By Emily Chadwell
I’m not really sure why I am writing this.
You will never see it, but you did affect my day in a way that compels me to share.
When you slowed down your car, honked until I looked at you, and waved/winked/gesticulated towards me I did not feel special.
No longer was I a person on a run, no longer was I an athlete, no longer was I a human working on my mental/physical fitness.
I became a body.
I was legs.
I was breasts.
Whether or not it was your intention to turn me into these disconnected entities, you did.
Maybe you meant nothing by it; you liked my dog, or my shirt, or you just enjoy honking at people.
But, you took a woman who trusts her body, a woman who respects her body, and even loves it, and turned her into just a body.
I may be oversensitive or dramatic, but for the next 45 minutes my run was no longer about me; it was about how I looked.
Was my shirt too tight?
Were my pants too sexual?
Did my stomach jiggle when I ran?
Things I should never dwell on while working out.
I can’t blame you.
I can only blame the society that socialized you to honk, and me to smile back.
The society that taught you to feel like you had a right to comment on my external body and me to internalize being self conscious.
I don’t think my experiences are special, or deserving of extra attention.
I recognize that there are people who are victims of worse treatment every single day.
I only ask that people who don’t understand the way your actions impact the lives of others to try.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Jean-François Gornet/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)
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By Staff Report
Tinder, the very popular online dating app is known for its spam problem.
Prostitution rings, cam girls and porn websites have been known to pay top dollar to trick Tinder users into clicking on links and buying products.
“Some of the sites pay $6.00 per lead for a successful sign-up and up to $60 if a lead becomes a premium member,” security response manager Satnam Narang told the Guardian about the scams.
But for those who still refuse to believe that they could be cat-fished on Tinder, just keep scrolling.
Here at RISE NEWS, we did a little test and started swiping right in the name of journalism (and love or whatever).
We’re based in Miami and over the course of one day, we came across over 40 separate profiles that were almost identical.
It got a bit depressing. Like really depressing.
All of the fake profiles purport to be either 23 or 25 (because being 24 really sucks apparently). Most of them claimed to work in “communications” at vague sounding firms or at an area college (that was incorrectly identified as Miami University, which is in Ohio).
Each of the bios were nearly identical with the same message: “I love playing [sport name], [hobby], [hobby] and [some sort of activity] before sleeping.”
Here’s a very sad taste of what we found:
Let us know if you know someone in these pictures: email@example.com.
Why are still looking at these?
But seriously, if you have any sort of tip about spammers or scammers on Tinder send us a email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!Post Views: 563
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By Layla Ghazi
For those of you that do not know me, I am sorry because I can tell some rad jokes.
For those of you that know me, I am loud.
You can probably hear me from a mile away, I snort when I laugh, and if I am not laughing, I am probably unintentionally speaking at a loud volume about the latest thing that has me riled up.
So when you look at me, you would not think that I am anything but happy. Some might even say that I radiate sunshine and light up any room I am in.
But I have a confession…
I hate clichés, but I am one; there is more to me than meets the eye.
Every day is a struggle for me. I suffer from clinically diagnosed severe depression and mild anxiety.
While you may think “well everyone can struggle with depression and anxiety,” I urge you to stop that train of thought. Right now. Like 20 minutes ago right now.
This is a deeply personal issue for me, and I have shared select parts of my story with a handful of people, who still do not know every detail of my battle.
My mother did not know how serious the instability of my mental state was, and to this day, my father has no idea.
So, dear reader, take solace in the fact that this article will save you from reading the gruesome details of my self-harm and suicide attempts.
Instead, I am going to take a minute to talk about stress and our choice of language.
I bet that segway was not something expected of this article.
How can stress and language choice be related to mental health?
I recently posted a status on Facebook that received a good number of likes, but I do not think the less than 200 words I used could accurately describe how much of an effect language choice has.
Some people took the time to question whether or not my claim to be cautious of language was even valid, arguing that every exclamation should be taken seriously.
Any cry for help in the face of struggle is encouraged, and I hope that if someone is truly struggling, they have at least one person in their life that they can open up to, even if me and my Facebook status are not encouraging enough.
I know when I was drowning, it seemed like my problem would not be taken seriously because of the stigma associated with mental health.
I quickly learned that I could get all of the help I needed through the care of many different outlets, such as medication, therapy and meetings of a 12-step program group called “Emotions Anonymous.”
But I know that I am at a stage in my journey with this illness that I am ready to seek help.
For many others, they hide their pain and choose to use different channels to cope.
I know I used to cut; some may drink; others may turn to drugs; or some might choose to focus their attention in their schoolwork to avoiding dealing with the issue at hand.
All of the above being said, sometimes what these individuals may hear can affect their direction on the journey that is mental illness.
One of my sorority sisters said it best: “Language is a weapon!”
Do not believe me and think I am just another millennial urging for political correctness? Fine. Allow me to offer an example of language as a weapon.
There have been multiple instances where based on my aggressive attitude, men have called me a “bitch.”
I know they were not calling me a bitch to compliment me for getting the job done; their choice of language was a direct attempt to hurt me, to discourage me, maybe even to intimidate me.
Something I refuse to accept, but has become an unfortunate part of the student vernacular, are hyperbolic and dramatic exclamations.
“I am going to kill them!” “I am going to drop out!” “I hate school!”, and more negative, “I hate myself,” “My life sucks,” and “I am going to kill myself.”
So my question becomes if society urges individuals to be careful of their use of offensive language like bitch, c**t, n***er, c***k, etc. and we urge caution of the language we use to refer to others, why does a similar encouragement not follow on how we refer to ourselves?
As someone who is an advocate of therapy and medication, I have come to learn that I have certain triggers that can drastically affect my attitude.
Medically speaking, depression and anxiety are classified as mood disorders.
It genuinely does not take much for something to change my mood from happiest person in the world to stuck in bed for 14 hours.
Besides break ups and seeing tools that I used to hurt myself with, one of my biggest triggers is someone exclaiming “I am going to kill myself” or “I hate myself” because I have been in that situation before and these statements remind me of just how hard my battle is.
They often leave me wondering if the effort I have made to get better is even worth it.
Moreover, when I hear them from someone exclaiming them as a solution to resolving their stress, I find myself asking if it would be okay for me to revert to old habits.
Statements like these that students without a genuine comprehension of mental illness make can have a drastic effect on others who are not quite ready to deal with their journey with mental illness.
While some may argue that it is not my place to encourage individuals, especially students under high stress from academics, to be cautious of their use of “common” language, I will argue that it is my expectation of myself to take care of my well-being before anything else.
Thus, if I find that there are individuals affecting that state of well-being, I have an obligation to urge them to be more considerate and cautious of how they refer to themselves, for the sake of others.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.Cover Photo Credit: Diego Brito/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 200
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Sierra Black has been gambling since she was 6 years old.
Now she’s gambling on a future as a country music recording star, which looks bright after recording her debut album in Nashville.
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Black is now on the road promoting her debut single, “Heart On Ice”, to radio stations.
“I immediately fell in love with it when I heard the first verse,” Black said of “Heart On Ice”, a song written back in 2002.
On the up-tempo country song, she sings: “Flying 90 miles an hour down a dusty road, pushing this thing to just see how fast this thing will go; engine hot enough to burn up the fuzzy dice; I better put my Heart On Ice.”
Black finds herself on her debut single preaching to the choir about “having to step back and cool off” when hot in love.
Black, who is 22, fondly remembers how her father sparked her love of country music at age 6 when he used to play guitar and sing Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash songs to her.
Sierra’s love of music didn’t just originate with her father though. Her grandmother was Babette DeCastro, one of the members in the trio, DeCastro Sisters, who were famous for their 1954 top Billboard hit “Teach me Tonight.”
Unfortunately, her grandmother never got the chance to hear Sierra sing because she passed away before Sierra was born in 1992.
WATCH: Sierra Black’s “Heart On Ice”
Sierra proudly wears her grandma’s necklace to keep her close to her. Interestingly enough, her grandmother provided the voices to the animals, including the butterflies, in Disney’s animated film Song of the South.
Sierra has been playing around with music ever since she can remember.
As a young girl, she would put on her own stage shows, alone, in her bedroom.
Fluent in Spanish, she could sing “El Paso” by heart by age 7.
She wrote her first song at the age of 12.
Her first break came when Keith Urban handpicked her out of 14,000 contestants to sing alongside him at a music festival.
“I wasn’t nervous meeting him or singing with him but the experience was surreal,” Black said of singing with Urban.
Chalking up her lack of nerves and comfort singing on stage to being an “old soul”, Black is determined to take the country scene like a dust storm.
And unlike many other young stars, Black actually has some chops in writing songs as well.
“I start with the title first and then the lyrics come to me,” Black said of her songwriting process that eventually leads to a melody.
With a bit of luck, Black eventually found herself in Nashville working with Grammy award winning producers Michael Omartian (who has worked with Donna Summer and Trisha Yearwood) and Tom Hemby (who has worked with Faith Hill and Bebe & Cece Winans).
She was recruited from Vegas after someone at one of her live shows caught wind of her voice. One thing led to another, and she was flown out to Nashville for back-to-back meetings with the producers.
“It’s been a bit of talent and luck and being in the right place at the right time,” Black said of the events that’s led to her rise.
Black’s promotional single, “Casino”, was her first release to iTunes and will also be featured on her debut album.
Lyrically, the song is a metaphor for love where Black says, “Sometimes you win in the game of love and sometimes you lose.”
On this ballad, she sings: “Like a coin I was tossed into a wishing fountain. I was only one of a 1,000 looking for a little fortune,” and further laments that her heart is like money a lover blows with “I was a card you were using and a trick that you were good at playing. Luck didn’t build up the Monte Carlo just like love never promised tomorrow.”
WATCH: Sierra Black sings “Casino”
Black describes her sound as “twang with a slap of gospel.“ Like a true Vegas Show Queen, she laughs, “you can never have enough rhinestones.” Hoping to have a show like Shania Twain in distant future, she is now hoping for a duet with Jason Aldean in the near future. She has already opened up for Joe Nichols and Uncle Kracker to name a few.
She is not hoping to hit the jackpot with slot machines but instead with her music. What is truly special about both of her songs, “Heart on Ice” and “Casino”, is that they do something that most songs in the music business fail to do. Both songs brilliantly forfeit a clunky bridge and offer a seamless melody to sing along to.
The music is already there. As long as she doesn’t forget her bedazzler at home, Sierra Black will surely be able to forge her own luck and have a long career in the business.
Sierra Black is on a radio tour promoting “Heart On Ice”. You can find it along with her promotional single, “Casino”, on iTunes. Look out for her self-titled debut album in the Spring. And don’t forget to request “Heart On Ice” on your local radio stations.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!
Cover Photo Credit: SubmittedPost Views: 1,770
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