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FRIDAY THOUGHTS: WHY THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS WASTED TIME - THE JUSTIFICATIONS OF A MASTER PROCRASTINATOR

Friday, 10 August 2018

Trafalgar Square, London, UK





'The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time'.

Time is a funny old thing, isn't it? It's one of the only things that we can't control, or fully understand. I could get a little philosophical on ya ass, because this student spent years studying Metaphysics and trying to grapple with big questions like, 'what is time, anyway?' Is time a real dimension independent of events, or merely a 'social construct', a human invention that allows us to make sense of the world?  But this isn't a Philosophy essay, so let's move off this tangent, (I hope I haven't lost you already!), I'll save you from that brain muddle!

Frankly, it doesn't really matter, because it rules our lives, either way. Time is elusive and it's paradoxical. So often it evades us even though it's constantly looming over us. It's both a blessing and a curse: we're grateful that we have more, but it's also a constant source of life's pressures. The indefinite and irreversible nature of it means that we go through life constantly keeping track of it, worrying that we're wasting it, that we're not appreciating it, that we're not 'living in the moment'. 

Now more than ever, there's a culture of needing to constantly make 'good use' of our time. Though this in itself is hard to define. 'Good use' is often seen as doing something productive; if it doesn't refer to working, then it refers to recreational activities like visiting the gym, or learning a new skill. I think fundamentally, it's seen as doing something that 'benefits' you - if a task you're participating in isn't 'bettering yourself' then it's seen as a waste of time, but I propose that we're getting this definition wrong. 


It's funny how much we beat ourselves up for doing nothing 'productive', right? Perhaps you spent a whole day in bed watching Netflix, reading gossip columns in magazines, or simply doing nothing. You've 'wasted time' because you haven't technically 'bettered yourself' or have anything to show for that time spent. But I would argue that this doesn't mean that you've wasted time - indeed, in my mind, the time you enjoy wasting is just as good a use of time as the time you spend being productive. Call this the life motto of a 'master procrastinator', if you will. 

I've always been procrastinator. For years and years, this made me just think of myself as lazy. Because best believe I can spend hours upon hours laying in bed doing absolutely nothing. I'm the type of girl to have a week to complete an essay at uni, but do nothing all week and then do all the reading and writing in one night. Not a healthy habit, I concede, but the point is, I got it done, and I used to spend that whole week feeling guilty about the fact that I wasn't working when I should be, knowing full well that a leopard does not change its spots and I'll be doing an all nighter at the end of the week. It's funny because now I don't think of myself as lazy. I know I'm a hard worker in fact, because when something needs to be done, I do it. So, does it really matter that I spend so much time 'doing nothing', when ultimately I achieve the goals I need to, and I enjoy that time I'm 'wasting', I think not, and I therefore refuse to accept this idea that a constantly 'busy' and 'productive' lifestyle is the best one. 

Time, to a certain extent, doesn't really matter. (A bit of a weird statement to make on a post in collaboration with a watch brand, eh?) But hear me out. I think far too often we put pressure on ourselves to be at constant maximum productivity; anyone else start the day with a to-do list as long as their arm but then only complete like 3 things? Yep, that used to be me constantly. I'd then do that annoying 'beating myself up' thing at the end of the day, where I'd go over the days events in my head, and lament over all the the time I had 'wasted' - maybe you took an hour or two to watch cat videos on youtube, or made a necklace out of bluetack (guilty... lol). We see this as laziness, but is it not just the brain taking a rest, a couple of hours or so a day to do something that isn't productive because it's what keeps us sane. I'm not saying that these are great ways to spent time. There are activities that are completely pointless. But I think it's more about reconstructing the way we think about time and what constitutes wasted time. Taking a break to do something 'unproductive' is not wasted time, so we should enjoy it! We're not robots who can constantly keep focused and work, so I think we should stop feeling guilty for it. More often than not, all those things on that to do list will be done exactly when I needed them to be. So did I really need to put pressure on myself to complete them all in one day? The time it took me to complete them didn't really matter in the end, so long as they were done when they needed to be done. Setting an ambitious list of tasks for one day can often be a recipe for disaster - you're bound to feel stressed, disappointed and ultimately guilty. There's only 24 hours in a day, after all. 



I've learnt to become more realistic with my to-do lists now. In actual fact, I no longer even bother to put time frames on them. Often, I'll write a to-do list when I have too many things to keep in my brain, and then just go through the list prioritising the most important on each day. My time away from uni and my sessions with my counsellor really helped with me retraining my mind and the way I think about time. Often now I'll start the day with the goal of only completely one important task in mind, and I find that so much easier to process. Anything else I achieve is then a bonus, and it means I can feel proud of myself for going beyond the goals I had set myself. When I first left uni for my health, every single task overwhelmed me, no matter how big or small, because I was so used to having long to-do lists to complete, and my mental state at the time just couldn't cope with it. Stripping it all back and learning how to prioritise just one task has made the process of getting things done so much easier now. I know what's most urgent, so instead of pushing myself to complete all tasks I complete them when I know I absolutely must. I guess this method doesn't work for everyone - a lot of people like to know they've completed something way before the deadline, but as we've seen, I'm a bit of a last minute person, so this works for me. 

This is one way I've found uni this year to be a lot less stressful. By keeping less track of time, I've somehow actually been better at keeping it! A little bit paradoxical, but I've found that without the mental pressure I had been setting myself of being productive all day and not wasting any time procrastinating, I somehow feel more motivated and productive. 


So, moral of this story? 

Let's stop demonising 'time wasting' so much whilst we glorify this ultra-busy 'sorry I have no time' lifestyle which simply isn't sustainable. We can't be productive all the time, and trying to convince ourselves that we can sets us up for a fail.

Take time to sit and watch meaningless crap on TV, procrastinate without guilt, and I guarantee you'll feel far more productive and refreshed when you actually come to completing the tasks you need to. Write to-do lists, but without time pressure. It's funny, but to me it seems that, the more we think about time and are pre-occupied with it, the less we really appreciate it. When you begin to just live it, without thinking about it, all of a sudden, things become a lot less stressful, and surprisingly, a lot more productive. Perhaps I'll leave another philosophical type question here, if you can bare it: maybe, just maybe, if time is a human structure, it's one that hinders us, more than helps. Since, from my experience, it would seem that the less I've been living a life ruled by time, the more I've come to utilise it. We are not stuck in sequential time in the way we think we are, when we 'waste time' we haven't really 'lost it' as we think we do. Instead of thinking of ourselves as existing inside time, something that we cannot control or harness, perhaps we should think of ourselves as time. Then, time becomes what we make of it, it doesn't feel so uncontrollable or looming. Making 'the best of it' simply becomes utilising it however one sees fit, without pressure or expectation.

Until next time, 
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx

Watch: c/o Henry London* (THE WESTMINSTER)

P.S. Enter in the code 'EVA20' at checkout for 20% off any Henry London watch. Browse the selection here.


This post is brought to you in collaboration with Henry London, who kindly sponsored the creation of this post. All items marked with an asterisk (*) were kindly gifted to me. As always all thoughts, opinions and creative direction are my own; please refer to my 'contact' page for my full disclaimer.

FRIDAY THOUGHTS: DECONSTRUCTING THE BLOGGER’S NEGATIVE STEREOTYPE

Friday, 3 August 2018





Do you ever worry about whether people who know you in real life change their opinion of you when they discover your blog?

It might sound silly, but I do. 

The blogging world is quite misunderstood by those who aren't part of it. Indeed, the fashion world is perhaps perceived as one of the most superficial, self-indulgent, and unintelligent ones to be interested in. 

And to a certain extent, we encourage it by playing up to it. We'll all hail Carrie Bradshaw an icon for getting Vogue instead of dinner, or buying manolos instead of paying rent. We'll all joke about how we wouldn't be seen dead in crocs, or about the hours and hours we spend online shopping. But if you're in the know, you also know that a lot of this is simply playing to a stereotype. Fashion and beauty is a passion of mine, but it's not my life. I have other interests and hobbies, and it certainly doesn't define me. So I struggle with the fact that so often, we get judged by the derogatory cliche fashion stereotype: a dumb girl with no brains and no character, just a simple superficial, shopaholic drone who only cares about her appearance.


I was having a discussion with a friend the other day, about how some people I know in real life 'don't like me because of my blog'. At first, I was kind of shocked! These were people who followed my social media accounts but who I'd spent time with in the real world, so I had assumed that they would have seen more of me. But then, my friend mentioned how for those who don't really understand it, my Instagram and blog are simply the evidence of a deeply narcissistic individual, and given that I'm rather shy and quiet in real life, I guess I had little chance to refute this.

Let's face it, she has a point. We all acknowledge that our social media feeds - Instagram most obviously - is a simple highlight reel. But it's not just that, it's an ego reel. After this conversation I had a scroll through my feed and really digested just how much it looks like such. It's hundreds and hundreds of pictures of me - of my face, of me posing. If you see my camera reel, it's pretty much the same. Nature pictures, photos of friends and family or events are fairly sparse. On the whole, it's hundreds, if not thousands of photos of me. Often a cluster of 200 extremely similar photos of one outfit, that I would have gone through each and every one to find that one shot that makes it to the feed. 

I won't lie, that conversation really got to me. Coming across as narcissistic or self indulgent has always been a huge complex of mine. Because it's a trait I personally hate. Because of that, it's one I'd hate for people to think of me. The trouble is, how do you prevent such in a world like ours? Fashion blogging necessarily involves taking photos of me, editing photos of me, talking about myself and so on, but that's in no way proof of a deeply egotistical person.

indeed, we know that often, the case is quite the opposite. More often than not, we bloggers disproportionately suffer with self-esteem issues or crisis' of confidence. This isn't least because spending hours and hours editing photos of yourself isn't some great ego trip, but instead often leads you to pick out even more imperfections, ones that you would never ever have even contemplated if it wasn't for the fact that you were inspecting photos of your face in blown up HD quality practically every day. I remember how this affected my self esteem, especially at the very beginning of blogging - for months it did more harm than good, as I simply couldn't cope with the amount of time I was having to spend staring at my own face, particularly at a time when I had absolutely no confidence or self-love.  Indeed, initially It took me 2 years to pluck up the courage to start my blog, because I hated the idea of taking photos of myself that much and lacked that much confidence in my appearance. But over time I got used to it. My better state of mind; the product of anti-depressants and hours of counselling have meant that my whole mindset has changed, and of course, this has spilled into my blogging too. Now, I try not to even edit photos with the idea that they are pictures of me in mind, but as outfits or looks, which helps take the heat off. Now it's second nature - but that doesn't mean that I suddenly love the way I look, or am super confident. I've just learnt to grow up, and get on with it, because my love of creating content had to surpass my fears of criticism and self exposure.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this image these people have of me as 'superficial' or 'narcissistic', or 'self obsessed' couldn't be more wrong. For so long it was the exact opposite. My self esteem was non existent, and the fact that their opinions of me have hindered their process of getting to know me properly all because of my online space upsets me. 

I've always been hyper-aware of people I know finding my online space. When I first started in the beginning, I was so conscious of it that as soon as someone I knew followed my account, I would block them. But time wore on and I began to let the odd person slip through, and I now realise that a substantial number of people I know follow my online channels. And to tell you the truth, it bothers me. There was something incredibly freeing when i first started about knowing that everything I wrote was completely free, un-judged and in a way, anonymous. I felt more creative control, I felt less restricted, and ultimately, I felt less afraid. Less afraid of what people would think about me, because what does it matter what a bunch of people I don't know deduce about me from what I put on my blog? 

I'd hate for people to see my blog and build a particular image of me. Of this self indulgent, overly superficial person, because I don't think that's me. And more than that, it's a stereotype I loathe and have tried to actively reject - it's one that I think is unfairly cast on us fashionistas and beauty lovers, not least because more often than not, the posts I read from other bloggers are intelligent, insightful, witty, and creative.

For me, fashion has always been fun. It's about more than looking good (though why there is anything wrong with wanting to look good, I don't know). When you look good, you feel good - I know that when I like my outfit, I feel more confident. But it's more than that still. For me, as cliche as it sounds, fashion is art. It's about creating. I've always had an artistic flare. Growing up I would spend hours drawing, then when I was at school I got into Art and pursued it to GCSE and A Level, it all fascinated me - from the drawing and painting, to art history and gallery visiting. I enjoyed making things in Textiles - from cushions to costumes, and would spend hours and hours sketching my designs and making clothes and researching my favourite designers and trends. 

Fashion is fun for us! We buy into trends that we know don't look 'good' to those who aren't 'in the know'. (Think the Gucci princetown fur loafers, or the ugly sneaker trend), but we buy them because it's about being part of a community, a culture - it's frivolous and fickle and allows you to inject a bit of fun and excitement into an otherwise rather dull part of life. 

After pondering over that conversation with my friend, I came to the conclusion that I should feel proud of my content. And I am proud of it. But I must accept that I can't control how people engage with it, how people understand or perceive it. 

I don't want worrying about people's perceptions of me to affect my productivity, or make me censor what I write on my blog. But it can be hard. Hearing that my blogging was changing people's opinions of me really worried me because it emphasises only one part of my personality. I absolutely adore fashion and beauty, but it's not all of me. It isn't my whole life and I know it's not everything. There are so many other facets to me that I would hate to be neglected because people have one perception of me. I'm aware that I've built an online 'persona' or image. It's very curated and controlled, and only concentrates on one facet of me. But it's also intended for a particular audience. One that understands the context and therefore won't judge me purely on what they see. The problem is when the worlds collide... a certain image as the only one. I struggle with what to do about it. Do I start blocking people I know from my blog accounts again? Do I try to start making my social media far less edited and controlled so it's not so superficial or materialistic? Or do I just say fuck it, I'll do what I want to do.... it's a tricky one, but I think I've started to realise something. 

I've now realised that it's their problem and not mine. That they should've taken the time to get to know me properly, instead of just making assumptions. But we all know that that's a behaviour that we're all guilty of. We try not to judge a book by its cover - but there's no denying that first impressions matter. In this digital millennial age, a glance at a social media account or a look up of a person after a first meeting is just the same as judging a book by its cover or its blurb. It's useful to an extent, but our social media image is rarely representative of the person as a whole and all their various layers - indeed, it only scratches the surface. 

Do you guys worry about how your online persona is perceived by those who know you in real life? Do you find that this is often negative? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below! 

Until next time, 
Bisous <3

Eva 
xxx

OUTFIT DETAILS:

Top: c/o Missy Empire*
Trousers: Topshop
Shoes: c/o New Look*
Bag: Dior
Sunglasses: Ebay



3 PIECES TO COMPLETE YOUR SUMMER WARDROBE

Wednesday, 1 August 2018






Since this summer sun doesn't appear to be disappearing anytime soon, I've decided to add a few more hot weather appropriate pieces to my wardrobe. See, I'm beginning to run out of outfit choices - it's not usual for us to have this much heat! And so I beginning to realise that, whilst I'm well stocked up on jumpers and big jackets, I'm running thin on dresses, and bottoms that aren't jeans. Here are 3 trends that I'm hoping to incorporate into my wardrobe as I shop!


1.) Rope Sandals

I started off unsure - I feared the 'rope sandal' was far too close to it's infamous 'Dad sandal' sibling, and I wasn't too keen on walking around looking like one of JC's disciples. But, alas, as usual social media did its brainwash thing, and after seeing the rope sandal styled up numerous times by my favourite influencers in different ways, I decided that I absolutely needed to get my hands on a pair. They're actually far easier to style than I thought they would be - dresses, jeans, floppy skirts - everything seems to go perfectly, and they're surprisingly more comfortable than I thought they would be, too. I would definitely recommend getting a pair!


2.) Maxi Dresses

This year it seems that midi dresses and slip dresses have been all the rage, but I think a maxi dress for summer is always a classic. If you pick right, they're easy to take from day to night, simply swap your Adidas Stan Smiths for some scrappy heeled sandals and you've instantly got an elegant look for evening time. Quiz currently have a wonderful collection of maxi dresses, my personal favourite being this royal blue number, which I would pair with white trainers or slip on sandals in the day and a straw bag and oversized sunnies to match.


3.) Co-Ords 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. A good co-ord in the wardrobe is a must! Because it's the set with endless options. I just received this beautiful co-ord set from Missy Empire, and have been loving the pleated flared culottes, that I have been wearing practically every day. For on trend prints - opt for polka dots or leopard prints - perfect for the rest of the Summer season!

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Quiz Clothing. All items marked with an asterisk (*) were kindly gifted to me. As always all thoughts, opinions and creative direction are my own; please refer to my 'contact' page for my full disclaimer.


WHY A JUMPSUIT IS A SUMMER WARDROBE STAPLE

Monday, 23 July 2018





Don't get me wrong, I like summer, and the weeks of proper summer weather we've had this year have been a nice change from the usual drab and damp English weather. But.... who else actually feels way too lazy to do anything, or even to get dressed in this heat? I'm glad I'm on holiday from uni at the minute, because most days I just lay in bed in my underwear with a fan by my side, ice cream in hand, and a Netflix boxset to watch. On the occasions where I do have to leave my house and brave the heat, I'm often stumped on what to wear. Since walking around in my pants is sadly not socially acceptable, when it hits 30+ degrees and I have to leave the house, I'm usually wanting to put in as little effort into my outfit as possible. 

That's where the jumpsuit comes in. Or any one piece in fact. When I was asked what my summer style tips were by Warehouse*, this was one piece that immediately stuck out. Why? Because they give you endless options. Warehouse currently have the perfect collection of holiday playsuits and jumpsuits that can also give you a range of outfit possibilities once you're back from your travels, or if the weather starts to change and get cooler again. For colder days, wear a turtle neck or t-shirt underneath and immediately, you've created a new outfit. In the heat, well - jumpsuit sans anything else, and you're sure to be as cool as possible all day - opt for wide legs and floaty sleeves to maximise breeze potential (because is there anything better when a cool breeze hits the skin under your clothes as you walk in the heat?). And, if you're a busy lady with lots of places to go and lots of people to see, and you don't have time to change outfits, then take the jumpsuit from day to night - Trainers and an oversized straw bag in the day, strappy heel sandals and a clutch for the evening, and voila!  

To stay super on trend, I'd say opt for something with an exaggerated floor length wide leg. Pair with an oversized straw hat and huge cat eye sunnies - tres chic, non? That is a look that is sure to give 'on my yacht in Cannes vibes' even if you're deep in the overdraft, eating beans on toast for dinner, and walking through a small British town and not the South of France. If you're into your accessories, then pair the jumpsuit with a wide belt (think the gucci marmont) or this corset style to cinch in the waist and really emphasise your silhouette - perfect for date night! Some of my favourite one pieces currently on sale at Warehouse include this navy playsuit, which conveniently already has a belt attached. Hit two trends with this polka dot, wide leg number, or opt for this bright green, structured jumpsuit - brights are a must when the weather is this good! 

What is your go-to summer outfit? And do you love a jumpsuit as much as me? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, 
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx

Please not that this post is a collaborative post. As always all thoughts, opinions and creative direction are my own; please refer to my 'contact' page for my full disclaimer.























A DAY AT THE SEASIDE

Friday, 20 July 2018

Southend-on-Sea, UK






OUTFIT DETAILS:

Dress: c/o New Look*
Slides: c/o New Look*
Bag: c/o New Look*
Twilly: Dior
Sunglasses: Miu Miu

Ahhh you've got to love the fashion trickle down effect, don't you? Did everyone's newfound lust for animal prints begin with that Ganni skirt? Quite possibly. Who knows, but all I can say is, now that I am seeing animal prints absolutely everywhere at the minute, I am not mad at it at all

Animal print can be rather marmite, non? You have the camp who find it tacky and gaudy, and those who find it fun,  classic, and just a little bit risqué. I'm firmly with the latter.

See, animal prints are actually a lot more versatile than we often think. Take this cute little new look tea dress, for example. An example of a very wearable animal print - paired with a straw bag (another summer must have) and some comfy slides for a casual and understated look. It's a far cry from the loud, sexy and maximalist vibe we usually understand animal prints to have. 

 The high street always has us covered, doesn't it? This new look number is just over £20 and I'd highly advice you get your hands on it.. haven't you heard? Leopard print is a new neutral.

