HomeTagsPosts tagged with "Melanie murphy"

Melanie murphy

by

RTÉ star, entrepreneur and TV personality Darren Kennedy has had quite the year, after his brilliant stint on Dancing With The Stars and the growth of his men's skincare and grooming brand, Kennedy & Co.

He's a man with a full schedule, no doubt, but how does he unwind in his spare time? Audiobooks, reading, and spending time with the nation's sweetheart; Amy Huberman, of course.

Speaking at the launch of Diet Coke’s first ever Book Club at Iveagh Garden’s Hotel, Dublin on Thursday, he describes the style of the extra-special events and spoke to us about his favourite books, authors and celebrity inspirations.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Darren Kennedy (@darrenkennedyofficial) on

The Diet Coke Book Club definitely has some upgraded features. It’s a twist on the classic book club, there’s Instagram Live events too for everyone to take part in. 

“Book clubs, by their very nature, tend to be quite small groups of people. Even though we’re having events in Dublin, Belfast and Cork, and people can sign up for free and come and join us, not everyone is going to be able to make it for whatever reason. Having the digital aspect to it, the live book clubs, opens it up to a whole new audience. You don’t even have to be in Ireland to join, which is nice. It kind of marries technology with books, and for a while people were saying that technology was the death of the book but it’s actually not. I listen to so many books on Audible and apps like that, it just marries the pair.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@librarycutie) on

Darren and Amy will be using social media to include as many people as possible into their world of literary joy, but do you need to put down the phone and pick up a book to really de-stress?

“I definitely want to read more. I find sometimes that life is so busy these days, I said this year that I wanted to remove the word ‘busy’ from my dictionary. I want to be balanced, having that time to switch off your device, pick up your book or even listen to it. I put on audiobooks in the car now and find it very soothing. My goal for the rest of this year is hopefully to read a little bit more.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Darren Kennedy (@darrenkennedyofficial) on

What can you tell us about your three favourite summer reads for the Diet Coke Book Club?

“We have two Irish authors, which is really exciting. Each of the books were chosen by Amy Huberman, and Amy knows her books so I’m taking them as a good call. For July we have If Only by Melanie Murphy. The August book club, which is myself and Amy, is How To Fail by Elizabeth Day, based on the famous podcast. And we also have Rules of the Road by Ciara Geraghty.”

Do you have a favourite easy summer read that you bring on all your sunny holidays for light beach reading?

“That’s a difficult question because once I’ve read a book I very rarely go back to it, but there are a few exceptions. Anything by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner, is incredible. I’ve read all of his books. I vary between And the Mountain Echoes or A Thousand Splendid Suns as my favourite. I read them over and over again. They’re such beautiful stories of humanity, you get a cultural insight and you feel like you’re being transported to this world and are learning something about the time, the place, the culture. That’s important to me for a book.”

Image: Carousell

If you were to write your own book, what would it be about? 

“It’s a book that I’ve had in the ether for a while now. For me, it would be about how to just live your authentic life and make the most of your life. It’s your life, it’s no one else’s and you’ve only got one shot at it. How do you go about doing that? It’s not rocket science. I think that would be the topic. Or maybe I’ll do a kids book based on my dog, Harry’s Adventures, or The Hair-Tale Adventures of Harry the Yorkshire.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Darren Kennedy (@darrenkennedyofficial) on

What character from a famous novel do you relate to the most?

“I really struggled with this one. I used to love comics as a kid and used to think I was in X-Men. As a child I could definitely relate to them, but now I can’t answer that. If I’m based on being my true self, I might relate to my authentic self more now.”

Is there a book that sums up summer for you? 

Summer to me is all about change, it’s all about difference and relaxing. So when I think of books that I read during the summer, generally I’m on a beach or wishing I’m on a beach and that changes every year. It has to be something simple, quick and easy. Actually, I read a book called The Cat on my last holiday. It’s really short, only about 80 pages by a Japanese author. It was so simple and easy but such a joy to read. Light and frivolous, nothing too heavy.”

