GRL Talk With: Marina Ollero from In a Woman’s Body

In a Woman’s Body is a global movement of women who want to feel empowered and connected to their bodies through learning about female sexuality and understanding their menstrual cycles. Founder Marina Ollero hopes to reveal currently repressed knowledge and create spaces for women to talk about their sexual experiences. In this GRL Talk installment, Marina shares her story (via Zoom, obviously) with FGRLS contributor Harriet Clifford, she discusses how talking about sex can lead to female empowerment and, ultimately, the end of sexual harassment in the world.

Making Slow Living A Way Of Life Rather Than A Trend

Often viewed as an antidote to the chaos of the modern world, the slow living movement gently nudges against what most of us view as normal life. We rush from one meeting to the next, always at the beck and call of our smartphones, barrelling through our days in hour chunks in which tasks are completed with a satisfying ‘check’. The coronavirus pandemic, it turns out, was a devilish, twisted kind of antidote.

I Gained Weight In Lockdown. It Was The Healthiest Thing I Could Have Done

If I told you I’ve gained weight during lockdown, what would you think of me? Chances are, the words ‘greedy’, ‘lazy’ and ‘unhealthy’ might float into your consciousness, even if you see yourself as fairly woke when it comes to body positivity. Maybe your mind would fill with images of Bridget Jones lying on the sofa eating ice cream from the tub, or the kid from Matilda eating chocolate cake with his hands.

Social Media Is Making It Harder For Me To Recover From My Eating Disorder

I could write a whole article about the toxic underbelly of apps such as Instagram and TikTok – their harmful content accessible via a simple hashtag and only censored by an easily avoidable ‘Do you need support?’ or ‘This image contains sensitive content’. When you’re in the depths of an eating disorder and are feeling at your most vulnerable, often the reflex reaction is to self-sabotage and trigger the hell out of yourself by looking at something that you know will only add fuel to the fire.

Creative Writing // Thursday, unfiltered

Max sat in front of her laptop at the kitchen table, fingers hovering over the keyboard. Every now and then they’d wiggle slightly, as though phantoms of the hands busy typing away in a parallel universe. In that universe, she’d have written at least 500 words by now, having come downstairs as usual at 6.30am to make a cup of tea and harness her most productive hours. On days like today when her brain was uninspired and sticky, she felt even more frustrated, knowing that she could be in bed, or or exercising, or doing anything other than sitting in front of a blank Word document.

How We Can Stay Switched On To The Climate Crisis

While positive side effects of the coronavirus pandemic are few and far between, one byproduct of lockdown is that we have seen a 17% reduction in daily global carbon emissions. As these lockdowns around the world ease over the coming weeks, it’s worth thinking about how we can actively combat the climate crisis as we return to normality. After all, let’s not forget that our ‘business as usual’ has a devastating impact on the environment.

Please Stop Assuming That The Root Cause Of My Eating Disorder Is Wanting To Look 'Attractive'

“You’re such a beautiful girl, you don’t need to lose weight”, were the words a counsellor said to me in my first session, after I’d finally reached the top of the waiting list at university to receive support. Cheers, thanks Karen, I’ll just be off to order Dominos now that we’ve got that sorted. Large with a side of wedges? Some of her other advice included – and I am very serious – telling me to eat some pasta, break up with my boyfriend, and download an app to help improve my mood.

“Am I the only person who hasn’t cried since the pandemic started?”

A few weeks before lockdown began, I was living in a house share in Peckham with two others. Our initial cynicism about the hype surrounding Covid-19 had quickly turned to fear, and we sat on the landing in our pyjamas with our heads in our hands. “I need a gin and tonic,” I said, rummaging in the fridge for a lemon half. My housemate burst into tears, realising that she wouldn’t be able to afford to pay rent if she couldn’t do her agency teaching work or go to acting auditions. I felt upset for her, and scared about the stability of my own job, a new position I’d only been in for six months. I could have cried with her.

Panorama on Pandemics - what is a pandemic?

‘We don’t need to panic, hoard cans of spaghetti and go down to the basement, but we do need to get ready’ – the somewhat ominous words of Bill Gates in a 2015 TED Talk, in which he outlined the steps the world needed to take in order to prepare for the next pandemic. Things have changed dramatically since then, and now hoarding food and staying indoors is very much part of our daily lives – although one of those is more sensible than the other – and scientists and healthcare workers all over the world are working night and day to battle an invisible enemy.

How I learned to love my unproductive lockdown

It's ok if you're not top of your game. We’re in a crisis, not a nationwide summer holiday. For reasons which don’t need explaining, it’s likely that as a young professional fresh out of university, you’re now working from home, on furlough, or out of a job completely. You’ve suddenly been provided with seemingly endless reserves of time with which you may do as you wish. Surely, as a twenty-something in the prime of your life, this time, despite its many anxieties, offers an opportunity to start that project you never usually have time for.

How to survive being furloughed six months into your grad job

Being furloughed feels like a reminder that things can continue without me. "It could be worse”; it’s the phrase I’ve been quick to throw in whenever I’ve told anyone this past week that I’ve been furloughed. And of course, it’s very true. I could have been sacked, I could be self-employed and unsure when my next job will come in, or I could be a single parent trying to feed three kids on a meagre amount of Universal Credit. Yes, it definitely could be a lot worse.

From the top down

We do everything we've been told to do. We carry a reusable coffee cup wherever we go; we never buy plastic water bottles and have budgeted for spending that little bit extra on buying pasta and rice from a refill shop. We choose non-dairy milk in our hot drinks and eat a plant-based diet; we buy from local market stalls and smile graciously as the man selling us our carrots makes the same comment about our reusable mesh bags that he made last Saturday, and the Saturday before.

What goes around comes around

As I settled down with a cup of tea and my laptop to make a start on this piece, a new email pinged into my inbox. It was a newsletter from one of my favourite sustainable clothing brands, Lucy & Yak, explaining a new initiative they're involved with called Offset Earth. As I scrolled through the email, I realised that this was a perfect example of how the focus of this piece - the circular economy - works in practice. It explains how brands, organisations and individuals can make the shift and make a difference.
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