Monday, October 29, 2012

So...About Taylor Swift....

She's pretty, she's got catchy music, parents want their little girls to look up to her because in interviews she preaches acceptance and being confident in oneself and yada yada yada.

But let's look at the More-Pop-Than-Country Princess from a different perspective. T. Swifty is actually a tad bit of a hypocrite. And by a tad bit, I mean, she's a big hypocrite, and also, she's a slut shamer, which isn't really that great either. In fact, I have a few reasons why I don't really like Taylor Swift and I know there may be a lot of disagreement

First let's look at the hypocrisy angle. On her album "Speak Now" her song "Mean" is all about being oh so done with a person with a person who is absolutely terrible to her, and making sure that they know someday they will regret treating her so badly and talking smack about her music. Yeah, cool. Empowering. But it is quickly followed by another song that is all about a girl who stole her boyfriend, and she's "better known for the things she does on the mattress." That's not nice, AND its slut shaming. Yeah, maybe she does have a lot of sex. But why do you care, Taylor? And also, if I recall, "You Belong With Me" is a whole song about how much you want to steal some girls boyfriend. So why is it okay for you to do it? There's this thing called "The Golden Rule" and you should look it up. Because you obviously forgot all about it, or never learned it or something, I don't even know.

Ugh. I can't believe you wore those heels. So terrible.
I don't know Taylor, those are awfully short
Also, on the "You Belong With Me" note, in that song she criticizes the other girl for wearing short skirts and high heels, as well as being a cheerleader. Let's take a moment to point out what Taylor Swift usually wears, because its not jeans and sneakers. In fact, in most of her appearances, Taylor is usually sporting a shorter dress and some very over the top heels. I actually don't care, because I think she has a cute style. But you can't criticize females for wearing something and then go and wear it....also. And why does what a girl wear and what activities she participates in determine her morality? Obviously the band geeky, glasses wearing, bench warming version of Taylor in the YBWM video is more deserving of male attention because you're not a harlot like that other girl....I mean, if its okay for you to be a girly girl, why can't she? I don't get it. I have many other issues with that song like how it casts cheerleaders in the negative role (again) as well as any girl who embraces her sexuality, but we'll let this argument go to bed.

I'm also just really sick of her music that is overplayed and all the same. She has made a living off of writing trash talk set to music and most of it involves the virgin/whore dichotomy. And in the chance it doesn't involve that, there is either a break-up involved, or she's demonstrating her superb clinginess as a girlfriend. And in the event that she's pining after someone, she writes music about stealing someone's man. But as stated before, she really doesn't like it when people do that to her. But I doubt she'll be finding a new song topic soon, so we're doomed to hear her make the same mistakes over and over again. As VH1 put it

"She’s like one breathless, blond version of Groundhog Day – every time we see her she’s doing the same exact thing, and it’s grown damn old real fast."
         - Kate Spencer for VH1
On a really nit picky note, she also uses being a homosexual as an insult in her popular song "Picture to Burn". Not okay. I mean, you could spread all sorts of rumours about this guy who dumped you, but why are you resorting to telling people he's gay? First of all, I don't see how that's an issue, and second of all, you could be coming up with an actual reason to stay away from him, like, he has crabs or something. Let's be creative here, Tay.

And say what you want, but when I like an artist, I expect them to be just as good live as they are on the album that I spend my hard earned money. But that's just not true with Taylor Swift. Does anyone recall the time when she sang with the legendary Stevie Nicks and was off-key the entire time? Or how about any concert that she has ever sung at and been flat. Seriously girl. You write the music. You should be able to sing it. ESPECIALLY when they stick Stevie Nicks behind you. I wasn't okay with that arrangement in the first place, but you just made it worse.

And how many times can she make that face? You KNOW what I'm talking about. Cool, you won an award, but once you win I don't know. twenty seven in the same night, the face gets a tad old. And not to mention, fake. It's like when the most popular girl in the school wins prom queen and acts surprised. Its a bit patronizing and I know I'm not the only who is tired of it. Well, that and you flipping your hair around. How many more times are you going to do that? Because I'm waiting for you to severely hurt your neck or something. Just be careful, and hopefully you have a person holding a neck brace on standby.

Essentially, my dislike of Taylor comes from deep seeded hatred of hypocrisy and monotony. There I said it. And that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

These Are The Moments....


There are moments that I will never forget. These moments, glued into my mind like photos into a scrapbook, range from a simple look that was exchanged between two parties, to a decision that completely altered the way I live my life. In there is one hug, standing on a manhole covering, another is the first time I ever met my best friend. A lot of them are nights I spent doing absolutely nothing with the people I love most, and about twenty five percent of them are car rides with my grandma, listening to music, talking about life, and drinking coffee. Those memories are my magical summers, and my sunshine after the storm moments, they are times when I thought all hope was lost and then something happened to make it all better, and at least one of them is a kiss (and no, it’s not my first kiss, which was actually on stage). 
Five to ten of them happened in a theatre, one of them happened while I was in front of a camera, and another three while I was behind it. Sometimes there are no pictures with the memories, just smells. Like the smell after it rained for the first time after I got removed from my mother’s care. It smelled of clean - per usual - but that time it meant something different. It meant that I was clean too. That I was finally free of her grasp on my life and that’s why when it rained while I was walking home from school the next day I let it drench me. All the bad times were being washed away. It was beautiful. One of them happened tonight. It was a moment when I felt completely safe and realized that I should be allowed to feel that more often. 
But tonight I realized that most of them are really seemingly menial things. Which gives validity to the statement "it's the small things that count." Because they really do. Without those small things, like my sister Carissa and I spending that first night up at the spot, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I wouldn't have the friends I have, I wouldn't have had the amazing experiences I've had today. I wouldn't have done cheerleading, I wouldn't have gotten into theatre, none of it. Because there are really small things behind everything I've ever done. And I remember all of those small things. I remember all of this, and it's a gift and a curse.
A gift because later down the road I can think back on my life and remember those glances, hugs, laughs, tears, memories made, and smile to myself. I'll remember that I'm friends with Kimber Grunst because Cheyanne was gone from school and we both had no one else to eat with at lunch, that I'm friends with Cheyanne because she needed to use my eyes as a model for her wolf mask in 7th period art, and that the only reason I took art was because I wasn't allowed to take two English classes in the seventh grade. I'll remember proposing to Joanna ten minutes after we met, getting lost and asking Chandler to help me find Foley-Benson's class, Daryn, Melissa, and Maranda claiming me after they found out I was the new kid in school, and the first time I knew without a shadow of a doubt that Peyton Puryear was my friend. I'll remember the first time I made my RA laugh "you left for three minutes and now it’s a foursome!" and basically the moments when I made some of the best friends a person could ask for. 
And a curse, because I'll remember the exact moment when so many things fell apart. I'll never forget the exact feeling I got in my stomach the moment I found out that Carissa needed me one night more than she has ever needed before or since then. I remember the blood draining out of my face when I found out my Great Grandma's cancer has come back and she is going to let nature work its course. I remember the looks on the faces of my brothers when they were hungry and we couldn't afford food, and the way everyone I've ever seen cried the moment they experienced true heartbreak. And it will break my heart. Because some aches you just don't get over. And you have to learn how to deal with that. 
"Now Alexis," you may be saying, "you need to quit being so reminiscent. You live in the past too much. You need to bring yourself into the present." But I think its important to traverse down memory lane so often. There you can see where you came from, whether it be good or bad. You can revisit moments that defined periods of your life, or your entire life. I know whenever I'm upset I think back to the summer I first met Carissa and Johnny and we spent almost a straight week sleeping at "The Spot" and watching the stars, and then waking up with the sun. I think about the time my grandma got pulled over and we got distracted by these two deer walking straight up the face of a mountain, I think of finally making cheer at Omak, I think of going to Cinderella with my Aunt and Kamiah back in fifth grade, and just think of all the things that made life really okay up to this point. And whenever I'm about to make a big decision, I can look back on my very short 19 year long life and see how decisions similar to this one have affected me then and how they will affect me now. 
There are moments that I will hold onto forever, both good and bad, and they will help continue to shape me into the young woman and adult that I'm trying so hard to be. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Truth? You Can't Handle The Truth!

Dear Ladies of the World,

I'm sure that you'll agree with much of this.

Dear Men,

If you didn't know something contained in this post, I'm sorry.

Love, Alexis.

So as a female there is a certain time of month where I eat more than usual, I cry more than usual, humanity is more annoying than usual, and a small alien tries to claw its way out of my uterus. I'm not even kidding about that last bit. I'm convinced that there is an alien in my uterus. Anyways. This time of the month is commonly known as "having ones period" and it happens to most females. This is not, I repeat NOT a happy time. However, that is not what advertisements would have the general non-period having public believe. It cracks me up. So today we will be examining some things that happen in period commercials and then what actually happens.

Always brand has a really famous slogan. If you can't quote it, chances are, you're not a female, or you don't have a television. Anyways, "Have a Happy Period." Has been the slogan of this popular tampon brand for ages. Along with print ads like this:

Now that's a metaphor. 
So the whole point of this ad is to let you know that always brand pads bend and twist with the wearer. They follow up by wishing women "a happy period". Yeah. No. First of all....I admire any female that can touch their toes on their period. I can pull my leg over my head and do all sorts of crazy things but the minute I start having cramps have fun trying to get me to even stand up. We don't really need a pad that bends and twists with us....we need a pad that isn't so visible...just saying. And of course, this is my chance to address the blue water. What the heck is with the blue water? I mean, I know its so that we can tell what is being absorbed and everything, but blood and water do NOT have the same consistency  So unless I'm going to wear a pad in order to use it like a diaper, that whole demonstration does nothing for me.

I hope your tampon doesn't leak
you'll get eaten by a shark!
And then of course, we have tv and print ads which show the magical activities a female will do while on their period, if utilizing a certain brand of tampons or pads. If I use Playtex Sport I'll be unstoppable, and if I use Playtex Pearl I can outsmart Mother Nature, which means no leaks, and then I can go on a vacation to Hawaii or meet the love of my life on a cruise! Always makes me super flexible and makes it so that I can go out dancing and have fun and laugh with all my super awesome model friends, and holy hell, are you telling me that if I use Tampex I'll stand out from the crowd and be individual? Just by using a tampon that the world will NEVER see because apparently its a taboo to whip those out? Because periods are a magical time of the month where we go surfing, and rollerblading and all sorts of strenuous but awesome activities that we normally don't do. Heck, by the way periods are advertised we should start calling it "The Fun Time of the Month". Because holy goodness, those ladies in the commercial look like they are just really happy with their lives and everything going on in it, despite the fact an alien baby is ripping its way through their uterus. So men, I'm really sorry if you EVER believed those commercials. Because after a certain age you realize that females are not to be reckoned with during their period. And to anyone who is beneath that age, don't expect an adventure filled week every month. Expect this all the freaking time:

I told you aliens were clawing their way out of our uteri. Oh, and on top of that, add a lot of eating and crying.

Basically, tampon ads are liars. And why? WHY? I used to really look forward to getting my period. I was like, that looks awesome! Oh, how wrong I was. Well the whole reason is because most western society has issues with anything resembling leakage from the body, from sneezing to breastfeeding and periods, so what happens? Euphemism filled commercials about periods. I wasn't kidding when I said you can't handle the truth, America really can't handle the truth about periods. And hence, a lot of men are confused as to what a tampon even LOOKS like, and watching them try to buy them is seriously the best thing ever. Honestly, there are so many different options in tampon and pad land that its embarrassing and difficult to go to the store and just grab a package of tampons. Don't believe me? Watch this video where a boy tries to buy tampons for his girlfriend and asks for advice from men AND women, and leaves most people stumped.

