Thursday, 24 May 2018

The Truth About The “Toblerone Tunnel”

Oh my. If I could scream through computer screens then I would. I am currently trying to compose myself and my thoughts so I can write a relatively helpful blog post about this very new craze/fad/trend, The Toblerone Tunnel. And no, it’s nothing to do with chocolate (shame).
Did you think the thigh gap was far enough? Think again. The Toblerone Tunnel is taking over Instagram and is about women forming a triangular-shaped gap by the bottom and the tops of the upper thighs.
Because I couldn't face putting a photo up of the actual Toblerone Tunnel

I did some research (as always right!)
When I googled ‘Toblerone Tunnel’, the first few articles scared me. This is what I found in articles 1 to 5:
- “Celebrities show off ‘Toblerone tunnels’ on Instagram” | Daily Mail Online
Why does it matter what celebrities are doing? And why are they doing it in the first place? I can’t help but feel saddened and frustrated by their blatant inability to not care for the wellbeing of women and girls who are influenced by them (whether explicitly or implicitly). 
- “What is the Toblerone Tunnel thigh gap and how do you get it?” | The Sun
The question we don’t need to therefore be asking is how to get it. Neither do we need to be giving women and girls tools for how to be unhealthily obsessed with their body’s; not an unlikely response to this article. 
- “Ladies, Do you have a Toblerone Tunnel?...”| The Sun
So what? The problem with asking these questions is that our minds, uncontrollably, race through reasons why we don’t, whether we should, how we could, what would happen if we did, etc.
- “Toblerone Tunnel is the Latest Sexy Craze Sweeping Instagram” | Maxim
Lets not start labelling this stuff ‘sexy’. Lets not glamorize what is unhealthy, unhelpful and purely damaging to the health, wellbeing and esteem of women and girls.
- “Kate Wright and Kendall Jenner show off their Toblerone Tunnels…” | The Mirror
Again, it makes me sad that influencers choose to conform to this craze. It makes me sad that popularity trumps morality.
- “The Toblerone Tunnel: A Bikini Body Trend to Ignore” | Womens Health
FINALLY. They go on to write about how being healthy is about fitness and strength, not aesthetics; which this craze is trying to sway us back to. 

Remember this is promoting unrealistic expectations, and you’re not the only one faced by it. Lets not conform to it. Lets rise against it. Lets be assured of our worth and be confident in who we are today. 
The Toblerone Tunnel is a “must-need” that you DON’T NEED this Summer (and every flipping day for that matter). Remember that healthy looks different on everyone. Remember that your body is not against you. Remember that your thoughts should not bully your body. 

Monday, 21 May 2018

The Truth About Adulting

One of the biggest things I’ve noticed in the last couple of years (now I’m 22 years old, ha), is that we tend to think everyone has their life sorted.

I don’t know about you but I remember being in reception and thinking how big the year 6 kids were. I remember being in year 7 and thinking how big the sixth formers were and I remember finishing school and thinking how big the uni-goers were.

I’ve just noticed my repetition of the word “big”. Now, there would be the obvious height difference in most cases; implying the use of the word “big”, but not in every case. I think often we look at those ‘above’ and ‘beyond’ us and something about them seems more competent.

Similar thought processes happen for me even today:
  • I observe the business people taking the tube to work and how professional, neat and qualified they look.
  • I observe the stay-at-home parent and how organised, patient and proficient they look.
  • I observe the twenty-something-year-old travelling the world via social media and how adventurous, brave and capable.
  • I observe the social media influencer and blogger and how inventive, creative and accomplished they are.

Notice the use of the following words in my observations;


Often when we look at other people, we seem to think that they are more qualified, proficient, capable and accomplished when, on paper, they may well be. But, in reality everyone is winging it. And at times they, too, will feel like imperfect failures or frauds.

Adulting is being thrown in the deep end: figuring out how the heck to pay bills, look smart for a job interview, do 21st century dating, cook relatively healthy meals and not binge-watch too much Netflix. It's all a bit messy, and that's ok!

Today I was at the audiobook recording of ‘More Than Just Pretty’. Neil, the very talented audio-guy, and myself were chatting about how it’s been suggested that everyone is between the ages of 15 and 20-something years old in their head (no matter their age). It’s funny isn’t it. We’re ‘adults’ yet we’ll always be young at heart (and in mind) and just kind of winging it.

Well, I know I am!

So, how do I cope? I know that God doesn’t ‘call’ the qualified, he qualifies the ‘called’. I think this means that God has designed purposes, dreams and plans for each of us. We may not feel capable but as soon as we step into those purposes, dreams and plans, God equips us and gives us what we need to accomplish them.

