19 January 2018

Recently, I have been a sucker for buying clothes with empowering quotes for women on them. My view of wearing feminism, is that in some way these tops with powerful quotes on them is to trigger something in peoples mind when they see these tops. It may not be an obvious thought, but just a gentle reminder that women are powerful and deserve to be listened to and that not all women have this privilege. It's not an overly active form of empowerment, but just a reminder to not underestimate women and the importance of women banding together in a patriarchal world.

I am lucky because I have always been surrounded by strong women and I've never really experienced an occasion where I felt overly disadvantaged at being a women. In my job there is no difference between women and men, I only work in Customer Care but I know in the greater offices for ASOS there are projects set to inspire women, plus they do a lot of workshops with girls about loving yourself and about powerful women in the industry. I know this isn't the case everywhere though. The only time I feel explicitly disadvantaged at being a girl, is when I became aware of my fear of men that seems to be ingrained inside me. When I am out walking and a man looks at me a little too long and when their gazes and words make me feel as nothing but an object to be looked at is when my femininity makes me feel weak. I'll give an example- once on a night out during when I had bright purple hair a man asked me for a blowjob which I declined. He then shouted at me, stating that my purple hair and face full of glistening piercings were all for attention, so why won't I accept the attention I am being given. His rant was littered with insulting words and swear words and this is one of the times I have felt most scared because I knew I couldn't overpower this man if anything were to happen. Things aren't always like this, sometimes they are more extreme, sometimes they are less but either way this is one of the few times I have felt scared of being a woman as I realised how weak I am compared to men. Although my natural daily behaviours should be enough to remind me of my disadvantage; I'm wary on public transport, I check my car every time before I get in it and am constantly thinking of things I can use as weapons if need be. Yet despite these natural moments, I forget the male dominance that still occurs in our world. So if me, wearing a top that promotes the equality of men and women and places females on a pedastool I will do it so in my moments of fear I remember that there are people rooting for women and that these slogans on our t-shirts aren't lies. Also, if me wearing a t-shirt can just trigger a little thought in someone’s mind, it makes me happy.

However, the things I wear are only clothes. Is it just a case of looking cool, or is it an actual (extremely) diluted form of rebellion against the patriarchal ways that still grip our society? It doesn't make an actual impact other than maybe creating a thought and it obviously doesn't help in places where the difference between men and women is so great that equality can only seem like a hope rather than a reality. I wonder whether these t-shirts also serve as a reminder for women to stick together rather than promoting equality and somehow distance the two genders even more. (side note- I know there are more than two genders, but for the sake of this post I am keeping it very black and white and I'm sorry if anyone feels insulted by this, it's just my basic views on feminism which I know stretch a lot further than just men and women). I also asked someone else their opinion on these tops and they said it seems to be a way of getting Instagram likes, which is understandable because the case of feminism does seem to be a way to publicity for some, so does these shirts actually invalidate the issue rather than help it? Personally,  I don't think so as even if people wear them just to get a few extra likes, it is still a way of raising awareness.

Despite the hope of raising awareness, I’m not entirely sure whether these material manifestations of feminism are created with good intentions. It brings me back to wondering whether they invalidate feminism by making it a little logo on a top- but personally I don't agree with this. It's easy to forget though that these items are being created within the fashion industry, meaning they are created with a capitalist agenda rather than with a political mindset. Is it really dressing for the resistance or is it just for fashion? The funds from these tops don't go to helping women directly but I don't know if raising some form of awareness through the tops is powerful enough to counterbalance the exploitation of feminism for fashion. I think it depends on who is wearing the t-shirt and if they are willing to elaborate on the importance of such an innocent looking item of clothing, but I believe anyone who wears a top branded with a feminist quote are ready to defend it and explain the reason they are wearing it.

On a different note, but one that always seem to cross my mind when thinking about feminism is whether these tops could somehow be detrimental to boys. If a boy were wearing a top calling him 'Empowered' he'd just seem like a bit of a twat, as ultimately his gender always have had the upper hand when it comes to power and it is hard to forget the history between men and the abuse of their self given power. However, if these tops serve to make us proud of being a woman and enlighten the world of all the great qualities women share with men (as we are all as powerful as each other) why can't a boy express their love towards their gender. I know it's because they have always had the privilege and that it is almost impossible to find a time in history where a man was disadvantaged at being a man, but do these tops highlight the hierarchal divide between men and women to young kids? Do they divide us further? These tops are worn by me to ultimately promote equality and make me feel good about being a woman, yet if a boy were to wear one of them he would be seen as showing off. This is going off on a tangent though, about where does feminism go too far and surrounding the questionability of whether self love is encouraged as much for boys as much for girls.

To round this off though, although the act of wearing feminism can be questionable depending on where your intentions come from, I wear it with the hope of evoking some form of reaction, no matter how minuscule and just to bring attention to the divided world. I know it isn't a major act of feminism at all and that the world has so far to go, but these tops act as a reminder that the societal imposed differences between men and women still exist. I hope that when wearing them they remind the world that women possess a strength as great as men and that we should never be made to doubt the greatness that being a woman is.

Why Babies Are The Best

14 January 2018

I was going to do a post about some favourites of mine lately, but it was a lame post and then it deleted which was a sign that it wasn't meant to be posted. So instead, I'll talk about another favourite of mine- young humans. It was my nephews first birthday today and there was a big clump of babies and two kids there- and they're just so entertaining to watch. So, if you don't have the privilege to be able to surround yourself with kids/babies never fear, as I'm going to tell you some of the highlights of today, plus just some highlights of kids in general because they're great and not only that, but their innocence and simplicity seem to be a beacon of positivity lately and sometimes that can be hard to find!

I don't know why I look so scared/uncomfortable in the second photo. I wasn't very prepared for a photo 

(Warning before you read: by baby I mean almost one year old/being over one year old. Kids mentioned are 3 and 4)

-a baby called Ozzy was staring at me, just sitting and staring, and then he stood up so fast pointed at me, then sat back down shook his arms and just turned around. He stood up with so much purpose though only to point at me? Was funny
-my nephew crawled up to every baby there and touched their face and then would move on to the next baby. He only done this to the babies though, not to any of the kids, just the babies. I never fully realise babies could distinguish themselves from adults but I guess this was a sign. Or maybe it's because he couldn't reach anyone else face except the other babies.
-one baby was sitting on her mums lap and just kind of holding a ball having a good time, then she just conked out. Like she full on just collapsed into a deep sleep whilst there was so much noise in the background yet she stayed asleep for a solid half hour.
-I was in a room with this kid who was watching Cebeebies and then an adult (by adult I mean like 25) came in and the kid went to her' Do you want to leave?' so the adult said 'Yeah sure if you want to' and the kid went 'No you leave by yourself' and I stayed because I was on nephew duty and he was in that room, then the kid just stared at me until I felt too uncomfortable so I also left
-Whilst everyone was singing happy birthday my nephew started to lick the cake.
-My sister was eating cake and my nephew reached out to eat some and when my sister said no he just started making this really strange growling/moaning noise (very relatable)
-The kids were being firemen then one of the kids said to the other kid 'OH MY GOD THE FIRE IS ON YOU' and the other kid burst into tears
-My nephew would have these moments where he just done all his skills at once, so he'd be sitting there then all of a sudden would start waving and clapping and blowing kisses and bouncing. He would do this really fast then just stop and carry on as if nothing happened.
-One baby (Ozzy again) would suddenly get really excited at random times and would shake his arms and start screaming.

So there's some positivity for you, happy babies! Nothing better. Hope you all have a great week lads, if you have any good kid stories let me know- I just think they're the best.

How 2018 Began And How It Will End

3 January 2018

Happy new year everyone, I hope everyones year has had a great start! Seeing as my blog is my publicised diary I am beginning this year with a personal post because one of my resolutions it try and accept and talk about my feelings more. I don't overly believe in New Years resolutions though as I'm more of a do it when you want but I've decided to set a few aims for 2018 because I like lists. 2017 was tough for me, I struggled a lot through the year purely being because I struggle with depression which is not something new at all- however I went through a lot of things this year which were undeniably blown out of proportion by an unkind brain. This is a big deal by the way, because my mental stability is not something I often talk about but is something I've wanted to talk about on my blog for sometime and I think in 2018 I may be ready to talk about some things. The beginning of the year was met with an invalidating counsellor plus the fear of a new year which combined with exams put me in a very unhappy mindset which is ultimately why I didn't go to university in 2017, because I knew if I did my brain would unravel even more and there would be nothing left. My sadness never really stems from anything as my life is ultimately, very good, and then actual things happened and I've never really had an external influence to my mental health. However, this helped me to talk about it. It is hard because so many people self diagnose recently and I feel like 2017 was a big year of glamourising mental illness and I'm not sure where the line between raising awareness and using for publicity is but I do think it was crossed quite a lot this year which made it a lot harder to feel like my feelings were real. If that makes sense. Either way, I'm not going to say new year new me because a brain is a brain but I will talk about my feelings more this year.

I'm not a big fan of the phrase leaving stuff in 2017 either because I worry a lot and nothing can get left behind. I'm hoping my necessity to hold onto things makes things better in 2018 though as there are somethings I need to come to terms with and not being able to let them go will fuel this desire. This year I was betrayed by some people I trust most. One of my really good friends ended up having questionable priories and another good friend done some things which  weren't very kind at all. In 2018 I will talk about these things to these people, rather than drunkenly talking about it and complaining about how it isn't fair because I'm sure most things will be justifiable with a conversation. Once I have a conversation memories I share with these people won't be so bitter to me and although the fact of what they've done will still be there it probably won't be as sour to me.. Another sad part of 2017 was my exams, which I was hoping would fill me with pride but instead I worked so hard to be met with grades which I deserved better than. Also my dog died. My 2017 ended seeing my ex boyfriend dancing with another girl and kissing at midnight, consequently making my 2018 begin with 3 jagerbombs in a row followed by some shots of tequila. The taste was horrendous.  I'm not that mad at him though, as I know this is inevitable- I just wish it didn't happen whilst he was right next to me. However, I plan on meeting up with him in March and chatting because I am a big fan of closure and at the end of the day we were bestfriends and I'd like the friendship to continue. The rest of my night was great though because we went back to my friends and we danced and sang, I drank green tea and lied in bed with my friends talking about Robbie Williams. I was horrendously drunk but it was worth it. Then I went home and saw we had gluten free mozzarella sticks which made me realise 2018 can't be any worse than 2017.

There were good moments of 2017. I saw  Kinky Boots, I got completely off my nut with my friends, I met my nephew and new puppy. A lot of good memories are attached to sad ones though, such as going around Europe with someone who made it difficult, I finished my exams but with grades I don't appreciate, I got a full time job that has made me bitter. I did pass my driving test though, which is a miracle as I thought I'd be learning forever, I devoted myself to becoming a wine mum and now can get drunk for very cheap and I fully decided that I'm going to study English Literature at university. Also I met new people and found a love for Peaky Blinders (despite having to wait till 2019 for a new episode). Oh also I turned 18 and no longer have to take three buses to find somewhere that will serve me alcohol. I think ultimately 2017 was a bad year in many aspects, and many good memories are tainted however there are good memories nonetheless.

a photo of me and my nephew, probably my favourite thing to have come out of 2017.
a photo already on my blog of my main girl living it up on my 18th
a disposable that is very bad quality, but I think this was one of the best days of my trip around Europe as it was the day we all got on just like old times
my new puppy who although comes out of losing Lulu, still is one of my favourite things to have happened in 2017
a photo of Berlin, my favourite city

I always say I hope, but I need more surety and constants in my life so I'm say I will rather than I hope, also because some of these things are planned so there is no going back. So pretty much 2018 is the year I will:

-Travel. I've booked a trip round the south of Asia that is only 30 days but I am going alone (sort of, with a group organisation in which I know nobody) and hopefully my friends will go to a Spanish festival and if my Spanish is up to it I may try working in a Spanish hostel as well as a possible trip to Paris with Katie and Poland with another friend. Although I may just go to Poland by myself as I'd only go for a day to see Auschwitz.
-Call people out. I'm not overly mad at my friends anymore who have hurt my feelings because I know who my real friends are- I think my mum cares more than I do, but I still think I need to say some things otherwise I'll just drunkenly talk about things when truly it could be solved by a conversation.
-Take more disposables and journal more. Katie sent me a diary thing that I still need to fill out and I'd like to take a photo a day. Appreciate lifes beauty am I right!
-Learn Spanish, write more and knit more. These are just gap year aims to be honest.
- Read more. I read a shitty (but also lovely) teen novel the other day which has set me up to read again. I'm currently reading The Great Gatsby and next plan to read Macbeth (with the aid of Katie lol this seems like a big love letter to her)
-Wear a nice outfit at least twice a week. Too often all I do is stay in skinny jeans and a baggy jumper but I want to change this. Another thing is that I always wear tops with sleeves because I don't like my arms but I've worn sleevless things a few times on nights out lately and, shockingly, the world didn't stop.
-Gym more. I love going to the gym when I can be bothered, it always makes me feel good and my legs are getting so strong, I'm just inconsistent with the gym. I am always torn between fuck it I'm young I'll stay out and drink and also fuck it I live a very unhealthy lifestyle I should go to the gym to counterbalance all the drinking I do
-Get another tattoo, I know what I want and I've wanted it for a very long time so very exciting
-Wear my retainer more, whiten my teeth, moisturise, exfoliate. I want to be a goddess by the end of 2018.
-Post more, by that I mean once a week. That has been an aim of mine for a while but one day the aim will become a reality
-Get a part time job and volunteer somewhere (this should be easily done I hope and getting a part time job really is a gateway to a lot of my other plans)(I hope)

I think that is me done for this post. Here's to 2018 am I right lads!