What's also really interesting is that tampon ads really like to skip the whole anatomy part of periods. Like, they show women being all fun and stuff, but the commercials are filled to overflowing with euphemisms for what's actually going on. And it's awesome. Tampax likes to use the whole "Mother Nature and her Unwanted Gift" angle, and many others don't even describe the situation at hand, you just know. Because there is a girl wearing all white and she's caught in an embarrassing situation. And then it ends with "at least your tampon didn't leak".

What's really funny though, is that tampon companies actually can't use the word vagina in marketing, even in America, where we pretty much use whatever language we want when it comes to advertising and television. This ad by UbyKotex was actually banned from television because of the use of the word Vagina, and then, when it was reshot to state "down there" which I mean, come on, my fourth grade sister says that, it still wasn't allowed on television. Which is a shame, because its probably one of the most hilarious period related commercials I've seen in a while. Here you can see what I'm thinking is that ad that they finally allowed on tv, with no mention of vaginas at all, which is ironic, since that's where tampons go...but whatever.

In conclusion: There are no happy periods. Ever. Any girl who tells you that they are always happy on their period is a liar. A dirty, dirty liar. And that's also what most tampon ads are as well.

In closing, I offer a couple of my favorite responses to tampon ads ever. And I also hope that advetisers keep moving forward with this whole issue. Because heaven forbid they come up with more ways to say "I'm on my period." Because honestly, period euphemisms are something the world needs WAY less of. I'm so sick and tired of hearing people say they are getting a visit from "Auntie Flo" or some other crap like that. We are women, we bleed. It happens.

Why the I ♥ Boobies Campaign is Actually Offensive

Breast Cancer is an epidemic sweeping the nation. According to 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during her life. Think about that. Take eight people you know, and chances are, at least one of them is going to end up with breast cancer. In 2011, about 400,000 women were expected to die from breast cancer and 2.6 million survivors were alive and well in the U.S. It is the most diagnosed form of cancer in women, especially Caucasian women, and the cancer that kills the most African-American women under the age of 45. So it can be agreed upon the breast cancer is a terrible thing and that breast cancer research is very, very necessary.

So, kudos to all of the breast cancer awareness campaigns and fundraisers. They are much needed and can only help in this fight. However, there are some campaigns that although their intentions are good, may need new...advertising? I'm not sure if that's the word I'm looking for, but we'll run with it.

Anyways, there a couple of campaigns, such as the "Save the Ta-Tas" and the "I ♥ Boobies" (run by the Keep a Breast Foundation) campaigns are actually quite offensive.

At this point, reader, I expect that you're shaking your head and thinking to yourself, "really, Alexis? Now you're going to attack Breast Cancer campaigns? Does your shaming know no bounds?" And to you, my answer is yes.

While important to spreading awareness about Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Research, these campaigns are offensive because they are completely sexualizing breast cancer. The campaigns are basically saying "save the boobs because they're sexy!" Not, "save the boobs because women usually feel like they've lost a large part of their person and gender identity after they have a mastectomy." In fact, one of my biggest problems with the whole "Save the Ta-Tas" thing is that more often than not, the only way to actually beat the cancer is to LOSE the "Ta-Tas". Also, if there any women out there who actually refer to their boobs as "Ta-Tas" I would like to know, because seriously. Who, over the age of two actually says that?

Also, women's bodies are being exploited under this guise of larger corporations donating to charity. Think about it. Every October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. So everyone dons their pink clothes and their "I Love Boobies" bracelets and shop at stores and buy products that have a little pink ribbon located somewhere on or within them. That's right, while companies are saying that they are going to donate part of the profits to Breast Cancer Research they are still making a ton of money, at the expense of millions of women's boobs. And chances are, once those customers who originally bought the product to help a good cause, will get hooked on the product and come back for more, regardless of whether or not the money is going to charity. It's legitimately a marketing ploy for corporate America. To date, only $427,000 dollars has actually been raised. Why? Because only 5% of the gross sales ACTUALLY goes towards research.

