Friday, July 31, 2015

Local Tunes

Last weekend I took a trip to Wicker Park Fest, and despite a light case of heat stroke, I was reminded of how amazing local Chicago music can be. I mean, Chicago has such a rich history with jazz, blues, rock, and even rap (hey there Kanye West). Today, we host one of the biggest music festivals world wide, Lollapalooza, as well as a bunch of smaller festivals and some of the world's top jazz clubs. This city honestly has it all, yet many Chicago based musicians don't get the recognition they deserve. So, I hope I can give them some recognition here.

In Tall Buildings

Image via Schubas//Lincoln Hall

In Tall Buildings played an impressive set at Wicker Fest. He has just this really chill yet simultaneously intense energy when on stage; you can't look away, but you're also surprisingly mellow. Coupled with the back-up band's technical proficiency on their respective instruments, they not only produce quite a show but they produced an awesome new album called "Drivers."

Veruca Salt

Image via
When I first heard their song "Laughing in the Sugar Bowl" on WKQX, I was immediately hooked. Veruca Salt has been around the 90s, and you can definitely hear it in their iconic alt rock sound. I've never seen then live (I unfortunately missed them at Wicker Fest), but I bet they'd be amazing. What makes them even cooler is that they're a female-fronted rock group, the foundational predecessor for groups like Florence + the Machine and Wolf Alice. Their new album "Ghost Notes" is an alt rock confection.

Milo & Otis

Image via Neo Soul Cafe
Milo & Otis combine quirky lyrics, soulful R&B, and chill indie music to create a down-to-earth, pleasurable listening experience. Honestly, their sound is so mellow and smooth I feel like I'm melting when I listen to them. They're a cool show to see at a music festival, but they also make for great lounging music when you have a few friends over and you're just chilling in your PJs. They unfortunately aren't on Spotify, but you can stream their music on their Bandcamp.

The Orwells

Image via the Washington Post
On a more famous note, if you haven't heard of The Orwells, go listen to them now! A native Chicago band, they hit it big last year with their single "Who Needs You." The Orwells have a modern rock sound and are super exciting to watch live. To me, they're like the less famous American version of the Arctic Monkeys, they're that good (okay well they aren't really like the Arctic Monkeys but you get the point).


Image via Dizzy Bird Records
Heaters is another band that I checked out at Wicker Park fest this year.  I definitely get some Tame Impala, California vibes from them, but they still have their own original sound. They use cool effects such as warped vocals and slurred guitar that gives the music a nice trippy feel without being too excessive. I ended up staying for their entire show (a rarity for me at a music festival) because they were that good.

These are a few of my favorite locally based musicians. Chicago's a great city for music and if you're interested in discovering some good alt tunes, Chicago's the place to be!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Image via Business Insider

We've all been there...we brought our laptops in bed for some quality one on one time before bed, and pretty soon it was 4 A.M. and we've wasted all night scrolling through the rabbit hole that is Tumblr. 

Guess what, I'm going to fuel that passion.

Sorry, but vamping is pretty fun. Especially during the summer, when you can justify going to bed when the sun rises and awakening at the crack of dusk for a night out with friends. And even if you exercise a good deal of self restraint and just take the occasional internet trip in the mild afternoon, I can guarantee you that the following sites can keep you occupied for hours.

Little Alchemy: Little Alchemy is a brilliant little internet game that will literally keep you occupied for hours, or until you beat the game. Starting with only four elements-fire, water, earth, and air-you have to make creative mixtures of two elements at a time to make all 540 elements in the game. There's a handy dandy hint section if you absolutely must figure out how to make a jedi (yes that's an element) this very moment, but it's pretty fun to figure out on your own. 

Yass Cat: If you haven't yet seen the Yass Cat, you've been living under a rock (yes you are Patrick Star). The only thing better than the Yass Cat is...A FIVE MINUTE LOOP OF THE YASS CAT. You can thank me after your five minutes of uncontrollable laughter.

