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We have followed Linda Kim’s Instagram for quite some time now, and it’s always fun to see her gorgeous photos pop up in our feed. Linda is a food blogger at Delish Thoughts (so many great recipes!) and an E! News Segment Producer living in Los Angeles. She takes stunning photographs (read on for her tips for great photos) and has a keen eye for food styling. It’s clear how creative and talented Linda is through her photography, recipes, and career in entertainment.

Whether you’re into food, blogging, photography, media, entertainment, or pop culture, Linda Kim has all bases covered. Linda gave Carpe Juvenis an exclusive look into what ‘Seizing Your Youth’ means to her, how young people can get involved with a career in media, and how she manages her hectic days.

Name: Linda Kim
Education: B.A. in Drama and Sociology from University of California, Irvine
Follow: Delish Thoughts / Instagram / @lindak68

Carpe Juvenis: How do you define “Seizing Your Youth”?  

Linda Kim: Seizing your youth means exploring opportunities and welcoming new adventures. It is important to live each day to the fullest and work hard to pursue your dreams.

CJ: You majored in Drama and Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. How did you determine what to study?

LK: To be honest, I wanted to study communications but it was not offered as a major. I thought drama and sociology would be a good combination to learn about society and be creative.

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CJ: You run the food blog Delish Thoughts. What sparked your passion for food and cooking? 

LK: I loved watching my mom in the kitchen as a young girl. I was so fascinated how easily she prepared the most delicious dishes and I wanted to learn how to cook like her. I love hosting and cooking for other people. I think food brings people together and we can share great meals and fun conversations.

CJ: What is the best piece of advice you would give a baking/cooking enthusiast? 

LK: I have learned a lot by watching cooking shows. It helps to see how things are done rather than just reading instructions.

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CJ: Great idea. You take gorgeous photos on Delish Thoughts and your Instagram. What are your top photography tips? 

LK: It is all about natural lighting for me. Make sure you have great lighting and try taking photos at different angles to see what looks best.

CJ: What is your favorite meal or dessert you’ve ever made?

LK: My eggplant parmesan and blueberry crumble are favorites among my friends so I will make anything my friends enjoy.

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CJ: You are also an E! News Segment Producer. What drew you to media and what does your job entail? 

LK: I always had a love for entertainment and knew that is what I wanted to pursue. I love that there is a variety in media and you can work in different fields. As a segment producer, I cover TV and music stories, set up shoots and interviews with celebrities, and work on red carpets and events.

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CJ: What advice would you give to a young person hoping to set themselves up for success in the world of media? 

LK: It is important to be a go-getter and be one step ahead. I always asked for more work and anticipated needs instead of sitting around and waiting for someone to give me work.  

CJ: What has been one of the most unexpectedly interesting parts of your career to date? 

LK: The most interesting part is the people I get to meet. I love meeting new people and have had the opportunity to meet friendly celebrities and become friends with my co-workers and colleagues.

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CJ: Every day in your life must be different depending on your projects and the time of year, but what does a Monday look like for you? 

LK: It really depends on what is going on that day– if there is any breaking news, if I have to get in a lot of content that day, if I have a guest coming in studio, if I have to go off site for shoots. It could be a quiet Monday or a hectic Monday but I love that everyday can be different.

CJ: That’s awesome. When you do have those hectic days, what are your time management tips? How do you stay organized and efficient? 

LK: I have learned to multitask pretty well so I can do a few different things at once to utilize my time. I make sure to write a list of things to do on my planner and keep track of projects in a calendar.

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CJ: What is an area, either personal or professional, that you are working to improve in and how? 

LK: You may encounter unfriendly people in the industry but I tell myself not to take it personally and still keep a smile on my face.

CJ: Having a loaded schedule can sometimes be overwhelming. What do you do when you’re having a bad day and need to unwind or reset? 

LK: Having a meal with friends always cheers me up or I like to have a quiet night, lay on the couch and watch my favorite shows.

CJ: If you could have lunch with anyone – dead or alive – who would it be and what would you eat? 

LK: My grandfather. We would have the best chats when I was a little girl and I wish I could have that moment now with him. I would eat steak because that was his favorite.

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CJ: That sounds really nice. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? 

LK: To be bold and adventurous and not have any regrets. One of my biggest regrets was not taking the opportunity to study abroad in Italy.

