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An Open Letter to Clueless

Sunday, July 19, 2015
Dear Clueless,

Your birthday is one of the few I don't need Facebook to remind me about. That in and of itself says a lot. Today marks 20 years since your release and that leaves me feeling crazy-nostalgic, a little buggin' and quite proud.

Anyone who knows me knows Clueless is my favorite movie. It's almost a part of my identity. "That's Angél. She loves pop culture, GIFs, cats and Clueless."

via Paramount/Everett Collection

There has been so much media coverage celebrating you. How can I best do it? Offline, I'm preparing my outfit, which includes one of my various Clueless tees, and of course I'll spend 97 minutes engrossed in watching you for what feels like the 500th time. For purposes of this blog, it's not necessary to recap how insane the clothing was. (I've already done that, and everything I wrote then remains true today.) The beauty looks? Flawless. Recounting your iconic quotes is something I do on a frequent basis and don't plan on stopping anytime soon.


I decided the best way to show my appreciation and celebrate you is to share exactly why I appreciate you so damn much, 20 years later.

In 1995, I was in fifth grade (holy s...) and the only things I really remember about being a 10-year-old are winning a medal for an essay I wrote about D.A.R.E. and dressing really terribly. Seeing the film once turned into twice, thrice and as soon as it was on VHS (cringe), dozens upon dozens of times.

There was a comfort in it. I felt like I was a part of the crew. The characters were so fleshed out, so brilliantly; and although I may not have been a Betty from Beverly Hills (or even yet a teen), the core personality traits, character quirks and drama the gang faced transcended location and time.


Nostalgia is fun. But so many movies that bring those fuzzy feelings of yesteryear don't necessarily translate in 2015. Even less contain the same magic of capturing a generation in such a way that it still feels relevant decades later. I believe that's partially because your brilliant director, Amy Heckerling, positioned so many key things about the movie — technology, slang, music and fashion — of their time. Each of those categories is such an important part of today's culture and you nailed them.

Taking a moment to celebrate the core of what makes you, you: Cher.


Yes, she was a flighty, naive rich girl. But she also was likable as hell. (Alicia Silverstone playing the part definitely helped, too, with overall incredible casting.) She was kind-hearted, genuinely caring about others. She had no f's to give about how she was supposed to swoon over the lazy boys in her school, or when Tai and Di taunted her for being a virgin. GIRL POWER. She was the most popular girl in school, but didn't mind potentially having her "stock plummet" to help Tai achieve her own popularity. She didn't put up with Amber trying to bite her style and kept doing it better. Above all else, she loved all of the people in her life for who they were. Cher became happiest and her best self through helping and loving everyone around her. There's an incredible lesson in the character she portrayed.


Amy Heckerling recently told CBS News, "You can have emotional intelligence, and you can have some sort of heart intelligence and I think that might be more important in some ways." Oh, the heart you have, Clueless. It overrides any "fluff" nay-sayers might call out about you.

Thank you. Thank you for providing me so many laughs. Thank you for inspiring me to love fashion. Thank you for showing me I can love said fashion and also be a bad bitch. Thank you for showing me the power of friendship.


I look forward to watching you for 20 more years.

xoxo

Clueless: What It Was & What It Became

Saturday, July 18, 2015
This was my first Facebook status update of 2015:


I wasted no time ringing in the new year to recognize that my favoritest of favorites had a special birthday this year. I've basically been celebrating all year, but am excited that tomorrow officially marks its 20th anniversary.

Though so totally '90s, you've likely been hearing about this anniversary across media outlets — and there's a reason for that.

I chatted with David Fannon, EVP of  free movie and television streaming platform Popcornflix to get his industry take on Clueless' impact 20 years later.

