Sunday, 1 October 2017

Bohemian Dysmorphia | Got any symptoms?

When tuning into this week’s episode of ‘The High Low’ podcast I was taken with a particular sentiment. In amongst the glorious ramblings of Pandora, Dolly and special guest Rosie Wilby, D giddily diagnosed herself with the feeling of ‘Bohemian Dysmorphia’. Describing herself as existing in that unsatisfying limbo between who you are and who you’d like to think you are, Dolly coined the deliciously relatable phrase, AND I want to talk about it. 

For context’s sake, this episode featured a discussion about monogamy as a potentially tired construct. The cast raised questions about the viability of such common practices in a modern age that allows for so many variations of ‘normality’. 

Dolly’s omission, all be it totally tongue in cheek, is hugely relevant to so many of us today, so I wanted to take 5 to ponder what she was getting at. In explaining, she continued, ‘I really wanted to be polyamorous but I’m just naturally SO monogamous and that’s fine’. 

First up, the fact that the spectrum of accepted behaviours is widening can only be a good thing. Technicolour variations between people SHOULD be celebrated, embraced, coated in glitter, whatever, but where does that leave the rest of us? 

What the ‘High Low’ gals seem to be intimating is that, while it’s okay to be neither one thing or the other, It’s also okay to be you, EVEN if you seem a little vanilla.

Existing, as a twenty-something woman in a world where everyone seems to be either an online influencer, mega boss lady, fitness guru, life coach, book-writing, digi-savvy, pan-sexual, eco-warrior, mother extraordinaire, is it okay to be who you are when that person no longer seems all that interesting? 

Rooting through Instagram alone it’s pretty easy to think that sitting in your pyjamas watching Loose Women with a cup of tea on a Wednesday morning just doesn’t cut it anymore… 

‘When will I be interesting?’ – me, inner monologue, 2017. 

Scrolling through my feed today I came across something Alicia Keys had nicked off Pinterest. A cutesy post referencing the Japanese tradition of turning broken objects into works of art by repairing them with gold. Keys captioned the pic ‘We are a beautiful piece of a unique journey all our own… a special story only yours!’ 

But what if we’re not glued together with gold? What if instead, we’re just DIY projects held together with blue-tac or some dodgy double sided sticky tape or worse, barely adhesive Pritt-Stick coated with glitter residue from last year’s Halloween costume? What if there just isn’t a place for mediocrity anymore? 

Carmen Fishwick, recently posted an article on the Guardian online. The piece, entitled ‘beyond the selfie’ is a study of millennial behaviour. The report itself found that those who were most involved in Facebook were doubly likely to think other people’s lives were more fulfilled and all-around better than their own. This checks out, as ‘The Happiness Research Institute’ say quitting Facebook for a week could boost happiness levels and cut stress by up to 55%. After all, comparison is the thief of joy, and you KNOW that latte was cold by the time ‘baristachick02’ even got round to taking a sip. 

BUT, you get the feeling, don’t you? That sickening inadequacy that slides into your DM’s after a brief online binge. That knowingness that you’ll never be a virtual goddess or spokesperson for whatever and that the only #AD’s your profile is ever likely to feature are for tea bags and chocolate digestives. 

The pressure to be a someone in this generation is more intense and refined because there is so much choice: so many things we should be doing, so many lifestyles we could be adhering to. 

Dodie Clark released the video for her new song 6/10 this week. The song itself is beautiful, thank you Dodie, AND the lyrics are particularly poignant when considering this make-shift cultural diagnosis. Like everything Dodie creates, the production is delicate, with choreography that carefully encapsulates the essence of ‘not feeling good enough’, doing it (as you’d expect) in blaringly bright ‘Dodie yellow’. She sings: 

‘Is there pity for the plain girl?
Can you see the panic inside?
I'm making you uneasy aren't I?’

Dodie’s lyrics ask questions about self-love in this modern existence where, unless you’re hurling your own achievements at each other online, it’s easy to forget that you’re doing okay. 

Pics or it didn’t happen counts for everything these days. Our expectations for reality are constantly inverted by social media norms. 

Towards the latter half of my university career I only went to the library so I could snap a cute picture for Instagram from the stairs on the eighth floor #studyinghard. I printed out my dissertation purely so I could tag myself in a life event on Facebook, despite the fact the paper was entirely online submission #humblebrag. AND the other night, I had a strop with my boyfriend because he fell asleep before we could make bae-nana splits #forthegram. (I confess, this was a real millennial low, but you see my point). WE DO IT ALL THE TIME.

But, what qualifies as #goals anyway? Turns out, being average might not be sexy, but it’s real and it can’t be all Insta-sparkle, all boss lady all the time. You’re doing okay. Anyone can take a basic bitch coffee shop gram, get out there and change the game. Live a little. Be you. 

It won’t be boring. 


Monday, 29 May 2017

Time to Switch On

Yo – so this space has been a little dormant for a little too long. Like everyone else struggling through their final year of undergrad, I’ve been hitting the books (and the wine) hard and have neglected my little corner of the internet. Well, the library is closed and I’m back at it again, giving you my two cents on the nonsense of the world.

‘Dissolve in Scottish Rain’ is live and it’s got something to say: switch on.

Chaos about covers it: from the state of our nation to the state of my bedroom right now it’s ‘a lot’. So, how are we meant to navigate this clusterfuck of a world?

By ‘we’ I mean me and ‘us’: the dazed millennials who live on a diet of beans or whatever and are forever told that we are underqualified/over qualified/over exposed and under-informed. A boggling nucleolus of people muddling through in this highly politicised, highly diversified and, let’s be honest, highly chaotic universe.

In the run up to the 8th June General Election and in wake of atrocities like the Manchester attack last Monday night it’s impossible not to acknowledge that, if we are anything right now, we’ve got to be switched ‘on’ on a global scale. Turns out iPhones aren’t just for sharing memes and re-watching cat videos, they’re for spreading ideas, starting conversations and taking action. Who knew?

In this wee series, I’m talking about the little things we can do to make sure we are informed and engaged on a basic level. You don’t need to inhale the rhetoric plastered across newspaper pages, smeared on placards, posted through your letter box, but you do need to have an opinion. Here’s a rundown of some digestible ways to contribute to the discussions going on around you right now and they’re coming at you, unashamedly, in digital. 

First up, it’s the stuff we listen to. Yeah, Liam Payne’s new single is great and we ALL love the 1D shade, but I’m talking about stuff you can plug into that’ll keep you informed. So – is there babble out there that we can tune into right now that’ll provide some informal education on the serious stuff without making our ears bleed from boredom/despair? Sure is, here’s the run-down.

This series is nothing short of brilliant. Coupling humour with thought-provoking interviews, Deborah Francis White teases the ideas of ‘bad’ feminism. In each episode, she chats with bad ass individuals: politicians/comedians/writers about what feminism means to them. Riffing off of their achievements TGF sparks dialogues which target complacency, encouraging listeners to get out there and smash expectations. A particularly inspiring ep is a recent one with Jess Phillips which I’d encourage you all to download and listen to now in the run-up to the election.

Next up, it’s something new. ‘The Debrief Podcast’. From the people that bring you your daily Facebook clickbait comes a podcast designed with empowerment in mind. Across this series, Stevie and Tessa chat you through the mundanities of everyday life admin: targeting issues of ‘online’ isolation, confidence, finances, career goals, recycling…These gals are smashing it, consistently churning out content that targets the too many of us who feel like we are growing up clueless: offering solutions and inspiration every week. My fave episode so far is this one on ‘Imposter Syndrome’ #tooreal

Don’t press snooze. This one had to be included. Delivering GE updates every day in palatable, digital digests this podcast keeps you on the pulse of what’s going on in the UK right now. Updates on May’s manifesto meltdown the battle bus front and Corbyns’ eccentricities served in daily doses. With more than two million people registering to vote since the announcement of a snap general election it’s pretty clear people are engaging, so stay informed and make the right choice for you on June 8th. This will help.

I’ve spoken about Krystyna and Corinne a lot recently and with good reason. ‘Sorry about Last Night’ are a comedy duo deserving of the hype. Sharing their own stories alongside interviews with a series of comics, trans activists, mothers, victims of sex crimes who have harnessed their own adversity to inspire positive change; the girls really strike the balance between comedy and the serious stuff. I’ve listened to this podcast since its conception and it just keeps getting better. These gals have mastered the art of informal education. Their interviews are important, heart-warming, sickeningly funny and more than worthy of your subscription. Do it.

Lena, I love you. Just listen. Covering everything from Hilary Clinton to Girls to pro-choice, pro-life, pro-outspoken selfhood this series is ~everything~ and needs no introduction. Listen.

You like gibberish? This podcast is for you. From nonsensical everyday musings to the ~slightly~ more serious, these guys provide a weekly dose of nonsense that you’re going to want to tune into. Their cynical drawls cover your daily frustrations: from pigeons to local politics, conspiracy theories, Indy Ref 2, Trump? For them, no issue is a non-issue. Venting their personal frustrations whilst targeting the big guns in a suitably hilarious Scottish drawl this wee gem is one worth subscribing to… Also – dem sound effects.

That’s the roundup guys. Plug in and switch on.

Til next week, over n out.


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The Peachy Palette I Can’t Get Enough Of!

This Christmas I was lucky enough to get my hands on Too Faced Cosmetic’s ‘Sweet Peach' Palette. This gorgeous 18 piece eyeshadow palette is one i’ve had my eye on since it was released last year. The packaging, in true Too Faced style, is gorgeous and the shadows themselves are highly pigmented and scented like your favourite 00’s gel pen… What’s not to like?

I’ve been reaching for this product every day since it was gifted to me (thanks mum!) AND It was so worth the shipping delays and Instagram stalking. The shades themselves range from shimmering neutrals to sunset oranges, earthy greens and deep plums. Simply stunning. 

I really enjoy the fact that this palette is both generous on both the showstopping colour and champagne nude front. Those lighter shades are always the ones I finish first so it’s refreshing to see a palette that really caters to that highlight we all love! The shades ‘White Peach’ and ‘Bellini’ are my favourite for those inner corners. A real ‘Tah-Dah’ effect. 

For me, there is something so glam about the bronzed sunset shades in this palette. I love creating a smokey eye with warm browns and earthy greens, something that really works with hazel/emerald eye colours. For that, there is a clear winner in this palette: the gorgeous ‘Summer Yum’. I will never tire of this warm shade. I typically blend it right into the crease, using my fluffy Zoeva cosmetics shadow brush to reduce sharpness and create a soft, ethereal winter look. 

This product is gorgeous and I’d go as far as to say I prefer it to the classic ‘Chocolate Box’ set. The colours are so flattering, the packaging is super aesthetically pleasing and you can easily create countless contrasting looks with just one product. Pick this up while you still can! Love.

Speak soon, 

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