There are two things in this world that I hold near to my heart— outside of family and friends. Those two items are makeup and animals. I love stepping into Ulta and admiring the beautiful clean glow, women of all ages trying on new colors, and the store always split between drugstore and high-end products. I don’t wear it often, but I love applying it and feeling more confident in myself after.
As of recently, I have learned the term “cruelty-free makeup.” Prior to researching I had never put too much thought into how makeup was made, the standards used to put it on the market, or where it had come from. I had never thought that some of my favorite brands tested on animals before putting the product onto the market.
Gender Trouble by Judith Butler, published in 1999, is a key text for feminist theory, queer theory, and continental philosophy. She wrote several other books on gender and has a position as a professor at the University of California Berkeley. Her books are regarded as difficult to read due to their long, unstructured sentences and many references to other philosophers that it is assumed the reader knows. Regardless, I still think her work is valuable because of its contributions to the larger field of gender theory and how we think about gender today. I will give a summary of Gender Trouble, explaining the concepts she covers.
A women wearing a traditional Mexican pattern dress . Source:Aliexpress
By Valeria Ramirez
The new and latest trend of 2017 is taking and profiting on culture’s traditional clothing that many companies and fashion designers are being praised for as their “new” and “innovative” ideas. Many of these ideas are taken from Mexico’s indigenous tribes and Native Americans just for the sake of fashion. In what world is it okay to use one’s culture and profiting it from it for a high amount of money? Recently I saw Toms was selling a pair of huaraches for the low price of $129. You can get the exact pair in Mexico, which are handmade by the person selling them, for around 80 pesos, in dollars that are roughly $4.
So, Toms is making 30 times the amount for the original. My problem with this is that when buying the original your helping the family and appreciating the work that the seller is putting out. While Toms is mass producing a product that can be easily made for a profit. This type of style of sandal is a traditional staple in Mexican culture that has ties with the indigenous culture of Mexico. Toms is not the only company that is guilty of this capitalistic fraud, other stores such as Urban Outfitters and Victoria’s Secret have been using Native American culture to make a profit. These corporations tailor to an audience where they prefer a more “indie” type of style.
I was recently sitting in one of my Journalism and Mass Media courses “interviewing” one of the female faculty here on campus who is a professor in the JAMM major, and something struck me as she spoke. During the “interview,” she spoke about the fact that female journalists find it hard to get ahead in the industry not only because of sexism within it, but also because being successful as a journalist while also having a family is extremely difficult. She said that because it’s incredibly difficult to be a journalist and report on breaking news if you have children that need to be taken care of and can’t travel freely. Now, since I want to be a successful journalist while also having a family, this concerned me. It made me think that there is the possibility that I will have to give up one for the other. Continue reading “Love or Livelihood: Women’s Choice?”→
This is a story about crying and feeling. When I was a little, little girl, I would cry so often and so hard that I was gasping for air, and then I would pass out. Later, as a child, and especially as an adolescent, I was ashamed of crying. I saw it as a manifestation of my own weaknesses, exposed for the whole watching world to witness. I tried to convince myself that I should not feel or care about anything because then I would never be hurt enough to cry. I held my tears in for months at a time, only for them burst out violently when least expected, when they had been held in for too long. I had developed an elaborate metaphor to justify this, involving stuffing a suitcase so full of emotions that I had to sit on it just to keep it closed. When I did cry, the suitcase exploded, and all the things I had been holding in for the past six months would have to be unpacked, in the same way that one unpacks a suitcase when they are at their destination. Typically, this occurred while laughing because, for me, laughing and crying are fundamentally connected. Laughing is a way of crying that is more socially acceptable. Both are a feeling of bodily release of emotions. I would laugh so hard that I could not breath, then the laughing would come too close to the feeling of crying, and I would start sobbing. When this happened, it was very confusing for my companions and me because my laughing and crying noise sound scarily similar. Honestly, this still happens sometimes, and my laughing and crying still sound remarkable similar. However, this year, I understand the flaws in all of this logic. I know that crying is good. I know that expressing emotion is healthy. I know that feeling and caring is better than the alternative. I know that being vulnerable is valuable. I revel in my emotion.
My first year of college has been the best and the worst time that I’ve experienced in my life. The first time I came to the University of Idaho, I was amazed of how easily I connected with people. No matter what type of differences that a person had, I always find a way to connect with them. Aside from that I knew I was in for an experience; it was the first time that I was on my own. I had to deal with problems head on without the help of my parents and deal with my own self in many social situations.
The first few months were the hardest to deal with on my own. I’ve dealt with the multiple responsibilities of balancing my bank account and dealing with homesickness that lasted for over a month. My family is my top priority and my greatest motivator, without them I felt lost. That homesickness crept on me by surprise and kept me from growing as a person. The only way to cure my homesickness is by spending all of my time studying and finishing my assignments that lasted into the late-night hour. I suffered the consequences automatically, and I started to fall asleep in most of my classes. I was sleep-deprived and couldn’t focus on any of my classes. It became a real problem for the majority of the time I was here. I knew that the only way to fix this problem was by changing my work schedule and have time for myself and time to sleep. I saw a huge change in my behavior and the way I acted and how much improved in myself.
I started to go out more and joined various of clubs that kept me busy in a socially. I’ve made countless of friends that I would never have met if it wasn’t for me joining those clubs. These organizations showed me more about my culture and gave me an understanding about myself. I soon became more proud of where I come from and more vocal about the social issues that are happening around me. Being aware of the many situations that my own culture is going through was an awakening experience. I realized that I wanted to do more for my community, I wanted to give a voice for those who are voiceless. I always had that dream of protecting immigrants from those who are trying to keep them from staying here. Now I want to expand that by helping farmworkers battle the unfair treatment they go through. Joining these organizations made me aware of myself and the struggles of others. Even joining this team of wonderful writers exposed the many struggles that women undergo through. I have finally realized new things about myself and the many ways that I can speak up.
College is and always will be the greatest thing that has happened to me so far, even though I might be spending hours on an assignment and dealing with sleep deprivation that follows. The one thing that college has given me is a clear identity of who I am. I met people from different backgrounds and heard their stories. I’ve realized what type of privileges that I have and what I don’t. Understanding people is what gave me the inspiration to do whatever it takes to help that person reach social equity. I am grateful for the journey that I had so far and the years that I have to come.
One of my best friends got her first tattoo at 19. It was on her foot and it said Hakuna Matata. This set something off in me, a desire to do something permeant like that. But I was not brave like my friend, I stuck to poking holes in my ears. Then came the movement when thousands of women, all at once, went out and got, she persisted, tattooed on themselves. My friend was strange, exotic, how could she a young woman who still lived at home get a tattoo. No one else I knew lived life so dangerously. Women, it had always seemed to me, did not get tattoos; it was not only morally wrong but would also lead to regret. These women were not women you wanted to be associated with, they were sluts, they had no sense of foresight, they’re boring, or they’re just mentally ill or selfish. Continue reading “Tattoos and Women”→