Disgraceful Beauty Standards on Women Imposed by the Media!

Helloo!

I’m delighted to have the wonderful Shay (you can find the link to her blog at the bottom of this post) as a guest poster on my blog! She’s written a highly thought-provoking piece, challenging beauty ideals and stereotypes in the media! I Shan’t say anymore; I’ll leave her words to do the talking.

It was a real honour to have you here again! I can’t wait to write my own post for your blog, although it’ll be hard to match the articulation and powerful arguments that you presented here! Writing like this is the reason I admire Bloggers like Shay so much.


According to Wikipedia, the feminine beauty ideal is “the socially constructed notion that physical attractiveness is one of women’s most important assets, and something all women should strive to achieve and maintain.”

Excuse my French but I call bullshit.

 

This notion is based on heteronormative beliefs and imply that a woman’s role is simply to stand and look pretty.

 

The first time I truly acknowledged how influential and derogatory the media and adverts are was in year six. I was about ten.

I knew that magazines changed the way people looked and that women of all backgrounds, cultures, and walks of life were not being represented as much, but it was one of those things I hadn’t properly digested.

We were sitting around tables scattered around the classroom, in the dark, as this video played on a big wide screen.

It was a video of a model, sitting for a photoshoot. Her hair and makeup done, lighting set up and then came the editing process. They made her neck longer, face thinner, lips bigger, face more contoured, eyes bigger, face lower. So many little details were changed, pushing her further and further into being someone unfamiliar. (The video link is below)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U

After that day, I began thinking about every advert I passed and saw, processing it bit by bit. After that day, I kept comparing myself to the people I was seeing in the media, who had been changed and “perfected”. If they made her neck longer, does that mean mine should be long too? They made her skin lighter…should mine be too?

 

I have dark skin. So that didn’t go down well. Saying I became insecure about my skin colour is an understatement.

 

I went to Dubai on holiday with my family. It was a great trip and a wonderful country but it shocked and disheartened me how many adverts for skin bleaching creams there were, claiming it will make you “fair” and “beautiful”, associating the idea of lightening your skin, which in turn is both harmful to you physically and mentally, with beauty and attractiveness. Not only is this encouraging those to contemplate the idea of buying the product and lightening their skin but also reinforces to these women (and men) that they can’t be pretty without obtaining paler skin. Even TV shows enforce ideas like these, for example The Proud Family, which portrays the darker skinned girls as unlovable, stupid and living in poverty. This was a kids show, and children are the most susceptible to concepts like this. I understand that the media and companies need to make money and producers and creators of TV shows and films can do what they want – it’s their production – but these things can harm people, even if it’s not obvious.

 

It doesn’t stop there. They can’t just stop at our faces. They’re targeting our bodies too, shaming us for having unique shapes, and again not fitting into what they desire to see. As Elm told me, body shaming is “poisonous, with a lot of that being initiated and catalysed by the media”. There’s been a creation of an unrealistic impression on how women should look, damaging women internally, leading to physical damage too. Examples in social media and television include Dear Fat People, a disgusting video by Nicole Arbor, and even our beloved Friends. And the worst part is, sometimes the women are held accountable for their emotions because “they should lose/gain weight and do something about it”. And, I’m sorry, but piss off with “but being fat (or skinny) is unhealthy”. That’s no excuse to disrespect and shame a person for being bigger or smaller than you’d like them to be. Truthfully, no one is obligated to be healthy and whatever condition you and your health is doesn’t mean you’re better or worse of a human being. An amazing woman on Twitter, Callie Thorpe made a very good point I’d like to share: “I’d like to take a bet that you too are unhealthy, perhaps you drink too much, smoke, sunbath with no sunscreen, get too little sleep. That’s also makes you unhealthy. But because my body looks “unhealthy”, I’m the one that is mocked, bullied, made an example of.”

 

As women, we’re being subjected to unattainable beauty standards, forced to take action to make us look “beautiful”. It’s led people to eating disorders, low self esteem and confidence and so much more. According to a study in 2015 by Common Sense Media, teenagers spend an average of nine hours a day using the media (movies, TV, social media, etc). That’s a lot of exposure to these idealised beauty standards, promoting to these teenagers that white, tall, thin women are the best and prettiest type of woman, when in fact, it doesn’t matter if you’re far from that description of what is idealised as perfect or if you fit the exact description, all women are beautiful in their own way, embracing their own characteristics, inside and out.

Whatever you shape, size, skin colour, face, etc, you need to understand that it doesn’t determine your beauty or worth, no matter what people say. People making judgements about the way you look says more about them than it does about you. 

 

On the other hand, since I was ten, there has been more diversity in the media, not just in terms of appearance, but also in terms of how women behave, straying from the “idealistic” behaviour of cooking, cleaning and being a sexualised, provocative love interest. Women can do all sort of things and be all sort of things. As well as this, I feel like the world is progressing (very slowly) into showing women and young girls that beauty is subjective, especially as popular public figures are using their platforms, privileges and talents as a way to express and tackle these issues like Amy Schumer and Zendaya. Shows like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are flourishing and uplifting women. Flaws and “imperfections” should not be abolished from your bodies but maybe instead embraced? And the truth is, women are not obligated to look pretty, ever, for anyone. We are more than just a pretty face.

Always be yourself and strut out your door with confidence, despite what the world is pinning down on you.

 

“I can’t think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself.” -Emma Stone 

So girl you do you!

 

-Shay, Planet Shay

Side note:

Thank you so much Elm for letting me guest post on your blog a second time! Elm will also be posting on my blog so don’t miss her brilliance there! 😊

My Body is My Own

One of the only times I truly appreciated myself, how I looked, the way I stood and how a smile felt on my face – was at my Prom in June. That, and when I kissed someone, but the latter was more of an affirmation that I was attractive and not a failure at ‘romance’.

I’m not some great beauty, some kind of princess or queen because if anyone called me that, I’d laugh in their face and ask them to list every positive physical attribute I had, interrupt them halfway through because I was laughing too hard and then refuse to let them continue. Or… Perhaps I’d be so shocked that I’d accidentally hug them. So, that’s not going to happen any time soon.

Even so, I don’t lord myself as someone who’s immensely attractive: I know my flaws, often get insecure about them, but at the end of the day if someone judges me on them, it’s their problem. I learnt today that I didn’t hate my body – not like I thought I would. My flaws, for once, didn’t bother me.

My stepmother bought a bunch of clothes for me today, to prepare for something I’m doing tomorrow which means I won’t be at school. After the disaster of yesterday, where I felt like a puppet because I was made to try on clothes of hers because I had no appropriate ones of my own, I was all set to be furious when I came back from school. I hate it when people buy things for me, especially if I wasn’t told before, because I need to be in control of what I wear and how comfortable I feel in my own skin. Often, I feel as if people control that without realising, and I don’t speak up to stop it.

I was waiting to snap, to feel disgusting like I did yesterday, to want to take every little part of my body and rip it apart. I was expecting to have the world crowd in on me. That time didn’t come.

My stepmother showed me the clothes – it probably helped that we started with shoes and they fit, which meant that my mind immediately quietened because not many shoes fit me that look nice. I laughed, joked around, did stupid poses and barely got annoyed when I couldn’t stand how she wanted me to.

For me, it was a shock. I’m used to criticising myself, to saying “NO – you look awful; no one thinks you look okay and you know you feel bad in your body. Who’d want to appreciate you, seeming as you can’t do it yourself?” I wasn’t angry; in fact, I revelled in knowing I had clothes which I liked. Yes, it would have been better had I bought them myself, but I’m still figuring out what kind of style I like – HA, I’m hopeless with fashion!

Today was a rather steep learning curve for me. I don’t like my body necessarily, but I don’t despise it. What people think of me – whether they want to kiss me or not if I have a certain bloody type of top on – doesn’t matter. If someone truly cares for me, they won’t give a crap what I wear. The age old saying, “It’s what’s on the inside that matters,” really applies here.

You aren’t somehow less for liking to wear different things. Your body is not Unattractive, and only you can have enough faith in yourself to tell yourself that. So many people can tell you you’re beautiful, but if you don’t truly believe that in your heart, you’ll continue to think you’re ugly. I can’t see you, even if you were right in front of me, but bloody anyone can be beautiful to themselves if they believe it. I will never see myself in the mirror, but does that mean I can tell myself I don’t look attrocious? Yes. I can still do it, heedless of the fact I don’t understand what a face truly looks like.

Don’t believe me? One day, when you’re strong enough, when you can, find things about your body you like. List them, without any negative adjectives because realistically it doesn’t matter what you look like. If you feel miserable with your appearance, no amount of makeup oR product can change that. If you hate your body, the only way to improve it is to realise: “I’m not hideous. To myself I’m not, and fuck what other people think.”

I’m nowhere near perfect because I always find ways to critique myself, but I’m working on it. I have over 40 photos of me on my phone right now, which is more than I’ve ever had at once, and I refuse to call myself narcissistic. It’s one step at a time and that one step, today, was feeling happy enough with myself to take control of my body, because it’s mine. It’s not anyone else’s to judge, to own, to comment on: I literally own it, and you own yours. Don’t forget that, when you feel like everything’s getting too much.

From Elm 🙂

Small Ways to Get Your Life Back on Track

For the first time ever, I applied a little bit of makeup – myself – before going to school. You can start laughing now, because even I was shocked: despite going shopping on Saturday for “beauty” items, I never thought I’d have the guts to go through with it. To actually say, “Oi! You don’t look shit when you do this!”

That’s what inspired me to make this post, because today I felt positive and like I could do something worthwhile. The makeup doesn’t make me feel more secure in myself; it’s a little extra thing that is new, and the fact that I could apply it without help gave me the boost of confidence I needed.

