author: Lauren Elizabeth, long read, Personal Essay

In Defense of Single Women

If, like me, you’re a millennial between your mid-twenties and mid-thirties, it might feel like everyone is pairing off. And while your rational, independent, feminist core knows that the timeline to couple up and settle down is simply a societal construction rooted in outdated patriarchal standards, maybe a part of you feels like you are doing something wrong.

Today’s social media overshare certainly perpetuates these worries. Amongst my urban millennial cohort in America, engagements are being announced in what seems like a domino effect. The American half of my Facebook feed wants to plant a time bomb in the back of my head for an idea I don’t actually agree with. (Or maybe it’s simply turning 28, where I can say I’m officially ‘approaching thirty’). Continue reading

Advertisements
Standard
Author: Sarah L, boshemia magazine, Personal Essay

Growing Up Poor

I grew up very poor.

Saying that feels like ‘coming out’ as poor. It’s a hard thing to admit, and an even harder thing to own. It’s only really been in the past couple of years that I have fully recognised and accepted my identity as ‘working class’, and being ‘from a poor family’. Every time I talk about growing up poor I feel horrendously guilty and ungrateful, as though I am insulting and criticising my parents by acknowledging it—but that’s part of the whole problem.

fam sepia

Continue reading

Standard
boshemia magazine, mental health, Personal Essay

A Love Letter to Antidepressants

by Georgia White. This piece appears in Boshemia Magazine: BODIES. 

At the Museum Brandhorst in Munich there’s an art installation, comprised of rows of shelves two metres tall and nearly nine metres long. Sitting on the shelves are hundreds of small multi coloured objects, varying slightly in size. I thought, at first glance, that they were miniature painted cars. The installation is actually one of a series of cabinets by Damien Hirst; the work is entitled In This Terrible Moment We Are All Victims of an Environment That Refuses to Acknowledge the Soul. The objects are pills.

Continue reading

Standard
Author: Sarah L, beauty, bodies, boshemia magazine, Boshemia Staff, Personal Essay

A Pilgrimage to Self Love

This piece originally appeared in Boshemia Magazine Issue 03: Bodies.

It has been a long pilgrimage to a place of self-love. I can see the summit, yet I have not fully and truly arrived.

I have learned to love the steep, wide slopes of my hips, and the soft rotundity of my tum—the droop of my breasts, nodding earthwards as though in reverence; my thick white marble thighs. Continue reading

Standard
author: ropa, interview, Personal Essay

The ‘Incomplete’ Family: A Short Symposium

Boshemia columnist Ropa is in conversation with her two housemates about their experiences of growing up in single-parent households.

Isabel sips her hot chocolate while Diana eats toast.

‘Are you gonna use our names in it then?’ Diana asks.

‘I’ll use different names.’ I reassure her.

I place the recorder in the middle of us and the comfortable atmosphere morphs into an anxious silence. Isabel puts down her hot chocolate. She squirms in her seat, cheeks flushing. Diana becomes stern, her features fixating into still positions. I’ve known these girls and lived with them for three years now, but as soon as I put the recorder down a wall is built between me and them. As common as this is in modern society, its effects on us personally are something we rarely discuss as adults. Isabel makes a joke to lighten the awkward tension. She was always one to keep the room pleased. Continue reading

Standard
author: alex n, mental health, Personal Essay

Sometimes, I Don’t Feel Anything

cw; mental health, depression

Two paper bags on my floor, several errant socks and a pile of clothes at the end of the bed (and spilling out of the washing basket). Dinner was a prepacked sandwich and two bars of chocolate. I think it’s been over a month since I called home. It’s been worse than this. At least this I could clean up in half an hour, or less. No mounds of orange plastic bags or infestations of flies. Chemical air freshener over the smell of rot. Not this time, at least.

No one knows how bad it got. I can’t find a way to talk about it that makes sense, and the words come out like I’m spitting wet hair. I’ve deleted and rewritten these sentences several times already because I feel like I’m admitting a terrible a secret, that people will view me differently. That they will see me as something wrong. Or that my words will be trite, because they add nothing to the conversation. My intention isn’t to be dramatic, or imply that I’m unique in how I feel. Just to articulate something difficult.

Continue reading

Standard
art, guest writer, Personal Essay, photography

Nudity Redefined // Feminism and the Male Gaze in the Nude Portrait

by Selina Macias (@afrogyps). Photography by Victoria Dewey (@tori_ventures). 

Patriarchal ideology has long defined how we perceive feminine nudity, modesty, and sensuality. Through this male gaze, the nude self-image of women becomes distorted and controlled, and traditional masculine interpretations of modesty become a means of restraining the female body. American poet and feminist Adrienne Rich declared that feminism ultimately implies the awareness of this distortion of male-created ideologies and how women think and act out of that recognition; in Rich’s view, feminism is an attempt to reassert female perspective to counter male-dominated ideologies. With this philosophy, I decided to redefine nudity for myself with a feminist approach, through portraits.

When I approached photographer and friend, Victoria, to do a nude photoshoot with me, I wanted to use this opportunity of expression to experiment with how I have come to understand nudity for myself,  outside of the negative connotation society has latched onto it. Nudity is not the obscene, cry for attention that many perceive it to be but rather an act of bravery in being able to showcase oneself proudly, candidly, and vulnerably before those who do not wish to explore its various dimensions.

It is common cultural practice that women are held to a higher moral caliber than men; thus when women threaten the virtuous guidelines in which they are inexplicably incarceratedlike adherence to monogamy, modesty, and submissionthey are often chastised. Notice that these judgments all derive from the objective discomfort with female sexuality. It is not fair to take the primary, divine aspect that inevitably emulates from women, and use it as a form of repression to assert control.

“I think if you criticize someone’s right to express themselves however feels comfortablebe it modesty or vulnerable expressionthen you are most likely projecting some sort of personal insecurity or a mindset that is not about acceptance and inclusivity,” Victoria explains. Nudity celebrates the physical and emotional bearance of a person. It indicates where they are and how they look and feel in that moment. In these pictures, I view my body as a serene, humble haven over my soul radiating in raw, imperfect glory.  

Under Para. 3

photographs by Victoria Dewey

If we really want to talk about functioning outside patriarchal ideologies, I daresay that a sense of modesty emits from nudity. “The human form is incredibly versatile, and for as much as conservative society tends to romanticize the notion of modesty, especially for women, I generally find nudity to be the purest representation of emotional vulnerability there is and I’m highly sceptical of anyone who views nudity as strictly taboo/inappropriate,” Victoria asserts. For millennia, religious and political institutions have utilized the term in a manner that has almost exclusively targets women. The idea implies showing less skin to prevent arousal of bystanders (men). In the twenty-first century though, it is time to alleviate this word from this stifling interpretation.

Modesty is not merely a state of dress or undress, but about yielding oneself to others. Submitting oneself to the refinement of their craft to inform to the best of their ability is a kind of modesty. Presenting oneself uncovered, undefined, and unapologetically is also modesty. These facets represent interpretations of modesty and nudity. Both concepts are intertwined with the intention to offer the self without boundaries, essentially, fostering connection from human to another.

I fully acknowledge that there is certainly a way to do everything with social grace. I am not condoning girls to take off their clothes, pucker their lips, poke out their chest and claim that to be art, nor do I berate those who choose to portray themselves that way. I am saying that however a woman decides to express herself, sensuality will inevitably radiate. It is an irrepressible, alluring power that diffuses from our spirits and we should not be reprimanded for its eminence in our expression.

Under Para. 4

Standard