Friday, March 28, 2014

The No Make-Up Selfie Raises Awareness for.....Your Face.

Recently women have begun posting photos of their faces without make up and claiming they are doing it to "raise breast cancer awareness". Let me explain to you why that is just an all around ridiculous idea.  Women with breast cancer many times lose touch with their femininity - they feel that they are no longer women because one of the major body parts that identifies them AS women is more often than not literally removed from their person. They go through chemotherapy, extremely invasive surgery and wither away. But the best the creator of this meme/trend could come up with was to have perfectly healthy women post pictures of themselves without make-up so they could be seen at their "ugliest"?

When I first saw a no make-up post I thought it was a joke. I tried to justify it. Maybe she's joking and just doesn't know how to explain why this is funny. Maybe she is comparing herself without make-up to a cancer victim - OHMYGOD THAT'S WHAT YOU ALL ARE DOING WHEN YOU DO THIS. Even if the act is conscious or not, even if you are just doing it because you got tagged by someone else, that is the heart of this whole thing. Is that whoever did it first thought that by not wearing make-up, they were somehow comparable to a breast cancer victim. And if you are saying that, are you also saying that cancer patients are ugly?

I mean, I don't understand. And crazy trends like this don't raise awareness for anything. At this point in time it is important that women are getting checked for Breast Cancer because everyone in the world knows it is a thing that could happen to them. But not wearing make-up isn't going to magically remind anyone to go in for a mammogram. Obviously. What is going to remind women to get a mammogram is going in yourself and getting checked. If you are anxious to share how eager you are to make sure everyone gets checked then post those informational graphics about how to self-check at home

And you ALL are missing the point! You know how I know? Because you're doing it because you were tagged, chances are if you knew that the whole thing began after the Oscars with celebrities supporting Kim Novak, a breast cancer survivor who was criticized at the Academy Awards for her very obvious plastic surgery, you might not be so eager to join in. 

And then, if any of you knew that the whole thing was capitalized on and is actually a fundraising campaign over in the UK, and donated money to a breast cancer research campaign, you might be ACTUALLY making a damn difference. Thinly veiled vanity is not philanthropy. There is nothing wrong with taking a selfie. But if you have to give it a reason like "breast cancer awareness" then there could possibly be a problem.
Women of the world, go get yourselves checked. Breast Cancer can literally hit anyone and everyone. And if you are lucky enough to be found cancer free, remember to help out your sisters on Earth and donate some money to a company that can make a difference. You are not brave for not wearing make-up. You are brave for helping someone who can never help you back. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Normally I try to refrain from cursing in my posts for the simple fact that there are those who find it inappropriate and will think me less educated or less respectable for doing so. I would like to tell those people right now that while I am very educated and have a sizable vocabulary, today I am angry, and today I am probably going to use slightly less G rated language. 

For some reason I feel like all the assholes of the internet have simultaneously decided to come out of hiding and reveal to the world that they are aliens from the year 1950 and still think that women belong in either the bedroom or the kitchen, and that the only thing good about us as a gender is our ability to have sex. And so, since it's Thursday and I was fed up with these douchebags by Tuesday, I figured it was time to lash out. I am tired of being objectified. I am tired of being treated like I'm second rate because I have boobs. I am tired of random assholes on the street making me feel as though my life was in danger because I want to walk home on a nice evening. And I am especially tired of these self serving dicks hiding behind their damn computers and spreading their filth to the far corners of the internet.

I don't even know where to start on the list of things that set me off this week, I mean, I know that the lack of sleep definitely had something to do with it, but there has just been so much woman hate this week ESPECIALLY that I have been seeing various shades of red for a few days and there are so many things that just made it worse. Ugh. UGGGHHHHHH.

Okay, breathe Alexis, breathe.

We'll start with the story of the Whitworth Confessions post. Whitworth Confessions is a page where students anonymously submit "secrets" and then the administrator posts them. Some are funny, some are sad, this one made a very decent point. "I've had sex with five men and I feel dirty....met a guy who has had sex with 30+ (women) and he gets high fives all around...Just not impressed. Women are sluts, men are studs. Can't win". This girl spoke the truth. If I went out and slept with a different man every night this week, I would develop a reputation as a negative human being. If a guy does it, he is a player, he is a stud, he is held in reverence. Men and women are judged on different scales and society just acts like it is okay for that to happen. Really, it shouldn't matter, because we shouldn't judge people based on who they have sex with or how much sex they are having. Being sexually active is okay. Being a virgin is okay. Judging someone because they are one or the other is not. Now, at a school like Whitworth, where you would think that everyone is loving and accepting and would be able to speak some sense into this child and tell her no, we are all equal and try to make her feel better, some very large jerks happen to live. And honestly, I don't understand how they have made it this far in life or even how they got girlfriends with the way that they treat women (I've witnessed it). You wanna know what asshole number one had to say in response to this? "Skeleton (master) keys vs. Shitty locks". 

