Pages

18 January 2014

RANSOMING LENA.



I dislike photoshop. I dislike it for all the reasons one should dislike it: it promotes negative body image by throwing unrealistic expectations in the direction of, well, everyone (because men aren’t excluded from it either), it encourages impressionable girls with eating disorders, it generally makes everyone feel shit and quite sad about their thighs. But, from a selfish perspective, it also pisses me off because to be honest I’d quite like someone to edit all my pictures, only no one will and so my Facebook timeline is littered with highly attractive gurns, double chins and what is, according to one particular friend’s camera, almost grey skin (new year, new batch of St Tropez to work through.). But I’m not a model. I’m not an actress or a singer (I am an excellent singer, I just keep it on the down low), I’m not anyone of any consequence or fame. Thankfully for the world as a whole, my mug is not plastered anywhere and I’m not likely to be approached by any high fashion magazines for a photoshoot any time soon (ever. Any time ever.).


I was pleasantly surprised to see Vogue were actually pretty restrained with their Lena editing. Not because the initial photos were bad, not at all, Lena’s a revoltingly pretty woman - but because, you know, it’s Vogue. Vogue is a fantasy. Once you’ve leafed through the first twenty pages of glossy adverts your expectations can’t possibly be, “Hmmm, now time for some real life shit!”. It’s Vogue, guys. Those glossy pages symbolise their glossing over of anything even approaching the realistic. Vogue’s contents are supposed to be largely unattainable for 99.9% of the population of the world - it’s four sodding quid an issue, for fuck’s sake - and so you can’t expect to find reality. It’s harsh, but it’s true. The people who work for that magazine are only concerned with making everything as beautiful as possible (and thus keeping their revenue in check.).


What Jezebel did by offering 10K for the untouched photos of Lena Dunham was, in my opinion, more damaging and shallow than the slight hoisting that Vogue did to Lena’s frame. I struggle to understand how a supposedly feminist website thought this was even close to appropriate. Were they trying to drag her down, or simply reclaim her from Vogue? Did they genuinely not realise how truly ridiculous and misogynistic they were being, by essentially pointing in the direction of Dunham (who’s probably had enough of comments about her body to last a lifetime by now) and screaming “Look at her body, everyone! Cultivate this unhealthy obsession you have with her arse! Come on! She can’t possibly photograph that well!”. Well, turns out she does. Poor show, Jezebel.





17 June 2013

LET'S ALL BE 'BOY TOYS'. OH NO WAIT, LET'S NOT.



Sick Girl are a pretty popular brand, and granted, I find the sudden influx of them and Boy London into fashion mainstream (on every girl on every blog in every town, YAWN) perplexing given that they should probably be paying you to wear that fifty quid sweater that essentially turns you into a walking advertisement, but clearly, at twenty five, I don't understand because I am old and past it (and besides, I wore 3 stripe Adidas joggers just like everyone else back in the day, so it could be said that I'm a fucking hypocrite.). 

What I really object to, though, is this snapback which has appeared on ASOS:


I'm not sure it's okay to charge people to wear a hat with such a misogynistic message, let alone £35.  In fact I'm pretty sure it's like paying to be approached by nutters and chauvinist pigs, but hey, what do I know.  Who on earth thought that this was an okay message to send out?  If a girl walks around with this on her head then she is practically begging to be treated badly by men.  I obviously disagree with the whole bizarre concept of "she was wearing a short skirt so she was asking to be raped", but this hat sends out a clear message that as a female, you are a toy, for men to use and discard at their convenience.  A woman can wear what she likes, but if you wear this, you're cheapening yourself and the rest of us, and you're also fucking idiot.


3 June 2013

JENNIFER LAWRENCE IS FAT AND AVERAGE




UNCANNY RESEMBLANCE.

Due to being colossally shit of a morning, I like, every once in a while, to kickstart the day with a rush of annoyance to get the adrenaline going.  On these occasions, I'll sometimes visit the Daily Mail website and have a scroll through the plethora of chauvinist, nasty articles.  The Daily Mail seems to be largely staffed by female writers, but the kind of female writers who loathe other women entirely.  Misogynistic women.  Imagine being one of them.  I bet they have depressed vaginas.  

This particular article was one designed to bring the most illiterate dickwads out of the woodwork and probably cause moral outrage and confusion to normally-functioning and sane adult humans.  We're all familiar with these badly spelled webpages masquerading as Articles From A Real Life Actual Newspaper and the thing is the the Mail know exactly what they're doing - look at the number of Twitter shares the infamous Samantha Brick's articles get.  The difference, though, is that Samantha Brick is a laughing stock: nobody takes what she says seriously and fewer people still are going to feel bad about themselves (you know, about their lack of astounding, Brick-esque beauty and hunky, gun toting, French hubby) as a direct result of any of her "articles".  Samantha Brick is just typical Daily Fail "Lets Increase Page Views So We Can Win Awards" fodder.  

Jennifer Lawrence is a different case entirely.  She's a woman with talent, who has endeared herself to millions of people by being completely level headed about her success.  She's also gorgeous - and healthy, natural.  If you had a pre teen/teenage daughter there are far worse people that she could be idolising.  And the fact is that many young people do look up to her, and so to send them the message that this woman is unattractive and fat is quite simply not fair.  Anyway.  Here are two of the photos - of Jennifer in her Mystique from X-Men costume - that appeared on the Daily Mail website:

Jennifer Lawrence, "maintaining her curves" and about to eat - gasp! - LUNCH.  She later probably "poured her enviable curves" into a bikini and "flaunted" them about a bit, whilst singing Eiffel 65

These are photos taken from above, making her look shorter than she is and therefore slightly bigger.  But regardless, she still is not fat in these photos.  Right?  WRONG.  Have a look at a selection of the highest rated comments from earlier today:






Well, that's nice guys, that's really charming.  It's at times like these that the Anti-Comment-Participation me struggles to not click up on the "Well let's see what YOU look like, then!" comments.

(Also, and obvs i dnt meen 2 b rood or anyfink lyk dat, Draya 4rm Liverpool, but if thtz not a troll comment den i weep 4 da future.).

In the greater scheme of things, you may not recognise this sort of thing as a problem, but it is.  Because young, impressionable girls are reading this crap.  And it is everywhere.  It's far worse than it was ten years ago* when I was a hormonal and painfully self conscious fifteen year old.  I can't even comprehend what it's like to be fifteen now.  It must be fucking horrible.


"I’d rather look chubby on screen and like a person in real life."




*Wait, what.  Ten years? Oh crap, WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING WITH MY LIFE!

16 May 2013

THINGS THAT MATTER VS THINGS THAT DON'T



Today on Twitter some people got annoyed and started circulating this Dolce & Gabbana advert from 2007, which you may or may not remember was banned after some complained that it was disrespectful to women and "glamorised" gang rape. 



Now, you don't know that she is being gang raped.  She doesn't look frightened.  The male models don't look, to me, particularly menacing (although that might be due to the plastic expression that all D&G models are expected to adopt).  And you know, some women, so I have heard, actually enjoy sex.  Some women even enjoy sex with several partners at the same time.  Some women do enjoy having their hands held above their heads (note: her wrists aren't tied and the man isn't actually holding her in a particularly forceful way.).  The female model is even pushing her vagina towards male model.  So why was the immediate reaction to this picture, "GANG RAPE!"?  If anything, it looks like he's providing her with two tickets to the gun show and she's feigning disinterest. It's a deliberately sexual advert from a very sexualised brand, but, in my opinion, there is very little about it that insinuates gang rape.  

If it sounds like I'm rather exasperated by this, I am.  There are so many important things going on in the world, and yet the best the self proclaimed moral compasses of Twitter could come up with is this?  What does dredging up an old advert even achieve?

If you must be annoyed with something, be annoyed with Don Charney.  Be annoyed with the agencies and brands that let anorexic girls walk the runways.  Be annoyed with Rupert Murdoch.  Be annoyed with the tit and arse magazines at eye level in the newsagents.  And yes, get angry about children being groomed and trafficked, be furious that blind eyes are turned as young girls get abused.  But be cross about things that are actually current, because being annoyed by a misinterpreted advert from six years ago, which was dealt with at the time, is the sort of thing that gives feminists a bad name and makes people want to roll their eyes.  And if they're rolling their eyes, they're not listening to you.


1 May 2013

MY UNETHICAL KNICKERS


Primark blouse, skirt, belt and knickers (thankfully unseen). Accessorize necklace, charity shop bag.

(That first photo is open to interpretation: it could be me saying, "My arse is THIS big" or it could be me saying, "I am a MASSIVE twat".  Answers on a postcard.)


It wasn't until I sat down to write this that I realised I'm wearing almost entirely Primark. I suddenly felt unbelievably guilty.  Does wearing cheap clothing make me a bad person?  Am I supporting poor working conditions? Am I - are we, our commercially driven Western world - to blame for the factory collapse and subsequent fire in Bangladesh last week?

It's interesting, because there's not much that we, as consumers can actually do about it - save going naked (thinks about Gosling naked.).  These garment factories aren't exclusively used by "cheap" retailers, but by brands such as Mango and Benetton as well.  What we can do is sign petitions and become as aware about our shopping habits as possible, but in a world where those twenty quid disco pant rip offs worn obsessively by fashion devotees are classed a "bargain", and applauded by high street magazines and bloggers, are we capable of bringing morals into our wardrobes?  I don't know if we are.  

It does need to come from the top.  Buyers need to be more aware of their suppliers.  Everybody needs to be less selfish.  I don't want people to die just so that I can buy a £10 dress.  

I'd like to think that my compulsive charity shop shopping goes a little way to rebooting my humanity, but I'm not sure that's enough.  It's quite peculiar when you think that on the one hand, we're taking away from people's lives by practically inhaling these clothes and encouraging the awful greed that drives these types of cheap labour factories, but on the other hand, a lot of those same people who are buying from Primark are also ardent charity shop fans, their money going to help struggling people.  That is a huge part of the reason I enjoy spending my money in charity shops - charity.  Charity, and recycling.  But, as Joey from Friends once wisely said, "There is no such thing as a selfless good deed.".  The fact that I'm buying from charity makes me feel good, and then I feel bad for spending money and feeling good about it, and then I feel bad about feeling bad about spending money when that money is going to help people who have less everything than me.  See?  And then I feel guilty for being so self obsessed that I think it's about me.  Because it's not about me.  It's about all of us.  It's about humans and humanity.  We need to find our humanity, because it's definitely slipped down the back of the sofa at some point.



2 January 2013

A GENERAL RAMBLE.



WARNING: I don't think I'm sufficiently over my Christmas/New Year/birthday superhangover yet to be fully comprehensible, so apologies in advance if this post seems a bit disjointed!

1.) WHAT ARE THESE. WHAT EVEN ARE THEY.


If I, the girl who has championed scrunchies and who recently bought these shoes just to prove a point (although I happen to think that they're both comfy and beautiful, however ridiculous my friends think they are), says there's something wrong with these, then there's a problem.  I just can't even, I mean what even....?  NO.  I'd probably be much less offended if they weren't £190.  I MEAN.  I MEAN.  WHAT?

2.) SCRUNCHIE PUBLIC INFORMATION UPDATE.
Saw a girl wearing an oxblood scrunchie on NYE.  I would have high fived her but she looked like the sort of mean hipster who would leave me hanging.  Which reminds me: must stop instigating high fives in 2013, I look like a nerd.

3.) KANYEDASHIAN BABEH.
Imagine the potential ego on that child.  On sixteenth birthday he/she will probably claim to be the Messiah.  Or Father Christmas.  I think it's going to be a boy and they'll call it Bentley T Rex.  Might be projecting a bit there (I've just renamed my son Beyonce Brightside, but he's not going for it so far.).  

4.) OPERATION WEIGHTLOSS.
I've actually eaten so much food over the past month that I am basically bored of food and hankering for some salad and exercise, both of which will happen as soon as I can be bothered to move again.  Furthest I've got so far is rolling off the sofa to play cars with my son.  Now I'm just lying on the floor, confused as to when and how I became a makeshift road.

5.) OH LORD, COME TO MAMA.

These boots are my dream boots.  Tall and sturdy and just the right amount of clomp.  Topshop, you really have to stop clambering into my head and making my dreams and wishes so bloody expensive.  Gits.  

6.) MY ONE AND ONLY.
So the sales were rubbish, or was it just me?  I only found one thing, and it was a case of love across the shop floor:
  

Just one, in my size, plonked on the edge of the sale rail (weirdly, this is how I usually find my best sale buys), but superficial shopping terror set in when I saw another girl get there first.  I loitered about for a bit, sulking, whilst she argued with her boyfriend about whether or not they were ridiculous.  He won and she flung them down and stormed off.  I snatched them up gleefully, full of the joys of singledom (not that I'd ever let a boyfriend dictate to me what I could and couldn't wear, get some balls sweetheart).  In a way, winning.  Although hashtag forever alone, but who cares, I've got these to help me through the dark times.

7.) INSTACHRISTMALAME

Christmas nails, "It's Chriiistmaaaas!", Parent's tree, carousel,
Christmas day, Christmas eve, I wish I had one of these in my house, #imnotobsessed,
best present, festive Tesco (you go, Tesco), wobbly eyes, more cake,
my tree, knock off Baileys, hugely appropriate birthday card, twenty five in two thousand and thirteen.

15 December 2012

STOP! SCRUNCHIE TIME.



First of all, I should probably make a confession: I like scunchies.  They don't leave kinks, or rip out your hair.  They're wonderful.  

I wore scrunchies all through lower and middle school.  I had velvet ones (black, purple and green). A couple of checked ones.  A pouffy white one.  A flouro pink knitted one.  And, god help me, an orange feather one (for real).  At the time of ownership I went to an all girls school that was pretty strict on uniform; one day, in the middle of assembly, I was instructed to "Take that ridiculous Thing" off my head (I wore it at home instead and tortured my mother with it - to add insult to visual injury it left little bits of orange fluff all over the carpet).  Eventually my beloved lost all its feathers and I heard my favourite hair accessory denounced my Carrie Bradshaw and co.  So died my infatuation. 

There have been numerous attempts to make scrunchies cool again: American Apparel* have had a fair, if generally unsuccessful, bash at reinventing the disgraced hair rag.  Then there was Marc Jacobs's valiant attempt a few years ago, which unfortunately included a somewhat misguided scrunchie themed shoe and, more recently, some logo hair furniture for his diffusion line.


Marc Jacobs S/S 2010


But it seems that the humble accessory may finally be back, thanks to an endorsement from the beauteous Cara Delevingne and My Crazy Scrunchie, with whom Vivivienne Westwood, no less, commissioned bespoke styles for her Spring Summer 2013 show: 



Vivienne Westwood S/S 2013.


The girls behind MCS are Eu Simo Grijalbo and Laura Fraser (who's also responsible for this charming ditty and is best friends with Alice Dellal, perhaps explaining the Westwood connection), and you can read an interview with them here.  In the meantime, watch this weird and awesome video for MCS, in which Cara, Suki Waterhouse and Clara Paget have a wild wild west style shoot out.


video


You knew this day was coming.  Especially after the recent nineties resurgence (I mean if flatforms and jellies can make a reappearance, then frankly anything can). So the question is, are you ready for the scrunchie to come back into your life, like a once spurned lover?




*"Look at us with our teenage models wearing ankle socks and posing provocatively, OMGSOORIGINAL".