As Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2020 is upon us, we caught up with body positive Instagram star and advocate for eating disorder recovery, @_nelly_london.

Tell us a bit about yourself

So my name is Nelly and I am a body positive influencer. My content mainly focuses on lingerie and fashion but I also talk a lot about eating disorder recovery and my personal journey.

When did you realise you had an issue with food?

I struggled to realise I ever had a problem because my issues started so early on, essentially I grew up with a very skewed view on food, eating and body image. From as young as I can remember I know I hated by body and I thought that food was the reason for that, so there was never a specific moment I realised I had a problem, I guess I just always had.

What was your experience of eating disorders?

Eeesh good question haha. So I started to experience disordered eating behaviours when I was about 12, these developed from there and at my worst stage of disordered eating I was suffering from 3 eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder) concurrently and my life was controlled entirely by food and thoughts about food. I was also periodically abusing laxatives, something that has unfortunately caused permanent damage to my digestive system.

Woman standing in Ditch the Label T Shirt that says 'Woman Up'

What was your experience of recovery?

Finding help was the hardest part. I had been to my GP multiple times and received no help whatsoever. I had so many setbacks, so many doctors telling me that they didn’t think I had a problem because I was actually overweight and didn’t meet their criteria. When I think about that now I honestly feel so sad, I was suffering an indescribable amount and was extremely unwell, both mentally and physically, but at least 3 doctors told me I was fine. After years or trying, I was lucky enough to find an amazing eating disorder specialist who honestly saved my life. I was in an incredibly privileged position as when I finally asked my parents for help, they were able to take me to a private clinic. If it wasn’t for the help I received there I don’t know what my life would be like today.

What helped you most in your recovery?

Learning that recovery is not linear was a really important lesson that I learned. I used to really beat myself up if I had a setback or slipped back into dangerous habits, but when I finally realised that healing would involve a lot of ups and downs I was able to be a lot more forgiving of myself. There definitely were a lot of ups and downs, but I was supported throughout them all.

How have you found life since? What’s the best thing about your life since recovery?

When I was at my worst I honestly and truly believed that that would be my life forever. I thought I would spend my entire existence trying to lose weight and being controlled by food. I accepted the fact that I would never see my friends, I would never experience fun or exciting things, I would never have any meaningful relationships with partners because the only committed relationship I was ever capable of having would be with my eating disorder. So the fact that I now have an incredibly fulfilling life is the biggest blessing I could ever ask for. If 18 year old me saw the things I was doing now she would never believe it.

Woman in body positive social media campaign

Your social media is very body positive, how has the bopo community helped in your recovery?

I think discovering the bopo community completely changed my outlook on life (honestly!). I had no idea that there were men and women out there genuinely embracing their bodies and celebrating their “imperfections”. It was such a breath of fresh air to realise that not everyone is a perfect size 8, hourglass figured, smooth skinned, perfectly dressed goddess. I now no longer compare myself and my body to everyone I see on Instagram, instead I admire the beauty and uniqueness of all different bodies. Again, something I never thought would be possible.

So do you think you are truly recovered and your eating disorders are behind you?

This is such a tricky one. Whilst I now live an amazing life that I am completely in love with, I know that I will be working on my behaviours around food for the rest of my life. I still have days where I need to consciously make an effort to not let problematic thoughts control me, but other days I forget I even ever had an illness.

Is there any advice you can give to someone in recovery now?

Know that it won’t be a smooth road to recovery, but that’s totally okay and you will get there.

Use your support system whenever you need to, don’t feel like you are a burden to anyone and asking for help or just a bit of support is really important.

Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s, everyone is different and your journey is yours and yours alone, don’t feel bad if you think your progress is slower than others.

Look forward to the future but experience the present. Although you might not be exactly where you want to be, right now is important, don’t wish it away.

You’ve got this.


If you think you are suffering from an eating disorder, or know someone who is, you can get help and advice at Beat Eating Disorders here.

At Ditch the Label, we can also offer help and advice regarding this or any other issue you are concerned about. Reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.

It’s LGBT history month! So we caught up with Sam Stanley, one of the first openly gay rugby players, to chat about rugby, pride, and how he dealt with coming to terms with his sexuality in an industry where very few had already done so.

Hi Sam, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sure, I’m an English born boy from Thurrock in Essex, raised by a Kiwi (someone from New Zealand) father and an English mother. I’ve Samoan heritage also. 

I played rugby from the age of 4 and ever since I can remember, it was my dream to play it professionally. My uncle was an All Black and so my father, as well as his other brothers, made sure their children would have rugby in their blood!

I would say I was around 10 years old when I started feeling different to what I was “supposed” to feel. Almost like my emotions weren’t in tact and that I was pretty strange feeling the way I did.

Being a rugby player, there’s this apparent “macho” way of being that you’re supposed to live up to so you can imagine the fear of thinking I may be gay. I say this because growing up, and even now I still hear, being gay for some reason meant you were less of a man – camp, effeminate, soft etc I’ve heard them all. People even tell me now how “it’s nice because you don’t act like a gay person”. If I acted like “a gay person” would you think of me differently? Maybe we’re all just very judgemental!!

