The Importance Of The 4th Of July

The Importance Of The 4th Of July

The 4th of July means more than fireworks, barbecues and Old Navy T-shirts.

Many people see the Fourth of July as fireworks, barbecues or Old Navy t-shirts but this American holiday is more than an object or activity.

The Fourth of July stands for independence and freedom. This day is for us to look back and see the good our country has done instead of the bad. We look at the average day people who are seen as heroes by many. People are the Fourth of July, not flashing lights and family baseball. People make up our country, and they are the ones who decide if they want to make it great or not.

America in 1776 used this day to celebrate our independence after signing the Declaration of Independence. During this time, we had finally been free from the British Empire and from then on we have lived on as our own country. We as a nation live our life, and we are given more rights than many other countries. We are given the right to speak and express. We are given the right to love. We may not be the perfect nation but we, the people, are still correcting and attempting to make life better.

The Fourth of July is a day to look at your loved ones and be happy that history brought you here today. Your family’s descendants have different backgrounds, and without our independence, they may have never immigrated to America. Lately, there has been a split between people after the election of 2016. People with different beliefs on what America has become and will become began to clash. However, without delving deeper into this situation, America is still here, and these people who have conflict still live here. Our differences and clashing beliefs are what makes us Americans. We are allowed to think and speak out. We are allowed to change something we don't like. We are allowed to show emotion whether it be sadness, hatred or love. We are allowed to become whoever we set our minds to. We are allowed to be ourselves. Even if you aren't in love with the idea of America’s present situations, you at least have to see the bigger picture of what makes America the way it is. What makes us free? The laws or is it you as a person? We may still need to fight some battles, but we are freer than most others.

The Fourth of July may not be your favorite holiday, but it is a day to contemplate and think of how far we've come as a nation and how far we will go as a nation. This isn't decided on whoever is president or new laws this is decided by you. The people get to make our future. The next generation gets to make America better than where we left off. The Fourth of July is a special day to not only celebrate the history of our independence but a day to believe in the future of our country and what we as people can accomplish.

Cover Image Credit: Gianna Ruocco

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13 Summer Struggles Only Thick Girls Understand

Chaffing. So much chaffing.

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. Chaffing. So much chaffing

No better feeling than 4 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 #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 swim suit

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 chaffing?

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-sized women. As if there's just one way to be plus-sized. 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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I Wish Fireworks Were Still Illegal In My State

Be safe and considerate with your firework shows.

I hate fireworks. Not all of them though. I enjoy getting up as close as I can to watch the shows on the 4th of July. I think the cities and towns put on an amazing display for the people to enjoy. However, what I hate is that in my state, it's legal to buy, own, and set off your own fireworks.

Someone in my neighborhood was setting some off the other night, and I was about ready to lose it for multiple reasons. First, it woke me up. I had been out all day going to several places and doing a lot of driving. I was tired, and I wanted to sleep as I would be getting up early the next morning. So now I'm awake, freaking out a bit as I have no idea what that incredibly loud bang was, and trying to figure out what was going on. It would be silent for a few minutes, then another one would go off. My window was facing towards wherever they were coming from so I figured out what it was soon enough. It would've been fine if they would just set them all off at once and get it over with. Instead, they were few and far between, and even at one point, I thought they were over and getting ready to fall back asleep, just for it to start back up again.

I posted on Facebook about my irritation and my sister commented how she was awake, and so were her animals. So she came over to my room. Her dog and cat both freaking out and scared. I don't blame them; it was loud and close and they've never really experienced that before. We've always heard them from farther away.

Between seeing the animals stressed, and thinking about how I kept jumping a bit at the unexpected noise of fireworks being set off, it got me thinking. How many other people have a very hard time dealing with this? There are countless animals around, veterans with PTSD, children who fear loud noises, adults with mental illness or their own history of trauma, and anyone who has trouble dealing with fireworks randomly going off. At least with the annual shows, you know where it's going to be, when it starts and ends, and can plan for it. However, when random people are just setting them off around you, you can't exactly plan for that. Now you're stuck trying to console someone and not knowing when it's going to stop.

I wish people weren't allowed to use fireworks. They're dangerous on their own to begin with, and you have no idea how badly you're effecting the people around you. I understand that in the moment you're not really thinking about that, I didn't really think about it either until my animals were scared. My brother and his fiance have 7 dogs and a baby in their house. Their dogs were terrified and they were on edge hoping their son wouldn't wake up. Firework shows are fine, you can plan. You can't plan or really do much else when they're just randomly going off around you.

The 4th of July is hard enough as it is. Places get crowed, people get scared, and it's actually one of the top holidays for pets to go missing. Adding in even more stress of a surprise show going off next door, it sort of takes the fun out of it all.

I wish fireworks were still illegal to own in this state, but I doubt that's going to happen. Instead I urge those who purchase them and plan to do their own show, be a little more considerate of those around you. Maybe check in with a few neighbors before you do it. Let them know when and find out if there is anyone near by that will struggle with the noise so that they could maybe leave for a bit, or at least prepare themselves.

Lastly, be safe. This stuff is dangerous. I recently heard on the news about kids getting burns from sparklers and a house catching on fire because of fireworks. Learn about the proper way to use them and don't mess around. I've seen plenty of prank videos that could've ended very bad.

Be safe and considerate with those fireworks!

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