Here I Go Again

This is just (what I hope will be) a short post in response to an ‘Ask the FSM’ I received. It has to be short because otherwise this post will turn into a political rant. As do the majority of my ‘neutral’ posts, now I think of it actually. But whatever. This is also quite a timely-relevant question, as October is the month we celebrate Black History Month in the UK.

QueenNefertiti asked at 15:04 – ‘What do you think of BLM?’

For those of you who are unaware, the abbreviation ‘BLM’ is in reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, founded by three African-Americans in 2013, through a social media hashtag, (#BlackLivesMatter or #BLM) following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin.

I’d like to apologise in advance for any grammatical or informational discrepancies, but in short, this is what I think of it:

The fact that we live in a world where ‘Black Lives Matter’ has to be voiced aloud for people to recognise this basic fact is despicable. It should just go without saying. I think, as not just a black person but also a person who clearly sees injustices and racism in the majority of the institutions worldwide, that BLM is a very valuable and worthwhile movement. At the same time, it’s a travesty that this movement exists, because it just shows the so-called ‘progressiveness’ of our society isn’t, in fact, as forward-thinking as we’d like to believe. However, the general success and support of the movement inspires a level of hope in me; that despite the mostly fractured and separated community of blacks, there still remains some level of solidarity.

I believe that the common misconception of the BLM movement is that people believe that when it is said, it means ‘ONLY Black Lives Matter’ or ‘Let’s ignore every other marginalised group and recognise only the oppression of Black people’; both which are, of course, wildly inaccurate interpretations of the movement. BLM literally means ‘Black Lives Matter’, not any more or any less than any other race or ethnic group, and that we would like you – the authority, the law-deciding institutions of the world, but moreso of America – to recognise this fact when you are dealing with any case relating to the wrongful treatment of black people, judicially, socially and in any other relevant context.

Of course we need BLM. The amount of horrific cases of police brutality that have been surfacing for the past years are far too many – there should be none. The figures of inequality and injustices in the wrongful convictions of black people or alternatively the wrongful acquittal of white people who have committed crimes against blacks (especially in the case of police officers who have murdered innocent black civilians) are ridiculously high, and indicate (to me, at least) a clear problem. The fact that people are disregarding BLM as a movement which is ‘unnecessary’ or even ‘radical’ is, in my opinion, offensive. How can you tell me that a movement which acknowledges the oppression of a marginalised group and attempts to combat that oppression, through peaceful protesting and campaigning, is ‘radical’? They are literally fighting for the right to be recognised and treated as equals – a status which black people (in America in particular) have been fighting for, for the best part of 400 years.

BLM is not a supremacist, violent or systematically-racist movement. It is a movement that combats the supremacist, violent and systematically-racist institutions of America, and yet is still relevant for black people in communities all over the world. BLM is not a radical movement. There may be radical supporters WITHIN the movement, but there have been and are radicals within every group which stands for peace and equality; in the same way that you cannot label every Muslim an extremist or every white person a racist, you cannot label everyone who agrees with the BLM movement a ‘radical white-hater’, or a ‘segregationist’. Plus, not only black people support the movement. People from all different ethnic backgrounds and races support this movement; another indication that this movement is not at all an ‘exclusive’ one.

I support Black Lives Matter. I am not a violent, a segregationist, a ‘radical’ or anything more than a person who desires social, political and economic equality for blacks – and social and economic equality are, for the most part, still ongoing struggles.

I also do not think that the counteractive ‘All Lives Matter’ should even be used in the same sentence. Yes, ‘All Lives Matter’ but saying ‘ALL lives’ is not specifically focusing on the lives which are currently at risk; you’re including a group which is CLEARLY not marginalised or experiencing the same levels of inequality as others. Yes, there are other oppressed and marginalised groups, but rather than bringing them up as an argument to counteract the BLM movement, why not campaign for these issues yourself? Rather than attempting to invalidate the BLM movement by raising other racial issues, why not simply take up the mantle and raise these issues yourself? Rather than citing ‘black-on-black crime’ as the greater killer of black people in America than the American Police force, why not stop trying to invalidate BLM with somewhat pathetic and irrelevant excuses? As I saw on a very succinct Instagram post, it’s like people saying “Black Lives Matter” and the response group saying “Yes they do BUT…” There is no need to add a ‘but’. There is no ‘but’. Black Lives Matter. End of discussion.

I hope I’ve answered your question, QueenNefertiti.

That wasn’t even a short post, but I hope that my point is clear; I’m sure it is.

Love the Faerie Squad Mother x

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The Tessellation Diagram

Humans beings are born with the innate need to feel. Throughout life – as a baby, a toddler, a child, an adolescent, teen, youth, young adult, adult and elderly person – this need is the focus of everything we do.

Babies cry because they want attention, they need to feel loved. Toddlers waggle their arms to be picked up because they want to feel comforted, they need to feel cherished. Even when we’re older, we date or marry people because we have this seemingly insatiable need to feel wanted.

But wait, you’re probably thinking, what about people who DON’T feel? Now, I know I’m thinking of it from a black and white perspective, but it is impossible to ‘not feel’. The first connection we make when we think of feelings is one of happiness; we assume that in order to effectively ‘feel’ it has to be good feelings. It doesn’t. Bad feelings – feelings of doubt, guilt, fear, depression – are feelings just the same. At the end of the day, everyone feels something. It might not be the same as we grow up, and yes, even evil people feel things too (though exactly what, we may never understand) but everyone feels something; and some to a greater emotional extent than others. Even psychopaths supposedly have the same breadth of emotions as everyone else, they just don’t ‘attend’ to their emotions the same way that everyone else does.

In general though, the most widely sought-after feeling is that of a need; to be wanted, to be loved, to feel like you matter to someone. This is what drives the majority of our daily lives, from childhood all the way up to retirement age. We want to feel like we have people who care for us and love us. This is why we at first develop friendships; from an early age especially, friendships teach us how we feel that we should be loved, how worthy we feel of this love and also how we feel that we should care for others. This is why that when we first start to develop friendships, it is so important that we are taught our self-worth and value; because when we have little or no self-worth, then we don’t have particularly high expectations for the love we feel like we should receive.

The start of someone’s life is the most important part; it makes them who they are. Each mistake, each tear, each success, each failure; but the important part of the learning and growing process is that they are all feelings.

For me, feelings play a huge part in my life. I get very easily attached to people who I feel are worthwhile people to have in my life, in both platonic and romantic senses, and at times, it can be very difficult for me to let go. My need to feel loved, to feel wanted and to feel appreciated drives nearly every single one of my relationships with friends and with family. In the past, as I think I’ve probably mentioned (or slyly indirected) I’ve lost quite a few people who I once considered my really close friends, or ‘best friends’ as some people would refer to them. And yes, losing friends is sad, and it hurts a lot, and it can take a long time to get over. To some extent, I would argue that I never really ‘get over’ things, but just learn ways to cope and move on.

So this is where the title comes in – after my long, and mostly necessary ramble. A while ago (about a year ago now, WHOA time flies!), I was chilling with Dezza and trying to explain to her my interpersonal relationships with others. I described it to her using the simple example of a tessellation diagram:

Imagine a blank white page. Now draw a hexagon. Now draw another one connected to it. Keep drawing hexagons until your page is a tessellation filled with empty-looking hexagons.

This is the structure of my relationships. The ’tiles’ closer to the upper left are some of the oldest ones; the tiles further down and to the right are new ones that are added. Pretend that there is a name painted in black on every single tile; these are all the people I interact with regularly, occasionally or infrequently. The oldest tiles, the ones that are broken and cracked, are often the ones that I have tried to remove, but with disastrous consequences. You see, the longer you leave these hexagonal ’tiles’, the more difficult they are to pull up without completely shattering the tile altogether; over time, and without care or attention, they become neglected, brittle and subject to fracturing.

On the other side, you have the newer tiles, that are being added as I write at this very moment. These tiles are the ones that are shinier and new, but only time will tell how well they wear. (That’s  a bit of a mouthful: only time will tell how well they wear…) And then you have the tiles somewhere in the middle that are neither old nor recent but are very shiny; they are the ’tiles’ that I regularly attend, cleaning, polishing and filling in any cracks which appear when cracks start to show.

Some new tiles don’t last very long; sometimes the names written on them are quickly scratched over before the ‘paint’ can dry and replaced with new, more worthwhile names. Old tiles only remain because taking them out of the tessellation altogether would mean… well, it just wouldn’t be a tessellation; as much as many relationships I’ve had have been somewhat questionable, there is no doubt that I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for the mixture of both good and not-so-good experiences.

And that’s it, I guess.

That’s the positive outlook of the whole situation; even though not every friendship and relationship I’ve had has been positive or edifying for me as a person, they’ve all crafted me in ways which may not have made sense at the time, but start to make sense the older I get.

The more you age, I guess the less you realise you know and understand about things. I’m not trying to make out like I’m an ‘old soul’ far ahead of her peers, but there are certainly (as it goes without saying) things that I’m still learning. I’d like to think I’ve become a lot more sensible in choosing my friends and surrounding myself with encouraging people who understand me and support me, and give me the opportunity and the privilege of being able to reciprocate as well. I don’t even have to @ anybody, because you all know who you are. 🙂

But yes, that’s it from me for the evening.

In the (fictional) words of Albert (and then Sir Robert Peel): There it is.

Love from The Faerie Squad Mother x

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p.s. I watched the next episode of ‘Victoria’ and their incestuous cuteness never fails to simultaneously shock me and move me to tears.

An Unexpected Return: The ‘I’m Kidding Mum’ Edition

Once again. I am always disappearing for long periods of time, and – honestly – so much has happened since I last blogged on the 1 August 2016. Unfortunately, I have no elaborate, eloquent essays like my last post, so this is simply pure, unadulterated rambling. No structure, no hidden messages, no propaganda.

Just my nonsense.

So what have you missed? First of all… well, not first of all, but one of the most important things: I turned 17. (Wahey!) This is a milestone in UK terms because (also most importantly) I can start to learn how to drive. I am also one year closer to getting married without my parent’s permission; this, naturally, is obviously the number one goal.

I’m kidding mum, that is obviously NOT the number one goal. 🙂

Secondly, I’ve made new friends. I say new friends, I mean friends who have literally fallen into my lap due to entirely unforeseen circumstances. As I, often do, never directly use their names, Cameron – as she is called for an entirely justifiable reason – is a new friend I have discovered, to be politically correct,  who shares my love (pun intended) for words, writing, racial politics and humour. I’m low-key glad I’m talking to her now, too. There has been the development of my friendship with Spaceboi who is, in fact, a boy from space, because he is out of this world. Literally. He also still owes me Welsh soil. (Even though he’s dying and he can’t swallow. #GetBetterSoon) And as a new edition to my shiny card collection of friends, Bag Juice, so named for his favourite beverage in Jamaica (yes, I also went to Jamaica for the summer) is – I have discovered – my ‘long-lost cousin’, whose laugh makes me laugh.

As a matter of fact, he’s on the phone to me as I write this. Bag Juice, as in. As he has just brazenly told me, after a small dispute over GCSEs, “I know bare.” What a legend. Truly inspirational words from an inspirational young man.

(I was going to start the next paragraph with the word ‘also’ but because he’s now at A-Level and thinks he’s a bit cool, Bag Juice suggested that I start with the word ‘conjointly’. I’ve never even heard of it before in my life. He now tells me I should look it up in a dictionary or a thesaurus, because of course, “he knows bare.”)

