๏ปฟIs Social Media Killing The Real You?

With the invention and popularity of a variety of social media outlets, it has become common that more people spend time on their phones than on in person social interactions. We aim to impress people we’ve never met, we want to put out a good image. We creat false personas to be idolized. And some of us follow. Following trends is no longer limited to fashion. Nowadays even thoughts are trending.

Social media, a great connector and alternative to normal media outlets, is poisoned with opinions and judgements of everyday people. Objectivity is a long forgotten concept. Comment boxes and likes destroy lives, careers, relationships, and more. It has even become difficult to differentiate between true historical facts and current news from fabricated ones. 

Social media really makes it hard for some people to have original thoughts. A Facebook/Instagram/Twitter post should not dictate your friendships, relationships, sex, or your opinion. It shouldn’t be to shame you for your lifestyle choices. There isn’t only one way to be something or do something. I also feel like some people don’t even have real opinions anymore. They just latch on to what’s trending on social media. They don’t express their true feelings out of fear of being attacked online. 
Feelings are also touchy with the emergence of social media. Faithfulness and trust often come into question with the ability to keep up with your exes, like photos of other attractive people, and express your every thought. People post about their partners when they’re angry, inviting others into their bedrooms. People post about their partners when they’re happy, inviting jealousy. They are able to keep in touch with exes, even if not on purpose. They are able to follow, like, and DM people who they find attractive. Too many ways to destroy the sacredness of a partnership.

Many people’s aspirations have been r ducked to achieving internet fame. Whether it be YouTube or Instagram, platforms that pay popular users for advertising, content, etc, it has become a job for some people. It makes it easier to become famous but harder to become skilled or valued. 

Social media is for popularity, not for love or stability. It’s not even for originality. 


When Your Culture is a Trend for Sale

Cultural appropriation is when someone, outside of a culture, takes credit for creations of that culture. For example: 

When Kim Kardashian started wearing CORNROWS/CANEROWS/STRAIGHT-BACKS, she was given credit for this style that is popular amongst African American males and females of all ages. It is a style that we wore as children, that we wear as a protective style as an adult, etc. Cosmpolitan magazine, MTV, and other Kardashian loving outlets rudely renamed the style as “boxer braids”. Why? No, cornrows are not exclusive to African Americans but it is a style we are well known for and a decades old hairstyle. These media outlets have done it countless times especially when it pertains to the Kardashian sisters, who one could argue wish they were black. This happens often with a lot of other black created fashion. HOWEVER, sometimes I believe it is innocent. The media outlet. Whatever writer, stylist, or designer is one who coins a new term for the pre existing style without giving credit. Sometimes the wearers are innocently caught in the cross fire. Having no prior knowledge they go with what they see.

One of my classmates during my Spring semester in NYC was an example of this. She’s Asian. She was always fun and quirky. The class was pretty diverse, there were two black students (myself and another girl), a couple white, a couple East Indians (India, Pakistan, etc), and different Spanish (Mexican, Puerto Rican) students. One day my Asian friend, came in raving about boxer braids. She saw them on Kim K and had to try them. the other black girl and I gave her an incredulous look and corrected her. “You mean cornrows?” She said yea and gave a half apology. She was joking and didn’t note the seriousness of it. Although she recognized the absurdity and cultural appropriation of the term. I even braided her hair which was difficult. Unlike the curl unless and coarseness of African American hair, Asian and European hair tend to be silky, too silky to hold a braid. She was happy and I brushed of being slightly offended because technically she was just a victim of our media.

But the term “culture appropriation” and the saying  “everybody wanna be black til it’s time to be black” honestly annoys me. I feel like people literally call anything cultural appropriation these days & black people seem to think we’re immune from appropriating other cultures. It’s 2016, social media dictates everything, what’s popular is what’s popular. If hairstyles, clothing, songs, etc are trending PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DO IT IF THEY LIKE IT REGARDLESS OF THEIR RACE. Unlike prior decades, African American culture is pretty accepted in mainstream media. African American culture is not the same as African culture. So a lot of things are no longer exclusive to black people. We are not the only culture that experiences this stealing of culture. It’s 2016 and people still dress like Native Americans for Halloween, traditional Indian/middle eastern cultural clothing is still worn for wedding themes (saris, etc). Moccasins are popular shoes but native Americans don get credit for those.  Just because someone wants to wear braids, doesn’t mean they have to support the struggle. The dashiki shirts aren’t even authentic, y’all don’t buy it from the African guy who sits in the braiding salon or has a shop selling them, everyone only started wearing them because they became popular. 

Images of the Kardashians are used because they are currently the faces of cultural appropriation with “boxer braids”, fake butts, etc. 

It’s The End of Food As We Know It

What happened to normal foods? There are food flavored chips (classic NY Reuben Lays anyone?), cookies flavored like other delectable sweets (blueberry pie Oreos), burgers with buns made of ramen noodles! There are sushi burritos, rainbow bagels, birthday cake croissants, Doritos taco shells, food has gotten out of hand… Or into the hands of some mad scientist. Creativity in cuisine is at an all time high and New York City is the epicenter of these strange concoctions.

Our society is currently consumed by technology and desperate for instant gratification. Social media has made everything into a show. So it’s not entirely strange that restaurants and food distributors are creating all these new flavors and mixes. It’s constant competition. 

Companies like Oreo and Chips Ahoy are specifically known for vanilla creme filling and plenty of chocolate chips. However, amidst the emergence of cupcake and donut popularity, new cookie companies,and just a lot more options, they’ve resorted to gimmicks. Yesterday, while shopping at my local supermarket, I was shocked by how many different flavors of cookies there were! Peanut butter, blueberry pie, mint, birthday cake, red velvet, s’mores, chocolate filled cupcake, fruity crisp, and the list goes on.

In America, obesity is always a topic of discussion. The U.S cracks the top ten list of countries with highest obesity. The U.S also has high rates of heart disease and diabetes. Gluten- free products are increasingly popular and so is a vegan lifestyle. Yet and still more and more unhealthy options arise. Temptation is at its best when dining out. 

But what is a hungry girl to do? There are soooo many options in food these days. So many tantalizing brand new crossover dishes. My suggestion is when you buy those chocolate chip Oreos, is that you share with a friend. After all, sharing is caring and food makes us happy! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‹

P.S. The featured image is the “Mac & Cheese Burger” from the Ainsworth Midtown.