Humiliated on Pearse Street.

I’ve had a really good week. I went to some interesting live shows, spent time with loved ones, viewed some beautiful modern art, had dinner with a good friend and generally, felt rather happy. That is, until I let the words of a stranger affect me. It’s funny, isn’t it? How we let people get to us.

The sun was shining, it was sixteen degree’s in Dublin city and I had just ate a lovely breakfast at The Woolen Mill. A friend and I were walking down Pearse street, minding our own business, when three guys approached us. One of the guys stepped forward in front of us, he looked quite intimidating and to be honest, he looked rough. He pointed a finger at my friend and exclaimed “You, yeah. I would”, and then he pointed towards me, “You, not so much”. His act of comic genius sent his friends into a uproar of laughter, relishing in the sheer confidence their friend had, to walk up to two girls on the street, and rate them like cattle.

It all happened within seconds, but it was astonishing how slow time felt when it was occurring. Once the group of guys walked past us, both my friend and I stood there in shock. Not sure what to say to one another. Why would some one do that? What’s the payoff?

To be quite honest, I was hurt and humiliated by the experience.

We kept walking towards our destination in Temple Bar, and more the I thought about the situation, the more angry I felt. Why did I care? Why did it bother me? I was annoyed at myself for being annoyed by it! To be frank, I wouldn’t have sex with that guy if he was the last guy on earth and the human race depended on it. I didn’t think he was remotely attractive. So, why did I care that he thought I wasn’t attractive either? It really irked me.

elaineoneill.com

It pains me to admit this, but I cried out of pure frustration. Why didn’t I snipe back with a witty comeback to humiliate his intelligence, or lack there of. Also, I kept thinking, how many other girls had he done this to today? Or, ever? He had humiliated my friend and I. Were there other girls who were walking the streets of Dublin, eyes welling up with tears over the words of a stranger? It upset me to ponder that thought.

My self esteem has never been fantastic and this sure didn’t helped.

Thankfully, through out the day, I was able to move on with my life and not worry so much about what this random person thought of my appearance. I thought about my own self worth, and how it is not defined by the opinions of others. All that really matters, is what I think about myself. At the end of the day, I feel sorry for that guy, because he clearly doesn’t exert the qualities most people find attractive. And, while I may be no oil painting, I am a good person, who doesn’t gain joy from humiliating other people in public.

elaineoneill.com

After the entire ordeal, my friend Elaine, spoke to me about her experiences with similar situations and we chatted about a project she produced for college, that was based on the topic of harassment. We both came to the conclusion that it is important to call out this type of behavior. I thought about all the men in my life and how they would never do something like that to two women, walking down the street. And, if anyone I knew ever did such a thing, I would tell them they were being complete assholes. It’s usually pack-mentality that gives people the gall to do something like this, they get high off the thrill of doing something extreme in front of their friends, in order to impress them.

Newsflash! No one thinks you’re cool. 

It’s not a badge of honor to humiliate someone successfully. In fact, it makes you look like a terrible person. I truly do not understand why anyone would want to do something like that to another human being. The guy who did that to my friend and I, has probably long forgotten about this occurrence, while it still lingers in my mind days later. Which is the reason I am writing this blog post, to express how I feel about the entire scenario, in order to let it go fully. If one person reads this and decides against doing something like this in the future because of it, or decides to call out a friend for doing something similar, then it’s worth it for me to post this.

 

Confessions in cosplay..

Support your favourite artists!

Right off the bat, let’s be real with one-another and admit that it’s hard to put yourself out there.

Especially, when it comes to your creative work. The stuff you put your heart and soul into.

There is nothing more daunting than sharing something you created and then waiting for feedback and reactions. You never know what’s going to land and what is going to “fail”.

However, we do know this, that it takes a lot of balls to do it. If you’ve ever shared your vision with anyone, you know this feeling all too well.

It’s both exhilarating and terrifying, simultaneously.

I think it is important to let someone know when we enjoy what they do. This is something I feel is very important, to acknowledge someone’s effort and work. As someone who has been creating content for over eight years now, I can verify that positive feedback is not only wonderful, it’s greatly appreciated. It’s easy to just scroll through our feeds and “like” things without commenting, we don’t even think much about it. Believe me, I get it. Social media is passive at the best of times. However, I do think it is detrimental to leave feedback if you like someone’s work.

Believe me, it means a lot to people. It encourages creators to keep going, to keep creating. It’s hard to stay afloat online these days. Particularly, with the constant YouTube glitches, demonetization’s and advertisers leaving the platform, etc. Feedback means more to creators than ever before. It keeps our channels showing up in your subscription feeds and lets us know someone is still watching.

I’m using YouTube as a example because that is the platform I post the most content on, but this goes for almost any platform people share content. The bottom line is that your feedback is incredibly important. It’s the driving force for the growth and recognition of some of your favourite creators and artists.

Basically, if you like someone’s work tell them. Support it and share it!

Here are some artists and creators I think deserve more love:

Cosplay Tips for Beginners!

4 simple ways to have more meaningful interactions.

PUT. YOUR. PHONE. AWAY.

In the modern world, we use our phones a lot. Some might say, too much. Whenever we think about leaving our phones behind or putting them away for a set period of time, we get anxiety or we convince ourselves we need them just-in-case. We act like our phones help us to be more present and stay in touch with people. In fact, they do the exact opposite. The truth is, we’ve become so used to being connected to social media, we forget how to interact with people in the real world. When interacting face-to-face it is so important to have manners and engage.

There is nothing more insulting to me than someone texting or tweeting from their phone when in conversation with me. It’s disrespectful and makes you feel like you aren’t interesting enough for that person to devote their attention to in that moment.

The first and most common mistake we make, is putting our phones on the table when we sit down. Leave your phone in your bag, it won’t kill you to put your phone away for a short period of time. Believe me, you’ll be thankful you dedicated time to your friend or loved one. Spending time with genuine people and having good conversations, is worth putting your phone away.

You won’t regret it.

Make the effort, offline.

Like I mentioned previously, a lot of us are dependent on social media and our phones for our daily interactions. It is important that we make the effort to connect in other ways, like an old fashioned phone call, text or (bare with me) a postcard. Let’s be honest, “liking” someone’s photo on Instagram is not interacting with them, it passive and quite frankly, if that is your way of interacting, it’s down right lazy. Sorry to be harsh, but it’s true.

We often trick our brains into thinking we know everything going on in someones life, because we are up to date with their social media feeds but it’s important to make the effort. By calling someone, sending a text or a postcard, we are directly reaching out and showing that person that we wanted to see how they are doing. People appreciate the effort, it’s a small kindness but it means a lot to people. Plus, everyone loves getting cute, unexpected letters or cards!

While I’m on this topic, if they are still in your life, call your grandparents.

You have no idea how precious their time is and how a phone call can make their day.

Compliment people.

But only if it’s genuine. It can be something as small as complimenting someones outfit, positive changes they’ve made to their life or praise on a job well-done. A simple compliment can go a long way and can really make someones day. Giving compliments is also a very beneficial social skill, it creates a good atmosphere and is encouraging.

Make eye contact.

Eye contact is incredibly important when it comes to making a connection with someone. It shows that you are listening and attentive. Making direct eye contact with someone can also help you read situations better, which in turn, will lead to a more positive interaction. If you are not great at making eye contact, just remember that practice makes perfect. By making an effort to look someone in the eye, you will appear more confident and engaging.

Be present and allow yourself to enjoy the time that you spend with loved ones.

Moments become memories and memories are priceless.

Answering your questions!

DIY Jessica Jones Cosplay

Today I put together an impromptu Jessica Jones cosplay, using some items I had lying around the house. People always ask me if it is hard to put together a cosplay from scratch, and the answer is yes & no. It depends on the character you want to portray. Jessica Jones is a great example of a character that is simple enough to create, just using make up and clothes you may already have.

