The Name Game

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BREAKING NEWS: Actress Zoe Saldana has just got married...and has remained Zoe Saldana. Yes, that's right- her husband took her surname, rather than the traditional alternative. The feminists of the world are rejoicing. It marks an almost rebellious stand, a change in society and how women value themselves. It shows freedom from men and independence. Women all over the world are celebrating, with hopes that this will encourage more men to do what women have had to do for- well, for as long as anyone can remember.

I find the whole scenario quite bizarre, and it makes me quite furious. 

In an act of marriage, it has always been the tradition for women to take men's surnames. Way back when, it was a mark of ownership, a sign that they were the property of a man. Now, it's just...well, a habit I suppose. You get married, you take your partners name. It happens, and most don't even think about it.

It is one of many issues feminists have fought against, and it has been noticed that the number of women choosing to keep their own surname rather than take their partners, in what seems to be an act of defiance against the patriarchal society in which we live,  is definitely on the rise. 

None of this ever really bothered me. I have always assumed that when I get married, I will take my partners name. Not because I feel like I have to, or feel like his property- just because that is the "done thing". And I don't care. I feel no deep rooted connection to my surname, as most people know me by my first and middle name, rather than first and last. There is a genuine lack of care regarding what my surname is, as long as I am happily married to the person that I love.

It wasn't until I read an article in Cosmopolitan from Thea De Gallier that I became angered by this whole situation and had to seriously think about marriage and who should take who's name.


In the article, Ms. De Gallier states that not only does the man she end up marrying have to be a feminist (fair enough), but they also have to be willing to take her surname to proudly show the world that "my identity is just as worthy as his". 

Did I read that right? Because to me, it looks like she's asking her future husband to give up his "identity" (in this case, his last name) to establish her own self worth and identity. This an absolutely ridiculous idea to me-  especially when it is something men have done to women for centuries only to have women complain about it with the growth of feminist culture and the independent woman. Now you want men to do the exact same thing? Ridiculous. 

If you don't want to take your husband's surname because you want to keep yours for whatever reason, be it feminist reasons, you are the last in your bloodline or you just really like your surname, then fine. Don't take it. No one will (or should) force you into doing so. 

But then neither should you force your partner to take yours- least of all for the intention of making a stand for gender equality. Because if he doesn't want to take yours, he doesn't want to take yours, and no matter what his reasoning is, as a united couple about to spend the rest of your lives together, you should respect each others feelings and opinions. 

Now, don't think that I am against gender equality and feminism, because I can assure you now that I am not, and I proudly label myself as a feminist- I believe in the equality of the sexes. And by believing in equality of the sexes, I believe that no one should have to take someone else's name. It should be a choice. You shouldn't have to take your husbands, just because its "tradition" if you don't want to. He shouldn't have to take yours to "make a point", so to speak, if he doesn't want to.

In my opinion, everyone should stick to their own name, or even better, make up an entirely brand new name to go with your brand new life!

But it's everybody's personal choice. No one should be forced into anything, or rewarded for doing something "outside of the norm" that not everyone would feel comfortable doing. At the end of the day, as long as you love each other, nothing else matters. After all, what's in a name?

Love from,
Florence Grace
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Fitness with Florence Grace #9 and #10!

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Last week seemed to fly by, and I never got around to posting my fitness updates, so this week you have the last two weeks combined- sorry about that! 

The week two weeks, as it happens, have been terrible. I have stopped working out completely, with my only exercise being the occasional bike ride (three times, to be precise) and walking everywhere. My eating has been moderately okay with me usually reaching 1,300 calories max- however, I have had a quite a few calorific meals with my boyfriend, including take out pizza and a BBQ. 

So let's look at my statistics this week...

Start Weight: 11st 4lbs

Waist Measurement: 33 inches

Goal Weight: 10 stone

How much I want to lose a week: 2 lbs

And here is where I am now...

Current Weight: 11 st 4 lbs

Current Waist Measurement: 31.5 inches.

Weight left to lose: 1 stone 4 lbs

As you can see, both my weight and waist measurement has crept back up- this is through no ones fault but my own! (Although it is my T.O.M at the moment which we all know causes bloating...so there is a little excuse!!) 

My feet are fully recovered now so I have restarted the 30 day shred again, although not strictly, as I find it very difficult. I plan on doing it every other day, and then Tae Bo on the alternate days. 

I have less than 4 weeks until I go away now, and I know in that time I will not get to my goal weight. However, if I can get to under 11 stone, I will be happy. Wish me luck!

How have you all done? Let me know in the comments below!

Love from, 
Florence Grace 
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#CallMeCaitlyn

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Last night (Monday 1st June), we were introduced to Caitlyn Jenner. The latest cover star for Vanity Fair Magazine, Caitlyn set herself up with a new Twitter and Instagram account, and with the support of her Kardashian/Jenner family, as well as several other publications, we were shown a range of photos showing off her new body- which is stunning, may I add- her luscious locks, and the strong woman she is destined to be for the rest of her life.

Obviously, this transformation has caused quite a stir. Having been married to Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner for 23 years and having two beautiful daughters with her, this transition from masculine athlete to glamorous cover star has been a shock to the system, and has stirred up a mix of reactions from both the family and from the public.

After the big reveal, I myself had a multitude of things I wanted to say regarding the whole situation. I took to twitter, ready to speak my mind- and then stopped. With just 140 characters to speak my mind, it seemed likely that someone would be offended by what I said, or would criticise me, or take it out of context. So instead, I turned to my blog to make sure that I could explain my thoughts properly.

