I, like most females (and humans), struggle with body confidence That’s not to say I hate myself and think I’m hideous, because I don’t. On the contrary, I think I’m pretty damn attractive most of the time. But I still dislike parts of my body. I don’t like my nose. I don’t like stomach. I’m not particularly fond of my legs unless I’m wearing heels. Some days, I even dislike everything about my appearance. To combat this, I’ve spent years trying to buy into the ‘love yourself’ philosophy of the body confidence movement. I’ve spent countless hours in front of the mirror trying to find the good in my wobble tummy, or my large nose, or my thick thighs. And it worked, for a while. For a while, I could honestly say I loved every part of my body. But then came a day when I gained weight and all…

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Let me tell you a secret – I’m really fucking awesome. I know, I know, I’m committing a cardinal sin by telling you that, but it’s true. I am awesome. Now let’s be clear here, I’m not saying I’m perfect. I’m more selfish than I’d like to be. I have a temper. I can’t draw to save my life. But overall? Yeah. Really Fucking Awesome. As a woman, I’m not supposed to say that. I’m supposed to mutter something apologetically about how occasionally I do some cool stuff, but really there are lots of people (read: men) out there who are smarter and cooler and better than me. As a millennial, I’m supposed to be #relatable. I’m supposed to Tweet jokingly about how useless I am at adulthood, about how I don’t know why anyone has trusted me enough to give me a full time job with actual responsibility, about…

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October has started, which means Halloween is nearly upon us. That wonderful time of year when we dress up as zombies and witches and other such terrifying supernatural creatures. Or at least, that’s what we do in theory. In practice, we have shifted away from scary costumes in recent years towards horrifically inappropriate costumes instead. Nowadays, instead up rocking up to a party as a ghost or ghoul or gremlin, you can rock up as a sexy mental patient, a sexy eating disorder, or a sexy Native American. Something tells me people are beginning to lose sight of the true spirit of Halloween. Now I hope I don’t have to explain to you why sexy mental patient and sexy eating disorder are terrible costume ideas (for Halloween or any other occasion), but I’m willing to bet that there are a few of you who aren’t quite sure why ‘Native American’…

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Asking For It by Louise O’Neill is a young adult fiction book set in a small Irish town that tackles the issue of rape culture. It tracks the reactions of the community throughout the year after a teenage girl is raped at a party, covering a range of viewpoints from the victim, to social media, to the press, to the girl’s family. — I’ll start by saying I had high hopes for this book. All the reviews I’ve read online told me it was an important book, so naturally my expectations were high. I was ready to be blown away by fantastic writing, poignant moments, and important messages. And I was – to an extent. The way the novel sets up the story is excellent. It very deliberately provokes certain reactions to the main character (namely that she is asking for it), which in turns forces gut-reactions from you later…

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Periodically, the internet goes mad because somebody somewhere called someone a skinny bitch. It went particularly mad in 2014 when Meghan Trainor released All About That Bass, and think pieces galore sprung up entitled ‘All About That Bass might actually be bad for female body image’. These articles generally went like this: “All About That Bass is terrible because calling people skinny bitches is just as bad as calling them fat. It’s skinny shaming; and skinny shaming is WRONG.” If you’re not in the know, All About That Bass is one of several songs around at the moment encouraging women to embrace their curves and to love their body, even if it isn’t thin. These songs are part of a wider movement known as the Fat Acceptance Movement, which – as you might have guessed – encourages women (and men, but primarily women since women’s bodies are more readily scrutinised…

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