How I’m starting to combat letting my idolised self take over my life

I’ve talked to you about the highs of being a rainbow potato (which, if you haven’t seen my YouTube branding is basically what I’ve dubbed myself – I’m not sure why but it just fits) but I wanted to talk to you a little bit today about being afraid to start something.

All my life I’ve put off things. Usually, I’ll be honest it’s I’ll do this when I’ve lost weight… I’ll do this when my hair looks better… I’ll do this when I have nicer clothes… Essentially a lot of the time I live my life based on how I think my appearance is and this is something I’ve been fighting really hard to combat recently.

This week I posted what I thought was an unflattering photograph on Instagram. I loved my outfit and the shot but would never usually post because it did not paint what I thought was a flattering impression of my body. I decided to post it anyway. That however didn’t end the constant feelings of worry that people could see the image. All I could think about was what would people think?! The reason I posted it and fought with myself to keep it up as I wanted in a small, strange way to help people like me who feel like they can only post on social media or live life when they felt like they fit a desired standard. Life goes on day by day and actually the only way I’ve seen positive changes to myself in the past has been through grasping life (bizarrely enough, ha, ha) rather than letting it pass me by.

Now I’m not saying you have to pose incredibly unflattering images of yourself but what I’m saying is don’t be afraid to take the picture, write the blog post or film the YouTube video if that’s what you want to do.

I still am very guilty of not doing something or making myself feel like I can’t do anything because I’m not where I want to be, which consequently makes me feel like I’m trapped. To be honest I felt a little trapped in my content recently, as I felt it had become too focused on posts that were easier for me to think through – i.e. hauls or favourites posts. Don’t get me wrong these posts still take work but it’s a different kind of work then say book reviews or personal posts like this one.

After letting myself float along with this for a little I decided to take action this week and get to writing some more book reviews again because I did really enjoy those posts and losing myself in reading again. So I’m going to buy a few books and try and diverse my content a little bit again. I’ve already had some great recommendations through my Instagram but if you have any let me know in the comments below.

I guess what I’m trying to see is that I know what it’s like to spend all of your time fantasying about being a certain ideal instead of living your life but living your life might just put you on the path to being a little more like your ideal (because let’s face it you’ll never be 100% there).

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

-Blog posts once a week – 

YouTube: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Facebook: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Twitter: @aprilcruelmonth

Tumblr: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

Advertisements

What I got for my birthday: Age 23

I’ll start by saying that of course this post isn’t me boasting though I think considering the popularity of these posts on Youtube and on blogs the attitude towards them has changed. Honestly, the reason I love doing these posts is because I like having them as a log of my birthdays each year. I have a memory like a sieve so it’s nice for me to be able to look back and see what I got and did. Either way, I hope you enjoy this post and don’t think that I’m bragging!

This year I was 23 and ridiculously I wasn’t looking forward to it. I have a complex that the older I got the more I have not achieved enough for my age. I forgot sometimes what I’ve actually done and I should be proud. Also, I should not be paranoid about ageing – my chubby cheeks effectively make that impossible (at least for now!).

First of all thank you to everyone who sent me cards and well wishes, Rosie and her family, my nan and Grandad, Karen (to mention a few) – you all know who you are. Thank you to everyone who gave me birthday money as well, which went towards my Lazy Oaf sample sale expenditure. A few people also got me presents as well on the list I just mentioned including shampoo + conditioner and bath stuff – I’ve not had a chance to try any of this yet so haven’t included it below but it all looks amazing and thank you!

Also, my colleagues at work were lovely and got me gifts, which they didn’t need to do, as well as surprised me with a cake (which, was embarrassing because despite the way I look sometimes I don’t like attention, ha, ha).

From my boyfriend…

A camera!!!

Anyone who knows me is aware that a camera is something that I’ve wanted a long time for taking photographs when I’m travelling, for this blog (!) and because I wanted to start my own YouTube channel. I had suspected this might be what Martin was getting me but he tried to throw me off the scent several times by telling me I hadn’t guessed what he had got me yet. When I opened his present on my birthday my reaction was to yell at him for spending so much but he said he’d been saving up for a while and eventually I conceded to not forcing him to send it back.

35682207_2529668340592314_4275857148254093312_n

For anyone wondering the camera I got is a Canon 1300D (I also got a cute camera bag to go with it!) and it’s a DLSR so it can take photographs and also shoot video. I’ve already used it to film a YouTube video (check out my last blog post) and take lots of shameless outfit pictures such as this one:

From my boyfriend’s family…

A tripod

Since Martin was in charge of coordinating what I wanted for my birthday he asked his family to get me a tripod to go alongside my new camera for YouTube videos. This came in an absolutely unnecessarily big box so I was very confused when this first arrived but as soon as I knew my first present was a camera I knew what this was.

I’ve only used it a few times but I’d definitely recommend this tripod to beginners as it’s really easy to use and doesn’t have complicated mechanisms (if you’ve used a tripod before you should be fine with this one!)

IMG_0093

From my granddad….

Harry Potter charm bracelet 

This is actually super cute and beautiful. My mum told me my Grandad bought this at a craft fair and I’m not surprised as you can tell that a lot of care and attention went into this bracelet by someone who is truly a Harry Potter fan. I probably am not going to be able to show each individual charm and sorry that I don’t know exactly who made this but it will go great with my Ravenclaw Danielle Nicole bag.

IMG_0117

Owl ornament 

This is a fun addition to my many ornaments that litter our flat. I might try to vary the decor for the seasons so I think this will look great for autumn when I plan to go for a bit more of a muted palette than you are used to from me!

IMG_0101

From my mother…

Miley Cyrus glitter converse

When I saw the Miley Cyrus x Converse collaboration I got very excited and then very overwhelmed trying to decide which shoe was favourite. Eventually, I settled on this low top silver glitter pair as I thought they’d go with more of my wardrobe and I needed a pair of everyday comfortable converse. Since my mum was ordering these for my birthday I went safe with sizing and went for a size 5 (UK) but I think these are a tad too big and I should have ordered the half size. They’re not uncomfortably big however and if you were going to make me into a shoe it would definitely be this one. Still, it’s a miracle they’ve lasted this long without me making them a lot more dirty.

I’m pretty sure but I haven’t investigated yet that if you’re not a fan of the M.C. for Miley on the laces you can take that off. I would love to get the pink ‘Get Out of My Way’ lace locks from Just Peachy to put on here and if I save up enough to make another order (because I know it will be a big one, ha, ha) I’ll definitely post it here.

IMG_0099

From my friend, Callie…

Birthday cake

Every year Callie makes a birthday cake for everyone she knows on their birthday. I insisted that she didn’t have to this year but she is stubborn as a mule so in the end I just let her get on with it. I don’t have a picture because honestly I just forgot to take one but it was a super pretty pink Victoria sponge style cake that essentially was pure sugar! She also got me some Lindt chocolate as well which may or not have fallen victim to my stomach already but was special because she remembered that my favourite is the little blue extra creamy one.

Sugarpill Cosmetics x Little Twin Stars eyeshadow palette 

I’ve wanted this for quite a while simply because it is so adorable. However, I could never bring myself to buy it because my heart told me to get the set even though I wouldn’t wear the lipsticks but wanted the makeup bag and box whereas my head told me I just needed the eyeshadow palette. Luckily, Callie listened to my head and got me the eyeshadow palette, which I love. Honestly, it’s quite small for what I bet Callie paid for it but after trying it out a bit there is quite a bit of product in there. I think this is more for people who really love Sanrio or the particular shades in the palette though. For me, it was worth it for the pink glitter shade in there on its own because it is literally my perfect pink glitter eyeshadow (I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do when I used it all).

