The other side of the familiar tale

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Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

We all know how the tale of heartbreak goes. We know what it looks like, sounds like and feels like. It is in the books we read, the music we listen to and it saturates the films we watch. The science behind it has been explored tirelessly, we have analysed its different stages and have scoured the earth for a cure. What we haven't paid attention to, however, is the other side of the story.

Do a quick search on the internet for “how to deal with heartbreak” and an infinite amount of results will appear. There will be pages of articles giving both practical and emotional advice, helping people through that gut-wrenching period of their life. If you search instead for “how to cope with breaking someone else's heart”, the results will look a lot more sparse. The advice available is mostly practical, detailing how and where to do the deed and how to phrase it to minimise the impact. …


You are not vain, you deserve to accentuate your best features

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Photo by Kim Carpenter on Unsplash

Have you ever hesitated to wear an outfit that you know you’ll look amazing in due to the fear of being too much? Have you ever found yourself making excuses for wearing that dress that accentuates your curves, or justifying your choice to put on red lipstick? Have you ever dressed yourself down in order to appear more ‘humble’ or ‘down to earth’?

If you’re reading this thinking “hey, that's me”, then stop and listen to what I have to say.

No matter who you are, you deserve to look great. Be it for someone else, or just for yourself, you should never be apologetic or hesitant to show your very best to the world. Somewhere down the line, beauty and self-confidence became associated with vanity and appeared something negative. We build people up, telling them to strive towards confidence, yet when they achieve it they are cocky, they are arrogant and self-absorbed. …


Navigating the world of Zoom dates and socially distanced coffees

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Photo by Victor He on Unsplash

The last time I was single, was nearly four years ago.

I was 18, with a part-time teaching job whilst revising for my exams. I was young wild and free and dating was fun and simple. Meeting people at bars, swiping on Tinder or liking a few Instagram pictures of that guy I vaguely knew in the hopes that he would message me were my go-to methods. Dates involved going out for drinks, dinner, or even hanging out at their house watching a film. …


The story of America’s vastly misunderstood pop culture icon

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

Anna Nicole Smith, the once dazzling star of America, the Guess poster girl, the Playboy playmate of the month, the 90’s Marilyn Monroe, began life as Vickie Lynn Hogan. She came from a world of poverty, closed doors and small-town life and she wanted more. What Vickie wanted was the American Dream, the fairy tale life that was worth living- she longed for a way out of the environment that was suppressing her.

At the age of 14 in 1982, she dropped out of school after getting into a fight with another girl. Three years later, working in a fried chicken restaurant, she met cook Billy Waye Smith whom she married and had a son with a year later. Still feeling her life wasn't enough, she left their small town in Texas and her husband who she said had been abusive, and ran towards the bright lights of Houston, Texas. She tried working various jobs, however, the money was never enough for a single mother, striving for financial security for her and her son. …


Some words about the world’s beloved humanitarian Princess

Lady Diana
Lady Diana
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Diana,

You were the object of light and humanity in an environment of strict tradition, conformity and suppression. You endeavoured to venture along a path that no one in your position had done before, a path of activism, one that made real change. You were a loving mother to your sons, a loyal wife despite adversity and a humanitarian. Only 20 years old when you married Charles, you fell into a poisonous world which drew you in and then became an enemy. You were a Princess for the people of Britain, yet that very same nation harassed you without cease.

Opening yourself up to us, you gave us your smiles and your conversation yet we would not leave you alone. We were insatiable, we demanded more and more of you, intruding into your life taking every little piece of you, despite you giving so much of yourself to us already. Despite an incompatible marriage to a man without any respect for you, despite the constant persecution of the media, you still shone with your charismatic charm. …


It is not enough to respect your mother or your sister

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

We live in an age where the endeavours of feminism have paid off to some extent. Women can vote, we have witnessed the U.S electing their first female Vice President. However, these victories do not in any way mean that the patriarchy has been toppled, there is a long road ahead that needs to be travelled in order to achieve true equality.

One of the issues that remain, is inherent misogyny that is covered under the myth of respect for women. Many men claim they believe in equal rights for men and women, they encourage their sisters or daughters to aim for high positioning careers, yet will still call actresses ugly and laugh at feminist activists. For some men, their claim of respecting women is extremely shallow and the respect becomes selective. …


Lori Vallow befriends ex-grave digger and religious fanatic Chad Daybell and a string of mysterious deaths occur including her two children

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JJ and Tylee Vallow, source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

The disappearance of JJ and Tylee Vallow sparked interest across America and they became two of the most famous missing children at the time. However, what makes this case bizarre, is the fact that surrounding the children’s disappearance, was a series of deaths of people connected in some way to their mother Lori.

Lori Daybell, previously known as Lori Vallow was married to her husband Charles Vallow, with whom she shared two children, Tylee and JJ. …


Love means what we want it to in a certain context, so does this make it unstable?

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Photo by michael schaffler on Unsplash

Have you ever reminisced a previous love and realised that feeling was actually something else?

Looking back on previous relationships with partners, family and friends, have you ever analysed the feelings you believe you once felt and discovered that what you thought was love was merely desperation or a need to feel worthy?

Was that feeling of love and adoration a part of teenage obsession, or the desire to be protected and looked after?

Love comes in many forms and I believe we make it mean exactly what we want to or even need it to at a certain time in our lives. …


You’ve achieved your dream, so why do you still not feel good enough?

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Photo by Justice Amoh on Unsplash

A week ago, I moved to the University of Cambridge to study a master’s degree in children’s literature. It is an opportunity that I would’ve never expected, even in my wildest dreams, yet here I am.

I have achieved the seemingly unachievable, and I am reminded of this every time I walk into my college and see the university logo. I am studying in a world-class institution that many would tear off their own limbs to be accepted into. So why, after being admitted, do I still not feel good enough?

The very first day that I moved in, I met many brilliant people. The conversation usually began with the question: what are you studying? As I heard others tell me that they were neuroscience students or starting a degree in medicine, I began to question whether I really deserved to be here. Me, a mere person with a passion for analysing children’s books, grouped with people who nonchalantly discussed wormholes in a casual conversation- this didn't seem right. …


The shocking story of Jan Broberg, whose abductor ensnared her family in a web of deceit, religion and manipulation

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

The story of the Broberg family and the abduction of their daughter Jan is probably one of the most chaotic and bewildering true crime stories that I have ever come across.

The tale of Jan’s abduction became prominent in 2017 when the documentary Abducted in Plain Sight was released and even more so when it was added to Netflix. The story quickly became popular for its shock factor, as it is unlike any other missing child case which sees the parents using everything in their power to retrieve their child. …

About

Natasha Piggott

Cambridge master’s student, literature grad and a semi-amateur writer.

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