Some Things Need to Stop, Others Need to be Done

I haven’t blogged in a while, but I am back.

I am here to tell you about something that is bothering me in a way nothing else has ever bothered me before.

We are living in a world where women are constantly objectified, catcalled, beaten and harmed, treated like a second-class species, and regarded as projects that need to be enhanced.

Young teenage girls look up to people like Kylie Jenner who, even if she denies it, has underwent more than 5 plastic surgeries to look the way she looks now. They think that thick and full lips, wide hips, big butt, long eyelashes, and an extremely flat stomach are the correct idea of beauty. Yes, Kylie was able to build her own empire at only 19, but she’s far from a natural. Millions of people are going through plastic surgery to meet the idea of “a perfect face”, when in reality, all they did was turn into dolls full of silicon. Looking up the “baddies” of Twitter and idolizing models/TV icons are pushing young girls to hate their bodies and their appearance and thus creating depression and anxiety when they fail to reach the standards of beauty. Girls don’t want their thighs to touch, don’t want their butts to be flat, don’t want to be flat-chested, don’t want to have stretch marks etc. What they see on Instagram is in reality the outcome of time spent on Photoshop to perfectionate the model. People don’t actually look like that. What’s funny is that girls I know always complained about having natural wide hips, when the idol of many (Kylie) had a surgery to have that body shape.

Moreover, I traveled recently and everywhere I went, it was as if girls and young women wore pretty much nothing. Cropped tops look like bras, and shorts are so short you would think girls are walking in their underwear. The questions I ask myself are why would they expose themselves like that? Is that considered “eye candy”? Do young girls feel better about themselves and how they attract people’s attention that way? I don’t understand. What happened to elegance?

Don’t start barking at me with all your “she can wear whatever the fuck she wants” bullshit. Elegance is my standard, and I wouldn’t allow my daughter or even my sister to walk in the streets wearing clothes that look like underwear. This isn’t about feminism, or women’s rights, or I don’t know what other shit people use as an excuse. This is about self-respect. My body is not an object for display. A woman’s body isn’t eye candy. The only things that should catch a man’s attention should be the way a woman treats others, respects others and herself, how she thinks, how she tackles a problem, and how elegant she is. However, this is only my point of view on the subject. But if a young woman wants to wear these revealing outfits, she should not be objectified, and it shouldn’t be an excuse for anyone to attack or harrass this young woman.

HONY

HONYCAP

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO SHOW SKIN TO GET ATTENTION.”

Now, onto advertisements. I’ll start off by showing you these two videos.

It’s disgusting to see and know that women’s bodies are used as advertising material to sell products. What’s worse is that it is not just found in advertisements, but also in video games (as shown in the first video). The graphics used in video games are highly powerful and portray an image of women that is not technically appealing. Video games also give many male gamers a chance to approach the female character in the game in many sexual ways. Night clubs in video games also have strippers in them, so you can clearly see where this is going.

What’s even worse is that kids everywhere are seeing these advertisements. I’ve come across the idea of the effect of seeing naked women and pornography on children in two books. In the first book, Love Won Out by John and Anne Paulk, Anne tells readers that she had found pornography magazines in her friend’s house and seeing the women, in their very unappealing positions, terrified and scarred her. These images made her feel ashamed of being a woman and were one of the few factors that pushed her to become homosexual. In the second book, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, Mariam, who was married at a young age to a man older than she is, found a pornography magazine in her husband’s drawer. Again, she was scared and disgusted by the women in the magazine. I’ll show you a third video about kids’ reactions to seeing disturbing ads.

Credits: WomenNotObjects

I think the video says enough. We should protect our little ones, before protecting ourselves.

Furthermore, I would like to talk about a phenomenon observed in my country. My country has welcomed many refugees in the past years and there have been a few incidents ever since. Because of these incidents, girls are afraid of walking in the streets. And it’s not just because of refugees, but men in general. It is highly uncomfortable to walk in the streets and to be looked at as if you were a cookie. No, not all men are uncontrollable, bad, trash or harmful. But what I’m trying to say is that the existence of street harassment cannot be denied. Phrases like “Hi ya helwe” (Hello, gorgeous), “Shou hayda, shou hayda!” (their way to say “hot damn”) are quite often heard in public areas, and the number of girls who are uncomfortable walking in the streets or taking a taxi is increasing. Street harassment needs to stop, and that is by educating our younger ones about respect.

