Plastic Surgery and Societal Pressures

The 56-year-old award-winning actress and producer, Meg Ryan rose to fame in the early 1980’s as the perennial girl-next-door. Fans are conflicted about her transformation.
When Ryan addressed the audience at the 70th Annual Tony awards on June 12, 2016, the audience didn’t pay attention to her speech about history being made by the African American actors who won awards in all four categories.
As reported by Mama Mia, everybody focused on her appearance instead. Fans pointed out that her trademark pout looked different and her forehead was a whole lot smoother than it used to be.

The conversation isn’t new. Throughout the years, actresses have illicit commentary or criticism in one form or another for appearance. From Uma Thurman to Kim Novak and more recently, Jennifer Lopez and Nicole Kidman.
Many of Ryan’s critics were of the opinion that the changes were unnecessary and that she had taken the procedures ‘too far.’ A fair amount of fans also noted that cosmetic surgery is a personal matter, and Ryan was free to do as she wished.

Regardless where the line is drawn when it comes to public opinion regarding cosmetic surgery, this discussion speaks to a larger ill in our society, writes Mama Mia‘s Kate de Brito.
De Brito sad the entire debate saddens her. Women today find themselves in a ‘society that tells us we need to look a certain way’ to be taken seriously.

“I’ll have what she’s having.” Happy Birthday, #MegRyan! #WhenHarryMetSally

A post shared by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (@mgm_studios) on

De Brito says that society pressures women into changing their appearance all in the name of acceptance. Women aren’t physically forced to alter their appearance, yet, the narratives convince women, especially those in the limelight, that their worth is tied up in their beauty.
This is much more far-reaching than merely applying makeup or spending time achieving the perfect hairstyle.

“But make-up is surely one thing. Surgery and butchering faces and bodies is another.”
Kate De Brito, Mama Mia, June 16, 2016.


A post shared by celebritiesfromallover (@celebmoment14) on

According to Mama Mia, this issue should be the discussed with the same enthusiasm awarded to other gender issues.
Only when these issues are discussed and examined, will society be able to move on from its current state, where women and men are assessed based on appearance.

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Masculinity So Fragile

As seen on Facebook. Re-posted here with Lime Salt Mabasa’s permission.

  • Masculinity so fragile y’all lose your shit when little boys (assumed gender based on physical appearance) wear pink clothes or play with pink toys .
  • Masculinity so fragile my boyfriend started a long ass argument with me in public because I said I want to buy my son a doll .
  • Masculinity so fragile you can’t even hug your friends because you think it takes something away from your manhood .
  • Masculinity so fragile you wouldn’t wear a skirt if your life depended on it because some white dude many many years ago said men should only wear pants .
  • Masculinity is so fragile guys, I think its whiteness’s little brother who has to be reassured that he is important or else he falls apart and collapses into nothingness.
  • Masculinity Is so fucken fragile that dudes can’t even say in public that they love Beyonce .
  • Masculinity so fragile you won’t even get your ass ate out
  • Masculinity so fragile you won’t even cry when you are hurting .
  • Masculinity so fragile you won’t hold your friend’s hand or comfort them or let them comfort you when you need it because apparently men don’t hurt or need to be comforted ..
  • Masculinity so fragile that you are homophobic as shit, you hate gay men because you think they are tryna be women and that squeezes your balls some how . (Not all homophobic people are homophobic because of this, I know a few though)

Check out the comments. Pure gold.

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Do You Want To Save The World?

Maybe you’ve been keeping track of the news, maybe not, but the world has quite a few problems at the moment. I say “a few problems,” but I really want to say, “everything is fucked and we’re all going to die.”

There’s research out there somewhere that show that to live a happy and healthy life, we need to align ourselves with values that are greater than our own pleasure or satisfaction.

So, what are you waiting for?!
Pick a problem or cause you care about and lets start fixing the world.

