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I woke up today to find myself in the newspaper! I share to the New York Post my top men’s grooming products—Augustinus Bader The Cream, Erborian CC Creme, and the Jillian Dempsey Gold Bar—as well as insight on beauty trends reflective of modern society.
Do you ever just wish you were in a Pantene commercial? Because same. Finally, I can say that I might have come very close. No, I’m not Pantene’s latest face, however; Pantene, hit me up with a sponsorship (kidding, but not really). What I am trying to get at is I have mastered the art of haircare and hairstyling in the past couple months after years of trial and failure.
Are you making the same mistakes I once made to damage my hair? The way you wash, style, and dry your hair can dramatically alter the health and appearance of your hair. Don’t worry, I am sharing all my tips and tricks, as per usual, to help you get through the tough times of dull and unruly hair.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes your hair needs to breathe, literally. Over styling hair is the biggest mistake most people make. Heat styling breaks down the hydrogen bonds in your hair; concentrated heat can have long lasting damages — such as hair loss, thinning, and breakage — especially when done to wet and fragile hair consistently.
Not Brushing Before Washing
Hair is most fragile when it is wet. Brushing your hair before hopping in the shower reduces your chances of annoying tangles. If you like combing your hair in the shower, opt for applying conditioner first, then untangling the strands with your fingers before combing your hair with a wide toothed comb.
Washing your hair everyday strips your hair of its natural oils that maintain its shininess and health. I workout almost daily so an alternative to this habit is washing your hair with just water or a light conditioner to prevent damaging the scalp.
Washing with Shampoo and Conditioner Always
Consistent shampooing dries out your hair and increases chances of breakage. As previously stated, I normally only condition my hair when I shower. Last year my hair was extremely damaged from consistent shampooing and over-styling; conditioning my hair every time I shower and skipping shampooing for most days of the week have revived my hair to a luscious state.
Aggressive Towel Drying
Remember that your hair is most fragile when it is wet? Aggressively towel drying your hair can damage the hair cuticle resulting in dullness, frizz, and breakage. Blotting your hair with a towel and air drying before styling and/or applying product is your best bet for preserving healthy strands of hair. Don’t avoid towel drying all together by heat-styling your hair wet because it will yield greater damage.
Hairspray Before Styling
I have made this mistake many times when upset with how my hair looks after tons of product and attempting to fix it by re-blowing my hair. This is a big no-no, especially with flat irons. If you hear a sizzling noise, chances are whatever you are doing is not healthy for your hair. The alcohols in hair spray burn on contact with heat. You can still live your best voluminous life, but AFTER you style your hair.
At this point, I feel like a high school gym teacher teaching safe sex — just with more credentials. Protection is, in fact, important. Using heat protection products can shield your hair from the damaging aftermath caused by heat styling. I know I can’t live without my blow dryer, and I will still be able to use it years from now as hair protection is vital to prevent hair loss and damage.
Now that you know not to make the mistakes I have made countless times in the past, there is no turning back. I hope that these rules will bring you closer to Beyoncé, Pantene, Lioness level hair. Most importantly remember, the great philosopher by the name of Elle Woods once said, “The rules of haircare are simple and finite.”
Summer is characterized by its calm yet often exuberant energy. This wide array of music reflects everything from relaxing beach days to exhilarating nights out with friends. From Shawn Mendes to Drake to Stevie Wonder, there is a song for everyone. Download my curated play list here.
Should religious practices aimed at abusing gay children remain legal in a country founded upon freedom? In gay conversion camps--often presented as loving Christian camps-- adults abuse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex children mentally and physically. These conversion camps pose as a helpful place where children find their “true” identity; when in fact, children are trained to hate themselves, associating their identity with sin. The mental abuse inflicted upon conversion therapy victims lasts a lifetime. With gay conversion camps being illegal in only 16 states, this issue is not only one of morality but represents the institutionalized homophobia in law and government. Gay conversion therapy should be made illegal as its principles, practices, and results are unethical.
