6 things to do when you unintentionally hurt someone.

A 6 minute read πŸ™‚

If you’re reading this, you probably think you’re a piece of sh*t. Or, you’re supporting the hustle – thanks in advance πŸ˜‰ In the words of Hannah Montana, EVERYBODY MAKES MISTAKES. Its a normal, necessary part of life that we all have to navigate through. Here are 6 tips to help you out if you’ve hurt someone and you’re having several breakdowns over it, lol.

1. Be honest with yourself

What were your intentions behind the decision you made that ultimately led to hurting someone? Can you justify your actions? As long as what you thought you were doing was for the best, you should be able to find peace soon.

Isn’t @ goldmoods a gem? Her photos make me want to clean my room lol.

You need to determine whether you want to stick by your decision or if you should abandon it in order to accept that your judgement was at fault. Personally, this is pretty easy for me, although I may not always admit it immediately – I know when I am in the wrong and I can certainly admit it to myself.

It is so easy to let our egos guide us. Often, we will lie to ourselves and convince ourselves that we are in the right, when a lot of the time, we aren’t. Unless you’re a Capricorn, then you’re always right πŸ˜‰ Seriously though, unless we are authentic with ourselves, how can we expect others to be genuine towards us?

Accepting that you have done something to hurt someone, and understanding that you have caused someone pain, is one of the most self-less things you can do. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but being able to look yourself in the mirror and say ‘Hey, I really messed up and this is my fault – I will hold myself accountable’ will help you out greatly in life. Integrity is probably the best quality that anyone can strive to have.

2. Apologise abundantly

When I mess up and hurt someone, I will apologise a lot. Guilt consumes me so I cannot bear to think that someone I have hurt is under the impression that I do not regret it. Shortly after you have hurt someone, I think you can never apologise enough, reassure them that you care about them as they probably feel extremely vulnerable and perhaps neglected by you.

@ jennyyy_000 has the prettiest instagram feed and she’s a vegan so she wins at life

Remember, you aren’t apologising for forgiveness, that would be selfish. You are apologising because YOU KNOW that what you did was distasteful and you want them to know that you did not mean to hurt them. When someone thinks that you have purposefully tried to hurt them, it is emotionally draining, so it is important for you to lay your cards out on the table to show them that you accept responsibility.

Whatever you do, don’t blame them, or anyone else for that matter. In the past, I’ve found it WAY too easy to delegate the blame onto other people – however, having grown since then, I’ve learnt that you are 100 percent liable for the mistakes you make. Why? Because you made them. Even if someone persuaded you to make the a specific choice, you still decided to make the choice. Basically, unless you were blackmailed into hurting someone, it’s your fault. This isn’t about anyone else but you and the choice you made.

Own it. Most likely, you did what you did within good reason. So, if they give you the chance to apologise – explain your decision in great detail so that, if they want to understand, they can step into your shoes and see things from your perspective.

3. Prepare yourself for their anger

My mum ALWAYS tells me to expect the worst. Some might think that’s a pessimistic way of thinking, and maybe it is, but it sure as hell equips you to deal with someone’s wrath haha.

They’re allowed to be angry, you have to remind yourself of that. If you hurt someone, you have no control of how they feel – even if you wouldn’t be hurt if it was the other way around. Everyone grows up with different experiences in life and so we all have different kinds of wisdom to guide us through difficult situations. Understand that you don’t know what they are going through, distance yourself if need be to respect their emotions and space as much as you can. Wouldn’t you want them to respect yours?

Maybe God IS a woman… @ marion.oke

If the person you have hurt is not emotionally mature, they may resort to character assassination (throwing dirt on your name) in order to gain more sympathy from others. This is usually done by exaggerating the truth. It is most likely to happen before you have apologised, however, sometimes it can occur when you have apologised several times and they are still upset about it. As I mentioned previously, everyone is different but immature people will stop at nothing to get sympathy and for people to agree that you are a ‘bad person’.

Naturally, you may want to clear your name. Whenever someone goes out of their way to ruin my reputation, it’s so tempting for me to just text mutual friends and defend myself. However, you can learn a valuable lesson from this: if you upset Bob, and Bob throws dirt on your name to Billy, and Billy doesn’t defend you, or believes Bob or throws dirt on your name to Brian – then Billy was never someone you needed in your life anyway. Billy wasn’t a good friend. Your real friends would never let someone tarnish your name for the sake of making them feel better. Also, don’t retaliate. It is best to keep quiet if drama kicks off; damage control is your best friend right now.

4. Never beg for or expect forgiveness

The minute you beg someone for anything, you have shown them that they hold power over you. In fact, you are handing them all of the power in the situation and that is risky because they might take advantage of your guilt. When you plead for someone’s forgiveness you have shown them that you are not coping well with the shame of hurting them. You are showing them that you are emotionally vulnerable right now and that you’ll do anything for their pardon; they may string you along for an ego boost and damage your mental health. Recognise when someone is using you.

@ angelinapapi is so effortlessly gorgeous. GLOW BABY GLOW.

Expecting forgiveness will only make you bitter and resent them for not understanding your regret or reasoning. If you have apologised enough, and they cannot accept it at this moment in time, leave them alone. The ball is completely in their court and you mustn’t interrupt their healing process. If you get involved while they are processing their pain, they may stray further from you as it looks like you exclusively care about their forgiveness, rather than acknowledging their pain.

Perhaps learning to forgive others is an element of their journey in personal growth.

5. Forgive yourself

Okay this is kind of a ‘no-brainer’ but personally I seem to forget this. When I accidentally hurt someone, and they haven’t found it within themselves to forgive me, I will think about what I did wrong for months on end. Its emotional torture but I only have myself to blame for it as the only person holding me back from happiness, is me.

If you have done everything you possibly can to respect them, and they haven’t forgiven you, maybe its time to forgive yourself. You can’t keep blaming yourself for something you did back then, you did it because in that moment, based off of your judgement, it was most likely the right thing to do, but to them, it was the wrong thing to do. As I keep saying, everyone is different and everyone holds different values. You might just have to accept being labeled as the bad guy in someone’s story.

I think @ mee.l.a is a miracle. Just look at her.

Referring to Oprah helps me a lot when I make a mistake. She says ‘When you know better, you do better’. She’s absolutely right, humans are creatures that are learning how to do better, every single day. You did what you did because you didn’t know any better; you’ve probably never been in that situation before so you didn’t have the necessary life experience to influence your decision. Honestly, sometimes all you can do is accept your mistake, vow to never do it again and move on with your life.

6. Become the best version of yourself

I promise you, you will never be defined for unintentionally hurting someone. It was a moment in your life that went wrong, and sadly affected someone else’s life too – but that is never a reason to to think that you are your mistake. Want to know what defines you? Think about the things you do in life, for others.

You’re probably a good person, perhaps a REALLY good person if your moon sign is in Cancer (hahaha I’ll stop). Maybe you are kind to waiters, cleaners and bus drivers. Perhaps you send gifts or letters to your friends when they’re sad, or maybe to surprise them out of the blue. You might pay for your brother’s clothes when you go to a shop. You could be that person that helps a homeless person out with some money or food.

Could @ graceemilyy BE any cuter?

Maybe you listen to your friend’s problems for hours on end and spend a significant amount of time giving them advice. Possibly, you donate to charities regularly and you fundraise for them too. Are you that person that the drunk girl in the nightclub toilets can cry to about her awful ex-boyfriend whose name starts with a ‘J’?

What I’m saying is, regardless of your mistakes in life, I’m sure you’ve done a lot more exceptional things that outweigh all of your regrets. I am sure you know you are a genuinely lovely person who cares about others. So who cares if you mess up from time to time, that is life, we all upset people without meaning to. So accept it, sincerely apologise to them, completely forgive yourself and move on. Go and do some self-less things and build your generosity so high that no one could ever doubt your character.

I’m not asking for it.

A 5 minute read πŸ™‚

Growing up, I took precaution to ensure that my clothes weren’t too tight or revealing because I wouldn’t want people to misjudge me and assume that I’m ‘asking for it‘.

Before you get into this article, please be aware it is written in heterosexual terms – by this I mean, females being sexualised by males. I’ve also made a YouTube video on this topic diving in a bit further πŸ™‚

Let kids be kids.

In some cultures, like mine, women are expected to cover up their body, unless you are in traditional clothing, in that case, show ALL the belly you want lol.

She’s not asking for it. @ anniee_clark

When I was 12 or 13, my sister and I wore matching bird print dresses to Christmas dinner at my Aunty’s house. They were floaty and knee length. My sister wore thick black tights with hers, and I wore patterned black tights. You know the ones I’m talking about? They were trendy in 2012 lol.

After we left, my mum told me that my grandad disapproved of my tights. Something along the lines of them being inappropriate! Like come onnnnn, I was just a kid and they were pretty tights.

I was judged for my clothing when I was at the age where I wondered if touching water would turn me into a Mermaid. The issue here is the sexualisation of the female gender, why does it happen so early and why is it a thing?

The Hyper-sexualisation of Young Girls.

Okay so lets quickly address the “ideal body type” on a western woman, throughout the years. I watched this video by Natacha OcΓ©ane. She explains that in the 1910s everyone wanted to resemble ‘The Gibson Girl’ (Hourglass) and in the 1920s women intentionally wore baggy clothes to rebel against the hourglass body type. In the 1930s women rocked trousers and the fashion industry began to fetishize curvier women again.

She’s not asking for it.

The 40s sparked a slim look and women in the 50s had Marilyn Monroe to idolise; hip and butt pad sales flourished! The 60s, 70s and 80s preferred slimmer and athletic body types whilst the 90s glamourised drug culture with ‘the heroin chic‘ look. The early 2000s adored a tanned, athletic figure with a flat stomach and big boobs and now we live in a social media influencer craze with Kylie Jenner sitting on the throne.

So what’s the big deal?