Anyway long story short, I’m an out and proud gay man moving between London and Sicily with my partner Laurence. We’ve had a place in Sicily since 2013 and lived here for 18 months previously; having been together now for 9 years.

You played a very high level and touring with the England Sevens in the World Series, how did that feel to represent your country?

For me it was the icing on the cake having had numerous knee operations and struggling to stay fit.

I played at Saracens previously, having risen through their academy. I only managed a handful of first team appearances here and there, however, as I found myself sidelined a lot through injury. Maybe I should have played golf.

I’m just grateful that Simon Amor gave me the opportunity to do so and loved my time playing 7s. Met some awesome people along the way.


You’ve mentioned your mum being a huge support, what do you think that did for you when you were coming to terms with your identity?

Well at first I think Mum struggled to come to terms with it. We actually kept it a secret as her view was a protective one. She had gay friends growing up so not that that was the issue but more from the point of view of ‘What will it do for your career? If a coach is homophobic it might be detrimental to your progression’ etc. Also, she was afraid at what my siblings & father would say.

No disrespect to my mum but it was actually my ex girlfriend who was a huge support and helped push things forward for me. I consider her my best friend and I’m her gay best friend haha! I’m lucky I have numerous supportive people around me. My brother, sister, father, aunties, uncles… too many to name.

How did it feel to be hiding your sexuality from your teammates?

It was the worst feeling to be honest. Having to see them day in day out making sure I had my lies down to a tee. Not being able to be open about who I really was, what I got up to at weekends. The only real social life I had in rugby was when I had to be at a function or something. I’d try and avoid going out with the boys every time, at least until I was honest about who I am, which was the best feeling in the world. It was a huge weight to carry and I hate the fact that so many people go through this.

What was the response from your teammates like when you did come out? Did anything change?

Yes a lot changed! The boys were great. I was playing 7s at the time so quite a tight knit group of only 18 full time players then. Lots of questions asked, obviously, and people were taking an interest in what it was like. It gave me lots of confidence and I was able to be training and playing without that fear anymore. 

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Did you receive any negative comments online after coming out? How do you deal with that?

Not directly but certainly indirectly that I saw on some threads. I think I’m responsible enough to know anyone can make an account and hide behind it. Negative comments I just tried to overlook. You’ve just got to laugh it off really.

How does it feel to see great ally support online and recently at London Pride from big name players in the game like Drew Mitchell, James Haskell, Chris Robshaw and plenty more?

Oh it’s great to see! Such progress in rugby and its inclusiveness. These guys just keep helping the cause. They certainly seem to be making it easier for players to be themselves. It would have been awesome to see the support back when I was struggling. I admire Drew Mitchell for his support, particularly with the issue over Israel Folau. They were teammates and as similar playing positions may have been pretty close at one point. Probably most players that disagreed [with Folau] kept quiet so it’s great to see others speak up! 

What advice would you give to a young sports player who is also coming to terms with their identity?

I think it’s a tough one all the time because there’s a lot to coming out. What are their family and friends like? Will they be supportive? Can the person support themselves or be supported if things don’t go so well?

From experience, I can say now that things have been great since being able to be truthful. Not having to hide your life really is incredible.

What’s the best thing about being in the prominent position you’re in and having come out?

That having shared my story helped others come to terms with themselves. I love receiving messages of support from those that have found courage because of what I have done. It really makes it all worthwhile.

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Sam’s story is nothing short of inspiring and he’s a downright awesome bloke. For more from him, be sure to follow his Instagram @samstannerz.

For more interviews, inspiring stories and everyday motivation, follow our Instagram @ditchthelabel.

Model, activist and overall good guy Max Hovey writes in one of our guest blogs about how to face up to and overcome your fears.

“The best way to get over your fears is to face them!” Ugh, really? When you’re scared of something, literally the LAST thing you want to do is that thing. But, as much as we all hate to hear that piece of advice, unfortunately it works.

For me, it was travel anxiety. The thought of going anywhere new, no matter how I’d get there, would make my heart go at 100 miles per hour and I would just feel sick. To be fair, I thought I’d literally never get over it, then I went on Celebs Go Dating (please, judge me) and everything started to change. For this I had no choice other than to travel, but it was all booked for me (so at least that one was one part that I didn’t have to deal with). This involved a train up to London, and then getting the underground to the venue. For the entire duration of this journey I was pretty much in panic mode but, once I was there, I was absolutely fine and felt like I’d accomplished something I was afraid of. And that was milestone number 1. 



The next step was that I booked and arranged to travel to Belgium on the Eurostar (by myself!). Surprisingly this was actually super easy. I planned it all, figured it all out, and also didn’t get lost. I was only there for 3 days but still this could have been really daunting. However, after my more and more frequent travelling by train, I’d become confident and so I wasn’t actually as nervous about this. In fact, a large part of the anxiety had passed and I was allowing myself to feel excited. Ticked off milestone number 2.

The final stage was then flying by myself, and making my own way to the airport by train. I know this all sounds very dramatic, but for me it was super daunting and I know many other people that worry about it. It’s easy to panic about being in the right place, at the right time, going in the right direction, having all of the right things and so on. It’s the same as any fear; you overthink! On the surface, flying seems scarier but you literally cannot go wrong – unless you go to the wrong airport, but I mean like how? You can’t get on the wrong plane, they literally do not let you so its actually really straightforward. And so again, I did it. I got the train from my hometown with all of my luggage to London, and then the train down to Heathrow, followed by the process of flying by myself. Milestone number 3? Crushed it.



What I’ve learned from this is that overcoming your fears takes time. It will not happen overnight and it will take more than one act of bravery. For me it has been gradual; well over a year. Now, I’m comfortable travelling up to London all of the time by myself, constantly going to places that I’ve never even heard of and just taking it my stride. I never thought I’d have the confidence to do so, but I do. And if ever in doubt, just ask someone! To this day I still feel the need to double check with people and that’s ok. 

So, if you want to get over your fear, then girl you’re gonna have to face it!

For more from Max, follow his Instagram @max_hovey.

Check out Max’s last article on being the last single friend in the group here.

We are in middle of a great big summer of love and Pride here at Ditch the Label, and as part of the celebrations, we’ve teamed up with one of our favourite Instagram couples @glossnoodles, who have brought you their list of ways to survive long-distance love.

We’ve all heard the horror stories about long distance: the cheating, the lying, the overall crappiness of the situation, I could go on. Sure, sometimes those things do happen, but they happen in relationships where people see one another every day, too, and it’s important to remember that. Long distance is hard work, that much is true, but it’s definitely not impossible.

Harriet and I met on Tumblr in the summer of 2016 and we instantly hit it off. The only catch? There was 5000 miles between us – she lived in England; I was in Texas. We talked for a few months and our mutual feelings developed into an online relationship.

Whilst things were pretty easygoing during our ‘honeymoon’ period, much of our 1.5 years apart was, in all honesty, like living in the tenth circle of hell. Tears and tempers began to rock the boat and fill our hearts with fear that things weren’t going to work but, somehow, we simply knew that we had to stick together. And we did.

Since we finally broke the distance in December of 2018, we’ve spent hours reflecting on how things went and how we could have done it better. Now, we want to help others who might be in a similar situation, so we’ve come up with a few quick tips to bear in mind if you’re far away from the one you love.


1) Communicate

There’s nothing more important than this one, in our eyes. Whilst it can be hard to talk about feelings, especially those that are negative, it’s crucial! Letting the bad shit simmer away in the back of your mind may seem like the right choice in the moment – especially if you don’t like confrontation – but the likelihood is that bad shit will eventually bubble over and lead to some even worse shit. In our experience, that meant arguments and feelings getting hurt a lot more than they would have if we’d spoken about things calmly as they arose.

Work through tough feelings like jealousy, insecurity or whatever else might be upsetting you or your significant other is riddled with difficulties. Over distance especially, these things can become amplified. Looking back, we wish that we’d both thought more before we spoke sometimes – sensitivity towards the other party is just as important as speaking your mind.

2) Plan Date Nights

Having date nights were a godsend. When schedules get really busy, setting aside at least one night each week to FaceTime or Skype and do something together can really break up the time.

Being so far away, we were limited on what we could do. Still, a few of our favourite ideas we’d like to pass on are things like: watching a film or television show over a screen-sharing platform (like rabb.it), playing online games, eating a meal together (I’d eat lunch as Harriet ate dinner!), drawing or just sitting and chatting with each other!


3) Avoid Excessive Texting

This may seem counterintuitive, but try to avoid texting for the sake of texting. 

We hit a point in our long distance where once we knew what the other was doing that day, it was hard to just spark conversation over text; we found that trying to create conversation could lead to feelings of awkwardness or uneasiness because we felt disjointed, which almost always led to negative feelings within ourselves.

So, if you find yourself struggling over text, just take a bit of time – even 30-45 minutes – and come back and check in later on. Taking a break can feel uncomfortable sometimes, especially if attachment issues are something that either one or both of you feel, but that only makes learning to not talk for the sake of it even more important.

4) If Possible, Plan Visits

Depending on the distance, money and your personal situations this one can be more difficult for some couples than others. But, if you can, planning visits far in advance can be helpful in the sense that it gives you something to look forward to and focus on. A common goal, if you like. 

When we were apart, there was nothing better than planning all the things we were going to do when we were next together – where we’d be going, gifts we were going to give each other and other cute stuff like that!

5) Try Not to Go to Bed Angry

Maybe arguments won’t happen. At the same time, maybe they will. If something does come up, though, it might seem easier to just ignore one another all day and go to bed with it still festering. However, doing that might mean that the problem is still there in the morning, and nobody wants to wake up to that.

