Yay, Zoella’s back! But is ghostwriting such a bad thing?!

Thank goodness she’s back online to continue her “Vlogmas” countdown with boyfriend, Alfie Deyes:

But poor old Zoella can’t seem to win these days! After all the criticism for being too girly now she’s in trouble for having her new best-selling book ghost-written. In other words, she’s had help writing it.

A record-breaking 78,109 copies of Girl Online were sold in teh first week it was published!

A record-breaking 78,109 copies of Girl Online were sold in teh first week it was published!

Here at Grrrls’s Life we don’t really understand the problem. Sure, Zoella didn’t write ALL of Girl Online. But how many famous people besides novelists like JK Rowling and Kate O’Hearn, who make a living from their writing, really do write all their own books?

Think about all those celebrity “autobiographies” from footballers and people from the TV. Can you really see 1D sitting around a table for hours on end writing about their lives when they’re all so busy on tour, writing songs and recording them?

We doubt Harry and co. all sat down together to write every word of their new autobiography (image copyright Amazon.co.uk)

We doubt Harry and co. all sat down together to write every word of their new autobiography (image copyright Amazon.co.uk)

We all know that books take a long time to write and perfect, you don’t just sit down one afternoon at your laptop and produce a 200 page masterpiece. Or a 100 page one for that matter.

Let’s get real. Zoella is a blogger and vlogger. That’s what she does. She writes and talks online and makes her money from the promotional work she does telling us all about the best new products. And now she’s designing and selling her own products. That’s great.

But like Harry and co work in the music industry, Zoella didn’t make her name as an author. She’s the Girl Online. And her life as a blogger inspired her to share some of her experiences and ideas with us in a book.

For example, trolling. Don’t worry, we’re not about to spoil the story for those who haven’t read it yet, but after being trolled online Penny, the book’s main character explains that “Every time you post something online, you have a choice.” And Zoella herself has tweeted that choice before after a siminalr experience: “You can either make it something that adds to the happiness levels in the world – or you can make it something that takes away from them.”

Perhaps the people criticising Zoella for being dishonest about writing the book should think again!

FEATURE: Grrrls get computing!

WHERE WOULD WE BE WITHOUT COMPUTERS?!

Everyone knows how to use a computer, right? We practically live on them. Whether it’s a laptop, a desktop, a mobile phone, or a tablet people of all ages are spending more and more time on them.

We chat to friends on computers, we work on them, we take photos and make videos with them, and we share all these things with other people using our different devices.

And you guys are in the group that use them the most because, unlike your parents or older brothers and sisters, you have grown up with computers and the technology like Facebook and YouTube that let you create and share things so easily.

Using apps like Instagram and Snapchat comes naturally to you – it’s almost as if you were born already knowing about filters and tags!

And older grrrls aren’t doing so badly online either – just look at our fellow bloggers and vloggers Zoella, Louise at Sprinkle of Glitter:,

Glozell:

and Geek Gurl:

But do we actually know how the apps and computers we use so often actually work?

This year was The Year of Code, when everyone was supposed to learn more about the basics of computers, not just how we can use them, but how we can make them.

“SO what is code?!” we hear you cry! Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as its sounds. Code is basically the way we speak to computers to tell them what to do. It’s a language made up of numbers instead of letters.

And as the jingling of sleigh bells is getting closer and teh Year of Code is coming to an end, at Grrrl’s Life we thought it was time to ask why coding is so important so we spoke to Dan Bridge.

Meet Dan:

Dan Bridge spoke to Grrrl's Life to explain why he thinks it's important that girls learn more about computers

Dan Bridge spoke to Grrrl’s Life to explain why he thinks it’s important that girls learn more about computers

He’s on a mission to help more of you get creative with computers, and not just leave it to the boys.

Because a lot of schools in Wales don’t teach coding Dan set up Computer Craft as a way to help girls at school understand more about how computers and apps work.

To show how computers are basically made from different building blocks, like lego, Dan’s designed a kit where you can make your own cardboard computer which holds as those picture and word files we save .

These Craft Computers show you just what else is behind the screen, like the memory and the Central Processing Unit – which is essentially the brain of a computer!

Building a real computer is really very similar to building one from card, because it’s made up of lots of smaller parts and Dan’s craft kits are a great way to understand the basics of computers and how they work.

Here at Grrrl’s Life we’ve been getting stuck in, figuring out how everything fits together so why don’t you give it a go? You can download the kits FREE here!

We’ll let Dan tell you all about the inspiration for Craft Computers and why it’s so important for girls to get coding in our first podcast!

So now I know how a computer works, I’m all set?

Not quite. Dan also told us that a lot of the girls he teaches use their computers and phones for the social media apps, and that they love using them to keep in touch with each other – sound familiar?

We know that most of you are all over Facebook and are pretty savvy Instagram and Snapchat users, but do you know what’s going on behind the scenes?

Here at Grrrls Life we think it’s important to know that everytime you use anything like Facebook or Twitter and give them your details, they sell them on!

We caught up with Grrrl’s Life reader and follower Eleri to talk about what she uses social media for and to discuss what this means for you guys…

And once she’s learnt enough about coding to make her own app, what will Eleri design?

Grrrls have been coding for over 100 years!

Because we rely on them so much, and they make so much money, computer companies pretty much run the world. And like Dan said, the people that run those companies are mostly men like him. But we totally agree with Dan that girls can be just as good, if not better at using computers, science and maths than boys.

In fact, when the first basic computer was created by Charles Babbage it was a Countess who became the first ever computer programmer, and was able to make it work!

In 1842 Ada Lovelace became teh world's first computer programmer!

In 1842 Ada Lovelace became the world’s first computer programmer!

It’s not just good old Ada, women have been doing important work with computers and technology since right up to now. In September, Sheryl Sandberg became the Cheif Operating Officer at Facebook!

Sheryl Sandberg is now pretty much running the world at Facebook!

Sheryl Sandberg is now pretty much running the world at Facebook!

If that’s not inspiration to get cracking on those computers, we don’t know what is!

Coding isn’t compulsory at schools in Wales, so if we’ve caught your attention and you want to learn more about computers there’s plenty of help on Twitter where you can follow: @girlswhocode, @DanfBridge and @blackgirlscode as well as #girlscoding. And don’t forget to download those craft kits!

 

Christmas Jumpers to Make you Stand Out

So, the decorations are up and the lights on – atleast they are in the High Street – so it’s official, Christmas is nearly here!

With a month to go it surely it’s just about acceptable to crack out the Christmas jumpers!

It seems like everyone is wearing one and the shops are full of all kinds of Christmas pudding, snowflake, and Father Christmas versions.

But Christmas jumpers are tricky. How do you stay on trend and stand out without looking like you’re wearing something old and smelly that your gran knitted years ago, or like your dad when he think’s it’s funny to wear a novelty jumper at Christmas dinner?

Have no fear. Grrrl’s Life has been shopping for some slightly different Christmas jumpers that are guaranteed to make you stand out from the crowd. And they won’t bust your savings (or your parents!)

  1.  This Only reindeer hoody won’t just keep you warm, it’ll keep the snow out of your hair. It’s great for dressing down with a pair of jeans. Available from a size 8 to 16 you can choose a fitted look or save if for those really cold evenings and layer it over other tops in a bigger size.

2. Spread the cheer with New Look’s T’is the Season to be Jolly sweater. Not only is it light and won’t have you feeling all bundled up, but it makes a great change from all those jumpers with pictures and patterns. It’s simple and to the point.

3. Add a little sparkle with this robin jersey from Next. It’s proof that loads of bright colours aren’t the only things that makes a jumper eyecatching. Paired with jeans or a black or tartan skirt and black tights this would be perfect for any Christmas do.

4. The festive season wouln’t be complete without a onsie to keep toy warm from head to toe. This snowman from matalan not only looks super cosy, but with the 3D hat and nose it’s also great fun. Perfect for flopping infront of the TV and catching all the Christmas shows after dinner.

