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The stuff on our supermarket shelves — do they reveal the truth about ourselves?

By Rina Kaur

A few months ago I was out shopping, walking along the aisles of a convenience store, when a particular product caught my attention. It was a big bottle of body wash, and its packaging proudly proclaimed ‘skin whitening’ as one of its features.

Now this isn’t big news. Skin whitening products have been around for decades, if not centuries. In 2017, the global skin whitening industry was valued at $4.8 billion, and it is only predicted to grow. A sudden mood to brood had befallen unto me, and I thought, “Why are these items still on the shelves?” “Aren’t we supposedly living in more progressive times?” …


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Apps like Facebook and Instagram are now our bread and butter. Are we happy with this? | Image source: Pexels.com

By Rina Kaur

Social media is everywhere. We use it, schools use it, businesses use it, governments use it, and the list goes on. From its humble beginnings, apps like Facebook and Instagram have grown at lightning speed, with Instagram alone having over 800 million active monthly users today. Despite its controversies, especially of late, this trend seems unlikely to reverse. Facebook is planning to venture into virtual reality and augmented reality, and it recently announced that it will soon be launching a dating service. Many of us already seem hooked on Facebook — it has 1.45 …


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Image: Pexels.com

By Rina Kaur

Sometimes, we experience one of those days. The weight of responsibility piling on you, a heaviness in your heart, a dark cloud hanging over your head. Minor inconveniences you would usually brush aside now take a toll on you. You really wish the coffee tasted better today. Perhaps something triggered this, perhaps it’s just a feeling you unexplainably woke up with today. Yet it’s a feeling all the same. All the stresses mount and it feels like your head could explode any second.

That’s when you pick up your phone, plug in your headphones, and listen to some music to heal your heart. Goosebumps rise on your skin the second the first note is struck. As the singer belts out a couple of lines connected to what you’re feeling, your heart lightens a little. Tears well up in your eyes. Just as the chorus approaches, a rush of emotion washes over you. You almost, if not do, sing along, and you can feel the pain leaving your body as you do. All that tension, all that emotion, and all that inner discord is released. …


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Image source: Pexels

By Rina Kaur

Growing up — especially in a relatively conservative society as I have — it’s likely you’ve heard the “pragmatist” view that the arts have no place in our world. It’s thought to be useless, impractical, and unnecessary. It’s seen as a waste of time and resources. Instead, only science and business serve to be the true saviours of humanity. Yes, science is absolutely important in the progression of mankind – after all, it has only been in these last few centuries that the Age of Enlightenment occured, and where scientists have not been persecuted for their observations. …


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Image source: AOL.co.uk

By Rina Kaur

For decades now, movies like Back to the Future II and Blade Runner have toyed with the idea of a flying car. The first film to showcase a flying car was a 1906 British comedy titled The ‘?’ Motorist. With the ability to whisk us away into the skies at just the push of a pedal, it’s the archetypal invention we all dream of. However, despite the innumerable hours spent on the concept and creation of the flying car, we still don’t have one available for the everyday consumer. It’s quite an enigma, considering how we are just a few years away from possibly putting man on Mars, and have even been able to teleport a particle (though not in the same fashion as, say, teleportation on Star Trek — but impressive, nonetheless). Why is it that the dream that seems reasonably achievable is proving to be one of the hardest to attain? …


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Image source: Pexels.com

By Rina Kaur

If you’re like me, you’ve spent quite a lot of time trying to figure out who you are. What you like, what your beliefs are, what your principles are, what you’re good at, etc. The list goes on. Then you try figuring out how your friends, family, and coworkers are like. What makes Sam friendlier than Mark? What makes Emma a better planner than Dan? What makes one decide to pull the lever in the Trolley Problem? These questions led me onto the path of personality psychology, where I began reading about a multitude of theories on personality. Some were reputable, some seemed like hocus pocus. While I am no licensed psychologist, I have spent a lot of time – if you ask friends and family, perhaps too much time – reading up on personality. …


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Image source: MTV UK

By Rina Kaur

Movies like White Chicks are often chastised by film critics for being vapid, brainless, and cheap. Yet White Chicks, as unappealing as it was to reviewers when it was released in 2004, grossed $113.1 million — triple its budget. More recently, the 2017 release of ‘Baywatch’ led to earnings of $177.9 million, more than double its budget. This clearly illustrates a demand for such entertainment, and therefore it cannot be denied that they have a certain appeal. However, what makes these movies so popular? They don’t provide cerebral themes and they don’t offer deeply insightful critiques. Even then, despite being subject to the harshest of criticisms, they prove to be hits at the box office. Why do they? …


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Image credit: Pexels.com

By Rina Kaur

Before I begin, I’d like to clarify what I mean by complaining. No, I don’t mean yelling, no I don’t mean throwing water in someone’s face, no I don’t mean banging your fists on the table. What I do mean is expressing dissatisfaction, what I do mean is constructive criticism, what I do mean is open-mindedness.

Where I’m from, “complain king” and “complain queen” are commonly used phrases — especially at the workplace. While there is the odd person who complains about almost everything, I’ve noticed that it’s a phrase even attached to people who make reasonable, understandable complaints. “We’re taking on way too much work toda-” “COMPLAIN KING!” …


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Image: Pexels.com

By Rina Kaur

Simplicity has gotten a bad rap for a while now. It’s often associated with rather negative connotations — to be “simple-minded” is to be unintelligent; to be “simple” is to be plain. I think it’s time for a change. I think it’s time we speak up for simplicity — for it’s presence, it’s power, and it’s precision. To achieve simplicity is no easy feat. After all, it was the king of complex ideas, Albert Einstein, who said “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” …


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Image: Pexels.com

By Rina Kaur

Sometimes, we experience one of those days. The weight of responsibility piling on you, a heaviness in your heart, a dark cloud hanging over your head. Minor inconveniences you would usually brush aside now take a toll on you. You really wish the coffee tasted better today. Perhaps something triggered this, perhaps it’s just a feeling you unexplainably woke up with today. Yet it’s a feeling all the same. All the stresses mount and it feels like your head could explode any second.

That’s when you pick up your phone, plug in your headphones, and listen to some music to heal your heart. Goosebumps rise on your skin the second the first note is struck. As the singer belts out a couple of lines connected to what you’re feeling, your heart lightens a little. Tears well up in your eyes. Just as the chorus approaches, a rush of emotion washes over you. You almost, if not do, sing along, and you can feel the pain leaving your body as you do. All that tension, all that emotion, and all that inner discord is released. …

About

Rina Kaur

Musing on Medium.

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