First, as I write this, I have finished all of my exams, and I am officially done with school. It doesn’t feel like much of a celebration because of COVID-19, but the fact that I completed my first year is relieving. I know many of you are finishing up or even graduating and it feels like there’s no reason to celebrate. Don’t believe that. In times like these, you must find hope. You graduated, you finished up your school year, you worked hard. I know it’s not the traditional way to celebrate but it’s not forever. The fact that you made these accomplishments is important.
It’s scary times we’re living in and uncertainty is one of the worst feelings ever. In a world that seems hopeless, cling onto the things that make you happy or give you hope.
I always find myself looking at what I’m grateful for and what made me happy that day. In this storm of bad news, there are stories of people taking care of each other. No matter what, people will still find ways to look after one another. Keep remembering that. You can take care of your own friends as well, sending them treats or just checking in on them. Do what you can and spread that hope around. No matter how cliché or cheesy it may seem, it’s important and people appreciate the little things. Gestures go a long way.
I don’t know what the future holds, but until then, support each other. Spread love and hope. Life is quite a mess right now and some peace of mind is needed. The weather’s getting warmer, and summer is coming. Here’s to hoping for a social but safe summer!
Being inside with everything shut down may take a toll on your physical body. I know it has on mine. Before everything was closed, I went to Ping almost every day with my friends, and I tried to eat healthy and get a reasonable amount of sleep. Nowadays, it’s hard for me to be able to treat my body well. I’ve realized that just allowing myself to stay in place and keep treating my body poorly has taken a toll on me.
This laziness and staying inside has caused me to go to bed at four in the morning and wake up at noon or later. Since fast food places are mostly open, that’s what I’ve been eating, and filling my body with grease has seriously caused me to feel worse. I knew caring for my physical body was necessary, but I should’ve taken better steps for it during this lockdown. I feel it’s easy to fall into a pattern due to being stuck inside.
Recently, I’ve started buying more fruits and vegetables to make food here so I don’t have to go out and buy any. I want something with nutrients that will make my body feel better and my stomach less upset. I’m attempting to go to bed earlier because it has greatly affected my mood and caused me to be exhausted all day. I need more sleep to think properly and to be able to go about my day without feeling tired. I have a small workout part in my house, and while it’s not much, I’m going to utilize it as much as I can with all this free time. I already feel a change as my body isn’t so tired anymore. It’s going to take a bit, but caring for the body is so important.
Maybe some of you can relate, or I just got really lazy during quarantine. Either way, it’s necessary to know what you’re doing to your body and what it needs. You can feel it, and making even small changes can help your health get better. I know it can be harder in quarantine, but I wanted to feel better and less worn down.
Always listen to your body; you’ll know what it needs. Breaking habits can be hard and forcing yourself to do things can be annoying but worth it.
I’ve been thinking for some time about how I feel about my body right now. I’ve had some pretty bad body issues for quite a while now, and I remember last year around wintertime, it was at its worst. Compared to this year, the change is crazy to me.
I won’t go into detail, just for personal reasons, but I have struggled with my body. I was constantly criticizing myself, and I found myself staring into mirrors after I ate, and planning out how to eat to avoid being bloated. I would find ways to distract myself from being hungry or tell myself I wasn’t hungry so I didn’t eat. It was terrible, to put it bluntly, and my mental state was not that great. It was like I was trapped in my own body.
I don’t have an answer to why I’ve become more accepting. It’s not as if there was some magical click in my brain that made me more accepting of myself. It was a long process of trying to talk to myself and to other people while accepting that my body will grow. I was so stuck on having the same body I did when I was 15 that I used to not be able to accept that as I grow older my body will change and develop. That was scary to me. It’s been a long process to heal. It’s still a long process, and there are days where I fall back and days where I don’t feel guilty for having breakfast. It’s starting to get better, and I’m starting to heal mentally. It was only recently that I stopped feeling sick when I thought of my body. It’s a complicated relationship, to say the least, but self-acceptance is an incredible feeling.
