When It’s OK To Say No

Whilst one of my New Years Resolutions for 2016 was to say YES to more things, I’ve come to realise the power and importance of doing the opposite and actually saying NO. Now before you brush this off as a close minded perspective, hear me out.We live in a day and age where all we’re trying to do is schedule people into a busy lives, but at what cost? Of course I’m open to new experiences, being spontaneous and making the most of every day, but some days, you can’t do everything. It’s not humanly possible. At the end of the day, all we have is ourselves and it’s important to listen to our minds and bodies to ensure that when we say YES, we can make the most of it.

So in my books, it’s totally OK to say NO when…

40e81e983d22cbd20b74b0a820f54ad3
My idea of a lazy Sunday. Source. 

You’re low on money

Sure, we all love going out for dinner and drinks. But these days, a dinner and drinks combo will cost you a minimum of $30 (and let’s be honest, as if you’re only going to have 1 drink). Whilst it’s nice to do it every now and again for special occasions, if you’re on a tight budget like me, it’s not a feasible option to always be going out for dinner and drinks. It’s definitely OK to say no.

Alternative…

Of course you don’t want to miss out on friend bonding time. Instead, you could suggest buying a cheap bottle of wine and making some delicious home made food and going for a picnic. Or you could suggest going out for coffee instead. Because money spent on coffee is money well spent.

fe939f758994e4f931f4ff6aec550919
Coffee with friends is always a good time! Source. 

You’ve got a deadline

Whether it’s work, assignments, study, blogging… they don’t call it a deadline for nothing. You’ve got to get it done. Sure you’d love to stay out for that extra hour, have that extra glass of wine or watch that extra episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians (don’t judge me, it’s the best thing ever!), but at the end of the day, you need to get your work done.

Alternative…

Prioritize your work and as soon as it’s done, you’ll be ready to go out! Just get in and get it done, no one wants deadlines hanging over their shoulders. Just think of how much better that glass of wine is going to taste knowing that you’ve got everything up to date?! AMAZING!

fa026ed306ef99021d564724dcaa58ca
If this doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will?! Source. 

You’re feeling under the weather

You know that feeling when you’re not sick, but your nose is a bit stuffy, you’ve had to take a few Panadol that day and your bodies a bit sore? Being under the weather or run down sucks. The last thing you need to do is push yourself! When you start to feel this way, this is your body’s way of saying ‘hello, up there… your brain is working overtime and I need a break!’ To prevent it getting any worse, make sure you tuck yourself into bed nice and early, drink lots of water and eat some fruit.

Alternative…

Fulfil 12 year old you’s dreams and deck your lounge room out with mattresses, blankies and pillows and have a Harry Potter marathon. Spend a night in sipping on tea and your body will thank you for giving it a bit of a rest. And the best thing is, if you’re too sleepy, you can just fall asleep. Just make sure you remove all permanent markers from the house to avoid becoming a canvas at midnight!

3b9a47b0e77b394477aa7e7846b6e03b.jpg
Blanket fort goals! Source

When you just don’t feel like it

Let’s be honest, sometimes you just don’t feel like doing anything at all. You don’t need to justify yourself, or make up a lame excuse. Just say you don’t want to and leave it at that. Everyone needs time to themselves so be brave enough to say ‘No, tonight I’m doing whatever the hell I want to do.’

Alternative…

None. Because you do you!

7518ec50f6a7fbc6d1947ce287e9f5dc
Love yourself. Source

I’m definitely not suggesting you should never go out, never spend money, or never spend time with your friends. These are some of my favourite things to do! But I think sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in going places, seeing people, catching up, being places and getting stuff done. Sometimes, we just need to take some times to ourself and say “nope, I’m going to sit this one out.” As the quote above says “happiness is an inside job,” so it’s ok to take time to ourselves. Because that means that when we say yes to awesome adventures coming our way, it’ll all be worth it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Little Red Shirt That Captured The World’s Attention For All Of The Wrong Reasons

Aylan Kurdi’s body was found on a beach in Turkey in September 2015. Lifeless, his innocent body was dressed in a little red shirt and boots. At just three years old, Aylan Kurdi brought immediate light to a crisis previously ignored by the mainstream media and the rest of the world. When I first saw this image in September 2015, I remember staring blankly at my computer screen with tears rolling down my cheeks. I wasn’t sad or angry, I felt numb and empty. I remember being mesmerised by his little red shirt. There is no denying the overwhelming sadness this image brings us. However, there are certain questions and issues around this image that are important for us to address as we look through a lens at people and a world far from us.

