Readers’ Choice: Just Add Color’s Top 10 Most-Read Stories Of 2018

2018 is over and 2019 is here. But let’s just take one quick look back at the year that was for Just Add Color. Here are the top 10 articles folks gobbled up the most on my site. Along with each entry is a little commentary from me on the behind-the-scenes process of creating each post.

1. Get the “Finesse” look with these popular ’90s brands

Bruno Mars VEVO/Screencaps

This was fun to create since 1) I love Bruno Mars 2) I love the early ’90s. These product-type articles usually take a long time to research and create, and this one was no exception. However, I really like how this one came together. I just wish I had the money to buy all of this stuff.

2. “Riverdale”: How to get that Southside Serpents look without joining a gang

CW/Instagram

This is an article that I wrote when I was still kinda into Riverdale, but was quickly running away from the fandom. I’ve realized that I’m just too old for it; I’m too much of an Archie OG fan to. However, I still have love for the Southside Serpents since its Jughead’s home turf, and I love anything dealing with Jughead.

3. Crazy Rich Asian fashion, as shown in “Crazy Rich Asians” first look photos

Warner Bros.

Another product/clothing post! I’m glad that these huge posts seem to do well, since they take SO LONG to create! They are fun to do, though, since it’s a chance for me to window shop my for my dream closet.

This Crazy Rich Asians article was no exception. It was fun to find so many different options for so many of the outfits in the film. Even better: all of these are within someone’s reasonable budget.

4. 2018 Fashion: How to walk into the “Black Panther” screening in style

Marvel

This article is what brought me back to doing huge clothing/product posts. I used to do these a lot a couple of years ago, but slacked off. I decided to bring these back since I wanted to write posts that I wanted to read and I wanted to make things that made me happy. Even though they’re tons of work, as I keep writing, these posts are a lot of fun. They’re almost like a puzzle; they allow me to zone out, look at pretty things, and put a project together as I listen to funny podcasts and eat fun snacks.

5. Exclusive: “Into the Badlands” showrunner Al Gough on Veil’s death and fan reaction

Daniel Wu as Sunny, Madeleine Mantock as Veil – Into the Badlands _ Season 2, Episode 10 – Photo Credit: Antony Platt/AMC

I thought this article would be a toughie to write, since Al Gough was literally allowing me to ask him some tough questions about his show. I didn’t know if the conversation would ever get contentious. But not only was it never contentious, it was downright pleasant.

It’s kinda incredible that Gough reached out to me out of the blue anyways; one day, I just happened to wake up with Gough’s message in my Twitter inbox. Just that move alone showed me that he and the Into the Badlands crew mean well with their show. It also proves that people, no matter how well meaning, make mistakes. We all deserve a little grace to learn.

6. Respect must be earned: BTS’ journey towards gaining its stripes in black America

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THE 2017 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS(r) – The “2017 American Music Awards,” the world’s biggest fan-voted award show, broadcasts live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19 (8:00–11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Image Group LA) BTS

This was the article that started my descent into BTS madness. This was also an article that caused me a lot of grief. This was written at the height of Black Girl Nerds’ power. At the risk of sounding like I’m biting the hand that (figuratively) fed me since I would allow my work to be published on BGN, the Twitter landscape at that time was just racheting up to the next level of “cancel culture.” I was literally afraid that folks would either 1) say I was giving these Korean kids too much of a pass into black culture 2) that I was somehow caping for them or 3) come for me because I wasn’t a “true BTS fan” since I was a newcomer on the scene. Fandoms and Black Twitter scare me sometimes.

But guess what: everything was fine! The BTS fans appreciated the article, even the not-so-nice things I’ve had to say about the group. The non-fans appreciated it, too, saying that they were glad to read about the group since they hadn’t heard a lot about them. Overall, everything was cool, the re-published article on Reappropriate went viral, and I’m now a BTS den mother of sorts.

