Right. I wish there was just ‘one’ thing I felt strongly about. But there isn’t. So here goes… (expect a rant-y post) ;)
1. Gender Stereotypes: Before I begin my rant, I want to stress on the fact that I’m talking about ‘gender’ in general… not only women. There are crippling stereotypes on both ends on the spectrum. From frivolous ones like, women like pink to subliminally more damaging ones in mainstream media today (thank you MTV) – I simply hate the gender-defined roles we are expected to maintain and follow. She enjoys sports? What a tom-boy. He takes an interest in fashion? Must be gay. She’s extremely career-driven? Must be a cold hearted bitch. He’s a stay at home dad? He isn’t a man. Enough already. Can we all please realise that we are PEOPLE first?
2. Slut shaming/Calling women ‘whores’: Where do I even start with this one!? This particular topic is a subset of the previous one, but I really wanted to address it separately. Why, why, why do we constantly keep judging women based on the number of men they’ve slept with? Sometimes, it doesn’t even need to go that far. We see a girl who’s a little scantily clad and immediately begin judging her, call her a whore, etc. In fact, calling women ‘whores’ makes for a separate blog post itself. Just take a look at these tweets:
Why is everyone OK with this!? [Side note: Read this and this]
3. Living life on auto-pilot: … And expecting others to live meaningless, consumer-driven lives like yours. AND then judging them when they don’t.
I’m just going to stick with three for now. Don’t want it to turn into a boring, rant :)
Every time you stand in front of the mirror, do you like what you see? I certainly don’t. In fact, I go through great lengths to make sure I avoid all reflective surfaces. But it seems there are mirrors everywhere… as I wait for the elevator, I try not to stare at my reflection in the floor-length mirrors… I step into the elevator and bam! I’m surrounded by mirrors… mirrors, mirrors, mirrors – everywhere.
Each time I see myself, I find something to hate. My nose, my unruly hair, my thighs (oh God!)… When did I become this person? I don’t think a single blog post – or even an entire lifetime for that matter – can help me deal with these inane issues. But hey, it’s a work in progress.
Then I realise it’s not just me. All my friends do it too. We are constantly criticising our bodies and striving for a kind of perfection that does not exist. Why do we even do this to ourselves? My body is mine. I need to treat it better… love it for what it is. Why are we ready to love others unconditionally but not ourselves?
Recently, I came across this unique project by a brilliant photographer called Matt Blum (thanks to Reddit and my favourite subreddit TwoXChromosomes) : [NSFW] The Nu Project. The Project features nudes of ‘real’ women (right now, mainly from North and South America) – no models, or glamour shots… just the women and images that portray their personal stories. I’m in love! Participation is completely voluntary and I really hope someday I’m confident (and brave enough) to do this. (In fact, participating in the project is now on my Bucket list.)
Look at the gorgeous women. They are comfortable in their skin and proud of who they are/what they look like. I want to be in that place… When I can look in the mirror and be proud of the reflection that looks back at me.
Too often I hear my friends complaining about the dearth of “quality” musicians these days. To them I say, “They are everywhere!” You just need to just need to try a little harder and listen with an “open mind”… Another popular complaint I keep hearing is that there aren’t enough women in the music industry. So I compiled a list of my favourite female musicians (who you probably won’t hear on the airwaves in Oman) just for your listening pleasure :)
Now this list is highly subjective (and naturally not exhaustive) and limited to my knowledge (or lack thereof). There are plenty of wonderful musicians out there…but right now let’s just stick to 20…
1. Madeleine Peyroux
2. Melody Gardot
3. China Forbes of Pink Martini
4. Marsha Ambrosius
5. Brooke Fraser
6. Ingrid Michaelson (glad to see she’s becoming increasingly popular)
8. Imogen Heap (another massively talented singer who’s finally getting the recognition she deserves)
9. Jana Hunter also part of Lower Dens
10. Susheela Raman
11. Sharon Van Etten
12. Emiliana Torrini
13. Lhasa de Sela (sadly, this very talented woman passed away in 2010)
14. Katie Melua
15. Lykke Li
16. Molly Jenson
17. Yael Naim
19. Béatrice Martin aka Cœur de pirate