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A Collegiette's Guide to Life

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    From coconut milk to almond milk to oat milk and goat’s milk, healthy and delicious beverages can be found throughout the natural world, including from some sources that are unconventional to say the least. One such unexpected source for a cow’s milk alternative is spiders, and, yes, I am talking about those eight-legged creepy crawly things you enlist your parent/partner/BFF to kill for you when you find one at home.

    Recently, a group of Chinese scientists discovered a kind of spider that undergoes a process similar to the lactation once thought to be exclusively carried by mammals. The spider, officially called Toxeus magnus are jumping spiders and bear a resemblance to ants. The breed of spiders feed their young by producing fluid that the mother excretes through an opening in her abdomen, called an epigastric furrow, Science Alert reports.

    Like mammals, the spider only feeds her young until they reach a certain level of maturity in their developmental process, such as acquiring the ability to forage for themselves. According to Ars Technica, the spiders produce milk through a specific organ, designed for that exact purpose. Research suggests the milk is made up of unviable eggs.

    As off-putting as the concept of spider’s milk may be at first, Ed Yong of The Atlantic wants you to hold off on completely overturning all preconceived notions for what exactly constitutes ‘milk.’ Yong contends that whether the spider’s milk officially counts as milk all depends on how you define the term.

    In the strictest definition of the word milk, "spider milk” would not qualify since the Toxeus magnus is not a mammal and therefore lacks the mammary gland essential to producing what we traditionally consider ‘milk.’ However, Yong writes that “if you stretch the description to include any parental secretion that nourishes and provides for the young, then milk-like stuff starts cropping up in many unexpected corners of the animal kingdom.”

    The discovery also has positive, if not, endearing implications for our understandings of spiders. Previously, the jumping spiders were thought to be lone animals that eschewed social organization. But now, scientists see that this particular breed of jumping spider actually lives in close-knit family circles, with mothers who care for and look after their young.

    And if that doesn’t just warm your little mammalian heart we don’t know what will….


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    Not that you needed another reason to snuggle up with your pup, but a new study just found that sharing a bed with a dog gave women substantial emotional and sleep-related benefits, beyond just extra furry snuggles.

    As reported by The New York Post, researchers at Canisius College conducted a study in which they interviewed 962 women living in the U.S about their nighttime sleep habits. Of these women 55 percent shared their bed with one or more dogs, 31 percent shared their bed with a cat, and 57 percent shared their bed with a human.

    Between all three of these potential bedtime companions, the study concluded that dogs were the least likely to disrupt their owners’ sleep. Cats and humans, meanwhile, were tied in their nighttime disruption.

    According to CountryLiving, the study also found that for women sleeping with a dog in their bed also came with emotional side effects. Women reported feeling more secure and comfortable having a dog by their side at night, which makes sense considering that dogs’ barking can often alert their owner to potential danger in the home.

    However, canines don’t just offer women more security than cats, they also scored better than human partners, a fact that took Professor Christy L. Hoffman by surprise.  

    “I had thought participants would have rated their dogs and human partners similarly in terms of the comfort and security they provide, but surprisingly, the women rated their dog bed partners as better sources of comfort and security than human partners,” she told The Huffington Post.

    In addition to giving their owners better quality sleep, dog owners also had an earlier sleep schedule. The researchers attributed this schedule in part to the responsibility that comes with taking care of a dog.

    Hoffman said, “Dog owners have to adjust to their dogs’ needs to the toilet each morning, and this helps keep dog owners on a relatively strict wake-up routine.”

    When we consider how important sleep is in every aspect of a person’s life, we got to give it to the canines.

    Dogs: One. Cats & Humans: Zero.


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    Former President George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States, whose foreign policy vision helped navigate the nation through a period of global change and realigned American relations with the Middle East, passed away Friday. He was 94.

    The former president’s health had been in decline, and his family announced the news of his passing on Friday night.

    “George Herbert Walker Bush, World War II naval aviator, Texas oil pioneer, and 41st President of the United States of America, died on November 30, 2018. He was 94 and is survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and two siblings,” the former president’s office said in a statement. “He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Barbara; his second child Pauline “Robin” Bush; and his brothers Prescott and William or “Bucky” Bush.”

    George W. Bush, the former president’s son and the 43rd President of the United States, released his own statement Friday evening.

    “Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died,” the younger Bush wrote. “George H. W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for. The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for 41’s life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens.”

    President Donald Trump released a statement on the former president’s death early Saturday morning.

    “Melania and I join with a grieving Nation to mourn the loss of former President George H.W. Bush, who passed away last night,” Trump wrote. “Through his essential authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family, and country, President Bush inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service—to be, in his words, “a thousand points of light” illuminating the greatness, hope, and opportunity of America to the world.”

    “Along with his full life of service to country, we will remember President Bush for his devotion to family -- especially the love of his life, Barbara,” Trump added. “His example lives on, and will continue to stir future Americans to pursue a greater cause. Our hearts ache with his loss, and we, with the American people, send our prayers to the entire Bush family, as we honor the life and legacy of 41.”

    While still in Buenos Aires for the G-20 Summit, Trump sent a tweet, calling the 41st president a “truly wonderful man.”

    According to ABC News, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Trump would designate December 5th as a National Day of Mourning and that he and First Lady Melania Trump would attend Bush’s funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

    Bush was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush, who passed away at the age of 92 in April, as well as their daughter, Robin, who passed away at the age of three from leukemia. He is survived by his five children, including George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. and 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush.

    The former president was born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts to Prescott Bush, an investment banker who would later serve in the U.S. Senate for 10 years, and Dorothy Walker Bush.

    When World War II broke out, Bush decided to join the Navy rather than attend Yale University, and became the youngest combat aviation officer in the Navy, CNN reports. He flew 58 combat missions in the Pacific and was once shot down by the Japanese in 1944. After the war, Bush went on to attend Yale University and married Barbara Pierce, who he had met at a country club dance when he was 17 and she was 16.

    After establishing an independent oil exploration company in Texas post college, Bush began a life of politics, serving in various capacities in the government, Politico reports. In 1966, Bush was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and following an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate in 1970, Presidents richard Nixon and Gerald Ford appointed Bush to several positions: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, liaison to the People’s Republic of China and director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

    Bush decided to run for the presidency in 1980 presidential election, but Ronald Reagan, who Bush had criticized for his “voodoo economics” plan to increase federal revenue by decreasing taxes, overtook him to gain the Republican nomination, ABC News reports. Reagan ultimately chose Bush to be his running mate, and the Reagan-Bush tickets easily defeated President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale.

    According to CNN, in 1988, Bush ran to succeed Reagan, and quickly became known for his two catchphrases — to create a “kinder, gentler nation” and “read my lips, no new taxes.” The second promise would later prove to be a problem and would contribute to his his inability to secure a second term in the White House.

    Bush easily won the election, gaining 53 percent of the vote and a wide margin in the electoral college.

    The former president’s greatest successes were in foreign policy, where he built on the relationships that he had developed with foreign leaders and governments during his time as vice president and as a former diplomat. When Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in August 1990, Bush assembled a coalition and got the United Nations Security Council to demand that Iraq withdraw from Kuwait. When Iraq refused, Bush launched “Operation Desert Storm,” with six weeks of continuous air strikes and a 100-hour ground campaign, Politico reports. Iraqi forces withdrew from Kuwait, and Bush received the highest approval ratings of any president: 91 percent.

    But despite Bush’s successes in on the foreign front, from Kuwait to his handling of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1991, he was never as successful domestically.

    Confronted with a recession, Bush had to break his promise of no new taxes, and Democrats and Republicans were unhappy with the president’s budget plan that raised some taxes and eliminated his plan to cut the tax on capital gains, ABC News reports. Bush also lost support from women when he nominated Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court and Anita Hill, a former employee of Thomas’, accused him of sexual harassment.

    But through it all, Bush loved his family and friends.

    “I don't know what would happen, I don't know where I'd be in life if I wasn't blessed with a lot of kids and grandkids and family, including, of course, Barbara,” Bush told ABC News' Dianne Sawyer in 2012. “Family means everything to me. And we're blessed a with lot of ‘em.... We take great pride in what they do and what their plans are for the future. And through — through their eyes, I think of life a lot.”

    And even though Bush’s next two successors were Democrats, besides his son, the former president forged strong relationships with both Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

    According to Newsweek, Bush will lie in state at the Capitol in Washington D.C. and will ultimately be laid to rest at the Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, beside his wife and their daughter.  


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    Well it’s finally here! On November 30th, Ariana Grande dropped her new video for her latest song Thank U, Next and it is the music video of our dreams. Given that the music video pays tribute to all of our favorite early 2000s rom-coms, it totally makes sense that Grande decided to recruit some of the characters from the films and packed the video with a ton of hilarious celebrity cameos.

    In the beginning of the “Thank U, Next” music video, Grande pays tribute to one of the greatest movies of all time: Mean Girls. The Breathin singer of course had to recruit none other than Aaron Samuels himself. That’s right, Jonathan Bennett reprised his role in the video, and even mentions that Grande told him that his hair looks sexy pushed back, PopSugar reports.

    via Thank U, Next music video

    Stefanie Drummond, who also appeared in Mean Girls, made a cameo in the video and joked about Grande breaking off her engagement with Pete Davidson, saying, “Ariana broke off an engagement, so I found a guy to propose to me and I broke off an engagement.”

    Youtube star and Grande lookalike Gabi DeMartino and Troye Sivan, who Grande teamed up with for his hitDance to This, also made cameos in the opening sequence of the video, which is a tribute to Mean Girls when all of the characters talk about the rumors surrounding Regina George.

    Elizabeth Gillies, Ariana’s former Victorious costar played Lindsay Lohan’s Mean Girls character, and definitely made us do a double take. She looked just like Cady Heron.

    via Thank U, Next music video

    Perhaps the best and most hilarious cameo of the Mean Girls sequence was Kris Jenner. According to Hello Giggles, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians' matriarch and momager played none other than Amy Poehler’s “cool mom” character and it was honestly the best part of the video.

    via Thank U, Next music video

    In her tribute to Legally Blonde, Grande recruited Paulette Bonafonté, played by Jennifer Coolidge, where Grande teaches our favorite nail technician how to bend and snap. Victoria Monét also made an appearance in the music video and acted as one of Grande’s bridesmaids in the part of the video dedicated to 13 Going on 30.

    Grande also paid homage to Bring It On in her music video and Colleen Ballinger, who proudly showed off her baby bump in the video, and Daniella Monet made cameos as part of the Toros cheerleaders. Nekai Johnson, Patience Aquart, Tayla Parx and Luz Remigio starred as the East Compton Clovers, PopSugar reports.

    Last but not least, Matt Bennett, Ariana's former Victorious costar, played Cliff from Bring It On.

    via Thank U, Next music video

    And don’t forget about all of the awesome hidden Easter eggs.

    Grande wrote personalized pages to all of her past romances in her “Burn Book,” and had a few potential future song titles hidden in the background of the video, E! News reports. Eagle-eyed fans even noticed that Grande’s brother Frankie Grande’s signature was on a poster of a figure skater on the wall in Grande’s bedroom in the video, as well as the doll house from the 13 Going on 30.

    We are totally here for Grande’s new music video. All we have to say is Thank U, Play Video Again.


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    After being engaged for fourth months, Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra are officially married. The two said "I do" in Chopra's home country of India at the Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, Rajasthan on Saturday. 

    Jonas' father officiated the Christian wedding, where everyone was decked out in Ralph Lauren. PEOPLE reported that Chopra wore a custom gown from the designer, and Jonas, both families, all of the bridesmaids, and all of the groomsmen also wore Ralph Lauren. The couple's relationship with the designer dates back to the 2017 Met Gala, when they both wore Ralph Lauren Collection looks. 

    The Hindu ceremony took place on Sunday, and there were a number of festivities leading up to the entire weekend, too. According to Vogue, starting on Wednesday, the couple participated in traditional pre-celebrations ranging from a sangeet (where relatives and friends perform dances) to a haldi ceremony (an attempt to ward off evil and bless the two). 

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    It all began as a fierce song & dance competition between the families but ended, as always, as a huge celebration of love.  Nick and I were looking forward to the Sangeet (musical evening), another pre wedding ritual.. and to see what each side had put together. And what a performance it was. Each family telling our stories through song and dance, filled with lots of laughter and love. We were both filled with gratitude for the effort, the love and the laughter and will carry the memories of this special evening for the rest of our lives. It is an amazing start to a lifetime of togetherness for our families and friends...#grateful @nickjonas 📹/📷: @calebjordanlee @josevilla @josephradhik

    A post shared by Priyanka Chopra (@priyankachopra) on

    "People will need vacations after this wedding," Chopra jokingly told Vogue. The couple has been notoriously private ever since they began dating, but the actress opened up in Vogue's January cover story

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    “People will need vacations after this wedding,” @priyankachopra joked of her wedding to @nickjonas, which took place today in Jodhpur, after festivities began on Wednesday. It was important to the couple that their wedding was a thoughtful representation of both their cultures, much like their roka engagement ceremony, which Chopra described as “an incredible coming-together of two really ancient cultures and religions,” in her Vogue cover story. A Christian wedding was held on Saturday, and a Hindu ceremony will take place on Sunday. To celebrate this occasion, the newlyweds are the stars of Vogue’s first-ever digital cover, featuring two scenes, including this one directed by @stevenbrahms. Tap the link in our bio to see both digital covers. Captured on #pixel3

    A post shared by Vogue (@voguemagazine) on

    Apparently, everything began after Jonas DM'd her on Twitter in 2016. However, they didn't meet face-to-face until 2017, when he actually got down on one knee and told Chopra, "You're real. Where have you been all my life?"

    But that didn't mark the beginning of their relationship, either. The two continued texting, and then a year after the Met Gala, they finally seemed to connect. 

    Fast forward to July 2018, when Jonas and Chopra were on vacation in Crete, Gree to celebrate her birthday. "I got down on one knee, again, and I said, 'Will you make me the happiest man in the world and marry me?" Jonas told Vogue. Before he left for Greece, Jonas actually closed down a Tiffany & Co. in London to choose Chopra's ring. 

    As for the couple's future, they've already started talking about having kids. "My ultimate dream is to have kids," Chopra said. "As many as I can."


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    When you think of Zac Efron, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn't "serial killer." But that's exactly who he's preparing to portray in the upcoming film, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

    The movie chronicles the crimes of Ted Bundy from the perspective of his longtime girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, played by Lily Collins.

    Bundy is known for his numerous rapes, assaults, and murders of women throughout the U.S. in the 1970s. Though he only confessed to killing 30 people, his body count is believed to be much higher. What's particularly notable about Bundy is that he exploited his good looks and outgoing personality to gain the trust of his victims. He eventually garnered nicknames like "Campus Killer" since he often targeted college-aged women. 

    Kloepfer famously helped take Bundy down, though she initially struggled to accept the reality of her boyfriend's crimes. 

    Both Efron and Collins recently shared photos from the upcoming film to celebrate its selection for Sundance's 2019 lineup

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Ready for Sundance! #extremelywickedshockinglyevilandvile

    A post shared by Zac Efron (@zacefron) on

    Efron provided a behind-the-scenes look at the film in January, and then a sneak-peek into the transformation process a month later, but his recent photo was the first of him in action.

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Meet Ted. #behindthescenes 🎬

    A post shared by Zac Efron (@zacefron) on

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Last day. Don’t stop us now. #wickedcrew #setlife #NamedmywigLD

    A post shared by Zac Efron (@zacefron) on

    Collins shared a still from Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, which shows her, Efron, and her on-screen daughter celebrating a birthday. Efron is, of course, wielding a knife. 

    Sundance, where the Joe Berlinger-directed film will premiere, kicks off January 24.


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    Cute yoga outfits you'll want to wear everywhere[Cosmopolitan]

    Do you hang your Christmas lights all wrong? [Women's Health]

    The final days of George H.W. Bush. [The New York Times]

    All about Hallmark's Christmas movie empire. [Glamour]

    Is your American Girl Doll worth $$$? [USA Today]

    Syrian refugee girls are taking control of their stories. [Bustle]

    Spotify releases two new Mac Miller songs. [Teen Vogue]

    I tried to become a chocolatier. [Grub Street]

    Is "Baby It's Cold Outside,"acceptable in a #MeToo world? [Jezebel]

    Cardi B spends a lot of money on her hair and nails. [allure]


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    As the holiday season approaches, it’s easy to get sucked into a never-ending Pinterest vortex of holiday decorations, party favors, clothes and more. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the money for 10-foot artificial Christmas trees and twinkling crystal fairy lights, or the time to DIY reindeer heads and Christmas ornaments. So, we rounded up some ideas for budget-friendly, easy and adorable holiday decorations that will make your room the envy of the entire building.

    1. String some festive lights

    Most of us already have lights hung up around our room anyways, so you might have this step completed. If not, stores like Walmart, Target and Five Below all sell Christmas lights for cheap. Use Command strips to hang them up, and soon it’ll feel just like the holidays at home.

    2. Use window clings

    Window clings are a dorm-dweller’s best friend—they don’t hurt the windows and they look cute on the outside and inside. “My roommates and I always hit up any sort of dollar store or discount store before the holidays,” says Amanda Goecke, a senior at Carthage College. “We always hang up different colored streamers and put those cute little jelly stickers on our windows.” You can find holiday-themed window clings at just about any store, but they’ll probably only last you one season.

    3. Hunt around for a mini tree (real or fake)

    If you’re living in an apartment, you’re probably allowed to have plants in your room. Those living in residence halls, however, don’t have such privileges. You can buy tabletop trees—both real and fake—at places like Walmart, Target and Home Depot. These might be a bit more expensive, but you and your roomies can split the cost if you really want to get festive. If that’s not an option, have no fear: “One trick I loved doing in my dorm, since trees weren’t allowed, was buying scented pine tree sticks from Target,” says Autumn Dube, a recent graduate from Emmanuel College. “They’re made to go in fake trees to help them smell real, but I would just hide a few around my room and it smelled like Christmas.” If worst comes to worst, snap a branch off a campus tree and call it a day. Charlie Brown made it work, and so can you.

    Related: 16 Dorm Decorating Ideas for the Winter Holidays

    4. Raid your family decoration box

    Chances are, your parents probably have a huge box in the basement or attic stuffed with holiday decorations. Usually, not all decorations get used, so after your family does their decorations, look around for anything they left behind. You might find some cute reindeer figurines, stockings or even some extra ornaments. Score.

    5. Make *easy* DIY decorations

    Most of us have about five minutes to ourselves each week, so we totally understand the struggle of DIY decs. But hear us out—it doesn’t have to be that hard. Try snatching some printer paper and cutting out paper snowflakes (assuming you still remember how to make them from your third grade classroom holiday festivities) with your roomies and hanging them up around your room. Draw winter-y cartoons on any whiteboards you have or make festive paper chains to string across the walls. “Raid the $3 to $5 dollar section in Target! You can get a lot of cute, trendy things for less money. You can also find supplies for a quick DIY session,” says Teri Morgan, a senior at Chatham University. See? You could probably even do these crafts while you’re sitting in your massive gen-ed lecture.

    6. Use random things as ornaments

    You can find ornaments for super cheap at retailers. “We put up a miniature tree in our living room and decorated it with cheap ornaments you can also find at any dollar store, or with ones from home,” says Amanda. But if you want to add more creativity to your decorations, decorate your tree with random things in your room. “My parents bought me a Justin Bieber Barbie doll as a joke one year, so I took it to college and used it as our tree-topper during Christmas,” says Sarah, a junior at Temple University. “It was hilarious and everyone could see it from the outside of our building.” Have a cute hair bow? Put it on your tree. Too many highlighters? Put them on the tree. There’s no limit to all of the weird things you can use as ornaments. If you’re looking to stay festive, try buying a box of mini candy canes and hanging them on your tree or from your lights. As a bonus, you can eat them throughout the season!

    When it comes to decorating your dorm room or apartment for the holidays, it can be tough to get that Pinterest-worthy look on a budget. But, don’t be afraid to get creative; a whimsical, fun room filled with mismatched decorations will still look great. Everyone will understand that you can’t afford to deck the halls with a towering tree and glass ornaments. After all, we’re all poor college students here.


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    Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

    But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

    Supreme Court Delays Arguments in Honor of George H.W. Bush's Funeral

    Former President George H.W. Bush's funeral will take place this Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral. In observance of the national day of mourning — which President Trump declared — the Supreme Court is delaying its arguments. Trump and first lady Melania Trump are set to attend the funeral along with the Bush family and the Obamas. 

    Until Wednesday, Bush will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda. There, the public can pay their respects beginning Monday morning. A second memorial service is also planned for Thursday at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, where Bush lived. Bush will be laid to rest at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, alongside his wife and former first lady Barbara, who died in April, and their daughter Robin. 

