The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

Welcome (back?) to my blog! So sorry that I haven’t been as regular with posting recently. With a holiday, exams and post-exams celebrating, I’ve not had much time to sit down and write. But I have 40 minutes till tonight’s Love Island so I have plenty of time to write this post and hopefully I will be back to posting on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays weekly now. One of the reasons I’ve let myself stop posting so regularly is because it’s another way of getting over my perfectionism. I’m definitely not a perfectionist in every area of my life but in the areas where I set myself goals, I most definitely am. I’m most regularly setting myself goals within UNI and blogging, so I thought I’d talk a little bit about the pressures of perfectionism in each of these parts of my life.

I decided to discuss this topic in a post with these photos because I very much had an ‘ideal image’ in mind before shooting them, as I do with most planned shoots, and the outcome wasn’t as good as I had hoped. This is partly because we were in a rush whilst taking them but also because they were taken on a busy street in Corfu where lots of people were giving me strange looks and I’m still not totally comfortable with shooting in front of strangers, especially when the people who I’m with/are taking the photos feel the same way. I was kind of inspired to use this backdrop for my photos by Lucy Williams’ recent campaign with Mango. Obviously my photos haven’t come out half as good as hers because I didn’t have a professional photographer shooting the photos, nor did I have a full day (or maybe even days) to perfect them, plus the backing and support of a major company. Considering the circumstances in which these photos were taken, I should be happy with them and I am after thinking about it! But this is just an example of one of the ways in which I hold myself up to ridiculous standards (and a segway into the rest of the post).

The Pressures of Perfectionism

So, personally, I am mostly a perfectionist academically. This is something I’ve talked about previously in my post on work-life balance as well as my post on my experience with anxiety, so I won’t really go into it too much. But it is interesting to consider how much of the pressure I used to put on myself (and still do sometimes) academically is really created by myself rather than influenced by social factors. The pressure I put on myself during A-Levels was mostly generated by people telling me how difficult they would be and perhaps maintained by the feeling that I would inevitably be letting people down if I didn’t do well. Although it really was me and, mostly, no-one else putting this pressure on myself, I think it was created by my social situation i.e. the fact that doing well in A-Levels is seen as the be-all and end-all during sixth form. My first-year of UNI has allowed me to be a lot more laid back because rather than being told that grades mean everything, we are instead told that grades don’t matter this year, which has been endlessly helpful for me.

Moving onto university (I’m on a roll with the segways today), this post was actually inspired by conversations I’ve had with various people about the social pressure of university, particularly inspired by one with my friend Lucy at Parklife festival this weekend. You might be surprised by the amount of people who have dropped out of university this year based on the appearance of their Instagram feeds. Social media definitely suggests that EVERYONE is having a great time at university because, as my friend Katy said, no one is going to post a picture of themselves during one of the (probably) many times that they are crying in their bedroom. First year of university is difficult for most people but because we are constantly told that it should be ‘the best years of our lives’ and that we should be extremely social, there’s lots of guilt attached to feelings of sadness, boredom and loneliness at university and I think the pressure to be perfect is extremely prevalent here. I’m glad I’ve been able to share some of my more difficult experiences with university on my blog because it is so isolating seeing people with lots of new friends going out every night on Instagram, when you’re spending your 5th night on a run eating leftover bolognese and writing an essay on a Jane Austen novel (I’ve written on three Austen texts this year which might just have put me off her forever). But no one, that I know of, is really having an amazing time all the time so just remember that. I’m definitely going to be making more of an effort in second year to talk about some of my more difficult moments at university on Instagram. Even if I don’t post a photo of myself crying in bed- because, quite frankly, I don’t want to do that and I am 100% sure that no one wants to see it- I might talk a little bit about my shitty week in the caption or on Instagram stories. Not to moan but to prove to anyone who might think that my life is in any way ‘perfect’ that I have as many shitty times as they do and so they should never feel bad about them or pressured to have to feel better.

My perfectionism is something I’m trying to let go of in all areas of my life and I think I have been able to do so in lots of ways. I’m never going to be totally laid-back and I really don’t ever want to be as my motivation and determination has been really good for me in lots of ways. But when it starts to affect my mental health is when I know I’ve taken it too far and hopefully in ignoring and abandoning any pressures to be perfect I won’t have to let it get that far again. My Instagram and Twitter DMs are always open if you want to talk about any of your experiences and if you’ve gone through anything similar, do get in touch! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and that it’s reminded you to focus on yourself and ignore any social pressures around you.

The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

The Pressures of Perfectionism

Dress- Zara

Bag- Zara

Sunglasses- Mango (No longer available on the website, will update the post if they re-stock them)

Shoes- New Look (old)

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Finding A ‘Work-Life Balance’

‘Work-Life Balance’ is a phrase that I’ve heard used lots since I’ve started following the lives of bloggers through their blogs themselves, YouTube, Instagram etc. It’s something that they often talk about struggling with as because documenting their life is essentially their career, it’s difficult to draw a line. Obviously, I am by no means a full-time blogger and I, for the most part, don’t really see my blog as work at all- it’s a hobby that I enjoy. However, taking pictures, editing HTML (which mostly consists of me watching endless YouTube tutorials) and actually writing blog posts is time-consuming and so adding my blog to the things that I do has made it difficult for me to relax over the past couple of months. It hasn’t made me feel crazily stressed but I could feel the amount of time I was spending working taking it’s toll on me so I’m trying to take some steps to change that. With studying for a full-time degree, working as an English tutor part-time (which involves lots of planning), having a significant role within the campaign Girls Against, plus running my blog, I often work from 8am-10pm on weekdays with minimal breaks, which is really unhealthy and bad for my mental health. I discussed how work took over my life during my A-Levels in a recent post about my experience with anxiety and I’m determined not to let that happen again this year, even if I do enjoy all of the things I class as ‘work’ now. So here are some of the things I’m doing to try and ensure I make time for myself:

1. Scheduling in ‘holidays’.

People who work a 9-5 job obviously have a given amount of time for their holidays but, although with UNI we are given lots of time off for Christmas, Easter and summer, all of the other things I do continue throughout the year. So I’m trying to give myself official weeks off where I can just totally relax. I can’t say I’ve managed one of these so far but I am planning on scheduling some in over summer and I definitely took a few days off everything during Christmas and Easter, if not a full break, which felt really nice in itself. However, I am currently on holiday in Corfu (as you might be able to tell by these photos), the week before my only UNI exam this semester, which is an attempt to try and force myself not to go overboard with revision. I am also in Corfu because I am not going to turn down a week of sun. I’m doing 2 hours of revision a day (ish) whilst I’m here, one in the afternoon and one in the evening and trying to relax for the rest of the day. I’m also writing blog posts (currently sat on my balcony writing this one) and taking photos for my blog because, as mentioned, I enjoy this and don’t find it stressful whatsoever. Although I’m pretty sure this might be the only blog post for this week because I want to make the most of my time here.

2. Taking Weekends Off

This is something I’ve been trying to do since the beginning of university. I decided that I’d much rather work really hard throughout the week so I can have my weekends to myself. This is in part due to the fact that I mostly see my boyfriend on the weekends and I wanted to make sure I had time to see him but also because I struggle to take evenings off if I know I haven’t got everything done that I wanted to do that day and don’t enjoy the scheduled ‘relaxing time’. Whereas with weekends, once it gets to Friday evening I know that I’m done for that week and anything else will have to wait till Monday. This is, of course, something I won’t do during my second and third years of university as my workload grows, and something I don’t do 100% of time now, so I will have to find another method of relaxation then, but it works great for now.

 3. Making Plans and Sticking To Them

This is a really important one for me because I struggle to relax on my own because I’m always thinking that there’s something more productive that I could be doing. However, when I’m with someone else, I know that there’s no way I could be doing work at that moment and want to make the most of the time I have with whoever I’m with, so I’m really able to fully relax.

 4. Planning My Time

Something I’ve started doing recently is realistically planning my days hour by hour. This means that usually I really have got everything I wanted to do done by 8pm and can relax for the rest of the night. I’m still a bit rubbish at switching off in the evenings though and often find something else productive to do without even thinking about it. But telling yourself that you’re going to stop working at a certain time can be really helpful.

I’m going to leave this post here for today because I am hungry and I can smell the food from the restaurant of my hotel but I hope it helped you think about whether your work-life balance is truly balanced and gave you some tips to help it get there. I’m wearing this skirt from & Other Stories again because I just can’t get enough of it along with this top also from & Other Stories, both of which I featured in my last post about what’s new in my wardrobe. You’ve seen the shoes and the bag before but this bag is now back in stock on Zara (linked below)! I’m off to relax and enjoy the rest of the time I have in beautiful Corfu now but keep an eye on my Instagram to see what I’m up to.

Top- & Other Stories

Skirt- & Other Stories

Shoes- New Look (old)

Bag- Zara

 

My Experience with Anxiety

This past week has seen a great deal of discussion around the subject of mental health as it has been Mental Health Awareness week. Dealing with anxiety is something I’ve mentioned briefly in previous posts on my blog but is something that affects my life significantly, so I thought I’d take the opportunity of this week being specifically dedicated to mental health awareness to discuss my experience with anxiety. The photos I’m sharing alongside this post don’t really have anything to do with the topic of mental health but I wanted to write about this topic and share these photos on my blog so it made sense to include them together. Plus they were taken in one of my favourite places that I like to go to to de-stress. I want to share this because I’m very aware that social media and blogs only present the best bits of life, which can be really disheartening if/when you’re feeling bad and so I want my blog to be a space that is honest and really reflects me as a person. I’m also hoping that in sharing my experiences I can help anyone reading this who might have struggled with similar experiences feel less alone. I thought I should also mention that I know people have it worse than me and I’m really not writing this post to complain but just to bring awareness to the fact that all mental health struggles are legitimate and you should always try to look after yourself and those around you.

That brings me nicely onto the beginning of my ‘journey’ with anxiety, as I dismissed my feelings as ‘nothing’ for some time. My anxiety is very much linked to the education system, as I will discuss a little bit more later on, and they began when I started sixth form and studying for my A-Levels. From day one of sixth form, I was prepared to do crazy amounts of work because I had been warned again and again and again about how difficult A-Levels are. And from day one I pushed myself very hard to do as much work as possible. For the first few months, I thought I was coping fine and for most of the first year of sixth form, I felt like I was. It wasn’t until after my AS exams that I realised the extent to which I’d exhausted myself mentally and was left feeling a little empty (I know this sounds vague but I can’t explain it in any other way). I don’t think I’d really developed anxiety at this point but I’d definitely planted the seeds. By setting my standards so high in terms of work, I became so overly-organised, becoming overwhelmingly angry and disappointed in myself if I didn’t reach both my daily and long-term goals, which, in turn, inevitably led to lots of feelings of stress.

Going into my second year of sixth form were when things started to get really difficult, with the stress of applying to UNI and, of course, the exams. Again, I worked myself crazily hard from day one but, both because of the standards I had already set up for myself, the exhaustion I was still getting over from the previous academic year and because this year’s exams were much more important than the ones I had just sat, the pressure and the stress really started to get to me. The ‘work-life balance’ I had managed to mostly maintain in my first year of sixth form fell through the roof and the only thing I could focus on was work. I declined most plans because I was too busy revising and if I did do anything social, I spent most of the time resenting myself for leaving my desk and worrying about how I would fit all the work I had to do in around it. It’s important to mention that, at the time, I really did not think my academic habits were unhealthy because totally overworking yourself to the point of exhaustion has become such a norm within society, especially within the education system, that I thought what I was doing was normal.

Basically, to cut a very very long year short, I spent the entire academic year working towards my exams whilst feeling rubbish about my life and constantly worried. The only thing that was getting me through my exams was the thought of a couple of months off for summer; this thought, though, only further justified the amount I was working because it allowed me to maintain the mindset that I would have time for rest and relaxation later, which, as a mindset, is fine for a week or two but not for two years. During my exam period and the months leading up to it, I was so stressed that social interaction was genuinely too much for me. Having to even talk to anyone who wasn’t my boyfriend or in my family took so much energy that I felt like I was going to cry. I really didn’t understand this at the time and had no idea where this feeling was coming from and it obviously really damaged my friendships, which I endlessly regret now, but all I knew was that I couldn’t do it and that I would rather walk to my boyfriend’s house (mine was literally too far away) during sixth form lunchtime hours than simply sit in the common room for half an hour. This time in my life honestly feels like a blur and I can’t even remember if I had started having panic attacks at this point. But if I had they were infrequent and it was the general anxiety (feelings that my head might explode at any moment, sickness in the back of my throat and the constant holding back of tears) that affected me more.

