Blanca Navidad

¡Abuelaaa, que se quema el pavo! ¡Paquita, deja de comer turrones que se te va a poner el culo del tamaño de esta mesa! ¿Que quién viene esta noche a cenar?… Mis ocho tíos, quince primos (cinco con novio incluido), mis abuelos, mi hermano que acaba de llegar de Tombuctú, su nueva novia china…

¿Os suena?…

Si… bendita Navidad señores… Quizás la época más… ¿ruidosa? del año

Técnicamente, “La Navidad es la celebración del Nacimiento de Cristo; que tuvo lugar en Belén, un pueblo de Palestina, hace aproximadamente dos mil años ” (Haz click aquí si quieres leer más) Pero… ¿es eso en lo que realmente pensamos cuando hablamos de la Navidad?

La verdad es que el nacimiento de Cristo no suele ser el tema estrella de estos días. Y es que es así… las Navidades son la excusa perfecta para centrarnos en las cosas que normalmente tenemos más olvidadas durante el año. Son de los días más subjetivamente felices o tristes para la gente en general. Hay personas para las que es la mejor época del año sin lugar a duda. Tiempo de reuniones familiares, de volver a encontrarse con los suyos, hacer regalos a aquellos a los que quieren y disfrutar de esas cosas tan ricas que solo pasan en estas épocas… (como el Roscón de Reyes…el mejor invento del mundo).

Image

Y hay gente para la que la Navidad suele ser sinónimo de soledad. De recuerdos de un tiempo mejor, echar de menos o echar de más… Y es que, por raro que pueda parecer, hay personas que detestan esta época con toda su alma.

Pero, las cosas como son, no son tiempos fáciles para nadie. No quiero convertir este post en una enumeración de terribles cifras que muestran el estado en el que está nuestro país (aunque el señor Rajoy se empeñe en decir que nos estamos “recuperando”). Pero si me atrevería a decir que, en general, no ha sido el mejor año para llegar a las expectativas que las Navidades exigen.

Haciendo balance del año, diría que puedo estar feliz de todo lo que me ha ocurrido en 2013. Los “13” tienen mala fama… pero teniendo en cuenta la forma en la que terminan, solo puedo sentirme agradecida. Ha sido el mejor año en muchísimo tiempo. Y ahora que se acerca el famoso 31 de diciembre, el día más viejo de todos que siempre acaba con un respiro y ganas de dejar atrás lo malo y esperanza por el año a continuación, a pesar de que me falta alguna que otra personilla con la que mirar hacia el 2014, puedo asegurar que lo paso con las personas más importantes para mí. Las que me hacen feliz día a día y hasta despiertan en mí ganas de preparar cosas de estas:

Image

(Creedme, la cocina y yo siempre guardamos sendas distancias)

Así que B.Blogueros, os deseo una muy Feliz Navidad y que la paséis en compañía de la gente que REALMENTE queréis y os hace felices… y a los que no, como dice mi madre, “fuuuuu como a las vacas”.

Image

Me voy por las ramas siempre eh… me cuesta muchísimo acabar mis posts. Estaría escribiendo eternamente. Pero bueno, a lo que iba:

Feliz Navidad, Feliz 2014 y espero que todos vuestros deseos y esperanzas se cumplan. Este blog es una de las mías…por eso seguiré dándoos el coñazo el año que viene, y el siguiente, y el siguiente…

Os mando un beso muuuy fuerte, y ya sabéis… ¡comed ahora que los vestidos son anchos y aún falta mucho para el desafío “embutirse en un bikini”!

B.

Love is in B.Blog

El amor… ese gran protagonista. El ideal, el capullo que siempre se lo lleva todo. El principal tema de conversación de nuestras neuronas… ( de los que tenemos…) El gran influyente y fuente de inspiración para tantos siglos de literatura, canciones, guerras, grandes pasiones, locuras, muerte, traición…

Image

Los científicos describen el amor como algo que“…está directamente asociado con los altos niveles de dopamina, norepinefrina y noradrenalina, productos químicos segregados por el cerebro que están asociados al incremento del trabajo de la memoria y la atención, así como a la percepción de nuevos estímulos.”. Ojo al dato señores, “dopamina, norepinefrina y noradrenalina”.  Romeo debía tener los niveles “noradrenalinaticos” por las nubes entonces…  Nunca me gustaron los científicos que creen que tienen explicación para todo. Yo creo que hay cosas que no se pueden explicar con palabras científicas (y menos tan raras como esas). Estoy segura de ello. Y también estoy segura de que todos los que estáis leyendo esto ahora podríais ponerme un ejemplo personal… porque todos, absolutamente todos, para bien o para mal, hemos estado enamorados.

Hay amores de todo tipo. Amores que nos hacen las personas más felices del mundo. Que nos hacen sentir las tan conocidas mariposas en el estómago y nos quitan el hambre, el frío y la sed. Como decía el padre de uno de los grandes amores de la historia “Love to faults is always blind, always is to joy inclined. Lawless, winged, and unconfined, and breaks all chains from every mind”- William Shakespeare. Hay amores que, directamente, nos matan. Que aparecen en forma de puñal que se va clavando por nuestras vísceras para luego anidar en el corazón y quedarse indefinido (y a este tipo la crisis no les afecta). Hay amores locos, fugaces y pasionales, que sabes que van a terminar, pero que igualmente merece la pena vivirlos. “Love is too young to know what conscience is”- W.S. Amores obsesivos y enfermos, que terminan convirtiéndose en algo más parecido al infierno que a otra cosa. Y luego están mis preferidos… los amores que no quieren reconocer que son amores.

Image

¿Que qué es el amor?… Hay mil respuestas posibles, y desde luego yo no soy la más indicada para contestar. Así que (como buena futura periodista), decidí que un tema tan subjetivo como este debía ser contrastado con distintas opiniones. Y eso hice. Os dejo las respuestas que obtuve:

1. ¿Que es el amor? 

2. ¿Qué es el amor?

3. ¿Qué es el amor?

4. ¿Qué es el amor?

El cuarto entrevistado lo tiene claro eh…

Queda constancia de lo subjetivo que es este tema y de las formas tan distintas que tenemos todos de vivirlo. El amor es, probablemente, uno de los conceptos más difíciles de definir y a los que más matices se le puede encontrar. 

Pero al final, yo diría que el amor es ese sentimiento que te vuelve loco y consigue que olvides la existencia de todos los demás (sobre todo de la vergüenza). Amor es que te dé igual quien mire, donde sea y que haya alrededor. Unas tortitas con nata y caramelo… (chocolate si nos ponemos tiquis miquis) en Vips, atragantadas entre besos, abrazos y mas besos mientras una pareja de ancianos mira indignada. Amor es que te de igual morrearte como si no hubiera mañana en el sitio más espontáneo… pleno Congreso de los Diputados en una sesión de puertas abiertas, por ejemplo. Y todo porque te apetece…simplemente. Amor es discutir, llorar, odiar, perder ese orgullo que te ha llevado tantos años construir para que, todo se resuelva con un abracito, una sonrisa y lo que surja después.

Si hay una cosa clara, es que es algo por lo que todos pasamos una (si eres afortunado), o varias veces en la vida. No siempre llega de la misma manera ni se va de la forma más limpia, pero al menos nos hace vibrar, estremecernos, reír, llorar, temblar… en resumen, sentir. Y sentir es, al fin y al cabo, lo mejor que nos puede pasar en la vida.

B. 

Noches en Vela

Hay noches en las que es imposible dormir. No sabría muy bien como describir esos momentos… esos en los que la cabeza nos da mil vueltas.  Como la llamaba la Madre Teresa de Calcuta, “La loca de la casa”… cuánta razón tenía. Pues bueno, cuando “la loca” en cuestión se pone guerrera, apaga y vámonos. Se dedica a hacernos repasar todos y cada uno de los momentos que hemos vivido, (y esos que no hemos vivido, también).

Image

A pesar de tener muchísimo sueño, sigues despierta. Miras de nuevo toda tu galería de imágenes del móvil, actualizas Facebook una y otra vez para comprobar que en dos segundos no haya ocurrido un fenómeno de trascendencia mundial… nadie te habla por whatsapp, pero tú, no desistes. Continúas haciendo lo que sea con tal de no dormir. Lees Twitter, el periódico, las notas perdidas por el bloc de tu móvil (y ¡ai las cosas que descubres por ahí!…), Instagram… Yo hoy he llegado al límite: buscar vídeos ñoños en Youtube. Así como lo leéis. Y no me conformo con eso, no… Luego me meto en Google para mirar la letra… Sigo anonadada. En el instante que me he dado cuenta de la gravedad de la situación, he pensado que os lo tenía que contar.

No sé si os lo preguntaréis, pero yo lo hago a menudo… ¿Qué narices nos pasa por la cabeza a veces para hacer estas cosas? Os juro que tengo sueño eh… pero en lugar de dormir me dedico a evitar esta idílica actividad buscando cualquier excusa para seguir “en mi mundo”.

Supongo que por las noches, nuestra forma de ver las cosas que nos rodean, cambia de alguna forma. Todo es como… más profundo, más intenso…Conclusión: Las cosas se sienten más por la noche… (Y para todos aquellos que tengáis la mente del color de una botella de Heineken, que sepáis que no, no voy por ese camino). Me refiero a que por la noche, nuestros sentimientos son más intensos. Hoy precisamente lo hablaba con un amigo. ¿Sabéis cuándo estáis enfermos y os pasáis todo el día bien, pero de repente llega la noche, te sube la fiebre, te entran todos los dolores y ya no te puedes mover de la cama? pues con los sentimientos pasa algo parecido. De pronto llega la noche y nosotros, que parecemos fuertes (o nos lo creemos), decididos y racionales (esto último definitivamente es algo que nos creemos), nos convertimos en seres vulnerables, presos de la tenue luz del móvil y atrapados en un mundo interior de sensaciones del que no teníamos constancia alguna…

Si estábamos tristes, estamos más tristes. Si estábamos felices, nos ponemos melancólicos. Y ya, como estemos enamorados…y no os quiero ni contar si encima no nos corresponden. No hay manera. La noche saca a relucir nuestro “yo” interior…suena irónico que la noche saque a relucir nada. Pero así es. Quizás sea nuestra forma de compensar la falta de luz. O quizá sea el único momento del día que tenemos realmente para nosotros… como sea lo segundo, de nuevo, ¡que espanto ser tan ñoña!

La verdad es que, de algún modo, la noche siempre me dio miedo. Todo lo que vemos se reduce a la pantalla del móvil (ahora que los hay), y lo que oímos, a los sonidos de nuestros propios pensamientos diciendo nada más que burradas. “La loca” siempre busca los momentos de máxima susceptibilidad para recordarnos todos nuestros problemas. Y la noche definitivamente es uno de ellos… Quizá sea porque es el único momento del día en el que tenemos que convivir realmente con nuestro propio ser…y eso puede ser aterrorizante.

Concluiré confesando que todo esto, os lo cuento ya metida en la cama, escribiendo desde mi iPhone, con la luz de mi cuarto apagada, y sin dejar de escuchar el enervante tic tac de mi reloj morado. A lo mejor él es el único culpable de esta situación. Espero que sí… de todas formas, creo que ha llegado el momento: Me voy a dormir antes de que sea demasiado tarde y el siguiente paso sea un centro psiquiátrico.

PD: En realidad, ese momento en el que te metes en la camita, te tapas hasta el hueco justo debajo de los orificios nasales, te acurrucas y te vas quedando poco a poco dormida, es, con creces, el mejor de todo el día.

¡Buenas noches!

B. 

Economy or Morality?

I´m sure you all have heard about it. Most of you have things from it, and some of you even adore it. I must confess I also have pictures with the hot, half naked guy that greets us at the door. Yes people, I am talking about Abercrombie & Fitch. Those stores that can be smelled 500 meters away from the building. Those stores, which appear to be a hardcore disco, with practically no light on the insides and a combination of gorgeous people and mini winy t shirts, shorts and vests all around us.

Image

Abercrombie & Fitch was founded in 1989 and began operating as a store that sold hunting clothes and materials. Of course, a lot of water has flowed since then. If you want to read the whole history of the company, click here. Anyway, we don’t really need a lot of history to judge the following quotes. Let me tell you an interesting story about their current CEO. Our protagonist´s name is Mike Jeffreys and has some really…”interesting” views about his business which he doesn’t really try to hide from public knowledge. These are just some of the testimonies he makes with relative frequency:

“We hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.” (Yes Mr Jeffreys…you are SO handsome…)

Image

“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he says. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.” 

Click here if you want to read more… “interesting” quotes.

I´ll try to handle this in an objective way. I guess in the “companies’ world” at the end, we are always left out with two different ways of looking at things: the economic perspective, where making money is what really counts, and the moral one: where the important thing is to owe fidelity to our principles and values on the firsthand. There are very different kinds of people, as well as very different kinds of businesses and CEO´s. And Abercrombie is certainly one which looks at things with an economic approach. BUT… feeding a superficial society only brings problems…for the people, of course. Companies establish beauty canons and we must adapt to them, no matter if this will cause us traumas, psychologic and physical illnesses, insecurity and therefore… sadness. We will always try to adapt to them, because we feel that this is what will make us truly happy (if so many people think that, and so many companies sell that, they are probably not that wrong… aren´t they?)

Image

This same week, I spoke with a friend who had been working in Abercrombie for 9 months. To work in Abercrombie, as old Mickey says, you have to meet certain physical requirements: height, width, have a pretty smile, good hair… you have to be hot as hell, to make it short. I asked him what he thought of that, and he argued in favor of hiring whoever you want, selling whatever you want and under the conditions you prefer… it´s a free market I guess. I can understand this approach…sort of.

What I don’t understand is how a company that exists to serve society and to make our lives… “better” can have that mentality. I think social responsibility is extremely important. If you are aware of the huge worldwide impact you have on teenagers and young people you should not, under any possible marketing excuse, contribute to the segregation of the “cool – thin – pretty” and the “geek – fat – ugly”. Because, at the end, beauty is nothing more than a lottery, transient and far… very far away from the really important things in life.

So, what do you think?… Economy or morality

B.

I am a Woman, not an Object

Image

Every extreme is somehow harming. Throughout history, we have seen how extremist points of view and actions (Nazi Germany, the Communist Soviet Union, The Church´s Inquisition, long ect list) have always brought bad consequences for society in general. The problem with extremism is that its members are not able to feel empathy with someone who doesn’t share their same point of view. But extremisms sometimes show up to defend a certain minority who lives under another imposed extremism, but so camouflaged in culture, that they don’t realize it anymore.

Those of you who are Spanish, will probably have seen this not so long ago: “CLICK HERE”. And if you didn’t know anything about it I encourage you to read it. I also suggest you read more news about the issue so that the article is better understood: “Femen in the UK”, “Femen in Saudi Arabia”

Image

FEMEN is a feminist activist group known for appearing on their protest with bare breasts. Their slogan is: “My body is my weapon”. They claim for a “sextremist revolution”, in which they want to end up with what they consider a society dominated by men and are prepared to fight with anyone. “We live in the world of male economic, cultural and ideological occupation. In this world, a woman is a slave, she is stripped of the right to any property but above all she is stripped of ownership of her own body”. They believe women should stand up to patriarchy and end with the forces that have controlled their lives since the beginning of times: dictatorship, sex – industry and the church. For more info, click here and see their official webpage.

I have to admit I love them. I know I just said extremes are always harming, and indeed they are. But I really think this case is different. Women have always been the “weak gender”, the ones who stay home and take care of the kids, who have to be protected by the strong guy, the delicate… but this is not the worse. They are also the sexual objects. The way women are portrayed in society: by advertising, stereotypes, magazines…even politics! There is one thing I can´t stand: positive discrimination. In 2007, Spain put forward a law stating that companies should incorporate at least a 40% of women in their board of directors. WHY do women have to have “special” rights to get a job when they are as valid as men? Reinforcing the “obligation” to hire women is degrading. Why are we the weak gender? I think we definitely have to fight against this type of things, especially in countries like Saudi Arabia where women are not even allowed to drive.

Women´s perception in the world needs to change. Of course, I would never justify hurting someone or violence as a form of protest, but I think FEMEN is on the right path. There are certain pillars in society that need to be demolished, and no matter how many egalitarian laws are passed to try to protect women, until these things are eradicated, women will never be equal. And I agree with FEMEN on them:

Dictatorship. Women´s submission to men in most societies. Men in control of the incomes, the plans, the strength. Until women are not seen as the “weak gender” anymore, we will not be equal.

Sex – industry. Prostitution: buying a woman´s body. Seeing women as sexual objects and therefore reinforcing the importance of superficiality and being “hot as hell” for boys.

Religion. One of the most damaging and viral excuses behind denigrating women. There is an incredible need for the absolute separation of religion and state. Laws and culture should not be ruled by religion under any circumstance. Until the concept of having “a superior being” who wants us to be objects to men doesn’t disappear, we will stay where we are.

But the first step is that US, women, stop seeing ourselves like this. We do not have to depend on anyone and we do not have to subdue our life to the search of being “the good woman”. I support FEMEN on what they do. And I think that it is our duty to prepare a fairer world for our daughters. Because change exists, and it´s possible. Of course I do not mean we should take our shirts off, paint our breasts and go to the Senate, but for a big change to take place, a lot of small ones are needed first. We should change our own perception of ourselves, our own surroundings, our views on education…and let the big changes come with time and effort.

 “I am a woman not an object”.

Image

B. 

DOCTRINA PAROT

Today, Monday 21st of October 2013, Spain has been forced to move a step backwards concerning human rights. One of the fairest laws approved by our Spanish Supreme Court (I must say there are not a lot of fair laws at all) has been derogated and beaten up by the Strasbourg Courts. Ok, let´s start from the beginning. Promise I´ll try to be objective.

According to the European Court of Human Rights, killing someone is condemned with 30 years in prison. If my maths are still ok, killing two people would mean spending 60 years in prison and so on. But this, as most things, has a trick. At the end, assassins cannot stay in jail more than 30 years in total: which means that, it doesn’t matter if you kill one or fifty people, at the end you will only stay in prison a maximum of 30 years. The problem with this is, it is certainly not the same to kill one person (I´m not entering on specific cases), steal something or belong to an extreme political ideology than to put a terrorist attack on a public place in Madrid, commit 24 assassinations or rape more than one girl. Here comes another problem: thirty years in prison are never thirty years. Years get all the time cancelled with “good conduct”, “good work”, “good study”, “good whatever crap stuff they can come up with”, and they end up leaving jail eighteen  years after assassinating, raping, narcotrafficking etc. Therefore, what the Spanish Supreme Court decided to implement, was what was known as “Doctrina Parot”, by which this let´s call them “extreme terrorists” would pay for their crimes fairly and accordingly to what they had done.

The new doctrine stated that for more than one assassination (imagine someone kills two people and therefore is condemned to 60 years) the discount of years for good conduct would count for the totality of years you are condemned and not for the practical 30 years you will actually spend in prison. Let´s put a practical example to understand it better.

In the case of Inés del Río, who belongs to the Basque terrorist group ETA, she was condemned to 3828 years of prison for killing 24 people in a terrorist attack in Madrid (the years of condemn would be the summation of 24 assassinations, a terrorist attack, the planning of it, belonging to ETA etc). If she is found to be marvelously well behaved in prison, and gets 10 years of condemn reduction, she would have 10 years removed from the totality of 3828 instead of 30. What the Spanish Supreme Court was trying to avoid was that del Río (for example) could be out of jail in 20 years instead of 30, to create a fairer system and to avoid that extreme terrorists received the same treatment as someone who murders one person.

Our protagonist, Del Río, asked the Strasbourg Courts to study her case alleging her right to freedom was being violated. The Courts have decided the Parot Doctrine goes against extreme terrorist´s right to freedom and have called for its suppression. The Spanish Courts took one day to assess the results and finally decided to let Del Río out of prison. End of my objectivity. She is now as free as a ladybird. The Court is also studying each case specifically as every single prisoner put to jail under the “Doctrina Parot” is asking for it. It is shameful. And it is not only this. Just imagine for one second being the son, mother, husband, uncle, cousin, friend (long etc list) of a person who has been brutally assassinated, raped (another long etc list) by one of these people who is going to leave prison in a couple of years because someone considers they have the right to freedom. What?

No dear people, this is not like this. We live in a society where there is not, or should not be, any right without its associated obligation. From the moment we are considered to be “free citizens full of rights” we are also considered to have attached specific obligations which cannot simply be ignored or punished with some years in prison (whose extremely good conditions I will not list or debate because I have enough of a bad mood right now). Members of the Victim Association Committee of course feel that their rights are the ones being violated with this resolution, and have asked the Spanish First Minister, Mariano Rajoy, to avoid it from being implemented (which of course hasn’t happened).

 What can we expect from a society that works like this? Do you think this is fair?

I would certainly love to hear your opinion on the subject, so please, leave your comments so we can discuss more about this!

B.

Be Beautiful, Be Happy

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting restfully watching TV on my sofa when an ad showing a beautiful blonde twenty year old girl appeared. She, with a particularly orgasmic voice, told the world how the new Garnier cream left her “non make up” face that perfect. Unconsciously, my brain stayed with the name of the cream and I thought to myself “hmm, maybe I should try that one”. Immediately after thinking that, I felt extremely stupid.

According to Dove’s Global Real Truth About Beauty Study carried out in 2010, only 4% of women all around the world actually consider themselves beautiful. That means, that 96% of women think they are not pretty or have something in them which should change for the better. My question now is, “how is this possible? Why do women not see themselves beautiful?” Precisely me, I think there are a lot of very beautiful girls and women everywhere I go!!! But then I realized that, five minutes ago, I was watching an ad thinking I should buy the cream in order to, as superficial as it might sound, look prettier. If at the end ads have that same effect on every woman, we can deduce that insecurities are extremely present on our society and that type of advertising only contributes to make it worse.

Achieving perfection is imposible. We don´t realize that  because we spend our whole life actually searching for it, without really knowing that being perfect is not, and no matter how much technology and science advance, will never be possible.  You might now think “well…why do models appear to be so? If I decide to go on a macro diet and wear 20193 creams and 36484 different types of make up on won´t I achieve it too?” For those of you who have sometime in your lives thought that, please click here

Yes ladies and gentlemen… the answer is PHOTOSHOP. Nowadays every single image goes through a “photoshoping” process before being posted anywhere. The problem with this is that us, real people, living on the real world and who do not benefit from a computer modification process before leaving our homes, have created a dogma around perfection and the importance of achieving it. We think beautiful people are better. We want to look prettier and we have a superficial cult around physical appearance which is being the cause of a lot of mental diseases such as anorexia or bulimia. The direction advertising takes, the way it plays with our self esteem and the tactics it uses since the very beginning of our lives to reinforce the “importance” of physical appearance is what has made society obsessed with this idea.

Barbies, make up, creams, models, diets, the hot cool guy going with the perfect blonde and extremely thin girl in every single film or series… they are all products of a massive strategy companies have to sell their products. They try to convince us that our up to now “miserable” lives will be better when we buy them. I agree. It is very difficult to fight against this and to change it is even more. But every big change happens when a lot of small ones take place…change your ideals, priorities and have a critical view over advertising.

PS: I have just logged on to Facebook…and guessed what has appeared on this precise moment?? Take a look at this ad:

“It has been discovered how to measure beauty .Discover how to measure the factors that make you beautiful and happy: Learn to be happy: Click here”

Judge for yourselves… beautiful and happy? God save me from that ideal.

B.