cassie and colton

We Need To Stop Hating On Cassie

Give the girl a break, this is her life!

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So, we just saw the dramatic parts 1&2 of "The Bachelor" season finale, and I don't like that people are giving Cassie a hard time! To give a bit of background, Colton was down to his final three girls and the fantasy suite overnight dates. Colton had his date with Tayshia, then we went onto his date with Cassie. On their date, Cassie informed him that she didn't think that she was in love with him and she wasn't ready to get engaged. Colton then broken-heartedly told her that she was the frontrunner and the only one that he wanted to be with, and they didn't have to necessarily get engaged. Cassie stuck to her gut and still wanted to leave, thinking that she was in the way of a different successful relationship for him. This led Colton to have the famous fence jump breakdown, and then go break up with Tayshia and Hannah G (who hadn't even had her date yet).

Colton decides to go back after Cassie and fight for her because he knows there is nobody else he wants to be with. After she finds out he dumped the other girls and Colton reiterates they can take it slow, she agrees to get back together and finish out the show. On the "After The Final Rose," we find out that they are still together and dating.

People had a problem with Cassie when she let the first time because she had defended herself for weeks from attacks from the other girls that she was ready for marriage when they were accusing her that she wasn't. She told Colton repeatedly that she was ready, and then all of a sudden she no longer is. People were also questioning the circumstance where Cassie and Caelynn talked about "what if" one of them could be "The Bachelorette," and saying that Cassie could have the wrong intentions. She was also taking hate for going on the show if she knew the wasn't ready to get married.

I have major problems with these points. First of all, of course, Cassie is going to defend herself during the process, just because she doesn't know that she is in love with him doesn't mean that she doesn't care about him. She wanted to ride out the process and see how it goes. She did not want to get sent home early on before she even knew what her final feelings were going to be yet. At that point, she didn't know how far her feelings were going to progress, all she knew was that she liked him and she wanted to keep going on and learning about him. I don't blame her for sticking up for herself.

Secondly, I don't think a person can know if they are ready or not to get married until they actually meet the right person. I just don't think it is possible to know ahead of time. Every relationship is different and goes at different paces when the reality of it all set in, she started to feel differently, and that's okay. For her and Colton, this is their real lives, not just entertainment for all of us. She has to do what is best for her, and being in these situations can be confusing and messy.

Lastly, of course, the girls are going to be thinking about "The Bachelorette." It is common knowledge that one of the higher placing girls will be the next Bachelorette, and these people are sequestered together for weeks on end without any connections to their phones or the outside world, all they are going to be doing is thinking of all the possible outcomes. I think maybe the comment was unnecessary, but I bet that every single girl was thinking about it, and I don't think its a big deal. I am so tired of the "right reasons" police. Every girl that goes on this goes in thinking "If I fall in love, great. If not, I get tons of followers, "Bachelor in Paradise," a free vacation, and a ton of new friends." That is how it goes. Everyone has other reasons other than love, and that is okay. It is a TV show for goodness sake. What do you expect?

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The Risky 'Stranger Things' Casting Mistake That Needs Fixing

Not only am I disappointed by such a great show's dangerous decision, I'm upset by the fact that no one has corrected it.

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Like many, "Stranger Things" is one of my favorite shows. But after extensive research, I feel like it's my moral responsibility to refrain from watching the upcoming third season of a show that encourages fans to starve themselves.

This article uses potentially triggering language related to eating disorders.

Natalia Dyer is an actress best known for her role as Nancy Wheeler in Netflix's original show, "Stranger Things." Despite its enthralling plot, the first time I watched it, I found myself distracted by her unusually thin frame. While I know many naturally skinny women and actresses, I've never seen someone whose skeleton was so prominent.

Flickr- Natalia Dyer (left)

Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are two serious eating and emotional disorders characterized by loss of appetite, refusal to eat, excessive exercise, body dysmorphia, and (specific to bulimia) compulsive binge eating followed by purging.

While I didn't find any direct quotes from Natalia about suffering from an eating disorder, I did stumble upon pictures of her from the 2009 premiere of "Hannah Montana: The Movie" and was shocked at how drastically different she looks today.

Youtube- "Hannah Montana: The Movie" Premiere

In 2014, Natalia starred in "I believe in Unicorns," where promotional pictures also illustrate how much she's changed. For those who believe she's "naturally thin," these past films, as well as pictures from her childhood prove that she wasn't always this skinny.

Youtube- "I Believe in Unicorns" 2014

When I first researched Natalia, I found forums in which people who have battled with eating disorders discuss the physical signs of anorexia and bulimia that Natalia exhibits. The most obvious being her frame, visible bones underneath thin skin, sunken-in eyes, "hollow" face, as well as more subtle signs, like scabs on her knuckles (called Russell's sign), white or blue fingernails, and lines around the mouth that seem to age her face.

