Source: hannahaltmanphoto.tumblr.com

I am a “what.”

The media asks “what” I am wearing.

I am photo shop.

Instagram filters.

Clever wit on Twitter, one forty letters or less.

I am nameless.

A face he sends Snapchat nude requests

when his girlfriend’s cross country

and he needs release.

I am legs,

curvy ass,

breasts peeking out from a V-neck black dress.

I am impractical red heels.

Dark lipstick smeared on my chin after too many cocktails.

I am collapsed at the toilet.

Weeping after he found another nameless face.

She answered his sultry questions with more wit than I.

I wake in a stupor of “What have I done?”

when the question should be



Fire Safety 101

Source: rayburnfsi.com

Source: rayburnfsi.com

Did I leave the oven on? Something’s burning.

It’s hot. I’ll turn down the thermostat.

Is that smoke coming from the curtains? I’ll stamp it out.

What about that fog? I’ll open a window.

Instead of packing my precious belongings and running from the house at the first sign of smoke, I wait until the house is up in flames. I barely make it out alive. Smoke fills my lungs, my skin is scorched, and I have third-degree burns.

Why did I wait until the last second to escape?

I’ve been learning fire safety since at least kindergarten.

Fire Safety 101 is:

Crawling under the smoke.

Touching doors with the back of my hand before opening them.

Memorizing my escape plan.

A meeting place for loved ones.

Executing the escape plan–quickly as possible.

Calling 911.

I’ve always known Stop, Drop, and Roll to extinguish the flames. In emergencies, every second counts. Nothing can wait. My survival depends on running away at the first scent or sight of smoke.

When I was five, I was the “good kid.” The girl who followed every direction without question or argument. I was happy. Giddy. Enthusiastic. Envisioning my future, I had dreams so colorful that it’s no wonder they haven’t yet come to life.

With years of fire safety education throughout my life, how have I ignored it? I checked the oven, blew out the candles, stomped out the small fires from my curtains, and opened my windows in hopes that outside air would clear the fog. I should have been running from the house, screaming to anyone who would listen.

I should have watched from across the street as my house was engulfed in flames. I shouldn’t have been inside.

I stubbornly sat on the couch as the smoke rose throughout the room. I glanced around as flames encircled me.

“Maybe it’ll get better,” I say out loud. “I can just douse the fire with water and it’ll be fine.”

But the flames multiply, consume every room. Soon, I will have no escape. I will burn like charcoal. My ashes indistinguishable from the burned remains of my house.

Source: alleffects.com

Source: alleffects.com

I jump from the couch when windows explode and glass cuts my face. When explosions erupt throughout the entire house. When welts form on my bare arms from objects that hit me.

“I need to get out!” I scream, and my body hits the floor.

I frantically crawl to the front door and let myself out. My shoes are burning, smoking. Winter air shocks my body, and I collapse.

Every second counts towards my survival or my body burning before I can reach the front door. I am unconscious, but alive. With medical attention, my health will return. I’ll have nightmares, but nothing I won’t wake up from. I could experience PTSD, but nothing a little therapy and medication won’t help manage.

No matter how many times I curse myself for ignoring the smoke that filled my nostrils, for dousing the small fires when I should have just gotten the hell out, I am grateful to have escaped alive. I can be cured. The burns will scar, but they will fade with time. My nightmares won’t haunt me forever. Therapy may only be a few sessions before I can manage and control my thoughts.

I may be broken, but I can be fixed.

I’ll never forget fire safety, and even though I ignored what I learned, I have the scars to prove how important it is to have an escape plan.

I am a survivor now. I have a story to share. I am the example of what not to do. When I think back on my five-year-old self, I never imagined I would be this girl. The girl who stays too long, who puts her life at risk, who remains in a burning house.

When the fireman looks out at the crowd of tiny, pristine faces and recites, “Your possessions can be replaced, but we can’t replace you,” even though it’s cliché, it’s true. If I stayed in that fire a second longer, my bones would be dust with the rest of my possessions.

I can rebuild my house. I can buy the necessities. I can replace all of my possessions.

But I matter. My body, my existence, and my worth are more valuable than every item I own. For years, I let the smoke build, trying not to inhale the toxins, and opened the windows for clean air. I remained a prisoner. I ignored my worth. When the blood streamed down my face and fire scalded my skin, I woke up. I had to save myself.

Suddenly, I mattered. I wanted to live. More than any other time in my life. I wanted to survive. I didn’t have to die. I wasn’t ready. I needed more time.

The smoke is clearing. Spring is officially only weeks (but realistically) only a couple months away. My body craves sunshine and warm temperatures. That won’t erase the trauma, but my pain will fade with the passage of time.

After putting my life at risk and ignoring the fire hazards, I know that if I can survive that, then I can be the girl who I recognize in the mirror. A girl who smiles and means it. Who is her own ally, and not the enemy holding the match to light the house on fire.

My house may have burned to the ground, I may be broken, but I can be fixed.

Source: flickr.com

Source: flickr.com

Your True Colors Are Beautiful Like A Rainbow (Never Be Afraid To Be You)

Here is a great post from a fellow Wisconsinite and blogger, Miranda Miller. Check out her blog, The Wallflower Chronicles. I know I can relate to this post, especially in recent times.

The Wallflower Chronicles


I’ve come to realize something throughout my years of schooling: I don’t have to be afraid of being me! And I’m still learning that to this day. It’s one of the many lessons I’m still trying to figure out the twists and turns to.

The reason why I decided to write about this is because after spending time with myself, and taking some alone time, I’ve really realized that the only opinion I should care about…is my own. I don’t know why I rely on the approval of others so much; that’s just unhealthy.

The approval of others is good from time to time, but, ultimately, it’s YOUR opinion that decides who YOU become.


The quote that had helped me realize that I don’t have to be afraid of being me was a quote I’ve heard many times from the amazing Broadway Star, Sierra Boggess: “You are enough. You are…

View original post 360 more words

Florence and the Machine: New single packs a punch

Source: consequenceofsound.net

Source: consequenceofsound.net

Florence Welch, AKA “Lungs,” after the title of her first album, has returned, and the music world should rejoice. Florence posted video clip teasers leading up to the Thursday, February 12th release of “What Kind of Man,” the first single and music video from her highly-anticipated third album How Big How Blue How Beautiful, which is set for release on June 2nd.Florence HBHBHB 2

The “What Kind of Man” music video, directed by Vincent Haycock, builds with the momentum of the song. It is a chaotic, loud, and intense production, depicting Florence and her love interest’s tumultuous relationship. The video and song begin quietly. Florence and her love interest are driving down the road, discussing Florence talking in her sleep, and her lover admits she seemed sad.

She asks, “Why didn’t you wake me up?” He says, “I didn’t want to intervene. It just seemed like you were suffering somewhere else.” They also discuss turmoil and Florence ponders aloud if couples who suffer together feel closer after horrific events like a storm. This becomes a theme throughout the video.

Then we are shown a montage of moments from the couple’s relationship. We see images of water (one of Flo’s classic subjects in the past) when Florence is sitting in a car while it’s raining, and then when she emerges from the bathtub, gasping for air is if she had been drowning. In another image, Florence is sitting in a chair, and numerous hands appear, covering her face and torso. This could symbolize anything from blatant sexual abuse or others forcefully fighting to gain control (sexually or otherwise).

Included in this montage is silent scenes from Florence and her lover’s highly sexual, volatile relationship.Florence bares her breasts in the video, and while some may argue that this is shocking or controversial, the nudity is done artfully, symbolically displaying the destruction of this couple’s relationship.

The theme of catastrophic storms is displayed throughout the video. During the montage, just as the music quietly creeps into the video, a television in the couple’s bedroom shows breaking news of a hurricane while the couple sits on the bed and Florence dresses. The couple sit far apart on the bed, facing away from one another. Her lover’s eyes are glued to the screen as she looks away.

The couple both sit in the back seats of a car driving through what appears to be Los Angeles as Florence discusses a dream she had about a storm:

“And we’re in the middle of it, sort of calm, but we can feel it. Like it’s everywhere.”

For the first time, almost two minutes into the video, we hear the first lyrics of the song as Florence slowly croons, “I was on a heavy tip, trying to cross a canyon with a broken limb.” With these lyrics, we see Florence’s lover emerge from the bathroom in a towel, and then cuts to Florence being rescued from drowning.

Florence runs stumbling through the rain in another shot, and naked while watching the news of a storm in the next.

The only shots showing Florence and her lover happy are when we travel forward in time to them driving down the road like the start of the video. Florence smiles, laughs, and sunlight streams in from the car’s window, juxtaposed with a following shot of her sitting in the dark, visibly distraught as she sings the lyrics, “What kind of man loves like this?”

Suddenly, while Florence is in the passenger’s seat (in a clearly different time period than the start of the video), their car is T-boned from the passenger side. The booming crash coincides with the sudden, thunderous drumming of the song. As the music’s pace quickens, so does the action of the video. Florence is surrounded by men in a dance sequence that appears to be displaying sexual dominance or control. She is physically held down and she attempts to fight back. Her face is angry and desperate as she sings with the chorus, “What kind of man loves like this?”

Source: blog.discopop.co.uk

Source: blog.discopop.co.uk

In other shots, Florence is carried to what could be described as a dungeon with a bare mattress. In some shots, she is on the mattress, and men surround the room. She screams at the men, flailing her body in frustration. At other times, she and her lover are naked together in the same dungeon. Her lover appears in the dance sequences, and the other men fight to keep the two apart as they frantically reach out their arms towards one another.

The last shots of the video take us back to Florence being rescued from drowning in an ocean. She is lifted out of the water by several women who console her, stroking her face in worry.

“What Kind of Man,” both the song and music video, is powerful, complicated, and loud. With classic Florence fashion, she starts slow, and allows the momentum to build before the booming drums send a shock wave to our ears. Her voice coincidences with this momentum, beginning as a slow, low croon, building up to loud, higher octaves.

Florence and the Machine is back, better than ever, and if the rest of her album is like its first single, then How Big How Blue How Beautiful will be more proof that Florence is a powerhouse voice, and arguably one of the best in the current music scene.

Did your parents lie to you about looks? LIVE SHOW

Here it is! Thanks again for the fabulous conversation, even if we didn’t talk about fashion.

Culture Monk

Tonights LIVE discussion focuses on a simple question; Does what you wear matter?

Our guests this evening are Allison and Rebecca Meyer

View original post

Your parents lied to you; Looks really DO matter

Tune in at 6:00 central for the live show! We’ll be discussing if looks really matter.

Culture Monk


by Kenneth Justice

~ How many of us had parents who taught us that our, “Looks don’t matter, all that matters is that you be yourself. All that matters in life is that you’re a good person”

Isn’t it about time we all admit that is a crock of B.S.? The Oscars were last night, an evening with a whole lot of pomp and ceremony (emphasis on the ‘pomp’), a long night of listening to Hollywood starlets tell the camera who they “are wearing”. Hollywood is all about looks. For every Kathy Bates, there are a thousand young beautiful Natalie Portman’s and Grace Kelleys.

God bless Julianne Moore, I really love her as an actress, and I’m happy she one the Oscar yesterday for Best Actress. But let’s not kid herself, she’s has earned a lot of roles in the past because she was willing to…

View original post 327 more words

Who cares about beauty? (We’re so much more than that)

Source: huffingtonpost.com

Source: huffingtonpost.com

While discussing women’s education and why it’s significant, a third grade student said, “Girls need to learn, too. It’s not just about our looks. We’re so much more that.”

Smart kid. This is the type of thinking I wish the media would adopt.

From birth, little girls are dressed in frilly pink dresses. The first compliment we hear in life is that we are pretty, cute, precious, sweet, or angelic.

We are taught how to apply makeup, and the media pushes their definitions of “beauty” in our faces throughout our entire lives. As girls, and later as women, we are taught that our beauty comes first.

Photography student Hannah Altman, currently attending Point Park University in Pittsburgh, recently did a photo series depicting the dangerous and impossible standards of female beauty. Through photographs of women splattered with glitter to represent blood, tears, and vomit, Altman shows how negatively “beauty” affects women if the fascination with it becomes an obsession.

Source: huffingtonpost.com

Source: huffingtonpost.com

From birth, our outward appearance is obsessed over so much that many of us internalize these values. We must be pretty first, and that is more significant than being smart. Our appearances win dates, not our brains.

The first comments we usually hear from peers relate to our looks.

“You’re pretty!”

“I love your makeup!”

“You have beautiful hair!”

“Your teeth are so white!”

The leading phrase regurgitated during those breakup pep talks our friends give is almost always the well-meaning “You’re a pretty girl. Guys will be lining up for you.”

Our bodies are what most guys notice first, and are the subject of the first comments they whisper in our ears (or send in random Facebook messages).

Compliments are usually meant to bring us up. But when the first things we hear are related to beauty, we are expected to believe that looks are the most significant part of us.

According to the media and society, it’s about WHAT we are, not WHO we are.

If you want to argue that men struggle with this pressure too, I beg to differ.

Most of us don’t ever hear men meet and say things like this to each other:

“Your hair is so hot!”

“Your muscles look great!”

“You’re so tall!”

“I wish I had your chest!”

When men go through breakups, they don’t usually hear from their friends, “You’re a hot guy, bro. Girls are gonna be lining up for you.” More often, they tell each other to just get laid. It comes back to women being beautiful objects.

As we age, we strive to look as if we AREN’T aging. Diets, lotions, makeup, even surgeries, all marketed almost 100% for women to stay “beautiful.”

Why does it matter?

Seriously, think about it. The compliments, the pep talks, the ideas men have about us, the consumption in which we partake for society’s perception of beauty.

Beauty: who cares?