    The 41st president died in Houston late Friday night at age 94. His son, former President George W. Bush, made the announcement and praised him as "a man of the highest character." Many people, including other former presidents, have since paid their respects with public statements and dedications. 

    Neil deGrasse Tyson is Being Investigated for Sexual Misconduct

    Three women have accused astrophysicist and Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey host Neil deGrasse Tyson of sexual misconduct. Fox and National Geographic, the broadcasters of his show, are investigating the claims. Tyson denied them in a lengthy Facebook post, writing, "Accusations can damage a reputation and a marriage. Sometimes irreversibly. I see myself as loving husband and as a public servant – a scientist and educator who serves at the will of the public."

    The allegations surfaced in a story published by Patheos on Thursday, in which physics and astronomy professor at Bucknell University Dr. Katelyn N. Allers, said she was "felt up" by Tyson at an after-party for an American Astronomical Society event in 2009. Allers said she didn't report what happened because AAS "didn't have a mechanism for reporting sexual harassment at the time." 

    Allers added that she wanted to come forward so that other allegations against Tyson would be investigated. Ashley Watson, Tyson's former assistant, said she quit her job because of alleged unwanted sexual advances. An earlier report from Patheos accused Tyson of drugging and raping a woman, Tchiya Amet, in 1984 when they were both graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin. 

    "We take these matters very seriously and we are reviewing the recent report," Fox and National Geographic said in a statement, adding that they had "only just became aware of the recent allegations regarding Neil deGrasse Tyson."

    Protests in Paris Continue Over Rising Taxes

    For the third weekend in a row, protesters across Paris demonstrated against rising taxes and the high cost of living. Saturday saw what's being called France's "most violent urban riot in more than a decade," as protesters "torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores, and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with multi-colored graffiti," the Associated Press reported. In total, there were 133 injures and 412 arrests

    French President Emmanuel Macron was at the G-20 summit in Argentina, but he denounced the violence, saying that "no cause justifies" the damage caused and people hurt. He also said that an emergency government meeting would be held on Sunday. 

    The protests began after a fuel tax hike on November 17; however, according to the AP, the demonstrations now involve "a broad range of demands related to France's high cost of living." 

    What to look for...

    Ways to be an ally to people with disabilities, since today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities


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    Let's be honest, when it comes to losing your virginity, you expect it to be just like the movies: some flower petals here and there, maybe some sensuous music, and somehow both you and your partner are supposed to know what to do. Sometimes your first time won't always go as planned, and even celebrities have experienced that, too.

    See what these five celebs have said about the first time they had sex.

    1. Joe Jonas

    "I lost my virginity to this girl named Ashley. You can probably just Google it. It's pretty easy to figure out. I dated a girl named Ashley, so just Google it to figure out which Ashley that is. It's quite the great story because I didn't have any condoms, so I went to our drummer, Jack's room, who was my roommate at the time and I demolished his room looking for them. Found them underneath his underwear drawer. When he came home, he thought somebody broke into his room because his whole room was demolished because I was in dire need. Needed to happen then and now. Safety first, kids." -Reddit AMA

    2. Ansel Elgort

    "I was 14. I had no clue what I was doing, and neither did the girl ... I didn't even make the lighting good. That'd be one thing I'd do differently. It was, like, fluorescent, bright bedroom light, like, over the covers." -Elle

    3. Jessica Alba

    “I didn’t really [seriously] go out with any guys until I was 18 and met my ex-fiancé, Michael Weatherly … It just didn’t work out. I was so young, 18, when I started dating him. I was a virgin. I knew I wanted to be in love with the first person I slept with, because for almost everyone I knew, the first experience made them feel like shit. So I wanted to be really careful that he was going to be in love with me and wasn’t just going to leave me.” -Cosmopolitan

    4. Shia LaBeouf

    "For some reason, I was trying to portray myself as a man who had [had sex] many times in the past. I didn't tell the girl I was a virgin. I was all, 'Don't worry, babe. I'm gonna handle it tonight.' And meanwhile I was shaking in my boots. . . . I remember putting a pillow underneath her because I had seen that in a porn movie . . . [it] put her at a weird angle, where I couldn't get in correctly. I'm not extremely well-endowed . . . and clearly this wasn't the move." -PopCrunch

    5. Lena Dunham

    "I didn’t tell him I was a virgin, just that I hadn’t done it “that much.” It hurt a little more than I’d expected but in a different way, and he was nervous too and he never came. Afterwards we lay there and talked, and I could tell he was a really nice person. I commended myself for making a healthy, albeit hasty, partner choice. I really couldn’t wait to tell my mom." -Rookie

    This was published as a part of The Most Real: Sex, Wellness, and Bodies, our answer to your questions (and, let's be real, our questions) about everything sexual health and wellness. Tampons, strap-ons, first time sex, ingrown bikini hairs, why you poop so much when you're on your period - we're getting real. Get real with us. Join the convo using #HCMostReal, and tagging @HerCampus.


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    Not to start something, but I don’t think we’re nice enough to ourselves sexually. When reproductive rights are constantly under attack and partners are saying weird, shamey things about our bodies – that shit stays with you. And so, to combat all the bad, we need to take time to give some TLC to what’s between our legs.

    Each of us has the most beautiful, awesome genitals in the world! I am truly suspicious of anyone can who learn about the wonders of the vulva and vagina and not think they’re cool AF. So, if you’re hanging out with us at Her Campus, you’re officially in the club of people who fight against the bullshit culture that says our ladybits are gross or not worth devoting time to. A club for people that adore discharge and think that squish noise vaginas make is cute.

    Here’s what you need for a well-deserved self-care staycation all about loving on your vulva.

    1. Take a loooong bath or shower.

    The point of this is to let the warm water soak over you, relax your muscles, and relieve stress. People just enjoy life more when they’re clean. Exfoliate off dead skin with your fave body scrub and steep yourself in frothy bath oils until you feel like (maybe) you just had a five-star experience at a spa. I think bath culture is very Instagram-worthy, but no matter how hard I try, soaking in a tub doesn’t relax me. If you’re like me and prefer a steaming hot shower to wind down, that works too!

    According to the Cleveland Clinic, you should always wash your vulva gently with warm water and a very mild soap (no deuches!), as this helps to keep it from getting swollen or irritated. Basically, the less you mess around in there the better. This bath/shower is mostly so that you can feel clean and fresh in your body holistically before devoting all attention to your V. 

    2. Wear the most ~supersoft~ underwear you can find.

    In case you didn’t know, your vulva definitely has an underwear preference and it is 1) white and 2) 100 percent cotton. That’s why many panties, even thongs, have a small strip of cotton over the crotch.

    SELF notes that cotton lets in air and keeps the moisture out, because if your vagina and vulva don’t get any air it might make you more prone to a yeast infection. And cotton undies just feel good. It’s like wrapping yourself in cozy, non-irritative blanket. Take it from us and throw out those uncomfortable, ill-fitting underwear A 👏 S 👏 A 👏 P.

    3. Masturbate, and take your time doing it.

    Really. Do it. Touch yourself the way you want, need, desire to be touched. AND USE LUBE. 

    Rubbing one out helps release endorphins, that feel-good hormone in your body, and overall improves sexual confidence. Even masturbating for 30 minutes of your week will make a difference – but please do go on for longer if you are able and want to.

    The pursuit of sexual wellbeing is an act of self-love, and the same goes for treating yourself to a new vibrator or masturbating through the worst period cramps. Let's think about our clits and labias with a little more admiration, making sexual pleasure as necessary as that weekly mani-pedi or facial. 

    4. Fill your feed with sex-positivity. 

    All sexuality and pleasure is something worthy of more visibility. Filling your Instagram feed with photos of bloody tampons and women in nipple clamps does wonders for your vulva in the long run, because it reinforces positive self-image and that taking time for indulgence is normal.

    I love places like Unbound, Tabú and The Flex Company because they’re basically an online ode to how wonderful and different each sexual experience can be. And I often find new vibrators to shop, influencers to connect with, and events I want on my bucket list because these accounts (and so many more) are churning out sex-positive inspiration and education daily.

    Are you ready to get next level with your vulva yet? Honestly, all it takes is a few simple steps, but mainly keeping mindfulness and your own wellbeing at the forefront of your thoughts. This is such a huge, important part of you. Give yours the attention it deserves. 

    This was published as a part of The Most Real: Sex, Wellness, and Bodies, our answer to your questions (and, let's be real, our questions) about everything sexual health and wellness. Tampons, strap-ons, first time sex, ingrown bikini hairs, why you poop so much when you're on your period - we're getting real. Get real with us. Join the convo using #HCMostReal, and tagging @HerCampus.


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    Sex can always be an exercise in vulnerability — you can't get intimate with someone else's body without sharing a bit of yourself that everyone else doesn't get to see (or that you may be self-conscious about anyway). So even your most trusted visitors — one-time or regular sexual partners — can let you the f-ck down by saying something that makes you feel weird or just hurts your feelings by betraying that trust in some kind of way.

    Not that it's always malicious, but sometimes in the weirdness of post-coital moments your partners (or you!) can fuck up and not be their most body positive — and you either get mad or internalize it in a way that's worse for you and your self-image and self-esteem. 

    Members of the HC team (and some of our friends) got to talking about our own experiences with partners saying shitty things to us about our bodies and how we've learned to address them or deal in our own ways. Here's what happened:

    Katherine S: Okay, sometimes even people you really care about can be total turds. What's the shittiest thing a partner has ever said to you about your body? Why the f-ck do you think they thought they could talk to you that way?

    Gina E: Sometimes men can be Really Bad, and it's honestly baffling how they can pull such hateful speak out their mouths, never considering how deeply it might traumatize their partner with body insecurity for literally ~years~ after? Once, after spending a night together and waking up in the morning, my SO told me my breath was bad. For some reason, THIS is the moment that really wrecked me for life. Like, call me heavy or my boobs saggy – but why go for such a weird thing as telling me my breath was bad and refusing to kiss me until I brushed my teeth? Your partner is supposed to think you're sexy as hell when you wake up in the morning with a rotten mouth that you haven't brushed for 10 hours because you were sleeping. Also, we'd spent the night together probably like 40 times before this and it had never been an issue. They just picked a random day to wanna shame me, probably because we were on the verge of a break-up and they were more angsty about something *internally* than my breath actually being bad.

