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Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Halloween! I have a few different costumes planned for this weekend (flapper, Rapunzel, lumberjack). What're you dressing up as?

1. I relate to so many of these "Struggles that Every Single Friend Will Understand." Thanks for understanding, Buzzfeed.

2. I could not possibly be more excited about Taylor Swift's new album, 1989, and I so hope that its sales hit 1 million copies in one week!

3. Who else is super excited for Beyonce's collaboration with Topshop??

4. I've wanted a cape for a few years and this College Fashion article on how to style them only made me want one more. Thoughts?

5. Take this Halloween themed Buzzfeed quiz and find out "Which Monster Lives Inside You?" 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Romantics

Top (Similar), Leggings, Jacket, Boots 


With Taylor Swift's new album released on Monday, you can expect that all future outfit posts will have titles inspired by her new songs. I love the song, "New Romantic," for more reasons than one. As a history major, I'm particularly fond of the Romantic era: its poetry (Keats!), its art ("Liberty Guiding the People"!), its entire aesthetic. 

These black and white rose printed leggings make me think of the Romantic era. Maybe it's because of the Romantics' love of nature or just because of their love of the non-mainstream. In any case, when I saw them at Target, I knew I had to have them. And the best part? They're so comfy. I felt like I was lounging around in sweatpants, but looked a bit more pulled together. 

Would you wear printed leggings? What do you think of Taylor's new album, 1989? Let me know in the comments below! 

I still can't figure out how to take photos without laughing
Thanks to MaryClaire for taking these photos for me! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Little Things

This past week has been crazy between computer issues, an overwhelming amount of schoolwork, and just too many things to do! After a week of hard work, it was so great to see my parents for lunch yesterday even if it was just for a few hours. One thing I love about writing "The Little Things" is that it forces me to think about all of the good things that have happened in the past week, even if they're just small things that made me smile.

I loved getting to vote for one of my favorite
actors, Torrance Coombs 
I told myself I wasn't going to include any more Argo photos,
but I had a chocolate croissant right out of the oven
When your bestie brings you a Krispy Kreme
donut, you know she's a keeper  
I spent a lot of time filming for a communications
project this weekend, including getting up Saturday
morning to film sunrise. I was just happy to be doing
it with a good friend, MaryClaire! 
The dining hall had scones so I took some and
ate them with clotted cream while reading Bonnie &
Clyde biographies 
I was so happy to get to see this munchkin  
IHOP is my favorite and IHOP with the little sister is even better!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Internet Finds

Who has fun plans for the weekend? I'm hopefully going to the State Fair on Saturday, but will be spending the entire rest of my weekend studying...

1. I was pleasantly surprised at my results on this "How Many Countries Can You Identify Just By Their Outlines?" Buzzfeed quiz. I mean, I got 7/18 correct, but it was more than I expected...

2. This piece on salaries in the fashion industry fascinated me...and relieved my parents, I think. It's nice to know that I could make actual money working as a social media manager!

3. I love capsule wardrobe posts like I love Princess Kate and Taylor Swift's new songs (which is to say, a nearly unhealthy amount). So this capsule wardrobe for fall? Perfection.

4. Who knew that Buzzfeed would be the website to reveal how to "Tuck, Tie, Roll, and Style Your Clothes like a Stylist"?

5. This Thought Catalog post might be geared towards 19-year-old girls, but I think it's important for any sophomore in college to read. #believeinyourself

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Smart Social Media with Raj Rawal


I originally posted this on my blog for my Intro to Marketing class. I thought it was worth sharing with all of you as well! 

This past weekend was Elon University's Homecoming, which coincided with the announcement of the expansion of our Communications School building. The school hosted several communications-related events, including a presentation called "Smart Social Media for the 21st Century: Becoming a Social Media Tastemaker" led by Raj Rawal. Raj, a graduate of the Elon Class of 2012, formerly worked with What's Trending and was Streamline Producer for MissGlamourazzi. He's currently a producer for multiple YouTube artists, a developer of three TV shows, and a social media strategist. 

I learned more from Raj's presentation than I ever have in such a short period of time so I wanted to share some of his tips about how to best utilize social media. 

