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If you haven’t heard of the HunReal issues you really need to get onto it fast! I had the pleasure of catching up with Andrea Horan the woman behind it and madam of Tropical Popical, our fav place to get our nails looking hot. The HunReal Issues came about around the time of the last general election when Andrea noticed her friends had no real political engagement. She was particularly shocked by the way media were covering female candidates, speaking about their hair or clothes instead of their political agenda, which is not just offensive but frustrating. She felt she needed to fill a gap in the market and start a conversation in a way she and her peers would want to be part of.

The Hunreal issues deal with serious important topics in a satirical way, that keeps us laughing and engaged. Andrea said it has reached people who weren’t already involved and “more voices means better diversity”. It really took off and, with the support of people like James Kavanagh and Vouge Williams, started to spread important issues in a cool, empowering way. According to Andrea, at the hunreal issues, they have a funny way of putting glitter on issues without minimizing them and I couldn’t agree more. It’s not enough to jump on a bandwagon, we have to actually want to make a difference and change what we don’t like.

Andrea is a real Boss and being around her is inspiring before she even speaks. I asked her to describe herself , here’s what she said:

“Determined to have fun! I’m sometimes lazy, but also very driven. I have a great love for life. I’m the craic, and a great friend. I’m understanding-  very empathetic (we both struggled to pronounce that). I like to live in the present.”

We also spoke about her teenage years. Andrea said she was really studious and focused until she was about 15. She wanted to be a psychologist until this point. She then began to realise that wasn’t for her, she wanted to have fun and we can all relate to this! Getting that school, study, fun balance right can be difficult. But her advice is to not sweat it, we all have a journey to go on and alternative routes are okay. She spoke about the importance of mental health and not getting to bogged down in study at the cost of your well being. After all we are all here for a reason and not all of us are going to excel at education and that’s okay, we all have our own strengths and weaknesses.

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Photo: Mark Condron

When I asked her what advice she would giver her 15 year old self she had a short but perfect answer:

You’re doing alright. Your own path is the best path for you, dress however you want and  stop worrying.

Andrea feels that being a teenager now is really similar to when she was growing up, except gender politics have changed and the ripples from this are starting to trickle down to younger girls. We spoke a lot about Repealing the 8th Amendment and how important it is for young girls to understand that this is an issue affecting them and their future. This is basic health care at the end of the day and the women of Ireland deserve choice. The HunReal Issues want us all to understand why we need to play our part and how important it is to care.

We then discussed social media and let’s be honest it’s deadly, we are all addicted to at least one platform whether it’s Snapchat or Instagram but we really need to be careful. What we post on social media is what we chose to show others and it’s not always accurate. So don’t feel like you have to look a certain way. My favourite thing that Andrea said was to find your point of difference and celebrate it instead of trying to constantly ‘fit in’. That’s definitely advice that we all need to remember!

Big thanks to Andrea for being sound and chatting to me and being so honest!

PS I owe you a coffee!

Sophie x

You can follow Andrea on twitter at @andreahoran, @hunrealissues and @tropicalpopical