For us, there were plenty of nights where we were apart, exhausted and just feeling upset at the distance, but we tried to talk to it out before giving up on the day. It doesn’t work like that for everybody, we’re sure, but it definitely worked for us.


6) Avoid Certain Situations

Distance eventually had us feeling not good enough for one another. We were jealous that we rarely got to spend proper time together like others did with us, and we ended up harboring large amounts of FOMO. We were full of unhealthy feelings that made us feel gross.

After a while, we agreed that when one of us would go on a night out or big weekend away with friends, we wouldn’t bombard the other with loads of pictures, videos, Snapchats, etc. We’re still not sure if this is petty or not, but neither of us meant to have those negative feelings, and we found that setting boundaries actually did help.

7) Focus on Yourself

Finally, if you do find yourself feeling left out, jealous, lonely, upset or emotionally distant from your significant other, try your best to focus on what you can do to help yourself. It can be easy to spiral into a pit of despair (we’ve both spent hours sat in those), so putting your mental wellbeing first is really key if you’re in a situation that involves somebody else so closely.

We would turn to painting, drawing, listening to music, doing yoga, going for a walk, playing with our puppies or watching films. Even talking to somebody can help – don’t underestimate the power of talking, whether it’s about your struggles or about something totally random.

Whilst those things didn’t fix our situation or cure the horrible feelings, it did sometimes help us to zone out a little bit and pass our time in a healthy way. 


Inevitably, long distance can be hard. There can be down days and negative feelings, but it is possible. It’s not how we’d have chosen to do things, but it’s how our relationship played out. The important thing is that we made it through and that, actually, it made us so much stronger as a couple. We learnt so much about ourselves and each other from being apart, and we don’t think we’d have that level of mutual understanding otherwise. Distance is a bitch, but in some ways, we’ve got to thank it. 

For more from Harriet and Alyssa, make sure you follow their Instagram @glossnoodles

If you are struggling with a long distance relationship, or anything else, you can reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.

When shade can be thrown in any comments section, and subtweeting someone seems to be the only way to get stuff off your chest, it can seem like being negative online is a pretty common thing. The thing is, a lot of people don’t realise that the kind of negativity that they take part in online can actually be called cyberbullying, and can get serious.

1 in 3 people have been cyberbullied at some point in their lifetimes, and we are not into that. We do know though that sometimes it can feel easy to do it, like it’s the only way to express yourself, or like it won’t matter. That’s why we have come up with a little checklist of things to think about before you post something negative online, so that hopefully next time you think about doing it, you will make a cup of tea instead. 

1) Why are you posting it? 

Have a think about why you are posting it. Is it to take part in healthy debate and conversation or is it just to hurt someone’s feelings? A good idea is to write a list of as many reasons as you can think of why you feel the need to do it, and a list of reasons why you shouldn’t. Seeing it all written down might give you a bit of perspective on the situation. Plus, the chances are, you won’t be able to come up with that many reasons why you should. 

2) How are you saying it? 

We can all say stuff from time to time that comes across badly when we didn’t mean it to. Especially because we can’t really convey tone on the internet, and a lot of sarcasm, irony or even humour may get lost and taken the wrong way. Before tapping that send button it’s always a good shout to give your comment or message a read through and make sure you aren’t accidentally saying something you don’t mean. 

3) Can the person you are posting it to/about do anything about it? 

Is it a conversation that they can be a part of, offer their side of the story or defend themselves against any allegations that might get made? Imagine if you heard that all this stuff was being said against you behind your back, and you had no way of trying to solve the situation and make things right. It would totally suck, and would probably feel pretty unfair. 

4) Would you say it to their face? 

A big reason why we all find it easy to say negative stuff online is because we can do it from behind a screen, and it is way easier to type insults or rumours than it is to actually say them out loud. Always think if you would feel comfortable saying something to someone’s face before typing it out on your phone and hitting send. 

Plus, even though it might seem like it can be easy to be anonymous on social media, everything that you put out there is staying there until you take it down for the most part, and there is absolutely no guarantee it will stay anonymous forever. There is always going to be the possibility that you get in trouble for it somewhere down the line, or affect your career, relationships, school records and in the most serious of cases, could land you in trouble with the law. Not chill, huh? 

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5) How do you feel right now?

If you are thinking about saying something mean or negative online to or about someone, it might be a good idea to check in with yourself first. It might be that there is something going on with you that you didn’t even realise was making you want to behave this way. If there is, try talking to a trusted family member or friend about it first.

Usually, when we feel like posting something negative it is because we are already feeling a bit rubbish ourselves. If you don’t feel like you have someone to talk to about what’s going on with you right now, you can always talk to us. Reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here, and we will listen to you no matter what.

6) How do you think it will make you feel afterwards?

So, it’s actually a proven thing that the more we think negatively about other people, the more we beat ourselves up too. The chances are, you won’t actually be feeling that great about yourself after you’ve commented or slid into someone’s DMs with something mean. Reprogramming your thoughts into nice ones is a great way to stop your brain in its tracks, and will actually help you to think more positively about yourself. 

