10 Red Flags To Look For To Ensure You End Up With Someone Like Your Dad by Casey Whitaker

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I like to think the term “Who’s Your Daddy” originated in a strip club when a man turned to a stripper and said “Who’s your daddy and does he know you’re here?” As free thinking hoes we don’t want to see our father’s at our place of work, especially if that place is a strip club. But subconsciously we’re all looking for our father’s love and approval.

Here are 10 Red Flags to look for in a partner to ensure you end up with someone like your dad. 

1. He is kind but doesn’t fuck with bad service. It’s date two and chances are you’re at some mid level restaurant. You’re flirting, you're drinking $12 wine and it’s all fun and tapas until the waiter doesn’t refill the waters in a timely manner and then your date turns into daddy. Suddenly the level headed project manager with the cute dog you fell for on Bumble becomes a red faced toddler making unreasonable demands and throwing silverware. The icing on the cake is when he doesn’t tip 20% because the waiter didn’t “earn it.”

2. He doesn’t say I love you, ever. This one is easy to find. Emotionally unavailable men make us all feel safe because it’s familiar. Two years into dating you’re moving in with Joe Shmo and everything is perfect. The place looks great, you’re getting laid less but he does kiss you goodnight. You say I love you and he pretends to be asleep already. This is what dreams are made of!

3. When he says you can be whatever you want to be he just means a mom. Just like your dad, your new guy is super supportive about your career. To a point. Eventually you will be expected to stay home with the little ones, but until then he’s gonna keep showing all of his buddies at work that funny web series you made with your roommate and buy you new headshots for Christmas.

4. He doesn’t think you’re a good driver. Your new guy doesn’t have a car but he loves to comment on how you drive yours. Just like when your dad insisted you learned stick to take your driver’s test as a teen, this new beau will judge your rolling stops and still insist on roadhead. 

5. Gay people make him uncomfortable. It’s like finding a double rainbow if you can find a man who’s not only homophobic but also vocal about it. Just like pops. You will now spend the rest of your life apologizing for him. Lucky. 

6. He doesn’t trust technology. Now he’s not keeping his money in his mattress, but your boo isn’t gonna download Waze because then the government will know where he is. His fear of robots taking hard working American jobs will make you feel like you’re already home for Thanksgiving with your dad who makes you turn off your smartphone so he doesn’t get cancer. 

7. He rocks socks with sandals. It’s just like WHERE-ARE-YOU-GOING? A cold beach? Some venue that doesn’t allow open toes? The guys who rock this look are already dads in their heads. You have a fertility doll in your room and you stopped picking up your birth control because the pharmacist looked at you weird once. 

8. He loves football more than you. It’s Sunday and you know who’s not getting laid? You. Cause the game’s on. All he wants is a touchdown and all you want is a touch downtown. The only thing you can do is get on Amazon Prime and order yourself a vibrator. And a jersey. Or you can call your dad and catch up. Oh wait. He won’t answer. 

9. He does your taxes for you. That’s actually really nice until he starts judging your bank statements and makes you explain why you spent $65 on a crystal that’s supposed to help you lose weight. Just like your dad, he believes that the man of the house should have sole control over finances and you’re running out of moves you learned from porn to get more allowance. 

10. He still doesn’t know your middle name. He finally proposes and when he says your full name he blanks. He looks at your dad who flew in from Florida with your stepmom and he just shrugs. That’s the moment you realize Todd shrugs the same way. They both quote the bible in arguments and they also both do this thing where they fart while maintaining eye contact. You start crying but also nod your head yes and now you’ve made your choice.

At least you’ll be able to register for some cool shit.

Bottom line, next Father’s Day is June 21st 2020. So ladies start swiping and keep your eyes peeled. It shouldn’t be that hard.

LIPSTICK SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS by Casey Whitaker

: An interview with Davida Hall by Casey Navarro

One of my first jobs in LA was personal assisting the neighbor of a friend.I had no idea at the time when I started organizing this client’s home office that I would find a lipstick and begin to learn about this client’s warrior daughter, Davida Hall, founder of The Lipstick Lobby. As cool as it was to find notes from celebrities like Oprah and Regis Philbin thanking Dan for their designer eyewear courtesy of Optical Outlook nothing could match my adoration and excitement for my discovery of this company and movement. The Lipstick Lobby not only calls for action but they also deliver and to the causes that matter most right now in Trump’s America. If you’re supposed to put your money where your mouth is than we should all buy one of each of these revved up shades.

100% of net profits from these passionate pouts are donated to the following:

FIRED UP = The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence

OUTRAGE = ACLU

KISS MY PINK = Planned Parenthood

IN THE CLEAR = ???

A new shade?! What is it?!

Let’s just ask Davida.



Casey: My first question here before we learn more about The Lipstick Lobby, I would love to hear a little bit about how you got here. I mean it looks like you've been successful in multiple industries but why The Lipstick Lobby? Why combine Beauty and hardcore Activism?

Davida: Yeah good question. I think just given my background professionally and creatively I’m a person in the lifestyle arena where I’m always absorbing information about style and fashion and cosmetics and brands, it’s the world that I've always loved and in the wake of the Trump Administration I felt prompted to think about what can I do? How can I do something using my own skills and background to contribute to what's going on and speak out. And so it sort of was an overnight epiphany, I thought oh people do t-shirts or bumper stickers all that stuff and that's cool. We do some of that too. But the idea of really using your mouth and your lips in a literal way to speak out and speak up, creating this mouthpiece of activism for young Millennials and first time voters-this idea just gelled really naturally. This was also happening around the time of the debate over Planned Parenthood which obviously still ensues today. Affordable Health Care being a hot button issue and Trump’s in office and what can we do? Ok, how about a Pink lipstick since pink tends to be the color associated with women's issues whether that's good or bad but let’s do something simple and tangible to allow young women to speak out for their health care rights. And this idea for The Lipstick Lobby was born in an instant. The idea to create something easy, simple, tangible and powerful right? And visible. That all came together and we put together a lipstick that spoke for our values and proceeds would go back to organizations that are on the ground making the changes we wanted to make. So yeah, that's kind of how it happened. Inspired by Trump, inspired by my own background in the creative production industry, thinking we should meld this consumer brand for good and to do good.



Casey: Yeah! Where were you when the news of Trump winning the election happened? How did you react to that news?

Davida:  I feel like I'm more scarred by that one TV viewing than any other event in my life. It was surreal. I was at home with my husband watching the news and watching all the votes coming in and I was exhausted so at one point I said I’m gonna go to bed and by the time I wake up this nightmare will be over. I thought there’s no way (coming from a place like the West Coast in California.) We can't fathom these kind of atrocities. So to wake up the next morning and see the final results-especially after taking my two little kids to the polls and we were voting for Hillary and this was gonna be this watershed moment to experience, for my younger daughter especially and then to have to tell her the next day that our dream didn't come true. It was shocking and upsetting and for sure one of those historic moments we will remember forever.



Casey: Yeah I was in Chicago at the time which was the bluest city in the US so I was also in my little bubble thinking this was gonna be great!  And then you went to the march. You went to the first and the second right?

Davida: The women’s march yeah. Yeah the first one just for a short time but the second one we actually had a small presence at the Standard Hotel with our lipstick so that was sort of a nice moment of we've been doing this for a while and we are here with our people. It was so fantastic, we were so embraced. People understood the brand and shared our values. They wanted to buy every lipstick that they can get their hands on. We also had the physical presence of the banner that we took out for the actual march. That was was its own moment of really just joining the ranks of passionate humans that all share your same viewpoints.



Casey: Yes! So like you said earlier, you are a mother of two and you have a little daughter. This summer I taught Science Camp working with kids ages 5-9 years old and I taught one little girl who was being bullied by a little boy that the only way to beat boys like him was to run for office. What are some things that you do with your own daughter to facilitate equality and strength?

Davida: My daughter knew from an early age that we always do things that make sense for us  as people not as girls or boys. That works with both kids, if my little boy wants to play with nail polish then sure! There's not a no because of a gender thing or a social thing, if that’s what you want to do that makes sense and I’m going to embrace that and it works on both teams.

Even from how my daughter gets dressed in the morning to sighting simple lessons like Hillary-that was a great moment for them to see, pointing out this strong woman and saying you can be just like her.  We definitely read a lot about RBG. My daughter is really into Ruth so we buy a lot of books that reinforce these values and then I also try to live them. You know, mommy’s out at work and doing good things and shaking the world up. When I say goodbye to her in the morning and she goes off to her day and I go to mine,  I think she sees that I’m going off to do things that I'm passionate about and I'm going to a place where I'm respected and I work with others where my opinion matters and those are all the fundamentals-women feeling equitable and feeling like they have a place.



Casey: Totally. So you guys have the three shades right now, are there more coming? More partnerships?

Davida: Yeah! So you actually contacted me at a great time where we're just about to start talking to people about our fourth shade.  


Casey: Yay!

Davida: Yeah we will have four shades, KISS MY PINK for Planned Parenthood, our deep red OUTRAGE for the ACLU, Our FIRED UP which is this beautiful red orange for the Brady Center to prevent gun violence, speaking out against gun violence and asking for gun reform in our country. And the newest addition called IN THE CLEAR  will be our clear vitamin E lip balm. Now we're doing in partnership with Gloria Steinem to support women in the mass incarceration system.



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Casey: Oh my gosh! Stooopp. That’s the coolest!

Davida: Oh thank you! I think so too! As a Berkeley girl I feel like I’m living my highest dream at this moment. Yeah so the organization we’re supported is called the UnPrisonProject founded by a dear friend of Gloria’s named Deborah Jiangstein, author of the book called Prison Baby and she goes into these massive prisons to speak to the woman and inspire them and teach them about life outside of the prison walls. Assists  them with literacy and mentoring skills and helps them build a meaningful life and helps their children that are left behind when these women go to prison, helping them to build their own lives and their own resources so it's an incredible organization, it’s not hugely widely known but  we're hoping that with this work we're putting towards it and Gloria shining a light on it with us that this lip balm can become a symbol of this group of women who were formally really invisible.  And what I always tell people you know around feminism there’s this association of a certain type or that feminist’s fight for a certain thing like  the abortion issue or some other hot button issues but there so many other ways that women are just in general ignored from society and women behind bars especially are invisible to other women and it is our right to lift up all types of women when they’re struggling with health issues, women struggling in poverty, women struggling from sex trafficking, and women who are in the mass incarceration system are definitely women that we as women need to look after as well.



Casey: Yeah how do you define feminism? Or did you always consider yourself a feminist?

Davida: I never really get too caught up on the term. But I think I've always had a strong sense of what women could do where women belong which was everywhere men were and more. I don't even really love that term, I feel like maybe I'm more of an activist because to me it's women's issues but  really these are human decency issues . And I look at my husband and he is a feminist, there couldn’t be a stronger more supportive male and he’s a feminist so it comes in all shapes and forms and for me it’s about living what’s authentic for you and this and what I’m doing right now couldn't feel better and couldn’t feel more right. So whether that’s a feminist title or an activist title or boss lady or whatever I think it’s all good and it’s all lottering up to this idea that women are ready to be heard and seen and I’m for that.



Casey: What are some words you live by? My mantra right now is keep moving forward.

