Fiction or Reality? I choose getting lost in fiction any day!

So I have recently been reading and thinking. Writers usually write to allow their readers a form of escapism but also it allows them to escape in their own fantasy world. Most plots derive from our fantasies or so it seems, but some things are also mostly based on our experiences, because how can you write about something without having some kind of knowledge of it. This doesn’t necessarily have to be knowledge from the experiences one has had, but it can derive from the experiences of others- though you only see one side of their experience. Not only do you not experience the emotions of pain or happiness that they felt since you cannot feel it thus you cannot truly comprehend it. You could imagine it, but never grasp its reality. But you also only receive their side of the feelings- their words so stories end up twisted from the original truth (or original event that happened). For example if my friend broke up with a guy, I would be hearing her side of the story. How she interprets the situation may be different to how he interprets it. I would not understand how she felt because how can I if I’ve not had the similar experience of breaking up with a guy who I really loved or liked. I could imagine how it would feel, but that would be no good because I didn’t feel the raw emotions of what it is to love in that way, to feel pain or hurt in that specific way. All I would feel is pity for my friend trying to comprehend the way she feels, trying to reassure and comfort her, while secretly thinking and making the mental note never to make the same mistakes that she did. Never to fall in love so that I don’t give anyone the power to hurt me like. But that’s the problem with learning from other people’s mistakes and not learning from your own. You become too cautious to even make mistakes of your own because you are too afraid to do the wrong thing, to be caught in the hole in the ground everyone keeps digging for themselves. There is always someone who tries to lend a hand to a person stuck in that hole, but its up to you to choose whether you need help or even want the help offered or whether you drown in your unhappiness.

Anyway I have digressed, people teach you things whether you realise it or not we are all influenced by our family, friends and random strangers! Despite sometimes not wanting to be, you are. This has somehow drifted into a completely different topic that I no longer know how I got here! I can honestly say I am lost in a rabbit hole but in a different kind- not due to a relationship but coming to terms with what do I do with my life? Where do I go from here now that I have finished my studies? Who can help me? I can only help myself- I have to try, but what I always find that I do- no matter where I run to, where I go what I do- I always seem to try to escape to a different reality. To a fantasy world, to a place of fiction anywhere from the truth. But authors do that too- they try to recreate their own fantasies in their writings, they try to realise the dreams they never fulfilled through their characters giving them the happy ending they never got. Well I wouldn’t say never- just a different happy ending in life. While a book ends mostly happily ever after where the main character wins by defeating the baddie- war between good over evil conquers all. Well this is not the case in life, because there are no happy endings in life. There is no such thing as the prince saving the princess and living happily ever after. What does that even mean anyway? It’s time to grow up and learn that life’s not like a fairytale. Its been said many times but it really is true so why do people continue to read and watch these fairytales wishing they were true. In real life, that does not happen- after happily ever after aka getting married more problems and obstacles arise i.e maintaining a job, growing old, having children etc. Everyone still battles with their demons- but life goes on- no happy end except death. But then is that the ultimate end? So many debates surrounding that topic I won’t get into that now.

Society too has an impact on everything- on our lives, music, movies, books, media etc. The media seem to control what we desire and what we want trying to portray lifestyles we must attain. We try to attain perfection- perfect life, perfect body, the happy ending. But this is all poisonous if it only succeeds in hindering us, by shying away from our bodies, being ashamed. Look at the books that are on our shelves, being sold- they represent the times in which we live in and unfortunately they are all filled with crap! The desire for the superficial rich and famous lifestyle- The good girl getting with the rich rockstar living the dream! What is the dream? What is the life? Everyone is different so surely not everyone wants to be rich and famous. Books nowadays seem to have weak characters especially portraying women as weak, dependent and annoyingly stupid! Look at Twilight- Bella can’t even do anything because she’s so clumsy so Edward must be there all the time to “protect her”. The last thing the world needs is another young woman depicted as a “heroine” when she clearly isn’t! If you want something interesting to read, read the Hunger Games! Mind you it reminds me a little of Battle Royale! Anyone agree? It’s a pretty famous Japanese film! I would look it up if you enjoyed Hunger Games, though it is a lot darker.

Anyway there must lie some truth in a book- yes in the sense they are based on some kind of experience. The characteristics of the protagonist resemble some person or other. The main character normally resembles a person who the author wishes to be- who the author and sometimes reader wish to have the same strong characteristics that make the character strong and likeable who will fight for justice. No one likes a weak character, likewise in this cruel world no one likes a weak person. I wish I could say that I have learnt a lot from my experiences but sometimes it takes something twice as bad to hit you round the head for you to take notice and by then it may be too late. But then hopefully there is never such a thing as being too late. Better to have tried later than never.

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The difficult battle between the real self vs unrealistic self

So let me first explain what this post is about as it can digress into various arguments. When I talk of the real self- I mean the person who you really are, who you want to be, how you want to look in comparison with the self that is being projected in society of “how to look good”, “the perfect size” etc. I am concerned with how society is making us think in regards to our self-image. This guys is not just about girls trying to impress you with their great figure, it goes much deeper than that and it is about their confidence and self-image in light of society- to look good for the world and for themselves.

Recently I lost weight and thought great I have lost weight great I look good. But even if I lose weight I never feel good (no I do not have anorexia- you don’t have to have this to answer your insecurities). I am a size 8 usually which I love being but there are the pressures to be thinner. To look and feel perfect like the women portrayed in magazines and on television. How do they look that good? Where are all their imperfections and marks from previous cuts. Is it their true self? Do they have stretch marks? Do they have marks at all? How does their skin look silky soft and beautiful? In magazines the answer is easy- they are airbrushed and their true body is not shown. No one looks like that- everyone has imperfections. But there is the problem of the unreal which keeps developing and seeping into societal thoughts and thus into my thoughts. Where a slim girl with a great figure turns round and doubts herself. I look at my cousins and compare myself to others and think gosh they are so skinny- they look terrible and then subconsciously I think wow I wish I was that skinny, I wish I could be really thin like I used to be when I was small. But then a part of your mind also thinks I would never want to be that skinny I like to be curvy. There’s no equilibrium- no way of being completely satisfied with the self without having doubts. What if I looked a little bit thinner? What if?

Though it seems that the pressures don’t come just from society, but from family, friends and others who are important to you. If my aunt turns round and tells me I am fat- obviously it will affect me- if anyone says ohh are you pregnant? when you’re not will kill your self-esteem and knock down your confidence. When you compare yourself to friends or celebrities (if you see them as role models- which I don’t because they make mistakes and it puts them in a strong light as if they are “higher” than us- another rant another time!) When you examine their body, I know I look for imperfections- to see if they have any which relate to me which prove to me they are not the epitome of perfection. We are deceived every single day by images shown in the press, tv, films, etc. We are told that the only way to look good is be skinny. The media criticises any celebrities if they put on a significant amount of weight. They control the celebrities lives when the celebrity decides to lose weight. They have a strong power and control not only on celebrities but on normal people who read the magazines or watch the box. There is pressure all around us and this pressure is also mounting on men who are required to work out and have “muscles” or a “six pack” in order to look sexy and good. Looking perfect I believe is subjective and should not be an objective standard that people should measure themselves against. That I believe is wrong because everyone is different and you can look good in different ways.

Being curvy is the epitome of what it means to be a woman- to have a voluptuous figure with womanly curves. Many women crave it, while others crave the stick thin straight look. When I compare myself to others I feel inferior and that is something you should never feel and thus something you should never do- compare yourself. Every person is unique and looks good in their own way. They say that the majority of men like their woman to be curvy because it looks sexier. Attitudes are changing towards curvy women. It is now the fat vs the skinny. But what about those in between? Everyone has doubts! But if you’re not happy with yourself then how can you be happy with others? How can you be comfortable with others? Have you ever worn the magic dress which when you put on you just feel and know you look incredible? Its a wonderful experience and also difficult to find dresses that really build your confidence, that really flatter your figure but at the same time make you feel like a million dollars (££ pounds in my case!) I am thankful I have had the opportunity to find some amazing dresses that have made me feel amazing.

Being skinny is not as great as everyone makes out- you lose weight so obviously all your clothes don’t fit you anymore- not as well as they used to. Clothes seem to be dropping- they don’t hang well on you and you rarely find the right size in clothes you like. It generally just sucks being skinny with no/less curves and smaller proportions .  When I am curvy and filled out like people say I hate it- I feel a bit fat in some places and the shape of my body is weird, but when I lose weight I also hate it because even though I achieved being slimmer- I miss my curves and my clothes don’t fit me properly. Nothing does! So I am never really satisfied which is sad. There is no equilibrium, but it is a problem that many people face I am sure.

What we must do is accept and notice that there are these pressures. We must be aware that this is how society is conditioning us to look, feel and act. Finally we must be strong and react against it. Don’t let them make you feel small and don’t compare yourself to others. Be happy with you and your self-image. Easier said than done, but its true. In this world and society, it is always going to be a difficult battle and struggle against what is right, what looks good and the truth. Who knows the truth? Society? No wrong! Don’t let the “Great Beast” as Plato says guide you because it is wrong. We can never attain perfection because we were not created to be perfect.