If you’re like me and your life is spinning out of control, and you feel overwhelmed, then here are a few things that have helped me – and may help you – to pick yourself up again. They’re just little things, but can make a world of difference to you if all you want to do is cry.

Sort out your room

I don’t know about you, but there’s something calming about organising something so personal as your room. When my room gets in a clutter and I get pissed off at life, a way to calm myself down is to tidy up, reshuffle everything or just make sure you know where things actually are. Being blind, it’s essential to me that I’m aware of where things are in my room, and so I like to check every now and then that it’s all in order. Try it and you may see that doing something productive helps you relax.

Make a list of people who care about you

This seems stupid, but you often forget who’s there for you. In a moment of fear or paranoia, I have to remind myself of who’s there and why they’re there. You have more people on your side, looking out for you, than you think: acknowledge it, as best as you can, by noting down everyone. It makes me feel more secure in myself, and so I know that next time I’m terrified, I can refer back to the list and remember: I’m not alone. Neither are you.

Do something creative for a while

If you’re swamped by essays, writing and screaming balls of fire – erm, I mean work – a way to combat that is to do something else. Don’t feel guilty; you’re not a failure or a piece of crap for doing something you love! Mine’s singing and creatively writing; yours could be dance, sport, artwork and drawing, or anything like that. Step away from the homework and keep in mind that you’re not some work machine fiend superhero invincible human. Anyway, doing something you like to do can make you feel better, and so you can approach the bitch that is life with a positive mindset.

Talk and laugh with people

This one’s especially good with people you don’t see every day; it can be refreshing. Sometimes, I feel stifled and so lose all motivation to do anying, but it doesn’t HAVE to be that way (yeah Elm, take your own bloody advice!). A huge mood-booster (THAT is not a word shh) for me is Skyping bloggers, and just laughing with them until my sides hurt, or talking to random people in class.

Take care of yourself

Yes, that includes hygene and cleaning. Being female, I enjoy having routines that I stick to when it comes to skincare: cleansing my face, using moisuriser, all of that which you should do anyway. It gives me something to stick to, and makes me feel healthy; even eating healthily can improve your mood. I love chocolate to a scary degree, but if I eat it all the time, it makes me feel upset, and so little things like remembering to eat a balanced diet are so important. For anyone that knows me, I’ve become rather… Involved with looking after my skin and my way of living recently, as evidenced by my constant need to make sure I’m not over or underdoing things. Looking after how you live and yourself can just make you go outside and not want to crawl into a hole and howl for 20 years.

These seem like obvious things, but trust me when I say that I sometimes (all the time, whoops) forget to do them. Slowly, over the past 6 months, I’ve been implementing them more in my life and they’ve helped me to feel a little more grounded, stable and together in my mind.

What kinds of things do you do to make sure that you’re helping yourself as much as possible?

From Elm 🙂

I Actually Enjoyed Shopping?

In my younger years (I sound like an old woman) I was notorious for hating shopping, scorning the thought of myself wearing makeup, and not wanting to go to the effort of going outside to do something for myself – entirely for me. Today, I flipped that on its head, and realised some parts of my personality have changed drastically.

When I’m at my dad’s house, I’m often happier and strive to be independent. Such was the case when my dad asked me on Thursday, “Elm, want to do anything at the weekend? Maybe we could go out on a walk or learn some routes, like going on the bus or something.” I’m blind and so my independence means a lot to me, as it’s abismally low, which meant that I jumped on the opportunity.

“Actually,” I said yesterday when I was transferring from my mum’s to my dad’s, “Can I go out and get some makeup brushes and makeup?” No one was more surprised than I was (except most likely my mum). Over the last year and a half, I’ve steadily warmed to the idea of makeup: I don’t think I’d wear it all the time, but I know it makes me feel confident. Not because of my appearance because I can’t see myself, but it’s a new thing, an extra little add-on that – if I apply it myself – gives me faith in my own abilities, if that makes sense?

After having stayed up until 4 (I still have a pretend grudge against the bloggers I skyped until then) I was exhausted; I woke up at 11, relaxed, had a shower, brushed my hair and made myself feel as relaxed and happy as possible because I knew if I went out today with a bad mindset I’d give up and not want to do what would make me feel better: taking control of myself. I took the first steps to do that by putting perfume on, and wearing clothes that I actually like; it’s little things like these which make me feel secure.

At my stepmother’s insistance, I wasn’t guided by my dad and I walked the (short) distance to the bus stop. I embarrassed myself by not being able to find the card reader thing (I live near London) and getting pissed off, stepping aggressively down the bus and then losing contact with my dad, meaning that I couldn’t find a seat and nearly sat on someone… That was great.

When I arrived at the shops, I got stressed: I knew what I wanted, but I was paranoid I wasn’t getting the right thing. Rapunzel, a close friend of mine, has helped me because I’m literally terrible at everything to do with beauty. I asked her for advice, and used my (limited) skills to find out what I liked.