No matter what dresses we are paraded in as kids, no matter how many compliments we are fed, no matter how many pep talks we hear, no matter how many products we purchase, none of that makes us any less empty.

Beauty means nothing when we break it down. Sure, it means trillions of dollars to companies all over the world marketing their narrow idea of “beauty” to female consumers.

But to us?

In terms of substance to our lives, it means nothing.

The idea that we are THINGS could mean eating disorders, depression, anxiety, body dysmorphia, and other dangerous obsessions with our bodies.

That’s what obsession with beauty gives us. Impossible standards, unhealthy and neurotic obsessions, and the false belief that our beauty matters.

No amount of foundation will assist me in publishing a novel I haven’t yet written.

No amount of starvation for the perfect weight could erase painful memories.

I would risk seven, 14, 21, even 28 years’ bad luck to smash every mirror I own. To prove to myself that what I see means nothing.

Source: tvtropes.org

Source: tvtropes.org

Who cares what I look like? As long as my clothes are appropriate for the occasion, nothing else should matter.

Yet to this society, it does.

I am what people see. The first compliment out of anyone’s mouth is, while well-meaning, related to looks.

“You are pretty.”

So what?

Beauty doesn’t hire me. Beauty doesn’t erase the last train wreck relationship. Hell, beauty can’t keep a guy faithful to me.

However, my definition of beauty has nothing to do with a human’s physical appearance.

By my definition, beauty is art. Nature. Poetry. Music. Film. Books. Mediums of inspiration.

Physical beauty is shallow, and for many women, only leads to dark journeys from which they don’t always escape alive.

Generation after generation has been devoted to defining what is “beautiful,” and it’s an easy way to rip women apart. Women haven’t been able to decide for themselves what is beautiful; it has been dictated to them.

My reflection in the mirror is not WHAT I am. I am not a what. I am more than what I see. That is not who I am.

Source: nairaland.com

Source: nairaland.com

I am more than my looks. I am so much more than that.

Enemy number one

She sees you as flesh.

Only flesh.

Every scar, birth mark, and bruise is magnified under her microscope.

She analyzes and her hypothesis is that every observation is a defect.

What’s can she do when all the meat is defected?

She cuts you up, slicing precisely. Then she will mold you into a sculpture. Something appealing to the eye.

As she sculpts, she punches, punishes. Every piece of flesh must be exact.

She manipulates, manhandles. The artistic process never ends.

She is you.

My Blog is Slowly Becoming “The Breakup Blog”

Source: allisonarchived.com

Source: allisonarchived.com

…and I’m not sorry about it.

Blogging has recently become crucial for me in dealing with circumstances out of my control. Writing has always been a constructive way of gaining control in my life. Blogging is currently not only one of my creative outlets in coping with realities I’d like to bury deep within my subconscious, but it’s therapy.

When inspiration shoots through my veins, I cannot ignore it. I must follow it, breathe it in, exhale it somewhere. The exhalations occur with the “Publish” button.

Maybe I’m a broken record?

I don’t care.

When I’m falling from the sky, dangerously close to smashing into the concrete, I need something to grab onto. Something. Anything.

Poetry. Venting to friends. Music. Blogging. Lately, the latter has become my therapy of choice. Not only am I using my creativity as an outlet, but blogging has felt like an added bonus of venting to the blogging community as well. Creative venting, I’ll call it.

Combining writing and the ability to vent with the click of a button is just what I’m craving. A release for the volatile thoughts I would normally internalize.

In spoken conversations, I keep details to the bare minimum, skipping over my raw emotions. My armor and mask are chained to my frail body.

However, writing is safe. I let go of the death grip on my thoughts as I publish blog post after blog post. It’s my form of communication when I cannot speak.

Through the comments section of my blog, I realize that I’m not alone. No matter how many nights I spend within myself, cold and numb, there are others doing the same.

While plummeting to the ground, I need a glimmer of light. A light to soften the impact of the crash. Blogging has been that light for me recently.

Humyn is my space to creatively voice my neurotic thoughts that naw at my brain. If I am a broken record, obsessing over the same themes consistently, I’m not sorry.

I’ve been infected with poison in my veins, and writing is my therapy to bleed it out. Blogging is more efficient, and at the same time, I hope that I am helping others in the same situation.

Blogging isn’t just about me. I blog for myself and for others who need motivation and a voice. Connecting with people who have reached out to me makes the darkness easier to stumble through.

My blog has taken directions I never expected, and it’s become more important to my sanity than I ever thought possible. Writing is an eternal process for my life. There will always be movies to review, poems to discover, songs to absorb, relationships to analyze. I have numerous obsessions in life, and my inspirations will never be exhausted.

I am grateful for everyone who has followed, commented, and emailed. This is just the beginning of a fabulous journey.