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Thursday, 30 April 2015

Regardless Of Sexuality - Everyone Has The right To Feel Beautiful



It's always a fantastic day when hashtags are used to spread awareness of a decent cause, rather than to just self-promote. 

Just recently, fellow blogger and all round decent person @Debzjs , who can be found over at http://www.wannabeprincess.co.uk/?m=1 started the body positive hashtag "#WeAreTheThey". It was all about fighting back against Jamelia's comments about why being plus sized is essentially wrong. You can read about the entire campaign HERE on her blog post. 

I was extremely...vocal?...with my support of this cause on twitter. (Can you call prefusely tweeting about it being vocal?) Either way, I made my support for this cause extremely obvious. I truly believe that anyone, regardless of their size be it bigger or smaller, deserves to feel beautiful in and out of clothes. Body shaming is a severe issue that effects people from every walk of life, and it needs to be tackled sooner rather than later. 

Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with this opinion and with me expressing my opinions on twitter, I was greeted by the following counter argument. 




I didn't quite know whether to be horrified, offended, appauled, all of the above or to just laugh at the idiocy of it. 

I went with all of the above. 

It got me thinking though, why do people believe that because I am not sexually attracted to women, that my opinion on the way that they perceive themselves is invalid? 

Just because I don't find women sexually attractive doesn't mean that I don't care if they perceive themselves as beautiful or not. 

Since I was a child, I have always enjoyed the company of females more than males. In other words I tend to get on better with women than men. 

Most of my nearest and dearest friends are females and so ultimately I spend a lot of my free time in the company of girls. 

Obviously... we talk.

Categorically I can say that a lot of the girls I am friends with have, at some point, been dissatisfied with their weight/body image. It is honestly heartbreaking to have to sit and listen to so many beautiful women put their bodies down and believe they are anything less than flawless. 

And to be honest, a lot of them get these feelings because they are terrified of what boys may think of them. Which is ludicrous. No-one should feel anything less than fabulous for any reason, let alone for a boy. 

So when ignorant pigs like the man who tweeted me have the kinds of views that he expressed and more shockingly people actually agree with that ridiculousness, it makes me think:

IF NO MALE, REGARDLESS OF SEXUALITY, STICKS UP FOR WOMENS RIGHTS TO FEEL GORGEOUS, THEN THERE IS NO HOPE.


Yes. I don't find women sexually attractive. But beauty really isn't a waist size. Beauty is so much more than that, to the point where that is completely irrelevant. 

But the fact that I don't find women sexually attractive truly doesn't mean that I can't fight for their right to feel beautiful. 

The thing that a lot of men don't realise is that the body image issues that women express that they have, are also running riot in the other gender. Men struggle with body image issues just as much as women, just for some reason, we're less vocal about it. 

So regardless of my sexual orientation, I believe that every women and man has the right to feel beautiful at whatever size they are. Whatever hair colour they have. Whatever skin they are in. 

What you view as your imperfections, will be someone else's perfections in you. 


-Harry 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Curtain Call







This day is a day I have not been looking forward too.

You never really appreciate the significance of a certain day or deadline until a couple of weeks or days before it.

They say ignorance is bliss and I suppose when you're really not looking forward to an approaching day, it truly is more than blissful.

My last day at Urdang for the foreseeable future. 

On the 29th of August 2014, I clicked "Publish" On my very first blog post. 

I started this blog as a way of documenting my thoughts and feelings as I went through my foundation year of Urdang. 

What I was feeling.
What was inspiring me.
What I was thinking as I watched the manic city of London move around me. 

All of these things compiled themselves into the posts you see on my blog today. 

And to start something that I have now got quite a passion for, because I was pursuing my biggest passion, is something I hold quite dear to me. 

It's like me and my drive to achieve my goals have had this love child and hatched out a blog that I take great pride in.

However, my time at the Urdang academy has now drawn to a close. And even though my journey through this time is the thing that inspired my blog, i'm happy to say that I will continue writing it from here onwards. 

I could write pages and pages of emotional speeches on how I feel about my time coming to a close, but i'm going to sum it up as shortly and sweetly as I can:

It has been the most gratifying, intense, tiring, awe-inspiring, motivating, powerful, emotionally draining, physically knackering, limitation destroying, loving, supportive, full out 8 months of my life. The people I have met, will remain special to me as I believe we have shared an extremely poignant time of our lives together. 

I didn't go to college to make friends, but the ones I have made, I hope to have in my life for a very long time. 



Especially the spice girls. 



And now it is time to close the book on the foundation chapter of our performing aspirations and move on to wherever life takes us. 

It has been both an honour and a pleasure to not only share this experience with these people, but also share the stage with them. 

To the teachers that have inspired, motivated and pushed me to achieve beyond what I thought I could, Thank you. 

The journey to my dreams has just begun. 


Friday, 24 April 2015

Do Not Tell Me That I Need To Shave




Before we start this, I want you all to know that this isn't a "I hate females" rant. In fact the majority of people that I idolise are females. Most of my close friends, are females. In fact I actually prefer the company of females over males.

So no, this isn't a verbal attack on feminists or the female gender.

What it is, is an attack on the inequality of the genders, from the point of view of a man.

So, recently, one of my friends approached me and expressed to me that "I needed to have a shave".

Which puzzled me.

Why do I NEED to shave? And more importantly, why is it acceptable for a woman to approach a man and tell them how they need to change their appearance, but god forbid a man does it to a woman?

You see these stories go viral all the time, like "Man told woman to lose weight, her reply will leave you speechless" and loads of other stuff like that. But you never see "Woman tells man to shave and his reply will make your jaw drop" or anything along those lines.

And it might sound ridiculous, but have you ever stopped to think why, in this ridiculous world we live in, that it is acceptable for a woman to tell a man how he should look but completely ludicrous that a man tells a woman how she should look?

A woman can quite happily tell a man that he needs to shave and that seems to be acceptable. But imagine if a man were to tell a woman that she needs to wear make-up?

It would seem that a massive debate/argument would kick off if a man were to tell a women how she should dress/what she should look like. But why does this not happen when it is the other way around?


I just don't understand it.

It's like there is these crazy un-written double standards that exist when it comes to the behaviour of women towards men.

Don't get me wrong, i'm all for the equality of the genders and I think it is absolutely despicable that either one should be considered above the other.

But I think a lot of people seem to just skim over the fact that there are certain things that women do/say to men that, if reversed, would cause a complete outrage amongst the majority of people.

Another example, at Coachella festival recently, Madonna was seen to force herself upon Drake and kiss him. Anyone watching the video can see the look of shock (and almost disgust) on his face immediately after the incident.

Yes, in interviews following this incident, Drake has been quoted saying "Don't misinterpret my shock, I got to make out with Madonna and I feel 100 about that."

However, regardless of whether or not Drake was okay with the whole situation just imagine that the roles were reversed. Madonna is 56 years old. Drake is 28. If a 56 year old man forced himself upon and kissed a 28 year old woman the way that she kissed him, a lot more people would be disgusted.

She forced herself upon him and you can tell by his body language that he was clearly uncomfortable.  He'd quite literally been assaulted live on stage in front of thousands of people.

But, men aren't allowed to complain about that. Male victims of assault aren't taken seriously, especially if the perpetrator is a female.

Claiming that the inequality of the genders is only detrimental to women is wrong. Evidently you can see that there are certain cases where females are able to do things that males wouldn't be able to do.

And it's not even just about being a man or being a woman. The thing is, there are just things that you shouldn't do or say regardless of who it's to.

You shouldn't tell someone they "Need to shave" because their body image isn't anything to do with you.

You shouldn't tell someone that they "Shouldn't dye their hair a certain colour" because it has nothing to do with you.

You shouldn't force yourself upon anyone without their consent because, it's just not right.

Inequality between genders is just as detrimental to men as it is to women.

And body shaming is just as detrimental to both genders also.

So yes, by all means fight for equality, lord knows I will happily stand besides anyone who is fighting for equality.  Be it between genders, between races, for sexuality, anything really.

But just remember that equality means to be equal.

If a woman thinks that it is okay to tell a man that he "Needs to shave". Then he has every right to tell them how he thinks they should change their body image.

And neither of those are morally right.

You shouldn't tell anyone that they need to change their body. It is their body, not yours and it has absolutely nothing to do with you. 

So embrace yourself, be happy in yourself and let others be free to do the exact same. 

-Harry 



Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Nostalgia






How do you begin to continue with your day to day life when everyday for the past eight months have been an absolutely amazing experience?

