What’s In Shailene Woodley’s Bag?

According to Shailene Woodley, Shailene Woodley is a clay-eating, toothpaste-making, showtune-in-the-morning singing not-feminist who talks about “Gaia” and gathers spring water from a mountain brook. She’s also slightly homeless. Does this surprise anyone?

Woodley’s not homeless in the “not having a home” sense: she owns one, but her grandma lives there (because, if it doesn’t come through enough here: Shailene Woodley seems really, really nice). She’s more homeless in the “sleeping on my friends’ sofas, clogging the sink drain with lumps of clay, encouraging them to use those salt crystal sticks that, no, do NOT work just as well as deodorant, thank you very much” sense. (While we’re at it, I feel bad that regular deodorant is going to give me Alzheimers/cancer and if anyone could point me to a natural alternative that doesn’t make me smell, it’s probably Shailene).

Well, let’s let Shailene explain it, actually:

So … is Shailene Woodley magic? (Probably, yeah; wouldn’t be surprised.) Jimmy Kimmel examines her assertion that all of her possessions can fit in one carry-on sized bag, but Shai’s not really helping. Is this a normal bag or is it a mystical bottomless bag, a la Mary Poppins or The Barney Bag? I can only assume that it’s the latter, maybe given to her on a moonlit mountain sojourn by an enchanted forest crone.

Let’s inventory Shailene Woodley’s bag. On Kimmel she lists the following items: (1) computer; (1) hoodie situation; (1) pair jeans; (some) basic tees and tanks; (1) temporary cell phone because the studio got annoyed that she kept disappearing into the wilderness to worship the moon goddess; and (indeterminate) leggings.

Okay, let’s all picture all of those items. They’d totally fit into an airplane-standard carry-on, I think we can all agree. But that can’t be it, right? Based on my research, here are some other things that Shailene Woodley owns:

  • Vibram Five-Finger Shoes: Those glove-shoes that seem like they were invented by the guy who has the patent on those little round blister band-aids, in order to drum up business.

  • Water jugs: Specifically, “5-gallon carboy situations”. Girl. You know this isn’t fitting in a carry-on – wheeled or duffel. Maybe it’s her personal item.

  • Makeup and makeup remover: You can read all about Shailene’s favorite products here. You could make an argument that she doesn’t own the makeup and only wears it for appearances, but at least the remover sort of has to live with her.
  • Just a little bit of shampoo: Because she only shampoos about once a month. See article, above. (I tried this for a while and it worked until it didn’t. Some people swear by it. Probably depends on your hair type.)
  • Some clay: She eats about a teaspoon of clay every day, and makes toothpaste out of it as well. I’d say conservative estimate, you can count on at least two cups of clay so she doesn’t have to keep buying clay all the time. But if you are extra crazy and go to the website of Woodley’s recommended clay vendor, you would see that the smallest size clay-ball is 1 pound. So there you have it. A one-pound bag of clay, chipped away a teaspoon at a time.
  • This horseradish root:

See, she has a sense of humor about her hippie-neo-witch vibe, and that’s why I like her.

  • A mason jar: She carries one everywhere. Says co-star Miles Teller, “she always has a mason jar and 100% of the time it smells like crap.” Well, there’s that, then.

  • Presumably some kind of reusable menstrual product deal:  She follows DivaCup and New Moon pads on Twitter, and I can’t imagine you follow those companies because of all their awesome 140-character jokes, right? Also, this tweet:

I’ve now spent enough time in Woodley’s twitter feed to know that she calls her period “moon time.” New product idea: that one puberty class you had to go to in fifth grade, rewritten by Shailene Woodley to be 100% more earthy. 10/10, would attend.

  • Mushroom tea: I can’t imagine this tasting like anything but diluted, terrible mushroom soup. I’m only including the tea here because I’m pretty sure that the kind of people who host Shailene Woodley on their guest futon also are the type of people who own a tea kettle.
  • Chinese herbal supplements: the better to make her breath smell of dirt and creeks and forests before kissing scenes. Her costar literally used the word “musty.”

HOLY SHIT THAT’S A LOT OF STUFF.

I’m not trying to put bad vibes into the universe towards Shailene Woodley (because you know who puts good vibes into the universe? Probably Shailene Woodley). She seems really earnest and well-intentioned, and people who know her (John Green; George Clooney; etc) all seem to like her a whole lot. She was also Felicity Merriman in an adaptation of the American Girl series, and Marissa Cooper’s little sister in The O.C., so that’s cool.

It’s just that, for those of us who have ever struggled to fit two weeks worth of possessions into a carry-on tote so we don’t have to pay a checked bag fee … this is a lot to take. A lot. I can forgive Shailene for making clay-eating sound like a good idea even though it’s actually a certifiable medical disorder.  I’m not even jealous that she manages to look pretty in that 1997 soccer mom haircut in The Fault In Our Stars. But going on national television, bragging about a magical carry-on bag that could fit all of these possessions, and not even directing us up the woodland path to the kindly mountain witch who peddles them? Not cool.

I hope there’s room for my disappointment in Shailene’s bag, because she carries it with her wherever she goes.

 

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Women’s Fashion (According To A 1976 Encyclopedia)

Remember how, before the internet, we had to read real, physical books to find things out? In my family, that meant turning to the cobalt-blue 1976 Encyclopedia Americana. One volume in the set was a yearbook that detailed the world events and current trends of the age. I was so obsessed with the fashion section — both out of genuine interest and childish snark — that the book still opens right to that page.

In the mid-90s, I turned to the Encyclopedia for help with Social Studies reports. In the mid-70s, people were turning to the Encyclopedia for help with looking as fly as possible. Such was the pre-internet age.

Let’s take a walk through 1976 fashion, as described in the vibrant pose of the Encyclopedia Americana editors.

  • “Chinese fashion”

    Shhh! Nobody can tell I’m Caucasian!

* Women’s fashion was “influenced by denim and China.” I hope that means you could buy a mandarin-collared denim dress or one of those flat rice-picking hat in Levi’s blue.

* The photo of the woman displaying “The Chinese look” looks like she’s wearing a kind of racist Halloween costume. I guess at least they didn’t say “Oriental?”

* Sometimes when I read this entry, I feel like a time-traveler from the future and wish that I could just save everyone without accidentally killing my own grandfather. The editors write that “politically, the effects of detente with China may not be known for years.” Not to spoil it, but the effects are a little known now and HOLY SHIT WE ALL NEED TO LEARN MANDARIN. What are you DOING, 1976? Stop importing their beautiful silk daywear because they are going to RUN us.

* Bitches wore mad “frog closings” and “coolie” jackets, I guess.

* OK, the encyclopedia DID end up saying Oriental, and they only capitalize it like half of the time. Casual racism is one thing, but casual racism AND sloppy copy-editing? I can’t.

  • Denim

* Real sentence: “The jean craze continued to mushroom at an unbelievable pace.”

* Another real sentence: “The better the figure was, the tighter the jean.” Hey 1976, could you please give that advice to literally everyone I saw at the bus stop the other day? Because the 2013 rule of thumb is apparently: “no matter what the hell your figure looks like, just say “screw it” and buys your pants 2 sizes too small.”

* In the “most horrible thing I’ve ever heard of in my life other than disease, hunger, and genocide” category: the “two-zipper” was in fashion. Jeans closed with two side front zippers instead of the usual fly front. I don’t even understand how this would work. Maybe one of you has an engineering degree and can help? I’m picturing a weird flap that would hang down, like an overall bib except in your crotch neighborhood, with a zipper on either side. If there’s one thing I definitely don’t need, it’s a 100% increase in the likelihood that I’ll forget to zipper my pants. I imagine that if you have any kind of stomach or side fat, it will accidentally get zippered into the “side front zippers” at least once.

* Unsurprising: “work” clothes like khaki fatigues, railroad overalls, and mechanic suits took off.

* Surprising: This “was an expression of the belief in the virtues of honest labor, even if the person wearing them was not engaged in it.” Encylcopedia Americana? You’re reaching. Although, sometimes I do wear a full McDonald’s uniform or nurses’ scrubs just to demonstrate that I believe in work. Who am I to talk?

  • Ladylike Dressing

* According to this section, sometimes women wore skirts and dresses, but other times they wore pants. That’s really the gist.

* Sometimes women wore suits, with “dramatic capes and soft coats” over “multilayers of separates.” The encyclopedia isn’t scratch-n-sniff, but I’m pretty confident they also smelled like sweat and patchouli.

  • The Sporting Life

* The jumper was back. A million home-schooling moms rejoiced, probably.

* Sweaters were “an education in ethnic artistic expression.” I’d complain about the cultural appropriation issues, but I am wearing “tribal” flats right now. I like to pretend that there is just a tribe of Target People who live in the basement of one of their warehouses in Indiana or somewhere, designing these things. I bet they even have native folk songs. Maybe that’s what Taylor Swift is.

  • Accessories

* Scarfs were worn big, in the “simple peasant style” or “elaborately as Arabian or African headdresses.” On behalf of white people, I apologize. This is really bad. I get annoyed at racist Halloween costumes, but apparently in 1976, every day was Racist Halloween.

You could even wear your scarf with an elaborate Art Deco costume while shopping in a general store from the 1800s.

* “Handbags ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous.”

* “oriental jewelry” was popular (read: jade). They used the lower-case “o” for oriental, so this may just be jewelry worn to the east of other jewelry, not Asian-inspired as such.

  • The Feminine Foot

* Engineers, HELP. The earth shoe was “designed to lower the heel and raise the sole of the foot for comfort.” Does anyone know how that’s comfortable? They sound like those terrible McQueen cloven-hoof shoes.

Based on the above, here is a rough sketch of The Woman of 1976.