Beauty After Baby: The Honest Response

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It’s been too long y’all! WordPress reminded me yesterday that it was my four year anniversary. !! *Cheers* !! So I’m here and I will try to keep everything updated (like I’ve never promised that before *hides face in shame*) because there is a lot of stuff I want to write about but never do simply because I’m either too busy or too lazy. Always at either end of the extreme. Gah! Me! Anyway…

So I read this article (link below this paragraph) a week ago or so and I keep coming back to it. Apparently it’s been out a while so you all may have seen/heard/read it already. It kinda made me angry and sad at the same time so I’m just going to say what I have to say about it.

Beauty After Baby: The Honest Truth <—– Original Article

I appreciate this woman’s honesty. This is how she feels and I’m sure a lot of new mothers sighed in agreement. I don’t know her life, her environment or her upbringing. Everybody wants to feel good about themsleves and should be allowed to express their desire to do so, so they can work through their feelings. Her blog post could very well have been therapy for her to really go through what she’s feeling.

Now to my personal feelings towards this. I’ve never had a baby. I’m saying this now, so if you want to be totally ignorant and disregard everything that I say after this because there’s ‘no way I could possibly understand’ then go ahead, that’s not my concern. Like this new mother, I am simply expressing myself so I can work through my own feelings.

My main problem with this was her constant ascertion of the word beauty when it had to do with the physical. Yes, go ahead and laugh at my naivety. But I am left thinking that had she or several of the women who commented had a different view of what beauty really is before they got pregnant they wouldn’t be left feeling so dissatisfied with their bodies now ”’after baby”’.

???

???

I don’t know maybe it’s because unlike so many people around me I have had several body issues of my own throughout my life. I have been on the receiving end of body shame in more than one way growing up, unbeknownst to many. A lot of those issues still give me problems up to today. It just takes more for me to put myself together according to the standard of beauty than others (when I care to) and I’m always having to constantly watch what I eat and be aware of my environment to keep things in check.

But that’s another post, the point is I’ve had a lot of practice in accepting my body the way it is. If I didn’t learn very early on in my life to appreciate what my body can do instead of just how it looks, I would not have been able to see any beauty in it.

And I know she said, that she believes women should be empowered beyond superficial beauty but until you actually have to live outside the standards of that ‘superficial’ beauty for a long period of time, you won’t really know if your resolve to love yourself anyway and find the deeper beauty in you will hold strong and true, and I think that is what this new mother is experiencing now.

And this is really what I’m not hearing from her at the end of her heart-opening post. So you don’t feel pretty because of the way you look and feel? That’s what it all came down to. Put your fear of sounding superficial aside and hear this. Did you consider AT ALL the work that your body is doing for you despite the way it looks? Do you think a bird who loses a few feathers is more concerned about it affecting it’s ability to fly balanced or the visual ruining of it’s precious plumage?

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Now I don’t want to make her or any other mother feel bad. I honestly think mothers, especially the good ones who go over mountains for their families and give love like it’s as natural as breath should be told they are the most awesome, spectacular beings on earth for the rest of their lives, daily, by their loved ones.

But I read this woman’s article and the first thing that honestly came to my mind was, this is so sad. You don’t think you’re pretty because you just had a baby and your body doesn’t look or feel the same as it was before? And excuse me for stating it so simply because it is anything but simple what a woman’s body goes through to make a child. Many women’s bodies never recover from the stress. It is a taxing process.

However I am STILL left thinking, what the hell does being pretty have to do with childbirth? I mean think about it. Let it really sink in and the ridiculous non-association will soon hit home for you. Some will take longer than others to get it but… *shrug* …we’re moving on.

After birth, if that ever happens for me, I will be treating myself like an Olympic gold medalist returning home and my body will be getting the five star treatment. Not everybody can afford a top of the line spa but the key is to take care of your body, inside and out. Just work on making it feel good, that’s how you heal.

Ahhhhhh. A nine month earned break.

Ahhhhhh. A nine month (and beyond) earned break.

I could agree on the sexiness level plummeting (though that could be easily solved as well with some help from the significant other ;P) but I draw the line there. This woman, and all the others who threw their thumbs up, must have an… interesting idea of what being beautiful is to look at their awesome bodies and call it, ‘not pretty’. A woman actually said that she hated her body after birth in the comments. She HATED it! Say what?

Forget the stretch mark badge of honour, tiger who earned it’s strips and all that cute imagery for post-childbirth body deformation, and just think about it this way for a second. If your body was a person and you were talking about it like this, how do you think it would feel? Especially after it physically went through so much to assist you in birthing your little miracle. Hmmm?

If I were these women’s bodies I would feel like crap to know that’s what they thought of me after everything I went through for them. Not pretty. Okay. Body just did a beyond spectacular job for you. Body deserves to be pampered and just given a damn break but instead body (their body) has to be beat up with words like, “why aren’t you bouncing back fast enough?” “Why do you sag here now?” “I can’t wait till you’re tight again and I’m going to hide you in shame, even from my loving husband who probably knows how to take care of you in the most intimate way no matter your shape, until you look better.” “Hide body, I’m so embarrassed by you.” “Nobody wants to see you, not even me.” “You’re not pretty anymore.” “Why don’t you look the way you used to.”

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Even if it’s to how you were

If I were their body, I would bounce OUT… if their body were a person of course. Seriously. These mommas don’t care about me. I mean what more do you want? One of the most trialing things a human body can go through is pregnancy. And unless you can afford the most expensive diets, nips and hidden tucks (and round the clock sitters while I get all this done) to be walking out with the thinnest post-pregnancy body before most women come out of the hospital, all you mommas out there need to stop beating yourself up over how you look. It’s temporary.

Which brings me to my next point.

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I honestly feel that people, society, media, every ass with a mouth should leave mothers the hell alone with this ‘lose the baby weight NOW or you’re not pretty, not to mention lazy’ crap which this woman and apparently several (too many) others are evidently being influenced by.

I mean at the time this article was posted this woman said she gave birth what, two months ago? Are you serious? Most women are lucky to be out of the hospital the first two months after their child is born. Thank God you AND your baby had no complications and got to go home within days.

But this bombardment in the media and society with all these women who ‘bounce back so quickly’ is distorting women’s feelings about themselves during this time. Your body is still working towards recovery, now is not the time to be concerned with priming and toning it. Now is the time to take care of it. It is absolutely realistic to still have baby weight after just two months. Nothing is wrong with that.

And you know what this pressure to ‘bounce back’ to your old body essentially does to women. It robs them of one of the simplest and happiest gestures of just being nice to yourself. Half the reason women don’t feel good about their bodies after birth is because of this pressure, the next half of course being postpartum depression which is a different but very real and very serious issue.

I am not trying to take away your right to, how did she put it? Wanting to feel good about yourself and not being made to feel bad if you don’t automatically embrace your body as it is, until further notice. You do have that right. Though here’s a suggestion that might actually make you feel better. Half the reason why you are still trying to feel good about yourself has to do with you just giving yourself and your body a hard time. Just relax damnit and Be Nice To Yourself!

Do yourself a favour and...

Do yourself a favour and…

You’re embarrassed to get naked in front of your husband? Did you ask him if he gives a rat’s ass about how your body looks now after ONLY 8 weeks after birth. I mean, eight weeks?! I’m still confounded by that! Have the fast pregnancy weight loss stories in the media really distorted where a woman’s body should be at this time so badly?

