11 Blocks

Today, I’m going to talk about the selfie. 

Yes, selfies. 

We all take them. We all share our cute outfit of the day with our friends, a fun moment with coworkers, or that super rad Snapchat filter. While a coworker and I once joked that there should be a ratio of 1:7 of selfie and non selfie photos on your IG to prevent narcissism (& a limit of four hashtags), mostly because he’s a model and it was a silly in joke, taking and posting selfies is a normal part of our culture. One of the questions I’m asked most at work is about the selfie camera. We all take them, whether we want to admit it or not. 

If you’re not following me on Snapchat (ASHMHC), you’re missing absolutely nothing

My teen daughter takes them with her friends. I don’t really think anything of it. She’s fully clothed, not shooting the finger, so who cares? As her birthday approaches, she’s asked me for an autobiography penned by her idol, retired WWE Divas Champion AJ Mendez Brooks. I’ve skimmed excerpts; for the most part, AJ writes a beautiful story of finding herself and learning to embrace mental illness. AJ is very honest and open about her struggles and successes and I commend her for her honesty. I think (for the most part) she’s a great role model for young women. But there is a passage in the book where she equates selfies with a lack of self respect and a desperate cry for attention. As a woman who was once an impressionable teen, I could only imagine how upset my daughter would be to read such a judgmental and self righteous passage, but I refuse to let that cloud my perspective of a moving and inspirational journey. 


I briefly touched on this on Twitter with another blogger and artist (who is rad af & I would totally throw a feminist Wrestlemania party in NOLA with her and the girls while we all sport Bayley ponytails), and she agreed that this one passage didn’t feel that great. It perpetuates the myth that women only do things to attract the attention of men, or need to be validated by men to be happy. For some, that may be the case, and I won’t judge them. I used to, but then I realized that I was part of the problem. If they aren’t hurting anyone, then more power to them. But why does it have to always be about wanting to attract a man? Why do brilliant and inspirational women continue to tear down other women?!


I take selfies. I post em on Snapchat. I never used to. If you look at my old FB photo albums, there was maybe five photos of me in 100. There is maybe one pregnant photo of me. Why? Because I was called fat and ugly every day. I woke up to hear about how I was skinny when we started dating and now his wife was a pig. He didn’t sign up for this. A few years later, one of my best friends told me that I was pretty in the face and didn’t look fat from the “tits up” so I could reasonably find a man. I was constantly told how unattractive I was because I was fat. So I started working out. I started running. I started crossfit. First it was to shake the nagging voice that said no one would love me or be my friend because I was fat. But then, it was because these activities made me happy. And the more these activities made me happy, the better I felt about myself. I wasn’t a size seven (the magic dress size that I equated with being acceptable to be seen in public), but I was confident. I was happy. Confident, happy MHC didn’t want to be in the shadows. She wanted to be visible. So I started using that front facing camera. I’d post the odd one to FB or IG. But it was a huge step for me to stop hiding behind a camera and hoping no one looked at me. Humans should want to be visible, part of the world. Now, there are photos of me & my girls, my friends, of me. My teenager was also brutally bullied in grades seven and eight for being too thin and too different. She and a good friend started taking selfies as a way of accepting themselves. For many women, that selfie is about empowerment, taking control of their self esteem and we need to stop dismissing photos as vanity & a cry for validation from men. If it’s not for you, don’t do it. There’s lots of things in this world that I do not do. I don’t watch Canadian football. I don’t listen to Nickelback. I don’t understand Zumba. But I’m not gonna trash humans that do. Just let people do their thing and you do what makes you feel good inside. 


So, take your selfies everyone. You’ll find no judgment here. Don’t let anyone or anything make you feel badly about yourself or like you are somehow less intelligent, less interesting, because you took a photo with your front camera. And if you are one who belittles someone for taking a photo, stop that right now. You can’t bring up your self esteem by passive aggressively belittling someone else. 

Turn it Up

Today, I’m gonna write a piece I call “the Ballad of Bayley.”

Last year, I told you about my teenage daughter’s love for Sasha Banks, today, it’s my younger two daughters and WWE Women’s Champion Bayley. 

The character of Bayley is arguably the most relatable character on TV. She’s a fan that got to live her dream. My 10 and 7 year old adore Bayley and everything she stands for. They once waited in the snow for six hours, in their hugger shirts and Bayley tassels just to catch a glimpse of their TV best friend (and hugs. Their goal in life is to get a hug from Bayley). My Twitter feed is dominated by photos of them in full Bayley cosplay. Bayley’s character was dismissed as being “Just Bayley.” She wasn’t special; just ordinary. But this mantra of “Just Bayley” was so important to her fan base of little girls. My own daughter is painfully shy. She struggles to make friends and when picked on for her small size and quiet demeanour (she’d rather read and do math than play sports), she decided she was “just her,” and that was enough. After all, Bayley was just Bayley and she became a champion. Being yourself is cool! While adults complained about Bayley’s character and direction, kids got the message; Bayley is herself and that’s enough, and if you just be yourself, you are enough. 


When Bayley made her way out at Wrestlemania 33, my two small girls squealed with joy, as their hero was finally living her dream. They sat in their Bayley gear and side ponytails, imitating her entrance. They cheered her on loudly from home, and big sister even joined in (after her beloved Sasha Banks got eliminated) & all three jumped up and down and cheered when Bayley retained her championship. They cried with her, their best friend won. My oldest, who wants to be a wrestler herself, said that she couldn’t wait for her moment like that, while the little two were so happy that their best friend Bayley won and when they got to school, they could talk about it with their girlfriends. 


Which brings me to why I adore this character so much. It isn’t just because she’s a good role model for my girls, or she’s relatable. It’s because I feel like she’s an overlooked but key reason why so many female fans are watching WWE. Yes, you have the Bella Twins, who introduced wrestling to the mainstream, and Sasha Banks and Charlotte, who made history, but Bayley is just as important, because she’s just Bayley. 


