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15 In fashion/ ramblings

The Things I’m Not Allowed To Say

Right now, I’m sat on an armchair on a Sunday morning in my pyjamas and feel like I want to thrash out something really personal. My fingers are hovering over the keyboard and twitching in that weird way like I want to type something really fast and furiously, you know? Or maybe that’s just me lol.  To be honest I don’t even know exactly what I’d like to say – I just know that I want to write something meaty-ish.  Even though I haven’t posted since Tuesday because I’ve been away and I’ve had assignments and I’ve been out BUT THAT’S OK BECAUSE IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.


Something I have wanted to talk about for quite a while though (in the hope that someone will relate, basically) is this feeling I have that people are going to take any opportunity to criticise me.  It’s a feeling I’ve had for a long time, but only recently been able to put my finger on in general terms.  I’ve chatted about it to my mum and she understands me, but my mum understands my brain and my life without me needing to open my mouth so that perhaps isn’t a great indication.

Earlier this week I tweeted about being proud of a photo I’d taken whilst in Hamburg, and I realised that I couldn’t remember the last time I’d tweeted/posted about being proud of myself for something that wasn’t jokey or sarcastic, Like y’know, making porridge without it exploding or something.  I just never really do it.


Even on A-level results day when I was over the moon with (and surprised by) my results, I felt like I had to keep pretty low-key about mine whilst seeing whoops of elation from everyone else.  When you’ve heard since being little “Oh you’re just bragging” if you dare to feel pleased with yourself, it really lingers with you.  If you’ve been accused of showing off just for being happy, then you’re always going to be aware of that potential accusation slapping you across the face again.

Every day I see other people sharing and promoting themselves a million times over across every social network in existence, yet automatically assume that I’d get criticised for being spammy if I did too.  I’m probably cutting off my nose to spite my face and missing out on pageviews, followers etc by doing so, but I just don’t feel comfortable self-promoting as much as I see other bloggers doing.  I feel like I’m probably annoying people when I tweet ‘Here’s my Instagram, go follow!’ even when I see others doing so multiple times a day.  Subconsciously I just feel like I’m not allowed to.

I see tweets from others getting tons of support, when I know for a fact that if I tweeted the exact same thing, people would be down on me like a ton of bricks.  I just know it.  You’re either super tough and sassy and everyone’s like ‘Woo go you’ or you’re ‘vulnerable’ and people want to protect and support you, but if you’re somewhere in between, it doesn’t work like that.  I know I’ll never be a naturally popular person (my god high school taught me that) and I won’t naturally have people come running to me.


As for feeling proud of my body… well.  That’s a whole minefield.  Usually I’m pretty diligent when it comes to working out and eating (mostly) well, although granted this particular week I’ve only worked out twice because it’s been a bit of an unconventional week.  Howeverrrr, I feel like because I fit the stereotypical ‘good body’ bill of being tall and toned, I’m not supposed to be happy with myself lest it be considered bragging.  Even typing ‘stereotypical good body’ makes me feel uncomfortable, because I KNOW there’s no such thing as one ‘good body’.  But the media still likes to portray one, and I know I sort of fit it.  So I’m supposed to keep quiet in case I make anyone else feel bad, even if I’m quite proud of the fact that I’ve had a consistent fitness routine since I was 15 and waking up at 5:30am to workout before school.  Yes being 5’11 is down to genetics and that does make it easier, but being toned is down to years of hard work, and I shouldn’t be any less entitled to feel proud than anyone else no matter what shape or size.


dress: c/o Boohoo | shoes: TU at Sainsbury’s

Back in high school I remember girls in textiles lessons sniggering and calling me a ‘teachers pet’ and ‘smart arse’, because I knew the answers to questions about fabric and yarn.  (Long time readers of this blog know I’ve always been crafty – of course I’m gonna know stuff like that).  Even when I hadn’t actually volunteered to answer and the teacher directed questions specifically at me, I was still on the receiving end of sniggers.  I ended up asking my teacher to just not ask me stuff at all, because I was sick of being called a smart arse just because I knew what a textiles definition meant.  And that’s just an easy example to explain plenty similar things.

