Body Posi

Eating for your mind and body💖

I think every girl, either my age, or younger, or older has been struck by the feeling that they aren’t skinny enough living in this age of Instagram and social media. Every girl, from as young as the age of 11 has been conscious about their body and their weight. 

Today I listened to a podcast titled “Saying Goodbye to Diets” from Girl’s Guide to the Galaxy. The podcast is is by Caggie Dunlop (ex MIC star) and an American entrepreneur coach Jennifer Jaden. They’re committed to talking about all things girl in this age of social media, opening up a space where they can use their influential platform to give advice. This episode that I’m basing my blog around today is their second episode, and it’s all about dieting. 

I feel like I really needed this episode and to hear the things they were talking about due to my own relationship with food. I think it was Caggie to mention it, but she said something along the lines of once you’ve began a troubling relationship with food then it always lives with you, no matter how much weight you gain or lose (because unhealthy relationships also include overeating and abusing your body that way), you’re fighting a constant battle with your mind.

I have never been diagnosed with an eating disorder, (and can I just mention I’m currently stuffing my face with a bar of chocolate that I purposely bought to keep for my trip to Nepal in three weeks, you’ll see the relevance of this comment if you listen to the podcast- yes I am eating the whole 120g), but I have taken laxatives, I have used detox teas, I have done 60 minutes of flat out cardio at the gym on an empty stomach, I have eaten just broccoli and chicken for dinner, whilst consuming a solid 5 cups of green tea per day. 

I started watching what I was eating when I was around 13; nothing too strenuous, I just wasn’t one of those kids who would buy sweets at lunch time, which in retrospect is a good thing. I was raised in a household with no fizzy drinks, sweets or chocolate; I was fed fruit and veg and only allowed one packet of crisps and one chocolate biscuit a day. I was inherently conscious of what “goodness” I was putting into my body.

I kept this idea of feeding my body “goodness” when I began my more serious diet watching when I was 16. I had just gotten out of a long term relationship with my first proper boyfriend and I had gone from a comfy size 8-10 to a solid 12 due to the amount of dominos pizza and chocolate fudge cake I consumed in those comfy days. We’ve all been there, newly single and about to chase after that revenge bod. So I went from eating cereal for breakfast (healthy cereal such as bran flakes) to just two scrambled eggs in the microwave. I cut out bread, potatoes and pasta, all starchy carbs that yes contribute to weight gain or that cushy jelly belly, but also food that makes you feel full and satisfied and happy. Instead of having a sandwich in school for lunch (which would have been brown bread) I would eat boiled veg, usually broccoli or cauliflower (people I went to school with would remember me stinking out the sixth form area with this lols) and either pieces of plain dry fried chicken, or pieces of ham. Yes, slices of han and broccoli was a nutritious meal for me as I began this “clean eating” trend that was circulating social media at the time.

I didn’t really understand the whole concept of clean eating, I thought it just meant no carbs and no chocolate. And so the weight dropped off me. And I loved it. I was a size 8 for the following year (and I’m not that type of size 8 girl who’s naturally that way, I had to eat less than 1000 calories a day to maintain my body.) I didn’t work out at all as I found that I could maintain my weight from diet alone and I abused the quote “70% of the body is made in the kitchen, 30% is gym”. I just used a dumbbell to do about 3 sets of 12 squats and dead lifts a day, maintaining that skinny booty.

But yeah, I ended up going from this. (Not remotely overweight but with a terrible taste in Primark bikinis and knock off Lacoste towels from Turkey.)

To this.


And looking at that second photo you wouldn’t think I under- ate would you? You wouldn’t look at that and be concerned for my wellbeing? When realistically, I took and then posted that photo after suffering from a 2 day sickness bug. This may be TMI but I literally could not get off the toilet and had to have a bucket to accommodate the other end it was coming out of too. Then this bikini arrived in the post and I was super excited about how flat and toned my tummy looked from all the wrenching I had been doing. And I know many girls would be the same, I myself continue to joke that I could do with a stomach bug to lose some extra lbs, but I hate that ideology entirely, and I hate that my mind has programmed itself to think that way.

