Hey, I haven’t seen you since last year! ahahahaaaa, not funny Dad joke out of the way… on with the article!
Something which I began a few years ago, is instead of creating New Years resolutions, I create self love goals for each month. Each month helps me to focus on myself and bettering myself and just improving my general wellbeing. Each month usually has a particular theme which I abide to, but this year I’ve decided to set myself some main challenges for the whole of the year, and editing and adding them each month to fit with what my focus is. I have twelve main goals for 2021 to help me embrace different things in my life, and they are just overall factors which I wish to improve on. So, without further ado, these are my twelve goals for 2021! ~ Tati xxx
Do more of what I love, even if that means I have to say no to people. Something very important which I learnt from therapy is that it’s okay to be selfish, as long as you are protecting yourself. I have a bad habit of being a people pleaser, something which is often detrimental to my wellbeing. This year, I am going to focus on saying no and being more honest with those around me. If they don’t understand I need to take time for myself, then I don’t need them in my life quite simply!
Keep up on the physical aspects of self care. I am slowly getting to grips with the mental aspects of self love, but I find myself often forgetting that physical care is also important. Ensuring that I relax, don’t spend too much time on technology, even taking care of my skin and hair, are all vital parts of self care and this year I will be spending time on each of these things.
Keeping fit and healthy. Something I found when I was really struggling with depression in 2018 was that I often couldn’t bring myself to leave the house, but exercise was very good for me. My boyfriend is a bit of a fitness freak and he is constantly encouraging me to get my endorphins going by doing cardio and going to the gym. It makes me feel a lot better even if I’m simply walking somewhere instead of driving, getting out the house or even on those days where I really need to stay in, just opening the curtains and letting in those rays, opening the window to breathe in the air! It helps a lot and I’m planning on doing a lot more of it this year.
Really dive into and focus on my schoolwork. At times, I used to feel completely isolated from others, abandoned by my friends, rumours flying left right and centre, it often felt like I was alone. At times like this I began coming to terms with the fact that the one thing which would never leave me was my career and hard work. This year I am on a mission to kick ass on my AS levels, even though “Ms Rona” [as my friend calls it] has her own plans! No matter what, this year school work and getting the grades is one of my priorities and it’s definitely a helpful one to possess!
Finding (and keeping to) that healthy balance of school, family, friends, a social life, volunteering, work, relationships and having time for myself! I’ve spent so long trying to work out how to do this, and I think I am finally getting there. I have worked out that timetables work well for me during revision time and organisation is one of the best ways which I can balance everything, seeing it all right in front of me instead of just in my head really helps! This year I am going to do this all 365 days! If I control my own life then nothing can be too bad!
Stop worrying about what others think of you! I got part of the way there in 2020 but I will master this in 2021! It’s all about self-confidence and staying true to myself, no matter how crazy ‘myself’ is! I’ll get there in the end, it’s all about practice, it seems.
Dance and sing more! I really want to start doing this again and I am so happy I decided to continue with performing arts! I have started singing again and I am slowly getting back onto the dancing scene which is super exciting! I find it all super calming but also freeing and it lets my creativity go nuts!
Accept the past, but don’t ever use it as an excuse for your actions. This is more just continuing to work on the foundations which I made last year. I have accepted that shitty things have happened to me and I am now slowly moving forwards. I will try my hardest nonetheless and I will definitely manage it all at some point and I’ll be stronger than ever!
Cut out all types of toxicity: friendships, relationships, unhealthy foods, contacts, just everything! I am getting a lot better at seeing the red flags which is very good. However, I still have a bit of way to go. This year, I am sure I will work my way through it all which is a very good thing. Working out what positively and negatively impacts my life is a difficult thing at first, but I have been getting a lot better at it and I feel that with some practice, I can live my best toxic-free life!
Read more – expand horizons! I don’t just mean books, I mean any form of literature! The news, magazines, books, tabloids, novels, comics, you name it, it will help me become a better and more well-rounded person which is very good!
Reflection is a good thing. I enjoy tracking my mood and habits as it shows me how I’m doing. I reflect on the past day, past week, the past month, gosh, even the past year! It shows me self-improvement but also self-acceptance. It helps me keep on top of both healthy and unhealthy habits too, while giving me potential reasoning about causes for certain moods and emotions. It’s a very systematic and logical which I enjoy and it’s helpful to me as well!
