International Women’s Day #beboldforchange

Belfast, event, feminism, inspirations, Personal, photography, Positivity, womens rights

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“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.” – Malala Yousafzai

On March 8th it is International Women’s Day. 

“Call on the masses or call on yourself to help forge a better working world – a more gender inclusive world.”

Every year the day has an official theme and this year the theme fell under the title of be bold for change. It was a call to have women all over the world pledge to do something to help change.

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Thank you to these girls for allowing me to photograph them and their message 🙂 

I am not sure how many of you are from Ireland North or South but one uniting factor is the lack of Abortion laws which are in place in either country, I can only speak from the perspective as someone who has grown up in Northern Ireland so that is how I will base my writings. I have never previously shied away from talking about big topics because I am a firm believer that if you choose to put yourself out there on a social platform that you also should use your platform to discuss openly and honestly about topics that affect you.

I will however preface my opinion by saying that I understand that the vast majority of the population will have a total opposing opinion to my own and that it is ok as long as everyone is respectful of everyone else it is important to have open and challenging conversations as I believe that is how we make and affect change by being opening and honest in our discussions. 

In Northern Ireland women can still face 14 years in prison for supplying or being found in possession of drugs which cause an abortion. 14 years , I can’t even let that sink in enough. In the mainland UK women have rights and access yet in Northern Ireland we are simply left with no rights and that scares me.  I have to be responsible for my own body, sort my own birth control, work through periods and all the crap that comes along with that yet at the end of the day my reproductive rights are not my own.

Yesterday a peaceful protest  in aid of Strike for Repeal was held at the front of Belfast city hall to show solidarity with our sisters in the South of Ireland who were also holding a rally to Repeal the 8th amendment which makes abortion illegal. in 2017 we have no rights over our own bodies which is why is it crucial that we still must go out and protest this law because our Government will not help us. I could write about all the issues with Northern Ireland and our government but I will save that for another day.

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What you notice on days of protest is the spirit of everyone there, we are optimistic, and seeing others standing up for what you also believe in is so inspiring. It is my opinion that we need to legalise abortion in order to give it the protection that women deserve when they are having to make this decision. Abortion has always happened and will always happen so having the protection of the NHS or other clinics ensures that we do not have to listen to any more horror stories of women having to travel to the UK mainland in order to go through the procedure. Women are more than just a vessel to make children and our government happily gives more rights to that then they do to the women who have to go through it , not taking into consideration the physical or mental well being of the women.

At the protest I witnessed a man come up right into the face of a women standing with a banner and aggressively argue her that her banner which included the Uterus offended him. When she asked him to remove himself from her face as he was becoming more and more aggressive he turned to the crowd and screamed that we all must just be a bunch of lesbians. That is nothing else perfectly illustrates the mindsets and views that we still find ourselves regularly coming up against. Your opinion is invalid and worthy of being shut down because of a the outdated and naive angry lesbian feminist stereotype that time and time again is used to label us.

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If I can make one crucial one out of all of this it is this, even if my opinion is not yours. You may not agree with what I stand for nor do you have to but I urge you that when you see an opportunity to take to the streets and count for something that you find the time to do so. It might be a rally  or signing a petition, it might be sharing something on Facebook or another platform. it might be defending you opinion to a random person you encounter in life. Please be respectful and stay safe but above all your opinion is valid you are allowed to show how you feel and you do not have to sit back and take something because it has always been that way. You and your opinion are valid and worthy.

Last year I attended a huge march to protest the laws and this year this is the first but probably not the last rally or march that will be held. Our latest vote in Northern Ireland gives you a small glimmer of hope that we will cling to.

Big issues are not going away and we will not walk away and let the government have the rights to our bodies.

We are here, we wont go away and you will listen to us. 

#BEBOLDFORCHANGE#BEBOLDFORCHANGE#BEBOLDFORCHANGE

BYTAYLORJAYNE

Remedy Cafe Bar Launch Event

belfast fashion week, event, fashion, Launch Party, Lifestyle, Style

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This week was so busy in the world of events, but I have found that that is the way it usually goes. So on Friday night the lovely people over at CMPR invited me to attend the launch of the new menu for Remedy Cafe Bar, Remedy is somewhere that I have seen in the city centre as it is about 30 seconds away from my second home, Primark however it isn’t somewhere I had thought to check out for food until now that is!

 We were invited down to sample there new sharing menu which launched on the 29th of March. The idea behind the menu is being able to sample in a similar way to that of a tapas restaurant.

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The food ranges from american inspired pull pork sliders to Asian inspired dishes which is great if you either don’t know what you want or just want to try a selection of items.

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Above is the sampler platter we received which was full of incredible tasting dishes, the highlights for me where the Po Boy prawn and the Ham hock bon bons. Both completely different but equally delicious!

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The restaurant itself has a really cool vibe, not unlike venues in Belfast such as Alley cat or Made in Belfast, it is a mixture of quirky cool. Fully licensed it is a great way to spend a chill night with a group of friends or even a date night scenario.

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Also they previewed the update cocktail menu which was just lovely! And at £7 and below per drink a great mid range option.

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I just want to thank the guys over at Remedy for hosting us it was a lovely event and I will definitely be returning ASAP!

Until next time…T-j xo

Argento Relaunch Event: #loveargento

Beauty, Fashion, Jewellery, Lifestyle, photography, Shopping, Style

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So last night I was very lucky to be invited to attend the Argento relaunch event, Argento is a locally based company who recently completely re-branded their store layouts and had their main store based in the city center closed for a couple of weeks to completely overall the store so last night they officially relaunched it and let me tell you it was totally worth the wait!

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I got to speak with the owner of the company Peter and he was telling me that during the renovations they discovered the incredible red brick wall at the back of the store and decided to keep it as a feature in-store. The have also used amazing neon lights throughout the store, as well all kept saying last night it looked more like something you would see on a London highstreet!

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It was also really nice to begin to see the images from the new A/W 14 catalogue. As part of my course I have been spending the last few years building up my portfolio of experience and recently thanks to the lovely Eve Brannon a local stylist, I had to opportunity to assist on this particular shoot, so spoiler alert, I can say when the rest of the campaign launches in November there is alot of amazing imagery to look at.

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Onto the products themselves Argento has several in-house brands as well as the likes of Pandora, Nomination and many others to choose from so there is literally something for everyone. IMG_2103 IMG_2097 IMG_2079 IMG_2070 IMG_2066 IMG_2060 IMG_2058

The event itself was amazing we were treated to amazing cocktails and beautiful macaroons, the shop was full of the whos who in Northern Irish fashion  circles as well as alot of familiar faces from the blogging world. I was able to have a great catch up with two of my blogging besties Rosanna aka Silver Brogues and Ruth aka Welcometowillowlane . Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of the three of us but I was able to snap a great photo of Gemma, Dawn and Jeff.

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Totally natural and un-posed!

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Also very very very kindly I was allowed to choose a piece of jewellery to bring home with me, let me tell you for a magpie like myself this was by no means easy however as soon as a spotted the Lapis Lazuli range that I remembered from shooting the catalogue I knew exactly what piece was coming home with me

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Find the bracelet here: http://www.argento.co.uk/en/Argento-Lapis-7-Stone-Bracelet/m-47043.aspx

I have been so in to this beautiful rich blue colour at the minute as you will see in one of my next posts about a massive Evans shopping spree I went on and thought it would be the perfect layering piece to go with anything and everything else that I wear.

That you so so much to the teams at Argento and CMPR for making it such an amazing event I cannot wait to head back instore soon as I have my eye on a few more pieces that I spotted last night

EDIT: The press photos where released which where taken by the Fab Brendan so I thought I would include my picture with my fab blogging Bffs

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Plus Confidence 2014: The wrong kind of fat

Fashion, Lifestyle, Plus size

Firstly I want to begin this post by explaining its purpose, about three weeks ago via twitter I discovered a Facebook event organised by the lovely Anita from Plus confidence

Anita: http://plusconfidenceinyou.wix.com/anita-bellamy

From my understanding it is a movement trying to encourage as many bloggers as possible to put up similar posts dealing with issues with confidence and self love all on the same day 30th June 2014. As soon as I found the event I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of because one of my passions in life is to promote a healthier body image for girls to aspire to and to teach girls and boys about how to truly love yourself.

I will start my post by saying, I dont love myself, it may seem odd and stupid to be admitting to this after just saying that its what I want to teach but I need to be truthful and honest if I am going to make this post matter. I am 21 years old and have struggled with confidence and self acceptance all of my life, I have suffered with anxiety and panic for at least the last ten years although I know in my heart it is much longer than this, however at this point I want to ensure that this isn’t a woe is me post about how tough life has been because for every tough and horrible moment a moment of joy and peacefulness is there to act as  a counter balance. I just feel like giving some back ground is the best way to give an understanding to my thought processes and how I have now come to accept myself and love all my flaws.

Confidence by definition is full trust, belief in powers, belief in oneself and ones powers and self reliance

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We where asked as part of this event to share an image where you have felt confident and for me this image is probably one of my favourite images of myself that I have.  The reason being that I was at a point in the year where although I was stressed trying to get all my assignments in for the next few weeks but for a couple of hours I was focused on portraying myself as a designer for the Unify competition. Although I didn’t end up in the top 3 I was so pleased to have made it top 6 and to get the chance to have some images taken for local press. I was confident here because I was doing what I love, I was at a point of the year where I could see any end. I believed in my designs and was starting to get so much positive feedback that I knew I was doing the right thing.  My journey to get into my fashion course was a long and sometimes very strained one that to be at the point I am now I never saw coming.

As I previously mentioned body confidence is something I really struggle with so for me having my photo taken is a bit of an ordeal, I have always preferred to be behind the camera instead of in front ( unless I am controlling it)   I think that even being plus-size you can still feel intimidated by plus size models in magazines, even the models that are supposed to be aimed towards me are still a body type that I cannot relate to, every model that I see is still five foot nine and a size twelve to fourteen. I am five foot eight and a size sixteen to twenty four dependent on brand and cut.I called this post the wrong kind of fat because that it how society makes me feel, even being in a niche market such as plus-size I still dont fit what society wants me to conform to.  I still find myself struggling to find models I can relate to, I however have taken to online blogs to find my own inspirational figures which for me include:

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Tess Munster – http://tessmunster.com/

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Mary Lambert- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-z9XuuyLEYnadiaaboulhosnstreetwear_zps12ccec7bNadia Aboulhoson- http://www.nadiaaboulhosn.com/

Another big part of finding inspiration for me is instagram, I have found so so many beautiful confident plus-size women through the hastag #effyourbeautystandards. I know myself that I have a long way to go with securing my confidence levels but I have come up with 5 simple points that have helped me:

1.  Wear what makes you happy– apple shape pear shape hourglass whatever ! wear what you feel happy in because when something makes you feel happy you will be at your most confident if you dont like something it will immediately show through your attitude and face.

2. True confidence comes from within- as cliche as it sounds you have to start from the inside out when trying to improve your confidence levels, if like me anxiety has a huge part to play in your confidence levels ensure that you have your anxiety controlled before you can even begin to work on your confidence levels. For me its a simple as pre-planning an outfit the day before or taking half an hour out of my day to do something for myself

3. Surround yourself with good people– to many times in my life I have had negative people around me and I believe you really absorb your energies from what you have around you

4. You get back what you put out-  One of my strongest beliefs in life is that you get back everything that you put out. If you are negative then negativity will find you whereas being confident and positive even when you aren’t feeling it will slowly but surely help improve your mood

5. eff your beauty standards- As I previously mentioned effyourbeautystandards is a great online movement, spreading the message that we have to ignore societys pre set beauty standards and find our own. society is stuck in a size 0 world and unfortunately despite best efforts I feel like it will take a long time to change so we have to do our best to show that you can be any size, shape, colour, gender, religion, sexual orientation whatever and you can still being amazing and beautiful!

I hope that this post was helpful to you guys I am going to make confidence post a regular thing on my blog but I wanted to use this bloggers unite challenge to begin this journey with you guys.

If you want any more information please email me or check out the links down below

http://plusconfidenceinyou.wix.com/anita-bellamy

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1764174458/definition-of-size

Until next time, bye guys! xo