Aesthetics And My Lack Thereof

I recently developed a weird obsession with watching cottagecore Tik Toks. And of course that’s also led me into a wormhole of goblincore, dark academia, and witchy Tik Toks. Now, because I know those last two sentences have likely confused the heck out of some of you, I’ll explain.

All the things I listed are aesthetics (a certain set of ideas regarding a style or design), and there are some people who live by these aesthetics and share this with the world via Tik Toks. So cottagecore is a term for the aesthetic that’s about romanticizing the quaint cottage life of baking bread, sitting in open fields, wearing flowy dresses, admiring frogs, etc (the suffix -core is supposedly derived from the word hardcore). Dark academia is similar except instead of romanticizing cottages and plants, it’s more about gothic books, candles, statues, and rain. Goblincore focuses on bones and crystals. Honestly, they all overlap a lot and it can hard to understand really without seeing what I mean, so if you’re interested, here are some compilations: Cottagecore / Goblincore / Dark and Light Academia / Witchy

Looking at something on a phone.
Me immersing myself in another aesthetic compilation.

Anyway, I find aesthetics weird. I get having a style and some preferences in terms of clothes and stuff, but aesthetics are so specific and unusual. I can understand the draw or some of the things, like funky rocks or victorian architecture or a good cup of tea, because they can be nice things, but not enough to dedicate my whole being to.

And yet, I can’t stop watching these dumb little videos of people showing off their aesthetics. It’s escapism in a way. I by no means want to live on a farm and wear dresses every day, but I guess a small part of me does crave a simpler life. There’s no room for mortgage payments or panic attacks or murderers or incompetent politicians in cottagecore, ya know?

This Is So Pure GIF.

There are many other aesthetics than the few I’ve mentioned (like hipster, stoner, nerdy, pastel, minimalist, that Japanese schoolgirl one…), and who’s to say if the Tik Tok makers really subscribe fully to their chosen aesthetics, but even if they don’t in some areas, they clearly dedicate a lot of their life to it. I can’t really fathom that, and maybe I sound like a dick, but something about these rather over-the-top takes on it just sometimes seems so fake and silly and pretentious.

And I’m not trying to purposely rag on the interests of teenage girls because I know it can seem like everything they do/like is bad. It’s just a coincidence that it’s teenage girls who mostly are into these aesthetics and showing them on Tik Tok. I respect that they have this creative outlet and find some sense of community.

I clearly don’t have an aesthetic. I’d guess most people don’t. Which is why the ones who do seem so strange (to me, at least). But should I have one? Should we all just find the things and styles that make our souls feel complete and lean all the way into it? I mean, I love dragons. Maybe my aesthetic is some fantasy-slash-nerdy-slash-casual mix. And maybe I just don’t fully know it yet because I still live at my parents’ house, where they are, and I kid you not, currently in the midst of painting the walls from a dim yellow to a slightly less yellow shade of dim yellow.

Who am I? gif.

At the end of the day, aesthetics aren’t hurting anyone, so you do you. I find them interesting to explore even if I really don’t think they’re for me.

What’s your aesthetic? Do you also find some aesthetics a little odd and fake?

 

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Monthly Look Ahead: May 2020

How are we doing, folks? Still staying at home, I hope.

April flew by and now May is here. Though it’s not what we want, I think I for one am a little more used to this new normal and can go back to looking forward to things like TV shows and stuff without feeling guilty and wrong. I hope you can do the same. So without further ado, here’s what I’m excited for in May.

monthly look ahead logo.

  • My favourite TV show is finally back for its seventh and final season. Agents Of SHIELD begins on the 27th at 10pm. I’ll be sorry to see this show go, but I’m so looking forward to saying a proper goodbye to it, and I trust that this last season will be very good.
  • The show Blindspot was supposed to begin its final season at the end of April but because of the Parks And Rec special, it got pushed into May. I enjoy this show a lot and the cliffhanger last season has me very excited to get back into the action.
  • The newest CW superhero show Stargirl starts on the 19th. It looks decent, and goodness knows I can never say no to an Arrowverse show.
    Stargirl still.
  • Ben Platt’s filmed concert will be put on Netflix on the 20th, and I’m excited because he’s such a good singer!
  • Season two of Dead To Me is also out on the 8th. I didn’t love the first season, but it was entertaining enough, so I shall continue.
  • There are more proshot musicals coming this month. I thiiiink I saw a tweet about a British theater streaming Fun Home, and Andrew Loyd Webber uploads his shows to YouTube one at a time every weekend, and Playbill last month streamed Bandstand so they may have a new one soon. I’m glad such content is being released because now is the time to lose yourself in a musical for two hours.
  • A few other shows I’m considering watching but am on the fence about so far are Hollywood (out on the 1st), Space Force (out on the 29th), and Upload (out also on the 1st).
  • There’s been a duck laying eggs in our backyard, and towards the end of the month, the eggs will hopefully hatch. There’ll probably be a blog post later on going more in detail about this, but it’s been very exciting for my family.
  • I’ve gotten into decent routines for quarantine socialization. From playing games online to sitting in cars and chatting through rolled-down windows to the curling club’s virtual Bingo, I’m glad to have friends and people to interact with, and I look forward to doing more of it in May.

