Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Faves of 2k14: Stuff I've Done (and Liked) This Year

5 Fave Outfits






























































































"I like to Show Cuteness in a Traumatic Way



Coordinated Cat Lady


































































5 Fave Blog Posts

"All you need to know about Oxford is that you start and end at the gift shop. Buying and returning your Harry Potter gown, amongst Harry Potter movie merchandise, the I  Oxford hoodies for the tourists, the ‘born to go to Oxford’ baby bibs for the pushy parents. And it’s one week later and I’m photo shopping out the stupid out of my face and the creases from my shirt."

The Real Oxford Manner

"Vegas is more Disney than Disneyland, more capitalist than Wall Street, it is both an affirmation and a parody of the collective weirdness of America and it is glorious. It's techni-colour dislocation with it's area 51 grafitti, mock European monuments and dystopian voice overs (seriously they pipe robot voices and britney spears first three albums into the street as you walk by). To call it tacky is to miss the point. It is not tacky. Because it isn't imitating anything. (Except maybe the secret wishes of 9-5 business dudes). Rather it consumes existing tropes and tales to suit its own need, to create something new. Vegas in it's alien immortality, theme park in the desert-ness is how I imagine the afterlife. Vegas is awesome. Go there."

Bright Light City

"I think of respectability, and how suicide is tenure for some, bankruptcy for others. I think about the difference between Hamlet's soliloquies and Ophelia Pre-Raphaelite portraits. Images vs words. Masculinity and femininity, the intellectual vs the precocious. The tortured vs the shrill. I once wrote a young middle class white girl who knows death, who speaks of death, who goes through a goth phase, is applauded like a cat than can stand on two legs. A party trick. The young girl of colour who knows death, speaks of trauma, is the opposite, common as dirt. (I think about how a mean, rather racist white girl once told me I had eyes the colour of shit, what a horrible thing to say to another human!) Both girls lose. Lose their lives, their 'creative' reputations whatever you want to call it. Susan Sontag said that Diane Arbus legit status was confirmed when she killed herself. I disagree. I think it was regarded merely as another neat party trick for the grown ups, like a child who can sing all the parts in So Long Farewell from the Sound of Music."
Selfies and Suicide Notes

"What if I could keep the rad ethos of community and creativity of zine culture but create something that can reach more people than a small circle of tumblr and twitter? People who might not necessarily know what a zine is but know what it's like to stop breathing on the way to class, to stop eating, to want it to end, but to want, to not want, to feel like this?"

An Exciting Announcement

5 Fave Articles I've Written


"This subject is particularly potent in Dunham’s writing on her experiences of rape; the struggle of telling your trauma as a survivor, of questioning why it happened, and who will believe it.
This is a questioning I experienced in reviewing this book as a survivor myself. Should I include the fact that I felt uncomfortable about the passages involving her sister?
Was I being ‘oversensitive’ when so many other feminist critics had not commented on the subject? This is the uncertainity of trauma in a world that seeks to silence and gaslight its victims."
-Book Review of Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham for 'For Books' Sake

Now I may not be down for creepy ‘omg disability is soo creative’ outlook. *-*-vomits internally-*-*-*. But I am down for bbs not feeling inadequate for not matching up to some ridiculous ableist standards that encompass everything from our standard of life to our eyeliner decisions.”

-How to Do Cute Eye Make Up When You Have a Tremor for Powder Doom

Like many survivors of child abuse, I have always sought comfort and escape from my own life in the lives told in fiction—especially movies, in my case. A safe and scripted portrait of growing up, fucking up, falling in love—one that links you with the other people around you and is available for purchase as a six-disc box set on Amazon—is so much more appealing than an unreliably remembered reality that you are too traumatized to relive and too scared to retell for fear that the response will be “I don’t believe you.”
-Crimes and Misdemeanours for Rookie Magazine