I wore this number for a day by the sea a few days ago and it was extremely comfy, and airy, so kept me cool all day long. I hadn't been to the seaside in years and I absolutely loved it - feeling the slightly saltier air through your hair and the sea breeze on your skin. It was so lovely to see little kids paddling around in the wet sand in puffy arm bands, and old couples holding hands whilst walking across the sea front. Obviously the day ended with an ice cream (which took me 20 minutes to decide on a flavour, only for me to opt for strawberry - predictable much?!) It was the perfect summer day out. 

Have any of you guys been to the seaside recently? And what are your thoughts on the animal print trend? 


Until next time, 
Bisous <3

Eva 
xxx

Please note that whilst this post is not sponsored, all items marked with an asterisk (*) were kindly gifted to me by 'New Look'. As always all thoughts, opinions and creative direction are my own; please refer to my 'contact' page for my full disclaimer.





FRIDAY THOUGHTS: WHAT I REALLY THINK ABOUT COSMETIC SURGERY

Friday, 13 July 2018




So, two things have happened these past couple of weeks that have prompted me to write a 'Friday Thoughts' post about something I have been wanting to talk about for quite a while now - cosmetic surgery. 

It can often be quite hard to openly discuss this topic, particularly in the fashion and beauty world, where more and more people are having cosmetic procedures, without coming across as self-righteous or judgemental - 'oh, I haven't had anything done, I'm all natural, so I'm the best role model' blah blah blah... 

But I think there's a frank discussion that really needs to be had. Are those with extensive surgeries good role models for young, impressionable, and insecure girls? Can you be anti-cosmetic surgery and a feminist? Can you be pro-surgery and have had procedures done, but also body positive and preach self-acceptance? What do we even mean by 'feminist' and 'body positive' and what do these movements mean and intend to do for women today?

There are so many questions here and I'm not really here to attempt to answer even a handful of them. Instead I wanted to reflect a little bit on the rise in people getting surgery, particularly in the blogging world, and why I think that is. 

As I say, 2 incidents prompted this post. The first was an episode of Love Island. I know, I know, it's all social media is talking about right now! But as light hearted and trashy a show as it is, it's been raising some rather more serious, important questions - such as female sexuality, modern dating, and colourism in dating. 
What stuck in my mind, however, is the plastic surgery debate. If you're familiar with the show, do you all recall the first casa amour episode, where the 6 new boys arrived in the villa? They each had to state who they found most attractive out of the girls in the villa, and every single one of them placed Megan, a girl who is estimated to have had £40,000 worth of cosmetic surgery (the before and after pictures really are quite alarming), in their 'Top 3' most attractive girls. Samira, who, as far as we know, is completely natural and it is worth noting, black, didn't make it into a single boy's top 3 category, when every other girl did. Later that episode, we saw Samira finally break down after 4 weeks of no interest from any of the guys. Tearfully, she spoke about how she wished she looked like Megan, how she didn't understand why any of the boys liked her, and I was immediately struck by the extent to which this level of this rejection was affecting her self esteem. Here, we had a naturally beautiful girl, who was well liked by the boys and girls of the villa, and therefore clearly had a lovely personality, thinking she was not enough. 

There are, of course, two strands to this. Firstly, there is the issue of race, something I do not wish to get into in this post - we'll be here for hours! But it definitely interlinks with the surgery thing. Megan has had lip injections, bum implants and a breast enhancement - all surgeries to change her body and, incidentally, make her more in line with the features a black woman would naturally have. Yet, on that black woman, they are somehow not lauded to the same extent. How does that work out? 

This isn't a post aiming to have a pop at Megan. I completely respect her right to do what she likes with her own body. In all honesty I thought it was bad that social media was using her surgery against her, suggesting that none of the boys would have fancied her natural, which, to a degree, further highlights the problem and shows why she very likely felt like she had to have surgery - because society didn't see her as fitting the beauty archetype. I find it incredibly sad that she has changed herself to such an extent anyway, seeing as it hardly seems logical that someone completely happy in themselves would change themselves beyond recognition. But to be brutally honest, I was struck by just how much the boys lauded a body and features that simply isn't real. Boys often chat about how they want a 'naturally pretty girl' who wears 'little makeup', but how can that be so when people like Megan are seen as the beauty ideal? What does that mean for the rest of us? 

The second was Kylie Jenner deciding to dissolve her lip fillers. We're all aware of the Kylie lip saga, and I'm sure Kylie's surgeries had a direct correlation with the boom in the sale of juvaderm. It was almost as if, just like that, a few injections, some botox and some face structural alteration, and suddenly Kylie had gone from 'the ugliest Kardashian/Jenner' to 'beautiful'. I always found this narrative particularly disturbing. The internet basically bullied a 16/17 year old girl into drastically changing her appearance to be considered beautiful, pitting her against her own siblings, and then bashing her 'newfound beauty' once she had undergone all the changes. The sad thing is, at 16, she was completely fine. She would've grown into her looks. Who looks like a supermodel at that age? I certainly didn't - and I can imagine that if I had ever been under the same scrutiny that she had been under, I would have done the exact same thing - changed myself to fit a beauty ideal. I think this just shows the hypocrisy of so many in fashion and beauty, and in society in general. Bash Kylie for not being 'conventionally beautiful' and then bash her again when she tries to do something about it. 

Social Media is becoming a place of increasing normalisation of cosmetic procedures, and I honestly don't think that is a good thing. It's becoming a place of increasing fakery, smoke and mirrors, and the worst thing is, we often don't even know. We're led to believe that these people naturally look the way they do - and I think that's one of the most worrying things about social media - we then judge ourselves against people who don't even look like themselves! For vulnerable teens, 13 year olds who want to be 'beautiful' and who are never happy with what they look like, I dread to think what such is doing to their self esteem and mental health. We've all seen the figures - social media has been shown to be linked with increasing levels of low self-esteem, poor body image, and body dysmorphia. 

Is that not terrible? I always feel like blogging started off as the 'anti-celeb' place, if you like. A place where normal people could gather - we could see how others, just like us, styled their clothes, did their makeup, and so on. But now that is changing, and, as I always say, we've created a new pseudo-'celebrity culture'. Bloggers are increasingly living a 'luxe', 'celebrity lifestyle', the holidays, the designer bags, and the cosmetic procedures. It's all fun and games and looks amazing on the 'gram, but its not relatable anymore. One type of lifestyle is being presented as the ideal, and I'm sure its eating away at people who feel like they've somehow underachieved because they're not living it. I can see how this can feed into negative self perceptions. You think if you get that boob job you'll be slightly more attractive. That designer bag and suddenly you're with the 'it crowd'. It's a slippery slope - and I think it's scary that surgery is becoming part of this lifestyle that is being so heavily promoted by influencers these days. 

As I say, it's tricky, because I first and foremost, I want to be thought of as someone who supports women. Feminism to me, isn't about redefining the role of a woman - it's about saying that there is no role for women. It's about choice. There is no role because women are capable and should be allowed to do whatever they want to do. This includes jobs, sexuality, education, and what they do to their own bodies. On this then, I could never say that I was anti-surgery. Because that would make me anti-choice, and that's something I'd never want to be. I also wonder at want point supporting someone's right to have surgery, inadvertently becomes endorsing body dysmorphia. Because, yes, one might support one's right to change their nose, or their lips, but what about the person who has changed every inch of themselves? Is that not dangerous, and a sure sign of body dysmorphia - a very real mental health problem - how do we morally support someone having surgery when there are signs of that? I do think we also have to seriously think about just how much it makes sense to be both pro-surgery and body positive. Is there not a degree of hypocrisy in preaching self acceptance, when you haven't been able to do that yourself? I understand some people position themselves as 'changing themselves so they could self-accept', but I don't know how that sits with me. I don't know, am I being unfair? I'd love to know what you guys think of this. I'm someone who has grown up constantly insecure. I've only really just started to have a shred of self esteem. I think, if I had been allowed, around 19 I would have wanted to have a bunch of surgeries done. But, 3 years on and those things I would've changed then, don't really bother me anymore, and I'm so glad I never seriously considered surgery. Some things I fall in and out of love with. Like my height. Growing up it truly affected my confidence. I hated being tall. If there had been something I could have done to change it, I would. I surgery that removed part of your leg, a potion that made you shrink - anything going I would've taken. But now my height doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I quite like it. I'll proudly parade about in heels, I don't care who I'm taller than, and I've accepted people calling me 'BFG' lol. I grew out of it and I accepted it - although I accept that perhaps I had to accept it, because there was nothing I could do to change it. 

