The Creature She Has Become

Twisting, writhing through your weak body,

You let those snippets of cruel words

Consume you and your impressionable mind.

Under the spell of the darkness

That wraps you up so easily,

You cannot hear my wary voice.

Eyes light up with fear, concealing

The ghoulish pallor of your

Withered, weary face

Years of unrelenting doubt and distress

Have forced a frail frame upon you;

Along with a weak and ruined heart.


Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn is an inspiration to me. I don’t just love her fashion, but her attitude to life. There are so many quotes from her that I love that I can’t pick a favourite.

Earlier this year I went to Madam Tussauds (if that’s how you spell it?) and I got my picture taken with her Breakfast at Tiffany’s waxwork. Then, my friend bought me a boxset of her films and I fell in love with Roman Holiday and Sabrina. To me, she is such an icon because even after so many years, people like me still enjoy her work. She has a timeless beauty and elegance and such a positive outlook on life, which I wish I had more of. I aspire to be like her, if only in attitude.

Even when she was a major star, she didn’t let fame go to her head and didn’t change herself:

“Success is like reaching an important birthday and finding you’re exactly the same.”

In terms of fashion, I like her style. She could look gorgeous and elegant, and attractive to men without showing everything like so many celebrities do now-just watch pretty much any chart music video.

“There is more to sex appeal than just measurements. I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much sex appeal, picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.”

I hope she will live on as an icon to girls like me long into the future, because I think we need more people like Audrey in the world.

Some other quotes:

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

“When you have nobody you can make a cup of tea for, when nobody needs you, that’s when I think life is over.”

The Problems of a Bad Tree-drawer

How are you at receiving criticism? Do you prefer that others treat you with kid gloves, or go for brutal honesty?

I think I have improved a lot recently at receiving criticism. My sensitive character caused me to take things too personally. I once cried when I was told that I didn’t draw trees the ‘right way’. To be fair, I was only nine or ten. I didn’t even know there was a right way to draw trees!

I have come to understand that most criticism is intended to help the receiver improve in whatever they do. That helps me take honest views from people, because I do want to improve as much as I can, so I can be the best I can be at all I do. I still feel, though, that it’s just in my nature that I dwell on criticism possibly more than is necessary.

I would definitely prefer to have honest criticism. The ‘brutal’ part isn’t exactly enticing, but sometimes you need to hear it! I’d rather know what is wrong, or weak, than go on pretending that what I am doing is amazing.

The type of criticism I am worst at taking is about my posture. Whenever my family comment that I am hunching, it makes me even more self-conscious- when I hunch, it is because I am self-conscious! Another reason it gets to me is that it is so hard to change. I have become so used to hunching that I don’t notice and it is hard to straighten up without feeling awkward or stupid.

You get a lot of criticism when you’re a teenager. From people your own age, even if it’s just a dirty look from the mean girl. From teachers, with pressure added… From parents and most adults!

In terms of giving criticism, I think sometimes I am too subtle or try to be nice, which isn’t always what the person wants.

All in all, I am, and always have been, a sensitive person. So criticism is hard, but important and useful to me. And giving criticism can be hard when I am sensitive of other people’s feelings too.

Stop reading if you don’t like cheesecake!

You’re about to enter a room full of strangers, where you will have exactly four minutes to tell a story that would convey who you really are. What’s your story?

Who am I really?

I am a teenager trying to grip hold of the little girl inside me that is gradually drifting away; and cowering away from womanhood that looms ahead. Here is my story.

I was born in Chester and it wasn’t long until my parents divorced, when I was age four. It’s not the divorce that I remember, or that hurt me-it was what came after it, and what still goes on now. Yes, my dad cheated. And in short, I am still not fully okay with this.

But young four year old me was protected for some time by naivety. As I grew up, moving house to places across England, I developed into a shy girl. I went through a series of best friends, who left me, or were left by me, who turned out to be bullies or just drifted from. While the bullying and the anxiety gnawed away at me, I was too lost in my shell to realize that one day those things would make me stronger. And over the years, I have developed, as they say, a thicker skin.

More recently I have been through more, and being aware and unprotected by the cocoon of innocence and naivety, it has affected me more deeply. I have lost people I loved. I have met new people I hated. I have spent months trying to work out how to deal with the effects of these things. One of the best ways was through writing. Even now, speaking daunts me, so writing has always been my strong point because it such a liberating way to express your thoughts and emotions.

I think I am allowed to call myself a dark horse, because I always seem to surprise some people when I succeed. Either because I was working hard, but so quietly they forgot about me, or they just never saw me as competition. But my GCSE results are an example of something I have worked very hard to be proud of.

A select group of friends know what I am like when I am being myself, and not the quiet me. Then, I am crazy, silly sometimes, but still as caring-I hope-as usual. If you want to get on my good side, I love oreos, cheesecake and chocolate. I am mildly offended when people say they don’t like any of these divine creations.

Hobby-wise, I like to read, write poetry, walk or jog, listen to music, watch action films, make cards and sometimes draw, watch youtubers, go to concerts/festivals, sing in a choir, hide at the back in the school production, hold my rabbits, have gorgeous lie-ins and be an idiot with my friends.

I am trying very hard not to take life too seriously. (That sounds a bit like an oxymoron…) There’s not much left to know about me! I like honest people; honesty is the most important quality  to me. Oh and I’m sixteen years old, studying A-levels and hoping to go to uni and then become a writer of some sort. And, despite the English rain and other disappointments in my life, I have to say it’s a pretty good life.

Let’s call her Carly

Today, you’ll write about the most interesting person you’ve met in 2014. In your twist, develop and shape your portrait further in a character study.

While I was away on a residential trip for a week in the Peak District, and then a week in a local university halls of residence, I met a lot of new people. At first it was scary and daunting having so many unfamiliar faces around. But as I got to know everyone more and more, we became almost like a family.

All of the young people were my age or a year older, and most of the leaders were fairly young. So, they were easy to get on with, and brought me out of my shell more than I expected.

The person that interested and inspired me the most was one of the younger leaders, let’s call her Carly.

Her thick accent the first noticeable feature, would cause most people to immediately judge her as ‘common’. And yet here fairly tanned skin, free of makeup, shone with the beauty no expensive highlighter could ever recreate. Small in stature, she at first, seems unassuming. But when you notice the slight bend in her knees and her almost manly posture, the football side of Carly is revealed.

When she speaks, her voice is full of energy, just like her muscles, itching to be active. Competitive is not a strong enough word for Carly. As a leader she is supposed to encourage young people to take part in activities, not winning. But the streak melts away her leading exterior and she is one woman for herself. This fierce determination is funny to see, as her forehead crinkles in concentration, as her lip puckers with ferocity.

Whether she is au naturel with a messy bun and jogging bottoms or dolled up with straightened hair and a face of makeup she is Carly. Lively, outgoing, keen to encourage others. When you hear her laugh, you cannot resist joining in with her.

The stereotype Carly falls into may brand her as unintelligent, but she is far from it. Flying through her university course, and with her usual passion and determination, studies are another goal for her to hit. And when she has a target, she must hit it with all her might. Carly is an inspiration to anyone to go for things and laugh about them if  they go wrong.

What is beauty?

Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?

Yes. i think beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. Except there’s a ‘but’. And the ‘but’ is that society has such a strong influence on how people perceive the world that many people follow the same beliefs and conventions. These ideas that have been drilled into people’s minds make me wonder if they weren’t so used to thinking that a certain feature is attractive, would they have a different opinion?

I understand that down to human nature, we are all attracted to features, which can be scientifically proven. This leads me on to question what beauty is. The definition: “a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.”

But is this really what beauty is? I feel that emotions and personality have more to say than it seems about beauty. For instance, clothing isn’t just about physical appearance, but it can represent so much about a person and their character.

In my opinion, the most beautiful thing is sincerity. When something has not only a meaning, but a genuine, heartfelt meaning. Like a smile- it’s so easy to tell a fake smile, and to me it’s ugly. It’s a bright, sincere smile that I find beautiful. Even if it isn’t often that someone does smile, it’s better than always having a fake smile.

Fear-an essential part of being human

How would your life be different if you were incapable of feeling fear? Would your life be better or worse than it is now?

I have a few different responses to this prompt. First, is that the ability to be feel limitless, to be freed of the barriers caused by fear seems exhilarating. I would be able to do everything I once couldn’t, from watching gory movies to holding creepy crawlies to public speaking. 

On the other hand, without fear, I feel that these things would lose their excitement. Having a fear means you can prove your strength-physical or emotional- by facing it. An absence of fear could even become boring. We need something to kick-start the adrenaline and motivate us to do things in order to push against our fears. In some ways, fearlessness would close me off from acting bravely as the element of dare would be lost.

Still, I can see the ways fearlessness would improve my life. I would be more confident and lose the anxieties involved with being introverted. I would be able to become a doctor, an optician, a dentist, whatever I wanted without the fear of blood and gore. And by doing that I could help people in new ways.

But would this change me as a person? Would I lose some qualities by losing my fears? In my opinion, I think fears build a person’s character and taking them away would change them and make them lose that part of their character. So, in conclusion, I think my life wouldn’t be any better without fears.