Tuesday, December 26, 2017

6 Podcasts That Hooked Me on Podcasts

Podcasts are the undeniable breakout star of 2017.   Once upon a time, podcasts belonged to a specific subset of the Internet with a niche cult following like subreddits and the black Twittersphere.  Sure, there was the breakout hit Serial that permeated the earwaves for a few weeks in 2014, but it certainly wasn’t standard dinner party conversation to talk about what podcasts, plural, that you’re listening to.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The 5 Fall Trends I Want Now

Recently, clickbait headlines like "How to Dress Like Gigi Hadid" and "The It Bag You Need Now" have not resonated with me.  I want to look like myself and not a carbon copy of what a Vogue editor deems worthy.  If that were the case, I'd tell you to run to the nearest department store, or wherever people are shopping these days, and scoop up head to toe red, the Cult Gaia bag that's probably flooding your Instagram and sock boots (looks I do like with full disclosure).

Monday, September 18, 2017

Emmy's Superlatives 2017: Most Likely to...

Another year, another Emmy's that I didn't watch.  But you can guarantee that I reviewed all "Every Red-Carpet Look from the 2017 Emmy's" content.  FYI: Vulture has the best recap.  The Cut didn't even have Issa Rae or Tracee Ellis Ross' looks.  Talk about incomplete.  But if you're looking for Emmy's superlatives, the "Most Likely to Steal Yo Girl" looks, you've come to the right place.  And without further ado, Otis Unfiltered's Guide to the 2017 Emmy's.

Most PERFECT: Zoe Kravitz
Unlike the Met Gala, the Emmy’s are not typically known for out-of-the-box fashion.  I’ve come to expect less Rosie Assouline maximalism and more Oscar de la Renta elegance.  Which is why Zoe Kravitz’s daring feathered Christian Dior Couture gown really resonated with me.  She consistently nails the delicate balance of calculated glamour and nonchalance. TEACH ME YOUR WAYS!


Monday, September 11, 2017

Weekly Web Roundup

Inspired by the Man Repeller's "the best of the Internet" and Cupcake and Cashmere's "Links I Love," I'm bringing you six of my favorite articles, gifs and videos from the week.  I hope you find the links as equally inspiring and thought provoking as I have.

1. Black Teens Are Breaking the Internet and Seeing None of the Profits: I had already planned to share this article when then The Fat Jewish literally stole my brother's content as his own.  Is comedic appropriation the new cultural appropriation?

2. Samantha Irby's unofficial Sociology of White People 101 will make your sides split, trust me.  "But with every politely declined camping invitation and spat out mouthful of roasted beets, it became that much clearer to me that, despite my penchant for craft beers and J.Jill knit cardigans, I AM NOT WHITE."  

3.  Just when you thoughts media outlets sensationalizing trends with obscure names like normcore was over, New York Magazine coins "gorpcore" as the new frontier.  Think Patagonia fleeces, North Face puffers and Birkenstock sandals for a crowd whose idea of outdoorsy is the Hamptons.

4. What does it mean for a society and its willingness to address income inequality when wealth is as stigmatized as masturbation?  

5. Modern Love always gets me.  "Finding God in a Hot Slice of Pizza" is no different.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hey It's Okay

Welcome to "Hey, It's Okay," inspired by Glamour Magazine's eponymous column and podcast, where I publicly expose things I probably should be more embarrassed to admit.  So without further ado, here's a list of behaviors I'm willing to publicly defend (previous edition here).

  1. To use Solo cups because you didn’t realize quite how painful living without a dishwasher would be.
  2. To watch graduation speeches when you’re feeling uninspired.  Nothing like remembering when everyone reminded you that you are the future!  Highlights: Steve Jobs' 2005 Commencement address at Stanford and Bryan Stevenson's 2016 Commencement address at Williams College.
  3. To follow babies on Instagram.  I'm looking at you @asahadkhaled and @diegodaviddowd.  Okay, so the latter may require some explanation.  He's the son of Rajni Jacques, Teen Vogue's Fashion Director and is just adorable beyond words.

  4. A post shared by Diego David Dowd (@diegodaviddowd) on


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Roy Purdy is the Happiest Kid on the Internet

Sometimes, I think the kids are all right.  When every day can seem like an assault on your sanity thanks to the constant barrage of tweets from the President of the United States and the subsequent push notifications on your iPhone, it's nice to see pure, unadulterated joy especially when it comes in the form of an eighteen-year old white boy milly rocking in the streets of New York City in neon to Playboi Carti.  Let's just say it's a cheaper alternative to the wellness industry's solution of chakras, crystals and nutritional yeast.

Here's to the young Roy Purdy.  If only life could be so simple: "I literally went to New York and milly rock'd lol swag swag."


Monday, August 21, 2017

Why Do We Watch Shows We Don't Like?

I’ll never forget watching Napoleon Dynamite. It had already achieved cult classic status by the time that I decided I needed to see what all the fuss was about.  Vote for Pedro shirts were the fashion du jour and I couldn’t hear yet another person yell, “your mom went to college” without getting to the bottom of it.  But then something happened.  Twenty minutes went by, and I didn’t laugh once.  For what had been touted as the funniest film of the year, Napoleon Dynamite was seriously disappointing.  I couldn’t find a morsel of humor.  Maybe I’m watching the wrong movie, I thought to myself.  But no, it just wasn’t for me.  And for some reason, I suffered through all 95 minutes of it.

Fast forward to last weekend.  I watched the entire season of Friends from College, a Netflix original series written by and starring Keegan-Michael Key of Key and Peele fame, despite texting my friends, “Friends from College is horrible. You guys were right” after two episodes.  “It’s one bad episode after another,” one chimed in.  “Lol it’s horrid.”  The logical next step would be to turn it off, but nope. I had to see how this train wreck ended.  Hint? Badly.

Binge watching is nothing new. But recently, I’ve found myself bingeing shows that I legitimately don’t like.  And it’s not just me.  Trying to get into a show is the new norm.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What I've Been Reading: Hunger by Roxane Gay

I just read Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay, a book she describes as a memoir of her experience living in a clinically defined “super morbidly obese body” (a BMI greater than 50).  The type of body in which people feel compelled to offer unsolicited diet and weight loss advice, going so far as to replace items in her cart at the grocery store for “healthier” options.  The type of body in which she cannot shop at Lane Bryant.  The type of body that demands she purchase two seats on a plane.  The type of body that a scale at the doctor’s office cannot accommodate. The type of body that many chairs cannot accommodate.  The type of body that we have collectively decided is deserving of shame and derision and consequently, the shame and derision that Gay has internalized in her body.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

What I've Been Listening To: SZA

I must confess that I’m not a music aficionado.  I can’t identify a Nina Simone sample on a Kanye track without the help of Genius.com.  I don’t describe beats as “hiccuping” or synthesizers as “glitched-out” with the finesse of a Rolling Stone editor.  But I know what I like: clever bars and a beat that makes me unconsciously diddy bop (thus my proclivity for trap); and what I don’t like: aggressive techno and country music.

And what I love?  SZA. Ctrl.

Image by W Magazine

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

An Idiot's Guide to Black Culture

If you’re a frequent reader of Otis Unfiltered, you’ve likely noticed that there have been a fit of starts and stops.  What can I say, managing a blog while taking three courses pass/fail your spring semester senior year of college allows much more time to let the creative juices flow than adulting.  Back in February, I started an outline for an article about three things to do this Black History Month that don’t involve learning about George Washington Carver, and then life happened and I never got around to actually writing said article.  While February has long passed, I figured, why can’t we learn about black history and celebrate black culture any month?  So voila, here’s  an Idiot’s Guide to Black Culture (which is by no means exhaustive!!).
Hank Willis Thomas, "Black Power," 2006.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Weekly Web Roundup

Inspired by the Man Repeller's "the best of the Internet" and Cupcake and Cashmere's "Links I Love," I'm bringing you six of my favorite articles, gifs and videos from the week.  I hope you find the links as equally inspiring and thought provoking as I have.

1. Paris Hilton Invented Everything You're Doing in 2017, and She Knows It -from selfies to celebrity culture to shameless self promotion.
2. How to spend $638,412.97 on Gucci in 3 years. And I thought I had a problem.
3. Is an open marriage a happier marriage? Maybe we've got it all wrong.
4. Just when you thought you reached peak Met Gala, Frank Ocean goes and releases his 35mm shots.
5. Watching a black girl put on sunscreen and not look chalky? Sold. Thanks, Glossier.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Is Minimalism Dead?

Recently, I’ve found myself on an anti-minimalism kick. What I used to classify as simple and elegant now feels boring and stale. Credit the cyclical nature of trends or the fashion set’s collective embrace of Alessandro Michele’s maximalist designs for Gucci, but when your closet starts to non-ironically resemble Steve Jobs’, full of Levi’s jeans and black turtlenecks, it’s time to go shopping. Some may extol the virtues of having a go-to uniform, but I say snooze. At what point do basics become...basic? While I may not be ready for my full blown Rihanna moment (although #goals) of Gucci lurex bodysuits at Coachella or her Comme des Garcons look at the Met Gala, here are three trends that I’ve been coveting.

 1. Kitschy T-Shirts
The white t-shirt reigns supreme as the go-to basic. Some may credit Dem Franchize Boyz for the white t-shirt’s ascension with their 2004 banger “White Tee.” Others may contend that Hanes cornered the market eons ago. Nonetheless, the white tee is long overdue for an update. Enter the kitschy graphic white tee.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Am I Basic?

Confession: I frequently wonder if I'm basic. Walking into a room full of Outdoor Voices-clad yogis on Saturday afternoon at Sky Ting Yoga, I thought to myself, “How did I get here?” I don’t particularly love yoga, unless we’re talking the hip hop variety (Y7, I’m talking to you), but here I was, at a studio that I found on Instagram (how millennial!), wearing Outdoor Voices leggings, a brand self-proclaimed, and not incorrectly, fitness wear for the it girl, before meeting up with friends for...brunch! Oh, the horror.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

What to Do When You Discover Mahershala Ali is Married

A few weeks ago, my friend texted me, “How do we get to know Mahershala Ali?” in equal parts seriousness and fantasy, followed by “do we know what his relationship status is.” Editor’s note: For the uninitiated, Mahershala Ali is the “it” actor in Hollywood at the moment and the favorite for the best supporting actor Oscar for his role in Moonlight. Not to mention, he’s simply a beautiful specimen. Cue our mutual disappointment to discover that he’s married. This discovery shattered my worldview in which everyone is single and therefore fair game.

© Otis Unfiltered

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