Uncategorized

Hi, I’m a Feminist

In addition to my long overdue Feminist Apparel unboxing, I wanted to take some time to tell you more about myself and what is important to me. So I’m starting here, with my feelings on feminism.

20526315_2352577674967781_8283990750971842039_nTo me, feminism is the radical idea that we are all people who deserve equal opportunity in all aspects of life. I consider myself an intersectional feminist because of this; I don’t think it is a term for one exclusive group, otherwise it automatically goes against my belief of equal opportunity.

  • No one needs to be afraid of using this word, just because the word utilizes FEM it  does not mean there is anything exclusively feminine about it. MEN CAN AND SHOULD BE FEMINISTS ALONGSIDE WOMEN.
  • To me, the most important part of Feminism is that it’s about love and strength
    • Everyone I’ve interacted with who shares this mindset wants to make a change in the world: a change for the better.

Underneath this umbrella falls movements like BLACK LIVES MATTER. I’ll be the first to admit that when I first dipped into the pool of activism, I was one of those “All lives matter” people. Because I’ve always thought that everyone deserves to matter. As I grow

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I’ve come to understand that when there is such a clear and obvious problem in our government, we do need to put our focus on specifics. Because we’re literally voting on whether or not certain groups and/or minorities should have rights. What’s up with that??

 

I also firmly believe in raising boys and girls the same way. I’ve discovered that I’m not a huge fan of the gender binary system. I do believe that we’re born as a certain sex, genetically speaking, but that does not determine our traits, behavior, and appearance. As a Christian, I do believe that we’re born as who we are, and it’s not our place to change the body God gave us. BUT: I’m not here to tell anyone to change because it’s not my concern, it’s NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

Here’s some other quick things I believe:

  • Misogyny has definitely been internalized and it makes me sad. I know I’ve subconsciously “policed my own behavior” as a woman, but I’m overcoming that.
  • Rape culture is very real. And in addition to that, women can be rapists too, it’s not reserved.michael-courier-rape-culture
  • Why is saying “you _____ like a girl” offensive?? We need to get over that.
  • Adjectives and descriptions are not gender based. Women and men can be beautiful, kind, sweet, and tough.
  • Is it your body? No. Is it making you uncomfortable? Too bad, we are entitled to our expression and creativity. Is it distracting? That’s your fault.
    • Only when someone’s clothing is a safety hazard, demeaning or threatening, do you have any option to say something. Otherwise: shut it.
  • Sending girls home because of their clothing is almost synonymous with: boys deserve a distraction free learning environment, so we’re depriving you of that precious education because they can’t handle a bra strap or a thigh.
  • Bodies are natural and pretty freaking amazing. You’re mom most likely pushed you out of her vagina. Own that. It’s not a scary word.
  • We build barriers by sticking to stereotypes. Is the world going to end if your son dresses as a princess for Halloween?? No.
  • feminism-2-e1386764612806Historical women are badass. I did a research project on the wives of the Founding Fathers, and it was the most fascinating and scandalous paper I’ve ever written.
  • If we’re discussing problems and those affected have no say in the conversation, something is very wrong.
  • People do not deserved to be scared of doing things because society tells them otherwise.

 

Silence is powerful in theatre and music… in life, not so much. You don’t have to be extreme. Speak up, stand up, and change will follow if you want it enough. The world is scary right now, but we cannot be afraid forever. Those advocating hate and tearing others down, they’re riled up like a rattlesnake “and you know why a snake starts to rattle? Cause he’s scared. They know that we are winning.” It just happens to be a real long road to victory. Some people don’t want change. I DO. c25e6c7ce726706dd512af6c91f5ce47--broadway-theatre-musicals-broadway
I know this is a lot, and I hope I said it right. I’m proud to be apart of such a wonderful community of activists. Please go and check out Feminist Apparel !! They have some of the greatest products. And if you’re creative, get involved by submitting artwork and become on of the many creators!!!

Stand up for your beliefs and don’t back down. I want the world to be a better place, so I’m trying to do my part.

 

 

books, Uncategorized

“We All Looked Up” Review

This novel is one that I picked up a year or so ago with the thought that it may have a slightly Breakfast Club-esc storyline to it. A group of teenagers at the end of the world: that is the essence of what this novel is.

