New Year, Old Me

Since starting this blog I’ve made a promise to myself that I would Blog More.

This does not materialise.

Parks And Recreation Sigh GIF

Like ever.

sad le sigh GIF by RuPaul's Drag Race

But New Year New Me amirite??? I’m gonna try again because why the heck not? I miss blogging! And all the things I want to achieve will be easier to achieve if I maintain a blog… but more on that later.

First! Lemme list all the things I achieved in 2018 in no particular order:

  1. Finally saw Beyonce in concert…. with Jay-Z no less! AND THEY DROPPED AN ALBUM AT THE CONCERT which was a relatively underwhelming album, compared to Lemonade and 4:44 BUT STILL
    music video beyonce GIF
  2. Survived my first year of nursing without killing anyone, especially myself
  3. Started my masters!
  4. Went from Neurology to Recovery nursing
    what they think dance party GIF
  5. Made some bomb-ass friends
  6. Met my brother for the first time ever. And my sister-in-law. And my adorable nieces.
  7. Actually I went on 4 vacations this year: Ireland, Prague, Toronto and St. Lucia
    beach GIF
  9. Wrote a book!
  10. Entered a writing competition and was short-listed! Even though I didn’t win, it’s awesome to be recognised for something that I have no formal training in.
  11. Completed my Goodreads challenge of 60 books in a year
  12. Reconnected with people who I haven’t seen in years ❤
  13. Baked some really good banana bread.

I feel like I did so much more this year, but I can’t think of any! I’m gonna try to write 52 articles for this blog for 2019, this being article number 1. Do I have 52 things to say? I don’t know. But hey, worth a try, right?

I know for a fact I’ve got a lot of stuff I need to catch you all up on.

The Mom, The Myth, The Legend

This week is my least favourite week of the year.

Why, you ask?

For the past ten years, this week has been book-ended by Mother’s Day (in the UK) and my mother’s birthday.

I do not have the funds to celebrate this week, friends.

I do not have siblings with which to share the financial cost of surviving this week, friends.

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March is an expensive month

My mother does not have expensive tastes, but she does demand I celebrate both days as distinct and separate occurrences on the calendar. This line, if nothing else, should prove that my mother is African, because only mothers from that continent are that extra. Whenever people are like “Oh my birthday is the same time as my cousins, so we just have one big joint party” I laugh until my sides ache because that’s Not My Mother. My mother’s birthday also lands on St Patrick’s day, so she has the decency to wear green out of respect of the Irish folk while she demands a birthday card AND a St Paddy’s day card. Y’know, on top of the Mother’s Day card. And then when May comes around, she wants ANOTHER Mother’s Day card because in St Lucia Mother’s Day is in May. I’m surprised she hasn’t started asking for reparations on International Women’s Day too.

Image result for african dancing gif

March is my mother’s month #recognise

Of course, I don’t actually mind. For one thing, I am finally gainfully employed. Plus, my mother has had a long life full of hard work, crazy adventures and intense experiences, so if she wants flowers twice in one week, I get her flowers (then I sit back and wait for the “what, no card?” text). I talk about my mother a lot because at the end of the day, she’s one of my best friends and the coolest mum anyone could have, but I think I promised a while back to write some more on Lady Di (as my uncle calls her), so here it is! Let’s call this Part 1: The Mom, The Myth, The Legend.

My mother, despite her looking about 15 years younger than she actually is, was born in the early 50s in South Africa. In case world history isn’t your thing, South Africa in the 50s was not a nice place to be if you weren’t white and affluent – and in those days, those words were synonymous. In those days they did various tests based on pseudo-science to assign a race to you. My mother, owing to her skin colour and her hair not holding a pencil forever, was considered coloured, as was my grandmother. (I asked her if I would have been considered black, as my hair is thicker and my skin is darker than my mother’s, and was told that children often took the race of their mothers, which makes no sense… then again neither did the whole system). My grandmother was a real renaissance woman. She could play any instrument she picked up, she could speak several languages, and had the singing voice of a lark. I have her name, but I have never met her. She divorced my grandfather, a nasty and abusive man (although my grandmother, my mother would note with faint pride, could throw a punch herself), and, slinging her child on her back, walked barefoot down the highway through the desert in the hot sun until they settled in Lokasie 11 in Calitzdorp. My grandmother worked on the local farm owned by the Calitz family, and would pick and dry fruit, often bringing some home for my mother. She would also dry meat, bringing home biltong and droewers. She took care of her kid.