Take more photos! Something I need to do more is take more photos when I go out. It will help me to focus and appreciate the beauty of everything outside the house. Plus, I really enjoy it so – added bonus!!
I have actually already done an article like this! But, instead of writing to my Future Self, I have decided to write a letter to my past self, six years ago, when I was 10 years old. Look at me go, linking stuff together!
Dear past Tati,
You’re about to go into secondary school this year! I know, you’re terrified of losing friendships and things, but trust me, for every shitty friend you lose, you’ll gain am amazing friend who will always support you through thick and thin.
I won’t lie to you, secondary school is tough. There will definitely be multiple moments where you’re ready to give up and just throw your future away. Don’t do that! Your future looks so bright and you got this.
You’ll explore and find passions you didn’t even know you had, you’ll learn so many new wonderful things, just make sure to take everything in and stay calm.
I know you love jumping into things head first, but try avoid it. Think things through and consider logical reasons to avoid doing something stupid.
Throughout school, you’ll find your voice. It’s a horrible journey to get there, but as soon as you do, you’ll be ready for whatever life throws at you.
You’re a tough cookie Tati. People have tried to break you before, but you’ll forever get up again and continue fighting and you’ll become completely unbreakable. As Legally Blonde’s Brooke Windom says: “what doesn’t kill us makes us hotter!” which is true, at least for your hair.
Don’t worry about your hair, just be warned that at the start of year nine you made a choice. Your hair is fine now though!
You can also do makeup, which makes you feel like the boss ass bitch which you are.
You’ll find yourself Tati, I do promise you that much.
I like this topic! It’s quite different but it’s a thinker and I’ve worked out exactly what I want my kids to learn. I don’t really want kids, but if I ever change my mind, this is what they need to know. I could have a few stupidly obvious things, but I’ve decided on three different things that I’ve learnt throughout the years. God, I say years like I’m old, I’m still not 16 yet! Yikes. Anyway… on with it!
1. Life’s not fair, get used to it.
A quote pulled directly from my Dad’s getting-your-daughter-to-shut-up-dictionary. Ever since I can remember, if I’ve ever complained about something pretty miniscule, my Dad would say that phrase. When I was younger, I always thought it was really mean, but now I’m older [yep, still acting like I’m super old. This will almost definitely be a reoccurring theme], and (a smidge) wiser, I realised it’s actually true. Life sucks, man. Either you can moan and groan at every single small issue, or you can shut up and strive on. The only way for unimportant things to leave you alone, is to walk around them in your path of life. Get used to the small annoyances in life so you can face them all head on when you’re ready.
Slight side-note, but please appriciate that ever since these imaginary kids have appeared, I am acting like I’m some sort of a prophet/God. Is this what having kids does to you? Wow, I have so many questions!
2. Aspire for success, and don’t accept anything less.
Kind of a cute story behind this one. I was talking to someone about how shitty all my ex boyfriends were and he said this to me. Even though he meant it about partners, I feel like this applies to pretty much anything. I just love the idea of aiming high and achieving it, and I feel like these “words of wisdom” pretty much mean that you should never rest on your laurels, no matter how much easier that may be. You were bought here to achieve great things, so it’s only fair that you at least try.
3. Never shut up. It’ll be your greatest quality.
In my lifetime I have been called almost every slur in the book. All because I stand up for what I believe in. Make sure that if you believe in something so strongly, you will go to the ends of the earth to get your voice heard. As you grow older, your voice will merely become louder and those who try silence you are just jealous. Be proud of yourself, you’ve made it this far 🙂
Today I need to write about something I feel very strongly about. Of course, as I am a big activist and feminist, I have lots of topics to choose from, but the first one that came to mind was the problem with victim blaming and rape culture. Throughout this article, I am going to be explaining what problems our society has with victim blaming, going into my own and others stories of why we don’t speak out, and why there’s so much stigma around being sexually assaulted. This is quite a heavy-hitting topic so a trigger warning for anyone who is sensitive towards sexual abuse and the topic as a whole. Stay safe, I love you all, and let’s raise awareness about our shitty society! This article took me a super long time, researching, putting all my thoughts into words and making those words actually make sense. This is probably one of my favourite blog articles because I’m so proud of it so please let me know if you prefer articles like this which are more structured and informative 🙂
What Is Victim Blaming and Why Is It Bad?
For anyone who doesn’t know, victim blaming is, quite simply, putting the blame of what happened onto the victim instead of the perpetrator. In the UK, only 15% of people who have been assaulted reported it to the police. There are many reasons why people don’t say anything and why the #MeToo movement was ground breaking as it showed that lots of people have suffered from abuse without speaking out. As you can see in the image above, those are some of the most common reasons that people are afraid to speak out. The world we life in presents such a stigma around being sexually assaulted, that rape culture and victim blaming is a common thing.
After my story was reported, I had lots of people ask me extremely personal questions, and try to put the blame on me. this is not ok. This promotes the fact we live in a society which sexualises people for what they wear, claiming that “if you wear a skirt that short, you are clearly asking for the attention” which is total bullshit. Wear whatever you want, do whatever you want, as I always say, as long as you’re not harming yourself or others in any way, go wild, do whatever you want. If it makes you happy, do it!! It’s despicable the amount of victims who haven’t been taken seriously because of what they were wearing, their alcohol intake at the time, and if they were flirting or not.
Some Photos To Think About:
The way we dress doesn’t mean yes!
Literally every single woman, ever.
Those Who Assault and Why Many People Don’t Come Forward
Unfortunately, being assaulted is something you have to constantly be cautious about. If you are a female, I’m pretty sure you’ll know the fear you get when you walk alone anywhere. If I even hear so much as a patter of footsteps, I completely freak out and my brain goes full panic mode. The most worrying fact is I’m no longer fazed by catcallers and people yelling out to me, it’s an occurrence I’ve being mostly desensitised to. In the recent years, people (mostly men) who have either yelled abuse, cat-called me or said/done something inappropriate to me – a minor – is staggeringly high. It’s gotten to such a bad stage that when my friends see something like that, they freak out in situations I just shrug off. I used to love walking alone, putting in my headphones, listening to Taylor Swift, feeling like I was in some sort of music video, but now my friends (bless their little overprotective hearts) always make sure I’m not walking alone, or that if I am, that I message them once I’m home. They like being there to protect me and, even though I’d never admit it to them, I feel a lot safer with them around.
However, in many ways, being catcalled by someone who you have never met before is so much better than being sexualised or made uncomfortable by someone you know. You know that society has a problem when I have to choose one of those to nightmarish situations as a “preference”. God our world is f*cked. Statistics show that 90% of victims knew the perpetrator prior to the abuse. (Leaving all links to my info at the bottom of this so you all know I didn’t pull these percentages out of thin air). This is one of the reasons that I didn’t report as I was afraid I would be seen as provoking him. That’s the problem with being abused by your childhood friend, no-one will believe you because you still act as if everything is fine and dandy because you’re just so desperate to go back to how things were, even though you know there is no hope of that ever happening.
After My Story Was Told – My Experiences
I remember the entire day that everything came out like it was yesterday. I’ve spoken about it multiple times now and if you’re new around here, welcome and you can check out all of that here. As you know, the case never got convicted, which is a very common occurrence. Conviction rates for rape and sexual abuse are so much lower than other cases, with only 5.7% reported rape cases ending in conviction. We can’t expect to be taken seriously when almost all cases are acquitted before they’re even opened.
Something else which my abuser did after he started abusing me is he claimed to be gay. God, the poor LGBTQ community, you get enough hate as it is. He claimed to be gay two months after the abuse began, and continued to be vocal about “how hard it is to be homosexual” – when he’s… ya know, not. I learnt something the other day when I was watching stand up comedy which honestly made me laugh so, so much. Now I’m writing this I’m still laughing because it makes me sick and I can’t deal with it any other way. I found out that Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein – two of the most notorious Hollywood sex offenders – decided they were now also gay because their lawyers were failing them. I have no issue with famous actors and actresses who are gay, but when they fake it so they can avoid sexual assault charges? Oh, sweetie, someone will be getting hurt and it’s not going to be me.
Why I’m Still Shouting This From The Rooftops – Statistics Which Make Me Shudder
A third of people believe women who flirt are partially responsible for being raped (Amnesty, 2005)
Approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men (aged 16 – 59) experience rape, attempted rape or sexual assault by penetration in England and Wales alone every year; that’s roughly 11 of the most serious sexual offences (of adults alone) every hour.
