The Day After

It’s the day after the election.

I could never have predicted this outcome in a million years. My brain is having trouble processing the fact that I will soon have to say “President Trump.” A shudder went through my whole body just writing that.

Like Obama said- the sun did rise this morning. I still had to go to school, but as I was sitting in the library earlier doing physics homework, my brain would not focus on the paper in front of me. I couldn’t stop thinking about what someone had said in class earlier.

“This is going to be hilarious. We’re going to have a stand up comedian for President for the next four years.”

I turned around to see who said it- a white man, of course. It made sense though, because nothing about Trump is funny to people of color or women.

Sure it was funny when he was just a candidate, but the closer he got to the White House, the more I stopped smiling.

Everywhere I look online, I see people calling this the scariest election ever- that this is the most afraid anyone has been in this country.

As a white man, my classmate didn’t understand the terrifying prospects that people like me face. As a woman, many terrors come to mind. Like the fact that Roe v. Wade could potentially get appealed. I’m young, so the only time I’ve known is when women are respected enough to decide what to do with their bodies. When I imagine a world where that choice is taken away, I don’t picture America. I picture a dictatorship.

As a person of color, I am acutely aware of how attitudes have shifted towards immigrants. I was born in the US. This is my home. But now Trump is validating the idea that America belongs to the white man through his racist rhetoric.

So, no. I don’t find Trump funny. I also don’t plan to sit by and watch America sink. I have no idea what to expect from him, but I can only hope he doesn’t follow through with his few campaign promises.

If he does though, don’t be afraid to stand up and demand better. I’ll be right by your side.

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The Perfect Consumer

I have this drawer in my bedside table filled with lotions, deodorant, nail polish and lots of other beauty products. As I reached to the back to grab my mango body lotion the other day, I found a pile of makeup.

I don’t wear makeup often. The only times I will are when we go out for a fancy dinner, party, or wedding. Other than that, it’s my bare face and me against the world. Which is why this pile of makeup really bothered me.

I remember buying these six items at Target (yes, I did just go count them) for about $60. That’s a lot of money to spend on Target makeup, especially for someone who’s experience with make up is very limited.

At the time, my justification for spending this much money on something I rarely wear was “It’s for a blog post!” Yeah… I never did a blog post, but I did learn how susceptible to advertising I was am.

Most of the products I bought were ones that I’d seen promoted by beauty YouTubers that I watched. I used to watch channels like “Zoella,” “Tanya Burr,” and “Estee Lalonde” religiously, but now I see their videos through a different lense.

Each one of these YouTubers mentioned above, plus every single other beauty YouTuber out there does videos that are just huge ads, whether they are paid for by a company or not. For example, they’ll do “haul” videos. These consist of the YouTubers filming what they bought at a variety of stores, and because viewers are seeing products endorsed by someone they look up to, the chances are, people are going to go out and buy these products.

I know that’s exactly what happened to me. I would watch these videos and if I saw something that looked good on them, I would jot in down in my Notes app for the next time I went shopping.

This is wrong for a number of reasons. The first being something that I’ve touched on in a previous post. I am Indian. The three YouTubers I listed are white. The products they endorse, makeup or not, are not always what’s going to work for me. I have darker skin, thicker hair, etc. The way they promote the products, though, doesn’t take into account the differences we have, and it turns out I don’t really think about that until after I get home with lipstick that looks terrible on my skin color.

The second reason this is wrong is that I’m literally buying into what they’re selling just on their word. Watching videos on YouTube gives the viewer a false impression of a close relationship. They share their day with us using this intimate platform which builds a one sided relationship between the content creator and the viewer. This relationship is then being exploited to sell goods and make money.

I’m not blaming the viewer for getting ensnared. I’ve 100% bought into this system and I’m probably not done getting sucked in. I just want to open your eyes to what’s going on, because if you’re aware, you’ll start to see the advertising tactics everywhere. Not just in the case of YouTube, either.

The scariest thing about advertising, for me, is when I’m forced to question my own free will. Did I buy this product because I genuinely like it or because I saw ___ wearing it in a magazine.

I know this is a long post, but if you’re still reading, thanks for sticking around. I’m currently taking a Popular Culture class at school and one of the topics we’re covering is advertising. I find the subliminal (and sometimes not at all subliminal) messaging both fascinating and terrifying, so I thought I’d share.

