Thursday, October 3, 2013

An Open Letter to Sinead O'Connor's Open Letter to Miley Cyrus

So today the blogosphere/your facebook friends have been buzzing about the open letter Sinead O'Connor wrote to Miley Cyrus in which she warns her of the dangers of exploiting herself and her sexuality. Suddenly Miley Cyrus is a thing people care about for some reason, so websites post crap loads of articles about her because they get cheap hits. Yay!

Why is Miley's sexual exploration painted so negatively? Hasn't this been done before? Why is it that when Madonna exploits her sexuality it is seen as empowering and legendary but when Miley does it, she "[doesn't] care for herself?" Women are stuck in this double bind where they are both criticized and praised for using their sexuality for power, or even criticized for not exploiting their womanhood (ie: Grimes). I don't know that much about Miley Cyrus--I watched her VMA performance and the "Wrecking Ball" music video once while screwing around in other browser tabs, and I haven't seen her documentary or listened to her music, but from what I can gather from my online research it seems that she is largely in control of her own actions and image. And if she wants to use her sexuality to further her career, I say go for it, twerk on whatever you want. Women should be able to use their bodies for self-expression and to find their identities as sexual beings as long as it is their decision. And it seems like Miley has made that choice. 

The entire letter is condescending and insulting but my least favorite paragraph states, "Yes, I’m suggesting you don’t care for yourself. That has to change. You ought be protected as a precious young lady by anyone in your employ and anyone around you, including you. This is a dangerous world. We don’t encourage our daughters to walk around naked in it because it makes them prey for animals and less than animals, a distressing majority of whom work in the music industry and its associated media." 

Yes, I’m suggesting you don’t care for yourself. That has to change.
The amount of clothing someone wears or how they use their body does not dictate whether or not they "care about themselves." This argument is so illogical. Thinking that clothing says anything other than "I decided to wear this right now," is dangerous and an integral part of preserving rape culture. What women wear doesn't reveal their insecurities or broadcast a level of self-esteem to others. With this thinking, I like myself so much more in the winter. 

You ought be protected as a precious young lady by anyone in your employ and anyone around you, including you. This is a dangerous world. 
As a girl only two years older than Miley (who, by the way, has been a legal adult for two years now) this is pretty much the most condescending thing you could say. I'm not precious, nothing about me makes me a "lady," and I don't need to be protected. Just because I'm young and female doesn't mean I'm not a smart and capable person in control of my actions. Everything about this reeks of stereotypical views of young girls. Don't stereotype me by my age or gender.

We don’t encourage our daughters to walk around naked in it because it makes them prey for animals and less than animals, a distressing majority of whom work in the music industry and its associated media
Great job Sinead, you've successfully boiled Miley down to a piece of meat. An animal. Just because someone isn't wearing clothes, that doesn't mean they have no value. The fact that we even wear clothes or have to cover certain body parts while exposing others is taboo is entirely socially constructed. This is just ridiculous. 

More than anything though, I find it so extremely problematic that we are focusing on Miley's dance moves and wardrobe choices rather than her cultural appropriation of black/hip hop culture. The fact that Miley Cyrus, a Southern woman, is using the stereotypical view of black women's rampant sexuality to explore her own sexuality is revolting. Let us not ignore that she paid a black woman to let her slap her ass onstage on live television and this is not seen as terribly racist and a billion times more offensive than sticking out her tongue or grinding/twerking. Why do we care so much about controlling young girls' sexuality yet so little about racism and cultural appropriation?

She's using black culture to appear "edgy," "shocking," and "cool" meanwhile profiting from it as an affluent white person whose ancestors most likely drove slaves. Miley perpetuates the social and racial inequality that has everything to do with her success. That success, built on a throne of privilege in which white people benefit while minorities are marginalized, continues this cycle.

Extra Credit! 
Kathleen Hanna talks about Nirvana and being a stripper and I bet she still had positive self-esteem. 
Amanda Palmer's letter to Sinead O'Connor's letter to Miley Cyrus.
Some interesting thoughts about cultural appropriation.

*mic drop*

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sure, I'll Show You What I Look Like Without Makeup

Lately a lot of guys have been asking what I look like without makeup (Uh the same, only slightly blotchier and without these black lines over my eyes? How am I supposed to answer that?) or telling me they like girls who wear less makeup or have more of a "natural" look or other bullshit comments like that. Listen, it's great that you reject traditional standards of beauty and think you're really on the forefront of things, but you're only contributing to this confusing thing where women are expected to look nice, told makeup helps them do this, but are also told not to wear it? Pretty confusing. I also feel like these sort of comments also assume that women wear makeup for men--which um, I'm sorry not everything revolves around you!

