Wednesday, October 11, 2017

"That's Hollywood"

Image result for harvey weinstein

About four years ago, I was at a party with a guy I had been on a few dates with.  Nothing serious—we had kissed maybe three times.  Everyone was drinking and having a good time, but I stayed sober.  The guy I was with was drinking, but he wasn’t drunk.

A couple hours in, when the party was really beginning to fill in, he pulled me inside to talk.  “Let’s go to *****’s room,” he said in my ear.  I followed.

I would say “Like an idiot, I followed,” but how would that make me an idiot?  Having the nerve to trust someone I was dating, someone I had known for a few months and considered a close friend—that didn’t make me an idiot.

I followed him into the room and he started to kiss me.  His hands were wandering and I was starting to feel uncomfortable—like I said, we’d barely been on a few dates and I didn’t feel at all ready to go any further with him.  I pulled back and said to him, “You know I’m not going to have sex with you, right?” 

A dark, frustrated look suddenly cast over his face.  “Are you serious?”  He grabbed his crotch with an open palm.  “What am I supposed to do with this?”  I was so taken aback that he actually had the balls (no pun intended) to blame me for his erection and insinuate that it was now my responsibility to do something about it that I didn’t even respond.  He pushed me down on the bed and I froze.  After a few moments of clumsy attempts at feeling me up had gone by, I pushed him off and left.  I never told anyone, and I’ve never spoke to him since.

I’ve spent years somewhat angry at myself for not telling anyone.  I’m a feminist.  I’m strongly against sexual harassment and I’m overcome with anger every time I hear something about a man taking advantage of a woman, and yet I felt ashamed.  I felt like somehow it must have been my fault.  Why did I follow him?  Was I giving off the wrong signal?  Was my skirt too short?  All the stereotypical bullshit that runs through a female’s head when she is in an unnerving situation with a perverted asshole.

That’s why it’s easy for me to believe that the 27 (as of today) women who were harassed by Harvey Weinstein have been keeping quiet since the 90’s.  Women don’t talk about these things.  Women blame themselves.  And what’s worse: everyone else blames us, too.

I was talking about the Weinstein accusations with a friend the other day and he said something that really pissed me off: “Yeah, that’s Hollywood.  What do you expect?”

Yes, it took place in Hollywood and there are a lot of stereotypes that start with the “casting couch” and only go downhill from there.  However, there is absolutely NO WAY that the simple fact that this is something that happened in Hollywood to a bunch of actresses and models, should make this okay.

When is it not going to be okay for men to sexually harass women?  No, seriously, when is it ACTUALLY not going to be okay?  Because there are laws in place, workplace contracts, seminars, protests, brochures—basically every form of anti-sexual harassment language you can  think of.  You cannot begin a new job/university/class without being briefed on sexual harassment.  Yet, it hasn’t gone away at all.  These accusations are as recent as a couple years ago, and I’m sure there are more to come forward that haven’t yet.

So why don’t women report?  Because “that’s Hollywood.”  Because we feel threatened.  Because we feel like no one will believe us.  Because there’s money involved and we just aren’t in a financial position to turn that down.  Because we’re afraid we’ll lose our entire careers—and in many cases, we will.

I don’t even know what to say about this, because what can be done?  What will ever actually change?  We have done so much as a society to preach anti-sexual harassment, and yet it’s barely made a dent in the reality of it. 

***On a somewhat (but not really) unrelated note, why is Harvey Weinstein always stripping naked and demanding massages?  Does he know NO smoother ways to approach women?  And how many times did he chase women around his office IN THE NUDE?  To get naked and be turned down is one thing, but how do you get to the moment where you’re like, “Hmm.  She’s saying no but that can’t be right.  I should probably run after her with my dick dangling between my hairy old man legs.” LIKE ?????????

Saturday, October 7, 2017

What To Be For Halloween

Hey Brainiacs,

It's almost that time of year!  Which means it's almost time for me to realize it's October 30, panic, and try to put together a costume from my pre-existing wardrobe (I usually end up something that no one understands or cares about).