Let me know what you think about advertising and the media in general. I’m always interested in other opinions!

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Current Obsession: Coffee Radio

I was going to write a Current Obsession about Stranger Things on Netflix, but I thought I didn’t need to since it’s kind of a given that EVERYONE is obsessed with that show.

Besides Stranger Things (I’ve watched season 1 twice… that’s how obsessed I am), I am loving listening to Coffee Radio on Pandora.

While I was in San Diego this summer one of my roommates introduced me to this song “Coffee” by Sylvan Esso:

This song is the perfect chill song. I love listening to this when I’m studying or just hanging out. I created a station on Pandora for this song so that I could find more songs like this one, and I fell in love with the whole station.

All of the songs that are played are super chill, relaxing songs, but they’re also just good songs in general. I’ve listened to the playlist so much that it starts repeating the same songs, which could get annoying but I don’t mind.

Here are some of the songs I love from this station:

Let me know if you liked any of these songs or if you have any song suggestions!

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Postcards

I’ve been away from home for about 12 weeks now. I started out my summer in San Diego, went home for two days, then came to Davis. Although I did go home for those two days in between, I don’t really count that because of how short that was.

Before I left for this summer excursion, I was definitely excited to move out and experience independence. After a while, though, I do miss hanging out with my family. I miss being weird around them and not caring.

In college, especially with a roommate, we’re expected to maintain a little bit of decorum, which is a real pain to do for 12 weeks straight.

This is why I broke out into a huge smile when I read the first postcard my mom sent me.

I was the entire children’s book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom written out onto one postcard. This was the weirdest, most random thing I’ve ever seen, which is why I instantly loved it!

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I love that it’s such a quirky thing to do. I’m still not sure why my mom started this, but ever since then, I’ve been receiving postcard after postcard with parts of kid’s books written on them.

They are all books I LOVED reading when I was little and it brings a smile to my face every time I get a new one.

I’ve gotten excerpts from I Want My DinnerCurious George, and even Harry Potter 🙂

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Thanks for injecting a little bit of weird back into my life, Mom! I can’t wait to see what’s next 🙂

(No pressure)

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Caffeine Experiment

In my bio class last week, we learned about metabolism- how cells convert the glucose in our food into usable energy. While we were learning about this, my TA told us how caffeine gives us energy.

This article goes into more depth, but the basic summary my teacher gave was that caffeine tricks your brain into thinking you have energy, when in reality, your cells don’t.

I was talking to my friend after class and I asked if people drink coffee before going to the gym. It would make sense, because caffeine would trick your brain into thinking you have energy and you could work out longer. She said yes, it gives people a lot of energy beforehand.

So, naturally, I decided to give this a try. I decided to use this energy tip for my cardio day to see if I could last longer than usual. Here are the steps I took for this experiment.

Step 1. Go to Starbucks and order coffee.

Step 2. Do homework and wait for my body to digest the caffeine.

Step 3. As soon as I feel jittery (I don’t drink coffee too much, so I get jittery pretty easily), I pack up my stuff and head to the gym.

Step 4. Go on the elliptical and see how long I can last.

Results: I was pretty shocked to find that I lasted about 15 mins longer than my usual time. 15 mins may not seem like a long time, but I had my elliptical set on hills, so I am definitely impressed.

I did experience some pretty bad side effects though. After I left the gym I was exhausted. I’m thinking this is because I just burned a whole bunch of energy that I didn’t really have. I also was feeling pretty nauseous, maybe for similar reasons? I ate dinner maybe two hours later and I felt a little better.

I’m going to have to try this experiment again to see if fatigue and nausea are actual side effects or if some other variables caused them.

I’ll be sure to report my findings. In the meantime, though, please let me know your thoughts/experiences with caffeine and working out!

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Rupi Kaur

A few months ago, I wrote a post about slam poems that I loved. I still like to listen to slam poems that I come across, but recently I discovered Rupi Kaur.

If you’re on Instagram, I’m sure you’ll recognize Rupi Kaur’s poetry. She writes with a distinct style and usually has very unique drawings to accompany her poems.

Rupi Kaur is a Punjabi Canadian who explores her experiences and the experiences of others through poetry.

Her poems can be really short, but they always manage to pack a lot into those few words. Personally, I identify with her work because she writes about female empowerment, but she does explore other themes, such as misogyny and rape.

I went through her Instagram page and gathered my favorite poems for you to enjoy.

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