Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Yes I'm still alive.

In case any of you were wondering if I'd fallen off the face of the planet, I'd like to inform you that I'm still alive and kicking.

The months between September and December were a complete blur. I'm now the deputy style editor of The Linc, my university's newspaper. So on top of a complete overload of university coursework, I've had that to contend with. Year two is a right slap in the face, how I'll deal with my third is beyond me.

However despite my complete lack of free time, I've enjoyed meeting new people and making new friends. I love being part of something I'm proud of, check out to see our work.

So as the new year (and a new decade) beckons, it's promotes a feeling of nostalgia among us all. I can't believe I'm seeing my second decade in, and my teenage years will come to an end in May. However, I act like an OAP anyway, so getting old is nothing to worry about.

I think come May I will write a blog about how my teenage years have passed me by without a my first love, that I dreamed about in so many Sarra Manning novels. 2009 has yet again not been my year, but this is the year I got almost used to it. However, I will not be complacent.

Instead I'm dreaming big, this year my mum wanted to go to Australia and she did it. It's prompted me to do the same, I want go to New York, and I'm going to do it. Saving money has never ever been my strong point, but I need to go on an adventure and for a single journalist, New York is the ideal. Perhaps as product of watching too much 'Sex and the city' and romantic comedies, but New York seems like the place to me. Shopping anyone?

I've always championed women being strong and independent, that we don't have to flaunt ourselves and mess with our looks to get somewhere in the world. That with intelligence alone, we can achieve want we want and take opportunities.

It doesn't always work that way, I know the world doesn't. But it should. This year I let men get me down, and make me feel bad about myself. I let myself feel worthless because I wasn't what they wanted, and because I yet again met myself with unrequited love.

Next year, I'm going to try hard to not let that happen again. Women, we are strong and independent, we don't need men to determine how we feel about ourselves. If we don't love ourselves, nobody will. Yes, its psychiatric bullshit, but maybe some positive thinking in this depressing climate will give us all a kick up the arse.

I'm working tomorrow night, so another anticlimactic new years is on the cards, but here's to 2010 and many more opportunities.

Next year, I'm going to try to live my life to the full. My own way.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

I was planning to write a new blog on here, now that marking is over. But I didn't expect it to be under these circumstances. Here I was all ready to rant about my ridiculous love life, then news breaks that Michael Jackson has died, after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Its the kind of news, that you can't quite believe. The kind that takes a while to sink in. I know I didn't know him personally, but there are so many people in the world, that are going to be affected by this news. We all have our own opinions about his personal life, but there is no denying that he was one of the most important things to happen to music. He was an icon, a legend, and he has inspired so much of the music that is in our charts today.

I grew up in the 90s with his music being played in my house. He's had a career that's spanned 5 decades, and is one of the most recognisable icons in pop. You cannot deny his music is amazing, albums such as Thriller and Bad will go down as important music milestones. He was only 51 years old, I thought he had decades left. His health suffered many blows over the years, but I don't think anyone expected it would come to this.

I was due to see MJ in February during his massive tour at the O2. I was so excited, finally getting my chance to see the King of Pop live. The man has such aura and such a legendary status, I didn't know what to expect, but I knew it would be exciting. I had feelings something would go wrong, that I wouldn't get to see him. But I didn't think he would die. I thought he was invincible.

My thoughts are with his children, his family and friends. But lets not forget the fans, who are also suffering. So many will be affected by this news.

I am deeply saddened by the news, he was a crucial part of my musical education. He introduced me to so many amazing songs, and I couldn't help by be in awe of his dancing, his stage presence, his outfits. Now that his life has ended, we know that the fifty years he had, were hugely eventful, and he had an amazing life. Through ups and downs, he has had the support of his family and fans. Now in death, he will never be forgotten.

But it disappoints me so so much, that I will now not to see him at the O2. It sounds selfish, it sounds silly, when a man has lost his life. But I wanted to be part of history, I wanted to see him on that stage doing what he does best. I can't help but feel bitter that it won't happen now. There are rumours that we won't get refunds. Most likely vicious rumours to generate anger, but if true, I think its completely disgusting. Though we are all saddened by his death, we shouldn't have to pay for a show we will never get to see.

