STYLED: Belfast Skylines

Fashion, Outfit of the day, photography, Plus size, Positivity, streetstyle, Style

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“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.”- Mother Teresa 

Location: High Street Carpark

My name is Taylor-Jayne, I am 24 years old and I am addicted to my faux leather yellow jacket. I would say by now at least fifty percent of my blog posts have featured this jacket and for good reason because it is amazing. If you had told me six months ago that my wardrobe staples would include a bright yellow leather jacket I would have laughed because I would never in a million years think I could l pull it off but it has become hands down my wardrobe essential. Despite the colour it is such a versatile piece and works with nearly everything that I own.

I am going to be 1000% truthful and say that today location is totally inspired by the incredible Lucy ( find her on instagram HERE) I have met Lucy a few times and you know when you are just in awe of someones character and sense of self, Lucy is one of those people. Everything I see her work on through her Instagram inspires me to be more creative.

Finally in Northern Ireland we are beginning to see some sort of Spring like weather and today was just one of those perfect crisp Spring days. After picking up some bargains ( Hello Payday Weekend!) Mum and I decided to use High Street carpark as the location for todays shoot. After we shot we headed across the road to the National and had the most incredible brunch, Hello maple bacon and poached eggs on toast.

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Once again I will mention the Gucci addiction because the highstreet is killing it with replica pieces right now. Step forward this incredible red bag from PRIMARK  £12 worth of Gucci realness that is my favourite favourite piece I own after my yellow jacket. The bag came into my life via my lovely lil sister who got it for me for my birthday at the end of March and it hasn’t left my body since. The perfect size to use everyday and I can even fit my chromebook and camera in it on days where I am shooting and posting in the same day.

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Details:

Yellow leather jacket- Newlook

Embroidered shirt dress- Primark

Stripey skirt- H&M

Fishnet tights- Primark

Metallic Boots- Primark

Handbag- Primark

Bangles- Topshop

Glasses- Specsavers Horace frames ( from the mens section !)

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P.S

I wanted to finish this post by including a picture of my Photographer,mother, best friend and support. My mum has no previous photographic expierence but is willing to help and support me with every single thing I put my mind to including creating blog content. She is always willing to walk miles all over town to help me find the perfect photograph and really doesn’t complain at all. She is so creative herself she is always coming up with new angles and ideas that I would never even think of. I wanted today to include her and give her a long long overdue shout out because everything that ByTaylorJayne is becoming is directly because of all her help and support.

BYTAYLORJAYNE

 

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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

Chapter 22: It all starts at the end

Lifestyle, Outfit of the day, Personal, photography, Plus size, Positivity, Self love

 

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Before I begin I am so so super sorry I am a bad blogger at the minute but university is taking all of my energy and time away from everything else.

I turned 22 years old on the 22nd of March aka the end of last week, I left my job which I have had for 6 years on the 21rst March. To say that that was a tough 24 hours would be putting it super mildly, I am currently in a bit of a weird head space. It hasn’t sunk in that I have left my job, which I loved and adored to go into the realm of the unknown. However I haven’t just become jobless I have a job lined up which I start on the 3rd of April that I am so crazy excited to begin, it is another retail position however it is with one of my favourite plus-size brands.

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It has created this time in my life when I am being very super reflective and going on a journey through my emotions and feelings, on the one hand I am in this crazy anxious moment where the fear of the unknown is all consuming but on the other hand I have this beautiful fresh new expierence ready to begin. I think this weird bouquet of feeling is only further emphasised by the bigger realisation that I have 4 weeks left of university and then I am done. I am finished with education and ready to transition into the big bad world. In my head I am going to try and work full time for a while and get some money behind me before deciding what to do next, at the minute this involves leaving northern Ireland even just briefly to expierence what the world has to offer.

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I left my job feeling so nervous and excited about the future that I sort of forgot that it was my birthday the next day, all of my focus and energy went on getting through my final shift without weeping ( which didn’t happen , what can I say I am a total emotional wreck!) that it was only when I woke up and my mum had put out an amazing birthday breakfast spread that I began to realise that it was infact my birthday. That as a statement sounds ridiculous right, not realising it is your own birthday but my brain can only handle so  much that it just didn’t process.

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What I have started to understand is that this amazing new pathway has started to enter my life and I have to accept and embrace it. I am super excited not only to begin my new job but to see where it could possibly lead me in the future. I have spent alot of this year researching plus-size fashion for my dissertation that it has become such a passion and ambition of mine to work in that realm of the fashion industry, I am really hoping that this move is the first rung of the ladder towards a career.

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I suppose most of all I have found an inner strength that I wasn’t fully aware of, if you had said to me even a couple of months ago that I would leave my current job so soon I would have laughed and told you to wind your neck in and to stop being an eejit but now on the other side I suppose of leaving I am just so excited to get going. This week is a super busy one for me with my sisters formal, 2 blog events and my leaving do in the next three days that I wanted to get this quick mini update up so you guys know that I am still around and that GSV is still going strong. Once I have finished uni I will put more of a focus on the blog and I have plans in motion for a revamp and redo of the layout and style of the blog so there will be that to look forward to.

I have seen the light at the beginning of this chapter and for  a the first time in a few years I am embracing my birthday as a symbolic time of change, renewal and growth!

I hope you guys are having a brilliant 2015 so far, stay tuned for a few pre planned posts appearing in the next week or so

Until Next Time…T-j Xo

No New Years Resolutions 2015: Learning to become happy in myself

Lifestyle, Personal, Plus size, Positivity, Self love

I feel that it is probably very cliche to be posting this around new years but it is a subject I have been thinking about for about six months or so. Through doing so much research into the plus-size fashion industry I have discovered a mind set that I to was very guilty of for a long time. I have always been a bigger girl, in my early teens I went from children’s-wear into a women’s size 10 to 12 by the time I was only about 12 years old. I was tall and a bigger build from all the other girls, It lead me through years of torment and bullying. I however am not using this post as a pity party, yes I was bullied and that was tough but again as cliche as it sounds it has taught me so much about inner strength. We all go through life defining struggles and every persons experiences growing up regardless of whether they where good or bad define who they have become as a person.

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The mindset I previously referred to was the mindset which made me view being fat as a temporary state. When I was around sixteen I was about a size 16-18 and filled my head with dreams and ambitions of a fictional life that I would have as soon as a lost weight. I wouldn’t buy new clothes instead spending my money on shoes and accessories all the time planning on what I would wear when I was “skinny.” I got my first job when I was 16 and  I think that having my own source of income further affected my issues. I secretly bought clothes in a size 10 and stood for hours in-front of the mirror pretending what I would be like when I was thin, had long hair and life was just better. This is a fact that I am not proud to admit and haven’t ever spoken it out loud but it is so important to document my struggle for myself so that I don’t go back to those ways. I spent so long hating myself that I didn’t give myself time to live and to enjoy, I was constantly focused on this unrealistic approach and mentality that I didn’t allow myself to be happy in the moment.

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My final two years in school where a living hell I hated everything and wasn’t achieving the grades I wanted and thought that I needed. I grew more and more unhappy and in the end I left school with no confidence and no energy. I was still in the mindset that I was heading towards some big change, my light bulb moment, the time where I would reclaim my confidence. I had a place on a photography degree course but with two weeks to go I gave it up and rushed to find another course to occupy my time. I applied for the course I am in now but didn’t get a place, I ended up with a place on an art foundation course with Belfast Met and thought that it would just be a space filler. I have mentioned before by truly September 2011 to July 2012 was my most life-changing year. I owe so much of who I am now to the people in my class and tutors from this time. I had a bad accident in October of this year and needed alot of help which I got in bucket-loads from the incredible people I had to pleasure to share my class with, I didn’t even realise it at the time I wish I had so I could have truly thanked them but the support I got in this year restored most of my faith in teachers and people.

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By the end of the year I was feeling so much better as a person, I had lost weight and regained by confidence. I dont mean to say that losing weight was what made me accept myself, infact since this time I have put back on one of the three stone I lost but it is more that surrounding myself with the right people was the key. I became just a happier person in all respects and was able to move into my new course with a new found sense of self. It was at this point that I began to realise that this body that I am in flaws and all is my body. It is my place, my home, my sanctuary my everything and I have to accept it for what it is in this moment. I had to stop wishing my life away with what ifs and buts. I had to accept this body in its current state as being how I was going to look and to focus my attentions on other aspects of my life. I feel that not only was getting away from school and all that drama, going through a life flashing before my eyes moment, rediscovering my passions with art but getting rid of negative forces in my life all helped me discover my true feelings of self.

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Fast forward to now and as previously mentioned through my dissertation research I discovered that I wasn’t alone with having this mentality, that many in the fashion industry also view being fat, plus-size, curvy, chunky whatever term you choose, as being a temporary phase. It is usually presented in the media as the before image. We see in the media images of women with glasses, a sad face and who are larger than they would like to be being paraded in front of mirrors and the public and told of all these miracle cures to the new you! Instead of being told that if you are unhappy that you of course have many options available to you dependent on what you want to do However if you are happy being curvier than the “normal” images we are presented that that is perfectly acceptable as well. Your opinion is the only one that should ever matter as long as you aren’t causing harm to yourself or others you can do whatever you damn well want! It is only after realising this and being so saturated with different opinions on the matter that I have finally realised my worth. I am strong, I have been through alot, I am generally a good person ( on the most part) No my diet isn’t as healthy as it should but I am Great just as I am, and what is more it is OK to be happy in this current state. I shouldn’t always be looking for a better state or waiting for something which isn’t realistic I have to live each moment to the fullest and embrace all opportunities I am given.

2014 has been a great year, I have had so many amazing opportunities with placements for my studies. Particularly working with a local stylist on a number of projects throughout the year has been one of my highlights of the year, it is given me so much confidence in my own abilities and has proven to me that I am on the right path. I have been in  a number of competitions which has been incredible. I still have a part-time job that  I love , yes it is retail and isn’t always a bundle of roses but I have a work family and some of the best friends I have thanks to that place. My family are my rock and are with me 100% of the way and support every decision that I make.I wont be making any resolutions because for me they would just become a list that I would use to limit myself from experiencing everything life has to throw at me.  I have no idea what 2015 has in-store for me, I finish University in June and don’t have a clue what is in-store after that but I am so excited to find out!

I hope you guys have an incredible new years and try not to focus on creating short term outrageous resolutions, ensure that whatever you do that you put yourself first, after all if you dont who will. I hope that if you are celebrating new years eve you have  a great time. I am working all day tomorrow so will no doubt be in bed before 10pm and miss the whole thing but I shall speak to you all in 2015. I am so super excited to see what 2015 has in-store for my little blog, Bring it on!!!

Until next time… T-J xo