I bought:
Four brushes from Real Techniques:
• A foundation brush
• Concealer brush
• Shadow brush (for eyeshadow I think
I KNOW NOTHING)
• Powder brush
• Foundation from Bare Minerals
• Perfecting Veil from Bare Minerals
• Two packs of makeup wipes from Boots
• I’m not turning into a beauty blogger; that would be hilarious because me +beauty =disaster

In the midst of shopping, I had to deal with some, errm, emotional panic, so that wasn’t great, but I soon looked over it because I was happy as I was being independent with my actions. Not once did I feel bored, or frustrated at not being able to decide; I spoke to three shop assistants and didn’t feel out of place. They didn’t make me feel like a child.

This afternoon, I learned that it’s okay to change your opinions. It’s alright to go out there, ‘do what you want, and not judge yourself for it. I’ve accepted that I’m intrigued by the thought of makeup, of making myself look a certain way and being able to manipulate that.

All in all? Finding myself makes me feel like I can truly do this. That I can truly express my own personality without screaming at myself for it. You can, too.

From Elm 🙂

I’m Being Sociable?

Tonight, I’m going to a real, proper, genuine… Party.

I know. The thought of me at a party, surrounded by drunk people dancing, makes me laugh so hard that I can barely speak. To my shock, it’s actually happening. A girl who I don’t know that well, but who I spoke to right at the beginning of the year, invited me to her birthday party, which almost shocked me into the next decade. Because, well, I never get invited to those types of parties.

Really, I’m just assuming that it’ll be a party with alcohol, and loud music, and all that. The girl who’s party it is is lovely, but I don’t know her “character” – so she could be throwing a quiet kind of gathering, or a party like Ivy’s last year. AKA alcohol +dancing +interesting situations; the only other party I’ve been to like that is Ivy’s. Do you see my slight dilemma?

I’m going to Pine’s beforehand for a few minutes, so that her parents can drop us off. Swan will be coming too, but apart from that, I don’t know many people there. It’s the case of “Knowing” them but not knowing them; I know their names but not who they really are. I’m pretty much going to be glued to Pine and Swan all evening, which is irritating because I hate being dependent on people. I couldn’t just go off on my own because I’m blind, could get lost, and I’d be too nervous if I was surrounded by potentially unreliable people who I don’t know.

I’ve decided, as usual, to stress myself out for various reasons. If you know the slightest thing about me, it’s that I’m prone to stressing and if there’s nothing to stress about, then I create a reason. You know the song perfectly? Oh, but what if you screw up when singing? You know how to cook this very basic thing? But what if the oven breaks, or you drop something?!

Being insecure about my body is a special enemy of mine. That means that I have no idea what the hell I’m wearing, because I don’t know what type of atmosphere it’ll be, and what other people would be wearing. Sticking out is terrifying to me in this situation, and I feel too awkward to ask various other people “Hi i’m a fashion disaster – what’re you wearing to the party?” I know that other people’s opinions shouldn’t matter, but this is the first time I’ve been invited to a party with a bunch of people I don’t know, by a girl who isn’t my close friend. She was the first new girl we spoke to before the actual school year started and I think that stuck with her – not to mention throughout the last two months, I’ve had nice conversations with her. It still surprised me, though.

I’m going to enlist my sister in helping me, because she’s back from university. In fact, she offered; she saw that I was getting stressed when I went up to her room and talked to her, and said to me: “Look Elm, it’s okay. I’ll help you, and you won’t fuck this up – you couldn’t.” My sister has gone to so many parties, and is the opposite to me in that she can get out there, wear whatever, and outwardly appear confident. She’ll help with makeup too, because I’m literally unable to apply anything because I’m worried I’ll do it wrong and can’t see myself to check.

I’m also worried that I’ll act stupidly. If there’s alcohol, I don’t really want to get drunk because I hate not being in control, but I may have some. I don’t know. I’m trying not to overthink this or plan it too much in my head, because it’s just a party. It’s still a novelty to even be invited to one by someone like her: someone so nice, who doesn’t know much about me but who’s trying.

Oh, you know what? I’m just going to ‘wing it’, as they say. Recently my mental health has been abismal and I’m not expecting this to fix anything, but it can disarract me. Distraction iso’t the best thing to do but I’ve been constantly feeling bad for the last month with very little break, so I almost think I deserve to forget about shit. Obviously, I’ll still get sad, but having fun will lessen the hurt a little.

What I’m most looking forward to is meeting new people. When I want to be, I can be sociable, and the thought of new people really getting to know me makes me happy. I’ll try not to worry about how I speak, how I look, or if people will think I’m stupid. I’m worried that I just won’t be able to talk to anyone because they’ll all know each other, but I’ll be okay.

I’m just going to enjoy myself, whatever happens. There’s no point to existing if you can’t live a little. I’m still sad but for one night I will be happy and maybe that one night will turn into every night, one day.

From Elm 🙂

Halloween make up look

Hello everyone,

Just before i start this the writer from the blog milalor writing this post! Don’t worry i haven’t hacked this account or any thing like that. I actually asked Elm if it would be okay for me to do a guest post! So here it is. Don’t forget to like and follow elms blog!!

