Your Diet Starts Here

By: Ali Benz

As Memorial Day Weekend approaches, many of us are scrambling to get in shape to drown ourselves in rosé in the Hamptons. I even considered observing Ramadan to lose weight, but I realized that was kind of ridiculous. It’s brilliant that they schedule the fast right before the first beach weekend of the year, but starving yourself is not the move. I stan a spiritual fast, but if you don’t even have the religious involvement or clothing, it’s not for you. Ramadan, but make it fashion.

You’re crazy if you think there’s such a thing as the perfect body. Seriously, like not even Kendall Jenner. I remember last year when she got shamed for having strange-length toes. Weird flex, but ok. Aside from imperfect feet, no one seems to ever be content with their weight. I always thought it was super annoying when boys would complain that they were too skinny.  Are you kidding me? The last time I complained about being too thin was in 6th grade when I couldn’t fill out a jean skirt from Abercrombie & Fitch.

Men are insecure about being too small while women fear being large and in charge. Can’t we just meet somewhere in the middle? Not to bring up the Kardashians again, but I’ve always admired their commitment to strength and fitness. These women work out like crazy and take pride in their thicc, muscular bodies. I find it super empowering. That’s how Kim landed her role in Paris Hilton’s music video for her new single “Best Friend’s Ass”. Obviously a very powerful, thought-provoking jam that you’ll be showing your grandkids. With lyrics like, “F*ckboys everywhere tryna get a pass / but I can’t stop staring at my best friend’s ass”, you know you’ll be hearing it at mainstage at your nearest music festival as you get knocked around in GA by girls shuffling in nipple-tassels and that one guy who consistently brings a glow-in-the-dark hula-hoop and asks if you want a light show. Tragic.

Speaking of music festivals, I am taking a hiatus (don’t quote me on this). I used to say if you want to lose a few pounds just go to EDC Las Vegas or something. Between sweating all night and walking around looking for your car for three hours in the desert, you’ll be shedding pounds in no time. I know it sounds luxurious, but this is also not a healthy weight-loss method. That’s like Ramadan but on molly and with no spiritual awakening—unless you’re that forty-year-old in the crowd that keeps tripping on acid and claiming he’s talked to God.

I will also be taking a break from these events because last night my friend said she was going to Alcatraz and I asked her who would be DJing. It’s a prison. Not a music festival. Everybody was disappointed that day. If you are worthier than me and attending an actual festy, I understand you might want to diet and look your best in the crowd—or in your pics taken in the crowd, I should say. Especially now, seeing as how Tinder has decided to make a “Festival Mode” because that’s exactly what we all needed after the Herpes outbreak at Coachella. Thanks, Match Group! I just googled who owns Tinder and it said Match Group if you didn’t get the reference either.

If you will be using Tinder Festival Mode, there are other ways to get fit for your future #RaveBae. Starvation and deprivation are so 1900’s. Both men and women should focus on eating a healthy diet and exercising in a way that is best for them. If you have a beer or five at a Yankee’s game it’s not the end of the world. Enjoy yourself and focus on being the best version of you. Women: don’t be afraid to go hard in the gym and lift weights—muscles are beautiful on every gender. Men: stop complaining about being too skinny because it’s f*cking obnoxious. Just roll with it and know that the entire female community is envious of your situation. If everyone would stop judging each other and their body types, the world would be a better place.

Who cares what it says on the scale. The number doesn’t matter, I’m pretty sure it’s random anyway. Super dramatic that my doctor must weigh me literally every time I see her. Get over it it’s like you’re obsessed with me or something. Then I always have to minus like ten pounds for my shoes and everything in my pockets like that one piece of gum and my hair tie. Forget about the number and hone in on how you feel. Treat yourself, and wear that bikini that your mom said was too smol. Just not to a work event.

What do R. Kelly & a thicc Otter have in common?

By: Ali Benz

What an interesting world we live in where one can body shame an otter. I’ve been reflecting a lot these days. Not by choice, but we’re over a week into dry January and I literally have nothing better to do. It’s amazing how much free time you have when you’re sober. Who knew! Anyway, back to the otter: an absolute unit. How is it that an aquarium is facing extreme scrutiny over posting a thicc sea creature yet R. Kelly, a serial pedophilic rapist, has received minimal backlash after decades of abuse? The only thing I’m thankful for regarding this monster is that the six-part “Surviving R. Kelly” docuseries came out on the first weekend of Sober January. That was the first time I’ve ever told my friends I couldn’t go out because I was watching Lifetime. No one believed me. So, thank you Robert, but also f*ck you, you piece of trash.

Let’s compare these two breaking stories. On one hand, we have Abby, an innocent otter with the same publicity and curves as the Kardashians. She’s an icon. Abigail is an unapologetic female who will not conform to impossible beauty standards, and her PR girl gets that. After the Monterey Bay Aquarium released one of her tasteful nudes, the internet quickly turned the otter into a victim. Although I’m sure the picture was meant to empower women of all sizes, Instagram trolls quickly did what Instagram trolls do best—ruin a good thing. Thus, the #OttersLivesMatter movement was born. The aquarium was quick to issue a public apology to the furry feminist to silence the trolls. Abby has since become the most influential sea otter on social media and is predicted to be the first aquatic member of Congress. She is set to have lunch with Michelle Obama at Nobu to talk strategy. Fingers crossed for another tell-all.

On the other hand, we have Robert Kelly, the Harvey Weinstein of RnB. While the sea otter content had me falling out of my seat, laughing, the R. Kelly documentary had me sinking into my couch, crying. This man abused tons of vulnerable women without seeing any consequences or remorse. His fame and fortune allowed him to hide in plain sight. Loyal fans protected this creep for years and constantly shamed his victims. It literally took thirty years and a six-part docuseries to shed light on an infamous rapist, yet just hours to shame an aquarium for accidentally offending the otter community. Tragic.

Just because you don’t want to remove “Ignition” from your throwback 2000’s playlist does not mean you need to support a predator. While Abby thrives in aquarium boundaries, R. Kelly should rot in a cell. If Instagram trolls spent even half as much time destroying R(apist) Kelly as they do tearing apart a random aquarium, the world would be a better place. He may sing like an angel, but keep in mind he’s just another Bill Cosby behind a pretty voice. I strongly suggest everyone continue the fight to #MuteRKelly and protest this sick man to death.

On a happier note, I just received word that Abby will be the new face of OtterBox. She will be collaborating on a new design for thicc, plus-size iPhones, available exclusively through Fashion Nova. Oh lawd she comin.

Your Smartphone is a Narc

By: Ali Benz

I’ve never used a dating app before. It’s not that I’m against it, it’s just that my sister was cat-fished by a man with adult braces and I’m traumatized. The digital age is creepy.

After losing my phone in the Brooklyn Mirage, a place to go to when you want to leave Manhattan just to see a bunch of people from Manhattan, I realized just how useless people are sans mobile. You can’t split an Uber, postmate a churro, text your mom that you’re alive, pretend to venmo someone, cat-fish my siblings, nothing!

But, don’t be mistaken. These apps are not your friends. They are narcs and Snapchat is Public Enemy No. 1. Sure, you can try to sneak around with that guy you swore you were over, but Snapchat will literally expose you on a map—because this app was clearly built on the premise of love and trust and their mission statement definitely wasn’t “Send Nudes.” Right. You can say it’s a glitch, but your Bitmojis are literally laying together half-naked on a towel. Evan Spiegel is a savage.

Location services are sketchy AF. I don’t get why my ‘Spanish Word of the Day’ app needs to be stalking me 24/7, but, also, I don’t know why I have a ‘Spanish Word of the Day’ app. I do, however, understand how tracking is necessary for ride-share services. How else would I send my broke ex home in an Uber pool? Tragic.

The only downloads I want on my phone are my Starbucks app, since it’s linked to my dad’s credit card, and my UV app, so I don’t waste time outside if the rays are weak AF. I might just follow in my grandma’s footsteps and revive the old LG flip. I don’t know what kind of secret operations she’s running out of Boca Raton, Florida, but as long as I keep getting eighty dollars cash in a singing card on my birthday, we’re good.

Stop Glorifying Mental Disorders

By: Ali Benz

 

A wise, bi-polar man once said, “I’m a sick f*ck, I like a quick f*ck.” Due to his trendy, mental disorder, Mr. Kanye West was able to rap this line for a whopping two minutes and produce a chart-topper. Tragic.

The only people that I hate more than people about to go on Birthright are people that have just returned from birthright. No, Rachel, I don’t want to hear about your new found love for falafel or how you got felt up by an Israeli soldier on the back of a camel. But my hatred of pre and post birthright talk has recently been trumped by a new category: Our generation’s obsession with romanticizing mental disorders. I think it’s great that people are finally having this conversation and normalizing these feelings, but it’s being minimized into a hip fad just like double popped Abercrombie polos and cargo pants that zip off into shorts.

 

Leave it to Kanye West to profit off of being depressed AF. Ye recently described his bi-polar as a “superpower”, which I think is admirable that he was able to reclassify a negative stereotype into a positive, but unless he’s about to lace the new Yeezy Boosts with Prozac, he needs to be careful. The rapper has a giant platform and a huge support network unlike most. Those struggling with a mental disorder should be taught how to address it without fame, and those that don’t possess one should know it’s not something you can just catch and release like mono freshman year of college. You are not going to get a record deal and a Kardashian just because you’re manic. Shortly after West and other celebs opened up about their mental state, I got a text from a friend saying “Do you think  I have bi-polar?” To which I replied, “No, you’re just annoying.” But I’m not a doctor.

 

Speaking of doctors, I saw my physician the other day for my yearly every 5 year check-up (whoops). At the end of the sesh, she handed me a paper and said we should do a quick, regulatory depression test. Just for fun, I guess? She turned her back (for maximum privacy) and I looked down at the multiple choice quiz that would determine my mental health. LOL. The answers consisted of five levels of smiley faces that ranged from aggressive frowning to psychopathic grin. It felt kind of like a trick test, so I filled it in the same way I did every scantron senior year, “C’s” across the board, except for a few questions I found judgmental like, “Are you tired?” To which I chose a rare “E” for “Yes I’m f*cking tired.” Next question. Anyway, my point is, these doctors are so quick to diagnose and prescribe. I guess I thought the “C” smiley was giving more of a flirty smirk than a slanty cry for help, and now I’ve got a brand new Rx.

 

The glorification of mental disorders needs to seriously chill. So many struggle with depression and anxiety that can’t just be cured by the “Ye” album, even as soothing as Kid Cudi’s humming may be. This needs to be an open discussion and not a scapegoat or ambition. Also, WebMD is not your friend, it’ll just tell you that you’re dying, just like every time you dramatically search the symptoms of the common f*cking cold. Relax. You need to pay a hot, young psychiatrist $250 an hour to talk about your sh*t for ten minutes. Or you can, like, see someone ugly on your insurance. Either way. Handle it.