Since I was the plump young age of eight, I have worn prescription glasses. Wearing glasses was part of my identity as much as my forsaken swoop bangs and oversized sweaters. It was never something that made me insecure, but I found glasses as a burden. Forget about the times when I thought I lost them and my mom was ready to lose her mind as she screamed, “Don’t you take care of anything?!”
While wearing glasses didn’t bother me growing up, I started to consider alternatives when I reached college. With a little help from my dad, my mom agreed to let me get contacts. I had leveled up!
I don't want to bore you with too much about my life before LASIK, because the whole reason I underwent this surgery was in an effort to look forward in life. When asked why I chose to get LASIK it boils down to 3 things; it was cost effective, I qualified for the surgery, it would give a chance to change me for me.
Upon first glance, the sticker price for LASIK may not sound like it was cost effective, but hear me out. On average, most laser eye surgery range from $2,000 to almost $5,000. I fell into a sweet spot around $3,000 and in my opinion it was an investment. An investment done right. Whenever I ordered contacts I had the double whammy of getting 6 months worth for like $300 and then having to get an exam every year. If you do the math it adds up to almost thousands spent. No doubt, for a lifetime of clear vision I could skip on adding another Gucci belt to my collection.
Qualifying for LASIK was the second part of the equation that added up. I am not a professional nor am I well versed in the jargon, but basically you have to qualify for the surgery. Most people get approved if your vision has been consistent for a few years. You also need to have a cornea that's thick enough to be guillotined for the procedure. No amount of looking at your eye in a mirror will tell you if you qualify. You just have to go in and hear out what the doctor has to say.
Before I go into my last point I want to make it clear that even if the first two points click with you, really digest this last one. Getting any type of surgery should be something you do for you and only you. It doesn't matter how charming the nurses are, or persistent the doctor is, or even how glamorous influencers might make post botched life seem, if you don't feel it in your heart don't do it. Surgery is like any other service, it's an industry. That being said, imagine me climbing off my soap box. The most important factor in why I got LASIK was that I felt like it would make me happy. I am month post surgery and I must admit, I am so glad that I got my eyes zapped!
If you know someone whose had laser eye or seen the YouTube videos then you might know that this is a super quick surgery. Besides waiting in a chilly operation room for who knows how long, you're in and out in like 10 minutes. The nurses and doctor will both remind you that you can't drive home after LASIK. Cheers to my dad who not only hauled us home, but stopped to get me Starbucks on the way home. My summer order you may ask? Grande iced blueberry black tea!
Once I got home, I took the doctor's advice and slept! As long as I could! If you are awake then I promise you you will feel like knives dancing on your eyes. I managed to KO, and for the few moments when I felt a burn I used my drops. Sleep is your friend for both avoiding the real world and the pain of post operation. Something worth noting is that the results take time. I remember calling the clinic like 3 times in my first month, before my visit, because I thought I was going blind. Turns out all my symptoms from blurred vision to halos were just temporary. Like for real, you will see better, just chill out!
I'm now about 2 months since my surgery and it truly has been one of the best investments I've made. Way smarter than Swarovski coffee mugs, and only comparable to my joy of adding to the Gucci gang. If you are anyone you know is thinking of getting LASIK I'd say try it out! Go in for a consultation because you won't know your options unless you take a risk. It was the first step for me in catalyzing my process of being the adult Will that I tried so long to avoid. But now I'm an adult will pills to pay, and luckily a sound financial decision I made.
Ailyn and I connected on Instagram because not only did we both land an internship at FremantleMedia North America, but we also lived in the same part of the San Fernando Valley. Hard work really paid off later on when we were both then nominated and accepted into the inaugural year of The Academy's Academy Gold Intern Program. We car pooled to work, to Academy weekend screenings, and this afforded us time to both bond as friends and really become each other's anchors in our summer in entertainment. I have 1000 percent faith that when I become a media personality Ailyn has my legal back.
This past week, I turned a recurring joke into a reality. I, along with some good friends from Norwich, came to visit Ailyn in her corner of Spain for a week full of sightseeing, great food, and incredibly priced drunks.
