Sexism in Soaps

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I titled this piece "Sexism in Soaps" purely for the alliterative purposes. I only watch one soap and that's Hollyoaks, but my point is probably valid across all soaps. 

So obviously sexism is everywhere, all the time. However, it was only the other day that I realised one massive, blatant act of sexism in Hollyoaks that really wound me up. A female character, Leela, entered the show as a firefighter, which is a pretty cool career I thought. A single mum for a while, Leela was earning money to look after her two sisters (one of which turned out to be her daughter in the end...) and was basically the breadwinner for the family. This was a pretty cool #bossbabe and I approved. 

And then Hollyoaks created this scenario; the fire station cut Leela's hours down and eventually got rid of her altogether. Of course, Leela wasn't going to sit around doing nothing all day. So what did she do? She became a house cleaner. She literally cleaned toilets and made beds for a pittance. I was so mad. Finally they had a female character who wasn't portrayed as a "slut", who wasn't having babies with every man left, right and centre and wasn't living off of benefits in a house that seems to have an infinite number of rooms (McQueen family, I'm looking at you!). They finally had a woman with a bit of a 'masculine' job role, a worthy career and they took it away from her and made her a cleaner. (No, there isn't anything wrong with being a cleaner. But for the purpose of the point I'm making, going from a firefighter to a cleaner sucks). 

Why? It hasn't benefited or affected the story line in any way at all so I don't see why this adjustment needed to be made. It's not the only sexist mistake they've made either. Pretty much all of the females working at the hospital are nurses, not doctors. There was a female doctor, but they killed her off. Most of the other women are "stay at home mums". 

However, they have redeemed themselves in some ways. They have some entrepreneurial women, such as Grace Black, who owns and runs her own nightclub single handedly, Esther Bloom who came into some money and bought her own coffee shop which she also runs and Maxine, who started her own taxi women especially for women to keep them safe. 

I don't watch any other soaps as I've said, but have you noticed sexism in any of them? Let me know in the comments below!

Love from,
Florence Grace

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Career vs. Relationship

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Last week, I saw this image online. It really irked me and I had to share it on Twitter to see what some of my pals thought of the image. Luckily, their thoughts were very similar to my own; that it was ridiculous. 


This is the image I'm talking about. The one that states that "A career is great but you can't curl up with it when you're lonely at night". 

There is several things about this post that piss me off. Firstly, its the implication that a relationship is more important than a career. And okay, while for some people it might be, for other people it's not. Who is anyone to dictate to someone what should be a priority to them? If chasing your dream career is your number one focus in life, great. If settling down with the love of your life is your number one focus, brilliant. If it's neither of those, good for you. It's a personal opinion and totally down to each individual. 

Secondly, why does there have to be a competition? Why can't a woman (or a man, but given that it's a woman in the image, I'm going to speak as a woman) have both a determined attitude toward her career and also have a partner who she is happy with? Why is it apparently impossible for a woman to have both? I mean, speaking from personal experience, I know a lot of men are definitely intimidated by a woman with big dreams and a career driven mind, but that's a problem with the man surely, not the woman? 



Thirdly, no, you can't curl up with a career at night. But you can sleep alone in the house you bought, in your own Victoria Secret pj's in a lush double bed with designer bed sheets and a belly full of food and drink, smelling of Paco Rabanne perfume, all of which was purchased by you thanks to your man career.

Fourthly, you can have a career and a dog. Just saying. 

dog sleep cuddle dachshund comfortable

(You can also have a career and a man and so snuggling can definitely still commence). 

Lastly, the image itself. I don't get it- is this woman working with a pizza whilst naked? Looks pretty perfect to me! Is she chilling naked with a pizza and her partner who is taking the photo? Also a pretty perfect scenario. 

Ladies, don't let images like this try to tell you that focusing on a relationship is more important than focusing on your career. To be honest, don't let images like this tell you anything. As I said at the beginning of the post, it's up to an individual what they wish to focus on; if they want to focus on a career, fine, if they want to focus on a relationship, fine. It's actually no one else's concern or business what anyone else is focusing on. 

This image was posted by a man (honestly, I can't say that surprises me) and I think men (as well as some women, but particularly men) do need to be more accepting of the fact that nowadays, women's careers rank very highly in their list of priorities. Men shouldn't feel threatened by this; instead, they should celebrate it. It's definitely a very good thing. 

What do you think? Is there a battle between career vs. relationship? Should this battle even exist? Let me know in the comments below.

Love from,
Florence Grace
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Healthy living/weight loss update

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So for about a month now I've been doing this 'healthy living' thing. I was vegan for a short time, I've cut out sweets, chocolate and crisps from my diet considerably, I use vitamin supplements and protein shakes and I eat some form of salad almost every single day. I'm not exercising anywhere near as much as I should be, and this is the next thing for me to work on. But what has happened as a result of this? Let me tell you.

