Ham 4 Biz

This weekend, I had the EXTREME pleasure of seeing the wonderful Hamilton: An American Musical on Broadway. Listening to the original cast recording album is a truly magical and deeply spiritual experience for me, so to be there in person far surpassed Cloud Nine. It was like Cloud Ten Billion.

Because getting tickets to Hamilton is about as rare as Taylor Swift having any chill, I thought I’d share some of my feelings, thoughts, and favorite moments from both my short trip to NYC and from the performance itself. Many people who see Hamilton have written similar blog posts, but, as we’ve learned, I am an incredibly unique and special snowflake, and my voice MUST be heard, and it MUST be louder than everyone else’s, and I am never wrong, ever.


Getting the Fam on board for Ham


It’s no secret that when I love something, it’s important to me that:

A) Everyone knows I love it, passionately, and more than anyone else has loved something, ever, and

B) You love it too, but not as much as me, never as much as me.

This has typically worked for me in the past. Case in point: my parents went to a One Direction concert, without me, last August. Just two fifty-year old, childless, fully grown adults, at a One Direction concert. My impact.

Hamilton was no exception. At first, my efforts were subtle:

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As my love grew, I made more in-your-face attempts at getting my #ArguablyUncultured family into it, but this continued to be way more tasking than I hoped:

However, things started looking up when I pressed Hamilton onto my dad. This works because, in my opinion, my dad thinks I am the Most Interesting and Coolest Person Who has Ever Lived, so he’s most likely to listen to me when I say something’s good shit. I love you, dad, but you are a bandwagoner till the bitter end. If something is Cool, this dude has “known about it for months,” like a disgusting hipster.

I started with just an obscene amount of Hamil-talk, meaning endless, unsolicited chatter about “Lin did this!” and “Sometimes I actually feel kinda bad for Aaron Burr!”, as if my family even knows who the F Lin-Manuel Miranda is (the creator/star of Hamilton and high-key a MacArthur Genius Grant, Tony Award, and Pulitzer Prize recipient, for the dum dums reading this). My dad claimed he’d seen the cast perform at the White House in March…

…But I’m pretty sure the deal was sealed when I sent him the original “Alexander Hamilton” performance from 2006:

I never had any expectation of seeing Hamilton on Broadway, let alone with majority of the original broadway cast performing. At times, I can be a realist to a fault, and I knew that going to NYC was a very unreal dream that existed only in my painful imagination. But, the ghost/spirit/astrological demon that’s running my life worked some voodoo magic, and my parents decided that my Hamilton game was too strong, and we planned our little trip!

Here’s the cheesy part that I obviously have to include: I am very grateful for my parents and the special things they do for me, and this is easily in the Top Five Most Special, sandwiched between #1: Taking Me to Cinque Terre, and #3: Being Real Fucking Chill About Me Wanting To Transfer Schools Mid-Semester. Insert twenty billion heart-eyes emojis here.


History is happening in Manhattan and we just happen to be in the Greatest City in the World


Knowing Lin, Leslie Odom Jr., and Phillipa Soo would all be stepping down from their roles in Hamilton on July 9th, we whipped our asses into shape and planned our 24-hour trip to NYC just about a week in advance of the show, on June 25th. I had no problem with the turn-around and was more lit than ever. I could tell you the order each song is performed in the play, backwards and forwards, and I ALMOST have Lafayette’s “Guns and Ships” rap down, so it wasn’t as if I had to get any more acquainted with the material.

Dad listened throughout the week prior to showtime, and we had some fun discourse on what he was liking. I’ve been trying to convince him for awhile that the Hamilton soundtrack is actually surprisingly enjoyable to run to (those beats get me in the BEST type of rhythm), but I think he’s still on the fence about it.

In any event, the morning of the 25th, dad and I went for a 5 AM 5k run (I crushed his time, but that’s neither here nor there), crushed some apple cider vinegar shots, had a chaotic time in O’Hare Airport traffic (s/o to mom for turning around on the highway to drop us spontaneously at the blue-line station so we could catch a train into ORD), and EVENTUALLY made our way to New York City!

This was very exciting for me especially, as I haven’t visited the city since I left in February of 2015. I was a little nervous that being in Manhattan would be sad for me, but it was really the opposite. While I love NYC, I am so happy with my life at Mizzou, and this trip just reminded me how lucky and willing I would be to move back into the city post-grad.

Once in the city, we decided to walk from our hotel in Midtown to the Stonewall Inn. It was a lovely stroll and seeing the Inn was awesome, especially considering the recent attack at Pulse in Orlando, as well as it being Pride Month/Week. The vigil was beautiful and it was very moving to see how NYC was supporting the LGBT community. We both agreed we were glad we visited.


On our walk back to the hotel, we also visited the New York Public Library, which I had never been inside before. As luck would have it, an Alexander Hamilton exhibit opened on June 24th, so we swooped in and checked it out. I’ve been reading Ron Chernow’s Hamilton biography (SO good, btw, and I am usually bored to tears by American history), so it was SUPER cool to see the actual print versions of Hamilton’s “A Farmer Refuted” essay, as well as one of the original Reynolds Pamphlets. There was also Philip Hamilton’s death announcement (RIP), and a letter Hamilton had written to his wife Eliza, and I loved reading both. I wanted to take pictures inside, but no one else was, so I got scared, but it was a very awesome historical gem. If you find yourself in New York, I HIGHLY recommend stopping in — even better, it’s 100% free! Rejoice, broke college students!


In the morning on the 26th, we went for a run back to the Stonewall Inn. It was cool to be there before the Pride Parade began, and to know how influential this very spot was in the LGBT movement. Also, it was the one-year anniversary of SCOTUS ruling gay marriage legal in all fifty states, so it was very fitting we were able to visit one last time. We took the same route back to our hotel and passed a homeless man who had his dick out in broad daylight — New York City is a place of glamour and class. It was an excellent five-mile run.



My Foodstagram is still a smashing success (in my eyes, okay?!) and this weekend we munched on some bomb snacks. Although I couldn’t get any aesthetically-pleasing photos, we had a, in my dad’s words, “dee-lish-us” lunch at Tortaria, where we split cauliflower tacos, medium-spicy guacamole, chips, and a frozen strawberry margarita. Tortaria is one of my fav East Village Eats, so when we stumbled upon it on our way to Stonewall, it was kind of a no-brainer to stop in. Low-key, this was one of the best meals of my life. Idk if it was because I ran 3.1 miles, drank a black iced coffee, and then rode on a plane in high altitude, but this meal just did it for me. I ❤ you, Mexican Food.


We then went to another fan favorite, Big Gay Ice Cream Shop. Due to Pride Week, there was a pretty long line outside, but it was completely and totally worth it. We both got Salty Pimps (aka vanilla soft-serve covered in dulce de leche, sea salt, and dipped in chocolate) and it was….so….beautiful….


For dinner, we originally planned on trying the eggplant steamed buns at Ippudo, but after realizing we probably wouldn’t be able to get a table for two on a Saturday night in New York City, we opted for the restaurant/bar inside the Paramount Hotel, across the street from the Richard Rogers theater. While the Cobb salad was just OK and the service sucked total ass, we weren’t too worked up about it because we saw this bitch from Pretty Little Liars:


Part of me wanted to say to her, “Girl, Pretty Little Liars sucks, so bad….but I loved you in Spring Breakers!!!”, but when she wasn’t playing on her phone, she was getting real intimate with her boyfriend (who didn’t LOOK like Ryan Good, Bieber’s old swag coach, but I think it may have been him, and I was kind of more excited about him than her, if I’m being honest with you), so I figured I would leave her alone. I also didn’t want to embarrass my dad by being a crazy fan. Instead, I kind of flipped my hair as I walked past them, and my boob almost fell out of my top, so I think I probably made a lasting impression. She probably said, “That girl is cool, she’s chic…not only do I want her to be my best friend, but I would also like her to play a corpse on Pretty Little Liars.”

Hamilton, aka Three Hours of Sweating


As we were enjoying the bread basket at dinner, my dad got very serious, and quietly said to me, “I hate to disappoint you, but…Renee Elise Goldsberry isn’t going to be playing Angelica Schuyler tonight.” Me, being the psycho person I am, said, loudly, “Why would you say that to me?!” To which he calmly responded, “Because she’s sitting in the booth over there eating dinner.”

Sure enough, that Tony Award-winning bitch was barely 10 feet away from us! This was especially thrilling, but also sad, as we then realized we wouldn’t get to see her belt “Satisfied,” which is one of my favorite songs from Hamilton. Once we got to the theater, we also found out that Leslie Odom Jr. wouldn’t be performing as Aaron Burr. While it’s impossible to say there were any downsides to seeing Hamilton on Broadway, this definitely hurt my heart a little bit. Okay, a lotta bit. But we (I) regrouped quickly (screamed inside then punched my inner demon in the face) and got pumped because we were IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS.


I don’t know if it was my anxiety about Leslie and Renee not performing, or just my excitement, but it is then that I began SWEATING like a whore in church!!!!! At about 8:05 the lights went down and my heart rate was not just in the cardio zone. It was in the motherfucking PEAK. I was probably clocking in at well over 150 BPM. Honestly….this might be a sign that my heart health is a bit wacky, but the most important thing is that I got HELLA HEART EYES FOR HAMILTON.

Okay, I’ll break down the rest of the best in list form (because, listicles):

– Austin Smith was dope as Burr. Even though he’s one of my favorite characters in the production and Leslie Odom Jr. is one of my OG Smash crushes, Austin Smith crushed it. Alysha Deslorieux was also so great as Angelica! Nooo complaints about understudies, they were both very good.

– I went into CARDIAC. ARREST. when I saw Anthony Ramos, better known by my Twitter followers as “That Guy I’m In Love With From Hamilton”:

I don’t know why I am so attracted to him, but damn…he’s got The Look…and a girlfriend, who is actually also in the production, but we’re being chill about it, ok people?