Bilbao is in the north region of Spain, and it is on the border to France. Bilbao is the largest city in the Basque Country, and the fifth-largest urban area in Spain. Some of Bilbao’s attractions include the Guggenheim museum, Casca Viejo, the colorful city where we stayed, and La Alhondiga. Unlike my trips to places like London or Rome, I allotted more time for my stay in Bilbao. I was there from Thursday until Saturday. With 2 full days, I was able to balance tourist and exploratory experiences in well.
I came to Spain with my friends Hannah, Shyla, and Katy, and we were the Fantastic Four of travel buddies! The girls and I were always willing to get lost and find something interesting. Luckily, we did not always have to wander because Ailyn found us and showed us around to her favorite spots in Bilbao.
My first day in Bilbao was breathtaking. Everyone we met stressed how gorgeous the week was. It was. The sun was bright, and this highlighted the beauty of the old city and its multicolored edifices and the abundance of flowers. Thursday morning was amazing because we found a nearby place that served breakfast, and we were introduced to the best orange juice we had ever had. If you ever go to Spain, make sure you order OJ! After that, we made our way back to the old city for some light shopping. I fell in love with this fringed denim jacket and I swore I had to leave with it. But, my credit card, and mom, said otherwise.
When we met up with Ailyn it was in a plaza near us, and I could not believe it was her in the flesh. We all did some quick introductions, and she wasted no time in introducing us to real Spanish sangria.
That sangria cannot be described in words, but I will try because if I cannot write then what will I do with my life?
The sangria we got was tart, thanks to the actual lime and lemons bits chopped in. It was refreshing and sweet. It was potent as hell. After just a glass, Ailyn and I messaged each other, “Are you spinning too?!” Just like the OJ, a Spanish sangria is a MUST do.
While we are on the topic of food, let me share the greatest Spanish dish I tried. In Latinx culture, a tortilla is made from wheat or corn. However, in Spain a tortilla is a mixture of eggs and potatoes molded into a cake shape. IT IS DELICIOUS! During my stay in Bilbao I had 3 types of tortilla and my palate never got bored.
In Spain, the biggest meal is dinner. Dinner cuisine in Spain is also what Americans would consider breakfast, like eggs, potato, and pancakes. The food culture in Spain is all about eating small portions throughout the day. This is why the siesta is so important, and this is when you take advantage and try all the different pinxtos available. Spain and Rome both have a huge food culture, and it was interesting comparing the two. In Rome, meals are a ritual and they seem to dictate how people organize their day. In Spain, food is more casual but still expected to be a respected time of relaxation and camaraderie.
As you can probably tell, food was a huge part of this trip. Of course, we went clubbing and to bars, but the quality time we shared with each other was over our meals. From ox tail, to payata, and Spanish wine, our appetites lead this trip. I loved coming to a place where I had a friend to guide me. Ailyn knew what to get and where to get it! Her friends also helped us find some really tasty places, where drinks were also incredibly good. The vodka lemonade in Spain is served in something like a goblet, so I have no reason to complain when its only 2 euros.
I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to be abroad in England, and I am truly blessed to have the ability to travel throughout Europe. Thank you to my travel buddies, to Ailyn for leading us, and to the good vibes and good friends I have everywhere that continue to help me do great things like this.
Like Julius Ceaser once said, "Veni, Vidi, Vici," I too had a quick victory here in Rome, Italy. Food, art, and architecture are all staples of Italian culture, and lucky for me I had friends with a free weekend and an empty couch!
This is my third trip while abroad, including London and Cambridge, but I consider this my first major trip. While my time here was short, my weekend was full of great food, gorgeous landmarks, and enough walking to shave off all the pasta and pastries I had to try. I left Norwich, England on Saturday morning and spent the majority of the day whipping around the U.K. to get to the Gatwick airport. Honestly, I was so tired when I landed in Rome Fiumicunio. Can you imagine how shook I was when I got out of the airport to realize the taxi driver I ordered didn't speak any English?! Spanish couldn't cut it.
If it wasn't for Shantell, Eliza, Madi, or Mikaela I couldn't even be here! I owe them so much for letting me stay with them, and for showing me a Roma good time. When I arrived to the girl's apartment it was so surreal. Shantell ran down to get me and said it; "You're in Rome."
It was nearly 11 PM when I settled in, and the night was young! While the girls organized our night, I wasted no time in changing and downing the cheap vodka I found on the kitchen table. Remember, when in Rome!
The night started with us arriving at a local bar, G Bar, and having the "Saturday Special." That meant two cocktails and two shots for 10 euro. I got the sense that a night out in Rome consists of bar crawls and constant claustrophobia. The bars here are very "cozy" and when you commit to getting a drink, you commit to standing there as long as it takes! Even if the queue is a 30 min wait. Walking to the next location, the club Sharivari, was a real mission. In Rome, it is all cobble all the time, and I had to make sure I didn't twist my ankle. I know it may sound like I'm vilifying this place, I swear I am not!
When we got to Sharivari I was beyond excited. The club looked like an exclusive venue, and everyone was dressed to a T. I was way underdressed.
The night went on like any night would, but only a lot more Italian. When I would pay attention to the music I realized it was different from any club music I had heard before. In America it's about pop, in the U.K. you got grime, but here it was very eclectic. One minute it was Calvin Harris and the next an Italian song I had never heard of. Definitely, if you have the chance to go out a night in Rome it's worth a try. The social scene here is it's own standard.
When we finally got home, I got some pasta and head to bed. Sunday was my tourist day, and I wanted to make sure I was ready.
Sunday afternoon I left the apartment and Shantel was my guide. I told her to take me to the most iconic places, and we wasted no time. We head to the Coliseum first. When I say I was in awe, I mean I couldn't speak for a good minute! I was in front of one of the most famous landmarks in the world. It was all stone, giant, and just gorgeous. After a lunch break, we preceded to head to the Pantheon.
Rome reminded me of London in the sense that getting to monuments was fairly easy. Most of the spots were close to each other. But each spot had its own aura. Where the Coliseum was open and grand, the Pantheon was in an alley. It was more secluded and it felt more intimate. People would stand in front of it an take in its beauty. Honestly, art history paid off because that is how I heard about this edifice.
Shantel was most excited to take me to the Trevi Fountain. I wanted to save this for the end, because I knew I would spend the most time there. When we got to the fountain I finally had my Lizzie McGuire moment!
The fountain was gorgeous and it felt magic! People stood near it with their partners, family, and some people went alone. Everyone was appreciating the presence of the grand sculptures, and getting their coins ready to toss in.
As Shantel explained to me, you turn around and toss the coin from the right hand over the left shoulder. The myth is that if you do this then you will return to Rome. I hope the myth is right because this weekend was just not enough!
If you had asked me 3 years ago what I would be doing, I would not have said studying in the U.K., and I never would have guessed going to Rome! I got to speak to the girls and we all shared the same sentiment. We could not believe that we were actually in Italy, let alone Rome. Rome is an ancient city that preserves its history. I could tell that Rome was the real deal, and it requires an appreciation for the culture.
A weekend was not enough time for Rome. But it was a good start!
From the heterosexual community, there have been many examples of an effort to diminish the merit of the bisexual identity. In an era where media has become integral to forming and maintaining one's identity, it is imperative to understand that sexuality is a fluid thing. Gender and sexuality do not rely on each other. However, both are spectrums that humans perform and exist in. A disgusting trend in media, that has influenced this post, is the appropriation of the bisexual identity to boost ratings and overall increase revenue. From film, to television, and music, it is difficult to find an example of someone who is truly bisexual. Even worse, is that bisexuality remains seen as a "phase" by many because of the way this identity is represented in popular media. People who identify as bisexual are seen as either experimenting or buying time before they come out as gay.
What's infuriating is that I have seen this phenomena happen first hand.