Catcallslippery slope of street harassment

Street harassment has many forms, and until the issue is resolved, the only thing we can do is raise awareness.

Also, There is a project known as the KIP Project on Gender and Sexuality  that tackles the issue of street harassment, and when it comes to my country’s case, the following video was done (it’s in Arabic): https://www.facebook.com/theKIPproject/videos/1782181905406104/

The following video encourages the community to stop street harassment through the use of the hashtag #مش_بسيطة (#ItsNotOkay) and by making powerful campaigns. Thankfully, many non-governmental organizations have succeeded in defending women’s rights in my country and in others, so there’s a lot of faith in the KIP Project.

Read full article: http://stepfeed.com/lebanon-says-mesh-basita-to-sexual-harassment-7470?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=PagePost

Now, what I would like to do is tell you a few things.

  1. Your body is something that belongs to you. If you want to set a goal, take my advice and let your goal be HEALTHY. Not skinny, but healthy. If you want to eat, then go eat. Eat whatever you want.
  2. Your standard should be elegant, not trashy. Trust me, the fashion industry is full of classy clothes that you could wear. And if you insist on wearing whatever you find cool then I can’t really stop you.
  3. Do not respond to catcalling. Or, here’s a trick given by a 23-year-old woman: elevate the comment to your comfort level. If he says, “How are you doing, baby?”, she would say, “I’m doing very well, young man”. And if the form of harassment is a whistle or so, she’d just ignore it. (I love this article: https://www.bustle.com/articles/97065-do-you-respond-to-catcalling-23-women-reveal-how-they-reply-to-street-harassment)
  4. Do not look up to TV icons or celebrities. They enter the industry to try and look appealing and make money out of their stupid products.
  5. Protect your children by observing what they are watching and which games they are playing. Make sure everything is under your control.
  6. Encourage your loved ones to talk if they ever encounter a disturbing ad or go through something that made them uncomfortable.
  7. Love yourself. Love your curves, your bruises, your teeth, your stomach, your clothes, your hair. LOVE YOUR FLAWS.
  8. Change is good, as long as you’re not doing it for others. Yes, go through plastic surgery, not because others pointed out your crooked nose, but because you think it’s better for YOU. If you want to try a new dress style, do it. Because you WANT to, not because you HAVE to or you FEEL LIKE THEY WON’T LIKE YOU if you don’t.
  9. People who don’t like you for who you are are definitely losing an incredible person from their lives. Forget them, find people who will love your personality and your natural looks.
  10. Let a man fall in love with your mind, not just your body.

 

Now I support the WomenNotObjects campaign.

I stand up for my future.
I stand up for myself.
I stand up for my future daughter.
I stand up for my mother.
I stand up for my best friends.
I stand up for my dignity.

Stop objectifying women. Stop hurting women. Stop undermining women. Don’t talk to a woman in a disrespectful way. A woman’s place is not under your power, but in the outer world, in the revolution, in a place where she could make a difference. #WomenNotObjects

 

 

 

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Controlled

It’s been a while since I last shared some of my drawings here. 

I’ve been looking at other people’s drawings on Instagram and Facebook and I saw that some of these drawings have a deep meaning behind them; things concerning society and culture. 

I’ve sketched two drawings really quickly the other night and I thought I should share them with you. 


The first drawing (if you can tell) was inspired by the idea that “skinny” is people’s, and especially young girls’, goal. The man is being suffocated by the waistband, even though he’s gotten too skinny to the point where his ribs are showing. 

The second drawing is pretty obvious. Our emotions, as well as society’s standards and criticism, control us. We are like puppets succumbing to the desires of society and to our emotions and feelings. The hardest thing for a puppet is to come alive and break free. 

I’ll make sure to post more drawings from now on…so many things I want to share with you. Until next time, create and keep blogging. 

August 27th, 2016

You know when you feel like you’re fighting for that one tiny place in someone’s life? When you feel selfish when it comes to that person? When you try your best to show that you’re always by that person’s side, but s/he chooses someone else?

