Interests

The Body Shop Event: An evening of skincare, shopping and a win for animal welfare

Last Friday, I joined some of the other Aberdeen(shire) bloggers for an evening of skincare advice, shopping and, of course, a glass or two of fizz. The Aberdeen branch of The Body Shop kindly hosted us for a couple of hours after closing time, allowing us to ask about which products are best suited to our own personal needs. We were also able to try some of their new ranges. It was also lovely to see bloggers I’d met before while also meeting some new faces. And to top it all off, I got some fantastic new skincare products. Have a read about some of my favourites!

TBS All
The new additions to my skincare collection

 

  • British Rose Perfume
TBS British Rose
A lovely perfume that comes in a pretty bottle

This perfume is one I’d had my eye on for quite a white before the event. Whenever I was in store for a toner or something (by the way, the toner from the seaweed range is amazing!), I’d always find myself looking at this particular perfume. So I knew it was time to just buy it. The perfume has a very fresh and, as you’ll have guessed, a very floral scent. It lasts throughout the day without being overpowering when you first put it on. And at £20, it’s not too bad a price considering how much we often spend on our perfumes.

 

  • Make Up

 

I’ve used some of The Body Shop’s make up for quite a while now. Having tried a number of brands, The Body Shop’s is some of my favourite. It doesn’t make your skin all shiny and if you do happen to get a shine later in the day, the powder is great for dealing with it. The Body Shop also has some lovely new shades of lipsticks, from reds to more neutral colours; I couldn’t resist adding one to my basket!

 

  • ‘Fall for Pumpkin’ Products
TBS Pumpkin
Each blogger was given one of these on arrival (complimentary!) – it was definitely my favourite product

The first thing you need to know about this new range is that it smells incredible! It smells sweet (but not sickly!) and is actually pretty soothing. It has a very autumnal scent, which is appropriate for this time of year! The ‘Fall for Pumpkin’ cream is by far my favourite product from the event.

 

  • 8 Million Signatures Against Animal Testing!
TBS Animal Testing
The Body Shop is famous for its campaigns against animal testing

In the past week, The Body Shop has achieved its goal of getting 8 million signatures in the fight against animal testing. The petition has since been taken to the United Nations. Animal testing is arguably an extremely devastating worldwide issue that absolutely needs to be changed. It’s therefore fantastic that such a huge international company is doing something worthwhile to help combat animal cruelty.

  • So…

the event at The Body Shop’s Aberdeen store was a pretty great night! I got some excellent advice about my own skincare and also bought some new products that I already love using. I’m also delighted to buy from an ethical company that actually cares about animal welfare on a worldwide scale. And, as always, it was lovely to see some of the other Aberdeen(shire) bloggers. To read about the other The Body Shop event I went to, see my blog post here.

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Society

Why society needs to get over its obsession with people’s gender identities

“But you’re either male or female.” – Not everyone.

“This is just a new trend.” – No, it’s not.

“I just don’t get it.” – Then learn.

In society, there will always be someone who has to criticise and put others down simply because of who they are. It has happened time and again, with particular groups, from the LGBT community to immigrants to the homeless, having been scapegoats. More recently, society’s apparent confusion over some people’s gender identities has become increasingly clear. Not to mention increasingly hostile.

The fact that some people are gender fluid has come into the limelight in recent years. A person who is gender fluid does not identify as male or female and typically prefers to be referred to as ‘they’ and ‘them’.

But society has been incredibly harsh towards gender fluid people; this is arguably due to a lack of understanding and an unwillingness to learn. Even as someone who isn’t gender fluid, I’ve heard people say things like, “I don’t agree with people who say they don’t identify with a gender – you’re either male or you’re female.”

How can someone possibly ‘disagree’ with something they clearly don’t understand? How can anyone judge someone based on their gender identity, especially without having bothered to learn about their feelings and mind set? If someone is a good person and works hard and all the rest of it, why does their gender identity even matter? And why does it matter to someone who’s never even met them?

And I know it’s presumptuous and not my place to say, but I’m sure that any gender fluid person would much rather be asked about who they are if it meant that society would stop making incorrect assumptions and judgements about them.

Even though I’m not gender fluid myself, I really do wish people would just accept that everyone is different and that some people don’t identify as the gender they were born as. I will never know what it’s like to not identify as my birth gender but how does anyone else’s gender hurt me? How does it hurt anyone? Let’s be clear about this: it doesn’t. So why don’t we all just live and let live, and stop trying to create problems that don’t even exist.

Health · Society

Why free sanitary products need to be more accessible as a means of tackling period poverty

Period poverty is an issue that affects many females of all ages. Not only does it exist in the UK, but it is prevalent all over the world. Charities have worked hard in an attempt to help deal with this, but they can only go so far in doing so. While sanitary products are now available in some food banks, there still exists a large number of females who still don’t have access due to low finances and other factors.

