4/13/14

10 Stay Strong Songs: 2014

Hello my angels!

Here is an updated stay strong playlist for all of you:)
Part 1 from 2012
Part 2 from 2013

1. Anything, by Hedley

One of my favorite songs of the year so far! With lyrics such as "a thousand disbelievers couldn't keep me on the ground", you feel like accomplishing all of your wildest dreams, raising your middle finger to the haters and flying off into the sunset.

2. The Promise, by Emma Blackery

This song is dedicated to anyone struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, eating disorders, or just having a bad day. Crawl up into bed, listen to this on repeat, and tune out the world.
You're worth it:)

3. Invisible, by Hunter Hayes

Everyone in high school; pump your fists and chant in unison: (IN HIGH SCHOOL) THERE'S NO ROOM FOR ANYONE WHO DARES TO BE DIFFERENT.
Negative people aren't just limited to high school, unfortunately, so we all have to arm ourselves with good, stay strong songs to get us through the night.
Plus, have you seen Hunter? Such a babe will fix your crying eyes ;)

4. Let It Go, by Idina Menzel (Frozen)

One of the year's best movies comes to you with one of the best songs of all time. 
No jokes, guys, Idina's beautiful voice mixed with a beautiful Disney message of "forgive, forget and fiercely move on".
Also one of the best songs to scream in your car while the people in other lanes judge you hard core.

5. Demons, by Imagine Dragons

Try as we may, we can't always hide our demons from those who love us. Losing control is scary, but it's also incredibly cathartic. Let people in, let them see the "dark inside", and those who stay are the worthy ones.
I was lucky enough to see ID live last year, and they are just as badass live as they are on their record, which makes supporting them all the more worth it.

6. Because We Can, by Bon Jovi

Okay, I have to admit, I was a Bon Jovi hater in my hay day.
But I started running to this song during the summer, and it makes for a fantastic pump up, stay strong song, that I just can't pretend otherwise.

Bon Jovi, you have my stay strong blessing.

7. Roar, by Katy Perry

I don't care who you are, where you're from, what you've been through,
this song is the shit.
If you don't dance along, making boxing moves as you scream at the top of your lungs, I'm sorry to inform you there is something deeply wrong with you.
Doctor, STAT.
<3

8. Unbroken, by Demi Lovato

This song is a bit older (2013, I think? I know, practically vintage), but there aren't good things I can say about Demi. An awesome mix of techno/dance and heartbreak recovery pop; can't beat the queen of stay strong.
She has the saying tattooed on her, for the love of God.

9. Unwell, by Matchbox 20

If you want a throwback, this is for you. I believe this is late 1990s progressive rock, but Matchbox 20 blows my mind to this day.
"I'm not crazy I'm just a little unwell" is probably the best lyric written in the 20th century.
2014 deserves a little 90s stay strong spice, and this song is IT.

Extra: 10. Superstar, by Ru Paul

Yes, Ru Paul the drag queen extraordinaire!
He says it all: You're a superstar.
Blast this in the morning, hum it as you strut down the street, dance to it at a party;
Stay strong has never looked so fucking good.

---------------

xoxo

Gabby

4/11/14

Eating Disorders PSA: Behind the Scenes

Hello my angels!



One of my proudest moments of 2013 was the making of the Fudge Perfection Eating Disorder PSA video. I am in no way shape or form a videographer, so this was quite the task, but one I am oh-so glad I undertook.

So in memory of its almost 1 year anniversary, I decided to fill you in on the Behind The Scenes action.
Here is how I, barely-able-to-use-Imovie teenage-girl, was able to make this low budget yet (hopefully) meaningful video.

Step 1: And Lightning Strikes!

I can't tell you when, or how, or why this idea came to mind, but I know that once it did, there was no going back. I had this vision of an eating disorder, from my involvement in mental health organizations to psychology literature to even my own experiences; I had this vision of a fight.
How we try to fight our bodies, because we don't know how else to interpret our anger, our depression, our anxiety.

So once the boxing gloves came to mind, then the boxing bell, the crowd chanting in the production, and the broken hearted girl appeared beside them, I knew I had to make this video. No matter what.

Step 2: Pre-Production

As you can see, this video took a ton of extra special effects, numerous props and a slew of Hollywood actors. Or what is just me, my camera, a pair of Walmart kids gloves (they were cheaper!) and a wonderful classmate of mine?
Yeah, probably the latter.

I made the long 20 minute walk to my local walmart, purchased some gloves, emailed my lovely actress, and set a date for filming. Shit was getting real, and I, anxious butterfly, was getting nervous.

Step 3: Shooting Day

Julia, the film's heroine, arrived at my house ready to roll.

For those of you wondering how I managed to find this awesome actress, Julia was actually just someone I went to school with. We were never particularly close friends or anything, but I knew she was going to study acting in college, and having seen her make the best of a high school English class Romeo And Juliet monstrosity, I didn't have any doubts that she could pull this off.

And boy, was I right.

She was incredibly cooperative, took directions very well, and of course did a superb acting job.

Step 5: Bruised Up

I get many questions about Julia's bruised and beaten look.
No, I did not shove her down a flight of stairs.
I did the makeup!

I used mostly coastal scents products, lots of cream to give the black eye that shiny effect, and based most of my work on this video by petrilude

Step 6: Hermit Time aka Editing

Editing was much harder than expected. I spent 2 days cooped up in my house, leaving my room only to find some food to shove in my malnourished body.

I first added all the parts together, cropped, found some boxing match sounds from the internet, put in a filter, and voila!
The video was finally done.

-------

If you learn anything from this, it is that you can accomplish any project you put your mind to it, experienced or not. Just throw yourself into the water head first, don't be shy to ask for help, and give yourself a break once in a while.

xoxo

Gabby

4/7/14

"How NOT To Wear Your Makeup": If It's Not Your Face, It's Not Your Problem

Hello my sweet sweet angels!

Exactly one year ago (or a few days earlier/later, don't get your panties all in a knot), I posted this article about body shaming and the infamous cringe-worthy saying..."should you/she be wearing that?"

Although this isn't my most popular post, I believe it is one of my most important, because of the wide spread presence of this body negative mindset. So, to honour the importance of "live and let live", I am taking you on an exciting adventure through time and space, back to a scary era I like to call...

9th grade. 

Ah, yes, a beautiful age indeed. Slowly growing out of that god-awful awkward phase, yet still caring both too much and not enough about what others are saying and doing. It was the year my mental health became more than just a part of me; it became a problem.
And during the ins and outs of bad decisions and toxic friendships, I turned to the one thing that kept me going through a long hard day of drama and Algebra.
Rainbow eyes.

Don't know it? Google it. 
My adaption of a rainbow eye, I must say, was executed quite professionally. I woke up very early in the morning, blended 4 different super bright eyeshadows onto my eyelids, and marched my angst-filled neon butt to school. 
Just another Manic (Panic) Monday for 9th grade me

Funnily enough, I had raging anxiety at the time, and could barely breathe without thinking the world was staring at and judging me. But somehow, in this one particular instance, I didn't give a single fudge. 

Now, as some of you know, I write for a beauty magazine, Drop Of Pink, and with that comes a lot of research and time spent on other beauty and health blogs and webzines, so I know ALL ABOUT what makeup girls should wear to school or work, what makeup girls should avoid at all costs, blablabla. 

I even found a video, which I will not link because I ain't giving those girls more views, that mocks girls who wear their makeup differently, who make bold choices. 
...And let me tell you, that pisses me off.

Look, I know it's just beauty products, nothing too serious.
But it's more than that, it's about identity, and the freedom to express yourself. 

When I was 15, my life was a very typical miserable teenage experience. Few things got my out of bed in the morning. One of which was caking on drag makeup on a regular 'ole Tuesday morning. 
Maybe it wasn't that natural, maybe it didn't look that great, but by God it made me happy. 

So as I watch these videos, and read these articles, I can't help but think of present 15 year olds, who find little joy in anything these days, but who love dying their hair bright purple, or wearing 2940 pounds of eyeliner, or wearing tutus to school...
What if they watch those videos, or read those articles, and decide that they are being ridiculous, that because it's not the norm it's not okay. 

There is enough pressure to conform in the world, right down to the mascara you should wear, and not enough encouragement to be your own self. 
So here is my little piece of encouragement, to all my freaks and geeks:

If it's not their faces, or their hair, or their bodies, it's not their problem.
Do what makes you happy (that is legal, I'm not vouching for you in court babes) 

I hope you can all take something from this article, whether or not you're a drag baby like moi.
Have a lovely day babies

xoxo

Gabby




4/3/14

Hiatus

Hello my angel cupcakes:)

As you may have noticed, I have been MIA for a whole week!
I believe this is the longest I've been away from the blog in a year, so I apologize.

