Archive | Lilipop- Life and Thoughts RSS feed for this section

As I turn 18

2 Jan

I feel like I am totally alone in this fear but like so many things I am afraid to talk about, many others probably share it.

As I turn 18, my mind is full of worry, hopes, dreams and fears for the future. Most are what you would expect, scared of becoming more independent from my family, worrying about school and so on but there is another fear in the back of my mind. This niggling voice saying “now you’re fair game, there’s nothing to protect you”.

You have probably seen in the media many a disgusting countdown to some child celebrity turning “legal” at 16 or 18, old enough that the old men leering over them are accepted readily by both the law and society.

You may have seen the kerfuffle around the “women who eat on tubes” facebook group a while back, a group where non-consensual pictures of women innocently sustaining life are mocked and shamed.

How are these related? you might say. Well these are both voyeuristic, misogynistic situations where women and girls are viewed as sexual objects without their consent and sometimes even knowledge. They violate a woman’s privacy, they encourage violence against women by disregarding the fact she is a human being with rights and feelings.

These are both situations where I, as a child, would have some degree of legal protection, or at least the illusion, but would not as a woman.

One day I was waiting at a bus stop in Hampstead Heath, leg hair flying in the wind and enjoying the last bit of summer warmth. A balding man of about 35-45 years old struck up a conversation with me about the weather, “thats nice” I thought “you never get strangers talking to each other in London”. Oh how innocent you were Lilipop.

Conversation quickly turned to my leg hair and got very very creepy. I felt desperately awkward as his eye contact shifted from my eyes to my boobs and he questioned me on my reason for growing leg hair (because no woman can do anything without it being to sexually please a man) and if I was hairy “all over”. He offered to buy me a drink from the Starbucks opposite and I said no. That no was totally disregarded of course and this man kept asking.

“I’m 15” I said quickly, then turned and ran away.

He didn’t follow but some have. This situation has played out in 100 different places, with different people and different outcomes. What if it happened again? Where is my “top trump”, my “get out of jail free” card? What can I say or do that will get rid of these weird men because saying no doesn’t work.

As a child, I do not legally have the capacity or say yes or no. It is Paedophilia, it is Statutory Rape. Headlines in the Daily Mail and 5 years in jail. Men can respect this but not me.

As a woman, I can legally say yes or no but it doesn’t make a difference. I said no but I smiled at him when he said hello so really I mean yes, right? He wants a yes so he will get it by any means necessary. Now I am no longer a child I don’t even feel like I have the right to say no at all. I feel unresonable for being a person.

As I turn 18, I am scared for a future where attack feels imminent.

There is nowhere to hide anymore.

Double Chins Are Fierce

5 Feb

I have already talked about body acceptance a lot on my blog but now I want to talk about microaggressions against fat people which I have never done before.

As a fat girl it has taken years of hard work and energy to love myself and accept my body, my double chin is no exception. I got my double chin a while after I had been working on my body positivity and at first I found it really embarrassing. I tried to hide it in photos and videos by taking photos from a weird angle or if I was talking to people or even whilst I was playing my viola or bassoon (which gave me really bad back ache), it made me so ashamed. This was happening while I was feeling better about my arms or legs being too wide or the stretch marks on my tummy, so at first I didn’t really notice what a bad effect my double chin shame was having on me because, after all there has never been a point in my life I can remember where I have not been embarrassed of or hated a part of my body so it was not new or surprising. It was not helped by the fact that before, when I had been fat but not had a double chin, people where always saying that I had to stop gaining weight or I would get a double chin in this horrified voice that made it sound like the worst thing ever.

After I started to notice that this hatred of my chin and subsequent hiding of it was taking up like 100% more time than it should have (ie 0% of my time) I started to work of chin-love as well as the rest of my body. A big part of this was taking AMAZING selfies with double chin proudly on display and really appreciating how fab I look (not gonna lie), another was finding pictures of other beautiful girls with double chins. I found this one on Tumblr by Rachele. It is my absolute favourite chin positive picture and inspired me so much!

tumblr_muhih6mJhz1qzr6v7o1_500

So now I was starting to like my chin or at least no obsess over it so much, I started thinking about why I specifically hated my chin so much? What was it about my chin and not lets say my cheeks? Well lets look at how double chins are presented, not just in the media but in everyday interactions between people.

What came to mind immediately for me was a common selfie pose where people give themselves/exaggerate double chins by pushing their chins into their necks and make a funny face. Its meant to be funny but to me it sends the message “look at me with my double chin, ew don’t I look weird”. To me it sends the message that double chins are disgusting or weird and we laugh when people do this pose with fake double chins because why would anyone want a double chin in real life? It tells me that a part of my body that I love should be ridiculed and it is undesirable.

I am guilty of doing this in the past and I’m sure many people reading this are also but let us once again look to the root of the problem and be unsurprised when it is the media. The same story as always which to be honest I am tired of repeating. There are no double chins in mainstream media that are not criticised or laughed at. I am too sick of this to elaborate but I’m sure you know it already.

I am going to keep on loving my double chin and celebrating beautiful double chins everywhere but its hard when they are constantly laughed at by my closest friends.

2014: The Year of the Selfie

1 Jan

This is Lilipop.

I am not going to do a review of 2013 for my New Years post, like everyone else seems to be doing, for many reasons – the first of which being I can’t actually remember what I did this year – so instead I am going to talk about a challenge I am going to take part in for the whole of this next year, 2014.

2013 was the year of many things but it was the year I discovered the selfie. Before August I didn’t have Instagram, let alone Sapchat, so the only selfies I took where the odd webcam picture with Jelly or a pic if I couldn’t decide what to wear so needed second opinions (yes, the struggle is real). In August I had the amazing opportunity to go to America for #SPARKCamp13, a 3 day camp for girls in SPARK Movement. Among the many things I got from my gorgeous SPARK sisters, the most relevant thing to this post is – after extensive manipulation they managed to bully me into getting Instagram. After a few days I caved and got Snapchat as well.

Since then selfies have become a part of everyday life. From taking a selfie with my baby sis for the landmark event of buying her first bra to sneaky Snapchats to my American SPARK sisters in my geography lessons, selfies are a part of the way I communicate and commemorate. The media, and even some feminist media (*ahem* JEZABEL *ahem*), calls girls narcissistic and says selfies are a “cry for help” but to me there is nothing more radical than celebrating with a cheeky selfies. To me a selfie says oh yeah gurrrrrrrl its my time to shine! Selfies promote self-acceptance and love, whats not to love?

In 2014 I will be participating in the #365FeministSelfie challenge, to help me continue the ongoing struggle of loving myself in this world of misogynistic advertising, be comfortable with what I perceive as flaws and to celebrate being me! I think it will also be a completely fantastic way of documenting my year. I have created this tumblr blog for the challenge www.365daysoflilipop.tumblr.com so follow if you are a selfie positive gem or just love my face (lets face it, who doesn’t). Jelly will probably be featuring a lot! If you are also participating then I would LOVE to have a chat or see your blog/insta/however you are documenting and if not then I encourage you to increase your selfie production in 2014, the year of the selfie.

Capitol Cuties

24 Dec

This is Lilipop and recently I have been helping run ONE OF MY FAVE EVER campaigns with SPARK called Capitol Cuties. It is kind of parody of the Covergirl Capitol Collection because it is so unbelievable ironic and has zero self-awareness. You can read about it here! . There have been A LOT of criticism of the problem because there seems to have been a bit of a misunderstanding of our campaign. We are makin fun of the company Lionsgate, not the people who are wearing the Capitol Collection! Lionsgate is a massive company taking advantage of people they are aggressively advertising towards. It is the corporation making and pushing these products, twisting and suppressing the true message of The Hunger Games to make a profit. It makes me sick.

The new Catching Fire film has been the cataclysm for a lot of activism around classism/capitalism because it is all pretty much bullshit but the film really put it into the forefront of public discussion. The Harry Potter Alliance has started two campaigns, We Are The Districts and Odds In Our Favor. These are kind of the opposite to our campaign, they are framing the ordinary citizens of America as people from the Districts and the super-rich of America as the Capitol to highlight wealth inequality in America. They made this video to explain their campaign: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BmVJaBuoEYA

In the spirit of Capitol Cuties, we decided we would re-blog their video on Tumblr but with our own “Capitol Critique” if you will of their video. I have got to say it is probably the best thing ever in the world. You can read it here.

I wrote the first draft of the critique, based on this speech by David “spoilt fucking Eton tory” Cameron about Welfare reform (not sure if a trigger warning is appropriate here but watching this video really upset me and I was crying for like and hour so here is a warning anyway: this video is really upsetting and contains unrestrained ignorance in power) here if you want to watch. I was very very proud of the draft I wrote so here it is!

