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Why It’s Okay to Feel ‘Okay’ | The Children’s Society

By February 22, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

I’ve recently been in touch with The Children’s Society charity because they are currently trying to get more people, and specifically the UK government, to step up to the plate and stand up for girls. As a feminist and a girl/young woman myself, of course, standing up for girls is going to be of importance to me, however, it is even more important to me when the campaign they’re running is focusing on appearance and confidence.

the children's society good childhood report - confidence advice for teen girls

I was wondering how to go about this post but then I remembered a quote I read by Katy Bellotte on Instagram (you might know her as Hello Katy). It was one of those moments where I read it and thought to myself; that’s exactly what I mean, I just haven’t been able to express it so eloquently before! The quote was this:

There is a widely-popular misconception that confident people are completely without fear. Confidence isn’t “they will like me,” confidence is “I’ll be okay if they don’t.” – Katy Bellotte

Out of the whole quote, though, the word that stuck with me most was the word ‘okay’. My mind spiralled after reading it because it came to my realisation that, as young women, the word ‘okay’ is rarely used. And so I looked back on The Children’s Society‘s notes and wondered how I could incorporate this idea into my blog post when I scrolled down onto a quote from a teenage girl that had been part of their research – it highlighted another word for me; the word was ‘expected’.

This isn’t a new concept for me. I’ve written about it before when I spoke about curating your own personal style and how in some respects, I felt as if I was expected to be a certain way; expected to dress a certain way at a certain point in my life. I’m sure it isn’t a new concept for you either if you’re a girl or a woman. All sorts of phrases lead back to the idea of expectancy, like ‘fitting in’ and ‘conforming’. If you feel as if you need to fit in; you feel as if you’re expected to be a certain way. If you feel as if you aren’t good enough; you feel as if there’s an expectation to live up to.

According to research by The Children’s Society, 1 in 7 girls feel unhappy with their lives in general, with 1 in 3 unhappy with their appearance. There’s pressure and there’s expectancy and there’s the idea of living up to a certain standard. What does ‘okay’ have to do with this, you ask? ‘Okay’ is a word stripped of expectancy. It’s okay to feel a certain way; it’s okay to feel down and it’s okay to feel as if you don’t live up to these societal pressures because as Katy’s quote suggests, confidence isn’t about not having fears. Confidence is about being okay with having them. Confidence is saying I’ll feel okay if I don’t look like this or I’ll feel okay if I don’t live up to what might usually be expected of me.

the children's society good childhood report - confidence advice for teen girls

I would say I’m a confident person, in fact, I’ve stated it many times in blog posts like this but in no way does that mean I have no insecurities or worries. I haven’t spoken to many people about this because it is rather personal to me but more recently, I’ve started to notice how much I focus on the size of my chest (Hi Dad!). I’m very small chested. I’m almost 17 and I still don’t wear bras (Hi anyone who knows me!) because there is quite frankly no need for them and yeah, there’s no difference when I wear slightly more fitted tops to when I wear baggy ones – there’s nothing there to see either way. I worry that I look younger than I am, I wish I could wear more open summer dresses that aren’t just straight up and straight down without feeling as if I’m a flat piece of paper and I really wish I could wear delicate triangle bras without feeling as if there’s no point.

It’s not that I necessarily want or need to be any different than I am but I know that in western society there is an expectation put on women for us all to have something in that department. It’s about understanding and realising that there’s an expectancy rather than developing upon on an idea or an image that is just there. It’s engrained within younger people to feel this way because there aren’t enough people shouting out and saying that it’s okay not only to realise there’s a pressure but that it’s okay to not be defined by it or expect ourselves to rely on it.

It’s okay to be who we are because that is who we are. We shouldn’t expect ourselves to change for anyone or anything but it’s also okay to listen to that pressure and start to understand it. This can be taken on for more than just insecurities, this can also be taken on board when we think about more mental issues and the health and wellbeing of our minds. Opening up about mental health is what we all need more of especially when insecurities and fears are often caused by anxiety and depression.

the children's society good childhood report - confidence advice for teen girls


~ THE OKAY CHECKLIST ~

Make a list of your insecurities
 Ask yourself where they came from
 Ask yourself who brings out your insecurities and who lessens them
 Make note of when you don’t feel insecure; what made you feel that way?
 When you do feel down or insecure, tell yourself it’s okay
 Tell other people it’s okay too
✓ Try to listen and understand yourself more and more each day
✓ Read The Good Childhood Report and spread the word!


I always try and leave my readers with something to learn from so I’ve made a small checklist of questions to ask yourself and small ideas to remind yourself of on a daily basis. I’m also going to link you up with three of my previously written articles and works on similar topics. There are checklists and helpful ideas within them too and I hope they will start to open your eyes up to why it’s okay to feel okay…

How to Combat Feeling Judged and Self-Conscious

“How do we skip out those thoughts that make us pressured? How do we stop ourselves from shrinking back down into that mold of ‘being normal’ or ‘being perfect?’. Well, I’ve thought about it, and I know you’re no doubt going to think I sound crazy but… I like to think about the size of the world and the universe. Yup, you read me right… I’m getting deep.”

How to Soothe a Sore Thumb

“The more you flaunt it, the more people will catch on to your awesomeness, which means in the end, more people will be flaunting their awesomeness, so nobody will have to feel like a sore thumb ever again.”

★ Accepting Change & Curating Your Personal Archive

“We have this incredible ability to store the outfits and the hairstyles and the make-up looks and the places we went and the inspiration we found in our own personal archives. We are the curators of our own archives. It’s scary, sure… the idea that we’ll look back and regret decisions or cringe over them, but that’s the great thing about storing it all and utilising these tools – we can gradually accept change and we can look back after a few weeks and start going ‘Oh, well I wouldn’t do that now’. We have time to process change, and we really need to take advantage of that.”


You can read more about The Children’s Society here

How do you tell yourself it’s okay to feel okay? How do you deal with insecurities? Share your wisdom in the comments!


I’ll be back soon with some fashion week content…

(Obviously The Children’s Society is a charity so this blog post is in no way sponsored. I just feel strongly about these sorts of topics.)

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Feminist T-Shirts That Were Actually Made by Feminists

By February 2, 2017 Ethical

Recent news brings activism and marches for issues which should have been put behind us years ago. It’s a shame we still have to fight for basic equality and against discrimination but it’s also a shame that what we buy to make our voices clearer don’t always support the causes fully. Today, I wanted to focus on some march-worthy feminist t-shirts that were actually made by feminists… not the high street slogan tee kind.

ethical feminist t-shirts - people tree - my sister - it's me and you


PEOPLE TREE ~ EQUALITY T-SHIRT ~ £32.00

Image via People Tree, edited by me.


You probably already know but I’m a huge fan of People Tree. Their website is as clear as day when it comes to transparency and ethics. Every item is clearly marked with certifications in terms of organic cotton and Fair Trade processes. This specific ‘Equality’ t-shirt is guaranteed to have been made with equality in mind, seeing as it was produced by Assisi Garments, a social enterprise in India.

Set up by Franciscan nuns, it provides training and employment for deaf, mute and economically disadvantaged women, and thanks to the partnership and support from People Tree themselves, their team has grown from 8 to over 100 employees. Assisi Garments also invests in the community by supporting various social projects, including a cancer hospital and an AIDS rehabilitation centre in South India.

I wrote a blog post a while back on my thoughts on feminism and fast-fashion, so it’s really refreshing to see a garment being produced in such a positive and empowering environment. In my opinion, if you’re going to be buying a t-shirt with the word ‘equality’ on the front of it, it should have been made by people who truly believe in that statement too.

ethical feminist t-shirts - people tree - my sister - it's me and you


IT’S ME AND YOU ~ FEMINIST T-SHIRT ~ $48.00

Image via It’s Me and You, edited by me.


A new discovery for me, but a good one nonetheless, is It’s Me and You. It’s especially important because as of November 2016, after the US election, 100% of this t-shirts profits have been going to donated to the workshop, An Afternoon For You. The workshop is run to support and empower children that will be most vulnerable and at risk during the next four years of the Presidency. After the election, community based and localized education will be especially important going forward, especially safe spaces for children.

Created by Mayan Toledano and Julia Baylis, It’s Me and You is a hub for body positivity, an issue which is especially for women in current times. This t-shirt in particular is 100 percent cotton, hand printed and made in the USA. Although that isn’t quite as transparent as the likes of People Tree, I feel comfortable enough in sharing their products because sometimes it is more about the story and what the brand embraces.

We have to support our ideals and what we believe in. Every penny we spend is a vote towards that, and It’s Me and You is a prime example of where we should put our money especially when everything seems so unfair.

ethical feminist t-shirts - people tree - my sister - it's me and you


MY SISTER ~ FEMINIST T-SHIRT ~ $22.00

Image via My Sister, edited by me.


Last but definitely not least, is this feminist t-shirt produced by My Sister. Their mission is to prevent sex trafficking whilst empowering the population and providing after-care for survivors, all by promoting messages through their ethically produced, sweat-shop free products. It makes sense that this is their mission seeing as both of their tag lines are either “Fighting sex trafficking one shirt at a time” or “Apparel against sex trafficking”.