The female gender has been sexualised by the media for what feels like eternity. In fact, its been over sexualised to the point where young girls are seen as sexual beings if they wear clothes that are fitted or ‘revealing’. Through adverts for food, perfume, cologne and sports, the media has taken over our minds and has allowed us to subconsciously sexualise our friends, family and strangers. It’s allowed some groups of people to see pre-pubescent girls as sexual creatures who have the ability to attract men. Gross.

I want to ask you a question. It doesn’t matter what your gender is. Answer as honestly as possible. Do you feel uncomfortable when women dress in ‘provocative’ clothing? If their shoulders, stomach, thighs, belly or cleavage show? If you can see their skin, does it make you feel uncomfortable? Why?

Society’s issue with the way that women dress.

I’ve always wondered why I’m not supposed to wear tight clothing around my family members. Surely its not because they would think I’m trying to attract THEM? Lol. It made me think – maybe wearing tight trousers, a short dress or a low cut top actually has a way of humiliating your family.

She’s not asking for it. @ jasxelamela

Pride has always been a huge part of my culture. If a daughter in a stereotypical Desi family does something out of the norm such as date someone of a different culture, or perform badly in school, it’s awkward to explain to the community. Its inconvenient for Desi families to deal with any kind of stigma. So, perhaps if a girl belonging to a particular culture dresses ‘too western’, it affects her whole family’s ‘reputation’… when reality, it doesn’t actually do anything except bruise the ego. *sips tea*.

Reminder: your reputation is who you are and what you do, not what others assume about you through rumours and misjudgement.

When a woman is judged by people for the way she dresses, there is an assumption that it reflects ‘badly’ on her family because it looks like her parents and family have raised the her improperly by being lenient with her. Suspicions surface within the community that she is a sexual being, even if she isn’t and the woman’s own family criticise her because they fear being judged by other families; and I mean, they probably will be judged – that’s just what society does. I guess people just care a lot about what others think. In rare cases, Desi families go as far as honour killings, when it comes to their pride. I recommend the brilliant book, ‘Killing Honour’ by Balli Rai, or the short film “Murdered by My Father” if you want to educate yourself on this topic.

“A woman who dresses in fitted or revealing clothing implies that she is looking for sex.”

If you agree with this statement I’m sorry but you remind me of Dennis Reynolds. All jokes aside, does this statement apply to men? If a man wears shorts or a tight shirt, does it mean he is ‘asking for it’? Does it mean that he should expect to be ‘cat-called’?

None of this seems justified to me because what I wear is not an invitation for anyone out there to talk to me or touch me. Don’t tell me to cover up, tell your sons not to rape.

Being judged by other women.

I’ve heard before that women are expected to dress more conservatively after they get married and have children. What does that mean exactly? Lets break it down.

She’s not asking for it.

Ladies, I don’t know about you, but I do not dress in a particular way to impress men. I do it so that I feel good. So often, I feel the need to dress down when I know I will be meeting new people – I’m less likely to show skin when I expect to introduce myself to someone, you never know what they’ll say about you. Occasionally, I dress modestly when I know I’ll be in the specific company of women; I don’t want them to assume things.

There is a fixed theory that some women have that ladies who dress in a ‘raunchy’ way are looking for sexual attention. They may say comments like ‘who are you trying to impress?’. Do women also believe that dressing in a certain way means that we are ‘asking for it’? Should we actually just expect to receive unwanted attention from men if we choose to show skin?

Perhaps the attention will always be there and we just have to be ready to deal with it. It’s going to take a lot to change the way that men behave – which brings me onto…

Some men need more self-respect

I am aware that 1 in 16 men are raped (this might not be accurate) but sexual assault prevention messages are usually targeted at women. We are advised not to walk alone at night, to not get drunk, to not dress in a certain way – to simplify this, we are basically told ‘don’t get raped.’

Instead of asking so much of women, why aren’t we pointing these messages and adverts at men by saying ‘DON’T RAPE’. I cannot understand how our society is continuing to raise sexual predators when we have the technology to actually help prevent it. Instead of using our media resources to encourage rape culture, we should reinforce the fact that a man’s status is not linked to his ability to dominate. Imagine the world we’d live in if the media praised male compassion more than physical strength.

While doing research for this topic, I stumbled upon this ignorant video – it was created by a random man with a misogynistic opinion. It’s called ‘Women, why do they think that they can dress any way they choose!” If you watch it, you’ll probably laugh.

She’s not asking for it. @ anuschkanp

Eli Mann, who produced this YouTube video advises men that “Women are sick in the head” and “Don’t let them make you feel bad about them wearing something they shouldn’t be wearing”. ‘Shouldn’t be wearing’? I had no idea Eli Mann is the father of every woman on the planet!

He then goes on to say “Don’t be scared, don’t let these women fool you into being ashamed about something that comes natural to you.”

Okay, I understand if a man feels attracted to a woman. I understand if it is because the woman is wearing a revealing outfit; the media actively encourages men to be drawn to women who show more skin. What I will never understand is men ASSUMING it is moral to catcall, touch, rape, and take secret photos of woman because it ‘comes natural to him’.

A lot of thoughts come natural to people but that is not an excuse to act on those impulses. If anything, you should ask yourself, why do I feel like doing that? Do you have so little respect for yourself that you feel the need to sexually belittle a woman so that you feel more powerful? Power comes from your work ethic, empathy and mental strength – not your ability to say ‘I want to sleep with her’ or ‘She looks like a slut’.

