How Dating Apps are Killing Romance…

So my friend recently mentioned to me a new dating app called “Bumble” that is taking America by storm. Here in the UK,  most millennial students would have downloaded a dating app at some point or another. It’s usually Tinder or Grindr and the way that they work ( if you didn’t already know) is by matching the users who find each other attractive. You can change your age range, you can set your gender preferences, you can write a witty and captivating bio and swipe away until you have cramps in your thumb. But anyway, Bumble’s USP is that the women are obligated to proposition the men first with the initial opening line. If the woman doesn’t make the first move, then the match deletes itself and your chance at love is lost. Oh how very contraversial, subverting the norms of romantic courting in a feminist-appealing, forward- thinking groundbreaking attempt to disguise a rip-off Tinder as a pitch for gender equality.

I think that my problem with dating apps nowadays is that they make things far too accessible. Not to say that you can’t go down to your local Oceana on a Friday night and find a suitor quite easily, but I mean that the whole ‘chase’ aspect of romance has been eradicated. You see it, you swipe it, you hook- up with it and then you continue. I’m talking about both girls and guys here, for people who presume that I might only be incriminating men as the destroyers of romance. When these apps were released, I’m not sure that the creators were aware that the apps would be used merely for sex, but it seems that that’s what it has become. Which is fine, because at the end of the day most people enjoy sex, but the mentality that is induced by dating apps is that girls and guys can be commodified. Tinder, for example, is almost like an online store where you browse; you think ‘Hmmm, I want that one’ and then almost like a business transaction you weigh up ‘ for how long do I need to pretend to be interested in what this person is saying to get them in bed with me’ and if it’s too long, it’s not worth it.

It has occurred to me that I sound quite bitter on this topic as a whole, but I think that being at university for two years and hearing and experiencing so many ‘Tinder stories’ has driven me to insanity. I thought I would create a little subsection of this rant that includes the reasons why dating apps are poisonous 🙂 so here goes, REASONS NOT TO DOWNLOAD A DATING APP * DONT DO IT*

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  1. You’re spinning a web of lies. When have you ever taken your SO to a family dinner on Sunday and been ok with admitting to your parents that you two matching on Grindr was the spark that ignited the passion of two star-crossed lovers. No? I didn’t think so. I think that fact that most people seem ashamed to admit that they met on a dating app, I think, is very telling of the fact that you SHOULDN’T BE DOING IT. beb1c2df989de532c264430328167622--ben-affleck-batman-batman-vs-superman
  2. Dating Apps are for lonely people. From my experience, and from the experience of my close friends, girls and guys, I can say that girls and guys download dating apps for different reasons. For the girls I’ve spoken to, having a dating app is largely about validation. Essentially, they want reassurance that they are still pretty. Again it’s complex of deception that we’ve touched on before. Most girls just want to be chatted up for a few days and to laugh at your weird messages with their friends. This isn’t all girls obviously, but a fair few that I know. Guys, on the other hand, don’t download dating apps for validation, but because they are down to meet up with you that very night for a vigorous session of Netflix and Chill. If you’re a girl that is reading this, thinking of downloading a dating app that isn’t planning to actually meet up with any guys. DON’T DO IT. Go outside instead.PROD-Coleen
  3. Dating apps are like poo wrapped up in tin foil so you don’t see what’s inside. If we strip away all of the fanciful marketing and public appeal, some dating apps are just one night stands that you get for free. And if you’re into that, go for it but I think it’s strange that we can comfortable with sharing such personal details online with people we’ve never met before. beauty-2013-07-adriana-lima-laughing-barcelona-fashion-week-main
  4. Do you think you’d find Adriana Lima on Tinder? Ok well no, she’s married, but pretend she isn’t married. Would you find her there? Probably not. Look at the picture, she’s laughing at you. The point is, that if you value yourself and your time, you wouldn’t make your love life so transparent to complete and total strangers, would you?    Jeffrey-dahmer
  5. Stranger Danger. Do you ever stop and think, wait why am I on this dating app? Ok maybe this ominous mugshot of Jeffrey Dahmer is a little extreme, but you get you get the point…Granted you might be a normal person, but the chances that you match with someone that collects toenail shavings in their spare time is a strong possibility. You have to remember that those that are perhaps more ( hope I’m not being too harsh) desperate, to find a partner, for reasons that may reveal themselves, will also be hidden behind a six pack profile or aubergine emojis in the bio.

