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Today, I was prompted to read a blog post called “Types of Women Men Like Better than Me”. From my understanding, the author talks about how modern day media, representing society, sends conflicting messages about what women should be. We are ultimately confused, because we keep seeing women with stereotypically desirable traits telling us, the women without those traits, that it’s okay not to be like them.

In present times, social media makes it that much easier for us to share information and ideas. We should embrace that! In search for what a woman should be, we have access to so much more than just celebrities’ opinions, movies, etc. But why do we keep referencing back to them? Is the media really an accurate portrait of what society thinks as a whole? Are we at the mercy of being defined by the media, or can we demand it to change in order to show the real us?

I completely agree with what the author is saying about the media is confusing. However, the point I want to bring up is, why should we even care about what the media has to say? I think before even questioning about what society, or what MEN want from us, we need to define what we want for ourselves.

I think it’s only confusing/upsetting to want to be “intellectual, independently successful, curvaceous or overweight, unconventional looking, outspoken, aggressive or any other of the traits that women have pretty much historically not been allowed to be” if all those traits are actually not you. It’s not because now that “everyone” is telling you that you CAN be that way, that you must feel obliged to be that way. If that’s the case, how is that different from being told to be skinny, to have huge boobs, to be obedient, etc.? Thing urge to obey to the media must seroiusly stop.

The author says: “I feel anxious and confused and sometimes I don’t know where I belong or how I’m supposed to feel about myself relative to others.” To this, I have to ask the following question: why must we relate ourselves to other women? I fail to see why I should spend time and energy to compare myself to others. What will that help me achieve? The author continues: “Also, you can’t talk about this as a woman. You can’t feel bitter or weird or invalidated and you can’t lash out or blame anyone. If you have moments of insecurity you are committing the sin of poor self-esteem or worse, […]” To this second part, I have to say that I think it’s just downright false. I think, both for men and women, that it’s okay and NEEDED to talk about our insecurities and worries. The key is to find the right person to talk to, a person who will not stop at the diagnosis of your “low self-esteem” and prescribe generic solutions to your problems. If you talk to just about anyone about your insecurities, of course, you’ll end up with a load of generic BS.

That outfit would go great with a personality.

Woman-to-woman advice?

We are somehow always compelled to search externally to help us define who we are. I believe that we seriously need to stop that. After all, the definition of the self is an internal thing. Before even thinking about gender roles or how women must be as a collective, we must be comfortable with what we want for ourselves individually. Fix the internal issues from within! Makes sense, no? (Actually, this is true for both men and women.)

On this note, I have no shame in admitting that I am not compelled to be “A KICKASS AWESOME INSPIRING FEMALE HEROINE”, that I enjoy occasionally being that “semi-attractive Asian girl” that does whatever cute thing, and that I want to get married and have kids. Because despite embodying these stereotypical things that media and men seem to want for women, I am also proudly outspoken, awkward, bold, aggressive, independent, and intellectual. I am all these things, because that’s what I want for myself, because I embrace the fact that all these traits are me.

So, how to be that type of woman that you’ll like? Be yourself.

 

If you are so kind to take a few minutes to leave me a comment, please let me know what it means to you “to be a feminist”. My next musings are probably going to be about that… Thank you!

A smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman's body.

I just wanted to share a quote that made my smile. Happiness = beauty?

It’s.. April! That means it’s that time of the year where I’m back on my own blog. This time, it’s actually not from procrastination during final exams period. It’s because I’m graduating! 2 more weeks and a half, and I’ll be out of university! I really hope to be able to start my career officially with a community manager position, something that I’ve actually done for years without realizing it. So… here’s my take on how to do it with care. Enjoy!

 

HOW TO BE A COMMUNITY MANAGER WHO CARES

The first community manager role I ever took on was when I was 14 years old, running a Japanese boy band fans community on Yahoo Groups. Of course, back then, I had no idea it was called community management. My peers and I shared the same love for that band; my mission was to keep that love alive among us with social media.

Ever since, I’ve been the community manager for many other online communities, both professionally and for fun. I eventually discovered a lot of how-to guides about how to be a good community manager. However, with my experience, there is only one thing I retain in order for me to do the job right. A good community manager is someone who genuinely cares.

Yay! I love this job!

Become Friends with members of your community

The community manager is essentially someone who will proactively want to be friends with everyone else in the community. Think of it from this perspective. When you meet someone new and would like to become friends, what do you do? How do you behave? Trust and friendship are built on frequent, sincere and kind interactions between people. The interactions between a community manager and users should be based on the same principles.

As you identify the most active members of your community, don’t just get to know them in the context of your community. Being there is merely one aspect of theses power users’ lives. Don’t be afraid to be genuine, to get personal and to get to know them in other ways. What else do they like? How else are you and them alike?

Be alert, inspiration is everywhere

Interesting ideas come up when you least expect it sometimes. On top of listening to what your community members are saying, you should also pay attention to your surroundings. Things can come up when you’re commuting, talking to a friend or a colleague, etc.

Keep a notebook on you (or whichever other methods you use to take notes) to be sure not to miss out on these random sparks of inspiration. Some ideas may work out better than others, but it’s by doing it more often that more relevant things will come up for your community. Moreover, by doing so, it will help you add a personal touch on how you connect with your community.

Reassess regularly what it means for you to be a community manager

Sometimes, we lose sight of the enjoyable things of being a community manager. It happens. Being there for your community can become very time consuming; dealing with “trolls” can become frustrating. When certain tasks become tedious, don’t give up! Remind yourself of why you love being a community manager (I do it bi-monthly).

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the things that I love about my community?
  • What is the most memorable comment a community member has ever said?
  • What is the mission of your community? Do you still believe in it?

Lastly, if certain aspects become truly too mentally draining for you, think about setting limits and preventive measures. There are many tools nowadays that can help you plan postings in advance (HootSuite for example, can even be used on your smartphone), and monitor comments more easily (I’ve used Radian6).

You have your role and a community to care for, but also your own life to live! Basically, being a community manager must be done sincerely with your heart, by sharing a portion of who you are and by being attentive. It’s just as if as you were to make new friends!

Befriending Someone

Instead of concentrating on studying for my final exam that is in TWO days (oh, finance, why can’t we be friends!), I have decided to ponder upon how I’ve become close friends with people.

For most good friends I’ve made, there has always been a context, be it in a dance, school, work, whatever environment. Befriending them sort of seemed like such a natural process in those environments, because we share that one common ground, that common interest. (Is it just me, or is it really hard to just become good friends with a friend’s friend?) We meet, we share laughter and conversation, then share more laughter and conversation, to eventually establish that we enjoy each other’s presence. This type of friendship, although pleasant, does not seem to evolve outside of the original context. In other words, although theses friends have great significance in life, it is rare to see them outside the original environment in which we have met and to do other things together.

It is perhaps for the better of society to not permanently perceive me to be insane, but if you do think that I'm insane, it is because I LOVE YOU. :)

However, with a bit of magic (wait – I will explain what I mean by magic), these “contextual” friendships can be carried out of the original environment. At one point, you are so comfortable with a few of these friends that you will start wanting to do things with them outside of that original context. Now here is my question: how to create that magic?

The magic (turning point of an evolving friendship) is what would answer the following questions:
– At which point do you have to urge to want to see people just because you want to see them, and not because you can?
– What pushes you to then take the initiative and create “excuses” to see those people?

So far, this is magic to me, because I can’t explain any of it. Fortunately enough, I have very close friends. I am not just wondering how can I bring many of my other relationships to the next step. So many people matter to me, but it’s not always easy to express it. They say you can count the amount of meaningful friends you have on your 10 fingers. I honestly wouldn’t mind having to start using my toes to count!

Please enlighten me, friends, on how to be a better and more awesome friend to you!

It’s finals season, in other words: what a great time to update my blog! I’m actually pretty inspired to get over final exams quickly and move onto the summer. April is a rough month, but whatever is coming up next is very promising… and I’m sure going to make the fullest out of it.

Starting May 3rd, I will start working on digital marketing at Standard Life. I have become fascinated by social media marketing in the past few months. Blessed with the discovery of Akuntsu, a social media marketing agency based in Montreal, my learning is just beginning! I’ve always had passions driving me through life and have loved to share them with my surroundings. With the growth of social media usage, building communities to promote this sharing of love has become so much easier!

 

My most recent project: Montreal Swing on Facebook

Montreal Swing.

On the note of passion, dance has been increasingly eating up my time! In the most positive way of course. I am addicted!!! I’ve done a few weeks of waacking right now. My body is picking up a completely different groove, and it’s looooving it! Hip hop is next on the list. Have I given up on Lindy Hop? No way! I believe that by experiencing different dances, I am opening up my body and mind to new body movement philosophies and ultimately, improve my lindy hop and my self-confidence on the dance floor. (Learning baladi has definitely helped my lindy hop swivels!) Up to now, I have adored sharing these exciting conversations with different partners on the dance floor. But once left alone, I am immobilized by fear! I want to be able to enjoy grooving to music by myself too!

Waacking battle:

Here’s some events I’ve attended that have inspired me to do more street dances!!! Wahoooo!!!

