Maybe the internet can help!

Something my sisters have observed about me is that i am not very good at the internet. By that I mean that beyond gmail, facebook and maybe NPR, i really find myself not knowing where to go for fun/information/goofy videos/ when i go online. I just never really got around to learning how to enjoy surfing the web, cruising tumblr’s or listening to podcasts.

However, after a *semi* recent breakup i decided, hey, people look to the internet for answers, i may as well cast my net wide and see what comes in. Maybe it was because I was feeling a little lost and didn’t know where to turn to, but i began my quest for collecting data on how people deal with breakups to compare with what was doing to cope.

Whenever I was feeling confused/sad/wanting-to-talk-to-that-someone-that-i-can’t-talk-to-anymore, I would write them letters. We had written each other letters during our relationship, so i had memories of using a pen and paper as a mode of communication with them, so it was therapeutic. I could explain myself without getting push-back, and say things that i didn’t have a chance to say in person. 5279656-Collection-of-different-vintage-letters-with-stamps-Stock-Photo

I realized that it would be unhealthy and unproductive for both of us to ever send those letters. But the process of writing them, folding them up, and putting them in an envelope in my desk drawer felt ok. So that was where i started in my internet quest to seek solidarity in heart break!

Did other people write letters that would go nowhere? Is it ok to write letters that will never be sent? The answer is yes people are doing it and yes it is ok! I found a tumblr with this very idea:

You can submit a digital letter, or just read the letters written by other people that were never meant to be received. I guess the moral of the story is that even though the internet can be isolating, it can also be a great tool to have your feelings/thoughts validated!

As i mentioned at the beginning, i am sort of new to this, so maybe this is restating the obvious. But maybe there is a special tumblr/site/group out there that can support you in your well being in whatever way you need it.



It’s midterm season, and it can be easy to let stress get the best of you. But fear no more! Here’s a playlist that might help you with your studies and stress relief simultaneously. Music has always helped me focus and decompress. This semester I’ve started a new routine I like to call the Study/Jam. So far I’ve found that listening to non-lyrical music improves my attention-span while reading/writing/studying. These songs help me visualize the setting of my readings and push me to consider rhythm and sound when writing. After a while, intense study can get to a point where I feel like I’m having a staring contest with my notes. When my body starts to get antsy, I push aside what I’m working on, clear my floor and take some time to jam out. Forcing myself to move in between working clears my head and helps me think more creatively.

This playlist budgets an hour of reading time, but is peppered with songs that make me (and hopefully you, too!) want to DANCE. After about 20 minutes of reading/writing/studying time, there’s roughly 10 minutes to kick your feet, throw your hands in the air, do cartwheels (if your single is larger than a pantry or your roommate is elsewhere), let your body speak while your mind rests!

Good luck with exams, everyone! Remember not to forget about taking time for yourself. I hope this playlist allows you to study more productively with time to jam and decompress in between 🙂

Fit and Feminist

Trigger Warning: Body image issues, eating disorders                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I love to move my body.  Like many people, I’ve often struggled feeling comfortable with my body, and it brings me happiness when I’m able to find a point where I am able to embrace the strengths that my body has and not focus so much on how little it resembles the bodies of women in the media.  I love to practice yoga and work out because it makes me feel strong and happy, not because it makes me look conventionally beautiful.

This is why I feel so uncomfortable when I come across those “thinspiration” photos on the internet. It’s an extreme version of the “No pain, no gain” that many gyms seem to thrive on.  As someone who has struggled a lot with body image issues, it scares me how they glorify starving your body and conforming to a societal idea.

Yet I also feel alienated by a lot of rebuttals to “thinspiration” like the nutella memes:

Memes like this just make being skinny and enjoying food seem mutually exclusive, which isn’t the case at all.  Shaming people because their bodies are conventionally beautiful is still problematic.

And while I appreciate posts like these:

415aba82b9d499115e634a0de688240eWhile I’m happy that Kat Dennings is proud of her body, anorexia isn’t something you “try” out for an afternoon.  It is a very real mental health issue that has as much to do with control as it does with food.  Framing any mental health issue as a choice only contributes to stigmatizing treatment.  Anorexia isn’t a diet plan.  It’s a controlling force that slowly controls your whole life.

Which is all to say I was so happy when I found Fit and Feminist.  I finally found a site that approached fitness as way to be healthy, and didn’t shame anyone.  It wasn’t about pushing yourself, it was about enjoying yourself.  They even have a whole series of memes that address those thinspiration photos like this:


Do you also often have trouble finding fitness places that are body positive?  How do you deal with it?

Epistemologies of Healthy Eating

This may turn out to be more of a rant than I’m intending, but bear with me.

Today, I was in a discussion section for anthropology in which we were discussing sugar. The book we’re reading, Sweetness and Power, focuses on the history of sugar and the way that it has been an indicator of social class from its conception to the present. Anyway, I won’t focus too much on the book itself. Basically, the TA made it relevant to the modern day by asking about types of sugar people put in their coffee, like Sugar in the Raw, the non-descript white sugar, sugar syrup, Sweet’N Low, etc., and what types of people we associated with each kind of sugar.

People were going around, saying their opinions of each, and a common theme was the word “education”. Apparently, if you are highly educated, you are taught what is “healthy” and what isn’t. Sugar in the Raw is, apparently, healthy, while plain white sugar is not. Diet soda is healthy while regular soda is not. Gluten-free is healthy and gluten is not. Unprocessed foods are healthy while processed foods are not. And the difference between people who eat healthy and people who don’t? Education.

This was so infuriating to listen to.

While I’m certainly not saying unprocessed foods are unhealthy, or even that they aren’t more healthy than processed foods, the reason people are attracted to unprocessed foods isn’t education surrounding what defines health–it’s money and status. While people in the room claimed that unprocessed food was the healthier kind, they were unable to define the difference between processed and unprocessed. They’re vague terms that are often thrown around, with people claiming that unprocessed sugar is so healthy while processed sugar is not. If you’re lucky enough to have a Whole Foods in your neighborhood and can afford to shop there, great, buy your Sugar in the Raw and claim to be significantly healthier than the population that may not even be aware of what Whole Foods is and certainly can’t afford it. It has nothing to do with health education. By that logic, “education” has also taught us that people should avoid carbs at all costs, eat granola bars or shakes in place of meals, and do regular juice cleanses–diet fads marketed to the rich, who are privileged enough to cut meals rather than settling for what they can afford. While any or all of these may be the secret to healthy living (which is unlikely, but I’m not ruling anything out), they typically aren’t focused on health as much as the popular idea of health at the time (which generally includes weight loss.) Again, I’m definitely not saying that unprocessed foods aren’t significantly healthier than processed foods, but let’s think about the demographic to which health foods are marketed. Typically, the person shopping at Whole Foods isn’t living below the poverty line, and I’m certain there are people who eat well, feel great, and don’t buy all organic, all the time.

Basically, all I’m saying is that the ways in which “healthy” is portrayed by the people selling the food or encouraging the weight loss should be viewed critically. Nutrition, while important to living well, is, in today’s society, heavily linked to weight loss and the need to sell a product. Diet fads and perceptions of health by the media are typically targeted to rich, white females–health isn’t a word that belongs to the poor.

It’s a class thing, it’s a privilege thing, it’s a gender thing, but it’s certainly not an education thing.


Election Day!

We’ve all been inundated with election talk over the past few days/months/eternity (and I think we can all agree it’s starting to feel that way), so I apologize. BUT if you can, please do exercise your right to vote!

If you’re still undecided, or require other information about the voting process, visit for election information brought to you by the League of Women Voters. Happy voting!

A Mighty Girl

Ah, summer. Though in college, this vacation is often associated with work experience and the vague, ominous sensation of next semester’s impending workload, I’m sure I’m not alone in associating summer with the less intense obligation of the “summer reading list” often handed out in grade school. As a young feminist, I often found myself scanning the list for books that might offer cool female role models…and was frequently disappointed! That’s why I’m so excited to hear about A Mighty Girl, which describes itself as “the world’s largest collection of books and movies for smart, confident, and courageous girls”. The website posts lists of books and movies that depict strong women and girls, as well as a list dedicated to women’s history, and offers itself as a resource for parents, teachers, and anyone else interested in raising mighty girls. From the website:

“Girls do not have to be relegated to the role of sidekick or damsel in distress; they can be the leaders, the heroes, the champions that save the day, find the cure, and go on the adventure. It is our hope that these high-quality children’s products will help a new generation of girls to grow and pursue whatever dreams they choose — to truly be Mighty Girls!”


“We’re approaching peak vagina on television, the point of labia saturation.”

Two and a Half Men Creator thinks television has too many women-centered shows. Damn them and their lady-parts, they minimize me and my chauvinistic television show originally premised a psychotic egotistical actor!

Wait, what? This *doesn’t* make sense? How is that? It seems so logical. We don’t want any of this “labia saturation,” y’all. I mean, forget that there are a miniscule number of female directors, producers, or television writers. It’s the on-camera that really counts. You know, the women flouncing around in tiny skirts reminding us of their vaginas. Too much. Don’t people know? Television is a MAN-CAVE. For manly men and their manly men friends. We no like women.

Apparently he later apologized and said it was a “stupid joke.” Ohh, I get it, like the whole reproductive rights issue, right?!?!

If only…But like really, people can come out now and say “April Fool’s!” I’ll just be sitting right here, waiting, cause the way women are treated today must be somebody’s idea of a bad joke. It must be. But here’s the thing, can we *stop* making jokes at women’s expense? Because they’re really not funny. At all.

Here’s the link to the article: