Stories about self esteem

6 reasons why you need to distance yourself from that ‘friend’ of yours

When you hear the word abuse, what do you think of? A man physically abusing a woman or a person who isolates and belittles their romantic partner? What needs to be discussed more is how friendships can also become abusive. An ‘abusive friend’ may seem like an oxymoron because we are taught that our friends mean well and do what’s in our best interest. Like abusive romantic relationships, abusive friendships start out looking great on paper. You meet a new friend, who compliments you a lot and is eager to hang out with you. The same person who said that ...

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In a sea of faces, she was the anomaly

She got off from an old rickshaw and paid the driver in small bills. The driver counted the money twice and left without even looking at her. Some would have called the driver rude, but for her this was routine. She started heading towards the crowded market. Such places troubled her, but it’s impossible to find a secluded vegetable market these days. She wore simple clothes, a plain black shalwar kameez and a shawl that covered her head while also slightly covering the left side of her face. She was not someone who would look good in fancy clothes, or ...

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Tough guy syndrome: Ragging is not ‘shugal’ or some rite of passage – it has consequences

Underneath Barry Block’s ominous tress, at the grand Aitchison College, the “premier school in Pakistan”, they stand in a row. Five of them, those unimportant, annoying juniors. “Murgha ban kar beth jao saare ab,” the seniors order. (All of you sit in the chicken position now)   “Yeh tumhara baap hai. Tameez se beth, aur Sir ya Daddy bol. Yaar nai hain hum teray,” another senior exclaims pointing towards one of his batch mates. (This is your father. Respect him. Call him Sir or Daddy. We’re not your friends.) Amongst the hundreds of crises that every teenager faces, there are many fuelled by ignorant, toxically ...

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Jeez woman! Just take the compliment!

I remember the last time I met with a close female friend whom I hadn’t seen in a while. I greeted her with a warm smile and complimented her for being in great shape. Instead of accepting my compliment, she responded by saying, “No, I need to lose some weight.” I wonder why accepting a genuine compliment is so difficult for women nowadays? Why can’t they just say, “Thank you, so sweet of you”, and reciprocate the compliment? Instead, their usual response is blushing, looking away, losing the ability to articulate their thoughts or shaking their head in disagreement, even where ...

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13 Reasons Why S2: A season of secrets, guilt and the power of kindness

The original Netflix series 13 Reasons Why released in March 2017 and took the world by storm. The show started an international dialogue about bullying, sexual assault, substance abuse and suicide. Although there was plenty of criticism that the show was glamourising suicide, the factors leading and contributing towards the suicide committed by the female protagonist, Hannah Baker (played by Katherine Langford), seemed to have been overlooked by critics. Photo: Netflix (Note: The following blog contains spoilers) In season one, Hannah, a high school student, commits suicide, but leaves behind 13 recorded tapes to explain her actions. Hannah left ...

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Why I teach my daughter to raise her hand

Upon her return home from school, I asked my daughter whether or not she raises her hand in class, to which she replied,  “Yes mom, I did,” she said. “In fact, I raise my hand all the time now, even when I am not sure if I have the right answer.” I can’t describe how proud I am that my daughter raises her hand to speak up. Not being sure of the answer is fine by me, as long as she takes a risk and tries anyway. On the contrary, I would be a little upset if she would not engage and ...

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Pitting sibling against sibling will only fail you as a parent

Recently, a friend of mine shared her personal story with me. When she was in high school, she excelled in English. However, this didn’t matter to her mother, because she was weak in Chemistry and Physics – subjects her older sister excelled in. What hurt her the most was when her mother would yell at her, “Why can’t you be more like your sister?” I’m glad my friend was confident enough to share this experience that had such a lasting impact on her. But I’m not surprised at all, since I have heard similar stories countless times. I have heard them ...

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A Wrinkle in Time: A sweet-less sugar cream pie you never want to taste again

Middle of Nowhere (2012), Selma (2014) and 13th (2016) famed Ava DuVernay is the first African-American director whose work has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Golden Globes Award. This year, she is back with a $100 million live-action, sci-fi fantasy film, A Wrinkle in Time. Based on the fiction writer Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 classic novel of the same name, A Wrinkle in Time is a heartless and clumsy film that covers a tussle between the virtuous and the corrupt. L’Engle in her novel adroitly epitomised the immoral and sinful entities with black objects and dark phenomenon. Her book’s evil characters ...

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Do we need finishing schools in Pakistan? YES!

As a fresh high school graduate, I remember resisting my mother’s assertion on how I should join an etiquette school to keep my summers productive. If it were up to me, I would have loved to vegetate on my couch and watch all the TV shows and movies I had missed out on during examination week. I vividly recall her retorting, “It’ll really help you conduct yourself with poise and dignity.” I thought to myself then, as if I wasn’t already a lady? Do I really need it? What would I possibly learn more from it? Reminiscing back to that point ...

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Punching like a girl: Boxing no longer a sport just for men

Being a dedicated fan of the sport for years, the growth and development of boxing in Pakistan always brings me immense joy. So, when I woke up one morning and switched my laptop on for my daily dose of news, I was absolutely buzzed when I stumbled upon the headline,  ‘Boxing is in our blood: Pakistani girls fighting for better life through sport.’ A boxing club in Lyari has now started girls-only classes and is competing in local tournaments! Ever since female amateur boxing was included in the Olympics, women’s boxing has been in the spotlight. Nicola Adams from the United Kingdom and Katie Taylor from the Republic ...

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