The main inspiration for this blog post and my aforementioned post about feminism and fast-fashion come from my reading of Threadbare: Clothes, Sex & Trafficking, My Sister is a rather important brand to shop from. Not only are they promoting equality and feminist messages through what they sell, but they’re also supporting the communities which are affected by these serious issues.

Plus, the fact that they’re using male models and targeting a unisex audience is super important. Feminism isn’t just about cis-women, it’s about gender equality no matter what gender, sexual orientation, race or religion.


Do you know of any ethically conscious brands selling feminist and activist t-shirts? Let me know in the comments!


Slightly different post style to what I’ve been publishing recently, but I couldn’t let this idea slip and it was wonderful discovering a few positive brands. I’ll be back soon…

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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You Can’t Call Yourself a Feminist If You’re Supporting Fast Fashion

By October 21, 2016 Ethical

It seems a little bit over the top to point this out right at the start of this post but I honestly believe it’s true; you can’t call yourself a feminist if you believe in fast fashion.

threadbare by anne elizabeth moore review - feminist fast fashion

This belief hit me whilst reading “Threadbare: Clothes, Sex & Trafficking” by Anne Elizabeth Moore. It’s an illustrated non-fiction comic all about the fashion industry and how it links in with sex work and trafficking. It sounds like a pretty heavy topic, but it was possibly one of the easiest ethical/anti-fast fashion reads I’ve finished so far, and for those of you who prefer something a little more attractive to the eyes, then I’d definitely recommend it (however I will point out – it does have fairly small text to read).

The statistic that struck me with this realisation was this – 1 in 7 women worldwide, work in the fashion industry. The tricky thing about feminism is how it is deemed to be only related to women and feminine issues, when as we should all know by now, it’s about equality, and the only way we can reach gender equality and an equal balance between men and women, is by working on the imbalance of which is mainly weighing down on, well, women.

So seeing as a seventh of the female population in the world are somewhat responsible for the fashion industry, it would seem a bit absurd to not think about how it affects those people, wouldn’t it?

threadbare by anne elizabeth moore review - feminist fast fashion

One of the main issues surrounding fast fashion and the industry as a whole is the problem surrounding working conditions. 80% of garment workers are women. According to the book “To Die For” by Lucy Siegle, if we break down the price of a £4 (ASDA) t-shirt, £1.18.5p goes to the supplier; £2.80 goes straight to ASDA as profit and the garment worker (most probably a woman) receives just 1.5p.

That’s 1.5p per what could possibly be 200 garments per day (roughly £4 a day), in a factory with poor safety regulations. In fact, 60% of factories in Bangladesh are structurally unsound according to a 2013 study, which makes the Rana Plaza disaster even more tragic, because it would be so easy for it to happen again.

Upon reading more about feminism and fast-fashion, I read fellow blogger Jen’s post about her thoughts, and her point about clothes plastered with feministic slogans and messages of empowerment really raised a great question; how can we be buying these clothes that promote female empowerment that cost as much as a coffee at Starbucks, when the people making them can barely afford to live and make these clothes for us?

How can we say we’re feminists when we’re supporting companies that don’t have any interest in the women (some of which are in their teens) that they employ and the situations that they are in?

threadbare by anne elizabeth moore review - feminist fast fashion

The answer is, we simply can’t. If feminism is about bringing equality to women, then we can’t call ourselves feminists if we’re still supporting a cycle and an industry that still promotes inequality. It doesn’t matter what a brand is doing on the surface. It doesn’t matter what natural beauty campaigns they’re running, or what slogans are on those t-shirts.

At the end of the day, if they didn’t have the garment workers in the first place, then they wouldn’t have their company – we wouldn’t have our clothes and our wardrobes full of outfits. We as women, as men, and as humans who need to prolong the earth we stand on – cannot call ourselves feminists if we live with the mindset that this is okay.

In line with that, one of my favourite parts of “Threadbare” and actually the page that featured that slap-in-the-face statistic, was this –

‘So if you want to support job opportunities for women in developing nations, don’t shop at the mall.’

threadbare by anne elizabeth moore review - feminist fast fashion

If you want to call yourself a feminist and support one of the biggest industries in the world, and a seventh of the female  population (cisgender/transgender – unfortunately there isn’t a clear statistic for that number, which would bring me onto a whole other topic of discrimination), then don’t support what is causing the most damage. Or like I’ve said many times before; be conscious. Hold retailers responsible.

So yes, I am a feminist, because I’m doing my part to avoid supporting companies who don’t value their workers and aren’t doing their part to create a fairer industry. Are you?

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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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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