Everyday gay citizens are ostracized in the eyes of society and the law for simply who they love. Furthermore, the mental and physical hostility experienced exponentially increases when a gay citizen enters the doors of a conversion facility. Lawmakers must ask themselves if it is truly moral to limit one’s human rights due to their sexuality. Victims -- from 19th century to present day -- have experienced cruel and unusual practices aimed towards eradicating their “disease” of homosexuality. According to History.com, victims experience a wide range of unethical treatments such as talk/hypnosis therapy, electroshock therapy, electrical shocks to the genitals (when sexually reacting to homosexual pornography or images of their loved ones), testical transplants, and in some extreme cases -- lobotomies (History.com). Severe involuntary treatments, in most cases performed on minors, in an effort to treat homosexuality like a disease (the American Psychiatric Association has denounced homosexuality as a disease for over 45 years) are a violation of one’s human rights. Gay conversion facilities should be illegal as they dehumanize people and leave lingering traumatic damage. Moreover, a report by the Journal of Medical Regulation states that conversion victims, “... 8.4 times more likely to have attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report depression, and 3.4 times more likely to have tried illegal drugs when compared to individuals who did not feel rejected.” (Jack Drescher, MD; et al). This depicts how the intense rejection of one’s identity amplified by conversion practices result in a detrimental aftermath. However, due to the secretive destructive nature of such facilities and their victims it is impossible to record all the rates of unfortunate events. In light of this, many victims have come out to share their stories to shift the narrative in the forms of testimonies, interviews, novels, and movies. For example, as stated in the Guardian, Matthew Sherka notes his experiences at four different conversion facilities and said, “I knew that my feelings were not going away. I blamed myself; I wasn’t trying hard enough. My depression was serious. I gained 60lbs. I felt suicidal all the time.” (Chitra Ramaswamy). Sherka additionally was not allowed to talk to his female relatives for several years, including his mother and sister, as the camps claimed that they had an influence over his feminine demeanor and homosexual urges. Sherka is one of nearly (an estimated) 700,000+ reported living victims of gay conversion facilities allowed to practice in 34 states, currently. When one’s human rights are on the line, the law should protect all citizens despite their status of sexuality, as such neglect is a violation of civil and moral rights.
The modern media and pop culture is on the forefront of informing the public of the antiquated and unethical practices of conversion therapy, and as a result, law makers. The media is making the unheard, heard by not allowing society to perpetuate and normalize victims as voiceless. Credible television and online news outlets, autobiographical novels turned popular films, and famous stars have denounced conversion therapy practices through compelling personal accounts accompanied by polarizing facts and/or statistics. Namely, Boy Erased, is a novel about Jared Eamons, an Arkansas college student who is an ardent athlete and passionate writer -- he is also gay. In the midst of accepting himself, Eamon experiences a failed adolescent heterosexual relationship, rape by a male student, neglect from his family, and ostracization from the church. As a result of Eamon’s coming out, his frantic parents enroll Eamon in gay conversion therapy facility. Eamon attends the “Love in Action” program which is gradually abusive through stern dogmatic religious rhetoric and physical action. Jared Eamon finds his own self-love despite the trauma he experienced (Conley, Boy Erased). To attract awareness to the multifaceted societal issues depicted in the Boy Erased novel, a film was released in November 2018 with a star-studded cast. Proclaimed film legend Nicole Kidman, rookie Lucas Hedges, alongside LGBTQ+ activist and sought-after pop vocalist Troy Sivan make up the characters disseminating Jared Eamon’s story. Similarly, the film The Miseducation of Cameron Post adapted from the eponymous novel by Emily Danforth, stars Chloe Grace Moretz, and shares the same goal as Boy Erased -- to call the public’s attention to the immoral prejudicial actions thrusted upon victims of conversion therapy. Moretz calls the film “a piece of art and activism” (MSNBC). Additionally, Hollywood has not stopped in their efforts to eradicate conversion therapy. Recently in the past two months, Imagine Dragons gave a powerful speech condemning conversion practices at the Billboard awards; while Taylor Swift has donated $113,000 in support of gay rights groups after a myriad of anti-gay bills were passed in her hometown of Tennessee -- a state that supports conversion therapy. Swift even posted on Instagram in support of gay rights during the Midterm Elections of 2018 to urge her 112 million followers to vote for Democratic candidates in her home state. As reported by the Washington Post, a surge of nearly 169,000 newly registered voters occurred in Tennessee after said singular post, shifting the prominent red state to blue (Amy Wang). As a result of the progressive push for the abolition of conversion practices from collectively all areas of mass media, 11 states have banned conversion therapy since 2017 out of the current 16 states who have banned conversion therapy (U.S. News). Americans’ values unequivocally align with supporting gay citizens as equals, however; the law lacks the representation of such modern values. When actors, singers, and artists with massive followings influence their fan base to take action with their local representatives -- exponential change occurs.
