Why Social Media Isn't Ruining My Life

I recently read an interview with Sam Smith in The Sunday Times, where he said that Instagram made him feel shit. Yes, that Sam Smith. Voice of an angel Sam Smith. Multi-award winning Sam Smith. It got me thinking (in true Carrie Bradshaw style), that if someone who basically lives the dream believes that, then what hope is there for mere civilians? It also made me think about the endless stream of whining from all corners of society about how detrimental scrolling and tweeting and even just merely watching is. So I decided to ask myself 'Is social media ruining my life?', and the only answer that I could come up with was a very resounding 'no'.
Firstly, I should confess to not being on Twitter, so that particular avenue of potential ruination isn't open to me. I only lightly dabble in Pinterest- which I actually find remarkably soothing- although admittedly I have no clue what I'm actually doing on there; and I gave up on Snapchat a long time ago (didn't everyone? Soz Evan). So Instagram is the only bit of S-Med available to me to make me feel as bad as Sam.
Now don't get me wrong. I think the Big Dogs at Facebook HQ are appalling, money-grabbing, irresponsible, manipulative bastards (although I think we can all agree that Eva Chen is lovely).
But does Instagram inherently make me feel shit? NOT.AT.ALL.
Here's for why:- 1) FOMO doesn't bother me one teeny bit. I actively enjoy sitting on my sofa in an old t-shirt and Topshop leggings, enjoying watching beautiful, skinny people hang out on yachts all Summer long precisely because I'm not them. They were born to enjoy that life to the max, I was not.
2) Girls having the best bags and shoes and walk in wardrobes doesn't ruffle my feathers either. They have the money and a severe lack of guilt about treating themselves; I have not much of the former and plenty of the latter. Do I want a Dior Saddlebag and some Acne Manhattans? I sure do. Am I gonna hate on all the gals that have those things just coz I don't? Definitely not. That would be silly. 
I have a friend who is a very well-known journalist. She's interviewed everyone, and partied with proper A-Listers, yet she tells me how happy she is to get home and watch Eastenders whilst eating digestives. The key, it would seem, is keeping a perspective on things.
3) Seeing bloggers on the FROW of shows, doesn't that bug me just a weeny bit? Nah, not that either. I'm actually delighted I'm not there, and even more delighted that I get to see everything via those girls. Instagram actually enhances my life in this instance. I love being digitally transported to events and shows and presentations and getting an amazing view of next season's offerings.
4) Aren't my eyes going squiggly and my brain going to mush from all that screen time? Actually, I don't think they are. I spend vast amounts of time looking at my phone, but I also spend vast amounts of time not looking at it either. I love reading (proper old skool tangible things like books and magazines and newspapers- say whattttt- that you can actually hold and turn the pages of). My idea of heaven is sitting on a hammock, somewhere quiet just reading reading and reading summore. It only takes about twenty minutes to catch up on eight hours of missed scrolling on IG. Just sayin'.
5) Don't I feel depressed at having lots of online friendships that don't spill over into RL? Well, some actually have translated into real life which is amazing. And some haven't. That's fine too. I really love having made friends around the world via Instagram. That is decidedly not my definition of a life ruined but a life enhanced, enriched and for that, I guess I better thank the Big Dogs.

Jacket- H&M // Similar- Here
Jeans- Topshop Boutique // Similar- Here
Bag- My Mum's // Similar- Here



Something's Bugging Me

So, I need to get something off my chest. It's a blogging gripe- stay with me kids- that has seeped into Instagram- seemingly on the daily. Even if you're an observer and not a creator (*pompous word alert) you can't fail to have noticed it too. What am I banging on about? Let's cut to the chase here- the thing that is pissing me off is that.....bloggers will not stop asking questions. Now, admittedly this may sound very minor on the general life scale of global warming, terrorism, rising knife crime and the surreal alarmingness of an abnormally dumb orange person running America; but if you are dipping your toe into IG on the regular it may well be bothering the hell out of you too. Essentially, the questions DO.NOT.STOP.COMING. 'What would you like to see?' is the most frequent one (and many variants thereof). And it enrages me. Market research (for that is what it is) is fundamentally the enemy of creativity. I used to work at a glossy fashion magazine- and yes- it was almost exactly like The Devil Wears Prada. (But much much worse). We were constantly indoctrinated with weird maxims to try and make our output more 'suitable'. And one of these has always stuck with me, namely- never ever give the public what they want- give them what they didn't know they wanted. I still totally believe in that premise. Do you think that Alessandro Michele sits around the Gucci office going 'Ok, let's ask a sample group of five thousand customers whether they want a blue printed loafer with pineapples all over it next season, or a pink one with cherries?'. No he does not. He goes with what he feels. He lets his imagination flow. Run wild. Which is why Kering's profits (Gucci's parent company) were up 120% in 2017 and Gucci's sales alone were worth six billion euros. (Hey Google, how you doin').
Now, I totally understand why a YouTuber might wanna know what their audience would be more interested in seeing- a haul or vlog let's say- (although, I think even the cat's mother knows that Zara hauls smash it out the park every time) because, well, it's bloody annoying putting blood, sweat and tears into a video that no-one watches. I get it. But chasing views (or likes on The Gram) is a reductive business. A nice hashtag has popped on IG recently- #postwhatyoulove- and I'm down with that. Not everything can be targeted, and researched and perfectly tailored to appeal to your 'audience'. Literally, stop the insanity. Throw in a curve ball, have the courage of your creative convictions and for the love of God and all that is holy- please stop asking me questions. My brain is over fried with fashion images, new-ins and well, life just generally. I've got nothing for you. Go and pump some poor other bugger for ideas. Actually, don't do that either. Just go with what you feel. It works for Alessandro. 

Silk Shirt- Bogdar // Alternative- Here
Cycling Shorts- Topshop // Alternative- Here
Fendi Baguette- My Mum's // Alternative- Here
Necklace- Cinco // Alternative- Here


What I Spend In A Week

Monday July 2nd
Smoothie- £4
Evian- 60p
Two Newspapers- £3.20
Passport Photos- £6
I do some errands this morning- top of the list being to get some new passport pics. The photo booth machine barks out orders at me and I'm convinced the whole post office can hear. Not sure why I find it mortifying but I do. I've been meaning to try out a smoothie at a new health cafe near me, but when I find the place- it's messy and dirty and the girl serving spends five minutes speaking French to two customers before getting to me. I was gonna flounce out (#dramaqueen) but it's boiling hot and I'm desperate for a drink. It's totally not worth it and it leaks all over my slides. I buy an Evian to get rid of the taste and on my way home some builders call out at me- 'Hello Bitch, can I have some water?' I seriously want to respond with some witheringly witty reposte, but decide it's actually better not to say anything. I slink home feeling gutted I'm not more like Dorothy Parker.
Tuesday July 3rd
Doctor- £288
Two Realisation Par Dresses- £370
Two Rebel Mylks- £2.70
Two newspapers & Two Magazines- £7
One Good Life Eatery Smoothie- £6
I have a very early start today at the endocrinologist. My sister drops me off on Harley Street en route to her office, and although the doctor is lovely and thorough and understanding I'm just not sure I'm getting anywhere. I leave feeling devo to have spent £288, especially as the Realisation Par pop-up has just popped-up at Selfridges. It's manic AF when I get there and I just start wildly grabbing at anything in Size Extra Small and Size Small. Turns out I was a bit optimistic on the Extra Small front. There are lots of skinny gorgeous girls trying stuff on and I feel fat and old and like I should be doing something a bit more constructive (and a bit less expensive). I chat to an Aussie girl at the checkout, who I'm fairly convinced is Teale Talbot. (I later find out she isn't). Her style is beyond on point though (she's layered a tee under her dress to spectacular effect) and I feel (again) like the ugliest uncoolest girl alive. I leave with two dresses. How have I actually spent over £600 in an hour? I want to cry but I turn to my drug of choice instead- a Good Life Eatery smoothie. They are six quid and I try to limit myself to one a week as a treat but that rarely goes to plan.
Wednesday July 4th
Two newspapers £3.20
1 Rebel Mylk £1.70
1 packet of Goldenberries £2.20
1 bottle of Creed £185
I feel so guilty about yesterday that I decide to take some bits back to Topshop and H&M (£80 and £36 respectively). That would all be well and good if I didn't have to buy a birthday present. I decide on a bottle of Creed. Big mistake, HUGE. It's a hundred and eighty five quid. For the small size. One hundred and eighty five fucking quid. But it literally smells of rich people (as well it might) which I find hilarious and bizarrely intoxicating so I decide to go with it. 

Thursday July 5th
Two Newspapers £3.20
One Copy of Vogue & One Copy of  Elle £6
One bottle of Windolene £1
Thank God I manage to not spend much today. My mum's obsessed with Windolene (LOL) and I see a big bottle on offer for one pound so I grab it for her.
Friday July 6th
Two Newspapers £3.20
Ok Magazine £2
Two Rebel Mylks £3.40
Two packs of Organic Beetroot £2.10
Jordans Organic Oats £2.09
One Carton Organic Oat Milk £1.55
One Organic Cucumber £1.35
One Organic Romaine Lettuce £1.26
Twelve Organic Eggs £4.59
One Bottle Raw Organic Apple Cyder Vinegar £2.60
I do my weekly food shop today. Every time I tell myself  'You can't really afford to shop in Waitrose any more', and then I head straight to Waitrose. I wouldn't actually even know where an Aldi or a Lidl are. Well, that's my excuse. Plus, I only really like Duchy products. (Yes, I do realise how ridiculous that sounds). Luckily, I don't have a huge appetite, and actually one bag of Organic Brown Rice (at £2) can last me ten meals or more. (Just a quick rice tip while we're here- you should soak and rinse your rice well to get rid of the phytates and the arsenic- just sayin'). I'm still reeling from having spent so much this week, so I'm pleased I have a good supply of food staples at home- a large bag of Organic Quinoa and a few loaves of Organic Rice Bread which I buy from a specialist bakery and then slice and freeze. Nowt like planning ahead r kid.
Saturday July 7th
Hair Colour £48
One Good Life Smoothie £6
Two bottles of Organic Coconut Kefir £8
I've had my regular hair appointment booked for six weeks now but it's the day of England v Sweden. I considered cancelling but then I figured they'd probably have the match on the big screen there. They don't. (WTF). So I watch the first half on my phone with all the junior stylists peeking over my shoulder. I sip on Coconut Kefir whilst watching (it's unreal, you need to try) and then leave with wet hair during half time and drive like a bat out of hell to watch the second half with the fam. I just make it and incredibly we win.
Sunday July 8th
H&M Order £76
One Good Life Smoothie £6
It's another scorching hot day and I wear one of my Realisation dresses. It's beyond comfortable as it's silk and it basically feels like I'm wearing nothing at all. Me and Mum go for lunch (Mum pays-two salads and sparkling water) and then we do a bit of shopping for her. She's got a party coming up and wants a new outfit. We do J Crew, Sandro and then end up in Whistles. Mum goes for two floral tops as options and while I wait one of the assistants asks about my dress. She tells me she likes it and we chat generally about the Realisation frenzy. She's stunning looking and once again I feel devastated to be so short and ugly and so inhibited about the way I look (oh the irony). And yet again I end up self medicating with a Good Life Smoothie. I finish the day with an H&M order (I use an H&M Club voucher for ten quid off. Normally I buzz off any discounts I get but I've overspent so horrifically this week it seems irrelevant somehow). I thank my lucky stars I've had no bills this week and vow to rein it in over the next few days. (Did you just hear Cher Horowitz loudly proclaim 'As If'?).
Linen Blazer- H&M // Alternative- Here
Pearls Bag- Mango // Alternative- Here



A Shorts Story

If it's one thing I never thought I'd be wearing it's white shorts. I haven't ever felt thin enough to venture into such- shall we say- 'Hey Look At Me!' territory before; but this year I've lost some weight and I'm going for it. (Not to say you have to be 'thin' to wear anything you god damn want to- and what even is thin anyway? I'm guessing everyone has a different definition). I picked up these shorts in Topshop with low expectations (mostly coz of the aforementioned), but when I got them home and tried them on I was pleasantly surprised. I've teamed them here with a simple men's black shirt (I prefer the fit) to counter balance the 'high exposure' factor. Would you wear short shorts? Let me know x

Shirt- H&M // Alternative- Here
Shorts- Topshop // Alternative- Here
Mules- H&M // Alternative- Here
Basket- Topshop // Alternative- Here
Necklace- Cinco Store // Alternative- Here
Sunnies- Cendre // Alternative- Here



My New Obsession

They say it's all in the details, and in this case they're not wrong. Allow me to introduce you to my latest obsession....hair clips. They might seem insignificant, maybe even just a touch twee, but I've fallen hard for them lately. (It's literally me and hair clips sitting in a tree RN). The doyenne of this particular accessory is the incredible French jewellery designer Charlotte Chesnais. Her beautiful egg-shaped slide is top of my wishlist ATM, but all her work is dreamy AF. Gucci have dropped their own cult crystal-embellished clip, but if your budget doesn't stretch then Mango have got some nice ones, as do Accessorize (they're the ones I'm wearing here). Are you sliding into this micro-trend? Let me know x

Top- Zara // Similar- Here
Tie-Waist Pants- Zara // Similar- Here
Hair Clip- Accessorize // Similar- Here

© Honey Belle. All rights reserved.