Friday Favorites

// This article Ashley wrote on why, despite some of our downfalls, the Millenials are a pretty great group of people.  Our generation has been a bit of a scape goat lately, even so far as that Time has written an entire issue on us.  Older generations make the point that we’re lazy, unmotivated, and expect everything to be handed to us as soon as we want it.  While I do agree that we have a tendency to want things now and lack the supposed virtue of patience, there are some pretty fantastic things our generation bring to the table, that for the most part are overlooked.  
// I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I love Taylor Swift’s new song, Shake it Off.  I’ve read a lot of comments and articles about why people believe that the video is racially unacceptable and that Taylor Swift is trying to be Miley Cyrus.  
I typically hate when people say this, and generally don’t agree: but in this particular case, I feel like a lot of people are looking for something to be angry about.  Or maybe I’m just not seeing what others are.  But the way I watched the video, there were seven (?) different forms of dance, twerking among them.  It would have been strange to not include a form of dance which is so at the forefront of pop culture right now.  
The fact that Swift is participating is not her making fun, encouraging racist labels, or anything else.  She is acting the same way she did with the break dancing, ballet, interpretive dance, cheerleading, and so on: as though she doesn’t know what she’s doing.  And that’s the entire point.  I frankly would have found it insulting if twerking were the one form she didn’t include, or if she were somehow absent from that scene.  What sense would that have made?
And for the record, I find it kind of sad and culturally depressing that our society acts as though Niki Minaj and Miley Cyrus somehow own twerking.  It’s a form of dance, and anyone should have a right to it without being told that it’s racist of them.  This article does a far better job than me at discussing this point, so with that, I’ll step off my soap box.  
// This beautiful post from Kenzie on why, even though most of us do it, we should stop judging single mothers for the mere fact of their being single.  We all know how difficult parenthood is, whether from personal experience or hearing/reading about it from others who are dealing with it.  Particularly in blogging, the ups and downs and absolute hard times of being a mother are always at the forefront.  So it stands to reason that if a woman (or a man, for that matter) is doing it entirely by herself, it’s that much harder.  The mere fact of her being single does not make a women a horrible mother, and the mere fact of having a husband does not make a woman mother of the year.  
// If you’ve never had to deal with depression on a personal level, it can be incredibly difficult to understand what it means and how it feels to live with it.  It’s incredibly easy to dismiss a person saying they are depressed as seeking attention or over-reacting to a few bad days, but that’s not what it is at all.  Laura does a wonderful job of summarizing what it’s like to live with this disease.  
// And because most of what I shared today was on the deeper / harder to digest side, I leave you to enjoy your long weekend with this.
So, what are you loving this week? Any great articles, or gorgeous photos to share?

  • Stephanie|Captured in the Lens

    I love TSwift’s new song. I haven’t seen the video, but then again, I’m not really one to watch music videos.

  • Katie

    I completely agree with everything you say about the Shake It Off video. I found that a lot of the initial comments against the video were from people who openly admitted that they hadn’t even watched the entire video. They had only seen images of the “twerking” scenes. I think that if people are going to be upset about that, then they should be equally upset about the video’s portrayal of ballet (as well as all the other dance genres).

    (I also just wanted to say that I really liked the post on Millennials that you shared, so thanks for that!)

  • Marielle

    The thing about the Shake It Off video that bothered me wasn’t that there was twerking, but that the twerkers were all “ethnic” looking and you pretty much only saw their butts. It’s weird when all the other groups (with the exception of the mostly white ballerinas) were pretty diverse. And you could see their faces. It’s kind of ridiculous that there are so many “is it racist?” articles about it out there, but some acknowledgement from whoever was behind it about those scenes playing on racist stereotype would be nice.

  • Shybiker

    Oh, my! Love the elephants. Really surprised me. And put a smile on my face.
    I agree with you on Taylor’s video and the other social points you make. Life is hard; why do people make it worse by creating controversy where none is required?

  • Kasey Decker

    I definitely think everyone is looking for a reason to hate on T. Swift. I also think if you look hard enough anything will offend you…

  • Kiersten McMonagle

    I’m usually of the opinion that if people are offended, there’s a good reason. I didn’t understand this time, but now that I’ve seen Marielle’s point I can see where people are coming from.

  • Kiersten McMonagle

    I love elephants – I figured they were a good end to this week!
    I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who was confused by the backlash about the video. Although now that Marielle has pointed out the point about not seeing their faces, I can absolutely see where people are coming from with that.

  • Kiersten McMonagle

    I didn’t think of that, so thank you for pointing it out. I can absolutely agree that is an insulting factor of the video.

  • Kiersten McMonagle

    Exactly – most of the backlash I was seeing was in regards to the fact that Taylor herself was dancing, and that she wasn’t doing a terribly good job of it / almost seemed as though she was making fun. She did that with every style of dance though, so I couldn’t understand why that was the one people were picking out to get upset about. Although I can understand Marielle’s point that you never see any of their faces in that scene, which isn’t the case with any of the other forms of dance.

  • Kiersten McMonagle

    It’s definitely a really fun and upbeat song! I can’t seem to stop listening to it

  • Zoe Diaz-McLeese

    I love Shake it Off! It is definitely my feel-good song at the moment. :) Also, love that picture of the elephants! Great finds, thank you for sharing!

  • Kiersten McMonagle

    I haven’t been able to stop listening to it! So catchy!!

  • Marielle

    Yeah, I only read a couple articles etc about the video, but they seemed to focus on Taylor’s outfit in that scene. Which I thought was kind of silly because she’s, you know, dressing like every dance group. I was disappointed that I never saw anything about how “standardized” that kind of exoticism is becoming – because the rest of the video was clearly meant to be fun and diverse and not at all controversial, so there’s something wrong with how we see that whole [bodies of black/ethnic girls and twerking] thing. Shrug. But I can also see the point of people saying it’s just a fun video.

  • Kiersten McMonagle

    Now that I’ve rewatched it, I definitely see what you mean. There are only 1 or 2 instances where you see the faces of the women in these scenes. While I understand twerking focuses primarily on one part of a person’s body, there were ways they could have shown faces in that scene. The way it was filmed seemed to focus on those women almost as objects performing rather than as people dancing.

  • Elizabeth Mayberry

    I cannot stop singing that song! My fav!