23 December 2015

You Are Not Alone

Christmas.  A time of swapping presents, seeing family and having fun.  A time when everyone is supposed to be happy and jolly.  A time where complete strangers who never normally speak to you will say Merry Christmas.

One of the things about Christmas however is that expectation to be happy and jolly.  Problems do not stop just because Christmas starts and sadness does not disappear underneath a sprig of holly.  With 1 in 5 of us suffering from mental illness at some time during our lives, sometimes, we all need a little help.

This year I am using my last post of the year to join Kellie from Big Fashionista in posting telephone numbers for people who may be in need.  You are not alone.

Website www.mind.org.uk
Tel No   0300 123 3393

Website  www.samaritans.org
Tel No      116 123 

Alcoholics Anonymous
Website   www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk 
Tel No     0800 9177650 

Website    www.stonewall.org.uk
Info line 08000 50 20 20 
London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard
Tel No    0207 837 7324

Website   www.sane.org.uk
Tel No     0300 304 7000

Papyrus, Prevention of young suicide
Website  www.papyrus-uk.org 

National self-help body for the Transgender community
Beaumont Society
Website http://www.beaumontsociety.org.uk
Information Line 01582 412220

0800 1111

Depression Alliance
Website   www.depressionalliance.org

Website   www.refuge.org.uk
Tel No     0808 2000 247

Beating eating disorders
Website https://www.b-eat.co.uk 
Help line 0345 634 1414
Youth Line 0345 634 7650

Website  www.shelter.org.uk
Tel No    0808 800 4444

NHS Direct

No Panic
Website http://www.nopanic.org.uk 
Tel No  0844 967 4848
Youth helpline     01753 840393

22 December 2015

Fabulous Coats

When it comes to winter, I think of two things when it comes to clothes.  The first is warmth.

Cosy jumpers, decorative scarves; gloves to keep your hands warm and toasty socks in bed at night.  Surrounding yourself with these items during the winter months will ensure a warm and comfortable time.

When it comes to coats and jackets however, I like to add a little glamour and luxury.  There is no reason why you cannot be both warm and look glamorous.  So here are some of my favourite elegant and glamorous coats to see you through the next few months of the cold.

Best of all, all of the coats I have found are on sale!

Biba Luxe Leopard Faux Fur Coat

Alice & You Faux Fur Coat

Jane Norman Beige Bonded Fur Collar Jacket

Oasis - The Great Coat

Uttam Boutique Contrast Kimono Coat

14 December 2015

3 Things That Can Ruin Your Gap Year and How To Avoid Them

It usually takes time and effort to scrape together the funds for a gap year, and these adventures take plenty of planning too. So, the last thing you want when you finally set off on your globetrotting trip is for something to ruin your experiences. Here are three things that have the potential to spoil your fun, and some top tips to help ensure they don’t.

1) Sickness

When you’re away from home, it’s more important than ever to take care of your health. After all, if you get sick when you’re abroad, you might have to bring your adventures to an abrupt end. There are lots of potential health threats to watch out for too, from stomach bugs caused by poor hygiene to tropical diseases. Before you set off on your travels, it’s important to do some research to establish what risks you are likely to face. Depending on where you’re going, you might need to get vaccinations to protect you against diseases like hepatitis A and B, typhoid, yellow fever, tuberculosis, rabies and Japanese encephalitis. You may also require protection from malaria. There is no vaccination to guard against this disease, but you can take anti-malarial medicines. For example, you may be advised to take a course of Doxycycline malaria tablets. This treatment offers protection from one to two days after you start the course, so you’ll need to begin taking the tablets before you enter at-risk areas.

More generally, pay careful attention to food and water hygiene and make sure you don’t overexpose yourself to the sun. If you’re ever in doubt about health-related issues, you should be able to find reliable information and guidance online. 

2) Running out of money

Another sure fire way to spoil your trip is to run out of money. Budgeting for gap years is notoriously tricky, and you’ll have to be savvy if you’re going to make your money last. Firstly, be realistic when you’re working out how much cash you’ll need to fund your travels. Being overly optimistic about how far your money will stretch is a recipe for disaster further down the line. Meanwhile, try to pay for most of your major travel costs upfront so that you can ensure you won’t end up stranded in some far flung location.

