Order Your Own Wine | My Thoughts On Aziz Ansari

If you read my last post, you know that I have been confused as to where I stand on the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements (at least on certain kinds of allegations). Soon after, Aziz Ansari was accused of sexual assault by a woman named Grace (a pseudonym). She shared her story with Babe.com. Read the story here, as I will be referencing details below.

♦♦♦

As soon as I read the article, I found myself to be, for lack of a better word, annoyed at the situation. Of course, I feel horrible for this young woman who felt uncomfortable. Being in a sexual situation that you’d rather not be in is the worst feeling. And I’ve definitely been there. However, I don’t think Ansari is a criminal, or creepy, or a pillar of toxic masculinity. Sure, he may have come across as a bit aggressive (a horny man — who knew?), but he should not be held to the responsibility of following “non verbal” cues (yeah, I don’t know what that is either). After Grace willingly performed oral sex on him, he probably, I don’t know, thought she was into everything they were doing. Wild.

SIDE NOTE: In the Babe article, she describes that Ansari ordered white wine at dinner. She prefers red, but apparently didn’t get to choose. This small detail that may be overlooked by many was included for a reason. Hints like this are somehow supposed to make us feel bad for Grace from the start, because she didn’t ask for red wine. A modern day tragedy.

♦♦♦

I get a lot of crap for watching The View, but their commentary on these allegations was just what I needed to hear to know that I am not alone with my confused and mixed feelings on the topic. I almost never agree with Meghan McCain, but she seems to feel the same way I do. We don’t want to shame Grace — no woman should feel uncomfortable in such a vulnerable situation — but something just isn’t quite right with this story. At the end of the day, this case is not sexual assault. Yes, Ansari probably could have taken things a little slower, but from her own account, Grace didn’t attempt to stop it outright. Consent should be a very clear, both visually and verbally, two-way street.

In my opinion, it is allegations like these that demean and are detrimental to the importance of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Furthermore, it takes away from the tragic stories of men and women who are brutally sexually assaulted and raped. Sorry Grace, not sure if this one cuts it. (In addition, entertainer’s careers are on the line. Aziz Ansari is not Harvey Weinstein, and should be compared as such.)

Watch the segment here.

Today, CNN released an op-ed on the issue. Just like The View segment, the editorial shows that I am not alone in my view. The writer, Lucia Brawley does not question Grace’s agency, though asks that women like her use it. “If your date is being creepy, let him know, get out of Dodge, and be sure you teach your sons better one day,” she says. Grace confronted Ansari over text the next day (this happened a year ago), to which he quickly apologized, noting that it all seemed consensual. It was.

We CANNOT blame men whenever a date or sexual encounter doesn’t go our way.
We CANNOT frame ourselves as victims whenever we didn’t make the right choice.
We MUST be true to ourselves, but also to others.

Brawley says, “Let us teach our daughters that sexuality is healthy. They should be clear and safe if they want to have sex, and clear and safe if they don’t.”

It is up to us, the women of the modern world, to stand up for ourselves. Grace could have left after dinner, she could have said no to going to his apartment, she could have called an Uber and left on her terms. She could have. Now I’ll be honest, it is hard to say no. You don’t want to embarrass yourself, you don’t want to be labeled as a prude, or lame. Maybe you’re scared he’ll never talk to you again. The important thing we need to take away from this is to know yourself, know your boundaries, and learn to do what’s right for you. That includes ordering your own wine, too.

Read the article here and decide for yourself. Let me know your thoughts below!
Advertisements

My Thoughts | Time’s Up

What a time to be a woman. We’ve all had time to soak in the #MeToo movement, allegation after allegation, and most recently, the “Time’s Up” movement which was centerstage at the 2018 Golden Globes last weekend. My conclusion? I have never been prouder to be a woman. 

Yes, at moments I thought the Golden Globes were overkill, but I reminded myself that the message was too important to ignore. In reflecting post-award show and taking in endless discussion on the topic, I realized that my attitude towards these movements is due to privilege — the privilege of not being a victim.

How so? I found the #MeToo movement to be inspiring. I know young women and men who were abused at a young age or as an adult. Though I’ve experienced cat-calling and crude comments, I’ve never considered myself a victim. Rather, I have always swept less than gentleman-like experiences under the rug because of my “boys will be boys” mentality. So as I was watching the Golden Globes with comments from women in the room such as “okay seriously, we get it”, I realized that our views on the topic are skewed because we could not understand first-hand the damage and trauma that comes with sexual abuse and harassment. We understand it, we support it, we will fight for it, and somehow, we were the lucky ones that haven’t had to experience it. 

I’ve been circling back and forth on this topic for days. At moments, I feel empowered to help make change, and other times I’m tired of the absolute demise of men (because good ones still exist). Am I insensitive to the issue? I’m still trying to figure that out. 

I am so proud to be witnessing this monumental era in history. The Time’s Up movement shows that women will resist and fight for what they deserve — whether that’s equal pay in the workplace, equal opportunity, gender equality in healthcare and voting rights, the list goes on and on. Women are urged to speak up, publicly call out harassers, and speak their truth.

Which brings me to my next point… What if “your” truth isn’t always the truth? In the last few days, there have been several allegations against James Franco after he won Best Actor in a Comedy / Musical at the Golden Globes, proudly showing off his “Time’s Up” pin. Allegations included forcing young actresses to go topless in films for $100, based on a contract they did sign, or Franco being aggressive towards a young woman in his car, urging oral sex. (DISCLAIMER: here comes the possible insensitivity). As a young woman (who is not in the entertainment industry) with particularly liberal ideals when it comes to sex, I find this accusations to be a plea of attention and demise. Let me be clear — I obviously don’t know the truth and neither do you. I’m not ruling out Franco’s actions, nor am I dismissing them. I’m not saying that these young women are lying. Yet, my thoughts can’t get past: don’t sign a contract to do a topless scene for $100 if you don’t want to. And don’t get in a car with James Franco if he makes you uncomfortable, and if he does, get out. 

Of course, this is easy for me to say, the privileged one remember? The argument is that as young actresses, these women had no other options. With no money or job opportunities on the horizon, they couldn’t simply turn their backs to Franco, a brilliant artist. Which proves male dominance in the entertainment industry and corporate world. A real thing that once again, I have not experienced for myself. I understand that it exists, I think it needs to change, I will fight for it, but I have never had to experience it. 

I’m continuing to learn about these issues, just like all of you. You can start by learning more about how to support the new legal defense fund against sexual harassment. According to Girlboss, “the fund has already received $14 million in donations”. We can all make a difference for a young woman who needs help and support.

♦♦♦♦

I am a proud woman in this movement, and at the end of the day, I will support other women in their words and actions, as we fight for a brighter and better tomorrow. Am I truly an insensitive person? I don’t think so. I have a perspective that is shaped by my own my life, my environment, and most importantly, by the men I have interacted with in my life. Some women are naturally stronger, some women have to find it deep within (trust me ladies, it’s there). Some women will speak out right away, and some are scared, needing support and encouragement. That’s okay too.

Guys, you’re not all bad. As a friendly reminder to any man reading this, we’re not out to get you. In fact, we want you on our team. I hope that all the women taking part in the Time’s Up fight remembers that too. Women, stand up for women. Let’s be kind to each other, let’s fight for each other, and let’s kick some ass.

Visit the official website of the Time’s Up Movement here: https://www.timesupnow.com/

♦♦♦♦

This is an opinion piece. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. 

And Now I’ll Do What’s Best For Me

Week 1 — down. 

We’ve turned the page on the first week of 2018. How are things going so far, you ask?

Well for starters, I’ve gone paleo (had a bit of a hiccup on night #2, but nothing 6 straight days of workouts can’t fix). I’m already losing the junk food cravings and I’m feeling good. It’s tough working at an Italian restaurant or living in a house with lots of candy and fatty snacks laying around, but I’m motivated to keep this up through January, before my cheat weekend when I head to DC at the end of the month (stay tuned for that!).

I also spontaneously booked a trip to Vegas with my best friends! Though managing this with my financial goals for the month is cutting it a bit tight, I’m so excited to experience Las Vegas with my best friends next month (also stay tuned for that!). We call that “living our best life”.

