Louisa Leontiades

Freelance Journalist, Fulltime Feminist

Louisa lives in an open relationship with her partners and two children in Sweden. She writes full-time on her blog Postmodern Woman and is chairwoman of the National Polyamory Association. She also writes for Huffington Post, Salon, Nerve, Jezebel and the Guardian. She lives a life which makes for a lot of stories.

Why I Let My Five Year Old Daughter Wear Make Up

I try and make it one of many expressions of herself. I say it's important to remember they are only masks and you can always take them off. And I tell her, it's far more important to know who she is beneath them because the only true friends you make are those with whom you don't have to wear any mask... at all.
11/09/2015 15:04 BST

Think of The Children

Once I was ambivalent about motherhood, my life was beautiful yet terrible, an enormous experience and I needed, wanted nothing else to make it more. But somewhere on my journey, I realized that I was denying myself motherhood not because I didn't want children, but because I didn't trust myself to do a good job.
24/04/2015 10:00 BST

Beware of Feeding Sharks

I confess, there's a part of me which liked seeing someone else get drunk. It was terrible yet magnificent. I liked the thrill of being on the edge looking down at the feeding shark, in a frenzy of pain but also unbridled chaos and freedom.
31/03/2015 13:57 BST

Tribes and the Myth of Togetherness

You wonder whether it's always going to be this way. Are you destined to be alone if you are to be yourself? You hope that at some point, you will find people like you. Then comes a revelation. You realise there is no one like you. No one person is like you.
10/03/2015 12:07 GMT

Mary Poppins & The Attention Seeking Child

Mary Poppins by Disney, is not the P.L. Travers version. In the original books, the Banks children live in a dark, sugarless world which is brightened by Mary only inasmuch as she shows them a different side of life. A magical side of a world where infants are forced to forget their union with the universe by the rigours of our society.
29/12/2014 14:07 GMT

The Whole Truth About Lying

It's the darkest week of the year, nearly Christmas. Stories of Santa Claus and elves abound... but my kids know they're not real. I've never lied about this.
18/12/2014 07:11 GMT

When I Say I Hate Monogamy, What I Really Mean Is...

I hate that it's more or less an enforced binary structure - to be single and dating, or together and exclusive. I hate that there are plenty of people who don't actively consent to monogamy, who are not happy in monogamy, but through society pressure and lack of information, unwittingly follow the prescribed norm hoping for that illusive happy ever after.
12/12/2014 02:26 GMT

What Is a 'Real' Mother?

My natural mother, has proved to me on many occasions that if her presence in my life is unwanted, if it causes too much trouble, if I decide that I need to choose a mother, then she will step back. She believes that I should be able to decide the extent of my involvement with her, whereas my adoptive mother at least for a time, wanted all or nothing.
28/11/2014 14:45 GMT

Murder Is Easy

How can I teach my children that respect for life, all life is important? Whilst we put women to death for being raped? Whilst we wage war on out-groups? Whilst we kill animals for our own pleasure? Some beings are worthy of life...
24/11/2014 12:40 GMT

Five Hard Truths About Adoption Adoptive Parents don't want to Hear

Adoptees. We're allegedly 16% of America's estimated 500 serial killers whilst we represent only 2-3% of the population1. We're also the heroes of pop culture from Harry Potter and Frodo Baggins, to Superman and Luke Skywalker. In real life we're Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs, Bill Clinton, Marilyn Monroe...and Ted Bundy.
10/11/2014 09:58 GMT

Confessions of an Eyelash Puller

I squinted at myself through folds of perfectly hairless flesh. My eyes were smaller and uglier than they had been. Pig eyes. I felt finally like I was looking at myself. As ugly as I felt inside, I was now outside.
03/11/2014 12:12 GMT

Why Mothers Should Be Selfish

I am the luckiest person in the world. I have an adoring partner whom I love with all my heart and two beautiful children, no financial worries to speak of. And yet I am finally facing facts. It's scary and it's shameful. I am admitting in public that I don't like spending time with my children.
27/10/2014 12:32 GMT

I Thought That Shocking Headlines Didn't Change the World, Boy, Was I Wrong.

Virality has many components. Among them social currency (the kudos brought to someone by sharing), emotion (the ability to move, shock, make you laugh), practical value (teachable, how-to articles) and story-telling. Because people don't think of themselves in terms of information, they think of themselves in terms of narratives.
23/10/2014 11:07 BST

Five Guilt Trips to Expect on Becoming a Mother

You might already feel guilty just for getting pregnant if you're not married and you've been brought up by <em>that</em> type of family. Or for ditching your work without an adequate handover when you bugger off for maternity leave (because who cares when your pelvis is falling apart and you can't pull your pants up properly).
17/10/2014 12:18 BST

You Look Like You're Coping But You're Not - Post Natal Anxiety

"We promise we'll have her back within the hour." Said my mother in law. My daughter was 6 weeks old. And my parents in law had come over from Sweden to see their son's first child and to give us some relief. But I couldn't let her out of my sight for that long.
13/10/2014 15:03 BST

What Giving Birth Is Really Like - Birth Trauma

Whether I pooed in public or not, in the grand scheme of things didn't matter to them. Why should it? Because there was no privacy. No discretion. No modesty... just a whole lot of pain. Enough pain to make you forget who you were and why the hell you had wanted this in the first place.
07/10/2014 17:32 BST