– The tears were real when I saw Lin for the first time because like ??? He’s real??? Seems fake but ok

– People Who I Knew Were Talented But Had Me Like “DAMN DANIEL”: Okieriete Onaodowan, Phillipa Soo, Jasmine Cephas-Jones

– My dad’s fave character was George Washington, a valid choice

– Goes without saying probs but “Dear Theodosia” ROCKED. MY. SOUL.

– I was so vibing on Daveed Diggs as the Marquis de Lafayette because that French accent is tres hot but he was on a NEW. LEVEL. as Thomas Jefferson. I just wanted him on stage the entire time. He has so much energy and dude’s got bars

– On that note I think my favorite song was “What’d I Miss” but you bet your ass I got into my feelings for “Blow Us All Away” because #ThatGuyImObsessedWithFromHamilton

– I never paid much attention to songs from the second act before, but I was living for it all! I really enjoyed the Cabinet Battles especially, and “Burn” (which I deeply relate to because, like Eliza burning her letters from Hamilton, I delete entire text conversations between me and people who have hurt me) and “It’s Quiet Uptown” had me like


– Was also lookin like the Michael Jordan crying meme when Philip Hamilton passes away (“dies” is just too harsh for my fragile heart!!) because, #ThatGuyImObsessedWithFromHamilton


– Chills during “Satisfied,” obviously

– King George was so fun. I tend to skip his songs when casually listening but me and my dad had some good Brexit-related LOLs

– At intermission I was like “It’s so hot in here!!” and my dad was like “…No it’s not…” and at the end I was literally dripping in sweat, because, idk, my body was overheating from excitement, like a cute robot character in Wall-E

– Lin is perfect, I want to bottle his spirit and wear it around my neck, like a less scary version of a vial of blood

– I always get very freaky emo when I listen to “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” because it depresses the fuck outta me that Hamilton cheated on Eliza and humiliated her ass and then when he dies she turns around and builds his legacy. I’m like, homegirl, I hold grudges over boys not Snapchatting me back………….nevertheless, I get super emotional when she talks about creating the first orphanage in NYC and how she helps “raise hundreds of children…I get to see them growing up, in their eyes I see you, Alexander, I see you every time” because HER SON DIED and so now she watches other kids grow and double jeopardy because HER HUSBAND WAS AN ORPHAN….Omg I had the LC mascara tear on LOCK when they performed this


– But THEN I was crying even harder when it ended because I didn’t want it to be over and I just wanted to hit the rewind button and do it all over again!!!!!!!

Although it was a short trip, we had the most incredible time in New York City and seeing Hamilton! We spent all of Sunday (from 8 AM until 3 PM) waiting in LaGuardia Airport due to a major flight delay, but we agreed that it was completely worth it, since it meant we got to see Lin-Manuel Miranda sing “My Shot” live and in the flesh. WE DID NOT THROW AWAY OUR SHOT!!!



My Year with 1989

In the days of my youth (reminder: I am literally not even twenty years old), I used to rock out to Taylor Swift with reckless abandon. I jammed so hard to timeless hits such as “White Horse” and “Dear John” and didn’t give either of them much thought, because I had never been in any romantic situation even remotely, so emotional connections to the songs didn’t really click. I was just a teen with a dream of french-kissing Joe Jonas, and Taylor Swift’s music was the closest thing I had to that.

I’ll forever know in my heart that Red, Taylor Swift’s pretty much full-on love letter to Jake Gyllenhaal, is my favorite Swift album, and maybe my favorite record of all time. I dare you to not scream along to “All Too Well” on full-volume while driving down a road filled with color-changing trees in autumn. It’s impossible! You can’t do it.

Despite my deep, unending appreciation for the basically October-themed Red record, I have to openly admit: 1989 is me. Everyone has a Taylor Swift album that speaks most to their soul, and 1989 fucking nailed it.

In some ways, I feel that 2015 has been my own personal 1989 year. Maybe it’s because, for the first time, I’ve really related to Taylor Swift’s music on a more mature and understanding level. This album is a piece of true modern art, a statement of pop poise and control, of romantic ideals paired with painful heartbreak, which is then coupled with renewal and self-restoration. As I’ve gone through this year, I’ve changed and grown so much. When this album was first released 12 months ago, I was a totally different human living a totally different life. And now I’m sitting here, writing this, listening to “Wildest Dreams” and thinking, “Wow, I never thought I could apply this to my life ever, but I can attach these lyrics to actual memories.” Like what the FUCK, Taylor Swift?!

1989 is a huge emotional mess, which is a lot like me too. Although it was written as a satirical response to tabloid gossip regarding Taylor Swift’s personal life, I (sadly) identify with the insane, jealous girl described in “Blank Space”. I have almost tweeted the lyrics to “I Wish You Would” like, a bajillion times, and I have the drafts to prove it. I stopped listening to “Style” for a couple months because it reminded me too much of someone I didn’t want to be reminded of. I secretly want to be betrayed so I can live out my Selena Gomez “Bad Blood” fantasy. There’s a lyric in “I Know Places” that says, “I know for me, it’s always you,” and I’ve felt that about someone.