Then of course there is the whole objectification thing. One of the worst parts of "Save the Ta-Tas" and "I Love Boobies" is that the campaign is reducing women down to their most recognizable feature, their boobs. This campaign is OBVIOUSLY used to attract men to the whole idea that Breast Cancer needs curing, not because of the millions of women whose lives would be saved, but because without that cure, there will be less boobs on the planet, and thus, less boobs for men to stare at. And on that same but different note, why the heck did the color for the whole thing have to be PINK? Yes, I'm aware that breast cancer is a predominately female disease. But why does that mean that it is completely necessary to have the symbol be such a quintessentially "feminine" color?

And as long as I'm being honest here, I feel like these campaigns make the whole idea of breast cancer almost trivial. The logos and the pink shirts and everything make breast cancer seem cutesy and fun. I mean, obviously there is NOTHING as enjoyable as having part of your anatomy removed. Also, yeah, it's cool that big sports teams are on board with the whole awareness thing, you may in fact see them wearing pink shoes, or tape, or pink something in order to raise awareness, but have you ever seen them fighting to end gender parity in sports reporting? Nope. I feel that this campaign is almost oppressive because the majority of men think that by raising awareness "for the cure" they are preaching gender equality, and that's just not true. In fact, because they are drawn to the more fashionable campaigns, they are actually regressing in terms of gender equality and going back to seeing women as boobs and skirts and pink, rather than as human beings who just want support while they are going through this life changing cancer.

So no, I will not advocate for saving ta-tas, saving second base, or your love of boobies. I will, however, let you know what you can do with that propoganda.

I also feel that in order to stop this sexualization and give men a taste of their own medicine we should think of an equally demeaning and objectifying campaign for Prostate Cancer Awareness. I mean, COULD YOU IMAGINE?

Disclaimer: Cancer is not something to joke about, I think that all forms of cancer are serious, and every campaign is helpful is spreading awareness. That does not mean, however, that I have to agree with them.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Why Obama and Romney Need to Go Back to Elementary School.

Note: This may be true of all politicians. It may not be. This also based off of the Second Presidential Debate (and some other random events) as I have yet to muster up enough courage to go watch the third one.

During the Second Presidential debate I, like many interested people and undecided voters tuned into to see what Governor Romney and President Obama had to see about important issues such as women's rights, especially where healthcare is concerned, the current state of our countries economy, unemployment rates, and apparently the AK-47 topic that was thrown in just for kicks.

What we as an audience got was an hour and a half long festival of indecisive Romney, sassy Obama, and two men who forgot some rules that most people learn in second grade. Rules like, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all," and "don't interrupt". I'm quite sure that the second grade teachers of these adult men were sitting in a living room somewhere writing lesson plans and shaking their heads. Because that's what I, and most of the social networking world were doing, sans lesson plans.

After watching the debate I went and did some research about social skills that are taught in elementary school. And what I found was not only a list of things that we are taught in second grade in regards on how to behave around other people, but it was also a comprehensive list of skills that Obama and Romney should probably work on.

  • Item #1 - Listen to Others

     A prime example of  "others" would be Candy Crowley, since she was Tuesday nights debate moderator.  When she states several times that it is time to move on and actually answer the question that was asked, you should probably listen, boys.

  • Item #2 - Follow the Rules

      So....I've written a list of rules broken during the debate.
           NO QUESTIONS TO THE OPPONENT: Rule 5e - The most frequent offender in regards to this was Romney, who broke rule 5e eight times when he turned and directly asked President Obama about the amount of permits he had cut in relation to fuel extraction. 
          PERSONAL SPACE VIOLATIONS: Rule 9c(iv) - Before the debate starts the campaigns set up a pre-designated space in which both opponents are allowed to move around in during the debate. They are not allowed to leave these areas and the areas can't overlap. If this rule was ever even so much as looked at, it was hard for me to tell, since a couple of times the opposing forces were chest to chest. Debate? More like a fist fight waiting to happen. 

         REFERENCING A QUESTIONER Rule 5c- Both candidates are guilty of this as well, but then again, Candy Crowley probably should have stopped them, since part of section 5 is rules about when the moderator can interrupt, and one of those times is when a candidate goes back and references any individual sitting in the room except for their family members. 

          TIME LIMIT VIOLATIONS Rule 7a(5f) - The way that the time is allotted (in a document signed by the campaign lawyers) goes as follows: Candidate A is asked a question and is given 2 minutes to respond. Candidate B then has two minutes to answer the question then 2 additional minutes to rebutt what Candidate A said in response to the question. Candidate A is then given 2 minutes for a rebuttal to Candidate B. Time and time again Obama and Romney ran over their time limits and one time Obama blatantly told Candy Crowley to wait. No offense Mr. President, but you need to shut your mouth and take a seat, its not your turn anymore. 

  • Item #3 - Take Turns When You Talk

    Someone went through and counted the number of interruptions in Tuesday's 90 minute debate. They reached 122. I imagine most of those came from Obama, but Romney definitely played a part in that as well. It's not nice to interrupt, boys. You'll get your four minutes of unshared camera time soon enough. Calm down.

  • Item #4 - Get Along with Others

      No, we don't like everyone, and I'm not even going to pretend this is EVER a rule followed during election season. Obama obviously dislikes Romney and vice-versa. If you couldn't tell that, check out Obama's tumblr, which holds the most popular post on the entire site, and listen to his one-liners. Romney reciprocates this dislike, obviously. I mean, have you ever seen Presidential candidates who liked each other?

  • Item #5 - Be Responsible for Your Actions

   Dear Governor Romney, we know about you and the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay act, we know about you and your flip flopping viewpoints so that you can get endorsements. We all know. You're in the public eye, and you should probably just realize that we're going to see everything you do. You can't pretend it didn't happen, because it did. Maybe you would have more support if you owned up to your mistakes and got rid of your binder full of women, because that's creepy.

   Dear President Obama, we know about the whole Libya attack thing and how you insisted for days that it was a spontaneous attack. We also know that you promised us some things that you haven't delivered on. When Romney calls you out on it, don't get so defensive. No, you didn't do everything, but you did a lot of things, be proud of those. But come on, man. Take some responsibility.

Before we pick a President we should stick him in the middle of a second grade classroom and make him relearn all of these lessons. I mean seriously, I can't take my President seriously if he can't follow the classroom rules. He would have so been stuck in the detention corner during recess if he was still in school.

And lastly, who wants to help me find this book
and send it to both campaigns?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012



So I've realized recently that I talk a lot about Chandler to people who don't actually have any idea who the heck he is, and I'm pretty sure might not really care, but I would just like to openly admit to the universe that Chandler is a big part of who I am today, and if he doesn't know that yet he should (oh gosh, I sound so mushy right now. Ick).

Anyways, today I will tell the story of Chanlexis.

When I was in 10th grade I transferred from Oroville High School to Omak High School. My first day was the day right before Christmas Vacation started. Anyways. That was the day I met Chandler, and I'm glad I met him in the morning because in the afternoon I got severely lost and he had to show me to class.

After that I didn't really think about him that much. When I got back after vacation I was too stressed with homework to really worry about it, or Tolo, which was coming up quick. But Chandler, not one to miss a dance, was thinking about it a lot. And he was also thinking about how he didn't have a date. In the weeks leading up to Tolo he approached me three or four times about going with him. Every single time we had the same conversation.

Chandler: "So have you got a date to Tolo yet?"
Me: "No..."
Chandler: "Oh, me either!"

Let's just talk about the abundance of awful hair here.
The day before the dance I guess he got sick of me avoiding of him, because as I walking out of Biology he basically pinned me against the wall and informed me that I was his date and that he would pick me up for the dance at 8:00. I had to call him later to tell him where to pick me up, that was comical. There was nothing romantic about him asking me, I'm pretty sure that he was sick and tired of me being obnoxiously vague about the whole ordeal and decided to take matters into his own hands. But hey, it worked. Anyways, we went to Tolo together, a dance where I earned the nickname "Thriller Girl" and we had our first kiss, and I sat through the most painful first date dinner I have ever experienced. I kid you not, reader, I actually considered climbing out the bathroom window and ditching him, but his friend who was at the same restaurant for dinner threatened to tell. I didn't know what to do. But of course, it must have turned out well, or we wouldn't have this story.

If memory serves me correctly that kiss was basically the declaration that we were dating, because he never really asked me to be his girlfriend. After that we just adopted the title of a couple, and it was great. There was an abundance of sass. Chandler is a very blunt, outspoken person. If you've met me, you know that I'm the exact same way. So together there was a lot of bluntness. The King and Queen of Sass if you will. The school year was filled with a lot of great events, there was the time I ran for student government and lost, and of course, Chandler was in my split and loyally wore one of the ugliest campaign shirts I've ever made or seen, and of course prom...there's not much else I can say about prom except for "oh, prom." We were together for the rest of the school year then, in a very dramatic phone call, broke up. There wasn't any "please don't go I love you" drama, just a lot of "ohmygod you're being so immature and we're so done" drama. Not gonna lie, it was mostly because of me. I get kind of crazy sometimes.

For a while it was awkward. We didn't really see each other much over the summer, but once school started and we were in advanced choir together, basically it was a reunion of the dynamic duo of sorts. Though we weren't dating, we were definitely back as friends, and it was glorious because I had someone to back me up when someone was getting in my face, I had someone to gossip with, I had someone to dance with, and I had my best friend back. Basically the rule with Chandler is, if you're there for him, he'll be there for you. And he was there for me when I had to watch one of my best girlfriends suffer through a family death. It was traumatic for her and really took a toll on me as well. So Chandler, ever the friend, got the convertible, and took me out to pizza and baseball. That's a memory I'll always keep close. The day Chandler made me feel better by taking me to my hometown to get some delicious food and I realized he knew EXACTLY what to do and say to make me feel better about myself.

Shortly after that, Chandler graduated, which was one of the saddest days ever, because I realized for the first time ever I was going to have to navigate high school without the person who actually showed me how to get around. Senior year was really lonely without him, but whenever he was in town he made sure to stop by and see me, and at the beginning of the year he came to some of the football games that we were out of town, so I got to see him there, too. And of course, he was at my graduation. I'm pretty sure that he stated "I only came to watch you! I'm so proud of you." Yeah. Best. Friend. Ever.

With the summer starting up before I went to college, I knew I had to make it something that I would remember for a really long time. Chandler and his family (who I happen to love, and I THINK they love me too) were away on vacation, but Chandler and I skyped frequently, and we talked frequently about all the things we were going to do when he got back.  If we had actually kept a list, I think we would have crossed almost everything off. Anyways, again, without there being any formal announcement, Chandler and I were dating again. Watching the stars in his yard, going to the beach, and just generally enjoying everything being young in the summer. It was a good way to spend the days. But eventually everything good has to come to an end, and that's what summer did. Chandler went back to his sophomore year of college at UW. We said goodbye on a night where we sang "Sweet Caroline" and danced in a park and I cried. It was cute and romantic and tragic and great. And then I went off to freshman year of college and broke up with Chandler. I know that sounds abrupt, but that's also how our breakup was. And it was me who instigated it, but at the same time, we both knew it would end eventually.

What, you thought I was joking?
But our friendship has yet to end. They say you don't meet your real friends in high school, you meet them in college. But I think that Chandler is one of the few exceptions to that rule. No one else can cheer me up like he can, and no one else will show up to my house in an outfit that accidentally matches mine in color. Chandler taught me that it was okay to let your walls down and be vulnerable sometimes, and that even if you don't know someones past you can still love them for who they are in the present. And that's a great thing.

So here's to my best friend, Chandler. And also, here's to us. Chanlexis. I hope our future has been as great as past.

Love you!

Monday, October 8, 2012

That's Not Native!

