Saturday, March 30, 2013

more than madison

Okay, maybe I'm just self-centered, cocky, or just plain dumb but I thought everyone has heard of UW-Madison.  I mean obviously we're like the best university in the nation, right?  Apparently, everyone else thinks the same thing about their schools too.

Over the course of a week in Panama City Beach for Spring Break, I came across thousands of college students.  Pretty much every school proudly posted a flag to show their pride.  On one part of the beach, Wisconsin took over, but after walking down the beach to a couple more resorts, we quickly discovered that there were tons of other schools there as well.  The first couple of days, we stayed in Wisco territory, not knowing that there were other parts of the beach.  Naturally, we'd constantly hear people screaming "YEAH WISCONSIN" as we'd walk by in our Badger gear or they'd shower us with hugs and high-fives.  As we progressed down the beach to explore over the next couple days, the Wisconsin love slowly died down.  People would ask where I went to school and I'd proudly say UW-Madison with a cocky smile, expecting them to be impressed.  My smile suddenly disappeared when half the people said they'd never heard of it. What?! They'd tell me they went to Alabama, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, or other schools across the country that I'd never heard of either. We were both as surprised as the other.  We'd quickly rile off facts about how great our schools are and the reputations each ones had.  The more I talked to people the more I realized that almost everyone believed they attended the greatest university in the nation.  It seemed that every school had the best party scene, the hottest people, the best academics, amazing sports, successful alumni, and a beautiful campus.  We all had undying school pride.  

The same was true about fraternities and sororities.  People would state their association and I'd have absolutely no idea what that meant.  Even the ones that I'd heard of had completely different reputations at one school to another.  Again, it seemed that every person belonged to the most elite group.  Shocker.  And with sports teams, people would say that they played football for a certain school, or lacrosse, or soccer and it just so happened their sport was the biggest sport at their school.  Ha, okay I'll take their word for it.

It seemed that no matter what, people believed their association with a group made them the best.  But considering I didn't understand their association in context, I didn't understand what was so great about it.  Just because someone said they were apart of this university didn't make me look at them any differently than someone who went to another university because I had no prior knowledge of their respective reputations, unlike the people from surrounding areas.  I realized that the student body, organization, or team we are apart of doesn't make us who we are, but rather contributes it.  We're all basically the same even though we go to different schools or are involved in different things.  Sometimes, I think I was subconsciously under the impression that because I went to Madison made me inherently better than everyone else.  In reality, once I graduate, or move away from the Madison area, people won't really focus on where I went to school or might not even be familiar with the wonderful qualities it offers.  I'm just the same as everyone else.

This is also true for other extracurriculars.  Make sure your membership to a certain group doesn't take over your life, because in four years, it might not hold the same importance in the bigger picture.  People might not know that your music group was the best at your school, or your team was undefeated.  

Obviously, it's important to always do what you love.  But don't get too focused on the reputation a certain group holds to the point that it takes over your life, or you gain false perceptions.  In the big scheme of things, you won't be any better than anyone else solely on the fact that you were apart of the most popular organization.  Flaunt your talents instead and never become overly confident about being apart of a group, because it could change in the blink of an eye.  Never invest your whole self into just one thing, because what happens when its over?  What will you do with your life when you're no longer a member after college?  That's why it's more important to focus on enhancing ourselves, rather than creating ourselves based on our associations.  

I am no longer just the girl who goes to UW-Madison.  I'm Tricia- the girl who loves to write, run, laugh uncontrollably, dance, act crazy, play with my dogs, embark on adventures, and be with family and friends- who just happens to go Wisconsin.  

Friday, March 22, 2013

an open letter to Justin Bieber

Dear Justin <3

2013 hasn’t been the brightest year for you, bud.  Seriously, get it together.  I used to be somewhat (aka completely) obsessed with you, but that was so three months ago.  I’ve matured a lot since then.  Of course I’ll always remember the good times we’ve had, and because of that, I’ll always support you.  But you’re making it awfully hard. 

Okay, I get it.  You’re only nineteen years old and the whole world is watching you.  To top it all off, you have girls constantly throwing themselves at you (I may or may not have been one of those girls, but that’s a different story) and because of this, a good handful of the male population despises you and your “swag”.  It must be hard being constantly in the public eye, especially when you’re just trying to be nineteen.  You’ve learned that every decision you make has it consequences.  It’s hard to maintain that good-guy fa├žade when everyone else can do whatever they want and not be judged for it.  Like clubbing in London, for example- you’re seen as going “crazy” when all you want to do is have fun and do the things that people your age are doing.  I know if I were in the public eye, people would find the littlest things about me and condemn me for them too.  I would love to be a perfect role model for others, but that’s not possible.  And I realize it’s not possible for you either; just do the best you can and at least act like you’ve got it in the bag.

This year has been tough.  You’ve tried to establish yourself as an adult rather than the cute teen heartthrob, which can be a hard transition.  Take Miley Cyrus, for example.  You and Selena Gomez broke up…and you wrote that heart-wrenching song on your Believe Acoustic album called “Nothing Like Us” to prove your sorrows.  You didn’t get nominated for any Grammy awards, or even get invited for that matter.  You got caught smoking weed and your friend Lil’ Twist seemed to have caused you a lot of trouble so far- especially with your cars.  You said you had the “worst birthday” ever this year in London when your friends got kicked out of your party.  You got booed for being two hours late to your show in London.  Oh, and then there’s the time you lashed out at the paparazzi and had to be restrained.  People also worry your tattoo craze is getting out of control.  And are concerned with your unique fashion.  But most of the time that’s not applicable because you aren’t wearing a shirt anyway, which by the way is a good look for you.   

What happened to the little, innocent boy from Canada who was discovered on YouTube?  Who built an intimate relationship with his fans, and was always thanking them for everything?  Or the humble boy who would constantly give back to charity?  And who would encourage his fans that anything is possible?  I think you've still got it in you.  People just choose to focus on the things you’re doing wrong rather than the things you’re doing right.  You've got a huge target on your back because you found success at an early age.  Don’t lose yourself in the fame.  Obviously be proud of your accomplishments but never take anything for granted. 

I think I've finally realized that I never actually was in love with you, (I know, I know you must be heartbroken), but rather I was in love with the thought of you.  Your story was really inspirational and uplifting.  I loved the fact that you were so humble no matter what.  And that you were always thankful for everything.  On top of that you never stopped working hard, and always strived to accomplish something more.  I really admired everything about you.  Okay, and you might have been extremely attractive and a complete sweetheart, but again that’s beside the point. 

Basically, I just want you to know that no matter what this year brings, you can get through it.  Think of all the setbacks you’ve overcome so far.  There’s a reason people fell in love with you (or the thought of you) in the first place.  Don’t forget that.  Sometimes the fame and the fortune can blur your vision, but be careful it doesn’t blind you.  There’re more important things in life than money and success.  Even though the press rips you apart for everything that you do, stay true to yourself and never say never. ;)

Yours truly forever and ever,


Friday, March 15, 2013

ads: the new accessory?

You've heard it many times before- ads are everywhere.  And now, they're becoming increasingly common on women in Japan.  Yes, on actual people.  In Japan, women like to accentuate their legs, particularly the  upper thigh between their high socks and hemline of their miniskirts known as the "zettai ryouiki" or "absolute territory."  This part of the body is somewhat of an obsession in their culture, complete with a Facebook page to prove it.  Ummm what?  Anyway, this worshiped part of the leg is being rented out to advertisers, where women wear temporary tattoos to promote the company.  

This advertising fad became popular in 2005, after a mother from Utah decided to auction off her forehead on eBay to advertisers for $10,000.  In return, she had to tattoo the highest bidder's advertisement on her forehead.  Aka it's permanent.  Aka for it's the rest of her life.  Her forehead now reads "" which is an online casino.  I mean, that wouldn't be my first choice for something written on my forehead (I'd probably aim for "free hugs," my phone number, or "superstar"...haa kidding), but hey it was for a good cause.  She raised the money in order to send her son to a private school, which she felt was necessary for him after deaths in their family and a divorce.  

In Japan, women eighteen or older, are being paid to wear temporary tattoos with a logo on their upper thighs for at least eight hours per day.  The only stipulation is that they have to have to be connected to at least twenty people on social networks, and they must post pictures of themselves wearing the advertisement.  Each day, they can choose which logo to wear, as long as it's visible.  

Part of me wants to commend these people for their creativeness.  Why not flaunt what you've got?  It is an innovative way to market companies, right?  Is it any different than wearing a shirt that has a company name on it?  But how far is too far?  To me, it almost implies that they are selling their bodies to the advertisers. And it's interesting to point out that it's only women, reinforcing the fact that sex sells.  There's not an option for men at this point.  Do you think that would make it more justifiable if men were involved?  It's interesting to think about if there would be backlash for essentially objectifying men in the same way women are in this case.  Because they are renting out parts of their body to these advertisers, women are portrayed as a commodity.  Although it may seem like an easy, creative way to make money and bring attention to certain companies, the underlying message it portrays isn't all that positive.  So what do you think about it? Can you see this becoming more popular with other countries?  I can't help to wonder myself if I would rent out my body for money from advertisers.  

Alright, that's enough thinking for the week.  My head hurts.  

If you want more information check out these websites! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Why We Should Be More Like Jennifer Lawrence

It seems like the whole world is obsessed with Jennifer Lawrence.  I hear her name everywhere.

"She's perfect."
"Favorite actress!!!"
 "Love her!"

Who is this girl? Wasn't she just that actress who played Katniss?  And what's all this buzz about her and the Oscars?  After doing a little research, I came to the conclusion that yes, she is pretty legit.

Instead of focusing on fitting in to the Hollywood mold (which happens to be size zero) Lawrence wants more to be a role model for others.  She's often questioned about her weight, and is even quoted saying "In Hollywood, I'm obese...I'm a fat actress."  Yet, she could probably kick any one of the stick-thin stars in Hollywood's asses.  Rather than trying to be simply skin and bones, Lawrence works to be healthy and fit.  And obviously it's working; this girl can rock anything.  I think she sends a great message to those that struggle with body image- you don't have to be a certain size to be sexy.  It's more important to be fit and comfortable with your own body.  Confidence is key.  What's that saying?  Fake it til you make it?  Why not fake killer legs til, make killer legs?  You get the point.

While accepting her Oscar for Best Actress, Jennifer Lawrence tripped up the stage...and I thought tripping up the stairs in high school was bad.  Although she didn't exactly showcase her gracefulness, she did display her charm.  She simply brushed it off, laughed, and kept going.  How great is she? I mean, most people would either cry or make it super awkward.  Just imagine Kristen Stewart.  When she finally made it onstage the whole audience was standing, applauding her for not only her amazing performance (I assume, I haven't seen it yet) in Silver Linings Playbook, but also partly because of her ability to make even falling look adorable.  But if someone were to make fun of her for falling, she's already come up with a response: "'Yeah, and then I got touched by Hugh Jackman."  Touche.  Totally worth the stumble.  

Even on the Red Carpet, Lawrence was causing a ruckus.  She swore on national television while sharing her love of the show Dance Moms with a reporter.  First off, swearing on the Red Carpet was a pretty ballsy thing to do.  It definitely shows that she doesn't really care what people think, which is obviously an admirable trait.  I mean, as long as she's not out-of-control, it shouldn't matter what she does.  Secondly, she watches Dance Moms so she must be pretty cool.  I personally don't watch that show but reality TV is my go-to.  I know, I know I should be embarrassed, but seriously I can't get enough of The Real Housewives, or the Kardashians. And don't get me started on The Hills.  Anyway, anyone who's willing to share their guilty pleasure of watching reality TV has got my approval.  

After the Oscars, Lawrence was asked her routine to get ready for the big night.  She basically said she tried on her dress, showered, and then had other people do her hair and makeup for her.  No crazy fads, or spending hours getting ready.  Just a down-to-earth girl.  Who also happened to take a shot before.  Cheers to that.  

Finally, after her role in Silver Linings Playbook, she is working to stop the negative connotation mental illnesses have in the US.  In one of her interviews, she says that people with other health issues such as asthma receive treatment without question so what makes a mental illness any different?  Both are health problems needing treatment, yet metal illness is stigmatized in our culture.  She hopes her role in the film helps in some way to change our society's view on mental illness.  

Well, I think we'll be seeing much more of Jennifer Lawrence in the future.  And I'm completely fine with that.