Not shaving doesn’t make you a “better feminist”!

HairyArmpitsOk, time for some real talk. I’ve noticed a lot of people both on social media and irl talking about body hair, showing off their hairy legs and armpits as an act of feminism (myself included). This seem to have lead to some confusion and a belief that you’re not a “real feminist” or you are “less of a feminist” if you shave. So let me set this straight once and for all:

Feminism has absolutely nothing to do with who’s shaving or not shaving their legs and armpits and everything to do with having the power to choose what YOU want to do with YOUR body. If you want to shave your legs than you go ahead and do that. If you don’t want that then that’s also perfectly fine. The not-shaving-trend I think, has come from women (and other folks) who wants to loudly say FUCK YOU to the patriarchy by doing the opposite of what we’ve been told to do for decades. People who’s fighting to normalize body hair so that YOU can make the decision for YOURSELF without feeling pressured to follow the norm.

I’m not refraining from shaving my legs and armpits to make you feel like shit for shaving yours. I’m refraining from shaving because that’s what feels right for ME, and because I think everyone should do what the hell they want.

So if you believe in equality for all genders and in that everyone should have the right to make decisions for themselves and their bodies – If you’re shaving or not, congratulations YOU’RE A FEMINIST!❤️ But if you shame other people for what they choose to do with their body hair, no matter how fucking hairy or smooth you are – you’re part of the problem. Thank u, next!

Loving a growing body

IMG_0435_v2_cropI haven’t posted a lot of body positive stuff in a while and I want to talk about that for a moment now that it’s no longer a secret that I have a bun in the oven.

A few months before I got pregnant I started gaining some weight – and then some more during pregnancy (naturally). And while I think all bodies are beautiful no matter their size, I did have some mixed feelings about my body changing. It’s not always easy to notice and address my emotions while I’m in the midst of it all, but it’s more clear to me now that I get some distance to it.

I didn’t realize at first that the weight was bothering me at all. I felt fine with the person looking back at me in the mirror and wasn’t hating my body or anything. But the thing is, I haven’t been too keen on showing it off either. It’s been fine as long as it’s hidden under large sweaters and some loose fitting pants, but it has felt a little icky once the clothes got removed.

You don’t have to be comfortable with showing your naked body to the whole world to be body positive. Loving your body does not mean the same thing for everybody. It will look different for each of us. But I know what it means to me and I love to take pictures of my naked body and have never been embarrassed to show it off so for me to suddenly feel uncomfortable with that means it’s time for me to check in with myself and see if everything is ok. And to be completely honest it hasn’t been.

As a Non Binary person that struggles with dysphoria from time to time, having my body changing in a way that emphasise my feminine features has been challenging. My belly is getting larger every day, and so is my breasts – which is the most difficult part for me. I’ve desperately wanted to be one of those pregnant people who embrace their changing bodies and feels beautiful all the time, and I’m working on it. I’m just not quite there yet.

What’s great though is it only took me to realize, acknowledge and accept that within myself for the negative feelings to slowly start to fade. Body acceptance and self love is not something that happens over night, it’s a journey. And that is ok.

I’ve started experimenting with taking some photos of myself again, and it’s helping a lot with regaining my confidence and body positive attitude. On the pictures bellow I tried to make art out of my difficult emotions towards my body by embodying the darkness within.

My body was different half a year ago than it is today. My body will continue to change in the time to come. But by not attaching myself to what I looked liked 6 months ago or what I looks like today, I can try to embrace the changes that is to come. My body will take me on a weird and wonderful journey this year, and I’m gonna try my best to love and accept it as much as I can. I just need to have some patience.

Two pink lines

IMG_0449_smalBoom! There they were. The two bright pink lines. It was positive. FUCK.

My heart was raising, my head started spinning and I felt like I was floating outside my body for a moment. Could this really be true? No, it had to be a faulty test. It said on the package that I should take the test in the morning and now it was late evening so that was probably why it had failed. I knew that could happen from time to time so I had bought a backup just in case. I decided to wait until the next morning to take the second test, trying to assure myself it would turn out negative.

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So before I continue the story, let me provide you with some context.

For many years before this I was completely sure I did not want children. They’re cute and everything, but they’re also A LOT of work. I had watched other people I knew having children and not being able to go out and have fun with friends, party, going on spontaneous trips and so on. I wanted to keep my freedom and the thought of giving up 18+ years of my life to raise a child did not make me go wild with excitement in any way. No thank you.

As some of you may remember, I started this blog after becoming single in January last year. My life had just taken a 180 and I wanted to share my thoughts and reflections during this new chapter of my life. At this time I was living my best life, going on dates, meeting new people all the time, hooking up with strangers, partying a lot, and just enjoying life.

Fast forward a couple of months, I met this guy. He was funny and a real weirdo just like myself, so naturally we clicked almost instantly. For many months we were just friends having fun, nothing serious. I planned on keeping it that way, (after all I was enjoying my new single lifestyle) but as time passed by and this guy never really left my apartment, our friendship slowly and dynamically progressed into a relationship. And juuuust as we got to the point of kinda being a couple, the two pink lines appeared. Let’s resume the story:

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The next morning came and I ran into the bathroom to take the test. Almost instantly two pink lines appeared once again. I woke my boyfriend up, (who the day before had gone completely pale and lost for words upon receiving the news) to tell him about the result before rushing of to work. Let’s just say it was far from my most productive day at the office. I spent hours going over the situation a hundred times, calculating how this could have happened.

I was on the pill, but ran out of pills right before going on a holiday in France with my family, and planned on getting new pills as soon as I got home. When I walked into my apartment upon arriving back home my boyfriend had created an incredible romantic setting with candles and rose petals, and had my favorite Beatles song playing in the background. He had even bought me a gift, vegan candy and had made the cutest card. I mean come on, if that doesn’t make you wanna do the dance with no pants I don’t know what will. One time will probably be fine, I mean, what’s the risk?

Turns out having unprotected sex is kinda like taking the bus without buying a ticket. You might be lucky and get a free ride but it can get really fucking expensive if it doesn’t work out as planned.

I had been so sure for such a long time that I didn’t want children. I thought that if I ever got pregnant I most likely would end up getting an abortion. But it felt like something changed in me once the two lines appeared on the second test. A huge change of perspective. Kind of like the universe or my inner voice was telling me that this was a part of the journey of awakening. An important task in my life that I needed to complete. I felt an overwhelming sense of trust in this guiding force and I knew I would be ok. So when my boyfriend decided he was in on this baby thing there was no doubt in my mind. We were doing this.

I’m currently halfway in my pregnancy and now that the big shock is over I’m very excited for the journey ahead. I’m looking forward to see what she (we recently found out it’s most likely a girl) will teach me, as well as teaching her everything about life, love and how beautiful the world can be if you choose to see the positive sides of things. It’s all about perspective.

Stained by Puberty – A Poem

Entering into a world so warm and mild

I remember running around naked as a child

Getting sand in my butt as I played out in the wild

Waving at my parents who waved back while they smiled

I really love and cherish memories like this

They are kept in my heart, never to dismiss

Carefree moments on the beach in pure bliss

Yes those were the summers I’m really gonna miss

It’s a moment in time that I cannot restore

Cause my once pure young body is not pure anymore

Something is not the same as before

I can sense it in my whole being right down to my core

I’m no longer the same in society’s eyes

Cause when puberty blossoms, innocence dies

We can curse and deny it, tell ourselves it’s just lies

But a developing body always comes with a prize

I can see it in the way they look at my frame

I can hear it in the tone that they catcall my name

I can feel it in the way they’re inflicting their shame

That the way I am perceived is no longer the same

Did I consent to this sexualisation

Just by being one of the universe’s many creations?

I don’t want to be viewed through a lense of perversion

To be honest it makes me feel distaste and aversion

It’s like we’re being labeled and trapped in cages

This is our stories and WE should be writing the pages

Our bodies should be free from these projections at all ages

Cause we’re all children of earth, just at different stages

How awesome would it be to be naked one more time

Without it having to be seen as promiscuity or crime

Enjoying the sun on my body – an awesome sensation

Well, maybe in my next reincarnation 👶🏼

– Jeanett Ljostveit

Burning pictures and letting go

Here i sit burning the pictures from my past over a lit candle and feeling a little nostalgic thinking back to those times. But it also feels good to let go of these pictures that no longer represents what they once did. Letting go, of both material things, thoughts, feelings and my need for control has brought me to this moment right now. As I stare at the pictures dissolving and slowly turning to ashes I can feel my body loosen and my mind soften. I feel grateful for this moment, and in awe of what a magical, scary but most of all empowering journey that has brought me here.

I was holding on for so long, afraid to let go because the uncertainty of what the future could hold was too challenging to deal with. “It’s safer to stay in a place that is not too joyful, but at least stable – than to jump on to the train that leads to an uncertain future”.

Letting go of the thing I was clinging to, and jumping on to the train felt terrifying, but also comfortable like taking of a tight shoe after a long day. As the train drove of into the fog I felt certain that no matter what was waiting on the other side, I had made the right choice.

The wise man Ram Dass tells a story about these boxes he has, that contains important papers and pictures from his past. Everytime he moves (which he does a lot) he needs to have an UPS truck move his boxes for him. He never takes anything out of the boxes to look at them, he just adds more stuff, collecting more boxes. At some point Ram Dass realizes that holding on to these items is holding on to the thought that he is going to run out of “now”. Run out of the present. So he decides to burn all the items and let them go.

So this is what I’m sitting here doing. Burning these pictures from the past and realizing that I will never run out of the present. And the present will always be more interesting and important than the past. It’s this very moment right now that holds all the potential and possibilities, and it’s only in this exact moment I exist. The me that existed 5 minutes ago is no longer with us, and the me that will be in 5 minutes has not yet taken form. I can obsess about the past or dream about the future, but that is not where I exist. I do not have the power to change what is done, and I do not control the future. But I can control the now, so that’s where I’ll be.

My gender journey so far

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It has now been around half a year since I came out as non-binary genderqueer, and I feel like it’s time for a little update. I’ve learned a whole lot after I allowed myself to be who I am, without hiding anything or suppressing a part of my identity.

When I first came out as NB I decided to keep my she/her pronouns. I have later discovered that I’m actually just as comfortable with he/him or they/them. I think the reason I chose to hold on to my old pronouns earlier was to not make anyone uncomfortable with having to readjust. This is still something that is important to me, because making other people uncomfortable makes me uncomfortable, which really doesn’t serve anyone. That’s why I decided to let other people choose what pronouns they use for me, because I like all of them. Most people use she/her out of habit, while a few uses they/them, and I’m comfortable with that.

When it comes to other words used to describe me, I have discovered that I’m ok with some of the feminine terms, while others – not so much. Words that describe my relationship to someone in my family, like daughter or sister feels ok to me, while words that directly describes my gender (wrongly), like lady, girl, female or woman I’m not so comfortable with.

Another thing that has changed since I first came out is that I no longer feel a need to prove my gender to anyone through the way I dress or present. In the beginning I was overcompensating for my feminine sides and constantly worrying that people wouldn’t take me seriously if I didn’t present androgynous. Now I am getting more confident in myself and I know that my gender is valid no matter how I’m presenting on any given day, and I do not have to prove myself to anyone. Gender is not so much about how I look as it is about my internal feelings and experiences.

Girls don’t have to wear pink dresses, boys don’t have to be tough as fuck and genderqueer people don’t have to present androgynous to have their gender be valid. To challenge this norm is to move the world forward and expand people’s acceptance of diversity. I know that I’m far from the only person that has another experience of gender than the binary male or female, and I know how important representation of gender diversity has been for me.  I realize that I can be myself fearlessly in all my colors, and at the same time contribute to making other people feel represented, validated and less alone. And that my dear friends, is reason enough to love and be proud of myself. 🌈❤️