A guy jumping into the sea.

Summer is well and truly here. We’ve forgotten about the rainy weather and we’re all dreaming of beaches and pools and big sun hats. Although, as we know, the sun can bring its fair share of issues too and it’s not that easy for some of us to ‘just enjoy it’. So if you want your guy questions answered about how to survive the summer then read on, because we’re here to help you out as always. We’ve only gone and done it again.

‘How Do I Not Sweat in Summer?’

The sweat struggle is most certainly real, my friend. Unfortunately, not sweating isn’t really an option in the heat. It’s a perfectly natural thing to happen and, chances are, if it’s happening to you; it’s happening to everyone else. Men are sweaty. Deodorant up and sweat it out with pride.


‘Everyone’s Wearing Short Shorts and Sleeveless T-Shirts, Should I Too?’

That one’s down to you mate. If you feel comfortable and you’re happy in them, then why not? If you’re pretty uncomfortable and the only real reason you have to wear them is to fit in with the trend, then I wouldn’t bother. Who decided that short shorts are the new in for blokes anyway? They’re not that easy to move in and it kind of ruins your perfect breaststroke technique when you’ve got no kick because the blood flow to your legs is being cut off by the worlds tightest pair of shorts. Also, surely the more important question is who the hell took the sleeves? Is there someone else walking around with your sleeves on?


‘I’ve got long hair and it’s hot, what should I do?’

If you’re a dude sporting some longer locks then it’s understandable that in hot weather, you’re gonna get hot pretty quick. Keep it off your neck if you can and carry out the classic stay-cool techniques. You know the ones: drink water, drink water and drink water.


‘I’m Pretty Pale, How Do I Not Get Burnt?’

Be sensible my fair-skinned friend. The best way to look after yourself is exactly what you were taught at school – slap on the sunscreen, wear a good shady hat, sit in the shade when you can and enjoy the good weather. Oh, and drink water – we always forget that one.


‘Do I Have to Be Topless to Play Sport in the Summer?’

Isn’t it just the worst when toxic masculinity rears his ugly head and tells society that all guys must assert maximum manliness at all times? We can only assume that’s why guys have to be absolutely ripped and play sport with their tops off as soon as the sun comes out. We know it’s because it’s hot, but then what are you to do if you’re not as comfortable with your shirt off? Do us a favour; tell society to get lost and jump in to play no matter how you’re dressed. 


‘Is It Safe to Wee at the Urinal in Shorts?’

Ok, this one’s a bit of a push and it’s probably not the first question you thought of when you came here but the answer is still no. Trust us. If you’ve had a wee in shorts, you’ll know exactly what we mean but if not, here goes nothing. As you innocently stand, going about your natural business, you’ll probably notice a warm spray cover your legs: splashback. And it doesn’t matter where you aim it, it’ll still land on your bare skin. Which also means you’ve just realised it covers your jeans too and you had no idea. You’ve been warned.


‘I’m Not a Summer Clothes Fan, What Do I Do?’

It’s rough. We all love a snuggly hoodie or jacket you can just curl up into. And, so far, we’ve never seen anyone curl up into a pair of swimming shorts with quite the same amount of comfort. Remember, no one’s saying you have to wear shorts and a t-shirt 24/7 so there’s no reason why you can’t just wear whatever you’re comfortable in. Just make sure you’re not going to risk your health so you can wear your fur coat. 


For more LOL’s, memes and summer vibes, follow our Instagram @Ditchthelabel.

Got another question? Ask us below!

We get it. With all the fun in the sun to be had over the next few weeks, if there is one thing that is dead certain to happen over the summer break is you will eventually (or pretty quickly) find yourself with £0.13 in your Monzo account. That’s why we have come up with a list of the best ideas of things you can do super cheaply or completely free with your pals this summer. So, it might not be a day in Thorpe Park or a weekend in Barcelona, but it’s the company that counts. 

1) Go for walk/run 

It might seem super simple, but if you have the right company, just getting outside and going for a walk can be a great way to spend some time in the summer, especially if there are a few nice places near you. Before you know it you’ll have walked a few miles, and not even noticed. 

