Not my President: A Guide to Making a Difference in Your Community

Holyshitwhatishappening?  We have a billionaire nut job in the presidential office who somehow won, despite alienating a ridiculous amount of minority groups and women. Now the question is what do we do? What can you do as a singular person in the United States that is going to matter? Will anything you do actually matter? If you paid any attention to what happened yesterday, Saturday, January 21st, 2017, you know that there are plenty of people out there that feel the same way you do. You. Are. Not. Alone. If every person in all those crowds that gathered across the nation does one thing to try to make their community a safer and better place for women, people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQA+ community (and anyone else that I forgot) that is over 1 million things being done in this country.

The question on all of our minds, though, is what can I do? What. Can. I. Do? I was really overwhelmed by this question since the election in November. I wasn’t exactly sure where I fit in this.  I heard a lot of different things and I felt overwhelmed about where to start. But Saturday gave me life. The amount of people that showed up to stand up and support women in all of the communities that they existed, gave me hope. I have come up with a variety of things to do to make my community better. I’m going to share these with you, and combat all of your gut feeling excuses, to help you find what you can do to make your community a better place.  No more dilly-dallying, let’s get started.

1. RUN FOR OFFICE.  

Grow a pair. Woman up and run already.

Obama said it. Every speaker at the women’s March on Washington said it. I’m saying it to you now. Change starts on a local level. If you have never run for a public office before, you don’t have to start big. You start small. You could run for school board. You could contact your city’s governmental office and see what positions are available to find something that fits your expertise or your interest. If you’re fortunate enough to live in the capital city of your state, you can go to your Senator or Assmeblyperson’s office and see if you can get some information from them on how you can run in local elections. If you’re thinking about running for office, you must understand that often this is a part-time job – 20 hours a week will go to this. So if you’re privileged enough to be able to give this time, it’s definitely something to consider. 

But you might be saying to me, “Kate, I don’t have time to run for office.” “Kate, I’m not well versed enough in politics to run for office.”  I say to you, that is fine because we are going to continue with our list.  I’m going to give you more ideas.

2. VOLUNTEER. Volunteer in your community for local organizations and nonprofits that hold your values at heart. Some examples: women’s shelters like the YWCA, the YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, the Humane Society, the Rape Crisis Center. You can work as a ballot person. You can work as somebody who helps get people registered to vote. You could volunteer as somebody who helps people get driver’s licenses that wouldn’t not be able to get driver’s licenses on their own due to barriers that exist within our society. The list is endless. The possibilities are endless for the type of volunteering that you can do in your community.  If you live in a really small town, this may not be something that you can very readily do.  The nearest Humane Society might be a half hour to 45 minutes away.  You could start something in your city. 

If you tell me “Kate, I just told you I didn’t have time to run for office, so how could I have time to volunteer or start an organization in my town?”  I feel you. The list of ideas continues.

3. DONATE. 

If you don’t have time to run for office or volunteer, an excellent thing you can do is donate.  Hell, even if you were running for office or volunteering, you can donate. Do your research. Find out which organizations you would like to give a monthly donation to.  You can go on donating binges like I often do. Find organizations in your community that you can donate to.  This is important. This is what is going to facilitate change. Donations go towards paying people to do what you don’t have time to do.   

I donate to five different organizations / nonprofits each month as a reoccurring donation. I donate between $15 and $25 / organization.  It doesn’t have to be $100 a month. If you can spare $10 a month, then find one place that you can donate $10 to and that will matter.  If every single person marching on Saturday donated $10 towards organizations in their communities, that would be 10 million dollars going directly to our communities to help facilitate change. 

But you might say to me, “Kate, I work all these hours so that I can provide for myself and I really don’t have the expendable income to be able to do that.” Well, again, I challenge you with the $10 per month thing, considering that that is the cost of two lattes.  That is one stop at fast food restaurant.  That’s two beers. But don’t worry, my list is not done. Let’s continue

4.  START READING GODDAMN BOOKS. 

That’s right. Start reading some goddamn books. Start reading books that have to do with a particular subject that you care most passionately about that needs help under the Trump Administration. I will give you some examples to help you get started: access to affordable health care, black lives matter, immigration, women’s access to healthcare, treatment of Native Americans, EPA, climate change, recycling, green energy – AND SO MUCH MORE. Pretend you are creating your own college class and you’re going to make yourself read a bunch of books.  It is incredibly important to get yourself educated about the issues and not just scrolling  through articles on Facebook and Twitter and other social media. 

