Monthly Archives: July 2012

Passive Aggressive Signs

I like letters strung together and I have seen multiple images of them lately. This will be a vague post but I think they’re humorous and good for college dorms and inspiration.

Here, Here, Here.

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Filed under Art

Tweet, tweet

I’ve had my twitter for a while now and there are definitely some people that I’ve followed who are pretty hilarious or insightful (or both, usually.) A few of my most recent favorite tweets:

1. Amy Rose Spiegel@AmyRosary

This past weekend I led twenty people, all holding hands and calling me “Amy Rose Jones,” into a river at five AM. #culthappenings

After watching way too many documentaries on Jim Jones, I sort of died laughing.

2. Jennifer L. Pozner@jennpozner

If a boyfriend dared to ask my father’s permission before he proposed to me, that would be the clearest sign that I could never marry him.

I found Jennifer Pozner’s twitter after watching Miss Representation. I’m glad I did.

3. olivia bee@oliviab33

fuck it i love lana del rey

Someone as cool as Olivia Bee (who’s a photographer and who listens to bands like Starfucker and Wampire among others) liking Lana Del Rey makes me like her more. And also, what’s not to like??

4. Hannah Johnson@hannahejo

Whenever people tell me they’ve “tried” watching Mad Men and “couldn’t get into it” I am like “wow who cares go away why are you talking?”

I relate to Hannah’s tweets a lot and this is no different. I probably reread it a good five times because I’ve seen every episode of Mad Men and have no regrets in doing so.

5. Gabby Noone@twelveoclocke

any pizza can be a personal pizza if you believe in yourself

In case I haven’t mentioned it already, Gabby is hilarious and I check her Twitter every day because I feel like missing something would be comedic deprivation and that is just not good.

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Cries

I haven’t gotten Lula’s new issue because I really don’t want anybody to go bankrupt as a result of my addiction to magazines.

Lula by Zandra Thorsson on Flickr.

I just read that there was an interview featuring Tavi Gevinson. I’ve pretty much read and watched all of her interviews but she always has something really interesting to say and I’d hate to miss out. I wonder what band they interviewed. When they interviewed Warpaint I was so excited because I love them to bits.

‘I will wait for you there’, photography by Damon Heath and styling by Leith Clark:

There’s also this really great editorial that emulates all the summer vibes I’ve been thinking about lately even as summer is ending and I will go back to dying very very soon.

Cara Delevingne by Annabel Mehran for Lula #14 (Spring/Summer 2012). As much as I hate picking “model favorites,” Cara Delevingne is definitely one of them and it’s exciting to finally see her in a Lula editorial.

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Polyvore Previews

So I figured that since some people might have already seen my Polyvore for Audrey Horne…

Audrey Horne

MTWTFSS Weekday red shirt / Jones New York plaid skirt / Fogal nylon socks, $14 / Oxford shoes / American Apparel vintage watch

Basically I look at what the character seems to be wearing the most and go off of that. Since everyone on the show wears a lot of dark greens and reds, I know those would be the colors for her. She also wears simplistic watches and obviously her famous saddle shoes. I think these ones look a little too school girl-ish but what can you do? Polyvore still has a great selection though and it’s so fun to make outfits on it. This particular set was based off of these two outfits:

Plus her shoes:

Honestly, Audrey is probably one of my favorite characters of all time. She’s really interesting in comparison to all of her other classmates. I wish I could be best friends with her (if she, you know, existed.)

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Mayne Man (shitty titles 2k12)

As I’ve mentioned multiple times, I’ve been delving more and more into photography over the last year or so (i.e. when I started using the internet regularly and not just for school work.) One of my latest favorites (among many others) has been Roger Mayne, a British photographer who took photos of London and other places around the world in the 60’s.

