8 Reasons to Get Hyped, Lit, And Turnt About 2017


by Duriba Khan

As 2016 has ended, sighs of relief are heard all around. The U.S. election, Brexit, the war in Syria, all the hate crimes, possibly the worst YouTube rewind in history (okay, except Lilly Singh’s part), the deaths of Prince, Christina Grimmie, AND David Bowie, Zika Virus, Harambe, Pokemon Go, and um…..Hiddleswift?

Guys, it’s been a toughie.

But we survived. *Intro to One Dance plays*

So if you’re planning on taking a trip to the Bahamas (or moving to Canada) tell yourself that you deserve it. That even if you spent the whole year watching “Gilmore Girls” on your couch, you didn’t die, and I think that’s worth a celebration. So go out to your favorite tea bar, and pour all the honey in the drink of your choice. Watch it dissolve and plop to the bottom, then stir it to your heart’s content.

Like Andy Grammar sings in “Gotta Keep Your Head Up,” and like that annoying girl from O-Chem captioned her selfie (totally related!), “only rainbows after rain.” So, reader, this 2017 will be your rainbow. 2016 will be puberty, and 2017 will be the glo-up. 2016 will be the original picture, and 2017 will be the picture with the Valencia filter. 2016 will be the sweaty uncle dancing at Maya’s sangeet, and 2017 will be the Zayn Malik doppelganger who compliments your lengha in the buffet line. My point being, 2017 will be better, and below are some reasons why.

1. Movies

I’ll admit that 2016 gave us some major disappointments like “Suicide Squad,” “Fan,” “Fitoor,” “Mohenjo Daro,” but 2017 will be better. Bollywood definitely cleaned up its act with “Dear Zindagi,” and with 2017 opening up with Shah Rukh Khan’s “Raees” and other expected film releases like “Half Girlfriend” and “Hera Pheri 3,” our fingers are crossed for more thought-provoking cinema that features less Sunny Leone dance numbers and more important conversations.

2. Makeup Trends

[All photos are courtesy of Aishwarya Ravi.]

2016 saw a lot of funky new makeup trends: from glossy lips to glitter tears. I can’t wait to see what the future holds….will we draw extra eyes on our foreheads? Inverted eyeliner? Eyeshadow as blush? Sparse brows? Sonam Kapoor lip kits?! The good thing about our world today is how fast trends popularize, so it’s no surprise that we’re hyped to see what next big thing will be in.

3. All the MEMES!!

It’s true that our generation has its share of problems, but one thing our generation gets credit for is its creativity. With all the art sharing opportunities, I’m really grateful that our art can be so easily shared and appreciated with people scattered all around the world. One truly unique art form is the meme. And boy oh boy, with the president-elect’s rise to power…get ready for the most horrific yet WONDROUS memes to ever gaze upon the earth.

4. Fashion Trends

With the comeback of chokers and all things the 90s I’m super excited to see what other trends come back or manifest. What could be the big thing for 2017? Neck braces, pigtails, or…hey! Let’s bring that “one feather in hair” trend that blew up a few years ago, just so my mom can say “no” again.

5. Celebration Outfits

[Feature Image via CelebSeason.com]

Ladies, a new year means another Diwali and another Eid, which means the entire Brown Girl universe is SHOOK. How excited are you to judge everyone’s Diwali outfits, mehndi, and most importantly, Eid selfies? Religious and cultural holidays are truly the best because the whole community is just slaying America. And the feeling of pride and joy you get when the barista at Starbucks compliments your shalwar kameez? Sign me up. Again.

6. Food

[Photo Source: healingandeating.com]

In 2016, we saw a lot of avocados and rainbow bagels, and who can forget the many turmeric latte recipes! And although those things are AMAZING, I wonder what’s next. What other natural element are we going to ransack Whole Foods for? Chia seeds again? Kale? I NEED TO KNOW.

7. Running Man, Mannequin Challenge, Juju on the Beat, the Dab…What’s Next?

[Photo via Instagram.com/Hatecopy]

You’d think people would have run out of ideas by now. Hopefully, the next challenge will be something along the lines of sitting down and eating mac ‘n cheese. I’d be totally down for that.