Anyway, I soon gained weight again (queue another long term relationship) and once again found myself reaching for those size 12 jeans. But this time around it was different, because I was still living with that skinny girl. She was in my wardrobe, and she reminded me how much weight I had gained every morning. I reached for my favourite pair of trousers, didn’t fit, so I’d go and make myself a cheese sandwich, at 1am in the morning (something a person with my metabolism absolutely can’t do, and let’s be honest, no one NEEDS to eat at 1AM -unless your leaving Revs early and pass Subway.) I ate compulsively. I had moved out for uni so I was cooking for myself, something I really can’t do, I still to this day could not tell you what an average meal in uni was to me because it was never normal. I lived off fish finger sandwiches and beans on toast. I wasn’t giving my body the goodness that it needed.

So fast forward to that eventful breakup and I was ready to get my Khloe K on more than ever, but this time, I wasn’t as desperate to be that size 8 anymore, and quite frankly, I was ready to sarcrifice my tits to some broccoli anymore.

What happened was, I grew up. I finally got to a place in my life where I felt I no longer needed to compete with other skinny and beautiful women, because I instead began to respect my mind. I LOVE food, and that’s probably one of the reasons why my relationship with it is so unhealthy. I have always indulged in chocolate and cake and other sweet treats. 


And I have always found it hard to control it. Eating disorders exist on a spectrum, and it is hard to define what is a normal diet as we are constantly being told what actually is good or bad for us. But the one thing most dieting experts and nutritionists have failed to draw attention to in the past is what is good for our mind. I’m so grateful we are moving towards a body positivity that is inclusive of all shapes and sizes, that is entirely health conscious and not shape conscious.  

We are often misled by a persons appearance on the state of their health. Take me for example, I’m a size 10, sometimes slip into a size 8, (size 12 in H&M because they have issues with that) and I would appear fit and healthy. In retrospect, I often struggle to eat more than one piece of fruit or veg a day. I’m currently vegetarian but eat no veggies, I have been replacing my craving for chicken with cake. But, I’m not torturing myself for it like I used to. I know now that diet should be entirely about health and not about the way your body looks, and that’s one thing nutritionist Jessica Sepel talks about in this podcast. When it comes to meal times, chose your food based on what’s it’s going to do for you, the energy it will provide you to get you through the day. And eat that cake, eat that piece of chocolate, but as she says, don’t binge (as binging is also an ED), because the rest of that bar will be there for you tomorrow.


I mainly wanted to write this so everyone will go and listen to the podcast and kind of rethink their relationship with food because I know that when I was under-eating I wasn’t concerned for my health because I thought I didn’t look skinny enough to have concern, I didn’t appear annorexic (I’m not saying my experience is anything near that of someone with a diagnosed ED), so I thought I was healthy, when in retrospect I was not, both body and mind. Eat ur veggies 🍏🍎🍐🍊🍋🍌🍉🍇🍓🍈🍒🍑🍍🥝🥑🌽🥕🥒🍆🍅🌶🥔🍠 (promise I will try and eat mine) 

From me and my pasta belly x

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Self confessions of an Instagram addict.

I’ve been a die hard social media user right from the very beginning. You would find me on MSN under the name of ‘i-love-my-chocolate’ when I was just 11, I’d spend hours on Bebo, making ‘skins’ for people, and I’ve been with Instagram right from the very beginning when it was just an app for editing photos.

Instagram, what a beautiful monster you have become. It was recently reported that Instagram is the worst social media app for depression. You will find image after image of BEAUTIFUL models and bloggers and just generally really awesome amazing women and feel pretty crap about yourself and your big fat bloated belly and the spots on your skin and your over dyed bleached hair and your inability to have self control and commit yourself to a diet (all talking about me here).

I’ve always tried to maintain an attitude where I don’t really care what bad photos of me are online, because those who know me, know what I look like in actual real life. They know I can look pretty shit sometimes, like in 30 degree heat, makeup-free covered in sun cream that has caused a breakout with my hair scraped back in a turban chilling on holiday by the pool, more commonly known as the creature that is ‘pool Lydia’ (a nickname made up by my best friend who is in actual disbelief I can be THAT person then look mint when I get ready to go out at night on the same day). But pool Lydia is not someone I am okay with being shown on social media, because no one can really pull off being pool Lydia – this is also the main reason why I could NEVER go on Love Island, how do they look so fit all the time like I genuine look like a chubby 10 year old boy???

Buuuuuuut anyway, I know there’s a lot of posts on Instagram at the moment, particularly by fitness girls (who I am obsessed with, like you are all frigging awesome and I love you) of the realities of Instagram, the posed vs the unposed photo. I think its great that they’re talking about this because its opening up a dialogue where we can actually stop and think for a minute about the way we choose to present ourselves on social media.

