One Year

Today is the first of May. It is also my grandfather’s first death anniversary.

They say that time heals all wounds but do I still miss him? I think I do. I miss everything that he symbolises.

Life with and without my grandfather is really different. There’s so much that I can say about him but after the past one year, the zen about him really stood out in my mind. That zen was all-encompassing. Life when he was around was calm. It was like he had this gigantic influence on everyone and everything.

Without him? It’s been a living nightmare.

Everything that can go wrong has gone wrong. It feels like I’m being slowly driven crazy bit by bit. Finding out that the unconditional love that you took for granted is a big fat lie can do that to you.

For the past three years, I’ve been lied to repeatedly, without a care of how I would feel when I find out. Then I continued to be deceived again and yet again after I already found out. It is like everything that I know has been a lie. One of the few people that should love me most cannot even be trusted to love me. The fake tears and insincere apologies left such a bitter taste on my tongue and I couldn’t do anything about it other than smile bravely and say it would all be okay.

Of course, that’s just a brave front that I’ve put together because that was the ‘correct answer’, the correct thing to do in those situations. It’s also because it is not okay to cry.

I’m all for respecting the elders. That belief has taken several strong blows over the past few months though. It wasn’t just that one person. At my most unhappy moment (for this year at least), you said this to me in such a condescending manner, “妳哭什么?”

You probably don’t have any idea of how much I hated and despised you at that moment. There I was, with my world crashing down around me, and I wasn’t even allowed to cry.

Thinking of it again, I think I still hate you. They say blood is thicker than water. I am choking on the thickness of it now, being related to people who could hurt me so carelessly.

Family… I guess you have to love them but not give them any power over you, if this is even possible.

I know that my grandfather would have lots to say on this, if he was still around. Now that he isn’t, there’s no more words of wisdom to take away the bitterness. He isn’t going to be around to nag at me for being so stupid to hold grudges. He isn’t going to tell me that everything will be okay eventually.

爷爷,我真的很想你,很想,很想。

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Some things are better left untouched

The recent Dove commercial has gone viral, no doubt about it, although I have not seen it yet. The number of people sharing and gushing about it says a lot. Heck, it even got circulated in the office through official channels. From what I have seen, about 99.9% of the people talking about it are very positive in their opinion, with only one voice of dissent among all the sickening rainbow and puppies praises lavished on the commercial. I’m rather concerned about how that 99.9% is misinterpreting the commercial.

As far as I know and from what I’ve gathered from the comments I’ve seen, the commercial is about women being shown that they are their own worst critics, and that they are more beautiful than they think they are.

The full half of my glass says that boosting self-confidence is a good thing. After all I’ve suffered at the hands of insecure little girls, and they would have driven me to suicide if I was half as insecure as them, it’s good if they don’t exist. However, that’s another story for another day.

However, the empty half of my glass says that fuck this shit, Dove is screwing with the minds of yet another generation, because ultimately, the message that Dove is sending is BEAUTY IS FUCKING IMPORTANT SO YOU BETTER BE BEAUTIFUL OR YOU’RE NOTHING. “You are more beautiful than you think” is ultimately about not just beauty but mere physical beauty.

Does it tell women that what matters the most is who they are inside? Does it tell women that beauty is not just physical? No, it does not. It tells women that beauty is important and they are nothing without beauty.

And that, is only part of my problem with it.

My other problem is that this screwed up message promotes mediocrity. I, for one, am all for physical beauty. The desire for superficial beauty is ingrained in all of us, be it a nurtured or natural thing, and I am secure enough to admit that I desire beauty. Most people do. The Insanity Workout is proof with its popularity. The name alone suggests that there is something abnormal about putting the human body through it and yet people are signing up for it. It shows a twisted and desperate need to attain superficial beauty. The good thing about this is that it pushes people to improve and be better. Yes, it promotes superficiality but it doesn’t hurt that much when we are already superficial to begin with. Telling people that they are already good enough and there’s no need to do any more? That’s what gives us the unsightly fat rolls and fuck ugly faces.

Call me a superficial bitch if you want for voicing out an honest opinion but that is gross. Nobody wants to look at ugly things if they can help it.

Shallowness aside, I think it’s time people start thinking beyond the superficial, and decide for themselves what is really important. Being led by the nose isn’t a very attractive option to me but that may be just me. Dove should also try to aim for a more wholesome message or just plain stop trying to screw with impressionable minds. I certainly don’t need more brainwashed people trying their best to drive me to slit my wrists just because they’re insecure.

Just leave it alone. Some things are better left untouched.