#StopTheBeautyMadness Is A Call to Action: “Enough With the Impossible Standards!”

HyperReality

Many refuse to believe that we have an issue with body image, and many refuse to acknowledge the impact that mass media, including advertisements, television, film, music, etc., have on our perception of beauty; they claim “freewill!” and say that we have control over our own self-perceptions. To an extent, I agree, but for the most part, I disagree. Our perceptions of “self” are wrapped up in what we’ve learned throughout however long we’ve been alive, whether that’s from family members or other important people in our lives. But answer this: where do we think our parents learned about what’s acceptable? Society. Culture. Pop culture. Media. And media has also damaged how we view others.

It’s time to take that back. 

A new ad campaign has emerged and it’s provocative, controversial, and exactly the [large] dose of reality that we as a culture need so desperately. That’s where the brilliant #StopTheBeautyMadness comes…

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To Science Or Not To Science

The ever-closer prospect of college has caused me to reevaluate my life decisions and goals, which also includes my projected major and profession. I’ve been told it’s silly for anyone to expect an 18-year old to know what they want to do in their adult life. I’ve also been told I need to think about these things so I have some sort of direction and don’t ignore the future, which I have a tendency to do because I am incredibly nostalgic and hate the idea of growing up.

Going into the college search, I was certain I wanted to pursue biology with a concentration in molecular genetics. AP Biology was my favorite class in high school, and it’s interesting and cool. Science jokes, pick up lines, and puns make me excessively happy. However, I received my AP Chemistry score back today and received a 1. I remember the day of the exam I was really depressed and essentially gave up when I reached the open ended section, but…really? The lowest score possible?

Other things have also caused me to question my decision to enter the science field. My second favorite class in high school was AP English, in which I excelled notwithstanding it being considered one of, if not the most, difficult AP class in our school. I graduated with the highest overall grade average in English for my entire grade. My AP English Literature and Composition score was a 5. My ex once told me he knew I was good at science but never really knew that it interested or captivated me as much as, for example, English literature.

But was this last statement an accurate description of my feelings or a sign that, perhaps, he didn’t get me as much as I thought he did? Or is it neither, and simply a reflection that, though I love science, it’s not something I excessively fan girl over?

I have difficulty with self-esteem, and not feeling good enough often plagues me when it comes to the sciences. I’m terrified to begin my biology and chemistry courses in college for fear of being behind in my studies. However, what could I do with an English major that I would enjoy? I don’t want to be a teacher, and pretty sure I wouldn’t want to be a college professor. I don’t want some business job, unless it’s for something I’m actually interested in. Perhaps an editor or writer of some sort? But journalism has never intrigued me.

Furthermore, why should I let anyone else get in the way of what I want? If I want to be a biologist, even if I’m better at something else, who’s stopping me?

But what do I really want? That is the question.

Back to Reality

Spending four days at Wildwood with my two best friends was absolutely wonderful, and now it’s time to return to reality. Throughout these four glorious days, I acquired:

  • A black t-shirt that has the German emblem and “German” written on it in gold, black and red.
  • A Germany jersey (I’m a sucker when it comes to Germany. I’ve decided that after I graduate from college I’m going to travel to Germany so I can be there during the next World Cup).
  • A pound of fudge for my family.
  • A necklace with “ACP”, which stands for “Awesome Cool People”, the club my best friends and I created when we first met in 6th grade, engraved on a charm.
  • A sore throat, nausea, and mucus-filled eyes. Not sure why my body decided to get sick on the second to last day.
  • Deep fried Oreos (I’m sure they’re still swimming around in my stomach somewhere).
  • Some sunburn, though my friend got the worst burns on the first day; only the spots I lotioned for her, her back and shoulders, remained unscathed.
  • Rad vacation memories unblemished by alcohol or drugs.
  • A few selfies and pictures my friend took.
  • A CD of road trip music from my friend, who let me keep it after we came home.
  • Four books: Great Expectations, Dubliners, The Portable Shakespeare, and the Diary of A Young Girl. Yes, my friends and I managed to find the ONLY book store on the boardwalk and proceeded to rampage through it.

