Scroll down to read about the artificiality of slim reality or the problem of eating without taking photos for Instagram...
What a Lovely Student Life
Recently I was super busy, either writing my essays or working in a restaurant. But as I submitted both of my essays on Friday, I can finally sit down, catch a breath, and actually post something here. First of all, I want to share with you a big news! I'm going to do an internship in a magazine called Interview. As I'm going abroad for the second term with Erasmus, I will get some free time in January. So I thought, why not, let's try to get an internship so I can update my CV with a relevant job to my degree, not just being a part-time waitress. I'm going to be working as an assistant, helping with a preparation of a new number of Interview. I'm over the moon and can't wait to share more information from behind the scene!
Other than that, recently I have been doing a lot of reading. Mainly books for Uni, so I will try to post some reviews about a couple of them. Right now I'm studying how to portrait and describe trauma and violence in literature. It is so interesting that I want to write an extra post just about this topic.
In the meantime, follow me on Instagram for some updates and I'll do my best to be more active on the blog.
Have a lovely week!
The artificiality of slim reality
I believe that I'm not fat. And yet, how does it come that I feel guilty every time I have pizza for dinner instead of rice and fish? Or when I skip a gym session and rather eat cake in my flat? Is it me who has the problem with self-confidence? Or does the problem have its roots in our society?
It has occurred to me a couple of times that every shop window I pass displays unrealistically thin mannequins. Every cover of female magazines promotes some celebrity in great shape with flawless skin and lush hair. Commercials depict models who spend six days out of seven in a gym, transforming their bodies to illusory perfection. So I guess that even though all my problem about my body is in my head, it has been put there by my everyday surrounding.
Fashion industry, with its unshakeable influence over the beauty rules, has been declaring that it wants to prevent too skinny models from walking the runways. However, it seems like this is just empty talk as the size of models doesn't cross number 36 (size S/6). The size which only minimum of female population can actually fit in real life. But how do you want to cease this skeletal madness? Especially when we are used to omnipresent skinny perfection staring at us from posters, so that any change (such as promoting 'plus size=normal' models) would actually shock us?
Yet, not every glamorized poster gets blindly accepted. Last summer criticism was leveled against the campaign 'Are you beach body ready?', promoting the weight loss collection and implying that women need to be skinny if they want to expose their bodies on the beach. British people disliked the whole idea of the publicity of the product to such an extent that the commercial was banned in the UK. Nevertheless, Americans didn't see a reason to do the same thing in their country. On the contrary, they felt ashamed that their bodies didn't look like the model's in the striking poster. Which only demonstrates that the problem of body shaming and the idea of ideal body weight is much more complex than it seems to be.
The process of getting back to normal (which means society where a woman is not seen as a fat person when she fits size 40/M/12) is a long-distance run. We could start with banning commercials like the above mentioned. Yet, I believe that we need to go back to the centre of the whole problem; overcoming prejudice and, most importantly, searching for self-confidence in our selves. Mothers have to realize that their bodies, no matter how 'weirdly' shaped they are, are okay. Not everyone is a supermodel who is flawlessly slim two weeks after giving birth to her sixth child. Maybe you are asking why I'm talking about mothers. Well, because once mothers achieve enough self-confidence, they can pass it to their daughters. They can explain to their daughters that even though their bodies do not fulfill the artificially created perfection by skinny elite, they are beautiful. That there is no need for a thigh gap to be truly happy. That all you need to do is to embrace your own personal perfection, your own originality. Believe in it and then you will allure more beauty than any diet can ever offer you.
I know that it's really easy to put it like this on a paper. But it's much more difficult to actually achieve it in life. Therefor, I'm coming up with a beautiful example of a woman who is able to overcome prejudice of our society. Emma Haslam, one of the contestants of Britain's Got Talent, came to perform pole dancing. Nothing unusual, except the fact that her body was clearly exceeding the expected body weight of an average pole dancer. The skepticism on judges' faces was noticeable and didn't disappear until Emma performed her dancing number and proved to everyone that regardless your body weight, you can be flexible and sexy. Her energetic moves showed that it is not about your physical appearance but about your inner confidence.
So now I'm choosing Emma
Haslam over skinny supermodels. I'm choosing reality over the
media-created illusion. It doesn't mean that I will be immediately
able to stop feeling guilty for every piece of cake I eat. Yet I
believe that one day I will manage to love myself entirely; with my
curves, small breasts and too noticeable teeth.
Get out when it's sunny
Not a single thing needs to be
Have you ever had a day when you feel absolutely useless? You wake up ridiculously late and it takes you another 30 minutes to actually kick yourself out of the bed. You have a breakfast (even-though it is at least a lunch time), check your phone, then tablet and of course your laptop. It is finally your day off after a week spent at work, so you should feel excited because, well, it is your day off. Yet, sometimes, this feeling simply does not come. Like at all. You aimlessly knock around and do not want to do a single thing. That exactly happened to me today.
My plan was simply. Sleep well, cook some nice lunch, finish reading of a lovely novel by Antoine Laurain, get some work on my blog done and conclude the day with a glass of white wine which has been waiting for me in the fridge since Saturday.
My day did not turn out according to my plan.
I got up, procrastinating the most of the day. In addition, getting irritated how useless I felt.
So I have made a new plan for days like this, when I do not want to do a single thing, just lay in my bed and watch Netflix. If you happen to be dealing with the same situation, here is my personal list:
Don't be angry at myself. I deserve to have some days off when I do literally nothing.
Treat myself with something nice because I worked 36 hours at my job for last 5 days.
Treat myself but do not go to the bookstore because I usually spend there all my money for grocery shopping!!!
Just wait. Maybe this mood will eventually go away. In the meantime, I need to learn not to push it. Instead, put some popcorn in a microwave and chill.
Take a nap.
Watch all those meaningless American tv-shows and do not be upset when you find out that I am actually addicted to them.
If the mood does not change till the end of the day, just go to bed, sleep well. There is a new day waiting for me.
And how about you? Are you able to use your day off for nothing else just a pure laziness and relax? Because I still need to practice that!
Can you eat?
Well, of course that you can eat. But can you just eat?
I have been living on my own for last three years. Before going to a university and moving in to a new country, I used to dine with my family on a regular basis. We actually sat down around the table, put everything on plates, said "enjoy your meal", and ate. The family meal was 20 minutes out of a day when we really talked. It was then when we stopped living our separate lives and in fact we were interested in what is going on with the other family members around the table.
But as in the course of the time I moved in to four different flats, I realised how much my eating habits changed. Now living on my own, once I do the cooking and sit down with a plate of food, I automatically reach for my tablet, phone or laptop. I am not able to just eat. I have to be constantly on Facebook, watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones or update my Instagram profile. So does it even matter what I eat as in the end I can not even recall the flavour of the meal I have just finished? Is it more important to see if my crush liked my new profile picture on Facebook rather than fully enjoy my excellent cooking skills? Why should I spend 30 minutes on cooking and then not even appreciate the outcome of my effort?
As I moved in to my latest flat, I have decided that I need to minimise this overwhelming addiction to social medias and the Internet in general. Some people challenge themselves to eat less carbs or eat only vegetable, well, I have challenged myself to eat more. I resolve to go back to the ritual of cooking, sitting down to the table and just eating. I want to stop taking photos of every meal and spending another five minutes on Instagram with editing them. I choose to spoil myself with ten minutes of doing nothing else than eating.
It has been week no. 2 since I decided to undertake this challenge. Sometimes I feel like I really have to post a photo of my gorgeous looking cooked creation on Instagram. But more and more frequently I manage to just eat. It feels good. You should try it too.
A dream about dropping out
Have you ever thought about dropping out of Uni? Just like that. One day, you would hand in your assessment and the other day you would pack everything, say bye to your friends, get the first plain ticket you would see on the big black board in the airport and just leave?
Sometimes, I do think about it. I imagine how great it would be. I would meet so many new people. New countries. New experiences. Who needs a degree when billionaires even do not finish their high schools. Well, at least some of them.
Anyway. I think I would start in Australia. Because it is sunny there and here in Scotland it rains all the time. I could learn how to surf. Then, obviously, America. I do not know in which city I would begin, but in the end, it would be surely another American dream. I would probably skip Canada and head directly to Asia. Or maybe New Zealand...
And then I always stop wondering. I realize how crazy I sound. How stupid the whole idea is. Especially, how dangerous and irresponsible it would be to drop out of uni when you need to hold on only two more years. Two more years! That is nothing, right? Two years and you will be finally free and after all you will be able to travel as much you have always dreamed. Well, will you?