Friday, February 20, 2015

50 Shades of Fiction

He didn't ask her to sign a contract before he threw her down the hallway. He didn't receive permission to send her to work with a hand print across her face. She didn't tell him it was okay to call her those names or to make her feel worthless. She didn't use the safe word - she begged for her life. That's domestic violence.

(If you want to know what I think about 50 Shades, here goes. Otherwise, stop reading.)

This movie is about a girl who wants love, but settles for less because she wants Christian more. This movie is about a man with a past. A man who decides to spend his life as "the dominant" rather than a husband or a lover. He doesn't make love, he fucks. And that is his choice - a choice that he is 100% honest about. A choice that he reiterates time and time again to ensure Ana's understanding.

Ana reminds me a lot of myself. I can't count the times I've put myself in situations with men where I wanted more but settled for less. I'd fight through tear-filled nights and wake up as if everything was fine. But the reality is in being with someone who honestly tells you they can't love you, you are not a victim if you continue to see them knowing the truth. You have a right to feel heartbroken, but they also have a right not to feel remorse because they told you that's how it would be.

This man has every right in this world to make a choice to do whatever he wants with his life. And maybe he is a little screwed up and maybe he needs a little therapy, but that doesn't make him any less human than you or me. That doesn't make his desires inhumane or wrong. And it doesn't make Ana a victim of domestic violence if she stares him right in the face and says "punish me."

For those of you who want to look at this movie as a representation of domestic violence, you are actually making so light of such a devastating situation. For those of you who want to say that what Christian wants is "wrong," then your necessity to let societal pressures define what sex and relationships have to mean for everyone is just as wrong as the pressure of an unwarranted hand against the skin of someone's body.

Domestic violence isn't a movie. It isn't a book. It isn't some fictional story about some tortured male soul who can't seem to navigate love and therefore chooses a life of erotic, sexual pleasure. It isn't a story about a curious, virgin girl who looks a man in the face and asks to be shown his world. It is the realistic manifestation of a nightmare that women (and men) all over the world are forced to live through every day. So if you want to be angry at someone, be angry at the REAL people laying their hands on those who don't ask for it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Moments of Weakness

It's the morning after. This is the point where the guilt usually sets in. The point where I start to feel bad about making a decision I know I shouldn't. I lead him out of my room, show him the door, and lock it behind him. The shameful look on my hungover face must paint the story pretty accurately.

We're all human, and we cannot be strong all of the time. We often face moments of weakness and we often make mistakes. And sometimes our mistakes can come at a heavy price for our hearts. We let the wrong people in. We say and do things that we shouldn't. We ignore the warning signs and the red flags. We end up getting hurt even though it could have been easily avoided.

But there is beauty in moments of weakness. Moments of weakness represent times where we ourselves are willing to admit our imperfection through action. We follow our hearts instead of logic. We are willing to accept happiness for a moment, even if it is followed by consistent sadness. It might not make sense, but it isn't supposed to.

I find it most ironic that we even call them moments of "weakness" because of how much they exemplify our strength. It takes a strong person to do what they want to in a single moment, without fearing the repercussions or the regret that might follow. And it takes an even stronger person to admit that it happened. They may display shame on the surface, but deep down they know that moment meant something to them and they needed to do it for themselves.

I'm not saying that doing the "wrong" thing all the time is a good idea. I'm just saying that sometimes its okay to do something that might not be deemed right as long as it feels right. If we constantly lived our lives according to the standards of everyone around us, no one would be happy. Our happiness is defined by our individual needs, not someone else's. Don't let your moments of weakness consume you, but once in a while it's okay to let them take control and learn from whatever lesson it may have to offer you.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Don't Call It Losing Weight

I know, I know - who wants to hear the skinny bitch talk about weight problems? I can't say I really know how overweight people feel because I've ever really had to experience that, but I do know a thing or two about the importance of a positive body image - no matter what size you are.

I literally hate the terms "losing weight" or "dieting." I actually find them kind of derogatory when I consider the way they can make people think about their bodies or their lifestyles. I always correct people who say "I want to be skinny" or "thin." So if you find yourself saying any of these things - STOP. I will personally hunt you down to stop you if necessary.

Instead of heading straight to what we think our problem areas are and trying to change our bodies, we first need to change our attitude! Having a positive attitude is a crucial component in making a healthy lifestyle change. You need to believe in yourself, and you can't do that if you're constantly being a Negative Nancy.

Start by replacing those negative expressions in your life with a new one. "I want to look healthy, eat healthy, feel healthy, and most of all I want to be confident." The media is constantly surrounding us with ideas of what they think we should look like, and it's time we start taking back control and formulate our own expectations for ourselves instead of letting society do it for us.

We need to start loving the things about ourselves that we can't control. The reality is, no matter how many squats you do, no matter how many miles you run, or weights you lift - you're body is always going to be built in a particular fashion that you have no control over. Eventually you have to accept what biological cards you were dealt and embrace them.

So, stop counting calories and start counting reasons to love yourself the way you are.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Relationships Are Not Hobbies

Disclaimer: When you see the word relationship in this post I mean the full-on shebang, girlfriend/boyfriend relationship not that crap college kids think relationships are.

Would someone please explain to me the significance of committing to someone who you can't even see yourself being with in the future? Honestly, is that really how little you value your time? Don't get me wrong, it takes time to decide if someone is meant for you. It's not a decision that happens overnight. But for the people out there who continue to see someone even though they know full well that things will never work - I just don't get it.

I find it really sad that people these days are treating relationships like they're hobbies - only interested until a better option comes along. I will never understand why someone would agree to a relationship simply so they don't have to be alone. Why would I continue to commit myself to someone who I can't even picture my life with and waste time on them when I could be single and off finding the person that I should be with? 

You don't have to be in a relationship. And simply feeling lonely isn't reason enough to start or maintain a relationship with someone. For all you know that person could consider you part of their future and you can't even picture yourself with them next week. Is that really fair?

I think we need to stop being so selfish in this respect. Not many people enjoy the idea of spending life alone, but being in meaningless relationships is not the solution to loneliness. If anything, it's only going to make matters worse. You will constantly be letting people in and when each one leaves the empty space will grow. The void will never quite be filled until you stop trying to fill it and start listening to what you're heart actually wants and needs.

Everyone deserves to love and be loved for all the right reasons and with all the best intentions. We need to stop letting relationships become our crutch. If you don't know who you are or what you want, wasting time with someone else is never going to help you. So only invest in relationships with purpose and intent, otherwise let them go.