Mainstream media is out of touch – aka why I spend hours on Youtube

Okay, I hate to break the news, but we’re in the holiday season. And because I have a little time on my hands, I’ve been overdosing on Hallmark Christmas movies. Like, I’ve watched 12 so far and my brain is melting a little. WHY DOES EVERY PERSON DRINK SO MUCH HOT CHOCOLATE IN THESE MOVIES I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. I started with this year’s and have since gone through all the new ones from last year that I missed, with randos sprinkled in along the way.

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Did you know Mean Girls was a Christmas Movie?

You’ve probably seen at least one of these movies in your life, with catchy, non-identifying titles like “My Christmas Dream,” “Love like Christmas,” “Marry Me at Christmas,” and my personal favorite – “Snow,” and “Snow 2.” The fluff is so real and vague with these things, it’s truly amazing. Hallmark is known for it’s amazingly cheesy G rated, feel good movies that range from B to D list actors and a lot of fake snow. The basic formula for their christmas movies is as follows.

Main Character, Person A we’ll call them, is living their life. They’re generally pretty successful, pretty much always women, living in a fancy city like New York or LA, wear fancy clothes and are a work-aholic. It’s also made abundantly clear they are super unhappy, even if they don’t know it themselves. After the introduction, conflict 1 comes to play. This is normally a need for inspiration, a job threatening firing or promotion, or whatever. Then, they meet Person B, grounded real life person, maybe on a farm, with a kid or something else intriguing. They meet, fight a little, connect and grow closer. There is also probably magic music when they look at each other.

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Then, conflict B comes up, normally connected to conflict A, there’s drama, the couple gets mad at each other, then Person A comes to the realization that they didn’t need that job and just needed the insta-family or stability Person B provides. Then they kiss and the movie is over. Cue the falling snow and Christmas music.

Depending on the quality of the movie, there’s also generally some hijinks, quips and banter that is either dad-joke status or worse, or just drama. Maybe even some fake tears.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m obsessed with these movies. The cheesiness is good for my millennial pink heart. But they are one very specific example of mainstream media and the general out of touch state we find ourselves. The Hallmark formula works, and obviously they make money off of it, but it showcases the general tone deaf nature of what the media thinks we want and what we really need.

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There is no diversity in these movies. Out of the 12 I’ve watched thus far, only one had main characters who weren’t white and a vague reference to hispanic culture. They normally showcase a workaholic blonde women who learns the power of family and small towns and mistletoe and turns down a promotion or a job or general success to stick with said family and small town. Why can’t these women have both? Why are they so jaded to begin with? What’s with the trope that women can’t be nice and successful, or have great jobs and families at the same time, or what if they don’t even want an insta-family and just want to be successful. I DON’T GET IT.

Hallmark has decided that those stories don’t get to be told, and the diversity just isn’t there. We don’t see any real world conflict or self awareness of a larger world. And yeah, I get that this is fluff, but what about other, more mainstream media?

Let’s talk about Pitch Perfect. It’s a fantastic movie, I love and quote it regularly. It was such a huge step outside of the norm, with Acapella singing, girl power, friendship and amazing banter.

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It was such a success, they decided to make a sequel. Pitch Perfect 2 came along and we all hoped it would live up to the hype. What they made, however, was the exact same thing as the first movie. Different settings but same conflict, same character motivation, no growth whatsoever. What made the first movie was how new and unique it was and what made the second movie bad was the new and unique thing was repeated.

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I don’t want the same movie over and over again. I don’t want sequels of the same thing, I want new content with character growth, real connections, new bants, real world self awareness and a general excitement for life. Do you know where you can find such content? Youtube.

Being internet famous is a relatively new thing. With daily vloggers, beauty and lifestyle influencers and general shenanigans, there’s tons of content happening every day. And let’s be real, some of it is terrible. But some of it is really great. There are real people, giving real reviews, living their real lives, having real relationships and putting it online. Granted, it isn’t for everyone, but the fact that these people have millions of followers, live shows, merchandise that sells all year long and people stopping them in the streets to take pictures tells you a lot.

People are creating the content they want to see, which is real, self aware people living real lives and having real relationships. And it’s popular! It works! People watch it! I like it! And it fills the void big movies and media is creating. The mainstream is pushing what they think we want down our throats, throwing us a bone every once in a while – insert WONDER WOMAN HERE CAUSE IT WAS AWESOME – but generally ignoring what we want as consumers by giving canned sequels and tone deaf tropes.

