Flavor of the Week: The Snapchat Update

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So, this happened yesterday:

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And like Kim Kardashian, it seems Snapchat broke the internet. Which isn’t so surprising when you consider the assets with which Kim Kardashian and Snapchat make themselves so popular.

The pimp-my-Snapchat update includes a new Discover feature and beautified contacts and settings menus. It also removed the Best Friends feature. Sorry if I just put you back into cardiac arrest. Drink a green juice and get over it.

While the update seemed rather irrelevant to me – I mean, I never update any of my apps, anyway – Girl World was shaken up like a good martini. When my friend received a text: “OMG. GAME CHANGER.” I assumed the sender was talking about a guy. Three hours later I found out she was speaking about Snapchat and was utterly disappointed. Last night, my friend Shira texted me (she is the soulless icon and I, a beacon of springtime and florals, am the orange daisy):

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Our conversation continued. I, being the master of assholery, was like huh it’s nbd that’s not even the best and sultriest part of Snapchat, and Shira was like well JK LOL when I said “not actually” I meant “actually” because it 100 percent is.

So, Shira and I mutually agreed upon having a rap battle here on The FYD (which we do weekly anyway but usually not this publicly) to hash out our conflicting opinions related to, but not limited to, the following: what we are most obsessive about on Snapchat, what is the most revealing part of Snapchat, what is the most scandalous part of Snapchat, is the Best Friend feature that crucial and will its absence form a gaping well in the bottoms of our young, feminine hearts. Amen.

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Shira Tarlo: Bucknell student, models her rapping style after Taylor Swift in “Thug Story,” wears a lot of cool lace, really likes Joseph Gordon-Levitt but not in a cliché way, and defender of Best Friends:

Once I noticed Snapchat’s elimination of my favorite feature, I immediately texted my BFF Jill Hannah, freaking out. However, Hannah didn’t give me the reaction I expected – she said that the BFF list is irrelevant and the ability to see who viewed your Snapstory is way more important. Hannah, my dear, you are so wrong on this one!

A person’s snapchat BFF list can tell a lot about him. This feature is perhaps the most innovative and discrete way to stalk your ~crush~, maybe your ex-boyfriend, as you can look through his list of Snapchat BFFs without him ever knowing. Although this feature causes us to overanalyze, pry, and stalk people to an unhealthy extent [Ed. note: is stalking ever that unhealthy???? Lolz.], it can lead us to draw some accurate conclusions – more accurate than other social media sites offer. For example: if you’re on his top list, there’s a good chance he only personally responds to your snaps and not to his other suitors’. Additionally, if you suspect two people are, well, getting freaky, and they are both on each other’s Snapchat list of best friends, then they most likely are, well, getting freaky.

When Snapchat first debuted the Snapstory, I was obsessed with it because it let me share photos and videos with all of my Snapchat friends and then see who was interested enough in my life to view them. Boy, I was so excited to see that my crush from three summers ago viewed it! However, my excitement about this feature slowly withered as it gained popularity. Like, how exciting is it really that your crush from three summers ago viewed your Snapstory? Suddenly, most of my Snapchat friends posted photos and videos to their feed daily, so that I was just overwhelmed by the amount of Snapchat notifications. Because I’m so obsessive, I have to click everyone’s Snapstory to rid myself of the notification (sorry Snapfriends, I don’t really watch your Snapstories that attentively!). In other words, seeing who viewed your Snapstory is irrelevant because most people are probably just clicking it to rid themselves of the notification. So Hannah, my love, maybe let’s agree to disagree on this one?

Hannah Pasternak, this is her home turf, models her rapping style after DMX in “The XX Gon’ Give It To Ya,” currently enjoys Kevin Spacey movies and these high waisted exercise leggings she’s wearing as pants, defender of the Snapstory:

I know someone who knows someone who would send a guy a text and then check Snapchat. Not to see his Best Friends, not to see if he viewed her Snapstory, but to look at his score. I don’t think anyone really knows how a Snapchat score is formulated. But if he didn’t answer her for a while and was seemingly ignoring her, she would check his Snapchat score again to see if it had changed. If it had, that meant he had his phone with him, was checking his phone, knew she texted, did something on Snapchat (that obviously didn’t involve her as a recipient), and still didn’t respond to her.

Which burn is bigger: knowing he ignored you, or knowing how much of a psycho you must be to figure out this method?

