Week Links [5 July]

Good morning! I’ve made an extremely controversial decision and started writing the date the British way, because (I capitulate) it makes more sense and is more aesthetically pleasing. This, from the same woman who changed her iPhone to 24-hour time in England and was perpetually confused for 3 weeks. Don’t worry, I’m not conceding in the aluminum vs. aluminium debate. Also, what a fuck-you thing to do on “Independence Day” weekend, innit?

Anyway, it’s been a big week for culture, so let’s get to it:

oh the cleverness of you — Adele Dazeem™ at the 92nd Academy ...

    1. The most important thing that has ever happened in my entire life happened this week, and it’s the TRILOGY of Las Culturistas “Top 200 Moments in Culture History.” It has moved me. It has shaped me. I laughed, I cried, I screamed, I gasped.
    2. Miel’s album is coming out on 22 July and we simply have to stan! Her new single, “Must Be Fine” is avail to stream on Spotify right now!
    3. The last thing I need is an excuse to drink, but I love a lemon drop.
    4. I finally got the crossbody of my dreams for a ridiculous price. Call me basic all you want, but it’s a classic MJ shape. One day I will have the finances to justify a full-price, current season, actual Marc Jacobs bag, but today is not that day. Okay okay okay, maybe I also got this one too, but literally how could I not at that price??
    5. I got this moisturizer in my Causebox and I really like it. It’s super lightweight, smells great, and has SPF 30. I also got this serum, which I haven’t tried yet, but apparently I’m supposed to be using hyaluronic acid all the time now? All of my products seem to have it. I guess 28 is old in skincare years.
    6. Currently binge-eating these lentil chips, and concerned about the subscription option…quitting wheat (based on my Everlywell results) has been a journey!
    7. Please don’t judge me for the particular retailer, but I may have gotten this case set for my new MacBook, and this ergonomic mousepad set for my work computer. Between the computer, my phone case, and my ribcage tattoo, I am way, way too on brand. Perhaps next is just blowing this print up and hanging it in my office?
    8. Love these earrings from TalkUniqueDesigns on Etsy.
    9. I read The Cactus by Sarah Haywood this week and in spite of myself, really liked it. The Eleanor Oliphant comparison is apt; they both have wildly unlikable protagonists. Like, truly, awful people you’d never want to be around. I will say, I think Susan’s about-face is a tad abrupt (I know motherhood is a moment, but like, probably try therapy instead of having a baby).
    10. We finally set up our AppleTV (and by we, I mean my husband bought it off a friend over a year ago and it sat unused in his office, until I got frustrated attempting to screen mirror with our TV on Friday and set it up), so we will be using that to watch Hamilton on Disney+ (which we have a year free trial of through our mobile provider).
    11. Speaking of D+, anyone else just counting down the minutes until Black Is King?
    12. Save Stereogum.

au revoir, les enfants

-c

A Very Special Quarantine

I’ve made no secret of my obsession with stand-up comedy. Both of my favorite stand-up podcasts have ended their runs (Put Your Hands Together and 2 Dope Queens), so I’ve been bingeing specials just to feel whole again. And what better time to immerse yourself than during a quarantine? I live in a state that is sort of opening up, and has a decent-ish handle on COVID, but I’m not taking any chances. Imagine if I died to go out to, like, Bertucci’s. Or worse, imagine if I went out, got asymptomic COVID, and infected someone else! The level of selfishness of my fellow man never ceases to amaze. All of which is to say, wear a fucking mask, take what precautions you can, and find things to do at home. Might I suggest…watching these? For your pleasure, a list of the specials I’ve watched since stay-at-home orders went into effect. There will be more.

*these are all on Netflix unless otherwise listed

Amazon.com: Watch Gary Gulman: The Great Depresh | Prime Video
image source

Taylor Tomlinson, Quarter Life Crisis

Fortune Feimster, Sweet & Salty

Pete Davidson, Alive From New York

Alice Wetterlund, My Mama is a Human and So Am I (Amazon)

Michelle Wolf, Joke Show

Gary Gulman, The Great Depresh [x2] (HBO)

Hannah Gadsby, Douglas

Seth Meyers, Lobby Baby

Marc Maron, End Times Fun [x2]

Joe Mande, Joe Mande’s Award-Winning Comedy Show

Jenny Slate, Stage Fright

Trevor Noah, Son of Patricia

Patton Oswalt, I Love Everything

W. Kamau Bell, Private School Negro

Eric Andre, Legalize Everything

Whitmer Thomas, The Golden One (HBO)

Ronny Chieng, Asian Comedy Destroys America!

Simon Amstell, Set Free

Donald Glover, Weirdo

Judah Friedlander, America is the Greatest Country in the United States

Week Links [6.28.20 or so]

Good day, sunshines! This is only…three days late. That’s fine! And I’ve changed the name of this again because I can’t commit to anything! How I didn’t think of this extremely basic pun in the past 5 years is beyond me. And on that note, I’ve been writing this blog for five years. My how time flies when the world is falling apart.

You Need To Be Watching 'The Bold Type' | The Nerd Daily
image source
  1. I started bingeing The Bold Type recently and *very Joan Jett voice* I hate myself for loving it!!
  2. Just discovered this ethical jewelry brand out of Portland. So affordable and stylish! I love these for my 2nd piercing and these are incredible. I’m also just a big ol’ sucker for a hammered hoop! Also, this might sound crazy but I think I’m going to become an anklet person?? I just got this one and I love it.
  3. I almost bought these Pride Pumas because I’m predictable.
  4. Ziwe Fumudoh has been doing the most iconic Instagram lives and watching the reposts is one of my singular sources of joy in this terrible world!
  5. I’ve long wanted to become a headband person, but I have impossible hair and wear glasses, so things about the ears can be a bit tricky. This Madewell scarf/band is a DREAM. It actually stays in place and is so, so cute.
  6. This TED Talk was assigned for my Library Science course, and man do I love me some Adichie.
  7. Ronny Chieng’s special Asian Comedian Destroys America! is incredible start-to-finish.
  8. This brand sells bra bundles that are super affordable, but I’m so skeptical that a comfortable strapless bra can exist! At least not with my difficult boobs.
  9. My faves at Girlfriend just dropped the Summer Orchard line, so I got myself a full Lemon set: Paloma Bra, Skort, and High-Rise Bike Short.
  10. Cynthia Nixon posted this to Instagram and…I didn’t think it was possible to love her more.
  11. Psst…have you read my friend Rachel’s writing? She writes about TV so much more intelligently than I do, it’s a treat.

In case you didn’t know, I have an Instagram account for this blog, @dellabitesblog. I wrote a little something about the five-year anniversary of this blog there. You can also following me personally on all socials @highwaytochel / IG.

Sunday Scaries: Father’s Day, I Guess?

Morning! From the title, it may seem like I’m ambivalent about my father (hardly the case), but I am deeply ambivalent about “Hallmark holidays,” because I am a joyless person. Mother’s/Father’s Day just feels like a marketing scheme for bougie brunch places, my favorite of all the places that I’d prefer not be clogged with toddlers while I’m trying to enjoy my mimosa. See? Joyless! And now I’ve made myself crave a mimosa, though I have neither orange juice nor sparkling wine. Chardonnay and lemonade? Y/N? (I’m writing this on Saturday morning, so it’s not out of the question that I may nip off to the store.)

Speaking of the store, I still haven’t returned to grocery shopping, but I plan to resume in the very near future. I have gone to Target briefly a couple of times. I hate wearing the mask—it gives me so much anxiety and for some reason, I clench my jaw really tightly underneath. Is that a thing? But obviously, as I’m not a MORON WHO DOESN’T CARE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE, I rock a mask 100% of the time I’m out in public. Which brings me to my next gripe:

People BE going to restaurants with outdoor seating and not wearing masks! What the actual hell? I have been isolated in my house for 100 days! Do you know how emotionally difficult that is for someone with depression? I’m simultaneously living my best and worst lives, missing my friends and family, for what? So that a few absolute knobs can cause a spike in infections that keeps us home until I’m in my mid-thirties? Absolutely not! I haven’t been able to get my teeth cleaned or my glasses prescription updated, but you can have fried clams overlooking the beach? Please eject yourselves into the sea.

Have I complained sufficiently? Haha, it feels good to be back on this, my public private place to talk to myself.

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source: printsandgiggles on etsy
  1. This piece about self-love by Aisha Mirza is really moving.
  2. Eric Andre’s new special drops Tuesday and I couldn’t be more excited. If you want a teaser, check him out on Good One: A Podcast About Jokes.
  3. This leather goods shop on Etsy is magical. Please give me one of everything, and please do not lecture me about the ethics of leather.
  4. I might actually die without a pair of hammered hoops from The Pink Locket!
  5. I found SPF 110, baby! I didn’t even know they made SPF higher than 100, but I was rewarded for my diligence! The sun can actually try to burn me! I’m using this face sunscreen, this body sunscreen, and this SPF 50 daily moisturizer.
  6. Speaking of my delicate skin, unable as it is to produce melanin, I have given myself over to the gods of Curology. A friend recommended it to me, as my prior attempts at skincare consisted of occasionally using an oil cleanser and forgetting to take my eye makeup off at night. It’s only been three days, so I’m not seeing a visible difference, but my skin feels really soft and I’ve actually started to maintain a nightly skincare ritual, which is a small miracle.
  7. Speaking of custom products designed specifically for me, I also caved and ordered Prose. I heat process my hair twice a week (or so) to varying degrees, I dye it, and my hair is naturally very curly and dry, so I’m giving actually taking care of it a go. I went all in and ordered the oil too, because why not? I truly can’t believe it took until I started going gray for me to actually give a shit about taking care of my hair, but there’s no sense in dwelling on the past.
  8. I have tentatively begun home workouts. I have a legitimate phobia of exercise or movement generally (I legitimately talk about this in therapy, it’s a long story). I have sobbed in gym parking lots, unable to walk in. I successfully completed this video without having a panic attack, so I’m going to see what else Miss Adriene has to offer. I’d really like to check out some body-positive yogis, so plz lemme know whomst to Google. I’m not averse to a paywall!
  9. Gonna have to purchase that one.
  10. Even though it’s 14,000 degrees out, I was in the mood for a really big Cab the other day, so I tried out Bread & Butter‘s. When I drink reds, I tend to like them less bold, like Pinot Noirs, but I began my wine journey as a Cab girl and I’ve gotta honor my roots! Also, we’re chilling our red wines, right? The hill I will die on is that we all drink whites too cold and reds way too warm.
  11. We finally bought *actually good* Bluetooth speakers and it has been a game changer. We got this one for me (super portable!) and this one for our house. In addition to awesome sound quality, they’re such fun pops of color against our mostly black-and-white decor. And big bonus, they have a “party mode,” so you can play music from both of them at the same time. Surround-sound!
  12. I’ve been on something of a health journey lately; without going into too much detail, I’m trying to be more mindful about food and making sure I’m actually nourished. I customized a May Designs notebook to keep track of my meals, water intake, and, yes, exercise. It’s super cute, and I feel like it will be something I keep reordering.
  13. And of course, last but not least, a tribute to all the dads out there.

Sunday Scaries [5.31.20]

Good morning…I guess?

Things are awful right now. Things have always been awful, but they’ve reached a boiling point. I’m delusional optimistic enough to dream about a future where we can abolish the police and put an stop to the seemingly endless murders of black Americans, but it’s not incumbent upon those same black folks whose lives are at risk to fix it. It’s on us—the people with the privilege to walk through life in relative safety. If you have the means this week, please donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund in support of the protesters. I know that this small act made me feel slightly less helpless in the face of tragedy. It is, by definition, the least I could do. I stand in solidarity with the protesters across the nation and will use my voice and my wallet whenever possible to aid in the fight.

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 6.02.59 PM
image source: @arianagrande on instagram

Ariana Grande posted the above image on Friday, a list of the names of a fraction of the black lives that have been lost just in recent memory. I have spent so much of the past week crying and thinking of them, and thinking of all of the people who, as a result of police brutality, live in constant fear. I can’t believe not murdering people on the basis of race is a political statement rather than a universal moral belief.

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burlington, vt

*This post was written (and purchases made) prior to the murder of George Floyd by white supremacist police officer Derek Chauvin, which I feel bears noting because thinking about anything other than how to make change right now feels frivolous. Posting on social media is NOT the same thing as activism, but using a social platform and not discussing this feels wildly tone-deaf. This pointless little blog has always been a place where I can vent about things ranging from laughably stupid to deadly serious, and I’m so lucky to have a space to do so. I will never take this freedom for granted.

    1. Bookshop posted a list of anti-racist reading material and I can’t wait to check out some of these titles.
    2. I have officially gone insane and reorganized my refrigerator no fewer than 5 times during quarantine. The Home Edit dropped their fridge & freezer line last week, so you KNOW I snagged some drawers. I was literally inside my fridge with a measuring tape–should I seek treatment?
    3. Just started listening to Jessica Simpson’s Open Book and I started crying halfway through the prologue. I was never a huge JS fan, but I love memoirs and I’m so inspired by her bravery in telling her story. Even within the opening pages, she confronts so many issues that a lot of women never feel empowered enough to admit to or talk about. I’m listening via the Libby app; I cannot stress enough how important it is to support libraries.
    4. I am exclusively wearing t-shirt dresses these days. I used to love this dress, but I’m still not sure that we can support Everlane again, so I bought this one to try out.
    5. I keep seeing these as a promoted ad, and I definitely won’t get one for a while since outside is cancelled, but it seems like a great idea for when society reopens. Perfect for travel!
    6. I bought these for my bedroom and I could not be more pleased with the purchase.
    7. I caved and got a new laptop. Mine has been faithfully serving me for over 7 years, and it was just time. I justified the purchase because I’m going to start taking classes again (apparently one Master’s degree wasn’t enough…) although the *second* I completed the purchase of the new computer, my current one miraculously started functioning well again…Apple is Big Brother.
    8. Pretty sure I need to stop being suckered in by celebrity home goods lines, but these bowls are the best things I own and I want to eat dinner out of them every night.
    9. After decades of playing editions from the 1980s, I finally upgraded to a new Trivial Pursuit. I did win the first game by a hair, if you’re wondering.
    10. All of my song challenge playlists are done. End of an era.
      1. challenge 1: songs
      2. challenge 2: more songs
      3. challenge 3: even more songs
    11. Bonus Content: Punch Up the Jam did an episode about the greatest song of all time.

Rest in Power, and here’s hoping that by this time next week, we see some fucking justice.

-c

 

Sunday Scaries [5.24.20]

We did it! Another week of social distancing down! And now it’s a long weekend! I may even attempt to venture outdoors, although I’m basically a moleperson at this point, so I’ll have to bring sunscreen & shades.

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I have a sourdough starter and it was finally ready to use this weekend! I made 2 loaves of sourdough, although the first loaf is not as aesthetically pleasing as the second…

xx

Screen Shot 2020-05-24 at 8.50.07 AM

  1. There is, and I cannot stress this enough, a website with transcripts of every episode of Frasier.
  2. Gonna join Book of the Month because I’m a huge nerd!
  3. Speaking of which, my best friend and I are starting our own FaceTime book club and our first pick is Kindred by Octavia Butler. It’s…incredible.
  4. Also speaking of books, my friend wrote her thesis on Motherwit by Onnie Lee Logan and it’s only $4.99 on Kindle right now. I can’t wait to read it!
  5. I am SO OVER shaving. I just want every follicle on my body to die! I am truly about to spend my life savings on laser removal.
  6. I got a subscription to Causebox because I had a code, okay????
  7. I started whitening my teeth because of course I did. My dark teeth have always been a huge insecurity of mine, and it certainly doesn’t help that I’m a coffee and wine drinker. I’m using this treatment system, this pen, and this polish. Here’s hoping I don’t destroy my enamel! I’m definitely starting to see results!
  8. I’ve been doing these Instagram song challenges, and they have brought SO much joy to my life! This is my first one, my second & third which are in progress, and a spinoff playlist that I had to make because there are too many iconic songs from 1991!
  9. This pasta recipe is legendary! Or as John Legend would say, magical!
  10. This site seems very cool for minimalist jewelry.
  11. The grill pan I wanted came back in stock finally!
  12. I’m making this cinnamon roll recipe right now and I’m so excited to eat them.

 

 

Sunday Scaries [5.10.20]

Bonjour! Another week of social isolation! The Starbucks near me just reopened, so I’ve gone two days in a row…the small creature comforts keep me sane. Apart from that, it’s been business as usual. I’m trying to go easy on myself. We’re all dealing with immense trauma & grief right now, so if you need to get drunk, or send a booty pic, or reorganize your cabinets again, please don’t judge yourself. If you’re alive and healthy, you’re doing great, and I love you.

Little Richard, The 'King And Queen' Of Rock And Roll, Dead At 87 ...
we stan a king/queen! image source
  1. The Alison Roman drama SUSTAINS me.
  2. This shop on Etsy is selling 3-packs of cotton masks in adorable prints. It’s a buy 3/donate 3 situation. I got these ones. I’m still having a hard time with masks, if I’m being honest. Of course I wear one on the rare occasion I go out, but the feeling that my breathing is being stifled gives me horrible anxiety. Anyone else dealing with this?
  3. This set of food storage containers is amazing and actually just as good as the one from The Container Store. I bought two sets and then some extra minis. My cabinets will get perfect or die trying.
  4. The Court Skort sold out before I had a chance to snag one (you snooze, you lose) and I’m mad! Same for the Bike Unitard, which I need someone to convince me I don’t need. This remains in my cart…
  5. It’s irrational how much I want one of these, considering I have like a dozen reusable water bottles.
  6. I finally bought the weighted sleep mask! I will conquer my insomnia one of these days.
  7. I need a pair of these earrings. I’ll take literally any pair.
  8. Super into Wild Minimalist‘s entire aesthetic! This article about recycling missteps is really helpful.
  9. Support local businesses during this trying time 🙂
  10. And finally, rest in peace, Little Richard.
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please enjoy this terribly-cropped screenshot of The Truth

Until next time,

-c

Sunday Scaries [5.3.20]

*extremely DJ Khaled voice* Another one!

enjoy this extremely styled photo…

Did I start this a week ago and then forget about it? Yes! What is time??? This week…sucked. I believe, by volume, I ingested more white wine than food. It took a month, but quarror (quar horror) finally caught up with me and I’m miserable. Going forward, I’m going to make a more concerted effort to get outside in the sunshine and take care of myself (i.e. eat a fruit, stop drinking, take more than 188 steps per day). What else can be done??

  1. ARE YOU WATCHING NORMAL PEOPLE??? I thought I’d gotten “Hide & Seek” by Imogen Heap out of my head 10 years ago but I guess not!
  2. Speaking of Imogen, I always preferred “Headlock.”
  3. I cannot recommend the book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb enough. I mean, I’m a BIG therapy-head, but even if you’re not obsessed with psychotherapy, it’s fascinating.
  4. And on that note, I just discovered Bookshop and I am so excited about it.
  5. We finally painted my bedroom! We used the color “Rainwater” by Behr for our accent wall, and even though it’s definitely a bigger statement than I intended, I get a jolt of joy every time I look at it.
  6. In light of my bedroom makeover, I bought an air purifier, which we’ve needed for ages! We have a cat, a girl with long hair (guilty), and two adults that hate dusting (double guilty). My husband has allergies, and when we redid our bedroom walls I learned that I am severely allergic to dust, so it’s about time we got proactive!
  7. I started watching Mrs. America on Hulu and I am loving it, even though it’s about one of history’s most terrible monsters who is single-handedly responsible for the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment (which could still be a thing if the remainder of the states would ratify it…haha jk…unless?)
  8. Grocery delivery is my new favorite thing. My grocery store finally has available time slots after the initial online order boom. Even though I know the gig economy is…problematic, I feel good about giving delivery drivers work and tips during a potentially financially unstable time! Obviously, though, we’re respecting Instacart strikes and not crossing picket lines!
  9. I need this item.
  10. I love these phone cases. I got this one for my husband and this one for me, since cases are BOGO right now. I may or may not have also accessorized mine with a matching card case & AirPod case
  11. I finally got bored enough in quar that I started a sourdough starter. Wish me luck, I guess? Odd choice after I just learned I have a sensitivity to wheat but okay!

This song ends the first episode of Mrs. America and it cannot be overstated how much of a banger it it.

Until next week! Hopefully!