Were there any movies in 1995 that were slated to be icons/big hits that seem to be overshadowed by Clueless' long-term success?
1995 was a great year for film: Toy Story, The Usual Suspects, Braveheart, Heat, Se7en, As Good As It Gets. There were also some really great cult classics, like Kids or Noah Baumbach’s Kicking and Screaming; although neither were box office successes, they were both great glimpses into youth culture. I think the reason Clueless stands out over those is just how colorful and exuberant it is. It’s witty and insightful, sure, but it’s also ridiculously fun. That speaks to audiences in a big way. 

Is it fair to say this was the first real "teen" movie of the '90s? 
Looking back at the early teen movies of the '90s, one that stands out to me is Dazed and Confused. But that movie is so steeped in nostalgia, it works in both ways: it’s a movie that teens now can relate to, as well as to adults who were those '70s teens. But Clueless is so successful just by being grounded in its time and place, and because it really knows who those teenage kids are, what their voice is. I think that’s why it’s such a standout of the decade.


Considering the Beverly Hills setting is out of reach for a majority of its audience, why do you think the movie resonated with people? (e.g. Molly Ringwald in the '80s may have seemed more relatable on the surface.)
I think regardless of the location, high school is high school. Every high school has cliques, they’re inescapable. The reason the film hit home to so many people is because you can picture someone you know in at least one of the characters. You might not all have a Cher, but you’ll still have the popular, bubbly blonde.

Clueless was a springboard for many of the young actors. Is there any actor/actress you can imagine having a different career trajectory if he/she was not in the movie?
Without Clueless, I don’t think Paul Rudd would’ve been taken as seriously in the world of romantic comedies.


And, above all else: why do you think Clueless is such a cult favorite 20 years later?
I think that both the concept and the humor are timeless in its specificity. They really nailed how teens talked and it created a whole new lexicon that still fits in today. It’s very conscious about what it was and what it was trying to do. It’s never trying to reach the lowest common denominator. It’s just a smart and fun movie that hits a bullseye in the writing, the acting, the editing. It’s too alive a movie to be seen as just a relic or a “time capsule” to a past decade.

Well said, David. Well said.

3 Things I Learned by Not Wearing Mascara for 7 Days

Thursday, July 16, 2015
Recent times have opened my eyes to a new fact about myself: I wear a lot of mascara. In the grand scheme of things, my beauty collection is not too crazy and can fit snugly in within a tray atop my dresser, even though I am a card-carrying Sephora VIB member. The reality is, mascara has become my must-have and I love trying the latest formulas and crazy spoolies. (It should be noted I'm quite a loyalist to Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies and their patented "Spoon Brush.") 

Once upon a time, I never touched a mascara tube. I am #blessed to have dark, fairly long, fairly thick eyelashes and I just didn't see the need. About three years ago, presumably after watching hours of Jaclyn Hill tutorials, I decided to add it on to my routine. My eyelashes looked even darker! Even fuller! I looked awake and just a bit more glam, even if I wore very little makeup.


A super-scientific poll (AKA me doing an informal survey on social media) found that 36% of my friend group said their number one beauty product is mascara. (For context, the runner-up was eyeliner at 12%.) It was then I realized, I'm not alone. Yay!

So what's wrong with this obsession, you ask? "I'm hoarding 27 mascara tubes right now!" you exclaim. I ain't even mad at you, boo. But the concept got me thinking.

If you Google "make-up free experiment," you'll receive hundreds of thousands of results. But what about mascara specifically? It seems like a security blanket for so many ladies, myself included. Thus, I wanted to embark on the most adventurous of adventures: tucking away my mascara for a *gulp* entire week.

Here are a few things I learned through this "experiment." Spoiler-alert: I survived.

Lesson #1: I don't need it.


On day one of the experience, I felt pretty good. It was one less step in the morning. (Caveat being, my makeup routine is short and sweet to begin with, but having one less step means a couple additional minutes to sleep, so HAY.) Another bonus: no flaking at the end of the day. I know not all mascaras flake, but I tend to rub my eyes semi-frequently (thanks, allergies) which can trigger flakes and/or those terrible raccoon eyes. In the evening, I was free of both. I liked it.