2) Commandeer a dog 

With owner permission of course, take a dog for a long walk. There is nothing that will make you want to be out in the sun more than having a furry friend to join you. If you don’t know anyone with one, sign up to Borrow My Doggy and match with pets in your area! 

 

3) Road trip somewhere for the day 

If one of your squad has a car to hand, have everyone chuck a few pounds petrol money their way and head somewhere a little further afield than the local shops for the day.  

4) Bake something delicious 

Get together and make like Mary Berry by raiding the kitchen cabinets and whipping up something delicious. We get first dibs on anything though, since we gave you the idea. 

 

5) Get crafty

You could try getting together and upcycling your wardrobe, even swapping clothes in the process, start a YouTube channel, paint, sew, glue or do whatever you do when you want to be creative.  

6) Set up your own cinema 

Seen loads of ads for those adorable (and not cheap) outdoor cinemas that spring up all over the country for the summer months? Make your own! Grab your pals, all the beanbags, cushions and blankets you can gather and set up the TV looking out into the garden. Then, wait for it to get dark and put on the feature film of the evening. Just add hot chocolate and popcorn. 

7) Photoshoooot

In need of a new profile photo for the ‘gram? Or maybe your friend needs to bulk out their Tinder profile with some brand spanking new shots to match the new season? Whatever the reason is, you can kill a few hours by heading outside at golden hour and grab a few pics that will have the likes rolling in until September. 

 

8) Set up a yoga group 

Get your spiritual on by setting a little yoga group in your garden. Some YouTube tutorials, a couple of yoga mats (if needs be, raid your Dad’s camping equipment for the sleeping mats) and you’re in for a relaxing time.

9) Sports tournament

Organised team sports the thing that you all have in common? Have a tournament this summer. If you are feeling super extra, you could always do a mini Olympics – winner gets cake and eternal glory. 

10) Have a throwback sleepover 

Miss those times when you and your pals would stay up late watching terrible movies? Why not recreate it this summer! Grab your mates, some throwback films and the cheapest snacks you can get your hands on. You can even raid the kitchen cupboards for some homemade face mask ingredients, or whack out the oldest video game you own and have a little tournament. 

 

11) Join a beach/park clean 

Get your environmental on this summer and volunteer with your pals to clean up the world we live in a little. Some even do it with silent disco headphones to keep you entertained with some sweet tunes whilst you’re doing your bit for the planet. 

12) Swim somewhere for free

If you are lucky enough to live near the sea, the chances are the beach will have a decent lifeguard on duty and all of the atlantic ocean for free (ok not all, a small portion near the shore). Make sure if you are thinking of heading to a lake or river, it is safe to swim and has a lifeguard on duty though! 

13) Pack a picnic

This one will cost as much as a meal deal or a few bags of crisps. Hit the local shop and try and get the best deal possible on snacks before heading to the nicest picnic spot you can think of. Take a few tunes on Spotify and a decent speaker and you’ve got a great afternoon with your pals.

In need some summer vibes? For daily inspiration, cute pics, memes and loads more, follow us on Instagram @ditchthelabel

Going away with your mates sounds like the dream right? Sun, sea, sand and so so much fun with the people you love most on the planet. Well you might think it might be like living it up in the Love Island villa, but it just might not quite go that way…

Destination

It’s going to be jetting off to somewhere ridiculously hot and sunny with waves and sandy beaches and beautiful people everywhere to spend two weeks doing nothing but lounging on pool floats.

Or…

You end up camping in the pouring rain in the peak district because someone’s mum won’t let them fly and someone else spent all their money for the summer on what turned out to be a fake Glastonbury ticket. 

 

Accommodation 

That paradise you were talking of? There is a villa there, with a private pool and views so beautiful it would put an Instagram influencer’s sponsored PR trip to shame. 

Or…

Turning up somewhere in sunny Europe and eight of you are crammed into a tiny two-bedroom Air BnB which definitely did not mention that it was home to several stray cats on the ad when you booked it, right? Or worse still, your mate packed that tent he didn’t return after Duke of Edinburgh that has grown some interesting stuff since it was last out of its bag. 

 

Pool life

Chilling on a pool float feeling fabulous, cold drink in hand, shades on. The only reason you would have to even remove yourself from this nirvana is to go to the bathroom. 

Or…

Sharing an overcrowded pool with a hundred other people and children, who have zero chill and instead scream wildly at everyone and everything

 

Food

Banquets of local food, barbecues on the huge grill on the villa deck, ice cream at every opportunity. And of course, we can’t forget the metric tonne of Lays crisps that you will be munching your way through poolside

Or…

Every meal time will be a Hunger Games in more ways than one, as all of you fight over where to go, getting so starving in the process that you end up with a sweaty cheese sandwich from the corner shop

 

There you have it! And don’t worry guys, we’re sure that your mates holiday this year will be better than this! Have an awesome summer!

For more hilarious memes, cute pics and daily inspiration, follow out Instagram @ditchthelabel

It’s International Kissing Day! To celebrate, we wanted to bring you a list of things about first kisses everyone knows to be true. Whether it’s your first one ever or the first one in a new relationship, there are some hilarious things about them that are pretty much universal. 

1) The awkward pre-kiss chat 

 

Trying to segway from standing and talking into kissing can be a bumpy transition, and everyone has probably had to stop themselves from cringing at their partners’ awkward intros. 

2) Suddenly you become very aware that you have hands 

 

Why do you have them? What do you do with them? It’s weird to leave them by your sides hanging like low branches. But is it worse to get them all up in their hair and body when it’s the first kiss? Basically, it’s the only time in the entirety of human existence that having hands becomes a problem.

3) …and teeth

 

Kissing with teeth. Ouch. Sometimes, when you are kissing someone for the first time, it can take a minute or two to get used to each other, and that can mean teeth get bashed. Not cool. 

4) The awkward post-kiss chat 

 

After you’ve kissed, then what? Talk about the weather? 

5) It’s going to be scalding hot tea for your group chat

 

So, you know everyone in the crew is going to be super pumped for you, and as soon as you drop this knowledge in the group chat, you know there will be GIFs flying around every few seconds. 

6) Afterwards, you are feeling yourself 

 

We don’t know if it’s the feeling of being desirable, or some hormone stuff going down in your brain, but is there anything quite like the confidence you have after a kiss? 

7) And let’s not forget it is fun AF

 

Whilst it can be super awkward, and painfully cringy, a good kiss is super fun and there is no denying that. 

8) But ultimately, whether it’s your first kiss ever, or the first for you and your partner, it’s all yours. 

 

Remember that no matter how it goes, that kiss was all yours for the pair of you. Whether it was with a new person or it was the first time you’ve ever been kissed, it is something that was special for you guys. Even if it was a bit cringy at times, you own it.

Feeling like you wanna chat to someone about relationships? Reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here, and we will listen to you.

It is pretty much a universal truth that just when you are free for a week, that’s the one that all your mates pack their bags and head off on holiday with their families. Well, to save you from being stuck indoors all week waiting for them to return like a dog whose owner has gone to work, we put together a list of ideas that can keep you busy whilst their gone. 

1) Start that YouTube you’ve always planned on 

It might finally be time to buy that vlogging camera you’ve had your eye on for weeks and start your YouTube channel. Whether it’s beauty blogging, sports talk or move reviews, throwing yourself into a new project like that will be pretty great at keeping you occupied. Plus, it will be great to learn some video shooting and editing skills for when they get back and you can record the best summer ever. 

 

2) Get crafty

You don’t have to be particularly artistic to get a bit crafty during your spare time. Your thing doesn’t just have to be painting but could be making birthday cards, customising your clothes, making some collage art for presents or just getting in the kitchen. Even the worst baker in the world can make a basic cupcake, trust us. Plus, it will probably earn you some points with the parents when you whip up some tasty treats.

3) Get outside and active 

Run, hike, cycle, swim, take the dog for a walk. Try and get outside for at least an hour every day when the sun is shining and do something a bit active. Not only will it take your mind off what all your pals are up to, but it’s great for de-stressing the mind and body. Plus, you might end up with a tan to rival theirs when they get home. Win win. 

4) Learn something new 

All this free time is a great chance to level up in life and learn something new. It can be a few bits and pieces of a language that can help you out on holiday, how to skateboard or just breaking your keepie-up record. 