I'm really going to miss this man. I don't care about peoples opinions and allegations. He was an important musical icon, and he will never be replaced. During the somewhat, more sensible hours of today, I'm going to devote my time to listening to his timeless tunes, and try and let the news sink in.

Its a really sad day. Rest in peace, Michael Jackson. A complete and utter legend.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Sex and TV.

Today it was reported that under new proposals, restrictions on condom advertisements would be relaxed and information from the Pregnancy Advisory Services could be advertised on television.

This is long overdue, we cannot afford to be reserved about these things. It seems the government is finally understanding this, that every effort has to be made to try and reduce teenage pregnancies. That is not to say that teenage mothers aren't good parents. I know many young mothers that do an amazing job, but there is an epidemic in this country.

Teenagers need to be educated in the importance of using condoms. There is so much ignorance going on amongst young people and we can't afford to let it happen. We already have advertisements for condoms on television but these are only on channel four and most are after the 9pm watershed. Yet these advertisements convey an important message. Two of recent relevance refer to the use of condoms to prevent STIs (Condom: Essential Wear) and the 'Want Respect, Use a condom' campaign. The respect campaign involved teenagers the morning after a sexual encounter spilling the details to their friends, and how when they revealed the didn't use a condom they lost respect from their peers.

I think its important to get hard hitting messages like this out into the open. I was lucky enough to have good sex education at my school, but not all students are as lucky. Also, it is easy for pupils to take the lesson as a joke and laugh with their peers. We know that the majority of young people use the television as their main information outlet, and this is where they get most of their sexual knowledge from. Yet in television dramas, how often do we see anybody use a condom? How often do they get pregnant or contract STIs? It happens, but not often.

The pregnancy advice services advertising would also include information about abortions. There is no doubt that this will cause much debate amongst pro-life supporters but that option needs to be out there. These advertisements wouldn't promote abortion, they would just face women with another choice.

I really hope these proposals go ahead. In Europe, sex is much more out in the open and their rate of teenage pregnancies are nowhere near as high as our own. Further education about sex to young audiences and openness is our society is the only way anything will ever change. Sex is everywhere we look, so what is the problem with providing further knowledge to the young?

Monday, 23 March 2009

Rule Britannia!

With the excitement of the Brits last month and i-D doing a 'Best of British' issue (which is arguably their best issue yet) it got me thinking about this small island and it's inhabitants.

I really do love this country, however I think as a nation we have a difficulty finding our inner patriotism. We are a nation with poor self confidence, constantly highlighting our flaws and standing in the shadow of America. But we're GREAT Britain for a reason.

Travelling on public transport is the best chance to get a real snapshot of the country. With nothing to do but flick through a magazine and avoid staring at people, you really get to observe your fellow passengers. The majority of British passengers will sit and keep themselves to themselves, which is another little characteristic I love. Yeah its slightly rude and unsociable, but its also an excellent example of how we are a reserved country. I think its a good thing, who wants to sit next to some stranger and hear them spill out their entire personal life. Sometimes travelling can just be an excellent excuse to rest. Yet in this country, you really do get some people that surprise you, those strangers that can bring a smile to your face.

Today while travelling back to Lincoln from a weekend back home, I got the pleasure of a wonderful lovely woman sitting next to me. For anyone thats just been on a demoralising silent journey on the tube and battled through crowds of people at turnstiles and train timetables, it really is a breath of fresh air. Straight away she said hello to me, she didn't judge me because I was young or reading a magazine. Just minutes later she offered to buy me a coffee or tea ( I politely declined) and then she was offering me most of her packet of crisps. You don't see an awful lot of generosity these days, especially with money being as tight as it is, so for somebody to put themselves out to a stranger like that, it really warmed my heart.

The 7/7 bombings really showed how this country teams together in the face of disaster. For tube commuters who would usually ignore one another to help each other in a life or death situation, was a warming example of our commaradary defeating the actions of evil. We team together when it matters and look out for our fellow citizens. It would of been so easy to escape and save yourself and leave the strangers behind, but survivors teamed together and lifes were saved that day.

