, that Katy Perry. 

via
And by Katy Perry, I just mean Katy Perry's lyrics. I don't actually care about defending Katy Perry the person. Because a) I don't know her and b) I'm pretty sure "Cultural Appropriation" is her middle name (which, funny enough, is Miley Cyrus' too), and, you know, that's not really my cup of tea to defend.

But as a listener of pop music (what else would I listen to in my car?), I would like to defend her lyrics. Because they take a lot of shit, and I'm gonna say right now it's undeserved (unless we're talking about the god-awful "Ur So Gay," in which case, okay, yeah, I'll give you that). Otherwise, her lyrics convey the exact type of messages I want to hear in pop songs, so allow me to stand up for them.

Don't act like you can't relate.

1. "Acceptance is the key to be, to be truly free." (from "Unconditionally")

Call it an empty platitude if you want, but HAS ANYTHING TRUER EVER BEEN SUNG? You know how some people create mantras for themselves? This one should be the entire world's.

2. "She used to set the sails of a thousand ships/ Was a force to be reckoned with/ She could be a Statue of Liberty/ She could be a Joan of Arc/ But he's scared of the light that's inside of her/ So he keeps her in the dark." (from "Pearl")

Preach it, Katy. Who hasn't thought a friend's significant other was an insecure piece of shit who brought them down? Just me? The entire song is about asserting yourself and rejecting such relationships and, you know, that's not the worst message to spread around. The lyrics are as cheesy as a handwritten love note recited by your lame boyfriend over candlelight but at least it's not a grown woman wishing she were the nameless girl in a country song.

3. "And we pop what is prescribed/ If it gets us first prize but you know who I/Who I think will win/ Are the ones that let love in." (from "This Moment")

If we are our true selves when we're drunk then I love the entire world and everyone in it. And isn't that better than being the angry drunk? The angry drunk is the worst. Even worse than the weepy drunk.

4. "I’ll be the one defining who I'm gonna be/ No concealing feelings, or changing seasonally/ I’m gonna love myself, the way I want you to love me." (from "Love Me")

I'll say it again: there ain't nothing wrong with spreading the importance of self-love. See also: Jewel's "Stronger Woman." True, sometimes I want to listen to a song about how much I hate myself, but then there are these other times when I actually want to feel good. Katy Perry is for feeling good.

5. "Oh, I can only take responsibility for me/ It takes two, two sides to every story/ Not just you/ I can't keep ignoring/ I admit half of it, I'm not that innocent." (from "It Takes Two") 

Oh my god, ya'll. It's the anti-Taylor Swift. Are we actually admitting we also contribute to shitty relationships? I feel you, Katy. That's right, world. You can contribute to the demise of a relationship and still be a worthwhile person.

6. "Have you ever been so lost/ Known the way and still so lost/ Caught in the eye of a hurricane/ Slowly waving goodbye like a pageant parade /So sick of this town pulling me down." (from "Lost")

HOW DO YOU KNOW ME SO WELL? I HAVE FELT SO LOST. I HAVE.

7. "You think you're so rock and roll/ But you're really just a joke/ Had the world in the palm of your hands/ But you fucking choked." (from "Circle the Drain")

I've never been in this situation but I'm hardcore responding to the vitriol. Oh god, what does that say about me?

8. "Take me down to the river/ Underneath the blood orange sun/ Say my name like a scripture/ Keep my heart beating like a drum." (from "Legendary Lovers")

It's so sacrilegious. I relish it.

9. "You chewed me up and spit me out/ Like I was poison in your mouth/ You took my light, you drained me down/ But that was then and this is now." (from "Part of Me")

Oh sister. I've so been there.
 
10. "Oh my God no exaggeration/ Now all this time was worth the waiting/ I just shed a tear/ I'm so unprepared/ You've got the finest architecture/ End of the rainbow looking treasure/ Such a sight to see/ And it's all for me." (from "Peacock")

Wait, is she talking about a penis? Of course she is. That's one thing you can count on about a Katy Perry song. She's always talking about sex. In fact, I love how overtly sexual 99 percent of her songs are. Nevermind that the real Katy Perry actually seems to have a pretty shallow take on sexuality, the person singing her songs is all about exploring your sexuality. No, I'm not talking about the terrible song that is "I Kissed a Girl." I'm talking about how every song on her latest album is basically about sex. Get it, Katy. Or at least the Katy in all your songs.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The F-word

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Today I'm linking up with Marielle and Kiersten for The F-Word, a new monthly link-up they created about feminism. This month's prompt is:

So many women still think feminism is a dirty word. What made you realize you were a feminist?
  
Can I just be one massive cliché and admit I claimed my feminism in college? Because I did. After a Philosophy of Feminism course. 

I was definitely a Cool Girl in high school, validating myself by how awesome I wanted guys to think I was compared to other girls. Those bitches? They didn't get the joke. But I did.

I wasn't against feminism, but I didn't identify as a feminist, or I'd make statements like, "I'm not a feminist, but..." I was 17 and obviously I knew everything. 

At that age, I'd sympathize with feminism but then think feminists took it "too far." I thought they were shrews and hypocrites--basically all the opinions spouted by people who don't actually know anything about feminism. The same people who only know they should disagree with feminism because, well, feminazis. 

Then I took that college course and it made me rethink all the bullshit I believed and it just snowballed from there.

So that's who I am. 

The girl who was enlightened by a college philosophy class. 

What enlightened me? 

When I was a freshman at FIT, they made us go to a bunch of seminars in our first week of school and one of them was a discussion on date rape (I guess for living in the dorms?) where we were asked to give our thoughts on a social situation where a man and woman had a drunken encounter that the woman later identified as rape. 

The gathered students basically came to the consensus that it wasn't rape and people (i.e. the woman) need to take personal responsibility for their actions--i.e. getting drunk at a party. 

I nodded along as a freshman, but it was later in my philosophy class when I realized that in this entire discussion of "personal responsibility," the only person's actions that had really been discussed were the woman's. 

Where was the personal responsibility for the man in that situation? There was no discussion on that. It was about how the woman should have acted and how her actions led to the situation in question.

Date rape is a complicated issue with so many gray areas, but it's pretty telling that we're convincing ourselves it's a woman's problem. Something she needs to be cognizant of and prepare for. Something she needs to take responsibility for.

It's also pretty telling that to praise a person, you liken them to a man, and to insult a person, you liken them to a woman. Does that not immediately strike you as bullshit? 

It should. (In my humble, feminazi opinion.)

When it comes down to it, this is the primary reason I became a feminist: I hate that young girls are taught they are the problem. 

I hate that young girls are taught to live around men.

I hate that young girls are taught that, unless they're the perfect victim, they deserved to be raped. 

I hate that young girls learn from an early age that they're supposed to care about pink and glitter, and if they don't they're weird, and if they do, they're silly. 

I hate that my niece just wanted to be a goddamn dinosaur for Halloween but the store only had dinosaur costumes for boys.

There is so much latent sexism in this world that's constantly brushed aside as not being important or meaning anything. That's why I'm a feminist. 

It matters to me that only women are sincerely called sluts and whores. That "girly" interests are treated as far less important than the big bad things men are supposedly interested in. That despite whatever statistics you want to throw at me, men still lead the majority of major companies and, in the U.S., we haven't had a single female president or vice president.

Don't act like those things don't mean anything.

Also, I'll be totally up front. I'm a feminist because I like wearing my, "This is what a feminist looks like," t-shirt.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Phrases that can pack their bags and leave (part 576)

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Why do I always write these blog posts? Is this really my calling card? Whatever, I'll embrace the bitch. I can't even count the number of times I've looked for an 'eye-roll' gif. I just need to film myself, because god knows that's my face 24/7.

I just really, really hate when people say the following things and I feel like the world has conspired to constantly repeat them lately. 

1. "You wouldn't understand."

As in, "I'm so sorry you're upset. I know it's hard." "Ugh, you wouldn't understand!"

Oh, I wouldn't, would I? How do you know? You don't. You're just having a pity party and you're content to believe no one has ever experienced the pain you have. Please. You have no idea what someone else has been through. Also, you know what they say about assuming... or something.

2. "Sorry, but I can't sympathize." 

A.k.a. every comment ever on any news story involving an unfortunate situation you think the victim basically asked for. An example? "Sorry, but I just can't sympathize with a person who was burglarized after leaving their car unlocked."

Cool. Good for you. But you do get that the world isn't waiting on goddamn tenterhooks to know if you sympathize or not, right? You also get that every situation doesn't have to be related back to you and how you personally feel about it, right? And you know... maybe try sympathizing a little. It couldn't make you a worse person, after all.

3. "You're just jealous."

Said by any person ever who isn't smart enough to actually come up with a response during an argument. Not all criticism is based in jealousy. Just rip the band-aid off and realize that. When another girl doesn't like you, it doesn't mean she's jealous of you. Life isn't perpetually high school. 

4. "Well, if I don't have anything nice to say..."

If you don't have anything nice to say then stop fucking around and just say what you want to say. Don't take the coward's way out by implying you have some shit to say then stop at actually saying anything juicy. Could you be more boring?

5. "Don't take everything so seriously."

Said by fanboys who don't like when the things they like are criticized. I'll take what I want to take seriously. But just to compromise, you know what I won't take seriously? You. We cool? 

Monday, August 4, 2014

My boyfriend would leave me for these people

But, I mean, at least I have advance notice. My boyfriend and I have talked about our "Freebie" lists (or whatever you want to call them) a few times and it's always interesting to hear who the person you're attracted to is attracted to in turn.

Who knew he was really into blondes? Or, for that matter, Vin Diesel? I'm not really on board with all of his choices, and I don't think he's really into mine either, so it's a wonder we even got together.

But here we are, and here's who'd Logan would leave me for:

1. Cameron Diaz

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She's never been my type but I get it. She's goofy, she's funny and she's obviously attractive. I'll give it to you, Logan. Just don't make me watch The Mask or Charlie's Angels.

Bottom line: Basically endorsed.

