A Bunch Of Prom Dresses Worse Than A Tuxedo

Ah, prom season. It’s that time of year when high schoolers across America pay way too much money to go to a school dance. Speaking as a human adult who went through the shenanigans of prom, it’s never what you think it’s going to be, kids (See previous post here). Case in point: Pennsylvania teen Aniya Wolf.

So here’s what went down: officials at Aniya’s Catholic high school sent out an email in February requiring all females to wear a formal dress to prom, and if anyone failed to adhere to the dress code, they would not be allowed to attend the prom. They sent a reminder email in March and a day before the prom, an administrator sent an email to Aniya’s mom specifically saying they had found out her daughter was planning on wearing a tux and warned again that if she doesn’t wear a dress, she wouldn’t be let in. On Saturday, Aniya, with a brand new tux (complete with a vest), showed up to said prom and school officials threatened to call police if she didn’t leave. So she left.

Ok, on one hand, the school’s administrators made a rule, told parents and students about it multiple times, and Aniya still defied the dress code, knowing full well what she was doing. Prom was essentially a suicide mission.

On the other hand, the rule is dumb. Why have this put in place at all? What is this meant to be protecting? And why are they calling out one student? It’s clear they specifically made it to prevent Aniya from wearing a suit. And the thing is, Aniya has been a tomboy all her life. Instead of wearing the option of a skirt to school, she says she’s been wearing dress code pants all three years she’s been attending Bishop McDevitt high school. Officials knew full well of her clothing choices prior to prom. Also, although it shouldn’t normally matter, I feel like it’s important to note that Aniya is a lesbian and her date is a girl (wearing a formal dress). I’m just saying school officials might a hidden agenda besides taking down a girl in a tuxedo.

After news spread Aniya wasn’t let into prom, an uproar obviously ensued, so school admins released a statement:  “Without question, we love, respect and cherish all of our students… Bishop McDevitt will continue to practice acceptance and love for all of our students.”

Sure. Ok.

Since we also went to a Catholic high school, we know what it’s like to abide by a dress code, albeit I don’t remember ever receiving an email about dresses at prom. On days when you could dress down, I feel like people dressed “up” more than usual. It was time to show off your personal style rather than the required maroon polo and unflattering pleated khakis. So for prom, it was dress down day to the max, and girls went all out.

In saying that, Aniya is wearing multiple layers of clothing and is way more modest than the other girls wearing formal dresses. It’s hard to believe school officials would rather have a gal half dressed than a gal fully clothed. I mean, have you seen some of the dresses out there? Not only are a lot of them ugly but they’re showing a lot of skin and not appropriate for 15 to 18 year olds, IMO. Here are just some real prom dresses that are a fafillion times worse than Aniya’s tuxedo will ever be.

but maybe her prom was a toga party

what’s worse looking jealous or crazy jealous or crazy?

remember garters?

i really hope those two girls in the back learn what not to wear from this experience.

this is so 2000s i can barely comment on it. it strikes a chord within me.

could lit’rally poke an eye out

but they’re on a red “carpet” made from what seems to be a 99 cent plastic tablecloth

bless her date. bless him.

after the prom, girls wearing this dress can double up and go to a salsa dance competition in uruguay.

sigh.

because nothing says i’m going stag than an illuminated photo of rpatz on your dress.

 

Why We Need More Sisterhoods of the Traveling Pants

Guys, I’m not ashamed to say it – I loved Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. The first one, the second one, the third one, probably, if they ever make it. I’m always for any movie that features a strong friendship between females, stars great actresses, features hot guys, and passes the Bechdel test.

If you can believe it, the first Sisterhood film was released 10 years ago this coming Monday, and I clearly remember going to the theater with my girlfriends (including Molly) to see it. It was 2005, the summer right after the first year of college. We all came back home after spending our first year as ‘adults’ on our own, making new friends, living new lives. Anyone who’s ever been to college can relate to this, which is why I think Sisterhood resonates with not just tweens, but young adults and even adult adults. As the girls in the Sisterhood spent their summer away from each other, they planned on staying connected by sending each other a magical pair of pants, along with a note updating each other on their lives.