 

5) Plan your next trip 

Got your family holiday coming up? Beat the jealousy that might be creeping in by this point by having a look at where you are going. Try coming up with a list of suggestions for activities when you are there and some of the local food and drink you want to try when you are over. Dreaming of pizza in Rome or paella in Spain is way better than sitting around thinking about what all your pals are up to. Having a staycation? Look up local food places to wherever you’re going – make finding the best ice cream in Cornwall or welsh cakes in Swansea your mission. 

6) Switch up your look

Why not take this time to switch things up a bit and try a new look? Experiment with new outfits, change your hair, hit the shops. It’s a great way to kick start a bit of spring cleaning – by getting rid of everything you don’t wear anymore. Speaking of which…

7) Marie Kondo it

When the weather is a bit crap and you are bored as hell, take to your room and spend an afternoon clearing out all the stuff you don’t love or use anymore. Be ruthless with yourself and try to get two big bin bags full of stuff to take down the charity shop. You won’t be spending all your time thinking about your pals, you’ll feel better for having a clutter free space, and you’ve done a good deed too. If you put a bit of music on, or your favourite movie, you won’t even notice that what you are doing is actually the cleaning your parents have been begging you to do all year. 

 

8) Suggest a day trip with the family 

One of the best things that can come out of your friends leaving you is that there is now loads of time to catch up with those closest to you. Why not suggest a day trip to the beach, the cinema or a family shopping trip? 

9) Tie up loose ends 

Chances are, you’ve got a few loose ends to tie up from the past school year that will be hanging over your head until September. Sort your books and bits out, get rid of all the post exam notes you never want to look at again, and do the work you’ve been set for the break, if any. We know it isn’t exactly what you want to be doing, but summer will be way better once it’s done and you can forget about it. 

10) Cook for your family 

It’s time to do your best impression of your favourite TV chef and whip up something delicious to treat the family. Make a day of it by choosing your menu, buying all the ingredients and cooking everything from scratch. Pop a film on your iPad and get your chef’s hat on because you are gonna crush it. 

 

11) Remember – everyone will be home soon

Before you know it, all your buddies will be back in force to hang out and do stupid stuff with you. Hang in there! 

For summer vibes, inspirational quotes and loads more, follow us on Instagram @ditchthelabel

School’s (almost) out for summer! You know what that means – roughly 6 weeks of barbeques, beaches and all the best memories with your buddies. Whilst it really doesn’t feel long enough right now when you are buried in the last few weeks of the school year, the summer break can be really bloody long. That’s why we put together this handy guide to getting the most out of your summer so when September rolls around, you have camera roll full of fun to look back on. 

1) Get your work done asap

Got school or uni work to do over the summer? Maybe they’ve saddled you with a few novels to read or an essay to write? Get it done asap! It can be super tempting to leave the summer holiday work until the week before you have to head back to the grind, but this will probably mean that you end up rushing, and getting a worse grade than you usually would. Plus, doing it first will not only mean you can spend the summer without something hanging over your head, but it will help tackle those end of summer blues when the end of August comes around all too quickly. 

 

2) Book early for everything

Train? Book it. Flight? Book it. Dinner? Book it. Lift home from somewhere? Book it. Whether you are needing to get somewhere, get fed or stay overnight, get it sorted. Summer is busy for transport, especially on the big getaway right after school and uni finishes, so make sure you don’t miss out on the best deals. Even if it is just booking with a friend to go around theirs, or asking their mum to pick you up after an event – take the stress out of travelling by getting organised. Just this once. We promise it will make everything else way more fun. 

3) Shared calendars are your friend

Is there anything worse than planning a spontaneous summer barbeque or trip to the beach and your fam reminding you half way through the planning stages that you have your Great Aunt’s 89thbirthday bash that day? Before you and all your pals start getting busy over the summer, share your calendars with each other to find a few dates you all can do and can keep free. Google Calendars will even do all the work for you. 

 

4) Summer job stuff to know 

Thinking of earning a bit of extra $$$ this summer? Let your boss know the dates you can’t do right at the start. Technically if it’s a summer job you are supposed to be covering for people to go on summer holiday, especially if it’s at a tourist place and its peak season. Sometimes though, things can’t be helped, and if you are supposed to be heading to a family wedding or have a non-refundable weekend on the beach with your buds booked in, make sure you let them know as soon as possible. 

 

5) Get your big dates sorted early 

Before you head into the break, make sure your big dates are in the calendar early so there is no risk of double booking. Graduations, weddings, holidays – whatever they may be, make sure you know where you are supposed to be and when. That way, when your best bud tries to arrange their birthday party over one of them, there is no risk of a pretty awkward calendar clash. 

6) Get your budget together BEFORE summer starts 

If there is one absolute certainty every single summer, it’s that by the end of it you will be broke. To save you from having to go around the festival site searching for free samples of living exclusively of Lays when you go on holiday, get a budget together before summer gets into full swing. Give yourself a weekly amount that lets you have fun, treat yourself a little but leaves you enough to make the most out of the big events you have scheduled like festivals and holidays. 

 

7) Be present for family things 

It can be super tempting to stay glued to your phone when you have to spend time with the family over the summer break. Whether it’s sorting out plans for later in the day, some serious tea being spilled in the group chat or getting FOMO from everyone’s Instas, we’re all guilty of keeping phones a little too close when we hang out with parents/siblings/grandparents/cousins etc. Trust us though, the way to get the most out of the summer is to be present in whatever it is you are doing, and enjoy the moment. Even if that is doing something that you think is less fun than your other options. A good tip is to leave the phone in your room for at least the first hour of hanging out with the fam – out of sight out of mind. 

8) Remember – it’s not always about the ‘gram 

Whilst inevitably that mind blowing festival outfit you have, the view from your hotel or that day trip to the seaside is going to find its way on to your IG, remember that summer isn’t all about getting the most likes you can. Try and set yourself social media limits each day, even invest in an instant camera to record your summer instead of your phone. The best thing about summer is not how many people view your story. 

 

For summer vibes, inspirational quotes, cute pics and everything else, follow us on Instagram @ditchthelabel

A group of people on grass field on a sunny day at a festival.

This weekend holds claim to the most famous festival in the world; Glastonbury. But, a long party weekend does not come issue-free. There are plenty of strange situations you may encounter at a festival – some funny, some annoying and some just downright disgusting – so we put together a list of all the weird moments that anyone who’s been (or hopes to) will understand.

1) Tents Becoming Saunas 

If you’re lucky enough to have a sunny weekend then you’ll understand this one. You go to bed all wrapped up in two hoodies, a sleeping bag and a blanket because it’s FREEZING outside but, when you wake up, the sun will have turned your tent into a pod of heat and you’ll be sweating through each one of your layers. But at least it’s sunny hey?

2) Drinking a Warm Drink

We’re all clever savers when it comes to expensive money-traps like festivals. “Eight pound a pint?! No thank you good sir, I shall bring my own”. However, another little secret problem is that, when you bring your own and keep it in your tent, the sun does to your tinnies exactly what it does to you in your tent in the morning and warms them all up. And, let’s be honest, there’s few things more disgusting than drinking something that shouldn’t be served warm.

3) “The Wall”

There is nothing delightful about the toilet facilities at festivals. We’re going to focus on the bizarre system the guys have to use because a) everyone knows how nasty the cubicles are and b) we’d rather not get into it. What nobody tells you is, as a guy, how the urinals work at festivals. It’s literally just a wall with a urinal on it. Doesn’t sound too weird yet right? Well, it’s usually in plain sight. There are events where they’re only twenty-odd metres away from the main stage so essentially everyone, including your favourite artist, can watch you pee. Fantastic.

4) Paying Stupid Amounts for Food

Everything is so expensive at festivals but who allows a burger to be a tenner? That should surely be illegal. Maybe it is gourmet or the buns are fresh and homemade by someone’s nan but that doesn’t mean it’s worth a whole ten pound note. It better be the best burger anyone’s ever had. 

5) No Bags

This ones for the guys out there. Isn’t it rough when you just want to have a place to hold all your cash, suncream, water and everything else you need for the day but toxic masculinity says men shouldn’t have bags? A ridiculous rule of society that needs breaking so, do us a favour, carry a bag and don’t worry about it.

[full-width-figure image=”https://www.ditchthelabel.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/maxime-bhm-icyZmdkCGZ0-unsplash.jpg”]

6) Being in Fancy Dress

Now, if you’re the kind of person that likes a good costume and you’re bound to rope your mates in as well, then you’ve got a big decision to make. What is the best fancy dress for the group? Maybe you’re thinking Power Rangers or Teletubbies, or perhaps you prefer random objects like traffic cones. Whatever you’re thinking, make sure your mates are on board and everyone’s got their costume sorted. The last thing you want is to turn up in full yellow body paint as Homer Simpson only to find out Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie didn’t even bother.

7) Being Asked if Someone Can Sit on Your Shoulders

Chances are, probably if you’re tall, you’ve been in this situation. You’re watching one of your favourite acts, dancing away, and you feel a tap on your shoulder. Maybe it’s a friend (or even a stranger) but they’ll ask if they can sit on your shoulders to see better. You most likely say yes because you’re a nice person only to realise that a whole human person isn’t that light. All of a sudden you’re trapped doing a human weights session in the blazing heat to intensely motivating music; getting flashbacks of the gym.

8) Forgetting to Pack Something

That awful feeling you’ve forgotten something. You can’t quite tell what but it’s definitely something. Then, maybe it’s as soon as you leave the house or even two days into the party, you realise. The socks, the pants, the towel. Something absolutely, desperately vital to your weekend. Why does the mind do this to us? 

9) Flying Bottles of ‘Water’

This is by far one of the most disgusting things that happens at festivals. If you couldn’t tell, the ‘water’ isn’t water and I’m sure you know what it actually is. Apparently, people then throw these bottles full of liquid around the crowd which is absolutely not ideal. Who thought of doing this and, more importantly, why?



10) Not Washing for the Weekend

It’s pretty grim really isn’t it? The idea of not washing once in a whole three or four days. If this is a bit of an issue for you then you’ll probably find things like baby wipes and dry shampoo will be your best friend. Or you could just embrace the funk? You’ll probably be dirty, sweaty and smell a bit but try not to worry because so will everyone else and you’ll all be having the time of your life.

Despite all of these weird and wonderful issues you might find yourself in, a festival with your best mates can be one of the greatest experiences of your life. So be sensible, safe and enjoy yourself and you’ll have an awesome time.

For daily inspiration, motivational quotes and cute pics you can follow our Instagram @Ditchthelabel.

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the sea is for swimming and we are here for it. The only thing is, summer can be a bit of a rollercoaster ride for those of us who are dealing with acne. The sun can make it better, the sun can make it worse (same for basically every supposed ‘remedy’ out there right?!) That’s why we have put together this list of 9 hilarious summer struggles that everyone with acne knows to be true. 

1) The sun can be your friend

When summer first gets going, you are loving it. The initial effects of the sun can help to reduce the appearance of acne as you tan, so basically you are living your best life. 

 

2) And then it turns on you 

The friendly sun that started off by making you feel like a million dollars can quickly turn into a giant ball of fire you really resent. You know that soon, the heat will make you sweat and weather your skin, and then summer can pretty much just go die in a hole. 

 

3) Sun cream is a legit nightmare 

Greasy, slippery, impossible to rub in and completely necessary. Not using it is not an option, but when you leave it at home by accident and the only thing on offer is a super thick and greasy off-brand factor 50, it is not exactly your best friend in the world. 

 

4) Flare ups are sure to happen before that huge event 

Whether it’s a family wedding, your big holiday this year or just that BBQ round your mates that you’ve been waiting for forever, it always seems to be that the acne that you have done so well at taming so far this summer comes back with a fiery vengeance. 

 

5) Dream holidays can become a nightmare pretty quickly 

When you’ve spent months dreaming of sun and sand, is there really anything worse than getting on holiday and your skin deciding it didn’t want to be there? Being on the beach can mean abrasive sand friggin’ EVERYWHERE which, with a flare up, means the pain of a thousand needles in your body. Add to that the inevitable sun burn you get, and your dream holiday can quickly turn into two weeks sat inside the hotel room playing scrabble with your mum. 

 

6) ‘I WILL NOT ITCH. I WILL NOT ITCH.’ 

Dry skin is an occupational hazard for anyone anywhere in the summer, but combine that with acne and probably a bit of sea water, chlorine and rising temperatures and you are bound to run into trouble. 

7) You have to buy a whole new bathroom cabinet

Each new season rolls around and suddenly you have to spend a small fortune on all the new lotions and potions you need to make it through the other side. Lighter moisturisers, heavy night creams, retinols and washes – it’s some serious dollar to be spending every few months. 

 

8) Summer ads can be a bit of a bummer  

Smooth skin and perfect tans legit everywhere, in every ad, on social media and every single online shop. Even if we don’t like to admit it, it can make you feel pretty bad.  The important thing to remember is that no one looks like those bodies or has skin like that, half the time not even the people in the adverts.

9) But it doesn’t matter, because you are beautiful no matter what

No matter if you have acne, scars, spots, freckles or anything else, you are still beautiful. Even though all these things might be true if you are struggling with acne this summer, that does not mean that you should stop yourself from doing what you love, seeing mates, or making new memories with the people you love. You are not your acne, never let that shit stop you. 

 

If you are struggling with confidence, you can reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here, and we will listen to you.

Man carries woman to the sea on the beach

The summer of love is here. Caroline Flack is currently ridiculously tanned and standing on the edge of a pool in a villa, that 12 young and beautiful soon-to-be reality TV stars will be entering later. In case you didn’t know, Love Island is the guilty pleasure TV show that defines the summer for millions of people across the country as 12 people enter a villa looking for love. But, it’s been pretty hard to miss the criticism it’s come under lately for lack of aftercare for the people thrust into the limelight in a matter of weeks, especially bad given the online trolling culture that surrounds the show. It can also be a bit of a difficult watch for some people, as the screen is dominated by tiny waists, burning hot tans and a different swimsuit every single day. This is all why we wanted to put together a little list of 7 things to remember for everyone before you get stuck into the show.

 

1) The contestants are people too

Given it is usually one of the biggest television events of the year, it’s unsurprising that everyone starts talking about it pretty early on and doesn’t shut up until the finale later in the summer. The thing is, a lot of the discussions around it are often negative, making fun of, selling stories or spreading rumours about the contestants. Not only do they have no way of standing up for themselves until they get voted off, meaning they actually can’t even be a part of the discussion about themselves, but it can be pretty hard on their mental health. Remember before entering into this type of talk that the people, even though they may be miles away and on TV, are people with emotions and families and feelings who will probably be hurt by what is being said. 

2) Think before you hate

Before you write a negative comment about one of the contestants on Twitter, think about why you want to do that. Is it to join in a healthy conversation, or is it just for the sake of being negative? It is always good to think about the reasons behind why you want to post something before doing it, especially when it comes to complete strangers who you only know through the TV. Remember that the only portion of their lives is the tiny bit of it that you see on screen, and there could be a lot more going on with them than meets the eye. 

3) Reality TV is not all it’s cracked up to be 

It can look good though right? Despite all the hate and memes, who wouldn’t want to go and live in a villa for weeks for free to come out to an instant career and maybe find love in the process? Reality TV, it turns out, is always pretty far from reality for the rest of us, and Love Island is no exception. It can be really stressful, they are never allowed to leave until they are kicked off, there is no contact with your usual support network and little help to sort your life out when you leave, which is now changed beyond recognition. So, before you jump on the internet and start to fill out your application, remember it isn’t as easy as it looks. 

4) You are beautiful 

Something Love Island is pretty guilty of is making everyone feel terrible about themselves and their body. Even this year, despite claiming ‘body diversity’, the biggest contestant is a small UK size 10, and there is next to no ethnic diversity in there either. If watching it is making you feel bad about the way you look, the only thing to do is to take a break from it. Explain to friends or work mates who are watching it too why you have taken a little hiatus from the island and they will be sure to understand, and maybe even join you. 

5) Every body is a beach body 

The tans, the legs, the chiselled abs. It is important to remember that so many other things are not represented in the villa. Body hair, stretched marks, spots, freckles, big, little, tall, short and every skin type and colour makes a beach body, not just that narrow sample. If you are feeling like your self-esteem has taken a knock from it, try telling yourself 3 positive things to yourself in the mirror every morning before you get ready. It might sound stupid, but it can make your confidence leap forward. 

6) ‘Pulling’ culture does not define you 

Sometimes, Love Island can make it seem like pulling people is the only thing that matters, literally because that is the entire purpose of the show. It is important to remember that you are so much more than the amount of people you can ‘pull’. Especially for guys, the pressure can really be there to perform, and rack up numbers every single weekend. You are much more than that, and you have a lot more to offer the dating world than that. 

7) Not all relationships are represented 

One of the most obvious things missing from Love Island is any representation of LGBT+ relationships. It is really important to remember that just because this TV show does not represent them does not mean they are not valid relationships to be a part of. Love is love. The island may be super heteronormative at the moment, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world has to be.

If you are dealing with any of these issues, from low self esteem to coming out, you can reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here and we will listen to you.

Person sits on steps in summer

Summmmmahhhhh! The days are longer, it’s getting warmer, the winter coats are firmly lodged under the bed and they are not coming out again for a while. But, whilst we cannot wait for the barbeques and the beach, shopping for clothes for summer can be a totally crappy experience. When it seems like the rest of the world is running around in short shorts, t shirts and swimsuits, shopping for summer can be intimidating at best, and panic inducing at its worst. That’s why we want to give you guys a few ideas so that shopping for summer doesn’t have to fill you with dread but might actually be fun. Who knew?!

 

1) Get rid of everything that doesn’t fit anymore

We’ve all done it at some point. Saved a pair of shorts in the hope that one day we might fit into them again, only for them to haunt us through summer after summer. Well no more! Gather up everything from past summers that doesn’t fit and give it to the charity shop, or even sell it online to make a bit of extra cash for your new haul. Trust us – you will feel so much better for it and can start fresh without the ghost of shorts past guilt tripping you for enjoying an ice cream. 

2) Limit yourself to a few things 

Break down what you need to buy for your upcoming holidays and do it a bit at a time. ASOS can be intimidating AF with 1000s of products and waaaaay too much choice, so every time you decide you are going to add to the haul, just focus on one or two things at a time. Plus, shopping IRL is stressful without the added nightmare of having to buy an entire wardrobe worth of clothes in one go. 

 

3) Invest in something that will last 

Try to get one or two things that will last you for a few years. Not only is it waaaay better for the environment and your purse strings, it should make sure there is no way near as much pressure next year as there is this time around. In fact, it will even make this bout of shopping hell easier, knowing that it’s one less thing that future you will not have to worry about. 

4) If in doubt – shop shoes and accessories 

We all have low self-esteem days, and it seems like the great cosmic joke of the universe that these always coincide with when we have to be hitting changing rooms all over town. When you are feeling like this, trying on clothes, especially ones that show a lot of skin, is a total nightmare. Instead of making it worse, try shoes, bags and everything else that you might need without having to get into an actual poorly lit, hot and sweaty changing room. It will save your self esteem and still get stuff done – win win! 

5) Don’t always shop the trend 

It can be really hard to know what your personal style is. But going in for every summer trend will end up giving you a wardrobe that is somehow full neon, wicker, gingham and flowers (not that there is anything wrong with that!) What we mean is that buying what the rest of the world is telling you to buy is a pretty quick way to feel bad about yourself. You are amazing – so shop for what makes you feel comfortable and like you! 

6) Put a time limit on it 

If online shopping is your bag, but you just can’t face the 1000000s of items that you can magically make arrive at your door the next day, put a time limit on your shopping moment. Set your phone timer for half an hour, and use that time to browse just one or two sites. If you haven’t found anything – don’t stress, it wasn’t meant to be this time. Take a step back from it and do something you enjoy instead. 

7) Remember, it’s not the end of the world 

The rest of the world can make us feel like not getting the perfect shorts, t shirt or shoes for the summer is literally the worst thing ever. Combined with the volume of magazines, websites and social media posts dedicated to achieving the ‘perfect summer body’, it can make you feel pretty damn terrible when you can’t achieve it. The thing is though, it isn’t the end of the world. You will still go on that holiday you’ve been excited about for ages, you will still go to your mates barbeque and have a great time – shopping for summer can be stressful, but summer shouldn’t be. 

If you feel like you need to talk to someone about anxiety, or any other issue, reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.