8. Music

Unfortunately, we’re not blessed enough to have Beyonce drop us two albums so quickly, so it will probably be awhile until “Tomato Juice” hits the record stores. Don’t worry guys, we still have VIEWS for our Instagram captions in the meantime.

With that being said, doesn’t 2017 seem like it’ll be a lot better? Hopefully next year we will see more bravery, equality, philanthropy, and happiness all over the world. If these reasons aren’t enough to hype you up for 2017, just remember that 2016 will be over, and let’s face it: that’s reason enough.

Duriba KhanDuriba Khan, or “D-Dawg”, is an eighteen-year-old blogging, vlogging, photographing, filmmaking, sketching geek who enjoys long, romantic walks to the refrigerator. She is half-Pakistani and half-Indian and currently resides in Austin, Texas. Duriba also feels uncomfortable writing about herself in the third person. For more of Duriba’s work, check out her blog.

By Brown Girl Magazine

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The Pressures of Being the Perfect South Asian Woman

NAKED: The Honest Musings of 2 Brown Women was born in the autumn of 2018, when Mimi Mutesa and Selvi M. Bunce began sharing their poetry collections. It was scary, beautiful, and terrifying when they decided to trust each other with their most intimate thoughts. Not only did they feel relieved after doing so, but Selvi and Mimi also felt more seen as women of color. They embarked on their publication journey, so others may feel as seen as they did on that fateful autumn.

“Ingrown Hair” deals with the themes of societal and family pressures that are reflected throughout NAKED. Mimi and Selvi have always written for themselves. They see poetry as an outlet, and their poems exemplify their personal frustration and vulnerability. “Ingrown Hair” speaks to Selvi’s experience with the societal pressures of South Asian women, such as getting married, being a good wife, becoming a good mother, and leading a certain kind of life.

[Read Related: Exploring the Endless Possibilities of who I am In the Mirror]

Ingrown Hair

There is something strange beneath my skin
telling me to build a house,
make a home,
mother children.
I am not sure how to reconcile it.
My mother was strong
and a mother after all.
My philosophy has been to spend my time
on myself and the world.
I have always thought
I could simply address the thing under my skin
when it finally crawled out.
But when my family starts guessing
who will get married first, and my father
has been saving wedding money for years,
I begin to wonder
if I will have to pluck it out.

[Read Related: Reconstructing and Deconstructing our Ideals]

You can purchase your copy of NAKED on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, Bookshop, and The Black Spring Press Group. Follow Selvi on Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to check out her project, Brown & Brazen.

The opinions expressed by the guest writer/blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Brown Girl Magazine, Inc., or any employee thereof. Brown Girl Magazine is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the guest writer/bloggers. This work is the opinion of the blogger. It is not the intention of Brown Girl Magazine to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. If you’d like to submit a guest post, please follow the guidelines we’ve set forth here.
By Selvi M. Bunce

Selvi M. Bunce (she/they) has written for academic and creative journals and spoken at diversity conferences and TEDx. Selvi currently … Read more ›

The Futility of Trying to be ‘That Girl’

Social media has stretched a number of news headlines:

“Social media rots kids’ brains.”

“Social media is polarizing.”

Yet those most affected by social media ideals are the teenage users. Apps like Instagram and TikTok perpetuate an image of perfection that is captured in pictures and 30-second videos. As a result, many young women chase this expectation endlessly. “Her” personifies this perfection in an unattainable figure the narrator has always wished to be. These ideals deteriorate mental health, create body dysmorphia, promote a lack of self-esteem, and much more. Even so, social media is plagued by filters and editing—much of what we hope to achieve isn’t even real. Therefore, young women, much like the narrator of “Her,” strive for a reality that doesn’t even exist.