Conjointly, I have continued my current studies in A-Levels, continuing on with the ever-stressful English Literature, Spanish (now so rapid that I’m surprised I’m not told to bring a life-jacket to every lesson) and History, which is the only thing that is keeping me going right now anyway. But I don’t have a choice, and so I am aiming for that #AcademicExcellence because I intend to make the best of this year. Especially since last year didn’t exactly go to plan. And, naturally, I do not want a repeat of the academic DISASTER (to put it lightly) that was the school term of 2015.

I’m kidding mum, it wasn’t a COMPLETE disaster. 🙂

[Update: Bag Juice has now gone. It’s just me now; thank goodness he’s left me to blog in PEACE!]

Praise the Lord, though, that I got an A and C in my AS Levels. The A was (entire unsurprisingly) in Drama and the C was in Spanish, and even though, sadly, I have been forced to drop Drama – and will subsequently miss my husband Torvald, and my Polish twin sister Caroline, and Turkey, and just everyone in the class – God helped me to pass my Spanish. No, but honestly, it had to be Him, because there is not a chance in Hell (ha! see what I did there?) that I was able to understand a single word on that test paper.

It was all Greek to me. (I’m kidding mum, I obviously revised for it. 🙂 )

Also, on the theme of #AcademicExcellence, I’ve recently deleted my Instagram and Snapchat – and I couldn’t have chosen a better time, really – so that I can focus on my work and my spiritual life as I realised they’re literally two of the biggest distractions for me. I’ve only been accessing them illicitly when it is 100% necessary. (I’m kidding mum, I don’t illegally sneak onto them on my laptop. 🙂 )

Since the tearful and heart-wrenching ending of Downton Abbey, and the anxious wait for the next season of Velvet to be released on Netflix, I have found a new program to alleviate my desperate and insatiable longing for period dramas; Victoria, on ITV. We only have a slight problem – well, I say it’s a slight problem, when in reality it’s a large problem that brings about very worrying developments and has even worse implications; Victoria and Albert, the cutest televised historical couple that I have seen to date, are related.

“But that’s not so bad!”, I hear you cry. “All the British Royal family are inbred!” (You wouldn’t be wrong if you did say this; our current Queen Elizabeth and her husband are second cousins once removed). But wait! Victoria and Albert – the cutest televised historical couple that I have seen to date – are not only related; they are *drum roll* FIRST COUSINS! (Gasp! Shock! Horror!)

What shocks me the most though, is not that they are related or that they had 9 kids (and that’s at LEAST 9 sex – 9 too MUCH sex for first cousins, in my humble opinion), but the fact that despite knowing this shocking fact, I am still high-key gunning for their sweetly romantic relationship.

In other words, I am high-key gunning for incest. (Please feel free to quote me; you will never hear these words come out of my mouth at any other point in my life). What’s wrong with me? I mean, I know I’m a nerd for history, but I’m NOT a nerd for incest and there is never any excusable justification for this practice, right?

I’m kidding mum, I don’t support incest. 🙂

Anyhow. We’ve lost a key member of our History band, which was named ‘Volksgemeinschaft’; now Babs has left and our topic has changed in History (Civil Rights in America from 1865 – 1992) we’ve had to rename ourselves ‘The White Citizens’ Council’. Which is just historical banter, but PLEASE don’t assume that we’re only made up of racist white people, because I am neither racist nor white. I don’t know about the others though… I know for a fact that Mags has admitted to being a white supremacist on the weekends, and she does own an uncanny amount of white bedsheets?

I’m kidding mum, none of my friends are white supremacists. 🙂

Speaking of white supremacy, I also want to say, a HUGE congratulations (and shout out) to the KKK, who would have been in existence – by December 24th of this year – for 151 years! Yes, you’ve read that entirely correctly! The fun-loving, all-hating, Christian band of ‘lovable rogues’ (as I, so gingerly, put it) have been up and running for 151 years! Since December 1865, who would have thought that they would have STILL (yes, that’s right, STILL, because they have an official website and everything!) been alive and well in September of 2016?

Certainly not me. That’s who. (Especially to all those who think we live in a ‘post-racial’ society, they are a group who were literally born out of racist ideologies and stand for white supremacy and are still today being supported by American citizens.)

But let’s not dwell on the positives, eh?

My writing attempts since 1 August have been somewhat faulty; did that sentence even make sense? Probably not. Goes to show, right? But when I was in Jamaica, I kept a diary of the goings-on (for about a week or two) which I tried to start off emotionally-neutrally, but ended up failing and just revealing the depths of my soul to. The worrying thing is, even though I know it’s at home, I can’t remember where I put that notebook. (I’m kidding mum, not the depths of my soul.) But I don’t doubt I will shortly find it and be able to burn whatever necessary incriminating pages.

I’m kidding mum, I’m not going to burn any of it, it’s all evidence to be used against me in the future. 🙂

And on that note, I think it’s time for me to once again depart and leave the heart of my blog empty and waiting for me to return at sporadic intervals, whenever I gather the ability to write.

Farewell, until next time,

The Faerie Squad Mother x

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p.s. I’m kidding mum.

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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Cue Music

So I’ve been MIA for a while, but I’ve decided (somewhat magnanimously) to return to my child and show it some love and affection. Ergo, this blog post.

DISCLAIMER: Obviously all the names used in this aren’t people’s actual names, so please don’t be surprised; I’m just using ones that make sense to me, and maybe people who were there will be able to figure it out too, LOL.

Anyway, for the past weekend (last Friday to Monday) I spent an amazing, fun-filled, beach-filled, music-filled, laughter-filled four days at a caravan campsite in Cornwall. (What a tongue twister…) In fact, there was so much said fun that I lost my voice and am still now recovering. Although I blame W____ church for that – we were screaming ‘Wannabe’ by the Spice Girls in their caravan and me and Yin-Yang both lost our voices. Everyone else wasn’t so unfortunate.

I’m pretty sure we spent FAR too long in W___ church’s caravan, because nearly everyday from the second day, we went and chilled in theirs and listened to music and ate food and talked. I mean, minus the fact that I forgot to add them all on Snapchat and didn’t get to see any of the videos they’d posted of us all in the caravan, it was definitely fun.

10 out of 10, would recommend.

Also, I’m pretty sure myself and my sister were two of like four of the people there who weren’t Filipinos LMAO. But I met some wonderful, talented, hilarious people (I can’t fangirl too much otherwise I might get carried away) but the majority, unfortunately, live REALLY far away. And by far I mean like, it would take them 5 – 28 minutes – depending on arm stroke length – to swim from their houses to London. (Or perhaps a bit longer than that depending on how bad the traffic is).

I got the chance to sing with some pretty cool people this weekend too, both other singers and musicians, so that was definitely one of the highlights of the week. Spaceboy’s musical prowess completely blew me away, as did Caesar’s constant willingness to join in and sing with me, for which I cannot thank him enough. (#ReadyForAnything) And Moustache’s playing of that drum-box thing and his guitar, and The Enigma’s guitar playing was also awesome and they were all so much fun to jam with. And talk history with. And reenact the assassination of Julius Caesar with.

The caravans were alright. I mean, of course they weren’t five star, but we (specifically us, because nobody else’s seemed to worked) had a banging heater. Like a proper fire stove that was really toasty and that we turned on every morning and every evening. I was scared though during some worship we had that we’d left it on, so I ran back to our caravan in the rain… only to find that it had, in fact, been switched off by the more responsible adults in our caravan, Chilli and Sunflower. Which was great because not only was my trip useless but I was also wet. Yay.

But myself and Michy-Fichy got the largest room with the double bed and the heater (LOL, you snooze, you lose!) so we had a ball in that room really. I had a sleeping bag and she had the bed sheets, and it was – for the most part – comfortable. And when the heater went on, we were all toasty in there too. Once again though, I was terrified that we would wake up to choking fumes and something nearby the heater, which happened to be flammable, on fire, so I made sure I switched it off before either of us fell asleep.

Also, one lunch time we had some huge jam sesh, where someone would literally just start playing a song on the piano and then everyone would join in. It was truly so beautiful aha, *wipes away solitary tear rolling down cheek* we did Adele, Beyonce, One Direction (bleugh), Justin Bieber, John Legend, Taylor Swift (bleugh, once again), Ed Sheeran, it was just great. Slightly dissonant at times, but I have a feeling it had more to do with the fact that the song being sung was by One Direction or Taylor Swift rather than the people singing it being inharmonious.

We also went to Cornwall beach on the Sunday, which I’m sure would have been a lot nicer if it wasn’t cold. But I had a foolproof and simple plan to stay warm and happy: Stay. Out. Of. The. Sea.

Did I stick to the plan? No.

In fact, the first thing I did when I got to the beach was strip down to my swimming costume and run into the sea.

Did I stay warm and happy? No. You know why? Because I didn’t STICK TO THE PLAN.

To be fair, the water was really clear and there were very few rocks or seaweed, so I didn’t feel like my legs were being attacked by the marine manifestation of Ursula in her hybrid human-Cephalopod form. (A little Disney/scientific classification reference there for all you fans). I also managed to get sand EVERYWHERE (that’s genuinely the one thing I hate about the beach) BUT we made a sand-mermaid, which I have to say was perhaps one of my greatest artistic feats to this day.

So not entirely bad.

It was also lovely because me and Sparkle got to bond, and we went on a long, romantic stroll down the beach and she and I walked for ages and just talked and talked. I was a bit of a psychiatrist, is that what they’re called? Therapist, psychologist, counsellor? Whatever they are, I was that for about an hour and a half. But I really love listening to her and I’m so glad that God put us both into each other’s lives.

AND – this is one of the best parts – last week when I went to Hampton Court Palace (#HistorySquadDayOut) I had a bag of Bombay Mix, but I forgot that I hadn’t finished it. So when we were at the beach and my sister whipped out a bag of half-full Bombay Mix from her snacks bag, you simply can NOT understand how fast my heart began to beat. It was one of the most beautiful moments. So I say:

The only thing more beautiful than discovering food is when you FORGET that you have food and THEN discover it.

You can quote me.

What else to say? When we left on Monday afternoon I was really sad but at least I got to sing with Spaceboy and Caesar one last time, which was really the cherry on the vegan-cake for the last day.

The theme of the camp ‘The Armour of God’ was also really nice; it gave us lots of opportunities for different activities and I know I thought about quite a lot of things differently after all of that. It was nice seeing that the people running it – the main oragniser and all the speakers – were genuinely so invested in us youth. Like they really cared; not just about what they were saying, but about each one of us as individuals. At the end of the four days, I felt really encouraged spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally. And musically.

I’ve probably written a lot of mostly incoherent nonsense, so I’ll sign off here with a few shoutouts:

Shoutout to anyone mentioned who’s reading this…

Shoutout to ‘Las Problematiques’ and Tarq – I miss you guys…

Shoutout to the toilet lid for being down…

Shoutout to NASA for having our backs since 6000BC and creating the ozone layer…

Shoutout to my mum, for having me, which made this blog post possible…

And shoutout to my sister for being a loser and belting songs from the ‘Les Miserables’ OST all. Morning.

Goodbye everyone and lots of love

From the Faerie Squad Mother x

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Why Justice and Equality Don’t Exist

A man walks into a bar.

It’s the horrific reality of a nightmarish joke, almost causing you to be expectant of a similarly terrible punchline.

The only problem is that it’s not a joke. It’s an atrocity committed for unjustifiable reasons and an equally disgusting hatred. I don’t even know what to say. There is nothing to say to this. To make it worse, the general media response (i.e. their pathetic attempts to ‘depoliticise’ a – specifically – homophobic hate crime) has only further served the purpose of eliminating the voices of the LGBT community at a time when their voices should be the loudest.

Today, I watched the video of Owen Jones walking out of a live Sky News interview. To which I say, good on him; he had every damn right in the world to. How dare they accuse him of ‘monopolising’ a tragedy?! Like what the hell? This is literally a specific attack on the LGBT community and all the news want to do is make out as if the gunman was an ISIS terrorist (because YES let’s blame the Muslims again, it’s not like you have an issue with gun laws or anything…) whose target of ‘insanity’ JUST HAPPENED to be a well-known gay club?

It’s ridiculous that people are trying to make this an ‘inclusive’ attack. Why does everything have to include you?! As Owen Jones rightly said, if this was an attack on a synagogue, it would be labelled anti-Semitic, so what’s the difference here? Why is this attack called an attack on ‘human beings just trying to have a good time’? They’re gay. Gay people were targeted. The LGBT community is under threat and all you’re focused on is the religion (or, in this case, ex-religion) of the gunman? Are you for real?

This, is why equality doesn’t exist. Because this attack is being used to further Islamophobic agendas, and we are completely ignoring the SPECIFIC group and trying to ‘depoliticise’ an event which is VERY political, and VERY specific. Because the LGBT voices right now are being ignored, and the ones that are being listened to are the ones that are saying, “He was a Muslim terrorist” and ignoring the fact that this was a homophobic hate crime. Because ‘some people’ were shot and they ‘just so happened’ to be gay.

I don’t care what you think. I don’t care if you have religious motivations or personal experiences or political opinions. It doesn’t matter what you think about people’s lifestyles, or genders, or sexuality. Everyone deserves the right to live. Your opinion means nothing in the grander scheme of things. Nothing gives you the right to take lives. Nothing gives you the right to take anything.

Nor does anything give you the right to take what you have not been given; but apparently Brock Turner didn’t get that memo.

The media love giving us the unnecessary facts. ‘Omar Mateen was a Muslim.’ ‘Brock Turner is a swimmer.’ As if their religion or personal hobbies justify their crimes.

How about this? How about we replace the words with what they’re supposed to be?

Omar Mateen was a Muslim homophobe.

Brock Turner is a swimmer rapist.

In Turner’s case, his athletic past should have had absolutely no relevance in determining how light or heavy a sentence he carried in court. Why should his life be considered? Why should the ‘severe impact’ on HIM be counted as more important than the ‘severe impact’ he has had on his victim, psychologically and mentally, and even physically? Why should we care about him? Did he care about the girl he raped?

And here’s a question for the so-called ‘Justice System’: how can someone who is the criminal and perpetrator be treated in sentencing as the victim? How does the letter (the very BIASED letter) from said criminal’s father hold a greater sway than the testimony of the victim herself?

For the rape of an unconscious woman behind a dumpster (or “20 minutes of action”, as was referred to crudely by said father) to the point where he had to be stopped by another witness, and forcibly pulled off the woman, for the woman’s subsequent discovery of said rape only after she had come to in a hospital, for the psychological and mental damage that ensued, he was sentenced to 6 months.

6 months in a county jail with protection from other inmates.

6 measly, pathetic months, of which he is only expected to serve 3.

6 months, which could have been up to 14 years, but was made lenient because why?

Because he was a ‘good boy really’. Because his ‘character profile didn’t ring true with his crime’. Because he has goals and ambitions. Because he goes to Stanford. Because he’s a swimmer. Because his daddy cried “White Privilege!” and suddenly all was fixed. Because this was his ‘first rape’. Because his athletic career would never recover. Because apparently, ‘raping someone does not make you a rapist’.

Because we don’t want prison to have a ‘severe impact’ on him, oh no. God forbid he learns the severity of his crime in a system created specifically to punish those who commit criminal offences.

This, is why Justice doesn’t exist. This, the fact that the system caters more for the criminal (if he is white and male and straight) than the victim and attempts to make his life as cushy as possible, even though he has committed a crime. When he can serve half of his already-pathetic and inadequate sentence, and this is seen as acceptable because the judge has some ‘very justifiable reasons‘, naturally, and Justice is forgotten. Justice is an ideological concept.

I am so sick of hearing all these stories. I am so tired of being reminded every single day, whether it’s on the news or through personal experiences, that there is no such thing as Equality or Justice. I am saddened to hear of all these people (all the victims of the shooting RIP, the victim of rape) who are affected by the hateful, hurtful actions of hate-filled, small-minded criminals. Because, let’s call them what they are, thanks. Criminals.

I want to talk about the refugees. I want to talk about the bombings in Beirut. I want to talk about the flooding in Ghana. I want to talk about everything. My heart hurts so much right now, so I cannot even begin to imagine how the families of the Orlando victims or the victim of Brock Turner, or the refugees or the victims of the recent international bombings, or the victims of the flood in Ghana, feel right now – and I won’t pretend that I can.

My heart goes out to everyone I have – and haven’t – listed. Wherever you are.

Love from Rianna x

No Lo Entiendo

Why is sexual infidelity such a popular plot device?

As a means of revision, I’ve watched four episodes of a Spanish TV series – mostly because they speak VERY fast, and if I can understand them, then I can DEFINITELY understand the exam track, and also because they have some really good vocabulary and my Spanish teacher suggested it.

