Sunday, 15 November 2015

Everyone shines a light for France. But who's going to shine the light for Beirut?

Nobody. And that's the truth. Because tonight, while all the western European countries are putting on pretty, poignant displays of French colours over their iconic buildings and bridges, the suffering of humans in Lebanon are ignored. And for the first time in my life, the hypocrisy is actually pissing me off. 

Yeah, lots of things are pissing me off these days. Incessant make-up advertisements tailored towards me simply because I'm a girl; stupid ass puns on Facebook; the cretins defending the Apple store security guard; "safe spaces", "trigger warnings" and sanctimonious "social justice warriors" all make me want to rip a stress ball to shreds. 

But at this very moment, nothing pisses me off more than hearing someone say "I'm not racist, but we need to stop accepting refugees" or worse, "turn them back, we need to protect our own citizens first." 

These people are so fucking selfish. Fuck. 

You are essentially saying that humans of the Middle East are not worth the same value of humans from first world European/Western societies. Somehow, they're of lesser quality. Not worth a response. 

Indeed, we've become so immune to violence in the Middle East, so used to hearing about Syrians, Lebanese, Libyans, Jordanians, Israelis, Palestinians, dying and being slaughtered - that it's not even 'news' anymore. Middle Eastern people aren't even 'humans' anymore. They're just facts, statistics, numbers that you see on a fucking screen. 

Syrians, for example, are victims of chemical attacks from their own government. They're being used as literal human shields by all sides, being locked up in cages and dragged in front of rebel tanks/cars/soldiers. They're being indiscriminately targeted by Russian airstrikes. Hundreds of thousands die. And netizens don't give a flyingggggg fuck.

Earlier this month, Syrian women caged by militants and used as shields against airstrikes.

To be honest, a few months ago, I probably wouldn't have given it that much thought either. I'd see the pictures, gasp, and then move on. But I don't want to have this response anymore.

Tonight really woke me up to that. 

I have Muslim friends from international student club groups at university who feel persecuted every day by the inane comments of racist Australians like Pauline Hanson. 

I have Cambodian friends whose parents fled their home country on shoddy boats to seek asylum in Australia and still deal with anti-"boat people" sentiment, while being illegally paid below-minimum wages. 

I have Sri Lankan friends whose families are scarred by the recent civil war between the Tamils and Sinhalese, and who carry those scars and tensions with them into the classroom even if they try to hide it.

I have been taught humanities by a (blonde-haired, blue-eyed) teacher who was a second generation Lebanese-Australian, who once brought in Lebanese food for the class, and whose son was also a student in my year level. 

I have grown up with Pakistani Muslims in primary school, including one boy who did a class project on Jet Li and shared his love of Linkin Park with a Vietnamese classmate in the computer rooms when they really weren't supposed to be there. 

I have listened to intelligent friends subconsciously uphold racist stereotypes with remarks like "sorry, I just don't date Asians". 

I have taken friends back home and listened to my relatives make off-hand racist remarks about how dark their complexions were, and how they might steal things from our house.  

I have had one friend also make off-hand racist 'jokes' about Indians smelling like curry and having dirty bathrooms while we were sitting inside an Indian restaurant, surrounded by Indian families. 

And while I love a few politically incorrect jokes myself, I would never fucking do that^.

So screw this world. Screw racists. Screw ignorance. And fuck your stupid little racist jokes. 

Wake the FUCK UP to what you are doing and contributing to. Put things in freaking perspective. Think of all the friends and acquaintances that might be affected by your words, or omissions. And stand up for them. 

Because as Emma Watson said - if not me, who? If not now, when? 


Sunday, 8 November 2015

The 'Power' of Make Up is a double-edged sword. So stop defending it like it's the best thing ever.

In response to: #thepowerofmakeup

Any reasonable person realises that the heart of the make-up industry preys on and encourages women's insecurities to sell their products. 
Are your eyebrows thin and sparse? Use this!
Imperfect dark spots? Use this!
Eyelashes short and stumpy? Use this!