Davida: Oh that’s a good one! Well it’s funny I was listening to the radio this morning, I think

NPR and I'm listening-this is a total digression but I’m gonna tell you anyways. I was listening to this ex cop talking about how his mantra to his team used to be don’t kill anybody today so that they knew as cops their jobs was to save lives not take them which we know there is a lot of bad press on the street for cops right now and I thought wow that’s depressing that we have to remind ourselves don’t kill people or don’t do badly when it should be an inherent place that you're not only thinking don't do the bad thing but you know what? I can do one better, I can actually go and do the good thing. So with that totally unrelated jumping off point, something that’s been sticking in my head is a quote my partner in crime Jill Raynor-Holdcroft told me. She is our Senior Creative Producer and she told me “Activism is my rent for living on this planet” which is a quote by Alice Walker meaning it's the least we could do to be a part of this world or it's the least we can do to help children who are being separated at the border. It’s the least we can do to help reunite families or fight for women who need health services. It's the least we could do. It’s the rent we pay for living on this beautiful earth. So thanks to Jill and Alice Walker that's kind of my mantra right now. And it’s so easy right now because there are so many great groups and organizations and people and companies and brands that are out there. Food companies, consumer packaged goods companies, t-shirts, fashion-everybody is saying we welcome you and your opinion. Beauty brands like the Dove campaign that was so hot a few years ago to a cool company called Wild Fang-everybody is out there doing great work. So it should be relatively easy to join forces with another woman and then find a way to do good it in a way that’s personal and feels good to you.



Casey: And how long as The Lipstick Lobby been around?

Davida: Yeah well we just celebrated our first year so it’s been a little over a year and we created four shades in that time and to think when we really started we started in a very kind of immediate way where we just felt like we had to get out there and speak up in the time of Trump and in the time of the women’s healthcare crisis.  And to be honest I wasn’t looking at it so much as where will be in five years? I was really shooting from a place of kind of immediacy and passion and heart and the fact that we have been around for a year where people are saying they like what we're doing-you know we’ve had a couple of celebrity endorsements from Gloria Steinem to Elizabeth Moss to Robin Wright or America Ferrera. And to have a few people out in the world say we like what you're doing keep going. It's been incredibly fulfilling and to have a team around me, it’s certainly not all me but this group of women who every day are challenging me. You know we're coming up with copy for our campaign. Coming up with who’s going to be the face. What issues we should amplify and all these decisions are exciting and exhilarating and I'm really grateful to the team of women around me to help me look good and help this brand grow and thrive.



Casey: Yeah and it looks like with your branding and campaigns diversity is important. Why is that?

Davida: So glad you asked that question- it’s so inherent to the brand that I always forget to speak about it. It’s just it's part and parcel with everything we speak for.  When we first got started with KISS MY PINK, I knew immediately that I wanted us to visually be about women, women of color, women of Diversity all speaking together so we did multiple rounds of our lipstick packaging with a really talented artist named Winston Tseng out of New York, he’s a  graphic designer and I did a thousand versions of the color of skin if you see the packaging I mean can't obviously depict it all on one package right? But we made sure you could see the diverse color. We made sure you could see that their were mouths that were wide open in a way of speaking out and speaking for justice. With all of our casting and the models and the influencers we worked with it is always critical that we have a wide range of representation which is also important to us internally so when we’re testing a new shade a color that looks good on my skin might not look good on darker skin or whatever it may be so we try our lipstick on a thousand shades of skin tones. And obviously we can't please everyone because people have their own tates of what colors they like to wear but it’s fundamental to us that our colors are flattering and would appeal to a wide range of skin types. And it’s important that our packaging and our brand and our casting feels that it can speak be anyone and everyone. It’s absolutely critical so thank you for bringing that point up!



Casey: Thank you so much for talking with me.

Davida: I appreciate you taking the time! It’s so funny that you work for my dad!

Casey: Well I’ll keep helping him stay organized if you keep doing what you’re doing.

Davida: Deal.






LONG LIVE THE QUEEN OF KUSH: An Interview with Olivia Alexander, CEO of Kush Queen by Casey Whitaker

I have been a fan of Kush Queen for some time now and I should have known that chatting with the woman behind it would be everything I’ve ever wanted and more. Olivia is the person at the party we all want to get to know. The highly anticipated party is the wonderful world of (legal) cannabis and lucky for us the queen has arrived and she’s not leaving anytime soon.

Casey: So first of all I am a huge fan of Kush Queen, I buy your products a lot so I am fangirling a little bit right now. I want 100 bath bombs immediately. Everytime I go to MedMan they’re sold out and I get real sad! Basically, I’m obsessed with your brand and all of your products, can you tell me a little bit about the process you go through when creating new ones? How do you test them?

Olivia: Well I always start new products with what excites me or what I don’t see being made well.  That’s why I started my first business The Crystal Cult. I just made a vape for myself that I liked and then other people wanted to buy it and I had a business, that’s really how everything started for me. I always just start from a place of what do I think needs to be improved, what am I passionate about; I’m really passionate about skincare. I’m really passionate about CBD. I’m really passionate about people connecting to people who aren’t necessarily stoners or people who even smoke weed or use cannabis the way that I do. A lot of times people ask me to make stuff and it’s just not in my heart, I’m not drawn to that product. Even right now I’m being pressured into making holiday bath bombs and we’re a wellness brand-we’re approaching everything from wellness and it feels superficial to me and I just can’t do it. I don’t want to sell cute bath bombs. I feel like if people want cute bath bombs they should go to LUSH. That’s where I go when I want something fun. If you want a different sort of experience, that’s what Kush Queen is trying to provide and now that we have so many people who are fans of the brand they give us feedback on the products so I do try to listen. Also if we get a lot of questions about a certain ingredient that people are allergic to I try to be super mindful. Right now I’m trying to get rid of cornstarch in our bath bombs because I’ve met a lot of people who are allergic to it. But really it’s just all about my passion, it’s really really incredible and I think that people undervalue what a product is in our world and our society. And I think more importantly all of the products in the world are made by the same twenty people. Genuinely. And I think that’s crazy. Especially our skincare products and our bath products. I mean I’ve been looking to replace my body wash because Dove tests on animals and that’s something I am strongly against but it’s actually really hard to find a body wash that doesn’t upset my skin and doesn’t test on animals. So that right there I’m working on, I use our body wash and soaps but I’m working on new ones that are more like a dove formulation. But it’s all about passion over here, we love the products just as much as everyone else. We use them all the time-sometimes it takes twenty five attempts or prototypes to make something good and then sometimes we get it right quickly, I’m working on some soaps right now that are on number eight and it’s not going well but it’s all part of the fun and then honestly when we feel like the products are ready is when we release them. Some of the new cosmetic stuff I’m doing there’s a lot more testing that’s gotta go into it like shelf life testing.  Is this product going to harden in this bottle because I’m not using any preservatives in it? There’s so many little questions like that but mainly we use the living crap out of it and try to be really critical because it’s a really personal thing to make these products for people. Especially bath bombs and lotions-things that people use for pain or that might be sick or down or dealing with something, they’re in that much more of a vulnerable position as a consumer. I mean we’ve seen the healthcare industry exploit the fact that people are sick, it’s kind of twisted when you really think about it. It's really just all about the feedback from our customers and the collective of people that work here behind the scenes who play a huge part in the products that we make. Even with the bath bombs when we've had problems it’s because now we make more bath bombs than ever before. In the beginning I started making bath bombs in batches of twenty and now we make thousands of bath bombs every day and when you start to do that the business starts to change. I had to change my suppliers and then the person you buy from, you're also growing their business as you grow yours and those ingredients really matter. So it's really a lot of things, but honestly, everything behind our brand is the products and without actually amazing product we would be nowhere. It’'s just the most important thing. It drives me every single day and everyone here at the company as well.

 

Casey: As the new girl in LA, I got here in January from Chicago and I am embracing that California lifestyle. I hike, eat gluten free and I've been dabbling more into the world of weed.  I found that a CBD gummy before bed does wonders for my anxiety and my skin because I sleep so much better. You mentioned it earlier but can you talk a little bit more about how important wellness is to your brand? 

Olivia: It's so important to the brand. I think in the end it’s important to me as a person and to my family and the people who work here. I think that I was raised by a woman who taught me about self care often, she would teach me about all kinds of things even though growing up we didn't call it that. Back then it was just considered my mom making me a girly girl. That's kind of how it was judged and labeled. But my mother was raised by a single mom who didn't get a lot of attention, you know, my grandmother was just trying to survive. And so when my mom had me really gave me a lot of attention, she taught me about self care. She would teach me rituals that were her beauty rituals that were all about her taking care of herself. She frequently did take care of other people too much as well but also somehow she taught me the value that I can't be a leader in my community, I can't be a business owner, I can't even be a good girlfriend or sister or daughter if I don't take care of myself first. For me, wellness is a part of that, you know, being healthy is important to just life. And now I mean I grew up in a place in Louisiana and I moved to LA when I was thirteen.  I'm thirty now, so I grew up in a place in Louisiana called Cancer Alley. That's literally what it’s called if you look it up. It was about one hundred and eighty miles of industrial chemical plants, more than anywhere else in the country. It’s so deregulated and I came from a family of women who all died young. Just three months ago my mom had a brain tumor, a non cancerous brain tumor that was removed, but it's a really dangerous place to live and they continue to like build subdivisions. They bath their children in the water and pollute through the Mississippi River. It's really dark shit. And because I grew up there I try to be more hyper aware than most people about the products that I use because I've seen that sadly, these businesses don't see making our products and taking our money as a gift and honor and responsibility and I think there's a lot of dangerous stuff out there. I’ve worked for cannabis companies for many, many years before I really had the ability to make my own products. I was trying but I was really making my living by doing social media, creating content, and being behind the scenes at bigger cannabis brands and what I witnessed was just more products that were actually going to make people sicker were just being poorly made. And I think that if we want to change the world and make the world a better place,  we have to start with wellness and teaching people how to take care of themselves. You know, I grew up in the South. I grew up in a place where that's just not talked about. It's just not taught. And then you move to California and I think a lot of it was because I was an actress in the entertainment industry and in order to be an actor your body literally is everything that you've got.  Also you're being dragged through this psychological warfare of auditioning and status and just all kinds of different things and a lot of my wellness routine came from me trying to cope with being in that industry and trying to make myself the best little person that I could be.  And then my brother really truly is the other big influence. He struggled with a lot of mental illness in his life, but it made him develop the most incredible regimen of yoga and eating healthy and he's the one who taught me a lot about spirituality and brought that into my life. He really brings another element to it for me. I really try to preach it to everybody, especially after my mom’s health scare and then a week ago one of our employees got hit by a car in Hollywood and it was horrible and she was on a ventilator for four days, but is already off of it and they said she showed three to four weeks progress and it's just been a week. But they were both taking preventative CBD and using CBD and cannabis as a wellness tool.  My mom got off Ambien and I think that might have also been what brought the brain tumor to the surface. We don't really know, but they both were better off because they they had wellness routines despite what life handed them. And I think that's also part of it, I think that a lot of people try to get into wellness when it's too late and they're already sick. I think that it's just crazy. We learn so much in school, but we don't learn any of that. And right now more than ever, I think that's all we really need. So that's kinda how I see it. It's pretty dramatic, but I'm a really dramatic person.

 

Casey: I love that! And I love Kush Queen, it's so wonderful, I mean it's dope period besides the fact that it’s founded by a woman and run by women which just makes it even more badass.  I'm an actor and a comedian as well so I understand what you’re saying about the industry. I would further point out that the industry is very male dominated. Do you feel similar in the cannabis realm? Not that it's all about the battle of the sexes, but have you faced any struggle with that coming up? 

Olivia: No, I think there are a lot of women in cannabis and women in entertainment, there's women. We’re there. I personally have found though that women are not stakeholders. They're not controlling money, they’re not controlling real estate. They're not controlling licensing. If  you're looking at a majority of the people holding licenses in the state of California for legal cannabis right now, it's going to be predominantly men even though there are social equity programs being put in place. But I mean, I giggle.

“For me personally, it’s always been a man’s world. I have always felt like I’ve been living in a man’s world and I would be more successful if I was a man. And that is a tragedy.”

That’s a really sad thing to say. My mother said that to me. She said, “well, you know, if you were Michael (meaning my fiance) you would be fifty times more successful” and that's terrible. It's just horrible. Especially since I have multiple nieces and and my cousins have young daughters and we cannot accept that. In cannabis especially there has been a horrible problem with representation of women in general as really oversexualized. I mean look even from where we stand, there's a type of woman who feels really, really empowered to be nude. And there's other types of people who don't. We're dealing with a super stigmatized plant and I don't think it really helps the cause. So I've personally found a lot of power in running my own business and being able to control who shoots my content, who is in my content, how they look, what we're saying. it's just, it's all really, really important.

My biggest issue with everybody is that nobody does anything. People say, Oh, Americans are apathetic. It's not even that. My parents were good people. They raised me well, they raised my brother well who is a gay man. They really surrounded him with a lot of love and acceptance but they've never called their senator, never donated to planned parenthood. You know, my mother had abortions, but they're just not active. I will say my dad donated money to different things and is very political but unfortunately he's on the wrong side of history as many of our parents are. But my mom,  she's a great woman, a great person in our community but she’s not doing anything, you know, so I think for me, my life is also partially about me trying to get to a certain level to where I can really do something. and when I was working for these other companies and I was an employee of people or talent or whatever, I took it all in and for me it was always male dominated and it really isn't about them versus us for me, it’s about representation. It's about the power and the fact that Beyonce is using the first black man to ever shoot the cover of vogue. What?? No one black has ever shot a cover of vogue?! What the fuck? And if people could say, oh, that doesn't matter, but it's the most influential fashion magazine in the world. It does matter. It really does. So I’ve always tried to be one of those people who leads by example, who thinks every little bit does go a long way. We might actually have too many women at our company. I mean, not really. You can't ever really have too many women. We recently hired multiple guys and it’s just so funny to see dudes around here because for awhile, we had only gay man who worked here so we had to up our ratio of straight men in the house just to make sure they had a voice. Also because we do on occasion need to like do some terrible things and we want them to do it.

I unfortunately feel like this is really controversial, but whatever so the “Permit Patty Lady”,the woman who called the police on the little girl, she was in cannabis and obviously that went viral. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqARrnQdcQM) The video of was so visual and visceral and awful. But weeks before that, the cannabis industry, they were trying to out the owner of a very large weed company as a rapist, it was sort of our own me too moment and no one gave two shits. It angered me and so many women and so many people were trying to get people to care about this and no one did. But boy people cared about destroying that woman. And I mean whether or not she deserved it or not is, is on people, I just thought, wow, the fact that there everyone is so ready to burn a woman, but this rich man no one gave a fuck. And then let this other guy, defending this man's behavior and victim blaming tried to reach out to me to take down the post. This industry is run by rich  white men. It's terrible. And I've always talked about it and more than that, the legal cannabis industry has a real white privilege problem. And then, you know, people really don't want to talk about that.

 

Casey: Yeah! We sold our merchandise on a website called Feminist Apparel. Again it’s called FEMINIST APPAREL but recently the CEO, they found out who is a straight white male has a history of sexually abusing women. Most of the staff and vendors left when this all came out last June but I was just so flabbergasted that there was a man in charge of Feminist Apparel in the first place. And then on top of that, he's not a good man. I think that's insane. That's so counterintuitive to me.

Olivia: Yeah well it’s just representation. The world looks like this big melting pot of people and experiences and tragedy but in our government and our leadership and the people holding most of the wealth are the same twelve people who are all holding onto it and human suffering is at an all time high. Just normal people struggling is at an all time high. I really still believe that even though people can say whatever they want about the economy, but I think representation is the first step in fixing our problems in the world and when you think that there are no Muslim women holding office, that gives me chills. The only way to know what it's like to be a Muslim in America right now is to be one. And for us to not want to put people like that in office to represent that experience. I mean hello? These people are just, they're just missing it, and I know that I don’t know everything, but I do feel like there are clear answers and solutions and good first steps. And I just think that representation is a big first step and is everything that we're passionate about here at Kush Queen. With our look book this year, we made sure we were using real people with real stories. Not even just models, but people who either really used cannabis  or really had HIV or really were gay. I’m just so sick of this idea that they're allowed to market it to us every day and literally try to brainwash people because that’s really what marketing is. They don't take into consideration what they're representing. Especially with cannabis because the drug war and because so many people are in jail for what we do, but I'm really lucky that I was educated, you know, and I grew up in the south and then I came to LA and everyone is the sum of their experiences. And I’m just the sum of mine. I've met people who've changed my perspective on everything and taught me to be better. And you know, my brother's experience being a gay man has taught me a lot about life. And unfortunately we've gotta we've got to do better not just in cannabis but in the world.

 

Casey: Yeah. (sigh) Yes to all of that. Now can you talk a little bit about how you maintain your mission? I know you've had several companies, but for Kush Queen it's about three years old?

Olivia: Technically. Yes. But I struggled for the first two. I didn't even have like a real viable business, I would say until maybe a year ago. I just stay true to myself, you know, and I try to stay true to like my gut instinct and my heart and I let that guide me and I'm a really hard worker. I am kind of like a relentless worker bee. I like to work. It makes me feel better about life. I need to physically be exhausted at the end of the day. If I don't exhaust myself I'll be up all night thinking and I figure sometimes the best medicine for life is really hard work. Just keeping it real with people and trying to be honest and stay grounded and just pursue what's in my heart and try to not listen to other people that much too.

 

Casey: Yeah. And you guys partner a lot with other companies. Why at Kush Queen is it important to continually work with other brands and women?

Olivia: Well, I think that the cannabis industry people have a hard time with partnerships. But I think that our business has these products but it's also a platform and when you have the privilege of a platform you have to do something with it. I think that that's why we partner with other women or people and we have some other partnerships that will be coming out soon, But that’s where all the good stuff lies truly. And it’s about putting your money where your mouth is and in your action. I feel like if I'm going to be one of those people who's out here saying I stand for something then we have to have the receipt. And this is the age of the Internet where people will quickly see through your marketing ploy, which I'm not saying everyone is fake, but there are people saying we're hiring felons right now on a big billboard which is a good thing, don't get me wrong, but where’s the other work that you guys have done for that cause? And are you going to be dedicated to that long term? I hope it's not just like a quarter one and two marketing campaign. It’s got to be a  we're dedicated to this forever type of thing in my opinion. And that's kinda how it is with Kush Queen in anything that we do or we create, it's just got to always stand for something because I'm not back here trying to just sell shit to people. If I'm wanting to do that, I would leave cannabis and go work for a huge company and be an executive somewhere but it's not what's in my heart and is not what's really fulfilling. So we just keep it real. My mom is a huge part of our business too. And when I think when you do business with family and when you're a family owned business, your family has a way of keeping people in check. Even me, even the brand and the platform. Then when you meet people, even like yourself, when you just meet people, it's a responsibility. Also because I came up through social media, the brand work I did, I think that a lot of people legitimately follow me. I think that that could either be something that drives me crazy forever or something that is the greatest gift I could ever be given in life. And that's how I see it. I just feel like I've been over here and I'm just doing me and I know this is the right thing. I know that these are the good things and I know that my heart is trying to be aligned with always doing what is good or what I believe to be good. And I think that is powerful. I'm going to go in and I'm going to be covert and I'm gonna get all these people on my side and then I'm going to use it. So they do good. So other brands celebrate pride month because when they see me getting all this damn press getting next to Levi's and getting on all these big placements and all I'm doing is selling a bath bomb and donating almost all the money I make. At this point, people just copy me and I'm only trying to use that for the betterment of the world. I just really hope that there are other good people out there though who were going to do it, not just for business but because it's what we need. We just all have to have a collective awakening.

I always tell people when they tell me “oh I want to start my own business.” I always say well you should! Because all the businesses in the world are run by twelve people. And if we just had people who were more conscious and were buying from a more local business or a family owned business or maybe still a big business, but they're an independently owned business like LUSH trying to change the world using their platform for so much good. I mean they're some of my idols and you can see all the work that they've done in the company, stood for all kinds of crazy things that businesses just don't do or say like “we're against the death penalty.” Have you ever heard of a brand saying that? So I'm just so inspired and the worst the world gets the more I’ve realized that my mom raised me to be inherently good and that is a gift. Even with my mom getting sick and my employee and everything- everyone around here, all we want to do is live life to the fullest, grab life, you know, by the bath bomb and just be extra.

Casey: The first time I tried one of your bath bombs, I just had this kind of out of body experience where for the first time in my life I hugged my legs in and was like, Casey, you're beautiful. I had never said that out loud, it was life changing.

Olivia: I feel like what happened was we just wanted to make really good products with cannabis in them and we made the bath bombs because they combine essential oils and it's just an unbelievable self care kind of experience because you're submerged in this big hot tub of water and then you have the essential oils and you have the cannabis. So many people say that they  had this crazy experience and it made me realize so many of the products that people sell are just superficial and they don't like touch us at the experience level. And I also think that's why Kush Queen’s brand is going to continue to just be a leader and continue to grow and just be this amazing sort of orb of amazingness because I really want to focus on the experience for people.  That is something that you can't put a price on. And it's just a bath bomb you know but I feel the same way. The other day I was just around my house naked letting my jiggles everywhere and smoking a joint. And I thought you know what? I may not be the skinniest girl in the room, but I’m definitely the happiest and I don't give a fuck. It feels so great. And hopefully we can share that and help other people achieve that because all I want is people to  feel that just because the world is telling us that we're all wrong doesn’t mean it’s true.

 

Casey: Just customer service, I mean as a Kush Queen customer, I do feel taken care of and valued. And with your branding I just, there's a sense of community and it's inclusive and cool. And that’s what it’s about, people just want to feel like a person. 

Olivia: Yeah because we are people. It’s so funny too, I think people think we’re some huge company but we really don't have that many employees. I don’t say it like it’s a bad thing but when I tell people how many employees we have and how big our business is they’re like, wait, what? But it's just the power of the way we do it here and the way we've always done it. People are human and all the people who work here are and the fact that we don't pretend to be this machine or want to be seen as that-I mean I am scared everyday when I start to release certain details in my partnerships that people are going to think that I've sold out, that people are gonna judge me and ask what are you doing with your business? But I have to always remember  that I sat down with the people that I'm partnering with and I know what they stand for as humans. I can feel comfortable in that. You know, we just have to grow, we have to expand. And I just think that we're not perfect but we do our best. I think that's the difference, there are a lot of companies out there who are purposely trying to deceive people, purposely trying to get people to believe their product is organic when it isn't or it has less CBD than it does. For example MILK makeup for crying out loud, a brand that I thought I loved what they stood for selling hemp seed oil and calling it CBD in Mascara when the hair is dead. I think it's cool that they're using it as a replacement for something having to do with bees but I just think deceiving your customer who you built all this supposed trust with as a brand is just outrageous.

 

Casey: Which Kush Queen products do you use?

Olivia: That’s really tough, I use the bath bombs a number of days a week. I have really sensitive skin and I've had like every horrible skin condition under the sun so I use our Relief bomb and I love it. Then I usually use it in combination with Melts because I'm normally so tired and my arms will hurt or my back will hurt from working all day or lifting heavy boxes but I really do use them all. I use the shower gel religiously. Helped me with my back acne. Glamorous but true. And then I live for our skin serum, which is a new product, and I don't wear makeup every day but I can use that after taking two rounds of accutane because of this amazing product. They're all heroes me in different ways. But definitely the bath bombs and the melts. The melts are an addiction at this point.

 

Casey: What else do you do to practice self care? 

Olivia: Well I like to take  just like a little time in the morning. I don't like to use the word meditation because that feels you know like you have to be Ohhhm. When people say, I do a meditation app I say well I'm not that far. But I do like that take time in the morning. I like to just have me time for about an hour where I'm not on my phone and just sit in my backyard. I also love to get my nails done. My nails are everything, it feels like it resets my soul and I take it super seriously. And then just living fully. I know that sounds kind of silly, but just making sure that if I feel like I've acted in a way that I'm not proud of, I apologize and just try to live every day being better. I also have a strange addiction. I love cleaning my face and I have a facial steamer. I love steaming my face. You can do it too much so you can't get too addicted. But I try to steam my skin once a week and do a mask and that really helps me just feel so moisturized especially in dry southern California.

 

Casey: Last question. What stereotypes around using cannabis do you think should be broken or just aren't true? 

Olivia: Well, I think the biggest thing for me is that people only relate to smoking weed. Smoking weed is the basic level of cannabis and probably in twenty-five years we're going to laugh, we're going to look back and be like, oh, remember when people used smoke joints? Or smoking out of a bongs- I think that it’s sort of still the biggest hurdle that we have to overcome is that certain people don't look at cannabis as a daily preventative. They look at it as just something sick people need. And I’ve grown weed and I’ve dealt with the plant so much that it's a plant.  It's like a carrot and I'm on this mission to get people to look at it like a carrot or kale because even people who say oh, I can't believe you smoke weed everyday-but I don’t only smoke weed. Sometimes I use it topically, I take a capsule, so many other ways besides smoking weed. And I think that the media has had that same fascination with the stoner. Even the cannabis community, the people who are in the core community or people in the industry,  a lot of them are extreme consumers. I think that that's okay, I'm the kind of person who also doesn't want to be judged for the fact that I want to smoke a joint in the middle of the day, but I think it's all one big problem that we're still not understanding it as a plant. We're really still over shooting on the harm and I just think that the legal cannabis industry has its own hurdles to overcome because we're creating an industry that's not sustainable as far the packaging. We've got to wake up and be more conscious as far as like the waste we’re creating. And I think the stoner will go away. I really do and people are gonna understand it more medically. I think it's got to be seen as a plant and everyone's still seeing it as dollar signs or a drug.  I really liken it to kale and one day whenever I teach my kids about it, that's how I'm going to teach them. We still have a lot of lot of hurdles to overcome with stigma-it's a lack of understanding, you know, even the munchies, people will say, oh, weed will give me the munchies and I'm like, well it is an appetite stimulant, but if you were using a high THCB strain, which is a different molecule, but certain types of THCB, like a Durban Poison, it will actually act as an appetite suppressant. But people just don't know and then you get like such a little time with media and different things to explain to people as opposed to really being able to educate them. It's just gonna take a long time. That's all.

 

Casey: One more thing and then I'll let you go for real.

Olivia: Great.

 

Casey: You were talking about your staff and I would love to end on who is a current staff member that you think is invaluable and why? I mean, I'm sure they're all great, just the first one that comes to your mind. It doesn't have to be favorite. 

Olivia: Well obviously my mom.

 

Casey: Oh yeah, of course. What is your mom's name? 

Olivia: Kalli!

 

Casey: I love it.

Olivia: You know, she keeps us all on our toes. But I really honestly I love every single person who works here, obviously with having someone on our staff who had a very traumatic accident, you realize how much time we spend together and then to get back to people love our product, you know, people who are big fans. That's also something everyone here loves. One of my friends has worked with me for years and her name is Ashley. She's another one who’s been here every step of the way. I mean there's a lot of people who've been here for over a year. Everybody's special and everybody brings their own unique everything to it. My brother, I mean you can’t ask me my favorite, i can’t pick one! I'm related to two people so it's extremely biased.

 

Casey: Well thank you so much for chatting with me. 

Olivia: Yeah, no problem. Thank you so much for taking the time to believe in what we do in care and it really, truly makes everything amazing. Yes. We're just really lucky if we would be nowhere without people like you who believe in our products and who enjoy using them. So we do appreciate it.

 

Casey: Well and thank you for doing the work that you do. 

Olivia: I'm just doing my part.

Becoming a Kween in a Spa Palace by Casey Whitaker

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A few weeks ago I bought a Groupon for one general admission to the Spa Palace. I thought it would be relaxing and fun to go for my birthday but after multiple gal pals expressed disdain for having to be naked in front of each other I opted for nails instead and saved the Groupon for a rainy day.

Well when it rains it pours and in this case weeks later my cousin and I headed to the spa palace where much to the patriarchy’s disgust we plunged head first into some naked hot tubs and even allowed strangers to scrub our naked bodies.  But let’s back up a bit because I want to explain all the feelings.

After being handed our uniforms and locker keys we headed into the lion’s den which was having to take off our clothes around water in front of others. We were instructed to shower before our scrub massage package ($60 for 70 minutes of vulnerable butt naked bliss LA gals go!). Immediately we were uncomfortable when we realized the showers were just out in the open, no doors. This actually made me feel better for a second because last year I had a close call in a gym shower when I got trapped inside cause the door broke and I apparently hadn’t been working out hard enough to fit through the 4 inch sliver to freedom. But that wasn’t the only memory that came flooding back, I remembered being called cute chubby by a co-worker or being 12 and someone asking if I really needed those chips or reminiscing about how my pepperoni nip flapjack titties rarely fit into my gym clothes in high school. The card catalog of magazine covers and friend’s bikini pictures at spring break burst out with a vengeance followed by shapewear ads on instagram all pointing to this ideal beauty that I don’t think I was ever truly a part of. Being curvy has never felt in style. What if someone sees my stretch marks that are not warranted from bearing children but from really liking bourbon? Or what if they catch a peek of my thick thighs dimpled with cellulite and spider veins?! And there’s no way I can strap in my back boobs if I’M NAKED!!

Society has taught me that women's bodies (that aren’t photoshopped) are not ok. Putting aside my own body shaming I must also admit that throughout my 31 years of life I have subconsciously body shamed other women's bodies too. I know I have. I have been so ashamed and scared in my own temple that comparing it to others who were bigger or shorter or softer than me made me feel superior because we are meant to compete with other woman right? Hold on, I need to ask a Straight White Male real quick to double check but I think that’s right. Actually I think I’ll just send him a pic so that he can tell me if I’m beautiful or not because his opinion is really the only one that actually counts.

We have been brainwashed into believing that our worth stems from our sex appeal in the eyes of a person with a dick. We obsess about our appearance and it seems like we are never truly satisfied.

But let’s get back to the Spa Palace. Did I mention there is free parking?!

Eventually we are led into more doorless rooms by women who’s uniform consisted of a thin bra and underwear. (See there! I did it again! Judging!) We are then motioned to take off our clothes and just birthday suit that bitch. The massage table was covered in a plastic that I can only describe as a slip and slide which became apparent later when I was covered in oil. I started face down thank god cause at least I could hide my ugly vagina. Then came literal buckets of water bouncing off my bare ass and making me feel like a featured extra in The Handmaid’s Tale. Then this wonderful woman scrubbed every inch of my body. She went places I have never introduced to my loofah. I was so clean that I am truly considering taint play for the first time in my life.

Next came an open shower but this time I was a little more relaxed and when another naked woman passed or stood next to me I didn’t stare at the ceiling and cover my bits. I felt so smooth and powerful and yet still sure that I wasn’t supposed to be so free.

Round two was just me ,a gallon of oil, and the hands of an angel. I honestly don’t know how or what or why but Jesus might be real. Again I went to shower and this time I took my hands away from my bits and let the water roll over me like Jo Dee Messina’s music video Bring on the Rain. It was liberating but I still wasn’t sold.

Round three was a facial and SHE. WASHED. MY. HAIR. What?! I literally laid there in such a relaxed state I could have farted and another human being shined, oiled, masked, and fucking washed my hair. Damn! I don’t think I can ever wash myself without assistance from now on, mainly because I don’t think I’ve been doing it right.

Final shower. I was reborn. For the first time in forever I let my hands go over every inch of me. I caught myself smiling and when I went back into the fateful open room I didn’t even flinch when she toweled me off.

Intuition Pussy Party by Casey Whitaker

:An Interview with Krista Suh, Creator of the Pussy Hat Project

I cannot tell you how much getting to do this interview meant to me. Krista Suh is power and inspiration and the entire thing felt like I was talking to an old friend. It’s the same tone she sets in her book. She is wisdom and grace. We talked about all the things like maintaining a movement, reaching across the aisle, RBG, and how to trust yourself to make your own waves. I hope you enjoy!

Casey: So diving right in, do most people know that you are the founder of the Pussyhat Project?

Krista: I don’t think so, I think a lot of people know what the pussyhat project is which is a really awesome thing, I think it takes more of a fan so to speak to know about the origins of the project. Also this is a compliment to the project and the pussyhat that it’s so ever present and feels like it’s been there forever in a way that it doesn’t really occur to someone that someone came up with that idea. That’s why I wrote the DIY rules because I want to point out that all these great ideas do have humble beginnings and come from ordinary people. And once something gets big or famous or well known it’s like we suddenly exult it to this amazing thing that only few people can do but if you read my book (DIY Rules for a WTF World)  or check out my website (www.kristasuh.com) It’s obvious that everyone can make their ideas into these huge things.-I mean I came up with the idea in my car. I wasn’t on some mountaintop somewhere thinking away, it was pretty mundane actually-had humble origins I’ll say.

Casey: And for the ones that don’t know, do you think they would be surprised to know it was started by a woman of color?

Krista: Oh for sure yeah. I think that it doesn’t really cross people’s mind, it almost goes unnoticed in a way that an Asian American woman created it especially since there’s been a lot of criticism of the hat some from the stance that it’s not inclusive of people of color which is kind of ironic since I am a woman of color.  In some ways it doesn’t matter because what they’re really railing against is white feminism and saying to be more intersectional and I’m actually in agreement with that.

