It’s hard to be stressed when aromatherapy smells this damn good.
Home-delivered massage? Yes, please. Republished from Whimn.com.au.
Go ahead, #ArrestUs for exercising our fundamental human right of choice over our bodies.
It’s birth control, simplified!
“I think it feels like how your head feels when you’re sick. But your nose is a vagina.”
This may be the greatest breakthrough in women’s health in decades.
“To see statistically significant HIV protection is a great step forward.”
“It’s time for Peru to clarify and implement its safe abortion guidelines.”
Because nobody wants to talk about what happens down there.
Australia’s states and territories have decided not to remove an unpopular tax on female sanitary products.
Australian sanitary products attract the 10 per cent goods and services tax (GST) because they are deemed non-essential. Condoms and sunscreen, however, are tax-free as they are more essential to a person’s well-being. Should Australian women challenge the government’s decision by holding a public demonstration, boycotting sanitary items and letting the blood run free?
Hundreds of women bleeding through their pants and on the backs of their dresses would change the government’s decision in the length of time it took them to run back to their parliamentary offices in horror. Very few women are that brave and it’s a shame, because bleeding into our underpants is something we do every month, unless you are a perfect person who would never let that kind of thing happen.
When I was at high school, we had a standard ritual among the girls. One friend would stand up, turn around and say, “Check me” and we would check the back of their dress for blood. Having an accidental bleed was the worst thing that could happen to a person and the “Check me” ritual was constant. We were vigilant. I didn’t get my period until year twelve and I still demanded a check in case it accidentally burst forth during math.
One of the great horrors of my teenage years was watching my sister walk down the aisle of a crowded bus with the tell-tale circular red blotch on the back of her school dress. In my mind, I raced slow-motion through that aisle in order to throw myself over that public disgrace. I once saw a girl at school with this blotch, a girl who never seemed to have any friends and hence roamed ‘unchecked’ down a hall. I grabbed her and explained she had a blood stain. She laughed and said, “You’re lying.” I had to secure both her arms and plead my seriousness, “There really is a stain.” Her face froze when she realized she had passed to the other side. She had become The One Who Bled.
I haven’t really loosened up about this. Where did we get the idea a sign of our fertility was public death? We all have our accidents. I once met a boyfriend’s parents for the first time and then promptly bled onto their kitchen chair. I did what anyone facing imminent disgrace would do and flipped the cushion when no one was looking. Not every woman is quite so paranoid. I shared a house with a woman who regularly hung her permanently-stained white undies up on the hills hoist, for all and sundry to see. I was mortified someone might think they were mine. I was also impressed she didn’t care.
In April, Harvard grad and drummer for M.I.A, Kiran Gandhi, ran the London Marathon while menstruating. Before the race, she got her period and not wanting to run twenty six miles with a tampon inside her, she decided to skip it. The period blood ran down her legs and as she crossed the line with her friends, her arms held high in the air to celebrate their achievement, the world’s media collectively wretched. She broke the unwritten rule and it launched a new movement: the Free Bleeding movement.
I suppose it is the equivalent of our mothers burning their bras, only less hygienic. She made a wonderful point, though. What we can’t see, can’t be discussed and therefore, the Australian legislative authorities can tax what they consider an optional item. Who wants to go first and bleed on the steps of parliament? It would rather stand there naked with a tampon string tucked neatly inside of me. That is how confronting the idea is. But should it be?
Modern women are busier than ever before; it’s not unusual for a busy, working mother to have to juggle a multitude of vital roles such as domestic goddess, kiddie wrangler, peacekeeper, chef, sock finder and husband wrangler – all before she hits her desk for a full day’s work at 9am.
And so burn-out can be swift; as women, we spend so much time looking after everyone else, we can so easily neglect our own self-care and well-being. When was the last time you took a mental-health day or “wellness day” for yourself?
Brisbane wellness advocate and hatha yoga instructor Heather Sartain, 55, (pictured) who’s just opened unisex boutique spa sanctuary, One Wybelenna, says as chief carers of the family, as is usually the case, women must regularly take time out for themselves. Heather’s interest in health and well-being extends back to her training as a registered nurse.
One Wybelenna, based at Brookfield in Brisbane’s inner-west, offers the most extensive selection of Ayurveda Aromatherapy products in Queensland. Set amid landscaped gardens, it’s an urban oasis just 12km from the CBD.
“It is so important to take care of ourselves so that we will have the energy and resources to care for others,” Heather says. “This self-care takes different forms for individual personalities and body types. Maybe it’s a gentle yoga class to help to clear the mind for some, while others would prefer to run, or play tennis with a group of friends, read a book or walk in nature.
“Whatever is your ‘timeout’ activity of choice, it is important to do something for yourself, no matter how small, each day. We must also eat healthy, wholesome foods to nourish our bodies. Eat live food; lots of plant foods and fresh foods, not dead, packaged and preservative laden foods.
“We must breathe, mindfully, deeply and frequently, not just the short shallow breaths that become so much a part of a busy life. And we must sleep well. Our bodies need rest to restore and rebalance. At One Wybelenna, we offer the perfect environment and treatments to assist our guests to relax and rejuvenate complementing their lifestyle choices.”
Heather, who practises yoga and meditation daily, says beauty treatments are also a great way for women (and men) to gain calm and zen in today’s crazy busy world.
“At One Wybelenna, our rituals incorporate the maintenance treatments in a serene environment, making the whole experience a sensory journey,” Heather says. “Massage should be acknowledged as being very important to our general well-being rather than an indulgence. The sense of touch is vital to life and helps reduce the levels of stress that build up physically and emotionally.”
Her favourite treatment is a 90 minute Custom Facial, which begins with a skin assessment and includes a back and neck massage. She also highly recommends a Subtle Energies Ayurveda Aromatherapy package of Blissful Marma Massage combined with the Mukha Chikitsa facial or the Germaine de Capuccini Crystal and Pearl Elixir. “Both of these rituals combine bodywork with facials and induce the deepest sense of wellbeing and rejuvenation,” Heather says.
And blokes aren’t forgotten – they can also treat themselves to the Amor for Men Facial. This treatment starts with a back, shoulder and neck massage and includes a 24-step Shiatsu Zen facial massage and detoxifying mask. One Wybelenna’s professional therapists also use Germaine de Capuccini skin care products.
The spa is open for bookings Tuesday-Saturday. Visit www.onewybelenna.com.
I am a reality television junkie – and it hurts to admit that. It’s pretty shameful to say that I love watching TV shows in which either a) celebrities go about their daily lives, b) normal people get into a competition for something, or c) outrageous people are actually paid to party and do stupid things. I like to justify it by saying that it comes from my own stressful lifestyle where watching trashy TV shows is like time out for my brain.
However, it’s impossible to turn my brain off completely and that’s why when watching The Bachelor the other night, I thought about how completely immoral and stupid it is to pit women against each other for a man they don’t even know. But of course, this is obvious, and often why the show is opposed by feminists and anyone with a brain.
It’s the fact that strong women still put themselves in this situation, where they are quite literally competing against other women for the affections of a man that they barely know. While watching the show from the comfort of your own home, you actually feel uncomfortable in the way that these women are portrayed as petty and jealous, with every move and look scrutinised purely for the entertainment of the audience.
For the women on the show, being in The Bachelor mansion could be having a detrimental effect on their self esteem. Putting all their energy into trying to win the affections of a man and whether they are successful or not in gaining his attention and affection is almost a cry for help regarding self-worth and self-esteem.
However, it could go both ways. On one hand, these women could be so sure of themselves that whether or not they win a competition to get a boyfriend will not affect them or the way they see themselves. On the other hand, they could be taking to heart the producer’s choices and/or Sam’s choices and making mental notes of all the things that they deem not good enough to land them a man on a television show.
In that respect, we do have to praise the women who leave the show and tell their last piece to camera in a way that empowers them to get back out there and be themselves to find the right man for them.
It’s a bitter world out there and while I do love a good Bachie romance and am looking forward to Sam Frost killing it on The Bachelorette, we do need to ask ourselves whether someone’s self esteem should be worth our entertainment.
Images via popsugar.com and yahoo.com