I Recognize My Privilege And Apologize If It Makes You Uncomfy

If you guys haven’t read Tal Fortgang’s controversial piece “Why I’ll Never Apologize for My White Male Privilege,” I encourage you to do so. ¬†Otherwise you’ll be lost in what I’m about to say ūüôā

¬† ¬† ¬†Tal Fortgang is a freshman at Princeton hell bent on¬†relaying¬†some pent up angst in this piece he wrote for the university’s¬†newspaper. I love that he is telling his side of the story, but alas! how could it be so!?, a teenager is expressing an opinion on his¬†view of the world without hesitating¬†to put himself in another’s shoes beforehand. ¬†I can relate – I was the prime example of someone who thought she knew everything (especially in my teenage years), and I am so very grateful that the older I get, the less I feel I know. ¬†Staying open to different ideas, cultures, ways of life and thinking about other peoples’ motives is not only a sign of maturity, but has also helped me in my professional life. ¬†I wish Tal had thought about why someone might resent the privilege they see in his¬†life;¬†while his¬†family has struggled to live the American Dream, many Americans are still struggling with obstacles that Tal’s young mind could never fathom.

¬† ¬† ¬†Fortgang hyper-focuses on telling his side of the story so narrow-mindedly that while reading it, I¬†had to take¬†several mental breaks from his self-centeredness. ¬†It seems that he is putting this story out there so anyone who has ever told him to “check [his]¬†privilege” (what a weird phrase, by the way) will read this story and know how hard his family suffered to get where they are today. ¬†Tal: open your mind. ¬†You’re going to have a different opinion than¬†your classmates and most people you’ll encounter throughout your life; our opinions are shaped not only by our family but also our environments. ¬†Just because an 18 year old tells you to “check your privilege” does not mean he is¬†attacking you. ¬†Your classmate worked equally hard to earn admission to Princeton and was granted admission based on an application no doubt involving his very¬†valid thoughts and opinions. ¬†Remember, the main goal of universities is for the free exchange of ideas; you’ve expressed yours, now sit back and listen while others respond.

¬† ¬† ¬†I am also a white person, and never once has someone told¬†me to “check my privilege” – maybe because I don’t have the dynamic duo, white + male. ¬†However, I am self-aware enough to realize just how damn privileged I am and to be thankful for it every day. ¬†My grandparents, parents, and I have worked hard too, but you don’t need the sob story. ¬†Lots of Americans have worked hard, dude. ¬†Overcoming obstacles does not mean you are invincible and deserve an elitist attitude; rather, use your profound education and means to be an example to society without a chip on your shoulder. ¬†Most importantly, realize that when people may tell you to “check your privilege,” they are not necessarily attacking you. ¬†They are simply pointing out the¬†lack of barrier in your life that is present in the lives of others. ¬†

¬† ¬† ¬†In summary: You’ll be amazed at how much more you see with an open mind¬†and someone else’s shoes on your feet. ¬†Recognize that you have it better than a lot of people, and use that as a stepping stone into how you can¬†work toward equality for all, “privilege” or not.

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Here Goes Nothing

She stands right here and looks in the mirror
Her heart thumps from both pleasure and fear
The sound grows louder with each step he takes nearer

Her skin’s ablaze and goosebumps raise
She licks her lips the most sensual way
His kiss makes her dizzy, clouds her head with haze

Tonight is the night this boy turns into a man
He unzips her dress as slow as he can stand
His pants swell at just the brush of her hand

She can’t stand it, she¬†needs him right here and right now
Can’t handle the yearning, she doesn’t know how
He’ll have her, he needs her, he wants her, he vows

As they lay on the bed, really just kids
Confusing love with whatever this is
Pawing and rubbing until everything fits

In the moment, this is all they have
Two of a whole, each a separate half
“I love you” each whispers with the hint of a laugh

Spring Trends to Try

Hey y’all! ¬†(I’m so Southern now‚Ķ ha.) ¬†Here are some cute trends this spring to help get you in the mood for sunshine, warm weather, and in my case, a long boating and motorcycle season!

1. The Berry Lip

Kerry Washington killed this look at the Oscars and the model below looks amazing too. ¬†Pair it perfectly with brighter, light bronze or nude eyes. ¬†This picture is from the Rebecca Minkoff NYFW Fall ’14 show. ¬†The rich berry color suits almost any skin type! ¬†Here’s the shade the model is wearing in Amore.

Berry

2. Fringe Accessories

These are perfect for music festivals all summer (the hippie vibe is perfect for Coachella!).  Pair it with a flowered headband for a groovy 60s look, or rock it to dinner with a leather motorcycle jacket for the perfect amount of badass.

fringepurse

3. Geometrics

Don’t be afraid to try something new! ¬†After the dull grays and blacks that we all don in the cold winter months, spice things up with a pretty pattern. ¬†Here is a great warm, Aztec pattern that will brighten up your spring wardrobe:

aztec

What trends will you try this season?

On Being 22

I find myself at one of the most pinnacle ages of my lifetime: 22. ¬†Sure, it’s not 18 and it’s definitely not 50, but 22 is the age of change for me.

At 5 I moved across the country for the first time, and at 6 I left the country for the first time. ¬†At 10 I bought Abercrombie for the first time and at 11 I wore mascara for the first time. ¬†At 12 I had a boyfriend for the first time and got suspended from school (for the first time). ¬†At 14 I drove a car for the first time and at 16 I drove it without my parents for the first time. ¬†At 18, I fell in love for the first time and moved away to school for the first time. ¬†And now I’m 22.

At 22, I graduated from college. I left my parents, my brother, my boyfriend, and my friends behind to move across the country. ¬†I rented a U-Haul and moved to a city where I knew not one living soul. ¬†I started the “Nine to Five Grind” and became a coffee addict. ¬†I travelled to three different states for the first time and opened my very own 401k. ¬†I paid my own (and astronomical) rent for the first time, which is probably my parents’ favorite part about this year. ¬†And yet, despite all these personal accomplishments, I’ve never felt more overlooked.

When you’re an entry-level employee, people rarely recognize your value. ¬†Wanting to make a good impression, I work my butt off and open myself to new challenges and opportunities alike, but my triumphs constantly go unnoticed. ¬†People tend to underestimate what I know I can deliver. ¬†At 22, I feel younger than I did when I started college and more invisible than I have since middle school. ¬†For the first time, my parents aren’t financially supporting my life, but no one is listening to me. ¬†I’m not a child. ¬†Nothing has slapped me across the face with as much force as the reality of Corporate America’s view on the lowest rung of the totem pole.

22 is difficult because I am so caught between two worlds; the land of 7-nights-a-week parties and the land of 5-nights-a-week-work. ¬†Taylor Swift is over there singing about “feelin’ 22” but Taylor Swift doesn’t have to hold a 40-hour structured work week.

At 22, I’ve learned I have to push myself; I need to speak up and chase what I’m after. ¬†I need to let my presence be known so no one will forget my name. ¬†22 has empowered me to fight for what I want, follow my dreams, take care of myself, and be independent. ¬†22 has forced me to mature and grow up, but 22 also lets me be silly and childish. ¬†At 22 I have to show up for work 9 hours a day, but at 22 I can drink for 9 hours every Friday night.

22 is my Age of Change. ¬†What’s yours?

XOXO, MCB

Details of this writing challenge here.

Oscars Fashion Recap

The dresses worn by Hollywood’s finest this year at the Academy Awards were beautiful. ¬†Everyone from first-time Lupita Nyong’o to most-nominated-ever Meryl Streep expressed her style with grace and poise; there were a whole bunch of hits and very few misses last night in my opinion. ¬†Below are my top three favorite dresses from the Oscars last night.

Lupita Nyong’o

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The girl looks amazing.  Her girly, Cinderella-esque dress complements her slender figure and short hair quite well.  Her studded earrings were so badass and gave a nice juxtaposition against her baby blue, pretty dress.  The headband was such a great way for her to jazz up her simple hairdo in an unexpected way.  A+ job girl!

 

Kerry Washington

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This mom-to-be is killing it with her pregnancy style. ¬†The purple complements her lighter skin tone perfectly, and the cut of the dress shows off her baby bump without being skin-tight. ¬†Her simple jewels look fabulous, the slit is the absolute perfect length, but what I love most about this look is the dark lip and matching nails! ¬†I actually bought a similar lip color this weekend and am so excited to try it out. ¬†I got the idea from Rebecca Minkoff’s Fall 2014 Show in NYC a few weeks ago. ¬†(See the pic from LaurenConrad.com here)

 

Charlize Theron

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Um, hi, could there be someone who looks any more perfect? ¬†Charlize is absolutely stunning in this black Dior number. ¬†It fits her curves perfectly and accentuates her amazing body. ¬†The dangling necklace goes perfectly with the plunging neckline and doesn’t distract from the beautiful shape of the neckline and straps. ¬†Usually I’m not a huge fan of black at an awards show, but this look couldn’t be more perfect!

 

XOXO, MCB

 

Duke Porn Star: And Feminist?

Hi All,

If you’ve scanned any kind of news source over the past few days, from the newspaper to CNN.com to Twitter, I’m sure you’ve read something about the Duke freshman who is a porn star and self-proclaimed feminist. ¬†“Lauren” (her pseudonym) realized how incredibly expensive secondary education was very quickly in her college career and knew her family was struggling financially. ¬†She joked with a friend about doing porn to make the money she needed to pay for her education, submitted photos to various agencies, and was casted for work all in less than a year. ¬†When a frat guy recognized her on campus, word spread like wildfire beginning in the Greek system and eventually pouring out to the general student population. ¬†Lauren’s life as she knew it was over.

Both Lauren’s silhouette-style interview and article published with XoJane.com captured my attention this week. ¬†Honestly, Lauren was captivating. ¬†The girl was smart, opinionated and strong, which are all qualities I generally look up to in women. ¬†Her message, however, befuddled me: Lauren claimed it was empowering, joyful, and fulfilling to be a sex worker. ¬†While she rejected the idea of slut-shaming and condemned the “rape culture” so popular among American college towns, I could not get over her idea that doing porn was empowering. ¬†In my mind, what is empowering about exposing everything about yourself, emotionally and physically, to make money? ¬†Lauren defended herself adamently, calling herself a feminist. ¬†She said that sexuality in women is something that America has always pushed under the rug, avoided talking about and looked down upon. ¬†That may have been true before the Hippie 60s, but in the past half century or so, women really have come quite far. ¬†Despite still having a ways to go, I don’t think anyone could deny the progress our society has made in the late 20th and early 21st centuries with equality amongst all people.

I guess the moral of the story here is that I am surprised a story about an 18 year old porn star slash college student has me thinking so much. ¬†Lauren’s ideas are hard to agree with, but I appreciate her fresh perspective on an issue that is so deeply embedded in the very foundations of our culture. ¬†Quite frankly, I’m not sure how to feel about this: do I feel angry with Lauren? do I think she’s pathetic? do I hate her outlook? do I love it?

What do you think about “Lauren” & her thoughts on feminism and sexuality?