I have a feeling that a lot of people can relate to this. We think that this feeling is normal or we just assume that it’s not as big of a deal as it is. I refused to admit my problems because I believed that my issues were not as bad as anyone else’s. No matter the severity, they’re still harmful. We must accept our issues in order to learn how to heal. It’s a long and complicated process, but it’s so freeing at the end.
For everyone out there, I promise there is a way to heal. It isn’t forever, and I’m in the middle of healing myself. I promise, body acceptance is a beautiful thing.
Being inside has given everyone a lot of free time to explore new shows in their boredom. I’m not one to watch TV that much, but with all of this free time, I’ve been starting shows left and right. Thanks to all of these streaming services, you have a variety of shows to pick from, and here are some of my top picks!
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
This is possibly the most talked-about show right now, and it has some very bizarre characters. Tiger King explores the world of big cat breeding. It stirred up plenty of controversy for the treatment of the animals as well as the crimes committed by the characters in the show. The characters alone are enough to draw you in, and the memes make it so much funnier to watch.
Where to watch: Netflix
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures
This is an anime that follows the adventures of a family and their descendants fighting against an enemy that never seems to leave them alone; it’s definitely worth the watch. Admittedly, Part 1 of it is hard to get through but if you get past that, then all the other parts are much more interesting. It follows the Joestar family bloodline and their friends who are trying to stop several enemies from causing absolute destruction. I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed this show, and I think that it’s just too good to overlook.
Where to watch: Crunchyroll. Netflix, or Hulu
Looking For Alaska
This show came out back in October, but if anyone still hasn’t seen it, now is the time to watch it. Based on the John Green novel of the same name, this show features actors that were able to bring this book to life. It is centered around Miles “Pudge” Halter who attends a boarding school to experience something more than what he has at home, and the show follows his interactions with his friends as well as his budding feelings for Alaska Young. Based on experiences as a teenager, it may not be the exact replica of teenage life but it feels real. The show portrays the tragedy and grief of a friend in a raw way without being over the top. It’s got the perfect mix of humor, awkwardness, and sadness all in one.
Where to watch: Hulu
This Italian drama is based on real-life events and follows Chiara and Ludo, two girls living in the wealthy Rome area, prostituting themselves. It’s fast-paced and definitely fits as a teen drama. I watched it more as a guilty pleasure show, but it’s pretty interesting. If you watched the Spanish series Elite, you will most likely enjoy Baby as well.
Where to watch: Netflix
On My Block
On My Block follows four friends on their way to entering high school and their experiences living in an inner-city neighborhood. The main cast is predominately black or Hispanic, giving more diverse stories and representation in media. It’s full of heart and extremely funny but isn’t afraid to cover topics regarding gang violence, family issues, and race. It’ll have you wanting to watch more.
Where to watch: Netflix
These are the shows that I’ve been starting or keeping up with since quarantine has kept us in. I hope you consider watching one of them and maybe even recommend them to a friend! There are options for everyone to choose from.
I’ve had a lot of time — as I’m sure most of us have — to just sit around and do nothing. In this new-found free time, I’ve decided to explore some new songs or go back to old tracks I haven’t listened to in a while. The quarantine has got a lot of us down right now, so I decided to compile a short list of some of the songs I have been listening to on repeat to get me through this isolation period. As an extrovert, just staying at home is the worst thing for me, but music always makes things a little better.
“Like It Is” By Kygo feat. Zara Larsson and Tyga
This tropical house song was released just a few days ago. I found out about this song because one of my favorite models, Charlotte D’Alessio, was featured in the music video. I love tropical house EDM, so when I heard the song, I knew immediately that I would love it. Zara Larsson is a powerful and underrated vocalist, but this collaboration was a great way to show off her vocals.
“Lullaby” by R3HAB
I’ve been listening to a lot of EDM lately, and for some reason, I keep listening to this song. It makes me think of summer and music festivals. While I don’t know how this summer will pan out with festivals, the song puts me in a generally good mood, and it brings me hope that the festivals will open again. The heavy bass and synths are sure to make everyone want to dance.
“Grown Up” by Danny Brown
This soulful rap song got my attention because of how honest and catchy it was. My boyfriend played it recently and I really enjoyed it. The beat gives a somber but bittersweet vibe that makes me think of my own growing up. The lyrics are raw and emotional, and his voice is packed heavily with feelings as well. It’s real and details his rise to fame with such an addictive sound. I absolutely love it.
“Fine Line” by Harry Styles
His second album, “Fine Line,” is so amazing, and I honestly can’t pick which of his two albums I like more. This song is so beautifully sung and written, I don’t even care how sad it is; I absolutely love listening to it. The entire album has been getting me through quarantine, and I’m hoping his Cleveland tour date doesn’t get canceled so I can see him again live this summer.
“Oprah’s Bank Account” By Lil Yachty feat. Drake and DaBaby
I actually didn’t like this song when I first heard it. I’m not the biggest fan of Lil Yachty’s voice, but in this song, it really grew on me. I just find the song catchy, and it’s an upbeat, feel-good tune. I think the collab with Drake and DaBaby worked out because they all complimented each other really well. For me at least, this song’s upbeat sound puts me in a good mood.
“ON” by BTS
BTS is one of my absolute favorite groups ever, and I was very excited for their comeback this year. I love “ON” because of how powerful it is, and the vocals on the song are incredible. As usual, BTS puts me in a good mood, and because it was a comeback I was extra excited. The entire album has been on repeat because I can’t stop listening to them. I’m sad that their tour was postponed, but I’m looking forward to seeing them again for the fourth time.
“Why” by Taeyeon
This song was from 2016 when tropical house was dominating K-pop. This was one of my favorite songs of that year, and Taeyeon is just such an amazing singer. I’ve always loved her music, and recently, listening to her songs again has made me appreciate this track so much more. The entire vibe is very summery and laid back, and that is honestly the mood I need right now.
There are so many more songs that I’ve been listening to, but these songs are playing nonstop for me right now. I know quarantine isn’t fun and it’s putting everyone in a bad mood, but music helps alleviate these feelings and can provide a better outlook on the future.
The recent coronavirus pandemic across the globe has affected everyone’s schedules. Everything is under quarantine for the safety of the public and hospitals are working overtime to save people’s lives. This virus has frustrated many people because of the fear and disruption it has caused. However, the coronavirus has caused another issue that I wish more people would look at: the huge rise in violent acts against Asians. I am a Chinese American woman, and what I have seen has absolutely disturbed me beyond belief.
The virus came out of China, and there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that. However, calling it the “Chinese virus” or other names is extremely dangerous and hurtful. It perpetuates the idea that it’s okay to violently attack Asian people, and it puts the blame on a whole race of people. The ignorance of people who don’t see it as a problem astonishes me. It has created a whole culture of hatred and blame. The excuse that other diseases were named after places is invalid; no country wants that and there is no reason to continue. Blaming an entire race for something like this is absolutely xenophobic and racist. It is endangering the lives of Asians all across the country, and the hatred has spiked immensely.
There are so many more incidents I could write about, but it would be exhausting. Look out for your Asian friends, family, and peers. Defend them, stand up for them, and don’t accept this sort of vile treatment. Don’t go around trying to justify terms like “Chinese virus” because the consequences of that term have been terrifying. To other Asians who are reading this, stick up for yourself and protect yourself. It’s a scary time to be alive, and open racism is rampant, so please educate yourselves. These actions aren’t funny; they’re terrifying and just openly hateful. How is being a horrible person going to benefit you in any way? Support each other through this time because more than ever everyone needs it.
I feel like Asian artists don’t get enough credibility in the entertainment industry. People don’t recognize their talents, and it’s disappointing because representation is such a big deal. Growing up, I never saw Asian musicians, and I never expected to. Thankfully, K-pop has become a huge trend and numerous groups have made it big (like my favorite group of all-time, BTS). However, I wanted more people to recognize other artists that don’t get the spotlight. Some of them are K-pop artists, and some of them are Asian musicians breaking down barriers. Here are four Asian artists you need to know right now.
Korean American artist Audrey Chu, who goes by Audry or Audrey Nuna, is making waves in R&B and hip hop. Her music can range from soulful singing in songs like “Party” or to straight rapping like in the track “Comic Sans.” There’s something so effortlessly cool about Audrey and the laid back personality she has. She’s breaking boundaries not only as a woman but an Asian woman stepping into hip hop, which is practically unheard of. With such a powerful and beautiful voice, there is no doubt in my mind she could become huge.
