Women who have a positive influence on my life

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I have witnessed a lot of women – especially as of late – tearing each other down, seeing each other as competitors in an unhealthy way and just not seeing a good sense of sisterhood and that honestly upsets me. I don’t like the slut shaming or bitchiness, there’s honestly so much of it going on and it genuinely breaks my heart to see. So, to make a change, I thought I would do a blog post dedicated to women who influence me in a positive way in life. From famous faces to family and friends, I am going to celebrate some amazing ladies here and I hope this post encourages you to do the same and remember we should unite together. There’s a lot against our gender and we should be part of the #GirlGang and stick together.

Famous faces

Little Mix

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Little Mix are currently one of the biggest girl groups of our generation. Besides their catchy music and beautiful looks, what really appeals to me is what these girls stand for. They are girls for girls and as much as they have a glitzy and glamourous life, they are very down to Earth and keep it real. The real life issues they face aren’t hidden. True, they have private lives, but they are fairly open with their lives, including struggles. This was hugely showcased in their latest book, ‘Our World’, where the girls discussed struggles growing up such as family splits, illnesses and insecurities. Though all four girls influence me, I think it’s Jesy who I can relate to the most. During her time on ‘The X Factor’ she struggled a lot with her self-image and it’s something I also have an issue with. Though I may not have the confidence she has now found in herself, she has inspired me to try and be able to look in the mirror and not be in hate with myself. I’ve got a long way to go but she is someone who shines a guiding light I can look towards.

Demi Lovato

102.7 KIIS FM'S Wango Tango, Backstage Portrait Studio, Carson, America - 14 May 2016

Demi Lovato suffered majorly with her mental health and to make things worse, it was all under the spotlight of the media. The demons faced in struggles of mental illness are beyond difficult, but Demi overcame many issues and has found a way to deal with her struggles. She has turned a negative into a positive by getting involved with charity work and organisations relating to what she has been dealing with and is living proof that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes, during my darker days, I can look to Demi and be reminded that this doesn’t have to be permanent and I can eventually get to a better place.

Miley Cyrus

The ONE Campaign And (RED) Mark World AIDS Day And Celebrate 10 Years Of Progress With Concert At Carnegie Hall In New York

Though quite the controversial character and someone I no longer consider myself a fan of, credit is due to Miley as when I was growing up, she was the first woman I looked up to. She was the person that made me realise it was okay to be different, to not want to walk the same path in life as my peers and to not lose sight of where I want to go. Her autobiography, ‘Miles To Go’, was something I could really personally connect to. It’s also her charitable heart that helped me maintain my passion for helping others.

Beyoncé

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Of course, many women look up to Beyoncé and it’s no wonder why. But beside her beauty and talent, I am in awe of her passion, her work drive. She is extremely hardworking and it’s something people should take note of. What she stands for is something that is also highly admirable, such as her feminist views and of course all her efforts with the ‘BeyGood’ campaigns. She also flies the flag for beauty in women not only in the stereotypical sense, but in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, backgrounds, religious views and that women are worth a lot more than written off as.

Joan Jett

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Perhaps it’s thanks to Joan where I first got my feminist views, even if I didn’t realise. I loved how she paved a path for what she wanted to do and was considered what is different from ‘norm’ for women, especially when it came to music. She’s done a lot of good for females in the industry and it’s quotes such as “Other people will call me a rebel, but I just feel like I’m living my life and doing what I want to do. Sometimes people call that rebellion, especially when you’re a women,” that empower me and give me the strive to believe I can do whatever I damn well want, regardless of my gender or who I identify as in live.

Miranda Miller, Nia Lovelis, Rena Lovelis (female members of Hey Violet)

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Similar to Joan, I feel as though Hey Violet are bringing back women in the music industry behind instruments and in bands. They’re also very in the know of rights for young people and our generation. In particular, Miranda, Rena and Nia do face a lot of criticism from those who don’t believe in them, but their drive is strong and they work incredibly hard to get where they want to be.

Friends

Sarah

Sarah

Though a few years younger than me, Sarah has taught me a lot. For example, I’ve witnessed her go on a journey of self-discovery and she seems to be a lot happier with who she is as a person. From identifying with her sexuality right down to her beliefs and views in life. Sarah speaks her mind in the most respectful way and isn’t afraid of saying when she disagrees with someone. She’s very okay with being ‘different’ because if this world was filled with people who were all the same, it’d be pretty boring. Sarah isn’t very materialistic either and takes every small thing with the utmost gratitude and is happy with the smaller things in life. She is always willing to go without if it means it benefits another person for the best, which is something highly applaudable.

Camryn

Camryn

Of course, I could definitely consider myself as a fan of Camryn’s, but I also feel I can call her a friend. Camryn’s journey as an artist is beyond inspiring to me. She started out at a very early age and managed to prove herself to being a success, despite being so young. Camryn has worked tirelessly on her career and it has definitely paid off – by the time she was 13 she had toured with One Direction AKA the biggest boyband of this generation twice. She also became the youngest indie act to chart a song in the Billboard Top 40 since 1997. She hasn’t become an overnight sensation and I find that extremely admirable because in reality, it’s important to work hard and Camryn is a reminder that things don’t happen with the simple click of a button. What else inspires me is that she is such a genuine and kind person, always treating the people who work with her with the utmost respect and gratitude. When I witnessed this and hearing about her journey in person, it inspired me to pursue my passion as a serious career.

Emi

Emi

Emi is someone who understands her rights as well as others and has her heart in the right place. She is an understanding and compassionate person, but also won’t beat around the bush. She is honest in the most caring way possible and is always willing to lend a hand or offer advice, but will always make sure you hear what you need to hear, but without actually being abrupt or blunt. She is a very woke person who takes passion in equality and human rights. During recent political events, it was Emi who taught me a lot about people’s rights and not just the ones that would benefit myself. She has taught me a lot about different cultures and given me more of an insight of feminism and equality as a whole and not from the point of view of someone who may be privileged such as myself. Her independence and hard working ethnic is also something I look at with admiration and I have full confidence in her getting where she wants to be in life.

Lily

Lily

I only met Lily at the very beginning of this year, but she has had the greatest impact on me. It turns out that Lily and I have had a very similar walk in life and jumped the same hurdles. She has a burning passion to achieve what she wants in life and won’t let anyone get in her way. She’s always willing to make friends along the way, no matter who they may be. Regardless of who you are or your story, you can find a friend in Lily. She’s also not afraid to go out of her way to protect those she cares about and has definitely made me feel a lot more comfortable with who I am as a person, despite my battle wounds. She always has a positive but realistic attitude to everything in life and takes life by the balls and ploughs on, which is something I aspire to do myself.

Family

My Mother

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My mother is the biggest influence in my life. We have a very close mother-daughter relationship. I’ve seen her in some of the toughest battles but she never gives up. She ploughs on, even if it’s as though the world is on her shoulders. She always makes sure she looks after those she cares about and will always see herself go without if it means her family are better off. She is my actual rock and has helped me through the most darkest days I have ever faced. She has done countless of admirable things, but what I am taken back by is how strong she was when my dad fell ill. It was the most difficult time in our lives and not only did she look after me (who was the only blood relative), but she would do everything possible for my dad’s family, too. Though they divorced when I was a baby, my mother made sure she and  my dad maintained good friendship for my benefit and they were best friends. To have to deal with losing a best friend of 30 years as well as a grieving daughter (breaking the news to me being the hardest thing she’s ever done) and help ensure everyone got through the most difficult thing ever was so courageous and brave of her. I know many people would have broken down at many things she’s seen in life, but she strives through it with a brave face and to me is a true warrior.

Emily (cousin)

Emily

Emily and I may as well had been separated from birth. We are so alike but I really love her attitude – she does her best to see the positive, even in dark times. She works really hard to ensure that she gets what she wants out of life, even if there tends to be obstacles in the way. She makes it work, even if it seems almost impossible. She is also the one who opened my eyes to feminism and what my rights as a person and a woman are. She’s taught me so much and never fails to put a smile on my face, even when there’s times where I feel like I can never smile again.

My Gran

Gran

 

My gran has a heart of gold. She always thinks of others and always does right by everyone, even if they don’t do the same for her. She is such a lovely person that she gained the nickname ‘Joan Love’ at one of the places she used to work at. Even though generations have drastically changed since her ‘prime’ times, she will always accept differences and how things may no longer be the same. My gran always has enough love to give to anyone and everyone and genuinely cares for others. She does her best to not let her age get in her way and is the kind of woman I want to be when I grow older (even if she seems 20 years younger than she is).

Angie (my sister)

Angie

My sister was my first role model. I’ve looked up to her for as long as I remember and to be honest, I still do. She’s hard working and always stands by what she believes in. We aren’t close in age, so we didn’t have the stereotypical sister bond growing up and there weren’t really any fallouts or scraps, but to me she set an example that if you work hard and have the right attitude, you can get to where your heart takes you. Life isn’t perfect but in my eyes, she’s always dealt with everything, good and bad, in the best way possible. She’s very intelligent and always puts that knowledge to use. My dad would always both her and my brother up to me as I grew up and even if we don’t share the same dreams, she is someone who inspires me to just keep trying and pursuing what I want in life.

I hope you enjoyed my slightly different post today and if you’ve read this far, I tag you to do this post on your blog or even just a post on YouTube or social media. Let’s celebrate women because we damn well deserve it.

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

October Favourites 2016

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I’ve been on a slippery slope with monthly favourites as of late. I didn’t know what I actually favoured for some months and last month was my birthday so I didn’t want to do a post then because it’d be pretty bias, not to mention my birthday is the tail end of the month, so it wouldn’t have felt fair to me. Not that anyone is going to get offended. Anyway, this month has definitely made up for it all, with a whopping ten favourites to discuss and share reviews with you.

LUSH Shimmy Shimmy Bar

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After Lily taught me a genius little hack with this shimmer bar, I just had to get it. I’m not normally the type to use shimmer bars, but when she told me that these act perfectly as highlighters, I was instantly sold. It works really well, just as Lily said. It was perfect for when I went to a concert at the beginning of the month and since glittery/shimmery highlighters are all the rage, I felt like it was a right steal to get such a glowing look without needing to use a high quality highlighter which would cost a fair bit.

Available from LUSH for £5.50

LUSH Monsters’ Ball bath bomb

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I was given this as a birthday present and after seeing so many amazing Instagram posts of the bomb in action, I was elated to have this. Using it was so fun because of the beautiful colours that fizz from the product were so beautiful and morphed into a gorgeous midnight blue bath water. This is a seasonal product at LUSH meaning it’s only on sale for a specific period of time, so it’s sad to think that I won’t see this product until next year (possibly, if it doesn’t get discontinued) but it’s also lovely to have limited edition products to look forward to.

This product is no longer on sale 

LUSH Lipstick in Decisive

decisive

Another birthday present was this beautiful lipstick. I’m usually one to wear a red lip on special occasions and for eveningwear. It was fairly long lasting and felt light on my lips, with hardly any smudging. I had a fair few compliments, too, which is always nice.

Available from LUSH for £14.50

Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation

all-nighter

I bought this back in Brighton when on a mini spending spree and having heard so many people raving about the foundation that I was intrigued to try it. It’s a full coverage and doesn’t need much product applied to get the perfect and flawless complexion. This was my first high end foundation and I definitely think it was worth every penny, with the product being a luxury and living up to the description of long lasting.

Available from Debenhams for £27

Fifth Harmony’s 727 Tour

Fifth Harmony

As previously mentioned, I went to see Fifth Harmony perform their ‘727’ tour in Cardiff as my friend, Camryn, was the support act. I highly enjoyed the show and although not my most favourite artists, the girls performance definitely changed my opinion on them and I gained a newfound respect for them as an act. Despite them being the headline act, it was Camryn who made the show for me, but perhaps that may come from a bias point of view having been her friend and a fan for so long. The whole show was amazing to watch and I’ve found myself listening to more of Fifth Harmony’s music since leaving the arena.

Olly Murs – Grow Up

This is Olly’s second single to come from his upcoming album, ’24 Hours’ and I really fell in love with this one. It’s relatable for me on a personal level, but I’m fairly confident that everyone has a story that can track back to this song. The music video was brilliant and cleverly made, also highly enjoyable to watch Olly working with young children. It’s a song I’ve been playing a lot and is on my current playlist.

Niall Horan – This Town

The release of Niall’s debut single was pretty unexpected. We all knew he’d been in the studio, but wasn’t really talkative about his own solo career. The song is so beautiful and I always have a soft spot for acoustics. I felt as though the love song was so heart warming and definitely fitted Niall’s style. Another song I’ve listened to a fair bit over the past month.

Little Mix -Shoutout To My Ex

Little Mix are back with the new era of their upcoming album, ‘Glory Days’ and the first single, ‘Shoutout To My Ex’ is nothing short of perfection. It’s the ideal girl power anthem post-break up and is what the girls describe as a ‘happy break-up song’. The premiere was a live performance on ‘The X Factor’ and showed off the strong and powerful vocals of Jesy, Perrie, Leigh-Anne and Jade. The music video is also a fantastic piece of cinematography and highly aesthetically pleasing. It’s no surprise I’ve had it on repeat for the second half of the month following its release.

Our World by Little Mix

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Little Mix’s autobiography released this month which I preordered months in advance. I felt as though the book was very real and hard hitting about the reality of four young girls living typical working class lives across the UK to becoming the first (and currently only) group to win The X Factor and become the biggest girlband of our generation,but at the same time they are fairly humble by sharing both the pros and cons of their careers. I felt as though they talked to their audience on the same level, rather than looking down as they are far superior. I had a lot to say about the book and wrote a review for United by Pop, if you’re interested.

Available from Waterstones for £13.99

The Little Book of Feminism by Harriet Dyer

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I call myself a feminist, since I am for and believe in everything feminism stands for, but I wasn’t fully educated on the background of feminism and how it began, what the origins were. This little book, only 96 pages long, is the ideal book for those wanting to learn about feminism or are intrigued by it, but don’t know where to start. Since fourth wave feminism is currently blowing up in the media, in particular social media and pop culture, this would be the perfect stocking filler for someone such as perhaps a teenager who wants to gain a better understanding of the movement. The book is more full of facts as to what has happened, what is happening,etc. rather than opinion based. It doesn’t go into too much detail, but is great for putting you on track as to understand the basics of feminism.

Available from Waterstones for £5.99

What did you love in October?

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

My PSE teacher was ashamed of Sex Education.

My PSE teacher was ashamed of Sex Education.Hello!

This isn’t one of my typical blogs and I do apologise for not posting as much lately (see this Facebook post as to why) but I’m currently chilling in my room and catching up on social media when I hear about an incident with internet star Carter Reynolds and his girlfriend. I won’t go into details, but if you’re interested, here is a post. The topic I want to discuss, however, does relate. Consent and sex education.

Sex isn’t a thing I tend to talk about for numerous reasons. One being I’ve been single all my life and two being it’s just not something I find I want to discuss all the time like a lot of people my age. However, after reading about the recent events and going back to the Sam Pepper incident, people were bringing up about how the education system isn’t covering enough about sex and the PSHE (Personal, Soical and Health Education)  topics.  I instantly had a flashback back to year 8. We were in a PSHE lesson and a student asked our teacher (let’s call him Mr T for Mr Thoughtless and also how cool would it be to have actual Mr T as your PHSE teacher? ‘I PITY THE FOOL WHO DOESN’T RESPECT A PERSON’S RIGHTS’) “Sir, when will we be learning about sex and stuff?” Mr T turned around from writing on the whiteboard and said

“I won’t be teaching you sex education. I’m not into teaching that kind of thing because quite frankly, that’s embarrassing.” 

Even then as a 13/14 year old I thought that was wrong because we needed to be taught the facts. But I didn’t realise just how much we actually needed to learn because… well, I hadn’t been taught, had I?

Now, as a 19 year old who is learning a lot more about the world, society and our rights, I’ve come to realise what Mr T did was in a way neglect to our education. Teaching us about sex and consent is just as important as Maths, English, History and the rest of the subjects. While the other subjects will help us academically and career wise, we need education on life, our rights and sex just as much as the rest. How else will we know what is right and wrong?

If a teacher teaches sex education and the student chooses not to listen and is irresponsible, then that is the student’s fault. However, if a student is not taught about consent, what is considered okay, what is considered not okay and the like, how is that student to know what is right, what is wrong? It is important to teach people while they are young, still in school and education is compulsory as to what their rights are. Whether that is with sex or just a basic human right, because if they aren’t taught where education is something they need by law, it’s pretty much guaranteed that they won’t go looking for it when they are no longer in education, or at least the majority won’t.

When I was 15, I had a friend who lost her virginity and told me she didn’t use a condom (let’s bare in mind we weren’t even in the same school and were from total different counties.) . I was worried. I asked her why she didn’t and she said “it would have ruined the moment.” I then urged her to visit A&E for an emergency pill. She didn’t understand but after persuasion, she agreed for me to contact a youth worker who I knew to drive us to the nearest hospital. The nurse questioned her and then asked her about her knowledge on safe sex. She didn’t have any. I was pretty shocked.

“I was never taught in school about the importance of condoms or protection. I was just told you need to use them, not why.” 

The nurse then proceeded to explain the basics and need to know of protection, STI’s and other risks. Of course, this was useful for the nurse to do this, but the fact of the matter is, my friend should have been made aware of this in school, not when she was in an actual situation where it could have gone wrong thanks to lack of knowledge provided by her school.

I was never taught about rape in school. I didn’t know what it was until a kid who did know what it was told us. I was taught by my mother at some point, but regardless of parents teaching their children, there are still myths that are about that parents may not be aware that they are not facts, so it is important that someone qualified teaches young people about it. For a long time I wasn’t aware that it was considered rape if your partner forced sex onto you. To tell the truth, I’m pretty sure I’ve learnt more about life and important lessons after school than all the years I was given a free education. How ridiculous is that? It seems as though young people of our generation now have to rely on the internet, finding the information themselves and even from real life stories about other people who didn’t know instead of being taught in school.

I’m very thankful that people such as Laci Green (check her out, she is amazing) are online and teaching the facts and truths about sex, relationships and human rights. However, it doesn’t guarantee that everyone will learn from those people. Not everyone will be online looking for the information because they don’t understand the importance. Teachers need to be teaching what Laci discusses to their students and if they are embarrassed like Mr T was, maybe they should stick to teaching English or Geography.

I just wish the education system would wake up and see just how important it is to teach in more detail about these kind of things instead of “sex is bad. Use a condom.”

I hope you enjoyed my blog and hope you can see where I’m coming from. If you are still in school and not being taught about sex ed and consent, maybe ask your teacher as to why this is and comment below what they said. It would be interesting to find out what the excuse is.

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

A response to The Independent RE: Zoella

I’m not sure what you would call this as it’s not exactly a rant but it’s a response to the Independent in regards to this article about YouTuber Zoella.

This article is discussing YouTube sensation Zoe Sugg AKA Zoella and her impact on teenage girls. I just feel as though the person who wrote the article in question just didn’t do enough research on Zoe. Yes, I watch Zoella’s YouTube videos and while I’m rather fond of her content and her as a person (or at least what she portrays online), I’m not an obsessed fan. However, the article by The Independent branded Zoe as a person who promotes beauty and makes young girls feel insecure due to the fact she supposedly sends out the message that make up and beauty is something a girl must do. When, in fact, she’s not doing this at all.

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Sexual Harassment: it's NOT a joke

I’m pretty angry. Want to know why? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway. Sam Pepper is why I am angry.

For those of you who are unaware of who Sam Pepper is, he is a successful YouTuber who tends to pull a lot of pranks. He has 2.4 million subscribers and over 1.162 million followers on Twitter, so you could say he’s a bit of a big deal.

I have personally never been fond of him. He gets into public social media arguments with other people and the like. But now I despise him.

His last video posted this weekend was titled “fake hand ass pinch prank” where he basically grabbed female’s bums as a prank. I’m sorry, what? This isn’t a prank, it’s a form of sexual harassment. And no, I’m not being a moany little bitch or anything, because here is the actual definition of sexual harassment:

Sexual harassment is bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors.

If you watch the video you can clearly see that the majority of Pepper’s victims are not welcoming his actions and one woman even stated she didn’t like it. Whether or not he apologised afterward or not doesn’t mean anything. Just saying sorry after doing something wrong and inappropriate doesn’t magically make it better.

This isn’t the first time Pepper has done this, either. Videos titled “How Make Out with Strangers” released last year, Sam pressured women on camera to make out with him and again many of those women were visibly not happy with it. They painfully agree to the request feeling confused and caught off guard with great discomfort.

Continue reading “Sexual Harassment: it's NOT a joke”

Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.