Casey: Circling back to the election,I felt the same way after about giving everything but my voice. When the results began I was working a 'high powered women in business' party for Hillary in downtown Chicago and as the numbers kept coming in the crowd started to disperse and at the end of the night as I was finally leaving there was just one man popping all of the balloons in the arch to get rid of it and it was a living metaphor as he popped every- single-dream-of -mine and as sad as I was I also had in the back of my mind I guess my intuition, something you talk a lot about in your book--this voice saying the country wasn’t ready but it will come in your lifetime. What was your first reaction to the news?

Krista: Honestly I was in denial, especially going to bed that night. I still thought some hail mary would happen and if the illuminati were real then if would be fixed by the morning and I woke up and it was really stunning actually. I couldn’t quite believe that I was in this world where a man like Trump could become President and a woman like Hillary could not become President and it was really demoralizing. That week there was a rise in calls to therapists, it was documented in the news and on my end my therapist and life coach actually cancelled on me because she was so distraught and that was just the state of the world. And I really felt like I had campaigned for Hillary, I had donated money-so there was my time, my money- and it hit me that I had just not been using my voice. And when I looked at the blog posts on my website I realized I had not been speaking up at all and I was scared to. I was hoping that time and money would do that because that was easier somehow and it would take bravery to speak up. You know-what would people say about me? How could I hold my own in a political conversation? And then something snapped inside me and I decided I had to do something. So just as simple as doing a post a day with a picture of myself because I couldn’t be afraid anymore to put myself out there. I do think it’s a problem plaquing a lot of women where I know back then I was so scared of any photo that went out of me, I would look at it for a second and like it and then starting thinking oh you know this and then that-things that other viewers would not really care about but all of a sudden it’s the only thing I can see. I do think unfortunately that that’s an active metaphor about how women feel about putting themselves out there, it’s like if we’re not perfect then we can’t put ourselves out there and I realized that was holding all of us back so I started making these daily posts and reaching out to my creative arts friends and pouring my heart out and asking what can we do? And around that time news of the women’s march started and I just knew I would go and then I was in my car one day and came up with the idea and launched right into it. I started it with my knitting teacher Kat Coyle who I brought in to help make the knit pattern. Then I wrote the manifesto, it was really a lot of woman power coming together.

Casey: Kind of in the vein of the last question, I feel like I have started to reach across the aisle and try to understand the opposite point of view more so than before-what do you think about liberals dating trump supporters and do you think it’s important to have those conversations now with people who have the opposite point of view?

Krista: As far as dating, I think what I look for in a partner even if it’s just casual dating, I’m heterosexual so I don’t really find a man attractive if he’s not actively supporting my dreams and I don’t want to put a blanket statement on it-it’s really hard, I don’t think for me personally I could do it simply because if you are pro trump then you are against me. Not even as the Pussyhat creator but as a woman. I do think that a lot of the people who support Trump who are otherwise very nice people, I there is a sense of scarcity among that, this mentality that there’s not enough to go around so we gotta fight for ourselves and make sure we take care of America first whereas I think having more of an abundance mindset is not only more attractive but more effective. Not to say that there aren’t plenty of liberal social justice warriors with a scarcity mindset but for me I don’t look for somebody that’s necessarily liberal or republican but I definitely look for someone who has an abundance mindset. I think that is what will bring America forward and the human race forward. And when you talk about having conversations from across the aisle so to speak, I find that it often comes to that conversation of scarcity versus abundance. They’re coming from a place of scarcity and we can’t force them into an abundance mindset. All we can do is live it, and examify it, and invite them to it. And as I say in my book, I think the first step is really to encourage those who want to believe in abundance and want to speak up but for whatever reason feel scared to, I call it preaching to the choir except it’s a good thing because if your choir is out of tune, hasn’t practiced in a while, or is scared to sing out than that is a problem and you do need to preach to the choir. I do think that’s the state we’re in right now.

Casey: I’ve listened and read a lot of interviews you did before the book was published but now that the book is out and you have two marches under your belt, do you have any tips or advice  for maintaining a movement?

Krista: Yeah, one piece of advice that I think can apply to anyone and is the last chapter of my book called Throwing A Party. I think the party metaphor is very apt, everything I do I kind of think of as a party. The manifesto for the Pussyhat was an invitation and when it comes to parties there are hosts and then guests and I think to keep the movement going we all have to be hosts and guests and make it sustainable. I know for me I work best as a sprinter opposed to a marathoner. I think understanding how you work best and what your superpowers are and that makes you the best host, collaborator, and comrade you can be. And it makes things more fun right? And fun is sustainable. I do suggest picking one or two causes to be hosts for and doing one to four parties a year for that cause and that way you are really doing something to move people forward, you’re hosting a party in such a way organizationally that other people can just show up as guests because we don’t all have time to be a host for every single cause out there. I think that’s really important because then when you aren’t hosting your cause you can be a guest at other people’s parties and I do think that’s what moves movements forward. Also often times I see that women especially are hosts too much and then they get exhausted and burnt out and then the movement doesn’t keep going forward and sometimes I also see people being guests too much and they don’t feel like they’re doing anything and they don’t feel important and that’s not healthy for a movement either. And in that case I would encourage you to be a host once or twice a year. So that way it’s great that you’re a guest but you also have some agency as you host a party and make it creatively yours. So be a host and be a guest. And once you’re a host for something you become a better guest and vice versa. And the party could literally be a fundraising party or a documentary you make or a craftivism project like the Pussyhat. It could take all shapes it doesn’t have to be a literal party but I think it helps to think of it as a party metaphorically at least because then again it’s fun and nothing is worse than guilting people into joining your movement. Another concept I talk about is something I call Zoom in and Zoom out and some of the exercises in the book are zoom in exercises like the Midas Touch and some are Zoom out like the Twelve Houses exercise. I mention this because sometimes we are too zoomed out, that’s like when you’re being a guest everywhere and you don’t think you’re making a difference and it helps to zoom in on one thing and really concentrate on it and get to know yourself and make your life better in some small concrete way which I think crafts are great for. Like with the Pussyhat really allows you to zoom in and be quiet and be by yourself and knit and have this concrete hat that you made that had a beginning middle and end and you sent it off and that kind of thing gives people encouragement to keep going. So often we make a call to our congressman and leave a voicemail or whatever and it can feel like another drop in the ocean but when you do something and see the results in your hand that’s just helpful for morale. And then on the other side sometimes we can be so zoomed in on one thing that it’s helpful to zoom out and see the bigger picture. Recently I visited the Susan B. Anthony House while on tour and it was really powerful. I was in the room where she was arrested for voting illegally and I visited her grave and she did famously write “don’t linger at my grave, if you must stop by but move on and continue doing the good work.”  It was really empowering for me because it was time where I could realize that I’m a part of a much larger movement and even when I feel like I’m not doing enough, I’m not just a drop in the ocean I’m actually part of a larger wave. So there’s this idea of Futurism, I don’t know if you’re familiar with it and to be honest at first I didn’t really get it myself-it’s sort of like where sci fi meets activism and this woman who’s a professor at UCLA explained it perfectly she said oftentimes in science fiction you don’t see any black people, there’s this metaphorical genocide and all these authors are procuring this future without them and all these readers are reading about a future without people of color. And so it’s a big deal to make sure that we are included in that specific genre right? Where we are part of the future and how the activism parts comes in is that just like sci fi working on this world we’ll never see, activists are also working towards a future they will never see, I mean Susan B. Anthony died before the women were given the right to vote but she did her work anyway and I do feel like all of us in this movement are also working towards that future. And maybe we’ll see some change like you said you could feel it in your bones that you will see a woman President in your lifetime but it might happen after just past our time like all nine Supreme Court Justices are women.

Casey: RBG!! I saw the movie last week by myself and I cried twice and laughed a lot, everyone needs to see it!

Krista: Yeah! She has that quote too when a reporter asks her how many women need to be on the Supreme Court for it to be fair and RBG says nine and the reporter is taken aback and Ruth just says well for so long it’s been all male and no one had a problem. She goes on to say that she wants to see all nine as woman and it not to be shocking, that’s the goal. I also think she practices great self care, when she works out with her trainer, I said oh my god yes she really has to stay healthy because we really need her on that bench!

Casey: Now as far as this purposeful idea of taking action to meet your goal of empowering others. After my own experiences I decided to write a full length play about a year ago about violence against women and was by far the most amazing experience of my life. Talk about  the magic of a gift meeting pure passion for a cause that you truly believe in-

Krista: Wow. Just hearing you talk about this gave me goosebumps. Thank you for doing that work.

Casey: yeah and then sharing women’s stories and encompassing all the different types of abuse within this issue, not just physical but emotional and eating disorders and everything in between and filling a campus (that was heavily featured in a collegiate rape documentary called Hunting Ground) that needed to heal and hear that powerful message, it was truly amazing and it makes me wonder what did it feel like when you saw the sea of pink hats for the first time?

Krista: Well I was there giving out hats with a lot of volunteers and kind of just running around in that mode of organizing and then one of the volunteers took me aside and said you need to take a moment to take this in, you did it and I said yeah yeah I get it kind of brushing it off and then this National Geographic photographer Claire came together and showed me this trick to get off the ground and had me climb this guardrail and I’m 5 feet tall so just seeing 2 feet off the ground all of a sudden I could see everything and I saw the sea of pink and I thought oh my god this is amazing. And around me everyone was wearing a pink hat but I thought well of course they’re wearing one like the way your mom laughs at your jokes, of course she’s gonna laugh, she has to! But when I saw that expanse of people that’s when I really felt it and just that level of teamwork and all the meaning packed into each individual hat, each one was so handmade that there was just hours of work in all these hats that I could feel the love of that. But not just the knitters were heroes, everyone was-the marchers were heroes for physically being there in person and representing and the bravery of putting on these hats. I do think that’s why the hats haven’t been co opted by the other side because it takes bravery to wear something so feminine.

Casey: If I didn’t do comedy I have always wanted to be an organizer or continue to focus on getting my play about violence against women out there. In your book you talk about getting in touch with your intuition and how to separate it from fear so adding to that idea,how do you decipher between which passion to lead with? And follow up, are you still pursuing screenwriting or has being a published author and activist taken all of your attention? Do you believe we even have to chose one thing or can we all have our cake and eat it to?