Anyway, I got through the exams. But the feelings of relief that I had expected after sitting my last exam on a Wednesday morning (I remember this very vividly) just didn’t come. After finishing my GCSE and AS exams I remember feeling so relieved and happy to spend the bed in day catching up on TV and sleeping. But this time I could not relax. All the feelings of anxiety that I had been pushing away throughout my time at sixth form because I had ‘more important things to focus on’ now materialised. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this but I often find that, during the winter months, when you feel a cold coming on, your body will keep holding it back whilst your busy. But as soon as you have a lie in or let yourself relax in whatever way, the cold develops. This is what I think happened with my anxiety. My brain didn’t even have time to process it during sixth form so as soon as that was done with I had 2 years worth of worries and stress to deal with.

At the time I didn’t realise that this was why I was having almost daily panic attacks though. I was so confused and had no idea what was wrong with me because I was supposed to be happy now exams were over, wasn’t I? It didn’t help that the people closest to me were constantly asking me ‘What’s wrong?’ or telling me ‘I don’t know why you’re worried- everything’s fine’- not that they had bad intentions (I am so grateful to them for offering me support and help) but one of the worst things about anxiety for me is that often there is no reason (that you can identify) for it, which makes you think something is wrong with you, which leads to more worrying- it’s a vicious cycle.

I guess this constant anxiety throughout the summer months culminated on results day. I got into my first-choice University but I just didn’t get the grades I wanted and I was devastated. I understand that I was in a much better position than lots of other people and I totally sympathise with that- I wasn’t, nor am I now, comparing my position to theirs. All I could think about was the hell I put myself through with the end goal of the grades and I was just gutted because I felt like it wasn’t worth it- and all I wanted was for those terrible years to be worth it. I’ve been waiting for something good to come out of those feelings that I felt last August as that is what I would describe as the worst I had ever felt and recently I feel like it has. That day and those feelings made me realise that nothing is ever worth damaging your mental health for. Nothing. And if you’re in the midst of exams right now, please remember that.

Anyway, after this very emotional day, I had a few sessions with a counsellor. I don’t think it helped very much because my head was still in too much of a mess to be able to process my own problems and I generally spent most of the sessions crying and feeling shit about myself.

After this, I left for university and the first couple of months were great. There were some panic attacks and moments of anxiety but generally, I enjoyed them so much and felt the happiest I had done in a long time. But, once again (will I ever learn??) I had started pushing feelings of anxiety, to one side, which led to frequent panic attacks throughout the months of November and December. When I say I pushed them to one side I did so to such an extent that at one point, I had to leave a seminar to run to the bathroom (to avoid not having a panic attack in front of everyone in the room) and then miss all of my other classes that week so I could go home for a few days to recover. So the end of first semester was a little bit rocky. But, unlike during my A-Levels, I now felt comfortable talking to my family, boyfriend and close friends about how I felt and treated my mental health as something that was important, which helped a lot.

After returning to university after Christmas, and a difficult first week or so back, the first thing I did was book myself in for an appointment with the university counsellor. I had around 3-5 sessions with her and they helped me so much. I can tell you right now that before these sessions, I would not have been able to write this post because, firstly, I would have been too worried about what people thought about me but, mostly, because I had absolutely no idea where my anxiety came from or what caused it. My mental health has been much much better over the past few months and being able to talk through my experiences with the counsellor with a clear head allowed me so much clarity.

So now, here we are. My mental health is the best it has been in a long, long time and I’m learning (if slowly) not to push myself too hard. I’ve enjoyed my first year of university so much and feel like I have cultivated a really good ‘work-life balance’, whilst also being able to do other things that I am passionate about and enjoy, such as running this blog, plus a part-time job. I’m lucky enough to be heading to Corfu in a few days and will be spending the entire week before my only university exam there. This is really going to be a test for me of how far I have come in terms of allowing myself to become more relaxed about academics and right now I’m feeling great about it so let’s hope for the best. First year doesn’t count anyway, right?

Anyway, this has been one hefty post and I still really feel like I could have gone into much more detail… I’m bet you’re glad I didn’t! But if you are feeling like you’re struggling with your mental health in any way, please tell someone. Even if you feel like your struggles aren’t legitimate because they’re not on the same scale as some other people’s, they are and you should treat them as such because, as you can tell from hearing about my experiences, they can build up and get worse very quickly. Everyone struggles in some way or another and you should never feel embarrassed about your own struggles. Speak to anyone, just speak to someone because holding things in only makes them worse. My DMs on Twitter and Instagram are always open if you want to talk about anything you might be struggling with at the moment!

Top- Old Hinds Merchandise (no longer available but they sell more merch here)

Skirt- & Other Stories

Jacket- Topshop

Shoes- Vans

Sunglasses- Le Specs

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Dressing For Yourself

Photography by Jenny Gavan.

I’ve always been an advocate of wearing whatever you want and it’s something I’ve *pretty much* always been comfortable doing. This doesn’t mean that I’m always dressed eccentrically and go out of my way to dress differently. But I really could not care less if someone doesn’t like what I’m wearing whether that’s friends, family or someone on Instagram. It’s possibly the only thing I’ve always been comfortable in because I really do just love clothes- buying them, styling them, talking about them. I know what I like and if I love a piece then I’m going to feel great wearing it.

I remember in high school (well, we wore uniforms but I mean during that period in my life) I would buy things that were perhaps slightly *different* to the norm that my friends and family would look at a little weirdly- never in a malicious way, always politely. The amount of times I’ve heard the phrase ‘I could never pull that off’ or ‘it suits you but I could never wear that’ as a polite way of someone telling me that they don’t like what I’m wearing is comical. But, unlike if someone commented on my physical appearance or something I’ve said, I’ve never felt embarrassed or upset about the fact that some people don’t like what I wear. It’s definitely something to do with being able to choose what I wear and using this as a sort of shield to hide the other parts of myself that I’m not so confident about. Sometimes I’ll buy a particular shape of dress to hide a bigger part of my body that I’m not totally comfortable with (usually my boobs) or I’ll wear a ‘party girl’ type of outfit for a night out to conceal the fact that I probably am not as comfortable as the people I’m with in a night club. My clothes fill the gaps within me that have formed as a result of the lack of confidence I have in some other parts of myself.

My old blog was initially called ‘Style Comes From Within’ which I changed, after a couple of years, to ‘If You Like It Wear It’ (a little cringey, I know). Not to psychoanalyse my past self, but I think these names epitomise my confidence in my style. I was too embarrassed to share this blog on social media or even with my friends, due to issues I had with self-promotion and vanity plus my attempts to keep up the typical teenage ‘I don’t care about anything’ persona. Despite this, I was always proud of what I was wearing and excited to share it with people online who wouldn’t judge me for having a blog (as I assumed my peers would during my high school years). I actually think it would be interesting/hilarious to share some of my past outfits in a sort of style evolution post on my blog so let me know if this is something you’d like to see!