You might say, “Kate, I just told you that I didn’t have time to run for office or to volunteer, what makes you think that I will have time to read books?”  Well, first, opening up a goddamn book isn’t as much commitment as going to volunteer somewhere or running for office. This is a goddamn book. You should be reading goddamn books anyway. So change your topic a little bit if you haven’t already. You might say that you couldn’t donate because you don’t have the money right now that you can just throw out there. Well, then go to the goddamn library. If you don’t have a library card, get a goddamn library card, go to the goddamn library, and read some goddamn books. Consider this your time to study up before you run for office. Consider this your time to study up before you start putting your money into different organizations. Consider this your time to find where your passion truly lies within our system where the personal is so political.  Find where your passion lies so that when you have the time in the future, because you will, you can volunteer. 

As I come up with more, I will add them.  But any of the above is a great place to start.

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Ingrid the IUD: Insertion Process

My Paragard IUD’s name is Ingrid.  She can be a huge bitch sometimes, but as long as she does her job, we’re going to continue to be the best of friends.  I’m going to tell you a bit about Ingrid – my IUD insertion story. This post is largely about my Paragard IUD (as opposed to Mirena or Skyla).  If you’re unsure if an IUD is right for you, check out this post on Bedsider.  If you’re unsure about which IUD is right for you, this post on Bedsider is a good start, too.


My Birth Control Journey
I started taking the pill when I was 20.  I wasn’t very good about being on the pill – taking a pill at the same time everyday was difficult for me.  After about two years, I opted for Nuva Ring, a flexible plastic ring that gets inserted into the vagina.  I liked this – I didn’t have to think about it everyday.  I thought about it twice a month instead.  Unfortunately, the Nuva Ring caused some serious side effects for me.  Instead of just being irritable and sad the week before my period like before, I was feeling irritable, sad, depressed, and hopeless all the time.  Granted, I was dealing with graduating college and trying to figure out my next step – but the additional hormones were not helping.  One day in October of 2013, I took action and took my Nuva Ring out.  I starting looking for non-hormonal options because with my active sex life and disinterest in bearing children, I NEEDED to be on birth control.

A friend told me about the Paragard IUD.

This photo is not mine – it is from the interwebs. Just a good visual of how big Miss Ingrid is.  

  • How Paragard Works: The Paragard IUD contains no hormones, but it does contain Copper (for those of you with metal allergies).  The Copper works by immobilizing sperm.  Those little guys just get stuck in their tracks when they encounter a uterus with a Copper ninja.  No happy-fun-time for them – the fun has already been had.  Copper friend to the rescue.
  • Paragard Possible Side Effects: heavier periods, longer periods, more painful periods
  • Paragard Benefits: no babies, no accidentally forgetting to take your birth control, lasts for up to 12 years, privacy of no one else knowing what birth control you use (unless you tell them), reversible if you decide you want to have babies, no hormones.
  • FREE PARAGARD:  I live in Wisconsin, USA.  I was able to get my IUD for free through Planned Parenthood because my income qualified me for such services.  See if the Planned Parenthood nearest you has a plan for people with lower incomes.
  • BEFORE YOU GO TO THE APPOINTMENT
    • Take Ibuprofen an hour before.
    • I had my partner drive me to my appointment.  I was happy I made this decision afterwards.
  • Insertion Process:  My normal period is pretty heavy and the cramps are painful.  My OBGYN was nervous for me about getting the Paragard IUD due to the common side effects.  I was more nervous about the insertion process, which I heard from friends and online was pretty painful.  Here’s what happened:
    • Pregnancy Test and STI Test
    • Pelvic Exam: Feet up, let’s spread, it’s time to get down to business.  The OBGYN inserts a gloved finger into the vagina and uses other hand to press down on abdomen to feel for ovaries.  Just like every other annual check up.
    • Swabs Cervix with Antiseptic: This makes your cervix look purple instead of pink.  This will keep the germs out.
    • Speculum inserted:  This speculum (“Duck Lips”) is longer and bigger than the average annual exam speculum.  You’ll notice the size difference.  It doesn’t hurt – it’s just not comfortable.
    • Stabilize the Cervix: Your cervix is really good at doing her job.  She determines what comes out and what goes in.  In order to get your IUD in, a fancy tool called a tenaculum is used to basically clamp your cervix in one place.  (I always picture trying to get something in an unclamped cervix as something akin to a pink dancing donut.)  This doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t feel very comfortable.  It does feel like something has a solid grab on a part of you that you didn’t know had feeling.
    • Measure the Uterus: Next, the OBGYN will insert a uterine sound into your uterus to measure its size.  Some uteri are not large enough for IUDs.  A uterus must measure at least 6 cm to allow for an IUD.  This uterine sound looks super intimidating.  For this part, my cervix would NOT allow that sound inside.  Nope.  My OBGYN said, “Your cervix is just doing her job, but she’s making my job harder.”  It took about five minutes for me to relax enough so my cervix would let her stick the uterine sound in.  In my attempt to relax, I accidentally started hyperventilating, but really, this part is just mind over matter.
      • What this feels like: The sensation is odd.  I couldn’t actually feel the sound going in – I could only feel my cervix’s response to it.  Which was a huge fucking cramp.  This is the best way I can describe it.  Once your uterus is measured, the uterine sound comes out.
      • KATE TIP: RELAX.
    • IUD is inserted: The OBGYN is doing a lot more with different mechanisms to get the IUD in.  All I noticed were two things:
      • When she stuck something in my cervix again: It felt like the uterine sound did – like a huge fucking cramp.  Not great, but not so bad.
      • When she opened up the IUD arms: HOLY SHIT.  WOW.  I DIDN’T KNOW I HAD FEELING IN THERE.  I felt the IUD arms open up in a place in my body that hasn’t been touched before.  Guess what it felt like?  A HUGE FUCKING CRAMP.
    • Insertion Tube is pulled out: The tube gets pulled out.  You now have a T shaped friend in your uterus.
    • Strings are trimmed: The IUD has strings at the bottom of it.  These strings serve a  few purposes:
      • They assist in removal (done by a doctor when that time comes).
      • They help you know if your IUD is too low or high, based on length of strings.
    • Check your strings: It is recommended you feel for your strings so you know how long they should be.
  • AFTERWARD
    • I named my IUD “Ingrid.”
    • I sat in my passenger seat with my hands on my abdomen like I was now carrying something incredibly precious (BECAUSE I AM!).
    • I was convinced I could feel it in there.  (If I could then, I can’t now.)

Ingrid and I have been living (almost) happily ever after for 1 1/2 years now. (More on that in another post.)

Looking for more IUD info?  Check out my IUD community HERE.

‘Fitspiration’ Reality Check by Kate

We see a lot of our friends post pictures of themselves in workout clothes on Facebook and Instagram and what not, with ripped abs and skinny figures with some inspirational quote about how good God is or about how much they love kale or how nothing tastes as good as being in shape feels or about shaming you for sitting on your phone looking at fitspiration photos.  It doesn’t always feel great to see those posts when I’m sitting on my couch in a robe, stuffing an entire box of Oreo’s in my face, while on my seventh hour of binge watching Netflix.

