Before I start, I do want to say that this isn’t a cry for attention – a “look at what I’ve been through! Feel sorry for me!” This is me using my own experiences to try and help others. This is in no way easy for me to write, nor will it ever be, but I finally feel as though I’m in a place where I’m able to use my experiences to try and help others as best I can.

 

Anxiety is a hugely wide topic, and is different for each person. Some people hardly feel anxiety, some people feel anxiety to the point where they don’t want to leave the house. I was the latter of those. In October of 2014, I was diagnosed with social anxiety after a series of panic attacks at school led my head of year to contact my parents, advising them to contact the NHS. I was taken into private counselling that helped me to finally get to where I am now.

 

It’s hard to know when you have anxiety. It’s a realisation, I definitely found that. One day I was walking to school, pulling my skirt; checking in every car window reflection to see if I looked okay; scanning people’s faces and scrutinising their expressions towards me, when I thought to myself “is this normal?” If ever acquire any form of anxiety, then all you’ll be told is “everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their life, even if you can’t recognise it in some other people” which, to me at the time, sounded like the biggest load of bullshit I’d ever heard in my life. But now I’m on the other side I do notice things – I pick up on facial expressions I had made when I was feeling anxious, comments that I’d made, fake smiles I’d put on. Everyone, in some shape or form, does experience anxiety. Whilst your case could be far more extreme than another’s, it doesn’t make you an anomaly or a freak. If anything, it makes you so much stronger and better once you are on the other side.

 

There are several incidents I recall. I was often put into random staff offices all around the school, left alone or with friends to cry or have panic attacks. Panic attacks are horrible experiences that I’d never wish on anyone. For me, they began with a faster heartbeat, then my breathing would become irregular, and then I would start to shake and sometimes cry, or hyperventilate. They’re different for everyone and every context, but it’s important to know what they are and to recognise them in case you or a friend ever has one. I began to feel anxious to the point where I took days off of school, I avoided leaving the house and I was having panic attacks 2-3 times a week. It was hard to get out of that stage, definitely, but it’s not so hard that you can’t do it. You do not just have to sit there and wallow in your illness. There are sources available to everyone that are free and funded by the NHS – and the myth that counselling doesn’t work or that counselling is scary, intimidating, pointless, unhelpful is nothing but that – a myth. Without seeking help nothing can happen.

 

I know it’s hard just to tell your parents sometimes, or even your friends (God knows I hid it from the majority of mine) but once you do it’s so much easier to access help. People will tell you this thousands of times in your lifetime, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

 

However, if you’re in a position that you feel you can’t tell anyone close to you, here is a list of hotlines, chat rooms and websites that are available 24/7.

 

As clichéd as it sounds, nobody has to suffer alone.

 

Sophie x

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Payday last Friday definitely meant the same thing as it always does: go to London. Spend all money on things I don’t really need but absolutely love. Cry halfway through the month because I’m broke, but still living like a queen because I spent all my money on good shit.
Having expensive taste is an emotional rollercoaster.
That being said – here are some of the products that I’ve bought this month and what I think of them.

Brandy Melville

I absolutely love Brandy’s stock – whilst I think their ‘one size fits all’ policy does more harm for them than good at times, for skinny girls everywhere it’s perfect; for girls size 12 and up, it’s a little more of a battle, which is why I think Brandy gets into trouble with the media at times because they are clearly not advocating or celebrating people of all body types (which I think any large company should do in order to receive good, long term business with loyal customers). That being said, some of their more flattering products are definitely worth looking at, and the prices are hard to beat; Brandy is often one of the first stores to sell a new trend. Now that they ship all over the UK and Europe, Brandy are really going to take off in 2016.

I bought:

 The Jeanne Bralette – £9

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“It’s Better in New York” Tote, £8 (only available instore at Carnaby Street)

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I’m not one to go into a shop and buy something that I haven’t wanted for a long time (since I’m on a bit of a budget), however upon seeing the Jeanne bralette I felt a little compelled. It’s so gorgeous, and actually went against my usual fear after purchasing something at Brandy:  everything I’ve ever bought hasn’t fit right, or needs pulling down every five minutes due to being excessively short, but in this situation I think their ‘one size fits all’ policy has actually worked – as you can see, it doesn’t exactly look welcoming for anyone over a B cup; I thought this would have to be exchanged straight away, however it fits perfectly and looks amazing underneath muscle tanks or flannels. It’s at an amazing price, and I would 100% recommend it.