Don’t know where to start? Here are a few suggestions: (List will be updated so drop a comment with your suggestions.)



tlycs-logoThe Life You Can Save

Their mission is to improve the lives of people living in extreme poverty and to promote the concept of effective giving. It was started by Peter Singer, the Effective Altruism guy (look for him on Ted.) He really does make it easy for you; the info of several charity organizations are all on one site, you can even calculate where and with what organization you can make the biggest impact.
Find them on Facebook 




charity:water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. You can either donate directly, or start a fundraising campaign. Do something crazy to raise funds. Give up your birthday and christmas prezzies and have friends donate instead. Go Wild. Donate to my campaign here: Smudges Of Hope
Or start your own here.
Find them on Facebook



Global Fund for Women

One of the world’s leading foundations for gender equality, standing up for the human rights of women and girls. They campaign for zero violence, economic and political empowerment, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. They fund and partner with women-led groups who are courageously fighting for justice in their own communities.
Find them on Facebook



ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer

ZERO is a national nonprofit organization with the mission to end prostate cancer. ZERO advances research, encourages action, and provides education and support to men and their families. ZERO’s premier programs include the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk, the largest men’s health event series in America.
Find them on Facebook



UNICEF South Africa

Unite for the Children. UNICEF SA promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do, since 1994. Providing practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
Find them on Facebook


You could also:
<3 Become an Organ Donor.
<3 Donate Blood.
<3 Donate Bone Marrow.

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Okay. Something many white people struggle to understand is B-BBEE. (Please, it is B-BBEE, not BEE.) It is more often than not seen as “reverse racism.” It really isn’t as evil as it is made out to be.

I’ll touch on points I’ve read from various articles; links will be added at the end of this post. Please comment on whatever thoughts or info you have.

In a nutshell, “B-BBEE (Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment) is an initiative by the South African government to address historical imbalances of the country by facilitating the participation of black people in the mainstream economy.” [1]

It differs from the narrow-based empowerment act that was in implemented early in our democracy. Narrow-based focused on the empowerment of people in ownership and management positions, whereas B-BEEE’s goal is to distribute wealth across a broader spectrum. (I think maybe most people never moved past this point? They are still confusing B-BBEE with this?)



It is now widely known that the apartheid government systematically excluded people of colour from any significant participation SA’s economy, just like people were excluded from most sectors, including education, basic services, etc.)

Because “the assets of millions of people were directly and indirectly destroyed and access to skills and self-employment was racially restricted. The accumulation process under Apartheid confined the creation of wealth to a racial minority and imposed underdevelopment on black communities. The result is an economic structure that today, in essence, still excludes the vast majority of South Africans. It is crucial to understand the magnitude of what took place in our past in order to understand why we need to act together as a nation to bring about an economic transformation in the interest of all.” [8]

To simplify: Pre ’94, white people had all the jobs. White people had everything. A lot of what was done to benefit white people was to the detriment of people of colour. A lot of what happened back then, still benefits white people today, whether we like to admit it or not. Things like generational wealth, social capital, early childhood development, self-sufficient parents, access to quality education, etc. [4]

So, white people, who make up approximately 9% of SA’s population, had access to everything. They didn’t have to share. Today, we have to share jobs, opportunities, etc., with the majority of the population. And still today, 22 years later, we still want to moan and complain about it. Why?



“White-owned businesses are expected to give up their businesses to a Black partner.”

(Will only touch on this briefly, as my post is aimed at the everyday white person on the street thinking B-BBEE is out to get them.)

The short answer: There are seven elements to the B-BBEE scorecard, and ownership only makes up a small percentage. The elements are:

  1. Ownership – 20%
  2. Management control 10%
  3. Employment equity 10%
  4. Skills development 20%
  5. Preferential procurement 20%
  6. Enterprise development 10%
  7. Residual (sector determined) 10%.
    More info linked below. [9]


“It will take wealth from one group to give another group.”

