The YouTube Super Fan

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I’m sure most of us are ‘Fan girls/boys’ of something. I love The Courteeners, have met the band and travelled to a couple of different countries to see them. The difference between a fan and a super fan? I won’t tell someone to kill themselves because they said Liam Fray is a bit arrogant. I wrote a post about YouTubers a few months back and a Jim Chapman super fan (amongst others) told me I should die as I was evil – when in fact I didn’t say anything remotely evil.

As technology moves along, so does the media in which we are exposed to. I am a huge fan of Zac Efron, who I saw through films, again I wouldn’t judge anyone who thinks he’s ugly (well wouldn’t go as far as to wish you dead anyway…) so why is it that as we are introduced to new media, the intensity of fans increases?

Social Media is the culprit, gone are the days you’d buy your favourite magazine and watch the news to catch a glimpse into the life of your favourite celebrity. Now you just take a scroll down your timeline and consume whatever is being shared. Whether thats a tweet, a photo or a video. YouTube has been prominent for years now but it’s only recently that stars of this media have emerged. Of course there are gamer YouTubers with massive followings, but I’m talking about the Zoella’s and Tanya Burr’s of this online world. Only it’s not just online anymore is it? Our guilty pleasure of watching Zoe show us what she bought last week, and seeing how Tanya perfects her smokey eye isn’t just confined to the internet. They’re releasing beauty and make-up lines, books and touring Britain charging teens crazy amounts of money for a small chat and a photo.

This is great right? The people teenagers (and children as young as 8) are relating to online are taking a leap out of their computers into a pot of cash. Oh, I mean a leap to meet the millions of subscribers who adore them. Now, I’m not bitter in any way, I think it’s great that people are making money from YouTube, of course they are hugely influential figures with a market thats hard to target hanging off their every word.

But is it real? Millions of young people are being consumed by the videos, tweets, Facebook posts and pictures these YouTubers are publishing, scrapping for any piece of information possible in order to know EVERYTHING about their idol. I know a lot of kids loved Hannah Montana, but at least they knew that WASNT REAL. YouTubers are real? Yes, they are real people like you and me, yes they are sharing their lives online, but are they? What these people share online is constructed, of course it is, it HAS to be. It’s constructed reality, and although it may seem real, it isn’t. Tanya Burr doesn’t have that annoying voice on and act like a 5 year old ALL THE TIME, her life isn’t a bed of roses as it appears in the majority of her videos. Yet because of this seeming ‘real’ teenagers are hanging onto this thinking it is, and in turn wanting that life – a life that IS NOT REAL and not achievable, setting them up for failure. Nobody has the perfect life and the pictures Zoella uploads onto Instagram are like anyone else, a product of about 200 others pictures looking for the perfect one to share.

Last time I commented on YouTubers someone told me they are keeping young people of the streets. Personally, I think that is a load of crap, but I can see their point. Yes, watching Zoella and the rest of the Gleam crew on YouTube may make someone think twice about going out with their friends to the park, but is that actually a good thing? ‘They are up to no good though’ – not necessarily and I think that in a society that is becoming more and more reliant on technology, children NEED to go outdoors and socialise. Social media ISNT social.

Whilst these YouTube Super Fans are hanging off every word of their ‘idols’, they’re creating fan accounts and spamming them. I don’t have an issue with this, yes it’s a little weird but it’s harmless. It’s the other side of these fandom’s that is sickening. If you go on Twitter and slate a YouTube ‘star’ using one of their hashtags you are ASKING to be abused. You don’t even need to slate them, simply state an opinion and the hate comes. I’ve been called all sorts and told to kill myself by children who are probably around 13. Great, you are keeping these kids of the street, but in turn they are bullying others online – saying disgusting things.

I’m aware that they’ve helped a lot of teens. Zoe talking openly about her anxiety will have helped a lot of teens who are feeling the same. They’re relatable characters, just like me and you, right? But are they? Is your friend paid to tell you this Simple moisturiser is AMAZING? No, so why are teens finding they can still relate to these people who are simply Marketing tools? Thankfully regulations have been brought in to ensure YouTubers disclose any sponsored content, AT LAST, as a lot of them didn’t bother. But even so, a lot of their viewers aren’t even aware that they are sponsored to say certain things, they don’t have the knowledge to make decisions based on how they should de code the messages they hear/see on screen. Their viewers aren’t equipped to make these decisions and that is sad. Yes, it’s like TV but we all know when we see Nicole Scherzinger screaming as if she’s having an orgasm on the Muller advert, she isn’t doing it just because she likes the yoghurt. I don’t think young people are equipped with the knowledge to distinguish when they’re being advertised to, and it’s a scary thought.

