Monthly Archives: September 2015

Body Shaming

So body shaming, fat shaming, skinny shaming, slut shaming… it is all the same thing. It is taking a physical attribute and passing comment about it. Looking back at previous blog posts that somehow never quite made it to published.. it is just something that keeps giving. Below is a screen shot from my FB page – it was something I posted a year ago.

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Body shaming has been around in one form or another for as long as we can recall. Longer maybe. The ability for one woman to make another feel bad is limitless. As is a man to make a woman question her worth. And let us not forget, sex only sells when the object remains an object.

So is it just about sex? I really do hate to be crude, but on some level almost everything we do is to do with sex, or our need to appear desirable to others. So shaming another person by commenting on their size, is one way of deflecting negativity onto them.

But why, why is this worse that commenting on a poor wardrobe choice? (and I am the queen of poor wardrobe choices) Well, if my friend says to me, ‘Gill, I love your bold use of colour today, but maybe try sticking to a maximum of 3 in any one outfit’. That is fine, it is something easily taken on board, and you can adjust your future wardrobe choices with this constructive criticism in mind. But to comment on someone’s wardrobe choice, by calling them, slutty, asking for it, barely there, whorish (and I won’t go on but you get the idea) isn’t constructive. Sure, you are passing your opinion but really how is that helpful. Does it really matter if it isn’t to your taste, and why do you think they should care. There is a big different between offering some constructive feedback (although not always warranted or welcomed tbh) and just blurting out the first thing that comes to mind.

For me, worse than commenting on how someone is choosing to present themselves to the world – commenting on body type. We have all seen the bikini ‘meme’ – ‘how to achieve a bikini body, get a bikini, put it on’. And it really is that simple. The size of the body wearing the bikini is beside the point and actually none of your business. What makes it worse, for me, is that it is a lot harder to change something. Telling people to one the one hand ‘eat a beefburger’ is as helpful and hurtful as telling them to ‘stop eating all the burgers’. While to some it may be a logical, and simple sum – more/less food in will result in a more desirable body shape.

But it isn’t easy, whatever way you are approaching the situation, you are naturally slender, and find it difficult to put on weight. How do you think it feels to be constantly told you need to eat more fried food?! And if you are already at a larger body weight (I won’t use BMI because I am not a fan) then simply not eating doesn’t work. These things are not quick fixes, they are not something the person hasn’t considered every time they dress, when they catch themselves in the mirror, when they see you looking at them.

Everyone is going through things that a not visible, and frankly none of your business. They don’t want or need your judgement. I am not saying you cannot think these things, you are welcome to. I am not for a moment suggesting you repress your natural inclination or reaction to a person or situation. But just take a moment to think before saying something to them, either online or to their face. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.

Side note : I want to touch on a subject getting a lot of press at the moment, and that is ‘plusisequal’ and various other plus size promoting that is going on at the moment. The fact is a lot of events still use models who are size 12/16 at the very most. Which is a massive slap in the face to ladies who are larger and would like to see how these fashions will realistically fall on their bodies. There is still the issue of needing to look desireable at a larger size, so if you are not rocking the hourglass look, you are just not the right , size, plus size. At the end of the day, every person should be able to wear what they want, and feel good about themselves. It is not a competition to see who can wear it better. If you want to make a change, do it for you. It is the only way that change will be long term. Remember that you are the one living in that body. No one else.

Tis the season… To don your Leggings!

It is that time of year, it is officially autumn now, september is already ticking by fast. It is bright but there is a chill in the air.

What is a girl to do now….

WEAR LEGGINGS!

I implore you all do to this! It is the perfect weather for it, they are comfortable and go with anything! Now last year, I discovered printed nylon. What I hear you cry, what about Black Milk, Living dead… I hear you. I honestly do. But I have never really felt comfortable paying the prices. I work in a conservative environment so I knew I wouldn’t be able to get away with wearing them at work, which leaves the gym or weekends.

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Wild Bangarang jumped onto the nylon scene last year and quickly I found myself in possession of quite a collection. I can’t put a finger on what exactly prompted this. It is a combination of the designs, price, that it is a small, local (relatively speaking) business, and did I say designs already?

I have to say, there is something about wearing WB leggings that gives me a little swagger in my walk. I get looks, but since I have no body issues where my legs are concerned I welcome it. I have been stopped on several occasions to ask where I got them, the most unusual was when a woman stopped me a couple of times to comment on them – see the featured image – and told me I look like Spiderman’s girlfriend.

Now don’t think for a moment that I am telling you to give up the black leggings – they have their place, and Batman knows i have enough knocking about. But before you automatically reach for your faithful black leggings, think WB instead. They will instantly cheer up any outfit – when you are just planning on wearing a jumper, or if you are hitting the gym and want something to cheer up the tired old gym wear.

I used to dance before injury to keep fit and socially, and one thing that I always did, I think it was just something in the scene, I always dressed up and was bright and flamboyant. When I had to switch to more traditional gym sessions, I just wasn’t inspired. A baggy vest or t shirt and a pair of leggings. But actually as much as I don’t feel like spending a lot of money on clothing to sweat in, WB leggings do great double duty. I can wear one pair to the gym, and another on the way out. And I do feel, just as they put a spring in my step normally, they inspire me to push a little harder in the gym.

It is all in my head, these leggings are not magic. They may well be magical though – do buy a pair and let me know what you think?

Check out the website: http://www.wildbangarang.com

You can also find Wild Bangarang on Facebook and Instagram

Fit for a night in

STOP RIGHT NOW!

STOP IT!

DO NOT READ THIS !

SPOILERS WILL BE THROWN AROUND WITH WANTON ABANDON!

I am working with Click putting on a new show, Lifestyle:MK at Secklow sounds, and as part of this, I was tasked with reviewing movies that you might watch as part of a girls night in and I wanted to watch a couple of different genres. To this end, I chose the latest re working of Cinderella, Babadook and a Walk of Shame.

I will start with Cinderella as it was the first film that I watched.

I am not sure about you, but I LOVE fairy tales, they were the subject of my thesis at University, and of course, which little girl didn’t watch the Disney classic and want their own fairy godmother? Now I watched the reviews surrounding the film on release, although all I really remember is comments on the tiny waist. So I did go into the movie with a relatively clear head (although I was distracted by the waist, I will be honest!) and was hoping for something magical. However there have been many retelling of the classic tale and is there really anything new to add…..

Well…. sorry to say… no. No there wasn’t. As you can imagine this was not a great start to my movie triptych as I really was hoping to be swept away in the romance, the fairy tale, to be moved emotionally, to engage with poor Ella’s plight, tales of misfortune, of greed, of ugly hearted step sisters. It didn’t really start well for me, elements of the classic tale were sprinkled around. But it all went downhill the moment the Stepmother and Step sisters were introduced, I couldn’t help but think of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum from the outset and this wasn’t the last Alice in Wonderland reference – there is a lot of Tim Burton in this movie. Which while I appreciate it is hard to make your own mark on a movie these days, the elements were almost lifted from other movies rather than a nod to them. Baz Luhrman’s Romeo & Juliet and Moulin Rouge. There was also a confusion of date, with the Stepmother seeming to favour a 1950’s look and everyone around her going for a more classical renaissance wardrobe.

When we finally see Elle arrive at the ball – I am hoping, this will be it, THIS WILL BE THE MOMENT…. and … although there was some beautiful shots of her dancing with her prince, the dress was …. pretty. It was poofy, it sparkles, it made her waist look tiny. It should have been a fairy tale of epic proportions… but really did fail to live up to its own story.

Next I watched Walk of Shame. I approached this with trepidation having made the mistake of watching Bridesmaids… well I lasted 15 minutes before i had to switch over (i am not a 15 year old boy, toilet humour is a turn off). But I have to say, it was a really enjoyable, female led cast to which most of us, to some degree can relate to. I don’t mean crossing a freeway, or having your car impounded, but it was more what these things represented. I have to say that the set up of the movie was good. Unlike Cinderella that seems to spend a very long time setting up her father’s remarriage and her descent to servitude, Walk of Shame tidied it up very quickly, with a job interview which set up the type of person they needed to protagonist to be. Within the first 15 mins of the film, we see her interview, have a test as a co-anchor for a news show, and go home to find that her boyfriend has moved out, and to top it off, a leak telling her she hasn’t got the job… So what does a girl do… well her friends take her out to drown her sorrows. And it is what happens after that will make you grin, wince, cry, laugh, and aww. It is funny, not always in a laugh out loud way, you really do feel for her. And honestly, the girl can run in heels so she has my utter respect.

At the end of the day, she gets the boy, kinda, her friends rescue her (Girl power) and while she managed to realise that the job as a co anchor in a conservative TV station may not be for her, she is offered another job. Which helps you realise that while things may not always go the way you think they should …. things do have a habit of working out!

Lastly, I watched Babadook, which is the horror film I felt would be perfect to round the evening off *disclaimer I did not watch all the movies in one sitting*. I didn’t really know what to expect from this movie, it was a recommendation from a friend who gave no hints. Now Babadook is an anagram of A Bad Book. And the book itself is pretty horrifying, not only in the content but that it just keeps coming back. What I found especially uncomfortable at the beginning of the film was the child. He was aggressive and wasn’t able to communicate his concerns, didn’t understand social interactions and left his mother frazzled. As the film progresses, things start to click into place, the mother in the scenario is a single parent who lost her husband when he drove her to the hospital to give birth to her son. So it makes a little more sense that the relationship at times, becomes strained. There are hints dropped that she had to give up a fulfilling career following a change in circumstances and now struggles financially. She doesn’t have many friends, feeling out of place even when with her sister because of this and her son’s behaviour. When the book entered their life – it seemingly appears on her son’s bookshelf, it is a focal point for all her frustrations and anxiety. It was an absorbing film and I dare say, a psychological horror more than anything else. It leaves a little ambiguity right up until the end of the movie – at least for me, and doesn’t tie things up too nicely 🙂

If you have watched any of these movies, and have any thoughts please drop me a line! If you haven’t, and plan to, let me know!

And any suggestions for other movies for me to try, please! I am always looking for recommendations!!