No. It is a growth strategy, aimed to address inequality in the workplace. Its goal is to expand the economic base of the country and to create employment. That is why the B-BBEE Amendment Act was enacted, and the B-BBEE Commission established to “oversee and monitor the implementation of the act and deal with the contravention and investigate fronting practices, amongst others.” [10]


“Yes but now white people are excluded from getting jobs.”

Again, no, white people are not excluded from the job market, despite what you might read on some right-winger websites. Yes, many white people don’t have jobs. A full 8.3% of the white population. I have a job. Just like 91.7% of the white population. In contrast with that, 39% of black South Africans don’t have jobs either. See the difference? [2] [3]


“I’m a qualified white person and cannot get a job, but an unskilled person will get the job thanks to ‘BEE.'”

*face palm* This is entirely different can of worms that probably deserves its own post…. It’s a fairly common misconception among white people that just because they didn’t get the job, some unskilled, uneducated person got it. Because, you know, there can’t possibly, in a population of 91% people of colour, POSSIBLY, be someone who is qualified and educated to fill the position.

Do you, as a white person, seriously believe that everyone else out there is dumber than you? Doesn’t study as hard, work as hard or learn as quickly as you, JUST because your skin is white? Seriously? If this point resonates with you, then I suggest you do some serious soul-searching as to where this bias came from. Perhaps refer to [5] and [6] for useful info and stats.

Also, assuming the white person who said this, is educated and skilled. I find more often than not, people who use this excuse, aren’t particularly qualified either. If you are qualified for the job, good for you. Still check that bias though. If you aren’t qualified for it, and your only contribution to the world is being white, well then. You have bigger problems, darling. Don’t complain about not getting that Chief Financial Officer post and threaten to leave SA to find work overseas, if you can’t even write a proper application letter, and will more than likely end up working as a bouncer in London.





[7] Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Bill –
[8] The DTI’s BBBEE Strategy –…/dti%20BEE%20STRATEGY.pdf
[9] Business Guide to BBBEE –…/Busin…/StdBank_BEE_Guide.pdf
[10] Broad-Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Act –…/

Useful for practically anything –

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White Fragility

White people, we need to talk about white fragility.

What is it, you ask?


If we have to be honest, we all suffer from this to some extent. Even allies, ESPECIALLY allies, need to check ourselves often, and if a conversation is being derailed by white feelings, bring it back to what really matter.

This check list with four questions to ask yourself during a debate/converstation, might be useful, but feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.

1. Am I trying to change the subject? (More often than not by using terms like: “Arguing on Facebook is pointless.” or “ALL lives matter!” or “Why are we talking about this when we’ve got ___ to worry about?!”)

2. Am I using inappropriate humor to deflect? (We’ve all seen the variations of the Black Lives Matter memes.)

3. Am I getting defensive or angry? (It’s understandable, hearing that you’re part of the problem will hurt. We are conditioned to believe that problems are always another race’s fault. See it for what it is.)

4. Am I going out of my way not to focus on “the negative?” (It might sound awesome to focus on the positive, and let love lead and all that wholesome goodness. But. Don’t minimize black pain and anger.

Further reading:

  • (PDF)
  • Perhaps even join the Rainbow Racist Rehab Group on Facebook.
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Rape Culture,#NakedProtest, #WhenIWas

Note: This is a mad jumble of thoughts. I needed to vent. It might be a bit of mess.


Last week I wrote a rough draft about the #WhenIWas hashtag I found on Twitter.The tweets moved me, shocked me, angered me. I ventured, ever so carefully, into the Twitter waters with my own When I Was account, and within 2 minutes had men questioning me. But that is not what this post is about. It’s bigger than that.

About the same time, I stumbled upon an anonymous letter, written by a survivor of sexual assault (scroll down to read.)

And of course, the Rhodes Protests happened, the #RUReferenceList, the shock and horror and how dare women actually stand up and protest for their right to safety.

