Beauty within Hell Week

Good morning!  Today is the last day of finals!  AH!

Time to rejoice and enjoy ourselves!

But what would you say if I told you I actually find some amusement in finals?  If I told you it’s actually kind of sad when they end?

I know.  I’m totally crazy but hear me out…

Everything you’ve been working on all semester adds up to these two weeks.  Because if we’re being honest last week was my Hell Week but whatever.  It’s all of that junk you’ve learned and struggled through put into a few assignments.  (No pressure haha)  And it’s hard and you don’t sleep enough and you’re bumming it way too often and you’re not eating right…

But all of a sudden there’s people out.  The library is packed. The lounge become home to a study group of people that you didn’t know even knew each other.  There are books and bags everywhere and people kicking a soccer ball around outside for a break.  And everyone is in the same boat (for the most part).  And it sucks but you end up surviving.  Despite the amount of times you want to cry and stop and give up you never do.  That’s pretty fucking cool.

At the end of finals you’ve achieved something that you actually thought you couldn’t  And within a few days you’re looking back laughing at how dramatic everything was.

And it’s beautiful.  The second day of my Hell Week I was ready to break down by 10am (I’d been up since 6). I was rushing to grab something in my room before Improv and my friend had left Pumpkin Spice Tea all over my room.  I’m literally walking into my room with tears in my eyes and then I have this reminder that I’m okay and there is more than what I’m stressing out.  Look at this person supporting me.  Minutes later my roommate has brought my favorite smoothie and cake pop for me.  I have never been so fucking grateful before.  In the middle of Hell I get the biggest reminder of how connected everyone is. And that’s fucking awesome.  We all have that during finals: support.  Maybe not everyone has legit treats, but during finals you can literally turn anywhere and some one is going to be there right next to you.  And that’s a treat in itself.   We are able to support each other because, unlike the rest of the semester, people are all in the same boat.  And we all want everyone to float together.  No one gets to sink during finals.  And there’s beauty in that.  And when it ends, those people you laughed and cried with in the library are gone.  And everyone pretends like it didn’t happen.  But it did.  And it was beautiful.

Compensating for Beauty

Maybe compensating isn’t the right word.  But we’ll pull a Tim Gunn and “Make it Work”.

I wrote last week about what it’s like to not feel beautiful.  This post kind of tag teams off of that.

There’s a girl in some of my classes.  Beautiful, typecast as the blonde bombshell, smart, and quirky.  She has the potential to be a beautiful person except for one thing-she’s so concerned with being a beautiful person.

With 20 minutes at the end of class, every class, you can hear the familiar clanking of make ups and perfume.  She applies concealer under her eyes, reapplies mascara to the top and bottom eye lashes, lipstick, etc.  The finishing touch is a spritz of perfume.

But wait there’s more!  With 5 minutes left of class the clanking starts again as she double checks everything, sometimes even brushing her hair. Finally! She is ready to continue on with her day.  This happens every class, morning and afternoon.

It’s sad. I bet she’s really pretty and no one will ever actually see her.  It makes me wonder what happened to this girl to make her feel like it’s so necessary….

Why I don’t feel Beautiful (with Niki Demar)

This is in response to Niki Demar.  A you tuber and beauty vlogger.  I watch she and her sister, Gabi, and follow them on social media.  These are girls around my age who I look up to because they are doing so much.  Niki posted a video a while back titled “Why I don’t feel Beautiful”.  And I’ve been trying to decide how to respond to it because she says a lot (link below).  But also because I feel like not enough people are addressing the issue of self love… lets see how this goes.

80%-90% of the time I do not feel beautiful.  Slowly this is changing from the reflection on what media defines as beautiful to what my own self-standards are.  Niki says that “The concept of beauty has changed so much.  And it’s so easy for some one in 2015 not to feel beautiful”.  It is so fucking sad to know how true that is.  It’s more than our definition of beauty being this ever changing thing.  It’s that so many people, men and women alike, do not believe they are beautiful.  Niki is correct when she talks about how, despite doing so much, it becomes very hard to focus on all of the positive things when there is that cloud of self love being very difficult.

“This topic is very messy”.  OH MY GOSH.  I could dedicate an entire blog to beauty and self love issues and eating issues.  Because we deserve to talk about it. But for now lets just say that: this topic is very messy.  It’s not easy to talk about or address.  Most people don’t even acknowledge it.

As I’ve been getting older I’ve found that while I’m still influenced by media, a lot of my issues are just that I don’t look the way I want to look.  So when some one compliments me I often don’t believe them.  A big portion of my life I was made fun of.  I was a joke because people didn’t think it was pretty. That’s hard to get out of.  So when some one says something nice there is still part of me that thinks it’s about to be turned into a joke.  So I work out and I stress over my skin.  Acne.  Ugh. I’ll save that vent.  My muscles are too big or not big enough and holy crap!

The point is we are all struggling.  Even the people who think are beautiful and put together (I thought Niki was) are struggling.  Don’t be afraid to ask for support.  Even if that means venting to some one for a few minutes.  Do it.  Support each other.  We’ve all got something.

Miley Cyrus And the Beauty Standards of Hannah Montana

So 2 days ago I saw an article on MTV…
This was about Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana.
In case you don’t want to read the article, here’s the gist. Playing Hannah Montana gave Miley Cyrus a sense of Body Dysmorphia because she was meant to portray this perfect pop princess. She put on tons of make up, a wig, etc. Meanwhile the girl she portrayed, that looked like her, was the dork. Not only is she being transformed into beauty but she became a symbol of what beauty is.
Okay cool? Cool.
We all know Miley (may I call you Miley?) has had tons of criticism over recent years because she is no longer the “Perfect pop princess Hannah Montana”. Here’s the thing we need to remember people: she never was. She played one. That’s it. Everyone goes through a rough patch in their lives. Some people do drugs and try to discover their sexuality, others become depressed, etc. Demi Lovato tackled her issues and people were so supportive. Miley tries to tackle hers and everyone hates her. Um… last I checked, tons of people have tried drugs and experimented with their sexuality. The difference is, they didn’t have the whole world watching them. That doesn’t make her actions wrong. That makes her brave and a huge example of what a lot of people do that we just never talk about.
If I were the parent of a child who loved Hannah Montana and started seeing the Miley Cyrus side of things… I wouldn’t hide it from them. I’d talk to them. Be fucking honest with my kid. Yeah it’s hard let your kid be exposed to something that they aren’t ready for (and you aren’t ready for) but if it’s there why try to hide it? I would want my kid to understand what’s going on and what other options there are. I would tell them that Miley has been working for a long time and has had tons of pressure on her and everyone cracks at some point. Some kids dye their hair, others overcompensate and become “preppy”. Whatever. There are tons of different ways of dealing with things and that’s one of them and while I hope they don’t repeat her actions, I’d want to know. I’d want them to know that there’s an outlet, as opposed to making my kid feel like they’ll be disowned if they Fuck up (which they might). It’s really an opportunity to open bridge of conversation about growing up and the pressures that are put on you.
We see this in kids during middle school (cliques form-emos, preppy, etc). And some people experience this “What is happening to my life” feeling then. Other’s don’t get that until high school. And still, others till college or even after college. I know a handful of people who just graduated college and are in that awkward phase because it’s jarring. That’s okay. It happens. Some people start smoking weed or drinking or cutting or skipping class, etc. We need to stop pretending that doesn’t exist because that won’t help anything. I think what Miley has done here is open the doors to parents talking to their kids about what can happen and the kind of pressure society (and maybe them?) can feel like and how to deal with it.
Miley, you do you. Because you are fucking awesome.