Yes, it’s the world of Marketing (in which I am employed in), but am I the only one who thinks that even this is too far?

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*I just want to make it clear that I am in NO WAY saying they shouldn’t take the opportunities presented to them. I just think the regulations in place aren’t great, their audience are young and quite frankly so immersed in their ‘perfect lives’ it scares me. Also, I’m not jealous. I couldn’t think of anything worse than having thousands of children screaming my name, regardless of how much money Gleam wanted to throw at me.

Posted in Lifestyle, Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Outfit: Sequins

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Now the party season is upon us sequins are popping up everywhere. I’ve seen some amazing looks put together, thanks to my many hours on Pinterest that I knew I wanted see if I could pull this trend off.

When I saw this top online at Rare London*I fell in love with it, when I received it however I was a bit worried about how I could pull it off. I decided to throw this on with my New Look skater skirt, which I’m not entirely sure is a flattering combination and having my legs out is throwing me out of my comfort zone. The shoes are from Primark and are my favourite, as someone who isn’t a huge heels fan I’m making any steps and trying these out.

Will you be rocking glitter this season?

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*This was sent to be my Rare London for my consideration. All views are my own.

Posted in Fashion | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

The “Sharing too much Culture”?

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Can you remember the days you’d go out for a meal, and when it arrived just eat it? Me neither. The days when creating a collage of cute photos and uploading them with a ‘happy birthday to __’ caption were unheard of? The days when you’d like a new beauty product but keep it to yourself?

I know there will be people (my boyfriend) who don’t share a lot online and don’t really use Instagram (I’m teaching him). But there are huge numbers of people around the world who are, like me, loving Instagram. Instagram recently introduced adverts in the UK (after the US), you may say it’s just a current trend, but companies are paying millions to target the consumers using this platform.

It’s not just isolated to Instagram, there are so many forums for our sharing it’s difficult to keep up. My boyfriend thinks I share too much online, maybe I do but where do we draw the line?

Those classic posts on Facebook where that girl from school describes every aspect of her pregnancy – too much. The couple who take every argument they have to social media, leaving your timeline full of shit. The other couple who write I LOVE YOU all over each others Facebook wall – it’s all too much. Quite frankly I’m sick of seeing some people try and ‘make it’ on Facebook by posting awful vines of themselves.

But where else would we post selfies, photos of food, beauty products, clothes, quotes and anything else that looks pretty? Of course we all draw the line of ‘sharing’ differently, but I quite like seeing what someone had for their lunch, the products they use on their face and whatever quotes they find inspirational. I just wish everyone drew the line before sharing intimate details of their very personal lives…

Is sharing online a bad thing? I don’t think it is, it’s definitely become a way of life for most people. Gone are the days where you actually have to ask someone how their night went, or what they did last night. Just take to Twitter to see it in 140 characters or Instagram for a pictorial diary. OK, this isn’t ‘social’ as it suggests but it fits in comfortably with our busy lives, right? At least that’s why we tell ourselves that a few Facebook messages or tweets make up for not seeing that person for 4 months.

You can easily envy someone after spending 20 minutes obsessively scrolling down their Instagram, trying not to double tap and embarrassingly ‘like’ anything from 152 weeks a go. But like anything, it’s important to realise that person is sharing what they WANT you to see. My favourite saying from Media A-Level, it’s a constructed reality. MOST people don’t share the selfies where they aren’t at their best, the outfits they wear around the house or the food they want people to think they don’t eat. It’s hard to forget that when the online identity of someone looks like a bed of roses…

The “Sharing too much Culture” is one that depends on the person, I know a lot of people who don’t use social media, and sadly I know others who post every single detail of their life on their. Honestly, I think I share a lot. I have this blog so it’s a given that I’ll share stuff. I feel comfortable that I haven’t shared too much though. I’ll still snap a photo of the pancakes I have on Sunday with the sole purpose of putting it on Instagram, but I feel as if I have the knowledge to understand the dangers of sharing too much – a lot of people (all ages) don’t and in that respect it’s a little worrying.

Do you think you share too much?

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Posted in Marketing | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Top 5 New Perfumes of 2014 (plus giveaway!)

