Essays / Pop Culture

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My Weirdly Life-Changing Month Using Affirmation Apps

Do you ever find the negative self-talk eating away at you like a termite chowing down on wood? No, just me? Okay, fine. Call me insecure, fearful, full of guilt issues, or just plain human, but I can’t seem to get rid of the overly critical voice inside my head. No matter how many times I try to shut them up with wine or Ambien (just kidding), they don’t let up. And, unfortunately, whatever Jim Carrey did in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is not an option. Click here to read the piece.

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Go ahead and call me crazy

In my experience, the “crazy” talk often goes like this: Woman asks man a question. Man lies. Woman confronts him with the truth. Man doesn’t like that he was found out. Woman gets angry, sad, frustrated (otherwise known as expressing natural human emotion). Man calls woman crazy, psycho, emotional, hysterical or melodramatic. Click here to continue reading.

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What is Ayurveda?

Decades before every gorgeous-maned A-lister from Emma Stone to Gwyneth Paltrow began waxing poetic about coconut oil, my live-in Indian grandmother insisted the slimy substance was essential for shiny, thick hair. This, along with tongue scraping and waking up with the sun, was just part of her Ayurvedic practice, something I knew little about. Click here to continue reading on Flare.

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The Naughtiest Thing I Ever Did

My freshman year roommate Nina made my life miserable. She’d leave me passive-aggressive notes accusing me of crazy stuff I hadn’t done like using her alarm clock without her permission (why would I do that when I have a cell phone like everyone else?) and stealing money from her wallet (I would never!). One afternoon I even caught her using my laptop, and the next day, there was a virus on it that took forever to fix. Nina never told me why she had it out for me, but I think…Continue reading here.

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Can Motherhood and Sexuality Co-Exist?

When Kim Kardashian exposed her oiled-up, naked body for Paper magazine, legions of people shook their heads in disgust—not because they disliked the photo itself or were exhausted by Kim’s nonstop PR machine, but because they were worried about one little thing: her daughter. Click here to continue reading.

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Leslie Knope’s Most Feminist Moments

Leslie Knope, you fantastic feminist fictional icon, it is time to bid you adieu. After seven seasons of Parks and Recreation, the show is coming to an end. Leslie has fought passionately for everything from safe sex for seniors to gay penguin marriage. However her best moments are when she ever so smartly kicks patriarchy in the balls, showing us how absurd, ridiculous….Continue reading here.

BEYONCE CRUSHABLE

I’ll Say It, Beyonce is overrated

Post-Super Bowl performance Beyonce has been seemingly elevated to otherworldly status. It’s as though Beyonce is the second coming of Christ all wrapped up in leather costumes and blond extensions. She is ostensibly perfect; no drug use, hit-and-runs, multiple boyfriends, or otherwise embarrassing episodes. She has it all; an equally talented husband (not some D-rate hubby like Gavin Rossdale), a little girl, and a successful music and film career…. Continue reading here.

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Putting the Cock Back in Rock.
Sex and rock n roll go together like condoms and lube. So where is the sex in rock n’ roll? Read the story here.

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I Tried “Clown Contouring” And, Well, I Looked Like A Damn Clown

There are many things I don’t understand in life: electricity, how to change a tire, ##### ##### … and now, clown contouring.Clown contouring, for those of you who don’t know, involves using clown-style makeup to contour your face. Clowning (as I like to call it) makes ### #######’s makeup routine look like child’s play. Continue reading here.

Can We Leave Patricia Arquette Alone And Talk About The Wage Gap?

As you may or may not heard, there is a rumbling within the feminist community.Upon winning the best supporting actress Oscar for her role in Boyhood, Patricia Arquette passionately gave a speech regarding equal rights for women saying ” To every woman who gave birth to every citizen and taxpayer of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights,” she said. …. Click here to read the story.

The Problem with Mommy Porn

Mommy porn is a phrase that’s been bandied about a lot lately—as we all know—because of the wild success of Fifty Shades of Grey. But why the term when it’s really just  erotica? Is it because women’s sexuality is still taboo and needs to be categorized? Is it because the idea of women enjoying something as “scandalous” as BDSM is so threatening that it needs to be termed “mommy porn” to diminish its potency?  Read the story here.

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Why Clueless is Still a Feminist Masterpiece 20 Years Later

The year was 1995. Kurt Cobain had just committed suicide the year before and gangsta rap was all but dead. Full House ended depriving all of us of our weekly dose of John Stamos. And Superman (aka Christopher Reeve) became wheelchair-bound. In short, things seemed kind of dismal. And then came Clueless, a feminist movie based off Jane Austen’s Emma. Click here to read the story.

Why I think Kiran Gandhi is a total badass

When I was 13 years old, my family was invited to an event at the local Hindu temple. Unfortunately, I just so happened to have my period that day. Expressing concern, my mother told me I really shouldn’t be going to the temple while on my period. When I asked her why, she replied, “Because women are considered impure during menstruation.” Click here to keep reading.

5 Signs You Should Be Using a Menstrual Cup

I once was bleeding so heavily, I had to change three tampons in an hour. Lucky for me, I happened to be wearing my fave red pants. True story. Since then I’ve often wondered how to get a handle on Aunt Flo’s erratic sensibilities and desire to drain my bank account. I started to wonder, should I use a menstrual cup? Between my contact lenses, makeup, and tampons, I felt like I was spending enough to lift up the GDP of a small nation. Like Burkina Faso. Or Tuvalu. Click here to keep reading.

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Red White and Desi

I was in Paris for a mere six weeks when I started craving pancakes. Not the French crepe. A big fat American pancake with butter, maple syrup, and a heaping of fresh bananas. Thankfully Paris with its sizeable American expat community and being the cosmopolitan city that it is, had its share of American restaurants. Thus my friends and I were able to get our fix. It was a funny thing being an Indian-American in Paris. In America, I always….. Continue reading here.

Desperately Seeking Desi

Since I was a child, I have been desperately trying to learn Hindi to no avail. I had finally given up until 2008 when I decided to go back to India after ten long years. This was the perfect time to revisit my Indian roots and try to learn the language again. Although I understood some Hindi, I couldn’t converse with any fluency, much less Kachi or Tulu, my parents’ native tongues. I didn’t know how to cook any of my grandmother’s family recipes….. Continue reading here.

Say My Name

I peered stealthily over the apples. Like a panther I was watching my prey. I knew even from behind that it was him. His shoulder length, chocolate brown hair, his tall slim stature, I was SURE he was the one. I made way over to the melons so I could get a better glimpse. I pretended to be examining the melons when I decided to make my move. “Excuse me, do you know what aisle the pickles are in?”  Omigod, did I really just ask what aisle the pickles are in?…. Continue reading here.

 

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7 Unexpected Pieces of Wisdom from ‘Ice Loves Coco’
The examples of relationships gone bust are plentiful. In a culture where  relationships implode faster than Michelle Bachman’s brain cells, Ice-T and Nicole “Coco” Austin’s decade plus marriage is something of an anomaly. Read the story here.

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Lessons from Law and Order SVU
In the L&O: SVU episode “Blood Brothers” (season 13, episode 3), a
13-year-old girl named Ella (Piper Curda) is found to be pregnant after
fainting in class. Though at first she denies having sex, the detectives
soon get her to admit that she was forced into having sex by a wealthy
13-year-old boy named…Read the story here