Category Archives: Pop

Thinking Twice

Last week I made the mistake of texting a man. More specifically, I messaged a guy who I had gone on a date with when I visited Boston several months ago at the end of summer. I liked several things about him: his intelligence, considerateness, and critiques of capitalism. When I got back to DC though at the end of August, he said he didn’t want to try long-distance and I also sensed a gap in our emotional maturity, though I also wondered if we could have seen each other more if I had been in the Boston area for longer. When I texted him last week though, I learned that he wasn’t physically attracted to me because of my femininity.

When I learned about his femmephobia, I felt a sense of shame rush over me and my body tighten up in self-disgust. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Pop

Die Alive

“It’s hard to imagine you sleeping,” a casual friend of mine said to me over dinner a few months ago. She stated this in the context of how I like to move, how I like to get things done. Indeed, as a fifth year PhD student, I have published a little over a dozen peer-reviewed publications, I have read and reviewed about 80 to 90 books a year for the past decade, and most importantly I try to engage in consistent self-reflection and self-compassion to improve as a friend and a person. When anyone mentions my “accomplishments” accomplishments in quotes because I’m literally just a Gaysian nerd who wants to sit on my couch and read novels all day lol and also “accomplishments” don’t determine people’s worth I feel a desire to crawl into a pink-colored cave and never come out, which my therapist calls “modesty.” People often ask me though: how do you do so much?

On one hand, I have a lot of privilege. I present as male, and I grew up in one of the ten wealthiest counties in the United States. Without a doubt these factors influence my achievements. I want to own their influence and take action to deconstruct the systems that create these forms of privilege in the first place.

At the same time, I do my best to minimize distractions. Continue reading

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Filed under K-Pop, Personal, Pop, Society

Imagine

Over the past few weeks my PTSD symptoms have flared up fierce. Thoughts about losing control of my life and relationships run around and around in my head, I play back scenarios I starred in and emails I wrote and wonder if I should have done something different, I have horrible nightmares all the time, like one about a lion chasing and eating me on the street of my childhood home.

Today, PTSD struck me hard. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Pop

Ariana Grande Practiced Cultural Appropriation and I Needed Some Moments to Sit with That

Over the past few months, the discourse surrounding Ariana Grande’s problematic behavior has gotten pretty intense. More and more people online have called her out for blackfishing/latinafishing, referring to how she has darkened her skin to pass as racially ambiguous while still reaping the benefits of her white privilege. This criticism reached a fever pitch when she released “7 rings,” the second single from her upcoming album Thank U, Next, in which she engages in outright cultural appropriation through rapping a verse toward the end of the song. Though more people have called her out on this behavior than ever before, as of midday January 21 she had not responded to this criticism in any meaningful or substantial way. I will not go too much in-depth about the actual critique because Google exists and as a non-black person of color I am not the best person to speak on it, but for a great summary you can read user superultra’s fantastic post about it on this page.

I have to admit: my heart broke a bit when I read the scathing criticism of her on online forums like Popjustice Continue reading

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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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Filed under Pop, Society

Your Snobby is Showing: Twilight, Trashy Pop Music, and Mindless TV

“I don’t want my son reading trash and wasting his time.”

My mom spewed those words at me several times in my teen years. She said that in reference to most of the YA I read, some of the nonfiction I dabbled in, and mostly anything that wasn’t strictly “literature” or science/math related. Deep beneath her blunt delivery lay good intentions: how could I be successful in school and in life if I spent my time reading about teenagers falling in love and doing drugs (or, er, each other)? As an incoming college freshman, how will I survive without a vast repertoire of literary references and knowledge about the subjects that matter? Continue reading

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Filed under Books, Movies, Personal, Pop, Society, Television

Marina and the Diamonds “How to be a Heartbreaker” (featuring attractive, nearly-naked men)

Question 1: How did she get in the boys' locker room? Question 2: Does anyone care?

Question 1: How did she get in the boys’ locker room? Question 2: Does anyone care?

I hadn’t heard of Marina and the Diamonds until my friend introduced me to “Primadonna.” Soon afterward I discovered “How to be a Heartbreaker”, and I felt that out of all the pop I’d been listening to lately this catchy second US single off of Electra Heart deserved to be the first I blogged about. Either that or I really just wanted to post a picture of wet, attractive men wearing Speedos. Continue reading

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Review: SNSD “Dancing Queen” and “I Got A Boy” Music Videos

So I was looking through my blog search terms and saw this:

snsd i got a boy search term

Which made me realize that 1) People still find my blog through searching for SNSD related stuff and 2) SNSD had a new song out and I had no idea. Probably what I deserve for unfollowing allkpop on Twitter. Anyway, I went on Youtube, searched for “I Got A Boy”, watched the video, then noticed “Dancing Queen” on the sidebar. Both surprised me but in different ways.

SNSD in white tees and blue jeans! Oh, the good old days...

SNSD in white tees and blue jeans! Oh, the good old days…

When I first clicked on “Dancing Queen” I assumed that the song may have been inspired by the song “Dancing Queen” by Abba. Turns out that SNSD’s song is actually a remake of Buffy’s 2008 hit “Mercy”, one of my favorite songs of all time. Apparently SM planned to release “Dancing Queen” back in 2008 but had to replace it with “Gee” due to copyright issues – they even filmed the video and mastered the choreography, which luckily they were able to use four years later.

I noticed in the comments section of Duffy’s music video that SNSD fans had started some sort of uproar/war/apology fight. I honestly think that this remake is just a cute, catchy version quite similar to its original; it’s not anything to go crazy over, even though it’s a great song on its own. Continue reading

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Filed under K-Pop, Pop

Review of Taylor Swift “I Knew You Were Trouble” Music Video

My past few posts have been a little on the downside, so I figured it’s time for a review of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” music video! As I’ve mentioned I am by no means a music professional, although I have posted about T-Swift a lot – perhaps I should write my next pop post about another artist. Anyway, here are my thoughts, coupled with screenshots and random captions.

The video starts with Swift waking up amongst a tarnished battleground. And by tarnished battleground, I mean the site of her crazy rave last night.

The video starts with Swift waking up in a tarnished battleground. And by tarnished battleground, I mean the site of her crazy rave last night.

This song and its music video were complete changes for Swift. Continue reading

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