So there we go. I hope that I short guide has convinced using dating apps. Until next time, happy dating 🙂

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Rejection: It Sucks.

Hello again, internet. Today I wanted to talk about something that has caused me a lot of bother over the past few weeks/months. I seem to have heard the term “fear of rejection” thrown around a lot, but it’s been more from my friends saying ” I  don’t want to follow him first, I don’t want him to think I like him” etc etc. Although being rejected for your physical appearance can be daunting, to me it’s nowhere near as bad as having the substance of your being rejected. By this, I mean you, what you’re about, how intelligent you are, your likes and dislikes and your hobbies etc. I’m sure that there is a psychological study somewhere to prove that we innately desire to be wanted and accepted. I think the kind of rejection that jars me the most is that which makes you feel unsuccessful. When you get that dream job you’ve been pining for all of a sudden you feel amazing, because, out of all of the people that applied for that position, you above everybody else were exactly what they wanted. So recently, I’d been getting really down because I’ve been applying for jobs, and I mean a lot, like dozens and dozens maybe even near to a hundred now over the past few months. In this, I’d been getting a few calls for interviews or “we’ll be in touch soons” that just seemed to fall through. It all hit me today when I’d been on the phone for about 3 hours to different job prospects in my local area just to hear the same droning ” the position has been filled” or ” you have to email” ( even though I’d already emailed in) that I found myself laughing because it reminded me of that scene in Mrs. Doubtfire where Miranda was on the phone to about 20 different nannies before she’d almost lost the will to live.

It is so easy to be discouraged by rejection. I definitely have to talk myself out of being saddened by it. I thought that it might be a good idea to share, on my blog, the ways that I prevent myself from being affected by rejection and keep moving forward. So here are a few of my definitely non-scientific tips.

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  1. Everything happens for a reason- The universe does not operate or revolve around how happy you, a tiny little person from the middle of nowhere, are. That’s a given.  I’m sure that the “rejectors” aren’t thinking hey, I wonder how sad they are that they didn’t get to do this thing. The sooner you detach emotion from the concept of rejection, I’m sure you’ll become a more formidable individual. If you were meant to be doing the thing you so badly wanted to, then you would, which leads onto my next point…Move-Forward
  2. Perseverance- If at first, you don’t succeed, keep calling and calling and emailing Patrick in HR so much that he’s sick and tired of hearing your moany little voice and has no choice but to connect you Gemma in the recruitment office. I feel like if you want something badly enough you really should keep trying for it. Don’t get complacent just because they don’t want you. In most cases it’s just a person sitting in a stuffy room, reviewing files or checking emails who doesn’t care who gets the job. It’s up to you, not them, to put yourself out on a plate and make it easy for the company/ person to notice you. Just a word of caution though, if someone says they don’t like you, in a romantic sense, I am not cosigning harassment. Just felt that I should clear that up 🙂 heheKanye.jpg
  3. Know your worth- there is always going to be a person that is more qualified, well traveled, more attractive or in whatever sense “better” than you. Duh. There are 7 Billion people on Earth right now. Surely, you would figure that you are not the most fantastic person on the planet. That does not, however, mean that you are not brilliant or capable. You ARE brilliant and capable and all the things that you want to be, but you should believe in yourself and not wait for other people to tell you so.still-of-will-smith-and-jaden-smith-in-jakten-på-lycka-(2006)-large-picture.jpg
  4. It’s not that deep- I am in an extremely lucky position in my life where I am blessed enough not to depend on getting rejected from a job or school as a defining moment that devastates my life. I don’t have to worry about where my next meal comes from or how will I possibly pay my rent if I don’t secure this job. But I understand that there are people that do. It is this perspective that makes me feel stupid for even getting sad. Here I am flinging the toys out my pram with my “first world problems”, never truly understanding what it means to be without any options at all. What I’m saying is to count your blessings and remain mindful that other opportunities can always come along for you, if you work hard.