2. Vin Diesel

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It would be a total miscalculation for me to underestimate Vin Diesel's ability to steal my boyfriend away from me. Not when he does this shit:


Thanks, Vin. Not only do I have to compete with hot blondes, I also have to compete with tall, bald men with deep, mesmerizing voices.

Bottom line: Somewhat endorsed, except for all those Riddick movies I've been forced to watch. In the words of Kelly Clarkson, never fucking again.  

3. Keanu Reeves

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Though Keanu is number three on this list, he's my biggest threat. Yeah, I don't know either.

Bottom line: NOT endorsed. Ever.

4. Elizabeth Banks

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Okay, this I get. Like, totally, without a doubt get. True story: When I was younger and insecure, I disliked her because she guest starred on Scrubs and had this pregnancy story line I wasn't into (I guess I wanted JD for myself or something? Or at least for Elliot) so it influenced a dislike of her for way too long. Until I realized I was being a dumb bitch.

Bottom line: Endorsed. More than endorsed. Like maybe we'll have to fight over her.

5. Rachel McAdams

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Who doesn't like Rachel McAdams? She's harmless and beautiful and starred in maybe the most beautiful love story of all time. Plus she dated Michael Sheen for awhile and I've had this weird thing for him ever since he guest-starred on 30 Rock.

Bottom line: Of course it's endorsed. Who the fuck am I not to worship Rachel McAdams?

If you were worried for my sake, thinking how heartbroken I'll be on the off-chance my boyfriend meets any of these people in Colorado, it's okay. Because I'd leave him for these people:

1. Adam Scott

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Here's another true story: I read a historical romance once when I was an impressionable teen and the main character's name was Adam and I was convinced I wanted to marry a man named Adam. So it's kind of fate. His sharp looks just clench the deal.

Logan's bottom line: He gets it. But probably because I've told him his Parks and Rec character reminds me of him.

2. Keira Knightley

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Is there a more perfect woman than Keira Knightley? (That was a rhetorical questions. There's not). She's so goddamn pretty I want to skin her and wear her like last year's Versace (thanks for that, Dina).

Logan's bottom line: "Meh. Don't really understand it." (Ugh, we're so through.)

3. Kristen Stewart

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This is a divisive one I know, but I love Kristin Stewart. You think she's awkward? Don't even care. Not everyone can be bubbly and outgoing and if you had an opinion on Kristen Stewart, let this video shit all over it. Tell me she's not endearing.


Logan's endorsement: "Yeah I can see that." (Good enough for me.)
  
4. Jake Johnson

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He has one of those perfect boyfriend faces, where you can just see yourself with him. Not intimidatingly attractive but still really attractive. How does that even work?

Logan's bottom line: Meh. (Fair enough).

5. Jared Padalecki

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Okay, so this one is kind of seasonal. We just got into Supernatural and I waver between Sam and Dean, but usually end up on Sam because he doesn't say the stupid things Dean does. Plus, how cute is he?

Logan's bottom line: "I don't know how you get past the puppy dog eyes." (Said like a true Dean fanboy. Which he is).

So who are your Freebie Five? Do you know your boyfriend's/girlfriend's?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday's Forgettable Five #5


1. Richard Dawkins spreading his superior man logic around Twitter.


WHO ARE YOU FIGHTING AGAINST, DAWKINS? Are you upset that other people are upset about date rape? My favorite part is the implication a person isn't rational if they don't agree. If you think that's a good argument, go away and learn how to argue. (See what I did there, Richie?) The problem here is that it quantifies rape based on one guy's perception of what's worse. Actually, friend, you have no idea how a person will react to being raped and it's pretty terrible to essentially tell a person who's been date-raped, "well HEY at least you weren't raped at knifepoint!"

Also, uh, date rape is far more common than stranger rape. It's kind of a problem and yet it's not taken nearly as seriously. Tweets like this? They don't help. You know what date rape means? It means you were raped by someone you know. That's traumatizing. Why are we trying to minimize that?

2. That another celebrity attempted to punch Justin Bieber. And missed. Seriously, Orlando? I mean, kudos. Here's something to ponder: I wonder if Justin Bieber feels any shame that the entire world thinks he a silly, little, entitled shit or if he's so insulated by yes-people that he doesn't even get it. Would he still be a little shit if he didn't grow up as a celebrity? QUESTIONS.

3. Hilary Duff released a new song. About fucking time, Hilary.


I guess I missed that point in her life when she was an office drone. Just kidding, Hilary. Don't take this as an insult. I still listen to So Yesterday.

4. That Fox News pawn who called Bachelorette Andi a slut for sleeping with more than one castmate. Wait all those crazy kids have sex in the fantasy suite? My thesis on how you can find true love on The Bachelor(ette) has been totally blown. I will never again be able to watch this show knowing it's a fuckfest.

5. Seeing yet another celebrity post a vacation picture of themselves drinking out of a goddamned hollowed fruit and knowing if I wanted to do the same thing, I'd have to go buy a pineapple, scoop out all if it's insides and then go spend $50 more on the alcohol mix that needs to go inside.

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Happy Weekend, ya'll. If you haven't entered this giveaway yet, you really should. We just want to give you Kate Spade.