Girl, Accept Your Constructive Criticism

Being a woman in a patriarchal society is hard, but it doesn’t make you a feminist.

Let me say it louder for the people in the back.

C7NzCoiXgAE-PkA-920x585.jpg

BEING A WOMAN IN A PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY IS HARD, BUT IT DOESN’T MAKE YOU A FEMINIST.

Feminism is about beliefs and actions aimed at dismantling the patriarchy, the systematic inequality that inhibits people of all genders. Feminism doesn’t mean that everything a woman does is good or feminist, that women can’t be called out (including by other women), that any criticism of a woman is an act of misogyny, that all women must lift up all other women all the time.

I would say it louder for the people in the back but I don’t want you to have to read a whole paragraph of capslock.

Continue reading “Girl, Accept Your Constructive Criticism”

Body Positive Yoga for Insta-Inspiration

I’ve been doing yoga regularly for about a year now, and as someone who is still relatively new to the practice I often look at Instagram for inspiration and motivation. For example, I’m currently doing a 14-day “yoga challenge on IG that led to me trying a headstand yesterday for the first time!

While it’s amazing and inspiring to see the backbends and inversions these ladies (because, despite yoga having been a practice that was closed to women for a very long time, these days on the internet and in most yoga classes, the practitioners are a majority female) do, it only takes a few minutes of scrolling before you can’t help but notice that the most popular posters are thin, white, female, and decked out in the latest leggings from Lululemon or Alo.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, and being a fairly thin, definitely white woman who is currently waiting on Fedex to deliver a Lululemon order, it’s not that I can’t relate to these graceful women even if I don’t have a body that could be confused for a model’s. But it doesn’t reflect the yoga enthusiasts I’ve encountered in real life. In the yoga classes I attend, none of us have six-pack abs. Many students are beyond their early-to-mid 20s (my mom has started attending yoga classes recently, for example). Some are black, some are asian, some are men, some are children. Some practice chair yoga or have limitations due to disabilities or sorenesses.

That’s why reading Jessamyn Stanley’s book Every Body Yoga was such a breath of fresh air. Part yoga guide and part memoir, she describes her own journey to body acceptance and how we can balance our desire to emulate the cool asanas we see on social media with a practice that is kind to and loving toward our own bodies. What I love about the book is that she doesn’t say “Practice in your most tattered gym shorts and don’t even look at Instagram or you’re not a real yogi.” She totally acknowledges that buying brightly-patterned leggings and taking photos of yourself in your best dancer pose can be fun and even helpful. It’s just that you don’t have to do that, and you don’t have to look a certain way, and that your practice is yours to grow and embrace.

If you like to look at athletes or yoga practitioners on Instagram, then Jessamyn (@mynameisjessamyn) is a must-follow.

Here are some other Instagram accounts that offer body positive inspiration for your yoga journey:

Continue reading “Body Positive Yoga for Insta-Inspiration”

Keeping up with double standards toward the Kardashians

I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen an episode of their reality show, but like most people with internet access and a television, I can’t help but keep up with the Kardashians. It’s not that I want to; it’s that they’re everywhere. And while I know that’s the way they like it, I can’t help but feel uncomfortable.

My discomfort isn’t caused by them—I mean, I didn’t really need to see that picture of Kim K’s ass that “broke the internet,” but it’s not like nudity on the internet is a shocking oddity—but by two particular double standards their popularity has made evident.

When I logged onto Facebook this morning, the first thing  I saw on my newsfeed was this headline from Bustle, usually one of my favourite female-centric sites:

Continue reading “Keeping up with double standards toward the Kardashians”