The dubious science underlying conversion therapy consists of no substance. Unlicensed therapists and self-proclaimed religious authorities scapegoat gay children in order to fulfill their own nefarious endeavors. Prominent scientific and mental health organizations castigate the empirical reasoning behind gay conversion practices. The American Psychiatric Association, “opposes any psychiatric treatment such as reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation.” Additionally, The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated: “Therapy directed at specifically changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation.”, while The Pan American Health Organization, a regional office of the World Health Organization, has stated that these practices “lack medical justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people.” (National Center for Lesbian Rights). The only thing gay conversion therapy scientifically yields is mental trauma. There is no scientific evidence supporting gay conversion practices; exhibiting American government and laws are run by stigmatized tenets. Governance should be based upon moral imperatives and scientific reasoning not unreliable religious-based abhorrent dogma. Federal laws must evolve with the current societal enlightenment of equal human rights.
As social norms overwhelmingly mature from rudimentary ideologies; the law must reflect society’s strides for basic human rights. With no scientific reasoning, unethical practices, and traumatic results, the law should protect prospective conversion therapy victims. As gay citizens are deprived of basic human rights, the law must evaluate if such excruciating circumstances violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as Title VII prohibits no discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (House of Representatives). According to the New York Times, “Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann concluded that ‘sexual orientation discrimination is motivated, at least in part, by sex and is thus a subset of sex discrimination.’” as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also notes, “Congress may design legislation to governing changing times and circumstances... Words in statutes can enlarge or contract their scope as other changes, in law or in the world, require their application to new instances or make old applications anachronistic” (Adam Liptak) . Treating gay people as second class citizens violates civil rights law while subsequently encouraging damaging outdated doctrine. If the law allows gay minors to be involuntarily harmed, where can the line be drawn for further impairment of marginalized groups? With the Equality Act -- an act that would grant gay citizens equal rights nationwide -- currently being reviewed, social and legal change are closer than ever before. Lawmakers must abolish partisanship in relation to injustices to gay citizens as a whole -- eradicating gay conversion therapy as their first step -- in order to restore public faith in governance. Gay conversion therapy is unscrupulous in every aspect of its entity; laws supporting such practices must be repealed through intensive law reform. Even in states where conversion therapy is illegal, non-licensed religious leaders and faith-based counselors are allowed to continue to perform on minors as religion is used as an untouchable front. Religion-based law is a slippery slope as it is used for advancements in inequitable treatment of minorities. There is no separation between church and state in regards to laws encompassing homosexual laws — fundamentally violating America’s principles. Right-winged lawmakers must favor morality over prejudice and sectarianism to protect gay minors and citizens against unethical antiquated practices.
The law is the framework for widespread social change; in times of great dissolution progressive movements must lead instead of bigotry. Being gay is not a choice and the assertion that children can be structurally changed is dangerous. Society needs to stop designing to hyper-uniformity and heteronormativity by disregarding diversity in all facets. Gay conversion therapy must be obliterated legally due to its iniquitous execution and fundamental creation. Conversion therapy torments homosexual minors mentally and physically with extreme negative corollary. Implementing hate within youth and dividing families are only the surface level issues that conversion therapy presents. The conversation needs to be changed on a broader spectrum. The law views homosexual citizens as unequals to their heterosexual counterparts in society. Even with recent progressions in law reform, gay citizens can still be legally discriminated across the nation in restaurants, places of work, adoption agencies, and in marriage licensing - to name a few. Gay conversion therapy is one of the utmost pressing issues in regard to the oppression of gay citizens as its primitive nature intends to mentally and physically harm LGBTQ+ adolescents. The abrogation of gay conversion therapy nationwide is the catalyst the country needs to defeat intolerance caused by the current and pre-existing political, social, and legal climate.
“Actress Chloe Grace Moretz on New Film: It's a Form of Activism.” MSNBC, NBCUniversal News Group, www.msnbc.com/the-beat-with-ari-melber/watch/actress-chloe-grace-moretz-on-new-film-it-s-a-form-of-activism-1356381763901.
“Born Perfect: The Facts About Conversion Therapy.” National Center for Lesbian Rights, 8 Nov. 2018, www.nclrights.org/bornperfect-the-facts-about-conversion-therapy/.
Conley, Garrard. Boy Erased: a Memoir. William Collins, 2018.
Danforth, Emily M. The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Balzer + Bray, 2018.
Leins, Casey. “States That Have Banned Conversion Therapy.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, 11 Apr. 2019, www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2019-04-11/these-states-have-banned-conversion-therapy.
Liptak, Adam. "Supreme Court to Decide Whether Bias Law Covers Gay and Transgender Workers." The New York Times. 22 Apr. 2019. The New York Times. 03 May 2019 <https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/22/us/politics/supreme-court-gay-transgender-employees.html>.
McGeorge, Christi R., et al. “An Exploration of Family Therapists' Beliefs about the Ethics of Conversion Therapy: The Influence of Negative Beliefs and Clinical Competence With Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients.” Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111), 30 July 2013, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/jmft.12040?purchase_referrer=scholar.google.com&tracking_action=preview_click&r3_referer=wol&show_checkout=1.
Ramaswamy, Chitra. “'I Still Have Flashbacks': the 'Global Epidemic' of LGBT Conversion Therapy.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 8 Aug. 2018, www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/08/i-still-have-flashbacks-the-global-epidemic-of-lgbt-conversion-therapy.
Ryan, Patrick. “What Happens in Gay Conversion Therapy? 'Cameron Post,' 'Boy Erased' Show Scary Reality.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 3 Aug. 2018, www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2018/07/31/gay-conversion-therapy-new-films-show-scary-reality/838633002/.
Silman, Anna. “8 People on Surviving Gay Conversion Therapy.” The Cut, The Cut, 10 Aug. 2018, www.thecut.com/2018/08/8-gay-conversion-therapy-survivors-on-cameron-post.html.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 03 May 2019 <https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm>.
Wang, Amy B. “Taylor Swift's Endorsement of Democrats Is Followed by a Spike in Voter Registrations.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 9 Oct. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2018/10/09/taylor-swifts-endorsement-democrats-causes-spike-voter-registrations/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f19f6fcb3da2.
It has been like 6 months since I’ve been on YouTube and I am back for good! Find out how to make this Halloween LEWK here.
I did 20,000 crunches in 30 minutes. Yup. And that sounds impossible. Because it basically is. But nearly anything is possible when you visit Jeannel Astarita of Just Ageless at 11 Howard.
Astaria is on the forefront of cutting edge beauty technology as she performs everything from laser treatments to silk peel facials to using cool-sculpting machines.
Although, this time I didn't get my regular facial with Jeannel. I tested out the new Emsculpt machine which is placed on your stomach to reduce fat and build muscle. The machine varies in intensity as a 30 minute session can be equivalent to 20,000 crunches.
Recently, I have been working on abdominal strength and achieving the perfect six pack. Even though I am close, I needed the extra push (because I am not ready to say goodbye to french fries). The Emsculpt machine not only eliminates your fat, but aids in strengthening your core, which will allow you to complete your abdominal workouts more efficiently and improve in new areas of fitness.
I relaxed as the machine was strategically placed on my lower stomach where I experience the most fat. The machine subtly jolts your core in intervals then goes in to resting periods. Jeannel described these contractions akin to giving birth.
The whole experience was weird - but in the best way possible. At first I had the giggles from even using this machine to begin with, but as I eased in to it, I felt less guilty for having french toast earlier, and learned how cool and innovative this technology really is.
About 2 days later is when I really noticed the change in my workouts. I was able to complete my regular abdominal routine in longer sets while being able to perform new workouts I could not complete under normal circumstances.
Jeannel suggests to get this treatment 3-4 times to see the best physical and visual results. I definitely will be coming back to Astaria's office to do 20,000 crunches - no sweat involved.
The best sign of having a fun Summer is returning to your school or office looking sun-kissed and glowing. If we could all capture Summer in a bottle, we would, but while scientists are figuring that one out (joking), we can create a period of longevity for our tan.
Prepping your skin for a tan is essential. Using a scrub or exfoliating cleanser/body wash basically acts as a primer for tanning, as you get rid of all the dead skin cells sitting on top of your skin.
Take a cold shower
As much as I love a hot shower, beauty hurts, honey. Cold showers are more hydrating than hot showers, which strip your skin.
Drinking the proper amount of water daily, which is 8 servings of 8 ounces, is key to preserving your tan. Proper hydration extends the life of your skin cells, and subsequently delays your body's natural exfoliating process (yes, we shed like snakes). Add cocoa to your water for a boost of hydration - the perfect excuse to drink hot cocoa (or cold cocoa) in the middle of Summer.
Moisturizing should be the most important step in your skincare routine. This act will prevent your skin from peeling and aids in hydrating, as mentioned previously. Here's a pro tip: adding a few drops of tanning oil will help increase that bronzy #glow.
Wear a tan extender
There are actually products out there to help with this exact dilemma. Tan extenders help increase the time period of your tan and can actually make you look tanner than before.
Fake it 'till you make it
Slather on that bronzer or self tanner or whatever you need to do to glow, girl! Some Summers are better than others, or some people may just not tan (and only burn) *gasp*. Accentuate your tan or fake one until Fall.
How do you guys preserve your tan?
If you know me, I am a very stressed person. Like 7 out of 10 times anyone interacts with me, I am stressed. Ok... more like 9 times out of 10. This is partially due to my hectic schedule and everything it entails. Although, stress is genetic, and a lot of my own stress is self-induced. On my journey to a stress-free life, I learned practices to incorporate into my life to reduce the amount of stress I could experience.
Everything and anything exudes from the classic Sunday Scaries. I hate Sunday more than anything, alternatively, use your Sunday to plan instead of dwelling on your weekend and stressing about the upcoming week.
Know what you have to do for the week and write it down. Seeing it visually helps instead of forgetting or things jumbling up in your brain. One of the most satisfying things for me, is to cross off each priority, once it is finished. A major tip is add small tasks so you feel more accomplished as you remove those errands off your list.
Just do it
If you look up procrastination in the dictionary, my (well-lit and edited) selfie pops up. Unfinished tasks or plans are the worst and that is where a lot of my anxiety accumulates from. Getting over whatever fear that task beholds is key to de-stressing, and the best way is just doing it - there is no way around it.
Take a bath, put your favorite facemask on, light a candle, take a walk through the park, indulge in a donut. These are all ways of practicing self-care. Noticing when you need "me-time" or to pause from reality is integral to leading a healthy lifestyle.
Meal and fitness prep
Working out and eating are important parts of my day, and I like to change things up every once in a while. Doing the same workouts and eating the same thing can get monotonous, instead of stressing out on what to do every day of the week, plan the new things you are willing to try out and how you will revisit your favorite places.
Plan your outfits
The worst thing is not knowing what to wear or not feeling confident in your on-the-go outfit. We have all been there where it has stressed us out to the max in the mornings, snowballing into being late and setting a bad vibe for the rest of the day. Planning your outfits can be really fun! Find inspiration online and pull your outfits - grab a polaroid and lay out your outfits for the week so you can visualize them daily.
As much as I love social media and my phone, the best thing to do is unplug. Digital devices are a big source of stress as they prevent us from being in the moment and promote lack of sleep. The best remedy for detoxing is being present and prioritizing YOU!
What do you guys do to de-stress?
Trendy or classic, I love a good clothing haul, especially for Summer. Instead of going Barney's or an expensive department store, I opted for H&M, which believe it or not has some great quality pieces when you actually look. I found that H&M suits my body the best for denim, as I have a small waist and rather defined booty (LOL). Below I selected my favorite must-have pieces that I purchased for my Summer wardrobe.
Distressed Denim Shorts $24.99
Blue Jeans $39.99
Linen Shorts $29.99
White Knit Shorts $12.99
Classic Tank $7.99
Stay tuned for upcoming outfit posts featuring such items!
Netflix, my supportive friend, asked once again, "Are you still watching?", as I rolled my eyes and reached for another handful of Oreos. The ideal Friday night situation - Netflix and chill.
Although, after a while your body and mind reap the effects of the lack of sleep and 3:00 AM pizza deliveries. In a perfect world, I am someone who gets 8 hours of sleep every night, eats the perfect amount of greens and protein, all while getting in my Netflix binge-sessions (and looking toned and amazing in the process).
This Summer, I have taken many strides in perfecting my #SummerBod and changing my "Netflix and chill" lifestyle. Not only have I physically improved as a result of partaking in a healthy lifestyle, but it is a game-changer mentally, too. The definition of healthy isn't washboard abs and a salad for every meal, but somewhere in the middle between that and your 3:00 AM pizza delivery. As every nutritionist and trainer known to mankind says, "Everything in moderation". In an effort to finding that perfect middle between gym maniac and couch potato, I discovered Shape House.
Shape House, or also known as the "Urban Sweat Lodge", is a 45-minute sweat session that burns anywhere between 800 and 1,600 calories. You chill out (no pun-intended) in a heated sleeping bag wearing a long sleeve tee, sweatpants, and socks. Shape House supplies you with mineral water - to maximize hydration - and even a mini tea session in their relaxation room, post-sweat. But the best part is while laying in bed, you can listen to your favorite music or watch the latest episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, or if you are not a Kar-Jenner fan, you may indulge in any TV show that you desire.
Not only do you get your "workout" in by doing nothing, the aftermath is a zen state for hours. The benefits include improvement in weight loss, sleep, and even your skin. The most prominent result for me was quality of sleep, as it felt as if every sore muscle, caffeine molecule, and ounce of stress was erased from my body.
For someone like me, who is doing cardio for 1-2 hours daily and always running around for work, Shape House is a great place to calm down and detox. On the other hand, if you are really lazy and can't bring yourself to run on the treadmill, laying in a heated bed may be your fitness-calling.
Do I suggest this to be a daily remedy? No. Do I suggest a whole box of pizza to be apart of your daily meal plan? Yes... I mean no. Everything good for you (and bad for you) should be in moderation, and that is when the results will yield the best benefits.
WHAT IS "LOVE, SIMON" ABOUT?
"Love, Simon" is the latest teen romantic comedy in theaters now. The only difference about this rom-com is that the protagonist is gay. The movie is a coming of age and coming out movie, as Simon, a senior in high school, slowly is opening up about his sexuality to his friends, family, and school. There is an anonymous gay teen at Simon's school with whom he connects with and falls in love with via e-mail. The only catch is that they don't know each other's identity. Simon tries to unravel the identity of "Blue", while hoping his own sexuality doesn't get revealed to his hyper-heterosexual high school. With many internal and external obstacles, "Love, Simon", exemplifies a less than ordinary coming out and first love story. And yes, there is a happy sappy, kleenex-worthy ending.
MINI-LGBTQ MEDIA HISTORY LESSON
Now, more than ever there is more LGBTQ representation in film, TV, and media. The past 10 years or so, LGBTQ characters and their love stories have been intertwined into popularized media like Grey's Anatomy, but never as the main love story being portrayed. "Love, Simon" is a fresh perspective on your favorite boy meets girl high school gooey love story, but now it is boy meets boy.