Sure, you can see what I look like without makeup...I think I look pretty much the same..and I see makeup as more of a daily art project that I get to do on my face every morning. FUNN!!! So fine, whatever here's my makeup "routine" and what I look like without makeup.

Ahh what is that disgusting looking thing? Dude that's my face pre-makeup and you need to be nice. At this moment in time I had taken a shower 10 minutes previously and was trying to look as high as possible. Actually whatever, I think I look fine here I would totally go outside looking like this.
I want to make a comment about looking like a sea monster but I actually think I look great, screw you.

So first I use this bamboo brush from Ecotools to apply foundation to my face. I use Physician's Formula Organic Wear Tinted Moisturizer in "Light to Natural" aka white as all hell. I like both of these products because they're environmentally friendly and free from a lot of gross/harmful chemicals that can give you cancer. It goes on pretty easily and it's light enough to cover "blemishes" and splotchiness and all that good stuff without making your face a completely different color from the rest of your skin.

Next I apply some pH Matchmaker Bronzer stuff all over my face over the other stuff. To be completely honest I don't see the difference this stuff makes but I still do it because it's fun and I heard you're supposed to. Next step!
I fill in my eyebrows with Elf Eyebrow Kit. You can get it at Target and it only costs $3. It makes your eyebrows look so much thicker and fuller and makes my eyebrow twitching so much more dramatic. I only ever use the waxy stuff on the left side with the small side of the brush and throw the other part away when I'm done. Oops?
It makes my sad face so much more dramatic and I want you to know that I'm sad so I make this face. 
Next I put on eyeliner which is the hardest and most fun part, because I love the way eyeliner makes me look like Brigitte Bardot (in my dreams?) and it is very hard to draw straight lines, especially without poking myself in the eye. I use Maybelline Master Precise in the darkest black and I like to make it kinda thick. I have looked into more environmentally friendly eyeliners and some other options but this is sort of the only one I can use without making a huge mess. It will never be even on both sides, it's gonna be ok.

Sometimes I wear mascara but not very often because I have dark and long lashes already and I don't care. But sometimes it seems like a fun thing to do so I put it on. I use Great Lash because it's super cheap although I have heard a lot of people hate this mascara and it's pretty much the worst one. Maybe use a different one cause it's super clumpy. Am I starting to look glamorous or what! 
Sometimes I wear lipstick, not super often but just for special occasions like watching an entire season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in my bed. Lately I have been using Revlon Just Bitten in "Gothic" because it makes my lips look so dark red and bloody. Then I look like a vampire or a zombie who just ate some brains which is so cool and scary.
I will beat you up and eat your brains. It worked particularly well this day where--you guessed it--I didn't leave the house.

The color is actually supposed to be a lighter red, I am just putting like a million coats on. I'm not sure I would really recommend this because it's basically a marker for your lips and it's really hard to apply and goes on really uneven. It is also impossible to get off, so it will be there all day. 
On the particular day that I did this tutorial I also put some Maybelline Sensational Lipcolor in "Are You Red-dy" on top of the other stuff. It's just a normal cream lipstick, but it melted in my car so it was very hard to apply. It's great but it comes off after a few hours/glasses of water.
I want you to see my mouth when I am mouthing off to you.

So there you have it. This entire makeup charade takes me a little under 10 minutes and I bought most of these products on sale from a ShopKo.
So there you have it from start to finish. I love the way I look in makeup and I don't really give a damn what kind of girls you like. Maybe spend your time thinking about dating someone for their intellect rather than their presentation choices. I know it's hard when they're wearing it on their face but if you try really really hard you can do it baby boy. 
Girls can do whatever they want and boys shouldn't tell them what to do! :) :) :) 
Also I don't profess that I know what I'm doing at all. If you want real makeup tips go watch some JuicyStar07 youtubes.

And thus I completed an entire makeup tutorial while wearing only a coat. It's a birthmark, not a hickey, stop asking.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mirror Kisses is a Cool Band That I Like

So at some point i started following Mirror Kisses (@MirrorKissesVA) on twitter without reading their bio or paying a ton of attention to anything other than the fact that it was a pretty funny account. Then today I realized that this is a band! I don't know if their marketing plan is to be really funny so people will listen to their music but if so it's definitely working because I looked them up and not only are they funny but their music is great and they are sexy dudes!!