I hope I wasn’t too rambly, but I at least feel better for venting a little bit and I hope that this “advice” helped a little bit, stay tuned for more stuff 🙂

 

Oh hey.

It’s now 2017 and I haven’t written a blog post in about 9 months.I’m not entirely sure why, I think it’s just procrastination. I think that procrastination is one of my biggest “strengths”. I like to do every other possible activity but the one that I should be doing. I’m also trying to work on my consistency. The only vice I ever really stuck at was the piano and even now, I don’t practice anywhere near as much as I should do.

I’m some of the way through a long holiday and I wanted to start blogging again.I think that typing things out gives me the illusion that I’m working on my literary skills. The Laws of Attraction suggest that you should speak your goals into existence. So, therefore, if I now say that I aim to post a blog entry every other day for the rest of the summer, it’s out there as a goal that I set for myself.

So there we are. Look forward to more new posts coming your way soon! 🙂

Following your Dreams (going after what you want)

So I know it’s been a while, but this week I wanted to talk about something that has slowly become more important to me; aspiring to realise my dreams. Interestingly enough though, my aspirations are never actually dreams, more just latent daytime reveries of ‘what if’ or ‘I wish I could’.

A lot of the time, the only thing stopping us from doing what we want is fear; Fear of judgment, fear of failure , fear that what we’d always hoped for isn’t what we thought it would be. It’s so difficult to articulate what I’m trying to say without sounding cheesy, but what I mean to say is that life itself can stop at any moment. Your quality of life can fluctuate or deteriorate and make you miss the times when you had the opportunity to do the things you wanted to.

Many people, I’m aware, may have seen Jim Carrey’s motivational speech to Maharishi University of Management’s class of 2014. The main soundbite I took from this was “you can fail at doing what you don’t want… so you might as well take a chance in doing what you love”. Although taken out of context, I really think these are wise words to apply to life. I see so many people unhappy, stuck in monotonous or unrewarding jobs. And when I say unrewarding I don’t mean financially, I mean spiritually ; jobs that don’t excite the mind or the soul and can leave people feeling stagnant and unprogressive. I don’t know everything about the world of work or about the future for that matter, but I always knew that this was not for me.

Essentially what I will be doing today is giving a few small tips for people who feel the same way, who are trying to prepare themselves for venturing into something new and exciting….

  1.                                  BUT WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK?what-will-people-think-665x665

The laws of physics tell us that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. As such, change and innovation will give people opportunities to formulate opinions and judgments on what you’re doing. People can often be surprised by individuals that break out of the boxes which society traps them in. It’s so important to remember that ‘people’ are just many of one person. One person that probably has similar insecurities and worries and aspirations as you, but is too fearful to pursue them. Ultimately know and expect that not everyone around you, especially those who don’t know you, will understand or support you, learn not to be surprised by this and you’ll move forward a lot faster. My friend gave me some great advice: ‘ignore that voice in your head that’s saying ‘what will people think’’ those people that you’re concerned about are unimportant people to you, they will not be instrumental to your success.

2. DO I REALLY WANT TO DO THIS?

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If you want to try something new with your life, my guess is that you wish to be successful and prosperous in that venture. If you want to be successful you have to be driven and passionate about what you want to do. You can’t be airy and indecisive about your choices by only putting a percentage of your effort and attention towards them. For me, this is a big challenge. I’ve always been quite seasonally obsessive. That is to say that I engross myself in something for a short period of time and after I’ve squeezed all of the novelty out of it, I lose interest. It’s so important to find something that rewards you with longstanding benefits while given you a constant zeal for the live you live. Unfortunately if you don’t LOVE doing what you’re doing, you won’t be able to motivate yourself to continue doing it.

3.FIND YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM

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While it’s good to be strong and definite and independent, you will also need supporters around you telling you that everything will be ok. When you first start out, you will have a lot of fears and you almost certainly won’t reach your goals straightaway. Say your goal is to cycle 24 miles from the bottom to the top of a very steep and bumpy hill. You can see, by looking at the top of the hill that there is a peak, and you know that through perseverance you can reach it. Having people around you that encourage you to keep going, somehow makes the journey easier. These people are essential. Don’t expect your journey to be without failure or sacrifice, but remain aware that the people that care for you are there to comfort you at those times.

4.COMPARING YOURSELF

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There are different degrees of ‘success’. Some people might quantify this by how much money they make or how famous they are etc. I personally quantify success by two things: happiness and security. Chances are you will not be the richest, most famous and renowned person within your field. You may not win awards and gain recognition for your hard work. But the way I see it, if you rely on validation from extraneous sources you will never achieve success in its entirety. You will be aspiring to something that cannot be achieved. The question is whether you feel happy with your accomplishments at the place that you currently are? Are you enjoying yourself? Do you feel challenged?

Don’t compare yourself to other people who have more or less recognition or accolades than you do. No two people are on the same journey of development and growth. Continue to push YOURSELF to achieve the goals you want to achieve without constantly worrying about your competition. Thinking practically, your goals must be realistic and viable for YOU, so ensure that you establish a level of security that allows you to pursue them. Stability is really key; financial stability, psychological stability, stability in your home, all must be considered. You must be stable, secure and able to support your own dreams, without having to depend on anyone else.

Today’s song is an amazing piece that I fell in love with after hearing it in a Burberry Ad. It’s called ‘I Won’t Complain‘ by Benjamin Clementine.

Body Image: StyleLikeU

This week’s Blog post is inspired by one of my favourite YouTube channels: ‘StylelikeU’ A quick description on their website (StyleLikeU.com) explains: ‘We’re a mother-daughter team leading a movement that empowers people to accept and express their true selves.’

This movement isolates style and beauty as a confidence, a presence and self-worth that is not defined by standards of aesthetic attractiveness or sexual appeal.

The format of the ‘StyleLikeU’ videos basically strips back and exposes the vulnerability of the individuals in question. Those in the chair, describe some intimate details of their personal development as a human being, while removing their clothes and accessories.

 

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Recently, I received a notification that a new video entitled ‘The New Supermodel Won’t Be Retouched Without a Fight: Iskra Lawrence’ had been uploaded. So, intrigued, I boiled myself some green tea and decided to take 12 minutes out to watch it.

Now although my plan is not to explain explicitly the content of this video in particular, I will highlight some of the more provoking thoughts that this and some other videos on this channel have brought to my mind.

(A side note, I would definitely recommend watching the video through and whilst you’re there Subscribing to the ‘StyleLikeU’ Channel)

As a very vague synopsis, Iskra Lawrence speaks on her interactions with the modelling industry, her fluctuating weight, size and shape and how her image of herself has changed. Now, at the very least, by modern Western Standards Iskra can be described as beautiful and ‘curvaceous’. One of the things that confused me about the comment section of this YouTube video is that so many were commending her on appearing to be a ‘real woman’, whilst some were saying that she wasn’t real enough….

“In the model world she’s considered “plus size” but in the real world many people would look at her and say she’s skinny with a fat ass or She’s skinny but fat in “all the right places”. She’s a curvy girl with a flat stomach and a fat ass. Society wants to say this is plus size but she’s not. They hate to actually promote a real fat woman with rolls and back fat and a chubby face. This is just a another form of crazy high beauty standards nobody can reach!”(YouTube| comment 25th July 2016)

As I say, I am no expert, but it is my belief that every body is a ‘real’ body. And I have never understood the phrase: ‘Real women have curves’. All women are real women; women who are overweight, underweight curvaceous, transgender, without arms or legs, with or without body hair etc etc etc. To extremely over or underweight is actually unhealthy, and therefore not something to normalise as something ‘real’.

If you imagine there’s a giant hand that hovered over planet earth for example, that grabbed several women from different ends of the earth all at once. No two would be identical and yet they would still all be real women.

The way I see it our bodies are real, palpable examples of the way we choose to live our lives. If a woman has rolls of fat on her body, it could be because she has an eating disorder, it could be a thyroid problem, it could be laziness , it could be a medical condition, you just don’t know. In the same way a woman who has stretch marks on her stomach from childbirth, shows that her body was used as a vessel to carry another human being. A young girl can also display these same marks from rapid weight gain/loss, but you wouldn’t know unless you ask, and in my opinion, it doesn’t make her ‘ugly’. BUT it also doesn’t make her more real than a woman with flawlessly smooth skin.

Essentially what I’m saying is that Iskra isn’t any less of a woman because she doesn’t have visible stretch marks or cellulite or scarring. I’m not saying that we are all ‘perfect’, I don’t believe there to be such a thing as perfection. The problem with aspiring to achieve perfection is that you will never feel satisfied, and you might never be happy.

It’s important to take a step back and evaluate what you’re aspiring to. Earlier in the series, StyleLikeU collaborated with Charli Howard , a young women who had been dropped by her modeling agency for not being thin enough. In retaliation she took to social media inspiring an anti-body-shaming movement which brought light to the dangerously unhealthy standards for body shape in the modeling industry.

I say this because it’s clear that even the models that some are aspiring to look like are not content with themselves. setting such standards can only be destructive. I can appreciate beautiful and healthy bodies and honestly am in awe of them a lot of the time, but I don’t idolize them in an obsessive way or aspire for my own body to look the way theirs do , because I know that’s not how I’m built. Its really empowering to accept and come to terms with what you have and trying to work with and improve that!

Another point that a many people seem to overlook is that full time modelling is both a profession and a way of life. Many models devote time, effort and money into reinventing themselves to fit the beauty standards of their agency. This means round the clock exercise, clean eating, coaching, hair appointments, nail appointments, waxing, skin care, psychiatric care, cosmetic treatment etc etc. A team of people specialised in these areas to ensure that ONE individual appears perpetually gorgeous both in person and in photograph. If you’re not a model , or do not follow a similar regime to those who model, setting these same standards of beauty seems nonsensical to me. In the same way that athletes train tirelessly and resultantly develop a toned a muscular physique, it would be strange to expect to have a six pack if you do not do the same.

‘Beauty’ itself is just another word along with about a million others in the English language. I feel like it has, in a way, been stigmatised because of its rooting in superficial attractiveness. But I don’t think it should be. Some, for example might find someone ‘beautiful’ with make up but ‘ugly’ when the make up is removed and the acne or freckles or dark circles or redness are unveiled. Where does the beauty lie then? In the foundation and liquid lipstick? Perhaps these are used to accentuate ‘beauty’ for those too superficial to see natural and organic beauty in the first place.

Ultimately what’s important is to realise that you are beautiful. (As cliché and cringe worthy as it sounds.) Don’t be afraid to tell yourself you’re beautiful. Identify a favourite part of yourself and celebrate it. Try not to let society put you down for being confident, however you look. If anything, aspire to be healthy and happy, healthy body and mind above everything else and self- acceptance will hopefully follow.

The song for the week is Mapei’s Don’t wait

Why I love to Talk

When I was much younger I used to talk and talk and talk. It was probably why I would get called ‘chatty’ or ‘bubbly’ by most of the adults I spoke with. I remember one of my early English teachers in Secondary school describing my chatter as ‘frivolous conversation’ in my school report.As I’ve grown older I think I’ve grown more conscious of the filter that needs to be placed on my thoughts.

Generally I’m quite reserved, but one of my favourite things in life is finding people with whom I don’t have to worry about what I’m saying or how I’m saying it. I like speaking with new people not only because of their new personalities and ideas, but because of the way that they engage with me. The way that they show passion and enthusiasm in topics that they love and how conversations can go on and on and on until we lose track of time. So in a quick, random list I’m going to talk about my favourite things about talking.

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Learning something new– I really like listening to people speak. Especially when it’s about something they are really excited to tell. Talking to people, in my opinion, is the simplest form of therapy for the mind and soul. You can get something off your chest and at the same time as be reassured by wise words, opinions and advice. I love asking for people’s opinions just to hear what they are. The other day I asked my friend to help me chose between two pairs of shoes, very well knowing in my mind that I preferred one over the other. When she told me which she preferred it somehow made me feel better, even though I still vehemently decided to go with the shoes that I liked first.

Passion– People with passions are the most interesting people. The best thing is when someone can talk about a subject for ages and ages. In a weird way, I like to disagree with people in conversation. Not argumentatively, but it’s nice to share differences on a topic and speak through why we feel that way that we do. Passionate people tend to be more animated and invested in discussion, which is more fun for everyone involved.

Craziness &Laughter– It seems that nowadays a lot of people can get laughs from viral videos and vines and TV and film, but my favourite is the most organic form of laughter, through conversation. People tend to make me laugh more than any kind of show or video can. Funny people are so wonderful to be around and they make conversation seem effortless. One of the things I hate most about conversation is what can be described as ‘small talk. This is basic and mundane discussions characterized by banter about the weather or the local traffic and sure to include the ‘hi, you alright’ and ‘how are you’ and ‘yeah good thanks’. Now when you first meet someone, it is normal to expect this train of discussion. But after formalities are out of the way I want to talk about crazy, random things. It’s great when people just say the mad things that pop into their heads.

Being present– To me, the worst conversations are those in which social media is too heavily involved. One of the most important parts of good conversation is eye contact. And for me reading a person’s body language and mannerisms helps me to read the success of the conversation. I tend to talk with my hands, especially if it’s something I really care about. So a proper conversation means putting my phone/ electronic device down, and looking up at the face of the person I’m talking to. Prince Ea made a poetry video called the Anti-social network, which covers the idea that our phones are ironically causing us to ‘lose touch’ with one another. Definitely worth a watch.

This week’s Song for the week is by my favourite artist of ALL TIME, Frank Ocean. Have a listen to the amazing ‘Strawberry Swing‘ From the Album, Nostalgia Ultra. ❤

Black Lives Matter: For Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

So far I’ve only been posting on Sundays, but I really felt moved to write about something that I’ve heard about in the news recently. By now many people will have been made aware of the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile that have occurred consecutively over the past two days. I call them murders because that is what they are. It was when I watched the video clips of both Castile and Sterling being reprimanded and shot, that I felt this deep, guttural feeling of sadness and disgust; one that I can’t really describe.

We, as a people, can no longer skirt around racism as an issue. There must be no mistaking that these policemen are MURDERERS. They shot these men in cold blood; Castile, shot four times and Sterling at point blank range. Those who are not comfortable with isolating these behaviors as an unthinkable injustice are fundamentally and desperately part of the problem. They must be held responsible and made punishable for TAKING THE LIFE of another human being and yet, we will hear law enforcement representatives inconclusive and unsure about the officer’s motivations for MURDER, leaving these policeman unaccountable. Years and years of racism, slavery and oppression has still left the bitterness of bigotry unbridled in the ‘land of the free’. Those in the position to do so are able act on their hatred cultivated by an interminable fear of dark faces.

It seems that the colour of our skin has become more threatening than the very, violent weapons used to kill us in our thousands. The suffocating injustice of groundless police brutality is one that besmirches the lives of many African Americans. It forces them to live in fear. Like Castile’s girlfriend said: ‘it could’ve been any of us’. I can only possibly imagine the suffering of the families left behind, held victim by something that, at their level, they will never be able to control. It seems that the injustice and inequality of white privilege has for far too long been ignored.

Yes ALL lives matter, but at this time it is about trying to eradicate a prejudice, engrained within American culture over generations that allows black people to be beaten and shot in the streets without question. A culture, that allows a six-month prison sentence to be given to one i.e. Brock Turner and a 14-year sentence another black rapist.

It seems that those ‘protecting’ the Americans are given license to enforce their own racial prejudice on a people who cannot possibly be held accountable for the stereotyping and profiling of their predecessors. These men (Sterling and Castile) like many other AMERICAN citizens were LICENSED to be in possession of firearms. Now we don’t WHY they had guns, but legally they were eligible to keep them. Whether they were using the guns for protection from violence or for shooting cans from logs is actually besides the point. What is CRITICAL is that these men were NOT brandishing their weapons at the point of confrontation, nor were the acting erratically. If you can’t see that, then please open your eyes and look at the tapes properly. These policemen are bending the rules of the judicial system to exact their racial hatred on undeserving victims. That to me is vile, it is disgusting and it is a dire injustice.

Quite honestly, I cannot be convinced that these acts were not out of racial hatred, it is my opinion that those who believe otherwise are skirting around the issues of oppression and xenophobia, and are the very reasons why race relations are not and never will be a comfortable talking point. Discrimination is continual. It’s like a cockroach that cannot be killed. No one is born racist but as long as there is propaganda on television, prejudice in music, in rap, in newspapers and with parents indoctrinating and poisoning and their children’s minds by condoning racism or homophobia or transphobia, there will always be hatred.

Black Lives Matter Black Friday

NYC action in solidarity with Ferguson. Mo, encouraging a boycott of Black Friday Consumerism.

Now I understand that it is easy for people, including myself to jump on the bandwagon, propagating the ‘black lives matter’ hash tags and playing Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’ and thinking we’ve done our bit to show that we’re anti-racism. But to me, the very idea that we are VOICING our concerns and discontent with the system is a step forward. I think that it still has a lot to do with culture. This is why I for one do not agree with the use of racial slurs and derogatory slang in social settings, it proliferates a sense comfort in demeaning other races. Terms like the ‘n word’ etc. I am particularly uncomfortable with.

As a black girl, I am extremely blessed to have been raised in a privileged community. Here in the UK, or at least in area that I live, the fact that my closest friends have been exposed to racial diversity, allows us to have open discussions about prejudice. This means that we can ask uncensored questions about each other’s culture, tradition and attitudes, which allows love and mutual understanding to grow from our differences. I truly believe that discussion and education is one of the ways that we (who don’t have much political influence) can try to make gradual changes to society. In this way hopefully, one day, places like Russia will unanimously accept homosexuality, adopting the same approach that allowed discussion and protest by the LGBTQ community leading to the legalisation and acceptance of gay marriage In the UK.

One thing that my Mum was saying to me is that there will always be hatred. People we always fear what is different or what they don’t know. If we look at the tensions cultivated by the violent verbal and physical abuse between the Russian and British football fans earlier in June, we can see it boils down to diversity between opposing sides of a football game. A football GAME. She also said that even if there were no Guns or weapons at all people would still find ways to hurt or kill each other, which is true.

I couldn’t possibly hope to stay in the know and up to date with all the violent massacres and killings of people in the world. I can only express my feelings for what I am exposed to. But recently the June’s attack at Ataturk airport in Turkey, which killed 42 people, seemed to receive considerably less media coverage than the earlier Orlando Shootings. Although I’m not Turkish, this confused and upset me and left me questioning why? Perhaps because the very same fear of extremism that so many associate with Islam, is stopping people from being as sympathetic with the suffering of it’s people. THIS ALSO HAS TO STOP. This attack was by ISIS and yes, it was an attack on a Muslim country. It seems that many have been conditioned to link the acts of ISIS to the Islamic Faith. It is clear, however that ISIS piggybacks Islam, using it as guise to vindicate their violent acts of terror. Similar to the way the American police try to use black stereotypes of violence and antagonism as an excuse to shoot black people on site.

People are people for goodness sake, people are not their race, they are not even the history of their race. They are not their religion or their gender or their sexuality or their monetary value, they are human beings. We are all human beings. Peel back our skin, and cut away any superficial physicality and we are all the same.

The Song for the week to go with this post is Nas’ ‘Rule’,a reworking of Tears for Fear’s: ‘Everybody wants to rule the world’. I love this song , it talks about hatred and power struggles in America and promotes peace and unity; which is fitting for Today’s subject matter. Follow this link: Nas: Rule