The Effect Idols Have On Mental Health

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hey guys. In this week’s blog I’m going to be talking about the effect idols have on mental health, both in negative and positive ways. I’ll be discussing my idol and how she helped me get through tough times but I will also be talking about the negative effect idols can have on fans.

Mental Health and Magazines

As a lot of campaigns and people have brought up the issue of models in magazines and unhealthy expectations due to airbrushing, I thought I would talk about this as well. I don’t read magazines – mainly because I can’t stand the amount of ads but also because of the unhealthy diets and “summer body goals” you read in them.

These set negative expectations for young girls and boys and even I have been affected by the airbrushing in magazines – they make you feel like you aren’t good enough. These are clever marketing ploys to try to get you to buy a certain product or motivate you to become an unhealthy weight so you can buy that great dress you’ve been eyeing up in Vogue for months.

These models and magazine editors can cause – if not intentional – teens to feel inadequate and can contribute to mental health issues such as eating disorders, depression or even anxiety. It may be easy to say to someone “Oh, well don’t look if it upsets you” but in this world these airbrushed  models and unhealthy diets are everywhere you turn – bus stop ads, online ads, shopping sites, magazines or even posters. These things are everywhere and although some fashion sites show the true bodies of women and men (like Missguided), there are still loads out there airbrushing and making teens and even adults feel guilty about their bodies.

I doubt there will be a time when these ads and body goals disappear, but I hope that you can be strong enough to realize that your body is unique to you and it’s capable of amazing things; you don’t have to be a size 8 to be “accepted” in society’s eyes and you certainly don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Be the amazing you you are!

My Role Model

Since I was around 7/8 years old I’ve been a fan (die hard fan) of Taylor Swift for a number of reasons. I first heard her song “Love Story” in the car park of a local Sainsbury’s and when I came home I googled the lyrics to try to find it. Ever since, I’ve bought all of her albums, had merch bought for me at Christmas and even made my own Instagram fan page (pastel.swift if anyone is interested…).

It wasn’t just her lyrics that reeled me in (although they are amazing. Seriously, go listen to All Too Well right now) but her story; she had grown up on a Christmas tree farm and had been bullied at school. She was different from the other kids and came to realize with age that this was a good thing that made her who she is today.

Through the years I’ve endured depression and severe anxiety where I couldn’t even leave the house at one point. If someone had hurt me or I was upset or severely depressed, I’d listen to her music, sing along, let my anger out at the high pitched notes and cried along with the sad love songs. I knew she was always there for me even if she couldn’t physically be. Her words stopped me from harming myself and when I wasn’t strong enough she would pull me back to reality or sometimes let me live in her fantasies.

There are good role models out there, whether it’s your parents, a celebrity or a public figure. I know I will always look up to Taylor because of her words, the way she acts with fans and the way she owns who she is and doesn’t care what others think.

After years of crying over missed concert, I’ve finally bought myself tickets and by the time this is published I will be getting ready for the tour I’ve always wanted to go on. I can’t wait to see my idol live and I hope one day I can thank her for everything she has done for me.

Until next time, love Vee x

Twenty Facts About Me

Well hello there. I think I’m getting the hang of posting regularly! So I am writing this blog because I think it’s good for you guys to get to know a little bit more about me and what I enjoy.
1. I eat way too much chocolate. I am seriously considering making my life ambition to help authors with their chocolate addictions and open up a rehab. 
2. My favourite TV shows are: Friends, Gilmore Girls,The Inbetweeners, Jane the Virgin, The Vampire Diaries and Gavin and Stacey.
3. My most annoying habit is picking my nails.
4. My favourite book right now is probably Every Day by David Levithan.
5. My all time favourite series has got to be the Shiver trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater.
6. My favourite authors are: David Levithan, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Huntley Fitzpatrick and Maggie Stiefvater (I spoke about this in a recent blog of mine).
7. I’m pansexual.
8. Apart from the UK I have been to Portugal, France, New York and the Spanish island of Ibiza.

