5/22/16

4725mag feminist commentary: I confess, I'm a girl and I don't like Girls

At work when the show first aired, it often came up in casual conversation. "Did you watch Girls last night? Oh my God! Can you believe THAT happened?! And [insert character name] did that?!"

I would look blankly on as the conversation became more animated, often more high pitched in tone and then state with blunt candor, "I don't like Girls".

In doing this, I always halted the excitement and raised suspicion. As if it's my expected duty, being the owner of a vagina, to not question and to only champion the show. 

Image creditI chose this bummed looking pic of Hannah, but I'm sure she actually wouldn't give a shit about this POV.                                                                                       

I decided after watching a couple of episodes, in a fairly casual way, that I didn't like the show and my TV watching time would go to shows I preferred. I would openly share that positioning during those aforementioned workplace conversations, but upon reading the shock in the room I would almost apologize for my comments.

"Maybe I haven't given it enough of a chance yet, I've only watched a couple of episodes and I think Lena Dunham is great". 

Which, for the record, I do. I applaud the comfort she feels in her own skin and the success she is finding through the refreshing fashion in which she conducts her work, presents herself with a unique sense of personal style and her general no BS approach in interviews and beyond. 

Image credit. And you should be, I do like you, Lena. 

I am not here to bash a woman who is doing exceptionally well for herself. And I want to call out and address the obvious - I am not a naysayer because I feel a sense of bitterness or envy about her success with this show. And I've thought long and hard about why it is I don't like Girls and challenged myself on it because it seems like something, in the interests of championing women, I should like. 

Now, a few years into the show and a few more years into my career, I avoid participation in the water cooler Girls chit chat. But when the subject comes up amongst friends whom will not be shocked or surprised and shit, might even understand where I'm coming from, I freely articulate why it is I do not like Girls.

This POV didn't come lightly. As a result of the at work backlash of my Girls dismissal, I did a lot of soul searching and wanted to be fair in my criticism as it was so different to how a lot of other people felt about the show. I thought about the things that didn't sit well with me about Girls and questioned my own feelings toward them.

Image credit. Actual relatable quote from the show. 

Let's start with the nudity, because it is the literal definition of gratuitous. It takes away from otherwise poignant or relevant scenes and distracts from the relatable experiences there was an actual opportunity to authentically convey.

When something is being lauded for its revolutionary and fresh representation of your generation from a female perspective but it's riddled with a bunch of pillow fight 'til a boob falls out reinforcements of unrealistic female nudity, I'm not only wildly put off and less receptive to any clever writing throughout the duration of the episode, I'm also disappointed.

For example, within the two and a half episodes I've watched, there were two scenes where two female buddies took baths together in a moment of sadness. No matter how jobless, drunk or sad I've been - and I've been in my 20s so you can trust I've been all three - I've never sought solace in a nude bath with a pal. Definitely in a swimsuit in a jacuzzi tub with a friend after approx. 50 Modelo lights when we couldn't figure out how to use the hot tub because, well, drunk?! But never has my BFF popped her head around the door while I was chilling in the bath on a sober Tuesday evening and casually decided to join me so we could have a good naked cry or play footsie together.

This just doesn't happen. (Well, not amongst my friends. And if it happens with yours, I applaud your lack of inhibitions.)

Image credit. And I use this gif with tongue firmly in cheek.

The times I've been in conversation with hetero male friends and/or coworkers about the show, these are the scenes that stick in their minds. The irony and the relatable humor is lost, but the serving of boob, hint of a faux lesbian tryst or awkward sex scene prevails. Of course, a fella can appreciate smart writing or sharp wit, but when it comes with a side of boob, even the smart and respectful men in my life comment on that first. I'd be lying if I said that wasn't a bummer to me.

Does that mean human flesh shouldn't ever be shown because straight dudes can't handle it? Absolutely f'n not. But I strongly believe a woman's physicality should be used strategically, in the right situations (aka not in the middle of Walgreens for no apparent reason) and always secondarily to your brain. What I saw of Girls did not communicate that, and that too is a bummer to me.

Perhaps there is some grand irony I'm missing, which you can feel free to debate with me. But as a Millennial something or other looking to popular culture to accurately give me something funny and entertaining to relate to as I navigate relationships, my career and life at large, Girls just fell flat and I wish I did, but I don't understand its acclaim. 

5/15/16

4725mag's daily fashion essentials: off duty style, the "double denim + vintage collab" edition

Double denim; it gets a lot of stick. But it is a staple in my off duty wardrobe. Hell, it even sneaks into my M-F wardrobe on a Thursday or Friday with the right pair of professionalizing shoes or top. But we're not here to talk dressing up, we're here to talk #darlingweekend style. The days of the week where you can wear whatever you damn please, without the man putting perimeters around your look!


I prefer to call double denim a timeless style duo or a blank fashion canvas with near endless customizing options! I'm not sure what other fabric combination would allow me to wear these shoes and allow them the attention they deserve. Perhaps a dark colored chunky knit in cooler weather would work, but for spring my old and much loved Levi's denim jacket accompanying my cropped bootcut jeans just felt right.


Under my jacket I layered a vintage tank, representing my beloved Miami. I wanted to keep everything fairly simple so my shoes could steal the show, but I do like to mix in comfy, casual and/or vintage t-shirts during the weekend as they get zero air time during the week.


And here are all the parts working together, as I braved some seriously windy conditions to take this photo. All for the blogging cause!


And one last picture of the shoes, because vintage scores such as these patchwork suede beauties are special little things.


Godspeed and happy weekend double deniming. 

5/7/16

4725mag's daily fashion essentials: the subtle / statement wedding outfit

While packing for a wedding in Miami, I was uttering a silent prayer to both the style and weather lords for a long weekend free of overt sweating and hair frizzing caused by a) the weather synonymous with that part of the world, and b) my being human.

However, I just discovered that late April is pretty much the perfect time to visit south Florida. Pleasantly warm to hot temperatures? Yes. Crippling levels of humidity? Nope. The best weather of the year for an outdoor wedding and for flaunting a newly acquired slew of SS16 outfits and accessories? ABSOLUTELY.


Sure, my hair kinked slightly after hours of dancing but for the most part my makeup stayed put, my hair stayed did and my pits were (mostly) dry - I didn't ruin any wedding pix, hooray! So OK, let's discuss the outfit details.


Linen is a classic choice for warm weather, and rightly so. It's cool, breezy, soft and the creases drop straight out of it if you just hang it up in the bathroom before showering (#protip). To mix up this expected fiber I opted for a tiered, empire waist, flutter sleeved Zara maxi in a - perhaps unseasonal - black but with festive and totally Miami appropriate embroidered exotic animals, flowers and fish to balance out any potential gothic vibes.


A Benoit Missolin Minnie Mouse-esque head band, kitsch YSL clutch, Mejuri statement ring and black tipped french manicure by Oakland's finest nail artist, Pizza Perfect Nails also kept this look fun but muted enough to not compete with the gorgeous bride in anyway. Even if we did accidentally wear the same shoes.


But who can blame us, really? These Zara glitter mid heel sandals are comfortable perfection. And were only $29.99 - bargain.


And Voila, here is the whole ensemble together.

The key to picking a perfect wedding outfit? Consider your style, but first and foremost, consider the bride. Little highlights of flair - read: accessories and outfit detailing - totally cool. But a giant, attention seeking all over pattern or a, please no, white dress - probably not cool.

Use good judgement and you'll knock it out the park, like you always do. *high 5*