TED Talk Outline

Open with an Anecdote about packing for college

  • talk about the abundance of items that I rarely use on a day to day        basis
  • Talk about the wastefulness of such living

Discuss the 1950’s spending culture of Americans

  • GI bill lowered the price of living in suburbs for middle class Americans
  • Economic growth increased do to post war industrial stimulation
  • Technology made the price of goods decrease, by cutting down on labor costs

Discuss Early 2000’s consumeristic society

  • Materialistic dogma created by generations of spending
  • The defining character of the early 2000’s was the opulent spending which eventually lead to the economic crisis of 2008
  • Eventually all that spending caught up to us

20008 Market Crash

  • Opened up the doors for a reduction in spending on goods
  • Reduced investment in material goods

Birth of the minimalist movement

  • The shift from materials defining our success, younger Americans are more interested in investing in experiences, and reducing the amount of material things they accumulate
  • Discuss the modern brands, such as Podshare and Cladwell who are providing to a

Why the minimalist movement best fits the 21st century and has persisted

  • Reduces cost to the individual
  • reduces environmental waste through the reduction in the production of goods.
  • Has given rise to a generation that is not ashamed of shopping at second hand stores, but has made it trend in fashion.
  • Has defined the aesthetic of the decade

Paradigm Shift Essay

For my essay, I want to discuss the shift of the bindi from a religious symbol into one that represents the fashion of the Indian culture. The bindi is first referenced in the Vedas, or traditional Hindu text, were the bindi is thought to symbolize the third eye. Hindu women would place the bindi in-between their eyebrows to acknowledge the third eye, and the power it contains. By acknowledging this power, Hindu women were taking steps closer to enlightenment. However, as India’s culture has become a more secular society, the bindi shifted from a religious symbol, to one of fashion. The Bollywood film industry advertised the bindi as a more orniemental piece, which is used as an accessory, rather than a symbol of the Hindu religion. Women in popular films would wear the bindi, and reinforce the beauty standards for Indian women. This shift has had a drastic effect on the bindi’s use by modern Indian women. The bindi’s evolution from a symbol of enlightenment and purity, has now become ingrained in the beauty standards of an Indian woman.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Pictures have the incredible ability to say more about a situation than any analysis can provide. Through pictures are able to break down the wall which splits what we think we know and what is. Addario knew this fact more than anyone, and through her pictures was able to tell the story that words could not capture. In the book, Addario included some of the most striking photos she captured during her time in the Middle East. Her photos humanized war, and effectively connected her audience to people they have never know, and will never meet.

The first image that caught my attention is the photo of the young boy with bandaids covering his face, as tears fill his eyes on page 220. The photo is extremely moving because it evokes feelings of guilt within the reader. Something about the way he looks at the camera, almost screams “why did this have to happen” without ever saying a word. Images such as these are extremely powerful, especially when along side images of war. I makes the reader question why such awful things happen, and more importantly, the effect war has on those who live through it.


The second image is that of a women with her eyes close, as a single tear rolls down her cheek on page 210. This image was really powerful to me because it captured the idea of suffering in silence really well. From many of these marginalized groups, very few people know what the endure every single day. The image of the women crying in such a soft way communicated the silence in which these people suffer, as well as the silence in terms of the lack of help and aid these people are receiving from other nations. 

Addario used her own images in her book to help the reader understand her writing, and the situations she discusses more clearly. Her photos also provided a humanistic element to her writing, which captured the emotions she described aptly. In my passion blog, I attempt to utilize visuals as a tool of better communication to my audience, by providing a visual of the outfit I as describing. Through the use of a reference photo, my audience is better able to recreate the look with the pieces they already have access to. Photos are an extremely useful tool in helping a audience better visualize the world you are attempting to build with your writing.


In the book, Addario discusses her conflict between her passion for her work, and staring a family. Addario’s predicament is that of many many women around the world, as well as anybody who contemplated sacrificing their passion, for something that society expected them to want. Conflicts similar to Addario’s are universally felt, and the tis what makes her writing so relatable to her audience.

I personally have felt a very similar conflict between coming here to Penn State, and pursuing my education, and future, and my connection to my family. I have always been extremely close to my family. I am the type of person who would turn down plans with my friends, just so I could spend an evening with my parents, and two sisters. Without my family, I feel incomplete. Moving four hours away from them has taken a huge toll on my overall happiness. I feel torn between my being here and focusing on my studies, and my life that I lived before, where I was surrounded by the love of my family. Both are extremely important to me, but I can only pursue one right now.

Within my passion blog, I can highlight the conflict between the convention of college comfort and fashion. I think that most students feel that they are not mutually exclusive, but contrary to Addario’s personal conflict, you can have both in this instance. I think that in the world of fashion, conflict is often good, and sometimes a necessity in the creation of new trends. I hope that I am able to reconcile such conflicts within my blog in the future.

In my life, conflict is never something I have wanted. Conflict can feel horrible, and unescapable. However, conflict is sometimes necessary for one’s professional, and personal growth. Conflict can invoke strength, and that strength will lead you to conquer any conflict in your future.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Draft


Appropriation or Appreciation

How Culture Endures in Melting Pot Nation


As I child, I remember my mom getting ready for Diwali celebrations. She carefully would pick out a salwar kameez and then promptly choose a matching bindi, which she would place in between her eyebrows. For me, these traditions have accumulated into what I consider to be beautiful. However, recently, the bindi has become a common accessory at music festival, and red carpets alike. The bindi and its importance dates back hundreds of years. Its roots in indian culture has lead to the outrage of many, and some remain unsure whether the use of the bindi by those of non-south asian descent is appropriation, or appreciation. The root of the disagreement resides in whether the bindi is a symbol of religious and cultural values, or whether it is a decorative accessory.

Body Paragraphs

The bindi is a traditionally worn by women of South Asian descent. The bindi is placed between a woman’s eyebrows, which is thought to be the location of the sixth chakra, ajna, which is thought to be the sight of withheld wisdom. In hinduism, this also referred to the sight of one’s third eye. By focusing on one’s third eye, it is believed that higher levels of enlightenment can be achieved. These roots within the hindu religion has lead many people to feel that the use of bindis by people of non-South Asian descent is disrespectful, and a form of cultural appropriation.

The bindi’s presence in western culture can be traced back to the early 1990’s. Gwen stefani appeared in multiple of her music videos bearing a bindi. The bindi then made a resurgence when Selena Gomez appeared in her “Come and Get It” music video wearing a bindi, and again in her MTV performance of the same song.  With the popularity of music festivals such as Coachella, to burning man, the bindi quickly became a pivotal part of “festival fashion”. Though the bindi does have a history based in religious values, the bindi has become more of a fashion choice is South Asian countries as well. Additionally, Priyanka Chopra, a woman of Indian descent, commented saying that Selena Gomez’s use of the bindi helped bring attention to Indian cultures, while others felt the use to be disrespectful.


So what quantifies appropriation versus appropriation. And, as a member of a minority group, who has the authority to state whether it is true. The line between appropriation and appreciation is very fine, and in our current political climate, where we know are more vocal about the respect of the cultural traditions of various groups, it has become increasingly important to discuss the parameters of which we share our cultures, and how they are translated to our country as a whole.