Fighting gender stereotypes

Here's a question:

The clothes she's wearing here are actually from the female section - whatever that is.

Ever since the very first day I started telling people I was pregnant, I started mentioning my allergy to the colour pink. Yes, I have nightmares with it. When I found out it was a girl, then I made sure everyone knew we didn't want anything in pink. Of course not everyone got the message, and that's ok.

L has some pink clothes and we use them all. We don't like to waste. My actual problem is with what pink represents and what it doesn't.

Nowadays, pink is used by "girly girls" - whatever that is.

"A girl is not a girl if she's not wearing pink!"

Unfortunately, this seems to be the rule in a lot of places I have been to, including the country where I am from and the country I live in, which drives me nuts! Here in Glasgow, I dare you to count how many babies/toddlers are not either in pink or blue, as if there is no other colour available for minors. I mean, even the pram is either pink or blue.

I had the idea for this post after someone posting a similar question on a private group. My little monkey gets to be called a boy so many times - according to society, you can only be a girl or a boy, which is very, very sad, but more on that in another post, perhaps. Even after we refer to L as she, people just assume we made a mistake (our poor English, right?) and call her a little boy. I am ok with she becoming a he, but why do people assume she is a he just because of what she's wearing?

Just like the colour spectrum, there is also a gender spectrum; and if this is an idea you are not comfortable with, well, then maybe the gender-specific colour issue shouldn't be your biggest concern.
(Couldn't find the original source online. Shame on me!)

Actually, as Rebecca Reilley-Cooper says here, gender is not a spectrum. According to her, this is an idea that is both illogical and politically troubling. She further defends that instead of trying to come up with more boxes that are neither blue or pink, we should aim at tearing them apart.

Thankfully, my "NO PINK" message gets me to try a lot of other alternatives. Even most dresses get to be taken out of the picture because of their "girly" patterns.

I don't care that L is called a boy 99 % of the times. She is what she is, and we will be here for her.

Also, Scandivia, even if extremely expensive, has some really great kids clothes where gender is almost an undefined term, so I try to get a couple of items while there. Most of L's clothes are actually second-hand either from drift stores or family and friends.

Anyway, I will keep my fight against gender stereotypes, because, well, because #girlswhocode, that's why.

Because if L decides to become a mechanic like her granddad, or a plumber like her dad, or a geek-wannabe like her mom, or a housewife (also, why isn't there a word for this job that does not assume a gender or marital status???) life her grandma and dad, then she can. She can do whatever she wants, because women can do whatever they want, just as boys and all the other gender.

Because colour, job, sexual orientation, religion (or lack of it), music taste, whatever, does not depend on the gender.



(Now in Portuguese)

Olá a todos,

Antes de mais, perdoem-me os anglicismos, mas isto de falar diariamente 3 línguas diferentes não é fácil. Espero que consigam acompanhar. 

No último fim-de-semana, decidi lançar a minha primeira loja online: https://society6.com/asofiaaferreira (Também no perfil do meu instagram).

Não gosto de partilhar muito o meu eu, mas decidi expôr algo que me é muito querido. Através de art prints, dou a conhecer ao mundo momentos até àquele dia só meus, visões que só eu tive, experiências que só eu vivi. No fundo, decidi expôr-me e, consequentemente, pedir-vos para me avaliarem e me dizerem se as minhas fotografias valem o vosso tempo, a vossas opinião e até mesmo o vosso dinheiro.

Todas as fotografias expostas na minha nova loja online foram tiradas por mim com máquinas analógicas que fui adquirindo nos últimos anos.

Porquê o analógico?
Comprei a minha primeira máquina digital em 2009, mas rapidamente comecei a acumular imensas fotografias - centenas e centenas de ficheiros arquivados, em que a maioria não chegou a ser usada uma segunda vez. Foi então que decidi doar a máquina digital à minha irmã e dedicar-me às analógicas.
Hoje em dia leio sobre fotografia quase todos os dias e possuo uma pequena colecção (com exemplares mais baratuchos, está claro) de quase 20 câmaras analógicas das quais tenho muito orgulho. Gosto de explorar cada uma delas. Erro muitas vezes. Aliás, erro imenso, mas aprendo com cada erro, cada clique, cada foto mal tirada, cada objecto desfocado.
A fotografia digital tem as suas vantagens, claro, mas descobri nestes últimos anos que o analógico está mais perto do que quero obter da fotografia. Até mesmo as cores acabam por me parecer mais reais. No entanto, a principal razão pela qual prefiro fotografia analógica é a seguinte: o analógico obriga-me a pensar e repensar em cada clique. Todas as imagens são avaliadas antes de serem imortalizadas através da lente da máquina. Tenho sempre de medir a luz, de pensar bem na composição que pretendo e tenho, essencialmente, de pensar se a imagem que estou a ver vale os euros que me está a custar.

Agora é o momento em que vos digo que sim, estas fotografias fazem tudo valer a pena!