There is nothing wrong with having thin and sparse eyebrows until fashion dictates it.
There is nothing wrong with having a few natural dark spots until fashion dictates it.
There is nothing wrong with having short 'stumpy' eyelashes until fashion dictates it.

In relation to this, two things really bug me.

1. Firstly, unless you're Michelle Phan/a make-up artist/equally comfortable going au naturale in public, then you're lying if you say you only wear make-up for yourself and not to look good for other people/satisfy whatever corporation-driven beauty standards are currently trending. 

I HATE IT when women go ape-shit defensive on Facebook when somebody actually says "make-up is bad". They'll say something like "shut the fuck up loser and stop telling women what to do"/"pitting women against each other" after aggressively contending that make-up is awesome for boosting self-esteem and making you feel beautiful and empowered. By that reasoning, why not just take it up a notch and get cosmetic/plastic surgery for everything you feel shit about? 

I agree that when you have a big night out and you want to cover up something you feel really insecure about, make-up is a very useful tool to help you boost your confidence. I also agree that make-up CAN be a valid expression of individualism (I have a friend who wears glittery green lipstick and paints her eyebrows red). But people who say these things without acknowledging make-up's downsides are in complete fucking denial.

Why do you feel empowered only when you wear make-up? Why can't you feel empowered without make-up? Because you're insecure about how you look naturally. And why is that? 

BECAUSE MAKE-UP COMPANIES & A FUCKED UP SOCIETY. 

Almost all of our insecurity is systematically built up by the exact same shit fed to you by make-up corporations through their inescapable, ferocious advertising. Maybelline entices you to think that beautiful people are born with it, and 'others' can just use their products i.e. if you use Maybelline products, you too can be 'beautiful'  like Adriana Lima (lel). Yeah, thanks Maybelline, a cosmetics company, for 1. setting our beauty standards 2. highlighting our insecurities 3. encouraging us to buy your stuff.

The undeniable truth is that the majority of women don't wear make-up for themselves. Deep down, they DO feel obligated to wear make-up whenever they go out. At work. At parties. Even a trip to the supermarket.

It's why the whole #nomakeupselfie is a fucking thing in the first place. So don't freaking suggest that make-up is a 'solution' to our insecurities... that it's empowering. It's not. 

Instead of defending make-up, we should be defending NO make-up. 




2. Secondly, from what I've seen on social media, girls younger than ever before are experimenting heavily with make-up. Twelve year olds now feel like they have to wear make-up to look good at school because all the other girls are doing it, and largely because they see pictures and tutorials on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram etc. 

While I don't have a personal problem against anyone interested in make-up (and of course, many of my friends are very into it), I WOULD have a problem with society's increasing obsession with make-up if one day, my 13 year old daughter asks me to buy her five different MAC lipsticks and an URBAN DECAY palette because she doesn't want to feel ugly compared to her classmates who all contour their faces with a gazillion different products.

Anyway, I know that scenario ^ is already the norm in many places but I just hope good parenting will give her enough confidence to say "fuck you" to the pressure of wearing make-up in circumstances when she shouldn't have to.  



Another thing - more than ever before, men are also being pressured to look good. There are now make-up lines being developed for men and it is largely accepted as fact that no male K-pop star wanders outside without having applied a layer of foundation. On K-pop websites, there are now 'before' and 'after' pictures of male K-pop stars with and without make-up. 

THIS IS NOT THE WORLD I WANT TO BE IN, OR WANT MY CHILDREN TO LIVE IN. 

ALSO... 

Who the fuck wants to wear a billion layers of primer, foundation, highlighter, bronzer, powder, eyeliner, mascara, brow filler every day? HOW DO YOU DO IT??!?!?!

It takes a ridiculous amount of time to put on and take off; it 99% of the time doesn't even feel comfortable because it's heavy and there's always the fear of smudging your make-up or caking it on something else. You basically cannot touch your face when you have that much make-up on and it sucks. You can't rub your eyes when they're itchy or even rest your head on your fist sitting at a table. 

God. 

End of rant.