How Do I Get That Crappy 70’s Look?


Technology today is amazing. We can carry around 20,000 songs in our pocket, watch 3D movies in our home and we have the internet at our fingertips every moment of the day. We have all the tools we need to never have to interact with another human being face-to-face ever again. It’s magical.

Photography is an example of a medium that advances drastically with each passing year. Digital photography has revolutionized the way we take, keep and display pictures. Most family memories are kept in a folder in a computer hard drive instead of in a shoebox in the closet. The majority of us now carry a camera with us at all times (as the poor individuals on PeopleofWalmart.com can attest… or they could attest if they owned computers).

Even picture frames are digital now. Heaven forbid we have an attention span long enough to put one picture in a frame. Must. Have. Constant. Stimulation.

This year Hasselblad came out with a 200-megapixel camera that can be yours for the low, low price of $45,000. 200-megapixels? No one needs to be seen with that kind of clarity.

While most of us don’t have a 200-megapixel camera at our disposal, even the camera on my iPhone is 5-megapixels. The digital camera I bought a couple years ago was only 8-megapixels.

So even our phones can take amazing, clear, beautiful pictures. How can we best utilize these amazing advancements? I know! Let’s make our photos look like they were taken by a cheap 70’s camera and then stored in the pages of an acid laden photo album for 40 years.

Apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic give smartphone users the ability to add all kinds of filters and effects to their photos. For those of you who aren’t tech savvy, let me give you an analogy of the effect you get with a photo filter: it’s like buying a new pair of jeans, throwing them in a mud puddle and ripping them into shreds because you feel it adds “character.” Oh, wait! That is a current fashion trend. But I digress.

In the spirit of full discretion I have to admit that I love crap-a-fying my photos. Overexpose? Yes please. Add a lens flare? Don’t mind if I do. Fade all the colors? Indubitably. Crisp, color photos are boring.

So what is the point this snarky self-helper is trying to make? Sometimes technological advancements don’t equal advancements in entertainment or artistic expression.

Actually, that’s not really my point. The real point I’m trying to make is that we don’t all need to be photographed with amazing digital clarity and crispness. If I don’t have a photo retoucher at my disposal 24/7 then I might as well just overexpose the hell out of my pictures and throw a nice grunge filter over it. Amazing how my complexion clears right up.

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Yesterday Was Thursday, Today is Friday

Teen singer Rebecca Black got a lot of criticism for her song, Friday. And why wouldn’t she? The song was ridiculous. With lyrics like “Tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday, comes afterwards” and “we, we, we so excited.” Lyrics to a song couldn’t get much more moronic and juvenile. Or could they…

A couple weeks ago I was listening to the mind numbing song selections available on our local Top 40 station. I heard a song that I rationalized could only be a spoof of Black’s song Friday. ~The hosts of the morning zoo are skilled at parody and hilariously funny.~ This was probably a replay of one of their “bits.”

Here is a sample of the lyrics to this mystery song:

There’s a hickie or a bruise
Pictures of last night
Ended up online
I’m screwed
Oh well
It’s a black top blur
But I’m pretty sure it ruled

This Friday night
Do it all again
This Friday night
Do it all again

Slowly I made the horrible realization that this was a “real song.” Even more horribly, it turns out the song is by the 27-year-old singer Katy Perry.

“Whoa! People are going to make so much fun of this song,” I thought to myself.

But to my surprise I’ve seen nothing about this song. Where are the articles making fun of its idiotic subject matter? Why doesn’t my Facebook feed explode with statuses quoting Perry’s stupid lyrics every Friday? This is a grown-ass woman singing about getting hickies and using the term “epic fail” (without the slightest hint of sarcasm) and no one raises an eyebrow.

The answer to this conundrum is simple: most popular music is stupid and the majority of people just don’t want to admit it.

I have no problem with stupid music. It’s enjoyable. All in all, music should be fun. If it has a good beat and you can dance to it, I say more power to you.

It’s just an interesting line between what constitutes a laughably stupid pop song, and a legitimate pop song (if there is such a thing). Black’s song Friday has gotten stuck in my head more times than I care to admit, but I can’t remember Perry’s Last Friday Night even if I try. So which song is the real joke, America?

The advice that this snarky self-helper is giving to you is just to accept that every pop song you like is dumb and be okay with that. Life’s too short to be a music snob.

So go out and have fun, fun, think about fun. You know what it is.

Fat America, Skinny Jeans: The Fashion Industry is Just Pranking Us, Right?

America has a weight problem. Approximately one-third of U.S adults are currently obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. BAM! I just used my journalism degree more in those two sentences than I have since I graduated. But I digress. If there is one thing that doesn’t belong in a blog, it’s any knowledge of how to write.

But seriously, we all know America is fat. Anyone who went to The Ohio State Fair this year can attest to that. America’s weight problem is far from a secret. So what do the brain-washing geniuses of the fashion industry decide to make the current trends? Skinny jeans, white jeans, leggings, jeggings (the ultra flattering combination of a jean and legging) and my go-to favorite the romper. What do all of these things have in common? They are not made for the majority of American women.

According to a 2004 survey entitled SizeUSA, the average American woman is a size 14. I used a survey from 2004 because it was the first one I found and I didn’t feel like searching any further. This isn’t the New York Times people (which coincidentally is where I found that statistic).

Let me reiterate that information for dramatic effect. The average American woman is a size 14. No one who is a size 14 should wear a romper. Well, no one who is over the age of 6 should wear a romper, but that’s a whole other blog entirely.

What a messed up country we live in that some of the biggest fashion trends are also the most unflattering that a plus-sized woman could possibly wear. I use the term “plus-sized” even though it is completely out-of-date. People generally still use the term “plus-sized” for women over a size 8. Nowadays a size 20 would be a more appropriate representation of a woman who is “plus-sized.”

The point that this snarky self-helper is trying to make is that trends are not for everyone. In fact, they’re usually for no one (rompers people, rompers). Your friends aren’t going to tell you that you can’t pull off those white jeggings, but I will. Hey you there. If you’re over a size 6, you can’t pull off white jeggings.

This fact may seem obvious, but if you go walk around Target right this moment (I love Target), you will see plenty of women who didn’t have a friend to tell them that they should never have bought that floral romper.

I’m your only real friend, ladies. You remember that.