My hope is that I am allowing God to use me; even if it means doing things that feel so out of my comfort zone, a little unconventional and that I don’t feel qualified for.

My trust is in Him because He is in me.

I don’t want to be someone who says, “Not me. I’m stupid, poor, weak, incapable, afraid.”
I want to be someone who says, “If that’s your dream for me, then help me.”

Step into “winging it” with boldness and courage because God is with you.

P.s. I think that this whole topic is part of the reason I love books so much. Books are a means for someone to communicate with honesty about their experiences. It sure encourages me on my journey of adulthood. And hopefully More Than Just Pretty will encourage young women on their journey too; that their experiences aren't isolated.

P.p.s. Audiobook is coming soon for #MoreThanJustPretty

Monday, 14 May 2018

The Truth About My Mental Health for #MHAW18

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week. I don’t know what ‘mental health’ conjures up for you. 
Maybe it’s what you battle with daily. 
Maybe you know a close family member or friend who battles with it themselves. 
Or maybe you live in fear of the return of mental health issues.

"Take no.13"

I’ve never publicly spoken up about my experience of mental health.

And I’m not going to delve into it now. But what I will do is share a quote from my book:

“It wasn’t until I experienced anxiety that I realised rationale and logic don’t keep you from it”

Anxiety made (and makes) me feel like I'm out of control, lost, afraid, exhausted and alone. I couldn't bear the realisation that there was no quick-fix or way of rationalising my way out of it. Anxiety defies logic and I found that the scariest thing of all. 

You may be surprised to find out that I've experienced this. Part of me hates that it surprises you. I wonder whether it's because of the unseen stories of many smiling social media posts...even mine. 

Behind every social media smile is a story. Like I've hinted at, what many people don’t know about my story is the place that anxiety plays in it. My hope is that no matter what the story is behind your smile, you know that you aren’t alone.

When I experienced anxiety, what brought me a sense of comfort and courage was sharing my story with people I trusted. We don’t always see the story behind someone’s smile. Most stories contain a battle or a few. But, when we share our story, we release others to share theirs too. Be assured that you are doing well. You are seen, you are known and you are loved.

I do hope that I am and can continue to become someone of authenticity (or genuineness); sharing the whole truth about who I am and the life that I live (the pretty AND ugly truth). And this MHAW, I want you to know that I haven't got it all sussed...I'm on a journey when it comes to mental health too.

Read more by pre-ordering More Than Just Pretty.


Monday, 7 May 2018

The Truth About The Impact of Comparison

We talk about comparison quite a lot nowadays, thank goooooodness.

What we don’t talk about as much, probably because we can’t fully embody or understand it, is the extent to which comparison impacts us.


Comparison moves us from the mentality of ‘Me And You’ to ‘Me Versus You’. There’s no wonder we’ve found ourselves in a movement of “female empowerment” because our minds are so disempowered by one another (if we’re not careful).

What do I mean? I mean that when we scroll through Instagram we see other girls posts and rather than feeling inspired or excited by them, our default is to find something negative about them. Although we don’t always say this kind of this out loud, our minds are already composing their thoughts…

“that outfit is so last year”…“her boyfriend isn’t even that good looking”… “it’s a little lame to take selfies nowadays surely, she’s just done her make up for no reason and is sat in her bedroom”… “she’s stunning, I’d never look like that”… “pffft I’d pull that off WAY better than her”

Some of these are extreme examples, and I promise they actually took me a whole to conjure up!!! It’s not nice trying to work out how our minds trick us into ‘Me Verses You’ mentalities. But it’s also not a new concept. Psychologists saw ‘Me Versus You’ or ‘Us Versus You’ mentalities occur from the simple act of putting two peoples into groups. There is something in human nature (when it isn’t challenged) which creates comparison and leads to competition.

One thing you may have noticed is that social comparison seems to lead the mind into two different categories of thinking:

  • Extensive grandeur (words relating: flashiness, swankiness, lavishness, pretentiousness): “pffft I’d pull that off WAY better than her”.


  • Depressive inadequacy (words relating: deficient, scarcity, absence, failure): “she’s stunning, I’d never look like that”.

Both categories of thinking lead us into isolation. We either ‘big ourselves up’ or ‘big ourselves down’, and are left alone in both of those places.

No one can relate to one another. And then, our longing for be-longing isn’t satisfied.

So, let’s step into authentic, genuine female empowerment with our heads held high, our minds aware of their tendencies, our hearts full of love, and our actions openly and honestly supportive of what girls and women are doing all across the nation.

Oh, and the men who openly who embrace all of those truths too.

I'll keep you posted.