Sometimes it is great, and sometimes it is really frustrating because being a human on its own is challenging, now try that journey as a feminine one. Life is currently throwing so many challenges at us, and most of the time despite how it may appear to those around us, we really don’t have much of an idea what to do with it.

Here’s an example of three challenges girls and women all across the planet, and all through time in fact, have had to silently deal with as it is seen as a “taboo” topics to discuss – you know, like how saying the word “sex” or “nipples” out loud in the 50’s would turn eyeballs and attract unwanted sneers. I have labelled them as X, Y and Z.

Challenge X: Periods. Tampons. Pads. The pill.
I was absolutely shocked to see what it costs. It is ridiculous to be honest. How are you to afford it when you have no income? This is a necessity for most females. I know I do not really have a say in it happening every month, but why does it have to be so damn expensive?

And it is not like we can say – well this month I will skip it and use again next month.

I have a problem with the fact that condoms can be distributed for free but young girls must pay for tampons and sanitary pads monthly. It is your choice to have sex and use a condom, but we do not have that choice as far as periods go. The government spends millions on entertainment, imagine how many females they would supply with sanitary products if they spent only half of their entertainment budget on supplying the youth with basic essentials? Sparing them the humiliation at school, at home and in public.

To be safer, you need to be on the pill, oh my word, have you seen the variety and price of that? The pill is not just there to prevent you from getting pregnant, it also helps with pain, cycle control and hormonal stability. Now that is an easy R145-00 per month, that is if you are on one of the “cheaper” pills. Another issue to me is why you cannot, as a woman of 18 years old, decide to have a hysterectomy.

There are young women who do not want to have children, why are they not allowed to have a hysterectomy? It is her body, her life, her future – why is it not her say? They should give each young woman the choice. With that, you will reduce unwanted pregnancies and abortions. You will have women who are confident and happy, living the life they wanted and succeeding in life. Not necessarily be stuck in life because of a child. It is nothing to be ashamed of to not want children.

It does not make you an unworthy woman! You do not have to explain yourself to anyone if you do not want to have children. I know there will be a lot of people disagreeing with me, and that is okay too. It is just unfair that women are often forced into having children because of traditional and cultural expectancies.

Challenge Y: Body shaming.
Too skinny, too chubby, too fat, illness. When did it become okay to judge or even give your opinion on someone else’s body outright in public? Did you not think about how it would make the other person feel? And why does your opinion even matter?

Some women accuse other women of being too skinny. “You look hungry.” “You should eat more.” “Get this lady a cupcake, she is too skinny.” “You are too skinny, that is unhealthy.” Those words hurt. I promise you it does. Did you consider why they look like that? Maybe they have a health problem. Maybe they spend hours exercising to look and feel good, and that is hard work. Maybe they eat healthy and try to exercise every now and then. Maybe it is in their genes. How would you know?

Did you consider asking them why they look like that or did you just babble because it makes you feel better and takes the attention away from you stuffing your face with cupcake number three? Skinny shaming is just as bad as fat shaming.

If you feel bad because of the way you look, do something about it. Go to the gym. Eat healthier. Live healthier. Make time. It takes hard work. It is for your own good. But shaming someone else is not going to make you feel better in the long run.

Challenge Z: The mind
The mind is an immensely powerful tool. It is your choice whether to use it for the good or the bad. We all have our horrible days and have thoughts that you wish you could say but you know – even in that moment of anger and frustration – that it’s not a good idea. Why? Because you will hurt someone close to you and you will not be able to take it back.

It’s “normal” to actually envision yourself knocking your husband over the head with a frying pan because he is not giving the necessary attention. My point here is, project your mind to positive things and you will have a happier soul. I am not saying ignore the wrong in the world and the things that really get to you.

Try and adjust your mind to see the problem, analyse it, be realistic about it and make the right decision – take emotion out of it. I know some of you are saying, easier said than done – why do you not do it, well I am busy with it. It is hard, trust me. I know it will be worth it, remove yourself emotionally and think for a change. You have a mind, change it.

You can; it is your mind. Choose to be happy, not for anyone other than yourself. Choose to be positive and see things for what they really are. Not what other people want you to see and believe.

“Cutting negative people from my life does not mean I hate them, it simply means I respect me” – Marilyn Monroe