When I Say I am a Feminist

When I Say I am a Feminist

When I say I am a Feminist

It has nothing to do with a hate for men

When I say I am a Feminist

It’s not because my dad chose not to see me as a child

When I say I am a Feminist

It’s not because of the latent patriarchy that is so evident to me, but not clear to people that say “you’re so lucky to live in America, what are you complaining about?” when I already knew this to be true, I come from a family that supports and has ties to the military and have never said I was not lucky. I have a great love for my country and I am still able to criticize it. Let’s not praise it like we are unable to do anything wrong.

When I say I am a Feminist

I try my best to be intersectional but we all have our own blinders on due to our own perspectives shaped by the people in our lives and our own developed knowledge.

When I say I am a Feminist

It’s because of all the women that I’ve met and had around me my whole life. The ones who work painstakingly and get barely any credit. Their opinions are questioned at every level by men and women, often more than their male counterparts. Their ways of life are questioned. If a woman doesn’t want a child, or if she does and wants to work, or she stays home with the child. No matter what we choose, there’s someone behind a keyboard criticizing us for just trying to live our lives authentically to who we are as individuals.

Women that like to cook, or women that don’t cook or clean. Because you know that’s what women are supposed to do and we’re supposed to clean until things look spotless but you know it’s an option for the guy because he’s the stereotypical breadwinner. If he’s not the breadwinner we judge that too.

For gay couples that want to adopt children or go through invitro, etc. Their an abomination? But yet their taking children that they technically have no obligation to into their homes and lives to give them a more enriched life. Wow, how fucking terrible.

When I say I am a Feminist

I say it for the guys who don’t want to be hyper masculine either. I see you and I may not understand your struggle exactly. But I feel it at times when I joke about being an alpha and guys laugh at me as if that’s not a possible thing for a woman to be.

I say it for the guys who think they have to pay for everything and when I offer to pay they shrivel up in fear as if that’s something terrible for a woman to offer a man.

Finally

When I say I am a Feminist

It’s for all the women and men who show up, who listen to me and also allow me to listen to them. All the women and men (people, also trans/gender fluid) that are just trying to be their own authentic selves.

It’s for all the women in my life that are so amazing, beautiful, but also intelligent individuals yet some people are too prideful to admit.

It’s for all the women that have to play coy when a guy flirts with them so they can ease away from an awkward situation. Or the women who are bold enough to speak up and risk a potential conflict that shouldn’t happen when someone speaks up for themselves.

It’s for men who fell into these situations with women they don’t want to get involved with (because they should want advances from any woman right?)

It’s for a love of all people

Anyone that feels like an other, generally not included.

Meet your Feminist

N. Oliva

Making Meals Better Always: Frank’s Red Hot 

Making Meals Better Always: Frank’s Red Hot 

My breakfast this morning 😄

All of my foodies that love hot sauce can agree! 

If you don’t like Frank’s, which hot sauce do you prefer? 

Not a fan of spice at all? 

That’s alright, more for me!

Toodaloo. Have a great day all! 

N. Oliva 

xoxo

Why do we compare?

Why do we compare?

 

screenshot_2017-02-02-21-43-55-1

Why were women taught to compare themselves

To diminish themselves

To think, wow she’s so pretty

I don’t think look like her, therefore: I’m ugly

Instead of: wow, she’s pretty. But hey, so am I.

Every facial and bodily characteristic is sitting in a sea of beauty. Some finding this sea, more beautiful than that one. But they all exist and mean something to someone.

N. Oliva

Xoxo

Keeping it Real

Keeping it Real

image

Going along with my post from yesterday:
[ https://thegaffblog.com/04/14/16/the-fakeness-is-real/ ]

I wanted to practice what I preach and share my OOTD, which includes my favorite t-shirt.

I can’t lie and say I haven’t struggled with finding myself and just accepting myself for everything that I am. When I saw this shirt from Studio Mucci [bystudiomucci.com] (I bought it last year), it struck a chord in me.

I don’t have to figure out who I am. I create who I am. People see who you are by every move you make. Every word you say, or don’t say. I realized then and there I would focus on myself and making myself happy and forget about what everyone else thinks. Which is honestly where the problem lied. I knew who I was all along. I was simply hesitant to be myself.

Hope you enjoy my OOTD (styled this with some jeans to go to work).

What’s your OOTD? Or do you have an experience to share?
Show some love by liking, sharing and comment about your experience.

Lastly:
Be yourself. Don’t hesitate. Do.
And #KeepitReal

Love,
Nicole

The Fakeness is Real

The Fakeness is Real

How do you react when you feel disrespected?

Is it instantaneous for you? Not so much for me.

I tend to hold certain feelings back to not cause conflict. I don’t like conflict, but I also do not like feeling bad or bottling up bad feelings.

Recently I’ve gotten better at brushing things off.

The inspiration for this post however, was my breaking point.

Why are people sooooo fake?

One thing is for sure. Most people should not say everything they think and feel because a lot of feelings would get hurt. However, a lot of problems could be avoided if people were honest.

What does it even mean to be honest anymore? Are people honest? I honestly can’t say yes.

Everyone is full of the sickest shit and I’m sick of it.

For the protection of the person who inspired this I will not share details.

If you don’t like something, have the guts to say so.

If you agree with this post. Please: Comment, Like, Share. Would love to read about your experiences as well. Vent my loves. Vent!

#KeepitRealKeep it Real written on desert road

Art Tuesday – Art is Much Less Important than Life, But What a Poor Life Without it. How Have You Benefited from Art?

Art Tuesday – Art is Much Less Important than Life, But What a Poor Life Without it. How Have You Benefited from Art?

I have a poster in my room that reads:

Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it. Robert Motherwell.


Quote by Robert Motherwell (on the left) Copyright MOMA or Museum of Modern Art. From their Abstract Expressionist New York Exhibit Oct 3,2010 - April 25, 2011; (On the right) Pablo Picasso's
I have always believed that art is an important piece of the puzzle of life. Without art, I would not be complete. (Two of many posters/images on my wall)                                                                            Quote by Robert Motherwell (on the left) Copyright MoMA or Museum of Modern Art. From their Abstract Expressionist New York Exhibit Oct 3,2010 – April 25, 2011; (On the right) Pablo Picasso’s “Girl Before a Mirror” Also, purchased at the MoMA.

Art has been a major influence in my life in a lot of ways. Not simply visual art either. Artists (visual and musical), paintings, music, film (also directors and screenplay writers), animation, writers like Maya Angelou (bless her soul and her beautiful poetry), even some clothing designers (You go Diane Von Furstenberg!), have all inspired me in some way. Even to start writing this blog.

When I look at the walls in my room, it’s easy to see how art has been an inspiration to me, even though recently I have hit a bit of a wall with my creativity. I’ve always been willing to try new things when it comes to art, as far as exploration and discovery go (in one’s art that is). But it seems whenever people tell me that they do not like some of my work, I take it too harshly. Should I or shouldn’t I? Nevertheless, I still draw and paint to my heart’s desire.

(In order clockwise from the top left) Robert Motherwell's quote again; Also Picasso's
An extended view of the pictures on my wall   (In order clockwise from the top left) Robert Motherwell’s quote again; Also Picasso’s “Girl Before A Mirror,” Andy Warhol’s “Chocolate Bunny which says: “I never met an animal I didn’t like;” Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman” in a hardcover copy; Warhol’s Flowers in Red; Warhol’s Pop  Art Print – Shoes which says: “It takes a lot of work to figure out how to look so good.” (**All Artworks showed in this image except Angelou’s bought from the MoMA. All rights reserved to original owners**) **Image by Nicole Oliva**

Until recently, I was not too good with words. Creating visual art was my sole escape. Keyword was. I still enjoy drawing and painting, reading, writing, going to museums whenever I can. However, life has caught up with me and has become more serious. I especially struggled after I was rejected from a film program I yearned to be a part of ever since I fell in love with film: the ultimate visual art in my opinion, because it encompasses all aspects of visual art, but also utilizes music and dialogue (in modern cinema of course).

Art is my escape from reality because art does not force you to have an impression or experience you do not wish to have. Certainly, artists have intentions for their work when they create them. But experiencing art encompasses everything you have ever seen. Depending on your point of view, you will see something different from how I do. Also, creating art is a unique experience in itself as well. People have tried to describe the process of creating art. But it is not the same for everyone.

Pablo Picasso's
Pablo Picasso’s “Girl Before a Mirror” **Image taken by Nicole Oliva. Artwork purchased from the MoMA or Museum of Modern Art in NYC.**

To me, “Girl Before a Mirror,” connects with my insecure side. When I look into it, I see myself looking into the mirror and think about how I pick apart myself and my flaws. But it is fair to say that this was not even close to what Pablo Picasso was thinking while creating this piece. Or while deciding on which colors to use, the shape of the woman’s breasts and hips, etc. He may have simply been fascinated with a woman’s habit of peering into a mirror. Picasso had more than a few women in his life. In the past, when I read about Picasso’s life and accomplishments I was fascinated about how he lived. He and the people he lived amongst revolutionized cubism during their own lifetime. Imagine doing that during your time alive? One could only hope to accomplish as much or even half of what Picasso did during his own lifetime. To be so successful, that your grandchildren do not have to work. If you do not believe me, google his grandchildren. He probably made most of his wealth after he died, and sure, he had his flaws, but can you say you are perfect?

** Original Artworks Created by and Image by Nicole Oliva** (Top left) Self-portrait 2013;  (Top right) A Still Life 2013; (Bottom right) Two Hands 2013 (Blown up version of the image on the bottom left) All original  works shown here were created for a drawing class.
Drawings by yours truly   **Original Artworks Created by Nicole Oliva and Image by Nicole Oliva** (Top left) Self-portrait 2013; (Top right) A Still Life 2013; (Bottom right) Two Hands 2013 (Blown up version of the image on the bottom left) All original works that are shown here were created for a drawing class.

Does Art Imitate Life or Does Life Imitate Art?


I do not think I could give a definite answer to that question but in my opinion, my art reflects my life. Sure, I have tried to redo some Picasso pieces. So in that literal way, I replicated art and was influenced by it. But I have always been an observer. Not necessarily a follower. Following this line of thought, some people may entirely imitate art, but the ones who revolutionize, their art imitates life. Not the other way around.

I believe all great art imitates life. Even abstract art. Abstract art in itself is a complex puzzle not meant to be solved. Just like life. Why are we here? I do not have an answer to that question either. Are we here to live and then die? What should be we do while on this Earth? What if we all have a purpose that is meant to be fulfilled? Have I fulfilled that purpose yet?

More pictures on my wall lol. Pictures of Lady Gaga **Image by Nicole Oliva** Original images taken from a magazine. Copyright goes to original owners or photographers.
More pictures on my wall lol. Pictures of Lady Gaga **Image by Nicole Oliva** Original images taken from a magazine. Copyright goes to original owners or photographers.

If you read through older posts on the Gaff Blog, you’ll see one post that mentions Lady Gaga, who is another great influence in my life. Say what you will about her. But her music, whether she was high while writing it or even making the beats certainly imitates her life. From Bad Kids to So Happy I Could Die, to Monster, if you dig deep into her lyrics, you can see the real her. Even Poker Face is apparently about her hiding a bisexual fantasy from her lover. The rawness of her music is what always attracted me to her as an artist. Also, her love of playing piano always inspires me to bring an aspect of what I love into my future work and career. Although her taste for leather repulsed me during my vegetarian phase, I accepted her for her flaws. Some may think she has more than others. But again, we’re all imperfect. Artists may simply be  more attuned to accepting their flaws.

To end this post, I will say that art has continued to be an immensely beneficial aspect of my life. If art has not benefitted you in any way, I suggest checking again. On your walls, on your clothes, maybe some place that I wouldn’t even think of. But find what makes you happy and pursue that, whatever way you can.

Last image from my wall.       Quote by Diane Von Furstenberg
Last image from my wall.      Quote by Diane Von Furstenberg. “Be yourself and enjoy it! Live healthy and love your body! Your confidence is your real beauty.” **Image by Nicole Oliva**

For more information on Robert Motherwell and his artwork, visit http://artsy.net/artist/robert-motherwell