Just two years ago, my girls & I were among just a handful of women who watched WWE. This past October, we were among dozens of little girls with their side ponytails and tassels, screaming the lyrics to Bayley’s entrance song. While yes, there were other women who helped usher in a new era, the character of Bayley opened up a new world to little girls that had been previously excluded from. I remember when little MHC wanted to play wrestlers with her brother and his friends, with a Miss Elizabeth action figure in one hand and an Andre the Giant in the other and the boys laughing, saying girls can’t play. Teen MHC was mocked mercilessly for my HBK posters on my wall, while the boys said I only watched pay per views with them because I wanted them to like me. My own girls were picked on at live events by grown men because they chose Nikki Bella & AJ Lee shirts over male superstars. But the character of Bayley allowed little girls to feel included in a world they were originally banned from. The world of NXT, originally for die hard fans, became the world of Bayley. Each week Bayley brought her brightly coloured world to the ring, another little girl realized they belonged too.  Bayley allowed little girls to feel like they belonged, and she did it by being just Bayley. 


Representation matters. You can preach equality all you want, but unless you can see it, it’s not there. There are a great many women who helped pave the way for female fans to find role models, but for little girls, it took a best friend to give them a hug and tell them that they belonged anywhere they wanted to be and they deserved it by just being themselves. I sometimes think that we as adults get so caught up in our perception of promo quality or what we think that we miss the lesson; that it’s okay to just be you. Because of that, I think we don’t realize just how important or powerful a character like Bayley truly is. No gimmick, no catchphrase. She’s just like us and that’s just enough. 

Something Just Like This

It’s time for another round of “Things that Really Grind my Gears.”

Today’s topic; why people who hack phones and steal photos are disgusting people. Also, if you look at them, you’re fucking gross too. 

This week, a round of personal and private photos and videos made by WWE superstar Paige hit the internet. These were four years old. She was 19. But most importantly, they were hers. I will not link those photos. They are none of my business. I haven’t looked at them. Why? They’re none of my business. I had the privilege of meeting Paige a few years ago outside of a WWE live event. She was sweet and lovely to my 10 year old daughter. She told her they were best friends and gave her a hug. My daughter has never forgotten that day and tells me all of the time that she can’t wait for her best friend Paige to feel better and get back into the ring to win championships. Maybe it’s because I met her and saw a sweet young woman who adored her little fans that this whole thing upsets me more than usual. I don’t know her, but I caught a glimpse of Saraya Jade Bevis (Paige’s real name) that day and she was the sweetest and most authentic human being. She didn’t deserve this. No human being deserves to be violated and humiliated like this. I hope she has the support of family and friends and her fiancé & that the legal action she is pursuing protects her. 


Then came the memes. People sending the photos to Paige’s mom, Saraya Knight, her fiancé, & the wife of one of the men in the video. Then jokes were made. After all, this is just so funny, right? It’s not funny. It’s awful. If you follow me on social media and share this garbage, please unfollow. There is nothing funny about kicking someone while they’re down. 

The next day, WWE Superstar Summer Rae was threatened with badly photoshopped “leaks,” which forced her to respond. Apparently it wasn’t bad enough to humiliate one person; we needed to invent pretend photos to feel powerful and tear down a woman. 


 The women and men involved in these, real or doctored, are victims of a crime. They’ve been humiliated (or someone has tried to humiliate them). To the person who does this, you are fucking disgusting. If you are distributing them, you are just as bad as the people who stole them. 

Fun fact; I work with cell phones. I sell them for a living. I troubleshoot them when they get messed up. I see your search history and your photos. Glass houses friends. I see a lot of people claiming that they should know better, they shouldn’t take these photos. That this is what you get. Wait. What? Nope. That’s not how it works. That’s like me saying that if you bought a house and then got robbed, that you should have known better than to buy nice stuff. You did not have permission to see Paige naked. You didn’t have permission to see Summer Rae naked. Doctoring photos to pretend you saw Summer Rae naked is the equivalent of lying in high school about sleeping with a girl that said no. Every time you view these personal photos, or in the case of Summer Rae, pretend photos, you are just as bad as those who stole them. You are actively participating in the degredation of a human being in the attempt to humiliate them. When you post memes or jokes about the situation, you are basically saying that you’re cool with a gross invasion of someone’s privacy, or lying about another human being for your amusement. It’s wrong & gross. I’m pretty sure if the contents of your phone were dumped online, or those personal things you’ve sent your partner, you wouldn’t like it. So why would you be okay with it because it’s a celebrity? They’re humans, not trained zoo animals who owe you their dignity. 

When I go off on my soapbox about this (like I did a few years ago when this happened to Jennifer Lawrence), creeps always tell me that if a male celebrity’s nudes leaked, I’d be all over it. Well, you would be wrong. When WWE Superstar (& my celebrity crush) Seth Rollins’s private photos hit the internet, I made it a point not to look at them. Why? Because Seth Rollins didn’t want me to see him naked. Those photos were for his girlfriend, not me. I don’t want to participate in the degredation of a man who’s career I enjoy watching on TV. So, I refrained. It’s not that hard. It’s just called being a decent human. 


So, to my fellow browsers of the internet, I implore you; don’t be a douchebag. Stop making fake nude photos to attempt to humiliate someone. Stop distributing personal and private photos to humiliate somebody. Stop making memes to make light of the fact that someone was violated and the victim of a crime. Stop sending the photos to the victim’s mom, fiancé, etc. Stop throwing stones to shame these victims while hoping no one ever checks your glass house. Just be a decent human being. It’s not even hard. Before you look, think of the most humiliating moment of your life. Now, imagine if you’d want the entire world to be a part of that. 