So as on of my hobbies is all things to do with beauty i wanted to type a post related to this. However with halloween twist! So this post is a halloween make up look, perfect for any halloween party you could be attending.

For this look you are going to need:

  • Black eye shadow.
  • Fake blood (obviously!!!)
  • Black/brown eyeshadow
  • red eyeshadow
  • white face paint
  • a sponge applicator
  • A attachable zip, bye this i mean a zip that parts down the middle. You can find these down a halloween themed aisle in your supermarket i actually got my’n from poundland!
  • Some skin safe glue to apply this with.
  • Make up brushes
  • This one is optional but you could add some hair chalk for  a little extra wow!

Okay so that is what you need and this is what you need to do to create the look:

  1. Before you start you want to make where the zip is going to go on your face.  Personally i would recommend that you put it on the top of your nose and have it closed at the top and have it open as you have it comping towards your mouth. If your zip is to long then you can cut the ends of. But DON’T stick the zip down yet as you need to add everything else. Just mark where it will go.
  2. Now your can start by making it look all disgusting! What you will need to do is basically in the space you have cover it in black/red eye shadow and fake blood. Don’t worry though i will take you through this step by step…
  3. Take a eye shadow brush and inside your markings cover it in black eye shadow if you like you could blend in a bit of eye liner in there as well just to give it some more depth.
  4. Then on another brush take your fake blood and dab it all over the black eye shadow. You should start to see it all comping together at this point…
  5. If you want you can then blend the blood and eye shadow a bit more, and add some more black or red eyeshadow if you like.
  6. Now the inside is all done you can stick on your zip.
  7. On the rest of your face you can cover it in white face paint to give you a dead look! Also if you want you can take your black eye shadow and put it in your eye brows.
  8. Then to finish of the look take your red eye shadow and brush it along your cheeks just slightly to make you look like the scariest character out of the scariest horror film!!

Then if you want you can put in your hair chalk and all that sort of stuff.

I hope you all enjoyed this little blog. And to get a picture of the look i am trying to describe just search on google ‘halloween zip look’.  But here is a you tube video i followed when i created this look.

I hope you all enjoyed reading!!

bye for now,

Milalor (and elm)xxxx

Holidays Are Actually Stressful

You know what this season is? Summer.

Yes, summer. Where you’re supposed to RELAX. Key word: supposed. Because guess what I’ve done? I’ve started to mildly stress about my holiday to Italy, which starts on Thursday.

There has to be an emphasis on mildly. I’m not as bad as I used to be in terms of stress, but it is still there. I’ve found the most ridiculous things to stress about, as well. This is a time to have fun and be happy with one of my best friends ever, Robin, and catch up on six months of gossip – er, I mean, events that have happened in our lives. I have a lot to update her on, but that’s a story for another time.

Because I’m a complete conformist stereotzpe (psh, where’s the rebel gone in me?) I wanted to buy a bikini for this holiday. I’ve never worn one before, because I’ve never seen the purpose, and even though I am somewhat self-conscious about my body, I thought I’d give it a go. There’s no time like the present, after all, and I’m going to Italy to get new experiences, and to just be free.

The only issue was actually buying the damned thing. My mum and I went to our local shoping centre, and looked through about five shops. To put it bluntly, I’m a size 6, and they literally had none in my size. Only one shop sold them the size that would fit, and you had to order it online. As you can imagine, I got a tad bit upset (and stressed), but I’ve got much better at not showing it and I only once snapped “Yeah, well that’s fucking great isn’t it?” Also, I only went into self-hating “why don’t you just put on more weight you’re awful” mode ONCE! I’m vaguely proud of myself?

All of this worrying about my body is irritating me. If people aren’t happy with how I look, then to be honest they can actually bugger off: I feel insecure as it is, not being able to see myself (oh here we go aggg. As a result, I HAVE to rely on other people to tell me if I look good. Luckily, it’s Robin and her family, who I’ve known for 5 years, so I know they would.

After we got back from shopping, my mum ordered a bikini online (no idea what it looks like). It should hopefully arrive tomorrow, and I’ll see if it fits then, but I have this constant worry that it won’t and I’ll look like a complete moron. Ahh, I’ll just see how it goes: there’s no use worrying about it now, and I think I just need to relax before my holiday. HA!

This is most likely oversharing, but it’s got to the point where I trust you with this kind of thing. I really don’t like the hair on my legs: it’s blonde and there isn’t much of it, but I can feel it. Because it’s not very visible, I haven’t needed to shave, wax or anything which kind of makes me feel like a gross outcast? Anyway, my mum is addiment that I don’t remove the hair because otherwise, it’ll “grow back a lot more” in her words, but I’m worried about what I should do. I might ask my stepmother for help if I see her before I go, actually.

I STILL haven’t done much holiday homework. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to do it ON holiday because I stupidly procrastinated. The main thing I’m worp ied about is, surprisingly, the English, but I think Robin can help me out because she’s insanely intelligent. Let’s hope I don’t leave it to the last minute.

Tomorrow, and possibly the day after before Robin comes, I’ll be writing and scheduling posts that will be published in the time I go to Italy. Who knows – I may get a chance to po still in Italy, like I did in France last year. If there are funny or embarrassing stories, I’ll definitely let you guys know, because I’ll NEED to write about them.

Thinking about that, does Robin know I have a blog? I don’t actually know. Amid most likely hours of conversation about what’s been happening with us, I’ll drop a mention of Elm.

To summarise, holidays CAN be stressful, especially when you’re me and find it somehow amusing to find many things to worry about. I still have to buy suncream, aftersun and various other items like that.

I’m worrying about not talking to friends, especially to you bloggers. I’ve not been active in the community much recently, which makes me sad – sorry! It’ll be okay though. I’ll also miss my real life friends like Odd, Wren, Red and Willow, but I should be able to speak to them all at some point.

OMG Elm, just enjoy your holiday! ARGH!!! (Sorry about that)

I’m obviously not going until Thursday, but I wanted to update you guys on how I’m doing. Again, I don’t know how much I’ll be able to write, so I won’t give an exact estimation.

You guys doing anything interesting over the holidays?

From Elm 🙂

I Appear to Have Transformed

If you’d have told me, a year ago, that I was going to willingly put on makeup before going out, I would have laughed in your face and asked if you were okay.

Now, as I’m about to take some foundation out of my bag, I’m wondering what changed. It’s only been in the last… Two weeks that I’ve fully wanted to put makeup on, but why? Does it make me feel more confident?

The answer is no. It doesn’t. Some people feel like makeup is a mask, others an art, and still others a way to express themselves. Me? I just think it’s a thing that I do, and I’m trying to pinpoint why I sort of like it now.

I used to hate it. I used to think it was pointless and that putting it on would make me somehow fake. Other girls would wear it, every day, and I’d consider it weird and think, “That’s not me!” I’ve decided that thinking that is kind of judgemental and that I should “embrace it” and be comfortable with wearing it, for lack of a better word.

Ever since one day, when my friend Ivy and I went to a town near me and I put it on, I’ve felt like I could wear makeup without being judged. I could wear it without judging myself, or calling myself stupid, or any other negative adjective.

After my Prom, I’ve been thinking that wearing makeup isn’t such a bad idea. I won’t wear it every day – only on days where I go outside with friends – and I don’t think it’s to fit in. I know that my friends don’t care, and no one else should either. It’s about me, and how I feel when I wear it. I don’t feel more confident, or anything like that; I just feel like it’s an extra, optional feature that I could put on if I wanted to.

I do want to, and I’m happy with that. Sometimes, changes in myself scare me, and I hate them. Unlike previously, I haven’t had an identity crisis; I’ve accepted this for how it is: just another part of me that’s slowly growing. To let it grow is totally fine, because people change.

Thinking that putting on makeup “isn’t me” is ridiculous. Wondering if my friends will think I’m fake is also pointless, because they won’t. It’s OKAY to wear makeup, Elm! It’s. more than okay, because you’re putting yourself out there a little. I’m going to seize this attitude which I have now and use it every day, if I can, because I need to feel positive.

Makeup doesn’t make me more of a girl. It doesn’t make me “stereotypical”, or a sheep for following the crowd. It doesn’t make me who I am, because I was already that – with or without it.

Do you guys wear makeup – no matter what gender you are?

You know what? I feel powerful.

From Elm 🙂

My Prom Night!

Hellooo! Here’s the update that I promised yesterday. It’s a long post – not because something HUGE happened, but just because I like to write a lot.

I’m going to run through what happened, start to end, and then explain my thoughts and feelings (if I haven’t already within the post). Just to say, I DIDN’T go to the afterparty after all, and I’ll explain why in a bit.

First of all, I got my hair and makeup done. It was at this adorable little place in the town next to mine, and the ladies who made me up were so lovely. I kept on making jokes about how inexperienced I was at even doing makeup, whenever they wanted to know what kind of eyeshadow I preferred. I also had my nails done (they used an awesome UV lamp to dry them which was about my favourite part), and also my eyebrows waxed which really didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would. Better than getting it threaded, because apparently that hurts to hell.

I’ll give you a little description of what I looked like, as I can’t show a picture (because anonymity). My hair was curled so that it fell in waves, with two plaits secured at the back of my head with pins. Some hair was brought forward, so that it hung over my shoulders, and the rest of my hair fell down my back. My nails were sort of a red colour and were sparkling/glittering, and they matched my dress. Getting it all done made me feel amazing, like I was properly beautiful and that I didn’t have to be ashamed of anything. I remember walking out of the place, into the slight drizzle and just feeling powerful, floaty and different.

After that, I went home, put my dress on and went to Red’s house. I was constantly paranoid that my hair would be ruined, as it was raining (love you too, England) and that we would be late (because of traffic). Red’s phone’s buggered so I couldn’t text him to tell him I’d be slightly late. We eventually arrived, and when I opened the door the reaction from Red’s mum made me grin like a moron because she was the first person, apart from my parents, that have seen me in the flesh with my dress on.

