Where Has Lil Tay Gone, And Why Do I Care So Much?

I’ll admit it: “Cash Me Ousside” was funny for the first two weeks of its memehood. People made all sorts of holiday-themed poems in honour of Danielle Bregoli, the foul-mouthed, 13-year-old brat from a recent episode of the Dr. Phil show.

As someone who doesn’t agree with spanking children, I felt that Danielle Bregoli needed several spankings to knock her loose of her high horse, and I loved watching her throw a tantrum at the end of the episode when she was forced to go to a behavioural camp.

Roses are red. Emos are black. Cash me ousside. Howbow dah?

But then: tragedy struck. As a now-famous Danielle continued to steal cars, do drugs, and get kicked off airplanes for fighting, someone decided to give her a record deal. And thus, “Bhad Bhabie” was born and became a millionaire for her terrible behaviour.

The act left a sour taste in my mouth. Many people blamed the spread of the memes for Danielle’s success; however, many people are featured in memes every year. Few of these people are ever rewarded. The rise of Bhad Bhabie was not the meme’s fault. It was the fault of a record executive in an office somewhere.

I avoided any Bhad Bhabie products and videos for the next year to avoid giving her any sort of support. Views equal money. Sales equal money. I didn’t want to give Danielle Bregoli any money. I wanted her to go to rehab and re-enroll in school. Then, in February 2018, TMZ posted an article and a video of Bhad Bhabie fighting another girl named “Woah Vicky” at a Mall.

Danielle “Bhad Bhabie” Bregoli is the one who looks like she’s wearing a shower cap as a hoodie. Woah Vicky is the one who looks normal. These are screenshots from their fight.

Woah Vicky makes Bhad Bhabie look like a saint. She talks in an almost incoherent mumble, which she claims is cause she’s from the streets. People from the streets don’t talk like that, Vicky. They have their own dialect, but they still sound intelligent. Vicky also claims to be black, and a proud member of the African American community. Vicky needs glasses.

But as I watched Trash and Trashier spar on TMZ’s video, I noticed another challenger enter the arena. It was a small, Asian girl with blonde hair and a foul mouth who appeared to be glued to Woah Vicky’s hip throughout the altercation. Once the majority of the commotion was finished, the little girl began screaming in support of Woah Vicky and swearing at Bhad Bhabie and her fans. Overall, she seemed very out of place, and I was very confused.

What was a child doing in this hullabaloo??

This little girl should have been in class, not watching Bhad Bhabie and Woah Vicky commit misdemeanors at a mall meet-n-greet.

That little girl turned out to be Lil Tay, the world’s youngest flexer. She may be only nine-years-old, but she has clothes that cost more than your momma’s rent! How do I know? Well, she has said so numerous times in her videos.

Lil Tay was everything that I’d come to despise from Bhad Bhabie, Woah Vicky, and their crew of faux-street Internet rappers, yet something drew me closer to her. Whereas I could barely get through more than two Bhad Bhabie or Woah Vicky videos, I found myself entranced at Lil Tay’s Instagram page. I watched video after video, until there were no more. Then, I went to her YouTube channel, and I watched some more. There was something different about this pipsqueak, and I was intrigued to learn more.

Lil Tay’s videos were simple, yet entertaining. She’d loudly introduce herself, show off her latest car to visit Beaver Creek or house, remind us that she’s only 9-years-old yet her belongings cost more than your momma’s rent, and make it rain dollar bills for the camera. Profanity was often featured in Lil Tay’s videos, and sometimes I couldn’t help but wonder if she was another Andy Milonakis-esque adult, suffering from a growth-hormone deficiency that made her appear as a child. But no, Lil Tay was actually a child. A “flexer”. A source of controversy.

Stacks on stacks on stacks on stacks on stacks on stacks on…

Lil Tay was received differently than her counterparts, primarily due to her age and her content. None of Lil Tay’s videos featured illegal or harmful acts; they were simply vlogs of a young girl with a foul mouth and stacks of cash. Instead of comments that she should be in jail or calling her a slut, people were either amused by Lil Tay or wondering where her parents were while she was producing these videos.

It turns out, they were close by. Lil Tay’s mother, Angela Tian, was a leading realtor from Vancouver, Canada. All of the designer homes in which Lil Tay shot her videos were actually those of Angela Tian’s clients, people looking to sell their homes. The fancy cars in the videos were clients’ cars parked in their garages.

One of Angela Tian’s clients–who ironically watched the Lil Tay videos routinely–soon noticed their home on display in one of the videos. Not wanting to be associated with a foul-mouthed pipsqueak, the client squealed to Tian’s boss, and Tian was subsequently let go from her company.

Hopefully, Lil Tay can flex enough to pay her own momma’s rent now…

The Internet exploded. Lil Tay was a fake?? She didn’t really purchase her own electronics that cost more than your momma’s rent at 9-years-old?? Oh. Em. Gee.

The media published story after story about Angela Tian’s firing and the true nature of the Lil Tay videos. Morning outlets like Good Morning, America invited the Tians as guests. Despite being exposed as a “poser”, Lil Tay’s star was rising higher than that of her counterparts.

A new video was leaked, which featured Lil Tay sitting before a green screen and playing with her phone with a bored expression on her face. Behind the camera was a teenaged male’s voice, one that was later to be her 16-year-old brother’s, Jason Tian. Jason hyperactively gave Tay suggestions on what to say, while she looked on with annoyance. At one point, their mother interrupts, and Tay complains that she was filming.

Tay clearly is not amused at her family’s antics. She wants to go out and flex in those houses, not sit in front of a green screen making promos.

With Jason exposed as the mastermind behind the character of “Lil Tay”, I expected the little girl to crash and burn; yet, she continued gaining more followers, appearing on more shows, and producing more videos. How?

What separates Lil Tay from the rest of her pack is that…Lil Tay actually has talent. She took Jason’s poorly-fed lines and ideas and delivered them with such a powerful energy that it sucked in her viewers. She wasn’t sitting on a balcony with a grille in her mouth and a lit joint spouting off about “N-word this, and n-word that”. She was delivering actual monologues, and she was delivering them well.

Once Lil Tay was busted and began her media tour, her Instagram Stories began to show behind-the-scenes footage. One such Instagram Story featured news anchor Julie Chen. A bubbly, calm, and articulate Lil Tay asked Chen a few questions, then turned to the camera and announced that she was ready. As soon as the cameraman (presumably Jason) said that it was rolling, Lil Tay instantly transformed into her role, announcing that she was here “flexing with Juju” and making it rain dollar bills from her puffy jacket pocket. When the monologue was complete, Lil Tay paused and giggled at Chen, proud of her performance.

The GMA interview was hard to watch. Lil Tay tried so hard to keep up her image, although the evidence and questions against her were damning.

Unfortunately, Lil Tay’s media tour also irreparably damaged her social media career. She experienced what I call “the Jackass effect”.

Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, and crew from the hit Jackass series have frequently mentioned that filming the Jackass television show and the first movie were a lot easier and a lot more effective. Why? No one knew who any of the actors were. They were just ordinary guys doing unordinary things and garnering reactions.

By the time the second Jackass movie rolled around, many stunts were ruined by people spotting and recognizing the cast. The reactions were no longer genuine, and the guys began to focus more on pranking each other than pranking the public.

In a similar fashion, people began to recognize Lil Tay while she and her family were out on shoots. Someone would yell, “Hey, it’s Lil Tay!” from the window. People would wander into the background and wave. Many passersby would antagonize the entire Tian family, upsetting Tay greatly and ruining the shoot.

So many of these videos popped up on social media, of people catching the Tian crowd out in public.

Lil Tay quickly realized that her act was up. A talented ballerina, she also longed to show off her actual talents instead of simply her monologues. By early June, Lil Tay deleted all of her videos from Instagram and YouTube, promising a comeback within a few weeks with “all new material”. The Internet–myself included–began to wonder what was coming our way.

And then…as quickly as she’d gone silent…she was back. On June 18th, 2018, troubled rapper XXXTentacion was shot and killed at a motorcycle dealership in Miami, Florida. Lil Tay flooded her Instagram page with tributes to the slain rapper, including screenshots of their conversations together and recordings of their video chats. The heavily-advertised charity event that XXXTentacion had been promoting for the following weekend was to be a surprise joint-effort with Lil Tay, something she confirmed via her screenshots.

Lil Tay posted a tearful video mourning the rapper, in which she repeatedly said that he was “like a father” to her. And this is where my realization that all was not well in Lil Tay’s life hit the roof.

For those unaware, XXXTentacion racked up a long list of crimes and atrocities in his short 20 years of life, beginning with a stint in juvie at age 12. He was perhaps most known for beating his pregnant girlfriend, Geneva Ayala, nearly to death in 2017. More on him can be found here.

If there was anyone acting as a “father-figure” in Lil Tay’s life, it shouldn’t have been a mostly-unapologetic abuser.

Footage from Li Tay’s dedication video to XXXTentacion on the day after his death.

On top of this, Jason’s Tweets were beginning to seem hostile and manic, and Woah Vicky posted a video of her talking in a mostly normal voice, exposing Jason as a controlling mastermind. From her interviews, Angela Tian seemed constantly aloof. It became clear that Lil Tay was not getting the support or the upbringing that she needed at her age.

And I think that’s one of the most troubling things of all. It’s not a little girl using vulgarity or throwing money around on a camera. It’s that a little girl is seemingly either all alone, or surrounded by negative influences (her brother, XXXTentacion, Bhad Bhabie, Woah Vicky). It’s the cryptic Stories she’ll occasionally post on her Instagram for a matter of hours that say, “Help.” It’s her failed reality television show on an unknown network.

I worry about Lil Tay because she’s not a “thuggin’ bad girl” like her allies and rivals. She is legitimately a little girl who started out making videos for fun with her brother, and now has been thrust into the harsh world of Internet bullying and criticism. Lil Tay does need a remarkable comeback, and she’s only going to get one chance to do it.

Terry Crews’s Torment, And The Effects Of Toxic Masculinity

October 2017 saw the rise of the #MeToo movement, a hashtag spread across social media to demonstrate the widespread frequency of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Started by Tarana Burke and popularized by Alyssa Milano, the hashtag and accompanying stories were primarily shared by women and more effeminate men.

So, what about masculine-presenting men?

It is easy to hear sexual assault victim and picture a woman, a more effeminate-presenting man, or a child. People heap pity on the survivors, seeing them as “poor things” and inherently “weak” individuals that need protection to prevent further assault. The stereotypes are strong. However, approximately 1 in 6 men are victims of sexual assault. In a room of 100 men, approximately 16-to-17 of them have experienced sexual assault to some degree.

Surely, that statistic does not only apply to effeminate men or men assaulted as children. What about larger men? Stronger men?

Men like Terry Crews?

I mean, seriously. I can’t be the only one who goes “YES!” any time Terry Crews pops up unexpectedly in a movie.

You see, during the wave of #MeToo revelations that set the stages of Hollywood ablaze and tossed chaos into the impending awards season, Terry Crews announced that he, too, is a victim of sexual assault. Despite his size and stature, Crews’s assailant—William Morris Endeavor agent Adam Venit—held power over him. As a high-power agent that producers were protecting, Crews was limited to what he could do.

“The producer of [the Expendables] called my manager and asked him to drop my case in order for me to be in the fourth installment of the movie,” Crews shared in his courtroom testimony on June 26th, 2018. “If I didn’t, there would be trouble.”

Crews ultimately chose to leave the movie installment and pursue his case.

Terry Crews testifying on June 26th, 2018, where he explained in detail the atrocities that befell him by someone he trusted.

“The assault lasted only minutes, but what he was effectively telling me while he held my genitals in his hand was that he held the power,” reported Crews. “That he was in control.”

Sure sounds like sexual assault to me.

Why didn’t you fight back? People often ask victims of sexual assault, including rape. As someone who unfortunately has close friends that are victims, their responses mirror those shared in news stories and crime shows:

I was afraid he’d kill me. I figured if I laid there and took it, he’d get done and leave me alone.

I didn’t want to lose my job/scholarship. My assailant had power over me.

I couldn’t risk making a scene and losing everything for my family.

In response to these claims, many sexual assault victims are told that they deserved it, that they are weak, or that they are lying. Their assaults are trivialized unless they legitimately mauled their assailant, regardless of the repercussions that would have caused.

While fighting back is the ideal thing to do when being assaulted, it is not always possible. If faced with death as a consequence, would you still fight back?

Crews has another issue on his hands: ridicule. His assault has not only been trivialized, but he is being ridiculed for his admissions.

Celebrities like shot-many-times rapper 50 Cent and accused rapist Russell Simmons have responded to Crews’s allegations with laughing emojis and memes on their social media pages. Despite Crews’s typical Herculean display of strength, admitting to assault without striking his victim has rendered him as “weak” and “emasculated” in the eyes of other men.

Crews has spoken of the shame he suffered post-assault, and how it tormented his thoughts. He has spoken on how the mistreatment of his case is why more men do not come forward when they are assaulted. He has even spoken up and revealed that the reason for not beating the shit out of his assailant was to avoid being labeled as a “big, black thug” and getting blacklisted from an industry that was already protecting his and other sexual predators over their victims.

50 Cent’s insensitive and cruel Instagram post “roasting” Terry Crews. 50 Cent got so much hate on this picture that he deleted the post…but he can’t delete the screenshots…

Let us recall what happened during Crews’s assault: another man held and fondled his genitals for several minutes while reminding Crews of his lack of power.

Now, let’s look at what Crews’s Expendables producer, Avi Lerner, told Crews in regards to his assault:

“I was told over and over that this was not abuse. That this was just a joke. That this was just horseplay. But I can say that one man’s horseplay is another man’s humiliation.”

A joke?

Horseplay?

I am all for innocent fun. I think a lot of people in society overreact to many things nowadays. But what Crews is describing is neither a joke nor horseplay.

Jokes are funny phrases or pranks played Jackass style on friends and family.

Horseplay is what adolescent boys do in high school when they chase each other through the school hallways, tackling one another to the ground, and wrestling.

This is horseplay. This is fun. This is not assault. No genitals are being touched.

Fondling someone’s private parts against their will and reminding them of the repercussions of revealing their assault is sexual assault plain and simple. It doesn’t matter if the victim was male or female, young or old, or punched you in your rapist face or not. It is assault.

And while Crews shouldn’t need to explain his reasonings at all, the frequent discrimination against black men, the words of Venit and Lerner, and the blacklisting of Chloe Dykstra by her own assailant are more than enough proof to illustrate that Crews’s concerns were indeed valid.

While we need to be there for all assault victims, male assault victims hold a dear place in my heart. Ever since I was old enough to understand the concept of rape, I have heard people laugh at men who are raped and assaulted. These victims are told that they clearly wanted it, that a woman can’t rape a man, that they’re gay if they let a man rape them, or that they’re gay for not enjoying “good sex”.

For starters: Being gay is not a bad thing. Let’s go ahead and clear up that misconception. It’s 2018; what the hell is wrong with y’all?

Secondly: Anytime someone touches you when you don’t want them to touch you…it’s assault. Regardless of gender.

These are not hard concepts, y’all.

I am pleased to see that many people on my Twitter timeline have sent Terry Crews tweets of encouragement in recent days, assuring him that he is strong, he is a victim, and that he is doing the right thing for himself and for all other victims of assault…especially men.

Take a moment and send Crews kind words to combat the trolls and perpetuators. Support his shows (Brooklyn 99 is excellent!) and his projects. I can only imagine what sort of inner turmoil this poor man is going through, but even one tweet of support can make his day a little bit brighter and help other victims watching to see that they, too, have support.

How To Survive An Anime Convention (Or Any Conference Really)

2018 marks my 10th year of attending anime conventions. My very first was ColossalCon 2008, which ironically fell on my 18th birthday weekend. I’d like to think that I’ve learned a lot over this past decade of shenanigans, mischief, and sometimes outright puzzling situations.

Before ColossalCon 2008, my then-boyfriend advised me that you do not sleep at cons. You do not eat much. You spend tons of money. You drink far more than you should. And you party hard. Most people shared that same sentiment, and that’s how I treated conventions until around 2013.

Five years of torture.

Good grief.

This outlook is not restricted to just anime and gaming conventions. I have heard similar statements from people of all ages at professional conferences as well. “You’re not going to sleep much this weekend!” I am always warned. Yet, somehow, I do.

The party-hard mentality might sound good on paper–looking at yourself from afar like you’re rewatching American Pie or some other frat party comedy–but it’s hard on your body. And it is unnecessary.

The harmful mentalities of not sleeping, not eating, not showering, and maxing out your credit cards for trips needs to stop. Most people who take a more mature approach to conventions and conferences find that they enjoy their time spent there far more, they are able to return home without feeling exhausted and sometimes ill, and they still have money to pay their bills in return.

We know how to have fun AND retain our sanity. Be like us 🙂

This weekend is OMGCon in Owensboro, Kentucky. OMGCon is my favourite convention to attend each year, and it is one of the ones that I am a Featured Guest at each year. I was recently asked by a first-time convention goer for some tips for the weekend, and these are tips that I would also like to share with all of you. Follow them, and achieve true bliss on each of your vacation weekends:

  1. Drink lots of water. I was going to label this “Stay hydrated”, but some of y’all think that means drink sodas, coffee, and alcohol all day. No. Water. WATER. That clear crap that fish swim around in for a living. That funny beverage that pours from your sink faucets. Yes, that stuff. It makes up 70% of your body, it keeps you alive, and it needs to be replenished. Drink cool or cold water throughout the day, especially in warmer environments. Remember: If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. If your pee is yellow, you are already dehydrated. If you take nothing else away from this post, DRINK WATER.
  2. Shower daily. This is non-negotiable. The smells of “con funk” permeate the hallways at any conference, but it is the worst at anime and gaming conventions. Personal hygiene is not a choice. It is a mandatory responsibility. Not only does it keep you healthy, but it allows you to be courteous to those around you. Honestly. Hop in the shower. Use some soap. Towel dry. Feel happy. I shower once each and every day in my daily life, and at a convention–where I am running around all day in cosplay and hugging strangers–a shower is a definite necessity. On the same vein: if your roommates smell funky, feel free to kindly advise them to go wash. Don’t suffer needlessly because of other people’s laziness.
  3. Eat ACTUAL MEALS (not just ramen). Include fruits and veggies in these meals. It’s really not hard. If you are getting a sandwich, place tomatoes and lettuce on the sandwich. Opt for a Greek yogurt instead of potato chips. Grilled over fried. Carrots over fries. Food is fuel, and you need lots of fuel to survive a convention. You wouldn’t fill your car with sludge. Don’t fill your body with it either. Eat a good (not expensive) meal twice daily for best results!
  4. Get a good night’s rest EVERY night. This means getting at least 6 hours of sleep each night (but aim for 8 hours each night). Determine your bedtime well before night hits. Let’s use Sunday checkouts for example. The checkout time at most hotels is 11am. This means that you need to be awake by 10am to wash your face, apply your makeup, put on clothes, and get your belongings out of the room. This means that you should go to bed at 2am the night before. If you are literally having the time of your life, then 4am is the absolute latest that you should be in bed. Basic math. No excuses. Sleep also helps to fight off “con crud”! Most on that later…
  5. Do a full lap around Artist Alley and the Dealer’s Hall BEFORE making any purchases. There are a lot of things to purchase at a convention. Many booths are selling the same items for differing prices. You want the lowest price, right? Do a full lap, and then decide which items you want that fit your budget. For any DVDs or Manga, I also recommend installing the Amazon app on your phone. Most DVDs that go for $50 at a convention are $25 on Amazon. I literally create an Amazon shopping cart while wandering the Dealer’s Hall, make my purchases for far cheaper than I’d spend in person, and my new items are waiting on my doorstep once I get home from the convention. Shop smarter, not harder 🙂
  6. Bring a portable phone battery charger. I highly recommend Anker-brand portable quick-charge batteries, which you can purchase by clicking this sentence. These little babies can charge your phone from zero to hero in less than an hour. My iPhone 7 gets a little more than two full charges from this battery. Charge your Anker battery at night before bed, and any chance you get. Then, while you are running around, you can recharge your phone when needed! These are also great at concerts, festivals, and theme parks. Warning: if people know you have these, they will want a charge as well! Keep your battery in your purse or pocket and charge discretely for best results!
  7. Respect others’ boundaries. Don’t leave your dirty clothes all over the hotel room that you are sharing with others. Don’t drink all of someone else’s alcohol or eat someone else’s leftovers from the fridge. And remember: cosplay IS NOT consent! Do not touch people without permission, and do not harass them for that permission!
  8. Drink responsibly. Nearly everyone drinks at conventions. I do. You do. He, she, it does. It is an ingrained part of the convention culture, to the point where many cons have 24/7 parties appearing all over the premises. Still, everyone has a limit, and everyone knows that limit. DO NOT pass your limit and force others to baby you. DO NOT pass your limit and make yourself sick. DO NOT pass your limit and get alcohol poisoning. This is extremely important if you choose to drink under 21, as your bad decisions will negatively impact both the convention’s staff members, the convention’s reputation, and the people that you traveled with. Also, make sure to eat before drinking. Soak up that booze.
  9. Quarantine yourself if ill. In reality, don’t even go to the convention if you are ill. But if you wake up with the sniffles, stay in your room. Let your roommates know this. Eat soup and drink tea. Get some sleep. Wash your hands. Spray Lysol into the air. Your goal at this point is to infect as few people as possible. Don’t be that dick who walks around knowingly sick and contributes to more people catching the “con crud” that impact every convention on Sundays. FUN FACT: Practicing steps #1-#4 helps to prevent con crud from coming to an immune system near you 😀
  10. Save the drama for yo’ mama. Conventions are for having fun. You are there with friends. Even if there are people present that you dislike, you can ignore them. If they are harassing you, let your group leader know about it. If you don’t know your harasser, tell a member of staff or a security officer. Conventions are a stress-reliever, and keeping yourself worked up all weekend does the complete opposite of that. So, take a chill pill, and have FUN!!!

Prom Night And The Toxicity Of Callout Culture

Prom night. An event that most teenagers look forward to for all of their lives. From the time we are toddlers, the media conditions us to perceive prom night as the pinnacle of your adolescent night. And in a way, it is. Whether a teenager makes a big deal about their prom or not, their friends and family certainly will.

“What did you do for prom?” remains a talking point for adults long after they’ve collected their diplomas and moved on to adulthood.

On April 22nd, 2018, 18-year-old Keziah Daum showed up to Woods Cross High School’s senior prom with her closest friends. Following the evening’s festivities, Daum posted an album with four photos on her Twitter account, consisting of two solo photos, a photo with her date, and a photo of her squad. Daum looked to be on cloud nine in the photographs, as did the rest of her friends.

But days later, the shit hit the fan.

“Racist”, read one comment.

“What’s the theme of prom night? Ignorant?” another comment said.

When I logged onto Twitter on Saturday, April 28th and saw controversy after teen wears racist dress to prom trending as the top story on Twitter, all sorts of thoughts raced through my head. I hurriedly clicked on the article and wondered what treat was in store. Another Confederate flag dress? A dress embroidered with Swastikas? Maybe someone had gotten the nerve to screenprint the burning Twin Towers on the sides of her dress and was twirling around the dance floor in a blaze of crumbling concrete?

But, instead, I found a photograph of a pretty girl wearing a qipao.

The twitter post in question.

A qipao (pronounced chee-pow, and sometimes referred to as a “cheongsam”), is a one-piece Chinese clothing item that became the national dress of the Republic Of China in 1929. The qipao started out as a woman’s traditional dress during Manchu rule, and it became a popular item amongst celebrities and the upper-class of China in the 1930s. By the 1950s, working women paired their qipao with a jacket.

Chinese women today wear a qipao during formal occasions such as weddings, parties, and beauty pageants. A good friend who got married a few years back wore a beautiful white wedding dress for her ceremony and then changed into a red qipao for her reception. Yes, she is Chinese. Some businesses—such as hotels and airlines—also make qipao dresses part of the required work uniform. The cost of qipaos range from $100-$1000, depending on the style and the material.

It is not uncommon to find qipaos in Chinese vintage stores, and Keziah Daum just happened to find one in the United States. Thinking “Oh! What a pretty dress!”, Daum bought the qipao and enlisted it as her senior prom dress. Something unique that would set her apart from the crowd. An innocent idea for a special night. Daum recognized that the dress was a garment from China, and she decided that this would be a great way to show her respect for Chinese culture.

Qipao come in all shapes and colours.

By the magic of the Internet, Daum’s post went viral, and conflicting comments began to appear. Confused by the hate comments posted on her photos, Daum tweeted that she didn’t understand why she was getting so much hate over “just a dress”. The phrasing—of course—unleashed an even greater firestorm.

“To anyone who says I’m ignorant,” Daum tweeted, “I fully understand everyone’s concerns and views on my dress. I mean no harm. I am in no way being discriminative or racist. I’m tired of all the backlash and hate when my only intent was to show love.”

Again, Daum is an 18-year-old girl. She may not know the significance of a qipao. I did not know the significance of one until I was in my early 20s and read a Wikia page about Chun-Li from Street Fighter, who wears a qipao as part of her attire. I gained a deeper understanding after seeing the photos from my friend’s wedding with the qipao donned for the reception, and the icing on the cake was when I accepted a position as an ESL teacher for VIPKID, a Chinese company.

So, here is my question to anyone who publically crucified this teenager over the past week: If you find wearing a qipao without knowing its significant so foul, why not educate her?

European renditions of the traditional qipao.

Many Twitter users complimented Daum on her support Chinese culture and for also looking great in the qipao. Both Chinese and non-Chinese users felt that Daum did nothing wrong and simply decided to represent a culture that interested her. Still, many others loudly vocalized their disapproval, calling her “trash”, “cracker”, and slurs that I don’t feel like posting right now.

None of the negative tweets offered an ounce of insight into what a qipao is. The vast majority that I saw did not even reference a “qipao” or a “cheongsam”. People ripped into Daum for calling a qipao “just a dress” and “being ignorant to Chinese culture”, but NOT A ONE offered her any insight to help her gain a further understanding on the misdeeds that she committed on prom night.

Callout culture has been on the rise for the past three years. It started with good intentions, and its rules are simple: If you see someone doing something disgusting and vile, call them out publicly. Keep others from being victims of the perpetrator and ensure that those around them know of their misdeeds. In the cases of rapists, burglars, animal abusers, and murderers, callout culture can be a good thing, and it has saved many lives.

However, the rise of sensitivities from both liberal and conservative audiences has led to callout culture being reduced to miniscule offenses, completely ignoring the mantra don’t sweat the small stuff as people across social media sweat and scream their little hearts out. What happened to being a teacher? What happened to being a compassionate human being to your fellow humans?

Don’t be this person. Never be this person.

I’m sure 2/3 of the people up in arms over Daum’s dress can’t even spell qipao. A good half of those people probably don’t even know what a qipao is either, and are just riding the bandwagon of bullying and hatred. How are we as adults supposed to set any sort of good examples for high school children when grown adults are bullying a high schooler over her clothing on prom night?

I think that it is important for Daum to know the history and significance of the qipao, and if Daum truly has a love of Chinese culture, then there is nothing wrong with her wearing that dress. It is no different than people adopting clothing styles based on rave, anime, or hip-hop fashion to show their respect and appreciation for a certain facet of culture. Still, it is important to fully understand the culture that you are representing. Did Daum already know about the history of a qipao? Maybe. But since people decided to label her a racist instead of asking her a simple question, I guess we’ll never know.

My rant of the topic of “cultural appropriation” is a lengthy one for another day, but let’s all keep in mind that Americans are the only ones trying to make “cultural appropriation” a thing. Chinese citizens have been overwhelmingly supportive of Daum and her dress since the Internet’s floodgates broke.

“Very elegant and beautiful!” one Chinese citizen commented. “Really don’t understand the people who are against her, they are wrong!”

“It is not cultural theft,” another wrote. “It is cultural appreciation and cultural respect.”

Many users on Weibo–China’s version of Twitter–have also chimed in: “Culture has no borders. There is no problem, as long as there is no malice or deliberate maligning. Chinese cultural treasures are worth spreading all over the world.”

Props to China for being the sane ones in this discussion.

So, if those in China love and respect Daum’s decision, why are the Americans calling her a racist?

I guess the short answer is that, once again, America has shown its ass to the rest of the world.

For the record, racists are people who discriminate against other races, often leading to bigotry, favouritism, hate-speech, and acts of violence. Keziah Daum is a thrift store shopper who stumbled across a qipao. The toxicity of callout culture lessons the impact of words like “racist”, “sexist”, and “abuser” by overusing them for trivial issues. It causes allies to overlook real issues because they have gotten burned out on all of the crying-wolf cases passing through their social media feeds. And that’s not good.

That’s how people get hurt.

We all know what a racist is, so stop using the term to describe people wearing qipaos, dreadlocks, false freckles, and dreamcatcher earrings. If someone says, “Keziah Daum is a racist”, I want to see her pointing guns at people, not wearing their clothing.

Say what again?

(Keziah, that was rhetorical; please do not point a gun at anyone.)

So how should this situation have been handled correctly?

If you come across someone that you feel is behaving ignorantly, approach them civilly and politely. Ask them—genuinely, not snarkily—what they are doing or wearing and what gave them the idea to do the infraction in question. Have an actual conversation with them, and then politely let them know why you disagree with their action(s). Hear them out, but explain your viewpoint as well. Share with them the knowledge that you wish they had, and keep the conversation lighthearted and friendly. Few people will ever object to such an encounter, and most will leave feeling more enlightened and educated and happy to spread their new knowledge with their friends and family.

I’m sure if anyone—in real life or online—approached Daum and said, “Cool dress! It looks awesome on you! Do you wanna know more about the qipao?”, Daum would have eagerly said yes and soaked in the knowledge. Then, on her next wearing of the dress, she could thank complimenters with, “Thanks! Did you know that the qipao…?”

Knowledge is power.

Hatred breeds contempt.

That qipao is forever ruined for Daum. She will either never wear it again, or she will wear it with a sense of pride, “Killing In The Name Of” style:

Can you blame her?

But long gone is the innocence of the pretty Chinese dress in the vintage store window. For the rest of her life, Daum’s memory of prom night will be a mix of confusion and anger…and of gratitude to her supporters.

“Thank you to EVERYONE who has been messaging me about the dress,” Daum tweeted last Sunday. “I’m trying to respond to as many as I can. Thank you for your kindness!”

Your Politics In My Peanut Butter (Stop It, Tumblr)

There is something that has been grinding my gears for the past several years. I’ve noticed it. My family has noticed it. My friends have noticed it. I feel like most people have noticed it.

There are memes dedicated to poking fun of this issue. South Park introduced a brand-new character to poke fun of this issue. Comedians and actors have gotten reamed on social media for not treading lightly around this issue.

What issue?

Why, Tumblr’s extreme SJW culture, of course! Otherwise known as the intense wave of political correctness that has taken over people’s lives since late-2015 and early-2016.

Love him or hate him, but there are at least a few PC Principals on your timeline everyday. And if there is not, then that PC Principal just may be you :’(

“What is Tumblr?” you might find yourself asking, gentle reader? Tumblr is the current generation’s own special version of 4Chan, where literally anything and everything can be posted for public consumption. (Side note: Is 4Chan even still a thing…?) Essentially, it is a place where the “oppressed” find way to oppress themselves even further.

Note that while these people are mainly found on Tumblr, you can also find them on any social media website and in any public arena.

“Look! An adorable picture of a dog!” the Tumblrites cry, rubbing their hands together with glee. “Let’s find a way to make it about animal abuse!”

“Wow. You are a shitty person for laughing at this. I’m glad to know that you support the genocide and slaughter of all animals! How DARE you call yourself an animal lover!” — An actual comment left on my Facebook profile when I nonchalantly shared this video a few months back.

The main issue is that the extreme SJW crowd tends to scream their views and opinions the loudest, so now many people entering their mid-thirties and above associate all Millennials as Tumblrites. Memes mocking millennials have been born from the older generations’ stereotypes of how all millennials act and think thanks to those who go around SJWing on the Internet.

“Do you see this fridge? Do you see this perfectly innocent fridge? It says ‘negro’ on the box! I never took Spanish, so I’m going to assume that this is a racist refrigerator. If I use this refrigerator, it will hide a noose in my almond milk and choke me from the inside out.”

Somewhere in the distance, Hitler whispers from the skies, “Praise Aryan Jesus!”

“Do you see this couple? Do you see this seemingly happy couple? Well, they’re not a happy couple because half of the couple is male! And since all men are evil, the woman in the picture is probably being abused.”

#NotAllMen

Here’s one that my friends who identify as bisexual get all of the time… “Do you see this girl? Do you see this girl who claims to be bisexual? Well, she’s dating a MAN and they are even using aphrodisiac products that increase libido in men, so she’s a hetero liar!”

Those who support bi-erasure need to take a children’s Latin course and learn the definition of the root word “bi”. They should then think logically about what “bisexual” means.

One year later… “Do you see this girl? Do you see this girl who still claims to be bisexual but is now with a woman? Oh, honey, cut out that ‘I’m bi’, crap! You know you’re a lesbian!”

No bisexuals allowed! Even though our acronym is “LGBT”!

So…what does the “B” stand for then?

How about, Tumblr Is Bullshit? 🙂

From 2009–2014, Tumblr is where I went for the latest memes and updates on my favourite bands. Apparently in 2018, all bands have a hidden agenda and/or are rapists, so the band tags are filled with hatred and bickering…or just people spamming photos of the band’s lead singer with the caption “DADDYYYYYYY!!”

I’m not going to lie and said that I’ve never referred to Brandon Boyd or Jared Leto as “Daddy” in a conversation amongst friends. But since Incubus’s lyrics are “hippie bullshit” and 30 Seconds To Mars uses religious imagery, I guess this means that I can’t listen to their music anymore 🙁

JARED: “Hold my fedora; those SJWs said what about me??” // BRANDON: “I’ll take my shirt off if that helps.”

I also greatly enjoy memes. I have recently learned that my love of memes means that I either don’t care about society or am secretly suicidal. Seriously. These things have both been said to me by people who are completely serious.

Please note again that this is not a political article. There are liberal Tumblrites. There are conservative Tumblrites. There are Democrat Tumblrites. There are Republican Tumblrites. The virus to become a Tumblrite is an equal-opportunity offender, boys and girls, so try not to breathe in the bullshit.

This is why I’m a Centrist and don’t subscribe to Tumblr politics. Because I’m sane.

The over-sensitivities on both sides need to stop, y’all. It’s time to retire the attacks and pure cattiness that have been spreading across social media since early 2016. If someone’s gender preference or hairstyle or religion or diet bothers you, then you need to find a hobby and find a way to calm your inner demons.

“But, Angie! You just said not to be catty! And here you are assuming that all SJWs aren’t calm people.”

“Something something Taylor Swift. Something something Kim Kardashian.”

No assumptions have been made here, gentle reader. All of the SJWs that I’ve come across are some of the most stressed and unhappy individuals that I have ever seen. Their days are spent arguing over trivial details with complete strangers. Their mission to “fix the world” is causing them inner turmoil and grief.

They aren’t happy! Most will admit that they aren’t happy. Quite frankly, it is impossible to be happy when constantly looking for the next opinion to belittle. It keeps your adrenaline flowing constantly and jars your body throughout the day.

Try spending a day meditating, rather than unleashing your inner Tanisha 24/7.

Trust me, a little namaste never hurt anyone. If you agree, be sure to leave a comment down below letting me know where the bad Tumblrite touched you 🙂