I know it’s probably really tempting to go see a celebrity you think is attractive naked, but had they wanted you to see them naked; they’d have posed nude publicly. We need to stop acting like we own famous people and have the rights to their bodies, their privacy, their dignity, even their most personal moments. Everyone deserves dignity and control over their body. Stop taking it away from them. Don’t look; log off. 

Helium

You know what I love? Women who build up other women. I am all about that. I effing LOVE seeing women succeed. Love. It. When my girl friends succeed, I am like “THAT IS MY GIRL!” Life is too short to be catty. I can’t be that person. I want my women to run shit. 

Speaking of women empowering women, I missed all kinds of girl power at the Grammys tonight. I usually love them, but I was watching Naomi win herself a Women’s championship at the Elimination Chamber! While I admit, I am late to the Nao Mob, I respect women who hustle & girl certainly did. Congrats Naomi, you deserved this moment. Proud of you. I was even more proud to see all of WWE’s warrior women hitting up Twitter to congratulate her. I love the Smackdown live Women’s locker room. These girls build each other up. Love it so much & more women could follow this example. 


But let me get back on track. 

I love when women build up other women. I’m sick of seeing women torn down for no reason. I’m sick of seeing people tear down Taylor Swift because it’s the in thing to do.


 When people like Frank Ocean claim that she didn’t deserve Album of the Year, it’s a sign of men once again marginalizing the talent of women. When women support this narrative, we are allowing it to continue. We need to stop being catty and build each other up, which is why I freaking love Adele. 

Adele’s brilliant effort 25 won Album of the Year, making her the second female in history to win the award twice (the first being Taylor Swift), beating out Beyoncé. But instead of just thanking her fans and collaborators & walking off, Adele took a moment to lift up Beyoncé & acknowledge her impact on music. Adele took her moment and used it to empower her fellow female artists & she did it well. More women need to build each other up like Adele, she’s a class act all the way. 

Adele showed that women can compete and not be Total bitches. You can respect each other. Adele winning doesn’t make Beyoncé’s album bad. It’s just how the Grammy voters saw it. But these two women showed class and sisterhood, which we need more of, especially in this climate where we see people tearing down successful women! Look at the attacks on Taylor. People calling Beyoncé a racist primadonna. Instead of congratulating Lady Gaga for slaying the Super Bowl, people called her fat! It’s even more important that women build each other up.


Some women, however, need a refresher in how to build up other women, like Katy Perry. 

Before I start, let me say I’m a huge fan of Katy Perry the artist. I think her voice is amazing. I think she has a great message of female empowerment. Her new single Chained to the Rhythm has a great message about stepping outside of your comfort zone and learning about your planet. But you’ve gotta back that shit up, or it’s just hollow words. 


Tonight, on two separate occasions, Katy Perry said she took a hiatus for her mental health and it worked, because she didn’t shave her head yet, which appeared to be some thinly veiled shade at Britney Spears, who’s 2007 nervous breakdown made headlines. Katy Perry made several comments about feeling victimized by the song Bad Blood, and how Taylor Swift was calling her out for this type of catty behaviour unjustly. But it’s hard to call it unjust when you used a serious mental illness for punchlines. 

Britney Spears is reported to have bipolar disorder, and that’s no joke. This requires medication, counselling, and for some, even watching their diet. This needs to be done every single day. When left untreated, Bipolar disorder can lead to some dangerous and even fatal situations. It’s not funny. It’s scary af. Katy Perry says she’s a feminist. A feminist does not take someone’s darkest hour and use it as a joke. If anything, let’s all give huge props to our girl Britney. She manages to raise a family, co-parent in a healthy way, perform a regular show in Vegas, all while continuing to treat her illness so she can be bad ass. That takes strength, resolve, tenacity, & we should commend Britney. I love Katy Perry’s songs, but for her message to have meaning, she’s gotta walk her talk. 


In a world full of catty Katys, be like Adele. Build up your sisters. Celebrate their talents. Be that woman who builds up other women. When you empower each other, you feel better about yourself and they feel better about themselves. There is no downside. So, before you make that snide comment, think of how much better it would feel to be kind. 

Spiteful

Today I discovered the most amazing thing! It’s called “Alternative Facts!” 

KellyAnne Conway, aka President Donald Trump’s campaign advisor/uhhhhh what is her job now? Said that Press Secretary Spicer wasn’t asked to lie, just present “alternative facts” about the inauguration. My friend Liz made her own list of alternative facts. In honour of my friend Liz being rad, here is “A Series of Alternative Facts (50 of them)!”

This is not my friend Liz. My friend Liz is much hotter and knows how to dress in public. This is not an alternative fact.
1. I am a size 4

2. And Britney Spears. 


3. I have a PhD in Unicorn Studies from Hogwarts. I was sorted into Gryffindor. 

4. My diet consists of cake. Cake makes you thin. 

5. So do carbs. 

6. YOU CAN MAKE FRIENDS WITH SALAD. 

7. My kids are the most well behaved children ever. 

8. My house is always clean. 

9. I did not order Swiss Chalet because it was easier than cooking after working 11 hours last week. Everyone knows I make sure my kids only eat organic food from Whole Foods every single second. 

10. We also didn’t have Mucho Burrito for lunch. 

11. I’m married to Seth Rollins. 


12. I’m also the WWE Universal Champion. 

13. And I’ve won as many Oscars as Meryl Streep. 


14. I’m totally a millionaire. The cell phone job and the freelancing is a clever ruse. 

15. And my hair colour is totally natural. 

16. The film Gigli was an underrated gem. 

17. So was Batman vs. Superman. 

18. And CM Punk’s UFC career is totally promising. 


19. ET is totally adorable and not at all terrifying and scary. 

20. Geese too. 

21. Nickelback is a really great band and we as Canadians are proud of them. 

22. Tinder is a great way to meet people. 

23. Poutine is an overrated snack

24.  Fifty Shades of Grey is super romantic and not at all about stalking. 

25. Kevin O’Leary is a great choice for Prime Minister. 

26. I absolutely care about your pointless FB status humble bragging about your life. I only rolled my eyes to make sure my brain was excited too. 