Do you have a favourite author, or someone who inspires you? (Matt Haig is our new favourite.)

“I’ve listened to Humans by Matt Haig, loved it. My favourite author is Khaled Hosseini, hands down. I’m dying for him to release a new book. He did release a very short one, which I bought in the airport but I felt I was robbed but the money went to charity. A person I look up to is Oprah, she’s amazing. What she’s doing with ‘Super Soul Sundays’ and the book which she’s released, which is a compilation of some really insightful quotes, is really nice to dip in and out of. I also have a book of quotes by Buddha, a bedside book, which is quite nice. I pick it up twice a week and randomly pick a page and see what Buddha says.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Oprah (@oprah) on

Have you read Amy Huberman’s books? We won’t tell her if you haven’t read them!

Heartbreak Hotel is absolutely hilarious. No, I haven’t read her books, sorry Amy. That woman is sharp as they come and super witty and funny so it’s on the list.”

What do books mean to you, have they ever gotten you through a trying time?

“Yes, books have absolutely gotten me through a trying time. Books for me are a form of escapism but also a great way to put perspective on our own reality. Sometimes we can get so stuck in our own heads and our own situations, and books are something that allow the cogs to stop moving and project into something else can be really vital. A book that I read that I loved and definitely recommend reading is called Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser. Phenomenal book, but kind of intense. I just thought of another book that I loved as well was Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. I read that on a beach in Tarifa and just: Wow."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@hcmillican) on

What famous people would you invite to your book club?

“That’s easy for me. I’d keep it a small, select group. First of all; Oprah Winfrey. I just think that woman is incredible. David Attenborough, because what a living legend. Tom Ford, because I think he’d put another slant on it. Even if he’d nothing to add in terms of the book, he’d just look amazing. Maybe just to keep it relevant and contemporary, maybe we’d let Leo Varadkar come to the party, just to see what he’d say.”

Darren and Amy are taking part in the Diet Coke Book Club at the Marlin Hotel in Dublin on August 30 in the Marlin Hotel in Dublin, with two other book events happening as part of the same series in Cork and Belfast. Tickets are free, so there's nothing stopping you going.

July Diet Coke Book Club, Cork

  • Hosted by: Stylists Courtney Smith and Ciara O’Doherty​​​​​​
  • Book: If Only by Melanie Murphy
  • Date: Wednesday, July 24
  • Location: The River Lee Hotel, Cork, 6-7.30pm

August Diet Coke Book Club, Dublin

  • Hosted by: Amy Huberman and Darren Kennedy
  • Book: How to Fail by Elizabeth Day
  • Date: Friday, August 30​​​
  • Location: The Marlin Hotel, Dublin, 6-7.30pm

September Diet Coke Book Club, Belfast

  • Hosted by: TV personality James Patrice and blogger Gemma Louise Bond
  • Book: Rules of the Road by Ciara Geraghty
  • Date: Wednesday, September 18
  • Location: The Loft, Belfast, 6-7.30pm

Buy your free tickets to each book club event here, don't miss out on the chance to open up a new world for yourself.

Trending

I’ll put my hands up and admit that I’ve always been hesitant about YouTubers releasing books. There was a stage when Alfie Deyes, Zoella and co. were taking over the shelves at local bookstores. It was a little disheartening to see because I couldn’t help but ask was this just another way for them to make money?

This view has now changed since reading She Must Be Mad by Charly Cox and interviewing the endearing Savannah Brown earlier this year.

And now following in their footsteps is Irish author Melanie Murphy.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Melanie Murphy (@melaniiemurphy) on

The YouTuber has just released her first novel If Only and readers are going to adore each and every page.

If Only follows the story of soon-to-be thirty-year-old Erin, who is extremely unhappy with how her life has panned out thus far. She’s miserable in work, she just called off her wedding and she can’t help but yearn for the ‘perfect’ life her flatmate has.

She decides to return to Ireland for her momentous birthday and to visit her dear grandmother. Everything changes forever when Erin is given a secret family heirloom that may hold the key to the happy life she has always longed for.

