5 things I’ve learned so far in life.

Lately on the internet, I’ve been coming across a lot of articles about life lessons, things you should/shouldn’t be doing at/by a certain age, and most of it just sounds really preachy and judgemental. Every human being is different, we all walk a separate path and experience life differently. While some things are common knowledge and could be applied to everyone, having specific recommendations of what ‘everyone should do in their 30’s’ or ‘what women should be doing in their early 20’s’ just feels weird to me. 

Human beings are constantly experiencing and forever evolving. I’m not the same person I was 4 years ago, and that person was radically different from the girl I was 4 years before that. I’m not old, but I’m also not as young as I once was. I have lots of memories, have seen and done some crazy things, and on my journey I had definitely learned a lot. That being said, here are some things I personally have learned – which could potentially apply to you (but maybe not)!

  1. If you’re going to skip school, do it right. Don’t hang out in the hallways or on school grounds, hoping you don’t bump into your teachers. I never remember the stuff I talked about during these times, only when I got out and DID things with people. In the same respect, if you’re going to go to class, then focus! If I actually went to class, I went to learn and do the work. If I wanted to chat and play around on my phone, I’d rather do that without a teacher yelling at me and maybe giving me detention.
  2. This is going to sound really cliché, but life is too short to do things you don’t want to do. Obviously this doesn’t apply to responsibilities like work, paying bills, etc., but as far as your personal life goes, you have full say. I’m not going to regret not seeing that horror movie with my friends (because I hate horror films) just because everyone else was going. I will of course attend things to support my friends/family/partners, but there is a difference between support and submitting. I won’t go to that party if I am having a bad anxiety day, because I won’t have fun and I will likely regret it. If you’re my friend, you’ll understand that and have my back. Don’t guilt me because ‘you haven’t seen me in so long’. We never know how long we get on this Earth, I’d really rather not spend it doing activities I have no interest in.
  3. It’s okay to be sad sometimes. Or mad, or whatever. There seems to be this vibe imprinted on us that says we need to be happy, or at least always striving for happiness. And yeah, I love being happy, it’d be cool if I could be like that always – but that’s not the case. That’s not the case for a lot of people. It seems futile to constantly work towards happiness, do all of these things that are apparently the stepladder towards the ultimate Gates of Eternal Happiness – because sometimes I will get sad, and sometimes things will just piss me off. Because I’m human, and it’s natural. All power to those who are usually content, and/or want to work on making themselves happier. But knowing myself, I could be at my highest point of happy – and then life (or my mind) sets off an emotional land mine and well, here I am crying into my roommate’s dog again. I know it won’t last forever, and I’m all right with that. 
  4. The most toxic people in your life can be the hardest to remove. It always sucks when the realization finally dawns on you that your ‘good’ friend of 6+ years is actually someone you should have cut a long time ago. Sometimes these people are even family members, which makes it harder. I now have to ask myself the same questions when I am assessing a personal relationship. Does this person usually make me feel better after talking to/seeing them, or worse? What do we discuss when we talk? Do I feel safe with this person?  This can be really hard to do, but once it’s done, you realized how much happier you feel without the negative energy. I never usually realize how unhappy I felt by their involvement in my life, until I no longer have them in it.
  5. Lipstick and lip stain can completely change a face. Sometimes if I’m too lazy or tired for full makeup, I just do foundation and then throw on some lipstick. My whole face instantly looks brighter and I appear more well put-together. Life hacks ftw.

I was too tired to think of more than five. Maybe I’ll add more at a later date!

Black Milk Clothing Social Media Disaster – A Guide on What Not to Do

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Yesterday, this above photo was posted to the Black Milk Clothing fan page, with a statement that states the staff member wants to look like the woman on the left, and ends up looking like the woman on the right.

This meme erupted on Facebook, causing loads of fans to comment stating how this was inappropriate, that it offended them, and that shaming of any kind is not okay – especially when you are running/promoting your company, and most of your fan base is female.

Black Milk’s reaction? Deleting comments, banning people, and basically replying with “If you don’t like our jokes, you are free to unlike the page and stop shopping with us.” What a way to keep your customers loyal! I have exactly zero experience in running a business, and even I know that one of the many things NOT to do is direct [potential] customers away. The post was eventually deleted by Alicia (one of the social media team members) due to ‘negativity’. Here are a few screenshots of the comments some (ex-) fans have taken and shared with me or the general internet:

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Longtime ex-customer Kristen has this to say about the matter:

“The issue isn’t bodyshaming. That post puts women in a competition none of us agreed to, and implies that geeks and gamers can only be sexy if they dress and style themselves in a hyper sexualized, highly feminized manner. It inherently shames women who don’t want to be sexualized within the geek/gamer community and perpetuates misogynist stereotyping. It’s mean.

And I don’t think anyone should sit around and defend BM. Their treatment of their community is horrendous, they regularly violate copyright when making their “original” designs yet encourage their fans to shred other companies who use similar commercially available fabrics, and they’ve perpetuated rape culture and racism in the past year.”

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But wait, there’s more!

Think this is the first time Black Milk has overstepped the line? Think again.

How about this post from Easter?

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Presenting some casual body-shaming for your holiday weekend. I suppose this could be taken in the sense of  “spend your money on leggings instead of chocolate”, if Lana hasn’t stated in the comments that she didn’t follow her own advice and ate a chocolate bunny for breakfast. Also, since when does chocolate cost $75? I really don’t see the connection here, if this post was not INTENDED to be body-shaming. Comments were also deleted on this thread.

Or how about this time Lana was in full support of blackface on Instagram?

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I don’t think I even have to explain what’s incredibly inappropriate about this one.

Or what about that time they told people to ‘go right out and read’ a Batman comic that includes a brutal implied rape scene, without a trigger warning for the content? But apparently, it needs to actually be CALLED rape, in that specific word, for them to do anything about it.

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It takes 5 seconds to apologize for their insensitivity, and edit the post to include a trigger warning. But this isn’t what happened. Instead, more excuses were made because it wasn’t actually called rape. As a previous Black Milk customer between the time period of March 2012 and January 2014, this is when I removed myself from the community. I’ve sold off most of my pieces, and I haven’t purchased from them since. I stepped down as one of the 3 admins for the Black Milk LGBTQ group (which I created because I thought it was a glaring omission among the 30+ other community groups), and removed myself from all groups as well as the fan page. Excusing rape-culture related issues is something I find inexcusable – whether you’re one person who makes a rape joke, or a company attempting to sell you products.

This is the link to the original comic artwork – TRIGGER WARNING for sexual assault/abuse/brutality of women. http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/killing-joke-gordon.jpg

That really looks like rape to me. If I had clicked on it without a warning from a friend, I would feel incredibly messed up. Shouldn’t Black Milk feel that their customers deserve fair warning before delving into this type of material?

Or how about the time they shamed one specific customer publicly on the fan page for becoming a teenage mom?

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This young woman shared this before and after photo, presumably because wearing Black Milk makes her feel good, and she wanted to share that you could still look awesome when you’re expecting.. so Black Milk takes advantage of this by reposting her pictures, and tells us all to “party responsibly?” You might as well say, don’t party too hard or you’ll end up a pregnant teenager like this girl! The company knows nothing about her personal life, nothing about her choices and decisions, and have no idea about anything she has gone through. This post was cruel, uncalled for, and likely very embarrassing for the female targeted. I really hope she was sincerely apologized to following this incident, but given the way BM tends to handle their mistakes, that’s unfortunately not very likely. [Note: If the girl in these photos ever comes across this post, I want you to know that you have the full support of myself and many other people out there! This was hurtful and wrong for Black Milk to do, and that’s why I’m sharing it now. Also, you look amazing in both photos! xx]

Chinese New Year release? Otherwise known as, an excuse to sell new items release!

Black Milk’s 2014 Chinese New Year collection was completely void of anything to do with the holiday. The artwork of this panda shirt was done by a Japanese artist, and I think that’s the connection they attempted to make? …Except that Chinese and Japanese are two different cultures and are not by any means interchangeable. Pandas also have nothing to do with the holiday. Have I mentioned that the release date of the collection was not even the SAME date as Chinese New Year? This is a definite far cry from the Chinese zodiac pieces that were put out for the celebrations in 2013.

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Let’s talk about the Black Milk “Commandments” – because it’s not important to practice what we preach.

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How about you be excellent to your customers? How about you don’t compare one woman to another with the intent of saying one appearance is more attractive? How about you have a reasonable discussion and engagement with your fans instead of deleting all opinions you don’t agree with? And how about you DON’T compare racism to llamas?

To sum up, the geek-girl post was not a one-time thing. Black Milk Clothing regularly posts content that shames people for varying reasons, deletes replies that aren’t to their liking, and displays a “sorry-not-sorry” non-apologetic attitude when putting an ‘end’ to posting discussions. Their fans built them from the ground up, and this is how we are treated in return. The Black Milk “community” you speak so highly of is the same community you are now disrespecting. Alicia stated in her final statement regarding the geek-girl post that ALL of the Black Milk team are in agreement.  Whether these problems lie in the hands of the social media team itself OR the business as a whole, these are the people you have representing your brand. Please consider where your money is going, and the kind of company you are supporting.

If you have any comments, questions, or want to contribute to this topic (I may follow up on this post at a later date), please feel free to contact me! I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions (and I won’t delete them either)!