An Open Letter To 'HelloGiggles'
I listen to Rilo Kiley, have a closet full of bright flats and carry a business card emblazoned with colorfully drawn donut art, so it was pretty much a given that I was going to become a fan of HelloGiggles, the whimsical corner of the web curated by producer Sophia Rossi, actress/musician and pixie poster girl Zooey Deschanel, and Hollywood writer (and former Urlesque contributor) Molly McAleer.
I've sailed through their feed, LOLing at both cheeky titles that conjure up feelings of divine nostalgia, and columns that make me feel like I'm part of the joke. And through it all, I've quietly noted a few central themes that happily align with life as a 20-something girl who has traveled to Paris purely for the macaroons, would rather cry over happy movies than boys, and has spent the odd Friday evening searching ailments on Google. Here's what I've learned:
Color is your friend.
The three ladies of HelloGiggles, plus their numerous contributors, post a lot of varied things. Amidst the ice cream cones, pin-ups and nail polish, though, you won't find a lot of stark black and white. They love color -- and who shouldn't? Everything around us in nature is bright: bright greens, bright blues, and a big yellow sun. Studies that show that bright icons make for a better user experience online. So, if we're naturally inclined to, why do so many of us fear it?
There's everything to be learned from the past.
"It's never too late to be who you are," writes HG contributor Nicole Shabtai in a three-part series on what she's learned from her grandmother. The truth is, while we've got computers and new-fangled handheld talking device with music and 3D and whatnot, humans and human interaction will always be the same. Whatever feelings grandma first had when she stated dating grandpa are likely to be what our own children will experience, just in outer space zero gravity flying cars. Instead of running the other way when that eccentric older aunt gives you a ring, try spending an hour with ears open.
Being happy does not equal being a pushover.
Not too long ago Hollywood decided to put women in two camps: those that smile a lot and those who smoke cigarettes in the girl's room and shatter the glass ceiling, and never the two shall meet. But this week when Deschanel was cornered by an LA journo, she spoke up for herself, giving the nod that, yes, girls who enjoy sunshine and rainbows can, in fact, be strong speakers and leaders and entrepreneurs. If we learn anything from the en masse of kitten videos on the Internet, let it be that a smile is not a sign of weakness.
Food is not the enemy, it's delicious.
So delicious that HG has an entire tag for it. Forget the yummy aspect for a minute and appreciate the social lessons food endears us with. A loud, rowdy dinner with friends feeds the soul as well as the stomach. Travel experiences are magnified times ten when you're strolling down a main thoroughfare, signature street food in hand. And there's nearly no better satisfaction than realizing the tiny seeds you planted in the $10 ceramic pot on your apartment windowsill have actually started to form an edible vegetable.
Life has a soundtrack.
Wearing bright colors, eating, smiling, living, learning... no matter who you are, own it. Some might say the items curated and written on HelloGiggles are a little twee, others might call them geeky. And, sure, why not? Those posts are unabashedly a shadow of the person who wrote them, with all facets of personality shining brightly. Why should we be afraid of that? Why should we be afraid to love or laugh? Yes, life has a soundtrack. Live it out loud.