If you were to scroll through my Instagram, you would not find a single photo of ‘pool Lydia’,  despite me recently being on a holiday to Barcelona where pool Lydia made an appearance, she is nowhere to be found on my feed. So, who do you see? You see the girl I want you to see. Someone who dresses well, has nice hair, is fun, looks friendly and intelligent and cultured and family orientated who likes coffee shops and trips to London and goes to cool ‘foodie’ restaurants and so it goes on. For me, my own personal struggles I’m kind of going through with Instagram is all to do with fashion. I have alwaaaaaaays loved clothes, I’m not even lying when I say I literally remember buying my first top from Zara when I was a kid and I still get that same rush when I find an outfit I love.


(If you follow my instragram you will know I’m currently in posting heaven as I’ve been to Barcelona so have tonnes of photos to post in my lovely clothes with nice backgrounds and great lighting woo.)

Clothes? I HAVE MILLIONS OF THEM. Like its no joke, I am a self confessed shopaholic, and I partially blame Instagram for that. Instagram is an amazing tool for self promotion and I’m all for using new and interesting ways to grow your businesses. Instagram has introduced us to a new kind of celebrity, more formally known as a ‘Social Influencer’, AKA an Instagram user with 100k followers. The ‘influencers’ that I follow are mostly fashion bloggers (like Lilly Pebbles and Lydia Millen who are both insaaaaaaanely amazingly beautiful and talented and really cool women). However, sometimes I fail to realise the difference between me, and them, is that they make money from the way they present themselves, I however don’t. So when THEY walk into a high street store, they can buy whatever they want, take a photo of themselves wearing it, post said photo, rake in likes and rake in dollars. When I walk into a high street store (most likely Zara or Topshop) and buy an outfit, take a photo wearing said outfit, post said photo, all I get is likes, likes that I have allowed to make me feel worthy.


We’ve all been there, we’ve all posted a photo, barely gotten 11 likes and then deleted it a few minutes later because we’ve just spent those few minutes scrutinising the photo. Suddenly, you notice theres a spot on show that you didn’t see before you posted the photo, or you can see your bra digging into your sides showing a bit of back fat, or your room in the background is messy, maybe you’ve realised that actually your right eyebrow is about half a centimetre higher than your left eyebrow and this makes you look a little bonk eye and god you look crazy and now you’re deleting the photo and now you’re gutted because you look mint and your makeup looks pretty good today but you feel like its waisted because now no one is going to appreciate how your lip liner FINALLY looks like the way your favourite makeup blogger does it and you’ve finally managed to lose that extra 1lb that was really showing on your face and lol okay I’ll stop now, but I think you get my point???

I’m writing this because I am a self confessed Instagram addict and shopaholic, and I just think people are way too scared to talk about how they’ve let social media impact their lives because they don’t want to look, well, sad. Because it is pretty sad that we measure our worth against the amount of likes we get. For me, I think its a kind of acceptance thing, as well as defiance. As I mentioned, I’ve always loved clothes, and when I was in my early teens, my sometimes quite quirky taste was often scrutinised by people I went to school with, as well as my friends at the time. I wore Brogues, got laughed at, I wore a skirt, got called a slag, I wore my hair in a middle parting before everyone else did, got called ‘curtains’. Then guess what happened, everyone else started wearing brogues, skirts, middle partings. And I’m not saying I was a ‘school influencer’ (lol), its just the way fashion works, it takes a few ballsy people to see something they like, wear it, it becomes more kind of mainstream and accepted, then BOOM, everyone is in it. So yeah, I love posting what I wear now because I’m no longer scared of the judgement I get from being a bit ballsy sometimes. I like wearing things that others wouldn’t wear, and Instagram has given me the chance to meet and see others with the same sort of taste as me, and we all kind of support each other with likes and comments! (I know EVERY girl who’s addicted to social media like me has an insta bestie that they have never met but feel like they’re soul mates.)

I guess what I really want to try and say is that I think its really great that we’re now in a place where we are aware of the way that social media can affect us and how essentially not everything you see is real. AND I think its important to acknowledge the way its impacted yourself individually, and try and address that, so for me, I’m going to try and stop pestering my friends to take 1947093 photos of me when we’re out so I can get the right one that really shows how mint I look. At the same time, I’m kind of stuck with how I really feel about Instagram and my own posts, I looooooooove being able to share what I wear and I love seeing other people’s outfits etc, but I really hate how it makes me feel like I NEED new clothes all the time, because I really don’t.