It is widely known that you can walk into a pharmacy or doctors’ surgery and pick up condoms funded by the NHS. And I think that is absolutely fantastic: it arguably goes far in preventing the spread of STIs, unwanted pregnancies and other sex related issues.

But if condoms have been made so readily and easily accessible, why can’t it be the same for pads and tampons?

For many women and girls, getting a period is extremely stressful. As well as having to deal with PMS every month, getting hold of sanitary products can be an absolute nightmare. And it’s not as if there is anything we can easily do to prevent them – we unfortunately just can’t help bleeding every month. Not to mention the high cost of pads and tampons!

But there is no doubt that they are also a necessity. They’re needed for hygiene purposes and should be changed multiple times a day (which is another reason why we have to buy them so often, thus incurring further costs)! But unfortunately, for too many females, sanitary products have become a luxury item instead of one they can afford to prioritise.

There have even been cases of girls missing school while being on their period. School is difficult enough, with exams, schoolwork, peer pressure and all the rest of it on teenagers’ shoulders. No girl should ever have to worry about being on their period every month on top of it all. Furthermore, missing school every month for up to a week will inevitably have a detrimental effect on their education; this will arguably further damage their futures beyond school.

Admittedly, having free sanitary products being made available would add additional financial strain to institutions such as the NHS due to the huge scale of the problem. However, something more needs to be done to help the girls and women who need it most. Means testing free sanitary products may arguably be an option; only those people who can’t afford them could therefore get them for free. I personally wouldn’t mind continuing to pay for pads because I can afford to do so. This would arguably go some way in helping the poorest females while costing the NHS slightly less than providing universally free pads and tampons.

I strongly believe that so much more needs to be done to help the most disadvantaged girls and women in society. I also believe that free sanitary products can go far in doing this. Because there is no doubt that it’s absolutely vital that all females are able to go to school or work and continue to live their lives while on their periods, regardless of their social status and financial situation.

Health

If a situation is already difficult, why make it worse?

What’s wrong with you now? What’s happened?

“Nothing”, I respond. “Nothing’s happened. And therefore nothing can be wrong, right?”

Then why are you being like this? Why are you being so temperamental?

“I don’t know”, I think. “I don’t know why I’m like this.”

Well stop it then. Stop pissing everyone off with your low moods, your frustrations… Just stop getting in everyone’s way. Stop putting your bullshit “problems” onto everyone else. You might be a worthless piece of shit but don’t drag everyone else down with you.

“I’m sorry”, I say. I want to scream it at the top of my lungs. “I’m sorry”, I repeat. It’s become a daily occurrence now. I always have something to apologise for.

If you’re so sorry, why are you still such hard work? Why don’t you just stop crying and doing everything to make things worse? Why don’t you just change?

“I want to change! More than anything in the world!” I repeat this on a daily basis too. Why do you think I keep trying to make my internal pain external?

You fucking idiot! Why would you make it even more obvious that you’re a complete fuck up?

I don’t know how to respond to that. I’ve used some awful coping mechanisms to deal with the pain inside of me.

What is the point in even trying to reason with you anymore? You’re completely nuts!

*************************

I stop and I think about it. Despite all the bad decisions I’ve made, I’ve also got to remember all the positives. I might have done some reckless things while at my worst but I’ve also been proactive wherever possible. I’ve spoken to people and I’m taken a lot of the right steps to recovery.

Surely that’s got to be worth remembering?

The above conversation is one I’ve had many times. It goes around my head every single fucking day and it still hurts every single fucking time.

But the funny thing is, no-one else was involved. It was all in my head. I’ve been mentally torturing myself over something that’s not my fault, something I can’t fully control.

And it really doesn’t have to be that way.

I’ve started to realise, though, that life is hard enough without adding to the pressures of everyday life with anxiety.

I’ve already suffered enough without making things worse for myself, haven’t I?

Society

Kim Kardashian: Why She’s a Toxic Public Figure

Kim Kardashian is a name we all know. Whether we love her or loathe her, we know all about her and her family. But she has not gone without her fair share of controversy, with many labelling her as a bad role model, especially for young girls. So what is it that makes her seem so bad?

Kim Kardashian has recently been widely criticised for promoting ‘diet lollipops’ on social media, that are supposed to help with weight loss. And frankly, I agree with those that have condemned her. She knows that thousands, if not millions, of young girls follow her so it was wholly irresponsible for her to do such a thing. Considering the number of people with mental health issues and problems with body positivity, promoting such an unhealthy method of weight loss is pretty disgusting.

And then there’s the issue of all her Botox and plastic surgery. Fair enough, it’s totally her decision what she spends her money on but, again considering her public profile, is doing all of this such a good idea? There are so many impressionable young girls out there aspiring to have a body type they could never possibly achieve. Not to mention a body they could never afford. And what kind of message is Kim Kardashian really sending to these girls by going mad with all this plastic surgery?

And why is it that Kim Kardashian is actually so well known? What has she actually achieved that really justifies her fame and fortune? The idea of getting famous and making loads of money by not doing anything significant and behaving like an idiot is honestly pretty ridiculous. Fair enough, it worked for the Kardashians but they are an extremely small minority. How will they be affecting the aspirations of young people?

Kim K gives the idea that you don’t need to work hard to do well and make a name for yourself. This might have been true for her but it’s not representative of the real world, where people actually have to work for their money and luxuries.

At the end of the day, I strongly believe that Kim Kardashian is a toxic public figure. She isn’t particularly inspirational or hard working and she definitely hasn’t earned her celebrity status. Instead of idolising people as fake as Kim Kardashian, why don’t we focus on some of the more deserving people?

A series on the life on Malala Yousafzai, perhaps?

Journalism

The Distrust of Journalists in the UK

Of 36 countries, the UK comes 17th in terms of its trust in the media. That’s according to The Guardian, in an article about fake news. This was hugely damaging for the reputation of the journalism industry, and did nothing to boost its public perception. But what else makes the UK media so untrustworthy in the eyes of the British public? There are various reasons for this, including the emergence of fake news.

But all things considered, is it really fair to label all journalists as unethical, untrustworthy liars because of the actions of a few?

The News of the World. For many, those words epitomise what it means to be dishonest and unethical. The phone hacking scandal in which it was infamously involved in shocked news consumers and journalists alike, and prompted lengthy investigations into the paper. When Rupert Murdoch admitted that the phone hacking had been going on for years, the paper was closed in 2011.

Perhaps one of the most devastating cases of phone hacking involved voicemails left on Milly Dowler’s phone. The 13 year old was abducted and murdered – The News of the World blatantly ignored all ethics and proceeded to hack into her phone.

Looking at this absolutely disgusting act alone, it is clear why many British people do not trust the media. After all, why would someone trust an industry where this had been going on for so long?

Not to mention the political bias of British newspapers. For example, The Daily Mail and The Times are more right wing and The Guardian is centre left. If papers are in line with a particular wing of politics, to what extent can they really be trusted to be unbiased in their reporting?

But despite all of this, to label all journalists as immoral liars is unfair. When you look at the careers of Trevor McDonald, Jon Snow and Alex Crawford, and so many other incredible journalists, it is clear that there are still trustworthy journalists out there. These people are arguably a huge credit to journalism.

So why should these excellent journalists be put into the same category as those who don’t see the problem with phone hacking, lying and deceiving the public? Journalists such as Sir Trevor have worked extremely hard and have been to some of the world’s most dangerous places so we, as news consumers, can know about what goes on around the world. It is, therefore, unjustifiable to portray all journalists as immoral liars.

I do acknowledge that many people have good reason to have little confidence in the British media. After all, many reporters have let the public down by behaving unethically.

But I also think it is so important to remember the many journalists who really do deserve our trust and respect. So many journalists have worked hard for so long to find out the truth about UK and worldwide stories that affect us. And they deserve more than mere distrust.

So while it’s good to be sceptical and ask questions, I believe we should have more faith in the journalists who actually deserve it.

 

 

 

 

Society

Higher prices for plus size clothing: a reasonable charge or discrimination?

The so-called ‘fat tax’ at New Look stores has been hit the headlines in the past couple of days and has been the subject of much debate. It all began when one shopper realised that she would have to pay more for a pair of trousers in the plus size, or Curves range, than she would if they were a smaller size and said that the higher prices in the company’s Curves range was ‘discriminatory’. New Look has since said that it will review its pricing. But to what extent was it discriminating people of bigger sizes? Or was it, as some people have argued, a reasonable charge for bigger items of clothing?

Many who believe that New Look was, in fact, being unfair have suggested that higher prices for bigger clothing would have impacted on people’s body positivity. With many people already being self conscious about their weight and how they look, they argue that this additional charge would have a further negative effect.

And what about those people with health conditions, such as issues with their thyroids? These people are more likely to be of a bigger size, so why should they be penalised for their health issues?

But those who do not think it’s discrimination suggest that it is reasonable for people to pay more for the use of more fabric. However, ranges for taller or pregnant women are rarely more expensive, so should it really be the same for plus size ranges?

So are retailers justified in charging more for their bigger sizes? Personally, I’m not entirely sure the extra charges are absolutely necessary. But one thing I would also say is that it is definitely not justifiable to charge more for one type of bigger clothing – i.e the plus size range – but not for another, for example a maternity range. After all, where’s the logic in doing that?

And despite New Look’s recent losses, clothing retailers arguably still make a significant profit, so I’m not sure they really need to rely on charging extra for bigger clothing to generate additional income.

So that’s pretty much my view – let me know what you think about it!