The societal goal of "Love, Simon" was amazing. It is really the first movie (that isn't an Indie movie like Call Me By Your Name) where a gay love story is "the norm". I loved the fact that this is real life, that I can sit in a movie theater and watch a gay protagonist. The feeling is indescribable when you see a boy kiss a boy on the big screen, like butterflies - but in a good way. I am only sixteen, but the rest of my childhood, growing up, was watching my favorite classic 90s movies like "When Harry Met Sally" and "Pretty Woman", although I could never look up at the TV and aspire to have that love story. "Love, Simon" provides a sense of comfort that future generations of pre-teens and teens can see a gay love story and not think it is disgraceful or wrong. Love is love, and it should be that simple.
However, "Love, Simon" isn't my ideal representation of a coming out story. Without spoiling the storyline, Simon was put in the position to chose either his friendships or his sexuality. The writers made it seem like being gay in 2018 limited you to only keeping your sexuality to yourself and that your support system of friends and family wouldn't be of any help. Even though it comes full circle by the end of the film (and Simon learns that mostly everyone is supportive of his relationship), the way they made Simon sacrifice friendships in order to maintain his secret love story, and how he was outed left a bad taste in my mouth. Coming out is a hard thing to do, even today, trust me I've been there. The first person I came out to was my best friend Victoria, and I knew when I was ready that my friends and family were the ones I could count on. Everything from my first crush to kiss was intimate, and I wouldn't have it any other way - but that is a story for another blog post.
Anyways, the thing about the movie that I didn't like was that they made Simon's coming out everyone's business, where it should have been a bittersweet moment of intimacy, not his childhood burden.
THE FINAL VERDICT
Although I did not like how Simon was outed, the message behind the film and what it means for our society is something that I am extremely happy about. This movie is not only a movie, it is an experience and part of the history of LBTQ media movements. I enjoyed the film a lot, the guy Simon falls in love with is a total hottie, and his first kiss is actual #goals. So unless you are homophobic (which I highly doubt any of my readers are because I am clearly gay AF), I definitely suggest that you purchase a ticket and go with your friends and family because films like these are not going away anytime soon.
You might know Madelaine Petsch as the vindictive Cheryl Blossom on CW's Riverdale, but I can honestly tell you that Petsch has nothing in common with her character besides their hair color and love for the country side.
I met Madelaine a few days before her Bioré event at the Jonathan Simkhai fashion show, so I was shocked when Madelaine greeted me with a hug as I waltzed over to her. Madelaine is arguably the nicest celebrity I ever met.
As we got to talk about her first ever Fashion Week, Petsch confessed that she likes New York and it's buzz, but would never live here because she is a suburban girl at heart. Right after the event, Madelaine was scheduled to hop on a plane to get right back to filming her hit teen drama show, so it is only fitting that she is Bioré's new brand ambassador; a skincare brand that promotes efficiency and the elimination of acne - very relevant to her demographic, and frankly her schedule (or anybody who has quite the busy schedule).
After our photo op, which included a messy face wash battle, I sat down with Madelaine to get the full scope on her own skincare routine and Cheryl Blossom's beauty secrets.
DAVID: "What is one beauty product you can't live without on set?"
MADELAINE: "The Bioré pore strips... I am addicted to them!"
DAVID: "Describe what your skin was like in high school."
MADELAINE: "It was fine in high school, after I graduated high school I had cystic acne for like two years and it was awful. Then, it cleared up again. But it was all stress related, like its all from stress."
DAVID: "What is your beauty secret for great skin?"
MADELAINE: "After I've been on set all day and I've got a bunch of makeup on, I will actually triple wash my face with the Bioré Baking Soda Acne Cleansing Foam just to get all of it out, because one wash and even two washes I think isn't enough to get all of that makeup out of your pores."
DAVID: "What do you think Cheryl's beauty routine would look like?"
MADELAINE: "I mean I do it every morning in the makeup trailer, and it is long. And I feel like between me and you, and the rest of the people who read your blog, I really feel like Cheryl would have a professional makeup artist come to the house every day, don't you think?"
DAVID: "She would!"
MADELAINE: "She honestly would."
DAVID: "What brand of red lipstick does Cheryl always wear?"
MADELAINE: "It's a secret!"
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Let me know what you guys think in the comment section down below! Any feedback, suggestions, tips, and more. Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay Ruff!