Flo la vita

Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle

Being someone who doesn't suffer with Anxiety as a mental health issue, I can only ever imagine what it must be like to live with it. However, I am well aware that Anxiety is a real issue that is somewhat glorified by the media .


Whilst  Zoella coming out about her struggle with anxiety has helped young girls massively and made so many people realise that they aren't alone, I also think that lots of young girls have idolised her and in a way and aspired to be just like her. And even share the same struggles with mental health problems that she has. 

But, hear me out: I know full well that with Zoe being open about her Anxiety, it has prompted more young girls to be open about their struggles and I absolutely love how the media and the blogging industry have become places where we can openly discuss mental health and feel that we are in a safe environment whilst doing so. Through talking about it we are connected with like-minded people who can relate to our issues and in general it creates a sense of community and makes us feel less alone. This is absolutely amazing and I’m so happy that the media is being used in this positive way.


I'm not dismissing mental illness. I know that with Social Media the pressure on young people has massively increased and that does cause an increase in mental health issues such as anxiety. However,  I do think its important to remember that not every feeling of anxiety equals mental health problems.

Anxiety is a regular feeling just like happiness or sadness, and although excessive amounts of it may mean your dealing with it as a mental health issue, there are so many situations where we feel out of our comfort zones and everyones comfort zone is different. Just because one person finds something scary it a) doesn't mean nobody else shares that fear, you just don't know, b) doesn't mean you have anxiety. It's important to be able to dissociate feeling anxious as a normal feeling from feeling anxious as a mental health condition.



I'm very aware that this is a very controversial topic and that I may be sounding like a bit of a dick to some people. Let me explain:

It's impossible to blame one thing and one thing only for the glorification of mental illness, more specifically Anxiety. Although I do think one of the main reasons it happens is because we want a reason. We want a reason for feeling nervous, a reason for feeling uncomfortable, a reason for feeling upset. In some cases the reason is Anxiety in the form of a mental health issue. And in some cases the reason for feeling nervous could be because your in a situation where you don't feel one hundred percent comfortable. We need to be able to see the difference between the two.



In the past year or so I've somehow managed to muster the courage to shoot my Instagram photos outside. Like the in public kind of outside. It was definitely daunting the first few times, especially because I live in London and finding a quiet road is very nearly impossible if you're going central. But, I've gotten used to it and I'm relatively comfortable in front of the camera now.


'Do it for the gram' has become my moto in the past few months. There have been a fair number of occasions where shooting in front of the public has been hellish and the only thing stopping me from giving up is the thought of how gorgeous my feed will look after. Like that time outside Wild At Heart when a family with two children decided to stand right in front of me and watch. Or in Notting Hill when I was posing on a door step just when the man who lived there pulled up in his car and had to shoo away the many bloggers having their photo taken. And of course, the time in Primrose bakery when the guy sat next to me shouted "CORBYN'S GOING TO KILL US ALL." Can't say any of those were pleasant experiences...

However, as crappy as I may make it sound, shooting outside isn't as bad as you'd think. I found it quite reassuring just thinking that everyone will assume I'm a tourist, and nobody bats an eyelid when tourists have their photo taken. It's London for god sake.

It's been a year since I delved into the world of public Insta shoots and I have to say, I've learnt a couple of lessons since.


DO IT FOR THE GRAM

To get a decent picture, you sometimes have to do things that may look just a teeny bit crazy to people walking past. For example, those photos where I'm flicking my hair... did you think I'd get that shot first time round? Absolutely not. Believe it or not, I actually spend about two minutes standing in the middle of Central London shaking my head back and forth just to get that one photo. Now two minutes may not seem like a long time, but can you image how dizzy you'd be after continuously spinning your head around for that amount of time?

YOU'RE NOT GOING TO SEE ANY OF THESE PEOPLE AGAIN

If you think about it all of these people are total strangers. So, who cares if they see you looking a bit awkward posing for the camera? And if they pay you any attention, it's only because they're interested. They're not, I repeat not, making fun of you. And on the very rare occasion that they are, who are they to judge?


GO FOR IT

Gone are the days of standing stock still in your outfit photos.
Move around, walk, spin, do the hair touch.

And if you are going to stand still at least use your outfit and accessories to your advantage. Use your pockets, hold your bag and my personal fave... touch your hair.


SORT YOUR OUTFITS IN ADVANCE

Whoever's taking your photos is not going to want to stand around waiting for you to pick your outfit. DO IT THE NIGHT BEFORE! It wastes so much time, especially if you've invested in a professional photographer. Picking your outfit is wasting precious time, get your money's worth of photos, please.

You know what else wastes time? Standing in line for the toilet in order to get changed. If your comfortable changing in the streets it might be a better idea, time wise. Just make sure you get yourself a pair of bicycle shorts and something to cover your tits.

I'd also recommend packing your outfits together, just to make sure you aren't caught squatting on the pavement frantically searching through your bag for that one piece of clothing that seems to have disappeared..... true story.