I was under the impression that if I needed one cosmetic product, it was mascara. But living without it for seven days, I realized concealer was a bit more of a necessity.

Lesson #2: I didn't turn into a monster


I had predetermined notions that all my coworkers would shake their heads at me in shame and inquire why I looked "so tired." It never happened. I can't say for sure no one noticed, but I can say they didn't coil into a ball, shielding their eyes from the burn. And when I revealed to a few friends my experiment afterward, they said they didn't really notice.

On day two, I began noticing my lashes felt a lot softer. Pro! But of course, it couldn't be that easy. That day, I planned to swing by a beauty event, and I started to panic. I couldn't go in there without my trusty mascara. I contemplated applying just ooooone coat. Resistance won and I was proud.

Bottom line: Others don't notice as much as we do.

Lesson #3: Skincare really is supreme.


I've become semi-obsessed with skincare in the past year, trying a cocktail of cleansers, moisturizers, serums and oils to find my perfect regimen. My skin has become a little more troublesome in the past couple of years, including breakouts and dry patches, on top of the fact that it's sensitive. Slowly getting my skincare game on point, I've learned what may seem obvious: make-up is more of a nice-to-have than a must.  Gorgeous eyelashes are nothing without healthy skin. When my skin behaves, I don't even necessarily feel the need to wear make-up at all. It's all about that glow, girl.

The verdict? I still think mascara is the bee's knees, but I've gone from wearing it absolutely every time I step outside to semi-frequently. And now, for the cheese: In the end, it's about what makes you feel good, whether that is mascara and lip gloss or a face full of make-up. Sometimes taking the step back to change up what is familiar can help provide some perspective.

Be sure to let me know your must-have beauty product and if you are willing to try giving it the boot for a week.

Oreo Goes Pop

Saturday, July 11, 2015
This week, I discovered iconic, tasty AF cookie brand Oreo is launching Oreo Thins. Though word on the interwebs is that they taste just as delightful with less guilt (read: calories), my skeptical side is showing.

You've been good to me, Oreo. You have a rockstar social media team, created the blessed flavor that is Birthday Cake and all-around, seem like good people. Cut the crap, Oreo — don't cut the creme.

Don't worry, I've brainstormed a few alternatives you can try. You're welcome in advance.

Beverly Hills Bubblegum

An ode to Clueless, this flavor tastes like Bronson Alcott High with a dash of a stick of Carefree gum. Bonus: it comes with a fluffy pen.

Ariana's Donut Surprise


Can you really blame Ariana Grande's affinity for donuts? Sure, she licked donuts that were meant for people to buy. But really, those donuts should have been covered up to begin with (#justsaying). and shouldn't we be worried about bigger issues, like crime, murder and Taylor Swift? It's okay, Ari. These Oreo cookies are packed with the flavor of frosted chocolate donuts - sprinkles included. You may lick them all you wish.

Love Wins

It's only right to create an Oreo in celebration of last month's SCOTUS verdict. The creme, shaped like a heart, filled with edible glitter. Sickening, no?

Emoji-onal

A special showcase of emojis that are misunderstood but well-loved anyway. We all know the girl with her hand up is sassy, not an information desk person; the girls in black with ears are dancing, not the Japanese equivalent of Playboy Bunnies and the alleged "high fives" are absolutely praying hands.

Orange is the New Oreo

Black cookie and orange creme? Old news. Orange truly is the new black, as evident by the addictive Netflix series. Let's flip the script and get an orange cookie with black creme.

Drake: Buff Edition


While everyone was making fun of Drake for being emo, he was busy pumping iron. Touché, Drizzy. To commemorate, this Oreo would take the Double Stuf concept to a new level. Packaged in a cookie dough wrapper, the Oreo is 95% creme, bookended by two cookies.