    Emily M: This isn't necessarily something about my body itself, but it was said about my looks. I struggle with something called Trichotillomania, which is an anxiety disorder that gives you urges to pull your hair out of different parts of your body just by using your fingers or hands. My "place of choice" happened to be my eyebrows. In college, my anxiety got really bad, so of course my Trichotillomania followed with it and also got worse, and I would pull my eyebrows out without even noticing it while I was studying, or taking a test or doing homework or even just sitting in bed watching a movie. Eventually it got so bad that I barely had any eyebrows left and my (now) ex-boyfriend would make fun of them so much and make me feel even worse about this anxiety disorder I had. He would call them ugly, point them out in front of people and tell people about it, constantly bringing attention to my lack of eyebrows. Not only was it something I was insecure about, but was something I was ashamed and embarrassed of, so every time he commented on them and how bad they looked, I'd feel even worse.

    Maggie S: A guy told me I had the ugliest toes he's ever seen.

    Julianne S: Maybe this is like, TMI, but I've had two different boys hook up with me and during say "you have no idea how hot you would be if you got a boob job." One offered to split the cost with me.

    Rachel L: Every single guy I've ever dated made me feel terrible about my body. I thought it would be different when I started dating girls, but the first girl I slept with honestly made me feel so shitty about myself I still haven't recovered.

    Rebecca T: In college I briefly hooked up with a guy who thought he would be taking my virginity (this happened often) and he told his friends that my vag was super hairy and then they made a freestyle rap about it which the friend performed in front of me LMAO. 

    Katherine S: I remember back in college I brought a rando home and we ended up spending a weekend together. One of the things about sleeping with new people is figuring out what acts you want to do, what you don't. And I remember he said he didn't usually finger girls because he "didn't like to get [his] hands dirty" and I had this weird moment where I was just like "Do you think I'm dirty? What about my vagina is dirty?

    "But I always wish I actually felt comfortable enough to say something about how the 'dirty' comment made me feel in that moment because it's never fun to feel the wind get taken out of your sails when you're mid-sex."

    I didn't say that — Instead I said it was easier for me to get off with clitoral stimulation and introduced a sex toy and it satisfied both of us. But I always wish I actually felt comfortable enough to say something about how the "dirty" comment made me feel in that moment because it's never fun to feel the wind get taken out of your sails when you're mid-sex.

    How did y'all react? Or, looking back, how do you wish you reacted?

    Gina E: I think I frowned and probably said "what the fuck?" Then sucked it up, brushed my teeth extra hard, and held a grudge the rest of the week. I wish I would have been able to open my mouth and have a swarm of locusts pour out of me instead.

    "I wish I reacted by not being embarrassed and not showing him that it made me sad or anxious and instead explained more about the anxiety disorder to him to help him understand better. Maybe then he wouldn't make fun of me or call my eyebrows ugly."

    Emily M: I got stuck in a very bad cycle — I would react by plucking even more hair because him commenting and embarrassing me and making me insecure would cause me MORE anxiety, which of course was the reason I was pulling hair out in the first place. I wish I reacted by not being embarrassed and not showing him that it made me sad or anxious and instead explained more about the anxiety disorder to him to help him understand better. Maybe then he wouldn't make fun of me or call my eyebrows ugly.

    Rebecca T: I was just like "wtf?" and went on my merry hairy way

    Kristina S: I had an ex who thought he was being such an ally when he told me I "didnt have to shave down there for him" to which i replied "I dont do it for you, honey."

    Katherine S: Yes 👏  So what do you think fuels the mindset that bodies can't be gross and weird and still be sexy? How can we fight that?

    Gina E: TBH, I HAVE NO IDEA. I've never been a person that lived in that mindset. I guess that some might approach from that angle because they just don't have the capacity for bodily empathy or understand why a vagina might smell kinda stinky, but why you can still put your mouth on it anyway.

    Emily M: I hate to say such a cliche-type answer like this, but I think because of society. What we see in magazines and tv shows and movies etc... everyone is seemingly "perfect" with the perfect, fit bodies, the perfect clothes and of course, the hardest for me to see -- the perfect eyebrows — thick, styled and clean.  

    Katherine S: I totally agree that media plays a huge part in the narratives that fuel our bodily discomfort. I feel like I hadn't seen enough bodies that look or feel like mine and that I hadn't been given enough examples of reciprocal healthy sexual dynamics to look up to — and that certainly made it feel like I needed to perform a certain kind of sexy for partners without really expecting them to accept or want me without that. (Now I know that it's bullshit, but it took time and lots of sex with partners who ~got it~ to get there.)

    What kind of advice do you have for young people who are dealing with similar situations?

    Gina E: Girl, I promise your partner is of the unfortunate population that speak without thinking of the great implied consequences their words can have, re: making you feel shitty AF about yourself. I promise you're going to find a person who want to love and touch all the parts of you that your current SO might think is icky. Also, beauty is completely subjective.

    Emily M: Turn all of the things you dislike about yourself or what negative people say about you into a positive. What I say is that even though my ex was an awful person for highlighting an aspect of my body, I’m a stronger person from it and have a thicker skin. If anything, just remember that if someone who’s supposed to love you says anything negative about you, you deserve better.

    "Turn all of the things you dislike about yourself or what negative people say about you into a positive."

    Katherine S: I totally agree. You should definitely remember that it is a goddamn privilege to be allowed to fuck you and that people who aren't aware of that privilege and grateful for it can always, always get the f-ck outta here. You don't need to love your body all the time, but you do not need the voices of others adding to the already confusing, stressful noise telling you what you're supposed to hate about it.  

    Now, what are some body positive, self-care tips you have for learning to embrace the weird and sometimes gross stuff about our bodies?

    Gina E: Talking about it with friends! Tagging me and my BFFs in memes that constantly reinforce our skin prisons are sexy as hell.

    Emily M: It sounds sooo dumb — but talk to yourself. Become your own best friend, your own therapist and your own significant other. Don’t rely on other people for your confidence or belief in your beauty — rely on yourself to remind you you’re beautiful and wonderful no matter what “flaws” you may have. You’re also already better than anybody who criticizes you — even if you have fucked up eyebrows like I do. 

    Katherine S: I definitely think it's so important to be mindful of who you trust and let know you intimately. Like, I fully endorse and believe in having sex with as many partners as you want, whenever you want, but I also believe that those partners need to be f-ckin' cool and deserving of hanging with you and your body. They should appreciate what they're allowed to do and the ways you're letting them connect with you and act like respectful guests in your sexy-ass meat suit, you know? So my number one self-care is to clear out the people who don't do that and keep close the people who empower you and help you feel sexy and at home in your skin. 

    This was published as a part of The Most Real: Sex, Wellness, and Bodies, our answer to your questions (and, let's be real, our questions) about everything sexual health and wellness. Tampons, strap-ons, first time sex, ingrown bikini hairs, why you poop so much when you're on your period - we're getting real. Get real with us. Join the convo using #HCMostReal, and tagging @HerCampus.


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    In the last few years, the body positivity movement has really become A Thing in it's own right. It's hugely powerful, whether you're looking at advertisements or scrolling through Instagram. There are body positive bloggers, body positive speakers, body positive brands - it's endless. But body positivity is really pretty complicated.

    There are totally legit critiques of the movement, from people who say that body positivity has been co-opted by people who, in reality, deal with little to no discrimination when it comes to their bodies. Just take a scroll through the body positive hashtag on Instagram and you'll come across dozens on dozens of posts of pretty small women doing a side-by-side photo where, in one picture, they look "fat" (aka have like, a roll or two), and on the other hand are suddenly standing up and don't have rolls. Too, people have been talking more and more about how body positivity doesn't include much racial diversity, or gender diversity, or many disabled women and people at all. While this has started to shift, it's also shown just how messy the phrase has become. What good is a body positive movement that only celebrates a handful of body types? And what is body positivity, really, at its core?

    But another thing many people, including myself, have struggled with, is the pressure that comes with body positivity. I've heard more than one friend say that, outwardly, they're body positive. They support other women and do their best to fight the nasty comments and structures in place that cause harm to people with bodies beyond the "norm." But internally, it can be so, so hard to love yourself regardless of what your body looks like. So we asked you guys about your relationship with your body, and how you go beyond the basic goal of loving your body to see yourself as so much more than what you look like. 

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    A post shared by #DONTCALLMEPRETTY (@dontcallmepretty_) on

    Here's what you had to say. 

    How would you describe your relationship with your body?

    “Like a puppy. Sometimes cute, sometime furry, sometimes frustrating, mostly love.” - Madison

    “A work in progress. It is getting better step by step.” - Beth

    “I’m really hateful towards myself. I know I need to be more positive, but it’s tough.” - Megan

    “Complicated -- I fight with my skin but am learning to accept and appreciate my body as mine.” - Laurel

    “Good. It hasn’t always been that way but, low-key, the more nudes I send, the better it got. 😂” - Charley

    “Love and hate relationship.” - Queenie

    “I struggle to find reasons to love it. I don’t think I’ll ever feel good in my own skin.” - Andra

    Why should you love yourself for more than your body?

    “Because you are going to be with yourself for the rest of your life! It’s healthiest to love yourself.” - Ashleigh

    “It could give you the serious confidence-boost you thought you never needed; it breaks down self-imposed barriers.” - Ioana ​

    “Because looks fade and what is on the inside lasts longer.” - Jamie

    “It’s healthy and that type of love positively affects everything you do with your life.” - Maria

    “Because if we lived off others’ compliments and kind words, we would be empty inside.” - Ambi ​

    “Because your body is just a container and, like all containers, it gets old but your soul is worth more.” - Larona

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    A post shared by #DONTCALLMEPRETTY (@dontcallmepretty_) on

    So what can we do now to have a more positive relationship with our bodies?

    We took to an expert to see how we can, if not love our bodies, have a better relationship with our bodies. Aly Nagel, Founder of Don't Call Me Pretty, explained, "So many people in the body positive space say, 'Stop comparing yourself or your body to someone else's,' but what does that really mean? I think it means taking time to be present in your own body and instead of thinking of all the ways it’s inadequate, thank it for being so dang amazing."

    Aly says it's better, and often healthier, to thank your body, rather than wishing it was a different body. "Thank your body for being able to do things like dance, give warm hugs, taste delicious food and laugh with friends. When you find yourself feeling small or self loathing write a Body Gratitude List to be reminded of all that your body does for your besides trying to fit into a certain box."

    What if you want to be more than "pretty?" 

    "It’s a cliché we’ve heard over and over again, 'The longest relationship you have is the one you have with yourself.' There’s a reason clichés stick around, it’s because everyone knows that they’re probably mostly true. When we put so much value on the way we look, we forget to acknowledge all the other beautiful parts that make up the rest of who we are. Women are resilient, thoughtful, tough, tender, empathetic, strong, warm and badass human beings."

    "We take on so many unique roles over the course of our lives and most of what we do has little to nothing to do with what we look like," Aly says. "I suggest that young women work towards something they will be really proud of that they have to work for like learning a trade or going to school and getting an education or starting a blog. Making things and working towards goals give us lasting satisfaction where as being praised for the way we look only stays with us for a moment."

    *Names have been changed.

    This was published as a part of The Most Real: Sex, Wellness, and Bodies, our answer to your questions (and, let's be real, our questions) about everything sexual health and wellness. Tampons, strap-ons, first time sex, ingrown bikini hairs, why you poop so much when you're on your period - we're getting real. Get real with us. Join the convo using #HCMostReal, and tagging @HerCampus.


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    Every one of us eventually reached that part of puberty where we were handed a razor and a can of shaving cream for the first time. And most likely, the vast majority of us shaved off our first signs of body hair without questioning why—it’s just what you do. But it doesn’t have to be.

    Body hair positivity should be a bigger part of the body positivity movement than it currently is; it’s all about embracing the way we naturally look and grow, and refusing to apologize for it. But when all the posters or commercials you see feature hairless women with smooth, “perfect” bodies, it can be hard to remember that your leg hair isn’t evil...or ugly. Luckily, some on the internet have taken up the quest to remind us all that it’s normal and perfectly acceptable to have body hair. Check out these Instagrammers for some body hair positivity that can hopefully inspire you to stop worrying so much about whether or not your legs are prickly.

    1. Morgan Mikenas (@i_am_morgie)

     

    If culture shifted to a place where the youth could freely be themselves without fear of being ostracized, think of what that would mean for the way we view our own body image and self worth. Remember back to the time in our lives when we were sexually maturing, and imagine what it would’ve meant for us if we didn’t feel ashamed of the changes our body/self was going through, and we could be confident in the person we are becoming, without the fear of not being good enough in society’s eyes. By having a young person modify themselves to fit into a cultural standard at such a confusing time in their life, puts people into a position to be less accepting of themselves. I hope to create movement towards a new trend for the next generations, so that we won’t have any reason to feel ashamed of who we are as we mature through life. I beat myself up for not feeling good enough as a young girl(for things that shouldn’t of mattered), and I hope by spreading awareness of my own experience, I can help others prevent feeling like they have to hold themselves back from who they want to be/ who they are.Do what you want, and do what feels right for you. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about who you are and the decisions you make. You are you, and being you is enough. I love you.#havenofear #beyou #iloveyou #namaste #gratitude #selflove #bodypositive #acceptance #weareone

    A post shared by Morgan Mikenas (@i_am_morgie) on

    Morgan is all about nature and the natural, which couldn’t be more fitting for body hair positivity, because despite the perpetuation of hairless models, body hair is natural! She even made a YouTube video about why she doesn’t shave that now has over 2 million views. Giving her a follow will get you a mixed bag of music, nature photography and body-positive images, all of which we guarantee are a plus to your Insta feed.

    2. Selfie Girl (@____selfiegirl____)

     

    Are #glitterpits still in or is that so 2015

    A post shared by Selfie Girl (@____selfiegirl____) on

    Selfie Girl is all about empowerment and body hair positivity. She values authenticity, which can be seen through her posts: Instead of having tons of filters and aiming to impress, she keeps it real—she loves to pose with her arms raised so her armpit hair is visible, and she’s absolutely unapologetic about her refusal to shave. Beyond that, she’s a self-proclaimed intersectional feminist, which we love.

    3. Ryse (@they.them.ryse)

     

    New habits... trying to create new habits when you have depression. Sucks. — I start off strong. Think I’m going to be able to keep this up. Pumped. Proud of myself. Then the inevitable happens and I miss one time, one day... and I can’t seem to catch back up once I have that first misstep. — Next thing I know, the new habit is a thing of the past and I’m back to struggling to do something that “new habit” was supposed to help. — Lordy knows how many times I’ve “stared” the SAME “new habit” lol — But as I try to start meal prepping for the 1537492626th time... I’m starting to see this a bit differently. — Yes... I have to continually restart healthier habits. But Instead of being pissed that I “couldn’t stick to it” shouldn’t I instead be praising myself for the strength to start again?!! — So today I’m saying. “Fuck yes Ryse! You are meal prepping today, you are feeding yourself and your family. You rock human!” And even if tomorrow or next week I “fall off the wagon” I’m going to try damn hard to remember that I’ve always gotten the fuck back on and I will continue to do so. — What new habit are you trying out? Or want to get into the habit of? What’s stopping you? — ▪️▪️▪️ #nonbinaryfemme #roadtorecovery #presentoverperfect #unapologeticallyme #unapologeticallyblack #leghair #bodyhairdontcare #nonbinary #thismoment

    A post shared by Ryse (@they.them.ryse) on

    Ryse, as it says in their bio, is a mental health advocate and social justice educator, so pressing that follow button will add more than just body hair positivity to your feed. They’re not shy about loving their body, hair and all, and their captions are always thought-provoking (which, in the age of thoughtless scrolling, is definitely a good thing).

    4. Molly Kubes (@prosperity.priestess)

     

    S O V E R E I G N T Y . . Sovereignty is a practice I have recently stepped into. . . As an empath (someone who is very sensitive and feels other people’s emotions), I would always get mixed up in other people’s energy. . . I would take on other people’s stuff that wasn’t my own. I would do things because I thought I “should” do them, not because I authentically wanted to. . . Sovereignty is the practice of the Priestess. It is self governance... aka you run your own show. You check in with you first. You do YOU! . . It can be a challenge practice, but an incredibly rewarding one, that can leave you feeling a deeper, more empowered connection to yourself. . . Here are some simple tips to practice sovereignty if it is a new practice for you! . . 1. Are you a people pleaser? Notice if you actions are coming from a place of service of of pleasing. Take note, there is a difference, and it’s a big one. Service comes from a place of wholeness vs. people pleasing comes from an insecurity and a place of “lack.” . . 2. Develop a daily practice, of Meditation, yoga, self love, or just a place where you can check in. It’s important for us to recognize what our BEingness feels like, and come back to this place anytime we feel off kilter. What does your Soul really want and crave? It’s important to tune in and feel that. . . 3. Finally, are you doing things because you feel you “should” do them, or because you actually really want to? Are you following the status quo or are you being a leader? What feels authentic for you? Be brave, and follow that! . . What are your top tips for sovereignty? How do you honour your inner Priestess? Let me know in the comments . . Ps photo by @mollyireneyogin

    A post shared by Molly Kubes Business Mentor (@prosperity.priestess) on

    Molly works in healing and is also a business mentor that helps out female entrepreneurs. Yes, please! Beyond embracing armpit hair, she posts tons of inspiring quotes and tips for living your best life, which we could all use some more of. She’s empowered and makes a living out of empowering others, and a lot of her posts have aesthetically pleasing nature backgrounds. We think everyone could look to Molly for some advice.

    5. Harnaam Kaur (@harnaamkaur)

     

    Harnaam is an activist and recently worked with Lush Cosmetics on the My Body, My Rules campaign to spread messages of body positivity and challenge beauty stereotypes. Harnaam faced bullying from her peers when she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which caused her to grow facial hair. She then decided to take the high road and flaunt what she has without feeling ashamed. We think she’s beautiful, and we’re so inspired by everything she does.

    6. Emily Bador (@darth_bador)

     

     

    A post shared by e m i l y bador (@darth_bador) on

    Though Emily is a model, she’s breaking the mold of the stereotypical hairless, idealistically flawless model. She flaunts her armpit hair and stomach rolls without an ounce of apology, and we’re honestly in awe of how gorgeous she is. Follow her for body hair positivity, but also for general fashion inspo—we’d love to raid her closet.

    7. Pink Bits (@pink_bits)

    Pink Bits is one artist trying to, as the bio states, “illustrat[e] the bits and shapes we’re told to hide.” The illustrations of various women are so inclusive, and tons of them feature body hair on their legs, armpits and “down there.” The account is just one big celebration of the female body that highlights the beauty in reality, rather than some imagined ideal.

    These accounts will make sure that in the frenzy of social media posts you’re bombarded with every day, you’ll be reminded that you don’t need to change a single thing about your body to feel good—and that includes shaving.

    This was published as a part of The Most Real: Sex, Wellness, and Bodies, our answer to your questions (and, let's be real, our questions) about everything sexual health and wellness. Tampons, strap-ons, first time sex, ingrown bikini hairs, why you poop so much when you're on your period - we're getting real. Get real with us. Join the convo using #HCMostReal, and tagging @HerCampus.


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    The importance of having body-positive moments portrayed on television and in film cannot be understated. So often, only the ultra-thin, perfectly proportioned, clear-skinned, etc. are shown, which does not reflect how people's bodies look in real-life. This can give young men and women negative feelings towards their own body. This is why Her Campus is celebrating body positivity, and the importance of it being shown in the entertainment industry. Here are some of the most inspiring body-positive moments as seen on the big (and small) screen: 

    Dietland

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Dietland (@dietlandamc) am

    A show about an overweight woman who struggles with society's obsession with weight loss while engaging with a group of women who are carrying out vigilante violence against those who mistreat women, Dietland had many moments of body positivity. One example of this is when Plum, the main character, decided to spend some time making art with a friend in episode seven while debating whether or not she wants to go through with her weight-loss surgery. What the duo creates is an outline of Plum, breasts included, with no subtractions. Plum is inspired by this and afterwards is ready to cancel the surgery. She urges other women not to go through with it and makes another image of her silhouette on a billboard advertising the procedure, this time adding the word "loved" underneath. It shows the growth Plum has gone through and it's an emotional moment for her. 

    The Bold Type

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Ein Beitrag geteilt von The Bold Type (@theboldtypetv) am

    A show known for portraying the life of 20-something year old women making it in the world with much accuracy, The Bold Type decided to embrace body positivity specifically in season two, with their episode "Scarlet Letter." Based on the premise that the magazine, Scarlet, was having a body positive-themed issue, it saw the three main characters, Kat, Sutton and Jane, portray their flaws on-camera. In a photo shoot Sutton organized, each posed with jewelry held near parts of their body they were insecure about. For Kat, Scarlet's social media director, this meant embracing her stretch marks. Sutton, a fashion assistant, went make-up free and writer Jane showed off her moles. 

