To Everyone Who Isn't Voting

To Everyone Who Isn't Voting

You were given a voice -- use it.
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I don't understand people who claim they don't care about politics. Do you have to be up-to-date on them 24/7? No. Do you have to like them? Absolutely not. I don't particularly enjoy politics; but I do know they're important. Saying that you don't care about politics is basically saying you don't care about your future life. You see, we've been born into this thing called a democracy. And although our government isn't perfect, we've been given the liberty to elect the people that govern our lives. Unfortunately, a lot of people aren't planning to vote in the upcoming election. To everyone out there that isn't planning to vote, I have something to say to you.

My vote won't make a difference. "So and so is going to win anyway, so why bother?" A democracy is representative -that's the whole point. It is representative of the majority of the country's votes and beliefs. But it isn't going to be representative if you don't cast your vote. I frequently hear young adults saying that they aren't voting because it won't make a difference, when in fact, there are 44 million Millenials that are eligible to vote. My generation is also the most diverse group of voters thus far. If you still think your vote can't make a difference, just talk to Al Gore about the presidential election in 2000. Had the votes been counted properly in Florida for the 2000 election, it is highly likely that Al Gore would have won Florida, won the popular vote, the electoral college vote, and been appointed to office instead of George Bush.

A few hundred votes is all that it took to change the course of history.

I don't like any of the candidates. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it doesn't matter whether you like any of them or not, because one of them is going to end up in office. You can either have a president that will completely screw everything up, or you can vote for the one you hate the least. It seems like most Americans don't know this based on the latest poll numbers, but we don't just vote for the president. You also have the power to vote for Congress, and the president can't get much done without working alongside Congress. With less than 40 percent of eligible voters showing up for the last midterm election, your vote can really make a difference.

"Popular vote doesn't matter, electoral college decides who the president is." Well, guess what. The people that make up the electoral college? We voted for them at one point, too. The electoral college doesn't just vote for a random candidate. Unless you live in Nebraska or Maine, the electoral college chooses the candidate with the most popular votes in that respective state. So yes, if you don't go vote for your party's candidate, there is a chance that the other party's candidate will win the popular votes and electoral college votes. Which is why you should go vote.

It doesn't affect me. If this is your reasoning, you should probably go back to your high school government class. No matter what your age group, decisions made up on the hill are going to affect your life in one way or another. From student loans to Social Security, gay rights or gun control -- politics impact you. Politics impact you, me, your grandma, and your future children.

I haven't been following the race. I don't know whether or not you've heard of it, but there's this wonderful tool out there called the Internet. Even if you haven't been keeping up with the debates on TV, it's not too late to get up-to-date on the nation's current politics. In fact, now is the perfect time, because there are fewer candidates in the mix. I'll even help you; that's how much I care. If you're looking for something easy, there's this quiz that will tell you which candidate aligns most closely with your values (it will rank all of the others as well). If you'd like to learn about all of the candidates before making your decision, try here. Or get on Google and do a little bit of research on your own.

I'm too busy. This one sounds ridiculous, I know. But it's one of the top reasons that people don't come to the polls. You're telling me that at the very least, you can't take the time out of one day of the year to vote for the next President of the United States of America? If you're not going to be in the county (or even in the state) on election day, you can apply for an absentee ballot to be sent to you in the mail. All you have to do is apply online, wait til it comes in the mail, fill in the circle by your candidate's name, and mail it back.

At the very least, it's your duty as a citizen of this country to vote for the public office. You shouldn't be enjoying the benefits of our representative government if you're not going to participate in it. If you or someone you know hasn't registered to vote or isn't planning to vote, I urge them to reconsider.

We've been given a voice, and the power to express that voice.

Don't waste it.

Cover Image Credit: Orlando Sentinel

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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.

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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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Supporting Late-Term Abortion Is Actually The Opposite Of Feminism

Feminism is about gender equality and women supporting women- so shouldn't we support the unborn women of tomorrow?

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Before you read this, if you are someone who feels strongly that abortions are the "right" choice and that supporting late-term abortions is a step for woman anywhere, I do not suggest you read this article. However, I do want to write that I support conditional abortions- situations where the birth can kill the mother or where conception occurred because of rape. If someone rapes you, that is not okay by any means, and a baby conceived of rape can be terminated by the mother to avoid PTSD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and any other mental health diagnoses. Of course, if a woman can bring a baby into the world to keep or give up for adoption, even if it was the product of rape, she should seek life for the innocent child rather than death. And what a rape victim chooses to do is neither here nor there- and it damn well is not anyone else's business.

So why should it be my business (or anyone's) if women have late-term abortions? Agreeing to murder out of convenience should not be societally accepted as okay. When the law passed in New York for late-term abortions, I did not picture 39-week pregnant women rushing to Planned Parenthood to abort their child because they got cold feet. I highly doubt that is the exact scenario for which the law went into effect for, and that was more so intended for women who did not realize they were pregnant and missed the time period to get a legal abortion.

Not that I support early-term abortion, because all abortion is the same regardless of when it happens during the pregnancy. Killing someone sooner rather than later does not make it less worse.

Excuses about how women are not ready to be mothers, do not have the financial means, would ruin their futures, they would get kicked out, lose their bodies, etc. are just that- excuses. Carrying a child for nine months might be an inconvenience, but killing someone will be on your conscience forever. If murders pleaded their motives to police as a way to justify what they did (excluding self-defense), what difference is it if a woman kills her unborn child?

Planned Parenthood might be taboo and have a stigma attached to it, but it does so much more than kill babies. Planned Parenthood is a place where girls can go to see OB/GYNO, get birth control, and learn about safe sex, protection, STDs, etc. Instead of stigmatizing it, young women should be encouraged to go to this institution for woman and feminism. Let high school health classes plan field trips there so that everyone becomes more educated on female health (boys included!). Female health education is very limited, especially in school, and many women feel that an abortion is their only way out, however, it's not. By becoming more educated, the rate of teen pregnancies can go down, as well as the need for abortions. Women educating other women should be the goal of Planned Parenthood, and abortions should be reserved for those who got raped or whose pregnancy cause death, health complications, etc.

Abortion might be giving women a choice- but who is giving the unborn babies a choice?

And of course the only way to 100% prevent pregnancy is abstinence, and if that is your choice then good for you, and if you choose to have sexual intercourse, good for you too. Be safe. No slut shaming here. Women need to continue supporting other women, regardless of their sex life. Women who have abortions are not "whores" and should not be labeled as such- they are just people whose biology reacted to another person's biology.

If you truly do not want to have a baby, please please please give it up for adoption and do not kill it. It did nothing wrong, and yeah, it might be a little inconvenient to be pregnant, especially if you are in school, but there are hundreds of thousands of people that would love nothing more than to raise your baby. Be a woman supporting other woman and give the gift of motherhood.

If you take away anything from this article it's this:



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