Blogmas Day 4: Gift Ideas for the Feminist on Your List

In light of recent news, it’s time we all band together to uplift and reignite the feminist and girl power movements.

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Whether you identify as a woman or an ally, here are some must-buys for all the feminists and nasty women on your Christmas lists. Happy Blogmas, ya’ll.


boohoo Regan Girl Boss Slogan Hoops

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Werk, girl. Let everyone in the club know exactly what kind of girl they’re dealing with.


Be Bold, Brave & Brilliant Art Print

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Girls are amazing– but sometimes we need to be reminded of that fact. Perfect for decorating an office or bedroom.


Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace By Jessica Bennett

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“Part manual, part manifesto, Feminist Fight Club is a hilarious guide to navigating subtle sexism at work providing real-life career advice for a new generation of professional women. Named one of the best books of 2016 by the Chicago Tribune, Refinery 29, Forbes, Bust + CEO Reads, Bennett blends personal stories with research and statistics, providing a new vocabulary for sexist workplace archetypes and provides practical hacks for navigating other gender landmines in today’s working world.”

Flamingo Candles Flamingo Glow Getter Rose Velvet & Precious Oud Candle

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Get that glow, crush your goals, and fill your work area with a beautiful scent and cozy vibe while you’re at it.

2018 Fiercely Female 12-Month Wall Calendar

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12 whole months of girl power– which, while I’m thinking of it, sounds like a great start.


Skinnydip Holographic Pencil + Eraser Set

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Writing a test? YASSS QUEEN. Filling out reports? KILLIN’ IT. Fighting for basic human rights? IT’S LIT.


Feminist Sticky Notepad

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The sticky note is white with colored edges so only you will know you’re spreading girl power like wild fire. You know, in case your hastily scribbled messages threaten someone’s masculinity.


Slay Bath Mat

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Think of this as a daily reminder when you are doing that sad post-shower look in the mirror at your naked body. YOU ARE A QUEEN. SLAAAAY.


Feminist Throw Pillow

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We all need a feminist throw pillow. Very useful when smothering the haters and throwing feminism around everywhere.


Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud By Anne Helen Petersen

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“You know the type: the woman who “won’t shut up,” who’s “too brazen,” “too opinionated” – “too much.” She’s the “unruly woman,” and she embodies one of the most provocative and powerful forms of womanhood today. In her book, Petersen uses the lens of “unruliness” to explore the ascension of pop culture powerhouses like Lena Dunham, Nicki Minaj + Kim Kardashian, exploring why the public loves to love (and hate) these controversial figures.”


What do you think, Broke Babes? Love it? Hate it? Want to share your own Feminist Gift Ideas?

Hit like, leave me a comment, and don’t forget to follow @bankrupt_beauty on twitter and instagram!

 

 

 

Blogmas Day 1: My Christmas List

It’s that time of year again: there’s frost on the window panes, hot chocolate in your cup, and another blogger is here to harass you with daily Blogmas posts!

For those of you who don’t know what Blogmas is, let me explain– it’s basically a one month challenge where bloggers try to post about all things Christmas at least once a day. Sounds easy? Well, it’s not. I usually give up around the 7th.

Still, I’m back at it again! To kick off this year’s Blogmas I’m dropping my Christmas list! Affiliate links are present, so click to shop!


One Bella Casa Read Books Pet Dogs Drink Tea Pillow

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Because every girl needs a pillow that describes, in detail, her exact desires in life. I mostly want this pillow so any man who enters my home knows exactly what he’s getting himself into.


Amber Ibarreche X UO Negative Funds Positive Vibes Embroidered Tapestry

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I am a big fan of having a positive attitude in the face of adversity, and if spending $50 on wall art makes me feel better about my lack of money, so be it. This also functions as a deterrent for anyone who insists labeling me as “the rich friend” just because I work 3 jobs. Spoiler alert: I am working those jobs because I’m broke as hell.


2018 Hot Dudes Reading 12-Month Wall Calendar

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I just want to look at hot, seemingly intellectual dudes. Is that so bad?


Boux Avenue Princess Hooded Wrap Around

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It’s like a house coat. But it’s a cape. A Princess cape. Also it has a hood, so while wearing it I wouldn’t have to do my hair. I feel like if you don’t want this something is seriously wrong with you.

Update: my mom came up behind me and saw this. “You want to wear this?” She sighs, shaking her head. “This is why you’re single.”

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Um, okay, rude?

Pixi Glowtion Day Dew

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I’m pretty much known for my infamous going-out glow, so I’m pretty sure this Pixi Glowtion can bring some of that night time fabulousness into the day. Getting your glow on is basically a human right at this point, right?


Blue Q Girl Power Socks

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Swearing and Feminism. My two favourite things.