If you had said a year or two or something. ?? I know a lot of women who took years to get back to their pre-baby weight but they did eventually. And who’s opinion really matters here anyway. Everybody’s or just yours, or just a few people? Does your husband make you feel embarrassed maybe? I don’t know, I’m trying not to blame everything on the media but I’m also trying to understand the logic behind this. Did you try to talk to him about how you’re feeling? The man might surprise you with his insightful-ness.

Even in the comments below the article I heard everybody agreeing, ‘focus on your beautiful baby boy’ and yes, do that, of course. But focus on your husband some to yeah, please. Especially if he’s good and supportive and doesn’t see your perceived ‘non-pretty’ which apparently you can only find in “A little bit of concealer, mascara and lip gloss!” :/

Wow, no! If that makes you feel better then go for it but I really wish you could see the strength and beauty in your body as well, the way it is now. Your plumage isn’t what it used to be but heck it hasn’t impeded your flight. Your body still works so give it the credit due and please don’t deny your husband intimacy with you because you think you’re not pretty anymore.

I don’t know what else to say because on the one hand I read this article and thought to myself, this woman just brought a freaking life into this world and she dislikes her body for all the awesome work it did for her, don’t make her feel any worse, now come on.

But then on the other hand I’m thinking, her baby will think she is awesome no matter what size she is or how long she takes to get back to her original weight and size and her husband if he loves the hell out of her will think she is HOT DAMN SEXY even if her body doesn’t look the way it used too, she just needs to give him the chance to jump her bones and she’ll see. And she needs to know that!

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Post pregnancy mothers need to know that. That beauty IS powerful but it’s the deep internal beauty that feels like a sparkle lighting up your insides that is truly powerful. That makes you feel like a goddess despite how you look and will stop you from hating yourself for not meeting the common physical standard of beauty.

And FRANKLY, the only standard there should be for beauty after pregnancy is happy and healthy. Forget anything else because lot’s of women don’t even get that. For you and your baby to walk away unscathed from the process is a blessing. Go snap off your girdles for a moment and kick off those high heels and let your feet loose and just take care of your beautiful body.

Thank it for the work it’s done by making sure it’s healthy so it can get what it needs to restore itself and stop calling it names and make it feel loved instead. Enjoy the incredible husband you have and the miracle you both brought into the world. Let your body work out in more joyful ways. Laugh a lot, take a walk and dance. Your beautiful body is still strong. Don’t look in the mirror if it helps focus your mind for now on what you need to do for your body but just let the rest go.

If you really want to get back to your old size, with persistence your body will get you there in time, just stop the negativity for now and the fretting.

But remember, like I always say, critics (points at self) may lie so take note or don’t take note just decide for yourself what you want to believe. Whatever you do decide I hope it’s something that will make you feel full of light and happiness. *BIG Smile*

- Written by Travesaou

Copyright © 2010 Critics May Lie All Rights Reserved

NB: So normally I credit any photos I use but I have no idea where I got any of these I used here. Internet dropped while I was writing this so just to have it ready whenever Mr.Net decided to come back I used some photos I already had on file. I’m sure I probably saw them once on Facebook or something and liked them but I know not where they originated. But if you have an ideas please direct me to such site. :)

If Comments Could Kill

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I can’t help but read YouTube comments. I try not to, BELIEVE ME! They are just so depressing. Anytime I need an example of how low the human mind can become, Youtube comments always gives me proof. Maybe I keep going back because I’m a sucker for hope and believe that the people who love to kill the hopes and dreams and any good feeling you may have about society would NOT comment this time around but I forget that they probably have nothing better in their life to do other than try to make people feel as bad and as miserable as they do. Fortunately I’m not subject to their offensive slurs but I pity the ones who are.

The most recent YouTube video I’ve watched to be victimized as such. Always#LikeAGirl

It hit a note with me. I liked it but I’m past that stage of seeing being accused of doing something ‘like a girl’ as an insult. I still take some offense when it’s slurred at men though. It’s unfair to use my awesome gender to insult a man. Because there’s nothing insulting about being a girl, or being a woman or doing something like they would in any way.

But these comments under the video… wheys boy! I have no idea how some people can twist and contort everything they see into something bad and mean and then proceed to spout their rubbish about issues that you can tell is totally based on their own personal experiences and has nothing to do with the way society actually functions. Just stop. PLEASE.

ALL this video says to ME is that girls, don’t take ‘run like a girl’ as an insult. You ARE a girl. Once you are doing YOUR best then keep doing it, no matter what anyone else says. And boys, don’t take ‘run like a girl’ or being told that you do anything else ‘like a girl’ for that matter, as an insult either. Because girls rock! How the hell can that be an insult? And are you not doing your best as a boy too, at whatever you are doing? I always thought what mattered was if you did your best, not what gender you were doing it as, or perceived to be doing it as.

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pic @ healthcafelive.com

Children, (folds hands like grandmother) forget anybody else who’s trying to humiliate you and bring you down because they evidently feel insecure about themselves and are trying to make you feel the same way. Just don’t pay attention to them. You are kicking their ass at something and they are mad at you for it so they’re trying to get back at you with this lame non-insult.

It has to take more than that to crush your soul. And telling somebody they do something ‘like a girl’ shouldn’t even come close to doing that. And us adults could do to take note of this as well. Just like these YouTube comments, it’s all just words, and as the old saying goes, “sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me”. Really, they can’t. Only if you let them.

Furthermore when people stop seeing the phrase as an insult it will lose it’s power and people will stop using it as an insult. End of story. I wanted to comment on the YouTube video, which I also try to avoid doing, but you can see why I didn’t. This response is just far too long and I’m not going to be like one of those people who write an essay every time they comment. People please, that’s what blogs are for.

- Written by Travesaou

Copyright © 2010 Critics May Lie All Rights Reserved

The prayer of a writer

travesaou:

I’m constantly beaten up daily by this thing that’s inside of me but it is well worth it.
Another reblog! :D

Originally posted on marshagomes:

The prayer of a Writer

Let my imagination run me over and leave me bruised

Make me shiver, torment me with sleepless nights and aching tips

Move within me,

hold me under

Suffocate

Annihilate

Asphyxiate

Until at last I birth thee.

Marsha Gomes-Mckie

Until i birth thee

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Thoughts – A Tribute to Maya Angelou

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I was going to write with haste, knowing exactly what I wanted to say.

But as time passed I wondered if I really did.

I was taught to think before I speak because I should mean what I say, even if it takes a week and the heat of the banter has passed away.

Do I need this long to ponder the words? I know what inspiration was inspired by this woman, in my heart, in my thoughts, I know.

I can’t recall the first time I heard her name or if I’ve read every book she’s written.

What stayed with me was the feeling of being connected to the spirit in her words and the honesty in her laugh fluttering through my ear, embedding itself in my memory.

Maya Angelou

So many poems I wrote thinking of her.

Tried to follow the natural flow of the words, pulling it like a string of emotion from my heart, filling my pages with the intention and purpose and joy and ease for storytelling that she had.

Words find every writer in a different way. She found words in the deep echo of silence. I found words in the blank slate that is darkness.

Sometimes I feel my consciousness as a writer is separated with ‘before’ and ‘after’ I was introduced to Maya Angelou’s work. Before her, I loved to write simply for the joy I found in words. After her, I wanted to be a writer and saw myself as one.

She is the embodiment of Marianne Williamson’s quote:

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

—Marianne Williamson

I cannot fully express the great respect and fondness I have for this woman, even having never met her, or the true pure admiration you can have for someone that comes without jealousy or greed.

I would have to splash my tears onto the computer screen so when you read this you would see it sliding down to make you understand. Can you see it?

Silly girl. She would probably advise you to tie your head for your brain seems to be leaking out.

She was a girl once. Hit with more than her share of troubles and abuse at a young age but she found a way to prevail and become one of the greatest writers of her time.