And, don’t get me wrong, it’s been really helpful, because you’re learning and being entertained (for the 61% of the time that you actually understand what’s being said) at the same time.

But I just don’t understand why cheating partners and complex love triangles are necessary.

The program I’m watching, ‘Velvet’ on Netflix, is originally in Spanish, and I’m using Spanish subtitles, because the actor’s mouths move so fast I can barely even grasp what they’ve said before someone replies to them. (!) Set in 50s and 60s Spain, it focuses around a fashion retail store, the eponymous (no surprise) ‘Velvet’ and follows the life of ‘el dueño’, the owner of the store, Alberto MarquĂ©z. He and Ana Ribera, a woman who works for the retailer as a seamstress, have been in love since childhood, and after a botched attempt at running away together (he crashed the car when he heard on the radio that his dad, the original owner of the store, had committed suicide) they decide to just stay with the way things are.

But naturally, that doesn’t work out. After he proposes to her, he finds out that ‘las galerĂ­as de Velvet’, the ‘Velvet galleries’ are in a lot of debt. Too much debt, as the plot goes, to even continue as it is. It appears that Ana will have to marry a broke heir. (Gasp. Shock. Horror.) So, what’s the solution for Alberto?

Ask for money from a rich man, whose daughter, Cristina, is enamoured with him. And of course – herein lies the initial birth of complex love triangles – Cristina’s father says he will give Alberto ALL the money he needs… if Alberto will marry his daughter.

Let’s not forget that Alberto is already engaged here. But then, of COURSE, Alberto is conflicted – because he NEEDS the money, but he also NEEDS Ana – and tells her the choice he has. So then, of COURSE Ana does the ‘right’ thing and breaks up with him so that he can save ‘las galerĂ­as’, but obviously, after them both being so damn self-righteous, they’re both heartbroken. And thus begins the love triangle. Ana is in love with Alberto. Alberto is in love with Ana. Cristina (i.e. the source of money) is in love with Alberto. Alberto breaks up with Ana to marry Cristina. (They’re not married yet but please be aware that this has all literally happened within 4 episodes!)

That’s not even the best part. Ana almost goes to Barcelona on a train, when she hears Alberto propose to Cristina at a huge press event, but then she doesn’t. She just changes her mind, just like that. Even though her suitcase was packed and she had a dramatic journey to the train station and everything. And you know how we find out she didn’t leave? Alberto goes home from the big party (where he publicly proposed to Cristina) and Ana is just in his house. She’s just IN HIS HOUSE. JUST THERE.

So that’s my first complaint. Why the complicated love triangle? Why couldn’t Alberto just say to Cristina’s dad, “You know what, mate. I’d LOVE to marry your daughter, but regretfully, I can’t. I’m already promised to another. Can we please try a different course of action that doesn’t entail me lying to your daughter or me being in a generally loveless marriage?” I’m not even going to try to translate that into Spanish. Not to mention that Cristina is just HELLA annoying – she constantly looks like a dying puppy. Alberto and Ana are STRESSING me out; even a person who didn’t understand what they were saying (in other words, me 49% of the time) would be able to figure out how WHIPPED they are on each other.

And to make matters better, some designer guy, called De la Riva or something (I don’t know!) who is CLEARLY in love (or at least, was at some point in his life) with Cristina, is coming to design a new range for ‘Velvet’. Like it’s so obvious, he keeps being like to her, “Estás muy guapa. Estás preciosa. Estás maravilloso.” (Which means, “you’re so pretty. You’re beautiful. You’re marvellous.” Which is dodgy because, like Alberto is standing RIGHT there. And OKAY, he doesn’t love her, but De la Riva doesn’t know that!) WELL I WONDER WHAT WILL HAPPEN NOW.

But it just gets worse. Ana’s roommate, Rita – who is my actual FAVE, she’s such a sweetheart – is in love with her sister’s boyfriend, Pedro. Not to mention that Pedro is WHIPPED on his girlfriend, Clara, but Clara has gotten a new job as a secretary of the office to Alberto’s best friend, Mateo. And – naturally, because what is a TV show without a womanising best friend? – Mateo seduces Clara and Clara is torn between her BOYFRIEND and a GUY WHO IS TRYING TO GET INTO HER PANTS. I guarantee she will end up pregnant for the SUB-DIRECTOR (yes, because not only do we like complicated love triangles and sexual infidelity, but also inter-class relationships; and very dramatically so) and he will ditch her.

Like, there’s nothing wrong with inter-class relationships (is that even a thing? that sounds so pretentious!) but why is EVERY single main relationship in the program EMPHASISING the idea of forbidden love? Ana is an orphaned seamstress, her man is the heir to a multi-million euro company. Clara is a sales-advisors-cum-secretary; her love interest is the best friend to said heir and the sub-director to said multi-million euro company. Rita is in love with the VERY much unavailable Pedro; the boyfriend of ‘su hermana’.

I could go on, but I won’t. (Only 12 more minutes to this revision break now…)

And what else? Well, Luisa, Ana’s other friend, has a very sick husband. An initially nice benefactor, a really rich man called Francisco, who gets Luisa her job back when she’s fired, and begins paying very DODGY attention to her when Luisa is helping his WIFE with her dresses that she buys, pays for her husband to get treatment in a hospital. Which is great right?

WRONG. Because in TV shows, when a rich man shows up and offers to help out a pretty young girl, we all KNOW what’s coming.

He makes a move on her. This disgusting old man literally tells her that unless she ‘thanks him’ (euphemism intended) then her husband won’t be able to keep his bed in the hospital. Which is ridiculous really. (And – another prediction – I don’t doubt she’s going to end up killing him, probably with some sewing implement, like scissors or a needle or something, I don’t doubt it for a second).

I mean, I can’t even keep up. I’ve watched four episodes, and so far there has been:

  • A suicide
  • A funeral
  • Some fainting
  • Dramatic carrying of said-fainted person
  • A failed elopement
  • A car crash
  • A proposal
  • A break-up
  • Another proposal
  • A long-lost son returning
  • Some sort of financial scam perpetrated by said ‘long-lost son’
  • Like 3 or 4 affairs (I can’t keep up?)
  • LOTS of blackmail – so much, I didn’t know was possible
  • A few trysts (of course, Alberto and Ana)
  • Some broken hearts
  • Lots of tears
  • Dramatic raining scenes
  • Political Intrigue (ay! Get some History knowledge up in here…)
  • Some foreboding break-ups
  • Implied incest (see: ‘long-lost son’)
  • Stolen stuff (dresses, kisses, money, hearts, you know the sort)

Anyway, I regret searching ‘Wikia’ because I found out something that I REALLY didn’t want to know. So know, if I watch it, rather than reading the subtitles, all I’ll be thinking about a certain character is, “I’m watching a dead man walking.” And that makes me cry a lot. So I don’t think I can watch it anymore for the plot; I’ll just watch it for the vocabulary.

I mean, on the plus side, I now have two sheets of A4 paper, both double-sided with new words and such that are relevant to my course. Which is good right?

But I still have to ask:

Why is sexual infidelity such a popular plot device?

There are very few TV programs in general that steer entirely clear from this plot device. (Except for maybe ‘Downton Abbey’ but there are definitely a lot of sex scandals in that even still…) But why? – is my question. Are the writers and directors so bored they feel like they have to include this ‘exciting’ device? Or is a TV program just not complete without people who cheat and don’t (or do) get caught?

Either way, ‘no lo entiendo‘.

My revision break is over, so now I must desaparecer.

The Faerie Squad Mother x

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How Ironic

I think it’s really funny how some people seem really surprised that I’ve suddenly begun to talk more about racial issues and such, not just on my blog but also in real life.

I’d just like to let everyone into a little secret: I’ve always been talking about this stuff.

It’s just that when I used to talk about it, I tried to keep my voice as quiet as possible so that nobody complains that they’re offended or that I’m a ‘racist intolerant’ or whatever else. But now, I’ve made a conscious choice to make my voice heard.

I also find it really funny how before, when I was content to quietly mumble about social injustices with my friends, there was never a reaction, but the instant that I find and use my VOICE and on my personal BLOG of all places (what am I thinking? How RUDE of me; my PERSONAL blog?!) people suddenly make a fuss about my opinions.

I bet if I was to post a blog complaining about the Instagram update and saying how unacceptable it was, people would comment things like, “This is so true! THERE IS SO MUCH INJUSTICE IN THE WORLD!!!!!” or “I’m so glad SOMEONE said something! I thought I was the only one!” or even “I actually think it’s alright.” Even if I was to post entirely in (probably very poor) Spanish, I guarantee people would still comment, “I couldn’t understand anything but this is so true!” Even my post about my somewhat controversial religious beliefs didn’t elicit the level of hate and disagreement that my racial post from Sunday did – both online and IRL. But when I post about racial issues people tell me, “You make this all up” and “You’re not even oppressed. Go live in a third world country and see what oppression REALLY is” and “Stop complaining! You’re not helping your own situation by fulfilling stereotypes!” (Which, may I just ask, stereotypes do I fulfil?)

Plus, oppression is relative. Just because I don’t live in a third-world country or somewhere where many women are openly treated as subordinates, doesn’t mean I am not still at a disadvantage in my own country. I’ve mentioned before, I’m a black female. I live in a Western Society, where the institutions cater for White Heterosexual Rich/Middle-Class Cishet Males before anybody else. This means that within my own native system, I am at a disadvantage. And I think people think of oppression and imagine slavery being reintroduced into society; but it’s a lot more than that. Oppression is about how prejudice and discrimination has become institutionalised and normalised to the point where a specific set of people are benefitting – and it just so happens that I am not a person who is actively benefitting from the system.

I mentioned in my #BodyPostivity and Letter to my 8-year old self post that I’m learning to love myself and that nobody can make me feel inferior without my permission. Which is very true. In the past couple of days, because of the reactions to real life and on-line situations, I’ve begun to doubt the validity of my voice and my opinions. But then I get slapped back into reality and realise, “Why am I letting bitter, ignorant people limit my voice?”

And I realise that, as much as I don’t like confrontation, some things have to be said. It has taken me SO long to climb out of the box that I was put in from Primary School, and I’m still on my self-love journey. I literally cannot believe that I would even consider taking any anonymous person;s comments to heart. I literally cannot believe that anyone would take time out of their day to read through a post, become offended by the literal truth and then decide to share their negativity  – to be honest, I love hearing from my fans. Especially the bitter ones. (Plus, I’m flattered you think me so significant!)

Anyway, let’s not dwell on negativity.

I had an exam yesterday, a written one for Drama. Which went really well. We had to sit two papers; a live theatre and a studied play script. For my playscript, we studied Henrik Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’. If you HAVE read it or had to perform it then I feel sorry for you if you had to be Nora. If you haven’t, maybe do in your free time. It’s an interesting play definitely, but you have to take into consideration a lot of contextual factors. Interestingly, it touches upon issues of female subordination, to an extent, because – long story short – the play centres around a married couple, Nora and Torvald Helmer. They live in 19th century Norway, and Nora is literally treated like a child by her husband – a doll, in a sense of speaking, hence the title. It’s actually SO weird, he calls her all sorts of weird, dodgy pet names, and she loves it, but she’s quite manipulative.

To be honest, their marriage is just a disaster waiting to happen.

But in the end (SPOILER aha) she leaves him after a LOT of unnecessary and avoidable drama because she realises that she has become such a trophy wife and a pet to him that she doesn’t even know who she is herself. She says she wants to discover herself or whatever, so she leaves him with the children.

Great story.

But anyway. I have an exam next Tuesday for Spanish Listening, Reading and Writing which should be VERY interesting, seeing as I’m a lot worse at Spanish than I initially realised. I’m sitting in my study periods, and I’ve just spent about an hour practicing Spanish words and phrases and grammar etc. (Memrise is actually fantastic. It is keeping me going this year in Spanish, I swear!)

Because of the fact that my AS subjects have technically ended, I now have two mornings and two afternoons off from school, which is literally fantastic because it means I can go home earlier and I’M SO READY FOR SUMMER NOW.

PLEASE HURRY UP JULY!

Because they’ve changed the system and as of next year, AS-Levels will technically no longer be a thing, they’re introduced these new exams which are like UCAS Prediction exams, so that when we apply for University (next September, I think, we start) then you have the Predicted Grades from the ‘official’ University system, I suppose.

Which sucks because it means more unnecessary and stressful exams. But whatever.

I need to do some more Spanish.

AdiĂłs.

Love the Faerie Squad Mother x

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UN Declaration of Human Rights – Article 19

I’m sick of being told not to rock the boat. I’m sick of feeling uncomfortable discussing issues that should be talked about because they need to be. I’m sick of feeling like I’m not the person who can say anything because I’m supposed to be the quiet black girl who sits back and quietly calls people problematic but doesn’t say anything to their faces.

I’m sick of this ‘angry black girl’ rhetoric. I’m sick of people telling me I’m making a big deal out of something that isn’t even being made a DEAL out of. I’m sick of the fact that these mentalities are so institutionalised and normalised that whenever I say anything, I’m suddenly the villain. I’m sick of being villainised for something I have every right to do. I’m sick of people calling me aggressive and vicious in my behaviour. I’m sick of people believing I am out to fight them verbally about racial issues when in reality, that’s what they do to me.

I’m sick of ignorant people. I’m sick of having to tell people that their behaviour is offensive or rude or racist or prejudiced or discriminatory or problematic. I’m sick of the fact that in the 21st century, I still have to tell people that their behaviour is offensive or rude or racist or prejudiced or discriminatory or problematic. I’m sick of hearing about whose ancestors didn’t own slaves. I’m sick of hearing excuses made for ‘justifiably-racist’ comments, or actions. I’m sick of the fact that people believe that we live in a post-racist society.

I’m sick of the fact that my culture is still a costume and a trend. I’m sick of the fact that I’m told to ‘relax about my culture’ when I have every reason to get angry.  I’m sick of people ‘tone policing’, and telling me how I should feel about things that are problematic. I’m sick of the fact that me highlighting someone’s questionable behaviour turns into me racially attacking someone.

I’m sick of people believing that white people are oppressed. I’m sick of white people believing that they are oppressed. I’m sick of white people believing they are entitled to everything, including oppression. I’m sick of white people feeling they are entitled to use the word ‘nigger’, in any of its forms or variants.

I’m sick of people fetishising my race, and men of colour, and women of colour, and mixed-race babies. I’m sick of the fact that the movement #BlackLivesMatter has been counteracted with #AllLivesMatter, not because all lives ACTUALLY matter, but because people want to derail the growing self-love and solidarity of Black people. I’m sick of the fact that #BlackLivesMatter is still controversial. I’m sick of the fact that we have to even have a BLM movement. I’m sick of the fact that we have to campaign and fight for #BLM and #BlackGirlsRock because nobody seems to realise this without us making it a thing.

I’m sick of people trivialising my struggle. I’m sick of the fact that because I’m ‘just’ a black girl, my opinion about racial issues pertaining to myself suddenly carry no significance. I’m sick of people telling me that I haven’t experienced racism. I’m sick of people telling me what I have experienced isn’t racism. I’m sick of being told that my personal experiences are invalid.

I’m sick of the fact that in the media, in films, in movies, in books, the exploration of a culture is mind-blowing and hard-hitting, but in real life, in MY life, people never want to acknowledge the origins of a culture, so long as it suits them. I’m sick of people being uncomfortable discussing racial issues. I’m sick of my struggle being a taboo. I’m sick of people trying to avoid discussing these issues altogether. I’m sick of people telling me to “not get involved” because it has “nothing to do with me” when the issues are directly pertaining to me.

I’m sick of being looked to as a minority group as the spokesperson for an entire race and culture and heritage in certain places. I’m sick of not being looked to as having an opinion for an entire race and culture and heritage in certain places. I’m sick of having my opinion passed over because it’s too controversial. I’m sick of being told my opinions are controversial.

I have every right to call someone out if I feel like they’re being offensive. I have every right to RESPECTFULLY call someone out if I feel like they’re being offensive. I have every right to point out someone’s problematic behaviour. I have every right to RESPECTFULLY point out someone’s problematic behaviour.

Don’t tell me to calm down. Don’t tell me to stop talking. Don’t tell me I’m being offensive. Don’t tell me I’m upsetting said problematic person. Don’t tell me to stop making a big deal out of it.

I can’t believe I even have to write a post like this.

I’m not a person who likes to ‘rock the boat’. I’m not a person who likes confrontation but I am NOT a person who is going to sit by any longer and listen to problematic people and offensive people and racist people and prejudiced people continue on in their ignorance without telling them.

I am not disillusioned to believe that anything I ever say will change their opinions. I am not going to pretend that I am the Almighty SJW who will liberate the minds of all ignorant people. I am not saying that I have reached the ultimate level of social and racial enlightenment or that I am entirely #Woke. Because I’m not.

But I’m sick of being told I’m the angry black girl. Because I have a voice too.

And I have every DAMNED right in the world to use it.

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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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