12 Reasons Why Sorority Retreats are basically the Best

12 Reasons Why Sorority Retreats are basically the Best

Sisterhood always comes first.

1. The car trip there is full of non-stop jam sessions.

2. You’re locked in a house with all of your sisters for the whole weekend.

3. You always learn new things about each other during a rousing game of Never Have I Ever.

4. Group photos always turn out beautiful, even though they’re a pain to set up and take.

5. Cooking (and eating) giant meals together is always a bonding experience.

6. So is story-time with older members.

7. Bridal shower type games are to be expected!

8. The retreat chair is constantly keeping everybody hyped up.

9. Sisters connect with other sisters they may have never talked to before.

10. Retreat is like a no-judgment zone bubble where everyone can vent and cry it out until there is understanding.

11. Tears and laughter heal all wounds.

So do sisters.

12. Everyone always leaves feeling like unified and one with each other.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.keysproperties.com/up_img/images/beach-sister-jump2.jpg

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'Insatiable' Reminds Fat Girls That All We'll Ever Be Is A Before Picture

Netflix stays putting out tone-deaf content.


I know you're not supposed to judge a piece of work by a measly three-minute clip, but come on, y'all.

If you haven't heard, Netflix just released an original series starring Debby Ryan called "Insatiable"—and you only need to make it a couple seconds into the trailer until you're full on fat-shaming bullshit.

The show follows Patty Bladell, an overweight high school student who is bullied relentlessly for her weight—called "Fatty Patty" on multiple occasions in the trailer alone—until an incident that results in her mouth being wired shut for three months and being unable to eat food.

Patty comes out on the other end of her hospital visit thin and beautiful and ready to live out every dream she was seemingly unable to live out when she was overweight. And herein lies the problem with this show.

First of all, I don't know why we're all ignoring the fact that she loses the weight after having her mouth wired shut.

The implications of her life-changing weight loss resulting from not being able to eat food for three months is incredibly problematic.

But the bigger and more obvious theme within the show is that Patty is only able to live out her wildest fantasies once she loses the weight. She is only able to be happy and fulfilled and loved and worthy after she loses the weight. The story isn't about a triumphant girl. The story is about a triumphant skinny girl. The only option.

Because how could a fat girl love herself? How could a fat girl be happy with her life and not want to change? How could a fat girl see herself as anything other than a before picture?

A lot of people are speaking out in defense of the show, saying that it gives a real look into the issue of bullying and fat-shaming that goes on in schools and in the world at large. A lot of people are saying that as fat people or formerly fat people, they can confirm that yes, life is harder, and this show is simply telling that story.

The biggest issue with this perspective is that sure, when it's looked at through a critical lens by someone a lot older and wiser and at a more comfortable and stable place in life, maybe it makes sense—maybe.

But that's not the target audience of this show and that's not who will be watching.

These are young people.

These are little girls.

These are kids who don't have the ability to think so critically and don't have the life experience to take everything with a grain of salt.

I would like to say that I will be watching this show to give it a fair shot and encourage you to do the same. But as someone in recovery from an eating disorder who has struggled with my body image my entire life, I know that I, like many others, won't be able to watch the show without being triggered and going back into dangerous territory.

That's the reality of the power of media. That's the reality of the responsibility that media companies and content creators take on when they decide to put out a piece of work. Netflix continues to create and market content for young people without understanding the possible ramifications of the message behind the media.

This is "13 Reasons Why" all over again.

We put out irresponsible content depicting suicide and then we wonder why suicide rates are rising. We put out irresponsible content depicting disordered eating and fat-shaming and then we wonder why eating disorders are starting younger and increasing in prevalence. We cry tragedy and epidemic after the fact but capitalize on it anyway.

We can do better.

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The Queen Of Soul Leaves A Story To Tell And A Voice That Cannot Be Replicated

Aretha Franklin may have passed on, but her legacy will live forever.


On March 25, 1942, Aretha Franklin was born. The daughter of a well-known and highly respected Baptist Minister and Gospel singer from Memphis, Tennessee would soon move to Detroit, Michigan, where Aretha would meet lifelong friends and musical contributors.

Aretha Franklin was engulfed in music from the day she was born and, by the middle of the 1950s, Aretha had learned to play piano and began singing alongside her sisters in the church choir. It was during this time that Franklin first met strong, historical figures, such as Clara Ward, Smokey Robinson, and civil rights activists Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesse Jackson. These are notable family friends that would stand by Aretha's side many times in the future.

