You Got It Going On

You Got It Going On

Redefining beauty in today's age.
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I spent this past Friday volunteering in my aunt’s classroom at her elementary school. Going with her required me to wake up far earlier than I am used to, which meant that the last thing I was concerned about was my appearance. However, I put on my nicest pants and threw on a professional shirt. To be honest, I was worried more about arriving on time than anything else, due to my perpetual history of tardiness.

About an hour after I got there, I was sitting in an exhausted trance in an undersized blue chair when I heard a chorus of whispers filling the classroom. It wasn’t until I heard the loud groan of the word “Ewww,” that I lifted my head.

Apparently, most of the girls in the classroom were asking their fifth grade, male counterparts if I was pretty, and their responses were not so positive. I made pretend not to hear them as they commented on my short hair, furry eyebrows, and tired, pale face.

However, after about two minutes of this, I found myself growing increasingly more insecure and excused myself to the bathroom. I looked at myself in the mirror.

As a disclaimer, I have never planned on writing about looks or appearances, because, for the majority of my life, I never thought that it was really worth discussing.

But, as I was looking at myself in the mirror in the elementary school bathroom, I started to wonder how strong the patriarchy was with this situation; that I, a grown-ass woman, was made insecure by a group of fifth-grade boys.

They were overpowering me with their perceptions of beauty, probably ones that they have learned from television or the Internet. Granted, the opinions of these 10-year-old students did not upset me. Rather, it was that the standards of female attractiveness had extended to such a young age. It was starting to feel helpless.

I was a paraprofessional for a middle school class this summer, and I met a beautiful eighth-grade female student who confided to me that she had been hospitalized for an eating disorder that school year. She told me that all of her friends were skinny and pretty, and that it was hard to believe that she was attractive in the way celebrities look. Besides telling this student how much I admired her for her strength, and reminding her that her body is just a case for her soul (that elicited an eye roll from her), there was not much I could do.

There are people my age who are struggling just as much as this young student was. Insecurity is not something that just disappears with age. It’s hilarious and accepted to Snapchat your friend a picture of your four chins at an unattractive angle, but nearly sacrilegious to go on a date or out to a bar without 30 minutes of preparation to look "presentable."

If you look at it objectively, it just seems like an overly confusing and altogether unnecessary game to play. And if you're like me, and perhaps a little exhausted, it’s easy to quit this game prematurely.

In order to create any sort of outward change, it's important to understand and sit with our own opinions and perspectives as to what we feel beauty is. By doing this, we are better able to distinguish both what we value and how much we value it in a person.

I went through a period in my life where I chopped all of my hair off because I did not want to feel “pretty” anymore, mostly because growing up, I was told that long hair was beautiful, like Tova Benjamin writes about in her article.

I wanted to wear asexualized clothing and detach emotionally from any sort of romantic situation because I wanted be seen as an actual person, as opposed to somebody with boobs and a nice face.

Tavi Gevinson expresses this idea in her really good article. But then, over time, I came to realize that by doing this, I was only letting society/the patriarchy/whatever win. Who can really determine what is feminine, when it comes down to it?

Only yourself.

I can be incredibly feminine and beautiful without having long tresses and perfectly lined eyeliner. You best believe that you can, too.

It would be one thing if it was just something our generation is doing, but it’s a whole other thing for it affecting people younger than us, who are still determining and crafting what beauty is in their eyes.

That day in class, a quiet fifth-grade girl could have heard her male classmate outline in what ways I was not pretty. And, in return, she could have committed it all to memory, taking serious note that perfectly maintained eyebrows warrant male approval. That makes me worried and, ultimately, powerless.

So, my call to action is to tell you, readers (regardless of gender), to do you. Go braless or bare-assed, or treat yourself to that new MAC palette and wear the shit out of it. By doing you, unapologetically, somewhere the wheels will begin turning and perspectives will begin to shift. And with that, I am pretty sure that there will be a fifth-grade student, somewhere, who is going to benefit from it.

Cover Image Credit: As featured in Rookie Magazine's Tumblr Page

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13 Gross Things Girls Do That Boys Don't Know About

From a girl, about girls.
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There's always talk about how gross boys are all the time, it's now time to talk about how gross maybe even how much more disgusting girls can be. It may not even be disgusting, but just weird, but we are girls. What can we say?

1. Gorilla legs.

It's not that we don't want to...okay, that was a lie. Every girl can agree that they only shave during bathing suit season when you're wearing a dress, or when you're gonna get it on. Basically, If she shaves her legs you're special.

2. When did I last wash this bra again?

We wear the same exact bra, for days, and weeks, and who knows for how long.

3. It's not just the bra's, it's the pants too.

We wear jeans and leggings like twenty times before we think about washing them.

4. We don't wash our hair every day.

Because unwashed hair is the best styling hair. Also because looking good takes too much work.

5. We are always picking at our faces, especially pimples.

As soon as we walk by a mirror, its a must. Car mirrors are awesome to pop those suckers and pluck rampant eyebrow hairs. We pop pimples like its our job.

6. We will live in your clothes.

If you somehow let your significant other or friend wear your sweatshirt you're never getting it back... and she's never taking it off. Girls will wear that sh*t until your scent is gone because we love it.

7. We poop.

Believe it or not... it happens to us too. Women don't make it as much as a show as boys do. We hide it from you and will hold it until you're not around. And you've probably received a lot of selfies on the toilet.

8. The dreaded monthly gift.

Probably the most disgusting thing to ever happen to the human body. But everyone knows about menstruating, but most guys don't understand the other things that come along with it, like the cramps that bring period farts and the nasty bowel movements and blood clots.

9. Finding hair from our head in our butt cheeks.

Yeah, it's a thing. Your head hair crawls it's way down there occasionally.

10. We smell ourselves a lot.

We are super conscious about how we smell...especially down there.

11. We let it fly.

We will hold in our farts from you, but as soon as we are alone... that's a different story. You better hope we don't get too comfortable around you too quick.

12. Sometimes we have to improvise.

Sometimes mother nature likes to come when we aren't ready, or prepared with the supplies. There are numerous occasions where we start bleeding and have to create this bundle of toilet paper and just shove it down there.

13. Looking at our panties and trying to figure out what came out.

Sometimes you just don't know for sure.

Cover Image Credit: Buzz Feed Blue

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To the Ones Who Somehow Made It Through High School And College Without Ever Dating

There is nothing wrong with you.
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There is no crime in being single—in having always been single. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you.

There are very few high school relationships that last; those rare high school sweethearts that make it, in the long run, are very blessed. Most of high school dating is a game of fitting in and being just like everyone else—“the cool kids date, so I should too.” Really, not dating in high school has saved you (and me) a lot of heartaches. This is not to say that high school dating is bad or wrong; I’m just saying that it’s not necessary.

Being single is actually very beneficial. It allows you more freedom and independence to better understand yourself and to explore your own dreams and desires before adding someone else’s into the mix. How can you take part in someone else’s dreams and desires without really understanding your own? When you do end up dating, you’ll be a lot more confident with what you want and need.

Being single also gives you the chance to invest in intimate friendships that you otherwise wouldn’t develop. Friendships can be just as beneficial (or more so) than romantic relationships. Need someone to lean on, to understand you in all your crazy, to not run away on the bad days? That’s what true friends are for—and close friendships tend to last longer than most romantic relationships. You should not ever underestimate a good friendship.

People in relationships are not necessarily happier than people who are single. You can be just as content and happy single as you can be in a romantic relationship. The reverse is also true. You can be just as miserable in a romantic relationship as you can being single. Being in a romantic relationship is not going to suddenly and magically cure or solve all your problems. “Happily Ever Afters” also don’t work the way all the fairytales and stories would have us believe. Relationships are a lot of work - you have to take into consideration not just your own dreams and your own problems but also your partner’s, and that’s not a bad thing because two heads are better than one and all that, but there is a reason for such a thing as “timing.”

Dating is a lot about getting the timing right. You’re not always going to be in a good headspace for a good, healthy relationship. There have definitely been moments in my life where I strongly desired to be in a romantic relationship (especially because all of my friends were), but looking back, it was a good thing. A romantic relationship would have added a level of stress and distraction in my life that I was not ready for and probably still am not ready for. Dating is partly a waiting game, so don’t worry if you haven’t had the chance yet

From One Single Person to Another

I promise there is nothing wrong with you or me, and our time will come.

Cover Image Credit: @finduslost | Instagram

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