-c

 

Cat Lady

So, full disclosure, I’m actually not much of an animal person. I never had pets growing up, and I was afraid of dogs and freaked out by cats into my twenties. However, when I was 21, I made a friend named Michael, who had a 6-year-old kitty named Della. She’s 13 now, and I’ve gotten to spend over 6 glorious years with her, which I have cherished, even though she’s an asshole. I have grown increasingly fond of cats over the past half-decade, and while I still don’t touch the litter box or feed her (those are Michael’s jobs), I spoil her with affection and sacrifice all of my nice furniture to her hair and claws. If you know anything about me, it’s that I really value the aesthetic of my home, so having ugly pet supplies is not an option (if I ever have a kid, the poor thing’s going to be playing with wooden blocks, because I’m not letting plastic Fisher-Price stuff into my house).

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della street fig: cutest cat 2007-present

I’m always on the lookout for ways to upgrade my space, and that space includes an animal for the foreseeable future.

Stylish Litter Boxes

I am in denial about the concept of litter boxes. Why? Why does this animal have to eliminate waste inside of my house? Can’t they breed a type of cat that doesn’t do this? It’s frankly vile, but at least it’s less vile than TOUCHING a dog’s POOP with your HANDS when you walk them (Seriously? Why would anyone ever get a dog?)

If this hideous monstrosity needs to be within the walls of my domicile, I’d at least like it to be nice-looking.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Litter Mats

If the existence of litter boxes wasn’t disgusting enough, cat spill little pebbles of litter when they come out of the box, so you have to put down a mat to catch it (and any other surprises that might leak out (vomit face emoji). We have the second one, which I use as an extra mat at the edge of the existing mat underneath her box.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Pet Beds

I mentioned before that Della is an asshole, right? She has two beds, and still chooses to sleep on my furniture (she has a predilection for slipper chairs). Since she doesn’t use her beds, I have no grounds upon which to get her another one, but that won’t stop me from browsing.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Michael and I often marvel that there’s a small, wild creature living with us. She has a very strong personality and is extremely opinionated. Gender is a construct, but my cat…is a girl. I can’t explain it, but she exudes a very feminine energy. I think she’s going stir-crazy with us being home all the time, but she still snuggles under the covers with us at night, so she must like us a little bit. I think, in quarantine, we can all learn a lot from indoor cats: take frequent naps, get as cozy as possible, and learn to relax.

-c

 

 

And that’s on period.

It’s time to talk about everyone’s favorite topic: periods!

People with periods often deal with upwards of 4 decades of monthly maintenance, and that costs a lot of money over a lifetime. Whether you’re restocking your tampons, shelling out $50 for a menstrual cup, or buying bottle after bottle of (natural!) stain remover to salvage your destroyed clothing, the “pink tax” levied upon dubiously-named “feminine hygiene products” is yet another injustice that many women and trans folks face, on top of an existing pay gap.

But it goes deeper than that. Just as organic, wholesome groceries can be prohibitively expensive for many underprivileged communities, so can safe, organic period care. Conventional tampons and pads contain fragrances and chemicals that are terrible for vaginas, but its a risk we’ve all taken at one point or another, out of necessity or ignorance. I grew up terrified of toxic shock syndrome, convinced that I was going to die simply from taking a necessary precaution to avoid shedding endometrial lining all over the place. And beyond this horror, I haven’t even mentioned the impact single-use products have on our environment as they sit in landfills and leach toxins into the planet.

Of course, you can choose not to get a period. There are many birth controls that lessen or eliminate periods altogether. But this speaks, again, to inequality of access. Many people, because of economic status, religious reasons, or geographical location, can’t just go to a Planned Parenthood and get an IUD. And some people, like me, are fortunate enough to have that luxury, but can’t use hormonal birth control for mental/physical health reasons*.

There’s a lot of shame that comes with periods, too. They’re messy, kind of gross, and deeply stigmatized. They can trigger dysphoria. They can make a person feel helpless, at odds with their body. They’re painful. I read a tweet from a gynecologist that likened the pain of severe period cramps to the pain of a heart attack. Some of us experience the pain of a heart attack twelve times a year! But when you tell cis men people that you have cramps or PMS, they rarely take your concerns seriously. You don’t get sick time from work for severe period symptoms. Many people don’t have the option to stay home at all, and have to work in excruciating pain so that they don’t “waste” a sick day that they could use to, for instance, care for their children. Endometriosis, a debilitating uterine disorder, usually goes undiagnosed because we’re taught from a young age to “toughen up” and ignore our pain.

So, in addition to the globs of blood, pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, expense, and environmental impact, you get to wrestle with social and economic injustice every time you see that hormonal pimple start to form on your jawline or forehead. It’s fucking exhausting. So, obviously, capitalism tried to exploit that.

There are a slew of companies working to destigmatize and “hack” periods—panties that absorb 3 tampons worth of blood, discs and cups to collect shotglasses worth of the stuff, CBD pain creams. Reusable products incur a huge up-front cost, but promise to pay for themselves in sustainability and longevity. But as a consumer, “optimizing” your period is a full-time job.

As you may know, Thinx is cancelled. They’ve been embroiled in scandal ever since sexual harassment allegations came out about their “She-EO,” Miki Agrawal. And even beyond her atrocious, toxic behavior, “Girl Boss Feminism” is a cloyingly patronizing tool of capitalism and patriarchy, and we cannot stan. Even though Thinx has done some important work for trans visibility in their advertising, companies that tout themselves as ethical or intersectional really need to walk the walk. It’s hard to sift through torrents of information online to figure out exactly which businesses you can support—ultimately a fruitless task, since nothing truly ethical can exist under capitalism.

All of which is to say that I decided to undertake this small investigative journalism assignment (i.e. online window shopping) to figure out where I can feel good about purchasing period products. I posted a piece about this a few years ago, but things have changed, and so has our collective consciousness about business practices and single-use plastics. I want to have a 100% waste free period by the end of 2020, and donate all of my remaining conventional menstrual products. If you’re interested in doing so too, keep reading.

The Brands

Sustain

Sustain is a sexual health company that was just acquired by Grove Collaborative. I’d been using their condoms for a while, but I only recently discovered that they’d branched out into period care. I just bought their period underwear and I’m really happy with the purchase. It’s a little shocking paying $30 for a single pair of panties, but being able to go cup-free on light days with no concerns about stains was actually really liberating. They offer a menstrual cup, and their single-use products boast organic and plant-based ingredients.

I did a little bit of research, and apparently Sustain was founded by Jeff Hollander (of Seventh Generation) and his daughter, Meika, in effort to make a woman-focused sexual health brand. Would recommend! Just a tip though, if you’ve got a booty, size up in the underwear. According to the chart, I’m a medium, but I got a large and they fit perfectly. Size inclusivity is, so far, is my only gripe with this company, but hopefully as their brand grows through Grove, they’ll expand their sizing!

Knix

Knix is a Canadian brand that doesn’t have the same size inclusivity problem that Sustain has. Plus, they have a bunch of different cuts and styles of leakproof panties, for a very reasonable cost! They’re only $23, and you save 25% if you buy three pairs *furiously adds to cart*. Their advertising features women of all shapes, races, and ages which one could see as pandering, but I found it refreshing that, for once, none of the women on a website looked like me. The panties also come with a lingerie wash bag, which is a very smart move to attract cleaning freaks like me. I bought 6 pairs to take advantage of the “Buy 3” and free shipping, and one of my browser extensions found a $15 off coupon (SOCIAL15). So, for the price of 3 pairs of Thinx, I got an entire week’s worth of period protection. The best part of these is that you can wear them to the gym to absorb sweat too!

They did come under fire for a tone-deaf ad, but they apparently resolved it and apologized immediately (although the only places I could find info about this were the Daily Mail and Fox News, which, as we know, is not a credible news source, but a tool of fascism). I saw the ad, and while it is never my intention to defend a brand, it does seem like it was just a miscommunication that would have benefitted from a more critical eye and better copy.

TomboyX

TomboyX is one of those brands that you always hear about in podcast ads. They’re a gender-inclusive underwear company that makes eco-friendly, ethical underwear in tons of cuts, prints, and sizes (XS-$X). They just launched a leakproof line! They’re definitely on the pricey side, but they do offer discounts on multipacks. I’ve never bought anything from this company, but I’ve only heard great things, and they really seem to care about transparency and inclusivity, which rules. And also, ROYGBIV undies? That’s extremely tailored to my interests.