[Read Related: The Emotional Roller Coaster of Getting Your Legs Waxed for the First Time]


When she walked into my life
Her smile took up two pages of description
In a YA novel.
My arms could wrap around her waist twice
If she ever let anyone get that close
Her hair whipped winds with effortless beach waves
And a hint of natural coconut
Clothing brands were created around her
“One Size Fits All” one size to fit the girl who has it all
With comments swarning in hourglasses
But when sharp teeth nip at her collar,
She could bite back biting back
And simply smirked with juicy apple lips
Red hearts and sympathy masking condescension
“My body doesn’t take away from the beauty of yours”
“We are all equal, we are all beautiful”
A sword she wields expertly
Snipping, changing,
Aphrodite in consistent perfection
Cutting remarks with sickly sweet syrup
And an innocent, lethal wink
When she walked into my life
She led my life.
My wardrobe winter trees
Barren, chopped in half
Unsuited for the holidays
Mirrors were refracted under in my gaze
Misaligned glass was the only explanation
For unsymmetrical features
And broken hands
Still I taped them fixed
Over and over
Poking, prodding
Hoping to mold stomach fat like wet clay
Defy gravity,
Move it upward
To chest
Instead of sagging beneath a belt on the last hole
In the spring
She would stir me awake at 2 AM
“You need to be me”
Lies spilled from her tongue but
Solidified, crystallized
Fabrication spelled dichotomy
And I drifted farther out to sea
When she walked out of my life,
I was drowning.
Reliance had me capsized
Others witnessed
Furrowed brows and glances away
Like spectators of a shark attack
They can watch but the damage is done
They clung to my mangled pieces
Gravestones spelled
But I was mourning too
Today I looked back at my mirror
But glass turned into prism
Broken pieces rainbow
Colors coating clothes
She didn’t pick
Perception changing
She wasn’t perfect
Just lost at sea

[Read Related: Finding Freedom from Gender Roles Through Poetry]

The opinions expressed by the guest writer/blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Brown Girl Magazine, Inc., or any employee thereof. Brown Girl Magazine is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the guest writer/bloggers. This work is the opinion of the blogger. It is not the intention of Brown Girl Magazine to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. If you’d like to submit a guest post, please follow the guidelines we’ve set forth here.
By Kashvi Ramani

Kashvi Ramani is a writer, actress, songwriter, and singer from Northern Virginia. She has been writing songs, poetry, scripts, and … Read more ›

Reflection Comes From Within, not From Others

“Confessions to a Moonless Sky” is a meditation on the new moon and guilt. I wrote it when I was living in Dallas and was driving back from a dusk prayer. The new moon terrified me on that drive. I was diseased by the knowledge that my partner, at the time, had seen the worst parts of me. There’s immense shame in this piece—it seized my self-image. If the moon could become brand new, then I could start over.

I often ponder on the moon’s reflective nature and pairs of eyes. I’m hyper-fixated on how I am seen by others. Unfortunately, the brilliance of seeing your reflection in another person leads to negativity. After all, those who are too keen on their own reflection are the same people who suffer from it. It is possible to use shame to fuel one’s retribution and personal growth, without becoming consumed by it.

We can look to Shah Rukh Khan succumbing to alcoholism in his own sorrow and then later imbibing his sadness in Chandramukhi. “Confessions to a Moonless Sky” is a lesson for us: Don’t be Shah Rukh Khan in Devdas, instead embody pre-incarnation Shah Rukh Khan in Om Shanti Om!

[Read Related: Uncovering the Brown Boy in Hiding Through Poetry]

Confessions to a Moonless Sky

Sometimes when the moon abandons the sky, I wonder if I drove her away.

If she comes back, will she be the same? How I wish she would come back new, truly new! That way she’d have no memory of the sin I’ve confessed to her. You noxious insect. Sin-loving, ego-imbibing pest. You are no monster, for at least a monster has ideology, it sins with purpose. You sin just to chase ignominy.

But the moon won’t say that, she never does. She’ll just leave the sky and return days later, slowly. And I’ll wonder if she’s new, perhaps she won’t remember my past confessions. What does it matter? Were the moon replaced with one from a different god, I’d drive her away, too.

[Read Related: ‘headspun’ — Bengali Muslim Boy’s Poetic Journey Through Himself]

By Umrao Shaan

Umrao Shaan is a short storyist, poet, and ghazals singer. You can find his songs on his Instagram. His other … Read more ›