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Giving Up On Giving Up

I finally bit the bullet and decided to record my weight loss journey on YouTube. It was so hard to see myself on camera for the first time in ages. The last time I allowed my picture to be taken was several years ago at a club, and that was only after a few alcoholic drinks.

There’s no one reason as to why I gained so much weight. Just like some people rack up thousands of dollars and file bankruptcy, I turned to food and have suffered from some health problems. Thankfully nothing too major, though.

I’ve received more than my fair share of fat shaming, which is weird to say because no one should experience any type of fat shaming. It started on the very first day of sixth grade and lasted until I graduated, when the same kid who started it simply sneered at me as I walked by him in my cap and gown.

My doctor had been telling me for over six years that I wasn’t overweight. At the higher end of my weight range, yes, but still healthy.

Thankfully the times are changing, though. I may never be anything less than a size 12, but I can be a healthier person than I am today. Even if I’m the only one to ever watch these videos, I know that documenting my life this way will help me stay on track.

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Navy Blue Hair

The Kardashians are like a drug to me: I could go months without watching a single episode of their show, and then suddenly I’m hooked. The chemistry between all of them just works, and people like me don’t want it to work. We want to hate them because they’re famous for being famous.

All was quiet in my Facebook newsfeed over the past few months. Kim Kardashian was out of sight while working off the baby weight, and I was able to ignore any ‘news’ about the Jenner girls. No scandalous selfies, no tweets that I just had to read. It was nice. I got to see important news like more shootings and the freak show that is Donald Trump.

During Kim’s hiatus, her sister Kylie Jenner began to shine. I can’t bring myself to say she’s the Queen of Instagram, because all hail the Holy Spearit, but she’s accrued a massive following with 54 million followers. That’s a lot since Kim has 63.5 million, her sister Kendall has 51.4 million and…I won’t give you the stats of the whole clan.

Millions of her followers did the Kylie Lip Challenge, which resulted in lips that looked like they were infected with herpes; her Lip Kit sold out within 10 minutes of being launched; and she’s about to start a trend of sporting navy blue hair.

No.

A few years ago, after consuming a little too much alcohol at a celebratory lunch, I decided to color my hair black. My friend kept telling me that it would come out with shades of blue but I scoffed. I slurred my speech while applying the cream to my scalp, refusing to believe what the box said. I mean, who the hell would want blue hair?

A few hours and a nap later, I gasped in the mirror.

kylienennerblue

Image Source: Celebuzz

Add a few (many) more pounds, a non-contoured, super pale face of a woman that’s about to turn 30, smudged mascara and that was me.

As irritating as it can be to see how much influence someone like Kylie can have over her fans, I was the same way about Britney Spears at that age. If Britney wore it, I wanted to wear it too. If Britney styled her hair a certain way, I did my best to copy it.

britney-spears-hair-cut-off-5

Well, before 2007.

The difference now is that we’re saturated with media coverage 24/7/365. Have you ever gone a day without going online? Of course not. Back in 1999, the only way I could get my Britney fix was in a magazine and MTV. My friends and I copied her dance routines, talked about how lucky she was to be dating Justin Timberlake, and went to stores at midnight for her album releases.

The Kardashians are trendsetters that are here to stay. Hopefully Facebook will have a filter option soon, since I’m more concerned about gun control than Kim’s latest selfie. I’m not old, but I am too old to be in their target audience. Besides, I’m sure that if the Holy Spearit had ever colored her hair blue I’d have worn it that way to prom.

 

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Making a Murderer, Part 1: Corruption in the Legal System

Making-a-Murderer
Source: Elite Daily

I started to watch ‘Making a Murderer’ with very little knowledge of the Steven Avery case. As a social media junkie, I’d simply heard everyone raving about how they’d binge watched the entire series on Netflix.

The first episode starts by painting a grim portrait of the Avery family in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. As owners of Avery’s Auto Salvage on Avery Road, where they also live, they appear to be a poor family that mingle amongst themselves and lack the respect of everyone else in the community. Steven Avery is arrested a few times for various crimes throughout his youth, including animal cruelty and burglary. The way people talk about his low IQ, however, makes the audience realize that he’s simply a product of his surroundings.

After the audience is introduced to his upbringing, we’re immediately thrown into a violent run-in he had with a female cousin.

Early one morning, apparently before the sun had even risen, Steve attempted to drive this female cousin off of the road. He then proceeded to pull out a shotgun (which he later claimed wasn’t loaded) and told her to stop spreading rumors about him all over town. Her husband, a part-time sheriff’s deputy that always wanted him behind bars, decided to do whatever it took to lock him away.

Flash forward to a woman running on the beach. A man tells her that ‘it’s a nice day for a jog’ before attempting to rape her. Luckily she survives. While describing the event to the authorities, they repeatedly suggest that Steven Avery was the attacker.

Steve goes to jail for the crime but continues to fight the case, refusing to accept a plea bargain because he’d be forced to admit his guilt. During this time he fights with his wife through the mail, even making threats to kill her. At this point the audience sees a very dark side to Steve, one that makes us wonder if he really could have assaulted the woman.

His lawyers soon discover that a known rapist, one so violent that law enforcement always had to keep on their radar, was unaccounted for when she was attacked.

The physical resemblance between the two men is uncanny.

The rest of the episode shows just how corrupt our legal system can be. From covering up evidence that pointed to another man to convincing a sexual assault survivor that her attacker was someone law enforcement had it in for, the end of this first episode will leave you wanting more.

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Advice to Your 16-Year-Old Self

16yo

This was in my Health magazine. We can never go back in time, but we can still educate our inner 16-year-old self.

  1. Stop contemplating so many degrees and just choose one in English.
  2. The kids making fun of your size are wrong. You’re a healthy, curvy, 150-pound young lady that has big bones.
  3. You’ll never marry Justin Timberlake.
  4. The only goal you should have in life is to be happy. Everything else will fall into place.
  5. Your obsession with pink will never go away, so just embrace it.
  6. In a few years you’ll be able to stalk Justin Timberlake on social media. Don’t.
  7. Stay away from carbs.
  8. Now that you’re done dancing, take up another physical activity like tennis…because your metabolism is about to slow down.
  9. You’re starting to lose touch with some people and that worries you. Just let them go.
  10. Stop crushing on boys that don’t even know your name. They’re not worth it.
  11. Stop writing notes in class and pay attention.
  12. Driving cars isn’t your thing. Just cab it.
  13. Stop blowing every paycheck at Bath & Body Works.
  14. Never drink and drive.
  15. You don’t have to choose between *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys.
  16. Seriously, you’ll never meet Justin Timberlake. Stop kidding yourself.
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Fighting for Planned Parenthood

In an ideal world, women would only become pregnant when they wanted to become a mother. There would be no rape or birth control failure. Everything would just fall into place.

We don’t live in an ideal world.

The only method of birth control that’s 100% effective is abstinence. Many women opt for medical birth control (which comes in various forms), but not all insurance plans cover it. Some employers opt out of that coverage because it goes against their religious beliefs. They believe that having sex is only for procreation, and trying to prevent that from happening would be going against ‘God’s will.’ Just as it’s their right to believe that, it’s also a woman’s right to not believe pregnancy is the work of ‘God.’ So for the millions of women without birth control coverage-including those without any coverage-they’re forced to pay out of pocket.

Planned Parenthood offers birth control at an affordable rate, with many of their offices basing it on your income.

Millions of women are raped every year, and some of them get pregnant by their attacker. Without any say in the matter, all because a man forced himself inside of her, they must now decide whether or not they want to become a mother. Those who view themselves as being ‘pro-life‘ believe the child should be put up for adoption. Some victims of rape choose that path, while others choose to have an abortion. Going through a pregnancy is a life altering process. The inability to conceive does not give you the right to make someone else bear a child.

Paul Ryan, the 2012 republican vice presidential candidate, said that a woman’s body has a way of shutting down while being raped if she doesn’t want to get pregnant. That was his polite way of saying that if you get pregnant after being raped, you obviously wanted it.

Some ‘pro lifers’ will say that abortion is acceptable in certain cases, such as when the woman’s life is at risk or the child has no chance of survival. That’s a medical decision between a woman and her doctor, not a woman and the government. A uterus doesn’t become public property once a woman conceives.

The most ignorant group of ‘pro lifers’ are those who believe that no matter what, abortion is murder and should be abolished. There is literally nothing you can say to these people to help them understand why abortion needs to be kept legal and safe. The moment a woman gets pregnant, she is no longer a human being with a reason for living other than to deliver that baby. The fetus that’s growing inside of her cannot ‘fight for itself,’ therefore regardless of the reason-rape, incest, birth control failure-she must carry the child to term.

Many of these ‘pro lifers’ have misogynistic social media accounts. They often refer to women as ‘sluts,’ ‘cunts,’ and ‘bitches’ while posting pictures of fetuses outside of the womb. Like the ‘undercover’ Planned Parenthood video that has since been proven to be highly edited, these pictures are often of stillborns. How can someone act like a ‘hero’ for a fetus yet turn around and slam women for being, well, women? Those are some questionable values.

Late-term abortions (after 20 weeks) are very uncommon. Going through a pregnancy isn’t like deciding on Chinese takeout then making a u-turn for Italian. Women don’t want to experience the drastic changes in their bodies unless they plan on carrying that child to term.

Abortions after 20 weeks are rare, and they typically happen when a woman’s life is in danger or they receive devastating news about the fetus. Their reason for doing so is theirs and theirs alone.

To those that still scream ‘abortion is murder,’ keep in mind that abortions account for a mere 3% of all services that Planned Parenthood provides each year and not a penny of federal funding goes to it. 3% and no tax payer dollars.

They offer cancer screenings, birth control, pap smears and so many other healthcare services to women (and men) that have nowhere else to go. Maybe they don’t have insurance, or perhaps they’re young and are too afraid to go to their primary doctor. There are so many reasons why defunding Planned Parenthood would be an atrocity.

Perhaps you’re a woman that would never have an abortion under any circumstances. That’s your choice. Educate yourself before jumping on the ‘defund Planned Parenthood’ bandwagon.