Stop Telling Me How To Feel Good About Myself

Stop Telling Me How To Feel Good About Myself

The other day, as I was doing serious corporate work in a pantsuit/reblogging dank memes on Tumblr, a post came on my dash that had almost half a million notes. It was about how the things on your nose aren’t blackheads and how everybody has a stomach and that we should all get over it. Most of the people who reblogged were all “wow so inspirational” and, I get it, I do. It’s good to say things that will make someone feel better about themselves. To convince someone that they don’t need to worry about their acne or excess fat. In an ideal world, none of us would worry about any of that. The problem is, we obviously live in no such world – if we did, I’d have free wifi and be the Queen of the Internet.

More than just finding the post a little silly, it actively irritated me, though. There seems to be a plethora of “motivational” content similar to that one all over the internet and when I read it, I never feel good about myself, I mainly roll my eyes and scroll past, or feel worse that I’m unable to just stop caring and flaunt my imperfections. I’m not inspired by posts encouraging me to wear my cellulite proudly at all. Quite frankly, I’m sick of being told how to feel good about myself by well-meaning strangers. Because if these people want me to change the way I feel about my blackheads and cellulite, perhaps changing the societal oppressions placed on women everywhere would be a better place to start, so that I don’t have to feel pressured to constantly “fight the media” to feel worthy. I am worthy. Whether I stress over night cream for my eye bags or not.

I, and every other person who ever watched an episode of Oprah, understand that the problem is with society. We shouldn’t feel shitty about the way we look, if we don’t happen to look like supermodels. We should try our hardest to change society as a whole, starting with ourselves. The problem is, society is the way it is and, as a result, so am I. When I look at my blackheads, I don’t feel good about it, and I can’t force myself to feel good, either. I can’t go from hiding my imperfections under a face of makeup to flaunting them in order to change not only the way I view myself, but the world at large.

Every step towards change has to start somewhere, I know, but a good jumping off point probably isn’t someone telling me to accept the things I hate about myself. That’s pressure and sounds like it would take a lot of therapy time, which I unfortunately don’t have, due to all the time I spend on memes.

Society aside, maybe obsessively trying to get rid of my blackheads is something I enjoy doing. Maybe the ritual of dry brushing in the impossible hope that it will make my cellulite disappear is genuinely not a big deal to me. Beauty shouldn’t just be seen as something we do to hide things we shouldn’t be hiding, or an inconvenience that’s being forced upon women as a whole. For example, contouring can be seen in two ways: trying to hide the natural shape of your face to gain a more societally applauded shape orrr just having fun changing the way you look, putting on a costume so to speak. If the latter is me kidding myself, then so be it. I clearly already have ingrained pressure to look perfect; I don’t need pressure added on that to fight the pressure.

And believe me, this isn’t me trying to come at anyone who makes these “encouraging” posts. Maybe they genuinely help people. Maybe that exact post inspired someone to never wear Spanx again, to accept their stomach the way it is. Possibly it’s infectious, and it will spread and women everywhere will be like, “remember that post saying I shouldn’t care about my stomach? I’m going to actively endorse that by wearing a crop top even when I don’t feel confident in doing so and maybe the confidence will follow!” I mean, that sounds like a great outcome. As for me? I’ll be here, trying on Spanx of all sizes, waiting for the day that the media itself changes, Oprah is the president of the world and nobody has to feel bad about feeling bad about themselves.

Who Am I? How Do I Decide?

Who Am I? How Do I Decide?

I admire people who can make quick, hard-hitting decisions. They’re probably pretty successful and don’t spend six to ten hours agonising over which nail polish colour to pick, because which colour represents them in their very soul and also, which colour will go with what they plan to wear over the next few days and match the weather, mood and general atmosphere?

There are many things to consider with any given decision, and, surprisingly, watching numerous TEDTalks on the issue does not miraculously make one a master decider. I’ve always been terrible at making decisions. I think it’s an anxiety thing, because it is worse in times of extreme anxiety, but I think it might also just be a personality thing. It’s not that I don’t know what I want, because I definitely do, I just don’t know what I want, you know?

