Foodie for antropological reasons

 

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By Daniela Serrano

I can eat like a famished truck driver. This goes both for amount and complete disregard for the origins of whatever meal I have in front me. A couple of weeks ago a professor had us do a impromptu writing exercise where we were supposed to write about a special meal someone had made for us or the story behind our favorite food. I went blank, although a good 70% of my thoughts on any given day are about food, I had a hard time figuring out one favorite dish, or a situation where the specific act of cooking was the most relevant. Food is, by far, my favorite way of feeling the world around me, and with a scope so big it’s nearly impossible to pick just one thing.

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When I was growing up my mother was very strict with us eating everything that was on our plates and not being picky eaters. Of course back then it was the worst thing that could ever happen to me, but now I am so very, very, very, grateful. This authoritarian regime of hers on the dining table introduced one of the basic driving principles in my life: “how do you know you don’t like something if you don’t try it first?” Sure, this was thrown at me so I would feel bad about not wanting to eat vegetables (which I now love), but it developed into an unadulterated sense of curiosity. Added to this, is my upbringing which involved moving over a great deal of countries. On every country we arrived my mother would quickly incorporate the national recipies into our daily meals. We met many families that, being expats as well, would cling to the homeland recipes, this, although respectable, winds up alienating more than necessary in my opinion.

I like trying out anything that anyone tells me that is traditional of any city/country/season/culture/religion/insert any kind of social structure that also incorporates food because what I hate most in the world is feeling like I might be missing out on something. It’s very off putting (as anybody who has been told to eat everything while visiting a distant relative knows) when another person is reluctant to accept the meals others offer them. I’m sure there are more serious and well constructed investigations about this, but food is one of the basic pillars of any social groups, and one of the most basic ways of sharing between cultures. By eating things I didn’t use to know I feel closer to that city/country/etc. and if I feel closer to them I’m closing that “outsider” gap that can make living in a new country more difficult. In other words, when you eat what someone who’s different from you eats, you are inching closer to that “one of us” territory; and once you get there, you’re golden.
I know not everyone is as willing to experiment with their taste buds, but I do recommend it, blindly. I am very grateful for whatever it is that lines my stomach that keeps it from being constantly upset even when I put it through serious tests (bugs? yes, uncooked things? yes, things that are cooked over flimsy radiators in tiny trucks of very shady hygienic records? yes, things that smell like used socks? yes.) Of course not everything tastes good, and some things I will never try again. But at least now I know.

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Round and round it goes

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By Camila Abisambra

Back in January I took a song recommendation from a singer on Twitter and it started a love affair. I think Genghis Khan is one of the best songs written and that video is for sure the best video ever. There’s something catchy about it without getting old and it’s dance music that makes you want to do more than jam your head around like an idiot. It’s flawless is what I’m trying to say.

I could talk about that music video forever. It’s how James Bond should have ended, really.

The thing with great songs with great music videos is that sometimes, when the album drops, it doesn’t always live up to the expectation this one superior song built up. Well, iii lives up to the expectations and more. Although I’m not a big fan of ‘Heart Is Full’, ‘My Trigger’ and ‘I Feel The Weight’ more than make up for it. When the album opens to ‘My Trigger’ you already know you’re going to dance it out and ‘Longshot (7 nights)’ closes the album to perfection. ‘Genghis Khan’ is by far the best track in the album but you still need to give the whole thing a chance because it’s really good. (and yes, I’m pretending the ‘Heart Is Full’ remix isn’t a part of the album).

All in all, as someone who doesn’t love this type of music, I’m a huge fan of this album and you should go check it out

 

 

Visions of Paris

By Camila Abisambra

Sometimes, when I’m in a style rut and I can’t quite figure out what I want to wear or, more specifically, the kind of person I want to be on a certain day, I go back to the people who give me the most stylish vibes. The question for me, in these ruts, is WWJBD? (What Would Jane Birkin Do?). Of all the icons of parisian fashion, Jane is by far the greatest to me. Her style was effortless, her attitude daring and rebellious, in short: she did exactly what she wanted to do and had no cares for the haters. As it happens, no matter what day it is, that’s exactly the kind of person I want to be.

