Anti Bullying Week: My experiences and what I’ve learnt

It’s anti bullying this week so I thought it’d be an apt time to jump on the bandwagon as it were and discuss my experiences with bullying. I’ve been bullied on several different occasions and at times although I didn’t fully realise at the time I have engaged in bullying behaviour. I think a lot of the times this is something we are scared to admit about ourselves so instead will only talk about the real, horrible cases of bullying, rather than the day to day routine behaviour we saw (or even participated in) that we didn’t realise could have lasting effects as well.

Dodie’s bravery in talking about bullying in her latest book (my review for which can be found here), and how she had engaged in it too because she was afraid, and it was easier, helped to inspire me to speak up about this. The reason she gave of being afraid the conversation would turn to herself instead is really my reason as well. From what I can remember from my hazy memories, my bullying behaviour was joining in with nicknames and not thinking about the consequences. Behaviours I thought was teasing but added to the persona of a person, and didn’t let them define themselves on their own terms. If the people I did this to (I don’t think the list is long but it’s probably longer than I’d like to think) are reading this I’m sorry I went along with the crowd. Sure, I might have not been the loud voice egging people on, but that doesn’t mean I am not guilty. At the time I didn’t even realise but looking back now I know this behaviour matters.

I know how bullying makes you feel. Even the little comments can feel like a heart attack to your nerves. Usually when I’ve been bullied they picked up the easy part to latch on to, which is that I was chubbier than the other children in the age group. Or when I was a teenager and not the weight I was made to feel but because I never had the part where I could eat and nothing be there (not that there is anything wrong with that). I was made to feel like my body could never fit in. It was easy for them to latch on to my body because society told them everywhere it was not desirable. It was easy to latch on to because I knew this, and was insecure about it. I also wouldn’t fight back.

Now I’d like to think I wouldn’t let it not touch me but I’m not impenetrable. It still would. Then, they probably didn’t realise that their tiny comment was all I thought about every minute of the day. What it would be like when I was smaller. When was food, what I should eat (or not eat) to achieve this.

This is still not something I think will ever escape me, but it has dropped down my priority levels now so that my day is more than that. I’ve never made negative comments about people’s weight or appearance or tried to belittle them in that way, but the little bits of behaviour I was complicit in could have effected someone in the same way.

My message from this then is that you may think because you’re not a bully (or the stereotypical definition of one) that you’re behaviour is in fact not bullying type behaviour. Before, you dismiss something as teasing let yourself really think about whether they are in on the joke or not.

I forgave my bullies/ antagonists a long time ago. They just weren’t worth the effort. I think in the end they realised they had been as wrong about me as I’d been about them. Everyone just never bothered to get to know anyone, and just stuck to their labels.

Maybe it’s about time we throw those labels and preconceptions away. It’s hard and you have to be strong to resist the crowd (and when you’re going through your own insecurities that is damn near impossible). I used to get so wound up about the people who didn’t like me for seemingly no particular reason and wondered what was fundamentally wrong with me to make that so. Now, I know sometimes people just don’t click (though they didn’t need to ignore me though or make it obvious though- just saying) and you’ll never please everyone.

I don’t know what I would have done growing up if social media defined my life and my experiences as much as it does this generation growing up now (perfect Instagram photographs at every corner would have definitely sent me into a talespin) so anyone growing up with that as my upmost respect. Especially as words online cut as deep as any that come out of people’s mouths.

This anti-bullying week join me in reflecting over your past behaviour, and seeing how you can be better moving forward. Be the second thought that comes into your head, not the judgemental first one that you didn’t even consciously decide.

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Mini Lush Haul/Review: August 2017

(For some reason it looks like the bath bomb has a hair embedded in it- it didn’t- it must of been part of one of the flowers!)

I have watched (though ironically not read) a lot of Lush hauls in my time so I know the market is a little bit oversaturated but I still thought why not add my own Lush haul to the mix? Plus, you know then my content for two posts straight will be exclusively about bath stuff.

Right, so first let’s start with a bit about Lush as a company, since you know in regards to both clothing and cosmetics (etc.) I like to give any information about the company that I have found. In regards to being cruelty free Lush do not buy any raw materials that have been tested on animals. However, due to the new REACH chemical legislation Lush are not completely cruelty free because: ‘If a supplier gets involved in animal testing due to the unavoidable requirements of meeting the requirements of REACH legislation, we have to ‘accept’ this’. Their products however are all vegetarian, with a lot being vegan, and a lot of people still include them on cruelty free lists because of the dedication they have put towards being cruelty free over the years, and the strength of their other policies. Therefore, Lush is one of those I’m going to call “middle ground” companies  (like makeup brands where the ‘parent’ company is not cruelty free but the brand you are buying for is), where it’s up to you if you want to buy from them or not. Personally, I am trying to make my beauty routine completely cruelty free at the moment (which, I’m going to write a post about soon) and am not sure where I lie on this debate. I have seen Lush’s history of fighting against animal testing and how they continuously protest against what is happening, and the fact that their ingredients are vegetarian (and vegan at times) does appeal to me. I’d love however to hear everyone’s thoughts- in my mind though I don’t have an issue with anyone who uses Lush, and considers themselves cruelty free. If anyone’s interested I’ve also labelled whether the ingredients for each product are vegetarian or vegan.

Now on the haul. First of all if I’m being honest, I got this haul in July (not August- I thought the title would be confusing otherwise) because I was really stressed, and just needed a little treat. I thought some Lush stuff, and a nice bath would help. Which it did, but I was still stressed (dissertation pressure), though it definitely took the edge off.