Let me start out by saying that this post has been on my mind for a while, in case you guys hadn't noticed, I've been facebooking (and tumblring) a lot about cultural appropriation. I think it's because Halloween is just around the corner and it seems to me that a large majority of the population can't tell the difference between a culture and a costumeWhile this applies to many cultures, I'm mainly going to speak about how this particularly pertains to Native Americans, because I am one (please hold back on the "you don't look Native" comments I already know) and because I see more people dressed up as Native Americans than anything. So. First some notes, and then I'll give you a brief tutorial on how to tell whether something is Native or not, and coincidentally, whether it's racist to wear it or not. So we begin. Point A. Wearing Native American cultural items promotes stereotyping of Natives as a whole.Basically what you're saying when you wear them is "I don't realize that I'm actually perpetuating the stereotype created by Hollywood that all Native Americans wear warpaint, headdresses, and braids, and I don't really care. All Native Americans are exactly the same. It's not like there are over 500 tribes that have their own cultures. I choose to only recognize them by this one 'accessory'." Also, it creates the idea that Native Americans are in the past and don't have  a place in today's world. I mean honestly, you don't wear your church clothes everyday, why would we wander around in ceremonial attire just to be recognized as a people?Point B. Wearing Blackface is wrong. So is "Playing Indian"What people fail to realize is that pretending to be a race your not is just as bad as wearing blackface. When you do that, you collapse distinct cultures, and therefore assert your power over them. Which, considering the fact that genocide and colonialism still continue today where Native Americans are involved, is NOT okay. For Point C, which is "The items you wear as accessories are deeply rooted in Native American spirituality" I couldn't find any better way to say it than Monica, a girl who runs a blog that I deeply appreciate. "The wearing of feathers and warbonnets in Native communities is not a fashion choice. Eagle feathers are presented as symbols of honor and respect and have to be earned. Some communities give them to children when they become adults through special ceremonies, others present the feathers as a way of commemorating an act or event of deep significance. Warbonnets especially are reserved for respected figures of power. The other issue is that warbonnets are reserved for men in Native communities, and nearly all of these pictures show women sporting the headdresses. I can't read it as an act of feminism or subverting the patriarchal society, it's an act of utter disrespect for the origins of the practice. This is just as bad as running around in a pope hat and a bikini, or a Sikh turban cause it's 'cute.'"Here are some responses that I'm sure you came up with during this whole thing:

I'm just trying to honor your people! Calm down! I highly doubt very many people are honored by a girl in a bikini dancing around in a headdress. Put some clothes on, take the headdress off, and everyone will be happy. I don't think I can say it better than the cartoon on the right.

But I'm just trying to keep up with current trends!
You know what else is a trend right now? Drug use. Oh and teenage pregnancy. Are you trying to keep up with those trends as well? My culture is not a trend. It should not be treated as something that can go out of style whenever someone high up on the fashion social ladder chooses. And please stop wearing "Native American headbands" Hollywood created that whole idea/thing because the headbands helped the actors keep their wigs on when portraying Natives. Y'all just look ridiculous. 

But it's just a Halloween costume. RUH-LAX.  No. It's racism, and cultural appropriation. Because if you're saying you want to dress up as...oh...I don't know, Pocahontas and you end up dressed like the girl on the left, you're doing it wrong. Just FYI: Pocahontas as an adult is normally depicted in European clothing because she married a European man named John Rolfe (NOT John Smith you Disney fanatics) and toured England, where she had her portrait taken. So actually, you should probably dress up more similar to the portrait on the right. 

To recap: Wearing Native American clothing or carictures of their clothing or spiritual artifacts is wrong. It is racist and culture's are not trends for you to exploit. You wouldn't wear black face and walk around like it is normal to be painted like that, would you?


Not Native:

So this Halloween, and every other day of the year as well, please refrain from headdresses, and feathers, and trying to be Native, because I mean, your ancestors killed off all of our ancestors first of all, and ugh, and also, it's just plain offensive. You wouldn't use a word you didn't know the meaning of, why use a cultural object that way?