Instead of telling us how to dress, teach yourselves not to harass, degrade and abuse a human being. In all honesty, most men are not violent, but they’re also apprehensive in supporting women by challenging other men – but what if someone said or did these things to their mother, sister, girlfriend or daughter?

Conclusion

The first memory I have of an explicit encounter with a predator was when I was around 15 years old. My sister and I were on a public bus on our way home. We were in our school uniform.

Despite there being plenty of seats on the bus, a man got on and sat directly behind us. We felt the chair shaking. I turned around, out of curiosity, but he was playing with his genitals. We got up and moved. He followed us and sat behind us again. My sister and I got off the bus.

I also get sexually assaulted nearly every time I’m in a club. I think most women have experienced a man sliding past them in a crowded area, groping them and then sliding away quickly so that when the woman turns around, she has no idea who just sexually assaulted her. I always feel so low after a man does this to me. I feel disgusted and I feel like it’s my fault for wearing a tight dress. Is it really my fault?

She’s not asking for it.

Violence against women is NOT a woman’s issue. It’s a male issue. Maybe these men don’t feel comfortable to talk about violence against women. ‘Manhood’ does not mean being rich, having a lot of sex or being popular. Manhood means being a man – and what is a man? A human with feelings and empathy. Men can’t treat women with dignity if they lack dignity themselves.

We have to stand up to the unfair judgement that women face every single day by the media and our society. We have to demand respect for women who dress modestly, and women who show their beautiful skin. Whatever your culture, your religion, or just your opinion – you cannot tell someone else how to dress. If the way someone chooses to dress offends you, you need to look within yourself because if a woman was actually asking for it, she’d just ask for it lol.

Thank you for reading! I dive a little deeper into this topic in my YouTube video. Lots of love, Ariya xxx

Love Your Brown Skin

An insightful 3-4 minute read πŸ™‚

Both of my parents are from Kerala, a beautiful state on the south west coast of India. The majority of the women in my family are fair skinned; we are told to stay that way.

An introduction to Colourism

My beautiful best friend is a Malayalee dream!
@ varshajxy

What is ‘Colourism’?

You’ve heard of racism: prejudice, discrimination or antagonism against someone of a different race – stemming from the belief that one’s own race is superior.

Simply put, colourism is racism within one’s own race. A dominating form of colourism in Indian culture is the belief that light skin is better than dark skin.

Where does colourism come from?

A lot of people argue that colourism came about in India when Britain colonised the country, suggesting that colourism is a byproduct of white supremacy.

The Crazed Indian‘ on YouTube offers “It’s happened for generations. We’ve assumed that the more we can be like our colonisers, when it comes to our manners, when it comes to our looks, when it comes to our skin colour, how we present ourselves to the world – the better we are. The better we’ll fit in.”

Can we just take a minute and bow down to this Tamil BEAUTY?!
@ lydia.danistan

I agree with her and I’ll add that it stems from the caste system too. You’re probably familiar with the idea of arranged marriages being normal in Desi culture, but there is more to it than just ‘my son will marry your daughter’ – social status plays a huge part of marriage proposals, you have to have equal social status to your partner, for your marriage to be approved.

How does social status link to skin colour?

Stereotypically, Indians with fair skin are portrayed as wealthy and those with dark skin are deemed poor. History states that wealthy Indians stayed indoors, and those with less money would work outside in the sun – thus making them darker. This is an awful assumption, but the stigma has been around for generations.

Don’t get me started on Bollywood. They never hire dark skinned women to play the lead role. Darker skinned women aren’t even cast as back-up dancers either – you’ll see light skinned Indians or even white women.

North India vs South India: there is a divide because of the cliche that dictates that North Indians are light and South Indians are dark. So with that cliche, comes the prejudice that North Indians are wealthier and therefore superior. Not cool.

Unfair & Lovely – Skin Bleaching

I am a light skinned Indian. Not so light that I could get into Bollywood, but ‘light enough’ to have its unnecessary privileges.

I think I was around 9 or 10 when I first came across Fair & Lovely. Lol, I can imagine my P.O.C readers rolling their eyes right now. Think of fake tan, but reversed. Still confused? Watch this 40 second video.

@ nayanapillai has the CLEAREST skin I’ve ever seen in my life; queen of Kerala!

Now that you’ve seen that dreadful advert, you have gained an understanding of the extremities of colourism in Asia. When I was in Uganda last year, I visited a few stores and nearly ALL of them sold Fair & Lovely. Why are dark skinned women all over the world being told to make their skin lighter? Why is light skin a fetish? It’s just skin.

In her teenage years, I remember my sister putting Fair & Lovely on her face and I thought it was completely normal, because in my culture, skin lightening methods have been established by the media as a necessity. Skin bleaching is still seriously common across Asia and Africa and there are plenty of brands to promote it.