Linda Kim Qs

Image: Linda Kim

CultureHealthSkills

The first thing I do when I get online is go straight to Facebook. Sometimes I don’t even notice I’m doing it. Next thing I know, I’m scrolling through my news feed clicking on links, reading statuses, and commenting on pictures. That entire process seems to take up a good chunk of my time. Why? Because the Internet is a black hole. It sucks away our life and we’re not even aware of it, until we shut down our laptops or tablets and look up to find that time passed us by while we read the latest celebrity gossip or watched the latest episode of our favorite TV show.

While the Internet can be an extremely wonderful place, the outside world has so much to offer. Don’t spend your entire break from school online because if you do, you will have missed out on your chance to get some fresh air or spend time with your family and friends.

I know what I’m about to say might be hard for some of you to do. This is why, before I put in my request, I just want to remind everyone that Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest will still be here tomorrow and the next day and the next day after that. Spending a few days away from social media and the Internet, in general, won’t make it to disappear into the cyberverse forever. That said (after you finish reading this article of of course), I want everyone to close out of their Internet browsers and shut down every electronic device. Those are two simple steps but it might prove to be really hard for some, especially if you’re the kind of person who loves to stay connected at all times.

I am that kind of person too. I like being able to read what’s going on in other countries and, guiltily, what’s going on in the lives of celebrities I like. But, at the end of the day, I make sure to remember my own life. I am young. I still have a lot to explore and a lot to experience. I can’t do any exploring or memory making if I am always sitting in front of a computer screen.

And neither can you.

Get out there! The world is your playground. If you can’t travel to far off places just yet, take a walk around your neighborhood. Check out that store you haven’t gone in yet or maybe try the new coffee shop that just opened. Call up a few of your friends and go see a movie. Do something that doesn’t involve the Internet or social media. Unplugging is seriously one of the best ways you can seize your life because, whether you remember it or not, there was a time when we didn’t have laptops and smartphones and tablets. When we were kids, we still were able to find ways to entertain ourselves that didn’t involve the latest app or Twitter.

Pick up a book from the library, rock out to your favorite song,  and maybe help around the house or clean your room. Do something that doesn’t involve plugging in to the Internet. Do anything that will allow you to seize your youth because you don’t want to look up one day and realize that you didn’t seize every moment of your life. This moment in our lives have the potential to be the greatest. All you have to do is get out there and do more with your time than just stare at a screen. I know unplugging isn’t exactly an easy thing to do, but once you do it I promise you won’t regret it.

Image: Nomadic Lass

Culture

Just because celebrities have been seen by millions, does that make them a role model for millions? Celebrities are people so famous that anyone could know them. Celebrities include actors, comedians, sports stars, or even political figures like our own President. Their fame means the public holds them to a higher standard. Many celebrities are famous because they are talented or skilled at their jobs, but that does not mean they are necessarily people to look up to. As many people in the public eye fall from grace, they are criticized for setting a bad example. But should they be an example in the first place? While a lot can be learned from their professional successes, we should all think before becoming obsessed with celebrities.

In a way, we are conditioned to seek out these celebrities. Their pictures are on the covers of magazines. They have to do interviews for their various projects. Being a celebrity is a kind of brand. The Crazy Ones, a show which aired last fall, was marketed as Robin Williams’ return to television. The actor was an advertisement for his show. Celebrities help sell their shows, music, or other work to viewers. The idea is that if they are likable, more people will want to see them. The problem is when that interest goes too far. Instead of seeing people just for the way they entertain or enlighten us, their entire lives are of interest to people. Even if a celebrity does not say they want people to look up to them, admiration and attention comes their way.

Being a celebrity does not automatically make someone a role model. They may share their work with you but they do not have to hold your opinions. That said, we’ve seen multiple occasions where celebrities have done something perfectly legal but are criticized for not being a good role model. But when did these people agree to be a role model? The cast of Glee came under fire in 2010 following a racy photo-shoot in GQ magazine. The Parents Television Council was outraged at the stars’ outfits and poses. While their show is geared toward a younger audience, it is an all ages show at a major network. Much of the cast was in their twenties and thirties. Many of them also had careers before the show, so Glee was not their one claim to fame. Glee star Dianna Agron responded to the scandal at length in her blog, but one important thing she said was “if your eight-year-old has a copy of our GQ cover in hand, again I am sorry. But I would have to ask, how on earth did it get there?” This is an interesting statement because it puts the focus back on fans to decide what content they want to see. Glee is no one’s entire career or personality. It is not the cast’s responsibility to please only children. It is astonishing to ask them to do so.

Keep in mind that celebrities are still people who have a right to their privacy. Some of this privacy is to make their work more enjoyable. As Kevin Spacey once said, “the less you know about me, the easier it is to convince you that I am that character on screen.” I agree with this theory, but more than that, I think stars have to take a stand to protect their personal lives. Recently many celebrities’ phones were hacked, which led to nude photos of them being released. One of the main arguments I heard on the matter was that if they didn’t want those photos out there, they shouldn’t have taken those photos with their phone. This is certainly a cause and effect argument. If there were no pictures, no pictures would have been released. However, that completely sidesteps the issue that no one deserves to have their privacy violated. The idea that they should have expected this because they are celebrities is not fair. Fame is a literal byproduct of a star’s business, but it does not mean they want to share mistakes with the public. They are people, not cautionary tales.

It’s dangerous to assume any celebrity has done all the right things. By that I mean, you do not have to do everything a celebrity does to be like them. A crime is not sanitized because your favorite celebrity did it. Many people have dreamed of becoming rich and famous, myself included. However, I don’t know how many people want to sacrifice their private lives. Think of the Adrian Peterson case that has become popular in the news. He fulfilled his job as a football player which made him famous. Yet, it is now widely known that he is accused of child abuse. Following that, a fan attended his team’s game with his jersey and whip. That fan endorsed bad behavior along with the good, but we must accept that people make mistakes and bad choices. Even the celebrities that have used their fame for good over the years are not completely perfect. We have to decide if we want to endorse people just because we like one thing about them. Being talented is not synonymous with a moral code. We need to think before we put someone on a pedestal. You can learn from someone without repeating their mistakes.

Celebrities may be in the position for us to focus on them, but that does not mean we should. They don’t necessarily want all of our attention or are prepared for it. Even if they do want our attention, it doesn’t mean they hold our values. If you are looking at people who are successful and good at their jobs, there are many people you can look to. However, if you are looking at celebrities to be your moral compass, you don’t necessarily need to emulate someone you don’t know just because they are popular. Even the most inspirational people are flawed. It is up to you to sort the good lessons from the bad ones. Celebrities are meant to do their jobs, not take care of you. Look to the people who inspire you to be a better person. Those are your role models.

Image: Christian Haugen

Culture

“State marriage bans, such as the one we have here in North Carolina, are living on borrowed time, it’s a matter of when– not if– they are struck down,” said Chris Brooks, a legal director for the ACLU of North Carolina, after the news came down from the U.S. Appeals Court stating that the bans on same-sex marriage in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia were unconstitutional. For the avid supporters of marriage equality, they have found relief in this news, viewing it as years of arduous work pursuing the creation of equality and obtaining support for inclusive, positive media as a success.

For years the LGBT community and its advocates have tried to gain support for equality, and during that time most homosexual entertainers suffered through the frustration and personal agony of staying “in the closet.” Remember when Rupert Everett, a hugely popular British actor in films such as My Best Friend’s Wedding and the second and third installments of Shrek, told other rising gay actors to stay in the closet because the truth would ruin their careers? But as time and progressive media has passed through culture, the LGBT image has been made palatable for the appetite of mainstream society and has helped to instill a need and desire for equality.

Early television shows like The Corner Bar and Hot I Baltimore produced some of the first gay characters shown in actual situations and relationships. This paved a path for shows like Friends, The O.C.,and Sex and The City to display gay and lesbian characters and storylines onscreen for millions of fans to see. However, the trend did not stop with small appearances on primetime shows; this trend has progressed to have entire story arc and shows centered on same-sex relationships.

For example, Ryan Murphy’s Glee was a big hit with audiences, and his character Kurt – who in the beginning was struggling with coming out – resonated with more than just LGBT youth. This is an excellent case of how media can be used to boost a worthy cause; by showing youth that a young gay man can deal with issues that parallel those of straight kids, Murphy helps teach tolerance and acceptance. Other shows that integrated same-sex relationships into modern society are HBO’s Girls and ABC’s Modern Family.

Our culture has also come very far in accepting gay and lesbian actors. As said earlier by Rupert Everett, there was a time when coming out meant absolute career suicide, but today there are many actors and actresses who have come out and maintained a successful career. A few examples are Neil Patrick Harris, Zachary Quinto, Sarah Paulson, and Ellen DeGeneres.

Although some say that not enough has been done to incorporate the LGBT image into the mainstream, we should all still be optimistic about this acceptance of everyone; we’ve come a long way. Yes, there have been, and still are, shows that stereotyped gay men – remember Queer Eye For the Straight Guy? – and there has been a persecution of the careers of gays who came out in the past, but to know that we are progressing out of this situation, that we are moving towards a state of equilibrium among acceptance of sexual orientation, should show that there is a lot to be hopeful for when looking towards the future.

Image: phillymag