Female: Part Two.

Coming to you live, from her Clueless clad dorm room, it’s Jordan. And believe it or not, I just finished a book. I can practically hear my high school friends gasping from across the country.

My track record with reading is subpar. It took me half a year to read Mindy Kahling’s 300-paged memoir, 3 extra weeks to finish To Kill A Mockingbird for school. It’s not that I’m not literate, it’s just that I wasn’t prioritizing literacy. This semester, I wanted a solution to both my writer’s block and technology-induced insomnia. 

The book I read is called Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud. It’s written by Anne Helen Peterson, a culture writer at Buzzfeed. I initially ordered it because, hello, Buzzfeed, but what I came to find was that it was really relatable to how I’ve been feeling lately. The book dissects the labels of prominent female celebrities. Among the chapters, you’ll find Kim Kardashian, Nikki Minaj, Hillary Clinton. It questions why women are often labeled as too much of something when they don’t fit the proper mold of a woman in the public eye. 

I think I’m graciously independent as a person. I love reassurance, but decisions are ultimately my own and I act for myself first, keeping the people I love as a close second. I jokingly always tell my friends to “be bold,” because “boys like bold girls.” But, what I’ve come to find is that girls like strong girls and society likes polite ones. One of my newfound, and most hated, fears is being penalized for something that’s a part of who I am. She’s too forward because she texts first, too provocative because her boots graze the upper thigh, too bossy because she makes her ideas known. I’d like to say fear of reputation damage doesn’t hold me back, but it does. 

In reflecting on the book, I think that my personal hesitation to leap with open arms comes from the worry of not being respected as a woman, a student, a creative. Sometimes it’s easier to stay silent than ask questions and show vulnerability. And I know I’m feeding the fire, but it’s scary to be a social innovator and it’s a role I’m not sure I’m prepared to take on… yet.

In Lena Dunham’s chapter, Too Naked, it’s said:

“Dunham’s nudity isn’t “brave,” because… for it to be brave she would have to be afraid.”

And I feel like, in a non-nudity related way, that describes how I want to grow as a female. I don’t want to have to feel courageous when I raise my hand in class or when I reply to a Snapchat “too soon.” And to get there, I have to practice not being afraid. Shutting down the second-guessing and layers of analysis. More of an want, act, reflect, repeat model. 

I used to tell myself to do one thing every day that scares me. Whether it’s writing this blog post (about a topic I’ve been scared to talk about because what do I know) or trying a new food for the first time, it was a step towards less unknown. My goal is to bring that back. And to encourage my friends to do the same. One less fear, one more reason to girl boss.

So yeah, I am too opinionated, too power hungry, too obsessive. But that’s also me being vocal, ambitious, and inspired. Three traits a young woman exploring the world should have. We should stop letting our “too”s be paired with negatives and let the females fill the narrative. Because “too unruly” is really just code for not taking this shit anymore. 

And that’s basically where I’m at.


Stuck in my head: Something To Tell You // HAIM
Snap it: my bed!!

Find Anne’s other works here. And join Girls’ Night In Club for more feminist book suggestions like Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud.

My next read is Lily Collin’s memoir, Unfiltered, on her eating disorder and other things young women struggle with. Look at me so knowledge hungry and feminist, right?

If you missed earlier installations of Female, here is the Introduction and Part One

Instagram Influencer Unloaded.

Nothing says you’ve made it like jaw-dropping platforms, cityscapes, and avocado toast. And for a lucky few, life is all Intsa all the time. Enter the newest profession every teenager with an iPhone and reflective sunglasses dreams about: The Influencer.

These iconic profiles are known for top-level lifestyles and unforgettable photos. Most have distinctive offerings– travel, beauty, food. And lately, some of our favorite social media faces have moved on to a new trend. Selling through selfies. Call it being a millennial, call it the progression of advertising. I call it the start of the disingenuous profile.