“Girls Chatting, Islington, 1963”

“Southam Street, North Kensington, London” (1957)

“Girls jiving, richmond jazz festival 1969”

“Children by a Doorway, Dublin, 1957”

The thing I like most about all of this photography is that it’s completely in the moment. A second later, half of these pictures would turn out completely different. They aren’t posed (or so a lot of them aren’t) and I think it’s a talent to be able to capture the moment–someone laughing or looking happy or sad or what have you.

Another thing I enjoy about his photographs is that there’s nothing embellished about them–obviously there was no Photoshop when these were taken, but a lot aren’t posed, and they’re not glamorous at all, yet they still have a quality that draws you in and makes you want to be there.

I used to hate myself for liking realistic subjects (yeah, let’s steer away from great photography and talk about me, because that’s how relevant I am) since everyone else seemed to love Harry Potter and fantastical books and films. I still enjoy those things (not Harry Potter specifically) but Lula and fashion photography, which are obviously very embellished or ostentatious types of art. Despite this, I still favor realism because I  think it’s harder to capture it in a photograph and especially realism that isn’t composed of something sad or depressing, which, as you’ll find looking through his photography, Roger Mayne is really quite good at.

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Things we should all invest in

Recently I had the privilege of watching “Miss Representation” on iTunes. You can get it for a one day rental if you don’t want to pay the full price (or you can buy it, which is just as good.) I get worried about downloading from illegal sites the way everyone else does because a) what if someone catches me and b) what if it’s glitchy and doesn’t work. First world problems at their finest.

Miss Representation in itself is a wonderful movie, not just for people who already believe in equal rights but for people like straight white guys who don’t know anything about the media’s impact on women. I really like how they went behind WHY the media has gotten worse in terms of messages it brings out about women. Yes, the media has always been degrading but as Jean Kilbourne, creator of “Killing Us Softly,” said: it’s getting worse. The film goes into why–which, in a short summary, is because of the government’s regulation on the media and what can be released. Right now there are almost no laws restricting what people can and can’t put out as part of their advertising the way there used to be. And because the internet is unrestricted, it only creates a worse problem. I’d highly recommend watching the trailer, which in itself is an eye opener.

I found this video after seeing a gif of it on Tumblr and it’s basically saying what needs to be said about EVERYTHING. Not just abortion and women’s health (though that is the main message) but also sex and lgbtq issues. The women in this video are absolutely badass. They aren’t nice. This isn’t some kind petition to say “hey, please stop trying to police what I do with myself, thanks.” This is “if you can’t keep your morals out of other people’s lives then they aren’t morals and don’t act like they are by trying to justify what you’re doing with what is obviously sexist bullshit.” This is the truth. Yes, it may seem over dramatic and out of place, but when you consider how the US is pretty much raging a war on women in terms of reproductive rights and general health (anorexia, breast cancer screenings, etc.) you start to realize that it’s got a point.

Arabelle‘s blog is amazing and so is her Tumblr. She is currently a university student in New Jersey and made this video (Eff this noise, which is number seven in the playlist–couldn’t get it on here without the other ones first, apologies!) in her dorm room when Rick Santorum hadn’t dropped out of the race (i.e., a time just as dark as now.) While it’s a bit questionable where they’re getting some of their sources (I just figure you should cite them,) this is the same as the video above–no bullshit, straight-up, justified anger. We should get angry. We need to get angry. If we don’t, these things will continue to happen and Arabelle and her room mate are totally in realization of it. Keep up the good work.

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Filed under Feminism

Chick Lit (In Sophie Kinsella’s Defense)

Apologies for writing about books instead of Twin Peaks (I’ve been reading so much that I haven’t finished the show yet but I definitely will before the school year begins.)

