5 Social Stigmas that our generation needs to stamp out.
98% of the time I would call myself empowered. A fire-heart willing to change the world, fight for equality, make people happy – you know, the typical feisty and naïve kind of attitude.
2% of the time it gets to me. I see headlines of people killing people, sexism – even in the most subtle of forms, homophobic hate-crimes and racist slurs engulfing the world. I see humans, but no humanity, no soul, no compassion. And I fear for our world. The big, exciting world that we once grew up inspired and in awe of, tainted with so much hate.
I could remain there, in my 2% mind, and give up that fight completely. But that’s the easy way out, and anyone who knows me, knows that easy doesn’t usually sway me. Our generation may not be responsible for the creation of these horrific global occurrences, but we need to take responsibility for their end.
It’s up to us, the young, naïve, but compassionate youth that still believe in the word change, and are willing to fight for it.
Here are a few issues, some that are close to my heart, that I still hope and believe that we as a generation, can put an end to.
This one is obviously so prevalent in our modern society. The youth of the twenty first century have grown up in a society who tells them how they should look, dress and be before we even figure it out for ourselves yet. With constant connection to social media, we compare ourselves to models, actresses, athletes constantly and subconsciously which only fuels our long lists of insecurities.
It’s time to stop comparing, time to stop the negative mind sets and learn that someone else’s beauty is not the absence of your own. Plus-size model Ashley Graham has embraced her body and made the pages Vogue because of it, Simone Biles won 7 Olympic Gold medals and doesn’t have a thigh gap, Marilyn Monroe was donned the “sexiest woman alive” and is natural and curvaceous and Emma Watson is thinly built but has the ability to inspire and empower rooms full of the world’s most powerful people.
basically what I am trying to say is that our bodies don’t limit us, or place us in categories of things we can and cannot do. Our bodies are epic, and we need to celebrate them. We could be busy saving the world instead of worrying and scrutinising our bodies so much, it’s time to put an end to this negative cycle. For more self-love advice read my post here.
The Fear of Feminists
With both rising popularity and controversy regarding feminism, the world has appeared to become threatened and confused about what feminists strive for. Increasingly common protests, petitions and movements supporting feminism are generating heat from people all over the globe, due to the confusion that all feminists are men-hating machines full of anger and hate. Women are afraid to express their support for feminism out of fear it will categorise them with crazy-cat ladies and “free the nipple” devotees when really feminism is a fight for equality, and can be supported both subtly or more obviously. Feminists aren’t man-hating and angry, feminists merely want to be equal and be entitled to everything that our male counterparts are. No. Big. Deal.
I am probably going to sound too feisty and slightly hypocritical after my last point, but this really, really gets to me. I find that the sexualisation of women in the media is growing, and we are becoming alarmingly objectified and ranked on our “assests” and superficial beauty. Sexualizing nudity, of women, or men, needs to stop. It is from this where our rape culture is derived from, as men growing up and seeing this constant stream of sexploitation around women believe that if a girl is showing skin or wearing a short skirt, that well, she must be begging for sex. It’s disgusting, disturbing and not ok. For so long I have been told by adults that if I dress revealingly then I’m “asking for it”. But actually, as far as I am aware, by showing some of my thigh or stomach does not indicate to the entire male population that I need their attention. Men need to control themselves and learn that by showing skin, we are not sexualising ourselves. Bodies are to be celebrated, looked after and presented exactly how we wish. And guys, if you are really desperate to get to the bedroom, try actually getting to know us as people first, rather than trying to touch anything that quite frankly isn’t yours.
Homophobia and Racism
I can’t believe it’s 2016 and this is still a thing. Like seriously, this discriminatory behaviour that is still so prevalent in society needs to stop. The most beautiful aspects of humans is their ability to express themselves, be compassionate to others and to be free. For those of us who are white and straight, it seems horrific that we have somehow become the “superiors” and escape so much of this mistreatment. I can’t begin to imagine how it would feel to be conscious of people treating you differently because of your skin colour, or having to put up a façade of a “normal, straight and acceptable” teenager out of fear of expressing your sexuality. But for those of us who want to help and fight these negative stigmas, spread love and support for anyone who is victim of unfair discrimination. Sexuality and ethnicity is nothing to be afraid of, feel threatened by or condone, live your own life and celebrate others who do authentically. Life is meant to be full of colour, expression and happiness, don’t be the one who stops the cycle.
Photo: The Messy Heads @Tumblr
What goes into our mouths
Hah, I bet you are thinking of something dirty. But actually, I’m talking about the innocent subject of food and how twenty-first century dieting has gotten incredibly out of hand. I made the decision this year to become pescetarian, as I realised that it is possible to survive and find enjoyment in eating a plant-based, simple diet. This decision I made for personal, ethical reasons as as a dedicated “greeny” who vows to save the world and cut carbon emissions dramatically, I decided that it is wise to practise what I preached, resulting in me giving up meat, which included intensely farmed dairy products. I by no means did this for a media stunt, to gain followers or fans or because it seemed “on trend”. Whilst I do agree that some people broadcast there diet choices to an irritating extent, we have to stop vilifying the vegans, vegetarians and even the hardcore meat-eaters. So many vegans and vegetarians are choosing their diets for positive reasons, not for attention. It’s not “cool” or attention seeking, it’s simply for personal reasons which no one has the right to question or degrade. Focus on what’s going into your mouth, I and will focus on mine. Whether it’s a steak, an açai bowl or tofu, let’s all just get along.