The truth is: fitness bods, big booties and thick thighs are now in, and they’re just as much a fad as being skinny once was.

People just conform to the changing norms so easily. I have a friend who once used to dream of losing weight and be skinnier than she already was. Now she wants to gain weight, gain a booty and be a fit chick.

Is there anything wrong with that? No, it’s even healthier, in my opinion, and I wish her the best. 

But seeing how easily people are influenced by the ongoing global trends and the media is a little scary…


Missing Migrants of Nepal

Sujen Man Maharjan

Thousands of families and relatives of the missing persons all over the world continue to wait for their loved ones who have disappeared in course of armed conflict, disasters, migration or other events. They continue to live in ambiguity due to lack of accurate information. The ambiguous loss is one of the most painful, difficult loss to deal with as it is unclear and without closure.

IMG_4415Having worked with families of missing persons (during armed conflict: 1996-2006) in a comprehensive psychosocial program supported by International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), I am thoughtful even more on this day about them and both their suffering and strength of facing such adversity. Nepal government has been trying to address the issues of families of missing in conflict through the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) while there has been little efforts made in search for missing migrants and helping…

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My mother

My mother is beautiful. 

She is intelligent, practical, wise, and funny. 

More than that, she is so full of love and care. 

That’s my mother. 
My mother has grown up with her fair share of worries and troubles, and she continues to age with them. The things she has done for us, I cannot even begin to explain. The things she has had to go through, I cannot even begin to understand. 

She doesn’t know how much I appreciate her and how much I love her; yes, she has her flaws as well. 

The way I am now, it is mostly due to her. She has spoilt me and she has pampered with, and I am this strong, stubborn woman today because of the way she has raised me. Unlike the typical Asian parent in my community, she has never spoken of marrying me off, never given me lesser than what she has given my brother. Every share my brother gets, I get equal (even more because I’m younger). She cares about my health, well-being, education, my career, moreso than herself and what she wants. Yes, she complains and is unreasonable sometimes, but I know she’d not do it any other way. 

The way I care for the people I love is the way she cares for those she loves. “Your life is more important than being late to an event,” she’ll tell me when we’re hurrying to cross the road. Even if I’m about to be late for an exam, she tells me the same thing. She gives me the littlest things I like without my asking – chocolates, Coke, French fries, chicken, and whatever not. Gosh, she cares for us so much. She fears my brother’s childhood asthma will come back, and worries over his coughing.

The amount of love, care and dedication she has only makes her truly what a parent has been, is, and should continue to be for their children. 

The sacrifice she’s made, the opportunities she’s missed, she makes me wonder how far she’d have gone had it not been for the way of the world – a woman to become only a wife and a mother. The hardships she has faced, she is so unselfish in not wanting me to face the same. 

My dear mother, you cannot fathom my love and appreciation for you. I only hope to start earning so that I can shower you with gifts and money you deserve, so that I can take you away to a place where you’re happy,  and you can be yourself and not have to worry. 

I love you. And one day, you’ll truly get all the love and care you deserve. Happy mother’s  day. 
[Sorry for this unstructured post; it’s just a flow of feelings.]

Split: Movie Review 

[Spoilers ahead.]

I just watched Split yesterday. I had been meaning to watch it when the trailers first came out, seeing as it involved a patient with dissociative identity disorder and I was an enthusiastic psychology student. I had read people’s opinions on the movie, that expressed their dislike for it, saying that the movie portrayed individuals with psychological illnesses in a bad light. That had me a bit wary of the movie, but I must say, when I watched it, I didn’t have that opinion. 

Now this movie, by M Night Shyamalan, casts James McAvoy as a man suffering from DID, who kidnaps three young girls for a purpose. He has 23 known split personalities, but there are rumors that there is one hidden one, the most powerful of them all. 

I have to say, I was completely taken by this movie. The suspense remained at a crucial level, and at one point in the climax, I was gripping my boyfriend’s leg so tight, pleading for the characters to do something. 

I was able to pick up a few things by myself, foreseeing one of the male figures of the Casey to be a sexual predator, the end toward the end where she faces the Beast that seemed similar to the time back when she as a young child aimed a shotgun at her uncle. Also, when lovely Dr. Fletcher reminded Dennis that she can bring Kevin to the light by just saying his full name, it was clear how that would play a role in the climax. 

So DID itself is a very interesting topic. Studies have shown that the different personalities of people with DID do have differences that set them apart, making it impossible to all be just an act. This movie showed that partly, talking about how one personality needed insulin shots and another had specific allergies. 

Far from portraying individuals with DID in a negative light, it just took a creative spin, conjuring an alternate dimension where one personality would have access to its full power (reminiscent of the poor movie, Lucy). It showed good characters from bad, only 3 out of 23 personalities were slightly negative, and the rest sought help from Dr. Fletcher. Kevin, upon finding out what his personality had done, even asked Casey to kill him before the other personalities took over. 

