Amy Baby

It’s no secret that I can be slightly melo- dramatic, especially when it comes to the feels, or a topic  I am ‘passionate’ about. I was born giving alotta fucks, and luckily, when I started uni six years ago, I found my people- with whom I continue to give ALOT of fucks about ALOT of things, ALOT of the time.

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One of those care- givers is a mate who I share a rather hilarious vibe with- one that doesn’t really require much fertilising or watering at all. We can go months without a message or call- but when her name lights up the old apple, I know I’m about to be taken on a philosophical trip.

There was one particular evening where I initiated a melancholy moment back in the winter however, when our film majors, experiences and fears all kinda collided at once.

I’m not a major film cryer. I feel what I gotsta feel, and always reflect where it’s due. However 20 weeks ago (according to insta) I viewed something that hasn’t really left my conscience. So much so, that I cannot bring myself to watch again and nor can my mate.

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On a miserable winters day I watched the Amy film.

In summary, Amy Winehouse was broken. Firstly by her dad (who abandoned her and her mother), then her own sabotaging behaviour that manifested out of a fight for control and approval. And finally by the media– who gave her attention that she was NOT interesting in whatsoever.

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This is where my second area of study flows in- which has only heightened my realisation that broken is everywhere.

Broken has always existed and it serves a purpose– we need the dark to balance light and we need to break to transform, free, fight etc.

Broken is in songs, movies, books, voices, eyes, body language, yoga mats and wine glasses. It keeps the economoy alive as well as pubs and brothels.

More scarily- It’s in my generation- in the drug epidemic, in masked selfies and naked wardrobes.

This is where it becomes a chicken or egg debate- if we didn’t have platforms to express our shit, would it be there to begin with? are we triggering each others insecurities or making something that wasn’t as bad, amplified? I think it’s a bit of both.

What I do know is that our childhoods really do shape us. That our emotional self is always gonna be our inner child, who we spend our adult years expressing, saving or sabotaging in some way.

#HEAVY I know!

But life is heavy… and light too, it comes down to what we do to balance it all out, how we use our stories and experiences as motivation.. to let go and to love ourselves, and therefore each other.

For Amy, even though she could recognise her #daddyissues, she forever fought for his approval and love, her daddy’s little girl tatt sums up the struggle. We all internalise and respond differently and there is no right or wrong way of doing so.

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We can’t judge each other for our resistance or residence, and we can’t save or fix each other either.

I think this may be why the film hit my friend and I so much- the fact that no one could save Amy, including herself.

This kind of  realisation is not an easy one to fathom, because we have seen loved ones spiral in the same way.

This however is the reality of life– it isn’t always fair and it can be horrible- shit does happen, all the time. All we can do is choose where we put our energy, focus and what we want to manifest.

Having an understanding of the fact that hurt people hurt others, and that our actions are a product of our life script (written by a combo of influences from day one), helps in acceptance too.

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All we can control is our perception, which we can change at any time. Our actions are either determined by love or fear, and it takes courage to choose love.

This post kinda sums up the lesson I have gained this year. 2015 has been about letting go of shit that no longer serves me, whilst acknowledging it’s role in my journey. Letting go isn’t easy but it is so necessary. I only hope that erry one can do so in their own way and time, so that we can embrace the beauty of life.

MERRY XMAS  & Happy Sunday!

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Sex, Love & Kale

August marked a year since I first challenged my ego and risked my angelic reputation by publicly word vomiting my opinions onto WordPress.com !

While a few pals had been pushing me to do something with my communications degree (other than practise my stalking/ investigative skills) for a while, it took a hung- dog Saturday morning state to fuel my oh- so feminist outburst about trolling, body shaming & the mighty media in general.

And ever since I slammed the lappy screen shut in a hot ball of anxiety, I have been overwhelmed and pleasantly surprised by the variety of respondents and responses to my overtly opinionated alternative thoughts!

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Being the overly analytical psych student that I am, the degree to which I froth while monitoring the many ways in which my words trigger reactions is barely surprising. What is kinda interesting however, is that amount of curiosity many of y’all seem to have also.

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So… I thought I would follow in the wise and wonderful footsteps of a good friend who, on every birthday, takes it upon himself to educate the FB world on the shit he’s learnt over the past 12 months of life.

Now, before you close the tab at the fear of a self indulgent exploration of my personal development and Ghandi-like enlightenment, CHILL. This aint’ alllll about me (there are elements, though #sorrynotsorry).

To keep your interest and ‘up’ my following, I have compiled 3 easy to follow, insightful and (hopefully) LOL- worthy lists for the sticky beak in all of us:

What YOU (readers/ stalkers/ feed backers) LIKE: 

  • HONESTY

Regardless of the topic, the dirtier/ grittier and rawer the writing, the richer the response (surprise!)

