Hey guys! I recently wrote a little something for Eve – let me know what you think! Here’s an excerpt:
Language is a powerful thing when it comes to shaping society and how we interpret the world. The way we speak about women who own their sexuality and refuse to be ashamed of it reveals a cultural assumption that women can either be virgins or whores, and there’s nothing in-between. It reveals a ridiculous level of societal concern (and nosiness) about the sheer possibility that a woman might be promiscuous; religion and state are so concerned about female sexuality that it creates rules, unreasonable dress codes, and even legislation protecting this sacred, purely feminine purity.
Hey everyone! I wrote a short piece about keeping a journal for eve.com.mt – hit the link below to check it out, and have a great week.
Far from being restricted to the realm of teen angst and that awkward phase you’re oh-so-eager to forget, keeping a personal journal can actually be pretty damn good for you, both psychologically and emotionally.
Full article here: DEAR DIARY – THREE REASONS TO KEEP A JOURNAL
“The Body Positive Movement is a feminist movement that encourages women and/or female-identifying people to adopt more forgiving and affirming attitudes towards their bodies, with the goal of improving overall health and well-being.”
– The Body Positive Organisation
I remember a particular moment when I was young – around 13 years old. It was summer, and I was sitting down in my characteristically ungraceful way, when I suddenly felt a sense of absolute horror at the way my thighs filled the seat when I sat down. Why do they look like that? The ladies on TV and in magazines didn’t have legs that did that. Look at them! They’re huge (they weren’t). I must be fat. I’m definitely fat and ugly. That’s why that boy in class doesn’t like me. And my TEETH – they’re not straight enough! Oh my God this is a disaster. My hair never looks right either. I don’t want to go to the beach with the boys, my tummy has rolls when I sit down!
And then came the inevitable comparison against my friends’ bodies (especially the petite ones), not just that day but for quite a few years to come. The thing is that, despite being a healthy weight for my age and height, I’d repeatedly find myself staring at my reflection and sucking my stomach in to see what I’d look like, or physically flattening my stomach to see how it must feel to look like girls ‘should’ look. This sort of thing happened for years and year and influenced what I wore, how I felt and to a certain extent, how I acted.
It’s only around 3 years ago that I slowly started pulling myself out of this damaging yet widespread mindset. I did start exercising regularly (later taking up kick boxing), and that did help me feel better about my body, but losing weight didn’t necessarily mean that I felt positive about how I looked. I could wear the clothes I wanted to wear, and shopping completely stopped feeling like a trial by fire in the changing room. There was still, however, that obsession with sucking it in and comparing myself to the other beautiful women around me.
Enter, BodyPosiPanda – aka the stunning and vibrantly-coloured Megan Jayne Crabbe. I don’t know how I discovered her on Instagram, but I’m glad I did; she describes herself as a ‘body positive feminist ed warrior’ – and she certainly is. I’ve learnt to be kind to myself and be positive about my body; to change the horrible things being said in that inner-monologue. To resist looking at myself through the eyes of someone being paid to photoshop the hell out of an image of a woman into what society has taught us is right. We are so much more than numbers on a scale, or calories in a chocolate bar. Be healthy, but also be happy. If there’s one thing I regret, it’s the outfits I didn’t wear and the time I spent agonising over bits of my body that I had been taught to hate and wished I could just cut out with a big pair of scissors.
That’s why I
want need to share this with you – because we need body positivity to be everywhere, and this is just how I’d like to do my bit. Do follow bodyposipanda and spread the body-posi-love.
Over the last year or so I’ve probably written and re-written and deleted this post a dozen times; maybe that’s because I know the whole subject of being alone versus loneliness is quite a sensitive one to many. I’ve been away for a while, busy flitting between work and a trip to the UK to visit family, but I’ve had some time to myself to think about this. Let’s give this a shot.
The world is saturated with quotes and films which lead us to think that we’re perpetually in search of some other half, implying some sort of lack on the part of the single person. There’s a sense that you should be looking for someone to complete you because as things stand you’re incomplete. You need to go out and hunt that ‘other half’ down before all the available men and women are taken by more fortunate parties. If you’re alone, then you damn well better be feeling lonely because that’s just how things work. Right? Wrong.
Now before I start to sound cynical, here’s a quick disclaimer to let you know that I’m all for the romance and the fluttering feeling you get when that guy you like looks at you, talks to you, or likes your latest selfie on Facebook. And don’t get me started on when the date happens – I’m a sucker for all of that good stuff (especially if said date involves excellent food).
What I’m not a fan of is perpetuating the idea that a person isn’t complete unless they’ve got a significant other. The anxiety and misery that this type of thinking creates is not just unfair but bordering on the ridiculous – and I regret not having realised this sooner (which explains why I’m writing this, hoping that it might help someone else realise this earlier on in life than I did). If you’re constantly in search of an ‘other’ to complete you, you’re walking around feeling like you’re not good enough, like there’s a big hole in your chest; that’s just not right and definitely not healthy. Instead of embracing the notion that you should be out there looking for ‘the one’ why aren’t we helping people realise that being okay alone is what comes first, before getting into a relationship? Why aren’t we helping people value themselves as whole, complete human beings who don’t need someone else to function on a day-to-day basis?
When that special person does come along, then what you’ve got is a really great partner to go on adventures with. I don’t mean Indiana Jones style adventures (but I’m not discouraging that) – I mean life in general with all the possible experiences waiting at every turn, whether it’s trying out that new Indian restaurant or planning your next trip together. What we need to look for isn’t another half, because we’re already whole. What we’re looking for is another whole to complement your own complete self. And when that happens, it’s beautiful and you are ridiculously happy.
But don’t forget that you are okay in solitude. Your time alone with yourself is valuable – use it well. We spend so much time giving our energy to the world out there that we need the down-time to recharge and build ourselves up as individuals. It’s about having time to read a book, do something creative, exercise, unwind, or simply reflect on the week’s events and write a few lines in your journal. Invest time in yourself. Be kind to yourself and be okay alone because you deserve to feel whole and there’s nothing wrong with it. At the end of the day, you might end up giving yourself the space you need to see that you’re not really as alone as you felt in the first place.
That’s my 2 cents, anyway.