IMG_0104

IMG_0116

Primark 101 Dalmatians bag 

I’ve styled this on my Instagram already but on reflection I think my face in the image ruins it ha, ha because I don’t think having a grumpy face is really me so am considering deleting the post (but I don’t like doing that so am conflicted). This is such a cute bag and I love that it’s huge as I didn’t really have a bag like that where I can chuck all my stuff in. It will also be a great addition to any Disney trip, as I feel 90% of my wardrobe is me thinking about how it would look at Disney!

IMG_0100

There’s my little birthday haul – thank you again to all my family and friends! While twenty free has not been treating me amazingly so far; I think the rest of this year will definitely pick up!

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

-Blog posts Thursday and Sundays-

YouTube: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Facebook: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonth

Twitter: @aprilcruelmonth

Tumblr: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

 

 

March Favourites

i.e. things I bought last month. 

I really want to keep up with this series so I decided to write a little post about things I’ve been loving last month. As usual it’s a bit late but mainly because I kept debating with myself if I had enough to discuss to warrant a post – my innate stubbornness persisted and I decided that I did!

Film 

Black Panther 

What can I say that everyone else hasn’t already said?! It was amazing and everything I’ve wanted to see in a superhero film. The women were terrifying and brilliant – I just can’t wait to see more from the characters introduced.

It still upsets me when people say representation doesn’t matter, especially as I’ve honestly never seen as many black people in the cinema with me before as when I saw this film. I also saw a black man holding his daughter on his lap, pointing out the characters to her – showing her what role models she know had to look up to on screen.

newblackpanther-613x463
Image: Black Panther/ Marvel

TV

Nailed It! 

This is a new baking show on Netflix and I think the best way to describe it is, imagine if you got people on a show who can just about bake and then gave them crazy hard baking challenges and see what happens. As you can imagine a lot of the results very much resemble viral internet fail images (which, is essentially the concept of the show). I quickly sped through the season and honestly what made the show for me is the great host Nicole Byer (and the romance I personally ship between her and crew member Wes), as well as her co-host noted chocolatier Jacques Torres.

nailed it hosts.jpg
Image: Nailed It! / Netflix

Accessories 

Magical Maidens pins 

I treated myself to some mystery pins from the Etsy shop Magical Maidens who do a whole host of pins of popular characters but as if ditto from Pokémon had transformed into them. I chose the seconds (for those who don’t know seconds refers to pins where the colours may be slightly off or the pins have minor damage, which means they can’t be sold for full price) pins – these pins were a mystery except for one design (if you order 3 or more you can chose one design you’d like – I chose Kiki, as anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I love Kiki’s Delivery Service). In the end I received Kiki, as well as a Sailor Moon and Ditto pin. I was really hoping for the Sailor Moon pin so this made me really happy! Most people would also not be able to tell the pins are ‘damaged’ in any way; I would definitely buy some of these again.

Magical Maidens

Fandom items 

Sailor Chibi Moon pop figure 

I don’t have many Pop! figures, mainly because I am hesitant to start too many collections because if I start a collection; I have to complete the set for the fandom but I already have two from the Sailor Moon collection so decided I needed this (ha, ha). Essentially, I’ve really been wanting my hair pink again so I think that is where this stems from.

I bought mine from my local comic book store but you can pick this figure up from Amazon, Forbidden Planet, HMV and I’m sure a few other places!

Chibi Moon

Lumberjanes/ Gotham Academy 

I haven’t finished this series yet so please don’t spoil it for me if you have but what I’ve read so far I love! I just need to get my hands on issue 5 (which, I ordered from my local shop) and 6 (hopefully they’re going to be able to order this for me). What I’ve read so far has made me want to try out Gotham Academy as a series as well (so if you’ve read any let me know your thoughts) I hadn’t actually read any Lumberjanes going into this but knew that I wanted to (mainly because of who was involved in bringing the comic to life and because there was a ginger character called April) and this mini series definitely encouraged that sentiment more! It’s fun, it’s got a 80s theme and is packed full of loads of amazing female characters – there’s nothing not to like! I may have also bought Lumberjanes volume 1 after this but that is a potential favourite for next month!

Lumberjanes Gotham Academy

Music 

Hayley Kiyoko 

I’ve been hearing everyone talk about Hayley Kiyoko for a while now (especially on Twitter) and everything I heard sounded awesome. I eventually stopped being an idiot and checked her out. Her music is not 100% my taste (I’m not too heavy anything with too much of an electronic vibe) but the songs I’ve heard have stuck in my brain. It’s not surprising she’s become a bit of a queer role model and I know so many people who her music videos and her existence would have helped growing up. Her style is also great – essentially it’s that effortlessly cool look I’d never pull off!

Organisation 

Flying Tiger shelves 

I recently decided I needed to just organise my flat (and life) so I picked up some shelves to display my POP figures and other figurines I have (as well, as some of Martin’s). I spotted a cute lilac set in Flying Tiger for only £15 for a set of 4 different shelves, which are now proudly displayed on my wall (thanks to Martin’s family!).

Flying Tiger shelves
They’re not uneven – it’s my wall/ flat.

I also decided that I needed a cacti display shelf (if you read my last blog post you’ve probably already seen it!), as I wanted plants but knew anything else I’d kill. The one I picked up was also £6 and was also from Flying Tiger, and the cacti were £4 I think. Martin picked the colour, I wanted the pale blue but relented because sometimes I have to be fair (ha, ha). This probably looks so ‘basic’ but I love it so don’t care.

Cacti shelf

Picking up from last month’s monthly favourites, I still haven’t watched The Shape of Water; however, this month Avengers: Infinity War comes out and I am beyond excited. When I watched the trailer I had to keep pausing because I literally couldn’t handle it all at once – that’s how pumped I am.

Other than that I am going to try and get through the month without trying to be too confused when people say the month and don’t mean me and go into a The Last Jedi bubble as soon as the DVD comes out (I love it and don’t care what anyone else says lol).

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

February Favourites

I was watching my daily dose of YouTube and came across Pixielocks ‘February Favourites’ video and realised quite quickly that I had completely forgotten to do a February Favourites post. I considered just not writing a post to be honest because I couldn’t immediately think of a lot of favourite, but after pondering a little bit I realised there was a few things I got that I haven’t talked about yet that I’ve really enjoyed.

The first thing I really love is actually a Valentines day present from Martin. It’s a claddagh ring that I not very subtly hinted that I wanted from a local vintage jewellery shop where I live. It’s a tiny bit small as Martin didn’t know my ring size so used his little finger instead (which, to be fair isn’t far of), but I actually prefer wearing it as a necklace.  Also, I’ll admit I’ve wanted someone to give me one of these ever since watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer so thank you Martin for making my Buffy dreams come true.

princess-leia-mug.jpg

Claddagh ring

Princess Leia and Han Solo mugs

Another Valentines day present from Martin because I will forever NEED anything that features Han Solo and Princess Leia. If you’re like me and more likely to use a giant mug for noodles than tea or coffee- these are perfect! I considered letting Martin use one of them but decided strongly against it, as I couldn’t decide which one he could use as I love them both.

P.S. I know Martin got these from Clintons if anyone is interested.

Betty Boop Heart kimono 

So this was an impulse buy; I’m not going to lie. It’s cute and I hesitated putting it in my favourites as I’m not sure 100% how to style it but I still think it’s cute and I paid half of retail price (hence the impulse buy) on Depop so am happy that I tried something I wouldn’t have otherwise bought. It will also be great for some super cute outfits for next Valentines day (because I love an excuse to cover myself in heart print clothing). I also really, really want the matching denim jacket and jeans set from this collection (even though I am very certain I won’t be able to pull it off and I already mentioned it in my January favourites).