That’s why I believe in a simpler method of stalking; the best and most exciting part of Snapchat, by far, is the Snapstory function. Especially when you are involved with a boy who loses his phone a lot but also has a short temper so you never really know if he’s ignoring you because he’s mad (he views your Snapstory but ignores your texts) or if he just went AWOL for a few days (no texts, no Snapstories, no problemz).

Once or twice, I’ve checked certain people’s Best Friends. It was more like an accidental click on the vertical alphabet, on the right side of Snapchat, that leads one to people’s usernames – and thereby, their Best Friends – and then I’m like oh wow this is thrilling. I think the reason why I’ve never become obsessed with stalking people’s relationships via their Best Friends list is because I’ve never been shocked by a Best Friend list I’ve seen. Ever. No drama, no scandal, and rarely a heterosexual match.

IMHO, which is a new acronym I’ve learned meaning “In my honest opinion,” let bygones be gones… Best Friend list, see ya later.

After all, the satisfaction lies not in knowing your person-of-interest ignored your text and viewed your Snapstory, but that he couldn’t resist viewing your Snapstory out of envy and FOMO even though he knows he’s trying to be mad at you.

Or he could just be viewing your Snapstory because the notification is annoying him, in which case, I’m screwed.

So, what are your HOs (honest opinions) about the break up between Snapchat and BFFs and, with it, the potential ability to resuscitate your dignity?

On Canada Goose

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That's right Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Heads down, hoods up.

That’s right Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Heads down, hoods up.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a fashion statement.

The jacket appears in flocks. It, unlike its namesake, does not leave a gingerbread trail of feces in public parks and on harbor docks. Its presence, nonetheless, is hard not to dabble in.

“How can people who care so much about fashion all choose to get the exact same jacket?” a friend questioned last week.

My question is this: how has a black parka, in three variations, become “fashionable?”

Canada Goose jackets are recognizable by their signature patch on the left sleeve. When you search “Canada Goose” on Google images, you’ll be face-to-face with a bird. With a goose. With the same goose, actually, who you probably associate with the fauna of an American pond.

Here he is:


What makes the Canadian goose so different than the American goose? What makes the Canadian goose so special, then?

If you keep scrolling, you’ll finally stumble across the patch and logo we know so well. “Canada Goose,” it says across the top, “Arctic Program,” sprawled across the bottom. What is this Arctic Program you speak of? Am I enrolled in the program if I purchase the jacket?

Once, someone told me that Canada Goose jackets are rare because they aren’t sold in the United States – they’re only sold in Canada. Someone also told me the same thing about “Roots,” the brand that made sweatshirts cool in sixth through tenth grade, convincing me to spend $80 of my $100 camp money on a loungewear top during an age group trip to Quebec. Later, I learned you could order Roots sweatshirts and sweatpants online and I should/could have spent my money on cheese. Also, I learned that you could order a Canada Goose jacket from any major department store’s website.

The Canada Goose phenomenon is a bit ridiculous to me, not just because of the fact that if you pooled together all of the Canada Goose jackets I’ve seen in the last month, you could feed a small population for a year at least, but because of how literally a phenomenon it is. I’m not saying that the jacket isn’t worth the buck, because it definitely is one of the best-made and warmest winter coats out there. But how has, suddenly, everyone acquired one? And why do you want that one so badly when there are others just as well-made (this you cannot deny) and, even more important in my eyes, when everyone else has the exact same one?

My theory has taken flight (ha ha ha) just over the last few days, but I think I’ve finally got it: the winter jacket is the hardest thing to balance in style and utility. It’s very difficult to keep your cool when you look like a lump of coal or, perhaps, a burnt potato. And that’s just what the Canada Goose patch has done for the jacket – it writes “COOL” across its forehead, even though you still look like a lumpy root vegetable. Everyone loves and wants a Canada Goose jacket because it’s warm, yes, and it’s nice, yes, and it will last you a while, yes, but it has somehow conquered an element of unstylish style.

For once, it seems, we are saying “screw it” to what fashion has prescribed for us, such as the color marsala, and falling for what we did when we were twelve: what the popular kids were doing. The Canada Goose jacket is the Juicy Couture sweatsuit of adulthood: overpriced, yet does its job well.