“DON’T LOOK AT ME” Face Mask 

Don't Look at Me Fresh Face Mask(Apologises for my awful nails.) 

Don't Look At Me Mask

So I bought this because I wanted a face mask that wasn’t so “heavy duty”. I try to drink a lot of the old H20, and at the point I was being really consistent so spot wise I was doing ok. I was looking then for something to just brighten my skin and give it a good glow. So I had a little chat with one of the lovely customer assistants, and she recommended I try the “DON’T LOOK AT ME” face mask. This face mask then is one of their ‘fresh’ ones so you have to keep it in the fridge, and it doesn’t last as long as their other ones (like Mask of Magnaminty for example). I have to say I’m not sure if brightening is the mask’s primary effect but it definitely cleans a lot of the gunk out of your face. I used it recently, as my skin was feeling a bit oily (a product of not eating right and my face getting angry at me), and it did a great job at clearing out my t-zone.

The Mask(With the mask on.) 

Martin Mask(Martin also tried the mask. He was not happy about picture time. Or probably how unevenly I spread it on his face.) 

Face After(After the mask. Sorry there’s no before, I did take one but I was a bit vain and didn’t include it because it was really unflattering! I will make to take ones in future try on’s though.)

The one downside of this mask though is that is smells so overwhelmingly of lemon (and something else I can’t quite put my finger on) and I have to admit it puts me off buying it again. I’d rather buy a different “heavy duty” mask (as I do think this is not so much a “light duty” mask) that doesn’t overwhelm my nostrils as much (ironic I know when talking about Lush products).

Price: £7.25/75g 

Rating: 3/5 

This product is VEGAN. 

“Bunny Moon” Jelly Face Mask 

Bunny Moon

So I’m going to be honest I bought this because when I prodded the sample it wiggled. Also, honey is one of my favourite smells so I had to pick the one that smelled like honey up. Basically, how it works is you grab some of the jelly, work it into a paste with your hands and then apply the paste onto your face. I found it a little annoying to work with at times, but once you get used to it’s mostly fine. Plus, your skin will feels so soft afterwards (I put this on generally after the “DON’T LOOK AT ME” mask to get a bit of hydration back into my skin). The only other downside of this mask is that because of the paste texture I find it a bit hard to wash off, as it seems to want to combine with water more than anything. I’d definitely be interested in trying some more of these out, especially as they all appear to have different effects.

Price: £6.95 each.

Rating: 3/5

For more about the other jelly face masks in the range click here

This product is NOT VEGAN. It is however VEGETARIAN. 

Now on to the bath bombs…

“Titsy Tosty” Bath Bomb 

Titsy Tosty

Ok, so this bath bomb is just so pretty. It’d make such a great themed Valentine’s day present. However, the lovely shop assistant who served me at the till at Lush told me that these are going to be out of circulation soon. Something, which I found confirmed on the Lush website. You may still be able to find these in some stores however I’m assuming. I can’t remember the price of the bath bomb, however, and since it’s no longer online I can’t check. I do think though that it’s just about their average price so somewhere in the four pounds range. I also got some awesome video footage (check me out) of this as it dissolved in my bath, which will be on my Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog and on my Instagram story on my main account @aprilisthecruellestmonth. I would put it on here but I need to upgrade my plan in order to include video footage, and unfortunately I’m not financially able to at the moment. Overall, this bath bomb is for you if you don’t mind having a bath full of dead flowers in order to get that vintage, Tumblr-esque vibe going on (they also get stuck in the drain afterwards which means you have to fish them out). I did though feel quite soft afterwards, which is always a bonus.

Titsy Tosty 2

Rating: 3/5 

This product is VEGAN. (Update: Found it for $6.95 on the American website so my according to Google this made it £5.39, but I genuinely don’t remember it being that pricey). 

“Dragon’s Egg” Bath Bomb

Dragon's Egg 1

Ok, so it said in the description that there was popping candy in this bath bomb so it makes popping noises as it settles into your bath. I don’t know if it was just that my extractor fan in my bathroom was loud, but no noise did I hear my bath bomb make. It did make the bath water go orange though, and a lot more ORANGE than the photograph is making it seem- the lighting in the bathroom was just terrible. Overall, it was a nice bath bomb I was just hoping for more colours and magic based on the description, and it fell a little flat for me.

Dragon's Egg 2

Orange Water(My bath water with the bomb in there.) 

Price: £3.95 each

Rating: 2/5 (see it’s finally not 3/5!)  

This product is VEGAN. 

“Metamorphosis” Bath Bomb

So this was a purchase for the Martin in my life, as I know he would not be happy if he didn’t get a present in my little splurge. I thought it looked a bit like a dragon’s egg so thought he’d appreciate it because he is obsessed with Game of Thrones. Plus, he’s definitely more into the darker, and cool tone palette than bright tones. However, there is no rating for this product because he is yet to try it out, and I have no pictures because I’ve just moved and have not unpacked enough yet (still!) to be able to attempt to find it!

Price: £4.25 each. 

Rating: Unclassified (because Martin is yet to try it out, so here is yet another incomplete review!) 

This product is VEGAN. 

So that’s the end of my little Lush haul. Let me know if you’ve been enjoying these little review/ haul type posts about bath products, or if there any posts you’d like to see more of. For anyone who enjoys my feminist reading journey series news of that will be coming very soon so until next time!