Signs that you might be a little too obsessed with Christmas

  1. You have been listening to your Christmas playlist for weeks already. It’s the middle of November.
  2. You’ve asked yourself whether it’s acceptable to start wearing Christmas jumpers at the end of October, and have come to the conclusion, that yes, it is.
  3. On the topic of Christmas jumpers: You have at least ten of them, preferably ones with integrated fairy lights, little bells that ring every time you walk or 3D snowmen.
  4. You check your weather app all the time because you can’t wait for it to finally snow.
  5. Michael Buble is your favourite singer.
  6. You need an entire room to store your Christmas decorations.
  7. The premiere of the John Lewis Christmas ad is the highlight of your year and you cry every time it comes on on telly.
  8. You feel equally excited about the GBBO Christmas special and have done a great deal of Christmas baking yourself. (How much gingerbread is it acceptable to eat for one person?)
  9. You believe that wearing anything but red and green in December is pretty much a crime.
  10. You’ve already bought presents for all your friends and family in July.
  11. Picking a tree is the hardest decision you have to make all year. IT’S GOT TO BE PERFECT!
  12. You have serious trouble containing your emotions when you see the first Christmas lights being put up.
  13. You already have 20 giant boxes of baubles at home, but that certainly doesn’t stop you from spending your last few pounds on even more.
  14. You truly don’t understand the question “Isn’t it a bit early for Christmas?”, no matter around what time of the year it’s asked.
  15. Mulled wine and eggnog are the only beverages you’ll drink in December.
  16. Watching a Christmas movie at night becomes part of your daily routine every year.
  17. You can still not fall asleep on Christmas Eve, it’s just way  too exciting.
  18. As soon as Christmas is over, you already start counting down the days till next year.

shutterstock_848451911.jpg

Misconceptions about Asexuality #AsexualityAwarenessWeek

Asexuality generally seems to be a bit of a taboo topic, which is why it’s rarely talked about and lots of people only have a vague idea of what it is. Since this week is asexuality awareness week, I thought it’d be a good occasion to address the most important misconceptions there are about asexuality and give some answers about what being asexual really means.

Let’s get started!

 

Asexuals never have sex

This is probably the most common myth about asexuality and I admittedly believed this to be true for quite a long time as well.

It’s correct that many people who identify as asexual are repulsed by sex and don’t want to ever engage in it, but asexuals who don’t mind, or even enjoy it do exist as well.

How often someone has sex has very little to do with their sexual orientation, because all asexuals have one thing in common: They don’t experience sexual attraction to any gender, and that’s independent from their behaviour.

tumblr_static_f41pdogzfk00wskck4ww4w0wg_640_v2

Asexuals don’t have romantic partners

We’ve already established that it is in fact possible for asexuals to be in a sexual relationship despite their lack of attraction, but even sex-repulsed asexuals might still be interested in having a romantic partner.

To understand this, it’s important to be aware that we have to differentiate between sexual and romantic attraction, because not every asexual person is automatically aromantic as well. For example, someone might be asexual but still romantically attracted to one or more genders – and therefore willing to be in a romantic relationship.

Asexuality is the same as abstinence

Some people decide not to have sex for religious or other reasons, which is a choice that is unrelated to their sexual orientation.

Asexuality, however, is not a choice as asexuals don’t have any sexual attraction in the first place.

Let’s say a couple decides not to sleep together before their wedding, would this make them asexual? The answer is no, because they might still feel sexual attraction and have simply decided against acting on these impulses.

 

tumblr_mvhwnzor6x1qfdtqno3_1280

 

Being asexual is the result of a trauma

While there are asexuals who have experienced sexual abuse etc., a vast majority has actually never had to experience any kind of sexual trauma. Usually, there’s no specific event that “turned” someone asexual, most people are just born that way.

Studies have also shown that asexuality is not due to any physical imbalances, and has nothing to do with mental illness. For example, an asexual person might be suffering from an anxiety disorder, but it wouldn’t be trust issues, fear of intimacy or insecurities stopping them from having sex, but simply the lack of interest or attraction.

 

7030d294e593f9a997891abdc22c701d4136326601a3713f2d7fb61f2c96b9a5_1

 

 

“How can you know you’re asexual? You probably just haven’t met the right person yet”

Sentences like these are quite problematic, because they basically imply that asexuality is invalid and doesn’t exist.

And if you think about it, it’s a pretty stupid statement: Nobody would ask a straight person how they know they’re heterosexual if they’ve never tried being with someone of the opposite gender, right?

 

tumblr_lovu458nd01qebx3e

 

You’re either sexual or asexual

Lastly, I would like to point out that sexuality is fluid, meaning that you don’t have to be either sexual or asexual. There’s also people who only occasionally experience sexual attraction (grey-asexuals) or only start feeling sexually attracted to a person after they’ve formed a deep emotional bond with them (demisexual). However, if you find that none of these labels fit you, that’s obviously fine too.

 

chart_a-color

 

If you have any questions at all, feel free to leave me a comment, I’d be happy to help. In case there’s any wrong or imprecise information in this post at all, do let me know so I can fix it! 🙂

How Fandoms Can Positively Impact Young People’s Lives

“You should get over that fandom stuff, aren’t you too old for this? Why don’t you live your own life instead of caring so much about some stranger’s?”

This is only one of the many accusing phrases people throw at you when you’re a “fangirl” or “fanboy”, and to be fair, most of them just want the best for you, but that doesn’t change anything about the fact that it can be very tiring to have to defend yourself for enjoying something other people don’t understand on a daily basis.

Don’t get me wrong, I do see where they’re coming from and agree that fandoms can have quite fatal negative effects on young people if they get so lost in fictional worlds that they completely neglect reality, but why paint them black completely when there are also so many ways in which they can enrich people’s lives?

I can understand why the whole concept of fandoms can seem a bit disconcerting to someone who’s never engaged with them themselves, which is why, in this post, I would like to share with you what they mean to me and why they are possibly one of the best things that ever happened to me and many others.

Fandoms as a stress relief

Whenever I’m having a particularly exhausting day, I find fandoms to be the perfect way to wind down and forget the troubles of the day for a bit. Listening to my favourite band’s music, watching the newest videos of the youtubers I like or getting lost in a new book can be extremely relaxing and comforting and works brilliantly if, once in a while, you need a little escape from this world.

Fandoms encourage creativity

If you have a closer look at fan communities, one of the first things you will notice is how unbelievably creative their members are: even in the smallest fandoms, there’s people creating fan art by drawing, painting or making edits and writers who come up with often extremely well written stories, poems or even fan fictions as long as books.

By sharing their work with the community, artists can get feedback on their work, and since most fandoms are generally very supportive, be encouraged to keep doing what they’re doing and make use of the talent they have.

People are passionate about fandoms

To me, having something to be passionate about is one of the most important things in life, and I personally don’t think it matters whether that thing is sports, political activism, science, gardening or fandoms. In between school, university or work, it’s crucial to have a sort of equaliser, something you are truly excited about, and for many people, fandoms are just that.

Celebrities can be great role models

Of course, we all know that not every celebrity is a very good example for young people and that blindly believing everything your idols say and trying to imitate whatever they do is definitely not healthy. However, there are lots and lots of prominent figures who can be great role models and offer guidance to young people, especially in their teenage years when they start to move apart from their parents a bit more.

Additionally, influential celebrities like Beyonce, Emma Watson, or Tyler Oakley often spread awareness about important social issues such as poverty, racism, homophobia, sexism and misogyny and encourage their fans to educate themselves on these topics, get involved in fighting inequality and stand up for what they think is right.

Fandoms inspire

Having an idol to look up to can be a great motivation for young people to keep working on achieving their goals and not giving up on their dreams, even if things might not go as planned the first time around.

Of course, someone who wants to be an actor shouldn’t necessarily expect to become the next Leonardo DiCaprio, and it’s very important to keep your ambitions realistic, but idols can often embolden young people to do what they think is right for THEM instead of, for example, studying something they don’t really care about just because their parents tell them to do so and it seems like a safer option than doing what they’re actually interested in.

Fandoms help you make friends

This, for me, is actually the most amazing part of being part of a fandom. Thanks to the internet and platforms like tumblr and twitter, you can easily find people with the same interests as you and have the opportunity to share your love for something with people from all over the world while getting to know them and finding out more about them and their culture.

Even though internet friends can’t really replace having people to talk to in real life, being in a fan community can make teenagers feel more accepted and less insecure; and having completely unbiased people to share your problems with and ask for advice can often be of great help.

Connecting through fandoms doesn’t only work online though: Especially for people who struggle with meeting new people or often feel anxious in social situations, finding someone who is in the same fan community is probably the best thing that could possibly happen, because you immediately have a shared interest and don’t have to worry about what to talk about.

