UGH, COLLEGE.

James Devaney

Over the past years of unwilling contact with other humans, I’ve learned (the hard way) of what not to talk about in a conversation, the “conversational taboo” if you will. To the universal list, we know its politics and religion, but did we ever think that Beyonce would enter that list? Unless you’re in a conversation with me, she is not.

In class learning to journalistically write about arts and culture, we were assigned to review Beyonce’s album (which I do on a regular basis anyway as my primary hobby).

In regards to Beyonce’s album, one kid claimed not being able to comfortably watch her music videos because they featured so many themes about “sex.” He then went on to criticize Beyonce for preaching feminist values, which he thought was contradicted by her revealing “too much skin.” So I said, “Who the fuck do you think you are, shithead?” Of course I didn’t say that, and I never would. But I certainly thought it.

He then claimed that women who “believe in feminism” (as if feminism was Santa Claus) should not show skin or be sexy. I then asked, “Why not?” to which he did not respond.

His completely naive and invalid argument, however, was made solely on the basis of personal judgement and stereotype. It is embarrassing that a supposedly educated student is allowed to make such asinine statements.

It turns out, that I would be the only unabashed Beyonce fan in the class and a vocal one at that, but I should not be the only who believes that women should have equal pay and wear La Perla lingerie at the same time. The exchange I had with this other student did not matter that it was about Beyonce, but rather how women are allowed to behave. Let’s just disregard the fact that he was speaking about Beyonce, but he could have had the same opinion or generalization about any woman.

People like this kid still exist.

He then asked, “Is Sasha Fierce her real name?”

Please stop.

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THE LEGEND OF THE UNPAID INTERN

INTERN

In the spirit of Halloween, spooks, and horror, let’s talk about one of the most frightening things to ever happen to our generation– internships.

Conde Nast announced last week that their internship program will be ending after being sued by a series of former interns. Naturally, it blew up on Twitter and upset all the aspiring Carrie Bradshaw’s out there. It’s unfortunate, but in my opinion, the interns should have asked for secure jobs instead of suing them. *WINK*

A ubiquitous complaint among college students is the eagerness to graduate and get out there. What’s so special about rushing into “real life” anyway? It’s a classic case of the “grass is greener on the other side of the…diploma.” It all seems better when we trade the sweatpants for dress suits and our dignity for minimum wage. Internships are a great preview into that lifestyle. But just like our first time at summer camp, we want to go home after two days.

Internships are indeed valuable. It’s a great source of experience and enough labor to know that that is not what you want to do for the rest of your life. So to relieve the stress of looking for internships or currently having one, I’ve compiled a list of things to do in between answering phone calls.

(Note: the following advice is coming from someone who cried and quit her first job as a babysitter after one day)

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST OF YOUR UNPAID INTERNSHIPS:

  • Use your free time to think about all your life’s mistakes and regrets
  • You could be laying in bed watching New Girl, so instead, write your own plotlines
  • Over-analyze the text that you just sent to your potentially significant other
  • Eavesdrop on the conversations behind you because they could be the storyline to your hit HBO series
  • Talk to everyone…who is willing to speak with you like you aren’t an “unpaid intern”
  • Realize that your hero in life (Beyonce) released her hit song, Baby Boy, when she was 21

And remember, millions of girls would kill to have your dress suit.

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MY LIFE-ALTERING PANTS (THAT NEED ALTERATIONS)

Life Altering Pants - HELP!

Last weekend, as I walked the glossy, waxed floors of Bloomingdale’s, I had no intention of purchasing anything, much like everyone else everywhere. Then my mom pointed to a colorful spread of striped sweaters in the Free People corner of the department store and exclaimed, “Oh, this is so you!” I took a quick glance at the mannequin wearing one of the displayed sweaters and my first thought was, “Yeah, it is.” Then my gut kicked in overdrive and my subconscious iconoclastic aspirations caused me to yell out, “Am I that predictable?!”