One little patch makes an otherwise unflattering jacket socially acceptable, and if not acceptable, then extremely encouraged. And just like that, a company exclusive to our northern friend “Canadia” (as I referred to it for the first five-sixths of my life) has made a million gazillion dollars in an industry of people teetering between fashion and an East Coast winter with the money to make that happy medium possible. Canada Goose lets you wear an unflattering jacket that keeps you warm by flattering you with its heedless logo. And even though you won’t admit it, we all know it’s true! It’s a thing to have a Canada Goose. It just is.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, dolphins, followed by chimps, are the smartest animals. Someone call Jane Goodall. She’s gotta go check out this Canada Goose.

Images via & via

Flavor of the Week: Bar Mitzvahs

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My bat mitzvah is the only bat mitzvah I’ve ever been to that actually felt like a bat mitzvah.

That, by the way, isn’t me tooting my own horn, or the horn of my mother, the anal, DIY-insistent party planner who must get the lox at a separate place from where she gets the bagels in order for them both to be their absolute best quality.

Every bar or bat mitzvah I attended in seventh grade as a willful testament to convincing myself of any brooding popularity felt like going to a club in the city or to the teen hangout spot on a cruise ship. You say “Ended up at 1Oak,” I say “Ended up at Chaim Joseph Kaplan’s reception in the synagogue social hall.” They evoked feelings and armpit sweat stains one and the same.

In hindsight, there’s a great chance I loved attending bar mitzvahs every weekend in seventh grade because of the routine with which it provided me, a slothy creature of habit. I woke up at 9am, dressed for and went to services, sat through the service, sang the Chatzi Kaddish twice, had a bagel with schmear, returned home by 12:30pm. Then, I would shimmy out of my patent leather flats and too-thick tights, re-dress in sweatpants and a sweatshirt (likely remnants of bar mitzvahs passed), and lie on the couch. There, I would watch TLC — the channel, not the band — until 5pm, when I would go back upstairs to shower and straighten my hair for the evening celebration.

I will always relate my seventh grade Saturday afternoons with the feeling of cold-sweat nervousness, dare I say “anxiety,” in anticipation of the night ahead. I spent all day subtly sweating and shivering, alternately, under a blanket on the couch. I’m telling you, bar mitzvahs produce more social anxiety than access to bottle service.

I was just about sixteen when the older of my two younger brothers was bar mitzvah’d. His bar mitzvah didn’t feel like a bar mitzvah, either. In contrast to the bar mitzvahs of my friends and peers, which felt like important high society social events, it felt like a basement dance party. And I say that with extreme endearment.

It wasn’t the aesthetics of the place that reminded me of a mildewy Friday night in high school, but the vibe that went along with it. My guests and I flooded the dance floor, stole drinks from the bar, and had a giant sleepover party afterwards. We just didn’t care in the best of ways.

Last weekend, the younger and last of my siblings was bar mitzvah’d. And this one didn’t feel like a bar mitzvah, either. Or maybe it did, but in a strange way. I felt like I was watching my son become a bar mitzvah. I could not suppress the urge to smile when I watched him read from the Torah, standing over his right shoulder. I instinctively kissed him on the forehead when he was done. I was very proud of myself for withholding tears. I danced like a mom at the party, which is a heavily weighted factor in gauging how I felt about it.

Perhaps it’s a result of my nerdiness, perhaps I’m a victim of a distant time, but to me, a bar mitzvah feels like a bar mitzvah when I get to pretend I’m a rabbi for two hours, which is why I find my own to be the most legitimate. Unfortunately, Jewish tradition only allows you to pretend to be a rabbi for two hours when you, in fact, are the bat mitzvah.

On Sunday morning over bagels and lox, still purchased from separate places, and, might I add, incredibly worth it to do so, a friend texted to ask me how the weekend went. It was pure fun, I told her. Mom fun. “For some reason,” she wrote, “bar mitzvahs are so much more fun now.” (Now meaning not in seventh grade.)

“It’s probably because we don’t care what people think so we go crazy,” I wrote back.


At the service on Saturday morning, I awkwardly jogged past a group of my brother’s lady friends, huddled in a circle outside the sanctuary doors. Jogging is very difficult to do in a dress that is lacy, long sleeved, and skin-tight to mid-knee.

“That’s his big sister!!!!” I heard them whisper. Even though I was awkwardly jogging — with a purpose, mind you– and flaunting curves that I didn’t have when I was one of those girls, huddled in the corner, one thing remained the same: the armpit sweat stains.

It could be that every bar mitzvah feels like a bar mitzvah, and I should stop overthinking how my aptitude for kvetching affects experiences in Jewish coming-of-age-ness.

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