I met the lovely guys from Fragrance Direct at their event a couple of weeks a go, which was amazing considering I’ve been shopping with them before starting this blog over a year and a half a go. They have grown massively and along with the huge selection of fragrances, Fragrance Direct stock make-up from amazing brands such as Maybelline, Essie, L’Oreal, Calvin Klein, and more recently, MAC! Amazing brands at a discount – can’t go wrong!

Every year we see endless new perfume releases, some go completely under the radar, whilst with others, everywhere you turn you see it advertised. The amount of Marketing ploughed into a perfume doesn’t necessarily determine how lovely it is, so here is the top 5 new perfumes of 2014 with Fragrance Direct.

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One of the scents you couldn’t get away from is Marc Jacobs’ Daisy Dream*. I adore MJ scents and I’m yet to come across one I don’t like! Not only is Daisy Dream a more sophisticated version of the original Daisy – it’s light, floral and fruity. The bottle is beautiful and looks amazing on your dressing table, I think I prefer this bottle to the original Daisy.

If you are a Marc Jacobs fan, you need this in your life and with a £6.01 saving on Fragrance Direct, it comes in at £32.99*, definitely the perfect Christmas present to yourself!
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Make way for YSL Black Opium* a 30ml bottle of this will set you back £44 – but on Fragrance Direct it’s £37.99. If you haven’t already got this on your Christmas List, you need to amend this NOW. This size is perfect for your handbag and will be living in mine until I’ve finished every last drop!

This 100% isn’t my usual fragrance, but I had the pleasure of smelling this a few weeks a go and it was love at first smell (is that a thing?!). I’m not even going to try and describe what this is like but I don’t know anyone yet who doesn’t like it. According to the FD website, this fragrance opens with notes of coffee, complimented by accords of pink pepper, which lead you to the heart of vanilla, jasmine and orange blossom, drawing to a close with base notes of cedar and patchouli. BEAUTIFUL – thank you YSL.

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You can always count on a new Calvin Klein release and Reveal* is no exception to this. On Fragrance Direct you can save a huge £12.01 on it taking it to just £25.99. When I smelt Reveal for the first time I loved it, I think its the perfect every day perfume. FD describes the scent as one which replicates sun-kissed skin and the warmth of cashmere as the cool evenings draw in. I’m not entirely sure what that means but it has sandalwood in it, which I think is lovely in a scent.

I think this is one of those scents everyone will like and for just £25.99 would make the perfect gift, whether you are wanting to treat yourself (always) or your mum!

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Narciso Rodriguez Narciso* is one that I had never heard of before, I also didn’t think it was anything special on first ‘sniff’. However, this is definitely a grower and even bagged itself a Grazia Beauty Award this year. I wouldn’t disregard this perfume if you are looking for something new, as this is lovely. On FD you can save £6.01 so it will come in at £32.99 – still a little pricey for a perfume I really can’t describe, but definitely go into a store, test it out and order it online.

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Lastly we have Stella by Stella McCartney*, a scent that I would usually have never considered. The feminine and sophisticated floral fragrance is a great every day perfume. In my opinion, this is a younger scent and although my mum liked it, she said she wouldn’t wear it. My 14 year old sister on the other hand loved it and I’m sure it will end up in her room, even though I love it too! I can’t find this size bottle on FD, but you can save £11.01 on the 50ml here.

I’d love to know what your favourite perfume of 2014 is?

GIVEAWAY

A huge thank you to Fragrance Direct for supplying the prizes! You will win ONE of the above perfumes which I will send out to you.

RULES

  • This giveaway is UK only – sorry guys!
  • If you are under 16 you must have a parent or guardians permission before entering and must make sure it’s OK for you to send me your address if you do win.
  • I will check all entries so please don’t submit entries without actually doing them.
  • I will email/tweet the winners when the giveaway has ended, you must reply within 2 days otherwise I’ll pick another winner.
  • You will win ONE of the above perfumes which I will choose.
  • I accept no responsibility for the package once it’s sent and I’m not responsible for any loss or damage to the product during delivery.
  • Giveaway ends 14th December 2014

CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO ENTER

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

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*I was sent these products by Fragrance Direct for review and giveaway purposes – all opinions are my own.

Posted in Beauty | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Always #LikeAGirl

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Whilst getting my fix of Fleur De Force on YouTube at the weekend, an advert from Always  was displayed. Whilst it gave me the option to Skip, I kept watching and I’m glad that I did. The video showed young women, men and boys being asked to run like a girl and fight like a girl. The results are sadly as expected, with one woman running on the spot worrying about her hair, because clearly we’re the weaker sex? The insult #LikeAGirl is thrown around all too often and whilst women are believing it, we can’t blame young boys for believing it either.

