Photography by JKG | jkgphotography.co.uk
Location: Balham, London
I wish I could say this post is going to be really positive and uplifting, but it might possibly be the complete opposite lol. As of late I've been feeling rather fucking angry which is actually really unlike me. I pride myself on always, or trying to always have an encouraging and affirmative outlook on life and even in difficult situations I'm usually like 'it's going to be fine'. However, 2017 for the entire world has been catastrophic and with that comes a feeling of anguish.
When you become 'woke' it is enlightening and powerful but also damn right draining. Once you know better you do better right? And that feeling of wanting to help the world can leave you feeling hopeless - thats how I feel anyway.
During the last year I've educated myself on systematic racism, diet culture, fat phobia, police brutality, gender, black history and so much more. On top of that we've had Trump, that TWAAAAAT Weinstein, feminism without any intersection, countless natural disasters, the bombing of innocent people in Syria and an actual headline that said "The New Low Fat Avocado'!
I never used to allow myself the permission to feel angry because I believed it was wasted energy and I didn't like the thought of that. But with my stint in therapy and learning that EVERY feeling is valid - I need to let you all know that IM REALLY FUCKING ANGRY AT THE MOMENT but I'm going to try and use that anger in a positive way. Anger can be turned into power and that is when change happens so if you want to nod with agreement and maybe share an eye roll or two - keep reading. Things are about to get real angry and honest.
TW: sexual assault
Faux Health Concerns For Fat People
This is up there with one of my biggest pet peeves! All fat people have to do is breathe and they are attacked with comments like 'you're unhealthy you need to lose weight' or 'you're costing the NHS millions'. However, we rarely see these kind of comments directed at people who smoke or drink large quantities of alcohol and whys that? Its because people don't care about the health and certainly not the mental health of a fat person, they just don't like their body. Its patronising and degrading to be barraged by trolls on the internet, colleagues at work - anyone for that matter. Faux health concerns are often how people justify treating fat people like they are less human just because of their size. Health isn't an obligation anyway and you certainly cannot account for someone's health just by looking at them. Health is also so much more than weight and I wish people would just stfu lol, especially people on the internet. Mind your own!
The 'Boys Will Be Boys' Line To Justify Wrongful Actions
If you've read my book No Filter (order it here) you would know that when I was 16, I was raped by two men. It is something I haven't spoken about EVER online because I don't feel safe enough to, and I'm aware of how triggering sexual abuse chat can be for others. But recently with Weinstein and other abusers of power coming into the light, I have fallen into twitter dark holes numerous times, and read constant justification for the actions of predicators. One of which is 'boys will be boys' and that makes me sad, angry and pretty frustrated. Abusers rely on the silence of their victims and at 16, I was too afraid to speak up and over 10 years later so many women still feel this way. This is because men are protected - especially men in power and this narrative absolutely must change. It is not okay for a boy or man to lift up a women's skirt or wolf whistle at her in the street like a dog. It is not okay for women to be beaten up for refusing to give out their number and it is NOT fucking okay for abusive and sexual predatory behaviour to ever EVER be justified. The culture we are in that values men over women is one of many reasons we are in an epidemic of sexual abuse!
Tokenism In The Beauty & Blogging Industry
Time and time again we are seeing campaigns that scream inclusivity and diversity, yet feature just one black girl. Its unauthentic, uneducated and proves that the brand didn't actually put any thought into said campaign. Hiring one black person is tokenism to show that 'hey we got a black girl we're so inclusive yay for us'. Blackness comes in all different shades and tones and its about time it is represented thoroughly and correctly. It isn't hard and thats the most frustrating part.
The Narrative That ED's Are A 'White Girl' Problem
In most articles, films and documentaries that depict eating disorders, the leading role is always a middle class white girl. Not to dismiss that entirely, but they aren't the only people who are at risk and suffer with eating disorders. I am working class, mixed race and fat and I have an ED, so why aren't I or other marginalised people represented? It is a dangerous portrayal that can lead to extreme consequences and isolation for an ED sufferer. I would love ED chat to be more intersectional and inclusive because as we all know - mental health issues do NOT discriminate.
Commercialised & Watered Down 'Body Positivity'
Just to be clear, body positivity was founded by marginalised people who were sick of fat phobia and judgement. Body positivity is the acceptance of EVERY body type no matter what size, age, gender, colour, religion and ability. Body positivity is not a before and after photo of your stomach when slouched and your stomach when stood up straight. Whilst I don't want anyone to feel excluded from body positivity, we have to recognise that we are really really beginning to miss the reasons behind the movement. So many 'body positive' campaigns feature nobody but slim or hourglass, white CIS women and that is not body positivity, so we need to stop claiming that it is. If you do not encourage self love for everyBODY and accept fat bodies, hairy bodies and people who identify as non binary - you are NOT body positive. Why does money and the media ruin everything? UGH.
Algorithms Algorithms FUCKING Algorithms
Gooosssshhh! This could be irrational anger but it is anger nonetheless lol. I'm not even angry with my own Instagram page, its when I click on my feed and see photos from days ago or I click on the explore feed and see the same diet culture crap and one type of beauty bullshit. Thankfully, my IG engagement hasn't dropped, infact its increased, but gaining followers is harder than ever and when your IG is a huge part of your livelihood, it can be really frustrating. Youtube is the worst culprit for algorithms though - and my channel is currently experiencing this in full affect. One month I can get 400k views, another month it will be 100k and it doesn't help when the algorithm and new Youtube rules work against 'taboo' content and what feels like ethnic people too. I checked my homepage yesterday and it didn't contain ONE black person. Youtube can fuck right off lol.