Once Upon A Time

Hello my loves!
This is a translation of a piece I wrote for Derriere le Miroir (available here: http://www.derrierelemiroir.ca/donc-mon-prince/) 

Once upon a time there was a young princess
Who danced in the rain and jumped into puddles
She was wild, she was free, she was fearless.
She didn’t mind if her hair was a tad too curly.
She didn’t care if there were 300 calories in her cookie.

She didn’t need a prince charming.
With or without him, she was a princess worthy of respect.
“Maybe later, when I’m older” she told herself
“For now, I rule this kingdom just fine all by myself”

But the seasons changed, and a princess can’t stay young forever.
All her friends were attracting the attention of dukes and earls,
Dancing the night away in the arms of their admirers
While our princess spent her nights all alone.
And she started to ask herself when her prince would come along.

She stared at her reflection in the puddles she used to jump in
Desperately looking for the reasons behind her solitude.
Suddenly the rain started pouring, deforming her reflection, so that all she could see
Was that her problem lied in the atrocity of her body.  

Her hair was now much too curly
And every single inch of her skin was a prison keep
Trapping her in a tower, too ugly to be saved.
And those 300 calories in her cookie? Those were 300 too many.
She made herself believe that her prince would only visit
When her collarbone was protruding enough for all to see.  

So she lived in this sad fantasy for many years,
Without the kingdom noticing their shrinking princess.
Until one day she had had enough of starving.
And as she looked at her reflection in the mirror with new eyes
She realized she had hated herself for nothing.

Okay, so this prince had yet to show up at her door
But a hunger strike won’t make him arrive sooner.
From now on, this princess worries little of her happy ever after
« Because I never needed a prince to be the greatest ruler »


The Block

Hello my loves, 

Yesterday afternoon, at around 3:30, I suffered from the crippling illness that is writer's block. 

And children, you do not want to see me when I'm suffering from writer's block. 

I start ranting in both French and English, abusing my keyboard with a ferocity unknown to civilized society, pacing up and down my dorm's hall, trying to find the perfect place to write the supposed master piece just floating in my head waiting to be unleashed. 

I try to rhyme, and be poetic and mysterious. 
I try to research articles and papers to sound smart and knowledgeable. 
But when it comes down to putting words on a page, it all sounds forced.

Who's going to read this, I ask after every miserable sentence. Images of critical English teachers and random students from my classes blur my vision, and before I know it I've deleted the entire paragraph. 

So I go take a walk, breathe in the fresh air, but in vain, I still feel trapped in my own brain. 
I call my mom, vent and whine as daughters do, but alas I only hang up feeling homesick. 
I try to eat, lord knows how I convinced myself that it's a great way to enhance my writing abilities, but sink deeper in the hole of my own self
pity, and retreat to a world where all is well and just: Netflix. 

A few hours later, however, I came upon an idea as I finalized my english paper. And I wrote it down. 

No one looking over my shoulder, no future judgement clouding my honesty, no paralyzing fear of failure;
It's all just ink on paper. 

So whatever obstacles you encounter today, my dear fudgies, just push through.
Don't let the things you can't control control you. 




"Rating" Your Friends: A Dangerous Game

Hello my beautiful fudgies!

Today's post will be inspired by a scene from "Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging", a hilariously
awkward and (unfortunately) mildly accurate depiction of a teen's life. Except for the fact that most of us don't end up with hot British bass playing boyfriends, especially since I have been condemned by the universe to become the crazy cat lady up the block.
But I digress. Back to the movie.

The scene depicts the sacred girl ritual of giggling, gossiping, and pouring your heart into a bag of Cheetos, also known as a sleepover.
I feel you, Georgia, I feel you. 
The girls are all sitting in a circle as they decide to play a "rating" game, or as I'd like to call them, "raining" games, because of the shit storm they inevitably cause.

Their version consists of filling out a sheet for each girl present, rating their different body parts on a scale of 1 to 10, anonymously of course, like that's going to protect a 14-year old's feelings from getting hurt.
And then, of course, the inevitable occurs:
some poor soul receives a 4/10 for her nose, and the whole world as she knows it ceases to exist. 

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the danger behind "rating" games, and the aforementioned isn't the only one I've ever heard of:
-Rating each other's outfits on a daily basis
-Playing "Would you rather have...?" with their friend's physical features?
-Every single type of Mean Girl-esque pity party where girls whine about their atrocity and their friends are legally bonded to disagree (more on that in this article: Body Bashing Ritual)
The list goes on and on!

But why do we put ourselves through this bizarre rite of passage, and what kind of long-term effects can they have on our self esteem?

Validate Me!

At an age where our perception of ourselves is distorted and constantly progressing, it can be hard to know for a fact how we feel about our physical appearance. One day it's Victoria's Secret, the next it's Monster's Inc. So we turn to our supposedly most reliable source of information: our friends. 
And it may seem like a great idea! After all, a high rating can instantly boost your confidence!

But as research, and my own personal experience, has proven time and time again, teenagers rarely come up with the greatest, most body positive ideas. 

False Facts

Not convinced your rating games can be potentially destructive? Here are 3 reasons:

1. Your friends are not credible, valid sources of information. Someone could be having a bad day and taking it out on your score, someone could still be upset at a rating you gave them the week before, but most importantly: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FACTUAL ATTRACTIVENESS. 
Maybe your friend likes straight hair, and the Lord hath blessed you with ridiculous curls (join the club). It's all based on personal opinion, and in no way does it reflect what everyone thinks, and in no way should it reflect what you think of yourself. 

2. Numbers are dangerous. For the same reason people are rarely happy with their weight on a scale: there's no room for grey, no subjectivity, no perfect number. Let's face it: you could get a 9 out of 10 on "body", but your first thought would be WHAT IS HOLDING ME BACK FROM A 10? and down you go into a questioning spiral that could have been avoided. Leave the numbers for Algebra, k?

3.  Your friends are your source of support: they should make you feel better about yourself, point out all the reasons they love you. Focusing your collective energy on physical appearance is unhealthy as it detracts from humane qualities such as kindness, generosity, empathy, humour; the real reason you love each other. And it could potentially lead to some more serious clinical impacts, as proved by NEDIC: "a girl who is unhappy for any reason may be more likely to believe that the solution to unhappiness may be found in losing weight, if thinness is highly valuated within her friendship group" 


So please: keep your friends close, tell them how wonderful they are without assigning them a number.
Have a lovely day, my loves





Hello loves!

Here is a creative writing piece submitted by Genevieve of Quebec City! Enjoy!

I stare at her freckles, and I just don’t understand;

I don’t understand why she stares down her reflection,
blaming a mirror that will never tell her what she wants to hear.
Won’t these miserable spots ever leave her be?
She asks, she pleads, she begs, as a long drawnout sigh escapes her lips.

I don’t understand the toxic chemicals with which she scrubs her face.
The home remedies, the beauty creams, the crackled layers of foundation;
 they can barely fade the defiant freckle spatter.
Perhaps she will never stop scrubbing,
in hopes of peeling off her treacherous skin.

And I don’t understand;

Because I love her adorable little freckles,
sprinkling the tops of her nose and the apples of her cheeks.
I find it adorable the way they dance around the crinkles of a timid smile
 or a burst of laughter.
I use to draw little brown dots on myself
to imitate the lucky ones.

And perhaps she will never know,
And that would be a shame.
Because when she looks at my naked nose,
She thinks the same.

So tell her now, tell her loud,
Tell her to be proud!
And the world will be a little better
As she goes to sleep tonight
Thinking of your voice’s sound.