A letter to all the young girls

Image result for moody teenager

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

Get the Layered London Life

Thanks DUDELOL.com, you’re hilarious and you know it!

So for a while, I’ve been having this constant internal breakdown where I’m like ‘Where am I? ‘Who am I’? And more importantly, ‘Where am I going?’ And of course, the constant beating in my chest and subsequently my throat are cultivated by the Uber stress that’s bestowed upon me and also in fact that I can’t actually afford half the Uber rides I actually get.

I was about 16 when I decided that after I’d thwarted my way through performance studies at college (free spirited ok?) and spent three years of my life chugging back VKs in Revs at uni that I would move to London. In September 2013 I set off with my little handkerchief tied onto a stick and was driven 300 miles down the motorway by my Stepdad and TalkSport Radio (4 HOUR DRIVE PEOPLE). Pretty soon after I’d landed and since, I’d managed to start a new job, cry at a new job, quit a job, open an overdraft, spend an overdraft, have an interview at Vogue, an interview at Glamour, get rejection letters from both, get a job in TV, realise I like TV, lose my job in TV, get another job in TV, lose my job in TV again, and then gain another job in TV which I’m due to start soon. Amongst all that, I’d ended a previous relationship, started a new one, boarded with crazy people, boarded with friends, eaten at Morley’s Fried Chicken more than once, eaten at a Michelin starred restaurant more than once and still managed on top of all that to be in debt, but drinking Prosecco on a Friday night? Crazy huh?

What’s my secret? Ok guys…I’ll tell you. How can I on the surface have this shiny, happy go lucky persona, my Primark skirt being mistaken for Zara at a glance, my perfectly manicured nails being stick on types from Poundland, and then underneath that is a 2 bedroom flat in Brixton, a meal at Duck & Waffle on a Friday night and a trip to New York in October for my 25th. How do I do it you ask? I’ve got the Layered London Life.

The Layered London Life is not a product you can buy, or a class you can attend, it’s a London way of life which you have to study, perfect and ultimately master in order to balance your life of oxymoron’s and juxtapose your daily routine. Up until 3am getting hammered on 2 4 1 cocktails at Be At One but got a work meeting at 9am? The Answer? Dean Street Townhouse! Avocado and egg on toast for £9! Amazing. You get to eat something that washes the Sambuca out of your mouth and look like you’ve got your shit together! And what’s even better? You can expense it to work!

Got a hot date on Thursday night but don’t have any money to get a new outfit? Don’t ignore those cheap looking pile of shit shops like Risky and Rebel!. They might be gross on the outside, and the inside, but they can re-sell a Boohoo dress with the label cut out for half the price! You might get some D£sign£r heels too for only £6, wow how incredible considering the RRP is £225!

Want to appear cultured and knowledgeable but can’t actually afford the £12 entry fee to the Tate exhibition on rat droppings? Well, have no fear, you can go to all of the free ones instead, and when you’re date/person you are trying to impress with all your knowledge makes a hint that they want to go into said paid for exhibit, distract them with your waving of a BOGOF glass of house white voucher at the local Wetherspoon’s which conveniently looks over the Thames…And if you want to travel back in style, grab the Emirates cable cars, and gawp at the view of London by air for the same price as a tube ride, bonus points if you’re on a travelcard and further bonus points for realising these two spots are nowhere near each other.

It sucks having no money and living in a city in London where everything is so expensive but there’s lots of things worth doing that are free, it just takes a bit of research. It sucks not having any time and living in London. Work can overtake your life sometimes, and although my mum always says ‘You don’t have to do it all now just because you’re young!’ Well screw you mom! Do you think you know better than me because you have 30 years life experience on top of me and have brought up a child genius such as myself? I will do it all now! You know why? Because London is a young person’s game. It might be the golden oldies who sit in their million pound Highgate and Kensington homes and the odd flake from Made in Chelsea made up land, but it is the young people that get away with the shit above because we are young, and determined and a liiiiiittle bit stupid.

You see, the secret to The Layered London Life is in its title. LAYERS. Like Donkey said to Shrek, Onions have layers, and so does London. Use them to your advantage. One day you might be supping on champagne from a glass shaped like Kate Moss’ tit, the next you’ll be paying for a Boots meal deal with your saved up Boots points you had reserved for a new mascara. C’est la Vie! C’est London!