5. Who doesn’t love cats?! With this cat jumper from Asda not only will you stand out from all the reindeers and snowmen, but when you buy it you’ll also be entering into the festive spirit by donating to Save The Children! What’s not to like?

This is just the start! Why not head over to our pinterest page where you can find more great christmas jumper ideas.

There’s so much more to you than meets the eye…

SO. Fashion and beauty megastar-vlogger, Zoella is being talked about a lot in the adult world at the moment.

With her new beauty range and book out at the moment, I’m sure she needs no introduction but just in case here’s the .

Depending on who you talk to, Zoella is either the role model you guys have all been looking for, or she is teaching you all to care far too much about what you look like.

The main problem people seem to have with Zoella’s blogs and videos is that one minute she is telling you guys not to worry about the way you look [link to example], and the next she’s telling you all how fantastic the new makeup range at Boots is….you see where this is going?

Most of her critics think that this makes Zoella a bit of a hypocrite.

She’s in a tough position – you can’t please everyone. But isn’t there a middle ground?

I don’t know about you guys but I find it’s fun to mess around and experiment, with clothes, makeup and hair styles. Using your face as a canvas for some wacky new creation, like a painting, is something EVERYONE should be able to do!

The thing is, Zoella is also right when she says you shouldn’t worry about what you like.

There are sooooooooo many more ways of being a girl, being an individual, than having this season’s hair, or shoes, or clothes. You don’t need to have the right-shaped eyebrows to express who you are all the time.

So….Here’s this week’s challenge: If you normally wear make-up to school (even if it’s only a bit of mascara or lip gloss) try one day without it.

Take a picture and share it on Twitter and Facebook @Grrrlslife with the hastag #barefacebeauty and say how you feel.

This time it’s not for charity – it’s all about you!

I’ve already shared mine to get the ball rolling so what are you waiting for?

Boys will be boys….

School. It can be a laugh, a place to meet new friends and learn new things. Those moments when you’re shaking with laughter and can’t even remember why, spluttering behind your hand every time you look up at your friends.

But have you noticed some people get away with clowning around more than others? I don’t know about you but when I was at school it was nearly always the boys.

Class clowns have been around for as long as we’ve all had to go to school. We all know the guy: The cheeky chappy who’ll answer back to the teacher, ask the stupid questions and pull the chair out from under an unsuspecting victim. But he gets away with it. He always gets away with it. At my school the teachers would always dismiss it as irritating but harmless fun because, y’know, boys will be boys and all that.

Whereas for us girls, speaking up, having a laugh and shouting out was never considered appropriate. “It’s not how girls behave.” “It’s just not ladylike.” That’s what me and my friends were always told when we ran in the corridor or got too loud.

I want to know what experiences you guys have had when you’ve noticed the boys getting away with more in school. Do you feel like you’ve been told off for messing around when your male peers have gotten away with it? Have you been told to be quiet or slow down whilst the boys carry on?

Have you ever mentioned thse dounble standards to your teachers or parents?

Share your stories and their excuses below. Or even better tweet @grrrlslife and tell the twittersphere all about it using the hashtag #boyswillbeboys….

Welcome to It’s a Grrrl’s Life…

Congratulations!

You’ve made it to Grrrl’s Life – the blog for girls with opinions and ideas, but nowhere to share them!

This space is YOURS to discuss what matters to YOU, and to share what it’s really like growing up as a girl in the 21st century. ‘Cause, let’s face it, it’s not easy: from the shift to new schools and friendship groups, to the pressures to dress, behave and appear a certain way becoming a teenager can be tough. And the emotional and physical challenges that those damn hormones cause don’t make it any easier.

Sometimes it’s hard to express everything that might be going on, or to find anyone that feels the same as you.

And it’s easy to feel that you’re not being listened to.

But here at It’s a Grrrls’ Life you have a space to share your thoughts and interests. Whether its music, art, friendships, school, celebrity or sport, this space is yours to be as creative as you can be in expressing what matters to you.

Because what you think matters.

The Facebook and Twitter accounts are now live, so what are you waiting for?? Get sharing…..