Pants = love. Love your sisters and love yourself.

The idea was so inspiring that we decided to do something similar – obviously a pair of jeans that fit everyone wasn’t an option, so during a trip to Niagara Falls, we bought a yellow, white and orange floral printed scarf, and deemed it the Traveling Scarf. It lived on for a while, being sent from school to school on its Northeast college tour throughout our sophomore year. (If anyone’s wondering, I have it currently in my closet. Sorry.) While the Sisterhood films and magical pants seemed lame at first, it gave me and my friends a creative way to keep in touch when school and our lives as college kids got in the way.

ah, college.

The mere fact that we, as 19 year olds, were left inspired by a film to be closer to one another when we couldn’t be physically and geographically close, is a testament to the movie, books, and franchise as a whole. This is exactly why we need another movie and movies like this need to keep being made. Aside from the whole more films made by and for women debacle (which is obviously important and I hate that it’s even an issue), movies and books and TV shows, etc. about women supporting each other need to be put out for public consumption.

Tween and teen girls need the Sisterhood and the ilk to use as a type of guide them between finding themselves and finding friendships with other girls. Women our age need it because sometimes we need to be reminded of what’s really important. We get wrapped up in worry – worry about our jobs, what we’re going to wear to that event, financial problems – but movies like Sisterhood remind us that we ultimately need to be happy with ourselves and how we are as human beings, and to surround yourself with people that will lift you to be the best you, instead of bringing you down.

So, in saying all this, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 3 movie needs to be on its way. And while we’re at it, how bout making other movies like this one, Hollywood? There’s a Bechdel Test waiting to be taken, and I can’t wait until there’s a handful of movies for teen girls that pass with flying colors.

Promposals: What Are They And Why Are They So On Fleek

We’re smack dab in the middle of prom time, and high schoolers across the country are either having the time of their lives or pretending they are, because LBR, we all know deep down that prom’s not as exciting as you ever think it’s going to be.

The tradition of prom is has a long history in the U.S., but one that’s been all the rage of late is the “Promposal”. Now back in our day, of course the boys would ask girls to prom. But I don’t ever remember it being as elaborate as it is today – or even having its own Urban Dictionary term. Although the kids of Laguna Beach would probably disagree.

We graduated the same year as LC and Lo and Stephen and Trey <3, so like many others, I found the show fascinating. But when it came to the prom episodes, the guys were going all out to surprise the girls with the big ask. In season one, Dieter asks Jessica in a baseball field, Trey *better than ur faves* keeps it classy with rose petals and candles, and Stephen, for some reason, hides in Kristin’s house and writes ‘Prom??’ on his chest, because that’s ‘hot’?

In season two, there was a tow truck involved with one of the blonde Alex-es involved, but basically, the show taught me that promposals were a thing before they were PROMPOSALS. Is this a West Coast thing? Because I swear it wasn’t a thing in Western New York.

Fast forward to present day, when it’s like a game between people to come up with the most creative and impressive ways to ask the person of your choosing to prom. I actually got to (kind of) witness one first hand recently, when I was on a cruise that my friends got married on. During dinner, my friend’s 18-year-old brother sneakily asked his GF to prom by having the server present her with a dessert plate that had ‘Prom?’ written out in a chocolate syrup-type substance. I saw it all happening from afar like a creep and got weirdly excited I got to witness something that the youngins are doing first-hand.

Kinda looked like this, sans the fried dough balls

But then you have the more intricate and carefully thought out Promposals, that range from making a sign and holding a basket of kitties, to putting those Scantrons to good use, to recruiting your friends to do a choreographed dance to One Direction in front of the entire student body.

But my favorite as of late is the Promposal by Jacob Lescenski of Las Vegas, who asked his best friend Anthony Martinez to prom. Not a big deal, right? Well it is when Anthony, who is gay, posted on Twitter that he never gets asked to prom (I’d be complaining too if everyone around me was getting Promposal’ed and I wasn’t). Jacob, who is straight, saw his tweet and decided that he would ask Anthony to prom, despite the fact he already had a girl date (she graciously bowed out).

