A letter to all the young girls

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Dear young girls across the world,

I found really sad to read in the news today that among 10 to 15-year-old girls, the children’s society charity reported that 14% are unhappy with their lives as a whole, and 34% with their appearance.

I actually find this statistic quite upsetting because I for one, have never struggled with being unhappy as a child. My levels of happiness have decreased since being an adult of course, that’s a given right? But to acknowledge that there is a number of young women out there, who are fundamentally unhappy with themselves and their environments, whilst by contrast the study found that boys’ sense of happiness remained stable, is a really alarming piece of information that leads me onto a number of things that could be causing this turbulence in the pre teen and teenage years of womanhood.

First of all, Instagram

Yeah, we all have it, yeah we all pick the best filter so it looks like it was 5 degrees hotter than it actually was on holiday and yeah we all mindlessly scroll through post after post wishing we were ‘that skinny’ or could ‘cook that well’ or was ‘that rich’.

But we need to wake up and smell the sausage and carrot pasta (a cheap, easy and not very instagrammable meal for anyone who is interested) and admit the fact that Instagram is FAKE.

I will tell my sister who fits into this teen age bracket that what you see on Instagram, celebrities, personal trainers, fashion bloggers, your friends afternoon tea post, most of them, are set up, they are organised, they are faked, or exaggerated, they are not representations of real life. Real life is the bunch of candid snaps of you and your mates as you lark around in the park doing cartwheels and pulling funny faces at each other, the ones you wouldn’t put on Instagram. But instead, people choose the one where they are delicately (and in some cases seductively) licking an ice cream, which they probably have no intention of eating, despite still having the metabolism of a child (god damn you, it runs out pretty soon after 19 let me tell you!)

Have fun, take photos, don’t think about poses or what looks best on Instagram. Because the thing that looks best on Instagram is not the ‘best version’ of you. It’s the staged version of you. God the only staging I was doing at 15 was pushing around the crappy crates we had in our drama classroom to make a stage out of.

Secondly, The Kardashians, and Gigi and all those other models

You don’t look like Kylie Jenner, or Gigi or Bella Hadid, and you’re sad about it. But you also don’t have millions of dollars and the desire to get your face sliced up and stiched back together before your 17th birthday. These girls PAID to look like that. They went under cosmetic procedures to look like that. They (well their equally as deluded) rich celebrity parents paid for it. You’re going to have to make do with a Natural Collection eyeshadow pallet and some sparkly lipgloss. It’s what it’s all about. Boys might ogle at Kylie and Gigi and Bella and all the other ‘models’ out there, but believe me, they are all too ugly to even get within a foot of a girl who actually looks like that IRL (I’ll give you a clue: no one actually does). So don’t sweat it that Callum in Yr12 fancies Kylie Jenner and you wished you had bigger lips. In a year’s time you’ll realise that Callum only wants a fumble up your bra at that house party of the year and that you’re actually beautiful because you’re smart and respectful of yourself. Sure, slap a face of make up on if you want, we all do it from time to time. But take it from a girl who tried to hide away from having red hair and pale skin because it wasn’t deemed ‘attractive’ enough, being a bit different or not having peroxide blonde hair and an orange tan actually works in your favour as you get older and boys like Callum fade and boys like Chris who studies medicine and your mum just ‘can’t wait to meet’ comes into the picture.

And finally, there’s all this outward confidence, but what happened to all the inward loving?

Take some time out from the pressures of being 15. You’re being grilled by your parents to do that extra French homework, and you’re also being told to tidy your room for the 5th time this week and not stay on your phone all night and why aren’t you coming to watch Coronation street? I was 15 ten years ago, and although it feels like ages (I am old n haggered lol) it really wasn’t. I still remember the fights with my parents (soz guys), and the binge eating my feelings on 6 KitKats after school and then trying to eat dinner. But your parents are nagging you because they are terrified they might have done a shit job and you’re actually going to end up working full time in McDonald’s, so prove them wrong on that one. You’re being asked to tidy your room because it’s a tip and its actually a lot easier to sleep and chill out in a tidy room and if you eat 6 kitkats after school, so what? Go on a run with your mates (not alone you’re 15 and female, society hasn’t moved on that much in 10 years on that front) or join an after school sports club because god damn it when you move to London at 21 and find out it costs £300 a month to play for a netball team when you used to play it for free, that’s a kick in the teeth.

In the words of a wise man (apart from the toe cancer thing) called Bob Marley. Don’t worry and be happy. Because you’re 15, and frankly wait until you’re 25 and having an existential crisis about whether you’re a child or an adult or if you have enough money to eat that week. That’s when you actually need to freak out.

Yours sincerely,

Girl who did it before you.

twitter.com/g_hetherington

p.s don’t you just love the picture, it’s me at 15

Heidi Klum is the Queen of Halloween

I’ve always liked Heidi Klum and her and Seal were the ultimate noughties power couple, until she decided that a kiss from a rose was more of a kiss from a turd. Anyway, like I said, I’ve always liked Klumy but I now LOVE her after seeing how strong her Halloween costume game has been over the years. Stuck on a costume idea? Let Heidi’s finesse and utter imagination be your spirit guide to a crazy, wacky and wonderfully dressed Halloween.