It's so awesome/frustrating when people are great at multiple things. Go follow Mirror Kisses on twitter and listen to them! This isn't a sponsored post I'm just really excited!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Peachcake: Who Are These People and Why Does This Music Suck (an actual title of one of their songs)

This blog post comes to your bloodshot computer-strained eyes through the ingenuity of the internet and the beautiful pixels on your 13" inch macbook with a small crack in the screen that you made from dropping your iphone on it oh, I forgot that's just me, but also from my terrible childhood where I grew up in Qatar with no friends and spent most of my time on the computer downloading mp3's from The Music Slut which actually isn't even a thing anymore and maybe don't even go there because yeah there are some weird jpegs there alright it's the internet.

Anyways, Peachcake was a band I found out about on Myspace, probably somewhere around the eighth grade and they probably had at least 300 myspace friends. Their sound is pretty upbeat and pop-punky, pretty close to Hellogoodbye, who they opened for on tour and are at least 5 times less listenable than. Cue Peachcake song which was actually sort of difficult to find because some people post recipes for peach cake on youtube and I guess this was before the time when bands' names had to have a certain googlability.

This song was one of the first I heard and I find it equally annoying and enjoyable. This youtube commenter sums up the Peachcake //~brand~// very accurately:
Peachcake had great song names like "Jeremiah, Stop Taking Bukowski So Seriously...," "Stop Acting Like You Know More About The Internet Cafe Than Me," and "Did I Just Do That, Or Was It Jim Carrey," so I would highly recommend listening to them, if not for the whole music aspect than for the rush of seeing these ridiculous sentences on your ipod and screwing up your radio.
"Why do I do  this, why do I care and why does anyone care for that matter?"--Peachcake: the voice of a generation or at least twelve high school seniors who quoted them in their yearbooks.

I guess the band actually came out with an album last year and added a blonde girl with bangs on the ukulele for the ~schwing!~/adorkable appeal but this song says they will "love me anyway" even though I am hardcore trash talking these bros online and considering the chances that these guys work at arbys/home depot/hot topic/radioshack/hotdog on a stick/Ross Dress for Less/a record store that is going out of business due to the rise in music pirating, respectively.

Um, In Conclusion I am writing this because I get pissed off when I google things that matter to me and nothing I want comes up and Peachcake needs to be a chapter of music history recorded in the 10110100101's of the internet for all time or whatever. ...I hope you never read this blog again either.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chvrches First Listen

Chvrches' debut album is streaming over at NPR first listen and its the perfect dream pop cloud of joy everyone expected plus more. Go listen to it and check out my favorite track below:


Monday, July 29, 2013

I 'Can't Believe It' Either

I couldn't possibly hate this any more. And I can't believe this kind of stuff exists. Dismembered women's bodies? Someone wasn't paying attention during Miss Representation.
            "Women are often presented in a dehumanized way in mass media images, their                humanity sacrificed to display the artificial ideal.  Women are not only turned into a thing, but the thing is broken down into component parts, each of which also represents an ideal form.  She is dismembered.  Hence we get numerous images of lips, legs, breasts, butts, torsos - female body parts.  Frequently in such images the head is missing, emphasizing that females are not valued for their intellect, but for their external form, their curves.  Sut Jhally points out that presenting women as fragmented and disconnected body parts detracts from thinking about women as real people with their own intellect, feelings, dreams and desires.  Women become objects for consumption." 

So thanks Flo Rida (aka FLORIDA. I know your name is just the word "Florida" with a space in the middle of it and it pisses me off that you're making me write it that way), and Pitbull for reducing women to pieces of ass. This is awful. I am more than just a booty, I am a woman with a brain who is p-i-s-s-e-d.

Really you should just watch this instead:

Or this:

Or this:



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Taylor Swift's Childhood Home is For Sale

no way. our love-hate relationship is more alive than ever.
BUT: get this--you could own Taylor Swift's Childhood Home! With a donation of $800,000 and a son of marriageable age! (just kidding i actually don't think it's cool to judge young teen stars for their dating choices it's actually really shallow and dumb) It was "home to Taylor Swift, who lived here for 10 yrs before moving to Nashville to become a star!" Uhh sellout much? 
In all, this just solidifies my belief that the best way to be a famous musician is to have rich parents.
So hey Taylor maybe shut up about being such an "average girl" when you grew up in a 6 bed, 5 bath 5,000 square foot house where you lived with your parents and one sibling.
I was born into a tiny apartment in the ghetto part of Santa Barbara, near one of Oprah's mansions but in the area where her janitors lived. And this is why I probably won't be successful.