DAy 1 of 30

 How many of you have looked in the mirror and found something wrong with your body? Have you poked and prodded at your own skin wishing that it would be more like this or less like that? How many of you have been on a diet? Or a cleanse, or a detox hoping shed a few pounds or more? How many of you have cried because you weren’t happy with your body? How many of you have limited yourself from joining in certain activities like swimming, yoga, or running because you were to uncomfortable to bear your body to the public eye?

This month I would like to go beyond the skin of my face and raise an awareness of how to liberate our bodies from confinement. This is a much touchier topic and I expect this to be a few levels harder to handle than effortlessly foregoing makeup.

below the neck.jpg

As I go through this challenge there is without a doubt going to be many obstacles to face and a lot of the past struggles I dealt with will inevitably rise up again for me to acknowledge and let go of. Definitely something much easier to say than do, but even talking about such a sensitive topic will surely been hard work in itself.

 Now this is bound to get a lot trickier than just not wearing makeup, because Im not going to go walking around without my clothes on, unless it’s a hot day and Im at the nude beach, but being that it’s April I really don’t see this happening. What this challenge is meant to be is everyday pushing my body out of its comfort zone and this can be a variety of actions that I am excited and anxious to begin.

Yesterday was the first day of the below the neck skin liberation and I started out by going to a swim suit shop to buy myself not a nice new pretty bathing suit, but a workout suit. It was all overwhelming at first and I had no idea what size I am, so I asked a women, and although she rolled her eyes at me for not knowing better I found out that it is based on your bra and cup size! Really never would have figured that one out.

 I tried on 4 different swimsuits, one navy blue, one light grey, and two black. I took pictures of myself in each one even though I really didn’t enjoy the looks of my pooch popping out. Oh and whats that? Cellulite! That’s right girls, even someone seemingly skinny can have her fair share of fatty tissue. But I am not going to start calling myself fat, I have fat, but that does not mean I AM fat. No one IS fat. We have it, we all have it, but are never it.

I ended up going with a simple black suit that had a bit thicker straps and minimal padding for added comfort. I don’t want to push myself so far out of my comfort zone that I never go swimming! SO that was my first small step towards bodily liberation and I will continue to update you on my journey.

Also I would like to say that I am by no means focusing on weight loss or size here. My scale is dead and I don’t plan on fixing it. I am simply pushing myself to embrace my body. I want to treat my body with love and care and become more comfortable bearing my flesh.

Much Love

Does this make me a feminist? DAY 31 of 31

photosun31.jpg

I did it! I have successfully not worn make up for the entire month of March! When I first began this challenge I hadn’t the slightest clue just how much my life would change. For some reason I just woke up that day and thought to myself, I’m tired of feeling the need to wear this everyday and decided not to. Upon the second day, I decided to document my experience, so maybe I could inspire others to tell them they don’t have to either. TO my surprise I’ve had a total of 667 views from 271 visitors in the course of 31 days. I am so grateful to everyone that has read my words and reached out to tell me how they have enjoyed these posts and my act of bravery.

The first few days were the hardest to overcome the habit of checking myself in the mirror to make sure my face looked well enough for a public appearance.

The first week I felt like I was naked and I felt very vulnerable.

The second week I stopped checking myself before leaving the door and I had the most epiphanies hit me during this time. I learned that it wasn’t solely because we are living in a Patriarchal dark age that women have had to exploit themselves in order to be seen as well put, no instead I learned that within a patriarchal society, women have created a mindset that all women must act like a man in order to be taken seriously. This means appearing flawlessly, emotionlessly, and thickening our naturally soft skin. I also learned that it isn’t men who are putting most of the pressure on women, although they aren’t completely innocent of it either, the vast majority of pressure is coming from other women who have grown to believe that this mindset is what will help you get further in life. The thing is that no matter how far it gets a women, closing ones heart and hiding ones inherent tenderness only damages us more .

