What Mean Girls Taught Me

What Mean Girls Taught Me

Recently I saw one of the songs that will be in the Mean Girls musical which, should it ever come to London, I will be going to. You see Mean Girls was a huge part of growing up for me. Before Netflix (gasp) I would go to Car Boot sales and buy any and all movies that were deemed as ‘chick flicks’ and it all started off with Cady Heron.

I was in Portsmouth with my parents at the tender age of 11 when I saw this film, the cover looked cool. My Dad gave me the money, having no idea what it was about, and said to go pay. I was half terrified that they wouldn’t sell it to me because I was 11 and it was a 12. Ah, sweet, sweet innocence. But what did I learn from it…

The ‘freaks’ are the coolest people you will ever meet

I can speak as someone who used to hang out with the music/art/nerds. A lot of the time the creative people are the most welcoming and accepting, that’s what I’ve found. Just like Damien and Janice.

Stereotypes don’t have to be a thing.

Cady wasn’t one stereotype or the other. She could rock a short dress but also had a brilliant brain. She wasn’t above petty school politics, she fell right into them just like all of us did; if you say you didn’t you’re lying. People in this film made mistakes.

Changing yourself to fit in is never a good idea

Do I need to explain this one…

Don’t believe rumours

Ok, ok, we know that Coach Karr is an exception to this. The film made me realise people gossip and rumours go around. You can’t stop that. The teenage years are full of this shit so it’s best to try and ignore it. Fun fact waiting to go into my General Studies (read luck of the draw) exam I was informed that someone had been told I was pregnant with twins…news to me.

Everyone has their own shit going on

Do I think Regina George was evil? No, probably not. From Caddy’s worries that she was a ‘homeschooled jungle freak’, Janice’s tough girl attitude masking her being rejected, to Gretchen wanting to stab Ceaser. Every person in that film has their own issues, just like in real life.

I still quote Mean Girls on a regular basis even if it has been years since I’ve sat down and watched the film myself. There is just something in that film that I think anyone who has been a teenager just gets. That being a teenager isn’t sunshine and rainbows, people are shitty and school is shitty too. Oh and teenage girls can be awful to each other, truly awful.

What did Mean Girls Teach you? Let me know in the comments below and you go Glen Coco!

 

Things I’d tell myself at sixteen

I’ve been quite reflective recently and thinking a lot about my teenage years, particularly as my sister is fast approaching her 16th (!!) birthday. Now I’m in my twenties, and believe me that’s a rollercoaster enough, but I had a tough time as a teenager, it wasn’t easy but at the same time some of the best things happened to me. I think we all have a certain view of our teenage years. I don’t agree with people saying that it’s the ‘best time of your life’ but there are certain times I look back on fondly. So, here are some of the things I wish I told

I don’t agree with people saying that it’s the ‘best time of your life’ but there are certain times I look back on fondly. So, here are some of the things I wish I could go back and tell myself to just give me a bit of a hand and the things I’ve learnt.

School isn’t forever. 

My life was hell at school, sometimes it felt like it was never going to end but it definitely did and it was glorious.

You’re right to look forward to college, it’s going to be great. 

I lived and breathed for my college. I could do classes I wanted to escape the people who hated me. I used to go and meet Ali from his day with butterflies. It was definitely a good two year with some great friends.

Trust him when he says he loves you, he does. 

I’ve been with Ali for almost 9 years. I had such issues at sixteen that I wasn’t good enough, that he was going to leave me etc. I was a complete nightmare. I wish she knew he’s still around now.

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Don’t hate yourself, you’re not well. 

I was incredibly ill with depression at this point, I literally felt like I was going insane and ruining everyone’s lives. I wish I knew that it was all to do with an illness and not because I was a terrible person.

Others opinions don’t matter

Can not stress this enough!

You can have a great future!

 I didn’t think much about the future much, I couldn’t but I wish I knew that I could get there.

Keep singing, keep writing, keep being creative! 

There were more than a few times I just didn’t want to do it anymore, what was the point, why bother? It was going to do more for me than I thought!

Ignore your art teacher, you’re never going to impress her. 

Seriously, the woman had her favourites, I wasn’t one of them.

Talk to someone. 

Just talk about how you feel.

YOU.ARE.NOT.FAT

Seriously, I would shout this until I was blue in the face if I could. I really struggled with the way I looked and thought I was chubby but I really, really wasn’t.

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The house parties are going to continue, they’ll be some of the best memories of your life. 

Best. Time. Ever.

Think about uni, just think about it. 

I thought it wasn’t for people like me. Oh I was wrong.

Love yourself, cause you’re pretty awesome. 

Something I still need to remember at 22.

 

What do you wish you knew at 16? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran

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“In the end, I go where I always go when I need information on something baffling, poisonous, or terrifying: the library.”

Influenced by Moran’s own life, How to Build a Girl follows teenager Johanna as she decides to ‘kill herself’, meaning killing the boring Johanna and instead becoming Dolly Wilde. Dolly Wilde is meant to be interesting, covered in eyeliner, smart and generally more desirable than what Johanna has been. Although as all of us who have tried to change ourselves as teenagers  will know, it doesn’t always work out how you planned ( I myself went through a phase of hating my name and trying to get everyone to call me Frankie…a shortened version of my middle name).

While this is not Moran’s autobiography, anyone who has read How to Be a Woman will see that Caitlin’s younger life does have a number of parallels (which she addresses before the start of the novel). This isn’t lazy writing, while the similarities are obvious such as Johanna living in a small flat with a lot of siblings and her ambition to be a writer, the character is definitely her own person and absolutely hilarious. To draw one last parallel, the novel talks a lot about masterbation, so much so it opens with Johanna masterbating…in somewhat questionable circumstances.

For anyone who’s ever felt like the odd one out or anyone who’s wished they could just become someone else, you’ll like the character. She’s young and headstrong but also incredibly funny. Most of all though, she’s a teenager who’s trying to get through her life and work out what she’s going to do with it. The only person really at her side the whole time is the dog, as she doesn’t have many friends. In fact she sends a lot of time being yelled at by the local yobs. After thinking she’s gotten her family into big trouble, Johanna needs to get money fast and so she has to come up with a plan using one of the few talents she has.

To go further than that would ruin the fun of How to Build a Girl. I will say though that Moran’s wit comes through just as strong in this novel. It’s also fun and nostalgic to see the world through the eyes of a young teenager again and that sense of being able to  just decide to do something and work out how it’s all going to work out later. One of the best things about Johanna though is that because she is flawed is what creates a loveable character. She gets into all kinds of mischief throughout, but at the end of the day there is a big heart too and a real love for the family who sometimes drives her mad.

I gave How to Build a Girl five stars *****. If you’ve read any other books or articles by Moran it’s very much in the same chatty style and doesn’t hold back from what she thinks. The best part is that How to Build a Girl is also supposed to be the first in a trilogy! Johanna is set to come back for more and if, like me, you can’t wait for more Moran after this her new book Moranfesto comes out next week (I’m not sponsored, just super excited). It really is an entertaining read and worth picking up the next time you’re in a bookshop!

Don’t blame the Goths and the Emos

Every now and again, when I’m having a low day I start to think about where it all started, the first time I remember feeling depressed. While I was browsing online tonight I found an article on the BBC claiming research states that people who are considered Goths are more likely to become depressed and self harm. To say it made me angry was an understatement, but actually it upset me more than anything. I didn’t identify as a Goth as a teenager but I was well known as one of the ’emo’ kids at school and took a lot of shit for it. While other girls go into fashion I would resist shopping as much as possible unless it was for black clothes and anything with a guitar or skull on it, my parents did think I was a goth.

Throughout my teenage years I was constantly pissed off by the media saying that the music I listened to made people kill themselves, made people violent, made us all antisocial weirdos. I also remember the death of Sophie Lancaster and the stir it caused that she was murdered merely for the way she chose to dress, when the rockers, the goths and the emos all stood together in grief. You see if you’re involved in it you know that we’re not ‘freaks’ or ‘weirdos’ we’re people just like everyone else.

Now looking through my instagram feed nowadays most people can’t believe that I used to wear black constantly, love eyeliner and hate anything remotely feminine. I’m different to how I used to be but that teenagers still there, I love eyeliner, I swapped wrist bands for tattoos and there is nothing better than having My Chemical Romance on full blast, but there is one crucial difference, music is no longer my only saviour.

Like I said at the beginning I will think about my depression and my teenage years, there’s no doubt I was sick. The thing is I didn’t get sick because of the music I listened to, in fact it was the opposite, it kept me going. I found in these lyrics someone who understood, someone who got the stuff going on in my head and the desperate loneliness I had. The music made me feel like I wasn’t a freak like people said I was and it introduced me to some of the greatest people in my life as well as influencing my own music.

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Me aged 13, just getting into the scene

I put the song Famous Last Words in this post because more than any song I associate this with trying to carry on. On more nights than I could count I would lay in bed wishing I could sleep and crying, for no reason and every reason. I was miserable with my life at school at couldn’t see the point of anything but My Chem saved me, say what you want about cliche I don’t care. I would like there and repeat the lyrics while I was crying:

‘I am not afraid to keep on living, I am not afraid to walk this world alone.. Honey if you stay I’ll be forgiven, nothing you can say can stop me going home’

I sang those lyrics over and over again to give me strength, to tell myself not to give up on living. As you can see I’m here, so it must have worked. This music and these lyrics gave me something that I couldn’t even give myself at that point in time, hope and reason to carry on. I’m not writing this for pity or for people to tell me ‘how brave I am’, I’m writing this because like thousands of other kids rock music changed my life for the better and I’m pretty sure it saved my life.