Multiple studies have shown that having light skin implies that you’re likely to have shorter prison sentences, better grades at school and success in your workplace. This is not to say these things aren’t deserved or worked for, but it exhibits a biased human perspective. It’s called ‘Light Skin Privilege.’ Colourism is not just within one’s own race, it’s a prejudice that the world has needlessly adopted and sadly accepted.

My Experiences with Colourism

If I had Β£1 for every time an Indian boy told me ‘you’re hot for an Indian’, I’d be rich! I always ask ‘what do you mean?’ and they say ‘you don’t look like you’re from the south.’

Dating

I went on a date with a white boy once (the Indian aunties are shaking in their sandals) and he assumed I was mixed race because I told him my mother was born in England. I corrected him and let him know that both of my parents are Malayalee and he was actually disappointed! He then attempted to compliment me by saying ‘you don’t look fully Indian, cos you’re a lighty’.

A BENGALI princess – @ taybha.haque

That interaction made me think, if I had been born a little darker, would men hesitate to date me? It breaks my heart that dark skinned women have been encouraged to feel this way about themselves because the media manipulates the public eye.

I think the media is really to blame for this light skin fetish that men and women have adopted. You hear it in the rap songs; there are hundreds that refer to light skinned women of colour and describing them as beautiful and sexy. You see it in magazines and television shows like Love Island – the light skinned women get a lot of attention, and dark skinned women are never praised in the same way; its plain discrimination.

Secondary school

I went to a predominantly white secondary school. There were perhaps 6 or 7 South Asians in my year and probably 4 or 5 black people.

My family would always tell me to stay out of the sun at school and if I ever got dark it would be made apparent. They meant well; remember, they’ve encountered years of brainwashing too. I get very dark in the summer so around the age of 13/14 I actually began to brighten the selfies that I posted on Instagram, the ‘Valencia’ filter was my best friend. It felt ‘good’ to be lighter than I actually was. I can’t believe I thought like that.

My sister told me a little about her experience at school:

“We used to sit on the field at school, all of our white friends would be sunbathing, and we would sit under a tree, in the shade. If there wasn’t a tree, the next best thing would be to use an umbrella.”

Please think critically about colourism.

As I mentioned before, I spent some time in Uganda and when I was there, I was exposed to the sun and my skin colour darkened a lot. Towards the end of the trip, I sent my mum a photo of myself that I liked. She showed her friend and he said that ‘She looks like she’s been out working in the fields in India’. I deleted the photo and began to feel insecure of my skin colour.

When I met my mum at the airport back in England, the very first thing she said to me was ‘You’re not too dark! You look nice.”

I love my mum so much and I know she would never mean anything bad by this, but I wanted to show this example to you all so I can explain how deeply rooted the issue of colourism is. My mum thought that I would be upset with how dark I was, so she wanted to make me feel better. Most of the time, people don’t even realise that the things that they say out of love have negative connotations.

If you take away anything from this article, please understand that we need to think critically about colourism. These comments do need to stop. For centuries, we have praised fair skinned individuals, but it is our responsibility to show love and admiration to our darker skinned brothers and sisters. It is appalling that history and something as narrow-minded as social status is able to determine what is beautiful. We need to help stop this obsession with light skin, its boring!

Melanin is sexy and dark skinned people should be able to wear it proud, without pathetic stereotypes and hierarchies.

If you know someone with dark skin, they deserve to know that they are beautiful, more than light skinned individuals do. So tell them. Be the reason we see a change in the world.

No one should have to bleach their skin to feel worthy.

Lots of love, Ariya x x x

5 Signs that you are in an ’emotionally abusive’ relationship.

A 3-4 minute read πŸ™‚

Boyfriend, girlfriend, friend or parent – anyone can emotionally abuse you. Here are some tips to spot the signs of emotional abuse within romantic relationships.

If you think that you are being emotionally abused, please contact me – I want to help you. Alternatively, call Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 202 0247.

1. They belittle you and call you names.

If someone truly loves you, they would never call you a ‘bitch’. Name calling is a classic sign of immaturity and it is most common in teenage relationships. However, it can happen at any age but there is no valid reason for your partner to belittle you!

I asked my sweet friend Gabriela if I could show her incredible artwork in this blog. Please check out her Instagram page:
@ gabrielagflorezart

IT IS NEVER TO DO WITH YOU! Let me introduce you to a term called ‘psychological projection’. In an emotionally abusive relationship, the abuser is incapable of accepting and dealing with their own feelings or emotions. As a result of this, they ‘project’ by placing that burden they carry onto someone else.

Just because you don’t agree on things does not mean it is okay to make the other person feel bad about themselves. If you’ve ever been called ‘stupid’, ‘pathetic’, ‘lazy’ and ‘worthless’ or even had negative comments about your appearance from your partner – you need to rethink your relationship. No one can evaluate your relationship for you, but you know if these comments affect your self-esteem negatively.

2. They BLAME you for the way they speak to you.

If you’ve ever had the courage to stand up to your abuser, I applaud you. Most people struggle to defend themselves, and that’s okay, it is hard to speak up when every time you do, you get bullied.

