You Do You, Boo-Boo

A few weeks ago, I attended a leadership conference on campus. The closing speaker was a Creative Director from EA (Electronic Arts), who I actually got to hang out with during lunch time. She asked the people in the room eating with us what our favorite video games were, and when she got to me, I was already a nervous wreck, and said: “I’m not much of a gamer, but…”

She stopped me, and said something along the lines of: “Don’t say that. If you play games in some shape or form, you’re a gamer. Don’t let that gendered/sexist bulls*it stop you from being passionate about things. Too often, when people get older, they lose touch with the stuff they’re passionate about, and they’re cold. Now, what are your favorite games?”

Then, without hesitation, and while almost tearing up a little, I said spewed out the titles of some my favorite games: Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Left 4 Dead 2, and a few more (I forgot to mention Wario Land 4, Monster Rancher, etc.). It was a pretty pivotal moment for me, because for the past year and a half, I’ve expressed a lot of interest in wanting to buy my own PlayStation 4 and a copy of the new Star Wars: Battlefront. One or two guy friends of mine who I’ve talked to about this have looked at me when I said this and replied with, “But you’re not *really* a gamer.” What the heck is a “gamer” then? In the voice of Tita Auntie, “YOU E’TELL ME RIGHT NOW.”

Oh, thanks dictionary:

gam·er (/ˈɡāmər/) | noun
noun: gamer; plural noun: gamers
  1. a person who plays a game or games


After talking for a bit, the Creative Director gave me her e-mail and told me that whenever I get a PS4 to e-mail her my address so she can send me a free copy of Battlefront. And then, she introduced me to some games she thought I’d be interested in and we geeked out over their designs.

That was the highlight of my day at the conference, besides getting to know a lot of really cool people from other schools and attending fun workshops.

The point of all of this is: why is it so hard for womxn/non-male identifying people to like things in nerdy spaces without being questioned? I’m done with these elitist, mostly male-dominated circles not acknowledging the fact that other people thrive in these spaces and live and breathe in these fictional worlds like they do. Of course, they’re partially not to blame – it’s society’s habit of sorting things into “male” and “female” that have created this very damaging barrier of masculinity and femininity, causing things like the above and the “fake geek girl” stereotype to perpetuate in society. Not only boys can like video games and Legos – not only girls can wear make-up. We shouldn’t question or challenge people for liking things (unless they are really, really bad things…like, well, murder). It’s 2016. You do you.

On a lighter note, I’m thankful for my amazing friends and family for always being so supportive of my nerdy ventures. I also really want to thank that Creative Director for calling out my battle with myself and making me acknowledge and reaffirm the fact that I am a passionate individual who can like whatever I please. I can immerse myself in these spaces that encourage growth and innovation.

TL;DR – just let people like whatever the heck they want.


body positivity & educating others

Today’s post may seem a little strange with these two topics lumped together in one – but I thought they were relevant (okay, let’s be real here: they’re both related topics all the time), Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 10.38.52 PMparticularly in relation to Vine personality Jack Johnson and a little thing that happened on Twitter last night (right). Johnson tweeted:

I feel like I’ve seen a lot of girls use this “Body Positive” thing to post slutty (sic) pictures and not get called out for it (insert monkey say-no-evil emoji here) … But the true intent behind the campaign (the whole “Embrace who you are” notion is dope 🙂 … I’ve seen people not use it for its intended purpose is all I’m saying. And these are just facts.”

“And these are just facts.” Cue me cringing and falling to the floor, foaming at the mouth. Okay, okay, I’m exaggerating. I had no idea who this guy was – my friend sent me a link to the initial tweet and naturally, I got heated and the natural questions came to mind: “Why do people worship people like this?!” Thankfully, my aggravation was alleviated by singer Halsey’s responses to Johnson’s tweets. In a nutshell, she emphasizes the fact that it’s not anyone’s place to judge how someone presents themselves, and that body positivity is for everyone, contrary to what Johnson said in his reply to her.

Body positivity is for everyone – it’s a way for all individuals to be proud of who they are, whether they wear a crop top or a turtleneck sweater. That’s its intended purpose. Many people, no matter their body type, can feel insecure – and the concept of body positivity is so important to prove that everyone can flaunt their stuff no matter what and no one will judge them. Outwardly stating that an individual is a “slut” just because they are wearing clothes that show some skin is pretty rash, y’know (ugh note to society: please stop slut-shaming people, especially women). They are just confident in their skin and confidence is the key thing that is emphasized in the movement to embrace who you are. People who even post selfies/any types of photos of themselves are pretty damn brave in this world where some consider taking pictures of yourself a bad thing/a threat to society/a “millenial disease”. A selfie/picture of oneself in the way they CHOOSE to present themselves can be pretty damn empowering! Be who you are, young ones. FLY FREE. DON’T LET SOCIETY RESTRAIN YOU FROM BEING THE BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLIES YOU ARE. YOU ARE NOT AN OBJECT. YOU ARE YOUR OWN PERSON.

It is so sad when body positivity is twisted into a slut-shaming vortex of horribleness and doom.

Ever since posting those tweets, Johnson has received a lot of flack from fans and non-fans alike. Which is understandable – anyone who says something akin to controlling how people should present themselves can cause ripples in typically calm waters. However, it is clear that while Johnson is all for body positivity, he is still wholly uneducated in the topic. Hey, I kind of even give him props for trying to communicate with Halsey.

However, Twitter is known to be home to the nastiest sharks on the internet. While I’m all for calling people out when needed, when people are young and clearly do not know what the heck is going on, you’ve got to sit them down (metaphorically, not physically in this case) and talk to them. I applaud Halsey for doing that! Sending threats and ultimately demonizing an individual is not the way to get your point across. You just make them jump even further away from the truth and avoid any conversation in the future or get apologies rooted in annoyance.

Be kind. Be understanding. Don’t jump the shark. Don’t demonize someone and drag them through the dirt when it is clear all they need is someone to sit down with them to help them comprehend what the heck is going on.

(People who are actual human garbage, unchanging, and uncaring are a different story, though.)

tl;dr: I will commend Johnson for one thing: he is a positive individual and is all for it, he just needs to be more educated on the subject. Body positivity is for everyone.