I may not be all that big on fashion, but I am a bit of a jewellery lover. And whilst I would usually describe myself as more of a minimalist when it comes to jewellery, I've lately started to discover that I do love a statement piece too. But it definitely has to be balanced...




Kaytie Wu's waterdrop collection is nothing less than a dream. The ring is a particular favourite of mine. In fact, I saw something similar on Emily James' Instagram feed and instantly fell in love. But if I'm honest, I couldn't find anything like it that wouldn't break the bank. However, seeing this piece on the Kaytie Wu website I was surprised by the pricing, it's SO affordable, yet SO beautiful at the same time. And no, my finger has not yet turned green so I think it's safe to say that the quality is just perfect for what you pay.



Can we also talk about how suitable these pieces are for Autumn? They could probably be pulled off any season but there is something about them that screams Autumn. I'm thinking, white t-shirt, black skinny jeans and a chunky knit cardigan, paired with a couple of layered necklaces and this ring, no?


To top it all off, I've been pairing the ring with this equally gorgeous bangle. And I've definitely been a bit in love with the whole arm-swag thing going on with all this new jewellery. I painted my nails red and now I just can't stop looking at my hands with the rings and the bangles. If it's possible to be in love with your own hands then I think that would sum up my current mental state perfectly.



* All jewellery featured are PR samples from Kaytie Wu. All opinions are my own.
Confession: I don't read much. I know, I know, I should do it more, but I'm but I'm not really the type to sit down and just read. I mean, when I do read I do it in the evening, but lately I've taken to a scroll through Instagram instead. I hate that I do this and I do try not to, but then there's just one more photo I want to like, and that one turns into ten and then that ten turns into an uncountable number....

One of the possible reasons for this could be that I struggle to find reading material that I actually like and won't get bored of after a couple of chapters. I'm a typical millennial and don't like reading something that will drag on, which is why I'm most definitely a magazine lover. Marie Claire, to be specific.


Another issue I face with finding a good book is the amount of non-fiction books that a just bullish*t. I like self-help books that aren't too self-helpish if you get me? I want someone to offer me a better solution to something without using that strange soothing tone, somewhat similar to a therapist that self help books often use. If you tell me to "Start from the begging, re-live it all" then I'll know this is not the book for me. I have hurled a self-help book across my room before, just FYI. They're not my thing.

However, there are a couple of books I've discovered that have the same message that a self-help book would offer, but they're written in a comedic way. Which is something I love, I don't like it when people take themselves too seriously. I think we all know what books I'm talking about right now... it's the Sarah Knight ones.



The Life changing magic of not giving a f**k

Whilst I was reading this, my Instagram inbox was full to the brim with messages from various different people asking how the book was or telling me how much they'd loved it when they read it. Turns out a lot of people had their eye on it, but weren't quite sure if it would be worth a read. Well I can confirm it definitely is.

Usually with a book like this, I'll enjoy the read but not really take much away from it. With this particular book this was not the case. I found myself questioning wether or not I gave a f**k about certain situations and wether or not they were worth my energy for a long time afterwards.

The book taught me to think of the f**k's I give as if they are money, or real life objects. You wouldn't go around handing out money to anyone or anything with no thought, or just to be nice. Why do it with your f**k's?


The F Word

The F word seem's to be a bit of a reoccurring theme here!?

The F word is a book all about Female friendship and Lily Pebbles documents her experience of friendship with other women beautifully in the book. It was honestly one of the most relatable reads and you're bound to see your own friendships in the book as there is a chapter for each type of friend.

I loved the chapter titled 'The single friend'. Lily described her as the one who is always feeling a bit left out due to the circumstances, even when you try to include them it just doesn't work out for a reason you can't change. In her case, the single friend didn't feel comfortable being around their friends when their partners were there. This was the chapter I found the most relatable, although none of my friends are dating (were a lonely bunch.... jokes, were happy single!) I have experienced friends not being as involved in the group as others for a reason that can't be changed. Which was something I saw a similarity to in the chapter about the single friend.





Bethan, better known as Bepbeee is a teenage Fashion and Lifestyle blogger. She documents her life and outfit of the day's on her website and Instagram feed, as well as talking about her own experience in the blogosphere. Her personal style is a little different from the crowd, but without a doubt gorgeous! And she also happens to be one of my favourite blogging gal's, so I'm only the tiniest bias. Seriously though, she's fab. 
We chatted all about her personal style and how she doesn't just follow trends, navigating our way through the online world and why being yourself when doing so is so important, and of course the blogosphere.



Flo: Let’s start by talking about your fashion sense. 
You update your blog with outfit of the day’s quite frequently, and what I love about your style is that it’s quite mature, you always seem to be able to style an outfit so that you don’t look like every other teenage girl. Do you have any tips on styling outfits?

