Category: Social Issues

Nostalgia: A Generation’s Coping Method

Nostalgia: A Generation’s Coping Method

The ache for homecoming. That’s the origin of the word nostalgia. And, as we all know, home is where the heart is. So, where are the hearts of my generation? What do we associate with “home?”

The reality is I don’t think we know. We were all born to a transitional period in global history, one that has yet to slow. By the time I was 18, I was longing for the feeling of an old Polaroid camera or my childhood film cameras. For me, photography is a primary way of keeping track of time, and the days of film cameras and going to Eckerd’s to develop the film is one of the last times I felt social stability.

Living in the sentimentality of nostalgia grounds me, and lets me look to the future with less despair, and maybe even outright hope.

Turns out, I’m not the only one. Nostalgia has been cited as a way to combat depression and increase optimism for the future. A bona fide coping method we millennials, and our successors, are ascribing to full throttle. To what do I refer? Let’s break it down.

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Not Just a Vagina Monologue

Not Just a Vagina Monologue

Naked except for a small bikini bottom and the juice of a fresh mango flowing down my chin onto my chest, onto my hands, onto my arms. That is the image I conjure when I think of my childhood. I remember the baby blue bikini I loved with little bees printed all over it, and I remember it was my uniform for the pool, the beach, and mango season.

I remember standing on stage for a summer performance and having the only two-piece swimsuit; I remember the first time I had to buy a one-piece swimsuit for a swimming class; I remember the awkward tan lines; I remember feeling too shy to wear such small bikinis during puberty; and I remember never deciding what swimsuit to wear based on other people.

I don’t know about you, but I believe we should pick our swimsuits (and other clothing) based on what we think about it, not what others might think. I believe that it’s okay to go topless at the beach, and I believe I will never be okay with doing that myself.

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One of the Guys

One of the Guys

For as long as I can remember I’ve been one of the guys. I was always called a tomboy, even when my hair went past my butt. When I finally cut my hair in eighth grade that seemed to cinch my place in life as one of the guys.

When I thought about cutting my hair I thought about a lot of things — would I like the haircut, would it grow out weird, would my friends recognize me, could I pass as a guy my first day at school with short hair? It never occurred to me that people might see my short hair as a declaration of my sexuality or even gender. I thought if I dressed in baggy clothes, maybe I could pass for a guy but I never thought people would think I was a guy when I wore skirts or heels or a dress.

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Is Language Falling to Bytes?

Is Language Falling to Bytes?

We’ve talked about some of the stereotypes of millennials, and here’s one that should be familiar: new media is making millennials dumb; your generation can’t even write.

There are many articles discussing the damaging effect new media has on our writing abilities and how the generations growing up with text-speak (the type of language used in text-messaging and social media) lack the grammatical finesse of previous generations. Yet, there are studies and more articles that say the exact opposite. Many argue that language education has been declining and that is what has led to the poor writing skills, not text-speak. Others suggest that text-speak is a written form of a spoken language which means that it is not necessarily modifying our language so much as developing a new dialect. What’s the actual story?

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I’ll Smile When I Feel Like It

I’ll Smile When I Feel Like It

Please note that this post contains descriptions of abuse and physical attacks.

“Hey pretty lady, you should smile more!” You probably just cringed. We hear this all the time, and it’s not just “You should smile,” it’s so much more than that. It’s taking up the entire seat on the bus, it’s catcalling, it’s hitting on me when I’m with my girl-friends but keeping clear when I’m hanging out with my guy friends. They say it’s meant to be a compliment, something friendly, but for women everywhere it is a pathetic and scary attempt at over-sexualizing us and our bodies.

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