December.

Yes. YES.

It is December And I AM HERE FOR IT!
It’s been a while since I was this excited about December and Christmas. I don’t know what it is, but I can’t wait for colder weather, wooly hats, cinnamon scented candles, and Christmas shopping.
And today it’s only three weeks until Dennis and I are going “home” to Sweden to celebrate the beloved holiday.

So the next couple of weeks will be a mix of sorting out gifts, plan festive outfits, have mulled wine at the pub, pray for colder weather, and slowly go through my advent calendars.
Tomorrow (today? I just remembered it’s past 00) I will go up early, drink tea, watch the Swedish Christmas calendar and, finally, put on my Christmas playlist on Spotify. YES.

Who else is excited for the most beautiful time of the year? edit2

Tylösand Hotel for Scan Magazine

I have, quite recently, started freelancing for Scan Magazine.
Scan Magazine is a magazine that covers Scandinavian products, events, and profiles, and then share it with the world.

My job is to interview in Swedish and then write an article in English. Hello dream!

My first article was for the September Spa Issue where I wrote about Tylösand Hotel, owned by Per Gessle (frontman of Roxette). All I can say is that I really want to visit, and I think you will want too after reading my article.
Check it out on page 26!

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Picture by Pamela Hanné

“You look great! Have you lost weight?”

It happened again, and this time I have to write it down.

I have been told, on numerous occasions, that I look great.
Lovely, I know. But, it is always followed by, “have you lost weight”, “you look slim”, or, “your face look thinner”. However, I know that I, on all of these occasions, haven’t lost any weight.
Can’t people just understand that I am hot and look great when they see me?

Hot or healthy, doesn’t have to be skinny or thin. People can look great just being themselves! We have to stop associate weight loss with good looks, and we need to start giving compliments without mentioning the other person’s weight. There is so much more to a person’s beauty than the amount of fat or muscles on their bodies, and these “compliments” are triggering.

I am glad that I am confident enough to not feel bad about it. I usually reply, “well I haven’t”, and they usually reply, “but I can tell”, and I say “well then it’s because of stress, which is not a healthy weight loss” (even though I know I haven’t lost any bloody weight). I try to call it out, to say that it’s because I feel well, or even that I have gained weight, because this needs to stop. The person that you “compliment” might have an eating disorder (which comes in EVERY shape and size), and your comment might start something they are trying to fight.
You can instead compliment someones skin, choice of dress, or confidence.

I am hot, and it’s not because of my weight.
But far from everyone are in this state of mind.

So stop commenting on people´s weight, unless they’ve explicitly asked for it. And, maybe even then, don’t?

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X-MAG

There’s is a lot of exciting things going on at the moment. One of my projects this term is to create a magazine, and we are creating a magazine about sex. Our team is trying to create a safe space for conversation about sex and everything around it. Everything from erotica, to porn, to asexuality and swingers and we want to do it in a inviting, body positive and inclusive way. Please join our conversation!

We have just launched our Instagram and I cannot wait to show you the rest. Check us out at: x-mxgazine at Instagram, you wont regret it.
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International Women’s Day

Today is a beautiful day. Not because of the flowers we are receiving, not because of the congrats, not because of the pink beer or the whiskey in a dress, and certainly not because of the hate.
Today is a beautiful day, because once every year, on the 8th of March, women remind men, and each other, that we are important. That we are strong, that we will continue to fight for issues that we live with and we will do that for all women around, for the women without a voice, for the women unsure what to think. We will continue to raise these questions until everyone is listening, until every Harvey has fallen, until an act of goodness will just be that, and not a heroic sacrifice for the greater good.

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It has been a big year. Huge. The TIME person of the year was WOMEN, Silence Breakers, standing up against the power that has been crushing them, women who finally spoke of the secret (not so secret) events that has been going on, since always.
We have been wearing black, we have been wearing roses, we have marched, and we have been writing. And writing. And writing. We have shared our stories, #metoo, and we have been heard. But we will keep writing. We will continue to write until we will wake up to a world without having to fight for respect, for a chance, for equality.
Let’s make this year even bigger.

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TIME’S UP, she screamed high over the roof tops, over the patriarchy, over the masses, over the unwilling. But ,most importantly, she screamed towards her sisters, standing united, finally, together. TIME’S UP.

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This embroidery is made by my fantastic friend Cornelia (I’ll tag her on Instagram) and I am so grateful that she let me use her stunning art work for this piece. Thank you hun.

A Portrait

Last year my friend Andrea made a documentary about me for her university course. She studies film and art in Brighton and honoured me with documenting on my life as a writer, a student and a feminist.
It is so weird to hear and see myself on film. I will never get used to my voice.

Around 3.20 into the film I talk about how we were creating a magazine for university, but this project has been closed down. I decided to keep that bit in the film though, because when I talk about the magazine that I was going to be a part of, I talk about stuff that I am passionate about and topics I still want to share with the world. My original magazine is no more, but the issues that we were going to rise are still around.
I am creating another magazine now, but more about that later…

Andrea is a great filmmaker and I felt comfortable in front of her camera. She asks good questions and are interested in the person she is covering.
I feel a bit (read a lot) self conscious, but she did such a good job that I want to share this here.

Selfie worth.

My dear friend Aziza wrote the other day about her view on selfies and how her phone album is full with self loving, weird angled selfies. Because she doesn’t care anymore. She is happy with how she sees herself, how she can portrait herself, and she is extremely good at it. I am glad that I have reached that point myself, although I’m not quite as confident. But still, I have come a long way and don’t mind other people taking my picture.
But where did this selfie obsession start? Social media and the pressure to post pictures of ourselves have gone above crazy and I know it too well myself. If I post a really clever picture of a book I have read, or a magazine, or my coffee cup, I don’t even get half the amount of likes as I do when I post a selfie. Isn’t it weird? Still, I do like the numbers under the post and I do check my notifications more often after posting a selfie. I am in the middle of it, I really am.
In the latest issue of Womankind – The skill of happiness there is an article written by Antonia Case called ‘No self in the age of selfies’ where it says, “What was the first selfie? You scroll backwards in time, through 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, and further still, until you come to a pause, a gap – almost like birth – and behold a photograph of a rose tree.”
The author talk about ego and how it is the ego that’s at the ready to be either wounded or gratified. It is fascinating.
Sometime over time how we looked on social media started triumphing our presence in real life. And this with selfies in focus.
So what about the people who doesn’t like their own self? Or, more likely, their own selfie? What happens with the people that avoid those pictures, the camera, that angle that they hate? Do their non-existing presence in social media define their self worth, and if it does, is it higher or lower than mine, a selfie obsessed social media user?
Which ego is most wounded and which ego is most gratified?

Aziza’s blog post

Womankind Magazine 

Both worth a read. I fell in love with Womankind Magazine and will continue to write comment pieces on it.

 

Winter Olympics 2018

Friday the 9th of February kicked off this years Olympic games and I am excited.

I have always loved the Olympics, both in Winter and Summer, we even have our own little Olympic fire at home that we light and keep lit during the games. My family are very into every sport there is and usually sit in the sofa helping the athletes towards their goal. Helping = pretending we have poles and push with them through the air.
Man that was hard to write in English, we have much better words for that pretend activity in Swedish…

Today was the first day of competition and the first sport to finish was the Women’s Cross Country Skiathlon. It is 15 kilometers of skiing, and the first winner of the 2018 Olympic games was SWEDISH! Charlotte Kalla (who I have actually met and I don’t think I have ever been more starstruck than that time) led most of the race and won with 7 seconds down to Marit Bjorgen. It was a great race and Kalla was so happy after crossing that finish line!
The Norwegian favourite is up for winning most medals ever (men and women) during her Olympic games which is crazy impressive, so winning against her must have felt good!

I am positive to this Olympic games even though it will start very early here in the UK, but Sweden do have chance to more medals and I will try to watch as much as possible.

Go sport and go the Olympic games and GO SWEDEN! (Sorry GB, I am yellow and blue.)

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Not with a fizzle, but with a… baby?

We are expected to grow up, find the love of our life, marry this someone and have a family. But is family life really for everyone?

Everywhere women are asked “when will you have kids”, but the answer no seems to be unacceptable.

A woman who says that she doesn’t want kids are more often than not told “You´ll change your mind”, or “You will want kids when you find the right man”. Women are faced with constant pressure of giving birth, but they are also starting to get sick of it.

I can feel how the discussion is getting heated. Many, like myself, understand why people choose not to have children, others, also like me, are not sure if they want to reproduce either. Then there’s the ones saying that they definitely don’t want kids, and others who strongly argue that this is wrong. Why do people have such strong opinions about the topic and see this as an issue?

Andrea Cubells, 21, says “Many times they just stare at me like “Really? Why? As if I had just said something extremely shocking, and I guess that for some people it is.”

She continues, “As bad as it may sound for some people, I think that having kids would have a rather negative and stressful impact on my life, which I would like to avoid.

Andrea, who is a Moving Image student in Brighton, has been a babysitter for many years and says that she enjoys having kids around, but at the end of the day she wants to “go back to my normal and quiet space. You can’t leave if the children are your own.”

In times like these when life goes faster than ever, we are still stuck in the old opinions of what is important in life – to start a family. Andrea says, “Nowadays things take longer to achieve, there is so much to do and so much competition. Having children would destroy that. I like the freedom and independence.”

Although a lot is still the same, Millennials are having a more open discussion about this taboo and the subject has become slightly easier to talk about.

“We can talk about it now. When I was little it was only weird if a grown woman didn’t have children, but now we are starting to accept it.” Andrea says.

The average British woman gives birth to 1.81 children in her lifetime. This has decreased with 0.04 since 2013 when the statistic showed 1.85 children per woman (ONS).

It seems like the safest way to stay childfree is to go through a sterilisation which has proven to be more than 99% effective (NHS). But, it is very hard to get a green light on a sterilisation before the age of 30. This is due to surgeons wanting to make sure the woman doesn’t change her mind since a sterilisation is very hard to undo.

Women who don’t want children face arguments and have to explain their decision all the time, but do men go through the same thing?

Alexander Naumovich ,22, is studying film in Paris and says that he doesn’t want kids.

“Kids would be in the way for what I want to achieve in life. Also, they are annoying.”

When asked if he thinks that women and men are told the same things when asked about reproduction he says, “I feel like sex roles are getting more loose every day, so it’s probably not as bad as 10 years ago. But I’m sure women hear it more often.”

Sandra Partanen, 22, is also one of the millennials who says no to having children.

“I don’t feel the need to make sure my family genes stay alive. If I, at some point, would want kids, I would adopt. There are too many unwanted children born into this world.”

And to the people saying “You will regret this”, many women are sure of what they want and who they are.

Isabelle Foi-z is a bachelor student from Montreal. She has never had any plans of having children and stands firm at the age of 47.

“I am my own project”, she says.

My conversation with Isabelle is one of the best ones I’ve ever had. When I talk about how Millennials are not taken seriously she frowns and says “I know so many inspirational, passionate 20 year olds, I talk to them every day at university! And they all have something to contribute with. It’s an exciting future.”

Isabelle’s decision to not have children has affected her life very recently, “I was broken up with a couple of months ago because I don’t want to have children. So this is very much my life.”

When asked why she doesn’t want to have children she simply says, “I have no interest. Honestly, it’s lack of interest. It’s like I don’t want to become a veterinarian; I neither want to become a mother.”

Isabelle is actively trying to “debunk motherhood” and says, “we have to keep telling the world that we are fulfilled.”

Living an alternative lifestyle is often questioned, but I do believe that we are starting to open up about what is not the norm, and in this way we can make this into the non-issue it should be.