It’s 2018! For many of us, that means fresh starts. It certainly means that for me.
I’m sure you can relate to this, but 2017 was a serious challenge for me. Without a doubt, it was one of the toughest years of my life. Granted, when life gives you challenges, it’s only meant for you to grow. But you can’t deny how hard it is to learn those lessons and deal with the awful packages some of those lessons tend to come in.
If you’re like me and you’re glad you’ve made it out of the fire, congratulations! You’ve endured some tough stuff, which means you’re much stronger than you’ve probably given yourself credit for. You’ve learned some hard life lessons, dealt with unforeseen drama, and found more of yourself in the process. Now that we’re out of the forge of 2017 all brand new, let’s keep 2018 going in the right direction by mapping out exactly how you want your 2018 to go down.
It’s definitely important to keep your goals and life lessons handy because if you forget (and you will), you can easily find and review them to keep yourself on the right path. What I’ve done is make myself a laptop wallpaper that doubles as my 2018 goals checklist. My plan is to update this checklist throughout the year, so throughout the year, my wallpaper will have new goals added or old goals scratched off. (If you’d like to make your own, Canva already has a wallpaper-sized template with several layouts you can choose from, or you can use the blank template and make your own theme from scratch.)
If you don’t want to make a wallpaper or can access your thoughts better in journal form, I’ve made this short 2018 cheat sheet PDF. You can print out the pages and stick them in your notebook, journal, binder, pin them to your wall, or do whatever you need to with them to remind yourself of what you’re working towards and what you’d like to avoid. Click the image to download.
Just as a disclaimer–I’m not a psychologist or therapist. I’m just someone who has learned a lot in 2017 and felt a document like this one will help others jumpstart getting their lives in order for 2018. I’m gonna use this myself, since 2017 wouldn’t quit, even down its last hours.
2018 is a year I hope we can all look to as a time to get out from under our personal rubble and start anew. It’s time to get rid of bad habits, shake off bad influences and prepare ourselves for awesome lives ahead.
What are some of your goals for 2018? Share if you feel so inclined in the comments section below!
It’s nearly time for some horror, am I right? Halloween’s just around the corner, and if you’re in Chicago, you’re in for a gory treat.
Comfort Films is hosting a Mexican horror event called “Cine-Iconoclasta,” presented by Mexican horror and fantasy director Ulises Guzmán. The event, which runs through Sept. 14-16, will feature the Chicago premiere of Guzman’s 2011 horror documentary ALUCARDOS Retrato de un Vampiro (ALUCARDOS: Portrait of a Vampire), as well as screenings of some of the best short fils from the Feratum Film Festival and the Chicago premiere of 2014’s Mexican horror anthology México Barbáro. Guzmán will be in attendance for every night of the event, as well as producer Harumy Delmira Villarreal.
The event is free, but a $5 donation is suggested.
Are you going to get your scare on and attend “Cine-Iconoclasta”? Are you excited about seeing some new horror? Give your opinions in the comments section below!
The New York Fashion Week would have been business as usual if it wasn’t for Christian Siriano. The designer, already known for embracing various body shapes through his Lane Bryant partnership (the fall line is coming out they day of this post) and through dressing actresses like Leslie Jones as well as First Lady Michelle Obama, has taken his commitment to body inclusion to the next level. This time, for his Spring/Summer 2017 runway show, he cast five plus-size models to the catwalk.
Check out the social media buzz (and the full show!) for yourself:
⚡️ “Christian Siriano celebrates plus size women at NYFW”https://t.co/GSJPDYDeMV
— Christian Siriano (@CSiriano) September 11, 2016
— Coco Rocha (@cocorocha) September 10, 2016
— Vanessa Friedman (@VVFriedman) September 10, 2016
— Christian Siriano (@CSiriano) September 11, 2016
Simply put, this kind of fashion show is life-affirming. No hyperbole; as a plus-size woman myself, it truly is life-affirming. For too long, fashion has been in the narrow “must be stick-skinny” box, when 1) women have never only been one size and 2) the majority of women are now within the 16-18 size range. The fact that fashion designers, on the whole, have dedicated themselves to this narrow definition of beauty is mind-boggling, especially when some of the women in their lives, I’m sure, aren’t size 0.
Tim Gunn, design educator, author, and personality from Project Runway, wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post during NYFW. He took the fashion industry to task for “turn[ing] its back on plus-size women.”
I love the American fashion industry, but it has a lot of problems, and one of them is the baffling way it has turned its back on plus-size women. It’s a puzzling conundrum. The average American women now wears between a size 16 and a size 18, according to new research from Washington State University. There are 100 million plus-size women in America, and, for the past three years, they have increased their spending on clothes faster than their straight-size counterparts. There is money to be made here ($20.4 billion, up 17 percent from 2013). But many designers—dripping with disdain, lacking imagination or simply too cowardly to take a risk—still refuse to make close for them.
Gunn also calls certain designers out by name who have said, in so many words, that they didn’t want plus-size women wearing their clothes because they felt plus-size women were ugly.
Enter designers like Siriano, who has taken the opportunity of dressing an underserved market head-on.
When ELLE Magazine asked Siriano as to why more designers don’t make plus-size clothes, Siriano’s comments seemed to echo Gunn, seeming to allude to the fact that some designers just might not want to put in the time commitments to dress women who aren’t sample size
We know the importance of creating inclusive collections. So why can’t more designers make great plus-size clothes?
I think they can. I just think it’s a lot of time and a lot of work. The thing is, if you’re a designer, then you want to constantly push yourself and your designs. When we make a new collection, we’re changing shapes, we’re changing patterns. We get a dress on a model, and it’s our first time seeing what the dress really looks like a woman’s body. And even with traditional fashion models, where it’s their job to be a certain size and a certain proportion, you have to make adjustments once you see your clothes on a real live person. Now imagine doing that with more sizes, more proportions. You really have to play with every piece. So timing is a big part of it. You have to make the time. But having said all that, we made it work. We found the time and we put in the effort because being a label that different women can wear is really important to us.
So the trick is having the time?
Honestly, I think the “trick” is you have to really want to do it. You’re embracing more of the world. Which is great. We’re all in this together, you know? And the models in the show who are “plus size,” they’re not in a special place, they’re now wearing differently styled outfits. They’re just beautiful girls who are in the show, like normal. Everything’s normal. That’s how it should be!
(From my point of view, it sounds like he’s simply saying they’re lazy.)
Gunn is right; there’s a lot of money to be made here, and Siriano, the most successful Project Runway alum because of his business acumen, certainly has his business sense attuned to this void and is using it to differentiate himself and endear himself to a larger part of the market.
But that doesn’t mean his shrewdness is something to balk at. There is still a thoughtfulness to Siriano’s decision to cater to a wider selection of body types. As he’s said himself, he likes dressing women of all sizes and wants every woman to look and feel beautiful. If he just wanted to make money, he could do like Target and make plus-size sacks. But he’s actually giving women choices, style, and a voice in the fashion world. Siriano is allowing plus-size women to feel like they do matter in fashion and that they do deserve to feel beautiful. Simultaneously, he’s giving his fellow fashion designers the middle finger, daring them to what he’s doing for plus-size women. It’s a challenge that I hope more fashion designers take up. As Gunn says in his op-ed, “Designers, make it work.”
What do you think of Siriano’s NYFW showing? Give your opinions in the comments section below!
If you’re in New York Sept. 17, check out a very special photography exhibit. The Sikh Coalition is debuting their first ever Sikh photography exhibition in the U.S!
The exhibition, “The Sikh Project,” is the result of a partnership between The Sikh Coalition and British photographers Amit and Naroop. As The Sikh Coalition states, the exhibit captures “the beauty of the Sikh faith and the depth of the Sikh American experience.” To quote the site:
As we reflect on 15 years since 9/11 and commemorate the 15th anniversary milestone for our organization, we believe it’s an important moment to celebrate the Sikh experience and identity. The Sikh Project includes 38 new portraits of turbaned men and women that embody the diversity of the Sikh American community and recognize the challenges and triumphs of what it means to be Sikh in America.
According to Brooklyn.com the exhibit will feature 40 portraits of Sikh women and men who come from all walks of life. The goal of the exhibit is to challenge what viewers preconceived notions might be of Sikhs and the turban in general, which has been linked to Islamophobia. The event will also act as an anniversary commemoration of The Sikh Coalition, which, as Brooklyn.com states, was created after 9/11 to address the discrimination and xenophobia Sikhs in America were facing.
As Saupreet Kaur, the executive director of The Sikh Coalition, told Brooklyn.com:
“As we commemorate the 15th anniversary for our organization and reflect on the Sikh American experience 15 years after September 11, 2001, particularly during this period of heightened divisive rhetoric and hate backlash, we feel that the moment is right to highlight the beauty of the Sikh faith and the strength of our collective spirit, and to do so in a way that further educates the broader American public….Our aspiration is to spark conversations across the country about what it means to look like an American, and to humanize communities who are too often regarded as ‘other.’ There is no better means of opening hearts and minds than through the arts.”
The event is free to the public and will take place Sept. 17 through Sept. 25 at 530 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 between 10am to 8 pm, with extended hours on weekends. For groups of 25 or larger, email sikhproject@sikhcoalition.