Feminism

I will always be that chubby girl in a crop top…

I lack confidence in many things and part of me honestly believes that my anxiety will come and take away everything I love eventually. Once upon a time, I loved drama and performing arts but now if I even think about acting or dancing, my stomach feels like it rolls over. Not good.

My body is something that I have always struggled to accept but not consistently. Some days I’ll wake up with an attitude like “wow, so curvy today. Looking fine. Kylie Jenner can eat her heart out because you didn’t need to pay thousands for full lips like those.” Then I have my bad days, where I just look in the mirror and wonder why a fat mess like me is even allowed to leave the house. It is as if my body confidence issues have mood swings of their own.

People rarely see that side of me though. I only choose to let people know about my insecure days when they are so bad that I just lie in bed making myself cry. If I’m around people, I tend to make a lot of fat jokes about myself as if I think I’m beating them to it. Being told that I would struggle to lose weight because of my PCOS only seemed to make it worse as on the days where I feel less confident I feel like there’s no way of making myself feel better.

That being said… I’m currently a UK size 14 clothing and once, I was a size 8 but even back then I had a tummy. I still thought I was fat. Ridiculous, right? The thing is, if you are truly unhappy with your body image, it actually isn’t your body that’s the problem. It’s your mind. You can’t fix your body to fix your mind, that’s not how it works. If I was as unhappy with a size 8 as I am at size 14 then I won’t be happy no matter what I do. It’s sort of like being in the mind of someone who suffers from anorexia, without you actually starving yourself. You see flaws that aren’t there.

20526178_557262364623966_7751533303023937661_n

But like I said… I have good days. Some days I can wear a tight dress and walk out of the house feeling like a queen. Recently, I purchased a tiny black cropped top to wear on a girls night out. I’m the biggest girl in my group… oops! I saw it in New Look and I fell in love. I just had to buy it.

Despite my body issues, I’ve never actually been one to buy into that whole “dress for your size” lark. I’ll wear whatever I like to, whether it’s cropped or not. Even on my insecure days.

20155752_548710715479131_9179590110486303141_n

So, when the day came to actually wearing the cropped top, it did happen to be on one of my bad days. I was crying in bed over my weight at 2 pm but I was out slaying a cropped top and leggings by 9 pm. Talk about mood swings?

I did get a lot of mixed reactions with some people remarking about “what kind of plus-size clothing store sells cropped tops to us bigger girls” but I did get a lot of compliments which made me feel much better about my decision. A few girls said that I had a “great, curvy woman’s figure”  and someone even said they admired my confidence at being able to show the top of my tummy. Some girls (more than guys, surprisingly) complimented my breasts, I do rock the cleavage when I feel like it.

I have let my anxiety and self-image take far too much away from me, my dress sense won’t be one of them. I rocked that cropped top just as much as a rock baggy tees and sweat pants. Society needs to learn to deal with that.

See, being that chubby girl in a cropped top isn’t such a bad thing, even if all your friends have tiny waists.

Be the curve queen of your group!

 

That ridiculous BBC Gender Pay Gap…

The governement forced the BBC to release the salaries for its highest paid entertainers and journalists to the British public this week. Many members of the British public had noticed that there was a dramatic gap between the pay between male and female workers.

The BBC is facing a huge backlash after the list exposed huge gender and minority inequality as woman are beginging to demand action to close the pay gap. It was revealed that the corporation’s highest-paid presenter is Chris Evans, earning at least £2.2 million.

Claudia Winkleman, the best-paid female star, took home at least £450,000, which is around a fifth of Evans’ pay. Then there is Emily Maitlis, who did not appear on the list, which only details staff earning more than £150,000. Her Newsnight co-star Evan Davis earns at least £250,000. Maitlis, who is currently not under contract, is reportedly considering her future at the BBC after the revelation.

Just 10 of the 96 names on the list are non-white, with sports presenter Jason Mohammad the highest-paid ethnic minority on at least £250,000 – a ninth of what Evans earned.

See it for yourself here.

Now, some of the BBC’s most high-profile female stars are demanding that the BBC act now to fix the gender pay gap. Presenters Clare Balding, Victoria Derbyshire and Emily Maitlis are among those who have signed an open letter to director general Tony Hall.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said the BBC’s gender pay gap was “hard to justify”, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said discrepancies were “astronomical”.

Something needs to be done.

Why everyone should love the new Doctor…

For the last feels days the whole internet seems to have been going wild over the Doctor’s regeneration into a woman… simply because she’s a woman. Really? 

To be honest, it got to Sunday and I was expecting everyone to be talking about the new season of Game Of Thrones but damn. I could not have been more wrong.

So, the casting directors of Doctor Who have cast Jodie Whittaker and I am one of what seems to be very few who are exceedingly excited by it. (Even of U.K. tabloids have published her nudes, she’s still amazing).

So here’s a few reasons why you should love the decision too:

She looks fantastic in the old Doctor’s outfits…


Colin Baker backs her… hitting back at sexist tweets. 

We all know the stereotype of women apparently being unable to park a car decently… urm may I remind you that River Song parked the tardis better than the Doctor?

But what I loved most was Colin Baker’s response as he believes it is a result for a man with daughters. 

He also tweeted this hilarious come back:


God, I love the old Doctors.

Speaking of River…

Alex Kingston offered her reaction to the announcement…

 “I’m always the damn cradle snatcher but she’s a really great actress, she’s fantastic. Oh my God, that’s so exciting!” – Alex Kingston (1.14) 

It has actually been said since the beginning that the Doctor can become a woman at any point – by the creators themselves. 

This was highlighted in the BBC’s response to the backlash… as well as the fact that she’s an amazing actress! 


But above all… she’s amazing all on her own.


Meet the Doctor

But there is one thing that we should be celebrating alongside the new Doctor…

The man who made many mistakes.

The man who was dragging the show through the mud.

MOFFAT HAS LEFT!!!!! #byefelicia 

See all the mistakes he admitted here.

                                    …..

Got anything you think I should be talking about, tweet me @kirstydgp, message my Facebook page or email me at thedowngradeproject@gmail.com.

Racism On Dating Sites

Racism on dating sites is a real issue and those types of women make swiping right on tinder resulting in slightly awkward conversations that assume you’re a racist because you’re a white girl. 

There are still some women out there who won’t date a man because he is black and they actually tell these men that their race is what’s stopping them from dating. This obviously makes these men very insecure and they tend to search for a woman but if they match with a white girl, they hope she is someone who has dated a black man before, as if it makes them feel more secure talking to a woman who has been in an interracial relationship before.

I have spoken to men of a different race to me on apps and my social media and it always results in the same question…


I was puzzled as to why race matters so much. So, obviously I had to ask , at first they denied that it mattered but I stayed persistent and the answer I got was actually really sad…


I don’t understand why someone would match with someone on a dating site if they won’t actually date them due to their race. These men shouldn’t be made to feel like their race is what is stopping them from finding a partner. 

Imagine being so closed minded about race that you miss out on a decent man because of the colour of their skin. Wow, ladies…

Art For New World – Rahel Takle Peirce

In this scary world of Donald Trump and Theresa May, with their fear-mongering antics when it comes to immagration, it’s becoming far too easy to ignore the beauty of diversity and just how talented people from all over the world can be.

Art is something that can take many forms and it varies all across the world.

rahel

Rahel Takle Peirce is an award-winning artist based in London. Her art is seen to therapeutic to it’s viewers a it has been said that her work appears to have a “calming and relaxing effect.”

She immigrated from Ethiopia and has spent over 20 years developing her artistic style, using it as a way of surviving in what she describes as her “new world.”

“Every individual geometric design captures the colour, vibrancy and emotion of the moment. Each meticulously hand drawn over days or years.

The artist in her will never leave.” – Ramech Wall Deco

It is truly inspirational that this woman has come so far, turning her passion into a career in attempted to escape troubled lands.

Her art is truly unique and is a worthy example of the benefits that immigration can have on this country. It also shows her to be a great role model as a survivor, rather than becoming a victim of her past.

Most recently her work has been exhibited in Luxury Made, Olympia, London, back in September 2016 where she showcased the majority of her work.

She sells her unique designs online at Ramech Wall Deco and her work has been exhibited in many places such as:

  • The Kowalsky Gallery, London, August 2007

  • Solo Exhibition at Stoke Place Hotel, Buckinghamshire, November 2009 

  • Artrom Gallery, Mandala, Unity In Diversity, Rome, Italy, January 2010

  • Ramech-Art article at Tadias Magazine

  • Short listed in The PCG Freelance Consultant Award London, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/lhrwblb

    You can check out more places on her website above and also make enquiries about her products.

Disclaimer: All imagery used in this article has been taken from Ramech Wall Deco, with the permission of Rahel, herself. I do not own the rights to these images and I do not claim to. They are for example purposes only. Thank you!

It’s #NotACompliment to Birmingham Students

Jennens Court residence have been made uncomfortable by men lingering outside the halls to ‘catcall’ young women.

Charis Pardoe said that there is often a black car spotted need the Jennens Court Halls of Residence for Birmingham City University in which a group of men will sit and “shout at girls all the time.”

Catcalling has been an issue that’s spread UK wide through the #NotACompliment campaign that has aimed to get misogynistic acts such as street harassment to be taken more seriously under the category ‘hate crime.’

It has gained success in areas several areas nationwide but is still being dismissed by West Midlands Police.

West Midlands Police stated that ‘catcalling’ among other forms of street harassment ‘is not a crime as it isn’t aggressive. Being attacked because of your race, religion, because you’re gay or have an alternative gender identity is a hate crime.’

Despite it’s apparent “non-aggressive” nature, Birmingham Students have said that it makes them feel unsafe.

“I believe that street harassment should be considered a hate crime because of how offended it makes me feel,” says Vicky Bentley (18), Birmingham City University Student, “Harassment like this could lead to sexual assault.”

. A recent poll done by End Violence Against Women states that 85% of women in the UK have faced unwanted sexual attention between the ages of 18 to 24, 45% of these cases also experienced unwanted sexual contact and the majority of these women had their first ‘catcalling’ experience between the ages of 11 and 17.

As the evidence suggests street harassment has fast become a common problem but the #NotACompliment campaign is still aiming to get the issue taken seriously so that young women are able to walk the streets and feel safe.

 

10 Annoying Things in (MOST) PCOS Support Groups

As today marks the last day of PCOS awareness month, I thought I’d share some of my experiences with the subject… in particular, the so-called “support” network that is offered on social media platforms such as Facebook.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes support groups are just what you need and some of the groups I have been a part of on Facebook were excellent. I was once a part of various support groups after I got my diagnosis on the 14th September 2015 but earlier this summer, I left them all. So I have gathered a list of 10 annoying things that contributed to my decision to leave these groups.


1. Sales

We will have all seen sales representatives for these products on Instagram and Facebook. They have a nasty habit on praying on people with weight problems that have been caused by PCOS. I would often get messaged by people on Instagram and Facebook claiming that these products could “cure” me. Pft, the doctors can’t find a cure for this so what makes you think that you have some magical cure, found in a product that everyone is aware is a money grabbing scam?

These products won’t help you ladies, stick to clean eating, exercise and balancing those hormones.

2. Contradictory Encouragement

This one did seriously grind my gears. Everyone in those groups are fighting the same battle and most women do struggle to stick to clean eating without the right kind of support network. This is why I didn’t understand why when people are trying to gather the strength to resist their hormonal cravings for sugary foods did some people encourage them to cheat on their diet? They do realise the cravings get worse when you give in to temptation, right?

3. The Admins That Were “Above-All-Others”

One of the biggest PCOS support groups I was a member of has this issue. Their admins had gained a high Facebook, Twitter and Instagram following which led them to dictate over everything – some women had their Diet Bet posts removed just because the admins wanted everyone to bet with them. Then they had the nerve to call the people who had their posts removed ‘childish’. HAHA! OKAY! I DIDN’T REALISE YOU LADIES ARE QUEEN OF THE OVARIES!

4. Your Story Is Not About You Anymore!

You get this from people in everyday life but I thought I’d throw this in the list anyways. You could write a huge post describing your diagnosis and your struggle and I can guarantee some one will come along and compete with you on a level of how hard your struggle is. Come on ladies, everyone’s symptoms are different.

5. Everyone is SO HORMONAL!

pms2

Mood swings. All girls have them but ironically our high levels of male hormones seem to make us more emotionally unstable… so… we set each other off when we get our knickers in a twist. Too many arguments when you’re getting advised by doctors who don’t know what they are talking about, that you need to relax more to be able to have a period. Am I right?

6. Stupid Advice

There had been several occasions where I have been given the same advice for pretty much everything I asked in the group. My personal favourites are:

“Get yourself to A&E straight away!”

“Take a pregnancy test!”

Going to A&E over cramps… They’d laugh in my face.

As for taking a pregnancy test… I don’t produce eggs so I’d love to know where this baby is going to sprout from.

7. Your Symptoms Are Wrong!

PCOS can be a very difficult thing to get your head around and their are many symptoms to look out for such as:

7a7a6c9bda64b2f40125b80ee5e5f8e1

I have many of these symptoms but not all of them. As different women have different hormone levels their symptoms vary. Different women can have a different ‘cocktail’ of symptoms but many women in these groups don’t accept this and  claim your symptoms have nothing to do with PCOS when they really do.

There is also a lot of suggestions for vitamins, supplements and prescribed medication but always check with your GP and Gynaecologist because although these treatments might work for one person, they might not necessarily work for you.

8. They Will Bring You Down!

This isn’t all the women in the groups but I had seen a few women who would bring people down because they aren’t as collected and in control of their symptoms as others. It will make you feel weak and useless (and will definitely belittle your femininity).

So much for the “support and positivity” right?

9. Self-Love Posts

On occasions these are great – especially the no make-up ones but when people say that the ‘no make-up selfie’ posts are shaming women who wear make-up… it gets a bit annoying.

10. Jealousy

The groups are full of it and sometimes it’s so bad that women with success stories, such as pregnancies are asked not to post about them in the group because it ‘upsets other women’. I’d understand them being upset if it was a woman with perfectly functioning ovaries getting pregnant but these are women going through the same battle as us. Surely this is hope for the rest of us that should be celebrated? Right?


Anyway, that’s my rant over but I will leave links to the groups I found the most helpful below.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/165471893828128/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/485179391668144/