"Invisible borders divide disabled bodies into two genres. The first: the romantic fairy tale style, a world where disabled bodies are represented as mythical unicorn fairy creatures, delicate, tragic and otherworldly inspiration. (This is where disability as dress up, romance, or quirky inspiration comes in.) The second, in contrast, is not mystical but medical. A place where a person is nothing more than the sum of their symptoms, a Caliban-esquecreature to turn away from, to be kept in the dark."
-Disability is Not a Dress Up Box, I Shape Beauty 

"Much is made of dead white men, and the shadows they cast, but what of the dead white women? It’s Susan Sontag’s, it’s Virgina Woolf’s. It’s Sylvia Plath’s. What does it mean for a young girl of colour, struggling with mental health and suicidal ideation, to read the Bell Jar and feel nothing? Is she (I) not truly depressed? Am I reading it backwards? Upside down? Is it wrong of me to appreciate the remarkable gifts of these (white) women, struggling with similar mental health troubles, take my notes, reference them in class, admire their craft, but not choose to turn to them in my own time of need? "
-Doll Hospital Journal, The Coalition Zine

3 Fave Pieces of Academic Work

"Because the eReader lacks one important thing: a book cover. A curious commuter sitting opposite an aspiring cultural glutton will be presented with nothing but a plain grey or black rectangle. This is reading as a solitary pursuit, anchored not in image (for there is no image to display, no possibility to project a theatre of the self) but in the text itself, a concept that stands in direct opposition to the literature-as-image model. How fearful this jump is, the very medium that once sought to confirm a person’s impeccable tastes is replaced with an unpleasant ambiguity, that grey slab, a grave stone for one’s cultural credibility, slyly suggesting that the ‘cultural snob’ may be straying away from the canon. In using a medium for reading that conceals, rather than reveals, a person’s cultural consumption, a curtain is drawn, suggesting something to hide,suggesting, perhaps, that what lurks beneath is not Ulysses but 50 Shades of Grey."
-Oxford Mst. Dissertation: Literature as Image in Digital Culture

"It is said that God created man in his own image. Yet, when comparing one’s own reflection to the angelic figures of runway catwalks and movie posters, you can’t help but draw the conclusion that God is either very cruel or rather ugly. This is the dead space between ‘should look like’ and ‘actually looks like’, which can be identified in the profound sense of loss that undercuts the act of getting dressed.  It is the gap between the item we want (the designer dress) and the item we can afford (the high street knock off), the physical body (how we are perceived) and the dream body (how we wish we were perceived), the clothes on the hanger and the clothes on the ‘ordinary’ person, the clothes on the ‘ordinary’ person and the clothes on the model."

Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body: An Analysis of Comme des Garcons Spring/Summer 1997 Collection


"For, much as it is easy to dismiss the ‘real’ Miley for the picture Miley (not realising that it is these contradictions that reveal the whole) it is easy to place Hannah Montana Miley against VMA Miley. And it is easy to ignore the fact that the many faces of Miley are what give the construct of grotesque white girlhood meaning [13, 14.]. For the Hannah-Montana-image-Miley, celebrating white girlhood in the pure white paradise of the Disney Channel, and the VMA-image-Miley, celebrating whiteness by highlighting what she is not (a black woman) are not different, they are near identical.[34] This is not a radical break from girlhood, as so many shocked journalists think, mourning the wholesome girl child she once was, but a clear continuation."


3 Fave Interviews I've Conducted 

(I've done LOTS more this year but they're not published yet!)

"As Audre Lorde said, when we transform silence we become even more powerful. The things we thought would hold us down. Things that we thought people would judge us about, that we would judge ourselves about; it’s the sense of releasing all of that shame, so the story telling process has been a work in progress."
-Janet Mock Interview for For Books' Sake

"But guilt is unhelpful. Sitting around feeling bad about the state of the world doesn’t change anything. You think you can’t do anything so you aren’t going to bother. That reaction is frankly bullshit. You can do something. It’s these easy ways out that allow these systems to continue to damage the environment and exploit. We need to recognize where we are in the state of the world, globalization happened, the economy is a global entity, so our buying practices matter."

"I used to be very obsessed with the body and the emotional memory connect; the idea of muscle memory and your cells storing all of your experiences.  I’ve always had a fascination with the grotesque, medical information, science information, and the death industry.  I find diseases and deformities to be fascinating, they are the ultimate betrayal.  So I started making imaginary diseases or organs.  Objects that were inspired by specific organs or cellular structures but were then imaged into fantastical creations, that I tried imbuing with my emotional experiences and feelings."
-Emily Barletta Interview for the Style Con

Other Random Stuff I've Done (and Liked)

"It is this necessity of difference that I hope Doll Hospital can work towards. Our first issue has just been put together, we explore all kinds of topics from the trauma of rape, to dealing with psychosis and being in a mental health ward, as well as more light hearted pieces on self care, and even an essay on Kanye West, complete with fan art. Our contributors are from all different experiences and backgrounds, because there is no one story on mental health and to suggest otherwise would be kind of ridiculous."
-My Talk on Doll Hospital at Oxford

Doll Hospital itself(!!!) the art and literature journal on mental health that I founded this year

"To present mental health struggles as something creative and ‘unique’ is damaging and derailing, and prevents people struggling from getting the help they need.
"As a writer and artist I thought that I shouldn’t get help for my chronic depression because it would prevent me from being a ‘good’ writer. That is absolutely ridiculous! Because when I’m suicidal, or having a panic attack, I’m not casually whipping up a manuscript on the side. Nope! It’s the total opposite. When my depression is bad I can’t work at all! It was only when I got help for this stuff that my work could actually thrive."
-This interview I did with the wonderful Francesca

"People suffering with their mental health are regarded as unreliable, unstable, and even frightening; the thing that makes us ‘qualified’ to discuss this subject (as in we have to deal with this stuff everyday) is the very thing that makes people uncomfortable about letting us speak. How can we tell our experiences accurately when we are regarded as such unreliable narrators? I think this is foolishness, all individuals are, by their nature, unreliable, and allowing people, especially women, to discuss their first hand experiences openly, without feeling like they need to provide a ton of footnotes to show it’s true, is the most powerful thing we can do to challenge mental health stigma."

-And this interview I did

"The Poem That Is Not A Poem does not trust phrases like:
Ice Breaker
Community Dance Troop
Tickets to the theatre on Friday"

-This random poem I wrote




























....And finally this art series I did for Rookie


Happy new year bbs!!!







XOX





BMO! BMO!


Choker: Ebay
Jumper: Official Adventure Time merch from Forbidden Planet, a Christmas gift :)
Skirt: A Wear
Silver bangle: Christmas gift :)
Tights: Primark
Socks: Pound shop
Shoes: Gordon Jack

The 30th of December and two of my favourite outfits of the year/all time worn in the past two days!! (The other one was the cat one btw). This was my pub lunch outfit (I had pie, I love pie, pie is great, pie is good) and overheard an older dude talking bout the first person in his road to get Sky TV to watch the British boxing matches. The oral history of casual conversation, casual working class conversations is the most precious thing. Speaking of working class stuff how #iconic has Danny Dyer's performance been in Eastenders?! Watching his Christmas day performance with Kellie Bright felt really important?? My entire family is Eastenders-obsessed and me and my cousin spent most of last Easter holidays watching fan videos of Ben Mitchell on YouTube because we're cool like that.


The BMO jumper has been an important part of my life in the past few days and complements my current retro futurism cuteness #vibes:











Andre Courreges, NASA poster, big hero 6,  Andre Courreges Vogue Spread by Bert Stern, tomorrow land, big hero 6,  Galaxy Chic baked eye shadow palette by BH Cosmetics (I got this for Christmas and is now my favourite eyeshadow set I own-I'm wearing 'Comet' in this photo! 10/10 would recommend!), Tomorrowland characters at Disneyland c. 1961, keyboard from here Stitch, tattoo from here

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Coordinated Christmas Cat Lady




Frosty bus stop # OOTD

Anne Stevenson's little mammal tribute to her purdy cat has been running through plus I got this top for Christmas so a black and white tribute to my own black and white beast was in order.

