Why Love Your Melon?

Why Love Your Melon?

Kicking pediatric cancers butt one beanie at a time
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Being apart of this amazing organization just makes me want to tell the world about how fantastic it is. Love Your Melon is an organization that helps in the fight of ending pediatric cancer. It can be a scary time, always being at the hospital, not feeling like a kid should with lots of energy, and not knowing what the next day is going to bring. Love Your Melon is there to help those kiddos have a little bit brighter day by providing them with beanies to keep their melon warm.

LYM is proudly made in the U.S. and is sold online at loveyourmelon.com. On their website, they have everything from:

Beanies

Pom Beanies


Scarves


Hats

and more...

The great thing about LYM is they will put a beanie on a pediatric cancer patient when you buy a beanie. And half of the purchases go to other organization that helps with research to help kick pediatric cancers butt.

Many campuses across the country have LYM teams to help spread the word about the organization and bring awareness to pediatric cancer. So it's okay if you don't get involved with an LYM team, just hop on the website and pick a few things out you like, it's for the kids.

So why wouldn't you Love Your Melon?

Cover Image Credit: Missouri State Love Your Melon Campus Crew

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20 Things That Happen When A Jersey Person Leaves Jersey

Hoagies, pizza, and bagels will never be the same.
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Ah, the "armpit of America." Whether you traveled far for college, moved away, or even just went on vacation--you know these things to be true about leaving New Jersey. It turns out to be quite a unique state, and leaving will definitely take some lifestyle adjustment.

1. You discover an accent you swore you never had.

Suddenly, people start calling you out on your pronunciation of "cawfee," "wooter," "begel," and a lot more words you totally thought you were saying normal.

2. Pork Roll will never exist again.

Say goodbye to the beautiful luxury that is pork roll, egg, and cheese on a bagel. In fact, say goodbye to high-quality breakfast sandwiches completely.

3. Dealing with people who use Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, or Dominos as their go-to pizza.

It's weird learning that a lot of the country considers chain pizza to be good pizza. You're forever wishing you could expose them to a real, local, family-style, Italian-owned pizza shop. It's also a super hard adjustment to not have a pizza place on every single block anymore.

4. You probably encounter people that are genuinely friendly.

Sure Jersey contains its fair share of friendly people, but as a whole, it's a huge difference from somewhere like the South. People will honestly, genuinely smile and converse with strangers, and it takes some time to not find it sketchy.

5. People drive way slower and calmer.

You start to become embarrassed by the road rage that has been implanted in your soul. You'll get cut off, flipped off, and honked at way less. In fact, no one even honks, almost ever.

6. You realize that not everyone lives an hour from the shore.

Being able to wake up and text your friends for a quick beach trip on your day off is a thing of the past. No one should have to live this way.

7. You almost speak a different language.

The lingo and slang used in the Jersey area is... unique. It's totally normal until you leave, but then you find yourself receiving funny looks for your jargon and way fewer people relating to your humor. People don't say "jawn" in place of every noun.

8. Hoagies are never the same.

Or as others would say, "subs." There is nothing even close in comparison.

9. Needing Wawa more than life, and there's no one to relate.

When you complain to your friends about missing Wawa, they have no reaction. Their only response is to ask what it is, but there's no rightful explanation that can capture why it is so much better than just some convenient store.

10. You have to learn to pump gas. Eventually.

After a long period of avoidance and reluctance, I can now pump gas. The days of pulling up, rolling down your window, handing over your card and yelling "Fill it up regular please!" are over. When it's raining or cold, you miss this the most.

11. Your average pace of walking is suddenly very above-average.

Your friends will complain that you're walking too fast - when in reality - that was probably your slow-paced walk. Getting stuck behind painfully slow people is your utmost inconvenience.

12. You're asked about "Jersey Shore" way too often.

No, I don't know Snooki. No, our whole state and shore is not actually like that. We have 130 miles of some of the best beach towns in the country.

13. You can't casually mention NYC without people idealizing some magical, beautiful city.

Someone who has never been there has way too perfect an image of it. The place is quite average and dirty. Don't get me wrong, I love a good NYC day trip as much as the next person, but that's all it is to you... a day trip.

14. The lack of swearing is almost uncomfortable.

Jerseyans are known for their foul mouths, and going somewhere that isn't as aggressive as us is quite a culture adjustment.

15. No more jughandles.

No longer do you have to get in the far right lane to make a left turn.

16. You realize that other states are not nearly as extreme about their North/South division.

We literally consider them two different states. There are constant arguments and debates about it. The only thing that North and South Jersey can agree on is that a "Central Jersey" does not exist.

17. Most places also are not in a war over meat.

"Pork roll" or "taylor ham"... The most famous debate amongst North and South Jersey. It's quite a stupid argument, however, considering it is definitely pork roll.

18. You realize you were spoiled with fresh produce.

After all, it's called the "Garden State" for a reason. Your mouth may water just by thinking about some fresh Jersey corn.

19. You'll regret taking advantage of your proximity to everything.

Super short ride to the beach and a super short ride to Philly or NYC. Why was I ever bored?

20. Lastly, you realize how much pride you actually have in the "armpit of America," even if you claimed to dislike it before.

After all, there aren't many places with quite as much pride. You find yourself defending your state at all necessary moments, even if you never thought that would be the case.

Cover Image Credit: Travel Channel

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Women Of Color Are Constantly Used As Plot Devices In Film And That Needs To Change

We can't leave behind our sisters while white women make strides of progress in the genre.
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For a while, women have been cast in action movies solely for sex appeal and as plot devices to further the male lead's storyline, rather than to play the role of a three-dimensional character.

And of course, this sexism extends beyond action films, but it's most common in this genre as it tends to be dominated by men: male characters, male writers, male directors, etc.

They aren’t human beings or complex characters; they’re there for the men, to be objectified and reduced to eye candy (looking at you, every single James Bond film ever). Now there’s been a demand for well-rounded female characters, and the elite Hollywood powers that be have responded. There are ways to tell if a movie has actual female characters instead of a sexy lamp: the Bechdel, Mako Mori, Anti-Freeze, Phyrne Fisher and—you guessed it—Sexy Lamp tests.

There have been breakthroughs.

Sigourney Weaver in the 80s "Alien" series gave us a female action hero who wasn't oversexualized or overly tough because of brothers/other male figures growing up. She saved the day because of her maternal instincts, and yet she was strong.

We've also been given other great female action heroes like Alicia Vikander's version of Lara Croft, a character who a male critic complained to lack "an ounce of sex appeal" and who could be replaced by a man and "they would not have to change the script it all." Did you mean: the definition of equality?

We've made a lot of great strides in the representation of women in this genre.

We have Rey, Jyn Erso, Leia Organa, Padme Amidala, Wonder Woman/Diana Prince, Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff, Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff, The Wasp/Hope Pym, Mystique/Raven Darkholme, Lara Croft, Katniss Everdeen and other YA heroines, Sarah Connor, Charlize Theron in basically anything (but as of most recently, for her role in “Mad Max”), Trinity, Eowyn, Ellie Sattler and others.

It’s incredible to see women accurately represented on screen in action films without them being objectified. I’m so proud of the progress we’ve made.

But in doing so, we’ve left behind our sisters.

While there may be few female characters in action movies who aren’t there solely for the male lead or for the male audience to objectify, there are even fewer women of color who match that same description. “Black Panther” has blessed us with many, and three in particular stand out, but besides them, there are few others.

Marvel has also given us Daisy Johnson, Melinda May, Elektra Natchios, Storm/Ororo Munroe, Valkyrie, Blink/Clarice Fong, and Gamora. But that list is by dredging up the lesser-known Marvel shows, and not even the most famous films from the MCU.

If we were to do the same for all female action leads, the list comparing white female characters to WOC would be staggering.

Even in Star Wars, we have all of those great female leads, and for those four powerful women, we now have one WOC: Rose Tico. That proportion is ridiculous. WOC must be better represented in our films and television.

There are some in "The Walking Dead" and the "Fast & Furious" franchise; WOC action heroes do exist. But the ratio of white female action heroes and female action heroes of color is absurd.

Hollywood tries so hard to not give POC jobs that they whitewash WOC characters with white actresses. Tiger Lily, a Native American character, was played by Rooney Mara; Major Motoko Kusanagi, a Japanese character in previous adaptations, was played by Scarlett Johansson; Fox, an African-American character in the comics, was played by Angelina Jolie; Allison Ng, a quarter-Chinese and quarter-Native Hawaiian character, was played by Emma Stone; the Ancient One, a Tibetan monk, was played by Tilda Swinton; and there are other numerous instances of whitewashing characters of color.

Hollywood has been notoriously racist in their past portrayals of people of color, mostly attributed to the racism from our society. That is why it’s even more important now to rectify those previous tragedies and give POC positive representation in film and TV.

The problem comes down to intersectionality. If you don't know what that is, it's basically the intersection of, in this case, sexism and racism. There's sexism in our society that white women suffer from and racism that men of color suffer from, but women of color have it the worst, having to face both racism and sexism every day. The lack of WOC representation in action films is a reflection of that.

It's up to us to create change—wherever we are.

There's an article from two years ago that details how we can use our power as consumers to fix the diversity problem in Hollywood. We must use our consumer power by refusing to pay for films that erase or degrade POC. If a movie has a whitewashed cast or makes POC look bad, don't go see it. We can also join the online movement, including ourselves in things like #oscarssowhite.

Black Panther was one of the best films I’ve seen in a while, and there need to be more just like it. Marvel is finally coming out with a couple solo female-led movies, and I’m personally thrilled. We get "Captain Marvel" next year, and, in the near future, a Black Widow solo movie. But where is my action film led by a WOC?

White privilege exists; we can’t avoid it. But we can use it to help our sisters. We as white women cannot make the excuse that progress takes time or that our sisters of color will eventually join us in being accurately represented.

We either all move forward, or none at all.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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