Throughout high school, I was struggling to be in fashion rather than finding my style. I subscribed to ELLE during my freshman year because I was mandated by the school magazine drive, but also to find out what I should be wearing that winter season. I, along with most girls, aspire to work in fashion the way all boys aspire to be cowboys and baseball players but settle to be a sports newscaster or something. I thought I would be the next Tavi Gevinson, but then I soon realized after reading my first issue of ELLE that all the avant garde clothes featured in editorials were not meant for 13-year-old me. Alas, I was unfulfilled with my wardrobe that was “so lacking of cool.” During that time, I had an utter contempt for fashion and its rather expensive schemes. I did, however, quickly understand fashion and trends by reading all the articles which gave me a detector for who was really keeping in style on the streets of New York.

It would only be a far-fetched dream of my 13-year-old broken-down-Converse-wearing-self to believe that my current college best friend would tell me that I should start a fashion blog. Now that I find opening my birchwood IKEA closet to select my day’s garments an actual party, I learn that I have become “predictable.” That’s not what I asked for! But maybe it is, when my first subscription to ELLE came in the mail. As my mom and I continued to the SALE racks of Bloomingdale’s, I spotted a pair of pants which I looked at for five seconds before realizing that I would never wear it. Being the supportive mother that she is, my mom tells me, “Those pants are cool.” And when a mom tells a girl that something is “cool,” sirens are supposed to be going off alarming the girl that it is in fact, “not cool.” I somehow reconsidered and took a second look at the dual-fabric pant saying, “But this is so not me,” to which my mom quickly whips a mildly teenager-ish, “So?”

Only in college did my sense of style finally arrive, much like a teenage girl having her first sip of unsupervised alcoholic drink with initial befuddlement, “So this is what it’s like.” I first walked into a J. Crew during the summer after high school when I assuredly called that store the mothership that I never knew was calling me. The only way to describe my current style would be Kennebunkport meets Williamsburg Farmer’s Market, with the occasional “villain in a John Hughes film.” From then on, my collection of button-down shirts ranging from shrunken ex-boyfriend to perfect-fit has grown beyond compare. I do daydream that if I were an unabashed risk-taker (and unbelievably wealthy) that my closet will replicate that of Beyonce’s, and maybe these pants that were paneled in linen fabric, fitted in jersey fabric on the back, and are “so not me” is a step toward that.

I bought the pants, but with a mild reluctance. It is currently hanging on my bedroom door, still with its various tags, and it is staring at me. Of course I Google the pants’ brand name to see what celebrities have worn it, as well as to validate my purchase. There in the vast wasteland of Google Images are Hilary Duff, Olivia Munn, Kristin Cavallari, among others. I think to myself, “Olivia Munn? She’s cool, I watch The Newsroom. But do I want to wear the same pants as Hilary, Olivia, and Kristin?” I examine its rustic-looking zippers and faded linen cloth, I imagine it something to be out of a 2008 issue of ELLE. I realize that they’re just pants. So I cut off the tags because that’s what Beyonce would want me to do, yet all I wanted was to escape the void of predictability.

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MIDWEEK WANDERLUST: Museum Mile

Being “lost in New York” is a complete misperception that parents use as a reason to not let their kids move here. It’s a grid system, as John Mulaney points out. Growing up riding subways ever so often, my dad would teach me the mechanics that goes with finding my way around Manhattan and I took notes on the streets and clues of the city. Now, however, I would just use my handy dandy iPhone. Sorry, Dad, that’s what technology is for…except Apple Maps. Maybe I just wasn’t listening the whole time my dad was explaining what it means to be “street smart.”

Travelling from Brooklyn to Manhattan is equivalent to the length and energy of a road trip. Instead of ending my summer by literally taking a road trip, I headed to the Upper East Side to revisit my childhood playgrounds. Every museum in New York has its own significance to me. I grew up visiting the American Museum of Natural History almost every month and now I have finally graduated to The Met and Guggenheim. (Thanks to the likes of Blair Waldorf, who a) made me want to try on headbands in front of the Met, b) look for a prince at a museum, c) be. her.)

Art is exhausting, particularly modern art. Your mind will get blown…either from confusion or admiration. I’m one of those people who think, “My 3-year-old nephew could paint that.” Will I ever understand abstract art? How did it even survive? There’s a whole thriving art community in Brooklyn! *cough* DUMBO *cough*

Maybe I should just go back and visit the fake whales at the Museum of Natural History. Whoa, wait. Am I Holden Caulfield?

Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim

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WHERE I WENT: MIDSUMMER IN MADISON

Throughout the week, I spend a lot of time online and off to consume information and stories that fuel me for conversations with friends, essay topics, and simply to expand my frame of reference. Most times, 140 characters isn’t enough to share what I love, so every week I will share what I read, watched, or learned for all the world to see. It’s also my time to “get real” with y’all. Let’s be smarter together!

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I spent last week in Madison, Wisconsin, and as soon as I landed, I wondered, “What am I supposed to do here?” It was a very “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” moment, except I felt like I was somewhere in Kansas far away from New York City. So naturally, I headed straight for Pinterest if anyone cared enough about Wisconsin to post some attractive pictures of it and surely La Petite Fashionista did.

Here’s how I interpreted my trip to Madison:

Memorial Union

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Memorial Union is located within University of Wisconsin: Madison, and since it is a college town, the nightlife here is…sweet.

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Epic Univ

Another University nearby Madison is EPIC. The campus is INCREDIBLE and…EPIC, if you will.

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Brennan's

America’s Dairyland. Brennan’s will serve you the best cheese. EVER. #Cheeseheads

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Instead of turning my blog into a public Facebook page by forcing you to look at pictures of my vacation (too late?), you can read a review of my trip at Triptease. As its name suggests, this website may be the sexiest one out there. Its the most beautiful and usable way to post and review your travel adventures. Hey, Triptease! If you need me to travel the world for you or run your site from NYC, I’m right here 😉

Triptease   Reimagining Travel Reviews

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P.S. Where did you go last week?

SLEEP ALL NIGHT TO GET LUCKY

As the anticipated age of 20 hath approacheth, it is inevitable for me to check-in with my life. I should not be slipping off-track, but making sure I’m just the right amount of “off the beaten path.” Most of the time, I try to assure myself with my “consoling mind” that the path I am currently paving is the right one because it is my own. However, a pressure to compare myself to the people I look up to creates a pressure to imitate them.

12am

Every night at 12:00 AM, my iPhone alarm goes off asking me if I have accomplished my day’s duties. I try to make myself accountable. I make rules for myself. No Twitter for more than 30 minutes. Do not play more than five games of Dots. No sneaking into the pantry for sugary cereal. So, I set that alarm. Then somewhere between 2:30 and 3:15 PM, I have successfully made a textbook list of loopholes to my own rules (the same goes for my New Year’s resolutions). I can spend 10 more minutes on Twitter because 2 people favorited my tweet that I thought would be too intellectual. One more game of Dots. I won’t eat Frosted Flakes, but I will have two servings of the Quaker Oats Cinnamon Squares because they’re healthier. Okay, two more games of Dots. I am my own greatest enemy…and a strategic one at that.

Then as 11:55 PM rolls around and I am on my 79th game of Dots, I wonder how many plays or blog posts I could have written today. Mindy Kaling wrote plays in college, and yet I have none. Then my “consoling mind” kicks in thinking that Mindy did not have Dots when she was in college. If she did have an iPhone, then she would have totally been spending time on that game the whole day, too! Right? I hope so.

I have no published works on the Internet yet, which is the ubiquitous and most narcissistic complaint of every Millennial (and Journalism student). Then I think that Tina Fey was the editor-in-chief of her school newspaper. Great, so am I. Check. Lena Dunham grew up in Brooklyn. So did I…in the completely opposite side of Brooklyn. But anyway, check.

I like to start blogs and projects because my optimistic mind goes into overdrive thinking that I could totally get sponsors that will pay me for writing. I am not even close to getting there and that dream seems hopelessly far away. This essay, however, was not sponsored by the makers of Dots; however I would endorse it if you like to waste time. Then again, some nights I get lucky. Lucky enough to fall asleep through my alarm, never having to face the fact that today was yet another lazy day in the life of a Millennial.

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