Revenge of the sith.. I mean wigs… REVENGE WIGS!

http://revengewigs.co.uk

So on Friday I came home to WIG MAIL! This made me so happy, before even opening it, the sticker on the outside let me know who it was from. Once open, I had a lovely hand written note, and tag which was so sweet. The handwritten aspect continued with the tag on the wig, I chose Patootie as my first Revenge Wig and I am glad I did.

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Now I am getting ahead of myself, let us go back a couple of steps in my Revenge Wig journey 🙂 I first came across Revenge WIgs (REVENGEWIGS) on Instagram and as I was looking for a new wig company, I sent a quick email, not really expecting a reply.

A short while I had an email back, which started me on my journey with Revenge Wigs, Communication has been amazing with this company, I know it is something a lot of us worry about when ordering online, and I am guessing the owner knows that as well. She obviously did her market research! At every stage I was kept informed by email, but at no point did I feel I was getting too many, nor did I feel like a bother when replying.

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Now to the wig itself, I am pretty happy with my pick (wearing her right now) and snapped off a couple of photos on Friday night. The quality is amazing, I cannot fault it at all, it is a high standard that many of us expect when buying wigs, the wig, Patootie, is a gorgeous pink colour, the top is a really light pink and not white as I first thought 🙂 I love the cut as well, there is enough fringe and it sits nicely away from the face, with a graduated cut at the front which adds a little depth to the overall wig. It looks and feels very natural which will mean that it gets pulled out to wear more often which of course is a good thing. It is a thick wig, but not heavy (I am going to suggest the cut helps with the weight) and there hasn’t been much hair loss which is a bonus.

Overall, and checking the website, there is a great selection for a new business, covering most tastes and the price is great. I love the interactive Instagram section, as long as you are tagging your wig, you will feature in on the website in the IG feed which is a great way of involving your customers! You can find the tags to you use on both the website and I.G. I am already debating my next wig, I am torn between Bubblegum and Flossie – so if anyone can help me choose that would be great!

It is worth checking the website, Facebook and or I.G as there are special offers and discounts added and it would be another reason to invest in a new wig!

p.s if you do use I.G you can find me under beautifullystrange_makeup xx

Getting that Lush feeling…

1013So I am writing this post about my skin. I like my skin, I care about my skin. It covers me, and keeps me together so I do try and take care of it. I have occasionally sensitive, dry skin for the most part (I am a water baby which doesn’t help) and have combination skin on my face which gets a lot thrown at it (makeup, special FX, latex etc) so I do try and treat it a couple of times a week with a face mask.

Last night I popped into my local Lush store, in Northampton as I was having a minor face emergency – you can relate to this I hope… you keep looking at the mirror all day, and the redness… it is spreading… it is isn’t it ?! Everyone can see it .. omg are they all too nice to say anything… you don’t want to make things worse by piling more makeup on your face…

So I was glad I saw a friendly face when I ran in last night. I made a bee line for the fresh face masks – I have used them all, over the years but …. wow.. there is a bright blue face mask… it drew my eyes .. but would it be the best one for my face.. or should I go for a more soothing one… but it is new. And blue, I mentioned it is blue right ? Don’t Look at Me is new to the Lush Face Mask Family.

So I discussed my concerns – my face was not actually that bad, I have been assured. Until I insisted at pointing at it repeatedly. But I digress – I was warned that some people have had a reaction to the face mask and so I was given a sample to try.

I have to be honest, I don’t always get along with exfoliants as they can be a little enthusiastic on my skin, with masks like Love Lettuce can be a little uncomfortable to remove. But in this mask, it was just a soft polish, no scratching or digging.. no holding your head under water and hoping for the best (never works, just no…). My skin felt fantastic afterward, both clean and polished and moisturised so a winner for me!

https://www.lush.co.uk/products/masks/dont-look-me

While we were discussing new products and skin, I was shown a new moisturiser, Magical Moringa – now I will say right now… I have occasionally dabbled with Lush moisturisers but never felt the product justified the price tag? They are good .. but there are better which are more economical? And that isn’t really a comment on Lush pricing, everyone’s skin is different and it is hard finding one that works. Especially if, like me your skin continuously changes.

Now, when I was shown the moisturiser, it had a strange consistency and honestly, reminded me of coconut oil, upto and including it melting into the skin. Now, I love coconut oil, it is the best way of removing makeup, and I use it as a night cream when my skin really hates me. But as a day cream? I have combination skin so I just saw my makeup sliding off along with my glasses!

However, it melts into your skin. I used it this morning, and my skin… my skin! I have pretty good skin for the most part, a couple of problem areas. But I couldn’t stop touching my face. It feels so … soft and … touchable?! I went with just the moisturiser, then liquid and powder foundation. I do wear primers usually to give a good base but wanted to see what would happen.

Throw out your primer. Well, don’t, use it up and then buy this moisturiser instead. It has left my makeup in place, my skin feels soft and smooth, I am so impressed. The oil that had initially melted onto my skin has left behind a perfectly balanced base of my makeup!

https://www.lush.co.uk/products/moisturisers/magical-moringa

Let us just say that next time, I will be buying full size products as I have been sold 🙂