 

So a lot of screen time going on, but what else am I to do? I’d love to know what you’re looking forward to in May.

And, because it’s tradition now, here is my favourite May: Melinda May. I can’t wait for her to be back on my screen.

May in 6x13 of SHIELD.
She got stabbed with that very sword and lived to tell the tale. Iconic.

That’s all for now!

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Mobile Vs Desktop, A First World Problem

One thing that both impresses and annoys me about my father is his desire to use his phone to research things. Like, a few months ago we were trying to find a restaurant to go to for when we went downtown. My father sat in a chair and used his phone to map out places and read their reviews and view the menus. Whereas if I was doing that task, I’d 100% do it on my laptop. And I have a larger phone than he does.

I'm Like Really Lowkey annoyed gif.

Way back in high school, I had an iPod Touch and no laptop, so I definitely did whatever I needed to do on that, and it was fine, mostly. It was kind of my only choice because the family laptop was often being used by someone else and it certainly was not the quickest device in the world to boot up. But I’d still use it for bigger things, like buying movie tickets or applying for summer jobs. Once I got my laptop, though, it became my go-to for most things online. I have completely adapted to it. I blog from my laptop, I send emails from my laptop, I watch YouTube videos from my laptop. Any time I have to look something up, I reach for my laptop. The thought of doing research and viewing multiple websites on mobile formatting is just exhausting. All that scrolling and zooming and several clicks to switch tabs. It’s so slow compared to a desktop. And yet, I used to do it almost exclusively.

Though my father does still use a computer fairly often and recently bought himself a tablet, he’s still on his phone most of the time, especially in the evenings. That’s his choice. He doesn’t complain much about it.

look at your life, look at your choices gif.

There are a few things I prefer to do on mobile. Some social media apps like Twitter and Instagram are better on my phone. It’s faster to check my emails and load my WordPress Reader on mobile too. But I prefer to type on a keyboard than a touch screen, so as soon as I have to send an email or even write a blog comment, I’ll usually wait until I can do it on a computer. I think it’s just faster and also easier for me to see what I write because I don’t have to scroll so much.

It’s interesting that mobile devices are so popular and they all boast big screens and the ability to do whatever we want to do, but to me, they’ll never compete with a computer. Sure, they’re better for portability and can fit in a pocket (well, not a woman’s pocket), but when it comes down to it, a computer is so much faster to interact with and better for reading and writing. Laptops/computers will never die out for this reason.

phone and laptop gif.

Which do you prefer to use? Is there something you refuse to do on one?

 

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Making The Most Of My Pocket-Less Existence

It’s a known fact that women’s clothing, pants in particular, have either no pockets or very small, barely usable pockets. So what do we have to do? Carry bags.

If I’m leaving the house for more than two hours and it’s to go somewhere farther than a 1km radius, there’s a good chance I have a bag with me, and it’s as jam-packed with as much stuff as I can fit.

girl with oversized bag.

Last year I when I went to FanExpo and I met up with a friend, I asked him if he had a bag, worrying that perhaps he left it on a train, but he was like “I don’t have one” and I was like “oh okay,” but I was so shook. He was just living life with a phone, a wallet, and a portable charger in his pants pockets, and there I was with a bag that contained a water bottle, a deck of cards, granola bars, gum, a bagel, headphones, printed tickets, a small bottle of lotion, a compact of coverup, a wallet, a charger, and probably other stuff that I can’t remember.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was set for the day. That’s my goal, always: to be set for any and all occurrences. If I have to carry a bag because my must-haves can’t fit in my delicate lady pants, then I’m gonna make sure it’s stocked. It’s sensible. And it’s not like I’m carrying around things that weigh as much as bricks. No, it’s little things like lip balm. Could I live without it for that outing? Yeah, probably, but I choose not to.

i know what i'm about gif.

I was like this way back in high school too. On top of the usual school materials like pens and stuff, I always had in my backpack a small sewing kit, hand sanitizer, tissues, a deck of cards, a flashlight, band-aids, a mirror, and also a bunch of little brain-teasing puzzles that made me a lot of friends when classes got boring. Did I make weird jangling sounds when I moved at any speed faster than walking? Sure did. But I always had anything I needed.