Krista: Oh I’m all about the cake and eating it too but also going to chapter two, The Pharmacy, we really get to choose and prescribe to ourselves but to do that we have to know ourselves. I know I like to have at least two projects to work on because when I’m procrastinating on one I’m often working on the other project and there are so many things I’m interested in that I want to put out into the world that I found collaborating with other people really really helps me and they can keep the wheel rolling when I’m off working on another project. Now that works for me but I wouldn’t say that was a statement to every woman out there, instead I would say to really listen to your intuition. Is it an inhale period where you want to scatter your seeds to the wind and see what takes hold? or do you want to be in an exhale period where you’re gonna hone in on one project and really see it through. Both are valid and I think what’s dangerous about these questions we ask ourselves is that they can quickly turn into an excuse for a doubt. I think a woman’s right to choose goes far beyond reproductive rights. We get to choose how we see the world and how we want to frame our own story and I hope women start to frame themselves as the hero of their story instead of the victim. So no matter what you choose there’s no reason to tear down your choice and if you end up changing your mind later you can! I think for some reason when women decide to take a risk we feel like we have to justify it or poke at it or tear it down. It’s in the movies all the time, so many of our stories that we put out there are women taking a risk only when something terrible has happened like a divorce or something and at that point they decide to move and take on a new job or start their own business but it’s only after they’ve lost everything do they feel they have the right to take a risk. I mean men take risks far more often and its approved of like oh he’s so brave. I think being aware of that double standard is really helpful when you’re making decisions about your own life. Kind of separate in your head what’s a patriarchal bullshit thing and your actual intuition.

Casey: I know we’ve talked some about the exercises in your book and this idea that you were not only sharing your wisdom but also a plan of action to put the lessons to work in real time. In comedy the best live bits are ones that the audience gets to be a part of as its happening and your book had that quality. I loved how it enforced this message that we all matter and we can all take the time to find ways to give self care and listen to ourselves so my question is, if you could add a chapter now what would it be?

Krista: Yeah! This has become more clear to me recently while on my book tour but going back to my chapter called The Valid Stamp, I talk about one of the greatest tools of Patriarchy is the idea that there’s one right way of doing something and that’s how we have millions of women at the top of their game still thinking that they’re frauds. That they’re imposters right, because they think on some level that they’re doing it wrong and in the last few months I’ve come to the conclusion that that’s not just a tool for Patriarchy that IS Patriarchy. Patriarchy we all know is not man versus woman and to me it’s not even masculine versus feminine. In all the great anthropology traditions, masculine and feminine can be so different-sometimes sky is masculine and earth is feminine and vice versa. Or black is masculine and white is feminine, and vice versa-yin and yang there’s not a lot of cohesion there right? So it’s not really about masculine versus feminine and to me Patriarchy is the idea that there’s only one right way to do something and if you’re not part of the current ruling class then guess what? The way you’re doing it is wrong. It’s a very neat trick and to that end I feel like the antidote to Patriarchy is creativity. Creativing is constantly proving that there are so many right ways of doing something.

Casey: And finally, do you feel the love from empowering those around you everyday? When I was getting ready to write the play I would listen to so many different women’s stories because I wanted to get it right. Violence against women isn’t a topic-I just wanted to get it right. And it was like I had an invisible stamp on my forehead that said tell me your story and I will listen and it was wonderful and so many women opened up to me about their experiences, so can you speak to that feeling and also do you ever feel like you carry the stories and emotions of others? How do you make sure to take care of yourself so that you can continue to serve others?

Krista: I think as I was doing the Pussyhat Project, in the heat of it, those two months between launch and the march, I could feel in my body that I was being a channel of some sort.

Casey: Yeah. I use the word vessel when thinking back on it.

Krista: Yeah, all of these emotions are going through me and as artists we aren’t creators but channels and if this idea from up above or the universe comes to you it’s your job to channel it and I think it’s really important to have self care so that the channel is clear for the idea to be pushed through almost like an artery. If you don’t take care the artery can develop plaque and build up and then the idea can’t flow through.  But what I’ve discovered now is that the channel goes both ways, I knew I needed to bring ideas from the universe into the world but I didn’t realize that also the world’s feelings go out into the universe through me and this Pussyhat. People had told me that this was the first thing that brought them out of the grief after the election and while on book tour just last week I was in Sante Fe and this woman just casually said she loved the project and that she was a retired engineer and she was older and she said when she was working there were never a women on the construction sites and whenever she would go they wouldn’t take her seriously and all the men would pinch her and grope her to the point she would get home and have bruises on her butt and that was completely normal and ok at the time and in that moment I felt not even sadness but just so much for her.

Casey: Yeah and it’s not really a burden but it is new information that you’re taking in and letting it affect you.

Krista: Right. And I think it’s important to do that. For instance when the March for Our Lives when the shooting at Parkland High School happened I actually felt nothing that day and I then the shootings that followed most recently in Sante Fe and I think that type of apathy is how the Patriarchy wins.  And now with people speaking up I feel my heart to start to crack open again and I think it’s a great thing for activists and craftivists to be mindful of. We are all in this. I feel that finding that balance of being sensitive enough to be empathetic in this world and be a part of it but not being so overly sensitive that you just shut down or you’re in so much pain that you can’t do anything to help.

Casey: Well Krista, it was such an honor and treat to have this chat with you.

Krista: Yeah, I’m happy to do it, I think Woke Brown Feminist is really important place for people like me and people who might feel like they’re new to activism, I think it’s a great way to get people in on the party.

Time After Time by Casey Whitaker

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PSA: Before reading any further please click here and enjoy this music video.

Ok so we have A LOT to unpack. First things first, why does her boyfriend always be sleeping?! Doesn’t he work?! Also when she leaves the TRAILER why does she only take her laundry and a really nice hat box? And what city is this that she can be downtown at a diner and then back to the wilderness with her half shaved head in under two minutes? I know she’s got psoriasis but damn 1983 was weird.

Now this song Time after Time has always had a special meaning to me. It was the song I got pulled over to when I was 17 for going 49 in a 25 with minors in the car in the rain rushing to a show choir competition cause I was DANCE CAPTAIN and I couldn’t be late. It’s also the melody for dat Romy & Michelle dance moment which probably shaped me into the feminist I am today. But recently it became my own personal self care anthem when I realized that the lyrics in-

Cyndi Lauper I Time After Time

     If you're lost you can look--and you will find me

     Time after time

     If you fall I will catch you--I'll be waiting

     Time after time

Is actually about myself to MYSELF. Stay with me. The great love of all my life is me. And basically all of your favorite love songs are actually self love ballads. Still with me?

The proof is in the examples:

 

Aretha Franklin: I Say A Little Prayer For You

     At work I just take time (career women let me hear ya HOLLA)

     And all through my coffee break time (we gotta take breaks sometimes!)

     I say a little prayer for you

     Forever and ever, you'll stay in my heart

     And I will love you (me)

      Forever and ever we never will part (duh)

      Oh, how I'll love you

     Together, forever, that's how it must be

     To live without you

     Would only mean heartbreak for me (Or death. It’s death if you lost yourself.)

 

Etta James: At Last

     I found a dream that I could speak to (I’ve never got anywhere I didn’t think I could go)

     A dream that I can call my own ( y’all! All we have is our own spirit!)

     I found a thrill to press my cheek to (I don’t why I just thought of butts)

     A thrill I've never known, oh yeah

     You smiled, you smiled oh and then the spell was cast (YOU smiled when you wanted to ladies       okay? No one can make us!)

     And here we are in Heaven (self acceptance heaven is nice, is that free charcoal water?)

     For you are mine at last

 

Whitney Houston: I Will Always Love You

     I hope life treats you kind (I hope you hope that for yo self)

     And I hope you have all you've dreamed of (yass please)

     And I wish you joy and happiness (I JUST WANT TO BE HAPPY)

     But above all this I wish you love

     And I... will always love you (I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU ME!)

 

Yes I am aware that my top three love songs are all by strong African American lady legends. They too were woke and black/brown and used their pain and  platform and to create songs that still speak to all the witches.

Skipping to the bridge before the final chorus; to find real unconditional love that you have complete control over, it’s well-it’s from within. I know this isn’t novel concept but just for farts and glitter next time a love song comes on the radio try to make it about you and the relationship you have with yourself. Sometimes as women we can use all of our energy nurturing those around us both male and female and I just want to encourage you to give some of your light back to your own stunning electric soul.  As a newly single gal, I have been spending a lot of time with myself and damnn I really like me. I like belting out songs alone in my car, wearing no make up and slippers to Target. I love chilling at home! Turns out me likes the same shows as I do. We also take baths now. Supes relaxing especially when you got dat bath bod. Now bath bod is different from beach bod. Instead of a six pack all you need is to be skinny enough that when you’re lying in that tub you can’t see the rolls. Or just fill the tub up with more water. Actually do that. Love on your body for exactly where it is today because-Time after time we, ourselves, me, myself, and I (with a lil’ help from Cyndi Lauper) will be there to pick up the pieces and rise up again.

Scout Me In? by Casey Whitaker

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Well you can take the boy out of boy scout but you can’t take the scout out of the boys. Recently Boy Scouts of America announced they will be changing the name of their organization to Scouts BSA  and to begin to include girls into the program. The new slogan? Scout me in hoping to attract new members of the opposite sex. Scout me in?!? How about I “Scout you in” for your the No Means No Badge, okkkurrrrr! There is so much to break down so I’ll do my best.

First problem is the backlash. People are outraged and y’all gotta chill cause this decision was made by men therefore it is correct. And please don’t worry about how this will affect the kids, it’s not about the kids! It is about money. Membership is down and I guess women make up like half the population or something crazy so if we let them up into the treehouse we’ll keep making dat green.

Don’t worry America, we’re gonna let girls join but we’ll still keep the boys and girls separate like usual. That way we can continue to raise little boys who grow up into men who rape. As a teacher, it drives me bonkers the way children naturally separate in class  when if you really think about it, if boys and girls were encouraged to create friendships instead of being forced into the typical gender stereotypes separately maybe I wouldn’t have to date another guy who is simultaneously afraid of my success, has no idea where my clit is and isn’t emotionally available since he still lives at home. Both sexes need to learn how to get in touch with their feminine and masculine sides because we all have both. We need to stop telling girls that they can’t and we need to stop telling the boys that they can.

I mean let’s take a look at the Boy Scout oath and compare it to the Girl Scout law shall we?

Boy Scout Oath:  On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Girl Scout Promise and Law: On my honor, I will try:  To serve God and my country, To help people at all times, And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

   I will do my best to be

   honest and fair,

   friendly and helpful,

   considerate and caring, 

   courageous and strong, and

   responsible for what I say and do, 

   and to

   respect myself and others, 

   respect authority,

   use resources wisely,

   make the world a better place, and

   be a sister to every Girl Scout. 

Ok what? Boys just  gotta stay fit and straight (obvi) and  the girls need to WHAT? Smile and be helpful and be caring and be considerate and be responsible and respect authority and straight up--WTF!?! We gotta find some middle ground here. Can we give the boys some more information please? And maybe not train them to think they can’t have emotion? And can we allow the girls to just be humans for a second? Not having to live up to the insane pressure of what it means to be a woman?

So here it is. I think the name change is a good thing. It doesn’t solve the pay gap but maybe my future daughter will know that she can earn the same dumb badges as the boys and if she wants to become an Eagle scout (something as a Girl scout myself I was never able to do) she will.

And final PSA for the BSA,  it’s not enough to just invite us inside but now you actually have to listen. And if you want to attract us into your club maybe ask us what would make it more appealing. Same advice goes to Senators about our reproductive health. It’s not enough to leave the door unlocked, now we want a table. A table where we can all sit around it (maybe on those fun medicine balls that are supposed to be good for your posture) and have a real chat.

50 Days of Sad House by Casey Whitaker

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The following story is one of those you hear and you think that would never happen to me or that’s MADE. UP.

Well, buckle in cause it’s fucking REAL.

