ImEsprit, Esprit, Freddie Harrel. Nicole Hertel


I’m a big believer of signs, especially when it comes to personal reflection. I think that many things happen to keep us introspecting ourselves, I believe, as if we were meant to constantly reflect on ourselves, to better ourselves. It might sound cheesy, but that’d only be because of the way I put it, because when you think about it, isn’t it what we’re meant to thrive for? Become better?

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I’m not usually one for Valentine’s Day, I’ve never really been. But this year I’ll be the one knocking down glasses of champagne with a very special date: myself.

I know I’ve only been a mother for 5mns, but my life has changed in ways I haven’t been able to comprehend just yet. Someone asked me this morning what it felt like to be a mother, at that stage she could have handed me a pen and paper and given me 4 hours to dissert. The lack of sleep, the flow of hormones, and the soreness of both your mind and body will have you quite confused; throw society’s expectations on top and you have no idea what’s what.

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Guys, I haven’t written in so long. I mean written, written. That’s because 2016 (since that’s where we’re getting, eh) has been such an odd one. As you might know, I’ve moved to Geneva last May, and it’s been the loneliest it’s ever been. Oh and I was pregnant, so the hormones didn’t help make it less of a mind fuck. So I guess because of all the changes, mental struggle and the constant monologues, I’ve lost track of myself a bit. I was so consumed by this tiny world of mine that all the conversations were happening there, and not on here. But I got out, and it’s time to look at 2016 cause as much as it was hard, it was full of successes and blessings. But most of all, it was life. None of the hardships were cases of Oh why is that happening to me now? No, they were just normal stages of life as one navigates through it, through womanhood, and 2016 was part of the process of going through some of these stages. It got so challenging at times that I have to make it worth it by looking for the lessons it allowed me to learn and the time it’ll potentially save me in the future, that’s if I learn that is.


So what were they?

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As a blogger, I get a lot of exposure on social media and your daily positive comments have had a strong impact on my confidence. I’m lucky like that, because of my following I have this constant access to confidence boosting and happiness inducing words I can go back to every time I feel low. We’re all valid and beautiful, this is a message I constantly hammer during my SHE Unleashed Workshops, but for some of us it’s harder to remember it, because we’re not often reminded of it!

That’s the reason I’m so proud to be part of the Amazon Fashion EU project #SaySomethingNice along with the uber cool Susie Bubble, Gala Gonzalez, Camille Charrière, Clémentine Desseaux, Hana Tajima, Masha Sedgwick, Samar Seraqui, Ana Pizarro, and Sara Joleen. With this campaign, we all aim to help fashion and social media become a place that encourages women to spread compliments instead of judgments. But I’m telling you all about it in this video, so check it out 😉

I remember back when I was a personal stylist, I worked with many women who were shopping and dressing themselves with the sole purpose of being perceived as this idea they had of a cool and swanky woman. I definitely went there, and spent quite a lot of time in that space until a few years ago, it’s sometimes so much easier to hide ourselves than to expose our true selves to the world, for it to judge. This shows how much what others think, their judgment, have an impact on the way we dress. And more.

I’m definitely guilty of judging people, we all are. In these days and age of social media where we’re constantly invited, and how great is that, to share our opinions and suggestions about pretty much everything, we tend to forget that what we say can influence people, and sometimes a lot! We’re constantly on our phones, if you’re anything like me you can easily get caught scrolling through Instagram in the middle of the night with your eyes half shut. This is also when my mind is at its grumpiest state and I can have thoughts I’m not proud of. But although it’s one thing to have a negative thought, it’s another to take time out of your precious day to share and spread this negativity. I’ll never quite understand the reasoning behind nasty comments. How is the person receiving it supposed to feel? How constructive are negative comments? What’s their point really? And it also goes to show you the level of selfishness social media has facilitated: we want our ideas, our style accepted, but do we really return the favour ?

I always mention during my workshops that another way to confidence is to watch your chain of thoughts. I’ve worked a lot on mine, when I was much more insecure and miserable, I would be really criticising of women around me. By focusing on people’s negatives, it becomes easier to accept all these flaws you think pour right out of your pores like the River Seine. But by accepting others’ differences, you definitely become more lenient towards yours and this feeling of validation comes to blossom. You are an individual, you are unique, there’s only one of you. You can’t be bad at that! So accepting others’ unique style is a way to give credit to yours, to give it its identity and to recognize its uniqueness.

I absolutely love to comment on Instagram, I love to let people know I love what they do, what they wear or what they’re about; I’m much more the lazy emoji speaker type, but when I think of how little it takes me to share a bit of love, I’m almost ashamed that I don’t do it more often.

So with this video, I pledge to #SaySomethingNice whenever I can, to these lovely ladies I come across everyday, be it on social media or real life. Let’s start this movement for women everywhere to stop judging and start complimenting! Are you in?

Also check out this compilation of the cool gang aforementioned and I’s pledges

Lots of love,
Freddie x