The other thing I really love about Jane’s style is that she always went back to the same formulas over and over again. So the lesson is, you don’t need a ton of clothes to be stylish, you just need a few winning combinations to always go back to. If it worked for Jane -and even inspired the Hermes bag- then it can work for you too. From the high waisted pants that became her signature style to the flowy dresses with knee boots, the combination was always winning.

Here are 5 of my favorite Jane combinations of all time, and why I love them:

How timeless is the white shirt + jeans combo? It’s easy, comfortable and always chic because the white shirt helps elevate the look.

When in doubt, go shorter. Seriously. That idea that you’re too old or too whatever to wear short hemlines is outdated. Pair your shorts with tights and you’ve got an unexpectedly fashionable combination.

Short dresses and boots are a win. In fact, Jane often paired her dresses like this and it’s no surprise. It looks effortless and cool.

High waisted pants and tucked in shirt? more like my daily uniform. I love the silhouette and the line it gives to the body.

Converse are always, ALWAYS, the way to go. Comfort is a must as far as I’m concerned. I’d rather look dressed down than kill my feet with high heels. In fact, Converse are my favorite shoe ever, hands down, no competition.

Who’s your favorite french icon?

 

 

Don’t call it a comeback (or do)

By Camila Abisambra

Ever thought of those amazing artists that somewhere down the line just lose it and you think: well they had a good run, and then they drop an album so good it changes the game? I like to remember these artists as they are a personal inspiration to get up and conquer no matter what. if Mariah Carey could pull herself together after ‘Glitter’, her divorce of Tony Mottola and deliver ‘The Emancipation of Mimi’, then I, too, can face anything the world can throw at me. If Blur can come back after a decade and deliver such flawlessness, I too, can get always make a comeback. In the spirit of coming back, I’ve compiled a playlist of some of the greatest comebacks in the history of music.

What are some of your favorite comebacks?

…and a tight little skirt

 

By Gabriela Santamaria

You don’t know me, so there is no way you’ll know this about me but I love skirts. I LOVE them. In -an obsessive, ignores-the-weather, has-one-too-many, spends-all-her-money-on-them, kind of way. And where I live that’s not good. I live in Colombia, a conservative country with conservative people. And Bogotá, the capital trapped in a mountain, is not far behind from the sexism that plagues my home country. Also, despite what you might think, there are some places in Latin America with awful weather. And Bogotá is one of them. Not only does it rain like 8 months of the year. But even if the sun is out, it’s only for a few hours. We have a bipolar weather that forces people to dress for every possible temperature, so throughout the day we just remove or add layers and layers of clothing. It’s a pain in the ass.

But despite the sexism, body shaming, slut shaming and quite frankly the possible threat of hypothermia, I continue to dress in skirts. I don’t do it because I have legs for days (I don’t, I’m quite small actually), I don’t do it because my closet is full a designer threads that I just HAVE to show off (I don’t, the idea of spending more than 30 or 40 dollars on a skirt makes me want to die), I don’t do it because my job requires me to look elegant or sexy everyday (right now I’m doing my masters and going to University really early in the morning wearing skirts is a death wish because of the weather). I do it because I think that what choose wear every day is political and in that sense wearing a skirt is a statement. Hear me out.

 

The bodies that we have, our legs, our arms, our head, are political. And fashion then has a possibility of communicating through it because it occupies the same space. People have used fashion throughout history to create bridges between what we feel is familiar and equal, and fences for what we feel is different. That’s why clothes can tell others what country we come from, what religion we are part of, what gender we identify with, etc. When I wear a Colombian soccer shirt, I’m not just saying I support soccer. I’m also saying I identify with the country that they represent. Women who wear burkas for example are choosing to say that their religion is an important part of who they are, so much that it’s part of how they want others to see them. And as for the performance of gender, wearing pants, skirts or dresses is nonverbal way of communicating your identity. So, perhaps when I say that wearing a skirt is political, I’m not entirely crazy.

