Their Bodies, Their Selves

There's a striking moment about 20 minutes into Jennifer Brea's affecting film about her own and countless others' struggle with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME, more commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome). She is bedridden and filming herself as she reflects on what it means to inhabit this new, limiting body, and the limited life it affords … Continue reading Their Bodies, Their Selves

How to Outrun the Darkness*

*For Chester. May your lights never dim. Your first step - really, your most important step, the step you will return to again and again - is to name the darkness. You see, it operates best in secret, this darkness. It keeps you shrouded and cloaked in its shadows, making sure you feel completely isolated … Continue reading How to Outrun the Darkness*

16 and Pregnant in South Africa

A number of years ago, when I was still working in the development sector, I visited an organisation working in an area in Mpumalanga that has high rates of 'teen pregnancy'. Most of the visit was spent at the local primary school where I met girls as young as 13 who were balancing first-time motherhood and … Continue reading 16 and Pregnant in South Africa

All I Want for Mother’s Day

About a year ago, a video on womanhood was doing the rounds on social media. It features a series of older women talking about what they feel younger women should and could do differently in today's fast-paced world.  The video was produced by a spa called Sanctuary, as part of their campaign to convince women … Continue reading All I Want for Mother’s Day

On being a ‘chubster’ – meditations on beauty and bodies

by Shehnaz   A few weeks ago I bumped into an acquaintance of my mum’s at the mall.  She knew of my current illness and inquired after my health, she then gave me a once over and asked, “Are they not giving you anything for the swelling?” That evening we had dinner with (my husband) family and my … Continue reading On being a ‘chubster’ – meditations on beauty and bodies