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Lifestyle Uncategorized

Belly button piercings – sexy or a silly trend?

Ever since I was 14 years old, I’ve wanted to get my belly button pierced. Not just because celebrities and everyone else had them, but because I don’t like my stomach that much and wanted something to make it look more feminine. Weird I know.

But I have very strict African parents who would have happily ripped it out if they ever found out. It doesn’t help that my mum is a nurse who has to deal with the people who don’t take care of their piercings and then run to her with infections and all sorts of horror stories.

That then got me thinking, what if I did get some horrible infection that messed me up forever? Maybe it was best that I gave up this silly dream and keep my belly button away from any needles. But despite my best efforts, I found myself still wanting to get it done

So I told myself that I would get it when I got to university. In my second term as a first year to be precise, because after spending all that time at home for Christmas I would be in no rush to go back and so my piercing could heal nicely by Easter.

But Easter has come and gone and my belly button is yet to be pierced. I admit that it is partly due to the fact that my parents would probably make my life hell if they ever found out but it is also because once again I have started to question whether I really want to get it done anymore. I’m not worried about the risk of infections anymore. I’m worried about the views of society.

It seems to me that getting your belly button pierced has become a thing that little teenage girls do, not mature young women. That could be a problem because surely I need to grow up and put all things teenage behind me.

So is belly button piercing becoming a teenage fad, with tweens getting it done because Miley Cyrus has one? Or are belly button piercings still nice regardless of what age you get it done.

Summer is fast approaching and I have a feeling I will finally give in to temptation, if i figure out how to hide it from my parents. Or will seeing so many other girls with thier piercings just put me off joining such a popular trend.

All I know is that I’m going get mine done someday, even if I end up taking it out an hour later. It is just something I have to do; I just hope it’ll still be socially acceptable when I eventually go through with it.

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Film Uncategorized

Precious

There is a reason why Precious has been getting so many rave reviews and swept up all the awards this year. It is a hard hitting drama that shows us the shocking truth that we all fail to focus on.

We know that they are young girls living with abuse but the first scene in which Precious is attacked by her father, you are so thankful for the escapist scenes that she creates in her mind because you know your strong enough to handle the full horror of it.

Based on the equally gritty novel, Push by the Harlem poet and author Sapphire, the film is based on the life of an obese teenage girl living in Harlem. Precious is still in junior school at sixteen with a baby girl by her father and another on the way.

That’s the beauty of this film. Director Lee Daniels has made this production very blunt, dropping you straight into the middle of Precious’ world, whether you like it or not. He doesn’t have the time to hide reality from you and he has quite rightly been praised for taking this approach.

One thing that Precious is good at is Maths, she likes education but then we discover why she finds it so hard move up. Thank to a teacher at an alternative school called Blu Rain – Paula Patton, who you look at with love and awe – Precious is finally allowed to develop and grow, allowed to feel like she is ‘here’. This film has proven to me yet again that we need teachers to care for students; they are not only educators but also voluntary social workers because they have the power to help.

It’s the girls at the alternative school that bring some humour into the  movie, making sure it isn’t all doom and gloom. While these girls have their own problems, the growth from bitchy comments to actual concern for each other warms the heart. But the Rhonda, the Jamaican and oh-so-confident Joanne help to bring some laughter not only to us but to Precious’ life.

When Mo’Nique hits the screen, you forget about the big bubbly woman who we see in films and TV shows. Here she is a monster that beats her daughter for ‘stealing her man’. She becomes a character so monstrous that you are scared whenever she is on the screen. When she finally cracks and breaks down and reveals the truth of what Precious has been through, she manages to show the emotional turmoil of a woman that is so rare to fully capture. Mo’Nique deserved her Oscar because I can imagine that playing a mother who gets her own daughter to satisfy her sexually would have made her push herself in a whole new way. It has to be the most powerful part of the film and I believe the reason why people are leaving the cinema’s so moved by it.

Gabourey Sidibe has come storming into the Hollywood scene with her pure performance in which she masters the look of passivism that you could at first mistake for amateur acting until there is a moment where Precious feels happy and her smile fully transforms her face and warms your heart.

Precious is a must see movie and shows some actresses giving the best performance of their lives.

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Lifestyle Uncategorized

The Secrets of a Calorie Counter

Slice of toast: 100. Club Sandwich: 575. Small bag of Minstrels: 220. Pizza: 800. Food guilt: Off the scale.

I don’t remember when it started. All I know is once I was aware of how many calories surreptitiously hid themselves in each and every item of food, there was no going back…

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no salad eating size zero and to look at me you’d probably never know I worried about what I eat. I’m a curvy size 10 – 12 with my mother’s prominent bum and thanks to a cocktail of cheddar, bread and cheap rosé, a stubborn wobbly pornch that hovers above my skinny jean flies like white chocolate muffin. I’d even go as far to say that, aside from a few hormonal down days where I feel like the most unattractive woman in the world, I’m fairly happy with my figure. So why is it I can’t help but feverishly add and subtract the calories I eat with each meal? And why do I feel a flood of shame when I awake to yellow polystyrene box that I know before I’ve even opened it will have the remnants of a misspent evening’s cheesy chips (yes, with full fat mayo).

Well, I’m the same as pretty much every girl I know. During my three years at University I lived with girls who pretended they’d eaten a whole packet of biscuits when in reality they worried about the calories in toothpaste, ones who did the Hollyoaks’ work out DVD secretly in their room and then there was the one who only ate cereal and encouraged impressionable others to do the same. And the worst part? It is wholly contagious. No matter how hard you try to tell yourself or how loud you find yourself telling others that you don’t care what you eat and that you only live once, there’s still that (skinny) devil on your shoulder telling you to step away from the cheesecake and get down to the gym.

I come from a family of hearty eaters. Hunger was never a feeling I knew very well as we piled our plates with comfort food rather than risk feeling peckish later. So as calorie counting continues to hold my rationale hostage, how did I become this involuntary mathematician when it comes to choosing my breakfast, lunch, dinner and (no doubt remorse-ridden) snacks.

Before I went to University, I’d probably have blamed the media. The likes of Nicole Richie and Sienna Miller, whose legs don’t continue to move even when they’ve stopped walking and who make looking two dimensional seem a feasible ambition. But in reality I know that they have personal trainers who they see twice a day to burn off their diet of celery, cucumber and soup. So I’m starting to doubt these easy targets and since moving away from home and taking on board that eating disorders affect 1.6million people in the UK, there has to be some other trigger. And I think I know what it is.

It’s each and every one of us. If we’re not worrying about how many calories are in our Subway, we’re telling someone else how many there are in theirs. Or if we’re not talking about how much holiday weight we put on over Christmas, we’re ‘sympathetically’ telling someone else that one of our friends has. The consequence is even if we’re fighting to reconnect with our once healthy attitudes towards food, other’s insecurities become entwined with our own and the cycle continues. Resistance is futile.

So this is my resolution to just stop counting. 100, 200 or 1,000 calories; I’m going to try and forget and simply enjoy my food like I used to. But clearly I can’t do it alone. I need you to join me. There is already so much pressure upon us to have the perfect career, to be the perfect girlfriend/wife and be an even better best friend than Carrie, all whilst eating very little and keeping our BMI close to that of a seven year old. But perhaps we put that pressure upon ourselves and it is time we free ourselves of these unrealistic expectations. I’m not saying the ‘Have it All’ culture is a myth, just that its time we rework some of the priorities to ones that actually make us happy and boost our self-esteem, losing focus on the ones that make us feel like bad people for having two sugars in our coffee.

If we all stopped passing the guilt of calories and fat grams amongst ourselves like some toxic pass the parcel, we’d at least notice that we weigh less on the preverbal scales having shifted the huge burden off of our shoulders that comes with the daily battle of eating. Admittedly, this is will not be an easy task as once you let calories into your head it’s almost impossible not to be seduced by the green label denoting low calorie content on a Boots Meal Deal, even if you’d prefer some Doritos. So perhaps we just need to recognise how unimportant these little digits are in the grand scheme of things and if we work together it would no doubt be a whole lot easier to stop letting such menial things fill up our precious brain space.

So next time you spot someone tucking into a ham and cheese Panini, stop your brain from doing the tedious maths because it makes you somehow feel better about yourself and be inspired that she’s risen above the ridiculously unhealthy obsession that’s gripping society. Then go and get yourself one. Sorted.