My Body, My Choice

On Sept. 1, 2014, a vicious wave of attacks on privacy raced 
through the Internet at a speed known only to those fluent in 
hacker jargon and computer programming. Hundreds of nude and 
suggestive photos of high-profile female celebrities, which 
had been allegedly acquired through a major hack, were leaked 
on the websites 4chan and Reddit. Over 100 celebrities such as 
Kate Upton, Jennifer Lawrence and Arianna Grande became instant 
victims, as hackers stole personal photos from their cell phones.

The public’s reaction to the scandal seemed to move in stages. 
First, they believed that this breach of privacy seemed so 
impossible that upon hearing the rumors, they raced to their 
smartphones and computers to see if it was true. Most of the 
public clicked and tapped until they found what they thought 
could not really exist, and in this way the public also 
violated the privacy of over 100 high-profile female 
celebrities.

When people realized the pictures were real, more posts began 
to flood news outlets and public Internet forums. The most 
popular comments ran along the lines of “how did they do it,” 
“I can’t believe she took nude photos” or for the less 
computer savvy, “where can I find the photos so I can see for 
myself?”

As the “Ohmigod, no way” stage of the public’s reaction began 
to die, a more rational response began to grow and spread 
among the masses. The details of the incident had become 
clearer; only women had been targeted and had their privacy 
grossly violated. The time had come to stop viewing the 
hacking as simply an unheard of, entertaining scandal and 
to start getting angry that the rights of so many women had 
been infringed upon with such widespread sexual harassment.

Actress Lena Dunham, whose phone was not hacked, pleaded with 
her fans to react to the photos with integrity through a 
series of tweets. She wrote, “The way in which you share your 
body must be a CHOICE. Support these women and do not look at 
the pictures,” as well as “Remember, when you look at these 
pictures you are violating these women again and again. It’s 
not okay.”

Fortunately, it was not long before a lot of the public started 
to follow Lena’s lead and react similarly. Now it was Reddit’s 
turn to blush and peek at the loss of its reputation and 
credibility forever.

In an ill-thought-out attempt to win back the public’s favor, 
these websites decided to donate the profits they had made on 
the pornographic photos to charities. First, because Jennifer 
Lawrence had once donated to the Prostate Cancer Foundation 
(PCF), Reddit decided to do the same. Much to its embarrassment, 
PCF responded to the donation by issuing the following public 
statement: “We would never condone raising funds for cancer 
research in this manner. Out of respect for everyone involved, 
and keeping with our own standards, we are returning all 
donations that resulted from such posts.”

Reddit was not deterred by this. They immediately began to 
transfer the rejected donation money to the charity water.org. 
Not only were these dirty funds rejected again, but Reddit’s 
donation page was shut down and will eternally read, “You have 
changed 0 lives to access with safe water.”

This perv-shaming is something that we should see more. A lot 
of people’s initial reactions were right to judge the hackers 
for infringing on something so private, but it cannot hurt to 
remember that the celebrities who took the suggestive and nude 
photos of themselves are not in the wrong — not in the least 
bit. It is not illegal or uncommon for people to take sexy and 
suggestive photos of themselves. As Lena Dunham said, “the way 
in which you share your body must be a CHOICE.”

The celebrities targeted in this hack did not have the intention 
of sharing their bodies with the entire Internet community. The 
photos were their personal belongings, which were stolen from 
them and unethically and illegally shared with the rest of the 
world. Nothing makes this ok, and it is my hope that the hackers 
will be forced to own up to their crimes.

thanks for reading,
stay classy! xx

Previously published in The Fordham Ram.

The Silhouette

I ride
Smooth sailing engine down the Big Apple streets
Partition drawn up catching whispers and breaths
Though I may lead the way I still sit in the background
Spotlights reflecting, bending from me to them.

I am invisible
The vehicle, the messenger, the speaker
Collect all their secrets and empty glasses
They may know me not yet I stay like a ghost
But their lives are more haunted than we’ve ever thought

I am the keeper
In my hands I hold the keys to their life
Push the pedals and stop at wherever I like
But some follow and stalk and intrude on their world
In photos I’m faded, just a pawn in their show

I am their envy
My life is worth living
Spontaneous, full of risks
I go out without worry I’ll turn up on page 6

I am the silhouette
Amongst glamour and glitter I exist as just me
Ever watching the flashes attack through the glass
I’ll revisit that lifestyle every once in a while
In the rich backlit shadow of the black Escalade 

Vintage Valentino and Oscar de la Renta.. It’s That Time of Year Again!

