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Why you don’t have to be “That Girl”


So imagine this. You are in your late teens/early twenties and you have a little bit of time to yourself. You may not know it, but you really do value this time. However you don’t have the energy or motivation to go for a walk, pick up a book or paint. Instead, the easiest thing to do is to pick up your phone. You’re bored of Snapchat, you’re probably aware on how Instagram can have a negative impact on your mental health and you only use Facebook to keep in contact with your grandparents. Instead you choose to scroll through the glitzy, glamorous and still rather new TikTok. You do however wish to improve your life, perhaps be more productive or improve your mental health. And perhaps you have been through quite a bit of crap in the past, giving you a greater desire to reach a happier and healthier mindset. Lucky for you then, there are plenty of these short “self improvement” videos in TikTok. In-fact, it has become so desirable that having this kind of lifestyle has become known as “that girl”. You know that you don’t exactly have the healthiest lifestyle or mindset at this moment, but you really do want to change this.

What Being “That Girl” Means?

This was what I was wondering when I first came across this term. But the term basically refers to a young woman who at least seems to life a highly desirable and healthy lifestyle. While, as you can guess, “that girl” is used in order to motivate people to improve their lifestyles. Usually it involves someone waking up early, sometimes at a ridiculous time; which in my view is any time before 7! Following this, she always works out usually sporting some overly fancy (and expensive) gym wear, either in “a complex home step up or at a fancy gym.” Then before making herself breakfast, usually featuring about 5 different fruits and nothing much else she will often pose in front of the mirror showing off her perfected ab line.

What it is Supposed to Achieve

Ever heard the expression “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. Unfortunately I have, far too many times, as a younger teenager🙄 But we know that for some reason, most would consider it better to wake up early, then go to bed early rather than the other way round. Is it healthier? Not really sure, however waking up early is certainly associated with a more productive lifestyle. Because after all, these videos clearly promote productivity as well as just health, therefore the earlier one is able to work up, the more productive they can be right? As a consequence, these videos should be able to motivate others to manage to wake up, shower (presumably), work out, eat and turn on their bloody laptop for work or whatever before 7am. Despite the fact some people are night owls, today’s culture of productivity tends to imply that those who wake up early are going to be most productive. Not really sure why! Anyway, back to the quote. So why can’t a woman be wealthy and wise like their male counterparts. Because from a personal view, “that girl” to some degree can be seen as a way to empower females to aspire to the same high end jobs which men probably dominate, while hopefully become as accomplished even if it means having to use about 7 different skin care products a day, and eating less than 1000 calories a day.

Toxic Productivity

So while no one knows how many hours “that girl” works, the videos heavily stress the importance of productivity. And whilst we usually get to only see their morning routine, most of us can make the guess that she spends most of her day either at work, studying or doing whatever else throughout the day that is considered to be productive. This is likely to be a reflection of the extent of toxic productivity , which is a term that describes the state whereby people tend to feel guilty when not being productive, and will always go the extra mile be it at home or at work, even if their calender’s already fully packed.

Unhealthy?

In spite the rather health focused stance which most of the videos take, if we dig a bit deeper we can see how these videos don’t necessarily promote the most healthy choices. One way is by which many of the videos tend to promote under eating, whereby one source estimated that the average “that girl” would eat fewer than 1200 calories a day, which would be less than what is recommended for a toddler. What’s more, when we are overly busy to the extent where we cannot find sufficient time for ourselves and the things we enjoy doing, we should know that this is anything but healthy!

Whitewashing

I could promise you that if you were to head on to TikTok and type in “that girl”, the vast majority of videos would feature thin white girls. Now this is likely to be as a result of different factors, including TikTok’s algorithm and that possibly fewer girls of color are joining in on the trend. This suggests that TikTok still sees thin white girls as the ideal, meanwhile girls of colour often don’t feel confident enough to join in on the trend. This way, it also sends a very specific message to girls, in that if you can only join in with this trend and lead a successful life if you are white, thin and are from a wealthy family. Therefore, similar to the “Girlboss” trend, the inspirational side to “that girl” is very exclusive.

So I imagine that there are many females who sometimes wish they were “that girl”, whether they’d heard about it or whether they have better things to be doing in their free time than aimlessly scrolling through TikTok! However, while on the surface this kind of lifestyle may seem like the ideal, from underneath we can see how this can usually be unrealistic, very exclusive and even damaging. Therefore, next time you regret not having your life together, remember that health looks different on everyone, and while you may wish to lead a productive lifestyle, it is also essential to be able to take time for yourself.

80% of users between the ages of 16-34

Why the ‘That Girl’ TikTok trend is more sinister than it seems  – Fashion Journal

Who Is “That Girl” on TikTok? – Popdust

Who Is ‘That Girl’ And Why Is TikTok Obsessed With Her? (refinery29.com)

let’s chat: Becoming “that girl” TikTok Trend (imerikamarie.com)

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Internet Escapism


2020 was one hell of a year. And all of us have been pushed to our limits. Some have lost jobs, some have had to study at home and most missed out on the things we usually look forward to. In retrospective I would say in particular this has affected the young, and those who were already going through difficult times. Therefore it is only natural that many have sought to find more ways of coping, and considering the circumstances, the internet has been rather appropriate. Of course it is a perfect way to distract ourselves, but is it really healthy, or would it be ignorant to claim that it is “better than nothing”?

What Is Escapism

According to Wikipedia, escapism refers to “mental diversion from unpleasant or boring aspects of daily life, typically through activities involving imagination or entertainment.” This has probably been apparent for hundreds of years, although recently I would imagine it has been on the rise. This can also happen in numerous forms, including gambling, heavy drug use or even persistently reading or watching TV to the point that it strongly gets in the way of what people are going through in other aspects of their life. Often this is related to mental illness, or addiction.

However in recent years there has been a new form of escapism, being on the internet. This is known to be a “very powerful variable that links all psychological problems to addiction induced by internet use.”

How this is a Problem?

I hope you’re all aware of how much of a issue heavy drug or alcohol use is, or substantial gambling. Basically because often it’s extremely addictive, and can ruin people physically and mentally. However other behaviors can manifest into escapism, such as excessive reading or film watching. Obviously only when this interferes with day to day errands. Usually this stems from the person facing severe hardship in their lives as it stands, however escaping to the point that you cannot bear to return is never going to help resolve the problem!

So how does internet escapism come into all of this? Well everywhere. For a start people can use many gambling sites on the internet, which could potentially exasperate the problem. As unlike before where shops would close and people would have no choice but to take a break, now the day doesn’t end. Making it that bit more addictive. However there are other ways people can engross in the online world, in order to get away from real life. Which include in virtual worlds where people can pretend to be someone who they aren’t.

Is This on the Rise?

The lonely and difficult world which many face has probably only been strongly exaggerated by the effects of the pandemic. Therefore many people are likely to have resorted to the internet in a way to get away from it all. This has included spending more time on social media, or within virtual worlds. So you may contest that we have all done so, therefore how is it a problem. Which is certainly true, but it becomes a problem when it gets to the point where it stops one from facing the realities of their lives.

Can This Ever be Good?

Everyone deserves to get help with what they are going through, but come on! This is the real world and nobody is going to get the help which they deserve overnight, or sadly at all… Meanwhile I’m sure most will agree that a distraction can be very helpful at the best of times. Yet I’m sorry, but you cannot “distract yourself” constantly forever, without confronting what you are going through and hopefully getting help. While escapist behaviors can exasperate problems already occurring on one’s life.

Of course escapism is something that has been around, probably forever, and escapism online is just it’s newest form, which is likely to become increasingly apparent. On a small scale, I would say that escapism can be a positive, but not when it gets to the point when someone cannot face their “real” life. It is important to be wary of escapism relating to the internet, because it can look different and the effects of it can potentially be stronger.

My Problem with Grammar Schools


 

So while I have done research for this post, a lot of the commentary from this consists of my own views and experiences. So a bit of background information; I did attend two grammar schools. One being throughout secondary school, and the other being sixth form. Now before I allow myself to slag off both these places, it is true that there were some lovely and amazing people and some really caring and supportive teachers. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t be writing this post if it hadn’t been for the many negative attributes which were rather apparent to myself and others during the time spent in that environment.

What is a Grammar School

A grammar school is basically a selective school, which selects people on the basis of their ability to complete an exam, known as the 11+. At the moment, there are about 1663 grammar schools in England, compared to around 3000 secondary state schools.

Why go to a Grammar School

It is easy to understand why many parents would want to send their children to grammar schools, and even why some young people may prefer to be at one compared to the local comprehensive. For a start, the pupils are mixed with people with similar abilities to their own, fostering a more academic and hard working culture. This should also prevent young people from being bullied for their decision to hopefully work hard. Furthermore, one of the more common arguments put forward in favour of grammar schools, is that it enables young and able people from working class backgrounds to access a high standard of education. So it all sounds fine and dandy then doesn’t it? Nonetheless, if we delve further into this, we can see how Grammar schools don’t necessarily live up to their expectations.

Divisive

Contrary to the assumption that Grammar schools enable working class children to access better education, leading to a certain leveling out in society, statistics plus my personal experience will tell you otherwise. For instance, while 15% of children from across the UK are on free school meals, only 2.6% whom go to Grammar schools would be on them. And while you may rightfully contend that this is relating to the underfunding of those comprehensive primary schools which contain a high proportion of children from low income families, it is also true that often parents who send their children to grammar schools have sufficient money to improve their child’s chances of passing the exam. Furthermore grammar schools alone certainly won’t be able to solve the issue relating to lack of resources, preventing young people from reaching their potential, in both the primary and secondary schools which need it the most.

Putting my personal experience into the equation, I have two things to say really. One, that I do admit to having received private tuition, I which in a way I am grateful for. Yet it obviously raises the question as to whether I would have passed if it hadn’t been for this. It was also very apparent that those who went to my secondary school and sixth form were on average financially better off compared to those whom went to my primary school.

A Toxic Environment?

So this won’t be in the best written form, but rather my experiences written as they are. But basically throughout the school, I felt as if there was a lot of pressure whilst it was a very competitive environment. Consequently, it led to many people feel bad about themselves, leading to a more unhealthy, toxic and more dare I say bitchy environment.

Do They Even Work?

Prior to taking any exams, I had always assumed that in the end my grades would be better due to having been to a grammar school. And now having had experienced two lots of exam periods (one being rather odd maybe) and having received two lots of results, I still assumed that this would be the case. Nonetheless, there are studies which have told us otherwise. For example, Kent retains a fully selective education system, nevertheless pupils do no better on average compared to the rest of the UK. While the results attained by those from “backgrounds of social disadvantage” are “markedly worse” than the national average for similar pupils. Inevitably, this would make anyone question not only the fairness, but really the effectiveness of having grammar schools.

So thankyou for reading, and feel free to express any views either for or against grammar schools.

Take care and see you soon

Full article: Grammar schools in England: a new analysis of social segregation and academic outcomes (tandfonline.com)

Grammar school pupils ‘gain no social or emotional advantages’ by age 14 | Grammar schools | The Guardian

4 Reasons Grammar Schools are a Bad Idea | Blog | CLASS (classonline.org.uk)

What are the pros and cons of grammar school? – Flying Start Tuition

The Problem With Y2K Fashion


I have noticed that when I talk about Y2k fashion, often people don’t know what I’m on about. Even though it seems to be all over the internet at the moment. However this said, most people who know about it are going to have to have at least some remote interest in fashion. Plus I reckon that most of the people now sporting the outfits are going to be younger than those around at the time of era which the style resembles (early 2000s) who would have been old enough to know what was going on. But that is not really the point.

Rather that the models look young, and I mean very young. Also thin, also white, probably tall; you get the drill. But would it be reasonable to argue the Y2k trend is more so this way than past fashion fads?

What is Y2k?

Around the time, Y2k was used to describe a computer bug (known as the millennium bug), that was expected to happen as the year changed from 1999 to 2000. Now, Y2k relates to an era between the late 90s and early 00s; and is mostly associated with bubbly pop music, fashion, nostalgia (obviously) and technology. Here is a little mood board anyway…

So what’s wrong with Y2K?

From a personal point of view, I actually love at least most of the aesthetic and fashion (although I’m not too big on the low rise jeans).

Nonetheless, what most would associate with Y2K now, would be very different from how the culture really emerged. Because while we think of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, low rise jeans and or even cute cami tops which you would find on shein, a substantial number of people who had initially contributed to the culture haven’t been recognised as much as they deserve. For a start, many of the popular items that are now heavily associated with Y2K, were once associated with impoverished black American areas of the USA. Meanwhile the glittery accessories, bright hair and fur coats which are usually featured on white women, can be attributed to Lil Kim.

Is it a Good Outfit or is she just Skinny?

If I were to go on Pinterest and spend about 10 minutes looking at “outfit inspo”, then I could promise you that if I were to gain a pound (in money) every time I saw a small girl sporting an outfit that would look either bland or ridiculous on myself (no in-betweens), then I would be more than able to take a few days off work! Nonetheless, it is said the reason why models are so skinny, is so that attention is drawn to the outfit they are wearing, rather than their body. Yet as we scroll through looking for outfit inspiration, many of us are going to see the thin girls as the desirable body type. But surely, body image has always been an issue within the fashion industry, so what is so wrong with Y2K? Well, during this era, any body slightly larger than this ideal, would often be seen as “too big” (even if most would still describe it as thin). This ideal would often be referred to as the “heroic chic”, which involved “angular bone structures, pale skin and an extremely thin frame.” What’s more, is that many of the items of clothing were especially revealing, and because they were heavily featured on very small bodies, many who remembered the fashion from the time have actually raised concerns about how it will impact people’s body image!

Can we Reclaim it?

It is reasonable to argue that since 2000, the “body positivity movement” has come a long way. This has sent messages to girls and women to accept and embrace their flaws, and to dress how they would prefer as opposed to hiding their bodies. As a result, some women have began to feel slightly more confident in their own bodies, meanwhile there is probably more representation of a range of bodies now compared to in the past. Nevertheless, most would agree that there is still a considerable way to go, before women of all sizes can all really feel confident in their own bodies. And whilst there have been some plus and mid sized women choosing to wear more revealing Y2K clothing, it is also true that many women are concerned about embracing the trend. Furthermore, it would be important for the Y2K trend to be more inclusive toward people of colour and to acknowledge the origins of the era. Nonetheless, as it stands while there are people of colour embracing the trend at this moment, generally the style still strongly favors white people instead. Therefore, while all of us can choose to enjoy the fashion while embracing our own bodies, it is likely there will be a considerable time period before all of us can really enjoy general trends at ease.

Y2K Fashion Returning Doesn’t Mean the Departure of Body Positivity (studybreaks.com)

SINCERELY AMINEE (tumblr.com)

TikTok Didn’t Want You To See Ugly or Poor People On Its App (nymag.com)

This is what ‘body positivity’ looked like in the 2000s | Revelist

Why The Return Of Low-Rise Jeans Is Concerning To Millennials | YourTango

Is Woke Culture as bad as we think it is?


Right, so I am going to begin this post in a slightly different way by apologising for the fact that some of the research for this post has come from sources with, shall I say, views of a slightly different political slant to my own. And I would think different to a lot of you who frequently read my posts.

For someone like me, it is slightly annoying when there are people out there whom once they have finished expressing their own personal views (which they are in every right to do so), they have the tendency to destroy the views of others. And to add the cherry on top, I reckon that many of them would like to destroy us! Absolutely f*cking wonderful. But it still leaves a space for us to ask ourselves, what is it that they seem to despise about our approach. As part of it, is seen as being “woke”, and whether one would actually want to identify as being “woke” or not, it is true that a lot of people seem to highly oppose to the idea of being “woke”, for one reason or another…

What is Woke?

Most of us have heard the term thrown around enough times, often in a derogatory way. One source states that it is “being plugged in and being actively aware of the world around you”. While the origins of the term actually stem from the “black community and its fight for equality”, mainly relating to the civil rights movement. In recent decades the term has become more common, while has evolved in meaning often used to describe (or poke fun at) people’s political views on the liberal left. An example would include when burger king used the term to describe their new Vegan burger, or better still, when one of their recent commercials was described as woke. Yet as well as just in a jokey way, “woke” has been used as an insulting term, therefore what is it that makes people sneer at the term?

Where it’s most hated

As you can guess, “woke” has received more backlash from the social right as opposed to the liberal left. These groups tend to express their concerns that woke people are inferior, for being “self righteous”, “judgmental”, “moralistic” and overly sensitive. Part of this could be down to how “woke” people are perceived to judge people who are less “woke” than themselves, or have contrasting political views. As well as due to the extent of political correctness on society today. As a consequence it can lead to those with diffferent political views feeling as if they’re prohibited from expressing their own beliefs. The impact of this has probably been enhanced, as a result off the recent phenonom, “cancel culture”, which often results in particular views (and people”, being “cancelled” on social media. This way, it can be understood why there is such a strong dislike of woke culture among many groups who may claim to feel surpressed. Which in turn, has led to a movement in which some refer to as “anti cancel culture”, whereby key figureheads include Pierce Morgan and Laurence Fox.

So What’s Actually Wrong with Woke Culture

So whilst it can be understood why people are against woke culture, surely at the end of the day it has got to be a positive movement considering how it basically encourages people to be “woke”, or “awake” of what is happening around them. Nonetheless while the meaning of woke can be interpreted in many ways, and while people have claimed that it can be used to describe a range of political views providing they have a good understanding of the issues, we all know it is mainly used to describe the standpoints of those on the lib left. This kind of culture means that often (although by no means not always), people who hold very different political opinions would feel prevented from speaking about them openly, which can result in them feeling as if their views are being suppressed. Because of this, rather than certain issues being up for discussion, “unwoke” views are just held within these people, preventing the chances of these people from being educated. This results in more people feeling as if they are unable to put their views forward, resulting in more feeling disengaged preventing people from becoming more educated. Furthermore, it can result in complaints among those who identify with being “woke”, or hold similar values due to feeling that they’re views are always going to be correct rather than being willing to further develop their political values.

So while the emergence of “woke culture” is likely to be a reflection of the growing number of young people politically engaged, it is also true that a large number of young people would probably turn their noses up at being referred to as woke, for a range of reasons. Therefore, while it is important or us to be as politically engaged as we can be, it is important not to close off some of the views which others may hold, and allow a platform for open and honest discussion.

Performative Activism on social media and how it affects people! – Youthdeck

The White Savior Complex – Contemporary Racism

5 Bad Habits “Woke” People Need to Break • EBONY

Why I’m Not Woke | Opinion | The Harvard Crimson (thecrimson.com)

The Promise and Problems of Being Woke | Psychology Today

How the word ‘woke’ was hijacked to silence people of colour | Metro News

Update-12/07/21


Hello, I know that when you are reading this it will no longer be the 12th, but as this is the day I am writing this, I have decided to keep the date the same!

First of all, I know this is the first update in a long time. In fact I know I haven’t posted much at all in a significant period of time. Apologies for not doing so, but I had chosen to take a break from blogging back when I had exams. And as you can guess, the break has been longer than anticipated (yeah, state the obvious). Yet as I went into the holidays I found that I was very busy working full time, seeing friends, while I needed to take time for myself as well.

I will continue to do all these, but I feel ready to dedicate more time to blogging again because I love doing it, and there’s an amazing blogging community.

So far the holidays have gone pretty well, and I know I have already mentioned what I have been doing, but it has been lovely to be able to catch up with friends and have more freedom (at least for the time being). Meanwhile as I write this, I am on the way back from Swansea, whereby the reason for visiting was to see the university, but we also explored the city and the surrounding area while we were there. The university seemed really good and I especially liked how it seems to be more focused on career prospects, extra curricular opportunities rather than plainly grades! Also the city is nicer than I had expected and south Wales is just beautiful! We went to go see the waterfalls, went to a few different beaches (along the Gower if this means anything to anyone), and I went swimming in the sea a few times. I really want to be able to travel more over summer as well.

Concerning work, I am actually starting a new job on Wednesday. And while I’m nervous, I’m actually looking forward to it quite a bit because a) is much more local so I don’t have to wake up as early, b) better pay and c) I hope it will be more varied. But the main reason for changing is basically because there was someone at my old work, in a position of authority, who was a dic*head, if I want to use a polite and rather modest word. And you could say he was, well, dirty 😕

Also I’m going to have an attempt at journaling (you know the thing where your supposed to write something along the lines of a “to do list”, a “gratitude” list, and whatever else you may want to include. I have just written a to do list for each day, a practice of good habits (like drinking 2L water a day, you get the guise), and a gratitude list. And while I don’t want to say that it not likely that I will stick at it for long because then it is almost manifesting that this will be the case, I know that often I’m not good at sticking at things for very long, so if I am still journaling by say this time next month, then I will let you know how it is getting on. Otherwise, I probably won’t mention it! I have also been trying to read more since the beginning of the holidays, and to be fair it is going OK. Oh, and I watched the final yesterday evening, and I mean why penalties? Although saying it, I wasn’t expecting England to win, and they did really well to get to the final.

Thankyou for reading, and take care:-)

Why Diet Culture is so Damaging!


Perhaps people of all shapes and sizes pop into your head when you think about a “healthy” person. They’re reasonably happy, they eat a balanced diet, don’t drink (too) much alcohol and they probably have a fairly active lifestyle. Alternatively however, we may subconsciously think of someone who is quite small. Or should I say thin. You would imagine they would spend a great deal of time exercising, while you envy them for the amount of vegetables they manage to consume within a day. In fact, you may have even wished that you were able to eat a more “balanced” diet yourself, so you perhaps attempt to follow along with some rather strange diet, which involves things like cutting carbs out, or even involving almost putting your body into starvation. But come on, we ought to know that all bodies are different, therefore for everyone to try and look as small as possible, even if it includes cutting out half food groups, cannot really be healthy. So why do we think that it is?

What is Diet Culture?

Without there being a rigid definition, there are a variety of views and personal definitions relating to this term. These have included involving a system of believes that “worship thinness and equate it to health and moral virtue”, “promoting weight loss as a means of attaining higher status” and “oppresses people who don’t match up with its supposed picture of “health”. This I would agree with, and would say that diet culture heavily promotes and glorifies weight loss, often at the consequence of people’s health. Furthermore it fails to take into account that we are all different therefore all of us are healthy with different bodies, and we metabolize food slightly differently from one another.

The pervasiveness of this can be seen by how brides are often encouraged to lose significant amounts of weight before their wedding so they can “look their best”, how women who lose weight quickly after pregnancy are often congratulated, even though the process is unnatural.

Loving your Body Should not be Dirty

One of the key messages that diet culture tends to send, is that us normal people shouldn’t feel good about ourselves. Instead it is often seen as “conceited” and “stuck up” to talk about out bodies in a positive way; while it is perfectly normal and accepted to talk about our bodies in a more self deprecating manner.

Simultaneously, we are taught that certain foods, such as those which may contain higher amounts of fat or sugar, or even carbohydrates are inherently “bad”, while those low in such are vegetables. To the point where we are often made to feel as if our bodies are poisoned! Therefore how should any (healthy) person be expected to love their bodies, when they are consuming such a considerable amount of these so called “bad” foods, in order to actually get a balanced diet?

Why is this so Unhealthy

Most of us probably know that it is essential to have a balanced diet, if we want to be healthy. Nonetheless, when we are exposed to content such as a photograph of a very skinny woman in sports wear, nibbling at a lettuce leaf, it can be easy to forget the importance of having an actual balanced diet. However let’s have a look to see how bad this can be for our bodies… For a start, as trivial as this may seem, popular doll Barbie, with a thigh gap and an 18 inch waist, portrays many modern beauty standards. However she would have a BMI of just 16.4, which would be significantly overweight. What’s more, a a 2015 study showed that the popular 1200- calorie meal plan actually fell into the clinical definition of starvation. As a consequence, diet culture has been scientifically proven to have a negative impact on cognitive function, heart health, and mortality, Therefore, the fact that 98% of diets fail shouldn’t come at a surprise.

Potentially this could explain why doctors often have the tendency to blame someone’s condition on their weight, rather than looking further into the actual cause of the condition.

Why the Diet Industry Gets away with it

Profiting from anyone willing to spend money in order to peruse the “ideal body”, the weight loss industry is worth $66 billion.  The first weeks of 2021, where new signups for virtual workout subscriptions and searches for “diet” on Google spiked, demonstrates the eagerness of people to commit to working toward a smaller body. But for one minute, have a think about why so many people end up coming back time and time again. Be it during the run up to summer, where there is the need to have a “bikini body”, Christmas where of course people want to look their best, and come the following January where people desire to change their ways for the upcoming year. From an outsiders perspective, this must seem rather strange, however when we consider that the vast majority of diets fail, this is not going to come at a surprise. Nonetheless, this certainly isn’t something the diet industry does on purpose. Instead, the diet industry usually know what they are doing, by releasing products that are unlikely to work, at least in the short run. leaving consumers in a cycle where they tend to lose small amounts of weight in the short run; only to put it back on and soon try another product.

What we can do to Fight Against it

When we are pretty much surrounded by this, knowing what to do about it can almost seem impossible. However there are ways in which we can distance ourselves from this. For a start, we can stop following those on social media who promote diet culture in an unhealthy way, especially those who have no actual health based evidence to back up what they are saying (many unfortunately don’t have this).

Instead, from my point of view, a healthy lifestyle should come first, regardless of size etc. Meanwhile, we should do what we can to appreciate our bodies for what they can do, and really for how they look. As at the end of the day, as clique as this sounds, all healthy bodies are beautiful.

The 22 Best Home Organization Tools and Hacks (greatist.com)

What Is Diet Culture? The Reasons Why Diet Culture Is Toxic (goodhousekeeping.com)

WHY DIET CULTURE IS A PROBLEM TO SOCIETY | WellSeek

What is diet culture and why is it so toxic to our health? – Fad Free Nutrition Blog (nutricionalgrano.com)

Diet Culture and Why It’s Harmful | Fulfilled Nutrition Therapy

Rainbow Capitalism


Each month seems to resemble something doesn’t it. It is no longer just Christmas that gets spoken about, often more than three months leading up to december, while now it is not even enough that mothers day, Halloween and Valentines day are hugely celebrated, or rather commercialized. Instead, as many of you are aware, there are many months in the year now that seem to have a specific theme. Such as Mental Health month, which was back in May, and now Pride Month. Both sounding like brilliant ways of raising awareness, yet meanwhile, it seems as if they are great ways for businesses to take advantage of these months.

But anyway, when you think of pride, a flush of rainbow parties, pride marches may spring to your mind. While most importantly, people who are part of the LGBT+ community may consider pride to be a time to reflect upon the the achievements of the movement, while continuing to be a voice for the millions of LGBT+ people, whom are still unable to speak up for themselves for a wide range of reasons. However the question which I would like to ask anyone who is reading this, is so far this year, what evidence have you seen of pride month? It would be nice if the former was true, but from my experience, there have certainly been more rainbow vodka bottles, floods of various rainbow coloured clothing as you walk through any mainstream retail store, not to forget the rainbow logo that Pret a Manger adopts for a month for a year.

What is Rainbow Capitalism?

While there have been many ways in which rainbow capitalism have been described, according to Wikipedia, rainbow capitalism is the incorporation of the LGBT movementsexual diversity, and pinkwashing to capitalismconsumerismgentrification, and the market economy. And you don’t need to go very far to find an example of it, as just by heading out, you are likely to find multiple brands incorporating the pride flag onto their products, or even evidence of their attempts to produce items relating to pride.

Why do Companies Bother?

It is obvious, companies want to make as much money as possible, therefore if they are able to win over some LGBT+ customers, or if they can get a little more money by selling products relevant to pride month, then it only makes sense that they would do so. Now while many have argued that by and large this is “ok”, as this is just another inevitable consequence of capitalism, which cannot be that harmful considering that it at least raises awareness; what gets to me is the sheer hipocrasy of some of the firms involved in this. For instance, American phone company AT&T who boasts about turning “up the love”, by “celebrating important moments for the community” and by “promoting acceptance”, also happen to be “donating money to politicians that describe gay marriage as a “breakdown of the family.”  Meanwhile in 2018, Pfizer proudly sported a rainbow logo during June, while they also donated nearly one million dollars to 52 anti-gay politicians between 2017 and 2018. While it is true that large companies are probably going to lobby whoever is in power, regardless of varying standpoints on a range of social issues, to me it still seems largely wrong that firms are “working with” politicians who stand against the cause that the firm is alegidely supporting. After all, it all boils down to money.

What Pride is Meant to be About?

Pride is said to have kicked off with the stonewall riots, at a time when homosexuality was still catagorised as a mental illness. While pride is said to be “rooted in riots and revolution, in self-expression, autonomy, and anti-capitalism.” While it is said to remain “a culmination of the trauma all queer people have suffered transformed into a righteous anger and a demand for equality.” Of course this meaning of pride is very important to the LGBT+ community, because it represents the struggles which the LGBT+ community has faced in the past, and continues to face today.

What can you do About it?

It can seem extremely difficult to know what to do, considering that it is extremely difficult if not impossible to avoid buying from these kind of corporations. Therefore, it raises the question as to whether we ought to buy pride related products, from firms who may not necessarily support pride. From my point of view, if possible, then buy from small queer owned businesses, who really care about the products in which they sell in order to support pride. Furthermore, if you are able to, then consider donating to small queer owned companies. However, most importantly, it is important for us to be aware of the issues relating to the way which corporations have the tendency to embrace pride month for profit, without necessarily being the most true supporters of pride.

‘Rainbow capitalism’ is pandering, pure and simple, but it can still help drive social change | CBC News

‘Rainbow Capitalism’ drives corporate transparency and authentic LGBTQ+ support – MiS Magazine | Daily exploration of Creativity & Innovation (madeinshoreditch.co.uk)

Rainbow capitalism: The companies that want your Pride money but have murky records with LGBTQ rights | The Independent

What Is Rainbow Capitalism? How Companies Exploit Pride (refinery29.com)

‘Rainbow Capitalism’ drives corporate transparency and authentic LGBTQ+ support – MiS Magazine | Daily exploration of Creativity & Innovation (madeinshoreditch.co.uk)

The Dark Reality of Rainbow Capitalism (shiftermag.com)

What’s Problematic About School Dresscodes?


It makes sense doesn’t it. For there to be something for children to wear, when they are incapable of choosing something that looks half decent and appropriate themselves. Even if that fails, and they somehow manage to make their outfit, or rather “uniform”, look inappropriate; then at least restrictions can be put on what they wear. You know, dress codes and the liking. But hang on a minute, because often children are left confused, not understanding the reasons behind why they have been told to wear a uniform. Therefore they certainly won’t understand any additional measures behind the dress codes. Not to mention the fact that often purchasing a school uniform isn’t exactly something that man y parents look forward to, where it can often take a large toll on their wallets. Therefore why is it that children are expected to wear school uniforms?

They Help you Learn

I know this contradicts my last paragraph, but the most obvious reason many think of in favor of school uniforms, is that they help students learn better. Yes, instead of being distracted by their surroundings, it does enable children to actually get on with their work! While they are adhering to an environment the same way to which one would be expected to dress in the workplace. In fact, 68% of parents participating in a program agreed, saying their children experienced a general increase in their academic performance, as a result of school uniform and the reason for this is thought to be mainly because they encourage students to “concentrate more on their studies and less on their wardrobe.” Now this perfectly makes sense when you think that children are really too young to know what is appropriate concerning choice of clothing, therefore a school uniform at least should put an end to the extensive period of time children would otherwise be choosing to focus on their appearance for.

“But What About school dresscodes?”

However strict the school uniform policy may be, there are always going to be ways in which students are able to get around the degree to which it aims to make people indistinguishable from one another, and instead choose to alter something else, in order for them to be able to express themselves. Thinking about it this way, there will inevitably need to be guidelines around aspects like hair styles, makeup and you know the guise, and also probably around how the uniform itself is worn. Come on, you know what I mean; skirt lengths and the like! And because children aren’t going to know what is appropriate and what isn’t concerning these things, it is only right that the schools use dress codes in order to show the children what is right and what is wrong, so that as adults they are able to choose the right clothing for the right occasion.

Running Wild

This said, if children are not able to even begin thinking for themselves at school age, then in reality, how good are they going to be at knowing what to wear and what not to wear as adults? Instead, if people have to begin thinking about the way that they dress from a young age, then surely as adults they are more likely to have the ability to dress for different occasions and dress according to their workplace. Because at the end of the day, school should be the place for learning, and if the outcome (and in this case the appearance of the students) even if it is cringy some of the time!

Furthermore, believe it or not, children do have a voice, and a good way for them to express themselves would be through clothing. An example of where this has been prevented, is when a girl was told not to wear a shirt with a pro LGBT+ message on it, supposedly as it may provoke other students to make her a target. And while this may seem petty, clothes actually play a rather significant role in a child’s life, when children lack control over most elements. Therefore, for many children, their choice of outfit may be rather significant.

Reduce Inequalities

When I was younger and was wondering what the point of a school uniform was, I was rather convinced when someone pointed out that they rreduce the chances of less well off students being teased, as a result of them making do with cheaper and a more limited range of clothing in comparison to their ffellow students ffrom wealthier families. You would also think that a uniform would take a significant toll off the worries of parents, considering that they only have one outfit to concern themselves with, rather than a large number. However, from ecperience, I know this most certainly isn’t always going to be the case. I would imagaine my old uniform, includingg the unnecessary items puirchsed in the “PE kit”, would now come to over £140, or something. This way, in reality it is probably cheeaper for many parents to simply buy “normal” clothes for the children!

Sexism

No one would want to be worried that something could happen to their daughter when they are on their way to or back from school. However, unfortunately in the messed up world wee are living in, this happens to be the case. Therefore, it could be argued that it is down to the school to make sure that the girls are going to be safe. In other words, it makes sense that schools are able to control the degree to which girls are allowed to show their bodies. Yet looking further into this, not only is it useless in that tragically girls can experience sexual assault regardless of what they are wearing, but it reinforces the view of women being as sexual objects. That’s because it suggests to girls that they should alter their choice of outfit, because boys are unable to control themselves. Further, it will soon become apparent to boys that this is the case, instead of teaching them to actually respect women! The long term impact of this is detrimental. Meanwhile, within the school environment, it means that girls are likely to be sent home in order to “fix” what they are wearing, far more often than boys, which subsequently disrupts the child’s education. Then, if you don’t think tat all off this is bad enough, I am going to finish this paragraph off with a dreadful example. Where there was a case where a high school in the USA told students not to wear leggings unless they were a size 0 or a 2 (so a size 4-6 in the UK). And while this may be an extreme example, it illustrates the extent to which teenage girls are sexualised within a school environment. Meanwhile at least in my view, discrimination on the basis off size (it’s ok not to be petite girls), is totally unacceptable. Additionally, it most certainly isn’t uncommon for girls to be

At least from my point of view, it is probably true in the case off school unifomrs and certainly true in the case of dresscodes, thatt they are not fulfilling their purpouses inn enabling people to learn. This is due to them being a reflection of some of the ills of the world we are living in. Instead, if schools choose to embrace school unirorms and/or dresscodes ffor the beneffits they provvide, they should do so while aiming to tackle some of the problems which we have att hand, so that some off the ugly “norms” relating to outffits in the UK can be challenged in the long run.

19 School Dress Code Pros and Cons – ConnectUS (connectusfund.org)

The Good and Bad of School Dress Codes – The Good Men Project

Sexist Dress Codes in Schools Are the Real ‘Distraction’ (bluenationreview.com)

Here’s What’s Wrong With High School Dress Codes (grownandflown.com)

Arguments Against School Dress Codes | LoveToKnow

Hustle Culture


What should I do with my life? This is a question that I expect you have asked yourself enough times, yet most of us have either already or will in the future may be asked this exact question by others. But how would we be expected to answer this? Work, work work. As the more that we do this, the more likely we are to become “successful”, therefore what other genuine options would there be? Just think, as long as we study hard, have a job, have some kind of “productive hobby” on top of many side hustles, then at least we have the chance of being ok!

Come on! Let’s just be honest and admit this is rather boring? As I would imagine that from deep down, you would not want this to be your life.

Hustle Culture

Described by Doctor April Wilson as being “about a human doing rather than a human being” hustle culture involves the American values being the national preoccupation with work ethic and individualism. Of course, there are many ways in which it can be interpreted, but generally it relates to working considerably long hours, normal than the “average” 40 hour working week. Often this can be in aim of becoming more well off, and can sometimes be as a rejection to working standard hours “to make someone else rich”, and instead involve the person working horrifically long hours, to make themselves wealthy.

Side Hustling

So if hustle culture is where all of us run about like chickens from from one task to another, then what on earth could a side hustle be? Well, the term side hustle originally came about in relation to the poor working conditions of black people in the first half of the 20th century. Traditionally used in black newspapers including the Chicago Defender, and described “what one did to survive in a climate hostile to the possibility of prosperity via traditional full-time employment.”

Now it is used to describe a job usually for additional income, which someone works alongside their full time job. Usually 6-15 hours are spent on it a week; while for 43%, it is a different job to their usual day job. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 Brits have a “side hustle”, on top of their normal day to day job. This “sharing economy” is increasing income inequality among the bottom 80 percent of earners, partly because some people working in the gig economy are highly educated, and performing traditional roles which would have previously gone to manual workers.

The Gig Economy

Ironically, markets within the gig economy have used hustle culture to idealize working for their companies. Which in reality, as most of us know, generally companies within the gig economy often get away with paying less than the minimum wage, workers are on zero hour contracts and workers do not receive the rights they would be entitled to if they were working for a different employer. An example of this would be with Uber, whereby their website had made a claim to the term, glorifying the term and portraying having a side hustle as freedom. This can lead to people seeing the Gig economy as a “flexible stepping stone to a better life”, contrary to the harsher reality, whereby most who take on a side hustle do it as they have no other alternative way of making ends meet; on top of the fact there aren’t usually any worker’s rights.

Furthermore it is estimated that 35 percent of the American workforce was a part of the gig economy. This may at first seem shocking, but considering the numbers of people with a “side hustle”, it is not too surprising.

Can Side Hustle Culture ever be Something to Yearn for?

One source likes to split a side hustle into two types. One as a “second gig”, which is basically something people would choose to do in order to make ends meet. The other, as the “life coach definition”, which would be another source of income, but it would also be something the person is passionate about. This way, many who may wish to pursue a side hustle, may actually be doing so because they wish to learn new skills or even be able to focus on a hobby, while getting paid a little. In fact, those earning £15,000 or less a year are significantly more likely to have a side hustle for their hobby rather than those earning £55,000 or more. However this could be because people on lower incomes feel that it is more important to be able to make money on their hobbies, however small the amount may be.

To sum up, the way I see it, side hustle culture seems to be about the “Gig economy” using the term to glamourise the harsh reality of it. This is seen by the way how Uber have adopted the term on their website. This has led to various elements of media, and really society to draw up upon hustle, and side hustle culture in a positive light. However, the way I see it, none of us were born on this planet to only work and do nothing else, it is exhausting and unhealthy. Instead, considering that we are human beings, it is important for us to be able to take time out and absorb our surroundings.

Side Hustle Culture: how poverty is forcing urban youth culture into precarious (and sometimes dangerous) informal employment – Bubblegum Club

3 Lies That the Side Hustle Culture Leads You to Believe (entrepreneur.com)

The ‘side hustle’ culture: Is this the new norm? – Hiscox Business Blog

The Startup Industry’s Toxic “Side Hustle” Fixation – The Ringer

Hustle Culture: Is It Time to Slow Down? | Daily Life

How can I trust anyone else, when I cannot trust myself?

April Update


Hello, first of all I need to apologise for not uploading or generally being as active on here as I am usually. Basically I have been pretty busy, and I have had less energy I guess to come up with some decent, hopefully interesting blog posts. This said, I have got some posts on their way😃

First things first, I literally have “mini exams” starting in just over a week (typing this now doesn’t seem real), and while I am fairly confident that I SHOULD get the grades needed for the university I want to go to, I am still sort of worried. Whilst I would like to do a bit better if able to.

Although what does annoy me as an A level student, is that pretty much most of us are basically having to cram for exams in literally 2-3 weeks, which we would have otherwise have had months to revise for, after being told that exams would be cancelled. Literally I am wearing a crystal to get myself through this, and I wish that I was joking…

With me, things still feel pretty weird. Not bad, but I suppose there are just a lot of mixed feelings. Without being too open here, there is a mixture of wanting to be more independent but also fearing it, wanting to work really hard in life then also wanting a lot of time just to relax and appreciate everything, whilst not really knowing who I am. As well as this, without getting too personal, I basically feel as if I am growing out of a friendship that’s been with me since a very young child,just as we are both going in such different ways (and other reasons which I won’t state here). I mean I know these sound like the sort of thing any teen would go through, but still!

Apart from that I am back at work, which is actually nice as I did kind of miss it there, and so far I have been surprised at the number of people actually going and sitting outside and eating, even though this last week has been pretty cold.

Finally does anyone else feel that this year, so far, has gone really fast. Perhaps it is only because for most if it we have been in lockdown, therefore it feels as if none of us have really done much. Felt a little like that last year as well to be fair, although at least now (I hope) we are going in the right direction. Now there’s probably quite a bit more I could say, but I think I will leave it here, otherwise my scattered ass brain will just ramble on about thing which no one is probably interested in.

But I hope anyone reading has a nice few weeks 🙂

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