A single tear is rolling down my cheek whilst I write about this tote. I’d wanted the shirt that they sell of this for so long, and having given up hope on ever finding a Lush tote, I purchased it.
Two hours later I walk into Lush and find a tote.
I cannot justify having two of the pretty much same tote bags, so now I am selling it on Depop. It’s so so gorgeous and if I could live with myself having both, then I definitely would, however this is just too nice to let sit at the bottom of my wardrobe for two years and then chuck away. So buy it.

Lush

I am SUCH an advocate of Lush. I think they are such a good example to other retailers as to how to treat your customers, and their policies on animal testing are everything my vegan heart aspires to follow. I could talk for hours about Lush – but it wouldn’t exactly be phrased well as I’d just shout “I LOVE IT” for about three days.

I bought:

The Fighting Animal Testing Bag – £6.95

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Tea Tree Water toner water – £4.50 (100g)
Sea Spray hair mist – £9.95 (100g)
Cup O’ Coffee exfoliating mask – £6.75 (150g)
Sea Vegetable soap – if you know Lush, you know that they price soaps uniquely by their weight. Sea Vegetable is £3.25 per 100g, and I paid £4.50 for about 150g.
Brightside bubble bar – £4.95 each
Three free samples of different facial moisturizers as I couldn’t make my mind up – I was given Imperialis, Gorgeous and Vanishing Cream (these came in tiny pots and aren’t in the photo)

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Firstly, the tote bag is like Jesus was resurrected in tote form. That’s basically it. And it’s really strong.

I’d heard a lot about the Tea Tree Water, and if I am perfectly honest I haven’t noticed too much of a radical difference in my skin, however the application is SO convenient; you just spray it on your face and then you’re done.

I’d also heard a lot about the Sea Spray, and I can definitely see why. Whilst I’ve made my own sea spray in the past and had moderate success, this gives my hair such a nice texture without tangling it or leaving it sticky and gross.

The Cup O’ Coffee mask is just as gorgeous and after my mother threw Mask of Magnaminty in the bin (yes, she really did) I thought I’d try something new. Whilst it doesn’t do much to fight acne and spots, it leaves skin so soft and smooth, and the smell is heavenly (if you’re addicted to coffee and drink 5 cups a day like me).

It’s a known fact that if you want soap that’s going to produce a thousand bubbles and lather really well, then Lush is not the place you should go. However, if you want soap that smells like the gates of heaven opened, then it is. I’m such a huge fan of really fresh smells like citrus fruits or cotton, and Sea Vegetable provides a very crisp smell that resembles the ocean and just smells so so good. The only thing I will say (this is me being stupidly pernickety) is that Lush cut Sea Vegetable in a cube block, so when you wash it’s sort of inconvenient, however if you just rub some into a flannel then this problem completely goes away, but then wastes more of the soap. Dilemmas, right?

Now is time for me to tell you one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in a shop in my entire life. When my cashier totalled up my order my eyes must’ve popped out of my head because she asked if I wanted to take out some items, so I took out Brightside and Herbalism (which is a fresh cleanser I’ve wanted to try for a while, but obviously can’t now review since I didn’t get it) and then bought the rest. When I left the shop I looked into my bag and saw Brightside sitting at the bottom. I thought it was a mistake at first, however after rifling through my receipts I found this card:

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Which is just the nicest thing ever. This is why Lush completely trump other retailers in terms of customer service. In terms of the product – it smells of mandarins and is absolutely gorgeous. I’d say if you use it sparingly you’d get about four baths out of it, and it turns your bath not only bubbly but bright orange.

If I’m being blunt about their moisturizers, I can’t particularly tell much of a difference between them, other than that Vanishing Cream is much thinner, but out of the three I’d go for Gorgeous – however, at £42.50 per bottle, I’m not spending that much anytime soon, and I’d definitely still recommend Imperialis.

That’s it for this week. I’m trying to get better at uploading consistently, and already have another post underway (!!), so hopefully I will see you next Sunday.

