Monday, December 11, 2017

The Future of Sex Culture

Tender. Vulnerable. Unpredictable. Undeniable. Unbelievable. All ways to describe the current social climate of not only our nation, but our entire world.  Ever since the start of #MeToo, back when the first Harvey Weinstein story was coming out (why does it feel like such a long time ago?), we've all been holding our breaths to see what's going to come next.

When all of the sexual allegations and firings and public apologies first started happening, I was almost angry.  Angry and incredibly frustrated because I thought, Here we are so close to change and yet I can't even imagine a world where that is possible.  

I was driving home from work ranting to a friend on the phone one day when I realized that I have never had a female career model to look up to, because they are all men.  I've had a female supervisors, never a female boss, and I've worked for a few companies and have rarely ever seen a female in a corporate position.  I haven't been able to look up to a woman career-wise because there haven't been any around me.

The fact that this has actually progressed and could inspire change is so exciting, but it's also terrifying.  We're living in a time where we have groundbreaking news every single day (the toxic underbelly of the scientific worldMario Batali's wandering hands), but we also have no experience with such an influx of terrible information and how we should be handling it.  My fear is that it will cause a sex-cultural regression.

It may sound outlandish, but it really isn't that impossible. As recently as a little less than a century ago, women were regarded as innocent beings who must be pure, obedient, and endlessly giving.  We were not given a chance in the workplace and we were looked down upon when we wore revealing clothing or stayed out late.

Today, we live in a world that is the complete opposite of that.  We are looser with our sexuality - rightfully so, but if people in power in our society see that as the problem, then we could be in trouble.

I'm not saying I think we're going back to being housewives, but I do think this can potentially cause men to regard women as things they are not supposed to touch or be sexual with, which can really harm us as a culture.  That wouldn't make us equal - it would just put us in another impossible reality.  Today, we are forced to grin and bear it, to do whatever it takes to please our managers, to take the jokes and the grabs and the leers and just go with it.  That doesn't mean tomorrow we want to be considered too fragile to touch.

One extreme to the other is not what we need.  What we need is a new formula entirely - one where men and women are people.  Good, bad, lazy, hardworking, funny, efficient, trustworthy, not worth a shit - this is how we will think of each other.  Not as a male or female.  Not as a possible victim or not.

The answer to this sexual revolution isn't to box women up and mark them as "off limits," but rather to finally include them in a society they deserve to be an equal part of. To stop the sexualizing, infantilizing, patronizing, and all the other "izings" you bastards do to us and let us grow as a nation.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Small Acts of Rebellion - A Series

Hi Everyone,

Anyone who's been reading my stuff for a while knows what I mean when I say "Chronicles of a Fashion Girl."  This was a series I did last summer covering my time spent in New York City - partially fictitious and entirely based on my experience.  Out of everything I've written on this blog, that was probably my favorite piece to tackle, which got me thinking.  How can I recreate the feeling of accomplishment I had every time I posted a new chronicle?

I've decided to start a new series, titled "Small Acts of Rebellion."  Much like my Chronicles, I'll post this one chapter at a time.

The series is inspired by all of my loves: fashion, New York, and sarcasm.  Follow the characters I've created on their journey through New York, taking the city one day at a time.  Here's the first installment:

The best thing about humanity is the small acts of rebellion.  I’m not talking big criminal activity, but those small acts of rebellion that we all partake in, no matter how holier than thou we may appear externally.  The thing is, we do these things without knowing whether or not others do, too.  In our minds, we are quite possibly the only person on the planet who drives solo in the carpool lane.  As far as we’re concerned, no one else slips tubes of chapstick into their purse at the checkout line at the grocery store.  Only we have clipped the bumper of a parked car and left without checking for damage.  Sure, we’re probably assuming others do to make ourselves feel better, but in reality we’re just taking shots in the dark.
It’s the cheap thrills that get to us the most.  Why else do so many A-list celebrities get caught shoplifting?  
“I like to put on bras at Target and wear them out,” says Jane, a divorce lawyer living in a third-floor walkup in the Upper West Side (she isn’t exactly in the poor house but she also isn’t exactly in the penthouse).  She’s just below six feet, but the tragedy is that she could never be a model because the reality is that her hips are too wide.  She eats Chinese leftovers two days in a row.  She never forgets to lock her front door.  She hasn’t had sex in four months.  “It makes me feel...dangerous.”
“I never clean up my dog’s shits,” says Jackson, a financial analyst from Tribeca.  Jackson sits before me at a coffee shop, sipping on his cappuccino and thinking about the reports he has to get done by the end of the day.  He’s completely unaware of the slightly chunky waitress who’s been checking him out since we got here, even though her section is at least 60 feet away, but he hasn’t stopped looking at the blonde bombshell who’s lunching across the street in a dress tighter than my budget after taxes.  He doesn’t know that the woman he slept with last night, who he told this morning, “I’ve got to head to work, but take your time getting ready.  My housekeeper should be here soon, have her make you some breakfast,” is still curled up in his sheets, giddy and anticipating his return.  Jackson shrugs, “I just figure my apartment is worth so much, and for the neighborhood I pay to live in, why should I have to worry about picking up shit?”
“I never wipe down the machines after I use them at the gym,” says Jason, a construction worker with a beautiful body and a rich older girlfriend.  He holds up a hand once he sees the expression on my face.  “Okay, okay, hear me out!  I know that doesn’t sound very scandalous,” he continues.  His arms are more vascular than an old woman’s calves, but in an extremely sexy and tortured way.  “I mean, I sweat profusely.  I sweat more than your average man.  On top of that, I drink beer every night.  I enjoy the other, uh, you know, perks of life (here he sniffs a few times) pretty often, and I practically live on chimichangas.  So you’ve got alcohol, poor diet, and a few other vices, all being sweated out of me and onto these machines that hundreds or thousands or whatever, other people are using.  Even I know I smell.  God, it feels good to say this out loud.  You’re using a fake name, right?”
Whether or not we admit it when a writer isn’t recording us (while swearing on her mother’s grave not to use our real names in the story), we all have a problem.  We’re addicted to danger.  And for anyone who’s reading this and thinking to themselves, Nope, not me.  I’m straight as an arrow; I would never do anything wrong to help myself out--fuck off, because there’s no place for you here.
“What do you think of that guy over there?  Wait, like, two seconds and then look,” Hailey says, eyes darting towards a guy sitting on a booth in the corner of the bar.  He sits with his hands woven together and his brow knit, seemingly deep in thought.  He’s got thick blonde hair and the whitest teeth she’s ever seen.  His short-sleeved shirt reveals his veiny, chiseled arms and he definitely works out.  She’s never seen a nicer body on such a hottie.  He’s sitting across from a woman, who is speaking to him.  An object that sort of resembles a tape recorder sits between them on the table.
Jane shrugs, rolls her eyes not-so-discretely.  “Look, I really just don’t want to picture you having sex with some meat head.  But hey, who’s that girl he’s with?  I think I know her.”
“Oh my god, he’s not a meat head.  Do you think he’s a meat head?  He doesn’t really look like one to me.  I think he looks really defined and handsome and just like so, like--”
“Oh my god shut up, I could not care less.”
Hailey leans back a bit, allowing her mouth to drop open.  She’s astonished.  “Well I’m sorry,” she gasps, shaking her head in disbelief.  She clutches her chest, seemingly still bothered about what just happened.
“I just don’t really care about my sister’s sex life, feel?”  Jane shrugs again, wanders off to find the bathroom without really explaining herself.  She’s contemplating sneaking out the back (she drove).
Hailey has already forgotten what happened.
She looks to the corner Jason is in again, finding comfort in the face of a complete stranger.  He’s alone now; the woman left while she was talking to Jane.  He’s ordered a plate of french fries.  He’s eating them without closing his mouth.  Hailey finds this endearing.  She decides to go over and introduce herself.

She makes her way across the bar, dodging a tap on the shoulder from the creepy older man (who can’t be taller than 5’11 or skinnier than Fat Joe) who’s been watching her from ten feet away all night (she notices every single detail).  “Hi,” Hailey breathes in what she hopes is a sexy manner, “Is this seat taken?”

Thursday, November 16, 2017

So You Feel Like Relapsing Into Your ED

I hate hijacking my own fashion blog (say a prayer to Anna Wintour) to talk about eating disorders, but it’s something that’s had a huge effect on my life and I can’t live with myself if someone else is suffering and I could have helped but didn’t.  This post is for anyone who’s considering ED recovery/already in recovery and ready to give up.  I can’t tell you how many times I considered relapse during recovery. 

Sadly, relapse is incredibly common for people with EDs.  I have talked to dozens of people who suffer/have suffered and it’s a lifestyle.  It’s 20, 30, even 40 years of going up and down in weight, recovering for a few years and then relapsing.

I could be delightfully cliché and say things like “Keep fighting” and “It gets better” and “Your best day in recovery is better than your worst day sick” or (my personal favorite) “Trust the process, it’s different for everyone!”

Shut the fuck up.

Let’s be honest: If you’re someone with an eating disorder and you decide to recover, only about 10% of you makes that choice.  The other 90% is still begging you to be thinner.

I have been in recovery for a little over 8 months and I refuse to sugarcoat what I’ve been through: It has been the HARDEST 8 months of my life.  However, I’m finally in a great place.  I finally feel like Taylor again—the Taylor that I’ve known since March 17, 1995.  For those who know me closely, you know I’m not really the type of person to change.  Anorexia (and the entire personality that came along with the misery) aside, I haven’t changed much in my 22 years.  I’ve been writing stories and sketching fashion designs for as long as I can remember.  The walls of my childhood were covered with magazine covers and quotes from my favorite authors.  I’ve always liked to make people laugh, I’ve always been honest.  I’ve always danced.  I’ve always loved myself—it’s who I am.  To lose that for three years is tremendously sad.

Don’t get me wrong, anorexia was hell.  Being underweight, constantly bloated, constantly weak and dizzy, and looking in the mirror and seeing nothing but flaws is terrible.  But to not be Taylor anymore was the biggest loss for me.  I looked in the mirror and didn’t know who I was anymore.  I didn’t have any fun, I didn’t enjoy life.  Again, anyone who’s known me for years knows that isn’t me at all.

So yeah, recovery is a complete bitch, but it DOES get better and I AM feeling more like myself than I have since I was 15 and too hot for my leggings.  But I’ve deviated a bit from the point of this post.  While I’ve been recovering, I have spent countless hours researching what to expect.  Someone who has no experience with eating disorders can’t fathom how hard it is to recover.  “It can’t be so bad, all you have to do is eat!”

Again, shut the fuck up.

For the men/women out there who believe they can change their lives, you can, but it’s terrifying.  The difficulty of recovery is the reason so many people relapse, so I’m going to discuss all of my symptoms and how they’ve changed/disappeared/improved over the past 8 months.  Every article I read was extremely vague about symptoms and timelines, which is understandable as it is dependent on the individual, the starting weight, the need to gain or lose, the genetic makeup, the possibility of permanent damage, etc.   However, I believe that if at least a few recovered/recovering people talked more openly about their symptoms, maybe it can be less terrifying and maybe less people will relapse.

My Symptoms:

Wild changes in heart rate.  This was one of the first symptoms I experienced and it’s something that still occurs to this day (SO DON’T STARVE YOURSELF LOL).  From research/talking to a doctor, I learned this happens because your body is confused that you’re giving it food again and the blood sugar levels are all over the place (obviously this doesn’t read very medically sound so please do your own research if you have this, it’s scary).  There was one time it was so bad I actually thought I was going to die that night.  My friend drove me to a park to get my mind off my heart rate and I had to sit down on the grass and try not to think about the fact that I was almost certainly going to die.  This occurred maybe 5-8 times a day, every single day for about a month or two.  Now it only happens if I go a long time without eating, which is incentive to never go a long time without eating.

Extreme hunger.  The hardest part of my recovery has been coming to terms with the fact that some people need more food than others, and I am one of those people.  I’ve always been in sports or dance, which means I’ve always had a huge appetite.  I have almost always eaten more than people around me, even guys, but I’ve never been overweight.  I can just put away a lot of food.  My ED loves to tell me I can’t, but I definitely can, and in order to be healthy, I have finally accepted it.  Many people get extreme hunger at first and then it evens out.  I can still eat more than you.  I don’t care who you are—I can.  And that’s okay.

Thicker hair and stronger nails.  Not much more to say about that, except recovery isn’t all bad.

PREGNANT STOMACH.  Okay, THE WORST.  I cannot tell you how many people asked me if I was pregnant this summer.  I really can’t count them all.  This was really awful to experience.  Imagine trying to recover from an illness where you believe you’re huge and the ONLY cure is to gain weight.  “Are you pregnant?”  No, but I sort of want to stab you. 

Inability to digest certain foods.  When you’ve deprived yourself of things like bread, sweets, sugar, salt, etc. for so many years, your body goes into shock.  Remember the first day I posted about my anorexia?  That night, I went to bed at 6 p.m. because I was in so much pain from eating a fucking tablespoon of mashed potatoes.  You can ask my dad because he was next to me on the couch.  The only thing that got me through that night was the beautiful, uplifting comments and a determination to be better.

Anxiety.  All revolving around eating.  I’ve had to smoke weed before countless meals to even be able to bring myself to pick up the fork without crying/hyperventilating.

Constant exhaustion.  I mean like, practically falling asleep at the wheel.

Depression.  What did I do to myself?

Loss of “identity,” which is really your ED identity and the best thing you can lose.

None of your clothes fit.  And you turn into that girl with the big boobs (well, big for you because they’ve been literally nonexistent for three years) who doesn’t wear a bra because you can’t afford one that fits because you’ve had to buy new pants, shorts, skirts, shirts, underwear, jackets, shoes (yes, if you’re tiny enough, even your feet grow back) and you figure if you only have a certain amount of spending money and it’s between literally just covering your body with any fabric that fits and supporting your boobs, you’re going with the clothes.

You hate everything because you have to wear the same thing constantly.  It takes a long time to build up a new wardrobe. When fashion is life, this is especially sad.

Randomly feeling like you’re going to die.  This is dramatic, but there are times in recovery (even now, although it is very rare) where I just feel…horrible.  Fogginess, forgetfulness, weakness, exhaustion, etc.

How I Feel Now:

Recovery has been somewhat slow for me because I am stubborn and I continued to restrict slightly (not enough to halt my weight gain but enough to stall the recovery process a bit) for quite a few months.  However, for the past month or so, I can honestly say I have not been restricting.  I’ve somehow been able to let go of that ED voice.  I don’t know if the voice is going to come back, but this is the longest it’s been gone and I am not complaining.

For all the symptoms I listed above, the ONLY thing that has helped cure/ease them at all: eating.  That’s it.

Believe it or not, I’ve been eating completely intuitively and regularly with NO disordered thoughts or subconscious habits for about two weeks now and I have actually slimmed down.  This is because my metabolism is working properly again, my weight is distributing, and the bloating is going down a lot.

I’ve gained so much muscle and energy, my heart rate is practically normalized, I’m nowhere near under/overweight, and I feel like myself.

I can’t really share numbers because I’m not weighing myself and I’m no longer counting calories.  I am eating intuitively and healthily and I’m working out 5 days a week for about an hour a day.

Sorry for the length of this post, but I wish something a little more extensive had been out there when I started recovering.  At the very least, I can be that person for someone else.

That being said, I might be missing a symptom or two here that I may have forgotten about, or maybe I STILL didn’t go into enough detail for you.  If that is the case, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask me for more.  I do NOT mind sharing every single detail of my anorexia and/or my recovery.  It’s hard to talk about at times, but I am really dedicated to helping others get through it because I have had so many beautiful people touch my lives throughout the process, and it makes it so much more bearable.


KEEP FIGHTING.  DO NOT FUCKING LOOK BACK.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Why I (And You, Don't Lie) Care So Much About Justin and Selena

Image result for justin and selena

I really don't know. But that reality aside, we need to talk about this couple: a.k.a. the Syd and Nancy of our time. 

Okay, so they're not quite that extreme. But Justin and Selena give us hope for ourselves. If a Canadian pop star with an excess of tattoos and bad attitude that just doesn't quit can find love, then can't we all? And if Selena can make a somewhat decent man out of him, then maybe there's hope after all for you and your lump of shit at home.

Selena Gomez tried to move on. She made a few breakup songs, she sneakily got extra-hot, and she got a boyfriend with a gross amount of swag. But even a boyfriend that cool (who can list Bella Hadid under his list of ex-girlfriends) couldn't keep the Biebs away.

Justin continued to fuck around and get himself into ridiculous amounts of trouble, straightened out a bit and confessed to the world he still loves Selena, and randomly became extremely religious (extremely for him). He has never settled down.

On the other hand, Selena had The Weeknd, but not for long. As the universe knows, the couple broke up in October and Jelena has been spotted together multiple times.

There was the bike ride. The church visit. The laughs. The smiles. Everyone's (no one's?) favorite couple is back and more collectively notorious than ever.

Okay, so they're not back together, just hanging out. But for the sake of our generation, they need to be together and here's why:

Our generation is one accustomed to being lonely. I was musing about this with a close friend of mine the other day. In the world we grew up in, intimate relationships are hard to come by. We meet each other behind screens, carry out most of our lives behind screens, and have a limited amount of human interaction. I know this theory is tired, but it holds up. Why else would we be so interested in the lives of two spoiled asshole billionaires who happen to date?

Everyone falls for the bad-boy-meets-good-girl plot. We don't really know how "good" or "bad" Selena Gomez is, but luckily you don't have to work too hard to be a better citizen than Justin Bieber, and the fact that she can "make him better" makes all of our disgusting hearts flutter.

They bum it together. This probably helps people stop thinking about appearance for like 0.00001 seconds and realize that even famous people look like shit during most of their free time.

They model our own relationships. Celebrity relationships are, for the most part, perfect and clean to the public eye. How am I supposed to measure my own love life problems up to Brangelina, Couple #4723472 that "split but still love and respect one another"? Give me Jelena, the couple that is almost regularly a walking PR nightmare.

If they can make it, maybe you can. Like I said before, everyone likes to look up to public relationships as a sort of guide for their own. Heartbreak is romantic and reunions after messy breakups are so much more satisfying than a history of solid respect and love. We're all fucked up and we all fall for this, so just embrace it and move on.

And tell me if you have any new updates on Justin and Selena.

XOXO,

Taylor

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

When Faith Meets Fashion

The 2018 Met Gala theme has been announced and I can hardly contain myself.  I literally got up and ran to my boss’s office so we can talk about it (he used to work in fashion) but he was on the phone so instead I decided to blog about it. For May 2018's First Monday, celebrities, editors, and moguls alike will flock to Manhattan to celebrate "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination."


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For those of you who don't know (but if you've been following my blog for a while and you don't know then get your head out of your ass), the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan puts on an exhibit from May to September every year. This year, that exhibit will cover the relationship between fashion and religious art, and anyone who's seen Madonna circa 1984 knows how successfully these worlds can cross paths.


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The exhibit will actually be displayed in three different locations (the Holy Trinity?): the Met, the Anna Wintour Costume Center, and the Cloisters.  Much of the papal apparel (say that three times fast) on display will be items that have never before been seen outside of the Vatican.  This will of course be accompanied by traditional haute couture/high fashion pieces by designers over the years who've gathered inspiration from Catholicism and religion (Versace, Balenciaga, Galliano, Chanel, etc.).

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Perhaps the best co-hosts to Wintour herself are part of this year's lineup: Donatella Versace, Amal Clooney, and Rihanna.  About the exhibit, Vogue wrote: "The intersection of faith and fashion, the sacred and profane, as it were, has not always been easy - 'complex and sometimes contested' is how Bolton characterizes the relationship - but the interplay between the two has inspired some awe-inspiring sartorial innovation." 

It's customary for Met Gala attendees to wear a custom outfit that aligns with the theme, so I am in fierce anticipation of the first Monday in May to see what/who people wear.  As you know, this is my bread and butter.  Any ideas who is going to dress the most outrageously?  Guesses to who will wear whom?  Leave a comment below!

XOXO,

Taylor

Friday, October 27, 2017

All The Ways Living with Roommates Is Completely Different from Living at Home

This summer, a lot of things changed.  I graduated college, I gained a shit ton of weight (yay me), I quit my first job, I started a career, and I moved into an apartment with roommates.  While all of these are some pretty major transitions to hit a girl at once, the last transition has been both the strangest and the most exciting.

You get to start over with decorating a new room.

Unless the room you're renting is already furnished, in which case 1. I hate you and 2. You can still decorate it to your liking.  It was sort of cool to move into my new place.  I walked into an empty room with so much potential.  So far all I've done is set up an air mattress and a card table, but my Led Zeppelin poster is on the floor and I'm only a few weeks away from buying some tape to hang it up with!

You get to meet brand new people.

This can either be good or bad.  Luckily my roommates turned out to NOT be psychos.  Instead, I live with three female college students who are clean, friendly, and I've been able to bond with pretty quickly.

You turn said new people into your new family.

Of course we still have families outside of our little apartment, but it's kind of nice to be able to clean up after someone or help someone else out with the groceries and to be returned those favors when you're in need.  Looking out for each other on this level is family stuff and it's a beautiful thing I hadn't felt in a while.

No one eats your food.

Okay, I'm sure there are tons of situations where people's roommates are eating their food and it's a big deal, but in my apartment we're all really respectful of each other.  This means never again do I have to come home to find that my mother has eaten all my bananas!!!! Yeah Mom NEVER FORGET!

When something needs to be fixed, you have to figure it out yourself.

My dad isn't exactly a handyman, but at least I could always count on him to call the Internet people when the WiFi wasn't working.  Now, that's all up to me.

Bills are addressed to you.

Need I say more? Ew.

You always have someone to talk to.

We all have our hard days where we just need to vent.  Having roommates that you really get along with makes this so much easier and helps out all of you in the long run with trust and communication.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

6 Reasons I Love Anna Wintour

An article last week reminded me of a very important fact: This month marks 4 years of Anna Wintour being the Artistic Director of Conde Nast, the media company that owns publications such as GQ, The New Yorker, Pitchfork, and Wintour's baby: Vogue.

Wintour has been at Vogue since November 1988 (the famous high-to-low cover) and has seen (and been at the forefront of) many changes in the industry.  Her experience, expertise, and tenacity makes her a perfect fit to direct...well, anything.

I've done research on Wintour that borders on the obsessive (I've literally wanted to be her since I was nine), making me pretty qualified (by my own assessment, yes) to talk about her and list the reasons why she is the queen of the fashion world and my life:

1. She was the first to mix high fashion with a pair of blue jeans.

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This cover was Anna's first at Vogue and arguably the climax of the magazine's lifetime. Model Michaela Bercu wears a bejeweled Christian Lacroix sweater with a pair of Guess jeans. It was so never-been-done that the magazine's printers actually called Wintour and asked if there had been some kind of mistake. The most exciting and possibly controversial thing about this cover is the fact that Bercu's little belly isn't photoshopped to be flat as a board. A stepping stone for a world that STILL hasn't progressed enough to regularly include ALL body types in fashion editorials/advertisements/runways, but a step nonetheless.

2. She's had the same hairstyle since she was a teenager.

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The bob has come in and out of style over the years, transforming itself to fit relevance.  However, the one bob that hasn't faltered even slightly is Anna Wintour's.  And somehow, it always works.  Somehow, it's always in style.

3. The reason she wears her sunglasses indoors is because they're prescription and she doesn't like eye glasses.

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I mean, this may or may not be true.  I read it in a biography about her that she didn't give any consent to so who knows, but I think it's pretty cool.  I choose to believe it's true.  How amazing is that?

4. I'm pretty sure no one has ever made fun of/ridiculed her, ever.

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I've noticed that most celebrities or public icons have been ridiculed or had rumors started about them once or twice.  While many consider Anna to be impossible to work with (her nickname is "Nuclear Wintour"), she has never really been the butt of a public joke.  No one makes fun of her.  But she can make or break your entire life, so why would you?

5. She pisses off PETA.

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And PETA pisses off everyone else, so thank you Anna.

6. She taught me how hard I have to work to get what I want.

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Anna Wintour did everything it took to get to the head of American Vogue.  She put in time at other magazines, she established connections, she networked her ass off, and she single-handedly forced her way into the position.  That isn't to say she doesn't deserve it or isn't qualified: she's the most fashionable woman on the planet. Her style intuition cannot be matched.  But she didn't just have the talent--she had the drive, which is something so many people lack.  

Anna, thank you for pushing me from the young age of nine to pursue my fashion dreams and never give up until I've achieved everything I'm working for!  I'm sure you've inspired millions of other young girls and boys along the way.  They're spread out all over the planet, putting in work to be the next Anna Wintour.  But here's the plot twist: I'm going to beat them all.

XOXO,

Taylor

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

50 Years of New Yorkers

This month marked the 50th anniversary of one of my favorite magazines, New York.  In honor of the past 50 years of not only reporting but letting readers into the lives and intimacies of genuine New Yorkers, the magazine dedicated a spread to personal stories from public figures about why/how New York is so special to them.

As my own contribution to this special occasion, I’ve decided to write about my own feelings for New York—because I’m certain that the editors at NYMag have been scouring the Internet for weeks, frantically refreshing my blog as they await my response!

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Imagine being sick.  Sick in your body and sick in your mind.  Sicker than you’ve ever been in your entire life, yet you’re the only person who can’t see it.  In these trying times, we typically turned to loved ones to help us through.  Someone to push us to get better, to strive for health, to be our best selves.  I had quite a few people reach out to me last summer and before, but I pushed them away.  Instead, I let a city be my savior.

This sounds overly melodramatic, but it’s true.  When I moved to New York for my internship last summer, I was in a very strange stage in my life.  I needed help and yet I refused to admit it.  I isolated myself from everyone, opting to live my entire life in my own head.

Again, this isn’t to say that no one tried.  I made the decision to ignore any and all efforts.  However, there is one person who I let in, and it wasn’t exactly a person: it was New York.

This is sort of a touchy subject, because many people have approached me and told me that they KNEW something truly worrisome was going on when I posted pictures from New York—I had gotten significantly skinnier.  And they’re not wrong.  I did lose weight in New York.  I did exercise a lot more (I walked everywhere and usually remained standing on the subway, even when there were seats) and didn’t increase my calories to make up for it.  In many ways, living there made my eating disorder worse.  But I still remember it as one of the happiest times in my life.

It’s difficult for me to write about my time there because it’s truly difficult to describe.  It was everything.

I lived in a tiny one-bedroom apartment with two women in the fashion/PR industry.  I don’t know how I got so lucky matching up with them (I interned at a fashion magazine), but someone was looking out for me. 

I walked to Whole Foods every Saturday morning for my weekly groceries.  I got coffee at Silver Moon Bakery near Columbia University.  I got a mani-pedi once in the West Village.  I brought my yoga mat to Central Park.

There’s a shit load of depression that goes along with having anorexia, but there are also brief moments of deluded happiness.  This is where rituals come into effect, and New York gave me that.

Anorexia tends to either cause or support pre-existing obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Everything has to be perfect, everything has to be YOUR way.  In New York, I could have everything my way.

It was my first time living away from home.  I read all day long when I wasn’t at the magazine.  I sat at Washington Square Park with a cup of pudding and people-watched.  I worked on my writing at a coffee shop.  I bought laundry detergent at the corner bodega.  I sneered at tourists.

This was my routine, my rituals to get through the day.  I was on my own and I had created this new, quiet little life for myself in Manhattan, the city that eats people alive. 

Have you ever felt so in love with a person that you just sort of stare at them for a while?  You just sort of think about how lucky you are, how you’ll do anything to hold onto it and never let it go?  Well I have.  It’s a beautiful feeling to have so much faith in one person, but I’ve also felt this for a place.  I’ve felt this for New York.

I’ve been on the subway sandwiched in between a guy with the worst B.O. I’ve ever smelled and an old lady who wouldn’t stop farting and closed my eyes to take in how happy I was.  I’ve walked so much that my knees practically gave out and kept walking out of excitement and anticipation for what was ahead.  I sat at my favorite bench in Central Park on my last day and cried like a baby.  I stared at the view of the Upper East Side and promised to never forget it.


I love you, New York.  See you soon XOXO.

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.

XOXO,

Taylor

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 vogue.com.  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 sorry...am 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!

XOXO,

Taylor

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.

XOXO,

Taylor

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.

XOXO,

Taylor