Every single day I have been surrounded by phenomenal people fully enveloping myself into the world of the performing arts. A world that I aspire to be a part of for the rest of my life.

I have had to sacrifice time with my boyfriend, time with my family, time with my friends, time with my puppy and sacrifice any form of social life in order to have the most rewarding experience I could have possibly had.

And I wouldn't change any of that for the world.

So how do you even begin to contemplate carrying on when you have to leave an amazing experience behind you?

I'm sure we've all had it.

You go on an amazing holiday.
You work extremely hard on a project.
You put on a show.
You leave a job that you really enjoyed doing.

You experience something that has such a significant emotional effect on you, then you pretty much blink and it's suddenly over.

You're suddenly in this state of purgatory where you don't quite know which way to go or which way to look.

To be honest, I started this post with the intention to give advice on how to cope with this sort of thing, but i'm finding it extremely hard to write advice that i'm struggling to follow.

I guess these experiences come into our lives so we can appreciate what it means to strive to achieve something more.  They become an almost  heightened version of living because compared to life afterwards, everything seemed so much better.

So as I sit here in my pyjamas, on my third cup of tea of the morning, I feel nothing more than nostalgia.

A sentimental or wistful yearning for the happiness felt in a former place, time or situation.





There is no easy way to deal with nostalgia. Life moves onwards whether you want it to or not.

You just have to be thankful that you were in the right place at the right time to experience what you did and to feel the way you felt.

I have been absolutely blessed and honoured to experience eight months at the Urdang Academy and now that it is over for the foreseeable future, I am trying to not look back with a want to experience it again, but rather look back with an appreciation for the experience I had.

Don't get me wrong, I would give anything to turn back time and repeat it all. But that's impossible and there's no point in yearning to do that. Instead, I can look back upon my time with nothing but happiness.

And that is how you move forward.




-Harry 


Sunday, 5 April 2015

No-one Should Aim To Have A Six-Pack






I know this is really weird, but hear me out.

So recently, I was on the train commuting up to London and I happened to glance out the window as the trained meandered past a row of gardens that were backing on to the train track. And I spotted this, he can't have been much older than 6 maybe 7, little boy. 

Anyways, he was sitting on his trampoline playing with his toys, completely and utterly oblivious to anything going on around him except the world he was living in amongst his toys. He was sitting there, appearing to be absolutely content with life, with nothing on but s pair of shorts.

And so I thought to myself. 

"Christ I could never sit like that infront of all the possible people going past and seeing me topless, imagine all the rolls and folds they would see!!"

I can hand on my heart say now, that I was absolutely mortified that thought came into my head. 

And, the fact I was mortified about it got me thinking... at what point do we forget the childhood sense of innocence, where nothing fases us about our appearance or what we wear, what we look like, what colour our hair is, how much make-up we are wearing etc At what point is the wonder of the world completely changed and we see it for what it is? At what point did I care about sitting down topless infront of a group of people?

I know it sounds weird, I saw a half-naked child and I began to question when we begin to give a shit about what others think about our appearance. 

But it's truly what happened. 

I just find it bizzare that, without us even realising, we are born and raised into a world where we would rather judge someone on their appearance than possibly get to know them first. I have racked my brain to try and pin point a time where I can remember when I started to care what people thought about my physicality. And shockingly, I can't. 

It just seems to be something that has always been there. 

Or is it something that is innate in every single on of us? Are we just born with the urdge to judge people on their appearance? 

I find it ridiculous that a twenty-two year old man can't even begin to fathom the prospect of sitting with his top off infront of people. Just incase a few folds of skin were to fall naturally and look unappealing to a few.

And yet a child, doesn't care.

Therefore, what I have realised is, I don't aspire to have a six-pack anymore. I aspire to have the child like innocence of not caring about my body image back. 

As a man who doesn't have a prominently defined six-pack, I have always wondered whether or not the people with bodies that others aspire to have, are actually self conscious or not?

Do the people with defined abs and pecks feel at all self conscious? Do they feel even more self conscious because they feel they have to maintain their physique? 

It makes me wonder, if I achieved this physique, would I also achieve the child like attitude of not caring about my body image? Or is it mentally something that I need to conquer myself and not care what physique I have?

I guess the sooner I learn to act like a child when it comes to caring about what people think about my body, the sooner I can grow up confident. 


-Harry