“Wherever You Go, Go With All Your Heart.”

Here comes a piece of advice for a better life. I was inspired for this post by a quote of Confucius I found today:

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

I want to tell you all something important, and I hope you will use it wisely:

When you go away from a place, to be remembered and to be missed, you have to leave a delightful impression. If you go on holidays, on summer camps, on a work placement, even for a job interview, try to leave a pleasant mark by acting with love, intelligence and courage. Never act harshly, with ignorance, and cowardly. Love is the most important of the three things you must carry in life. Love is the key to the best things on this world. Being loved is one of the best things. Being yearned is sad, but also heart-warming. As long as there is someone outside there who appreciates you, life is worth being lived.

Therefore, as the quote says, wherever you go, even if you are not going to stay for long, even if you are unhappy, even if you want to leave as soon as possible, go with all your heart. Be nice. Try to leave a charming and gratifying mark on people’s heart, minds and souls. Because in this life, some people forget easily. But others we don’t. I always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, remember who was the reason for my smile, for my laugher, for my happiness, for my strength. Basically, who created my wonderful reminiscences.

In addition, as my aunt says every day, one hand cleans the other one. In the future, you never know if you are going to need help. You never know who is going to assist you if you find yourself lost and alone. Life gives a lot of surprises. Expect the unexpected. Expect the expected. My motto.

Hope you all use this piece of advice. You are going to need it, for the reason that you won’t stay in the same place forever. You may go to university away from your town, you may move out from your parents home, you may leave your old job and start a new one, you may move to another country, you may go on holidays abroad…. Life is uncertain. That’s why we have to try to be okay with everyone. And if we leave a benevolent mark, a good experience to recall, much better.

Feeling wise today,

Emilie H. Featherington ❤

(This post is subject to edition)

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Rant about Body Shapes

Okay, I’m going to rant about a topic which makes me mad and insane whenever I hear about it. “I want a thigh gap, I want collar bones, I want hip bones, I want flat stomach etc etc.” Guys, please!

1) As far as I am aware, we all have collar bones and hip bones. If not, we wouldn’t be able to be straight, nor even walk.

2) If your collar bones and hip bones notice naturally, it is fine, because that is your composition determined by your genes. Same with thigh gap. Some people are naturally thin, or really thin, and they can’t really get fatter even if they eat a lot.

3) Just because you don’t have a thigh gap, or your bones don’t notice, doesn’t mean you are overweight. I repeat, each person’s body composition is different and doctors are who determine if you need to lose weight or not.

4) Starving yourself for a “perfect” body is not the answer, and it can have long term bad effects on your health.

5) If you want to tone up your body, increase your exercise amounts. Depending on which part of the body you want to tone up, there are different workouts which could help, and you don’t need a gym most of the times.

6) Some people are naturally thick. For instance, I don’t eat a lot of bad food, but my metabolism is very slowly, so I accumulate fat easily. I exercise to tackle this. Therefore, not everyone who is thick or fat or overweight is like that due to unhealthy habits.

7) There is not a perfect body shape. You are tall? Good. You are short? Good. You have curves? Good. You don’t have? Good. Your butt is big? Good. Your butt is small? Good. You boobs are big? Good. Your boobs are small? Good. Your legs are thin? Good. Your legs are thick? Good. You have a flat belly? Good. You don’t have a flat belly? Good. You muscles are very marked? Good. Your muscles aren’t very marked? Good. Plain or Curvy. Thin or Thick. Your bones show, your bones don’t show. It doesn’t matters. As humans, we are different, we have different body shapes. 

8) I’m not saying being fat is the best. The problem is people call fat to what it isn’t fat. There is nothing cool in being overweight and there is nothing cool in being underweight. We should all aim for our ideal weight, determined by the doctor. But that doesn’t mean you have the right to call someone “skeleton” or “whale”. You should never! You don’t know the reason why that person is like that, so don’t even.

9) Fat is not an insult. Thin is not an insult. These two things are different body types, and shouldn’t be used to offend someone.

10) If your aim in life is a “sexy body” to get a boy/girl, sorry but you need to evaluate again some of your values, because it doesn’t works like that. You should do things for YOU, not for others! And image attracts, but is personality what makes people fall in love for you.

And 11) As I always say, I will never stop saying, beauty is subjective. Some people find attractive curvy bodies, others plain bodies. Others prefer big butts, others don’t. Don’t worry. You will always be attractive to someone, don’t force yourself to a body shape to impress others. As long as you are healthy, don’t put pressure on yourself to lose weight. It is ok if you want to tone up, I understand. But being underweight is as bad as being overweight. And please, society can shut up. Also remember that you are society, so you may shut up when thinking about insulting others due to their body shape.

End of rant.

Emilie H. Featherington

My Own Concept of Feminism (In Relation to Sexualisation)

I’m going to talk about an important issue which is now subject to a lot of debates and arguments: feminism and sexualisation.

To begin with, it is important to define feminism, because the ideas of what is feminism vary amongst the public. The Oxford Dictionary defines feminism simply as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” Meanwhile, Wikipedia has a more complex definition: “Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.

Not every woman considers herself feminist. And there are men who support feminism. When comes to me, yes I am feminist. But before reaching to conclusions, continue reading.

I will clarify that feminism, in my opinion, is not bashing men. A high number of women out there criticise and demonize men through the use of stereotypes, and mask that as “being feminist”. But that is not feminism; that is sexism. And it is as bad as male chauvinism.

When I declare myself a feminist, I don’t mean that women are superior to men. When I declare myself a feminist, I just defend the equality between the sexes; women and men should have the same economic, cultural, and social rights. In addition, I’m also willing to defeat sexist stereotypes affecting both the male and female population.

Said all this, I will discuss sexualisation in relation to feminism.

First of all, there is a wrong idea about women being the only humans who are over sexualised. We must keep in mind that men are also over sexualised. Women are not the only ones who need to have “sexy perfect” bodies to be models. Men are also requested to have 6 packs and tanned bodies.

After clarifying this, I would like to say that there are a wide range of opinions when comes to the sexualisation of women. Some people argue that women should be allowed to be sexual and to have power over their body. Other people argue that women should go fully clothed to avoid their degradation. Women who are sexual are often accused by others of “being objectified and not having self-respect”. Women who are not sexual are often accused by others of “acting fake and being controlled by men”. So, who is a feminist and who isn’t a feminist here?

To explain my thoughts on this matter, I’m going to use celebrities as examples since it will be easier to get my point across. My chosen celebrities are Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift.

After her 2013 VMAs performance, Cyrus was labelled a lot things, none of them particularly nice. Meanwhile, her partner in crime, Robin Thicke, was free of all charges. The media focused on demonizing Cyrus and calling her “slut, whore, and anti-feminist” between others. This negative feedback increased with the start of her Bangerz Tour, due to her sexualised performances. On the other hand, there is also a high number of people who defend Cyrus, arguing that she is just doing what she likes and explaining how she is being subject to stereotypes and undeserved negative criticism.

Next, I will talk about the contrary case to: Taylor Swift. Swift is a young woman with no sexual scandals and without a sexualised image, who has no interest on posing half-nude nor nude. She has often being praised for going clothed and for not sexualising herself in order to sell her music. However, a lot of people argue that due to her traditional and classy behaviour she portrays “anti-feminism”. And some of her songs, such as “You Belong With Me” and “Better Than Revenge”, have been labelled as “slut-shaming”.

I have presented you two different types of women whose cases are both portrayed as feminist by some people and anti-feminist by other people. This conflict often confuses my thoughts on what is being a feminist and what is being an anti-feminist.

Here comes the moment in which I say that, in my opinion, nor Cyrus nor Swift are anti-feminists. They don’t contribute in anyway to the prohibition of women rights and to the inequality between sexes.

People who say that Cyrus has not “self-respect” make me wonder which their definition of self-respect is. My definition of self-respect is being fine with whom you are, as well not allowing anyone to humiliate you nor manipulate you. Basically, self-respect is knowing what you are worth and what you deserve. Respecting who you are. Moreover, I don’t think that Cyrus objectifies and degrades women with her Bangerz Tour shows nor with her VMAs performance.

The objectification of women does not occur when a woman decides for HER OWN INTEREST, SATISFACTION AND BENEFIT to be sexual. It happens when women ARE FORCED TO BE SEXUAL FOR THE INTEREST AND BENEFITS OF OTHER INDIVIDUALS, and are treated as mere sexual objects while being humiliated. Cyrus’s twerking filled performances do not objectify women; people who force women to prostitute and act sexual while benefiting  from it are the ones who objectify women. And you can apply this to men also, because yes, men are also sexually abused and exploited.

When comes to degradation, a woman who decides for her OWN BENEFIT AND DUE TO HER OWN LIKES to dress showing skin IS NOT degrading herself. When men dance sexually and make sexual connotations, nobody shouts at them for “degrading themselves”. But when a women does it, “oh  what a slut, she is degrading herself”. The double standards about sexuality are a real problem. Men can be sexual and run away with it, but women can’t? Women deserve to have power over their actions. Men can walk shirtless around places freely, but when a women shows her legs, wears cleavage, or shows her tummy, “oh what a provocative slut”.

Next: labelling Swift as “anti-feminist” is not supportable. As far as I am aware, she is neither against women rights nor the equality between the sexes. “You Belong With Me” is a song written by a teenage girl who had a crush. What Swift is singing about is something lots of girls and boys have experienced. She is just narrating things from her point of view; things that she may have experienced. And the same happens with “Better Than Revenge”. Additionally, except her, nobody knows the real story behind those songs. Saying that she slut-shames with the lyrics “but she wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts, she’s cheer captain And I’m on the bleachers / She wears high heels, I wear sneakers. She’s cheer captain, And I’m on the bleachers ” has no sense. Swift herself wears shorts and high heels. And she was not implying that girls who are cheerleaders are “whores”.  That is what reportedly happened, we like it or not. And this subject has nothing to do with women’s rights and the equality between the sexes.

Furthermore, just because Swift acts classy and is traditional it doesn’t mean that she is controlled by men. She is an independent young woman who is having a lot of achievements in her life. She lives alone and she makes her own decisions. If she wants to act classy and traditional, she will. That is feminism. Women should be allowed to make their own choices. If a woman wants to be sexual, it is ok. If a woman doesn’t want to be sexual, it is ok. Men are allowed to make those sorts of choicesand nobody complains about that.

On conclusion, this whole piece of writing is a mixture of facts and opinion. You don’t have to agree 100% with it. I don’t expect you to agree 100% with it. I just hope it helps you to reflect about feminism and sexualisation, and the current inequalities between women and men.

When using Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift as examples I just didn’t want to clean their names. I used two extremely different people to portray two different types of behaviour. I wanted to show how both behaviours, despite being very different, are equally judged and condemned. Besides, they are examples to which young girls and women from the general public can relate.

To finish off, I will repeat that I’m a feminist. But I have my own concept of feminism, believing that women should be allowed to make their own choices. I’m also very aware of the fact that sexualisation affects both genres. People should be free to choose if being sexual or not, without being labelled and judged by their choices. There is nothing wrong with being liberal about your sexuality and there is nothing wrong with being modest about your sexuality.

Reflecting and talking about social matters,

Emilie H. Featherington

My Top 10 Writing Tips

I feel like helping others today, so I’m going to share my top 10 writing tips. These are my own tips that I follow whenever I’m writing, and as I said, they are just tips. You may agree or disagree with them, and you are free to follow or ignore them:

  1. Even if tedious, proofread: checking for grammar and spelling error is a golden rule when writing, and it is imperative. You must always proofread your work. Always. ALWAYS. 
  2. Be very careful with your word choices: try to prevent repetitions, mainly if you are writing prose. Use synonyms, aid yourself of a thesaurus whenever you can. Also, make use of advanced vocabulary now and then. Advanced vocabulary is useful to put emphasis on the power of your words, something that without doubt will make your work more captivating and eye-catching. Although, you don’t need to fill your work of words you don’t even understand, nor use professional and technical words that will confuse your readers. Also always keep in mind who is your desired audience: for example, if you are writing for children, make sure you use words that they will comprehend.
  3. Use adverbs sparingly in your writing: Don’t abuse of adverbs, either omit them or replace them with stronger verbs if possible. For instance, instead of saying ‘I’m very tired’ you can say ‘I’m exhausted’.
  4. Share your work, and don’t be afraid of asking for feedback and critiques: comments, critiques and feedback can help you to grow as a writer, as well as to notice mistakes invisible to your eyes. Moreover, positive comments will provide you with satisfaction, while negative comments will push you towards improvement.
  5. Don’t make the mistake of confusing people’s opinions with facts: not everything a critique points out may be a mistake. ‘You need to proofread’, a fact; ‘you need to make your story’s pace faster’, an opinion. There is a difference between your writing skills and your writing style. Writing skills can be good or bad, but your style is your style.
  6. Keep your sentences/paragraphs consistent: make sure your sentences/paragraphs are not too long, neither too short; furthermore, they just need to contain the vital information you want your readers to know. Try to keep an organised structure when writing.
  7. Make as many drafts as you need before publishing/sharing the final work: never rush yourself, edit till you are 100% happy with what you have written.
  8. Try to add your own originality touch: originality is very important for creative writers, such as novelists, though it can also be useful for journalists. You need to stand out from the crowd; don’t imitate others, keep your own style and strive to be different. Avoid cliches, invent your own unique way of narrating/informing. 
  9. Describe using the five senses, plus add emotions and feelings: when you are writing prose or informative articles about places or people, describe what you see, what you hear, what you smell, what you touch, and what you taste (always if applicable). In addition, describe the emotional effect the place or person has on you. Readers need to feel your words as if they were their own ones; as if they were in the place described, or as if they were with the person described. This is very important mainly when writing prose; readers need to feel inside a story, to be connected with its characters. 
  10. Read: every good writer is an avid reader. Most writers start as readers, till they feel inspired by others work, and decide to write their own ones. And the best way of improving or clearing any possible doubts when writing is having a look at a wide range of published/known works similar to yours one. 

I hope these tips are of aid for you all, feel free to suggest your own ones in the comments below the post.

Trying to be helpful,

Emilie H. Featherington

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A creative and introspective blog by Emilie F. Yaakaar