Like the year she went as Lady Godiva complete with actual steed.

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Or when she went as Vishnu and painted her whole body blue

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Or completely unrecognisable one year as a Crow

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Or you know had some spare time to knock up this futuristic outfit

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Or when her and then husband Seal rocked it as Apes

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My personal fave, as an inside out muscle human thing

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Heidi is the Queen of Halloween as she rightfully demonstrates here being Cleopatra

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I have so many high hopes of what she’ll turn out as to her annual Halloween party this year.

*All photos borrowed from Vogue.com

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My semi-kind-of-not-really-interview with Kit Harington

So I met Kit Harington today, he came into work and I was given the lovely task of welcoming him into the office. First of all, yes he really is that good looking, and yes he also a lot shorter than I thought, however, also ridiculously pleasant, especially as it was 10am on a cold Tuesday morning and he had just finished a block of filming in Belfast the day prior.

So the three things I managed to ask Kit in the 2.5 minutes it takes to show him and his equally good looking friend up to our building?

Me: Have you come far this morning?

Kit: No I’ve come from North London.

Me: Are you tired?

Kit: Yes, I flew from Belfast last night.

Me: Will you take a stupid selfie with me?

Kit: Yes, of course.

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As I’ve never seen Game of Thrones, much to a lot of my friends dismay, I am now more inclined to watch it. Not because of the sword fighting, medieval misogyny or hunky men riding around on horseback but because of Kit’s reasoning..

Kit: Are you likely to be hungover this weekend?

Me: Yes.

Kit: Watch it then, it’s great for a binge watch.

And since I’ve run out of Orange is The New Black and Glue, I’ll have to give it a try.

Tears for Peaches

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In light of the recent news that Peaches Geldof had been found dead at her home in Kent last Monday I started to look at patterns in the lives of celebrity children and the trials and tribulations that they face growing up in the limelight. It’s the kind of thing you look at as a child yourself and think ‘it’s just not fair’. Straight away theses children are born into fame and fortune, and have everything they want. They have (most of the time) two beautiful celebrity parents behind their own flawless and perfected DNA, as well as not to mention the coaching for their own stardom way before they’ve even left nappies. But there’s something empty and harrowing about the fact that as much as Peaches Geldof’s sudden death is unsettling…it doesn’t quite come as a shock.

Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, was himself, brought up as a child in the limelight. So there was really no surprise when he had children with a woman he probably paid a lot of money to do so, and named them Paris, Prince Michael Jackson II and Prince Michael Jackson II aka. Blanket. Although Jackson courted his children through many weird appearances with masks on as an attempt to shield them from paparazzi, he kind of maybe just a little bit brought quite a lot of attention to them when he dangled one of them (Baby Blanket) over the balcony of a hotel in Berlin in 2002. To be blunt, cut to 2009, the king is dead and has left a trail of damaged and chipped ABCs behind him. Paris Jackson (17), who aged 12, gave a really sweet and emotional speech at her father’s memorial service has tried to take her own life several times from aged 15, resulting in constantly being shipped to and fro from rehab, hardly giving the impression that she’s going to be ‘normal’ further on in life.

Miley Cyrus could have a whole essay about how she turned from dream teen American queen to completely and utterly batshit crazy last year, but I really can’t be bothered or care less to comment on her flesh coloured gyrating tongue sticking outing marketing stunted underwear wrecking ball any longer.

The sad thing about Peaches, is that the 25 year old daughter of pop turned business mogul Bob Geldof and TV presenter Paula Yates, had seemed to turn her life around. She was no longer smoking crack cocaine and flashing her knickers out of limos in LA. She was happily married to Tom Cohen on the band S.C.U.M (don’t worry no one knows who they are either) and had two little boys barely 13 months apart in age. She had a lovely house in Kent, and two lovely dogs , recently appearing with one on a TV show for Sport Relief, where she was in fact really rather lovely. She had lost weight in 2011 after really focusing on her diet, and now received jibes from the press for being ‘too thin’, and ultimately, despite the baby blip of chucking her baby out of the pram a year ago whilst still managing to text, the nation had forgiven her and more so forgiven her damaged soul that is the result of having a mother such as Paula Yates. Surely a difficult task in itself. Now I don’t care much for Bob Geldof, I think he’s alright, Band Aid and that, but since learning of what an arse, Paula Yates must have been to be around, I really sympathise and actually admire him for being such a rock in the Geldof family. Not only has he taken on the daughter of the late (debatable as great?) Michael Hutchence of INXS- whom of which had a very public affair with Geldof’s wife Paula towards the end of their marriage- he adopted Tiger Lily Watercress and cous cous salad or whatever daft name she got given from the tradition after it all too, to make sure she grew up around her half sisters Fifi Trixibelle, Little Pixie and of course the late (and 75% on the way to being great) Peaches.

So the news of Peaches Geldof is sad, very much so. But it is not a shock. It is a mere reminder that unfortunately, children tend to follow an example of their parents, and judging by the fact that tests from the post mortem came back inconclusive yet we are still waiting for results from a toxicology report, kind of gives a hint towards guessing what might have killed her…