A Critique Of Women’s Athletic Pants

Recently, I’ve gotten back into curling. I thought my days as an athlete would end when Quidditch did, but here we are. Anyway, I had old curling shoes that still fit and the baseball gloves I wore for Quidditch also work for curling, so I was good in those departments. The only thing I needed was pants. Or, wanted, I should say. I have two identical pairs of yoga pants that I wore throughout university for Quidditch. They weren’t very flattering, in my opinion. They fit well above the knee but below that, they were loose and boxy. You could fit another calf in there, easy. But it was just Quidditch, and those pants regularly got dirty with mud and goose poop (I wish I was joking), so I didn’t care that much. But now that I’m curling again, I wanted better pants.

So we hit up the mall. We had to go to six different stores because the market for women’s athletic pants is ridiculous. Here are the four options you can choose from.

  1. Yoga pants similar to what I had. Bootcut bottoms with no flair (because people wear boots with yoga pants? Ew). Only ever black. Do the makers not know that women’s hips are wider than their ankles? Unless I’m joining ABBA, I don’t need these in my life. It’s bad enough a lot of workplace pants for females are boxy, I don’t need fun pants to be this way too.
    Image result for yoga pants
  2. Leggings as tight as a cobra’s grip. Do you think you can get your feet through these without needing to sit down and do some heavy breathing? Guess again. They come in different colours, and some even have breathable meshy patches. But unless you wear tights often, you’ll never quite be comfortable with the crotch. I dislike these because they’re too tight and constricting and never fit right and don’t even look that great and putting them on/taking them off is such a struggle. Feet should not be forced through that tiny, unstretchy opening.
    Image result for leggings
  3. Windbreakers, which are like yoga pants but worse because they’re not even fitted at the top. I guess these may be good for jogging outside and repelling water, but they’re certainly not flattering. It’s like they’re covering up a better pair of pants underneath. Plus, you can just hear the whrush whrush these make just from looking at them. Not cool.Related image
  4. Looser pants with a cuffed bottom, which is a style young men are wearing these days and I think it’s ridiculous because do you want baggy pants or not? Make up your mind. At least these come in a variety of materials and colours, and some aren’t too baggy. But these are dangerously close to having legging-sized feet holes. Boo.
    Image result for cuffed joggers

The thing is, I don’t HATE any of these, I just hate small aspects of all of them, and none of them are my style or suited my curling-specific needs. All I wanted was a pair of athletic pants in the style of jeans so they’re fitted but not a struggle to get on. Apparently, that was too much to ask.

I ended up finding a pair of black pants similar to option 4 so they had a small cuffed ankle but weren’t hard to get my foot through. They were stretchier and looser than jeans but not baggy, which was good since curling involves some lunging and I needed to have that ease of movement. As an added bonus, they have pockets! It’s what I deserve after having to try on easily close to 30 pairs of pants.

Anyway, the point of the story here is there should be more options for female athletic pants. Skin tight leggings and unflattering baggy pants shouldn’t really be the only options at most stores. How hard is it to just make soft, stretchy pants just slightly fitted? It’s absolutely ridiculous that I had to go to six different stores and see many, many pairs of leggings and yoga pants. A happy medium is all I ask.

Or am I a weirdo for wanting this?

Image result for pants are complicated gif

 

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Old Pictures Of Old Friends

On my iPhone, at the time of writing, I have 592 pictures going back from my iPod Touch in early high school. I don’t delete much so I’ve literally got a variety of dumb pictures that at one point meant something to me. But aside from the memes and pictures of things relating to TV shows, I do have a few pictures of friends. Even on my laptop I have a folder of pictures of friends. I used to have that folder’s contents on a continuous desktop slideshow, but I stopped that once I noticed that most of the people in those pictures are people I no longer talk to.

A lot of the pictures I have are of people that I no longer talk to. And I guess my question is what do I do with those? They’d be so easy to delete. A few clicks and they’re gone. It’d be different if I had physical pictures to physically throw out, but these are all digital.

Now you're just somebody that i used to know gif

But should I delete them? Do I just delete the only proof of that time? Can I delete the past like that? I’m happy in all the pictures. I’m with people I cared so much for. Even if I had a weird smile in some of them or my hair was stupidly frizzy, I was happy, and I valued the picture more than my vanity. It feels weird to just delete something so pure.

