Tag Archives: Issue 9

Ask Us Anything!

1 Dec

This here is a brand new feature to Yellow Bunting: our very own Agony Aunts! Editor Becky and new writer Rubyyy [yes, the same Rubyyy we interviewed not too long ago] will be here every issue to answer any burning questions you have. Drop them a line at ask.yellowbunting@yahoo.co.uk

This weeks question is bullying based:

“There’s a group of girls who bully me at school, they call me names and make jokes about me. up until now I’ve ignored it, but it’s recently started getting to me and I don’t know what to do: HELP.”

Becky says: First of all you should tell someone, whether or not it is getting you, it is important that you have someone to talk to. This can be an adult you trust or your best friend but just having someone there to lean on will hopefully make you feel better.

You don’t specify here what type of school you go to, primary or secondary. In primary school, teachers getting involved were great for me but secondary just seemed to complicate things and ended up getting me picked on more. You need to see someone who will offer advice and can help the situation but not make it worse by telling the girls off etc. which may then give them more ammunition. But you do need to make someone aware of the problem, someone you trust and who can help.

Its all well and good fighting your own battles but make sure that you are strong enough to do so. Everyone is strong enough to fight back but this isn’t always the easiest thing, emotionally speaking. Always keep in mind that these girls must be lacking somewhat to need to pick on someone else, for pain to cause them satisfaction means that they have a problem. Anyway, just think, in the long run you will be better off than them, I know this sounds cliché but it is true. I was extremely unhappy but I found people who loved me for me when I got older. I know this doesn’t help now but it is some hope for the future.

In the now, I would as I said speak to someone you know you can trust, maybe not a parent as they may be over protective towards you but definitely speak to someone. This can’t go on and it is unfair on you to have to accept what they are doing. Just remember, again cliché but true, you are the better person! If they need to make someone feel bad to gain their kicks then they must be some sad individuals!

Rubyyy says: Hi there! Thanks for your question and sorry to hear things have been a little rough on you lately. I think most people have been bullied, I myself was bullied quite a bit in middle school and high school (sorry! Canadian!).

My assault, just so you know it’s fair to call bullying assault, was mostly verbal; majority of the attacks were on my weight and my appearance, some simply for being an outspoken woman. I think it’s important to nip things in the bud as bullying is something that can easily escalate; mine did and that’s when I was finally pushed into action.

I know sometimes we fear going to ‘superiors’ such as teachers, parents, managers when it comes to things like this, that we will be rejected, hushed or told “it’s just part of growing up” but it’s not and it shouldn’t be and you should seek out an elder who can advise you and protect you.

You have every right to feel safe and secure in your school, work neighborhood and it’s worth any initial nerves or bumps when seeking out someone who will help.

Know that you are taking care of yourself and others, now and in the future, by asking for assistance.

Big hugs!
Love and Light,
Rubyyy

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My Story

30 Nov

Growing up in the 80’s/early 90’s as a mixed race female wasn’t really the greatest. My family and I received quite a lot of abuse from all angles. For example I remember my mother telling me stories such as a time when she was out with me in the pram and had a complete stranger spit at me when I was just two years old, and when we went to view a house and had the neighbors shout that they did not want “coons” living next door to them.

It became the norm to me as I made my way through primary school. I accepted that I was part of an ‘inferior’ and ‘unwanted’ race. It did have quite an affect on my confidence and character. I was always trying to fit in and please people which meant I didn’t really have my own identity. It’s actually only now when I look back that I realise just how bad I was isolated and attacked with verbal and emotional abuse. It was horrible. I think I may have even blocked it all out due to how upsetting it was. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about it properly until right now! Making me a bit teary actually!

I floated around during my school days trying to find ‘nice friends’ as my mother would say. But it was even more difficult when you were already socially un-accepted. I was teased by girls and boys, which, as you can imagine, as a teenage girl was really hard going. You feel totally alone and start to believe that you are in fact everything they say you are. The feeling of fear, intimidation, dread and loneliness everyday is just heart wrenching. During primary school I became ‘friends’ with two girls who would decide each day whether they would be nice to me or completely isolate me as well as spread rumors about me for their own amusement. So I spent most of these years going to bed hoping that the next day would be a good day and waking up anxious and panicking all the way to school.

It’s so hard for children and parents of children who experience bullying as there is no quick fix. As a child, all you want to do is fit in and be happy, but when things don’t go that way, it’s so hard to process what you should do. Going to the teachers or your parents isn’t an option in a young adults head as that’s just another bit of fuel for the bully’s. On the other end of the spectrum, which I am now experiencing, as a parent you feel completely helpless. You want to protect your children from anything and everything, but if they aren’t telling you what’s going on, what can you do? The nights I would go home and sob to my mother but beg her not to do anything, I now know, must have torn her apart.

It has definitely had an impact on me as an adult too as I spent a lot of years being very submissive and timid as I felt that was my place. I still feel very insecure at times, however, I am so much stronger and more confident than I was. A lot of that I owe to becoming a mum as I would never want my children seeing me back down from something I believed in or show fear of others. I want them knowing their own self worth and being proud. I’m thankful that a lot has changed nowadays compared to back then, even though there are still a lot of ignorant people out there.

People do grow and things do get better. It’s so hard for someone in the middle of a situation to see that but it’s true. My advice for anyone being bullied would be believe in your own worth! Speak out and don’t go through it alone. Strength in numbers! Especially numbers of people who think you freaking rock!!

About the writer: Alex is a drama graduate and self taught photographer. She started out by photographing her friends unique style and was soon approached by others wanting to be shot by her. She has recently been offered representation and has been listed as a photographer for Vogue Italia. You can find her on twitter, facebook and her website.

My bullying experience

29 Nov

As this issue is all about bullying, we’ve individually been asked to write about our own bullying experiences. As someone who has been bullied a great deal of my life, you think this would be easy to do but its hard to know where to begin. I was fat. Simple as. I was a fat teenager and to be a fat teenager is pretty hard as it is but when you have others picking on you for that reason, it gets very difficult. I also had spots and glasses. Not the most attractive of combinations but that was me and in some ways I miss it. Anyway, high school. I remember in the initial induction of students into the school, we were forced to play these team bonding exercises such as ball games etc. I remember a guy turning around to pass me a ball with a look of disgust on his face and moaning ‘eugh’. I didn’t understand, he didn’t even know me yet, why was he repulsed by me?

Looking back I now know that it was because of how I looked. I wasn’t the thin, athletic, popular girl but because I was different he had a stick shoved up his arse and thought he was somehow superior to me. This continued through most of high school with most of the students, even some who didn’t get involved didn’t speak to me or make me feel comfortable. Comments the teachers would make didn’t help either, during a French class where we were learning the rules of the classroom, my teacher said that she would try and give us a rule that suited us the most. When she got to me, she said that I should have to no eating in class, put it this way I never ate in class. So was she referring to my weight? That probably would have played on my mind but it was nothing to the unison of ‘awwwwwwww’ from my classmates. That just made it ten times worse.

During high school, I had a group of three main friends, possibly four at certain points. During that time one of them drew a picture of me with a big pregnant stomach. I was hurt but not as close to this person, I could shrug it off easier. The main memory that sticks in my head was when I was having lunch one day with my three friends. One of them decided to pipe up with, ‘did you know one in four people turns out to be obese? No offense Beck but I think its gonna be you’. To which my other friend went, ‘aw that’s so mean’. Not ‘that’s unfair’ or ‘don’t be a bitch’. Yes you may think I am over thinking things here but when you dealt with constant awkwardness and horrible feelings from your peers most days then when you friends say it, let’s just say paper cut, lemon juice. Cue to me sitting bawling on my bedroom floor thinking that I was ugly, fat, spotty, stupid, never going to get a boyfriend, going to get into college or uni or have any good friends who wanted to go out.

When I went to college, it all died down. I still wasn’t the attractive one of my group but I was happy. I had good friends and they treated me a lot better. However the feeling of animosity from males in even my own group of friends was still there. I began losing weight, a conscious decision, thinking it would make me happier. Quoting one of my lecturers at the time of my shedding the pounds (and horribly quickly I might add) when I mentioned that people were beginning to get worried about me as they thought I was losing too much, to which she replied basically ‘screw them, you should keep losing more’. So I did. I lost so much to the point where I was nearly hospitalised and extremely ill. It was just a harmless comment but one that I undertook with great rush.

Some people blame themselves for what happened after, I will always disagree. What happened happened because I was overweight, shy with extremely low self esteem. The reason I was big was down to me and me alone, not my parents. I chose to sneak that second, third packet of crisps, I didn’t stop when I thought I was getting a little chubbier. The fault is all mine. And who says its a fault? The fault was that others made me feel like I was disgusting and not good enough, I’m not saying I blame them, it was again my fault I was bigger but they sure as hell didn’t improve my esteem or how I felt about myself.

I’m not saying that being bigger is wrong or anything like that, if you are then you are you and nobody should tell you to change that. Losing weight and changing how I look was a personal choice for me and as my doctor once said, ‘You are losing weight to make you happy?’ And all I was doing was making myself unhappy and conforming to standards no one should set but myself.

 

 

About the Writer: Becky has just finished a degree in English and Creative Writing and is very happy with her 2:1. She is friendly, bubbly and just so happens to be the co-creator of Yellow Bunting. She hopes you enjoy it and that you get involved!

Bullying

28 Nov

Ah, bullying. How sucky you really are. Character building, but sucky.

Being bullied is a horrible thing. I count myself lucky in that my bullying wasn’t terrible [ie- no physical bullying] but there were always people that I could count on to bring me down and make fun of me. Thanks, guys.

It all started in secondary school *cue flashback music* Ergh. Honestly, you show one iota of individuality and enthusiasm for history and all of a sudden these kids pounce on you for being different and a bit of a geek.

We got bullied by some kids that we called ‘chavs’ but I’m sure there are lots of other names for them. They did the normal name calling: ‘geek’, ‘nerd’, ‘loser’ and ‘greebo’ which always tickled me cause it’s not to dissimilar from ‘greeb’ which is a bird. [For those wondering, [and because I’m old and have no idea if this word is in use anymore] a ‘greebo’ in colloquial terms was the name given to someone who didn’t listen to R N’ B/rap/pop but preferred rock music.]

I’m trying to think of the worse thing that happened to me at school and like I say, my bullying wasn’t so bad. Other people had it much worse. It was never one big thing, just lots of little ones. There were lots of put downs, bitchy snide remarks about my appearance and my musical persuasion and for some weird reason, most of them thought they were superior to me in some way. I could never figure that one out. [Don’t get me wrong, I never thought I was better than they were, I just wonder what made them think what they did.]

I’ll tell you a funny thing. It happened during my last year of school so I guess I was 17/18. By this time there was no bullying in my life and the school had just had a reshuffle so we were all in new tutor group. In each tutor there would be 2-4 pupils from each year, [7, 8, 9, 10, etc] and I swear to god these kids get cockier every year as we had some year 8 chavs try to bully us! To be fair, they were trying to use a TV as a mirror to do their make up in and I may have quietly laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation but one of them started mouthing off at me. A few ‘fucks’ were said, something about how I was stupid for not wearing make up but my god it was hilarious. A part of me though ‘crickey, this is what my 14 year old self found intimidating?’ *sighs* Happy days…

But on a more serious note. My advice? Don’t change. Never change who you are just because someone with an inferiority complex wants you to. You are marvellous, you are wonderful, you are unique just the way you are. One day school will end, but your life will go on. This is when real life starts. You’ll go to college/university or get a job. You will meet lots of new interesting people who like you the way you are. You will grow up and look back on this time in your life with perspective and realise you did nothing wrong.

About the Writer: Daisy is an irregular photographer, wannabe writer and full time female. In between tea and toast breaks she spends far too much time on the internet blogging, tumbling and tweeting. She is unapologetic in her love of the Spice Girls.

Movie Making Madames Part Four: Maya Deren and Germaine Dulac

26 Nov

Cross posted to Sarah’s blog

Sometimes it can seem like all the films being churned out are either remakes or sequels. Hollywood can seem formulaic and narratively simplistic. Ever since movies began there have always been people who have wanted to try something different and so the independent film industry was born. It lacked the money and influence of mainstream film industries but it made up for that with maverick ideas and inventive ways of bringing them to life.

image from here

Germaine Dulac did a bit of everything. She started her career as a feminist journalist before pursuing her passion for still photography that propelled her on to working as a film director, writer, producer and theorist as well as becoming the president of Fédération des ciné-clubs, a group dedicated to promoting up and coming filmmakers and teaching photography and film, putting many of her contemporary counterparts to shame.

Dabbling in both Impressionism and Surrealism, Dulac’s big successes in cinema such as The Seashell and the Clergyman and The Smiling Madam Beudet came before the advent of sound cinema and before Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali’s Un Chien Andalou, arguably the most famous Surrealist film ever (If you’ve never heard of it is the film where Buñuel slices a woman’s eye open, it turns into the moon and he and Dali are monks… watch it).

After the introduction of sound Dulac’s career faltered and she spent the rest of her life making newsreels for Pathe and Gaumont. When she died it took three weeks and numerous re-writes before her obituary to be published, she was so controversial.

In the US, Maya Deren is the Grandmother of Indie film and the experimental director Stan Brakhagecalled her “the mother of us all”, “Us” being everyone who felt like giving the finger at narrative and stylistic conventions.

image from here

I first encountered Maya Deren during my second year of university when our class was shown arguably two of her most famous short films, Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), which I later based my first solo project on and At Land (1944). Art films and experimental films usually get a bad rap outside of hard core film theorist circles because it can look like jumbled mess and overly pretentious. Deren thought of her films as visual poems, capturing fleeting emotions and states of being rather than events or characters. The films rely on striking images and haunting concepts to draw in the audience. Deren acted in her films but never credited herself, preferring to keep her characters as anonymous figures and her film crews were similarly simplistic. Deren worked on Meshes with only her second husband Alexander Hammid and a 16mm camera bought using inheritance money. Deren once claimed that “I make my pictures for what Hollywood spends on lipstick” and she was a fierce critic of the way she felt Hollywood was stifling creativity and diversity within American Cinema.

Tragically, Deren died in 1961 from malnutrition, possibly due to her drug use. A posthumous documentary was released in 1985 from footage Deren shot between 1947 and 1951 when she made multiple trips to Haiti. Divine Horsemen: the Living God’s of Haiti (1985) led to some criticizing Deren for leaving the avant-garde but Deren herself felt she needed to progress as an artist and Vodun traditions and rituals were fascinating to her. Her book of the same name is considered an important text on the subject. Sadly, Deren never completed the project and the last film released before she died, The Very Eye of Night (1958) gives us a glimpse at how her work could have unfolded.

About the writer: Sarah is a filmmaker and writer with an obsession for luscious visuals and a distain for tomatoes (they are a sneaky and untrustworthy foodstuff). If she’s not blogging, she’ll be watching films or running around with her video camera.

Don’t Suffer in Silence

24 Nov

I am going to talk about society’s biggest problem: bullying, it can occur anywhere, at school, at work and at home. There is no certain age to be bullied or to be a bully, but is most common in children and teenagers. One of the main reasons people get bullied is society’s perception of ‘perfection’, but as the old saying goes, nobody’s perfect – far from it actually. I find this topic personal after being bullied throughout school, but I feel that it is a subject that must be touched on as people need to notice signs of mistreatment as they could in fact save lives. Whether you have been bullied or not I hope that this short article helps you in some way.

This may sound strange, but personally I am glad I was bullied as it’s definitely made me stronger and a much more decent person. Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a great fan of having a cheese sandwich thrown in my face or the constant worry that I was being laughed at, but without these experience I wouldn’t be the person I am today.  I do not stand for spiteful and offensive behaviour towards myself or anybody around me; I despise how people feel the need to stereotype groups and hate them for it. Having said that, I do regret the number of times I stood by and watched someone get picked on, but being too scared to stand up for them in case they turned on me, I hid in the shadows. Well I can honestly say that will not happen anymore!

However most people who are being bullied will not ask for help, this is because they may want to feel in control of the situation or they may feel nobody cares enough to listen to them, which can unfortunately lead them to withdraw themselves from their friends and becoming depressed. Not only will it affect them socially and physical, but also mentally.

Bullies constantly pick on your insecurities making your self-confidence drop to an all-time low. I was often called ‘Tubby ‘and ‘Dumbo’, but the name that hurt me the most and is now the reason I tend to shy away from cameras is ‘big nose’. Now we all know our own flaws like the back of our hands and often wish that some fairy Godmother would appear out of nowhere to change these things (What? It worked for Cinderella!), but even though this may sound slightly cliché, our flaws are what makes us – literally. Most people say that bullies have their own insecurities and often take it out on others to hide them, however I think this is an immoral excuse for shameful behaviour.

I could go on a massive rant at how merciless and unpleasant humanity has become, but I don’t have all day and quite frankly that won’t help stop bullying – but you can. If you see someone alone, go up to them, share a smile and give them a chance to be themselves without being judged or laughed at. If you see someone being victimised, stand up for them and let them know you are there to help them. Most importantly, if you are being bullied; be strong and seek help. You may not think that people care or that it’ll just get worse – it won’t. Don’t suffer in silence and let those rotten people win.

Sex? Or not to sex?

23 Nov

Is it me or are kids (if we can still call them that) growing up far too quick for their age these days?! I know I probably sound about 40 years my senior, but seriously 14 year old girls, caked in make-up, dressed in pencil skirts and 7ft heels is ridiculous! I can’t even cope with heels at 21 years old, let alone any younger. I see these kiddie boppers waltzing around the shopping centre like it’s London Fashion Week and it’s scary seeing this maturity in them that I only managed to achieve at the age of 20 (ish).

I remember being 14 and literally wishing my life away to an age of independent discovery; a place where I could drive, stay out past 8:30pm without my mother having a heart attack and turning into Liam Neeson from Taken. It’s ironic because at 14 I wished to be older, and wiser, but now I actually am older  (not so much wiser), I realise that you should never wish time away, whatever age you are.

There are first times for everything in life, especially through the teenage years and one should never attempt to complete them all at such a young age. There are essential rebellious firsts that make you feel “cool” like your first cigarette. I was 13 and it was gross. It baffles me that smoking was ever seen as cool back in the day, and I built myself up so much to try it, thinking I would gain my debut into awesomeness, but not only did I cough and splutter, I remained a weird kid for the rest of my school life.

Aside from these kinds of firsts, there are the more serious firsts that will always be reflected on throughout life. These are things like first love, first heartbreak, and first time to have sex…

Now what would you guess to be the average age for girls to lose their virginities? 17? Maybe 16?  To be honest I don’t think you can put an age on it because it totally depends on when YOU feel ready, and that differs girl to girl. I know girls who were 15 and some girls who waited until they were 20. The point I’m trying to address is that girls should never be bullied into giving up something that is rightfully there’s to give! It p*sses me off when you get a group of girls and only one of them is still a virgin. They can be made to feel excluded, embarrassed, frigid, unattractive, lonely…the list goes on. It saddens me because this bullying is coming from their “friends.” This can cause girls to sleep around to fit in and being bullied into having sex is happening more often because girls are having sex younger and younger. Bullying within a friendship group is the worst type of bulling in my opinion, because people should feel most like themselves around their friends. This kind of pressure and exclusion from friends can cause a girl to lose her V to any Tom, Dick, or Harry (pun absolutely intended).

Whether you’re 15, or whether you’re 35, my point is you can’t put an age on readiness. It’s about being comfortable with someone who isn’t pushing you to “do it”, and you may meet that person as a teenager or in your early 20’s. Everyone’s different and within a friendship group, you always want to be up to date with your friends, but in this case it should be personal. The first time will be remembered throughout life, as cheesy as it sounds it’s true, and it’s so sh*t when it’s looked back on with regret.

Not, only that if a girl looses her virginity through pressure and bullying, that will stay with her and she won’t bat an eyelid to things like sexism, and sexualisation because that’s what they know! As a collective gender, we are sexualised enough through media portrayal, so we need to hold on tight to our personal sexual freedom people!

Only give it away when WE want to, not when it’s wanted by others.