In which anxieties take a nasty turn

otherwise known as, I hope the usage of Zooey Deschanel’s face makes this less serious than it is

I am an extremist.

That word never has a good connotation. Be it religious or political extremism, it is hardly ever a good thing. If you’re a ‘positive extremist’ you are given a different title: a philanthropist, a humanitarian. The word ‘extremist’ drags the baggage of negativity along with it.

While my extremism will not put me on the cover of a newspaper (or rather make me a Twitter Trending Topic), it always leaves me feeling awful. My extremism is in relation to my emotions. I wish I could keep a lid on things but much like a filled kettle placed over a heat source for a long time, things bubble over and I scream.

And that can be literal screaming or a metaphorical one.

I have screamed at someone because of how angry I got- resentment had built up over a period of time and the infamous straw that broke the camel’s back whacked mine, but instead of keeling over, I shouted and swore like I have never done before.

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Is that good thing? No. Not at all.

Metaphorical screaming, in the sense of things bubbling over due to emotional unrest would be a day like today when body issues just smacked me on the head. I know, this is a popular tune you’ve heard year in and year out, never fading from the charts. A ‘current issue’ that has yet to be resolved despite multiple celebrities speaking up about ‘body acceptance’. While Ashley Graham’s confidence in the face of all her ‘haters’ is an inspiration, it doesn’t dim the hater that is within yourself.

I judge myself by the number I see on the scale. I judge myself for not doing the work it takes to get to a number I’m happy with. And I don’t know if it is truly wrong to think that way. As someone who has spent five years dedicating her life to being part of the medical field, I know for a fact that I am unhealthy, that the ratio of my hips to my waist means that I am more likely to die of a heart attack or have cardiovascular complications in the future.

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So when events in the past 24 hours made me look at myself again and feel ridiculously emotional, I wanted to revert to an old habit, another extreme. But I’m better at not doing that, so I didn’t. Instead I threw myself into cleaning because that’s the one positive I could come up with.

It is difficult when you look at yourself and want to change so much. I know part of it a mental component, that satisfaction with what you see reflected back at you is something everyone struggles with, but there are also facts, irrefutable facts that make me cringe.

Being a houseman/intern will be challenging two years. I would need to figure out how balance the physical, the emotional and the external adversities that will be coming my way.

While I understand that there are things outside my circle of control, there are also things I can get a grip on. I just hope I can.

crazy

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Revival

I just came back from watching Selena Gomez in concert, with DNCE as her opening act. It was a little ‘unreal’ to be ridiculously close to the stage. I am not a massive fan of Selena or DNCE, but I’m a human being, and making eye contact, however fleeting, with Joe Jonas being less than 50m away from me was surreal. Yes, he is very attractive from afar and in real life. Also, that band is really good in person. I am genuinely a fan now.

But I wanted to talk about Selena for a bit.

So, I went to this concert with two other girls, my friend from medical school and her cousin. We were really close to the stage, we could see her make-up, her outfits etc. And I’m appreciative of how much she works at maintaining a smile and a ‘character’ while performing.

Unfortunately, one of the first comments said once we left was ‘She’s so thin! She put on weight before but she’s so thin now!’

That got an instant frown from me. I know it was probably not malicious, it was more of a passing comment, in all likelihood. But at the same time, it was a sad situatioin because it shows how much focus is on a person’s weight. You’re either ‘too skinny’ or ‘you’ve put on weight’. It’s a miserable situation when you’re a female celebrity, and even if you’re a female person in real ‘normal’ life.

I don’t know why it’s a must to observe something like that. Does it really matter if she put on or put off weight, especially since she’s clearly in a normal weight range? Why does it matter so much how a person looks?

It’s hard enough to judge yourself without having to hear the world talk about you. Let’s stop doing that, give people a break.

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Body Positivity

By now, you’re probably familiar with the song “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor. (If not, click PLAY on the video). Here’s what I like about the song and music video: The pastels, the 50s (60s?) vibe, the representation, the catchy beat, the cameos by Sione Maraschino, the Vine superstar. It’s a good song for a first single from the 20-year-old Nashville native.

While the lyrics and MV have the theme of ‘body positivity’, there are parts of the lyrics that have cause quite a stir in the comments section of the YouTube channel.

She says, boys they like a little more booty to hold at night

I’m bringing booty back, Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches,”

Words like ‘skinny shaming’ have been thrown around with other replies emphasising that she basically said “No, I’m just playing I know you think you’re fat, But I’m here to tell you that, Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top” right after that. One Youtube comment stated “I don’t have a booty, so this makes me insecure.”

I don’t speak on behalf of Meghan Trainor but I doubt that much thought went into writing those specific lyrics. Which makes me wonder, why include those lyrics at all? Why call out ‘skinny’ girls and then apologise in the next line? Does it make for good lyrical wordplay? Did she not have any other way of telling ‘skinny’ girls that they’re beautiful too?

Another thing that popped up in the comments was ‘promoting being overweight’. I have no idea why ‘NOT fat-shaming’ is directly equated to ‘promoting being overweight’. There is a difference between telling people not to hate themselves for the way they look and promoting a sedentary, unbalanced life. Just because someone says that ‘a thigh gap doesn’t matter’ or ‘your dress size doesn’t dictate your life’ does not mean that the said person doesn’t want you to exercise and eat more vegetables.

I’m not saying this song is perfect (Some people have said that caring what ‘boys like’ is basically anti-feminist, other claim that the POC background dancers were used as props) but can we stop for a moment and appreciate the main message behind this song?:

When you think of the rampant depression, the rampant self-harm, the rampant body dysmorphia, don’t songs like this, messages like this, deserve to be heard for their main message?

Size doesn’t matter. Health does. I’m not ‘skinny’, so I appreciate most of Meghan Trainor’s words. A lot of the times we hate the way we look, we just want to take a knife to so many parts of us (literally and metaphorically). But we need to be able to celebrate the fact that we are not ‘stick-figured, Barbie dolls’ and not judge people who are on the petite side. A lot of girls and guys are insecure about the way they look. We need to learn to fall back to the advice the zombie from Wreck-It-Ralph dished out:

 

Here’s a post from one of my favourite bloggers about this matter: 5 Truths of Body Love by Maxie McCoy for The College Prepster blog. Do read it, it’s highly important.