9. Places I would like to visit: Italy, LA, Canada and Amsterdam.
10. My middle name is Leigh and my parents picked this because my aunt’s name is “Kayleigh.”
11. My favourite food to eat is chocolate (obviously) and burgers.
12. My favourite drink is probably a latte (none of that complicated crap like strawberry, raspberry and watermelon frappe or decaf soy latte).
13. My favourite number is 13.
14. I have an unhealthy obsession with Taylor Swift and have been a fan since I was seven years old.

15. I am in a long distance relationship.
16. I also have a long distance best friend (all the best people live far away!!)
17. My favourite movie is Bridget Jones (all three of them).
18. I want to become a published writer and freelance editor/proofreader.
19. I love unicorns. I have a onesie, stationary, ornaments, clothes, slippers and even a night light that my partner’s parents bought for me.
20. Three years ago I was suffering with crippling anxiety and couldn’t leave the house. And thanks to the support of friends, family and most of all, Oliver (for pushing me when I just couldn’t face it) I am now able to travel to London alone, go out shopping (I’ve nearly conquered shopping centres) and become so much more confident in myself as a person. Without Oli’s help I wouldn’t be able to do the things I do today.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading 20 facts about me and don’t forget to subscribe and follow my Bookstagram: @neurotic.writer.ramblings

Return to New York

Hey guys!

So Oli and I went back to New York last month and although I hate planes (as I mentioned before), I couldn’t wait to plant my feet on to the New York pavement. This time, Oli bought an explorer pass to visit five attractions in New York.

Day One

On the first day – after a good night’s sleep – we wandered down to our favourite place. That’s right, Dunkin’ Donuts for the best hot chocolate in the world.

We had a bit of a lazy day and walked around the Highline. We’ve walked the Highline before when it had snowed, but it was such a nice day and they always have art displays on the overgrown tracks. They are really interesting to read and the sights over the Highline always puts a smile on my face. Last time, when we went, the Red Arrows were flying over. We were incredibly lucky to see them as they weren’t in the US for very long.

We got back to the hotel and then I had a look on Instagram and saw that there was a Taylor Swift Pop Up. So Oli and I rushed on to the subway and queued for two hours to get in to what Oliver called “a shop” (rolls eyes). However, Oli was kind enough to buy me some Taylor Swift pins and I took some photos of the outfits and I even used the same phone that Taylor used in her Look What You Made Me Do music video.

It turned out that Taylor showed up at the Pop Up 20 minutes after we left so obviously I cried like a little baby. However, I did get two Taylor magazines exclusive to Target so I was rather happy. As you can tell, it was the perfect time to visit New York – a day after the release of her album.

Day Two

The second day was slightly more chaotic as we made our way to the Empire State building. It was a bit foggy so we couldn’t see a lot but the view was breathtaking – you could see everything. We spent a lot of money on souvenirs this time and even bought some Empire State chocolate. We then went to Taylor’s house once again and then to the 9/11 museum. It was very strange and eerie seeing pictures of everyone who tragically died. It’s an amazing place to see though and I highly recommend going.

We then made our way to the Statue of Liberty and bought more souvenirs in the gift shop (a Statue of Liberty Panda and Penguin. Yes, we are daft). It’s surprisingly smaller than I thought it was but it was still a great sight to behold.

We then got on the boat to Ellis Island and went around the museum but we were so tired we could barely walk. The museum is great if you enjoy reading – but for us, we had walked so much we just wanted to sit down! I highly recommend going if you’re interested in the history of Ellis Island. It’s phenomenal how many people came through its doors to live in New York.

Day Three

On our last day, we had Dunkin’ Donuts again (can you tell we’re obsessed?) and made our way to the Intrepid Air, Sea and Space museum where we saw a space shuttle and bought astronaut ice cream. The space shuttle was huge and took us by surprise, It’s crazy to think that something that big has gone to space.

With our legs buckling and being too tired to stand, we made our way (long way) to the Natural History museum through Central Park. I was too hungry to enjoy myself and we kept getting lost. One thing they need more of? Sign posts. However, the museum was interesting and the displays were well put together. There’s so much rich history. I was mostly interested in the animals/bird displays so we wandered around those for a while. There’s a makeshift forest in the middle of the museum and it does feel rather scary! There’s also a huge dining hall where you can pay to spend the evening under a ginormous whale statue.