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User generated content like what you find on youtube or tumblr creates those real emotions and connections that create depth and diversity. And that is why it is so popular. People want content they can relate to and connect with, giving them representation and real world advice, but is also new and exciting and funny.

So hey, in this world of content overload, why can’t we have both? I want awesome action scenes and genuine connection, plus stuff that surprises me and makes me lol. And Hallmark movies for that millennial pink heart of mine. A happy medium per-say. And a lot more Pitch Perfect memes, cause they make me happy.

And those are my thoughts after melting my brain with Hallmark movies for the last three days. I guess it’s time to get back to reality :/.

So, what do you think? Do you agree, do you disagree? What do you want to see more of in the media?

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Thanks for reading my word vomit for the day, check me out on insta at @dressingoptimistically and catch you on the flip side.

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The Juneau Dress Up

Hi there!

Life is crazy and sometimes my brain can only do one thing at a time. It feels like it’s been a million years since I’ve written anything, so here we are.

This is something I’ve noticed throughout the years while being in Alaska, Juneau specifically, and since I know lots of people here and from here that don’t live in town anymore, this trend seems to follow Juneauites wherever they go.

I’m calling this phenomena the Juneau Dress Up. The idea is pretty simple. Sometimes, living in Alaska is hard. You have to wear Xtra Tuffs everywhere because it’s raining buckets outside, plus it’s cold so you just want to wear every single sweater you have in your closet at the same time. When all of this is combined, what is an Alaskan lady to do when she wants to get fancy for those special occasions? She goes into her extensive collection and puts on earrings. Bam, Juneau dress up.

So I’ve seen this happen so much in my life, and I really love it. Both my mom, aunt and cousin (oh hey Elizabeth 😉 ) wear earrings everyday. I’ve even been told by some of them that they feel naked without their earrings. Other women in my life wear earrings a little less, but you can be sure those earrings are in if there’s any event happening outside of their normal routine, ie getting on an airplane, going to lunch, Pink Martini concert, etc.

Now, I don’t necessarily subscribe to this Juneau Dress Up routine as I wear the same studs everyday, and I do like to wear my fancy clothes when I get a chance, but as I spend more and more time here in the land of rain, I’m starting to convert to the earring craze. Who knows, maybe I’ll start earrings of the week here.

Thanks for reading to the end, even if this one was a little silly. But you know what, welcome to my brain space. Have an awesome week and let me know what you think about the Juneau Dress Up. Is it true? What are your favorite earrings?

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Here’s an Xtra Tuff just in case you forgot what they looked like 😉
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Here’s me actively flying an airplane for your enjoyment

Follow me on Instagram!!!! @dressingoptimistically

Boohoo Haul – the review is in!

Hello friends!

It has been a crazy couple of weeks, with a big transition from winter to summer working hours and so much daylight! Solstice here isn’t until June 21st, but holy goodness, daylight until 8:30 takes some getting used to. It also means I’ve made it an entire year in Juneau!!

It’s been a crazy time here, but as you guys probably know, shopping in Juneau wears on you, with only a couple of stores available and really only straight sizes in those stores. It can get pretty frustrating sometimes, looking for new pieces and updating things. Especially with a limited budget, my main goal has become looking for great online shopping deals.

I came across this company Boohoo a couple of weeks ago and have been perusing their insane sales! They almost always have a sale going on, I picked up these items during a 50% off sale they had going and I was pretty excited! Everything seems really high quality for the price and I was exciting to add some new stuff to my summer wardrobe. Check them out below and check out Boohoo.com if you want to see cool stuff in a huge range of sizes!

This is a super simple cropped white tee with a little leopard print pocket, the material is so soft and wearable!! I picked this up in a US size 14
I did end up rolling the sleeves on this top, but this is a super cute and casual peplum with t-shirt material. Also incredible comfortable! This is a US size 14 as well.
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I really getting into these choker tops, they’re definitely universally flattering and give a really interesting vibe to a basic shirt. Also, millennial pink/blush forever, please and thank you. I grabbed this one in a US size 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So cute right?
Let’s be real, I was already a crazy cat lady. This was such a fun experiment for me, I can’t wait to find more from Boohoo! Find me on Instagram for more daily updates, its turned mostly into landscapes and pink things, @dressingoptimistically! Have an awesome day 🙂

Outfits of the Week: Overall Time!