Approximately 70 women commit suicide every day in the US following an act of sexual violence.
During 2019, 13% of all women in California were victims of rape.
A quarter of male victims of sexual assault were under 10 years of age.
Take This Away:
If you take anything at all away from this article please bare this image in mind…
Remember: It’s not your fault, it never was, you shouldn’t have to be held accountable for someone else’s actions.
I couldn’t really decide what I wanted to write as there are so many words of wisdom I could think of, so instead I have chosen a few of my all time favourite quotes and drop them here 🙂 I’m differing from normal articles at the moment and I’m really sorry if this isn’t your thing, I just feel like this will flow best, I promise I will be back to my normal writing style tomorrow, I just feel I need these two days of slightly random-ness and I’ll be back on track. Thank you so much for your love and support, it means the world to me.
So, I’m single and I’m happy this way. I feel like you need to know this to understand the context of my story.
Due to the fact I am a single lady, I spend Saturday nights alone. Even if it sounds incredibly depressing, I have come to look forward to these evenings as I feel it gives me time to focus on myself and I have time to properly care for myself.
After spending time with my brother, when he goes up to bed, I normally call my friends just to see how they’re doing and things. I do this for about half an hour, then, when the sun starts to set, the party for one begins.
I’ll turn off all communication with the outside world, grab my Winnie the Pooh blanket, turn my laptop onto airplane mode and switch on the TV, searching for something to watch. Every few weeks, I decide to watch some stand-up comedy which is what I did this evening. I’ve always loved stand-up because it’s so light-hearted and you can just switch off and laugh your worries away. It also makes me feel less alone because of the interpersonal relationships you build with the comedian performing (media studies ftw). This evening I watched an array of different funny guys: Pete Davidson, Donald Glover, Bo Burnham and then ending with Russell Howard. Each of these comedians mean something to me, hence why I chose them this Saturday Night.
Before I pressed play on Pete Davidson, I decided to get some snacks. I normally get super hungry from around 9pm onwards so I helped myself to a bowl of cereal, a pear, some strawberries and chocolate. This may sound healthy now, but wait a few hours and you’ll see me turn into a hungry hippo!
Munching away, I resumed watching comedy, feeling at ease listening to their jokes which appealed to my dark sense of humour.
At around 11pm, I was part way done with Bo Burnham’s “Be Happy” and I got hungry again. I paused my game of solitaire and got my Dad to make me some cheese on toast. Not to be cheesy (I apologise profusely) but my Dad 100% makes the best cheese on toast in the world – no questions asked.
After entering cheese heaven, I continued watching Netflix and playing solitaire when at 1am, my Mum finally managed to convince me to go to bed. After talking to my parents for a while, I went to bed, put on some YouTube and drifted off to a magical world of slumber.
Why did I post this article you wonder? Being single is portrayed as the worst thing on earth, when in reality, I cherish evenings where I can just be myself and ugly-laugh to my hearts content. That to me is self-love.
What’s your version of self-love? Everyone is different and there are no wrong answers. Just remember to disconnect from your phone once in a while and take time for you and you only.
Welcome to the second Feminist Friday! I have been inspired by the iconic The Guilty Feminist Podcast – the best feminist podcast I have ever listened to. I am huge fans of their episodes and you should definitely check them out. This blog article will be guilty confessions from a feminist who does sometimes to somewhat… anti-feminist things. Just remember, I am still a very strong feminist but I’m far from perfect… Don’t forget to comment your perfect feminist imperfections!
I’m a feminist but I think the song Blurred Lines is a tune and I have memorised the Just Dance 2014 choreography with my brother and I really get into it.
I’m a feminist but I love the reality show Yummy Mummies which is all about being a housewife, homemaker, good looks, fashion and lots of money. It’s very stereotypical and reverts heavily to gender roles but I love watching it and I’ve binged it on multiple occasions.
I’m a feminist but if I’m out and I need to pay for something, I always hope a guy will insist on paying for me.
I’m a feminist but if I’m in trouble with someone, I get my male friends to back me up. (They’re also very tall so bonus fear… even though they wouldn’t hurt a fly 😂)
I’m a feminist but when I really can’t be bothered to do something, I’ll play the “I’m on my period” card to get out of things I really don’t want to do. What can I say?! I am very lazy at times.