Even though Jacob opted for a sign and a rhyme that didn’t involve a flash mob, the face that he decided to do it at all speaks volumes. Their story went viral, and major media outlets picked it up, including Teen Vogue, who chipped in an got the boys tuxes from Topman and paid for a limo, and Ellen invited them on her show and not only videotaped them at prom, but gave them each money for college.

As much as I love Jacob and Anthony’s story, it’s still crazy to me that teens are going to great lengths – as great lengths as they would as if they were actually proposing – to ask someone out to an overrated dance. I get it. It’s a special time in a teenager’s life, etc. Yet is it necessary to put on an entire show just to go to prom? What will you do when you actually propose to your future spouse?!

Moreover, we didn’t have GoPros and smart phones and social media during prom season in the mid 2000s. We took cameras with FILM and had to wait for a day or two to develop before we would go through and trash the ones that looked horrible. Like physically put them in the trash bin. To me, promposals are 90% about HOW you do it and 10% who is doing it. That ratio doesn’t seem right. Call me crazy, but it seems like they’re just trying to one up each other, because it is high school after all.

Is this all me talking in my old age and having a quarter(ish)-life crisis? Probably. Definitely. Am I maybe bitter that I had to ask my gay-but-not-out-yet-gay friend to my junior prom and never got a promposal? Most likely. But whatevs. I’m just going to sit back, watch the promopsals pop up all over the interwebs, and if you need me, I’ll be looking up words on Urban Dictionary with a full glass of wine in hand. Because I’m 29. And I can legally drink. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, teens.

Class of ’04: Traci & Molly’s High School Reunion

As Class of ’04 Week comes to a close, we’re taking today to look back at our own personal experience in high school. Like everyone else who spent four years trapped inside a building with pubescent teens and seemingly endless piles of homework (that we may or may not have done), we have fond memories of our time together in those hallowed halls. From being theatre nerds to drama with friends and a trip that took us to meet our very first (gay) boyfriend in Europe, the anecdotes are endless. Since the odds of us attending our upcoming (official) 10 year reunion are the same as, say, Britney and Justin getting back together or my Beanie Babies collection being worth $1 mil, or ever knowing the real way to pronounce ‘Xanga’, we now share with you reflections on our teen selves as adults 10 years later – in lieu of a real reunion.

Introduction to Theater

M: We sort of had a weirdly politicized high school theater department, which I think is such a normal thing. Like, the same kids got all the roles even if they weren’t great, and it was impossible to edge your way in there. Both of us came in with more “experience” (whatever) than a lot of kids, but since we started sophomore or junior year it was like “nope, sorry.” And I was like BITCH I WAS IN AN EDUCATIONAL VIDEO ALREADY.

T: And I was all BITCH I’VE BEEN IN ALL THE PRODUCTIONS OF MY CHURCH MUSICALS DAMNNNN. But really. I think I went into the freshman year audition of Cinderella thinking I was the shit and ended up not even getting into the chorus. It wasn’t until junior year when both Molly & I got into Crazy For You – and I got in only because I was good at tap dancing and somehow made the “dance troupe/Follies Girls”. I felt like I finally had an in but senior year, I was determined to get a good role for the musical, My Fair Lady. I started taking voice lessons from a local music school just so I could properly prepare for my audition. I guess it worked because I played Mrs. Pearce, the head housekeeper. CATCH YOUR DREAMS, KIDS. SHACKLE THEM TO YOUR HEART.

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M: But the most memorable theater experience by far was The Theater Bandit. During the spring musical, stuff kept disappearing from kids’ backpacks during rehearsals. After a while it became clear it was someone involved in the play. THEN a big sum of money went missing the day of our dress rehearsal, and the play was going to be cancelled – cancelled! – if the person didn’t fess up or turn in the money. The directors called everyone up onto the stage, one by one, and went through their bookbags to look for it. Girls were crying.

