Thursday, December 31, 2015

What Twenty One Pilots Means to Me


Everyone says how Twenty One Pilots helped them through tough times, maybe even saved their lives. I don't really have a sob story like that, but Twenty One Pilots is just as meaningful to me.

In the past, I've dealt with the occasional bout of depression, social anxiety, and loneliness. I also pluck my eyebrows obsessively. All of these things are out of my control.
The worst part of social anxiety is that nobody believes me. Every day I overcome social anxiety, and it's hard, and since they can't see it they don't believe it. They think I'm just shy, or just rude. I've learned to ignore it now, but I still sweat and/or shake when meeting new people, even online. Sometimes I'll be in a new situation, meeting new people, and I'll convince myself I'm fine, but then I'll notice I'm shaking and can't hold a pen, or my pits are sweat stained. Sorry for the mental image.
When I heard Twenty One Pilots for the first time, I thought of all my issues and even though I don’t totally understand what the message is of every song, their music makes me feel like I'm not alone and that I shouldn't give up.

Right now, I've been doing well for a long time. My last bout of sadness/depression was in October, when I slipped away from a get together with my friends, convinced nobody would notice if I quietly walked in the other direction. They did notice, but I almost felt like they were relieved to have me gone. It was really bad. I felt like nobody cared about me. I just got detached.
These difficult times can arise at random, with no apparent trigger, or they can be triggered by a prolonged period of time without seeing my friends. Which is strange because I was always a loner as a kid, and I would have considered myself introverted until high school. Maybe that's why I have this problem now. In elementary school, I never had friends who liked me. I had mediocre friends, sure, but they all seemed to genuinely not like me. They were always annoyed by me. I remember one time in fifth grade, everyone got in groups for a singing-related assignment and I asked two of my friends if I could be in their group. They said no. So I had no group. I went to the teacher and told her I didn't have a group, and she put me with my "friends." The first thing they said to me was, "you're out of tune." We were eleven years old. I didn't know what "out of tune" meant and I doubted they did either. To this day, I live in fear that people don't like me unless they go out of their way to show me in a million different ways.

Twenty One Pilots helps. Their music tells me to keep going and to never give up and that I'm not alone and one day maybe I'll be happy. It'll all be okay. I know other people have it way worse than me, which is why I say "I don't have a sob story." I simply want to show you how much their music means to me, as your average teenager with teenager problems.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Article Response: Having Big Boobs

This article is more about how to feel confident with big boobs. (source)
This article was extremely meaningful to me because I struggle with body image issues due to my big boobs. People think I'm half-joking when I complain about my boobs, but if I'm being honest, having big boobs can really fuck with your confidence. I'm also very short, so my boobs take up at least half of my torso space. Which consequently makes me look shorter and fatter, even though I'm not fat and I'm not tragically short. I'm 5'1 (maybe 5'2 by now). And I haven't even gotten to how the fashion industry makes smaller boobs look ideal.
At this age, I'm fifteen, almost sixteen, I go to school most of the time, which leaves me with limited outfit options. I can't wear anything too dressy. I can't wear heels or fitted blouses (I mean I could, but I wouldn't feel comfortable doing so). I also can't show a lot of cleavage, even if I wanted to or felt comfortable, and I can't wear anything super tight. Also my parents are pretty controlling about what I wear (probably because they're not used to me wearing anything with a neckline lower than the collarbones. What I wear isn't actually particularly revealing). In summary, in my situation it's hard to wear clothes that accentuate my curves.
Last year my friend had a pool party, and I went out of my comfort zone and wore a more revealing bikini. It was lightly padded, with just a bit of push up for some lift, resembled a bra but cuter, and it was a dream. It was a tad too small, but I could get away with it, easily. The band size was too big as usual, because it was a sister size to my bra size, so I tied it around the back instead of using the clasp. I could never get it tight enough, however, so I had to tie the halter tightly, hoisting my boobs up and creating the illusion of a more voluminous chest. It had a push-up effect. I could finally reveal my secret boobs! I shamelessly flaunted my risqué ensemble. I only had one nip slip, and it was among mostly close friends! This was during the early stages of summer break. A few weeks ago, a friend admitted someone made a comment about my outfit. "Revealing," she called it. I had thought I flew under the radar with it. I had hoped everyone was jealous Apparently that was not the case.
That wasn't the beginning of my love-hate relationship with my boobs, however. I got boobs in the fifth grade. "Wow, this is great! I look hawt!" I thought, naively thinking my journey would end there. I'm now at the biggest cup size and smallest band size sold at Victoria's Secret. The Secret's out, Victoria doesn't cater to big busts. Thanks for nothing, Vicky. And neither does any other store in my area. This is the last size before shit gets real. I'm just crossing my fingers and trying to eat less.
My bikini was similar to this one from Aerie, except with navy and white stripes.

Here's what I hate about my boobs:
  • I look frumpy in any kind of t-shirt. The worst part is, my wardrobe consists of mostly graphic tees.
  • They take up half my torso space when wearing a bra.
  • Waistlines that are supposed to land at the waist (shocker) land right under my boobs, yet in the right spot on my back.
  • I can't throw on any old shirt and look normal, like girls with average-sized boobs can. Boobs are hard to style.
  • Bikini shopping is excessively difficult. It shouldn't be, all I need is a waterproof bra. Can't you see I don't need "ADD TWO SIZES!!"?
  • Girls with smaller boobs can throw on a push-up bra and look big for one night. I'm big all the time.
  • Bras that give me a nice shape are usually too thick and sweaty in the summer, and show bra lines under sweaters in the winter.
  • Sports bras and minimizer bras just don't do the trick and make my chest sore. On top of that, the shape is all wrong. Is it that difficult to mimic the shape of normal boobs?
  • Since I've been blessed with the boobs, I get no ass. My ass resembles a frying pan. A frying pan that's been sitting in dirty dishwater for two weeks to the point of no return. No amount of exercise will repair this sad derrière.
  • I can't wear infinity scarves.
  • Even knotting the side of my shirt can make me look bulky and midsection-heavy, because it leaves a gap in the space under my boobs.
  • Normal-fitting t-shirts have the same gap under my boobs.
  • I don't feel comfortable in form-fitting shirts that accentuate my boobs and actually fit them. I've been trained to be ashamed of my boobs.
  • A lot of t-shirts are tight across the upper half of my boobs and then hang down from the other half, making my boobs look smaller in diameter but with a strange shape, which is just a weird and unnatural look.
  • People laugh in my face when I complain about my body image issues saying, "that's not a real problem."
  • There's so much advice on "How to minimize your big boobs!" "How to downplay your chest!" But I want to accentuate it and embrace it, not hide it. I also can't find any advice on how to feel confident with big boobs, because it's assumed that I know big boobs are ideal.
  • I get attention from the wrong kind of guy. It's the materialistic, superficial guys who I get attention from. Please, if I wanted your cheap hookups I'd go to wrestling practice and pick up a hotter guy.
  • I've been reduced to boot cut and flare leg jeans. Almost every day. Because that's the only way I can flatter this kind of figure. I love me some flare leg jeans, but it's hard to find the right fit, especially since I'm so short. It's a good thing I know how to hem my own pants.
  • The fashion industry always uses tall, flat-chested models. I assume they're more versatile and photogenic, and probably easier to style. But that just leads to confidence issues for those of us who are the polar opposite of that, and in reality the models don't look perfect either. They just have amazing Photoshop artists, and a professional hair and makeup team.
The hardest thing for me to come to terms with has been accepting my differences. I'm unique, and that's not only okay but preferable. I wish I had perfectly sculpted eyebrows and maybe a little more height (I wouldn't mind a Barbie-doll ski-slope nose, either), but I don't and that's what sets me apart. No, I don't look like a model straight off the runway, but that makes me unique. I've learned the art of the "half tuck," where I tuck in only the front of my t-shirt to avoid the tent issue. I have to put more effort in putting outfits together because I can't throw on just anything. I have trouble accepting that some people can do that, and I'm not one of them. I have trouble accepting that I can't have it both ways. The article emphasized the importance of accepting your differences, and even though I had already realized this was a necessary step to achieve body confidence, it was good to hear someone else say it.
That all being said, I'm not terribly insecure about my boobs, they're just a nuisance and often unsightly in my mind. It is what it is. C'est la vie, mon amie.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

November Favorites

I normally haaaate these monthly favorites posts, but I have some makeup stuff I really want to share. There's some products and some techniques.

  1. L'Oreal Voluminous Extra-Volume Collagen mascara in Black Brown. I actually don't think it looks super voluminous. I love it because it looks natural, not clumpy, and the color matches my eyelashes to make it look not overdone with my warm toned brown hair. Some would say, "what's the point of wearing mascara if it's not black?" and I would say, "because it looks like your natural eyelashes, but better!" Overall, I like it because it looks like my natural eyelashes, but better. I don't like the waterproof formula much because it comes off at the pool but not with makeup remover (I haven't tried it with a non oil-free makeup remover though, that would probably work).
  2. Heating up the eyelash curler. This is particularly helpful when I'm not wearing mascara and I just want to curl my eyelashes, because they stay curled! This is a Pinterest hack. It's like using hair curlers overnight versus using a curling iron. I'm not sure if it's safe, because my eyelash curler is metal and rubber, but I haven't had any problems so far! ha ha...
  3. Almay Eye Makeup Remover Liquid. This makeup remover is great because it's NOT oil-free! Most makeup removers are oil free now because oil is bad for your skin, but oil is great at removing oily makeup. It's a pro at removing my NYX Color Mascara. Remember to fight oil with oil! It's like how you can't fight an oil fire with water, you gotta use the fire extinguisher or a fire blanket.
  4. Simple Cleansing Micellar Water. I use coconut oil on my eyebrows (and occasionally my eyelashes) overnight, and I use this to remove the leftover coconut oil from my eyebrows in the morning because it doesn't leave an oily makeup remover residue that will make my makeup slide off. I also use it at night occasionally to fight acne and oily skin, but I have to put the moisture back in my face with moisturizer afterward.
  5. Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Pink-A-Boo. I love the color because it's sort of a nude pink color, which is perfect to add a bit of color and light to a makeup look, but also keep it natural. I love the formula because it's moisturizing and not too heavy or slippery. But I do feel ridiculous applying it in public because it looks like it's for kids.
  6. Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief moisturizer. It's great because it's a gel formula, which means it soaks in fast (under two minutes) and leaves your skin feeling dry and supple, NOT oily and lotiony. Also it's heavier than my summer moisturizer, which is perfect because it's winter.
  7. Dewy skin. I've been using powder only on spots I wear concealer (I don't wear foundation) and skipping it elsewhere. It's hard because I want my face to look matte,  but when it does, it doesn't look as good. But yeah I love the look of dewy skin. I also use a finishing spray but I'm not sure if it's doing anything.
  8. L'Oreal True Match Lumi Powder Glow Illuminator in Rose. Honestly, sometimes I use this on like most of my face. The places I use it most are on the browbone, in the tear duct area of my eyes, on my cupid's bow, and on the top of my cheekbones. They also suggest using it down the center of your nose, but I have a bit of a wide nose so that just looks kind of strange on me. There's a light pink, a dark pink, a white, and a champagne. I either use them all together, or pick one. I often use the champagne shade on my eyelids as eyeshadow, because it gives a bit of shimmer for a nice summery glow. Screw winter, I want that summery glow. I also appreciate that it has a mirror for travel.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Why I Choose to Be a Woman

Ever since I wrote my "Which Sex Has it Easier?" post and "Unfair Things About Being a Female" and got some (overly vulgar) feedback on it asking things like, "Why do you still choose to a woman since it's so difficult?"
This issue came up in English class yesterday, while reading the short story "The White Heron" by Sarah Orne Jewett. The overarching theme of the short story is accepting society's gender role as a woman, or acting according to your own values. Spoiler alert: Sylvia meets a guy she likes for the first time, and he's great (and rich!), except he kills birds for fun. He wants Sylvia to tell him where the extra-special white heron lives so he can kill it, and Sylvia has to decides to marry him and get the bird killed (which is what she's supposed to do according to society) or not marry him and let the bird live (which would be acting according to her own values). She chooses the latter.

Why do I choose to be a woman, and waste my time shaving my legs and have long, inconvenient hair and wear constricting clothes and wear painful high heels? As a woman, I'm seen as "ornamental" (thanks, English teacher). I have to look nice, while men are free from that. I have to pluck my eyebrows and do my hair, and a man can just roll out of bed and come straight to school or work. It's deep-seated societal sexism and misogyny. Why do I do this to myself?
Because I like it. I like looking pretty and beautifying myself (hence the obsession with eyebrows and makeup). But why do I like it? Because society tells me that's what the ideal woman looks like, and that's what I'm subconsciously striving for, or because it's actually my personal preference? I'm not a psychologist, so I don't know. I'd like to think it's a little bit of both. I don't wear heels because it hurts my feet, and I pluck my eyebrows because I can't stand them being the wrong shape or having stray hairs, and I do makeup in my free time, not just in the mornings for necessity. That makes me inclined to believe it's my personal preference. And there are some girls who don't shave their legs or have long hair or do their makeup or pluck their eyebrows. Perhaps that suggests it's personal preference. But most girls do those things. Perhaps that suggests it's society.

I don't know the psychological reason I like to look pretty, but I like it and that's why I strive for it.  Probably for some girls, they do it because society forces them to (consciously or not), and for others they do it because of personal preference. For anyone who wanted to post another vulgar misogynistic comment.