Maybe I’m weird or a romantic, but I hate deleting things because I always wonder if I’ll need it again, and in the case of these old pictures, I wonder if I’ll ever find my way back to these friends. Most of them I just drifted away from over time, and even for the few where there was some tension in the end, I think I’d move past it if the right opportunity presented itself. I’m not trying to reconnect with any of these old pals and if I’m being honest with y’all, I think I’d actually try and avoid them if I saw them at the mall or something because I’m weird about interacting with people like that, but still. I think a part of me wants to go back to those worry-free years where I was younger and less bitter and happy with people I thought I’d be friends with forever.

But my life has changed a lot in the past four years. I’ve changed, too. Maybe I just have these pictures of people I don’t really know anymore. Is it okay to delete them then?

Will from The Princess Bride asking "Who are you?"

Do my old friends still have pictures of me? Do they scroll back and wonder if they should delete them too? Do they scroll back and smile at the good old days? Or do they scroll back and feel like it was all a waste of time? Did they delete the pictures a good long time ago? The fact that I just drifted apart from most of my old friends makes it all worse because I don’t have any deep anger to act on.

I’d love to know what you’ve done with your pictures of old friends because I’m sure we all have them. But I think I know what I’m going to do with mine: I’m going to transfer all the pictures on my phone to my laptop to clear up some space, and then I’m going to add them to the existing folder. It’s currently called, and I’m not even kidding you, Proof I Have Friends but I’m going to rename it Proof I Had Friends. And then I’m going to let it sit quietly in my computer files for another several years. Maybe then enough time will have passed and I’ll have toughened up a bit so I’ll delete them. But for now, I’m not ready to let go of that old, happy me.

"Goodbye old friend" from Star Wars

And then I want to take more pictures with my current friends. I literally always have my phone with me, so even if I’m very unphotogenic and will probably hate my face in most of them, at least I’ll have current snapshots of happy me documented.

 

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Monthly Look Ahead: November 2018

Here we are in month 11 of 12. It is now colder. Days are shorter. But this November has a few fun things on the horizon and you’re gonna hear about it now. Monthly Look Ahead time! Feel free to make your own MLA post too. They’re really good at helping me plan out the month. My November includes:

monthly look ahead logo

  • Christmas music! I listen to the radio basically all day at work so I am very excited to have beloved Christmas jams going. I’d like to be able to hold out until late in the month like a normal person but I am weak and will likely have it one way too soon.
  • On November 2nd, PBS is airing a pro shot recording of An American In Paris. I don’t know much about the show but it’s a musical, and who am I to turn down free musicals?
  • The last season of Canadian show Mr. D starts on the 7th. Honestly, the past few seasons of this show haven’t been great, but this is the last season so I’ll keep watching, hopefully to see some nice closure for the characters I’ve come to enjoy over the past nine years. Besides, Canadian Gods Tessa and Scott are going to be on one of the episodes!
  • Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them: The Crimes Of Grindelwald is out on the 16th, and I am very excited. I adored the first movie, and I’m ready to go back to the magic. Hopefully I go see it with some old Quidditch pals, but I don’t know if we can get coordinated enough for that.
    Fantastic Beasts 2 promo image
  • Speaking of Quidditch, there’s a Muggle Quidditch tournament near me one weekend, so I want to go watch some of it. Maybe I can convince my parents to come so they can see the sport in real life.
  • I think cheesy Christmas movies also start this month, and I want to watch as many as I can because I love the holiday sweetness.
  • Some friends of mine are going to Australia for a year and before they depart, they’re having a going away party, which will probably be fun. As I joked to a friend, if I don’t go, who will be Party Mom?

And that’s my November. Since all my blog posts in October were on YouTube (did y’all like those posts?), I didn’t want to post anything else unrelated. Now my series is done so I have complete freedom again, so I’m looking forward to writing up some new posts, returning to my regular random content. So see you guys then!

That’s all for now!

P.S. Since it is Halloween today, you should see the pumpkin I carved. The main attraction is a dragon, but I was inspired to add a little something extra to the side!

a pumpkin with a dragon outline carved in a pumpkin with my coolbean carved in

(I had to brighten the bean picture a little because the blue light was making it look weird and hard to see because it is really thin, but still, I am very proud!)

 

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A Look Into YouTube Part 4: What Real YouTubers Think

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3       

In this last installment of my series, I wanted to talk to people who actually post videos on YouTube. All the info and opinions in Parts 1-3 are mine and based on a year of watching videos and a few years of blogging, and it’s not a secret that I perhaps hold YouTube in a more negative light. Does some of that negativity come from the fact that deep down I know I’d never be good enough to succeed on YouTube? Maybe. So I got in contact with three small YouTubers of different niches and asked them about their experience.

i have several questions gif

The first YouTuber I talked to was Rachel, who is a small business owner and uses YouTube to vlog and promote her online store Roxii’s Treasures. Her channel is here and you can visit her store here.

The second person I talked to was Gareth who runs the channel 16-Bit Dad where he streams himself playing retro video games. Check out his videos here or visit his blog about gaming here.

And the third person was Annie, who has a YouTube channel with her cousin called ShortStuffs where they do tags and fangirl about various movies and TV shows. You can watch their channel here or read Annie’s blog here.

One thing that stood out to me after talking to all three was that they all enjoy YouTube and its challenges. They enjoy making videos and connecting to people via video (and, in Annie’s case, having fun with her cousin), even if it is a hard platform to grow on. They all said they look to other YouTubers to learn. Gareth said, “I think the phrase ‘be a student of YouTube’ is the best advice anyone could ever give.” I also asked if there were things about YouTube/the community that annoyed them, and while they all had some minor grievances, none went on a full tangent like I think I would have done if I was asked about the blogosphere. Annie did bring up sub for sub, which is a problem on all social media platforms, though she said she’s seen it more in the YouTube community than in the blogging community (related: this post on empty followers). Gareth’s annoyances were on how YouTube could be better for gamers, and Rachel’s were that the platform isn’t nice to small YouTubers anymore.

'You're gonna suffer but you're gonna be happy about it' Harry Potter gif

Like a blogger or any content creator, Annie, Rachel, and Gareth mention looking to their stats and the stats of people around them and try to improve. While Gareth is in a very specific niche, Rachel and Annie are more open and Rachel even said, “I ask people what they would like to see from time to time but if I see an opportunity at all, I try and get it, I’ll go out of my own way to do vlogs to produce content for my channel,” and I relate to that because I too try and align what I write on my blog with what my readers want from me. Annie also mentioned editing software and its importance for improvement. Unlike blogging, your opinions in their rawest form isn’t enough and you usually need to have a certain level of video/editing skills to succeed on YouTube, so it’s something that takes time, practice, and money.

I also asked them all about success, and if they felt their channels were successful. Annie’s channel and Rachel’s channel are both under two years old and they both have fewer subscribers than Gareth, whose channel has videos dating back to nine years ago, but they all said they feel they’re fairly successful. Success is a different concept to everyone. Annie acknowledged her struggles to gain followers but added, “everyone seems to be liking what we’re putting out, so that’s always a very positive thing to hear.” When it comes to content creation of any form, having even a little positive feedback, especially from people who consume it voluntarily, means a lot.

One of the last things I asked my interviewees about was YouTube’s future. I’ve already expressed what I think will happen to the platform, but I was interested to know what they thought. Annie didn’t really have any guesses. Rachel said, “technology and the internet is growing all the time so Youtube can only get bigger in my eyes,” which I think may be true for a few years. Gareth’s comments interested me the most on this topic. As a gamer, he livestreams, so he suggested YouTube may move into that direction more: “I think livestreaming is going to become even bigger. After all, YouTube’s biggest competition is Twitch, so what better way to compete against them than to make your own live streaming service better.” I don’t know a lot about Twitch, but Facebook’s livestreams are fairly popular, so it’s a worthwhile observation. Livestreaming also allows for more of a direct level of engagement between creators and consumers, and I think YouTube would be smart to capitalize on this.

The future is now gif

What I learned from this is that though YouTube may not be the ideal platform for me and it may be a problematic platform, YouTube is home to many, and homes can be dysfunctional but still thrive. All three people I talked to use the platform for different reasons but they all love the fun, creative aspect to it. They aren’t in it to get rich quick and they’re not resorting to cheap tactics like clickbait. I can respect that. I suppose that as long as YouTubers know which lines not to cross, and people watching the videos can take a step back and ask themselves if the content is good and honest, then this platform can and should continue to be a place for people of all ages and interests to gather.

Thank you so much to Rachel, Annie, and Gareth for participating in my little project and letting me into their video world. I wish you guys all the best with your channels and blogs! And to all you readers, thank you for reading this post. This series was a new thing I wanted to try, so if you liked it, I’m glad! I hope I’ve allowed you to think critically about Youtube for better or for worse, and I hope I’ve inspired you to create some content of your own, no matter what the platform may be.