27. Coldplay is amazing “pump you up” music. 

28. My quality of life didn’t improve by playing Skyrim. 

29. I absolutely didn’t pre-order my Nintendo Switch before I registered for driving school because I am a responsible adult. 

30. I also did not book a week off from work to play Nintendo Switch. 

31. Jacked up pickup trucks in the city are total panty droppers and do not infer that you have a tiny penis. 

32. Chris Brown is a gentleman. 

33. I can see John Cena. 

34. When I spoiled the ending of Prison Break, I was HELPING Paul, not ruining his TV experience. 

35. I love running. It’s so great. 

36. I would totally listen to an entire Pitbull album over being smashed in the face with a bottle. 

37. Van Hagar was better than Van Halen. 

38. Beyoncé is my best friend. 


39. Facebook statuses about Thoughts and Prayers are totally helpful. You don’t need to donate money. Also, bragging about your good deed makes you look altruistic and cool. 

40. I can deadlift eleventy million pounds. 

41. My cat Peachy can cure cancer, she just chooses not to. 

42. Vaccines for sure cause autism. I read it on the internet. 

43.  Ross and Rachel were on a break.  

44. I can’t believe so many engagements from the Bachelorette/Bachelor fail!

45. Ice cream sucks. 

46. It’s totally normal to dislike animals and not at all a sign that you’re probably a psychopath. 

47. Donald Trump is a perfectly rational thinking human being. 

48. And the epitome of class. 

49. With a thick skin and an ability to take criticism well. 

50. Alternative facts aren’t complete bullshit. It’s just a different way of looking at something! 

Follow You, Follow Me

Can I just tell y’all how proud I am to be a human today? 

Before I get into that, let me give you some back story. A long time ago, in a small city far away, lived a man named Paul Blundy Sr. Paul Blundy was a pretty rad guy. He even has his own Wikipedia page!  He was a politician. And a funeral director. But he was my uncle and he was a great man. 


His political career had long ended by the time I entered the world, so to me, he was just my uncle who lived on a beach and had big family gatherings (that I once famously ran away from, because even at three years old, MH did her own thing). When I was a young, homeless, pregnant girl with nowhere to turn, my Aunt Barbara took me into her one bedroom apartment and told me stories about her fine husband, a man who wanted to make a difference. I always said I’d meet that kind of man and marry him (oops). He has a park named after him where I wanted my wedding photos taken. Too bad it pissed down rain. Obviously, God also objected to this union. But my family always reminded us that politics wasn’t just uncomfortable dinner talk. It was about us. About people. About change. My beloved foster father, whom I still consider the greatest man I will ever know, always told me that I didn’t need to vote for my late Uncle’s party. It was my job to ask questions, listen and decide who I wanted to represent me. 

So, from the time I was a little tiny MHC, I followed politics. When other little girls wanted to be Barbie, I wanted to interview Mayor Hazel McCallion for my lined paper newspaper. This woman took no shit and even in her eighties, walked parade routes and represented her constituents well. I would stay up late to watch CTV News and ask my mom questions. Even though my family was Liberal to the core, Mila Mulroney’s beauty and class while representing her causes always left me in awe. These women made me want to listen and stand up and use my voice to help others. Now that I’m a mom, I want to teach them to use their voice. I hope they can look up to the Michelle Obamas, the Sophie Gregoire Trudeaus and answer the call to action too. 

Legit boss

Which brings me to today. 

2.5 MILLION people answered the call of a small FB post and marched peacefully. I wanted so desperately to go to my local march, but alas, I had to work. So, I used my social media feeds to spread the word and show support. No one got arrested. Nothing was lit on fire. Just men and women of all races, religions, all sexualities represented. They all peacefully marched to make a statement; that we will hold the Trump Administration accountable to preserve all human rights. And it was arguably the coolest thing ever. 


When we use our voices and band together, we accomplish so much. Today, we accomplished so much. To the brave souls that marched, I am so proud to be alive to see you accomplish what you did. To those who couldn’t, but supported; you are amazing. I hope you inspired many little girls today. To the men who joined, thank you for remembering that men of quality do not fear equality. Whether you are a beautiful celebrity or an introvert who was just brave enough to stand outside your door, I commend you. 


I became a journalist to use my voice. I wanted to give information and inspire others to use their voice. So, I am using mine to commend every woman for standing up for each other today. But I’m also using mine to make a small request to my fellow human beings, as the next four years will be challenging. But I’m asking anyway. I hope we can all choose to stand up for almost all women. If you’re pro-choice, stand up for your pro-life friend and vice versa. Respect that you may not agree, but can have civilized discussion. If you’re a SAHM, stand up for the career mom and vice versa. If you’re straight, stand up for your LGBT humans. Stand up for each other (unless you are some vile hate monger like Tomi Lahren. Then, treat her with respect, because the high road is a place you’ll never run into her). Don’t turn a blind eye; stick up for each other…

…this includes the first family. 


Before you say “No! MHC, they’re horrible,” let me take you to another perspective. Many believe that President Trump is a psychopathic narcissist. If we believe that he is a narcissistic twat waffle, then how do you think he treats his family?! There are plenty of articles about how narcissists raise their families.  How they treat their mates. If Alec Baldwin imitating Trump sends him into a rage, how do you think he treats his family?! They are likely prisoners of his delusions as well. Every time you put a jab normalizing the idea of Trump sexual assaulting Ivanka, you’re giving him ammunition. Every time you poke fun at Melania’s nudes, you are empowering him. Now, he can tell them we, common people, think they are whores. They’d be nothing without him. They can’t leave; he’d ruin them and we’d laugh. If you must throw your barbs, throw them at the man who has earned them (& Mike Pence, the Vice President twatwaffle). But please, leave Barron, Tiffany, Ivanka & Melania out of them. You are only empowering the very awful human we wish to subdue. I don’t know Melania or Ivanka, but they present as kind hearted, lovely people, very submissive to their overbearing father/spouse. We can’t claim to want to build each other up and then take our shots at those Trump can take his rage out on. 