I realise some of the things I am about to write may stir up controversy or may be different to something you may think about Caitlyn Jenner. I hope rather than be nasty about my own views, you can respect my decision and engage in a healthy debate. Anybody who is plain rude will be deleted and ignored.

Caitlyn Jenner helps to break the stigma...but it is in a fairly unrealistic way.
I think it is the bravest thing in the world that Caitlyn has made the transition into the person she is today, having to change her entire lifestyle, leave her wife and start everything over. It is both an exciting and scary concept for her I am sure. As with any celebrity who does something with courage, I am sure that I am not alone when I hope that this bold step by Caitlyn will help to start a movement that allows more transgender people to feel comfortable with themselves, encourage them to be true to who they are and to live the life they truly want to. I also hope it will start to break the stigma surrounding transgender people, and that now someone so in the public eye has made this massive change to themselves in order to be truly themselves, it will help others to understand transgender people better. It is just one small change, but hopefully it will start a movement.

However.

Caitlyn Jenner has made her transition seem rather simple. Obviously, it wasn't simple- I am not so naive that I think this all happened without emotional trauma and difficulty. But, if Caitlyn did not have the funds that she does, her transition from Bruce to Caitlyn would not have happened as successfully or as quickly, and I am not sure what sort of message this will give to transgender people. Not being trans myself, I obviously can't speak from my own emotions regarding the situation. But I think it would create a sense of false hope within transgender people. For most, it can take months and months, sometimes a number of years before someone can change their gender, their lifestyle, to come out and be accepted. Getting and removing various body parts is not a simple process, nor is facial reconstruction, hormone treatment and so on. Thankfully for Caitlyn, the process happened quicker than it would for a normal transgender citizen- due to the amount of money she had to help her out, she can afford to be seen straight away, receive the best counselling, undergo as many operations as she has to to achieve her desired look. And whilst I am not saying it was easy for Caitlyn in any way, it seems to have been a quick and simpler process than it would be for, say, a struggling teenager, desperate to change their life. I hope that whilst Caitlyn will inspire the trans community to make the changes they need to in order to lead a happier life, they will realise their journey will be very different to Caitlyn's.


Body positivity.

Now, this may be a vain, crude or just "ignorant" observation, but obviously, Caitlyn was a man. This means her legs and arms are still fairly...well, masculine. But I'm not criticising this at all! I think it looks wonderful. She is the cover star for a HUGE magazine, and yet her arms and legs are not stick thin. They look bigger than your average "supermodel" and therefore more "normal"- a more realistic standard for women to look up to. If Vanity Fair can accept a model like this, then why can't all models be this sort of size- or any sort of size! Not just a size 6!


Everybody has agreed that Caitlyn looks stunning- and she does! A mixture of Lana Del Rey and Angelina Jolie (so it has been deemed by the public!), she looks flawless- and remember that she is SIXTY FIVE too! It's great to see someone so gorgeous who is not a size six, or less. In my personal opinion, I see this as not only a step forward for the trans community, but also for the media industry- "big girls" (big? I can't believe I have to use that terminology...) can look just as gorgeous as size zero girls- use them more!!!!

Caitlyn did not spell her name with a K...because this is a fresh start. 

I have seen several meme's, tweets and comments about the choice of name, Caitlyn. Caitlyn, you will not, spelt with a C, unlike the rest of the females in the Kardashian/Jenner clan, whose names all start with a nice kicking, K. 


To me, the answer to this stupid debate is obvious. Firstly, Caitlyn is not from the Kardashian clan, and now has no ties to Kris, or any obligation to fit in by choosing a name with the letter K. Secondly, this is a completely fresh start of Caitlyn, and she may just want to move away from the whole "Kardashian" bubble in order to start her new life, as her new self, in a brand new way. 

I am about 100% sure this was not an intentional dig to wind Kris up. She's sixty-five for heavens sake, I would think she is a lot more mature than that. 

The comparisons of Kris and Caitlyn need to stop.

There have been several nasty meme's created, criticising Kris's looks and stating that Caitlyn looks better than her. 


Not only is this rude to Caitlyn, making it seem like she was in competition with Kris, but it's rude to Kris too. Kris has gone through enough, with the divorce from Bruce, losing the man she loves/d and now having to watch him become somebody else. She has stated that she's happy he can finally be who he really wants to be, and of course she will be. But that doesn't mean that this hasn't been difficult for her, and although it may not have been as difficult as it was for Caitlyn, it will still have been hard. Once Caitlyn admitted this was what she had always wanted, it made Kris feel her marriage of the last 23 years was a lie. 

This hasn't been an easy time for either person, but to compare them and their looks is only being rude, disrespectful and inconsiderate of their feelings. Both women are beautiful in their own right, both are different in their looks and both are total glamor queens. There is no need to compare. 


I have nothing but respect for Caitlyn. It takes such bravery and courage to confess such emotions to your family and friends, but to do it in the public eye as well, well, that's on another level. Caitlyn has shown herself to be a strong woman, as strong as her daughters, step daughters and ex-wife, as gorgeous as her family and an inspiration to all. The trans community is such a difficult one to be a part of and coming out is never an easy process for anyone. I hope that Caitlyn will now inspire people to truly be themselves. 

And even if you aren't transgender, maybe she can inspire yourself just to be true to you no matter what. Regardless of age, gender, race, sexual preferences, nationality, regardless of anything at all, you will never be happy until you live as your true self. I know that Caitlyn's bravery has inspired me. Has she inspired you?

Love from, 
Florence Grace

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