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 4.20.19 pm
Refugees rescued from the coast of Libya. Source

Why this image?

Thousands of photos have been captured documenting the enormous movement of people since the beginning of the refugee crisis during the Arab Spring. The photo above is an example of a photo that would typically be used by the media to sensationalize and dehumanize refugees and their threat to our way of life (Klocker & Dunn, 2003).

‘Images of children suffering form the ultimate emotional argument, compelling us to move from sentiment to action, from the particular to the universal, from passivity to engagement’ (Kennicott, 2013). People around the world reacted to this image. It may not have been for the right reasons, but they saw shame and horror that they couldn’t ignore. (Sontag, 2003).

aylan-kurdi1
Cover of the Independent showing the body of Aylan Kurdi. Source

To look or not to look? To publish or not to publish?

A debate which arose following the publication of the photograph of Aylan’s body was whether or not to show the image, and whether or not we should be looking. Channel 10’s The Project stated that they would not show the image as it was ‘too distressing for viewers’ (Ting, 2015), followed by host, Carrie Bickmore, breaking down expressing ‘I am lucky that I and my children live in Australia’ (Ting, 2015).

“A picture of a dead child is one of the golden rules of what you never published.” (Laurent, 2015)

What is interesting is that the network’s primary concern is the wellbeing of its viewers. That they’re doing their audience a favour by not subjecting them to such horror of the reality of this migrant crisis. What about Aylan? His father? His Aunty? What about their distress and suffering?

A view that some may share with Sontag, is that by capturing images of suffering, ‘where news has been converted into entertainment for a small, educated population living in the rich part of the world, is that everyone becomes a spectator, suggesting that there is no real suffering in the world’ (Richard, 2010). Richard then goes on to suggest that we as ‘consumers of globalized media should refuse to look at photographs of suffering because suffering’s urgency is thereby diminished’ (Richard, 2010).

 ‘Perhaps the only people with the right to look at images of suffering, are those who could do something to alleviate it.’ (Sontag, 2003, pp. 37)

The Independent (as illustrated above) took another stance by putting Aylan on the front cover. By doing this, they are refusing to igrnore this issue and reaching out to those with the right to look who can do something about this suffering. And is that something that we as global citizens should be doing? Educating ourselves about what is happening in the world, and being motivated to do something about it.

The West vs. The Rest

316491-56d458c4-52dd-11e5-9feb-d976cea92fcd
One of the many cartoons that emerged after the image was published. Source

Laurent expresses that the child’s ethnicity played a critical part of the photo’s reception. He explains that ‘dozens of African kids have been washed up on the beaches of Libya and were photographed and it didn’t have the same impact’ (Laurent, 2015). This is then illustrated by Carrie Bickmore and the world’s reaction thinking that could be my child. Ethnocentrism is a key issue in mainstream media, why do we only pay attention when there are terrorist attacks in Paris but not Aleppo? Is it up to us as global citizens to seek global news, or should we sit back in our beach chairs and wait for it to be handed to us on the front page of a newspaper?

epfhdiprkubvilmylaja
‘Hope for a New Life’ Warren Richardson. Source 

Other significant images of struggle and suffering

Whilst the image of Aylan Kurdi’s body is one whose importance will linger, there are many other significant photographs which capture the struggle and suffering of refugees. The image above ‘Hope for a New Life’ was captured by Australian photographer Warren Richardson in August 2015. A baby is being passed through the border from Serbia in to Hungary (World Press Photo, 2016). This image won the World Press Photo of the Year, a highly prestigious title in the name of visual journalism. And looking back over the past winners, there have been many which carry a similar theme. Where an audience sits at their computer screen, flicking through winning photographs of people subjected to torture, abuse and suffering absolutely unimaginable.

Moving On

We have two options. The first is to look away. We can ignore this little boy, face down on a beach, and lay on our beach chairs and carry on with our lives. Something the Australian government would prefer to do. Or we can choose to look, we can choose to be upset, confronted or angry. And we can choose to do something about it.

12422283_1262488333766179_2078366860_o
When I went to the ‘Let Them Stay’ rally in Wollongong on the 20th March 2016.

 

Further Information

You can see, what I regard, the most important photo of 2015, Aylan Kurdi found on the Turkish beach, here.

You can see the Project’s take on reporting this news here. 

References

Klocker, N & Dunn, K. M 2003, Who’s driving the asylum debate? Newspaper and government representation of asylum seekers, ‘Media International Australia incorporating media and policy’, No.109, pp. 71-92

Laurent, O 2015, ‘What the image of Aylan Kurdi says about the power of photography’, Time, 4 September, viewed 19 March 2016, http://time.com/4022765/aylan-kurdi-photo/

Kennicott, P 2013, ‘Why Syria’s images of people suffering haven’t moved us’, The Washington Post, 13 September, viewed 20th March 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-syrias-images-of-suffering-havent-moved-us/2013/09/13/30407f98-1bb3-11e3-8685-5021e0c41964_story.html

Richard, F 2010, ‘The Thin Artefact: On Photography and Suffering’, The Nation, 23 November, viewed 19 March 2016, http://www.thenation.com/article/thin-artifact-photography-and-suffering/

Sontag, S 2003, Regarding the Pain of Others, Chapter 3, Hamish Hamilton, London, England, pp. 36-52

Ting, I 2015, ‘The Project’s Carrie Bickmore breaks down over image of drowned Syrian toddler’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 September, viewed 19 March 2016, http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/the-projects-carrie-bickmore-breaks-down-over-image-of-drowned-syrian-toddler-20150904-gjetma.html

World Press Photo, 2016, ‘World Press Photo of the Year’, World Press Photo, 28 August 2015, http://www.worldpressphoto.org/collection/photo/2016/spot-news/warren-richardson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: NOVEMBER

November has been a rollercoaster!!! I finished up with uni for the session, moved house, went back home, have been working (nearly) full time, been in a global march and back and forth between Sydney countless times. And despite being free from uni work (for now) – I still had very limited time to blog! One of my favourite things to do and I couldn’t even take a few hours out of my day to do it! I was doing so well with my stats and working on growth – and then life just happened and suddenly it’s December (would someone mind filling me in on how that happened?). Anyway… despite having signed up for a summer session at university and basically working full time, I’m committing to blogging at least once a week. I pinky promise. OK, so let’s look back on the month that was November…

Sculptures By The Sea…

I had such an incredible time exploring the beautiful coastline of Bondi Beach with my housemates. It was a gorgeous day spent with gorgeous girls. We topped the day off with some retail therapy so it was a pretty awesome way to spend a weekend. You can read more about Sculptures by the Sea here. 

Moving House!

As uni came to an end for the year – so did our contract at uni accommodation. Lucky for me, my best friend and I moved into a share house around the corner (complete with a queen size bed and a pool).

Mumford and Sons Festival!

Held in the Domain, Sydney, Mumford and Sons not only brought themselves (gods) but a number of other artists like Meg Mac, Jake Bugg, The Art of Sleeping and The Jungle Giants to play in the city. Unfortunately the weather was less than perfect – but we still rocked out in the rain along with some new found Italian friends.

11988416_1182375478444132_4760330503989665202_n
Galavanting around Martin Place. 

My Sister Came to Visit!

I absolutely love my family, so you could imagine how excited I was when my little sister came to visit! It was one of the last times I got to spend time with her before she jetted off on her adventure to South America.

12240160_970409946348613_4164931345305609785_n
My sister and I at City Beach in Wollongong

The People’s Climate March!

What an incredible experience!! Being a part of Australia’s largest Climate March to date! It wasn’t just in Australia, but towns, villages and cities around the world with people from all walks of life marched for Climate Action for Climate Justice. You can read more about the People’s Climate March here. 

Visiting Home

There really is no place like home. Luckily I managed to squeeze in a little weekend trip to beautiful Port Stephens. Better yet, I got to show one of my Norwegian friends around and watch him absolutely lose it over pelicans and koalas!

Love Yourself

It’s not a recap unless there’s a song to go along with all of it! And it’s definitely Love Yourself by Justin Bieber. Sorry if I’ve accidentally become a Belieber but if he keeps producing music like this… I can’t help it!

Well – It was a great month but December is definitely a favourite of mine so I’m pretty excited to see what’s in store!

 

 

The UN’s International Day of Peace: Why It Matters To Us All

“When the power of love overcomes our love of power, the world will know peace.” – Jimi Hendrix 

Peace. It’s one of those words which is thrown around here there and everywhere. Along with a cute little hand gesture which seems to sneak in to all of my photos, myself, along with many others would say that they wish to see the world become a more peaceful one. But if you watch the news, you would think that this world is anything but peaceful. From civil wars, a refugee crisis, poverty, the rise of terrorist groups and a growing gap between the rich and the poor, it’s easy to believe that peace is unreachable. But we cannot accept this. We mustn’t. Because the second we give up hope, is the moment that peace escapes from us. There are many types of peace and there are many forms it takes… but the most important thing is that we believe that peace is achievable. 

Winston Churchill peacing out. Source
Winston Churchill peacing out. Source

So what can I do to bring peace to the world?

Find inner peace. Before you can possibly start to try to bring peace to the world, you first must be at peace with yourself. And it’s not an easy thing to do. It involves knowing your flaws, your weaknesses and knowing what you can do to always be improving yourself. I’m still trying to find inner peace. By not being so judgemental of myself when I look in the mirror, by trying to accept the fact that not everyone I meet in life is going to like me (and that’s not my fault) and by realising that I am unique and it’s up to me to share my voice, my values, and my views with the world.

Discover what makes you feel peaceful. This one’s a little bit easier. Ask yourself… what do you do that makes you lose track of time and forget about the stresses of everyday life? Personally, it’s listening to music, reading a book, going for a bike ride to the beach, blogging, being with friends or doing yoga. All of these things are just as important in my life as the big things like my job and studying. Without these things, I’d be full of stress and anxiety, and it’s by doing these things often that I can actually deal with the stresses of every day life.

The ocean always makes me lose track of time
The ocean always makes me lose track of time. Source

Dignity for all. This is the theme for the UN’s International Peace Day. Dignity is also one of those words which is often thrown around and not many people may realise the significance and power of dignity. Dignity is defined as ‘the quality of being worthy of honour and respect’ (Dictionary.com) and don’t you think if we all treated everyone with dignity, the world would be a better place? Dignity is not only about the respect you give to yourself but also to others, so never lose sight of the fact that underneath all of the wealth or material things we have, we are all born as equals and we should continue to treat everyone else this way too.

Try and spread the peace. Feeling extra happy or peaceful today? Try and spread it. You never know what someone else is going through so why not offer to give them a hand, ask if they’re OK, invite them to one of your beach adventures… you never know how far some kind words can travel.

And the least you can do to help keep the world a peaceful place, as Mother Teresa said Peace begins with a smile.” 

poster

Celebrity Activism: Are Good Intentions Good Enough?

“We’ll win if we work together as one, the people. The power of the people is so much stronger than the people in power” – Bono, 2013 TED Talk

“Problems should not be glamourized by the association of celebrities” – Dambisa Moyo

Bob Geldof and Bono campaigning against poverty. Source.
Bob Geldof and Bono campaigning against poverty. Source.

Bono is first and foremost, a singer. However recently he’s become the face of combatting poverty in Africa, and taken on the role as an activist, economist, politician, humanitarian and framed as an angel to save all of the ‘poor Africans.’ Throughout the 80’s, he worked with Bob Geldof on the Live Aid concerts and has heavily campaigned to fight poverty in Africa, especially Ethiopia. In 2005 he went on to campaign for the Make Poverty History Movement which was more focused on social justice rather than charity. And then in 2014, he is featured on the single ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ to fight the ebola outbreak in West Africa, raising millions of pounds.

