My Past & Me

None of us are ever capable of really understanding the struggles of others.  Unless you’ve lived someone else’s life, you can’t judge.  So, no-one can judge anyone.  Especially if they don’t know the first thing about said person’s past.  It’s very easy to look at someone, see that they’re fun, funny, giggly & easy going, and decide that their life has been easy.  But, how do you know that for a fact?
I have always been a bit eccentric.  I laugh a lot, have a weird sense of humour & I have always struggled to make (and ultimately, keep) friends.  Friends, and acquaintances alike, see me as a happy person.  I do try to be happy, & I am happy a lot of the time.  But I firmly believe that happiness isn’t guaranteed, it’s something you have to work on for your whole life.
I grew up hating myself more than I could possibly explain.  I never did well in school, I never did well with friendships, and ultimately, I felt like the most physically ugly girl in all of the world.  As a child, I didn’t fit in.  I did my own thing.  I always had a great family life, though – & I still do today.  This was such a huge comfort to me as a child.
As I went into secondary school, my mental health became worse.  I hated being there, but I wasn’t the type of student to break the rules, be disruptive in class or even skip class the odd time.  I followed the rules, the routine, but I despised it.  Unfortunately, I had a few teachers throughout my second level education who, I feel, bullied me.  I can’t really use a different word, as bullied is so fitting.  They saw that I was under-confident & uninterested, and they played on it.  I dreaded some classes as I knew being publicly humiliated by my teacher was always a possibility.
In school, I hung out with whoever would be my friend.  I went through a lot of friends in secondary school, but none of them are still my friends today.  Unfortunately, I didn’t understand at the time that friends were meant to be kind & respectful to one another.  A lot of my friends spent most of the time taking the piss out of me and I was the butt of all jokes.  In hindsight, they weren’t really friends at all – but, at the time, I was convinced they were.
As secondary school came to a close, I was excited & happy I’d made it to the finishing line.  There was just one problem – I didn’t have the faintest idea what was next in The Aisling Kelleher Adventures.  I passed my exams, & my results were a bit under the average.  It was enough Leaving Cert points to study something, but not enough to study anything I really wanted to in third level.
I ended up in a PLC course an hour from home, in Print Journalism.  It was during this year that I had a mental breakdown.  It was partly due to an incident that happened at the time, but mainly to do with a lifetime of covered up depression, self-loathing and heartbreak from just being me.  The whole world around me crumbled.  I became suicidal – but, there was a flicker of hope inside of me.  I knew how to love, & who I loved, & I knew that people loved me.  My family.  How could I selfishly end my life, & destroy theirs in the process?  If it wasn’t for them, I dread to think what might’ve happened to me…
I spent the next few months in recovery.  I took anti-depressants, and moved back home where my parents took care of me.  I was self harming at the time – the guilt I still feel from this is overwhelming.  It is so painful to look into the eyes of a loved one, & to realise that your own self-loathing is actually causing their heart to break, too.
Those few months weren’t easy.  Sometimes, I spent the whole day in bed.  Sometimes, I found myself crying & I didn’t even know why.  Ultimately though, I found a new passion in photography, vlogging & all of the media.  I wanted to be a journalist, TV presenter/producer, or a photographer.
Every day was a struggle.  A struggle to not cut myself, a struggle to get out of bed, a struggle to do anything productive or worthwhile.  If it wasn’t for my family’s supervision & support, those everyday struggles would have been so much harder.
I fell into the same routine of making friends with people who treated me badly.  Again, I was the butt of all jokes.  I don’t fully know what happened though, but it was like one day I woke up, & I thought to myself that I don’t deserve this.  I deserve good people. I deserve good people. I deserve good people…  It suddenly made sense to me.  The reason that unkind people found me in the first place was because I sought them out.  My own insecurities and self-loathing wouldn’t allow good people to come into my life.  I needed to work on tearing down the wall that I had had up my whole entire life.  If I could do that, good people could become part of it.
I cut off contact permanently with emotionally abusive people, & I told myself that I’d rather be a loner in preference to spending time with them.
To this day, there are still people who see that I am not confident, & they play on it.  But I have something now that I didn’t have with the teachers & the abusive friends.  I have the ability to stand up for myself.  My main interest in this life is the interest of other people – the people I care for.  I would do anything to ensure their happiness.  But something they never tell you is that you also need to make yourself happy.  If you do not work on being happy, taking care of yourself to a certain degree, how can you ever show love & support to other people?
I am now twenty one years old, & I am trying to make my dreams come true every single day.  And you should, too.  Every day is a struggle to be happy.  There are times that all I want to do is go back to doing nothing, & living a meaningless, lazy & unmotivated lifestyle.  But when that happens, I need to look inside of my soul & find that strength, that push, that courage, to get back up after being knocked out, to love again after getting a broken heart.
There is no magic potion for happiness.  It is something you need to find yourself.  What makes you happy?
My past & me have a love/hate relationship.  I hate being reminded of Past, but I love how Past motivates me to have a better future.  What’s done is done.  Messes have been made, milk has been spilt, hearts have been broken & heads have been wrecked.  But every single day is a fresh new canvas we can all work on.  Every single day is a day that can never be repeated.  Today, I am going to try to be happy.  Are you?
 
