Black Friday(Thursday) and America’s Greed

I’m thankful for a lot of things. My family, my friends, God, and the resources at my dispense are some to name a few. I’m also thankful that I have a job( with the exception of yesterday haha). I decided to get a job for experience, but it was primarily for money. One could say I don’t truly need a job, as my parents provide me with the necessities and more. One could say I was being greedy,kind of like how people are on Black Friday-I mean Thursday, Black Thursday.

I’m thankful I got to eat a short Thanksgiving dinner with my family before heading out into the trenches and endless messes of consumer America. Some people I work with didn’t even get that, voicing to me that they would be eating alone that night.

I understand the importance Black Friday holds for retailers. It’s everything to them. When companies think of Black Friday, they see money bags. As time has progressed however, money bags on Friday just hasn’t been enough. They just had to make even more money on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, a day that should be designated for family and giving thanks. Being open for Thanksgiving Day, negates everything that the holiday should be. Instead of taking one day to say thank you, thank you, thank you, companies are saying more,more,more and consume, consume, consume. It’s maddening. What’s most sad, is that the people calling all of the shots at the top, are most likely spending Thanksgiving the way it’s supposed to be spent, while their workers slave away for long hours.

The people are not blameless. They are actually a major part of the problem. Without their zeal and fervor to spend money on stuff that they don’t need, (at late hours of the night)perhaps their would be no reason to open up doors on Thanskgiving Day. As I pulled into work yesterday, I was shocked to see the parking lot completely full. When I actually made it inside of the store people were everywhere, clogging the aisles, like food clogs arteries. I wondered why they were out shopping instead of having dinner with their families. Or maybe they inhaled their plates fast, so that they could exhale all of the money from their bank accounts sooner. It made no sense to me. Business is good, but I also prayed to myself that they would all go home where they should be.I got a lot of pity from customers. ” You poor thing,” they would say,” I’m sorry you have to work Thanksgiving.” They meant well, but their apology seemed a little disingenuous considering they were the reason I was working at all. Their money talks, and the corporations heard. As I left work late last night, the store was still full…

America is so greedy in a lot of ways. How many TVs or pairs of boots can one own before they are satisfied? Apparently not enough. In a year, or maybe even less, the stuff that people purchase will hold little to no value to them. Family on the other hand, is what is truly fulfilling.

Let’s stop being greedy. Let’s take one day to stop and reflect, and then we can go crazy on Black Friday every year. “Black Thursday” doesn’t even have the same ring to it…

Always be thankful, and be kind to retail workers this holiday season.

Couturely Sound ❤

 

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Celebrities AREN’T Role Models

When I was a little kid, I was the biggest Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus fan there was. I had every album, posters were plastered across my room, and I had every bit of merch you could imagine. There are still remnants of my Hannah Montana days in the form of a blanket and a lamp.

As a Disney Channel star, Cyrus made sure to maintain a squeaky clean image, and she gave the public the impression that her life was based off of wholesome, Christian values.

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Circa 2009, Cyrus’s image began to change. A controversial performance  of “Party in the USA” at the Teen Choice awards that summer featured Cyrus in daisy dukes dancing around a pole. She was 17, and the public had no idea that the worst was yet to come for the child star .  In the days following her risque performance, I began to hear a lot of whispers from parents. Statements along the lines of “Oh my gosh! What a horrible role model!” and “Wow, she is setting such a bad example for our kids!” were repeated frequently.

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When Miley Cyrus began to make her change, I was just as perplexed as all of the parents. There I was, 9/10 years old, and my favorite singer who initially sang  about “true friends” and “the best of both worlds” was now pole dancing and telling the world that she “could not be tamed.”

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When 2012 rolled around, Miley went full on “adult” mode. She got  a new haircut, she sported several new tattoos, and she was  a friend to foul language. Then, 2013 rolled around. First, “We Can’t Stop” happened. Then, her infamous VMA performance broke the internet. And finally,  the video for “Wrecking Ball” dropped jaws and became etched into our memories forever. By 2013, I was shocked and maybe a little disappointed by Cyrus’s actions, but I wasn’t wounded. I had moved out of my Hannah Montana phase, and by then, I had become desensitized to her crazy antics.

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Following her wild 2013, there was still talk about how Cyrus was a bad role model for kids, and all I have to say to that is that she was never a role model. I’m not saying she was never a role model because of her behavior. I’m saying she was/is not a role model because that is not what she signed up for.

Celebrities aren’t role models. None of them.

At some point in time, our society equated being famous to suddenly being a figure that shows the world how they should live their lives. I think that is ridiculous.

We get so emotionally attached to celebrities when in reality they only provide us with a product and that’s it. Entertainment, music, books, comedy-they are all products. Outside of making music, Justin Bieber should not have any other role in a person’s life because he has already done his job of providing the public with entertainment. The same goes for athletes. They are not paid to be upstanding citizens. They are paid to play football, basketball, etc.

Furthermore, I know Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber about as well as I know the person giving me food at a Chick-fil-A drive thru, but I don’t look to my food server to show me how I should live my life. They give me my product and I move on with my day.

I understand that celebrities have a wide sphere of influence. Little boys want to be just like Steph Curry, or teen girls dream of looking like Taylor Swift. Beyonce is worshiped for crying out loud. I get it. Celebrities have impact, but would they have so much impact if we didn’t expect them to be role models?

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There’s a reason why so many ex-Disney stars resent the network that made them famous ; they were expected to be role models because they catered to kids. A few years ago, Joe Jonas completely bashed the Disney network, and while he did come off as ungrateful (I mean Disney gave he and his brothers a platform, propelling them to international fame…), I did understand to an extent why he was angry. The network puts too much pressure on their stars.

 

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Rihanna, the good girl gone bad, was never expected to be a role model. She made it known early on that she is an adult entertainer. The same goes for Eminem or Kendrick Lamar. They were never considered role models either.  It’s all about the kids. If you never cater to kids, you never have to be a role model, but I still think the pressure on those celebrities that  do cater to the youth is unfair. After all, so many people on Disney  and other children’s networks aren’t actually teenagers, so why should we expect  twenty-somethings to act squeaky clean as if they aren’t adults?

Role models should be people that are actually in your life. Parents, friends, teachers, siblings coaches, mentors-those are all people that should truly be role models. It’s crazy that parents expect Miley Cyrus to be a role model for their kids when they should be  a role model for their kids, and if they don’t like what a celebrity is all about, then they should remove their child’s access to that individual. My parents did that a lot in my youth. It wasn’t fun, but now I know not to blindly follow celebrities.

I look towards the people in my life to set examples for me, and I let celebrities inspire me and nothing more. For example, I’m a big fan of Lorde. I love her music, and I can really relate to it, but she parties a lot, and she has different views than I do on certain issues. I’m not a fan of partying and I don’t always agree with her opinions, but I love Lorde’s product aka her music. I’m not looking for Lorde to teach me how to live, and I don’t think anyone should put that much pressure on a person.

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Over the years, it has become more and more clear to me that people mess up! They are always going to mess up, they are always going to be brought back down to earth from their pedestal that we put them on, and they will disappoint us in some way. No human is perfect, so why should we expect celebrities to be? Especially teenage ones. If normal teenagers struggle with identity crisis, sex, and drug abuse, why wouldn’t a celebrity?

I’m not expected to be a role model, although I try my best to be of good moral standing, but if that role were assigned to me, I would probably feel the pressure. I could virtually never mess up, never fail a test, never procrastinate, and never make any mistakes. That’s way too much to put on a person. Thank God I’m not famous.

Couturely Sound ❤

 

Pokemon Go 

Hey everyone, and happy Saturday! I won’t lie to any of you;  I’ve had a little case of writer’s block. I try to write once a week, but as the weekend arrived I had no idea what I was going to write about. Eventually,  everything worked out in my favor because all of my news feeds across various social media platforms started to be filled with the subject of Pokemon Go. It’s a Pokemon game that seems to be getting a lot of attention and generating a lot of memes. Of course I had to get to the bottom of this game craze because I’ve been seeing it everywhere. If a game can get so popular shortly after its release it must be great right? Just for some background,  I used to watch one of the Pokemon shows that were on back in the day. I know there are several versions of the show, and probably some recent versions too, but I watched one of them. (Pokemon Gotta Catch ‘Em All anybody?) I also used to have the trading cards wayyyy back when. It was more something my older brother was into, but I can definitely recall a time when I was trading Pikachus and Charizards on the bus. Of course that is deep in my past, and even then I was probably into it for a month or so. You’d think Pokemon is for younger kids or preteens, but not Pokemon Go; everyone from all age groups is playing it. I have no games on my phone; it just isn’t something I do to pass the time. However, today I downloaded Pokemon Go, and it surprised me.