Kate Spade Square Tote

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Okay this is definitely the most serious thing on this list… But it’s also the most expensive. If any of you have $450 to blow and are feeling generous, please buy this for me. I’ll tag you in all my instagram posts, I swear.


Merkury Innovations 12 Flamingo LED Light

 

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Okay but this is just cool. I’m not the only one who thinks this, right?


The Art Studio Boston Terrier in Cocktail Glass by Fab Funky

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Look at him! Look at how fancy he is! You love him right?

I just want weird animal art! Leave me alone! Why don’t you love this fancy dog as much as I do?


Slant Collections Boss Babe Bottle

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Because I am a boss. Maybe. One day. Hopefully?


What do you think, Broke Babes? Love it? Hate it? What’s on your Christmas list?

Hit like, leave me a comment, and don’t forget to follow @bankrupt_beauty on Instagram and Twitter!

International Women’s Day: 5 Simple Pleasures of Identifying as a Woman

It’s 2017. International Women’s Day is more than just a day to celebrate conventional femininity.

Now more than ever is the time to celebrate womanhood in all its forms and to look at feminism beyond its classic cookie-cutter white washed portrayal– it’s time to look at and appreciate all women, regardless of race, religion, able-bodiedness, weight, sexuality, and whatever other dividers the world tries to put between us.

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If you identify as a woman, then I invite you to celebrate with me today. In the face of those who would want to separate us it’s important to gather strength and build each other up. Rather than look at our differences, I want to spend this International Women’s Day celebrating 5 Simple Pleasures of Identifying as a Woman.

     1. Beyoncé’s “Who Run the World (Girls)”

One thing we can all agree on is that this song is amazing.

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There is no better feeling than seeing a relatively empty dance floor become immediately crowded the second this song comes on, suddenly filled a hoard of diverse and universally pumped women shaking it as hard as they can in some sort of ritual to honor Queen Bey. I swear half the plot of Mean Girls could have been resolved in a second if Beyoncé had just released this song a few years earlier.

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No matter what kind of feminism or womanhood you prescribe to, we can all agree that women run the world. No matter your privilege, no matter your sexuality, no matter if you are Black, Asian, Muslim, Latinx, Disabled, Trans, Fat, or Poor– this song is a reminder that we are all important. The world needs women.

2. #WCW

Okay, I’ll be honest. #MCM is super lame. More often than not the only men featured in the Man Candy Monday Instagram hashtag are celebrities who are idealistic media portrayals of men or your friend’s idiot boyfriend who is being praised for not drinking directly out of the milk carton. Not worthy of a hashtag.

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#WCW on the other hand is a whole other game. Any given Women Crush Wednesday you can scroll through the #WCW tag and consistently be slapped by gorgeous woman after gorgeous woman. Even better, a large percentage of the posts not only honor the women for being beautiful (because, duh. we’re all hot) but also for their kindness, intelligence, caring, and success. It’s like a weekly little International Women’s Day.

3. Donald Trump Doesn’t Identify as a Woman

So congrats! You’re already distancing yourself from American’s Biggest Loser.

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Even better– so many other amazing, talented, intelligent, and successful people identify as women. There’s Beyoncé (obviously,) Tina Fey, Malala Yousafzai, Helen Keller, Melissa McCarthy, Christy Brown, Michele Obama, Oprah, Carolyn Walker, Amber Riley, Hillary Clinton, Sofia Vergara, Gabourey Sidibe, JK Rowling, Dalia Mogahed, Laverne Cox, Angelina Jolie, Judge Judy, Rihanna, Jazz Jennings, Adele…

And that’s just to name a few. We’re in good company, ladies.

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4. We Turn Our Characters Into Icons

Although there’s still a huge shortage of well-rounded and well-written female characters appearing in the world’s media, on the rare occasion we are given one we turn them into feminist icons.

When I was growing up, every little girl wanted to be Hermione Granger. And before that, it was Princess Leia. Now, it’s Katniss Everdeen. Anytime writers give us strong, purposeful, well-written women with agency they turn into symbols of the power women possess. Even less complex characters (like the Sex and the City gang, or the Pretty Little Liars) become signifiers of reclaimed control of one’s body and sexuality, and rebellion against imposing authority– and in 2017, we need characters like this more than ever.

Give us more female characters. Make them minorities. Make them trans, make them LGBTQA. Make them disabled. Make them reflective of every different side of womanhood and femininity. But never stop making them powerful.

5. There Has Never Been a Better Time to be a Woman

Let me rephrase this: being a woman is still difficult, and in many ways dangerous. We are still largely oppressed. We are still not equal to men. We are still not treated as we should be.

