August 26, 2015 § Leave a comment
Hi! I have some concerns about fangirl fashion. I mean, I love my shirts. In fact, I paint my own shirts with designs of the things I love. But today while I was dressing up for work, I was thinking about how is not appropriate to go to work with shirts, and this makes me sad. So I wondered, how do you dress up “right” for work without losing your fangirl style?
Just yesterday I saw the MOST PERFECT X-Wing Cardigan for sale on HerUniverse, and I thought to myself, “Could I get away with wearing an X-Wing cardigan to work?” I talked myself out of it for now, but if a Millennium Falcon cardigan comes along, I’m a goner.
So I get it. I have an “I met Sebastian at the Pawnee Harvest Festival” T-Shirt, and I’ve only ever gotten positive responses from people. But do I show up to the office wearing it? No. There’s no reason to be ashamed of what you love. Yes, you can pair a tee with a blazer or buy inspired jewelry on Etsy or any number of tricks. But how do you dress like a fangirl that people take seriously? YOU UPGRADE.
A fangirl closet should reflect the entire rainbow of her personality. Yes, you’re goofy and passionate, but you’re also BAMFy and intimidating as hell. When I asked people on Twitter who their fictional fashion heroes were, here’s what they said.
Claire Underwood – *cue ominous music*
Leona Lansing – Pearls are for giving zero fucks.
Alicia Florrick – ALL HAIL DANIEL LAWSON
Olivia Pope – Hella Coat Game
Effie Trinket – Definitely wear this to your next job interview.
Sharon Morris – Because some of us are ridiculous.
And of course Queen of My Life, Diane Lockhart
There are so many great websites for TV fashion. Possessionista is one of my favorites, because she IDs fashion and also provides you with cheaper knock-offs or similar styles. Or you can simply type “dress like [insert character]” into Google, and you’ll find tons of articles directing you to examples. It’s amazing how channeling your fave can help you conquer.
Don’t stop creating, and don’t stop unicorn trotting. But don’t be afraid to find a woman who can help you breathe a little bit of fire as well.
February 25, 2015 § Leave a comment
Body language impacts your brain and your personality. Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk highlighted this reality a few years ago. But why limit yourself to the same boring Wonder Woman pose? There is an endless choreography of BAMF poses you can try to feel more powerful. Here are a few.
1. The Commander
Huddle your troops with this move.
Everything the light touches is your kingdom.
2. The BAMF Lean
Enlighten hapless coworkers with your chair prop.
Add an over-the-glasses peer to strike terror.
3. The One-Arm
A versatile move that’s good for lecturing.
For AP BAMFing, try the one-arm-hair-flip-glasses-dangle.
4. The Merkel
You just stick your hand out to stop a dood from being wrong.
“Look at you being so wrong in your wrongness.”
5. The Couch Arm
Words are inadequate.
Remember, when it comes to power poses, take it slow.
It’s not about how you look but how you’ll feel as you conquer.
February 11, 2015 § 4 Comments
Hi. I have a problem with what career should I choose as a Fangirl. Can you help me?
Hai Amalia. Let me be your fangirl guidance counselor. Like Emma Pillsbury, I too have career advice and an unreasonable amount of enamel flower brooches.
Fangirls make great employees. I’ve been saying this for years on social media while I avoid my work. Our skills include:
- Googling. You cannot hide. We will find your email address and everything about you and encrypt our IP address. I’m not in Wales. Or am I? Muhahaha.
- Staying current. We know everything that happens the moment it happens. God Facebook, that was 3 weeks ago.
- Memorization. You want to know what happened in episode 3×13? Take a seat son.
- Crisis management. I made it through work today after a Good Wife promo was released with Diane Lockhart wearing a camo hoodie and a tiny fur hat. Look me in the eye and tell me that’s not a skill.
- 100% dedication. We will ride a sinking ship into the depths of an ocean canyon. We will stick with a show 7 seasons after a shark sails over the entire plot. Our loyalty rivals Hufflepuffdom.
Who wouldn’t want these skills in a future employee? Who needs social skills or basic time management when you have 100% DEDICATION, Amalia.
But let’s get serious. The reality is that a fangirl can be anything she wants. If her passion for a screencap is unrivaled, then imagine how far her dedication to a real cause will go? Here are a few tips you should take away.
1. Fictional jobs are not real life jobs. Surgeons are not having sex in the break room like they do on Grey’s Anatomy. Crime scene investigators are not flying around in helicopters. Professors aren’t flipping their chairs backwards to give impromptu library lectures in tweeds. Vampire slayers are not . . . well they probably are. Fiction can be a great starting point for brainstorming career ideas, but you’ve got to throw yourself into a real world environment first to see if you like it.
2. Practice getting rejected. Amalia, if you want to be successful, you have to become immune to the word “No.” Fear of rejection or failure should never be a reason not try something new or ask for an opportunity. I get many “No’s” from editors every week, and it keeps my skin thick. Your favorite character has probably failed at many tasks, so use him or her for inspiration in your journey. The sooner you can get comfortable with rejection, the faster you’ll progress in your career.
3. Find a real life BAMF. Fictional people are easy to summon for career courage. What would Laura Roslin do? is a question I ask myself daily. But I also have had mentors with skin who can give good advice and encourage me along the way. Find someone in a career you might like and ask them to be your mentor. You’ll be surprised how willing people are to share the knowledge they wished they had when they were your age.
Above all, Amalia, remember that you can change your career whenever you want. Sure you might have to keep the same day job to pay the rent, but as fangirls, our passions are constantly changing. So why should our hopes and dreams be any different? I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I’m having a hell of a time figuring it out.
Finally, I’ll leave you with the immortal words of Diane Lockhart, because they work way better than mine.
When the door you’ve been knocking at finally swings open, you don’t ask why. You run through.
December 9, 2014 § 1 Comment
I love fangirl stuff. And people seem to think it’s the only kind of gift I want. Don’t get me wrong. My plush ‘lil Sebastian and my Treat Yo Self tee are prized possessions. But since I’ve become a fanwoman, I want my fangirl merch to be more than just cute. Enter the concept of the BAMF talisman.
So if you’re looking for a way to spend the cash your grandma sent you or want to find an empowering gift for a fangirl friend, here are some of my picks!
Lady BAMF Candle
Have a big job interview or a final coming up? Need the energy to say “No” to a family member or “Yes” to a new project? Light a lady BAMF candle and summon your courage! You can make your own or buy one on Etsy. I love this Leslie Knope one, and it’s a steal at $7.
The Good Wife Inspired Bling
It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention something from my favorite show, right? Diane Lockhart usually has a BAMF power ring (what some might call a cocktail ring) on her middle finger. I like to think it’s her classy way of telling people to fuck off. Try one of these Blue Bijoux rings from Max and Chloe ($30, plus 20% off!) to make you feel powerful at work! If that’s not your style and you have $62 bucks to spend, you can still get Kalinda’s lucky horseshoe necklace here.
My Triumphs, My Mistakes Journal
Want to keep track of your successes and setbacks in 2015? Was your life ruined by Battlestar Galactica? Then this Dr. Gaius Baltar journal is perfect for you. I mean, nobody’s perfect right? I keep track of my rejections to keep me motivated to write, but I’m also careful to record my BAMF wins so that I can look over the year and be proud! If you still can’t stand the sight of Baltar’s face, maybe pick up a cool “So say we all” temporary tattoo for a day you need inspiration?
(Caution: spoilers ahead!) Every fangirl needs a sweatshirt to hide her face in when her OTP flirts, but why not have one that asks one of the most important question in life as well? What would Carol Peletier do? If Michonne is your favorite or if you don’t have $40 to spend, then you need one of my favorite BAMF talismans, the katana sword necklace. And if Beth is your favorite…well I’m super sorry and hope you recover as quickly as you can in this difficult time.
If none of these activate your feels, then stay tuned! I’ll have more holiday gift ideas next week.
Until then, keep on BAMFing.
October 29, 2014 § Leave a comment
I’m super pumped to announce that I’ve started writing about fangirl-ish and mental health topics for The Huffington Post’s blog site. You can help support fangirl awareness by reading my posts, sharing them on social media, and/or by leaving comments on Huffpo. Thanks again to everyone for your support and encouragement and creys! And as we say on tumblr, my ask is always open.
