Tag Archives: Inspiration

Elon Musk, Inspiration or Jerk?

I do not often get the chance to write an opinion piece, so I am going to make the best of this opportunity as it’s been burning at me for awhile.

How to describe Elon Musk’s year so far? Musk so far has not had a good year. After calling a British diver a “pedo” on Twitter (due to his criticism toward Musk during the Thailand cave rescues), Musk is getting sued. After this, he returned to Twitter to threaten the removal of Tesla from the stock market. This ended with Musk being sued by the SEC which lead to him stepping down as chairman from Tesla, paying a $20 million fine and a Twitter “timeout” while Tesla monitors Musk and his activity on the social media platform.

These events happened over a two month period, and they are not the only thing that Musk has done that was stupid or questionable. The man donates money to both political parties for the heck of it, launches a Tesla car into space without any reason other than his own kicks, and started a company that was meant to help with Los Angeles traffic by creating “flamethrowers” just for the heck of it.

Now, there are reasons why Musk does these things. Launching a car into space shows how much potential SpaceX has, while donating money to both political parties serves to show how much influence that he can have in a more political scale. Lastly, creating “flamethrowers” seemed to simply be his method of showing that he can do whatever the “hell” he wants.

That reminds me of a certain someone who is currently sitting in the Oval Office. Yes, we know that you are rich, but you do not need to flash the money. Such actions only serve to make you look like a jerk. This is not sarcasm, nor is it Musk simply trying to be funny; these actions are trying to make yourself better than what you are.

I will admit that Musk has done a great job with SpaceX and PayPal (which he sold to Google). But that does not mean that I have to like the man. He is a person that has to show how much money that he has and does it in the worst ways possible. That is why I do not see him as an inspiration, I see him as a jerk.

Fitspo? FitsNO.

Fitspiration, or fitspo, is a relatively new internet term which describes the act of being inspired to get in shape by looking at photos of fit people. Although this may sound positive, the truth is that fitspo can be incredibly discouraging.

Harper’s Bazaar recently shared a gallery promoting 20 Instagram accounts run by fit women. Although these women have achieved incredible goals and are very fit, I think the accounts are more discouraging than encouraging. One common saying by yoga instructors encourages “focus on the progress, not the results.”

The issue I have with these accounts is that these women have achieved goals which will take the average woman months or even years to achieve. Instead of motivating women by sharing their progress, they’re more or less just showing off their results. Some of these accounts can be helpful when the person shares a photo with tips on how to achieve certain goals, but most accounts don’t do this.

One of my favorite Instagram accounts that I follow (@canadian_yoga_girl) is by far the most realistic fitspiration account I’ve seen. Meg, who runs the account, is an average-sized woman who shares videos and photos of her progress. Unlike the women in the Harper’s Bazaar gallery, she shares videos even if she makes mistakes and shares extremely helpful and encouraging tips.

Although I can appreciate extremely fit women, it’s important that the average woman is aware that you don’t become that fit overnight. Showing progress, including mistakes, is more inspiring and helpful to the average woman. It’s also important that women have role models who are more similar to them. By this, I mean women need to be aware that you don’t have to look like a supermodel to be good at yoga, or even running.

One new ad
(below) by This Girl Can has gone viral. The video shows women of various builds, ages and backgrounds working out, getting sweaty and overall kicking ass.

In my opinion, videos like this are a thousand times more inspiring because they show women struggling to get through their workout, but being pleased with their progress. In those fitspo accounts, there are never photos of the women getting sweaty or showing their struggles. I believe that videos like this one and the ones shared by average women have the potential to begin a new era of fitspiration.

It’s so important that average women who want to get fit are surrounded by realistic role models, instead of hardcore yoga masters or Olympic athletes who have been training their whole lives. The average woman who is just getting  started on her fitness journey will  be empowered to continue on that journey if she is knows she’s not alone.



Get inked…or maybe not

No teenager can possibly be expected to have his or her life mapped out. It’s nearly impossible. Eighteen years old means freedom. In some cases, the temptation to revel in the new found separation from parents also leads to new forms of self-expression. Many times, that means getting a tattoo. However, this can easily lead to Godzilla-sized regrets. On the other hand, it can be a very positive thing in your life. The choice is up to each individual how the process is gone about.

First of all, if you’d like a tattoo, keep a few things in mind. The prospect of breaking out of your shell and taking a huge risk can be very appealing. There are right ways of going about this. Save your money for the right tattoo parlor. Beware: You could easily become one of the tattoo fail cases.

Do you have any "regerts" about that  tattoo? Graphic from Cheezburger
Do you have any “regerts” about that tattoo? Graphic from Cheezburger

Tattoo fails happen a lot. Be wary of celeb tattoos and spelling errors. You might want a memorable quote on your arm and you wind up with “their,” instead of “they’re.” It also helps to be sober when getting a tattoo. Spelling errors ruin a cool tattoo idea.

Explore why you should get one too. Getting one can be to inspire your self, maybe even others. It could help you to remember an event or person or represent a personal belief. That can include culture and religion. These can even be treated as a new accessory, depending on where you’re tattooed. In the end, don’t forget that this is on your body and is your decision, so do it for yourself and not others. Its very nature is self-expression in our cultural context anyways.

Before making your inking appointment, try actually drawing the tattoo on. It’s a way to test how the tattoo would look and you may learn something new about it during this trial run. You won’t get ink poisoning. I promise. In addition to the trial run, as yourself a few pertinent questions like: “When will I have to hide this? Will I have to hide it from my family? Will this close any doors for you in the present/future? Will it open any?”

Of course there has been an increase of tattoo acceptance in the workplace, but that doesn’t mean that getting inked won’t limit your career choices. This doesn’t mean you can’t get any tattoos. Just keep professionalism in mind before making a rash decision. Don’t forget that you’re in college to plan your future. Personal image also includes hair color, clothes, and tattoos!

Take careful consideration in which tattoo you want on your body. Getting a logo on yourself makes you a walking advertisement. Not only that, but who knows what that company/product could be affiliated with in the future? Scandals happen. Also, be wary of tattoos in a foreign language! Do your research, guys. That awesome Chinese tattoo could mean anything and I mean anything.

A lesson in perseverance

I was walking to my homeroom one morning during my junior year of high school when I saw a woman struggling up the hill to our gym building.

Nothing beats the feeling when you make it to the top. Graphic by Steve Furtado.

Tall, but almost terrifyingly skinny, she held herself straight. Her legs could only carry her half a foot at a time. Her bags were weighing her down, and she had perspiration glistening on her face. Yet she continued taking each six-inch step toward the school, uphill. Continue reading A lesson in perseverance