Archives for posts with tag: lifestyle

A month ago in a flurry of excitement I ordered all the bleach and dye needed to make my hair a lilac delight. I became immersed in looking at pictures of gorgeous pastel hair on Pinterest and envisaged myself rocking the same cool colour. When the dye arrived I meticulously did all the tests needed and arranged with my friend (who was supposed to be a dyeing expert) when we were going to do it.

Friday came around and we set about bleaching the shit out of my hair, now its important for you to know that I already had medium/light blonde hair so it should have been relatively easy to do. Oh how wrong I was. Having used up all the bleach powder my friend started to make somewhat disgruntled sounding noises. My heart filled with fear; “um is everything ok?” I nervously asked. “Yeah I think so” came the reply. Not something I wanted to hear to be honest. I wanted a sound, resolute “everything is great!” Regardless, we carried on and eventually I washed out the bleach; only to discover instead of going white my hair had turned a brassy, orange kind of colour.

By this point I was already beginning to have my doubts, but the state of my hair meant I couldn’t quit as there was no way I would go out in public looking like I had Lucozade infused into my head. It was only after we started adding the purple that we both realised a mistake had been made, my hair was not taking the colour and in a fit of temper I rinsed it all out. This left me to put it nicely, looking like a science experiment gone wrong. The ends of my hair to mid-way up had gone purple, and the rest had patchy coverage with ginger and white everywhere. And my roots. Oh god, were they hideous. On the verge of tears I asked my friend to go into town and get everything needed to salvage my hair and dignity. An hour later she returned, armed with colour stripper, toner and brown dye.

The brown hair dye terrified me. I had been blonde my entire life; the thought of having dark hair majorly freaked me out. Not only would I look extremely washed out; which being super pale was something I really did not need. But I just couldn’t envisage myself going dark. But alas, what else was I to do. So after stripping my hair, which turned it a mermaidy aquamarine, I then made my shower look like a slaughterhouse, due to the masses of red toner I washed out going absolutely EVERYWHERE. I’m talking up the walls, on the shower curtain, somehow under the curtain and up my door, the toilet-seat and all over the floor. My bathroom looked like Michael Myers had been busy in there and how it happened still mystifies me. Anyway an hour and a half later I was sat, looking at the mirror with dark brown/burgundy hair. And I hated it, I loathed the sight of myself. It was just wrong, this wasn’t me, I looked weird. I had to go back to blonde, somehow.

As I write this I am awaiting my hair appointment to go back to my true colour, my calling, my one true love. I have had to wait a month though; and boy has it dragged on. In that month I did learn some things about myself, for example brown hair makes me look mildly like the corpse bride, so I can now do makeup which reinvigorates the face mildly. So if the undead ever rise I could end up with a lucrative career in a zombie beauty salon. Which is handy I suppose; always nice to have a back up plan. But finally I shall be myself once more; an 80s obsessive with thick eyebrows and blonde hair. The glory.

I’d love to know if anyone else has suffered a hair calamity and what lengths you went to to salvage your precious hair.

Popdunk

I have just finished reading the written version of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s acclaimed and famous speech “We Should All Be Feminists” which she gave at a conference two years ago. Now of course being a Beyonce fan I had heard the excerpts used in “Flawless” and found them not only scarily accurate but also incredibly powerful. It is however only now that I have read the entire thing. Something I am rather ashamed of, as I should have read or watched it last year at least.  Not only because I regard myself as an intersectional feminist but also as I am a young woman. Now that I have though I can say that I have never read something so truly powerful and inspiring and my one wish is for as many people as possible to read or watch it, so that Adichie’s wisdom and hopes for society will be heard all over the world.

After finishing the book I sat at my desk for a while mulling over what I had just taken in. Nothing before this has had such a profound effect on me, and it will probably take a while for it to happen again. If it does. Now as a young, white woman I am very aware of the fact that the issues and discriminations I face are not only very different to those of women from other cultures, ethnicities, religions etc, but also not as extreme either. However when reading this I felt that Adichie seamlessly managed to address problems faced by women from all over the globe, discussing them and giving suggestions as to how society could be improved. Rather than, like many more well known feminist writers do, white-wash their piece of work by ignoring the plights of non-white women.

This is why in my opinion everyone, both women and men should read this book. It is a 50 page or so piece of enlightenment, which teaches you things about gender inequality you did not know before, highlights the issues and normalities that occur culturally which oppress women and also gives a message of positivity. I felt as though Adichie was talking to me personally, telling me that being a woman is nothing to be ashamed of, that I am not a lesser being for being female and that empowerment is the way forward. This is something that I believe all, especially young women need to hear and if I could send a copy of this book to every person on the planet. I honestly would.


Popdunk

Yesterday and today my university has been running the “Time to Talk” campaign in the students union. Throughout the days they have been releasing blog posts written by people with mental health problems and also giving out support to those who need it. These aspects of the campaign are useful as they allow us sufferers to express their issues in their own words, rather than having someone dictate what it is like with a particular issue and also informs sufferers of how to get help so they can get support they need more easily.