(EDIT: And then, as if it wasn’t enough for one week already, Cell C’s CEO dropped his Bitch Switch comment. Read more about that here and here. The Twitter Backlash. An Open Letter to the CEO.)

I was not going to write about any of this, but I’m just tired. I’m so fucking tired.

Tired of seeing all the negativity surrounding the protest, the injustice of the List itself, having to explain why I support the protests (in spirit, if not in flesh.) I’m tired of all the tone policing, and above all, the people who actually try to justify why rapists rape.

You know, that thing we call Rape Culture? It’s not myth. Just because you don’t experience something personally, doesn’t mean that it is not happening to someone else.

Rhodes & Rape Culture:

So, before we dive into the tweets, and the letter and the stuff I actually tried writing about earlier this week, let’s get this out of the way first.

  1. You can read about the Rhodes Protest here and here, also here, here and here. And many more places too. Here is very good account of somebody who joined the protests.
  2. Before we go any further, acknowledge that Rape Culture exists. It’s not a made up phrase to make men look bad or to make it seem like rape is something that happens far more often than it actually does. It’s evident when:
    • women are told “You dressed like that/you are beautiful, what did you expect?”
    • women are told “You are ugly/fat/unfuckable, be glad you got the attention.”
    • women are told “Do you really want to go through with this? You’ll ruin his reputation.”
    • men are told “Real mean can’t be raped.” Or told they’re pussies for allowing it.

It’s rape jokes, those who tell them and those who defend them. It’s victim blaming/shaming (the examples above,) it’s sexual objectification and slut shaming and a whole heap of other stuff I don’t want to get into now. It’s everything listed here.

Newsflash, people! This is not right! It’s not a joke! This is serious! This is not how we are supposed to live! And then people want to know why we are angry. No, it’s not PMS. It’s anger. We are fucking angry, we’ve had enough.


How is it, that in 2016, we are still protesting about it? We are still facing discrimination. Why are students arrested when they protest again rape (yes, arrested) while rapists get off scot-free?


Everyday Sexism, a twitter account dedicated to “documenting experiences of sexism, harassment and assault to show how bad the problem is” started the #WhenIWas Hashtag. Go read the tweets, some of them harrowing. Mind the trolls, though.













Open Letters That Matter:

This article was written by an anonymous writer and submitted to OLTM

If you’re an artist/poet/writer or you have an inspiring story to share, email or message Open Letters That Matter

When I was six years old, I gave my first blowjob.
“It’s a game”, said He. “Don’t you want to play?”
It was too big, and I threw up on him.
He said I’d do better the next time.

When I was seven years old, I watched a group of fellow second graders cheer as a boy in my class tried to kiss me. He hugged me from behind, giggling all the while.
I threw sand in his eyes, and was sent to the Principal.

When I was eight years old, I had an elderly teacher ask me to stay behind in class. He carried me on his shoulders, and called me pretty.
“Teacher’s Pet!” my friends declared, the envy visible on their faces.
They ignored me at lunch that day.

When I was nine years old, an older girl on the school bus would ask me to lift my skirt up for her. She was pretty and kind, and told me that I could only be her friend if I did what she said.
I wanted to be her friend.

When I was ten years old, a relative demanded that he get a kiss on the cheek every time we met. He was large and loud, and I proceeded to hide under my bed whenever I learnt that he was visiting.
I was known as a rude child.

When I was eleven, my auto-man told me that we would only leave if I gave him a hug every day.
He smelled like cheap soap and cigarettes.

When I was twelve years old, I watched as a man on the street touched my mother’s breast as he passed us. She slapped him amidst the shouts of onlookers telling her to calm down.
She didn’t calm down.

When I was thirteen years old, I exited a restaurant only to see a man visibly m*sturb*ting as he walked towards me. As he passed, he winked lasciviously.
My friends and I shifted our gazes down, aghast.