Being coloured in those days meant you had to learn Afrikaans, so my mother went to school with other children in the coloured category and learnt of the wonderful Dutch who “tamed the savages” (Shaka put up one hell of a fight. You guys wouldn’t judge me if I named my kid Shaka, right?) before being fought by the wonderful British who added South Africa to the whole “sun never sets” empire, until they became independent and apartheid became A Thing (summary of events). She never learnt the languages of the savages like Zulu and Xhosa, but she did learn English, which amounted to the same thing amirite?

Image result for shuri gif colonisers

Colonisers, eh?

My mother was good at math (still is), and good at netball (not so much). She used to play with her friends in the spruitje, taking care to avoid hippos (who are, I have been informed, way more dangerous than alligators), and run around in the Klein Karoo, making sure to check trees for boomslangs before climbing them. When she got older she did her matriculation, and had a boyfriend, who was the cousin of her then best friend Drika. She also worked as a baby sitter for a white family, helping to raise their 3 kids.

My grandmother passed away when my mother was 16. She was a smoker, and one day fell asleep with a lit cigarette in her mouth. The house caught fire. I wish I could have met her.

This was in the 60s. Unrest, already a steady undercurrent of South African politics, was starting to build up. The white family my mother worked for was headed by a kind, Atticus-esque man who defended black people, considered everyone equal, and most of all considered my mother an important family member. This was not well received by the rest of the Afrikaner community, and so this family decided to leave. They turned to my mother and said “We are leaving. Do you want to come with us?” My mother, who at 19 was an orphan and wasn’t in contact with her other family members (and who didn’t know much about her father), agreed. She left her boyfriend (girl power), hugged her best friend goodbye and set off on Die Oranje to England.

Sometimes I wonder if my mother realises what a big decision that was at that age. Many 19-year olds don’t even know how to use the washing machine, yet my mother went forward in search of a better life for herself. She went in search of adventure. And boy did she find it. But that’s for another blog post.

Stay tuned for part 2, tentatively named Mums Just Want To Have Fun.



So I realised recently that I’ve been talking a lot about ladies of the night. Let me take a moment to talk about my actual career, the one I spent 2 years training to do: Paediatric Nursing. How’s it going? Well, let me summarise it for you using the power of GIFs.


I am no longer supernumerary which means that I am officially On My Own. I do my own meds, I have my own patients, I write my own notes. There’s no one behind me to keep track of what I’m doing, no one to countersign things, no one to report to or take the hard patients. One of the students on my ward asked me what it was like and I told her that it felt like someone had taken the training wheels off my bike, then kicked me down a very steep hill.

I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten the bike though

My last shift was awful. There were so many acutely ill kids that coming into handover was like…

…and the day didn’t improve from there. At one point we were all in the treatment room, quietly contemplating life/the medication we were meant to give and I was like “Is it too early to retire?” I’m not sure if everyone laughed because they were panicked, tired, or genuinely found me amusing. Some of us, myself included, even had to stay late to write notes. Really makes me wonder what the single, rich Arab princes of the world are doing lately. If anyone knows of any, ask them to get in touch. (Yes, Boy knows about this plan. Yes he is on board. I’m going to hire him as a butler and have a Lady Chatterly-esque tryst).

I’m on a complex ward, and I don’t think it hit me exactly how sick the kids were going to be. Is that a dumb thing to admit? Well I’m admitting it. My last placement was 13 weeks in an emergency department in a District General hospital, which meant most of the kids came in with cuts and bruises and maybe the occasional croup. This ward has kids who have had parts of their BRAIN cut out because that’s the only treatment left for them. This isn’t some paracetamol-and-kiss-the-booboo kind of thing. I knew on an intellectual level that it wouldn’t be easy but it didn’t hit me until my first shift. I hear the call bell in my dreams sometimes.

Perhaps this is why I keep crying? Half the time I’m not even sure why I’m crying. I thought I was having a terrible day so I was going to go home and cry out of exhaustion, but then my preceptor (like a mentor but less hands on) told me I did well so I went home and cried in relief instead? Yesterday I cried because my managers are so kind, the shift before that I cried because a parent thanked me, I cried the other day because the printer stopped working… I’m a mess. The nurses I work with are all so lovely, so guess who cried because I was so glad that everyone was friendly? THIS GIRL DID.

