Loving your Body

Last week I was posting on my Instagram page about how I needed to stop comparing myself to other women that I see online. I need to apologize to myself for consistently doing this. I end up feeling really badly about my weight gain and acne breakouts and it really puts me down.

I know that a lot of people have this same problem. We always see ourselves as lesser than because we see this perfect person on social media. It is so destructive to our own identities.

Iʻve been working on this, but here are the two things Iʻve been actively doing to remove negative perceptions of myself:

  1. Unfollow any social media accounts (or hide their stories) that I continue to look at and compare myself to. This is to protect my peace.
  2. Talk to myself! I know it sounds weird, but looking at myself in the mirror and telling myself that I am beautiful is in an important affirmation. My body has survived this far. My body has been loved. My body is perfect. This is to protect my body from being distorted in my own mind.

Make no mistake, I slip up on this frequently. Itʻs hard for sure, but I encourage you to just try. If you need to remove yourself from some people who focus only on negative things and aid in your bad perception of self, then do it. If you have to end a relationship with a partner because they do no uplift you, then do it. If you need to exercise or eat better, then do it.

You are amazing and so is your body! We defy all odds every day.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Tales of a Curly Island Girl

Drawing the Line: Toxic Positivity

Letʻs talk about something I only learned about this week. Yes, only this week I learned the name for a feeling Iʻve been questioning very recently: Toxic positivity.

Toxic Positivity can be defined as being/trying to stay constantly happy in bad situations.

The reason this has been weighing on my conscience is because Iʻve been becoming increasingly interested in the self-help books and social media accounts. In the back of my head, I will read or watch something and say things to myself like “okay, but what if it really is bad? We canʻt just will happiness into existence in certain situations. Thatʻs terrible for people, especially those in abusive situations.”

To be constantly happy, to tell yourself to just stay happy, is to negate your true emotions. I have no background in psychology, and Iʻve only worked as admin in a behavioral/mental health organization, but I know that that can’t be good. Itʻs brainwashing.

I guess, for me, balancing this looks like sharing the bad and the good. Life isnʻt perfect, and itʻs okay to share that youʻre not doing good. No one person can truly be always happy. To not share how you truly feel, often times makes you feel even worse. Pent up emotions turn into outbursts that can be mentally and physically damaging to yourself and your loved ones.

There is a fine line between gratitude and happiness and not recognizing awful and unacceptable situations. I am learning this right now. I learned this in my previous job. I was extremely grateful for having a job during a pandemic but the feelings I had while working messed with my mental health so badly. When I finally quit, it was my decision to be done with the situation. I had tolerated enough, and was absolutely grateful through it all, but after a point that did nothing for my mental health and wellbeing. Itʻs important to address the problem and not “oh, itʻs fine” it all the way into a deep depression. It is tiresome to relentlessly focus on the positive and it can also be naive.

I had to do a little research to understand exactly where this term came from and did not find much other than it was coined by psychologists (no surprise there). I am not too sure who, but itʻs accepted that it was created in the U.S. because of the incessant outlook of always being positive in mainstream culture.

To sum it up, itʻs important to try and create that balance. Positive outlook can be a really good thing, but itʻs also OK to feel terrible or not be happy (especially during this time). And again, everything you see on social media or the internet isnʻt always believable. I am really not saying that to be positive is stupid, because it is not. I still read books, blogs, posts that encourage us to have a better outlook on life and I agree. But, again, there is a line you need to draw in order to preserve and protect your peace by recognizing how far is too far for yourself.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

I got a new Laptop! (in other words, I am going to try to write more)… then it gets serious.

Hi Hi Hi Hi.

I finally upgraded to a new MacBook Pro. It’s not an excuse for being consistently absent on my own blog… but it sure makes me want to be on my computer more. My MacBook Pro was already 6 years old, at least it lasted me throughout my undergrad career! I am very grateful for that. It got me through school for sure, and being an English major, I used it a lot. 

Updates, updates, updates.

  • My sister moved in with Prince and I, and she is in a post-baccalaureate program that is attached to John A. Burns School of Medicine here on O’ahu. She needed a place to stay, given they cannot have jobs.
  • The husband and I made it through a month of his mini-deployment so far! I can’t wait until he is home.
  • We are in the peak of hurricane season and currently we have two hurricanes barreling towards the Hawaiian Islands (hello Erick and Flossie).
  • Let’s talk about Mauna Kea (how can we not?) Keep reading.

As an person of indigenous blood and has ties to this land (Hawai’i) I would like to let my readers know (if you don’t live here, if you aren’t paying attention to what is going on in the Pacific, etc) that Hawaiians are currently fighting for our mauna (mountain). To be specific, we are fighting for our future keiki (children), our rights as people of the land, our traditions, and our home. Mauna a Wākea (or Mauna Kea) is the highest peak in the entire Pacific. It is the closest to the stars as we can get. It is also very sacred to our people. We currently have telescopes existing and running on the mountain (some of them don’t even work anymore), however, they are trying to start construction of a Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) there. Hawai’i Island is big, yes, but it is pretty undeveloped (we’d like it to stay that way). We are not allowed to have 18 story buildings and I don’t think I have every seen any complex or building more than 4 stories tall there. TMT would be 18 stories high and 5 acres big (this is the entire structure size). Yes, sure, science is amazing, but not at the expense of the native people who are connected to the land. Do more research, look into the cultural, geological, and economical aspects of it all, and I do mean look closely. Is it really going to create more jobs? For the people who live here?Are they really going to ensure that the water underneath our Mauna will remain unpoisoned? Have you read about the continued land mismanagement and abuse of our natural resources that continue to happen (look up Kaho’olawe, for starters)? This is a huge problem, but it’s not new. Native people all around the world are taken advantage of by colonialism.

If you know nothing of Hawai’i, please do some research, learn how our Kingdom was illegally stolen from us. Learn about how we, as Kānaka Maoli, are incredibly smart, resourceful, and had allies all over the world (hence the Union Jack on our flag). Learn how ‘Iolani Palace had electricity before the White House. Learn about how our language and culture was banned resulting in multiple generations not knowing their own culture, language, and history. We take a stand as a people, and as many other native and indigenous peoples join us in solidarity around the world and across the Pacific, we stand together to fight for all our land and all our people. Mahalo nui to all the people who are there, my friends, my family, you are standing for something greater than yourself. You are a part of making history.

Kū Kia’i Mauna

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Just Think About It: Limitations to Human Creativity

Disclaimer: This post could sound insensitive to some. I do not mean to offend anyone, I am simply looking at some heavier topics in a broad and critical perspective.

Creativity is important. Humans use it to express themselves. You may be drafting a story, writing a poem, building your dream car, sculpting a figurine, or painting a picture, but it all stems from a reflection of the artist, you.

Some of the most creative people have given the world beautiful gifts. Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Leonardo Da Vinci, Stephen Hawkings, Marie Curie, Mary Wollestonecraft, etc. But, also, some of the most creative people have terrorized nations as well, like the Zodiac Killer, Ted Bundy, Edmund Kemper, Jeffrey Dahmer, Magadalena Solís, etc. Their plans were incredibly pre-meditated, horrific, and creative. Creative in the sense that what they do creates heartbreak for families, chaos for communities, and fear within the nations.

Here is where I believe that there are limitations to creativity. Being too creative, as mentioned above, is scary. Something new and daring, such as murdering your neighbor or the two girls that live down the road from you in a sadistic manner, can be considered art to a killer. It can be considered creative to them because it’s not the norm to be a murderer. Human experimentation could also be put into this topic of overboard-creativity. For those who have supported or do support (I can’t imagine why) it, believe that through their efforts of experimenting on people, they are able to understand the body and how things affect them.

I hope this isn’t too heavy for you, or maybe change the way you think of me. I swear I am a loving person. I just didn’t know how else to convey my opinions about this topic, without being blunt. Creativity gone far is definitely a topic to think about… however, you could also look at the limitations put on human creativity. 

This topic is actually all too familiar with me. Graduating as an English major and a writer, I see that people do not always look at the humanities as a serious career path or plan. The humanities are the most creative division in universities. Yet, in schools that do not specialize in the arts, these departments are always lacking in faculty and funding. Why is that? Why does the overall census of people have to be that science and mathematics are more meaningful? It’s the balance, people. The balance of all subjects that make the environment harmonious. Why are we putting a damper on the arts, on the creative side of our brains? We shouldn’t be limiting that.

So… just think about it. Tell me what you think in the comments, if you disagree or agree, or even have a different take on this blog title.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing out,

Curly Island Girl

Just Think About It: How Valuable is Human Life?

Disturbing things have been happening in the world, as it seems to always have been, but it prompts me to write about the value of life. What is a life? What does this question mean to you? Life, whether through an animal, insect, or human being, is very valuable, and is very important. Most people (not the ones I know, for the people I surround myself with are compassionate and kind) do not empathize or even sympathize with others because ignorance is their bliss. If it’s not ignorance, than it is cruelty.

Personally, I can never understand how some people can view themselves to be superior to others … based solely on their skin color, their ethnic backgrounds, and the money they make. The world has been making this mistake for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Colonization. That’s a big one. For the larger countries, colonization had sparked and fueled the fire of racism and the belief that lighter skin tone is far superior. It has been ingrained into the many generations that followed and it’s still out there.  The lives that are marginalized, how can someone even determine that their lives are worth less than others?

Upon asking for input from my friends about this topic, they added even more to the conversation. We discussed people with mental health issues. The value of life can be taken to mean something much less for those who are depressed and/or suicidal. Also, from an outsider point of view (those who do not suffer from mental health issues), “historically, people with mental illnesses weren’t considered fully human/alive” (qtd. from friend) and that is now different, a role reversal of a sort, if you will. Moreover, “now people with mental [illnesses] are applauded with the prerequisite that their illnesses are productive” (qtd. from friend). As time moves along the world begins to see life as something different. We also discussed how the quote “living every day as if it were your last day” is not entirely realistic, because people would become way too chaotic if we truly did live that way. If we use that as an excuse to do reckless things, don’t we endanger the life we so-called want to live? Also, why do we emphasize the lives of celebrities over everyone else’s? Media does not help, when all they report on are if a celebrity changed his/her hair or didn’t wear makeup while going out. The media has the power to “maximize or minimize lives” (qtd. from friend) and that creates perspectives for the masses that may not be conducive to the value of human life.

Now, people are still turning their cheeks to the horrible things happening outside of their bubble (where they undoubtedly feel safe and non-threatened). I look at these people and think, “but we are all the same.” How do people sleep at night knowing that there are terrified children right in our backyards? What about the families fleeing and seeking refuge from their own homes being ravaged by war?

I cannot fathom the hurt I feel when I meet people or see people on social media who seem to not care about the life of a person. Who made you this way? How can you not sympathize? Where is your humanity?

Human life is so extraordinary. Not one of us is the same. Even identical twins. They may look the same, but they are more than likely to share personality differences. Life is precious. Especially those of children, because they are still growing, and they are still learning. You can make a huge change in a child’s future with the thoughts and ideas you share with them (and let them share with you). Remember to have discussions like these with the people around you. Stimulate your mind! If you have children, stimulate their minds too!

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Just Think About It: Living Life to the Fullest [A New Series!]

Aloha all!

I’m back and I have a new series for you…It’s going to be called: Just Think About It. A friend of mine found a list of philosophical questions and I’m going to dedicate this series to  answering them (to the best of my ability). I want it to spark interest in your mind. I’m no philosopher, but I do pride myself in asking questions and actively searching for potential answers.

Here’s the question: What activities cause you to feel like you are living life to the fullest?

Let’s try to define what living life to the fullest even means. There are thousands of answers for this littered across the internet. Some say it’s the act of letting all inhibitions go in order to fully experience life. Some say it’s doing more than what we are just merely capable of.

When I think of “living life to the fullest,” I think of a wholesome life, one that makes me feel happy, one that makes me feel like I am making a difference, one that makes me feel like I am needed.

Activities that make me feel this way can be both small and large. Small things could be making a to-do list, and as the day goes by, slowly checking off each box. It could be shaving my legs after refusing to do so for a couple of months. It could be, finally, cleaning out my aromatherapy diffuser. The larger ones make me feel the best. Like, finishing that 15 page literature review. Washing all of my makeup brushes after a long three day event. Or, actively searching for a place to live when I get married and move out of my parents’ home.

I find joy in both small and large things. I think that’s what is generally able to keep me happy. Some people cannot find that sense of living through small, mundane things, which may make it seem to them that they are not doing anything worthwhile in their lives. An accomplishment, no matter how small, is still an accomplishment! I think people tend to forget about that.

For me, almost everything I do in a day makes me feel like I am living life to the fullest. Sometimes, even getting out of the bed in the morning does that too.

I hope that whatever you do, wherever you are at this point in time, brings you happiness, for others but also for yourself. Have a beautiful week!

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing out,

Curly Island Girl