Boys cry too

“Be a man and stop being like a little girl.”

What does that even mean?

The majority of men reading this would have heard these words being directed towards them at some point in their life. This is because society has created the obscure ideology that men simply don't have emotions. We say that men shouldn't cry and that men should be mentally stronger than women. But is there any logic in this?

Not only is language like "don't be such a girl" patronising for men, but it's also derogatory towards women. It communicates the message that it is a negative thing to be a woman. This is highlighted in the well-known Always' #LikeAGirl advert.

“I don't cry, I'm a boy" says the 10 year old boy that has been a target of gender stereotypes all of his life without even knowing it. 

Masculinity is so fragile.

It baffles me as to why men aren't seen as emotional beings like women. To top this, several studies have concluded that men are actually more emotional than women. So, the only reason why men aren't seen as emotional, has to be because society has taught them (us) to hide those emotions. We are fools for making men feel as though their feelings aren't important and that they should be hidden away.

Gender stereotypes aren't beneficial in this case scenario. Anybody who says that men shouldn't cry doesn't make any sense. I bet you didn't know that men are almost 4 times more likely to commit suicide than women. Those masculine, powerful and robust men chose to hide their tears away in fear that they wouldn't be taken seriously. Can you blame them though?

Are we killing our men? Yeah, maybe.

What I learned from my first year at sixth form

Recently, I finished my first year at sixth form (equivalent to 11th grade). Towards the latter part of the year, especially after my exams, I began to reflect and realise that I have learned a lot of general life lessons along the way. I have also learned a lot about myself and how to better myself as a human being. Using the knowledge that I now have, I can hopefully use it positively to excel academically and as a person in year 13 and further on in life.

So, here are a few lessons that I have learned along the way:

Be yourself

This first lesson applies especially to people that have moved schools to go to a new sixth form or college. You will certainly meet new people, make new friends and maybe even form new friendship groups. My advice for this would be to be yourself. Theoretically, at the start of the school year, you can really reinvent yourself and start presenting yourself in a way that reflects you as an individuality. When going to sixth form, I feel as though you can really be who you want to be without being judged. In school before, everybody had to wear the same uniform, study the same subjects, have the same hairstyles etc. Whereas in sixth form, it’s an opportunity for you you to express your individuality and differences to everyone else. With being yourself, you will automatically have a happier lifestyle and positive outlook on things as you won’t have to worry about conforming to social norms.

Stay in contact with old friends

Staying in contact with old friends is so important. These are likely to be friends that you have had friendships with for years at your previous schools. It wouldn’t make sense to loose contact with them simply because you don’t get the opportunity to seen them as often as you used to. Your old friends will also be great for when you’re feeling down and need somebody to talk to. They are the friends that will know you better than any of your new friends that you have made. Furthermore, they are likely to be the ones who care the most about you, so letting go of those particular old friends would be a silly mistake.

Let go of old friends

Yes, this is a complete contradiction to my previous point. However, when moving to sixth form, you will need to let go of some old friends. My advice would be to loose the ones that don’t support you as much as you would like, the ones that have a negative outlooks on life and the ones who were only your friends because they attended the same school as you in the first place. These “friends” will no longer benefit you in life and as savage as it may sound, you will have to cut them off at some point.

Your mental health is important

Mental health is always something that is brushed under the carpet. It’s rarely ever spoken about for no logical reason what so ever. Yet, your mental health/state is probably the most important thing that is going to get you through year 12. Being able to grow as a person, learn new things and deal with the workload will be so much easier if you are in a good mental state. Having a huge work load can undoubtedly cause stress and if you are one of those students that is able to keep a positive attitude all year round then I definitely take my hat off to you. With that, just remember that your well being is important and it isn’t something that should be ignored. I advice discussing your problems (if you have any) instead of hiding them away to try come across as strong. It’s also okay to feel down or cry. Take a day off sick if you need to. But remember, you’re not the only one going through the same thing and many have been in your position before. You’re not alone.

Don’t feel obliged to get into a relationship

By all means make new friends, have a crush on one or two people but don’t feel as though you need to get into a relationship. If you feel as if you have found someone that you can have a future with then by all means get into the relationship (but don’t rush it). I would also advise not to get into a relationship for the sake of it. If you know it’s right then go for it. Besides, boys/girls ain’t shit.

Time management

Year 12 has been the most challenging year whilst in education for me so far. I would definitely say that time management is crucial. Time management will determine on whether you hand your homework/coursework in on time, whether you get your revision done in time and whether you are doing equally as well in all of your subjects as oppose to failing one and getting A’s in another. Try and stick to a schedule. I myself do athletics at a high level outside of school which means that I have to train/compete several times a week.  Sticking to a schedule is honestly the best way to get your work done in time. Wiring a to-do list will also be very satisfactory once everything is ticked off.

These were just a few lessons that I have learned over the past 11 months that can be used as tips for anyone going into yer 12. Hopefully, I will be able to go onto year 13 and learn many more lessons and use past ones to my advantage.

Lorde – Melodrama (Album Review)

After the release of her unexpected highly successful single ‘Royals’ and debut album ‘Pure Heroine’, I have continued to listen to Lorde’s music repeatedly and she has undoubtedly become one of my favourite artists despite only having one LP. I have patiently waited years for Lorde to release new music. Green Light, the lead single from the her new album was released earlier this year. It caused Melodrama to become highly anticipated by myself and millions globally. The album cover is beautiful. I literally counted down the days until the album would drop. Every time a new song from the album was released or performed, I was SHOOK.

Finally, as the release date arrived, I listened to the album at midnight, as soon as it was released in the UK. At first, I was disappointed with how short the album was. However, I quickly came to realise that Melodrama really was a masterpiece. The album didn’t need to be any longer than it already was. The quality of the album really hit me. I knew that Lorde was clever but I have come to the conclusion that Lorde is a lyrical GENIUS. Lyrics like “I am your sweetheart, psychopath is crush” are so cleverly crafted together and don’t compare to any other artist that I listen to.

Every single song on Melodrama is so creative, from the vocal arrangements, to the production. The narrative of the whole album has worked really well with the sounds to create a cohesive piece of art. Melodrama really is one of the best “breakup” albums of all time. Lorde tells her story so magically and I can really see how it pulls on peoples heart strings. Despite it being a breakup album, there are fun tracks like ‘Homemade Dynamite’ and ‘Perfect Places’ which really give the album a good balance and a break from the heartache.  My personal favourite from the album would have to be ‘The Louvre’. A song about having a crush on someone. It describes the initial moments of when your heart would race at just the thought of them.

Lorde’s decision of naming the album ‘Melodrama’ is interesting as it suggests that everything on the album is over dramatised and exaggerated. However, I, as a listener am completely cool with it because without the Melodrama aspect, the album wouldn’t be what it is. Another gripping thing about Lorde’s music is that, as a listener, you can often feel as though you’re in Lorde’s friendship group and that she’s simply made this album for fun so that her and her friends can all listen to it together. I especially get this feeling in random moments like halfway through ‘Homemade Dynamite’ when the music stops and you hear Lorde whisper “Now you know it’s really gonna blow (bhoo)”. It’s just so unique.

Overall, the album is definitely one of the best of the year so far. I hope that it goes on to win many awards at award shows over the next year. I also hope that Lorde can gain the confidence that she never used to have. I am sure that she can progressively evolve more from this album to go on to make even more breathtaking music in the future.

Is self love important?

Throughout my teenage years, I’ve never really thought about what it means to love yourself. We live in a society where the majority of people are seeking for someone to love but nobody legitimately loves themselves. Self love, belief and confidence are all so important for yourself. Yet, are we ever encouraged to take a step back and really think about loving ourselves before anyone else?

Putting yourself first isn’t always a bad thing. In theory, we should be looking after ourselves before worrying about others. Self love is essentially a part of healthy living and it is clear that it is something that we, as a society are lacking with depression rates being higher than ever.

Feeling fearless of embracing yourself for who you are shouldn’t be shunned. Just as feeling content with your appearance shouldn’t be considered narcissistic. If taking a selfie makes you feel good, then take two selfies. Loving yourself will only help you live a much more positive lifestyle that you will be satisfied with. Self love and confidence is now so rare that it is being considered as a skill and that really isn’t the way that it should be.

So, everyday from now on, look at yourself in the mirror and say “you’re doing amazing sweetie” because that’s how we should be feeling about ourselves.

DApOcwAXgAEIGAr

Are streaming sites devaluing our music?

Music has been a massive part of popular culture for generations and children are almost instantly introduced to it. However, the way in which music is being consumed and listened to has shifted over the years. People used to buy their music in stores. They bought tapes, vinyl’s and CD’s. People would listen to music through mainstream radio stations too. The way that music is being listened to and consumed nowadays is completely different. Streaming has now become one of the most popular ways in which people listen to music with over 100 million people now paying for music streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal. These sites have made it much easier for people to access their music. Along with this, streaming has almost made it effortless for people to explore new music. I personally use Tidal and I know that I would never have found half of the music, genres and artists that I listen to now without it.

Although streaming sites do offer all of these amazing features, many people argue that it has literally ruined the music industry. It makes it difficult for artists to make money from their music as the streaming sites do tend to take a large percentage of their profit along with record labels and other organisations. Many people also say that streaming sites devalues music itself. It has been brought to discussion by artists such as Beyoncé who feel as if people just don’t make albums anymore which is a real shame.

Despite all of this, it has lead to artists and fan bases using social media to communicate and interact. This has been great for new artists who are getting more recognition such as Kehlani and SZA and Khalid. They have been able to build a fan base for themselves without needing to use radio and television promotion which is very costly. Artists and the interaction with their fans through social media sites is crucial in the 21st century. Having a physical copy is very satisfying and is something for you to look after but after all, it is very exciting when you know that your favourite artist is going to drop an album at midnight and you stay up to share your excitement with friends and fellow fans online.

The use of streaming sites and social media combined has definitely made it easy for artists to share their music with their audiences. However, is it making the music too accessible for people?  After all, Beyoncé says the she misses that “immersive experience” and I’m sure that many listeners as well as artists like herself agree.

My name is Tré

My name is Tré and this is my first blog post. I spontaneously got the urge to create myself a blog. I’ve always had a passion for writing about my opinions on specific things. Predominantly about things that I am passionate about. Things that I enjoy and things which are ongoing around the world in discussion. This is probably a reason as to why I chose to study sociology, communication & culture and media at A level. After quietly always wanting to begin blogging or something similar to it,  I’ve never fully put my efforts into it. I thought that creating a blog for myself would be a great way for to explore my urge further. I am particularly interested in music, social justice, current affairs and public figures. Consequently, I think that my blog will follow these key subjects throughout the most but things always change right? Hopefully, I won’t just ‘give up’ and I will actually write more than just a few posts. I have a few topics that I have ready to write about so I have faith that I will gradually continue posting. After all, who knows how this blog will develop further.