Sunday, 7 June 2015
I spent the majority of the year so far counting down to my birthday trip to New York, which I suppose made me wish most of the year away. It was worth it though, as visiting New York for the second time in my life reminded me how much I love that beautiful city.
I instantly feel at home in New York and I truly believe it is my spiritual home! I love how it's set out and all the districts with their own personalities, I love the grid system and I love the sheer abundance of shops and beautiful places to eat. The week I spent in New York was one of the fastest of my life but also one of the best.
I've always been a city girl, despite living my life in the country. There's something about the constant buzz, abundance of things to see and do, new trends and the 24/7 lifestyle that speaks to me. Perhaps living in places that were lacking behind the times and didn't have as many options always gave me the sense of missing out as I read about the exciting things happening in cities as I flicked through magazines.
Since my trip to New York, I've had huge post New York blues. I really didn't want to come home at all and my heart is aching for the Big Apple! If anything, it's put me face to face with the reason I wanted to distract myself with a trip to New York in the first place…I turned 25.
I'm sure in about 5 years, I will be scathing at myself, like I do when I see my old posts from when I was 20 and how I said I was 'so old'. But no 20 year old Stacey, give yourself 5 years and you will be at the turning point of 'old'. 25 reminds me that I am a quarter of a century and that life is in fact going rather fast. It also puts me on the side of my twenties that edges ever closer to the dreaded 30.
The first part of your twenties is relatively fun, you're enjoying the mix of enthusiastic youth as well as adult responsibility as you enjoy your freedom years and deal with finding your feet. But when you hit 25, you're face to face with life goals you set yourself and how fast time goes. Before you know it, you'll be hitting your thirties and needing to get your life together.
Something you do learn in your twenties is that having life goals is very pointless. We were always taught to think about where we wanted to be in five or ten years but the truth is, life doesn't work that way. You're not going to have everything figured out and solved at these milestone points of your life.
The problem with our generation is that we are our bombarded with other people's lives as they play out on social media across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We can't help but compare ourselves as we see old friends, school friends and university friends achieving or experiencing things we want for ourselves.
I'm guilty of this, I seethe like anybody else as I see old friends appearing to have their lives together and sorted as they share pictures from beautiful holidays, their weddings and their new families while I remain single and living in a studio flat with no real social life.
But the thing to remember, and I am so often told this, is that people are only often sharing the best parts of their lives on screen. It's an edited version of the story and we don't know what other difficulties or issues that could be facing. It's a similar story for those of us who follow and idolise the stars of YouTube. You're only seeing so much of their lives.
If I and anybody else of my generation needs to learn anything, it's that we can't live our lives to a plan. We have to just work hard and hope for the best and make things happen for ourselves. It's impossible to keep up with everyone and while sometimes it seems like everybody else has the luck we all have our own opportunities and struggles.
Maybe life is just going to take a little longer, a little more work and a little more determination for me. But maybe that's for the best, it's going to make me appreciate things more when I do have them. I've enjoyed the independence I have and it's probably made me a better and stronger person because of it.
But let's not wish our lives away, let's enjoy every day and make things happen for ourselves. I decided I wanted adventure, so I went to New York. I saved and planned and made it happen. The same will happen if I want to travel anywhere else this year, which I plan to do.
It's so easy to be bitter and jealous and watch our lives go idly by, but what kind of life is that?
Thursday, 22 January 2015
Boobs have been at the centre of the news this week in a campaign to keep them out of the news. The Sun played a rather odd trick of appearing to withdraw their 44 year old Page 3 topless pictures and then like a particularly tiresome trickster appeared to say 'gotcha' to the celebrating feminists and reinstated them today after a five day break.
The No More Page 3 campaign has so far garnered over 231,000 signatures and counting, the number rapidly rising after The Sun's little stunt - giving No More Page 3 some publicity - so thanks!
But I've found myself having to explain why this is so important as I read and hear ignorant comments about this campaign including one page 3 model Rhian Sugden who blamed 'comfy shoe, no bra wearing, man haters' for the apparent ban. For a young women to have this opinion of feminists is particularly upsetting and damaging. I'm a proud feminist and have blisters from uncomfortable shoes, wear a bra everyday and like men. In fact, I know plenty of feminists who are the same and we need to get over this outdated idea that feminists don't care about how they look, burn bras, hate on men and want to be the fun police because it's not true.
I am not against nudity and glamour models at all, but my issue is with it being in a newspaper and a so-called family one at that. The Sun is the biggest selling UK newspaper and has a large female readership so why does it feel the need to display breasts on the first page of the paper you open and make fun of attractive women's opinions with it's 'News in Briefs'. The fact of it is, boobs aren't news, so why are they in a newspaper?
We live in an internet age where boobs and more are available at the touch of a button within seconds so why do they have to feature in a national newspaper? As the No More Page 3 website states: "The Sun newspaper could be so much stronger without Page 3. Because currently, any story they run about women’s issues such as rape, sexual abuse, harassment, domestic violence or the dangers of online porn is drowned out and contradicted by the neon flashing sign of Page 3 that says ‘shut up, girls, and get your tits out."
Women still have to fight so hard to be listened to and appreciated for more than their looks. We have been fighting to break the glass ceiling and be appreciated for our brains for as long as page 3 has been running and it's still a fight that is far from over - much like it seems page 3.
I'm getting awfully sick of this sexist society and the abuse I've had to deal with for voicing my opinion. How I face barriers because of my sex. How I will be judged by how I look. How a man's opinion will always be taken on board more seriously than mine. How women are sexually objectified every day and if they are attacked or raped are asked what they were wearing or how were they acting? Did they lead them on?
At the same time, it's not giving much credit to men that a newspaper doesn't think it can survive without supplying them with their daily dose of boobs. I think they're more than capable of making that decision for themselves and enjoy a newspaper without soft core porn. Men have more depth than that.
We're not trying to ban all nudity, porn and fun, we're not trying to tell glamour models their jobs are dishonourable - we just don't feel there is any need for it in a newspaper. To find out more about the campaign and further reasons why there should be #NoMorePage3 please visit http://nomorepage3.org and read what they have to say and sign the petition. If we fight for change, we can make it happen.