@ gabrielagflorezart

“I only said that because of what you did”. Lmao what a load of…! They said that because they have personal issues they need to work on and they refuse to aknowledge that. It is so much easier for your partner to blame you for the abuse they cause, because they don’t want to be held accountable.

When someone inculpates you for something that they have said, it might mean that they have a desire to be perfect. Abusers never want to admit that they have made a mistake; in their eyes, they’re absolutely flawless so any blip in the relationship must be down to their partner.

It might be scary to defend yourself to your partner, as you are afraid they will abandon you. However you have to remember that you are your OWN person, and you deserve to have your opinions heard. Your partner is at fault for the things they say to you, not you. It’s their mouth and they should have the maturity to control what comes out of it.

3. They accuse you of flirting or cheating.

One of the most common ways your partner can abuse you is to make false accusations based off of innocent interactions.

For example, if you have a boyfriend, and you ‘like’ another man’s picture – your boyfriend freaks out at you and asks if you are interested in that man EVEN if that man is your friend. Your boyfriend might even go as far as stating that you are cheating on him. This could be a one off, but, this can become a regular trigger for arguments.

Another example could be that you have a girlfriend, who you spend a lot of your time with. You go out with your friends one night and she starts to texts you frequently; but you’re having fun, and you don’t reply. She asks if you lied about your whereabouts and states that you are with another female. This leaves you feeling angry and hurt that she would think so low of you, but she blames YOU for the way she has acted saying that “if you had just replied on time, I wouldn’t have assumed that.”

@ gabrielagflorezart

Perhaps you go to a restaurant with your boyfriend. A male waiter comes over to ask what drinks you both would like. You both tell the waiter and he leaves. Your boyfriend asks:

“Why did you look at him like that? I saw you giving him those eyes acting like you’re single. Slut.”

If you have experienced any of these examples, or something similar, your partner is insecure and is projecting their personal problems onto you. You should never have to deal with being called a cheater if you aren’t one.

4. They isolate you from your friends and family.

As we have established, an abusive partner is someone who lacks honest confidence and self-love. They seek power; an abusive partner will manipulate you into cutting off your friends and family, so that they can control you even more.

@ gabrielagflorezart

They won’t specifically say “stop spending time with your family” they’ll say “your family doesn’t understand you like I do”, “why did your friends take that picture together and not include you?”, “I wish I could see you more, but you’re always with your sister, you never make time for me, you love her more than me.

Isolating from the gender that you are attracted to, because your partner is angered by the thought of you spending any time with them, is common in abusive relationships. Your partner claims that they are ‘just feeling jealous’ but they demand that you stop associating with that gender, and if you defend yourself, they call you names and threaten to leave you.

It is incredibly selfish of them to make these comments as words can and will play with your emotions until YOU BELIEVE that these things are true and assume that you are doing something wrong since you are ‘hurting them’ – please remember that you aren’t hurting them, it is their own thoughts that make them distrustful.

They simply refuse to be held accountable.

5. They tell you what to wear and what to think.

We have established that emotional abusers thrive off of the ability to control their victim. Here is another way your abuser will take your freedom from you.

Your partner telling you that your outfit is ‘too revealing’ and saying that your clothes make you ‘look easy’ is not protective. It’s abusive. They have a fear that other people will notice you, and they are worried that they will get your attention. Your abuser fears abandonment, so they make you feel like the way you dress is filthy, they want to KNOCK your confidence so that they can reassure themselves that you will never leave.

@ gabrielagflorezart

Perhaps you want to be a vegetarian, or vegan or maybe you have started to believe in God, or maybe you don’t believe in God anymore. When you share this with your abusive partner, they tell you how ‘stupid’ it is and how ‘you don’t know anything’.

Your opinions are always valid. If you believe in something that morally benefits you or others but your partner says that those ideas are moronic, remind yourself that they are closed-minded and they want you to believe in the same things as them. Your abuser does not like to be challenged. They will do everything to make you feel weak.

You deserve to be loved – properly.

Do you really want to be with someone who wants to control your life?

I believe that people can change, and your abuser probably will, but only if they learn that what they are doing is wrong. They may require professional help too. However, no one can change, unless they see an issue within themselves.

@ gabrielagflorezart

The best thing you can do is break-up with them. It will set you free and hopefully it will teach them that they can’t treat people like that. Watch this video from 5:40 for help.

If you feel that you can’t leave them, for whatever reason, please contact me or call ‘Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline’ on 0808 202 0247 or access https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk .

You deserve to be with someone who loves you unconditionally, supports your goals and wants to build a future with you – without emotionally abusing you.

Your partner is supposed to be your best friend, not your bully.

Lots of love, Ariya xxx

Coping with Self-Doubt ft Instagram Baddies

A 5 minute read πŸ™‚

Most of the time, we think our biggest haters are other people. Friends we fall out with, exes, colleagues and even our family members! The truth is, a lot of us know our NUMBER ONE critique is ourselves! When we fail at something, we start to let in negative thoughts such as ‘I’m not good enough’ and ‘She’s so much better than me at this”. Here are some useful tips to help you doubt yourself less AND succeed more!

Look at the WHOLE picture!