Let me backtrack for all my not-so-Instagram obsessed friends. A huge avenue in marketing right now is using the Instagram famous to promote products in a natural, “this is what I use and I love it” kind of way. And in this shift, I’ve seen more and more influencers become self-focused, rather than specialty-focused.

All of a sudden some of my favorite foodie pages are less plate, more face. It’s one thing to build on the personality behind a page, but by losing the #eaaats vibe, the theme of the profile changes.

Style moguls, design experts, lifestyle bloggers. I followed for a reason and I trust you to respect that. And while there’s always the unfollow, I have a sense of loyalty to the pages that once inspired me. You’ll have to excuse me, I’m clearly experiencing major emotional distress over it. 

Being a marketing major and social media “obsesser,” all this is super interesting to me. But, it’s also important to how everyone else, aka you, is posting, too. If we’re going to see this major change from specifics to selfies, it might be time to hop on the trend to stay relevant on the platform. Guess it’s time to order the LuMee Selfie Phone Case (for perfect lighting every time, duh).

To wrap it all up and pull it all together, the influencer class is going to keep shifting so it can keep growing… and monetizing their talent. Instagram doesn’t have to be just a hobby for some, it can be a real life J-O-B. The tradeoff is downgrading the quality of the profile. But tbh, if it meant getting to travel the world for the double tap, I would probably do it too. 

So I guess I’ll just be scrolling past the #ads to find the pages that get me excited to be part of such a creative medium.


Stuck in my head: Lady Lie // Rainbow Kitten Surprise
Snap it: Chinatown, DC

Exciting News.

Call me Carrie Bradshaw because I’m officially published. So excited to share my article for Marriott International’s blog, Marriott Traveler, featuring my two favorite things: Iceland and Instagram.

So grab a latte and get ready to plan your next vacation. It’ll be one your camera roll will never forget. 

Check it out by clicking here, here, or here


Stuck in my head: Mr. Know-It-All // Young the Giant
Snap it: Rangárbing Eystra… aka Iceland

On Socials.

As the Torah says, “When life hands you writer’s block, serve up a cute little social media update to keep your friends up to date on the truly important things in life.” So stretch your scrolling finger and get ready to talk tech.

#1 Comment Threads on Instagram
Looks like we’re officially one step closer to a universal platform. This feature, already showing itself on Facebook, allows you to reply to comments thread style rather than each comment as a separate comment, even when replying. Ugh, hard to explain but this Mashable article does a damn good job.

Thoughts: Welcome to a less cluttered gram. It’ll definitely make comments more easily read and insta-fights less annoying. Embrace the change, baby. It’s probably for the better. Your feed is going to #thrive.

#2 Launching Facebook TV Series
What even is cable? Streaming is obviously huge right now and between HBOgo, Netflix, Hulu, etc, you would think there wouldn’t be any more room at the bar. But here it comes, more exciting than when Carrie and Big finally got together: Facebook is introducing its first series, featuring the Instagram account Humans of New York. Raise a glass to your next binge watch. 

Thoughts: If you’re emotionally unstable this is sure to destroy you. It looks inspirational but also interesting and compelling. Stories from all over the world, created over the past four years, about the real world and the real problems people face. We’re talking drugs, homelessness, depression. But also some of the special moments in life, like love and gratitude and friendship. Check out the trailer and order a box of tissues on Amazon. For more info, I’m going to pass it to this Forbes article.

#3 Getting Rid of Snapchat’s White Border on Imported Stories
While Snapchat is supposed to be an in-real-time kind of thing, we’re all guilty of uploading pictures to our stories after the fact. The real struggle: the white border that shows up when you import from your camera roll. This short video from Digital Trends will teach you how to stick it to the Snap Gods and make each moment look in-the-moment.

Thoughts: I’m up for anything that gives me that Snapchat influencer vibe. Another hack, another step closer to Kylie Jenner status. Enter shameless snapchat plug here: @jmetzman.

That’s all for this week. Unrelated but related: I’m going to need double the spin classes to cope with all this back to school stress.