 
 

Girls Don’t Understand Girls: Part 2. Who Are You Getting Ready For?

PART 2. Who are you getting ready for?

Have you ever wondered why many girls are inclined to spend ages getting ready? Why would they go to all that effort? Why do they have to put on makeup? Why did they have to spend so much money on an outfit? Why did they have to put fake tan on? Why did they have to pile on jewelry? The list goes on and on.

makeup 1

It’s to impress men, right? It must be, surely? Why else would they go to all that bother? Surely if they weren’t trying to get attention from men they would have arrived at said social gathering wearing jeans with their hair in a ponytail. Right?

wolf whistle

Wrong! The theory that women “doll themselves up” to get attention from men is, in my view, completely ludicrous. I am not the kind of woman who would normally spend a long time getting ready, in fact when I go to a pub for instance, I don’t really “dress up”, not to the same extent that some women do anyway, and I would normally be ready in 10 minutes. However, when attending certain events, like for instance job interviews, meetings, etc, I make an effort to present myself better than I normally would.

Why do I do this? So I can feel confident in myself. I am not a superficial person by any means, I do not believe that the inner core of confidence comes from someone’s external appearance. However, a certain level of one’s confidence does come from how one presents him/herself. This cannot be denied. I am not referring to someone’s looks, I am referring to how they present themselves.

I feel the least confident for the day to come if I am very poorly presented, if I am not as hygienic as I should be, if my appearance is somewhat sloppy, etc.

I do not need to dress up to feel confident but it helps my existing confidence.

If you are in any ways observant, you probably will have picked up by now that I am very “ME” focused throughout this entire explanation. Did I once mention the fact that I try to present myself well to impress men?!

it's all about me

It baffles me the amount of times I have heard women claim that other women dress up/present themselves well to impress men OR to impress other women.

We are all selfish. Anyone who tries to deny the fact they are selfish are lying to themselves. There is a difference between being “selfish” and being “self obsessed”, “narcissistic”, etc.

However, we are all selfish to an extent. A certain degree of selfishness exists in us all because it would be impossible to focus on the needs and wants of other people during every second, every minute, every hour, every day of our lives.

It is perfectly normal to focus on ourselves, just as we would focus on others. If we do not focus on ourselves to a certain extent, then we wouldn’t be able to help others! It’s the circle of social-psychology-life…

tutoring

It is not only women who claim that other women dress up to impress men. I have heard many men make the same or similar remarks.

Any time you dress up, you do so to feel more confident in yourself, to be well presented &, in some circumstances, perform better as a result. Perhaps, in turn, when you do dress up to feel more confident, you find that you are more confident when interacting with the opposite sex, BUT this is merely a result of the underlying reason you’re dressing up, which is for confidence.

what should i wear

Bare in mind that I am not a psychologist by any means, this is all just my opinion & my observation, but I believe overall that women dress for themselves. Nobody else!

Girls Don’t Understand Girls: Part 1. Why Are You Laughing At Her?

PART 1. Why are you laughing at her?

 

I’m nearly 21 years of age & I still will never get my head around grown women who laugh at others…out of a meaningless superiority complex. Some people try to justify these women’s actions by saying they are “insecure” or “jealous” but in my view that’s really just an excuse for an unanswerable question. These women are how they are because they’re unkind, sharp & ignorant. It’s as simple as.

gossip
I am a grown woman & I would never disrespect someone enough to laugh at them. Everyone deserves respect & common courtesy & this is something I was raised to truly believe in, & I have & hope to always have that motto through life, because at the end of the day I have felt that sting, that knife going through my heart from being mistreated by others, & I would hope to never intentionally cause that pain to another undeserving person in my existence. I am sure most of us have experienced the sting I am speaking about. Why would you want to cause that hurt to another person? I am sure some women simply do not realise the pain they are causing, but I encourage you all to take a step back from the situation the next time, & really consider it.

gossip 2

Would you like to be laughed at my someone? No, of course you wouldn’t. Because you don’t like feeling low, unimportant, irrelevant & completely ridiculed. I’m not in this life to be made a fool of. I am here for the same kind of reasons as most of us are – to live, to learn, to offer my soul to the world in whatever way(s) possible. I am not here to be made feel stupid or pathetic by others.