Ultimately, I think what I'm trying to get across, is that I think we need to think more carefully about why we are getting cosmetic procedures done - what are the real motives behind it? Do you actually dislike a certain part of yourself, or has your insecurity been born of societal expectations? Because, at the end of the day, we can all sit here, and berate 'society' for setting the status quo and unrealistic beauty standards, but we simultaneously perpetuate them and by into them by the decisions we make. And yes, this time that includes the decisions we make with our own bodies. It seems odd to me that the same people who criticise companies for using the same type of model or who argue that beauty ideals are 'wrong' and 'pressurising' can often be the same people altering their bodies to fit into those ideals. That, to me, is hypocrisy, and although I understand how it happens, I think we each have the power, in our own small way, to fight it.

As I say, it has to come down to choice, and I will always always stand up for a woman's right to choose what to do with her own body. But I hope we start to think more about why it is we want to change ourselves so much. How many people had issues with their lips before Kylie Jenner and the rest of the world got theirs enhanced? I don't remember every celebrity having juvaderm injected into their lips in the 90s, or early 2000s. I don't remember lip size even being a thing before Kylie got hers done. So, are you really unhappy with the way they look, or are you just trying to fit into a beauty ideal? How many people had issues with their boob size before they started spending hours and hours on social media? My bet is, not many, because fundamentally, we are conditioned to think something desirable the more we see it. The more we saw girls with blown up lips, with society telling us that it was beautiful, the more we all desire it. 

This may surprise you, but I'm not here to say 'I'll never get work done'. I'm human after all, I feel pressured by beauty ideals, we all fear changes in our bodies as we get older, and I can be hypocritical! But I'd like to think that I'll never see surgery as the only option, but instead, as a very last final resort. I'd like to think that, for all the insecurities I'll have throughout my life, and I'm sure there'll be many - that I'll be able to take that journey to self acceptance, to contextualise it and realise that looks aren't everything, and to only turn to changing it if it really is affecting my life or confidence - because life is too short to be miserable, after all. 

What are your thoughts on plastic surgery? Have you had anything done yourself? I'd love to hear your stories and opinions - (without judgment, of course!) This is one of those topics that has no right or wrong answer and really fascinates me! Leave me your comments below!

Until next time, 
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx

5 THINGS I LOVE TO DO DURING A HEATWAVE

Sunday, 8 July 2018



So, it's like week 3 of the heatwave in the UK. Practically unheard of, right?! I thought I'd put a quick list together of all the things I love to do when we have this good weather!

1.) Eat buckets and buckets of ice cream. 
Pretty standard I think. Although this year I've been super classy and have only eaten white chocolaye magnums - I think it's about time I get the obligatory 99 Flake!

2.) Have a BBQ. Omg. 
Bring me allllll the burgers, and hotdogs, and prawns. 

3.) Going for a drink at the pub. 
Now I won't lie, this is something I like to do all year round. But it's so much better when the sun is shining and you can sit outside, right? So long as I have a rum and coke in hand and a good pal to chat to, I'm having a whale of a time. 

4.) Going to the park at sunset. 
I've always loved going to the park to sit on the swings for some 'me time'. Because there's just something so nice about just being in the presence of nature - just you and your surroundings. Cliche I know, but in summer time I love to stroll down to the park around 8pm when all the kids have gone home, so I can just sit in the park, sometimes with headphones in, sometimes not, just for 20 minutes of peace and quiet. It's indescribably refreshing. 

5.) Go to the seaside. 
I have yet to visit the seaside this summer - but I cannot WAIT until I do. I'll spend the afternoon by the sea, then have a little look round the arcades, then get fish and chips before heading home. Argh, a perfect day out, methinks. 

What things do you guys love to do when the weather is this lovely? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, 
Bisous <3

Eva
xxx

OUTFIT DETAILS:
Top: c/o Missy Empire*
Shorts: c/o Missy Empire*
Sunglasses: Ebay

Please note that whilst this post is not sponsored, all items marked with an asterisk (*) were kindly gifted to me by 'Missy Empire'. As always all thoughts, opinions and creative direction are my own; please refer to my 'contact' page for my full disclaimer.

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