SKELETON KEYS VS. SHITTY LOCKS was literally the best thing this guy could come up with. Not only is it the worst analogy ever, but he later went on to defend his statement by saying that he is just a mirror to society and only reflects the opinion held by others. Hey buddy, Jim Jones has some kool-aid waiting for you. Go drink it, you'll like it. I mean, he speaks as if my vagina is something that every guy who might be smooth enough has access to. Uhm, no. I may be biased though, because this same manchild mocked me for telling him that he should allow his girlfriend to be a freethinking woman. He literally made fun of me all night and every time I have an opinion that he doesn't agree with, he doesn't assume it is because I don't know, I'm an intelligent human being, but he implies that my opinion is wrong, I'm a woman, therefore I'm stupid, and there is nothing I can do to remedy the situation. When a female who was commenting on the thread tried to call said asshole out on his comment and horrid analogy, she was insulted, and then when she came back to defend herself was asked if she was on her period.

In case you were wondering, everyone in the world including girls who ask other moody girls if they are PMSing when really you're all just stupid, GIRLS CAN BE CRANKY AND PISSED OFF WHEN THEY AREN'T ON THEIR PERIODS. There are these things called emotions, every human being has them. Female emotions fluctuate regularly, just like male emotions, and sometimes we might even have negative emotions, even if we aren't bleeding from our vagina for seven straight days. Don't like it? Deal with it. I know plenty of places to hide a body and am a PRO at getting blood stains out of clothes.

You can't invalidate someone's argument because they are female. That hasn't been acceptable since the 80's. You can't invalidate a female's argument or opinion because she might be on her period. That's just bad logic. My hormones aren't going to change my opinion. They make me crave ice cream with salt in it, but they aren't going to stop me thinking that the boys who commented on that post are all giant children who will most likely end up divorced and alone unless they learn how to respect women before it is too late.

So that whole episode of Facebook related-anger ended and then tonight, literally about half an hour ago I saw this super awesome video of this girl doing soccer tricks in heels, which made it doubly annoying. Top comment on the video? "Can she cook?" followed by "does she have a penis?". WHAT THE HELL. First, guy number one is all "WOMAN. WOMAN COOK FOR CAVE MAN". And then guy number two, who was actually a female, basically said that this girl wasn't actually impressive because she was a female and obviously the only way to impress people in this shitty ass world is to be born with a penis. Like, "Sorry Joanne, I realized you saved five lives today by carrying those orphans out of a burning building while having only one functional leg, but it's really not that impressive because you have a vagina". Genitalia doesn't make something less or more impressive, kids. This whole "....for a girl" mentality is getting old real quick. Men don't create the standard. The best of the best create the standard. And sometimes, that best happens to be a girl wearing heels kicking a soccer ball around.

Also happening this whole week is the saga of the guy who can't get take a hint. Guy, if you're reading this, be lucky I didn't call you out by name. Dudes in general. If you send a girl a picture of yourself shirtless and then say "you know I'm sexy" and she replies with the most awkward face you could ever imagine and acts disinterested, it is probably because she doesn't find you attractive (or sexy) and is disinterested. For you to continue to persist throughout the entirety of the week after actually only having even been in the same area as this girl twice, is ridiculous, ESPECIALLY when she mentions several times that she doesn't find it necessary for you to send photos of yourself to her. For you to then suggest taking pictures of your lower half, is ludicrous. What are you going to show me? A man who can take a hint? A person with a fully developed brain who can figure out what the word NO means? I would want to see that. In this age of Snapchat and picture messages, it is important to remember that no means no, even if she (he) is rejecting photos that are being sent to them. If a girl doesn't want you sending her shirtless pics, don't do it. Especially if that girl has a blog.

And then, OH MAN. Then some other guy got upset at me because I wouldn't send him nude photos of me. Okay, here's the thing, avid readers, I am not on sending naked pictures terms with anyone I know. And I never will be. If you want to see me naked, there's some other things involved, like I don't know, a long term relationship? Anyways. Objectifying women to the point where you think it is your right to see all women naked is dangerous and stupid. And it is one of the many things that pisses me off. I don't belong to you, dude. I don't have to send you pictures of me, or talk to you, or hang out with you, so you need to stop while you're (kind of) ahead. There is nothing wrong with sending photos of oneself to people. Do whatever you want, I'm not going to judge you, I don't want to see them, but I'm not going to judge you. However, if you ridicule someone for refusing to send promiscuous photos of any sort, I will personally escort you to the gates of Hell and hand you over to the dude in charge myself, you little prick. Humans are not objects and no matter what you do for someone, that doesn't mean they owe you anything in terms of sexual practices.


So get rid of that stupid ass term "friend zone". The friend zone is a fictional place men like to pretend they reside in when a girl they are nice to refuses to date them. Because a majority of men believe that if they are nice to things that have vagina's, they will get to take a thing with a vagina home and keep it locked up in the kitchen as a pet. WRONG. And then they get upset when they do nice things for a girl and the girl won't go out with them. Oh, she "let" you take her to lunch? I would have to, even I had no intention of pursuing a relationship with the guy offering, because let's face it: who turns down free food? Certainly not  me. Girls aren't prizes to be won, contrary to what movies and television would have you believe. Women are individuals who might think you are a wonderful friend but won't date you because the romantic attraction isn't there. How is it wrong to agree to be someone's friend and not date them, even if you might have feelings for that girl? Why is she suddenly in the wrong because she won't date someone she doesn't find attractive in any way? I mean, boys lead girls on all the time, and it is perfectly okay. Oh, that's right. I'm wrong because I'm a woman. That's it, isn't it? Being a woman is inherently wrong in today's world.

Or not.

Treat all women like human beings. If you have a daughter, imagine someone saying these horrible things to her. Or your sister, or your mother! If you wouldn't say it to them, don't say it to any other woman, either. Respect women. We deserve it.

Alexis Olmstead is a very tired and very angry 20 year old working out of Middle-of-Nowhere, Washington. She works part time as a waitress, but being a diva is a full time commitment. When she isn't tearing apart strangers over the internet, she is watching way too much tv and crocheting hats she'll never wear. For more rants, check back often. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Importance of Community Theatre

Standing on stage when a show starts is comparable to watching the sunrise and feels exactly like magic. All of a sudden nothing else exists, just me and the other actors, who have transformed into the characters they have been chosen to portray. A stage becomes the world, plywood trees come to life, and house flats turn into 3D homes full of family and history and everything - everything - is really really real.

Months of dedication lead up to that moment. Countless hours of memorizing, rehearsing, and learning have paved the path to a successful opening night. People have (probably) cried, there have been ungodly amounts of sweat, and most likely some blood. Hair has been pulled out, directors have shouted, and memories have been made. Oh, and 50 or so people who have never met before have created a family, and with that, a living, breathing production for the enjoyment of the audience.

But we don't act to please audiences - okay not entirely - mostly we act because we have no greater joy than walking onto that stage and becoming a whole new person. Again, and again, and again. I believe that actors live many lives. We live as ourselves, as our characters, and through our performances.

I was introduced to theatre - and musical theatre in particular - by my grandmother when she took me to see the Omak High School production of "A Christmas Carol: The Musical" the first time it played on the PAC stage. I was entranced by the idea that people did things like getting together and just putting on shows. It made me so jealous and excited that these high schoolers got to parade around in fancy costumes and sing and dance and people wanted to watch them. Every year we would go see the Children's Dance Theatre show in the winter and the OVOC (Okanogan Valley Orchestra and Chorus) musical in the spring. After a few years of this tradition, I yearned to be up onstage with all of them. These were people I looked up to and admired. Admittedly, I was a little starstruck by all of them. I had seen so many of them in these plays and met a lot of them in the lobby after the show that I felt like someday I could be one of them, someday I would be up on that PAC stage acting with Ugo Bartell, who I first saw as Gaston, and Doug Leese, who I saw debut as Rooster. Lisa Bauer played a French Maid in the same show Carine Wood played Belle and I wanted to be just like both of them. The girl who played Kim Macafee (Janelle Cutuli) I thought was so fun and young - if she could do it, why couldn't I? My main point here is I grew up watching these people, wanting to be these people, and seeing these people in many roles with the Community Theatre group. Watching normal people get to be stars in their own right inspired me to start acting.

Seeing Les Miserables, June 2012
Now I'm in a show directed Janelle Cutuli and co-starring Ugo Bartell. I have worked with Doug Leese on several productions, I worked at a drama camp for Lisa Bauer and Carine Wood and I see each other every summer for the Princess Party where she reprises her role as Belle. These people have continued to push me to be a better actress and work hard for my dreams, just by continuing to pursue their love of theatre. My point here is that Community Theatre plays a huge role in people's lives. Some places don't have access to big shows and big theatres like those who reside in Seattle or New York might. We don't get to see Broadway casts tour through the Omak PAC and leave us awestruck. We have doctors who leave work and go to rehearsal. We have teachers, and moms, and dads, and bus drivers, and retirees, and news paper photographers who put a smile on their face just from seeing the clock strike 6:45 and heading out the door to go to their 7:00 blocking rehearsal. And all of these people put on a show that will touch the lives of a child in the audience.

Community theatre gives children and young adults a venue in which to explore a potential career, something that could turn into their life or maybe just a hobby. It gives people a chance to see shows they would otherwise never get to see. It gives small town dwellers like us Omakians a chance to be big stage stars for a couple months, and it's pretty fun, too. Theatre isn't just for the geeky kids in high school, I believe that theatre is for everyone and a good community theatre can give a whole town - heck, a whole county - a way to see magic happen right before their very eyes.

Alexis Olmstead is an aspiring Broadway actress and Dorothy in OVOC's spring musical "The Wizard of OZ". She works out of a tiny town in Washington as a part time waitress, and a full time diva. For more insight on her life and useless opinions about other things, check back often.