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Reader’s Remorse

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pop over to this site Earlier this week while getting my hair done (laugh all you want), I was reading the newest issue of Lucky Magazine – one of my personal favorites for shopping tips and easy access to style. Literally, it’s nicknamed “The Shopping Magazine,” so you could assume that the 99% of the population who earns an average income/is still hooked to their parents’ credit cards would benefit from any of the advice Lucky has to offer.

http://serezin-du-rhone.fr/pifpaxys/4669 My hair stylist isn’t one of those that tries to have a conversation with the blow dryer on high and shrieking in my ears, but as she stood over me, she asked, “Is that Lucky?” I gave the chillest “YAAAS” I could.

http://www.mycoldprairie.com/pizdboluy/793 She continued, “I used to love Lucky, but I would always call the stores to see if they had the clothes that they featured in those shopping pages, and they had no idea what I was talking about!”

Learn More Here Hearing her say that actually embarrassed me, and all I was doing was reading the magazine. Lucky  is one of my dream magazines to work for and everyone can agree Eva Chen is literally one of the coolest chicks in publishing. But as a college student working towards a future in journalism and a (realistic) goal as a market editor, learning that a magazine possibly wronged a reader upsets me.

moved here Even though I’m just an intern at Guest of a Guest, I do a lot of editorial work covering style. When I have to put together looks for a post, it’s certainly fun and I love it, but it’s not as simple as copying and pasting photos from Forever21.com. We use certain outlets to find pieces and see what retailers offer them. But it doesn’t stop there – we then have to confirm that the retailer is still offering the product (and since we’re looking for products online, we need to be sure they’re in the correct currency!).

useful source I take my style posts seriously and I would never want to disappoint a reader who actually wants to buy a product that I feature, whether it’s a skirt, shoes or something as minuscule as a ring. Would you want to take a few extra steps to feature something that can give a reader satisfaction, or would you sacrifice your work ethic (AKA, be a totally lazy bum) which ultimately upsets readers?

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rencontre beaune la rolande But this concept doesn’t apply just in the realm of fashion – it’s an ethical dilemma in all of journalism. Feeding inaccurate information to readers provides them with empty calories and not the proper nutrition they need.

There are journalists out there who will go at extreme lengths to add excitement to a story, such as twisting details and even fabrication. And as much as I love excitement (and drama), that’s no excuse to not perform correctly. Following the Code of Ethics, more commonly known simply as “the rules,” will benefit your career just as much as “taking risks.” But if you believe that inserting diluted information into a story, or even a gorgeous yet unattainable piece of fashion into a spread, is a “risk,” then you’re mistaken. Doing your job correctly and efficiently will get both your readers and your employers to appreciate your work.

I don’t know if a career can be destroyed over incorrectly marking a price on a bracelet for a spread, but journalism is journalism and I wouldn’t recommend it. Give readers the information they deserve, and realize this: every story is interesting. Don’t rely on fabrication for entertainment.

Diamonds Are (Really Not) A Girl’s Best Friend

Even with the amount of energy that I have, I, just like most of the general population, feel like I’m struck by bricks when my alarm sounds at 6:30 on a Monday morning. But to actually make matters interesting, this is New York City, and no two days are alike. There is constant commotion, a story to tell, and something strange to see, instantly clicking our internal lightbulbs back on.

It wasn’t even nine AM before something strange and discomforting was brought to my attention by my friends at CityElla. Much like myself, these ladies value women’s views and goals. To see anything suggestive posted by them would result in an instant double take, but all for the right reasons. Standing in line at Starbucks, I was scrolling through Instagram and came across a photo that was posted by CityElla on my feed – one that is destined to spark controversy across many levels – of this billboard ad:

I don’t know how many outdoor ads real estate firm MNS has up across New York, but this one is placed in a prime location of 8th Avenue and 21st Street, where enough people will see it and stop – not just walk on by like it’s any other billboard.

We’re taking several steps backwards with this ad. I shouldn’t even have to say that this ad sexualizes women and kicks them down on the ladder. This woman is clothed in nothing but a button-up that clearly isn’t hers and a deviant glare that says, “I’m only here for the floor-to-celing windows and short walk to Central Park.” At this point, it isn’t even about real estate. It makes it look like women are skipping the “love” in storybook romances and are just falling for materialism, like a rich investment banking man who already owns the apartment a block from Bergdorf’s.

On that note, it also brings up an assumption that is so Little House on the Prairie-centric. Women have been carrying on with their own lives perfectly fine over time, but this ad subtly announces that women have difficulty flying solo – that is, they can’t function without a “man” in their lives, a sole provider, and they can’t afford to live in luxury on their own.

Lana Del Rey may believe that money is the anthem of success, and tangibly, that may be true, but success comes in different outlets for everyone. On my end, I don’t condone seeking success through someone else’s achievements – such as marrying or using someone for money, especially if he has all the complementary attributes (one being an apartment he bought through MNS).

When women don’t marry for love and prefer an invincible credit card over undeniable bliss, it throws us all into a pool of Courtney Stodden seconds. It makes all women out to be that they’re gold diggers who are more excited about the presents their men give them as opposed, well, their literal presence . Shouldn’t that be enough?

Don’t sacrifice your happiness for material items. That one night you spend in the penthouse might seem somewhat monumental in the moment, but will the great story really get any better?

Remember that your actions as a dignified individual do make a difference. If women keep acting like the model in this ad, more ads will be created because the social hypothesis is being proven true. And deep down, you don’t want to contribute to that assumption – do you?

Excuse Me, Miss, Should You Be Here?

It’s hard for me to argue that without controversy, entertainment would be a lot more difficult for us to find. But once a controversy turns personal, the lines are crossed and what was once entertaining turns into a nuisance.

And unfortunately, lines were crossed against Whitney Wolfe, the (former) VP of Marketing for the dating app Tinder. I, at least, think she was effective in her position – Tinder continued to grow and accumulate more members under her wing. But out of nowhere, she was suddenly fired from the company.

Why? Well, if you’re a tech-savvy feminist, don’t ask the former Tinder VP, Justin Mateen. His justification was that having a young female on the Tinder team made the company “look like a joke” and that other social media platforms like Facebook and Snapchat “don’t have girl founders.”

That statement right there is a problem in itself, a reflection of immature thinking on Mr. Mateen’s part. So a female didn’t come up with the concept of Facebook. Not every company has to operate identically to others, even if it’s in the same industry.

Some industries are more male or female-dominated that others. Fashion vs. sports are two of the most talked-about industries for gender favoritism, but in tech, there’s enough room in Silicon Valley for literally any idea. And if there’s enough room to consider all types of apps, websites, gadgets… why isn’t there enough room for women?

It seems that sexism isn’t just saved for back-and-forth messaging and right-and-left swipes, but it just gets worse and worse in office environments and outside everywhere else. Even though women are getting stronger, the argument against workplace sexism is constantly hanging by a loose thread. The funny thing is that it neither falls nor tightens – it just stays constant.

There’s no scientific law that proves men are smarter than women, or vice versa (other than “Girls go to college to get more knowledge, boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider”). Every person is unique and is stronger in some areas than others, which is an affirmation that everyone needs to be reminded of. What one may lack in HTML or CSS proficiency may be made up for in, you know, common sense and the ability to carry out a conversation. And, believe it or not, these are important field skills.

Whether you’re in tech, editorial, medicine, us ladies shouldn’t let anyone put out our flame. And if anyone tries to, keep burning and fire back – that’s what Ms. Wolfe is doing. She’s suing Tinder in a sexism lawsuit and has apparently been ridiculed for a significant portion of her career at the app. Mr. Mateen better hide, and not just from her, but from all of us.

I Am Weak. (And You Are, Too, Honey)

Ben & Jerry’s. The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Tumblr. What do all of these things have in common?

They all strike me and strip me down to the floor. They suck the energy out of me – and I let them do so. Simply put, they are my weaknesses.

Okay, so they aren’t that bad, but they aren’t completely good, either. The good thing is that it’s easy for me to point out what I naturally cling to. However, in a business environment, it’s not as easy of a question to answer.

This past winter, I had an interview for an internship at a website I would’ve given up all three of those weaknesses for; a website that I looked up to, both in personal interest and in the future of my career. I knew this was an interview I had to be prepared for. It was a competitive internship position – paid, even – that many, many kids were on the prowl for.

The conversation was off to a good start. Much like a normal interview, I talked about my interest in the company, the work I was doing at the time, all those typical points. But it took a turn when I was met with the question “What is your biggest weakness?”

Here, I couldn’t say that I bowed down to ice cream and Bravo. But being the prepared young professional I am, I did have an answer rehearsed. Sadly, it was one of my poorer decisions.

I had heard once in a TV show where a character was giving interview advice to someone else (or someone might’ve actually told this to me, but I’m sort of glad I can’t remember now), and something I took out of it was if an interviewer asked for your biggest weakness to give it a positive spin. For example, “I pay too much attention to detail!” “I’m a perfectionist!”

That was exactly what I said in this live questioning and the look on my interviewer’s face was priceless. She smiled and I could see her bounce like she was trying to cover up a chuckle. As soon as I saw that, I felt like choking and tried to justify myself. It wasn’t so bad, but it definitely wasn’t one of my proud moments.

Currently, I’m reading #GIRLBOSS, and NastyGal CEO Sophia Amoruso only confirms what I did was totally stupid. She says that if you give an answer like the ones above (I really just would rather not repeat them), you’re not being completely honest with yourself. It’s almost like you’re trying to disguise an actual problem. “A #GIRLBOSS knows where she excels and where she could use some work,” she explains, “so get to know yourself and your weaknesses.”

Ms. Amoruso hits it right on the nail. After that experience, I really pinned down what my faults were in a business setting. As negative of an activity as it may sound, try to uncover what your problem areas are – and then use that as fuel to improve. The first step to fixing a problem is admitting that you have one. And no, my Ben & Jerry’s addiction is not a problem, as much as my friends, family and Duane Reade cashier may tell me…

Where Am I Going With This?

