Victoria Secret Fashion Show… Why?

I don’t have cable.  There are times when that is saddening and I feel out of the loop, but other times, I am grateful that there are certain TV programs I will be able to avoid for good.  No chance of accidentally flipping the channel and landing on Keeping Up With The Kardashians and getting sucked into a vortex of stupidity.

Another television program that has me thanking my small paycheck and insufficient funds that I can’t afford cable is the Victoria Secret Fashion Show.  For Gods sake ladies, put some layers on, its December.  The whole event is over the top and eye-roll inducing.  It is fundamentally one big product placement, and yet most of the lingerie you see on the runway isn’t actually sold in stores.  From the large wings, the diamond bra, and the kiss blowing, this spectacle is a no go for me.

This year’s joke of a show featured the usual lip-syncing performances, the glitter drowned runway, the models with that “naturally” wavy hair and tanned skin but it also featured offensive lingerie.  Although edited out before it aired due to backlash, in the calendar portion of the show, Miss November wore an indian headdress and Navajo themed panties.  Ah yes, America.  how did Victoria Secret not think Native Americans would be offended?  The headdress she is wearing is meant for the Chief of a tribe, an immense honor and tradition and here she is just parading it around as fashion trend with little else to complete the outfit.

These women don’t represent America, they only represent the fantasy of the 13-year-old boys across the Nation watching.  Their ribs are showing, I literally cannot find an once of fat on their bodies which leads me to believe they’ve got to be freezing.  Chances are little girls or young teens are watching this and thinking, ” I want to be that skinny” or “I want to do that someday”.  No thanks.

Suburgatory

Im not really a sitcom person, the laugh tracks, the campy plots, they don’t really draw me in.  However, the ABC comedy  Suburgatory is a gem among rocks.  The show centers on a teen girl whose single dad has relocated them from New York City to the outside suburbs.  Two worlds that clearly do not mesh.  The show is funny, I mean really funny.  With supporting roles played by Chris Parnell of SNL fame and Cheryl Hines of Curb Your enthusiasm the talent is deep. The young talent featured in the show is outstanding as well.  Jane Levy who plays the main character, Tessa, perfectly portrays the characters struggle adjusting to suburban life with just the right comedic timing.

But the real star of the show in my humble opinion is Allie Grant who plays Tessa’s best friend Lisa.  Her character cannot even be described in words.  Her skills are a force of nature, and far beyond her years.  Her sass and general rage towards other characters is something I strive towards.

So rather then me say, “tune in guys, this show is awesome” just give it a chance, because you will giggle, you will.

Insecurity

My white legs, that part of my stomach that just points outward a bit too much, my teeth.  This is a list of my physical insecurities.  I have no problem revealing my insecurities to the world of blogging because honestly you could be Gisele and you would still find something wrong with your appearance. Its just human nature for us to find flaws in ourselves.

A friend of mine recently finished a photo project in which she shot profiles of people’s insecurities.  They were simple, with neutral background and pure lighting.  Each person revealed their insecurity for the camera and allowed themselves to embrace themselves, flaws and all.  The artist’s goal was to open a conversation up about the universality of our flaws.  The things I don’t like about myself may seem personal to me but they are things that many others probably have trouble with as well.  Being pale isn’t specific to me, there are others whom the sun hates.  Having an issue with your stomach is certainly a common insecurity and yet we all still try to hide these things about ourselves.

The most confident people are those who look at their insecurities and see them as parts of themselves that make them a snowflake, unlike any other human.  I hate using the phrase, “this generation” but its necessary here to make my point, and that is that my peers and I seem more then any other generation before us to be accepting of our different and maybe flawed traits.

So Millennials, I commend you and your pudgy belly.

The Women, They Rock

I live for the sound of a great song.  The first time you hear a tune and feel that instant tingle of joy from the beat to the instrument to the voices.  That very feeling is a source of pure utopia for me and I assume for many others.

The sound a female vocalist is especially heavenly.  The female presence in indie and alternative music is extraordinary and inspiring.  Im not talking about Britney Spears or Rihanna, Im talking pure artists with songs and vocals that cut right to your core.  Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” still sends shivers down my entire body, and she wrote that when she was only seventeen.  I connect with their subject matter, their pain, their happiness.  They are women who lived lives similar to mine at this stage.  Never the popular girls, most of them were and still are the weird kids and I love them for all their oddities.

the quality of their voices and the stories behind their songs are uniquely gorgeous. Artists like St. Vincent and Regina Spektor have sounds that are strange, beautiful, and sad all in one melody.

    

Other female artists are joining together and making chill, infectious, and badass music.  Bands like Vivian Girls and Dum Dum Girls have a sound that infuses California cool with the female rage and angst.  They’re the kind of girls you wish you were but also the kinds you would never cross.

The women of indie music are my idols, women who aren’t afraid and if they are they put it into a song.  Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast wrote an entire album about her broken heart.  That album struck my heart, every song seemed to tap into some emotion or experience I had been through.

The same can be said for artist Feist.  Hailing from Canada, her etherial voice and honest lyrics are why she has been so successful for so long.  She writes simple songs with melodies of joy and words of pure happiness.

All these ladies give me glee on nice days, comfort in sad ones, and hope for future days.  I can see with 100 percent confidence that I love women.  I love our spirit, I love our perspectives, and I love that we can love and celebrate each other and our share experiences.

A Personal Touch

We live on the screen.  Our computer screen, our TV screen, our phone screen.  My eyes hurt right now just looking at my lit Macbook.  However, there is another way in which we can connect with our world.  Letters.  Sounds very old fashioned of me doesn’t it, but I have a friend who is currently doing a letter writing project for his senior graphic design course and it got me thinking that letters are a lost art.

In times of war, letters are a connection to a soldier’s family, a way to feel comfort.  Before phones were common and the internet was in every nation, letters were our mode of communication.  Each letter is unique to not only the writer but the receiver.  A person’s handwriting, and choice of words can be a window into who they are.  A letter more than any other form of communication (except for face-to-face) feels intimate, personal, and loving.  Even a letter of sadness can bring closure to a person.  A letter of happy news can bring joy.  Any letter shows thought and care because someone took the time to write it, pick out the perfect stamp, and send it to you.

My friend Gerald who has been working on this project is a genius.  A thoughtful genius.  The idea was that he would send out personalized letters to friends and peers who provided their address in the hope that they would send something, anything back to him.  He then compiled his mail and is in the finishing stages of binding a book that includes letters, drawings, envelopes, excerpts from books, and so much more.

His project has encouraged me to let go of some of the digital world I cling onto so often.  As I inch closer to the end of my academic semester, with some free time in store, I think I’ll write a few letters to far away friends and remind them that there is more then screens.

Ain’t it Jay?

Im in a full blown hip-hop phase, and I don’t think it will ever end.  I’ve moved past the education portion of the phase and dived right into the never stop listening section.  But let it be known that hip-hop is not new to me, its been in my life to some degree ever since I can remember.  One artist who has been on the charts in all that time is Jay Z.  His music and reputation have evolved as trends and music change and yet he stays on top.

His music isn’t the only thing that keeps him in the spotlight though.  His marriage to superstar Beyonce and his successful business endeavors make him a king among stars.  So many artists want to work with him and those who do most likely reach stardom themselves.  Those who work with Jay Kanye West to J. Cole, from Kanye West to J. Cole and now Rita Ora all seem to achieve superstar levels.

With all his power and fame you would think he might be conceded or egotistical but on the contrary, Jay Z has never lost sight of his New York roots.

The Fashionable Man

They’re pretty.  They look like a delicate flower. They where tailored clothing. So who are they? They are the male model.  Think of them as Ken dolls who went on a bit of a diet.  On the runway they wear heightened versions of fashion, thats really the point of high fashion. The general male population seems to be catching onto their best looks and pieces.

shows like Mad Men highlight how beautifully and suave men dressed in decades past. However, fashion is ever-changing and in more recent years it has felt like personal style has taken a lazy turn.  Now though, the trend of men dressing in tailored suits and sleek looks is back and I could not be more happy.  Their fitted dark jeans slightly cuffed, perfectly tailored button ups, chukka boots, and unique ties drive me crazy, in a good way.  Men are really starting to pull themselves together, making any woman look twice, three times, or more.

Male fashion blogs, clothing companies, and brands are paying attention to the trends and producing looks that the men will love.  Companies like Urbane Menswear, which resides right here in Austin, TX has tapped into the stylish man trend and is making clothing that is refined and classic.

As a woman who would love to have a male counterpart who complemented my personality and style I commend this trend.  Just look around the St. Edward’s campus or the city and you are sure to find plenty of sharp dressed me.

In conclusion:

Don’t Call Me Sassy

“Do I sound too cynical?”  This is the question I ask myself almost every time I write a post.  In general I am an easy-going and laid-back person but there is always a slight undertone of sarcasm and cynicism in my language and writing.  I can’t help it; I was raised in a family that taught me to be tough and to keep my guard up.  My uncles hazed all the nieces and nephews and as we grew up we realized they had made us immune to bullies and it had made us strong.

That mentality has certainly carried over into my writing and while I think it has become a positive part of my style as a writer, I also think at times it may turn people off.  My writing is sometimes judgmental of the world around me, and while I see it as only putting my opinions and experiences into words, some may see it a little different, maybe mean even.

To be clear that is not my intention.  My intention is to present entertainment news and events in a style and perspective all my own and if that style happens to be a bit dark then so be it.  The phrase “You can’t please everyone” rings so true for bloggers.  I write from my point of view and if I tried to change that I might not be as satisfied with the work I produce.

If women like Tina Fey, Gilda Radner, and Amy Poehler had listened to their harshest critics at the start of their careers then they may not be the icons they are now.  These women wrote jokes and skits and sometimes they weren’t all unicorns and rainbows.  They took their greatest challenges and turned them into something funny and entertaining.  They inspire my writing and while sometimes I may need to scale back the disenchanted voice, I feel as though my challenge is an advantage really.

Also, please..please don’t call my writing sassy, its not exactly a term of endearment in my cynical and dark opinion.

Writing what you love

When a person decides they are ready to delve into the chaotic world that is entertainment journalism they make ask for advice.  Its like when I decided I wanted to take photography courses and I asked my best friend, a photo-communications major what class I should take, who I should take them with, and what to expect.  These same questions should be asked about writing entertainment pieces.

But just in case you don’t ask all the right questions I am here to give you one crucial tip.  That is, write about what interests you.  If you love reality television then delve into that hobby and turn it into a journalistic journey.  If you find yourself fascinated by history as the radio journalist Ira Glass is, then write about history as much as you can, and from a new and fresh perspective.

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Journalists like Melissa Block of NPR and Garrison Keillor host of A Prairie Home Companion have been doing what they are doing for so long not only because they are good at it but also because they love it.  If one was uninterested in a topic then they couldn’t cover stories about it for long or with much style.  Your personal style as an entertainment journalist and a writer have to come from you and I find that if you are covering a subject you have great interest in, your writing will speak true to who you are.

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Write because you love to write and find a topic that will fulfill who you are as an entertainment journalist.  Entertainment doesn’t have to fit into some perfectly packaged definition, what is entertainment to me may not be to someone else, but find your niche and you are sure to also find your audience.

Royal Baby

About a year and a half ago the world watched as Prince Charming, I mean William and his beautiful lady Kate Middleton wed at Westminster Abbey.  It was a happy occasion for all of UK and the world.  When there is always so much death and sadness that plagues the news it was just the lift we all needed.  It also gave us a real life fairytale.  The Prince and Kate, a “commoner”, met while attending university together in Scotland at St. Andrew’s.

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The world watched as their friendship grew to love, then watched as they split and then reconciled.  Ultimately their ups and downs were rewarded with happiness in the form of a gorgeous wedding and whimsical love story.

The world has not taken their eyes off the couple after the wedding either.  From the time they said “I do” everyone wondered when their family would  begin to grow.  Like any female celebrity, The new Duchess was constantly on the baby watch.  If she had a big lunch the papers would be sent into a tizzy.

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Finally though, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the world’s real Cinderella and Prince Charming are expecting their first child and everyone has something positive to look for in the news again.