I'm going through quite the time, so unfortunately my writing will have to be put on the back burner.
I appreciate your thoughts and prayers, and will be back as soon as I can!

Keep shining bright:)
xoxo

Gabby

3/26/14

Self Harm Scars: To Show Or Not To Show

Hello my darling angels

This is a self harm trigger warning. 
It is a very tricky, delicate and sometimes triggering subject, so if you feel like this post could possibly be problematic for you in the future, I urge you to read something else on the blog. We got all kinds of fun stuff o'er here. <3 

Oookay. I haven't ranted or raved about Tumblr in a while, so let's get down to it.

Truthfully, this debate/topic of discussion makes me incredibly uncomfortable.
Self harm is an absolute tragedy, and alarmingly widespread, and since I myself have never been a self-harmer, I sometimes feel as though my thoughts aren't legitimate or important.

But that's actually one of the reasons I decided to share my thoughts with you today.
Writing about deeply personal issues is a beautiful, cathartic feeling, but objectivity gives me more room to think, and also gives my readers more to chew on.

So here's the sitch.
Recently, on the wonderful website that is Tumblr, I have seen a surge of "self-harm scars" pride.
People taking pictures of their scars, posting them with pride, writing of exposing them like a badge of honour when they are out and about.
The Battle Wound Belief 

My thoughts, good and bad, are as follows:

Pro-Pride?

I'm hardly one to speak about privacy and keeping your problems to yourself. I mean, I did start this blog at the dawn of my recovery, putting myself out there, mostly for my own sanity, but also to hopefully help anyone in a similar situation. 

I will forever stand by my decision to be raw and genuine with myself and others, so how could I judge anyone who chooses to make a similar decision? 
Because isn't that what this whole self-harm scar pride is about? 
Sharing a problematic past, to find closure for yourself but also to prove to others that recovery is possible? 

To the naysayers who depict this practice as a call for attention, I say GTFO. 
Yes, perhaps some show off their scars to attract sympathy, but that is no reason to shame an entire group. 
Besides, a grand majority of those who struggle with self-harm keep their pain and depression to themselves, which results in this destructive coping mechanism. 
Hence, I'd much rather see someone expose their truth in hopes that someone will notice than have a sufferer deal with their inner darkness on their own, unaccompanied by friends or family. 

Wounded Wrist Worries

Unfortunately, my loves, I have issues with scar show-and-tell that I simply cannot disregard. 
There is a reason I put a trigger warning at the beginning of this piece.
Self-harm scars are incredibly sensitive. 

You never know who is struggling, or has struggled, or will struggle with self-harm. 
That means you do not know how the sight of scars will affect them. 
Those who feel proud of their recovery want to show off their accomplishment, which is quite understandable, but I also know none of them would want their pride to result in someone's relapse. 

I've addressed this issue before, but we are not born into this world with the seeds of horrible coping mechanism planted into our brains. Someone or something else, intentional or not, gave us those tools. 
Your classmate may not struggle with self harm or even depression at the moment, but the sight of your wrists could potentially pop into his/her head in a time of distress, and you never know what that could lead to. 

--------------------------

Is there a clear answer here? No, probably not, but for me there is a solution. 

Solution: Open up about the problems that led you to that drastic measure. The depression, the anxiety, the fights, the school pressure, whatever it was for you.
Details about your self harm, including your scars, aren't as helpful to your support system, and could potentially be triggering for some. 
Honesty, openness, catharsis, AND trigger-free? Check

Hope this helps add to the debate.
Have a wonderful day

xoxo

Gabby






























3/23/14

The Ultimate Self-Love Body Image Trick

Hello angels:)

I wrote this article almost 2 years ago, when the blog was barely a foetus, and my writing was, at best, mediocre. This is not to say that I'm a bonafide writing virtuoso, but I wanted to rewrite this piece in a more eloquent and clear matter. 


This trick may seem trivial, and perhaps it is for you, but it is one I use every single day, without fail, and truthfully, I believe it to be one of the most important steps in my recovery. Take from it what you will, try it out, and let me know what you think:)


----


Once upon a time, I was afraid of mirrors. 

Okay, perhaps that's slightly misleading, because I wasn't afraid of the mirrors themselves. 
I was afraid of what they reflected. 

I would wake up in the morning and I would hate my reflection. 