So,here I am waiting in anticipation for this game to download. I hadn’t done any previous research on the game. I just relied on my observations. I did hear that people like to play it outside, which was weird. Why play a video game outside? It finally downloaded and I signed up. The app lets the user pick their character and then customize them.

Okay, so my character was all ready to go. There’s a guide that talks to you as an introduction, and then he sends you off to catch your first Pokemon.  After many failed attempts, I finally caught Squirtle. Isn’t he a doll?



Here’s the thing about catching Pokemon though. You can catch them in “real life”. All this means is your camera from your phone shows your surroundings (obviously) and then the game places a Pokemon in the real world. Fun stuff. After capturing your first Pokemon the guide sends you on your way to go catch some more-literally. The game said you need to get up and walk around for your character to move, so I started walking around the house. My character wasn’t moving though. I mean she was moving but it looked like she was in a small square that I soon realized was the house. There were other squares of different sizes around so that symbolized the other houses, and there was a road. Pokemon Go isn’t played outside necessarily for fun; the game makes you go outside. Hence the “Go” in Pokemon Go. In order to catch your Pokemon, you have to move, so I made my way out the door, and then my character began to move. The game said access to location was crucial to play, and I didn’t think anything of it. Most apps want to know you’re location, but Pokemon Go uses it as a GPS, placing Pokemon in random places near you.


It was unexpected for me to go outside. I’ll tell you that. The game placed a Pokemon near a seven eleven on the highway, and quite frankly I didn’t want to walk that far. It was 90 degrees, and how dumb would I look showing up in a seven eleven looking for a Pokemon. Talk about interactive gaming.

I can appreciate what the makers of  Pokemon were trying to do. They’re getting people outside and off their couch to go adventure. That’s pretty cool. My issue is that the game will take you literally wherever it wants. I read that a woman in Wyoming found a dead body playing Pokemon Go. That was most likely coincidental, but I’m sure it could take you to sketchy places. The game warns users to be “alert at all times and be aware of your surroundings”. No kidding.  Another alternative to walking would be driving to find your Pokemon, but that would defeat the purpose of exercise and would use up gas.  Not to mention how dangerous that would be. I guess that depends on your level of boredom and commitment to the game though. I’ve also read that the game  has brought more customers to businesses and that’s alway’s great. There are pros and cons.  Maybe one day when I’m super bored and I have a buddy  I’ll try it out again, but catching Pokemon just isn’t that important to me. Exercise is important, but there are other means of getting exercise. I’m not here to hate on Pokemon Go. I think it’s a cool concept, but it has its risks.  The scenarios and award situations it could lead to make me laugh, and it’s a good way to connect with people. If only the server would connect…..


Pokemon Go is a new idea and a popular craze. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Couturely Sound 🙂

Met Gala 2016

Hey everyone! I’m writing to you on a Tuesday which is quite uncharacteristic for me. However, yesterday was a special event in the fashion world, so I wanted to stay as up to date as possible! In the world of fashion, the first Monday in May is pretty much a national holiday. Last night the annual Met Gala, or Met Ball as some call it, took place in New York City. The Met Gala has been around for some time. It acts as a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and specifically funds its fashion exhibit. The Met is extremely exclusive, so unless you’re  a model, actress, designer, singer, or anything of the sort, you aren’t invited. I have always  enjoyed the Met Gala because it is such a great showcase of fashion, and I love seeing my favorite celebrities bring their A-game! Every year there is a theme. Last year it was China: Through the Looking Glass, so everyone showed up in Chinese/ Asian inspired pieces. To get an idea, this is what Rihanna wore last year. She stole the show and generated a lot of egg memes. You know that one Coldplay song? Yeah, it was all about her dress. Jokes aside, I had much love for her look because it was so spontaneous.

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Josh Haner/ The New York Times via The New York Times

This year the theme was “Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age of Technology”. Pretty much everyone showed up in their most robotic  and futuristic outfits. This year I thought the Met was a little lackluster, and maybe it was because of the theme. Who knows? I wanted to make a top 10 for who I thought was best dressed, but I didn’t like enough of the ensembles to be completely honest. I won’t do a worst dressed list though because this blog isn’t about negativity. So instead, I have compiled for you my top 4 favorite Met Gala 2016 looks ( I couldn’t even find 5 showstoppers :/)

4. Claire Danes in Zac Posen

Cinderella

Timothy A. Clary/ Getty via Popsugar

Claire Danes

Timothy A. Clary/ Getty via Popsugar

Now, Claire Danes’s Cinderellaesque dress may seem like nothing special, but it made my list for one particular reason. Zac Posen crafted a very unique dress that shows its uniqueness in the dark. Check this out.

Courtesy of Zac Posen via Instagram

Her dress literally lights up, creating the best of Cinderella effects. Talk about “Fashion in An Age of Technology”!

3. Emma Watson in Calvin Klein

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Dimitrios Kambouris/ Getty via Popsugar

Emma Watson stays classy. Not only does she totally own dresses, but she also works pantsuits like no other. In this particular look she manages to do both.

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NEW YORK, NY – MAY 02: Actress Emma Watson attends the “Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology” Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Venturelli/FilmMagic)

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Dimitrios Kambouris/ Getty via Popsugar

Emma Watson didn’t just look good, she was saving the world too. Her dress was made entirely of recycled materials!

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Rabbani and Solimene Photography/ Getty via Popsugar 

2. Kristen Stewart in (My personal favorite) Chanel

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Jamie McCarthy/ FilmMagic via E!    

Ok, this was one of my favorite looks of the night, hands down. I love Chanel and I think Kristen Stewart really rocks this dress because it’s so fitting for her personality.

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John Shearer/ Getty via Popsugar

Seriously, everything is on point. This is why she is one of my style inspirations.

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Venturelli/ Getty via Popsugar

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Larry Busacca/ Getty via Popsugar

And her  hair and makeup is nothing short of perfect.It’s so high fashion. She was able to incorporate the theme without looking too themed. Also, I think Blonde Stew works!

1.Blake Lively in Burberry

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Larry Busacca/ Getty via Popsugar

Blake Lively never looks short of perfect. She could wear trash and still look gorgeous.

Blake Lively

Larry Busacca/ Getty via E!

She looks like a Spring princess!

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Kevin Mazur/ Getty via Popsugar

She didn’t really dress to the theme, but who cares when you’re Blake Lively! Honestly, I think looking good is more important than being themed, but that’s just me.

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Dimitrios Kambouris/ Getty via Popsugar

Look at her, looking all perfect and stuff. I’m sure Serena would approve.

 

Thanks to everyone who reads my blog. I appreciate you all so much!

Have a great rest of your week!

Couturely Sound ❤

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”- Coco Chanel

Hipster For a Day

 

Hey everyone! Happy Saturday! It has been a weird week, but it has all winded down. Last weekend, I made fun of Coachella and its fashion, and my thoughts about it still remain the same. However, I think some of the fashion is actually really pretty, and thought it would be fun to play dress up for a day in honor of Coachella’s second weekend happening right now. It’s always nice to have fun with fashion, and respect it no matter how basic, hipster, or ridiculous it is because people can wear whatever they want. To be honest it’s more the motives, unoriginal tendencies, and ideas behind the fashion  that tick me off, but I already explained that last week, so I’ll stop ranting. At the end of the day, all fashion is great, beautiful, and creative,so just for today I will treat Coachella’s fashion as such ( because some of it really is).

I brought my friend Caitlin along as a special guest because I feel like Coachella is a group kind of event that is best enjoyed with friends. I figured what better way to emulate Coachella vibes than to bring my own friend along. We even made flower crowns.

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Are we hipster yet?

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We have no idea who this band is, but at least we look cute.

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If you didn’t Instagram a pic at Coachella, did you really go?

 

 

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When you spot Kylie Jenner

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When you stole your outfit from Pinterest.

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Really feelin the desert vibes

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It was a nice day out, so this was really fun to shoot! If you love Coachella, once again, my apologies. This is simply my opinion, and my critique of it is all in good fun. I hope you enjoyed this post of me embracing Coachella fashion, as well as me kinda-sorta (totally) making fun of it. P.S. this is the last time I will ever be spotted in a flower crown, so enjoy it while you can.

