Daily Prompt 6/18/2016 | Perfection

Remember, perfection isn’t perfect, it is fake.

[In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 6/18/2016 | Perfection]

No one is perfect. No one. Of course, no matter how often we tell ourselves this, it can be difficult to convince our brains that it is true when we pass by magazines in the stores and see women with flawless skin, shiny hair, zero cellulite, tight stomachs, perky butts… you get the idea. I’m guilty of tearing myself down every time I go out in public, and see pictures and videos of these perfect, beautiful women, that I could never look like. Well, the truth is, no one can look like them, not even themselves.

Photoshop, endless filter options, and apps like Facetune make it all too easy to alter pictures, whether you are just trying to erase a few pimples, or giving yourself thousands of dollars worth of digital plastic surgery, and it is just not fair. It is not fair to the men and women whose appearances have to be altered so much, just to be considered beautiful, and worthy of publication, when they were already beautiful. It is also not fair to the men and women who see these ads, and get tricked into thinking that that type of beauty is attainable, and that they need to spend their money to try and reach it.

You don’t believe me? Here are just a few examples:


It is all a lie. Models, singers, actors and actresses, reality TV stars… no one is ever thin enough, but if you are thin, you’re not curvy enough. Your skin is never clear enough. Your hair is never blonde enough. Your eyes are not blue enough. It isn’t fair, and it isn’t right. Men and women, young and old, are being told that nothing about themselves is good enough, and that they need to buy all of this STUFF to look good, but it is an impossible feat. Even these people, who were deemed worthy enough to grace the covers of magazines, and star in commercials, were not perfect enough. No one is perfect enough. No one.

I know I might be beating a dead horse here, and being a total hypocrite, but really, we need to stop focusing so much on how we look. Your eyebrows do not need to be on fleek, your winged liner does not need to survive a nuclear holocaust, and if you don’t have a thigh gap, then embrace your glorious thighs. If you’re 14, you’re told that you need to look 21, and if you’re 30, you’re told you need to look 22. It isn’t fair, and it just isn’t possible. You don’t need big boobs, you don’t need a huge ass, and you don’t need washboard abs. That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with wanting to better yourself, or lift your self-esteem a bit, but do it for you, and not because you think it is how others want you too look. You are worth more than that. Love who you are, and others will love you as well.

Remember, perfection isn’t perfect, it is fake.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 4/1/2016 | Uh… YOUR Style?

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 4/1/2016 | Colorful

What the hell is your style? Recently, I witnessed a ridiculously petty Facebook argument between Kyle’s sisters, two fully grown women. The younger sister posted a picture of her and her boyfriend, and the older sister commented, “Shirt stealer.” Now, the shirt wasn’t really hers, she was just pointing out that they wear similar clothing (they always have)… well, duh, they are sisters. This caused a back-and-forth sisterly squabble, which spanned days, and got pretty nasty. There was name calling, bringing up personal shit from the past, and other aspects of their lives that had nothing to do with the shirt. The older sister accused the younger of “stealing her style“, which I thought was strange, because neither of them really dress in a unique way, certainly not enough to warrant saying they have a “style” of their own.

They both wear jeans and leggings. Plaids, patterns, and solids. They both wear leopard print a lot. Teals, pinks, reds, beige, black… nothing unique at all. Nothing cutting edge, or trend setting. I believe if you were to classify their style as anything, it would be “basic“. But this got me thinking… do I have a style? Well, the answer is no, of course. I spend most of my days as a stay-at-home mom wearing pajamas, or yoga pants, with t-shirts. All the t-shirts. I have two pairs of jeans that actually fit, which I only wear out if the place I’m going to is too nice for yoga pants. But have I ever really had a style? Did I ever fit into a category? I’m not sure.

I’ve always been a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, never really one to get particularly dolled up, but the style of jeans and t-shirts that I wore varied with my various life phases. Jeans and t-shirts are a style, right? I’ve never stuck to one particular thing. I was never labelled in high school as a prep, or a goth, or emo. I was always just me. Just Jan. I wore band t-shirts if I wanted to, or a graphic tee, or something with lace or some other detail. Changed my hair and make up constantly. I always wore jeans. Flare, boot cut… I never even owned a pair of skinny jeans until I was 19, and didn’t own a pair or leggings or yoga pants until I got pregnant, but that’s pretty much all I wear now. Nothing original. No one is original.

Well, maybe Lady Gaga. But anyone who says that someone is “stealing their style” is being petty, because they got their style choices from someone else, who got it from someone else, who got it from a magazine, which was inspired from someone else. Nothing is original.

Wearing jeans with a plaid shirt is not “your style” for others to steal. Neither is leggings and a tunic shirt. They are just STYLES. Not YOUR style.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this. I just thought it was amusing.

Anyway, thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Never Feed the Fucking Trolls

PSA: Just because something is not YOUR problem, does not mean it is not an important problem for others.

WARNING: Strong language.

Hello, friends. I have a general rule for myself when it comes to dealing with internet trolls: DO NOT interact with them. Don’t. Just don’t do it. Lately, I have been having a hard time abiding by this rule. With the current state of politics and the presidential race, as well as the women’s rights movement (International Women’s Day was just a few days ago), various LGBT rights movements, and other pro-equality movements going on, our nation has become a nation divided in the ugliest of ways. I am very upfront with my political and moral views, and most of you know than I am an Agnostic Atheist, who believes in equality for everyone. I am not only an LGBT ally, but also a Pansexual woman, and member of the community. I am also a feminist, and a Liberal. I don’t really care if you dislike me for those reasons, because your close-mindedness does not effect me, and I don’t want you in my life if you choose to judge me based on those facts. For just these reasons alone, I have been judged very critically by complete strangers who know absolutely nothing about me, and who throw wild generalizations at me, and that isn’t fair.

I have been called everything from a libtard, feminazi, fag lover, and so much more… all because I believe in basic, human rights and equality for everyone, which apparently, is an awful thing. Who knew?

For the last several days, I have been engaged in a handful of online comment wars, spanning across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. Sometimes, I am guilty of being a bit of an instigator, but more often than not, I simply voiced my appreciation on a topic. I am not a troll. I do not scour the web in search of things that I wholly disagree with with every fiber of my being, just to jump into the comment section and spew ignorance and hatred on the subject. I also rarely skim through comments in search of someone who supports said topic, just to call them names and trash their opinions. I don’t make a habit of fucking attacking people on a personal level just because I disagree with something they say on the internet.

Apparently, I am a minority when it comes to this sort of behavior, because people online are fucking assholes. Shocking, I know!

Recently, an LGBT/equality page that I follow on Facebook posted the following picture:

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This graphic was posted on International Women’s Day, and while it did received a ton of praise from the LGBT community and its allies, it also received a lot of backlash from a lot of people who knew very little on the subject, and really had nothing of value to input other than “Fuck Caitlyn Jenner!” or “Until you’ve had a child you’re not REALLY a woman.”, both of which have nothing to do with what was said. The latter isn’t even a correct statement.

I posted the following two comments beneath the photo:

comments

Both comments received more positive feedback than negative, but there were a few people that had apparently just had a bad day, and wanted to tear everyone on this page apart for no reason. There were even a few commenters that were clearly fake accounts, created for the sole purpose of trying to hurt other people who disagreed with their views. Others had nothing of value to say other than calling me ridiculous names, or paraphrasing the Bible in all caps, WHICH AS WE ALL KNOW MAKES YOU SOUND SO MUCH MORE INTELLIGENT.

Why? WHY? What could you possibly get out of doing something like that? You are about as unlikely to change my way of thinking as I am to change yours, and that’s why I don’t waste my fucking time.

On a day that was for celebrating ALL women, there were feminists who wanted nothing more than to point out how they felt that trans women weren’t women, and gave them no support at all. There were civil rights activists, and #BlackLivesMatter activists, talking about how trans people, as well as the LGBT community in general, did not deserve rights, let alone to be recognized in a holiday. This lead me into several, one-sided, heated “debates” (I can’t even really call them that, because only one side had anything logical to contribute) across all of my social media platforms, that I let get to me. I couldn’t stop.

I let these trolling, immature, ignorant, terrible people get to me. I broke my own rule. And boy, did it get me fired up.

How can people actually think like that? It is 2016! How can you still have so much hate in your heart that you think it is okay to hurt people like that? I’m not even a member of the trans community, but as a woman who has struggled with her sexual identity for many years, I can certainly tell you how hard it is to KNOW that you one thing, but have everyone around you tell you that you aren’t, for a whole list of bullshit reasons. What if you were black, and people told you that you weren’t black enough, because of your eye or hair color? Telling you that you weren’t what you KNEW you were, what you were meant to be, because you didn’t look like it on the outside? That would hurt. You would be stuck feeling like you don’t belong on either side of the tracks, and it would tear you apart.

No one deserves to feel that way.

There are people who use sources like the Bible to back up their behavior, thinking that they are doing their god’s work in tearing down and hurting these people, because they disagree with how they live their lives, and that is WRONG. But even more wrong are the people who have absolutely no reason to hate these people, and choose to anyway.

Hatred is a choice.
Sexuality, gender dysphoria, and race are not.

If you want equality for women, or African Americans, or Latinos, but not for your brothers and sisters in the LGBT community, then you want privilege. Not equality. Those are not the same thing.

PSA: Just because something is not YOUR problem, does not mean it is not an important problem for others.

I’m so done. Back to my happy place.

Jan

[Just now, as I finish writing this, I am reading the comments beneath Ingrid Nilsen’s latest video on public bathrooms and gender identity, and it is honestly making me want to scream and rip my hair out. I fucking hate people.]

Daily Prompt 3/9/2016 | Women Not Objects

Inspired by today’s one-word Daily Prompt, I thought I would share with you this powerful video that I found on Facebook about the harm caused by the objectification of women. I found it through the 4th Trimester Bodies Project Facebook page (amazing group, check them out), who shared if from fellow Facebook group Women Not Objects.

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 3/9/2016 | Object

Hello, friends. As many of you may already know, yesterday was International Women’s Day (as well as National Free Pancake Day, which I forgot to take advantage of). I spent the entire day celebrating being a woman by falling into the trap of responding to trolling comments on articles that I stumbled upon, which is another blog post entirely.

I don’t understand why, on a day celebrating something, people feel the need to tear that thing apart in unnecessary, terrible ways. Why? I just don’t get it. I am emotionally exhausted, and honestly don’t have much more to say on the topic at this point that I haven’t already typed out 1,000 times in multiple comment sections.

Inspired by today’s one-word Daily Prompt, I thought I would share with you this powerful video that I found on Facebook about the harm caused by the objectification of women. I found it through the 4th Trimester Bodies Project Facebook page (amazing group, check them out), who shared if from fellow Facebook group Women Not Objects. Now, being a warrior for equality for all people, I wholly agree and recognize that men are also objectified in the media, but seeing as yesterday was International Women’s Day, I thought this video was appropriate to share.

Women are not objects. Women are people.

Thoughts?

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan