Blame It On The Weather. No, Seriously, Blame It On The Weather #depression

Hey Hey Guys!!

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Depression is something that can change like the weather. Think I’m joking?

SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is a genuine illness. Not gonna lie, I’m not an expert, so I’m not sure if you would class it as a mental illness or a mood disorder, but it is classified as a varied form of depression.

So what actually is it. Well, the NHS UK website says this:

Sunlight can affect some of the brain’s chemicals and hormones. However, it’s not clear what this effect is. One theory is that light stimulates a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which controls mood, appetite and sleep. These things can affect how you feel.

In people with SAD, a lack of sunlight and a problem with certain brain chemicals stops the hypothalamus working properly. The lack of light is thought to affect the:

  • production of the hormone melatonin

  • production of the hormone serotonin

  • body’s circadian rhythm (its internal clock, which regulates several biological processes during a 24-hour period)

It affects an estimated 2 million people in the UK, commonly affecting people between the ages of 18-30 and, like other forms of depression, is more common in women than in men. There is a lot of skepticism surrounding the condition, mainly because it can be difficult to understand how someone can feel depressed simply because of the weather. It’s one thing to say that you change your mind like the wind, another to say that you can’t face getting out of bed because it’s raining.

Symptoms include lethargy, insomnia, poor concentration, negative thoughts and mood, unwillingness to socialise, decreased libido and weight gain.

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This is what 12 million people across Europe are facing. Again, I’m not an expert, but as a sufferer, there are a few words I can impart on the subject.

There are days when the thought of having to choose one pair of socks over another seems like an insurmountable problem. Can you imagine the implications of going outside when it is anything less than radiant out there? As if were not bad enough that the world already seems like one of the blackest corners of hell; what if it’s raining as well!? The fact that the weather reflects damp, cold in your soul, preventing you from feeling the glow of all the good things in around you is just confirmation to the depressed side of your brain that there is nothing good out there to admire. That everything really is as horrible and out to get you as you suspect.

But if the sun is out…

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I’m a total fire baby. I was predisposed, being a Leo (m’on the August-born troops!!) and if it is anything short of swelteringly roasty toasty, then I am inconsolably miserable. I’m talking, in tears, shaking, terrified of even the slightest baby’s breath of a draft. Lemme put this into context for you; I was in Ibiza during a heatwave and wore a cardigan. Yeah. So the fact that I live in BLOODY SCOTLAND, one of the coldest places South of the Arctic, is a hellish situation to be in. I don’t think people realise quite how many layers I wear on a daily basis. Maybe it’s a useful thing that I’m so skinny; all those layers don’t look so thick on a skelatal frame.

The past few days we have been experiencing a random heat wave and I know several people with varying forms of depression and anxiety who have (seemingly inexplicably) seen a lift in their mood. I swear, Blame It On the Weather! Being in the sun can literally feel like bands are being removed from your chest and you can breathe and in hail the sweet scent of real oxygen. Not just tolerate the stale air you’ve tasted recently.

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However you want to call it, Sunny Side Up, Everything’s Better on the Other Side, The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow, Mr Sunshine, Light of My Life, Build Me Up Buttercup, Mr Golden Sun; attribute any cheesy song lyric you like, the summary is still the same – EVERYTHING IS BETTER IN THE GODDAMN SUNSHINE!!!!!

The irritating thing, is that it has not been sunny all day. It comes and goes. The problem with this is that my mood has been going up and down as well. Literally, the sun being out one minute means I’m relatively happy, not too bad, occasionally I’ll giggle. Then it goes behind a cloud. Maybe there is a smattering of rain. And suddenly that cloud burst seems more like hell is spitting like icy shards of glass at me, determined to extinguish that ember of happiness fighting to burn hot enough to light so much as a candle. It’s exhausting.

Here is a link to treatment advice on SAD as well as some lovely handy dandy websites for mental health issues. Seriously, i have used some of them and even the info you can get online these days isn’t half bad.

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Remember though; the sun can be thought of in the same was as those middle aged women/students think of booze – if it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, it’s mid day somewhere else! The sun is always up somewhere, even if it isn’t where you are. If you are a sufferer of depression or SAD, do the daytime version of what Oscar Wilde liked to do; instead of looking at the stars, look to the sky. See the sun, love the light, feel the glow.

Mind.org

NHS treatment of SAD

Samaritans

SSDD

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Tess Holliday – Big, Bold, Beautiful. Plus Size Is On the Rise!

Hey Hey Guys!!

Tess Holliday

Tess Holliday

Big things are happening in the fashion industry. Tess Holliday is one of them.

The bootilicious beauty from Mississippi is making history as being the first size 22 model to be picked up by a major label, UK based company, Milk Model Management.

Tattooed, pierced and rocking a little more junk in the trunk than your bog standard clothes horse, Holliday is breaking all the rules and breaking onto the scene in a big way.

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“Bigger is better…”

This is certainly true for the humble, 29 year old mother of one from Mississippi. Not only is Holliday stunning, but the alternative model is making waves as a campaigner for change in the fashion industry and for beauty standards in general.

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In 2003 she created #effyourbeautystandards encouraging women of all shapes and sizes to love their bodies and feel empowered by their individuality. It has gathered her an impressive 455,000 admirers on Instagram and almost 28,000 Twitter followers, where she posts behind the scenes shots of her on shoots, as well daily fashion snaps.

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Suicide Girls are an alternative models website and founder Selena Mooney rates Holliday’s future. “I’ve been following the #effyourbeautystandards movement for a while now, and I think it’s fantastic. Women have been put into boxes and made to feel ashamed if they don’t meet this specific cookie-cutter look that society dictates. Everyone is beautiful in their own way.  I’m just glad there are strong, intelligent, and gorgeous women like Ms. Holliday to influence and encourage society to break the mould and get people talking about female empowerment.”

After so long pandering to the obscene and regimented standards of most fashion houses, Holliday is presenting an alternative – a realistic, alternative.

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Critics have suggested that, far from being a positive representation of the female form, she is encouraging an unhealthy lifestyle with her size. But this is far from the truth, as Holliday works out with a trainer three times a week to maintain her glamorous curves.

With her flowing auburn hair, she looks reminiscent of a model from the Romantic period. Though her body confidence is something that has grown with time, much like the booty that is making her so worshipped now.

She told Look magazine, “I had to leave school at 17 because of bullying. I understand not everyone understands what I’m about. But to me it’s such a simple concept. It’s all about loving your body regardless of your size and chasing your dreams.”

Speaking to the Daily New York News she spoke of the struggles of her childhood. “I feel like I’m breaking ground. I never could have imagined that I could be here. It took a really long time to get over things that had happened to me during the vital years of my life. My mom always encouraged me, I’m always still that 13-year-old girl in Mississippi who people told I wasn’t good enough. I never could have imagined that I could be here.”

Tess is not only a great addition to the fashion industry as a model, but an inspiration as a role model. Real-world body types are grossly misrepresented in high fashion, television, advertising… Where is the variety? There is an increasing level of discourse between the pictures seen in magazines and the reality of life. An average UK woman is a size 16, yet models are generally an 8-10.

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It is becoming more and more difficult for females to accept themselves when being constantly told they are not “right”. For this reason, we need more pioneers, more strong minded, self-respecting role models to look up to.

The 5 foot 5″ babe is several inches smaller than the average plus size model, who generally stand at 5 foot 8″, making her yet more unique. Milk have been keeping quiet about what their plans are for their new star, but we can certainly expect to see those ruby locks a lot more in the near future.

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We aren’t all Victoria’s Secret models. Few of us can even afford to shop there and their gym bill must be more than rent in halls! But we can aspire to the mind-set of Holliday; live to make you happy. Screw what other people think and if they give you crap for it – show them one of Tess Hollidays’ super sexy, uber confident Instagram pics, with their sassy tags and F**k the haters mantras.

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Magic Mike

All expectation go straight out the window when you see “MAGIC MIKE”.

The idea is simple. Based on the real life adventures of a young Channing Tatum (who produces and stars as the movie’s pseudonym namesake “Magic” Mike), this comedy-drama saunters down the path of 19 year old Adam (Alex Pettyfer), a college drop-out who moves to Tampa. Adam ends up as a male stripper at club Xquisite, owned by stripping veteran Dallas (Matthew McConaughy), drawn in as a favour to Mike. The three months to come are filled with partying, drugs and sex, as Adam commits to the excessive lifestyle of the Xquisite dancers with 30 year old Mike as his guide.

From there a loose train of thought is maintained; we are shown Mike’s deeper side, his unhappiness with his current “career” (because apparently being half naked and professionally good-looking was becoming a chore and undignified…) and his ambitions to break out of his leather thong and start a custom furniture business; eventually segueing into something darker to do with an ill advised drug deal going wrong for Adam (as if drug deals were ever a good idea, of course…)

When it was over, my friend turned to me, half laughing and said, “So, what did you think of the plot?” to which I replied “what plot?”. Not even joking.

But don’t let that put you off. This may be one of the only times in my life I ever say this, but: It totally didn’t need one. And so it went without one. And that absolutely worked!

In reality, the story comes across something like this:

Strippers!Six-pack… Oh look, that guy from Step Up/The Eagle/21 Jump Street/Dear John Multiple Six-packsAlex Pettyfer!! Finally he’s not a child anymore, it’s ok to starecool coffee tableSTRIPPERSstrippersstrippers

And so it continues. And if anyone tells you that’s not what they were thinking – they are lying!

Featuring an excellent selection of highly oiled and curiously hairless sex-machines *ahem* exotic dancers 😉 a pair of ass-less chaps, and much hip gyration, as well as a surprisingly serious minor role for comedian Gabriel Iglesias as DJ-come-drug-dealer Tobias, there is no doubt that this movie is meant to cater more or less solely to women and gay men.

And I assure you; it does not disappoint.

Darkened club scenes are interspersed with what I defined in my mind as “day time scenes – when no-one is naked :(” which show sporadic happenings of life outside the penis pump world of male stripping (that’s right- what? You thought it was really that big??). These have an almost behind-the-scenes like charm. Trips to the beach and afternoons at the promenade are shot mostly at head height with imperfect frames, documentary style. It adds an element of intimacy, befitting of the theme, as if you are part of the action rather than just salivating- I mean, looking, at them…

Let me ask this question: Yes, most of these characters are of the work-by-night variety, but does no-one except Adam’s sister have a real job!? (she, by the way, conveniently for the “plot” often works night-shift) You watch and tell me! Forget about Mike, he apparently has about eighteen jobs so doesn’t count – it doesn’t count if you have all the jobs! That’s just greedy! 😛

I wouldn’t recommend you drag/con your boyfriend into seeing this with a logical argument:

YOU: “it’s about strippers!”

HIM: “yes, honey, but they’re men”

YOU: “…but they’re strippers!”

HIM: “no!”

YOU: “…do you want to sleep on the couch or in the porch on the dogs bed – because he’ll be having yours tonight!” = not such a good plan.

The perfectly chiselled homage’s to David who strut near naked during most of this film will only make him run away and cry: he is unlikely to have the abs of Alex Pettyfer, the arms of Channing Tatum, the bum of Joe Manganiello or the roguish grin of Matthew McConaughy. If he does – well done you and may I say congratulations! 😀

So I recommend gathering the girl-friends and leaving your man to cry over his framed photo of his man-crush – you have a new date now, with some of the most Xquisite men you will ever come across.

While the plot is thinner than a velcro jockstrap, there is no doubting its entertainment value. Believable characters, unbelievably attractive men and laugh-out-loud moments make this dirty little bit of fun a guilt free way to oogle forbidden fruit and have a giggle about it.

Ladies, I recommend!

7 ½ / 10

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