Disposables From 2017

26 December 2017

Ages ago, I got photos from my disposable camera printed and from my phone. I prefer photos from my disposable, but I'm bad at taking that out with me but I think photos taken with a disposable camera are more charming than ones on a phone. I think this is because, personally, when I take out my disposable it's quick and I'm just capturing the moment, there is no looking back and changing the pose. They are just natural photos that somehow are meant to encapsulate a blissful moment. I'm going to buy another one today, although I don't have many in which to fill the camera roll, I think I just need the charm of a disposable camera back in my life.

I have no specific place where I keep photos- some go on my walls, some in a photo album (which I tried to keep in chronological order and completely failed at) and some in my scrapbook. Some photos aren't special enough to go in my photo album, or my scrapbook or my wall so I have this photo box thing from Paperchase that is very useful. Throwing away a photo seems too much for me, I'm not sure why but I just feel like I can't throw away a photo as what if the person in that photo suddenly makes amends with me or what if that specific memory fades from my brain and I am unable to have a photo to remind me. These photos with questionable current memories go in my box.

It's strange looking back at old photos and remembering the moment so well, but how different things are now. I have a friend who wasn't my friend and now things are on weird terms, I also have a whole disposable dedicated to my trip away with my ex and it's just so weird realising how much has changed. Photos with my ex are the strangest though and I'm not sure what to do with them, as I can't throw them away (or burn them as some people suggested) because at the end of the day these are some good memories and I want to remember the good without comparing it to the now. I also have a wall in my room which I've dedicated to my favourite people, some of these people aren't in my life anymore and some of these people have betrayed me but for some reason I can't bring myself to remove them from my favourite people wall, despite them only being held there with blutac now. Nostalgic!

To Fill In A Gap Year: Not Much

10 December 2017

In terms of my gap year, I feel like everything is going a bit tits up- although there were never any set plans to be able to go tits up. I feel strange today but I think that is just because me and Sundays don't mesh well. This past month has been very strange as well though, but there have been some really great parts.

I went to visit two of my very good friends at uni, friends came back from uni for weekends. It was fun. I got back into fitness. I met Katie which was absolutely lovely despite me figuring out how truly expensive some places are in London- usually if I'm out in London buying drinks I'm too drunk to register how much money I've spent.

I haven't progressed with many of my gap year aims, but I did manage to send off my UCAS. Although being the type of person I am, I entered my a-levels wrong which I have now fixed but I had to email universities warning them that I made a mistake and now I feel like that has really tainted my intellectual image, and my grades don't help. UCAS makes me sad as I was meant to get grades that opened doors for me as opposed to close them, so it's a relief to have sent it off and to no longer have to search for universities that accept my grades and also to not have an entire project that surrounds my failure- which isn't really a failure but it is hard to change an opinion.

a irrelevant photo but a photo where I was in a sweet oblivion

I keep postponing when I will begin on my gap year plans, mainly because I work so much. I'm not too sure I'm going to travel anymore, unless I get a surge of confidence and decide to go by myself. Either way I plan on earning as much money as possible before January (although I rarely do overtime to give me this extra cash) so if I do end up going somewhere I can afford it. I can't do Camp America anymore but maybe I just won't travel- I just hope my friend pulls through and we go to Thailand. We won't even travel properly but I am just so desperate to get away. But if I don't get away I can still quit my job and get a job with fewer hours and actually do something with my gap year. By that I mean become an embroidery queen, which I might try doing some of tonight but I've lost my needles. Oh wait something I have become better at is spontaneity, I quite enjoy plans and waking up in my own bed knowing what I am going to get done but this past month I have accepted late night cinema trips (although they are rare invites) and stayed out after nights out. I want to care less about routine and I am getting there!

I often make it sound as if I regret taking a gap year, but I don't at all- I just think the past few months I have found out a lot of things that have made me question a lot of relationships in my life. I often get shocked when people fit a cliche, but then I remember cliches and stereotypes were sometimes created for a reason so I shouldn't be so surprised when people live up to these expectations. Something that is filling me with a lot of happiness lately though is blogging friends and also my best friends and childhood friends. I've been fucked about by a few friends but woah baby do I love my true pals and I love blogging girls. Blogging is such a loving community and I forget how great it can be.

A random post, a rambling post but sometimes I feel the need to do posts like this to unblock my blogging brain- I was going to say just in general my brain but I am very fond of diary writing to empty my brain. But sometimes I just need to ramble on my blog. So huzzah!

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