Thursday, November 14th, 2013
On Tuesday, I wrote a piece for The Guardian’s website about body image. Actress Jennifer Lawrence had made a comment in a recent interview about wanting to be fit and strong and be a good role model for young women. The Guardian got in touch with me and asked me to write a few words on that, knowing the stance I take on my Spikes & Heels site. It was such an honour to be asked to write for them.
That newspaper was always in our house growing up so it’s a bit of a full circle moment for me to be published on their website. It felt quite nerve wrecking as a blogger to go ‘mainstream’ for a day, but I really believe in this positive message about exercise and body image so I had to hold my nerves down.
Anyhoo, I thought I’d post the link here in case any of you are interested in reading it. Let me know what you think.
Monday, January 25th, 2010
Last week, an article called ‘Why I Hate Fashion’ appeared in The Guardian. The writer, Tanya Gold, bitches about how liking fashion makes you a shallow, vapid, insecure little girl. Oh and apparently, fashion also kills people (a girl wearing heels fell onto a train track and died. That’s the evidence for the argument. Cause of death: fashion). Needless to say, I have a thing or two to say on the topic.
In my experience, it is always a certain kind of woman who feels this way. They’re usually slightly overweight. They put on a few pounds, don’t feel as good about themselves, clothes aren’t fitting as well as they used to and perhaps the fellas don’t glance their way as often as they used to. So, they decide they ‘don’t care’ and because they ‘don’t care’, they will put down anyone who deigns to give a crap about their appearance (mainly because those people look better than them, which does nothing for their downward spiral of insecurity).
Firstly, I’d like to challenge the notion that these people ‘don’t care’ about how they look by putting forth this argument: BOLLOCKS! Of course you bloody do! I’m assuming you shower daily, no? You wash your hair and brush it. You moisturise your skin, hell, you may even throw some makeup on. Unless you live in a nudist colony, I’m assuming you still buy clothes. You may not buy them because they’re ‘in fashion’ but you might like the colour, the feel or the way they hang on you. All of that says you care about how you look. So please, spare me. It’s not that you ‘don’t care’, it’s that you’ve given up.
When people give up, they try to say fashion is just beneath them. It’s childish to care about such nonsense. They feel we who care about our appearance judge them, so they judge us right back; we are shallow, unintelligent morons.
Let me set a few things straight about taking pride in ones appearance. I do not spend my every waking moment traipsing through Topshop, clearing out my wardrobe every season or laughing in the faces of those whose style choices I consider to be inferior to my own (I mean, I do that last one fairly regularly, but not every waking moment). I don’t care for trends, what’s ‘in’ or ‘out’. But I do have a sense of style. I know what colours, shapes and styles suit me and I take pride in the way I dress myself. I see no shame in that.
I don’t blindly follow fashion. I don’t buy fashion magazines. I tend to steer clear of the high street when shopping. But I look at how women dressed in the 40s or how my grandmother dressed her whole life and I’m in awe. I can look at that wonderful collection Hussein Chalayan did in 2000 with the table that turned into a skirt (skip to 4:30 mark in the video) and appreciate it for the wonderful visual it was. I consider Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood to be artists more than a ‘fashion designers.’
Having an appreciation for these things does not make me shallow, vapid or insecure. It is one aspect of who I am. It it not the whole story. Why knock someone because they choose to express an element of themselves through clothes? Fashion isn’t just everything you think Vogue represents.
To put forth the argument that you must be either fashionable OR intellectual is completely ridiculous. I think I’m pulling off both quite nicely thank you.
Wednesday, February 20th, 2008
Even though I’m going through a crisis of faith right now, I had some things I had to get off my chest, so decided to go to confession.
Me: Forgive me Father for I have sinned. It’s been….well, it’s been a really frikkin’ long time since my last confession.
Father McBangs: Please don’t curse.
Me: Oops. My bad. So, can I just jump right into this?
Father McBangs: Yes, my child. What would you like to confess?
Me: Well, I gotta tell ya Father, it’s pretty bad. I…I…I like Phil Collins.
Father McBangs: [silence]
Me: Yo, Father, you there?
Father McBangs: Are we talking ‘Genesis’ Phil Collins or the solo Phil Collins?
Me: Solo, of course.
Father McBangs: Good, ‘cause no amount of repenting can forgive ‘I Can’t Dance.’
Me: I hear ya homie.
Father McBangs: So, how long has this been going on?
Me: I’d say roughly a year. I’m completely overcome with the power of Sussudio. I don’t know how it happened. I’d obviously heard the song many times before, but one day, I heard it on the radio in the car and my foot started tapping uncontrollably. That night, under cover of darkness, I downloaded it from Limewire, wait – will I have to do extra penance for illegal downloading?
Father McBangs: I’ll try to overlook it.
Me: Good looking out. So anyway, since then, I listen to it all the time, but only on my iPod, with my headphones on, because I don’t want anyone else to know. But recently, I just don’t want to hide it anymore. I mean, I listen to the song and like Phil says, ‘it feels so good, if you just say the word…Sussudio.’ Try it Father.
Father McBangs: No
Me: Go on, say it.
Father McBangs: Absolutely not.
Me: Just say the word!
Father McBangs: Su, Su, Sussudio!
Father McBangs: You’re right. That does feel good.
Me: And now it’s progressed to other songs. ‘In the Air’ and ‘Easy Lover’ in particular, move me.
Father McBangs: Are you an Easy Lover?
Me: I don’t see what my loving habits have to do with any of this.
Father McBangs: You’re in a church.
Me: Bygones. Can we just stay on topic here? So what should I do? It’s getting hard to keep this under wraps. I’ve started humming along really loud when Phil plays on my iPod. I think people might be onto me.
Father McBangs: Well, things could be worse. You could be a fan of Akon. So, I’ll talk this over with the Big Man but I don’t see why I couldn’t talk it down to 10 Hail Marys and an Our Father for you. So, in the name of the Father, the Son and…
Me: Yeah, yeah. Cheers, Big Ears. Peace out. Sussudio!
Shame on you, Guardian
Oh boy, did the shit ever hit the fan over at The Guardian last week. On their website, they decided to give a travel blog to a 19 year old kid about to embark on his first big adventure to India, of all places, It’s so cliché it hurts. Read the kid’s first article here.
Now, to those of you unfamiliar with the British media system, let me explain a few things: 19 years olds getting their own columns in, what is probably, the best national newspaper in the country, NEVER happens! This is England: home of cynicism, the school of hard knocks, the creator of ‘working your way up the ladder’. You are basically expected to work for free, making the tea and doing the editors dry cleaning till you’re roughly, 35. Then, they might pay you marginally more than a Chinese sweatshop worker.
But getting your own column, at 19, to document a trip that thousands before you have made? Not bloody likely.
You’ve got to love British readers. They could smell the shit a mile off. The kid’s article got over 940,000 comments, most of them bashing him and the editors for printing such tripe. (Personally, I couldn’t even finish reading the article, I was cringing so much.)
All the backlash prompted the editor to write this post the following day, justifying his hiring choices.
I don’t care what they say. Either this kid is related to an editor, or he’s blowing one. Plain and simple.
(Thanks Tam, for the heads up!)
I’ve been at this blogging thing a couple of months now. There are a whole lot of people stopping by here to read everyday and I’m feeling the love, my babies, I am. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. This is really a learning process for me and I want this blog to be the best it can be – so if you’re reading this, please be sure to leave comments. Let me know what you like, dislike, what you want to see more of, less of, things you’d like to know my opinion on etc. I want to know that I’m taking this in the right direction and I really appreciate your feedback. And seriously, if you are stopping by here to read regularly, I can’t thank you enough. With that said, get commenting!