Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.
 
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
 
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
 
Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
 
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
 
- Maya Angelou

“Leave perfect alone, it has its own life…”

Sex appeal – it’s a mess. It is like we’ve forgotten our natural human desires and what they really are and what they really mean. We have twisted them and made it into an issue of superiority, of inequality, and worst of all: of danger. Danger because women are being raped, danger because men can now look down on women however they like and danger because we don’t always have the power to no longer just say ‘no’. Anna Lieberman says it all: you don’t have to be pretty, you don’t have to be a “cosmogirl”, because who cares? You are not defined by your waistline or your silky hair. It is your personality, your kindness that defines you. Why do we look for something to be worthy of when it already exists? Media keeps feeding us our own flaws and for what? An increased profit margin and a good image that only sells clothes to a girl that we can truly call “skinny” – yeah fuck you, Mike Jeffries. I buy whatever clothes I want, I wear whatever I want and I shouldn’t have to be scared to walk alone at night or be blamed for provocation if my shorts are not halfway down my thighs. Some say feminism has gone too far… how is that even possible? I honestly dream of the day when such a thing as feminism doesn’t HAVE to exist but you know what, for now, it really does. In Nigeria about 300 innocent girls were kidnapped, in India rape is an everyday routine and in just about everywhere, “slut”, “bitch” or “whore” is just as common as being called by your real name. By the time this has been posted, more than 10 girls have been raped. 11, 12, 13…

Standards don’t define you. Gender, looks, weight, height, skin, hair, nails or sexual orientation. Who cares? You are what you are, so don’t apologise. Don’t make excuses. You sexist me, I feminist you.

“You are not made of metaphors, not apologies, not excuses…”

My friend recently introduced me to slam poetry and spoken word poetry, and I am in love! It is amazing what these people can come up with and I wish I was just as creative. What they write, or speak to be more exact, is so beautiful and so true. They make very complicated things seem ten times easier. They are, to say the least, incredibly inspiring. And unsurprisingly, I’ve fallen mostly for those that discuss feminism, sexism and perception of women. They are so powerful and really make you think about the way the world works around you. Sarah Kay, the poet in the video, also performed two poems at a TED talk and since I watched that Youtube clip, I’ve been watching millions of others by both her and other poets. This one is just one of the amazing examples I’ve been watching…

You reap what you sow…

IF YOU SEXIST ME, I WILL FEMINIST YOU.

I have no idea who came up with this quote, but I love it! Some people argue that women pull the “feminism card” way too often. But in fact, it doesn’t come out of nowhere. If you manage to spew out a disgusting, pathetic comment about women in derogatory terms… you will most probably be met by a feminist slap in the face. Don’t be surprised. You reap what you sow, asshole.

In IB we learn the art of procrastination

In the midst of the IB chaos and mayhem, I’m trying to juggle biology labs, economics internal assessment (which by the way, is basically impossible to do well in!), history essays, extended essay research, Swedish self-taught poem analyses, English presentations and IOCs, math statistical internal assessment and on top of that trying to fit in some early revision time for the upcoming practice exams in June, and I can’t help but ask myself: why can’t I just be really good at something? Slightly off topic but may I just add: what a terribly long sentence that was. The IBO would be so disappointed in me right now… Back to my question, it sounds awfully depressing and maybe a little pathetic but currently I just feel like the IB is swallowing me up. I’m trying to keep the plates spinning, all at an equally steady pace, but I think it’s just making everything worse. My English teacher said to us yesterday that we just have to let some of these plates spin a little bit on their own and focus more on others. I think he was just hinting that we should focus more on English right now, but hey. It is a fair point, but how do you choose? Why would you risk one of these plates falling since it will just drag everything down with it? I’m dreading these first predicted grades. 

I guess this is the true dilemma and drama of an IB student. It isn’t necessarily that the content is difficult. Maybe in Bio, but that might just be because I am a terrible biologist. Cells and photosynthesis just don’t make sense to me. It is more that we have to learn how to juggle 6 subjects + TOK + 150 CAS hours all at once. Oh, and lets not forget the beloved Extended Essay. I swear that thing just keeps haunting me. All the time. Honestly, I’ve just been denying its existence for far too long now. Oh dear, my EE supervisor won’t be too happy about that. 

I think this is the best definition for the IB… thank you urban dictionary, I couldn’t have said it better myself: 

International Baccalaureate: A malicious program aimed at the unnaturally brighter population in an attempt to overload their brains, thus reducing them to vegetables without lives. However, a true IB student will respond by adapting and BSing their way through.

I’m only joking. I’m being overly dramatic as per usual. There is a reason why I got the “drama queen” award in 8th grade, just sayin’. For me, it helps to complain about the workload that I get. Somehow, it makes me feel better… Some would just call it self-pity. Self-pity has become my new form of procrastination because I can’t think of a better way to spend my precious time. Genius! 

 

My rant about the horrors of the IB is finally over. For now. 

Lots of love! 

Ambitious or just self-destructive?

Recently I’ve been living in this little bubble of unexpected irritability, continuous anxiety and just overall dissatisfaction. I’ve had strange outbursts of anger where I start raging about the smallest of things that have annoyed me throughout the day. Has it been worth it? Absolutely not. More than anything, it’s only made things worse. I’ve gotten into fights with my parents, clearly annoyed my friends and just made myself feel more miserable about how I react to situations. This has come out of nowhere and so I turned to my best friend google. Here’s a tip – never search for symptoms on google. It will, guaranteed, always tell you that you have cancer. Always. It makes no sense but nonetheless, it got me thinking. What is it that really has made me so irritable?

Expectations. I am so grateful that I have gotten the opportunity to be a part of the IB Diploma Programme. It such an amazing programme that will challenge you and really push you to do your best. Even if it causes you unbearable stress and unavoidable sleep deprivation, it is pretty great anyway. But I’ve gotten to the point where I am constantly aware of what my achievements and failures might do to my future choices. I am such a perfectionist, and I have this terribly disgusting competitive side. I will literally compete in almost every aspect of life possible. It is of course a good source of motivation and ambition, but it is also something that I have a difficult time controlling. I have recently, for example, started to compare my grades with everyone else in my class. I mean, I’ve been aware of my grades in comparison to others’ but now it has become increasingly more important to me. It shouldn’t be though. What I do is completely up to me, and what someone else might achieve has no effect on me or my own achievements. Basically, what I’m getting at is that I have really high expectations. I want to be the best at everything I do and yes, people call me an overachiever or a “try-hard”, but what is really so bad about that? I admire anyone who is ambitious and aims high whether it be in school, work or anything really. But the problem for me is that I have set almost unrealistic goals for myself and in a way, I have always thought that people around me also expect the same high standards of me too.

I am no genius. I’d like to think that I am, but no. A girl can dream though. I need to learn how to handle my stress, my expectations and my goals. Because when I fail to meet my unrealistically high expectations, I punish myself for it. I become so terribly disappointed in myself and I know, I am a harsh critic of myself. But moderation is unfortunately a word that has not yet been included in my vocabulary. A little bit of self-criticism is necessary, because narcissism will only get you so far. There is always room for improvement…. even if you’re Beyoncé.

So to conclude, I need be critical of myself and I need to push myself to do better but I need to find a balance. I’ve become so consumed by my studies and my academic achievements that I have sort of forgotten to enjoy myself. To be honest, I’d rather get a decent grade and be happy, rather than achieving the best and feeling miserable and absolutely shattered. Ambition shouldn’t make you feel more miserable about yourself, it should be a healthy form of motivation. I think there is a fine line between extreme ambition and self-destruction. In some cases, less is more.

POSITIVE THINKING! 

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Lots of love… ♡