Because my mum is obsessed with the idea of me having a “date” (even though he and I went as friends), they took about a million photos. I had to perfect my smile, which I STILL can’t do because it either looks fake or like I’m in pain. Oh well! It was really nice to just be standing there having your photo taken – plus, Red gave me the most adorable corsage (which I then didn’t wear at prom itself because I’m a dick) but I loved it and it matched my dress and ahh!

Luckily, I hadn’t changed my mind at the last minute and gone to Holly’s thing, so Red and I were driven to Pine’s house. Thank god for that, because I had so much fun. I don’t often involve myself in that group, but I’m going to next year because they are so so lovely. Daisy was there – a girl I used to hate – but also Cedar… Yeah, the Cedar I used to have a huge crush on, who now very much fancies Pine. Whoops.

In the process of staying at Pine’s, I managed to smash a really nice champagne glass (thanks Red), nearly fall over in my heels, almost forget my bag and then have a tiny crush on Cedar once more. He kept on moving closer to me on the sofa, but I know that was because he wanted to move closer to the others. Ehh well; I still had such fun because I laughed insanely when we had to take pictures, and just at the banter we had.

We went to Prom in a camper van, which was fucking awesome. It didn’t have any seat belts, so me, Daisy and another girl were on a long seat, gripping onto each other, and Pine and our other friend were on the floor (the boys went in a separate car). There was a lot of screaming and laughter, but my favourite part of the journey was when Daisy and I spoke. She and I have had our ups and downs but to be honest, I think she’s really awesome. She’s been there for people so much, and when we were talking, she said that I was really kind and that I always tried to be there for everyone. That made me unbelievably emotional, because I just want to leave year 11 on a high point with as many people as possible.

The Prom itself was at a hotel. It was drizzling again, and somewhat cold; after a horrendously long queue to get in, we got out of the van (and I nearly tripped over Daisy’s dress), stood around in the rain and then finally got into the building itself. Walking past teachers, whilst they compliment you on your outfit and you’re surrounding by the chatter and laughter of people in your year was the best feeling; it made me feel invincible. Though I still had trouble walking in my heels, at least I didn’t fall over.

After that, the events become more hazy. The room in which the Prom was being held was small compared to the size of our year, with a carpetted floor and food outside (it was so stressful trying to get said food, and we ended up jumping the queue to be next to Red). There was loud music – which, coupled with the din of people yelling and exclaiming over dresses and clothes – made it so bloody difficult to hear myself, or anyone around me.

Highlights of the evening include:
Wren running up to me and attacking me with a huge hug whilst we both screamed about our dresses
Going to a photobooth with Pine and her group
Going to the same photobooth and getting pictures with Wren (I don’t know what I’d do without her; she makes my day every day).
Getting photos with Wren and Red, where we had stupid props on and looked so moronic that it was hilarious
Dancing with Odd where they span me round and we both went crazy
Standing outside when I needed fresh air, and feeling the wind on my face whilst people laughed around me

It came to my attention, quite horribly and unexpectedly throughout the night, that I really – and I mean REALLY – wanted to get with someone. Because I’m insane and I like getting the piss taken out of me by my real life friends, it’s the guy I talked about in this post so if you haven’t read that, you should (she says, self-promoting like a pro). It came as a horrifying realisation: I’ve always had a slight “fascination” with Sycamore, as he’s always been so kind but also, he’s in a different group to me. I don’t know how to explain it. There was me, pissed off and frustrated because I KNEW nothing would happen: I didn’t see him all night, and I knew he wasn’t going to the afterparty. In addition to that, Prom’s not really the place where you “hook up” with someone as I expected it to be just hanging out with friends, rather than kissing people. I just wanted to kiss him, to know what it was like, and to prove myself I COULD. Is that fucked up?

The most emotional part of the evening was when I said goodbye to Cedar. He was also someone who I half wanted to have something with, and though I didn’t do anything with him, he found me at the end of the night. For a few minutes, we had a lovely conversation that ended with this:
C: Okay Elm… I have to go now.
E: Ehhh okay, see ya!
C: So, have a nice life.
E: Eyy c’mon, give me a hug.
So we hug for about 30 seconds, with me just breathing and trying my best not to cry because as much as I don’t have feelings for him, I care about him so much. He trusted me with how shit he felt about the Pine situation and as we hugged, I was pretty sure he was remembering that. AHHH I still feel emotional.

I spoke to Willow loads as well throughout the night. We were standing outside the main room, hugging like crazy and just holding each other and talking. I will never, ever forget about her because she’s so fab; we just wandered around at one point and I told her about the Sycamore situation (that has a nice ring to it) so that she’d understand how frustrated I was. ALSO, I’ve been screaming for the past 12 hours because the person she’s fancied for ages and her kissed and I won’t say who that is because privacy, but it’s so so lovely and I’m so happy for her because she deserves it! She and I spoke on the phone about it, amidst me squealing about how adorable it was.

