I'm drawing inspiration for 2017 resolutions from a number of places—because if last year was good for anything, at least it took my (remarkably sharp) jawline in its grubby little paws and forced my face to turn away from Know-It-All Syndrome. There are so many things I don't know, can't know, haven't realized and should not feel entitled to understand. There are so many things we need to work towards.
For me, this process has been underway for a number of years, thanks to a number of things—including and especially Black Lives Matter—but with the DAPL protest, the civil war in Syria, the truck killings in Nice, Zika outbreaks, Brexit, Trump's election, etc., we all know that 2016 was especially useful for realizing stuff. Even pop culture events helped to serve Kylie Jenner's prediction: when victim-blaming was thrown into a new and harsh light after Kim Kardashian's robbery; when LEMONADE and A Seat At The Table showed me that, despite my love for music and my dedication to feminism, this art was not made for me and I should not presume to speak for it; when Kanye met with Trump and I was forced to remind people that mental illness does not preclude intelligence and empathy.
Even though I tend to think that I know best, especially when it comes to my own health and happiness, my first resolution is to reject that assumption: Make consistent efforts to listen to disagreement and understand discord. Elevate oft-ignored voices. When I wanted to write about Beyoncé's performance at the Super Bowl in February, I began by reading as many reviews and op-eds that I could get my hands on. I had a lot of thoughts and a lot of feelings, but mostly I realized that I wasn't qualified. Instead, I should be promoting and retweeting and reading black voices. I had a similar experience when I attended a Black Lives Matter protest in the fall. It's important to me to speak out about what I care about and the injustices I witness—but that doesn't mean I know best, or that I can't learn from the opposite end of the political spectrum.
My next set of resolutions come from an unlikely source, from an unlikely year: Courtney Love in 2007.
Some of that list is questionable, but here's a select number of points that deserve a second look:
become a woman of limitless self esteem
be victorious and positive in all actions
attract only positive people to my home and life
don’t take “no” for an answer (if appropriate) and chase after what I want
cultivate real and deep relationships with others
keep a journal no matter what
know that Kurt's spirit is tended to and tend to it daily
be an inspiration to those around me and remember the mistakes made in the past and take responsibility for them thus not allowing those energies into my life again
do not allow myself to be a doormat in relationships ever again
DO NOT ALLOW MYSELF TO BE A DOORMAT INA RELATIONSHIP EVER EVER AGAIN.
do not lose touch with people when scared to call because i feel “less than” call anyway.
Say what you want about Courtney, but she's had some damn life experience. It can't hurt to listen to her thoughts and pay attention to what resonates.
Next, another resolution from another unlikely source (another woman with whom I share many disagreements): Lena Dunham on the cover of Glamour.
In March of last year, Dunham shared her thoughts about rejecting photoshop: "Not done with getting my picture taken...but done with allowing images that retouch and reconfigure my face and body to be released into the world. The gap between what I believe and what I allow to be done to my image has to close now."
I'm not exactly Dunham's biggest fan—I think she often goes about pushing her agenda in the wrong way—but this is an admirable assertion. I mean, it feels kinda shitty that it's admirable at all, and it's sad that I need to celebrate seeing cellulite on a magazine cover, but until this is a habitual practice for the fashion/editorial industries, I want to do my part in helping them get to that point.
As the newly-appointed Editor-in-Chief for The Buzz, my resolution for this upcoming semester: celebrate racial, cultural, and body diversity within our pages. Our staff already made the decision last spring to stop photoshopping our models, so it's time for the next step. If I can get some BU students who want to celebrate their bodies in our magazine—bodies not often seen in fashion editorials—then I'll have reason to celebrate. I'm also actively recruiting non-white, non-straight, non-cis voices to write opinion pieces throughout the semester, because diversity in newsrooms is just as important as diversity in visuals.
(Speaking of editorials, I hope everyone peruses this one for W's The Movie Issue. It's wonderful.)
My last resolution comes from my mother, who wakes up with the sun and gets more done by noon than I do all day. I'd like to be more of a morning person.
That's all I have for you now, but if you're reading this and you'd like to share your resolutions with me, please do in the comments below!!