If You See Something, Say Something

If You See Something, Say Something

Somebody's mom will thank you for it.

There’s a long political history of whistleblowers being vulnerable to the public, facing reprimand for their otherwise brave and morally upright actions, and essentially becoming targets for standing up for their values. It’s ironic but sometimes speaking out when people around you are up to no good makes you the subject of persecution. In similar fashion, there’s a social stigma to doing just that in your own group of friends.

College is a pretty “figure it out yourself” type of ordeal. It’s a place where young adults become young adults. This said, mistakes happen. I find that the gravity of such mistakes really depends on how you were raised.

There are good people who allow their insecurities to incite poor behavior with their peers or those who allow the wrong individuals into their lives and then there are the human beings who humiliate or bully others by crossing serious boundaries to feel better about themselves. I think these degrees of mistakes showcase a grave difference in how either types of people were raised and I cannot fathom how any parent would not notice when their child lacks a certain level of humanity or compassion that would lead them to cause physical harm to another person.

Most people who were raised right will still make mistakes. This can include fights among friends, being petty to people you don’t like, mornings where you might come off as rude when you’re really just tired, and lies you might tell for your own benefit. You might come to recognize these actions as mistakes later on but you learn from them and you always know right from wrong. Without belittling the negativity that these actions can spread, you know it’s not as serious as being the cause of someone else’s suffering or humiliation.

This is where I question the households that raised the type of people capable of going to extremes. These are the people who use social media to post videos or pictures intended to embarrass a person for laughs, the ones who don’t recognize their actions at a party as sexual assault, risk someone else’s life by driving drunk, or publicly normalize racial slurs.

These people are not simply immature or selfish, they are young adults and should know better.

It’s hard to imagine that the same people who drive drunk on the road next to a family of four or laugh at the blatant sexual assault of a friend had the same childhood and upbringing I had but after seeing this type of behavior from people I used to be friends with, I learned that it’s not always as simple as blaming the parents. Many of the parents I know who raised the kids who did these things are good parents, which makes it even scarier in my opinion. These kids had one or both parents present throughout all of their lives and either excuse their nasty behavior or choose their harassers over the ones who defended them. It seems like a stark contrast from the strong, independent, and respectable person their parents tried so hard to raise.

In a lot of ways, it’s sad to see and brings out a backstory for the support of an important campaign: if you see something, say something.

Despite originating as a national campaign for the prevention of terrorism, it has been adopted on college campuses as a tactic against sexual assault, bullying, suspicious activity, etc. It’s important to stick together as a community and participate in not only the safety and wellbeing of each other as a whole but also individually. I don’t know any person deserving of being treated as anything less than a human being.

We can’t afford to skip out on this role anymore. Allowing anyone to get away with casual drunk driving or any attack, whether verbal or physical, will set the precedent that normalizes that kind of behavior. We’re in the middle of a national transition, lets allow the incoming changes to provoke another in the way we handle unacceptable behavior. Stand up to it. If you see it, say something. You can be direct or discreet, just don’t allow disrespect or malice to become a normal part of growing up for the next generation to come.

Nobody wants to be the “snitch” but somebody’s mom would thank you for it.

Cover Image Credit: https://lifemoxie.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/fall-for-anything-sign.jpg

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.


I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.


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