Create a spending plan too, and keep a record of your expenses as you go. This will show you how quickly you are working through your resources and help you to identify where savings need to be made. Make sure you keep your money secure as well. For example, don’t carry large sums of cash around. It’s much better to use travellers’ cheques and prepaid cards. In addition, it’s useful to have an emergency fund that’s separate to your regular spending money and that you can use in the event of unexpected problems.

3) Missing home

Right now, the thought of getting away from everyday life at home might be one of your major motivations for hitting the road. However, when you’re thousands of miles away from family and friends, you may surprise yourself by how homesick you feel. It’s normal to miss the comforts of life back home from time to time, especially if things aren’t going to plan. To stop this getting in the way of having a good time, make an effort to keep in touch with loved ones by scheduling regular video chats and using email and social media. 

Your gap year could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the world and expand your horizons, and by following advice like this, you can ensure you make the most of it.

*In collaboration with Lloyds Pharmacy

11 December 2015

Hello, It's Me

Hello little blog.  It's me.  I'm wondering if after all these months, you recognise me.

OK, so I am shameless stealing Adele lyrics here, but the question remains true.  But I have been here, posting, writing; and yet I haven't.  The me that loves to do fashion posts has been absent, the writer who loves to rant has been gone; the woman who pours her heart out through her blog has been MIA.

Victoria the ghost writer has made some appearances, but in general, my heart has been gone from this blog for many, many months.  Why is that?

Well, it has been a bloody hard and horrible year with not many highs.  A long hospital stay followed by the death of my step dad, the aftermath of that and me wondering how I could have lost both my dad and step dad before I'm even 40.  Drawing inward.

"They say time's supposed to heal ya, but I ain't done much healing"

I have to be careful with my heart.  I know how easily I can fall into sadness and when dark days can turn into dark periods.  Under times of stress I have to be especially careful. I have had to be strong, I could not fall under the spell of sadness.

I have not been unable to understand why my passion for writing has been gone.  I have not been able to understand why I have pulled away from friends, stepping in now and again but remaining distant.  I could not understand the need that roared inside me to ensure that I told my mum I loved her so often.  I could not understand why my joy for life seemed to be on mute.

After much soul searching and facing up to truths, I now understand.

I have been on pause.  You know when something huge is about to happen in front of you, you freeze, hold your breath, draw your body inward?  That has been me.  I have put myself on pause, thrown a safety net around myself and anchored in.  Because I have been scared of what comes next.

A Tyrannosaurus Rex cannot see you if you don't move and that is how I have been treating that fear.  Do nothing, and nothing bad will happen.

I have not been writing, although I have wanted to, because I write with my heart and my heart has had a cage around it, keeping it safe.  I have pulled away from my best friends because they know me so well and I wasn't ready to see my reflection in their eyes.  They know what I am like and because they are amazing, they have waited.  Knowing.

I have told my mum that I love her every single day not because I adore her, which I do, but because somewhere inside me was saying "What if she dies too".   Losing my dad when I was younger and losing my step dad this year has made me pull her so close, because my heart is in no state to deal with that kind of grief.

I am improving now.  I am writing again finally and the words are flowing freely through me again, like they always have before.  There comes a point where you have to take that jump and continue living again, fully; not on safety mode.

Most people would not press publish on this post.  It is deeply personal and a working through of how I have been feeling.  A "Dear Diary".  But I believe that it is important to document your feelings, remember how you felt and how you brought yourself through it,  It is a marker in my life that proves how strong you are,

Writing has always been therapeutic and I am finally ready to let it heal me.  My sparkle is coming back and I feel more like myself again.  Hello little blog of mine, I have missed you so much.

Tips to Protect Your Data

I remember when I was first introduced to emails and the internet, many years ago now.

This was a time when Ask Jeeves was your go to for information and I think my first internet search was "how to cook a chicken".  I remember emails being described to me as being "like a text message, but on the computer".

Roll forward to 2015 and our entire lives are on the internet.  We share our photographs, do our banking, talk about our lives, chat with friends.  We rely on virus software to keep our emails save and on websites to have adequate security to hold our passwords and bank accounts safe.

