One Voice in a Million: You Ain’t Takin’ That From Me!

Love this song: Natasha Bedingfield ‘Strip Me’. About finding a voice and nourishing it.

Today I’m sharing with you that I struggle with this feeling sometimes; I’m just one small voice and what can I change?

But I stand up for my one voice, and look to inspiring examples of people whose one voice, whose insistence, whose decisions change things for others. This video from ‘Clevver News’ mentions that Emma Watson in the live action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ film coming out March 17 of this year is interpreting her ‘Belle’as being an active princess. Belle is that way in the cartoon version as well; active. She’s shown running through fields, riding her horse, exploring a castle, evading wolves in the forest, and saving her father. She inspired me growing up. I can’t tell you how many fields I’ve run through, sometimes with the song from the movie in my mind! “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell!”

The video states that she didn’t want to wear a corset, and that her Belle will be wearing boots rather than the ballet flats worn by the cartoon version. I love that. I’ve always been a boot-wearing girl, ever since I was little. They are just more comfortable for me. While I didn’t perceive the cartoon Belle as wearing a corset, I think it’s an important decision in the live-action film to encourage women and girls to be healthy, not just to cave to expectations. A lot of fantasy films show women in corsets, which influences our culture toward ‘beauty over comfort’ rather than the healthy reverse, comfort over beauty. As well, people who participate in cosplay (or, dressing in costumes worn by particular characters from media) will have a healthier model to emulate.

Natasha Bedingfield’s song likewise asks ‘who am I if you strip away all the outside stuff’ (referencing fashion and makeup through the visuals of the video), and it’s an important question to ask ourselves. It’s crucial to our happiness (as well as to women’s rights) to seek our inner selves and know who we are without all the ‘dressing up.’ It’s vital to be ‘ok,’ as the songwriter asserts she is, without all the trappings.

I think everyone’s ability to choose who they are and how to express themselves is a treasure. Value your own treasure, make the choices that validate you as a person and support your own values.

If I’m too afraid to make a different choice than the popular choice, then I’m not changing anything. However if I make my own choice regardless of what other people are doing or saying is ‘the thing’, then I have power to be me today.

You ain’t takin’ that from me! (and neither am I.)

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Why do you care if you’re ‘on trend’?

Why do you care if you’re ‘on trend’?

What does it matter to you? It doesn’t matter to me. I have my own style and feel no need to follow the ‘fashions’, plunging money into cheaply-made ridiculously-priced clothing that will fall apart by the time I’m no longer sure why ‘orange and blue go so well together!’

Honestly? Why do we follow it?

Confidence sets the standard of beauty, not some entity or fashionista. Prices skyrocket because there is such a high demand for fashionable ‘on-trend’ clothing. When enough people quit buying this crazily-priced cheaply-made nonsense, prices will drop. And when enough of us speak up, the quality of garments may improve as well.

The problem today is that people continue to tolerate it. Buying uncomfortable shoes and clothes, necklaces that hurt our necks or smell bad, rings that impair the movement of our fingers… why? Because of some pretty photograph on the internet, and a precious little word or phrase like “bespoke” or “oxblood” or “mint green”.

By the way, this is the color of mint:

The plant commonly referred to as ‘mint’.

So what can I do, as a smart person? I find these measures to be quite an ‘innocent rebellion’:

  • Trade clothes with friends. Surely just because you don’t like this shirt anymore doesn’t mean it goes in the trash! Maybe a friend of yours would enjoy wearing it.
  • Buy clothes at a thrift store or consignment store or on ebay. There is well-made clothing with high-quality fabric for sale everywhere if you just look.
  • Make your own. Learn to sew! Use a pattern! You’ll find how very freeing and empowering this can be.
  • Settle on the idea that your wardrobe will last a long time, contain shapes and cuts and fabrics that look good on You, and will potentially not be ‘on-trend’. But lucky you! You’ll look much cooler than anybody else who is screaming ‘how high??’ when the fashion blogs command them to jump.

You are so much smarter than marketers give you credit for. I’m increasing my wage just by refusing to sink money into disposable uncomfortable clothing that I truly don’t need.

Carnism: Let’s Shift Consciousness, Shall We?

Carnism. What’s that? Like any dominant ideology, it’s a widely accepted belief that few choose to question. If I were to question another dominant ideology, why aren’t there websites on ‘Men’s Rights’? Well, because ‘everyone knows’ that [straight], [white] men have all the rights they could ever want! So what is carnism?

Carnism is the ideology that it’s

  • natural
  • normal
  • necessary

…..to eat meat and animal products. Actually, it’s quite possible to live well on a healthy plant-based diet. I quote, from the website of Melanie Joy, Ph.D.:

Carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat (certain) animals. Carnism is essentially the opposite of vegetarianism or veganism; “carn” means “flesh” or “of the flesh” and “ism” denotes a belief system. Most people view eating animals as a given, rather than a choice; in meat-eating cultures around the world people typically don’t think about why they find the meat of some animals disgusting and the meat of other animals appetizing, or why they eat any animals at all. But when eating animals isn’t a necessity for survival, as is the case in the majority of the world today, it is a choice – and choices always stem from beliefs.

So how does this further relate to feminism?

It relates to our health (spread of disease, added toxic chemicals such as arsenic and ammonia… follow the link and read– SO interesting). It relates to our integrity: we humans are not violent beings, and it takes much numbing of feelings to slaughter and then to divorce the ‘it was a live animal’ thought from our food. As it relates to animals: “… millions of females are forcibly impregnated in “rape racks” throughout the course of their lives. ” How did you think it was done? I didn’t think about it at all until now. I suppose I imagined a peaceful pasture, to tell the truth. Those cows do not naturally give birth regularly enough to meet the demands of this country for thousands/millions of burgers, steaks, stew meat, leather jackets, etc. No peaceful pasture.

I seriously urge you to consider and question the ideas you were raised with in regard to eating meat. Look up information from multiple perspectives. Understand that simply because a certain meat or other food has something ‘good for you’ IN it (protein, antioxidants, omegas), that doesn’t mean everything in that food is good for you. Eating fish to obtain omegas in your diet seems like a good idea, until you learn that mercury is concentrated in fish, especially larger fish. Mercury exposure leads to seriously bad health effects, in some cases even death. So use your incredible mind; to think and look into what you’re putting in your body. Those who market meat to you have a stake in (no pun intended) whether you continue buying their meat or not. They have no stake in your health. You do.

Convinced you’d like to make some choices to change your diet? Even by just a little? Visit this website for guidance!

I’m feeling so good about a compassionate, healthy, plant-based diet!!