Grab a pen and paper and write whatever the negative thing is that you want to send. Then underneath it, write a reason why you shouldn’t, how it might make the other person feel, or something nice instead. Seeing this written out in front of you in your own handwriting might help you to see why it isn’t the best idea. By writing something nice instead, you might be able to see how being kinder is easier and how it even makes you feel better. 

7) Is it because they are famous/an influencer etc? 

Just because someone is famous or has loads of followers, doesn’t mean they won’t care what is said about them. They are humans too with feelings and emotions, and families and lives that might be affected by what you say. It can be super easy to forget that when they seem to only exist on Instagram or in tabloids, but they aren’t immune to feeling bad. Check out this piece with influencer @foodfitnessflora about how negativity has changed her life.

8) How will it affect their lives? 

There’s a good chance that whatever you say will have an actual impact on someone’s life. We know it might not seem like it when there is a screen and probably hundreds or maybe even thousands of miles between you, but whatever gets put out into the universe has the power to make waves and to damage someone’s life, career or relationship beyond repair. 

9) How would it affect you if you were on the receiving end? 

Ok so we know this is the kind of thing your teacher or your Mum used to say when they wanted to prove a point, but actually feeling empathy for other people is super important before you decide to say or send something negative online. If those notifications came popping up on your screen, the chances are you would feel a bit crap about the whole thing. 

If you want to talk to someone about online bullying or harassment, you can reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.

Are you an Introvert, Extrovert or Ambivert?

Do you thrive in group situations or create your best work when alone? Are you a talker or a listener? Find out what it all means by answering 7 questions…

Being an introvert is different to being ‘shy’ or unconfident, if you feel like you have low self-esteem or low confidence, join our community to talk about it or check out these articles for more advice:

So, you would have had to be living in a sea cave for the past week to have not noticed the ‘James Charles is Cancelled’ drama that has unfolded across the internet. Twitter went into full meltdown when several Kardashians hit the unfollow button in the wake of Tati Westbrook’s exposé, and YouTube has blown up with multiple videos dissecting the drama. Cancel culture is a huge part of internet life these days, with someone seemingly getting thrown under the bus every few months by former friends, colleagues and total strangers. It might not seem like it, but there are things we can all learn about life online from the James Charles saga, which is why we threw together this quick list. 

1) People are allowed to make mistakes 

Not all mistakes are equal. And the reaction to some of the stuff James has done seems to be more aggressive and personal than the internet reaction to major issues going on in the world today. Logan Paul wasn’t even cancelled this hard, and what he did was arguably a lot worse. Holding influencers to account for what they do and say is important, because we all listen to them at some point right? But having millions of people pointing out your mistakes must be pretty tough.

It is not the mistakes that we all make that should make us who we end up being, but how we handle them. So, if you fall out with a buddy, even if you are super stubborn and convinced you are in the right (#guilty), try reaching out to sort out the situation. It will give you a good idea of where you stand, and can be the first stepping stone to fixing your mistake. 

2) We get to make mistakes in private 

We all make mistakes. We have all fallen out with friends, said stuff we didn’t mean, done things we regret. The thing is, we all get to do this in private. With this playing out in the public arena, mostly on YouTube, every little mistake made in the history of his social media career is up for grabs by the entire world. We are pretty lucky that we can make similar mistakes in our own lives and only have to answer to a handful of people we might have hurt, not 16 million. This is true of pretty much every famous person, so have a think about the mistakes you have made and resolved in your own life before writing a negative comment to them online – we are all as likely to make mistakes as each other, famous or not. 

3) You cannot change someone’s sexuality

So, one of the things Tati mentioned was that James would always go after straight guys, even try and ‘change’ their sexuality. Whether someone is gay, straight, bisexual or anything else, their sexuality is their business and it isn’t for you to change. It is completely possible for your sexuality to be fluid throughout your life, but you can’t change someone else’s. After all, it’s theirs.  

4) It is ok to experiment with your sexuality

Although, she also called him out for ‘playing with other people’s sexuality, before they knew who they were yet’. This might make it seem like it is not ok to experiment with and explore your own sexuality. Of course, manipulating other people is not good, but the other guys involved in this might have simply been experimenting with their own sexuality without fully knowing who they were, and that’s ok. Your sexuality is yours to explore however you choose to, and you don’t have to be 100% certain what it is before you start to explore it. 

5) It is not ok to make someone feel uncomfortable 

But, it’s also pretty important to remember that some people have said that he made them feel pretty awkward and uncomfortable. Whilst it is absolutely fine, and normal, to experiment with and explore your sexuality, it is not ok to make someone else feel uncomfortable when you are doing so. If you feel like you might be making someone feel like this, maybe try and take a step back and have a think about the situation. It might be worth giving them some space and spending time with a few other people. 