Sometimes, listening to 1989 is painful. It reminds me of feeling sad, of crying in my car, on the treadmill, in my bed (okay, I cry a lot while listening to Taylor Swift). It drags me back through some of my lowest moments, reminds me of New York, pours salt into wounds that are still super fresh.

But then I sit in my car in the pouring rain and listen to “Clean” and I realize that, as the year begins to come to a close, everything that has happened has led me to this peak, this moment of extreme clarity in which I really am changed and washed away of everything that hasn’t served me for the better. Sometimes we’re meant to be dragged through our low moments so we can rise again. I think, in its most pure form, 1989 begins with a story of romantic love, and ends with a story of self-realization and acceptance. And I think I am finally clean.

Juice Cleansing for Dummies

In my eyes, if you want to be a truly bad bitch, you MUST complete the following:

1) Wear a shit ton of lipstick (the darker the better — NYX Butter lipstick in ‘Licorice’ is choice)

2) Watch AT LEAST one full season of Sex and the City. Season one is a good starter. The movie does not count.


Juice cleansing has gotten a bad reputation in modern culture, primarily due to lack of education on the subject. Many people believe cleansing is actually unhealthy for your body, and equate it to “starving yourself.” Meanwhile, others are pretty intense about juicing and swear by it, doing cleanses once a month or even more.

However, the hottest (and most correct) take on juice cleansing is this: there’s really no evidence that proves whether or not doing a juice cleanse gives you any real or long-lasting health benefits. This doesn’t mean doing a juice cleanse is bad for you by any means. Quite simply, juice cleansing doesn’t do much to your body at all. A good source of information on juice cleansing can be found here.

Now, knowing this, you might be wondering why I cleanse anyways. To be blunt, I don’t really know. I’m still convinced it’s a “purifier,” despite the fact that this has been proven otherwise. I cleanse to restart my body and metabolism, to refresh after eating poorly over the course of weeks or months, and (even though it’s “wrong”) to lose water weight fast if I have a big event or something coming up. Sue me, you hags! I just love a nice juice cleanse!

My cleanse of choice, the Suja Fresh Start, incorporates 6 juices a day into a 1, 3, or 5-day cleanse. Half of the juices are green, one is red (from fucking BEETS, so don’t get excited), one is orange (from carrots, so *angel emoji*) and one is a “dessert juice,” made from almond milk, honey, vanilla, and other yummy things. Overall, only two of the juices aren’t great, and the rest are BOMB. The juices couldn’t be tastier if they tried (okay, if they tasted like ice cream, they would be better, but this is a HEALTHY CLEANSE, people, not an ice cream cleanse, which admittedly would be fun).

My first juice cleansing experience was primarily for journalistic purposes, as I chronicled my journey for The Mash. If you read that article, you’d know that I pretty much HATED the cleanse and felt actually ill by Day 3. I thought I was strong, but I was a weak baby bitch, and the juice cleanse beat my ass.

I thought I was a weak baby bitch then, and then I tried doing a 1-day cleanse again the day before my senior prom and it was an enormous failure. I didn’t even make it to the dinner juice — I peaced the FUCK OUT and ate a Chipotle burrito in like .4328943 seconds flat.

My third attempt was this past November in New York, before I came home for Thanksgiving. Again, I opted for a 1-day, a purely financial decision (juice clean$ing ain’t cheap). At this point, I’d lost about 15 pounds and was working out every day, so I was in a much healthier place than I’d been when cleansing before. Because of this, the cleanse was MUCH easier, and I actually enjoyed it a little bit.

Last week, I completed the 3-day cleanse yet again. After eating/drinking like a total bro for a week when my sister was home, and with the knowledge that I would have to wear a bathing suit at my friend’s lakehouse, I knew I had to whip my ass into shape and purify myself on some level, so a juice cleanse was the answer.

The juice cleanse is a challenge, ya’ll. I’m not going to lie to you. It’s incredibly hard, mainly because

1) Processed foods run the world, and your body isn’t necessarily used to something so pure and natural

2) Your mind and body are conditioned to chewing and consuming warm food, so taking in exclusively cold liquid is a shock to the system

and 3) Every food is better when you can’t have it.

It’s even harder if you aren’t necessarily “healthy” or traditionally healthy, meaning you’re active, eat (mainly) clean, and have a normal BMI. A lot of people (myself included!) feel totally sick when cleansing, which means headaches, hunger pains, and if you’re really unhealthy, flu-like symptoms.

But I’m here to say………………because of my weight loss and more active lifestyle, the cleanse was EASY. AS. FUCK. I’m not kidding! It was so easy I could cry. I honestly never believed I would love cleansing so much, but this was a delight.

The juices tasted fresher than ever, and I had serious energy. In my previous cleanse attempts, I had been absolutely exhausted by mid-day and could barely move. This time around, I was doing my usual two-hour workouts while cleansing and felt like I had even more energy to burn. It was on point.

However, there are inevitable challenges with any fad/crash diet. For one, I was consuming more calories than usual, so I did have a weird weight fluctuation throughout the three days. Another issue I came across was feeling absolutely DEAD by the end of the day, but that was around 10:00 PM, which is when I’m usually ready to ball out and go to bed anyways.