How to Find Your Own Diane Lockhart
If you weren’t watching Sunday night’s episode of The Good Wife, then you missed one of the most iconic moments ever for women on television. After five plus years of scraping her way to the top, Alicia Florrick finally stepped into the corner office of the departed Will Gardner and claimed it as her own. With a nod of approval from her once superior and now peer Diane Lockhart, Alicia settled into her throne. You could almost hear the collective cheer across social media, as women of all ages celebrated what is rarer in television than it is in real life: two women sitting at the top and admiring the view.
“You’re elegant,” a drunk Alicia confessed to her former mentor last season. “I always wanted to be like you.” It was the perfect example of a classy lady crush, such an alien interaction on television, where women are often pitted against one another for a job or a love interest. From the very beginning, creators of the show Robert and Michelle King were careful to steer clear of that route, and for that we are eternally grateful.
Read the rest on Huffpo!
October 3, 2014 § Leave a comment
August 28, 2014 § Leave a comment
My latest in Thought Catalog
I’m a licensed therapist and a mental health journalist, but when I get home at night and my laptop blinks to life, I’m a fangirl. Fictional characters have transported me through more than one challenge in my life, from job interviews to bad dates to the death of my mother. Story is powerful, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s coming from across the table or from your Netflix account.
Last winter break, desperate to detox from graduate school, I went on a therapeutic TV binge. In a superhuman feat requiring years of fangirl preparation, I inhaled almost 100 episodes of CBS’s hit drama The Good Wife in just a few weeks. The show’s brilliant take on office politics and its pioneering female roles made me sit up straight. And before you could say “Christine Baranski” three times fast, I began to take notes.
Perhaps my professors might cringe and weep, but I learned more about my abilities and my goals in those two weeks than I have in five years of graduate education. The field of psychology is dominated by women, so you’d think that the following wisdom have come up once or twice. But the truth is that sometimes TV is the best teacher of them all. Here are five lessons the show taught me that have legitimately changed my entire life in the last seven months.
Read the rest here.
August 19, 2014 § 1 Comment
What do you do in your spare time? I take pictures of TV shows.
Why do we take screen captures (aka caps) when we can just watch a scene over and over again? Because hairporn. Because feels. Because everything. Stories move quickly, and sometimes we just want to freeze a moment in time. Here are a few of my favorites.
This is from season 2 of Cheers. Nothing sums of the pinnacle of comedy TV romance than this nose pulling shot of Sam and Diane.
This cap literally changed my life. Captivated by Glee designer Lou Eyrich’s vision for TV fashion icon Emma Pillsbury, I gave up pants for a year, added color to my wardrobe, and made many fangirl friends as we tracked down Glee fashion on eBay. After all, Penelope J. Crew Mary Janes are the most dangerous game.
LOST’s The Constant is arguably the best television episode ever written. I see this cap and start wailing, “I love ya Penny. I’ve always loved ya!” in a horrible Scottish accent. I mean it’s Christmas Eve for crying out loud. EIGHT YEARS.
Our social media lives are so saturated with selfies and sepia-toned instagram shots these days that we honestly don’t need any more pictures of ourselves. But what if you started watching your own life and taking mental screen caps? Freezing the moments you’d like to examine more closely, and capturing your BAMFy self in action. What would you see? What would other people see?
You should have at least one moment every day where you can take a mental screen cap and be proud of yourself. Maybe you’re taking initiative at work, or standing up for yourself in a relationship. Perhaps you got out of bed early to do some yoga. Being able to see yourself in the moment working toward your goals is worth more than a thousand “I should’s.” So live a life that’s worth capping.
That being said, thanks to those of you who submitted BAMF caps for our first ever Fangirl Therapy Capoff! Here are your submissions, and you can vote for your favorite! Poll closes on Friday at 5pm EST.
1. First Lady Martha Logan, resident badass of 24
2. Sassy Detective Amy Sykes of Major Crimes
3. Captain Sharon F**king Raydor of Major Crimes
4. Laura Roslin of Battlestar Galactica becoming President of the Universe
5. Laura Roslin looking into your soul
6. Helicopter view of The Good Wife’s Diane Lockhart
7. Diane Lockhart Does Fierce
9. And finally, elevator!rage Diane Lockhart
Thanks for everybody who submitted! For those who forgot and still want to share your favorites, you can email me and I’ll post them on twitter.