As discussed in the book You Can Tell Just By Looking, popular television, such as Gossip Girl, has used the image of two cis gender females kissing in order to garner in ratings as well as potential advertisers (Bronski, Pellegrini, Amico, 2013, 110). The importance of this incident is that as a writer who has seen this particular show, I can firmly say that this episode used a typical bisexual experience and exploited it for capital. In the context of this episode the two girls kiss while in a three some, in an effort to arouse the cis gender male protagonist. Rather than treating it like a real lifestyle, independent of outside forces, this depiction suggests that bisexuality can be influenced into someone. Also, as revealed in my studies across media, the idea of bisexuality becoming a capital trope exists even outside of popular media, it also finds use in the adult film industry.
To be specific, a popular porn category geared to the cis gender male community is lesbian porn. The reason this point is important is because these films will portray two females engaged in intercourse, as directed by a cis gender male, and will further solidify the idea that the bisexual experience is simply an economic gimmick, something made for shock value. After the film, the actresses may star in other films with male actors, yet the porn will be labeled straight, and these women can return to society as cis gender heterosexual women. Both portrayals present the idea that one can undergo a bisexual experience and then return back into typical heterosexual life. This however creates a problem. It creates the “passing privilege” phenomena, which is a prime reason the homosexual community seeks to erase the solidity of the bisexual identity
The homophile movement was created when self identified homosexuals sought to join mainstream society, or to be precise assimilate into it. Candidly, it was a movement unique that required an extreme amount of work and support. Thus, many in the homosexual community are often bitter to those who identify as bisexual because they possess the “passing privilege.” This is the belief that because bisexuals are able to indulge in, as stated in “sexuality [that is] intended for procreation,” as stated in the article “The Social Construction of Sexuality,” meaning heteronormative relationships and intercourse, they are able to easily assimilate into mainstream heterosexual society (Hubbard, 1991, 65). Thus, many in the homosexual community see bisexuality as a “cop out” method used by individuals who are not fully committed to the LGBT+ cause and movement. They see bisexuals as care free individuals who see sexuality as a joke. Furthermore, also revealed in YCTJBL is the fact that in the 1970s when bisexuality arose it was promoted by individuals who sought out an edgy care free life, and was further portrayed by individuals who used bisexuality as an excuse to date both males and females. Thus, the homosexual community has sought to erase bisexuality as a serious sexuality because they see it a threat to their own assimilation into mainstream society. They believe that bisexuals are playing in both realms and make “gayness” seem like a mask one can dawn for a set amount of time.
In a more conjoined effort, both heterosexuals and homosexuals see bisexuality as an excuse to be promiscuous. Both parties believe that because a bisexual individual is attracted to members from both parties the bisexual individual can never settle down. Someone dating a bisexual believes that they have twice the competition. When in reality this is not the case, because just as someone who is gay or straight has their own preferred types, so do bisexuals. I believe that bisexuality is as real as any other sexuality, and deserves to be portrayed as seriously as all other members of the LGBT+ soup.
Classes are over, commencements are underway, and the ravers are coming out to play. Yes, my friends, we are in the beginning of summer break. This is a period defined by trips to beach, culturally rich beats on the radio, BUT also by bad skin.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever left the beach looking like Patrick Star. I know I’m not the only one.
While summer is a great time to show off that body-ody-ody, or work on it like in my case, the summer excursions one indulges us can fatigue the epidermis severely. Sunburns not only scorch the skin, but also increase your risk of skin cancer. Rolling at raves or clubs throws off your bodies sense of temperature leading to dehydration, and sometimes even death. Sipping on mint mocha Frappuccinos may seem refreshing, but all that sugar is depleting to your body. It may seem like I want you to curtail your summer bucket list, but I don’t.
I want to share with you some skin tips that I have found to be my saving grace in the war on not being photo ready. You may be asking yourself, “What makes you qualified?” Well for starters I’m from L.A. The best place to do anything that is under #summer. I go to beaches, clubs, Starbucks, runs, anything you wish to do I have done, did that, and I’m onto the next-bigger-than-kale trend already.
Thus, from doing research with friends in cosmetology, watching YouTube videos from dermatologists, and just noticing what works for me here are my tips to getting that summer glow without the burn.
Get that H20 in Everyday
There is countless research and advice on drinking plenty of water, and while it may seem obvious we often overlook the importance of drinking liquid ice. Water is great because it keeps the skin hydrated promoting a natural glow and elasticity. Staying hydrated ensures that your skin doesn't seem irritated, and being dehydrated leads to that tightness that just makes your pores scream.
I recommended investing in a nice water bottle that can accompany you wherever you head this summer. Of course, a Swarovski encrusted Starbucks cup is the only way to go, but for those more *cough* common readers a glass water bottle will get the job done.
Slow Down on the Shots
You know after a night of "responsible" drinking how there's nothing more refreshing than a glass of water? Well that's because alcohol dehydrates you. Especially when you told your friend you'd stop drinking 6 cocktails ago. Not only will drinking less keep your skin a glowing, but it will give your kidneys a much deserved break.
Really all Drugs Attack that Aphrodite Complexion
Going through the list of substances that soak up the nutrients of moisture of your skin would take to long. Really they all suck. So pick your poison and hydrate after!
Slap on the Sunscreen
Listen to Michelle Visage! Applying sunscreen should be in your arsenal in the battle of radiant skin. Here's what you need to know, don't go for the highest SPF level! I read in an article by EWG that spoke on how a higher SPF doesn't guarantee better protection. In fact, when most people get SPF 100 they end up with a worse sunburn because they forget to reapply and they spend more time out in the sun.
The best numbers range from 30-55 this is the magic range. Remember to reapply often and don't be frugal when applying! I use Neutrogena sheer dry touch sunscreen because it feels light weight and it leaves a nice matte finish after you apply it. As you know, sunscreen goes on top of your already moisturized face and this one doesn't feel like it's clogging your pores.
I just mentioned sunscreen and another key part to keeping a healthy complexion in summer is moisturizing! I have oily skin, meaning my face will never crack, and some have dry skin and then there's combination skin. No matter your skin's status, applying a good face lotion is key to keeping up elasticity, glow, and reducing redness.
My skin regimen includes LUSH's Enzymion. This is a lotion great for oily skin believes it dries to leave a matte finish. With lemon and grapefruit in it, it leaves your skin feeling fresh and gives it a nice zesty smell.
If you have dry skin, than I recommend LUSH's Vanishing Cream lotion. This one has rose water that soothes dry skin that never seems to rest. It's definitely a heavier lotion so only go for this if you skin is screaming for hydration. The Gorgeous lotion is a nice lotion that can work for almost all skin types, so combination type friends this may be your recommendation.
Unlike other products, lotions really do require sampling to see what works for you. So go out and try something, and once you got it use it morning and night!
The Library is Open, Even for Summer
In the great tradition of Paris is Burning we must put on our reading glasses. If you don't get any of this banter than your college has failed you and you need to learn about LGBT+ history. It's also Pride month! Anyways, the glasses banter leads into my next shred of advice and that is investing in sunglasses. Squinting strains your eyes and leads to wrinkles that stretch out your skin. Sunglasses also offer some extra protection to your face in the areas where your sunhat may miss.
Plus sunglasses are a fashion statement. Who can skip another moment to show off?
Trend Alert: Cat eyes, double rims, round frames, and shield sunglasses are in.
Watching the Froyo Intake
This one may seem confusing, and at first I thought it was just some new trend. But it makes sense. According to a Huffington Post article, dairy products are full of hormones that lead to inflammation, aging of the skin and all kinds of issues that lead to bad skin. It's important to then consider how much froyo and frapps you're taking in that could be doing more damage than good.
You know that burning feeling after leaving the beach? Yeah that's the sand scratching your skin. Note, exfoliating is important, but according to a Teen Vogue article from Kendall Jenner's dermatologist, using rotating brushes, scrubs, and all that can actually irritate the skin more than soothe it. If you want to clear out the pores I highly recommend a peel off mask like Boscia's Illuminating mask, or try a an exfoliant with a finer consistency.
My current scrub is another LUSH product and it's coffee based. So I smell delicious.
I wrote this article after going to a rave and returning home looking like the mummy. Like I said, I cannot guarantee that my products will work for you, but the rest of these tips do make sense if you do research. Enjoy the ongoing summer and thank you for reading and sharing this!