This whole post feels a bit uncomfortable to write, because it’s always in the back of my mind that certain things I just can’t get away with saying.  But to hell with that, y’know?  Bitchy girls in textiles class come in different incarnations throughout life and I’ve come across more than a few equivalents already.  No doubt I always will.  But I’m going to try to ignore the bitchy girls that are just lingering in my head.  And to anyone who has been supportive and lovely and not made me feel bad when I’ve been happy, thank you more than you could ever know. 🙂


Oh and a big thank you to Boohoo for sending this confidence-boosting LBD my way!

lily kate x

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  • Reply
    27th November 2016 at 6:45 pm

    I do relate to this post, I always put myself down and never feel proud of myself – “Pride comes before a fall” is what I was taught. I’m glad you have your mum who totally understands you; I feel there’s no-one in the world who really understands me and how my weird brain works.
    You have so much to be proud of: a long running successful blog that hasn’t resorted to being a succession of adverts for sponsors; you write beautifully on all sorts of subjects whilst undertaking a frighteningly complex (to most of us) degree course. Plus you’re tall, slim and beautiful too!
    Keep doing what you’re doing! 🙂 Take care, love Pixie xxx

    • Reply
      Lily Kate France
      28th November 2016 at 6:32 pm

      I’m glad you could relate! I wouldn’t consider myself superstitious but always feel like it’s a bad idea to become too complacent if things seem to be going well haha. I’m very lucky that my mum gets me so well!
      Thank you so much for being so kind! Sometimes it takes someone else pointing things out to make you realise you’re doing ok haha. My degree seems frighteningly complex to me sometimes too!
      Thank you again, lots of love <3

  • Reply
    27th November 2016 at 7:20 pm

    You Go Girl! I know exactly what you mean and I totally agree that once you’ve got into a habit and start accepting that it’s normal to just push down being proud and happy about yourself, it’s so difficult to stop! But I definitely think you should be feeling proud of yourself, your body and your hard work, and that anyone’s opinion criticising that should NOT be listened to!

    JosieVictoriaa // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

    • Reply
      Lily Kate France
      28th November 2016 at 6:40 pm

      Hehe thanks Josie! It’s really weird to have a nagging voice telling you what people will say isn’t it? It can bugger off!

  • Reply
    27th November 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Yay!! Go Lily!! You’re gorgeous, you’re fabulous, and mega talented!
    It’s so easy to get caught up in the shoulds and should nots, and I totally relate – but the best advice I’ve been given is to put my fingers in my ears and ignore what everyone else says! Do what makes you happy and say what you want to say – you have so much to be proud of! It’s easy to downplay achievements, but if I’ve learnt anything in the past year it’s that I’ve come a long way and have a lot to be proud of – and following your blog it’s easy to see you do too!! So don’t be afraid to recognise those achievements 🙂
    Big love and hugs xx

    • Reply
      Lily Kate France
      28th November 2016 at 6:45 pm

      Thank you so much Bekah!
      ‘Shoulds and should nots’ are so weird when you think about it, because half the time what you think would happen, actually doesn’t. You definitely do have lots to be proud of and every right to do so! Thank you lovely <3

  • Reply
    29th November 2016 at 4:28 am

    I can relate too. In part I think women are taught to be less aggressive about promoting themselves, and also to be less supportive of other women too. So you get those jealous textile students all through life. But don’t fall into that trap yourself. Sure, you don’t have to go on about yours instagram account ad nauseum, but if you feel proud of something, It is a good thing. I also feel like I have to downplay myself. It is normal, but you can both accept it and change it. Sometimes you may be comfortable with the downplaying your reactions, and being modest or careful, swhile at other times, with other people you can celebrate your success more openly.

    • Reply
      Lily Kate France
      13th December 2016 at 6:44 pm

      I think the whole ‘supporting other women’ thing is a difficult one, because often it’s the women who claim to be most supportive who actually only support the people who can help them. I agree that there will always be a version of the textiles girls at all points in life! I’m glad you found this post relatable 🙂

  • Reply
    30th November 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Hi Lily,
    I’ve not visited your blog before but this post popped up on my Twitter and I was interested to read. You’ve beautifully written and expressed the feelings that a lot of us have. I too feel like I have to downplay achievements or milestones as I know that I am in a fortunate position in life in general and the majority of my friends aren’t as much. But you know what? Like Max says, there will be certain people that you may downplay yourself around, but there will be other people, such as your Mum, who you know you can share the joy and sense of achievement at any time knowing that they will be nothing but happy for you.
    Finally, with regards to body confidence. I haven’t met a single girl who is plain-and-simple happy with their body. There will always be something that we want to change. Maybe you have curly hair but wish it was straight, maybe you have a tiny tuche but wish for it to be curvy, or maybe you just wish you weighed that little bit less. Whatever it is, it’s ok to not be 100% confident in yourself. After all, we’re all a work in progress right? For the record, I think you look incredible and you should be proud of what your hard work has achieved.
    Lovely to stumble across your blog and I will be adding you to my Bloglovin’ feed!


    • Reply
      Lily Kate France
      13th December 2016 at 7:00 pm

      Thank you so much Beth! I’m so glad you liked this post, it felt strangely therapeutic to write and it’s reassuring to know that other girls feel the same way. It feels odd to even say that you have a fortunate life doesn’t it? I’m so glad I do have people like my mum who I can be 100% myself with and not have to hold anything back.
      It’s strange because I generally do feel pretty confident in my body and wouldn’t particularly wish to change anything, but I feel like you’re not really supposed to admit that because then you’re ‘up yourself’ or something. Can’t win can you?!?
      Thank you so much for being so kind and for following!
      Much love xx

  • Reply
    3rd December 2016 at 2:19 pm

    this was such a beautiful and deeply personal post to read. i’ve spent about ten minutes trying to come up with a comment but nothing is coming to me. just know that i relate with how you feel COMPLETELY. loved this post a lot, cyber hugs! xx


  • Reply
    10th December 2016 at 2:27 pm

    I love this post, it’s so true! I always had pretty high standards for myself with grades so when I got a B instead of an A in my favourite subject, I was really upset about it. When my friends saw me looking so miserable, they asked me what was up and I explained (I mean, it was a longer story involving the teachers losing my original coursework during a transition and my Dad having recently wiped the family computer… sigh… and the new teacher telling me I wasn’t good enough to do it at uni) – they were all really angry that I was upset over a B and just had a go at me! I understand why they felt like that but ever since I’m so shy of telling people about my grades. I can never join in with friends when we talk about assignment marks because I’m scared I’ll look like I’m bragging. I actually won the MSc prize for best overall performance this year and I haven’t told anyone because I don’t want to show off (that ice will be broken for me at graduation though when it gets announced to the entire cohort, eek…) Anyway. I definitely feel pride for what I’ve achieved but I don’t share that pride. It’s sad we have to feel like this but hey. I quite like my new office with other PhD students now as we’re on a much similar footing so when I achieve something I can tell them about it and they’ll just be happy for me 🙂 also, I had no idea you were so tall! I always assumed you were really petite haha, so weird! You should definitely be proud of your body, you obviously work hard for it with all that exercise xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

    • Reply
      Lily Kate France
      13th December 2016 at 7:21 pm

      I totally understand how you feel Lucy! Sounds like you had a nightmare time with that one so had every reason to be mad, regardless of what your friends said. But I know exactly what you mean, people will make you feel like you’re not allowed to want an A because that suggests a B isn’t good enough and they think you’re then looking down on people who got a B, which isn’t at all the case!
      Being amongst likeminded people is the best, I’m glad you’re enjoying your PhD time!
      That’s really interesting about me being tall haha, I don’t think I look particularly tall in photos but in heels I’m over 6ft! I feel like being the one who stood out like a sore thumb for being head and shoulders above everyone else throughout my childhood has influenced me for life – weird how things like that shape your personality!

  • Reply
    Sarah CC Bence
    13th December 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Ahh girl, thank you so much for commenting on my blog and letting me discover yours! This post speaks to me so much. I rarely promote my blog – I don’t have a private insta or facebook solely devoted to my blog, and always feel self conscious if I share a post to fb (blog-wise or even just about personal achievements!). Why do we do this to ourselves??! It’s really nice to read someone else shares those same feelings – even if they’re hard to get away from.

    • Reply
      Lily Kate France
      24th December 2016 at 1:53 pm

      I’m so glad I discovered yours too! Your blog deserves to be discovered, I’d defitely recommend starting blog accounts. I’m very selective in the ones I share to my personal facebook! God knows why we do it, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
      Thank you for stopping by at my blog!

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