Are you part of any fan communities and if so, how have they impacted your life? Let me know in the comments! x

Lavender Fields (Poem)

in the perfect world

we’d be lying side by side

in some lavender fields

and talk and talk and talk

 

about aliens and robots

the future and god

memories and polaroid pictures

poetry and art

and about how we both never quite understood kafka

 

you’d confess all the things you wish you’d done differently

and that you did cut off some of your sister’s hair while she was sleeping when you were 7

you’d tell me your childhood dreams

and how much you still love having pancakes for breakfast on sundays

 

you’d crack a silly joke

and giggle and giggle and giggle

and outshine the sun with your smile

 

we’d lie quietly then

not because we’d run out of things to say

but because being there would be enough

just us, floating on a cloud of bliss

 

you’d point out the nature around us

but your face beneath the deep blue sky

would be all i’d be looking at

 

a butterfly would sit on your nose

and we’d laugh until we’d forget how to breathe

feeling light like two feathers

being carried by the breeze

 

the sun would go down at exactly 6:05

and i’d take your hand and squeeze it tight

and be the happiest i’d ever been

 

(Inspired by the song “Lavender Fields” by Jerry Williams and this photo:)

tumblr_oe9hbmevl01ugbj9yo1_540

 

Music Recommendation: Jerry Williams

So this weekend, I spontaneously decided to get tickets for Emergent Sounds Festival, which is a rather small, but absolutely brilliant acoustic festival taking place inside a church in Cologne. After an amazing first evening where I got to see Jamie Lawson, who did not only perform amazingly well, but also turned his set into a bit of a comedy show (“Nailed it! Actually, I probably shouldn’t have said that in church, quite a sensitive topic”), I was back for more the next day.

When I’d briefly looked up some of the musicians performing at the festival before, I’d instantly loved Jerry Williams, but as soon as she went on stage and started playing, I was completely obsessed.

Her music is influenced by artists like Jake Bugg, Slow Club, Coldplay and Vampire Weekend, which you can definitely tell when listening to it, but that certainly doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have her own style.

One of the reasons Jerry’s songwriting is so special and unique is probably that each one of her songs seems to tell a story or is based on her own experiences, which makes them seem particularly honest and relatable. Her music generally feels very youthful and light, the sort of thing you’d listen to when having a nice picnic with your friends on a warm day in spring. On top of that, her voice is absolutely incredible and will literally make you want to listen to her 24/7.

Jerry is already quite popular in Portsmouth, where she lives and has even been awarded Best Solo Artist for the Portsmouth Guide Awards in 2014, but she’s so incredibly talented that it’s a shame she’s not more well-known outside of her hometown as well (even though I do think that’s only a matter of time).

She’s been writing songs since she was twelve, started playing gigs at 17 and has brought out two EPs so far, but there’s a third one coming out at the end of this week, which I’m already very excited for.

My personal favourite song is probably “A Hairdressers Called Sids”, but every single one of them is so amazing that it’s nearly impossible to pick the best one. So if you think you might enjoy Jerry’s music as well, you can check her out on Spotify or watch some of the live sessions she did on YouTube, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Do let me know what you think when you’ve listened to her and also leave a comment if you know any artists who make similar music! x

 

Why Feminism Is Still Needed In Western Societies

Do you think that feminism is obsolete and that we’ve already achieved gender equality?

Well, we have made great progress thanks to feminists who have fought for women’s rights in the past, but believe me, we’ve still got a long way to go. Here’s a few reasons why:

✿ Let’s start with the obvious: The gender pay gap. According to The Guardian, women in the UK earn about £300 000 less during their working life, due to a gap of 24% in average full-time annual salary between women and men. Quite often, women are paid less for doing the exact same job as their male colleagues, for no other reason than being female.

Another problem women face in their workplace is that their opinions are not always taken seriously or that their abilities are completely underestimated. For example, my boss used to work at a big tech company, and when she applied for a job where she would have to manage a lot of the company’s money, one of her colleagues laughed at her and asked her whether she really thought they were gonna trust a woman to have access to so much of the company’s fundings.

Additionally, it’s not uncommon that women are actually fired for their looks (I know, it sounds too stupid to be real), for example if they refuse to wear high heels to work or cut their hair, which is clearly a restriction of personal freedom.

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-15-48-26

✿ However, it’s not just at work where women are expected to live up to ridiculous beauty standards. Women with body hair are portrayed as unhygienic, even though it’s completely fine for men. They are expected to wear make-up, but not too much of it, because that would be “false advertising”. They are supposed to be skinny, but still have big boobs and a big bum, and women’s magazines keep advertising ways to become more attractive and get more male attention as if looking good and being liked by men was the only thing women are good for.

This is terribly degrading and dangerous because it makes young girls hung up about the way they look, feel insecure and strive to become an unattainable “perfect”, despite the fact that they’re already perfect in their own way.

5342c2a2f0523

✿ Women are constantly objectified, reduced to their bodies and dehumanised and have to put up with catcalling and lewd or sexist comments on a daily basis. To make things worse, all this is often just dismissed with phrases like “boys will be boys”, which, as this girl explained on twitter, are not only extremely ignorant, but also setting very low standards for boys. Men are not mindless animals who are completely led by instincts and I’m pretty sure they’re perfectly capable of controlling their hormones when they see a girl in shorts.

credit:http://www.polyvore.com/doodles/collection?id=3297842✿ Another aspect that many people are not necessarily aware of is that the patriarchy is still very much alive and negatively affecting the lives of many women. In most families, girls are still low-key expected to marry and have kids and are therefore scared to disappoint their family members if they don’t, which puts people who aren’t straight or simply don’t feel like starting their own family under a lot of pressure.