Day One: I have been in LA for the official move for almost 24 hours! My best friend, Rachel, and her bf showed me around the house I’ll be staying at with them and it’s so great!! I have my own room and half bath and they said I can stay for as long as I need to find a permanent apartment for Bill and I! Haven’t heard much from Bill but it will all work out!

Day Two: Bill broke up with me over text. Mike broke up with Rachel tonight. Currently in Rachel's car behind a bar near a dumpster with her while we facetime her mom.

Cue garbage fire and the Universe being all, “oh you thought you were happy and in healthy relationships? Nah girls, things bout to change.”


*Queue Sad House Theme Song*

Let’s skip ahead.


Day Twelve: Rachel and I finally laugh for the first time in weeks. We gave each other new nicknames. Her’s is Dover. Mine is Fuct (I really want my stand up name to be Fuct Whitaker from now on, think about it like “and next up is a funny gal from Chicago put your hands together for FUCT WHITAKER!! Also, my dad has always wanted my stage name to be Casey Whitney for no real reason besides that no one would trust me cause I would have two first names) and for the first time we put them together to reveal what we are. Fuct Dover. Later it will become our new Wifi Domain at our new apartment.

Day Fifteen: I drink Whiskey and Rachel drinks La Croix and we talk about our situations. I realize that there is no one else I’d rather be going through this with.  The day after their break up, Mike left to visit family for four days and when I think about her all alone in the Sad House I start to cry and thank the cute ass angels for making sure I was able to be there for her.

Day Nineteen: We get our auras photographed. It seems dumb but it was lovely. #haloauragraphics Mine shows a bright yellow color for my incoming energy from the world and I agree that although I am sad, the kindness of strangers is real.

Day Twenty One: Still fairly numb and in shock. We start looking for apartments. Every day here is a reminder of my situation. Mike is Bill and Bill is Mike and I am Rachel and she is me. I start to accept that I might not ever see the man I loved for 6 years ever again. I go on job interviews, I get a car, I meet up with friends. And then I get home to the sad house and the new reality tv show the three of us created continues.

Day Thirty Five: It’s Valentine's Day! I can’t go anywhere without seeing candy and roses and cute couples showing reasonable PDA. Today is the day I get to facetime my bestie in Chicago so she can separate my stuff from my ex’s and ship it to LA. Towards the end I am hysterical but we get through it and my stuff gets sent off because Ashley has been my friend since 4th grade and that’s what best friends do. I think back to my last few moves in Chicago and I remember that it was Ashley who got me from point A to point B. She was my family. She was the person I could always count on. All of the women in my life have always continued to hold me up with both hands while Bill only ever used one.

Day Forty: Rachel is in Denver and I hear Mike come home with a woman. I fucking text Rachel cause tribe vibe and it turns out to be a friend from high school he brought inside while the girls boyfriend stood on the porch- so like false alarm, but damn!

Day Forty Nine: I rent us a Uhaul. I get anxiety driving it up a steep hill in the rain alone. I take a deep breath. The last time I was in a Uhaul, Bill and I were moving into our first apartment together. As he went in to pay for the truck, he got a text and I accidentally-definitely on purpose read what it said. It was a text to a old girlfriend from college and when she asked how the move was going he had written back “I just don’t want to take care of her.” I cried but couldn’t tell Bill or our friends who were helping us move that day why because that meant they would know that I snooped. (This is different than the phrase snooped which means you get high at a party without telling anyone.) This time I was driving a bigger Uhaul, in a bigger city, all by myself and it was hard but it was mine.

Day Fifty: Last night in the Sad House. Still trying to figure out what I am meant to learn from the trauma but I can at least tell you what I know and that is romantic relationships come and go but the relationship with yourself and your fucking gal pals will last forever.

Namaste Feminist by Casey Whitaker

The other day I got coffee with a girlfriend and after regaling my story of my 6 year relationship ending over texts it was time for her to respond I prepared myself for some inspirational Pinterest quote I had probably already heard.  Something like blah blah you’re stronger than you know blah everything happens for a reason and you deserve happiness blah blah blah. Same thing everyone has told me for the last three months including my new landlord and the clerk at Whole Foods 365. (Side note: I need to stop telling strangers about my struggles) But instead she asked me what happened and I sighed and said “in short, he didn’t want to grow and I have found my light and my voice and I feel sorry that my ambition and drive got too big for him to handle” And she said “never apologize for being a strong fucking woman.” I didn’t know you were such a feminist I said. “Oh I’m not a feminist, I’m just spiritual.”

HOLD.UP.

My sisters, can we talk about this?!? The principles of feminism and spirituality go together like PB & J or Taco Bell and drinking too much. To fully open yourself up to the world and purposefully connect your conscious self with the earth you are accepting that your lady being is worthy enough to be valued and equal with all humans including the opposite sex. The more we set intentions and touch crystals (do what you want but I still think they’re just expensive rocks) or sign up for  aerial meditation yoga , that self care and empowerment we give ourselves begins to pour out of us in straight up power that we then in turn can use to lift up other women. When we come to the table centered and strong you can bet your ass we’ll get served the meal we deserve. Whether you are Buddhist or Christian or just like doing hallucinations so you can talk to your dead cat, the practices you have made part of your routine fuel your spirit and you are inadvertently telling the world that you value your well being and thus value yourself.

And can we please stop acting like the word feminist is a bad word? I have this bomb ass shirt from Feminist Apparel that says Feminist as Fuck on it. I typically only wear it to the airport cause why not and most people love it. All of the sudden TSA is letting me keep my shoes on and giving me a bunch of high fives while sticking their own weed stash in my bag for the trip. But one time a dad and his daughter walked by and the father said something about how my shirt was inappropriate. I said to him there are two “F-Words” on my shirt and I guarantee the four letter word she has already heard from you but the other F word I hope she learns. I know society has told us we have to be pretty and silent but we just can’t afford to do that anymore. If this past political year has taught us anything it’s time for all of us to switch tactics. And if that means we have to be called bitches and maybe get our hair chopped off and regrets the bangs so be it. (Damn, I made it about me again) Like most things in life I think a little over correcting is necessary in order to find that sweet middle ground.

And if you are truly “spiritual” and “enlightened” then let’s all start acting like it. I think the greatest power of inner reflection and care is being so aware and let’s say woke enough to see those around you. Empathize. Listen. We can still create a place for women in our world. Was I too angry? Sorry. Wait, fuck that. I am done being sorry.

Self care is selfish and that’s ok. Take time for yo self! By doing so you will be that much happier and prepared for your career and that much more present in your personal relationships. Live for the now  and breath like yoga has taught you. Feel grateful for all that your body and mind can do and never apologize for wanting more for yourself and for your community. Tell your pals what works for you, you never know who you will inspire.

Finally stay positive. I think that’s the most important cross over from Spirituality that can fuel our Feminism. Of course we’re angry witches and vocally feisty l but before I become hopeless, namaste positive. I am going to accept the current state of our country and look to the future not backwards. And as for me and my tragedy of a break up, I will be just fine because I did and do the work and the only person who can take away or give value to me is myself. (cue Beyonce’s  Me,Myself, and I song and cut to me running through a field with no pants and just my feminist as fuck t shirt on top, donald duck style throwing glitter everywhere.)

A guide to why women shouldn't vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton by Casey Whitaker

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So that crazy woman Hillary Clinton is running for president of the United States of America again. To help spread awareness about what a horrible idea this is, here are just a few of hundreds of reasons why women shouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton. Please get educated ladies; we need to like stick together on this.

She’s a bitch

Straight up. This lady is all about getting things done and taking names. That’s why her face is so wrinkled—’cause, like, while the rest of us were getting eight hours of sleep and dabbing on eye cream, she was reforming health care or championing women’s rights.

She’s not qualified

Sure, she’s one of the most influential first ladies in American history, and yeah, she was the first female senator for New York, and OK, she also served as the 67th Secretary of State ... but so what? None of these things could possibly compare to likely Republican candidates like physician Dr. Ben Carson or businessman Mark Everson. I like the word “businessman.” The end of the word is man. Period.

She’s not a good role model or mom or grandmother

First off, she has a career, which means she’s obviously a bad parent. It’s insane to think that certain women choose to make their own money and pursue their own dreams when their husbands have dreams and their kids have dreams. Probably. And after her daughter, who somehow turned out OK without her mom being home at all times, has her own kid, what does Hillary do? She gets out on the campaign trail to ensure a world in which her granddaughter would want to grow up instead of helping with the baby! Babies need help! They are small and dumb.

She’s not relatable

Like at all. Especially for women. How can we relate to someone who went to college? Or got married? Or had a kid? Or pursued greatness? Really? I don’t think so. I also don’t know any other women whose husbands have strayed. That, like, never happens. Also, my hair is brown, and hers is kinda blonde, so once again we have nothing in common.

She has no sense of humor or charm

Just look at the facts. She never smiles. And you probably need supporters to run for president. Last time she tried this in 2008, she got what, only 18 million supporters? That’s nothing.

She stands for nothing since there’s no glass ceiling to break

Since the beginning of time, men and women have been treated the same. Or at least, it’s been that way here in America! For ignorant women who think that we make 70 cents to every man’s dollar, check your paycheck again.

She makes us feel stupid

She’s super educated, and it’s just really annoying. The point of college for women is to meet a husband, and Mrs. Clinton didn’t find one until law school! Epic fail. And she’s done all this stuff and thinks she knows everything about foreign policy and blah blah blah. Send Hillary back to the kitchen. Or I guess show her where it is for the first time.

 

 

Casey Whitaker is a member of The Second City Touring Company. Follow her on Twitter at @CaseyHitaker or visit her website. Get more at secondcitynetwork.com.

Inside the Mind of an Improviser by Casey Whitaker

Dear Old Casey,

I wish you could see us now. There is still so much to do, but I promise—life is better. We have changed so much. Thinking back to how sad we were and how we took every little thing personally is kind of laughable these days. We have come a long way (not physically; we still love elevators more than stairs), and I feel like we were reborn.

Because we did the work. We’re younger than ever, like mentally we’re the 21-year-old Casey who thought she could do anything. Our confidence is at an all-time high, and it’s bleeding into our work and our relationships. No longer do we let others or our own negative thoughts bring us down. If we were a color, it would be yellow. A bright yellow that can never be dimmed.

We are powerful again.

We are at peace with our present state and hopeful for the future.

We are magic.

We are brilliant.

We are affecting those around us in a positive way.

We are open to new things.

We are resilient.

We know who we are.

We believe again, and I just want you to know these things so you can understand that it will get better. We are blessed with a beautiful life, and I know you are sad now— questioning your purpose, afraid to fail—but I promise you,we won’t fail.

Own the mistakes; own who we are… even if it’s not who you thought we would be. I love you. I forgot how much. I stopped listening to you when you spoke to me, but I will never make that mistake again.

We always had everything we needed, but we stopped listening to the “yes” voice.

We don’t require the approval of others.

We only need each other.

We are back and better than ever.

We are in control again.

We can’t stop smiling.

I promise to never desert you again. The journey here was hard, but never impossible. Nothing is impossible. I am proud of us. I am thankful for the help we got along the way. I am proud of us for asking for it.  I am hopeful again. I know there is more for us out there. I am different than before. Oprah would approve.

Love,

Casey Today

Casey Whitaker is a member of The Second City Touring Company. She can also be seen performing improv, solo sketch and stand-up at The Playground, Paper Machete and Zanies Chicago. Follow Casey on Twitter at @CaseyHitaker or visit her website at www.caseywhitaker.com.

The Top Ten Reasons I Could Get Fired From Childcare by Casey Whitaker

1. When planning craft, it is more for me than them. I also like to color and I’m a lot better at it than those kids I can tell you that.

2. I make all books about race during reading time, Dr. Seuss is a big part of the problem, like that Sneetches book, some have stars on this bellies and some don’t? That’s just obs racist.

3. I still don’t know how diapers work, those poor kids lay there forever while I keep having to flip and stretch and examine their huggies to figure out how they go on. When I give up I just use tape and send them on their way so I can get back to coloring.

4. I ignore the spanish speaking kids cause they make me feel stupid.

5. I wear a one piece swimsuit during pool time that squeezes my butt fat so much kids ask about it.

6. I eat their snacks. This could also just be called teaching upper middle class kids how to share.

7. When getting them dressed after swimming I get passive aggressive with the socks. They are the worst. I don’t think two year olds were meant to wear socks or shoes and I’m ok with that so get on board supreme court!

8. I never tuck my shirt into my pants like we’re required to. Sorry that’s fucking ugly.

9. I ask the hard questions like who’s parents has a car you have to plug in and charge? Or who runs the world? (girls do).

10. If they pooped their diaper I make them smell it and then make fun of them for not using the fucking toilet.

What (Mis)Label Are You Wearing? by Casey Whitaker

Gucci. Prada. Louis Vuitton. I’m not talking about those. The most important labels are the ones we plaster ourselves with. What MISlabel have you pulled off the self-conscious bargain rack?

Because here’s who you really are:

YOU CALL YOURSELF: PROCRASTINATOR

Oh, you always wait to until the last minute to do something? You might want people to feel sorry for all your last-minute cramming, but really, you just work well under pressure and are self-confident enough to know that a paper that would take your peers two weeks will only take you two hours. I think that’s just plain baller.

YOU CALL YOURSELF: GIVER

Ever said something to this effect? “I can’t really afford to cover all four of our petit filets plus that bottle of shiraz, but I’m just a giver, ya know?” The real answer: You just don’t know how to say no and are a pushover. Also, calling yourself a “giver” takes away the genuineness of it all, right? I highly doubt that Mother Teresa helped all those people and then went to happy hour and bragged about it.

YOU CALL YOURSELF: SENSITIVE

The other day, I was walking down the street and this woman a block away seemed to be looking at me. I immediately did an outfit double-check to see if I was wearing something stupid. Right as we passed, she nodded hello– the whole time just trying to politely acknowledge my presence. You probably do this too; you assume people are out to get you like it’s 7th grade recess. Sensitive is just a mislabel for self-conscious. Stop yourself before you make up an elaborate story in your head about how your friend hates you because she hasn’t seen you in a while. Take a second to consider that she might just be catching up on Scandal.

YOU CALL YOURSELF: PICKY

Whatever happened to so-and-so that you went on a date with last week? Didn’t work out again? You’re so picky! Time out. I just threw a yellow flag at myself, because you’re not picky– you’re self-aware. You just finally know who you are! It’s the best, isn’t it?! Listen, I don’t care if you dumped him because he’s borderline racist, slurped his cereal milk instead of sipped or if he scratched his balls too much in public. If you’re not feeling it, then cheers to you for not settling.

YOU CALL YOURSELF: BLACK SHEEP

Not looking forward to Thanksgiving with your family? No one understands you, your beliefs or why you’re the only one who thinks the show Dads is kinda funny? Look, at the end of the day, your family has known you your whole life and loves you unconditionally. Yet instead of embracing your differences, you’re the attention-seeking crybaby in the corner painting yourself black– not literal “black face” but like, if you and your family members were sheep (like the Serta sheep) and you painted your wool black. Obviously. This year, make an effort to embrace your uncle’s conservative political views. Plan a trip to visit your cousin’s commune in Colorado. It might be cool, if you can live without a shower head massager or Snapchat for a week.

YOU CALL YOURSELF: UNTALENTED

Oh man, you put this mislabel on every time you don’t get that callback or promotion you thought you had in the bag. It’s just your on-again, off-again hook-up: Sir Self-Doubtington. Now’s the time to close your eyes and remind yourself of why you do this work in the first place. Deep down, you know you’re great in your own way, so make your own opportunities and projects and stop picking on yourself all the time. That’s what haters are for. You’re job is to love yourself and beeelieve!!!

YOU CALL YOURSELF: BLUNT

“Sorry, everyone, but I always say what I’m thinking and just tell it like it is!” No girl, you just rude. Flat out. Mislabeling yourself as the “blunt friend” just means you purposely ignore the filter in your head that most of us listen to so we can be positive parts of society. You need to check yo’ self before you wreck all yo friendships. (Sorry, I get worked up when I think about this. Or when I’m watching good TV alone. I’m all like, ‘Say his name bitch! He’s Heisenberg!’ I did not see that coming.) There is a time and a place for brutal honesty. And it’s less often and further away from you than you might think.

YOU CALL YOURSELF: CONTROLLING

Maybe your boyfriend would like you more if you weren’t always telling him what to do, but I don’t think you’re controlling. I think you are a planner. I’m also a planner. Planners are great. You don’t have a problem; you just like to know where and with whom you’re spending your Friday night. Since no one else is speaking up, you just go ahead and pick that new sushi restaurant, give your people the reservation time, what kind of wine to bring, and even a Google map from each of their work places respectively to ensure that everyone is there on time. I admire it; keep up the good work.

YOU CALL YOURSELF: RELATABLE

You walk into a bar and can literally talk to anybody; you’re so relatable! Relatable can also be a mislabel for naïve. The sleazeball lawyer who just bought you that gin and tonic is not just talking to you because he also enjoys supporting the rainforest. He most likely wants to adopt and explore the forest in your pants. Be open to others, but develop instincts you can trust.

YOU CALL YOURSELF: HAPPY

I used to think that only one thing could go wrong at a time and would focus on all the good things that were going right. Now in my late 20s, I know that is not true. A lot of things can go wrong all at once, but there is really no mislabel for happy… unless you’re a faker. True happiness is one label I can get behind, because when you quit faking it at that awful day job that’s sucking your soul out of every pore or you finally allow your heart to love again after a disastrous break-up, you get happy. And that is wonderful. When I was little, my favorite shirt was one of those generic yellow smiley faces with dreadlocks that said “Smile, Mon.” So tacky, but we all need more smiles, mon.

So instead of branding yourself negatively, dress yourself every day in the hottest label out there: your own true self.

 

Casey Whitaker is a Chicago-based actor and writer originally from Beavercreek, Ohio. You can see her perform stand-up, improv and sketch all around the city, as well as touring this great nation with The Second City RedCo Touring Company.

How to Find Your Perfect Best Friend by Casey Whitaker

Remember that movie Practical Magic? Where Sandra Bullock makes that spell for the perfect man, and she looks at the stars and lets the wind take the flower petals into the night? Well, this is kinda like that– except there’s no magic. Here is my recipe for how to find the perfect best girlfriend.

SHE IS LOYAL.

Like Lassie loyal, like no matter what secrets you tell her about your last hook-up and consequential temporary STD, mum’s the word. You don’t even have to say, “The following run on sentences must be kept secret;” she just knows.

SHE AGREES WITH YOU ALWAYS.

I’m not saying she lets your drinking problem turn into a disease “agrees,” but sometimes a girl just wants to talk about her first world problems and have her girlfriend go, “Yeah, that really does suck.” You want someone besides your inner voice to say, “God, you don’t deserve that shit storm that just happened to your beautiful soul! Let’s invite more ice cream and get this pity party really rolling.”

SHE GIVES UP THINGS FOR YOU.

Say her boyfriend takes her on a beautiful dinner cruise and she gets an S.O.S. text from you. That bitch isn’t even staying for the chocolate fountain. She just calmly asserts, “I’m needed elsewhere,” chugs her champagne, and jumps into Lake Michigan without a life vest.

SHE CAN READ YOUR MIND.

You zone out in the middle of your salad at lunch, and she knows exactly what you’re really worried about. Your left eye twitches, and she knows it’s work-related. By the time you open your mouth to say what it is, she’s already written a fake doctor’s note so you can get out of whatever awful temp job you had the next day and instead go see the penguins at the Shedd Aquarium together (it costs extra, but it’s worth it).

SHE FALLS DOWN WITH YOU.

You have a drinking problem; she’ll take another shot, too. You “smoke socially;” she’ll buy a pack of Camel Crush and stand outside in the middle of winter with you. Can’t sleep most nights? Good, because she can’t either, and she’s rocking passwords to Netflix, Hulu Plus, and HBO GO. You question your body image? She thinks about her upper arms and agrees to workout maybe sometime next week? Nahh… you’ll both be “busy.”

SHE IS SUPER-SUPPORTIVE OF ALL YOUR VENTURES.

You want to open your own meatloaf Pop-Tart bakery? Sounds good! How hard could it be with a Venture One card and some false confidence? Anything is possible. Support each other. Choose joy not jealousy even if it’s hard sometimes; I promise you will only make each other better.

SHE HAS YOUR BACK.

A month or so back, I had some haters on the internet say some mean things about me. My girls were outraged, going so far as to hire a hacker to see where the comment came from. Now all of that is extreme (and didn’t end up happening), but the idea of having best girlfriends who would be ready for a full-fledged girl fight in some dark alley in East Lakeview made me smile. And then laugh. And then play out the scene in my head…  remembering that a few of them could probably really hurt someone.

SHE LOVES YOU LIKE FAMILY.

You know how twins say that they can feel each other’s pain even miles and miles apart from each other? It’s the same for true girlfriends. Every ounce of happiness and every moment of sadness can be felt by the other person like it was actually happening to them.  She would do anything for you, no questions asked. Period. Boyfriends, plants, favorite sitcoms: they come and go, but true lady friendship is forever.

SHE MAKES YOU BETTER.

You don’t want “moms” as friends in the sense that they judge your moral character and substance abuse every day, but you still need a reality check every once in a while. God, even in regular things like, “Hey remember when you used to paint, and it made you happy? Do that more.” Or, “That was a great game, but you can do better.” The perfect best friend knows your true potential before evenyou do.

Casey Whitaker is a Chicago-based actor and writer, originally from Beavercreek, Ohio. You can see her perform stand up, improv and sketch all around the city as well as touring this great nation with the Second City Touring Company. 

She would like to thank all of the beautiful women in her life that she gets to call friends, including Rachel LaForce, Erin Diamond, Ashley Spencer, Danielle Kubasky, Kate Kershaw, Caroline Dunleavy, Meghan Babbe, Holly Wysel, Maria Randazzo, Shantira Jackson, Kris Lantzy, Anne Libera, Mary Scruggs, Jordan Whitaker, Sabrina Harper, Jen Ellison,Yvonne Whitaker, Karen Laflin, Ariel Dumas, Kiley Peters, and her lovely roommate Cassie Niespodziewanski.