Hailing from Indonesia, Rich Brian became mainstream several years ago on YouTube and is now growing in popularity. At only 20 years old, he has made a name for himself as he continues to grow, especially because he is a part of 88rising, which is a company that focuses on Asian talents. His deep voice accompanies lo-fi tracks that have been streamed by millions. He is unapologetically himself, and he doesn’t try to fake a persona in his music. Brian has collaborated with other popular Asian artists like Joji, making his presence unstoppable.
Rapper Lexie Liu raps in mostly Chinese, but regardless of the language difference her talents are clear. Sticking to her guns and creating her own hip hop music, she says in an interview with Dazed that “I have more girl fans than guy fans, which I think is great. A lot of my songs, I write them for girls.” Her representation as a Chinese-American woman in the music industry is huge and speaks to me as a Chinese-American girl as well. Gaining some popularity because she appeared on the show Kpop – Star, she decided to pursue her own solo career. On her mission to break the glass ceiling, Lexie Liu is way too talented to ignore.
Indonesian singer NIKI has surged in popularity due to her amazing voice, lyrics, and production. Booked as a performer for this year’s Coachella, NIKI is using her platform to represent Asians in the music industry. She is a part of 88rising as well, and NIKI is a pop and indie singer who creates music that anybody would love. Reaching out to her fanbase on social media regularly, she understands the importance of her platform. NIKI’s presence in the music industry is more relevant than ever, as she keeps paving the way for more Asian artistry.
There are so many more artists that I could have listed, but these four have been gaining recognition quite fast. Representation is so important, and the lack of Asian representation in the media is quite disappointing. Luckily, Asian artistry is growing and creating a generation of representation and pride. I have seen it firsthand, and growing up in an age where barriers are being broken every day is absolutely encouraging. There is still much work to do, but I’m hoping there will be more representation of Asians in the media one day.
Trigger Warning: This article deals with mental illness and mentions substance abuse. Because this may be a sensitive topic for some, I urge anyone who may be affected by this to not read any further.
Tumblr is one of the most prominent social media apps, and it’s been notorious since its inception in 2007. You can create essentially any sort of blog post you want, and many people make communities within the app. As someone who grew up on Tumblr, one of the biggest issues with the platform was their consistent romanticization of mental illness. It was especially prominent in 2014, but the posts are still frequently found all over. Users on Tumblr would make “aesthetic” posts related to depression or suicide, attempting to make it seem “beautiful.” The consistent glorification became popular on the app and dangerously affected users because of it.
Talking candidly about mental illness shouldn’t be stigmatized; the issue with Tumblr was they turned having a mental illness into something “cool.” The trend started around 2013 to 2014, and it most likely occurred because of the “soft grunge” aesthetic that was found all over Tumblr at the time. Most of the posts were of teenagers engaging in drugs, drinking, and smoking cigarettes. The fashion was a modernized version of the ’90s with a mix of goth styles as well. Other posts would be dark or blurry with muted colors over it. Many song lyrics from artists like The Neighbourhood, Lana Del Rey, and Arctic Monkeys were referenced heavily. The ideas of recklessness and refusal to conform to society were mixed with darkness to create this aesthetic. Mental illness was posted alongside this aesthetic and the two ended up mixing. Shows like “Skins,” which featured many destructive characters — most notably Effy Stonem and Cassie Ainsworth — were constantly praised and idolized on the website. Photos of Effy or Cassie could be found on Tumblr in black and white with a depressing phrase written on them. They weren’t the only ones that were put on a pedestal though. Lana Del Rey was frequently referenced because of her depressive song lyrics and music videos. Kurt Cobain’s suicide has been subject to morbid fascination as well. The idolization of celebrity figures for their mental illness differs from relating to them. If you’re idolizing them because they’re destructive, you are romanticizing it. As someone who has seen so many of these posts, it’s clear the mental health part has become an aesthetic.
