What would you do for free accommodation? The truth behind the men preying on vulnerable women.

After watching the new Jeremy Kyle programme on Monday evening, I decided to have a look at whether we have the same sort of problem here in Scotland.

In the new programme from Jeremy Kyle which first aired on Monday called The Kyle Files, Kyle will be investigating high-profile issues which impact on people’s lives across Britain today from knife crime to legal highs and from plastic surgery to underage drinking and gang culture.

An issue which came to light in the first episode was men offering free accommodation to women in return for sexual favours.

Kyle said that there had been email exchanges between one of his colleagues who is in her twenties and a middle-aged man where he said she could rent a room for free providing she agreed to his demands of a sexual nature.

The man, who features in the episode and appears to ignore Kyle’s questions, uses the website Craigslist to advertise his rooms for rent and to explain what will be expected in exchange.

I find it deeply saddening that this sort of advert isn’t having to meet some sort of community guidelines in order to be displayed on the site.

Young women, for all sorts of reasons, can find themselves alone and vulnerable and in need of somewhere to sleep or a roof over their head. These sorts of rooms may appeal to women who have come through drug addiction or alcohol abuse who are in dire need of a safe place to rest their head.

These adverts and the men responsible are NOT safe and we need to ask Craiglist why there isn’t a way to report adverts of this nature.

When I started digging, it didn’t take me long to uncover a few of these adverts in Glasgow. One was for a ‘free room with en-suite’ in the Hillhead area of the city for a ‘female who’s willing to earn it’.

He asked that prospective candidates email what they’d be willing to do in exchange for the free room.

I exposed the advert on my Facebook page The Empowered Woman Project to see what people thought about it and one follower names Charlotte said, “Back when I was 18, I saw something similar advertised on a house sharing site. I was very desperately in need of accommodation at the time and nearly contacted the person with the listing but ended up listening to my gut instead and not bothering.”

What this means is that we are dealing with a very real issue where women are perhaps willing to compromise on consent and what makes them feel safe in exchange for simply a safe place to live.

What we need to ask is why do sites like Craigslist not have a way of reporting these potentially damaging adverts and how can we clamp down on this type of predatory behaviour?

If you’ve found yourself considering responding to an advert of this kind, we’d be keen to hear from you

Mandy @ TEWP x

Arconne – exposing the lie of the cult like MLM scheme.

It’s just someone trying to make their way in the world like the rest of us… thats how I make peace with it… but as a skin specialist for over 15 years, MLM beauty/skincare companies undermine my expertise and give an industry I love such a bad name.

These ‘reps’ are teachers, office workers, normal people with 9-5 jobs and have zero knowledge of skincare or an individuals skin-type will respond to certain formulations.

The woman who founded Arbonne lives close to where I work, I know people who know her and someone close to her told me all about it.

About how the products have no real science behind them and how only the first 5-10 people made any real money.  Yeah, she drives a Mercedes but the others are told to big up their lifestyles on social platforms to ‘recruit’ others.

I too have joined an MLM based around aloe vera. I loved some of their formulas, and am a natural salesperson when it comes to something I love… but despite my signing up three people and spending hundreds of pounds within my first week, the company rep’s ethics let me down.

Also, I should add, just in case you think this is me touting, I hold about £3000 worth of retail stock in the shop and only about £100 of that is just aloe vera jelly and nothing else which I only use post-treatment for my clients.

The other £2900 worth is from my trusted, scientific, chemist formulated clinical ranges which are NOT forever living or Arbonne.

It was only AFTER the sign ups and sales I was told/reminded that commission ran month end to month end, so having joined only a few days before month end, my hard work counted towards nothing! Of course the girl above me made her monthly target because of my work.

It’s a clever business model as they often recruit people who dont question things and dont fully understand how the marketing plan works.

I do, as a business owner, but realised when I saw a new mum struggling to make ends meet throwing herself into anything in the hope of a big break… it’s so sad.

I broke away immediately, and now only order what I like, trust and believe in, with no recruitment by me AT ALL.

If you allow someone with no health, skin or beauty experience to reccommend a product of this nature, beware…

New recruits spend all their money on personal use packs and stock, chasing a dream that they cannot achieve, so are literally desperate to make a sale!

Stay away…

Jen @ TEWP x

 

 

 

“I look forward to the day when you’ve never touched an inch of me.”

TW: Rape / Assault / Trauma.

For me it didn’t happen like I’d seen in my nightmares, or seen in movies. For me it was turning up to my mums house one morning, in clothes I don’t remember putting on, all my stuff missing and no shoes on and with the most horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach, bruises on my body I knew nothing about and the realisation that most of my memory from the night before had been erased. It was the feeling of knowing something wasn’t right but not being able to pinpoint what. It was the humiliation of looking in the mirror and asking myself “were you raped?” It was the subconscious feeling of knowing you were but the conscious feeling of denying it could have happened to you. It was feeling helpless phoning the police to say I don’t remember last night but I think something sinister has happened. And the feeling of sheer embarrassment knowing some people would taunt you because they didn’t believe it. It was being hung out to dry on social media by the people that didn’t believe you, and being told they were allowed to do that and I just had to deal with it. It was finding out there was two suspects and not just one. It was the desire to rip every inch of my skin off so that I could grow it again and this time know who had touched it. It was itching and scratching my brain in a desperate attempt to remember everything in exact detail, whilst also never wanting to know. It was watching the person walk free and continue with their life, whilst mine burned to ashes around me. It was going deeper than rock bottom without the enthusiasm to even think about climbing up. It was waking up every morning to remember that I can’t remember. It was answering the same questions over and over because people needed as much validation as they could take before they allowed themselves to fully immerse themselves in belief. It was looking at my mum and seeing the sadness glinting in all corners of her eyes, it was putting all the blame on myself no matter how many times I was told I didn’t ask for this, then it was cracking under the self guilt I had inflicted on myself. It was wanting to be dead but not wanting to cause anymore pain to my family. It was cutting my skin to make sure I still bled the same. Then that became the only reminder I had that I was still real and still deserved to be alive. It was dressing like a slob because I wanted to be as least attractive as I could be. It was not hearing from people I thought were my friends and realising I was quite alone. It was looking at my daughter and imagining it being her in my shoes even though I didn’t want to imagine that. It was crying in the bathroom because I didn’t feel like I was worthy of being her mum anymore. It was the police saying “if you take anything away from this, maybe don’t get as drunk in future” even though you could remember everything until you couldn’t and knew you didn’t drink enough to lose 6 hours of your life. It was saying the words “I was raped” out loud without feeling like I was playing in a make believe world. It was letting those words sink in, whilst also not allowing myself to listen to them, because the thought turned my stomach. It was writing these words and for the first time not feeling ashamed because no one can see me or question me. It was releasing all the emotion on a page whilst not talking about my emotion much at all. It was saying aloud – I was raped, I was raped, I was raped, I was raped.

So to my rapist – You took the last little bit of myself I knew away. And I don’t know where you put her, but now I have decided because of what you did, even if you never admit it to yourself I wouldn’t want to be her ever again. I’ll rebuild a new me and put the pieces back differently so you can never say you know me. I learned that all the molecules in your body reform every seven years, so I look forward to the day when you’ve never touched an inch of me. I can’t face you when this goes to court simply because I don’t want to stare into the face of a person I trusted and liked as a friend and know you took that trust in your hands just to ruin everything I was. I crashed, and tumbled, but I refused to crumble. “You will leave this convinced you chose the wrong girl to have sex with, I will leave constantly looking over my shoulder for monsters dressed as friends.” Rape is an act of violence and most men do it for power, well you didn’t break me, you don’t own that power.

Asexuality: Owning it.

Asexual is described as: lack of sexual attraction to others or low/absent interest/desire for sexual activity.

This is my story. I’m a mother to 3 children. I’m no Virgin Mary so yes I had sex to conceive them and yes I must’ve been attracted to someone at some point in my life to have my kids. But, you can be in a straight relationship and have kids then further on in life be in a homosexual relationship. So to realise you’re asexual isn’t any different.
I first realised I was asexual around a week ago after some googling , confiding in my sister and serious life thinking (I’m 30 so I’m starting to re-evaluate my life 😆😆).
I always knew at the back of my mind that I was maybe a little “different” to everybody else’s perception of “normal” I just couldn’t put a name to it before google.

I haven’t been in a serious relationship for several years. I always wanted to do what all my friends were doing and settle down with “mr right” and my kids. But for me, it just wasn’t meant to happen. I couldn’t seem to hold a relationship and I never knew why. I either met shitty blokes or pushed the good ones away for no rhyme or reason.

Over the years that I have been single, I’ve come to realise that I don’t miss anything about being in a relationship or dating someone. Be it the emotional and physical aspect. It feels to me like I’m void of that feeling or that part of my brain doesn’t work, almost like that switch is turned permanently off. It’s just an empty hole that’s non-existent.

Yes I crave adult company with being a single mum, but, I get that from family and friends so that part for me, is fulfilled. I’m just happier being with my kids and I just don’t see myself being physical with anybody else ever again.

This is the confusing bit, I can and do appreciate a good looking man (I.e Chris Pratt or Tom Hardy 🤤) and I can also appreciate a good looking girl but that’s where it ends, I might think “oh he/she is gorgeous” if I see someone in the street/shops for example, but that’s where it ends and my thoughts immediately switch back to what I’m doing or where I’m going in that instance. It’s a fleeting few seconds moment basically.

Whenever I think of myself with someone physically I feel nothing nor do i consider joining the dating scene ever again, it’s just not something I think about. I know people will think “oh well she feels like that cos she’s had bad experiences in the past” but it’s really not like that at all, yes I had some really bad experiences, but it is not the main reason I am who I am today.

I just don’t feel like I’m meant to be with anyone ever again in any way and I’m ok with that. I used to think I was weird and obviously must’ve had some sort of problem to not feel “normal” but I now know that that isn’t the case at all. I’m happy to stay celibate for the rest of my life, sounds extreme as I’m only 30, but I know hand on heart, that being with anyone else ever again (in any way btw) just isn’t going to happen.

It’s helped shape me as a person and made me realise I am who I am, but I’ve grown from those experiences! 🙂

Your brain is a powerful thing and it can sometimes be your best friend or worst enemy. It can fool you that your strange or actually you can realise that this is who you are and it’s ok to be “different” to others and it’s so liberating let me tell you! This past week, I think I’ve been the happiest in myself than I have for a long time. I don’t care if people think I’m weird or a “in the closet” because I know that no two people are the same and if you have no sexual desire or physical attraction for anyone then so? 🤷🏻‍♀️ you’re not any less of a human for feeling that way. I used to worry so much about what others thought of me all the time but I know that that isn’t a life to live. Nobody has the right to judge you wether it be your gender or sexual preference or in my case, lack of.

Be you. Nobody else is you and that is your superpower. It’s quote I saw somewhere online and I think it’s spot on! 😁

The Art of Happiness.

You know what, this week has been a real kick downwards for me.

My positive mind keeps drifting away and I’ve been finding it hard to pull it back but I have such amazing support around me I’ve gotten back to smiling!

This week someone has made a disgusting comment towards me that I wasn’t being able to budge out of my mind, it was basically telling me I am a problem because of my condition and telling me to get over it, that’s just a nice way of wording it 😂

I let this get to me, then I clicked back into it! If I let that comment get to me the only person it’s upsetting and affecting is me, if someone says something negative to you, you have the power to let it pass, ignore it. YOU win then. THEY are irrelevant and will always be the unhappy opinionated grumps.

Ignorant people will never see how their actions truly affect people, be strong and don’t let it get you down. You are not the problem. THEY ARE.

I’m happy, I’m able to do all I want to do in my life and I’m grateful for that. I have loving support around me and so guess what. I don’t need negative opinions on me absorbed.
If you have something to say that could hurt someone, don’t say it. Keep your opinion to yourself. End of.
Be happy, happiness is the best medicine ✨
Remember it’s okay not to be okay sometimes, it’s the path after to kick yourself into your positive path that matters.

If you’re reading this. You’re amazing, and no one can change that about you ♥️

Ellie @ TEWP x

Boycotting the diet industry.

January has been a hard month. I’ve hit this wall of not quite knowing what I’m doing or how to start the process of dealing with trauma I’ve otherwise been distracting myself from. I’ve been distant from family and friends because its easy for me to isolate myself than face the world. I’ve been dodging the swing ball of diet culture that never stops and trying to stick to my recovery without allowing the ongoing parade of sign ups and sellers filling my inbox. I’m almost grateful I’m not at work because I cant deal with the discussion I know everyone and their hamster is having.

My biggest issue is how diet culture infiltrates my safe space. Its looming in my inbox, hiding on my social feeds and putting itself in the mouths of those I love. I have people I usually enjoy interacting with pushing PTs and portion control down my throat. I have friends investing in contraptions in hopes to mould a new shape. Family who still to this day cannot stop talking all things diet related despite my request not to.

It rushes us off our feet in January like an avalanche of lies disguised as secrets and it doesn’t stop. There’s always some reason to be trying to change our appearance and to buy in to the body shaming culture that controls us. A season, a social event a holiday, we keep being presented with unrealistic moulds we weren’t designed to fit in and are then chastised when we cant, don’t or wont. I’m suddenly aware of this grim reaper of diets that’s forever looking for new victims to claim as its next self loathing follower.

I’m fully aware that for some being on a structured diet is something that is needed. For my own recovery I had to follow eating plans and for some this is the only way to ensure they sat happy and healthy. However pushing and enforcing any one way of living on to people is not just wrong, its rude. There is no one way of living, its what makes life so magical .we have multiple races and religions and beliefs around this floating ball of water. What is damaging is to force those around you in a manipulative fashion to follow you in to a darkness they have no desire to exist in.

I want this world to change, to become a place where body positivity truly exists and not just in certain circles and when its profitable. In reality I know we are a long way off. I want it that when my children find their own way in the world they are respected for who they are and their existence. That they know bodies come in all shapes and sizes, colours and designs, abilities and genders. In reality too many people profit for the idea of perfection and worse still, too many of us keep buying into it.

So do me favour, if you promote anything to do with any kind of industry based on changing your appearance, add disclaimers and trigger warnings, give people the option to read on or scroll to the next picture. Give those fighting for control a little of it back. By all means discuss numbers if that’s what your followers and community are looking for, but do so responsibly for those of us still trying to unlearn them and find health. Advertise what you must to pay your bills, but consider how you would feel if someone was selling that product to your child, your sibling or your mother. Let us know the down side to the things that you are promoting, not everything is perfect, no shake can create perfection and no one ever finds that perfection they are searching for because the industry will always keep moving the bar.

Eat healthy because it fuels you to play with you kids, to work, to climb a hill, to hang out with your friends not because someone told you that’s how you should do it. All food is good food, some may be more nutritious but lets face it, some taste better than others.

Be kind to your body, be kind to yourself and dont waste your time trying to be something you weren’t designed to be.

take care,

love and hugs,

Hayleigh xo

Georgie’s Story.

This is the first time I’ve really spoken about the thoughts I had about my body whilst being a teenager with Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome (KTS).
In a nutshell, I was born with one leg bigger than the other. I will go into more detail about it in a future blog post, or you can find out more by looking at my Instagram (listed a the bottom of this article!).

Growing up, I was constantly comparing my body to what I saw in films and magazines. Slim people who had symmetrical bodies were in my eyes “perfect”, as that was what t.v adverts and magazine articles always portrayed. Did I ever see girls wearing compression stockings or having different looking legs? Not. At. All.

All the shows and magazines I loved had little or no diversity: Teen Vogue, The Hills, The Devil Wears Prada, The OC, the list goes on! I thought; visually, that I wasn’t enough, as the media was sending me subliminal messages: my body didn’t make the cut. I did not have the “bikini body” I kept seeing advertised and articles written about. I went through a phase of doing sit ups everyday before school started because I believed that having abs would make me feel better about my body, and that it would draw attention away from my leg.

The closest thing I could relate to was Bethany Hamilton’s book -Soul Surfer- she’d lost her arm in a shark attack. She was determined to surf again despite missing an arm and absolutely embraced it. She was such a major source of inspiration, and still is. I absolutely loved the film adaptation too (worth a watch).

I used to love watching America’s Next Top Model. Which is kind of ironic really, because it was all about what you looked like and having this perfect “look”. I can’t for the life of me remember what episode it was but Tyra strongly advised a beautiful woman on there to have the gap between her two front teeth closed. And it made me really upset and angry. The lady was happy with her teeth, and felt that it was a characteristic which made her unique; yet there she was being pushed to have her teeth adjusted. And for what? Someone else’s idea of what is attractive, and on what they thought would sell. For a teenager to see that was in no way, shape or form okay. It was insinuating that my differences weren’t good enough and that I should change to fit someone else’s ideologies.

Fast forward to today…. Everything has changed, yet everything is still the same. We have been given an amazing platform to broadcast our thoughts and our ideas globally, all at the touch of a screen.

Teenagers are now exposed to social media. I see influencers are pushing to sell weight loss products to their followers (many of which are teenagers who are particularly vulnerable) claiming that by drinking a “skinny coffee” you will lose 5 pounds in week. They will then proceed to back this up with a before and after photo (posing and lighting works miracles people!). There they stand with their chiseled jawbones, abs of steel, pert breasts and perky bottoms. This would have taken hard work in the gym, a carefully planned diet and maybe even some cosmetic surgery; not a week drinking “skinny coffee”.

I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that I want to see more people confident with their own bodies; regardless of size, shape, colour or gender. And EMBRACING it. As girls – like my teenage self- will be seeing your photos (yes YOU with the 3.7 million followers) and be influenced by them. You want them to love the skin they’re in and empower their peers that it’s okay to be different.

To the people with a large following on social media; think carefully before you agree to that paid partnership with a fast track weight loss product. You are influencing millions of young minds, when most of them are already self conscious (like I was) of their bodies. Instead, encourage them to realise that they have so many assets which make them beautiful inside and out. They are good enough (and so are you!) just the way they are.

Instagram: @elknacc

Georgie @ TEWP x