As a slightly blunt and opinionated person, I have been conscious of being ‘balanced’ and ‘controlled’ in my views, in an attempt to avoid criticism/ offending the softer petals out there. However, it seems the more I dish it out, the more the readership and respect has grown.

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Whether its sex, politics or kale, y’all like to keep it real.

  • AUTHENTICITY

While I was initially reluctant as feck to open up to the extent I have done, it turns out that sharing our stories is rather therapeutic and empowering for fellow humans… especially when it comes to #L0V3. WHO KNEW?!

  • WHINGING

It’s no secret we all love a cheeky bitch session. Alternative Thoughts has strengthened this truth, particularly when it comes to:

> social rules/expectations

> gender norms + sexism (especially towards MEN)

> bullshitters

> body shaming

  • LOVE

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Well, it seems that we love to hate love, love to love love, and are bloody perplexed by the concept all together. We seem avoid it and seek it all at once.. hence the tinder culture of commitment phobes & situation-ships.

  • BOOZE, FOOD & TRAVEL

For obvious reasons.

  • SEX

Putting the ‘buzz‘ in buzzwords, it really does sell (haha).

The HATE train includes:

  •  HIPSTERS ‘n’ HIPPIES

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Anyone remember my post- farmers market rant about the latest trend of insta- hippies who sip on coconuts while taking bare foot selfies and munching on their daily carrot stick? well that little post made it big in the blogging world (it’s legit read every day).

  • JUDGEMENT

Of others, and of our own life choices, regardless of what they are. Freedom and Equality for all, y’all!

  • RACISM

Apparently it’s a no-go zone in the white world…

  • POSITIVITY

 It seems that anytime I have my rosy- coloured glasses on, encourage an optimistic perspective, or hint at embracing a stable lifestyle, the band wagon suffers… #cray

Things we LOVE 2 HATE:

  • THE MEDIA

We hate the power the media holds. We hate their manipulative ways, the messages being communicated and the damaging effects of propaganda.

We also hate the trolling and bullying that manifests behind the screens. We are sickened by filters and the insular, vain values the gram promotes.

And yet, we continue to scroll, continue to post, continue to be influenced. The struggle is REAL.

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  • LOVE

Because, Love.

  • Feeding our Egos

Because we are human.

And there ya have it~ I’m at 700 words , which means I need to shut up ASAP or ratings will plummet. ( We are lazy and impatient, in case you forgot).

Thanks for following along, I’m always open to suggestions and alternative opinions!

Happy Tuesday!

A Lumpy Liberation

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Breaking News Ya’ll! A lady and her lumps have graced news headlines once more, encouraging us to celebrate as if we have found a cure for cancer, and gawk over the plus sized achievement.

As suggested by previous posts, my position on the body image campaign aint’ exactly a secret.

However, while Sports Illustrated’s decision did encourage a carb-athon ,and the healthy cover girl is indeed a positive movement, I can not help but feel cynical.

I mean… REALLY? it is 2015 and we (an educated, liberated, open-minded western civilisation, apparently) are celebrating a shift from underweight, extremely hungry representations of femininity as if scientists have discovered a new gender…

HOW IS THIS EVEN A THING?

As highlighted in the clip below, it is not our body shapes that have changed over time, it’s societies ideal image of the female figure (cheers). Having spent a long summer beaching, the wonderfully wide spectrum on which our body shapes vary is as obvious and present as ever, thankfully.

 

While the rig- rating panels will probably always exist, on personal and global levels, it seems as though there is a tug of war going on.

In a nutshell; curvy ladies are skinny shaming, and many plus size women are being slammed for being ‘bigger’ and ‘larger’ than the #norm.

It is not wonder then, that the issue of [Women’s] liberation, is rather confusing.

The age old question of whether women do certain things like breathe, dress [or pose semi naked on the cover of Sports Illustrated] for themselves or men, arose while I was wrapped around a pole and humping walls on Friday night.

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One of my gal pals decided to dive through our feminist layers and release our inner sexual beasts for her birthday, and I of course I am not one to refuse such an invite!

After wrapping our minds and arses around the basic sequences, it was easy to see just how much full body strength is required to perform on a pole, and also how achievable and liberating it can be!

As we crawled around slapping each others bums and coordinated our moves to Chicago, the hysterical laughter expressed just how much feather bower fun we were having, as we focused on nothing other than ourselves for the hour.

It was not until the lap dancing lesson (two champas & hours in) that I started to question whether or not I felt liberated or objectified.

Using chairs as props, we were encouraged to visualise our lovers seated with their legs opened after we had opened and straddled them (LOL).

As I tried to execute the moves while watching my friends in all their glory, I was also debating whether I felt empowered or as if I was being trained to entertain the Hugh Heifer’s of the world.

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When the Sports Illustrated news broke, I couldn’t help but notice the mixed commentary offered by random men and women who seemed to hold very strong opinions on the models body. This just communicated more over, how warped, conflicted and damaged our societies attitudes towards #body image; #empowerment/ #liberation, #sexism and #feminism are.

(WATCH IT!)

I would like to finish with a TED talk from an incredibly inspiring AUSTRALIAN woman who was a victim of her mother’s interpretation of femininity, empowerment and human rights. While female genital mutation is on another level of seriousness than verbal/ written objectification and bullying, all of these issues allude to a gap.

There seems to be a river dividing the western idealistic equal gendered, fully liberated, non judgemental and non sexist island many of us intend to live on, and the troubled reality we are currently swimming in.

I propose that we build some poles and swing along to the other side… Maybe then we will freely embrace our animal instincts, no matter our size!

Happy Wednesday !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swim Suit Sabotage

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Last Saturday my friend and I went shopping. Considering summer is rapidly approaching, bathers were silently placed at the top of the list.

I say silently because, between us, the particular time of the month we visited, pizza and vino consumption from the night before, lack of waxing and a full time job/ disgusting university assignments deemed us less than cover shoot ready. According to ourselves anyway.

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Doubt surrounding whether we were beach ready was quickly forgotten however, when we entered the Seafolly haven of bright colours, barely- there brazillian style genital cages, mixed in with fuller briefs and one pieces that seem to be missing parts. All in the name of farrrsharn, right?

Despite the scary thought of being caught in a rip in the majority of pieces, I was rather impressed with the brands latest range. It was not until I had both arms stacked with varying styles in a cloud of optimism and exotic island fantasy, when I heard a lovely, down to earth, very approachable shop assistant say, (in an empathetic tone, while frantically clipping the high pile of change room returns) “Nobody is ever happy. Every day I hear about the body parts women dream of nipping and tucking…”.

Remaining on my delusional planet, I brushed off the comment with a “poor girls, fuck society” thought, while rolling my eyes at the model on the wall. It wasn’t until someone FINALLY freed up a change room (departing in a huff) that I could join my pal in the neighbouring box. And then BOOM. My plane landed so suddenly on the tar mat, that I hit my head.

Well that is what it felt like, as the wave of self-doubt and ridicule set in. That poor little gluten-free pizza was copping a lot of blame for the mirror image staring back at me… apparently the hips don’t lie. (What purpose have all the kale juices served? maybe I should have given up sugar after all!)

img-thingNow, I’ve never been one to shy away from water environments, and I love the free feeling of floating around in my kini’ poolside, particularly with a coconut or mojito in hand.  I usually do so after devouring some form of carbs, I’m married to pasta after all. Simply put, I consider myself a comfortable bikini wearer.

Maybe it was hormones, the confined space in which I assessed ever angle of myself in, or the ‘pressure‘ from the poor souls offering constant support to silent customers. Or maybe it was the images I had been swamped with in the catalogue, on social media, or in my head. Ridiculous expectations once again, had dropped a hot (bird like) shit on my head.

Luckily, my wonderful gal pal came to the rescue, slipping into my changing hot box and sorting me out (just as she has, time and time again, throughout Europe and over lotsa vino and antipasto). Thanks to our backpacking experiences, my gal is well and truly familiar with my body shape and proved that, she does actually know what suits me, better than I do. Funnily, I was able to do the same for her, just not myself.

After re- evaluating my priorities, self-development and whether or not all those meditation classes had actually been worth the silence and ass numbing, I went on my phone, and saw the back lash the latest Victoria Secret campaign has received world-wide.

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And then I realised: ohhh that’s right, I’m just another gal, who has fallen victim to the UNREALISTIC expectations created by the media, once again.

  • This might be why we are never happy
  • This might be why eating disorders, depression and anxiety rates are on the rise
  • This might be why women bitch about each other and themselves all the time
  • This may have something to do with the beauty industry
  • This may be why so many fad diets exist
  • This DEFINITELY is a major issue.

THERE IS HOPE THOUGH!

In response To the Victoria Secret campaign, lingerie brand JD Williams has launched a #PerfectlyImperfect campaign to promote body confidence for all women, of all ages, sizes and shapes.

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The campaign includes the above image which features models size 10-16.

The brand hopes that the #FavouriteFlaw hashtag on social media platforms will inspire women to share the things they love about themselves and encourage others to look at their own bodies in a positive light – in a celebration of real beauty.

When I next brave the self sabotage that can be swim suit shopping, I plan to take this image with me, along with perspective in the form of an honest friend, quite like Stephy.

In the mean time, I’ll eat some curry, do some yoga and continue to work towards challenging to dominant views that are eating us up.

FYI- I found two fabulous sets that I plan to rock all summer along.

Happy Summer!