Hard to believe it’s 2018. I remember being 17 and setting new years resolutions to “lose 20 pounds” and “get a bikini body.” I don’t know why we, as a society, are so fixated on our bodies looking a specific way. I also have no idea why the standards of “beauty” affect children & teens to the extent that they do.
This isn’t happy. This is disordered eating and trauma. This is masking the pain with control. This is equating weight with happiness. I wish I could tell 17 year old me that.
Note: Disordered eating doesn’t always look like protruding ribs and hip bones. Sometimes it looks like a 140-pound person who hasn’t eaten properly in months and likes the high they get when someone says they’re tiny.
I’m not saying I had an eating disorder by any means. But I definitely had disordered eating and wasn’t healthy.
I’d like to think that the body positivity movement is starting to shift my perception of what beautiful is though…
Because I’ve been stereotypically beautiful- thigh gap, blonde hair, tanned, clear skin, perfect eyebrows. The list of what I thought beauty consisted of is disgusting, and more-so, sad. I wish I had spent the time I spent obsessively exercising and in tanning beds loving my body and soul. Loving what’s under the surface. Below the water.
Over the years, I’ve been actively trying to find happiness from within. Not from external factors like my appearance and how much money I have. Trying to find the beauty that lies within and let it shine through. It isn’t easy though. Setting my 2018 intentions was extremely difficult for me. My automatic response was “lose weight”, “get in shape…” But I knew, that would only make me happy temporarily then I’d be searching for how else I could adhere to the societal expectations of beauty.
So here is my personal list of 2018 intentions and goals (none to do with appearance, all to do with body, health, and soul):
- Write my second book (Hopefully in 2018!)
- Marry my best friend.
- Try new things each month. (This month is dance classes!)
- Go somewhere I’ve never been.
- See people I love more often.
- Get another tattoo that means something to me. “Go live.”
- Wear what YOU like. No more adjusting your preferences based on the gender sections in the stores or other peoples perceptions. 2018 clothing inspo=
- Be kind to me. Say kind things. Believe kind things.
- Eat healthy food to better my mental health. (not solely based on losing a certain amount of weight)
- Love the parts of yourself that need it most. (Right now it’s my skin. This winter is so dry!)
- Go to counseling monthly.
- Write my own vows. (This one makes me cry whenever I try!)
- Tell people I love that I love them often.
I hope everyone’s 2018 is going well. Be kind to yourself. ❤
In 2017, lesbians are everywhere. Ellen Page, Kristen Stewart, Ruby Rose, Halsey…so many up and coming, talented women standing with the LGTBQ+ community. The representation of lesbians is on the rise (while I find the representation of bisexual or gay men, unfortunately, isn’t as prominent.) Shows like Orange is the new black made lesbians crazy!I feel pretty lucky to be out in a time where we are moving in the right direction towards acceptance and equity. There are so many LGTBQ+ resources in Canada and I truly feel blessed to live here (Praying for U.S.A). But, flashback ten years to when I was 14 and coming out… didn’t feel so lucky.
Here are 10 things I’ve learned (mostly the hard way) about being a woman who loves women.
- Women love hard, and hurt hard. It’s a huge mis-conception than being a woman who dates women means you won’t be abused or get heartbroken. I’ve dated both men and women, and in my experience, women love harder & hurt harder. This may be because I cared about them on a deeper, less superficial level…hard to say. I also think lesbians (the unkind ones) feel like because you’re both women, they can hit you, push you or hurt you in any other way without it being abuse.
- People will still assume you and your partner follow typical gender roles. One of us is still expected to walk down the aisle, get pregnant and take out the garbage.
- Your wardrobe will never just be yours again. From my experiences your wardrobe becomes your patterns wardrobe 99% of the time. Even if you aren’t the same shape and size, I guarantee she will find something in your closet that fits and adopt it as her own. This is both a positive and negative.
- “Lady Issues” are a lot less ofan “issue.” Dating men was so inconvenient. Once a month I’d have to explain why I was grumpy, crampy and unpredictable. Dating a woman is like having a permanent PMS buddy who can relate and offer you a massage or hot bath when you’re feeling terrible. Alternatively, two of you PMSing simultaneously can also super suck. Can you say Shark Week?
- You both get to wear the pants. I’ll admit in my relationship we joke that I wear the pants more often. But, we do take turns. We both wear the pants at different times. We assume different roles in different situations based on our strengths.
- People are always going to stare. Despite the progression of acceptance in Canada, I still do notice quite a few stares if I’m out with my partner. If we hold hands, I see people do a double-take. There will always be one person who just can’t look away…usually the teenage boy.
- You can’t just “have kids.” This seems like an obvious one, but when I came out at 14 I didn’t think forward to how annoying (and expensive) this is going to be. And the worst is when people ask “Oh when are you going to having kids?” Well, maybe when we have 10,000 and time for donor-searching and legal appointments.
- Watching The L Word together will change your world. Any lesbian can back me up on this. This is the best thing. Ever. Period. The L word is like a little world of lesbians. It was one of the first shows I watched and felt represented in. I could relate, and even had my first TV crush. (Shane…) Also, the web of lesbian connections on that show could not be more accurate.
- Going to Pride will become the highlight of your year. A few years after coming out, I was in the Pride Parade and I felt like it was a pivotal moment in my life. It’s kinda when I decided I was going to accept who I was, and who I loved. The support and love at Pride events is supercharging in the best way possible.
- You will have a beautiful life. Your sexual orientation does not define what kind of people you are. I have met beautifully kind heterosexual people, and terrible, abusive gay people and vice versa. Who you chose to sleep with, love and marry has no indication on your inner kindness. Be kind and you’ll be just fine.
Well, there they are. The 10 things no one told me (and I wished someone could have) about being a lesbian.
My partner and I have been really lucky in finding the best vendors, and service providers who have shown the utmost acceptance and haven’t drawn attention to the fact that we are, in fact, 2 women getting married. But, during our process of finding vendors and service providers, we did come across a few who were…less than inclusive.
We totally anticipated that although most people will be accepting, there may be a few who ask questions that are offensive or just irrelevant. Lucky for us, we end up laughing it off. Usually.
Here are the 8 most annoying parts of planning a same-sex wedding.
- Being asked to sign contracts that clearly, weren’t revised for a bride and bride wedding. Flip a coin for who signs beside the groom!
- Being asked “who’s gonna wear the dress?” Um…we both are?
- Having to make up new terms for our wedding party. Eg: Groomsmen= Brides-men.
- Shopping for wedding essentials and having each and every sales attendant ask who the lucky
guy is. Ain’t no guy lucky in this relationship.
- Trying to find a wedding planning book that doesn’t either say “Bride and Groom” or use traditional attendant roles such as “Groomsmen” and “Mother of the Groom.” I’ve decided just to cross those out and write my own terms.
- Deciding how to walk down the aisle…Like, do we walk down together, do we meet in the middle? Does one of us hide behind a bush?
- Deciding on what traditions to stick with. Do we have 2 bachelorette parties? 1 joined bachelorette party? Do we both throw bouquets, what about the garter? So. many. decisions.
- People assuming our colour scheme will be rainbow. Sure, and our tagline will be “you can taste the rainbow.” Just no.
But, in reality, we are so lucky to live in a Country at a time where same-sex marriage not only legal, but widely accepted. Despite these 8 annoying things we have encountered, we have had way more pleasant experiences and met so many accepting, kind and respectful vendors.
Happy wedding planning everyone!
Note: Janice Ian inspired this blog title.