Listen girls…you are all wonderful, unique & entirely you, & I am sure whatever lives you have are entirely different to one another, & equally I am sure that you have your own story. But whether you are good or evil, quick or slow, lazy or active, I can almost guarantee you right now that you DON’T like being ridiculed or intentionally embarrassed. No one does. Even serial killers!
Think before you speak, what seems like a joke to you could be detrimental to others.

Is Barbie REALLY distorting the body image for young girls?

It seems that we are constantly hearing shudders and disapproving tuts from parents and guardians alike, regarding the Barbie dolls their young girls play with.  I am sure that I am not the only one who has heard statements such as “Barbie makes little girls think that they have to look a certain way”, and “Barbie doesn’t represent a normal woman” being thrown around in the last number of years.  But, are these disapproving remarks actually truthful? Or, is this just an irrational concern?

When I was younger, I played with barbies. I liked to make them prance around the place, often in a somewhat ‘unladylike fashion’, contrary to their flawless, pretty appearance.  In fact, I spent very little time as a young girl concerning myself with what Barbie wore.  I can’t remember ever maintaining the dainty little shoes which came with her – they always became lost in some way or other.  Similarly, I spent little time brushing her hair.  I’d roughly scrape through her plastic dyed hair with a human sized brush, and scrape it back with one of my scrunchies.  My Barbies spent most of their time frolicking around the place like they were drunk out of their minds… no shoes, carelessly dressed, often going around with missing items of clothing, etc.  I gave my Barbies certain personalities.  I remember when I was small, I was not one of these young girls to play into ‘the princess Barbie’; I always found the sporty and sociable Barbie to be far more appealing.  I know that other girls are different, and they spend all of their time sitting in their pristine rooms, brushing Barbie’s hair, dressing her, and of course, maintaining every last one of her colourful dainty shoes.

Some little girls are interested in beauty, the colour pink and fashion – and others are not.  Whichever the case, I fail to see how playing with a Barbie doll can distort their body image.

Barbie was not the only toy we played with when we were young. There were plenty – Baby Born, toy cars, teddies, board games, remote control cars, or even ‘make-it-yourself’ sets (which were referred to as ‘makey-do sets’ in my house).  I cannot speak for the general nation of children, but in our house there was rarely gender distinguishing when it came to toys.  My siblings and I shared our toys.  I didn’t adapt an unrealistic body image from Barbie, just like I didn’t aspire to be a cowboy from playing with a Woody doll.

For the most part, I feel I can speak from experience, and say that toys do not put any pressure on children to become a certain person.  Similar concerns have been expressed regarding video games such as ‘Grand Theft Auto’.  My simple response to this concern is that maniacs, murderers and rapists have been around for centuries.  I fail to see how a violent video game is going to encourage children to act violently.  Also, the game is only suitable for over 18 year olds — so maybe your child shouldn’t be playing it anyway if you do not want these concerns to become reality.

I can safely say that for me, a toy was always just a toy when I was young.  I was never under the impression that girls who looked like Barbie existed.  Perhaps ‘blonde bombshells’ did, but nonetheless they were human beings with non-animated faces and hair that wasn’t plastic. I also knew that Woody from Toy Story didn’t exist, and that race cars required a driver to move, not a hand.

Toys are there for children to create, to imagine, to have fun and to even express themselves.  So, my simple answer to the title of this blog is ‘no’, I don’t feel that Barbie distorts the body image of young girls.  Barbie is just a glorified piece of plastic, with round plastic boobs and plastic white-blonde hair.  Barbie was made out of plastic – just like Baby Born was, and just like remote control cars were.  I was never under the illusion that I would someday become a Barbie replica – and I never felt any of my other friends would either.  I was surrounded by real-life women, who were not made out of plastic and did not have permanent makeup tattooed onto their faces.  I always aspired to be like these women – I never aspired to look like Barbie, or act like her (considering her personality was somewhat bland.)

If anything, we need to concern ourselves with real-life women.  I do recall aspiring to be like Rachel Stevens from S Club 7, or Emma Bunton from The Spice Girls.  Rachel Stevens was awarded the title of ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’ during my childhood; and Emma Bunton often wore very little clothes and behaved very promiscuously in music videos (although she was most probably playing the character of ‘Baby Spice’)

Are these really positive role models for young girls?  Both examples were sexualised in the media.  Barbie was also sexualised; but as I have stated, the difference is that Barbie is plastic. Perhaps we need to be concerning ourselves more with the unsuitable role models for young girls?

But for now, I don’t feel Barbie is putting on any pressure. And, if you think she is, just don’t buy her for your children. It seems pretty simple to me!

Thanks for reading 🙂