ADMIT AND ACCEPT YOURSELF LADIES XXXX


 I’m not quite ready to show you pool lydia but I’ll just end with this 

SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION: if you don’t already, follow my Instagram: lydiarstephxo. I’m trying to make a conscious effort towards posting more pics of real life, also follow my depop as I’m poor and have too many clothes: lydierose

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10 years of Acne- My story, tips and advice

I just wanted to write a little post about my experience with acne, and offer advice to both acne sufferers and parents of young teens with acne. I’m currently suffering quite an aggressive return of acne after being free of it for about two years. I’m writing this post as a kind of step one in my acne treatment this time around, my usual over the counter topicals just aren’t doing anything for my skin at the moment so I will be heading along to the GP soon to restart the vigorous dermatological treatment process.

Here are some photos of my skin (makeup free) at the moment:

As you can see, my spots are situated around my chin, cheeks, jaw line and neck. These places are commonly referred to as ‘hormonal acne’. That’s where acne all begins, with hormones. I’ve titled this post 10 years with acne because my acne began when I was 10. As a child, I was always ‘big’ for my age, both in weight and height, which probably contributed to my early start in puberty. I started my period when I was 10, which meant my hormones were crazy high for a child, this resulted in not only a growth spurt which caused my scoliosis, but also an influx of testosterone, the main cause of teenage acne.

I came out in spots not only on my face, but also my back and chest. At such a young age, my mother didn’t even consider it could be acne and was surprised when she took me to the GP that this weird ‘rash’ was in fact acne. That’s when my topical treatment began, as I was so young, and upon a first visit, the doctor prescribed a topical cream to be applied directly onto the affected areas. As the acne wasn’t quite as aggressive during these early years, it seemed to ‘control’ my outbreaks and keep them to a minimum, but as I turned 12, and then 13 my skin started to worsen and became unbearable.

The spots I had then were nothing like I have shown in the pictures above, they were far more aggressive, and covered my whole face. I tended to have smaller spots on my forehead, more like little white head, and a mass of crowded spots on my cheek, as well as numerous aggressive boils that returned to the same blocked pore.

I’m very lucky that my mother persisted with my acne treatment and didn’t just hope they would eventually go away as I got older. The first advice I always give people who suffer with acne or have children who suffer with acne is to go to your GP, there are many treatments available that work- believe me, I have tried them ALL.

The first treatment in terms of medication I received was from the GP, a drug called Amoxicillin. Amoxicillin works as an antibitoc, fighting the bacteria on the skin that causes acne and to decrease the inflammation. Unfortunately for me, this didn’t work. If I can remember correctly, I was presecribed another course of tablets by my GP, which also failed. The process of GP visits that seem to be doing nothing for your acne is very frustrating, especially as I now know that nothing actually works for my skin, but by visiting a GP and taking the medication that they are able to prescribe, you are able to build a profile of your skin which then allows your doctor to refer you to see a dermatologist.

Once again, as my first demartology appointment was such a long time ago, I cant remember the finer details, but if I remember correctly, I was given a different course of medication from my dermatologist as an outpatient at Royal Glamorgan Hospital, before being referred for treatment at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr, as the dermatologist their specialised in treating patients with the drug Isotretinoin (also known as Accutane). 

Isotretinoin is the strongest acne treatment out there, and it comes with some quite severe side effects. When I started my course of Isotretinoin, it was still pretty early days for the drugs, and considering my age (13-14) they took a lot of measures to ensure I was able to take the drug. The first thing was the contraceptive pill. Isotretinoin causes serious birth defects, and as a female patient taking the drug, you  are expected to be on birth control to prevent this from happening. This also meant that every four weeks, I had to travel to Prince Charles Hospital for a pregnancy test (even at such a young age.) The most common side effect of the drug however is something I still deal with today. I’m not sure if you noticed but in the photos of my skin, you may see my lips are also dry and look like they’ve been bleeding, this is down to my horrible habit of picking my lips. This began with Isotretinoin as the drug severely dries out your skin, I had to deal with eczema on my arms, numberous noseblees, and cracked lips which I picked to death (and still do.)

There are vigorous tests done to ensure the treatment is right for you; blood tests and urine samples are taking to check that your liver is working healthily and your immune system functioning correctly. You can’t just walk into a GP’s office or dermatologist office and demand for this treatment, it took years of failed treatments and a long waiting list to be considered.