This week, I only had one goal in my free time. It was to make a thing! With hard work, critical thinking, a little bit of blood and about 8 hours hunched over a sewing machine, I ended my day with a pair of denim overalls. Complete with buttons, pockets and those overall hook things, I now have a pair of tailored denim overalls. I’m so excited to wear them everyday for the rest of my life! I thought in the spirit of excitement, that I would put some outfits together with how I’m going to potentially style these bad boys! Enjoy below and have an awesome day 🙂

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I made these things! I’ll post more on Instagram throughout the week, so be sure to follow me at @dressingoptimistically for more fun. Let me know what you think!

 

Question of the Week: Dumb Life Hacks

Okay this is a little different than previous questions of the week, but I had a genius moment a couple of days ago and I wanted to share. So then I thought I would collect some really dumb hacks together and share them with you 🙂

1. Rubber Band Sleeves!

So I have this really awesome army green sweater that I’m obsessed with, but it has huge sleeves that I am not a fan of. So I came up with a great plan of using regular old rubber bands to hold my sleeves together and then I could fold them and push them up to my normal sleeve place. Here’s a photo for proof.

2. Dryer sheets fixing static

You guys have probably done this before, but I have several sweaters that are get tons of static when I put them in the dryer. And I put them in the dryer to shrink them back up after wearing them, but that makes the static monster happen! To combat this, I use a new dryer sheet and run down the inside of the shirt while I’m wearing it. This also works for your hair if you’re having a crazy static hair day.

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3. Putting a glass of water in with cookies to make them soft

This is probably my favorite hack from college, mostly because I hate eating hard store bought cookies. If you have a hard cookie, put a half full glass of water in the microwave with several cookies and microwave for about 30 seconds. And bingo, you have warm, soft cookies.

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4. Avoid helmet head and fly aways at the same time!

Living in a super humid climate is murder on my hair sometimes, and I definitely fall victim to the frizzball crazy hair days. When this happens, you can use the dryer sheet trick, see #2, or you can spray your comb with a little hairspray and brush it through your hair to catch all the fly aways. This trick also works with dry shampoo!

5. Wash your face with coconut oil!

If you read my review for Two Faced Better than Sex waterproof mascara, THIS ONE, you will know that I had an ultimate panic trying to get that stuff off my face the first day wearing it. Which then led me to trying different ways to removing makeup in a gentle way. Coconut oil was the key! That stuff is amazing, I’m so tempted to buy a huge jug of it at Costco to use literally everywhere in my life.

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With this stuff, I normally take about a dime size chunk and melt it in my hands by rubbing them together. After it’s melty, I rub it all over my face, concentrating on my eyes and eyelashes by massaging the oil in. Once all of the makeup has been dissolved, I wash and kind of scrape my face with hot water and my fingernails to get the excess off and then wipe my face with a clean towel. This has the added benefit of leaving a little moisture on your face and can eliminate some face lotion use!

6. Use a hair straightener to iron hems of shirts or pants

I have been doing this a lot this summer because apparently I bought several shirts that need to be ironed, how dare I, and have no way to iron anything. So I pulled out my trusty straightener, heated it up, and straightened (see what I did there?) the hem of my shirt. Mostly I do this while wearing the shirt, because I’m always in a hurry when I’m doing it, but doing it on a hanger works too.

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7. Paint jewelry with clear nail polish to keep it from reacting to your skin

I have done this trick many many times in my life because I like to buy cheap jewelry and then where it forever, especially cutesy rings. After some green eczema made an appearance however, I freaked out. So, to combat the cheap copper jewelry crises, I paint the inside of whatever jewelry is touching my skin with several layers of clear nail polish. Works every time!

8. Combat deodorant marks

This happens to me all the time, and I finally learned how to fix it. If you notice a deodorant mark on any of your clothing, grab a little extra fabric from that same article of clothing and rub it on the mark. By some sort of magic/friction/good intentions, the mark will disappear!

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Alright, those were only a couple of my silly life hacks, I’m sure you’ve heard of most if not all of these, but I wanted to share! Let me know what your dumb/super genius life hacks are for everyday situations and let me know if you tried any of these yourself!

Question of the day, what is your favorite dumb life hack?

 

As always, find Dressing Optimistically everywhere on the internet by searching @dressingoptimistically, and Happy Life Hack Monday!!