That’s what led me to write my second piece about BTS’ latest scandals. I felt like maybe I have a place within the fandom to say something. My only disappointment is that that piece wasn’t read as widely as the first one. Maybe it’s because I didn’t put it on Reappropriate. But I also have myself to blame for that; I didn’t want to go through the viral experience again. While going viral can be fun, it’s also kinda draining and nerve-wracking, especially when people willfully misinterpret what you write. Hopefully that latest article will get read more in 2019 as I grow my site. For all that have read it, I hope it provided them some comfort and food for thought. Anyways, ranting done.

7. Queer Coded: Sam and Frodo (“The Lord of the Rings”)

Warner Bros.

This is such an old article–it was written in 2015. But for whatever reason, it was widely read in 2018. I’m appreciative of it, since when I wrote this, I basically did it to get some fandom urges out. I was just figuring out my place in the Lord of the Rings fandom, and I realized that I was a huge Frodo/Sam fan.

I have a couple more “Queer Coded” articles, but I quit doing these for one particular reason; the word “queer.”

I know a lot of people use the word today and don’t see it as a slur, but there are some people who do see it as one, and with good reason, since one of the casual meanings of the word in slang terminology was as a slur. I know there’s a lot about reclaiming words and all, and the word “queer” seems to be a word that’s been thoroughly reclaimed (since it’s the “Q” in LGBTQ after all), but I don’t know if feel comfortable using that word. Language is an imperfect thing, I know, but I’d like to know what other LGBTQ+ people feel about the word before I decide to continue to use it, if I ever do.

Even more annoying is that there’s not another fantastic catch-all word that can be used as a great alternative. Yes, I can use “LGBTQ+,” but I haven’t figured out a way to work it into a catchy headline. If you have some ideas, let me know, since I’m looking for some help and I’d love to write more articles analyzing characters along the LGBTQ+-coded spectrum. Maybe I should just call it “The Spectrum.” That seems like a cool solution.

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8. Liu Yifei stuns in new “Mulan” promo shots

Disney/Instagram

The upcoming Mulan reboot has been getting a lot of ish from fans of the animated original. I’ve even given it some flack. But my thought now is this: What if it’s good?

A very out-there comment, I know. But what if? I mean, it feels like it could be very much like the Aladdin reboot. But what if Aladdin is better than we think it could be? IDK.

Anyways, folks were ready to see Liu Yifei in some Mulan promo, and we got our first images. Granted, Yifei’s not in costume exactly, but she gives us an idea of what we could see from her when the film comes out.

9. Color Coded: Lex Luthor (“Superman: The Animated Series”)

DC Animation/Warner Bros.

This article is one of the most popular Color Coded articles I’ve written, mostly because everyone has no clue what race Lex Luthor actually is. I think I’ve officially answered the burning question. Lex Luthor is Greek.

You might have noticed that I slacked up on writing my Color Coded articles as well as the LGBTQ+-coded ones. Whereas the latter was put on hiatus because of my growing discomfort with the “q” word, the former is on hiatus because I simply got tired of finding characters to write about. It’s not that I don’t have a ton of characters already planned out. I just simply found no joy in it. I feel like I need to repackage the Color Coded articles in a way that excites me, because simply recalling characters that seem non-white isn’t as creative for me as I thought it would be.

10. Five Fantasy Books by Native Authors to Combat J.K. Rowling’s “History of Magic in North America”

Screencap from “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them/History of Magic in North America” trailer

J.K. Rowling has been trying us fans hardcore. The fact that this article has been read as much as it has this year proves that. This article is actually old–I wrote it in 2016, but its relevancy to today comes from Rowling constantly changing her own canon to suit her “liberal” whims. I put “liberal” in quotes because while she thought she was being all-inclusive by making the American magic school based on Native American magic, she still acted like a colonizer by rewriting Native American folklore to meet her needs. How, Sway?

Let’s just hope that, somehow, Rowling realizes we’re tired of her messing up the Wizarding World. But seeing how she defended Johnny Depp being a part of Fantastic Beasts, it would seem she’s far from being done messing with us.

What did you think of this list? What’s your favorite article? Or, is your favorite article not among the top 10 listed here? Talk about it below!