Author Archives: Harri Rose

How to Make 2022 Your Best Year EVER (without the added pressure)

Oh, 2021, what a YEAR! But did you know, historically, periods of catastrophe have inspired celebration and exuberance once they’re over? After the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic, for example, came the Roaring Twenties! Ready to leave the shitshow of 2020-2021 behind you and forge onto 2022, making it the best year EVER? Read on…

Well, I don’t know about you but I can quite easily say that the last two years was like being repeatedly hit in the face with a wet fish (and I’m vegetarian, so this image is deeply unpleasant.) It’s safe to say that there’s been unprecedented plans cancelled, events ruined and moments of joy stolen in a whirlwind of chaos that is the pandemic.

Whether you had a date to tie the knot in the past two years and need to rearrange, or whether you had hoped to get married and need to rethink, or whether you had hoped for a big wedding and now you’re considering eloping… there’s certainly been a LOT of replanning happening!

This feeling wasn’t just confined to getting married either, there’s few people I know who have been asking themselves really big questions about their lives. If there’s one thing that Covid has done, its strip back pretty much everything to its bare bones.

Suddenly, there’s space to look around our homes and ask ourselves whether we actually like the colour of the living room? Or do I like my job enough that it’s worth the 3-hour commute each day? How good are my friends really? And ultimately, are the goals that I’ve been setting for myself the ones I really want?

This feeling of ‘WTF am I doing with my life?’ is prime fodder for this time of year. January is miserable for a few reasons 1. It’s dark 2. It’s cold 3. All the ‘New Year, New You’ BS. The shelves of bookshops are straining under the weight of self-help advice and magazines are awash with the latest fad diet which will profess that all your feelings of dissatisfaction will go away if we could drop a dress size (or three). It’s not that goal setting is inherently bad. Setting goals can motivate us to achieve a new hobby, set a savings target or even get us across a marathon line (you legends).

However, goal setting can also be a recipe for focusing too much on one area of our life and setting us up for nothing but self-flagellation, critical thinking and feelings of failure. Yikes! And this was before a pandemic where everything fell out of our control!

So, before you start buying a new bullet journal, putting up that wall planner and cutting up those magazines for a vision board, hear me out.

Perhaps the secret to a happier, healthier, more joyful 2022 is not to set 100 new habits or plan the big day of your dreams… but to throw away the end point all together?

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New Year, Not So New You: Give The Middle Finger To How Brides ‘Should’ Look

It’s January – that joyless month when we pack up the tinsel, hoover up the pine needles, brush the crumbs from our mouths and invariably promise that this is the year we’ll become new people.

There’s genuine pressure to try the latest fad diet or set some unrealistic resolutions for everyone. But add an impending wedding date into the mix and suddenly the stress of ‘new year, new you’ is very REAL.

Sadly, we live in a society where looking a certain way is placed at a higher importance than almost anything else. It’s more important than how kind you are, how many things you’ve accomplished, what a good friend you or even reaching your career ambitions.

Reaching a goal weight or achieving killer abs is seemingly be placed over and above anything else. We live in ableist, diet (read: thin) obsessed world that holds up one standard of (westernised) beauty. Ooph. And as a result, it’s very difficult to escape the message that maybe you aren’t measuring up.

When you’re planning your wedding it’s normal to want to look your best. But when traditional magazines are full of tall, thin, white women with glossy hair, spray tans and Ken Doll looking grooms, it leaves us thinking that we need to erase all our quirks, lumps and bumps. This is on top of the added pressure from family members or friends with their ‘helpful’ comments on what a bride ‘should’ be like. I can’t tell you the amount of people who asked me if I was really going to keep my pink hair on the big day. *Eye roll* Yes, it was never in question.

At the time we’re about to walk down an aisle to say the big ‘I DO’, you’d think we’d all become MORE secure in our worthiness of love – but because of all noise from friends, family, partners, trad bridal magazines and society – it’s easy for quite the opposite to happen. Just notice how much messaging there is around weddings being ‘perfect’ … ‘the perfect day’, ‘the perfect dress’, ‘the perfect bride’. Yikes.

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Making Peace with Wedding Photos

If there’s one piece of advice I would give any couple getting married it’s this… get a bangin’ photographer. That’s not to say you can’t also have Uncle Raj or Cousin Joe also take some to ‘build up their portfolio’, but I urge you, if budget allows, hire a professional.

I say this because a professional photographer will make you look like rock stars. I love having my photo taken by a pro because even though they’re a relative stranger, it makes me feel safer. As a recovered insecure person, I still get nervous about the end results so I like minimising the risk of a ‘bad shot’. Photos hold power over our self-esteem unlike anything else I can think of (trumped only by video maybe).

Ooph! How quickly a badly taken snap can steal your joy.

Recently I was at my Mum’s house and had the urge to look through some old photo albums (remember them?!) Some random photographs of me aged 18 years old fell out of one of the books. In these photos I’m the fattest I’ve ever been.

I’m sorry to say that even as a body acceptance coach and Anti Diet Riot Club Co-director my immediate reaction was horror. I hid the photos away quickly because I felt genuine disgust at how I looked. I continued to go about my day but I couldn’t stop thinking about these photos.

I realised that having spent years talking to other people about how to make peace with photographs, it was time for me to practice once again what I preach! I went back to the albums and took the photos home with me.

I want to share my tips with you because I believe that ALL photos taken on your wedding day should be enjoyed whether they’re ‘perfect’ or not.

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Saying ‘I do’ to Climate Action: How to be an Eco Badass on your Big Day

You’d have to be living under a rock to notice that the world is kinda on fire at the moment! The majority of folks acknowledge that climate change is happening now and that future predictions look, quite frankly, pretty terrifying. The good news is that taking action is the number one way to counter any anxiety or despair you might be feeling and there’s heaps of ways to do this on your big day.

The wedding industry is not great for the environment. The book, The Green Bride Guide: How to Create an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget (published in 2008) states that in just one day the average wedding can produce the same amount of carbon as approximately five people produce in an entire YEAR.

Happily, it’s never been easier to be a change maker because there are now so many badass green alternatives out there. You really don’t need to be planning a hippy boho wedding to be putting on a spectacularly sustainable do, and you never know, you might just inspire other couples to do the same! (As an additional added bonus, you might find that putting the planet first can actually SAVE you money, see our tips below).

Let’s get one thing clear, we can’t recycle our way out of the climate emergency. Reports from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) emphasise that the real push for change this late in the game needs to come from governments and big industries, so join a local lobbying campaign and hassle your local leaders to take faster stronger action. However, consumer power is real. Use your voice by choosing wisely where to spend your hard-earned dosh.

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20 Ways That You Can Be A Better Body Positive Friend

If you’re on your own self-love journey (yay!) and want to share it with your friends so they too can nix the diet chat and self-loathing, read on…

It’s near impossible to avoid internalising the message that certain bodies (young, thin, white, able-bodied) are more worthy than others. Diet culture and the beauty standard are like the two evil step sisters ruining many of our Cinderella stories.

Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who has managed to opt out of diet culture it’s still a daily battle to love yourself.

At Rock n Roll Bride, we’re proud that you, the readers, are pretty switched on when it comes to knowing that happiness isn’t a number on a scale, but we also know that being body positive is still a niche compared to the amount of people believing that their body needs changing.

How can you create a more positive group of people around you? That’s what this article is all about! Your friend might be a few steps behind you on their bopo journey or might not have even taken their first step.

Before we crack on though, it’s important to note that a) you can never force change in anyone else, you can only change yourself (and that’s powerful) and b) we can never fully know the reality of another person’s experience, so staying compassionate and non-judgmental is absolutely essential when putting out your own body positive attitude.

Here are twenty small ways which can inspire positive change in your friendship group and family.

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How to Stay Resilient when Everything Keeps Changing

Regardless of how well or not well you think you did at adapting to change in the last year, the fact that you’re here reading this shows me that you made it. Congratulations!

We’re still not quite be out of the woods yet, and making plans (especially big wedding ones, particularly if you’ve had them dashed hard before) can feel really scary. What if you book something, get really excited about it and then find that everything has to be cancelled or postponed again?

I hear you honey, those thoughts are real and valid. It’s a tough time to try and get a big mixed generation group together (“Auntie Doris is 98, we can’t have her in the same room as little Jimmy’s 5-year-old-potential-germ-carrying-sticky-fingers!”) But here’s the thing, change is happening to us all the time.

We may wish the hands of time to stop turning but unless you happen to have Bernard’s watch*, we all have to deal with those calendar pages whipping away. (*For those of you who were not a small child in Britain in the 90s, this is an obscure reference to a BBC programme where a boy could stop time with his watch so as to get up to adventures and mischief and still be home in time for tea.)

Life is change. We must deal with changes in our relationships, mental health, communities, finances, physical health, job… there’s not a single place in our lives that isn’t subject to change. The problem is we need a balance of familiar and new, otherwise things feel incredibly stressful (it’s called Future Shock). 2020 was too much change, too quickly and that’s when many of us struggle to cope.

This is where resilience comes in. Researchers used to think that resilience was genetic. We all know someone who manages to cope with anything, right? We all used to believe that some people were just more able to cope with change than others. However, what the research has discovered is that resilience can be taught. If you haven’t heard, it turns out that our brains are malleable and we’re able to develop new neural pathways all the time. Look up neuroplasticity, it’s very cool. This scientific breakthrough means the saying is wrong, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Hurrah!

The question is, what does best practice in coping with change look like? (No, there’s no wine involved!) If you’re wobbly about change, here are a few healthy practices for increasing your level of resilience.

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