Sobbing into my hoodie in her couch in Denver I said, “I hate my body. And my body hates me. My body is my biggest enemy.”
With her usual kind-hearted patience Carolyn said, “I think I have the opposite experience. When I feel really sick, I feel extremely aware of how hard my body is working, how hard it is fighting to keep me alive. On my worst days I feel so much love and gratitude for each and every cell of my body working to pull me through.”
What is 50 shades of grey about? And what's so bad about it?
50 Shades of Grey was originally fanfiction based on the Twilight series, which was then published as a novel (along with 2 subsequent books). It sold over 100 million copies around the world and topped best-seller lists everywhere. It’s about to be adapted into a film, set to come out early next year.
It follows a college student named Ana Steele, who enters a relationship with a man named Christian Grey and is then introduced to a bastardised and abusive parody of BDSM culture.
While the book is paraded as erotica, the relationship between Ana and Christian is far from healthy. The core mantra of the BDSM community is “safe, sane and consensual”, and 50 Shades is anything but. None of the rules of BDSM practices (which are put in place to protect those involved) are actually upheld. Christian is controlling, manipulative, abusive, takes complete advantage of Ana, ignores safe-words, ignores consent, keeps her uneducated about the sexual practices they’re taking part in, and a multitude of other terrible things. Their relationship is completely sickening and unhealthy.
Basically, “the book is a glaring glamorisation of violence against women,” as Amy Bonomi so perfectly put it.
It’s terrible enough that a book like this has been absorbed by people worldwide. Now, we have a film that is expected to be a huge box-office success, and will likely convince countless more young women that it’s okay not to have any autonomy in a relationship, that a man is allowed to control them entirely. It will also show many young men that women are theirs to play with and dominate, thus contributing to antiquated patriarchal values and rape culture.
Today’s mental health reminder: a relapse, a sudden series of attacks, a string of awful days, (or whatever your step back may be) does not decrease your value. Take your time, do some self care, reflect on the progress that you have made. You are strong; one step back is nothing when you look at the journey you have already made.
Needed to hear that
Remember, none of those things negate the work you’ve put in. You might take a long detour, but you’ll get going in the right direction. And when you’re in the right direction again, you aren’t starting over. You pushed pause, but now you’re on play.