I am not sure if I ever understood feminism properly. I know that there are some seriously wrong connotations to the word. Many think of feminist as bra burning women that hate men, but it is actually a movement within many movements towards equal rights for every gender, race, and sexuality. I’ve just always had a problem with the literal word Feminism deriving from Feminine. I am not trying to say I don’t agree with many self proclaimed Feminist, but there are many tactics that don’t seem to be moving us human beings in the right way. It isn’t the intention that is stopping us, it’s the judgement of others. So many great women of our time are overly compensating their fragility with straight aggression. Women are rejecting their emotions because they don’t understand how to use them to their advantage. Women aren’t embracing their true selves anymore because it has become too confusing in a world where we are aesthetically bombarded with this built up image of what a women should be seen as. The worst part about all of this I have learned, is that women truly believe this idea and look down on other women who don’t meet the standard issue.

This may be controversial but I have to say it. Women and Men are not equal and we never will be. Why is that? Well we are both wired differently. Now there are definitely many exceptions to this rule that are being seen now more than ever. Some women are born and they are wired like a man and some men are born and they are wired like a women. Some women have more Yang and some men more Yin. My point here is we are not meant to behave like we are wired in ways that we are not. If you feel like you have to bury your feelings deep down because all the men at work will treat you differently, well then you are only hindering our progress out of patriarchy.

I  know this could be a hot topic for discussion and I do have much more to say about it, but to finish off; Week 2 I walked out of my job, because I learned that if people aren’t going to respect me, Im not going to change myself to try and earn that respect.

On the third week I had a surge of empowering energy and I went to Nevada for nine days to soak in more vitamin D then I had taken in for a long time. I also experienced how to love my skin while breaking out in heat rashes and overcoming mild discomfort from a crackling chin.

Week 4 I had my ups and downs after getting back from sunshine into rainy days again and breaking out more than usual. I still managed to get out and about without being totally aware of my facial nudity.

Week 5 the sun came back and I have had time to sit back and enjoy the blissfulness of little worries. I’ve released a lot of negativity and realized that I am going to stay here in this city for awhile longer. I’m not afraid of going out without makeup on anymore and I’ve liberated myself from many mindsets that have held me back from participation.

I truly hope that someone who has read about my journey will find it in themselves to release their skin from habitual coverage and embark on this wonderful path towards liberation.

Much Love

You are all Lovely (Day 30 of 31)

 To every woman and man, you are all born beautiful. It is not up to anyone else or anything else, to determine how beautiful you are. It doesn’t matter how many people do or don’t tell you that, because by simply living you are inherently perfect as you are. That being said, we are all capable of great ugliness, but it doesn’t come from our faces or our bodies, it leaks from a tainted heart, or a broken soul. Ugliness is not a proportion, it isn’t a number on the scale, it isn’t a flaw, it’s an act. It is an act upon act upon act of cruel intention.

If you have ever been laughed at, or ridiculed for your own appearance, know that it was the one pointing the finger that possessed more ugliness than words can describe. And if you have pointed a finger at someone and called them ugly, then send some love to that person in your mind, and compliment twice as many people on their inherent beauty.

Beauty is SO much more than an aesthetic.

I see beauty in brains and bronze and I see beauty in naivety and fragility. Beauty is in all of these traits and characteristics, because our differences that make us who we are, are what contributes to the immeasurable loveliness of Earth.

Some people fall under the right measurements and proportions based on a skewed scale of beauty that has been built over centuries. So it will take just as long to reverse this discourse until we are able to find the right path where all are seen as beautiful again. True beauty is unfathomable too many in this world. We are such a young species still and it will take a long time before we can all understand each others immeasurable beauty.

It takes work to change our automatic reactions, but if you can acknowledge your response as societal conditioning, then it is possible to reverse judgement.

   I wish for everyone concerned about their appearance to look at themselves with eyes closed and hearts open.

Photo on 2016-03-31 at 15.28.jpg

Today is my last day of 31 days without an ounce of makeup and I am so proud of myself!!! I’d like to make one more post tomorrow on my overall experience, reflections, and what to look forward to next month!!!

Much Love

Day 28 and 29 of 31

To every women that feels like giving up make up would be too much to handle, I am here to tell you if I can do it so can you. If you can’t do it for yourself then do it for the young girls that are looking up to you as they pass you by. Sure, it takes bravery and will power in the beginning, but it inspires the same traits in others and by that you have helped many as well as yourself.

Day 28 was another day spent outside in the sun.

I went to the East side of Vancouver to see a dear friend of mine. All I had to do was hop on a bus and although the route takes you through the rough ends of this city, I think it’s a good thing to wake up to. It isn’t just me who is brightened up by the change of weather around here. The people living it out on the streets everyday are more lively too. The everyone can’t help but smile because we’ve made it through the dreary rainy season.

Upon arriving my friend and I sat outside in the front lawn and enjoyed a couple glasses of fresh lemon & mint water. Then we teamed up with her big puppy and went for a lovely walk about on some nice trails nearby. The sound of the flowing water running through the creek was enough to feel like I had made it to a quite sanctuary tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

After that, I met up with my partner for dinner on Commercial, where we changed our minds last minute to go to the Ethiopian restaurant we’ve returned to many times before. We shared a veggie platter for too and enjoyed the sweet taste of Honey mead wine.

Photo on 2016-03-28 at 13.43.jpg

Yesterday was my 29th day of not wearing make up and I started it with a hearty breakfast of rice and japanese sweet potatoes and went for a wonderful bike ride through Stanley park and up towards third beach. I slipped my shoes off, laid out for awhile, and wrote in my journal. Then I enjoyed walking out on the rocks as it was low tide. I caught some great shots of the exposed rocks and tidal pools, then I packed up and rode the seawall home.

Last night I met up with my partner and we walked up to his sister’s place to celebrate her Champagne birthday. You know you’ve had a good time, when you lose track of the clock and that’s exactly what we did. It felt good to hang out with a group of great people and I really enjoyed myself. I was very conscious of the fact that after one drink my face reddens twice as much as it normally does, and my bare face did come to mind as all the other girls looked so utterly flawless, but I didn’t feel the need to cover up i just acknowledged those feelings and carried on.

Today is my second to last day foregoing habitual coverage and I feel like I have freed myself from my fears of not fitting in. I know I am different and I always will be, with or without it.

Much Love

Runaway to a cabin in the woods? Day 27 of 31

I wrote this yesterday, but wanted to wait until today to post because I like to reflect on the day as a whole instead of just stating the status quo.

Photo on 2016-03-27 at 11.32.jpg

Coming down to the finish line! Happy Easter everyone! Today the sun is shining and it is amazing just how much that affects outlook on life. I am very grateful for these sun shiny days waking up to sunshine always sets me in a good mood.

I forgot that it was Easter Sunday so that haircut I spoke of yesterday is to be further delayed. Right now I am enjoying my time with my partner and cooking up some yummy food with japanese sweet potatoes and perfectly ripe avocados, its definitely my favourite go to meal on top of some basmati rice sprinkled with fresh cilantro.

-Later that day-

After breakfast my partner and I went for a long walk around downtown Vancouver. It was so sunny that as I squinted and tried to protect my eyes I cursed myself for not bringing sunglasses. My partner tells me that the sunglasses I currently own are equivalent to what someone would wear after having laser eye surgery, but they feel so good! I love my 10$ solar shields. We went into shoppers to look for some new pairs, but just ended up trying on every pair for laughs.

Following that, we headed to Vancouver’s public library, and after living in this city for five years I can’t believe how I have yet to take advantage of such an amazing resource. Not only is the library full of books beyond comprehension, there is also access to computers where I can use photoshop, download my photographs onto external hard drives, access to wifi, and a beautiful open quiet space with lots of light where I can escape to when the sounds of construction outside of my apartment get to be too much. My partner and I were most interested in seeing the new inspiration lab where there are plenty of sound booths you can record music and videos in, and it really IS inspiring!

We then trekked around for food and ended up walking all the way to a Mexican restaurant where the food was absolutely inedible and we were quite sure we’d get food poisoning if we even tried to finish our meals. La Castilla on Robson and Denman, wouldn’t recommend it. They did give us half our money back so that was nice.

We got home safely without any mishaps and luckily we didn’t end up getting as ill as we expected. 

SO yesterday I learned that I really need to get out and take advantage of the resources available in this city. I have been debating whether or not I should move back to the islands because for so long now I have felt out of place, but I think I was quick to judge the people around me. The truth is I just haven’t put in the effort every day to make it work for me. Instead I have just been isolating myself from the rest of the world. Now it’s time for me to give it all I’ve got and until I can say 100% I gave it my all, I can’t just give up and move away.

Sure this isn’t the environment I am meant to be in for the rest of my life. I am after all “Nature girl”. I dream about waking up in the morning and being able to step outside onto the grass and having morning walks in the forest. I dream of being able to have a dog that I can take hiking with me and on adventures. I dream of working with horses the way I use to. I dream of tending to my garden and eating healthy foods that I’ve created for myself and loved ones. I dream of living a completely off grid, low impact, sustainable life where I am in tune with the Earth because deep down all I want is to save this beautiful planet.

A lot of the time I just want to runaway and live in a cabin, in complete isolation, and this would be very easy to do on the island, but I am beginning to see that this is only counter productive. Maybe it will help me temporarily, but it won’t make the world a better place. All I would be doing is running away from responsibility, and that is what I have been doing for too long now. I didn’t have to runaway to the forest to isolate myself, I’ve been doing it easily in my concrete cave located in the heart of downtown.

This does not have to be a disadvantage anymore. Being an artist, I can create a way to connect to others that feel the same way, even if it is just subconsciously.

Maybe this doesn’t have anything to do with makeup or my skin, but it is indeed an act of liberation. Most of these post have been great releases and as much as I had hoped to inspire others I needed to prove it to myself that I am capable of seeing a challenge through to the end. There is only 3 days left of not wearing makeup and I look forward to whatever next month has in store.

Much Love

Is veganism bad for my hair? (Day 26 of 31)

 It is time for a haircut. Today I had a lazy day to myself doing basically nothing but eating and watching hours of anime. I have been really making an effort to only shampoo my hair every other day, but its definitely not easy for me. I am getting to the point with my hair that it is just a mop on my head without any style and I believe my last hair cut was now five months ago. SO it’s well overdue. It felt really good to cut it short last year and I’ve been wanting to grow it out because I missed my long hair, but I don’t really know if I have what it takes to take care of long hair anymore.

I tried to use the dry shampoo today before I took a photo of myself, but my head just itches a lot now and I pulled it back and took it down and pulled it back again.

Ahhhhhhh it drives me crazy!!!

The creases in my forehead are really annoying me today too. It’s just one of those days where I just want to crawl out of my skin. That probably doesn’t seem very positive at all, but I think that I should be honest and acknowledge these feelings. The sun doesn’t shine out of my you know what.

So tomorrow I will be going to get a hair cut and I will decide just how much I’ll be taking off when I get there. Usually I would get my brows dyed and waxed as well, but I think that would be going against the challenge as it is an unnatural way of making myself feel better about my appearance.

It’s been about two years now since I last dyed my hair and since then, it has completely grown out and much darker than ever before. I was born with white hair and because I grew up in the desert it stayed that way for the majority of my childhood before easing into a light blonde. It wasn’t until I moved into a much colder climate that I lost the colour in my skin and the vitamin D in my hair.

The first time I ever dyed my hair, I was in 7th grade and I got highlights and a new part, which I’ve basically stuck with since than. Now that I’ve compulsively scratched my head and finger combed my hair I have thinner spots on my head than others. I think I will discuss this with my hairdresser and we can aim for something different. It’s time for something fresh, it is spring.

If any one knows of any supplements they’ve used or heard about I would definitely be interested in looking into it more.  What I eat really ties into the health of my hair and skin and nails. Although I’ve always had thin hair and thin nails and oily skin, being a vegan means I have to eat a lot more food in order to get the amounts of vitamins and minerals my body needs to maintain overall health.

