Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

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A candid and honest look on perhaps why i am still not married. 🙂

So, i sit here, a man in his early 30’s who is begging the question…”Why am i not married yet?“. You see, growing up i always used to have these comical benchmarks on when exactly i would be getting married. When i was 18 i said i’d be married by 25. When i turned 25 i said i’d be married by 27. When i turned 27 i said i will definitely be married by 30. Then i turned 30 and pushed up my age of marriage to 33 (which mind you is around the corner!).

Being raised in a household with strong ethnic ties and having a Eastern European and Middle Eastern background i very often saw my family members and friends getting hitched in their early 20’s and as i grew older it really dawned on me how that was a truly unattractive prospect for me.

I suppose in the meantime i have been enjoying my life so much that it has been difficult for me to stop for a moment and analyze exactly where i am standing on this marathon called life. I come to realize that i absolutely want to get married and i absolutely want children, i am definitely not one of those “I’m too selfish to have children” sorts.

In fact the attraction for me is the fact that i am the total opposite to that, i am selfless and i put others before me, yet i cannot actually wait to have that child in my arms, that person that i am more than happy to put before myself, i am sure most parents can resonate with that.

Have i not found the right woman yet? Well, clearly not – because i am not married. Yet at the same time i do think about the cliche “It’s not you, it’s me” theology that runs through my mind. I ask myself am i prepared for marriage? Financially, yes. Emotionally, Yes. Mentally? Probably not. 

I do think the scars of a rough upbringing of many many years of intense physical and mental bullying, low self esteem and zero confidence really cut deep into my system. Despite me dropping plenty of weight in my early 20’s and regaining some of that charm and confidence that i hadn’t seen since i was in primary school- i still feel that even today, despite my outwardly popular and confident appearance, that i still have the remnants of low self confidence, self esteem and a battered value.

This in essence then makes it very difficult for me in relationships because my dream woman could be and probably is literally standing under my nose but i likely wouldn’t even realize it- because if my inward vibes synchronized with my outside vibes i would instantly recognize these women and i would snatch up any given opportunity- but i don’t.

Even though i do not appreciate the societal pressures of people being cornered into marriage and children, i do think its not for everyone. Yet it definitely is for me, if there’s anything i am certain about its the fact that i am very self aware- i strongly believe that i’d make a wonderful husband and an absolute kick-ass father, so i do not want to waste my life without sharing these qualities and attributes that i know i have, especially with people of which i know would earn and appreciate it.

In saying all of this, please remember i am not having a dig at those who choose not to get married or have children. As i said, i do not think its for everybody and people need to come to terms with exactly how they feel about these two major responsibilities. For me, i am up for the challenge, in fact i don’t consider it a challenge, i see it as a step in my life and it’s a step i am happy and willing to take.

Yet in the meanwhile i still have a lot of work to do on myself. I feel that i am still constructing myself into this mansion that i want to be, and i cannot let anybody else move in, whether wife or child, until i am happy with my home, until i am happy with me. The fact is, we cannot pretend that we can provide happiness for others when we are not entirely happy ourselves.

I am definitely not sad or depressed – yet i am a bit of a perfectionist. I want the timing to be right, i want to be mentally prepared and charged for the moment. I don’t just want to “wing” a relationship, i don’t just want to test the waters for years before i decide to put a ring on it. If i am at complete peace and harmony with myself and you happen to walk on by then good heavens i’d say watch out, but who wouldn’t want to be swept under their feet? 😉

Peace, Salam
-Ramey

Sure sure, this “buzz word” has been out and about years and just while you were hoping it would have died down and fizzled by now, i have applied CPR to it and this zombie is back from the grave and  is here to stay. Yes the word is BROMANCE. 

According to dictionary.com – Bromance is: 
a relationship or friendship between two men that is extremely close but does not involve sex.

You are probably thinking this defines the huge majority of your friends but think again. This “extreme” closeness is super extreme. Like Al Qaeda on steroids. Just think Donald Trump and North Korea extreme. Now that you’ve narrowed down these mates to single digits it’s time to appreciate them and truly recognize that you are in a Bromantic relationship. The Phenomena is nothing new, even the Bible is PRO BRO! 

 

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Bromance is not a new idea . King David & Jonathan were Super Bros in the Bible.


I have always been first to admit i love my bro’s and i am not ashamed to admit it. These Bro’s of mine are people that accept me for me, and i for them. We reserve judgement. Offer polite criticism and stellar advice. Our support is like the frame works of a building. When you smile, we smile- when you cry, we cry. Yes, the weight of being a bro does not come easy, it is a role with huge responsibility.

There is no time for them fake Press On Nail type mates. Your Bro is the real deal! Now before all my fellow Muslims shout “Haram” and assume this post is treading on “dangerous territory”- think about what our own Prophet did in the below situation.

A man was with the Prophet when another man passed by and he said: “O Messenger of Allaah, I love this man.” The Prophet said to him: “Have you told him?” He said: “No.” He said: “Tell him.” So he caught up with him and said: “I love you for the sake of Allah“. He said: “May the one for Whose sake you love me- also love you.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (no. 5125)

Woah, dude. SO MUCH LOVE. Am i right? Or am i right? You see i appreciate my Bro’s because they have been there through thick and thin. We can talk about anything and have no fear about preconceived notions or post conversational judgement. We are cool.! Now as much as i love my womenfolk i do feel a little bit more reserved to wear my heart on my sleeve, i tend to take it slowly and cautiously.

 

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Below are 5 steps to become a BRO!

If you want to become someones Bro it’s actually not rocket science. Here are the tips.

Tip #1) Be generous.

A true Bro is willing to extend his hand generously to his friend.

Tip #2) Be supportive.

There is no better feeling than knowing your Bro has “got your back”

Tip #3) Be involved.

Get yourself involved in your Bros life. Play sports with them. Stay updated on their life events.

Tip #4) Be open.

Your Bro might be in a 9-1-1 dilemma and need you. Always let them know you’re a phone call or a door knock away.

Tip #5) Be real.

There is nothing to hide from your Bro. Whether good or bad you know you can say anything you want to each other.

So what are you waiting for? BE A BRO TODAY! Now when i say Bro i don’t mean i am Batman and you are Robin. No! That is not how a Bromance works! I am Batman and you are Batman and together we make Bratman! Just picture when you are looking in the mirror your Bro looking right back at you, giving you the Bro-fist of approval! If a girl were to find you both attractive you wouldn’t compete and leave your Bro in the dirt. You’d pretend you were Siamese twins and tell her it’s all or nothing!

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“We’re actually Siamese twins. If you like one you’ll have to like us both! 😉 “


Do you get it now!!?

Peace, Ramey.

I have traveled extensively over the last 5 years, mainly due to the fortune of working in the industry that takes us to said destinations. Sure when you scale out and look at the Entire Earth as a hole i have still only seen a little fragment of it, yet that is the excitement of travelling, it’s not only so much where you have been, it is also where you are going!

I have conducted a “Top 5” list of places i have been based on specific “Subjects”. Please note this list is strictly only highlighting places i have seen with my own two eyes and also note each photo on this article was taken by me during these travels between 2010-2015. If you ever get the chance to visit these places i can confidently say it will enrich your life. So let us begin, shall we?


TOP 5 COASTAL SCENES:

Bicheno, Tasmania, Australia

Bicheno, Tasmania, Australia

5) Bicheno, Tasmania, Australia

The Island state of Tasmania will feature many times on my list and it is no surprise it has an abundant range of beautiful beaches. I visited Bicheno during a overcast day and even then it blew me away. The Sand was bright and white, the rocks were a deep shade of orange and even with that cloud cover the water shimmered in a Turqoise mix.

Waimanalo Beach, Hawaii, USA.

Waimanalo Beach, Hawaii, USA.

4) Oahu East Coast, Hawaii, United States

Hawaii is home to many wonderful scenes, yet one of the most memorable to me was the Eastern and Southern Coastline of the most popular Island of Oahu. The steep mountain backdrop complete with its lush scenery and the array of colours along this dramatic coast really left a lingering memory in my mind.

Muscat, Oman

Muscat, Oman

3) Muscat, Oman.

Oman, a 45 minute flight from the glamour of Dubai is a nation that is riddled with amazing people, culture, history, deserts and who would have thought? Coast! The coast around the city of Muscat is decorated with many impressive Portuge Forts that loom over the waterways and the mountains resemble something from another planet, surely a unique experience!

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand


2) Queenstown, New Zealand

The city of Queenstown boasts some of the Worlds most amazing waterways. Despite the unappealing element of the freezing cold and its empowering snow capped mountains the water scenery in New Zealand is absolutely captivating with Queenstown being no exception. The Greens, blues and yellows blend in one perfect harmony!

Wayalailai Island, Fiji

Wayalailai Island, Fiji

1) Wayalailai Island, Yasawa Islands, Fiji

Despite my Fiji trip being one of my oldest (taken in 2010) i have to say the Yasawa Islands are without a doubt one of the most wonderful sights your eyes will ever be blessed to see. It is like something out of a postcard. Coconut Palms litter the sands as hammocks sway in the breeze and the Isolation of the beaches and reefs draw you right in!


TOP 5 MOUNTAIN SCENES:

Barren Falls, Queensland, Australia

Barren Falls, Queensland, Australia

5) Tropical Far North Queensland, Australia

Australia might not be world renown for its Mountains but it surely has some gems. Far up North in the Tropics of Queensland there are some lush rainforests found in the midst of some steep mountains and cliffs. One of the more impressive sections would be Barren Falls, which is especially neat in the wet season. The cliffs and many pools really give a dramatic take to the calm and pristine surrounds.

Wadi Shab, Oman

Wadi Shab, Oman

4) Wadi Shab, Oman

“Wadi” in Arabic means Valley and there are some stunning Valleys in Oman, usually carved by some remarkable pools and waterways. Wadi Shab has a perfect movie set backdrop, sheer drops from its bright red cliffs are met by the dusty green of their Palm Trees. Truly, this feels like a Jurassic experience!

The Peak, Hong Kong

The Peak, Hong Kong

3) The Peak, Hong Kong

This might be an odd choice for some yet taking the Cable Train up the steep hills overlooking Hong Kong is a satisfying experience, especially if the pollution is low. From the vantage point of the Peak you can see far out into many sights of Hong Kong and in all directions are other various mountains overpowering the skyscrapers in height!

The Remarkables, New Zealand

The Remarkables, New Zealand

2) The “Remarkables”, New Zealand

The Remarkables are a Mountain Peak near Queenstown in New Zealand. These Mountains are so overpowering and really make you feel small. They sure do humble you up as they dominate the landscape around them. Especially beautiful when they are often snowcapped, this is hands down one of the best Mountainsides you could ask for!

Ben Lomond, Tasmania, Australia

Ben Lomond, Tasmania, Australia

1) Ben Lomond, Tasmania, Australia

What is that? An Australian mountain range takes the cake for best Mountain Scenery? Well yes, Ben Lomond to be precise! I will never forget chasing the signs to this Mountain Range during sunset, hugging the narrow road as it winds its way in elevation. Until you find yourself facing a landscape that looks nothing short of Mars. It was absolutely amazing and the fact that not a single soul was there made it extra special. The roads that winds its way up to the top is daunting and exhilarating at the same time!


TOP 5 CULTURAL EXPERIENCES

Tanah Lot. Bali, Indonesia

Tanah Lot. Bali, Indonesia

5) Bali, Indonesia

Yes, it might not have the best reputation. This country well known for its corruption has both dark and beautiful sides to it. When venturing away from the party towns Bali in Indonesia has many wonderful sights and sounds to offer. Whether its Lambongan Island or Tanah Lot temple this place has a deep cultural significance and sticks to the mind.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

4) Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The city that is built in the desert is a place of great contrasts. One moment you could be shopping at one of the most prestigious shopping centres and the next riding a camel under the starry night. Although Dubai is obviously “Artificial” it is captivating in its own right. Constantly breaking its own records Dubai is a place to tick off the list, besides Fast and the Furious 7 may have added to the “culture” of this tourist Mecca.

Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

3) Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is a city that is absolutely surrounded by amazing Heritage Listed sights dating back for many centuries. Upon arriving at Istanbul you are instantly overwhelmed by the Cultural mixture of East and West, mingling around one dense city that is full of cultural significance. The food is unique and also delicious. One cannot help but feel immersed in the culture whilst in Turkey.

Trsat, Rijeka, Croatia

Trsat, Rijeka, Croatia

2) Adriatic Sea, Croatia

I think one of the most charming, romantic and stunning coastlines in the world would have to be in Croatia. Not only due to the obviously gorgeous beaches but due to the rich history that is preserved in beautiful towns settling beneath mountainous backdrops. Croatia has thousands of islands to choose from and seafood to your hearts content! Who could say no!?

Kakadu National Park, Australia

Kakadu National Park, Australia

1) Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

Cultural heritage is more about buildings, sometimes it is about the land. Kakadu National Park in Australia is a huge place, roughly the size of Slovenia. This National Park is an important cultural landmark in of itself with many sacred and holy sites to the local Indigenous population. Hiring a Helicopter over this tranquil scenery was one of the greatest memories of my life. From waterfalls to rock-faces to Crocodile infested waterways this place had it all, the nature was outstanding!

Ladies and gentlemen this is just a little sneak peak of some of the amazing sights and sounds i have encountered over the last few years. The World is an amazing place so go out and see it! I hope i have inspired you to want to travel and enjoy this special place we call Earth that little bit more! 🙂

PEACE!

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I really caught your attention with that dramatic title didn’t i? We live in days of privilege, let’s face it. Our lives are so over-consumed by work that we have companies that “home deliver” to your door because you just don’t have that time to cook up a healthy and fresh meal at home. It’s a sad indication of the direction society is going and as food becomes more “accessible” in that drive-through kind of way, we are seeing a huge increase in canned, bottled and packaged foods.

Not only is it important what exactly is in your food, yet as in the recent case here in Australia it is very important where your food comes from. Weeks ago supermarkets in Australia were forced to recall “Nannas” Mixed Frozen berries and “Creative Gourmet” Mixed frozen berries- imported from China and Chile for carrying Hepatitis A with at least 25 cases nationwide of people contracting Hepatitis A due to consuming the frozen berries.

A recent case in Australia from Imported Frozen Berries led to over 20 cases of Hepatitis A

A recent case in Australia from Imported Frozen Berries led to over 20 cases of Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is spread from Fecal matter and is due to unhygienic practices. So first thing is first, when you are checking the back of your packaged food, look at where it is from and conduct some research on the companies and their location. Sadly our governments care more about the dollar than providing its population with safe, clean and consumable food- most of which is sadly exported for others whilst we are left with questionable products from questionable food authorities in foreign lands who hold little scrutiny to their food export practices. Also be aware of the famous “Made in Australia from local and IMPORTED ingredients”. This does NOT mean the product is Australian made. It simply means some Australian produce is mixed with imported produce.

I will state the obvious, fresh is best. Yet we all know that it is not possible to always be carrying around organic carrots and MSG free crackers. Below i will give you a guide as to some things to look out for when purchasing and consuming your food. Companies are being extra sneaky now by using “layman language” and implementing a number system as to confuse customers. Always remember the numbers on the back of the packet mean something and most times they do not mean something good. Here are my list of things to AVOID whilst at the supermarket.

1) SULPHITE PRESERVATIVES

I put Sulphite Preservatives as number one for a very personal reason. One night i was feeling like something sour, i noticed a jar of “pickled peppers” in the cupboard. It was still unopened and they looked inviting enough. I opened it, took out a couple chilli’s and started chewing with the “juices” still dripping from outside and within them. What happened almost immediately after came at a shock. It suddenly triggered a dangerous and INSTANT asthma attack, it caught me so unaware- my blood boiled to my head and i dropped the jar in a panic. My heart rate instantly peaked as i was in clear shock and my breathing was so restricted i thought i was going to collapse. I then thankfully managed to quickly get on my Asthma Nebuliser machine. I will not lie but this product almost literally killed me. Sulphite Preservatives are very dangerous to Asthmatics, especially to children or the elderly.

The big picture is that Sulphites will only have a negative effect on roughly 10% of the population, yet that negative effect could cause an (unlikely) Anaphylactic shock and prove deadly.

Some foods you might want to avoid in this case are:
Cheap Wines, Dried Fruits, Bottled Lemon/Lime Juice, Pickled Onions & Peppers.

Numbers you want to avoid on the back of the packaging are:
222,223 and 228.

Pickled Foods have high levels of

Pickled Foods have high levels of Sulphite Preservatives. Dangerous to Asthmatics.

2) MSG or Mono-Sodium Glutamate

MSG is a very common food additive used for flavouring purposes. This is especially common in Asian delicacies but is also found in common every day products like flavoured Potato chips and Instant Soups/Noodles. High levels of MSG can have a negative effect on the body, both short term and long term. Continual, long term use of MSG could increase the potential for cancer growth and the immediate effects include headaches, nausea and lethargy.

Lately there have been campaigners calling MSG “safe” yet from personal experience when i eat MSG rich foods i notice immediate unpleasant effects on my body like thick buildup around my throat, making me feel “restricted”.

Beware of misleading labels that say “No Added MSG” because this is linguistic gymnastics. Instead look for products that promote that they are “MSG FREE”.

Some foods you might want to avoid in this case are:
Dressings, Gravy, Flavoured Chips, Instant Noodles/Soups and (some) Soy Sauce.

Numbers you want to avoid on the back of the packaging are:
621, 627 and 635.

No, this is not Cocaine. It is MSG.

No, this is not Cocaine. It is MSG.

3) Aspartame

The common sight of seeing others purchase “diet” or “zero” products and thinking they are making a wise choice is very unsettling. Many sweet products that claim to be “sugar free” or have “no sugar” use Aspartame as a replacement. This highly addictive sweetener is common in our soft drinks and sodas, very popular with the younger generation. These sweeteners are chemically induced and provide absolutely no health benefits and in fact are known to cause short term and long term health defects.

Short term effects include dizziness and migraines, yet most serious is the potential for tumors and cancer. Horrifyingly enough, Aspartame was not even tested on humans prior to its approval of use in 1981. Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar and is as addictive as its “evil” counterpart. Aspartame triggers the release of insulin which supports the storage of body fat.

Your best alternative is a LOW sugar diet as opposed to a no sugar diet that is replaced with a chemical agent 200 times sweeter and just as addictive as sugar.

Some foods you might want to avoid in this case are:
Diet Drinks/Sodas, Yoghurts, Sweeteners, “Sugar Free” Cakes,Biscuits/Lollies, Flavoured Water and Cereals.

Numbers you want to avoid on the back of the packaging are:
950 and 951.

Your "diet" and "sugar free" options are NOT smart.

Your “diet” and “sugar free” options are NOT smart.

4) Food Colouring

This is an incredibly pointless “ingredient” found in many foods. Food colouring is all about aesthetics, it simply makes the food look more appealing. It has no health benefits whatsoever and each colour you find has a different negative effect on the body. For example Blue can cause cancer, whilst Red increased episodes of ADHD. Lately some colours have been banned from the Food Colouring palette, yet the fact is even what remains is of no good use to us.

The scary thing is colouring is used in other products too like cheap shampoos and soaps. Whilst the origins of some colouring agents (like Yellow 5) come from Coal Tar. Yet when it comes to food the rule is just like that of the animal kingdom. If you spot an animal that is incredibly “colourful” or unnaturally striking in their colour then they are likely (but not always) dangerous! The same goes for food colouring, keep away from any foods that look like they are radio-active green or neon pink. 

Some foods you might want to avoid in this case are:
Concentrated Fruit Juice, Candy, (some) Cheese, Biscuits, Icing.

Numbers you want to avoid on the back of the packaging are:
Blue dye number 1 and 2, Red dye number 3,  Green dye number 3, Yellow dye number 6- Infact avoid ALL colours!

Food Colouring looks pretty but tastes dangerous!

Food Colouring looks pretty but tastes     dangerous!

5) BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)

BHA is found in many foods and its main purpose is to maintain the “stability” of the food item and slow down its break down process. Basically BHA is used to mummify food and preserve them for long periods of time. You might like to know that BHA is very popular with pet food products. It’s nice to know that your processed Banana Bread holds the same ingredient as your dogs CHUM “beef” canned meal.

Many Governing food bodies claim that BHA is safe because it only produces cancers in Mice and Rats on their “forestomachs” and they claim that it is an organ Human Beings do not have. That is some risque assumption there but why take the risk when there is a natural alternative called VITAMIN E.? 

Some foods you might want to avoid in this case are:
Butter, Cereal, Instant “Meals”, Preserved Meat, Baked Goods and Chewing Gum.

Numbers you want to avoid on the back of the packaging are:
320

BHT, also found in your dogs food. You might want to avoid that.

BHT, also found in your dogs food. You might want to avoid that.

Above were my “Top 5 Food Additives” to avoid. Give it a go, take a look at your cupboard and you will be shocked at the overwhelming majority of items that carry one or MOST of these potentially dangerous items. Write those numbers down and “smart shop” at the supermarket and make the right choices in preserving your health and well being.

Peace, Salam.

Ramey

Let us start this topic with some statistical facts. Around the world men are in general more likely to commit suicide than women, bar the exceptions to the rule of course. For example in Australia men are 2.5 times more likely to kill themselves than women. In the UK men are 3 times more likely to kill themselves than women and in the USA men are 4 times more likely to kill themselves than women.

So we see a startling pattern here, men are having some critical life issues that are barely addressed and i think it is fair to make the statement that although men are not to be perceived as “vulnerable” these statistics show that indeed men are vulnerable when it comes to taking that step to ending it all and as a society we should be doing and saying things to reduce these shocking statistics.

Now let me welcome you to the all too familiar case of the Mythical “Real Man”. Indeed such language has filled my facebook feeds, news articles, twitter sphere, movies, radio and television screens. Surely you have heard it all before right? Where constantly men are being barraged about what exactly entails a “Real Man” and the most interesting thing is the people that are generally telling men how to be “real” men are…women.

Awesome, does this apply to "real women" too?

Great, does this apply to “real women” too?

Now let me first make a confession, i have never personally confronted a woman for not being a “real woman” nor have i given her a list of demands of mine that she must tick in order to become a “real woman”. Society would scorn us men, rightfully so- if we told women that “Dressing Modestly” & “Having dinner  ready by 5” constitutes a real woman. Society does not think it is right or fair for men to step in and tell women how they should behave and what attributes and actions suddenly make them “real”.

Yet when it comes to men we see that the opposite is true. Men are often being told how to act and what to do- based on a fabricated societal framework that somehow thinks it has the right to tell a man what makes him “real”. Those memes that flood my Facebook wall make me sick of men being told “A REAL MAN DOES…[insert thought or action that literally means nothing here]. Then if your man does not meet these demands he must be a useless sissy boy with undescended testicles.

Male Suicide rates in most countries are double, triple or quadruple that of women.

Male Suicide rates in most countries are double, triple or quadruple that of women.

The most frightening aspect of this entire topic is that men are so used to be told how to act and what to do that even men themselves subjegate themselves to the myth. We see men writing books about “real men” and we start to see men accuse other men of not being “real men”. The sad truth is these men are programmed into such thoughts and it only further causes a self depreciation amongst men, this time not only accusing themselves- yet accusing others of falling short.

The fact of the matter is the “REAL” man is a mythological creature– he simply does not exist and he is a figment of societies imagination. Usually the imagination of angry women who wish to confine men virtually into a box in a checklist. In my humble opinion and speaking as a man i can tell you right now that a “REAL” man is a male who does exactly what he wants and lives according to his heart and values- whatever they might be. Anything you try to add or take away from him is simply a disturbance of your own expectations and he is under no compulsion to bow down to them.

The 11 Commandments of a "real man" - is there also the female version or...?

The 11 Commandments of a “real man” – is there also the female version or…?

Look, i don’t want to start some gender war here. I love women and accept them for who they are. The fact is generally men do not go around- with the backup of society- telling women what makes them real or not. Imagine what it must feel like for a depressed middle aged man with minimal income, low self esteem, low sexual stamina and little to no looks to hear that he ticks next to no “REAL MAN” boxes. What exactly does that do to his mind? How much does it pull at his heart that he cannot be and never will be a so called real man.

This is partially why vulnerable men end up committing suicide. Men need stronger support systems to protect them from these dire statistics. The first thing to stop this madness is by easing the expectations of society on men and to allow men to explore their own emotions, character and nature. Sure when it comes to women there are all of these superficial expectations like being “thin, young and beautiful” yet when it comes to men all of these expectations turn Real and are not superficial like “Men should speak like this, look like that, pay for this, approach this like this, do things like this“. Yet it doesn’t stop there it also goes on tell you what Real men should NOT do like – “Real men do not hit, real men do not curse, real men do not cheat, real men do not lie etc.etc.”

Hi, my name is Ramey and i am a "real man"! :-)

Hi, my name is Ramey and i am a “real man”! 🙂

Society (and memes) constantly tell me what a REAL man is. Yet the fact is there is no REAL man. There are only Good and Bad men. If a man happens to do the wrong things he is a bad man, yet he is still a MAN. If a man happens to do the right things then he is a good man and indeed he is still a MAN. Yet the only thing about a REAL man that makes him real is that he follows what is within his own character and does not bow down to societies expectations. Men need to start accepting the fact that they do not need to prove to be real, nor do they need to prove to be men– all they have to do is prove to be themselves, it’s as simple as that.

Peace, Ramey.

Most of us have seen it by now, that famous viral video of a woman walking around in jeans and a black shirt in New York for 10 hours, whilst she was “cat called” by numerous men, whistled at, “daaamned” at and even followed. The video up to this point has attracted 39 million views worldwide and featured many serious reenactments from other cities around the world, including Mumbai & Cairo. The video also unintentionally opened up many parodies with people exclaiming that the video and its push to call “greetings” and “passing comments” as harassment to be a bit of a stretch. Either way, it definitely opened up a heightened awareness about sexual harassment.

The viral "Walking in NY as a woman for 10 hours"

The viral “Walking in NY as a woman for 10 hours”

Even more recently though was the controversy surrounding an American “dating guru” by the name of Julien Blanc. This man used a “domestic abuse chart” as a tool on how to encourage men to get their women to stay with them. This disturbing chart signaled that a man should humiliate his woman, intimidate her, choke her, threaten her with violence and make her financially dependent. Rightfully, many people have protested about Julien Blanc travelling internationally- giving his “Speeches and lectures” to young men using primitive dating tips.

Julien Blanc recently had to cut his trip to Australia short due to protests and having his visa cancelled by the Minister of Immigration- and a petition with well over 120,000 signatures has been used as a method to potentially ban him from visiting the United Kingdom. Reflecting upon this clear misogyny and his disgusting attitude towards women, i well and truly hear everyone’s grievances about his “teachings”.  Even though i am a strong believer in freedom of speech, people that do such things could cause an increased abuse rate by teaching young, stupid men that the only way to keep their women is to treat them like emotionless blow-up dolls.

Julien Blanc- Condemned worldwide for his sexist "dating guru" seminars.

Julien Blanc- Condemned worldwide for his sexist “dating guru” seminars.

Yet here comes the double standard, Julien Blanc has received worldwide condemnation as a misogynist who is glorifying the mistreatment of women, a fair call. Yet oddly enough the behaviour that this man promotes can be found elsewhere. This “elsewhere” is your local bookstore. A best seller, as a matter of fact. Are you familiar with the worldwide #1 best selling novel series “50 Shades of Grey” written by Erika Leonard James, yes…a woman.

The most baffling thing to me is that the world is condemning a man for encouraging men to be tough alpha males who dominate their women and treat them like servants, yet on the other hand the world is awfully supportive of a woman who encourages women to be submissive, dominated and treated like pieces of meat.

Author of "50 Shades Of Grey" E.L James

Author of “50 Shades Of Grey” E.L James

The 50 shades series is a worldwide hit ,yet is such “pop culture” reading any less dangerous for women than the ramblings of a supposed “dating guru”? Besides, they both preach the same things- let us look at the ideas of “Misogynist” Julien Blanc and “Inspirational Author” Erika Leonard James.

