Tag Archives: teenage girls

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.

Advertisements

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!

Post of Love and Happiness

10 Nov

Hello my darling readers!

This is Lilipop. I have been so super stressed and not very happy the last few weeks so I thought its time for a time out and a list of happy things to look at. Sometimes things get on top of you, you feel overwhelmed, everything is stressful and so I wanted to make a list of happy things that make me feel better.

1. Have a look on www.8tracks.com (its a bit like Spotify but without ads). I have found the best playlists on there by searching “misandry”, its totes brill. Here is my number one amazing song that I discovered there recently.

http://youtu.be/LmfZt9txXXQ

2. My feminist squish blanket!

image

3. Here is a quote from the NUS Women’s Officer, Kelly Temple (she is so cool) which puts into words my feelings about male feminists.

“Men who want to be feminists do not need to be given a space in feminism. They need to take the space they have in society & make it feminist.”

4. Talking to Jelly, she is really funny and a great best friend. We have a great game which is basically who can keep complimenting each other of the longest (you should try it).

5. Thinking up teen politics texts (it just really makes me laugh)

But like seriously babes, why should the value of my life be measured by the amount of money I earn, its like totes cray cray.

6. My friend Sophie has a youtube channel in which she makes the BEST teen fem friendly videos

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0Ot15TvEIT68VnZEJxkOnA

7. Making things! It could be a feminist squish blanket, a nosewarmer, a mouse called Alice, a hat or a uterus with a bow tie!

image

8. Lots and lots of chocolate (obviously)

Go me.

2 Nov

Tw: self harm tw: general icky thoughts around that area

Hi guys, this is Jelly, and today is a date that you’re probably not interested in knowing about. It’s Saturday the 2nd of November, and it marks a week since I have self harmed. If we ignore that fact that a week is a truly pitiful milestone, I’d like to talk about how I even got to this point in some sort of attempt to help me stop.
The first time I self harmed was on an exchange trip in Germany, with a terrible, mind-rolling migraine, and I didn’t know the words for ‘please stop the car’, ‘i would ask for medication but it doesn’t work on me’, ”i am suffering the worst pain i have ever felt in my life’. I felt unreal, and bloated from my head outwards, and I held my arms with my fingernails and dug in to stop myself floating away. It didn’t even occur to me that this was not a good response. And thus was established a truly flawed leap of logic that kept me harming for a good year before I even realised that something might be off.

If I didn’t use blades, it couldn’t be self harm. Small brown scars and scabs appeared on my arms, on my back and shoulders, after a particularly bad migraine day, and it wasn’t self harm when I dug in and drew along and welts appeared, and no-one even asked so I didn’t have to think about it too much. I grew my nails long and thought of more excuses to hurt myself – stressed, tired, cold, unreal, in pain, angry – times when I thought I could be grounded by pain I could control instead of pain I couldn’t.

At one point I scratched and didn’t stop for half an hour, and it scabbed over two inches long and an inch wide, and it looked so exactly like a trackmark that someone came up to me and finally asked. It’s not blades, I said, and I drew on it with green sharpie and picked at it and thought of stupid excuses for people who asked as to why I would have what looked like a knife wound on my forearm. I looked at myself again, at this point, and maybe, side-on, I realised I might have a problem.

I saw a counselor, at school. I didn’t cry on our first meeting. She held my hands and said ‘you’re a bright girl. stop doing this. this, this is bad’. I managed to bullshit her (I even believed it myself) that it was only a response to my headaches. She made me promise that if I started using blades then I had to tell my parents. Easy. She didn’t see the huge loophole she had left there, and especially the huge loophole for me – I had never wanted to use blades. What I did want to do was control one thing in my life that had increasingly not been mine. Easy.

I told my friends, and they looked at me anxiously and held my arms and said ‘at least it’s not blades’. I know right! I thought slightly hysterically. Aren’t I great for not doing that! They helped, however. I slept a little more and talked more and ate more.

Eventually my headaches got better. My self harm did not. I didn’t use blades – I scratched (two more fake knife wounds), ‘accidental’ hot water spills, walking deliberately through brambles, provoking my sister so she would hurt me and I wouldn’t have to do it myself, bites that I liked to pretend were from someone who loved me very much, eventually copper wire and shopping tags and cigarette burns (which, surprisingly, didn’t hurt very badly). This summer was not a good summer for me, in that respect. Things were thick and heavy and there were silences. It was very easy to reach over to my arms in the middle of a long day or in a rushing sort of pressure in my head and scratch – no-one notices, I have found, even in the middle of a conversation. I bit my lips. I looked for blood. I was very proud when some things scarred white on tan or pink on white.

This should not continue. It will not continue. For the first time, I have made a concerted effort to stop. I am worth this much, I think – as a contrast to a year of thinking I was worth nothing at all – and sometimes I stop and sometimes not. I am in the process of appreciating small things about my self; my music taste, my clothes, my hair, my flute playing, my ability in school, my sense of humour, the way I love people. My family is stressful but soon I will choose my own family. My body is no-one else’s concern. I am ‘sweet’, ‘kind’, ‘patient’, ‘amazing’, ‘cool’, and a ‘good listener’, and you know what, I am also able to buck the fuck up and stop worrying about what other people think of me.

I am afraid that this has been hugely melodramatic. It is only a week, after all. But I just want a written record that I am able to not be sad. I can do this small thing. Thank you to people who have heard me moan for hours, to Lilipop who listened and sent me links, to Cat in Aberdeen who received a coil of copper wire in the post and a promise that I am better, to my big sister, because I am super duper great, and I am worth everything in the world.

Teenage girls are much like werewolves:

24 Aug

maligned, misunderstood, moods often regulated by a 4 week cycle, prone to staying up late, running in packs, hairy in unexpected places… the list of cliches (and disturbing similarities) goes on. Some of these cliches, admittedly, are true. We are dangerous. We do like tearing things up, and staying up late, and eating odd foods at odd hours. But much like the imaginary werewolves of legend, teenage girls have a lot more to them than what you hear from books and magazines. Before you say anything about us, ask yourself: when is the last time you spoke to a teenage girl as a human being?

I’m a teenage girl, and therefore my in-depth analysis of this much undermined species may be a little biased. But I believe, to the contrary, that my close position gives me a unique insight into their lives. Let’s start with the basics. What do they look like?

Well, the answer is anything and anyone. The only requirement for being a teenage girl is to identify as female and be aged between 13 and 19. That’s it. Between those constraints, everything you do is automatically ‘teenage girl’ behavior. Leading on from that, every aspect of your appearance, your likes and your dislikes, are ‘teenage girl’ things. Congratulations! Simply by existing as a teenage girl you’ve filled these imaginary requirements. Unfortunately, being a teenage girl is not as easy as that.

Due to many factors, including your age and gender, society is out to get you. Not in the pitchforks and angry mob sense that is usually associated with your hairier counterpart, but nonetheless, society has a grudge against you. As well as the usual shit that comes with being a teenager, including stuff like exams and puberty (ugh), you’re a girl, which means that your opinion is taken less seriously, if you have lots of sex people think you are worth less, you are far more likely to get sexually harassed and raped, and you are constantly made to feel insecure and disgusted about the body you inhabit.

Now we’ve got that covered, the most important question is left to be answered: what are teenage girls actually like?

Books and magazines, films and music, tell me that I can be the sort of teenage girl who has low self esteem, who curls her hair, who parties every night, who is in a band, who only ever thinks about clothes and boys, who does badly in school, who does well in school, who plays video games, who wears pink. You have to be one of these things; you cannot be many, or all, or none.

The strange thing is that I know lots of teenage girls, and none of them are like this. My little sister is a teenage girl, and she bites me hard enough to leave bruises and bakes me cookies and is still scared of that scene in Harry Potter. My friends, who are teenage girls, are, collectively: good at making grilled halloumi, passionate, lazy, literary, pretentious, loving, bargain hunters, good at maths, pregnant, not interested in boys, very good snoggers. None of them have ever been written about. No editor of a magazine covered with things we cannot afford and bodies we shouldn’t want to have has ever seen these teenage girls, angry and scared and multi-coloured and myriad in our unclassability.

Do you know what the most important similarity between werewolves and teenage girls is? Neither should be underestimated.

%d bloggers like this: