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Posted on January 2, 2019

5 reasons I received a Google alert for my name in 2018

lifestyle

I never in a million years would have thought that my blogging achievements in twenty eighteen could ever amount to half of the accomplishments I had with Enhance What’s Yours in 2017. In fact, I spent the early days of twenty eighteen (excuse the overuse of this millenial slang), crippled with the anxiety that I may had set the bar too high for myself in the previous year.

I mean, when an open letter that took less than fifteen minutes to write makes international headlines, how could I possibly envision myself topping that? Hell if I know how, but I did! And when I reflect upon the year I had with my blog and the opportunities that I’ve been afforded through a brand for which I have taken many sacrifices, I can’t help but look back with a greater sense of gratitude.

The gratitude I feel towards the brand I’ve created far exceed any sentiments I felt towards my blog accomplishments in previous times. That’s not to disqualify any of my past achievements or to say that they are less significant. But it is mainly because I feel that the knowledge that I accrued in my second year of freelancing has helped me recognise that luck can only get you so far.

You also have to be willing to do what others won’t.

So without further ado, here are some of the main reasons why I received Google alerts for my name in 2018 🙂

1. My TV debut for ground-breaking Channel 4 series

As many of you know from the series of blogs I’ve published around this topic, I was part of the diverse cast for a two-part Channel 4 documentary called Genderquake. Filming for this ground-breaking series took in the beautiful city of Brighton in October 2017 and the show finally aired in May of 2018.

Genderquake explored gender and sexuality in today’s world by having ten strangers from all parts of the gender spectrum cohabitate for a full week and have spirited discussions about sexual identity, gender and everything in  between!

Shortly after hitting the screens, Genderquake was nominated in the MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Awards for Representation of LGBTQ, Non-Scripted which is more than any of us could have asked for or anticipated!

Knowing that my voice was part of a show that incited so much public interest both online and in real life is a great source of pride for me, particularly because I was so apprehensive about taking part in the first place.

Looking back now, I am so proud of my contribution on the show – taking the edits out of the equation of course! I met some truly wonderful souls and beautiful people who challenged my ideologies in ways that continue to intrigue me till today.

Twitter was also pretty gentle with me which was more reassuring than I care to admit. I had people from all backgrounds jump to my defense and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive 🙂

If you haven’t seen Genderquake yet, be sure to catch up on Channel 4 here.

2. Live TV appearance on Genderquake: The Debate

Following the release of the two-part documentary, Channel 4 aired a live debate in which myself and a few of the other cast members were invited to attend. The debate was hosted by news presenter Cathy Newman and saw a number of famous faces on the panel such as Caitlyn Jenner, Munroe Bergdorf, Germaine Greer, Ayo Caeser and Sarah Ditum.

While I had already been on television at this point, it was all still very new to me. To say I was hyperventilating at the thought of being on live TV would be be a complete understatement. Thankfully, I managed to answer Cathy Newman’s questions about my experience of being on the show with as much grace and elegance as the merlot I consumed allowed for.

Once again, a very proud moment for my inner nerdy introvert. You can see my response in this Twitter thread here.

3. Brand Ambassador role for Huawei Mobile Ireland

Huawei P20 Lite Review

While I did not receive a Google alert for this, I do think it is worth mentioning. I was given a brand ambassador role for Huawei Mobile Ireland which resulted in me creating exciting content and taking part in a sponsored campaign – not to mention getting a deadly new phone! 🙂

While I have done content placement and other sponsored content in the past, I had never been asked to work on a continuous campaign such as the one I did with Huawei Ireland. To put the cherry on top, the tweet I shared about the Story Sign app created by Huawei, performed incredibly well with an engagement rate of 3.9% and a reach of nearly 10k.

The media views I received in that one tweet even outperformed some of the ads shared by other influencers with twice or trice my Twitter following. I think all too often brands get fooled by influencers who appear to have a large following so knowing this gave me a completely new perspective on how to negotiate future collaborations with brands and it helped me see the value of my brand and what I have to offer.

4. Publication of first byline for thejournal.ie

This might not seem like such a big deal to some people. But for me it is everything.

Throughout my many years of navigating my way within the Irish blogging scene, I have always identified more as a writer than blogger: it’s the one thing I was always sure of. In my eyes, writing for an Irish news site is about more than just massaging my ego. In a weird sense, it validated my work as a writer.

I had never pitched an article before. But after my success, I hope to share more of my thoughts on dating, relationships and female sexuality to a wider audience in the future. Seeing my byline on thejournal.ie really gave me a high. Almost like runners high, but for writers – yes, I’m making it a thing!

If you have yet to read my article about making consent sexy – for the sake of both men and women, be sure to read it here. 

5. Featured in iNews for viral open letter

iNews feature about viral story

Last but not least, I was recently featured in inews.co.uk where I was given the opportunity to share an honest account of how online trolling can affect a person’s well being. While I did write a blog post on how to deal with bad publicity, I had never really delved into the darker side of how I felt after the events that transpired online.

I finally mustered the courage to do exactly that in an interview with former HuffPost UK Editor, Poorna Bell for a feature in iNews. Much like many of my other endeavours and interviews, I was on the fence about this.But the award-winning journalist dealt with my story with great delicacy and care. Poorna was aware of the sensitivity of the topic during the whole interview process – even when she was trying to get to the core of what really happened.

I have so much respect for authentic journalists who strive to uncover accurate accounts of real life stories and I genuinely cannot thank Poorna enough for sharing mine in such a raw way.

To read my feature about the very real impact online trolling can have on a person’s well-being, click here.

A massive thank you to everyone who has been supporting me from day one! I wish each and every single one of you a sparkling New Year! I look forward to re-shaping my brand and blog for 2019 🙂

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Posted on April 20, 2018

Announcement: Genderquake hits the screens next month!!!

Sexuality

Genderquake cast Photo credit: Channel 4

The cat is finally out of the bag….

I’ve been sitting on this for the good part of seven months at this stage and now that I’ve attended the private screening for this upcoming series, I can finally spill the beans!!!

Towards the end of last year, I participated in a two-part Channel 4 documentary called Genderquake. Filming for this groundbreaking series involved cohabiting with ten strangers for a full week to have spirited debates around gender, sexuality and everything in between!

Although I was a bit apprehensive about partaking in the programme initially, I have to say, I am proud of my contribution on the show. I met some truly wonderful people who challenged my ideologies in ways that continue to intrigue me today.

I look forward to seeing how it pans out for us all and I hope you guys tune in next month 🙂

Channel 4 Studios, London

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Genderquake airs on May 7th at 9PM on Channel 4

A massive thank you to Hamish Fergusson, Nick Hornby, Tina Flintoff, Mikey Trotter, Demi Doyle, and everyone at Optomen involved in the production of this show! xx

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Posted on March 8, 2018

Today is International Women’s Day…but what does being a woman mean in 2018?

Sexuality/ women

Disclaimer: This blog post is referring to my own subjective experience of being a cis woman and my dealings with cis men. It is in no way to refer to trans or non binary people, I support them in their journeys and I would never want for this blog post to denounce their gender identity. New experience has taught me that the metrics I use to measure my womanhood are not representative of every woman, they are unique and very central to me (I may touch on the “why?” at a later time). I have no intention of being exclusionary as I wrote this blog from my own personal perspective, which inherently is that of a cis woman. I recognise that not all women identify as women in a similar way to me – and I think these differences should be celebrated! Outside of this discussion, we are all human and that is all that matters! I hope you enjoy this read and I look forward to hearing your feedback 🙂

Without further ado….

What does being a woman mean in 2018?

For all of human history, there have only ever been two sexes: male and female. What separated one from the other is that a male (or a man) has the tools to impregnate a female and a female (or woman) has the reproductive organs to carry out said pregnancy. Simple, right? I’m afraid not.

In our current climate of the Post-Truth era, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to define what I have always considered to be basic biology. The rise of gender theory and the concept that gender is non-binary and is something that can be chosen by an individual, is creating a landscape in which it is seemingly no longer acceptable to rely on simple biology to determine the things we have always known to be a factually true.

Gender theory removes fixed biological determinants for what makes someone a man or in this debate, what makes a person a woman. It proposes the idea that sex and gender are two completely different categories thus those who are born as male and consequently have male appendages can someday be women simply by saying so.

It more or less looks like this….

While I take no issue with how people choose to present themselves to the world, I personally feel that the contribution of science is something that we cannot ignore, especially when it comes to matters of what being a woman means. The notion that sex and gender are completely uncorrelated perpetuates a free-for-all world where males can be women and females can be men and as someone who has lived and experienced a lot of complexities that not only come from being born a woman, but also be born a woman of colour, I feel that maintaining such an idea devalues my unique female experiences. It fails to acknowledge some of the pressures that I was faced with being born a woman, but most of all I think it  reduces me to just one thing.

I do not have a personal problem with people who choose to identify as the gender that differs from the one they feel they were assigned to at birth, and being a woman who takes an interest in fitness and muscle building – something that some people may view as being typically  ‘masculine,’ I understand that masculinity and femininity can be shaped culturally. However, I also have a degree in Statistics, a mathematical science. So when I ask what a woman is, that question is being driven by the logical part of my soul. The part of me  that is responsible for logic and truly wants to get to the bottom of this sex and gender debate – if at all possible.

I have always been fascinated by the human body and its capabilities and it goes without saying that there is an abundance of scientific research that shows biological differences between men and women. The set of biological traits that differentiate women from men are things that I feel should be celebrated. In fact, some of them are things that I pride myself on.

As a woman I am empowered by my ability to give endlessly and selflessly and offer empathy to those who don’t deserve it. As a woman I am empowered by the relentless fight fought by female activists up to 100 years ago that led to women having the choices we have today. But most of all, as a woman, I am empowered by the fact that I have the tools to bring life to this world. 

Let’s be clear…

That’s not to say that women who cannot bear children are not real women. That’s no criticism on women with a history of miscarriages because they have struggles carrying a full term pregnancy. And it most certainly does not mean that women who choose not to have kids are lesser.

Are we clear on that?

I have my own personal reasons for why I shape my womanhood in the manner that I do and I understand that what empowers me might not empower every other woman out there. But…

I cannot change what makes me feel like a woman.

We all have different versions for what we think constitutes a woman and I am aware that what is true to me may not be necessarily true to every other woman. The variables that I use to define what makes make me a woman are for me and I understand that in a society that is ever growing and changing, it is not the same across the board. Which is why I ask….

What is a woman and what does it mean to be a woman in 2018?

My biggest fear surrounding the current dialogue around this topic is the greater impact of such a narrative. If we say that gender is non-binary and that people can claim membership for whichever gender they see fit then it takes science off the table completely.  If we don’t have a certain set of rules governing what makes a man and what makes a woman, and if we as a collective society cannot decide how to define these terms, then what are the implications for our future generations?

In a perfect world we would have a civilisation where each and every person could live as their best and most authentic self. But unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and that is why I think it is important to engage with these questions and have these discussions.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, let’s pick each other’s brains a bit. Let’s explore the meaning of womanhood and all the beauty that it encompasses: ask yourself, what is a woman and what does it mean to be a woman in 2018? 🙂

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Happy International Women’s Day to all the ladies who identify as such x

[Last Updated: on Sunday 18th March at 7.00pm]

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While it’s never fair to paint every man or woman with the same brush, a recent survey suggests that maybe it is something we should start considering when it comes to matters of cheating. The survey highlights the differences in how and why men and women cheat and the findings are quite alarming – to say the least!

Do you think the reasons behind why people cheat ultimately come down to each individual or does it have a lot more to do with a person’s gender than we’d like to admit? Watch my recent video as I discuss the mind-blowing findings of this survey, be sure to watch the full thing 🙂

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