Stuck in my head: Look What You Made Me Do // Taylor Swift (!!!!!!!!!)
Snap it: CAVA HQ

 

Things I Learned In My Cubicle.

Honestly, I never pictured myself sitting front row to a desktop computer in a sea of beige, but after this summer, I can proudly say it’s not as bad as the movies make it out to be. I spend an absurd amount of time imagining myself sitting city side, latte in hand, working to create the next big thing in an office that gets bagels regularly delivered. So, when I was handed a non-Mac and a desk chair I was definitely brought back to reality.

My summer internship has been insane. Aside from a team of the smartest people I’ve ever met, I’ve grown from Googling what SEO (Search Engine Optimization*) stands for to an amateur, asks a million questions to make sure she’s doing it right, crawler.

Here are some other things I’ve learned along the road to 40 hours a week x 10 weeks.

1. Business Casual(ly missing wearing chokers everyday)

A huge adjustment was swapping body suits for blazers and getting into the professional mindset stylistically. But no worries guys, I found ways to incorporate my favorites into corporate life. Enter silver platform sandals, big hoop earrings, and plenty of denim on denim. What once required a separate shopping trip to “Mom Stores,” is now about creativity, subtleness, and compromise. Not going to lie though, I’m happy to be back in the land of the fashionably free.

2. The Question Game.

A huge skill I’ve cultivated this summer is called “The Informational Interview.” It’s when you sit down, one on one, and play Vogue 73 Questions. People love to talk about themselves and being young, eager, and work force un-ready, it’s been really helpful to hear their stories and tips. It’s mostly about tuning in and asking the right questions to get the most out of every discussion. For me, I always try to lead back to creativity, career growth, and the culture of a company.

3. Making the First Move.

Being the youngest intern of 63 was a little daunting. Even though there were plenty of rising juniors, it was scary to know that I’m the only one walking into work with that “I just experienced college for the first time” vibe. But over time, and through a cross-department intern project, I came to realize it’s just about reaching out and being open. Basically that whole turning off the resting bitch face and making friends thing. And a lot of the interns had interesting experiences and stories that I could learn from.

So, while I still might be Baby, I’m definitely not in a corner. What a nice, little taste of the real world. Now, let’s go back to tailgates and late-night pizza. 


Stuck in my Head: Faded Heart // BORNS
Snap it: Internship HQ

Search Engine Optimization is optimizing/changing/manipulating a website to help it perform better on Search Engines. The goal is to get your site to the top of the page after a search (aka: to rank well in the results). It’s basically a language I’m still trying to learn to speak. Thank god for Google.

And if you’re curious, my site is not very optimized. Don’t blame the blogger, blame the world she blogs in. 

Island Time

Here’s to lava fields, bright blue water, and infinite waterfalls. 

Last week I crossed something major off my Instagram/life bucket list. The one, the only, a global treasure, Iceland. From the moment we landed in Keflavik (and I saw an adorable coffee shop in the airport followed by countless murals on the drive to the city) I knew I’d cherish every single second I would spend in front of these mountain ranges and behind my iPhone camera lense. And it all lived up to expectations.

Grab your parka and your poncho. Some Haribos for the ride. Call me Glacier Girl because I’m about to take you on a photo tour of the most beautiful 5 days of my life. 

But all you really need to experience Iceland is your favorite travel companions. And luckily I had mine. 


Stuck in my head: Feel it Still // Portugal the Man
Snap it: Reykjavík, Iceland

Like A Girl.

I’m a huge fan of classic movies. And by classic I mean Clueless and Mean Girls, not whatever black and white shot-on-film thing you were thinking. But here’s my one problem: all these girl power features promote girl on girl hate as part of a friendship. And let me just tell you, girl on girl hate has no place in my friendships at all. Zip. Zap. Zero. 

In honor of International Womens Day, I want to vent about my top pet peeve. As my friendships have grown and matured through the years I’ve learned that unnecessary confrontation and sass only inhibit your ability to truly benefit from a relationship. I think that little flame that makes a teenage girl feel incomplete without drama goes out in *most* people pretty early in high school. And while it seems the days of middle school cat fights have been traded for constructive conversation, in all honesty, the hate is still around and it’s perpetuated by the fact that so many people choose dismiss it.

I want to focus in on one aspect in particular, which is when this happens between close friends. We’re all guilty of snapping sometimes, but when someone who claims to love you unconditionally drags you down through verbal violence it’s really unfortunate. And personally, I tend to move those people to the end of my go-to list. We don’t have to get along perfectly, but being “attacking” and saying things WITH THE INTENT TO HURT stand to say that there are things more valuable than my friendship. Honesty is crucial, but so are delicacy and restraint. There’s a way to say the hard things without making them feel like daggers through the BFF heart.

None the less, I’ve been so fortunate to learn from so many strong women who have shaped me into who I am. And from each of them I have seen traits that I’m even more proud to see in myself today. I know dedication and confidence from my Mom, & kindness and empathy from my aunts. One grandma has shown me how to enjoy the finer things in life while never forgetting what’s truly important and the other one an appreciation for simplicityMy sister has taught me so much about compassion, staying young, and what it really means to be a role model. Friends have built my overall awareness and my ability to laugh at myself in the face of failure (or in the face of being made fun of for my weird “phases”). Camp counselors created acceptance, both for myself and for others, while years with poms taught me leadership and courage. AOII is overflowing with such giving and welcoming women, & I’ve seen a female-fueled marketing department make the impossible happen without even chipping a nail. 

I have so many incredible influences to celebrate this Womens Day and I’m happy to say I’ll be eating a cookie …or two… in your honor. Hug your mom, stop hating on your friends, watch a girl power movie.

I’ve never been more ready to live my life like a girl. 


Stuck in my head: Green Light // Lorde
Snap it: SOHO, NYC

Tweet Tweet… You Should *Totally* Instagram That.

The beauty of social media is that it’s constantly changing. One second something’s hip, the next it’s just a graveyard of ancient out-of-date posts. I mean look at Vine. What used to be the hub of 6 second internet sensations now literally doesn’t exist. I’m definitely not complaining; I needed my embarrassing attempts at being a video star to disappear. But RIP an era. Well, not an era. More like a hot second.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the “Rules of Social Media.” From how many times you can post a day to what’s in and out, I’ve definitely seen a shift in shareable content.

I mainly want to talk about Instagram, because I love it and I’m not ashamed. Their biggest update yet allows you to channel your inner influencer by using spooky similar Snapchat like features such as Instagram Stories. I’ve got to admit, stories freak me out a little bit. With hundreds of followers it actually matters what you put there. TBH, I’ve only ever posted one. And I realized now it totally didn’t do me justice. Shoulda been 14th street tacos, but instead it was just my feet in my bed. Like hello, what was I even thinking?

Personal rule: Make it something worth watching. No selfies. No blurry moments. This is Snapchat’s classy cousin, so read your edicate book closely. Amazing view from a vacation? Share it. Perfect latte art? Share it. Famous person anywhere at anytime? Double share it.

I’ve also been looking at the evolution of post quality. I was one of the first of my friends to post non-people pictures. And I got a lot of hate for it. “You look amazing in this” was sarcastically commented on every Cava, coffee, and cool wall picture that graced my profile. Being threatened to be unfollowed was literally an every day thing for me (in a joking but totally not joking way). Well look at Instagram now. There’s more food than friends. And I am one hundred percent okay with that. I expect to get hungry when checking my feed now. It’s just how it is. 

While social platforms go in and out of style faster than fashion trends (please never let chokers go out, I own too many and I’m waaaaay too invested), I really feel like photosharing is the best way to communicate who you are online. Maybe I’m baised because I love a good solo shot with a mug in hand, but it’s the power of sharing the beauty of the world that keeps me refreshing my feed every twenty minutes. 

Aaaaand if we’re talking socials let me touch on Twitter for a millisecond here. I’m desperately trying to figure out how to be relevant on the app as a non-famous individual and I’ve narrowed it down to two conclusions- 1) Twitter is made for the quick and quirky Mindy Kalings and Amy Schumers of the world and 2) If you didn’t use it while it was hot, there’s no way you’re going to use it while it’s not.

Twitter is definitely a tool for businesses and marketing, I’m constantly browsing and retweeting, but as for creating personal content, if you’re not funny or something hilarious and remarkable doesn’t happen to you, go home and save your characters. Or else you just end up tweeting things that sound like a drunk mom making jokes at the dinner table.

Well, this has been the aspiring social media content strategist crawling out from inside me to guest write today. Great image if you really picture a trendy, jean jacket wearing, 20-something year old emerging from my mouth to type words on my laptop. 

Who knows, maybe she’ll write some tweets for me, too, while she’s at it. One million retweets, here I come. 


Stuck in my head: First Class // Rainbow Kitten Surprise
Snap it: Au Grain de Cafe, Mont-Treblant, Canada

Why I Finished That Donut…

Some of my all time favorite memories revolve around one single thing… food. It’s those bite filled moments that leave a mark on me and I think it’s because food has this innate power to bring people together. What screams friendship louder than a pizza? 


This weekend was one of reunions on many levels & each included a different series of entrees. Sitting next to my best friend, Christian, in a Cava talking for hours on end it was like those 3 months of separation never existed. Confessions over Crazy Feta. Housewives minus the wine. We all know by now that I’m weirdly emotional and attached to people who mean a lot to me, so seeing Christian gave me all the feels.

Update: he’s good and is officially a Boston boy minus the accent (but the accent is probably on the way). As he force fed me pita chips (I swear I didn’t even want them) I couldn’t help but think about how different life is now. It’s not a bad thing or a good thing, it’s just a thing and it’s an adventure and over a arugula bowl and a blackberry sage lemonade it was like time was paused and we we’re back to our 6:30 wildcat mornings.

And then because I love causing myself emotional distress I took a trip over to the legendary WJ for poms senior night. Spoiler: I cried and they were amazing. It was one of those moments when it really hits you that even after you leave, life keeps moving. Not going to lie, my first response to standing in the sound booth next to Coach K was panic that I wasn’t on the field. Believe me I totally don’t miss the stress of the season (think shin splints and mental breakdowns) but I miss the seconds of connection. The bonding over push-ups and pop tarts. The schools “most flexible team” was more devoted to sandwiches than stretching. Totally a team I belonged on.

And then it all comes back to MC. I think our relationship is primarily built on food & the fact that he loves the fat man inside me that can definitely out eat him any day. Long distance has proven to be more difficult than I thought when I wrote my first blog post a couple months ago. Weeks feel like years and sometimes there are tears where there wouldn’t normally be. It sucks and it drains you. But there’s still no one else I’d rather have watch me eat an entire box of gushers.

All in all, I think it’s more than the plate you order off the menu, it’s the experience and the memories that make the meal. I always hear the stories of my dad throwing bits of grilled scallops in the pool at the beach for me to swim around and scoop up and of my sister and I vacuuming edamame off our old wooden table with our mouths while chanting “Go Googoo Go!”

At Cava they always ask their employees their favorite food memory and I’ve always been dying to answer but when I really think about it I can’t pinpoint one moment that rises above the rest. My life has been a snack filled tornado of smiles and good fortune & I just want to thank food for giving me the grounds to get one forkful closer to all the people I love.

So what’s the point? Go out and eat and love it. Because with coffee comes a friend and with each bite comes a new story. 


Stuck in my head: Runaround Sue // Houndmouth
Snap this: Blue Heaven, KW

Sorry for my brief break there- 60 paged project due in 1 week killing me here. Condolences accepted in the form of gummy bears and money.