Honestly though, I think I’ll be OK. I’m doing well, I just need to stop being so hard on myself. Like my preceptor said, “If nothing’s broken and no one died, it’s a good shift.” I just need to eat less ice cream and woman up. Grow a womb and all that. I’ll be fine.

Now if you excuse me, I’m going to go cry because I have laundry to do.

I only wear my uniform and pyjamas, why is this even a THING?


Bodak Power

You know what song I really like? Bodak Yellow.

I know, surprising right? I’m a nerd whose hobbies include knitting and reading. And yet Bodak Yellow was what I listened to on my way to work on my first shift. It makes me feel like I can conquer anything. Something about the way Cardi B says “LITTLE B**** YOU CAN’T F*** WITH ME IF YOU WANTED TO.” I haven’t got any red bottoms but man, I feel like I’m wearing them when I listen to it.

These expensive, these is red bottoms

By extension I like Cardi B. She seems like a nice, genuine person. She’s worked hard to get where she is, she was in a terrible situation and managed to get out using every asset at her disposal. Bodak Yellow was sitting pretty at the top of the charts for a while, and gurl get it. I’m so proud of her. She don’t gotta dance now, she has made money move.

So it really sucks when I see people being horrible about her past (and women like Blac Chyna and Amber Rose). People get on their high horse and say some really disparaging things about these women because they started off as exotic dancers, strippers or prostitutes, and it really upsets me for several reasons.

First of all, they did what they had to do in the situation they were in. Very few women go to their school’s guidance counsellor and ask for advice on how to write a CV for their local strip club. People do what they gotta do to put food on the table, clothes on their backs and a roof over their heads, and stripping pays way better than serving fries at McDonalds (and it’s an easier job to get, McDonalds rejects thousands of people every day). If I had a nice body and needed fast money because there are debts to pay and the landlord’s threatening eviction, I would be on the pole faster than a fireman (and by the way, pole dancing is really hard. You need an insane amount of core muscles and coordination to do anything on it. It takes real work to get good enough to get paid for it, and real athletic ability to make it look as easy as they do. Pole dancing should be an Olympic sport, honestly. #Pole2020 get it trending).

Do what you gotta do

Honestly, I find them pretty inspirational. Unlike Drake, they actually started at the bottom and now they are here. Amber Rose is touting her unique brand of feminism, advocating for sex positivity and for sex workers (who have a pretty dangerous job tbh. The statistics are damaging). People going on about Blac Chyna being a gold-digger when she married Rob Kardashian need to know that our Angela is worth more in terms of investment than he is. She’d have to pay him alimony, HA. Who’s the gold-digger now!

And my girl Cardi is an unapologetic feminist. She paid to go to school, to get out of the hood and to have a better life. Plus, she’s from the Caribbean so I have a bias. Girl do your thang. You worked so hard to be here. People who can’t look at her achievements and react positively need to take several seats. Fair enough if Bodak Yellow isn’t your thing, but she isn’t any less of a person because of her past. In fact her and women like her all over the world who are making better lives for themselves through sex work are as hard-working as any of us and don’t deserve our scorn but our praise. Maybe it’s time we support women instead of tearing them down, hmm?

Anyway, I gotta go. Bodak Yellow just started playing and I have some lyrics to yell at unsuspecting bystanders.

Periodic Confusion

As I lie here in a pool of blood, a tangled mess of hormones and cramps, I wonder vaguely how my ex is doing.

I saw him in public the other day and this was actually my reaction. But that’s another story for another day.

Not that my ex and I are in any way close. If I could go back in time, I’d have stopped our meeting (going back any further would just increase the chances of me, A Black Person, getting murdered anyway), and I only want to see him in the future when I am rich and successful so that I can be petty in an Aston Martin. But the reason why I think of him in these monthly trying times is because he once asked me if there was any way I could “push it out”.

“It???” I, an adult, asked my adult ex-boyfriend circa 2BB (2 years Before Boyfriend).

“Yeah, y’know…. your *stage whisper* period. Can you push it out, like a baby? Or like pooping?”

It has been 4 years since that fool asked me that and I still chuckle heartily at the thought. Sir, you have a sister and a mother. I was your 4th girlfriend. You have access to the internet. Are you seriously asking me this question??????

Dated him for his looks (and because he liked anime)

I’ve seen Twitter conversations and Reddit threads on this very same topic. It seems like there is a significant portion of the population who does not know what 50% of the population get up to monthly. How is this a thing? Who do I have to complain to so that this is fixed? Do non-menstruating folk have a manager I can speak to?


I will go to my hairdressers TOMORROW if that’s what it takes

To be fair, this is but a small part of how sucky people are at having The Talk with kids. It amazes me that people can remain woefully ignorant of a whole system of organs in another person just because they don’t have a set themselves. And before you ask, yes, I do know the bits and bobs of men’s bits and bobs. I am a licensed healthcare professional. Also, I have access to Google.

I think that this kind of learning should start early. Kids get curious about the body at a fairly early age (the first time I saw a penis I was about 6, we had come back from the beach and my cousin stripped naked and went to wash himself under the pipe outside. I think there’s a picture of the two of us, we’re at the age where nudity is cute and not a felony). I remember asking what it was and my mother (Number One Stunna OG) told me (cuz the streets ain’t got nothing on Mama D). She never left me hanging on those questions, perhaps because she was a nurse herself, or perhaps because she is a #Gangsta4Lyf. It’s not a hard question to answer. Boys have penises and girls have vaginas (heteronormative I know, but it was the 90s). Some people stand to pee, others do not. Why? That’s how we were made. Cool ok, can I have a snack? Ok sure.


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I was a simple kid

OG Don Momma never stopped having the talk with me. As I got older, my mother changed the conversation from the basics of consent (“if someone touches you and you don’t like it, kick them and aim low”) to where babies come from (“when you’re old enough, a man puts his penis in your vagina. But only when you’re older, and you’re ready, and you can pay to take care of a child because my diaper-changing days are over”). When I got my period, my mother pulled up some online encyclopedia and, a little misty-eyed, explained to me that this would be a monthly occurrence so carry lots of pads. When I grew boobs, my mother informed me not to let people touch them without my permission. I overheard the word lesbian and was told it’s when a girl likes a girl romantically. The last time I had the updated version of the talk (V2.5.2) was about 3 weeks ago when I was informed to double up on contraception as I have just started work and I don’t need no babies right now. Lifelong Learning, y’all.

I’m aware that I am lucky. Many people I know are still waiting for their parents to give them the birds and the bees talk, and hey that’s OK! But that is no excuse for ignorance. Non-menstruating people of the world, learn what a uterus is and why we complain about cramps. Understand why I have suddenly become grumpy and spotty, and why it lasts 3-7 days, and why I may start unconsciously rub my chest in public. Wikipedia uses a lot of big, confusing words so if that’s way too much to deal with, ask your local woman. They’re not hard to find, there’s 3.5billion of them in the world. I’m sure one of them will be willing to divulge the secrets of the womb. Just don’t ask her if she’s on her period for whatever reason. She will murder you and you will get no sympathy from me.

Finish Last

I like to think I’m a nice person. I mean, people tell me I’m nice.  And I do things like charity runs and fundraising and I give food to the homeless, and I work with sick kids and knit hats for babies and old people and all sorts. I think this qualifies me as nice. But you know what? I don’t think I’ve ever thought this meant that I was owed anything in return. Cuz, yknow. I’m nice like that.

I’m modest, too

So it fascinates me when I see or hear a guy describe himself as nice, then lament at their lack of romantic success. I am of course speaking from a heterosexual female’s perspective, feel free to tell me if this occurs in other situations too.

After all, bad behaviour is unisex

About 1BB (one year Before Boyfriend) I distinctly remember talking to this guy. It was complicated in the way only millennial dating can be, but I won’t expand on that. Anyway we had this conversation about previous dating history and he said that he had been dumped for being too nice. This angered and confused him. I mean, who doesn’t want to sleep with someone who is nice? Guys like nice girls! Why are women so complicated? Y’all womenfolk don’t know what y’all want! Blahblahblah.

I interrupted him.

“So, are you dating me because I’m nice?”

A pause. “Well, yeah.”

“Only because I’m nice? Not because I’m funny, or clever or because I’ve got a big… ego?”

“Oh. Well yeah, of course.”

“If I had none of that, just niceness, would you be here right now?”

No reply was given. No reply was needed.

And there’s the crux. Niceness is not the only thing anyone is looking for in a partner. Why would it be? Niceness is the bare minimum anyone needs to be a functioning member of society, and even then you don’t need that much of it. You need enough niceness to be kind to the staff at restaurants, and to not cuss out the bus driver if he misses your stop. You don’t need to give to the homeless or run 10k for disabled kids,  although it certainly helps. Niceness is not the price you pay to society to be seen as an attractive person to your chosen gender. In fact, it’s barely the price you pay for people to be nice back.

