Pretty Hurts

Mama said, “You’re a pretty girl.
What’s in your head, it doesn’t matter
Brush your hair, fix your teeth.
What you wear is all that matters.”

Just another stage, pageant the pain away
This time I’m gonna take the crown
Without falling down, down, down

Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worst
Perfection is a disease of a nation, pretty hurts, pretty hurts
Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worst
We try to fix something but you can’t fix what you can’t see
It’s the soul that needs the surgery

Blonder hair, flat chest
TV says, “Bigger is better.”
South beach, sugar free
Vogue says, “Thinner is better.”

Just another stage, pageant the pain away
This time I’m gonna take the crown
Without falling down, down, down

Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worst
Perfection is a disease of a nation, pretty hurts, pretty hurts (pretty hurts)
Pretty hurts (pretty hurts), we shine the light on whatever’s worst
We try to fix something but you can’t fix what you can’t see
It’s the soul that needs the surgery

Ain’t got no doctor or pill that can take the pain away
The pain’s inside and nobody frees you from your body
It’s the soul, it’s the soul that needs surgery
It’s my soul that needs surgery
Plastic smiles and denial can only take you so far
Then you break when the fake facade leaves you in the dark
You left with shattered mirrors and the shards of a beautiful past

Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worst (pretty hurts)
Perfection is a disease of a nation, pretty hurts, pretty hurts
Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worst
We try to fix something but you can’t fix what you can’t see
It’s the soul that needs the surgery

When you’re alone all by yourself (pretty hurts, pretty hurts)
And you’re lying in your bed (pretty hurts, pretty hurts)
Reflection stares right into you (pretty hurts, pretty hurts)
Are you happy with yourself? (pretty hurts, pretty hurts)

You stripped away the masquerade (pretty hurts, pretty hurts)
The illusion has been shed (pretty hurts, pretty hurts)
Are you happy with yourself? (pretty hurts, pretty hurts)
Are you happy with yourself? (pretty hurts, pretty hurts)

Yes
Uh huh huh

Lyrics taken from the song Pretty Hurts by Beyonce Knowles

November Girl

In a cold drizzly country called England
a girl was born in November.
She had a good heart right from the start
from what she could remember.

Raised by a single-parent mother
on a council estate, she was odd.
At her school, the kids were cool
and she always felt left by her tod.

So the girl was smart and literate.
At a young age, many a book she perused.
But she never fit in, felt wrong in the skin
and teenage life left her rather confused.

When it came to decisions of the future
November girl kept changing her mind.
A journalist, editor or beautician
her true destiny she couldn’t find.

So she went to college for A Levels
and university for the bachelor.
But the student life was not for her
as she wasn’t into the drink and drug culture.

On the quest for internal happiness
she dabbled in different vocations.
Retail, waitressing and office work galore
It was a more of a chore, nothing like a vacation.

After job hopping she settled down
in an office job at the bottom
of the hierarchy in the corporate institution.
But how to deal with the suits, she couldn’t fathom.

Finally November girl learned that all she needs
to do to find peace within, is overcome your fears.
She now lives in a small quiet house
with her cat and partner of five years.

Just Be Yourself

I need time
Love 
Joy 
I need space
I need me

Say hello to the girl that I am
You’re gonna have to see through my perspective
I need to make mistakes just to learn who I am
And I don’t wanna be so damn protected
There must be another way
Cause I believe in taking chances
But who am I to say
What a girl is to do
God, I need some answers

What am I to do with my life
 You will find it out don’t worry
How Am I supposed to know what’s right?
You just got to do it your way
I can’t help the way I feel
But my life has been so overprotected

I tell ’em what I like
What I want
What I don’t
But every time I do I stand corrected
Things that I’ve been told
I can’t believe what I hear about the world, I realize
I’m Overprotected

I don’t need nobody telling me just what I wanna
What I what what what I’m gonna
Do about my destiny
I Say No, No
Nobody’s telling me just what what what I wanna do, do
I’m so fed up with people telling me to be
Someone else but me

Adapted from the song “Overprotected” as sung by Britney Spears. Lyrics written by Max Martin and Rami

The Future of Education

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to visit a school with a colleague as part of my job (it certainly beat being stuck in the office 9-5). Having left school almost 10 years ago it was a very nostalgic experience for me. To walk down the schools corridors, the smell, the library. What struck me most was how much duty of care the school placed towards their students. They are a school that encourages healthy eating, a school that encourages students to have a voice. My colleague interviewed small groups from years 7 through to 13 to ask them what provisions their school puts in place regarding careers advice and guidance. All groups were enthusiastic, confident, spoke well of the school and of the teachers. I had a feeling that this was nothing to do with the fact they were being interviewed; these were their own genuine views.

My own experience at secondary school was much different. I never knew what I wanted to do at school and in my adult life I still don’t. Even though we had PSHE classes in retrospect these weren’t delivered very well. I think schools really need to make more of an effort in guiding students and preparing them for academia or the working world beyond school. We are made to make big decisions at such a young age whether it be choosing what subjects to choose for GCSE at Year 9 or choosing what to do after leaving school. With so little guidance it is no wonder that the system is failing young people today. Whilst it’s a great idea that the government demands that students stay in education or choose an apprenticeship, this has little impact if students have not had the guidance to know what vocation is best suited to them.

At least Nick Clegg recognises that something needs to be done to reduce NEET figures amongst 16-24 year olds and that schools need to do more to offer students career provisions. Let’s hope actions speak louder than words.