The biggest challenge was when me and my best friend went to the movies on the last night of my cleanse. We’re huge eaters. One night we ate 5 different desserts in one sitting. We’ve spent over $60 at a restaurant that isn’t that expensive just so we could use a coupon to get $20 off our meal. We could probably win an eating competition if we tag-teamed. So when we went to Studio Movie Grill to see Aloha, Cara got wings and a brownie sundae…and I had to wait until the movie was almost over before I could even drink my dessert juice. I almost quit, but I persevered, and that made the end of the cleanse even sweeter. But I was like super sad in that moment and almost went to the bathroom and cried. CLEANSING IS FUN.

Overall, juice cleansing is an interesting experience, and one I recommend trying at least once in your life. If you have any questions, hit me up over @bizzyems on Twitter.


2015 is almost halfway over already and my life has gone through some MAJOR changes! Because I’m self-obsessed and need to talk about myself every second in order to survive, and (mainly) because I live in a small, gossipy town, I thought I’d finally open up about what’s been going on with me now that the semester has come to a close. Though I’m not sure if I’m totally comfortable sharing this side of my personal life in such a public way, I think it’s important to clarify some things.

After crying a million tears, stressing, listening to a ton of rap music, and working out like a crazy person so I don’t fall into a pit of my own despair, I’m finally ready to let ya’ll know: I’m transferring to the University of Missouri in the fall!

Journalism is (and always will be) my one true bae, and I know that I’ll be able to better pursue and express this passion at Mizzou. I can’t wait for all of the new academic opportunities I’ll be able to explore in a field I really love, and to be surrounded by others who are just as excited about journalism as I am.

“Uhhh but bitch, isn’t journalism a big deal at NYU, and aren’t there plenty of opportunities in New York?” Yes and yes! Unfortunately, I wasn’t accepted as a journalism major at NYU (major bummer) and instead was accepted into an alternative program where I would be a liberal studies major. I didn’t really internalize this rejection and instead celebrated getting into my “dream school,” kind of convincing myself that being in New York City and being at NYU was enough. OBVIOUSLY this was a big mistake, and I realized pretty early on that being held back from classes and subjects that really interest me (and being stuck in such a restrictive program) was extremely overwhelming and just felt wrong.

Of course NOTHING CAN EVER WORK OUT WELL FOR ME and after deciding to transfer, I found out that most of the credits I earned at NYU would only count as elective credits at Mizzou. Because I want to graduate college in four years (and because NYU tuition is no fucking joke $$$), I made the incredibly difficult decision to withdraw from NYU and fill requirements at a community college near home this semester. Over the past few months, I’ve been working, taking classes online, going to hot yoga every day and watching a shit ton of Mad Men. It’s been super lonely and extremely boring, but it’s okay.

It took a lot of guts to let go of my NYC dreams, and I still love the city SO MUCH and miss it every day. I feel confident that I’ll spend time living, working, brunching and being my cheap-ass Carrie Bradshaw-self in New York City later in life, and that’ll be the right time for be to be doing that. It really does come down to bad timing and bad luck, but I accept that and know things will be different at some point.

Even though I have struggled so much with this decision, and I have been incredibly hard to deal with these past few months, I’ve never felt more loved and supported! I have to thank my parents, for hauling my ass out of New York and believing in me (but I’m still pissed ya’ll fucked up my Game of Thrones on the DVR), my very best pals who let me crash in their dorm rooms and let me be a college freshman with them on their campuses, and for my “extended family” for feeding me ice cream and taking me on Florida vacations.

So, that’s me! Despite all of this, I’m ready to move on with my life and go back to “being in college,” and stop having people around town say stuff to me like, “Oh, I heard your home………you look so good, though!” YOU BET YOUR ASS I LOOK GOOD.


I love selfies. They’re the biggest breakthrough in photography since (arguably) the invention of the camera itself. I find it difficult to think of any images that satisfy me more than selfies.

Many adults (and plenty of teens — primarily boys) are extremely critical of the selfie, accusing these shots of being vain, or obnoxious, or embarrassing. Taking a selfie in private is conceited; taking a selfie in public is humiliating. Your friends will call you out if they catch you posing for a Snapchat at a party, and posting more than one selfie on any form of social media within a given set of days (maybe weeks) could very well make you a social pariah.

Obviously, I do not share these views. I fucking love selfies. Unfortunately, these are just the social stigmas attached to front-facing photographs. But why? What’s the point of being so cynical about a truly honest self-portrait? If Van Gogh had an iPhone, you bet your ass he would be snapping selfies all damn day. Van Gogh would probably give up painting if he had Snapchat.

Selfies are, in a broad sense, an artistic movement. In an article regarding Kim Kardashian’s new selfie-portrait book, Selfishcontributor David Wallace-Wells said, “Over the last year or two, the selfie’s actually also undergone exactly the kind of category reimagining we’ve been talking about — from punch line and sign of end of culture to subject we can’t stop thinking about as a majorly meaningful relic of the present day.”

What do selfies say about the present day? How will they echo into the next generations? No doubt, they’ll continue to evolve — look at how far they’ve come in just a short amount of time: from the addition of front-facing cameras on iPhones to the newest development in selfie technology, the selfie stick. We see people on college campuses and in Times Square and on the beach using these arm-extenders, and we make fun of them. But maybe they’re just trying to include all of their friends in a picture, or are enjoying a family vacation, or just want to take the best version of a photo that they can without having to ask a stranger to take the picture for them. Maybe they’re just having fun by taking a photograph in which they can be their most authentic selves.

I don’t just love selfies. I love celebrity selfies. These are pictures that let us into the most personal parts of their lives — sometimes without makeup, sometimes with a dog, sometimes late at night. We could have photoshopped pictures of Kylie Jenner on the cover of Cosmo, looking kind of robotic, or we could have her selfie videos on Snapchat, which are hilarious and gorgeous and turn her into a human person rather than a caricature. A huge part of why culture has begun to embrace selfies can be accredited to the Kardashian-Jenner family. It’s noteworthy and kind of commendable that they’ve let us into their lives in such a specific way with their reality show, yet there is still something special about a Kardashian selfie. It reveals so much, and allows us to see them from a different perspective, which is entirely the point of a selfie.

Personally, I don’t like posing for pictures. It causes a lot of drama among family and friends, but I’m a very self-conscious person, and I don’t like seeing pictures and feeling uncomfortable with the way I look. A selfie gives me complete and total control — I dictate the angle, the lighting, the way my hair and face looks. I can delete and not have to worry about it being posted anywhere if I don’t like it. It’s a photograph completely for me.

I recently started a blog where I post my different outfits and selfies, most of them taken while on my break at work. I used to have this selfie blog locked, in which it was only accessible by entering a password. What’s the point of that? In writing this post, I’ve realized that I need to completely detach any shame from my selfies. Why should I, or anyone, feel embarrassed or “self-obsessed” for wanting to share the photos in which we feel our very best? Posting a selfie takes the highest level of confidence. It is, to a degree, a vulnerable image of ourselves that we reveal uncomfortably, and that we try to joke about when we do — “Haha, I posted a selfie, I’m so fake.” Let’s drop that stigma. Let’s be proud to share our selfies.

Spring Fever

Even though I hate being vulnerable and admitting to my weaknesses, I’m totally getting an F in life right now. I have no shows I’m binge-watching on Netflix, I’m dehydrated 200% of the time, and my skin is definitely lacking in brightness. Despite all of this, I have found that I am feeling more Pisces than ever and I just bought new bras, which amps life up to an entirely different plane of existence. Also, I’m getting like, 15,000 steps a day according to my Fitbit, so maybe I’m getting more of a C- in life. In any event, things are looking up, it’s almost summer, and majority of people still find me incredibly annoying, so not much as changed.

This weekend, me and Cara went over to Purdue to visit our gal pals and see John Mulaney (my favorite comedian) do his new stand-up show in Indianapolis. Here, me and Abby looking fierce while posing against a wall. I’m still debating whether or not I look skinny in this picture, so I’ll let ya’ll be the judge.

“I know the eyes are the windows to the soul or whatever, but the real crux of the moment was not just that I was really seeing someone, but that I was seeing someone really seeing me. Once I embraced the terror of this realization and gave it time to subside, I arrived somewhere unexpected.” 

Last month, I went to Florida for a week of sun, shopping, and SHRIMP with one of my top home girls, Kate, her mom, and her grandma. I reached peak sunburn levels and ate some truly incredible ice cream, and I now feel the Florida sunset in my heart always.

Mad Men is absolutely my favorite TV show of all time! I feel an extremely real, soulful and spiritual connection to pretty much every character — Peggy is my professional aspirations, Megan is my beauty goals, Betty is my bitch icon and Sally is my teenage dream. Also, I am definitely as insane as Michael Ginsberg, if not more?

Current anthem: “Sucker” by Charli XCX

Rihanna at Coachella is what I want to be when I grow up

Broad City is so perfect! I really could wax poetic about this show for hours at a time. Though it’s similar to Girls, I find that the comedy and earnestness of BC allows it to be more relatable. Likewise, its portrayal of female body positivity isn’t so self-serving and blatant — it just is what it is, and what it is is awesome.

Things I feel [100 emoji] about:

– Being Pisces: This is a totally new feeling for me because, for majority of my life, I’ve been very disconnected from the Pisces agenda — and a Buzzfeed quiz once told me I was a Gemini, so that didn’t help the situation. But I’ve found that being a Pisces relies pretty heavily on being deeply emotional but simultaneously emotionless, which pretty much hits the nail on the head when it comes to me. Though I’m definitely not a “go with the flow” water sign type, I’m seeing more of myself in these Tumblr astrology posts when it comes to Pisces, and that’s progress.