I know some of you might be thinking that wearing a skirt is part of what society expects of women. That we should be feminine and still, and skirts are part of that tradition because in many ways they prevent us from moving freely. Well you’re not wrong, but you’re also not entirely right.

First of all because skirts (and dresses more specifically) started as a fashion for men, think of togas for Ancient Rome and Greece. But when gender roles slowly became more fixated, pushing women towards home activities and men towards the workplace, pants became the attire for males and constrictive skirts the attire for women. The idea was that pants allowed men to move freely to work, or hunt, or do any social activity (in the French court men wore shorts to show their legs which were a symbol virility), whilst women should remain still and covered (also controlled by corsets and panniers). So when miniskirts became popular in 60’s fashion and coincided with women’s liberation, maybe you can see why wearing a skirt was a way of turning the tables on traditional gender ideas.

 

Now because of the way sexism works, wearing a skirt which started as revolutionary, was eventually sucked in by a structure for sexism and capitalism. Miniskirts became a tool to sexualize women and a synonym for “sexy clothes” were the sexy is defined by a male heterosexual gaze. But regardless of that I still think that wearing one can be feminist and political. I know this because victim blaming and sexism happen constantly in my country: powerful and rich business men say women get raped because of the clothes they wear, despite the fact that the numbers are too high (one in out of five women get raped) for the violence to be “explained” by something so untraceable.

Women in my country, and all around the world, struggle to have control over their bodies, to protect them. And in a way wearing a miniskirt can be a statement of control. For me, when I wear a skirt, I say: “No, you’re not entitled to my body just because of what I wear. No, I’m not to blame (and neither are my clothes) if someone hurts me. No, I won’t stop wearing a skirt just because others think it is “slutty”, “indecent” or “asking for it”. No, my miniskirt is not consent”. I reclaim my body when I wear a skirt. I don’t do it to appeal to others, but because I feel powerful when I do. I move in the same way I would I if would be wearing pants, I try my hardest to not police my own body and to prevent that others do the same thing. And because feminism needs to be a collective movement, I ask that you consider what I say for you.

What do you say?

Ps. I would like to thank Victoria Beckham, this post would not be possible without her.

We’re BACK

By Camila Abisambra

Hello all,

It’s been a while since we’ve been around. I’m so sorry about that but you know, life got in the way -much like Adele-. Not that we’re comparable to her greatness but I do think she’s right in that sometimes it’s good to take a step back and reprioritize. That’s exactly what we’ve all been up to. We got busy living and now we want to get back to sharing the things we’ve done, seen, felt, and because, simply put, we missed you. Sometimes it’s easy to take for granted a space to call your own. It’s easy to think that anywhere you go you’ll get the privilege of speaking your mind and being honest to yourself, but alas, that is not how life goes sometimes.

So now we’re here, recommitted to bring you all the articles that come straight from our hearts and minds, and in the hopes that you’ll appreciate the honesty.

Without further ado, it’s time to get back to it.

Should the Sk8er Boi get back at the Ballet Girl?

 

Sk8er Boi, that pop culture gem in which Avril Lavigne sings the epic tale of an “alternative” guy who fancied a more “mainstream looking” girl, whom fancied him back, but never actually acted out on her feelings because her friends were a bunch of judgmental morons who didn’t approve of his oversized clothes. Five years later, this poor girl is trapped in what we can assume is a not so happy marriage when she sees that Sk8er Boi is now a superstar (slammin’ on his guitar) and her asshole friends are all his fans. The song is sung from the perspective of the Sk8er Boi’s current romantic partner (probably a Sk8er Girl), who tells our Ballet Girl that she missed out on being with a huge rock star just because looks mattered more to her.

It’s a great song that plays on the everlasting trope of the “weird looking” misfits vs. the “normal looking” people that reject them, but in the end, the adorable and always more talented weirdos win. Yay! Or not…

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