Sunday, May 29, 2016

Self love and acceptance

Sunday, May 29, 2016
After Reading Ella Grace blog post about self-love, I felt inspired to write about my own experience with self love and accepting who you are as a woman. She Talked mostly about loving your hair on your body and not caring about what the boys have to say about that. I more want to talk about body dysmorphia and the never-ending comparing your appearance or withother (girls). Accepting myself is something I have struggled with ever since I can remember but is something tat was more pronounced during my teenage years, the years my body started changing and I had no idea what the hell was happening, but I knew I did not like it.

I don’t remember a time in my life where I didn’t worry about the way I looked. Let’s take a walk down memory lane. When I was a toddler my parents and I started noticing I didn’t gain weight, like at all. I was a walking skeleton. And nobody I knew looked like that, at all.  I felt so different. Boys and girls made fun of me. I never thought I was pretty. Because I wasn’t just the skeleton girl I also was the tallest girl. Even taller than the boys.. Finding clothes was very hard and I just wanted to have some curves like all the other girls. Especially when we went swimming with school. I felt embarrassed and uncomfortable.
This kept going until I was 15, I ate whatever I wanted. Wore a size 00 and had no boobs. Boys didn’t find that very attractive, at least that’s what I thought. Why do they teach us in society that boys only like girls with perfect big boobs and butts, and who gets to decide what is perfect?
I was 17 and I had weight the same for a while now and was very happy that I finally gained some weight and looked “normal”. But still underweight… But I ate so I was healthy. But then I started gaining weight and I didn’t know what was happening. I gained 3 kilos. Which isn’t that much for someone who is underweight. But I wanted to loose it, and I started my first diet. I didn’t work. My body obviously needed it, so it would hold on to the weight. By the end of high school I had enough and thought the only way was to starve myself, otherwise I would never loose the weight. So I ate 200 kcal a day. But if you know me, I eat A LOT, I eat 3X the size other girls I know eat. I am just always hungry. So I felt death after doing this for 2 weeks. And started binging. But eventually I was able to loose 6 kilo in 2 months which isn’t a lot but I was technically already underweight so for me that was a lot.. Than I was hungry again and started eating so much on holiday with my friends. I couldn’t stop. And I kept eating for the next months. Just eat, and eat and eat even more. I gained even more weight than I was before this all started. I felt so disgusted, gross, and fat. I felt like I was a failure. Why couldn’t I starve myself like other girls? Why didn’t I had the perseverance? I started comparing myself with the way I looked when I was 13, other girls and models. I wanted to turn back time and do everything different. I didn’t love my body anymore. Before I felt ashamed because people would make fun of me because I was thin. But I was still able to love my body. But this time I hated my body. I didn’t recognize myself. I was unhealthy obsessed with comparing. Comparing to other girls. Comparing with my younger self and  obsessed with non stop looking in the mirror. Every mirror I would walk by I would lift up my shirt and look at my stomach, at how fat it was. How it wasn’t like these other girls.
And then there was acne. (which I still have, but I feel like it’s healing) I piled on the make-up, it only made it worse. And because nobody was allowed to see I had imperfections I would rather wear lots of make-up and make the acne only worse, instead of just not care about what people think of me and go weeks without make-up and heal it. I still wear every day make- up.. I just can’t go out and not care. Because we are taught that we need to care about others opinion. We see perfect people everywhere. Embracing your natural flaws is so hard when you fel like everybody around covers them up as well.
I had stretch marks. I never had these before because my weight had never really changed before that much, and I always thought you practically had to be obese to get these. I had such a wrong image of what it was to be a woman. I thought nobody had a scar or mark on their body. But this can’t be more from the truth. Everyone goes through so many changes in their puberty. And we can’t control these things. My metabolism slowed down. There was nothing I could have done about that. It happens in puberty. But at the point it happened I just thought I was getting fat. And never for a second I thought it was me hitting puberty and getting curvy. My boobs grew, my hips got wider and I got a butt. It was scary. But now when I think about it. I became a woman, and wasn’t a child anymore. The fact that I still wanted to be a size 0, wasn’t realistic. I didn’t had a healthy image about the woman’s body. I didn’t love what I had given, and definitely didn’t treat it right.
We are influenced 24/7 with images that show us how a woman looks like. It’s important to  keep remembering  that everybody is different. Not everybody is made to walk the catwalk. and that’s fine. Beauty can’t be defined with our size or the way we look, or the way society has chosen it looks like. Beauty is so much more. To begin it’s loving yourself, loving your outside as much as you love your inside. It’s treating your body with love and the right foods. It’s not caring about the opinions of others.
I didn’t really write this post to show the world I had a very unhealthy relation with food and had/have body dysmorphia, I wrote this to show that so many girls and boys suffer with this problem. And it’s important to know you are not alone.
I have been vegan for over 6 months and my relation with food has completely changed. I eat how much I want. I can look in the mirror and love what I see. Some days I still don’t like what I see and fell 10 kilos heavier than I actually am, but hey that’s life. And we all have those down days.
Since Ella has started an experiment to not shave for 3 months. I also wanted to set myself a challenge, something I was thinking about doing even before reading her post; I am not going to wear make up starting the 26th March, and keep it of for at least one month, and hopefully a long time after that. It will be a refreshing challenge and see how much it actually bothers me to go outside with my normally very red face. I am excited and scared at the same time. I will keep you updated.
I want to end this post with a question I want you to ask yourself. Do you really love yourself? Or aren’t you happy with yourself as well? And what can you do about it? Do you feel society teaches us as woman we all have to look the same way to be defined as pretty? Maybe talk about it or write it down in a journal. It can feel amazing to share it in some way, it can also mean closure. For me writing this feels a little like that. There are so many girls and boys out there who suffer with the same thing. Maybe your closest friends. And you had no idea. Maybe not the exact same problem but it’s always nice if you feel like you can share your troubles and insecurities with your friends. I never talked and still regret it.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

How you can dare to be you

Thursday, May 26, 2016
Love Yourself

And not a version in your head, or the one you think people will like more. It’s so easy to become like everybody else because you think you will be one of the others and this is the only way people will like you. But believe me you will find friends who you are yourself, maybe even better ones, because you can be yourself. In todays society the youth feels the pressure that they should look like everyone else, that being unique, weird and out their is wrong. You are unique and it’s important that you love and accept yourself. If you don’t love yourself you aren’t going to feel comfortable being you. Appreciate how special you are, there will never be anyone exactly like you. You were given special gifts, talents, .. that are unique for you, and nobody will do them the same as you. You are he only you that  will ever be. You are kind of a big deal. Appreciate what you were given. When we are in puberty everything seems a little more difficult to love. Our body changes, mentally we change, we are trying to figure out who we are and it can sometimes be a hard time loving who you are becoming because you might feel like you don’t really know this knew person. It can take some time, but it’s important to remember that this unique person is you, and you need to love you it. Please remember the you were born you you were just a human being, you were happy, just being in the moment. You had no idea you had a body and let alone that you should be ashamed of it. When you looked around, everything just was. You were simply a human … being.

Don’t care

Sometimes it’s okey to say fuck you and just don’t give a shit. It can be so exhausting to care 24/7 what other people think about you. What other people think about you has nothing to do with you and everything with them. We are treated by other peoples beliefs/opinions. We let opinions from others get to us. What do you gain from that? Just don’t care about what other people think. Your are your unique self. You can’t be perfect. Just don’t care. It’ fun I promise. don’t try to be someone your not, if that’s not what the people around you like, find new people.Just wear that crazy had, don’t care about your crazy laugh, put on that horrible music at a party,… Be proud of your crazy sides.
Know what your morals/ values and ethics are

From the moment we are ready to take it in, people start feeding you up with a lifetime’s worth of beliefs, many of which have nothing to do with who you actually are and with what you believe in or what is necessarily true (e.g. you should eat meat for protein, size matters, the world is dangerous, being an artist isn’t a real job, ….) and the thing is the main source of this information was of coure your parents, assisted by society at large. When your parent raise you they teach you these thing to protect you and educate young love you. They pass on the beliefs they were thought from their parents, and so on. The problem is many of these beliefs they teach you, have nothing to do with who they are or what is actually true. Most people are living in an illusion based on someone else’s beliefs. And I know I don’t want to be one of those people. Whit todays social media it’s so easy to get influenced by everything and everyone. It’s so easy to forget who YOU are, and get caught up by the opinions around you. But not only that, you parents can influence you so much. They raise you they teach you what’s right and wrong. And when your young it’s good sometimes to have a guidance to help you through this not always easy life. But once you get older it’s so important to get the space to create your own person. Most people get so caught up in the idea that there is only one right way to live, and think it’s the way they are doing it. News flash, there is not. It’s one to be the different one in your family. I know I am. But it’s important to not let that get to you and just keep fighting for your beliefs. Yo need to reconnect with who we truly are and  start investing in what’s true for us that we can start to live a rich, full authentic live.
Accept failing

You can’t know from the moment you walk on this earth who you are, what you want and what you want to bring to this world. It takes some time. You change and grow through the years. You’ll take the leap and finally be yourself, but it may not work out the way you expect it to be. But it’s important to remember that when things don’t turn out the way you thought they would, you get the feeling you don’t really know who you are, or you don’t feel comfortable the way you are right now. You can always start over and start to develop yourself all over again.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Fast fashion isn't ethical fashion

Monday, May 23, 2016
What is ethical fashion to me
Ethical fashion for me means that the least amount of people have been exploited to make a certain product. That means no sweatshops, no child labour, no slavery, no underpaying, no animal products and no harmful in toxic ways and ingredients that will destroy and damage the environment.
There aren’t many popular brands out there that are known to be ethical. Most brands are really heavy on sweatshops and child abuse.

Do you want to support this?
I never used to care where my clothes came from. I loved shopping, so I just bought whatever I wanted, wherever I wanted. Without even thinking about who made it, what the person was played, in what conditions this was made, if it was worth to pay this much when somebody was barely paid to make it? All things I never thought about. And I know most people don’t either.
When I was young my mom forbid me to buy clothes in shops like Zara, H&M, C&A, Mango, … Because she doesn’t support the conditions people are in that make these clothes. But as a child I never really cared, and the older I became the more I wanted to be like all the rest and wanted to buy my clothes in “cool” shops. So when I was 13 I started shopping on my own, I started buying in all these horrible shops. Buying shirts for only 5 euro, and not thinking once why I this T-shirt could be this cheap. And I kept buying clothes like this till 3 months ago. Three months ago I realized, if I don’t support animals being treated like they are just for our taste buds and pleasure. I can’t support humans being treated this horrible. I strive for equality between all humans and animals. And buying from stores who work with sweatshops, isn’t right and ethical. I went vegan because I didn’t wanted to contribute in anyone’s torture. Whether that’s an human or animal, I don’t support it. I care if these people are paid for the work they do. That they are working in good conditions. And most clothes aren’t made in these conditions. When I was in Zara or H&M and found something I wanted to buy, I started to think, do I want this if it is made in sweatshops? The answer was of course, no. Nobody wants to wear something that is made in sweatshops and child slavery. But we forget about it, and just buy what we like. We don’t make the connection between what is hanging in the shop and who it’s made by. But we all need to start doing that.
Every penny we spent is voting and supporting for what we believe in, and none of us believe in sweatshops, none of us believe in child slavery/ labour, or unfair pay, people starving, people being tortured and taken advantage of. So we shouldn’t bee supporting it with our money. We need to make conscious decisions about what we believe in. What is it that we contribute to?
I notice that by buying my clothes in more ethical shops, I save so much more money. It’s amazing. I try to buy my clothes in second hand shops, or Belgian brands that I know make their clothes ethical. It’s also a good thing that you support the fashion designers in your country, if you know they work ethical. I love thrifting, your clothes are always unique, I love the feeling of wearing something and knowing that the change is so little that somebody will have the same. And it’s a lot cheaper. I know it’s hard to say no to all these amazing clothes. They look pretty in the stores, but behind the scenes it’s not so pretty.  You need to think about what you support when you buy those clothes and if it’s something you think is worth supporting.
Clothes that are made in ethical conditions cannot be as cheap as primark, topshop or H&M. You know people aren’t paid the way they should when a blouse is only 5 euros. How can they make the price so low. By not paying there workers. Do you rather pay a little more for you clothes being ethical made? Or do you rather pay less and know that your clothes were made in horrible conditions? It’s a choice you have o make. You have to decide what you find important.
I don’t want to make anybody feel bad about the clothes they buy, I just want to make you think about it.
In what conditions are your clothes made?
Most sweatshop workers earn between 100$-130$ a month. With this they have to be able to pay their rent, water, electricity, food and everything they need. And t-not just for themselves but most of the time it’s for their entire family. They try to survive. This is not living. We can’t even imagine to live like this. At home we spent even more than this per week on just food. They work 5 to 7 days a week, 14 hours a day. Just showing one same seam for years. No days off, no rest. They earn 3$ a day. Which is nothing. What can you buy for 3$ dollars? Big fashion chains starve their workers and nobody holds them responsible. They made these clothes and aren’t able to afford them. If they would want to be able to buy something they made, they would almost have to work a year to buy that fancy jacket for 100$.
What brands are ethical and which are not?
Ethical: Zady, People tree, Eileen Fisher, Patagonia, Moxie jean, Nisolo, Stella McCartney, Oliberte, Everlane, Apolis, Modavanti, Krochet kids, Sseko, Sword and plough, Red earth, Popinjay, Reformation, Maiyet, Pamela love, Guyana, Clare V, Raven + Lily, Master and muse, Indigenous, Shop ethica, Fashion project, Vanilia
Non Ethical in my eyes but they say they try: Asos, H&M ( conscious collection), American Apperal
These brands are just a no go: Forever 21, Topshop, Urban outfitters, Victoria secret, Zara, Nike
I hope this post will make you think when you want to buy something. That it will make you stop and think “Do I really need this? Is it worth it?” Please let me know if you have great recommendations about ethical fashion, I would love to inform me more, I still don’t know a lot.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Summer playlist

Friday, May 20, 2016
The weather has been amazing some days and has disappointed me on other days. Some days it feels like the summer has already arrived and other days it feels like it’s stuck in traffick and will never arrive. But on those few warm sunny days I feel so ready for sun, sea and sand. Their is no better feeling than feeling the sun burning on you skin and listening to your favourite music. So I made a list of the music I have been obsessed with lately.

If I believe you – The 1975
Heaven – Troye Sivan
Paper Thin – Astrid S
Upside Down – Goldford
Year Zero – Moon Taxi
With me – DVSN
Weight in gold – Gallant
Feels – Kiiara
Falling – Opia
Teenage Craze – Kloe
Never be like you – Flume, Kai
Kings of summer – Ayokay, Quinn, XCII
Somebody Else – The 1975
Don’t stop – Klyne
I took a pill in Ibiza – Mike Posner
Lisztomania – Phoenix
Roses – Ghostly Kisses
Wildfire – SBTRKT
Be the one – Dua Lipa
‘Cause I am a man -Tame Impala
To my knees – Hillson Young & Free
You’ve got a friend – James Taylor
Two weeks – FKA Twigs
Slow motion – PHox
Earned it – The weeknd
The war on drugs – Lost in the dream
I thought I was an alien – Soko


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Make-up free month

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
I started wearing make-up when I was 14. I hated the bags under my eyes and decided to buy concealer to cover them up. I was 14 my skin was young, fresh and flawless, I definitely didn’t need make-up. But I was insecure about something and wanted to cover it up. When I was 16 I started to wear a little more concealer. Then I started wearing mascara,… By the age of 17/18 was wearing a full face of make-up everyday. No matter if I was going out to party, to school or just staying home. I didn’t feel confident without the coverage. My skin started getting bad, and I started to need to wear make-up, because I had redness and pimpels. I love applying make-up and seeing how different you can make your face look with different ways of applying it. But I hated the feeling of needing it to feel confident in my own skin. I was hiding behind make-up and didn’t reply liked my appearance without it. Make-up should be fun and never a mask. When you’re this young you need to love your natural skin and let it breath. Not fill up your pours with all these products. It took me way to long to realize this.

I have always had very dry, red, sensitive skin. A little hormonal acne here and there, but never much. Last year my skin changed dramatically. I got severe acne and I didn’t recognized myself anymore. My confidence was at my all tim low back than, and I am not confident person to begin with. I got so insecure. Your face is the first thing people notice about you. I thought people where looking at me and were talking about me. I tried so many different products to solve it, but thinking back on it I think that only made it worse. And than there was the make-up thing. I just couldn’t go outside without make-up. Without covering my horrible skin. Even to work out. Which is horrible and the worst thing you can do. I tried to go some days without make-up but could never succeed and would end up putting it on anyway. It were some frustrating unhappy months. Even though in this time I was also very happy because I went vegan and my body felt great, I knew this wasn’t going to be forever and that their was going to be a solution to all this. I felt very happy, but then I looked in the mirror and I was reminded how my face looked, and I would be so unhappy and just wouldn’t recognize myself.
A month and a half ago I decided to go make-up free for a month. Nothing. My acne was at his worse so the time couldn’t be better and horrible at the same time. It was so hard the first day to put nothing on my skin. The first week of me going make-up free I went skiing, the timing couldn’t have been better. The wind cleared my skin completely, which it always does when I go skiing but normally the acne comes back after a week. This time it also came back, but disappeared again after 3 days, that had neer happend before. I knew I was doing something right. I wasn’t washing my face with special face soaps and wasn’t putting on any creams or masks. I used to think that oils and day cremes where so important, even from a young age. But now I think it can be good when you feel your skin is what tired and dry but it’s not an everyday necessity, and can really damage your skin, when it is as sensitive as mine. After 3 weeks I was only left with a little scarring and no acne at all. My confidence level went from -10 to  100 in no time. I could touch my face without feeling al these bombs, I can’t remember a time it was like that.
And I know it may sounds superficial that I care so much about the way my appearance looks, but lets be honest. I do care more about mental happens and it’s important that you don’t only care about the way you look and let this not define your happiness. But hey, you have to admit. The way you look influences the way you feel. There is no denying.
It has now been more than a month, and I never thought this day would come, that I had to turn 19 to say this, but I don’t feel the need to wear make-up anymore. It’s like overcoming a chocolate addiction. Once you stop eating it you don’t crave it anymore. I feel pretty and like myself walking on the street in a bare face. I can’t imagine plastering my face with make-up and feeling happy. I need a bare face to feel free and breath. I can touch and rub my face without thinking about smudging anything. I feel so much more free.
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