“When you love what you’re doing, no matter how challenging or difficult it may seem, you will have an abundance of motivation and desire to overcome any barriers.”
@ marion.oke

In a podcast called ‘Imposter Syndrome and Self Doubt’ Dr Jessamy Hibberd beautifully explains how we can come back from failure. She says “If you looked at 5 or 10 percent of a picture, you wouldn’t know what it was. You need to take in the FULL picture of YOUR LIFE and start to note down all of the good things that are happening”.

After listening to her advice, I understood that it is vital to your mental health to accept that failure is a normal and healthy part of your life. It will keep happening and it’s more than okay.

You have a lot of time to do well in life. I like to remind myself that ‘one year equals 365 opportunities’. Just because you didn’t do well yesterday, does not mean you will never do well again – you just have to remember that failing is a small percentage of your picture.

Stop living in the future…

‘When I get that job, I’ll be happy’, ‘When he tells me he has feelings for me, I’ll be happy’, ‘When I start going to the gym, I’ll be happy.’

“I keep reminding myself that no one is gonna hold my hand in this world, if I need something, I have to go get it.” @ gabrielagflorez

Living in the now is crucial. You don’t need to make a list and aim to tick everything off by the time you are 30. You’re not going to be happy or successful if you base your happiness solely off of something in the future – what can you do to make yourself successful right now?

You could clean your room, finish that assignment, write the first sentence of your novel, practise singing, make something new for dinner, do that first press-up, start saving up for that car.

Whatever it is you desire, start now because if you live in the future, you will doubt yourself. Your current actions will make you happy, because every small win in the present is a victory for the rest of your life.

Never forget what you’ve achieved.

A lot of my friends have told me that they feel like they aren’t achieving enough and that they’ve felt sad because of it; I relate. If I’m not taking steps towards my future, I often feel like I’m not going to do great things in life. BUT I ALREADY HAVE BOO!

“There are times where I want to give up but that’s when I remind myself why I started to begin with.” @ bronziee_b

I shaved my hair off for charity, I fundraised Β£2303 for East African Playgrounds and helped build a playground in Uganda #DENCH lol, I applied to ITV and was shortlisted and then selected to take part in a 2 week work experience project at their London Studios.

I aced Performing Arts at college, I flew by myself to Germany, I learnt to LOVE working out, I got a Distinction in my university course, I started a YouTube channel, I auditioned for BBC Radio and was shortlisted in the top 10, and I started my own website!

LMAO LET ME GO DEFLATE MY HEAD. As much as bragging is excruciatingly annoying, I think it’s super important to sit down with yourself and remember all of the things that you have already accomplished. They are what made you, you!

So talk to yourself right now; revel in the success that you already have. Be proud of what you have already done, even if the last thing you are pleased with happened 3 years ago, YOU did it so it is still yours to claim.

Don’t compare yourself to ANYONE.

“I know I don’t want to be in the same position I am in now, in a years time. So it’s about pushing yourself and trying to achieve the future ‘you’ as soon as you can.” @ mee.l.a

I listen to A LOT of podcasts and I recently heard that none of us would compare ourselves to Will Smith. One of the most successful men on the planet, and yet none of us sit and think ‘I hate how successful Will Smith is.‘ We don’t lose sleep over how we haven’t achieved what HE has achieved. We don’t scroll through his instagram bitterly. We admire him. We think ‘Will Smith rocks‘.

If you don’t compare yourself to a man who has achieved a happy family, a remarkable career and a net worth of $300 million – why compare yourself to anyone?

No one wants to show you their addictions and bad habits. Social media is a glorified version of everyone’s life; not everything you see is completely authentic.

Although, some things are real. Amazing things do happen to others which haven’t happened for you, but learn not to be jealous and critical – learn to be inspired. Everyone is on an individual journey; life would be mundane if we did the same as everyone else.

BUILD your ‘failure tolerance’.

Brooke Castillo taught me about this skill. In her motivating podcast she discusses why it is important to develop your failure tolerance; it’s a muscle that needs to be exercised.

“I surround myself with inspiring people that share my passion for serving, drive for creativity and who continuously encourage my endeavours.” @ lydia.danistan

If you quit too early, you will never know your limit – you could have been sensational but you stopped when it got difficult. The more you practise failing, the more you will learn. So whatever it is that you have to offer the world, rejection and failure will improve your product.

J.K Rowling’s pitch for Harry Potter was rejected 12 TIMES! She now has a net worth of $1 Billion.

So, don’t tell me that you’re going to quit. Risk failure. It’s okay because it’s necessary.

Castillo explains how we are taught to avoid failure; in class, if we get an ‘F’ on a test, it’s over and it’s in our best interest to quit the class and do something else. You have to rewire your mind and declare that getting that ‘F’ is NOT a reflection of who you are, it’s a reflection of who you are going to become – that bad grade is the beginning of your success story – NOT the end.

Never give up on your dream, I believe in you!

“Failure is harmless. The worst part of failure is an emotion, and emotions are harmless when you allow yourself to feel them.”

Brooke Castillo, The Life Coach School Podcast.

It’s okay to doubt yourself – but when those thoughts come in, don’t let them make a home in your mind. You’re the landlord, you have the power to kick them out hunny!

