feminism

Shield your eyes! Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is coming (and more Gwen and Blake)

Every year. Every GD year I dread the Victoria’s Secret fashion show and it’s big barrel curls and 14 inch rib cages. This year, the show should officially change it’s title to, “Taylor Swift’s Friends Walking” because that’s essentially all the show has become, just twenty of Taylor’s BFF’s giving #squad and #eatingdisorder goals for the masses.

Models, from left, Lily Aldrige, Karlie Kloss, Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel and Bahati Prinsloo walk the runway during the finale of the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the 69th Regiment Armory on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Models, from left, Lily Aldrige, Karlie Kloss, Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel and Bahati Prinsloo walk the runway during the finale of the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show at the 69th Regiment Armory on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Ok, OKAY. It’s not the model’s fault if young girls and let’s be real, grown women, internalize these images and let them feed the already gnawing belief that this is type of beauty is what results in love, success and acceptance. Models are genetically thin. Models use their bodies, their naturally thin bodies to make money. That is all.

I just wish, someone, ANYONE who was or is a Victoria’s Secret model would take a moment and think, “Man, nothing is going to change if we keep televising lingerie fashion shows.”

Because really – NOTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE IF WE KEEP TELEVISING LINGERIE FASHION SHOWS.

I give props to these girls for trying to spin VS into a positive experience, about female empowerment and supporting one another, but what about supporting the rest of the women in the world? What about saying, “This is super fucked up, but I’m making serious bank and you should know that I know it’s damaging to you.”

I would respect you more, if that were the case.

giphy (8)

Victoria’s Secret released a video about the auditioning process being “super emotional.”

You know what’s emotional? Me, trying to pick an outfit on a daily basis or accidentally catching a glimpse of my ass before I get in the shower.

That’s emotional.

These girls KNOW this will take their careers to the next level. They also know they’ll probably end up dating Leonardo Di Caprio.

Warped. This whole thing is messed up.  Anyways. Over it. Not going to watch.

NEXT

So, Blake and Gwen are a thing, officially.

We’ve talked about this before but I still can’t wrap my head around this couple. I’m sure there are other people wondering what’s going on. The only thing I can think of is that the sex is really good. Isn’t that always the case?

rs_634x1024-151105132959-634.Blake-Shelton-Gwen-Stefani-Holding-Hands-Nashville-PDA-JR4-110515

If you can’t guess, this photo is from E!

I’m just hoping Blake can convince Gwen to eat a rack of ribs and put some meat on her bones.

Opposites attract, but this is like a Cat and a Dog having Pittens, or Kuppies.

Weird.

Advertisements

Get out of here, Miss America! (But leave the crown)

Last night was the Miss America pageant.

Of course, I didn’t watch. I’m too feminist high brow for that (obviously). BUT, Cosmopolitan, the sex Bible magazine, live tweeted the entire broadcast.

giphy

First of all, I think the fact that Miss America and pageants still exist is a mixed message to women and men everywhere. This past week, the internet was up in arms over a comedian’s shitty video about fat-shaming but then two seconds later 50 stick thin body flow classmates are parading around a stage in dental floss using Vaseline to treat their twat rash and keep their smiles nice and wide (just please wash your hands in between applications).

(more…)

You keep saying “Basic” like it’s a bad thing…

Basic:  Someone who is unflinchingly upholding of the status quo and stereotypes of their gender without even realizing it. She engages in typical, unoriginal behaviors, modes of dress, speech, and likes. She is tragically/laughably unaware of her utter lack of specialness and intrigue. She believers herself to be unique, fly, amazing, and a complete catch, when really she is boring, painfully normal, and par. She believes her experiences to be crazy, wild, and different or somehow more special than everything that everybody else is doing, when really, almost everyone is doing or has done the exact same thing. She is typical and a dime a dozen. There are many subtypes of basicness, such as the basic ratchet, the basic sorority bitch, the basic groupie bitch, the basic I’m-so-Carrie-from-Sex-and-the-City bitch, etc, but ultimately, they all share the common thread of being expendable and un-noteworthy and, in some cases, having absolutely no redeeming qualities.

source – Urban Dictionary

Basically, I’m basic.

tumblr_n2yft0T27y1qlvwnco1_500_zps4504c46f

I dress like Old Money, drink pinot grigio by the bottle and live tweet the Bachelorette.