As I discussed in a previous post, we’re often being told that we’re only fully complete once we’ve found a partner or soulmate, which is a concept I strongly disagree with because I’m convinced that every person is born as a whole and doesn’t need to find their “other half” to lead a happy life.

However, single women are often pitied for not being in a relationship, and people don’t seem to consider that they might prefer their lives this way; and the same goes for women who decide against having kids. Not starting your own family is not a loss or missed opportunity, it’s just another, equally good way of living.

If a woman does get married to a man and has kids, she’s usually still expected to take her husband’s last name and stay home with the children later on. I’ve often heard people say things like “She’s a mother and she still works a full-time job, she should be a housewife and care for her kids instead”, but have you ever heard someone accuse a father of not caring for his children if he works full time? Probably not.

Why does the man have to be the one to earn all the money? Perhaps, the woman has a better job or simply doesn’t want to give up on her career? Seriously, it’s the 21st century!

7a68c7a08956fcbaffc2b431dbf6ebd6

✿ Slut shaming is still a thing. Basically, you can’t really get it right as a woman, because if you don’t have a lot of sex, you’re a prude, and if you do, they’ll call you a slut. Why is it so objectionable or undignified for women to have sex with a lot of different people, while men are being praised if they have a different girl every night?

00de70c9532c247fe2460cd688607bc0

✿ Society is blaming victims instead of standing up against rape. There’s nothing that makes me more furious than hearing comments like “Well, it’s a horrible thing, but she probably wouldn’t have gotten raped if she’d put on some more clothes”. There is never an excuse for rape, and I truly wish that, instead of telling girls to cover up, stop wearing make up or stay home in the first place to prevent them from getting raped, we would start educating young people on the importance of sexual consent. Maybe that way, women will one day be able to walk the streets at night without having to be terrified.

52f13b9fe1e62c4969d6f68932fd401b

✿ Lastly, I would like to add that feminism obviously includes men as well. To be accepted in society, there’s an incredible pressure to be as “manly” as possible, meaning to always appear strong, fearless, tough and never show emotions; to the point where a lot of men are trapped in a prison of role expectations that prevents them from being who they really want to be.

Honestly, have you ever thought about how ridiculous gender roles really are? Why can’t boys wear make up if it makes them feel great? Why can’t they wear dresses or skirts without being judged for it? Or why is it strange if their favourite colour is pink? Colours don’t have a blooming gender, do they?

There’s nothing wrong with boys being feminine, no matter if they’re gay, straight or any other sexuality, and it certainly doesn’t make them weak. In fact, ignoring gender roles and being yourself is probably one of the bravest things you can do.

0c49983ca8b9ce3b03f635183c64358b

These are only some of the reasons why feminism is still relevant and very much needed, even in Western Societies where women are already in a way better position than in many other countries.

I’d love to have a little discussion about this, so leave a comment if there’s anything you want to add, have a question or simply want to state your opinion! xx

 

Autumn Playlist

Are you just as obsessed with autumn as I am and have been wearing halloween jumpers, big scarves, boots and a hat since the first day of September, despite nearly melting in the heat? Or are you still mourning summer, but want to get ready for autumn nonetheless? Either way, I recommend you get yourself a cup of tea, some biscuits and maybe a nice book and put on this playlist with 25 autumn songs that will instantly make you dream of crunchy leaves, crisp air and pumpkins!

Some of these songs are actually about autumn and others are simply nice to listen to on a cold day when you want to get as cosy as possible. Enjoy, and do leave me a comment with your personal favourite autumn songs!

(If you wanna listen to the playlist on Spotify, click here)

 

Falling Leaves & Cosy Days – Playlist

Autumn Leaves – Ed Sheeran
2 Poor Kids – Ruth B
November Rain – Guns ‘N Roses
Cherry Wine – Hozier
Youth – Daughter
Sweater Weather – The Neighbourhood
Hey Jude – The Beatles
Glasgow – Catfish & The Bottlemen
Fall Away – The Fray
Back to Autumn – Tall Heights
Twenty Years – Augustana
Songbird – Fleetwood Mac
Move Together – James Bay
Golden Leaves – Passenger
Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers
Broadripple is Burning – Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s
All I’ve Got – Lucy Rose
We Are Going To Be Friends – The White Stripes
After the Storm – Mumford & Sons
Everything She Wants – Saint Raymond
Northern Wind – City and Colour
Autumn – Paolo Nutini
I’m Gonna Love You – Jamie Lawson
Daydreamer – Adele
Above the Clouds of Pompeji – Bear’s Den

 

Read this post I made last year to get you even more in the mood for autumn!