An asteroid is on course to hit earth and destroy the planet, so we get to follow Eliza, Peter, Andy, and Anita as they take their different approaches to the end of the world. So let’s get into it before our world ends.

Rant:

  • The novel’s ending leaves a lot to the imagination, which is both interesting but also slightly aggravating because you want to know how it all ends.
  • The main characters are really the only ones that the reader interacts with strongly, so I personally would have appreciated a bit more development, but I’m a stickler for a complex character.
  • Going off of the character development, I would have loved to get a bit more background on everyone. We get taste of who everyone is, but parts of each of them are left a bit blurry and open for interpretation.
  • I felt like there was a significant lack
    f imagery despite the opportunity for interesting portrayals (considering it is the apocalypse).

    • We get some for each character, but I would have loved some more scenic description because of the circumstances.

 

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Rave:

  • Again, the ending is up to interpretation. And for this particular novel, I think it works so well. The story concludes, the only loose ends are similar to those from The Breakfast Club: “what happens on Monday?” it’s that style of ending.
  • I’m also a sucker for woven storylines, each character begins with an individual story and as they unravel everyone’s story begins to fit into the others until you have this big puzzle.
  • This novel is unique in that I haven’t heard of one like it before, and I love that! It stands out because of its unconventional storyline, it’s a realistic fiction but at the same time feels unrealistic because of the topic it deals with.
  • There is vulgar language in it, but personally, I find that some novels almost need it because of context. When you’re writing about teenagers at the end of the world, it makes sense that they’re going to be swearing every now and again. I appreciate that only because it makes the story feel real and accurate.
  • The entire teenage/high school stereotypes in it are also much more accurate than those of something like Mean girls or High School Musical (basically any teen movie).It emphasizes that yes there are “groups” in schools, but they aren’t so segregated as a lot of media makes them out to be.

 

My overall favorite part of this novel is that Wallach takes a terrifying situation and shows two completely different outlooks. The first one being: whatever, the world’s going to end so screw it and everyone else. And the second being: I have to leave a mark on the world if this is how it’s going to end.

I love books that turn out to be nothing like what I was expecting and this definitely is one of those books. This is a situation where I love the vagueness of the blurb because it turned out to be so fantastic.

books, Uncategorized

TBH, Keeping up with a TBR is Hard

Ok, so June is almost done and I am not done with the first book on my June TBR list. First off, in my defense one of the books is A Game of Thrones, so I feel like I deserve a little bit of grace.

 

I decided to be very determined to finish my list this month. But the problem is that 1. I made that decision the second week of June, 2. I had to study for finals and do other end of the year activities, and 3. I’m in the middle of moving. So why did I think this was a good idea?? I have no clue.

 

On the plus side, we are roadtripping from the East to West coast which means that I have a surplus of time to do some crash reading. I only have about 400 pages of GoT left, the last 2 books of Mrs. Peregrines, and Eleanor and Park. At least I was wise and only chose four books for this month.

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This goal actually has been teaching me a lot about how hard it is to keep up with my reading. I’m sure some of you also understand, with everything that’s going on sometimes it’s hard to find time for yourself and the things you truly want to do.

 

I totally blame technology as well. That’s why I feel like I can work on moderating my time spent on social media and such. But of course then there’s this other speed bump of trying to stay active on places like Instagram.

 

So in the end, “To Be Read” lists always are growing and changing and they’re dam hard to keep up with, especially when you have 20 other things going on at one time. Keep reading, keep trying, but don’t beat yourself up for not being able to finish. At the same time, let it be a lesson in prioritizing what’s important to you (not saying you should drop everything and only read, it doesn’t work believe me I tried), but as the saying goes: Everything in moderation.

Movies

Gal Gadot: Real Life Wonder Woman

She’s beauty, she’s grace, she’ll punch you in the face. That is the basis of who Wonder Woman is, so can we talk for a minute about how absolutely fabulous Gal Gadot is?? I think I’ve found a new girl-crush.

If you have yet to see Wonder Woman fear not, I’m only here to discuss the character, not the plot.

Screenshot 2017-06-14 at 2.11.38 PMFor those who are not familiar with the story, Wonder Woman follows Diana (Gal Gadot) from a young age as an Amazonian Princess on the hidden Paradise Island. When an American spy, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), crashes on their island and tells the Amazonians of a war going on outside of their haven, Diana is convinced this is the “war to end all wars” and chooses to follow Trevor into an unknown world to fight and unveil her true power.

 

 

 

 

What kind of badassery allows a 32-year-old pregnant woman to play one of the most iconic characters in comic history with such finesse? 

Earlier this week, Gal mentioned that she was pregnant while filming some of the movie. I find that incredibly admirable. Of course she had a stunt double (the lovely Caitlin Dechelle), but to still perform at that caliber is absolutely amazing.

She developed that character LIKE A BOSSScreenshot 2017-06-14 at 2.13.39 PM

I’m not saying that the writers didn’t do a good job developing her character, but let’s be honest here: DC is not known for having the best superhero films. Young Diana was absolutely precious, and immediately gave way to her inquisitive behavior. Despite being one of – if not the most – successful Amazonian on the island, her humility and love for her family is so pure. As soon as Steve crashes and talks with them all, her decision to leave is not for personal gain or benefit, and that is seen when Hippolyta tells her that she can never come back. There was a sincere moment of hesitation in that scene that broke my heart.

I’ve never seen a moral compass screwed on so tight

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She leaves her entire family and world to help a race of men she knows nothing about because she sees something wrong with their world. And even though her personal goal is to defeat Ares, she will strike down anyone in her way who does wrong. She continues to love and help out of duty. Towards the end she even realizes that these humans don’t deserve her help, and considers leaving them. BUT because of a love she has grown for them, Diana fights despite the complications of humanity.

I have never been more impressed by the physicality of a female superhero on the big screen: She was a realistic goddess.

If you didn’t know, Gal spent 6 hours a day for 6 months getting prepared for this role. According to her, and the other Amazonians, their training encompassed 2 hours of sword training, 2 hours of horseback riding, 2 hours of martial arts, and other standard weight training. I know some people who have complained that her Wonder Woman isn’t as bulky and ripped as she should be, but I have a few contradictions: Firstly, a general rule for female superheroes is that their outward appearance is not necessarily reflective of their actual strength. And in addition to that, the simple fact is that no one is built the same, ergo, just because you train hard it doesn’t mean that you will be able to see every single muscle. And she ROCKED every single costume. The classic Wonder Woman costume married Ancient Roman gladiator armor and created something utterly breathtaking.

 

Diana Prince demands attention with the greatest elegance

No one in that film could keep their eyes off of her. It is like watching Peggy Carter as a goddess: non-stop powerhouse of kickass and elegance. She never demands attention, but others are drawn to her because of her beauty and inquisitive nature. Gadot portrayed a woman thrown into a new world, who is finding her way with the guidance of her morals.

If you have yet to see Wonder Woman go. I have seen few DC films (and very few that I like) but this should be required viewing. Take everyone and anyone you know. Yes there are plot holes and moments that aren’t as great, but enjoy the beauty and power of the female superhero movie we have all been waiting for for much too long.Screenshot 2017-06-14 at 2.16.43 PM

books

My Love Letter to John Green

If nothing else, you’ve seen The Fault in Our Stars or Paper Towns, or the black and white pictures of Kaya Scodelarrio portraying the sultry and mysterious Alaska.

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But I’ve come to discover that people seem to categorize John Green novels as trendy and stereotypical teen novels blah, blah, blah. And I became one of those people for a time, but lately I’ve come to realize just how incredible this man is as a writer and human being. So here we go.

To John Green: 

The man who has written novels about teenage boys who come to realize that they are over-idealizing women and not accepting them as complex, autonomous people.

Many people seem to think that his novels revolve around the idea of “boy gets girl” and that kind of sappy, predictable nonsense. When in reality, his books fall under a separate contemporary category with underlying elements of teenage angst and “crushing suburban boredom” (as described by @batmanisagatewaydrug on tumblr).

The characters in his novels rarely “end up” together outside of Hazel and Augustus, but everyone seems to think that that is how these narratives play out.

You see, when I say “everyone” it includes those who have not read his books. And quite honestly, I find myself feeling like that is how they end. BUT, I think it’s because I ultimately find some kind of love in the aftermath.Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

John Green has an ability to tap into the adolescent mind and tell the stories that we dream about experiencing. We fantasize about taking revenge and running away; falling in love with the same people and hoping they each will be different; about being mysterious, dark and feeling pain we think we want but really don’t. We fantasize about our own tragedies and our own bittersweet love stories.