Modibodi

Modibodi is an Australian company that gets consistently great reviews, and they appear to have a strong charitable focus. Their period panties range in size from 3XS-6XL, and for extra bonus points, they do period swimwear! They also have leakproof & sweatwicking undies for dudes, as well as a vegan line.

Joyja

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Joyja, a branch of Adore Me, period underwear are probably the cutest ones I’ve seen so far, and have a great size range (XS to 4X). They’re really cost-effective ($20, with bundle discounts) and they, like Modibodi, have a buy one, give one model, like the Toms of period underwear (but hopefully less easily debunked, thanks Adam Ruins Everything).

Dear Kate

Dear Kate is another brand (XS-3X) with consistently great reviews that are manufactured in New York City! They’re a bit pricier than the others on this list, but they have activewear and dancewear that lets you “Go Commando.” In 2014, they had an ad campaign featuring women tech executives modeling their products (they often use nontraditional models) which got…mixed reviews. Whether you look at it as undermining women CEOs or making a bold comment on how women in business are objectified, either way, it started a conversation about sexism in the workplace.

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nixit

I recently tried out the nixit cup and I have to say I love it! nixit is a Canadian company that sells a menstrual disc that, in my opinion, is easier to insert, place, and remove than traditional menstrual cups, since it doesn’t use suction to stay in place. Also, apparently you can have sex while wearing a nixit, but I’ll let someone else be the judge of that. They’re made of medical-grade silicone (like proper sex toys!), so you can keep these for years, unlike traditional menstrual cups, which you should replace every three years or so. At $49, it’s an investment, but I think it’s very worth it. Intimina, which makes the Lily Cup, also has a disc, called the Ziggy Cup, which is a little bit cheaper and, apparently, available at CVS!

Dame

If you’re stuck on tampons (trust me, I get it), there’s a reusable applicator on the market! Yes, you heard that correctly! No more shoving the little cotton bullets up yourself with a finger! I wish this had been around ten years ago, it would have been such a lifesaver! This product doesn’t entire fix the waste issue, but if you buy organic, biodegradable tampons to use with it, it’s definitely a step in the right direction! It’s $22, which is not bad, but you still have to buy tampons for it, so it’s definitely not the most economical product on the list.

Saalt

Saalt cups are available at Target, and I’ve never had a problem with mine! My only gripe was that the plastic was rather rigid, but they’ve introduced a soft cup. Saalt products are eligible for FSA/HSA reimbursement (win!) and they have a cup wash which takes the guesswork out of daily cleanings during your cycle. They’re $30, which is a little less of a sting than Lunette cups, which are $10 more for essentially the same product. Cora and DivaCup are also available at Target, for  $30 and $37, respectively.

Reusable Pads

So this is not a brand, but there are plenty of places to get reusable pads and liners online. Peace with the Wild has really cute options, and you can always support makers on Etsy! I made the switch to reusable cotton rounds for my makeup, and I’ll never go back…I think it’s time to do the same for liners! I have one reusable liner from Hesta Organic, which I like, but they definitely stain, so they’re not the most aesthetic. Hesta also makes really cost-effective period panties, so if you’re hesitant to try them because of the cost, this might be a good route!

 

There are a lot of organizations that provide menstrual products to people in need. Bustle put out a list in 2017; a quick Google search will yield tons of ways that you can donate to help people in your community. I just sent a box of bras to Support the Girls, which also accepts menstrual products. My work provides free tampons and pads to students, which makes me very proud (every school/business should do this). No one with a period should ever have to feel shame or desperation. Those of us who can afford the luxuries listed above need to do our part, now more than ever, to make sustainable choices.

*The Pill was, imo, a more revolutionary invention than the wheel or sliced bread, but it can also absolutely wreck your life if you’re one of the unlucky few with severe side effects. Also, tricking your body into thinking it’s pregnant seems…bad? Or if not bad, definitely a weird medical flex, bro. But I have friends whose birth control prescriptions literally save their lives, so how about we EXALT birth control and give it out to every person that needs it for free, eh?