When I was fourteen, a young man in an expensive car followed me home as I walked back from an evening class. I ignored his offer to give me a ride, and I panicked when he got out, only to buy me a box of chocolate that I refused. He parked at the end of my road, and didn’t go away for an hour.
“It turns me on to see you so scared.”

When I was fifteen, I was groped on a bus. It was with a heart full of shame that I confided in a friend, only to be met with his anger and disappointment that I had not shouted at the molester at the time when it happened. My soft protests of being afraid and alone were drowned out as he berated my inaction. To him, my passiveness and silence were the reasons why things like this continue to happen.
He did not wait for my response.

When I was sixteen, I discovered that Facebook had a section of inbox messages named ‘others’, which contained those mails received from strangers, automatically stored as spam. Curious, I opened it to find numerous messages from men I had never seen before. I was propositioned, called s*xy, asked for n*des, and insulted.
Delete message.

When I was seventeen, I called for help as a drunken man tried to s*xually harass me in a crowded street.
The people around me seemed to walk by quicker.

At eighteen, I was told that sexism doesn’t exist in modern society.
I was told that harassment couldn’t be as bad as us women make it out to be.
That I should watch what I wear.
Never mind you were six, never mind you were wearing pink pyjamas.
That I should be louder.
But not too loud, a lady must be polite.
That I should always ask for help.
But stop overreacting, there’s a difference.
That I should stay in at night, because it isn’t safe.
You can’t get harassed in broad daylight.
That I should always travel with no less than two boys with me.
You need to be protected.

That it can’t be that hard to be a girl.

I am now nineteen years old.
I am now tired.


I’m done. We need change.


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Uber-like Service For Women Only, Launching 19th April

Uber might have to take the backseat, so to speak. Chariot for Women is new a ride-sharing service set to launch April 19 throughout the United States. Chariot’s Founder, Michael Pelletz, had the idea for a women-only service while he was employed as an Uber driver. He encountered a disoriented, aggressive customer  who made him feel unsafe. He pulled over at the nearest Police station, thinking “What if I was a woman? How would a woman handle that situation, especially when I was so nervous myself?” Thus, on February 9th 2016, Chariot for Women was born.

Chariot (name change coming soon) claims to be a safer option than its competitors, because all drivers will be women, and the service would pick up children under 13 regardless of gender, as well as transwomen. Whether Chariots for Women will survive the onslaught of hate it’s receiving, and legal gender discrimination issues, is yet to be seen.

Keep in mind that during the late 1990’s, the Massachusetts state legislature created an exception in gender discrimination law for women-only fitness facilities. One could argue that ride-sharing services are even more dangerous for women, especially since the number of sexual assault claims raised against Uber drivers is very shocking:



Before anyone says women are also capable of violence, we know that. Chariot has the necessary safety precautions in place.  A thorough background check will be done on all drivers. As with the Uber system, passengers will also see a picture of her driver, as well as the trip details (make of vehicle, license plate number, etc.) Extra safety steps includes a code sent to the passenger. If the driver knows your code, then no worries. If the driver doesn’t know the code, the passenger will know not to get in the car. The app has adapted the model of real-time GPS tracing and maps, so passengers will know exactly when their Chariot will arrive, rather than standing on a corner waiting for a taxi.

Plus, 2 percent of every fare will be donated to women-focused charities. These include, but are not limited to, foundations that are trying to cure diseases, end violence and abuse, and help empower women. A list of 10 charities will be made available every month, as chosen by customers, and while a passenger is in the car, a pop up will display the 10 options.

Despite all of the good, there are a lot of hate too. Haters are gonna hate, potatoes are gonna potato. Here are some of the gems (good and bad) collected from Twitter:


(A quick look at Superius777’s profile and you’ll see a homophobe, islamaphobe, racist Trump supporter. So nothing really newsworthy there.)

Don’t forget the sub Reddit, too…


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