People can and will ignore you

This is why Nice Guys™ amuse me. I’m sure they have a list of requirements for their potential partners, and did not gravitate towards their victims targets potential mates solely because they saw how much money they have donated to the Red Cross. And yet they get really angsty because their chosen sucker person isn’t appreciative of their actions… or at the very least aren’t appreciative enough to go on a date with them. Double Standards are a helluva drug.

Although once again, I acknowledge that bad behaviour is unisex

Look, I get the frustration. I was an awkward fat kid that became an awkward fat young lady, and dating is hard when you’re awkward and fat. Especially when your beautiful slender nonawkward friends are getting laid left, right and centre. It’s tiring sometimes, trying to be interesting and interested in other people for little to no return. But I have never expected someone to fall on top of me because I help old ladies across the street, and I certainly don’t see why anyone else should. For one’s own benefit, it’s worth learning how to be funny and how to do one’s eyebrows, and how to ask questions and what perfumes make you smell good versus what makes you smell like a locker room at peak time in a budget gym. It stops you from being a Nice Guy™ and helps you become more than just a nice guy.

Or at least a less stabby guy

Night Nurse: Student -> Qualified


Well, I mean I got the job in, like March, but I wasn’t writing then so I’m telling you now!

You are looking at at a Band 5 Newly Qualified Paediatric Nurse at… a famous children’s hospital. I’m supposed to up my social media security and become a more ~private~ person, but I really don’t know how the NMC guidelines on social media feels about blogging so I thought I’d ask the RCN.

“I…oh. What an interesting question!”

The RCN also didn’t know what to do with bloggers, it turned out.

Anyway, the end result is that I have to be more private, not say anything offensive and talk to my line manager in case my hospital turns around and says “Hey, we like our nurses to be big on social media!” So away with any photos of me, to be replaced by stock images of Caribbean women…

This is the first picture I got on Google when I typed in “Caribbean People”. I am now Lupita.

… maintain anonymity of anyone I’m in contact with, and do not be slanderous in anyway. Which is fine, as I am *~*lovely*~* (and modest) and wouldn’t hurt a fly anyway.

Other than the necessary aspects of my job that will involve inflicting pain, of course.

New jobs come with big changes, man. In the past week I’ve moved house, gotten my uniforms, posed for my ID badge, gone to a hipster restaurant and eaten a salad with all sorts of “superfoods” in it…. Big changes, man!

I didn’t think I’d like it so much but I really do! If you’re reading this and you’re from the UK, keyworker accommodation is an NHS worker’s best friend. I’m living in the centre of one of the most expensive cities in the world for chump change. My room is big enough to fit all my stuff, my (shared) kitchen is big enough to fit my slow cooker and there’s like 3 toilets. The admin lady who houses people looked really apologetic when she told me about the accommodation, as if she’s never seen the horrors of student accommodation. Compared to some student housing, this is the equivalent of a tiny palace AND the walls are thick enough for me to listen to music at 3am without guilt? SOLD.

So I guess this is it. Student Nurse Me is now Staff Nurse Me. I’m gonna try to write about my experiences as a student and as a staff nurse, but I won’t stick to as rigid a blogging schedule, at least not until I get the hang of having a living wage and being a Real Adult™. So far all I’ve had is induction and meeting new people (all of whom are lovely<3). I’m really enjoying this, guys 🙂

I mean, I’m sure the novelty will wear off when I realise that nurses are paid in pennies but, y’know. Whatever.

Hiatuses and Burnouts

Have you ever been so broke you considered becoming a stripper?

You laugh. I’m not kidding. Serious question. Have you ever looked at your bank balance and thought “I can throw that ass in a circle”? Gotten your bills at the end of the month and wondered if pole dancing classes would be a good investment? Watched a documentary about ladies of the night and fired up Google (incognito window of course) and found yourself…. contemplating?

I’m sure I appeal to a niche market

That’s how broke I am. And that ties in with why I haven’t written in such a long time.

So as you may remember, I’ve been doing a postgraduate in nursing. I decided not to have a part time job because I worked throughout my undergraduate (yes, even on my year abroad) and I didn’t want to do the same thing to myself. Unfortunately that meant that I just didn’t have enough money to support my large-coffee-and-little-sleep lifestyle. So I applied to a bunch of student projects at uni for a little extra cash. I answered surveys, was a participant in research projects, actually DID a research project, and signed up to so many things that I found myself working when I was off from, y’know, work. That is not an easy thing to do and I sorta burned out as a result.


I’m used to burning out, as sad as that sounds. I put a lot on my plate and then realise I’m not that hungry. I was writing my mandatory essays while getting my head examined (FOR SCIENCE) while conducting my own research project while running this blog while running another blog while commuting FOUR HOURS RETURN TRIP and I just couldn’t do it anymore. The breaking point came in July when I tearfully called yet another paid project opportunity saying “I can’t do this. Please don’t make me.”


And then I had night shifts, and then I finished my course BUT OH WAIT I had applied for ANOTHER job and also my Real Adult Job™ was starting in a month and I needed to get my accommodation sorted and my annual leave and pack and clean…

Anyway. We are now in September. As it is the start of the academic year, I feel it perfectly acceptable to say “New Year, New Me”. The money I made has gone towards rent and NMC registration so I’m broke, waiting for that Real Adult Job™ paycheck coming in October to a bank near you (well, near me). So I decided I needed to get back to my love of writing and my need for exercise (expanding my mind, deflating my waistline). Work is starting soon (like, in a week) and I’ve got everything lined up. Can’t wait to become a Real Adult™!

I’m not gonna stop googling “how much do escorts make” on incognito though. I like to keep my options open.

I’m a private dancer/dancing for money



The Trouble With Allies

A few years ago there was a huge earthquake in Haiti. Buildings crumbled, clean water was hard to come by and people were really struggling. And so people in richer countries sent clothes and toys to those in need, out of the goodness of their hearts. Really nice, right?

Well, not really. For one thing, kids in a disaster don’t need teddy bears to hug. They need clean water and food. Most countries around the world have access to clothes (yes, even after natural disasters), and the clothes that were sent were either inappropriate for the climate (tropical people don’t need winter jackets) or poor quality. It also slowed down the actual relief process – planes bringing essential supplies were bogged down or couldn’t land. People’s hearts were in the right place, but their common sense, and therefore wallets, were not. So their help was more of a hindrance. See what I’m getting at?

There’s been a lot of protesting lately. This is great, the people have a right to make their voices heard, and I love a snazzy protest sign or two. But it can be hard to see where protestors are helping the disenfranchised, especially when the protestors are not the disenfranchised people themselves. I mean, I know that their hearts are in the right place, but I wondered about their post-protest actions. Marching is an all-day affair; oppression spans generations. So I guess the question is, how does one be an ally every day?

I’ve come across two schools of thoughts with regards to allies. The first is that the oppressors should help the people who have less privilege than them, and the second being that the oppressed need to help themselves, and the oppressors need to check themselves. I’ve seen this in Facebook arguments and on blogposts and in real life, and it actually kind of amuses me in a sad sense. I mean, people who think that being an ally means that they should help at all costs are so… earnest. Their placards are so glittery, their voices are so loud, their selfies so full of hope. And if I’m honest, I personally appreciate the support. With a little guidance, I think there’s real potential there.

But the thing about privilege is that it doesn’t just go away because you want it to. And when you’re more likely to be heard than the oppressed, you run a real risk of overstepping your place and the people who need to be heard continue to be ignored. I’m a firm believer in checking your own people, and I try my best to do that. I’m a heterosexual cis woman, and that is a privilege in itself, so I try to point out things that other cishet people say that may be harmful. I cannot speak as an LGBT+ person, but I can listen to them and relay the message to those who are hard of hearing. Similarly, as a black woman, I don’t necessarily need a white person talking above me, but it’d be really helpful if said white person turned to her racist uncle and said “hey actually that’s really harmful thinking, can you not?” They’ll get it a lot faster if they hear it from someone like them.

Let Uncle Chad know!

I think a lot of allies get really hurt when they get told that they’re not being helpful. Like the charity organisations, it’s quite hard to tell someone who’s just “trying to be nice” that niceness doesn’t fill bellies or fix problems. Just like how you can’t fix earthquakes with a teddy bear, you can’t fix oppression with earnestness. It’s tiresome having to deal with other people’s hurt feelings on top of the actual problems that need addressing, and allies need to learn to check themselves before their feelings take over the actual task at hand. It’s an ongoing struggle but it’s a worthwhile one too.