PICKLE 5EVA


a christmas cat.

 I was outrageously depressed today but you wouldn't know it from these photos would you?! how pictures lie! and what a gift that is, all photos are deceitful but at least with selfies you can control the narrative arc of these falsehood no? honesty is kind of overrated and i don't want a load of pictures of me looking like i want to kill myself do i? i wouldn't even know how to edit such a picture, after all I only have i photo, a poor man's photoshop. and it'd make a shit photo album or so gross messed up art installation one, with the album bound from like idk human skin or some pretentious ed gein crap like that.

Credits:
Tights: from this Ebay shop (I also own the teddy ones, which I'm wearing here)
Top:the top is from this store envy shop, however it doesn't seem to be selling anymore and I couldn't find an alternative stockist? The label reads AD2XA but that does not provide very many hits so you could always ask the store envy owner! I discovered the shop after nabbing my cat tights from Ebay, but they also have a ton of cute printed tights too! I want the totoro ones so bad :O
Skirt: H and M, though it's a few seasons ago but I had a look and you can grab one on Ebay.
Oh and the jacket is from Primark haha.

gross and weirdly intimate but also cool picture of my cat combo like Moriyama's fishnets but not hot and actually repulsive.

cool and non-gross photo of my cat legs

oh and some random Xmas photos...YEAHHH













btw the random dude is my Grandad haha, oh and the dress is from american h and m and pickle's outfit is from the pound shop!! christmas was good tho i was (obviously) a blob and me and my cousins ended up on the weird side of Youtube singing it's all about the elasticated waist to the tune of it's all about the bass whilst eating cold turkey and generally being disgusting human beings.

Oooh and on a final shamelessly cute note....



Happy Holidays everyone :)))

XOXOXOX

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

A Christmas Gift


Happy Christmas Eve bbs! Whilst I toyed with the idea of posting a Christmas gift idea post earlier this month (it's in my drafts actually lol) such a post seemed kinda...phony. Like what's the point in posting a bunch of Etsy stores on here that I can't even afford myself?!

This also ties into what me, Ginger and Eline were talking about over at Doll Hospital in terms of self care, how self care doesn't need to be about buying things, as such an outlook is not only inaccessible to working class babes like us, but also reductive and potentially damaging. Sooo I thought it'd be cool to give a free gift! The recommendation of my fave anime I discovered only a few days a go. 

It's called Polar Bear Cafe:


And it's cute:


So cute!


It's embodies the post grad liberal arts lifestyle in a way Lena Dunham never could:

Complete with egotism:


Vague career aspirations:


And failed job interviews:



It offers important life advice:


It's funny:


Like really funny!!



Plus there's an irl Polar Bear cafe to dream of visiting:


Oh and all fifty episodes are available for free on Crunchy Roll!!!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!

XOX

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

XMAS IMAGES


a few christmases ago, yes that is my official christmas cape

I cry every Christmas eve like clockwork. I am the designated photographer of our family. Images and expectations, they say getting ready is the most fun and the unwrapped presents are hiding that our tree is made of plastic. I held Pickle over breakfast his cat eye refelected the lights and made a beautiful bauble.
I decorate our tree each year, I put beanie babies on our tree and hang them by their halos

and pickle dresses up all fancy, a cat in a cat in the hat hat

Christmas is a copy and paste job, yet whilst with autumn these conceived coordinates might be comforting with christmas is desperately sad, as each copy becomes weaker, blurrier, spells that lose their potency with repetition. And Robin Williams has killed himself now so all those repeats of his films are seeming a little off. Maybe Christ isn't a baby anymore like in our knitted nativity, everything is changing, shifting, dying.
 



miracle on 34th street/Ten Thousand Points of Light/diane arbus/gremlins/Gundula Schulze Eldowy