The only thing more powerful than a self confident woman

Feminism

A long time ago, in far far away land, there was a princess. The princess tried to distance herself from other princesses. She did so because society brought girls down, thus she equated being a woman with being unworthy or not-as-worthy as the male counterpart. She quickly learned that things and activities that were deemed girly weren’t as worthy. A girl would be congratulated and frowned upon for the same thing, in the same day! What’s a princess to do?!

The princess didn’t live in a castle without a wifi connection or a library nearby. The princess quickly learned about internalized misogyny.

I’m the princess. I educated myself and now I love my fellow princesses queens!

This week I hung out with a few of them:

V, who has such a stressful job, but makes it work LIKE A BOSS. She’s so strong and I’m proud of her!

N, who has now quit smoking for more than 3 weeks now!!! This is the longest she’s ever gone since she started years ago and I’m SOOO proud of her.

S, this kick-ass, gorgeous, funny as hell, princess I’ve been friends for years now. She’s finally realizing her worth and that she deserves ONLY the absolute fucking best. I love her and I’m so proud of her!

A, bureaucratic shit can really get to you. Especially when it will affect your education, combined with people that are so inexplicably, unnecessarily mean and rude- while being miles away from friends and family. Despite it all, she’s handling it so well and I’m so proud of her.

G, who is the first Albanian vegan I met and is doing her best to save animals and spread the word for a compassionate lifestyle. I’m so proud of her! Also, the night I met her, I’m 80% sure my cat had peed in my shirt AND she said nothing about it, I mean….

GIRL ALMIGHTY!

Thanks for reading.

Fuck weightloss

BoPo

There I am. Bikini waxing*, knowing what Beyonce was on about when she said pretty hurts. What hurts more are society's expectations about women's body hair, to the point where women in razor commercials are already completely hairless, but I digress.

In an attempt to ease my pain, the esthetician tries to distract me with small talk and surprisingly, it's working. Then she happily states I've lost some weight eh? I freeze for a nanosecond, say "yeah". A similar exchange's been happening quite a few times recently and you usually wonder, but you're there, naked and vulnerable and all, you might as well go deeper while you're at it (no pun intended). Why do people assume I should be happy I've lost weight? I never told my esthetician- or anyone else for that matter- that I wanted to lose weight. So? I'm not obese, so it can't really be a health related concern.

Since we're at it, that's actually a common misconception. You know what they say- and with they, I mean stat professors all around the world, all day, every day- correlation doesn't imply causation.

Because some overweight people are unhealthy that doesn't mean being overweight equals bad health.

Shocking, I know. People who are overweight have a fifty-fifty chance of having high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or elevated blood sugar levels.¹

This other study that examined data from 43,265 people for a duration of 24 years, found that nearly half of the obese participants qualified as "metabolically fit", they didn’t suffer from insulin resistance, diabetes, low levels of good cholesterol, high triglycerides or high blood pressure.²

In other words, healthy.

Hear this one out: among people already diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, those who were obese lived longer than their thinner peers.³ Or this one,

65,000 patients with heart disease and found that overweight and obese people had the lowest risk of early death, compared with normal-weight or underweight patients;

those who were underweight had the highest death risk.⑷ Also, doctors having less respect for patients with higher body-mass indexes can lower the quality of care those patients receive. This article is a must read.

Anywayyyy, can we all agree now that weight isn't in and of itself a marker of health?

I feel like I need a ~disclaimer~. Please do your own research and don't take my word (and 65000+43,265 participants' results) for it. Maybe I've been fooled. I try my best for everything I state to be highly researched and from trustworthy sources, but I'm only human, after allll, I'm only human...

So my esthetician thinks weight loss is inherently a good thing, no big deal. It is a big deal, though ~plot twist~.

A report by the American Association of University Women indicated that for girls, “the way I look” is the most important indicator of self-worth .6

What the hell?  Research showed how more than half of girls and one-third of boys as young as 6 to 8 think their ideal weight is thinner than their current size. By age 7, one in four kids has engaged in some kind of dieting behavior.

Age 15 to 17, more than 90 percent of girls want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest.

I repeat, what the hell? Girls as young as 6 worrying about their physique should be a big deal. With so many young girls developing eating disorders and having fucked up relationships with food and their bodies, it is. I walked here, I'm surrounded by plants- they smell like spring, I'm enjoying the sunshine on my face, the warmth of my laptop keyboard from said sunshine, a cup of coffee (and the fact that the waiter remembered how I take it), the birds are singing.

I walked here, I'm surrounded by plants- they smell like spring, I'm enjoying the sunshine on my face, the warmth of my laptop keyboard from said sunshine, a cup of coffee (and the fact that the waiter remembered how I take it), the birds are singing. My senses work, my legs work, my fine motor skills are fine AF... To me, that's proof my body loves me and it's doing the best it can to keep me here, while I enjoy the little and big things this world has to offer. Start a revolution: love your body. It's been in love with you for so long and always will be.

Thanks for reading.

*A literal pain in the ass

**Editing this, I realize it sounds slightly ableist. I'm not saying your body doesn't love you if you can't walk, I'm just trying to put things in perspective in regard to body image issues. Still sounds ableist. Can you just take my word for it, that I stand up to all kinds of ableism and ableist slurs IRL & try to educate as many people as humanly possible, in a country where most don't  know what the word means? You're still fine AF, regardless of your motor skills!

¹R.P. Wildman, Ph.D.; P. Muntner, Ph.D.; K. Reynolds, Ph.D.; A. P. McGinn, Ph.D.; S. Rajpathak, MD, DrPH; Ju. Wylie-Rosett, EdD; M. R. Sowers, Ph.D.; "The Obese Without Cardiometabolic Risk Factor Clustering and the Normal Weight With Cardiometabolic Risk Factor Clustering." Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(15):1617-1624.

²Ortega FB, Lee D, Katzmarzyk PT, et al. The intriguing metabolically healthy but obese phenotype: cardiovascular prognosis and role of fitness. European Heart Journal. Published online September 4, 2012.

³Florez H, Castillo-Florez S. Beyond the Obesity Paradox in DiabetesFitness, Fatness, and Mortality. JAMA. 2012;308(6):619-620. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.9776

4Oskar Angerås, Per Albertsson, Kristjan Karason, Truls Råmunddal, Göran Matejka, Stefan James, Bo Lagerqvist, Annika Rosengren, Elmir Omerovic; Evidence for the obesity paradox in patients with acute coronary syndromes: a report from the Swedish Coronary Angiography and Angioplasty Registry. Eur Heart J 2013; 34 (5): 345-353. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehs217

5J Gen Intern Med. 2009 Nov;24(11):1236-9. doi: 10.1007/s11606-009-1104-8. Epub 2009 Sep 18.

6How schools shortchange girls: The AAUW report. A study of major findings in education. Washington, DC: American Association of University Women Educational Foundation.

Drawing of a galaxy jar with a tag attached with the above words] by Rachele Cateyes
Drawing of a galaxy jar with a tag attached with the above words] by Rachele Cateyes

Some days it feels unnatural to write only three things you’re grateful for

Feminism, Gratefulness

Some days, it feels unnatural to write only three things you're grateful for in your journal, so you write down way more. Other days, you get in a fight with your friend, your partner's being insensitive, you eat chips before lunch then you fall asleep and don't have a proper lunch or dinner, you lose the finished draft of an article (only one you had), listening to the politicians you're supposed to vote for on Sunday makes you gag, two different people from the same company wrote to say your article was rejected, you see this too-cute-to-be-a-stray* dog alone in the street meaning he's lost or was thrown out- all on the same day.

I'll go ahead and say what you're thinking**: children in Africa are dying.

However, as you might (or not) have noticed, there's no transitional word there. No but.*** That's the secret.

If you mention others sufferance to someone sharing their struggles with you, it's not to compare or diminish their pain. It's another problem on its own. If you say but men get raped too as an answer to women getting raped, you're part of the problem.
Tumblr postIf you say but white people get killed too, you're making it about you; white people get killed and men get raped, but that should be your entire sentence. Women get raped and POC are killed way more disproportionately, so your point isn't valid.

I consider myself a pretty grateful person. I think I'm way happier and kinder to the people in my life -and strangers!- after I started paying attention to all the little (and huge) blessings in my life. Like everyone though, I have my moments. They're way less frequent, but if you try to diminish my pain (or happiness, for that matter) because someone out there has it worse/better, you kinda suck.
Likewise, if a queer person is sharing their experience as a queer person with you, you should listen to what they're saying. NOT the moment to say straight people get beat up too. They do, but not because they're straight, catch my drift?!
Something that took me a long time to learn is that pain is not a competition.

White shirt black textPeople across the world are suffering and people across the world are having the time of their life. They say "comparison is the thief of joy", I agree. Be happy, or sad- yu don't own an explanation to anyone for how you're feeling. Especially don't be hard on yourself saying other people could have it worse. Also, to anyone who only brings up certain issues when being confronted about other ones? Check yo self  'fore you wreck yo self. You already know what I stand for.

 

P.S. No, I didn't forget to include my sources, I simply believe some research is better done yourself.

P.S.2 Kinda touched on all the subjects I wanted to, and if you're thinking, what does one have to do with the other, consider that the people trying to invalidate your experiences are doing so for a reason. Hint hint: status quo.

*Stray dogs break my heart, but breeders will probably die in the ~wild~

**Psych majors really DO read minds y'all.

***I thought butt almost immediately and winked ~out loud~, you know, like, to myself, in public. No shame in my game. jk, it was unconscious.

The only acceptable form of catcalling

Feminism

In this place where I got blueberry tea, the waiter is making eating noises, Enrique Inglesias is playing, a police officer just got a macchiato to go. I couldn’t call a cab so I just kept walking till I came across one. No cab. Guys. Some of them talked to me, some turned a few cars stopped. However, just like Nemo I kept…walking.
There’s something about midnight walks. They’re therapeutical almost. It’s just you and your thoughts (and only slightly creepy guys- on a good day). I so did not regret this walk. I saved money by not getting a cab. I moved my body. I had clearer thoughts on what had happened earlier. Also, walking at night after you’ve had a few drinks is a good idea, the alcohol starts -slowly, but surely- getting out of you.
!!! not recommended if you’ve had so many drinks you can’t walk straight.
I’m home after volunteering in a mental health placement in an Asian country for a month. I learned so much, I grew so much, I paid no attention to my comfort zone and what I would usually do, I felt part of a completely different culture to the one I’m used to, I loved it. Oh, and also, during the entire duration of the placement, where we had to walk and drive around a lot, I only got catcalled once. Once. Uno. Un. Eins. However, the first time I went out since being back, I got catcalled within (less than) two minutes of leaving the house. All women have developed a thick skin when it comes to BS like this, but the difference was shocking to me.
Shia LaBeouf says “Just do it“, well in this case, just don’t. You achieve nothing, it has no point and you’re actively sexualizing women, they’re not asking what do you think about their ass, they don’t care.


I wish to live in a world where girls everywhere can go out late at night and return home safe not repelled by humanity. Each one of us deserves blueberry tea in a cute café, we can rendezvous at the bar around 2.
Guys, don’t catcall, don’t hit on girls whose head is so far in the don’t-talk-to-me angle they could be seeing behind, don’t make girls uncomfortable just because you can and bash similar actions when you notice them in other guys. Make life easier for girls and yourself. She just wants the T(ea).

Bombings and choosing life

Psychology

There was a bomb alarm at our school today. I had to google ' bomb alarm' because I wasn't sure that's the right way to put it. There are four first guesses, I notice only one of them is about building, and the three others are actually how-to-s for defusing bombs. That's a happy observation. I was sitting in the back row and it took a while to get to the door and during the entire way there (some seconds but time is oh so relative) I kept imagining the bomb exploding. I couldn't stop visualizing. I noticed my body obeying my orders to get ready, I felt it becoming stiff, compact, set as if preparing your body for a bomb explosion makes any sense at all. I thought of the noise it would make as it exploded, I imagined us -the students- dying, somehow being alive as well, but not quite: it was just that we hadn't really "had the real bomb yet", but the explosion was gonna "come upon us" any moment now. I kept rushing to the door. At school, we'd talked quite a few times about cultural background and how important it is when examining a patient's situation or dream... What that means right now is this; (legend says) our minister of defense received a message from isis- right after Paris' bombings -that said: you're next. Some other time I'd probably have thought it was a desperate student very desperate (or just very brave, depends on how you look at it) to not do a presentation exam or what have you, but *as Depeche Mode would put it* not tonight. There's this movie; someone -the Giver- guarded the memory of everyone since the beginning of time in an emotion-less ruleful worldwide community, in which memories were not open to the public except to the receiver, Jonas. The memories are transmitted by hand and the first memories are sled rides, snow, music, dancing, love; the latter, of terror and wars and hunger. Going against the rules which made the citizens experience neither pain nor happiness, he decides the bad part is worth it to enjoy life with the music and the dancing and the~love~ and gives this richness to the entire world, despite the (many) difficulties encountered. I'd do the same. I would take bombings and terrors, wars, accidents, life-taking diseases, deaths, for the sun, for love, for feelings of joy for no reason,or for huge reasons, for the sea, for climbing to the top of a mountain, for sunsets, for sunrises, to continue feeling what I feel for my loved ones, for flowers, for my cat, for videos of babies trying lemons for the first time... In a heartbeat.

Blue background