I love big barrel curls, romantic comedies, Taylor Swift, I have private wedding Pinterest boards, I steal phrases from Wendy Williams, and even though I’m approaching thirty, I still secretly hope I can be sent back to high school undercover à la Never Been Kissed.

I shop at Zara, wear nude pumps with every dress,  have a strange obsession with the Kennedy’s, listen to a shit ton of country music and take a lot of closed mouth selfies which my friends have told me make me look constipated.

I get it, I’m unoriginal.

thats-me

I’ve thought long and hard about my basic-ness and as someone who grew up feeling like they’ve never fit in, I actually consider my basic bitch status to be somewhat of an achievement and a testament to hours and hours of therapy (look, Mom! I did it!).

I can’t help but feel as though this label is somehow another form of female oppression designed to preoccupy women with feelings of unworthiness. To be basic, is to fail at being a modern, innovative, progressive, strong woman. It’s not enough to be female – you have to be entirely unique, shun fashion trends and cultural norms and exist outside the realm of your female contemporaries. It’s a dangerous idea that pins women against one another to criticize how we express not only our femininity, but ultimately how we express ourselves. Do men ever worry that their being a basic bro? That they like hockey, beer, cars and butts as much as their friends and men in their age demographic?

No. They don’t.

For a long time I considered myself to be an uninteresting person because I didn’t feel there were things about me that made me unique. I was really anxious whenever I met new people, because I was convinced they would think I was boring, dull, basic.

So what if I’m a woman who loves the Bachelor franchise and creeps all of the contestants on social media? My moments of basicness don’t negate my moments of creativity which are anything but boring. My basic self is just the base of myself. It’s one layer in a cluster-f*ck of traits and habits that make me who I am.

giphy

If you’re someone who isn’t considered basic, and expresses yourself externally/superficially in a way that’s esthetically unique, that’s cool too. I’m sure we have some things in common with one another. We’re all basic to a certain extent.

Y’all don’t know me. Y’all don’t know what I think and feel. Well, now you do. I hope you’ll take back the title of basic bitch for yourself, and maybe even forgive the part of you that feels as though you’re not special.

Basic bitches, unite!

Preggers in the Workplace

No, I’m not pregnant but keep reading…

It’s not uncommon to experience some kind of gender inequality in the office.I get it all the time being in a male dominated field. I love my team and the group I work with, but working in IT has made my life an 8 hour long episode of the Big Bang Theory: I’m second guessed, have to show up a little earlier, push harder for my ideas to be heard, and have to know how to be “one of the boys” when I need to be. It’s difficult and I’m just me – an unmarried, childless, 27 year old.

With more of my friends becoming mothers or having their second child, I’ve been able to gain a different perspective of what it’s like to be a working pregnant woman. Here’s what I’ve gathered: It’s f*cking hard.100x harder than I imagined.

I go on this rant because I’ve just read an article from the Atlantic called Yes, There Really Are More Pregnant Women at the Office, and I’ve got my feministy rage going on. I’ve looked around my office and see zero baby bumps and wonder if women are afraid to get pregnant because of this discrimination in the workplace.

kate-middleton-pregnant

Kate Middleton – workin’ through her pregnancy…in heels.

I love me a good baby bump (or food baby, whatever). I will talk babies all day long, I’ll shoot the shit about stretch marks, morning sickness, hemorrhoids and episiotomies any chance I can get. My enthusiasm for pregnancy, I’ve noticed, is not matched by male colleagues (and females, let’s be honest).

In fact, I’ve noticed in my 5+ years in the corporate world that despite everything being pink and blue booties, most employer’s still see pregnancy as an inconvenience. Doctors appointments mean less availability, maternity leave means change and having to delegate tasks or find replacements, and sometimes insensitive comments are made insinuating that pregnant women are just looking for an easy ride and a year off to play house.

tumblr_muhajrF8Cb1si6qheo1_400

I can’t count the times my best friend and little sister experienced discrimination from her coworkers because she was pregnant. We would spend hours talking about how her working relationships have changed and how isolated she felt.  As her best friend, I of course volunteered to break someone’s legs or slash some tires.

I’ve also noticed that a lot of women are pushing to prove themselves as these baby making machines that can do it all: work until their due date, take a shorter maternity leave, and push themselves to the limit jeopardizing their health and the health of their baby.