But for the first time women everywhere are beginning to set aside their differences to stand together and fight for each other. Every time one of us uses our privilege or agency to defend one another, that is powerful. That leads to change.

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We are only a few months into 2017 and already I have seen so many instances of women extending a hand to one another to fight against oppressive forces both in and outside of their government. Movements like the Women’s March are just the beginning of larger change that will eventually lead to more equality and to more understanding.

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To those who identify as women and girls, wherever you are reading this: we are more similar than we are different. We are stronger together than apart. We are all women in our own right, and that alone is worth celebrating.

Happy International Women’s Day.

What do you think, Broke Babes? Love it? Hate it? Want to let me know?

Hit like, leave me a comment, and don’t forget to forward this to all the wonderful Broke Babes in your life.

~Bankrupt Beauty

 

 

Book Clubbin’: Why Not Me?

March is here, Broke Babes. Which means it’s time for another book…

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March’s Book: “Why Not Me?” by Mindy Kaling

In the sequel to her first memoir, Why Not Me? explores Mindy Kaling’s attempts to find happiness, love, and contentment in the world of Hollywood– a place that seems to be dead-set on reminding her that women like her don’t belong on television. Through short essays revealing cheeky beauty tips (“In Hollywood, a dark-skinned woman’s natural hair color is honey-blonde,”) to stories recalling being dumped by friends, first jobs, and whirlwind romances with President Obama’s security team, Kaling’s Why Not Me? is both comedic and demanding when it comes to answering one question– why is Hollywood so sh*tty to women of color? And plus-sized women?

What’s so wrong with being different?

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Although second to her first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Kaling’s Why Not Me? is a mature but hilarious take on femininity and the experience of womanhood in contemporary American media culture. While some essays will leave you breathless with laughter, there’s an intense sort of vulnerability exposed when she discusses the distance between friendships and the loss of “prime best friend years;” and, if you’ve ever had any questions about her relationship with BJ Novak (or are like me, and just like being nosy) you’ll be touched (and a little heartbroken) when you read the chapter entitled “Soup Snakes.”

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Okay, I know– you’re probably annoyed at me. I get it! This book has been out forever. But even though it’s older and a sequel (to another amazing book) when I re-read it I still caught myself laughing out loud; at one point I even called my mom to read out a few paragraphs. And if a book like that can’t be recommended to your girlfriends, what kind of book can?

What do you think Broke Babes? Love it? Hate it? Have some books you’d recommend to a friend?

Hit like, leave me a comment, and hey– don’t forget to pass along any book you think I’d like!

Kissing Frogs: A Brief & Cringe Worthy History of Some Truly Awful High School Dates

In high school I went through a phase of wanting (desperately) to have a boyfriend.

If anyone reading this knew me in high school, this is probably hilarious because, a) I was incredibly uncool– like, braces, drama club, students’ union levels of uncool. The cliche of a dorky girl looking desperately for love is about as brutal as you can get.

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Case and point: I had this photo of Emily, Mercedes, and I as my profile pic for like a year. I WAS SO LAME OH MY GOD.

Also, b) I am incredibly awkward and uncoordinated when it comes to flirting. I also have been dating the same dude for the last 5 years which to some people probably makes me a recommitted virgin or something.

At 16, however, dating a living-breathing boy was pretty much the height of awesome; in my friends group whenever someone started flirting with a new dude it was an incredibly big deal. “Oh my god!” We’d all squeal as we dramatically stopped applying our lip gloss. “You’re dating him? Details!”

Of course, being awkward and weird meant I almost always was on the receiving end of these conversations. In case you’re wondering, there’s nothing inherently awesome about feeling like you’re constantly playing a supporting role in the lives of your cuter, more sophisticated friends.

However, it wasn’t long before something changed: in the heart of sophomore year I got my braces off, I learned how to style my hair, and I realised that most people did not appreciate long rant-y conversations about Harry Potter. Finally, I was ready to make up for lost time and enter the dating world.

The months I spent fruitlessly attempting to get a boyfriend were probably the most hectic and dramatic of my life– I bounced between crush after crush, going on very random or strange dates that didn’t really amount to anything particularly juicy. Don’t get me wrong. It was hella fun and great for my self confidence to date a few guys (it also kept me too busy to do drugs or drink or whatever else actual cool people were doing– to this day I don’t really know how I managed to date all those people without having a personal assistant) but god– did I ever go on some pretty brutal dates while trying to find Mr. Right.

Listen guys, I’m an adult now. Which means I can basically look back on my past-love life with a certain amount of nostalgia and laughter.

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I graduated forever ago. I’m officially allowed to look back without wanting to die.

So here it is, Broke Babes– a blast from the past, and hopefully a little something to break up that pre-Valentines Day funk– A Brief and Cringe Worthy List of Some of My Worst High School Dates Ever.