Bono brings his good intentions to Africa. Source
Bono brings his good intentions to Africa. Source

There is an issue here. Celebrities like Bono who become activists for large-scale social and humanitarian issues are not experts on poverty, inequality and sustainable development. Yet he has met with Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, George Bush, Bill Gates and various other politicians and powerful actors to generate policy change and create global awareness (Why Poverty, 2012). He has inadvertently become the face of anti poverty. Bono already has millions of people who look up to them, respect them, hate him or talk about him across the globe and he’s using a unique platform to spread his message.

Celebrities are not experts and can often oversimplify a very complex issue such as poverty. The infamous Make Poverty History video above features many different celebrities. Dambisa Moyo is a Ghanese economist and activist who is extremely ‘anti-Bono’ due to his ignorance of the complexity of poverty and lack of results. In a recent televised debate, Moyo states that the West needs to stop being sympathetic and start being empathetic and realizing that Africans are doing a lot of grassroots work to create change (Black Wall Street, 2015). Another issue is the media portrayal of Africa and their people as the victims, and people like Bono and Bob Geldof as the white saviour (Davis, 2010), which contributes to a sympathetic view of ‘poor Africa.’ Moyo says that, ‘Africa’s debt problems should not be glamourized by the association of celebrities who’s actions are more often than not self-perpetrating,’ (Fitzpatrick, 2011) and that is where we find the problem with celebrity activism.

The 2014 release of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ sparked controversy and further encourages this ‘poor Africa’ perception. It plays on one of the main parts of Moyo’s book, where she highlights how ‘the West is patronizing Africans’ (Easterly, 2009). The video is solely focused on the singers and celebrities that resonates with the Make Poverty History video of ‘spot the celebrity.’ Sure, it starts with some graphic images, and sure, they raised a lot of money… but is that enough?

image-20150630-5832-17q8bdp
Africa re-conquered by Hollywood. Source

Celebrities are experts at grabbing people’s attention and creating emotional responses in people. The images and videos they broadcast are heart wrenching, because they’re designed that way. Nash explains that people need to see themselves as part of the ‘global political community’ (Nash, 2008). No one’s going to sign a petition, donate money or be a part of a protest unless they’ve felt personally motivated to do so, and celebrities can make this happen. Many argue that ‘at least celebrities are doing something with their power,’ but is it really justified if the damage they are creating is greater than their ‘good acts.’ Are good intentions, good enough?

So how do we ensure that the work celebrities are doing is progressive and beneficial for those affected by the issue they represent? Alex Dewaal says that there are ‘fundamental pillars of activism which should always be followed, most of all, the act of responding to and collaborating with local people, rather than imposing outside agendas’ (Dewaal, 2013). Celebrities should be held accountable and responsible for their actions. They shouldn’t engage in humanitarian activism unless they’re willing to follow through and commit to the cause they represent.

References

Black Wall Street, 2015, ‘Debate: Foreign Aid does more harm than good’, Black Wall Street, 13 March, 45:54 – 47:46, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWlLE7IohXo

Cole, G. Radley, B. Falisse, J.B 2015, ‘Who really benefits from celebrity activism?’, The Guardian, 10 July, http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jul/10/celebrity-activism-africa-live-aid 

Davis, H 2010, ‘Feeding the world a line?: Celebrity activism and ethical consumer practices from Live Aid to Product Red’, Nordic Journal of English Studies, Miami University, Vol 9.3, pp 111-115

Dewall, A 2013, ‘Reclaiming Activism’, World Peace Foundation, 30 April, https://sites.tufts.edu/reinventingpeace/2013/04/30/reclaiming-activism/

Fitzpatrick, S 2011, ‘The Moyo-Bono Divide: What are the Opposing Sides?’, Hubpages, 14 February, http://siouxtrick.hubpages.com/hub/The-Moyo-Bono-Divide

Nash, K 2008, ‘Global citizenship as showbusiness: the cultural politics of Make Poverty History’, Media Culture Society, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 167-181

Why Poverty, 2012, ‘Give Us The Money’, Why Poverty, 10 December, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgGP3zV8kdU

Further Information

Bono’s 2013 TED Talk

Band Aid 30’s cover of Do They Know It’s Christmas?