Today was a wonderful day to be a human. We came together as allies. So let’s continue to be allies. Not just for our selected groups, but for all people willing to stand up for each other. Let’s be the example; the ones who treat each other with respect. The more we allow people like Donald Trump to divide and conquer, the more people like Donald Trump acquire the power to divide and conquer. Don’t give him that power anymore. 

I always say that the world would be an infinitely better place if we practiced the lost art of not being an asshole. So, let today be the foundation that we build unity and understanding on, not a footnote in a history book beside a downward spiral. 

Goodness Gracious 

Every once in awhile, I interrupt my normal adventures to mention something that really grinds my gears (I promise we’ll return to the regular format of “today I made choices that weren’t completely awful” later). 


Today’s topic: why douchebag people need to stop being douchebags about other people’s kids. 

This past week, Ryan Reynolds received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was joined at the ceremony by his wife Blake Lively and his two daughters, James and her sister, who’s name has not been made public. The internet was delighted to see the rambunctious two year old running around and clapping. She even dropped the mic when she decided the ceremony was over. The entire display was adorable as all get out. But of course, the sanctimommies were out in full force to criticize James’s dinosaur coat, her out of control curls, her behaviour, and her name. To those people, please do shut the fuck up. 

(Before you ask why there are no photos of James and her sister accompanying this post, it’s simple. Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively have asked that their children be sheltered from the public eye as much as possible. As a parent who does not post her own children’s photos here to protect their privacy, I feel it would be inappropriate to post photos of their children. If you want to see them, you’re welcome to Google)

These horrible commenters are the very reason that Reynolds and Lively opted to shield their daughters from the public eye. They have stated repeatedly that they want James and her sister to have a normal childhood. That James & her sister did not choose a public life; their parents did. They are under no obligation to tell the public their children’s names, show you photos or justify why they named them what they did. They don’t need to justify why their daughter wore a dinosaur coat. They’re not ugly. And anyone who can spew venom at a two year old and her three month old sister needs to get some serious help. 

I can understand why people who are dissatisfied with their lives could have an issue with Ryan Reynolds or Blake Lively. Here are two attractive and successful people who have found a great love and have a lovely family. But that’s no reason to project your bitterness onto them. I read such classy comments that the pair must have wanted boys, look at the “boy clothes” they were dressed in and James’s name. First of all; James was in a dress. Hardly “boy” clothes. Secondly, there are no boy or girl clothes, just clothes. And most importantly, Reynolds named his daughter for his beloved father, who passed away shortly before her birth. And even if Reynolds & Lively named their kid Princess Banana Nut Muffin, it is none of your damn business what Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively named their kids. 

Let’s all say it together; IT IS NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS WHAT RYAN REYNOLDS OR BLAKE LIVELY NAME OR HOW THEY DRESS THEIR KIDS. 


I love pop culture, but kids should be off limits. Paparazzi shouldn’t photograph celebrity kids. If celebrities choose to post photos of their kids on social media, and you must comment, leave the same comment that you would leave on a friend or family member’s social media page. If you can’t be nice; be quiet.  Would you tell your friend or family member that their kid has a stupid name or they were dressed poorly? Would you Shame a friend for not breastfeeding or belittle them? This happened to Kristin Cavallari and her husband Jay Cutler when she posted a family snapshot. Her choice to give her kids a vegan diet was questioned, with people accusing her of starving her kids, saying they needed a cheeseburger, etc. While I do not agree with her decision to not vaccinate her children, I respect that she is their mother and it’s her call. 

Let’s all say it together; IT IS NONE OF OUR DAMN BUSINESS WHAT KRISTIN CAVALLARI AND JAY CUTLER FEED THEIR CHILDREN. 


Kids didn’t choose to be in the public eye. They are not “fair game” because their parents are famous. This argument was common online when WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens’s wife Karina was forced to delete her Instagram account because bullies insulted her son Owen & daughter Elodie. They used the justification that since Owens is a bad guy on TV and uses his social media in character, that it was “fair” to insult his eight year old son and two year old daughter and harrass his wife. Karina is not famous. She lives a quiet life with her family in Quebec. She didn’t deserve the abuse. That would be like someone insulting you because your husband got drunk at a family gathering and pissed them off. Isn’t that stupid?

Let’s all say it together; YOU DO NOT GET TO INSULT KEVIN OWENS’S FAMILY BECAUSE HE BLOCKED YOU ON TWITTER. 


I know celebrities seem larger than life, but they’re people too. They love their families. They want the best for their kids just like you or me. Ryan Reynolds doesn’t owe you access to his kids (so you can call them ugly) because you went to see Deadpool AND the Green Lantern and you watched all six seasons of Gossip Girl so Blake Lively best share every gory deta of her birth stories. They have every right to protect them from trolls and bullies, just like you would protect your family from online abuse & mean strangers. 


So, the next time you feel the need to question a famous person’s parenting, ask yourself how you would feel if someone did it to you, because I bet someone has and it super pissed you off. I always tell people that the world would be an infinitely more wonderful place if we practiced the lost art of not being an asshole. Let’s try not being an asshole. 

The Divine Zero

Despite my fascination with pop culture, I must admit I do not keep up with the Kardashians, mostly because everything they say and everything they do annoys the shit out of me. 


