“Wut” issue 1

Yeah, we’re releasing our first-ever Blend publication, “wut”, very very soon.

As like, a printed, tangible thing. 

And as a big fuck you to every guy who has made me feel like shit. I may have been voiceless in my relationships, but never as an artist.

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Calling out every human who has been left feeling broken and lonely by a man, “wut” is an ode to self-empowerment, to standing up for yourself, for breaking down and feeling weak, to feeling and being unafraid to feel.

All poetry/drawings/pictures were created and experienced during times of great turmoil and disempowerment.

format:
A5 softcover zine
50 pages
words/images/drawings

you can buy it at the BlendShop! (very soon)

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If you’re interested in pre-ordering a copy, comment below or email me at bhd@berkeley.edu, and I’ll send you something special along with the zine 🙂

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B

On: Valentine’s Day

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Alain Delon and Romy Schneider C. 1960s

We just got in our beautiful Valentine’s Day cards in the shop. Simple and elegant, the whole card devoted to Alain Delon reading to Romy Schneider casually on their couch. I fold each card, and look at how happy they are. And then I think of all of the people who will buy these cards and give them to their special someones. And then I think of how I’ve never had a Valentine, and how I was dumped a week before Valentine’s Day last February. I tell my boss how much I like the cards, and how I’m excited to sell them off to cute boyfriends and girlfriends and husbands and wives… But clearly the expression on my face indicates otherwise.

Excited about being in the early days of a budding romance with a boy I like more and more with each coming day, I have this idea in my mind that maybe I’ll have a Valentine this year. Maybe I’ll get an extra special kiss that day that tells me that I’m someone important in his life. Maybe he’ll make me a card or make me a bouquet of flowers he finds around Berkeley, or even just ask me to be his Valentine. But alas, such simple gestures seem to be asking too much still.

I go home after work and all I can think about is how this boy had told me just the night before that “Valentine’s Day is stupid”, all after proudly telling him about the new cards we had just received in the store.

But is it really? Sure, you could argue that you wouldn’t want to be involved in the “capitalist scheme” to get people to buy flowers, chocolate, cards, and presents under the guise of a fake holiday that celebrates “love”. Yeah, of course the whole idea is “stupid”, but him saying that to me invalidates everything I had ever felt about the significance of the holiday, and everything I feel about even just feeling special. 

Embarrassed beyond belief, I nervously laugh and tell him that I was just talking about the cards and how they’re cute, nothing more. But deep inside, my little hopes of being surprised and feeling special on Valentine’s Day are crushed. My heart sinks a little, and I think back to every guy who has invalidated my feelings, and back to every guy who has ignored the little things that I care about, and the little things that make me happy. I think back to all of these times, and I remember that I’m the one who lets people treat me this way.

But knowing myself, I probably still won’t stand up for myself, even though deep down I know very well that I deserve so much more. And so does every person out there who has been told that they “ask too much” or are “being ridiculous” when it comes to wanting to feel special. You’re not asking too much, because Valentine’s Day is fun, and why not celebrate being together? Why not spend a day to be mindful about feelings and ultimately just digging each other a little more?

So, if you’ve got a boo on Valentine’s Day, show them some love and make them a card/pick them flowers/cook them a cute dinner, because no matter how stupid the significance of the holiday actually is, showing someone you care never is.

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B

 

BBB Reading Lists: Social Justice Edition

The purpose of this reading list: to get woke.

  1. The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Gareth Stedman Jones
  2. The Autobiography of Malcom X – Malcom X, Alex Haley
  3. Why We Can’t Wait – Martin Luther King Jr.
  4. Animal liberation – Peter singer
  5. Up From Slavery – Booker T. Washington
  6. Are Prisons Obsolete – Angela Y. Davis
  7. On Anarchism – Noam Chomsky
  8. Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order – Noam Chomsky
  9. The History of Sexuality – Michel Foucault
  10. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – Bryan Stevenson
  11. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City  – Matthew Desmond
  12. Undoing Gender – Judith Butler
  13. Plunder: When the Rule of Law is Illegal – Laura Nader

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Weekly Tunes: BBB14

it’s ok to be angry.

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B

Let’s talk about sex.

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source: Pinterest 

I’ve been meaning to say something about the recent inauguration for awhile now, but it’s difficult to muster up the courage to really express how I feel. And what better way to express myself than with pro-sex discourse?

The act of talking positively about sex is so important. Yet it still remains taboo, repressed by most people, and shunned by the government (at this point). Sex has always been part of our political agenda, because the people in power feel as though it’s their right to control how, when, and with whom we have sex with. And now we’re looking at a future where women have to worry about what happens after the fact. again. 

It seems as though we are moving through the past once more these days, except this time we are undoing and unravelling every single positive aspect of progressive history, reshaping our future for the worst. And all of these thoughts have come up because I’ve been reading Focault’s History of Sexuality, and I’ve realized how much the discourse (or lack thereof) surrounding sex is tremendously important to the kind of society we end up living in. Most of us have sex, enjoy it, and want to talk about it. It’s normal, natural, standard behavior. But the problem is that we’ve made talking about sex a kind of sin, a thing that liberals only seem to do, and something you’d never talk about with your mother. But I’m sure your mom has had sex. Like 99% sure.

But we need to start talking about sex! All kinds of sex! All people involved! The vanilla sex, the kinky, the weird, the sensual, the aggressive, the dominant, the submissive, the ménages à trois, the orgies, the love. Sex is what makes the world go round, and we’re too scared to scream about it in the streets and to really say what we want. No one is going to arrest you for saying penis too loudly. I promise. And if you do get arrested, that would honestly be hilarious.

So let’s scream about it in the streets, and tell Trump and Pence to go fuck themselves while we’re at it (I mean, we do all need a good fucking once in awhile).

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B

Revamping your lingerie collection, Parisian style

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I’m convinced that Paris is the only place in the entire world that truly knows how to lingerie the right way. The French have been long known for their lingerie, with Paris leading the way in romance, sexuality, frills, silk, and of course les dentelles (lace!). And so, I made it my mission while I was there to seek out the best of the best in all things lacy and delicate – the type of lingerie that is meant to be seen. Here is my advice to having the most perfect Parisian lingerie collection money can buy.

While I was walking through various shops and department stores in Paris, I noted the reoccurring themes of wispy laces, tulle frills, and buttery soft pastels that are see-through enough to see what you’re wearing underneath. Wearing a sheer or lace blouse with a delicate lace bra underneath is à la mode in Paris, and doesn’t come off as “too sexy” or “inappropriately revealing”, but actually adds an element of graceful femininity to any outfit. Pair the combo with a smart blazer and you’ve got yourself quite the look.

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Found at Chloé on Rue Saint Honoré in Paris 

Chloé has quite the selection of delicate tulle and lace blouses, and while it may seem daunting to wear some of their pieces, Chloé is always timelessly chic. You can never go wrong with the boutique on Rue Saint Honoré. Keep an eye out for their mid-January and June sales!

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The wedding section of Printemps Haussmann

Another re-occuring theme has been that of the slip. People in the U.S. seem to only wear them on special occasions, but I’ve found that a classic black lace slip with lace trimmings seems to be a Parisian night-time staple. Even if you’re sleeping alone. My favorite brands for elegant slips have been Simone Pérèle, Aubade, MYLA, and La Perla. 

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Details at Chloé Rue Saint Honoré, Paris 
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Garter belt from MYLA 

While I’ve generally strayed away from garter belts and anything more complicated than the typical bra+undies combo, I figured I would give it a go in Paris. Besides, feeling sexy is so important, so why not add a bit of an extra touch with something both functional and seductive? I mean, how else are your thigh-highs going to stay up?

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Agent Provocateur Printemps Haussmann 

Don’t ignore the bodysuits you come across either! While I feel a bit weird forking out $400 on a piece of lingerie, I do think that a meticulously picked bodysuit for special occasions or for just lounging around the house in is an important staple in everyone’s lingerie drawer. Agent Provocateur makes some fabulous bodysuits, and they’re right off of Rue Saint Honoré!

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Details (Love Stories)

 

I’ve also noticed that the quality of lace used in French lingerie brands is significantly superior to that of American brands. I spoke to a couple of ladies working at Simone Pérèle, and I told them that I couldn’t find anything like French lingerie at home. They admitted that apparently lacy numbers don’t sell very well in the states, and that people prefer to buy typical nude bras to wear every day. Also, apparently Americans don’t like spending $100+ on bras, which makes sense since we are a country of quantity over quality. A beautiful bra that makes you feel good and lasts for years is most definitely worth the investment.

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Agent Provocateur in Printemps Haussmann 

Sexual liberation and openness around sexuality also plays a huge role in how different the U.S. lingerie industry compares to that of France. The art of seduction plays a central role in French culture, and femininity is celebrated. Having a woman’s body isn’t something to be ashamed of, nor is showing it off tastefully a symbol of promiscuity or “looseness”. Instead, women in France of all ages happily go topless at the beach and wear the lingerie they want. Be proud of your body, and see wearing lingerie as a celebration of the human body as an art form instead of viewing lace and silk as vulgar. 

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Dainty bras at Printemps Haussmann

If you’re in Paris, be sure to stop by the lingerie sections in both Les Galeries Lafayettes and Printemps Haussmann– they have entire floors dedicated to the most beautiful lingerie I have ever seen. Also stop by one of the many Princesse Tam Tam and Agent Provocateur stores around the city. Princesse Tam Tam has more of a youthful, innocent, everyday vibe, while Agent Provocateur sells purely sexual lingerie. Both are essential for a complete collection of lingerie in my opinion!

If not, then my first online recommendation is journelle.  They sell absolutely gorgeous pieces from all over the world, and sell some of my favorite brands like MYLA, Le Petit Trou, Princesse Tam Tam, Passionata, Wacoal, Fleur of England, Simone Pérèle, and Chantelle. 

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My favorite set bought at Printemps Haussmann. Top: Simone Pérèle Bottom: Aubade

At the end of the day, you should feel sexy and confident in everything you wear, be it a full-on boudoir outfit from Paris or a nude Victoria’s Secret basic bra. Confidence is most certainly the most important aspect of a complete Parisian-style lingerie collection.

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Beautiful set at MYLA in Printemps Haussmann
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from top left to bottom right: Love Stories (Galeries Lafayette), Simone Pérèle (Printemps Haussmann), Passionata (Galeries Lafayette), Chantelle. 
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Agent Provocateur in Printemps Haussmann 

 

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