To save you (and myself because let's face it, I care about that WAY more than you) from the embarrassment of cutting two eyes and a mouth in your bedsheets and calling it a day, here are some relevant costume ideas for all of us to start considering:

1. Donald Trump

Even though most of the country claims to hate him, we still end up talking about this guy almost every single day.  Why not slap on some orange face paint, sprinkle a few yellow feathers on your head, and sexually harass your female friends for the day?

2. Oprah

This is only going to work if you're willing to commit to a large hairstyle and passing out lavish presents to everyone you cross paths with.  

3. When In Doubt, Make it Hoe

Every female knows this reality.  Don't know what to be?  Slutty bunny.  Slutty cat.  Slutty nurse.  Slutty Donald Trump. Slutty Oprah.  Slutty Me.

4. Witch

I'm not sure why, but I've always found the witch costume to be one of the most appealing.  It's classic Halloween, everyone knows who you are, who doesn't look good in black, and you can cast spells on people you don't like (although that probably wouldn't actually work).

5. Eleven from Stranger Things

Who wouldn't want to emulate this badass little girl? It's a simple enough costume--just get a pale pink dress and pair it with a light blue jacket, some white ankle socks, and white Keds.  If you really want to commit, shave your head (do it.  Shave your head).

6. Madonna

Another CLASSIC!! Slap on some white gloves, bad hair, excessive costume jewelry and a belt.  Hair not blonde enough?  Good, because this also works as Michael Jackson.

7. North West

Because this baby is basically already hotter than any of us can hope to be, so why not pretend to live her life for one day?  This is probably the happiest you will ever be

8. A Random Object

Unsure of who to be?  Don't be anyone, be anyTHING!  You won't be seen as a physically attractive human being and you'll probably be sweating your ass off all night, but at least people will laugh at you.

9. What Not To Do: Go As Your Occupation

I'm sorry, but if you just put on your work uniform and say that's what you "are" for Halloween, you suck.  You have no imagination.  You bore me.  You shouldn't leave your house.

10. ME

I will pay good money for someone to go as me!  What would you even do?  Put on a skeleton costume and pretend you're me circa one year ago?  Insult people all day?  Wear a mask with a huge forehead?  I won't actually pay you any money at all, but I'd like to hear what you'd do.

Am I missing any great costume ideas?  Talk about it!  Leave a comment.



Thursday, September 28, 2017

Netflix's "To The Bone"

Problems with To the Bone

Image result for to the bone netflix

On January 22, Netflix released something that would make history.  To The Bone, a movie about a young girl with anorexia nervosa, is the first film about eating disorders that didn’t go straight to DVD.  The ability to stream it on Netflix means millions of people have access to this little world that is inhabited by so few in the grander scheme.

The film is quite predictable: the main character Ellen is a young white woman from a rich, divorced family with anorexia nervosa (the absolute stereotype for anorexics).  She’s been in and out of treatment for years and nothing has worked. She sees a doctor who lets her know that he will not treat her unless she is willing to go inpatient.  Her family eagerly sends her to a group home, hoping this attempt at recovery will be her last.

Ellen arrives at the group home and meets a group of friends: an anorexic guy who attempts to flirt with her from the beginning, a binge-eater, a couple bulimics, and an anorexic girl who is being fed through a tube.  The film is littered with references to rituals—rituals that only someone with an eating disorder could truly understand.  It’s a light film.  Not a whole lot goes on.

It’s gotten mixed reviews from people within the ED community and outside, but I had a lot of problems with it.

First of all, nothing is thoroughly explained.  There is a scene on Ellen’s first night in the group home where she shoots out a number when one of the other girls is inquiring about caloric content.  This upsets the girl so much that she can’t eat her dinner—instead, she throws herself onto the couch and sobs.

To someone with an ED or history of an ED, this makes complete sense.  However, I couldn’t help but feel that to an outsider, this just looks like a ridiculous overreaction.  There wasn’t enough context for someone without these experiences to be able to fully comprehend.

Another issue I had was with the boy practically trying to maul her the entire time.  The fuck was up with that?  As if this poor girl didn’t have enough problems trying to overcome the most difficult piece of her life, now we’re going to throw some dipshit male ballerina with a bad accent on her?