It's the little things in this country that make me love it so. Yes a lot needs to change, and the weather leaves a lot to be desired. Yet here in this glorious country; a cup of tea solves everything, a Sunday isn't complete without a roast dinner and we have excellent swearwords.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Reasons why it would be quite nice to have a boyfriend.

I tend to avoid writing blogs about boys. I find it hard enough to pull, without scaring them off.

However, having been single for far too long, and having too much time by myself. I have drummed up some excellent reasons, why having a boypeice around would be rather helpful. Now of course, I'm an independent woman and I don't need a man to make me complete, but there are some things you can't do alone.

Firstly, I would have a man around to do manly jobs, that I'm too weak for. I am highly unfit with pathetic weak arms, which poses a great challenge when I go shopping. I dread ever buying heavy items like potatoes and juice, because walking back feels like a marathon. Every moment, I am paralysed with fear that the weak carrier bag will split because the shop assistant has displayed an amazing ability to fit everything in one bag. In the event I had a boyfriend, he could display his manly ability to carry heavy items. Even in the event it was quite heavy for him, men being men, I highly doubt he would display this and would carry on with the job in hand.

Secondly, it wouldn't be quite so scary walking back from a night out. Walking with a boy means I'm much less likely to get cat calls from weird pervy old men. When left to walk alone in the dark, I walk at the speed of light. This would save an awful lot of leg work if I had a nice gentleman to walk me home. Another quite useful use of a boyfriend, would be as transportation during said night out, when my tiny feet can't take the piercing pain of heels anymore, a piggy back is at hand.

Moving on, there really isn't anything better than a big man hug. Having some nice toned arms around you, feels like the safest and best place in the world. However, this hug would have to require effort, there really isn't anything worse than a half arsed hug.

Most men are also quite good at technical things. While scart leads and the TV menu leave me dreadfully lost, the male species displays an uncanny ability to master these electrical nuisances.

Possibly one of the best reasons would be that I would have an excellent excuse to drive off unwanted male attention from the many weirdos that reside in clubs and bars. Yes, I do realise I can lie and say I'm taken, but I'm an awful liar and it would actually be nice for that to be true for once.

I do realise I'm being very naive, and this mythical boyfriend I've dreamt up rarely exists. However, wouldn't it be nice? Until then, I think I'm going to have to invest in a granny trolley, so buying potatoes doesn't have to be the bane of my life. Yet this purchase may eradicate my chances of attracting the opposite sex altogether.

3 Reasons why men are a complete mystery.

1. There are so many hidden rules- Don't text too much, Don't text til your texted, Play it cool.
2. You pretty much have to treat them like rubbish for them to like you.
3. In the words of Katy Perry- They're hot then they're cold.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Why univeristy is making me old before my years.

University is seen as the last blow out before a lifetime of working full time and paying taxes. Students are known for constantly getting drunk and partying, and damn the consequences. However, I'm discovering a whole new side that student life is bringing to me. University is making me old.

Okay, my teen years are gradually drawing to a close and now that I don't live with my parents anymore, I naturally have to grow up. But who would of thought, that I would actually care about dust, and polish would be my new best friend? That my flatmates leaving crumbs and spills on the surface would make my blood boil?

I have turned into a prize nagger, frantic post it notes slammed on the offending item, explaining my complete frustration at this act of untidiness! Only for them to be ripped off, minutes later by the flat rebels. Years of cleanliness drummed into me by my mum, taking full effect now shes not here to do it or nag me into submission. Yet my authority has no ground here, there's no blood ties or parental surveillance. My own stubbornness tells me not to do it for them, so as the mess grows, I grow slowly more insane.

When I'm not huffing and puffing over a full sink or crumbs sticking to my bare feet, I'm filling time between lectures. Suddenly getting up in the morning is so much harder, because the call of Phil and Fern is just too tempting. I'm finding myself watching segments on shocking true life stories and fashion advice on This Morning. Then comes the health piece, riddling me with hypochondria.

I have reached middle age prematurely. When I should be living in my own mess, drinking nightly and not giving a damn what I eat, I'm living the opposite. This can only arguably be a good thing; less chance of poisoning myself is a plus. Yet I fear I have already become boring, not that I ever was exciting. Am I set to spend my student days chasing after my messy peers with a dust cloth and antibacterial sprays?

I actually contemplated how I need a feather duster the other day. I need professional help.

Friday, 27 February 2009


Photo by Hedi Slimane

What does this image make you think? Lindsay Lohan, the once curvy girl we adored in the movie 'Mean Girls', has swapped her womanly figure for a waif like one. Do you envy her newly thin figure and her tiny waist? Is that something you strive for or does it disgust you?

Women have always been subject to image, constantly striving for what we see as the ideal look of the time. Today we have a divided society, those that hope and dream for the 'perfect' thin figure that mirrors the models on the catwalk and the celebrities in our magazines. Then the opposing team, those happy in their own skin. Campaigning for real beauty.

For any impressionable teenager, which side of the fence do you choose? Gok Wang is telling you to 'Work it girlfriend' and the gossips rags are bombarding you with images of celebrities with 'Shocking weight loss!'. I'm one of many, that are sitting on the fence, teetering either side. For years now I've been campaigning for real beauty and writing articles and blogs about how woman should love themselves whatever they look like, and we shouldn't be striving for this aspiration of thin. At the end of a hard day, it should be our talent that is recognised, not our weight. However, in the society we're living in, is there any escape?
Like most girls in the western world, I'm consumed by image. I worry about what I look like, what I wear, what I weigh. Yet at the same time, I wish with all my heart that girls had self confidence. That we didn't wish we were thinner or taller, and just accepted what we were born with. I'm not going to lie, this is something I have to achieve with the rest of them. I just wonder if this will ever end in modern society.
For all of time, people have had to live up to the accepted status quo. Yet in the here and now, we seem to have gone back generations. It's almost as if we've reverted back to fifties housewives, looking impossibly beautiful for MEN. And at the same time, we're in competition with each other. There is no solidarity or sisterhood, we want to outshine each other and look the best at all times.
I think it's going to be a long battle, but we can win the war. We have got to start loving ourselves. Curvy or waif. Tall or petite. Women are beautiful.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Put some clothes on!

I have just watched 'The Saturdays' new video for 'Just can't get enough'. While this is for charity and is a relatively catchy cover, I couldn't help but feel appalled at the scantily clad girls. Why is it, that girl groups feel the need to strip off in their videos to sell records? It deeply saddens me that, in what are supposed to be modern times, women are still sex objects.

Shouldn't we be listening to their music, rather than looking at their bodies? Not only does this completely undermine women everywhere, but it does no good for their self esteem. This music is mainly purchased by young teenage girls, what are we teaching them by bombarding them with images of 'perfect' women with 'perfect' bodies?

Girl groups today are Barbie dolls, straight off the manufacturing line. Not a hair out of place, no fat on their body and fawned over by men everywhere. Women want to be them, and men want to be with them. What do these videos teach young girls or any vulnerable young woman? That we should be flashing our bodies to stand any chance of a date? That the girl next door, with the curvy figure and high street clothes who gets bad hair days, should change herself into a sex object, to stand any chance of being noticed?

Do we really live in a society, in which, it is acceptable for girl groups to sell their bodies in order to sell records? Surely by now, the pop industry should know better. The music industry has recently been overrun with female solo singers that are everyday women. Lily Allen, Adele, Kate Nash and Florence and the machine to name a few. These women are talented, but don't compromise their dignity to sell their music.

The Spice Girls took over the nineties with their message of 'Girl Power', they were normal women, from normal backgrounds who weren't afraid to be themselves. Whatever happened to this mantra? Are we destined to be subjected to more and more racy music videos from girl groups, where looks are more important than talent?

If so, its a sad future for women in pop. Its a sad future for women everywhere. Will we ever be 'perfect' enough?