Look at my layers on Instagram @ecarg_h

Laugh at my layers on Twitter g_hetherington

 

Why werking and twerking aren’t that dissimilar

Copyright thisiswhyimbroke.com

This is England 90 has kind of drilled it into me that the 90s was pretty fucking shit for the majority of twenty somethings. They were the product generation of their hardworking mothers and fathers who in turn with some political and economical decisions that I haven’t had the time to properly research, ended up unhappy and mostly unemployed.

The generation I come from is different, and that generation is the beautiful generation that saw the introduction of Playstation, Flubber (I was 6 when it came out) and the idea that getting a job was more than putting food on the table and more a chance to get a career, shock horror at something you’re good at, in a field – even more shock horror – that you enjoy! It could even be a hobby that you could…wait for it, turn into money?

Either way, I, along with my friends are successful in the fact that we recognise that not only does hard work pay off (thanks for the nagging mum and dad) but also that we can have careers that don’t really feel like jobs – but just make us happy and earn us money too. But that isn’t always the case, you know. I mean I’m not exactly 100% jumping for joy everytime I wake up for work. Some days I just don’t wanna go at all. I drag my heels from the tube but I need to pay my rent and one day make something of myself.

I have friends who work in catering that love it just as much as friends who work in food PR, I have friends who work in recruitment who are using their resources to network to meet loads of poeple to decide how they want to broaden their horizons in many ways possible.

So why are werk (go on say it without doing a scouse accent I dare you) and a good old twerk not too dissimilar? Because you should have blood fun doing both! So if you’re not in your dream job right now, don’t sweat it, because you’re laying the foundations to do so, and if you are in your dream job, well done and I hate you!

11 Things That Happen Whilst Commuting

After the fun of today and the fun to come of getting home this evening, I thought I’d share with everyone, 11 thoughts that happen whilst commuting in London…

Image is borrowed from Adrian Brooks/Imagewise and depicts me looking cool as a cucumber on the Central Line (unheard of!)

1. Yay I secretly love getting the tube, I know everyone says the novelty wears off but it’s still a little bit fun right? It’s a train that goes underground, still impresses me.

2. Ok, I’m not originally from London and even I’ve always known that you stand on the god damn right mate ok!

3. I am just so savvy with all these tunnels and sneaky ways to get to the platform before everyone else – oh wait have I gone Northbound instead of Southbound?

4. I can’t see the list of places this train is going to – what if I’m going the wrong way? Oh well, too far to turn back now…I’ll just wing it to the next station.

5. Jesus Christ when will I ever get on one of these things that isn’t crowded as fuck, I can hardly move on here.

6. Oh no, the amount of people in this carriage…it’s the perfect amount of busy for an unexpected terror attack.

7. Oh god please let me get to the next station in one piece….ok good. *Doors Closing* please god let me get to the next station in one piece (repeat as necessary).

8. Ok phew I’m off, didn’t die of heat overload or terrorism, but am being crushed to death in escalator feud to the top.

9. Yes, I made it, and my oyster card let me through the barrier without saying *Seek Assistance* like I’m some sort of criminal.

10. Ok, let’s just wait for this bus…taking ages…ah great, no seats, I get to be flung around for 10 minutes now whilst a buggy jabs into my leg and a homeless person (who can pay for the bus?!) is asking people for change.

11. I think I’ll walk tomorrow. Who am I kidding, it’s 40 minutes…no I won’t.

To follow my instaflammable life @e_cargh

To listen to my Twise words @g_hetherington

I’m not fat shaming…I’m fat shaping

Okay I wasn’t going to comment on it, but my stupid everyone-has-to-hear-my-opinion nature got the better of me, so I’m going to talk about whether being Fat is Fabulous and I’ll open up very bluntly and honestly with no…no it’s not. You might remember I did a post a few weeks ago surrounding the controversy of Tess Holliday becoming the first ‘Plus Size’ or what we actually call ‘clinically obese’ model. There’s been a debate today in the news whether we should call fat women fabulous and the only answer to this question is no, no we bloody well should not.

Jameliaa got slammed this week for kind of maybe a little bit but not really saying FAT PEOPLE ARE HIDEOUS BURN ALL OF THE CLOTHES THAT SHOPS SELL OVER SIZE 20, and then I heard some guy on BBC Radio London this morning saying JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE IS SIZE 24 DOESN’T MAKE THEM UNNATTRACTIVE. Umm, perhaps it doesn’t make them unattractive, beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all but scientifically if someone is a size 24 by choice, they are literally hammering nails into their own coffin. No one became a size 24 from eating celery and having a tuna steak with grilled veg for dinner. When I used to work in Topshop I would constantly be asked why leggings were not stocked in sizes upwards of a size 16, and I had to point customers down the road to Evans who ‘specialised’ in bigger sizes. I’m not condoning Topshop not selling clothes upwards of size 16, but I’m not condemning them either. Like Jamelia said, we should as a nation, be promoting a healthy body image, one that isn’t obsessed with being a size 0 and one that’s not lost control of eating habits and ended up a size 24.

I’m sick of beating around the bush and feeling bad for saying the truth that everyone knows. Being fat is not fabulous. In fact it’s bad. It’s bad on your heart, it’s bad for your bones and it’s bad on your self esteem. You get the odd jolly fat person who’s bubbly and ‘totally comfortable with their size’, but are they really? Are you telling me you don’t wish that you could be a healthy size for your height? At 5″7, I’m classed as tall for a woman, and I’m around 9 1/2 stone, give or take a few pounds depending on how the stress eating is going. I wouldn’t say I was fat, but I’m certainly not at the weight I want to be and was when I was 17 (god damn that young metabolism!). Now I’m not going to sit here and say I’m the knowledge on health and exercise, I eat quite well and I go running probably not as many times a week as I should and I occasionally buy a muffin from the canteen but I know that for me, personally, I would like to lose a little weight. I’ve watched my best friend lose 3 stone over the course of a year and never look or feel better, I’ve been out with someone who beat the bulge and went for 16 stone to 11 stone and they are both people close to me that I saw change not only what they ate and how much exercise they did, but the changes they made to their lifestyles.

As much as smoking and drinking and going out all the time tends to be the lifestyle of most students and homeless vagrants, getting up earlier and going for a light jog in the morning can be too. But so can sitting on your arse, feeling sorry for yourself and eating another cake to continue a cycle of not doing anything about it. Before I get any hate comments saying that I’m fat shaming, I’m not,I’m fat shaping. I know that some people have thyroid problems which impacts their weight and some people have syndromes such as Prada Willi and I get that, I totally do, we’re not just one big pile of statistical data that we can take presumptions from, but what we are as a collective is human beings and as human beings we deserve to respect our bodies.

We’ve been bombarded by media tempting us with sugary food and drink and quick fix meal options for too long and this stupid national myth that eating healthy is expensive! I went to my local market last week and I bought all my salad and veg for the week, 4 chicken breasts, a loaf of bread and stopped off in Sainsbury’s to get some yoghurt for dessert and it cost me £13. £13 to eat healthy for a week, it really isn’t hard, you just have to think outside of the (pizza)box. We need to use our own mediums of new media to be able to help ourselves eat better and live better; there are more food bloggers on the internet and apps like Instagram than ever before and we need to take advantage of these delicious and wholesome recipes that are FREE for us to use, the inspiration really is endless.

Here are a few of my favourite food blogs and instagram accounts to follow-

Plantfuel_

Deliciously Ella

The Body Coach

Time, Time, where for art thou Time?

Sorry I haven’t blogged in a while. It’s like when you have a messy room, and you know it’s really messy, and then you’re like, ‘Oh I’ll totally tackle this tomorrow’ and then tomorrow you’re like ‘Ha, this can totally wait’ and then it’s 3 weeks later and you’re like ‘ACCEPT IT FRIENDS, I LIVE IN FILTH NOW’. And then one day, you wake up with an empty Wotsits packet stuck to the side of your face, a sore neck from sleeping in a semi foetal position amongst the crap on your bed, and you get up and step over that plate with a blob of mayonnaise that has turned back into an egg and you look at yourself in the mirror and just go ‘FUUUUUUCK’.

So, my blog is going to consist of several upcoming posts, and I hope you’re all excited because I’ve been doing some stuff the past month, including maxing my overdraft and crying in the rain so no one can see the tears. I’ve also done some pretty cool things, like going to Brussels and Milan and having/enduring my 23rd birthday double hangover.

Brussels- I went with my mum, we had a nice time and Europe scares me.

Milan- I went with Yasmin and we had a great time and Europe scares me.

My birthday- Friends came down and Wray Nephew’s scares me.

So please, bear with me whilst I try and recover from my rain man memory what I’ve been up to in and out of the capital/UK this past month and then maybe, just maybe I’ll be back on track in terms of doing this blogging stuff. Who knows, I may even start to vlog YouTube in the New Year. Orrrr…sit in my bed and watch Netflix whilst eating a whole bar of dark chocolate cos it’s good for you right?!

xo