A Pensive Cerebration of the Capricious and Fickle Nature of Human Beings

I know the title of this post is long and somewhat laborious, but I thought it the best phrase to even partially express the sentiments of my post. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, how disloyal and selfish human beings can be, especially in terms of our relationships. Our intentions and emotions are forever changing, the shifts in our relationships meant to accommodate those respective emotional modifications – more often than not, however, with such revisions only considering the person making the changes.

Not all changes are purposeless, I’m sure it goes without saying. There are toxic relationships which need to be eliminated; no matter how much one tries to justify abusive relationships (emotional, verbal or physical in either a romantic or platonic situation) there is little else more damaging in the life of the average human being. And of course, people change. Admitting such only further stresses the necessity to be rid of certain burdensome associations, as the person they have become is, of course, NOT the same person whom you initially befriended.

Sometimes it’s funny to think how much people change. In general, change is a positive thing, but it can also be a stumbling block in the way of relationships. Anybody you know, at any time without warning, could decide they no longer want to be a part of your life, be it a boyfriend, a best friend, a parent, a relative, whoever. They have the ability to choose to destabilize even the most sturdy and reliable of relationships, though I suppose whether they have the right to is another question altogether. But like it or not, it happens. And people do change, suddenly, without warning, leaving your friendship in broken shards or your relationship in pieces of fragmented heart – and there you are, wondering what you did wrong.

But when you really think it about it, it’s not always other people changing. A lot of the time, it’s ourselves. We change – be it for better or for worse.

We become more mature, or immature. We grow emotionally, mentally, spiritually, or we regress. We think differently, we meet new people, we explore and discover things which we have never before seen the like. Or we don’t. Whatever the case, these changes in us affect our currently-existing relationships, either negatively or positively, depending on the respective change in the other party as well.

When your best friends looks at you, and notes with disgust in her voice, “You’ve changed”, she’s not lying. You HAVE changed. It’s just that those changes have now made you the better person and put you at an assumed advantage in that friendship; and she doesn’t like those changes. The problem is not that you have changed. The problem is that she HASN’T.

When you watch your best friend looking at you with sad eyes as you tell her sympathetically, “I’ve changed”, although she doesn’t want to believe it, you have. It’s just that those changes in you have left your relationship undefined and in new, uncharted territories, and now offers you neither comfort nor happiness. The problem might not be that she hasn’t changed. Perhaps the problem is that you have.

But change should never be the foundation upon which a relationship is built. Too often, people make friends or date someone with the intention of ‘changing’ them, which is effectively saying, “I won’t accept you as you are; you must fit into MY mould.” No matter how you want to look at it, it’s often selfish – the ‘fixer-upper’ ideology – but also dangerous. Building relationships purely on the projected view of what you envision the person to have become after you have finished ‘changing’ them, means that you are never content with people as they are. You simply want them to be your version of themselves.

And staying in a relationship because of a change you hope to happen is also not a great idea. I mean, I know that many times the only thing standing between you and a successful friendship or happy marriage is a bad habit, but the assumption that the other person will change purely to satisfy your needs within that relationship is also not great. It means that you will hang onto relationships way past their ‘sell-by’ date purely because of the misguided hope that they will change; not just for the better, but also in the specific way that you want them to.

Yes, there are cases where people can change, when they realise that they have an issue or some other insurmountable problem which stands in the way of a fruitful relationship with you, but THEY are the only ones able to dictate when that change will come about. You cannot neither force nor expect someone to change. Change comes about naturally, and though you may make the person aware of their flaw or whatever other imperfections, they have the ultimate choice as to whether to act upon it or ignore your counsel and seek a happy relationship elsewhere.

Sometimes change is necessary for growth. A snake cannot grow without shedding its skin, and though this may be a somewhat difficult process, leaving behind the old allows you to move forward into the new. Not every relationship you have will always be long-lasting. Some are superficial and have their ‘expiration dates’, and that’s okay. Of course, it’s important to recognise such friendships; because they are so short-lived and intense, they can drain you as they are often emotionally demanding and exhaust your energy reserves, not to mention, your mobile contract.

And of course, I am speaking in the assumption that only one party of the relationship changes. It is likely that both could change. If you both change for the better, growing together and developing healthily through your relationship, then despite changing times or seasons, your relationship will go the distance. If you both change for the worse, despite your identical poor choices, you may stay together, both blissfully unaware of your regression. If one changes for the better and one changes for the worse, it is likely that the former will become hyper-aware of their respective changes and either make the latter aware of their flaws or leave them.

What I’m trying to say is, in every situation, there are lessons to be learned. Whether one of you or both of you change, or even don’t change, there is always something about you which can be improved, if you are willing to be open to positive growth and constructive criticism.

As I noted in the title, the natural nature of human beings appears to be irrevocably fickle and it is becoming abundantly clear that we are consistent in only one thing – inconsistency.

I’m not entirely sure how to end this, as I realise that my blog post very closely resembles one of my equally pretentious essays for English Literature. I suppose I can only say that I am perhaps misguided on many things which I’ve commented on, but that I hope it offers insight for some people and that it is, for the most part, relatable.

Look at that, I even included a conclusion.

Goodnight everyone, wherever you are.

The Faerie Squad Mother x

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#BodyPositivity (And Then Some…)

I am 5’1”.

Translation: I am very short. I am nowhere near the average height for a girl my age (5’6” if you were wondering – so a whopping 5 inches shorter). I don’t seem likely to grow but I’m resigned to the fact. (I also own lots of pairs of heels, wedges and platformed sandals, so it’s fine.)

I have eczema. Which sucks quite a lot, because it never really ‘goes away’, you just sort of subdue it for a while. I don’t have it bad, but I have it in small patches behind my knees, on my stomach, on my back and on my arms sometimes. It flares up when I eat dairy products, which is why I need to go vegan… I’m working on it though, I promise Mags!

I have lots of wobbly flesh. I don’t know about my arms, but I know that my thighs are thick and wobbly (#ThunderThighs) and my calves are really thick and wobbly too. I’m quite pudgy. My stomach isn’t flat, or even close to it really, and when I stand sideways, I can see it sometimes protruding from the waistband of my jeans/skirts/shorts etc. Sometimes it even pokes out of my dresses. (*gasp*)

I’m not toned at all. Like I don’t think a single part of my body is toned. I have a mostly non-existent waist; if you squint, and stand 5 miles away and turn around and close your eyes, you can see its’ cousin. I don’t have an hourglass figure. (That’s what they’re called right? Hourglass?) I don’t even know what figure I have.

[Hang on, I’m going to google it. After a quick google (and much confusion) I’ve decided that I probably have a pear-shaped figure.]

I have quite wide hips. (*winks*) That means that in certain cultures, I would be an ideal bride for my ‘child-bearing’ hips. Not for anything else though really LOL. I don’t have super large boobs. They’re comfortable for me though, so it doesn’t bother me.

My body is VERY disproportionate. I have really short stumpy legs and a very long torso, so I mostly wear clothes that hide that fact, like high-waisted jeans and longer tops that look like tunics.  So you can’t see that I have no legs.

I’m not fit? I’d like to think that I’m healthy, but I’m not particularly fit. I can’t run or jog for a substantial amount of time. I can walk, but brisk walking for long distances gets me out of breath.

I have quite a lot of body hair. Most people do, it’s natural? Who cares?

I have a really large bum. Like seriously large. It is the bane of my clothing struggles, along with my not-entirely-flat stomach. I also have stretch marks; on my butt and on my thighs.

My feet are large and wide. They’re a 6 to 7, depending on the shoe store and style of the shoe. Most of my heels are 6 or 6½, and I have a few shoes that are 7. Because my feet are so wide, sometimes they can’t fit into really nice shoes, which is sad. But also quite good sometimes, because when you want to steal shoes from someone, you can just bust them out. I also have quite long toes. When I was younger, my toenails used to be really brown but they’ve faded now, so they’re that natural shade of pink or whatever colour nails are.

I used to have really crooked teeth. I got braces about 4 years ago now, and got them off 2 years ago, but before that my teeth were so out of place.

I’m learning to embrace my body, and everything else about me, because I’ve been taught to think I wasn’t beautiful for so long. I’m trying to not care what people say anymore. This post is pretty important I think, because people get so touchy whenever you mention ordinary human body parts when they’re not what society calls ‘normal’ or ‘beautiful’ or ‘conventional’. And it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. For years I’ve been told that I can’t be ‘beautiful’ because I’m short, because my body proportions aren’t normal and I don’t have a flat stomach or whatever. That’s fine. My body proportions are probably never going to change. Maybe parts of me will grow, maybe they won’t. Maybe I’ll get hairier, maybe my toenails will go brown again, maybe I’ll get wobblier, maybe my stomach will never be flat, maybe I’ll never be toned.

To be entirely honest, I don’t care. Okay, so I can’t wear some of the things I might like to, but the important thing is health. I could be super healthy and super fit and still have a bit of a pudgy stomach. My thighs might still be chubby, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll shed weight. Either way, it doesn’t matter. As long as I’m healthy, I don’t care whether I embody the societal image of beauty or not.

