Use Your Voice But Use It Nicely

Use Your Voice But Use It Nicely

For the best results, it helps to be nice.

The past few years have been a show of many progressive changes in the world. From the engagement in topics such as gender wage gap, climate change, affordable education, and body acceptance, it seems like society is stepping in the right direction. There is a distinct popularity among campaigns going on which address these important issues. People of all ages are seeking information, debating, and acting in favor of the causes they believe in. It’s no longer optional to care or remain ignorant about these issues because they affect all of us on a holistic level.

It’s an incredibly positive movement that is happening here. Especially since young people are involving themselves in these national, even global issues. However, the way that people are approaching these problems could use some work.

When it comes to gender wage gap, we could make do without spurring off into a rant about feminism or men being sexist pigs. Whether or not there is merit in making such comments, it just seems counterproductive to add on to the problem instead of proposing, enforcing, or demanding a solution. Personally, I want to see less male versus female rants and more dialogue on how to fix this injustice.

Whether or not you choose to believe in climate change, I believe there should be less outrage towards those who don’t and more productive research and actions among those who do. This, however, is understandably made unnecessarily difficult when members of Congress or other influential leaders with the power to spark necessary changes are among the nonbelievers. Even so, there is not much to gain from bashing nonbelievers as “uneducated” or “bigots”.

You can insult someone all day and maybe even convince others to join you but you’re definitely not likely to ever change anyone’s mind with that approach. You might actually discredit a worthy cause with violent displays because of too much bad publicity. In contrast, persuasion tactics have the power to go a long way, much beyond that of any insult.

Beyond the issues of promoting body acceptance or climate change, there seems to be a petty trend on social media to use the concept of self-love as an excuse for insulting or bashing others. Self love is when you are taking care of yourself, your needs, and making sure you aren’t neglecting yourself or spreading yourself too thin.

It’s realizing when you are taking on too many projects or unnecessarily causing yourself extra stress and deciding to give yourself a break. It’s when you’re having a bad day and you give yourself a pep talk about how great you are. It’s when you buy yourself flowers at the end of a long week or get rid of a toxic relationship because you know you deserve better.

It is not about inflating your ego by talking badly about people you don’t like, it’s not controlling who your friends hang out with because you don’t want certain people around you, and it’s definitely not carelessly using social media as an emotional outlet for your inner demons.

You should use your voice and your individual powers for any cause, reason, or idea that motivates or inspires you. If there is anything you wish to say or anything you disagree with and want to change, you have a special power as an individual to do something about it. There is no cause too small, from what affects the world’s environment to what affects your own.

Just remember to do all things with love.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.


Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.

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Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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