     Let me tell you something. Victoria’s Secret Angel 
black leather T-strap wedges, white crochet form-fitting
mid-calf dress, red leather vintage Valentino cross body
bag and Oscar de la Renta tortoise and gold sunglasses
makes one hell of an outfit to kick of New York City
Fashion Week! (And an even better way to spend the last
day before classes!)
     In addition to scoping out the last-minute early
morning set up of Mercedes-Benz New York City Fashion Week
at Lincoln Center, I was in the audience for Live! With
Kelly and Michael. It was my second time in the audience
and I was so excited to be returning, especially after the
magical experience I had my first time — the cast of Magic Mike
had been on that day, enough said. This time, the show provided
me with a complimentary breakfast and much-needed coffee as I
had woken up at 4:30AM in order to get to the set on time!
     The show’s guests were Jesse Metcalfe, John Tucker in the
ever-famous “John Tucker Must Die,” and also the tall dark and
handsome star on the hit show “Nashville!” Also Live Schreiber,
who plays Ray Donovan on the show “Ray Donovan” (no way!) And
the musical guests were Nick Carter, who just happened to be
one of my first celebrity loves, and the lead singer of
New Kids on The Block, Jordan Knight. The two of them have
collaborated and put together an album “Nick & Knight” and the
sound was an interesting combination of the Backstreet Boys
somewhat grown up…
     The show was so much fun to be a part of as always, I got
to throw huge yellow smiley face beach balls down at Kelly,
Michael and Jesse Metcalfe! Now how many people can say that
they’ve done that? The hosts are hilarious on and off-camera,
always joking and miraculously making the surprisingly shy Liev
laugh and crack some jokes of his own! I love getting to see such
pure talent at such a close proximity, it makes me wonder about
all of the things I can do with my (tentative) communications major.
     As for the rest of my week, I cannot wait to get back over to
Lincoln Center for more Fashion Week surprises! Let the parade of
black Escalades and limousines commence down 60th Street! I will keep
posting pictures in my album guys, sorry about the delays, I’ve just
started classes and the dreaded homework has begun to haunt me in stacks
on my desk. But homework can wait, because the city still calls and my
favorite model and style inspiration, Chiara Ferragni, is in New York
for Fashion Week! Hopefully I’ll be able to snap a picture with her too!

Thanks for reading,
stay classy! Xx

The Seekers

The stars play hide and seek
With the skylines in your eyes
Double vision horizons
Deepening blue ocean tones

Lightweight tinseled breath,
Inhaling constellations — connections.
Under the surface, we exist.
We are the seekers.
But what are “we”?

Each twinkling shoots,
Knocking their neighbors like bocce in summer
Bringing them closer, more intimate,
Yet further by distance.

They travel the slide of the little big dipper
Of the combinations of which we do not know the names
And they move to the music of our goofy laughter
As the sunrise peeks through the dawn’s glaze.

In the day’s late hours we find the answers
We find the stars but not the how
Our nets can’t reach the heights above us
We see the future — but not the path.

My Childhood Metronome

Childhood echoes bounce through my window
A nostalgic drumming that still peeks through my blinds
A beat with no answer
A tune without time
The metronome pauses for years without warning

Is it battery-run, did the battery die?
Can you replace something that was never alive?
Or just spark with what fuels an all-natural engine?
A hybrid of sorts, retains only your mention.

Childhood ghosts creep up on me slowly
The metronome teases like a lunchroom bully
It ticks to the rapid beat of my heart
Matches unsteady speeds that can’t keep me apart

And the love in this speed ignites life in non-living,
Light in the darkest of those done believing,
Hope in the worst parts of the webbed corners,
And faith in the surest of ambitious forewarners.

Childhood laughter keeps up on replay
The giddiness leaving beaver teeth shining,
Swirling ten years through a chiseled jaw-line,
Memories mapping a tight compass bind

A Conversation With Cancer

Cancer:

“ A half empty cup can never be full
To hear a pessimist is quite optimistic
For many feel insane that they are loosing control
Of the feelings caught in the seams of their smiles

Others can feel a similar shudder,
Knowing that pain can never go away
For its memory is constantly intact
Spiking and pricking
In the threads of the blaze of reflections

The countenance of a climax is rarely a glow
The concoction that stress and pressure subdues is erratic—
And crazily it is the drug that most crave.

Most pined for feeling,
Surreptitiously smashing the dreams of the illness
I grin half a smile and drink
from the chalice I hide with my scheming
Breaking the rule of stereotypes alike
And forever living in a luxe era of fortitude. “
The Victim:

“ He sits in my backyard.
Fat, round, taking lives like they’re candy
Hushing voices like a mute button
Stealing time like a plague

Yes he thinks he’s a winner
Constantly growing stronger,
A fighter,
But the coward he is makes him hesitate this long

No, the champion is you, her, him, me
We stand up and face this insidious trial
Keep revolting, supporting, accepting the aid
Against a greedy life-sucker who’s out of his place

We rise to the game he’s created for pleasure
For consumption of pain and breath all the same,
We kill off lost time cell by cell, drip by drip

He sits mouth agape ugly dumbfounded
At the Courage and Faith that Love helps us have
At the fact that he lost the game he created
Dead as the doorknob to the oncology room. ”

Fences and Thrones

If only you’d stopped running,
You’d know the truth by now,
If you’d only brought your head back
Down from all those clouds,
And I’m disappointed that in all that
Time you were the one,
Who would blend with all the others—
Another one that loves to run.

So you’re sitting on the staircase,
Drinking there alone,
And I’m waiting on the other side
Of promises unknown,
And our friendship dies with every sip
Of whiskey that you take,
For how much longer, do you think
I’m actually gonna wait.

And so I stand distracting,
Myself from all I’ve known,
Of you and what you want to do;
I’ve left that on your throne—
And I can dance, all by myself,
And find another guy,
But deep within I know it’s you
Who should be by my side.

And it’s just too tough to look at,
From a rational perspective,
Cause I’ve barely known you,
But the power’s been elective,
And the feelings are irrational
Way too strong for sense,
But in your eyes, I can see—
I’m not alone on this fence.

On the Dot

     Let me tell you something about being punctual. First 
of all, the last time I used the phrase “been more punctual”
my friend laughed and he proceeded to muse about how only I
would choose such diction over the more common, “on time.”
Actually the vocabulary upgrade is something that comes just
as naturally as the expectations people have of you to actually
be “on time” as you grow older. At the PR firm I interned at
this summer, a common phrase Account Executives would use to
describe the projects they were giving me was “time sensitive.”
If something was deemed “time sensitive,” you were to drop
whatever else you were working on and get started on that.
Making sure that you are on time is not only an important
priority in the workplace, but also in daily life.
At the start of my freshman year my roommates would have
laughed out loud that I was writing a post on the importance
of punctuality. After my first theology class I had come back
to my dorm dumbfounded because class had started a minute
before it was scheduled to. I had walked in two minutes late,
missing the memo that it was customary for students to arrive
up to ten minutes early. Normally one to plan things down to
the minute, I realized I quickly needed to change my habits.
     A few classes later, I understood why it was necessary
to get there early. Most importantly, it makes you more alert.
It helps you get a good seat in the classroom, gives you time
to connect with one another and the teacher, and gives you
time to get yourself settled before class starts. The day of
my first class I had walked in on an already discussing class
was stressed, sweaty (from speed walking across campus), and
frazzled to take out my belongings in under five seconds,
feeling scrutiny coming from all over the room. It is better
for everyone when you are on time, or better yet early. You
actually miss out when you are not!
     You can control your own timing. However, you cannot
control that of others. (It’s sad, I know.) Remember my very
first post, “CCG On the Guest List”? Well, the launch I was
covering freelance launched two months ago now. The party was
one month ago and I wrote my piece on it right after. I sent
it to my editor who promised to send it to copy and have it
published online within a week. It has been over a month and
nothing has been posted. Despite the numerous reminders I have
sent, nothing has come of it still. Not only is lateness rude,
but it has also put me in a bad light because I have not been
able to follow-up with the PR firm that invited me to cover
the launch. The lateness has even forced my article to become
irrelevant and outdated (it was a LAUNCH for goodness sake,
it’s old news now!) So one person’s lateness has not only
affected my reputation with this firm, but also the publicist
who was expecting coverage, the photographer who’s missed out
on coverage and the public who has no idea that the studio
has even launched!
   If you haven’t gotten it by now, I’ll just state it plainly.
Lateness does not only affect you. It affects everyone around
you in ways you have not even been able to fathom. Maybe if
we all put a little more focus on this we could see ourselves
becoming more organized and efficient in everything we do.

Forget-Me-Knot

Tie the knot of a love detour
around the turn the heart shall befriend
finding truth and simplicity galore
slowly waiting to reach the end

crawling along a tortured road
allowing only thoughts to flow
erupt in fervid flame to goad
changing the light, now able to go

the stop sign stands around the corner
bending beneath a tall wide bush
tricking those who did falter
sending their minds unwired in rush

can the road forgive them
sing a sweet drone lullaby
softly chanting just to lend
a second chance, to let us fly

forget me not the wind will murmur
praying that the wish is true
glancing up with a new whisper
commenced its life, and up it flew

A Poet’s Heartbeat

The air is regurgitated and sprawls me across the floor
The blow causes a convulsion,
Writhing my thoughts together in an irregular motion.
I am drowning in deeper waters

As each second dies by
The pandemonium of the irregular heartbeat
Claps away from the monotonous norm
We are emotionally disturbing creatures.

As every year ticks by slowly, creeping,
And abruptly accelerates at the end of the trickling parade.
Droplets disperse lividly and lively
Then weakly and lifeless

The life of a poet is one of a song
Timed, marked, and controlled by beats
Specifically by the metronome of inspiration.

 Commence in your unique life.
Aware.
Creating a variance between the sides of start and finish.
Fighting the mind that created all.

Contemplating the turbulence that shook the route of fantasy.