From Kim’s baby talk to Kris’s whining, whenever I see them on social media or TV, I immediately flip to something else. If I had to pick one that didn’t annoy me to no end, it would probably be Kendall, as she at least to have a job of some kind, as well as some talent or a skill (modelling is a skill). I feel like Kendall may also be smart. The rare times that I hear them speak, she seems to be the only one that has her shit together. So, good for Kendall. 

I googled “Kendall Jenner” and saw lots of pics, but this one stuck out. She looks so fresh faced and lovely

Now that I’ve made it clear that I don’t keep up with Kardashians, I am also late to the party when it comes to their “projects.” I casually flipped over to People Magazine’s website to read the gossip (because celeb gossip is my guilty pleasure, fight me) and I discovered that Khloe Kardashian has a show called “Revenge Body!” Basically Khloe plucks people from obscurity to teach them health and fitness tricks so they can get a slamming body to get back at an ex boyfriend, mean parent, or childhood bully. Wait till they see how HOT YOU ARE?! THAT WILL TEACH THEM!

What. The. Fuck. 

As a someone who worked to lose a ton of weight, gained some of it back and am working to lose it again, it must sound weird that I’m saying this show’s concept sounds bloody God awful. Well, here’s why. The concept of a “revenge body” is fucking stupid. Do you really think a shitty ex boyfriend is gonna magically say “I shouldn’t have been the shittiest boyfriend ever because she has a fantastic squat ass!” No. He’s probably playing house with the girl he was cheating on you with while you were trying to save the relationship or on Tinder swiping right. You shouldn’t give a shit about what that guy thinks. Or your high school bully. Or your douchebag dad. Why? Because not a single one of these people matter in your life. “Shamers” are not real. Words only have power over you if you allow them to. And besides, by losing weight to “shut them up,” they’ve won! They made you feel badly until you changed! Don’t be that person. Change to grow. 


When I chose to get healthy, I chose this to be a role model to my girls and for me. Not the shitty ex husband who abused me. Not the shitty ex boyfriend who treated me like shit and abandoned me. Not the shitty guy who lied about getting a colonoscopy to go out with another girl. Not the asshole coworker who shit talked me when I left the room. Not the girl who bullied me in grade nine math so much that I refused to try out for basketball because she made me feel badly. Why? Because these people are irrelevant. They are simply chapters in my life that I’ve closed. I wanted to get in shape for me. I wanted to live longer. I wanted to look cute in leggings. I wanted to feel more confident. I wanted to be the best MHC ever so that I was happy with me. But it was my choice for me & I want everyone in life to be confident in their choices for themselves. When you need revenge, you are letting someone else take up space in your mind. Every second you waste on them is a second that you could be loving yourself. Why waste those seconds on shitty people who treat you badly when you could use them on yourself!

Still a work in progress, but always progress

Maybe I’m totally off base, and Khloe Kardashian is helping these people let go of their painful pasts and focus on their incredible futures, but the promo shows people announcing who they’re getting “revenge” on. But from one human to another, the best revenge is letting go, moving on, and investing in you, for you. You don’t need revenge. You need to love yourself enough to invest in yourself. Because if you do it for revenge, once you get the killer body, you’re still empty. They still treated you badly. You didn’t get back at them, or get them back. Chances are you don’t really want them back because they are sucky people! The shamers won’t be impressed. Instead, they’ll piss on you for something else. Then you’ll go right back to your destructive, unhealthy habits because nothing changed. You need to change. Change your habits and your mindset so that you can be better for yourself. When you do that, you’d be surprised at how far you’ll come. 


Khloe herself admits she started working out to stop people from calling her the fat & ugly sister and stick it to them. That’s so sad. She’s a beautiful woman and while I don’t keep up with her or her family, I believe everyone is good somewhere. She’s a sister, aunt, friend and tried very hard to make a toxic marriage work. I’m sure she’s a lovely person. I just hope she’s found better motivation.  Maybe she’s learned to love herself. But I’d hate to think that with all of her success, loving family, wealth and the like, she’s letting faceless internet trolls or the ghosts of husbands past rent space in her mind.

So, screw the idea of the revenge body. How about we focus on healthy bodies, healthy minds, and healthy hearts?! I’m gonna keep working on mine. I hope you work on yours too, but because you want to, not to stick it to someone else. 

We’ve Come so Far

It’s the International Day of the Girl & as the mom of three awesome girls who will someday change the world, I wanted to take a moment to give mad props to women all over the world who are kicking ass and taking names & spin kicking glass ceilings. 

As a woman who never had it easy growing up, and wanted more than to be Stepford Wife and mom, I find that the most important thing we can do for each other is build each other up. I have no time for catty bitches. I have no time for women who tear down other women (although I was told I was a bad feminist for THIS TWEET, so I apologize to Maryse Mizanin for clearly ruining her life). Women were meant to build each other up, so I wanted to take a moment to give kudos to 10 women who are breaking down barriers, starting conversations & changing history. 


1. Sophie Gregoire Trudeau. The wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has done so much for women, from advocating for better mental health, promoting body image, healthy living, and working to support every woman in her country, from the newest baby girl to the elderly woman watching TV from her home. Ms. Gregoire Trudeau doesn’t sit behind her man; she raises a family, she champions causes that mean something to her, she promotes Canadian designers. She is visible and vocal and wants to see Canada succeed. 


2. Clara Hughes. In addition to being one of the very few athletes to win medals at both the summer and winter Olympic Games, Ms. Hughes has championed erasing the stigma of mental illness, helping form Bell Let’s Talk Day, where the Canadian Telecom giant helps raise funds for Canadian Mental Health initiatives. Hughes speaks at universities and other events about her struggles with depression, encouraging others to seek help as well. 


3. Kesha. This year, Kesha took on the world when she sued her label and her producer Dr Luke to escape her contract. Citing physical and sexual abuse, Kesha stood up for herself, started an uncomfortable conversation about assault in the workplace, with many other musicians, including Kelly Clarkson & Taylor Swift supporting the singer. Despite a public smear campaign & control tactics, Kesha didn’t back down & fought for herself. 


4. Sasha Banks. Don’t call her Diva. Sasha dreamed of being the greatest wrestler (male or female) alive & she is doing it. From main eventing to breaking down glass ceilings as one of the first two women in history to compete in the Hell in a Cell structure, Sasha is showing that women can go just as hard as the men. Last night, WWE’s top hero Roman Reigns was in the ring & fans screamed “WE WANT SASHA” at the top of their lungs. Women are no longer the sideshow, they are the whole show. 


5. Trish Stratus. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the women who put some cracks in that glass ceiling that Sasha Banks is breaking. Trish Stratus changed the perception of women in wrestling; beautiful, brave, strong, determined. After retirement, she built a fitness empire (which has helped me with my own weight loss) & transitioned into motherhood with son Max & baby Stratus 2 on the way in 2017. But she has become an icon for healthy living & positive mindset in Canada. 


6. Taylor Swift. In addition to being the most successful artist probably on Earth right now (& the only woman to win Album of the Year at the Grammy’s twice), she demonstrates the value of women building up others. Whether it’s giving Kesha $250 thousand for her legal fees, to helping with Louisiana flood relief, Taylor’s generosity and kindness is a value that cannot be taught, but perhaps more could emulate. She handled Kim Kardashian West’s attempts to humiliate her with class, another trait that more people need to possess. Taylor reminds us that the more successful a woman is, the more humanity tries to break her. But she rises above with class and dignity.


7. Michelle Obama. The First Lady of the United States has demonstrated more class and poise under the strain of abusive slurs and hate than any other woman in history. But here she is, championing causes to help her fellow Americans be active, healthy. There she is, supporting her country after another mass shooting. Crossing party lines to give George Bush sr. a hug to thank him for championing the National Museum of African American History and Culture. But more importantly, she gave all of us the mom advice that will resonate for generations to come; “When they go low, we go high.” Thank you Mrs. Obama, for being a beacon of light in a sometimes very dark time in history. 


8. Jana Kramer. Jana Kramer is once again opening the conversation to the uncomfortable subject of domestic violence and its aftermath, which helped me be more honest about my own poor relationship choices & how I’m hoping I’ve turned it around this time with the new person I’m seeing. Her real talk about how the scars on our self esteem last long after the blows stop & we allow ourselves to be mistreated by other men until we finally stand up for ourselves and it’s okay to be a single mom. It’s okay to admit that we struggle. What matters is we get back up. Thanks Ms. Kramer for getting back up. 


9. Nikki Bella. Nikki Bella may not have broken the glass ceiling, but she chipped it a few times. The longest reigning Divas Champion fought through injuries and disrespect to help usher in a new era for women in sport. In addition, she and her sister Brie have become motivational speakers, seeking to empower women & build them up. Upon her return from a broken neck, Bella even said she didn’t care if she ever won another match, as long as she was building up the latest group of women. It’s that kind of encouraging attitude that makes me okay with my seven year old daughter believing that Nikki Bella is truly Fearless, and calling Nikki her hero. 


10. Hilary Clinton. I saved the biggest and most bad ass for last. In a little under a month, Hillary Clinton could be the President of the United freaking States! What?! That’s right; a woman, leading the free world. And she’s not leading in polls because she’s a woman; she’s leading because she’s the best possible candidate in the eyes of American voters. Her policies, her platform, that’s what’s resonating with voters. Her calm demeanour while her opponent attacks her personally, her marriage, her daughter. Despite all of this abuse, Mrs. Clinton stands tall and discusses her plan for America, because all that should matter is her ability to run the country. Mrs. Clinton has been dragged through the mud far more than any other candidate in history, but when you go through Hell, keep on going. She kept on going and when I wake up on November 9/16, I may get to show my daughters that the ultimate glass ceiling has been shattered when Hilary Clinton is named the 45th President of the United States of America. 

While you may not agree with my choices, because of politics or whatever, these are 10 women who are standing up for themselves, for other women, for their countries. These are the kinds of women we should look to; the women who are making history. The women who want to help others make history. The women who defend each other, their beliefs. I hope to be the kind of women who builds up other women, who encourages my own daughters to be anything they want. And thanks to the women above, they have a better chance to become whomever they want, because they’ve opened doors…or kicked them down. 

And finally, here are women in my own life who inspire me every single day. They build up other women, stand up for each other, support me, fight for their goals & demonstrate class in the darkest of moments. I aspire to be more like these women every day. 

Naturally

One thing that has changed this year is my ability to step outside my comfort zone & really branch out as a writer and a woman. This has helped me become a better writer and a better, more confident woman. 

I had managed to do this back home, but after eight months out here, I was a skittish, fragile, broken person. It was like something or someone had sucked the life out of me, made me feel like I had to walk on eggshells because if I displeased him, he’d leave like he did every other time. I stopped feeling confident in my own interests, because they were stupid to him, all but my writing. But I started feeling insecure at the gym, I had never felt that way before & I don’t now, I stopped talking about it, then I got hurt so I just stopped going. I stopped feeling proud of my work performance, as I was once told that my coworkers only liked me because it made him happy & everyone just wanted to please him. It was like a vampire had sucked every ounce of my soul out of me & I was too deliriously in love and too physically ill to notice. But everyone around me noticed my trip to Stepford & would remind me of the woman they knew in the hopes to snap me out of it. 