 

So a few of you have already seen this video and I think we can all agree that these whiners just need to get a move on and stop complaining. I mean, if they hate being poor and this “inequality” thing then why don’t they just get rich? You just have to want it hard enough and work at it. My father didn’t get all his money just by sitting around complaining, as a Gamemaker he has to work sometimes up to 35 hours a week! You don’t get to the top without some hard work. These shirkers should just shut up and get on with it. You see all those sweet little guys working in the districts on TV, they never complain because they know that they are working for a higher cause, to bring prosperity and innovation to the great nation of Panem! Not to mention the cute kids that are on The Hunger Games (my fave show lol). Speaking of The Hunger Games, how can you say that the Capitol is so bad and shit when President Snow generously gives all these prizes and fame to the Victors, I mean come on, that is really nice of him. The Games are a necessary part of what brings us together as a country, they are an annual reminder to us all of the horrific things that would have been happening now if The Revolution had been successful. We saved the districts from the Rebels, support them through thick and thin and this is how they repay us? Truly they should be ashamed.

People say we don’t care but I really think the tough approach is best or these lazy protesters won’t ever learn. My father introduced me to Minister Flamsteed at the club and he told me about all his hard work, he started importing coal from District 12 when he was just SIXTEEN. If you want to get ahead, that’s what you have to do–build a good work ethic and start young. Really it isn’t even that much of a tough approach, look at all the charity and fair trade work that goes on nowadays. Even my mascara is ethically sourced for Godess’ sake. We have given the Districts it too good for too long and now they are getting complacent; we have papered over the cracks, subsiding the farms for too long now. The compassionate thing to do is to take a hard line approach to ensure that the people of the Districts all know the satisfaction of a full days work, then they will understand that complaining is just selfish. They should be thinking of the greater good and what they can do for Panem, not what Panem can do for them.

If I were PM for the day

4 Dec

This is Lilipop. Today the BBC Women’s Hour twitter asked for 13-18 year olds to say what they would do if they were PM for the day. Sadly I could only submit 1000 characters so I thought I would post my complete email here! This is an incomplete list and of course there are 10000000000000000000 other things I would do but here are the basics.

 

If we are talking realistically there is absolutely nothing significant I could do in a day as PM apart from restock the stationary cupboard or something because bureaucracy and the PM does not have absolute power however, here is a list of the absolute emergency things I would change is I had unfettered power in the UK.

 

  • Address the horrific amount of people forced to rely on foodbanks and charities to feed themselves and their children.

 

  •  Implement a citizens wage

 

  • Politician with private interests would not be allowed to vote on things that affected those interest for example a politician who owned a medical company would not be able to vote on certain NHS bills.

 

  • Address the soaring numbers of homeless people, specifically children, as a stable home is the base line of helping people help themselves

 

  • Increase the minimum wage by at least two pounds an hour but possibly more.

 

  • Tackle the SHAMEFUL amount of corporate tax dodging

 

  • Do proper research into education and teaching and then come up with a curriculum that is accessible to all children and most importantly approved and implemented by professionals and not on a hunch or what worked for me at school.

 

Then there is my To Nationalise list, in no particular order, that will be paid for by increasing taxes on the rich and a crack down on tax evasion but also investment and high wages that will help the economy flourish as people have more disposable income and more stable jobs:

•transport •health and dental care •energy (production and distribution) •water •libraries •legal representation •care work/carers •education (all the way up to university) •internet access •telecommunications •pensions •postal service

All of these will be done only after proper research and planning by skilled experts and professionals so that all of these can benefit the public to the fullest extent. No matter what everyone deserves a warm home, enough to eat and all the education they need to make their own way in life. Children are starving in Britain today and it is quick frankly sickening all of this hateful, dehumanising propaganda the government puts out about “benefit scroungers” and similarly vile terms to turn us against the most needy in society whilst giving themselves and their mates tax breaks and total market control.

Fat Grrrls Rule… I just wish everyone knew

18 Nov

This is Lilipop and from some of my previous posts, you may have guessed that I am really into body positivity and fat acceptance movements. I really think fat girls are amazing and the body positivity part of feminism has helped me so much. I really love most of the fat acceptance activism and awareness raising things I have seen, it is so refreshing to see differently shaped women in a “normal” frame and not being labelled disgusting, shameful and generally the worst possible thing ever. It kind of makes me realise I am quite happy being fat and the only times I am unhappy about my body is when people say nasty things about me or fatness. My body does not detract anything from my quality of life, happiness, health or even ability to do sport if I want to (I don’t). There is nothing wrong with my body, fat, cellulite, stretch marks or double chin; in fact, my body is incredible, my fat keeps me warm, my cellulite reminds me I am real, my stretch marks are a beautiful pattern on my skin and my double chin is FIERCE!