I mean, I already don’t, I’m a black female.

So this was my attempt at #BodyPositivity. Did it work? I don’t know. But here we are.

Anyway, I’m out now. Got lots of other important stuff to do, like procrastinate for the rest of the evening, and cringe thinking about the transparency of this post, but then convince myself that this is a step in the right direction of self-love.

The Faerie Squad Mother x

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To 8-year-old Rianna

How the hell do I start this? Oops. Shouldn’t say hell, that’s probably a bad word right now. Uhm. Ignore that sentence.

Right now, we are 16. (Do I say we? Are we the same person or different individuals? Who knows?) We could have avoided so many problems right now if I’d have written this to you earlier. I just want to try to correct what should have been corrected about 8 years ago, but I was unable to tell you, being 8 and all, because I didn’t know the things I know now.

I know this won’t change anything but let’s pretend that this will. These are some really important things that you have to listen to, okay?

Firstly, please love yourself. Don’t let people trample all over you. Don’t let people bully you or tell you that you are worth any less than you have been taught to believe. It will take you many more years to learn to love yourself if you don’t right now, and you don’t need all the drama of self-acceptance and self-confidence. Really. You don’t. Understand that you matter, that you have a voice and that you can use it. Understand that nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.

Understand that you are beautiful. Just because your hair isn’t blonde and you don’t have freckles and your eyes aren’t blue, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t beautiful. You will learn later that the way you wanted to look was just society telling you how you should. But embrace the way you look. It doesn’t matter whether everyone else teases you for your hair and your butt and your height. You are a beautiful black girl and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And if they do, don’t believe them. They are taught to believe that you cannot be beautiful, but you can be, and you are.

Keep working hard. People will call you a nerd, and a geek and whatever other offensive words they can find to use. Don’t cry, they don’t matter, because in a few years when you are going to sit your exams and they are the ones asking you for help with revision, you will smile at the reversal of fortune. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re ‘too’ smart, that you’re ‘too’ intelligent, that you’re ‘too’ anything. You are just right. Put effort into the things that you do, and I promise you, it will pay off.

Stay strong in what you believe. It will take you a while to fully embrace and understand everything you believe, but make sure you believe it for yourself. Right now, some of what you believe is what you’ve been taught to. Understand everything for yourself, and don’t just let people tell you right and wrong; learn it for yourself. In about two years you will want to be baptised, and you will, with your best friend. Keep the enthusiasm you have for God, and don’t let anyone take it away from you. Don’t be ashamed of what you believe in. It will become harder to express your beliefs when you get older, but the more you do it and stand up for what you believe in, the better it will be.

Keep being sociable and friendly. Everywhere you go, you will make lots of friends and lots of acquaintances. The difficult thing is learning to differentiate between the two. Don’t just give your phone number out to everyone that you meet, because you will end up with lots of phone numbers of people you don’t even speak to anymore, and you’re too scared to delete their contacts. Also, you will get a smartphone one day. I won’t tell you when, that’s a surprise. But keep waiting in anticipation. Your waiting will one day pay off.

Act, dream, write, sing, dance, do the things that you’re good at. The more you do them now, the easier it will become for you to do them when you get to where I am. You won’t be able to do Street Dance, even though I know you really wanted to, but there are other things you can do. Keep up all your talents and hobbies. Keep drawing! Don’t stop because the moment you do is the moment you might lose your ability. Don’t rip up your drawings when you’re mad or when you’re upset. Don’t make hasty decisions when you’re mad or upset. Try and manage your emotions properly. Channel them. Talk to people, never, EVER bottle your emotions. It will only cause more damage and pain than you can begin to fathom. (I know you know what fathom means, don’t worry).

Don’t stop reading or dreaming. Sometimes they can be the same things. Keep reading, but PLEASE I beg you, stop reading Jacqueline Wilson. (I think you’ve probably grown out of her by now). Also, don’t read romances. They won’t get you anywhere and will fuel this entirely unrealistic romanticist nature in your teenage years. And don’t read manga either, no matter who tries to get you to. Read historical fiction. I have a hunch that you’ll really like reading about the Tudors, and Ancient Greece and Rome. Learn about the world around you. Learn about the past, and the present. Learn about your heritage, your culture, where you came from. Ask questions. Never stop dreaming.

What you can stop, however, is relying on your friends. The sooner you grow out of being a follower, the better. Your friends will try and make you do things that you don’t want to do. Sometimes, if you let them, they will succeed. But you have to be independent. You have to learn how to cope for yourself and make your own decisions. Sorry to disappoint you, but none of your ‘best friends’ from primary school will even talk to you by Year 11. The people you will find as your friends will surprise you. And popularity doesn’t matter. Friends aren’t about how many you have, or how popular they make you. Friends are about the people who are there for you time and time again.

You’ve probably got a huge crush on someone right now, I don’t know who, and it would probably make me laugh just remembering. But if you can (the key word here being ‘if’) just leave off boys for a couple years. Say… 52? Wait until you’re 60. That’ll probably make your life a lot easier. Obviously this is unrealistic, but just try and be patient. Not every boy that you like is going to be your future husband LOOOL. Don’t mistake liking the attention someone gives you for liking someone. Have expectations and standards. I mean, I know you’re only 8, but boys are barely all that and a bag of chips.

No matter what happens, no matter what you achieve or where you go, remember where you’ve come from. You will go on to do great things. You will change your life goals 4 times, probably even more, seeing as I haven’t quite settled yet. You will be a Queen and then an Empress, you will rule nations and empires, you will advocate for Black History Month and slowly evolve into a social justice warrior. (I know that doesn’t exist just yet, but I promise you, it’s as worthwhile as it sounds). You will experience things you have never experienced before, you will have your expectations reached and exceeded.

Believe in yourself. Trust that you can, and will, do amazing things.

And, one last thing, for your near-future: I’d appreciate if you could lay off the Disney please. The soundtracks take up an awful amount of phone (and mind) space, and they’re too catchy. Be into them, by all means, but don’t be such a die-hard fan.

Lots of love,

16-year-old You (aka. The Faerie Squad Mother) x

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Oops! I Forgot to Post…

I’ve recently discovered one of my favourite phrases to use during my posts on this blog. This comes in many forms, but interestingly, they vary so much that I can’t even find some of these. After a quick search for them, I found a few, some of them being:

“I’ll post about that another time.”

“That’s a story for another day.”

“But I’ll write about that later.”

Amongst others. So I had a quick scroll through all my posts and found some things (but probably not all) that I said I would post about later, but never ended up posting.

  1. Thinking About the Future (found in my second-ever post; I reference to the future a lot, but I don’t think that ‘Dear Future Husband‘ really counts as thinking about the future in a profound sort of way…)
  2. Racist and Offensive Opinions of Small-Minded White People (which was in the recent rant about Black History, and I’m pretty I’ve mentioned it briefly before)
  3. Street Shakespeare (when I was talking about my One-Man shows)
  4. Why I Should Be Voted Prime Minister of England (does this even need context?)
  5. A Rant About Visiting the Care Home with NCS (but the thing about rants is that you can only rant when you’re in the mood… so this post doesn’t seem like to happen)
  6. Turning Books into Movies (I actually posted this, though?)
  7. Why Disney Sucks (but I always talk about this, though haven’t done an actual post dedicated to this… I suppose to some extent ‘Fairy Tales Should Be Illegal’ counts, but not really? I mean, that was more generic than specifically aimed at Disney)
  8. How To Be A Boy 101 (long story short, I wrote 11 pages of this social satire when I was half-tired in Wales during NCS, at about 12 at night, and it made me cringe so much when I read it back; I literally indirected so much, and I know why now LMAO)
  9. My 10 Questions (The Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award required me to write 10 questions, so I did, but I wanted to answer them myself. So maybe I shall)

Don’t get too excited. This post doesn’t mean that I have the intention to write about these all soon, but I will try my best. (No promises, because we know how well those have gone down, looking up at that 9 strong list there…) And this was just a quick post anyway.

Also, I have updated my site and its pages, so I’ve moved my ‘Exam Diaries‘ page, and now have an ‘Ask The Faerie Squad Mother‘ page, where you can drop comments and questions, and I’d love for you to do that as well. (I’ve put the links in there, in case you can’t find them, but they should be on the Menu along the bottom of your page.)

But that’s it today. Perhaps you would like me to post some of the points above, and maybe I will at some point. Keep reminding me. 🙂

Take care everybody, and have fun going back to school LOL.

The Faerie Squad Mother x

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Not A Problem

This is going to be a very long rant. Just be aware that as you read this and the post seems to go on forever it is all fuelled with emotions. So please prepare yourself. There may be some sensitive issues mentioned, just as a warning. It it going to get pretty personal.

Let’s start. So since I was unable to post during the past week, I had been drafting a post whining about the translation of books into movies (which hopefully, I will post later, if it doesn’t seem so feeble after this rant) but today, during a rather, shall we say, enlightening experience, I decided to perhaps leave that post for later and get everything I thought about today off of my chest.

But first, a bit of context.