Literally Never me

No one should be afraid to speak at work, make friends, ask for help, for fear of being abandoned. I felt like I had to hide constant pain and kidney issues because if I wasn’t well, he’d leave me. When he needed me, I was there, but told to stay away. Then I was punished for not being there. I would cry myself to sleep for months trying to figure out what I did wrong, because everything I did seemed to be the wrong answer. The woman who challenged herself and others to do better and be better was being dismantled and reshaped as an obedient girl, and I’ve never been very good at following orders or obeying. I need to conquer mountains and change the world, even if it’s just my little corner of it. I wasn’t a simpering victim; I made the conscious choice to take the trip to Stepford. I allowed myself to be controlled. 


I’ve been in counselling for months. It’s helped me see that I have value & I deserve better than what I’ve allowed & will never allow again. By letting go of Stepford MHC, I’ve been able to grow so much over the summer, & I am proud of that. I am so hesitant to say anything negative about people, even when it’s deserved, but Jana Kramer’s People Magazine article made me realize that, like her, I’ve picked controlling men, abusive men, narcissistic men, because I’ve been so ashamed of the fact that my relationship with my former fiancé was violent or my husband used to assault me. Who would want me? I should be thankful that this man came back when he was done partying or cast his latest conquest aside & needed an ego boost because MH would always forgive him. But I kept reminding myself that if he loved me, he’d have never left. And part of making better choices is accepting that this happened & I am not broken or damaged. I am someone who allowed multiple men to hurt me physically or emotionally and I can no longer allow it. As I read Jana’s words, so like my own story, I realized she had nothing to be ashamed of and neither do I.  As women, we are afraid to be honest about our experiences. I was afraid that people would think he was a bad person. I didn’t want to hurt this person who had no problem hurting me or my children & was proud of how shamefully he treated us. I was more afraid of upsetting someone than I was being honest. But, like Kramer, perhaps by being open about how I felt those first few months, I can allow other women who have felt ashamed of their pasts feel like they aren’t the only one. 


Part of snapping out of it was allowing myself to admit I spent the better part of four years (off & on) in a controlling relationship with someone who repeatedly left me, stalked me for months, camping outside of movie theatres & hotels & using my social media to track my whereabouts for months after the breakup that wasn’t even a break up, I was just erased like I never even existed  (including as recently as a month ago, when a friend brought their concerns to my attention, which caused me to contemplate shutting down my blog), repent, repeat. I was so damaged that I told Erica I wanted to apologize for asking him to stop if he didn’t want to talk to me. I had been mean by asking for boundaries to be respected. I allowed him to manipulate me & abandon me & come back. And I put up with this because I thought it was the best I deserved because of my past. But I deserve better and I deserve it from myself. It was up to me to put Humpty Dumpty back together. I needed to put me first. And if you’re a regular reader, you would have read my journey to put myself first. If you’re new, please feel free to go back and read as many of my adventures as you wish. 


Part of that involved taking control of my career. I love my store and my team. We’ve turned our location completely around and we’re considered a Glentel success story. I’m so proud of my team. We put in the work and success was found. I took control of my writing career. I pitched stories, did the interviews & many of my stories got rave reviews. I have more money to support my family. All good things. At first, I was afraid to assert my authority. But another manager reminded me that I was the boss and hired on MY merits. Take charge. Be a leader. For once, I was being told to lead, not back down. It was so great to hear. 

Actually me

I also took control of fitness. If I didn’t have time to get to crossfit, I worked out at home with Stratusphere Sculpt (a circuit workout). It’s important to me to work out every day. Much of my confidence, my self esteem is tied into fitness. I want to be stronger, physically, mentally, and to do that, I need fitness in my life. Not to mention, I write for a fitness magazine, so it’s important for me to be focused on fitness. It’s important to show my daughters a healthy lifestyle, a woman with a strong self esteem. I need to show them that I can build my career, my body, my happiness, all by myself. 


The more confident I became, the more risks I was willing to take in my personal and professional life. I started dating again, met some interesting people (the last guy I dated I did not write about as I did not have permission) & I’ve been seeing the guy (who will be known as the guy until I can come up with a better pseudonym) for a couple of weeks. I’m taking it slow, but it’s exciting. I pitched a story about alternative fitness styles, these are things I never would have considered six months ago, but I’m doing them now. When flipping through the pages of the magazine I’m working with, I noticed that we had a huge opening for alternative forms of fitness. I remembered how my friends balked at crossfit and wanted me to stick to the same old thing; leg day, arm day, yoga. Maybe barre. But what if that’s not you? Maybe you don’t feel like you fit in with fitness because you want to do something else? I mean, it’s not me. I like doing something different. I want to write for people who maybe want to get in better shape but are also wanting to challenge themselve. So I looked up alternative fitness classes and discovered a whole different facet of fitness classes! So, I pitched it to my editor. What about pole fitness? What about incorporating dance? These classes seem like so much fun and anyone could try it.  He was excited and suggested I try a class, so even though I am so very white, I am going to attend a twerk fit class and a pole for class…all in the name of journalism. 


Eight months ago, I wouldn’t have dared pitch a fitness article to anyone, let alone one that would take me so far out of my comfort zone. But I’m not afraid of rejection & I’m in a position in my career & my personal life where my ideas are respected. I’m finally confident enough in who I am and what I’m capable of to push myself to become a better writer, a healthier person…and to attempt to learn rhythm. But when I look at my life, it’s so much fun. My kids & I have fun. My friends and I have fun. My workplace is fun. Crossfit is fun. And my blog, my writing, my life is super fun. And when life is fun, it’s easy to be happy. 


In order to have the life that I want, I needed to kill off the last of Stepford MHC, and if she ever tries to reanimate like in the Walking Dead, shoot that bitch in the head & focus on the evolution of MHC. So, imma keep pushing myself to be the kind of woman I am proud of, one I would want my daughters to be like, not one who is afraid of her shadow like a groundhog. As Erica says, focus on being the sun that I’m meant to be, not the shadow I end up hiding in.