I also enjoyed the scene where young Hedwig kisses Casey and informs her that she might be pregnant. It was innocent and cute. The way Dennis moves to become Patricia, all wonderful acts done by James McAvoy, who had just been young Charles Xavier to me before. 

Truly, this was a movie done by Mr. M Night Shyamalan, the way it was carried out. The twist at the end, how the climax stopped so abruptly but yet not in an awful manner.

Until I read the plot online again (as I always do  after watching movies to see if there’s anything I missed out), I was under the mistaken impression that purity referred to one’s sexual “status”, to put it so weirdly. Only later did I find out it was referring to suffering, when the Beast looked upon her old scars on her body. 
I was hoping that the world would not think of Kevin as a bad man. 

I loved this movie, although I do think that when Casey smacked Patricia in the head with the chair, she shouldn’t have stopped till Patricia stopped moving, and then knifed her with the butter knife. A bit horrid, but if you’re in a captive situation, make sure they can’t come back for you, or it’s just a waste of effort. 

KR rating: 4/5

We blossomed in her womb

“Woman does not emerge from a man’s ribs, not ever,

it’s he who emerges from her womb.”

– Nizab Qabbani in ‘I have no power’

On this international woman’s day, we should celebrate every woman, regardless of their age, gender, sexuality, race, class or even their sex.

Recognize today that we stand equal in actuality, only lesser in society. We are just as important as men, just as strong as them. Today, we look at women for all they’ve given us. Today, we reaffirm their importance.
Far too long, women have been in the shadow of men, their achievements taken by men. They have to face several crime risks from even before their births till the day the die.
We are growing, and we will continue to do so. We have been good, now we will be better.
Happy international woman’s day.

Psychological and Physical Effects Of Sex Trafficking On Its Victims

Psychology Of Crime In The News

Natasha was 19-years-old when she was approached by a woman while shopping at the mall. The woman told her she loved her makeup and had been looking for someone to join their makeup team. They did makeup for movies and fashion shows. She told Natasha she thought she would be perfect for the job and gave Natasha her business card in case she was interested. The offer seemed legitimate to Natasha and after a phone interview, filling out some paperwork, and a makeup test she was asked to meet the woman and the woman’s boss at a restaurant to go over some final details. But while she was at the restaurant, something felt wrong.

“I felt like the woman started being short with me, and uncomfortable,” Natasha told America’s Most Wanted. “I felt like she was looking at her boss in a weird way. I started getting a completely different…

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5 Things you Don’t Know about Sex Trafficking

Important things to know too.

4-5-million-11. Not your average P.I.M.P
The Pimp Stereotype propagated by the media grossly exaggerates how women, men and children find themselves victims of Sex Trafficking. Though, there is truth to the Pimp captured by Pop Culture, more often than not recruiters or Pimps are more subtle in their approach to trafficking victims. This method is called ‘Grooming’ where the recruiter will manipulate the victim and eventually use their influence coupled with threats of violence to push them into involuntary prostitution.

2. Men and Boys can be victims of Sex Trafficking
Women and girls are not the only victims, men and particularly boys are vulnerable to the same mistreatment, exploitation, and abuse. The “And Boys Too” by End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT-USA), asserts that over half of the victims of Child Sexual Exploitation in the US are boys.

3. Women can be Recruiters for…

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Giving Back on a Budget Part 3!

Writing Radiation

If you need a reminder what I’m talking about, here’s a link to the first & second parts for my Giving Back on a Budget series.

Here’s another secret for giving back on a budget: People need your hair.  This method of giving is deeply personal for me, & it might be the most rewarding.  However, it limits what you can do with your hair & you need to care for your hair until it reaches a certain length.  That’s why I think it’s also the most difficult way to give back on a budget.

But, I’ll come back to the “why” later on.

This type of donation is personal for me because my Mom was diagnosed with cancer when she was 6 months pregnant with me.  Chemotherapy took her hair, but gave her 12 more years of life.

I remember how ashamed Mom was whenever anyone outside the family…

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Morality and Victim Blaming in South Asian Societies

Nepali Chhori

By Kanchan Gautam

no-means-no Photo credit: salidalliance.org

Recently while browsing through a selection of movies on Netflix, I happened upon a Bollywood movie. Usually, I stay away from Bollywood cinema, as they tend to lack depth and are riddled with gender role stereotypes. However, when I saw the description for Pink, I was intrigued. It seemed to veer from the typical Bollywood story of romance and thrills.  Additionally, with 136 minutes run time, it seemed to be reasonably short for Bollywood standards, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and watch it. I have to say besides the melodramatic portrayal of a retired lawyer played by Amitabh Bachan and some unrealistic court scenes, the movie’s depiction of how assault victims are treated in South Asian culture is very accurate. We have seen this many times, not just in Asian cultures, but here in Western society as well. People…

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