Honestly, even for the theater department, calling each kid up to be searched right at center stage was a liiiiitle dramatic. There were three chairs – one for the kid and one for each director – and in my imagination, a spotlight. Maybe some suspenseful piano music.

T: But really, in my head it looked like the “green mile” on So You Think You Can Dance right before they find out if they make the top 20 or not.

Screenshot 2014-06-20 00.05.10

Turns out that the girl who did it finally got caught and mystery of The Theater Bandit was solved. I still don’t know if she ‘fessed up or you know, our director found a huge wad of cash in her bookbag, but to this day, we still call this girl The Theater Bandit. Also I think I remember someone else claiming they had something stolen, and during the interrogation, she came crying back into the theater saying her mom found whatever it is she thought was stolen – at home.

M: I don’t know if she was officially caught, because I found out later when our friend Sarah went to college with someone knew The Theater Bandit. If our lives were Pretty Little Liars, that was the moment I found out who A was.

Recess/Lunch (You Can’t Sit With Us)

M: I could still draw the social geography of our high school cafeteria from memory. Having multiple groups you sit with depending on the day was okay – I floated a bit – but going to a table that wasn’t part of your usual scene just wasn’t done. To the extent that freshman year when I went to the senior boy table to give my brother my leftover lunch money and stayed there a while, THAT was the moment he decided I was sort-of cool. One time they tried to start this Change Your Seat Day, and we were all like “this is some kind of crazy bullshit.”

T: I weirdly remember the geography too. In fact freshman year, I almost sat with the girls who played sports – because my friends from middle school played volleyball, not because I did HAHA – but I decided to sit somewhere else instead. That somewhere else was the theater/band/chorus section, where I usually sat. Although, like Molly, I think I floated a bit, between that table, the table that our group of friends started that was kind of a mish mosh of folks, and when I felt daring, the minority table (read: black table). I used to sit at the black table all throughout middle school, but that’s because we were all friends. In high school, it was like two of them were my friends and the rest were the guys who played football. Nope.

This was not in our school’s cafeteria, this was at the annual theatre banquet our senior year.

M: The volleyball thing reminds me of that period right at the beginning of freshman year when you’re trying to get your bearings, and you hang out with people that you end up not even saying hi to in the hall four years later. The same thing happened in college, too. You befriended some random group of people, figured out who you really want to spend time with within a few months, and by graduation you didn’t even know their names.

T: And I’m still friends with those people on Facebook. Still trying to get myself to unfriend them, but stalking is just so satisfying on the internetz.

Dramatics

M: I was never properly at the center of any actual teen drama. I did have a few of those random girls who seemed to dislike me for no reason though. One girl from my tennis team hated me. She was sort of a poor student/bad girl type. I think she took my “Exceeds Expectations” personality type as a personal indictment, when in reality I couldn’t have given less of a shit about her. Also this one girl who used a lot of hairspray was always kind of snide and I was like “get over yourself, you leave the girls’ bathroom under a heavy fog of Aquanet.” If there is a tiny ozone hole directly above the science wing of our high school, she is the reason.

I did talk a lot of shit, though. I’ll own up to that. But I was always joking! I felt like it was okay to rip on people as long as it was funny. I hope I’ve gotten better, but that might be a lifelong journey.

T: I mean, we’ve gotten better to the extent that we know when it’s warranted because people are jackasses. Yeah, I don’t really remember any real teen drama happening, besides the normal secret romances, secret (not so secret) pregnancies… but senior year is when the real shit happened. One of my friends decided she was just going to stop talking to us – I honestly don’t even remember why – and as a last “olive branch/I’m going off to college peace offering” I sent her a copy of that video I made for everyone (see yesterday’s post re: Closing Time by Semisonic), and never got a response back. Until like 2 years ago when we met up when I was home and we made up, I guess? IDK I don’t have a problem with her anymore, I just think it’s funny that I still have no idea why there was a rift in the first place.

M: I was waiting for you to tell that story because I couldn’t figure out what had actually happened and figured I either forgot or wasn’t in the loop! It turns out it was just legitimately for no reason?

T: No reason. If there was a reason, I’ve clearly forgotten it with my old age.

Global Studies

M: Junior year, we went on a school trip to Spain. We brought along computer print-outs of Friends episodes and read them aloud in our hotel room. I feel like this is an important thing to know about us as friends and just people in general.

T: I clearly remember us in our hotel room in Valencia, maybe (?) sitting on the bed and reading the scripts between the two of us and our two friends. This was also the trip where we tried to convince one of our friends that Cups was a real game during the flight.

20140617-222958.jpg

“Gotcha suckaaa! Cups isn’t real!”

M: We totally did, too. I remember her being like “I think I’m getting it!”

I’d like to take this moment to publicly apologize to all of the other people on our flights, in our hotels, in restaurants, etc. We were probably all so loud and annoying.  A German couple did ask us to quiet down one morning when we were watching “That’s English!”, which was like the Spanish-to-English version of Destinos. Sample dialogue: A: Do you like ham? B: I like ham. A: Here’s a ham! Have some ham.

T: oh my GOD I forgot about That’s English! We also did a lot of ‘staring at European children and promising we would dress our kids like that one day’ too. The friggin tots looked straight out of Zara.

M: I’m still trying to work out how my future children can wear school smocks (is that even the right English term? IDK. Babis.) and speak French.

I believe this was post-churros con chocolate. My life has never been the same.

T: Since we went through the school, we were on one of those EF organized tours that give you a free backpack and a tour guide to join you the entire trip. Our tour guide’s name was Pablo *sigh*. I was pretty much obsessed/in love with him and his Spanish accent and knowledge of so much about his country. I even bought one of those novelty name plates that said PABLO on it, which still sits in my bedroom at home to this day. Looking back… he was absolutely, 100%, no doubt about it, homosexual. FORESHADOWING OF MY LIFE WITH THE GAYS.

Fun fact: the Theater Bandit is in this picture.

M: I remember debating whether he was gay or straight, and then he walked into the hotel lobby in a rainbow-print Dolce & Gabbana sweater. We were like “maybe he’s just European?” But Europe has gay people, too. And he was one of them.

❤ PABLO ❤

Photography Class

T: Kids these days don’t know just how good they have it. Someone was recently telling me that they saw a group of like 15 year old girls at the airport who kept taking selfies for 20 minutes while waiting for their flight. When we were 15, we had to take pictures on either our disposable KODAK cameras or actual point and shoots with real film (do kids know how to put film in cameras even?). When you got pix back after they were developed and you looked horrible in a picture, too bad. That’s why when there was a picture where everyone looked great, it was like the holy grail.

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And for big events – such as prom – I remember the agony of waiting a couple days to get the photos back. And then we would scour over them during lunch.

Junior prom.

Senior prom.

Post-Senior prom at our friend’s cottage and clearly taken on an old school camera since it’s not even in focus or centered.

M: But in a way, that was better. Because you kept your pictures, and if you looked bad, you either got rid of it or just didn’t show it to anybody. And if you looked bad in someone else’s pictures, only a finite group of people would ever see it. The downside was that if your pictures didn’t turn out you wouldn’t know til weeks later, and by then the moment was gone. I like how pictures used to be separate from events. Like you said, we’d all pour over them at lunch or study hall after they were developed. Now you’re expected to show everyone what you’re doing, while you’re doing it.

iPhones would’ve been the best for our band/chorus trip to Hershey Park. WE’RE NUMBER ONE! WE’RE NUMBER ONE!

T: Are senior pictures still a big thing with high schoolers? I think mine actually came out pretty good, but can someone explain to me why I was wearing a jersey like shirt in this one? I never played sports. But we did use these pictures like trading cards.

you’re welcome, internet.

M: Gotta catch ‘em all! You’d have people you weren’t even really friends with ask for your picture.

They’re still a thing some places at least – my little cousin is a senior now and she has like a hundred different poses that keep showing up on Facebook. When I got to college I learned that in other regions people only got that one picture that went in the yearbook, often where girls had to wear that weird off-the-shoulder black thing. We got straight-up glamour shots with three outfit changes, multiple settings, filters, etc. You had your yearbook pic and then like your sassy outdoor pic, your “wearing a prom dress on a swing” pic, etc. My wearing a prom dress on a swing pic was actually in SUCH demand that I ran out. My mom ordered more but, alas, she got extra prints of the wrong one. I was so ticked in the way only a seventeen-year-old whose mom is just trying to help can be ticked.

T: Um, I’m pretty sure I never got the one of you in a dress on a swing. That’s it. Friendship over.

M: Yeah, I’d love to give you one, but I still only have a giant stack of the wrong pose. THANKS MOM.

AP Life Class

M: While I think you really have to learn things by experience, there are still some things I wish I’d known:

♦ Straighten your hair or wear it curly, but please do not just blow-dry it and leave it sort of puffy and lumpy and sad.

♦ Being as young and enthusiastic and optimistic as you are at 17 is attractive no matter what you look like. But also, looking back at pictures I can’t believe I didn’t realize that I looked perfectly normal, not the ugly sewer-troll I thought I was. Besides, nobody cares what you look like; they’re all too busy with their own lives. Maybe that’s the biggest lesson: nobody else really cares what you look like, so you shouldn’t either.

♦ You really AREN’T going to use calculus.

♦ A high school teacher said this once, but I had to live it to know if was true: a lot of your best friends and people you’ll love most in your life are people you haven’t met yet.  It’s easy to be myopic when you’re a teenager but your relationships when you’re 16 aren’t IT. Or at 27, for that matter.

T: Like Tim Riggins, I also have no regrets, but here we go:

♦ Pay attention during instructions for school picture day. I came from a middle school where you could dress up (aka not wear the required uniform) for picture day, and assumed it was the same in high school. So freshman year, I showed up in a long black skirt, white shirt, with a black button up short sleeve shirt that wasn’t buttoned up. I got pulled over by one of the vice principals who asked why I wasn’t in dress code. I blamed it on my stupidity. Probs my most embarrassing moment in my high school career.

♦ Hang out with your friends outside of school more. Because our school was a private school with kids from all over the greater Rochester area, my friends lived all over the city, not down the street. In fact I had no friends that lived down the street from me. Anyways, I didn’t really hang out with my friends on weekends for real until late junior year. I wish we had more nights together.

♦ Take that journalism class. Because it will help you for your future job, probably (aka the job I have now).

♦ Don’t be afraid to do more extracurriculars. I wish I could’ve done choir all four years, been involved in theatre somehow even when I wasn’t cast in the show, and I totally could’ve made the yearbook much better than it was our senior year.

♦ Don’t be afraid. Period. I think I was trying too hard to be “adult” by the time I was a senior that I forgot how to be a teenager and just not think about the possible consequences. I mean, it’s not like I was breaking any laws, I just mean I shouldn’t have have been so uptight about life in general.

 

Justin Bieber Mugshot Redux

If you’ve been living under a rock or like a jungle or are an elder in the rural parts of Wyoming, then you know that Justin Bieber was arrested last week for not only blocking off a Miami street for drag racing, but for being drunk and high while doing it.

Of course, the Biebs has had a string of bad luck as of late, under investigation for egging a neighbor’s house, leaving graffiti literally everywhere around the world, peeing in buckets, and mysteriously getting ‘sick’ during concerts and promptly leaving thousands of Beliebers either in tears or so angry they throw water bottles at him.

But it all came to a head last Thursday, when he was brought into jail and his first mugshot ever was released to the public.

The OG:

Mugshot or Proactiv commercial?

There’s really not too much more I can say about this that you’re not already thinking. This kid is ridiculous and clearly needs help. However the people of the internetz, like usual, had something to say about Bieber’s arrest and of course, this smizin mugshot. Here are just a few of the hilarious and perfect reactions the world wide web had to Jail Bieber.

Just hold on, we’re going home (hopefully back to Canada)

I mean at least the kid stays positive? Even though he’s clearly high as a kite…

#TheAccuracy

Get a headstart on your Valentine’s Day cards this year!

I actually just want to know how Macaulay Culkin got to sit at the Plastics table.

Coming up on season 25 of Bad Girls Club…

Might as well try going to Europe, JB.

Because, drag racing.

And finally, perhaps my most favorite of them all. IDK who should be offended more.

In short, Justin Bieber, get your shit together.

Best of C+S 2013: What Even Is ‘Ratchet?’

You know that moment when you realize that you have to turn to Urban Dictionary to find out what “the youths” are talking about? That happened to us this year with “ratchet.” We worked through the definition, and in the process determined what Hogwarts house ratchets belong in and who is behind those ridiculous Yahoo Answers queries. The whole ratchet thing was so bizarre to us that we couldn’t leave it off of our Best Of list.

~~~~~~~~~

Are You Ratchet?

Originally Posted on August 5 

Sometime in the past year, I realized just how old I am. A term showed up describing a subculture, and I had no clue what it meant. Yes, ratchet. Urban Dictionary has a few definitions, but frankly I’d avoid that unless you’re cool with 13 pages of white boys using the words “slutty” and “ghetto.” Google images helped a little more, but it still didn’t completely clear things up. I believe it was Helen Keller who said that ratchet “cannot be seen or heard, but must be felt with the heart.”

Here’s my take on it: a “ratchet” person is an outspoken and possibly brash young woman who favors ostentatious or eye-catching “urban” fashion and other facets of hip-hop culture. She displays marks of conspicuous consumption, but is associated (correctly or incorrectly) with urban areas of lower socioeconomic status.

However, that definition is kind of boring. In case you’re trying to work through whether you, yourself, are ratchet, please consult this handy guide instead:

(1) Did you learn the definition of ratchet from Urban Dictionary?
The ONLY ratchet definition from Urban Dictionary that was fit to print on our website.
  • You’re probably not ratchet.
(2) Okay, did you learn the definition of ratchet during a conversation about a Miley Cyrus video?
  • You’re probably not ratchet.
(3) In the past year, have you had a conversation about a fact you learned from the John Tesh radio show?
  • You’re probably not ratchet, and may be my mother. Hi, mom.
(4) Did you learn how to twerk by watching a YouTube tutorial?
  • You’re probably not ratchet.
  • Or, you are ratchet, and are just really tenacious about developing your skills, like a ratchet Hermione Granger. I get you.

* In my mind’s eye, Ratchet Hermione Granger has bucktoothed grills and wears a Gryffindor-colored bustier under her dress robes — but also, “ratchet” seems more Slytherin.

(5) Do you care at-freaking-ALL about whether or not I think you’re ratchet?
  • You’re probably not ratchet.
(6) Within recent memory, have you lamented the decline of panty hose in women’s fashions?
  • You’re probably not ratchet.
  • Or, you are ratchet, but have to wear professional attire for work and always feel a little less-than-polished every time you wear a skirt without hose.
(7) Was Sean Combs still going by Puff Daddy the last time you were at the club?
  • You’re probably not ratchet.
  • Or, you are ratchet, but are really more of an introvert, which is fine.
(8) Did you learn the definition of “ratchet” by writing a question in to Yahoo Answers?
  • Trick question. You’re not ratchet, but that’s only because every Yahoo Answers question is written by the same confused but well-intentioned 14-year-old girl who doesn’t quite know how to use Google.
(9) (a) If someone referred to you as “nasty,” would you be offended?
  • You’re not ratchet.
(b) Is the reason you’re offended because you’re assuming they mean “nasty” in terms of being unkind, rude, and unpleasant?
  • You’re not ratchet, and seem like an old lady.
(10) (a) Do you own hoop earrings with your name written across the middle?
  • That doesn’t mean you’re ratchet.
(b) Do you own earrings with “Ratchet” written across the middle?
  • Now you’re ratchet. Unless that’s your name.
(10) Last one: are you Miley Cyrus?
  • Oh, honey. You’re not ratchet. Your dad wrote Achy Breaky Heart. (note: Noah Cyrus… Maybe)

We Need To Talk About Glee

I don’t know why I’m still watching this show. It hasn’t been good since mid-season two, so why are we all still here, four seasons deep, and expecting it to be as good as it was when they were taking on Journey songs?

My only logical explanation for it is that we’re hoping that the next episode will be as magical as it once was. We keep expecting it to be better, but then an episode like last week’s comes along. And you’re all ‘What in the actual fuck?’

Now last week’s ep, titled “Shooting Star” (no, really, it was called that), dealt with the issue of gun violence in schools. I didn’t entirely know that was the plot in the ep before I watched it, so when a gun shot went off, I was a little confused. But lo and behold, Ryan Murphy and co. were going to attack full on the issue of gun control in this episode of Glee. Basically, the glee kids are in the choir room when they hear two shots fired out from what sounds like the hallway. Mr. Shue and Coach Biest lock the doors and tell all the kids to hide and be quiet.

One thing I can commend the show for in this episode is how the kids reacted during the lockdown. Some were quiet and scared with only tears to show their emotions, some let out their deepest secrets in fear they wouldn’t get a chance to tell the truth ever again, some wanted to go find their significant other to see if they were okay. I admit I teared up during these parts, because I’m only human.

However, despite their best acting, I still couldn’t get over the fact that Glee was – yet again – tackling a sensitive issue in one of their episodes. Earlier this season, they dealt with the issue of eating disorders, and one of the characters hated another character so she taught her the ways of bulimia. Literally this Santana wannabe (Kitty is her name, Kitty) taught Marley how to stick her fingers down her throat and vomit up her food. AND THEN this bitch made Marley’s costumes smaller, making her think she was just getting bigger even after making herself purge.

HELLO?! What sick fuckery is this? If you’re going to deal with an important issue like eating disorders, be serious about it. This show has a lot of teen viewers, and this isn’t they way you should be going about things. In the past, they’ve handled OCD, sex, coming out, etc. And while I was okay with most of those topics in the Glee forum, the eating disorder and school shooting was just too much.

In the end of the Shooting Star episode, Coach Sue Sylvester told the principal that she had a gun stored in a safe in her office. She was doing her morning routine and checking to make sure it was secure when she dropped it and it went off. Twice. The principal consequently fired her, but come to find out, it was actually Becky, the cheerleader with down syndrome (ugh, another post for another day with that one). Brittany told Becky she needed to protect herself, and she took that as stealing her father’s shotgun. She went to Sue, and when Becky surrendered the gun to her, she accidentally dropped it and it went off twice. Basically to protect Becky (with whom she has a personal connection with), Sue took the fall and got fired.

Okay, so we went through the entire episode of drama and intense scenes only to find out that it was Becky who accidentally dropped a gun? And then they sang Say by John Mayer in the auditorium? No. THIS IS NOT HOW YOU SERIOUSLY DISCUSS GUN CONTROL AND SCHOOL SHOOTINGS, GLEE.

Again, stop trying to deal with serious subjects if you can’t do it correctly. Yes, you could successfully take on losing your virginity for the first time, but that doesn’t mean a shooter loose in the school will go over just as well.

In 2008, Ryan Murphy gave an interview regarding tough subjects such as these and said: ‘“There’s so much on the air right now about people with guns, or sci-fi, or lawyers running around. This is a different genre, there’s nothing like it on the air at the networks and cable. Everything’s so dark in the world right now … [Glee is] pure escapism.”

Hey buddy, remember how the show is called GLEE?? Please go back to the Beyonce mashups and the Warblers singing Katy Perry. Bring back Jesse St. James  – I’ll even settle for endless Lea Michele singing Barbra/Liza numbers. Leave the serious stuff for the teen dramas to handle. I understand you want to use this platform for good, but it’s not good when you’re just hurting it.

But hey, then again, who’s the one who’s writing about the episode and will most likely continue watching the series until it ends? This girl. Just please don’t try to deal with Cory Monteith’s enter into rehab with art imitating life and saying he had a secret cocaine addiction and Lea Michele starts singing Waterfalls with Mr. Shue. Just. No.