Overall, I just felt there were too many information gaps in the film.  I know they were trying to portray eating disorders as honest and not just informational, there needed to be some context provided to outsiders.  If the goal of the film is to create awareness around the issue, then it should have been explained in more depth.

My final and LARGEST issue with this movie was the fact that Lily Collins, the actress who plays Ellen, has a history of anorexia and she BECAME UNDERWEIGHT FOR THE FILM.  What the fuck?  I don’t care how long you’ve been recovered.  You cannot have a history of anorexia, get down to that weight again, and be okay.  No.  The actress put herself in danger—risked health problems returning, brain chemicals being thrown off balance again, and worse.  She could go into the weight loss completely lucid and intend to only lose weight for the film, and something can go off kilter in her mind and change everything.  Luckily, she put the weight back on after the film, but a relapse can easily happen months or years in the future.  To a recovering anorexic, this fact is incredibly discouraging and sad.

If you are recovering/recovered from an ED and want to watch this movie, I highly recommend against it.  I spent the night wandering around my neighborhood in a daze after watching it, and it honestly wasn’t that graphic.  Going down into that reality again is not something you want to do to yourself.

I’d say watch it if you’re an outsider, but honestly it doesn’t portray EDs well enough and might give off the wrong message.  Watch it if you really want to, but be warned that there are inconsistencies and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Missoni Spring 2018 RTW

Hi Brainiacs,

I know I haven't been posting much about Fashion Month this time around (I recently started a new job and haven't had the time), but I couldn't help myself when it came to this Missoni show.  It's so beautifully done and perfect for the 20th anniversary of Angela Missoni's creative directing.  

Without further ado, here are my favorite looks from the season. Do you agree or disagree? Did I miss any?  I want to hear your thoughts:

Look 23:

Look 29: 

Look 30:

Look 38:

Look 47:

Look 59:

Look 61:

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

NYFW Spring 2018 Updates

New York Fashion Week isn't just an event that celebrities and fashionistas attend. At least, not for me.  For me, NYFW is a way of life.  It's an excuse to stop going to class, stop working, stop eating, stop blinking, stop showering.  An excuse to do NOTHING but sit at your computer clicking the refresh button until new show coverage is uploaded on  The closest thing I can compare the experience to is the behavior of an avid basketball fan during March Madness or a football fanatic at the start of season.  It's euphoric--do NOT talk to me during Fashion Week.

With that being said, there are quite a few changes to the shows this season and I figured I'd update all of you, whether you've asked for this information or not! (A grand total of none of you have asked so far, in case you were wondering).

1. Some of our most coveted brands are leaving us for Paris.

I've yet to decide if this is good or bad.  Although my allegiance lies with New York, I have to admit that Paris Fashion Week provides some of the best content of each season. Rodarte, Altuzarra, Proenza Schouler, and Thom Browne have all decided to give Paris a go this year.  Why?  I have no idea.  It makes me feel uncomfortable because these are all part of my top 10 favorite brands and I now have to wait until the last week of Fashion Month to see them, but maybe a little patience will do me good.

2. Fenty x Puma is back in New York.

I'm I the only one who didn't even notice it wasn't in New York last season?  Where was it?  Kanye West has traumatized me so thoroughly that I genuinely just don't pay much attention when a celebrity tries their hand at design, even though Rihanna is a fashion icon for life.

3. Brooklyn as host.

Brooklyn has a history of being more offbeat--a place for writers, artists, bohemian types.  However, Eckhaus Latta and VFiles are both heading over the bridge to debut their Spring 2018 collections.  Talk about gentrification.

4. Fashion on the silver screen.

Among the clothing and accessories will be debuts of something you can't take home with you at the end of the show--films.  Documentaries from Kenzo, Zac Posen, and more will be presented throughout the week.

5. The Crawford of our generation makes her debut.

Daughter of Cindy and face of Marc Jacobs' Daisy fragrance Kaia Gerber will be making her runway debut.  If she's anything like Gigi, Kendall, or Bella, she'll be in every show at least once.  She'll make you wonder how she's still physically capable of anything by the end of the month.