I’m all over the map when it comes to becoming a mom. It’s something I don’t plan on doing until I’m on the other side of 30. But when and if I do become preggers, I don’t want to have to worry that my career and my relationships will suffer.

What do y’all think? Have you experienced this or witnessed others being insensitive to pregnant women?

Look at all the f*cks I give : A polite rage

You know how some women, mostly celebrities but whatever, say that when they reach a certain age they’re just like, “f*ck it”?

I think 27 is my certain age.

I’ve noticed lately my tongue is a lot sharper, my voice doesn’t quiver when I’m speaking in front of a group of people, and I’ve stopped wearing eyeliner. All of which, are surefire signs that zero f*cks are given on a daily basis.

giphy

Maybe I’m noticing it more because I’m around guys all day, everyday, but men are VERY quick to question women. I work with a great team of dudes, who try desperately to make me feel welcome, but I’ve noticed they don’t accept my answers as fact. If I say something, anything about my car, school or my relationship, there’s never a, “right on” or “good for you” that women so politely pepper into conversations. Instead, I get, “well did you think of….,” or “what about…” lots of “yeah but…” and my personal favourite, “But you have to think of it like this…”

Son, I don’t have to think of anything. If I wanted to, I could spend my entire day just thinking of what it would be like to live on an island with Bradley Cooper and the various ways I could use coconut milk as a personal lubricant.

tumblr_m76cqhiewJ1rq8a7p

I remember once I watched the award-wining documentary “E! True Hollywood Story: Mary Kate and Ashley” and the girls gave the best piece of advice I’ve ever heard, “No is a full sentence.”

Let me just snowball that into “Everything I say is a full sentence…unless I start choking midway through a sentence, kindly help me and then let me finish my thought.”

I don’t do double-talk. I say what I mean. Which gets me into a lot of trouble, but who cares. The point I’m trying to make here, gentlemen, is that when I stop talking, that wasn’t an invitation for you to cross-examine me.

I watch Law & Order. I listened to Serial. I know how this shit works. I speak, then you speak. We stick to small talk, smile at the coffee machine and go about our business.

Is it just me?

Is it because my voice makes me sound like a fifteen year old boy?

I’m sure there’s a way I could parlay this into a damsel in distress manipulate the dudes to get what I want type deal, but that’s way too much effort and frankly, I think that would crush my soul and have Gloria Steinem knocking on my door to take away my feminist badge.

tumblr_ltjedjDSfH1qamvmzo1_500

Street harassment & the Hammer

This morning the Hamilton Spectator ran a piece about street harassment in the City of Hamilton. It was an interesting read that profiled several women and their experiences with catcalling on Hamilton streets. I was happy to see women speaking candidly about the seriousness of street harassment and how often it’s dismissed as being a compliment. The reality is, catcalling is harmful. It’s unwanted attention that often escalates past whistles and “Hey baby” to propositioning, touching and unfortunately can lead to more serious physical offenses. I don’t think it’s a stretch for me to say that street harassment can have lasting effects on women. I’ve had several experiences with street harassment which years later have affected my behaviour and self-confidence.

download

When I was a teenager, I used to jog around my neighborhood. Whenever I ran down a busy street,  I braced myself for the inevitable catcalls and obscenities from guys hanging out the windows of their suped up Honda Civics. Sometimes they would just whistle, other times they would yell things like, “SLUT!” or “How much?” Once a car full of young men pulled to the side of the road and followed me back to my house. I tried to change my jogging route, but to get to quiet side streets I had to cross the busiest streets in Stoney Creek. My anxiety became so bad, I begged my Mom to buy a treadmill so I didn’t have to leave the house to exercise. I’m twenty-seven years old and I still don’t like running in public, convinced someone will laugh at me or yell things from a passing car.

Things didn’t get much better during my twenties. During a night out in Hess Village, a popular street for Hamilton nightlife, I was waiting outside of a bar with my friends when I was thrown to the ground by a man who touched my breasts and tried to kiss me. It happened so fast, I didn’t realize I was screaming until a few of my male friends noticed the commotion and chased the man off of me and down the street. My friends flagged down some police officers patrolling the area and were able to stop the man who attacked me. What happened next shows how backwards our society is about harassment.

stopup

The police officers, a male and female, asked me if I had been drinking. I replied that I hadn’t. They asked me again if I had been drinking. Again, I replied that I was sober. They proceeded to tell me that the male was living in a half-way house in the area and unfortunately, behaviour like this was not uncommon and said they would drive him back home. They advised my friends to take me home, leaving me with this one phrase that has stuck with me for the past seven years:

“Hey,” The male officer said. “At least someone thinks you’re pretty, right?”

I should have taken his badge number and insisted they press charges on the man who attacked me but instead I started to cry. I was angry at myself for a long time for not demanding more from the police and not standing up for myself. I was in shock and I felt violated but hey, at least someone thought I was pretty, right?

For months after the incident I was scared to be left alone. Years later, those words ring through my ears whenever a man yells at me from his car, or makes obscene gestures while I’m walking down the street. At least someone thinks I’m pretty.

Street harassment is not flattery. It’s time to stop the myth that women should be thankful for male attention and that our actions or what we choose to wear invites this type of behaviour.

Street harassment is a human rights issue that threatens a female’s ability to feel safe in public.

That sounds like a serious offense to me. Wouldn’t you agree?

If you would like more information on street harassment, please visit Stop Street Harassment .

Dumb Shit You Say When You’re 20

Oh, Meghan Trainor. So talented and yet so very young. Very, very, very young.

Trainor burst onto the scene with her debut single, “All About That Bass” a body love anthem that’s also incredibly catchy.

A young woman with a positive message? Huzzah!

My celebration was short lived because Trainor recently told Billboard magazine, “I don’t consider myself a feminist, but I’m down for my first opportunity to say something to the world to be so meaningful”

Britney-confused_zps9eff516a

Er… Ok.

I get it. Trainor’s young and new to the world of interviews and talk shows. I won’t hold this against her. I said a lot of dumb shit when I was twenty-years old. Trainor’s remarks are indicative of a greater problem: the lack of education for women and men of gender inequality and women’s issues.

Why are women especially young women, fearful of the feminist label? Is it really due to the stereotypical and antiquated idea of a feminist being an angry, man-hating woman who doesn’t shave her armpits?

Let’s review:

Feminism (noun) the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

It’s that simple.

I’m a feminist.

Are you?

Beware the FITspiration: The new and dangerous era for female body image

I’m fairly candid about my struggles with body image and the fact that I’ve spent a majority of my life living with an eating disorder. Because of my past, I’m hypersensitive to any images and messages in advertisements, pop culture and the media that would have been (and sometimes still are) triggers for me to feel some sort shame for my body.

Everyday I’m sifting  through my thoughts. I’ll look at images in magazines, on blogs and social media, and even at the women around me and break down my knee-jerk negative thoughts from what I rationally believe to be true.

Example: 

Me: Oh look, the new issue of Cosmo.

megan-fox-in-cosmopolitan-magazine-august-2014-issue_1

Initial reaction:

F*ck you, Megan Fox.

I’ll never be that thin or beautiful. Ugh. No wonder everyone thinks she’s beautiful. Look at her! You know who didn’t think I was beautiful? Billy, Timmy, Robbie and Sammy. I bet if I looked like Megan Fox they would have liked me.

Eff you, Cosmo. Eff you in the face.

(Proceeds to buy magazine)

Revision 1: Yes, Megan Fox is beautiful, but this image has probably been photoshopped and  there’s a whole glam team of professionals working on her hair and make-up, telling her which way to pose.

Revision 2: I’m sure Megan Fox has her own insecurities, just like I’m sure if I  had a team of people working on me I’d be unrecognizable and photoshopped on the cover of a magazine, too.

Usually this process goes on for the next hour, until I’ve talked myself out of hating Megan Fox for her genetics and Cosmo for feeding me an oversexed Hollywood version of beauty.

I end up accepting that all of what I’ve seen is unattainable because none of it is actually real; it was all smoke and mirrors.

Confession time

Years ago when I was in the middle of my eating disorder I used to visit  websites for ‘thinspiration’ or ‘thinspo’ as it was called on Tumblr. Whenever I felt hungry or ugly (and that was all the time) I’d visit these sites for motivation to keep losing weight. I was hooked. I would look at thigh gaps, ab muscles, visible rib cages. It was very twisted and unhealthy of me, but these sites and pages dedicated to thinspo were everywhere.

