Showing posts from April, 2016

Societal expectations are built on judgement

By William Calhoun via UN Volunteers

Our lives are filled with stories—stories we hear from our parents, from our teachers and professors, from our friends and colleagues, and from ourselves.
We are led to believe that these stories about us are true, and that someone in a position of authority over us has authority over all things—the ability to judge us and evaluate our lives. But like any story, none of this is actually true.
For example, two people can watch a football game and talk about it afterwards, but in very different ways. Sure, they’ll tell you who won and who lost—that is what is so—but they will also tell you who played the best, who was the most impressive, and whether or not it was an interesting game. All of these are part of a story, and says more about the person telling it than what actually happened.
Our control over our lives is limited. But we do have control over how we view our lives, and how we approach difficult situations. What can we do when we are faced w…

Shame is a distorted mirror in our society

By Isil E. Celik via UN Volunteers

I have had a wondrous weekend with the ones that I am in love with. We wandered around days and nights smoothly in a beautiful world, then closed the door and slept together feeling secure.

Monday morning I learnt that during the weekend the head of the Diyarbakır (Amed) Bar Association Tahir Elçi, a lawyer of Kurdish origin, a human rights activist was shot dead in Turkey. He has been receiving death threats and he was facing a prison sentence for supporting Kurdish rebels.
The Kurdish movement in Turkey is the same age as me. The attacks against journalists, activist, against people who fight for freedom, equality and peace is far older. On Monday morning after I read Elçi’s death in the newspapers, I read more about his life. I regretted that I didn’t know much about him before he was killed.
This is neither the first, nor probably the last time we feel pain because of losing someone, yet this time something is different for me because now I am …

My Body is Model Perfect.

By Moore Lione, SAFIGI Volunteer

As a model I have had to deal with a lot of rejections and the feeling of shames. Some time this year I had a runway fashion show to do.  The event was a three day fashion show but I had five days to rehearse and do dress fitting for the designers.
After four days of rehearsal and dress fitting, guess how many designers I had to "walk" for? None. Not even ONE. Reasons;  my butt was too big,  my breast was too big. None of the available designers was ready to put their designs on me.
I felt so ashamed, my friends were like ‘you don't need this, youare a beautiful woman.’  I understand they were coming from a place of care and love, I was coming from a place of passion for the fashion.
I almost gave up but you see the said event was a very big show and walking its runway I knew will put me on the international modeling stage and I really wanted that. So I decided to come for the last day of rehearsal.
We waited for the designers the whole day; w…

Confronting Superfluous Societal Taboos

By Isha Gupta, via St. George School.

As everyone has noticed at some point, there are certain issues that people are cautious about when talking casually. Physical appearances, ethnicity, gender, mental aptitude, etc. But the one that has struck me most throughout my life is the inherent apprehension in society to talk about skin colour. I wonder if these taboos are really still necessary? When I was 6 years old, I was on a field trip into the city and our class stopped by a café to buy some ice cream. I remember when one of my friends, scrutinizing all the different flavours, remarked ever so innocuously how I corresponded to the chocolate-brownie flavour, when she herself was better matched with vanilla. We were both surprised when our teacher somewhat severely told her that she couldn’t say things like that- after all, it was true. When I was 8, my parents took me out for a Saturday-evening dinner to a fancy restaurant where I made friends with a girl of my age. We played amicably e…