Meet the popular artist spreading positive messages to Essex schools

Natalie Shay recently visited Colchester High School, speaking to students about some of the dangers apps like Facetune can have and how they can reinforce unrealistic beauty ideals.

Natalie said: “I really believe you shouldn’t compare yourself to people online as almost everything is edited in some way, whether that be through filters or Facetune or Photoshop.

“Growing up I used to compare myself to a lot of people online, I was weird about my body and I had bad skin, so as a teen I used to get sad looking at other people.

“Once I started using social media as a part of my job I started realising I wasted a lot of time being stressed about stuff I shouldn’t really be worrying about.

“A lot of the students I talk to haven’t realised that yet.”

Having not recieved support for anxiety and stress related problems during her time in school, Natalie shares her own tips on how to manage them. 

She said: “I tell them that not everybody will have anxiety problems but everybody at some point in their lives will feel anxious.

“Everyone feels like that sometimes and it’s not a weakness if you feel like you’re not coping, it’s just at that point in time there are so many factors, whether that be seasonal or hormonal, that make you feel that way.”

Natalie also finds it important to get women into music, realising there are not enough female guitar players in a male dominated music scene.

She said: “I saw Taylor Swift and had never really seen another girl play guitar, but she made it so cool and I knew I wanted to do that,

“She has inspired thousands of girls and she was my inspiration so I want to reinforce the decision of playing guitar in so many more women.”

Natalie has been inspired by the support and encouragement she received from older women when she started gigging at only 13-years-old.

The award-winning artist has also just released her new song, Figure of 8, which has been produced and made solely by women. 

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