Why Poverty’s documentary exploring the efforts of Bono and Bob Geldof along with their accomplishments and criticism

Booty and Beauty: The Fine Line of Cultural Appropriation

“What would America (and the world) be like if we loved black people, as much as we love black culture?” – Amandla Stenberg

The fashion industry is fierce. It’s tough, sets unrealistic expectations and leaves you staring at yourself in the mirror just that bit longer, wishing you had a smaller this and bigger that. We’ve always been one’s to take bits and pieces that we love from the catwalk and parade them around the streets of our neighbourhood. But what happens when we start taking bits and pieces from people’s culture and traditional dress to jazz up our outfits? You my friend, are engaging in cultural appropriation. 

Cultural appropriation is ‘the adoption of elements of one culture by members of a different cultural group, especially if the adoption is of an oppressed people’s cultural elements by members of the dominant culture.’ (Frew, 2015).

Black cultural appropriation by celebrities: Kylie Jenner, Miley Cyrus and Christina Aguilera
Black cultural appropriation by celebrities: Kylie Jenner, Miley Cyrus and Christina Aguilera

The issue here is power. And moreso ‘post-colonial power’ (Nicklas & Lindner, 2012). The dominant or ‘normal’ culture is free to appropriate what they want, whereas the ‘minority’ or ‘marginalized group’ is left with significant cultural forms of expressions, being worn by white girls at music festivals. Cultural appropriation is dangerous and damaging. According to Everyday Feminism contributor, Maisha Johnson, it ‘trivialises violent historical oppression, let’s privileged people profit from oppressed people’s labour and perpetuates racist stereotypes.’ It’s no lie that the dominant or ‘normal’ culture in the mainstream media and society is a white, middle class man or women. And what gives us the right to take something significant from another culture, make it ‘cool,’ and only once a white person adopts it, is it widely accepted?

Everyday Feminism: explains how it is. Source
Everyday Feminism: explains how it is. Source

‘Marginalized groups don’t have the power to decide if they’d prefer to stick with their customs or try on the dominant culture’s traditions just for fun’ (Johnson, 2015).

Native American headresses have slowly been banned at various music festivals. Source
Native American headdresses have slowly been banned at various music festivals. Source

We’ve come to accept that cultural appropriation regarding some items of clothing such as the Native American headdress as unacceptable as it is disrespectful of Native American history, traditions and oppression. It has already been banned at Montreal’s Osheaga’s Arts and Music festival and other major music festivals like Coachella have been encouraged to follow suit. So if we realise that we should show ‘respect and honour’ towards First Nation’s people in Canada and America, when will this translate to bindis, cornrows, grills, henna and any other ‘desirable’ or ‘exotic’ cultural traits.

Nicki Minaj flaunting her booty. Source
Nicki Minaj flaunting her booty. Source

It even extends to the whole, Booty craze sweeping the world at the moment. Sure, Queen B sang about it back in 2001 with Bootylicious, it’s only within the past year or two that the rise of the booty has exploded across the fitness scene. Now you can’t scroll through Facebook or Instagram without ‘how to get a bubble butt, #girlsthatsquat, big booty bitches…’ ANYTHING related to how apparently now it’s trending to have a big booty.  This can extend from the ‘appropriation of African American culture, occurring as a result of the dominant culture’s fetishistic desire to consume blackness and to relegate the black body. They’re objectified and can leave the individual psychologically and emotionally damaged.’ (Bailey, 2012).

Alex Wek. International super model who speaks openly about her struggles as a black model coming from a South Sudanese/British background. Source
Alex Wek. International super model who speaks openly about her struggles as a black model coming from a South Sudanese/British background and also encourages individual beauty of the mind, heart and soul. Source

I’m not writing this to accuse people of being racist, or to depict anyone in any single way. We’re all different and have different experiences in life. However, being a white woman born in Australia, I have to acknowledge the extreme privilege that I have. I’m not trying to exclude myself from this either. I’ve worn saris and bindis to dress up parties and been to the gym and maybe hashtagged #thatass before. I’m also not trying to say that these traits can only ever belong to that cultural group. But I think it’s important to be educated and understand the history and significance these actions can have on others before doing so. I believe that the power I do have should be used to discuss these issues so we can attempt to empathise, empower and create change. If we continue to turn a blind eye to casual racism and cultural appropriation, especially regarding beauty, then we will only continue to perpetuate negative stereotypes.

So to answer the question at the beginning of this blog post, I believe the world would be a much better place if we loved people from all over the globe equally for who they are and not for what we can take from them.

*

References

Bailey, C 2012, Fight the Power: African American Humor as a Discourse of Resistance, The Western Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 36, No. 4, University of Missouri

Frew, C 2015, Othering, blackface, appropriation and #blacklives matter, Lecture Slides, University of Wollongong, 14 August

Johnson, M 2015, What’s wrong with cultural appropriation? Everyday Feminism, June 14, http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/06/cultural-appropriation-wrong/

Nicklas, P, & Lindner, O (eds) 2012, spectrum Literaturwissenschaft / spectrum Literature : Adaptation and Cultural Appropriation : Literature, Film, and the Arts, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, DEU. Available from: ProQuest ebrary. [14 August 2015].

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/05/cultural-appropriation-in-fashion-stop-talking-about-it/370826/

Flirting with Feminism

This clip is an incredibly insightful, confronting and enlightening discussion between a variety of women who have varying views of feminism. From not identifying as a feminist due to feminism being targeted at middle class white women, the forward motion of feminism and how it needs to include women of colour, transgender women and disabled women, to feminism being more than an individual happiness and needs to be a collective movement, to not wanting a definition because definitions by nature are limiting and the feminism movement must continue to be dynamic and fluid, all of these women’s views are equally interesting and informative.

maxresdefault

A part of the discussion which really challenged my preconceived ideas of feminism is the idea of femism being so much more than individual acceptance and behaviour. How it not ok to make personal decisions and behave in a way that you deem ok and excercising a right of freedom to make those decisions, where those decisions can have adverse affects on women kind as a whole. I guess this brings in the whole ‘not asking for it’ movement which despite what a woman wears – whether it be jeans, jumper, bikini, bra, shorts, crop top or a dress – she’s not asking for it (IT being sexual abuse). I completely agree with this movement and believe that regardless of what a woman wears despite how ‘slutty’ or ‘provocative’ it may appear, she does not deserve any mistreatment or abuse. However, are individuals, especially those of power like Miley Cyrus who do wear provocative clothing really contributing to woman kind in a positive way? Yes, individuals like Miley Cyrus are excercising their right to make their own decisions and wear what they want to wear, but in the long run, is it undermining the very notions of feminism as a collective movement?

I guess we are in this world together and we as a society should act upon the interest of that society, however at the end of the day, all we really have are ourselves. Is it ok/justified to do what you want and to make your own decisions based on your individual wants/needs, OR, should we change our frame of mind and act/make collectivistic decisions based on the success and liberation towards woman kind as a whole? I can’t make that decision for women everywhere, but I do know that it is important to maintain the key values of feminism in our every day lives and fight against injustice.

xxx A

Real Romance Films

I love a good romantic film. But what I love even more are romantic films which are real, raw and relatable.

http://hellogiggles.com/movies-totally-get-love-right/

I’ve only seen a few of the movies mentioned in this article but they’ve all been added to my ever growing list.

Another film I’d recommend (as part of the Before… trilogy) is Before Sunrise. It’s one of my favourite films EVER and I’d highly recommend it to those hopeless romantics who love to travel.

Happy watching

xxx A

Pinterest: Motivation & Happiness Central!

I’ve recently jumped on the Pinterest wagon, and for the past 24 hours, I’ve been hooked. This little discovery couldn’t have come at a better time in my life too. Recently I’ve felt like I’ve lit several different fuses. I’m working part time, trying to excel in my studies, volunteering for leadership programs all whilst trying to maintain a social life, and I’m not entirely sure if those fuses are leading towards a bomb or fireworks. After spending quite literally the past 24 hours of Pinterest, I’ve been immersing myself in colourful, beautiful, weird, wonderful and quirky images which has only been fuelling my appetite for everything life is throwing at me. Motivating and inspiring me to push myself, my limits and my state of mind of what is possible.

