What We Should Really Be Talking About

Someone you barely know asks you out on the date. You are flattered, but you really aren’t interested in them. So what do you do? After all, if you say “no” they may not handle it well. They could stab you in the hallway, go on a mass shooting spree out of Grand Theft Auto V, or make your life a living hell just because you refused that stupid date. As ridiculous as this may sound, it is and has become a reality for a lot of people, especially women.  

Over the past few years there has been an emphasis on being a strong independent male whom also sees others as equals, not belittling others for the gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion. However, for every few fantastically modern gentlemen, there is an ass who thinks women should be thankful he exists and be opening their legs on command for him. And it is men like this that make it difficult to be a female in the modern world. 

Last Friday in Isla Vista, California, Elliot Rodger, 22, attempted to break into and kill several women in a sorority house on the campus of Santa Barbara City College and then fired arms of ammunition at random people in the streets and in a nearby deli before turning the gun on himself. He killed six people. All because no girl at college would sleep with him and he hated the world for it. He also left behind a 140 page manifesto-diary-confessional thing that explained he felt the way he did and did what he did was because he was a “lonely virgin”– he was angry that women wouldn’t have sex with him and infuriated by men whom were having sex. He felt he had something more to offer than these other men and that if women did not see that, then they deserved to be punished until they did. 

While this situation itself is quite insane, it really is some of the reactions that people have to this that are making it worse. Some men out there are arguing that Rodger’s argument against women was actually accurate and that women should be punished for not accepting all men into their beds. Almost as if women have no choice in regards to their bodies and relationships and that we should be overly enthusiastic the moment the first guy asks us to jump in bed with him. Thousands of people– both men and women– face people like this every day. They manifest through both extreme actions– murder, assault, rape– and more culturally accepted ones– stalking, harassment, “cat calling.” Both some of my female friends and myself have experienced these. I had a guy stalk me for two years because I said I wouldn’t kiss him; I had another guy inappropriately grab me in the library at school to prove he wasn’t homosexual (he later did come out as that) and the teacher tell the administrator that I had “initiated it” by wearing a low cut shirt; I had a guy in high school verbally harass me because I refused to sleep with him and he couldn’t understand why; and my senior year I was told by several male friends that I should have been “flattered” and “over-reacted” to when two classmates secretly filmed me in the hallways and made a video saying how their ultimate fantasy was to rape me. And what did all of these situations add up to in my life? A fear to say no to a guy on a date. I went into a panic attack the first time a guy asked me out in my first semester of college– I worried if I said no he too would harm me and cause more damage to my psyche (it later turned out that he was ok with it and I ended up dating my current boyfriend of a year-and-a-half about a month later, but I got to know him before accepting his offer). 

The media has been blaming it on both his lack of sexual contact– as if a lack of sex will drive you to shoot random people on the street– and his mental disorder. But the disorder was being treated and his family was aware of it (a phenomena in a situation like this). When, in reality, this isn’t the conversation this event should be spurring. Rather, we should be talking about where this all really developed. So where does this overly, entitled masculinity that Rodger’s had develop from? Many people are thinking it comes from society and our acceptance of the powerful male stereotype we place on young boys. Whether it is in “nice story babe now go make me a sandwich” mentality or even in the song lyrics of Aloe Blacc’s hit “I’m the Man”, young men are told to repress their emotions and act with brute force (or even violence) when not given what they want. And while there is an argument that not all men are like that– and that is most definitely true– the fact of the matter is that there are too many men whom think like this. Hell, Elliot Rodger alone was one too many of this type of guy. 

So what should we do about this? We need to change our ways of thinking. We need to stop pushing stereotypes and forced gender expectations. We need to stop allowing adult men to believe they are entitled to women at whim and that if the woman rejects them it is something wrong with the woman and should be changed. We need to stop forcing women into a constant fear of what could happen. And I hate that this is so ingrained into our subconsciouses and culture. I shouldn’t be getting up in the morning and thinking: “Well, my boyfriend isn’t here today so is it safe for me to wear a skirt or shorts today? What would be the hardest for a rapist to get off of me and spare me some time to fight?” My parents shouldn’t have had to give me a bottle of pepper spray for “protection” my first week of college my freshman year. Instead of teaching women not to get raped, let’s just say to everyone “don’t rape.” Why not let guys be able to show emotion and even vulnerability? And why not broaden our horizons when it comes to whom and what qualities make “a man”? 

What do you think of this issue? What do you think of the overall larger issue at play as well? 

Song of the Month: May

The latest single from Rita Ora’s highly expected second studio album, this song “I Will Never Let You Down” is both feel-good and perfect for the summer. I am in love with the music video and the fun style of it. Filled with Moschino, Chanel, Prada and more fun designer fashions, the music video is fun and entertaining both musically and visually.

What do you think of Rita Ora’s newest single? Are you looking forward to her new album? And what song do you think should be the song of the month for June?

Forever Chasing After The Cool Girls: A Style Confessional

People ask me all the time where I get my sense of style. I usually blurt out the same answer I have been giving since I was in middle school– my mom. I remember my mom getting ready in the morning, pulling a vintage Chanel jacket on over her Lilly Pulitzer dresses and sliding her manicured feet into her Dior kitten heels and grabbing her Louis Vuitton speedy before taking me to school. She was always a preppy dresser– an accomplished equestrian rider in high school, sorority girl and cheerleader in college, and a sweet California girl and model before meeting my father on vacation. But even when I would tell people this is where I got my style, it never seemed to make much sense to me in my head– most people would believe it because it was a stereotypical answer. But, like many mothers and daughters, my style has very little in common with my mother. Where she wears Hermes equestrian-printed scarves I wear skull scarves; where she wears kitten heels and patten leather ballerina flats, I wear Converse sneakers of every color and design; where she wears small gold hoops and pearls in her ears, I wear safety pins and bullet earrings. My mother was the one who introduced me to fashion and style, but I don’t think she has been my style inspiration since I was 10. 

So, where did it come from? My parents think it came from my older brother, who was in a phase of wearing oversized black jeans and My Chemical Romance t-shirts when I started to enter into my lets-wear-black-everyday-style. My extended family thinks it comes from my father, who was very much a punk rocker before meeting my mom and kick starting his career. My friends think it comes from fashion magazines and watching too many Alexander McQueen runway videos in high school (which may be plausible). But I honestly think my style comes from something more abstract, something more unattainable. 

I think it comes from the “cool girls.” You know, those girls in New York City or London or Paris in black heeled boots, skinny jeans, funky hair, wearing all black and sunglasses when its cloudy out? Yeah, those girls. I remember being in elementary school and seeing those girls in my visits to New York City and how they seemed to have an energy and aura around them– like they were having fun but didn’t give a damn if you didn’t get it. It was those girls with the quirky accessories, simple yet bold outfits, and modern style that inspired me to throw all my baby doll dresses out of the closet and everything not black, grey, blue, or purple into the donation bin. I cut my hair off and kept it short until high school when I died it brown-red with eggplant highlights. I was always chasing after these girls and their effortlessly cool and edgy style and attitudes. I wanted to be them and their relaxed but confident walks. I wanted to be looking at the world through those dark shades and not caring that it was practically night out. I wanted to be one of those girls so bad. And, though I may not admit it, I still want to be. I want to be one of those girls with the confidence of a model and the style of a designer– I don’t want to be a college student who has an almost-all-black wardrobe and gets looks for wearing metal cat eats, head chains, snapbacks, or flower crowns to history class. I want to be them– a cool and modern adult, not a young kid still figuring herself out and praying to get a job someday. 

But maybe I will never be one of these girls to myself. Whenever people tell me I dress cool or am that I make a weird snort noise and say, “nah, I’m just awkward.” I don’t even look at myself as an adult much– never mind I am turning 20 soon and the official loss of my adolescence makes me want to vomit– and I sometimes wonder if I ever will. It may be a good thing to never obtain the goal of being a “cool girl”– it’s like the green light in The Great Gatsby, after idolizing it and imagining it for so long it may not be as fun or interesting as it was when you couldn’t have it originally. 

So, maybe forever chasing after the cool girls isn’t such a bad thing if it continues to keep inspiring me. 

Why I Want to be The Wolf of Wall Street: A Movie Review

There have been very few films this year that I have been as excited for as The Wolf of Wall Street– the last film I saw that made me this excited was The Amazing Spiderman (2012). From the first trailer back during the summer, this film had me hooked. The camera work, crude humor, fast-paced tone, excess nature of the characters, an awesome cast, an incredible director, and Kanye West “Black Skinhead” playing in the background, it all made me want to see this movie.

So, when the film came out I took the first opportunity I had to go see it. I had already began reading the book (also entitled The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort) and I was ready to see this film. After all, I take a lot of business classes at my college and I have pondered working on Wall Street a few times– I even had tours of JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs the last time I was in New York City. But after hearing a few times that this film should have been rated NC-17 rather than R for the incessant drug use and nudity, I was a little nervous about seeing it– I am only a fan of excess nudity in a film or show if it adds to the entire thing and isn’t there just to be there.  And, despite all the nudity and drugs (it’s introduced into the plot literally in the second scene about…..5 minutes into the film), I loved this film from the very beginning.

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I loved the plot, the performances, the music, the cinematography, and the writing. This film follows the life and shenanigans of self-made millionaire Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) and the cohorts he hires. The story begins when he starts at a firm on Wall Street and gets some……unique advice from a senior broker (Matthew McConaughey)– including to do drugs and “relax” himself at least twice a day in the bathroom. But when that firm closes down, Belfort figures out an ingenious way to make money and make it quickly and opens his own firm with friend Donny (Jonah Hill) and others– none of whom passed their Series 7 exams or are legally allowed to be working there. The entire film follows Belfort, his business, his relationship with mistress-turned-wife (Margot Robbie), and the insane amount of drugs, alcohol, and prostitutes he spends his time and money on. This movie is a mix of Wall Street, Scarface, and Pulp Fiction and is pure movie genius. There are few performances as great as DiCaprio’s in this film– he completely vanishes and you only see Jordan Belfort. There have been many films that he has been nominated for and I have enjoyed his performances, but I must say that this performance blows every single other one out of the water. Such as, in one scene where Belfort and his wife, Naomi, are arguing and she is dumping water on him, I completely forgot that it was DiCaprio.

I cannot more highly recommend this film to people. It is expertly shot and directed and acted. It has some of the best monologues I have heard in years and seriously has some of the best humor I have experienced ever. I only warn that this is NOT by any means a family film– so do not take your child or young teenager or anyone who is not comfortable with nudity or drugs (if they cringed in Don Jon then do not take them to this ever). But if you want a well-written, well-acted, and a film that will be as quoted as Scarface, Good Fellows, The Godfather, or Wall Street, then definitely go.

All I can say is that with the success of this film, the book (it’s in the top 10 selling books on Amazon), and a possible reality show along the way, Jordan Belfort will be paying off his remaining $110 million to the US government much sooner than expected.

Final grade: 10/10

What do you think? Have you seen The Wolf of Wall Street? What do you think of the film?

Why the Intern is the Most Important Member of Your Business

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Ah, the infamous internship. It’s the first thing most of us have to a “real job” while we are still in college, and it becomes the most stressful thing during our upperclassmen years at college. Despite only being a sophomore in college, I am currently onto my third internship. All of them have been with relatively small fashion brands, and always with their social media/PR and marketing departments, but I have continuously learned how it is the interns at these companies and so many others that drive them forward and make companies develop further. However, some companies no longer want nor use interns.

This past month, Conde Nast, the publishing house that produces Vogue and The New Yorker along with various others, decided to cancel their 2014 internship program due to lawsuits over underpaid internships at and Vogue. And while I agree that it is right for Conde Nast to re-evaluate their internship program, I think they need to restart it soon. A majority of the people who have successfully worked in any industry, especially the fashion industry, have found their beginnings and first jobs via internships. 

Many people don’t realize the impact interns have on their companies. While it can be argued at either free labor or the experience of learning, interns really do a lot of work for a company. Many Wallstreet banks’ interns work on the floor with the analysts and executives; some companies’ marketing and communication tactics are made and developed by interns. My first internship was for an app company for fashion photography and I was a big part of the development process for the app’s current functionalities; my second one, which I am continuing to do while at school, I have been a big part of their marketing and social media plans; and my third one, which I do at part-time, I manage their social media and online marketing presence. I have been told that even though I have played a small role in all of these companies, my work has helped. The intern, who does many times work for free, becomes a player and employee of the company and can make a small to big impact on it. But if those opportunities for people to intern are taken away, then it makes it all the more difficult for people to get into some of these companies and industries. 

What do you think of Conde Nast not having interns for 2014? What do you think of internships in general? Have you interned before? Please comment below. 

 

Date a Girl With an Eating Disorder…….Excuse Me?!?!

As some of you have noticed from previous posts on this website, I make concentrated efforts to not only look at fashion as a subject– rather than at face value– but to also combat the surrounding issues and stereotypes that come with it. While I do not like to get into my personal opinion on this website and much prefer to stick to unbiased views, I do feel the need to express my opinion on this issue. 

As many people know, there was an article published by Return of Kings last week, entitled “5 Reasons to Date a Girl with an Eating Disorder” (http://www.returnofkings.com/21313/5-reasons-to-date-a-girl-with-an-eating-disorder). The article lists the following reasons:

  1.  “Her obsession over her body will improve her overall looks.”

  2. “She costs less money.”

  3. “She’s fragile and vulnerable.”

  4. “Probably has money of her own.”

  5. “She’s better in bed.”

Okay, so I obviously have a few issues with this article. One: an “obsession” with one’s appearance does not imply they are healthy, rather they may be clinically obsessed and ill. Two: rationalizing that because she will eat less and cost less money, makes her a better catch is just wrong. Three: making her seem vulnerable is a bit true (but, the truth is, everyone is vulnerable in some way or another), but the author should stress how being supportive and caring will help her recover and become a more confident person, rather than thinking with your self-interests first. Four: believing that only girls in higher socio-economic classes have “real” eating disorders is just inaccurate and offensive– people of all socio-economic classes and backgrounds suffer with eating disorders, not just women of higher socio-economic classes. And what is with the distinction of a “real” eating disorder? Is there a made-up one? And five: not only saying women with eating disorders are better at sex, but saying that women with eating disorders are “crazy” and that makes them better at sex, is so wrong I may actually throw my computer at the wall as I reread this article. 

As a person who has seen many girl fall victim to eating disorders– and not all of them recovering– and not always loving my own body, it disturbs and disgusts me that not only was this article written, but it was authorized to be published. Who at Return of Kings read this and thought it would be appropriate for the internet? I don’t care whether you have a predominantly male or female, wealthy or poor, young or old audience– this article just screams of disrespect and ignorance on the part of the author and the website. I don’t care if you all thought this was funny, clever, or true– it is just wrong and rude to publish this trash. Over 24 million people– of all ages, genders, ethnicities, and socio-economic classes– have some form of an eating disorder. 

Why did I choose to write about this particular article? Not only because of the wrongness of it, the rude opinions, or the disrespectful nature of it all, but because I am currently working on another fashion show for my university that will be raising money for the National Eating Disorders Association (http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/). For this show, several of the models– men and women– are recovering from eating disorders or know of people with these disorders– so this article hit me a bit hard and spurred me to write this response.

I’m curious– what do you think of this article? Do you think people have the right to respond or do you think the author has a right to this opinion? Please feel free to comment– all opinions are welcome. Thank you. 

Where Has Mikaela been Part II: My First Fashion Show

So as some of you have noticed, I have not kept 1st on Trend as updated as I usually did, especially with New York Fashion Week just ending and London in full force. For the past 4 months I have been planning a fashion show at my university, something that has not been done before to this scale at Susquehanna University.

This show was based on the concept of a heartbreaker– the psychology of someone whom has been hurt so much by another person to make them want to hurt other people on purpose– in terms of both men and women. The music videos “How to be a Heartbreaker” by Marina & the Diamonds and “Break Your Heart” by Tao Cruz served as inspiration for the music and styles.

Susquehanna students of all sizes, ages, majors, and backgrounds served as models. SU Fashion Club, who presented the show on camps, makes an effort to show students that they do not have to meet any specific requirements to model. That anyone can be a model and, therefore, beautiful or handsome.

Clothes, accessories, and handbags were provided by J. Kleinbauer’s, Urban Post, Pink Pin-Up, and Dwellings. Thank you all for participating in the show.

What do you think of the show? What do you think of student fashion shows? If you have any questions, please comment below.