There are many different things you can eat as a vegan and it’s just as easy now to get away with eating things besides fruits and vegetables. When I first started being a vegan I wanted to be a raw vegan and I ate an abundant amount of fruit and vegetables, but after feeling like such an oddball and never being able to eat anywhere, I slowly started to lean more on starches like potatoes and rice and eventually I’ve gone back to a majority cooked food lifestyle. Because of this I’ve felt like I’ve been lacking in vitamins and minerals and I am dire need of a salad. Maybe I just need to live somewhere tropical, but yesterday I bought a bunch of fresh ingredients to make green juices in the morning and I have decided that for the month of April I will be doing a 30 day whole food challenge.

 I think that it could really benefit tying these two things together and I will continue to post on this blog as I believe that this too is apart of the Skin Liberation.

hair
Yep

Much Love

Did I fail? (Day 25 of 31)

Photo on 2016-03-25 at 11.59.jpg

Well today is my 25th day not wearing makeup and last night… I broke my streak by rubbing tons of foundation and self tanning lotion all over my body. I told myself it wasn’t that bad because I wasn’t putting it on my face, but when I woke up I was so relieved it was just a dream. Gottcha ya.

For the past few days now I feel like I have gone back to the first week of this challenge and I feel myself picking and prodding at the skin on my face. I am now debating whether or not I should carry out this challenge for an extra week to make up for the week without any post. Not only did I fail to post some thoughts and photos from each day, but I have noticed myself taking more photos to find a decent one that I am pleased with. It could be that for the first half of this challenge I didn’t have to deal with many breakouts and now that my skin has undergone some weird rashes, peeling, and breakouts I am actually having to face this challenge head on.

 When I began this journey I wanted to be completely honest throughout, but I feel I have failed to truly accept my flaws. I really did not want to pick at my skin and yet I mindlessly went to town on my face. I do not want this challenge to end and to end up resorting back to make up again to feel comfortable in my skin. I truly love my skin and I am sorry for abusing it.

 Maybe this seems like a bit of a melodramatic post, but I am committed to overcoming these habitual thoughts and reactions I have when closely observing my pores.

A couple years ago I picked a pimple located in between my brows too the point of eventual scarring and the huge crater I had dug in my face made me feel miserable. I was so angry at myself for letting it go so far and I looked up different ways to fix it on the internet for weeks. I tried scrubbing it down and lightening it up with natural remedies, but nothing worked and it is still there. In fact that crater lead me to my first real wrinkle.

I have always been a person to scowl as I ponder, and to make matters worse I have always been someone to ponder since I was a child. It’s not like I am doing it intentionally, but it is just a part of who I am. These features we adapt are all apart of life and one day I will be nothing BUT a face of deepened lines.

The truth is that as we get older we only get better at being who we are and what we have tried to hid for so long inevitably engraves itself into our flesh for the world to see. So if you were someone to scowl often then surely the lines will speak for you between your brows; just as if you were one to smile often then the lines between your cheeks and lips will speak for you. It is not a bad thing whatsoever it’s just apart of becoming who you were always meant to be.

Sure it is easy to say these things, and I do believe them, but to live them day by day is the challenge I am trying to overcome. Just writing this makes me feel better now, but I want to push myself to really accept these changes in myself.

No matter how much make up I wear, or moisturizers I use, or how healthy I am, I will never been in control of the changes my body will undergo and that is what I need to let go of most. WE cannot control our image the way we wish too.

For many people they will go through extreme measures to try and maintain this control over their own bodies. They will cut themselves up to be skinnier, or to have bigger breast, or to have bigger eyes, or they will inject themselves with different serums to have bigger butts, bigger lips, or repeatedly inject their faces to try to hide the fact that life  happens.

So what is making it so hard to realize that change is inevitable? Why is it so hard to let go of the control we all wish to have over our appearance? I’m not saying that we should all let ourselves go and not give a shit about our bodies, I’m just trying to state the point that no matter what efforts we make we cannot control the effects of time and we cannot control the natural cycle of life. Our bodies, especially those of woman, were made to change many times throughout a lifespan. So why do these changes become flaws, when in reality they are validations of our perfection?

More to come on this later. Please leave any thoughts, reflections, or reactions, if you wish to do so. 

Much Love