So... This Is America?

So... This Is America?

The land of the free? The home of the brave?

I. Am. Outraged.

I am angry that I live in a country filled with entitled individuals. I am angry I live in a country filled with individuals that openly hate other individuals that are different from them. I am angry that something that this has happened; could happen. I am angry that the country isn't in more of an uproar that this happened. I am angry that people died. I am angry that there are people in this country who feel they need to cleanse it of all people that are non-white. I am angry that there are so many people all over the country that feel this way.

The sound of my own screaming scared me.

I. Am. Terrified.

I am scared because history is beginning to repeat itself. I am scared because I am a woman. I am scared because I am African-American. I am scared for my brothers and sisters who are Jewish, African-American, Gay, or any of the other groups that these terrorists are targeting. I am scared because we have only seen some of the people that feel this way. I am scared because I am literally seeing America divide itself. I am scared because hatred and violence will only breed more hatred and violence... and no one seems to get that. I am scared for America and all it's people.

I sobbed uncontrollably... until my eyes hurt and my head was throbbing.

I. Am. Numb.

This division has been brewing for years. Anyone who doesn't know this or tries to act like it's new is misinformed. I have spent years now crying over senseless violence. I have spent years asking myself why my skin color is a problem when I didn't even chose it. I have spent years asking how you can hate someone for their religion or sexual orientation. I have spent years praying to GOD asking him to heal this country. This country is hurting on both sides and it is weighing on me. I'm tired of being smart enough to know that this country doesn't belong to one group of people. I'm tired of being smart enough to know that racism is wrong and that no group of people is superior to the other. I am tired of wondering what's wrong with me. I am tired of hearing people trying to compare the Black Lives Matter movement to other terrorist groups. I am tired of having to explain why we even say Black Lives Matter. I'll say it once more here: It is not a statement that in anyway is trying to imply that all other lives do not matter, but seeing how Black people can be shot, killed, and nothing happens... it seems to me that our lives aren't valued as high, so we shout a reminder that despite our melanin, we matter too.

I am numb. I've cried way too many tears over people I don't know. Not just Black people, but all people who are discriminated against and oppressed. All people who are made to feel like they are scum or worthless or don't belong in this country just because they are different or unique. Just they don't follow the status quo. I don't want to box in a specific group of people because I know not everyone feels the same way the terrorist feel. Some of these people are fighting along side the minority groups. Some of them have even lost their lives.

I, unlike the people who hate me without knowing me, do not blame one group of people. I blame a mindset. I blame a belief system that causes certain individuals to believe that this country belongs to them. I blame the justice system. I blame a thought process that makes people believe that it is there duty to clear out anyone different from them. Most of all I blame hatred. It is a seed, that if tended t,o can destroy a person. Make them cold and bitter and do terrible. It can make them blind. It can cause wars and division.

I don't hate anyone. I refuse to allow this evil to corrupt me. So instead I'm just angry, terrified and numb. I'm at a loss of words, but thankfully never a loss of hope. I pray that one day this country is able to put itself back together. And I pray it happens before the hatred and evil cause this country to burn.

I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the "United" States of America, and to the republic for which it stands. One nation, under GOD, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL.

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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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