The video asks the same questions to young girls, who believe they can run fast like anyone else, can fight just like anyone else and swim as good as anyone else. For me, it’s amazing to see that these young people know that doing things #LikeAGirl isn’t an insult- as we see results just as men do. It’s somewhere in between the ages of 10 an beyond that this becomes an insult, where the differences in men and women in society is highlighted to them and confidence is knocked.

The video ends with ‘Why can’t Run #LikeAGirl also mean win the race’ something that is so powerful.

Using #LikeAGirl as an insult is a hard knock against any adolescent girl. And since the rest of puberty’s really no picnic either, it’s easy to see what a huge impact it can have on a girl’s self-confidence. Always are starting off a campaign to make sure that girls everywhere keep their confidence throughout puberty and beyond, and making a start by showing them that doing it #LikeAGirl is an awesome thing.

This simple phrase can have a significant and long-lasting impact on girls and women, and we all need to share this to redefine #LikeAGirl into a positive affirmation.

What do you do #LikeAGirl?

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*Just to note, this isn’t a sponsored post. I just think this campaign is awesome.

Posted in Lifestyle, Marketing | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Where does Plus Size start and ‘Normal’ size end?

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Plus size models are something that are being embraced – they’re representing the average size of a woman in the UK, a size 16. Personally I’m all for this, I think it’s helpful to see how pieces will look on a body size similar to your own. I don’t think it goes as far as to ‘promote’ that being Plus Size is cool and healthy, it simply acknowledges that this is happening. I wrote a post last year about Debenhams starting to use larger models and received some comments via social media that were making out as if I was promoting people being overweight and unhealthy. Not everyone with a healthy lifestyle is a size 10 and nor is everyone that is unhealthy a size 32. I think people need to stop being so narrow minded and release that everybody’s body is different. Yes, there are huge numbers of women in the UK who are that overweight it is a hindrance on their health. According to the Telegraph it stands at 1 in 4 women aged 18 to 24 – the worst in Europe. It’s a staggering figure, but again, I don’t think being plus size is promoted through the use of mannequins.

My question is when does plus size start and ‘normal’ size end? I see lots of people branding themselves as plus size bloggers – what is the criteria for this? I’m a size 14-16 – does this make me plus size? Elle magazine recently branded Calvin Klein model Myla Dalbesio a size 14 model as plus size. Whilst Calvin Klein received the back lash of thousands of unhappy Twitter users, stating that Myla clearly wasn’t plus size, it was in fact Elle who used the label. It was outrageous that the label have been used, I’m aware that the range CK released had been made to fit larger sizes than usual, but that doesn’t make it a plus size range and they didn’t brand it as one in the first place, did they?

What is the criteria for someone that is plus size? Is it the girl wearing a size 16 and eating McDonalds 4 times a week, or the one that is a size 20 who eats healthily and goes to the gym 4 times a week? We are all different shapes and sizes with different metabolisms etc, why does society feel the need to judge and put you in a box?

How can we distinguish where plus size starts, and do we NEED to? Do we need separate ranges for anyone over a size 16/18/20 (wherever plus size actually starts), can’t we just have ONE range in store? It’s a known fact that when mannequins were first used to sell clothes, the average size of a woman represented that of the mannequin – should that have been smaller? Was it seen to be promoting an unhealthy body image then? Why is it so outrageous for brands to increase the size of them based on the size of women?

Does anyone else think this whole Plus Size debate as boring? I’ve seen loads of people saying that overweight people are a drain on the NHS – but so are people who drink and require their stomach to be pumped, smokers who sadly get lung cancer and skiing enthusiasts who decide to do a black without a helmet.

WHO CARES ABOUT PLUS SIZE – people should ignore the fact that others may be ‘fat’ and focus on themselves. Everyone is driven by different things, be that going to the gym, enjoying a take-away on a Friday night or spending every penny you earn on clothes. Everyone is a different shape and size and nobody knows what conditions the ‘fatty’ next to them has. In fact, I don’t think it has ever occurred to some people that many women who are plus size are actually happy with their bodies and don’t want to lose weight to impress you.

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Posted in Fashion, Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

YouTubers and Band Aid

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Twitter blew up when the news that Zoe Sugg, Joe Sugg an Alfie Deyes would be singing in the chorus of Band Aid hit. There were a lot of ‘WHY?!’ and then some of the usual ‘They’re vloggers like us, we have to support them.’

For one, we don’t have to support someone because they have a blog or vlog – I really wish people would stop saying it. I don’t agree and support with what every other affiliate assistant does because we have the same job, I also don’t support what every single female does with their lives, so why do I have to support a fellow blogger? Can you also refrain from saying I’m jealous because I don’t agree with something Zoella has done? It makes you look like a sad little fan girl – just saying. I like Zoella but I’m also a Marketing Graduate who can’t help but look past the squeaky clean exterior and see that she doesn’t simply just sit at home and record videos anymore.

The three YouTubers have become the first non-musicians to ever take a starring role in Band Aid- which is pretty huge. Whilst a lot of people are angry and think this doesn’t make sense (on the surface it’s a little like ‘what the hek?!’), it’s so bloody clever. Well done to Sir Bob Geldof for thinking about the charity involved and how they can increase the reach of the track.

We are all aware of the influence of these YouTubers, I have stressed in past blog posts just how influential they are. As I’ve said in the past, my main concern in the lack of knowledge viewers as young as 8 possess on sponsored posts, PR and how their favourite online celebrities are making a living by adverting to them. They aren’t equipped to make these decisions and probably wouldn’t understand, which is a little terrifying. I know this is much like any media, but I think theres a different (and deeper) connection with YouTubers.

Viewers will buy almost anything with Zoe, Joe and Alfies name on, and I’d much rather it be a charity single than a badly constructed book or a bottle of shower gel. Yes, it’s an unusual fit and I know a lot of people are fed up of seeing their faces everywhere, but they’re the new, modern day celebrity. Companies are falling over themselves to sign deals with them and I think Sir Bob Geldof has very cleverly seen an opportunity to reach the teenage market, one that is hugely difficult to engage with. Bravo to him and it’s nice to see that Zoe, Joe and Alfie have accepted and are willing to get involved.

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Posted in Lifestyle, Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Degustabox: October 2014

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Make way for my favourite Degustabox* yet! If you aren’t aware of what this box of delights is all about, click here for all the info!

Each month I usually give my mum half of the box as I’m really fussy. However she only walked away with the Kent Kitchen Meal Kit, which we both thought was a really clever idea. The Get Buzzing bar was given to my sister and I decided to keep everything else.

Sweet Chilli sauce is one if my favourite things and this month we received two bottles from Blue Dragon. Whilst one is in the kitchen cupboard, the other has found it’s home to be my food drawer at work. This on tuna pasta = life changing!

I’ve tried Special K cracker crisps before and went through a phase of being slightly obsessed! However, I was yet to try the Barbecue flavour. They were gorgeous, and between myself and a couple of colleagues, the whole bag was polished off in around 10 minutes!

When I spotted to Solo Marshmallow Creme I let out a little squeal of excitement! This stuff is bloody gorgeous! Maybe a little sickly, but get yourself some rich tea biscuits and spread it on. It’s what heaven tastes like!

Two Dr Oetker offerings in the form of Cocoa Powder and extra dark chocolate made their way into brownies the day after receiving the box. They were gorgeous!

I’m a huge fan of the Bear Yoyo things and for the first 8 weeks of my job I had one every day… I collected the cards, I’m sad. When I saw the Bear Paws I was intrigued and took them to work with me. Oh boy they are amazing – I love kids snacks!

I tried the Enhance Drinks juice and wasn’t a fan of the flavour. I have got it at work in case of emergencies though! I also took the Jelly Belly jelly jeans into work and enjoyed some of the flavours. The ones I wasn’t fond of didn’t go to waste though – as other members of the team were eager to help me out! The chocolate brioche became my breakfast for a good week! These are lovely and I would definitely purchase these!

Lastly, the Fridge item which was the Benecol Greek style yoghurt. I found these really easy at ASDA and had no trouble with the voucher. These are gorgeous – especially the vanilla ones, mmmmm!

Overall, a great box as usual and I can’t complain with the variety of brands piled into this months box. I’d definitely recommend getting yourself signed up to Degustabox if you love good relates surprises!

For more information check out their website, twitter or Facebook page!

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*This was sent to me by Degustabox to review – all opinions are my own :)

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Travel: Geneva

After my graduation last Wednesday I took a long weekend off work and headed to Geneva with my boyfriend. We spent a couple of days in Geneva and the others in France with his cousin and family. For once I’m quite happy with the photos I took, so thought I’d share them with you.

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 Where is your favourite place for a city break?

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Posted in Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments