The HI’s and LO’s of Social Media

Heyy !! Back at it again with a new post, been so MIA lately due to the move into university and I’ve really missed my blog so I  forced myself to put this post out which had been on my mind for soo long to do so, did I mention I was the queen of procrastination ?

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Anyways, so I stumbled across the beautiful piece of art above on the gram, you know just scrolling through your feed as you do, and it made me stop in utter amazement and wonder. The image drawn by @rokz_art shows a woman in her natural form with African beads around her waist, which if your from Africa you could relate to.

But what really hit my attention were these beautifully vibrant stretch marks all over her stomach and her thighs, now normally on a black girl you wouldn’t see white stretch marks on the body, but I think the purpose behind this was to capture the audiences attention and really try to capture the beauty of stretch marks on a woman’s body, symbolizing the changes of structure and growth that we females go through

This is why I named this post “the HI’s and LO’s of social media” simply because yes, social media is a great platform for engaging in pictures with your friends, laughing at hilarious posts and catching up with the latest celebrity gossip, however it can get really frantic when celebrity bodies and figures start appearing everywhere and the desire to emulate their appearances becomes almost impossible to avoid.

One of my main goals this year was to be happy in my skin and to accept the way I was made by God. This has honestly been a challenge for me surprisingly and I didn’t really think it was a goal that I needed to work hard for, not knowing that subconsciously I was always checking myself in the mirror, checking to see if I have cellulite or if my body is even in all the different places, yes its crazy right ?

I had to snap out of this and actually realise that I had a habit of doing so and it was slowly affecting me. Me being of 18 years and only realising this now, imagine younger teens in secondary school, where they hit the stages of puberty and the competition for the best body or best skin is on the rise, how would they actually feel and cope? I had a deep thought to myself and upon praying over the issue, I prayed over girls who were younger than me, experiencing the  battle with body image and self confidence. Even though I may not know someone personally going through this, I pondered over all the girls who are open to pages such as Instagram where bodies of women are plastered all over their explore page and wondered what they must be going through.

What moved me was the caption below the picture. ” Ladies please embrace your stretch marks… It’s a mark of strength , you are beautiful , you are gorgeous regardless, don’t think because of these certain stripes that you can’t do certain things” this message basically states that yes although we may gain these marks either through growth spurts or after pregnancy, we should, use these marks not as a reminder of a flaw that society perceives to be, but a reminder of our beauty and our growth as females and even as males too.

I urge anyone who reads this to be in love with their inner self, and to accept themselves regardless of any outer flaw that may be visible to the world, make it your mark that you are unique because of your appearance and although body acceptance may take time to full achieve, it is a beautiful journey whilst achieving it.

“you are imperfect, permanently, and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful” – Amy Bloom

Noughts and Crosses – Book Review

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As my summer holidays approached this year, I decided to make it a must to start reading again. As I clearly had all the time in the world now away from school and other commitments, I wanted to stray away from social media and delve into what I enjoyed most which was reading!

Before I got engaged with social media, reading used to be my favourite thing to do. I especially loved studying books where we could learn about characters, themes and hidden messages. So I decided to read more this year and accomplish all the books off of my reading list. One of them being, to read Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses.

Before I picked up on this book, I had heard of her but I had not read any of her books before, so I was excited to see what she had to offer ( I love reading books from new authors). A friend had recommended the book to me and after reading a bit about it I decided why not give it a go. What drew me towards this book was the whole plot of it. Without reading too much into it, I found it really fascinating of how Blackman came up with this story book based on society’s role reversal between black and white people.

Quick Synopsis: The book is based on two people, Callum who is white and is labelled as a nought. Him and his family are lower-class, struggling to survive and have little money. Callum is friends with Sephy who is labelled as a Cross. Her family is black and are very wealthy, in fact all crosses are very wealthy in their town. They are friends, to everyone’s disliking, but endure on a powerful love journey together as Callum gets enrolled at Sephy’s prestigious school.

So the first thing that really shocked me (besides the role reversal of their lifestyle) was the names they were labelled with. I thought it was very smart that they weren’t labelled as just black and white as we are today. But the name nought had a very deeper meaning. It symbolised their position in the story – as nothing. Frequently, they were referred to as ‘blankers’ meaning they were nothing, they had no value, they were just blank. Even in the visual way, a nought is simply a zero which connoted their position in society- simply stating that they had none. Whereas Sephy who was labelled as a cross creates an obvious opposite way of living. They are seen to be more stronger and more powerful in their way of life. Especially when you study the family of Sephy and realise the amount of power they obtain. They were mentioned as black and white in their individual family conversations, but the societal term of ‘Noughts’ and ‘Crosses’ were used by people in the book

The second thing that really struck me was the symbolism and the similarities that the Noughts had to go through, which are totally relatable to the black struggle previously in countries like America. Early on in the book, Callum is smart, which means he passes the test to go to one of the most prestigious schools in their town, which is mainly known for accepting black people only. The book captured his first day, alongside 6-7 other teens who passed the test to be allowed into the school. As they approached the gates, they were heckled by Crosses shouting “blankers, blankers!” and of course they were denied access on the first day. Reading this moment, immediately shot up memories that I had learned in school of the Little Rock Nine students who were denied access to school in Arkansas, due to whites refusing to integrate. I don’t know if Blackman intentionally did this, to catch people’s eye out or if it was done to make people realise that this is similar to everyday life now, but that moment really stood out for me.

Overall, I must say I am very impressed with the book. At times, it did drag on to the exciting parts, especially at the start which made it hard to continue reading on. That’s what is hard for me really, if the first few chapters of a book do not seriously excite me then it is very hard for me to read on until the end. Nevertheless, I continued and I’m glad that I did. The story had a powerful ending to it, and without revealing to much, it allows you to realise the balance of powers between black and white people in terms of the government, those in authority and those who have major control, do we use our privileges against people who don’t have the same  privileges as us? or have we become so used to the fact that we will never be equal to each other in terms of our social status, especially with all the events happening around the world of police brutality to one particular race.

I would give this book 4/5 stars. It hasn’t been better than previous books I’ve read which have left me so amazed that I had to read it again and again, but this book did come with a lot of messages, lessons and good cliff-hangers, so I would definitely encourage anyone to get this book and read it.

I am due to read 1984 or The handmaids tale next so if anyone has read these books, then do let me know how it is!

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

The Books That I Love…

Books. An item with hundreds of pages and thousands of words that you fixate your eyes upon. Some may sink through to your heart and clasp your eyes until tears of heartbreak pour out, some may even do the same- but only with laughter. Some may leave you in absolute awe of how an author can come up with such a creative concept and simply turn it into a story…

I may not have time to read the all the twilight’s and the Harry Potter’s but these books that I’ve read have either influenced my outlook on life or like above have simply left me in absolute wonder of how a story could be that good. Here are some of a few!

img_20321. To Kill a Mockingbird

Now this book I kind of had no choice about reading since it was for my GCSE’S. But I immediately fell in love with the meaning behind this book. We are immediately introduced to Scout and Jem at such a young and tender age and we see thing through the eyes of Scout who explores how prejudice and discrimination is at a high in her neighbourhood. The book explores how Tom Robinson and Boo Radley are simply treated differently because of their circumstances; Tom being black and Boo being a recluse. To me the moral of the story is to simply do not do anything that does no harm to you – similar to the mockingbird. it’s wrong to do harm to them as all they do is just sing.

 

img_20332. The Great Gatsby

Another one I had no choice in reading as I was doing it for my English A-level but this also has a powerful meaning behind the book. The book explores how the obsession with riches and status can damage and ruin your whole journey of life. Gatsby’s obsession with not only money but Daisy Buchanan leaves readers in despair as they slowly watch his life slip away. The unique use of symbols by Fitzgerald hints at how in life we chase after materialistic things leaving behind the importance of value and morals as they may seem less important. The use of the blue water and the green light leaves readers in suspense of just how the “great” Gatsby ends up in the deep end.

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3. A Piece Of Cake

Cupcake Brown’s memoir of how her twisted life of pain and struggles left me reading on and on. I felt amazed of how a young girl manages to go through the death of a parent, child abuse, drugs and poverty  to become an amazing author. I personally enjoy sad books as they allow me to reveal my emotions and relate to the character and this book did just that. The fact that these events were all true also acts as an added interest.

constance-briscoe-beyond-ugly-triumphing-over-a-loveless-childhood-_14. Ugly

Similar to a piece of cake , Ugly explores the true story of Constance Briscoe and her journey through life as she faces abuse from her mother. Her harrowing journey ends with happiness as she finally becomes a barrister at the end of it. A brilliant book to read and a mixture of both melancholic and joyful moments.