Celebrate Your Girlfronds Please

Recently my sister-in-law gave birth for the first time, and I was accordingly introduced to the world of judgement that mothers have placed on them in every single aspect of motherhood – from how you decide to deliver, to how you choose to feed, sleep, clothe and entertain your baby. My poor sis-in-law (let’s just call her “Lisa”) was not only sleep-deprived and new to parenting, she was also having to expend energy worrying about what she was doing, due to the myriad of conflicting and judgmental advice flying around the internet, hospital and anywhere that mothers with 2c may lurk. Luckily she has a great bunch of friends who were real and assuring with her about their experiences, but not every new mother gets to have the kind of support network that “Lisa” has.

I was feeling pretty aghast at the bullshit that new mothers get judged on when it also hit me: the judgement starts far before motherhood. As women, our very choice as to whether or not to have children is judged and held up for public opinion at every turn. And it sucks to say this, but the perpetrators are often other women.
As a single 31 year old female, I have been constantly encouraged “not to worry – for I will meet someone to have children with soon!” I’m really pissed off about this. Why? Because literally everyone who knows me should know me well enough to know that I have stated since I was ca. 12 years old that I did not have any maternal instincts. Many people would patronisingly tell me that I would change my mind when I was older – and this is still happening to this very day.

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To be fair, it would be a very lucky baby.

I am so incredibly fucking insulted by this, in ways that I can’t even express.
Who the hell are people to insinuate that I don’t have intelligent agency on my own decisions?
What the actual fuck is wrong with wanting to be childfree?
We don’t live in an age of marginalised population – far from it. We could do with a heck of a lot less people on this planet, and I’m more than happy to refrain from adding to the current population clusterfuck that is pillaging all of our natural resources. Not to mention that I’d much rather take my $250,000 and my free time and spend it on travel, 3D art gadgets, designer furniture, low-purity Australian-grade cocaine, bibles and literally anything other than raising a child.
I have considered telling people that I have some kind of horrible illness that prevents me from having children, just to make them think twice about the invasively judgmental words that come out of their mouths – but in doing that, I would be further perpetuating the notion that women who don’t have children are only that way because they medically can’t. And I’m not even going to waste my breath talking about the injustice of safe abortions not being free and available to every woman on this planet.

So why, in 2016, are women that choose not to have children still considered inherently faulty and suspicious? I promise you; we’re not. (I’ll tell you what actually is suspicious though; chicken nibbles. The ratio of labour-intensive “nibbling” to projected meat payload is a grim travesty indeed. Who is making money from this betrayal? Who is laughing all the way to the bank at your fervent insistence that the nibbling is worth it? We’ll discuss this issue in depth another time.)
I’m finding that the reason feminism still has a long way to go is because there is too much goddamn in-house bickering.
TLDR: Live and let live. Before you go around judging what other people are doing, try shutting the hell up and living your own life. To the womenfolk out there, you are doing a sound job – whether you have kids, don’t have kids, go travelling without your kid, are out of work, don’t breastfeed, co-sleep, go back to uni, work a lame job to get by, work a high pressure job, put your child in daycare, or watch Buzzy Bee in your PJs with (or without) a baby all day. We only get one life and very few people on this planet are incapable of deciding their own way to navigate it. You’re all great, you’re all wonderful and we all have so much exciting stuff ahead of us. Is it not the biggest waste of our beautiful minds to focus so intently on irrelevant shit!? We’re better than that. Call your girlfrans and tell them how rad they are.

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See what we can accomplish when we lift each other up? We could wear pineapples on our heads and everything.

Love, Chelle xoxoxoxoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It Really Is That Black And White: An Open Letter To All People Who Need To Change Shit Up.

I have had so many friends confide in me about how shitty their abusive partners make them feel on a regular basis so I figured that since I was spouting the same advice every single time, I may as well write a blog post about it. Much like the old adage, “he’s just not that into you”, what I have to say is very blunt and aims to rebut all the bullshit excuses you give yourself to justify sticking with the scumbag that treats you like his emotional or physical punching bag. For the sake of minimising pronouns, I’m going to write like I am talking to a female in a hetero relationship but this advice knows no gender, and is equally applicable whether you are a woman, dude, agendered, transgendered, bigendered, omnigendered, pangendered or otherkin (apologies if I have missed anybody out, gender description is not my specialty).

So. If you are with a person who treats you like dirt, calls you names, physically hurts you or makes you feel worthless, chances are that you and he have argued over this and he has apologised and lured you back in, time and time again. Firstly, and most importantly, HE DOES NOT LOVE YOU AND HE IS NOT ACTUALLY SORRY THAT HE HURT YOU. If you are genuinely sorry for something, you apologise sincerely and then you NEVER DO THAT THING AGAIN – because you can actually acknowledge why what you did was fucked up. This guy is probably the world’s best apologiser, and he sucks you back in every time. Why? Because he is genuinely concerned that he will lose you – but not because he loves you. He is freaking out because treating you like shit is one way that he can feel superior and take out his own shitty issues, and he is scared of not having that nice, safe, convenient, easily controllable outlet.

It’s SO important to grasp this fully: HE DOES NOT LOVE YOU. If there is any glimmer of love in there, it’s not a healthy, caring love – so again, you should get the hell away from that. If somebody actually loves you and cares about you they will make the effort to be kind to you and not pound you into the dirt repeatedly.
There are no exceptions to this.
Anything else is not love, it is insecurity and baggage and deep personal issues disguised as love. Actual love feels good. Love is not crying half the time and having the same conversation with your friends over and over and over for the billionth time because he did it again.

The reason that you stick around is because you have low self esteem. And believe me, HE KNOWS THIS. He NEEDS this to be the case. Because if you had a higher sense of self esteem, you would have been gone long ago. What you have to feel (and concentrate on getting professional help for if need be) is that YOU DESERVE BETTER THAN THAT. EVERYBODY DESERVES BETTER THAN THAT. And if you stick around, guess what – he will NEVER magically change. For change to occur, there needs to be a catalyst – and you subtly reinforcing and validating his behaviour every time you go back there, is NEVER going to make him change. I know it sucks being single if you are one of those people that crave emotional tenderness and shit. I know personally how much it sucks having low self esteem. But the only way you will ever be able to build self-esteem is by NOT BEING WITH SOMEONE WHO KEEPS YOU DOWNTRODDEN. If you truly think that being made to feel like a piece of shit is a better option than being single, then you need to get counselling immediately. Because that’s the most heartbreaking shit I have ever heard.
On a side note, why are people so scared of not being in a relationship? Ask yourself this question and think about it very critically. There are other ways you can probably get your various needs met that don’t involve you being abused.
Just know this; if you stay with this dude, you will never feel good about yourself and you will never lead a happy life. It’s as black and white as that – there’s no point trying to dress it up.

If he is a repeat offender, you are fooling yourself if you think that you can help him change or that he will change out of love for you. HE WON’T. And if he truly loves you (which he doesn’t), he should be able to be apart from you for a very long time to fix his myriad of fucked-up issues, and then demonstrate that change by treating you with nothing but the utmost respect and care. But again, you’d be stupid to expect that to happen – and life is far too short to take a gamble with such ridiculously long odds.
Life is so short, dude. How fucked off will Future You be with Past You if you have to look back on your life and acknowledge how much of it you wasted being with someone that treated you so badly? What if it were your friend in this situation? Would you think that it was all G?

Look; I know it’s not as simple as “just leave him”. I’m not telling you that it is. I’m just trying to get you to look at this with a shred of critical thinking, because that could be the spark you need to set up some therapy, or do something else which will set off a chain reaction of events that will finally get you to wake up and fuck this guy off for good.

I’m too bummed about this subject to write a well-flowing piece so I will just sum it up in a few bulletpoints – forgive me for not sugarcoating anything. I care about my friends too much to be gentle when what they really need is a huge shake.

– HE DOES NOT LOVE YOU AND PROBABLY NEVER WILL.
– REAL LOVE DOES NOT LOOK OR FEEL LIKE THIS. EVER.
– YOU WON’T DIE IF YOU ARE SINGLE.
– YOU NEED TO GET YOUR ISSUES re. SELF ESTEEM SORTED – PROFESSIONALLY, AND IMMEDIATELY. LET THE THERAPIST KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ENDED, OR ARE TRYING TO END, AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP. THEY CAN AND WILL HELP.
– YOU ARE INCREDIBLE AND YOU MUST BE SO TIRED. I LOVE YOU AND I NEED YOU TO WORK TOWARD GIVING YOURSELF A LIFE MADE WITH LOVE AND SELF-CARE. IF I COULD DO IT ALL FOR YOU I WOULD BUT YOU HAVE TO DO THE BULK OF THE WORK.
– YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO FACE THIS PROCESS ALONE.
– ONLY LET LOVE IN.
– ONE DAY, YOU WILL BE SO HAPPY BECAUSE YOU GAVE YOURSELF THE MEANS TO BE.
– THIS WILL BE HARD, BUT IT’S THE MOST VALUABLE THING YOU WILL EVER DO FOR YOURSELF.

Love, Chelle xoxoxoxooxox

 

 

Cut that Shit Out

Recently I was talking to a friend about a mutual acquaintance, whom I noticed had a lot of photos on her Facebook of the bikini-modelling/revealing type. The acquaintance also worked at a nightclub wearing skimpy lingerie, which led me to ask whether she was a stripper (she wasn’t). Then I felt immediately ashamed of myself for judging this woman via her Facebook photos, employment and body confidence – so I thought I would write about this. I’m sure you have all heard me talk about fat-shaming before, but today I want to also address the reverse problem – fit shaming. I think that I see just as much fit-shaming as I do fat-shaming online, and I want to know why people feel that it’s acceptable to be judgmental at all about anyone’s body, or how they choose to present it. A lot of people mindlessly engage in body-shaming, thinking that they deserve brownie points for posting pictures of Kate Moss next to Marilyn Monroe accompanied by some lame caption reading “Since when did this (Moss)… become hotter than this (Monroe)?”. People that get excited about these kinds of images think that they are promoting body acceptance and helping to tip the balance in the favour of “normal” sized women (they’re not, they are just supporting yet another form of bigotry).

Many people also engage in bodysnarking towards women that post photos of their bodies on Facebook or dress to show off their bodies. Many of these women have worked really hard to attain or maintain their physique, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to show it off. Why be modest about an achievement? A high-school friend of mine recently worked very hard and competed in her first bodybuilding competition, and afterwards told her Facebook friends not to worry – that she would now stop posting body pics. It was really pleasing to see the outpouring of comments telling her that she should be very proud and should continue posting pics as testament to her hard work. Sadly, this is rare. So many times in the past I’ve heard women bitching about other women’s pictures or outfits (including me) and it really, fully, 100% needs to stop.

If you find yourself criticising someone’s choice of outfit or body-pride photo, it’s a good idea to question where your words are coming from. Why is it a problem for you if someone else is very confident in their skin, or proud to show off their physique after hard work? Similarly, why is it such a problem if someone shows off a body that society doesn’t deem as pride-worthy? Why do we make such a big deal out of women’s bodies in the first place? Sometimes it seems to me like you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. I know a woman that was larger and copped negative attitudes from many people about her body and clothes, yet when she lost weight, she still copped negativity and hurtful remarks about her body and clothes – essentially she went from being fat-shamed to being fit-shamed. It was very hard for her because the self-confidence and pride she felt from working hard to attain the figure she wanted were diminished by a group of nasty women that were just projecting their own body-hate. She was finally where she wanted to be physically but the bullying had not ceased, it had just gone from cruel taunting to jealous taunting. In fact, she noticed that the nastiness was markedly worse when she had lost weight, presumably because the other women were threatened by her success.

I’m also sick to death of all the bullshit about who can wear which clothes. Look. Everyone can wear everything. There is no “size limit” for skinny jeans, women with flat chests or narrow hips can wear as much rockabilly shit as they want, fat women can wear tight clothes and petite women can wear peplum tops. Seriously. Stop making stupid Facebook status updates bitching about other women wearing certain things that you deem inappropriate for their size. CUT THAT SHIT OUT. It makes you look pathetic and insecure. Fuck flattering – nobody has to dress according to a set of rules to make themselves look a certain way. If I want to wear a tight PVC Spiderman suit, I will – and fuck your snide remarks. Shut the fuck up and get a life, all of you.

At the end of the day, if you are proud of your body then you shouldn’t have to wear other people’s insecurities or jealousy. Wear the most revealing shit that you want and post the most self-indulgent pics ever – it doesn’t matter whether you are a size 6 or a size 36, nobody should ever make you feel bad about your body. If you’re one of the people that find yourself casually doing some body-shaming (and that still sometimes includes me, I still have to mentally check my judgements and work through them) then the best place to start changing this is by speaking up when you see or hear any body-shaming going down. When people post shitty memes relating to someone’s body or outfit, maybe comment on why it’s wrong, or tell the poster privately that it isn’t cool. Most people aren’t aware that it is offensive, they are just re-posting a picture that someone else posted. They often aren’t bad people who are trying to be nasty, either – the reason that this is such an underground battle is because bodyshaming is still so common and socially acceptable. It often manages to fly under the radar as a normal thing, when it just shouldn’t be allowed to. It’s important that people start becoming aware that it isn’t cool, and perhaps one day all of this shit will stop, and women will be able to live their lives free from the constant scrutiny.

Love, Chelle xoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Pampering And Grooming Your Perfect Little Princess For A Lifetime Of Appearance-Based Low Self Worth And Gender Oppression.

Recently it came to my attention that mobile princess pamper parties for young girls are a thing these days. I had a gander at the website of one of these businesses because I was really disgusted and more than a little morbidly curious. The packages (which range from $200 – $600 for six “princesses” for 1.5-2.5 hours) offer pink fluffy robes, skincare tips and tricks, makeup, foot spas and magazines. MAGAZINES. If you read this blog regularly, you’ve already heard what I have to say about magazines and why they are an integral part of female oppression, self-esteem issues and bullying marketing tactics. Also, who spends that kind of money on a child’s birthday party? What is this I don’t even. What happened to fairy bread, Fanta and a trip to the movies or the pool? I’m so out of touch.

I understand that parents all think that their daughters are lovely little special princesses….. But parents, you need to keep that shit to yourselves. Little girls who are told that they are beautiful little princesses whilst being pampered and given makeovers, grow up to have a really warped view of women and their places in society, and really poor self-worth focused on appearance. Spa treatments, makeup, magazines, photoshoots and catwalks are adult concepts and should never be introduced to young girls – they have plenty of time to hate themselves and feel like they aren’t good enough later on in life, if that’s what you have planned for them. Although these businesses claim that the parties will make young girls feel like a million dollars, what happens in a few days after the makeup has come off and they aren’t being given pink lemonade in their fluffy pink robes? What about in a few months? A few years? Building a girl up to feel special simply because she is surrounded in pink and wearing makeup (one of these party packages actually refers to the word “makeover”) is not how to make your girl feel special. A makeover implies that there was something wrong with her beforehand, and now she will always think back to the time she felt most beautiful – armed with a buttload of makeup and people surrounding her telling her how fab she is (because they are making exhorbitant amounts of money for doing so).

Later on in life, she treads the path of insecurity, feeling that she isn’t as good as the girls in the magazines, and thinking that only with a perfect hairstyle and flawless skin will she be worth anything to anyone. Eating disorders (of varied severities) and feelings of jealousy toward other women will feed her thoughts as she is now consumed by the new iron maiden – the socially constructed cast that holds women to insecurities, wasting their energy on their looks instead of their potential. The patriarchal system loves this because it is a way to effectively contain women under their own self-imposed glass ceiling. Pay gaps exist because women are taught from a young age not to question or ask what they are worth, whereas men have never been taught that they must quietly accept what is given to them, and will readily negotiate pay rates fiercely. Parents, please understand this: By placing your daughter into the role of the pampered princess early on in life and foisting upon her all of the things that are impressed upon women in society, you are setting her up to create her own glass ceiling, like many before her. You are teaching her that she is nothing but the number on her clothes tags, or the clarity of her skin or the sheen of her hair. You are subconsciously encouraging her to engage in the game of social female oppression as it exists today.

I’m sure that many people reading this are thinking “it’s just a birthday party, calm down”, but the truth is that when it comes to children there is no such thing as “just a birthday party”, “just a bedtime story” or “just a Disney film”. These things are all fundamental in shaping our mentalities from a young age. They all have underlying themes and attitudes which we pick up on in small ways, thus carrying them with us into our adulthood. I don’t know about many of you but I know for damn sure that many things that were said to me in my youth, or subtle messages I received from various stimuli, certainly stuck with me. Just for fun, picture a princess – right now. Got one in your mind?? I bet you didn’t picture a princess with a short haircut, or a princess with uneven skin tone, or even a princess that was any other colour than white. I bet she didn’t have a thick waist or flat chest or any other body apart from a slim hourglass shape. I bet she looked something like this.

Sadly Princess Diana was bulimic - because even she didn't feel that she met up to this expectation of a princess.

Sadly Princess Diana was bulimic – because even she didn’t feel that she met up to this expectation of a princess.

This is what you are imploring your daughters to look like by calling them a princess. This is you subtly telling them that as they grow up, they must try to conform to this ideal, and furthermore you are perpetuating this even further by throwing her a $600 pampered princess party. Children pick up on (and subtly understand) so much more than adults give them credit for.

I know that I seem hardly qualified to comment as I don’t have children, and I’m not trying to give parents marching orders on how to raise theirs – all I want to do is point out some of the things that may not be as obvious to others as to myself. I want all of your daughters to grow up knowing that whichever personal style they choose for themselves is the right one, and furthermore that it is COMPLETELY irrelevant in relation to their feelings of self-worth, for these should in no way be connected. Don’t let them struggle through the same self-esteem bullshit you went through when Cosmo was “The Bible” and we didn’t know any better. Help your daughters smash those glass ceilings and know that they are already da bomb “as is, where is” – it all starts here. Don’t turn your little princess into a little doormat.

Love, Chelle xoxoxoxoxo