How does that make you feel?

Now, this is the saddest thing I’ve ever said:

That place you’re fighting for may seem so precious to you, so you want to preserve it. The memories you’re striving for are the ones worth keeping. But, sadly, you’ll realize that, at many times, your presence in the other person’s life is not as relevant and important as you thought it was. The other person’s life would be the same…with or without you.

I know it hurts. Trust me. But you know, there’s always this tiny flame of hope. It’s that only living rose in a bouquet of dead roses…that one thing that keeps you going. It’s that little feeling of comfort that motivates you to keep fighting. That ounce of hope is there for a reason: to make you realize that the world doesn’t go on without you.

Take a moment. Breathe.

There are seven billion souls on this planet. There’s always going to be someone else, a new face. It’s not easy to pursue your daily routine with a hole in your heart, I know, but I promise you that there will always be someone who will love you, who will absentmindedly smile when s/he sees your face, and who will purposely make a safe place in his/her life for you to rest in.

Yes, people do change. One day you feel like you mean the world to them, and the other you feel like you never existed. It’s normal.

But what I want to say is step out of your surroundings and meet new people. Go find that friend or lover who makes you feel loved and appreciated. And most importantly, remain gentle and nice with the people who hurt you, not because you’re weak, but because you’d be the bigger person. They’ll realize that if they — purposely — hurt you, they were wrong, and if they didn’t hurt you on purpose, you would have given them a reason to want to start over.

So remember the following: be nice to everyone, smile, go on adventures, think wisely, and never let someone bring you down.

August 16th, 2016.

Okay so I’m here, right now, to write. About everything that’s going on in my mind at the moment.


For starters, I think that there’s much more to this life than what we give it credit for. I do. I mean, seriously, we always blame the universe for everything bad that has ever happened to us. We always look at the downsides of everything, and we can’t seem to realize all the good things that we encounter every. Single. Day. That man helping an elderly lady you saw the other day wasn’t just a normal instant. Doesn’t it push you to do good deeds? Well I may be giving you a very trivial example, but the -say- message is there. Life isn’t just here to stand in your way and make you feel like a failure. Okay, perhaps we all mess up, or we see that things didn’t go as planned; however, it won’t all be like that. I think we should all take a moment to look at all we’ve accomplished, all we were given, and all the blessings we have. If you haven’t made a difference yet, keep trying. Life won’t stand in the way of your devotion for long.

Another thing I’d like to talk about is the fact that no matter how many times I tell my close friends that we should always be honest to each other, I feel like there are things I just can’t talk about. Not because these certain matters are conspiratorial, or dangerous, but because there’s always this fear of the other person’s reaction. Will that person think I’m desperate? Or demanding attention? Will that person drift further away from me? I perpetually have this fright that the other person will end up even farther away from me than s/he was at the start. So, yeah, I keep some things to myself, and just accept them as they are. It’s a little sad, but I can’t really do anything about it.

One more thing is the negativity that seems to be widespread nowadays. Everyone is always tense, stressed, depressed, mad, loathsome, judgmental, and over-demanding. You find hate and criticism everywhere. On all social media. In schools. Everywhere. I’ve been a Twitter user since 2010, and I’d like to say that there is more hate and bullying on that network than you can imagine. In fact, rumors about Twitter getting shut down were circulating because of all the bullying. Just this morning, I read a series of tweets on the matter, and here’s what they say:  “I wish I had the time to start some sort of ‘campaign’ on social media where love and positivity are spread to kick all the hatred in the shins. So much hate and bullying and negativity need to change on here. The Internet is supposed to connect us together in good ways because I’ve come to the realization that even a tiny ounce of positivity can sometimes change your entire mindset for a few days or a week. Just imagine if there’s positivity at every corner of social media you look at. It would be inspiring, honestly.” (Mathew AJ)
We really need to free ourselves from all those negative vibes and start looking at the good things, start being better people, start putting others before ourselves, start working hard and helping others, and start keeping our smart comments to ourselves.

Lastly, I would like to talk about effort. Your endeavor never goes to waste. Failing is okay. You can always start over. Whether you’re putting effort in your studies, work, relationships, or goals, failure and disappointment shouldn’t be a problem. For example, this year has been the most exhausting year of my life (on the school and relationships levels). I was so caught up in maintaining my good grades that whenever they dropped, just a little bit, I broke down. But at the end of the year, I realized that my effort didn’t go to waste. After all, grades aren’t everything. Sure, mine were slightly less than my usual grades, but in the end they are excellent grades nonetheless. And when it came to relationships, I thought that putting too much effort in a friendship – as in remembering tiny details and always wishing the other person a nice day – was a wrong thing to do. Why do I have to be the nice one? Then I noticed that because I remember details and wish people a nice day, they feel at ease when they want to talk to me.

So, this was all I had in mind lately, aside from all the searching-for-a-college fuss. Keep a positive attitude, and keep blogging!

 

People

They’re just bundles of love and hate. Bundles of confusion. People are a mixture of emotions incapable of being explained.

They’re very confusing, the people.

Many are the ones who wish you success and happiness, but once you get them, they want to knock you down. They get jealous and greedy way too easily. They can’t stand the fact that you’ve attained what you’ve given a hell-load of effort to reach.

Many are the ones who pretend to be someone they’re not just so they can find their way into other people’s lives. The question we can ask ourselves here is: is it really worth it? Are those people so alone and left out to the point of turning into someone who isn’t them?

***

They’re very confusing, the people.

They impose standards for beauty and intellect, yet they curse these standards. You hear them walking around, screaming “SOCIETY KILLED THE TEENAGER”, but they kill themselves to live up to those standards. Maybe society did kill the teenager, but what are you doing about it?

-Some things being said-

  1. It’s okay to have some extra weight, but it’s definitely better to be skinny and enjoy that thigh gap. So no, fat isn’t pleasant.
  2. It’s okay to want to go out looking natural, but it’s better to wear makeup and avoid revealing our skin flaws. So, no natural face. You look sick anyway.
  3. It’s okay to be from a different religion, but I don’t “mingle” with Muslims. So, no. We can’t be friends.

There’s a lot more.

Let me tell you one thing. Or three.

  1. When it comes to weight, skinny or fat isn’t the issue. Your goal must be “Healthy”. Being skinny doesn’t always mean you’re healthy. Skinny doesn’t always mean happy. So if you do have some extra weight, I won’t push you to diet (it’s your choice), but I suggest reaching the “healthy” phase. We don’t want you to be stick-thin. 
  2. When it comes to makeup, it’s a choice. Whether she wants to leave the house with a natural face or whether she wants to cake herself. Leave her alone.
  3. Lastly, don’t base your opinion about an entire religion on a small group of insane monsters who supposedly defend their “religious beliefs”.

***

They’re highly perplexing, the people.

They fall so easily, and become so vulnerable. But they hide their feelings behind a smile.

They expect others to love them endlessly, yet not all of these people love back.

They chase the ones who don’t love them, and they ignore the ones who’d take a bullet for them.

They tell you to pursue any career you want, but they always find the drawbacks to whatever you choose.

They want to succeed, but they step on the hard-workers to get what they want.

They want a non-corrupted nation, yet they let the stupid sectarianism lead their actions.

They want to be open-minded, yet they judge and criticize whatever does not match their way of thinking.

Humans. Always so bemusing.

Honestly, I believe there’s much more to this life than what we give it credit for. Life is an odyssey, really. Is this how we’re supposed to live? Puzzling? Evil? Miserable? Jealous? Broken?

I honestly don’t know. We can’t live as “neutral and passive”. Our challenge is living  otherwise. Since we’re all going to die, might as well die being good people.

Do good deeds, help one another, love one another, have fun more often, hold your head up, and put a proud smile on your face.

We can be good people.

Solitude

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all,—
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

 

— Ella Wheeler Wilcox

24 Incredible Acts of Kindness

Here is a video I have watched today which reflects 24 amazing acts of kindness. I was really able to learn a lot from this video, and I hope you will too.

This video reminds us of how important it is to be kind and hold out a helping hand.

Give, and never expect anything in return. Be kind, always.