Tastemakers 
What exactly is a tastemaker? Someone with over 1,000 followers on social media who has the power to influence people's views. YouTubers, like Tyler Oakley and John Green, are a great example of tastemakers because they have the ability to change people's views and actions. Do you want to have a large presence on social media with a dedicated following of fans who actually care about what you have to say? This is the buzzword that describes what you're yearning for. 

Quality not Quantity 
It might seem cliche, but your content is truly more important than the number of followers you have. Don't waste time following people for follow-backs; create good content that's worthy of being noticed. To gather more attention, use appropriate hashtags and comment on other people's posts. 

YouTube is Golden
According to Raj, YouTube is one of the most important social media platforms right now. YouTube videos get shared on every other platform from Facebook to Twitter. And becoming a successful YouTuber is all about consistency and creativity. 

Building Relationships 
Raj stressed that the most important part of social media is audience engagement and building relationships. He recommended interacting with other users on social media, like Twitter, and building a network. The most successful social media users are the ones who listen to their followers and talk to them.  

Raj happens to be a friend of my cousin's, so we got together to chat. The selfie we took is below (because when social media people get together, they take selfies). You can find Raj on Twitter and Instagram, if you want to find out more about his cool life in LA.


Monday, October 20, 2014

The Little Things

This past week was a big week for me! I was home for fall break on Monday and Tuesday. I got to go shopping with two of my favorite girls from Elon who also happened to be in the same place for fall break. Then it was back to school for Homecoming weekend! What little things did you love this past week?

Mall shopping with Bethany and Sarah 
Real friends try on fun hats together
I used a Lush bath bomb for the first
time and it was perfect 
My Miss Saigon CD finally came in the mail
and it's absolute perfection 
A nice morning break at Argo Tea 
My Pointless Book and Zoella Beauty lotion because
 I love Alfie Deyes and Zoe Sugg way too much! 
Homecoming events where you get to selfie with
the President of your school? #perfect #HeadPhoenix 
Lauren and I skipped the Homecoming tailgate to
go to Panera for lunch and bagels! 
Kristen and I weren't sure how we felt about the
Homecoming concert....Ludacris #whateven
I spent six hours studying at Oak House on Sunday #braindead 
Sunday night's episode of Once Upon a Time was everything
I'd ever dreamed of #CaptainSwan

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Internet Finds

I can't believe another week is already over!

1. Everything will be right in the world come January 1st because Friends is coming to Netflix!

2. I miss Emma Approved so much now that it's over. So of course I loved this article on its best fashion moments.

3. Who can correctly identify these ten stills from Gossip Girl? I'm fairly impressed with my score of 6/10 on this Buzzfeed quiz since I'm only on Season 2.

4. I'm fascinated by these graphics on whether men or women are more active on social media. Not what I would have expected at all!

5. I'm kind of obsessed with Taylor Swift's new Diet Coke commercial, not gonna lie.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Unethical Side of Photoshop

I made a speech in my public speaking class last week about the horrors of Photoshop and thought it was worth sharing. So here's an edited, shortened version. 



We’re all aware that every image we see in an ad or on a magazine cover is edited in Photoshop but it’s still shocking to see it. She was beautiful before they edited the image…and now she doesn’t even look like a real person. The excessive use of Photoshop is unethical and needs to be addressed. While this is largely up to companies to change their design tactics, there is something that you and I can do as consumers.
  
The excessive use of Photoshop is unethical as it causes serious issues for many Americans, such as low self-esteem and eating disorders. While it’s completely acceptable to use Photoshop to change a background or remove a stray hair or even a pimple, it’s unethical to use it to alter a woman’s body or face. 

One of the most successful photographers of this century, Peter Lindbergh, lamented the use of Photoshop in an interview with a New York Times reporter. He said: “My feeling is that for years now it has taken a much too big part in how women are being visually defined today. Heartless retouching should not be the chosen tool to represent women in the beginning of this century.”

Young girls who grow up seeing these Photoshopped images too often succumb to eating disorders that destroy them physically and mentally. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, 24 million people in the US suffered from eating disorders in 2003. That number can only be rising. In one study, 47% of girls in grades 5th through 12th said that magazine covers made them want to lose weight. Girls as young as 11 and 12 are influenced to want to change their bodies to fit these impossible and often false standards. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and claim countless lives every year, from starvation, suicide, or other related health problems.

The National Eating Disorders Association states that while there are many factors that contribute to the development of eating disorders, the cultural glorification of thinness plays a large role. We live in a society that celebrates being thin. You’ve all seen those commercials for dieting pills or drinks. Now I’m in no way saying that people shouldn’t strive to be healthy. But when editors use Photoshop on an image, they cut out the muscle as well as the fat to get the impossibly thin look they want. Girls aren’t growing up with images of women who are muscular and strong, but ones who are skinny and vapid.

Several companies are making changes to combat this issue, but the consumers can take action as well. Some magazines and companies have stopped using Photoshop and are promoting showing genuine realistic photos. 

Seventeen magazine took a pledge in August of 2012 to never use Photoshop to edit girls’ bodies or faces. A petition on Change.org that was started by a 14-year-old from Maine gained 84,000 signatures. Not only is this proof that one person can make a difference, but also it demonstrates that it is possible for a company to change. The girls in the magazine look more like your friends and classmates than the people you see in other magazines.

And Seventeen isn’t the only one. Aerie, American Eagle’s lingerie store, premiered a new ad campaign in the Spring of 2014. Their new slogan is “The Real You is Sexy” and they emphasize that they don’t Photoshop the bodies of the girls in their ads at all. Their bodies look realistic in their poses.

Consumers can make a difference by endorsing companies that aren’t overusing Photoshop and spreading awareness about this issue. By choosing to buy Seventeen magazine or choosing to buy your underwear at Aerie instead of a competitor, you’re funding their company. Other companies might change their design methods in an attempt to gain customers. I’ve grown up reading Seventeen magazine, but now I make sure that I buy every month’s issue. I also shop at Aerie more frequently than I used to. An even simpler way for consumers to help is to spread awareness. Talk about it with your friends or little siblings. Write about it on your blog. Sign a petition on Change.org or start one yourself!
  
By addressing this problem, we can promote a better ideal of beauty and decrease the number of people who suffer from eating disorders and other self-image related problems.  20% of people suffering from anorexia will die from the disorder or its complications, according to the ANAD. Eliminating the unethical use of Photoshop would actually lead less girls and women to die from eating disorders. It wouldn’t be able to save every girl but even if it saved one life, if it saved one girl from destroying herself emotionally and physically, it would be worth the change. 
  
The unethical use of Photoshop has spawned many problems, among them a near epidemic of eating disorders with over 8% of Americans suffering from them, but it’s not too late for change. If more companies followed Aerie and Seventeen’s example and stopped using Photoshop to alter people’s bodies and people stood up and shared what they knew, this could change.

I would like to ask you to do four things to help change this problem.
1. You can spread awareness about this issue. If you hear a friend compare himself or herself to a person in an ad or a magazine, speak up. Share what you know with your little siblings and cousins.

2. If you see a petition about the use of Photoshop like this one, sign it. [Show change.org petition.] Petitions like the one Julia started can have real consequences like Seventeen magazine ending their use of Photoshop.

3. Buy from companies, like Aerie and Seventeen, that don’t overuse Photoshop when you can. Consider it putting your money where your mouth is.

4. And lastly, not to sound like some kind of motivational Oprah figure, don’t compare yourself to the images that you see. They aren’t real and comparing yourself to them can be psychologically damaging.

The use of Photoshop is an important issue that affects all Americans, regardless of their gender or race or religion. And you can do something about it. So please help me in saving our generation and future ones from ignorance about the manipulation we see every day.

Works Cited
Botelho, G. (2012, July 6). Seventeen magazine vows not to alter images, to 'celebrate every kind of beauty' CNN. Retrieved October 3, 2014, from http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/05/us/seventeen-photoshopping/

Eating Disorders Statistics. Retrieved October 3, 2014, from http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/

Factors That May Contribute To Eating Disorders. Retrieved October 3, 2014 from http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/factors-may-contribute-eating-disorders.

Krupnick, E. (2014, January 17). Aerie's Unretouched Ads 'Challenge Supermodel Standards' For Young Women. The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 3, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/17/aerie-unretouched-ads-photos_n_4618139.html

Tim Piper. [Tim Piper]. (2006, Oct 6). Dove Evolution. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U.

Wilson, E. (2009, May 9). Smile and Say ‘No Photoshop’. The New York Times. Retrieved October 3, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/fashion/28RETOUCH.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0





Monday, October 13, 2014

The Little Things

I actually had the best week this past week. That not anything that spectacular happened, but I didn't have a single bad day which was a first for this school year. Plus, I'm home on fall break right now! So basically, there were so many little things that made this week fantastic.
It's always a good day when your school has
fluffy puppies, cats, bunnies, and a goat on the quad
5 books for $3 at the used book fair? Yes, please!
Happy #NationalNewsEngagementDay!
When your favorite blogger favorites your tweet 
Likewise, when your favorite actor favorites your selfie...
#stillnotoverit
Finally getting Alfie Deyes' Pointless Book
in the mail! 
I discovered hibiscus tea sangria at Argo and it changed everything
Hot chocolate with cinnamon #emmaswanthings
Target shenanigans with the little sister
(I liked the hat; she didn't. Obviously.)
I've missed my puppy 
Nothing better than reuniting with old friends

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Internet Finds

This week has actually flown by. I'm super excited to go home this weekend for fall break. Are you on break too?

1. Starting off strong with a quiz called "Who Should Be Your Boyfriend?" Buzzfeed knows me very well: it told me "Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy." 

2. I'm in love with my Madewell cargo jacket and I'm also in love with this College Fashion article on how to wear it! 

3. Alyssa Campanella is making me crave a blue trench coat. #thingsineverthoughtidwant 

4. It's time to start thinking about Halloween costumes! Lauren Conrad's post of her costumes from the past few years definitely inspired me to step up my game. 

5. I'm slightly (read that: majorly) obsessed with Carrie Hope Fletcher's new series called "Letters to Autumn." 

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dorm Tour

I wanted to upload this yesterday, but life (in the form of my bibliography for my Bonnie & Clyde research paper) got in the way. Better late than never, right? (Is that even a thing people say anymore?)

In any case, here's a quick tour of my dorm room. I'm fairly proud of how I decorated it and wanted to remember some of the things I did. Now I have video footage and you can get some ideas for how to cover white walls!


Monday, October 6, 2014

The Little Things

This past week was rough and I survived on tea alone. But despite countless hours of work this weekend, I also got to go out to dinner with friends! (Based on this week, yes, food is what makes me happy.)

We found a Making of Miss Saigon DVD in the library!
Research, a croissant, and tea
Lunch with Zoe Sugg :) 
So one of my favorite actors on Reign,
Jonathan Keltz, retweeted me #fangirling 
Got to go to my favorite BBQ place! 
Sushi at Red Bowl!
Shrimp fried rice, too!
Me and the girls :) 
My first time at SteaknShake! 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday Internet Finds

How was your week, everyone? My week was largely dedicated to researching Bonnie and Clyde for my term paper and I suspect that's what this weekend will be dedicated to as well. Do you have fun weekend plans?

1. I'm so excited about the launch of the Zoella beauty line! You can buy it online from around the world. I have the bath bar, the lotion, and a gift for someone headed to the US right now.

2. I took a "Which Gossip Girl Character Are You?" Buzzfeed quiz and got Dan Humphrey. I'm still confused.

3. I can always count on Hello Giggles for a good article and I'm loving this piece on "Why You Can Be Girly and Still Be a Good Feminist." This is everything I'm all about.

4. Who else is obsessed with Madewell's fall catalog? Not just me, right? #pleasebuymeeverything

5. This Thought Catalog article for "5 Steps for Lining Up a Job After College" is actually quite useful for anyone looking for jobs or internships.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Weekend in the Windy City

I spent this past weekend in Chicago celebrating my grandfather's 87th birthday! We spent Saturday shopping at American Girl Place (for my sister) and Topshop (for me!). I bought an awesome pair of ripped black skinny jeans that I'm super excited about. (I wore them yesterday.) It was so wonderful to see family that I haven't gotten to see in a while and reconnect with everyone. 

I found a redhead Bitty Baby!
Wow Bao is my favorite restaurant. Seriously.
The ads in Topshop made me happy. 
My beautiful lobster dinner at my grandfather's birthday party
Me and my pretty cousin Marissa


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