Keeping our identity safe has never been more important than now.  We had have photographs stolen and shared to the world from the ICloud,  hackers who infiltrate your business emails; doxxing by individuals who share your address online and on a larger scale, groups like Anonymous.

So what do we need to do to keep our identity and data secure?

Data Label recently commissioned a study into how to avoid online scams and you can find the infograph below.

10 December 2015

The Age Factor

Age and how you perceive it, is a funny thing.

I remember being 13 and thinking that I couldn't wait until I was 18 and I could do what I wanted. 18 was the epitome of cool to me then.

I remember turning 21 and feeling that I was "old" now.  25 was full of "shoulda, woulda, coulda" with what I should have done and be doing with my life.  Turning 30 filled me with dread.  40 was, and still is at my present age of 36, an unknown but daunting prospect.  But why is it a daunting prospect?  

What I have come to realise however over the past couple of years is that age does not matter.  

The only problem with whatever age you happen to be is the limitations that we and society as a whole place on us.  Our lives are governed by this invisible set of rules and regulations of what you have meant to achieve, be and look like at various stages in your life.

I remember being told when I was around 26 that I had better get a boyfriend soon because "You don't want to be left on the shelf".  A man said this to me in all seriousness; like I am nothing more than a thing to be bought, sold or discarded.

At 30 the kindly advice people went up a notch.  "You are getting older now, you need to get married and have children before you can't have any"  Apparently the fact that I have never wanted children nor have (yet) met the right man means nothing against the milestones and rules that we apparently have to obey.

At 40 you are told that you are "over the hill".  Well I don't know about you, but some of the most vibrant and fabulous people I know are in their 40s,

Fast forward a few decades and you are in the winter of your life.  Twin sets, purses, iron grey perms, slowing down.  Why?  You are old, not dead!  My mum is living proof that your 70s can be fun and fashionable.  You do not have to give up and change who you are just because you are a certain age.  Rock it!

Age: 36   Amount of Fucks Given: 0 

8 December 2015

Christmas Gifts

I like to start my Christmas shopping early, ideally in mid November before things get scarily busy in the shops.  I am a planner when it comes to gift buying and I always try to buy things for people that are treats, something a little different or something that they would not buy for themselves.  That is what a present is all about!

Here are a few of things that I have come across whilst present buying this year that I loved and took note of.  

Happy Jackson Earphone Case - £8.95 found here
Novelty Eye Mask - £3.99
Bath Glass Wine Holder - £6.95 
Memory One Line Per Day Diary - £11.95 

Picture Quote from Alice in Wonderland - £12.50 found here

These are all of the stocking filler type of price gifts which most of the women I know would to receive, but would not usually buy for themselves.

Surprise in the Post

Sometimes the most exciting things come through the post, the best of which are things that you never expected!

When it comes to the winter months I adore anything that is fur and soft to the touch.  Enter my new clutch bag from Helen Moore, which was a gift from 32Red

This a great piece to have to add to your winter clothing collection.  It can add a touch of luxury to an outfit and is just the right size to keep your "night out essentials".  Plus, who can resist a pom pom?

3 December 2015

Shoe Gift Guide with Jones Bootmakers

Ladies’ gift guide

Struggling to find the perfect present for the lady in your life? Jones Bootmaker has created a great ladies’ gift guide, showing you what to buy every type of fussy females. Read on to sort your Christmas shopping in one fell sweep!

The party princess

Does she crave the shine of the disco ball? Is she often spotted on the dancefloor? If so, make her Christmas and invest in her most essential item: a pair of party-ready shoes!

This season, it’s all about metallic court shoes. Offering the perfect level of shimmer for any disco diva, the heels are ideal for dancing the night away over the festive season. The JonesBootmaker Cerys court shoes are ideal, as they also nail this season’s must-have reptile-inspired trend.
 For an extra stocking filler, why not buy her a pair of cushioning insoles to keep her dancing for longer without the dreaded aches and pains?

The office style queen

Shopping for an office style queen? Take her from the boardroom to bar with a pair of our black patent tasselled loafers. Our JonesBootmaker Genara loafers, for example, tick all of the boxes for this season’s trends. Tassels? Yes. Fringing? Got it! Pointed? Yup! Is there anything these shoes can’t do?