Lots of love, Ariya xxx

A simple explanation of the Dairy Industry

A 3-4 minute read πŸ™‚

The truth is, I loved animals, but I was okay with animal abuse. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t tolerate someone hitting a dog, raping a bunny or breaking the neck of a cat – but if it was a cow – I didn’t care. I wasn’t exposed to it, so it didn’t matter to me.

Cows only produce milk when they are pregnant. Think about that.

You have a pet cow. Her name is Rosie. You love her, you feed her and you play with her. One day, she is taken away from you.

The dairy industry requires breast milk from Rosie and they can only access that when she is pregnant. The demand for Rosie’s breast milk is HUGE because humans want to “pour it onto cereal as a liquid, clot it into yoghurt, ferment it into cheese, freeze it into ice cream” – Dr. Michael Klaper.

So to meet the needs of its buyers, farmers will ARTIFICIALLY inseminate Rosie repetitively for years until she collapses – this cruel process begins when she turns just 1 years old. After her lifeless, abused and bruised body drops in mercy at just 5 years old – as soon as she gives up, she’s sent to the slaughterhouse. Rosie’s natural life span is 20 years… shocking isn’t it?

Draw My Life – A Cow In Today’s Dairy Industry – 08 September 2016

To be able to impregnate cows, dairy farmers force bulls to ejaculate – they use their own hands to do this. Or they use an ‘electro-ejaculator’. They then gather the semen they stole from the bull, and insert it into Rosie’s vagina. They put their fists into her vagina, to loosen it up, so that it’s easier to inseminate her.

Not very natural is it.

Don’t forget throughout all of this, Rosie is pregnant with a calf named Joey. When she gives birth, the farmers steal Joey, whom she cries after for weeks. Joey is locked away in a crate because otherwise he will drink her milk. The milk he needs to grow into a 400 pound bull.

Joey is a male. So his throat is slit as a baby and he is sold for veal. If Joey was born a female, she’d be raised to produce milk, for her entire life.

After Joey is taken, and Rosie’s milk runs out, they inseminate her AGAIN! Rosie will be forced to be pregnant for her whole life. Each time she gives birth, her baby is taken away. She will never experience being a mother because humans want her milk.

What is ACTUALLY in a cow’s breast milk?

It’s good for you right? Wrong.

Due to the fact that Rosie is forced to be pregnant for her whole life, she develops a condition called Mastitis. This is a painful condition that is caused by breast feeding. But Rosie didn’t breast feed Joey, she was breast feeding you.

P!nk – Raise Your Glass – 02 November 2010

Rosie’s udders will have been tugged and torn by extortion. So, when her milk is taken, there are samples of her blood and pus found in it. Although the dairy industry promises to filter her milk, to remove these impurities, they are never completely eradicated from the milk you buy at your grocery store.

Somatic cells, which are white blood cells, are legally allowed in the milk you drink. What are somatic cells? They’re nerve cells, skin cells and blood cells. Simply put, they’re the same as the white pus that bursts on the tip of your spots. Tasty….!

But we need cow breast milk to grow? It’s healthy.

I hear you sis, or bro lol. I grew up thinking this too! Yet I drank 2 glasses of cow breast milk a day as a kid until I was 18. Hunny, I’m 5ft1 & the only thing that grew as a result of dairy was spots on my face!

So, pus isn’t good for you. You don’t need me to tell you that. A little known fact is that dairy causes complications with bones and has actually been linked to early death… our O.G the NHS told me that.

Milk is an ACIDIFYING ANIMAL PROTEIN. Calcium is brilliant for neutralising acid and the biggest storage of calcium in the human body is in YOUR BONES! This means that when you drink Rosie’s breast milk, you barely absorb the calcium because your body uses the calcium that you ALREADY HAVE in your bones to neutralise the acidic properties in her milk.

yummy pus

Oh and also, more than one glass of cow breast milk a day is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular death. Sudden cardiac death is responsible for half of all heart disease deaths.

I know. What about all of those yoghurt & milk adverts promoting healthy bones?

Did you know that despite these shocking health risks from drinking milk, the dairy industry funds this research and literally pays scientists to LIE to us. Why? Because they’re rich. If you stop buying Rosie’s milk, they won’t make any money out of exploitation!

We don’t have to contribute to abuse…

Humans are the only species on the planet that drink the milk of another animal.

The next time you eat that chocolate bar or that cheesy pizza, remember you’re paying for Rosie to live through 5 years of sexual, emotional, physical abuse – for a tiny moment of taste and a lifetime of wealth for a man who doesn’t care about your health.

Still not convinced? Watch ‘The Game Changers’ or ‘What the Health’ on Netflix.

I hope this article has been insightful for you, I am aware that it is a lot to digest despite being such a short article. You’re not a bad person for doing what society told you was normal. It’s called conditioning and now you know the truth about the dairy industry!

Lots of love, Ariya xxx

This article was inspired by ‘DAIRY IS SCARY! Explained in 5 mins’. A huge thanks to Erin Janus for the detailed information she provides in this hard hitting video.