Stellar’s Jay

This blog has some amazing nature pictures!

nature has no boss

Stellars_3

Hidden in a lichen covered tree this Stellar’s Jay gives me that all to familiar over the shoulder glance saying I am on to you buddy.

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Glow Up!

Glow Up!

Scrolling through Instagram it’s easy to get lost in a world of fantasy – did that person always look like that? How do they have such sculpted eyebrows? Sometimes I find myself asking whether they have had plastic surgery or if they are just really that good at makeup. For those leading the way like KimK and other ‘flawless’ celebrities the answer is easy: they are the rich elite and they have teams of makeup artists, stylists and PR people guiding their every move. But what about when lowly Youtubers are able to master the art of the contour and pass it on to thousands of viewers?

I’ve never been good at makeup. Growing up, there was no one to teach me and I always felt it was not ‘for’ me. I went to an all-girls school and there was always a lot of pressure to look good. In a way, I think this put me off experimenting with makeup. I felt that if it wasn’t perfect, then there was no point in trying. I have a vague memory of being harassed on the bus just because I didn’t pluck my eyebrows?? But then when someone I knew plucked hers she got teased because she plucked them wrong? I can barely remember now, but it was nasty.

I feel like the makeup industry is mainly built on insecurities like these. There are countless products advertising ‘perfect brows’ and other solutions to problems that ‘every woman has’. This often leads to bigger profits for the makeup companies, as an article for Jezebel talks about.[1] As well as this, a lot of companies are still testing on animals, and even the ones that don’t, belong to parent companies that do.

If I lighten up for a minute though, makeup can be so fun! Experimenting with new looks can help people of all genders express themselves better, and the internet is a great source of tutorials. Especially for this generation, makeup is accessible for so many more people now. So if you wear makeup or not, do it with pride. I’ve always thought that shaming people for wearing too much makeup is no better than shaming people for not wearing any. Having experienced a lot of both of these, I’m ready to just not care anymore. What are other people’s experiences with makeup? Has anyone else ever been told that they’d ‘look sooo much better without all the slap on?’

(featured pic is a time I tried hard on my eye makeup)

[1] http://jezebel.com/beauty-companies-love-to-empower-women-over-and-over-1530920736

A xxx

 

Endings//Beginnings

Endings//Beginnings

I haven’t been posting much recently as I have been really busy (even though I’ve somehow found the time to watch loads of episodes of pretty little liars) This is mainly because I’m coming to the end of my undergraduate dissertation and will be graduating soon (yay!).

This is a surreal experience for most students, as it marks the transition into the ‘real world’. Personally, I find this especially scary because I’ve been in full-time education since I was 4 years old. I can barely imagine a life without homework. I’ve had long summer holidays before, and the first year of uni was a bit of a doss, but nothing compares to the expanse of uncertainty that is now in front of me.

The most reassuring way for me to think about the end of uni is as a beginning. Otherwise, I end up full of regret and bitterness that I didn’t ‘make the most of it’ while I had the chance. There are lots of ways to still do the things I enjoyed while I was a student as an ‘adult’. Recently I’ve been visiting a lot of the public libraries and free museums we have in England, and have really enjoyed it (and it didn’t cost me £50,000!).

Realistically, I will have to get a job as soon as I can. In my head, I see this part of my life as the ‘prelude’ section. Girl gets small, part-time job, girl saves enough for a plane ticket and accommodation abroad, girl travels around Asia teaching English, girl returns to England and writes a best-selling sci-fi novel.

A girl can dream?

In all seriousness, I want the next part of my life to be as stress-free as I can make it. I was thinking of applying for a masters, or looking for a graduate level job but really, that’s not me. I have enjoyed uni, but it has come with a lot of unexpected life shit that has made it really quite hard. I’m still recovering from this stress, and so a part time job while I save and live at home for a bit is all I want to properly think about for now.

So here’s to the beginning of my next chunk of life! And if anyone reading this wants to pay me for sitting around and occasionally blogging pls get in touch!

(The picture is the Parkinson building at Leeds uni – where I used to go)

 

Oxycontin Abuse in the USA – Fascinating Article Featured on Longreads Blog

(CN: Pharmaceuticals, Doctors, Drug abuse, Overdose, Violence, Illness -if these things upset you, perhaps skip this one.)

Also just a disclaimer – I’m not even slightly a doctor, and I knew nothing about Oxycontin before reading this article.

This is a little different from the usual themes of my blog, but I found it a really interesting read. The first article linked is an LA Times piece about the history of Oxycontin in the US. The drug is effectively an opiate, and while it chemically provides pain relief, there are a lot of questions raised about its accessibility; mainly that it is simply too easy to get hold of. Doctors in the US have often caused controversy by prescribing medication too readily, or continuing to prescribe high doses of addictive medication without considering the implications. (Check out Louis Theroux’s documentary about behavioural meds for children). There are a number of cases mentioned in the article where people have been unaware of the addictive quality of the drug and the danger of it, resulting in overdose in the more extreme cases. As well as this, the pharmaceutical company producing Oxycontin made huge profits in the 90s, some of it coming from addicted celebrities such as Eminem.

The fact that prescription drugs are abused by over 2 million people in the USA alone is frightening. Surely the scale of the US means that so many demographics will inevitably have different experiences; but opiate abuse often affects the most vulnerable people in society. The impression I get from this article is that the drugs were actively pushed onto doctors by the company in the 80s, who then prescribed it to as many people as possible – many of whom were previous addicts.

The case studies in this article are shocking, but the comments tell a different story. Some people have accused this piece of investigative journalism of being too biased. Some cancer patients and sufferers of chronic pain are willing to take the risk of addiction in exchange for much needed relief. Evidence also suggests that those without a history of addiction are less likely to develop an addiction to the painkillers simply from taking them ‘as prescribed’. Personally, I feel it is best to read it for yourself. There are also more scientific journals about the research available online (although sometimes you have to wonder who funded the research, and why.)

Maybe the question shouldn’t be about the drug itself, but how education about addiction and drugs in general is treated in the US?  Please comment if you have also read it!

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist. Sign up to receive this list free every Friday in your inbox. * * *

via The Top 5 Longreads of the Week — Longreads Blog