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6) Cancel culture can ruin lives 

Social media is awesome – there is no denying it. It’s fun, free, totally addictive and has actually been really helpful for people all over the world to deal with their issues, be accountable, even fight injustice. The thing is though, when someone does something wrong, it can be really easy to cancel them. We’re not saying that some people didn’t need to be cancelled (Harvey Weinstein comes to mind), but when it happens over small spats, feuds and mistakes that can easily be sorted out off screen, it’s important to remember it can really ruin someone else’s life, even end it. Plus – it can literally happen to any of us, famous or not. 

7) Put yourself in someone else’s shoes 

Remember when you were a kid and you fell out with someone and before you knew it, everyone in the playground was on their side? It’s pretty much happened to every single one of us at some point – and it felt rubbish right? Especially because most of those people barely knew you, your friend, or anything about the situation. Well imagine that, multiplied a million times. 

We’ve all been in the position at least once in our lives when it has felt like the world is against us, and it’s really important to try to remember that before jumping into the comments section with negativity. We all know how the person on the receiving end feels.  

8) Some things are better discussed in private 

There’s a time and a place for airing out your drama or disagreements with friends, and the internet is not often the place to do it. By dragging people publicly who have upset you, it can put you and them and everyone else who knows both of you in a really difficult position – one where battle lines are going to get drawn. With James and Tati, what started as a small disagreement about product promotion now has the potential to ruin a career, a life. 

This drama with James and Tati is a pretty extreme example, as the audience is so massive. But making a private issue public when there are much easier ways to solve it can cause much more trouble in the long run. If you have fallen out with a friend over something, why not try private messaging them first? Or possibly popping around their house for a cup of tea and a chat. Even if the outcome is that you need time apart or that you can no longer be friends, doing it like this will be much more likely to give you the closure you both deserve, instead of making it bitter and resentful. 

9) 1 Tweet can ruin a life 

If there is one thing we can all learn from vitamingate (copyright us), it’s that we all need to be pretty careful how we behave on the internet. Whether that is thinking before we start subtweeting about someone who has upset us, comments we leave on videos and posts, or almost anything else – it’s important to remember that what you put out there is not going to go anywhere unless YOU take it down. Even if you take steps to make yourself anonymous in order to write some of it – there is absolutely no guarantee it is going to stay anonymous. 

If you feel the need to write something mean to someone online, have a think about why you feel that way. Why not try writing down all the logical reasons you can think of why you want to do it, and alongside it write all the possible consequences of your actions. Taking a step away from the keyboard can be tough when we feel fired up, but writing out how our actions could affect us and others makes it way more real than how hammering on our keyboards feels. 

10) Just because someone is famous, it does not make online abuse ok 

Famous people may be famous, but they are also people with human emotions. Fame and money does not buy them out of feeling bad when they see nasty comments or rude messages or even death threats. 

A really common thing to say in response to this is to say that ‘they know what they are getting themselves into when they pursue fame, so it’s fine’. Well, a lot of social media stars don’t actually start out their channels to become famous, and just do it for fun! When it becomes something that can make money, they carry on with it because let’s face it – who wouldn’t want to do something you enjoy for money?! But just because they have achieved fame doesn’t mean everything in their lives is fair game for nasty comments, and it definitely doesn’t mean that they don’t care about the negativity. 

If you have been affected by any of these issues and need someone to talk to, reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here

Sometimes, the world can totally suck. When it seems like nothing is going quite right and everything turns rubbish all at once, it can be pretty difficult to find something that will make you feel like smiling. That’s where we come in. We have put together this list of 11 amazingly positive Instagram accounts to bring a daily dose of positive into your life, which will surely have you feeling like how Billy Ray Cyrus probably felt when he got asked to be on that Old Town Road remix.  

1) Literally, what it says on the tin @thehappynewspaper

Feel like the news is always a massive bummer? Well the people over at @thehappynews have got your back. This is the account for a real actual newspaper published by people who think the news is too sad these days. So if you need to hear about all things good and wonderful in the world, give these guys a follow instantly.

2) Starting you on a self-love journey @i_weigh

Jameela Jamil’s online body positivity base is a now a dream of an account, filled with personal interviews with everyone’s favourite celebs, memes, affirmations and loads more. It’s pretty much the perfect toolkit to kick start your self-love journey.

3) Who says cartoons are for kids? @poorlydrawnlines

One of many absolutely hilarious Insta-cartoonists out there, Poorly Drawn Lines is serving up adorable animal cartoons coupled with some seriously sarcastic giggles. This is the dream for when you need an instant laugh that will probs turn into three hours of scrolling looking for the funniest one.

4) Giving you some serious wanderlust @natgeotravel

So it might be making your day better whilst also giving you some serious travel/holiday jealousy, but this National Geographic account is always beautiful to look at. Plus, if it gives you some ideas on where to go travelling when you finally get to go, then that’s a big ol’ bonus.

5) Serving up positive vibes and pretty pictures @stacieswift

Imagine you’ve let an 8 year old draw what they think positivity looks like. Well, throw some serious motivational quotes in there and you basically have Stacie’s IG.

6) All we can say is: Fooooooood @buzzfeedtasty

Sometimes, looking at all the tasty treats you can make with your mates on Saturday afternoon is the only thing that will perk you up on a Tuesday morning. Well @buzzfeedtasty is going to hook you up with pizza dough balls, cheese stuffed burgers, peanut butter cheesecake and some chocolate chip cookie recipes that will destroy your mind.

7) So many dogs @harlowandsage

CAN YOU EVEN????!!!!!! This account for a group of five mischievous doggos and a kitten, along with all their other four-legged pals, is just so full of squidge-able faces and high-five-able paws, there is no way this won’t make your day 107% better.

8) Colour colour colour @ohhappyday

Do you need some completely random, totally unconnected, yet equally bright and beautiful pics that make your feed look like you are living in a Disney movie? @ohhappyday is the absolute one. Think balloons, ice cream, sunshine, sprinkles, rainbows and so much yellow.

9) Comedy meets celebs @Waverider_

This account will give you all the comedy remakes of famous people photos that you never even knew you needed. Even though he is making about four photos a year at this point, when it crops up in your feed, it will definitely give you a laugh.

10) Serving lewks and unsolicited advice since the day you were born @fashiondads_

You know when your Dad is rocking an outfit so bad that you really don’t want to be seen to be related to him? Well @fashiondads_ records every shit, shocking and superb Dad outfit you’ve ever seen. They wore bumbags and bucket hats before it was cool.

11) Human stories @humansofny

Basically everyone has heard of @humansofny, but in case you haven’t, this account is a sure fire way to get a smile on your face with its pictures of real people and real stories of what they have achieved and overcome.

So next time you go scrolling through IG for the fifth time that afternoon, give one of these guys a follow for some guaranteed giggles, or at least a smile. Oh – we almost forgot…

12) US!

For some daily inspiration, memes, cute pics, motivation, and generally amazing posts (ok we might be biased) give our Instagram a follow @ditchthelabel. We promise smiles and good vibes.

Probably everyone at some point has thought about the possibility of making money from gaming at some point in their life. Maybe it was when you were 10 and mastering your Game Boy, or maybe you are deep in Twitch streams every day after class now. If you game frequently though, you know there are always ways to get better. That’s why we have put together a little list of tips for making the fastest improvements to your gaming. 

Just before we start the list, make sure you keep an eye out for our tournaments with Lt. LickMe and UMG. We run them every month, so get Twitch at the ready because we will be streaming alongside some epic players raising awareness about cyberbullying in games. 

1) Team work makes the dream work 

It may be a very obvious thing to day, but if you’re game of choice is a team game, communication is the key to success. Always make sure you are updating others on your location, planning tactics or calling for the ball (#RocketLeagueForever) as well as letting the rest of your team know what the opposition are up to.

Just make sure you are staying on the right side of the rule book – Fortnite publishers Epic are anti-teaming in a solo game of Battle Royale and have said they will be cracking down on those who take on the 100 in illegal teams so make sure you are playing by the rules before creating a squad.

 

2) Play by the rules 

There has been a lot of talk recently about the level of cheating in online gaming. Whilst it might seem tempting as a quick way to rise through the ranks of your online opponents, cheating is a big risk. Apex Legends just banned 350,000 players for cheating in the game, and publishers Respawn can track hardware ID to ensure you can’t just start a new account with a new email. Plus, it’s not just them – other publishers are cracking down on the use of cheating apps and tactics. Basically, don’t do it – or you’ll get banned at some point. And you can’t improve on your gaming with no game to do it in. 

 

3) Take it from the pros

It’s true in any sport ever – you learn from people who are better than you at the game. So put the controller down and hit up Twitch, YouTube, and Reddit. If your pals are better, take some pointers from them after they have had a particularly good run. It all adds up! Also, if you can, get yourself down to a gaming expo or convention – these events are full of brands, publishers, developers and pro gamers who are literally waiting to share their advice, challenge you to tournaments and let you try new games. All of this experience is sure to add to your gameplay. 

 

4) Replay Replay Replay

If someone has owned you with a kill only Shroud could dream of, don’t take it personally. In fact, watch the action replays of how they managed it. That was you can see what you did wrong and what they did right so that you aren’t making the same mistakes twice, and steal their tactics for next time. You’ll soon have a streak to die for (not you though – you are too good to die now).

 

5) Cut the toxicity 

We’ve all heard a lot about toxic gaming lately. But it is true that cutting some of this behaviour, or removing yourself from a match that is full of it, will definitely help to improve your game play. Insulting, abusive language, cheating, blaming every bad move on other players – if you are filling up your game time with all of this then how are you ever going to get better? Plus, if you are around it all the time, the game quickly becomes way less fun than before. So cut out the toxic behaviour from your gaming, whether it is you or others who are doing it, and start focussing on other things. 

 

6) Explore 

It might sound obvious, but remember to have fun whilst you are playing. Explore new maps, worm out those elusive Easter Eggs you heard about on Twitter, play a round just with your buddies for the LOLs. Taking it all too seriously is a sure fire way to get worked up, and anger never helped anyone to win a game of Battle Royale. This is a great way to reset any toxic behaviour and get your gaming back to having fun. Remember – if it’s fun, the hours you spend getting better will go by in no time. 

 

For great content, daily inspiration, influencer takeovers, cute pics and loads more, follow us on Instagram @ditchthelabel

If you or someone you know is experiencing cyberbullying, join the Ditch the Label community here and we will help.

At some point, you will have probably been told that your uni years are the best years of your life. This may be true for a whole lot of people, but it’s an ideal that comes with a whole lot of pressure. When the university life isn’t living up to expectations, its common to think “what am I doing wrong?”,”Am I not making the most of my time here?”…

Truth is, sometimes uni really doesn’t feel like the best years of your life, and that’s okay! University is a different experience for everyone, and these 10 YouTubers are proof of exactly that

Here’s what they have to say about uni being the “best years of your life”:

Jack Edwards

“Please never apologise for finding university tough; whether that’s for one day, one week, or even a whole term. You are more than entitled to feel this way, and persevering, working hard, and fighting on is just another part of the education you’re here to attain!”


Grace

“University is different for everyone and it’s okay if it’s not your cup of tea! It’s okay not to be the most sociable person on campus and to choose to keep to yourself or not go out partying.



Dylan

 

“Everyone has their ups, downs and concerns. Everybody questions if university was the right choice, even my self. Me and my friends while conversing several months back agreed that so far “university hasn’t been the best time of our lives” which is what we were instantaneously lead to believe.

For me its the creative side of things, no longer the clubbing aspect which is arguably the norm… This year I am focused on the positives, me doing me! Since this change, I am sure university is about to become one of the best experience in my life to date (p.s. I have always enjoyed university) “


Lucy Wood

“Putting yourself into a whole new world, complete with all new faces, new habits and a new routine is never going to be easy – so chuck homesickness and work stress in the mix too and it totally makes sense that some people find university isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

I really struggled to find ‘my people’ at uni, and drifted through my time there without ever really feeling settled or totally happy. In the end, I didn’t really find them until after uni through my work and hobbies like blogging and YouTube.

Unfortunately, you might find that uni might not be the time of your life that everyone yells about and that’s totally normal. Remember that no one is having as good a time as they seem to be on Instagram. Sometimes it’s okay to just keep your head down, hit your grades, collect your degree and move through a chapter of your life because you need to. That’s as long as you’re not unhappy, of course.

Remember that there’s always something better just waiting for you around the corner, so think of this chapter as a learning curve and get excited for the next one to start, whether you decide to stick it out or head down a different path. Everything always works out in the end.”


Phoebe Slee

“University.. “some of the best years of your life”- I for one can say that uni was far from that for me. I felt lonely and down most weeks and it wasn’t until I opened up about how I felt that I realised some of the people I was surrounded by felt the exact same way. It relieved a lot of built up pressure in my mind and only made me happier. I’ve come to realise that it’s ok to not enjoy university the same way everyone insists you will, everyone has their own unique experience, embrace the journey and learn from it.. but don’t suffer in silence. It’s truly amazing how simply talking can comfort the mind.”


Curtis Roscoe

“There is not one set University experience, these 3 years of your life can be great however they don’t dictate your life.


 


 

Lydia Greatrix

“It’s okay to feel overwhelmed when you’re at university – you’re thrown into a new surrounding, often a new city, with many different people from lots of different backgrounds. The expectations of ‘uni is the best time in your life’ can be too much for some to handle. If you ever feel low whilst you’re at university, speak to someone about it – your coursemates, tutor, or Student Services at your uni.

It’s also easy to give into peer pressure if everyone around you is into alcohol and partying. But guess what, if you would rather stay in and watch Netflix, that’s totally okay too! Always stay true to yourself – don’t change just to make others happy. Real friends will support you – and they may even offer to join you in watching a movie or two!”

 


Dungarees Donuts

“University; one of the best times of your life. But also the worst. For us suffering with mental health, it can be one of the most challenging times. Making new friends, most of us living in a new place, constantly experiencing things out of our comfort zones.It’s important to remember, you’re not alone. University will be the making of you, I promise.”



Amy

“University is portrayed in the media to be the best years of your life where you meet your best friends, have endless drunken nights out and have so many exciting stories to tell, but this isn’t always the case. It is up to each individual as to what experience is gotten from university. Although I loved my university experience, it wasn’t necessarily what was portrayed in the media. I wasn’t a member of a sport society, I didn’t go out every Saturday without fail and I didn’t come home with a memorising story every day. Sometimes, my mental health wasn’t the best and these were the moments that I found really hard. Perhaps surprisingly, I wasn’t the only one feeling this way during my experience. Remember, It’s normal and it is okay.”


Are you at uni and want to help others who may be struggling? Sign up for our ambassador programme here: