sad girl, rad girl

for those of you who haven’t seen them on instagram or twitter or tumblr: many social media accounts are popping up all over the internet using tags like “anxiety princess” and “sad teen queen”, touting mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety as – excuse the cliche – 90’s girls touted Country Apple Bath & Body Works perfume and the newest Britney Spears album.

Here we go: mental disorders are not a trend!!

Before I did some research, the sheer idea of this being a problem was a little confusing to me. But after studying a few BuzzFeed articles Reddit threads badly reputed, yet still credible sources, I determined that maybe this was in fact an issue???!!!??!?!

A quick gloss over the tags in the good ol’ usual butt of pop culture jokes and home of My Chemical Romance lovers everywhere, Tumblr, determined that this ran much more deeply than I’d previously thought. Anyone who’s ever had even the slowest AOL dial-up connection knows that that website is home to some of the most questionable things that have ever appeared on the internet, including all those sites with a single PNG of a sad frog on them. Some examples are blogs promoting meninism, anorexia, and even rape.

I still wondered though – why would you want this? I was sure people wouldn’t think the same of cancer, or leukemia, or some other body-attacking terminal disease. Yet here they were, ranging from 11 to 20, mostly female, white, and middle class, with heavily filtered selfies of them with melancholy expressions and lots of mascara (it was implied that it was waterproof). Their blogs were filled with vague posts about “dealing with sadness” in some font with curlicues and black & white images of some pretty, white girl smoking a cigarette with an “edgy” caption. I would bet five dollars that the user mentioned Effy Stonem or indie music at least once in their bio. But the central feature of these blogs was not British teen soap operas or Arctic Monkeys lyrics on pictures of the sun rising, it was the fact that the person behind the screen had a mental disorder.

So there they were, a little group of people assimilating themselves into the community of people with real disorders, writing their fishy posts with details that didn’t quite add up. Like some sort of funny little clique, they had built a whole identity on these horrible disorders. And then, of course, the blur cleared up just a little. As you probably realized already, like Claire Lyons needed Prada and designer jeans to be a popular girl, these trend-followers needed – or thought they needed – a mental disorder to maintain their carefully groomed blog aesthetics. What they didn’t realize was that you don’t have to have a disorder to continue posting these pictures, or to be friends with and support others in the community. In fact, they probably didn’t consider what would happen once they inevitably got exposed.

By now, it goes without speaking that you have probably realized how disrespectful and flat-out rude this “trend” is. Though I’ve been guilty of it myself, there’s no sense, along with absolutely no ethical or moral basis, in sacrificing others’ dignity for the aesthetic. The bottom line is, mental disorders are serious and real and the people who have them are at a very critical and important place in their lives. Allowing them to be reduced to the level of something to be made fun of or not to be taken seriously is literally (excuse the term) mocking the pain and struggle they’ve gone through. And after all, you wouldn’t want cancer to be the victim of capitalism and be turned into the fodder of “fangirls” everywhere, right? Right?

Capture

p.s. what’s a good post without a “the clique” reference?

a recipe for “success”

please do not actually attempt to make.

(you know what i mean)

INGREDIENTS:

– 1 cup of brains.

– 1/2 cup of natural athletic talent. (can only find at Genetics stores, sorry!)

– 1/2 cup of social savvy. (you can substitute leadership skills, but the recipe won’t always come out right with these)

– 1/4 cup of privilege.

– 1 tbsp. of speaking skills.

– 1 tbsp. of confidence.

– 1 tbsp. of positivity.

– 1 tbsp. of time management skills. (many other recipes find procrastination fine, but we don’t!)

– 1 tsp. of luck.

DIRECTIONS:

1. At birth, preheat oven to “stress tempered by high expectations”. Make sure the level isn’t too high, so when time for baking your product won’t break down and crumble, or too low, or else your product will under-bake and not reach its fullest potential.

2. Take 1 cup of your brains and combine it with your 1/4 cup privilege. Sift these through a private school/elite public school (either works). Meanwhile, mix 1/2 cup natural athletic talent until it starts resembling medals and awards.

3. Slowly combine the two mixtures and 1/2 cup social savvy. Check for hobbies, removing these as you stir.

4. Add in 1 tbsp. speaking skills, 1 tbsp. confidence, 1 tbsp. positivity, and 1 tbsp. time management skills when the mixture starts to resemble the high school stage. Continue to stir until mixture is multi-faceted and appealing to all college admissions officers.

4. Pour into degree-shaped pan and put in oven. Add an equal measure of brains in every year as your product bakes. Check to see if your privilege is still pushing your product upward, and if it isn’t, add a little more so your product doesn’t sink (into debt).

5. After baking for the length of Bachelor’s to Doctorate degree (the longer, the better), take out of oven and drizzle luck over the top. You’re recommended to serve with a healthy dose of bragging, a Porsche, your  dream house, and lots of extra taxes.

6. Enjoy and repeat process all over again!

Love, Jenna.

passing notes

an open letter to the folks who run brandy melville.

(for those who don’t know, brandy melville is a teen clothing retailer catering to the more wealthy and known for their ‘one size fits most’ policy.)

Hey, Brandy Melville.

Let me start off by saying that I am not a Brandy girl. I am Asian-American, 5’3″, with a waist the same size as the models on the website (only they’re at least five inches taller). My hair is long, but it’s also wavy and not blonde. My eyes are not blue, and my teeth are far from perfect and straight. However, I do love Brandy’s style, I’ll commend you on that. The long cardigans, Valencia-washed Instagram, the careful assosiation with teen idols – all American girls such as Taylor Swift, the latest photo on your Instagram feed – it’s some remarkable branding.

Along with that branding, of course, is your typical Brandy girl. 5’7″ or 5’8″, with waist-length blonde hair, blue or green eyes, and one of those bodies that only years and years of green dieting and exercise can get you. After scrolling through your website, I found exactly one model of color, and not on the front page. She was buried in the ‘graphics’ section. Granted, she also had the body of the stereotypical Brandy girl.

Remember Maggie Todd? She’s one of your most popular models, with 77.8 k Instagram followers, and also the only brunette in a 4:47 video of a 2013 Brandy shoot. Still white, still green-eyed, but different none-the-less. If that teeny bit of diversity earned Maggie and your brand thousands of fans, imagine what models of every body type and every race and different nuances of life could earn you.

I get it, you can do whatever you want, but just think about it. Think about the 50% or so of girls who can’t wear your clothes. You’re taking the body of potential customers and slashing it in half right off the bat. Isn’t that bad for business? Think about fashion giants H&M and Forever 21, who are currently mooching off your customers with their newly launched plus-size lines. And for heaven’s sake, think of the thousands of gorgeous, equally Cali-chic girls who aren’t getting hired by your brand because they aren’t white enough or tiny enough.

My point is, yeah, there are lots of girls who can wear your clothes and will. But there are even more girls who can’t wear your clothes, and I bet some of them would want to if you expanded your size range and got models that they could relate to. Blonde sun-kissed beach babes are great, but what about the bubbly Brazilians with jet-black hair and cutting eyes? The young Liu Wen’s with creamy complexions and deep, caramel-toned eyes? Brandy Melville, you’re even forgetting the New York socialite whose city you slathered on the back of your bomber jackets. Love the inside. Embrace differences. Travel the world.

Isn’t that what it says on your shopping bags?

Love,
Definitely not from California.

High-Fives For Feminism

Highly encourage you to check out ModernGirlBlitz on Etsy (:

12.07.14

SongRiptide, by Vance Joy
Mood – Decembrrrrrr.
Smell – Jalapenõs and kettle corn.


So, I visited a website

You’re probably thinking this won’t end well. It won’t. Well, by some wayward chance of fate (I was looking up hobbies that teenage girls can do easily, okay), I stumbled upon this gold mine. Like, literally, gold mine. What I mean is GOLD MINE for GOLD DIGGERS looking to find a sugar daddy, plus such genius titles as “Vulnerable Craving Hearts Attract Devoted and Trustworthy Men“. I’m being serious. This is a direct quote. So, without further ado, I present:

How To Be Feminine!!!! A Guide 2 Bringin Out UR TRUE VALUE…harness UR unique feminine Energy!?!?!?! I x-puh-lain the quotes U should live by! (srry for the baad speling, im too busy cooking&cleaning to go to skool!!!)


“If we are born more feminine than we are masculine in our DNA…our hearts and souls are actually suffering from not having that freedom to be in our feminine.”

Yeah, right!!! Because not being treated like a human being because of your gender is totally justified and our souls are suffering from the lack of freedom…to be treated like sh!t by men. Toooootes.

“There’s an opportunity cost of being in control of our career, finances and lives.”

Well, sure dodged a bullet there. I would not want to have the chance to make a living for myself, to be independent. If I had gone to college, earned my Ph.D, and worked my a$$ off, I would have sacrificed my totally existent “feminine karma” to have something to fall back on. Not worth it at all. Whew!

“So, the more we reject different parts of ourselves that are dying to be expressed inside, the less whole we really are, and the less High Value we are in relationship to men, generally speaking.”

Omigosh, you’re really right! Your Value is 168% based on what a Man thinks of you. Praise Man!!!! We can’t live without him. We’re perfectly happy with being treated like an animal, up for sale. ‘This girl has stocky shoulders, she’s only worth a little’ ‘wow, this girl is a beauty and she’s harnessed her feminine energy. let’s keep her and give her the greatest gift of her life’.

“We can then go and practice embodying different energies such as surrendering to our softer, flowing, feminine energy and letting ourselves be open to the strong direction of a masculine man.”

I’m starting to realize now. We need to let men boss us around. They should tell us what to do!!! We’re inferior to them. Oh, Heavenly Masculine Man, please be my guide to the hardships of the world. Let me follow your every command, do everything you say. We’re not bo$$y, or bo$$es. Why be either when you have the great MAN.

“I feel these men as a gift – mainly because it IS a gift.”

MEN ARE GOD’S GREATEST GIFT TO THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“Women are not a gift to the world when they do more. They are less of a gift when they do more.”

i !! cannot !! do !! this !! anymore !!


After about five minutes, I literally could not do it anymore. Why do people think they have no value without a man? A gender is basically just determining if you’re bigger or smaller, and if you have something dangling from somewhere. Gender doesn’t define you. You define Gender

You’re amazing. You’re talented. You don’t need no man. You’re not bossy, you’re a boss. Say it out loud three times. C’mon. Do it. I’m not talking to you until you do.

Until then,

Capture

   

Like Two Paper Airplanes Flying ☆

I will be using my own pictures in the future, but I didn’t have time to take any today so here’s a Tumblr pic for you!

10.26.14

SongOut Of The Woods, by Taylor Swift.
Mood – Rainy.
Smell – Apple cider candles & football.


For anyone who doesn’t know me, here’s a warning – I’m absolutely random, and I’m not a good writer. Proceed with caution.

Anyway, my name is Jenna. I’m old enough to have seen Justin Bieber turn from adorable child pop star to petty criminal who hasn’t even been able to crack the Top 100. WordPress has been my second home for almost a year now, and I’ve enjoyed every moment – painstakingly adjusting pictures, adding borders, and of course, writing stories that make you laugh or cry or cough or do a mixture of both. I wish I had a polaroid camera, but I take photos anyway of things like Starbucks cups and my Kate Spade agenda. Too much cake makes me barf, but I blow out the candles anyway on April 2nd. And I love Europe, Leslie Knope, strawberries, Gemma Ward, mint, Sour Patch Kids, erasers, scented candles, Italian soda, and you. ♥

As for my blog, Swallowed In Serendipity is going to be a feminist mismash of challenges, tags, thinking, advice, personal blogs, and trying to avoid stalkers. Love you, Bell!

Tune in next week for my first real post. Until then!

Capture