Friday, 13 April 2018

Un-finding yourself



Throughout your teens, twenties and beyond, pressure seems to weigh down upon every aspect of your life.

Whether it be passing your final high school exams, taking responsibility for that group powerpoint presentation (that only you attended the seminar for) or struggling with a full time job, the pressure to succeed and excel across all areas is expected. What's more, it's all allegedly for your own benefit - or so everyone keeps telling you.



There's so many expectations and conventions that seem to be sparked into life as soon as you're blowing the candles on your cake each year. It's as if someone's placed a memo to interrogate you about your entire life's achievements inside every birthday invitation you've sent out.



'You know you really should start start thinking about your career now you've finished school.'

'I don't understand how you don't have a life goal - you are 14 after all.'

'Better get a move on before all the nice men are snapped up.'

Whilst the above statements may be slightly exaggerated, you get the gist.


Though I've always tended to grimace and reluctantly nod when faced with these remarks, I would much rather respond with 'Why don't you tell me? After all you have my life completely sussed out. Give me a clue what to do.'

Seriously, I really could do with a clue.

When you're faced with so much pressure externally, you naturally begin to feel it internally. I'm constantly asking myself what I'm doing with my life and whether I'm on the right path; comparing myself to others and wondering what my 'objectives' are. 

As someone who has always detested that word, I'm not doing so well at reaching a conclusion. 

That's if there even is one.


When you feel like you're constantly under scrutiny, it can be easy to think that to move on to the next stage of your life you need to tick box a, b and c. But you don't. 

Just because one person follows a particular path doesn't mean that you have to, and just because someone else knows what their long term plans are doesn't mean that you have to. 

Of course, knowing what your objective are is great, but so is not knowing. I'm tired of being told to 'find myself' when instead I hope that somewhere along the line the right thing will come and find me.

photos by the lovely Jordy Lewis G
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Saturday, 7 April 2018

One piece three ways











How great are those pieces which just go with everything?
From something to throw over evening attire or wouldn't look out of place in the office, that versatile blazer or shirt that goes with everything grows to be a firm wardrobe staple - somehow working its way into every outfit.

This jacket from Berrylook ticks that box perfectly. That monochrome palette and simple shape means it's so easy to pair with everything from crisp white shirt to black roll neck, with the houndstooth print giving it a little edge.

Which is your favourite look?

xxx

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Thursday, 29 March 2018

Should you delete Facebook?



Social media has become a controversial topic, or at least, more than it was already.

With rumours circulating around the part it played in both the UK's EU referendum and Donald Trump's election campaign, Facebook is no longer seen as just a place to see what old friends are up to. 

Of course, this is something which has spiralled seemingly beyond what we could have imagined. Even Mark Zuckerberg didn't know what the social platform was capable of.

Whilst we all effectively knew that something would happen to data we posted on our timelines, did we really predict the extent to which it would be used when we originally agreed to the terms and conditions? Probably not.

And quite frankly, it's scary. 

After its social network status became well established, Facebook was quick to become a place for individuals and businesses to market their services and products. After all, with x billion users, it's a pretty big marketplace, and one you can hone very specifically. Whilst being able to whittle down users to a high degree is ideal for businesses - the more interested your audience is in the product they're seeing, the lower the cost to convert them - it's also quite worrying.

For example, whilst you might expect to be able to target people who've liked a certain page, you can also, for example, target those with close friends who have a birthday in the next ten days.

Great for gift companies you might think, but also raises the question of just how much the data we share on social media is influencing the decisions we make. It certainly gets you thinking about how much data is stored about you across the web; every click you make, every shopping basket you leave an item in,  these little subtleties have a more significant part to play than you might think. 

To get an insight into all the data stored about you, check out this article.


Ok I'll admit, I thought this was really cool at first - it almost made me feel like a private detective, if a private detective was tasked to track their own movements... However, it quickly got me considering just where this information was going and the possibility of more sinister intentions masked by my desire to happily 'check in' at another' Instagram worthy cafe. 


With awareness around data harvesting and the potential misuse of personal information online, the government have taken steps to investigate and to try and ensure a greater level of transparency for consumers.

What's more, a new regulation will soon come into effect in the UK, as well as across the EU, which is set to bring significant changes for the way our data is processed.

The general data protection regulation - or GDPR - will come into effect on the 25th May and will replace the existing Data Protection Act. Setting out to improve the rights of citizens, it will provide data subjects - you and I - with the right to erasure. This means that for every company that processes your data, you will have the right to have information which personally identifies you removed. Whilst there are some exceptions; for example, some legal companies may need to retain it for a certain period, it ultimately aims to give consumers greater control over the data they share with companies.

Another change which the GDPR is set to introduce relates to consent and the need for businesses to be more explicit when they initially obtain it. 

If you haven't already, you'll probably start to receive emails from companies re-requesting your consent to their weekly email or subscription. Though this is set to mark a significant change for businesses, over time, it's likely that it's effectiveness will deplete - after all, as technology is sure to develop beyond what we could imagine, loopholes are bound to emerge. It'll be interesting to see if the legislation can keep up.




Though it's clearly concerning to think about how our data is used online, it is to an extent, to be expected. Businesses aren't going to let you use their online store, app or social platform without trying to get something in return. Though I know several friends who have distanced themselves from social media following the recent revelations, I probably won't be one of them. Whilst there are clear benefits to taking a break from your phone, I just can't help myself from scrolling. What's more, I have serious fear of missing out - even if it's just what everyone thinks about the Bake off showstopper.

Would you delete Facebook?



photos by the wonderful rwhelanphoto




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Monday, 19 March 2018

Suit up






blazer - Vintage
bodysuit - Boohoo
jeans - H&M
shoes - Primark
earrings - eBay
necklace - Cinco
 



suit - Topshop c/o Depop
bralet - Boohoo
shoes - Lightinthebox

Blazers are not a new thing for me.

Ever since I can remember, the structured shoulders, the sharp silhouette and not to forget the real life functioning pockets (!!!) have always appealed to me. Even when it was worn on the playground and emblazoned with a bright red logo.

Regardless of the occasion, the simple addition of a blazer draped over anything from a graphic t shirt to a rollneck can make it look like you've made an effort - even when you really haven't.

Take a peek below to see some of my favourite blazer looks:







Which would you wear?
 xxx


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Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Moulin Rouge



jumper - New Look
trousers - Primark
shoes - Lightinthebox



top - eBay
trousers - Primark
coat - Gamiss




bodysuit - eBay
trousers - Primark
blazer - Next
shoes - Lightinthebox

The above outfits go some way towards reflecting my recent love of the colour red.

Which would you wear?

xxx




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Sunday, 25 February 2018

Lessons in being yourself



Who are you? I mean really. I feel like that question is posed to me almost daily, though not in as many words - hence the lack of quotation marks.Instead, it's the way life presents itself, and in the you react to it. In those small moments, often tiny intracies which are between the lines of our existence does the way we really are become exposed.

These things, of course, are nearly impossible to change, often only visible in sparks of emotion which are instant and finite; which, whilst slightly worrying, is quite comforting. We're constantly told to be ourselves, that the only people worth knowing would be the ones who love us the way we are.

So why is it that I try so hard to please everyone I meet?



Whether it's at work, waiting for the bus or hastily vacating a booked train seat following apprehensive glares, I am desperate for people to like me. Something which I know, of course, is an impossible task, not to mention exhausting. Going beyond the regular 'just trying to be a genuinely nice person' to 'shit, did my smile look fake when I passed them in the corridor? Must talk to them at lunch to make sure we're ok'


So how do we become comfortable in ourselves? Is it purely based on what everyone else thinks?
For me, no. I think once you stop doubting yourself so much and start to trust the choices you make, you can begin to really be yourself. Whilst I'm lucky enough to be at that stage with the people closest to me, I need to understand that to reaching that point with everyone would be an impossible task. And one that I don't need to undertake.


I really need to take a lesson from the Georgia in the photos above. Effortless, carefree and not feeling like I need to be someone I'm not. Something which is harder than we'd like to think.

Photos c/o the amazing will.fm

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Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Back to basics




top - Primark
dress - Shein
boots - Primark
bag - Gamiss




co-ord - Shein
trainers - K Swiss




 dress - Shein
boots - Primark
bag- New Look

This post is an ode to basics, namely from Shein.

You know the ones.
The go to black t shirt, the jeans that fit oh so well or the jacket that goes with eveeeeerything.

Try as I might to veer off the beaten track when it comes to wardrobe choices, I tend to stick with the familiar; the ones that are easy to wear and require minimal effort. In other words, the one's you've worn time and time again without being let down by a slipping strap or digging waistband.

Would you go back to basics?

xxx

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