Lately, I’ve decided that I need to brand myself a little better if I’m going to finally get that book deal to fall into my lap (that’s how that works, right?), but I just don’t know what I want to say about myself or this blog in general. I have a few ideas, sure, but who am I? *gazes wistfully out into the abyss* *abyss gazes back* *curses Nietzsche*

I like to think he was gazing into the abyss at this exact moment.
I like to think he was gazing into the abyss at this exact moment.

It’s the question you dread when meeting new people or going to a job interview: “Who are you?” or “Tell me about yourself?” When I was 17 and 18 and 19 and 20 and, well, pretty much always since then and also before then, if I’m being honest, I struggled a lot with that question and with my identity as a whole. I was obsessed with finding my place in the world – was I indie or scene or geeky or a jock (this was before hipsters even existed, else I would have pondered on that, too, and perhaps even grown a conservative beard to go with my Ray Bans). Convinced that everybody needed to fall under a labelled umbrella, I was desperate to find mine and it was so deeply unsatisfying when I failed to do so. Where was my neat tag? Following from this, I took about 70 online quizzes to diagnose myself with a variety of mental disorders, favouring Borderline Personality Disorder after reading far too much literature about it and confusing being a teenager with issues with having a psychiatric illness.

It took a really long time, but I’m starting to become semi comfortable in the questions that would keep me up late at night. I mean, not to the point where I’d be amped to answer it in an interview, but I’ve gathered some intel about myself that is quite useful and, when combined, gives a clear picture of who I am. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how to really combine it to come up with the blog title that will perfectly embody everything about me and my writing.

Any suggestions?

SHOCKING! Oprah Winfrey Exposed!

SHOCKING! Oprah Winfrey Exposed!

Recently, every unsavoury website I visit (and by “unsavoury”, I’m talking the streaming TV show variety, not the NSFW variety) has been boasting the most profound, alluring advert ever to grace the internet. You might have seen it by now. The headline reads “SHOCKING!Oprah Winfrey! Oprah Been Exposed FOR TRICKING THE WORLD!She Had Lied For Years!” Just to prove that my grammar is still top notch and I’m merely quoting – and also to provide you with the engaging concept itself – here it is:

Untitled

Don Draper, eat your heart out, right?

Anyway, my first thought upon seeing this (after the appreciation, of course) was to wonder what Oprah has been TRICKING THE WORLD about For Years! Here are some of the things I expected I might find if I clicked the link (which I did not do because I prefer the enigma):

  • She is actually a cat person!
  • Her and Gayle are just friends!
  • That isn’t even her real face!
  • What else do people lie about?
  • All those years, she was rubbing Vick’s under her eyes and fake crying!
  • She isn’t really rooting for every single celebrity that she says she’s rooting for!

What do you think Oprah’s big secret is?

Beyoncé, Epicurus and the Grammys (Or: Who Else Might As Well Win An Award Instead Of Beyoncé)

Beyoncé, Epicurus and the Grammys (Or: Who Else Might As Well Win An Award Instead Of Beyoncé)

According to the internet and real life people, 2014 wasn’t a great year. One amazing thing that did happen to the world at large was Beyoncé dropping a self-titled album without promotion or announcement just before 2013 ended, making 2014 the year of Bey. People’s love and respect for Queen Bey is so massive that it has even become somewhat of a meme.

At last night’s Grammy Awards, however, the honour of Best Album was not bestowed upon our fearless leader. Instead, the award was given to Beck, who is either a person or a band. Now, I’m not saying that Beck didn’t deserve this recognition. Not at all. I’m simply saying that Beyoncé clearly deserved it a million times more. Her album broke digital sales records, was highly lauded by every critic to ever exist, and a study conducted at the University of Music revealed that every single person on the entire planet enjoyed at least one to two songs from Beyoncé (both the album and the person). So what went wrong?

Well, after this decision was made by the Academy of People Who Award Singers Things Seemingly Arbitrarily, I was reminded of the argument from evil, which is said to have been originated by Greek philosopher Epicurus, and ponders upon the existence of evil in this world. The argument basically asks the question: if God exists, why did Beyoncé not win the Grammy for Best Album?

I’m not trying to singlehandedly refute the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent being here, but this kind of occurrence is quite a win for Atheists the world over. Well done, Atheists. Did you fix the Grammys this way to push your agenda and cause people to violently reject their faith? I hope you’re proud of yourselves.