When Prom was ending, I felt even more emotional. There was elation, because I’d spent time with friends and had the best time, but also a slight disappointment because of all the things I didn’t do. I won’t dwell on that, though; I still have time to do whatever I want. We went back to Pine’s house, dropping Red off on the way, and I was so incredibly tired that I could barely move. My feet were aching like hell because of the heels, and I nearly fell on Red at one point because I could barely stand upright.

Pine and I didn’t go to the afterparty, as I was so tired. In a way, it was lucky we were both not there, as it got shut down by the police at 2 which kind of makes me laugh, though it shouldn’t. Because of that, I stayed over at hers and we talked for about an hour before going to sleep. It was about everything: Willow (because I shrieked when I found out about her romantic moment), people, how we’ve changed, life and pretty much everything else. As I did with Willow and Wren, I told her about Sycamore and she was totally fine with it, and even said she’d organise something in the summer where we could all hang out. I’m so glad I have Pine still here, because she’s great.

All in all, I had a brilliant night. Spending time with friends, especially Odd, Red and Wren, made my entire week. I won’t be forgetting about this in a hurry, and I’ll always remember the crowds, the loud music and how I just felt included.

So many people complimented me on my dress, which made me feel great because I’d put effort in. Maybe I wasn’t the most stunning, but I was pretty enough for me, and pretty enough for me to feel like I really was. According to loads of other people, everyone’s dresses were gorgeous (Willow’s, Wren’s, EVERYONE’s) and it was so nice to see that people were happy when others told them, “You look so beautiful!”

I may not have kissed anyone last night, but that comes second to having a wonderful time. I had one, but happiness doesn’t mean having both; it means having enough of one to feel like you can do anything.

From Elm 🙂

Today’s The Day!

Not going to lie, I’m very mildly terrified, because today is Prom. As in TODAY. WHAT. THE HELL.

It feels like I’ve been preparing for this for so long, and I’m worried it won’t live up to expectations. To be honest, I think I’ll just wing it – because I’m nervous, I think I’ll run through the plan.

I’m going to get my makeup, hair and eyebrows done at 2. HELP!!! I don’t know what I’m doing. On Monday, I got my dress properly adjusted so that it ACTUALLY fits, which made me feel great. Trust me: I never get fully made up, so this will be a weird first for me.

Red and I agreed to go with each other, as friends, over a year ago. That’s still going on, so I’m going to his house at about 5:30. After that, and after his mum and mine take about a billion pictures, we’re going to Pine’s house (my oldest friend from secondary school) for a sort of pre-prom.

Here’s where it gets complicated. Originally, I was going to go to my friend Holly’s. My entire friendship group’s going there, but I decided to go to Pine’s because Red and I both just wanted to. Pine’s always been there, and I am SO grateful to her for everything she’s done. I feel unbelievably guilty for just abandoning my group, and I love them so much; I don’t want them to think that I hate them because that’s as far from the truth as you can get.

I’m getting even more nervous now, but a friend of mine – S – said I’d be totally fine so I’ll TRY and believe them. Breathe, Elm, breathe!

After the Prom, I’ve roped myself into going to an afterparty. WHATTTTTT!!! I was going to go to Holly’s, but I decided not to because when will I ever get the chance to go to a proper party again? It’s undoubtable that there will be drugs and insane amounts of drinking, but I’m okay with that.

There’s just one minor, tiny, TOTALLY INSIGNIFICANT issue. It’s hosted by Ash and one of his friends. The Ash. The fuck am I doing? He said it was totally fine that I could come, but still, I’m SO incredibly scared because:
1. It’s Ash.
2. I hate drugs.
3. I’m scared Pine will abandon me (I doubt she will).
4. It’s my first REAL party after Ivy’s birthday one.

When it comes to things like this, I’m a total disaster. Today, though, I’m just going to LIVE my life and to hell with the consequences. It’s rare that I let myself go, let all my inhibitions fly away, because I’m scared of losing control.

If I “get with” someone, that’s okay. Now’s a good enough time to do it, because it’s Prom and I’ll actually feel confident. Who knows what’ll happen? All I know is that tomorrow, there will be a long post, detailing exactly what went on the night before.

Elm, at a party? HAHAHAA! Elm, kissing random people and not feeling miserable afterwards? Woah, holy shit! I’m telling myself it’s not wrong to do that, because I won’t be playing with people’s emotions and it’s fine. I can do this.

Although I’m nervous that my dress will look terrible, my makeup will go wrong or my hair will look like a train wreck, I’m just going to enjoy myself. Maybe it won’t live up to how I wanted, but I’m going to get as much out of this day as I possibly can. Why not? I’ll be with my friends, and with people I can get to know; I’ll be free to actually show my year what kind of a person I am.

I want them to see me, and I want myself to truly appreciate who I am. This is long overdue, and now’s the time to do what Birch always said: live.

From Elm 🙂