And remember, be sure to SMASH that Like button and SMASH the Follow button! Turn on email notifications to get new posts RIGHT AWAY! And I will see you in the next post! BYE!

 

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A Look Into YouTube Part 3: The Future Of YouTube

Part 1 / Part 2

Though it feels like longer, YouTube began in 2005 so it’s been around for 13 years. In that time, it went from a place where people could upload their blurry home videos to a place where companies can produce full budgeted shows. So many people can live off of money they made from YouTube and kids today dream of being YouTuber the way others dream of becoming a movie star.

YouTube is one of the most popular sites and it definitely is the biggest video site with hours and hours of content being uploaded every second. So where does it go from here? What will the platform look like in the next few years? These are purely my guesses, but here’s what I think.

Think About The Future gif

I think YouTube will get less popular in the next few years. 13 years is a long time for a site to last, so eventually it will die down a little. As more and more current YouTubers move away from video production to have families, try other things, or just move on from the once-hobby, and as viewers continue to get bored with the content or lack of fresh videos, the site will cease to be as popular. Not to mention that there are other ways to be seen now. YouTubers and influencers alike use Snapchat and Instagram to broadcast themselves, maybe because it involves little to no editing and a large reach.

In terms of YouTube as a platform, it’s really not even making itself out to be a good home. So often there’s news of YouTube unfairly demonetizing content or YouTube making it harder for smaller YouTubers to make money or YouTube not taking proper action against YouTubers who break rules. It’s left a lot of people, YouTubers or otherwise, unhappy. But there isn’t yet anywhere else to go. I think that may change one day as people continue to get fed up and want to have better control of their content. I also think that YouTube’s hype regarding its paid subscription service YouTube Premium (aka YouTube Red) will die off considering that a) the shows on there are largely just cringy kiddie shows with stiff acting, b) as better streaming services like Disney’s or DC’s become available on top of the myriad that already exist, people won’t want to pay for YouTube on top of these, and c) its target audience is almost solely children, who probably don’t pay for this stuff themselves. YouTube may not be able to compete with this changing TV landscape. I also think that parents may take a deeper look at the YouTube content their kids are watching and reevaluate their levels of comfort, and likely not favour the platform in the end.

be better gif

As for YouTube’s content, I think it’ll change too. Unfortunately, if someone wants to make it big, they’ll need to hit the ground running with decent content to stand out from the masses. This means better audio, better picture, and better ideas from the start because they won’t have a chance to catch up otherwise as people move on without them. I also think people are getting really fed up with clickbait that eventually that’ll die off a bit too. To counteract this, the only videos that will succeed, I think, will be the ones that actually have substance. No longer will people be able to do mindless vlogs or just film things for the sake of it, they’ll need to actually have something worthwhile to show. This means that LA and other big cities like New York or London will continue to be a YouTuber hub as that’s where things are and will be at their wildest, though I think there will also be more harsher lines as to what is and is not okay to do/film. Furthermore, I think that the YouTubers who are constantly flexing and are in it for the money will move to Instagram, where there is more of that unrealistic level of life and beauty.

As for YouTubers, they’ll change too, but not a lot. They’ll still need an entertaining personality to keep people watching. But they’ll be more aware of what they say and do. Because the YouTubers of the future will have grown up in this Me Too era and have seen many peoples’ careers fall because of their pasts, they’ll be more careful and politically correct. They will also be more honest and real, so I think we’ll see less ‘characters’ and clickbait and more openness. We’ve seen people as wild as Jake and Logan Paul, and I don’t think anyone wants to be like that. As for other types of videos in other niches, they will have similar changes. Drama videos will still exist but with less speculation and more facts, Beauty Guru videos will be more honest about products and their routines, reaction videos will be less forced, and anything else will just be more down to earth and fun. Look at Jenna Marbles, for example. She’s been on YouTube for years, and now she just has fun with her videos.

Thumbnails of recent Jenna Marbles videos

Lastly, I think that there’ll be a whole bunch more YouTube controversies. From YouTuber drama to YouTube making bad calls as a platform to YouTube affecting pop-culture in a different way. YouTube and YouTubers as celebrities is still a fairly new concept that a lot of people have yet to learn about. YouTube may die one day, but there’ll be a lot more big things to happen first.

What do you make of my predictions? Do you figure any of it will come true, or do you have other ideas about the platform and its people?

Next up next week: some thoughts from YouTubers themselves.

 

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