Now that my head is clear and it has been a couple of hours since I was near-fatally crushed by this despicable incident, I have come up with a list of people that they might as well have given the award to if they weren’t going to give it to Beyoncé:

  • The band I started when I was in grade 7. I think we decided on the name In Pink. None of us could play any instruments and our first song, written by me, was also called In Pink.
  • The band that Lindsay Lohan is a part of in the movie Freaky Friday.
  • Me with my currently out of tune guitar (I can play around 5 chords).

To sum up, I’m going to leave you with the words of Kanye West, who half-jokingly started walking on stage when Beyoncé lost, reminiscent of his 2009 MTV VMA stunt:

“What happens is, when you keep on diminishing art, and not respecting the craft, and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you’re disrespectful to inspiration. We, as musicians, have to inspire people who go to work every day, and they listen to that Beyoncé album, and they feel like it takes them to a different place.”

This Is 100% Me. Plus, Tumblr Love.

I can (and do) spend hours and hours on Tumblr. As a person with a short attention span who loves gifs and thought-provoking quotes, it’s my dreamland. Plus, unlike on WordPress, you can create or use a rad custom HTML theme *side-eyes WordPress for days*… I HAVE THE SAME THEME AS EVERYBODY I HAVE EVER FOLLOWED OR SEEN ON THIS STUPID WEBSITE WELCOME TO COMMUNIST HELL WHERE ARE MY RIGHTS?!

My Tumblog started out as a fashion/style sort of themed thing, but has lately deteriorated into a fandom-centric dumpster. Which is fine by me, because I have gained, like, a million followers from it. Everyone knows you’re not popular until you’re Tumblr popular, right?

While browsing through my tags, I’ve noticed something: Tumblr is a very therapeutic, safe space in which you can express yourself. I have a whole “about me” tag, and will also often tag posts with “this is so me!” and “this is 100% me” and sometimes “nothing has ever been more me before” or just the classic “same”. This has provided me with a lot of ammunition for when I have an interview and need to answer a pointless “Tell me about yourself” question.

Sure, I’ll tell you about myself. Here’s a little bit about me:

  • a moody pencil illustration of a girl sleeping
  • lots of it’s-funny-because-it’s-true text posts about procrastination and lack of motivation
  • a colourful gif of Cher from Clueless looking thoughtful with her fluffy pink pen with speech bubbles that just say “k” floating around her and hamburgers and roses underneath her (for your viewing pleasure) (I even tagged this one “my entire aesthetic”, which is fair)
  • a woman sitting in a tree wearing brogues
  • multiple emoji references
  • mainly the painting nails emoji
  • April Ludgate

I think it’s fair to say that this is 100% me. Nothing has ever been more me before. It’s just so me. Same.

You Might Be An Asshole If…

You Might Be An Asshole If…

Some people spend a large portion of their lives denying that they’re an asshole. If you are, however, an asshole, and have no intention of changing it, embracing your true nature will benefit you.

Don’t know if you are one or not? I have a handy guide for you. You might be an asshole if:

  • You refer to all movies as films, whether they’re the Obscure Film Festival-winning Dutch reimagining of La Dolce Vita or Transformers 8: Everything Is Dead And So Are You Inside.
  • Your “inner child” features prominently in casual conversation.
  • When discussing your life and small life choices, such as picking out a couch or recording your favourite TV show, you will drop the words “journey” “destiny” and “self” in.
  • Eye contact is maintained throughout the duration of any conversation with you, and you are insulted if this is broken. The eyes are the window to the soul.
  • You frequently “transform yourself” so that you’re a “whole new me”.
  • You’re always using “I need to stop putting others first” as an excuse for your dick moves.
  • When claiming to forgive someone, you’ll say “Ill forgive, but I can’t forget”, thus fuelling your resentment for many arguments to come.
  • Every policy or criticism is described as “-shaming” by you. The airline specifies a weight limit on their carry-on luggage? Baggage-shaming. You can’t bring your McDonald’s soda into the fancy restaurant? Food-shaming. Your doctor politely requested your weight so that he could calculate the correct dose of medication for you? Body-shaming. This point? Shame-shaming. Everyone is against you. The world is so cruel.
  • You cite poetry or famous quotes to make a point.
  • Your WhatsApp status is a quote about loving life.
  • “The Universe” often aids in your decision-making.
  • You’ve told a genuinely depressed person to “cheer up” or “look on the bright side” or that “so and so has it so much worse than you do”.
  • In your whole life, you have ever answered “the sky” when someone greeted you with a “what’s up?”
  • You have your own line of hair extensions/pet accessories/sunglasses.
  • Blissful ignorance is your key political philosophy and you make fun of those who choose to be informed on current affairs.
  • People who are passionate about a topic or person are immediately defined as “obsessed” by you, thus making them ashamed.

Movies That Deserve A Sequel

Movies That Deserve A Sequel

Hollywood loves sequels. Since Toy Story 4 was announced, I’ve been thinking about some other films that deserve the same treatment. I’m tired of the numerous superhero movie and Taken sequels, so here are a few of my prudent suggestions:

  • The Fault in Our Stars 2: The Ghost of Gus
    In this amazing sequel, Gus, who died in the original movie (that isn’t even a spoiler), returns as a ghost to haunt Hazel, causing her to question her sanity and finally culminates in her parents putting her in a psych ward to live out the rest of her limited days.
  • 5cream
    The fifth movie in the Scream franchise, this film will deal with the problems of being a film within a film within a film within a film, revealing the meta of the meta, making it all very meta.
  • Sex and the City 3
    The third instalment in the riveting line of Sex and the City movies shows us just how boring a bunch of women who are over-eager to discuss their sex lives can truly be. There’s alcohol, men, lots of talking and lots of voice-over. A guaranteed thrill, all in all.
  • Taken 3(4?)
    I know I said I was tired of the Taken sequels, but when I really, really consider it, what the world needs is another Taken movie.
  • The Shawshank Redemption 2: Redeemed and Ready to Party
    The long-awaited sequel to the classic Oscar-nominated film shows Andy (Tim Robbins) and Red (Morgan Freeman) living large following their bachelor misadventures on the beach we left them at the end of the first film. Think American Pie meets The Green Mile.
  • War Horse 2: Because the First One Wasn’t Bad Enough
    I’m sure there are many people out there who enjoyed War Horse and didn’t wish that a black hole would swallow them up after 15 minutes of enduring it, but I wouldn’t count myself among one of them. For those who did appreciate this Steven Spielberg-directed snooze-fest of Lincoln proportions, I bring you War Horse 2: Because the First One Wasn’t Bad Enough, in which the amount of time you sit through a horse ploughing the land is doubled and the amount of sympathy you have for any single character is halved.
  • Her: The Prequel You Never Asked For
    The only thing more spellbinding than a sequel is a prequel. They’re always soo clever and who doesn’t watch every single movie and think, “I wish I could see what happened before the exciting plot began.” In the anticipated prequel to Her, Spike Jonze pieces together all the excessive montage shots of the protagonist’s previous relationship with the Rooney Mara character that appeared in Her and still manages to make a full-length feature.
  • Every Disney Movie Ever
    Disney loves to release sequels to their most popular films as straight-to-DVD money-makers, but I think cinematic releases would be even better. I’d love a chance to see Simba’s daughter and the complete disregard for the themes of the first Pocahontas in their respective sequels on the big screen.
  • Gump & Co.
    The author of Forrest Gump actually did pen this sequel, which was laughed out of Hollywood considered, but ultimately rejected. The novel sees Forrest continuing to accomplish all sorts of similar feats, such as knocking down the Berlin wall. That sounds delightful and in no way a desecration of the original.
  • Dumb and Dumberererer
    With the release of Dumb and Dumber To, it’s difficult not to start capitalising on a third instalment, because, from cringing through the trailer of the sequel alone, one can immediately ascertain that the below-slapstick humour that barely worked in 1994 is going to work very well twenty years later, when there is a greater demand for smarter comedies.
  • Psycho: The Explanation Continues
    There have been a few unsuccessful re-imaginings and sequels to this Hitchcock classic, but this sequel would be different. Remember the last scene of Psycho, where everybody stands around explaining what just happened in the entire movie, because audiences were far too stupid to understand it for themselves? This is a whole movie of just that, for those who still need further explanation. I know I do. Guy with mother issues and taxidermy fetish murders women? This requires far more psychiatrists explaining it in a room.