Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My Favorite Apps


  • Thunderspace - everyone gets really stressed out sometime and when it happens to me, I find it gets really hard to stop my mind from churning and to let my mind quiet enough for sleep. Thunderspace is an app that helps you calm your mind with a selection of white noise like "Roof Garden" which is the sound of wind and rain on a canopy above you. The cool thing about this app is that is is stereophonic so when you listen to it with headphones it feels like the sound is all around you, it also uses your built-in camera flash to create strikes of lightening. FREE
  • Fandango - so I'm a movie buff and I usually catch a movie on the fly, spur of the moment when I'm out and I feel like seeing whatever is out. Here's something about me, I'm so old that I remember when you could call up a phone number (ON AN ACTUAL PHONE) and a person would tell you the movie times. And oh we thought it was so convenient! But now I can be as anti-social as I want to be and still find out movie times. It finds what you're looking for by movie title or by theater location, it shows what movies near you are playing soon, lets you buy tickets, and tells you when movies you are waiting for are playing in your area. FREE
  • Perfect 365 - okay, so lets be real for a second, we all want to look good right, especially in our selfies. Well in this app, you can get rid of practically anything that you don't like about yourself. Yes I know, self acceptance, self love, confidence blah blah blah but come on, we all have something we'd like to change in photos. This app can adjust your skin, brighten your teeth, widen your eyes even add make-up. I use it in every photo I take and I give zero fucks because I look good in real life and even better in pictures. FREE
  • Starbucks - I love me some skinny peppermint mocha lattes with soy, an extra shot of espresso, and hold the foam. YAY! So Starbucks has an app that is worth downloading if you go there with any frequency. Alright so one of the benefits is that you can get rewards like free refills and free drinks, including one on free drink. Also you get the free songs and downloads right into your app. FREE 
  • Urbanspoon - finds restaurants near you dependent on what kind of food you are craving and how much money you have and how much money you have. Great for finding food in a neighborhood you don't know or when you just HAVE to have Chinese at 10pm... not speaking from past experience.  FREE 
  • Instagram - I mean yeah duh. FREE
  • Monsters Ate My Condo - I have a thing for kaiju (Japanese Gigantic Monsters) like a REALLY have a thing for kaiju. I don't know if I want to have a kaiju for a pet or a friend or transform myself into a gigantic raging rampaging radioactive unstoppable revenge machine. Anywho. If you need a game to take your mind off of superfluous things like work, taking care of your children or driving (please don't take me seriously) dl this game. It works like Jenga, you have to swipe the coloured blocks to get 3 of the same colours in a row, you can only feed certain colours to kaiju with the same colours or they will get mad and also you have to swipe fast enough to not topple your condo. Its fun and I've been know to get a bit too into this game... $0.99
  • My Fitness Pal - In the past year or so, I've been very stagnant with my fitness and health and gained so much that I was at my highest in about 10 years. It was embarrassing, my favorite clothes didn't fit, I felt ugly. So in my revamped attempt at a healthy lifestyle and slim dream body, I went back to logging my food and exercise everyday... for every meal. It really does help. I can see what I'm eating and its calories and nutrients and I think twice about eating something not so healthy because I don't want to have to see that on my list. It's a helpful and it has features like a pedometer that logs your calories you burned while walking around and a community of supportive, encouraging people. FREE 
  • Bloglovin- Obviously I love blogs, but I must have over a hundred blogs that I follow. It can be really overwhelming to visit each one, one after the other and read through old posts and new. With this app (and website) all of your favorite blogs are aggregated together and put together according to when they were published. This makes it easier for people on the go, when you want to read something on your morning commute, its all right there for you. FREE 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Weekly Inspiration

// Do not sing of the deaths of men // for we are the reason they fell //

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Artist Spotlight: Kawaii Dr. Meg Russell

Photo by Deerstalker Pictures

Can you believe its been almost a year since I started working on this blog and then GAVE UP??? Ugh. No one is more disappointed in myself than me. One of the things that I left undone was this wonderful interview I did with a great girl who has made her life about studying the Japanese fashion subculture. Dr. Megan Russell puts her degree to use studying kawaii fashion, Japanese culture and subculture and sociological implications around this fascination side of the world. I asked her a few questions and she gave me some brilliant answers that I wanted to share about a person who has turned her passion into something she can share. 

1) What first got you interested in kawaii/Japanese culture?

On my first day at university as an undergraduate, I went to the university bookshop and they had FRUITs [A Japanese street fashion magazine] postcards up on the walls. The style was so colourful, and I loved the classic lolita outfits featured. It appealed to me because I was into romantic goth fashion at the time, and had grown up with kid's anime (in Australia, the selection of anime was limited to Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z etc.) Slowly over the years I started to learn more and more about the fashion! 

2) How did you approach the area of study and were you met with any resistance within academia? 

My research has gone on  a bit of a journey, and has changed and refined itself over time. Initially my research was about childhood, the construction of innocence and age compression (the idea in our culture that children are exposed to adult things too soon). The blurred lines between symbols of  childhood and adulthood interests me because they reveal the tensions underpinning our cultural understandings of both states. Neither state is "natural," but is deeply embedded in our culture. Further research revealed that there was a gap in the literature on the reverse process, in which symbols of childhood are celebrated and extended into adulthood culture. Kawaii fashion started out as a potential case study along with others, but my supervisors and panelists were intrigued by the idea so much that we agreed that kawaii fashion was a great topic to research! Especially since little research has been done that respectfully and accurately represents the participants in Tokyo. My approach has refined itself to incorporate gender studies as well, but essentially seeks to find out what kawaii fashion means to participants and the public alike, and how this cute, passive subculture negotiates power. I've had little to no resistance in academia because my topic is original, rigorous and theoretically sound. It means a lot to young people and my interviewees.

3) Have you spoken to any members of the Japanese subculture fashion and what are their reactions to your research?

I speak to members of the Japanese subcultures on a daily basis for my research. So far the reaction has been surprise and excitement! I am mostly talking to street models, brand models, designers and bloggers, so they are already interested in the promotion of their subcultures and fashion style. A few of them have blogged about me as well!

4) What do you hope to accomplish with your studies? 

I hope to help people come to a better understanding of what kawaii fashion subcultures are, what the style is trying to say and what it means to its participants. I want unpack the complications behind the fashion style, but also give the participants a voice that will be respected. I have found that some of the publications out there aren't terribly accurate and some of the famous models I've interviewed have never been consulted! Also, my research will fill the gap in the literature on passive "feminine" subcultures- that is subcultures that do not actively engage in violence or aggressive behavior, but adopt a visual code that is gentle, cute and seemingly powerless.

5)Are there any things you could share about the impact of subculture fashion with contemporary views on women in society?

One of the most interesting things that has come out of my study so far is the complications around fashion and women's bodies. Subcultures are a microcosm for society at large, and the literature on subculture engages in lots of interesting ideas around gender. "Masculine" subcultures such as Punk and Goth provide space for men to engage in "feminine" practices, such as wearing makeup, skirts etc as well as exaggerated dress that emphasizes their "masculine" traits. This literature also suggests that in those spaces, women either have to be "masculine" or a sex object. They have to engage with this "masculine" subculture, but cannot shape it. And yet, with kawaii fashion, in which participants engage in hyper-feminine practices such as dolly-style makeup, it is suggested that they are simply reproducing the constraints placed upon them in society. It is read by some as an infantile fetish even. There aren't many options for women in terms of resistance, unless they cast off their femininity entirely in favour of masculinity. It suggests to me that no matter what is transposed on a woman's body, it will be sexualised or objectified. In this sense, think the concepts kawaii fashion subculturalists have to negotiate have implications for our understanding of what it means to be a woman.

6) Do you feel that participating in subculture fashion is a way of getting more authentic findings in your research?

I was a subculturalist well before the research started. While adopting the attire and approach of your field is common in ethnography, my style isn't staged or fake. I do believe that my age, gender and fashion style puts me in one of the best positions to negotiate my field on the ground in Tokyo though. I hear and see a lot of things that other researchers might not, because I blend in and am approachable. Participants feel safer talking to me seeing that there is a chance that I will understand them, and am not just a suit with a clipboard here to judge them. Plus my prior knowledge of kawaii fashion and my 24/7 immersion in the culture allows me to pick up nuances in dress in a way other researchers might not be able to. That said, I am a researcher above anything else, and I feel it's important to distance yourself at times to get an objective perspective.


7) Do you plan on publishing a book or going on tour to make speeches about kawaii culture? 

Yes, I hope to publish at least one book, have some conference papers planned for next year, as well as some academic journal articles! My main goal at the moment is to complete my thesis of course (80,000 words) so I can be awarded my PhD!

8) What do you think is the future of kawaii fashion and culture in the west? 

It's hard to say at this point. I think kawaii fashion will only get bigger overseas. Ambassador's such as Misako strive to make kawaii fashion a household term so it might get to the point where everyone knows what it is, just like how most people know what goth style is. But that will come at a price, I think. Maybe one day we will have a kawaii equivalent to Hot Topic! 

9) Do you have any messages to fans of kawaii culture who may also want to go into study? 

Good on you! Research is hard work, but do what you love! I think the number one piece of advice I would give is interview people in your field! Go to Harajuku! So many armchair researchers out there, we need more people on the ground!

10) Could you tell us about any plans or projects that you are currently working on? 

At the moment my main project is my field work in Harajuku. More information is on www.harajukudollhouse.com


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Weekly Inspiration

“If you aren't graciously willing to accept 'no' easily, then you're not asking — you're demanding or begging.” 

- Amanda Palmer on asking for help

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Annie Lennox and the Problems with White Feminists

Recently, as I was getting ready for work, an episode of The View was on TV playing in the background. For those not familiar with it, The View is a show with a panel of women who discuss different current topics. On this particular episode the guest was one of my favorite performers, Annie Lennox. I had my back to the TV as I was doing my makeup and picking out jewelry, but I stopped in my tracks and began to pay more attention when I heard Annie talk about a very important and personal issue. That issue is Beyoncé.
According to Annie Lennox, one cannot be overt in your public displays of sexuality and still think of oneself as a feminist. Certainly for a very long time the argument has been made that in order to be a "good feminist" you must be strong, take charge, intelligent, and also on the asexual side. Sexuality has been defined by the terms of patriarchy and is used as a way of controlling women and also abusing women, it is not a tool that has the same benefits to women as it does men. Shaking your ass on TV benefits men and disenfranchises women who will be seen as "loose" or "slutty". This was certainly the view of feminist during the time Annie Lennox was growing up in what scholars call the 3rd Wave.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fat and Black in America: Epilogue

It wasn't until I was 10 and my mother told me I needed a bra that I knew I was fat. To me it made no difference what my size was, I was bigger but that meant that I didn't get picked on because I could just push kids down or sit on them. I didn't know I was fat. But I did know that being fat was bad.
Puberty hit at 11. I was 157 at 13. I was 216 by 16. I was bulimic from 16-21, gorging and purging almost once a week. It was hard on my body, I wore down the enamel on my teeth and my gag reflex was so worn it was almost impossible to keep food down while eating, I still choke while eating. But I wanted to be beautiful or rather, I wanted to be anything but fat. 
According to a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control in 2012, the majority of African America women are overweight or obese. Coming from a culture that values curvy bodies, rich calorie dense foods and spending your leisure time with others, not alone like at the gym, this comes as no surprise to me. Often times being the ideal black woman means being fat, but not too fat, big boobs but a tiny waist, a big ass but no cellulite. It's a tightrope of unattainable ideals made all the more intense by the endless pictures of girls who seemingly have achieved it.
KING magazine is targeted to a black male audience
The study factors in much more than just poor diet and lack of exercise to blame. It found many factors contributing to why black women more than any other group are suffering from obesity like, psychological responses to racism and discrimination, living in neighborhoods that don't have easy access to grocery stores and parks, eating food that is fast but not nutritious, and having children.

“Childbearing also proved a factor in weight gain. In a 2003 paper published in Nature, Palmer and her colleagues reported that African American women who have children young, are overweight at the time of pregnancy, or gain an excess amount of weight during pregnancy have a higher prevalence of obesity compared to white women.
And while they don’t have any results yet, the BWHS team is trying to learn if breast-feeding helps a woman “reset her metabolism” to decrease weight gain following pregnancy. The percentage of black infants who are breast-fed has shot up markedly in recent years, but it still lags compared to other groups. According to the CDC, 65 percent of black infants were breast-fed compared to 80 percent of Mexican American and 79 percent of white infants in 2005 and 2006. Palmer hopes her group’s research will encourage more black women to breast-feed and persuade policy makers to pass legislation facilitating breast-feeding in the workplace.”

Regardless of who is to blame, black women are dying and between the heart disease and the diabetes we should never feel pressured to be unhealthy because of the desire to be attractive. For weeks I have wanted to get myself back to the gym, eating healthy and lose the 50 pounds extra I've been carrying since I moved out of Texas. In the past week I have refocused my diet and pushed myself to go to the gym. It was hard, I was unmotivated and disheartened and every day I didn't try was prof I didn't have it in me. But one day at the g made it easier to go to 2 and when I got home the last thing I wanted to eat was fatty foods. I'm still struggling but I'm also still doing it. 
So once a week I will share a new recipe, exercise or fitness tip that is helping means I hope will help some of you. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Artist Profile: Nakeya Janice Brown

Hair in the black community is one that is heavily tied to culture and identity far beyond what most societies value. Hair is a symbol of individuality, status, and self worth, it reflects what you think of yourself and how others should treat you. I can remember getting my hair straightened with a hot comb on the stove and crying because I could feel the hair grease sizzle and crack on my scalp. When I was 9 I begged to get a relaxer because I was the only black girl in my school and I wanted long flowing hair like the rest of the girls, I now regret that. At one time I just wanted blonde hair, not necessarily whiteness but just the seeming ease of having that kind of hair. Still to this day I think, if I had long, straight hair I could do whatever I wanted with it and not be confined to the choice of natural vs. relaxed. I have been through many hair transformations on my hair journey. I have had blond hair, blue hair, no hair, long hair, braids, pink hair, a mohawk, weaves, wigs, and extensions, including wearing my own hair naturally curly. I like my natural hair but I enjoy convience and variety more, so I have tried many different things to get the look I was going for. My hair has been fried, dyed and dried out and when I was 21 I lost most of my hair and had no choice but to shave it all off. Since then, I've been growing it back, wearing wigs and taking care of it more closely.
Obviously, the tie to blackness and hair are strong and incredibly revealing when explored by artists. Nakeya Janice Brown is exploring those symbols of identity and hair in her photography. Her artist statement is:

"My work is the visualization of blackness and womanhood with an emphasis on the politics of hair- one the most scrutinized components of a black woman’s body. My photographs examine the multiplicity of African–American hair through presenting it in various states whether braided, weaved, straightened, or natural. I am intrigued by its ability to communicate dual messages about a woman’s relationship to herself and to society at large. I often employ the female figure and feminine objects to render representations of black feminality and explore the changing language of beauty. Through past memories and personal observations, I use photography to examine how the racialized notion of beauty shape self-perception from a black feminist context."







"If Nostalgia Were Colored Brown"







 "The Refutation of Good Hair" 




 Works in Progress 





Visit her site at http://nakeyab.com/

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Problem with Katrina - Sleepy Hollow

So lets begin with some vocabulary 
  • Ship: short for relationship, used when you want two characters to be together. "I ship them" 
  • OTP: defined as 'One True Pairing', when you feel as though a couple needs to be together, they are the couple that you feel the most strongly about and will continue to 'ship' them.  "Ichabod and Abbie are my OTP"
  • Canon: when there is physical and tangible proof that the creators of the show intended for the characters to be together. "Did you see they way Ichabod held Abbie's hand? Their love is totally canon" 

Sleepy Hollow is a show on Fox that centers around the lives of certain inhabitants in Washington Irving's fictional town of Sleepy Hollow. In this version, the town is terrorized by the Horsemen of the Apocalypse raised by colonials during the war for independence. One of those colonialist is the famous Ichabod Crane [played by Tom Mison] who has been put to sleep a la Rip Van Winkle and wakes up in the modern times, he teams up with police officer Abbie Mills [played by Nicole Beharie] and fights the forces of evil.
For fans of fantasy shows like Buffy, Supernatural, and Firefly it has a reminiscent appeal; think smart, handsome leading male with a quirky and tough female lead as well as a mix of romance, humor and drama. The show is also notably remarkable for its presence of a black female lead, even though it seems to be a very trendy thing right now with the overwhelming success of shows like Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. The show, for all intensive purposes, is the first show I've ever seen with a black female lead and a white guy playing the side man. Ichabod is the comic relief, he shows up in his anachronistic, curmudgeonly way and rants about the modern banking system or the presence of Starbucks on every corner. Abbie is the lead character who goes through a myriad of emotional changes and challenges, both personally and also dealing with her relationship with her sister, but most interestingly with Ichabod. From day 1 the potential for a romantic relationship was established. These two are like two star crossed lovers who found each other through time to be together [poetic I know]. Their relationship even has a name: Ichabie (Ichabod + Abbie), thoroughly shipped by nearly everyone on twitter and tumblr. But there is one hitch [SPOILER ALERT], Ichabod is married, to a woman who also has managed to escape to our time. Ichabod's wife Katrina is a witch who, somehow, always needs saving and puts Ichabod in some sort of emotional distress only to be soothed by his "Leftenant" Abbie. Its like watching two friends who are perfect for each other, deal with a high maintenance girlfriend. Katrina is not very popular online, whenever she makes an appearance on TV twitter lights up with calls for her to just die already [for clarification, the character to die, not the actress. I'm sure she's lovely].
The popular OTP with everyone is Ichabod and Abbie hands down, but what's more interesting is how many of those wishing Katrina death, are black women. The remarks are not so much angry or threatening but more of complete annoyance with this characters presence. Perhaps there is a hint of projection with these women, possibly wishing they could be in an interracial relationship and project their feelings onto Abbie, seeing another black woman in that situation it might pull some to identify with her and feel as though they know what she needs or wants. Katrina represents the eternal cunt block, that girl who holds your love interests attention despite not knowing exactly why she is so appealing. On one hand I am amazed at the response to her character even at the mere mention of her name but I too count myself as one of those people who desperately wish to get her off the show.
But lets think about this from the show creators side, how many shows have you seen that go downhill as soon as the leads cement their relationship? "Jumping the Shark" as its called happens most often when characters get together too soon and people stop watching because they have reached a sort of romantic catharsis. Already in the show there have been hints that everything is not alright in the Crane household and that Ichabod and Abbie's relationship is borderline canon but I feel any move toward them being together would ruin the tension that we all come back to be tormented with.
Katrina's character is unfortunately a tool, she is used to deny us what we want and create drama and obstacles for the characters, she's completely in the way and useless, also she's become increasingly annoying but she has to stay. For the shows sake.
But for right now my OTP's ship sails strong into the safe harbor that is television canon. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Weekly Inspiration

We call ships ‘she.’ We call our war machines ‘women.’ We compare women to black widows and vipers. And you’re going to tell me it’s not ‘lady-like’ to scream, to take up space, to fight and demand respect and do whatever the hell I want. You’ve looked at nuclear bombs and been so in awe that you could only name them after women. Don’t try to down-play my power.

Friday, November 7, 2014

COMPLIMENT =/= CATCALL

my name is BABY and you lean out of your car and spit at my feet it lands in a puddle in front of me and i am thirteen and in a suburban neighborhood on the way home from school and i gag and run with my backpack banging like the echo of your words against my back like you are chasing me all the way home
my name is SWEETIE and i am fifteen in the city with my friends for the first time and we get a little lost and you follow us for a full block you name my friends HONEY and DARLING and WHY THE FUCK WON’T YOU TALK TO ME
my name is NICE ASS and it’s two in the afternoon and i still feel my heart slam against my ribs because i am under a hundred and fifty pounds and i have weak lungs and weaker fists and while you saunter down the steps, swinging the beer bottle in your fist, my father who is walking behind me shouts, “she’s seventeen, you dipshit” and maybe i’m near my family but i don’t feel safe until we’re home again
my name is JAILBAIT and my friend is laughing and we just graduated high school and we feel like we are on the brink of something beautiful and terrifying and she is in heels and about to throw up and you name her DRUNK ENOUGH and i have to physically drag you off and when we go home she cries for four hours because a night that should have been just teenage fun almost resulted in the end of her trust of humans
my name is LOOK AT THOSE TITS and we are on a college campus and the boy i am with holds onto my waist just a little tighter while you drive up next to me. you name him THUG and throw a bottle at his forehead. i can’t stop shaking until long after it’s over. he says “it happens,” and i say, “it shouldn’t.”
my name is DAMN GIRL and we are walking down the street. there are ten of you and two of us and you snap a picture when you think we’re not looking. you tell us to either come inside or you’ll fuck us on the street. you all laugh like this is funny. this is compliment. this is just something boys do to get ladies.
my name is LITTLE LADY, my name is FINE MISS, my name is FUCK YOU AND FUCK YOUR FRIENDS, my name is LOOK ME IN THE FACE, my name is STOP FROWNING, my name is SMILE, my name is WHY DID YOU EVEN GLANCE AT HIM YOU WERE ASKING FOR IT, my name is THIS IS A COMPLIMENT so i looked it up according to Oxford that’s “a polite expression of praise or admiration” i think you’ve got the definitions mixed up
my name is PRETTY THING, my name takes nice words and make them into bullet wounds my name is NICE BODY and no girl i know has dated a man who catcalled her, my name is GREAT RACK and it turns out that if you shout things at a stranger, they sound like knives more than flowers, my name is WOMEN LIKE YOU NEVER KNOW THEIR PLACE and every single “nice” thing you say to a woman is something you’d never utter to another man because you know that it’s derogatory, my name is PRINCESS and A REASON TO GET PUT IN PRISON and if another man spoke to your mother sister girlfriend like that, you’d kill him
my name is SEXY and every time i hear someone raising their voice i am thirteen again and i don’t know who you are and i’m running home with a weight on my shoulders and your words like a slap to my spine and your laughter like a hanging, i am scared and alone and suddenly so small,
and compliments are supposed to make me feel good not afraid for my life, compliments are a way of saying “i care and i appreciate you and i thought you should know it,” and if you really meant it as a compliment, you’d care about how i would take it - but you don’t mean it like that, you mean it to show off, you mean it to make us object, you mean it to shove our names into your back pocket so you can tell your friends “i saw the HOTTEST LITTLE THING yesterday” and they can be groan about how we just walked away because you don’t see us go home with keys in our fists and all the lights on and we keep 911 dialed just in case and we triple-check our locks and we don’t fall asleep at all because your compliment knocked us over and took who we are
if we are all saying “it doesn’t sound like a compliment, it sounds like a threat,” if you really wanted to make us feel good - wouldn’t you stop doing it?

by R.I.D.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ch-ch-ch-changes!


Since I am returning to blogging, I wanted to revamp the blog with some new energy. So I changed the title and changed the layout and wrote some new posts. Its about to get real.


History's Baddest Bitches


Ive been talking to several photographers lately about doing photoshoots. I'm very excited for this opportunity to experiment with a different form of expression, but I have very specific ideas in mind.
The idea of what a  female icon is, has been a source of contention for me. I don't follow the consensus that every little girl my age grew up loving and wanting to be either Britney or Christina, because I didn't grow up that way. I grew up wanting to be a combination of Catwoman, Miss Piggy and an Amazonian warrior princess. I feel like I've mostly accomplished that. But I'm still obsessed with the idea of an icon.
What makes up an icon? Someone who is universal? Someone who's style is easily identifiable and who's personality is something that people look up to? I think so. There are many female icons to chose from and as a woman, I feel like its both good and bad for us. Surely everyone knows a woman who loves Marilyn Monroe, like LOVES Marilyn and has tattoos of quotes by her, and posters and dresses like her EVERY Halloween. But she doesn't love Marilyn, she loves the idea of Marilyn. Don't do this. Women are inherently flawed, because they are human. They are not always strong, always smart, always brave, they are also weak and vulnerable and... human.
But I also think icons can be fictional characters as well and years of being a comic book/teen fiction/anime/fantasy art loving nerd, I have acquired a few favorites.
I would like to share with you the icons that I love and also some of the inspirations for the photoshoots that I would like to do.

I'm Baaaaaacckkk

I hate these posts. When people take a long hiatus and then announce their returns like "Oh did you guys miss me? I'm so sorry but LIFE". Like ugh... we all know you have a life lady. I will spare you all that and make it brief. Over the course of almost a year (!!!) I graduated college with a BA in Liberal Arts, had a mental breakdown, lost most of my friends and decided to move to Seattle. So yeah thats it. I'm excited to get back into blogging because there's so much going on!

Also for anyone who comes back to reading my blog after all this time...

Thank you.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Bee and Puppycat Return!


In the new era of fan made media and indie productions we are now able to create content that is both diverse and unique without the pressure of appealing to a mass audience or catering to the demographic of white males ages 15-35. In this new age of user created content, one could make movies, music, art and place them on the internet for anyone who is interested to come and see. One of the newest additions making its way into this new territory is animation, more talented, young, independent animators are producing their own content and getting it noticed by a hungry and grateful audience. The benefit of this is the allowance of female animators, long ignored by mainstream animation studios, to produce their own work about the kind of characters and stories that they would like to see. An example of that is Steven Universe, airing on Cartoon Network which is the first animated TV show created and run by a woman. Another example is Bee and Puppycat playing on the YouTube channel Cartoon Hangover. This show, created by Adventure Time alum Natasha Allegri, is about a young girl who meets a magical cat... or dog, who is able to traverse to another universe. The show was a huge hit when it first ran, despite the fact that in the beginning there was only one uncompleted 10 minute episode (released in two parts). That pilot alone spawned fanart, fan sites, cosplay, stuffed animals and clothing. It seemed that the pastel color pallet, the Vocoloid style music and the obvious nods to magical girl animes had made the show successful. The cries for more were immediate and fans waited to hear when the show would continue. After a Kickstarter crowdfunding raised over $800,000 of a $600,000 goal, the return felt imminent. A year later the news hit that Bee and Puppycat would be returning with a full staff and adjustments to the style and direction of the original pilot. I can't get enough of the show, I love the glittery pastel backgrounds and the random, childlike assholery of the main character Bee. It has obvious influences from Adventure Time, Sailor Moon, Card Captor Sakura, Steven Universe and 80's shows like She-Ra and Jem & the Holograms. While not expressively stated that it is targeted towards women, like myself, that are old enough to get all of those references it still feels like an animated love letter to me and my ilk. This marks a great move in female creators getting their work made regardless of how the industry stays in the past.

Pilot Episode

Episode 1// Episode 11