B*tch Killed My iPod

As any teenager growing up in the 2000’s can tell you, the second most important status symbol you can obtain– you know, after a boyfriend– is an iPod.

At the time I was seeing my first boyfriend. He was cute, and kind of funny, but neither of us were super into each other– our togetherness was more the result of it being summer and being bored more than anything else. We killed a lot of summer nights wandering around empty parks and lounging along hillside grass, sharing the headphones of my hot pink iPod nano.

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Ugh, this is so culturally specific to the 2010’s.

But summer ended, as did the need to fill our time with each other. School began, and life got more hectic. Soon the only “dates” I had with him were for a few minutes between classes, or for after school milkshakes at the mall, and occasionally in the few minutes we had together racing towards the bus home.

One day on one of our increasingly tedious runs to catch to the bus I made the mistake of allowing him to stash his half drunk soda in my purse. Within minutes everything inside my bag was soaked with bright orange fizz– my wallet, my school work, and (gasp) my iPod nano.

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I missed the bus but he got on, not hearing me as I shrieked and told him he owed me pretty much a new everything. The bus left, the fight never really resolved, and a week later we broke up. I returned to the Apple Store alone.

The worst dates, it turns out, are the ones that result in a loss of your immediate access to the complete Britney Spears discography.

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Wait, this is a date?

I was one of those weird kids who was determined to barely attend school in their senior year. And because I didn’t have the courage to really skip my classes, my only choice was to gradually chip away at my credits in summer school.

He was a year younger than me, but for some reason he was in my Science class. We ended up talking a lot, but nothing really materialised– I was still awkward and weird and didn’t really understand that it was okay for a girl to ask a guy out. So I dropped all these hints, both nothing came of it. School ended, I thought I would never see him again, and as everyone else’s summer started I immediately went back to class.

One day, he was just there. Waiting for me in a hot car in the school parking lot, as if he didn’t have anything better to do other than wait for me to finish my dorky conquest towards early graduation. Whoa. I thought. Is this a date?

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Of course, there isn’t really a sexy or cool way to ask someone if you’re on a date without sounding like a serial killer, so I was left trying to decipher all these weird signals. Okay, the car has leather interior. That’s a good sign. Leather is sexy. But– but he’s taking me to Subway. And talking about some other girl. Wait, I paid for my own meal. Okay, maybe this isn’t a date.

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He drove me home and idled in front of my house for about a half hour, killing the ozone layer and going on at length about how he was leaving for some extended vacation and wanted to say bye. Okay, maybe this is a date. Should I kiss him goodbye? What if it isn’t a date and then I kiss him and it’s weird?  Oh my god, what if I have Subway lettuce in my teeth?

I ended up not kissing him, instead giving him an awkward hug– you know, the too stiff kind where you pat them on the back like they’re a golden retriever. By the time he was on the plane to wherever the hell he was going I was already seeing someone else, and to this day I have no idea what the hell was even going on between us.


Apparently People Need Narcotics to Tolerate My Presence

For most of high school I had a huge crush on this guy who I just knew was no good. I let him repeatedly lead me on, ignore me, ditch me– pretty much everything terrible that you can do to another person without actually doing them bodily harm, he did it.

Still, my crush on him was merciless. I’m going to blame this one on years of theatre rehearsals– you can go through the same motions and lines a thousand times, listening to the director snarl “Again… AGAIN,” until you’re seconds from tears. But all that cruelty is worth it when you finally nail it.

I was determined to nail it with him. I know that sounds weird, but please stop being a perv for 5 seconds to appreciate the analogy.

When I started seeing all these other guys, it was like something inside him switched. Suddenly he was vying for my attention, calling me at all hours of the day, sending flowers, and pretty much acting like a recent divorcee who is still trying to win back their partner with gifts. Unfortunately I am incredibly materialistic, and when he dropped off a box of chocolates I finally agreed to go out with him. One. More. Time.

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Probably my first mistake, tbh.

The thing is, I had never actually spent a ton of time alone with this guy– we had always made plans but he had always cancelled last minute or stood me up, so in reality I had no clue what to expect when we finally sat down. Weirdly enough, things seemed normal for the first part of the date.

Then something happened. Suddenly I was doing all the talking and watching, with mild horror, as he proceeded to consume anything mildly edible on our table– this included his meal, part of mine, and several ketchup packets.

I have never seen a human being eat like this. Even people emerging from near starvation do not devour food the way this guy was.

“Whoa.” I remember laughing, trying to jokingly and very charmingly tell him to stop acting like a bear preparing for hibernation. “You’re eating like you have the munchies or something.”

