Category Archives: Society

Body Image Done Right: Colbie Caillat’s “Try”

Colbie Caillat at the beginning of the "Try" music video. Simple and stunning, just like the song.

Colbie Caillat at the beginning of the “Try” music video. Simple and stunning, just like the song.

A lot of artists have produced well-intentioned songs dealing with body image and self-esteem as of late. Though these tracks have a good feel and move the music industry in the right direction, several of them miss the mark: John Legend’s patronizing “You & I,” Bruno Mars’s subtly sexist “Just The Way You Are,” and even Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass,” which veers into the realm of skinny-shaming and man-appeasement. However, Colbie Caillat hits all the right notes with “Try” – instead of pushing women to respect themselves in a certain way, she tells them to love themselves without condition, no matter what anyone else thinks. Continue reading

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Subtle Sexism: Bruno Mars’s “Just The Way You Are”

In an interview about his song “Just The Way You Are,” Bruno Mars assumes that all women crave compliments about their beauty. Even though he states in another interview that he “wasn’t thinking of anything deep or poetic” when writing his lyrics, I have not written about pop music in forever, so I will dedicate this post to deconstructing my dislike for “Just The Way You Are,” because the song makes female worth synonymous with physical appearance, and it implies that women should find self-acceptance through men, instead of themselves. Continue reading

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My Gay Duty, and Other Vague Misnomers

As a gay guy, I often ask myself: how much personal responsibility do I have in the lgbtq community? I have read books, watched movies, and looked up organizations on-campus to volunteer with when I return to school in the fall. Through this blog I have shared some of my experiences. And yet, I still lack a clear definition of how much I need to do. How much of the weight falls on my shoulders? What is my gay duty?

Answer: It doesn’t exist. Sort of. Continue reading

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Why You Shouldn’t Hate Straight White Men

“I’m scared to talk about what’s bothering me,” he said.

“I’m scared to walk back to the dorm at night alone,” she said.

A few months ago, I locked myself in my college’s library to study for final exams. While procrastinating focusing on Social Psychology, I overheard a conversation between a boy and a girl studying in the cubicles to my right.

He shuffled some of his books around. “It’s not a big deal anyway. Every time I try to talk about it with her, I feel weird-,”

“Yeah, well, you should see me every time I go out.” She sighed, either from the stress of finals or the minutiae of her friend’s problem. “If you think you have it bad, try imagining every guy in the room thinking you want it just because you’re wearing a short dress.”

The aspiring therapist inside of me wanted to reach out and console both of them about their issues, but instead, I shook my head, turned up my music, and saved their conversation as material for a future blog post.

Does anyone see how this post actually contributes to equality? Because I don't.

Does anyone see how this post actually contributes to equality? Because I don’t.

I identify as male, so I will not pretend to know what it feels like to be catcalled, paid less for equal performance, or judged just based on my appearance. Continue reading

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Gossip: Good for the Soul, Believe It or Not

As someone who was bullied in middle school, just like everyone else was bullied in middle school I understand how hurtful other humans’ words can be. Still, we all talk about other people. We discuss our favorite literary characters on Goodreads, we analyze our beloved television and movie protagonists on Tumblr, and we hear parents converse about their children all the time. But talking about your peers or other people in general brings benefits, even though society tells us otherwise. The rewards of gossip depend on the gossipers’ intent, and if done for the right reasons, it can help out several people.

This selfie from a few months ago captures how I feel about middle school. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... just kidding, it was only the worst of times.

This selfie from a few months ago captures how I feel about middle school. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… just kidding, it was only the worst of times.

Continue reading

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Off the Beaten Path

A few months ago, one of my good friends from high school told me she was pregnant. The life path of the contemporary young adult flashed in my mind: go to high school, get a degree, go to college, get a degree, then get more degrees or get a job. Even though I think my friends and I were supportive of her, there were underlying recommendations of an abortion or an adoption. Some of us, I suppose, wondered whether she could continue her current trajectory as a college student with this child on its way.

After a couple of weeks, she decided to keep the baby. Continue reading

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Hookup Culture and the Myth of Casual Sex (College Post #5)

As a rising college sophomore, I have witnessed my fair share of sexual relationships that for once were not fictional. Contrary to popular belief, I do not think anyone can isolate sex as a physical activity free of emotional implication. I am not saying that sex is bad, that empowerment through sex is phony, or that people who have a lot of sex should be condemned. Rather, I argue that sex is a complex subject that people should think about, because it has so many intricacies and ramifications for those involved.

Even Katy Perry's seemingly innocent "Birthday" is filled with sexual innuendos. Speaking of birthdays, mine is this Sunday... so you should read and comment on this post as a gift. :)

Even Katy Perry’s seemingly innocent “Birthday” is filled with sexual innuendos. Speaking of birthdays, mine is this Sunday… so you should read and comment on this post as a gift. Just kidding. Sort of.

Sex is almost never just sex. Continue reading

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Fear, No More

A week ago, I came home from my first year of college. The night before I left I watched one of my favorite films, An Education, with one of my best friends, and I went to bed with a new motto in mind: fear, no more.

Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard, playing Jenny and David respectively. Also, my new screensaver. Image via entertainmentwallpaper.com.

Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard, playing Jenny and David respectively. Also, my new screensaver. Image via entertainmentwallpaper.com.

An Education‘s story centers on sixteen-year-old Jenny Mellor, a bright and hard-working girl who lives in the suburbs with her parents and dreams of studying English at Oxford. Continue reading

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Life Without Goals

I didn’t feel so well the other day. With ten minutes before class, I placed all of my books in my backpack, turned off the light switch in my dorm room, and slid my fingers across the door handle. A slight breeze from the AC unit made me shiver, a sign of sin to come. After a second of deliberation, I dropped my hand by my side.

Then, I skipped class. Continue reading

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How to Live With a Roommate, Seduce Men, Make Friends, and More

“You’re a liar,” she says.

“Nope,” I say. “I’m an introvert. Just like Jane Eyre.”

“You talk so much though,” she says, eyes wide with shock. “You get along with everyone. You have so many friends!”

Now you’re the liar, I think, I don’t have friends. What are those? Also, you ignored my allusion to the best book ever. Our friendship is over. I cough a little bit into my hand to cover my disdain, and I lean back into the hard wood of my dorm room door.

“Have you met my roommate?” I ask. “Now, he’s an extrovert…” Continue reading

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