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Being 16 in ’16 | Take Part Big Issues

By September 7, 2016 General

A couple of months ago I shared a behind the scenes picture of a project I was asked to be a part of, and today, I am super excited to be able to share with you what exactly it is! Now launched, you can take a look at Take Part’s newest Big Issue – 16 in 16…

take part big issues 16 in 16 #16in16

take part big issues 16 in 16 #16in16

take part big issues 16 in 16 #16in16


Watch my #16in16 video here


Turning 16, to most girls, means becoming a young woman and exploring oneself. It’s an exciting time, but it’s also full of challenges, especially for those in far-flung corners of the Earth. For some teens, being 16 means starting to drive and experiencing love and dating, but for others, it can mean taking on inequality and conflicts in everyday life.

So, to learn a little more about what it’s like to be 16 years old in 2016, Take Part asked myself and 15 other girls what it’s like to be as a young woman, whether they might be, in the hopes of sharing why teen girls should have access to education, economic opportunity and basic human rights. It was all quite exciting to be a part of, but now I look at it all put together with the other girls’ stories, I’ve started to realise why it’s such an important message.

The feature is a small video series which highlights certain topics like relationships, family life, future careers and ambitions, and what struggles 16 year olds have to face. Some of the stories are genuinely, truly inspiring, so I feel very honoured to have played my part the best I could! I spoke a bit about why home education gives me more freedom than traditional schooling, but there’s a small bit more when you click through to my personal segment.


Ethical and sustainable fashion. I’ve become interested in the True Cost movie. I don’t believe in labels and fancy clothes and things like that. I would rather have my wardrobe like I do now; it’s secondhand, and it’s ethical brands.

What I'm most passionate about...

take part big issues 16 in 16 #16in16


Watch all #16in16 videos here


Some of the other girls include Monica from Nairobi in Kenya, who’s ambition is to become a journalist; Emma from Pennsylvania who’s an aspiring writer working hard for equality and the LGBTQ community; Haiana, a Syrian refugee now living in Germany, and Savannah, who’s an aspiring marine biologist who’s been coping with her mother’s drug addiction most of her life. All of the girls have such inspiring messages and are obviously destined for great things!

You can take a look at my feature, as well as the other videos and other girls, at the link above. Please do take a look and give it a share if you can! Take Part (part of Participant Media) will be rolling out the campaign for the months ahead, so I’m sure you’ll see the link floating around for a while too.

Thanks so much to the team for this opportunity, and for creating a project with such a strong message. Here’s to being 16 in 16!


Images taken from the 16 in 16 videos.


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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The Vicious Circle of ‘Fat’ vs ‘Thin’

By November 20, 2014 DIY & Lifestyle

Recently, I’ve seen a lot of articles online which have really spurred people on about the whole fat vs thin battle. The whole ‘real’ women thing has really come to my attention, and I wanted to write about it. For me, it’s quite an important subject to talk about because I am… ‘thin’, so it makes sense for me to voice my opinions here…

fat vs thin debate

I think I can finally say that I am fed up of this ‘vicious circle’ (as I like to call it). I’m fed up of brands and people saying that you are a real woman if you have curves and ‘junk in all the right places’. I am fed up of people judging people on their size. In fact, when I was still at school (home schooled now if you didn’t know), I was in a PSHCE – Personal, Social and Health Education – lesson, the teacher was talking about this very topic. I’ve never actually told anyone this before, but I came to tears because I know exactly how it feels to be ‘thin’. I’m not saying I have been bullied (definitely not), but I’ve been judged.

During a rehearsal at the same school, I went into the toilets to get changed and a few girls from the year above were in there with me… but they didn’t know I was there, because I was hidden by just a simple door. They were trying on their costume and one of them said (I quote this exactly), “Ergh, this jacket is ridiculous, it would fit an anorexic person… like Tolly.” This was followed by a bundle of giggles and can you imagine how I felt? Little Year 7 Tolly standing in the toilets wondering what on earth to do? I waited until they had departed, walked back into the assembly hall and said that I was fine when people asked if I was okay as I sat quietly looking upset. Like I said before, I have never been bullied, but when something like that happens when you’re young, it hurts. I remember thinking about it for weeks, regretting that I didn’t just step out the door and shut them up.

fat vs thin debate

I’ve grown to realise that I am who I am though, and I know in my heart that I am genetically thin due to high metabolism, and not due to an eating disorder. One of the other reasons I’m writing this is due to Becca’s post, where she told a similar story. Just because somebody is thin, or thinner than the average, doesn’t mean they are ill, or don’t eat as much as everyone else. I eat the same as many people my age… at school I would probably eat more than most but the school still insisted that I was checked up on by a dinner lady. I know it was for good intentions, just to check nothing was wrong, but once again I was left feeling embarrassed and went home crying when they started doing it. I just want to clarify again, I was super happy at this school, it’s just the little jives and pokes that get you down.

The real point is, just because somebody is thin, doesn’t mean they’re perfect, and it doesn’t mean they’re ill either. Just because somebody is curvy, doesn’t mean they are real, and it doesn’t mean they are ill also. Why do people have to label us for being slightly bigger, or smaller than everyone else? Why do brands think it is okay to make campaigns made up by ‘real women’ (who are usually curvier than the usual model)? It’s not okay. We always go on about the fact that models in the media are a bad influence on young people, yet when we say that these curvier models are more real, we seem to think it’s okay? If we always say that everyone is different, then why do we go one sided? If I had seen an advert which said something about real women being curvy when the changing room incident happened, do you think that would have made me feel any better?

To add to this all, I thought that I would mention a photoshoot that VOGUE published online recently. I applaud them for it. They didn’t have to say much yet they made a huge statement. There was not one mention of being a real woman, it was simply a photoshoot about how to find pretty underwear for curvier women… yet it said an awful lot. I hope that one day these pictures will become normal to us all, and that cuvry and thin women (or men) will grace the covers of magazines, and strut down catwalks better than ever before.

No matter how thin or curvy you are, you are a real woman. If somebody could just say that to everyone, that would be great. I’m so grateful to be around the right people at the right time to be able to realise that I am who I am, and that makes me me. We forget that some girls don’t have that, some girls and women cave under pressure and end up in a bad situation, so we need these influences to be good ones, we need this vicious circle to change into a straight even line. Thin or curvy, you are real. 


WHAT I WORE: Jumper (Monki) // Shorts (Kenzo) // Floral Crown (ASOS) // Boots (Dr Martens) // Sunglasses (Topshop)


Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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