However, the rest of this campaign leaves a somewhat unpleasant taste in my mouth. The stall in my Students Union and posters of other stalls from around the country are all daubed in flowers and smiley faces and smothered across my universities one is “come and have a chat and some cake,” “free cake here,” “cupcakes,” “be happy” etc. All of this in my opinion is rather tiresome and mildly patronising, implying that we need to be lured in with promises of smiley faces and free food. As if we are wild animals that need to be caught. The presentation of the stalls also ironically promotes the idea that we are all unhappy all of the time, need to be loved and have a person show kindness towards us, which is exactly the kind of stereotype they are attempting to change and combat. People with mental health conditions do not have a set symptom, we are not autonomous and as someone who suffers from severe depression I am not constantly in need of a hug and some kind words.  This approach of kittens and cuteness also somewhat dumbs the issue down and hides the true nature of how terrible life with a mental health can be. It is not a fluffy topic so presenting it as one does not help in the slightest, if anything it trivialises it.

Instead I feel that this campaign would be much more educational and actually of some help if there was a day where people could gather in-depth information about each illness, thus educating people and allowing them to spot warning signs in friends or relatives. And also to make the day more about the people who actually suffer from said illnesses rather than emphasising how great it is that non-sufferers are reaching out to us and giving themselves a metaphorical gold star.

All in all, in my opinion the “Time to Talk” campaign has good intentions but is currently not being implemented in the most effective or tactful way. Instead, it just makes me even feel more isolated and “different”  compared to everyone else.

Having just experienced my first exam season at university, I have just gone through one of the tougher times in my life. I have fluctuating anxiety disorder and one thing that causes it to flare up hideously is exams. As soon as I began to revise over Christmas a niggling part of me knew that history was going to repeat itself when I got into the exam room. You see I have a history of getting sat down with the paper in front of me and freezing up. The anxiety induced panic attack leads me to have a complete and utter mind blank (handy….nice one brain) and stare dazedly at the paper for the length of the test. This has happened 3 times already and sure enough my brain decided to leave me and I wrote nada.

Now, although it is somewhat of a disaster as I will of course be given an ungraded mark, there is some consolation. My condition along with my depression is on record with the Disability Support Office at my university. This allows me to apply for a mitigating circumstances form and hopefully be given an uncapped retake in the summer. Which is what I want more students who suffer from mental health conditions to be aware of. There is help available if you tell someone. I have had an entire support plan put in place which is tailored to my specific needs. So please don’t struggle in silence. Speak to student services, they will be able to help you. Make them aware of everything, even things that you may think are irrelevant as they will take them into consideration and try to find a solution.

  1. Societies are ridiculously over-hyped. They are made out as the be all and end all of uni life. And that you won’t make any friends without them. NOT TRUE! I attended one society social. And it really wasn’t that great – I have a great set of friends and we all met through lectures and then through one another.
  2. No matter how pumped you are for a topic you will most likely fall asleep in several lectures.
  3. 1 am takeaways are the best type of takeaways. I’m looking at you Dominos
  4. You will lose your student ID card and probably more than once.
  5. It will take several weeks to fully understand your library and its system, no matter how well it is explained to you. YOU’RE NOT ALONE THOUGH
  6.  Be nice to ambulance workers. They listen to your drunken ramblings
  7. The best way to explore your surroundings is on your own. You can focus more and actually go to places YOU want to go. Then you can share with friends and be smug about your finds
  8. Fly posters are the worst
  9. Everyone signs up to too many societies at the freshers fair. And then attends one thing, once.
  10. You will cry in your room more than once. Way after freshers is over.
  11. People who say they are not scared of starting uni are LIARS
  12. All nighters are never a good idea. Ever.
  13.  Clubbing is certainly not the only thing to do at night. Don’t let people tell you you’re boring if you don’t like it.
  14. You will repeatedly forget about food. The discovery will be grim.
  15. Towels need washing too.
  16. Don’t chat to the creepy dude at the bar. Even if it seems impolite. You know his intentions.
  17. Always have some cash on you.
  18. If your flat mates are being too loud. Yell at them. Don’t be afraid to and then not get any sleep.
  19. Don’t pretend to be somebody you’re not, you WILL make friends being you.

This xmas when going to collect some pet food I went for a wander around the shop, peering into cages at fat hamsters and a really rather morose looking chinchilla (although if I had just been harassed by two loud small children I would look a bit upset too). It was then that I came across the adoption area, where animals that are free to a good home are placed. Looking into the bottom tank I spotted a largish brown and white Dutch rabbit who then turned towards me, presenting the other side of his face; minus an eye. Now, I have a history of taking in reject animals. I’ve had a one-eyed guinea pig, an epileptic rabbit and a rabbit that the pet shop no longer wanted as he had a hole ripped into his ear. So I knew at once that I couldn’t leave this one there, so the next morning he arrived with my friend and I had to tentatively tell my parents there was a new pet arriving!

The staff at the shop had told me that he had once had both eyes but lost one due to an infection and because of this was abandoned. This is such a cowardly thing to do, there are numerous places that take unwanted pets in so why anyone abandons them really is ridiculous to me!

His case highlights the importance of taking on rescued pets, as not only is he a lovely bun but his story also makes him that bit more special. So I really do hope that more people will think of taking on rescued small animals, as they are often over looked due to them often being adults and not babies.

As the comedian Jessimae Peluso says “Adopt don’t shop!”

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