When Mainstream Media Betrays Feminism

I was going through my email today and stumbled upon an article from my daily list of Bloglovin’ blog recommendations. Men Are Intimidated by Women With This Trait, Study Suggests is about a study that compares female and male preferences for characteristics they look for in a potential mate. This blog also references a Psychology Today post that arrives at the same conclusion that men are not attracted to intelligent women. This study from the Warsaw School of Economics uses data from the speed dating experiment which was run at the Columbia University, New York.

Both the articles concluded that “Men are intimidated by clever or intelligent women, and generally prioritize beauty over brains”. I’ve read similar articles over the last couple of years so was going to accept this finding and move on. Instead, I clicked on the link to read the study. Lo and behold – completely contrary to the blog post conclusion, according to this study men are MORE likely to be attracted to a women who they perceive to be more ambitious than them.

This blog post states that the study’s “…findings suggest that men desire a smart or clever woman—up to a certain point. Although the sky is the limit for women in terms of valuing intelligence in men…”. The PT post also says that “there is a clear point at which men stop valuing a woman’s increasing intelligence.” This again, is not the case in the study — sure, men are more likely to date women who they perceive to be attractive but so are women! According to the study, both men AND women “give greater weight to perceived physical attractiveness than intelligence in their mating choices”.

The study ran a logit model and found that if the male is rated low on attractiveness and intelligence, the chances of him being chosen as a mate falls drastically. The same holds true for males rating females. However, the coefficients in the logit model were higher in the male’s ratings of the women than the women’s ratings for male. This would ordinarily mean that men are more “picky” than women and less likely to choose a women who is perceived to be less intelligent and less physically attractive. However, 95% percent of the observations recorded by men rated rated women’s perceived intelligence higher than or equal to 5 or physical attractiveness higher than or equal to 3. The images below taken from the study display the Male’s and Female’s physical attractiveness vs intelligence ratings. Which means, that although the coefficient in the male’s model is higher, most of the women just won’t fall under the rejection pool.

Posts like these really hurt feminism because they incorrectly shoot down men to prop up women. Feminism strives for equality. Putting men down to make women look better is NOT feminism.

If you come across an article like this in the future, I would suggest reading the corresponding study.

 

Indian Culture and Tea

The Indian Culture Series explores traditions, concepts and innovations that originated in India but are not credited to India. The goal of this series is to take a journey through India’s cultural past and analyse its transformation over the years.

India has the largest number of tea consumers in the world and the country is the largest producer of tea in the world. Chai – tea blended with milk and spices is known around the world as being quintessentially Indian. However, drinking tea with milk is a bad idea. Tea just doesn’t offer up its antioxident awesomeness with milk in it! Also, milk isn’t as nutritious as was earlier believed.  It is difficult to rationalise that the creators of Ayurveda would regularly consume such an unhealthy beverage.

No need to rationalise – tea with milk in it is a British concept. It’s exhausting to face the daily remnants of the British Raj that have now become ingrained in India’s culture. From the God-like reverence of white skin to the dismissal of people that don’t speak fluent English, the British Raj has left its prejudices for Indians to use against each other. In fact, I don’t think any Commonwealth nation is less proud of its culture and heritage as India is. It is not only deeply saddening but I also feel ashamed when I see people mistreat each other or poke fun at each other because of their skin colour or English accent.

India’s history with tea before the British Raj was to use it as medicine, in small quantities and without milk. The first record of tea consumption in India was during the 3rd century BC as read in the Ramayana. Ayurveda has long promoted tea for its healing properties and tulsi, elaichi, pudina teas have been used to treat ailments for many centuries. All these teas were served without milk.

Enter the British Raj. During the Mughal empire, many of the elite in the Mughal court would consume tea in small quantities. Tea was expensive since it was shipped into India from China. During this time, China had a monopoly over tea production which the British were eager to break. In 1835 the East India company established tea plantations of an indigenous variety of tea in Assam and the North Eastern states in India. In 1865, tea was planted in Darjeeling and by 1888, India had become the biggest exporter of tea in the world, exporting all the tea to the West. At this time the main consumers of tea were not Indians but the British. However, that changed when the Great Depression hit most of the western world.

With a suppressed demand for tea in Britain, the British Raj targeted India to support its tea sales. From there began an aggressive marketing campaign that included free tea samples at railway stations, promotional literature and posters explaining the “correct” aka British way to drink tea.

A powerful marketing strategy transformed India from a culture that understood and celebrated the medicinal properties of tea without milk into a culture that now mainly drinks unhealthy milk tea.

However, there is a growing trend among health conscious Indians to replace their daily chai for green tea. Tulsi and other herbal teas are also making a serious comeback with companies like Organic India introducing numerous blends.

How do you prefer to drink your tea? Also, comment below if there are any other topics you would like me to explore!

 

The Power of Single Tasking

So I was in yoga class yesterday struggling in a balancing pose after an especially challenging day. It was one of those recovery days after a really horrible day. A lot was on my mind when I was trying this particularly challenging balance pose. My mind was everywhere, jumping from one thought to another and like it usually happens at these times, I was also looking all over the ceiling while in the pose. So unnecessarily stressful and challenging. And that was when my yoga teacher suggested that we keep our vision fixed on one point. That changed everything. I found a spot on the wall, focused on it, and suddenly gained all the balance that I was so desperately looking for.

Focus on one thing at a time. It’s just that easy.

At work just like in life, we have so many thoughts rushing through our minds. Mostly everyone I know thinks right now about what they’re going to do 5 minutes later. That 5 minutes later never comes.

In this world where people are always hustlin’ and doing so many things, there’s real power in doing just 1-2 things at a time and doing them well. This jack of all trades mentality to life isn’t making anyone better at what they do. In fact, I have found that it stresses people out. All. The. Time.

Just like we need to focus on the moment, we should also focus on specialising in one thing at a time. Work on something, get really good at it, shine.

Make your life less complicated:

  1. Work intensely on something you love for 3-4 hours everyday.
  2. Listen to music that makes you happy.
  3. Organise your room – clutter can have a serious negative emotional impact on your mood.
  4. Make a list about what you want to achieve in the next week.
  5. Eat well – my doctor recommends 2 fruits and 1 green vegetable a day. And lots of fibre.
  6. Develop a hobby – it can be reading 1 page in a book or building a coffee table for your living room. The goal is to work at it regularly. Self achievement is the best kind of achievement.
  7. Make your heart pump for at least 30 minutes every day – go for a walk, a jog or take it all the way to HIIT.
  8. Don’t fight your feelings. Let them happen. Go through them, accept them and then release them.
  9. Talk to a friend, family member or anyone else who brings out the best in you.
  10. Buy some flowers and put them on your desk or anywhere else that you spend a lot of time.
  11. Every night, before you sleep, write down 5 things that you’re grateful for.

It’s difficult to focus sometimes. Your job might demand that you work on a zillion tasks and complete them today. For you, the best way to begin is to set realistic deadlines. If the number of tasks for the day stays the same, focus on one task at a time. Accept that other thoughts might cloud your mind while you’re working but every time that happens bring your focus back to the current job. Without reprimanding yourself for getting slightly distracted.

Your day is made up of minutes. Make every one of them count towards creating a day full of happiness.

 

Crystals For Good Vibes 101

Crystals not only add beauty to any room but can also be a source of some major good vibez. I once went to an acquaintances house and was overwhelmed by the peaceful and calm energy that I felt as soon as I entered her place. When I asked her what she does to create such strong positive energy, she mentioned meditating everyday and also placing clusters of crystals around her house. I’m a strong believer in meditation and I’ve been to many homes of people who meditate regularly but none of them had such a strong happy vibe. So I knew it was the crystals radiating all that energy! I was sold.

Since then, I’ve been meaning to buy crystals for my apartment but haven’t gotten around to it until today. So as I do before every serious shopping spree – I got down to doing some research. A few hours and numerous articles later, I’ve compiled this short list of resources to make your next (or first) crystal shopping experience a breeze.

  1. A Room-By-Room Guide To The Crystals You Need In Your Home
  2.  3 Must-Have Crystals for Your Home (& How To ‘Charge’ Them)
  3. 5 Ways To Use Crystals For Good Feng-Shui
  4. How To Clear, Activate & Store Your Crystals
  5. Pinterest: Pictures on creative ways to place your crystals

The Easiest Makeover For Any Room

If you’re like me, you’re constantly looking to make your house cosier and more beautiful. A great way to do that is through furniture, plants and strategically placed scented candles. However, one of the quickest and lowest maintenance ways to spruce up any room is through art.

I work long hours and usually pack my weekends with activities which leaves little to no time for shopping. So, as I do for most purchases, I turned to the internet for help in building my art collection. Here’s a list of the top websites to buy art from in India, in no particular order.

  1. India Art
  2. Fizdi
  3. Kulture Shop
  4. ColourEntice
  5. Indian Art Ideas

This is a living post that I will be updating as I find out about more great art sites. What are the websites that you buy art from?

The Beauty Dose – August 3

It is an understatement to say that I love Korean beauty. If you look at my beauty stack, all you will see are Korean brands and I’m very happy labeling myself as obsessed. Literally every new skincare tech is created in Korea and then adopted by brands around the world months or maybe even years later. I remember, BB cream (which originated in Korea) was super popular in South Asia when I was in Taipei in 2011. I only started seeing BB cream around the US in 2012/13 and in India in 2015.
Also, the Korean skincare market is SUPER competitive and companies release new products literally every month. Isn’t that crazy? Makes me want to move to Korea right now hehe
So, today’s focus is Asian skincare because I’ve also included a piece about a cool Japanese carbonated face treatment.

Today's focus: Asian Skincare

One K-Pop Star Shares the Secrets to Korean Dream Skin

Japanese Carbonated Face Treatment
 
Other News:

Try-On Beauty Apps Cher Horowitz Would Totally Use Today

Feed Your Face: The Foods You Should Try If You Want Perfect Skin

Data Visualization & Music Videos

If you’ve read the ‘About’ section of this blog, you know that I am a Data Scientist. I love working with data and I’m particularly intrigued by artificial intelligence. I’ve built a bunch of different machine learning  models from random forests to neural nets, the latter being my absolute favourite.

As a Data Scientist, I am also responsible of creating visualizations to represent the data in a unique but easy to understand way. I was working on one such project today when I came across this awesome video that displayed some really cool visualizations. The video by The New York Times is about the conception of one of my favourite pop songs – Where Are You Now by Justin Bieber. It was really interesting to learn that Diplo & Skrillex digitally manipulated Biebs voice to create the violin sounding tune that’s the song’s signature tune. What was even cooler were the cool visualizations that popped up everytime a tune or beat was played in the video, which was close to 100% of the time.

The video is almost a year old so I’m sure a bunch of you have already seen it but I thought it was too awesome not to post about.

 

This is a great example of simple yet creative visualization. It’s now proven that photography is key to captivating attention and with so many products focusing on creating unique visualizations, it is ever more important to create images that really stand out from the crowd.

The two criterias I follow when creating any visualization is that a) it should really pop out b) it should follow the 3 second rule which means that the reader should be able to understand the visualization in under 3 seconds.

A lot of times, I end up going with strategically coloured and laid out line charts or bubble plots because they’re really easy to understand. To make them prettier, I use different colors, contrasts, opacity and alignments.

Another reason why this video is awesome is because of the point that Skrillex makes about digitally manipulated music. He says that the majority of people really look down on music that is digitally created. Skrillex views this as a positive and is excited by it because the general dislike proves to him that this technology is at a nascent stage giving it so much more room to really grow in the future. I completely agree with him because I believe that a product that is disliked because it is against the norm is what really actually is the future.

I can’t wait to hear the future digitally manipulated sounds that I’ve never heard before. And even better if they’re accompanied by great visualizations.