    “I feel like the standard of beauty for girls is so intense,” showrunner Amanda Lasher told the Huffington Post about the episode. “When I came on to the show, I wanted to tackle the idea of body image and the discrepancy between what we see on-screen and what is real.”

    Each one of these characters has something different they feel insecure about, but they face their fears and the photos are the star of the magazine. 

    GLOW

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Ein Beitrag geteilt von GLOW (@glownetflix) am

    An acronym for Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, this Netflix original is rife with body positivity. All of the characters are diverse, demonstrating that no matter what your size or shape, you can accomplish amazing things. Wrestling becomes a way for these characters to learn to love themselves as well as set themselves free from society's expectations.

    "I love wrestling," Debbie, the shortest reigning GLOW champion, tells Ruth, a fellow wrestler. "It's like I’m back in my body, and it doesn’t belong to Randy or Mark, and…I’m like using it for me. And I feel like a goddamn superhero.”

    Loving your body is an important step to taking control of your life back, and it was amazing to see the transition Debbie went through over the course of the show. 

    Game of Thrones

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Westeros Daily (@westeros.daily) am

    Badass women come in all shapes and sizes, something that is exemplified by Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones. Though she does not fit the image of what a woman should be, particularly in Westeros society, she always stands strong. She doesn't care that society may judge her for being taller than many men (Gwendolyn Christie, who plays Brienne on the show, is 6'3") or wearing her hair short. 

    "All my life men like you have sneered at me," she tells Jaime Lannister. "And all my life I've been knocking men like you into the dust." 

    Brienne of Tarth is not a feminine stereotype, and this is what makes her character so inspirational. 

    Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Reviews (@linglingmovies) am

    One of the best movies about female friendship, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants also tackled body positivity, specifically examining how America Ferrera's character, Carmen, felt about her body. The moment took place in a dressing room when Carmen's soon-to-be-stepmother condescendingly picks out a dress for her that is sure not to fit. Carmen's response is iconic and totally on point: “We can just tell everybody that Carmen’s Puerto Rican and it never occurred to you that she might be built differently. Or that unlike you and your daughter, she has an ass.” It's a great moment that addresses casual racism as well as body positivity, two topics that often intermix. 

    Little Miss Sunshine

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Simon Boulerice (@simonboulerice) am

    According to a 2015 study by Common Sense Media, 80 percent of 10-year-old girls have been on a diet. This important notion that everyone needs body positivity, even children, is key to Little Miss Sunshine, a movie full of moments that will make you feel better about yourself no matter how old you are. One of the most important scenes came towards the end of the film, when 7-year-old Olive (Abigail Breslin) asks Miss California if she eats ice cream. The fact that Miss California says yes and still looks gorgeous is incredibly important for Olive, especially after being told by her father that ice cream is full of fat and that this becomes the fat in her body. Olive learns to love herself, even if she doesn't perfectly fit in with the other pageant girls, and also learns that you can look beautiful no matter what you eat. 

    Bachelorette

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Liza €vølütîøn 💚👑 (@_iam_unscripted) am

    The main plot of Bachelorette sees Regan (Kirsten Dunst) joining two other friends to celebrate the wedding of their friend Becky (Rebel Wilson), even though Regan is secretly envious of Becky for getting married even though she is fat. Though a comedy, the movie discusses many important body positive messages: Much of the movie is focused around Regan and Becky's various feelings about their own bodies, having both suffered from eating disorders in high school. The best moment of body positivity comes when Regan gets over her jealousy and supports Becky who is feeling worried about what people think of her as compared to her fiancé. Becky is able to accept that she is beautiful and that her fiancé loves her and chose her, and that's all that should matter.

    Hairspray

     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Ein Beitrag geteilt von Love4ZE 🌈🎩♥️ (@love4ze) am

    Hairspray is the ultimate musical about body positivity. The soundtrack itself is full of lyrics that evoke body positivity, one of the most important being Queen Latifah's song "Big, Blonde and Beautiful," which says:

    They say that white has might and thin is in
    Well, that's just bull
    'Cause ladies, big is back, and as for black
    It's beautiful

    Almost everyone in the movie learns to love themselves and embrace the body they have. 

    These are just a few of the many body positive moments that have been shown in film and on television. There is still so much work to be done, as can be seen with the creation of shows like Insatiable, which totally miss the point. Here's to hoping body positivity is on its way to becoming the norm.

    This was published as a part of The Most Real: Sex, Wellness, and Bodies, our answer to your questions (and, let's be real, our questions) about everything sexual health and wellness. Tampons, strap-ons, first time sex, ingrown bikini hairs, why you poop so much when you're on your period - we're getting real. Get real with us. Join the convo using #HCMostReal, and tagging @HerCampus.


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    If you're a woman over the age of 11, chances are you've had to Google how can I remove period stains like, ASAP once, or twice, or, let's be real, dozens of times. I know the second I reach for a half-decent pair of underwear that I'm destined to get my period, because that's just how life goes. Shitty underwear? Period is nowhere to be seen. Nice, expensive, favorite underwear? It's a given that my period is going to arrive the moment those underwear (sorry, I'm going to say the word "underwear" a lot because I don't believe in the word "panties," CRINGE) reach my ass. Or, more accurately, my vag.

    Here's the deal: we trust you guys. So, naturally, we took to our Instagram Story to ask YOU how you deal with period stains. What are your secrets? What have you learned throughout all of these years of bleeding and bleeding and bleeding all over your pants? How have you managed to have at least one decent pair of underwear yet?

    This is what you had to say. 

    How to get out period stains:

    They're easy enough to get out with cold water and hand soap. - Mae

    Use hydrogen peroxide to get it out! - Lily

    Fuck it, they happen. It's normal. There's a reason there's "period panties."Sarah*

    If I get them, cold water and soap soak before washing! - Ashley*

    Rubbing alcohol ASAP. pour some on the stained area and it'll bubble right out. - Kelly*

    I've learned that cold water and shampoo can get blood out of ANYTHING. - Lia*

    Do they suck? Uh, yeah.

    Yikes yikes yikes!!! - Becca

    AWFUL/GROSS. - Ellie

    Horrific. - Jessie* 

    RIP to our sheets.

    Honestly horrible, we have 3 clean bedsheets and I killed my favorite undies last month :( - Katelynn

    I hate staining my bed more than my clothes. - Erin*

    Ugh a pain. - Bryanna

    And, LBR, most of our closets.

    I once started my period while hooking up with a guy and stained his sheets. I felt AWFUL. - Lindsay

    RIP too many pairs of underwear :'( gone too soon. - Leah*

    Once it went straight through my underwear and light jeans 😭 - Carly

    It can be really embarrassing and difficult when you're dealing with this in public. I think every girl knows this feeling TOO well. - Gina

    How to deal with the messiness? Just roll with it.

    Period blood never comes out #nuffsaid. - A

    At this point, all my underwear are stained. I'm not even bothered anymore. - Julia

    It's been okay. Messy but usually not horrible. - Sam*

    Real messy. - Hannah*

    With every period, I lose another pair of underwear, but gain another bit of ~knowledge~, and this time around, thanks to this casual internet hang, we're even smarter than usual. We'll still obviously bleed through our underwear nine times out of ten, because such is life, you guys, but at least now we know how to get it the eff out of our clothes. 

    *Names have been changed.

    This was published as a part of The Most Real: Sex, Wellness, and Bodies, our answer to your questions (and, let's be real, our questions) about everything sexual health and wellness. Tampons, strap-ons, first time sex, ingrown bikini hairs, why you poop so much when you're on your period - we're getting real. Get real with us. Join the convo using #HCMostReal, and tagging @HerCampus.


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    Nothing’s worse than sitting down to watch a movie or show—anything from a good old-fashion rom-com, to a comedy, to a drama—and getting bombarded with an expectedly terrible, cringe-inducing and horribly awkward sex scene. And it’s even worse if you’re watching with your parents.

    For every movie with a not-too-graphic, not-too-unrealistic, just-the-right-amount-of-sex sex scene, there’s another one that you can hardly bear to watch. For every rom-com with a cute, heartwarming romance, there’s another that makes you wonder: “Why is this even on TV?”

    Whether it’s a scene that truly represents the awkwardness of sex, one that parodies and dramatizes that awkwardness for comedic effect, or one that’s meant to be serious but ends up being horribly cringeworthy, they’re all awkward just the same. So we’ve rounded up some of the most awkward sex scenes on TV & film, just so you won’t be caught off guard next time you watch.

    1. Riverdale - “The Hills Have Eyes” (Season 2, Episode 14)

    If you’ve ever watched Riverdale, you know that there’s a lot of romance (and a lot of the time it’s very, very uncalled for) but sometimes it’s just a bit too much. In this episode, Varchie and Bughead are at Veronica’s lake house without any parental supervision. Aside from the fact that they’re all supposed to be 15/16 years old (but who even believes that?), the fact that both couples have sex on opposites sides of the same wall is a little off-putting.

    2. Bridesmaids

    Just because it’s meant for comedic effect does not make this scene any less terrible. From the horrifying facial expressions of Jon Hamm to his maniacal laughter, this scene pretty hard to watch. The only way to get through it is to simply avert your eyes, cover up the sounds with your own laughter and peek at the screen every once in a while through splayed fingers.

    3. New Girl - “Virgins” (Season 2, Episode 23)

    When a group of friends as hilarious and awkward as the ones in New Girl get together to share stories about how they lost their virginity, there’s bound to be some cringey ones. Whether you’re watching Jess get caught inside a small castle on a children’s playground mid-sex, or Shmidt falling off the top bunk in his dorm room covered petroleum jelly, you can’t help but laugh and cringe at the same time.

    4. The First Time

    Pretty much the entire movie is awkward. Centered around the couple’s “first time” (as the name implies), it’s full of some of the most uncomfortable romantic scenes around. But just because they’re supposed to be that way doesn’t make them any less cringeworthy. From Dylan O’Brien painfully struggling with a condom to the stony silence that eventually follows, the couple just can’t escape the awkward.

    5. LadyBird

    Although it may be an accurate representation, it’s not just the sex itself that’s awkward; it’s the fact that LadyBird and Kyle are on completely different pages. Although Kyle told LadyBird that he was a virgin (which solidified her decision to have sex with him), it turns out that he actually lied. Not only is he not a virgin, but he brushes away LadyBirds feelings of betrayal by reminded her that there are people dying at war. Awkwaaard.

    6. Modern Family - “Caught in the Act” (Season 2, Episode 13)

    Nothing’s worse than watching an awkward sex scene with your parents—nothing aside from what happens to Alex, Haley and Luke in this episode. After walking in on their parents having sex, things are made even worse when Claire screams her apologies and Phil yells “nothing’s happening.” If that doesn’t make you squirm in your seat, then nothing will.

    7. The Fosters - “Dirty Laundry” (Season 4 Episode 18)

    It’s not so much a sex scene as it is a sex ed talk, but it’s painful to watch all the same. Not only does Jesus ask permission from his mom to have sex with his girlfriend, Lena then has to explain to both Jesus and his girlfriend the exact process that they can do it (even though it’s because of his brain injury, it’s still very uncomfortable).

    Next time you decide to switch on a rom-com, a drama or a seemingly harmless comedy, watch out—secondhand-embarrassment inducing sex scenes are everywhere.

    This was published as a part of The Most Real: Sex, Wellness, and Bodies, our answer to your questions (and, let's be real, our questions) about everything sexual health and wellness. Tampons, strap-ons, first time sex, ingrown bikini hairs, why you poop so much when you're on your period - we're getting real. Get real with us. Join the convo using #HCMostReal, and tagging @HerCampus.


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    As perfect as their lives may seem, celebrities are indeed human like the rest of us. They get sad, they doubt themselves and (though it may seem surprising to the rest of us) they get insecure about their bodies.

    Because of celebrities’ presence in the public eye and the undeniable influence that they and their representation in the media can have on others, one could argue that famous folks have an even bigger responsibility to spread messages of body positivity. Thankfully, many of them do just that, and oftentimes, these messages stem from genuine struggles they’ve had with their own appearance and hate from trolls. We’ve collected all the best advice from your favorite stars to let you know how important it is to love yourself, and why it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks about how you look.

    1. Demi Lovato

    Demi has been open in the past about her eating disorder and her journey to loving herself and her body. She’s been vocal about her ups and downs with body image, but as she tweeted in April 2017, she’s learned to look past superficial labels.

    “Sometimes when I'm having bad body image issue days, I remind myself that I'd rather live in freedom from my eating disorder than worry about what people think about my body,” she said. “I am more than a number and a jean size. Fuck yeah!”

     

    We couldn’t agree more; numbers don’t matter one bit.

    2. Rihanna

    Like Demi, Rihanna has also denounced the obsession with size that modern society, especially the fashion industry, has perpetuated. In an interview with The Daily Mail, Rihanna used her savvy for fashion to explain the thinking behind the size zero glorification.

    “They know that if we see an outfit on a mannequin in a shop window we will love it and want to buy it whatever size we are. That’s why they have size zero models—they want to sell clothes,” she said.

    She then took the opportunity to remind us why we shouldn’t waste our time or sacrifice our health to attain that image. “You have to remember that it’s not practical or possible for an everyday woman to look like that,” Rihanna emphasized. “Being size zero is a career in itself so we shouldn’t try and be like them. It’s not realistic and it’s not healthy,”

    Love yourself the way you are; you’ll come out the other side much happier if you’re focused on health instead of unattainable beauty standards.

    3. Aly Raisman​

    Aly Raisman absolutely crushed her time in the limelight during the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. But even though we can all agree now that she’s a fantastic gymnast, there was a time when social assumptions about her body held her back from those dreams.

    “It's hard when you're in leotard all the time and you're comparing yourself and you don't know if you look good and you feel insecure,” Raisman said an interview with Elle. She even mentioned that she was originally told she didn’t have the “right” body for gymnastics. “I obviously proved them wrong,” she added. An icon.

    Raisman is now an Aerie #REAL Role Model, and posed in some photos for their campaign that aimed to highlight non-retouched photos.

    She clarified, “It’s important to me that all women and girls know that just because I pose in a bra and underwear, it does not mean I always feel confident about my body. Everyone should be proud of their bodies no matter what size they are, period.”

    4. Ashley Graham

    Ashley Graham has, for some time, been making waves as one of the more well-known plus-size models of today, and that’s led her to focus on speaking out about body positivity and loving yourself just the way you are. She’s seriously committed to her message, too: she even let the New York Times record her with 100 cameras in 3D holographic motion without a single bit of digital alteration.

    Working as a model, she clearly understands the implications and impacts her career can have. “If you are constantly showing an altered woman in media, what is that little girl going to go and do when she looks in the mirror and doesn’t see smoothed-out skin, or almond eyes, or a pinched nose and plumped-up lips?” she asked.

    Despite her own struggles with being told she was “too fat” and wouldn’t have a big break like thinner models, Graham persisted and it clearly paid off. She hasn’t lost her love for her body, either—as she puts it, “People ask, ‘How do you get your confidence?’ And it’s like how wouldn’t I have confidence? Or they will say, ‘You are so brave for putting on that swimsuit.’ Well why wouldn’t I do that? That’s not called bravery—that is called putting on a swimsuit. Everybody has their idea of what beauty is or what perfect is or what the right shape is and they just express it in a different ways.”

    5. Sarah Hyland

    Sarah Hyland is well-known for being associated with body positivity—after all, she’s notorious for having great responses toward insensitive trolls online. A few years back, Hyland faced criticism saying that she was “too skinny” while dealing with kidney dysplasia, which resulted in her getting a kidney transplant. For some reason, haters on the Internet decided to make snide comments telling Hyland to “eat a burger,” and she was having none of it.

    She wrote, “I am not a fan of 'being skinny’ which many of you have told me that I am too much of … but considering I've basically been on bed rest for the past few months, I've lost a lot of muscle mass. My circumstances have put me in a place where I'm not in control of what my body looks like. So, I strive to be as healthy as possible, as everyone should." She concluded her message with a simple statement: “Strong > Skinny.”

    In other words, Sarah Hyland is not here for your slander.

    6. Kesha​

     

     

    A post shared by Kesha (@iiswhoiis) on

    Kesha has come a long way throughout her career, but one of her more personal transformations was overcoming an eating disorder. She told Cosmopolitan that “it was scary, but I finally put my foot down and chose life,” and we’re so grateful she did, because the revelations she had while learning to love herself again are so important.

    “That was a huge turning point,” Kesha revealed. “I’m not a size. I’m not a number. I am a strong, badass, motherf—ing woman, and quite frankly, I like my junk. Ten years ago, I never thought I’d be able to say that.”

    Ten years ago, we didn’t know Kesha as much more than a glitter-fueled pop star, but now, we call her a role model with nothing but pride and respect.

    7. Lorde

    Lorde, who was a teenager when she got her big break with debut album Pure Heroine, is no stranger to body shamers. According to Teen Vogue, the New Zealand singer’s first brushes with fame seriously changed her attitude toward her appearance. "I remember being made aware of my looks and my body in a way that I had never been," she said. “[People online] were like, 'F*ck her, she's got really far-apart eyes.' I remember being like, 'Whoa! How did I get all this way without knowing I had far-apart eyes?' Just weird sh*t like that. It rocked my foundations.”

    Of course, Lorde has grown up a fair bit since then, and she has no problem clapping back toward body shamers.

    “If I see some weird body-shaming on my feed I'm going to be like, 'Hey man…” she said, referring to the time Diplo had a feud with Lorde’s BFF Taylor Swift. Women supporting women, especially when it comes to body positivity, is our everything.

    Celebrities really aren’t all that different from us. Just like we may look in the mirror and not be 100 percent satisfied with what we see, so too do celebrities have bouts of insecurity. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to love ourselves—beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and ultimately, it’s what you make it, not what society tells you it should be.

    This was published as a part of The Most Real: Sex, Wellness, and Bodies, our answer to your questions (and, let's be real, our questions) about everything sexual health and wellness. Tampons, strap-ons, first time sex, ingrown bikini hairs, why you poop so much when you're on your period - we're getting real. Get real with us. Join the convo using #HCMostReal, and tagging @HerCampus.


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    We've all had that moment where we're stepping out of the shower or rolling out of bed and realize "oh gross, I got some company" showing and growing in the pubic region. Of course, I'm talking about the ingrown hairs (especially the pubes!) that show up when you dare to shave, pluck, wax or otherwise try to landscape. 

    Well, first of all, we want to be clear that it's okay that you get ingrown hairs. Bodies be like that sometimes. If you get them a lot and they get infected, mess with your life or you're just concerned, this is a convo you should one hundred percent bring up with your doctor to get all the information and options you could want but it's important to know that there's nothing wrong or abnormal about you for getting them 

    But that doesn't mean they don't suck royally or that it isn't worth it to find out the ~science~ behind your ingrowns.  According to WebMD (but goddam use WebMD responsibly, my fellow hypochondriac pals), ingrown hairs happen because your new hairs grow back into your skin instead of up and out of it after shaving. This is typically more common for people with thicker, coarser hair types — which also explains why pubes are often the culprits. They aren't showing up because you're dirty or gross or anything like that — it's just because the new hair is shorter and sharper. Your ingrowns may manifest in all sorts of icky ways: You can have pustules, papules and some hyper-pigmentation (which just means they're darker or a funkier color than you're used to down there) and, if you're the type to pick or fiddle with any kinds of zit-adjacent buddies on your bod (we see you), you can be at risk of getting infections. 

    Because we really couldn't help ourselves, we reached out to a few women who have dealt with ingrowns over the years for their tips, tricks and stories. (Think of it as us inviting you into a personal, weird bodies group chat.) 

    Katherine S: Okay, hello friends. Thank you for being willing to TMI with me today about ingrowns and WTF to do about them. To start, does anyone have any funky ingrown hair horror stories? Any idea what caused them? 

    Rebecca T: My favorite ingrown hair horror story actually happened recently, because I only discovered a few months ago that now my ingrown hairs are capable of growing down the side of my leg while still underneath the skin! So discovering that was weird, because they look like regular hairs growing down but if you touch them you realize they're actually covered. So digging them out is a bit wild. I don't know what has caused them, but it's interesting to see how they've gone from being curled up in one follicle and getting irritated to mole-people-ing their way down.

    Catherine T: I don't have any horror stories, but I get them ALL the time, especially when I shave. It's mainly in my bikini line area, but I have also gotten them in my armpit and in between my boobs (I'm Sicilian so there is hair that gets taken off EVERYWHERE). It's usually a product of shaving.

    Katherine S: I actually have a pretty gnarly ingrown story — or I guess it was more of a Bartholin's gland cyst story (but more on that later!). At first I thought I had an ingrown that came a bit close to my labia and that it must've just been deep. She just felt like a little lima bean sized bumpy that I discovered while I was masturbating one night and I figured it would go away eventually if I didn't poke at it. But, naturally, I poked at it for like three days and ignored advice to take some Sitz baths or do anything productive toward making her go away, so she got even more painful. 

    Eventually, I was starting to feel sick and assumed I just caught a bug in addition to my new cyst pal (instead of connecting that my poking and general dumbassery were maybe making it worse). Long story short, I fainted getting out of the shower (I still remember knocking my nose against my bath mat like a dummy) and had a fever for the night. After calling my mom and, like, panic-crying, I did do the Sitz bath thing — just make sure your tub is super clean, put 2-4 inches of warm water in and soak (I also threw in some table salt because my family is a strong believer in salt water rinsing for literally everything) — and after a few days of repeating and keeping the area super clean, it went down enough that I felt like a human again. 

    When I talked with my doctor a day or two later, she explained that my Bartholins glands (which are responsible for lubricating the vag — so, obvs, we're a big fan of them) got obstructed and backed up and that my poking and prodding at it was a major no-no.

    But what are your hacks, advice for people dealing with ingrown hairs. How do you make them go away or be less fucking horrible? 

    Rebecca T: I'm very prone to ingrown hairs in all the typical spots that people shave, so my methods range from not shaving at all to making sure I exfoliate things like my legs regularly. This can be as simple as using a washcloth in the shower to a loofa or chemical exfoliant, but I find that shaving my legs once a week and exfoliating twice works out well. The only way to make them go away, for me, is to dig them out and then sanitize the area after, but sticking to trimming, exfoliation and especially only shaving with a sharp, mostly-new razor does the trick. Using an old or blunt razor can nick the skin and irritate it much worse, especially when you're prone to ingrown hairs! 

    Catherine T: My advice is to NOT pick at them like they are a zit (which you also SHOULD NOT do, no matter how tempting!). I know they're gross and you want to get rid of them, but they can get infected which will make it even worse! Just be patient; it's either going to go away or grow out. If it does the latter, grab those tweezers and pull. You'll feel SO much better.

    "I have so, so many regrets about fucking with ingrown hairs and other funky body zits — I don't have any acne/zit scarring on my face but other places have definitely been messed up because of my poor self-control. I also really swear by a good toner or retinol to encourage regrowth of healthy skin and to get rid of the gross dead skin. "

    Katherine S: Okay, @ me next time on the picking. I have so, so many regrets about fucking with ingrown hairs and other funky body zits — I don't have any acne/zit scarring on my face but other places have definitely been messed up because of my poor self-control. I also really swear by a good toner or retinol to encourage regrowth of healthy skin and to get rid of the gross dead skin. 

    Which reminds me that I feel like I never got any real info on this from anyone? Like not in those dumb Your Body health class videos or unless I asked my doctor or my mom straight-up. Do you wish your health classes were able to teach you more about these kinds of ingrowns? Where do you get your info/education on weird icky body stuff like this?

    Rebecca T: I never got any information on ingrown hairs from health class, only from my mom, friends, and the internet, so I probably would have avoided a lot of leg nicks, ingrowns and pain while I was in high school if they had covered it. But then again I don't recall much information from health class on managing secondary sex characteristics.

    I get a lot of my info on the nightmare we call the human body from being incredibly open and candid with my friends, who have often gone through similar problems and have advice or resources that they can share!

    Catherine T: Yeah, I wish we had learned about this when I was younger! It was NEVER discussed. I wouldn't have even known how to look up what to do online  that's how infrequently it came up. I've always been super insecure about my body hair that I would just ignore it and wait for it to go away. It's something so many people deal with too, so the fact it never gets brought up  is sad. Sure, it's an unsexy topic, but it's one so many people experience!

    Katherine S: Ugh, yes. I feel like my truest deepest friendships have come from being willing to break down the barriers around these taboo topics. Like if I couldn't send a pic of something gross through the GC to just be like "look at her, help me," I'd be a significantly more panicky person. 

    "I feel like my truest deepest friendships have come from being willing to break down the barriers around these taboo topics."

    But, just to end this convo on a positive-note: Do you have any advice for people who have a hard time loving their body when they get ingrown hairs or other kinds of bumps & blisters?

    Catherine T:  Always, ALWAYS listen to and be patient with your body, no matter how much you hate it or get frustrated with it. Seriously, it took me 26 years to really live by this, but it's made for a lot less pain and made me feel a lot better about myself. Trust me, working with and not fighting your imperfections will make you much happier.

    Rebecca T: For people who want to love their body and experience all the human issues that come with having skin: Flawless skin doesn't exist. And the parts of you that require maintenance aren't, to me, flaws. Have you ever seen the character of different types of flowers? Some have stripes, some are large, some are tiny, some have bumps, many smell. That's you. Your body is a flower that sometimes dries out, a bit of it flakes off, you grow something new or have a bug on you sometimes. It's okay to think it's gross, because being a person is gross. But if you didn't have any of these things going on you'd be made of plastic, and you can't hug the people you love, laugh with your friends, or wiggle to great music when you're made of plastic.

    This was published as a part of The Most Real: Sex, Wellness, and Bodies, our answer to your questions (and, let's be real, our questions) about everything sexual health and wellness. Tampons, strap-ons, first time sex, ingrown bikini hairs, why you poop so much when you're on your period - we're getting real. Get real with us. Join the convo using #HCMostReal, and tagging @HerCampus.


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    We kind of think of ourselves as the best friend you can go to who literally never judges you, so we're going to talk about strap-ons for a bit. Because, let's be real: some women love strap-ons, and we know you've got some questions about WTF they even do. But first off, let's chat about what a strap-on is, and why you should know about them. A strap-on is basically a dildo, or a vibrator, that you insert into a harness and use to penetrate your partner.

    To see where women are at with strap-ons these days, we asked you guys for your take. Here's what you said.

    Can straight women use strap-ons? Yep. 

    Our first source explains, "Well I personally have never used a strap on or been with someone who has, but I recently went to a sex shop called Good Vibrations in Cambridge with my friends so we could not only purchase new sex toys but also to learn more about masturbation and stuff. When the woman there was giving us a tour of the store and telling us where everything was, she went along the wall with the strap-ons. She told us that whether we were gay or straight that we would be able to use strap ons! I personally don't think I'd be comfortable with it, but knowing that you can use it no matter what your sexuality is was really interesting to me! Like I had no clue and didn't even give it a thought about it and she said that it was actually more popular with straight couples than we'd ever think!"

    While, if you've heard of it at all, you've probably heard about it as a thing queer women do, it's actually not related to sexuality at all. Plenty of straight women enjoy strap-ons.

    What if my straight guy partner is weirded out, but curious?

    News Editor Katie Speller explains, "As a queer person, sex toys are just a part of sex. If you don’t have the parts to penetrate the way you want, you sometimes gotta use a bit of ingenuity (and Amazon) to get where you wanna be. I know for a lot of non-queer couples especially, introducing them can be a intimidating conversation — you never know what’s weird, what’s too much, what’s crossing the extra intimidating territory into kink (which real talk, is super normal/common).

    I had a partner once, a Cis-Guy, who was super nervous telling me that he was into receiving penetration during sex (particularly via toys). I remember the conversation being drawn out a bit, tip-toeing around the subject because he was most definitely socialized to think of it as a weird or perverse desire (when real talk, the prostate is a hella interesting erogenous zone that a lot of penis-having people don’t get to explore).

    But, luckily, after I shared the realities of how I view and enjoy sex — something that is way broader and more flexible than the lame, plain P&V model, it made it so much easier for that conversation to move forward and for both of us to have more satisfying encounters."

    What is it about strap-ons that makes them appeal to women?

    We chatted with Cameron Glover, writer, sex educator, and voice behind podcast Sex Ed In Color, to get some expert feedback on our main questions about strap-on sex. We asked Cameron about the general appeal of strap-ons. Why are they even a thing? "Many people across all genders can be turned on by the appeal of doing something taboo," Cameron explains. "For cis women, the idea of a strap-on can be empowering because it allows us to play with this perception of what gender looks like."

    Too, Cameron says, it can just be a fun and interesting experience, and a good way to mix things up with your partner. "It can also be a fun way to play with assumed gender roles — for women that play with the idea of wearing a strap-on during sex, this can be a way to experiment with dominance in bed. Plus there's something visually erotic about the way feminine and masculine qualities can come together when women wear strap-ons. Plus they're a fun and safe way to experiment and switch things up."

    Let's be real: there's def a stigma if you're a woman who wants to try out a strap-on. How can we get away from that?

    "I think an important way is to break the silence on strap-ons," Cameron says. "We can see our interest in them as something "wrong" or "dirty" when it's a healthy way to want to express our sexuality. Being able to communicate with our partners is important, but to also talk about them with other people we trust can help break the stigma. You'd be surprised how other people can feel safe enough to open up about their desires when the dialogue is started."

    Basically: talk to your partner. Be chill about it. You never know what another person is sexually interested in unless you ASK.

    How can I learn more about strap-ons if I'm curious, but kind of nervous?

    "Definitely, do your research," Cameron recommends. "If you have access to a local sex shop, I'd recommend seeing if they have any classes where you can see a demonstration on how to buy a strap-on, what kind of strap-ons are available, and how to use them during sex. If a sex shop isn't accessible, online resources like Autostraddle and Go Mag (even if you aren't queer) have great guides on the 101 aspects of finding your first strap-on. Getting comfortable with it before sex is also something that's underrated: take some time to wear your strap-on while doing tasks around the house to get used to the feel and the visual of yourself wearing it."

    Is strap-on safety a thing, or what?

    YES.

    Cameron is all about safer sex. "Strap-ons can be fun, empowering, and a healthy way to express yourself and expand your sex toy incorporation. But make sure that you're being safe: wear condoms when you're using the strap-on, take your time, communicate, and use lots of the right lubricant. Make sure that your dildo is made of a body safe material, and if it's silicone, do not use silicone-based lube with it — opt for water-based instead to not degrade the material. And don't forget to have fun!"

    This was published as a part of The Most Real: Sex, Wellness, and Bodies, our answer to your questions (and, let's be real, our questions) about everything sexual health and wellness. Tampons, strap-ons, first time sex, ingrown bikini hairs, why you poop so much when you're on your period - we're getting real. Get real with us. Join the convo using #HCMostReal, and tagging @HerCampus.


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