The opportunity John Green gives us is the chance to try living through those lifestyles, and they ultimately teach us to not strive for them because of the damage they can cause to a person and those you love.

So thank you Mr. Green, for teaching me that “sometimes, the way you think about a person isn’t the way they actually are”. And for teaching me to live my life with what I have been given, and not to search for it by losing myself.

With love,

Kendra

Skincare, Uncategorized

Skincare I Swear By

I have a thing for face masks. In fact, I have a thing for anything that makes my face feel like its been kissed by baby bunnies. Due to this love for skincare, I thought I would share some of my favorite products and brands, as well as compare the ones that I find lack the quality they claim. I’m not going to sugarcoat anything, so let’s get straight into it!!

Face Masks

This last Christmas I received the one and only “SUPERMUD Clearing Treatment” by GlamGlow and it was exciting. I heard all of these great things about this product and brand so I was excited to try it out. There were things I really liked about it, but was disappointed overall. 6.5/10IMG_7484

  • Aesthetically pleasing from packaging to the satisfying feeling of seeing the dark spots where the mask is pulling oil.
  • Feels natural and gives a very nice tingling sensation.
  • $69 for 1.7oz
  • The company uses natural ingredients, meaning I found a literal stick in my mask one day. It wasn’t off-putting because it was clean and clearly meant to be there, but it took up room in that 1.7oz jar.

The overall product is fun to use every once in a while. However, I was let down by how well I thought it was going to work. I was hoping for more clarity and a decrease in oiliness, but the product didn’t seem to do all that it had promised despite its reputation. This could be an instance of differing skin types but I don’t think it is something I would spend my own money on for the quality.

IMG_6337After doing some research for other face masks that (hopefully) live up to their reputation, I stumbled upon Memebox and their “Botanical Mellow Clay Masks”. They come in a set of three, all focused on different skin types and because of this they encourage you to use each product on the part of your face that needs that specific treatment – aka “Rainbow Masking”. 10/10

 

 

 

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  • $42 for 2.5oz (x3) + cat headband + silicon
    brush + pore cleansing sponge
  • A little bit goes a long way = long-lasting.
  • Each is targeted for a specific purpose, so you aren’t necessarily forced to put only one mask on at a time.
  • Depending on how you feel about foreign shipping, this is a company based in Korea and shipping can be anywhere from $0 – $8.
  • Applicator brush use is optional, but it can be hard to clean out if you do use it because of grooves in one side of it.

I can confidently say that this brand and their facial products are by far my favorite in comparison to the other products that I have used. I feel rejuvenated each time I use this product, and satisfied that I can use more than one at a time to target my specific problems – meaning that I don’t feel as though anything is going to waste. These clay masks should be priced higher because of their quality, but that is part of what I like about Memebox: they are focused on the ingredients and the efficiency of their products, but having a wallet-friendly company is always an asset in sales.

Lotions, Toners, Treatments, Oh my!

One of – if not the – most important part of healthy skin is the day-to-day care. For a long time I wasn’t big into moisturizer or all the acne treatments, but over time (and as I became a teenager) I started to find products that fit me and keep my skin clear and happy! A lot of the products I love are under brands that are not as widely known, so I’m going to go by brand for this one.

IMG_7498When I lived in Northern California, a wonderful woman at our church introduced my mother, sister, and I to Rodan + Fields, a company she works for. The company was created and is run by dermatologists, which entails the quality and reliance of this company. They have 4 target branches: Redefine, Unblemish, Soothe, and Reverse. Needless to say, I’m in love. 8.5/10

  • Skincare is notoriously expensive, and this is no exception. However, I feel like their products last for a substantial amount of time and don’t have to be repeatedly purchased.
  • Change can be seen. For myself, there are some products that I use along with others, and when I run out I can go a while without purchasing because my skin maintains the changes.
    • You don’t have to be dependent on this sole brand.

 

These next products were discovered in New Zealand, and I don’t even want to think about how much it would cost to order them now with shipping…But for the time being, I am loving these products from Wild Ferns. Their products feel like the soft, wet noses of baby goats who have been blessed by the gods of nature, and for the products I have they deliver! 9/10IMG_7488

  • Rotorua Mud Face Mask and Face Wash: This mask the the kind that feels as though it has peeled off a layer of dead skin. The mud is infused with aloe vera and cucumber and leaves the skin feeling fresh and cleaner than ever before.
    • The face wash exfoliates wonderfully!! I’ve always been a bit skeptical of exfoliating face washes because I’m worried about damaging my skin but this one alone has helped improve all of that.
  • Lanolin Cream: There are few face creams that I find consistently reliable and this is one of them. Another product that leaves the skin feeling fresh and new. I think one of the main reasons I find it so appealing is the lightness of it, so many creams can feel heavy on my skin but this one still allows me to feel my skin breathing.