We spoke to Melanie on the day of If Only’s release about her inspirations, fears and nerves as she enters the literary world as a first-time fiction author.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Melanie Murphy (@melaniiemurphy) on

Melanie hopes If Only will do is re-introduce her followers to the joy of reading that has been lost in this digital age.

“I hope that some of my YouTube and Instagram followers (ones who've found themselves with mild to severe cases of Internet addiction) will pick up If Only and discover, or re-discover, a joy of reading. I’d also really love for people to come away from the novel with some optimism, with a deeper understanding of what truly matters (to them) in life and with a sense that they've been properly entertained. “

Writing a book is certainly no easy task, especially when you’re managing your own business, creating content and dealing with your personal life like Melanie. The author struggled with avoiding self-insertion during the writing process, but luckily she found a way to move past this hurdle.

“It was more difficult than I anticipated. The thing is, I'm not like most authors who experience the luxury of writing for people who may not even know what they look like. Many people who'll read If Only know a lot about my life from my vlogs and my years of YouTube content, and so the idea of writing a fictional character who appeared as an idealised version of me scared me senseless.

“I didn't want reviews about how Melanie wrote a self indulgent fanfic about herself, I wanted reviews about the story, the plot structure, the character development or lack thereof, the voice, the ending. Constructive feedback is to a writer what water is to a plant, and I knew that a self-insert would dominate reviews. I ended up deciding to add bits of myself into ALL of the characters and for everyone populating the story to be made up of a combination of me, friends, family members, acquaintances and characters I love myself.”

If Only is a truly magical tale so it came as no surprise to hear Melanie turned to the stunning romantic-drama About Time and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for inspiration. Talk about the dream duo.

“The story was inspired by my tendency to wonder how life might look if I'd done things differently and by the slow burn romance between myself and my fella. I felt most inspired to write while listening to movie soundtracks and eighties music, which dominates the pages of the story.”

Related image

There’s no doubt Melanie has poured her heart and soul into this book, sharing glimpses of the writing process with fans along the way, but the fear of being judged as a ‘YouTube writer’ hung over her, despite the mass praise and excitement from her adoring followers.

“I've been chewing the insides of my cheeks from the second the book was sent out for advance reviews on NetGalley! There are always going to be plenty of people who accuse me of having a ghostwriter, or who think I'm good for nothing but filming and editing videos in my bedroom, and that's okay. Because at the end of the day I'm doing something I love, and I'm hoping to do it for the rest of my life. My work will speak for itself and it'll improve as the years roll out. So I'm doing my best to swallow the nerves,” Melanie shared.

If Only has been swiftly swept up off bookshelves across the country. Melanie’s debut novel will warm your heart, reassure your mind and help you see the true magic of life.

You can pick up a copy of If Only here.

Trending

Melanie Murphy has penned the most moving open letter in honour of eating disorder awareness week.

The author shared a photo of her taken during a recovery relapse during early 2013 and a more recent photo.

Melanie may look perfectly happy and healthy in both photos, but the YouTuber opened up about the reality of living with an eating disorder, stressing the fact that just because someone looks ‘perfect’ doesn’t mean they’re struggling.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Melanie Murphy (@melaniiemurphy) on

She explained that she was struggling with her mental health when the first photo was taken: “My mental state was on the floor and I constantly felt like I had to hide it because I felt ashamed.

“I’d over-exercise in my bedroom, in secret. I’d scrape food into the bin when people weren’t looking. I’d binge when alone and then hide all the wrappers & brush my teeth. I’d made a lot of progress talking to a specialist during my final year at uni but I was still binge eating/restricting when stressed,” she continued.

“I’d dealt with orthorexia and I thought I’d broken up with binge eating, but I was mistaken. The road to recovery wasn’t linear, it rarely is! I was all over the place because of what I’d put my body through, and I felt tired,” Melanie explained.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Melanie Murphy (@melaniiemurphy) on

The Internet star revealed her nails and hair became thinner and more brittle. She was constantly breaking out and had little energy.

“My mind was a literal battlefield, and yet I was a ‘healthy bmi’…that’s when I realized there are exceptions to the rules doctors have for measuring health, and that there’s this big gap between recovery and full-blown eating disorder where a lot of us need to chill out for a while while we gather our bearings,” she explained.

Melanie said she wanted to share her story to highlight the fact that a lot of people who are struggling right now might not be underweight, or overweight.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Melanie Murphy (@melaniiemurphy) on

“They might look completely healthy while their body masks the truth of their illness, and just because someone isn’t very obviously wasting away, that doesn’t mean their illness is less serious,” she stressed.

Melanie explained that an eating disorder isn’t define by a physical size, “It’s defined by a person’s mind: their self-image, their inability to let go of control, their obsession.”

She encouraged her followers to look out for signs in those you love like social social withdrawal, obsessive rituals, deceptive behavior around food, continual denial of hunger, increased preoccupation with body shape or appearance, low self esteem, anxiety around meal times.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Melanie Murphy (@melaniiemurphy) on

“I learned from my setbacks, I WANTED recovery, and if you do too, you’ll get there…you will do what it takes. I believe in you,” Melanie concluded.

We all know that Instagram is full of the highlights of people’s lives. We share photos of ourselves smiling without a hair out of place or flawless and perfectly edited snaps from holidays.

As we scroll through our feeds we are met with dozens of smiling faces but it’s important to remember that there is so much more to someone’s life than the content they post on Instagram.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Melanie Murphy (@melaniiemurphy) on

We need more posts like Melanie’s honest and eye-opening open letter. We should use this platform to raise awareness about disorders, to remind people that will get through the dark times in their lives and to show others that this too shall pass.

Is it time to give up on posting snaps of your brunch, sunsets and the new pair of sunglasses you bought for your trip to Rome? I think so. Maybe it is time to use Instagram in a more encouraging and empowering way, just like Melanie did.

Trending

On November 29th, Deborah Ross of The Times wrote what can only be described as a SCATHING article about influencers which began like this;

"I have a dream. It is not a big dream. I am not Martin Luther King. I only do dreams on a small scale, so it is a small-scale dream and my small-scale dream is this: might there be any way we could do a find and replace on the word “influencer” so it is replaced by “detestable freeloader” wherever it appears? So we all know what, in fact, we are dealing with."

Yikes. To add to the drama-fest, YouTuber and Blogosphere's Influencer of the Year 2018 Melanie Murphy has responded. 

We have to say, Murphy makes some noteworthy points;

Starting off her 13-minute YouTube video with a cool "Okay Deborah, calm down", she proceeds to explain the hypocrisy behind Ross' points with a level of clarity which is hard to deny.

Ross essentially slated influencers in her article, describing them as 'detestable freeloaders', essentially people who deserve to be hated because they receive complimentary items and give nothing in return.

Murphy responds by issuing the point that the media in general is funded by advertising and marketing, for example, on the bottom of Ross' article had a sponsored post, without which the article possibly would never have been read.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Melanie Murphy (@melaniiemurphy) on

Promotion and marketing absolutely surrounds us, from celebrities such as David Beckham for Adidas, Beyoncé for Pepsi, Justin Timberlake for McDonalds, Jessica Simpson for WeightWatchers, Brad Pitt for whatever cologne he's feeling that day, Julia Roberts for Lancôme, Hannah Witton for PlayStation, Holly Willoughby for Marks & Spencer etc etc.

It's inescapable. However, just because they receive free objects doesn't mean that they give nothing in return. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Happy Holidays from the House! @house99 #House99 #HomeToYourNextLook

A post shared by David Beckham (@davidbeckham) on

The issue which Murphy takes with Ross' article is the sheer hypocrisy as well as the generalisations which she makes. She places every influencer in the same category, when many of them promote noble causes such as LGBT+ charities and organisations, cruelty-free and paraben-free beauty products, health foods, nutrition, sexual health organisations, disability and accessibility rights, chronic pain activists, and more.

Jameela Jamil's i_Weigh movement has become hugely successful, and empowers people to weigh themselves on their overall worth as a person rather than their body mass index. Jamil suffered from an eating disorder for years, and now uses promotion and Instagram to create a unified group of people who value and respect themselves. She also is a major campaigner for banning airbrushing.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by I Weigh (@i_weigh) on

Melanie Murphy claims that every successful creative has the support of brands behind them, and receive freebies. Many of them self-fund their projects, and use the money for other causes, others simply give away any freebies which they receive.

Murphy also points out that just because they gain complimentary products does not mean that those people aren't extremely hardworking. Many influencers balance their life online with their family and a side-job.

"95% of what I show, what I wear, I pay for myself," she claims. Through advertising and word of mouth, companies can use influencers for their branding, but this doesn't undermine the level of thought which goes into choosing which brands to work with.

Murphy works with Always pads to talk openly about periods, Barclays, who sponsor Pride, a show which explores bisexuality, PicMonkey, Wella for hair dyes which work against allergies, Holland and Barrett for cruelty-free health and nutrition products.

Numerous influencers and their agents are hugely picky about who they work with, the brands must make sense for the influencers for them to collaborate with them.

"I'm always so bloody proud of my paid-for content, always. The money these brands pay me enables me to write a novel and work on more artsy things like short films which I invest in myself but don't get money back."

According to the Youtuber, the media wouldn't survive without branding and advertisements. From YouTube ads to websites, podcasts, radio, television, newspapers and magazines, advertising is saturated in our industry.

For Deborah Ross to call followers of influencers 'morons' is entirely unfair, from Melanie's point of view;

"Under-researched drivel such as this which contributes to the negative rhetoric that surrounds bloggers and influencers, thousands of hard-working people. Some of which juggle a family or another job."

Many believe for Ross to declare that influencers have done nothing to merit this lifestyle is flawed and reductive, Murphy herself demonstrates a great engagement because of how she chooses brands to work with;

"I never try sneak anything in, I'm never shady. I am lucky and I'm very grateful, I don't swan around."

Lastly, Murphy places emphasis on the fact that YouTube is a community which supports one another, they collaborate and shout each other out and lift each other up. In the journalism industry, there is minimal collaboration and no support between competing publications;

"You sit and write and you get aid to do that, there was a time where people would scoff at your job and say that that's not a real job. We actually support each other. You're not going to see The Times supporting an article from another publication."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It's International Day of Disabled Persons. This year's theme is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusion and equality.” I think about this every day. Empowerment, inclusion, equality. It's in every story I tell. In every adventure I have. Every relationship I am in has navigated it to some extent. The other day I was talking to a friend who said, "I don't even see you as disabled, you just sit a lot for someone so active.” "I think I know what you mean, but I am disabled, it's not bad to me to be seen as disabled. When people say that, it's like they're saying, in order to accept you, I have to separate you from this thing I have a problem with. 

A post shared by Erin Clark (@erinunleashes) on

She describes the loneliness which perpetuates society, and how YouTube can be used as escapism, or for self-help, for comedy, entertainment, advice or even just to connect;

"A lot of people are lonely and it's a beautiful thing to be able to connect with people through words through a lens. Families are smaller, the Church has collapsed, community has gone to shit. I feel like through my monthly blogs I encourage people to connect with their real-life friends and family"

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Róisín (@r0_is_in) on

As Murphy points out, building a following of thousands or millions doesn't just happen for no reason.

'Detestable freeloaders' aren't just empty vessels of advertisers; they're entertainers, they're singers, actors, writers, comedians, models, creatives, editors, lighting experts, agents and so much more.

Do you agree?

Feature image: teneightymagazine.com

Article by Kate Brayden

Trending
Well hello there!
Help us help you by allowing us and our partners to remember your device in cookies to serve you personalized content and ads.

We're on a mission to help our mums and their families thrive by informing, connecting and entertaining.

Join us in our mission by consenting to the use of cookies and IP address recognition by us and our partners to serve you content (including ads) best suited to your interests, both here and around the web.

We promise never to share any other information that may be deemed personal unless you explicitly tell us it's ok.

If you want more info, see our privacy policy.