I’m a feminist but I get super obsessed with my looks and I treat everyday like it’s a fashion show. In my defence, you never know when someone’s going to take a photo of you! I am very narcissistic if you couldn’t tell…
I’m a feminist but I shave because I love having baby-soft skin. It’s fun to rub my legs together like I’m a cricket – don’t judge me, other people do this too!
I’m a feminist but I always get slightly flattered when I guy calls me attractive.
I’m a feminist but I always wear makeup when I’m going out.
I’m a feminist but I like to impress people – whether that be with looks, talents or smarts, I like to appear like the girl who has it all, which isn’t always a bad thing!
In conclusion, no-one is the “perfect feminist” we get by with our ideals and thoughts but at the end of the day, we’re fighting for gender equality. Please comment some of your “I’m a feminist but…’s” – I don’t want to be alone on this one! Just remember, everyone is different and we should embrace it!
In short, an amazing cartoonist named Alison Bechdel created a criterion to show representation of women in films. The criteria is quite simple:
A movie that has at least two women in it who talk to each other, about something other than a man.
At first, I thought that finding films which follow this would be super easy. However, when I began thinking about it, movies which pass the test are few and far between. For easy viewing, I have compiled a list of ten of my favourite films which pass this test. Happy watching!
1) Wonder Woman
I am obsessed with this film. It’s the first superhero movie I ever watched and I was so excited because I felt I finally found a mainstream character in the media who looked like me. Wonder Woman is so cool and I can honestly do an entire paragraph about how she’s a feminist icon… (hint hint 😉 )
Anyone who knows me also knows I love Disney. Those who know me very well know I am completely obsessed with Enchanted. A fariytale film with a feminist twist, with multipule cameos from Disney princess alummni, I just heckin love this film!
4) Crazy Rich Asians
Rom Com films aren’t really my thing, but when I heard they were making a film made of an exclusively Asian cast and that it was based on a book, I was very interested. I read the book first, (and the second one… and the third one…) then finally went on to watch the movie with my Mum. I was obsessed! They perfectly bought all the characters to life and I loved it! The costumes… Oh. My. God!! Watch this film!!
5) Oceans 8
A star studded cast? Check! An iconic heist film? Check! Showing girls can do it too? Check! This film is the best! It has some of my absolute favourite actors in too: Anne Hathaway, James Corden and Awkwafina to name a few!
6) Shrek 3
I still wonder how a film can be a complete hit with my whole English class and actually show empowering women. Also, Shrek is just one of those film franchises you need to watch.
At school, I am known as the “yellow girl”. I have a friend in a younger year at school who dubbed me that whenever she forgot my name and it’s stuck. It’s a nice name, a lot better than other ones I’ve been called I can tell you that! But not many people know why I love the colour yellow. Typically, people assume it’s because I love Heathers the musical and I’m going to extreme measures to live out my Heather McNamara fantasy. Others just know I go overboard with my obsessions and that’s why I own so much yellow. However, even though those two assumptions are partially correct, the real reason I love yellow so much is because of what it means to me.
I have briefly mentioned in the past I have some friends who I have fallen out with so badly that the damage is irreparable. I won’t go into all the details because it’s quite personal and I don’t want to share that just yet. However, one of the reasons we drifted is because I never fit into the “mould” of a girl they wanted. They wanted shy, submissive, quiet, smart, subtle, and everything I am the total opposite of. In one period, I was being forced so much into this mould my vigilante-self came out and I began standing my ground – a quality I’d never shown to others before then. You may be wondering where yellow comes into this so here you go…
When the colour yellow was a big fashion trend, my friends hated it. I’m still unsure why but they despised the colour so much, but I found it strange. The clothes some of these girls were wearing on non-school-uniform days were beautiful. It honestly made some of them glow like the sun. However, it made my friends red with anger. So, me being me, I decided to buy something yellow. As silly as it sounds, I decided to stand up for the colour yellow by buying yellow. I love the film Clueless and I wanted a skirt like Cher’s and when I saw someone in London with that yellow skirt, I knew what I wanted. I begged my Dad and he bought me the skirt from Pretty Little Thing. I was so excited when it arrived, I immediately took countless photos of it and set it as my profile picture on WhatsApp. I felt so empowered! I hadn’t worn a skirt before then since I was 5 so it was exciting. To me, this skirt wasn’t just an item of clothing, it was a fragment of another world I’d been trying to get into for so long, but I had been so afraid to. This skirt was a new perspective of the world for me, a perspective where I could be a feminist and wear girly clothes. A perspective where I didn’t have to be worried about what he would say. A perspective in which I can wear whatever I want and not have to be worried about what people say. When I put on that skirt, I wasn’t Tatiana, I was Cher, a slightly (well completely) clueless teenager who people loved who did make mistakes, but she owned up to and grew from them.