Have a great week, and live a life worth capping! I’ll be answering your questions this week and can’t wait to hear from you.
July 8, 2014 § 1 Comment
I wanted to talk a little bit today about how to use your fangirl nature in setting and meeting the goals you have in life.
So often we think of fangirling as a central impediment to accomplishing what we want in life. I mean, it’s hard to see how watching so much tv in a row that Netflix feels like it has to intervene and ask if you are alive and want to continue (Yes, Netflix, the answer is always yes for fuck’s sake). Or how the emotions invested in crying over screencaps and gifs and fanfiction can be redirected to life stuff.
But it can! If you’ve read my book, then you already probably know a lot about how to change some of your thinking about fangirling as it applies to your life. But most of the exercises in the book are big-picture thinking, so I wanted to give you a few simple daily tools you can use to power your motivation with fangirl fuel.
Tool #1: The BAMF checklist.
We all make to-do lists. Ladies in particular love them. We make them in boring staff meetings, when our professor is droning on forever, or when we’re riding the bus home. But a visual or verbal reminder of a character that inspires you can make a huge difference when you’re outlining your tasks for the week.
I have 7 things that I want to accomplish every day. They include making my bed, flossing, taking vitamins, etc. I have much bigger goals in life, but I also know that if I keep up daily healthy habits, I’m more likely to accomplish them and look fabulous doing it.
The problem with daily habits is that they suck. So I slap a different screencap of Diane Lockhart from The Good Wife on my weekly BAMF list, and voila. My motivation isn’t just to get shit done anymore. I see the cap and think, “OH GOD. If I don’t pack my lunch and save money I’ll never be that fabulous.” Forget whether this is actually true. The screencap MAKES it true.
This is probably my favorite tool because as a stats geek, I can quantitatively track my improvement from week to week. When I first started, I was hitting maybe 40% of the tasks every week (gold stars help too!). Now I’m averaging around 70%.
So think about what favorite person, real or fictional, will get your ass in gear. If you can connect your desire to live better with your passion for a character, then there’s no telling what you can do.
Stay tuned! I’ll be posting more goal setting tools in the coming weeks.
June 10, 2014 § 2 Comments
Hello 🙂 Thank you for your blog and for this website, for sharing and inspiring! Could you please give me some advice still? Very often I just spend time watching the stuff BAMF’s (both fictional and real-life) do, and they (you included) always awe me. However I don’t think that I deserve to be like that. I don’t think that I have such great qualities in me, such morals and courage. Is this possibly true? Thank youxx
Thanks for your honest words. Once I read this fabulous quote from a poet posted by another blogger. It goes, “We are vey badly made, but we are not finished.”
I can’t think of a better way to understand being a BAMF. Yes BAMFs might stick to their morals and be courageous, but they can be extraordinarily shitty people at times like the rest of us. Laura Roslin cheated to win an election. My current love Diane Lockhart sold her partner out to try to get a promotion. That’s why they’re so appealing to me. They’re flawed gorgeous creatures who manage to rise out of their own hopeless humanity more often than not.
Maybe you don’t feel like you have what it takes, but the best place to start is to consider what extremely shitty circumstances have helped build the person you are.
I’m growing as a writer because I get up and try when I don’t feel like it. But also because I’ve been rejected more times than notes on my most popular tumblr meme.
I’m growing in my relationships because of my willingness to take responsibility for myself. But also because I’ve stayed in bad ones even though I knew the other person never loved me and never would.
I’m growing as a BAMF because I see the qualities in amazing women I admire. But also because I missed out on important relationships with BAMFs in real life I ignored or neglected.
Tessa, I am very badly made. But I’m not finished with myself. And neither are you. Your humanness is the most important trait you will ever need to be a BAMF. And god knows we’re up to our ears in our humanness!
So keep paying attention to real and fictional BAMFs, but don’t forget to pay attention to yourself. All the ingredients are already there. Just don’t be afraid to mess up a few times along the way.