StumbleUpon: A site literally designed for the intellectual vamper, StumbleUpon allows you to pretty much stumble upon the gems of the internet. Essentially, the site sends you to random websites and based on your response (you can give a site a thumbs up or thumbs down) it tailors future sites to your taste. It also let's you refine the randomness a little by searching within just a certain discipline or by making a preselected list of disciplines that interest you.

Buzzfeed: Buzzfeed is my ultimate internet bae. Between its multiple Youtube channels and online quizzes, Buzzfeed puts out a lot of hilarious content on the internet. The site also reports on viral stories as well as serious news, building pages and pages of interesting internet things to pore through. Buzzfeed makes the internet rabbit hole a real problem.

Sporcle: This is your way to play out every high school fantasy about winning the Scholastic Bowl State Championships from the privacy of your own bedroom. Sporcle is an amazing online quiz sites with quizzes ranging from geography to Harry Potter character quizzes. I dare you to spend less than an hour on this site. 

Geoguessr: Satisfy your inner wanderlust with Geoguessr. Geoguessr drops you in a random place on the Earth (you can refine it to continent/country/etc. if you want) and by navigating through the streets in a Google Street View type way, you have to guess where you are. Available in both single player and challenge mode, this is the perfect way to travel the world without leaving your bed.

Here are just a few of my favorite ways to get lost on the internet. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, July 24, 2015


Image via
Earlier this week, Twitter exploded when Nicki Minaj took to the social media platform to vent her frustration that the "Anaconda" and "Feeling Myself" music videos weren't nominated for "Video of the Year" at the VMAs. 

VMAs, you dun goofed.

Or is it all just part of the music world's master plan to reward only white, cisgendered musicians in traditional performance categories?

Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" was a revolutionary video; not only did it break Vevo's streaming record back in August, it celebrated and glorified the black female body, one that's usually sexualized without context and vilified for its skin color and curves. Yet the video was only nominated for two niche VMA categories, Best Female Video and Best Hip Hop video. Basically, the VMAs said this video was only good "for a woman" or only good "for a hip hop artist," again relegating women and black culture to their own corner. Meanwhile, the skinny, white, Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" video garnered 9 nominations...

I bear no ill will towards Taylor Swift or her music. But I do bear resentment to how she used Nicki's frustration to further whitewash the music industry by criticizing Nicki for calling out the racist music standards and by trying to cover up the deeper issue of racism.

Whitewashing refers to white people co-opting the cultures of oppressed people, usually without adequate respect or recognition for the source culture. It can also refer to trying to keep things white-only. The VMAs managed to do both this year, but they aren't the only culprits. For decades, music culture has whitewashed the accomplishments of POC musicians (especially female ones)and consistently celebrated their white counterparts. 

Need a few examples?

Miley in Bantu Knots via the Huffington Post, Katy Perry in Geisha clothing via WSJ

"Twerking" and Bantu knots weren't considered sexy and beautiful until Miley Cyrus did them, despite the fact that those are part of black culture's rich history. Katy Perry gets to dress up as a sexualized Geisha for a concert, but a traditional Japanese Geisha was renowned for her skills as a hostess, conversationalist, and performer. Lana Del Rey decided to dress up in Chola for her "Latina Gangsta Girl" video. And remember when Iggy Azalea won the fan-vote tallies for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album and Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album last year, beating out Drake for the award? 

Yeah, they all pulled that off because they're white.

The musicians and entertainers of color, the ones who have worn their hair in cornrows for years and who grew up around cholas, are called "too ghetto" for participating and drawing on their own culture. Yet those musicians don't get recognized or don't acquire main stream success. Some say it's because they aren't marketable. Lyrics about growing up in da hood aren't relatable enough for music consumers, they say. In that case, I believe the marketability those people are looking for is white skin, not lyrics or style or any of that. 

One of the art pieces in Roger Peet's new series "In//Appropriate" via Bitch Magazine
The music industry's blatant whitewashing doesn't just deny recognition to those who deserve it, but it also denies millions of people a tangible reflection of their identity. White musicians appropriate POC cultures in a way that ignores the traditions and history of oppression those people have faced. Miley's twerking exists in the world of a rich white person, devoid of the violence and poverty faced in by many young blacks. Lana Del Rey's Chola look ignores the fact that the look was created by young Latinas as a method of survival in a society that afforded them no social mobility. The music industry strips away the often painful cultural context of that which it appropriates from, reducing it to simple aesthetics, something that's pretty to look at as long as you don't know where it really came from. How painful must it be for young POC to see their identities stripped down until they are defined simply by an article of clothing or their makeup? How painful must it be to watch your culture be ripped from your hands at the hands of an all encompassing industry?

Taylor, I'm sorry, but despite your apology, there never was an argument in this Twitter debate. You had the ability to use your position of power as a white musician to speak up about whitewashing, but instead you glossed over it with your invitations and apologies. Nicki Minaj has a loud voice and she'll be heard. Problem is, how long will it take for every other non-white artist to get their voice heard too?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

DIY Paper Cactus

I love little plants. Cacti, flowers, succulents, you name it. Problem is, plants aren't the most portable of creatures, and it's a little difficult to move my bedroom plant collection to my dorm on the opposite side of the country. (That and I'm really bad at taking care of plants). Plants instantly brighten up any room, so why not make a few paper plants? It's cheaper and easier than caring for real live growing green things and they add a cute quality to a room. 

Hence, I'm going to teach y'all how to make a paper cactus.

  • White card stock or poster board
  • Brown construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Water color paint palette (mine was from Michael's)
  • Paint brush
  • Glue stick
  • Little cup with water

Start by painting the card stock in shades of green that you enjoy (I used the darker green, blue-green, and grey). My preferred method of painting was to lightly wet the paper first, then dip a slightly damp brush in the paint and paint it in long layered strokes over the paper, allowing the colors to blend together.

Let the paper dry when you're done painting one side.

Fold the paper in half.

Draw a cactus shape in pencil on the paper so that the bottom of the cactus hits the folded part of the paper.

Cut out the cactus so that you get a reflected two-piece shape. 

Glue the two sides together with a glue stick.

Take the folded cactus piece and use it to trace another version of the main body of the cactus. Repeat this step for tracing the arm of the cactus. Make the arm longer than on the original piece (i.e. so that it would reach the middle of the cactus body).

Cut out the two other cactus parts and glue them together like with the cactus body.

Cut a slit in the top of the main cactus piece that reaches about 2/3 of the way down. Cut a corresponding slit that reaches 1/3 of the way from the bottom of the other cactus piece.

Cut similar slits in the two arms pieces of the cactus.

Put the cactus together. If you need, dab a small amount of tacky glue at the corners where the main body of the cactus meets the other parts.

Shred the brown paper. You can use a shredder if you have one, otherwise cutting long thin strips with scissors works just fine.

Find a small pot or container (I found and empty blueberry container and painted it silver) and fill it with the shredded paper. "Plant" your cactus in the paper and you're done! If your cactus has a hard time establishing roots, cut our a small square out of the painted paper and glue the cactus to painted side of the square so that it can act as a stable platform.

Isn't it so adorable???

Tag your cactus DIYs using #theyouthemisms on social media so I can see your cute cacti and we can create a world of adorable paper cacti!

Friday, July 17, 2015

How to Get a Bikini Body

The fierce-ass women of Buzzfeed
Q: How do you get a bikini body?

A: Put a bikini on your body.

Yes, that's right, today we're talking about wearing tiny, neoprene pieces of fabric strapped to your body with strings. We love 'em and we hate 'em, but most important is how we look in 'em.

Except it's not important. Like, at all.

