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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.


4 May 2013

BOOKS AND IMAGINARY THIGH GAPS.



Vila Shirt, Cameo Rose Skirt, ASOS top, Primark belt, Topshop ring.


Yesterday I went to my favourite sexy hangout: the upstairs of my local Sally Army, home of a gizzillion cheap books.  Cheap books are kind of like free internet porn.  I would imagine.

Also, dem bookish types be bangin'.  No though.  I've never seen an attractive man there - mostly just trench coat types* - which is sort of disappointing, because you're supposed to run into hunky, wannabe novelists in the most run down book place in town, aren't you?  THIS IS WHAT FILMS HAVE LED ME TO BELIEVE.  I AM BEGINNING TO SUSPECT THAT I MAY HAVE BEEN LIED TO.  Or do they all hangout at Waterstones now?  WH Smith?  Or on Amazon??  How do you pick a man up on Amazon?  "Hey babe, nice review, your taste in books, films and mobile phone chargers is AMAZON, LOL, ROFL, fancy a cuppa sometime?".

Probably not.

Topshop shoes.


Disclaimer: my thighs are not that slim.  See that gap between them?  Not really there. They haven't been photo shopped either.  I'm just telling you in case you see the thunderous things in real life.  I'm as befuddled as you are. 

*WAIT.  Am I a trench coat type?  Oh fuck.  Oh no.

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.



14 March 2013

PLANET EARTH PRESENTS YOU



Miss Selfridge spotted pinafore playsuit, Boden (via charity shop) shirt, vintage jewellery.

Oh little blog, I've neglected you, I'm so sorry!

I've been wrapped up in my writing recently, hence the lack of blog posts and the neglecting to visit other blogs over the last few weeks.  I keep going to post and then getting sidetracked until I feel like the post isn't relevant anymore, which is a shame because this is my little hobby, I really do enjoy it!    

I've had a little bit of a shake up within myself, which I'm blaming on the haircut (I had, like, five or six inches cut off in the end, let's not get too emotional) because I'm far too immature for a deeper explanation.  I've stopped doing Monday Mugshot because I came across another (more successful) blogger who's been doing a fairly regular post of the same name for a while, and I don't want it to seem like I'm copying anyone!  I want this blog to be it's own person, if you like. 

What else?  Oh, the 100 day shopping ban was a BUST, but I have toned my spending down considerably, so it's okay.  Well it's not okay, it's a massive fail and I should be deeply ashamed of myself, but you live and you learn!  I was thinking of maybe doing a video haul type thing, but I'm not sure.  Thoughts?  Do you prefer videos or written posts, or a mixture of both?  If I do one then you have to promise not to mock my man voice or my overly expressive face (*GURN*).

I have this bloody song stuck in my head and it's driving me mad: