Should Artwork Be Censored On College Campuses?

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Photo of The Naked Lady Project

A little while ago one of my roommates told me that her friend was shooting for a project called, “The Naked Lady Project.” These portraits are about empowering women; all body shapes and sizes, this concept is about being inclusive and was tastefully presented.

Lauren, the artist behind the project, got approved by our university to display her art in our library, and while it has only been up for a few days, it has already started a conversation we should not even be having.

There are rumors that certain offices are trying to have the project taken down, and Lauren herself is aware of two official complaints that have been filed to the university.

BUT WHY?

These portraits are about empowering women in their most authentic form. Not only is the community trying to get Lauren’s photo stripped from their display, but social media has also had it taken down. Facebook and Instagram have both gotten her posts about the project taken down, and even my Instagram story about the project was removed for not “following community guidelines.”

I’ve also noticed throughout Instagram that pretty often photographers censor their photographs so that they won’t be taken down. This in and of itself is extremely frustrating to me. Having to censor your own works of art, because the “community” finds it offensive/inappropriate?

Here’s the thing: women’s bodies are BEAUTIFUL. NOT SEXUAL. They are only sexual if you make them, and by making them sexual you are objectifying women and THAT IS NOT OKAY.

The concept of Lauren’s art is beautiful. Promoting positive self body image is wonderful, and if you have a problem with it look away.

I guess I understand maybe not wanting small children to see aspects of the female anatomy that they don’t fully understand yet, but in a college university setting? Why would any small children be outside of our IT office in the library? Maybe they are, I don’t know.

But the fact that this project is being taken down on social media, fought against by the university, and laughed at (YES LAUGHED AT) by the students is disrespectful and by doing so these people lose the message this art is trying to send.

We are looking at Lauren’s art, not hyper-sexualized pornographic images. We are promoting positive body image, lifting up the strong women who posed for these portraits, and appreciating/empowering women as a whole. NOT sexualizing them, NOT objectifying them, and NOT disrespecting them.

I encourage you to share about Lauren’s project, show that we support this concept and appreciate Lauren and all the hard work she’s done on it. This conversation is important.

Let’s change the rhetoric around the sexual-nature of women’s bodies, starting with the planting of this seed.

 

Coffee Crawl-ing With My Favorite Human: A Photo Journal

Think of it as a pub crawl, but with coffee shops and loads of caffeine instead of alcohol.

My friend Rachel and I started doing this over the summer of 2016, where we selected several different coffee shops across the Atlanta/North Georgia area and tasted tons of different lattes as we became more and more jittery.

My favorite part about this adventure is discovering how many different ways I can order a vanilla latte. Since I’m vegan, I really just alternate between what milks I feel like using, but you know.

The best part about these coffee crawl days, is getting to snap pictures and capture the moments that mean so much to me.

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Why I Left Odyssey

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After an entire year of writing for a platform I used to be passionate about, I left my position at Odyssey today. I originally wanted to write a final article, as a testament to my time creating content, but I realized I couldn’t publish a farewell article on Odyssey itself. So it’s time for a bitter-sweet goodbye to a platform that opened several opportunities for me.

For those of you who don’t know what Odyssey is, you can check it out here: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/

Now, don’t get me wrong, Odyssey as a concept is genius. I love the idea of giving college students a voice, and being able to express ourselves in various ways. We get to connect to a larger community, while also connecting at home. We can write to an audience that hears us, listens to us, loves us. We get to add Odyssey to our resumes as an internship, and it opens a new door for us that wasn’t there before.

For that, Odyssey, I thank you.

However, it was time for me to go. I should explain, my Odyssey community had undergone a lot of changes. Our headquarter representative left, who we absolutely adored. Our EIC (who is also a close friend of mine) decided to leave too, and that was a blow to us. Then our new EIC took over, and while he does everything right, we were all still getting used to a new normal.

But even though things were operating as “normal”, that was what I was having a problem with.

In this day-and-age, most social media platforms are concerned primarily with monetary value above all else. For a platform like Odyssey, this takes shape in page views and share-ability.

Thus, all of the student-editors edit articles based on what will be successful on social media (i.e. Buzzfeed-esq list articles that are “relatable” to readers.)

Now this may not sound all that bad, but what kept becoming increasingly clear to me is that the entirety of my article could be changed with one small edit, and the tone would not be what I intended.

For example, I wrote an article about empowering feminist quotes, for the feminist community itself. These quotes are meant to build up women, and men too, about equality and inter-sectional feminism.

One of my editors changed the lede of the article to say, “Even if you don’t believe in feminism.”

This changed the tone of my article completely, because that was not what I intended. Not to mention, the editor also changed the title of my article.

And you know the best part? That article did very well, it was *featured* on Odyssey’s Activism page.

You can read it here: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/10-empowering-feminist-quotes

All of this for more page views, more shares, more likes.

But, at what price? My content being altered to say something I didn’t intend, with my name and reputation surrounding it.

This is just one example, I have so many close friends who have written and edited for Odyssey who feel the same. I’ve had people encourage me to blog to have more control over my content, and not be subject to the box of articles that do well.

I am thankful for every opportunity Odyssey has given me; I began blogging and publishing more work, I found other online writing opportunities. I began to discover myself, and feel comfortable publishing my original ideas.

But it’s time for me to go. In my honest opinion, Odyssey is a brilliant idea and has many hard-working individuals making it into something huge. I also understand that Odyssey is a growing business platform, and in order to do well, they have to push for their content to get out there. Page views, sharing, pushing for flashy click-bait articles. I get it.

Because of this, my heart was no longer in it. Writing for Odyssey became a chore, and that’s not why I started writing over a year ago.

If you’re going to create a platform for students to express their original thoughts and who they are, you have to act like it. When I edit any form of writing, I keep the author’s tone and point exactly how they have written it. I don’t change anything but the grammar and sentence structure, things of that nature.

So when an Odyssey editor takes an article and completely changes its tone, and then publishes it, there’s a problem. The restrictive nature of Odyssey’s in-the-Buzzfeed-box articles stifled me as a writer, and I know it has done the same for many writers as well.

I hope to see Odyssey continue to grow and hopefully change a little too; and I’m thankful for what the platform has given me, despite the blows I did have to deal with.

 

Before I Fall: Book VS Movie

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As a general rule, I believe reading the book before seeing the movie is a must; almost always (except in the case of Perks of Being a Wallflower) the book is better than the movie. So when Rachel and I found out that ~conveniently~ the book we had just finished for our book club was becoming a major motion picture, we knew we need to see it. With as little spoilers as possible, I’m going to give my genuine opinion about Before I Fall. 

The Book

So, Rachel and I started a book club of literally just the two of us. (If you want to join, it’s Long Distance Lit on Goodreads!) While selecting our book for January, we picked Before I Fall, and thus started this revolution.

Honestly, the book took me forever to get started on, because it Lauren Oliver’s attention to detail is very specific. There are scenes that seem to drag on, and the repeating-days concept doesn’t help. However, once I started to get through it, I couldn’t put the book down until it was finished.

I love the dynamic of the characters, (Kent being my favorite) and watching as Sam learns some hard lessons was just as emotional for me as it was for her.

While I’m a sucker for puppy-love, I am glad that Sam didn’t have miraculous recovery and end up with Kent. That would’ve been too easy.

The ending, though, felt a little unresolved. I couldn’t place why, but I wanted more, and not in a cliffhanger-kind of way.

Alas, I gave the book 5/5 stars on Goodreads, because it really did captivate me.

The Movie

As a pro-novel person, I went into the movie preparing it to disappoint me. And at first, it did. There were small details that differed from the book, some scenes were left out, and some characters had changed. My favorite concept of the novel was the teacher romance, and that dissipated as well.

However, I actually liked the movie better than the book. WHAT?

The movie perfectly encapsulated the most important concepts in the book (rip hot teacher romance), while also creating Sam’s world pretty accurately to how it is in the book.

The ending felt much more complete, as Sam says goodbye and thanks Juliet, because she set her free.

You can feel the emotion as Sam’s greatest hits go by, and for all you sympathetic criers out there, tissues are a must.

 

BUT

I would recommended reading the books first, because it provides a lot of insight into the characters that’s not completely shown in the film. There are little things that Sam doesn’t explain in the movie, that I only remembered because I had read the book.

I would give the movie 4.5/5, and change my book rating to 4/5.

 

Liked the movie/book? Join our bookclub or tweet me @rosecafletic and we can discuss it!

 

Happy Hippie Foundation

Donating money to charity is something I firmly believe in, but on my college-student-raman-noodle (just kidding, I’m vegan) budget, I can’t often find much to donate. However, every dollar counts!

So this month, I’m featuring one of my favorite foundations that is worth donating to: The Happy Hippie foundation.

This foundation was started by Miley Cyrus (aka the love of my life) to help disadvantaged/homeless LGBT youth. If you’re passionate about education, LGBT rights, and women’s rights, social justice, homeless youth, mental health, the environment, and animal welfare (so EVERYTHING I’m passionate about) this organization works towards being active in those areas.

Here’s the link to donate today: http://www.happyhippies.org/#donate

Plus, you can even check out Miley’s merch, and Happy Hippie merch, and those profits also go to the foundation!

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A Feminist Playlist For Spring

1. Man on the Moon by Zella Day

Yes, every time I ever talk about a good song, this is the one I bring up. Zella captures the essence of psychedelic rock, and this song leaves you in a good mood for the rest of the day.

2. Don’t Wanna Stop by Darby Walker

If you’re into Zella, look no further. Darby was on The Voice and brings about all the hippie-dippy vibes.

3. Sick of Losing Soulmates by Dodie

This song is the perfect rainy-spring-day beat.

4. Bad Reputation by Joan Jett

Just a personal favorite on mine, perfect for when you need that extra boost of confidence!

5. Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac

Simply the best song for any occasion, at any time, ever.

Daith Piercing: My Expierence So Far

On February 24th, 2017 I went to get my Daith pierced with my best friend. When I walked in, the first thing the piercer said to me was, “They don’t help with migraines, you know that right?”

I was very discouraged, but I know through most of my research that people have had tremendous success with daith piercings… and even if it’s a placebo effect, it’ll still work… right?

So, I decided to try it.

For those of you who don’t know, this is your daith:

The migraine 'cure' taking over social media:

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And yes, it hurt. But it wasn’t your average doctor-giving-you-a-shot kind of hurt, it was more of like an extremely uncomfortable pain. I heard the tools, and felt the piercing going through the cartilage. As the piercer moved it around, THAT hurt.

It still hurts.

The first couple of days I was fine, my friend cleaned it out for me and nothing hurt. Then yesterday, it was sore ALL day. I didn’t help things, because I kept messing with it trying to clean it.

But now it’s only sore when I move the piercing itself, and that’s normal.

I clean it twice a day, with antibacterial soap and water. There are several methods to clean it, but here is what I’ve found the most successful:

I take a Q-Tip and wet it, (after washing my hands) and clean over top of the piercing. Then I take a cotton round, wet it, add soap, and dab it on top of the piercing for around a minute or so. Then I rinse it and go back in with a wet Q-Tip to pick out any excess crust/blood.

I’m not going to lie, it still hurts when I clean it, and it probably will for awhile.

Now, what about headaches?

That’s why I got the daith piercing in the first place! I’ve actually had one headache since I got it, and I was pretty surprised.

I got a tension headache, which normally quickly turns into a migraine. I FELT the daith working, fighting against my headache. Eventually (with the help of Goody’s and Dr. Pepper) the headache went away.

In my opinion, so far, the daith does kind of work. It didn’t eliminate the headache, but it kept it from blowing up against me.

I’m for this 100%, and I’m excited to see if it continues to help in the future.

If you have any questions, tweet me! @rosecafletic
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Monthly Favorites: February

1. My Canon T5i

I’m *obsessed* with my Canon I bought (with a little help from my dad) for my birthday. 10/10 would recommend.

2. St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub

This stuff is everything for helping my face feel clean. My skin has been breaking out pretty badly this month.

3. My Daith Piercing

I got the infamous “migraine piercing” on Feb. 24th– I’m not sure if it really helps yet, but I love the placement. It still hurts though, ouch.

4. Gardin Vegan Pizza Roles

Do I need to explain why I love these?

5. Human by Rag’n’Bone Man

This song is just soooo good. Props to Radio 105.7 to treating me to the best playlists.

6. Barefootbabes Apparel

The best ~vegan~ feminist apparel around.

7. Rose Incense

*OBSESSED*

8. Flowers, flowers, flowers.

I don’t discriminate.

9. White Adidas Superstars

This may be somewhat of a basic item, but I love them so much.

10. Himalayan Salt Lamps

I have three, and I am addicted to them. I truly believe they work!

Girl Gaze Ambassador

Hello my feminist friends– I’ve been a part of a new project and I thought I’d share with you.

The Girl Gaze project is all about how ~creative~ girls see the world. Created by CEO Amanda de Cadenet along with several others, the Girl Gaze movement has taken social media by storm.

The feminist photography featured on the Girl Gaze Instagram (@girlgazeproject) is beautiful, and they are constantly empowering women of all types.

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So, what is my role with Girl Gaze? I’m a GG Ambassador. Basically, I post about and raise awareness of what GG is, and help women– empower women.

We are a part of a global movement of people, who are passionate in supporting the next generation of female-identifying creatives in our mission to show how girls see the world.

Follow them, and join the movement! #ggambassador 


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A Day At The High

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With my birthday around the corner, (literally tomorrow), I asked my dad if he would take me and my friends to the High Museaum of Art in Atlanta to celebrate.

So, we braved the Atlanta traffic, and traded mountains for skyscrapers. I truly love my city.

We were quite a crowd, and thus we spent a good amount of time cracking jokes, but it was nothing short of an enjoyable time. I love art, and I always have. I think art history has been one of my favorite classes I’ve ever taken, even though my major is English. Should I double minor in Art and Journalism?

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In order to be content with life, I have to spend about half my time looking at Atlanta’s city skylines, and the other half breathing in mountain air. However, today, I found myself admiring more than the grayscale of the city. I got to admire my family, and the friendships that mean so much to me, while watching them admire the art surrounding us.

And you can bet you’ll catch me (and probably Lindsay too) when the High has a Warhol exhibit this summer.