To this day I still wear that skirt and without fail, whenever I wear it, I feel strong, empowered and fearless. [I also feel hella cute – but that’s beside the point!]
There you have it! That’s the story of why I love the colour yellow so much. It’s because of what it represents.
Viva le resistance! xo baby, Tati xoxo
P.S – Random Fact: I used to love the colour yellow when I was a titchy Tati so full circle!
This is definitely the most taboo subject I’ve written about. I have been working on this post since February and I’ve been editing, deleting, rewriting, and considering this article. Finally, I mustered up the courage to post it. Here goes nothing!
DISCLAIMER: This is in no way to diminish anyone else’s experiences; I am simply here to inform and place my views and opinions of the subject.
First, I think this will run a lot smoother if I explain my heritage to you. I am mixed race, half Asian (1/4 Guyanese and 1/4 Bangladeshi) and half white British. So, I could be as informed as possible, I spoke to all my grandparents, asking them about their heritage. I found it fascinating learning about all their histories, so I just want to thank all my grandparents, they were incredibly helpful, and I found it remarkably interesting looking at your lives. So, in their own words, here is their stories:
Grandad A – My Mum’s Father:
“Born in Guyana (previously British Guiana) on 17 March 1947 in a place called Ruimveldt – was a town about three miles from Georgetown, the capital of Guyana which is located on the Atlantic Ocean side of South America near the equator. We were a British colony with people brought there from different parts of the world: Indigenous American Indians, Blacks from West Africa, East Indians from India, Chinese and Europeans. Our language was English. Brought to Guiana from India by the British colonists during the latter half of the nineteenth century. My grandparents were indented to the sugar plantations where they worked in servitude for the rest of their lives. My parents though born in servitude were released from the sugar plantations towards the beginning of the twentieth century when Queen Victoria abolished slavery. family of seven sons and three daughters (one sibling dying at a young age). in 1964 my parents decided to send me to England to complete my studies in Accounting. I followed my three elder brothers who had emigrated to England as part of the mass immigration from the Caribbean to work in London transport, nursing, and clothing industries. College for a total of three years where I qualified as an Accountant.”
Grandma A – My Mum’s Mother
“I was born in India in 1949. This was about two years after India was split into two countries by the British who were ruling India at the time. The land was divided on the basis of which areas contained the most Hindus and which had the most Muslims. Hindus were allocated the vast central part of the country and retained the name of India and the Muslims were given two tips on the east and west at the top of the triangle and named East and West Pakistan. My father’s family came from Mushidabad which was situated near to Calcutta (now known as Kolkata). My mother’s father was in the tea business and his family had been in the trade for many generations. I was born in a small village near Darjeeling which is at the foothills of the Himalayas. It was and still is a beautiful region but, my parents left the area to move to East Pakistan as they were both Muslims and Bengalis. Both sets of my grandparents remained in India when our parents moved to East Pakistan. After a few years, my father was promoted and we moved to Chittagong which was the main port for East Pakistan he was promoted again and given the opportunity to move to England to be based in Liverpool to look after the welfare of the many Bengali seamen who travelled back and forth from Chittagong to Liverpool at that time. My father went to England as an employee of the Pakistani government and not as an immigrant. Over the years, he worked his way up until he became a Diplomat. By then, we were grown up and had started careers of our own. We all decided to settle in England.”