Change is slow, but it’s effective when we all work together. The wonderful thing about allies is that they’re born with a megaphone in their hand. They  just need to figure out which way to point it.

In Defence of Celebrities

I used to hate Kim Kardashian. I don’t often hate people, but edgy teenage me hated her with a passion. “Why on earth is she famous? She does NOTHING. OMG SHE’S EVERYWHERE. SHE ISN’T EVEN THAT PRETTY. AND HER FAMILY OMG WHYEVENISSHEFAMOUSICAN’TBELIEVE-”

You know what changed that stream of vitriol? Netflix.

Once I had access to something that I could easily watch for 24hrs, I realised how easy it was to not see Kim K and her Klan of Karacters. And then it occurred to me that in reality, she’s a woman trying to live her life. We’re not all that different, she has a family that is crazy but loves her, just like I do. She has a nice butt, so do I. She likes shopping, so do I. She just has a lot more money than I do and a camera on her when she shops (Kim, you should get Amazon Prime. Stepping over paparazzi to get to the fitting room must be pretty tiring.)

From then on I stopped hating on celebrities just cuz they’re famous. At the end of the day they are people doing a job, and while I can certainly side-eye something specific they’ve said or done, I’ve started to think of them the same way I would think about anyone. It can be a little hard to do that when they’re so absurdly rich and doing things so different to what you’re doing, so I’ve found that an easy way to stay empathetic when seeing a headline is to remove all identifying factors that shows that a celebrity is involved. For example: “Man declines job based on differing principles between himself and another man” is a little less polarizing than “Ewan McGregor snubs Good Morning Britain interview following Piers Morgan row“. After all, most people can agree that if you afford to maintain your principles, then you should, right?

The thing is, even if you disagree with someone quitting on principle, I can accept that. What I find difficult to accept  is when people say “Oh they should just shut up and do their jobs.” I mean… they’re entitled to an opinion too. Just because they have a bigger platform than you and your 250 facebook friends, doesn’t mean that they aren’t free to express ideas and opinions, and in some cases they’re in an even better place to express them than we are! I have my opinions on politics in America, but I don’t live there, and can’t vote there. If Meryl Streep, who is an American citizen, has had 4 children who are American citizens and lives in America wants to comment on America, then who am I (British Caribbean living in London) to grumble? It’s not like she stopped in the middle of The Devil Wears Prada to deliver a speech. And if it really bothers you that someone cares enough about something to talk about it, then maybe the issue is with you, not with them.

Something that horrifies me is when people take time out of their day to wish ill on someone just because they’re famous. Last year, armed thieves broke into a woman’s hotel room, tied her up, hurt her and stole her things, and apparently she deserved it because she’s Kim Kardashian. She must have been traumatised, she went low profile, her husband dropped what he was doing to go to her, and yet it serves her right. Really? She is a human being. Disapprove of her moneymaking methods but no one deserves to be held at gunpoint , tied up and robbed. Like I said before, she’s a woman like me. She’s a human being. She’s a mother, a sister, a daughter, a wife. Surely a little empathy is deserved?

In other celebrity news, a man recently found out his son has cancer, but people asked why should we care just because he’s Michael Buble. I don’t think the point is to care about his kid more just because he’s famous, I think the point is to show a little sympathy for someone who found out that their loved one is suffering from a life-threatening illness. People who say “Oh well this happens to normal people all the time, why should we care more???” are the worst. I doubt many of those people regularly give to charities, or regularly sign petitions or march or are activists or fundraisers, yet when a celebrity story comes along they all of a sudden demand to know why people care about this person when there are starving children in Africa to care about. Instead of expending energy on social media attempting to silence people with your false moral high ground, have you done something to help the social ills of the world you’re using as a weapon in this argument? Because if you’re only bringing up other people suffering in the comment section of a Buzzfeed article, then you’re not actually helping anyone.

It is perfectly possible to care for celebrities and for the rest of the world. But if you really don’t care about pop culture, then that’s ok too, providing you 1) actually care about something and 2) don’t bash people for caring about pop culture. As someone who is looking forward to more Destiny’s Children being born (Red Rose and Yellow Sunflower FTW), I’m also pretty invested in the rest of the world.  So before you post that meme, or write that comment, or tweet that tweet, maybe consider saving your energy and expend it to somewhere useful. Here, I’ll start you off.

Give a little, folks