Three Lessons I Want My Children To Learn From Me

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 🙂

Why Malala Yousafzai Inspires Me

For most of these articles, I need to think long and hard about my answer. However, this one came to my head without even really thinking. By far the person I look up to the most and who I hope I will meet someday is Malala Yousafzai.

When I was around 10 or 11, the book I Am Malala came out. I was in year six at the time and I didn’t know much about this woman. What I read changed my life forever.

For those of you who don’t know, Malala Yousafzai is a 23-year-old activist who spoke out against the Taliban, a radical terrorist group in Pakistan when she was only 10 years old. In an a futile attempt to silence her, she was shot in the head when she was twelve when she was on her way home from school. Being the strong person she was, she survived and managed to become the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate ever.

After reading her book, I completely re-evaluated my thoughts and feelings about so many things. Firstly, this is the book that really made me realise I was a feminist and that I wanted to change the world, and Malala made me realise I could do it. Her sheer power and resistance is something I will never stop talking about and I always hope that she knows she changed my life for the better. Secondly, she made me proud to be mixed race. Some of you have read my post about my Ethnicity, in which I spoke about Liza Koshy inspiring me to be proud about my skin colour. However, a mini turning point for me was reading this book. This strong woman who was Pakistani was standing up for what she believed in, and refused to let anyone silence her. Even after she was in fatal condition, she never stopped fighting for equality and for education for all.

This woman is such an inspiration and has shaped me to become who I am today and I desperately hope that one day I’ll be able to meet her, just to say thank you for helping me to accept myself and begin to become my best self.

I’m sorry this was rather brief, Malala is one of my biggest role models and I want people to understand that! Also, as I was writing this, I accidentally went down a bit of a Yousafzai-Spiral and it really made me realise how truly grounded this woman is, in one article I read she said all she needs right now is Netflix and Sleep and, honestly, who doesn’t! I think we can all agree that Ms Yousafzai is an absolute icon and inspiration to all young women in this world.

“If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it?”

Malala Yousafzai

Why I’m a Feminist

Welcome to feminist Friday’s!  Where (almost) every Friday I talk about all thing’s female empowerment and equality!  This week I need everyone to know why I’m a feminist…

I’m a feminist because I don’t want that baby to grow up with gender roles about how boys don’t cry.

I’m a feminist because I don’t want that toddler to grow up thinking she needs to wait for a prince to save her.

I’m a feminist because I don’t want that four-year-old to grow up being told a boy is being mean to her because he likes her.

I’m a feminist because I don’t want that six-year-old to grow up being told she can’t achieve her dreams of being a sporting star because she’s a girl.

I’m a feminist because I don’t want that eight-year-old to grow up hearing grown men sexualising her body because her “shorts are too short”.

I’m a feminist because I don’t want that ten-year-old to grow up feeling self-conscious about her stomach size, her boob size, or her butt size.

I’m a feminist because I don’t want that twelve-year-old to grow up with the trauma and PTSD of sexual assault and harassment.

I’m a feminist because I don’t want that fourteen-year-old to grow up without any form of education about consent.

I’m a feminist because I want to grow up in a world of equality and love.

I’m a feminist because I want to grow up and not be afraid of walking alone or worrying who’s lurking around the corner.

I’m a feminist because I want equal pay.

I’m a feminist because I want abuse to end.

I’m a feminist because some day I want to be up for a job promotion against a man with a similar skillset as I do and for neither of us to be discriminated against (positive or otherwise).

I’m a feminist because I’ve been waiting for the world to change my whole life.  Now it’s time to make the world change.

Why I Love the Colour Yellow

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!

Ethnicity and My Identity

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,

xo baby, Tati xoxo