Dragon’s Loyalty Award!

I was nominated by two lovely bloggers: Ocean Of Fear and Miss Ky and if you haven’t already, go check out these awesome bloggers!

Here’s the rules:

  • Thank the bloggers who nominated you. Thank you!!
  • Put the logo in your post.
  • Post 7 facts about yourself.
  1. I am currently watching Les Miserables. As we speak I am watching this for the first time, and it’s so good! So sad, but I really like it 🙂
  2. I’m starting University this September.  I’m going to be studying Biomedical Science in London, and I feel so unprepared but so excited 🙂
  3. I have a suitcase called Linda. When I was about 10 years old I jokingly called my suitcase Linda and for the past 8 years my parents and brother have just referred to it as Linda. So this is a normal conversation in our house: “Have you got Linda down from the attic?” “Not yet, have you got the ribbon to tie around her so we don’t lose her at the airport?” “Ooh Linda’s a bit dusty isn’t she? We need to remember to get her down from the attic more often and air her out.” My family is weird!
  4. I volunteered for three years. When I was 14 I started volunteering for EACH which is a charity that helps terminally ill children. I worked in a giant factory sorting out donations and packing them into boxes, and you would not believe some of the weird things people donate! (No, we can’t make money off of a giant bag of odd socks!) I had to stop when I was 17 though because I couldn’t manage college, tutoring, work, and volunteering but I really miss it.
  5. I am first aid trained. I know CPR, and basic first aid, and I’ve looked after so many children that I can now handle pretty much every emergency! But seriously guys, if you don’t know CPR or basic first aid (like how to treat burns and tie bandages) then please either take a course, or even look it up online. These are basic skills that I’ve had to use several times, and knowing what to do in an emergency could save someone’s life.
  6. I have lots of pairs of freckles. Most of the freckles I have are in pairs, I have them on my cheek, my wrist, and my elbow and up my arms, but they’re almost always right next to another one which I find cute because I can make smiley faces out of them 🙂
  7. I love socks. I don’t understand why people hate getting socks as presents, I love it! If any of you meet me, bring me socks (preferably new ones :P) and we will be instant friends 🙂
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers.
  1. As Told By Sean
  2. Sakara Dee
  3. Mon
  4. New Romantics
  5. Alternative Sunny Days
  6. Jenipeh
  7. Lyf With Em
  8. Girl Shadow
  9. Germerican Girl
  10. Invisible Me
  11. Amanda
  12. Katie Bun
  13. Child Of Cynicism
  14. Autumn
  15. New Romantics

Thank you for reading!

Harassment on WordPress.

Yesterday I wrote a post called The British Tag, which was just a jokey post where I answer questions about my Britishness. I never thought it would lead to me be harassed.

A few minutes after I’d published my post it was rebogged. Yay! Right? So I clicked on the site who had reblogged it and that’s where I saw that the only other posts this person had were pictures of his penis and posts asking people, specifically young British teens, to text him. This made me really uncomfortable, and I didn’t want my post being linked to someone like this. I commented on the post and asked him why he posted it, and if he could take it down, and that he needs to label his content as mature because anyone could visit his site.

He then apologised, and I thought that would be the end of it. Until he sent me three comments in a row asking what I thought of his pictures, and whether I’d be impressed. I felt disgusted. I was Skyping my friend, Zack, at the time and I asked him what to do. He helped me message the guy back and basically we told him to stop. But in the time we had replied to his comment, he had already sent me four more and all of them were asking about my friends and whether my friends were girls and if I knew any teenage girls. At this point I reported him.

I reported him for a few reasons:

  1. He kept sending me explicit messages/comments on my posts. I won’t post them here but seriously, it was actually disgusting and very threatening.
  2. His blog was not labelled as mature, so anyone could go on it without verifying their age.
  3. He had no idea how old I was. I could have been a 10 year old girl for all he knew, and to send me messages asking for me to send/receive explicit images was not okay because although I am a big girl and I can handle it, there are young children on this site and they could be put in upsetting situations through this.
I am so glad I had my friend to talk me through this, because the whole situation made me feel really uncomfortable and upset. Many of you know I have had a rough past with things like this, and I have been sexually abused before. Although this was nowhere near as upsetting as my past, it still really affected me.
In the end I messaged the guy and I told him that if he didn’t stop messaging me/commenting on my posts, I would call the police, and since he had conveniently left his mobile number on the site it wouldn’t be too hard to find him. A few minutes later Zack let me know that the guy had deleted his account! We won!
However, there are still countless blogs and websites and people out there that are encouraging young people to put themselves in sexually compromising situations. So please, if any of you reading this have had something similar, or has friends who are in a similar situation, go tell someone. It doesn’t matter if it’s a teacher, friend, doctor, therapist, parent, or a trusted family member. Or come tell me! Because although this story had a happy ending, I know that is very rarely the case. You do not have to do anything you are not comfortable with, and if anyone says anything or does anything that makes you feel uncomfortable that is not okay. You do not have to put up with it. Even if you have had a relationship with that person, or if you are currently in a relationship with that person, or if that person is someone you trust, you still do not have to do something that makes you feel upset. And if any of you want to speak to me about this, or anything else that’s bothering you, my door (or should I say my inbox) is always open.
Thank you for reading.

If I were a girl…

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I am female, so I called upon the help of my dad, little brother, my boyfriend, fellow bloggers, and my guy friends to help me. This list is just the opinions of these men and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. I asked them what would be different if they were born a girl, and these were their answers…

  • I could show emotion. Everyone I spoke to felt they had to be unemotional so they didn’t seem “weak”. But then they had to be emotional towards their partners so it’s very confusing.
  • I could wear a wide range of clothes. Men sometimes feel that compared to women, their clothes choices are very limited. Plus a lot of shops either don’t sell male clothes at all, or they have a tiny section compared to the women’s clothes.
  • Talking to children wouldn’t be seen as creepy. This point was made by one of my best friends, and when I asked everyone else they agreed. Men feel as though they are judged when around children, and that they feel as though they can’t play around children without being a “pervert”.
  • I wouldn’t feel pressured to have a 6-pack. Some people are not built to have a six pack, does this make them any less beautiful? No. But men still feel like they have to be super muscly to be considered attractive.
  • I wouldn’t worry about being threatening. A lot of men are seen as threatening, especially those that may be taller or larger. This can make situations awkward and can make men feel guilty for just existing! Which shouldn’t happen!
  • I wouldn’t be limited to playing “aggressive” sports. My little brother is 15 and is training for his black belt in Karate. But he told me that men feel like they have to play stereotypical male sports, and they would get bullied if they participated in “female” sports such as gymnastics and ballet. Although my brother loves karate, he said he shouldn’t feel like some sports are off limits just because he’s male.
  • I wouldn’t have to pay for everything. Again, this was a major concern for my little brother. He said he felt like he had to support his family when he grew up, and that when he gets a girlfriend he has to support her too. Men shouldn’t feel like they have to pay for everything. In my relationship with my boyfriend we split everything down the middle, or one of us will pay for a meal and the other will pay for the movie tickets. It shouldn’t be a mandatory thing for the man to pay for everything.
  • I wouldn’t have to be aggressive. A lot of men feel as though they have to be constantly aggressive to be considered “manly”. If there’s a fight, the man can’t back down otherwise he’s seen as weak. There’s a lot of pressure on men to protect women and to be dominant over other men.
  • I could get good grades without being a “nerd”. My brother said that if you get good grades at school, your friends tease you and call you a geek and a nerd. I think it’s sad that guys can’t be seen as intelligent without being bullied about it.
  • I wouldn’t be judged by my weight. I never thought that men were picked on for their weight, but my brother said this is a massive thing at school. Even within friend groups they get teased for being larger, and this can be really upsetting. Men should love their bodies, and should aim to be healthy not thin and muscly.
  • I could get support. A lot of men feel as though they aren’t supported by their friends, and that they can’t talk about serious things with their friends because it’s seen as being too emotional and weak. Men feel as though they need to be independent all the time, and this can lead to a lot of serious mental health issues.
  • “Gay” wouldn’t be used as an insult. A lot of men are called gay when they show emotion, and this can be so offensive to people who are gay.

These are all the points I was given, but I’d like to add one of my own. While looking for a picture for this post I typed in everything. “Male empowerment” “Male Sexism” “Sexism against men” and the only thing that came up were people mocking men. I don’t think women are any better than men, but I don;t think men are any better than women. I wish that women had equal rights to men, but I also wish that men didn’t feel ashamed to be a man. I want my brother to be proud to be a man, and I think he can do that while showing respect to women. I just wish we had true equality.

Thank you so much for reading, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic 🙂

If I were a boy…

My boyfriend and I were discussing who had it worse, guys or girls. And this got me thinking, what would be different if I was born as a male? Here’s my list, and as ever these are my personal opinions and I’d love to hear what you think about this in the comments 🙂

If I were a boy…

  • I could be into superheroes without being judged, or told I’m just pretending to like it to get attention.
  • I could have sex without being judged. If women don’t have sex they’re frigid, a nun, a bitch, a prude. But if they do have sex they’re a slut, a whore, easy. When men have sex it’s seen as an achievement and something to shout about, but when women do it it’s seen as dirty and something they should keep private.
  • I could be dominant without being called a “bitch”. Or I could be in a position of power without everyone assuming I opened my legs to get there.
  • I can have children and a career and not get asked how I’m going to deal with both, without losing my job, and without worrying about having to go to work straight after giving birth because many companies do not give maternity leave at all (or very little).
  • Walking around at night would be nothing. I wouldn’t be afraid of being attacked because family and friends would never tell me this is a likelihood.
  • My nipples wouldn’t be illegal. Women’s nipples are not sexual. They are for feeding children. The media have made them sexualised, and anywhere that allows men to walk around topless should allow women to do the same.
  • I wouldn’t have to carry something to protect myself. There would be no need for rape whistles, pepper sprays, and keys between our fingers.
  • I could pursue a career in science without people being shocked, and without it being considered “sexy”. In fact, I could have a career in most sectors and people wouldn’t be surprised (such as motoring, aviation, business etc.).
  • Music videos wouldn’t show me as a sex object. If you look at the videos for the top 40 songs in the UK/US 90% of them feature women who are scantily clad, who have stereotypical female roles (such as a waitress), and are objects for men to look at.
  • I could wear the same clothes twice in a row and not have anyone question it, or freak out about it.
  • Shaving would be optional. Women are under so much pressure to shave every single hair from their neck downwards. Newsflash! Woman have body hair! Yet if a woman goes out with her legs and armpits unshaved she would be seen as ‘disgusting’ and ‘dirty’.
  • Getting in a taxi alone would not be frightening. Many women are worried about this, as they are constantly warned that there is a serious risk of assault.
  • Makeup wouldn’t be people’s go-to gift. Many people just assume women wear makeup, or that they should. Women should only wear makeup if it makes them happy, but there should be no pressure to.
  • My ass wouldn’t be grabbed every time I go out. Women get sexually harassed (and yes, this is sexual harassment) every time they go out to a club. It’s not okay, and it can feel very frightening.
  • Catcalling wouldn’t be an issue. Catcalling can make females feel uncomfortable, and can be threatening. Never has a woman wanted to talk/meet/sleep with the person who catcalls them, so why do it? You’re not going to get anything out of it.
  • I wouldn’t be seen as weak. A lot of women feel as though men automatically consider them weak and this can feel intimidating and frustrating at times.
  • Going to the gym would involve less sexual harassment. Just because a woman is at the gym does not mean she wants you to comment on how sexy she looks and what you would like to do to her. Also, if you’re going to take the piss about her lifting weights you should shut your mouth.
  • I could do my job without being stereotyped. Yes, women work as delivery drivers too. We get it, you’re shocked, there’s no need to repeatedly tell me and laugh about it.
  • The products aimed at me wouldn’t all be pink. Pink clothes, pink shoes, pink razors, pink towels, pink barbie dolls, pink phone cases, pink glue sticks! You name it, if it’s marketed at women it’s going to be pink.
  • I wouldn’t be judged on my body weight. As a women, everyone has an opinion on your body weight. If you’re slim you’re anorexic, you need to eat a salad, you’re ugly. (Calling anyone anorexic because they are slim is very offensive to them, and to those with this mental condition) But if you’re curvier you’re fat, you need to stop eating McDonald’s, you’re ugly. Women cannot win!
  • I could get drunk without fear of assault. Women are repeatedly warned that when they go out they must cover their drinks, never leave their drinks alone, never go out alone, always carry a phone with you etc.
  • My hairstyle/colour wouldn’t impact my daily life. Because women should always have long hair, and if they don’t they’re automatically a lesbian. Yeah, that’s not how sexuality works! Plus, just because a woman is blonde does not mean she is dumb.
  • I could fit my hand in my pocket. Men’s trousers can fit a phone, keys, wallet, £30 in loose change, a bottle of beer, and a laptop. Yet I know there are women reading this who can’t fit their little finger into their pockets, or worse, their clothes have fake pockets or no pockets at all!
  • I wouldn’t be judged on my food order. If a woman orders a ton of food they get looked at like they’re a pig. But then again, if they order a salad they’re “skinny bitches”. Again, women can’t win!
  • There would be no periods.  For my male readers, having a period is like someone scraping your inside with a teaspoon then putting the contents in your underwear, which is accompanied by pain, feeling sick, having a headache, being hormonal, hungry, bloated, and emotional for a week and then having to act as normal. Not fun.

And that’s it, of course there are so many more but I don’t want to bore you guys! However, if anyone reading this would like to add anything to this list or to give their opinions I’d love to hear it. And I will be doing an “If I were a girl…” post soon so if any of you have any ideas for that I’d love to hear them. Thank you for reading 🙂

Be honest with me, do I look extra-large to you?

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XL T-shirt, Size 12 jeans

*EDIT: BECAUSE OF TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES THE PICTURE WON’T SHOW UP, SORRY 😦

Because this t-shirt says I am. In this picture I am wearing size 12 jeans, and an XL T-shirt. I have two major issues with this:

  1. Women’s clothes sizes are not consistent! I can go into one shop and be a dress size 10, yet go into another shop and need an XL. How does that make sense?! I understand that some clothes will be slightly smaller or bigger due to fabrics and design but surely there cannot be that much difference! Yet my boyfriend can go into any shop around the UK and buy any Medium sized clothing and he’s fine. I found a website where you put in your measurements and it tells you what clothes size you are in a variety of shops. My sizes ranged from an 8-12. I then worked out what size I’d be in America and I’d be a size 6-10. So am I meant to try on each piece of clothing in 3 different sizes until I find the right one? This is why women spend so long buying clothes!!
  2. As a teenager I am so self-conscious of my body. A year ago I was wearing a size 16/18 and I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs. But then I started taking care of myself a bit more, I started running and stopped eating takeaways 4 nights a week and I lost 2 stone. I love my body now and I’m so proud of myself. I am now a healthy weight for my height and age, and I’m happy too 🙂 But it’s a massive blow when you walk into a shop as a healthy teenage girl, and then have to buy the biggest size they have. How can we encourage young girls to be happy and healthy when we say their healthy body is too big? I honestly felt so fat when I bought this, and I came home and sat down and cried. How pathetic is that? But it felt like I was back being size 18 when people used to stare and point and laugh. I worked so hard to eat better and move more so I could take care of myself and this knocked my confidence massively. No wonder so many teenagers have eating disorders, they have such an unrealistic view of what their body should look like and that’s not okay. I’m not calling for mass uproar but I am so angry that one of my favourite clothing companies (David And Goliath) would promote an unhealthy body image.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, and if any of you reading this have had the same problem I’d love to hear that I’m not the only one! After this I’m also planning on writing a post about tips to get a healthy body, would anyone be interested in that or does anyone have any tips for me? Thank you! And even though I’ve just had a massive rant I love this T-shirt (and it glows in the dark!!)

International conversion rates- I’m typically UK size 12

Encouraging Thunder Award!

I got so excited about getting this award that I texted my best friend at 6am to share the good news. For some reason she was not as enthusiastic as I was! Thank you so much Desire To Express! EDIT: And a HUGE thank you to Relating Aches too!

Here’s the rules:

  •    Add the Encouraging Thunder logo. Here we go…

  •    Grant other bloggers the award. Here are my nominations for some awesome bloggers:
  1. A Girl With ADHD
  2. Sweetheart
  3. My Irrelevant Thoughts
  4. Everything And Nothing
  •    Mention your purpose in blogging.

Why did I start blogging? This is actually quite tough, mostly because I can’t really remember! I think it started when my friend mentioned the word “Thinspiration” to me, and I had no idea what it was. So I Googled it and the first thing that came up was a blog encouraging people to become anorexic. And my first thought was, I’ve got to do something. I hated the fact this blog was just spreading so much self-hatred, and so I guess I started this blog to try and make people feel happy. And I know a lot of my posts aren’t the cheeriest thing, but I’ve always tried to offer support and I encourage anyone who wants to chat to contact me (aleve44@hotmail.com). Because I think there is so much hate on the internet, so I wanted this to be a place where people felt accepted no matter what gender, race, religion etc.

  •    Thank the person who nominated you. I’ve thanked her once, but I don’t think that’s enough so I’m going to thank her again! Thank you! And everyone who’s reading this needs to go check out her blog because she’s fabulous 😉

And there we go, and I can’t wait to see the post’s from my nominations 🙂