SOCIAL MEDIA

September 15, 2013

Breasts Are Great....Unless Babies are Involved

Sexualization in the media has always been a hot-under-the-collar topic among people everywhere, both men and women taking sides. I never really took a side until probably the middle of the summer this year when I started noticing it everywhere. And then all the news articles starting popping up about women getting criticized for breastfeeding their babies in public. It got me thinking...

In movies, in commercials, proudly displayed on billboards for thousands of motorists to see as they spent their daily commute in traffic, are women's breasts or butts or bellies. It's quite sickening if you think about it....people don't see a problem with a women wearing a skimpy bikini top (or no top at all and just some strategically placed arms or hair) to sell cigarettes or new drink, but as soon as women start to use their bodies how they were intended to be used, people are "disgusted". And it's not just women being sexualized, have you seen all the commercials featuring a half-naked man that looks like he's 98% percent rock instead of an actual person? It's really not okay anymore, for both men and women.

Girls face, and have faced for some time now, a growing amount of pressure from the media to be sex symbols and sex objects for guys to play with. They tell us that if we're not sexy enough that we won't get the right guy (or girl or barn animal or whoever floats your boat). Which, first of all, is completely backwards from the way books told us love was. And really, it is backwards. A toy company unveiled a Pole Dancing Kit intended for children, young girls specifically. "Unleash the sex kitten inside" was the slogan plastered all over the box. Thankfully a lot of parents saw something wrong with that and the company pulled that product from the shelves in the toy aisle, although it is still available to purchase. The television shows on TV, from the Girls Next Door to America's Next Top Model, that tell us that, as women, we need to be stick-skinny with lots of makeup plastered all over our face. It's the portrayal of these women as beauties that has girls everywhere starving themselves and spending their emotional energy, their time, and their money on products that promise to make us look hotter, sexier, more attractive to the opposite sex.

Guys are not excused from this either. First of all, no girl wants to cuddle with a rock. I mean it's nice for guys to be built and have muscles and abs (if they want, it's completely up to them to get into shape and women shouldn't expect it just like guys shouldn't expect Barbie breasts and thigh gaps from girls), but if we can see them through your shirt that's not okay. (General rule for the majority of girls I know, just a tip guys) Second of all, it's not really discussed, but guys go through the same pressure that girls do to be "perfect". The media puts us all under such pressure that we feel we have no choice but to go along with it otherwise be an outcast. There was a boy who died because he wanted to "buff up" and he was doing 1,000 push ups a night without eating the right foods because he wanted to look like the buff models that he saw on the runway. He died. It's really not okay anymore, and I'm not sure it ever has been.

Along with the increased sexual pressure put on teens and young girls, there is the ever-present backlash against breast feeding. This really does tick me off because a) that's what breasts are intended for in the first place, not toys for boys to play with when they're bored and not pillows for them to lay on, and 2) this practice is as old as the time since women have been having babies (aka forever) and is literally the most natural thing on earth, so who the hell gave you the right to call out a women for feeding her child with what she is meant to feed it with? You need to get over yourself. If you don't have a problem with all the breasts and the sex featured in today's music, cartoons, commercials, TV shows, movies, magazines, books etc., then you have no right to call out a women for breastfeeding.

I researched a bit about this topic and I found an amazing video that explains it all so well, it's only 5 minutes long and really really worth watching. Click here for the link to the video. I also used an article which you can find here. Thanks as always for reading and feel free to leave me a comment explaining your thoughts on this post below!
September 12, 2013

I'm Tired

I now understand why Peter Pan never wanted to grow up. Now, considering the fact that I'm an adolescent and haven't even seen the dawn of 16 years on this earth, you might think this statement a hyperbole and I am greatly exaggerating the truth. Not so. (Ask anyone in my Geography class, and you'll understand quite well what I'm talking about.)

In high school, for those of you who are home-schooled or have the blissful experience of going to a school such as the liberal arts school of Victorious where very little actual schooling goes on and, in its place, a lot of shenanigans happens that the teachers are ignorant of even though it's happening right in front of their eyes, there is just so much expected from you, both academically and socially. It's incredible the amount of (and I hate using this word because it's over-used so terribly but, what the hell) pressure.

I mean there is just pressure from every side.

  • Your teachers demand respect and your full attention, which is quite difficult if you haven't slept in two days because you are doing different projects and logging in 12 hours at a time on Tumblr, as well as your full capacity as a student (and to be fair, these are not unrealistic aims. Without the invention of the Internet, we wouldn't have over half the problems that we do, I'm convinced of that fact. But also without the Internet, we would have a shit load of more problems. It's a never-ending paradox.).
  • And then there are your friends, they need your attention and your help with their problems and you really want to be with them at all times because you want to make memories because the media focuses so much on how short life is (more on this ever-annoying plot line in a minute), because my generation seems to be focused on the idea that being alone is taboo and to be avoided at (pretty much) all costs. Girls don't even want to pee alone anymore, and why? Because we're afraid of being judged. Walking into the cafeteria without a person by your side, you can't help but think that others are looking at you and judging you. But think about it, if you were sitting at a table with your friends and saw someone walking in alone, would you even really think about it? You would go back to telling your friends how you "scored" last night (guys) or how your favorite band member got a new tattoo, again. 
  • Parents add just another level of pressure. They push you to be your best and when they feel you haven't achieved it they give you that look that makes you feel like the worse person on the face of this planet but I have generated a theory as to why this is. Parents push you to be your best because they can't help but think back to when they were your age (cliches are running rampant right now, oh em gee) and how they wished they had turned out better than they actually have (and unless your parents are Mark Zuckerburg and Ellen DeGeneres, they pretty much always wish this) and they want to push you hard enough so that maybe you'll reach your dreams, the ones they could not. (Just a theory, don't go telling your parents they're losers now because they aren't and that's really rude and obnoxious)
  • The media adds probably what can be perceived as the most pressure. And, anyone who has talked to me in the past week knows just how obsessed I am with this movie at the moment, Allison from the Breakfast Club phrased it well, "If you don't do it you're a prude but if you do, you're a slut." It's a never-ending battle that never needed to be fought in the first place. (Okay this lecture is somewhat out of place here, but whatever. People nowadays are moving WAY too fast in relationships, aren't they? Or am I a prude? But I see all of these people just all over each other after two weeks and then the relationship just ends after a while and the vicious cycle starts all over again. I don't understand that. I think that taking things slow is necessary for a good, solid relationship to grow. But then again, I'm "Waiting for A" and looking for something big and long-lasting so maybe it is just me. My personality just works that way.) We live in a "Size Zero is Beautiful and Expected of All Girls" society where Twinkies were brought out of retirement because of backlash against dis-continuing them. Something has to change, fast. Too many girls have cried themselves to sleep trying to ignore the growling of their bellies because the media tells them that skinny is beautiful. Let me tell you a secret, guys worth getting to know, like girls with curves. (This comes from a valid source too, my brother actually. We had a discussion about this, and he did say several times that he, and most guys that are actually worth dating or having a relationship with, prefer curvy girls, not stick-skinny ones.) Personally, I am FAR from the skinniest girl out there, I have big swimmer shoulders that make me have to buy t-shirts that are baggy around the middle because they are the only ones that fit my broad shoulders, I have a solid core (no lie) but there's a small layer of blubber over top of them (although you can feel the abs down there, currently working on bringing them out more), my thighs are about the size of a Christmas ham and quite jiggly, my face is fat-ter than I would like that makes taking good quality photos difficult....I could go on. The point I'm trying to make is, I'm comfortable with the way my body is right now. I do go to the gym and work on toning it to be stronger and for my own self confidence, but I have come to the realization that I will never ever be the tiny size-two girl, and you know what, I no longer want to be. Sure I envy the size of the varsity volleyball girl's thighs, but I can work to achieve something similar to that that works for my body. I'm not interested in being the skinniest girl around. I have a big personality, a twig body couldn't handle that.
  • We add our own pressure by thinking about all the above sources and how disappointed everyone will be if you fail this test or eat that candy bar. Let me tell you something. The whole entire universe centers around one point and that point, is not you. It's not me either. Brutal honesty hurts doesn't it? Try thinking about it this way: when you're 98 and sitting on the porch rockers in front of the nursing home, are you gong to regret the Kit-Kat you ate in 10th grade at lunch that made you feel like dirt? I seriously doubt it. You want good memories to think about in your last year, so curtail your plans and think too much about what other people think. (Miley Cyrus is a good example of this, watch her "We Can't Stop" video and then read the awful comments below. Does she care? Doubt it, because she was comfortable with what she did.)
My point here is this: I'm sick and freaking TIRED of having to think about what other people will think if I laugh too loud at something or stuff my face with a bag of Skittles once and a while. As long as I'm happy doing what I'm doing, why should I care what other people think? It's not hurting me, so just....why think about it because that will only make you unhappy. There's no single definition of "beauty", the person who finds it in you is a person worth having in your life. The people who don't? Screw 'em.
September 9, 2013

How Irrational Can One Person Be?

So....as you are all blithely aware of, since I posted two entries about this very subject not long ago, I am (or...used to be I suppose) a swimmer. Have been all my life. But today I was just thinking, and there's a reason for this (but isn't there always a reason? I mean really....), what's my biggest fear?

As a swimmer it's kind of odd to share this but...the biggest fear, or one of the biggest fears, I have is...drowning. That's right. I'm a swimmer that's afraid of water. Now...what brought about this thinking you may ask?

Well....clubs are starting at school tomorrow and, since I attend school on one of the biggest island chain-nations in the world, tomorrow is my first scuba club meeting. I'll be certified soon and in a couple of months time I will inevitably find myself on a boat heading out to the middle of the ocean somewhere to go scuba diving, my heart pound-pound-pounding away in my ears.

I guess drowning isn't my biggest fear. For some reason, ever since I was about...twelve or thirteen I guess, I've always been super aware of my breathing habits and for some reason there seems to be something wrong with my...breathing.

It's probably nothing and just me getting all worked up over something that's not even there (ever googled your symptoms when you're sick? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about), but I swear there is something wrong. I don't seem to...breathe like normal people. I've tried talking to my mom about it, but she swears that nothing is wrong with me and if she took me to a doctor about it, she would have to take me to a psychiatrist afterwards because I'm making it all up in my head. My breathing either catches in my throat or my heart starts pounding a lot for some reason and I can't catch my breath and it's....terrifying.

To give Mom credit, she did take me seriously one time when I told her and we figured that it was caffeine that was doing it to me. So I cut caffeine out of my diet. It actually helped and I no longer have prolonged periods where it feels like I could pass out onto the floor because I can barely breathe for no reason. Now it's just short periods of time, maybe two or three minutes, several times a day, every day, where I feel like breathing is getting a little difficult. I'm not even doing strenuous activities! It usually happens on the bus in the morning and there's nothing I can do to control it, but at least I'm not letting it control me. I've developed methods of dealing with it and it's not as scary anymore.

Some days it's worse than others, like a few weeks back when I was walking around my city with THC I was having a little problem breathing. I took care of it and he didn't know. If you were talking to me when one of these "attacks" happened, you probably wouldn't notice. I try to keep talking normally because it also helps to get my breathing back under control.

So now that we've taken the looong way around the point (again) let me conclude what all of this is trying to tell you. Every time I would get into the pool I would have a little "asthma attack" (or two or three) and I powered through it. Swimming was a great way of dealing with my breathing, although sometimes I must admit I stopped swimming and feigned a cramp to catch my breath, and now that I'm not doing that anymore, I have to face my fear every day, although I face it anyway just climbing stairs, without swimming being a crutch.

Again, my point: don't let your fears, as irrational as they may be, stop you from doing the things you want to do. Eventually I might have to ask for help with my breathing if it gets REALLY bad, and you shouldn't be scared of asking for help either. I know that teenagers in high school (like I'm assuming most of you are, like me) are afraid of asking questions because we don't want to sound stupid in front of our peers, but if we need help we need to learn to ask for it. I really want to do scuba diving club and I'm trying my hardest not to worry about the breathing problems I may or may not have (I've noticed that if I don't think about it it doesn't happen as much). I'm just going to focus on the joy of what I'm doing. And I hope you don't let anything stop you from doing what you really want to do either.

Thanks for reading lovelies! XOXO
September 6, 2013

Last Update

So they have figured out what is wrong, finally. It turns out I have a "crowded and constricted" small intestine. Ouch. They gave me pills and things to take and to start taking once this is cleared up to prevent it from happening again. I'm ready to have this thing be done with and get back to school and normal life. It's been pure hell this past week and I'm SO relieved that I may have some relief soon.

Thanks for reading so diligently as you do. I promise to start updating more regularly about subjects more interesting than my "medical problems".

XOXO
September 4, 2013

Update [Revised]

After this morning was full of poking and prodding, I have a few scars and no answers. I had blood drawn and several ultrasounds performed but they didn't see anything unusual on the ultrasound. We will be going back to the hospital later to have the blood work examined. Still in a lot of pain, and no closer to any answers. Hopefully we will find some later today. (But on the plus side, not pregnant! I mean, I knew there was NO WAY IN HELL I was, but it's still good to have that reassurance)

I'll keep you guys updated as things develop. Thanks for reading.

XOXO
September 3, 2013

Update

For the past week I've been having some stomach cramping issues. And on Monday it finally hit me really, really hard. I was taken to the hospital this morning and I have several tests/scans scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday. They don't know what's wrong yet so I'm just resting with some generic pills to cut down on the pain and waiting for the tests (for which I have to fast which is why they couldn't do them today). I'm pissed that I have had to miss school these past two days and will have to miss tomorrow as well, hopefully it won't go any further than that I want to go back to school!

My symptoms include: extreme abdominal pain, stomach swelling, fatigue, lower back pain, and (after eating) nausea. Blood work tomorrow and then an ultrasound sometime later. I swear I'm not pregnant, even though I have some of the same symptoms. I have now been asked that question about seven times today and you'd think my answer would get around. It's not going to change, you know. It's probably just intestines twisting or air pockets in my intestines or something along those lines, but not a pregnancy (that's biologically impossible, trust me). 

Anyway, I'll post an update sometime later about what is going on. Thanks for reading every week guys!

XOXO