I have a lot to say. A lot of the time. Lately, though, I haven’t been able to get any words out.

About 95% the reason I named this site “Where Do I Start?” is because, even though I love to tell stories, there can be so much I want to say, that I don’t even know where to begin. Storytelling is one of my favorite pastimes. I want writing to be my career. But the past few days, I haven’t been able to get past picking up the pen or clicking “New Blank Document” on Word.
There are two major challenges that I personally go through as a writer. Perfecting your skills is no easy task for anyone, but some are easier to accomplish than others. One of those is content development.

I haven’t had the experience yet of sitting in on an editorial staff meeting at a publication. But from my understanding from seeing movies, TV shows, eavesdropping in on conversation, the team gathers around in a circle, Duck-Duck-Goose style in a conference room, and pitches story ideas to publish. Some may be interesting, some may get shot down, and some may be written and then, at last minute, may not be printed. And no writer ever wants to be faced with that disappointing dilemma. So how, if it seems like there’s been something written on every subject matter ever, can we come up with fresh content that readers will actually be intrigued by?

I went to a conference hosted by Cosmo and the CFDA a few weeks ago and posed the same question to Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles, the Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine, and the Style Reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Elizabeth Holmes. It’s a question I’m constantly looking for answers for and I figured this was one of the best ways to get professional feedback, but it was challenging for them to provide a response (half the other audience questions were “how do I get my start in fashion?”). They cocked their heads at each other and after a quick, yet semi-awkward pause, Elizabeth turned to me and said, “There’s a story in everything.”

Elizabeth had a point. Someone can walk by you and you notice the smallest thing – her shoes, for example – and you learn that she bought those shoes at a vintage store which almost closed down, but then got bought out by investors, who then took the store and turned it into a national retail chain. You never know where the next “big thing” could be. Story inspiration is all around us, it’s just a matter of being brave enough to dive into that pool of curiosity.

Once you have the story idea, you then have to actually start writing it. This is my second problem and the basis of the title of my site. Where on Earth do I even start?

Writing up a story doesn’t have a formula like the five-paragraph standardized test essay that we learned in sixth grade. And while most news stories typically follow a 5W format, it doesn’t work for everything, especially not feature pieces.

I have yet to discover the most effective and efficient way to start a story strong in the lead sentence. It’s where the hook is. It grabs readers in and actually encourages them to keep reading, which is so hard to do now. We’re impatient and looking for instant gratification – nobody wants the lead to be buried; we want to know the answer to our questions immediately. But isn’t that the mystery of the story? How do we keep people questioning before they even catch the headline?

I don’t have any secrets to share on writing the perfect masterpiece. I’m still trying to figure out what they are. The truth is, though, there might not be any secret doors to unlock the perfect article or feature. The best words might just fly out of our fingertips naturally and combine into gorgeous sentences. If that’s it, then it’s beautiful. But I don’t know yet. I might not never know. Until then, I’ll let the ellipses do the work…

Here And There

 

The term “boomerang” doesn’t just refer to a piece of sports equipment or a sister channel of Cartoon Network that plays reruns of “The Flintstones.” Today, “boomerang” is what my fellow Generation Y-ers have to endure after they graduate from college. One minute, they’re far, far away from home in the gated communities we call “college,” and before they can blink, they’re handed a piece of heavy paper delicately decorated in calligraphy, which serves as their ticket back to sleeping on the second floor of their cape-style houses in their hometown.

The house I lived in was the house that built me. Miranda Lambert doesn’t lie. But I’ve been fortunate enough to have the experience of attending college in the greatest city on earth (other than Paris) (which, by the way, I’m working on) and while it increases judgment among many attributes, it would be rude of me to take this opportunity for granted.

I don’t know what any of my situations will be when I graduate, whether it be socially or professionally. But what I may not be able to avoid is this boomerang effect. While many of my high school classmates may be excited to return home after our college graduations, it’s not the most appealing to me. What are my benefits? Mom cooks, does the laundry, and pays for my Starbucks. And I can go to the mall.

On one hand, sure, that’s all great. But from what I’ve experienced from going from living at home last summer to now living in NYC for this summer is that the boomerang may not be positive for my transition into true adulthood. It holds me back from growing – and I’ve grown so much this year. I don’t want to go back.

I’m used to cooking, doing my own laundry, and cleaning my own apartment. It’s almost second nature to me now. Yes, it may just be at the collegiate level as opposed to the “real world” level, like paying rent and electric bills (and credit card bills – *shudder*), but I think that I have a leg up on anyone that isn’t in my shoes and living here at 20 years old.

I love home. Home is great. But this room that I’m sitting in now that looks over a street in Chelsea has also become home to me. And when your apartment feels like home, you know you’re heading in the right direction. No boomeranging here, but maybe archery. I’m getting closer to the bullseye.