I just wished other people knew this. Although I want to love myself, accept what and who I am, but I worry all the time. What do my family think? Do my friends still love me? (Jelly speaking: YES THEY DO) Do they see me the way I see myself or do they see me how society describes me, lazy, ugly, stupid, repulsive? I don’t know and I think about it a lot. I know that random people on the street feel this way, I have seen them staring with a kind of hatred in their eyes. I like to think that anyone who is my friend would never reject me or make fun of me because of my weigh and the way I look but is that realistic?

One thing that makes it worse is I cannot see myself or positive images of myself anywhere, it is hard to think of anyone who is a positive role model in mainstream media and is fat. Scientists, actors, musicians, writers, tv presenters and even politicians it is hard to think of many fat women who are displayed positively in the media, we are all but invisible. This is all ridiculous because there are an incredible amount of inspiring, inventive, funny, outgoing, intelligent fat women in the UK and EVERYWHERE! Yet there are nowhere to be found if I open a women’s magazine or turn on the TV.

It is so hard to imagine the future me. We are taught so aggressively that fat is an evil, undesirable thing that it is expected that any aspirational future self will be thinner. We don’t see anyone happy, successful and fat in the media; when I was little I thought that I would never be able to become a scientist or a writer because everyone would be so disgusted by my fat that they would hate me on the spot. I don’t want the future me to be thin, I want the future me to be happy and to keep loving herself.

Some days I feel so disgusted with myself, for being fat, for eating anything, for taking up so much space, for having such large clothes, even for my brilliant double chin and I am absolutely terrified that I will never feel better, I will never love myself again, I will spend the rest of my life agonising about every inch of cellulite, every spoon of yogurt or centimetre on the waistband of my jeans. I don’t want to think like that again ever. I can’t help but feeling if I had more fat women to look up to and aspire to be like, I wouldn’t be so scared. Firstly because I have assurance that I will be able to succeed despite my weight as others have but also so I know that other people see my body as I see it.

I know so many fat girls that have made my life infinitely more special, they are sparkling, strong people and they are beautiful. When I am older I want to be like Kaye and Beth and Kelly and Melissa and Gloria and Megan because Fat Grrrlz Rule, I just wish everyone else knew that!

We are different people, if you are wondering.

11 Nov

Hi! I’m Jelly . And I’m Lilipop.

As today is the first anniversary of Jellypop and we get a lot of emails and comments from people who think we are the same person, we thought now would be a good time to tell you a bit about ourselves. At the beginning (and this really was in our baby days) Lilipop used to write in bold and me in normal. Due to my innate laziness, this plan died quietly after the 3rd or so post. Since then, we’ve been writing without names (me, sorry) and without any obvious identifiers to let you know who is actually talking. I was thinking about going over all of our old posts and doing names and the right fonts but to tell the truth I can’t really be bothered (sorry). We thought we should tell you a bit about us to prove we are not actually the same person.

I am Jelly (hi!) and I write most of the ~emotional~ side of things here at Jellypop. I really enjoy reading, and at times I am quite insecure and sad, although hopefully I am getting over that. I like drawing and baking and dancing alone in my room, and I haven’t shopped at anywhere but charity shops and bargain basements for 6 months. In the future (although I am fully aware this is a horrible question for any teenager to have to answer), I’m thinking of being a doctor or a biochemist, although in my wildest moments I dream of being in a cool girl band (although I cannot sing/play guitar/drums for shit ((Jelly is a flute playing goddess though)) and travelling the world with my cool friends. I like comfort, and in theory enjoy parties, and the way to my heart is either art galleries or late night music video channels.

And I am Lilipop. I normally try and do more informative/factual blogs because I always wanted this to be a safe learning space and I really enjoy learning about feminism from awesome blogs. I mostly do feminism but for hobbies, I go to school, am addicted to social media and do crafty making things, my favourite thing I made recently is Eugene the Uterus which is a crochet uterus with a bowtie on.  I really love my friends a lot and making internet friends is funsies but I adore going out to museums and so on with my lovely pals the most. Music-wise, I play the Viola, Bassoon and Tenor Sax. I really don’t like thinking about the future, I just try to be happy and do my best in the present. Also the future is very scary.

Basically, we are two really good friends who were ok-ish friends at the start of this blog, and now are really close. It’s pretty great. I highly recommend Lilipop as a superbuddy to moan about everything from classical music to sexist shits with, because she is the empress of the universe and you should worship her, just saying. Anyway this blog is really fun, as are you, and I’ll make sure to put my name on next time bc we are definitely different people and it’s probably important that the internet doesn’t view us as one, double-headed-two-voiced vaguely teenage amorphous entity. Bye!

%d bloggers like this: