I know it's been a while - I'm sorry. I've missed you, too. I've been absent 'cause I've started a temporary job at Cosmopolitan, as their online commercial writer. This amounts to, among other things, fifty or so emails a day, and each of these needing more attention than a drunk white girl at 2am.
Then I've also been trying to organise my trip to L.A. for E3, and it being my first time in the States, the visa process is a bit of a bitch. On top of this, I've been shooting like crazy (I've got three awesome posts waiting for you), have been doing some vulvodynia PT, and I'm running for the title of Miss Earth 2016. My life has been a beautiful mess, and baby, I'm sorry I've taken it out on you.
You'll hear more news about all of those exciting things soon. And they are exciting, even if I just made them out to sound like a bit of a drag. Today I'd like to talk to you about the next 'Ally' in our series, Boody, an eco-wear, bamboo clothing company. They're a great brand, using sustainably-sourced bamboo to make their line of gym/casual/netflix-and-chill wear. And they don't take 'sustainably sourced' lightly. Their process is tight and well-thought out, if their website is to be believed, and they've taken care with their water intake and environmental impact. Go Boody! Why bamboo? I'm glad you asked.
First and foremost, it's just a really great word. Bam-boo. BAM-boo. Bam-BOO. A word derived from the Malay 'bambu'. Downright delightful. Secondly, a while back I wrote a post about organic tampons. In it I explained that using organic cotton means that the cotton we use in our tampons, clothes, whatever, is not as hard on the planet as regular cotton. Cotton also has a nasty habit of coming from farms where workers are treated without respect towards them or their health. But as I said, even organic cotton has its drawbacks. The answer to this miserable conundrum lies in bamboo.
Bamboo grows fast, like, really fast, so stems can be harvested quicker and easier. Bamboo plantations also release thirty percent more oxgen than trees of an equivalent land mass size, which means they're our lung's BFFs. Bamboo also kicks more CO2 ass, and helps us combat green house gasses better. Like, right? Take a look at some more benefits here.
So, now that you're on board with bamboo, I'd like to explore one of its qualities - strength. I know it might not always look it, but bamboo is strong. Not like, for it's size. It's really strong; stronger than steel.
I like that it doesn't look altogether that strong. For most of my life I haven't looked that strong either. People always tell me I'm 'cute' or 'sweet', or 'little'. Don't get me wrong, I know people don't mean these in a rude way, it's just always been so disconcerting because I don't feel 'cute' or 'sweet' or 'little'. I feel strong. And like many women, I've had to be.
My outer appearances has always been at odds with my burly inside bits, but oh, times are a-changing. Since I started yoga a year ago now, my body has slowly started changing shape. I almost immediately lost two dress sizes and gained all the 'lost' weight in muscle. My arms, legs, back, and tummy have slowly started taking different shape. Testament to this, my legs have never been bigger, and I've never loved them more. Looking at myself now, even if it's not the body I was once hoping to have at twenty-five, I'm so grateful for the changes yoga has brought me.
I'm strong, you guys! I think the severity of this new-found quality came to me when I realised for the first time in my life, were I to be attacked, I could defend myself with something that was attached to my body instead of something that I had to keep in my bag.
I'm not sure men understand what it's like to walk past a group of men in a deserted street and know, depending on whether or not the pepper spray your mom bought you is along for the walk, that what keeps you from being a victim of a violent sexual crime has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with those men. It's not in your control. You're hoping. Readying yourself. 'Is there a rock nearby?', 'When last did I see a car?', 'Where do I run to, and when do I do it?' These are real concerns that a vast majority of South African women think about and deal with every day, and this shit has to stop.
And I'm not saying that the answer is for women to bulk-up. I don't believe that the onus is on women to minimize risk. I look forward to a time when gender-based violence is eradicated because of what we taught this and future generations of young men. The dystopian fantasy of a world gone to shit is puzzling to me in a time when more people enjoy rights than ever before in human history. We didn't get here because political, and social minorities accepted their conditions and made do. They fought for these rights. I believe the same can and will happen for women and their general safety. We need no barbed wire cocoon. But this muscle - I'm just saying that it feels good. It feels good to look as strong as I've always been.
So, that was my bit. Big-ups to Boody for the gear. I'm wearing their CRAZY comfy bralette in the pictures above (I live in this), but you can check out their whole range here. Free delivery on orders of R500, so you know what's up. You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Let me know if you've tried them out, or if you dug what I had to say on strength. I'm working to make comment sections less kak - help a woman out?
See you guys soon (I promise).
Disclaimer: The brand and products featured in this post were sent to Toofufu at the brand's expense, knowing it would result in coverage like this post. Toofufu does not offer reviews on the 'Ally' series, for more info, see our mission statement. Feel free to email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.