Her death makes me sad not just to lose her presence but for the injustices against her and so many other girls like her who are merely used and thrown into the wind, by people who are willing to go to any means to stop a changing world.

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No nation that ignores their most precious resource, their children,  ALL of them, can ever see their way right.

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These girls will suffer but among them we will find, a ‘Maya’.

One who uses the hardships she has been handed and turns them into a device for healing herself and others.

We have yet to see this girl but she will make herself known as time progresses. We will hear her song of courage and strength deep from a hidden place and she will free herself and rise through the medium of her choosing.

To tell the world, I will not let this trauma destroy my spirit and I will not be forgotten. I will rise and make a difference. This girl can be so much more than a cause to protest for.

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Let Maya Angelou’s accomplishments in life be a reminder as to what this wounded girl can become if she is saved.

I think it is fitting the way Maya Angelou left this world. With little fanfare or prolonged sensationalism over her illness. She quietly passed out, just the way she came in.

Leaving behind a feathery trail of words, her legacy for us to ponder on forever. If you look to the sky you will see her. Never again a caged bird and ever a phenomenal woman!

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- Written by Travesaou

Copyright © 2010 Critics May Lie All Rights Reserved

What A Menstrual Cycle Is Really Like – Part Two

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So, continuing from Part One which you should read before this part which went through all the lovely physical details. Really, you can’t understand or at least attempt to understand what a woman experiences during her period without knowing the physical so don’t be shy, read part one and pop back real quick. What I say in this part will make a lot more sense once you do.

As I said in part one, I am writing from personal experience and from talking to other women over the years. This isn’t a text book copy over. Now given peoples ignorance on the matter and their jokes about PMS and everything, despite that apparently it all (ALL meaning, the symptoms mentioned in part one) still goes unnoticed even by the people we live with. So, it seems we’re holding it together a lot more than people give us credit for. And we are expected to still get up and go to work and/or take care of the families and/or businesses, AND smile AND act normal.

When we don’t feel normal. We feel downright horrible. We want to curl up in a ball and die rather than go through this another month. But we soldier on, fighting a war with our bodies which by all intents it is winning.

Couple Arguing in the Bedroom

Now given the specific situation of the man who had asked the question, which I explained to him then, during this time your body is over-sensitive to everything, and again I reiterate from part one, NOT in a good way. Which is probably why you tend to get over-sensitive to everything as well.

For example, lights seem brighter, noises seem louder, my skin actually gets more sensitive, no joke! I swear, I’m cold one minute, warm the next, it’s friggin’ frustrating. I remember feeling so cold one period and feeling thirsty and making a cup of hot tea, and as soon as I looked at the tea I just got so warm but I was still thirsty so I dropped a block of ice into the tea, and as soon as the tea got cold so did I and I wanted something warm again. *Sigh*

I just threw the drink down the sink I didn’t even bother. Now I know my body was reacting ‘over-sensitively’ to the drink itself but I wanted to smash the cup into the wall at the time. Make up your mind body, damnit! So yes, your whisper can ring in her ears like a shout during these days, your touch can irritate her skin. She may go from sad to happy to angry in a split second. It is no fault of yours (I’m assuming it really isn’t) but it’s no fault of hers either.

Why do women get crazy during their period you ask? Because your body is playing devious tricks on you and your mind is desperately trying to deal with it. So, it does feel like you’re going crazy sometimes.

For the women under this stress…

Now I am one of the few women who do agree that women (myself included) need to tone it down during their period but that’s only because I refuse to believe that my will power is so weak that I can let that Bitch dictate my mood (yes, I actually refer to my period as ‘that Bitch’ or ‘the Red Lady’ on her better behaved days). I have had to deal with her every month for almost two decades now and I don’t know about you ladies, but I was not going to live another month succumbing to her raving bitch tendencies. I’m in charge here and she’s going to get put in place.

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So I do empathize with my sisters because I KNOW what it feels like. I honestly do feel like randomly punching people in the face but don’t get angry at anybody else for what is happening to you. Understand where it is coming from. If a storm came by every month and you knew it was coming down to the day it would be there and that it was going to wreck havoc every time, wouldn’t you start preparing for it and get better at keeping your life as stable as possible each time it came around? Because you have no choice, it’s going to come no matter what, right?

You can do this. Normally I am very calm during my period. People would be surprised if they knew. Mainly it’s because I’m high on mad pills and my brain is somewhere in the clouds but it’s also because I make an extra effort to keep it together because I already know what’s going to happen. I like to challenge the bitch. You don’t want to go to class well we’re going! You don’t want to smile today well I’m singing my favourite song! What else you wanna try and make me do or not do, bitch? (Please note I’m speaking to my period symptoms here, not me. I can see your raised eyebrows in concern!)

Sure she gets to me but if I need a minute to collect myself, I take it. I have abruptly excused myself from conversations, dropped crying nieces in their cribs and stuck my head outside a window just to take that minute. I step away and talk to myself and ask, if this were a normal day would this bother you? And if I know it wouldn’t, I breathe really deep and let it go.

Your loved ones still love you, your nasty co-worker is still horrible, things haven’t changed. It’s just your body going crazy, not you. Practice reacting to things the way you normally would and if you want to revisit the situation after the storm has passed and your thinking is straight go ahead, but have a default reaction set in place for that time for everything. It’s also good to have a sense of humour about it, (snide jokes that poke fun at my awesome womanhood I do not tolerate, light jokes sure!) It helps sometimes. Leave the bitch for when she’s really needed, and believe me sometimes she is. Your life will be better for it.

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Some women think given everything they have to put up with during this time that they deserve the right to be snappy and bite off some heads. I do not agree. Not because I don’t understand but because I know what it feels like to be treated like that from someone you care about, knowing that you didn’t do anything wrong to warrant that reaction and then having them come and act as nice as sunshine a few days after when they’re feeling better, when they’ve been bitching at you for days when you were just trying to help them.

In any other situation, that would not be okay. You would not want to have anything to do with that person after a few months of being treated like this especially if it’s somebody who should care about you and you would expect would at least try to be more civil to you, someone who also cares about them, than some random stranger on the street.

So that’s a side note for my ladies who deal with this bitch every month.

For everyone else…

Just because I am pulling the ladies up by their boot straps for their behaviour during their period doesn’t mean I’m taking any slack from the outsiders either. Not doing anything to warrant their bitchy-ness is one thing but for those who are not understanding, you deserve what you get. For those who are rude I say again, you deserve what you get.

For those, like a young man I know, who always thinks every time I get angry at him I ‘must be on my period’. I swear he will put me on my period five times for the month (God forbid!) just to avoid ownership of any shit he actually did and it’s laughable because no matter how much he does it I have NEVER actually been on my period when I was angry at him and he ‘accused’ me of it.

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He has also suggested more than once that women should be locked up during this time. Like animals. I don’t believe I have heard a more insensitive comment by someone who was born from a woman who probably went through all of this herself at some point

And again, back to the symptoms being something that people don’t really notice that women go through during that time but complain about how badly women act anyway (and I acknowledge some do) but believe me the majority are holding up VERY well given what they have to deal with. But for people like that young man, I am not taking any crap from you and I don’t think you ladies should either.

But for the people who care about you (like the man who asked the question after the issue with his wife) who give you space, make your tea, rub your back, call to find out how you’re doing, help to watch the children or with errands, buy your mad pills and your lady ‘stopper plugs’ without shame, who are willing to help when you need them and even those who generally just stay out of your way because they’re not sure of what else they can do, ladies PLEASE give them a break.

Just stop being so mean to the people who care about you because you feel so horrible. At least they’re trying to help and don’t want to lock you away somewhere. Just ride the storm people, it will pass and the clear day will come back afterward.

- Written by Travesaou

Copyright © 2010 Critics May Lie All Rights Reserved

What A Menstrual Cycle Is Really Like – Part One

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Hello everyone.

I thought I’d start this post off formally because I’m going to talk about a very serious issue which you might have already guessed by my title. Yes, it is known by most women everywhere but it still remains a mystery to understand for everyone, especially men, for since… forever.

So a male colleague asked me a random question. I don’t know, maybe like all men with wives and mothers and sisters AND daughters (imagine the man with all these counterparts, I feel sorry for that dude, it’s back to back menstrual cycles he’ll be experiencing) he was just searching for some answers, trying to make sense of his female loved ones.

And apparently I’m one of the few relatable women he knows (men always seem to ask me these direct kinds of questions they wouldn’t ask other women???) who he thought would give him a straight answer without getting offended. His question was, “Why do women get crazy when they have their period?”

Well.

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Crazy is a strong word but I understand what he’s saying. I thought about it and at the time I didn’t answer him the way I wanted to and we ended up talking about a situation with his wife that morning that had triggered the question and I tried to make him empathise from her point of view but the question that was really lingering in the air for him was, he didn’t do anything to deserve her reaction and he was trying to figure out why her behaviour was warranted. So I Googled it (yeah, I Google everything!) and other than simple, point form, scientific analysis there are some really vague descriptions on what a period is like on the internet. Is it taboo or something?

So I decided to write my own and it turned into a two part thing, so check part two when you’re done here. I hope he reads my blog but I am going to try to describe what a period is like physically and psychologically from my perspective and from listening to other ladies over the years and let you the readers decide if a raving lunatic is the natural response and maybe it can also answer some of your questions as to why just… everything you were wondering when it comes to this! And I will update this post if I think of anything new.

I would also like to add now that this post is essentially for adults who deal with women they are close to and are trying to understand their behaviour around this time. This may scare some young girls (and adults frankly) so feel free to check these sites below instead for a milder ‘fluffy’ version.

1. What is a period?     2. What is a period?

After this, read on at your own risk.

So, for me it starts a week before the actual thing. Oh joy!

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I get what I like to call ‘phantom’ symptoms. Which are basically hints from your body that the real thing is not too far away, a stabbing cramp here that goes away almost immediately or a random dizzy spell there but nothing heavy. This is annoying to say least. Why?

For those who don’t know what it’s like, imagine someone tells you they are visiting you tomorrow but all day they keep calling to tell you they’re on their way, they’re almost there! “Ey, meh bed ready yet?”

So you change your plans, thinking that they’ll arrive early, anxiously waiting for them, watching the hours pass because ALL signs say that they will come TODAY, and then they arrive tomorrow anyway when they originally said they would. -_-

Oh, and there’s also the times when they say they’re coming next week and they come today and you have to drop everything to deal with them because they’re stranded at the airport, calling you and wondering where you are. What do you mean where I am, you said you were coming next week? I didn’t plan for you today. Wouldn’t you get even a little frustrated and pissed when these things happen? Especially if it’s someone you didn’t particularly want to see. Well, it’s like that.

I really wish I could just get all the symptoms at once WHEN I have my period and cut all that crap out beforehand but I guess it’s my body’s way of saying, ‘look out, she’s coming soon, get ready!’ Thanks for looking out for me body.

The system of counting your next menstrual cycle is taught to most girls, I believe, soon after they have their first period so there’s not much guess work as to when it’s coming anymore. For me this system has always been very accurate even in my teens. I expect the marked date will change by a day or two depending on how active I am but mostly the day I check off is the day it comes.

So, the system works for me and for most women so yes, this probably makes it premeditated madness. I am sure I was not the only one thinking that, but does it really?

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Anyway, closer to your period, about two days before or the day before, things start to get real. Now for a lot of women retaining water or bloating is the first thing they notice because it affects their figuuuuuuure. You just can’t suck that stomach in the way you used to. You try but it isn’t going anywhere and it feels heavy and (not for me) sometimes hard. Men, and especially women, who like to point out that women look fat during this time deserve what they get.

For those of you who don’t know what is physically going on inside a woman’s body during this time, simply put, a women’s body naturally prepares itself for a baby every month by building up a nice, warm, bed of thick blood in her uterus for it to lay on, (the uterus is located at the base of the ‘visual’ belly) and the days before her period this bed is at its thickest for the month, estrogen levels are up, hence the bloating.

What we call the actual period is the breaking down of this wall because it is not needed since there is no baby present to lie on that bed. If there was a baby there, the wall would keep getting thicker to support it as it grows which means no period would occur, but that would be pregnancy and we’re not talking about that so back to what a period is like.

The bloating doesn’t really bother me. What I do notice right away is the fatigue, and note I said FATIGUE, because this feeling is beyond being just tired. Es muy agotada! I’ve been tired before, like working a double shift in a busy restaurant kitchen tired, where your feet literally throb and feel like they want to fall off afterward.

psychological-effects-of-chronic-fatigue

I feel… so tired

Your whole body just wants to collapse at this time and my legs get it the worst. It’s as if they suddenly weigh three times their normal weight and it feels like I’m lifting lead legs when I walk. Every step leaves me exhausted and I feel these lancing pinpricks on the soles of my feet! And I dance, and I’ve also danced when I was tired, so I know what exhausted legs feel like! So I think fatigue is a fair word to use.

It’s mainly because it’s so sudden. You go to sleep one night fine and just wake up the next morning, exhausted! Like what the hell? You didn’t run a marathon the day before or jog up a steep hill? I actually jogged up a steep, mile long hill once. My fitness level wasn’t great then and when I was finished (after I came down) I literally went, “wow, my legs feel like when I have my period” so that’s the closest thing maybe that I can compare it too for people who want to get an idea!

Some husbands may notice their wives breasts become a bit fuller than they normally are but this is full in a swollen, painful way not a sexy, aroused way. No, we do not need them massaged. Are you crazy! It hurts! I like to sleep on my belly. Can’t do that before or during my period. You also start to get breakouts, anywhere on your body due to the spikes in estrogen levels. There’s disorientation, trouble focusing and sleeping which can then lead to being cranky in the morning because you’re exhausted to begin with and on top of that you didn’t get any sleep.

Still following?

You have to understand a lot of hormones are dancing around inside women at this time all trying to do something or the other with absolutely NO concern to the person they are dancing around in. For me it feels like a full on attack. My mind is sound but my body is trying to kill me and apart from medication there’s not much I can do about it. And this happens every, single, month. -_-

Attack_ Buy_War_Bonds

Now when the period actually starts, yeah, you thought it had started already, didn’t you? Ha! No. So, when it does start, there’s the bleeding which is uncomfortable, will always be uncomfortable and can range from a dripping faucet to a steady flow, depending on what day of your period and the individual woman (her fitness level, eating habits, genetic makeup, etc.).

It’s a constant state of anxiety until this part is over. Wondering if your pad, tampon or whatever you use will be able to keep the bleeding at bay, will you be ultimately embarrassed because the flow is heavier than you thought it was and you didn’t change your ‘stop plug’ in time and it shows on your clothes? I’m sure for some men this is even uncomfortable to read, just the thought of it, right? So imagine how it is for women! Believe me, you will NEVER feel as uncomfortable as we do about this. Sure, we act cool but it’s because we’re hoping if we do no one will notice.

Ah, gravity. I never knew how much the thing existed until I had my first period. It felt like gravity wanted to rip my vagina out to the floor. Of course you will have to deal with the actual cramps, these undulating, hacking, knawing, biting pains that feel as if a gremlin is inside of your uterus digging at the walls with a pitch fork. Your stomach muscles are also connected to your hip, leg and back muscles so the pain reverberates, travelling generously to these areas as well. There is nothing else in life that I have felt that I can use to relate this too. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. I would sooner wish you dead than wish this on you.

Remember the uterus’ wall is actually contracting to ‘rip’ the thick wall of blood away from it because it is not needed anymore. There’s no baby so it has to go. I’m sure labour pains which I’ve heard is ten times worse than a period can compare, which would then be like ten gremlins inside of your uterus digging at the walls with pitch forks. Hmmm. How do women make children more than once? My mother blames it on temporary memory loss which actually makes sense. Why would your brain want to remember that pain?

When I actually start to bleed, the fatigue gets worse because now I’m losing blood. I also get this horrible iron taste in my mouth. It makes everything just taste bad.

Everything.

Everything.

I’m not really a junk foodie but that’s all I eat during that time. I do crave it then, but it’s also because it’s the only thing I can actually taste properly because these foods are always extra sweet or extra salty so it overpowers the overpowering metal taste in my mouth. Hormones do not respond well to these foods, so that means more breakouts. There’s also vomiting due to upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, back pains, headaches, dizziness, loss of appetite, increase in appetite, your heart rate also increases which visibly for me makes my hands shake, the bloating causes you to pee, A LOT. Yes, some women get all these symptoms together. I don’t (Thank God!).

Notice I did not add such things as irritability, mood swings, etc because this post is trying to address why women get like that during their period.

You’re immune system can possibly get weaker during this time, (apparently it’s exhausted too!) so you can get the cold right before your period. *raises hand* This presents a potential problem as you then have to decide which pills to take because mixing medications is a no-no! The mad pills (yes, I call my menstrual pills mad pills) or the cold pill? Calm the craziness or ease the congestion? God, why? This lasts for about a week. The symptoms tend to tee off one by one by the fourth day for me but every woman is different.

Now please remember though a woman’s symptoms during her period varies, ALL of them more or less happens at the SAME time. Simultaneously. Corresponding or parallel to each other. You get it? And none of this was researched. I may have researched the medical reasoning behind some of the symptoms but the symptoms themselves I’m not copying from some medical text book. I am writing from personal experience and from talking to other women over the years of what happens to them during that time.

As a side note, the rest of your menstrual cycle is supposed to be painless. Ovulation starts a few days after your period is over which is typically the horniest time of the month (your body is trying to trick you into having sex at the most opportune time to conceive a baby, don’t fall for it, unless you’re actually trying to have a baby, otherwise be safe). Ovulation doesn’t last long, 48 hours the experts say, but the rest of the cycle more or less goes unnoticed.

But that’s where I’m going to stop for now. Part Two is going to talk more about what I think about peoples reactions, so you would want to read that as well because everybody gets dealt with, trust me.

- Written by Travesaou

Copyright © 2010 Critics May Lie All Rights Reserved

The Last Frozen Review

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For anyone who read my last post, yes, I know Dani Moz was voted off The Voice this week. I’ll be looking out for her elsewhere though, but I’m even less interested in The Voice now.

Anyway, there’s this little girl I know and she keeps singing this song. Who you ask? Just one of the little girls who always want me to play with them. I think they’re called nieces. :D Anyway, her version of the song starts off low, and mumbled, mainly I think because she doesn’t know all the words, but then suddenly it gets louder when she reaches the words ‘Let It Go!’

So I finally asked her, ‘What song is that you’re singing?’ and she gladly helped me out of the rock I’ve been under and told me it was from the movie ‘Frozen’.

Now, give me a break. Disney stopped being fascinating years ago when I started watching anime.

Gotta Catch'Em All!

Gotta Catch’ Em All!

First Generation Pokemon Master representing here! Boom! That’s more my speed but God bless these little girls. I’m watching Disney again, reluctantly. So, the next thing I know I am being loaned a Frozen DVD to watch overnight as long as I get it back the next day, for girls can only live one night without their favourite Disney movie!

But nice aunties are the exception and according to my sister, given the amount of times it has been played already, it probably won’t last much longer before it starts to experience technical difficulties, so I have to take my chance now or maybe never.

I watched it, and thought about all the things that were said about it both bad and good and a few things are still left to be said, I think. So, despite how late I am (I never bother with anything when it’s in the know for some reason) I decided to do a review of Disney’s Frozen. And since it’s been reviewed the heck out of by now, this might, just, probably be the last one done. Maybe.

There are spoilers all over this post but I think time for caring about that has pretty much passed. If you haven’t seen the movie by now, you didn’t want to see it to begin with and spoilers shouldn’t matter to you anyway.

The Last Frozen movie Review

The Last Frozen movie Review

Frozen overall is a good movie. Disney knows their animated special effects. I can’t fault them on that. The characters and mannerisms were believable especially Elsa and Anna as children. Disney definitely do know the quirks of little girls.

I don’t know what to say about the songs though and I’m talking about the songs in the movie as I understand there were others on the actual Audio CD that were not included in the movie. ‘Let It Go’ is hands down the best song in the bunch. No wait, let me say what I am really thinking. ‘Let It Go’ is the only good song in the movie. I didn’t feel anything from the others. Just too… casual, if you know what I mean.

Randomly dropping ‘totally’ into a song can pass, maybe (I think I will be randomly dropping ‘totally’ everywhere in this post) but ‘gassy’? Eh? Sure, you can ‘totally’ find something that rhymes with gassy, but come on! Nobody wants to say the word ‘gassy’ far less to sing it. Anna was hyper enough as it was. You just had to look at her face and tell she could pass out with anticipation for the gates to open. I didn’t need to know she could possibly be passing gas as well.

So you have IBS, keep it to yourself. Thank God they didn’t put that line in one of the songs! And what about, ‘People smell better than reindeers’ , ‘don’t let the frost bite, bite’. Really? Some of those song lyrics just sounded like really bad jokes. Disney is supposed to be known for their kick ass songs if nothing else, what happened here?

Disney princesses trying not to be Disney but yet still managing to 'totally' be Disney

Disney princesses trying not to be Disney but yet still managing to ‘totally’ be Disney

I also felt like they were trying too hard to not just break their stereotypes but to let everybody know that THAT was what they were ‘totally’ trying to do. Like, having a whole conversation about how crazy it was to marry somebody you just met? Disney, EVERYBODY already knows this but you. Devoting a whole conversation to this is not necessary.

While Kristoff’s shock was understandable, we all know Anna’s parents would have probably arranged a marriage for her anyway so why would marrying somebody she ‘just’ met be strange to HER? Hmmm? You’re contradicting yourself Disney! I really was wondering, where is this conversation going, and almost expected her to answer, ‘Hello! I’m a princess. What else do you expect? I’m still at a tender age, it’s mandatory I marry a guy I’ve only known for a few minutes, that’s what we do.”

But they didn’t try hard enough because as usual it felt a little rushed to shove believable true love onto Anna and Kristoff just because some little gnome love doctors sang a ‘marry me’ song for them, so that Anna could then be justified in her turning away from the prospect of saving her own life through true love’s first kiss so she could save her sister instead. The sacrifice would have had the same impact either way but I know why it was done! Somebody had to get cozy with somebody else because this is Disney, they are predictable (I can still sense a song coming. Every. Time.) and the movie always ends with a…

-_-

I also thought the how and why behind Elsa ending up on the mountain was a little weak. Frankly, I thought the how and why of most of the problems in the show was a bit weak but I didn’t expect the plot to be complex anyway. Not because it’s a children’s show (hello, can somebody say Studio Ghibli!) but because it’s Disney (yes, I will be using that as an excuse for everything). I just thought though that someone with such bitchin’ powers like Elsa should not care if the Duke of Weselton or anybody else for that matter thinks she’s a witch or whatever. Punk got a problem, punk can get the hell out of Arendelle and didn’t it come to that in the end anyway, so that crisis didn’t seem very strong to me.

If this was a modern retelling of the Snow Queen it was immensely vague. I didn’t immediately recognize it as that and the Snow Queen is one of my favourite Hans Christen Andersen tales.

So the movie over all gets a ‘B-‘, the story line I’ll give a ‘C’ for being borderline adorable and not much more. It had a good enough affect on me that I did not hate it, which is a step in the right direction.

I’m an adult watching a kiddy movie, what more do you want?

Characters…?

Anna: I totally expected Anna to get hit by a horse or something. What else do you think is going to happen when you’re running and singing and dancing through the streets on your own without looking where you’re going? She’s lucky they didn’t have motor cars!

And tell me if this sounds familiar. Too many times this Disney movie felt like another Disney movie about a hyper, sheltered (by that I DO mean locked up) young girl, excited to finally see the world who barters with a ruffian!!! (yes, I used that word on purpose, ring any bells?) for help to take her somewhere she’s trying to go? If you are a true Disney fanatic you would have figured out what movie I’m talking about by now.

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I enjoyed Tangled much more though, if I might add. Took my other niece and two of her cousins to see it then. Maybe it was the first big screen viewing that made the better impact that I didn’t have with Frozen. Maybe it was the characters or maybe it was because it just had better songs. Much better. I have been known to break into sudden bursts of ‘I Have A Dream’ which was the corniest song in the show, but it worked for some reason. Frozen songs just didn’t do it for me. Sigh.

Hans: I ‘totally’ suspected Hans but I kinda suspect anyone who’s a typical prince charming. I mean who’s always around to catch people when they trip anyway? You kind of start to suspect that they’re the ones causing you to trip after a while. Just shifty.

My first big laugh: The Duke of ‘Weaseltown’! It killed me! Ah yes, let me get back my adult composure. Eh-hem!

Elsa: Can I just say, if someone in my family had a totally cool talent like Elsa, I would be freaking out, in a good way. Built a palace in what… 30-something seconds? Please, that’s child’s play. She’s a friggin X-Men! Of course, if they did set an iceman yeti on me that would be a freak out in a bad way. Ohhhh! She did provide the one surprise I got from this movie! A dress with a killer split!

BAM!

BAM!

Okay maybe not ‘killer’. Jessica Rabbit had a killer split but above the knee was not expected either. Go Elsa! Trying to break from the good girl image. As if you could. Girl, catch yourself you’re in a Disney movie. Behave!

If Disney didn’t have somebody named Josh playing a main character, they can’t call themselves Disney. What is it with Disney and Josh’s? But I’ll ‘let it go!’ (xD!) because Josh Gad did voice Olaf. Which brings me to…

Favourite character: Olaf. Hands down. This snowman is on dope. Straight up crack. He went into a high induced medley about summer. Summer? Are you crazy? It’s like in The Santa Clause whenever someone mentions ‘The List’ you’re sure to hear someone start singing ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’. Don’t ever mention summer again or be prepared for a sonnet.

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Don’t take me on, I love this guy. He picked a lock with his nose! Ha! This snowman bess! He should get his own show.

Stupidest people: The whole of Arendelle. This prince dude JUST got here and nobody is questioning him when he says the princess is dead, because he’s nice??? Steups. Idiots.

Best line: Olaf: “Some people are worth melting for.” Awwwwwww.

Weird stuff: Kristoff. The dude talks to his reindeer then talks back to himself answering as if his reindeer is talking to him. Reminds me of Scooby Doo. Mainly because I always thought Scooby sounded like Shaggy was throwing his voice for him to talk. Better yet, can somebody say Johnny Bravo meets Scooby Doo? “You understand what that reindeer says?”

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And furthermore, you want true love Disney? These are the kinds of twists I’m looking for! Kristoff, that reindeer, Sven, shares his food with you, which was gross by the way, but he risked his life for you and you leave him to go and save Anna? Reindeer is man’s best friend! What’s wrong with you? That’s true love. Right there!

Cool Stuff: Kudos to Disney for creating an innovative way for parents to get their little ones out of bed using their favourite movie, “Wanna build a snowman?

Overall the basic lesson was the same, which really shouldn’t change. Love Conquers All! Apparently, it even melts frozen hearts. Did we know this before? Well, let’s just say that somewhere the Grinch is giving Frozen the finger.

My biggest peeve with this movie?

So, I left this for last because it’s long and also might have turned off some Disney fans from reading anymore. Frozen is a good movie but that’s about it. I do not understand the mega success, not because the movie wasn’t good but because a lot of reviewers of Frozen have been tooting their horns about it having ‘Don’t Need A Prince To Save You’ and ‘Romantic / Villian Subplot’ twists and using that to justify the success and awards it’s been getting. That is ridiculous.

Why? Because Disney is late. Incredibly, totally, hopelessly late to preview any of those said characteristics in their movies. That is not a reason to give them an award! There are an umpteenth number of movies, good movies, great movies, who have shown all those twists in their stories and done it better looooooooooong before Frozen was even being dreamed of and they never got the same recognition as Frozen.

Frankly, if they wanted to have more ‘girl power’ they could have followed the original Snow Queen story more closely. Gerda sets out by herself and faces a sorceress and robbers and horrible weather to save her friend Kai from the Snow Queen. That was a far stronger story line for girls if you asked me and if they wanted I’m sure their story board people would have found a way to fit the heroine saving herself in there somewhere still.

So don’t tell me it’s a great success because it portrays elements that have never been done before, even if you just mean in a ‘Disney’ movie. Please.

Tell me Disney Studios is an Oscar favourite.

Tell me international films aren’t considered as much as American ones.

Tell me kids like the Disney labeled crack and parents love buying it for them and that’s what heaped the box office in their favour.

I might actually believe those things but don’t tell me it was better than some of the animated movies that came out last year that had better soundtracks, better special effects, better and more appealing story lines, and were not as highly recognised. I don’t know if I will be watching any popular awards shows this year or anytime soon after this. The favouritism is so evident now and not just with animated movies. I liked Frozen (I liked Tangled better, I liked Mulan best!) but it was not the best animated film on the table last year.

Critics may lie, my friends. At the end of the day see Frozen anyway you want. But do see it, if you haven’t. Even if it’s just for Olaf.

- Written by Travesaou

Copyright © 2010 Critics May Lie All Rights Reserved

 

Can You Feel It?

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So, I can’t believe I’m writing a review on a singing competition because I can’t stand singing competitions. Well, not anymore. I used to be all up in that, voting for my favourites and all but now? Meh! What turned me sour? They just got boring. Why? One simple reason.

I’ve seen it all before, or rather I’ve heard it all before.

So this is not going to be your typical review of The Voice from this Monday night. Because I’m only going to talk about the way I remembered the singers, which means half of them won’t have names. *twiddles thumbs* Yes, I could just visit the website but that would defeat the purpose of the initial impression.

So first there was this woman, I really liked her cool short hair cut and she really involved the crowd but I can’t remember a word she sang.

Then there was this adorable young lady with bangs, the cutest thing, like a doll. I’m not even sure if she sang. I swear I looked down over my work and when I lifted my head back up she was gone.

Then there was this lady, orange dress I think. I’m not sure because she started well but I looked away again and the next thing I knew there was a crack in my water glass. What the…? She sure hit some notes on both ends of the register but I still can’t remember what she sang either. I was busy making a shrine for my favourite glass. -_-

The next dude I remember, well, other than because he was the only dude there, because of the hook in his song. “I’ve been saved by a woman”. I’m not sure if a song having a good hook counts as a win for the singer singing it but classic song none the less and his voice fit it so well, I felt at home listening to it. But wait, I was at home. Does that still count as a positive reaction?

At this point, I knew no names, was already forgetting the first set of singers that night and their songs and was ready to say “Whatever, The Voice, same shit, different show” but then it happened. The moment I used to wait for in singing competitions before that never came or when it did was once a season and left me feeling empty and telling these shows good-bye.

One person’s VOICE captured me. One person’s rendition I literally stopped what I was doing to pay attention to not because I wanted to stop (and I was really making it hard on them by being preoccupied) but because they seriously caught my attention and I had no other choice but to be drawn in and feel my gut involuntarily stir from emotion and memory that almost brought tears to my eyes, and who after they were finished I could still hear their VOICE playing in my head and remembered it after I walked away. For those of you wondering why I CAPS voice twice, figure it out.

Dani Moz - The Voice Season 6

Dani Moz – The Voice Season 6

For the rest, that person was Dani Moz who sang Lady Gaga’s, I’m on the Edge, a song I had completely forgotten about (maybe because the original was sort of forgettable too) but you know what, because of Dani Moz I am going to find that song. I might prefer Dani’s version better but still, I will give Lady G the benefit of the doubt.

So I am glad that I randomly stopped on Usher’s face and decided what the heck, even if the singing is over the top at least there’s some eye candy to make up for it, and watched The Voice tonight. Yes, The Voice, keep Usher. He makes people who hate singing competitions watch singing competitions!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I do think the other contestants had incredibly strong voices and a great vocal range, and so did Dani Moz, but that was all they had. For all of you saying that’s all they need to get famous, you need to pay attention to some of the people making it big in the music industry today who don’t even have half the vocal range of ANY of these contestants. Having a bad-ass vocal range is not all you need. It’s what you do with your voice to make it memorable among all the other people who also have bad-ass vocal ranges that do.

Dani Moz made me pay attention when I didn’t want to! I wasn’t just tapping my foot to the beat I was listening to HER and feeling not just what she felt but what she wanted me to feel. You can hit the highest note and break the ceiling (and water glasses!) with it and still not capture someone’s heart. They might remember that you can sing but ask them what song you sang, what was their favourite part. If you didn’t capture their heart, you may just be one of those that end up being truly forgettable and no musician or artist wants that.

I have a Whitney Houston Greatest Hits DVD and NO I am not going to compare anybody to Whitney here! On the DVD though along with her videos are interviews with her talking about her life and one of the things she talks about is how she and her manager, Clive Davis, would go over songs they wanted to do and she said he would talk about a song having that ‘hook’. By that he didn’t just mean a catchy phrase that sticks in your head which most songs do have, Whitney says he would talk about that chill that would go up your spine when you heard it for the first time and even after you leave the room (to Google the singer’s name in my case) you still remember that hook and it could just be a way that the person uses their voice in the song, and Dani Moz did that.

And that is why I stopped watching singing competitions. Everybody on there can sing. I rarely saw one where there was a clear winner every season. Everybody is hitting back to back crazy notes and that in itself is what makes them so boring and so forgettable.

Oh, so you can hit a C6 note? And for 10 seconds! Wow, that’s great but so did she and so did he. You all might as well be singing clones! What sets you apart? And I know people get caught up with the big voices but other than being highly impressed, what did it make you feel? Did you connect on any other level other than amazement? Because you know what, I hope Dani wins but even if she doesn’t I’ll remember her and most likely so will a huge amount of other people just because of what she made them feel and an unforgettable performance is what makes a career.

dani _moz_season_6_the_voice

 

And this wouldn’t be a review if I didn’t tell you the results so Dani got in, so did my lady with the cool short-cut and my glass breaker (I have mixed feelings about that one :'( ) And since I am so horrible at names here’s a link to get a proper review. The Other Review!

But say what, they all can sing diamonds and deserve to win. What do I know? After all, critics may lie, right?

- Written by Travesaou

Copyright © 2010 Critics May Lie All Rights Reserved

Sad Songs (Say So Much)

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Annyeong!

Why am I greeting you in Korean? Well, simply because I’ve really been getting into K-Pop music these days. Can’t get it out of my head. Good stuff.

I thought I would write today, which I apologise for not doing in who knows how long!!! Sorry!!! Joesonghabnida!!! But you all know me, if I have nothing to say, I don’t write. Silly me, right?

But a while back I saw a Yahoo article about a little boy crying over the song ‘Say Something’ by A Great Big World feat. Christina Aguillera. Now if anybody has ever heard this song which I am sure a lot of you have it is probably the saddest song EVER or at least a ten among tens on a scale of one to ten.

I mean, you just have to be hurting like hell to put those lyrics and that melody together. The video though, of the little boy that is, reminded me of when I was little. I was about his age actually and the song that moved me to tears whenever I heard it (which is also a ten on a scale of one to ten by the way) was ‘Hero’ by Mariah Carey or ‘Ma-wy-ah’ as my little brother would call her. I wonder if he remembers what a crush he had on her back then?

Anyway, when I saw the video with little Jackson, tearing up over the song and read how people were marveling and doubting as to his level of profoundness it reminded me of that and I had to wonder. I am telling you, it is more than possible for a child that age and even earlier as shown by another clip I found with a mother singing to her baby to feel the power of emotion in music. Where there is lack in the understanding of the lyrics, the power of melody and the way the lyrics are sung can still reach someone as I am seeing listening to K-POP right now where the majority of the time, I know not what they say! But I can feel it.

And I have always been a fan of music that is not in my native (english, english-creole) tongue. Ever since I was little because it was apart of my country’s culture in the Caribbean and we grow up singing Spanish during Christmas, Miriam Makeba and African/Creole folk songs for Emancipation Day and hearing Hindi for Divali. No matter what ethnicity you are here the culture is all the same to everyone. So, I learned a long time ago that you don’t need to understand what the lyrics in a song means to ‘feel’ the meaning in it.

And I believe that is what this little boy was feeling when he listened to it and the interpretation of what he felt (when asked by mum and dad why he cries when he hears it) as and I quote: “The song says ‘I can’t get to you’ and it makes me sad that you and mommy won’t get to me when I’m crying.”

Awwwww. That’s raw emotion for yuh! And as his daddy says, you can’t teach that!

It was one of the earliest memories of my life, listening to the song Hero and only when I hear it, which I haven’t in years, does the feeling come back to me in this wave of memory. So let me see if I can remember the meaning I took from it because I swear I did not understand the actual lyrics then either. Wheys! Can’t remember the lyrics now…

I remember waiting for my mother to come home from work and the song came on the radio and I just missed her so much when I heard it and felt the same way if ever I heard it again after that. My older sisters were all, “Why are you crying?’ and I was all, ‘I miss mummy *sniff*’ and they were all like, ‘awwww’. I suppose I equated her absence with the song and the hope to see her again. 

And when you feel like hope is gone, look inside you and be strong.” Aha! I remember that part! That must have been the line that killed me!

So I have no trouble believing that Jackson really does feel this song, to his core, no matter the meaning he takes from it. Here are the videos for your viewing pleasure.

Jackson

Say Something – A Great Big World feat. C. Aguillera

Extra: Mom sings, baby gets emotional

And because I haven’t heard it in ages! Ma-wy-ah Carey’s Hero! ….. *sniff* I am NOT crying!

I swear…

download

- Written by Travesaou

Copyright © 2010 Critics May Lie All Rights Reserved

The Game Made Me Do It

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Yes, I’m late with this as I always am but I prefer to think about things a bit before I say/write them and if that’s not fast paced enough for the world well then, too, bad.

So I read an article last week. Mostly I don’t pay attention to Miley and her shenanigans but Sinead O’Connor’s open letter to her peaked my interest. Sinead was no angel herself at the peak of her career but she seemed sincere in her praise and her warnings in the letter and as expected, at least by myself, Miley responded with classic young adult naivety and ignorance to the twisted-ness of the world. If someone took the time to pen a letter to me about something I was doing that through their experience they believed would cause me more harm than good, even if I didn’t agree with them, I would at least listen to them and respond with some level of civility. There was nothing threatening in Sinead’s letter and Miley showed her level of maturity to be very low indeed given her response.

But this is not about Mz. Cyrus, at least not directly. I have called her name far too many times already. This is about Gloria Steinem’s comment when asked what she thought about the whole situation with Miley, the video and the VMA’s, was it? And whether she thinks it has set back feminism. What the hell kinda question is that anyway? Geesh! :/ But she said ‘no’ and then elaborated and I quote as published by the HuffingtonPost:

I wish we didn’t have to be nude to be noticed … But given the game as it exists, women make decisions. For instance, the Miss America contest is in all of its states … the single greatest source of scholarship money for women in the United States. If a contest based only on appearance was the single greatest source of scholarship money for men, we would be saying, “This is why China wins.” You know? It’s ridiculous. But that’s the way the culture is. I think that we need to change the culture, not blame the people that are playing the only game that exists. – Gloria Steinem

Gloria, may I call you Gloria? I doubt you’re reading anyway but I agree with you. I wish women didn’t always have to be nude to be noticed, at least not the way they want to be. I’m sure every woman at some point in time has considered buttoning down that blouse just a bit more to get a second or even a first glance! And not only for superficial means but overall women who show more skin are in general paid more attention too which means people listen to them more, whether in business, in social circles, at work, it doesn’t matter. Crack that blouse, lift the hem of that skirt, tighten those jeans and it makes everyone’s eyes a beacon on you. People suddenly care what you have to say. The gals who keep it closed up are blatantly ignored.

Do I even need to mention the pageants? I’ve always said when they eliminate the swimsuit section and merit women on what they can do and not solely on what they look like I will support! Fully! But I guess it’s not called a beauty pageant for nothing. *flips imaginary long hair* Do they care that the message they are sending is, “Ladies, we don’t care if you’re talented enough to work for NASA, we won’t pay for you to further your studies unless you strip down into this teeny-weeny bikini. So if you want the chance, come on! And don’t forget to smile and like it!” Steups.

I do agree the key is to change the culture of the way women are viewed and have been viewed for centuries. Doesn’t give us much hope though does it if centuries have passed and we’re still struggling with this? :'(

However, that is where my agreement stops. What I do not and cannot agree with is the last phrase in that last sentence of yours. For want of a better expression but this was my actual reaction and is actually quite appropriate.

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The main problem that I have with it other than the attempt to let people like Miley off the hook from taking responsibility for their own actions as a fully aware and conscious human being. Ok, this is a big one too but let me focus. The main problem I have with this is the slight hint, whether purposefully or not I don’t know, of you making it seem like, she had no other choice?

Again, I say, say what? Forgive me but I thought women were pass playing the damsel in distress or the victim? I thought feminists were against that? I thought we were all for taking the reigns and forging our own paths and clearly the road for others to follow? You really expect me to believe that the record industry made her do it and that it’s the only way she can make money? Oh, poor Miley, cry me a river. When you begin to be conscious of what you are doing, you are no longer the victim but the cause of the problem and Miley has long passed that gate.

Photo from: http://peacefulones.blogspot.com/2013/01/its-my-fault-really.html

“I only did what they told me to do, so you can’t blame me!” Photo from: http://peacefulones.blogspot.com/2013/01/its-my-fault-really.html

Most of the people who are apart of the system are apart of the problem and the very fact that Miley is an ADULT!!!! means that she knows EXACTLY what she’s doing even if she doesn’t want to admit it. I know some people have it hard and have to do some crazy things to survive but Miley Cyrus is NOT one of those people. She is actually one of the few people who were fortunate enough to have more than enough opportunity and support to choose differently how she went about her path of success.

So, I’m sorry Gloria Steinem I TOTALLY agree that we need to change the culture and that that change is what will solve the problem but the culture can only be changed when the persons participating stop PARTICIPATING, just as much as the people promoting it because by participating they have now become themselves promoters of the same said thing! Am I making sense? The system only continues because there are people willing to follow it for the sake of… money? Art? Entertainment? And that goes for everybody who’s playing the same ‘game’ Miley is playing. Please note, I have nothing against her personally.

And furthermore, ‘playing the only game that exists?‘ Since when is twerking for your dinner the only game that exists? Did you grind and gyrate naked to get to the respected position as an activist, a writer and a journalist that you are today?

I don’t assume to know your life or what you did or didn’t do. I did read that you had a stint as a Playboy Bunny once upon a time. Times were hard, yes, you were ‘playing the only game that exists’ as you put it. However, did you win any awards for that though? Get national recognition for it, maybe? Because I believe the work that you did as a writer and as an activist did get you awards and recognition. So, you are clearly not playing in this ‘game’ you refer to. You made your own path like so many women before you and after you and now women have more choices because of women like you who chose not to play by those rules.

I feel like I’m going around in circles here but I need to make my point clearly being that I know you know what you’re talking about. You know it! You’ve lived it! It was a wierd question anyway but don’t try to dismiss these actions by laying the blame elsewhere. I feel that as women we have come too far for that. We have to reach a point where we take some responsibility for the centuries still in mental bondage.

Miley chose this, it was not forced on her. There are many artists who are incredibly successful and manage to be noticed without getting nude so Miley can do it too. Do not excuse her by making it seem as if she’s not to blame for her own actions.

I think Annie Lennox really hit the nail on the head. I for one encourage every woman to embrace their sexiness in their own way, I even wrote a post on it here. Our sexuality is an important part of all of us but it is not THE most important part of us which is what it has been distorted into.

On reflection I will say that sexuality is an inherent and profound part of life. There is absolutely nothing ‘wrong’ about our sexuality or sensuality per se – But if a performing artist has an audience of impressionable young fans and they want to present a soft porn video or highly sexualised live performance, then it needs to qualify as such and be X rated for adults only. … Is it appropriate for seven year olds to be thrusting their pelvises like pole dancers? I really don’t think so. – Annie Lennox

Neither do I. You can read both Steinem’s and Lennox’s full comments on the link below to the Yahoo article.

Gloria Steinem responds to Mileygate

My admiration for you has not ceased in the least Gloria. I am a hopeless hope-aholic like you and see a bright future where women don’t feel the need to submit to being half-naked to have a successful career, where they take responsibilities for their actions and don’t try to pass the blame and their fellowmen don’t chastise them relentlessly for their mistakes and where they regularly twerk into the midnight hours for the fun of it with good friends and not for the monetary gain of the ogling eyes and pleasure of the male masses. In my dreams Miley is one of these fortunate women.

As always everyone, decide for yourselves because remember, critics may lie.

- Written by Travesaou

Copyright © 2010 Critics May Lie All Rights Reserved

Interesting article:

What women Miley’s Age think about her

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