20s · babies · Body Positive · childhood · ramble · reflection · twenties

Boys shouldn’t wear makeup

I got home from work today and decided to spend a couple of hours watching The Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 Year Olds and play Sims 4.
It’s a great show and i always find it interesting to see what children talk about with others their own age.

Today’s episode was a little different though. There was an experiment in which they were paired off and had to dress up like a married couple, and at the end they were told about a twist in which they would have to swap outfits and essentially dress up as the opposite sex.
A scary percentage of the children (mainly the girls surprisingly!) were making fun of the boys and saying that ‘boys shouldn’t wear dresses or makeup’ and it got me thinking.
The programme has little segments introducing a few of the kids’ families and most are in or around my age range, or at least around Tom’s (21-35). This is essentially my generation that are still teaching our children gender stereotypes and that inanimate objects can be only for a certain group of people. I find this really unhealthy and quite worrying!

I suppose it’s impossible for me to understand how you could be so closed minded about what toys and clothes your children can have because i’m someone who will give pretty much anything a go once and i’m a huge hippie (without the cultural appropriation/dreads).
But what benefit can you see from putting a child in a box and forcing it to act a certain way? As a kid i loved Barbie and horses and Polly Pocket, but i also enjoyed catching spiders and keeping them as a pet in a tissue box and playing make believe games because i was ALWAYS the boy/husband and learning how to play football with my Dad on Colwick Park. Haven’t we learnt anything? Repressing feelings only leads to resentment, unhappiness and an extreme pressure to act a certain way.

I find it painful to see 5 year olds already dictating to others about what they “should” and “shouldn’t” do and although society will play some part in that, i can’t help but look at the parents and wonder why. It’s inevitably something passed down through generations and i understand that traditional families still exist but it just doesn’t feel like we’ve learnt anything. Surely there’s enough hate and stress in the world already without adding in this expectation, this list of rules that you have to stick to for the rest of your life and if you don’t then you’re abnormal and weird and will be taunted and bullied…

I have quite a clear vision of the type of parent i want to be someday. It’s a mix of picking out the really good ideas my own parents have, learning from the mistakes they made and refusing to make them myself and things i have seen other parents do on Instagram/YouTube/blogs. Nothing would make me happier than seeing my future son having the time of his life in an Elsa dress and no strangers feel the need to make comments, or a daughter that follows her dream and becomes an expert mechanic (quite likely with her genetics to be honest!). Fortunately this is something i know Tom and i will agree on. I don’t know whether that’s upbringing or simply that we’re quite weird ourselves, but i’m completely determined that whatever humans we create will be self confident and free to be whoever they want to be.

L x

childhood · china gendercide · gendercide · its a girl · netflix · reflecting · reflection

Reflecting on my childhood

Today i watched “It’s A Girl” which was a very thought provoking documentary about gendercide in India and China that i would definitely recommend. It’s currently on american Netflix if you’re able to access that and is around an hour long.
It reminded me of why i call myself a feminist and why feminism is so important.

And for some reason, i reflected on my own life.
I feel privileged to have grown up in a wealthy country where the state was able to provide should my parents fail. We certainly weren’t in danger of starving, but we went without luxuries. Our fridge usually had at least the bare essentials, but beans on toast and microwaveable chips were common meals in my household in the 90’s. The first place i lived was a hostel, and i’ve moved more times than i can keep count of.
When my Mum got married, we always had lots of food in, food we’d never had before. Chocolate and crisps and sweets and fizzy pop and cakes. Unsurprisingly i ended up gaining a fair bit of weight that i’ve never really been able to shift. The difference between myself at 7 and myself at 10 is quite noticeable. I imagine that’s probably the underlying reason for why i binge eat.

There are other things about my childhood that i am too afraid and upset by to write down. I don’t know if i’ll ever write them down. Probably not on the internet.
I promised myself so much when i was a child. That i would get out of certain situations and i’m still in them as an adult, although not to the same extent. I could cry for my terrified 6 year old self. I’m getting teary eyed now just writing this down. I know so many others had it much worse off than i did but i am completely determined to make sure that any children i have will have a childhood nothing like my anxious, frightened one.

I realise i’ve just rambled and haven’t really made a point to this post, but sometimes getting the thoughts out of my brain and onto paper (or a laptop in this case) lessens the weight of them.

Please, if you want to discuss anything with me then feel free. Get your thoughts and anger and fear out. Tell me about the best times in your life or the worst! I’m here to listen.