When I was 11 years old, I decided to wear a headscarf. I knew I would eventually wear one because as a Muslim, I believe it’s required of me. While others don’t, it all depends on people’s personal beliefs. My close friends wore one, and so did my mom, so it seemed like the appropriate time to take the plunge. When I told my mom I wanted to wear a scarf, she took me out to buy headscarves for girls my age. Before I knew it, the day came when I chose to wear one in public for the first time. It was pretty anticlimactic.
I have to be totally honest. I wasn’t sure what to write about this week for Off The Record — I always have my Lena Dunham, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer trinity of problematic white women piece on standby, but as a pop culture blogger, I wanted to stay current and relevant.
Bless J.K. Rowling for having the exact same problem and dealing with it in the most absurd ways.
25 vs. 7: A Debate Over Album Length in the Streaming Age
“It’s 25 songs?”
My initial reaction to the track listing of Scorpion by Drake had nothing to do with interesting track titles like “Ratchet Happy Birthday” or “Can’t Take A Joke” — it was about how obnoxiously long the Toronto artist’s newest project was going to be.
Walking into one of the many bodegas on Mt. Pleasant Street in Washington, D.C., I’m instantly greeted in Spanish by the cashier. Without hesitation, I respond in Spanish, but I am not Latino. The first time I walked into what would become my regular barbershop on Georgia Avenue, the man yelled for someone to “take care of the light-skinned guy,” but I am not Black. In the elevator at University Towers last year on my way to work out, a woman tapped me on the shoulder and made me turn around and take out my earbuds only to ask, “Excuse me, are you Ethiopian?
I have been learning the English language for 15 years now. I have improved from learning vowels to now writing in a second language. Fifteen years is long enough to have mastered a skill, yet there are still some words in English I can never pronounce.
“Do you even have Chinese cooks? This tastes like cardboard,” my mother yelled in Mandarin at the poor, unsuspecting waitress. She was very unimpressed by the food we tried at the “authentic” Chinese restaurant at Chinatown in Washington, D.C. Despite the traditional archway and the Chinese characters on the signage along the streets, there was not much authenticity remaining in this section of the city.
It’s 2018 and I oddly find myself buying physical albums. My package came last week via the Korea Post, a direct indicator of the cultural aspect of We Go Up, the second mini album by South Korean teenage boy group NCT Dream. Though I lack the means to actually play my new CD, my purchase isn’t solely a disc, but something that feels more uniquely personal.