I didn’t get depressed because of the music I listened to, in fact I’m pretty sure if we’re going that far back you’ll have to take into account all the pop music I listened to at 11 years old when it initially reared it’s ugly head after I was beaten up almost every day. I don’t think many people would blame kid friendly pop, right?

I know a lot of people who love the music I do and they don’t have a mental illness. I do and I do because of what I’ve been through in my life, not my musical choices.

Babyface strikes again

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At the age of 20 and 11 months, I still manage to get ID’d if I ask for a drink with my meal at a restaurant as well as normally being given a children’s menu. Tonight on a long awaited family meal for my Nanna’s birthday my family got to have a laugh as I was asked to get my ID out in front of all of them. It is a blessing and a curse having a baby face. I get told time and time again that when I’m 30 I’ll be grateful for it. That might be so but it doesn’t help when you’re trying to buy a 15 DVD in HMV or when people ask if my Mum and Dad are home.The picture above is how I looked tonight, make up on, hair straightened and nice clothes but alas, I still look 16.

That said, if you look at the rest of my family they all look young for their age, especially my parents, neither of them look like they’re in their 40s. You can see here that my Mum’s side all have young faces too…

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It’s not all bad, I mean I can still get away with kids tickets on the train most of the time, if I’m not feeling too hungry the kids meal is normally a good option and every now and again because I’m so tiny I can fit into my little sisters hoodies (kids clothes are also cheaper). I don’t want to be a baby face forever though, especially while at work and people think you’re the kid on school work experience. ‘I’m 21′ I want to shout at them ’21!!!!!!!’.

This was just a quick blog tonight guys, I’m sorry last nights blog wasn’t posted I was completely absorbed in a Paula Daly book (the review for which will be out in a few weeks!). Back to business though are there any fellow baby faces reading this? What is the most embarrassing thing to happen because you look young? Or maybe you have something you really enjoy! Let me know!

How to explain ‘Head Sick’ – Mental Health

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Me age 16 trying to be ‘normal’ and ‘fun’ on a bad low

Calling in sick to work is not a great experience for anyone, especially when it’s for something mental health related, because it relies on people having knowledge as well as people not judging you. You can’t phone your boss and say ‘I feel really sad, I can’t come into work’. A lot of people think that bad depression means you just lie in bed all day and that’s that. For most of us, that isn’t true because we can’t let it, we have bills to pay and things to do and even if you don’t care about those things you go on in cycles but don’t feel anything towards what you’re doing and then the says you do have off/ evening when you can crawling into bed and staying there becomes all you want to do…sometimes.

I’ve been mentally ill for about 5 years now and the picture above is me at one of my worst points. Being 16 was a terrifying year and there is so much I just don’t remember, my mind just goes blank. The picture above was be trying to be happy, fun and normal. I hadnt been diagnosed and every just said it was my hormones but I felt crazy, when I did manage to go into school I’d normally leave early or just sit in my lessons and slowly going numb, not taking anything in. It was torture.

In a way it’s good that I can’t do that anymore, I need to work to have money, I need to go in to get my degree which I care a great deal about and differing from first year I live with someone who knows when I’m unwell and helps me any way he can. Days when I am low and not functioning are what I call ‘Head Sick Days’ and I’m thankful that my tutors and my friends know when I really need some time as well as encouraging me. I hope though, one day, that everyone can have this kind of understanding and help that they really deserve because depression, anxiety, bipolar etc are all illnesses and we need to support those who need it.

I’ve been pretty rocky for the past month, a lot of lows and needing a bit more support than normal from those around me, but I don’t feel hopeless. 2015 is looking to be fun and busy, especially for the band and my work. So right now my posts might not be exciting but I’m taking it day by day a step at a time, with ‘Head Sick’ time included.

My teenage sister, Happy Birthday!

 

 

There are certain people in your life that it’s hard to put into words how much you love and care for them. My sister is one of these people. I remember the day I was told she was coming, I remember the day that she was born and every birthday and Christmas that I’ve loved spoiling her. This year was no different after 10 presents from me and god knows how many from everyone else, I can say she was thoroughly spoilt this year. 

Summer-Rose turned 13 today and that feels really weird, she’s still a baby in my eyes and I think she always will be. I absolutely love our age gap because even though she doesn’t think I’m cool, I can look after her and we just have this really special relationship, again it’s hard to explain. She’s beautiful, she’s hilarious and I wish I had been more like her when I was her age. My sister kicks arse and I couldn’t be more proud. Before I embarrass her any more than she thinks I am I wanted to wish my gorgeous sister and best friend a happy 13th birthday, I’m so excited about all there is to come for you and I love you so,so much even if you have awful music tastes! 

 

Here are some pictures to celebrate a special teenagers birthday ❤ 

Here’s where the fun begins. 

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