Female Beauty

I have a notebook obsession – seriously, it’s a bit of an issue that I try to handle every single day. I even tried to get rid of a few old ones the other day, and as I was flicking through  the pages of one of my numerous ‘ideas’ notebooks, I came across a small passage that I wrote. It was a first-person rant by a female character who was fed up of being called arrogant for thinking she was beautiful. When writing it, I think I must have been maybe fourteen and most definitely insecure about my appearance, so of course I wrote about characters who were confident, strong, and took absolutely no shit from anyone.

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Anyway, it got me to thinking – a rare activity for me – about why I, along with so many other girls, are so insecure. Yes, the easy answer is media and body-shaming and blah blah blah, but I think it’s more than just telling girls that they need to be skinny or it’s beautiful to have flawless skin and long flowing locks like some sort of Disney princess. I think you could go far enough to say that we’re not telling girls just about what beauty is, but that they can’t be beautiful. Or at least, they themselves can’t think that.

I’m not making much sense? Right, let me take you to a classic example of a pop song by a boy band beloved by most young girls. Heard of that horridly catchy and irritating What Makes you Beautiful by One Direction? Now, not to hurt too many feelings, I’m sure the boys of 1D did not intend to fit into the stereotype of putting down girls nationwide, but they certainly do with that number. Yes it might sound cheerful and seem sweet about a boy telling a girl she’s beautiful, but let me remind you of the killer line ‘You don’t know you’re beautiful, that’s what makes you beautiful’.

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I know, I know, they seem very cute, but STOP THAT RIGHT NOW. Are you seriously kidding me with this line? Let me elaborate what they’re saying here several times:

  • You don’t know you’re beautiful, that’s what makes you beautiful
  • What makes you beautiful, is that you don’t know it
  • I like the fact you think you’re ugly, it makes you more attractive
  • You have no self-confidence, which I like
  • I like to be superior and for you to feel inferior

Ok, maybe the last one is going a bit too far, but I’m standing by my point. We are telling girls that it’s better for them to have no self-confidence. It’s not good to think that you’re pretty or beautiful because that’s too close to arrogance which isn’t at all attractive. Far better for a boy/man to find a girl who thinks she’s worthless so he can be the one to reassure her, or not. We go back to the ageless stereotype of thinking girls should be meek and quiet who need to be saved by strong men. Stop that right this instant.

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And so we’re back to the classic slut vs stud dichotomy; women who sleep with lots of men are sluts, men who sleep with lots of women are studs – simple! You would think we’d be past this by now but, alas, we are not. And boy bands are partly to blame. Sort of.

Why are girls encouraged, still, that having confidence isn’t great? In an age when we’re trying to get girls thinking that they can be just as good as boys, and telling both boys and girls that they don’t have to fit the stereotype of being strong all the time/quiet and meek all the time, there are still a million and one issues. Beauty is one that we usually think we’ve covered, like there’s some long list and after the numerous attacks on body-shamers and huge long articles about plus-size models and what not, we’ve ticked that box. Hate to be the party-pooper, but we’re a long way from done. Girls are told to be confident in themselves and their abilities, but that doesn’t yet truly extend to being confident about their beauty.

So, let’s please change something. Even if it’s just a song that now says ‘You don’t know you’re beautiful-oh wait, you do know? That’s great news; I find your confidence attractive and I like that we’re on equal footing’, although that’s a little less catchy.

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Support Group

Hello, and thank you for joining me in today’s support group. I think I’ll kick off discussion and start.
I have an addiction. An obsession. An unhealthy love for something that I can’t stop. I know it’s disrupted my social and work life and, honestly, it’s difficult to really care about those things when I have my obsession with me at all times. I have stashes at home, at uni, in my bag – all over the place. I know I need to slow it down and take a breather, but I just can’t.
Yes. I, Eleanor, am a serial reader.
It didn’t start until I was eight or so, when I discovered the Judy Moody books. The love for books for manageable then. I suppose it started to get worse when I found the Twilight saga at twelve, and then it went even more downhill when I decided to branch out to different books and started to criticise books as if I had superior knowledge. The breaking point was when I got my first kindle. Suddenly I just had all these books one click away for no more than £4 – most of them were 99p. Suddenly I was reading so much I had little time for anything else, and when you’re only spending 99p a time it’s difficult to talk yourself out of buying yet another novel. Some would be romances that I devoured in mere days and others would be action packed adventures that immediately imagine myself to be a part of when reality got to be too much. Just the other day I finished two books IN THE SAME DAY. It was a normal Saturday and I’d finished Adam Bede for uni and Eleanor and Park for fun and I decided to pick up my kindle – only to find two sequels from two authors suddenly being released.
I bought both. I read one between the hours of 10-6 (in which I also went to Hyde Park for a bike ride). I read and finished the other by 11pm.
I’m not proud. Neither of them will benefit me in life. Neither of them were the play I’m supposed to read for uni next week.
But both of them fed the addiction quite nicely.
I guess that’s about it. Thank you for listening and I’ll see you all next time.
27 Incredibly Clever DIYs All True Book Lovers Will Appreciate

New Year Revelations

So something I’ve done for the past 6 years or so is write myself a letter in my diary for my future self to read after two years. It’s pretty incredible how much can change in just a couple of years, but this year was a pretty good one (hence why I’m telling all of you – also it doesn’t help that I have more essays I should be doing right now).

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Anyhoo, so, this letter from 16 year old me is all about how I’m thinking of uni and how in two years I’ll know what my A level results are (pretty much just general 16-year-old freaking-out-edness). I also mention how I’m enjoying Classics and thinking about doing something with that – fast forward two years and, oh, hey, I’m doing Classics with English at university. Go figure.

(I feel the above gifs also fit how I feel whenever I submit an essay)

I also ask a few questions like ‘Are we any better at golf’ and, I hate to break it to myself, but I pretty much lost interest in golf after feeling so out of place as a girl and not liking my PE teacher ask every week ‘has your handicapped dropped yet’. Oh, not to mention that I got a hole in one – so I’d like to end on a high note.

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So you could say that a lot has changed for me. 2014 brought my last year at school and my first one at university. I’ve been clubbing, made new friends, experienced the craziness of freshers (and survived) – so, all in all, a pretty top notch year. My last year goals for myself were: get into kings (Boo-yah), do more journalism (cough The Sun work experience cough News Uk conference cough Fashion Soundtrack), read all of the classics (a work in progress) and write more (Job. Done).

SO for  next year, goals (potentially) are to write EVEN MORE, have a great first year at uni (Academically and socially) aaand…I don’t know, be happy? Is that too sappy? Eh, we’ll go with it.

SPNG Tags: I REGRET NOTHING / Castiel / Misha / Happy Dancing / Swan Song meets Black Swan / Tra la la la la

Anyway, happy new year to you all and good luck for 2015.

Day 4 in Manchester

After today, I feel like I should write a book called ‘The Perks of being a journo’ – unlikely to become a bestseller but, hey, it would make me happy. 

Today has been a bit of a roller coaster day for me, mainly because results are tomorrow and my mood went up and down whenever I was reminded of this fact. This is why this post is going up early today (aka before any funky dinner snaps) as I’m getting the 2 hour train home tonight to get results in the morning then travel back again. Jeez

Also – shutting down UCAS and MyApplication the day before results, refusing to let it go live until tomorrow morning at 8.15am?

Going To An All Girls' School: Stereotypes Vs. Reality

Anyway, today was actually pretty interesting. Bekki and I had a hazard-free morning on the way to work, if you forget the fact that Bekki was wearing (really cute) sandals whilst it was raining. We stopped by Costa for breakfast (and no I’m not getting paid for advertising…but that would be nice Costa if you’re out there) which for me consisted of a (very healthy) White Chocolate and Raspberry muffin. I can say that we most definitely ate our muffins with the utmost sophistication.

Going To An All Girls' School: Stereotypes Vs. Reality

It’s also just occurred to me that I’ve used more brackets in this post already than I think I have in any other post I’ve written. Weird.

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We weren’t even at the office for an hour today before we started the two minute walk to court! Along with one of the reporters, we sat in on several cases and even on one that could potentially make a national paper. I found it so interesting that in some cases people couldn’t come to their hearing, such as someone in prison, so there were lots of video calls instead. Another fun thing is that in direct view of the waiting hall before entering the court rooms is a perfectly placed billboard in the car park advertising ‘Criminal Solicitors’. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call effective marketing. 

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Now this whole ‘Perks of being a Journo’ comes in when we come back from the court as not only were Bekki and I given a free notebook and pen (seriously, they’re expensive these days), but Greggs casually dropped by a hamper to The Sun office to try some new sandwiches. FREE FOOD, people. Definite perk. 

After lunch and writing up one of the cases, Bekki and I were given a slightly disturbing/fascinating/addictive website that is the perfect tool for journalists. It essentially allows you to type in any name or address or date of birth and find a list of people who you can click on to find more information. AKA the perfect weapon for stalking. I’ll admit, I thought it was pretty cool when I typed in my name and it popped up – what was not cool was realising that anyone could type in my name and find out my number, address and date of birth. Yikes. 

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This brings me to now, procrastinating as I pack my bag to go home and trying not to think about results tomorrow, eating minstrels as if they’ll build a shield against the horrors the future may bring. 

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Hopefully tomorrow’s blog will be a bit cheerier. 

Hopefully.

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A Few Short Musings

Nothing important here I’m afraid, but just a few short musings and discoveries – even a gif or two if you’re lucky (if you can’t tell by my last few posts, I’ve only just discovered how to insert gifs – aka magical moving pictures – into my blog).

Musing number one: It’s International Women’s Day today and although I’m all for equality, it makes me wonder how much we’ve really changed if we actually need a day dedicated to celebrating a gender. Oh well, it does shed some light on some facts. For example did you know that 1% of tiled land in the world in owned by women? Then again, did you also know that there are currently 17 countries with women as head of government, head of state, or both which, according to the UN, has more than doubled since 2005? (Facts courtesy of the Independent and the Guardian)

Musing number two: I just watched my advert and I think everyone needs to watch it. No questions asked. Watch this.

Musing number three: I want to be one of those people who in the future one day is referenced to as having this life altering quote. Like how you see all those pictures of Marilyn Monroe with inspiration quotes (most of which I don’t think she said) but still, that would be pretty cool. Something like: no matter who you are or how you feel, a dog will still love you.

Puppy Reacts to Girl’s Crying

Musing number four: Now that I think about it, these really aren’t musings. This is just a bunch of things that don’t fit into any blog post on their own as their just things that go through my brain. Huh. And now I feel like I’m wasting your time – well, the time of the lovely people who follow me anyway. (Hi, people)

Musing number five: This post is really going downhill.

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Musing number six: I’d better stop now. Bye!

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