The casual chick

If your recipient lives life at a million miles an hour, they’ll need a pair of footwear that can keep up with their lifestyle. Whether it’s maintaining their yummy mummy status during the school run or enjoying a lunch date with friends, a pair of casual-cool ankle boots make for an ideal gift — the Jones Bootmaker Orchid ankle boots are a perfect choice.

The functional female

You don’t have to wear sky-scraping stilettos to make it onto the best dressed list — flats are stylish too! Give her the gift of fashion and function this year and purchase a pair of stylish ballet pumps. These JonesBootmaker Gartree flats are an ideal choice, as they are comfortable and boast a high-shine finish — perfect for nailing this season’s hottest trend. They’ll complement almost any outfit too, making them a truly great investment. 

The laidback lady

Does your recipient prefer a night in to a night out? The couch to the cocktail bar? If so, we have the ideal present for her: a pair of slippers! An absolute staple Christmas gift, they’re perfect for those that like to hibernate during the colder months.

These Sheepskin Duchess slippers are an ideal choice. Their super-soft lining and trim make them perfect for keeping feet warm during the colder months. 

My Current Favourites

27 November 2015

Shoes for the Party Season

We are once again approaching the Christmas season.  A time where presents are planned and bought, nights out and get togethers are planned and the annual work Christmas party fast approaches.

It is nearing the end of November when I usually start to look for something to wear for the party season.  I usually try to wear one dress from last year, but to a different event, and buy something new.  One thing that I do like to buy every year however are party shoes.

When it comes to the party season, finding the right style of shoe to carry you through all the events and parties is a must have.  Something classical but stylish that will go with anything.

I have picked out a few of my favourites that are available this year, some of which are also happily on sale!
These strappy shoes from Office will add a sexy edge to a basic black dress or complement a more colourful outfit
 These sparkly court shoes from Carvela are the perfect pairing if you have dresses of different colours or patterns

 These iridescent numbers from Dune are quite right for adding a touch of colour and sparkle to your outfit whilst still being understated.  
You can't lose with these simple court shoes from Dune with silver bows,  Classically elegant and would look great at the office party.
Then of course, there are the shoes that you find and fall in love with.  These are my absolute favourites for the party season and worthy enough of planning the rest of your outfit around.
You can find these from Head Over Heels

What are your go to party shoes?

20 November 2015

Stepping Past Our Carbon Footprint

I have been hearing a lot lately about the Government's decision to make retailers charge shoppers for carrier bags.

Many people seem to be scandalised that supermarkets and shops are now charging 5p for a carrier bag, but considering the changes that this will implement and the money that will be donated to charity, I think that this is a good and necessary change that will also help our carbon footprint. 

The figures speak for themselves.  8.5 billion carrier bags are given out on average each year.  Carrier bags are a huge problem for the environment, taking around 1000 years to break down in landfills and can be harmful to animals.

I read a few years ago about a Minke whale that was stranded on a beach in Normandy.   Whilst investigating the cause of death, it was found to have had 800g of plastic bags in it's stomach along with other packaging.

I came across the below infograph which tells us not only how to reduce our carbon footprint, but also save money too.

4imprint has a range of reusable and recycled products that could help you and 
your friends reduce your carbon footprint

In an effort to reduce my carbon footprint, I have now bought some personalised, fun and environmentally friendly bags to carry my shopping, a water bottle that I can refill instead of constantly buying bottles.  

On the more technical side, I have also invested in a bulk buy of Stylus Pens for my phone and the touch screen on my laptop.  Buying in bulk is far more environmentally friendly and can save you money in the long run too.  I cannot count the amount of pens that I have lost over the past few years and have had to replace.

How do you try to reduce your carbon footprint?

* As a result of this post, environmentally friendly bags will be donated to my local girl's football team

9 November 2015

Simple Solutions for a Happier Life

With the modern world presenting us with longer working hours and many increased financial outgoings, it can sometimes feel like life is an uphill struggle. However, I've found that it's easy to put a little bit of balance back in my life by following a few of these small life changes.

Getting out and about

Simply going out and meeting people is one the best ways to put the spring back into your step. Whilst it can be hard to find the energy sometimes, I find that simply meeting a friend for lunch and discussing day-to-day activities can do wonders for my mood. This is because it seems that our actions determine our moods, not the other way around.

And this is why getting out the house can do so much in making us feel better, as it gives us a subtle shake-up to stop us getting too lethargic and dull. A little walk can be a good and quick way to refresh our minds, and it's been shown that somelight exercise can do much in making us feel better, so you can improve your mood without necessarily sweating it out at the gym!

Environmental concerns

As well as taking care of yourself, it's also important to spare a moment's thought for the state of our planet too. Without getting overly spiritual about it, I find that it's important to realise how connected everything is, so anything we can do to lessen the impact on our planet can do much to make us all feel better.

Whether it's eating a little less meat, or even taking public transport to work, environmentally-friendly habits all seem to have the dual function of caring for our planet, and helping us live better quality lives too. Our consumer choices also factor into this, which is why buying environmentally-friendly products such as electric radiators from the likes of Verismart, or even ethically-produced mobiles from companies such as Fairphone, can do much in helping us look toward to future.

Get creative

The power of positive thinking can do so much in improving the quality of our lives. I find it's a great idea to try and keep learning new things as a way to keep things interesting. Whether it's taking a dance lesson, or even learning a new language, keeping the brain active with new activities is key to lifting our moods.

I love checking out craft blogs like And Who Says You Can't which provide a great source of ideas to keep your hands busy and your mind inspired. It's all about making sure that we all spend our time doing what we want and cherishing each new day that comes to us.

*Written by Jess Walters

13 October 2015

Layering Up for Autumn

Autumn.  The time of year when the weather likes to play tricks with us.  It could be freezing cold in the morning, only for gloriously warm sunshine to appear in the afternoon.  We dress for one type of weather and on many occasions end up getting another.

So how do we combat this mercurial weather?  The answer is layers.  A mix and match combination of your Summer and Winter wardrobe that will work with any weather combination.  For me, as always, that starts with a dress.

I am still clinging frantically to all my Summer dresses, not yet willing to give them up just yet to be packed away for next year.  So at the moment, my go to combination is a light summer dress, with a cardigan, tights and ankle boots.  Whether the day starts cold and goes warm or visa versa, the outfit can be adjusted to suit the temperature.

Here is what I was wearing today:

 photo 1-C360_2015-10-10-16-50-18-508_zpsypeujwb3.jpg

 photo 1-C360_2015-10-10-16-49-16-336_zpsk1bb0jru.jpg

 photo 1-C360_2015-10-10-16-43-53-432_zpsghc10gnf.jpg

Floral Print Sleeveless Dress *
Black cardigan - old
Tights - New Look
Flat Ankle Boots *

I have to make a special mention of the boots that I am wearing in these photographs as they are an absolute bargain at £19.99 and are so comfortable.  Your foot is completely cushioned and it feels like you are wearing slippers.  The dress is also a bargain at £19,99 and can easily be worn with sandals for those warmer days.

8 October 2015

K.Jacques Sandals

As I write this post, the rain is pouring outside and the weather forecast is miserable.  Last week though happily we had a few lovely sunny days and it gave me the chance to test out my new sandals from K.Jacques

K.Jacques is a family run business in France that create bespoke sandals to your precise specifications which sell all over the world.  K.Jacques have had artistic collaborations with the heights of fashion such as Givency, Karl Lagerfield; Balenciaga and Helmut Lang; to name but a few.  So when you create your own bespoke sandals, you know that you are in great company.

I was given the chance to create my own pair of sandals, which is something I have always wanted to do.  

 photo 1-C360_2015-10-04-17-18-10-125_zps0bqdnytg.jpg

 photo 1-C360_2015-10-04-17-18-19-098_zpsbyvf4s0i.jpg

The first step is to chose your style of sandal.  I went with the Buffon style with a combination of black leather and Dover Capri leather for a touch of sparkle.  Once you have submitted your design, this is sent off to the design team who come back with a picture of your chosen sandal, sometimes with a suggestion of an added element or design.

Once you have agreed your chosen design, the next step is providing them with a hand drawn outline of your feet so that they can create the perfect fit for you.  This is especially great for me as I have a slightly wider foot, somewhere between an E and EE so finding fashionable sandals is usually a bit of a challenge.

One week later and my beautiful sandals arrived on my doorstep, with a bag to keep them in to ensure that they stay in great condition.  The leather is luxuriously soft and the sandals fit me perfectly.

 photo 1-C360_2015-10-04-17-27-01-519_zpstk2rstan.jpg

 photo 1-C360_2015-10-04-17-28-28-502_zpstblequh7.jpg

 photo 1-C360_2015-10-04-17-27-16-730_zpsworrp9za.jpg

Being bespoke and handmade they cost a little more than your usual sandal purchase, but for a pair of sandals that fit like a glove, are soft to the touch and are designed to your precise specifications; the money is worthwhile.

With the weather turning to rain and cold I may not get another chance to wear my sandals now until next Summer, although with our changeable climate, I could be wearing them again in blazing sunshine next week!

*These sandals were gifted to me but all opinions are, as ever, my own.

11 September 2015

My Fat Shaming Week

Trigger - comments shared about fat shaming - having a much needed vent

If you are fat, this has been one helluva week.  From Nicole Arbour's video, to the usual backlash against fat people because of it through trolls who surged like a swarm of locusts in delight at being to hurt a little more than usual.  

Then there was the whole #PlusisEqual campaign from Lane Bryant whose message that it was time to represent the 67% of women who are unrepresented on billboards; only then to use "socially acceptable" sized models in their campaign photograph.

I cannot help but think that while Lane Bryant may have an inkling of what their message actually means, they are not brave enough to carry through with it.  Ultimately they want to sell, that is their business.  But I know I, for one, would have seriously considered buying from them if they have been truly representative.  

I am not going to lie, this week for me it has been hard being a fat woman.  Not because I feel any less confident this week or feel any less about myself; but more because going through this week has been like being surrounded by jellyfish, not knowing when they are going to sting.

It started by seeing the "Dear Fat People" video shared on my Facebook timeline, by people who I know, progressing by troll attacks on my blog and Facebook page following my post about it (see here ) which I spent all yesterday's lunch time deleting.  

Comments that I am "glorifying obesity" simply by existing on the internet, that I am a whale that needs to be put down, that I am a gross and disgusting woman who will never be loved and that I need someone to shut my big fat mouth (never going to happen fuckwit).

While I do get trolled occasionally, I have been lucky, if lucky is even the right word in that it doesn't happen too often.  So to find so many comments this week has been hard; although sadly I did half expect it because of my posting about a video that has been talked about worldwide.

This was also a week where I have been targeted by the general public more than usual too.  From the woman who openly laughed at me to her friend as I walked past (get a life and work on your own issues sweetheart), to the man who commented to his girlfriend that I had a pretty face, only for her to comment "Yeah but look at the fat!".  Insecure much love?

This week culminated in me blowing my top when a teenager passing in a car with her presumed parent shouted out of the window at me as I crossed the road "Oh gross, she is huge!".  I turned around, gave her the finger and screamed fuck off at her.  I was half expecting the mother to turn the car around and have a go at me for shouting at her daughter, but she didn't.  Hopefully she was ashamed of her daughter.  I know I would be.

This week now comes to the near end.  I leave it still happy in myself, still confident, still wearing bloody amazing dresses and feeling awesome while wearing them.  It also leaves me sad and hurt.  

Sad that there are still people who use fat people as a vehicle for clicks and subscriptions, sad that trolls get their kicks from trying to hurt others.  I am also hurt that people I know, as well as random people on the street think it acceptable to share hateful videos and comment negatively about me right to my face, or behind my back; as if either my feelings do not exist or they are of no consequence.

Next time you make a fat joke, next time you share a derogatory video that you think has no consequence because "fat people deserve it", next time you troll (ok, there is no hope for them), look into the eyes of the person you want to insult and ask yourself:  What kind of human being do I want to be?  Don't be a dick.

8 September 2015

Dear Fat People - My Thoughts

TRIGGER WARNING -  Fat shaming quotes shared from Twitter  - taken during #fatshamingweek

A couple of days ago a video appeared in my Facebook timeline.  Yes "that video" by comedian (and I use that term loosely) Nicole Arbour.

It has taken me a few days to process my thoughts about this video.  In one way, you have to hand it to her.  She pitched the video to be controversial and prime click bait.  The fat haters watch to nod, agree and cheer, the fat people watch the video to see what hated looks like this week and then the media gets involved and it snowballs.  She then takes down her channel, claiming Youtube did it, then reactivates just when she knows that people will be searching for it.  She has a business head on her, pity that she does not have a heart.

The video itself is, to be honest, a bit sad, pathetic and more than a little jaded.  She rolls out the old tired insults that fat people are "lazy, disgusting, inconsiderate and they smell" (of sausages apparently).  Maybe ten years ago those words may have been fat shaming comedy gold but now, sweetheart, I have heard more creative insults from a random man on the street.

She ends by saying that she isn't saying these hateful things to be an asshole (too late on that one), she in fact loves us "no matter what" but that she hopes that her "bomb of truth" so that people can enjoy us for longer on this planet.  She says, whilst completely dehumanizing fat people and talking about us as if we are no more than things, there to ridicule and insult for your entertainment.

Aside from the fact (pretty obvious but here is a research link) that fat shaming does not work and in fact can backfire badly (now there is a truth bomb for you Nicole); I have to wonder why anyone would think it would?

Here are a few comments from #fatshamingweek on Twitter (wait, I thought that it did not exist?)

Quotes taken from Blisstree

I was myself targeted by trolls especially that week, telling me the fact that I was fat made me worthless.

We are told that if you are fat, it does matter if you have an education, that we have low standards, that "fat means yes" (more than a little rapey) and that we should kill ourselves if dieting fails.

That is the thing though, fat shaming does not work, it dehumanizes people, it strikes a knife into their heart, causes depression far more than fat on your body ever could and can sometimes kill.

This video does not hold any power over me.  I have, as I have said, heard much, much worse and the blatant "subscribe, subscribe" comes across as needy and pathetic.  When I first saw it yes I was incensed with anger and hurt, but not from her words.  It was the fact that people who knew me thought it appropriate to share. 

Let us be clear, that video is not "satire" as many people like to label cruel things to justify themselves, it is not funny and is abhorrent.  What does hurt, is that people think it appropriate to share as if it was nothing.  Would you say these things to my face?  Would you label me a "thing" and disgusting and lazy?  Would you to my face dehumanize me to the point where I am simply a creature to be taunted?  Would you stand there, point and laugh at me.  No.  

The age of the internet allows us to share our thoughts and opinions in a way that we never could before, as I frequently do on here.  It also gave rise to the age of the troll and a place where one stupid video can give rise to yet another torrent of hatred; and that is dangerous.

So before you share a video or an article, think about what you are actually sharing and what sharing it actually makes you as a person.  I will give you a hint, it isn't a good one.

I will leave you with my current favourite, meme.  To all those who create these videos, think these thoughts and put them out in the world, ready to hurt:

2 September 2015

Plus Size Bras

As someone who has had the need of a bra since the age of twelve, I am well aware of the trials and tribulations that you can go through when purchasing a bra.  

What I increasing found as my bra size went up over the years was the increasing lack of options that were available to me.  Pretty colours and patterns became less and less available with only the boring options of black, white and nude (if you were lucky) on display; the look of which was less based on style and more like your grandmother would wear.

As for a fitted bikini top or a sports bra in a larger size, don't even think about it!

If I wear to go on the highstreet to find a pretty bra in my size today, I would still be hard pressed to find what I wanted but happily, online is now a different story.  There are many websites which store the larger sizes of bras, sports bra and swimwear and I am happy to discover that colour, style and print are back!

Here are some of my favourites, with some of the ranges sizing up to a 46J.

1.  Elomi Swim Kissimmee Bikini Top up to 44HH  £42.00
2.  Underwired Moulded Sports Bra from Freya Bras up to 40H £38.00
3.  Pansy Print Balconette Bra from +Yours Clothing up to 46E £16.00
4.  Sculptress Green Sequin Bra from Evans up to 46J £39.00 
5.  Berry Red Pleated Bra from Evans up to 48F

Which one would you buy?  Personally I would have all of them!