Sophie Kinsella is one of my favorite authors. I guess you could say that prior to my thinking about this post/writing it/considering writing it, I was sort of weirded out by how much I enjoy reading her novels. It’s not as though I’ve explored the world of actual legitimate literature (or at least I don’t think so) and I have no excuses for that, but my other favorite authors aren’t, like, Danielle Steel, Nicholas Sparks, or E. L. James (the author of 50 Shades of Grey.) I just like her books a lot–they’re funny and relatable to some people. Your job may suck or you may be addicted to shopping or you might have an affair with your older American coworker. In an interview with the Guardian in February, Kinsella (or Madeleine Wickham, as that’s her real name) said:

You see, I think there’s two things. You can be highly intelligent, and also ditzy and klutzy. You can be unable to cook, you can like lipstick. And I think it’s more realistic to represent women having all these facets, than to say, OK, you’re intelligent, so I’ve got to write you as all competent, which I think is an unfair ideal. To have someone who never makes a mistake, never finds her personal life in disarray, never worries about work-life balance? I think that would be unreal. What I’m writing is real.”

I’m not going to go out and say that everything in the statement is true–Kinsella’s do portray  a certain type of woman, one that she relates to and she once was. I’m not saying is that her books encompass every woman’s experience (because what book does, and these don’t,) but then again, she doesn’t make that claim either. She’s simply writing about things that happened to her (with a lot of embellishment of course, or else they wouldn’t be half as hilarious.) And because she adheres to Western culture’s idea of femininity in many ways (materialistic, heterosexual, etc.) she’s probably a target for people saying that she’s not representing women in the right way. Now while this is a valid statement, it is not her job to A) represent all women, and B) make her characters a certain way. I think that people undervaluing the characters in books like Kinsella’s are just an example of a culture that hates girls who do things that people deem characteristically girly, like shopping or wearing makeup. People like to make the girls that Kinsella portrays in her books as dumb, stupid, vapid, etc. which is just more misogyny. If they buy excessive amounts of makeup and blow their money on it, they’re portrayed as idiotic. Part of feminism is being allowed to do what you want without judgement, whether that’s buy so many articles of clothing at Barney’s that you become in debt or becoming an olympic swimmer. What we’re doing isn’t relevant, nor is how we’re doing it.

Which is where chick lit comes in, because the reason why that genre is assigned to her novels is because she expressed a mainstream idea of femininity and thus, one that is looked down upon in certain areas. In the interview, she says:

I can understand, cos everyone has their own reaction. I always thought chick lit meant third-person contemporary funny novels, dealing with issues of the day. I mean, it’s not the ideal term; when I’m asked to describe what I do, I say I write romantic comedies, cos that’s what I feel they are. But I’m quite pragmatic.

There’s nothing wrong with her novels being assigned the genre, but people like to think less of things that are directed towards women.Of course, Chick Lit as a genre is a different story–it doesn’t encompass things that aren’t heteronormative or things that are about trans* and Women of Color very much either. But that’s not Kinsella’s fault, and I’ll still read her books with the label stamped on them because it’s a bullshit label (reasons mentioned in the previous sentence) and I like her books. I don’t really care what’s stamped on them because they’re funny and entertaining. And it’s not as though every woman in the book is out for a man. While men are usually involved, that is never the main goal of the character. They come along the way. And unlike in movies that are known as “chick flicks,” the women are the main characters and the men are just supporting roles. You get the sense that what happens to the woman is a lot more important.

She seems to go with the flow about the whole thing and writes what she likes, which is what I admire about her. There’s no reason to over analyze. She isn’t out to be a feminist storyteller (not as though there’s anything wrong with that) but she also isn’t out to dehumanize women and turn back feminism.

But still, even after all the paragraphs I have written right above THIS VERY SENTENCE defending the mainstream ideas of femininity, there’s still a lot to be done. I don’t think she intends to, but there’s enough girl hate and stereotypical guy roles to around in her stories. I’m not saying she’s a hero. I’m just saying that liking her stories doesn’t make anybody a shallow villain, her characters’ liking material objects and hair and makeup doesn’t make them shallow, and her writing about those characters and appealing to those readers doesn’t make her a shallow villain either. I think it’s okay to let loose and just read things for the sake of enjoying them rather than having to think about every little detail.

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