Many people used Tumblr as an outlet to find people they could talk and relate to. It turned toxic when depression and anxiety started to be seen as something “cool,” making depression seem as if it was this tragically beautiful thing. Since Tumblr’s demographic gears more toward teenagers to young adults, these posts can leave a lasting impression. Posts that portray depression as beautiful can trigger someone with depression and make them not want to get better. It can also influence people into wanting to have depression or believing they have mental illness. Graphic imagery of self harm can trigger users because the images are created to make it romanticized. Depression and self harm are the most popular posts, but eating disorders and suicide are also very popular as well. Posts under under specific hashtags can lead to photos of girls severely underweight to “influence” users to get their ideal weight. I’ve seen posts related to limiting calories and quotes encouraging starvation. There have been violent images and gifs of nooses and gunshots, which was honestly really shocking to me. Some other common images include razors with flowers to be “beautiful” or handfuls of pills as if overdosing was a lovely tragedy. The imagery can be extremely triggering to many and it’s almost encouraging people to have worse mental health.
Since Tumblr was such an influential platform when these posts were at their height, young teenagers would assume that being sad was beautiful. The thought of self destruction and mutilation was something they could take a photo of to post online and get reblogged. The posts of eating disorders also were extremely triggering, with the encouragement of starvation on every single post. The influence these posts had were damaging, and as someone who grew up on Tumblr around this time I can see how it would affect people’s views of mental health. Tumblr became notorious for this kind of content, to the point where The Ringer and The Atlantic had both written pieces on the topic.
Tumblr’s popularity has decreased since Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram boomed in popularity in the last few years. Many of Tumblr’s users were teenagers who grew out of using the app. There are still many active blogs that create romanticized content and you’ll see it from time to time. Luckily, we as a generation have moved past that, allowing for healthy conversations regarding mental health to occur. The glamorization still happens though, especially in recent tv shows like “13 Reasons Why.” There needs to be a better approach in social media to these sorts of topics to avoid glorifying someone’s pain. Mental health needs should be openly spoken about, but not in a way that will make it seem “aesthetic” to have a mental illness.
Before reading, I want to warn readers that this blog may be triggering to some. This post will be discussing eating disorders, and anyone who has suffered or is currently suffering from one is encouraged not to read any further.
I’m pretty much always on TikTok; it’s such an entertaining app of creative, fun, and sometimes mindless videos. By now, it’s one of the biggest social media platforms in the world, and your video can be seen by millions. Typically the videos are just harmless fun, but I’ve noticed, at least on my algorithm, that some of the videos are centered around eating disorders. There have been about tips on counting calories, curbing hunger, “goal weights,” and so forth. It’s almost like a trend now, and honestly, it’s very disturbing to see. These sorts of videos stay with people, and they’re now popping up everywhere on the app.
When you are putting on videos on “how to diet” and giving incredibly unhealthy tips, you are portraying these as normal eating habits. I’ve seen videos on how people curb their hunger by actually filming what they eat in a day, which doesn’t consist of healthy portion sizes of beneficial food. There are many videos based on calorie counting, which can lead to anorexia. The act of counting calories may seem harmless, but on TikTok, the calories are unhealthily low. I have even seen a video of someone telling viewers that the best way to eat and not gain weight was to chew and spit their food out. There are videos of people suffering from an eating disorder and filming them losing weight or showing their “goal body.” These sorts of videos are incredibly dangerous, and because they are circulating on such a popular app, they can be very triggering to a large audience. It affects people who have body image issues or people recovering from eating disorders. Since these accounts are public, anyone can see them. These videos could show up on anyone’s algorithm and greatly affect the person who’s watching.
An article by Buzzfeed News details these issues as well, showing that this has been happening to millions of other people too. There’s audio based around eating disorders and videos of people who are way too thin.
People with eating disorders want to be the thinnest by taking in the least amount of calories possible. These sorts of videos encourage them to do whatever it takes to be that “goal weight.” That “goal weight” also is severely thin and not realistic. Repercussions of these kinds of videos can lead to hospitalization.