‘If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely’ – Roald Dahl

I’m a firm believer in surrounding yourself with positive things and people. Sometimes in life, we just need to stop being sad and start being happy and I am choosing to be happy and to turn those fuses into the biggest and brightest fireworks this world has ever seen.

If you too would like a daily dose of some motivation and happiness, check out my Happiness board here. I hope it makes you laugh and smile as much as I did. 

A snapshot of my Pinterest account.

4d79c74d13eb6be1cd3e4bee8139d38f

43be7296599a6ee36d808b7d319faa35a280c56bde18049e4a5d144cbe2c656c

0d105c3e874fb7fbec9edb8c80988fca571534d274e9fd715abaabb543887d17

Peace, love and happiness to all

xxx A

The City of Beauty, Fashion, Morals and Of Course… Sex

Sex & the City is the modern woman’s answer for a bible. It offers us guidance, reassurance, faith, the promise of redemption and stresses the importance of red wine. Whilst it was only last year that I watched the epic 6 season girls guide to life, I have since seen every episode about 3 or 4 times and each time it gets better and Big-ger (hehe get it?) So here is what the four women, Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Miranda can teach each and every one of us, and yes boys, you included.

734de1c2781f1e6eb7d1185b66ddb019

Being single can be fabulous – For a long time, we were all told that the ultimate goal in life is to get married and have kids. Then we can live a fulfilled life baking cakes and picking our kids up from soccer practice. Well those ideals can f*ck off right back to the 1950’s. These days being single doesn’t mean you’re unattractive, unwanted or undesirable. It means you’re taking time for yourself. Giving yourself the time, love and attention you deserve. We’re allowed to explore ourselves, discover what we want and allowed to have standards and expectations. Being single gives us more time to ourselves, to be ourselves.

1b983728c311a99865058ef37449ec51

Love and relationships are difficult and confusing – even if we do happen to find someone, it’s bloody difficult. There’s unspoken social rules that need to be followed, expectations, thoughts, experiences, when to call when not to call, Facebook likes… these days there’s so many things that interfere, distract and can get in the way of relationships. There’s so many complex relationships; Carrie and Mr. Big, Carrie and Aidan, Miranda and Steve, Charlotte and Trey, Charlotte and Harry, Samantha and Smith, Samantha and everyone… but regardless of their relationships and connections, they kind of make you feel like any sort of relationship or ‘thing’ you have going on in your life, is kinda normal.

“They say nothing lasts forever …dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.” – Carrie Bradshaw

Friendship will overcome all things – True friends are friends for life. They’ll be with you through thick and thin. Regardless of time or distance, when you need someone to talk to and hold you, your best friends will be there. Through a break up, a bad life choice, a broken fingernail, they’re there for you. The best things about having girlfriends is that you can tell them anything and everything. They’ll never judge you and always be there to give you advice and paint your nails with.

sex-the-city-images

Fashion is everything darling! – Unfortunately guys, I’m not sure you’ll ever understand the age old struggle of having a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear. Don’e judge us if we take 20minutes or 2hours to get ready, we just want our outfit to match our confidence and inner beauty!

There’s no such thing as a normal *insert noun here*- relationship, penis, date, face, vagina, man, woman, dress… All the different escapades the girls get up to kind of justifies anything you have going on in your life.

comedy-funny-quote-samantha-Favim.com-898839

Sex is sex – Sex is a natural part of life which for decades has been smothered by taboo and secrecy. But Sex & the City, true to its name, destroys all sexual stereotypes and taboo. We talk openly about love, life, friends and family, why not sex?

Every woman has a little bit of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda in them- Samantha is a confident, strong, successful, sex crazed woman who sleeps with a new man every episode and always offers the blunt truth. Charlotte is an innocent and hopeless romantic woman who dreams of a fairytale happy ending. Miranda is a cynical strong lawyer who has questionable fashion choices but is a loyal friend. And Carrie, the slightly annoying pushover whose kryptonite is the man she keeps running back to. And me? Well I like to think I’m a bit of a Carrie and Samantha.

We’re all beautiful people who deserve the best and nothing less than butterflies!

xxx A