Happy (Almost) All Hallows Eve

*Warning the picture below may be offensive to some

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What isn’t there to love about Halloween?! Dressing up in hilariously ironic costumes, eating tons of candy and feeling no shame, pumpkin cookies, roasted pumpkin seeds, carving pumpkins, bingeing on Disney Original Halloween movies, you watched as a kid, like Halloweentown or even better Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge.

For kids, Halloween is the beginning of a 3 month sugar high as Thanksgiving and Christmas roll in. As an adult Halloween turns into yet another holiday to drink and dress in skimpy outfits. Halloween has turned, as most holidays do in America, a marketing campaign for consumerism. We forget that in actuality Halloween has a dark history going back hundreds of years rooted in religious and pagan practices/beliefs. The History Channel decided to reveal the “Real Story Behind Halloween” to trace back how it all started and why some traditions stuck. And it’s so cool!

Size Matters…According to Society

Buzzfeed is one place you can count on for a laugh, but they also use this platform to mix humor with current social/cultural issues. The pressure placed on women’s bodies by society is no laughing matter. The over-stimulation of media informs young girls that they have to look at certain way, when that standard of beauty is digitally enhanced.

However, media is not the only culprit…

In my psychology of gender and sex roles class we learned that socialization (learning norms, customs, and ideologies to participate within his or her own society) of gender roles/expression is done through 4 socializing agents.

1. Parents: The most important source since your parents are the key to early childhood development

2. Teachers: Who become role models

3. Peers: They provide and encourage gender role norms

4. Media: Which presents gender-ed imagery

The same can be applied to how women view their bodies. A mother’s relationship with food or her body directly affects how their daughters view their bodies. Unconsciously, her insecurities are being passed onto others. Language is also very important phrases like “should you be eating that” “you already had one” or “maybe you shouldn’t wear that” are triggers for potential body issue or worse an eating disorder. Friends can also be toxic. I cannot remember the times my friends in High School would call themselves fat but then turn around if I did and say “oh my god you’re not fat.” It was clear that these girls weighed about 30 pounds less than I did. Luckily, for me this phase passed in college. I became more aware of our body hang ups and change what language I used to describe myself and others. Unfortunately for others their body issues are deep rooted and may never heal, which is incredibly sad since we only have one life and to spend it miserable is a heinous crime.

“Pageantry of Vanity”

I feel like a common theme in my academic papers in college and on this blog is the current and on-going debate about our reliance on technology,and how it affects our personal relationships. Prince Ea, is an American rapper, music video director, and rights activist in St.Louis Missouri. He absolutely nails the problem within our society on the head.

I am guilty of having my phone attached to me. Constantly responding to emails, texting, Instagram, and my weakness Snapchat. Our phones are our constant companion, but what purpose does it serve when we are looking at what in going on in the internet sphere rather than looking up and seeing all the quirky, beautiful, interesting things happening right in front of us. I hate walking into a coffee shop or subway, and seeing every single person either on their phone or computer. Even worse when I see babysitters at the park staring on their phone rather than living in the magical world kids create. Small talk seems obsolete these day.

Unfortunately, we are in the generation of media over-stimulation where self-worth is measure by how many likes or followers we have. What happened to gaining self-worth through the sports we played, or projects we created? I was born in 1992, so I was lucky enough to avoid cable, Facebook, and other social media sites until late high school early college. The generations after us are not that luckily. BUT something that we forget is that WE have the CHOICE not to engage or at least not engage as much, to not be controlled.

So I have taken on my own personal challenge. Currently I am in New Jersey visiting a friend from back home, and my challenge is to not use my phone/computer for updating social media sites. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and limited texting from the time I got off the train to the time I get back on the train. So far it has been working out well. Since this is quick trip it will be only 24 hours. I want to enjoy the time I have with my friend since we cannot get together very often. Rather than constantly checking my phone I chose take in what I experience on this trip, not capture it.

I’ll let you know how it goes..

Do you think we are too reliant on technology? Would you take the challenge to unplug?