And because I’ve always been walking around with my own version of Hermione’s enchanted bag in Deathly Hallows, it’s so normal to me. I’m only reminded that it’s not a shared experience when someone, usually a male, says to me with skepticism “do you always carry granola bars with you?” Yes, boys, I do. I own two small purses and two bags, and there are multiple granola bars in them all, just in case. Actually, three bags because I also keep granola bars in my curling bag. And, for those bag-less outings, I keep a granola bar in my coat’s inner pocket. Granola bars are the best. They don’t melt, they don’t leak, they don’t go bad, and they’re so easy to carry. A few weeks ago I ate a granola bar from my jacket that I later realized may have gone through the wash, and it was fine! It tasted totally normal!

lady dancing while eating a granola bar.
Me eating a granola bar I had in my bag

I’ll be honest, even if the women’s pants industry decided tomorrow to give us the pockets we deserve, I think I’ve gotten so used to carrying around so much good stuff in bags that I’d continue to use a one rather than have like ten things in each pocket. Men, you’re missing out.

So ladies, do you share this habit of carrying everything you may need at all times? How many granola bars are in your main bag right now? Or am I just a weirdo who does this?

 

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Valentine’s Day Is Not That Big Of A Deal

Well, tomorrow is the 14th. Happy Valentine’s Day!

hearts gif.

This informal holiday, much like Christmas, has become really commercialized. Chocolates marked up in every store, pink and red hearts all over, cutesy cards, and an expectation that you and your significant other will celebrate, because why else would you be in love than if not to buy into this day?

I sound bitter. I’m not bitter. I think it’s great that couples can enjoy the day. I think it’s great that all that chocolate will be discounted on the 15th, and that’s when my father will swoop in and bring home the goodies while my mother shakes her head disapprovingly. I think it’s great that Valentine’s Day was such a fun event in elementary school because we just passed out funny cartoon cards and candy to each other. (Throwback to third grade when some kid gave everyone little bags of cinnamon hearts, and I was one of the few people who liked them, so I ended up with a giant bag and the next day, my teacher had to tell me that I really shouldn’t be snacking on them at 9am). Anyway, back to the topic on hand: if you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day tomorrow, good for you! I seriously hope you have a wonderful day!

happy valentines day gif.

What I don’t like, though, is this idea that Valentine’s Day should be for single people just as much. Because it’s really not. I don’t need to pamper myself or treat myself any differently on the 14th because I’m single. I don’t care. It’s just weird to see articles online like “8 Ways To Celebrate Valentine’s Day When You’re Single” because it’s like saying “8 Ways To Celebrate Hanukkah When You’re Not Jewish.” You just don’t. This day is mostly not for you, and you shouldn’t feel weird about that. Just live your life normally like you would on any other day and let those in relationships do what they want to do.

If you want to treat yourself on the 14th, I’m not stopping you. I just hope you’re not doing it because you feel pressured into doing it. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. You’re not more or less worthy of love or a relationship because you buy yourself flowers or something. Even if you are in a relationship, you don’t have to celebrate either. While there is a bit of history behind Valentine’s Day like Christmas, it’s not like a big thing you must acknowledge the way Christians acknowledge Jesus’ birth on December 25th. If you want to not celebrate this highly commercialized day, that’s fine. After all, you have anniversaries to use as a Special Love Day.

it doesn't matter gif.

And if you want to instead (or additionally) spend the day celebrating familial or platonic love, that’s also fine! We are of course allowed to do this (Galentine’s Day, anyone?), but it’s just more of the idea that it’s largely framed in society to be done only as a consolation act because we don’t have a romantic relationship to celebrate that kind of annoys me.

I’ve gathered one more round of silly Tumblr Valentines to send tomorrow to friends, and I’m not sending them because I’m sad that I’m single or I want to insert myself in this holiday, I’m sending them because they’re very funny and I want to laugh at them with my friends and it’d be weird to send them on any other day.

it's not that deep gif.

I’ve edited this post so much so I don’t I sound like some salty old spinster just instantly vomiting at the sight of some white teddy bear holding a plush heart. I need you to know that I am not bitter. I’ve been single on every Valentine’s Day in my 23.5 years of life, and I literally have never been bothered. Would be really cool to be in a happy relationship where I could celebrate Valentine’s Day? Sure. But I’m not going to force myself into one or feel especially bad if I’m not. It’s just easier to, like,…not waste thoughts on it. Because Valentine’s Day is just really not that big of a deal. And that’s my point. You do you, and don’t let society’s importance on this one day dictate how you feel or what you do.

What are your thoughts on Valentine’s Day?

 

 

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