Getting back into the groove of work has been tough to say the least. Though I’m motivated to kick ass (and I have been), the days are long and at times I just want to run home and sleep. The transition into paleo (emotional and physical fatigue until your body gets used to the lack of energy from carbs + sugar) probably hasn’t helped my office attitude, but I’m hoping to get a fresh start tomorrow!

My mindset is on track. I’m happy, I’m blessed, and I know it. Doing what’s best for me never felt so good.

Need a mood-booster? Check out this song and you’ll be living your best life in no time.

Show me what you got, 2018.

Happy New Year! I’m so excited to welcome 2018 with open arms. As always, a new year is a new reason for goal-setting and a fresh start (we can all use one).

Below are a few of my goals for this year (some general, and some specific — bear with me):

  • Financial — Despite a more comfortable financial situation now that I have a full-time job, I didn’t save as much as I had hoped (and could have) this year. With student loan payments and a few trips already planned in 2018, it won’t be getting much easier. I’ve dedicated putting a specific amount of money away into my savings each month this year. This can be broken down weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Saving up for individual trips (like D.C. later this month) is a separate venture, and I’m challenging myself to put away extra cash every week. Beyond that, I want to raise my credit score (it’s already good, but I want it to be great), and keeping my credit card balance low.
  • Health — This one is easy. Sticking to no less than 5 workouts/week, and cutting dairy down to a minimum (yes, that means no more cheese bingeing). I hope to drop 15 pounds on the scale by 2019, but considering I like to lift, my focus is on feeling and looking good, not basing my success on the number on the scale.
  • Travel — Though I know I’ll for sure be traveling to D.C. and Scottsdale, AZ this year, I have two other cities on my list: Seattle and Nashville. I’ve been dying to see both of these places, and I can’t wait to start planning! Another travel goal: to go abroad. We have an idea of our trip, but I don’t want to spoil it just yet.
  • Professional — Keep kicking butt. The only way to go from here is up. I want to continue to learn new skills, get better at my craft, and truly find my place at my company. Gnar. (If you know, you know.)
  • Self-love — Take care of my skin more. I’ve never been invested in skincare, but I think it’s time I start. This means washing my face more and spending money on credible, healthy products.
  • Mindset — Don’t settle. In 2017, I got caught up with what I thought I wanted, what I thought was right. Whether it’s a boy or a toxic friendship, I don’t want to settle for anything less than I deserve. I know my worth, and you should too.
  • Write — That’s right. The journalism major wants to write more. I’ve been M.I.A. from this blog for awhile, but I’m back. I plan to get something live at least once a week. With my new Passion Planner, I know I’ll be able to stay motivated and on track.

It looks like I’ve got quite a year ahead of me. Though some of these goals are a general shift in attitude and mindset, I’m confident that by 2019 I can consider these goals as accomplishments. And if not, there’s always next year. 😉

pexels-photo-636243.jpeg

I wish you and yours a very happy 2018. Live your best life, be happy, and let’s show the world what we got.

xoxo, Kassandra

They say a lot can change in a year.

They say a lot can change in a year — boy, were they right.

As I say goodbye to one of the most life-changing and significant years of my life, I want to reflect back on all that this year brought me and taught me.

♦♦♦

I rang in 2017 with a boy I had just met, who would go on to become my boyfriend… and then my ex-boyfriend. Though going through a break-up is never fun, the relationship taught me what I want in man, what I need in a relationship, and that settling for something less than you deserve can be toxic. We ended things because we were “too busy”, but I soon found out that he had found someone else to be with. This was heartbreaking at first, but I quickly realized that he was never the one for me. After all, all relationships end until one doesn’t. Things can change in an instant — strangers can become lovers, and just as quickly, lovers can become strangers.

♦♦♦

My dad had a heart attack. This changed everything. After his emergency surgery and recovery, he fell down the stairs of our San Francisco flat. Three more weeks in the hospital, and his pancreas and gall bladder were infected, leaving him in horrific pain. For the first time in my life, I was certain that my father was going to die. In my head, I was planning funeral arrangements and thinking of how I was going to take care of my mother. I had never been more terrified. These 4-5 months were the toughest for my family. With financial struggles and very little to lean on, my mother stood by my dad’s side. She, like always, was the glue that held everything together. My dad was diagnosed with diabetes, and now tracks his blood sugar and takes insulin every other day. We just spent an amazing Christmas together, and hopefully many more to come.

My dad’s heart attack was a wakeup call to our entire family that our lifestyle (consisting mostly of cheese, bread, and wine) may no longer cut it. Looking to the future, I hope to maintain a healthy lifestyle, listen to my doctors, and take care of my body.

♦♦♦

I graduated college. Though my dad couldn’t be there to witness it (he was still in the hospital), that was one of the most exciting days of my life. A Ferrante had her name on a college diploma. I never doubted I would graduate college, but hearing my name called was one of my proudest moments. My academic career had come to an end.

♦♦♦

 

I traveled to Thailand with my best friends. I worked seven days a week, saved every penny, and quickly put my graduation money to use on my two week vacation. It was an exhilarating trip and an amazing first experience to Southeast Asia. Though it wasn’t all perfect, I wouldn’t change a thing. Traveling helps you live and learn and grow. Though we already knew I love to travel, the trip only further confirmed that all I want is to see the world. Next stop for the girl gang? Stay tuned…. (Hint: I’ve never been to South America.)

♦♦♦

Upon my return from Thailand, I interviewed for a Social Media internship at a digital agency in La Jolla. I got the gig, and it was paid. With that, and my server job, I knew I was going to have a good summer, making good money, and getting some more experience in (and much needed resume building) before the real job search began. Little did I know, a week into my internship, my whole life changed. I was offered a full-time position. At 22 and a fresh college graduate, I was given an opportunity to take a well-paid salary job, with full benefits, doing what I wanted. Every fear I had about the future disappeared, and I finally started to believe that everything does work out for the best.

♦♦♦

Since June, I’ve been working full time (+ still serving at the restaurant). The transition from college student to adulthood has not been easy. Finding time to workout, eat healthy, and be social has been rough to say the least. Yet, I can’t complain. Six months in, and I’ve learned so many important and crucial professional skills. Being the youngest at my company (and with the least experience) was daunting, but I have found a home here with incredibly talented mentors. Sure, I miss being outside during the day, going to the gym when it’s still light out, and having more time for me things, but I am so lucky to have started my professional career at this age. It’s only up from here.

2017 was my year of growth. Despite the hardships and the heartbreak, I think I’ve come out on top. Boy, does a lot change in a year. 

2018, let’s see what you got.

Instagram hack: UNUM

We’ve all been there. You have the perfect photo to add to your Instagram feed, you go to edit your filters and brightness and contrast… and then you stop and ask yourself, “Well shit. How’s this going to look on my profile?!”

The principle of an Instagram aesthetic is just as absurd as Instagram probably sounded the day it was pitched to early investors. Yet, with the dependency many of us have on our social media profiles and our online persona today, the way your photos look and flow on your profile does matter. If you’re going for this cohesive look, your content should be pretty consistent (this is more relevant if you’re a travel blogger or foodie, for example) and you should always use the same filter (even if you mess with the brightness and contrast, the same filter will give your Instagram an overall “clear coat” that will give your profile a cohesive and deliberately clean look.

So you’re on the right track. But you’re there and editing a photo trying to picture how it’s going to look next to your last post. What was once a trigger for a social media panic attack, is no more. Welcome to UNUM. 

UNUM is a free app that connects to your Instagram account (or multiple accounts – which is great if you’re running Instagram profiles for your clients), loads your content, and leaves open spaces to upload as many pictures as you want to look at how your feed will look before you post! Hide, delete, drag, and drop. This allows you to outline your Instagram profile before it goes live to make sure you’ve got the look you want.

IMG_3110

IMG_3111.PNG

Here’s an example of how the app looks once you’re connected to your Instagram account (shameless plug: follow @kassferrante on IG!). The plus sign, as seen in the left photo, allows you to add as many pictures as you’d like from your camera roll into the feed. Once you’ve got a layout, the squiggly line shows you how your profile might look when you have a few more posts added and your current posts get shifted down, and the eye icon allows you to “hide” photos already posted to see if your profile would do better without.

UNUM has been a life saver when scheduling out content for my social media clients and for myself! For your brand’s (this includes your personal branding) presence to be successful, it is imperative that your look is cohesive. Now go get your insta on.

Back from the dead.

17190704_10210724678246744_8261675818368543981_n

Cappuccinos & Curls has been silenced for far too long.

Okay Kassandra, enough with the excuses. Where have you been?

Months of internships, work, job applications, subsequent (and failed) job interviews, summing up to 16 hour days, I finally have a chance (a small one) to breathe. I’m in my last few weeks of the semester, wrapping up projects and final papers. I finished my 5 month internship at a digital media agency, which was exactly what I needed to not only confirm what I want to do with my life, but gave me the platform for experience to do so. I’m currently still interning as a Social Media Manager for REVOLT Wine Co. out of San Diego, creating a social media plan, content calendar, and music blog for the new company. I’m still working, and trying to gym, and trying to balance a personal life that far too often feels like is crumbling to the ground. But I’m graduating college in 31 days – so who gives a damn?

And what about your rants?! (Did you hear about Tomi Lahren getting fired?!)

Oh, you bet I did. Trust me, I had a LOT to say on that. We may revisit that topic soon… As far as my rants: Seeing our political climate disintegrate into a spiral of fake news and Hitler-comparisons, I think I’ve subsequently felt turned off from speaking my peace on the interwebs (besides the occasional all caps tweet). Besides pop culture, trends, food, and travel, we all know I love to rant about politics. I’ve taken the last few months since the election to take in as much information as possible, turning to my peers (those I both agree and disagree with) to reflect on my views and where I stand. There will be rants coming, so stay tuned. (In the meantime, I highly recommend a few podcasts produced by Crooked Media – Pod Save the World, Pod Save America, and Lovett or Leave It. These will give much needed insight into political news and will explain events in a context that non-government personnel can understand.)

So… what’s your plan now?

As I’m running circles in my head trying to decide where my place in the world is, the finish line seems nowhere near. That’s okay with me – for now. I will soon be receiving my college diploma, I have interviews lined up for full time jobs (oh GOD.), and I have travels planned that will further introduce me to more regions of this beautiful world (in two months time, I’ll be returning from a trip to Thailand with my best friends. How lucky am I?). I’m debating between grinding to find a job and start a professional life, or take a few months and keep working at the restaurant, having some fun before I turn to the real world. Regardless of the path I take, I’m excited to take one. The world is my motherfucking oyster. And I’m here to shuck it. (Okay, SUPER bad joke).

I hope that with more time to focus on me in the coming months, I can put more time into Cappuccinos & Curls. As not only an outlet for me to express some strong opinions and pretty pictures, but as a place to share content that I find relevant for all of you busy bees.

Let’s get this party started, once and for all.

My thoughts.

On Thursday evening, I went to my advertising in social media class and my young, all-american, social media guru professor said, “Well, what a shitty week, huh?”

I’ve spent the last 4 days or so trying to put my emotions into words. On Tuesday, the night of the 2016 Presidential Election, I cried. I was scared. I was angry. I was dumbfounded as to how so much of America felt so completely different than how I felt. Looking to my friends for solace, I was unsurprisingly met by the same emotions. I had to turn to a good friend- a Republican (who hates Donald Trump, for the record)- to calm me down, reminding me that the crazy policy and racist rhetoric would have no place in our federal government. Yet, I find it so difficult to look anyone in the eye who voted for someone who said so many nasty things about women, Muslims, Mexicans and all immigrants, African-Americans, and even war heroes. How do you vote for someone who said all of THAT to be President of the United States?

I heard a couple responses.

  • “None of the crazy stuff he said will NEVER happen.”
  • “I’m only fiscally conservative. I’m just thinking about the economy.”
  • “Hillary is a criminal. I don’t like Trump, but he’s the lesser of the two evils.”

But still, a vote for Trump, despite being fiscally conservative (or whatever economical excuse you may have), is saying that you think it is okay to spew the rhetoric that he did. That it might be okay to ban all Muslims because they might be terrorists. That it’s okay to grab women by the pussy. You may not believe those things, but your vote says it’s okay to at least say them. It’s not, FYI.

Unsurprisingly, the people who gave me those excuses were well-off, heterosexual white males.

The morning after the election, while watching the news in awe, hoping it was all a nightmare, my less-than-shy conservative roommate was on the phone. She said, “I just don’t get it. When Obama was elected, we dealt with it. We got over it, why can’t they?”

In response to that comment, which I’ve heard all too much the last 3 days, is that this has nothing to do with being a Republican or Democrat. I am a liberal and am proud to be that. I am also educated on the way government works, on history, and on modern politics. I am well aware the President of the United States is not always going to be a Democrat. A third consecutive term within the same party is rare, and we must all be prepared to accept the transition between political parties. We might not like it, but that’s the way it works. So when Obama was elected in 2008 and again in 2012, no, Republicans did not protest for days and nights across the U.S. But Obama is a stand-up guy, and whether you are Republican or Democrat, you will see that and you will accept that.

We are protesting (whether on the street, or on social media) because we do not accept that the leader of our free world is a racist, misogynistic, Islamaphobic, and homophobic bigot. We are fighting to keep our country moving forward, not backwards. We are fighting to continue showing love and equality to all minorities, members of the LGBTQ community, and the constant fight to break that high glass ceiling.

While I was expressing this to my father, he said, “It is what it is. What can you do?” 

I responded, “I know that it is what it is. But if 100 years ago, women said “What can you do?” I wouldn’t have been able to vote for President.” 

He replied, “That’s the best point you’ve made all day.” 

Now, at a certain point we must come to terms with the decision of the American people (I say this very carefully- Hillary Clinton did win the popular vote… because that’s a thing). I try not to say “we must accept it”, because accepting it and moving on would be giving up on the fight. What I do mean, however, is we must at least hope that Donald Trump is successful. If he is successful, we might all be successful. I greatly hope that the rhetoric spewed during his campaign was a joke and way to garner attention to himself. I hope to see him address each and every comment he made, and apologize to all of those people he offended and made feel less American. By doing that, he won’t make it okay, but he’ll gain more respect for owning up to his disrespectful tactics to become President-elect.

We can only hope for the best, and that he is surrounded by educated and experienced politicians, both Republican and Democrat, to lead him in the opposite direction of destruction and greed. That lead him to unite all the people he divided, and that lead him to be a strong leader, that instead of isolating America from the rest of the world, can work with other nations to make the United States a stronger country for everyone.

 

Wishful thinking.

 

I hope that all protesters stay safe in using their voices and first amendment rights to raise awareness about what we are fighting for. Do not back down. But do not try to fix hatred with violence. By doing that, you are simply creating a bigger divide and doing more damage to our cause than good.

 

Rage and love,

Kassandra

Success or failure. My future and my past.

 

LmqhAhPP

I have not logged onto this blog in 3 months. Between two jobs all summer, which made for long days and led to exhaustion, I found little to no motivation to keep up a blog which gave me little in return. As I faced the beginning of my senior year this summer, I began to think “Wow, I’m spending my days selling glasses and bussing tables to get by. What the hell am I gonna do with my life?”. The reality is, I’m in a financial situation that requires me to work where I can. I can’t afford an unpaid internship. I cannot afford to work for no pay- a brutal reality for many struggling students. Yet, without an internship, I face the fear that come graduation in May, I’ll have too little experience to start a career in the field I am so passionate about. I’ve laid awake too many nights in my bed thinking about what could have been and what could be.

I’m almost done with my first week of my senior year of college. Looking around, I see so many kids who I have studied with taking huge steps in great directions going towards our common goal. I have been afraid and worried for far too long.

I hope that I can hold myself accountable for regularly turning to this space, as my safe haven, and my portfolio. This year will be my grind. It will be years of loans and tears and assignments. This is my path to graduation. My future is mine. Watch me go.

Sorry I’ve been away for so long, lovers. Let’s get started.

xoxo, Kass