As I reflected on my own relationship to racial fetishization, I discovered that it was overwhelmingly forged through ambiguity: ambiguous interactions, ambiguous responses, and ambiguous feelings. The instances that prompted my immediate, visceral disgust felt secondary to the instances that left me uncertain, on the precipice of being shoved into a tired cultural script but clinging to the hope that I’d hold my ground.
Is it vulnerable or honest about the reality of being at this school? Or is it playing to an aesthetic standard of what a Harvard student is supposed to be: personality, friendships, and academic success, all in one? These performances feed into a perception, however misguided, of students at Harvard and other elite universities as universally capable and flawless super-students, without even the possibility of failure.
My shame of being found reading Colleen Hoover stemmed from a culture of intellectual snobbery — feeling superior and prideful about the type of culture you consume. It’s the person who prides themselves on their knowledge of “classical” literature, listing off the last names of authors such as John Milton, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen as if they are family friends.
Postmates, the food delivery app owned by Uber, announced "The Bottom-Friendly Menu" in 2022 Pride Month campaign. Though the project was conceptualized team of BGLTQ employees, it fails to scrutinize the terms we use for ourselves.
People wanted to hear the story of a white, conservative, evangelical woman from the South publicly endorsing vaccines, especially in the wake of a global pandemic that could be put to rest if those millions of “crazy evangelicals” just got the vaccine. But this, I soon realize, is not the story that matters most — at least, not to Katherine.
Final clubs were made for white men. Now, people of color — who were never supposed to step through their gates at all — are carving out communities inside them. They’re drinking their alcohol and smoking their cigars. They’re reveling in these spaces, instrumentalizing the white men’s mansions for pure fun.
Now a New York Times-bestselling author, Yang’s numerous “about me” blurbs online simply say she gave up law to pursue writing, but they don’t tell the whole story. Yang herself experienced sexual assault when she was a first-year student at HLS. She lost faith in the legal system after the Law School, which she had viewed as a symbol of justice, declared her assaulter not guilty and investigated her instead. “Parachutes” is the culmination of the 17 years she spent rebuilding her identity and courage after the assault, she says.