Look, when spring break rolls around and I'm looking for a swimsuit before my beach vacay, I feel just as self conscious as the next girl. Staring at my scantily clad self in a department store mirror lit by fluorescent bulbs is the perfect time to point out every wrinkle, hair, zit, or piece of flabby skin. And then I get home and try the swimsuit on again, and the cycle repeats itself because even though I might have better lighting, all those little imperfections are still there.

This is coming from a petite, healthy girl, the kind who's usually told that they're lucky to be so thin. But even so, swimsuit season is still a verifiable self-conscious hell for me. It's bad enough that I'll avoid going to the beach if I have a bacne breakout or I'll refuse to eat breakfast so that I don't look bloated. I shouldn't feel so ashamed of my body so as to prevent me from enjoying summer, and neither should anyone else, regardless of their body type.

So here's the deal. If you scroll down your Instagram feed, you'll see countless fashion bloggers, celebrities, and models rocking itty-bitty bikinis with a side of six pack. I'm sorry, but most of us aren't Hannah Bronfman, and no amount of working out will make us look like that! All those faces you see in the media represent an idealistic body type that represents like .001% of women in society. The other 99.999% are just as beautiful, in their own amazing way.

A bikini body is a body with a bikini on it. That's it. Every body is beautiful; it's the physical vehicle for your soul, your heart, your brain, YOU. We should treat our bodies with the utmost respect, and we should flaunt it as our greatest asset. And whatever swimsuit feels comfortable on your body is the right swimsuit for you. Don't skip on that string bikini because you're worried other people are going to think you're ugly! Wear whatever makes you feel the sexiest to the beach, and screw everyone else! Your body exists only to please you and no one else, and if that little bandeau top is what makes you feel the most confident, go for it!

Now I know this is easier said than done; like I said, I've been there, I've struggled with body image as much as the next girl. It's a process, learning to accept and love your body. Society expects us to conform to a certain, pretty unrealistic beauty standard and it's hard to comfortably choose to deviate from that standard. But don't let some Twitter comment or Facebook message tell you you're not beautiful the way you are, because you're gorgeous, inside and out. And even though I can't see you through my computer screen, I know you're beautiful regardless of what society and haters tell you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Some Oldies, Some Goodies

My vinyls and some antique buys
Last Saturday I decided to check out a local record store, Hip Cat Records. Not going to lie, the sketchy looking storefront has deterred me from stopping by before, even though I drive past the store pretty frequently. However, after talking to people who had been there before, I finally decided to stop by and check my record luck.

And lucky I was. I wasn't really looking for anything in particular (though I've been searching for David Bowie's Hunky Dory for a while now)so I kind of just perused the various bins until and picked up anything that looked interesting. I ended up leaving with five albums for under $20. Pretty impressive, huh?

Fleetwood Mac: Rumours

Okay, so I'm definitely a music enthusiast, but I've never really given Fleetwood Mac a listen until buying this album. I know, it's literally a sin! Stevie Nicks is a goddess and all but somehow I never ended up listening to Fleetwood Mac. Well, Rumours, their most well-known album, definitely converted me into a hard core Fleetwood Mac fan. The ethereal voice of Stevie Nicks just transports you to a world of sprawling green plains and all your worries just disappear. This album is the perfect 1970s rock confection and I'm so glad I bought it.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono: Double Fantasy

This album is adorable and totally gives me romantic feels. An equal parts rock and avant garde collaboration between husband and wife, the album feels like a dialogue between two lovers. Despite having been released just before John Lennon's death, the album carries the lilt of newlyweds, innocent and still deeply in love. It's candid and different and beautiful in its own strange way.

Simon and Garfunkel: Bridge Over Troubled Water 

Bridge Over Troubled Water is easily my favorite Simon and Garfunkel album, mostly because it contains the songs "El Condor Pasa" and "The Boxer." I'm easily wooed by soft vocals and guitars of folk rock (hello, Of Monsters and Men!)but Simon and Garfunkel's masterful lyrics add a new layer to this wonderful record. I'm glad to finally own it on vinyl because it has the perfect sound for a scratchy record: slightly imperfect yet captivatingly endearing.

Soundtrack to "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"

If you haven't watched this movie, please go and do so right now. It's amazing! Anyways, the soundtrack to the film is just as good and for only 25 cents, I had to pick it up. It's not really the kind of album I'd listen to a lot, simply because I'm not a huge soundtrack listener, but I had to have it.

Soundtrack to "Mame"

Mame is my all-time favorite musical, yet almost no one knows what it is. I stumbled upon it while searching for music for an ice skating routine (yes I was once a figure skater) and ended up watching the whole Lucille Ball movie on Youtube. The songs are equally charming as its lead character, Auntie Mame. As far as musicals go, I think it's a total gem, so I'm super excited to own the Angela Lansbury (original Broadway) record.

That's just a quick snapshot of my most recent record haul. I love vinyl records and it's great that they're going through a renaissance right now! It's definitely a good way to resurrect some of the best old music!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Chit Chattin: Ellie

My wonderful picture of Aladdin Sane (David Bowie)

SS: Today instead of a normal blog post, we're having a conversation with my friend Ellie.

EK: I'm really excited for this blog post.

SS: Me too. <3. I like what you have to say and you're pretty interesting and our conversations are weird and interesting. So here we are in my messy bedroom, post (12 hour)craft bonanza, listening to David Bowie and talking. Hopefully we can make a series out of this.

EK: Me too! Series can continue indefinitely, much like the "Young and the Restless" and the like.

SS: And "Downton Abbey." Even after they kill the best characters.

EK: Sybil! I'm literally dead from that episode. What are we talking about, Steph? Cause I like talking about things. Weren't we going to talk about music? Isn't that the overall theme? Ugh and you're sitting and I'm lying here with my face smushed in your bed.

SS: ...

EK: Omg that was like stream of consciousness we're basically Faulkner. Don't write that.

SS: Sorry I did. It was too good.

EK: So, music.

SS: So, music. What do we have to say about music?

EK: Probably more than anyone cares to here us say.

SS: We were talking about weird alternative lyrics.

EK: What was my favorite one earlier?

SS: It was "A friend told me they put nicotine in the apples," from Courtney Barnett.

EK: Yeah, I also like "Blue, blue, electric blue, that's the color of my room where I would live." That's kind of a weird one.

SS: Ugh this Spotify ad is killing my vibe.

EK: This Spotify ad is killing my vibe, or Steph's vibe, or maybe we have the same vibe.

SS: We actually might have the same vibe. Considering we got the same tea today and everything. And we both didn't wear Bowie shirts to the Fourth of July because we both thought it was unpatriotic.

EK: And we both called corn majestic.

SS: That's how we know we're from the Mid West.

EK: Mid West, Mid Best. Okay on music again, "Song for Bob Dylan" is the reason Hunky Dory is not my favorite David Bowie album (we're listening to it right now).

SS: Yeah, but Hunky Dory is still my solid number three.

EK: It's my number 2, after Ziggy. Hunky Dory has the best opening of an album. It has "Changes," "Oh, You Pretty Things!" and "Life on Mars" in the first four tracks.

SS: No Ziggy Stardust has the best opening! It's so good!

EK: No Ziggy has the best song and the best closing! But wait, "Five Years" opens Ziggy...Ugh that's pretty good too! But not as good as Hunky Dory?

SS:  It's more cohesive than Hunky Dory. I like that.

EK:  Wait it's "Five Years," "Soul Love," "Moorage Daydream," and "Starman." Okay I guess Ziggy can get the best opening because the third track is better than on Hunky Dory. We have too many feelings about this, Steph.

SS: We do, that's why we're awesome, and also why nobody really reads this blog, eh? Well, okay, like 30 people read it.

EK: That's more people than who read my Tumblr.

SS: Who reads on Tumblr?

EK: Me. 

SS: Well then. 

EK: Let's talk about Lollapalooza, now that we've had a short, brief discussion about David.

SS: Yes, let's. And about how pissed we are that Stream won't be there anymore.

EK: Ugh Stromae! Okay let's talk about who we're excited to see so that we're not super negative even though we were super sad when we found out that Stromae won't be there. Deep breaths, Steph, deep breaths.

SS: (Pretending to be Stromae) Ooooh Formidable! I can't French. That was a marvelous hair whip, by the way.

EK: I think it was a pretty good one, top ten hair flips by the way.

SS: Anyways, Lolla. I'm so excited for Florence and the Machine. She is literally my girl crush.

EK:  "What Kind of Man" is my song right now. I play it on repeat. I don't know why, it's just great. That whole album just is.

SS: I think that every Florence album is beautifully written.

EK: I wasn't Florence fan before this album.

SS: I think this is very different. It's definitely more grounded and tangible than previous albums, with a stronger rock feel. But you can still tell it's Florence by the vocals and by the religiously and mythologically themed lyrics. This is also the album that establishes her more as a solo singer with a backup band than as a band. Okay that was my spiel.

EK: We're pretty excited about George Ezra. Mostly because our friend M. wants to marry him.

SS: We'll stalk him and make sure he gives her a ring.

EK: I'm excited about Circa Waves but I'm not going to be there. I really liked their EP.

SS: Don't worry I'll record them for you. I'm just excited that the stage Florence is on on Sunday is the pretty much the same stage for all the acts that I want to see.

EK: Yeah and George! George and I are on a first name basis.

SS: Aren't we all?

EK: We're seeing Of Monsters and Men and Twenty One Pilots. Sunday's just a good day. We're also pumped for Alt-J and Tame Impala.

SS: I can't wait to see the Alabama Shakes. And to throw my bra at Brittany Howard. That is just a joke but she's a boss ass female and literally the coolest person ever.

EK: Except for David. 

SS: Well yeah there's always David. He's the best. I think we should wrap up. It's like 10:30 at night and I've been awake for 12 hours which is an abomination because no coffee was involved today. Thanks for chatting with me, Ellie! We should do this again soon!

EK: Thanks for having me! This is fantastic, we just got to rant about music!

SS: Yeah for sure! Well, till next time!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Photo via
Masturdating (n.): the process of taking yourself out to do something nice and pleasing for yourself without the company or assistance of others.

Origins: mash-up of the words "masturbate" and "dating."

That's right. It's perfectly acceptable to do things alone, and actually enjoy them! Who would've thought that actually treating yourself well and with the love you'd treat an SO is okay?

I recently discovered the word masturdating while perusing the dark miasma that is the internet, and I learned that I was a serial masturdater! I've blogged about treating yo self before, but this is like the actual action of doing so. Masturdating is a great way to show yourself some love, clear your head, and also a way to go out and enjoy life without having to wait for anybody else. There's a play you want to see but your friends are busy? Treat yourself to a masturdate! Want to try a new sushi restaurant? Make it a masturdate! Here's a list of some of my favorite ways to masturdate that I think y'all should try.

Take yourself out to coffee
The simplest masturdate is the best masturdate. I like to frequent an independent local coffee shop, or if I really want to be alone, make my way to Chicago and find a cool new coffee shop there. I just bring along a good book, my moleskin, and some pens, and just sit and let my thoughts ruminate. It's a lovely time.

Go to an art museum
One of my biggest pet peeves with going to art museums with friends is that we all walk through the galleries at a different pace, so someone is always rushing me when I want to take my damn time looking at Magritte. So, I just started going to museums alone! This gives me the freedom to see what I want, when I want, and just enjoy the peaceful and quiet company of my friends Renoir and Botticelli. 

Go to the theater
Sometimes it's a lot easier to enjoy a play with no one whispering in your ear the whole time. Find some cheap tickets on a site like Hot Tix or whatnot and treat yourself to an evening at the theater! It's an opportunity to see the shop front theater company in action or see a musical before it heads to broadway.

Take a class or attend a lecture
I've done a whole range of classes on my own, whether it be a zine making class or a lecture on genome sequencing. Going out and learning a new skill or listening to a renowned speaker is a fun way to relax and broaden your horizons without being held back by uninterested friends.

These are just a few of my ideas for a good ole masturdate. What am I doing for my next masturdate? I don't know yet! Maybe I'll go try that cross-stitching class I've been eyeing for a while...

Friday, July 3, 2015

Founding Mothers

Gif via

Happy 239th birthday, 'Murica! Hope you have a great and prosperous year ahead, and I look forward to celebrating your 240th with you as well!

On July 4th, we'll be celebrating the independence of a country that more than 300 million people call home with noisy explosions, smoke-filled cook outs, a fair amount of John Phillips Sousa, and a tornado of red, white, and blue. We'll be celebrating the founding fathers who signed our Declaration of Independence, claiming our sovereignty from England, and instigating a war in which we reigned victorious. But behind every strong man, there's an even stronger woman.

So where are our founding mothers?

Well, they're out there, and they're not all from 1776, but this Fourth of July I'm going to celebrate these boss ass women and you should too.

Abigail Adams
The driving force behind John Adams, president of the United States after George Washington, was his wife, Abigail. Abigail Adams was his rock; when John Adams was away practicing law or working to free America, Abigail raised her family, managed a farm and household finances, and held a quasi-official government position in which she was responsible for finding and exposing British-sympathizing women. Furthermore she was a huge women's rights activist, calling for equal public education for girls. Through her letters to her husband, she became his top advisor and heavily influenced many of his policies to the point that she was called Mrs. President.

Image via the New York Times

Deborah Sampson
Deborah Sampson is basically your American Mulan. In May of 1781, Sampson arrived at West Point in New York dressed like a man and was quickly issued an army uniform by the revolutionaries. She fought in the war for two years until she suffered a sword injury to the head and a musket ball injury to the thigh. In order to prevent the doctor from discovering her true sex, she did a lil DIY surgery to remove the musket ball from her leg. Unfortunately, she became feverish from an infection and during treatment it was discovered that she was a woman. Regardless, she was discharged from the army with honor, given a soldier's pension and a plot of land, and her widow was given pay for being the spouse of a soldier.

Image via

Phillis Wheatley
Despite being a slave, Phillis Wheatley was one of the best known poets towards the end of the 18th century. Even though she grew up a slave, she grew up in a kind household that provided her with an education. On top of being the first African American woman and second American woman to publish a book, Wheatley's poetry fomented support for the revolutionary cause, even gaining George Washington's notice. Her poetry shaped the future abolitionist movement as it exposed white Americans to the intelligence of blacks as well as to their point of view.

Image via the Poetry Foundation

Deborah Read Franklin
Ben Franklin was a pretty awesome dude, but his wife was even cooler. At the beginning of Benjamin Franklin's political career, Deborah managed their stationary shop as well as their general store, selling items such as soap and tea. Ben was named the Post Master General of the colonies, but since he was on frequent leave of absence to fulfill his political duties, the colonies really had a post mistress in the form of Deborah, who ran the post office system. If it wasn't for her holding up the fort on the home and business front, Ben Franklin wouldn't have had the capacity to have been as powerful and as vocal of a figure in the American Revolution as he was.

Image via

There are so many other amazing women who have shaped this nation's history, and unfortunately they get thrown under the bus (or horse and buggy) way too often. These sheroes are a huge inspiration to me, and this Fourth of July, they deserve their shout out too.