6. Season 6 of Yeezy is...who cares

The subheading says it all.  See you in September!



Friday, August 25, 2017

Horoscope Ramblings: Gemini

As per request, here are my horoscope findings for my anonymous friend, the Gemini!  I wish I knew who you were so I could relate it to you more closely (so maybe you should reveal yourself to me), but I'll do my best:

As far as your strengths, you are gentle, affectionate, curious, and adaptable.  You're a quick learner and eager to exchange ideas with others.  Whoever you are, we should have a conversation because I do love to exchange ideas!  However, you can be nervous and inconsistent, which means our conversation might be a train wreck--you might even wet yourself/end up on the floor.

You like books, magazines, and chats with nearly anyone.  Okay, I understand the chats with nearly anyone, but books and magazines?  Don't most people enjoy at least magazines?  Come on, astrology.

You dislike being alone, confined, or stuck in a routine.  Here's where you and I would not get along at all because I regularly cancel plans so that I can spend my time along instead, and I thrive in routines.  So good luck trying to catch me.

You're expressive and quick-witted with two different personalities.  This sounds exhausting, but hopefully you know how to handle it.  You're sociable and communicative, always ready for fun (this makes you sound easy).  You're fascinated with the world itself and naturally curious.  You're honestly starting to sound like a small puppy.

You're forever seeking friends, colleagues, significant others.  Once again, exhausting.  Can you please calm down?

As for love, you see verbal communication equal to or more important than a physical connection, which is so important.  You're always ready to flirt and you have a need for excitement (again, easy).  However, your biggest challenge is to find a love that lasts.  It's difficult for you to hold onto emotions for too long.

You're very social and love to spend time with friends and family.  Your brain has to constantly be challenged.  As far as a career choice, your best going for something that stimulates your brain and your sociability.  Try being a trader, writer, inventor, or lawyer (although how does writer make sense--literally what is more reclusive than this? I'm in a coffee shop and I haven't spoken to a single person yet today).

Does this fit you, anonymous commenter?  Leave a comment elaborating if I got it right or not, I'm interested to know!  And anyone else who wants their horoscope examined, leave a comment.  I don't really have anything else going on.



Friday, August 18, 2017

Beyoncé The Author (Brought to You By Unpublished-and-Bitter-About-It)

Beyoncé has news for us mere mortals, and it’s big: she’s released a 600-page coffee table book about her sixth album, Lemonade.  The book takes readers through the process that went behind the album—everything from the body paint featured in her music video for “Sorry” to the Louisiana Tignon Laws that went behind Creole women wearing headwraps, which Beyoncé dons for the album.

This book features a lot of interesting copy.  For example, it goes into great depth about every collaboration/idea/ritual that went behind the album.  An extreme Beyoncé fan might be thrilled to learn all of this—a sneak peek at the behind-the-scenes of the industry.  However, are the rest of us expected to give that much of a shit?

I’ve always enjoyed Beyoncé, and I must admit that Lemonade and all that it stands for in terms of women of color and feminism in general, is absolutely brilliant.  I think Beyoncé is a great role model and a modern trailblazer for women everywhere, but even this doesn’t make me want to read a 600-page book on her fucking music album.

Like I said before—for extreme fans, this makes sense.  If there were a 600, no, 600,000-page book on Lady Gaga, I’d devour it.  I’d read it every morning when I wake up and every night before I sleep.  But for the rest of the population who isn’t a die-hard Beyoncé fan, how does this book make sense?

Sort of like Kim K’s selfie book (although much less ridiculous)—who is buying this crap?  I get wanting to know all the history of feminism and black culture in America, but can’t we trust someone other than Beyoncé to teach it to us?  Like, maybe, and this is a reach but: a historian? 

Good for Beyoncé for taking the time to sit down and write a 600-page book.  Except, wait, she definitely didn’t write a single word and it’s mostly pictures anyway.  I guess I’m just interested to see how long this book is wildly sought after before it’s forgotten forever and I come across it in a cardboard box at a yard sale in seven years.

I literally don't even want to KNOW how much it costs.