Is The "Basic White Girl" On To Something?

Is The "Basic White Girl" On To Something?

Embracing your identity like a basic white girl

As I'm sitting here at Starbucks in my oversized sweater and leggings trying to understand the basic white girl (BWG), I can't help but wonder a few things about the BWG.

The BWG is iconic for her Nike shorts, oversized shirts and sweaters, blanket scarves, love for Starbucks, Chacos, and small crystal necklace hanging around her neck. When did she reach this status? Does she take pride in her legging collection like most BWGs? Does she realize that she is a marketing strategy skillfully engineered by certain companies? Society has promoted the "basic white girl" image so aggressively but I wonder if people realize that this image was professionally crafted for consumers who are willing to place their identity in the latest fashion and trends.

The BWG isn't the only image crafted to promote certain products. There are other labels like the hipster, the fitness freaks, the frat boy, and the outdoors fanatics. Each of these labels, although wisely and carefully crafted as marketing strategies, means something deeper than the first impression of its label.

Regardless of the stereotypes society has placed upon each label, people should embrace who they are. The BWG should take pride in her legging collection if that is what she chooses to place her identity in. The frat boy should wear the heck out of his Chubbies and Patagonia sweatshirt. And if you enjoy being fit, then don't let anyone make fun of you for spending every spear second in the gym. There are those, including myself, who tend to make fun of the girls that scream BWG but at the same time, I admire her for embracing her identity.

People shouldn't hide from their labels and they also shouldn't hide behind their labels. Labels can be offensive but we should embrace who we are regardless. There are those, though, that is so focused on crafting their image to fit inside a label that they lose themselves. The start to let society tell them who they are. Actual labels on a bottle are not meant to determine what's inside. Instead, they describe the contents that are already within. So, if you find yourself being labeled by others, embrace it but don't hide behind it or let it determine who you are. Ultimately, you are the only one that can define your identity.

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21 Things Assyrian People Know To Be True

But first - we're not Syrian.

I'm often asked, "So, what are you?"

Well, I'm Larsa, I'm 21 years old, and I'm a Taurus. But that's not what people want to know. They just mean, you look ethnic, so what are you?

Well, I'm Assyrian. No, not Syrian. Assyrian. We're not all from Syria, but we are a Middle Eastern culture. We actually don't have our own country anymore, but most of us immigrated to America from countries like Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, and Syria. Unfortunately, that means that many Assyrians today have been or are currently targeted by ISIS.

So what is it like being Assyrian?

1. Religion is the most important part of our culture.

Assyrians are Christians, and Ancient Assyrians spoke the same language as Jesus: Aramaic. Church is very important because our priests and bishops still speak the old language which is the key to our almost 7,000 year-long tenure. In Assyrian homes, you will typically find crosses, portraits of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and prayers everywhere.

2. You DO NOT wear jeans or shorts to church.

Oh, no. NOPE. Church has a glamorous and strict dress code. Literally, think of the Queen at church. Men in suits or dress shirts and trousers and dress shoes, women in trousers and nice blouses or dresses or skirts. Nothing too short, nothing too revealing. Plus the head covering women must wear as well.

3. Sleepovers do not exist.

I wasn't allowed to have sleepovers during childhood. I think the first time I spent the night at a friend's house was when I was 17 or 18? Yeah. You don't sleep at anyone's house. It's a pretty general rule for Assyrian households. Your parents are more strict if you're a girl as well.

4. Neither do tattoos and/or piercings.

At least in my household. I have been told by my mom that should I choose to get tatted or piercing, there will be very scary and very severe consequences.

5. Your mom and nana force feed you and your friends.

Food is of the utmost importance in Assyrian culture. Our moms and nanas love feeding our non-Assyrian friends, and you can eat however much you want whenever you want. Kitchen closing at 7 pm? Nah.

6. You are (sadly) hairy.

Lord have mercy. The eyebrows I possessed at age 10 were enough to scare anybody and I was literally BORN with them. We have that extra hairy gene which means lots of Assyrian men wax on a regular basis. We didn't choose this life.

7. You can make fun of non-Assyrians all the time.

Talking in Assyrian to your Assyrian friend while surrounded by non-Assyrians is a hoot. Think of when you're in the nail salon and you're being talked about by the Asian women. It's pretty much the same situation.

8. Your weddings are insanely LIT and WILD.

Oh man. Any time I show videos of Assyrian weddings to my non-Assyrian friends, it's the same reaction: wide eyes and open mouths. They literally can't believe what they're seeing. We party till 4 in the morning, and our weddings are full of loud drums and long dances and lots of Indian-style happy howling.

9. Your church services are long.

We don't have a 45-minute or 1-hour-long service. We start at 9 and wrap up around 11:30-12. Yeah. By the time we leave, I'm hungry, sleepy, and tired of being in 4-inch heels on top of being in body spanx.

10. Moving out at 18 is rare.

I know most people in this day and age say that their parents are all about them moving out and being independent at 18, but not in Assyrian culture. Assyrian culture is (usually) you leave the house when you're married.

11. Living with your significant other before marriage is frowned upon.

"I wanna live with my boyfriend before he's my husband."

*parents stare me down*

12. You don't kiss at Assyrian church weddings.

I know, it's odd. But it's true, you don't kiss on the lips once the priest proclaims you're man and wife. Settle for a high-five maybe?

13. Assyrians do not cremate.

Cremating a loved one is quite frowned upon in Assyrian culture and almost never happens. Though it may be thousands of dollars more expensive, we stick to a traditional casket funeral.

14. Our food is delicious.

UGHHH THE CARBS! Assyrian food, and Mediterranean food in general is simply delish. Shish kebabs, LOTS of rice, hummus, dolma, chada, shurvah, etc. COME TO MY HOUSE FOR DINNER!

15. Assyrian New Year is April 1.

We just turned 6768!

16. We drink more tea than the Brits.

Literally, we absolutely out-tea the Brits. All day, every day, tea is brewing. "Buyet chai?" aka "Would you like tea?"

17. The Assyrian Empire was the largest and strongest in the world at one point.

Yeah. Hear us roar. (Literally, roar. Our ancestors fed prisoners to lions and kept them as pets. Casual).

18. Assyrians have endured a massive genocide.

You may often hear it dubbed as the Armenian Genocide, but it was, in fact, millions of Assyrians (and Greeks) slaughtered as well. To this day, the country of Turkey refuses to acknowledge the genocide and take responsibility for it.

19. We're emotional and dramatic.

Funerals are absolutely insane - wailing, screaming, cry-yelling, etc. It's bad. Our mothers and grandmothers tend to be weepy, we frequently talk loud and people think we're fighting when we're just talking, and we're very intense in general. I blame my dramatics on this.

20. My name is Assyrian!

No, I'm not Larissa. Or Lisa. Or Laura. I'm LARSA. Sounds just like it's spelled! A town in Ancient Assyria.

21. The Assyrian people are grossly underrepresented and recognized in modern culture.

I seek to change that, and I know many of my fellow Assyrian youth do as well. We'll see just how easy it will be to put Assyria on the map once again in the future when I'm POTUS.

Watch out world!

Cover Image Credit: Larsa Rasho

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6 Amazing RuPaul's Drag Race Web Series

For those of us with an insatiable THIRST for drag content.

Thanks to YouTube channels like WOWPresents and Logo, those of us who watch RuPaul's Drag Race religiously have a huge library of online content to peruse when we're tired of Season 8 reruns. Here's a list, in no particular order, of some of the best RuPaul alumnus content on YouTube.

1. UNHhhh

Starring Trixie Mattel and Katya

UNHhhh is perhaps the most legendary of drag queen YouTube series, and is best enjoyed by accidentally memorizing the words to each episode and talking over Trixie and Katya. To fully appreciate the jokes it's ideal to have seen every previous episode of UNHhhh and RuPaul's Drag Race. Their YouTube show was so popular it landed them an actual TV show on Viceland, The Trixie & Katya Show.

2. Milk's LegenDAIRY Looks

Starring Milk

Milk, from Season 6 of Drag Race and Season 3 of All Stars, has a series of unconventional makeup tutorials. Some looks include Nancy Kerrigan, Little Ho Peep, Udders The Clown, and Ice Woman Cummeth.

3. Really Queen?

Starring Bianca Del Rio

The winner of Season 7 is well-known for her roasting skills, and each video of this 11-video series is dedicated to a different queen or personality from RuPaul Drag Race. Tune in for raspy shouting about Laganja Estranja!

4. Wait, What?

Starring Kimora Blac and Guests

This is a shorter series, but fans of the classic video Drag Queens Not Knowing Things will be enthused. Starring the legendarily, uh, challenged queen Kimora Blac with an array of guests struggling to know stuff in front of a camera.

5. Fashion Photo Ruview

Starring Raven and Raja

Fashion Photo Ruview is perhaps one of the longest-running and most extensive RPDR series on YouTube. In this series, the winner of Season 3, Raja, and close runner-up Raven, "toot" or "boot" looks from the runway, challenges, social media, and promos.

6. M.U.G.

Starring Kim Chi and Naomi Smalls

The last show on this list is brought to you by Season 8's runner-ups, Kim Chi and Naomi Smalls. They're both known for they're makeup skills, and this show is a mix of makeup tutorials and Fashion Photo Ruview (but for makeup looks).

There are plenty more great shows to go around, including Alyssa's Secret and Miz Cracker's Review with a Jew, but these are a great few to take a look at if you haven't already!

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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