All posts filed under: rant

Email Lists Are Eating Your Brain

Or at least, your attention. From a quick glance at my inbox, the last 30 emails I’ve received include messages from: DSW Target Bed Bath & Beyond DSW (again) Bed Bath & Beyond (AGAIN) Glossier Urban Outfitters Blue Q Kate Spade EGGIE Why? What value are these emails adding to anyone’s life? There is a really interesting podcast about the commodity of attention and how companies are encroaching on our mental spaces for profit. When we see these emails every day (sometimes multiple times a day) we are being bombarded by messages designed to make us consume more. They want us to experience FOMO. To buy something we don’t need. I touched on this a bit in my article about fast fashion, but companies are manipulating our desires to increase our consumption. And why shouldn’t they? They exist to make money and by subscribing to these emails you are inviting them into your headspace to sell you things. Those crazy sales still exist without the announcements in your inbox. Those coupons aren’t worth it if they are making you …

On Slipping Up & Revisiting Goals

Here we are, a little more than halfway through the new year, and many ambitious goals have fallen by the wayside. I know that personally, I haven’t managed to write every night, practice French for 30 minutes every day, or even work out five times a week. And when you realize you haven’t been keeping up with your goals, your gut reaction is to feel shame or give up entirely because “it’s too late now.” Yeah, well, tell your gut to shut up. Goals are incredibly important to have if you want to accomplish anything and evolve as a person. Writing things down and breaking them into steps brings focus and direction into your life (which, otherwise, is just a chaotic swirl of events). But life is messy and we aren’t robots! There is no shame in reworking your goals to be more manageable because your reality isn’t what you idealized six months ago while you were drunk and setting off party poppers. Any progress is better than no progress. Most importantly, there is no such thing …

A Year Without Fast Fashion

If someone asked you how many seasons there are in a year, what would you tell them? Probably four, right? In fashion, there are 52 seasons every year. Does this sound ridiculous? Because it should. Once upon a time there was a summer fashion season and a winter fashion season and people would update their wardrobes with the changing weather (which MAKES SENSE), but those days are long gone. Major fast fashion retailers (Forever21, H&M, Topshop, and many others) want you to feel like you’re behind in the trends. They thrive off of our insecurity–need it, actually, to continue to see upward growth in their incredibly wasteful business. This isn’t just a confidence problem; the trend of fast fashion is bad for our personal finances, our environment, the people actually producing our clothes, and our wellbeing. To touch quickly on each point I just mentioned: On average, we spend $1700 on clothes every year, but our shopping habits are fundamentally much more damaging than this. We buy a lot of stuff (clothing, knick-knacks, houseware) so we …

Our Country, Our Campus

  Editor’s Note: As the inauguration of the USA’s 45th president draws near, I thought it would be prudent to revisit an article I wrote for the University of Illinois on how our campus reacted to election day.  On November 8th, 2016, our country stood divided as Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States. Across our campus, many sat in front of their screens in stunned silence as the results rolled out in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Many took to tears and tequila shots. Still, many others celebrated as their choice candidate took his victory lap. This election has brought up a theme of division more than once, and that long night highlighted the disconnect in our country and in our campus. However, while those opposed to Trump might have lost the election, they were far from defeated. Marches, protests, and solidarity events have been happening across campus for the last ten days in protest of our president-elect and the arguably outrageous propositions made during his campaign. The Mexican …

Sophomore-itis (and losing yourself)

For some reason, I was under the impression that sophomore year in college was going to be easier than the first. In some ways it is (I have a closer friend group and a job now) but in other ways, it feels like a constant uphill battle. I have to juggle harder classes, a double major, family obligations, raising my kitten, a new job, multiple organizations, and finding an apartment for next year that is 1.affordable, 2. close to campus, and 3. allows pets (welcome to my nightmare). I know my problems are small compared to what others have to deal with, but it all feels like too much sometimes. And, judging by what my friends have said, I’m not the only one who walked into their second year of college feeling clobbered. In all of this chaos, I’ve noticed it’s harder to prioritize my passions (as we can see by my month-long hiatus) and by putting them on hold I’ve started to drift apart from myself. Does that sound weird? It makes sense in …

Calling All Curly Girls

This afternoon I was procrastinating writing a paper by scrolling through Twitter, when I saw this girl mocking the idea that white girls can have curly hair. Now I, having 3a-3b curls my whole life, replied that it was possible to only use water to “make” our hair curly. The girl got very agitated (I think she called me a “2b wavy haired bitch”) after that. So here’s what I want to say… All curls are beautiful. Whether you have 2a or 4c curls, your hair is gorgeous and you should be proud of it. However. There is no hierarchy. IT’S HAIR. Having kinkier curls does not make you a “REAL” curly girl and having waves doesn’t make you less of one. Attacking people or saying only certain genders/races/ethnicities can have curly hair is ridiculous. Of course it’s going to look different on everyone. Of course we’re all going to have different experiences and struggles with it. But invalidating someone else’s appearance to fuel your weird superiority complex is wrong. We have to stop putting down others to …

How many likes until you love yourself?

Today began with licking sticky blackberry jam off fingers and eating creamy avocado smothered on toast. Next, a banana and cauldron of coffee with swirling clouds of almond milk poured in. As I ate I scrolled through my morning Insta feed. Lately, I’ve been purging my feed of any “junk” accounts that don’t inspire me, but of course there are some people you can’t unfollow (whether they’re your cousin or roommate) without some awkwardness. These obligation follows are where trouble begins to stir. How many of you have ever gotten a message from someone telling you to go like their new selfie on Instagram or retweet their latest anecdote on Twitter? How many of you have heard crap like, “If this picture doesn’t get fifty likes in an hour, I’m deleting it.”? How many times have you been told what you should comment on someone’s status? Have you ever done these things yourself? Because I used to. Once upon a time, I was so obsessed with maintaining this pristine online presence that I’d freak out if someone …