Anyway, after what I think was 6-9 months of taking the actual drug, and then a 3 month follow up, my back, chest and face was finally clear of acne at the age of 15.

Roll on a year or so later, guess who’s back? Acne! This time around I was very lucky to only get it on my face, it was very much like the condition my skin is in now, but a lot more frequented on my chin and neck. And here I restarted the process of treatment. Isotretinoin is designed to completely cure your body of acne, apparently 85% have completely clear skin after a 4-5 month course of treatment. If like me, Isotretinoin hasn’t prevented your acne from returning, the general belief is that acne remedies that didn’t work before, like amoxicillin, will now treat your skin. Nope! After trying and failing, I requested my GP to write me a referral letter to see a dermatologist. The waiting list on the NHS for a dermatology appointment was at the time around about 6 months (and has probably increased a lot since 2011), so I was incredibly fortunate that my mother opted to pay for a private consultation. The appointment cost £100 and was with my previous dermatologist that treated me on the NHS, he then transferred me onto his NHS patient list and I received my second course of Isotretinoin as an NHS patient. I really reccommend doing this, if you can afford to pay the private consultation fee. I was increasingly insecure about my skin at that age and knew I would be going to university soon and really didn’t want to have to go with a spotty face. 6 months later, and my face was spot free again.

I finished my last course of Isotretinoin just before I went to university in 2014, almost three years ago. Since then, my acne has returned but not quite as vigorously, and I have been able to treat it with over the counter topicals.

My go to product is Cliniques 3 part Anti-Blemish solution, up until now, the cleanser has always worked in getting rid of my spots and maintaining a healthy glows skin.

I have also used a Salicylic Deep Gel Cleanser by a Swedish beauty company called Perfect Image, which is absolutely amazing! It works like a chemical peel, the first few times I used it my skin flared up like crazy and peeled, I couldn’t even keep makeup on my face and was bright red for days, but after a few washes my acne had disappeared.

What these two products have in common is they both contain Salicylic Acid. Sacylic acid works as an exfoliate which removes the outer layer of the skin, helping to unclog pores. I have no idea why these products have worked for me in the past but aren’t working for me at the moment but I strongly recommend them or any product that contains Salicylic Acid (I’m pretty sure Dr. Pimple Popper has an acne treatment you can buy online that champions it’s use of Salicylic Acid so it must work!)

At the moment I’m using an anti-bacterial cleanser, trying to see if my spots are caused by bacteria rather than overactive oil ducts, but it doesn’t seem to be working for me but it could do for you.

To end on a little summary, it’s important to take acne as a serious skin condition and be aware that it can be treated. Please please please take your children to the GP if their skin is severe, it’s really unplesant having to deal with acne, not only for insecurity reasons but because it can be quite painful and outright irritating. Acne isn’t caused by poor hygiene, bad diet, or wearing makeup, no matter what anyone says. If makeup makes you feel better about your skin, wear it! I hope this gives a little insight to the treatment of acne and how to go about getting it, persistence is key.

I’m hoping to go to the GP soon to get answers to why after two courses of Isotretinoin my acne has still managed to return, it’s quite depressing I will no longer be considered as having ‘teenage acne’ but ‘adult acne’, I will keep you updated!

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A Love Letter to Jeremy Corbyn

Oh Jezza,

I write this, as I’m sat watching Channel 4’s coverage of Election night and scrolling through my twitter feed, listening to comments about you that you’ve garnered the most support any party has during an election run up in modern times; reading posts that claim you gather bigger crowds than Winston Churchill, and thanking you for your contribution to changing British politics.

This is my second time voting in a General Election, and this is the first time I have voted Labour. I’m from the South Wales valleys, a place where voting Conservatives is social suicide, a place that still feels the effects from Thatcher’s Tory government. The Welsh Valleys have always been Red and growing up I have always been aware of this. Labour, its in the name, for the Labouring classes; however, the first time I voted, I didn’t vote Labour, instead I voted Plaid Cymru. Why? Because Welsh Labour are fucking shit for one. But most importantly, when I first accompanied my parents to the polling station in 2015, the only real direct alternative I was offered to the Tories was Plaid Cymru, this was before you J.

So, why have I voted Labour this time? It’s been all for you Jezza. You and your commitment to bring Labour back to the left, where it belongs. Away from the Labour that existed under the war mongering Tony Blair, and back to representing the working classes. Even though, my vote in my Ogmore constituency is a vote for a Welsh Labour candidate, I decided to vote for Labour to prove how many people are actually behind you Corbyn. We don’t just like you because we think you’d be funner to have a pint with than Theresa May, we like you because you, well, like us. You haven’t raised our tuition fees to an extortionate £9k a year, you haven’t scrapped Nurses university bursaries, you are not responsible for the increase in homelessness, food bank usage, suicide rate increases.

I have scrolled through my Facebook and Twitter feed for the past few weeks and all I have seen is you, Jeremy. You’re popularity across young people is incredible, you are the first politician in recent years who has really inspired a generational interest in politics. Its not just that we all want you to be our Grandad JC, we want you to be our PM.

Whatever the result is tomorrow, I just want to thank you, for not only inspiring me to reconnect with politics and reconnect with Labour, but inspiring a generation, because of you, I know my future is bright.

Feminism · relationships

Anniversary post

It’s been over a year since I found out that my boyfriend had been cheating on me for the last five months of our relationship. And though I ended it straight away and said a massive fuck you to him, I kind of wish I care a little more than I did at the time.

I wasn’t like a lot of girls; I didn’t find blame in myself for his inability to keep it in his pants. I knew I did nothing wrong, and I know I couldn’t have done anything to prevent it. I also understand why he did it, unlike me, my ex had never had any previous “intimate relationships”, and obviously, at eighteen, he wasn’t ready for the commitment that came with me, and I’m ok with that. I’m not saying it’s a good enough excuse for the way that he hurt me, but I know why.

Looking at it this way has allowed me to not be swallowed up by my insecurities. It’s safe to say I had changed drastically through our relationship. I was no longer concerned with dressing to impress, I dressed how I wanted to dress, I had a boyfriend, and I didn’t have to worry about showing how good I could look. I also put on a lot of weight, and one comment he made about my weight has stayed with me since. It was during the Easter holidays last year, just a couple of weeks before we split up; I had been dieting and going to the gym since January because I wanted to make a change for myself. I sent him a side-by-side photo of me from January, to a photo of me from March, to show him how much weight I had lost. I didn’t receive the reply I expected, there was no “Wow, you’ve achieved so much, I am so proud of you.” Instead, I received a text saying:

 

I can’t believe I used to have sex with you like that.

 

I don’t think I need to say much more about why we broke up, or what our relationship was like throughout as I think that comment says it all.

When I have spoken to people about my ex, people have always said that they can’t believe someone like me would put up with that. Someone who has always stood up for herself, someone who has always told boys when they are wrong or disrespectful towards girls, someone who knows how she should be treated, someone who describes herself as a feminist.

I guess the simple answer is that you can’t make these assumptions until you’re in that situation. I know I could have gotten out of the relationship a lot sooner, but I was taught to self loathe. I was lured into a position where the only person I had was he. I was encouraged to believe that I was worthless, that he was doing me a favour by staying with me. All this made me stop him from leaving me. He tried to end our relationship many times, and this is something I’ve always found hard discussing because if I were so unhappy, why would I beg him to stay? I wasn’t strong enough to know any different.

I can barely remember some of the things that were said to me out of hate, I think my memory has blocked it all out. But I do remember times where I was left fighting back the tears in front of my friends, scared to tell them any truth about what my boyfriend was texting me, embarrassed to reveal that it wasn’t as perfect as it looked.

After all this, I still don’t hate the boy, I can walk past him in the street and say hello and walk away feeling no different. Its important to forgive, not for the other person, but for yourself. Look forward and not back. I started writing this with the intention of revealing how I’ve not let what he done to me affect the way I trust other men. But, I think that I should have let it affect me more. I think my relationship was proof that its important to be cautious of people, don’t fall too hard, and make sure that you know how important YOU are without that person. I’m still working on that x

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Picking a scab at the library.

I pick scabs on my skin

as if it is your hair on my pillow

 

I’ve started to bleed so I reach for the nearest tissue.

I now have blood, running down my foot, towards my toes.

the desk is marked from the touch,

and this paper

 

I get into bed and I find another of your hairs,

running through my hands,

marking my skin from the touch,

and this paper

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A letter to my ex.

You came into my life as a moral compass. Said you were better, better than anyone before.

You told me I would never be with anyone better than you, that you were too good for me.

The boys before were nothing, you told me they used me.

You used me.