This isn’t the first time eating disorders were seen all over social media. These trends on TikTok remind me of the trends on Tumblr back in 2014. Eating disorders, drug use, and mental illness were all over the place and provocative images were scattered throughout the website. Quotes about “goal weights” and not eating were popular on Tumblr at the time and it affected countless people. While it eventually died down on Tumblr, TikTok seems to be the new platform for this sort of content. Anyone could stumble upon it, and pre-teens and teenagers are most likely to be affected by these sorts of posts. As someone who has had issues with eating patterns in the past, it’s upsetting and a little triggering to see this type of content. It makes you worry and become obsessive about your own body weight and eating habits. Giving “tips” on how to not eat or how to avoid eating too much can make someone want to follow that example. People can fall back into these habits easily because it triggers them to think about what they eat and how much they eat. The fact that it’s mostly teenagers or young adults using TikTok means that they’re most likely to be impacted.
I’ve seen a lot of comments calling out the videos, especially because many of them just appeared randomly on people’s main pages. There’s so many of these accounts, and some have called themselves dieting accounts. Even if the intentions were for dieting, many of the videos do not include healthy dieting tips, and they border on eating disorder habits.
I honestly hope that everyone reading this doesn’t know about this trend. It’s unhealthy, and it’s horrible that a fixation on eating habits is becoming prominent on social media yet again. I’ve noticed it grow in the past few months, and hopefully, TikTok will start to take these kinds of videos down. It may not seem like a big issue, but the impact of these videos can be harmful when they encourage their viewers to engage in dangerous eating habits.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please reach out to them or contact the National Eating Disorder Helpline at 880-931-2237.
I was super late to the “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” hype, only watching it after my roommates made me sit down and view it. I’m not one for rom-coms, but I absolutely loved it. I loved the Asian representation, and it was a great feel-good movie that actually had depth. I knew there was going to be a sequel because I was aware that it was a book series, so of course, you know I had to watch it. For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, this will contain spoilers! So, if you haven’t watched the movie, read no further!
I’ll start with what I liked. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Lara Jean and Peter; Noah Centino and Lana Condor have a magical way of acting that honestly made me believe that they were in love. The addition of Jordan Fisher as John Ambrose McClaren made it even better because Lana and Jordan have amazing chemistry as well. I don’t normally like love triangles, but this wasn’t a normal love triangle like how “Twilight” did it. Instead, I think they were able to keep it realistic and not over dramatic. The acting in the film was fantastic, and I also love the representation of Asians in film. I like the portrayal of a high school relationship, especially because Lara Jean is new to it, and her struggles of trying to figure out a relationship were entertaining. I thought it was a pretty funny movie as well!
I think my biggest issue was the big fight between Lara Jean and Peter. To put it bluntly, Peter’s actions were absolute trash. When the group was in the treehouse opening up the time capsule, he didn’t even give an apology for Gen (his ex-girlfriend) being there. Later when Chris showed Lara Jean a photo of Gen and Peter, he barely apologized for his actions. I think every single viewer was shocked when they found out he was waiting at the hot tub for Gen and not Lara Jean. I know it’s part of the books, and they didn’t really want to change the plot lines, but I feel it warped Peter’s character a lot. For better or for worse, his actions protecting Gen and still showing he cared honestly made me lose interest in his character. I just can’t like him anymore. John Ambrose McClaren’s character really stood out; he was very kind, and he just deserved better. The fact that Lara Jean came back to Peter because he showed up after driving in the snow and didn’t even apologize for what he did earlier just seemed like a forced happy ending. I felt that it should’ve ended differently; John and Lara Jean had this amazing chemistry, and he clearly cared a lot about her. I just think they could have cleaned up the ending and at least made Peter redeemable because truthfully he wasn’t being a good boyfriend. He didn’t really have great excuses for what he did, and he seemed to care more about Gen.
Overall, I do believe it was a good movie, I don’t think a sequel was necessary at all, though. Like I said, I know it’s a book series, but in all honesty it kind of ruined the original for me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” and I still do. I just believe it ruined Peter’s character development and made Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship less believable.
“P.S. I Still Love You” is available on Netflix now; take a watch and put your own opinion on it! If you’ve seen it already, maybe you’ll agree with my review or maybe not. I hope you all enjoyed my review!