Chris Pratt and Male Body Image in Hollywood

Originally Posted August 4th, 2014; Updated June 26th, 2015 Chris Pratt is Hollywood’s latest TV funny man-turned viable Hollywood leading man; everybody seems to want a piece of the Pratt.¬†Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy may have been last¬†summers most surprising smash hit, raking in an estimated 94 million in its opening weekend (and breaking August […]

“Skinny Bitch”: Why Skinny-Bashing is a Problematic Rising Trend

On August 4th, 2014, Nicki Minaj dropped her latest single, the immediately catchy “Anaconda,” which samples Sir Mix-a-Lot’s 1992 classic “Baby Got Back.” In the song, Minaj raps proudly about her¬†large derri√®re and all of her male suitors due to her, um, assets. The cover art (below), which shows Minaj squatting with her back to […]

“No Offense, But”: Reactions to the Possibility of The Walking Dead’s Daryl Dixon (Maybe) Being Gay

Whenever somebody begins with the phrase, “No offense, but…,” rest assured that it’s probably going to be somewhat offensive, especially where gay issues are concerned. No matter how progressive our culture seems to be on the surface, beneath that glossy, shiny exterior plastered with photos from Pride Parades, individual state marriage equality victories, and cover […]

Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” Is A Bouncy, Body-Positive Summer Jam That Brings The Booty Back

Some of you might have heard about Meghan Trainor, the 20 year old musician from Nantucket who has written songs for Rascal Flatts and Sabrina Carpenter (the girl who plays spunky best friend Riley on Girl Meets World), among others. If you haven’t heard of Trainor, well, you’re about to because her debut single, “All […]

Adam Lambert + Queen = Everything

Freddie Mercury may have passed away nearly 23 years ago, but his spirit is¬†1,000% present as¬†Queen takes the stage with American Idol finalist the bone-chilling-jaw-droppingly talented Adam Lambert on their new international tour, billed as Queen + Adam Lambert.¬†Walking into the Mohegan Sun arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, it was impossible not to feel the energy […]

Zac Efron Should Just Take Off His Shirt and Shut Up: The Hyperreality of Efron’s Body

Zac Efron and Seth Rogen’s latest comedy Neighbors slayed the box office this past Spring; it racked up an impressive $147 million at the box office and beating The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for the #1 spot during release weekend. Most of the buzz around the film was due to the films word-of-mouth, BuzzFeed-esque viral media […]

Men, Objectified: From Michelangelo to J.Lo, a Study of the Effect of Mainstream Masculinity on Male Identity

On March 13th, 2004, Jennifer Lopez released a music video for her new single “I Luh Ya Papi,” a bouncy new hip-hop infused jam to twerk to in front of the bedroom mirror. It was immediately promoted on social media and reigned down on the blogosphere as a refreshing twist on the usual “Let’s Objectify […]

Why Pop Culture Desperately Needs the Spice Girls

Originally Published on April 10th, 2014; Updated June 24th, 2014. The brightest spots in my days each week¬†happen during class periods when thought-provoking, deep discussions sprout from whatever material is being taught that particular day. Since I teach a wide array of classes, from core required Composition and Literature courses to upper-level English courses like […]

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was in the Closet

Originally Published: April 3rd, 2014; Updated: June 24th, 2014 Recently, I’ve had a few readers reach out to me in response to this piece I wrote about Disney’s Frozen, sharing candid personal details about their life and struggles they’ve faced in regards to growing up gay and taking those pivotal first steps towards coming out […]

Leave Ellen Alone: A Lesson in Misplaced Transphobia

Originally Published: March 5th, 2014; Updated: June 25th, 2014 Comedienne, actress, host extraordinaire, and overall amazing human Ellen DeGeneres recently came under fire for a comment during her opening monologue at the 86th Annual Academy Awards, which aired Sunday, March 2nd. During her witty opening, which employed her signature wry-delivery and the pop culture-laden humor […]

Why It’s Bad Form to Tell a Writer to Stop Writing

Originally Published: February 24th, 2014; Updated: June 24th, 2014* When I saw the title of this piece, “If JK Rowling Cares About Writing, She Should Stop Doing It” that was originally published on HuffPost Culture this past weekend, I felt a familiar rage bubble to the surface before I even read the first sentence, which, […]

Beware the Frozen Heart: Is Disney’s ‘Frozen’ An Allegory for Coming Out?

Originally Published: December 2nd, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 Is Disney’s Frozen An Allegory for Coming Out? **WARNING: Mild Spoilers Ahead** Walt Disney Animation Studios, the brilliant tour de force¬†behind¬†animations greatest cinematic achievements like the use of a multiplane camera to¬†help create the illusion of depth in animation, among others —¬†ahem, Snow White and the […]

Sex in YA: Everybody Does “It,” Nobody Talks About It

Originally Published: December 9th, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 In¬†Young Adult Literature, How¬†Should¬†Sex Exist? Sex is a basic human need.¬†When we’re young, we’re curious about it; as we mature, we want it and once we have it, we crave it. If we aren’t having it, we’re daydreaming about it, reflecting on past experiences, looking ahead […]

Zombies, Vampires, and Katniss Everdeen, Oh My!

Originally Published: October 28th, 2013; Updated June 24th, 2014 The end is nigh. The apocalypse is upon us. . The sparkly vampire, zombie, post-apocalyptic, dystopian craze is coming to an end.¬†According to an article in Publisher’s Weekly by Sue Corbett, “New Trends in YA: The Agent’s Perspective,” agents are now looking beyond paranormal and sic-fi/fantasy; […]

“Maybe”

Originally Published: August 26th, 2013; Updated: June 24th, 2014 ‚ÄúMaybe‚ÄĚ I probably shouldn‚Äôt have told Nina not to wear her skintight plaid pants with zippers all over the legs. It wasn‚Äôt my finest hour. But I guess that‚Äôs the beauty of hindsight; it‚Äôs only good after the fact. Now I‚Äôm left alone, with only my […]

“Spring Break, A Not-Yet-Gay Fairytale”

Originally Published: May 24th, 2013; Updated: June 23rd, 2014 Spring Break, A Not-Yet-Gay Fairytale Steven A Na Hiku Wahine¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†(and the Seven Girls¬†in Hawaiian) . ‚ÄúAloha!‚ÄĚ the half-naked men in bright yellow sarongs with bold green palm trees […]

‘All Those Naked Men Lined Up In A Row’ & Other Really Important Search Terms

That title got your attention, eh? When I started blogging again, I developed a new daily obsession. In addition to checking my stats so frequently that a clinical psychologist would say I have some unhealthy fixation with numbers, I can also see the Search Engine Terms that bring users to my blog via Google, Bing, […]

Why Self-Publishing Is Not For Me

Self-publishing is booming. Self-publishing is the newest trend. Self-publishing is better than traditional publishing. Self-publishing is the way to go. Or so I’ve heard. Call me a traditionalist, but I’m simply unfazed by self-publishing and have zero interest in the market. I’ve been asked by readers to write about my thoughts on self-publishing for awhile […]