11 December 2018

The Snowflake Generation

What is a snowflake? 

A snowflake is a unique.  No snowflake is ever alike.   Depending on the temperature it can either melt on impact; or join other snowflakes and create snow.   Snow that can be moved and coerced into a different shape, or frozen so hard that it can sink the Titanic. 

Why am I talking about snowflakes today?  Someone posed a question recently that has been whirling around in my head.  

Why is this generation called "Generation Snowflake" when in fact, it is the older generations that just can't handle confrontation and question of their thoughts?  

But the thing is, it isn't just the older generation that uses the term.

Where is the age line drawn and is it an age line at all?  I am 39 and am regularly called a snowflake; usually for calling out a behaviour or rhetoric that I didn't believe in or found offensive.  Yet I have been called a snowflake by both people in their 50s and 60s and by people in their early 20s.

So the line isn't an age thing.  It is a believe system, borne as a result of how and what you educate yourself in, the family you are born into and what they believe, the circles you move in and your own moral code and beliefs.

For me, it comes down to fear and insecurity.  

In terms of misogyny and sexism, it also comes down to entitlement.  In the 50s and 60s you could get away with slapping the bottom of your secretary or paying women less than men for the same job.  Men grew up for centuries believing that women were (in decreasing terms over the years, slowly) property, second class citizens, objects.   The fact that women now can demand the same wages, control of their own bodies and the right to touch them is something that generations of men are not used to, whether in lived experience or what they have grown up to expect.

I see many articles now after the #metoo movement of men saying that you cannot brush past a woman without being accused of sexual assault and that rape accusations are mostly "regret of actions".  Yet we have rape trials in 2018 where what type of underwear a woman was wearing is called into question.  Where her past sexual experiences is somehow relevant.   Where a man can be given 90 days house arrest for the rape of a child, yet a woman killing someone she was "given to" at 16 to rape at will, in order to escape, is given a 51 year sentence.

If you are truly scared that a woman is going to accuse you of sexual assault for brushing past her, then I am truly scared of you, because it reveals what you truly think you are entitled to.

When it comes to racism, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia; this is when it turns to fear and insecurity.  

Not that long ago you could listen to that man, or woman, in the pub spouting off about how they thought that being gay should still be illegal, that black people were (somehow, I don't understand it, will never understand it) worth less than white people, how transgender people were "looking for attention".  

People would nod, smile and agree with this person in public, while at home, completely disagree with their views.  No one would question the rhetoric.  Thinking that their views are disgusting but showing support/compliance in public but disagreeing in private.  So who is scared exactly?

The so called "Generation Snowflake", which actually compromises all ages, is not afraid to call people out on antiquated beliefs and thoughts.  They question, argue, reason, debate.  Yet we are called the weak generation for daring to rock the boat that believes that Christian straight, white men (and the women who follow them) should and do rule the world.

I truly believe that people should be able to say what they want, with the exception of inciting violence.  Let them stand on their pulpits and shout their views to the world, let us see just how small, how scared and insecure they really are.

If I call you out for something that you have said, asking you to defend your statement and all you retort back is "snowflake" and "are you triggered?" then you have no platform based on anything other than lack of education, hate and bigotry.  

If you are so scared of being argued with, are you the true snowflake?

5 December 2018

5 Secrets to Whiter and Healthier Teeth

We all want to have a beautiful smile that dazzles everyone we meet. Whether it is a coworker you run into in the elevator or an old friend you happen to meet at a wedding, the way you smile affects the rest of the interaction.

You must not forget that the beauty of your smile depends a lot on the health of your teeth. Brushing your teeth every day isn’t enough to keep dental problems from creeping in. To maintain the beauty and health of your teeth, there are a few extra things you need to do.

Watch What You Eat

Watching what you eat can help prevent dental issues from ruining your smile. Some food items and drinks can stain your teeth and take away some of their beauty. Some of these food items are easy to avoid. Others – like red wine or tea – are food and drinks we consume every day.

The simplest approach to this challenge is brushing your teeth after every meal. You can also use a straw to prevent drinks like coffee from leaving a stain on the front of your teeth.

Try Flossing

As mentioned before, brushing your teeth alone isn’t enough. Use a mouthwash after brushing your teeth and try flossing more regularly. Flossing is really not as bad or as cumbersome as it seems once you are used to it as part of a routine.
Alternatively, you can chew sugar-free gum that contains fluoride and xylitol to help reduce bacterial growth inside the mouth. The gum also helps increase the production of saliva, which is also good for your teeth and mouth.

Regular Treatments

It is also highly recommended to see a dentist every three to six months for regular checks and treatments. When your teeth are maintained properly, a visit to the dentist is more fun than you think. You can even start exploring the possibilities of using treatments like teeth whitening.

Dr. Sarika Heggannavar, the lead dentist at the famous dental care facility Orlando Smile, recommends regular teeth cleaning and scaling every three months. The latter helps eliminate tartar buildup and prevent black plaque stains from appearing.

Drink More Water

Water is good for the teeth. It keeps the mouth moist and limits bacterial buildup. Besides, water is also good for your skin and your body, so drinking more water more frequently is highly recommended.

What you want to avoid are soda and other high-sugar beverages. Even when you brush your teeth after drinking soda, you can still end up with a lot of sticky, sugary substance in the tiny gaps between your teeth. That sticky substance is exactly what bacteria needs to grow rapidly.

The Right Mouthwash

Lastly, make sure you use the right mouthwash. Avoid products that make your mouth dry or ones that contain high levels of alcohol. What you want is a gentle mouthwash that kills bacteria while keeping your mouth fresh and moist.

These tips will help you maintain the beauty and health of your teeth. When your teeth are white, stain-free, and beautiful, you will have the confidence to smile more.   

*collaborative piece