One of my absolute pet hates is when people (of both genders) assume that girls dress for boys. This is probably an assumption made more often when I was younger but it used to drive me absolutely insane! I mean I guess there’s nothing wrong with dressing for boys (although if we dug in to the meaning behind this I guess it could be a little problematic) but it’s genuinely something I’ve never done. Nights out used to be so much fun because finding something to wear that I loved was so exciting and the only thing that I considered when deciding what to wear was what I thought and how I felt in a certain outfit- this also meant that many of my outfits were highly, highly impractical but no one is going to get a kick out of living by practicality.

This ‘dressing for boys’ phenomenon is part of the reason why I absolutely love the blog turned extremely successful business, Man Repeller. I’m sure many of you know about Man Repeller already but in case you don’t it was founded by Leandra Medine in 2010 who realised that much of what she wore and saw within the fashion industry was ‘man repelling’ (to put it simply). The popularity of this blog and resonance it has with so many women represents, to me, the extent to which women do not dress for men, because much of what we wear they don’t like anyway. I feel like this is certainly the case for me and, honestly, this sometimes makes me like what I’m wearing more because it makes me feel like I have some sort of special sixth sense about just how cool a piece is. This is obviously extremely pretentious and I definitely do not have any sort of stylistic powers but I like to think that some of the more interesting pieces I own happen to be the ones that less people like.

I’ve been wanting to write a post about dressing for yourself for a while and when Jenny photographed this outfit for me, I knew these photos would be perfect for it. First of all, I am so happy with how they came out! Jenny is an incredible photographer and I’ve done a few other shoots with her before but these photos have to be my favourite yet. I think the outfit and the setting go so well together and I just love the colours in the photos. Definitely check out Jenny’s Instagram because she is brilliant!

Anyway, on to the outfit! I feel like it’s a little bit ‘man-repelling’ due to the mixture of very feminine and very masculine pieces. This dress is fairly new from Zara and I love it! I was on the hunt for a polka dot midi skirt for a while and this actually works great as a skirt and a dress as it’s a really thin material so looks great with a t-shirt layered over it, or layered under it as I’ve styled it here! The jacket is also new (my shopping habits are steadily increasing at the moment) from Topshop and I really feel like it might be the perfect faux leather jacket. I have a long-line one and a cropped one but this mid-crop style is ideal for somewhere in between and, although some might say that owning 3 faux leather jackets is excessive, I think it’s filled a gap in my wardrobe. Of course, I’m wearing my Zara woven bucket bag because it’s my absolute favourite and I think it looks great with the colours of the pinewoods. The dress and the bag are obviously the feminine aspects of the outfit and clashed with my docs- which I enjoyed styling for spring/summer here as they’re more of a winter piece normally- and the leather jacket, I think is such a cool outfit, if a little bit Marmite. I’ve linked everything I’m wearing at the bottom of this post!

I’d love to know if you feel the same way about dressing for yourself and your views on ‘man-repelling’ styling. Do you have a favourite man-repelling outfit or piece? Let me know in the comments!

Dress- Zara (for some reason, I can’t find this dress on the Zara website but I only bought it a few weeks ago so it should 100% still be in store!)

Jacket- Topshop

Shoes- Dr Marten

Sunglasses- Mango

Bag- Zara

Finding Fresh Inspiration

With a new season, usually comes fresh inspiration and this year I’ve been feeling it more than ever thanks to the UK’s prolonged periods of cold weather and premature heatwaves (talking about the weather in the first sentence might be a new record for me). The snow we experienced in mid-March really made me feel down and I was so sick of wearing winter clothes by that point that I was wearing pretty much the same thing every single day. So when temperatures hit above 20 degrees celsius in April I was SO ready to bring out my summer wardrobe. Summer is my favourite time of year generally but especially style-wise. I definitely do still feel this bout of inspiration when the weather starts to cool down during the month of October (but lets not talk about that right now as I’m ready to bask in the warm weather) but that’s usually over within a few weeks when I realise it’s actually too cold to wear anything that looks remotely nice. Summer styling is something I never get fed up of- I’ve been considering moving to a warmer climate when I’m older more and more recently- and with this style inspiration comes inspiration in all other parts of my life.

Summer is my favourite time for clothes because there’s always something new and everything you’re buying is a little bit more affordable so it’s easier to play around with trends a bit more than it is in the winter. It means you can wear skirts and dresses, instead of trousers or tights (which tend to ruin most outfits for me) and generally just gives you so many more options when getting dressed in the morning.

This outfit was one I wore during last weekend’s lovely warm weather (although it wasn’t long until I changed into a skirt instead of jeans- us Brits really cannot hack a bit of sun unless we’re wearing minimal amounts of clothing). I do really love this outfit though. It was inspired by the wonderful Liv Purvis who has been talking about how much she loves wearing white at the moment, and sharing some beautiful photos to exemplify this. I actually bought the top I’m wearing after seeing Liv wearing it on her Insta Stories a couple of months ago and it’s been one of my most worn pieces since. The Los Angeles print is super cool and always makes my outfit feel more summery, as it is pretty much summer all year round in LA (not jealous/bitter at all). I’ve shared these jeans before on the blog but I bloody love them at the moment.They fit perfectly and switching a blue jean for a white pair is a great way to update your wardrobe for the new season.

Now, let’s talk about these shoes. THESE SHOES. £4 in Primark- yes really! I am always blown away by how cheap Primark really is and although I can’t always find amazing pieces in the clothing department, they pretty much always have a great collection of shoes. I picked up a different pair, that I’m sure will be on the blog soon, for £6 and I just couldn’t believe that I had bought two pairs of shoes that I loved for a tenner! These gingham pumps are much more comfortable than I thought they would be. I have seriously wide feet so I’m always worried about wearing flat shoes like this but I actually think they’re really flattering on my wide feet as they kind of have a slimming effect. These sunglasses are also a new purchase from Mango and I think they’re so great. It’s really nice to have a neutral pair of sunglasses that aren’t black but that go with everything. Plus, the subtle cat-eye shape is probably my favourite in a pair of sunglasses as I find them quite flattering. And ,of course, I’m wearing my trusty Zara straw bag. Swapping a leather-style bag out for a straw bag really is a great way to update your style for summer though.

Summer doesn’t just bring style inspiration for me though. It’s the time where I feel my most creative and motivated. I think this is mostly due to the fact that I’ve been in education and sitting exams for the past 4 years. So the first few months of summer are usually, for me, spent working extremely hard and forcing myself to be motivated and the remaining months are time for me to let myself go and relax, which always evokes lots of creative energy. This year, I’m in my first year of university, which means the work I do does not count to my overall grade, so there isn’t as much pressure as there has been over the past few years. Because of this, my motivational levels for revision have dropped a little bit but my creativity is in overdrive! I always feel like I have to suppress some of the things I enjoy during exams in order to focus which, in turn, makes me want to do them more. This year I’m letting myself do them more than usual but I still feel a little restricted because of UNI, which is frustrating but also just makes me so excited for summer.

I remember reading Just Kids by Patti Smith during my A-Levels last summer (this is a must-read BTW) and because this book shows off the extent to which Patti is such an incredibly creative person, it really lit a spark of creativity for me, which I wasn’t able to release until after my exams. This book and this feeling are reminiscent of summer to me now. I’m thinking of re-reading it, or another book of hers, in the next few months to hopefully inspire me even more.

I’d love to hear what inspires you creatively, whether it’s a particular season, a book or anything else! I have a good feeling about the next few months of summer and I’m hoping all this inspiration will manifest itself in my blog. So stay tuned!

Top- ASOS (sold out, ASOS stock some other great Daisy Street t-shirts though)

Jeans- Vintage (similar here)

Shoes- Primark (should still be available in store)

Sunglasses- Mango

Bag- Zara

 

Is There Meaning Behind ‘Millennial Pink’?

So-called ‘Millennial Pink’ has pervaded social media for the last few years. It seems strange that after years of neutral ‘scandi colours’ being the go-to colour palette that pink should take over. It’s hard to escape this shade (or shades) of pink in the world of social media and, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I love how ‘Millennial Pink’ looks, as you might be able to tell from the outfit I’m wearing in this post. It’s a relatively neutral colour but still definitely moves away from a monochrome colour palette and, despite perhaps pretending I didn’t like it in my early teens because it wasn’t ‘cool’, I really do like the colour pink. But what is it about it that everyone has suddenly gone crazy for?

Pink has long been a colour associated with girlhood and femininity. Because of this, I feel like many people detach themselves from it when they’re growing up. I guess this can be an act of feminist rebellion or an attempt to impress boys at school and show them that ‘you’re not like other girls’ (YAWN!)- for me it was probably, sub-consciously, a little bit of both. I never totally turned my back on the colour pink but I do think I associated it with not being very ‘cool’ during my high school years (perhaps this has something to do with the fact that I remember owning a book called ‘Pink Knickers Aren’t Cool’- not sure if I ever got round to reading it but perhaps I made an assumption from the title). Whether this is something that everyone experiences, I’m not sure, but I definitely think the colour pink went through a period of being out of fashion.

So why is it suddenly the colour of the moment? Perhaps it’s a re-claiming of the typically feminine colour, an attempt to re-define it as genderless. I like this theory but I don’t think that’s really why my Instagram feed is permeated by the colour. The Cut, in their analysis of millennial pink made the point that ‘gone is the girly-girl baggage; now it’s androgynous.’ And this is true. Millennial pink has transformed this feminine colour into something that features in bars and restaurants whose target audience is made up equally of both genders. Menswear has definitely taken note on the trend too and incorporated it with success. But what about a hot pink or a magenta? Are they still ‘uncool’ and ‘girly’? Is this neutral shade of pink as far as society is willing to go in dissolving gender stereotypes? Maybe I’m looking into it too much (this is a very regular occurrence for me as an English student) but I think there’s interesting discussion to be had here.

Going back to the early 2010’s obsession with neutral colour schemes, I am really curious as to how we came to pick a shade of pink as the colour of the moment. The Guardian puts it down to various things including Wes Anderson’s colour scheme throughout ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ and the creation of the rose gold iPhone (although I personally would not describe rose gold as anything close to millennial pink but maybe that’s a little pedantic). They describe it as representing ‘a kind of ironic prettiness, or post-prettiness. It’s a way to be pretty while retaining your intellectual detachment. It’s a wish that prettiness could de-problematised.’ I found this so interesting. Again, I think this links back to the gender stereotypes attached to the colour. Pink is perceived as girly, vain and maybe even vapid. But ‘Millennial Pink’ is neutral, sophisticated and ‘artsy’ (the fact that it featured so heavily in a Wes Anderson film, I think, immediately attaches this cultural element to it). Do we really all still care about the stereotypes attached to colours? Did we ever? The phenomenon of ‘trending colours’ in itself suggests so in my opinion.

Like I said, I really could be looking into this too much but it’s something that fascinates me. I’d also like to make a disclaimer that I am in no way attacking Millennial Pink or people who use/like it as I am one of those people and it genuinely is a very appealing colour. This is an outfit that I love despite it’s relevance to the post and it’s truly a colour I wear often.

Anyway, before moving on to talk about this outfit, I’d like to include some of the comments on The Guardian’s article about millennial pink here as they amused me greatly and they deserve to be shared. One commenter shares ‘I like it because it’s dull and inoffensive’, which makes my analysis seem a little bit pointless. Can’t really argue with them though- fair enough!

A comment thread that is a bit more relevant to this post (phew!) and made me laugh reads as such:

“Commenter One:

I call it rosegold myself. Pink is too feminine.

Commenter Two:
Rosegold is far more butch
Commenter Three:
Rosegoddamngold.
Commenter Four:
Colours have genders? Who knew?”

I hope you enjoyed those comments as much as I did! Anyway, to talk about these photos/this outfit a little bit- firstly, I am so happy with how they came out and am very impressed with my mum’s photography! After staring at endless amounts of cherry blossom trees out the window on my bus journey to and from UNI, I was determined to get some photos with them, and luckily enough we have one right outside my house. Even more lucky is that I bought this jumper only a couple of weeks ago and it co-ordinates perfectly with said cherry blossom. I love this jumper because it’s really reminiscent of the Ganni jumper that I swooned over for months during winter but is obviously way out of my price range. After seeing this Urban Outfitters version on Georgia Meramo, I patiently waited for it to go in the sale and managed to pick it up for over 50% off at £21- not too bad! Paired with my Topshop cords, this really does make for the perfect millennial pink outfit in my opinion (even if I’m ‘technically’ too young to be a millennial). Despite my previous discussion of removing gender stereotypes, I really do like how my more ‘boyish’ converse counteract the femininity of my straw bag and also maintain a neutral colour palette against the pink.

I’d love to hear your views on the symbolic meaning of the colour that has perhaps defined the ‘Instagram generation’ (I don’t know if that’s a real phrase or if I’ve just made it up). Do you think it means anything or do you just think people simply like the colour? Feel free to tell me that I’m looking into it too much- I won’t be offended at all because it’s something I have to remind myself of every single day as a chronic over-thinker. But I also like to think that everything in life has some sort of meaning, so there you have it!

Jumper- Urban Outfitters

Trousers- Topshop (sold out, similar here)

Sunglasses- Warehouse (old, similar here)

Shoes- Converse

Bag- Zara 

The Power of Sunshine

So today I’m going to be talking about the weather- how very British of me! Seriously though, I can’t even believe the heatwave that we experienced a couple of weeks ago actually happened now I’m back in my jumpers and coats. But it did! And I have photo evidence to prove it! British people really are obsessed with the weather but there’s good reason for it in my opinion. The weather has such a significant effect on my mood, motivation and social life and I always feel so much happier during the summer months than in the winter. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas but I really feel like summer brings out the best version of me and I’ve recently decided that moving to a hot country would be worth what I’m sure would be a weird and disorientating feeling of experiencing Christmas without freezing cold weather and lots of layers.

During the UK’s week of sun, I threw my university deadlines to one side and really made the most of it. Something I did with relative ease and would not have been able to do without serious anxiety and guilt usually. But as warm weather is so rare in our country, I really felt a sense of carelessness, which was so unusual and liberating for me. I feel like the sun loosens everyone up a little bit- well I’m certain it must do really if it makes someone as uptight as me loose track of my work. Obviously this might not be a good thing for everyone (aka those who are already a little nonchalant about their workload) but getting a little bit behind on work to enjoy times with friends and family surely doesn’t hurt anyone.

That brings me nicely on to my next point about the power of sunny weather- it really gets an introvert like me out of the house a fair bit! I spent time in beer gardens, getting some work done with my friends outside rather than tucked up in my room as well as going on a night out, which was so nice. Leaving the comfort of my own space is always a tiny bit of a chore for me when the skies are grey and depressing but any time I had to spend indoors during the heatwave was spent rushing to get back outside. As mentioned in my last post about being comfortable with yourself, there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert and enjoying staying in but sometimes it can be too easy to get a little bit carried away with how much time you’re spending with yourself, which before you know it leads to feelings of loneliness and isolation. So I think a little push from the weather that makes you feel eager to spend time with other people is always a positive thing!

I spent the final day of sun we experienced, which just so happened to be a Saturday, in my favourite ever city and hometown, Liverpool. After sitting in a pub to watch the football (only a tiny bit against my will) Sam and I went to The Bagelry for lunch, which I would 100% recommend- I had the most amazing vegan pancakes and it’s super affordable. We spent the rest of the day wandering around some shops and then went on a night out to Heebie Jeebies with his housemates which was so much fun. It was such a nice day/night and I was in a great mood the whole time (which, I have to admit, is rare), which I’m putting down to the weather.

The skirt I’m wearing I bought only the week before from Topshop, thinking I wouldn’t be able to wear it for months or even ever in the UK, and so I was super excited to have a chance to wear it only the week after. This vest is also from Topshop and it’s one I picked up last year. I also have it in white and they were both staples in my wardrobe throughout the entire summer of 2017. I think they’re really flattering and I was obviously very pleased by how well these two shades of blue co-ordinate. Whilst my dark-wash denim jacket adds another shade of blue to the outfit, I especially love how the contrast stitching highlights the whites of my outfit. It’s kind of ironic that I’m wearing an outfit that consists of various shades of blue whilst talking about sunny weather and happiness but I promise there really is no symbolism behind these colours.

I’m also wearing what is my current favourite bag from Zara. You’re probably going to become sick of the sight of it because it’s going to be featured in lots of upcoming posts. But I absolutely love it and I would 100% keep an eye out on Zara’s website for a re-stock of it if I were you. These slides are so simple (and were such a bargain) but they really do elevate every outfit I wear. I particularly love styling them with some boyfriend/mom style jeans for an effortless look that is also clearly put together. And finally, these sunglasses that I’ve definitely neglected a bit too much over the past few years. They’re a little bit OTT but I actually really like that and I think they’re also quite flattering for my face shape.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and I’d love to hear about how the weather affects your mood. Are you a summer person like me or do you prefer the winter? I’d especially love to hear your reasoning behind the latter as despite the joys of Christmas, my birthday and all the other festivities I just can’t get behind the cold weather and so would love to hear your thoughts! Let’s hope for more warm weather in the UK! (Although I haven’t got my hopes up too high- classic British cynicism hey!)

Top- Topshop (no longer available, similar here)

Skirt- Topshop

Jacket- Topshop (no longer available)

Shoes- New Look (no longer available, similar here)

Sunglasses- Le Specs

Bag- Zara

Becoming Comfortable In Yourself

Photography by Jenny Gavan.

‘Being comfortable in your own skin’ is a phrase that has been used lots over the past few years as body confidence has become more and more of a ‘hot topic’. This is something that I think is really great and I wish this emphasis on being confident in your body was more prevalent in my high-school years as I know it would have helped me to accept what I looked like, and specifically my body, much more than I did. However, pushing my journey with being comfortable in my own skin aside, today I want to talk about simply becoming comfortable in yourself as a person. I’ve changed so much as a person over the past three years and it’s something I’ve struggled to adapt to. But now I’m coming to the end of my first year at University, I think I’m becoming much better at unapologetically being myself.

I’m including these photos with a post about self-acceptance because they were taken on a main road and in an arcade, two places where I got a multitude of strange looks while posing. So, on this day, I really had to feel confident in myself and what I was doing. I’ve mentioned this before, but the reason it took me so long to re-start a blog is because I wasn’t comfortable enough in myself to do so. Posing for photos then sharing them all over on social media and taking part in almost daily ‘shameless self-promo’ is just something I couldn’t see myself doing, even though some of the people I look up to most do this every single day as part of their full-time job. Since launching my blog 3 weeks ago (I can’t believe it’s been ONLY 3 weeks), I feel like I’ve begun to accept myself for who I am more than ever before, not just in doing things related to my blog but with everything I’m up to in life.

Throughout my high school years, I was a huge extrovert. Socialising was what I most looked forward to and I especially loved drinking and partying on the weekend with my friends. I’ve always enjoyed time on my own even during this phase in my life. But at this point, a Saturday night-in was rare and I was happy that this was the way it was. I’ve always been conscientious and enjoyed (most parts) of school and education but I never took it too seriously during high school. But when I started sixth form, almost three years ago now, my attitude totally changed.

From day one of sixth form, I was doing excessive amounts of work every day, completely pushing myself to my limits. During my first year of sixth form, I coped with this. Socialising was still a big part of my life and I was going out most weekends. I had a new boyfriend and my ‘work-life balance’ was pretty good- even if this meant getting up super early to start work or staying up all night to finish it. Although my social life didn’t suffer this year, my mental health definitely did. I didn’t know it at the time but I think this is where my anxiety really began to develop. I set my targets so high academically that I would make myself feel bad if I wasn’t getting everything I needed to done. So, in my second year of sixth form I decided, and I’m not sure whether this was conscious or sub-conscious, that I needed to spend most-all of my time working towards my A-Levels.

A whole post would be needed to talk about the effects of A-Levels on my mental health and I’m not going to go into that now but essentially, my attitude towards work kind of led me to become more introverted than I already was. It was also in my second year of sixth form that I developed a sort of intolerance to alcohol. I haven’t got a formal diagnosis but I basically become very ill off as little as one or two drinks, so this also obviously discouraged me to go out as much. I was never unhappy to have to stay in though. At heart, I think I’ve always been an introvert because some of my happiest memories from my teenage years are being sat on my own in bed doing something creative, which is my absolute favourite thing to do now. But I think the pressures of A-Levels and my practical inability to drink alcohol really allowed the introvert within me to materialise.

I’m also a very anxious person so this combined with being an introvert and my issues with drinking obviously don’t mix well with British UNI culture, which mainly consists of socialising and drinking alcohol. So since starting UNI in September, it has been kind of difficult because I’ve felt like I really do know who I am and what I like doing but because I didn’t want to isolate myself from people at UNI (which I’m glad I didn’t because I’ve met some amazing people) I kind of had to go against what I knew about myself.

Now I’m a little bit more settled in at UNI and I no longer constantly feel like I need to try and make friends, I feel much more able to be myself. I used to be really embarrassed about going home for the weekend because I was feeling anxious. Avoiding doing so actually led to a pretty bad panic attack during a seminar back in November. Now, I know that there’s nothing shameful about going home for the weekend, even if I’m not feeling anxious and am just doing so simply because I want to. Everyone’s different and some parts of UNI are great for people and others are not. I personally love the academic side of my degree, but living in halls isn’t something I love. Some of my friends though hate/hated their degree but love/loved living in halls. There’s nothing wrong or shameful with being in either of these situations and I admire anyone who is brave enough to admit to this and change their situation for the better. Also, I’d just like to point out that I really don’t hate the social side of UNI. I struggled to adapt to the constant socialising but I feel like I’ve managed to find a balance now and am really enjoying it at the moment, even if I need the odd weekend at home to spend time with myself.

So I just wanted to write about my ‘journey’ (lol, cringe) with becoming comfortable with who I am to try and help others accept themselves and those around them. I’m no where near 100% comfortable with myself and still feel guilt for lots of the things I do. But being able to identify that guilt and shake it off is really important. You should never feel bad for doing something you want to do because life is too short to put yourself through things you don’t enjoy, most of the time. That’s enough clichés for one post anyway, moving on to talk a little bit about my outfit…

This is very much a staple outfit for me during the summer, if the loafers were swapped for my Vans. But I would definitely style it with the loafers for a more formal, evening-appropriate look. This is my absolute favourite blazer (even if everyone and their dog owns a similar one) because, despite it being patterned, it goes with everything and the Prince of Wales check adds such a classic look to all of my outfits. I lived in this denim skirt last summer and am planning on doing the same in the coming months. A denim skirt is, again, such a classic piece and is so easy to wear. On colder days I like to style it with a chunky knit and on warmer days with a crop top. For British summer-appropriate weather, I’d style it somewhere in the middle, similarly to how I’ve worn it here with a T-shirt and a blazer. I love this Mia Wallace t-shirt with this red bag as, I think, the subtle colour-combination really ties the outfit together. Plus, a printed t-shirt and a bag that is any colour other than black always makes an outfit that little bit more interesting, in my opinion.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post! I’d love to hear about your journey with self-acceptance in the comments. I’ve linked everything I’m wearing or similar alternatives at the bottom of this post.

Top- Bershka

Skirt- Pull & Bear (old, similar here)

Blazer- Pull & Bear (old, similar here)

Bag- MissGuided

Shoes- Pull & Bear (similar, almost identical, here)

The Stigma Around Blogging

My blog has now been up and running officially for a week and I’m enjoying so much having it as a place to share everything I’m interested in. From designing the website, to writing the posts, to taking photos, a lot goes into it but I’m loving every part of it and feel so happy to have a space on the internet where I can finally do these things that I enjoy. Thank you if you’ve been reading my blog posts and showing your support on social media over the past week- I’d probably continue running my blog and writing posts even if no one was reading them as I genuinely do enjoy it so much, but it is also really nice and rewarding to know that others are enjoying it too,

However, something that I’ve noticed, not just in the week that I’ve been running this blog, but back when I ran my old blog and ever since taking an interest in bloggers and the blogging community really, is the stigma around blogging. It’s the reason that I wouldn’t share my previous blog, that I had for around 3 years, on social media and the reason that it took me so long to start up this one. It’s definitely something that I don’t think is as prevalent for me as it was a few years ago, whether that’s because of the people I surround myself with, the growth of the blogging community, or simply me giving less of a sh*t of what people think. But even if this stigma has diminished, people still seem to have a problem with blogging.

Actually, I think I should re-phrase that. It’s not just that people have a problem with blogging- no one turns the nose up at the fact I run the Girls Against blog- it’s blogging about personal style and creating a blog around yourself and your own life and personality that seems to really carry a stigma. From people looking at you weird when someone’s taking a picture of your outfit or the bitchy remarks made about the fact you’re willing to post these pictures on Instagram to the sarcastic mocking of anyone who plucks up the courage to do so, there’s something about personal blogs that people just aren’t comfortable with.

I think it’s probably something to do with how ingrained self-deprecating is into British culture. Most people just aren’t at ease with being confident in themselves- and I’m not saying that I’m a totally confident person and always feel great about the person I am and what I look like- but I don’t see a problem with photographing an outfit that I’ve put time and effort into putting together  because I think it looks good. I still struggle when I’m talking about my blog or anything that I’m doing that is either/both unusual or I’m doing well in not to do so with an air of self-deprecation. But I always, always, always make a conscious effort not to put anyone else down in that position, because you can usually be sure that everyone feels at least some self-doubt about something in their life, so they don’t need others putting them down about it too- especially if it’s something positive.

I really couldn’t care less anymore if people think blogging is ‘vain’ or ‘weird’ because it’s something that I love doing and I know it’s affecting my life in a  positive way. If there’s anything you’re thinking of doing, whether it’s starting your own blog or something totally different, but you’re putting it off because of what people might think, just do it (and no, this post is not sponsored by Nike- that cliche has just come in handy here). People are always going to make comments and say things behind your back and give you weird looks in the street (this one is mostly applicable to blogging but would definitely work for other things too…I hope) so you may as well just start doing something that you love for yourself.

Anyway, I’m including these photos whilst discussing this topic because they were taking in a very public place where I got my fair share of strange looks whilst posing amongst the leaves and in the mud for them. Also, these are my favourite photos that I’ve shared on my blog so far (and will probably stay that way for a while) and so I thought they were appropriate for a conversation about doing things you love and self-confidence! They were taken by the amazing Jenny Gavan and there’s going to be a couple more posts with photos taken by Jenny coming up in the next week or so that I’m really excited to share, and hopefully even more in the future! Jenny is an incredible photographer and I’d highly recommend taking a look at some of her work- you can find her on Instagram @jennygavanphoto.

I’ll also talk a little bit about this outfit (and then I’ll shut up because this post is getting loooong). Starting with the jeans because they’re how the styling of this outfit began, I picked them up in a vintage shop called Armstrongs, recommend to me by my lovely friend Anna, whilst in Edinburgh a few weeks ago. After having them taken up they fit perfectly and I’m so happy to have them in my wardrobe as a pair of white straight-leg jeans are something that I’ve been looking for for quite some time. And, to top it all off, they’re by Yves Saint Laurent which, although I’m not big on buying designer clothes (purely because I cannot afford them- let’s not pretend that I’m taking some sort of admirable political stance here), I was pretty excited to find these for £20. My favourite pair of jeans were actually £1 in a charity shop and so now I’m always on the hunt for good second-hand denim and I have a feeling this pair are going to be another of my favourites.

This bardot top is super feminine and I like how it offsets the more boyish shaped jeans and converse and oversized fit of the denim jacket. The bag, which I ordered almost immediately after seeing it on Georgia Meramo and Emma Hill, also adds a feminine touch, as I feel a straw bag always does, and makes the outfit a little more spring-appropriate, which I love as I live for spring and summer dressing.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and these incredible photos. Thanks again to Jenny for taking them- I couldn’t be more happy with how they came out! Let me know in the comments or on social media about your experience with blogging and if you’ve ever noticed ‘the stigma’ (as I think I’ll ominously refer to it from now on).

Top- Pull & Bear (similar here)

Jeans- Vintage (similar here)

Jacket- Topshop (similar here)

Shoes- Converse

Bag- Zara

 

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Let Me Introduce Myself

Welcome to my blog, Words By Alice– a blog name which isn’t particularly creative, or even entirely accurate (as I’m going to be sharing much more than just words), but I’ve wanted to start up a new blog for so long that I decided the name didn’t even matter that much. I say ‘new’ blog for a reason; I had a blog for around 3 years called ‘Style Comes From Within’ which then became ‘If You Like It Wear It’ (obviously I had a thing for cringey, cliche names) which focussed totally on fashion content. I gave up on that blog around 3 years ago and have wanted to start blogging again pretty much since then. I went through periods of loving my previous blog and posting frequently and periods where I had nothing to post about and, therefore, didn’t.

So, I’ve decided that this blog, Words By Alice, is going to have no particular category because my interests are so varied that I don’t want to always have to be writing about the same thing and I know from past experience that if I’m very into music at a certain point, for example, then writing about fashion isn’t what I’m going to want to do. Something that I always have, and probably always will, love doing is writing, which is how I came up with Words By Alice, a blog name that is totally unspecific and unrestrained. I’m going to be writing about everything from the books I’m reading to the clothes I’m wearing to the food I’m eating and much much more!

Anyway, now I’ve given, perhaps a slightly extensive, explanation of my blog name, I’ll tell you a little bit more about myself. I’m 19 years old and currently studying English Literature at the University of Manchester, whilst spending my breaks from UNI, and some weekends, at home just outside of Liverpool. My interests are far and wide and include books, fashion, photography, music, veganism and many other things. At the moment I’m very into fashion and style and fashion blogs have always been my favourite to read, so I have a feeling the content on my blog might initially sway towards this end of things but we shall see!

I’m also a representative for the campaign Girls Against, which aims to end sexual assault at gigs and live music events. I run their blog which you can have a look at here and edit all of the blog posts that go up on the site; so once you’re finished reading the posts on my site and I would definitely recommend you have a look at the blog posts over there because I can assure you that they are great! I also run a monthly book club for GA which I would love for you to join if you’re interested; we read books centred around themes of feminism and intersectionality within feminism.

I have a cat called Harley who I absolutely adore (as you might be able to tell from the amount of love that the above photo exudes) and I’m very much an introvert- keeping up with those ‘crazy cat lady’ stereotypes. I love spending time by myself and would pick a night in over a night out any day. Although I enjoy spending time with my boyfriend of almost 2 years and my friends just as much as spending time by myself, I really need to be by myself, usually doing something creative, to re-charge, which is why I think this blog will be great for me.

These photos were taken in my room at home and I decided to take these photos here for this introduction kinda’ post because, not only is my room at home much nicer than my room at UNI, but it’s where I feel most like myself. I’m so lucky to have a nice big room with lots of natural light at home and it always makes me feel happy and motivated, especially when my little kitty is chilling in bed with me. And where better to get to know someone than in there own room hey? I tidied it a little bit for these photos but I’m naturally a bit of a messy person to be honest so I didn’t go overboard, partly because I don’t want to come across as false on this blog but also because I really didn’t want to tidy my room (I’ll never understand people who enjoy tidying).

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and getting to know me a little bit! I’m not going to keep myself to a strict schedule with this blog as I study full-time at university and have a part-time job as a secondary English tutor. However I am hoping to post at least once a week so I will no doubt speak to you soon!

Also, if you’d like to, you can follow me on Twitter @aliceporterx and on Instagram @aliceporter16.

Jumper: Urban Outfitters (no longer available, similar here)

Jeans: Topshop

Watch: Casio