Black Friday Shopping...On Thursday

Black Friday Shopping...On Thursday

Is consumer culture overshadowing Thanksgiving?

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Black Friday is an amazing, wonderful invention of a holiday. Even more amazing, some might argue, than Thanksgiving itself. It is a day characterized by savings, spending, and materialistic capitalism.

In all seriousness, Black Friday is a great day to get a deal on items that you might normally not consider purchasing. As it marks the beginning of the holiday season, it is the ideal time to purchase gifts for loved ones, and maybe to treat yourself to something special.

However, in recent years, this annual day-after-Thanksgiving tradition of waiting for store doors to open Friday morning and frantically scrambling to find the best deals has changed. Black-Friday has gradually been encroaching upon Thanksgiving Day territory, with stores opening on Thanksgiving to maximize Black Friday sale hours.

As great as this might seem (more hours = more savings, right?), it points to a bigger problem created by the capitalistic ideals of American society. With this seemingly minimal expansion of Black Friday, we see a shift in the focus and energy of the holiday weekend.

Thanksgiving, a holiday intended to celebrate and acknowledge our gratitude towards the people and blessings in our life, has become, like many major holidays, a commercialized event. The focus has shifted from gratitude to things like football, food, and Black Friday. While none of these are inherently bad, the prioritization of material and physical things over concepts such as thankfulness and appreciation is indicative of a cultural shift towards superficiality.

Stores being open and promoting Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving stands in direct contrast to the point of the holiday. What is supposed to be a celebration of our gratitude is interrupted by a fixation on getting more. We disrupt the mindset of thankfulness with a culture of consumerism.

In the past few years especially, I have seen this change in my own family's celebration. Thanksgiving seems to be more rushed, people seem to be less present or mindful of their blessings, and the conversation is often littered with a discussion of who will be going to what store at which time to buy what presents.

And I'm guilty of it too - I have left family Thanksgiving events early to get to the mall with my friends, and have spent good portions of dinner on my phone searching for store opening times or making plans about where to meet.

I see this and compare it to earlier memories of Thanksgiving, where my family would go around the table and talk about what they were grateful for during the past year, and what we wanted for each other in the coming year. While we maintain conversations in this spirit, they are more superficial, more hurried, and more for the sake of tradition than anything else.

I love Black Friday as much as the next person. I love sales, shopping, and picking out presents. This Thanksgiving, however, let's bear in mind what we are gathering to celebrate and make gratitude the priority. Leave Thursday to Thanksgiving, and save the Black Friday shopping for Friday

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13 Summer Struggles Only Thick Girls Understand

Chafing. So much chafing.

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Summer is a lovely time. A time of cookouts, swimming, and sunny weather. But if you're a " thick girl," summer sometimes brings more unpleasantries than it does for slimmer women. No matter how beautiful and confident you are in your body, it can bring some struggles.

1. The living hell that is shorts-shopping

Step 1: Find the biggest size the store has.

Step 2: (If you can even get those on): Realize your stomach is being squeezed into the top, your butt is falling out of the back and your thighs are having the life squished out of them.

Step 3: Realize why winter isn't so bad.

2. And dealing with them even after finding a pair that "fits"

Nothing like taking a pair of shorts home you remember fitting you okay in the store and then walking for 45 seconds and pulling them out of your butt or crotch 17 times. Truly a magical experience.

3. And every bathing suit you try on shows more skin than you'd planned

Even the most conservative bathing suit turns into cleavage-city and a non-cheeky set of bottoms turns into a thong. I promise, older people glaring at me in my sexual bathing suit, I didn't mean for this to happen!

4. Chafing. So much chafing.

No better feeling than four minutes into wearing short shorts realizing that your inner thighs are literally tearing themselves apart. Body Glide and baby powder are a thick girl's No. 1 necessity.

5. Loving rompers. Rompers not loving you.

Rompers are made with short and skinny girls in mind. Heaven forbid you're not short, and heaven forbid you're not skinny. Rompers are like a mystical article of clothing that, no matter what, always just barely doesn't fit.

6. Imagining wearing a sundress with a strapless bra and just laughing

Of course, not all thick girls are well-endowed in the boob department, but if you are, you understand how hilarious the thought of you wearing a strapless bra truly is.

7. And bralettes are a thing of fantasy

Once again, bralettes are designed for a very specific body type. One that I do not fall into.

8. Feeling like you need to constantly defend yourself for dressing like you want to

There are so many posts and tweets and just general ideals that people have that certain sized women can't wear certain clothing. You shouldn't feel the need to defend yourself for wearing a cute crop top or a bikini, but you will.

9. And always feeling looked at when you're rocking your swimsuit

Yes, I see your judging eyes, and yes, they are making me feel like shit. It doesn't matter how confident you are in your body, people looking at you like you just killed somebody just because you're wearing something typically made for smaller women doesn't make you feel good.

10. Did I mention chafing?

I just felt like something so horrible couldn't just be mentioned once.

11. Online shopping for cute summer outfits and then none of them fitting you correctly

There's always the dreaded "one-size-fits-all" for plus-size women. As if there's just one way to be plus-size. No matter how much they promise online that it'll fit well, it won't.

12. Seeing tiny girls complaining about losing their "summer bodies"

So many tweets talking about choosing food over a summer body. So many profile pictures of traditionally skinny women. I'm not saying that thick girls are the only ones who can complain about their summer bodies, and thick girls do not have a monopoly one not feeling confident in their bodies. But it is hard to see those posts knowing that those women would be glorified in their swimwear while you'd be gawked at.

13. The "you go girl!" comments on your oh-so-brave bikini photos

Compliments are nice, and positive comments while wearing a bikini go a long way. But the dreaded "you go girl" comment just seems so condescending. Just treat me like anyone else you'd see wearing a bikini. I promise, I'd like to feel like that.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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Buying Bathing Suits Online Is The Worst

Online Shopping isn't for everyone, sadly.

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With Spring Break right around the corner, I find myself online shopping more than usual. I would say I'm somewhat an online-shopping connoisseur, meaning I do it CONSTANTLY. However, just because I'm always online shopping doesn't mean I actually buy the clothes I put into my shopping cart; it's fun imagining I have a bottomless wallet, okay! Online shopping can get time-consuming and can lead you down a dark hole -I know this from experience; I often find myself aimlessly staring, scrolling, and clicking for two hours or more. This can become a problem if I have homework or exams to study for, but it's hard to just stop, there are just too many stores and clothes to get through!

One issue that seems to follow me whenever I decide to online shop is picking the right size and PRAYING it'll fit me. Online shopping doesn't give you the liberty of trying on different sizes until you find the right match; instead, it's a guessing game full of anxiety and ultimately regret if it doesn't fit.

I know the feeling of regret way too often, for I'm a very tiny girl who just so happens to have a very large bust, making it extremely hard to pick what size would be most flattering and appropriate. It gets really frustrating when I can't buy some of the things I want due to my body, and gets even more frustrating when I can't buy cheap and cute bathing suits like most girls my age.

Since my body is extremely unproportional, I have to get two different sizes for my bathing suits -a small for the bottom and a large/extra large for the top. However, for some unknown reason, online bathing suit companies decided to only offer their two-piece sets in one size. For example, you can only buy a bathing suit in a size small top and small bottom, medium top and medium bottom, large top, and large bottom, etc. It's ridiculous and unfair to assume that every girl is built to be the same size in her butt and bust!

I know they're just bathing suits, but this issue represents the struggles I have endured my entire life trying to find clothes that flatter my body; I'm constantly wishing I had an easier body-type to dress, not only for comfort but for convenience. It seems small, but I want to be able to buy a cute bathing suit online like all of my friends. However, I won't be granted this luxury until these bathing suit companies realize their sizing is exclusive and unjust.

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