I've lost just over half an inch from my stomach's widest point and have lost an inch from my waist. I have lost not one but two inches from my thigh. And, according to my dad's scales, I have lost a stone!

I'm thrilled, of course. However, I know my dad's scales have been a little unreliable in the past so while I'm not sure of my actual weight, I do know that whatever I did weigh, I know I now weigh a stone less than that. Amazing, right?! I'm so happy! 

People have begun to notice too. When I saw my friends Poppy and Abby the other week, the first thing they did was exclaim "Flo you've lost so much weight!". Someone at work commented that I looked slimmer and my dads girlfriend told me my face looked slimmer and that I was looking "svelte". 

In addition to all of this, last week in Topshop I got into a top that was three sizes smaller than what I normally wear and in to a pair of trousers that were a size smaller. I couldn't believe it! 

It's nice that changes are happening that I've been waiting a long time to see. It's even better that I'm enjoying making the changes, making new foods and finding new healthy recipe's so that I actually love eating better things for me. I've tried orzo pasta, cherry peppers stuffed with ricotta, cold noodle salad, flatbreads, falafal salad...the list goes on! It's made me more creative in the kitchen and also helped me to loose weight. I couldn't be happier. 

It's the exercise I've got to work on (still) and I say this every time! I think it's because I know how much I hate exercising! My chest goes tight with asthma, I hate the feeling of being sweaty and my shin splints hurt after a few minutes of movement. My mum keeps suggesting swimming (as well as her beloved Jillian Michaels, who I just find so damn tough!) so maybe I'll be giving that a go next. 

Overall, I'm happy with my progress in the last month. Let's see how much I've improved on myself by the end of September! 

Love from,
Florence Grace

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEC!

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I have been doing a happy birthday blog post for all of my little group of friends this year, and today marks the last one- its Alec's birthday!



I knew Alec was odd when we first spoke at college- he likened my blue, fluffy jumper to a care bear. I'd never heard a boy talk about care bears before, let alone be called a care bear by one, so I knew something wasn't quite right with him...

Joking! Kind of, anyway...!

Alec is the person I became friends with last in our little group, but I really wish we had become friends sooner because he is such a laugh. I don't even really remember the specifics of how we became best friends; I just know that one moment he wasn't in my life at all and the next, he was. It's funny how friendships happen like that.


Out of BJ, Carda and Alec, Alec is the most like me. We're both really into music (not necessarily the same) and good films. We both love going to gigs, we both love to shock BJ and Carda with wild sex talk that they don't always 100% understand and we love MIC too.

Alec can be a bit odd, though, as I said. He waves at every single dog we walk past because he loves them that much, he will always wear a jumper, even when we were on the beach (sorry, a zip up hoodie) and he dates... well, we won't go there!  (Katie, if you're reading this, you're the girl I like the most and I can't wait to meet you!)



Alec has really helped me get through 2016. He is great at reminding me why I'm better off single by pointing out hilariously worded flaws in my previous relationship. He surprised me after my break up by saying I was meeting him and another friend, James, when in reality, BJ and Carda were there too, and they all took me bowling and out for dinner to cheer me up. He also (along with James but today is about Alec!) spent part of the Valentine's weekend with me, seeing Deadpool at the cinema. He rarely sleeps (told you he was weird) which means if I ever send a stressed out whatsapp at 2am I usually get an answer out of him. Oh, and he's a total gent because after we went to the cinema the other night, he walked me home! 

He's great at judging potential dates, telling me if they're worth my time or not. He's not so great at sending random guys on Tinder messages from me. But he's always great at putting a smile on my face and making me laugh! Even if I'm just laughing at him rather than with him...



Alec, you are a tip top guy, so I hope you've had the best birthday ever and been spoiled rotten! Thanks for being the best pal ever! Love you lots and lots!

Love from,
Florence Grace
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How do you react to comparison?

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The other day I was reading through a businesswoman/bloggers' social media feeds. I'd only just followed her, so I was having a browse, ya know? And while I found her incredibly inspiring by everything this woman was doing, I also felt a bit...gutted.


This woman had been blogging/content creating for just a few short years and had managed to set herself up with a six figure salary. Six figures!! Her blog is dedicated to helping other bloggers to do the same as her and she made it sound so easy- it just made me feel worse! 

Now, I know that is the wrong way to think, and as I said, I was inspired by this woman, but I couldn't help feeling a little bit 'meh' about how little success my own blog had brought around. I just couldn't help it. I wanted to have been able to utilise my skills the way she had, earning myself a six figure salary just like her! 

The inspiration is the important part here though, and thankfully it quickly eradicated my feeling of crapness. Quickly, I was writing up schedules and to do lists in my planner. I was bookmarking this woman's posts, putting into practice what she was saying and also following other inspirational bloggers and businesswomen she mentioned, taking in their tips too. I did some online research, some online reading. I watched some YouTube tutorials. In short, I cracked down trying to better myself and my work. 


Now, everyone's going to compare themselves to someone, sometime. It happens and is often out of our control. But what's important is learning from the comparison, motivating yourself from it, being inspired by it- not moping over it! 

I might have felt a bit crap after realising I wasn't half as successful as this lady, but have I let it phase me? Of course I haven't! I've allowed it to motivate and inspire me. Now, you do the same!

Love from,
Florence Grace

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Money, money, money

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So money is something that I think worry about a lot. I usually whizz through my entire pay check each month, usually with little to show for it, wondering where it all went. Often, I think about how I'll ever be able to afford to move out, live independently, pay for driving lessons should I choose to have them...the list goes on.

thegirlfriendexperience  friends sad angry money

Of course, the reality of the situation is that I realistically won't be able to save any real money until I have a full time job and then I can afford to save a couple of hundred a month to put towards moving out whilst still having money to spend on myself.

However I've now encountered an obstacle. The obstacle being, my younger sister's earnings.

Her wage is already higher than mine as it is, but she has an awful  lot of money in the bank right now, and she's just started to work full time so this amount will only increase! It made me sit back and think, boy, I would love to know I had that much money sat in my account! So I decided that I would make it happen.

I have actually done quite well with my money this month and not even spent half of my wages, which makes a change. However, from September, I'm going to make a conscious effort to save a good portion of my wages. I have a holiday to book with my sister but that's all I intend on spending, except maybe the odd £5 spent here or there while I'm out and about and need a drink or something.

As many of you will know, I have a few paid jobs. The plan is to not even touch the wage from two of them and put that straight into savings and then just live off of the wage of the third one. As I saw YouTuber VelvetGh0st tweet earlier, you should save a third, invest a third and spend a third of your wages. I'm going to try and save 2/3 of my wages, so we will see how that goes. By the end of this year, I'd like to have around £500 in my savings.

I figure now is the best time to start saving- I have no real responsibilites, I don't pay rent and I only have a phone bill and Netflix as my outgoing payments. It would be harder to save if I was paying for a mortgage and numerous other bills! So I'm going to try and do as much as I can now. To be honest, I wish that I'd started sooner. I've made it my new years resolution since I was 16 to start saving to move out and never had- if only I'd stuck to my resolution, I'd maybe even be moved out by now!

I wish I'd even started saving from when I was a kid, but ah well. I've eaten lots of take out food, bought lots of treats for myself and paid for lots of eternal memories with the money I haven't saved so I guess every cloud, hey?

Here's to saving and becoming more of an adult!

Love from,
Florence Grace

P.S. Thanks for inspiring me, Clo. This one's for you. 

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THAT Innocent tweet

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Last night, people anxiously sat at home, wondering what fate had in store for them.

Of course, it was A Level Results Eve! Teenagers across the country who had spent the last two years of their life studying and working hard to obtain a certain set of exam results had approximately 12 hours left before they found out how they'd done- and their fate was sealed.

It was at this time that popular drinks company, Innocent Smoothies, decided to make a joke that a number of people took in an oh so serious way- myself included. Here's the tweet:





Now, as an individual who works in the social media industry, this did irk me. Yes, I can understand that it's meant to be a joke and meant to be something lighthearted to put a smile on the strained and stressed teens of the UK but, really?

Let me tell you something about working in social media. It isn't easy. Now, it might not be as gruelling as the career of a doctor or a dentist or a lawyer or a vet. You might not need as many qualifications to obtain a career in social media. But let me tell you what you do need- a lot of time, a lot of energy, wit, humour, patience, good grammar, good spelling, a knowledge of things as and when they happen and a knowledge for the business you are running social media for. It's quite literally a 24/7 job and it can- and will- take over your life. I'm always glued to my phone, a factor that caused several arguments and fall outs in my previous relationship. I'm always checking the news on my iPhone, checking current trends on Twitter, trying to link them to the companies I'm working for. I have to post relevant content at peak times, keep the audience for each account engaged and interested. It might not sound difficult but it's honestly so much more than it's made out to be.

In addition to this, I also know people working in social media who are extremely qualified. Several girls I know who are social media managers/social media assistants/content creators all have relevant degrees from university, as well as A Level's and GCSE's. I myself have 12 GCSE's, 5 A Level's and a college foundation diploma. People who work in social media aren't necessarily without qualifications or lacking in intelligence.

What irked me more, however, was Innocent's 'apology' following the tweet and the uproar that came about because of it.





I know they've written it in the same upbeat, slightly sarcastic tone they use throughout all of their tweets, but I think in terms of an apology, it just didn't quite cut it. However, I did see them making more genuine sounding apologies to individuals who tweeted them, so clearly these two tweets were for the sake of the publicity on the account whilst trying not to be too serious about the situation- who knows?

If you failed your A Levels, no, it's not the end of the world. There's so many other routes you can take to reach your dream career. However, don't think you can "fall" into any job just because you "failed" your exams. Social media based jobs are included in that.

Love from,
Florence Grace
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