Love, Sophie x

For me, one of the most fascinating parts of modern culture is street style. I’ve always found it fascinating that the clothes people wear can almost depict them as characters – whether you’re the girl that wears a-line skirts and bows in your hair or the boy that decides to don skinny jeans and a duster jacket, you can identify yourself as classy, grungy, rebellious or frankly like you don’t give a shit at all. And these are my top 5 favourite female celebrity street styles of this year.

5. Zendaya Coleman

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18 year-old Zendaya is one of the most up-and-coming people at the moment, and her swift bite back over the criticism of her having her hair in dreads and being photographed with celebrity friends Rihanna and Taylor Swift definitely prove this. She’s impeccably dressed for every red carpet events, but even when she’s simply heading out to pick up her lunch in sweats and no make-up, she still looks effortlessly flawless, and has even made double denim look fashionable.

4. Taylor Hill

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Perhaps not one of the most well-known people of the minute, but definitely one of the best dressed. Victoria’s Secret Angel Taylor Hill has already walked for Ellie Saab, Alexander Wang, Versace and DKNY at the mere age of 19, and I expect we’ll be seeing much more of her in the remainder of the year. Whether she’s dressed smart or casual, she’s frequently donning an oversized jumper or coat and I can’t wait to see how her style (and fame) develops over the years.

3. Vanessa Hudgens

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After her rise to fame in High School Musical (everyone’s favourite childhood movie), her singing career and her appearance in 2014’s worst movie Spring Breakers, Vanessa Hudgens has proved that whilst she may not have been in some of the world’s best movies, she’s been dressed in the world’s best clothes. Often seen out with her beautiful boyfriend Austin Butler, she incorporates clothes of different cultures and time periods into each well-crafted outfit we see her in. Whether she’s decided to bring back one of her gorgeous paisley-print looks from Coachella 2014, or she’s paired a duster coat with knee-high boots, throughout 2015 Hudgens has had such a versatile style that she could probably go out in a bin bag and it’d be featured in Forever 21 the next day. Plus she manages to look good in flared jeans.

2. Halsey

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With her new album ‘BADLANDS’ out this week, Halsey’s (otherwise known as Ashley Frangipane) incredible voice is supported by her incredible (and affordable) fashion sense. Frequently seen in American Apparel, her style is unique but it works perfectly for her and her ever-changing hair colours. She’s been criticised for the amount of skin that she shows, but the self-proclaimed feminist is a walking example of the belief that a girl should be able to wear whatever she wants without receiving criticism – something that I am definitely an advocate of.

1. Taylor Swift

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In the top spot is none other than Miss Swift herself. Other than being one of the most inspirational and popular people of the decade, with 7 grammies at the age of 25 and her new album being (in my opinion) one of the best that 2014 saw, Taylor Swift’s street style is impeccable. Swift is never photographed without an amazing outfit – she combines classic with modern, often seen wearing knee-high socks or a leather satchel paired with current trends (such as skorts or platform shoes) – and it looks flawless. Another talent of hers is dressing perfectly for occasion – whether she’s gone to buy cat food or to an awards ceremony, she has mastered the smart-casual concept without spending ridiculous amounts; she’s frequently seen in Missguided and H&M.

In the end, I think street style is really dependant on confidence – stop picking up shirts and thinking ‘I’m too fat/thin/ugly/potato-looking/insert other to wear this’ – start thinking “I love this shirt and I’m going to wear it because I love it and I look fucking amazing in it.” And all of these five girls exhibit that attitude, which is why they all wear their clothes so well.

See you next Sunday!

Sophie x

Ten minutes ago, whilst brewing my second cup of coffee of the day, and eating my second avocado half of the day, I pondered my aspirations in life. Journalism. New York. Confident. How am I supposed to get there? Through working. Through putting in the effort. Therefore, I wound up here, and with a strong urge to discuss one of the most controversial topics in our generation: feminism.

The first branch I’d like to discuss is stereotypes. Some people seem to think that when a girl or a woman decides to become a feminist, there’s a rulebook that’s handed out to them, stating that they should hate men, that they’re forbidden to shave their legs, that getting a boyfriend should be considered a sin to them. If you google the definition of feminism, the result you receive the result: “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of equality of the sexes.Not “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of hatred towards men.” Not “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of never shaving hair on your body and never getting a boyfriend due to thinking that all men are egotistical misogynists.” Speaking as a feminist, I shave my body – that doesn’t make me any less of a feminist than someone who allows their hair to grow. It also doesn’t mean that shaving means that I’m more likely to get a boyfriend, or that I’m shaving in order to get a boyfriend. I am shaving for myself, because I want to shave. Not because at some point society decided that a woman is only desirable when her body is free of all hair other than that on her head.

If you type into google “why are feminists…” the suggestions it gives you are shocking and disgusting.

  • “Why are feminists ugly?”
  • “Why are feminists sexist?”
  • “Why are feminists fat?”
  • “Why are feminists so annoying?”
  • “Why are feminists so stupid?”

Ugly, fat, stupid and annoying? Many idolised, successful, beautiful and unfortunately objectified people in showbiz are self-proclaimed feminists: Amy Poehler, Anne Hathaway, Beyoncé, Hilary Clinton, Taylor Swift, John Legend, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The list goes on and on of intelligent people who want the equality of gender – and if the last two names shocked you, then there’s no need to be shocked. There’s no rule to say that to be a feminist you must identify as a woman. And again, there’s that stereotype. ‘Why are feminists sexist?’ – that’s misandry. A misandrist is someone who “dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against men.” When you compare those two definitions, they sound completely different; but the lines are unfortunately blurred constantly.

There’s some (sadly delusional) people out there that believe that feminism isn’t needed and that men and women already have equal rights. Feminism is needed because a woman earns 78 cents for every dollar a man makes. Feminism is needed because only 32% of countries in the world support a girl’s rights to attend middle school and high school. Because globally, women only hold ¼ of parliamentary seats. Because people are taught to ‘cover themselves up’ to protect themselves from getting raped, but taught nothing about consent. Because in a woman’s lifetime, she has a 1 in 262,365 chance of getting attacked by a shark but a 1 in 6 chance of getting raped – however 100,000,000 sharks are killed a year due to human threat but only 16.3% of rapists are imprisoned. Feminism is needed because if I have a daughter, I would never want her to grow up in a world that she was worth less than someone else just because they identified as a boy and she identified as a girl.

Sources and facts from @feministculture on twitter and this website.

I always hate these parts of things. These awkward-to-read, short encounters like the pilot of a show, a first meeting of a mutual friend, or in this case, a first blog post. The recipient of this (aka, you – as fortunate or unfortunate as you feel that you are) hopefully should take some interest in this, but I feel it’s unlikely from the way that things take off. Usually YouTubers or bloggers gain popularity from that one post that just blows up. You think “I have to know more about this person” and you wind up here – their awkward, poorly written first post. But nobody ever sees this solitary introduction post. Nobody ever looks for bloggers or vloggers or twitter personalities when they have one post. So, if in the unlikely even that you end up here and see this one post, welcome. But in the more likely event that you’ve seen a far more interesting post and have stalked through my posts to find this, thanks for taking an interest. I hope you like my blog.

I’m Sophie. I’m 15, I live in the suburbs of London (which is a more interesting way of saying ‘Surrey’) and I adore fashion. I discovered my love for fashion not long ago, actually. I struggled with self-confidence issues for a long time – I still do now – and my way of coping with that was dressing to hide myself. Baggy t-shirts, jeans, hoodies, trainers. There’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s who you are and that’s your style. But when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t look like the person that I wanted to be. I didn’t see Sophie – I saw someone else, who was scared to express who they were, as dramatic and clichéd as that sounds. So I decided, why not dress to be Sophie? To be who I wanted to be?

As I explored more into the idea of fashion, I realized how much I appreciated the way that different clothes made me feel. If they made me feel confident, if they reminded me of places or people, or if they were just so stunning that I felt proud to wear them. With that and my love of writing, I knew that I wanted to be a fashion journalist.

Writing has interested me my whole life. I’m not just using this blog as a portfolio – I want to get as much out of it as I can. I know that most teen blogs you see are the same, a wall of “today I went here. It was great. I wore this. See you again soon.” Hopefully I can produce something different. This blog isn’t just to build a platform for my future, it’s for me. It can benefit me and I know that.

I want to discuss so many things on here. Fashion, of course, is one of them, but I have many things I’m passionate about. Feminism. Positivity. Body image. Gay rights. There’s so, so much that I know I could talk about for hours, and write novels about. This is my way of expressing it.

I hope you enjoy my writing.