Although international girl’s day was on October 11th. It is always important to remember how important these little girls are to our society. They are our future.
Although international girl’s day was on October 11th. It is always important to remember how important these little girls are to our society. They are our future.
This girlchild was born as usual
and presented dolls that did pee-pee
and miniature GE stoves and irons
and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.
Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:
You have a great big nose and fat legs.
She was healthy, tested intelligent,
possessed strong arms and back,
abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity.
She went to and fro apologizing.
Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs.
She was advised to play coy,
exhorted to come on hearty,
exercise, diet, smile and wheedle.
Her good nature wore out
like a fan belt.
So she cut off her nose and her legs
and offered them up.
In the casket displayed on satin she lay
with the undertaker’s cosmetics painted on,
a turned-up putty nose,
dressed in a pink and white nightie.
Doesn’t she look pretty? everyone said.
Consummation at last.
To every woman a happy ending.
“Barbie Doll” is a poem that was written by Marge Piercy in her original collection “Circles in the Water.” She is an American poet, novelist and social activist so we can infer that this is a feminist poem. Feminism is a movement against what society thinks is the “norm” with women. It can be their image, how they are presented, how they must act, what professions they are allowed to work in, etc. Therefore, it is not surprising that an activist would write a poem about female appearance and how it is seen by the world rather than how it should be.
Marge starts off the poem with the timeline of a girl. Let’s call this little girl “X.” At first, X is a little girl that is presented with dolls, miniature stoves and irons. Which are all associated with women’s possessions and how eventually every woman will learn to play around with the “real” ones. Then she moves on to the girl hitting puberty. Puberty is a stage that girls and boys go through sometime in their teenage lives and it begins with their bodies transforming. Some people might be lucky with puberty and others might not be. In X’s case, she developed a big nose and fat legs, which were never noticed until a classmate pointed them out. That classmate is only the start to a domino effect. Although X was healthy, intelligent, and physically fit she could not stand what people only saw of her; fat nose on thick legs (Barbie Doll, 360).
As any girl going through bodily changes, X was told to remain positive, to exercise, diet, smile and keep going. But as every real woman knows, those don’t last very long. She eventually gave in to the world’s criticism and cut off her nose and legs, offering them to the world as a truce. However, what X really gave up wasn’t only a part of her but it was her inner self. She lies in her deathbed with a layer or two of painted cosmetics, and dressed in an expected pink gown. But all that everyone could think of was not her true self but of how “pretty” she looked.
This poem just goes to show the extremity of sexism and stereotyping that women go through from the moment they are born. They are expected to play with certain toys, to act a certain way, to look a certain way and at the same time maintain their mentality and self-being. However, not every woman is as strong as they must be. Some women eventually give into society’s standards and undergo dramatic changes just to satisfy a group of people who are sadly considered the majority. This can only go on till they transform themselves into a Barbie doll in an open casket that screams “Finally! I am one of you!” Yet no one even bothers to learn these little girls’ actual names.
*Girls are important to our future. Instead of making fun of the way they look, we should encourage them to change the world rather than themselves. Check out “The Importance of The Girl” video I put up!*
As we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of any day. I make it simpler and easier to remember that fact by dividing the word into “break” and “fast”. By doing that, you will remember that your body is taking a break from fasting (consuming no food) throughout the night. Therefore, your body needs as many nutrients as it can get when you wake up in the morning. Also, it is important to remember that when having breakfast that you should try not to overwhelm your stomach. So you should try to avoid greasy, fatty or heavy meals such as pizza, burgers, pastas etc… And stick to oatmeal, omelets, cereal, veggies or fruits. Keep in mind that you can “pig out” during breakfast and eat as much as you want (not to the point where you can’t move haha) because this meal is the gas that will fuel your body till the end of the day.
(A good breakfast = a good and balanced day.)
My favourite breakfast places/meals (All located in Hamra, Beirut):
1. Café Hamra (Picture above): Offers eggs, break baskets, different cheeses and vegetables which are all incredibly tasty.
2. Ristretto: This is one of those places that appear too small and rigid looking to eat at, but offer a m a z i n g breakfast combos consisting of eggs, hash-browns, sausage and/or pancakes and french toast. Hands down a favourite of mine!
3. ZwZ (Zaatar W Zeit): Also offers a huge breakfast menu but I would recommend the “grilled halloumi”. It’s such a healthy dish because it comes with a plate of vegetables, amaaaaazing tortilla bread and yummy grilled halloumi in a pan.
4. Or you could just have fruits for breakfast (Take advantage if they’re in season!):
5. Yogurt for breakfast: If you are in the mood for something refreshing, cut up some fruits and add up some Muesli to a bowl of yogurt.
*A fun fact: Based on an old saying, taking a spoonful of honey or olive oil when you wake up (on an empty stomach before breakfast) is said to be beneficial for your body.
Whether it was by coincidence or not, today happens to be the most important day in AUB. Not only is it the infamous 5th of november but it is also election day. Election day is basically when students begin working from the beginning of the semester by being nice and friendly to everyone else just for the sake of “securing votes” (What I would like to call, the temporary friends. You know the ones that only talk to you when they need something.) It consists of Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors that elect themselves based on their faculty of studies. And only one of each get to represent the students. They all claim to have “no political background” but everyone and I do mean everyone knows that that is not true. The election is divided into two big and opposing parties and two or three daring “independent” parties that run for the sake of running but never actually win. The two important parties, though, receive support from a lot of outside interference (whether it’s fair or unfair…no one really cares).
Every year the elections take place in one of the busiest route on AUB campus. Strategic location because it not only gives them access to everyone coming and going to their classes but it also gives them plenty of opportunities to ambush you and try to claim your vote as theirs (this is sometimes done with free food, keychains, and lots of pens. Hmm sounds temping, right?)
As simple as it should sound, it is far from being so. Police guards, campus securities and professors are all warned of the possibilities that might occur today which is why it wouldn’t be a good idea not to carry your AUB I.D around. Just because you will be asked to “present your I.D” every single time you enter or exit the main gate of the university. This, of course, is for safety reasons due to many of the country’s heated (and by heated I mean willing to violently react based upon a word, look, attitude… basically anything) citizens when it comes to politics.
Also, every year, each party claims to have the student’s benefits as their priority. And every year, we, the students get nothing in return for our votes. Better air conditioning, better parking spots, better campus seating etc…. are only a few of the things that are “promised” to the AUB students. Keep in mind that the committees are rewarded with a money trust consisting of thousands of donated dollars just for the sole purpose of bettering the university. Yet, those promises are still not fulfilled.
I cannot change what’s going on. However, I can sit on the side and observe how politics can find it’s way into the simplest things in life and overtake it completely. I just hope that one day, the entire AUB community can come together as a whole and not as “opposing parties” to try to keep the promises rather than destroy them instantly the next day when they are back to their a c t u a l s e l v e s.
As V once said:
“Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot… But what of the man? I know his name was Guy Fawkes and I know, in 1605, he attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. But who was he really? What was he like? We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten, but 400 years later, an idea can still change the world. I’ve witnessed first hand the power of ideas, I’ve seen people kill in the name of them, and die defending them… but you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it… ideas do not bleed, they do not feel pain, they do not love… And it is not an idea that I miss, it is a man… A man that made me remember the Fifth of November. A man that I will never forget.” – V for Vendetta
So AUB, who will that man be?
We can all agree that being a girl is not easy. It comes with so many responsibilities towards how we should present ourselves. Not only do we have to follow society’s book of “how to behave like a woman” but we also have to go through the most outrageous fashion trends that might or might not suit the various different body types women have.
Attending AUB has certainly shown me that the amount of outfits you have matters more than your GPA. I am not generalising nor stereotyping because there are obviously really good-looking smart women attending the university (they wouldn’t have gotten in to begin with if that wasn’t the case). However, I am speaking about the majority that I see hanging in front of the cafeteria and smoking areas (total scene out of a typical high school movie.) But I am pretty sure that some of the girls here literally wake up 2-3 hours before their day starts just to choose an outfit. And not just any outfit, one that should say “I-threw-this-on-effortlessly-and-I-want-you-to-notice-how-good-I-know-I-look!”
I’ve seen all shapes and sizes, all colours and styles, and all heights try to pull off the same look; the baggy/tight ripped jeans, skin-tight tank top, a jersey and most importantly CONVERSE (I can finally say I’ve seen every colour of the existent rainbow.) Just to clarify, I am not hating on what I’ve seen. I do also put an effort in how I look. But the difference, I think, would be that I do it for ME because it makes me feel better about myself as opposed for what other people think. Anyway, I’ll leave this argument for another post, so stay updated!
Moving on, another detail that most girls have to consider every time they leave their houses are their nails and whether or not they’ve got the right summer or winter colour on. Doing your nails is a way to unwind and relax when you’ve had a tough day (or if you’re just in the mood to make your fingers look pretty).
There are so many different colours to choose from but don’t worry I’ve got your back ;).
Here we go:
1. Rouge: this is the most abundant colour because it can enhance any outfit. You can dress it down with jeans and a t-shirt or dress it up with your LBD (little black dress) and a fabulous ring.
2. Tiffany Blue: This one of my favourite colours because it looks so fresh and carefree. You can also play around with it and add glitter or crystals to one or all fingers as a top coat.
3. Marshmallow: White. White. White eryyyything. This is a good colour when you’re feeling innocent and have hidden your inner rebel deep inside (for now).
*If you’re one of those extremely lucky girls that are naturally born with a golden tan (or just abuse the beach, tanning bed and spray tans) then this colour would enhance your tan even more.
4. The Classic French: This is the most sophisticated style you can choose. It shows a more feminine and classic side than the rest of the looks.
*I only use this style when I have an occasion. (makes it that more special)
5. The two-way Black: Black is such a hard colour to pull off just because there’s a fine line of it appearing classic and it appearing like you switched hands with a witch.
+ Black looks best with short nails. You can also dress it up by applying a layer of glitter or a design on one or more of your fingers.
+ However, If you want to unleash your inner alter-ego, go for a long and dark look. Just prepare yourself for the mixed opinions about their appearance.
6. SHINY Metallic: Finally we come to my favvvvvvourite colour right now! It’s a metallic colour called “For the Twill of it”. Such a must to try because it’s different and interesting in comparison to the rest. *And a bonus: It goes with everything!!
*Ill be posting another blog entry about DIY ways of taking care of your nails at home!*
** 1. If you are living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates I would suggest going to a place I regularly go to called “Tips & Toes”.
Location/Tel: Springs & Meadows Town Centre / (+9714-3619393)
2. If you are living in Beirut, Lebanon I would suggest a place called “Flawless”. The prices are really good compared to the service you are getting. They also give a discount to AUB students, so don’t forget to show them your I.D card.
Location/Tel: Hamra near Costa / (+961-10345108)
When living in a city, one would take for granted the chaotic beauty that come with it like: the tall buildings, the various noises that all together just sounds like noise garbage, the students trying to make their way around the streets, the shop owners stacking up their merchandise in hopes of making a good sale that day and the late business men that have abused their honks when stuck in traffic. But what most people overlook are the things nearest to them and in the case of Beirut, it’s the graffiti. Ever since graffiti first started, many thought that it is an individual’s act of rebellion against their government and city. They thought that it takes away from the city’s beauty and it ruins its image. When in reality, graffiti only adds to the city’s beauty. And people like the author of Urban Scrolls and Modern-Day Oracles: The Secret Life of Beirut’s Walls, Rasha Salti, consider graffiti as an act of voicing an opinion.
Rasha Salti is an independent curator and freelance writer based in Beirut (After Words: A reader for academic writing, p. 142). She had this article published in the Third Text in 2008. In her article “The Secret Life of Beirut’s Walls”, she starts off with a short story that is based on a discussion between two people about what disappearance is and how it happens. Then she goes on to talk about how Democracy, which is the American influence on the Iraqi-Kuwaiti war, is making its way into the Middle East. Also, how civil wars in Lebanon were thought to have “ended” when the Israelis and Palestinians stopped the conflicts and negotiated for peace. Basically, insinuating that a change was about to occur because wall graffiti has changed dramatically with the outbreak of the civil wars. The walls became the newspapers.
While walking through the streets of Beirut, Rasha’s attention was caught when she saw the phrase: “On n’est pas n’es sous la même étoile.” When translated, it roughly means: “We are not born under the same star.” She has also fallen under the category of the hundreds of people that walk up and down the same street every day yet wouldn’t notice if such a quote was there. However, the reason to why she was flabbergasted was because it’s a French quote that she had never seen anywhere else in the city before. It was in an area near AUB (American University of Beirut) and the borders of another area called Ain el-Mreisseh; both of which were not known to be “French” areas. Which she argues has either of these meanings: 1. “We were not born to the same privileges;” 2. “Our destinies are not meant to meet.”
The quote was special in the sense that it wasn’t a political logo, slogan, or the overly common “X love Y” plastered all over the city’s walls (p. 144). However, it was just an area reclaimed for someone’s personal grief (p.144). And that even if it wasn’t meant to have a deep story to it or if it wasn’t meant to be humble, it showed a different side of what was mostly hung there; it showed change. This is because most of these walls helped to identify different religious communities or areas that were set by the state by the act of hanging up different posters of political leaders and election nominees. Only because anything written on walls was evidence or confirmation on stone and concrete, they are meant to be permanent (p. 145).
One would underestimate the powers of something as simple as a wall but what they often forget is that these walls expose the more spontaneous, unrehearsed opinion of an amorphous mass of folks, or neighbourhood residents; a visa into a place in the present time (p. 145). To some people, graffiti is a reminder of the past, a realisation of the present, and an outlook onto the future. So, the next time you happen to pass by any graffiti just remember that every picture has a story of origin and explanation; they are there for a reason. Therefore, you shouldn’t judge at first glance.
AHHHH! Halloween is in 5 days!
So basically it’s the only night that you can unleash your inner child by dressing up in costumes. Not only can you get free candy by trick-or-treating but you can also party till the sun comes out and enjoy your time with your fellow Halloween-ers. And since Halloween is just around the corner, I thought I’d share a couple of costume ideas incase you’ve been indecisive about what to be this year. I find it easier to make your own costume from your closet because buying your own is sometimes too pricey for an outfit that will be worn for only one day (unless you can rent some, then go ahead!) It’s easiest when you build a costume around a piece (mask, headband, wand, face paint…)
Here we go:
1. PlayBoy Bunny (2011): This is any girl’s go-to costume because you can just build the entire outfit on your own, all you need are the bunny ears! (You can dress it up or down depending on how “wild” you are feeling that night. Hahaha.)
2. Minnie Mouse (2012): Same idea as before.
“Minnie” Me (far right): Entire outfit is based on the ears.
“Show Girl” Sogand (middle): Entire outfit is based on props.
“Pirate” Dorsa (far left): Store bought costume.
3. Jasmine (2013): Store bought costume. But so do-able at home!
4. SuperWoman (2013): Store bought costume.
5. Red Riding Hood (2013): Store bought costume. A great DIY project.