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So the problem with high street’s ‘NYPD’ jumpers isn’t that it’s unoriginal..

I’ve never been good at writing or analyzing fashion. I hated textiles in college and couldn’t sew for the life of me, however I can spot a flaw in clothing trends as easily as the next person and recently I’ve seen tops, crop tops and jumpers in high street stores such as Primark and Topshop popping up with the ‘NYPD’ initials written on them. I remember my first thought was confusion as I saw one in Primark near the women’s clothing that normally has pop culture references on. I was scanning the tops with Disney on, the Harry Potter tops and came across one t-shirt with NYPD. I remember stalling for a bit and trying to figure out if this was a reference to a tv show or movie but all I could think of was just that it stood for New York Police Department. ‘That’ll never catch on’ I thought to myself, but I was wrong.

In my cinema job I noticed those t-shirts in different varieties picking up as a trend and even now I spotted a jumper with the initals on in Topshop, going at a hefty price of £35. Now it seems the jumper is very in trend with a lot of young girls buying it, but my main worry is do they know what the name stands for? Do they know the history of the NYPD and what these t-shirts and comfy jumpers endorse?

I stand by the activist movement of #BlackLivesMatter. I realise as a white ally I can’t speak for them and can only listen, but I personally feel people should have a think about what the NYPD has history for and listen to what happens and not buy these jumpers. There’s, hopefully, no money donated to them or such when these jumpers are purchased but the normalisation of the name still stands the more and more these jumpers are bought. People might buy them with the afterthought that they’re supporting officers who protect the people but that’s far from the truth. A main story to start with is the cruel death of Eric Garner. If you were not paying attention when this happened; basically on July 17th of 2014 police officers of NYPD approached Garner accusing him of selling loose cigarettes without tax stamps. Garner pulled his arms away briefly when the officer tried to pull his wrists behind his back to which Daniel Pantaleo (the officer and murderer) took Garner to the ground by his neck and pushed his face into the ground. It was recorded and seen by witnesses that Garner cried out that he couldn’t breathe repeatedly. Eric Garner then lost consciousness and the officers turned him onto his side to ease his breathing but did not give him CPR or help. They left him there until ambulances arrived and Eric Garner was pronounced dead around one hour later. Autopsies concluded Eric Garner’s death was via a chokehold from Daniel Pantaleo and was ruled as a homicide. The NYPC policy prohibits the use of chokeholds. In December 2014 it was decided by Richmond County grand jury that scumbag Pantaleo would not be punished for killing Eric Garner. This stirred many rightful protests and to this day is still an important story regarding the uprise of #BlackLivesMatter activists and protests.

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This isn’t and won’t be the only innocent black man, woman, youth or child killed by NYPD or police officers. I probably couldn’t even fit every victim from 2016 on this page let alone previous years. Research Mike Brown, Research Ferguson, Research Tamir Rice, Research Sandra Bland, Research Mya Hall, Bettie Jones, Philando Castile. In 2015 black young men were 9 times more likely to be killed by police officers than any other American. So here we are, at my main point – do you want to spend £35 on a jumper endorsing and putting the name of one of the many racist police departments in America?

NYPD also has a vast Wikipedia database of their previous misconducts including officers raping women when responding to 9/11 calls, drunk driving and hitting a pregnant woman and not helping, punishing someone for speaking their own language on the job.

They do not deserve to have their names out there on trend. This is an exploitation of young girls to use them unknowingly as an endorsement and should be treated as such. It extremely upsets me that I’m only seeing these jumpers on young girls too. We need to talk about the problem of the gross misconduct, murder and oppression police officers in America are committing. Plus I would judge if my daughter or friend spent a whole £35 on a jumper endorsing such a thing. There is better independent fashion creators and clothing you could put your money too and endorse.

 

Or even better, save some cash and purchase a pin or patch to help raise awareness. This is the kind of thing that needs to be promoted on clothing. Not the initials of a police department.

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Thanks for reading guys, please spread this message about if you know anybody who loves shopping in high streets or the latest trend.

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Should I write more about my ‘struggles’?

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Define struggles.

Obviously struggles comes with the negative connotation that I don’t want to talk about it, hear about it or acknowledge it; but some of my personal stuff I do like talking about. I like raising awareness to the topics because I know other people could be waiting for that push to be more settled with what they deal with on a day to day basis. Believe it or not, people with mental health problems or disabilities can be on ‘ok terms’ with what they have. I like to picture it as having a creature that follows you around, the creature can be designed or have the appearance of whatever you think suited, and some days it overreacts and can get the better of you – but other times you can just accept its company and try and positively calm it down if it feels agitated. I guess this mostly works for anxiety, depression etc. and sometimes not work at all! Everyone is different and goes through different things.

I ‘struggle’ with anxiety, depression, body dysmorphia disorder (another form of anxiety); as well as obviously my hearing impairement which I have discussed in past blogposts. I also have to wear glasses since I am slightly short-sighted but I have learnt to adjust to that a lot easier than the other stuff. This isn’t going to be a long pitiful post talking about each of my struggles in detail, because frankly the internet does not deserve to have all of that on it as it is personal to me and even after deep detail, a lot of people would not understand because they do not share the same things as me. Not even people with depression or hearing loss share the exact same experiences. There are people deafer than me or whom have not been able to hear since birth. I would never know what it’s like to live like them.

This post is mainly a question – should I discuss things like mental health, hearing loss/impairments, wearing hearing aids, dealing with anxiety etc. more? I never have put a label to my blog – it’s always been what I want to write, I will write and of course it will stay that way! I just wonder if anybody out there would like to see more content focused on this. You don’t have to have any of these things to want to read about it and if you do but you don’t like talking about it, don’t be shy! Growing up it took me a while to find voices and people I could relate to. It’s only in recent, young adult years I’ve felt a twinge in my heart and my eyes well up when a book or a TV show or art has portrayed exactly something I have felt. It’s not a bad feeling but almost comforting. Comforting to know you’re not weird or abnormal or broken. Comforting to know you are not in the wrong for the things you can’t control.

So that’s my question – feel free to answer it.

Want to see me write more about topics like that?

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EU Referendum Anxiety

Now I’ll warn everyone now, this post is in no way going to be that educational, I will try at some points and source my findings but this is a blogpost all from my own view and opinion. It is biased in what I believe and also full of anxiety. I’m not the biggest fan of change. Never have been, even since I was little. Obviously now I can handle small change better; New job? nerve-wracking but exciting! Fallen out with a friend? Hurts, but it’s not the end of the world. However big change that will effect me, the people I love, my future, my family’s future, my future children’s lives – when it effects so many things that I can’t control, honestly I hate it so much. That’s what the EU Referendum feels like for me right now. I am blessed to be able to vote; if that wasn’t the case or I wasn’t old enough, this would be like torture right now. I know all I can do really is go out and vote tomorrow and wait, but I want to do more, I want to show the world why I’m scared of the outcome – especially as part of the youth of Great Britain – this is our future that could be changed so obviously I want it to go in a way that benefits everyone not just me.

So let’s cut to the chase. I am very much supporting the Remain campaign. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Obviously this country is far, far from perfect. Especially with the current party that is in power and some of the things that they have allowed/changed. But what I think some people are being blinded from is the fact, some of the things Leave supporters are upset about, is actually down to our Government; not the fact we are in the EU. All the horrible budget cuts are down to our stupid government. As far as I’m aware a lot of Leave supporters think that people from the EU are coming over to ‘take our jobs’ or ‘take our benefits’ yet our economy has actually grown since 2014 when there was a high influx of people migrating to the UK. Our unemployment rates went down when the EU opened borders and as a country in the EU we actually home less non-British residents/’migrants’ than other EU countries do. Apparently Germany doesn’t get why we’re so pissy about our migration campus. The truth is that the media and these stupid rich men in the debates want to scare you into thinking you’re going to have everything pulled out from underneath you by someone who’s nowhere near even meeting you let alone taking your job. Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and David Cameron don’t care about you or your family, they care about winning and getting back at each other. They care about power not the people, and to give someone like Farage power would be a dangerous risk. We can’t forget this is the old twit who confessed to regularly avoiding disabled people, can’t forget his party has a member who called for ‘compulsory abortion if a fetus is discovered to have downs or a syndrome that could burden’.Obviously I don’t want people to base their vote on which politician they hate more. David Cameron is on the Remain side but I still want to punch him in the face.

As well as that the EU has done a lot of things for us and we’ve been part of it for 60 years. Staying in is not going to ruin us. I’ve heard people chant that being part of the EU takes away our British culture? Since when?

You’ve probably seen most of the talk about what the EU does for us is trading, immigration, the euro etc., however I’d like to point out some other things the EU have done for us, that if I’m honest I wouldn’t trust my country trying to sort out independently. The EU push for EU-wide legislation on LGBT rights, which in some countries of the EU their own government would not fight for. It was the EU that outlawed discrimination on grounds of sexuality. Do you really think our government would be that bothered if the EU hadn’t involved them in the discussion? The EU also aim for policies that help the environment. I’ve lived in a city in Great Britain all my life and I am constantly surrounded by building, infrastructure, more and more brand shops being built, more and more CO-emission producing projects being started. I’m honestly sick of it, and think nothing would change positively if we dealt with it independently. EU policy aims to guarantee safe drinking and bathing waterI mean we wouldn’t want to end up like Flint? The EU basically kicked our butts into gear regarding the environment, we used to be ‘the dirty man of Europe’ since we had so much pollution. EU agreements in recent years have seen sulphur dioxide pollution has dropped and almost 500 UK beaches meet clean water standards. Let’s also unleash the ‘ranty animal obsessed, wannabe vegan’ side of me, people assume I have, and make note because of the EU there has been a push for end of sales in the EU of cosmetics that are tested on animals. The European Commission have also put a strategy forward in regards to Animal Welfare. The EU also set standards on how farm animals are treated when they are farmed for produce. EU law requires all zoos to be thoroughly inspected and licensed. 

I could literally write a book on what I think the EU has benefited us with, but this is a blog post and you’ve probably stopped reading by now! I am going to be honest, this post is probably Remain propaganda at a stretch and I understand nobody HAS to think the way I do, not everyone in my family or everyone I know is voting the same as me, and some people will be voting based on other things that I have not thought about. But here is my views on it, and maybe with some links to stuff you didn’t know about the EU. If you’re undecided, maybe my post will help. Maybe it’ll make you decide to vote Remain, maybe you’ll suddenly want to vote Leave to piss me off! (Don’t do that, that’s immature).

 

So thanks for reading! Remember to vote tomorrow!

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20 feelings that make me happy I’m alive

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So I guess you could jokingly say this is one of my lazier posts since it’ll basically be a list however I’ve had it in the back of my mind for a while as I really love trying to cheer people and myself up some days, and on really, really crappy days I can forgot about some of these lovely feelings and scenarios that make me feel alive and grateful to be where I am in that moment. If you have any you’d love to add on, do comment on my blog post or share on Twitter!

  1. Waking up naturally on a Sunny day and seeing the bright blue sky through your windows.
  2. When you’re baking or helping someone bake and you get to eat the excess icing or mix.
  3. Finding the perfect song or playlist to listen to on a long train/bus ride. Here’s one of mine!
  4. Watching ASMR or Bob Ross and the relaxing, calm feeling you get. The sound the paintbrushes make on the palette when Bob Ross is mixing paint really makes me relaxed, is that weird?
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  5. Going to the cinema and seeing a trailer for a film you’re insanely excited for. (Lately the Suicide Squad trailer with Bohemian Rhapsody always gets me pumped up!)
  6. When you’re walking somewhere and a kind-looking stranger smiles at you when you make eye contact.
  7. When you’re walking somewhere and somebody’s dog tries to come and sniff you as they walk past. I want to be your friend too, small pupper.
  8. Seeing little bumblebees chill happily in a bed of pretty flowers.
  9. When a family member, friend or such shows you something and says ‘this reminded me of you.’
  10. Seeing a cute photo of a corgi butt on Instagram. Believe me.

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  11. Getting a massive hug of someone you love when you’re crying.
  12. The first gulp of a really cold drink when you’re dehydrated.
  13. Seeing a family of ducks in a river. Especially if there is a parent/adult duck and tiny ducklings.
  14. Getting a 99 whippy ice cream on a summer’s day. They’re my guilty pleasure – especially with all the sprinkles, flake and raspberry syrup.
  15. Finally getting an essay/homework piece done and knowing you can relax.
  16. Walking/cycling when it’s sunset and you get to see all the beautiful colours the sky can make.
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  17. When someone tells you randomly that you’ve made their day or you’ve been really helpful. Whenever I get a customer who says something like this to me when I’ve been working, my faith in humanity returns.
  18. Getting complimented randomly when out drinking. Especially going in the female toilets, you’ll get the occasional drunk girl saying they love your shoes or something and it’s the best feeling.
  19. Getting cosy in bed after a long day.
  20. When someone you care about says they’re proud of you. Even if it’s for something small like just passing an exam or even getting a high score on a video game. It makes me smile.

What things would you guys add?

Thanks for reading,

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Saturday 11.06.16: Note to Self

When I was younger I used to be quite good at keeping diaries, jotting down my thoughts and letting out some of my feelings without giving away much to other people or making myself too vulnerable. As I grew older I slowly drifted from writing in my diary to online forums and social media. Now I definitely didn’t jump into mainstream stuff like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter etc right away but I used to be fond of going on forums/sites with young people aimed content – one of my fondest memories is probably Stardoll where I used to chat on the regular to friends and eventually I did get to meet three of them in real life! It was a shame we aren’t as close anymore as times had changed but I do get nostalgic for that memory. Growing up in my teenage years, I always struggled with social skills and making friends so sometimes the internet was a preference for me as I could conceal the social skills I was so anxious about and have time to think about what to say and such. I also could use it as an outlet for when I was stressed or down, people with similar problems would write back saying they know how you feel, it was almost like a diary entry but if I felt so stuck with a problem, somebody out there could help me if they wanted to. It didn’t feel like I was letting too much out in the open but when I look back I think I did. I think it strangely affected my personality today and how I feel about being honest with my problems and feelings with people in my life. It’s very easy to act narcissistic online and post selfies but also dwell on self-depreciating humour, it’s almost like building up a wall but having glass walls on it. You let people know what you’re like but you won’t want to talk about it and sometimes you want to get out of the wall, and it really hurts you deep that your friends walking by aren’t doing anything. You stress over details, ‘but they  can see me in distress right? They walk past me everyday so they’re clearly avoiding looking at me?!’ so you end up stuck in this little glass box, feeling isolated but nothing’s bottled up. You’re drained but it’s flooded everything around you and everyone’s evacuated the area.

The internet was also a terrible place for paranoia and overthinking symptoms from my depression and anxiety to build. I’d constantly try and talk to my friends but get no response and then see them posting online or on social media and literally pull at my hair questioning what I had done wrong. I can’t even really act like this is in past tense since I still over-react to stuff like this now. I can pick out every little detail for proof that somebody dislikes me or secretly thinks I’m annoying but I don’t honestly trust any proof that people do like me genuinely. My brain is my most toxic friend and I wish to change that soon.

So the note to myself for today is; nothing is wrong with being open and nothing is wrong with wanting to get stuff off your chest. Bottling up stress and emotions will only lead to damage of some extent and it’s not healthy however please learn to stop expecting people to want to be there for you. Everyone has their bottle of stress, thoughts, anxiety and stuff they want to avoid and people can get so drunk on their metaphorical bottle that they won’t notice you stumbling and crashing from stress. People are people, weak and worrying just like yourself – but that doesn’t mean you haven’t got the strength to work on yourself alone. There will always be stuff you dislike about yourself or your life, even on days where you wake up feeling like a bloody Disney Princess and the sun is shining; in the back of your head small things will still irk you like the fact your thighs rub together when you walk, the fact that guy barged past you and didn’t apologise whilst you walked to work, the fact you’re still procrastinating something, your friend still hasn’t responded to your text about meeting up – nothing is always 100% perfect but it’s time to not focus your wonderful energy on it. Focus on the stuff I know you can do, read another chapter of that book you treated yourself to, challenge yourself to drink at least 5 glasses of water today, plan more blog posts in your head, send messages and emails to people you want to talk to but leave the ball in their court and give them their space and time to get back to you. Focus on yourself, focus on healing yourself.

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#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou

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Today on Twitter I noticed a very interesting hashtag that’s gone viral that I believe a lot of people should check out. Now, for warning purposes, the core story behind this trending topic is very sad and could hit home for a lot of people – it did for me. The hashtag is bringing awareness mainly to emotional abuse, psychological abuse, manipulation and toxic relationships. A lot of people are very aware of the tell tale signs of domestic/physical abuse but the other areas of the spectrum can be very hidden to people. In these situations the victim of said ‘abuse’, a lot of the time does not realise the mistreatment they are getting and would not categorize it as abuse. A lot of the time the victims will be hit with the realisation near the end of the relationship or after. Emotional abuse can cause long term trauma in victims including PTSD, anxiety, depression and the inability to trust people. This is why this hashtag is so important as it brings these situations to light and the sort of situations victims experience and explain why they are toxic and should be questioned.

Now obviously I’m not going to go into details as to why it hits home for me as that is personal to me. But there was a few select tweets on the hashtag that stuck out to me and I thought I’d write about them.

When you are in a relationship with someone it is natural that sometimes you will have arguments, accidentally upset/annoy one another or make mistakes. It is extremely healthy and suggested that when you feel something is up or you have been hurt by your partners actions you should talk to them about it. However if it seems like every other week you have to tell them they’ve done something to upset you but you walk away from it apologising to them for bringing it up or ‘overreacting’ – something is wrong. This is one of the major telltale signs of manipulation. Does the partner realise they are doing this? Maybe not but if they refuse to take responsibility and make you constantly question yourself it is very dangerous. I recommend in these situations do bring up the courage to talk to someone you trust about it and explain the whole story to them cause sometimes an outside person will realise whats going on. The victim, tends to gradually build coping mechanisms where they will start to doubt their own emotions and believe they are in the wrong so an outside person can help to talk out any feelings the victim may have doubts with. Another thing that sometimes occurs is the person putting the victim down for how they behave naturally or stuff they take interest in. I have experienced this in toxic friendships to, and unfortunately felt like I have needed to change myself and hide tastes to become the ‘perfect person’ for said friend/partner. You should never be ashamed of what music, tv series, hobbies  you enjoy if they do not hurt anyone. Do not let your partner make you feel bad cause you like stuff they don’t enjoy.

Now obviously I cannot give advice to people experiencing this stuff but I hope that this blogpost does bring awareness to emotional abuse and manipulation. It can happen to anyone, any sex. I think it should be spoken about more because there is so much dangerous media out there too that may teach young girls and boys the wrong things. A huge example is the ‘hit’ 50 Shades of Grey. I’ve seen so many girls my age talking about how they want a Mr Grey or whatever and it’s advertised so hugely when really the female protagonist and ‘Mr Grey’ have an extremely toxic relationship. Your partner should not control who you talk to, your partner shouldn’t refuse to let you see your friends or family, your partner shouldn’t control what you wear. We need to speak about this more and try and teach people healthy relationships.

Thanks for reading and definitely check out the hashtag on Twitter!

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Legalizing Gay Marriage wasn’t the End

Now I never like to group a majority under one offence or stupid act because I understand that is unfair. (E.g all men are rude to women) But I do sometimes see a pattern on social media, probably cause you have the fact you’re behind a computer screen as defense, of straight people claiming ‘gay people’ or members of the LGBT community are reaching for too much considering they ‘already have same sex marriage’. But don’t worry, these lovely bunch aren’t being rude because they have ‘one gay friend’!

In all seriousness, people of all sexuality/gender orientation need to realise – yes getting same sex marriage legalized in a lot of places is a massive step; excellent in itself and the stories of people finally getting to marry the person they love after years of shunning is great. However, the ‘fight for rights’ for the LGBT community are far from over. It’s so bad that most state legislators will try their best to ensure the struggle is still there. If you have been up to date on US news you may have heard of the ‘HB2 Bill’. This is a law that reverses an original standing ordinance allowing rights to gay & transgender people. This law states it will protect people against discrimination based upon race, religion, age, national origin and biological sex – but LGBT people are nowhere to be seen under this protection which is sparking outcry amongst many people; as it should.

So how and whom does this ridiculous law affect? Of course this means cities and counties must ensure that people using a toilet only uses the biological sex noted on their birth certificate. This basically means any transgender people(of any age) who have not gone through the ‘surgical and legal changes’ have no legal right under law to use the ‘gendered bathroom’ they feel comfortable with and identify. This law also effects minimum wage, in the way that now cities and counties can not set a minimum wage standard for private employers. This also challenges transgender youth by telling them they must use gym and restrooms based upon the gender on their birth certificates. This is extremely damaging to transgender youth, as it is known the young LGBT community do go through a lot of bullying and discrimination in a day to day basis anyways but this horrible law is not doing anything to help the youth. Since the HB2 bill was passed, calls to suicide hotlines for the trans community have doubled. This is just devastating to hear and I don’t understand how people in North Carolina, or anywhere to be honest, can support this bill – the ‘worry’ of Christian conservatives, is that the ordinance allowing transgender women to use the toilet they identify with would allow ‘men to prey’ on women and children.

Now first of all, where is this ‘worry’ of men preying on women in day to day life? There is so many cases of young girls being sexually assaulted and raped by men, these situations not even being the ‘predatory men in bathrooms’, unfortunately a lot of the time the assaulter can be someone close to the victim. This bill has been enforced in high schools yet only 7% of rapes will be committed in a school, compared the 13% that takes place at the home of a friend, relative or neighbour. Another terrifying statistic is that 82% of attacks are ‘non-stranger’ and 47% are a friend or relative to the victim. These are the areas these people should be worrying about, they should be encouraging victims to come forward and feel safe and actually get these disgusting rapists locked away instead of claiming ‘for the safety of women and children’ as their reason to be anti-LGBT and transphobic. 98% of rapists will never spend a day in jail or prison.

It is ironic, this so called ‘reasoning view’ is to lurk on people using the toilet. How are you going to know if a transgender woman is using the womans restroom? Are you going to go sneaking under all of the stalls to check? Are you going to physically impose on every person that walks in and ask them about their life and genitals? If anything, that makes you the ‘predator’ here and it’s frankly disgusting. Did you not grow up in a house with a family? Where you literally SHARED a toilet with different sexes? Why is this any different? Just let someone do their business. Ensure the safety of transgender people on the exact same level as cisgender people. Stop trying to hide your transphobic ideology under ‘protecting’ people.

Don’t let idiots like Pat McCory think this is ok. I am happy to see people all over the community giving people who wanted this bill passed; hell. Also another thing to think about as I finish this post-

A lot of people defending this bill cry out ‘you wouldn’t want to see a man in the women’s toilets whilst you’re in there with your little girl! I bet people defending this are just predators!’. What makes you think a rapist, is going to stop just because of a law? If that’s really what this is about.

 

Thanks for reading,

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