Two things about this:

  1. Our friends should be able to post good things about themselves.  And we should be able to be genuinely happy for those friends.  We women tend to compare ourselves to other women, making us feel jealous towards them and poorly about ourselves.  This shouldn’t be the case.  We should be able to be supportive for our sisters and content with our current situations, too, even if they differ drastically.  For example – I’m taking a pole dancing class.  I’m on Level 4, but unlike many other women in the class, I have no history of ballet or gymnastics or flexibility. Period.  I can’t even touch my toes.  There are a lot of things we are taught in class that many women grasp right away, but it takes me weeks, if not MONTHS, to get there.  I have learned to be gentle and patient with myself, while being a cheerleader and supporter for the other women in my class.  It not only makes them feel good, but it makes me feel good.  What’s even better?  When I finally achieve goals that I’ve been working on, these women are my cheerleaders and support me back.  It’s all about the sisterhood.
  2. Comparing ourselves to others is really unhealthy.  If you’re looking to compare, compare yourself now to yourself in the past.  That’s what truly matters.  It’s way too easy to alter photos now with good angles, good lighting, filters, Photoshop, cropping, etc, etc, etc.  Why are we comparing our day-to-day selves with other people’s best photo that they took of themselves (a photo they realistically took like 20 times and finally got the shot they wanted)? That’s not fair to us at all.

I’ll use myself for an example.

I really like this picture of me.  I look fit and happy.  I also took this photo three times, the lighting is great because I’m right by a window and I stood in such a way that the line on my abs would show, I have my shorts pulled up over my poochie belly, it’s in a mirror – so technically all my features are flipped, I’m sucking-in a little and flexing my abs, and I have the camera at a higher angle so my extra chin skin can’t be seen.

image

But let’s be real – this is what I look like when I’m sitting down.  Now it could be said that I altered this one with lighting and angle and what not – but I only took this picture once, with my dominant hand, and I sat in a relaxed position.

image

My point?  It’s all about the angles, the lighting, and how one wears their clothing.  I try not to compare myself to others online – because no one posts an unflattering picture of themselves (unless they are trying to make a point).  Honestly, what helped me curb my comparing is by taking really flattering photos of myself.  Then, when I am looking at other people’s best photos of themselves, I think of my best photos of myself and think to myself, “I’m pretty damn sexy, self.”

And then I pat myself on the shoulder for being nice and patient with me. :)

(That was a lot of “self’s.”)

Birth Control 101

I have so many things I want to write about birth control.  I want to write about the fact that birth control isn’t talked about enough.  I want to write about the fact that too many people think birth control is only a political issue.  I want to write about how many women take birth control to make their periods easier to manage.  I want to write about how some women take birth control to make their periods lighter and less painful.  I want to write about how some women take birth control to have periods because they have poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, a syndrome that causes women to stop having their periods. I want to write about how some people in our government want to control women’s access to birth control.  I want to write about the personal, societal, and factual implications of this.  I want to write about how certain women have better access to birth control based on their skin color, perceived ethnicity, geographical location, income, perceived gender, whether or not their are in an abusive relationship, and how all these aspects cross over and around and relate to one another.  I want to write about how fucked up it is that people think their personal relationship with their god should dictate other women’s personal relationships with their lady parts.  I want to write about how infuriated I am that the same people who don’t believe in birth control also don’t believe in abortions or helping single mothers take care of their children or access to public education for all children or sex education for teens or taxes for public resources that can help these families thrive or low income housing or ANYTHING that will help the mothers who are trying to take care of children that these people don’t think should be prevented in any way.  I want to write about how necessary birth control is to prevent abortions and struggling single mothers and teen pregnancies.

I could write a novel about all those things.  Maybe I will one day.  Today is not that day.  Today I am going to write about the big BC.  Loving yourself means taking control over your body, especially when some people are trying to take you over, whether it be physically, mentally, politically, and/or emotionally.  Coming to you daily from Madison, Wisconsin!  Fighting the good fight to keep women in the know about what’s to know about your reproductive options!

Enough with my rant.  If you’re into videos, here is a good introduction to birth control.

I found an amazing organization that is everything birth control.  Any question you could ever have about BC at the tip of your fingertips on their website.  Check out Bedsider to get an awesome, interactive view of what’s available.  You can even use filters to find out which will work best for you when.  IT’S TRULY AMAZING.

BIRTH CONTROL 101

  1. Long Term Birth Control (a one time insertion/shot/implant that lasts for a longer period of time, removal by a doctor)
    1. IUD (intra-uterine device)
      1. Paragard (copper, non-hormonal, lasts up to 12 years)
      2. Mirena (localized hormones, lasts up to 5 years)
      3. Skyla (smaller, localized hormones, lasts up to 3 years)
    2. Implant
      1. Implanon
      2. Nexplanon
    3. The Shot
      1. Depo Vera
    4. Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) (for new mothers, a natural way to prevent pregnancy will regular breastfeeding, lasts up to six months or longer)
  2. Shorter Term Birth Control (something that is taken daily, weekly or monthly and can be removed by the woman, from longest lasting to shortest)
    1. The Ring (Nuva Ring – flexible ring containing hormones inserted digitally into vagina, removed every three weeks, one week off, new one inserted)
    2. The Patch (Ortho Evra – thin plastic patch put on skin, new patch each week)
    3. The Pill (taken daily for 24-26 days, many different brands, two different levels of hormones)
      1. Progestin-Only Pills
      2. Combination Estrogen-Progestin Pills
  3. Emergency Contraception (for situations when a birth control method failed or was not used, EC only prevents pregnancy – not STIs)
    1. Plan B (single dose pill that prevents release of egg and/or implantation into uterine wall, must be taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse)
    2. Paragard IUD (prevents implantation into uterine wall, also a long term birth control option)
  4. Barrier Methods (per sexual act)
    1. Male Condom (most common, condom put on erect penis, also protects against STIs/STDs)
    2. Female Condom (inserted into vagina with flexible ring, can be inserted up to six hours before intercourse, protects against STIs)
    3. Diaphragm (a small cap that gets inserted into vagina, can be inserted hours before intercourse, DO NOT protect against STIs)
    4. Sponge (inserted into vagina, immobilizes sperm, DOES NOT protect against STIs)
    5. Spermicide (inserted deep into vagina shortly before intercourse, immobilizes sperm, DOES NOT protect against STIs)
    6. Dental Dams (a latex square used for cunnilingus to prevent STIs, does not prevent pregnancy)
  5. Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (best when all combined, work best for people trying to get pregnant)
    1. Temperature Method (record temperature daily to determine ovulation)
    2. Cervical Mucus Method (record cervical mucus daily to determine ovulation)
    3. Calendar Method (keeping track of your periods on a calendar to determine ovulation)
    4. CycleBeads (keeping track of period with string of beads)
  6. Permanent Birth Control (requires surgery)
    1. Women – Tubal Sterilization
    2. Men – Vasectomy
  7. Abstinence (having no sex whatsoever, requires serious self control)

You do YOU!

Learning to Love Your Stretch Marks: LADY LINE LOVE

I just googled “stretch marks.”  This topic was the first thing to pop up:

Chrissy Teigen Embraces Her Stretch Marks to Prove She’s Awesome

(I didn’t know who this “Chrissy Teigen” was – she’s a Sports Illustrated model.  Got it – that’s why the media is freaking out.  But I’m glad this is the first thing to pop up.  Stretch mark love!)

Life&Style Mag titled their article Stretchies Say Hi”: Supermodel Chrissy Teigen Shows Off Her Stretch Marks, Proving She’s Just Like the Rest of Us!”

Of course she has stretch marks just like the rest of us!  The onset of puberty gives even the smallest looking people stretch marks.  Stretch marks do not demarcate “FAT.”  They demarcate GROWTH. (That being said, “Fat” does not mean “bad” or “less worthy.”)

Women and men alike have stretch marks for various reasons.

  • Possible Locations: belly, thighs, hips, breasts, upper arms, lower back, butt, calves, shoulders – basically, you name it.
  • Possible Reasons They’re There: pregnancy, extreme weight loss, extreme weight gain, puberty, quick muscle gain from working out, etc.

A lot of remedies exist to get rid of stretch marks.  Lotions, creams, and surgical methods are all ways to try to get stretch marks – but, personally, the best remedy is to change your mindset about your stretch marks.

STRETCH MARKS ARE BEAUTIFUL!
Love Your Lines Campaign was “started by two women who want to celebrate real women, real bodies, and real self-love.”  
Here are some photos from their Tumblr.  The photos all have quotes from the women who shared their lines.  Check out the link to see more photos and their positive notes.

MY STRETCH MARK JOURNEY
I’ve recently learned that my booty is much bigger than I realized.  Which I find AWESOME.  All this time, I thought underwear just didn’t fit me right (you know where the cloth liner on the inside it supposed to line up? It never did).  No, I just needed a bigger size.  I learned this when ordering period panties off-line ONE MONTH AGO and they said to order by hip-size.  I DIDN’T KNOW I WAS SUPPOSED TO DO THAT!  Geez, all this time.  So I ordered an XL, which seemed crazy to me, but they fit great and are super comfy, so who cares about the size?

I went to Victoria’s Secret to get a free pair of undies yesterday (and didn’t get ANYTHING ELSE.  How’s that for self control?).  I used to always get mediums (that never lined up right with my cuntie poo), but yesterday I decided to get a large.  And THEY LINE UP WITH MY CUNTIE POO!   It find it incredibly hilarious that, at 24 years old, I just realized how I was subconsciously in denial about my great booty.  I decided to take a good look at my hips yesterday, too – HOLY SHIT – STRETCH MARKS!  AWESOME!  I never noticed THOSE before!  I just wonder when it happened!

I love the (new and late discovered) stretch marks on my thighs the way I love the stretch marks on my right breast.  When I noticed I had stretch marks on my bigger boob I WAS ECSTATIC!  That meant that that boob GOT BIGGER!  SWEET!  I have stretch marks on my hips – must mean those got bigger, too!  AWESOME!  I am not a girl, I AM A WOMAN. ROAR.

KATE’S ON-THE-FLY TIPS TO START LOVING YOUR LADY LINES

  1. Follow “Love Your Lines” on Instagram.  Seeing other women’s stretch marks in a positive light will help you see your stretch marks in a positive light – no matter how or why or when your stretch marks got where they are.
  2. Look at your stretch marks.  Give those lady lines a good look.  Think about the journey your body has taken to get those stretch marks.  Pregnancy, weight gain, weight loss, puberty – these lines tell a story.
  3. Think about the story they tell.  What does that story mean to you?  If it’s something positive – like bringing a baby into the world or growing into a woman – accepting that story can be easier.  If it’s something negative for you, accepting this story about your body might be more difficult.  Perhaps you gained a lot of weight in response to dealing with trauma.  Be patient and kind to yourself.  This may be a good time to start getting to the root of the trauma you experienced, so you can heal your mind, spirit, and relationship to your lady lines and the rest of your body.
  4. Hell, name those lady lines if you want.  You could go with actual names like “Edna, Mary, and Louise.”  Or go with more of a group idea – “Gloria and the Gang,” or “Destiny’s Children.”  Or name them by body part – “Titty Tats.”  Or name them by their shape – “Zebra Print,” “Lightning Strikes,” “Tiger Stripes.”  Or name them something lovely – “My Lady Lines.”
  5. FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT!  Keep saying and thinking positive things about your lovely lady lines and eventually you will believe yourself.  Because you are a credible person to believe and you deserve to love every single part of you. :)

Remember that learning to love parts of yourself won’t happen overnight.  It all takes time.

Keep being patient and kind with yourself, ladies!

Learning to Love My Body Hair

My journey with body hair has been a rollercoaster.  This is still something that I am trying to work through.

A LITTLE ABOUT MY STORY
I had this fascination with shaving from a young age. At age 10, I was so eager to start shaving my legs.  I asked my mom for permission all the time.  Some other girls in the fifth grade had started shaving and I wanted to as well.  At the time, I felt my legs were SO HAIRY.  Which they weren’t compared to now, but for a little girl, yes, they probably were – I have very dark hair.  In sixth grade, my mom let me shave my legs.  Hooray.

My eagerness to shave grew the second I had armpit hair.  I didn’t even ask my mother about that one.  I just started doing it before I even had to do it.  (Which I now think is really sad.)

