Barbie Was Never The Issue

Barbie Was Never The Issue

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Mattel made headlines last week with the announcement of a new line of more “diverse” Barbies that tone down the unrealistic image of the traditional doll that has been a household name for decades. Not only is the new line of Barbie’s more racially diverse, but also the company has added three new body types including “curvy,” “tall,” and “petite.” Many people believe this is long overdue, and tend to cite Mattel as an example of body discrimination that could lead to shame and insecurity in young girls. This is with no doubt an incredible stride towards body positivity, in theory. Barbie in her original state was clearly a representation of a reality that could never be. This is because she is not real. Ask the average 4-year-old and she will be able to tell you that Barbie is pretend.

I truly believe that this is an incredible change in the toy industry and will bring about great things for the next generation of Barbie fans, but only because we have messed them up. The very fact that this change needed to happen speaks volumes on our current state of chaos surrounding body image. How in the world did we become so focused on appearance, that we felt the need to revamp a doll in order to make children feel more secure about their appearance? How has our society shifted so much, that a child cannot simply view a doll for what it is? It’s a doll. A toy. A make believe friend for tea parties and career dreams.

Barbie is fake. But what is not fake are the photoshopped images in magazines, perfect Disney actors, and television advertisement that kids are bombarded with every day. We can’t throw kids into this world and then turn around and blame a toy for insecurity and body shaming. Barbie was not a poor example, our society is.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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5 Things I Really Wish I Knew ~Before~ Losing My Virginity

Advice to our younger selves.
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Everyone has a first time. We're all at different stages of our lives when it happens, which impacts how we approach the situation and how we feel about it immediately after and in reflections. Some people idealize their first time, some people regret it, some people feel nothing about it. I agonized over my virginity.

I wanted nothing more than to throw it at the first willing participant. I felt that it made me someone inferior to my friends who had already had sex, like somehow I was missing out on some great secret of life or somehow I was less mature than them. I spent a lot of time wishing it would just happen, and then one day, it did when I wasn't expecting it. I don't regret my first time, but because I had wished for it to happen for so long, I had built up this image in my head of how it would be that was completely unrealistic.

So, this is for those girls like me whose imaginations get the best of them. Here are some tips to ease your worries and prepare you for what it's really going to be like.

1. It's going to be awkward.

Not just the first time, every time. No matter how much porn or how many blogs or erotic fiction you read, you will not have any idea what you're doing. The other person probably won't, either. There are too many variables, and you're both so concerned with doing it well, you'll be focused on too many things to properly control your limbs.

2. Don't think about your body.

The angles that are required for things to work leave both participants in awkward positions with limbs in strange places. Don't look at your body; don't even think about where your limbs are. Just keep your eyes and mind on the other person and what they're doing and how you're feeling. If you're feeling bad, let them know, so you can change it. If you're feeling good, enjoy it.

3. Don't do it drunk.

Not even a little tipsy, at least not for the first few times. Alcohol throws in another variable and another reason your limbs are flailing listlessly on top of other unforeseen complications. Just wait until you've had a little practice to introduce alcohol into the mix. You want to actually remember your first time and understand what's going on.

4. You're not going to feel any different after.

I expected to feel a weight being lifted or some newfound maturity, but I really didn't feel any different at all. That's because I really was just the same girl as before. Finally having lost this imaginary flower didn't make me physically any different at all.

5. You're going to feel something.

There wasn't some profound emotional release afterward, either, but I did feel a little different. Again, not in the sense that something had actually change, but I felt different because I had placed so much importance on this, on having sex, and now it had happened. I wanted there to be some big release or celebratory moment, but really, I just felt the same. I didn't even feel a little more mature or experienced. I was positive that if I ever did it again, I would still have absolutely no idea what to do (which was true).

Cover Image Credit: Seventeen

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working with special needs Children changed my life

Sometimes people do not take the time to get to know these people. But I did.

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I have never thought about special needs kids before. I have never thought about how their life may be different or may not be the same. To me, these kids were someone that had something wrong with their chromosomes. I had seen them walking around the school and around town. It actually was not till the beginning of my senior year that I finally took a step back and looked at the big picture.

I was in my own little world where everything was perfect. But after stepping back, I realized that it's just as perfect. These kids and adults were so much like you and me.

The summer before my senior year we found out that my little brother had autism. He has Aspbergers Autism. He would have temper tantrums that would make the most patient person cry. Things were hard. But he was still my perfect little brother who I love more than anything in this world. He may have had something different about him but he was still the cutie that would fall asleep in my arms while I held him.

This taught me how to be patient with him and how to work with him. It was hard but I wanted to do it. I would look up how to help him. I researched ways to keep him from hurting himself or hurting others. My senior year of high school I had choir fifth period and our special needs program would come and work with us at the beginning of the class. We would teach them songs and dances. It was so much fun. We got to know these kids individually.

Getting to know those kids individually helped me decide on a career. I want to be a nurse for the children who are misunderstood and no one wants to help them.

I wanna help the parents feel comfortable that their child is with someone who understands them. People do not take the time to actually get to know these kids. They think that they are hopeless and are not worth anything. However, these kids are amazing and unique. They have beautiful hearts. Sometimes they never meet a stranger. Every time someone sees them or talks to them, they instantly have a smile on their face. Seeing them smile has become the best thing in my life.

Take the time to get to know them.

They are just like us.

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https://twitter.com/frankkat1

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