Like many people finding themselves in the spotlight, there is more to Aretha Franklin's story than what is put in the tabloids. There are deeper events in her timeline that contribute to her emotion-filled voice. At the small age of six, Aretha endured her mother's leaving of the family and death four years later.

Aretha began a family of her own at the age of 12. In 1956, Clarence, Franklin's first son was born. Two years after, Aretha gave birth to her son Edward.

In the years that make up the start of the Franklin Clan, Aretha Franklin signed to Columbia Records and moved to New York. Moderate success would be found in the next five years of her music career. In 1961, Aretha Franklin was married and conceived her third child, Teddy Jr., with her newly-wedded husband.

While moderate success is admirable, Aretha signed with Atlantic Records and, in 1967, released an album "I Never Loved A Man The Way I Loved You" with a hit track of the same name giving Aretha Franklin her first Top 10 hit.

Following the great success of her 1967 album, Aretha moved on to release other critically acclaimed hit songs, including, "Respect," "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "Chain Of Fools" and more, earning her several Grammy awards and the cover of Time Magazine, where her nickname, The Queen Of Soul, was born.

To the outside world, Aretha Franklin was constantly moving up, but, behind closed doors, Aretha's personal life was struggling. Ms. Franklin has a history of arrests for disorderly conduct and reckless driving. She had also developed an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Franklin divorced her abusive husband, Ted White, and allowed the experience to serve as inspiration in the studio. Aretha was married and gave birth to her fourth son, Kecalf, in the 1970s. The relationship would end in 1984.

Along with her growing popularity as a singer, Aretha Franklin became a symbol of pride for many black Americans during the climax of the Civil Rights Movement. Many women, also looked to Aretha as a strong black woman that is living proof of what Black Women can be.

Aretha Franklin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1987, becoming the first women to ever be listed.

As times changed and music continued to redefine itself, it became difficult for a soul-gospel singer to stay in the spotlight. Nevertheless, Aretha Franklin always found a way to release a hit that transcended the ever-changing boundaries of music. With collaborations, covers, an autobiography, and The Presidential Medal Of Freedom awarded in 2005, Aretha Franklin never left the minds of all who cared to listen and pay attention. She continued to inspire multiple generations and give breath-taking performances that reminded the world why she was, indeed, The Queen Of Soul.

Aretha Franklin spoke to hearts around the world with the utter of one subtle note. Her ability to stay relevant, no matter the age group, amazed but did not surprise. The world knew she was one of a kind. The world knew there was only one Aretha. Through the years, Ms. Franklin never altered to fit in and never strayed away from the type of music she wanted to produce for the happiness of others. Her name alone is a cause for celebration. The amount of records she holds is mind-boggling. Her music narrated, not only her personal endeavors but the lives of people worldwide. A personal connection can be made when listening to any of her songs. Aretha Franklin is a standing ovation within herself.

Little did the outside world know, Ms. Franklin had been battling illness for years, behind-the-scenes. Although occasional rumors would ring of her health, Aretha dodged all questions and killed all concerns with poise and a brilliant smile. She did not want the world to know of her health issues, no matter how small. A longtime friend of Aretha Franklin told People Magazine, "She has been ill for a long time, She did not want people to know and she didn't make it public." Word spread of a battle between Aretha Franklin and Pancreatic Cancer for many years, although, of course, no confirmation or details were given on the matter.

It started to become hard to hide the ailing condition of The Queen once shows frequently began to be canceled, due to doctors orders. Aretha had announced in February of 2017 that she would be retiring from music, but may take the stage at select events. Franklin was true to her word and returned to the stage in August of 2017 and at the Elton John AIDS Foundation's Enduring Vision benefit gala in November of the same year. Fans became highly concerned by the more than noticeable shift in Aretha Franklin's appearance.

A close friend of the phenomenal singer told TMZ, "she could go at any time," and mentioned that she was down 85 lbs. This information was given two weeks ago. Unfortunately, better updates did not follow.

On the morning of Thursday, August 16, 2018, The Queen Of Soul, Aretha Franklin passed away. She leaves behind her soul-touching music, a record of more than 20 chart-topping R&B; hits and 18 Grammy wins, and anthems that will live for ages. She is survived by her four sons.

Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever, and, while the physical body that is Aretha Franklin has moved on to Glory, the teachings and inspirations of her soul shall live forever. Like many idols before her, it is indeed hard to say goodbye, but let us be grateful for the time we had to witness the greatness that is Aretha Louise Franklin. May she rest in sound peace.

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