Defying the Stereotype!

In today’s society, people are told they can be who they want to be, but is this true? Growing up, like every little girl I wanted to be a princess, then a doctor or vet; but when it came time to decide what I wanted to do with my life I didn’t know. So, I thought about what I enjoyed doing. When I thought about it, I realised that I wasn’t the typical “girly girl”, I like building things, looking at cars and fixing them, going to lorry shows and car shows. This led me to think, why not become a builder but this was not normal for a girl to do so I was told to pick a more practical career goal. This was probably the right decision to make and stick to a career I could fit into, but I decide not to just fit in. 

When choosing my GCSE subjects, I chose to go with technology and design and then again at A-Level I chose construction and ICT. These decisions were questioned by both my family and by my teachers as I was the only female in these classes. I worked hard to prove them wrong, that girls were able to fit into the construction world. After the 4 years of building, designing, creating and even learning the laws around building and development I came top in my class with an A* and two marks off getting 100%. I was the first student at my school to every receive this grade. At the age of 18 receiving this grade I was smug and proud to be proving everyone wrong. 

Following into my university stage, I applied for Engineering Management. I studied this for a year only to realise that it would result in staying in an office working through paperwork and not becoming a practical job. It was also extremely difficult, and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to be who I wanted to be. I gave up. I questioned whether the stereotype was right and only men belonged in this world. I wasn’t ready to give on a career though. So, before finishing with the engineering course I thought about what else I was interested in. 

 I found myself always interested in how social media influencers promoted products through their Instagram. They would be sent products to wear and use and then have to post pictures or create short videos in their stories and review the products. This grabbed my attention even more as it grew more popular. This is when I decided to apply for the Communication Management and Public Relations (CMPR) course. 

Throughout this course i have learned a lot about how the marketing world works. I have also learned a lot about how this world works and how society is changing. Women are more expected now to do things out of the ordinary. There was a time when even advertising showed that women couldn’t buy a snickers bar through their television adverts. Women are now taking on more “masculin” roles in society. They have now abandoned the stereotype and strived to do what they want. More women are becoming CEO’s of companies, building their own companies, becoming lorries drivers and other male dominated job roles. This has taught me to do what makes me happy and leave the stereotype behind. 

Although, this also applies to men. Men can be nurses, hairdressers and stay-at-home dads. These aren’t simply female job roles anymore. We are turning our back on a stereotypical job role and not turning away the opposite sex simply for not being the “correct gender” for the role that they have applied for. 

This has encouraged me to continue with pursuing what I want to do with my career. The drive and mindset that other women have has encourage me to be who I want to be and not conform to what certain parts of society think a woman should be doing. Once I finish my degree in CMPR, I have decided to complete and mechanicing course and possibly obtain my HGV license. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I will continue on to do so. We are all equal, which means we can all do equal jobs. 

We must continue to be true to ourselves and defy the stereotype. That is why I would encourage everyone to be who they want to be and not listen to the judgement that we go through when we are striving to become who we want to be. 

 Hollie Walls is a final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found at:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/hollie-walls-565716198/ and Instagram – @holliewallss

Does Christmas Start too Early?

Does Christmas start too early?

 

We have this rule in my house, “Until we see the Coca-Cola advert or the Guinness one, then it is not Christmas!”. This has always been the way in my house; we never put our decorations up until the first week of December and don’t tend to get into the “Christmas spirit” until that time of the year. Every family has their own time for putting up their decorations or starting to watch Christmas movies or even talking about Christmas in general. Some families start on the 1st of November and some families don’t put their decorations up until the 20th of December; it simply depends on how you feel about Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although each family has their own time to start the festive period, organisations have their own ideas also. Many companies start to present their instore decorations on the 1st of November, start displaying Christmas decorations even before Halloween and offer Christmas packages for gifts etc. around the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas is a big time of year for every organisation there is, and it is also their busiest. They tend to promote Christmas as soon as they can but doe that really help with sales. Some people like to start their Christmas shopping early just to have it done to allow them to enjoy themselves over the Christmas period; where as others tend to wait until December as shopping for presents is part of the Christmas season. Over the past few years. organisations have tended to chance and put out their Christmas offers extra earlier and earlier. Does this have an impact on their sales or does this simply irritate the public because of how early they start the festive season? There’s a possibility it’s both.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6En52Uvb8Kc

People may feel pressured into quickly picking up bargains and sales to help with their Christmas shopping which then helps the organisations sales incline. On the other hand, people wish to enjoy Christmas, they don’t want to be sick of it halfway through December. Families, including my own, start Christmas on December first. This is when we watch our Christmas movies, listen to music and want to start our Christmas shopping. Christmas is more than shopping and presents for most families; its about the time we spend with family and friends. It’s a time to celebrate and enjoy time together. The main thing for most families is the magic of Christmas because of young children still believing in Santa Claus. Organisations play on this using the most impactful Christmas advertisements. For example, Coca-Cola have used to same Christmas advert of the lorry driving through towns as people of all ages stand out to see it for over 10 years which shows how much of an impact it has had on the public. Choosing the right time to share any media content and what you will choose is very important for a company. This year alone we have already seen how Iceland have chosen to use the new Frozen movie. This is a very smart decision for this company as it will become noticed by children very quickly which will result in them trying to get the attention of their parents to also watch the advertisement in turn allowing them to look at not just the fact of Frozen but of what the company have to offer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas is not all about the gifts and the money you spend; Christmas is more about the time you spend with the ones you love around you. Many people care more abut what they are giving and receiving from others, rather than how much time they get to spend with family and friends. It is the time of year that brings everyone closer together and allows people who don’t normally spend time with family or friends to do so. Organisations have the opposite view on this and constantly promote their products as early as they can for the cash flow, which is their main object but could possibly create more family and festive centred advertisements rather than simply targeting popular characters or movies etc. to attract peoples attention. Everyone has their own idea of Christmas, but does it really have to start as early as before Halloween and not have the festive aspect included?

 

 Hollie Walls is a final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found at:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/hollie-walls-565716198/ and Instagram – @holliewallss