Miss Musings

A modern miss provides commentary on sociological and psychological issues concerning politics, the media, literature, and everyday observances.

7 facts I learned from Clueless

Iggy Azalea isn’t the only person who idolizes Cher from Clueless. As an avid fan of the iconic 90s film, I can say that Cher has the dream life: the robotic closet, the perfectly straight blond hair, the sassy best friend, the fix-up Jersey buddy, the cute white jeep, and the ability to make everybody fall in love with her.

While Clueless and its star are often deemed to be fluffy “chick flick” material, I have to disagree; I learned an incredible number of things about myself, others, and the world from the film. In honor of its 20th anniversary, here is a list of what I learned from Clueless:

1. Driving in heels is hard – I mean really hard.

Courtesy of Gurl.com

Courtesy of Gurl.com

While my driving skills have improved since I last blogged about them, I attempted to drive in wedges and basically lost all of my abilities as soon as I accelerated. Yet somehow, driving barefoot is even more difficult for me.

2. Don’t get too involved in other people’s lives. 

Courtesy of Giphy

Courtesy of Giphy

People need to be able to make their own decisions, and with those, their own failures and mistakes. Cher makes over her friend Tai only to find that she has created a self-absorbed “monster” with an ugly inside. When she stops worrying about Tai, Cher finds peace with herself, inner empowerment, and respectful love.

3. It’s not always you. 

Courtesy of Tumblr

Courtesy of Tumblr

Often I have realized that the whole “it’s not me, it’s you” concept is perfectly valid on some social situations. Sometimes people just won’t like you for who you are, and you won’t like them for whatever reason. It is important to note that you do not have to change who you are for anyone, especially if you aren’t being disliked for something truly harmful.

4. That said, sometimes you can learn from people. 

Courtesy of Giphy

Courtesy of Giphy

I would not be the first person to call myself “cool,” so I do try to learn from my friends and strangers. There is nothing wrong with changing yourself based on what others say if you are doing it for your own pleasure!

5. It’s alright to wait for something special. 

Courtesy of Giphy

Courtesy of Giphy

I only dated one person in high school, and I am not necessarily searching for a relationship right now. Some people date in a serial manner, which is completely fine, but it’s also absolutely okay to wait to be with someone. Cher was selective in her taste for guys and had to stand her ground when she was asked why she didn’t date. She just wasn’t interested in high school guys; whatever your story is, stick by it and don’t compromise your beliefs for your friends.

6. We should be more accepting of each other.

Courtesy of The Huffington Post

Courtesy of The Huffington Post

Fun fact: I represented Haiti at a Model United Nations conference as an inside joke about the Haitian monologue Cher gave. Moving on…

America is a melting pot of many cultures. Cher makes a great point in her speech about accepting immigrants into American society, as our individual heritages all trace back to immigration.

7. Just don’t forget to turn the oven off.

Courtesy of Celebuzz

Courtesy of Celebuzz

So I guess since I have learned a lot from Clueless already, I don’t have to watch it again, right?

Courtesy of Metro UK

Courtesy of Metro UK

#MissCollege: 11 Must-Have Items for any Florida College Student

As a student at a public Florida university, I can say a few things about our college communities here in Florida: we are all about the sunshine, football, spirit, parties, music, fashion, and collegiate experience. Also, Florida colleges are extremely diverse and attract students from out of state who may not be prepared for the humid climate. To assist Florida transplants and Florida natives alike, I have compiled a list of items you’ll be thankful to have at school here in the sunshine state!

Your college lifesavers

Your college lifesavers, presented my Miss Musings!

#1: A Reusable Water Bottle

Tervis water bottle from Bealls

Tervis water bottle from Bealls

Buying plastic water bottles is an expensive venture, and even if they are reused, they still have to be recycled eventually or wreck havoc on our environment. Also, plastic water bottles can melt in the heat, resulting in plastic particles getting into your drink. Do your health and the planet’s health a favor and invest in a Tervis or Thermos reusable water bottle (I got mine for $15 at Bealls). Bonus Tip: Both Tervis and Thermos products are made in the USA!

#2: An Umbrella

Mini umbrella by totes from Target

Mini umbrella by totes from Target

Umbrellas are CRUCIAL in Florida, especially if you are attending school in the summer. Some umbrellas can collapse to a small enough size to fit in your backpack or purse. I bought my umbrella for $15 at Target, and it fits in all of my bags. Bonus Tip: Stock up on Publix plastic bags and keep some in your backpack to store your umbrella in!

#3: Bug Spray

Plan on going out for a night on the town? Unfortunately, you might be joined by some unwanted guests. Load up on pocket-sized bug sprays to protect yourself from diseases, especially if you are headed out for a barbecue, late night beach trip, or outdoor music festival. Bonus Tip: Some bug sprays contain dangerous chemicals, including N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (a.k.a. deet). Look for a concentration of 15% deet for best results and minimal damage.

#4: Waterproof Mascara

While waterproof mascara is difficult to remove, it can withstand even the worst of the Florida heat. I have stopped wearing mascara just for convenience reasons, but when I do wear it, I prefer waterproof Falsies by Maybelline to all other brands. Bonus Tip: To remove your mascara without using makeup remover, swipe vaseline onto your lashes with a Q-tip and gently dab off the mascara with a soft rag.

#5: Sleeveless Tops

Want to wear your T-shirts all summer long? Think again: T-shirts can lock in underarm sweat and result in some unfortunate stains. Cute tank tops and sleeveless tops are your best bet for maximum ventilation.

#6: Jumpsuits and Rompers

Jumpsuits are all the rage this summer – and for good reason! They are soft, comfortable, and light. Also, the one-piece fashion makes for an instant outfit for when you are running out of clothes or approaching laundry day.

#7: Stretchy Headbands

Simple stretchy headband from a pack from Target

Simple stretchy headband from a pack from Target

In case you have not noticed, there is literally no escape from the heat of Florida. You will break a sweat even during a short walk to class. To avoid sweaty hair emergencies, have some elastic headbands in your backpack. You can throw them on and pull your hair back so the sweat is not so obvious.

#8: Bus Apps

University of Florida and Florida State University both utilize the transloc app, which maps out bus routes on your phone so that you won’t have to walk across campus in the heat of the day. This app could very well protect you from heatstroke or having to walk alone at night. Bonus Tip: Bus routes can also be accessed on your laptop. See if your campus has transloc.

#9: A Canvas Bag

A canvas bag I got for free with purchase

A canvas bag I got for free with purchase

You’ve seen them at the grocery store and might be wondering why you need the trendy canvas bag. These bags are not only good go-to grocery holders, as they are more durable than flimsy plastic grocery bags, but they make great gym and beach bags. Why soil your favorite cute purse or backpack with sand and sweaty gym clothes when you have an eco-friendly canvas bag at your disposal?

#10: SPF EVERYTHING

Softlips lip balm with SPF 20 in Vanilla from Target

Softlips lip balm with SPF 20 in Vanilla from Target

Sunscreen is critical to every college student, but especially those in Florida. If you don’t like the feel of sunscreen, just follow these three steps for maximum protection and minimal grossness: 1. Wear a moisturizer with SPF under your makeup. 2. Spray your body with unscented sunscreen before dressing. 3. Apply SPF 15+ lip balm throughout the day. Even if you are just outside to walk in between classes, you could easily spend an hour unprotected from the sun’s rays. Protect your skin!

#11: Trendy Sunglasses

My fave sunnies from Forever 21

My fave sunnies from Forever 21

These are both practical and fashionable. I wear sunglasses everywhere – when I’m driving, when I’m walking, and when I’m exercising outside. I have had my favorite pair of sunnies since summer 2014, a circular black pair, and I only spent $5 on them. Check out Forever 21 and Target for the most recent styles such as the aviator, the vintage, and the circular pairs.

So go ahead and stock up on these helpful items; you’ll be thankful for them when Fall term rolls around!

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What was the best thing you brought to college? Leave a comment below or tweet me at @sammimorri! 

 

Feminism in the Digital Era

Ever since the advent of the personal computer and information highway, our world has progressed into a globalized mass of information. We are a wired community, connected via social media and shouts into the voids of Twitter and Facebook. Naturally, modern activism has taken a digital turn, leading us to question the crusade of internet feminism. Can a post on Instagram petition for equity? Can sharing a link on Facebook do more than inform a skeptical society about elusive social inequality?

Since the internet is an omnipresent force on our minds, we must focus on what feminist campaigns have surfaced through the platform. One of the more shocking recent movements involved Instagram taking down a photo of a girl with a menstruation stain on her pants. This action outraged many women, leading them to believe that the website was disapproving of female biological processes.

Later, campaigns against the censorship of female bodies occurred in various public areas of New York. The group “New York Women’s Liberation” placed stickers stating “This Oppresses Women” on various ads in subways that exploited women’s anatomy for profit. These ads catered toward a patriarchal society, so activists sought to prove that sexualized images will not work to sell products anymore. Female bodies are not vehicles for third-party money, and will not be trafficked in subway traffic.

However, fighting patriarchy is sometimes passive and accomplished through utilizing a modern internet strategy: empowering young girls. The 2014 Always #LikeAGirl campaign discusses sexist language in our society and how Western idioms, while seemingly innocuous, are often denigrating to women. In the viral commercials, people are told to “run like a girl” and “fight like a girl.” Sadly, they portray girls as weak creatures. Yet when young women are instructed to depict “girly” actions, they exude strength and confidence. The advertisement sought to render the image of the modern girl in a new light; since women are being given more opportunities to excel in all fields, we must change the conversation on how girls should view themselves individually and as members of the modern female network.

“What does it mean to run like a girl?”

“It means to run as fast as you can.”

Perhaps one of the greatest catalysts for the digital feminist movement was The Representation Project. In 2011, the organization released the infamous documentary “Miss Representation” at the Sundance Film Festival, and later launched the hashtag campaigns #NotBuyingIt and #BuildConfidence. The former calls out sexism in advertising and encourages people to photograph examples of problematic marketing strategies, therefore pushing for interactive feminism and instantaneous dialogue. The latter seeks to inform members of the social media community about healthy body image.

While The Representation Project made strides in socially-just social networking, one of the most critical moments of digital feminism was kick started by Emma Watson’s HeForShe speech at the United Nations. The speech has garnered millions of views cumulatively on YouTube and effectively focused on feminism’s impact on underrepresented players: boys and men. Emma pushed for men to be more vocal about everyday injustices against women. She also pointed out a goal that all humans should consider – emotions should not be viewed as weakness. Emma states that the way men are dictated to conceal emotions is unhealthy and can lead to depression and suicide, and that emotional discrepancies among genders can be solved directly by raising our daughters and sons to equally embrace having feelings. In addition, UN Women spearheaded the auto-complete campaign, which utilized Google’s autofill feature for searches that started with “women need to….” With this campaign, the United Nations and Google revealed that worldwide sexism had reached its apex, albeit through digital mediums.

In tandem, several other global websites have been taking action to aggressively fight off the exploitation of women. Amazon has stopped selling shirts with openly hostile sayings. One woman reversed Twitter’s decision to remove the “block” button through an online Change.org petition. She received threats on the website and fought to keep the button for the protection of herself and other people who were exploited, namely other women. YouTube has a wealth of self-defense lessons and feminist vloggers. Twitter is loaded with catchy but meaningful hashtags. Ergo, the internet and the right to the freedom of speech allows for both sexism and a healthy amount of counter-active activism.

Are these campaigns effective? Perhaps to some they are not. Yet regardless of one’s opinion of the internet, one must realize that people are using this cornucopia of data to change our day-to-day interactions. Online campaigns and digital media may be the ideal panacea to patriarchy, chauvinism, and sexism in society. We do not all have to participate via every personal tweet and post, but it is not too much to ask to request the acceptance of these equity achievement strategies.

How I Connect to ABT’s Newest Principal Ballerina

As an 8-year-old girl, I stared in awe at the pixelated-pink-puffy tutus inundating my TV screen. Ballet seduced my soul, and I yearned to wear a dance costume of my own, to support my body on ten stubby toes, and to be art in motion. Subsequently, I enrolled in dance classes and achieved my dancing dreams; but for Misty Copeland, the journey was more arduous and marked by adversity.

For years I danced confidently, and at times haphazardly, to the beat of my own privilege. Conversely, Misty Copeland had to push through the conditions of a lower income household. Needing escape from a poor socioeconomic situation, Misty began her dance journey at the age of 11 at a Boys and Girls Club and later at the San Pedro Dance Center. Within months she began dancing on pointe, which is a technique that normally requires years of intense technical and strength training to acquire. I began my pointe career after five years of technique classes, despite being told I was not properly suited for dancing on pointe due to my poor foot flexibility. While Misty fought to accelerate her career, I fought to continue mine.

Interestingly, both Misty and I were told our bodies were not fit for ballet. Both of us have curvier forms, which are commonly frowned upon in the ballet industry. I coped with this harsh reality by eating drastically less and exercising intensively, hoping parts of my body would melt away and my feet would magically stay on the pointe shoe’s box, but fortunately, I grew out of my obsessiveness and danced for my own pleasure.

While both of us dealt with body challenges, Misty had an additional complication to rise above in the ballet world: her race. I am as white as Odette’s tutu in Swan Lake, but Misty faced some adversity as an African-American ballet dancer. However, Misty maintains a positive perspective on integrating cultures into a traditionally European art form. She recently told E! News, “I wanted to open the dialogue about race in ballet and bring more people in. It’s just beautiful to see the interest that has exploded for such an incredible art form that I will forever be grateful to!” At a young age, Misty even starred in “The Chocolate Nutcracker,” an African-American-centric adaptation of the classic The Nutcracker.

Photo courtesy of NY Daily News

Photo courtesy of NY Daily News

In 2001, four years prior to the inception of my dance career, Misty entered the American Ballet Theater’s Corps De Ballet, already holding the title of National Coca-Cola Scholar and member of the ABT Studio Company. 2001 was the same year the documentary “Living the Ballet Dream” was released, featuring dance students at the School of American Ballet in New York. This was the year Misty gained professional strides and I started to fall for the magic of ballet.

In 2013 I ended my dance career due to the strain it put on my body and my academics. Now, in 2015, Misty Copeland is the first African-American female Principal Dancer of the American Ballet Theater. She has become the new image of dance, and I am enthusiastic to witness her continue her journey as a trendsetter for modern ballerinas globally.