We interviewed blogger Natascha Cox
DtL: Hi Natascha! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your story so far?
Natascha: Where do I start?! I live in Buckinghamshire and come from a mixed family. My dad is Jamaican and my mum is from the UK. I started blogging a few years ago as I have always loved fashion and so I started a blog about beauty and travel too. I am not your typical blogger, I try to send a positive message to girls and women following my work, that it’s ok to be just the way you are. It’s great to be healthy but judging people because of the way they look is just not right.
I want to let young girls know that you can be whatever you want to be, no matter how you look. The journey might be a bit difficult but you can make anything happen.
DtL: What would you say has been your recipe for success?
Natascha: Hard work! Nothing comes on a plate, even if it seems like it’s a piece of cake there is a lot going on behind the scenes. Sometimes it’s an uphill struggle but it is all worth it in the end.
“I want to let young girls know that you can be whatever you want to be, no matter how you look”
DtL: Have you ever experienced bullying?
Natascha: I haven’t experienced bullying in an ongoing situation but I did have a few negative experiences at school. I remember being called the P word repeatedly by a boy in middle school and I was so annoyed because I couldn’t get through to him that I was actually half black. There were other times when I had my hair made fun of and a girl who I was friends with decided to call me all kinds of names in front of all the boys on the school bus once.
Unfortunately I was not the kind of kid who just walked away from bad situations. I used to get so embarrassed and that meant I lashed out and normally got the blame for the whole situation.
I grew up in schools where I was surrounded by a huge majority of white kids so I was always different. I always felt like I was the odd one out, the girl the boys never fancied etc.
It wasn’t until I got to about 20 that I suddenly stopped caring what anyone else thought and started thinking actually I am quite hot…lol!
DtL: You have recently been made an ambassador for Girls Out Loud – What inspired you to get involved?
Natascha: I really wanted to work with a charity that I could relate to and when Girls Out Loud came along I thought it was perfect. The work they do is so relevant to how I felt as a teenager. Giving girls that support at school – where they go every day – is so accessible. The girls that the charity help know that if they are in trouble or just need to vent then there is someone who’s been through it all on hand, ready to listen.
It’s such a great concept and I’m so glad it’s expanding and reaching more and more girls in the UK – it’s just what we need.
“I grew up in schools where I was surrounded by a huge majority of white kids so I was always different”
DtL: Do you think that the media has a negative impact on young people in terms of body image and self-confidence?
Natascha: Yes! Sometimes they are working in such a small bubble of skinny, pretty writers, editors, models and celebrities that they forget what the real woman looks like. If you are constantly seeing women who look ‘perfect’ how does that make you feel about yourself? What lengths do you go to in order to be like the women that are portrayed in magazines and on TV as ‘the norm’?
DtL: If you could go back in time what would you tell your younger self?
Natascha: Please talk to your mum! I felt like there were certain things that I couldn’t go to my parents about. Now that I’m older I realise they would have helped me with anything. I made some big mistakes as a teenager and they have completely changed my life. I worried far too much about what others thought and gave in to a lot of peer pressure.
“Just be real and be kind!”
DtL: What motto do you live by?
Natascha: Just be real and be kind! I really don’t care what people think and I can’t stand fake people. I’m extremely loyal, so if you hurt me once then we are never friends again.
DtL: Our research revealed that 35% of teenage girls believe that their gender will have a negative effect on their career. What are your thoughts on this?
Natascha: That sucks! I think you just have to go into the workplace with the mindset that you are as good as your work, not your sex. If you put in the effort and show willing, it will be very hard not to get to where you want to be. Create opportunities for yourself and don’t wait for them to come to you.
DtL: Is there anything you would like to add?
Natascha: If you are being bullied or feel unhappy about something then please just talk to someone. It really does help and if someone else knows you are having a hard time they will be looking out for you which can never hurt.
There is so much support available, just look at Ditch the Label! Reach out if you need to.