Bethan: Thank you! I have always loved clothes but have never gone along with trends I don’t like. I love that my style is quite different from ‘the average teenage girl’ as that makes me who I am. I’m not one for buying an item of clothing purely on the fact that loads of girls my age are wearing that kind of thing, I have to love it because I want to wear it. I would say my tip for styling outfits is exactly that, if you love it, think it looks good and you are comfortable in it, that’s all that matters. There is so much judgement and a pressure to all look a certain way that now is the time to stop caring about what anyone else thinks and style outfits how you want to style them.

F: I’m exactly the same, I’m not a huge fan of the ‘teenage’ trends and will often opt for something a little different. I feel like a huge ‘teenage’ trend at the moment is those Adidas leggings and i’m just not into that.

So, you’ve been blogging for three years now and you’ve said before that blogging has helped you to grow as a person. Do you think you could say the same for your style?

B: Definitely. My style is completely different now to how it was three years ago and that is partly down to being surrounded by huge fashion icons in the social media world that have influenced me to step out of my comfort zone and dress with confidence. Back when I started, my style was very basic and I didn’t ever experiment. I had set outfits, knew what looked good with what and bought from a handful of different shops. I feel like that needed to happen for my style to be what it’s like now and I’m looking forward to seeing how it changes in the next five or so years time. I’ve now found out about so many different shops, mostly online, that I feel lucky enough to have discovered and bought from in the past year. My style has changed and definitely matured so now I do wear different outfits, I try out lots of new things and ways of wearing items too.

F: Speaking of the influence social media has on you, one of your blog posts that I particularly love is ‘Living in the world of social media as a teen’. Although your space on the internet is very clearly a very happy and positive one, have you ever had any nasty experiences online?

B: I feel extremely lucky to have mostly had a positive journey so far online but obviously no journey is completely plain sailing. The only bad experience that I have had online wasn’t actually on social media, it was on Depop. I ‘thought’ I had bought a iphone 6 with some of my birthday money from what seemed a nice lady, she asked if we could pay through Paypal and if we had thought about it more then we would have said no but we didn’t. However, the phone has never arrived and I don’t think her Depop can be found anymore. She had also blocked me. We tried as best as we could to get the money back but as the transaction was with Paypal, it has nothing to do with Depop neither Paypal as it was done with ‘Friends and Family’. Looking back now, it was a really stupid idea and if it looks too good to be true, then it normally or most definitely is. 

F: Oh my god, that sounds horrible! Do you have any advice for other teenage girls who have dealt with or a dealing with similar situations?

B: Even though, I’ve never dealt with any kind of nastiness on social media or cyber bullying, and I’m really grateful for that, one bit of advice I would give is that it’s okay to either unfollow, block or report. If anything like that happened to me I would be pressing all of those buttons! Obviously if you are going through something as serious as cyber bullying, please talk to someone you trust and that way, you feel better for speaking about it but also other people can get involved to sort it out. Social media should be a safe place for everyone to be who they want to be, and if a certain individual is ruining it for that someone, they shouldn’t be on it. No negatives vibes here.

F: I couldn’t agree more. I feel like online, especially in the blogging community, we just don’t unfollow. Whatever reason we may want to unfollow, if it’s Cyber bullying like you said or even if you simply don’t like someone’s feed anymore and feel it’s not having the best influence on you, I think there’s always some sort of fear about pressing the button and cutting that person out. But, in all honesty if you don’t want to look at it then don’t. I do it all the time and I think of it as slowly curating my feed into something I actually want to see.

And finally, I know that for me, in some cases my blog has had quite a large impact on my personal life. Sometimes I’ve had to turn down invites because I’ve had work to do, but then I’ve also experienced a friendship break up that was partly down to my blog. Would you say that your blog has much of an impact on your life offline?

B: I think around early 2017 when more people started to find out about my blog, I would get either of two reactions; one being ‘Oh cool, can I see it?’ and the other one would be making fun of it. I’ve experienced a lot of fake friends just because they knew I got ‘free stuff’ or people wanting to be friends with me to ‘use’ me. It affected me a lot at the start because I knew I was doing something I loved but some people for some reason weren’t okay with that. I think quite a lot of people deal with similar things to this if they blog or do Youtube and what I’ve realised over time is, to do you and don’t worry about what other people think. This is so important because we should be proud of what we create without other people ruining it for us.

F: I love that attitude you have of just being proud and not letting anyone tear you down for creating and having an online presence. I honestly wish I was like that four years ago when I started out. 
I actually only really talk about my blog with my close friends who didn’t know about it for a long time so i’ve never had any fake-ness from them because they’ve always known me before any of it happened. However, I do find that I’ll usually get a positive reaction, especially from people my age because they’re more familiar with the industry, but lots of my friends said “I want free stuff I’m going to start a blog” when I told them. 

Which definitely annoyed me because as we both know, blogging is not just getting some free beauty products sent to your house. There is so much work involved in brand partnerships, and of course so much work involved in getting to the point where brands are approaching you and sending you products. But then I don’t blame them for thinking like this because there is a certain image put across on social media and being a blogger does look like a lot of fun to some people because so many people’s feed is purely a highlight reel which gives such a sugar-coated version of events. 
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