At NCS with The Challenge, we are currently on our third week; Social Action. This is the week where we go out to a Social Community Partner (i.e. Charities or organisations in the area we are based in), suss out their problems and try to help solve their issues and/or make the community more aware of the work they are doing. We are required to come up with a campaign in our groups in order to achieve those goals, and today (the first day of Social Action) we went out to actually visit our Community Partner (Charity Partner? Social Community Partner? I’m sorry Rochelle, I really wasn’t listening) and try to get some inspiration for our campaign.

The place we visited was a Care Home for Dementia Patients. It was an 100% Dementia home, which meant that everyone in the home had Dementia, or some form of it, and of course some people were in a more developed stage than others. When we met the co-ordinator for the Home, he explained it to us as three stages of Dementia; the first being calm and helpful, slightly forgetful; the second being often anxious and excited, but with a short attention span; the third being a more developed, anxious, emotional character. He also explained to us how we had to be aware that many Dementia sufferers live in their own alternate reality. As volunteers and young people, we were supposed to talk to them in a way which did not confuse or upset them, but instead encourage them and keep them happy. If we were mistaken for someone’s daughter, son, grandchild or husband or wife even, we were to just remain appropriate all the time, but not say we weren’t that person, because it would upset them.

Despite our initial misgivings, especially seeing as a few of us had had unhappy encounters with Dementia sufferers in the past, we put it behind us when we went to the home and spoke to some of the residents with quite open-minds, trying to be positive about the whole situation.

I’m pretty sure I was very close to breaking down.

I spoke to a lovely lady, (OBVIOUSLY I cannot say her name) but she told me some fantastic stories about her growing up. She told me how she was an only child and her mum loved to garden, and made lots of jams with the berries they grew in their back garden. Her dad was deaf because he was badly mistreated as a POW (Prisoner of War) in the First World War, and her mum was partially deaf, so they all developed a sign language. She told me that she was evacuated twice during the Second World War; the first family wasn’t nice, but the second family was in South Wales. She went to school in a small village there, and they tried to teach them Welsh but (she told me fondly, laughing at the memory) it was not going anywhere for her. She told me about how she used to be a shorthand typist, how she stood in for secretaries, and during the War used to type up Secret Documents, which couldn’t be reread but had to be shredded when they were discarded. There was an airport near where she used to live, and the Spitfire planes used to take off from there, and she would watch them occasionally from her house. She told me that she used to sleep under the table in her kitchen, and that they didn’t have a proper sleep for years because of the air raids.

She told me all that.

And then she told it to me again. And again. And again.

I heard all of those stories at least 10 times each. Every time she finished a sentence, her face would light up, and then she would repeat to me another one in excitement. And each time she did that, my smile grew a little wider on the outside and my chest was crushed a little bit more on the inside. I had to nod enthusiastically, and ask her the same questions I asked before, as if I hadn’t heard the stories. I varied the questions, and asked different ones, and I kept getting the same stories, and I kept asking her questions I had asked her before. She punctuated her speech the same way, with the same hand movements, laughter in the same places, a cheeky smile here and there. She never asked my name, and to be honest, I was too scared to tell her, because I didn’t want to have to say over and over, “Hi, my name is Rianna.” Even though she had been talking to me for about an hour and a half.

And it wasn’t out of selfish reasons. It was purely because I absolutely hate the feeling of helplessness and lack of control that Dementia sufferers have to (or don’t have to, depending on how you look at it) deal with.

We spoke to the co-ordinator again, who told us that the biggest struggle they had at the home was the fact that the community was very separate and not involved with these elderly. He told us that what they really needed was support from the locals, and volunteers, people who were willing to give time. I would have loved to volunteer then and there but I was still kind of reeling from the whole thing. When we left, I was pretty quiet. If you know me, I’m not a particularly quiet person. But I genuinely was lost for words. Because it got me thinking. And hence this rant. (I’m literally just starting now, so don’t be alarmed!)

Often, we forget about people like these who make up our society. Because they aren’t in the spotlight, not authoritative figures of social importance necessarily or in front of us, then we don’t seem to notice them. We forget that these were the people who built the world we live in today. Many of the elderly especially were the ones involved in the World Wars. They were the ones who worked hard when they were younger, they were the ones who got involved in everything. Okay, so the world was different back then. It was more acceptable to be outwardly racist, homophobic and sexist; of course, there were big differences. But seriously, the only difference between then and now was the fact that society did not make them the people who were cast-outs.

We also forget that eventually (one day, if we don’t die soon) that we will be old. We will be relying on the same services that these people are relying on and we will be the ones who may be suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer’s (either one, God forbid). We have no way of predicting the future or what our health will be like, yet we take it for granted so much. It is expected for us to wake up, to be able to slip out of bed, to go and brush our teeth and use the toilet or whatever. It is a routine we don’t think much of.

What if it took more than an alarm clock to rouse us? If our legs had to physically be moved to get us out of bed, and it took two people to help us brush our teeth and clean ourselves after we used the toilet? How dehumanising must that feel for an entire generation of people who used to be active, young, healthy citizens?

How does it feel not actually realising that you are repeating yourself? That you’re trying to be friendly, ask questions, and all you seem to do is infuriate people and wind them up because (unbeknownst to you) you’ve asked that question eight times now? To be put in a home simply because your family is all dead and there is no-one to look after you? Or even worse; your family are all alive, but none of them can – or want to – look after you in your state? Or even worse; to not even remember any of your family? To look into the faces of people you have spent your entire lives with; yet to you it is as if you are gazing into the face of strangers?

It upset me how disconnected a few members of our group were, and treated the whole thing either as a social experiment, a boring visit or a chore, as if they thought they could better spend their hours elsewhere.

A quote which I very much appreciate and have been pondering on for a while since it was first mentioned last week at NCS, was one taken from a meeting of some of the world leaders discussing the biggest threat in the world. When we first discussed this, we all threw in some cliche answers; poverty, starvation and hunger, child labour, slavery, racism, terrorism etc.

But it looked like we were wrong. Because, although each of these large problems in their own way, the Dalai Lama expressed:

“The biggest threat is that we are raising a generation of passive bystanders.”

And that’s what we are really. Right now, we are all a generation of passive bystanders. That is how these issues are allowed to get worse and more problematic; because the ones who have the power, the means and the intellect to solve these problems, are the ones who are swept up in mass consumerism and materialistic mentalities. We, the ones who are being trained to be world leaders, we who have the world at our fingertips, the ability to make a change, are sitting by idly and watching as the world suffers with problems. We don’t seem to want to get involved in those problems until they start to affect us.

And by then it’s too late.

It’s too late to change the past, because we’re watching all these opportunities, all these chances to make a difference pass us by, and by the time that those problems that we buried in the back garden start to become a problem for us, badda-bing, badda-bang, we’re suddenly old and frail, and in the exact same position as those who we didn’t want to help.

What we don’t realise is that the world around us and society is sustainable. In Geography terms (that GCSE actually came in handy), it means that we are able to use it and its’ resources today without it affecting the use of those in the future. In more simple and relatable terms, it means that the world we are living in now has been set up for us by those before us. Therefore, we have the responsibility to keep it sustainable and set it up for the younger generations, so that when they reach our age, they will be able to do the same thing for the generation that follows them.

It’s a continual cycle.

But because, as a generation of passive bystanders (the phrase of which, I think, so perfectly encapsulates the essence of this generation), we have decided that this doesn’t affect us, and are more interested in the new Apple product being released than the falsely-accused, jailed and tortured being released, we don’t want to take action. Because it ‘doesn’t affect us.’

And to be fair, the fault lies with a combination of both nurture and nature. We are growing up in a society which is teaching us to take what we want, get money, get rich quick, spend all your money on commodities (mostly unaffordable; but that’s what we are being taught loans are for, right?) and KEEP. BUYING. MORE. Which is essentially the message which each one of us is digesting, being fed to us by the things we watch, listen to and (less often) read. However, it also has to do with the way we are brought up.

Children being brought up where nannies are the mothers and parents are only ever seen at weekends because of working schedules, are being taught that money is more important than anything else, even family.

Children who are sat in front of television screens and are given technology to play with before they can even speak or walk, are being taught that entertainment is everything, that excitement is key to life.

Kids and toddlers who play colouring-in games on tablets, on computers and mobile phones, rather than using pencil colours and books, are being taught that accessibility is more convenient than having to work for what you want.

It is the combined fault of the people who are raising these upcoming generations and the mentality and the mental confines which we are unwilling – or unaware of – to break out of. We need to recognise that if we are to move forward, to begin rebuilding the society which we so often complain about, then we need to be the ones to stand up and make a change; because we are the only ones who currently can.

Before I get too carried away, I’m going to drop in my key message here and roll with it.

#FirstWorldProblems are not Real Problems

I’m sorry, but that is not a statement which is up for discussion. Here are two beautiful videos which so effectively encapsulate that message.

