The Lego debate

Today, I became very infuriated during a conversation with a couple of anonymous male friends of mine, and I wanted to talk about it on my blog because where else do you go with these matters?

The conversation was regarding Christmas, a season that I look forward to all through the year. I’ve been really prepared this year, and it turns out that one of these friends has also been rather prepared (the other less so) and has bought his son some Lego for Christmas.

I should point out here that I have a lot of respect for both of these friends. I spend a lot of time with them and they are, on the whole, good eggs.

As both of these people have children, they are both aware of the toys available to societies little ones. The things that, in the lead up to the 25th of December will no doubt be put on many Christmas lists up and down the country, in the hope that someone might put in a good word to Santa and they’ll open their gifts to be overwhelmed with happiness at all the lovely new playthings they’ve accumulated.

Lego, as far as I’m concerned, is a unisex product. There is no restriction on who can play with Lego. It astounded me to hear one say to the other: “there’s not really any Lego kits for girls, is there? It’s all knights and pirate ships, they don’t really do castles”

Usually, due to the environment that we were in I would have just ignored this, but I was in a bit of a funny mood this morning so I decided to call this statement out.

From my perspective, girls can and do play with knights and pirate ships, and enjoy these things just as much as boys do. I see no reason why there should be gender stereotypes that say young person x shouldn’t play with that because they are a girl in the same way that there shouldn’t be stereotypes that say young person y shouldn’t play with that because they are a boy.

In our society, target audiences are incredibly important. I know this because I work closely with brands on a daily basis and I understand that in order for a product to work it has to suit the wants and needs of particular groups of people, otherwise you’d be shooting in the dark and crossing your fingers that someone might take an interest in your idea.

To me, however, the idea of gender stereotyping of children that are barely out of nappies is upsetting. Why should girls like princesses and castles and boys like cars and pirate ships? Why can’t they both like both things, or neither if they choose. Why can’t boys play with dolls if they want to and girls have toy soldiers?

I’d be interested to know your opinions on the Lego debate in the comments below.

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Changes

For the observant among you, you may have noticed an aesthetic change to the blog. For the even more observant, you may have also noticed a slight alteration to my URL. I’ve switched from Blogger to WordPress and I couldn’t be happier. To me, this feels like the right direction for me to go with my little space of the internet. I hope that’s okay with you all.

There has been a lot of changes in my life over the past few months, but the key thing is my change of job role at work. I’ve gone from being an unqualified PR Apprentice to becoming a fully qualified PR Account Executive. The change hasn’t been massive in terms of the work that I’m undertaking, but I do feel a much greater sense of responsibility in my job right now.

I wrote a post on our company blog about my experience as an apprentice. You can read that here if you wish. I’m a real advocate of apprenticeships having been through one myself and seen the positive impact that it can have. I hope that I’ll have plenty more opportunities to talk outwardly about my apprenticeship experience on here in the future as I really do believe it’s helped to shape me as a person in some ways. I’m over the moon to have completed and passed, and I’m so glad that I have been offered a full time permanent position at Quantum.

Hopefully, over the next few months, you’ll start to notice a content change as well. I want to talk more about the things that I feel most passionate about: equality for all and mental health awareness. I’m hoping to get some good conversations started and perhaps make even a small impact on some people’s perceptions of issues that I feel should be discussed more.

As always, I’ll still be posting the occasional life update. Lots more photos and lots more fun. That’s what I’m hoping for.

I’ve missed blogging. Blogging has been a huge part of my life for years now. I set out to document everything from the beginning and that’s what I’m going to do more of now. I’m feeling focussed and ready to go.

Getting back into blogging…

At a recent work appraisal, I was talking to my Managing Director about some of the things that I’d like to achieve within the next year, both in and outside of work. One point of focus in our chat was this little blog of mine.
It’s been a chaotic few months to say the least. Truth be told, I’ve been struggling. There’s been a lot of things going on in my mind and really, I haven’t been in the best of places. It’s been tough but I’m getting through it and I’m so thankful for the support I’ve received from those around me. I’ll probably write more on it in the future, but for now I want to keep this as lighthearted as possible.

Aside from some of the negative things I’ve been going through, there have been many good moments over the last few months that I’m sure I’ll get round to sharing with you at some stage. Not every day has been a good one, but the good ones have been incredible.

By way of a quick life update, I have been working my butt off to complete all my coursework for my apprenticeship, which will be submitted next week for marking a week after that. I’ve got my final meeting with my assessor on the 27th October, and on the 28th I will be an officially qualified PR practitioner. I was absolutely delighted to be offered a permanent position at my current place of employment when I complete my apprenticeship, so from the end of October, I will be an official, full time and permanent, PR Account Executive.

I’ll be back within the next couple of weeks to update you further on things. I hope that the posts will become more regular on completion of my apprenticeship coursework. I’ve missed these little ramblings and I thoroughly look forward to chatting with you all again soon.

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How time flies…

I cannot believe it’s been three months since I wrote this post in celebration of Ben and I being together for six months. It’s crazy that it’s been nine months since we became official partners in crime.
These past three months have been pretty tough. Ben’s been back at home in Aylesbury, as he’s been on summer holidays from uni (thank goodness he’s back next weekend!) and I’ve been getting by in Kent. I’ve spent lots of weekends visiting him which has been really fortunate – if a little tiring – for me. I love spending time with Ben, it is my favourite thing to do.
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1. We went on our first mini holiday together at the start of August with a couple of our friends and their son. It was beyond delightful and I think we all had a pretty great time. It was my first time properly camping and I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it nearly as much as I did. The weather was beautiful, the vibe was super chill and honestly I wish I could have getaways like that every weekend. Positive days with positive people are the best thing for me. I got a little way too sunburnt and was in pain for several days afterwards, but it was so worth it. Note to self: take Ben’s advice and wear more suncream next time.
2. Over the bank holiday weekend, I was up in Aylesbury enjoying a lovely break from work with Ben’s family. My clear highlight was a beautiful day picnic-ing at Ashridge Monument. The weather was lovely, the food was fantastic and the company was, always, better than I could ever have hoped for.
3. Ben and I now have matching necklaces. They’re so beautiful and we’re so happy with them. His is black and silver and mine is a sort of rose gold colour and silver, and they’re engraved with the words “I will always be with you”. I wear it every single day and love it so much.
 Benjamin Warner, you are the love of my life and the light in my darkest days. I love you more than you could ever imagine, my hero.

This Modern Love by Will Darbyshire

Received my copy of This Modern Love by Will Darbyshire on Monday. Finished it in one evening.
I think this is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. It’s a crowd-sourced collection of love letters and is divided into three sections: beginning, middle and end, much like how relationships work.
I didn’t put this book down. The words really spoke to me. Some of the letters told stories that were so relatable to my life, both now and in the past. I think that there’s something in this book that everyone can relate to.
Definitely worth reading if you get hold of a copy. Top marks to Will for coming up with such a spectacularly unique idea. I loved it from start to finish.

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The A-Z of me…

I saw something like this written by my lovely blogging buddy Tania and decided to give it a go myself.
The A-Z of me is exactly what it says on the tin – a way of helping you get to know me better, and a way of me killing some time while my family watch the England v Iceland match. The idea is simple: for every letter of the alphabet, think of a word that relates to you and your life.
Apprenticeship – something I decided to do rather than going to university, which has filled me with so much confidence and taught me so many lessons about myself.
Ben – my incredible better half. He makes me laugh daily and makes me feel like the most beautiful human being in the world. I’m very lucky to have him. I love him more than I can ever express.
Canterbury – one of my favourite places in the whole entire world. The place where I first met Ben. The place where I have some of the happiest memories.
Dance – something I used to a lot. Something I wish I’d never stopped doing.  
Ed Sheeran – my favourite musician.  
French bulldogs – I absolutely adore these creatures. Desperate to have one when I move out.
German – a language that I have a GCSE in, and a language that I’d love to learn again.  
Holidays – I haven’t been on many, but I’ll never forget the family trip to Malta.  
IPhone 6s – my current mobile phone.
Job – I’m a public relations account executive. 
Kent – where I have lived my whole life. A beautiful county in the south east of England.
Little Raj – where me and Ben went on our first proper date.  
Mental health – something I feel exceptionally passionate about, having struggled with anxiety over the passed few years. I’d love to do more to raise awareness and remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues around the world.
Notebooks – I have way too many of these. 
Orange – my favourite colour.  
Pasta – my favourite food!
Quantum PR – the company I work for.
Reading – one of my favourite things to do in my spare time. Currently reading the Harry Potter series.
Southern – my surname.  
Time – something I wish I had more of. 
Underwear – my favourite thing to buy.  
Vauxhall Corsa – my car. The most expensive thing I’ve ever owned. I love it dearly.  
Weekends – my favourite part of the week because I usually get to see Ben! 
Xmas – my favourite holiday season. Nothing beats the Christmas festivities.
YouTube – something I watch most mornings while I’m putting my makeup on before work.  
Zoella – my inspiration for starting my first blog.