Some of my Pinterest boards

I first made a Pinterest back in 2013/2014 time whilst studying Art and Design in college to look for inspiration for my college sketchbooks and my final college art project. It was actually a really useful and secretly fun to be able to source many posts and images together in an almost ‘online scrapbook’ to refer to for inspiration and ideas. Pinterest isn’t one of the most reliable websites for keeping art attached to the correct artists since the internet is a horribly unfair place with people rudely reposting art and not sourcing where they found it however when finding art or posts that have kept the creator’s link or name connected it can be such a good website for stockpiling stuff from interesting blog posts, quotes and bringing different images together to create, like I said above, an online moodboard.

I thought I’d share with you my Pinterest and some of my boards that I have muddled together over the past year and a bit. Some of the boards I make can range from an ‘aesthetic’ moodboard where I’ve collected imagery and pictures and quotes or boards with blog posts and tips and charts for things to look back on for help.

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Link to ‘Workspace Goals’

The first one here is Workspace Goals, which basically explains itself in the title. I dream of one day having a really cute little study room or even a desk/work space set up in the way I like it and this board is just there for me to pine over the cute, minimalist photos of other people’s desks and such.

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Link to ‘Journal Inspo’

‘Journal Inspo’ is for pinning other images of bullet journals and such for inspiration and ideas for spreads as well as pinning people’s blogposts where they discuss tips and tricks for starting a bullet journal!

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Link to ‘uni tips’

This board has been super useful for me this past academic year because even the simplest photos on here that give you tips on managing your workload or suggesting more suitable vocabulary and words to use in essays. I definitely recommend checking some of the stuff pinned on there, if you are studying like myself!

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Link to ‘2018: motivation, discipline and self love’

This last one has been very personal and centered to helping me deal with my mental health, productivity and such in 2018. My goals as a person is that I would like to increase my productivity and motivation, keep myself disciplined but obviously learn to love my self a bit more. This board covers a lot of those things with links to blog posts and lists of stuff that discusses ‘good habits to develop’ or how to ‘beat bad feelings’, but also with lovely and empowering quotes and poetry. It’s one of my favourite boards and I’m glad to have found some of the stuff pinned on there.

Please find my pinterest page here; if you would like to follow me and definitely do as I’d love to check out other people’s boards! I hope some of my boards might be inspiring to others or have links and such on there that are useful!

Thanks for reading,

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Social Media vs Girls

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A lot of the subjects I rant about normally start from something I come across online. Comments under articles, comments on social media, photos on social media etc., you get the picture. Stuff on Social Media spreads very fast, so anything massively controversial me and a lot of people will see, however sometimes there’ll be small photos or posts created by people I’m friends with on facebook/twitter or shared by them and it’s kind of a slap in the face of their internalized dislike of something. For example, it’s like having a high school friend on Facebook suddenly share a very borderline racist Britain First post and you feel extremely disappointed in their views.

Today an intriguing post joking about ‘typical things girls do nowerdays’ got shared onto my Facebook feed and although it’s not straight out attacking a certain female or person, I thought it was absolutely ridiculous and unneeded. I know a lot of people of all genders and all ages still find criticizing females for things that apparently, ‘all people identifying as female’ do. E.g your typical ‘nagging wife’ stereotypes or whatever. But personally it’s outdated to me and it’s very rare to get a genuine laugh out of me. I remember seeing a hang up decor piece in a shop I used to work at, that said something along the lines of ‘Man Cave. Women not authorised unless bringing beer or sandwiches.’ and all I could do was wonder why someone would want to spend £20 on something that both stereotypes men and women. But that’s another story and I could go on for ages about the kind of rubbish sexism you’d find day to day but that isn’t the point of this post.

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Firstly, I’ll clarify, yes this could be seen as an overreaction to something that is purely meant in humour. But if this is the best humour people can spout, I hope they don’t plan on a comedian career cause they’re, frankly, boring as hell. The post on Facebook was a text post saying; ‘I swear all girls do nowadays is contour, eat chicken nuggets, squat, wear hair extensions, be indirect on social media, snapchat dog filter, turn bi for a bit, party, fall for fuck boys, drink wine, charge their phones, think having attitude problems is sexy, ignore messages, take selfies and cry.’ Aw honey, what girl ignored your message once because she has better priorities than you trying to get in her pants?

So what if girls do all these things? My question to young males who agree with this, even females who think there is something ‘stupid’ or ‘useless’ about all those things; what is the harm? Does it personally offend you? Do you have flashbacks and feel sick to your stomach when you see a girl wear hair extensions? Posts like these are sexist even if they aren’t straight out abusing/insulting the female population. Plus talk about reaching for drama? ‘Charge their phones’? Oh I’m sorry are we meant to let our phones die? I forgot because we aren’t male we don’t have the magical power to have phones with infinite battery? It doesn’t even make any sense. Also ‘turn bi for a bit’ is not only pathetically biphobic and homophobic but it’s implying that if a female identifies as bi it’s a ‘phase’, which is a gross stereotype that bisexual people are still trying to fight off today so they can be taken seriously by the people they care about. What makes me even sadder; girls in the comments were trying to defend themselves. ‘Well I don’t contour or wear hair extensions so lol’, ‘I never go out and party or date fuck boys, I’m not like other girls.’ Ladies – there’s nothing wrong with doing and enjoying any of these things!! They do not make you a worse person if you do them or a better person if you don’t! Stop letting whiny teenage boys with an internet meme account dictate what you should enjoy. Girls should be able to just live their lives in peace without some xbox basher who begs girls for nudes throwing shade at them through social media.

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Girl, you wanna contour? Go ahead; you rock that look.
Going out with your friends? Take tons of selfies beforehand because you look gorgeous.
Had a bad day and it feels like everything is going wrong? Let it all out. Cry and talk to someone. Don’t bottle it up and definitely don’t let someone make you feel like your feelings are invalid. You work so hard at everything you do and there is nothing weak about crying.
If taking humour in how stressy or bossy you think you can be helps you deal with it and shut people up. You do it. You’re a beautiful, bratty diva and if that random guy you’re kind of friends with think it’s ‘you trying to pretend your attitude is sexy’ and puts you down about it. Leave his clingy self messages on ‘Read’. You do you.

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Same goes for men. None of these things are ‘girls only’? Guys can wear contour, guys can go party, guys can take as many selfies as they want. Let’s stop this pathetic attempt at bringing girls down. Give them a break, they’re strong as hell and you still wanna make them feel bad about something as small as using a snapchat filter or liking fast food. Get a grip.

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Thanks for reading my little rant, I hope you enjoy whatever you do today and don’t let anyone try and stop your smile.

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“Stereotype threats” online: is it dangerous?

Whenever I visit Facebook it’s really not hard to find people starting debates on statuses, news articles, photos, memes, the lot! The negative atmosphere is easy to bring up on Facebook, no matter what the topic. I can assure you, you could go on any meme or ‘shared’ photo that comes up on your timeline and find an argument.

In the past (say a month ago, I won’t try to sugar coat myself), I’ve fallen for the habit of arguing with random people on news articles and stories to defend my own beliefs on things. When celebrities come out as bisexual or a sexuality that isn’t just gay, I have argued with the latter of people on those articles who just love to shout how these celebrities are confused or ‘shoving their sexuality in people’s faces’. I’ve also seen people argue that straight people should have their own pride, that feminists are evil, ‘ugly females that want all men dead’ or even other disgusting topics where people defend rapists or racists or murderers. It definitely riles me up and as I love to voice my own opinion, sometimes I get stuck in the loop of debating with these random people who probably live on the other side of the planet.

Recently, I’ve tried to take a step back and realise, there is no point arguing with these people. Most people have these toxic racist/sexist/homophobic beliefs ingrained into them via their upbringing or media brainwashing and a single teenager on the internet is not going to help them open their eyes. This was one if the many reasons I’ve considered blogging, I can voice my beliefs to try to help people see the dangerous effects of having xenophobic beliefs and share my own research on topics.

Plus, on the internet, people can get away with being rude and hurtful absolutely scot-free. If your social media profile is private enough, nobody can get to you further than replying to your comments, and they can easily choose to block you and continue with their anger. I think people enjoy taking out any internalized anger online as you’re hardly going to be punched in the face or face consequences for your actions.

Today I read a story about how our new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has appointed ‘vegan’ Kerry McCarthy as shadow Environmentalist secretary and a spokeswoman for our farming industry. First of all I am disappointed with most media’s descriptions of her immediately as ‘vegan’, I can see why it’s relevant to the story she is currently involved with but that shouldn’t label a person? It’s not even a needed label, are you expecting me to go around describing people by it? “Ah yes you’d love my vegetarian friend Jo, although I’m not sure about my meat eating friend Sarah”. It’s just adding on an unnecessary connotation to a person that separates them for a reason that is only important to themselves and nobody else. It’s also another way of pushing those stupid, internet-based stereotypes that hook onto people. Vegans get the stereotype of “elitists who try to make sure everyone knows they are vegan and will absolutely destroy anyone who even mentions meat in front of them”. I’m not denying there are vegans like this, but you should also admit there are meat eaters on the same level. (Have you ever met a ‘meat-eater’ who will literally not shut up as soon as someone says they do not like meat? Yes we get it, steak is amazing.)

The problem with reinforcing ridiculous stereotypes like this is that it creates an online way of threatening that is almost school playground like, which is shoving the thing the person does not like in their face as if that’s going to make them change their beliefs. On an article talking about Kerry McCarthy’s idea to advertise meat consumption in similar ways to smoking you could find a hoard of bizarre comments with almost borderline sexist slurs and threats that involve meat, cause “she’s a VEGAN we must make her cry by mentioning BACON”. Most vegans choose to stop eating meat, they do not suffer from PTSD at the mention of meat, by using meat in your threats you are simply making yourself look childish.

Disclaimer: these comments I found on a Lad Bible article, which really speaks for itself, but here are some of the things I found

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So those are some incredible examples of the responses to this whole topic. Again, this is from Lad Bible which has the audience of mainly young people ranging from possibly 11-20 odd. I removed the names and photos for privacy but I can confirm these comments are mixed from females and males, admittedly male commenters pop up a bit more but that could be from the audience Lad Bible gets.

The obvious problem with these kind of topics is that arguing over people’s ideology on things such as food, diet, health, equality etc. suddenly can become even sour and toxic because for no reason aside shock value and threat, sexism (and other ‘isms’ but in this example mainly sexist slurs) come into it. The amount of people shouting ‘bitch’, ‘cow’ and ‘cunt’ in the comments was astounding. That one example there where she is called a ‘shit, ugly stripper’ is unnecessarily derogatory. But why do online ‘debates’ (more like battles) take this spiteful turn?

Like I mentioned before, the safety of being behind your computer or phone screen with privacy options put on your name makes it a lot easier to get away with this. Which is unfair and might take a while to change. But it is an extremely harmful system that works on the internet. Obviously this ‘vegan’ debate can be considered a minuscule problem. Other turns I have seen this pattern take is when it comes to arguing for actual sexism/racism/homophobic issues. Online warriors use these stereotypes they’ve built up during their time as being an online bully to try threatening people. The amount of times I’ve heard people drag out the rape jokes when ‘debating’ with a feminist is disgraceful.

This is definitely a pattern of ‘according to this stereotype I’m going to push this topic into your face because I don’t have any research to use in debate’ which becomes more and more dangerous when debates move on to more realistic topics. Bringing up history of rape, abuse, murder, violence etc. as a ‘joke’ or a ‘threat’ when talking to people is actually a lot more real than you’d imagine because some communities will turn these topics into ‘stereotype jokes’ or ‘dark humour’ which somehow gives them the ‘get out of jail’ pass and allows them to corner people who have not even communicated with them once.

Do you think this behaviour should be stopped? Would you say it is a growing online issue or an overreaction on my behalf?

I’d love to hear some feedback.

Thanks for reading,
Lenah x x