This blog post originates from a Twitter rant I posted earlier on today.


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A post weight-loss photo.

The best thing I ever for myself did was take control of my life back in late 2016. I finally lost my weight (I put on 40 pounds during a rather dark period of my life), cleaned up my eating, escaped law school (even after having the blessed opportunity of interning in a Los Angeles law firm, I still had to admit that the legal profession wasn’t for me), worked a creative internship in NYC last fall (I actually started two others internships, but had to quit for personal reasons), started my MMA training, focused on my writing, got a big ol’ tattoo, took the GRE, applied for M.A./M.F.A. programs, and more.

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mental health awarenessRemember my good old semicolon tattoo that I got back in July 2015? 

Well, it’s gone.

Don’t worry, you guys — it’s not like I’m not aware that I’m still mentally ill.  I didn’t wake up yesterday morning and imagine that part of me away or anything. 

It’ll probably always be there with me [because science, and also, poetic metaphor?], and it’ll always play some type of a role in who I am and who I end up becoming.

However, my game plan is to ensure that I always find a way for this painful [and honestly irritating] affliction of mine to contribute my self-betterment.  

I mean, why shouldn’t it?  It’s turned me into someone who fights my butt off every single day of my life — battling my inner demons has become as natural to me as breathing.  That totally sucks in retrospect, but someday, I’m going to be so freaking strong for it! 

I’d consider that a silver lining if I wasn’t such a rose gold loving lady myself. #RoseGoldTrash

But anyways — yes, I’m still proud of myself for pushing forward and always being my own knight in shining armor.  Just because that semicolon is now [very skillfully] covered up (still, shoutout to New Breed Tattoos for giving me the splendid semicolon tattoo that stayed with me for three insane years of my life — my cover-up had everything to do with me craving a different, non-semicolon tattoo, and absolutely nothing to do with the high quality of your guys’ absolutely amazing work), doesn’t mean it’ll ever truly be erased from my person. 

It’s still there [even if it’s buried under a ridiculous amount of ink].  It’ll always be there.


 

rose tattooAnyways, I went and got a cover-up tattoo over my semicolon last night (July 15, 2018). It’s a pretty rad new look, to be completely honest — it’s a highly elegant rose, and it came out beautifully.

I’m pretty sure my tattoo artist (Denny Waldron of Heirloom Tattoo & Piercing) even nailed some good, old school goth vibes in there for me (as requested).  I know I tend to make everything gothilicious in my mind, but seriously — take my word on this one.

My tattoo artist even said, “Don’t worry, I’ll make this rose look really mean for you.”  What more could a little ol’ Queen of Darkness ask for? 

Not much, sir.



So, my standard, tiny, back-of-the-neck semicolon is no more.

Why?

1. Let me go ahead and get the aesthetic-inspired reason straight out of the way — the lack of symmetry at the very top of my spine bugs me, I feel like I wasted that area with a tattoo that could’ve gone literally anywhere else on my body, and it’s a bit too low on my neck for me.  I always imagined myself with a medium to large, elegant something back there that shouted from the rooftops when I put my hair up.  The tiny semicolon just didn’t do that for me.

tattoo shop2. I’ve grown since I got that semicolon tattoo three years ago. And guess what?  That’s perfectly healthy.  There’s a lot of unnecessary pressure to stick by your tattoo forever, but there’s nothing wrong with doing what you need to do to be happy with the ink on your body.

These days, I want a different symbol of strength there to represent me. I want that area of me to represent something more active about my survival story. I am so proud of what the semicolon demonstrated, and I’m even prouder of everyone who resonates with it — it’s a wonderful symbol with a blessed following.

But, for me, personally, it feels like a passive symbol of my strength.

I’m not a defender — I’m a fighter.

I’m active; I dive headfirst into battle.  I wanted something that says, “I am fierce and unrelenting.  Come at me, bro.

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I think a rose says just that. Roses are powerful, courageous, and beautiful. Dare to touch one of these beauties, and you’ll find that their thorns will stab you and have that “lifeblood” gushing out of you in seconds. Roses are so proactive about their survival — and I’ve always dug that about them. Like a rose, I am my own savior.

It’s also important to note that roses thrive in darkness — check out anything Victorian Gothic, or creepy in general, and you’ll probably find the happiest, most gorgeous roses there.  Roses remind me of myself in that way too — those environments are where I feel most at ease, and the most like myself.  I find strength in that dark aesthetic. 

3. My glorious semicolon can go elsewhere on my body! It can even go somewhere where I can see it, and maybe I can even give it those cute little cat ears! Anytime I feel myself sinking, I can actually see it and remember that I’m a sentence that could’ve ended on numerous occasions, but didn’t. It’s my favorite punctuation mark anyways (writers are geeky, deal with it).  I definitely have plans to get it re-inked onto my body someday — in a different location.

4. I want my neck to scream that I am bold, edgy, fierce, and elegant — all at once. I’m tired of people asking me about my semicolon every single time I so much as put my hair in ponytail — because just in case they don’t know what it is, I have to explain it to them.  And right there, I lose that privacy about who I am and what I come from.  

I want the tattoo on my neck, at the very top of my spine, the backbone to my very being, to shout something fundamental for me so that I don’t have to state it later on: “I may be tiny, but do not mess with me — I have thorns. If you choose to make an enemy of me, you will feel their wrath.” 

5. I need my affinity for darkness, something so deeply seeded in me and so crucial in the essence of who I am, to live with me forever. I want people to look at me and say, “I bet that chick lives and dies by black lace and magical realism.” 

That obsession with dark aesthetics is a fundamental part of me as a writer, a fighter, and a visual artist — I want it visible on the surface.  Through becoming a full-fledged grown-up, age, life, and death; I want that dark part of me unmistakably loud and clear


Project semicolon is and always will be precious to me. It was there for me when I needed it the most, and it’s been a real source of strength and support for me in a world that all too frequently leaves me feeling lost and alone.

I will always be loyal to it (even if, for some reason, I re-tatt it onto my body like I said I might). Just because it doesn’t roar loudly enough for me doesn’t mean it doesn’t live with me.

Remember, guys — don’t be a full stop when you can be a semicolon instead.

Trust me, I know how tough it is out there. I know there’s something in some of us that makes it just about impossible to go on sometimes. I get that.

But also, periods are so final and dreary — be a sophisticated, pompous semicolon instead. The world and I will be so glad you did. ♥️

 


Donate to Project Semicolon HERE until August 31, 2018!

 

Green tea is pretty hyped up these days.  Google “benefits of green tea”, “green tea and weight loss”, “green tea and beauty”, or literally anything else containing the words “green” and “tea” and you’ll find that there’s no shortage of search results. 

Here’s the thing, though: the green tea part of the Internet can be a bit of an… over-hyped echo chamber

amaranthineDon’t get me wrong – green tea is absolutely GLORIOUS.  Drinking it is highly beneficial, and it’s delicious!  But that doesn’t mean drinking green tea for two days will make you drop 15 pounds in under 48 hours, and it certainly doesn’t mean that bathing your dog’s paws in it will make him stop barking all night. 

That’s why, as a near-daily green tea consumer, I’m going to tell you all about how green tea actually changed my life.  There won’t be any mention of fairy god tea leaves or anything miraculous like that, but I’m going to give you guys the legitimate scoop on green tea as I know it.


Here’s why green tea is probably the game changer you didn’t even realize you needed in your life.

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“So, tell me… what’s your trick to losing all that weight?”

“Just between you and me, how did you really lose so much weight?”

These are the types of questions I get pretty often these days [ever since I successfully dropped the many, many pounds I accumulated in my final few semesters of college and dropped 10 pant sizes]. 

amaranthineAside from a few close, loved ones, I’ve basically stopped trying to answer these inquiries because no one really likes what I have to say.  My response to these questions usually revolves around words like “discipline”, “hard-work”, “exercise”, “clean eating”, “patience”, and “accountability”.  

Needless to say, this isn’t what most of the people sliding into my DMs want to hear.  A lot of people want “easy” and “glamorous” – they want one of those magical pills or mysterious fruits that you see splashed all over Twitter by popular accounts.  I honestly can’t blame them; life is busy, and we all have some tedious responsibilities on our shoulders.  It’s not easy to add a weight loss journey into an already saturated, tiring schedule.   

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Let’s talk about body hair.  More specifically, let’s discuss body hair removal… mainly, as it applies to women.

I’m actually seriously starving after my morning fight training, and usually I dash to my fridge for food the moment my post-gym shower has concluded.

AmaranthineBut today was different because a thought struck me as I shaved my legs in the shower just now, a thought that made me run straight to my laptop to write this blog entry.

Why is it even a societal norm for women to be hairless [aside from their mane, eyebrows, and eyelashes, I mean]?  Where did that idea even come from in the first place?

Men and women both have natural body hair, so how did it become such that females are “supposed” to make themselves appear hairless at all given times while men get to keep their body hair all-natural?

Well, while dealing with the annoyance that is running a razor blade over my knees about fifteen minutes ago, I came up with a literal “shower thought” theory:

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We’ve all seen those stunning pin-up girls of the past – they were all the rage throughout that 1940s-1960s era, especially in the United States.

If you Google “pin-up girls”, you’ll find that almost all of the names that come up belong to the classics: Bettie Page, Betty Grable, Jayne Mansfield, Hedy Lamarr, etc.

However, one name stands out: Dita Von Teese.

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For starters, some of you may be wondering who Dita Von Teese is and what she actually does.  Don’t worry – we’ll get to that.

However, since Google has gone ahead and thrown the present-day star, Dita Von Teese, in with all of the old school, original pin-up girls, we have to delve a bit deeper.  Dita’s appearance on this list raises questions.

What is a pin-up girl?  Can full-on pin-up girls be alternative, or are they limited to glamour?  Is Dita Von Teese a pin-up girl if she models and performs in the present-day with an alternative edge?  What is a SuicideGirl?  Is Dita Von Teese actually a SuicideGirl? And, most importantly, what’s the difference between a pin-up girl and a SuicideGirl?

Let’s get these questions answered.

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If there’s anything I can really stick to my guns about, it’s the fact that fashion in the 2000s was a complete and utter disaster.

In fact, the best thing that ever happened to us was the arrival of the 2010s, which quickly made up for the agony we unknowingly endured throughout the previous decade.

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Here’s a list of the biggest fashion errors of the 2000s.  Read them, know them, and never live them.


1. Chains

Unless you’re an assassin, you definitely don’t need heavy, silver chains hanging down from every pair of pants you decide to wear.

Chains aren’t as punk rock as we once thought they were – they’re just heavy and out of place.  Let’s be grateful for the fact that folks these days wear normal belts instead of ones that swing all over the place [and possibly even break stuff] when they head bang.

2. Pajama pants

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What’s worse than the chains mentioned above?  You guessed it – those chains hanging down from flannel pajama pants… in public.

But, to be fair, pajama pants become pretty bad on their own the minute you leave the house in them.  They don’t really need chains to make them obnoxious – but the trendsetters of the 2000s decided to go that extra mile anyways, and we all suffered for it.

3. Ankle-length denim skirts

Remember those super long denim skirts everyone used to wear?  They were frequently even paired with platform flip flops [since apparently the 2000s had no concept of fashion sanity].

On top of being chunky denim ankle-length skirts, some of them even had a maneuver at the bottom, where you could pull on some strings and scrunch up the skirt a bit (YIKES).

4. Fedoras

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Fedoras looked good at one point in time, but as the world moves forward, fashion should too.

Eventually, the modern-day grew too modern for fedoras – yet, they remained.

People wore fedoras as legitimate parts of their outfits on a daily basis, and these folks weren’t even pop stars who were embracing a type of fashion irony.  They actually took fedoras seriously.

Luckily, fedoras move through the air kind of like Frisbees – if you see one, just send it spiraling through the air back into the time machine [where it belongs].

 

5. Layered tank tops

No one really knows whose idea layering tank tops was, and that person is too ashamed to fess up to the absurd trend they started.

As they hide in shame, the victims of 2000s fashion are stuck digging up old pictures of themselves wearing two or more tank tops at one given time (though, if we’re being honest, two tank tops alone were considered weak back then).

Worse yet, these many tank tops [with their many, many corresponding straps] were frequently paired with those dreaded, ankle-length denim skirts.

Ugh, the horror.


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On top of all of these fashion disasters, there were some serious beauty ones as well – don’t even get me started on the tiger-stripe highlights and over-tweezed eyebrows which were the epitomes of the 2000s.

All we can do now is burn our old photos from the 2000s, be grateful for the fashion sanity of the 2010s, and swear to never make those same mistakes again.

#Amaranthine


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