Julien Blanc – “Just go through Tokyo, grab girls and yell ‘Pikachu’ and put her head on your dick
Erika Leonard James- “He reaches between my legs and pulls on the blue string – what?! –he gently takes my tampon out and tosses it, Holy fuck. Sweet mother of all … Jeez. And then he’s inside me … ah! (50 Shades of Grey)

Julien Blanc- Openly calls for men to choke women, even creating a famous Hashtag.
Erika Leonard James- “Oh, fuck the paperwork,” he growls. He lunges at me, pushing me against the wall of the elevator. Before I know it, he’s got both of my hands in one of his in a viselike grip above my head, and he’s pinning me to the wall with his hips. ” (50 Shades of Grey)

Julien Blanc- Openly calls for men to abuse women.
Erika Leonard James- “He places his hand on my naked behind, softly fondling me, stroking around and around with his flat palm. And then his hand is no longer there … and he hits me—hard.” (50 Shades of Grey)

Julien Blanc- Openly calls for women to be submissive to men.
Erika Leonard James- “My body convulses at the sweet, stinging bite. My nipples harden and elongate from the assault, and I moan loudly, pulling on my leather cuffs.” (50 Shades of Grey)

50 Shades Of Grey is living proof subjugation of women is okay, if written by a woman.

50 Shades Of Grey is living proof subjugation of women is okay, if written by a woman.

Juliean Blanc- Openly calls for men to financially “own” women.
Erika Leonard James- “It’s taking all my self-control not to fuck you on the hood of this car. If I want to buy you a fucking car, I’ll buy you a fucking car. Now let’s get you inside and naked.”(50 Shades of Grey)

Julien Blanc- Openly calls for men to Intimidate women.
Erika Leonard James- “I’m mad and aroused because you closed your legs on me.”
Anastasia resists: ”Please don’t hit me. I don’t want you to spank me, not here, not now. (50 shades of grey)

Julien Blanc- Openly calls for men to use “mind games” to get sexual favours from women.
Erika Leonard James- “I want you, and I want you now. And if you’re not going to let me spank you – which you deserve – I’m going to fuck you on the couch this minute, quickly, for my pleasure, not yours.

Julien Blancs "Chart" to keep your woman almost mirrors Christian Greys character in "50 Shades Of Grey"

Julien Blancs “Chart” to keep your woman almost mirrors Christian Greys character in “50 Shades”

Now before i get my head bitten of by 50 Shade supporters who attempt to claim that the book is all about a “healthy relationship full of sexual encounters” . I’d have to say that perhaps a superficial reading may promote that idea. Yet once you actually study the characters and their roles we find that Christian Grey at times

A) Doesn’t get consent to sex.
B) Emotionally blackmails Anastasia.
C) Makes her get used to being submissive, both in and out of their sex lives.
D) Uses his wealth and riches to entice her to try things she is reluctant to try.
E) Pins her against walls, pulls her hair, hits her (hard), chokes her and “Experiments” on her.

Given these “characteristics” of the character Christian Grey and the terrifying thought that he is any womans “dream man” reveals to me that the novels by E.L James are just as dangerous as the “date advice” given by Julien Blanc- yet one is a worldwide condemned sexist, whilst the other is literally a glorified novelist. Just because a woman gives the right to a woman to play such a role in relationship does not mean that the character is empowered.

So we have Julien Blanc attempting to turn men into aggressive apes and he gets a worldwide backlash, whilst we have E. L James who is attempting to turn women into submissive “play things” overpowered by aggressive apes but somehow she makes many millions of dollars for it.

What's wrong? Juliet Blanc is only pretending to be Christian Grey.!

What’s wrong? Juliet Blanc is only pretending to be “your dream guy” Christian Grey.!

So above we have the ideals of a Misogynistic male who has made worldwide headlines, so much as far as getting him banned for his vile talks encouraging men to behave in such a way. Yet above we also have a #1 best selling female author who speaks the same language that he does, yet somehow her work is liberating and “female friendly” despite her 50 shades character being a “willing victim” of such misogynistic characters. Bizarre indeed.

In fact Erika Leonard James books caused such a positive worldwide stir that they are just about to release a movie based on her kinky novels. People are waiting with anticipation and excitement to see Julien Blancs ideal “man” come to life on the big screen, but i guess it’s only okay when this Alpha male is the caricature of a females mind and not vice versa.

Peace, Ramey.

Let’s face it, we all want to be beautiful. Let me take you back to a time where I was a geeky 18 year old. Insecurity was my middle name. I was overweight, socially awkward and my features still hadn’t properly “grown” into my body as of yet. My biggest self hates was my protruding nose, uneven ears and man boobs. This “emphasis” on looking good was a torment during school and once I left school, every single woe I had about myself remained, until I made some changes. Throughout the years, slowly, but surely I started taking better care of myself. I was watching what I ate, I joined the local gym and I was still growing into my body. By the time I hit 25 years of age, I became a new man- all of this without surgery of any sort. I lost 22 kilograms, my features blended well into my face and I toned up somewhat. I still had my insecurities but they only became a background annoyance, not a life long haunting. Today, as a 30 year old man I do feel beautiful and content with who I am in my journey, or should I say “battle” to be beautiful.

The Beauty industry today is one of the worlds biggest money makers, people all across the world are getting all types of surgery to enhance many parts of their faces and bodies. Want bigger pecks? You got it! Want fuller lips? You got it! Want your fat sucked out? You got it. Our societies focus on beauty has really become the primary target for most individuals, just like when I was 18 years of age, this obsession is truly back to haunt us all. Us Australians spend on average $645 Million dollars every year to “fix ourselves up”. Yet the question remains, is this a healthy and cautious undertaking or has it simply turned into an obsession?

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Australians spend 645 million dollars a year on procedures.

We simply have to look at generations that have passed. The generations only as far back as our grandparents and great grandparents, people who I assume were “beautiful”. People who, despite their imperfections seemed to find happiness and fulfilment in their lives in every other way. Indeed, if these past generations could have been happy about how they looked, then how is it, that it seems so impossible today? Our recent ancestors had the skills to overcome this burden by finding joy in other things and accepting exactly who they were, because there was not a laser or Botox injection in sight. Yet today, our excuse for being “unhappy” is usually what gives us the drive to go under the knife, yet it is evident some people are truly NEVER happy, which is why we see a casual visit, turn into an addiction.

This desperation to “look good” and then hence “feel good” has really grounded itself in our populace today. Let me give you a horrific example of one lady I saw on the TV show “Botched Bodies”. Her name is Apryl Brown. A 46 year old woman in the United States who ran a Salon and had a terrible meeting with fate one day. A woman entered her Salon with a friend and said she gave her buxom friend one of her “booty injections” and the results sent Apryl into a spiral of joy and envy. Envy, because she quite simply wanted that butt- yet also Joy, seeming the lady with the magical wand was standing right there in front of her. Apryl in haste decided to get the injections into her buttocks by this stranger, a moment she will regret forever more. Gradually Apryl would get swelling in areas of her body and then an itch, slowly her itching would turn so intense she would be scratching her skin, literally off- layer by layer. Her body began to look discoloured, turning a bruised blue and a black and then the horrendous pain set in.

By the time Apyrl admitted herself to hospital her arms, legs and buttocks were black and rare, her open wounds and flesh were exposed as far down as the bone in areas. She was placed in a coma for a month and it was highlighted that this “silicone” was not medicinal, yet in fact silicone found in hardware stores, often used as sealants. Apryil was rushed for emergency surgery and the grim news was reported to her, the doctors had to amputate both her arms, both her legs and her rear end. Apryl nearly died multiple times and today has been a spokesperson, encouraging people- ironically “too late” in a way, to accept the way they were born. She teaches that there is nothing about them that is “imperfect” and to embrace life being happy and content with yourself. It reminds me how desperately sick one has to be to allow a stranger to inject them in their pursuit for beauty, or “happiness”.

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The story of Apryl Brown highlights the devastation of desperation.

These insecurities do not only plague the minds of women, there is an increasing pressure on men to look fit, fab and symmetrical. Men have been getting surgeries of all types- from Rhinoplasty to breast reduction surgery, from Botox to penile extension surgery– not to mention implanted biceps and abs. It was only up until recently that I still was unhappy with certain aspects of myself, secretly I would wish to have money so I could get myself a man-boob reduction surgery, because I was a fat kid- some of that fat had lingered behind. Yet when family members would ask if that’d make me happy, i’d scream and react by indicating I don’t “need it“- yet the reality was I wanted it, I wanted it so,so bad. I wanted the same Pecks as that “Men’s Health” model. That’s what girls want right!?!

Yet every time I was on the brink of wanting to take the next step, I had come to realize I had already come this far all on my own- without the help of a single incision or pump. I had lost a lot of weight, improved my fitness and diet and had grown to be a tall beefy man, what is wrong with that? Absolutely nothing. Today, I am perfectly happy with every single imperfection of mine, they are not here to haunt me, or remind me of my insecure past- they are simply there to tell me that I am a human being, and I am beautiful. My faith plays an integral part in recognizing this fact, if I ever feel that I am not good enough, I come to know that I truly am.

He has created the heavens and the earth in just proportions,  and has given you shape, and made your shapes beautiful: and to Him is the final Goal.” (Quran 64:3)

HRITHI~1

The Battle to be “beautiful” is fought by both women and men.

I think we need to return to the philosophies of our distant relatives and go back to their ways of thinking when it came to beauty. Everywhere we look we are engulfed with TV ads, catwalk models, billboards and unrealistic magazine portrayals of what “beauty” is. Sometimes we are indeed our own biggest critics, when we look into that mirror we pull and prod at every imperfection, wishing we could change it. The fact is, the beauty industry is one of the worlds biggest industries and it has got us inside of its grip. When will we come to realize that in order to look good and feel good there are things we can do to help ourselves.?

The first thing is to acknowledge that societies perception of beauty is warped, it is so unrealistic that its an illogical inspiration. Second of all we must come to realize that self improvement is one of the best roads to recovery. Changing our food and diet, not to mention focusing on our physical, mental and spiritual health we come to see it assists us in becoming “whole” again and feeling content. Just like me, change comes in stages and never is the natural way drastic, but it is indeed that- so natural that you cannot even see the transformation. It is not until others take notice and see the results of your hard work that they come to appreciate that your battle to be beautiful is over- and that you won fair and square. 🙂

Peace, Salam.

-Ramey