It was then that he got very quiet, and then very red. And then proceeded to tell me that to prepare for the inevitable awkwardness of our date he had smoked an entire joint by himself.

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He was high. Like crazy, next level high.

“Whoa.” I said again, because I was still very uncomfortable with drug use and running out of cute things to say. “Does that mean you, like, can’t stand to be around me unless you’re on something?”

To this day, I wish I had gone in several different directions– why didn’t I just say, “Oh, so I make you nervous?” I could have been much more charming!

Instead, this zonked out idiot– who, by the way, was still reaching across the table to pick at my fries– went very frighteningly quiet again, apparently too high to figure out what to say back to this.

I got upset and left the restaurant. It took years for my ego to recover fully from this.


Mittens

Just before Christmas time when I was 16, I went on a date with a friend of a friend. In retrospective, I should have known better. Nothing, in any romantic comedy, has ever gone well when it involves a “friend of a friend.”

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Oops.

The date itself went really great. I had vaguely met this guy a few times at parties, and because we knew a lot of people in common it was relatively easy to make small talk. He ended up taking me to a cutesy little pizza cafe, which is instantly a great way to win me over because I love any and all types of bread covered in cheese. It was also very obvious that he had asked my friend what kind of food I loved, had staked out the restaurant the night before, and made sure to park close enough so I would not have to waddle across a slippery parking lot in my then very fashionable faux-Uggs.

He was totally nice and told a lot of funny/slightly embarrassing stories about himself, which for future reference is the fastest way to make me fall in love with anyone. When he went to the bathroom I created a very large facebook chat I’m pretty sure was entitled, “THIS GUY IS SO CUTE AND EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED! START PICKING OUT YOUR BRIDESMAIDS DRESS” or something along the same levels of excited and creepy. It was pretty much the perfect first date, until the ride home.

It was freezing out. Like, true Canadian winter level freezing. He was driving me home in some ancient little run down car with a heater system that barely worked, and I felt bad– I could practically see his knuckles snapping off like icicles around the curve of the steering wheel. Like a normal human being, I offered him my mittens.

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For some unknown reason this guy basically acted like I had offered him a freshly murdered puppy caucus to warm his hands in. Looking back, I think he was probably a little embarrassed of his car or of the fact that he forgot gloves. Either way, this dude– who had been so nice and sweet and the perfect amount of shy over dinner– sent me the most contemptuous look and proceeded to lecture me for the almost 20 minute car ride back to my house as to why mittens were not driving appropriate hand wear, no matter how cold it was.

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I spent most of that conversation in a quiet, mournful silence while subtly sending a very shocked stream of messages to my friends. “How is it possible for someone to hate mittens this much? Is this a sign of larger psychological mitten trauma? Help, I may be in a car with a serial killer!”

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Despite the fact that we had made plans for another date over dinner I wasn’t even that upset when he cancelled them the day of, pretending to be sick. Although the food was awesome and the conversation was great, I don’t think I could have enjoyed the date that much when the whole time I would be worried about being the first victim of the some sort of mitten-hating serial killer.

(Also, I was curious about whether or not this is a thing. Apparently there is a serial killer dubbed Mr. Mittens in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Maybe that’s what happened to this guy?)


What do you think, Broke Babes? Love it? Hate it? Have some terrible dating stories of your own?

Hit like, leave me a comment, and don’t forget to hit that follow button!

~Bankrupt Beauty

Crimson Lips: A Makeup Mental Health Story

Let’s put a pause on all the girl talk to consider something: statistically, 1 in 5 women will suffer from depression or other mental health disorders over the course of their lifetimes. That’s double that of men.

Today is #BellLetsTalkDay in Canada, a movement to raise awareness and open the discussion about the stigma surrounding those suffering in silence with their mental health. For every tweet and Facebook status shared with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk the company Bell will donate 5 cents to mental health initiatives devoted to erasing stigma and encouraging people to get the help they need– and as someone who has been there, I feel a certain amount of responsibility to speak out for those who might not be able to yet.

For those of you who don’t know me by name, I’m Lisa. I suffer from anxiety and depression.

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Occasionally when I say something like that I receive a lot of head shaking or people rolling their eyes. Throughout the years as I’ve grown more outspoken with my mental health struggles I’ve also ruffled a lot of feathers– I’ve had plenty of terrible things said about me both to my face and behind my back, the kindest of which dismissed my pleas for acceptance and understanding as my being crazy, or attention-seeking, or weak.

… I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression symptoms for pretty much as long as I can remember, although my first official diagnosis as clinically depressed and anxious occurred in my teens. If I’m being frank, it was a lot to handle at such a young age. I remember how blank I felt as I sat in my doctor’s office, listening to her explain what my symptoms meant, feeling like I wasn’t even inside my own body as someone who wasn’t me began making decisions about my mental health and my future, formulating plans of attack against a threat I didn’t understand.

It was one of the most simultaneously empowering and powerless moments of my life– finally figuring out what was wrong with me, while not having the control to stop it.

Many people have asked me what that felt like. They’ll ask me to describe how it felt when sadness swallowed me up and left me to drown in its belly. They’ll ask about the days where I couldn’t breathe, where my lungs were crying out for oxygen that my body was too panicked to give them. They will ask me how I overcame the shaking, the screaming, and the terrifying numbness that rattled between the ventricles of my heart, making me feel as if I was overwhelmingly and hopelessly alone.

Let me take you back for a moment.


… It is February, 2015.

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The morning unfurls on Edmonton unceremoniously, the same brew of fog and muggy city air staining the skyline a familiar grey. I lie in bed, staring out into the thin strip of sunlight I can see through the crack in my curtains. I don’t notice the absence of the sky’s blue, or the way the snow has been tainted an unpleasant brown from car exhaust.

I feel as if I’ve stopped seeing in color a while ago.

I am supposed to be getting out of bed– I have class, I have a bus to catch, notes to take and a university degree to earn– but I can’t. Despite my mind spinning around the assignments I have due and the project I’m supposed to be getting done for work I lie there, staring unblinkingly at the world outside, feeling as if I’m already dead.

When I finally manage to get out of bed it is noon; I have been staring out the window for almost four hours without realizing. I can’t remember the last time I ate something.

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I am in a strange phase of repeating my motions, saying words over and over in my head– the practice makes me feel more grounded, more aware of what’s happening around me while simultaneously making me feel ashamed of the fact that it takes at least three attempts at something before I notice anything.

I open and close my door half a dozen times before I realize I am about to leave my room.

I boil water for tea and catch myself scalding my fingers as I dump the half-brewed water down the sink again and again, my body waiting until my mind notices before it feels pain.

I take my medication and down one glass of water and then another, realizing that I keep forgetting to swallow the tiny blue pill on my tongue.

It’s only after I taste the bitterness of half-dissolved medication that I am jarred into noticing my reflection on the back of the kitchen window. I don’t look well– I keep forgetting to shower, to brush my teeth. But I can’t look like that today, I– I have to meet someone, to see a friend, or…

When I finally manage to stumble my way in front of a proper mirror I don’t feel like I recognize the person reflected back at me; I see gaunt cheek bones and spotted skin, eyebrows that are too grown in. My lips are peeling and my eyes blotchy, skin seeming too loose on my bones.

I look as if someone has hollowed me out from the inside, disposed of my heart and my lungs and everything else I need to survive– leaving only brittle, chewed upon bones.

Standing there, seeing the work that needs to be done to this shell of a person I don’t know, sends a wave of numbness over me. I don’t remember how to do my own makeup. I can’t remember what I’m supposed to look like. I can’t remember who I am anymore.

The person in the mirror blinks back, unhelpful.

When I look through my makeup box nothing looks familiar, tools of someone I don’t remember being. I linger between the compacts and the brushes, over liners and bottles. My fingers shake as I try to hold things, try to twist open tubes, or thumb over palettes of powder I can’t figure out how to use.

I am crying by the time I reach the lipsticks; I have never felt less beautiful in my entire life, never felt less like who I don’t remember being. I feel incapable of leaving my house, of leaving my bed. I feel worthless, standing there bawling in front of my mirror, and before I can second guess the instinct I start grabbing at the meticulously arranged makeup in front of me, hurling it as hard as I can towards the bathroom garbage.

I smash compacts, break bottles– I don’t think of how much money I have tied up in my cosmetics, of how what I’m currently bombarding the garbage with I’ve spent months collecting and paying for dearly. I watch a cloud of bronzer unfurl from its compact in a cloud, mercilessly hurling delicate tins of eye shadow in after it. It means nothing to me, nothing–

I scream, fist ensnarling around a lipstick tube and preparing to dispose of it like everything else. But this time, for the first time–

My arm is raised but I don’t throw it; instead I stand there for almost half a minute, breathing heavily, feeling the weight of the tube in my hand. For the first time I feel meaning associated with one of these strange, warbled objects from another lifetime.

I don’t know how long I actually look at the tube– my sense of time passing has all but gone these last few months– but I stare at the lipstick long enough to memorize it, so well that I will be able to recall it years into the future. It’s a small black tube, no obvious branding, with a bold crimson ring around the center to mark the cap. Shade number 3. Dare to Wear.

Dare to Wear. Dare to Wear. Dare to Wear. I repeat the words in my head until they stop meaning anything.

I don’t realize I’m already applying it until I blink up into my own reflection, now looking certifiably nuts. My eyes are blotchy, my skin pale and sweating, hair sticking to my head in matted clumps– and several coats of Dare to Wear painted unevenly on my lips.

I look ridiculous. So much so that for the first time in months my mouth splits into a grin, a single gaspy chuckle bursting out of my throat before I can stop it. I nearly laugh again when I realize I’ve managed, somehow, to get lipstick on my teeth.

… I don’t leave the house that day. Instead I crawl back into bed, not sure what to do with the strange twisting of emotion billowing through the nothingness inside me.

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When people ask me to describe day to day life with mental illness, I’m nearly always at a loss of what to tell them.

Many times I don’t know where to start, or how to put that kind of sadness and fear I felt into words. I will never talk about the two times over the course of my diagnosis when I seriously considered ending my life. Sometimes, if I am feeling strong enough, I will try to explain my bouts with medication, with acupuncture, with meditation and yoga and every other trick in the book that I’ve tried while stumbling down my road to recovery.

For me I find it very difficult to examine and remember the tedious, every day pain of living with a mental illness. Because it isn’t tumultuous, or earth shattering. It creeps up on you, like the low buzzing of a fly in an empty room, fluttering at the back of your mind and reminding you that it’s still there.

I won’t lie to you– some days those feelings come back. Facing my depression, fighting against anxiety– it’s something I do on a day to day basis. And by far it is the hardest battle I’ve ever fought in my life.

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Put your dukes up, mental illness.

In many ways my mental health disorders made me feel as if I was robbed of personal agency over both my mind and my body– I felt trapped in my own existence, and for a long time not taking care of myself felt like the only way I could fight back against the life I was being forced to live. It got to the point that I had wasted away so much that I had forgotten the way I was supposed to feel, or look, or think.

But what I felt, looking at my reflection that February day, will be something I will never forget– in the middle of one of my worst bouts with my mental illness that red lipstick seemed to shock me back to my senses in the form of one loud and resounding question: “Girl, what the f*ck are you wearing?”

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Dare to Wear was a little harsh against my then sallow-skin tone, but the reminder that came with it was gentle: What I saw in the mirror that day wasn’t a reflection of who I am.

I am not my mental illness.

It took a long time for me to bounce back from that low point in my life– I spent the better part of my late teens and early 20’s feeling trapped. But at a time when I felt unable to articulate to the people I loved how badly I was feeling and how I needed help but didn’t know how to ask for it, it was small moments, like the one I shared with my red lipstick, that gave me the courage to find myself again. Without these brief glimmers in the darkness of depression, I would have never found my way back to place where I knew I could ask for help.

As long and hard as they have fought to, my depression and anxiety do not define me. But because of them I will pause in the morning to examine the reflection I see there. I will stare at the rosiness of my cheeks and the pink in my lips and I will never stop being grateful for the fact that I am who I am, and the canvas in front of me is something I get the privilege of playing with.

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Looking good, feeling good, and doing good, be it through makeup or fashion or writing long *ss blog posts like this, will always be something I am so grateful to be able to do– in a life where mental illness has robbed me of some of the best years of my life, I will never stop being proud of the person it forced me to become.

Life is short– I refuse to be ashamed of who I am.

I’m Lisa. Red lipstick and all.

What do you think, Broke Babes?

Hit like, leave me a comment, and please– share this blog post with hashtag #BellLetsTalk to promote awareness against the stigma of living with mental health disorders.

~ Bankrupt Beauty

 

 

 

 

Let it Die: Trends That Should Stay in 2016

At this point you’re probably tired of thinking about the past year– which I totally get. The tragically unfashionable past can be painful to relive.

2016 was an exceptionally terrible year for looking your best– the past 365 days had more than their fair share of odd trends, questionable fashions, and all around “what are you wearing” moments. Still, in the interest of looking back and *trying* to find something to laugh about, I’m compiling a list of the strangest and hilariously cringe-worthy trends I want to leave forgotten in 2016.

3D Nail Art

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CHANGESHOPPING 10 PCS FASHION BOW TIE ALLOY 3D CLEAR DIAMOND NAIL ART

Okay, let’s preface this with the fact that I’m a huge nail art junkie– you are talking to the girl who painted tiny tuxedos on her nails for her graduation ceremony and then had them silver and bedazzled to match her graduation dress the next day. I appreciate a funky nail from time to time.

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But 2016 took nail art to a whole other– very strange– level. I’m talking furry nails. 1000 layers of nail polish. Bedazzled rhinestones that towered up to 2 inches off the edge of the nail.

While I’m totally down for people putting what they want on their bodies, the trend of outrageous 3D Nail Art made my list based solely on the fact that it raised more questions than it answered. Like, how the hell do you send a text? How do you put your make up on? HOW DO YOU MASTURBATE?

(To further that last one: HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR FINGERS CLEAN ENOUGH TO MASTURBATE?)

It’s all a little too much for me.

Festival “Fashion”

I sincerely wish this would die. Every summer all our newsfeeds are suddenly full of friends-of-friends or celebs partying it up at music festivals, and without fail we will all see someone take the “fashion” aspect a little too far. 2016, sadly, wasn’t an exception.

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Seeing people parade about in outlandish outfits is half the fun of festivals, but there definitely is a right way to do Festival Fashion. That way is ripped denim shorts, or sandals, or a flowy dress.

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GLAMOROUS FESTIVAL CAMI DRESS WITH PANEL DETAIL & LACE

Let’s turn what could be a long rant about cultural appropriation into a short one: It’s 2017 now. We all know better. There’s plenty of ways to look cute for that instagram pic without disrespecting someone’s heritage.

Mom Jeans

Okay, this one made the list based solely on a mild prejudice: I don’t look cute in Mom Jeans. It remains to this day one of the few 2016 trends that I just could not wear.

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FOREVER 21 MOM JEANS

While a lot of women can put on ill-fitting denim and look like wondrous pixie girls, I put them on and actually look like a frumpy mother of two, which is ironically the exact opposite of what Mom Jeans are supposed to do, apparently.

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I have no idea who decided this should be a thing, but if they’re reading this right now I’d like to say this: F*ck off.

Mom Jeans are kind of a designer’s way of telling you they’re too lazy to make jeans that actually fit properly. I don’t know, guys. It’s 2017. I just feel like we are all entitled to wear a pair of jeans that actually fits our butts and hips the way they’re supposed to– I’m pretty sure this is written in the constitution somewhere.

Contouring Every Inch of Your Body Being Randomly Mandatory

Personally, I’ve never been one for contouring; I’ll highlight a few places and maybe use bronzer in the summer, but I am by no means on the same level as other beauty gurus.

Be that as it may, I can’t believe contouring has continued to stay relevant for so long– 2016 proved that contouring is here to stay with artists going so far as to bring the technique to other parts of their model’s bodies, including the backs of necks, thighs, ankles, and breasts.

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NYX CREAM HIGHLIGHT & CONTOUR

Look, it’s your face. You can do what you want. But I do think it’s ridiculous to feel like you have to to use make up to alter your whole body otherwise you won’t look good.

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Your body looks great doing its own thing. If you want to put make-up on it, that’s cool. But also be aware that contrary to a lot of 2016’s make up tutorials you don’t need to. Nobody has a right to say boo to that.

The Sneaker Wedge

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PUMA WOMEN’S MY/66 WEDGE SNEAKER

THIS IS NOT A SNEAKER. IT IS A HEEL DISGUISED AS A SNEAKER. IT IS NOT COMFORTABLE. IT IS TERRIBLE. KILL IT.

This has been a PSA.

 Lace Up Tops

Although they’re still cool and undeniably bad*ss, I just feel like this trend needs to take a break.

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The fact of the matter is that a flimsy and easily breakable string slung between your boobs may make them look bangin’, but at this point the trend that exploded during Fall/Winter 2016 is so predictable and mass produced that it’s losing its freshness.

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FOREVER 21 LACE-UP DOLPHIN HEM TOP

Look. It’s tired, I’m tired, and let’s face it: this is not a trend you can wear into Spring/Summer 2017. Nobody thinks tanlines across cleavage is cute.

Using Feminism as a Branding Technique

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, 2016’s trendy embrace of all things feminist made me happy– I really liked seeing feminism being normalized. It shouldn’t be considered a dirty word, and seeing it ingrained in clothing or athletic marketing makes it less intimidating for both men and women to approach.

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CUSTOMISED PERFECTION FEMINIST HOODIE

On the other, let’s make it clear: Feminism is not a trend. It is a social movement advocating for equality. Using it as a branding technique implies that it is something that the public will eventually tire of– hot now, not later.

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Feminism is here to stay. Deal with it.

Slips Over Tee Shirts

I really, really, hate that this even became a thing in the first place. Why are we as a society so determined to dig up old 90’s trends instead of leaving them dead and buried in the past where they belong?

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Layering in general pisses me off for several reasons; most importantly, however, is because it forces you to buy double the amount of clothes to wear one thing, which is a waste of money. So f*ck that.

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THE RAGGED PRIEST PASTEL SATIN SLIP

 What do you think, Broke Babes? Love it? Hate it? Have some more trends you just want to die?

Hit like, leave me a comment, and don’t forget to follow!

~ Bankrupt Beauty