So I live in Florida and our beautiful, grand, highly ridiculous state is currently being overseen by the evil lord Rick Scott (or He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named for those who fear him). Just a few short years ago, when I was still a film school undergrad, Rick Scott announced his desire to reallocate funding towards STEM degrees (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) over liberal arts and other programs he deemed less valuable to Florida’s job market.
In 2011, during a right-wing radio interview (why we have politicians that even participate in this partisan bullshit, I’ll never understand), he stated:
“You know, we don’t need a lot more anthropologists in the state. It’s a great degree if people want to get it, but we don’t need them here. I want to spend our dollars giving people science, technology, engineering, math degrees. That’s what our kids need to focus all their time and attention on. Those type of degrees. So when they get out of school, they can get a job.”
(He was totally shading his daughter, by the way; anthropology was her major in college).
He decided to say some other dumb things as well but the message remained: you artsy fartsy loser bastards should pay more and receive less for your artsy fartsy education. Of course the students, faculty and staff of my school threw their arms up in outrage. How dare you quantify our education to it’s marketability? Why should students be forced to study subjects they have absolutely no interest in? And do you really want ME to be… an ENGINEER? I shudder for us all.
So today I see this gem on Yahoo!’s scroll:
I believe this is the second time this week Yahoo! had an article up about what to study in college in order to get a “good job.” There are many who go to school to expand their career opportunities, yes. Among those who are sincerely dedicated to healing or justice, I’ve met the most immoral people getting into pharmaceutical science or pre-law just to ensure they get a buck when they graduate, which is fine and 100% their prerogative. However in my case, and the case of others whose concentrations provide more graduates than their are jobs, we actually, get this, really enjoy what we study. Most of us know exactly what we are getting ourselves into come graduation. Of course I’m not going to just waltz out of college with my BFA and onto the director’s chair of a Weinstein picture. It’s just not a reality. But to assume we don’t know this is just part of what’s so belittling.
America is trapped between the past and post-recession future. This step-by-step, 1-2-3, college-job-marriage-babies idea of higher education is archaic and no longer relevant in the 21st century. Quite frankly, it’s bullshit, and us so-called millenials are living proof. I went to school to learn and expand my knowledge, to network, to have a safe place for trial and error, and I have absolutely no regrets. I may be serving food for money, but I am shooting a music video for a local artist this weekend using all that I’ve learned and gained in my undergraduate studies. I am working towards my career even as I pour your glass of riesling. And that’s ok.
What’s not ok is how fatphobic (cacomorphobic doesn’t really roll off the tongue as easily) we all still are, to the point where overweight people can’t even be happy without bewilderment from the general public. Case in point, vlogger Gloria Shuri Nava or glowpinkstah:
About a month ago, I came across a video of her addressing current media trainwreck Amanda Bynes in a hilarious Filipino accent. Clicking around, I then found a video of her boyfriend putting makeup on her while blindfolded. Now I’m not gonna lie: I too thought, “Huh. She caught a skinny one. She must have an amazing personality.” And of course I thought that because we’ve all been conditioned to believe that anyone that couldn’t be featured in a Vogue editorial couldn’t possibly be found attractive by fit men. It’s the reason everyone was up in arms about that episode of Girls where Hannah had a sexscapade with the hunky Patrick Wilson. “That couldn’t possibly happen. Someone that looks like her could never get a guy that looks like him.” Meanwhile, in my split second of judgement, I nearly forgot that I myself am currently about 15 pounds overweight (40 at my highest) and pull hotties on the regular. Cause they find me – get this – hot. Sexy. Beautiful. Yes, me! Someone with cellulite decorating her thighs and whose triceps protrude over her elbows (although I am coming for those Michelle Obama arms, please believe).
Yes, Gloria does have an awesome personality. That’s apparent in both her videos and article. She’s also beautiful. The two aren’t always mutually exclusive. Her boyfriend Ali just sees what close-minded asshats don’t. Gloria says it herself: “I knew he was into big girls—his exes were chubby. Some think it’s weird, but it’s like having a thing for blondes: It’s just a preference….I have days when I say, ‘Why do you like me?’ He says, ‘Because you’re beautiful and for the person you are.’” But of course she still has to deal with the mouth breathing, knuckle dragging internet anons whose tiny brains somehow manage to allow them to bang out insults such as “She has a boyfriend? What is wrong with the world?” and ”These two had sex?! Oh god, why?”
Because she can. And you can’t. And u mad, anon. U mad. You go, Gloria.
Goodbye, world. I’m done with you.