Shrek Is More Feminist Than Kim Kardashian

Shrek Is More Feminist Than Kim Kardashian

Kim may have broken the internet, but she didn't break the patriarchy.
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Somehow I have found myself at a point where I have seen every "Keeping up With the Kardashians" episode, and my social media centers around their constant buzz. If Kim posts a Snapchat, IG, or tweet then I could probably let ya know what’s going on in her world. Sometimes it is not by choice either, as these large platforms highly endorse the family.

Now, we could degrade their ability to do this, or examine how they should be using their power. Because you know what, the family has potential. There is something about them that has drawn in the nation, and even given them an international platform. Their direct line into our lives via social media could make a serious impact on our social structure. They have the power to shatter our rose colored glasses, but instead they just are upgrading them for darker designer shades.

Our media is filled with their love lives, their outfits, their endorsements, and their skewed view on social issues. We have literally paid for the mansions and Mercedes Benz, while we trade in our souls for their washed out hypocrisy. Because while Kim posts a nude selfie in the name of feminism, she actually just found a new way to make money. I get that it is her right to post whatever she desires, but there are more dire and consequential things to worry about than her selfies.

And yes body empowerment is important, but is Kim Kardashian providing the best, and most honest way of doing this? Or is she using her sexuality and power simply for more money? I mean let’s be real, as Kim posts a nude selfie, and embraces her “sexuality” in exchange for media coverage and huge buy outs, there are women facing sexism over something as minor as a spaghetti strap.

If Kim Kardashian was truly working in the name of feminism, then her focus would be less on what gets her attention and a check, and more on deeper issues. Her emphasis should be on poverty stricken mothers, the racist experience of marginalized women, young girls seeking education, rape culture, empowering girls to break the constrictions of our male dominated world, producing better living conditions, and other issues that affect the large majority of our population. Feminism should be directed to issues that are truly substantial and less vapid than a Twitter fight or tabloid cover.

So, dear Kim Kardashian, use your power, your money, and your fame to make an actual difference. Take a cue from Princess Fiona in "Shrek" as she embraced and liberated herself. Sure, a male rescued her from her ivory tower, but never once did she submit herself to the patriarchy. Instead, she accepted her body, accepted who she loved, and fought for right to do her thing.

So, no you do not need to exploit your body, let alone rely on heavily edited pictures. And you definitely don’t need to be filling our young girl’s minds with diluted images of what being a feminist means. Instead, show them that feminism is embracing (not exploiting) your womanhood, fighting for equality of all people, and having the crazy notion that you are worth more than your body. I have a hunch that you are an intelligent entrepreneur, so let’s stop playing dumb. I mean, for god sake, if a fictional ogre can be a feminist role model, why can’t you?

Cover Image Credit: Paper Magazine

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What Makes Someone More Attractive

The facial features that make people particularly attractive.

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It's sometimes hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that attracts us to someone. It might be their confidence, or their sense of humor, or you might just like the way they look. A lot of research over the years has gone into trying to work out what it is that makes us fancy each other. Results have varied, showing women may like the smell of men who have a particular kind of diet, and men may find women in groups more attractive. Some research has suggested we often go for people who share some of the same characteristics we do. Below are some facial traits that can make someone more attractive to us, according to science.

Studies such as this one published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology, and this one published in the Journal of Evolution & Human Behaviour, have shown that in experimental conditions, men and women both prefer faces that are more symmetrical. A study on identical twins found that the twin with a more symmetrical face was considered more attractive. Even macaque monkeys have been observed gazing longer at symmetrical faces than asymmetrical ones. One conclusion scientists have reached to explain this is that in evolutionary terms, we may consider a symmetrical face a result of good health.

Having a face that developed in a symmetrical way could show you have "good genes," because you developed more successfully in the face of environmental pressures when you were in the womb. However, in 2014, research from Brunel University in London compared facial symmetry of about 5,000 teenagers, and found there was no correlation between symmetry and overall health.

It's not an absolute rule, though. In fact, you can probably think of many celebrities you fancy who don't have symmetrical faces at all. Sometimes, like in the case of Milo Ventimiglia, a crooked smile is what adds to someone's charm. In fact, absolute symmetry can make people look pretty weird. When attractive celebrities' faces are made to look symmetrical, they don't look quite right.

People tend to like faces that are distinctly average, or those that resemble others in the general population.I n 1878, a paper in Nature first noted that a bunch of faces blended together was considered more attractive than those on their own. One study, published in the journal Human Nature, argued it could be because average faces represent a more diverse set of genes, which is often a genetic advantage in fighting off illnesses and parasites.

A study in 2012, published in the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, found that women prefer men who look older. The more financially independent women became, the more they said they liked older guys, according to the study. One explanation for what researchers have coined the "George Clooney Effect" could be that women are only fertile from puberty to menopause, while men can father a child until much later. Women may get a better offer by waiting until the man has more status and resources due to being older.

Some people love a bushy beard, whereas others go for clean-shaven men. A study in 2013 recruited 177 men and 351 women to look at pictures of men who had no facial hair, light stubble, heavy stubble, or a full beard. The results showed that women thought the most attractive beard length is heavy stubble or about 10 days of growth. Heavy beards, light stubble, and clean shaven were all equally less attractive than heavy stubble.

Facial scars can also make a man more attractive to a woman. One study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, found that men could be considered more attractive if they had a facial scar, whereas this wasn't found for women. Researchers took photos of 24 male and 24 female students and manipulated them to look like they had scars on their faces. Then, another 200 students were asked to rate how attractive the photos were, and whether they thought the person would be good for a short or long-term relationship. Men with scars were rated as more attractive for short-term relationships than men without scars. There was no difference in how attractive women were with or without scars.

According to one study, published in Current Biology, genetics might not have much to do with it. The researchers found that the types of faces we fancy are influenced more by our personal experiences in life than anything else. The study found that identical twins had different ideas of who they thought was attractive, suggesting a genetic predisposition wasn't a factor. Overall, genetics explained just a fifth of the variation in people's preferences. The authors concluded that these results could explain how models and celebrities can make money from their good looks, while friends constantly disagree about who is to their taste.

A study from 2016 found that rather than men having a preference for certain features like lips or eyes, they went for more of an overall look. The researchers recruited 169 men in France and showed them two sets of random women's faces. They were asked to rate them on a scale of zero to 20 in terms of attractiveness. Results showed that overall, the faces the men found most attractive were "sparsely coded" — that means the ones that were symmetrical, plainer, and had no distinguishing features.

Some research suggests that we tend to find people who look like our opposite-sex parent attractive. According to research from St Andrews, we are attracted to the features that our parents had when we were born, possibly because we see them as our first caregiver and associate positive feelings with their features. In one study from 2002, researchers asked participants to rate how attractive faces of different ages were. "We found that women born to 'old' parents (over 30) were less impressed by youth, and more attracted to age cues in male faces than women with 'young' parents (under 30)," the authors wrote. "For men, preferences for female faces were influenced by their mother's age and not their father's age, but only for long-term relationships." Also, in a follow-up study, a sample of 697 men and women showed people were more likely to have romantic partners who had the same eye and hair color as their opposite-sex parents.

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I've Had PTSD, And I'll Be The First To Say I Did Not Need A Gun While I Was Sick

My opinion on gun control not from my political opinions, but from my experiences as a mentally ill person.

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On November 7th, 2018, a gunman armed with a .45-caliber Glock handgun walked into Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California and killed 12 people.

In addition to the 11 slain and 18 injured in the bar, the gunman killed a sheriff's sergeant responding to the 911 call before committing suicide.

The gunman was Ian David Long, a former U.S. Marine apparently suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

While all of the 307 mass shootings that make it onto the news make my soul ache, this one particularly hit home for me for two reasons.

One: I lived in California for about five years and had indeed spent time in the area.

Two: these atrocities were committed by someone of whom PTSD had gotten the better of.

Having had PTSD for 15 years myself, it baffles me that he had a legally-owned gun at all.

I know first-hand how much anger can develop when this disorder is left unchecked, and violence is the most delicious release from it all.

From self-harm to physical fighting in school, I looked for any way to curb my appetite for destruction. As soon as my body sensed an opportunity to expel some of my pent-up aggression on someone who'd even mildly taunted the beast, my brain would enter into a hazy fog of emotion and a nothing-to-lose attitude. My fight-or-flight was constantly engaged, and I really had never been much of a runner.

I felt like my temper was a bottle rocket that could be set off at any moment and I had next to no control over whether or not I reacted. I remember loving the power of people being afraid of me and relishing in my ability to win at all costs, especially if it were in defense of myself or someone who needed help.

Since the opportunities to let my feelings out physically were few and far between, my brain provided a platform for the rest of them without an outlet. The majority of my life, I was plagued with violent fantasies as much––if not more––than the sexual ones, which should've been my sole focus as a horny teenager.

In these fantasies, I would be defending myself and others from unknown assailants, escaping from situations where I was being detained as a sex slave, or else exacting revenge on someone who'd wronged me. Every movement of the altercation I would replay over and over again in my head until it was almost a memory.

These fantasies bordered on an obsession while I suffered from paranoia. Every waking and even unconscious moment was filled with the absolute certainty that someone was waiting behind the corner to physically assault or rape me, and I would not entertain the idea of letting that happen.

I used to boast that the next time someone attacked me, only one of us would come out of it alive.

I imagined these him-or-me altercations constantly—before I went to sleep, day-dreaming in class or else in places where I felt especially uneasy—and sometimes the story lines would continue on all week until they finished off with me emerging victorious.

Every fantasy would not be considered complete until I had won and gone insane. For some reason, my brain rationalized that as soon as the inevitable attack came and everyone became aware of it, my mind could finally be at rest.

These fantasies were so intense that I would have physical reactions to them. I was basically powerless to shut them down once my imagination got going, so I would sweat excessively, tremble with anticipation and sometimes even laugh out loud with the adrenaline they inspired. It got to the point where I could actually taste the iron in my mouth, as if my body was already preparing for the taste of blood.

This mindset didn't come without an intense fascination in weapons. My fantasies would include actual weapons, random items I employed in resourcefulness to defend myself or merely fighting to the death with my bare hands.

I collected the few I could afford at the time and ached for the days when I could own my own gun. I had never fired one, but I was entranced by the idea of owning the ultimate fighting utensil; an end-all to any threats that may come my way, with the power to take a life at the tip of my finger.

My gravitation towards violence ended after two years of recovering from PTSD. One day I realized I hadn't thought about it in a while, and just like that, the freakish obsession I'd harbored since childhood was gone.

I experienced all of this, yet the trauma that provided me with the disorder didn't have one single thing to do with guns.

So why on the Goddess' green earth did an ex-machine gunner, who developed his PTSD from shooting people, have legal access to one?

Though California does have a law asserting that families concerned with their loved ones' safety can request their guns be taken away for a period of time, this was not enough to spare the lives of those 12 innocent people that Wednesday night.

I shiver at the thought of what would've happened if I had gotten my hands on a gun when I had wanted one. So based on my expertise, neither Long nor anyone else with PTSD has any business owning a gun.

Who better to weigh in on these issues than the ones posing an obvious threat?

Yet, even after this testimony of how much I wanted to pull the trigger at one point, there will still be people who insist on loading the bullets and cocking it for me.

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