It BLEW my mind when I learned people shave their pubes. I was about 16.  WHAT?!  I was all stoked when I could finally rock the full bush because it demarcated womanhood for me, only to learn years later that shaving it all off was “expected.”  I tried it.  If you’re going to do it, GO WITH THE GRAIN. FOR GOD’S SAKE.  I learned this lesson the hard way.  Twice.

Things changed though.  By Junior year of high school, I was known for not regularly shaving my legs.  My hairy legs were a comical topic for my lunch table, to which I gladly whipped my leg onto the table to show everyone how much I didn’t give a fuck.

WHERE I’M AT NOW

Six week leg hair in 2013- the longest I’ve gone.  I’m damn proud of it, too.

At 24, my ambivalence towards my legs continues.  I shave about once a month.  I even question why I do that though.  I question why I shave my arm pits, too.  (I grew them out for six weeks once.  Shaved them when I returned to the Western world.)  I think a big reason is that I know my manfriend wouldn’t be too into it.  Which, from my feminist perspective, is really fucked up.  But when it’s all I’ve ever known too, it doesn’t feel like I’m doing it for him.  As for my cuntie-poo, she rolls with the tides.  Whatever my current mood is.

LESS ABOUT ME – MORE ABOUT WOMEN
Some may think of women’s body hair as only pits, pubes, and legs, but there’s SO MUCH MORE that we are self conscious about as women.  Ahem, a list:
– armpits
– nipple hairs
– legs
– arm hair
– pubes
– facial hair
– belly hair (“treasure trail”)
– mole hairs
– widow’s peaks
– toe hair
– finger hair
– butt crack hair
– bikini lines
– the fine thigh hair
– (Leave more examples in the comments!)

Life would be substantially easier if we could let go of most – if not ALL – of the things on this list.  Society may think that being feminine is being hairless, but as this guy put it:

“I noticed on these beautiful naked bodies how most women’s leg hairs begin to considerably thin on her thighs. What I saw was that the way a woman’s hair is on her body is distinctly feminine in arrangement and it is gorgeous, it really is.” – Damien Bohler

I honestly had never thought of it that way before.  Even if a woman were to go shave-free, she’d still look feminine in the way that her body hair is patterned on her.  We just don’t see that in the media or any women around us anymore. (In a future blog, I’m going to go into the origin of women’s shaving – spoiler: it’s not a very long history.)

HAIR IN THE MEDIA
Women’s Body Hair is Sexy is a great little article by a guy who changed his mindset about lady’s hairy everythings.  He went from not-so-interested to these-chicks-with-hairy-everythings-are-really-awesome-I’ll-get-over-it. (His quote is above.)

I found it inspiring.  It makes me consider taking my hairiness to the next level.  Perhaps I’ll give it shot and see if it makes me happy.  If it doesn’t make me happy, I’m not going to do it.  Or maybe I’ll continue the ways things are – once my body hair grows out, I cut it short.  Then I let it grow out again.  And then I cut it short.

It’s a journey.  It’s all about being patient with myself.  (Literally patient, because I have to wait for the hair to grow.)

This topic is to be continued … :D

VIDEO: Coping with Grief

By far one of the hardest things I have had to deal with so far in my adulthood is seeing my grandfather get sick and pass away.  He died on November 1, 2014 after two strokes, a month in the hospital, and seven weeks in hospice.  It’s still super fresh for me.  I still can’t wrap my mind around that fact that he’s gone – and he knows what happens once we die.  BLOWS MY MIND.

I was stressed out and sad and not realizing how much this was affecting me physically.  I did not realize how much I wasn’t eating.  I did not realize how much I was giving loved ones the cold shoulder.  I did not realize how much I was isolating myself.  Grief is hard.  Losing a loved one is hard.  Self care is extra important in these times.

Here are some resources if you are coping with grief, too.

Self Care While Grieving: Comfort Quickies – Some ideas if you’re looking for ways to comfort yourself.

Grief and Loss: Self Care – Some ways to keep in touch with caring for your body while you are grieving.

Healthy Grieving – This covers many topics – what is grief, what experiencing grief looks like, helping yourself through grief, recommended reading.


I have said it before and I’ll say it again, taking care of you starts with you.