I would go to school, catch a glimpse of myself in a car window or locker room mirror, and I would hate my reflection. 
I would go back home, do homework or extra-curricular activities, and avoid a mirror at all costs, because I knew very well what I would see. 
I knew that at the end of the day, as I got ready for bed, I would have to look at my reflection. 
And I would fucking hate it. 

Let me tell you something: hating yourself in downright exhausting, it truly is. 


It's hard enough being a teenager, going to school with morons and potheads, studying seemingly useless equations, dealing with crazy hormones inside your body and brain; trust me I know. 

So cut yourself some slack, make your life just a little bit easier, and try this trick out.

1. Go up to a mirror, preferably in the morning, or before heading out the door. 


2. Find 3 things you like about your reflection. I don't care what they are, how crazy specific or bizarre they may seem. You are not doing this for anyone but yourself. Look, I know that for some, this will be hard at first, but keep working at it, every day, several times a day if you must. 21 consecutive days of anything forms a habit, so stay strong. 


And if you can find attributes that might not be considered "typically beautiful" by most people, but that you find unique and special, bonus points for you. You go, Glen Coco. 


3. As you go through the day, and inevitably stumble upon your reflection, know where to look and stay focused on those 3 attributes. 


Why it works: Our eyes aren't actually the ones «seeing things»; they only capture the information and send it to our brain, and that tricky little bastard can do whatever it wants with those images. 


Start looking for the good, instead of singling out your 10394855 flaws (child, don't lie, we all do it sometimes), and your reflection will change right before your eyes. 

By choosing what your brain focuses on before that bitchy, whiny voice comes in and tells you what part of your body you hate that day, you blur out the flaws and let the good shine through.

You will find with time how much you have to be thankful for, how many wonderful parts of your being are worthy of love and admiration. 


I can only hope that with time and effort, when you pass by a mirror on a long hard day, you can finally smile. 


Have a wonderful day my loves,

xoxo

Gabby





3/18/14

You Deserve: A Story of Consent, Youtubers, and Equality

Hello my beautiful angels!

I have received lovely comments in response to both my Identity and Body Mods articles, and many of you asked to see a more detailed account of my industrial piercing story. However, since I didn't want a silly bar taking over my blog, I wrote a secret piece, attached here. The pictures are warped in google docs, so check out my twitter for better quality pictures. Enjoy :) 
Good Sir, unless you possess a secret
 Avengers power that allows you
to obtain consent from
someone's pupils, please stahp.
Picture found here

This is not something I ever thought I would write about, but in light of recent events, and considering my audience, I feel I cannot keep quiet.

This may not be the most "body positive" relevant article, but it's fudgin' important.

In the past week, several big Youtubers such as Alex Day, Tom Milsom, Alex Carpenter, and Luke Conard have been accused of engaging in emotionally abusive relationship. The ones I want to focus on in particular are Alex Day and Tom's alleged relationships with fans.

You may know who these people are, but you don't have to. Here's what is important:
1. Through their rise to fame, these boys have acquired quite a following. Demographically speaking, their avidest fans were teenagers and young adult girls.
2. They used their power and influence with these girls to engage in sexual activity which often pushed the boundaries of consent, and in Tom's case, with an underage girl.

According to my email inbox, my blog's main demographic is also teenage girls.
Hence, I'm hella furious.

It is such a wonderful thing to be passionate.
To love a band, or a TV show, or a book.
Passion is often the reason we get out bed in the morning, the bright sunlight shining into our dark bedrooms.
There's nothing wrong with infatuation, either. Whether it's a youtuber on the other side of the world, or a guy in your class, it's fun and it's harmless (usually).
I can't remember doing anything more in 8th grade than falling in love.

However, when a real relationship forms, you better get those weak knees in check.

If you imagine a person to be more than who they are, 
to be a god, or a rockstar, or your eternal flawless soulmate,
you put them on a pedestal. 

Problems with pedestals: it puts them up, and it puts you down. 

Putting someone in an incredible position of power and influence will easily corrupt them.
You would do anything to make them like you, to make them happy...
but to what ends?

This is what I believe, take it or leave it (omfg please take it):
The person in front of you, huge celeb in your mind or not, is a person.
You know who is also a person? You. 
As a person, you deserve respect, integrity and the right to make your own decisions. 

If you ever meet one of your idols at Vidcon, or finally go to the movies with James from fucking bio, you must remember that you are their equal.
If they try to belittle you, to put you down, to make you do things you don't want to do,
Get The Fuck Up and Get The Fuck Out.

If you don't feel strong or confident enough to handle this kind of situation, to stand up to your idol, that is a-okay honey.
Most of us aren't.
Which means you should not put yourself in a situation where you know you cannot make the right choice.
Can't swim? Jumping into the middle of the ocean is probably not the best idea.

Enough rambling.
Stay safe, and always remember this quote:

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” 
― Eleanor RooseveltThis is My Story

Have a safe, wonderful day.
xoxo
Gabby

3/14/14

Traditional Beauty Bulls**t: Body Modifications

Hello my beautiful dolls,

Fact: When my mom was growing up, there were 2 kinds of people in the world:
-people with tattoos and piercing and other body modifications
-people without

Modified folk found themselves in a very different social category.
In terms of employment, they could not access conservative professions such as medicine, law, business, etc.
Most people were under the impression that tattoos were gang symbols, or membership badges to organized crime groups, hence ostracized those who sported their ink in visible places.

But the times, they are a'changing.
Yes, there is still body mod discrimination, especially in the workplace, no doubt about that.
It's the reason I only have piercings in my ear, a less visible and easily concealable area.

However, we must not forget that the unmodified, sadly ignorant people mentioned above are still around; they hold the mid to high level positions, they make hiring decisions, they are still in charge of our body mods and how they will affect our future; no shit discrimination is still going strong.


Problem: my generation is incredibly tattooed, in visible places, surprisingly pierced, and overall much more liberal about bodily modifications.
It's not just Hell's Angels and high school dropouts who are inking their bodies nowadays; college students, studying in every major, from every background, of every race.

Excluding an enormous demographic of freshly graduated students from entering even conservative workplaces is becoming a Herculean task. Limiting the job pool to clean slate kids is no longer a viable, profitable option.

Consequence: Generational Clash

As the two generations intertwine, and the latter succeeds the former, an inevitable confrontation about
body mods and their place in professional fields looms in the air.
And I am freaking pumped. 
Why you ask? Because this is about more than just a silly infinity sign on your dainty white girl wrist, this is the reason I wrote this piece in the first place:

Accepting Body Mods Is Accepting New Definitions of Beauty

In order to understand why tattoos and piercings are body positive causes worth fighting for, I invite you to think about why they are so taboo in the first place. My interpretation is this:
Body mods are not considered traditionally, conventionally beautiful. 

I may be wrong, but lemme explain myself:
Tattoos are decorations, to enhance and express identity and style.
Working with that definitions, why is jewellery, or nail polish, or makeup, or any superfluous fashion piece, accessories or decorations to enhance beauty and express style, not banned?
Because it is considered to be beautiful in the mainstream.

By slowly integrating a more diverse community of workers in all walks of life who happen to be tattooed or pierced, the definition of these mods change.
No more: tattoo=bum or gangster
Simply: person with tattoo=person who can work in any field who just happens to be wearing a decoration 

-------

Changing the mainstream definitions of beauty is obviously a cause near and dear to my heart, but change such as this one doesn't happen over night.
Not everyone will wake up one morning finding a tattoo sleeve beautiful like I do.
But  the eradication of hiring discrimination and the integration of body modified people into an engineering firm or a sales department as Dunder Mifflin teaches society an even more important lesson than beauty. It teaches tolerance.

Some old grumps won't change their minds about you and your eyebrow piercing, okay.
But, as you are the most competent applicant for the job, said old grump must work along side you.
And he must learn to be tolerant:

tolerance: not necessarily loving, but simply living, without protest or insult, with the reality of the situation.

Beauty and tolerance, I notice, go hand and hand.
By not closing the door, shutting yourself into a darkness of judgement, you open yourself up to new ideas.
Like the light, the eyes must first blink a few times, let the retinas adjust, before opening their eyelids to the bright glory of the sun.
You don't love that those "fat chicks" pose sexily on the covers of Vogue, but by not excluding the possibility entirely and looking at their beautiful curves a little while longer each day, you find yourself mesmerized.

You fall into beauty like you fall asleep: As John Green best wrote:

"I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once"

Here's the truth: I won't have to struggle through this myself as a midly, secretly modified human.
But I'll be an ally, rallying the troops, screaming at the top of my lungs, and you can bet your tattooed little ass that I will hire the most competent of employees, regardless of their skin status.

Gabby out.

xoxo