Grandad I – My Dad’s Father
“Born in Nov. 1943 in Middleton, a typical NW Mill Town, in the home of my maternal grandparents, William and Ethel Berry. My mother Winifred gave birth to twins, Janice and Robin, about 18 months later. When my father, also called William, came home from the army in 1945 we moved to a very small house directly opposite a textile mill in the poorer part of Middleton. The house was blessed with a bathroom, unusual for that part of the town, but the toilet was outside. In this part of town, the streets were still cobbled, and deliveries of milk were by horse and cart. My father had a brother, Samuel, and my mother had a brother Norman and a sister Ada all married and produced children. I am the eldest of that generation. We all lived within walking distance of each other. Robin, Janice and I were known as “latch key” kids in that our parents worked full time so from the age of about 9 I would meet up with my siblings after school walk home and let ourselves into the house, make a jam butty and go out to play. I failed my 11+ exam so ended up attending Secondary Modern School. Qualifications such as GCE’s were not offered at the school so I left in the summer of 1959 without any qualifications and started work as an assistant in the Laboratory of a local Textile Factory. Realising I would not get far in this environment without qualifications I set about obtaining some. Initially at Night School, 3 nights per week. These were 12-hour days with an expectation of considerable additional home study. This course of study I followed and eventually graduated in 1967 as an Associate of The Plastics Institute. I left home at the age of 16 and lived for 3 years as a lodger in the home of a friend’s grandma. I returned to live at home at 19 when my father had a stroke. I continued to live there until I got married in 1966 and bought the house, I was born in. I had to sell my Motor Bike to pay for the deposit on the house. Back to commuting by bus until I could afford my first car, a very old Morris Minor, in 1970. In about 1972 we moved to Uppermill in Saddleworth. A new position demanded that I relocate to the Midlands so in 1989 I moved to Leicstershire.”
Grandma D – My Dad’s Mother
“My parents were brought up on outskirts of Manchester. They lived a couple of streets from each other. Went to the same school. They married just after the war. I was born a year later and lived 5 doors away from my grandparents who had a hardware shop. My house was very similar to the ones you see on Coronation Street. A terrace house with a back yard. I left school when I was 15 to work in an office that did motor insurance. It was a very old building in the centre of Manchester.”
I began primary school in 2007. As crazy as it seems now, there were only five people who weren’t Caucasian. You had me, my friend who was Chinese, and two other kids who were Indian. When I was younger, I never really thought myself as different – mostly because I wasn’t. However, people are mean, kids especially. I can’t speak for the other four, but I was constantly questioned and scrutinized about my race. This, in turn, made me very insecure and unsure about my race. I remember asking my Mum why people always said I looked different and them asking me where I came from. I remember crying when I found out I was half Indian. As crazy as it sounds now, I had heard so many stereotypes about being Indian and I found myself never fitting any of them. I was always embarrassed to be asked about my race even though some people went on holiday and came back darker than me. I don’t know why my primary school looked down so much on Indians, especially as now lots of Asians go there. It’s crazy how times have changed, even in a mere five years since I left.
I never told my parents about this lack of confidence I had surrounding my skin tone until very recently. I think I finally opened up to them this year, explaining to them that I had a lot of kids tell me to “go back to where I came from”. My Mum was completely mortified and felt awful I never told her. To be honest, I think I did the right thing telling her when I did as if I told her as it was happening, I never would have gone through my journey of self-acceptance and I’d still be feeling unsure. I’m proud of my genetics because they make me who I am. I have my Mum’s smile, her beautiful black hair, and the same characteristics. I have my Dad’s height and insane sense of humour and vocabulary (we have an aversion to the big words my Mum uses).
As aforementioned, I was extremely insecure and unsure about my race. At this time I developed anxiety and it wasn’t easy as people I knew kept on complaining about how theirs “nO wHiTe RePrESenTatIoN iN thE MeDiA” [which is the biggest bit of insanity I’ve heard since they said I was asking to be assaulted – that’s another issue in itself though] even though they have almost all the Disney princesses and I’ve yet to find a mainstream TV show or film which includes mixed race people. However, I found a YouTuber who changed all of this. Her name? Liza Koshy.
Liza posted a video called “MIXED KID PROBLEMS | GROWING UP MULTICULTURAL”. Of course, being a fan of Koshy’s iconic and hilarious videos for some time prior and being a mixed kid myself, I had to watch this video. Watching it I felt as though I could finally identify with a social media influencer. She explained it better than I ever could so here’s the video if you want to watch it:
After watching this video, confidence in myself and my race began to grow and blossom. I referred to myself as “milk chocolate” and found myself being proud of who I was. This was a first for me and I seriously couldn’t have done it without finding Liza Koshy online.
It wasn’t until I was looking back on old videos of me when I was three or so this evening that I realised I looked up to other diverse women. The only difference between these women and Liza Koshy is the fact that these women are… fictional. I have an entire article explaining these characters but in brief, I looked up to Princess Jasmine and Pocahontas as they had long black hair and slightly tanned skin. I’m really happy that tiny Tati looked up to those two Disney princesses as a child as they are (in my opinion) the most forward-thinking Disney Princesses of their time. Seeing these women in mainstream media gave me the push to keep going long before YouTube was even invented.
Once I came to terms with my ethnicity, I realised how freaking cool it is to be mixed race. My Mum and her side of the family can cook the most delicious curries, chicken tikka and kebabs. Meanwhile, my Dad and his side of the family make the most iconic British meals and the tastiest cakes with gorgeous icing. It’s not just that, I have a plethora of religions in my family, and even though I myself am not religious, it’s so wonderful to learn about different cultures and expand my global knowledge. This got me thinking. Even though we’re all the same on the inside, we all have so many differences. Why to we fear those differences? Surely, we should embrace them! If we all embrace different cultures instead of introducing idiotic immigration laws and forbid different people from coming to our country, our country, nay our world, will surely be far more peaceful and accepting. Once we get this racial tension crap sorted, we can move onto equality for the LGBTQ+ community. Too far? I don’t think so. We should learn to love, and all be equal. I still can’t believe I’m having to preach this in the 21st Century, but I guess some people don’t listen. So, until they do, I’m going to be here, and I’m staying here, fighting to get everyone’s voices heard. And until we all accept each other, I’m afraid you won’t be able to shut me up buckaroo. Good luck trying – you’ll need it 🙂
This article has been a long time coming and so I’m going to talk about some issues we’ve had in the past four years. First, I’m going to dive straight into the controversy pool and say it. The way the media present terrorist attacks is the most bogus, insulting, and backwards way. Surely, you’ll still be able to get views on your trashy tabloid article without blaming… I don’t know, China for all your problems. How about we don’t place Muslim’s in the same category as mentally unstable killers? The media is the reason Megan and Harry decided to quit royal life. Why did they attack her so much? I’ll tell you. It’s because she was mixed race and had been married previously. I’m going to say it. Why on earth is that an issue? We are in the 21st Century! We have people making cars which can drive themselves and the media are focusing on the fact that this inspiring woman is not the stereotypical image of royalty. I know she’ll never read this, but if for whatever reason Megan Markle stumbles across this article, I want her to know that she inspires me so much and I hope to become as successful as her one day. If you want an even more recent example of racial tensions around the world, lets look at how people reacted when COVID-19 first came about. If people saw someone who “looked Chinese” sneeze, sniffle or even sigh, people ran a mile. What?!
It sounds a lot like I’m just preaching problems and, yes, while that is what I am doing, I’m here to provide us with solutions too. I’m about to get very political and even more controversial. If you have an issue with it, leave a comment and we shall discuss in a calm, cool, collected way. I’m open to other people’s opinions, especially in topics like this. Okay let’s dive right into the problem pool! As I have explained my issues with the media, here are my solutions: crack the whip on the IPSO code. No more trashy tabloid articles with nonsense news articles talking about how “the Jews are to blame for all our problems!” It’s 2020, we’re not under Nazi rule, so let’s not point fingers and find solutions instead of sitting down and complaining. There’s only so much a fifteen-year-old girl without any qualifications can do to get her voice heard, so I’m leaving that up to the older generations.
What else? Here’s one: let’s enforce the Human Rights around the world. We have so many organisations so we should use them to our advantage instead of listening to the leaders of our country threaten to build walls and pinning things on “post boxes”. If anyone in power is reading this right now – please contact me, I want this to be sorted because I do not want my nine year old brother coming home telling me that the colour of his skin is ugly and he hates it. No more please I beg world.
In simple terms, if you could just keep fighting the good fight – viva le resistance baby! Our identity is made up of so much more than just race so why are we so quick to define people like that?
If you enjoyed reading this article, please like it and leave a comment about your thoughts. This is by far the most exhausting post I’ve ever written, and it’s taken me months of planning, writing, rewriting, editing and compiling and I’m still not proud of it. It is currently 01:11am and I am going to publish this article and sleep. I love you guys, stay safe,