I am fortunate enough to have never suffered from an eating disorder, so I did a lot of research to keep from jumping to conclusions about Natalia's health. What I've found is that symptoms of eating disorders closely mimic those of gastrointestinal diseases, such as Celiac and Crohn's disease. In this sense, it's possible that those who criticize her for disordered eating are evaluating the body of someone with a dysfunctional digestive system (though the aforementioned physical signs pointed out by people who have had anorexia convince me that this likely isn't the case).

Youtube- Natalia Dyer 2017

While there's little factual information about if Natalia has an eating disorder, there is much speculation that she does, both from those who have overcome such disorders, and those still struggling.

During my search for information, I found several "pro-ana" websites—a contraction of "pro-anorexia," used to admire eating disorders in a positive light—idolizing Natalia's weight loss and expressing jealousy of her outrageously thin frame. In one particular forum, people describe her in "Hannah Montana: The Movie" as "on her way to chunky town," and "mad chunky" in "I Believe in Unicorns." Even going a step further by stating that Natalia's "Stranger Things" co-star Shannon Purser "needs to take pointers from [Natalia]."

Flickr- Shannon Purser

Finding this forum made my blood boil. Not because of the responsibilities of its participants (that's an article for another day), but because of the irresponsibility the casting director—Carmen Cuba—and creators of "Stranger Things" have exhibited in casting a potentially anorexic actress, and Netflix's lack of opposition to this choice.

As a rule of corporate management, businesses have what's called "corporate social responsibility" (CSR) which is defined as "the idea that businesses should balance profit-making activities with activities that benefit society. It involves developing businesses with a positive relationship to the society in which they operate."

From my point of view, Cuba's casting choice for the character Nancy violated the sense of CSR that such a popular show should have, given that she's provided fans who struggle with body dysmorphia a potentially dangerous source of "thinspiration."

Youtube- Natalia Dyer at ages 17 (left) and 20 (right)

There are many different solutions to this problem, but without knowing Natalia's exact situation, it could be thoughtless and damaging to bombard her with messages about gaining weight, meaning the issue of casting an actress who inadvertently (I cannot stress the word "inadvertently" enough) inspires young fans to starve themselves lies solely in the hands of the show's creators.

There are still many facets of this issue I have yet to discuss, but until then, if you believe that you, a friend, or a relative have an eating disorder, contact an eating disorder hotline now.

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'Grey's Anatomy' Taught Me Just How Important Gay Rights Are

This episode opened my eyes and heart.

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Attending a Catholic high school made it very clear in my mind that LGBTQ individuals did not fit in with society. I watched as our principle refused to allow students to invite their same-sex partners to dances. I remember our administration fighting against letting a boy on our dance team because they thought it would ruin the reputation of being a Catholic school. The way they were treated in front of me every day became the way I thought the world should treat them too. But I couldn't have been more wrong.

In season seven, episode 12 of "Grey's Anatomy," Meredith Grey encounters a patient who was trampled by horses after his partner set up a carriage ride to take them to sign their domestic partnership papers. His partner explains to Meredith that he had just wanted the day to be special because straight people get to have the most special day of their lives on their wedding day. They get the flowers, the ceremony, the reception, the gifts. At this point in time, all members of the LGBTQ got was their signature on a piece of paper.

I remember something inside of me being moved at the thought of someone simply being in love and not being able to celebrate it because people thought it was "weird" or "unnatural." I put myself in the reverse situation and thought about how much it would break my heart if society did not accept the fact that I want to marry my wonderful boyfriend some day. I cried during the scene in the show because even though it was acting, I could see just how important these two people were to each other and all of the unnecessary barriers they had to cross just to prove that their love was the same as anyone else's.

Maybe this moment was extremely late in my life to have the realization of how hard it must be for LGBTQ people to find happiness in our society, but I am glad I had that realization at all.

Certain religions crucify the LGBTQ community, saying they will go to hell for sexuality because it is a sin. Personally, I have a hard time believing that God could condemn anyone for showing another human being unconditional love.

It scares me how poisonous our society can be at times. 10 years ago, if you asked me how I felt about people in the LGBTQ community, I would probably (wrongfully) say that they freaked me out. These days, while you won't necessarily see me at a Pride parade, you will see me hyping up and supporting my awesome gay best friend to go after his crush. You will see me taking girls hitting on me as a compliment rather than something weird. You will see me openly supporting gay rights because it is the right things to do, human to human.

The saying "love is love" is so simple, yet so incredibly true.

I can't help how much I love my boyfriend and I would never in a million years expect someone to tell me to stop. Who are we to tell members of the LGBTQ community to stay in some box society and religion have built? We aren't. Love is love and you can never and will never be able to put rules and restrictions on a feeling.

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