The Next Step…

As my last semester of college comes to a close in the next few months I am bombarded by the proverbial questions of curiosity by friends, family, and co-workers of, “What do you want to do?” “What kind of jobs are applying to?”  “Are you going to stay in the city?” “What are you going to do if you don’t find a job?” All these questions are something we are all guilty of asking an upcoming graduate. We are all curious about what others are up to, so these questions while at times are annoying to hear are natural. However, the answer that I want to give them only receives quizzical looks as it doesn’t give a concrete material plan.

I want to be happy

There is no concrete plan at this point due to the fact that companies won’t really be looking, until Late October/ Early November, to fill positions for the New Year, and my plan is job first then apartment. I have some time, but my point is that there is so much pressure and emphasis on recent college graduates to find the “perfect job” and start paying off those loans. Think about it you’ve been in school for around 18 years of your life, that fact alone sends shock waves to the system. Although college is where you figure out who you are and what your interests are, so many other things consume your time at college that when graduation comes you are left clueless.

Which brings me to the trailer above you. I find myself spending hours watching recently added movie trailers on Hulu and came across this gem, Hector and the Search for Happiness. Novel turned film, it serves as an inspiration for me as I enter the next stage of my life. Will I be traveling all over the word in pursuit of happiness. No, but I know the basis of what makes me happy and after I graduate I want to keeping building on that foundation. It will be stressful, yes, but it’s worth it.

New Blog!

“If you do what you love, the way will always open.” – Humans of New York

Hi All!

My new blog Rough Guide to Life http://roughguidetolife.wordpress.com/ is finally up and even has quite a few posts on it. I would love to get your feedback, and like I said I won’t be neglecting this blog. This blog and you all are very important for me.

Thank you for being patient! Now that I have my personal blog down pat, I can update this blog more often.

Is this for real?!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/liza-de-guia/smokable-herbal-tea_b_1311131.html

Living in Brooklyn you learn to live with some kooky things, but this just takes the cake. We can no longer just enjoy a nice, pipping hot cup of tea anymore, now we have to smoke it.

What can arguably be the most new agey, hipster trend ever, is actually pretty cool. Don’t get me wrong its crazy, but those seeking a more natural vice, this product is for you. Liz Neves, the founder of Raganella’s Botanical Solutions, doesn’t just sell smokable tea. She creates tons of natural drinkable teas and rubbing oils. Her most popular blend enacts lucid dreaming.

So whether you think she seems a little out there or not, her product is selling like hotcakes so she must be doing something right!

If you do find yourself curious about the effects of smoking tea check out this article here: http://www.smokingeffectson.com/effects-of-smoking-tea-good-or-bad/

http://www.smokingeffectson.com/smoking-tea-bad/

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Unlikely Pairing

9/11 is a time for reflection. To remember lives lost, but also the survivors. Yesterday, I went to an amazing lecture on Garry Winogrand, who was a famous NYC street photographer. His photographs of American Life spans from the 1950s to his death in 1984. Winogrand currently has an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and I was lucky enough to hear Leo Rubinstein, friend of Winogrand and curator of the show, speak about Garry who he was and what his vision of America was.

It would seem unlikely that 9/11 and a man who passed long before 9/11 have anything in common. However, what chokes me up about Winogrand’s photographs and the remembrance of 9/11 is that they both emulate a nostalgia of a New York that once was. More importantly, of an America that once was. Winogrand documented a critical change in America from the Cuba Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, Counterculture, and ‘White Flight,’ to name a few. He himself was fearful of a nuclear war, and I can’t imagine how he would have coped with the 9/11 tragedy. At the same time, I wish he was still alive as I would be curious to see how he would go about photographing this change. Winogrand was never one to tell you what his photographs were suppose to mean. A lot of the time he said they had no meaning, that simply his job was to document. To document the everyday people on the street to political conferences. He just wanted to document the change, the pain, and happiness happening in America.

America changed on that morning in 2001, and can never go back. Even though I was young, I knew whatever was going to happen next it would never be the same.

So while this is a time of reflection, it is also a time of celebration. So I ask you to take the time and check out some of Winogrand’s photographs, (even if on Google Image) and if you are in NYC the exhibition will be open until the 21st of this month.

For more info on the show click here: http://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-museum/press-room/exhibitions/2014/garry-winogrand

Neglect

Hi All!

I am so sorry, I know I haven’t posted in about a month. It has been a crazy summer, but bear with me! I am currently taking a blogging course this semester at Pratt Institute,  and have been working on a new blog “Rough Guide to Life-Finding Bliss in the Daily Grind.” (Link to come) It will be a more personal blog exploring spirituality. HOWEVER, I will never leave this blog. I will still be posting once my new blog has launched.

I hope you will continue to follow my blog and check out my new one to tell me what you think!

See you soon!

Wait for L Train

It has been exactly 20 days since the “controversial” video ‘Brooklyn Girls’ was released. With that came immediate outrage, dubbing Catey Shaw the “Rebecca Black of Brooklyn Gentrification.”

 

http://noisey.vice.com/blog/catey-shaw-brooklyn-girls-video

Of which I agreed, this truly was not a representation of what Brooklyn is. Though I have only been here for 4 years I have come to love Brooklyn for its vast diversity of cultures and subcultures. This video, to me represented the phrase, ‘what people think when I tell them I live in Brooklyn.’ The gentrification of Brooklyn is a reality. Slowly the raw beauty that gives Brooklyn its charm is being choked by high-rises and cutesy coffee shops, of which none talks but instead stares at their computer screen. A topic that hit close to director Spike Lee during a presentation at my university.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/02/spike-lee-amazing-rant-against-gentrification.html

Since I am a new resident of Brooklyn, I have not witnessed the drastic change of gentrification, nor do I fully understand it. It is easy to get upset at Catey for misrepresenting Brooklyn, I did, but is she completely false? After my initial reactions I took a step back and laughed, because the neighborhood in which Catey is referring to Williamsburg/Bushwick is where you find girls who dress like so. A majority of the students that I am surrounded by everyday at Pratt are exactly what Catey says they are. I view it as a very catchy song,boarding on parody-esque, and not all of her lyrics are wrong.

Brooklyn Girls are…

-Pretty

-Listen to Jay Z

-Tough

-Drink on top of Brownstones (sometimes)

-Occasionally wait for the L train

- Have an undeniable edge

When Brooklyn Girls walk in they do rule the world, so don’t hate on Catey  Shaw rather view it as an opportunity to create dialogue about gentrification.

 

 

 

#Hashtag Nation

Tonight at work my co-worker, Arielle, and I got into a though-provoking discussion on the recent #hashtag campaign videos by women’s beauty products. The most recent being Pantene’s “Not Sorry #shinestrong” and Always’ “#likeagirl.”

While we both agree that these are important issues regarding not only how women are viewed by society but by themselves, it does seem like a competition between the beauty brands and to compete with the original catalyst for these type of campaigns with Dove’s ” Real Beauty #truebeauty.” What does a “hair so healthy it shines” tagline have to do with not being sorry? and what does the tagline “have a happy period” have to do with gender roles?

I don’t want this post to degrade in anyway what message these videos are sending because they are forcing society to react to this problem of how women are viewed. It is heartbreaking to watch grown women complete the actions given to them in such a ‘pansy’ way, while the young girls view themselves are strong, ready to take on the world-esque way. What happened between the age of the girls and women in the video? Why do we let society dictate how we view ourselves? What happened that we downgraded ourselves, puberty..bullying…what? Something is happening during that growth period that is really affecting how women view themselves in society and it absolutely needs to be addressed.

These videos are inspirational and I am glad that more brands are jumping on this band wagon at the same time it is hard to view oneself as strong and beauty when impossible beauty standards are being presented in their videos. Beautiful, young, skinny models. So while yes they are presenting flaws within our society, they are also apart of the problem which makes these videos in my opinion less credible than Dove’s.

Dove’s has always used the tagline Real Beauty and have made these type of video campaigns for years. They use real people of all body types and races to explore this idea of beauty and how we can change our mindset to not let society dictate how one views themselves.

I can only present on what was said during our discussion, it is up to you on how you feel companies are handling these issues.