Cut to 2014 and I’ve got a brand new problem without any way to filter my negative thoughts.

It’s been years since I’ve looked at thinspo and I’m at a point in my life where I’m eating healthfully, but the fitness component just isn’t there. Weight wise, I’m average and healthy, but I’m not working out or moving my body as much as I should considering I sit at a desk for 8 hours a day.

I started moving more, eating new foods and I even turned to Instagram and tried following some pages dedicated to fitness, exercise and healthy eating hoping to get some tips and motivation.

After a few weeks (yes weeks, I’ve got better shit to do) of ‘Fitspiration’ or ‘fitspo’  (fitness inspiration) I was noticing a disturbing trend:

Fitspo and Thinspo are the exact same thing.

I Googled “Thinspo”

tumblr_mxohppgObC1qeomyho1_500

 

I Googled “Fitspo”

med_gallery_17889_2783_12249

Poor girl left her flat iron plugged in while she was at the gym.

Thigh gaps – check

Ab muscles – check

Visible rib-cage – check

My brain was scrambling. “Fit” for me, used to mean athletic and healthy regardless of body shape. Fit today basically means “I’m skinny but I work out to be this skinny .”

I scrolled through some pages, looking for different body types aside from the super slim, toned and tanned physique of fitspo/thinspo and I found it in the form of the super jacked, body building, bulky muscle woman ( totally cool, but not my cup of tea).

There were accounts from women all over the world who work out, have jobs, supposedly eat cookies, post untouched photos where they’re wearing ‘no make-up’ and quite frankly they were so beautiful they were making Katy Perry look like day old hamburger meat. Everyday there was a new photo or post of perfect bodies, working out, telling me what they’ve eaten, telling me how ‘motivated’ they are and I was feeling worse, and worse about myself.  I tried to reason with myself and sift through my thoughts like I always do with commercial images and advertisements but I was failing against the insecure part of me that felt like an ashamed chunkamunk.

There were no make-up teams and glam squads. These were real people.

True, I COULD dedicate all that time to exercise and completely makeover my body. But even if I did, what if I never looked as thin as these people online who were apparently my fitsperation?  Would I feel like a failure?

MBmOB

 

When did fit become the new skinny? Is the fitness craze just  an acceptable way to promote the ultra-thin body type that used to be achievable by consuming nothing but coffee and cigarettes?

Why is it that no matter what we do or how many times we preach to each other about body acceptance and body diversity , the super thin and now apparently fit body type remain the most coveted?  You may be someone who loves curves and doesn’t subscribe to this one form of fit/healthy, but the reality is that a majority people still consider this image to be desirable not only for themselves, but for a partner.

After all my years of dealing with my body issues I feel like we’ve entered a new and dangerous era for women and the female form in western society. No longer are we meant to strive for the unattainable, we’re meant to believe everything and anything is attainable, if  only we work hard enough.

This means we work out more, we eat less, we spend more on gym memberships and activewear, we buy extensions for fuller hair, we glue crap on our eye lashes, we try make-up tips that we saw online, we can paint on our eyebrows and cheat fuller lips. We can look like the unattainable image we’ve been shown on magazines and billboards, but we’ll be even happier because we did it ourselves, no photoshop needed!

This is my dilemma and I hope I’m not alone in feeling this simultaneous hopelessness and anger about how these ridiculous  expectations for women and beauty continue to exist despite all of the strides we’ve made in the past 50 years.

Are you someone who looks at Fitpiration?

Tell me your thoughts about how we can combat this unhealthy fitspo and what you do to silence your insecurity monster when you know she’s spouting bullshit!

 

 

tumblr_inline_micb8jxUIU1qz4rgp

 

 

 

*I’m sure Megan Fox is a lovely person

*I know the solution for me would be to ‘buck up’ or ‘shrug it off’ but as a person with a tendency to take things to heart, this is an issue that deeply worries me. All of these, if seen through someone’s eyes who’s vulnerable, insecure and sensitive, are triggers for unhealthy behaviours that can lead to years of body hate and unhealthy eating habits. Despite me being over my own issues (for the most part) I worry that we haven’t done enough to protect the next generation and even our current generation of females from this one dimensional portrayal of beauty.

* Rant over

* Naturally skinny women, you know I love you. Don’t feel excluded or targeted. I’m just talking about cheating genetics.

* Ok, I’m done for real.