The fact that we complain about breaking a nail when there are people having their nails ripped out as methods of torture; that we whine when our parents ask us to do chores to get pocket money, yet some children don’t get ASKED to do chores, they are TOLD to do them, and they don’t get paid or treated well; the fact that when we have no signal for our phones (I must admit, I am at fault for this one) we are dying, but some people are entirely content without mobile phones at all, is entirely upsetting, and actually very ungrateful and the wrong sort of mentality to have.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that every other person in Developing countries wants to be like you and me, because I am fully aware that there are people entirely satisfied with the conditions and situations and circumstances they live in, despite having so much less than us. But since we are in a Western Culture where your worth is valued on how much and what you have, this is how we are being taught to think, and this is stopping us from being aware of people with real issues out there.

And we don’t have to look as far as countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. That was the whole point of my recount about today; there are people who need our help right here. This is not a campaign, this is not a marketing ploy, and I am not promoting any specific charity or organisation, nor am I telling you to go right now and donate in order to feel like you’ve made a difference. That’s another thing about us; we feel like money can solve any problem.

The Dementia home where I went today didn’t want money. Maybe they needed it, but there was a much deeper need for something else; company. Time, volunteers, people who wanted to help and help selflessly. It upsets me how many young people only want to volunteer because “it will look good on their CV” or it will “make them more employable.” Yes, these are definitely bonuses to the whole thing, but look at how many opportunities we have been afforded. Can we not give back to the community on a larger scale, knowing that whatever we do will effectively be done to us?

We set the example. We are the ones who are going to be the world leaders of the next generation, which is what scares me the most, as I mentioned in a post a while ago, but effectively, we are the ones expecting to be treated like royalty when we get to those situations and those ages… yet we are doing nothing for the ones who are there right now.

Where is the fairness?

I’ll give you a hint: THERE IS NONE.

I think it’s probably quite clear how impassioned I am about this whole thing, and as well as that, it is also quite clear how little as a generation we have done – and as a result, how much MORE we need to do to make up for this shortcoming. We cannot complain about the world we will potentially live in (God forbid) if we do not do anything now to change it.

Everyone can change it in their own little way. Donating to charities isn’t always the immediate answer, but it definitely is a sure-fire way of making sure that your money is going further than the Forever21 sales. (As long as they are reliable charities as well). Volunteering, social visits to homes like the one we went to today, just being friendly and making the people in these homes who so rarely get out, feel like young, carefree people again. Petitions, campaigns, doing research in your areas and local communities to find out what needs to be changed, what can be improved and how exactly you can work towards doing it, counts for something.

You don’t have to start a charity. You don’t have to do something immediately. I am hoping to become a Human Rights Lawyer, travel abroad and write about things I see and experience. Obviously, that will not all be done overnight. But in the meantime, there are smaller scale things we can do to change the world we are in.

I don’t think I’ve ever ranted so passionately about non-race related issues, but I’m glad I was able to.

Let’s just keep in mind here, as a generation, we are privileged; so we need to stop acting like we are deprived. That’s my rant for today, amassing a record 3,139 words.

Peace, love, hope, joy (and everything else) to all my readers,

Be aware, and remember, #FirstWorldProblems are not Real Problems. Love you all,

Queen Rianna

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10 Things I Hate About You

Romantic Comedies, otherwise known as Rom-Coms.

These are one of the only things with which I have a simultaneous love-hate relationship. Naturally, I’m not going to talk about why I love them so much… because really, I hate them. They have absolutely destroyed me. They have put a million unrealistic goals and expectations in my mind for what to expect from future relationships. As a result, as a means of revenge, I’m basically going to pick apart all the cliches.

So without further ado…

THE CHARACTERS

The protagonist is either a youngish/middle-aged woman who has failed at love several times (and often has to attend her younger sister’s wedding to just reiterate how much of a failure at love she is) or a woman who is completely smitten with her absolutely perfect boyfriend/fiancee whom she doesn’t know is cheating on her with her best friend/work colleague/enemy, etc.

Her love interest is either the playboy/womaniser who has slept with half of her office (the female half) and her entire block in her apartment, the unexpected guy (the dweeby one, who she never sees as attractive until the end) or the best friend who is there for her 24/7 and whom she VICIOUSLY friendzones every time he attempts to make his feelings for her clear. Often, they are a combination of these: you can have the playboy best friend, – who has sworn off love, until he realises that he has fallen for his best friend – or the unexpected best friend – the guy who is so sweet and lovely and we GENUINELY do not see it coming (but this is more rare; they are super predictable).

The protagonist often has two best friends – a sassy-but-sensible gay guy and a chunkier, wilder version of herself. Sometimes the younger/elder sister counts as a best friend, but not often. Her best friends are the ones who push her to do things that she would never dream of doing. They’re the ones who simultaneously come up with the crazy ideas and also dissuade her from them when things start going wrong. Because they DO go wrong. A lot.

The protagonist usually has a very selfish, self-centered mother who is obsessed with marriage. If, as it is usually, the protagonist’s younger sister is getting married, the mother is the one who wants the protagonist to get a wealthy boyfriend. She often tries to set her daughter up with friend’s sons and gets very angry when the blind dates don’t go well. If the protagonist doesn’t have a mother, it’s usually because she’s dead.

The protagonist’s father is usually estranged from the mother and is dating a woman the same age or younger than the protagonist. He isn’t often in it much, or he’s dead, or lives in a different country. However, he proves to sometimes be a huge emotional support for the protagonist and is usually the one who predicts her future love life. (i.e. He often is the one who says her and her best friend will end up married).

THE PLOT

In my opinion, there are several archetypal plots for these movies:

1. The Jigsaw Piece – The protagonist tells her mum in a mad moment of irrationality that she has a date for her sister’s wedding. As a result, her best friend has to step in and they pretend to date, for the benefit of their family. Eventually, they both realise (usually only the protagonist realises, because her best friend has been in love with her for YEARS) that they are just meant to be together, usually after a kiss which means more than it’s supposed to. Then everything just fits into place.

2. The Replacement – The protagonist who has sworn off love and often hears about the conquests of her playboy best friend, goes on holiday or AWOL for some reason or other. While away, she meets a guy and brings him back right around the time that her best friend discovers he has feelings for her and is going to tell her. Then he (the love interest) spends the next couple of weeks/months leading up to the wedding trying to figure out how to tell her before it’s too late.

3. The Change – The protagonist has just discovered/been alerted to the fact that he boyfriend/fiancee has cheated on her, or she is sick of the fact that she ‘settles’ for guys when she knows she can do way better. She turns to her friends for advice and they all suggest that she re-invents herself in order to become a new person and move on. Whilst she is in this phase, she becomes closer with a friend/neighbour who is a playboy. She uses his expertise to help her re-invent herself and they share a kiss at some point which means more than it should. The guy realises he wants to be with her and she wants to be but is unsure because of his history.

THE DENOUMENT – The Neat Ending

1. The Wedding Crasher – The best friend-turned-love interest decides not to go to the wedding and watch the girl he loves be married to someone else. At the last moment, he decides (often by the encouragement of his friend) that he should not let this girl go and races to her wedding to stop her from getting married. In the end he tells her that HE wants to marry her and that he has serious feelings for her.

2. The Proposal – The protagonist is sick of wasting her time with silly boyfriends so is holding out for the real thing. The love interest is – conveniently – a commitment-phobe, but realises he would rather commit himself to the protagonist than not risk a great opportunity. It is very unexpected – NOT – but he hints at it a lot.

3. The Declaration (Often links with ‘The Proposal’) – Lots of things have happened throughout the movie which don’t make much sense to the protagonist until the best friend/love interest confesses everything. He explains to her why he has done all those crazy things in the beginning and basically admits that he has fallen in love with her or has been in love with her for a number of years/months or whatever. Sometimes this could end with ‘The Proposal’ but often it just allows the two characters to kiss. Sometimes at the end, you get a snippet of ‘Moving In’, when the two have decided to live with each other.

THE CLICHE LINES

IN THE CASE OF A BEST FRIEND-TURNED-LOVE INTEREST…

1. GIRL: (After a bad date) It was so terrible, I can’t believe it. I have no luck, I am never going to find anybody.

GUY: (Staring at her) Anyone would be so lucky to have you, seriously.

GIRL: (Looking up at him) Awwwwwr [insert Guy’s name here] you are the best friend a girl could ask for.

2. GIRL: (In a jokey, platonic sense) I love you so much.

GUY: (Takes a deep breath, in a serious, romantic sense) I love you too.

3. GIRL: (Coming out of a dressing room in something super sexy) Does this look alright?

GUY: (Pauses) Yeah, you look… fantastic.

GIRL: (Spinning and oblivious to the fact that he is now admiring her butt) Because I’m not sure if he [insert different guy’s name] will like it, I mean…

GUY: (With some effort) I’m sure he’ll love it. You look really good.

GIRL: I’m actually SO glad I can take you shopping with me. You’re the only guy who doesn’t check me out.

GUY:

4. GIRL: (Addressing her best friend) Ew, that’s weird, you’re like my brother!

LINES THAT MAKE YOU CRINGE OR CRY…

1. GIRL/GUY: We need to talk about that kiss.

2. GIRL/GUY: (To another person about their love interest) They don’t mean anything to me! (NB: We saw a VERY bad case of this in HSM, but it does actually happen in some RomComs)

3. GUY: (When he has been caught with another girl) I can explain.

GIRL: (Turning, shaking her head and runs out of the room)

4. GIRL: (Looking at the sunset/piece of art etc.) Isn’t it beautiful?

GUY: (Looking at the girl) Yeah. It is.

5. GIRL: (Comes down the stairs/enters the room in a fancy outfit, really dressed up) Whuddya think?

GUY: (Speechless) Uhm… WOW.

GIRL: (Looking worried) Is it my hair? Is this dress too short? What? What is it?

GUY: No you look…

GIRL: (Still worried) I look…

GUY: Wow.

GIRL: (Looking bemused) I look ‘wow’?

GUY: Yes. I mean, NO! You look…

GIRL: (Laughs) You really make a girl feel special. (Walks off and forgets about it)

6. GIRL: I thought you were different.

7. GIRL: I trusted you.

8. (In alternating segments)

GIRL: (To her friend) He has the most amazing eyes. And he just LISTENS to me, yaknow?

GUY: (To his friend) Her figure is just… (makes shape with hands) POW. And I couldn’t stop staring at her BAZOOKAS.

GIRL: (To her friend) He treats his little brother so well, he is a great person all round, he has a lovely personality.

GUY: (To his friend) And her butt in that dress! Wow, I am going to ignore the fact that she has a great personality and just make comments about her body!

UNREALISTIC AND FALSE LESSONS THAT THESE MOVIES TEACH US…

1. No matter what the guy is like, if he loves you then you can change him.

2. The first person you fall in love with will be the person you remain with for the rest of your life.

3. Your best friend is in love with you, he/she is just waiting for the chance to tell you.

4. Guys are always chauvinistic pigs. Except for your best friend. He’s only a chauvinistic pig when he’s around his friend, but then you change him.

5. There are no barriers to true love. Even if the person is going to get married, if they’re in a long term relationship, it doesn’t matter. There aren’t any barriers.

6. Getting married is the end of the story. Once you get married, that’s it. You have cracked the code, you have achieved perfection. There is no more work to be done.

7. Marrying someone whom you haven’t known for very long is very sensible.

8. It doesn’t matter if you’re about to marry someone who you know doesn’t suit you very well, because your TRUE love will gatecrash the wedding and stop you from doing it anyway.

9. Gatecrashing weddings and stealing the bride is oh-so romantic.

10. Always wait until the latest possible minute to declare your love for somebody, JUST to make it very inconvenient for them. In fact, wait until RIGHT near the end when everything seems impossible. Because they will always give up their plans at the drop of a hat for you.

So there you have it. I don’t really want to go on anymore, because I feel like I’ve covered the majority of it. But that is it really though isn’t it? I mean, I’m speaking for the majority of these movies here, which makes sense I think.

Anyways, I’m off now. Back to London later (unfortunately) so need to finish packing… And don’t worry Susanna, I’ll do the post at some point. I promise.

I’ve also been nominated for the Creative Blogger Award, so I’ll do that at some point this week.

TTFN,

Queen Rianna

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Irony (Pt. 3)

OK, so I was supposed to write this about a year ago. (Hyperbole; that was a tad of an exaggeration!) But here it is.

So just to summarise the past two posts, Part 1 and Part 2, I was saying a great big thanks to all my infant and primary school teachers. Which I think would lead nicely into the people who inspire me right now. The only thing that has been bothering me really is the fact that I’m not sure if I’m allowed to use people’s names or not; especially teacher’s names, because they might not want me to. So I’ve had to abbreviate them and/or shorten them to make sure I don’t get in trouble. (Fingers crossed)

And so it begins. Seeing as I did my last two posts chronologically, I’m going to try the best I can to keep this chronological as well, but my mind is all over the place right now. I won’t be able to pinpoint exact years for most of them but this is a bit different because I think that I have LOADS of people to get through. Anyways:

My School Teachers:

  1. Miss C was my first head of year when I was in Year 7. She also taught me RE and she pushed me a lot in my lessons. I don’t know, but there’s something comforting about a teacher knowing you are clever but still challenging you to do more. She would always make me think more about the things I said. She asked questions which rivaled the ‘Bloom’s Taxonomy Stem’ thing, and as a result, really pushed my Year 7 brain to the max. I had her for 3 years for RE and I relished every lesson we had. Yes, it was challenging. Yes, it was difficult, but I think it was exactly what I needed. So thank you Miss C for being so cool and funny and making me enjoy RE. And also for helping me to take a broader look at the world.
  2. Mr D was my second head of year. I think he came about when I was in Year 8 and we had him all the way up to near the end of Year 9. He kind of reminded me of Mrs P (as in from Primary school), in that he often spoke to my mum a lot about different opportunities for me and helping me to move forward. I don’t remember him as a head of year much though, I more remember him as my History teacher. He was entertaining and actually grew my love of History, similar to Miss C (from Year 4). I guess being taught by him helped me to see how amazing History was. UNFORTUNATELY, I didn’t take it as a GCSE subject (though I slightly wish I had instead of Geography…) but I still won’t forget those lessons. So thank you, Mr D for showing me how amazing history is and encouraging me to do more.
  3. Mrs H is the careers guidance counsellor at my school. She was also my English teacher (she taught Poetry and Non-Fiction to us, the latter of which is one of THE most boring topics ever) and she was just lovely. Even when we had boring topics, she tried so hard to get us all engaged with her lessons. She puts so much efforts into everything and she is genuinely one of the loveliest teachers I have ever had the privilege to know. She regularly emails me with opportunities; a lot of the competitions I’ve entered and things that I’ve applied for have really all been from her. I’m so grateful that she is here, and so I want to say thanks Mrs H, because you are so awesome and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me so much!
  4. Lawly. I don’t think I really need to say much about her. She was my form tutor from Year 7 then was cruelly wrenched from us in Year 11… but she’s been like a school mother to me. She’s literally been there all the time. She’s seen me cry AT LEAST twice, we’ve had DMC’s in the sports hall at 8:00, before school even started. (And yet, I still can’t seem to grasp her accent; I want to learn how to do an Irish accent SOOO badly!) She has always pushed me to do more, she’s had insight into things I couldn’t even begin to imagine AND my mum loves her. Which is always a bonus really, because usually parents and teachers are not the best of friends LOL. But she has inspired me to do so much, and she is always so proud of my achievements. I love you a lot Lawly and thank you for always being there for me!
  5. I don’t REALLY want to mention ChaChaSquaPe, because he’s a bit useless… buuuutttt, him and Lawly have always opened their office to me whenever I’ve been distressed or just want to hang out and I don’t think I can thank him enough for his support. And of course, the ETERNAL banter. (Like, if it was on a Nando’s scale, I’d say his banter is EXTRA HOT, which a sprinkling of the extra hot sauce on your chips as well). He’s also taking us to Disneyland, so I need to be nice. 🙂 But thank you Banksy, for putting up with me in your office, just talking at you and eating your muffins whilst you ‘do work’.
  6. Mrs P yes, ANOTHER one my favourite teacher (is this even allowed?) and my inspiration in English. I’m not sure what to say which I haven’t said about her already, but she is always encouraging me to do more, to work harder and to push my mind. She has helped me to bring out a more creative side, she has made English lessons enjoyable (not that they HAVEN’T been enjoyable because it’s my favourite subject… to be honest, even if I had Andy Murray teaching me English, I would still find a way of enjoying it) and she has supported me in every one of my endeavors. She told me I can be a writer. I am going to be a writer. Thank you Mrs P for instilling in me the encouragement and belief that I can do whatever I put my mind to. And also thank you for your super sweet letter at the end of Year 11. 🙂

My Family:

  1. My twin sister, J, has been a huge inspiration for me. She’s been absolutely amazing and even when she was going through her struggles, has always been a support to me. I’ve always looked up to her, and she is working so hard, and I’m so proud of her. She has been with me through SO much (I try to forget all the conversations we had about certains, LOL 😉 ) and she is the person who I will never be able to NOT be friends with because she knows FAR too much. But I won’t need to because I love her a lot and she has always been with me. Thanks, J, for being there for me when I needed you, and even when I didn’t know it, I would still know that you were beside me.
  2. Auntie L and Uncle B have been so amazing. They’ve put up with me constantly. Literally, they’ve had me for an entire month and I am SO grateful and feel so blessed to have amazing people like them in my life. Auntie L is a good listener; she will listen to me whine and she will make me feel like I have someone who understands me. Because she DOES understand me. And even when she doesn’t, it’s OK, because I know that she just gets me. She’s supported me through a lot, (in regards to boys LOL) and Uncle B has always provided me with sandwiches (though I know that is Teyah’s thing really) and home-cooked meals. I genuinely am so grateful to God for them and for their constant support. I love you both a lot.
  3. Auntie A is another mother to me. Even though she’s abroad a lot, she has played a huge part in raising me and making me the girl I am today. I can’t say thank you enough for all the things she’s done for me, the things she’s encouraged me to do, the person that she’s helped me to become. She was the one who helped me to come out of my shell, who guided me through all my friendship drama, who helped me to decide what I want to do when I’m older. It’s all down to her, and I don’t feel like saying thank you is enough. I love you so much Auntie.
  4. Antang is my other mother. (I have so many! I am so blessed, oh my!) Especially during my exams she’s been a humungous support, always been messaging me and encouraging me. I know whenever I need to, I can message her, and she’s opened her home to me so many times. The messages, the pictures, the words of encouragement and support… Antang, you REALLY don’t know how much I appreciated this. Sometimes, it’s just small things that keep you going. I love you a lot Antang.
  5. My big sister, Gabbster, has been there ALL THE TIME. She has literally been my driving force through this entire exam period, she is around when I need her and even when I don’t know that I need her, she is there for me. She has done so much for me that I don’t even think I’ll be able to repay, but seeing her get where she is is an inspiration to me. She gives me hope for my future and she is such a hard-worker. She doesn’t whine about the curveballs that life throws her; she catches them and throws them straight back at life twice as hard. I love you so much Gabbster, and I am so so thankful that God put you in my life, because you have inspired me in ways you can’t even begin to imagine.
  6. Last but not least, Auntie Y. Even though I don’t get to see her often, she leaves a lasting impression on me, even when she’s not there with me! LOL. She inspires me because she is such a hard-worker. She is so selfless and I look up to her. I want to be like her so much when I am older. She is so kind and caring, and funny, and she is just so effortlessly friendly. Anyone who has the privilege of knowing my Aunt has the privilege of being friends with an amazing person. I love her so much, and I’m so glad that I’m related to her.

Of course, since the whole point of these three posts were about saying thank you and being grateful for all the wonderful people God has put into (and also, taken out of) my life, I am also going to send a huge I LOVE YOU and THANK YOU to my fellow Astellians (Susanna, Sazza, Babs and Ewnte) and also The Cheeky Lads (Frazza, Dezza, Kazza and Izzy) for sticking by me through a lot. You are genuinely great friends, even greater people, and I know you will all go on to do amazing things in life. (Stop laughing, I am serious).

AND OF COURSE, how could I forget my AMAZING mother and father for a) giving birth to me (no small feat, if you ask my mum), b) KEEPING me, because really they were under no obligation to do that, c) PUTTING UP WITH ME for almost 16 years, and just being there. Yes, we have our disagreements and fallouts, but you’re the ones who will be there for me no matter what, even when everything else goes wrong and people leave, I know that you two are the ones who are there constantly. The sacrifices you have both made to get my sister to where we both are today… Words cannot describe how much I love you and am grateful for all the things you do.

I’ve said amazing quite a lot in this post, so please excuse me.

I don’t think that we acknowledge the people who mean the most to us often enough. Nor do we acknowledge people who have done a lot for us. This is my attempt to rectify that, though it’s pretty long and soppy (LOL) I guess it’s the thought that counts, right?

At any rate, I think I’m done now. HOPEFULLY, I didn’t miss anyone! (If I did, then I am SO SO sorry and I love you a lot!) But I guess, thanks for reading my soppy post. I am currently sitting in the aforementioned PE Office in the corner of the room, while Lawly does some admin stuff and Banksy was just whining down the phone about some exercise books he wants to order. I think he’s settled on purple for the music books.

Amazing people.

Love you all,

Queen Rianna

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The Big Debate (SPOILER ALERT)

I did warn you that I was going to be posting a lot… But I feel like this will be my last one for today; I have a few other things to do.

But this is a VERY important post. No, it is not Irony Pt. 3, (sorry Lawly) but I will have that up by the end of this week! In fact, this is a debate which shook the foundations of a few of my friendships and even made me reevaluate some. (Yes, it was that deep). The topic we were debating was quite sensitive, seeing as both options were both plausible, but in the face of this debate, one was the clearly ultimate superior to the other… but never mind that. The question we were asking was:

Who is better: Mulan or Pocahontas?

Hua Mulan, aka. Fa Mulan

‘Matoaka’ Amonute, aka Pocahontas (later Rebecca Rolfe)

Now, before I start, I’d just like to say; if you a) don’t know who those girls are or b) haven’t watched either one of their featured movies, then please IMMEDIATELY close this tab and watch them ASAP, because you don’t know what you’re missing out on. And OK. I know it sounds ridiculous, because they’re both super cool Disney gals (who, may I just add, are two of about four Disney gals to have their names be the title of the movie) and also, what normal teenager debates these sort of things?

NEWSFLASH: I’m not normal. (I am a teenager though, unfortunately).

So anyway. Back to the debate. Of course, I felt it entirely necessary to share this with you, because it really made me think. Myself and my friend had a 40-minute debate about this at like ten at night, and STILL couldn’t come to any agreement. I have to be fair and present BOTH arguments equally (even though I fully KNOW which one I think is better, though I won’t disclose just yet; but sure, you are free to guess if you think I make it obvious) before I sum the arguments up. But here goes. (My practice as a lawyer, really, things like this are essential for my mind! And also just fun in general, because the debate got so heated, at one point my aunt told me to be quieter because I was screaming down the phone)…

FOR: Pocahontas, AGAINST: Mulan

Pocahontas is the super cool, independent and fierce daughter of the chief of the tribe. (Technically, she is a princess). In the beginning of the movie, she has a dream about a spinning arrow and when she talks to her Grandmother Willow, they decide that this is going to be her fate; a spinning arrow. Pocahontas is one of the ONLY princesses in all of Disney history to actively choose her own fate – her father wants her to marry a tribe warrior called Kocoum, but she sings a really sick song (called ‘Just Around The Riverbend’) about how she wants to go her own way (NOT like Gabriella from HSM; as in go her own way ‘independently’). Now, as much as this may sound rebellious or whatever, Pocahontas is not one for blindly following the standards of other people. She wants to make her own decisions, do her own thing, make her own choices. Many of the other Disney princesses are often only pursuing what they have been taught, beit by their family or their inspired dreams. Pocahontas doesn’t have much for her in the tribe. Yes, she might be the chieftain’s daughter, but she wants to be MORE than the chieftain’s daughter. She wants to be known for herself.

Mulan, on the other hand, is known for her family, and everything she does is because she wants to please her family, make her family happy. Nothing that Mulan does is for herself. In fact, in the movie’s very first song, ‘Bring Honour To Us All’ she is LITERALLY trying to be a ‘good’ daughter to please her family. And then when THAT doesn’t work, she sings ‘Reflection’, about how she is trying (and failing) to reach up to the standards HER FAMILY has set.

Pocahontas biggest achievement is preventing war between the ‘copper-skinned savages’ and the ‘white-skinned devils’ (no hate please, I’m using phrases from the ACTUAL movie) i.e. the Native Americans and the British. When her love interest (John Smith, OOH, he is BAE) is captured by her father and the warriors, she visits him DESPITE the fact that he could be punished. When it is time for him to be executed (AHA SPOILER) she literally FLINGS herself in between the executioner and John Smith (tied to a pole, but still… it was a very moving scene). She put her own life at risk, not just because of the love of this guy, but also because of the love she had for her own tribe; she knew that if John Smith was killed, the British would attack her tribe, and they’d probably all be killed too. She realised this before anyone else did.

Mulan fights a war. Obviously yes, winning a war is a great achievement, but she doesn’t actively seek to prevent it like Pocahontas did. YES, she may not have been able to prevent it, but her ‘method of prevention’ is firing a cannon into a mountain to avalanche the entire hun army. (AHA SPOILER) Effective, YES. Friendly and life-preserving, NO.

POINTS TO ADD

  1. Mulan has a bunch of friends around when she is going through her struggles. Even after she reveals herself as a female (AHA SPOILER) they still return to her side when the huns return (AHA SPOILER) and help her. Pocahontas, for the entirety of the movie, is alone. Other than Grandmother Willow who gives her advice, she has nobody to physically be with her and help her. She is a lone wolf.
  2. Pocahontas is (admittedly) prettier than Mulan.
  3. In the sequel, Pocahontas 2, she travels to England to act as an ambassador for her tribe. She has to journey to a far away land and then assimilate the culture, as she is viewed nationally as a ‘savage’. She is willing to sacrifice her culture for her tribe and herself for the sake of her tribe.
  4. Overall, the songs in Pocahontas are better and more catchier than the songs in Mulan. ‘Colours of the Wind’ and ‘Savages’ were some of THE sickest (like the GOOD sick) songs in Disney history. Mulan’s songs are good, but some don’t hit the mark.

FOR: Mulan, AGAINST: Pocahontas

Mulan is the lovable, sweet and self-sacrificing daughter of a war veteran. (She’s not actually a princess, but who cares?) In the beginning of the movie, she hears of her father being summoned to war and, knowing that he is injured and will probably die in this battle, decides to cut off her hair (no small feat for any girl, let me tell you), bind her breasts (once again, no small feat) and ride off to war with her father’s stolen armour, an assumed name and a hapless dragon guardian. Mulan is the ONLY Disney gal to act in such a selfless manner; she rides off to war knowing that she could die, but preferring that she die rather than her father. She thinks she has dishonoured her family (to an extent) but even in her obedient nature, she realises that she cannot allow her father to go and die. Mulan stands nothing to gain from going to war. If she is caught, she will be executed. If she is NOT caught, then she would have saved her father from going and may return home safely, if she is not killed in battle. Pocahontas stands to gain from stopping the war. She gets to have her man, so to speak, and she also gains the respect of every man in the camp. Pocahontas lives in a society where women were highly respected. Women may have been housewives, but they certainly were not traditional housewives; they weren’t penitent or subservient. They were still empowered. Mulan lives in a society where women are nothing. Their only role is to get married and have children.

Mulan has to fight against biological conditioning. She is a petite, slight Chinese woman amongst men who have probably been training all their lives for moments like this. She has to push her body to the absolute LIMIT and beyond so that she will become conditioned for war. She has no idea how to fight. She has few moments to learn and yet eventually becomes a very skilled soldier (all whilst a) keeping the pretence of her gender and b) singing a kick-ass song ‘I’ll Make A Man Out Of You’)

Pretty much single-handedly, with quick thinking, Mulan defeats the majority of the hun army. When the Chinese army is greatly outnumbered, she is able to put her own life at risk (once again) for the safety of her friends/army and fires a cannon to create an avalanche. Without this quick decision, there is NO way that their army would have survived. Although it may not be life-preserving for the huns, it is life-preserving for China, and as a result, even the Emperor acknowledges her (AHA SPOILER) as the saviour of China, DESPITE her gender. Mulan manages to break the typical gender role of a woman in her society throughout the movie, and by the end, has everyone realising that maybe women aren’t useless.

Pocahontas, on the other hand, doesn’t really break role. Her saving of John Smith is the emotional manipulation of her father. She full and well KNOWS that no fellow tribesman will lay a hand on the chieftain’s daughter, and so will not execute John Smith as a result of her being in front of him. In the beginning of the movie, she plays the ‘I don’t need a man’ role, and then suddenly, BADDA BING BADDA BANG, John Smith turns up and – after much hanging out – her philosophy suddenly changes. Mulan is trying to become a bride and when that doesn’t work she feels ashamed. Even when she realises that she has feelings for General Shang (WHOO, another BAE to be honest, because that man bun got me like…) she puts them behind her in order to focus on the task at hand – being a soldier. She refuses to jeopardise herself or her family simply for the feelings she has for this – super fit – guy.

POINTS TO ADD

  1. Pocahontas has TWO love interests… someone say GREEDY.
  2. The sequel of Mulan was PARTIALLY soul-destroying, what with the fact that she thought General Shang was dead, and was fully ready to marry someone else. (AHA SPOILER) The sequel of Pocahontas was SOUL-DESTROYING, with the fact that she thought John Smith was dead and then SMOOTHLY navigated to a new man. Darn you, John Rolfe.
  3. Mulan is never willing to deny herself or her feelings (when she is allowed to be a woman warrior, she does.) Even when Shang disagrees with her personal philosophy that ‘her duty is to her heart’ she doesn’t care. In fact, they even fall out over that. Pocahontas is willing to give up her culture for a new man. Just because John Rolfe asks her to be some ‘civilised’ British woman, she does. She dons some disgusting dress and EW.

So that’s it. The argument. I had to summarise a lot but the overall gist is that Pocahontas is independent but emotionally-driven and Mulan is kick-ass but emotionally-driven.

And I did this test, Which Disney Princess Are You? Which you should do, because BUZZFEED. (I won’t tell you who I got, but I got one of these two gals. 🙂 ) But make sure that you ONLY do this quiz and don’t click on ANOTHER quiz, such as THIS ONE (but of course do that one, it’s Which Disney Prince Is Your True Love?) Anyway.

To be fair, I’m not going to tell you which one I favour, because that’d be biased. However, I CAN tell you that anyone who does not see the clear winner in this situation is an absolute WEIRDO… and quite frankly, doesn’t deserve to watch Disney.

That’s all from me, Queen Rianna

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A Thing I Felt Like Telling You

Well… a few actually. I hardly think they’re particularly inspirational and I’m not going to say that I’m SO experienced so I know EVERYTHING; because I don’t. But what I CAN say is that this might actually be helpful for somebody and anybody could possibly read this and go, “Oh my goodness, this is actually quite true!” Anyway. Enough of that.

But naturally, feel free to comment, because I really want to hear all your comments about the stuff I’m going to say.

I literally keep saying “I’m not going to post anything until the 12th June, buuuuutttt….” So this is one of those moments. This was something I really needed to get off of my chest and now seemed like a good time. This probably seems very random and out of place, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently. And if you ask any of my friends, it’s pretty dangerous when I think (LOL), but I’m going to go ahead and post my ‘thinkings’ (or thoughts, for all of you who won’t allow me creative license) since this is a rambling blog anyway.

In the past couple of months, there’s been a really big emphasis on the ‘friends’ front for me. When I say ‘friends’, I’m not talking about making new ones so much, I’m more talking about the friends that I currently have/have had. Now, obviously, for any teenager, especially girls, friends play a huge role in our lives. For many of us, friends are super important to us and their attitudes and tastes also could dictate our own lives, if we allow them to.

Now, before I start telling you a few things, I’d just like to clarify: I’m not saying that everybody is like this. My sister, for example, is a person who doesn’t let her friends change who she is (God bless), and I know lots of other girls (and guys) who stay the same, regardless of their friends. But obviously (and I hate to sound like the ‘agony aunt’ here) peer pressure is a huge thing, and it’s more real than any of us like to admit. And I’m not talking about some dodgy guy with a trench coat coming up to us and asking “Hey kids, wanna buy some drugs?” I’m talking about the sort of peer pressure which is so subtle but causes us to completely change aspects of ourselves just so we feel a part of it.

And thus it begins.

Thing 1: Every friendship can teach you something.

This sounds a bit funny I guess, but it’s true. Even the terrible friendships teach you things; that you don’t want to hang out with those kind of people, or how to better handle situations in the future. A lot of friendships can even show you what sort of person you are. For me, a lot of my previous friendships have taught me the sort of things I could never learn from my current friends. For example, when people get angry, they often bring up lots of things from the past, and when me and my friends would argue, sometimes they’d say things about me which were, admittedly, not nice… but also true. This, I guess, kind of put into perspective the sort of person they viewed me as and helped me to change accordingly. I realised that if I wanted to have friends who were trustworthy, kind, reliable, loyal etc. then I had to be that person for other people.

Thing 2: You should never feel uncomfortable with your friends.

I feel like this is the sort of unspoken thing, but nobody really seems to address it. There is literally no excuse for feeling uncomfortable around the people that you call friends. If you’re shy, if you’re an introvert, if you have anxiety; you might be thinking, that’s absolute rubbish, but to be honest, I have friends that are all three of those things, and yet when we’re together you would never even know. Friends are supposed to be the people who you can say whatever (I mean, as long as it’s not offensive – but then again, they can always make you aware of this) to, whenever (especially when you’re having an existential crisis at, like 3 in the morning) and however (because I do some WEIRD voices; I do love a good accent) and not feel worried that they’re going to judge you. You shouldn’t have to hold anything back from your friends of your personality when you’re with them, or alternatively, hide any aspect of who you really are.

Thing 3: Friends don’t flaunt your failures. They help you to make improvements.

They are supposed to be supports, not meant to drag you down. In life, you are going to be friends with people who are negative ALL. THE. TIME. Don’t get me wrong, these people can be genuinely great but eventually, their negativity is going to grate on you and/or even make you more negative. I’m not saying “Ditch all your negative friends” but what I am saying is that you need to be aware of what some people’s intentions are. There are going to be ‘friends’ who are jealous of you and are constantly making you feel like less of the person that you really are. For ages, I’ve been friends with people who only want to use me to pull themselves to somewhere and then ditch me; but no more. Friends are the ones who lift you up. Friends are the people who tell you, “Yes, you can do this” or alternatively, are able to be realistic and say “No, you can’t do this” but still “Maybe try this instead.” Friends don’t tell you “This is ridiculous. This is unrealistic. This is impossible.” Friends are the ones who say “No it’s not.” when YOU say all those things.

Thing 4: It is better to be bluntly honest than tactfully untruthful.

This is a big thing for me. There is nothing more that I appreciate when a friend says to me in all honesty, “Rianna, what you just did/said was not good. You need to apologise.” Or some other variation of that. Some teenagers seem to think, in this current day and age, that they are all untouchable, perfect and untainted gods and goddesses. Newsflash: You’re not. We make mistakes. We mess up. And that’s fine. But if our own friends are unable to tell us when we’re doing something wrong, or we don’t want to listen to their honesty, then you might as well go and dig yourself a hole in the ground. It is, in my humble opinion, the responsibility of friends to tell your friends what they’ve done wrong. There’s no point going behind their backs and whining about them if you haven’t told them to their face what they’ve done wrong. In fact, all my current friends are able to do that, and I’ve actually ditched the ones who were unable to be ‘corrected’ so to speak, because they saw themselves as above everyone else. That doesn’t sit right with me. Sorry, but it’s true; and sometimes, a good friend should be able to tell us without having to worry about how we will take it.

Thing 5: Time doesn’t mean anything.

Just because you’ve been friends with someone for 9 years, doesn’t mean that they’re the best possible friend you could have. Just because you’ve been friends with someone for a year and a half, doesn’t mean that they can’t be your closest friend. Just because you’ve been friends with someone for less than a year, doesn’t mean you can’t talk to them everyday. Time is one of the most unnecessary factors within a friendship. Yes, it certainly helps to know someone for a long time (and I don’t think this idea applies to dating so much as friendships, LOL) but the strength and loyalty of a friendship is not dependent upon the number of years or months or days that you’ve known them. And as you could probably tell by my detailing of time at the beginning of this point, I talk from experience.

And a few more points before I close up, because this is getting a tad personal…

  1. Friends only have to hear your voice to know how you’re doing.
  2. Friends don’t talk about you behind your back; they just say it to your face… but in a nice way.
  3. Friends respect your wishes and your beliefs. They don’t try and make you do things which you’ve made it clear that you don’t want to do or don’t believe in, and they CERTAINLY don’t mock the beliefs and ideals which you hold.
  4. They don’t FORCE you out of your comfort zone; instead, they hold your hand and help you out of it whenever you are ready to go with them.
  5. Just because you talk everyday, doesn’t mean you know everything about that person. Just because you’ve been friends with a person for a long time, doesn’t mean that you will always be friends with them.
  6. PEOPLE CAN CHANGE. And they will. O ho, they most certainly will.
  7. ALSO girl-friends do NOT date your ex (unless, of course, you’ve had a good sit-down discussion about it and you are entirely cool with that) and they most certainly do NOT fight over boys. At the end of the day, boys are interchangeable for most of us at this point in our lives. Friends are more important than guys. Trust me. I almost lost a friendship over one.
  8. Friends don’t get friend-jealous. They acknowledge and understand that you ARE going to have friends other than them, and that isn’t a problem. They don’t feel like they have to compete for your attention.
  9. Friends don’t play with your feelings. I think at this point, there is quite a fine line between being ‘just good friends’ with the opposite sex and crossing that, and very often those boundaries are crossed. But friends should realise that if you don’t BOTH want to go there, then they shouldn’t try to.
  10. Don’t be scared to drop your friends if you feel like you need to. You can always find new ones. I know this is a super cliche line, but sometimes, we need to stop thinking about our so-called ‘friends’ and think more about ourselves.
  11. The friends we have now (in teen years) will affect a large proportion of your life. They may not still be in our lives at the end of high school/university etc. but they do play a large role in forming the people who we are and also the personalities that we cultivate. So it’s super important that we pick the right ones.

This all sounds slightly heavy, but I think those points really speak for themselves. Friendship is a big thing.

Is she a counsellor? Is she a therapist? No, she’s a Queen. (All these things are literally from experience!) Goodbye everybody and creds to you ALL for reading that spiel, because I’m pretty sure that is the longest post I’ve written to date.

Queen Rianna

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p.s. If you’re reading this and you feel like I’m talking about you… I probably am.

When The Disney Movie Should Be Rated ’15’ but it’s Rated ‘U’… (SPOILER ALERT)

((I know I said I wasn’t going to post until the 12th June, but this is a super important post and I need to raise awareness of these issues… Also, I’ve been nominated for some Blogger Award thing, so I’ll probably post that as well this week!))

So the other day, right, I had taken a break from revision and I was really feeling to ingest some Disney. So I think, hmm, rather than watching the ones I watch ALL the time, maybe I should watch an old one.

Then it came to me. ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’. YES! I haven’t seen it for so long that I’ve practically forgotten all about the characters and plot, etc. So I did. I watched it.

I was horrified.

Don’t get me wrong; the movie is absolutely AMAZING. Phoebus is just bae, Esmeralda is #WomanCrushErryday, and the songs and scenes are really well-crafted.

But I was horrified.

Not that it was a scary movie, but (SPOILER aha) within the first 10 minutes of the movie, somebody is dead. And I’m not talking about “Big Hero 6” dead (SPOILER aha) like the sort of dead where you don’t really see, but I’m talking about sprawled upside down with a broken neck on the stairs to the Cathedral.

That was the first straw. The second one was that when Claude Frollo (the villain) was holding and finally saw the baby (later known as Quasimodo), he was disgusted, and on his horse, rode over to the well by the Cathedral, stating aloud when the priest asked him what he was doing, “Sending this monster back to the depths of hell where he belongs.” Like MAMMA MIA, calm it Frollo, he just has a deformation; you don’t have to treat him like an alien.

But obviously, Frollo didn’t get the memo, and decided to name the baby “Quasimodo”, which means, “half-formed”. Wow. OK. Did it need to get that deep though?

The THIRD straw was when (some years later after he was forced by the priest to keep the child, NOT kill it – what sort of monster would DROWN a baby anyway?!) he was teaching Quasimodo the alphabet. Usually, when you teach children the alphabet, you go “A is for Apple, B is for Bike, C is for Cat…” and so on. But obviously, SOMEBODY didn’t get the memo (once again). Claude Frollo’s version of the alphabet went – and I kid you not – like this:

A is for Abomination. B is for Blasphemy. C is for Contrition. D is for Damnation. E is for Eternal Damnation. F is for Forgiveness. 

They didn’t get any further than that because of some altercation (Quasimodo accidentally said ‘Festival’ for F…) but really, that was enough.

But not enough for Disney. Because they take it a STEP further and turn Frollo into some randy old man who just wants to have sex with this gypsy that he is obsessed with.

Really.

Like, from when he first came into power, all he wanted to do was kill all the gypsies in France. (This is also an issue????) But then suddenly there is this feisty gypsy girl who keeps seeming to defy him and escape all his attempts to capture her. And what does he do?

Sing a song (which is, I can’t lie, a GREAT song if you didn’t entirely understand the meaning behind it) to the ‘Saints’ about how this dark-haired gypsy is tormenting him. Oh, the name of the song? Hellfire. The song is called Hellfire.

Here. Take a look at some of the lyrics: (I’ve just cut bits together)

You know I’m so much purer than
The common, vulgar, weak, licentious crowd
Then tell me, Maria
Why I see her dancing there
Why her smold’ring eyes still scorch my soul (AT WHICH POINT IN THE SONG, A DANCING ESMERALDA EMERGES FROM THE FLAMES… !)
I feel her, I see her
The sun caught in raven hair
Is blazing in me out of all control (OK, this is DEFINITELY not appropriate for little kids to be listening to)
Like fire
Hellfire
This fire in my skin
This burning
Desire
Is turning me to sin (THE SONG IS ABOUT HIS LUST)
It’s not my fault
It is the gypsy girl
The witch who sent this flame
He made the devil so much
Stronger than a man
Protect me, Maria
Don’t let this siren cast her spell
Don’t let her fire sear my flesh and bone
Destroy Esmeralda
And let her taste the fires of hell
Or else let her be mine and mine alone
Hellfire
Dark fire
Now gypsy, it’s your turn
Choose me or
Your pyre
Be mine or you will burn

THE SONG. IS ABOUT. HIS LUST. He wants to kill all the gypsies but now there’s this one who is (admittedly) attractive and so he’s basically offering her a choice, “You’re a witch and you’re gonna burn… Unless you sleep with me.”

EW. NO. Please stop. (The music doesn’t help either, it’s so dark, and there’s these chanting men in the background chanting in Latin and it’s just… *shudders* so, SO wrong!)

This is completely NOT appropriate for little kids. Here, if you are brave enough to watch the scene from the movie. Seriously, if you can watch this and not be entirely shocked that this movie is rated a U then quite frankly, do not have children. I repeat: DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN.

Not just that, but the movie is so dark. Frollo is one of the most messed up Disney villains I have EVER encountered in my entire life.

OK, so I have never really liked the Disney villains but – I can’t lie – some are quite cool. Gaston’s arrogance was funny – before it turned him into a blood-thirsty murderer – Ursula’s attempt at stealing someone else’s life was slightly amusing, especially considering the fact that she just wanted to get out of the sea really and have a life with someone… and even Cruella de Vil had style.

But no. Frollo has no style, he’s not funny, he’s the most GENUINELY cruel villain I have EVER watched in Disney. Even Captain Hook for chicken’s sake! Captain Hook who is very bitter at Peter Pan cutting off his hand, even Hook is a bit of a softie.

I am not sure who was possessed to craft a character like Frollo and then actually give him LINES like the ones they did. Seriously. Whoever created Claude Frollo, I seriously worry about their state of mind.

Similarly, whoever decided “Oh yeah, UNIVERSAL would be a PERFECTLY acceptable rating to put on a movie of this sort…”

LEAVE. Seriously. GET OUT.

That’s all from me, that’s my lovely rant for today. LOL.

Queen Rianna

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