The post-vacation depression from this adventure is likely to be severe, so I am going to do my best to keep myself preoccupied, which will hopefully include more frequent posting and writing.

My Doll’s Eyes

Here’s a new piece I’ve been working on the past few days. It’ll probably go through more edits, but here is what I have so far.

My doll has bright eyes

and my eyes are their reflection

as we innocently spend our days

playing out our jubilation.

*

My doll’s eyes are dimmer

and therefore mine comply;

we play a little less each day

and my breaths have learned to sigh.

*

My doll’s eyes grow dimmer still

and mine will do the same;

though We no longer have fun

We still play silly games.

*

My doll’s eyes are dust-ridden.

The grime has covered their shine

the brightness completely abandoned

the luster lost in time.

*

And my eyes are no different;

they’ve surrendered their childish light.

If I wipe the dust away,

will it work for me too?

*

Whose eyes reflect whose?

#AskThicke Proves That Glorifying Rape Really Isn’t Cool, Score 1 For Human Decency

HyperReality

2013’s Song of the Summer was the mostly unexpected, hugely inappropriate “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, a song that both raced to the top of the charts, despite Thicke not having a hit since 2006’s “Lost Without You,” and glorified rape and promoted rape culture at the same time.

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Don’t believe me? Check out the lyrics:

OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you
But you’re an animal, baby, it’s in your nature
Just let me liberate you
Hey, hey, hey
You don’t need no papers
Hey, hey, hey
That man is not your maker

And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it

As if…

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Summer Goals

I essentially have three goals for this summer.

1) Learn “Let It Go” and other songs in German. I was torn when making class decisions for college on whether to take a) Shakespeare’s Sisters, an English seminar that I really did not need but would enjoy, or  b) German 201. If I enrolled in the latter  it would prevent the loss of any of my German skills by waiting to enroll in the class at another time.

I was really close to going with the English seminar, which I had my eyes on from the first time I looked at Gettysburg’s courses, but I ended up making the more rational decision and choosing German 201, which I believe I will love. I plan on taking an English course to fulfill one of the liberal arts curriculum goals, and using Introduction to Creative Writing as my arts requirement. My schedule at the moment, other than German 201, includes Math 111 (Calc 1), Bio 113 (the fall companion to an application-only research based course in the spring, Bio 114 Phage Genomics), and Chem 107 (Chemical Structure and Bonding). The schedule is pretty busy. Math 111 meets Monday thru Thursday; other than lectures, I have labs for both Bio and Chem and a German conversation/discussion once a week. However, I am very excited about all my classes.

2) Come up with at least one question to ask my Biology professor. He sent all of us (from the Bio 113 class) an email concerning general Gettysburg advising on housing, buying books, etc. He also discussed our homework over the summer, which was good, because I completely forgot about summer homework and would not have even thought to ask my other professors (which I will do now).

Finally, he said we are free to ask him whatever questions we want, whether it’s about college, our courses, or general science questions. I want to look at all the information he has sent us and ask a really good question; I’ve had issues with asking questions/asking for help in the past so I want to break that habit as soon as possible. A fresh start for college, yanno?

3) I want to speed walk as fast as my paint crew supervisor. I don’t think I have mentioned this before, but I did get the same summer job as last year, painting for the school district. He has decided to wait to name managers to see who can handle it all best, so I am not sure if I will procure this position. I am not a very take-charge type of person, which is why I am dubious of my chances. Besides, I don’t think I really want to be a manager anyway (grr stupid lacking ambition when it involves something new or taking charge).

Anyway, you do not understand this man’s speed. He does not even pump his arms-he just goes. You literally run to keep up with him or else he will turn a corner and you will not know where he went. The only way you know he is coming before he gets to you is the keys he keeps on his belt all the time jingle and jangle obnoxiously loud. You can hear him from down a hallway, which gives you just enough time to turn off any inappropriate music you may have been playing. Last year my friend’s IPod was magical. We had it set on the musicals station, and when the supervisor was not around it would play Avenue Q and Spamalot, but just before he would walk by it would play Aladdin or the Little Mermaid.

I digress. It’s good to have goals, right?