For the next generation

I’m sure most of you have seen the news recently with the racial injustice that is happening in this world that we all live in. If you haven’t, and have somehow managed to miss it, I suggest you remove your blindfold, get on the internet and do a bit of research on it.

Although we may have progressed from the time of slavery and forced segregation, it is so obvious that the fundamental ideologies of certain individuals have not changed. This is causing the loss of lives. It is no longer enough to say “I have black friends” or to say “I’m not a racist”. Don’t get me wrong, I believe them, I believe that a lot of this generation are not racist, and that’s great, but we need to raise an anti-racist generation. People who will be proactive in speaking out and rebuking racial injustice rather than sitting and allowing it to happen because “it doesn’t affect them”. This goes for all races, not just white people, not just black people, this is not a black versus white issue, this is a social issue and we are all a part of society.

It hurts me to see that things like this happen and as a result, black people get labelled as being “angry” or just having “a chip on their shoulder” for protesting against it. No, it’s not just anger, it’s not just a cold heart, it’s living with the knowledge that this blatant brutality against black men could be against a brother, a cousin, a father, an uncle, a fellow black friend, our future children. If we don’t care enough to sort this out for ourselves, at least let’s sort it out for our children, and their children, and their children. We should not be fighting the same battles as the generation before us, nor should our babies be fighting the battles that were meant to be ours.

I’m not saying that we should use violence against anybody in a form of protest, we can’t fight hate with hate, or else it just becomes an endless cycle. I’m not even saying we all need to participate in mass marches or protests – I understand that that’s not everyone’s calling, and that’s okay. Sometimes it’s just speaking out and saying “no, that’s not okay” instead of remaining silent to avoid confrontation. Sometimes it’s challenging your family members and friends when they say something stereotypical. Sometimes it’s standing up for the stranger on the street when they are too tired to stand up for themselves. Use your position in life to make a difference!! Whether that be one that has been subject to racism or one who has been of privilege, whether you have a huge platform to speak on or simply just your mouth – use it. When EVERYONE as a society begin to work together to break down the walls of racism, bit by bit, then, and only then will we see the change that our great-grandparents, grandparents and our parents have been striving to see.

I’ll leave you with this. The apostle Peter says in the New Testament,

“Above ALL things, be EARNEST in your LOVE among yourselves, for LOVE covers a MULTITUDE of sins.” – 1 Peter 4:8.

This truth remains today & forevermore.

Love Always,

Shadz xo

What do you want?

In a world that tells us what to be, what to like and what to do, how often do you you consider and actually do what you want to do? Not what social media tells you do, not what culture tells you to, not what your family and friends tells you to do.

For me, not very often. I feel like I make a lot of the choices I make curtesy of someone or something else. Maybe you don’t have that problem and maybe you do. I’ve been struggling with this a lot for the last couple of weeks and it’s got me into quite a negative state. Sometimes I just want to wake up in the morning and embrace what I want to embrace simply because I want to embrace it. And it’s not that I physically can’t. Because I can. But I don’t.

I am in the process of transforming into an independent and confident young woman and I believe that overcoming this fear of standing out is all a part of the process. And I will get there.

Love Always,

Shadz xo

Redefining Feminism

As you may know, I study English Literature. One of the modules on my course involve looking at different readings of Literature. One of them is Feminism. What does Feminism mean to you?

There have been mutilple waves of Feminism and we are currently in the fourth wave; the present. what Feminism meant in the 19th and 20th century has drastically evolved and has become redefined. Everyone has a different views and opinions regarding the topic. Some are positive, inspiring and thought crippling. Others…. are not.

Feminism from the start has been about equality. Giving women equal opportunities to men. It’s not about hating or putting men down, men are awesome too! I love being a women in the 21st century. I am confident that I can do everything that I set to achieve. I believe that I am as strong, as intelligent and as capable as my male counterparts. However, in some aspects of life women are still made to feel inferior.

Feminism to me means freedom of choice. If I want to go out to work 5 days a week when I am married with kids I will do that. If I want to stay and look after my home and children 5 days a week, guess what, I will! I feel that some people defining themselves as feminists can make other women feel like less becuase they choose a maybe more “traditional” role in life. Likewise for stay-at-home dads. Is this a gender issue or an employment issue?

This is toxic and defeats the whole point of allowing women (and men) to think and act for themselves. My mother is the strongest woman that I know and I am so blessed to have been raised by her. She spent her years working until she had my 3 siblings and I. She took years off work until we were old enough to look after ourselves after school and even when she went back to work she was still there for us after school! Many modern “feminists” may have seen my mothers decision as going against the fight and sneered and judged her for it, but it was her choice. And I’m glad she made it herself.

I can only talk about my own experiences. Not everyone has another adult figure in the household with a stable income and so have to go to work. Some work from home. Some go out to work and look after their kids. Some hire a babysitter so they can work a stable job. Some people don’t have kids. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, all that matters is everyone is valued for what they do and not looked down on for making the choice that suits their own lifestyle.

Perhaps feminism nowadays should be about equality amongst women’s choices as well as equality in comparison to men. No one is less or greater than the next. Let’s live to collaborate and not to divide.

Love Always,

Shadz xo

What society dictates

We live in a paper world. I don’t say that to limit the beauty of creation but rather to question humanity and the arguably universal societies in which we live. Perhaps you could call this ‘social satire’; it’s an absolute joke. First of all, I want to address the big obsession that we as a collective have on this concept of aesthetics. Physical aesthetics. It is hard to understand why there is a narrow box that one must fit in order to comply with societies standards of beauty. ‘You’re my type on paper’ is a phrase that I am certain you are all aware of. Is that what we as human beings are defined by? And here I am not referring to the few individuals who wholeheartedly find all people beautiful regardless of their front layer, I’m referring to the majority, I’m referring to society. The wicked truth is that in the eyes of society, we are defined physically by whether or not we meet a particular criteria on a metaphorical piece of paper. Paper standards guys. And who creates these standards? Celebrities? The media? The Government? Queen Elizabeth? No, none of the above. The truth is you make them. I make them. We make them. We are society.

The ironic thing about it is that although we as a collective set these standards, we struggle to uphold them. Only a few, though lightly, manage to play by the rules in the public eye. It’s a game that we created but cannot seem to play. We try to sugarcoat it, with various paper protests regarding ones physical appearance trying to undo the damage done. In turn we as individuals feel obliged to join certain movements which yet again causes those who object to be looked down on. We then end up in a vicious cycle of finger pointing and trying to decide which is the ‘right’ way to think. It’s always ‘us against them’ and proclaiming that ‘not everyone has to be slim and fair’ whilst simultaneously potentially insulting those who fit in those categories. Why the fixation on looks? Why don’t we set societal standards based on respect, love and cooperation?

We need to break these cycles, there’s a dying world out there, a real world, not the paper world we’ve created. The key to life is kindness, being kind to ourselves despite the way we look and being kind to others despite the way they look. Let’s take appearance out of the equation. Truth is you’re all beautiful; that’s a fact. But what really matters is the society that we create for our children and grandchildren. Let’s leave them more to cherish than a paper society.

Love Always,

Shadz xo