Well it’s official, it’s now been 2 years since I started the @ScouseBirdProbs twitter account and I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every minute. Twitter has changed my life, in every way you could possibly think of.
The most transformative thing for me has been all the amazing people I’ve met and friends I’ve made, particularly the members of The SBI. What I love about Twitter is how open and social it is. You come across people and points of view that you might never necessarily come across in real life (and the odd harrowing dick pic of course). There are people I didn’t get on with at first but somehow fate has conspired to make us friends – @MeNansSound is an example of this. Once upon a time when I used to do #CircleOfSheow (which I swear was never malicious) he pulled me up on it and in his own unique way told me I was out of line, which of course I was. I can admit when I’m wrong and I haven’t done it since. Twelve months later and I’m using the Grand National weekend and relationships I’ve cultivated with national brands to celebrate women and Liverpool by running #CircleOfFab instead (the #COS is not coming back despite loads of requests…bad karma init). Twitter has made me less judgmental.
I’ve had a complete change of career. When I grew up my dream job was to be either a writer or a model – the model thing was never gonna happen cos basically I have a passionate love affair with carbs and I, er, don’t look like Gisele but doing this has got my writing seen and opened so many doors for me that now I can actually say I am a full time writer. What’s even more amazing is that I get to write about the things that I love; Liverpool, fashion, beauty, going out, scran, cocktails and travelling. Don’t think for one second that I don’t know how blessed I am, because I do. If I could choose any job in the world, ANY, I would choose the one I do at the moment and that’s totally humbling. For example I got to go to all 3 days at Aintree this year which was amazing but I WAS working. I had to watch what I drink and spend time running between the stands and the press centre to get articles and pictures sent off to various publications and while my friends went out drinking afterwards I had to go home and write and get an early night to be ready for the next day. I’m not moaning for a second, I loved every minute but no one really sees that side of things. I get several e-mails a week about how I’ve inspired other women to start their own careers and that makes me feel so proud, of myself and of them.
I look completely different. I may not look like a model and god knows I never will but I was going through old Facebook pictures last week and I’m like a different person. I’ve lost weight, my hair and make up is better, I dress better; you can’t please everyone though. I still get comments slagging off my outfits but that’s what’s amazing about people – we all have different styles and tastes. What’s that song? If everybody looked the same, then we’ be tired of looking at each other. I had a couple of young girls berating my choice of races outfits and saying that they ‘weren’t Scouse’. Well 1. Of course I don’t have the same taste as you, you’re 19 with a waist like my thigh. I’m nearly 30 and I have curves – I dress appropriately for my age and figure. And 2. A massive amount of what I wear is all locally designed including my races outfits….how can clothes and hats from established local designers NOT be Scouse? Come on, think about it.
I’ve never professed to be perfect…I’m just an average girl and I take some shockingly bad photos (if you don’t, you’re an alien) but I’m a writer, my looks don’t really have a bearing on what I do. I write about fashion & beauty etc. but I’m no expert – I like to describe myself as a Jack-of-all-trades, master of none. I don’t know everything, but I know enough and I never tell people what to do I just state my opinion on things as I see them. Either way, I love clothes and make up and shoes and bags – doesn’t that just mean I’m normal??
I’m less selfish. Before starting all this, charity work has never really been high on my agenda, my attitude was ‘if it doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t matter’ but I’ve had my eyes and my heart opened and now I love helping people. I get maybe about 100 requests a week to help with charities close to people’s hearts and the unfortunate thing is that if I helped with them all then it would lose all impact so I have chosen a select few that I help when I can (Hillsborough, James Bulger, Whitechapel Centre, North West Cancer Research and Ditch The Label). I can’t tell you how amazing it felt to hand over a cheque to Sue Roberts and Margaret Aspinall of the HFSG from the ‘Scouse Bird Diary’ profits earlier this year. I was also shocked when a simple post I did about buying a homeless man a meal deal spiraled into a country-wide movement about buying a cup of tea for the homeless…it’s not much but it raised the public consciousness on the matter. I’m not going to lie, that feels good – I’d recommend it to anyone. You never know how much of an impact a tiny gesture can have on others around you.
People always ask me if I ever expected any of this when I started ‘Scouse Bird’ and the answer is of course ‘no’. Nothing like this has ever happened before so how could I possibly have expected it or wanted it? It started as a bit of fun and then opportunities started coming my way and I took hold of them with both hands (YOLO init) and I’m just seeing where the road takes me. There are plenty of parody accounts out there in the Twittersphere but I’m not one of them although people tend to class me as that. As I see it I’m the creator of an original character who’s based on every girl, right from the Primark shoppers to the Cricket shoppers and everything in between. Not every girl relates to everything I say but I like to think there’s something in there for everyone at some point and if you don’t like it, that’s fine I’ve never asked anyone to follow me (apart from Kim Cattrall and Danny O like). Of course there’s a lot of me that goes into the character and on the blog and Instagram the lines can get a little blurry between what’s me (Steph if you’re interested) and Scouse Bird but on Facebook and Twitter I try and keep it separate as much as possible. I’ve managed to keep my identity relatively unknown for the past 2 years, the reason being that although I’ve been accused of being fame hungry (as a lot of people are) I’m genuinely not. I’d rather have success over fame any day, be assed walking down the street straight from the gym without any slap on and having people actually notice you…I’d rather just blend into the crowd thanks. That being said I’ve never kept my identity a ‘secret’ just kept it quiet. Matters were taken out of my hand back in December when an account called ‘Parody Faces’ was opened on twitter outing all the local anonymous accounts, myself included and it was trending in Liverpool at one point. I always knew it would happen one day and my contingency plan was that I would post a load of pictures on my personal account including some god awful ‘ugly selfies’ just to show that I really don’t take myself too seriously. In a way I was relieved, trying to keep out of photos and things is a proper pain in the arse and having the fear of being ‘outed’ hanging over you all the time isn’t particularly nice. Luckily nothing bad came from it and that’s actually how I ended up with my slot on Juice FM of a Monday morning so no harm no foul. People have been tweeting me telling me they saw me at the races getting interviewed by Channel 4 at the races or in the Echo and ‘OMG YOU’VE BEEN OUTED!’ – well yeah, I was outed ages ago. I wasn’t getting interviewed as Scouse Bird, I just got stopped cos I was a girl at the races in a huge hat and being outed means I’m not bothered about remaining a secret anymore. One thing I won’t do is put my picture up on any of the Scouse Bird accounts because as I said, she’s a character, not me and I’m not interested in 213,000 people suddenly having my kite shoved down their throats so I’ll continue to blank my face out if I need to show an outfit or something. I’d like to take a minute to acknowledge that the picture in the Echo was quite frankly hideous and I’d obviously left my jawline in the taxi but remembered to put on my 10 chins :’-( FUCK YOU CARBS, I LOVE YOU BUT YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND! Either way if you’re interested in pictures of me for whatever reason there’s tons on my personal account, which I also won’t publicise, but I will say it’s not hard to find. I’ve had personal attacks on my looks today from complete strangers I’ve never had any dealing with before, I believe that reflects more on them than me but of course it gets to me sometimes….who wouldn’t be upset by that? But….deep breath and carry on – luckily I have amazing friends who are always there for me.
The vast majority of people I come across are absolutely lovely but I do get the odd bitchy ‘who does she think she is’ comment every now and again. Well, the answer is I don’t think I’m anyone, I’m just living my life. I don’t actually berate anyone’s looks, I don’t tell people what to do and whatever your perception is, people who know me will tell you that I don’t have an ego (the character does a bit though) – you kind of have to ask yourself why it bothers you so much? To quote Nelly, Justin & Timberland ‘I’m not here to hurt nobody. So er don’t hate on me cos you didn’t come up with it.’ I do try and do my best to please everyone but I’ll never be able to do that.
One thing I am is extremely proud of the city I’m from and the people in it and what I’m trying to achieve by working with national companies and trying to get a sitcom and book commissioned is fly the flag for Liverpool and make the rest of the country love it just as much as we do. I saw an amazing video & poem yesterday about Liverpool by Steven Fletcher (who used to be in Brookside….aww bring back Brookside) and it got me proper choked up but I think it basically sums up how we all feel about our hometown.
So yeh, it’s been 2 years and I’ve had an amazing journey and I can’t wait to see what the next 2 years brings.