I hope you never have a son, I hope no one follows in your footsteps.

I hope you never have a daughter; no woman should use you as a man to aspire to be with.

I knew she had feelings for you, you told me I was silly. You let her try it on with you, repeatedly, until you gave in, and let her in your bed.

I checked your emails, I told myself I was crazy. Paranoid. Just a friend I.

I believed you stayed in that hotel by yourself. You wouldn’t spend money on something like that with someone else, when you were asking me for money to cut your hair.

On Valentines Day, you spent the evening on your phone, I told myself it was my fault, that I was too demanding, that I asked too much.

I persisted. I persisted because you told me you loved me.

I was your first, and you made me believe that I was your last.

How did it feel?

In my bed? Lying next to me, like you lay next to the others.

And yet you tell me you love me still. You care for me.

You lie.

If you loved me like you claim you do, a love you say I have never received before; your eyes would never have wandered elsewhere.

You’ve never loved anyone the way you love me, and you never will.

Your hands will never touch my body.

I will love again.

Warsan shire

 

 

Feminism · Uncategorized

Why are we so prude about the nude? – The Kim K Debate

I’m going to keep this short, otherwise we will be here until our hair is grey and farts are limp, debating whether or not Kim K’s nude photo is ‘good’ for feminism. I use the word ‘good’ lightly here, who knows what is good and what is not good? Here goes.

Kim Kardashian added fuel to the fire with her naked selfie a couple of weeks ago, and has since posted another topless pic with Emily Ratajkowski. Piers Morgan called her out for being a bad feminist, questioning how women believe it advocates equality, Chloe Mortëz highlighted how we as women have more to offer. Mortëz is right, we do have more to offer than our bodies. Morgan on the other hand, raises some other questions. Emily Ratajkowski tweeted “However sexual our bodies may be, we need to have the freedom as women to choose when and how we express our sexuality.” And I think she hits the nail pretty well on the head. Body confidence is empowering for women because women choose it to empower them. As Helen Cixous so brilliantly points out in her essay “The Laugh Of The Medusa”, women’s bodies have spent centuries being written by men. Helen Cixous called for women to write their bodies, to take control of their sexuality through that writing. And isn’t that what Kim is doing? She is writing her body, it may not be through formal literature, but in 2016 the boundaries of texts are blurred.

kim k and emily

(Here is the most recent pic for those of you who haven’t seen it – “@KimKardashian when we’re like… we both have nothing to wear LOL @emrata”)

And despite that we need to remember the double standard of the industry Kim is in. Whilst Justin Bieber can pose nude and not get called “cheeky and sexy”, people like Kim and Miley are called sluts. Lets not forget that some men still live in a patriarchal society, those same men are threatened by the sexual female, the female body scares them, “Ahhhhh Boobs!!!!”

Back to Mortëz, I think the issue with her response was how she expects Kim to advocate a ‘supposed’ greater form of feminism. I am not saying that reclaiming your female body and deciding for yourself when to be sexual isn’t important, what I guess I’m saying is, I don’t think any of us are expecting Kim to declare her love for Jane Austen and burn her bra anytime soon, you feel me? I must admit, I am a die hard Kardashian fan, Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kylie, Kendall, Kris, I love them all! But they’re not the women who have guided me towards my feminist thinking. I do not read their books and feel inspired. I do not read their essays for education. I do not sign petitions through their guidance. And whilst I am aware that for some young women and girls they are a role model, is it damaging?  Ok, so essentially all their careers spawned from Kim’s sex tape (“Thanks Sis!”), but have they not worked hard to build their empires since? Reality TV, clothing line, baby clothing line, beauty products, appearances, do you think thats easy?? I don’t. I struggle to look good to go to uni for an your let alone be followed around by cameras all day and look fantastic.

So I suppose what I’m trying to say is that there are different kinds of women, in different kinds of industries advocating different issues of feminism. So am I going to be posting a nude photo feeling liberated any time soon? Hell no! I hope one day to teach, and do you think a naked photo of myself on the internet will allow me to do so? Of course not! And I don’t expect it to. With that said, would a male contemporary of mine be able to teach with an equally as nude photo of himself on the internet? Yup- you guessed it. No.

Its about deciding what makes you feel like you’re making a contribution to the cause. What makes you feel liberated, and if thats a topless pic or wearing a dog collar, you do it girl, because you can only do you.

I’ll leave you with this.

Kim K naked

(courtesy of @KimKardashian Twitter)