march reflections

march reflections

This month we’re going to talk about gadgets/social media usage and the impact it has on our self-esteem/mental health. We all fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to the pristine personas presented to us online, even though we do not know the trauma and challenges that individual has faced behind the scenes. We want their success and to know how they achieved it, but we don’t want to know about or experience any of the messy stuff.

For the LONGEST TIME I had vehemently denied that social media has a negative effect on my self image. Nowadays I’m happy to post an ugly photo of myself and my 74 chins on insta, but when I was in my teens I would take hundreds of selfies in different poses until I could find the ‘perfect’ one, and even then I would focus on it until I hated it entirely. Although I’m fairly body positive now, there are still occasions where a combination of comparison and endless scrolling gets the better of me.

Obviously I am a big believer in using social media for good, there are so many exciting social justice initiatives that have been born out of/promoted by social media. Y’all also know that I love insta, I post something every hecking day BUT it can sometimes be overwhelming and quite frankly a waste of time that could otherwise be spent productively. The new screen time feature on my phone has really helped me to check myself.

My hope is that these questions will help us all to evaluate how we are using socials currently & how we can use them to cultivate healthy mindsets and relationships with ourselves going forward. Here we go:

  • Am I spending too much time on my phone? If yes, what activity could I replace this with? (personally attacked by this one)
  • Do I need to unfollow some social media accounts that make me feel negatively about myself?
  • Did I see something on social media that made me feel positive/good about myself?
  • Have I learnt anything new this month? Why/why not?
  • When was the last time I changed up my routine? Do I need to do this more often?

If you missed them, check out the previous reflection posts from January and February.

My April challenge to you is: post about how you REALLYYYYY feel on instagram. (I know this is not helpful/applicable to everyone, but if you feel like you can put yourself out there, give it a go). Here’s to more transparent and honest interactions.

Go and love yourself, han X

watch your (ethical fashion) privilege

watch your (ethical fashion) privilege

I was born in Salford, a working class area of the North West. We were skint at times and therefore absolutely loved a bargain. Huge hauls from Primarni, getting pirated dvds off the local market and buying other people’s junk at car boots were the norm.

Growing up, I always bought my clothes from high street shops, starting off with Tammy Girl at BHS and moving onto New Look, Forever 21, Zara, River Island, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge (the very predictable list goes on and on). At one point when I was around 16 almost every single item of clothing I owned was from Topshop. If I’m honest, I wasn’t completely ingnorant to the unethical nature of the sweat shops that these clothes came from, but at the time all I was concerned about was the cost to me (aka my mum).

Those of you that have followed me for a while now will know that I’m pretty passionate about calling out the fast fashion industry for being damaging to both people and the environment. However, I only really got into buying vintage and second hand clothing when I began earning my own money just before I started university.

FACT: Buying from ethical clothing brands/second hand shops is more EXPENSIVE. I don’t need to cite 83 sources for you to believe me, we all know that a 5 pack of primark undies is a whole lot cheaper than one pair of knickers made from recycled fabric in an all female studio in East London.

Thinking about the cost of sustainable clothing has led me to this question: Is investing in ‘conscious fashion’ a viable option for low income individuals and families?

As somebody who follows and interacts with others from the ethical fashion community, I have encountered blanket statements such as “if we ALL changed the way we shopped, we could save the planet!”. I have been guilty of using this kind of rhetoric myself in the past. Now that I think about it from a more critical perspective, can we ALL change the way we shop?

Are we assuming that those who don’t buy from sustainable brands are doing it because they don’t want a more ethical world for all? Or is it simply because they don’t have enough/any disposable income? Are they just thinking about how they are going to put food on the table?

Are we privileged if we can buy ethically?

Are we asserting that this is the best way to live and the way that everybody should be living?

I realise that this is just a stream of consciousness stemming from my thoughts about ethical fashion, but I hope it helps you to think about this issue too.

Instead of shaming people with facts and figures about those that suffer at the hands of fast fashion, perhaps it is time for us to offer cost-effective solutions. Let’s encourage people to make small changes that have a significant impact over time. We can swap clothes with friends, recycle old clothes, wash our clothes on a lower temperature, buy from charity shops etc.

We are lucky that we are able to shop ethically, we shouldn’t take it for granted. We shouldn’t use our privilege to humiliate others.

As always, shout me on instagram with your thoughts.