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

Embrace your inner flower child,

Couturely Sound 🙂

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The Rise of Dutch Bros

There’s no doubt that here in America we love our coffee.Somehow coffee drinking has become an increasingly popular and marketable concept. Drinking coffee is a social experience and I think it’s fair to describe it as trendy or artistic. There’s nothing more trendy than sitting in a cafe sipping your mocha and staring at your laptop screen deep in artistic thought. You can decide if I’m being sarcastic or not. Personally, I’m not much of a coffee drinker. I go to Starbucks every now and then with my mom or a friend, or if I just feel like treating myself. The funny thing is that of all the times I’ve went to Starbucks I’ve never actually gotten real coffee. I get a cream-based frappuccino free of caffeine every time. I have tried coffee once or twice but I could definitely go without it and me not liking hot drinks definitely helps. Earlier I mentioned how much America loves coffee, but I think Americans love taking pictures of their coffee even more-at least teenage ones anyway. Let’s face it. Getting coffee, making coffee, or drinking coffee are all great photo opportunities. This brings me to my next observation. Starbucks has been the ruler of the coffee market for sometime now,but in recent years it has become a household name and a lifestyle. About two years ago the Starbucks “white girl” phenomenon began, and Starbucks became more popular than ever. Everyday I would see selfie, after selfie of girls or guys with Starbucks in hand,whether it was on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Obviously this was more of a teenage thing, but adults could be active participators too. There’s no doubt Starbucks reigns supreme and it is still the go-to coffee place for most. However, I’ve been seeing a new cup on my social media feeds more and more and the cup is from a place called Dutch Bros.

When everyone and their mom starts posting about the same thing, I start to wonder about it. This was the case with Dutch Bros. I wondered if maybe among the teenage demographic Starbucks was no longer the place to get coffee. I wondered if Starbucks had been dethroned by Dutch Bros or, dare I say it, had become too mainstream. Dutch Bros is a drive-in coffee shop, and it was founded somewhere in Oregon in 1992. Apparently it’s huge over there, but it’s growing a lot in the western United States. At the time, I had never been, so I asked a lot of friends about the place. Some had never heard of it, some had never been, and some had an undying love for it. I posted a poll on my twitter account asking my followers whether they preferred Dutch Bros or Starbucks. I only got 10 votes on the poll, but I still found the results useful. The results were 50/50. I can recall a time where it would have been 100% in favor of Starbucks, but I guess not anymore. I also asked people to comment to a post on my Facebook page asking the same question, but also had them explain their choice. The results were also 50/50. I didn’t really care too much about what those who picked Starbucks had to say because I’m familiar with Starbucks and I understand its appeal. I asked the three who picked Dutch Bros, or “Dutch” as the cool kids call it, why that was their choice. There was a general consensus that all of the employees were very friendly and there was a comfortable atmosphere,while Starbucks, to them, was less personable. Considering Dutch isn’t as big as Starbucks yet this makes sense. The employees are probably able to put more care into things because they aren’t as focused on getting people their drinks as quickly and efficiently as possible. To cap off my research I typed “dutch bros” into my twitter search and found a string of tweets about it (mostly from teens and young adults). This one particular tweet, courtesy of the nice user who let me use it, perfectly shows a shift from Starbucks over to Dutch Bros.

Courtesy of Joe/ via Twitter

I figured I should check this place out, to see what it was like for myself. My mom and I drove about 20 minutes to get to the closest one. We got into the drive-thru line and waited for the experience. One of the employees ran to our car and asked for our order, which I learned is normal when they’re held up. We asked for frappuccinos because all I ever get at Starbucks is that, and I needed something to compare it to. Okay. The drink wasn’t necessarily bad. but it was too rich for me and my mom both. It reminded me more of a milk shake with coffee in it. I don’t know how their other drinks taste,so I am not, repeat, not saying that Dutch Bros is bad. A lot of people love Dutch’s drinks. Their frappuccinos just weren’t my cup of tea. However, their employees were extremely nice and affable. They struck up conversation and were very smiley. All of the people working there were young and had very chill personalities. They also don’t charge tax, so that’s always a plus. At Starbucks, there is definitely tax, and the workers are not so much friendly as they are polite. I’m still a Starbucks girl whenever I’m feeling up to coffee-related drinks, but I can certainly see Dutch’s appeal.

Dutch Bros is definitely more teenage. Teenagers tend to be more social, and the chill environment is what they would prefer. I also think Dutch has a trendier and more hip appeal than Starbucks to a lot of teens. I’m sure adults would prefer Starbucks because they just want their coffee without all of the chatter. I’ve always been an old soul, so maybe that’s why I prefer Starbucks( I also like their drinks better).I like talking to people, but I also just want my stuff. A lot of teenagers are still all for Starbucks, but I thought it fair to acknowledge the emerging Dutch Bros as it becomes more and more popular. It’s funny how coffee has become a way of life to people, and how different coffee brands mean so much to them. The social power of coffee is undeniable and it has a huge role in our culture, the market, and the media.

Keep drinking, snapping, or instagramming your coffee! (Whether it’s Dutch or Starbucks)

Couturely Sound 😉

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