– My tan Old Navy booties: These shoes had to have been created by God and then FedEx next-day shipped to Old Navy because they are truly the workings of a higher power. I wear them pretty much every day and am continually impressed by their durability, cuteness, and ability to make my legs look long. The only downside is that they’re a size too big, but that’s my fault, not yours, Old Navy booties. I love you SO much.

– Sharing things on Facebook: I wish more people shared things on their Facebook profiles. In the past month alone, I’ve shared everything from a funny clip from Late Night to the new True Detective promo. Just mere minutes ago, I shared a cute picture of Dave and James Franco. I love enriching others with articles that I find interesting or short videos that are funny. Social media is the Millennials window to the soul, and I want everyone to share their soul with me.

– Dunkin Donuts: There are no words for my obsession with this coffee. I normally go for a medium French Vanilla coffee, black, with two Splendas, but sometimes I go for iced coffee if I’m feeling like a true bitch. Me and Cara sometimes go after work and drink coffee at 10 PM and do homework, and it is truly a delightful space of time to share in a friendship.

– Scott motherfucking Eastwood: I just saw The Longest Ride this afternoon and while it was easily one of the stupidest plots I’ve ever sat through (THAT ENDING!), I feel free admitting I legitimately had tears come to my eyes when I saw this man’s face. I think he transcends all former notions I had of what boys are supposed to look like. I think he is a new species of human. I think we, as the human race, don’t deserve him.

Here I am, the emoji bitch!

I hate Jason Derulo so so much, but this song is magic wrapped in fire sprinkled with diamond dust.

I am deeply troubled by the loss of Zayn Malik from One Direction. However, I guess I can understand why someone would want to escape the drudgery of incredible wealth, millions of hot girls, and the aesthetic beauty of a Greek god. Everyone has their lifestyle preferences. I wish you luck in your new life, Zayn, and, as a boy once told me via Snapchat, “At least Harry is still there.”

“In my head I describe the feeling as a wave, the scouring emptiness, like a shell that has been washed entirely clean of its old mucous self and exists only as an outline of its contents. Eventually even that feeling recedes into a sea of other feelings. Eventually I feel nothing except for myself burning and burning away.”

I found this quote on Tumblr, and I feel so strongly about it: “Accept the fact that you will grow apart from people you’ve had significant relationships with. Understand when someone no longer positively affects your life. Let them go. Don’t hinder your growth.”

Me in a nutshell.

Year in Review: 2014

I made it another year on this toxic earth!!! Years are so long and I’m so tired of life on a constant basis, but I had so much fun and was happy like a kitten in the sun for most of 2014. Yes, I cry a lot and yes, I’m literally a high-functioning goth, but I’ve been listening to an almost inappropriate amount of Taylor Swift and that kind of balances me out.

Here’s to another year of singing “Blank Space” dramatically when alone in the car, eating deep dish pizza, not changing the months on my calendar ever, and trying to get my friends to hold hands with me in public because I like being held.

My 2014 Year in Review:

The most important thing that happened to me this year, obviously, was leaving for college and starting a brand-new life in New York City. On the grand scale of the world, I see myself as a very small rat, so being in the city is weird.

Other important life changes: Dyed my hair upwards of 10 times, painted my nails the same color for four straight months, wore jeans a lot more than I wanted to, got a variety of intense and unexplained bruises, had to take two showers a day to stay warm, and picked up a new eye twitch in my lower right lid. One thing that remained the same: I am always pale.

I saw so many life-affirming and life-changing pieces of entertainment in 2014:

Boyhood easily became one of my favorite movies of all time. For being such a huge, sprawling film, it still manages to feel very quaint and intimate and personal. I want to wrap myself up in this movie like a warm blanket and just sit there and never ever have to move ever again. That’s how Boyhood makes you feel.

I really like to pimp out my love of Guardians of the Galaxy all over the internet, and in real life, too, because it’s the best Marvel movie of all time! Okay, maybe that’s a big statement, but F what you heard about The Avengers — this squad is prime. Set to a galactic backdrop, it’s the most colorful comic book film in recent memory, with bursts of vibrant purples and greens, and can we talk about the soundtrack? Also, I cried like a little bb when Chris Pratt opened the gift from his dead mom and his sweet eyes filled with tears as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” played.

Have we discussed how I am Amazing Amy? I am such a crazy bitch! I want to Gone Girl myself! Amy Dunne gets such a bad rep for being an insane murderer, but I kind of think she’s fierce as hell (disclaimer: not promoting murderers here, just appreciate a powerful woman). Gone Girl wasn’t just a highlight of my year — it changed my life.

This is also one of my most favorite scenes ever in a movie (but Whiplash is filled with gripping, memorable scenes that I wish I could play over and over for the rest of my life):

2014 was also cool because we had FOUR SNOW DAYS!!!! Remembering this is very weird, because knowing I was still in high school for most of last year is very weird. Life is very weird! I’m very weird! And that’s why I’ll probably never find love.

Speaking of never finding love, 2014 was THE YEAR OF THE JUICE CLEANSE. For three days last January, I put my life and well-being on the line in the name of liquid kale, and it was both magical and deathly. I did it two times again later in the year, and here is my pro-tip: DON’T DO IT.

Amazing TV shows I binge-watched in 2014Veep, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, True Detective, Girls, Moone Boy, 30 Rock, Scrubs. Socially, I think this was the year I peaked!

Some things in pop culture that made me LOL/cry this year:

– Zac Efron breaking his jaw after “slipping on water from the fountain in his house”

– Justin Bieber getting arrested

– Pharrell’s hat

– The McConnaisance

– The Lego Movie

– Almost anything Selena Gomez did

– Bob Costas having pink eye while doing Sochi coverage, Sochi coverage, Sochi in general

– Barkhad Abdi

– The Oscars selfie that no one even offered to photoshop me into


– When Frank Ocean squared up against Chipotle

– Zac Efron getting in a punching brawl with a homeless man on Skid Row in LA

– Being so annoyed during every second of The Fault In Our Stars and then crying like a big idiot for a few hours after it ended

– Everyone finally realizing that How I Met Your Mother is pretty much the shittiest thing on television

– Conscious uncoupling

– Lindsay Lohan’s sex list being real

– Adam Driver running a fight club while in high school

– The new adorable little rolling droid from Star Wars VII

– Ben Affleck getting kicked out of a casino for counting cards

– When James Franco literally stopped giving a damn

– The amount of time it took for Johnny Football to be drafted to the Browns, Johnny Football and everything he chooses to be

– Zac Efron’s character in Neighbors having an entire season of Girls saved to his DVR

– When Solange squared up against Jay Z in the elevator

– Miles Teller doing the same juice cleanse as me (S/O TO SUJA!)

– That moment when I found out Eddie Redmayne was playing Stephen Hawking and I was so confused but then I saw The Theory of Everything and cried a million tears

– Rob Kardashian not attending Kim’s wedding 😦 BUT THE KIMYE WEDDING IN GENERAL!!!

– 2/5 of One Direction smokin weed and filming it

– Harry Styles becoming a kabalist because of course that makes sense

– Miley Cyrus going absolutely insane over the death of her dog Floyd

– Chris Martin ending his vegetarianism post-breakup from GOOP

– Jonah Hill officiating Adam Levine’s wedding

– Chris Pratt french braiding hair


– Justin Bieber nominating Obama for the Ice Bucket Challenge

– Hello Kitty being a girl and not a cat

– Brangelina wedding

– Every single fucking thing Ariana Grande did

– Pete Davidson

– Marnie the Dog’s rise to fame

– Nicki Minaj’s new album


– Kate Middleton getting pregnant again

– Taylor Swift’s birthday party

– And everything that occurred with The Interview, INCLUDING The Interview itself.

One of my favorite things in 2014 were my friends. Never before have I been included in a group of people who are so unabashedly supportive and loving, and I’m constantly worried that my self-hatred/pessimism/angst is too much for them (LOL). Every time I screw up (all the time!) they are the first people to send a heart emoji or get ice cream with me. Because of what they do for me, I’m able to start being better to myself, and that’s also a change in my life. I am so unironically #blessed to be loved in this way, and I hope in 2015, I can be a better friend to them.


Maybe this is weird to talk about because weight is “weird” but I lost 25 pounds in 2014 between July and December (but I didn’t actually start actively trying to lose weight until October)! Honestly, it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, because I legitimately think I am addicted to food, but I’m sure it’ll be “rewarding” in the long run. I also feel more beautiful so I guess that’s good! But don’t worry, my self-confidence is still very very low, almost nonexistent.

Taylor Swift has obviously run my life since I was 11-years-old, but I think she hit me hardest in 2014. 1989 is one of the most bombass albums of our generation, and it has changed me into the woman I am today. The song I feel most strongly about is (duh) “Blank Space,” because I am very emotional when it comes to boys and their Snapchat best friends. Also, for the first time, I feel like I can relate to Taylor Swift songs, which is literally insane because how could I ever relate to a Taylor Swift song, I am not a small white cat or someone who is worthy of being loved.

2014 was also the year I went to three One Direction concerts, and it was a delight. I hope I am at a level of being in which no one can make fun of me for how much I love One Direction anymore, since I am so confident and forthcoming in my passion for Harry Styles and his long flowing hair. Why is his hair nicer than me? How much does his shampoo cost? Is it Yves Saint Laurent like everything else he owns?

Overall, 2014 was a pretty great year, and though filled with ups and downs, I will treasure it in my heart forever. 2015 has already been the hardest year of my life (AND WE’RE ONLY A MONTH IN, SO IT CAN ONLY GO UP FROM HERE, RIGHT? NO I’M NOT SWEATING) so being able to look back on fun memories fills my heart with joy, like I’ve just eaten a Portillo’s chopped salad. Thanks to everyone who supported me in 2014, whether it was with school work, reading my blog or my articles, responding to my Snapchats or complimenting me on my tweets; your support means the absolute world to me always. A lot of people often say to me, “I wish I had your life!!!” but trust me, my feet are always cold and I once awkwardly yelled, “MILES TELLER, CAN I HAVE A HIGH-FIVE????”

Happy 2015!