“Don’t Be Someone Else’s Tribute Act”
Stylist is one of my favourite magazines, and that’s saying something, because I don’t actually read many print magazines anymore. I normally source my information via Twitter or newsletters or online publications that fall into my RSS feed — but Stylist is still very much up there for me. If I don’t manage to get a copy on the tube I always eye up the person in front of me reading it with burning jealousy, hoping they’ll leave it on their seat once they’re finished with it so I can scrabble to get it, beating the girl next to me to it.
I went away with Stylist earlier this year on a trip to France to learn more about the magazine and also learn more about the French version of the magazine — it was an absolutely incredible trip with some amazing women, and I’ll never forget it. (Although sadly one of the reasons I’ll never forget it is because the day we left our gorgeous French chateau was the day of the BREXIT results.)
I also love them because Stylist runs a regular #AskAFeminist column and around the time of my book coming out they asked if I wanted to write something to help promote my book. I wrote about women helping other women at work — and how this doesn’t mean you have to like ALL women.
I don’t like or support all women.
This doesn’t make me a bad feminist.
I was on the #AskAFeminist panel at Stylist Live on Thursday alongside Cherry Healey and Shazia Mirza (Shazia is a hilarious comedian whose stand up show is called “The Kardashians Made Me Do It”) and we casually chatted about what feminism means to us now, the fact that it’s often treated as a “trend” (gross) and how we’re often worried about saying “the wrong thing”. All in all, it felt like a really safe space to talk about what feminism means in 2016 and the panel format meant that the session mostly consisted of lots of different audience questions and participation, not us rabbiting on.
The other highlight of Stylist Live for me was going along to support my friend Lucy Sheridan who is the UK’s one and only “comparison coach”. She is a brilliant speaker & coach and her workshop was specifically around how to get over social media comparison. Something that affects us all in different ways.
“Let’s be honest, we are each living in our own fame bubble”
– Lucy Sheridan
Of course, there’s a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to what we see on Instagram, we all know this, but it’s hard to remind yourself of that if you’re stuck in a particular frame of mind. Lucy showed clips of Essena O’Neill – the popular Instagrammer who admitted she was miserable – which made me feel sorry for her all over again.
It wasn’t about social media being bad, or our behaviour being bad, but simply how to give ourselves tools to deal with the overwhelm.
Here’s 7 things I took away from Lucy’s workshop:
1. Being “real” will always win.
2. Do your own thing. Don’t be somebody else’s tribute act.
3. Unfollow!!!!!!! Treat your social media feeds as you would a house-party. Good vibes only.
4. Recognise the people who might not really be your friends, and don’t clap when you win.
5. Set good boundaries. Have some willpower with how much you check social media.
6. Inspiration is different to comparison. There’s loads of people who I’m kinda jealous of, but I also LOVE following them because they give me a kick up the butt.
7. Remember, most of the time, people want to help you.
“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE
"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"– The Debrief
“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic