Monday, January 26, 2015


Another long time without posting anything on this blog, I would apologise  but its likely you either don't care or are coming to learnt that I am a naturally flaky person who is incapable of keeping up regular habits. I've been like this my whole life, I am either completely obsessed by something and spend 100% time doing that thing- or I forget it exists and push it into the corner of my mind where all of the other forgotten things go. I haven't felt much like posting my outfits of late, my life has been messy and as such I've become one of those dreaded people who wears clothes because they are comfortable (the worst type of person). This includes now owning an electric blanket which is permanently wrapped around me from dawn till dusk like some kind of comfort blanket designed for a small child. 

I've also finally grown enough hair to have a sort-of haircut (by which I mean my hair looks like something a member of 70s punk band would wear, but I am trying to make it work ok?). I've come to the sad realisation that my hair will probably always be just a little bit on the crap side, firstly, I was born ginger which instantly curses me with a crap hair gene. After having a pixie cut since I was 13 it is slightly strange to have actual hair and not be faced with the "are you a lesbian?" question from every immature male although I do see myself getting bored with the whole style soon. I found the dungarees on American Apparel a few years ago and have since spent many an evening sobbing at there ridiculous price tag, however after spotting they had gone down to half price (still a ridiculous price) I HAD to buy them. I am very aware that many people will probably consider them the ugliest item of clothing to exist- that is why I enjoy them, they shouldn't exist but they do. They also fit in well to my small child in a crisis aesthetic that I've developed over the past few weeks. 

Ideally I'd like to pretend that this blog will not go neglected for so long again, but alas I cannot lie to you it probably will. Maybe by the next time you see me I will have grown a proper hair cut...

Boots- Dr Martens 
Dungarees- American Apparel 
Crop Top- Forever 21 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Having Confidence

Yet again it is a been a while since I've posted, partly because I have actually been attempting to say "yes" to things more, meaning any moment I'm not doing something I am asleep trying to recover from the experience. I've also had flu for what seems like months now (three weeks) and it isn't helping my chronic tiredness, coughing is exhausting me and I've begun to communicate only in loud sniffs to irritate strangers.
The other reason I haven't really posted much is because I've still being feeling fairly unconfident about my abilities to write anything remotely readable. I haven't been feeling confident about lot of things lately, whether it's purely aesthetic or more academic. Last year I applied for University with a week of being back at college, I wasn't stressed that I wouldn't get in, I knew I would cope in the interviews and I managed to get a place at every University I applied for without it causing me much stress, to be frank I didn't really care about it either way. This year I barely even feel confident in my ability to finish my UCAS application, despite already having done it once before, largely because I don't have a sure life plan, I don't even know if I should be going to university. Not only this but a lot has changed for me since last year, it's my third year of doing a levels, last summer I could hardly even sit up out of bed without being in pain, let alone sit through a two hour exam. I'm no longer a student at a good college and I can't work. All of this has left me unsure that I will be appealing to universities anymore, I no longer feel like there is certainty in anything in my life anymore. Sometimes I feel so unconfident with my own personality that I struggle to go into a shop and pay without wondering what the person who is working will think of me, that I might say the wrong thing, or make a fool of myself. I used to be someone who was very sure of myself, I didn't care what anyone thought of me, I was a little bit arrogant and was always sure I would be alright- that I was in the right. How can I expect a University to have faith in me when I have so little faith in myself?
This lack of confidence has only continued into my appearance (I know how typical teenage girl of me, I should probably start singing Meghan Trainor and wearing Joni jeans). In fact this general lack of confidence makes me not even want to post this blog post, but I suppose I feel a little bit helpful that someone else can at least empathise with my feelings on ineptitude. Obviously I've always felt unconfident about my weight, feeling bizarrely that I should be buying clothes that are three sizes to big for me, or assuming that I am the biggest one out of every friendship group, my family the human race in general. I never really worried about the rest of my appearance, strangely I just ignored it, I tied to avoid thinking about my face or hair that often, hoping instead that I somehow look completely different in real life to photographs or that beauty was the eye of the beholder. Now my lack of confidence has manifested itself to the point where I would be quite happy to wear a potato sack over my entire body in an attempt to hide myself from everyone else. Basically if I could I would probably quite happily walk around the town centre wrapped in a duvet if it meant I could avoid making eye contact with other humans.
So where do I go from here? I hope that it won't be downwards, I hope that I regain a sense of self, that I can become some kind of confident goddess and possibly turn into BeyoncĂ© (unlikely but it's good to have dreams). If you want to take anything from this post other than pity at my lack of ability to function, then I would urge you to be nice to people- compliment people, let them know what their good points are, because you never know how much it could help them.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Saying Yes

I haven't bothered to write on this blog for a few weeks due to the fact that I haven't really felt like broadcasting my appearance or my feelings to the whole world for a while. I've done a lot of lying face down in my bed philosophising about life whilst watching day time TV, I can't say that this has bought me any closer to finding out the meaning of life, but I am a lot closer to becoming a contestant in a reality TV show or just scrapping all my life plans and joining some kind of hippy commune. So, no the past few weeks haven't been the most productive of my life, I am finally starting to feel like my health might be improving (lets hope this post isn't foreshadowing another peak before a fall). I have managed to go out properly in Taunton (which is hardly exciting but it marks a change), drink a normal amount of alcohol and go for a day out on the train. These might seem like very dull ordinary things for most people but is the first sense of normality I have had in over six months. I am finally starting to feel like my attempts at getting back to how I used to be are less hopeless, I still get tired from doing normal everyday things but I can push through it, which isn't something I've previously been able to do. I'm not quite at the level I was this time last year, by which I mean I won't be getting up at 6am to workout before college, but I am now thinking about getting a job, something that seemed impossible even a month ago.
I have been off put from writing any posts on here because I haven't really felt like I have had anything to say, or at least I haven't been feeling like anyone would really want to read what I had to say. But, over the last few days a lot of people have told me they've been reading this documentation of my sad descent into an early middle age, so I have been persuaded to try and keep this up. I have been putting in a lot more effort to say yes to things I wouldn't have agreed to do before. It occurred to me that complaining about being lonely is something you shouldn't be doing if you keep refusing to see people. I have started to realise that nothing bad is going to happen to me if I do say yes to things, even if I feel awkward, or ill or I don't enjoy myself- it doesn't matter in the long run. If you don't say yes to things then you will never know if you might have enjoyed yourself, one night of feeling uncomfortable is a lot easier to deal with then a lifetime of feeling bored and lonely.
I didn't want this post to become a long list of reasons why I sometimes feel sad and want to starfish on my floor, but talking about fashion or beauty doesn't seem very genuine. I've been struggling with exactly what I really am interested in lately. I feel as though I have dedicated a lot of my time in the past to glossing over all my problems and convincing those around me that I am genuinely staying up into the early hours of the morning to read magazines, or listen to music just because I enjoy them. I used to distract others from what was obviously wrong with me by faking a strange sense of normality in every other aspect of my life. As if people wouldn't notice how awful I felt just because I was talking at five hundred miles per hour about fashion week. I don't normally talk about my eating, because I don't like to say I've had an eating disorder, partly because I have had next to no help from doctors but also because of the misconceptions that come along with it. But, since my eating disorder I feel as if I am not entirely sure on who I am anymore. Having that my disorder gave me something to focus on, I didn't have to deal with my problems because I was too busy remembering the calories in a packet of jelly. I became entirely consumed by my need to be "perfect" and "thin enough", my life was dedicated to trying to eat as little as humanly possible whilst also giving in essays that still got full marks and attending parties glossy eyed and completely glazed over. I am incredibly relieved that I am no longer spending every moment of my day working out how much I need to exercise, but I also feel like I have been left a little bit hollow from it all. My whole personality was my eating disorder, and now that has gone I am not entirely sure who I really am underneath it all. I don't have as much confidence in the me who has been left behind.
I am sure a lot of people struggle with "finding themselves" (yes I am physically heaving as I write that phrase), it can seem incredibly difficult to work out what you want from life once you're away from the school environment where your personality is decided for you. I don't by any means feel any more sorry for myself then I do for anyone else who is the same age as me and doesn't have a clue what they are doing with themselves. I do however think people should feel better about admitting their own flaws, I don't think it is realistic to be a perfectly formed human being by the time you are eighteen, we shouldn't expect from ourselves and we shouldn't expect it from others.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Feminist in Makeup

This  blog post is going to be the first post in which I unleash the angry feminist who enjoys ripping males apart whilst they stammer over the sexist opinions, this post will undoubtedly be easy to disagree with and argumentative- you have been warned. Nothing riles me quite as much as the suggestion that a woman cannot be a "real" feminist if she chooses to invest in the makeup and fashion industry. It seems to be a common theme of the moment that the only women who have their opinions valued in society are those that appear to be "serious" women, men, or society in general seems keen to split women into two clear categories- 
  • Women who wear makeup, enjoy fashion and are attractive but are brainless and incapable of holding a valid view 
  • Women who are plain, unattractive and uninterested in fashion but have strong informed opinions on varying issues.

Whilst a man can easily be fashionable, attractive, intelligent and thoughtful all at the same time, women are too often made into one dimensional creatures that are expected to fit a a perfect mold of "pretty but dumb" or "clever but ugly". Too often I see girls being labelled  as "just a pretty face" without them ever even having a chance to voice their own thoughts and opinions. I don't mean to suggest that it is only men who are at fault for coming up with these ideas of women, I think often women themselves spend a lot of time trying to fit themselves into just one characteristic, often we choose to be "clever but ugly" because it is easier than having to prove ourselves otherwise. I clearly remember my Grand Mother suggesting that interviews were easier for pretty, well dressed females than those who were qualified and intelligent but didn't look right. I find it increasingly frustrating that girls are under pressure to appear attractive and polished but yet we aren't put under as much pressure to achieve academically, or to be confident in our own personalities. Going for an interview as a female is a lot more daunting because you know that your appearance does count, that no matter what your looks are what determines your value.

Another common theme I've noticed lately is the idea that if you buy makeup as a female, then you are supporting an industry that is sexist, and thus you can't be a feminist. Although the fashion and makeup industry has a lot to answer to in terms of making women feel inferior about themselves, makeup itself is not something that marginalizes women. I choose to wear makeup because I like it, I enjoy applying it, I enjoy being able to make myself look different and I enjoy aesthetically pleasing things. Just because I choose to wear makeup it doesn't mean I'm insecure, or that I think women are ugly without makeup on. I spend my money on lipsticks because I like the way they make me look, not for any other reason. Likewise, just because I enjoy buying things that are pretty colours and saying things like "I want more of a blue toned red", it doesn't mean that I have no other interests.

 Too often I think fashion and makeup are seen as these futile women's hobbies that only shallow people can enjoy, as if having a passion for lipstick is useless because it what is seen as a typical girl hobby. Not only does this not take into account the amount of men who are interested or work in the fashion and beauty industry, it also perpetuates the myth that makeup and fashion are only used to make people look pretty. Makeup and clothes can completely change the way you feel about yourself and others, they are much more powerful then they are given credit for because they can literally completely decide how you feel about someone. Why is it that we value hobbies such as reading more than fashion or makeup? I think mostly it is down to the idea that "girly" things are hardly ever serious. Women are expected to enjoy shopping or baking but we aren't expected to use these things to our advantage. Many top designers and chefs are men, somehow when a man likes a "girly" hobby they are taken as much more seriously, they are suddenly professional and important. When it comes down to it, a white silk shirt is still a white silk shirt, whether a man or a women is looking at it. Women are expected to enjoy their hobbies but not pursue them, we are not supposed to take ourselves seriously. 

I am going to stop here as I feel I have already gone off on a thousand different tangents. But on a closing note, I don't by any means think all women should wear makeup, or love fashion, I just feel that those of us that do shouldn't be dismissed as "silly little girls" who are shallow and appearance obsessed. Your appearance should only enhance your personality, you can own as many lipsticks as you want but you will only be truly happy when you accept who you are, not what people want you to be. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Go Your Own Way

I haven't done a huge amount of blog posting this week, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, my Nan came to visit from Saturday to Wednesday, I haven't spent a lot of time with her in the last ten years and I really wanted to get to know her better and not just sit on my computer, it is strange how you can connect with family so easily even if you hardly know them at all. This blog acts as somewhat of a distraction for the fact that I can't do much at the moment, but if by some miracle I suddenly have a new lease of life or develop a huge circle of friends I probably won't post as much. The second reason is that my head has been a big ball of stress over the last week, I have found out I need to pay £300 to take my A Levels next year despite sitting my exams at the same time, in the same place as every else at my old college. That combined with my general stress about applying for university, worrying about getting a job and sorting out my health has taken up most of my time and brain. 

It's not that I am ungrateful for all the things I do have like a family, somewhere safe to live and (some) money. It is just that there is enough pressure on young people as it is, without having to worry about how on earth I am going to be able to teach myself my A Levels this year, or how I can work when I still need to take two or three hour naps a day. It is very frustrating to have the motivation and ambition towards work, university and achieving something in life but physically being unable to do it. I spend a lot of my time worrying that other people think I am lazy for not having a job or that other people think I'm babied and spoilt by my parents, despite the fact that I know I am not lazy just ill and never receive any money from my parents other than my inheritance which I live off ( I don't think dead parents count). I suppose I should remember the saying "What Susie says of Sally, says more about Susie than it does of Sally", if anything this year has at least taught me to not assume that other people have it easy or make quick judgments about what other people do and just hope others do the same. One of the main reasons why I have taken blogging a bit slower recently is because I go at everything at hundred miles per hour and look at everything in life like it is a job. So, lazy? No. A bit full on and over enthusiastic? Always. 

Today is the first day where I have really noticed the growth in my hair, I can now tie it up in a bun with very minimal hair pins and look worryingly similar to old pictures of my Dad. I have been growing my hair out since February, mostly because my medical condition makes the thought of someone touching my head seem like a horrific punishment. But also because I have had a pixie cut since I was thirteen, I briefly grew it out before but now I feel like I need a change, something a little more feminine and softer. I am luckily that my hair grows incredibly quickly, my aim is to get it past my shoulders by this time next year which I will easily achieve. Although my hair grows fast I do have to look after it and use the right products otherwise it grows into a giant tangle that  looks like a strange wavy mullet- attractive I know. This outfit was chosen for another day of house work, dog walking and constant worrying. I am resisting the warm weather and am happily pretending it is freezing despite the factual difference, I want it to be Christmas- therefore I will dress like it is Christmas ( a logical theory). I like the trousers but I do always feel a little bit clown like in non tailored trousers, they are also a tiny bit big for me and seem to balloon a bit comically for my liking. I would definitely recommend Fashion Union for Primark priced pieces that are of reasonably high quality and follow the trends.

Coat- Asos 
Top- Primark 
Shoes- Dr Martens 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Autumn Layering

It looks like the typical British autumn is finally making an appearance, it's been pouring down today in Somerset, the kind of day where you want to stay in your pajamas, drink tea and watch a film. Did I do any of these things? Of course not, my Nan has been visiting over the past few days and has bought her little shih tzu x toy poodle with her to  meet my puppy Rosie. As cute has this has been, it has also been incredibly chaotic as my puppy weighs a whole six kilos more than hers and keeps bowling her over at any opportunity. As the result of my dog chaos I have been forced out into this miserable day to walk them both, not a pleasant experience. If like me, you find yourself having to walk around in the blustery autumn weather than layering is your best way to keep as dry and warm as possible. I have compiled a short list of a few layering essentials for the what is arguably the best season.

  • Shoes- I absolutely despise getting soggy feet when I am out walking in the rain, no one wants to sit in school or work with soggy feet for a whole day. I have found one of the best ways to look "put together" and stylish but stay dry is to wear shoes with a huge platform. There are loads of great platform boots out at the moment (here and here are my favourites) which are perfect for dressing up a boring outfit and adding an element of 90s grunge that is popular at the moment. Another option is to wear creepers which are excellent at keeping your feet out of puddles, I tend to buy mine from Amazon as they are so much cheaper and lighter but still give the desired creeper look. 
  • Capes and Coats-  Coats are obviously an essential come Autumn/Winter and in my opinion no coats keep you as warm and dry as the parka. Most come with hoods you can put up in the rain and a furry lining to keep you warm. I have this parka from Asos, I specifically bought this as it has one of the most feminine shapes I've seen and has knitted cuffs to keep your arms nice and warm in the snow. Another great way to layer that is currently in style is the cape, I love these as they double up as a blanket if you are having to do long, cold train or bus journeys. Most high street stores are doing them this season my favourite I've seen so far are from Newlook
  • Hats- I love wearing hats at all times of the year but in summer I always feel that likelihood of getting sweaty hat hair is increased massively by the heat. I love pairing outfits with floppy hats like this one with my outfits, it instantly gives a dressy stylish edge to an outfit without you having to put in too much effort, these hats look beautiful in camel or burgundy- typical autumn tones. If it is just too windy to wear a proper hat a beanie is great warmer alternative that can cover up any bad hair day and keep you insulated. All of the hats in this mood board are from Topshop, but Primark does great cheaper options if you are on a tighter budget. 
  • Lipstick- Obviously Lipstick doesn't add a warm layer to your outfit but I feel that autumn is the perfect time of the year to wear a bold lip as they match the autumn palette of navy, burgundy and camel so well. I love the vampy shades from Sleek for a mid price option but Makeup Revolution sells highly pigmented vampy shades for just a pound if you aren't sure dark colours are for you. 
So these are my favourite picks of the moment, perfect for autumn layering, what do you love most about Autumn? 

Friday, October 10, 2014

World Mental Health Day

I have talked a bit about mental health issues previously on this blog with the intention that I probably wouldn't be saying much more about it, at least not the internet for everyone to see. But, I woke up this morning to see that it was World Mental Health Day and realised that by not talking about myself or mental illness again I would only be perpetuating the idea that there should be a stigma surrounding mental illness. Obviously this blog post won't be going into the juicy details of just how warped I probably am, but I can't really say everything I want to say without talking about my own issues. 

Too often with mental illnesses we are encouraged to sweep them under the carpet, we are the people that are discussed in quiet tones at family gatherings, nobody ever wanting to say the obvious or really acknowledge the problem. People believe that those with mental illnesses are exaggerating, are lazy or just need to simply get over their problems like everyone else does.   Throughout a lot of my schooling teachers were aware that my Dad had died when I was eleven years old, as such whenever I appeared to be openly upset I was allowed to "get on with it", often difficult conversations were avoided because it is easier to focus on the short term of feeling comfortable than worry about the long term effects of an un-helped mental illness. There seems to be a belief that mental illnesses can be resolved by simply deciding to think positively, that they aren't a real illness are something that  people put forward as an excuse for why they don't succeed or behave properly. In reality this is far from true, around 45% of people with an eating disorder go on to recover, that is a worse rate then cancer. Other mental illnesses can lead to suicide, self harm and destructive behaviors that are life changing and can have serious side effects for the rest of a sufferers life. A mental illness is not an imaginary illness, it is a real problem that can effect even those who seem perfectly "normal".

Too often I have been sat in college and heard people discussing those who are depressed or obviously suffering, with a complete misunderstanding of how serious it can be. I've comments such as "they are too thin now, why haven't their parents made them eat" directed at those who are too thin (regardless of whether they actually have an eating disorder). I've heard someone say that all MP's should be screened for mental illnesses so everyone in the government is sane- as if their is a black and white definition of what sanity is. I've heard people refer to people they've seen in town who are on drugs or homeless as "retards" or "crazy". So often it shocks me how little empathy is shown for the mentally ill, people are willing to raise money for cancer until the cows come home but they are not willing to open their minds to the idea that their preconceptions may not be right. I think too often people hold in their mind an idea that the mentally ill are going to be wildly bipolar, with unwashed hair and be completely incompetent and cannot see that those around them may have those very same issues. I spent the whole of last year getting up at 6am, doing vigorous exercise for two hours, then walking to and from college at a ridiculous speed to spend my lesson time obsessively working in an attempt to get the best grades. I often spent my breaks and lunchtimes revising and on returning home would exercise again for another hour or two before revising until I went to bed. I was fueled by those who were impressed with me, the people that praised me for my weight loss, teachers who told me I would walk my exams, my family who didn't understand how I could so much in a day. I wasn't the typical image of a mentally ill person with their hand down their pants in a pub, I was too successful, too perfect and too highly strung to be like those people, or at least I thought I was. 

Mental illness eat you up from the inside, they steal your health, your personality, your friends and family and everything else they can. In my strive to be successful I managed to strip myself of every talent I might have had. Yes, I may have appeared to be incredibly dedicated and successful for three months but now I am left with many physical illnesses, a poor memory and even worse concentration. Whilst you may be able to come to terms with cancer or heart disease limiting your day to day ability to cope, it is much harder to come to terms with the fact that you have destroyed your own ability to cope. A mental illness is inside you, but it isn't you, it doesn't have to destroy you or your life. Too often people avoid reaching out for help because they are worried they will be judged, once you do reach out you often have to wait months for a referral to your mental health service, more months until you get any actual treatment, often this can all come to late. It is right that mental health services should be most concerned at those who pose a threat to themselves or others, but often the long waiting times completely escalate how close a person is to snapping. I have often felt that my mental health services have driven me to do dangerous things just so I can be taken seriously. Nick Clegg has pledged that waiting times will be cut for mental health services, is this enough? It isn't enough, but it is a start and just maybe it will save peoples lives.

I am fairly fortunate in that I come from a family who are very open about mental health issues, my sister currently writes a blog documenting her journey to being a mental health nurse that you can read here. But I urge you all to try and reach out to someone who you know is struggling, it might be uncomfortable but it could be the help they need. I have left a few links that should be helpful to read or send to anyone who needs extra support and information. 

Useful Links: 
Mind- a charity which has loads of useful information and support 
Beat- A charity specifically set up to help those with eating disorders
Information on your rights and legal standing point for work etc.
Time to change- a website that provides lots of useful support links, numbers and opportunities to talk about mental health 
Sane- Another charity that has support, information and helplines