Por isso, se gostam de imagens que reflectem o meu lado mais íntimo e artístico - ou se conhecem alguém que pudesse apreciá-lo - visitem a minha loja e apoiem o meu trabalho.

Espero que gostem e se conhecem alguma fotografia minha e não a conseguissem encontrar na loja, não hesitem em mandar mensagem que farei os possíveis para a colocar na loja o mais rapidamente possível.

Está claro que aceito sugestões, comentários e críticas com muito gosto =)



Ok, this is it!

I am doing it.

Today, I am lauching my webshop. This is a very big step for me. I am sharing my own experiences. I am showing my own moments. I am exposing myself.

I am also asking you to evaluate me. I am asking you to tell me whether my photographs are worth your opinion - and, ultimately, your money.

I decided to sell my photographs as art prints because I got to a point where I was looking at them and thinking that I was being selfish by only keeping them for me.

Why film?
Why film - you may ask. Well, I bought my first digital camera in 2009. I had fun with it but, most importantly, I learned a lot from it. However, I was collecting a lot of files - I mean A LOT! I have so many pictures that I have never seen twice. That was my cue - it was time to change. So, a couple of years ago, I decided to make the change. I gave my DSLR to my sister and focused only on film.

Nowadays, I read about photography almost every day - even if just for a couple of minutes. I collect film cameras. I think I own around 20 film cameras now, and I am always looking for new additions to my collection.

Film photography makes me think and rethink. I have to make sure the settings are right, that the film is put on correctly, that there is enough battery, etc. And light! I have to consider the light levels all the time. Sure you have to do this with digital as well, but if you get it wrong you will know right away. Film, on the other hand, is instant! It is real. It is raw. And you never know what you will going to get. Now, every time I press the shutter of one of my cameras, I think twice - is it really worth it?

Today is the day I tell you "Yes, I think these photographs made it all worth it!"

So, if you are interested - or know someone who is - in art prints of raw landscapes, of still nature, of trees, clouds and waves, please go ahead and support me by buying one of my photographs here. Any comments, critics or suggestions are welcome =)

If you cannot find the photograph you want in my webshop, just drop me a line and I will do my best to upload it to the store ASAP.

In a few days/weeks I will be sharing something else. So again, stay tuned!

"This is film photography.
This is nature."



Guilty pleasures

Throughout our lives, we engage in random activities in private - those which we are ashamed of, which we wouldn't admit even to our closest friend.

Well, I am no different.

When I was young, in my birthday parties, we would make swim suit contests, dance contests, mimic REALLY BAD TV shows (like "Big Show Sic", the Portuguese will know this one) and so on. Me and my girlfriends would practice our dance moves for hours! Spice Girls's songs, of course. And we loved it!

Also when I was young, I remember sitting in front of the TV, watching VH1, MTV, Sic Radical (a Portuguese channel) and the like and taking notes of the songs I liked. I also remember watching Disney Channel for hours. No, I wasn't that young - these channels arrived when I was already 14 or so, I guess. The truth is I wasn't that ashamed of it. Well, I guess I am now. What a waste of time!

When I was in high school, me and a group of others in my class pretended we were doing something in gym class, when we were actually just chilling outside. We would only get up when the physical education teacher would come outside. And this was not because I didn't like the class or the teacher. I just hated the way they taught us sports! I also hated doing it in front of others... Because outside school, I was swimming 2 km every day and so on, I just didn't bother to do anything in class. Actually not in any class except Math and occasionally in other classes where the teacher was actually motivating.

Here is a proof: I am a marine biologist, I love it and I can't imagine myself doing anything else; but if you look at my biology grades... Actually, just don't. They were ok, but that's it, just ok. My biology teachers were almost always SO BORING! And the way they were teaching it was even worse. But well, I could make a post just about how bad the standard educational system is, but not in this one. I guess my guilty pleasure here was not making an effort to be better. I don't regret it though. Why would I?

In the University, I guess I was slightly unsocial. Not because I didn't want to go out, but because it's not easy to find motivating people. I hate to waste time with people that just don't have it. Anyway, my guilty pleasure here was spending HOURS watching movies and rating them. I could spend all day doing it and I loved it. The truth is I miss it terribly!

As I grew older, I had less time to watch movies, and fell into the trap: the TV series trap! Marathons of them! My excuse? It was easy to follow and it didn't require much of my time and attention: the characters are the same throughout, I already know the plot, etc. It was an "easy break" for my brain.

Now, with a baby, a full-time job and a man who loves to talk, my guilty pleasure is coming home from work, putting both baby and boyfriend to sleep and watching anything that requires ZERO brain activity - and this can be anything from "Grey's Anatomy" to "Game of Thrones" (yes, GoT fans, it's as bad!).

Sometimes, I even put a mask on my face (one that was given to me by the store where I buy shampoo and the like... Those that know me also know I would never buy these things myself) just because I CAN do it! Just to feel myself again, instead of just a mom, girlfriend, or housewife. The truth is: the baby wakes up sometime between my alone rituals to eat and the mask stays on my face for like 30 min or more instead of just 5 or 10 min like the package says... But who's counting?

And there you have it - my list of guilty pleasures!


Daddy's girl

Breastfeeding is magical!

I won't deny, I do believe there is an extra bond when the mom is able to breastfeed her baby. And please, before you get offended, hear me out. I know there are women who cannot breastfeed, who choose to not breastfeed, etc. I am not saying that that is wrong. Everyone should be able to choose. I chose to breastfeed and I have never regretted it (ok, sometimes I do, but just for mere miliseconds).

There are these moments when my baby is screaming with tears in her eyes and I take her to my breasts and she instantly calms down.
Or when she looks right into my eyes and I know she knows I am here for her.
Or when she smiles when she sees me taking my shirt off to feed her.
I wouldn't change these moments for anything else in the world. They are magical. They take me to a better place, just me and my baby girl. And the thought of knowing they will end one day scares me deeply. I know they will and that is why I want to cherish them as much as I can while I can.


While pregnant, I got a job I could not refuse.

And I didn't. Luckily, Danish parents get 52 weeks off, which they can split anyway they please. This is amazing, right? Right. So, for us, this meant that Michael would leave his job and he would take care of our baby girl.

I went back to work almost 2 months ago. It took a while for us 3 to get used to the new routines (not that there were any before...). Ok, it took a while for us to get used to the new standard: mom goes to work, daddy stays home, Lilli gets fed from a bottle more often.

These changes made us get mad at each other for no reason. They also meant we would have endless crying and nights spent awake, but we got over it and daddy and baby girl are having fun together. I miss them terribly, but I manage. (I guess living oversees for such a long time helps knowing some tricks on how to cope with missing someone, even though nothing could have ever prepared me to missing my baby girl).

So now it is mostly daddy putting baby to sleep. I try and try, but daddy manages ALMOST EVERY TIME! I get jealous, I am not going to lie. But you know what? It's ok. I know that they are creating their own special moments, just like me when I breastfeed her, and that's ok. They deserve that time alone, even if it is hard at times.

All this also means I have to pump milk several times a day at work (more on this on another post), and thinking how much of her development I am missing... But no worries, I know she is in the best care possible.

And I know all this because nothing can make daddy smile the way our baby girl can. They also stare at each other's eyes, they also cry of tiredness, they also sink into deep relaxation when they smell each other, and that's ok. She daddy's girl.

She knows I am here, she is mine and that I am the one with the boobs, but SHE IS DADDY'S GIRL.


Non-stop moving

I am sure this post will make some people mad or at least jealous. I am also almost sure that this is not common, especially in such a short time.

My baby girl is only 4 months and has been traveling quite a lot.

She has been in:
- 12 flights,
- 10 cities
- 6 countries,
- and 2 continents.

And this is without counting the trips we did while she was literally a part of me.

She has been eating:
- in trains,
- in planes,
- in buses,
- in ferries,
- at airport security,
- outside a graveyard,
- coffee shops,
- restaurants,
- bars,
- conference halls,
- etc...

She has been sleeping in her pram/buggy for more than a month now.

She has been taking baths in bathroom sinks, hotel bathtubs, kitchen sinks or no baths at all when lacking for a better option. Needless to say that diaper changing has been quite the adventure, one may say.

My baby girl has been through a lot and has been managing quite ok. Even when we had to move to a different country.

And yes, she's only 4 months.

And even with jet-lag, we keep exploring wherever we are. Under sun and under rain.

Oh yes, and we are flying again in a week.

Who's jealous now?

No, this post is not to make anyone jealous. It actually has the sole purpose of inspiring parents around the world to not be afraid to travel. Yes, maybe we have been lucky with our little one, but you'll never know if you don't try, right? There have been some hard times, but we just take a deep breath and go on.

"Don't ever hesitate to pack and go."

So, keep moving, folks!


Single-handed job

Hello fellow readers (anyone?),

I write to you from a different country. Yes, we moved, but more of that in another post. Today, I am here to talk about how my multitasking skills have improved in the last 4 months.

If you want to improve your multitasking skills, follow these steps:
1. Make a baby. If you need advice on how to make a baby, please, send me an e-mail and I will make a drawing for you. If you need advice on how to make a non-crying baby, give up right now. That is not a baby! That does not exist in the real world;
2. Wait roughly 9 months. Yes, 9 months is worth it, trust me;
3. If you're a woman, then go ahead and push him/her out of you. If you're a man, wait until the biological/surrogate mother does that extremely easy job (NOT) for you. And no, it's not men's fault biology works the way it works, so just deal with it, ladies;
4. Hold baby in one arm et voilà!!! If you have made more than one baby, you're basically screwed, unless you're Chuck Norris, then you will be just fine!

Easy, right?

I can do almost everything while holding a baby in one arm. Needless to say, that arm is usually the left (I am right-handed), and is probably stronger than the right one by now... But who cares?