Betty Boop Kimono 1

Monki heart pillow 

Although this was a Valentines day aesthetic buy; it’s also really cute all year round. The material is super nice and velvety and I don’t know what else I can really say it’s a good pillow! I think it was around £7.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine 

Brooklyn 99 is something I’d seen a few episodes on when it happened to come on TV but never fully embraced, but I am now very much loving,  It’s a great show to help me switch off at the end of the day and the characters are brilliant too! Definitely a new comedy favourite.

Superdrug B Beauty range 

I recently had to pick up some micellar cleansing water as the bottle I was using ran out. I knew I wanted something cruelty free but couldn’t afford something super expensive (and didn’t want to wait for something to be shipped either) so was delighted to see that I could pick up a bottle from my local Superdrug for £2.19 (currently reduced). I don’t wear heavy makeup but my experience with this has been nothing but positive, would definitely recommend as a affordable cruelty free option. It also made me want to try the rest of the B Beauty range, as if I’m not mistaken most or all of it is vegan (all of it is cruelty free). If a B Beauty range review is something you’d like to see let me know!

So here it is a very small favourites list. I considered adding the banana pancakes I’ve been making (recipe here), which literally just contain porridge oats, plant based milk and a banana so have been a healthy sweet option I’ve been loving; but I’m useful at making aesthetically pleasing food posts.  I also love the new dessert pots by Alpro (I love everything chocolate hazelnut that they do). I’ve not finished it yet but I love every episode of Sanrio Boys I’ve seen so far – I definitely need to hurry up and catch up with that series as well as The Ancient Magnus Bride (I also really want to read the magna for that series). The Winter Olympics were also amazing – I need to binge watch Yuri On Ice all over again, speaking of Yuri On Ice and the Olympics, I am still in shock that happened and incredibly jealous because I will never be able to do that myself (my ice skating skills are the total of one trip where I refused to let go of the edge of the rink).

This month I am going to finally watch Blank Panther and The Shape of Water, as well as read some books I’ve really wanted to read – so expect some reviews shortly. I’m also planning a London trip so might do a food blog post if I try anywhere super nice. Happy March everyone!

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

My top nine blog posts of 2017

So I was scrolling across Instagram and I saw one of those posts with a user’s top nine posts for the year, and I thought it might be fun to do it for my blog. Mainly, to be honest because this is helpful for me to see what kind of content everyone likes, and also because it gives me an excuse to reminiscence over what I’ve written for the year.

Overall, I’ve actually posted 44 posts this year (45 once the post before this post is published). Honestly, I hadn’t realised it was that many (though it might seem a lot to some) so it made me feel a little bit better about this blog, as lately I know I’ve not been putting enough time and effort in.

My first post if anyone is interested was on March the 15th 2017 (so this blog is still less than a year old!). At this time of writing 23 people follow this blog, which I know only makes this blog a small drop in the ocean but means so much to me.

However, before I get soppy, without further ado, my most popular post of 2017 was…

Lazy Oaf Sample Sale Haul 

I am still a bit upset that there has not been a part 2 to this post, as I was unable to make the sample sale in December. However, I am determined to make the sample sale in June next year, so be prepared for a part two. I tried to be as honest about the whole experience as possible, so I hope the post has helped some people who haven’t been to a Lazy Oaf sample sale before. I know the posts I read about the December sample sale were very useful (with my main take away being that prices have gone up due to more of the stock being one off pieces rather than samples), so I can only hope that my post has done the same for some people- especially as it’s my most viewed post!

Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 21.01.50

What I got for my Birthday: 2017 (Aged 22) 

Although, I know that I personally love watching videos or reading posts about what other people got for their birthday or for Christmas because I’m nosy; I am still shocked this is my second most viewed post. Mostly, because I find this kind of content interesting usually because I have been following someone for a certain amount of time, so know that the gifts they are likely to receive would also be something I’d want also. I don’t think that’s the case with my post, but thank you to everyone who has read it, and I hope it inspired you gift wise, or at least made decent reading.

Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 21.04.23

Hello Kitty Topshop Pop Up Shop Mini Haul 

I am not going to lie I’m quite pleased this is my third most viewed post, as when I did attend the pop up shop; I hadn’t been able to find that many blog posts or vlogs about the shop at all online. While, my photography skills are still very much lacking I did try to show the entirety of the collection, and give an idea about prices, so visitors knew what to expect. I still use the phone case I bought from that trip (though I think I need to update!) so it’s nice to know the trip that I am reminded of a lot in my everyday life is on this list.

Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 21.05.37

This Belle ‘Beauty and the Beast’ cosplay is goals 

This was actually the first ever post on this blog, so it will always have a special place in my heart. First of all, I just want to say a big thank you to the cosplayers and all the photographers who helped make this post a reality. Especially, as it really is the content that you all provided that make this post come to life. I have admired the cosplayers in this post for a long time so it was absolute honour to conduct this interview.

Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 21.07.20

Image: Laura Beresford Photography

Feminist Reading Journey: Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

While my feminist reading journey posts are definitely not over though perhaps on a little bit of a hiatus; it is definitely encouraging to know that this is one of my most viewed blog posts. I have no idea why this post is so much more popular than the other posts in the series. Perhaps, I actually reviewed the book more than usual in this post, and didn’t go off on a tangent though I just read back the post and there was a big tangent before the post even started!

Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 21.09.12

Image: The Kawaii Kollective

Dodie’s ‘Secret for the Mad’ Book Review (and Pop up shop) 

Since ‘Secrets for the Mad’ is up there with my favourite books of 2017 (let me know if you’d like a whole post about what were actually my favourite books of the year); I am very happy that this is one of my most viewed posts as it is also one of my last posts of 2017. I’m also very happy to say that I am going to see Dodie in April next year (I can’t wait!!!), so hopefully there will be a concert post coming your way (which, will most likely be my first ever concert review/ post!).

Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 21.10.09

Riverdale’s Archie and Miss Grundy and the worrying repeated sexualisation of student-teacher relationships

Ok, so I have a major confession in relation to this post and that is that I really need to catch up with Riverdale. As I ashamed to say I still have not finished season one. Something, I am going to make sure I change this year, especially since so many of you seem to enjoy this post. If I can get organised enough, I’d love to do reviews of episodes or of seasons as a whole.

Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 21.11.17

Image: Riverdale/ The CW/ Netflix 

I’ve officially finished my Master’s degree 

This post was one of the posts I was most nervous about sharing this year, but I am so glad I did. Since then, my courage about what I post, and even what I say in ‘real life’ has gone up so much. Yes, I’m still nervous, and unbearably awkward when I don’t know someone well, but I’m a lot more honest, which is just such a relief for me on so many occasions.

Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 21.12.41

The Hello Kitty x Lazy Oaf Collection is here 

I’m happy that there is at least one other fashion related post on this list because fashion is really what I would like to try and blog more about this year. This collection is what truly got me into Lazy Oaf, and since then not only has my ‘style game’ in my opinion got more quirky and improved, but I’ve had so much fun talking to people who love the brand also. I can’t wait to see what the brand comes up with in 2018, and I hope to expand my collection even more this year!

Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 21.14.00

So there it is, my top nine for 2017. I know since it’s New Years Day this post is coming maybe a bit late. But I also know I’m unashamedly going to be posting more reflective posts all this year (as long as it’s the first week of the year it’s ok, right?). I personally can’t wait to see what this year will bring from fellow bloggers, and on my own blog. I’m so happy that I finally actually have a blog after wanting one for years so to be honest I’m over the moon and ecstatic everytime I get a view or a comment.

Thank you to anyone who has read my blog and made that happen.

April

Facebook: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

Instagram: @aprilisthecruellestmonth (main account)

@aprilisthecruellestmonthblog (miscellaneous account- which I’ve not uploaded to in ages because I’m a horrible human being)

Twitter: @aprilcruelmonth

Tumblr: @aprilisthecruellestmonthblog

 

 

 

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.