We had to make our way to the airport for our overnight flight and the turbulence on the plane was the worst I’ve felt – but I did manage to sleep for a while. It was sad to come back to the UK again. We hope we can go back again one day and stay a bit longer. And maybe even live there one day.

If you enjoy my blogs, please subscribe and follow my Instagram page: neurotic.writer.ramblings or my Facebook page.

Saying Goodbye to 17

Hey there fellow writers and bookworms! So this blog will be a bit different as I turned 18 a few weeks ago and I will be sharing some of my hopes, dreams and everything in between!

I had been waiting for my 18th for such a long time and here it was, right in front of me. For some reason I’m scared of it – I’m finally an adult and I’m still figuring my life out. Going out there and finding what you want to do is scary. But what’s terrifying is never going after your dreams and then regretting it.

In the past year I have overcome anxiety struggles, managed to travel on tubes alone, had several jobs I wasn’t happy in and started a blog. This past year has been a roller coaster of tears, fears and hoping and praying.

In the past year I’ve traveled to Portugal, Ibiza and New York with my partner and see some wonderful sights. I can’t wait to travel more in the future.

I have also started this blog and an Instagram to keep me busy and improve my writing. I have been on a writing course, I became a writing intern and I am writing more than ever.

I’ve lost friends and gained new, better ones. I’ve made up with people I never thought I would and I’ve come to realise that these things take time to heal. Wounds are being stitched up and there’s better days to come.

Goals for the year ahead

My goals for this year include to be happy and to take care of myself more than I ever have before. I am planning my future without procrastinating and I’m taking care of my mental health by pushing myself to go out and have some me time. I love the freedom that comes with realising you can do anything you put your mind to.

Another goal for this year is to start saving for mine and my boyfriend’s future together. I am making sure I treat myself but I’m also saving for rainy days and the future ahead.

I want to see my family happy and healthy and I also want to travel even more if I have the funds.

I’m also thinking of taking driving lessons and I’m really excited about that!

Overall, this year has been hard but rewarding and I can’t wait to embark on a new year and a new life as the true me.

New York

For our anniversary, Oliver took us to New York on a big adventure…

For someone who has only been on a two and a half hour plane journey to Portugal, going on an eight hour flight to New York was more than daunting. Turbulence scares the hell out of me and being in a big machine catapulting across the sky obviously brought out my anxiety.

However, our journey there and back with Norwegian was fairly smooth – even though take off is always the worst! For me, I like to grip on to Oli so hard he has to pull my claws off him!

When we landed it took us over an hour to get through the border and we went on the sky train and subway.

Once we got to Hotel Pennsylvania and checked in to our room, our smoke alarm wouldn’t stop beeping, there was mold on the walls and plug sockets hanging askew off the wall. We requested a change of rooms, exhausted (it was nearly 4am UK time). We were so happy with our new room – you wouldn’t think it was the same hotel!

Day One

On our first proper day we headed to Dunkin’ Donuts for the best hot chocolate ever(!!!) and croissants. After that we went on the subway to Tribeca, where Taylor Swift’s apartment is located. Being a Swiftie, this moment was precious to me. I had stood where she stood, walked where she walked. I just wish she had been there!

After seeing Taylor’s apartment we walked to the Brooklyn Bridge, crossed it and had pizza which was only $7! We came back and walked a very long way to the ferry. We thought it would be cheaper to see the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island ferry than it would be to go and see it close up! (It’s worth it to just go on the ferry unless you’re desperate to get a close up for those Insta posts! 😉)

After walking from the ferry, we went to Ground Zero. It is such a surreal place. You don’t realise how big and wide the towers were. We went to Times Square to get McDonald’s and went back to the hotel.

Once back at the hotel we relaxed, watching Friends in America(!!!), before going out to Times Square for something to eat. We went to Applebee’s but we were so stuffed from croissants, pizza and McDonald’s that we barely ate. We ended up having giant pretzels afterwards though…

Day 2

On day two we went to the Friends Building and fangirled. Then we walked up to the High Line and along it and saw some good art pieces, including this hilarious piece…

While we were walking across the High Line we saw the Patrouille de France who were doing their first tour of the US. We then walked back to Times Square and saw the Rockefeller Centre. Strolling along at this point, our legs killing us, we went to the Gossip Girl Hotel and Grand Central. I pretty much risked my life to take a photo in the middle of the road of Grand Central.

We then went and saw the Chrysler building and the Empire State building and walked back through 5th Avenue to our hotel. And, of course, like the Instagram oriented person that I am, I decided I wanted a photo of the aesthetic brown Starbucks up several blocks from us. At this point I had already gone past a shop full of puppies in the window (cruel, I know. I wanted to take them all home!) and was eagerly trying to catch a look before Oliver pulled me away.

Once I had taken a photo of Starbucks, I was determined to set foot in Barnes and Noble and to take a picture of it. It is every book worm’s dream! It was at least three floors of beautiful bounded books: contemporary, fiction, non-fiction and the classics where I dragged Oli around looking at all the huge books that couldn’t possibly fit in my suitcase. We then went to TGI Fridays for the first time ever – I hadn’t even eaten anything there in the UK.

Day 3

So, after attempting to go to Ellen’s Stardust Dinner for ice cream several times, we decided to wait again on our last day. We waited before and they told us the electric had cut out when we had been waiting half an hour and the queue was stretching further and further down the block. We were told this even though we could clearly see there were people still in the dinner. So on our last day we queued for about forty-five minutes before they told us they were changing the menu from breakfast to lunch and then they told us half an hour later that a group of school children would be taking up the whole dinner – bear in mind the queue was now stretching around the block. We eventually entered after freezing to death for two hours and sat down to order ice cream, just to be told we couldn’t order it as it was melting. I would not recommend this place at all.

After wasting two precious hours in the city that never sleeps, we were starved and started walking to Columbus Circle and to the mall which had the most expensive cafes inside. So eventually we went to Starbucks and walked through Central Park with a pretzel in hand. This was the coldest day we had had and we walked to Belvedere Castle and then hobbled to the MET (aka Gossip Girl steps). Oliver found it hard to walk after the past few days’ adventures. And then we finally went to another Gossip Girl location – the Museum of the City of New York.

Finally, we took the tube and walked past the New York Public Library to TGI Fridays once again for lunch. This time I had a burger instead of salad and it was honestly the best burger I have ever eaten. After lunch we headed to the Flat Iron building and then made our way back home after grabbing more Dunkin’ Donuts!

Remember to follow my Instagram: @readycupcake

Getting To Know Me

Well, hi. I guess this is my first blog post. So here it goes…

I thought I would make my first blog post about me and what I enjoy/do so that you can get a feel for my writing and who I am.

My name is Vada, I’m 17 and I enjoy writing. Obviously. I have a weird arse hamster called Alice who can bite her way out of plastic cages. I drink tea like a fish and my ambition is to become a published writer/editor/owner of 1000 dogs. I’m in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend, Oliver who I’ve been with for 2 years. (I’ll be writing more about ways to cope in a long distance relationship and what me and Oli are up to.)

My boyfriend lives nearly 200 miles away and I have to get the train to his and he drives here fortnightly. Long distance is hard but we are stronger than the distance between us. We enjoy watching new series together, going to the local garden centre to see guinea pigs (yes, I drag him there), going to London, travelling together and making rude and inappropriate nicknames for each other.

I enjoy reading romantic novels and writing even more romantic novels. I’m currently writing my first novel that I’m determined to finish!! (I will also be writing book reviews and letting you guys know what’s going on.)

I’m a soppy git and love to watch Bridget Jones on a loop even though I can be a sarcastic and rude arse.

I’m a massive Taylor Swift fan and I’m dying to meet her. I also have an Instagram fan account, I know, I know, I’m a big kid. But feel free to follow me if you’re a fellow Swiftie. My account is: @Pastel.swift

I collect stuffed animals (mostly Oli buys me these and there’s no room on my bed for us now) and watch FRIENDS, Gilmore Girls and Buffy. My taste in TV is quite varied and one minute I’m watching Lorlei and Rory talk about guy troubles and the next I’m watching Buffy stake vampires in the heart.

I can usually be found nibbling away at some chocolate bar or baked good in my room with Netflix streaming. So that sums me up; I’m a chocoholic with a love for dogs, writing and guinea pigs.

You can also follow me on social media:
Instagram: @readycupcake

I hope you will come along on this journey with me and we’ll see where it takes us…

V