 

I hope I could be of some help to anyone experimenting with skincare products. As someone with sensitive skin, I really appreciate finding products that work for me and are worth my money. But as with anything, you have to come across a few unsuccessful products to find ones you really love. And of course, if you are really worried about some issue or sensitivity I highly recommend going to see a dermatologist; I have 2 prescriptions for skincare and find that they couple extremely well with the other products I have chosen to use!

books

“Wink, Poppy, Midnight” Review

One of my best friends and I have begun a tradition of sharing books. I send her a book, wrapped in brown paper and tied with twine, and when she finishes it, she sends my book back along with one for me to read. The latest novel I received was Wink, Poppy, Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke.

IMG_0337The story follows three teenagers: Wink, a vibrant young girl living on a farm with her orphan siblings andfortune-telling mother; Midnight, a boy whose mother and brother left for Paris, leaving him to discover adolescent life on his own; and Poppy, the vivacious and compelling girl who continues to pull on Midnight’s heart strings. We get the pleasure of following them on a journey of self-discovery, as they question what it means to be a hero, a villain, and a liar.

Now into the fun part! I have a journal entitled “Books I’ve Read: A Readers Journal”, and have decided that it is he perfect place for me to pull my reviews from, so let’s get right into it.

Overall Opinions:

8.5 / 10 This book intrigues you from the beginning with its varying points of view and lifestyles. Each character is crafted for a purpose, and has a part to play in the story being told, and for me that is a necessary element in a good book. Tucholke touches on subjects that can be relatable to any and everyone, offering an opportunity for self reflection that forces you to look beyond who you believe you are and discover your complexities. The position she puts her characters in leads the reader to see the hero, villain, and liar in all of us. If you love complex, and compelling realistic fiction: this is a book for you.

  • The character complexity of this novel is intriguing because the focus is on these three individuals, so there is serious background information and realism.
  • It is styled to where each chapter is a different POV (point of view), which I love to hate because it means that I never stop reading.
    • However, there are some instances where the continuity would be more efficient if the POV’s were rearranged in some places.
  • **SLIGHT SPOILER** I understand that Wink’s mother is a fortune-teller and that their family has some superstitious tendencies, but I felt like the whole “spirit-esc” encounter with Poppy was rather strange. Partially because Poppy was not dead, and because of the POV arrangement.
    • It was arranged as though Wink all of a sudden was Poppy in spirit form, whereas Midnight later clarifies that “It was Wink, but not. I was Poppy’s mannerisms and behavior”, so essentially it was Wink acting as Poppy.
    • This was quite confusing because you’re going through the scene and it isn’t quite making sense, and then it finally changes POV and suddenly there is this revelation that makes you want to go back and re-read for understanding.
  • There were not a lot, if any, plot holes. Which I find to be a huge plus because it only adds to a novels fluidity.
    • Only one I may have noticed regarded the name of Midnight’s brother. We are told that his name is Alabama, and that we’ll learn the answer, but I don’t remember ever finding out why. However, it is very possible that I simply missed it, so if you’ve read the book and remember why let me know in the comments!
  • I also wish there was a final confrontation between Midnight and Poppy. They play such pivotal roles in one another’s lives and I feel that there was not the necessary resolution when they “went their separate ways”.
    • We receive closure between Midnight and Wink, and perhaps it is symbolic that there isn’t as clear of an ending for Poppy and Midnight, but I would have liked just a bit more clarity.

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Novel Ideas and Themes:

Tucholke teaches us that throughout life there are no heroes or villains, no one person has a single identity, and it is our job to be ever-changing. Our actions have consequences and there is no one at fault except for ourselves. As these characters brew conflict with one another the question is “who can we blame”? But the day comes when the only person to look at is yourself, and you alone must learn how to live your own life.

Favorite Quotes:

“When you look into the darkness, the darkness looks into you.”

“All good heroes are scared, if they know the evil they face.”