I am a big fan of the Jessica Jones Netflix series and love her no-apologies sense of humor and bad ass attitude. Her style is quite similar to mine, which is why I had a lot of the clothing items already. The good news is, a lot of the clothes she wears are simple and easy to find in thrift shops or in affordable clothing stores, such as Pennys/Primark. Alternatively, for an even cheaper (not to mention, minimalist) option, consider borrowing some items from friends or family, if possible.

For a DIY Jessica Jones cosplay, you will need:

  • Dark hair or wig (my wig is from ebay!)
  • A grey scarf
  • A leather jacket
  • Black fingerless gloves
  • Light blue jeans (not pictured)
  • Black boots (not pictured)
  • A fake or real camera (to be used as a prop)
  • Optional: Fake wounds or cuts (for added effect!)

Oh, and having resting bitch face also helps a lot! Jessica Jones takes no shit from anyone.

And there you have it my friends, a easy and affordable Jessica Jones cosplay.

You’ll be the baddest bitch in Hells Kitchen in no time!

YouTube Censorship.

Catastrophe Cosmetic Review

Since my journey towards a minimalist lifestyle began, I have slowly but surely been getting through a lot of my beauty products. Recently, I eventually used up a few of my Lush products and realised that I could recycle the pots in-store and receive a free face mask in the process. Huzzah!

I had heard great things about the Catastrophe Cosmetic fresh face mask and was excited to try it out. The first thing I noticed about it was the sweet smell. It smells wonderful. So fresh & fruity! Blueberries are one of the main ingredients in this face mask and they give it a really nice scent, as well as a light blue colour. The main ingredients are talc, Irish moss, blueberries, glycerine and almond oil. This face mask is used to calm and soothe the skin when disaster/breakouts strike!

The blueberries act as a natural antioxidant and the face mask also contains a mixture of vitamins and minerals that soothe any inflammation, as well as acting as a mild antiseptic to help heal the skin. It is important to remember to keep your Lush face mask in the fridge, as this will help to preserve the natural ingredients and also creates a cooling effect when applied on to the skin.

Bliss! 

The fresh face masks only last a short period of time (approx 3-4 weeks) but you’ll get at least three uses out of each tub. A fun way to use it up, is to invite a friend around and have a pamper session! Make sure to apply the product generously to your face and neck, then sit back and relax.

Size & Price of Product:

This tub is 75g and retails at approx €8 or more, I believe.

Pro’s of the Catastrophe Cosmetic Face Mask:

  • It smells like heaven!
  • It feels lovely when applied on to the skin.
  • Reduces redness and soothes irritation.
  • Leaves me skin feeling fresh, clean & calm.

Con’s of the Catastrophe Cosmetic Face Mask:

  • The fresh face masks only last for a short period of time.

Are Lush products cruelty free?

Yes, they are 100% cruelty free!

Where can I buy this product?

At Lush stores nationwide!

How meditation is helping me overcome my anxiety.

If you’ve been a long time reader/viewer of mine, you know of my struggles with anxiety. To be honest, I can’t remember when my issues with anxiety arose. It may have developed in my teen years or maybe, it was always there? Lingering in the background like Pennywise the clown, waiting to scare the shit out of me at any given moment! As funny as it may sound, that’s actually quite an accurate description of what anxiety has felt like for me over the past few years. A scary, threatening entity that is always waiting to pounce.

I have read countless self-help books in order to learn the magical cure to ridding myself of this looming feeling. Nothing has worked for me, no matter how practical the advice. Not because the advice wasn’t helpful, but because I wasn’t open to receiving the information. That’s what anxiety does to us, it doesn’t let us see past our own fear.

Recently, I have discovered minimalism. Minimalism is a lifestyle that allows us to focus on the important aspects of our lives by ridding ourselves of the excess and zoning in on what is important to us. By using minimalism as a tool to de-clutter both my outer and inner space, I have been able to prioritise what my needs are. In doing this, I realised that I never gave my thinking mind a rest. It was constantly running like an engine getting ready to finally burn out. Instead of listening to my inner thoughts, I hid from them. I kept pushing them down further and further until they were muffled cries beneath the surface. But you know what happens to suppressed emotions? They take physical form, they infiltrate our bodies and kick us when we’re down, making us sick and run-down.

I noticed that by not dealing with my stress, I was making myself physically unwell. My immune system was shot,  I caught every bug and flu going, not to mention the fact that I was constantly tired and irritable. I was always snapping at my loved ones for no reason at all. The most ironic thing of all, was that I was completely blind to the fact that I was the one causing this anguish within myself. I blamed it on the bad weather, a shift in temperature or not using hand sanitizer at ever opportunity. I had became so used to feeling anxious, I had made it apart of my physical make up.

I decided to begin a journey to self discovery a long time ago, but only this year have I really taken it seriously. A part of that journey was to give meditation a try. I have used guided meditations in the past to help me sleep, but I had never used them purely to calm my mind during the day-time. It might not sound like there is much of a difference between those two instances but I can assure you, there is.

Since January of this year, I’ve been using the Calm meditation app (not sponsored, just FYI!) and it has allowed me to stay accountable and consistent with my practice. It tracks each meditation on a calendar and helps you to focus on specific areas of your life that need healing. There are guided meditations for all sorts of things, such as stress, anxiety, gratitude and self-love, to name but a few. I have discovered that sitting with my thoughts isn’t this big scary thing I’ve made it out to be, it’s actually very interesting. Meditation is teaching me to hear what my thinking-mind has to say and what it worries about. However, the most important part of my meditation practice comes in the form of what is known as, noting. In layman’s terms, noting is essentially the practice of simply acknowledging a thought and letting it pass by without judgement.

The simple act of recognising our thoughts and not getting wrapped up in them, is quite transformative. In fact, it’s the opposite of anxious thought! Anxiety makes us over-think and over-analyse our thoughts to the point of exhaustion. Taking in to consideration that humans think up to 50,000 – 70,000 thoughts per day, that’s a heck of a lot of worrying to get through on a daily basis. By implementing mindfulness into our lives, we are giving ourselves a break from this chaotic way of thinking. Believe me, it isn’t always easy to do this but as the famous saying goes, practice makes perfect.

Meditation is something I would recommend to everyone. It is not something that only the most enlightened individuals can do, it is something everyone can practice and benefit from. Living in the modern world is not always easy, it can be overwhelming to say the least. Meditation gives us space to de-clutter our minds from what is going on in the physical world and helps us to regenerate feelings of calm, compassion and stillness. If we can begin to use meditation as a tool, it can be life-changing. If you think meditation is just some wishy-washey bull-crap, you’re not alone. However, science is on meditation’s side!

According to studies, research shows that after eight-weeks, it is possible to shrink the brain’s “flight or fight” response. If you would like more information on the benefits of mediation, Forbes recently posted a great article about 7 Ways Meditation Can Actually Change the Brain.

In order to avail of the benefits of mediation, you don’t need to do anything fancy. Just start off small, even five minutes of meditation a day can do wonders for a person. I would suggest using an app to track your progress and help you ease yourself into a regular practice. Alternatively, there are thousands of wonderful guided and un-guided meditations on YouTube. My favourite meditation channel is The Honest Guys youtube channel, it’s full of beautiful, free meditations. There is something for everyone on their channel, I highly recommend it.

Meditation is helping me to understand my myself, listen to by body and not judge every single though that goes through my mind. Meditation is a rest period and a time heal. Honestly, I feel like I have discovered something that is so helpful, in some many ways, that I want to shout it from the rooftops so everyone else can know about it. Meditation is a practice, it takes time and time is our most precious gift. I think it is important to make time for ourselves no matter how busy our lives may be. Meditation is a way to give back to ourselves and to get to know ourselves as human beings. Like any new venture, the hardest part is getting started.

Once you open your mind to the prospect of mediation, it can be truly wonderful.