Popping battle (finals): Unleashed Chaos II

Hip Hop battle (performance): a2

It’s truly been a while since I’ve felt so light hearted. After letting go of many burdens of the past, I feel like I am finally happy again. Happy for no reason! It is such a wonderful feeling to just be able to laugh for no reason when just walking around in the city. Silly but wonderful. When times are dark, it’s so difficult to even imagine this feeling. Thankfully, once you feel this great, you still remember the pain and are able to enjoy every single moment of sunshine.

I would like to thank all those dear friends that have been supportive towards me in the last few months. I am truly blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for making me smile. Thank you for existing. :)

A song that I love and will always love…
This song means so much to me… and it always will….
Nothing but love… is that all we need?

 

I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields, Music by Jimmy McHugh

Now I can’t give you anything but love, ooh baby
That’s the only thing I’ve plenty of, ooh baby
Dream a while
Scheme a while
We’re sure to find, baby, happiness
And I guess
Gee
I’d like to see you looking swell
Baby, baby
Diamond bracelets Woolworth doesn’t sell, my pretty baby.
Till that lucky day, oh your lucky day
You know darn well though, baby
I can’t give you anything but love.

 

One of my favorite versions, interpreted by Django Reinhardt:


I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter,
And make believe it came from you,
I’m gonna write words oh so sweet,
They’re gonna knock me off my feet,
A lot of kisses on the bottom,
I’ll be glad I got ’em!

I’m gonna smile and say “I hope you’re feeling better,”
And close with love the way you do;
I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter,
And make believe it came from you!

Gonna smile and say “I hope you’re feeling better,”
And close with love the way you do;
I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter,
And make believe, make believe, make believe it came from you!

 

I really enjoy Fats Waller‘s (my favorite jazz musician after Ella Fitzgerald!) rendition of I Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter. My friend Alain Wong posted the Youtube link on Facebook, and now it has stirred up many emotions in me. Happiness, nostalgia, sadness, dreaminess, strength…

This song reminds me of the wonderful moments I spent in New Orleans during the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown 2010, bar hopping and listening to the amazing bands performing live jazz. I remember the Palmetto Bug Stompers were playing at the DBA during the Saturday night Pub Crawl, and they sang this song, with a little twist. It made me smile so much when the lyrics were changed to “I’m gonna sit right down and write myself an e-mail.” It gave me this warm feeling of accomplishment, to be sitting there, and witnessing this mix of the past with the present. We, lindy hoppers, are helping to keep vintage music and dance alive. We are preserving history. It makes me very happy to be part of it. I am very honored to be part of it.

Group picture in front of the Riverboat, by the Mississippi River (Photo credits: Alexandre Hétu-Rivard)

 

Lindy hoppers and jazz musicians parading in the streets of the French Quarter, New Orleans

 

Love

Science says:

Lust is the initial passionate sexual desire that promotes mating, and involves the increased release of chemicals such as testosterone andestrogen. These effects rarely last more than a few weeks or months.

Attraction is the more individualized and romantic desire for a specific candidate for mating, which develops out of lust as commitment to an individual mate forms. Recent studies in neuroscience have indicated that as people fall in love, the brain consistently releases a certain set of chemicals, which act in a manner similar to amphetamines, stimulating the brain’s pleasure centerand leading to side effects such as increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement. Research has indicated that this stage generally lasts from one and a half to three years.

Since the lust and attraction stages are both considered temporary, a third stage is needed to account for long-term relationships. Attachment is thebonding that promotes relationships lasting for many years and even decades. Attachment is generally based on commitments such as marriageand children, or on mutual friendship based on things like shared interests. It has been linked to higher levels of the chemicals oxytocin and vasopressin to a greater degree than short-term relationships have. Enzo Emanuele and coworkers reported the protein molecule known as the nerve growth factor (NGF) has high levels when people first fall in love, but these return to previous levels after one year.

– Taken from Wikipedia.org

The Bible says:

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:4

I say:

So what is love? 21 years of life have probably not given me the whole picture yet. I probably might never see the whole pictures. Who knows? I believe there is no real answer to what is love. You know it, when you love. As much madness as this may sound, when you’re in love, nothing makes sense anymore, so that everything makes sense.

All I know is that love is joyful, supportive, present, grand, forgiving, tolerant, enduring, exciting, addictive, strong, bonding, alive, healing, comfortable, soothing, patient, peaceful, passionate… But I also know that love is sometimes painful, blinding, imposing, irrational, unpredictable, heavy, distracting, difficult, confusing…

Have I loved? Yes. I still do everyday. No matter how many times pain will struck, I will love. It is okay. As long as I am able to love, I will be okay. Love yourself, love your family, love your friends, love your peers… and if you are brave enough, love everyone. I am not.

Lust, affection and attachment. All of this put together, is love? Then love does not require one to own, to have, to parade, to name, to expose…

Then it is okay, that love sits quietly and watches. It is okay for it to just exist.

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