Barbie as a Feminist Icon?

Barbie has never really been viewed favourably by Feminists. She represents very typical male-perspective impossibly high beauty standards for women. Her body is majorly disproportioned with loooong legs and boobs so big they MUST cause back problems. She represents decadent white America, teaching toxic beauty perceptions.

Yet, a study into Barbie’s career over the years does suggest that perhaps this plastic fantastic is owed some respect from us after all.

It turns out Barbie dolls have had around 72 careers during their time, including President of the United States. Barbie achieved where Hillary Clinton fell short, and has paved the way for other female dolls to also become President. Perhaps we will have a Bratz doll in the White House before we know it.

List of all the jobs Barbie has had over time, including salaries

As you can see by the list provided by Silver Swan Recruitment, Barbie has managed to earn over $45m. This makes her worth the same amount as Kim Kardashian, who is also a sex icon who deserves more respect for her career.

Barbie was a pilot, which is commendable since even in 2019, less than 6% of pilots are women.

Barbie was also a doctor for a short while, which seems progressive since women in movies and toys are delighted to nurses, while men get to be the actual doctors.

The point of this short article is that I hope that the toy industry is taking more of a serious thought into how they are shaping the children of tomorrow. Giving little girls a toy of a female president of the United States may seem small, but who knows how that shapes her perception of politics and her own boundaries as a woman.

Let me know in the comments below what you think of Barbie’s career path, and can she be fairly branded as a feminist icon?

Lots of love, Evie x

2019 Met Gala review

Officially THE fashion event of the year, the Met Gala is the time for celebrities to really show off their creativity and break boundaries. Although nothing could ever beat last year’s theme (we all know I’m a sucker for Renaissance art), the Camp theme this year was fun and broad enough to get a wide variety of lewks. It is a shame that Queen of the Met Rihanna did not make an appearance, as well as Blake Lively and Lana Del Ray who also slayed last year.

In this post, I will just be going through a few of my favourite looks, as well as a few that did not land for me.

Best dressed (in no particular order):

Lily Collins

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Who gave her permission to slay so hard? Lily Collins gave me life in this outfit. I love love love the 60s hair and makeup (similar to Dua Lipa’s look this year) paired with this frilly Renaissance dream. The whole look gave me very Lana Del Ray vibes, and I am glad she wore white as it was not a common colour this year. 10/10 would wear.

Ezra Miller

This look (or looks) is one part creepy, one part glamorous, and one part surreal. Miller has always been an advocate for gender-bending (lest we forget his iconic Playboy shoot) and so when he came out in a tailored suit with a diamond corset, silver train, and that bizarre optical-illusion make up look I was soooo happy. The cloak with his face as a mask gave me the Phantom of the Opera realness, and I have to say THAT is how you do the Met Gala.

Lupita Nygong’o

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Lupita can do no wrong for me. She is not afraid to take risks, and this one certainly payed off! The surplus of golden combs in her hair, the obnoxiously large rainbow shoulder pads and matching bag, you can tell that this Versace dress was custom made just for her. Do I love the makeup? No, it’s a bit sloppy. But the overall look screams “CAMP” to me so I adore it!

Lady Gaga

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Was I absolutely in LOVE with Gaga’s looks? Maybe not. But her presentation won it over for me. She brought performance to her fashion, and slowly undressed into four different looks. It was fun, it was Gaga, and it was CAMP. She understood and executed the assignment. That is how a Met Gala co-host makes an entrance! (let’s not speak of Harry Styles’ look…)

Lucy Boynton

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I actually had no idea who Lucy Boynton was, but I certainly do now after this look. I love that it is feminine, pastel, and feathery. The colours are amazing (I especially love the grey/duck-egg blue of her hair and lower-dress) and the white drop-lash detail makes her look like a fairy. Love it.

Cardi B

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Love her or hate her, you can’t deny that she served the Met last night. It’s over-the-top, it’s loud, it’s couture. The ribbed dress, the feathers. Cardi heard Rihanna was not going to come and took the opportunity to steal the Met Gala crown!

Honorary mentions also go to Martha West, Jared Leto, Michael Urie, Janelle Monae, Serena Williams, and Naomi Campbell.

 

Looks I did not live for:

All of the Kardashians

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What is this trainwreck? Don’t get me wrong, I usually adore the Kardashians, but giiiiirls. Kris’ look was basic, we’ve seen Kim do her’s before, and the Jenner girls just aren’t doing anything particularly ground-breaking. If Zendaya came as Cinderella, then the Jenners are the ugly step-sisters in this scenario. And do not even get me started on the men. Ezra Miller, Michael Urie, Jared Leto, and Billy Porter PROVED that men can- and should- steal the show! The Met Gala is not a time to play it safe.

RuPaul Charles

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I know I am going to receive some sh*t for this, so let me just remind y’all that I absolutely stan RuPaul and all he’s done for the LGBTQ+ community. That being said… girl… this made me so sad! The theme is Camp and you are Ru-mutherfuking-Paul! You better work! I get that this is campy, and I am not saying that you HAVE to be in drag, but give me some gender-bend! Give me something to remember! This theme was made for you and anything you usually wear as a judge on your show would have been a million times better!

Priyanka Chopra-Jonas

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My laptop was so grossed-out by this look that it wouldn’t let me download any pictures of her. I adored Priyanka’s look last year as it was super elegant and high-fashion, but this year… I felt she tried TOO hard. Too many ideas, no main concept, and I would just toned it down a little. Yes, the Met is about taking risks and having fun, but it is still a fashion event and so you have to display the slightest hint of fashion sense (also the rhinestone tights finished at the ankle which made me so mad).

Other dishonourable mentions include Kristen Stewart, Harry Styles, Katy Perry, Amber Valletta, Benedict Cumberbatch, Remi Malek, and Taron Egerton.

 

Prize for best entrance has to go to Billy Porter, which Vogue is calling “the Most Fabulous Entrance in Met Gala History”. Covered in Gold and being carried in Cleopatra-style by six gold-clad muscular men? That’s how I will make an entrance at my wedding.

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I’d love to hear what you guys thought about this year’s looks! Do you agree with me, do you not? Let me know down in the comments below!

 

Love from Evie x

The Life-Changing Art of Respecting Yourself

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, found out what it means to me” – Aretha Franklin

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who has read, liked, and shared my little blog. I have had a sudden spike in readers, and I appreciate you all supporting me and my little corner of the internet!

Secondly, I know you read the title and thought “umm… okay?” but this is an epiphany I have recently had and I want to share it all with you. I also find that writing things down helps me to make sense of things, and so we can go through this little journey of a post together.

I very recently got my first job as a paid writer (yay!) for three online University-themed websites; whatALUMNIsay, WhyStudyHere, and iStudent Global. My very first article for them can be viewed here. So why am I sharing this? Well, somewhat just because I am super proud of myself, but mainly because I accepted this job only after rejecting countless others.

The reason I rejected all the other job offers is because of one thing: I was not going to be paid for my time. I know there is a stereotype that millennials think the world owes them a living and blah blah blah, but the amount of unpaid full-time internships out there is disgusting. I very nearly accepted some of those jobs, as they tried to sell the job to me as “gaining writing experience”.

However, I took a step back and realised that I deserved better. I have this blog I have created nearly a whole year ago which has nearly 100 posts all written, edited, and researched by moi. I have already served my time as an unpaid-worker, and I know have real personal experience of the writing world. I did not need to work Mon-Fri 9-5 completely unpaid in a job that did not respect me, my time, nor my skillset. I felt like I had put in the hours to practise and hone my craft, and I was ready to do it for money.

Fortunately, I came across the job I am in now, and my boss seemed to be a real fan of my work. It feels great to be able to write in a professional environment, have responsibility, be entrusted to utilise my creativity how I see fit, and to learn more skills in editing and SEO. Being in an environment where I am the key writer, and everyone trusts my opinion, is a massive confidence boost and has really helped me to believe in myself. A belief in yourself, and knowing what you deserve, are all parts of respecting yourself.

One last thing I vow to do as an act of self-respect is to ensure that my blog has quality content. At the end of the day, this is my mark on the world and is my portfolio. Sometimes I feel pressured to write a post for the sake of having content, but now I will take time to write posts that really matter to me. People always as me what genre/theme my blog is, and now I will confidently reply that the theme is me.

I would love to hear what you have done recently as an act of respect or self-love, and what tips do you have for realising your full potential?

Lots of love, Evie x

Happy Earth Day!

“God bless Mother Nature” – It’s Raining Men, The Weather Girls

Happy Earth Day! Every year on the 22nd April we celebrate the Earth and take time to consider what more we can do to help the environment.

If you live in London as I do, you will know that the environment has been on people’s minds recently. Not only because of the unusually hot weather we have had (hard to fully enjoy it when you have a voice in the back of your brain screaming “GLOBAL WARMING”) but also because of the protests. Young people have come together to cause chaos in London in order to bring the issue of climate change to the forefront of the public eye. There have been over 1000 arrests due to these protests, and 53 people have been charged as of today. The nation is split over whether the environment is worth getting arrested and possibly locked up for. The protests have been largely peaceful and the goal is only to disrupt Londoners, rather than to hurt them. For example, in the Natural History Museum today, over 100 protestors lay on the floor of the Museum as part of a “die in”, to emphasise the risk of the extinction of the human species. There is further speculation that these protestors will find some way to disrupt the London marathon on Sunday, where I will actually be attending to support my father and grandfather who will be running.

Whether you agree with their methods or not, I personally think it is hard to argue that these protestors have achieved their ambition of bringing more awareness to climate change, and hopefully their actions will pressure the government to do more. They want the government to declare a climate emergency and take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

We shouldn’t just live for today, we have to think about tomorrow.

If you feel like you would like to do more to help the environment, I have made a little list of very simple and small (but effective) things to do:

  1. Recycle! I know it sounds very basic, but you would be amazed by how much stuff we as a nation throw into the bin when we should really recycle it.
  2. Turn off lights, electric appliances/gadgets, and taps when not in use.
  3. Invest in a hot water bottle instead of putting on radiators all the time! I like to put one in my bed while I get my pyjamas on so it is all toasty when I get in.
  4. Buy yourself a super cute reusable bag! You can keep it in your normal handbag, and it means you don’t have to keep using and wasting plastic bags (plus a super cute tote bag is much more aesthetic than a Tesco plastic bag!) my good friend Sooriya pointed out that in the comments it may not be the best to go about ordering new tote bags, so perhaps using ones you already have (and personalising them) or making some out of cool old T-shirts would be better! Either way, cotton-tote bagging is the future.
  5. Also, get yourself a cute water bottle! It will stop you from buying single-use plastic bottles, and also encourage you to carry it around and drink more water. We love a hydrated queen!

Those are just some really basic tips, but do let me know down below what tips you have to help save the environment! And also let me know what your opinion is of the eco-protests in London (and other cities like Brighton).

Lots of love, Evie x

‘Freakonomics’ – Book of the Week

What do I know about economics? Diddly-squat. Nil. Nothing. But this book taught me the absolute basics, and was also an enjoyable read. Can you ask for more?

‘Freakonomics’ is written by top economists Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, and was a best-seller when it came out. These two economists write about economics in a new and exciting way, sometimes criticised within the economics world, but loved by the public regardless. It answers questions like how are teachers like sumo wrestlers? Why do drug dealers still live with their mothers? And why swimming pools are more deadly than guns. You can explore the trends in baby names and whether they define your child’s future career prospects. ‘Freakonomics’ teaches you to view the world differently, and to remember that correlation does not equal causation.

I recommend this book to anyone looking to expand their literary horizons beyond classic fiction novels. It is a real change-up and very readable.

But it for super cheap on Amazon! £6.57!

Lots of love from Evie x

A New-Found Sense of Empowerment

If you are a regular reader of mine then you will know that I am a MASSIVE fan of Ted Talks. So, when I heard that an evening of Ted Talks were being held at my Uni you know that ya girl was all over it! I bought tickets not even knowing what the theme was- I just wanted to be a part of it.

When I got there I found out that the theme was Empowerment. What is Empowerment? How does one find Empowerment? Does Empowerment come from within, or is it something we give to each other? How do we Empower women, minority races, disabled people, etc.? These were the main topics discussed throughout the evening.

A lady called Oloni did a talk about Empowering women, especially in the workplace, and gave a fantastic story about how she got a job at Cosmopolitan despite the odds.

WOW. I walked out of that room a changed woman.

Before then, I had been applying to mediocre summer jobs that I knew I would get. But after the talk, I started applying to places that I never ever thought I would get even an interview for. I thought to myself, ‘What’s the worst that could happen? They say no’.

Anyways, only three days after the Ted Talk, I landed myself a job! I am going to be a PR and Marketing intern!

What is the message of this short post? Simply, do not let your insecurities or doubts get in the way of your dreams. Apply for the job, ask the guy out, do the karaoke. You are the only thing in the way of yourself! Truly, what is the worst that can happen? This is a message I hope to take forward for the rest of my life and apply it to new situations and scenarios, and I hope you guys do too.

What things have you guys achieved recently because you didn’t let your fear stop you? I’d love to hear!

Love from Evie x

Testing Mindfulness Apps to Help My Anxiety – Spilling the Anxie-Tea

Calm:
Calm is an app I have heard about here and there. They often have ads on Facebook that pop up here and there. When you first open the app, you are met with this screen:

I liked this touch as it is simple yet immediately forces you to take a second to calm down. The blue colours they use are rather soothing, like water. On the home page, you are straight away greeted with various calming noises and a nice moving background. You can choose different sounds and backgrounds for example the sea, rain, a lake etc. I like the wide variety of choice you receive.

Calm has sweet little stories to help you sleep, one of them is read by Stephen Fry which I thought was a nice touch as he has a soft and familiar voice and is a mental health activist. They also have short audios that guide mindfulness and meditation which people may find helpful

Something I also noticed about Calm and I thought was a nice touch is that it hides your phone’s time and battery level. I felt this helped as you can really immerse yourself in the relaxation and not get distracted by how long you have been on the app.
A downside of Calm is that the audio and stories are rather limited, and if you want to get access to more you have to upgrade which costs £42.99 per year, which is quite dear.

Headspace:
The next app I tried was Headspace. Headspace have a lot of adverts on Youtube aimed at me so it was pretty unavoidable. Headspace is very similar to Calm as it has many audio guides for meditation and relaxation, as well as podcasts to aid sleep.

A feature of Headspace I really like is that you can allow them to send you up to 5 “mindfulness moments” a day, which are basically just notifications on your phone that say stuff like “It is not enough to merely think about our potential. We need to discover it, to live it, to make it a reality.” and other fortune-cookie-type proverbs. I like these as although they are a little cheesy, they do make you think and perhaps even ground you when feeling stressed.
Again, like Calm, Headspace offers more audio guides and features to paying customers. However, the price for Headspace is even more than Calm, and I am not 100% what exactly it is they offer. The most expensive one coming in at £400!

Breathe:
The final app I downloaded was Breathe, and I have to say it was my favourite. I had never seen Breathe being advertised at all but it was recommended to me when I downloaded the other two so I gave it a go. When you open Breathe, you are immediately met with the option to dim the screen for 10 seconds to help relax. I really like this touch

It then asks you a series of questions about how you are feeling emotionally and physically, before asking for you to select up to 5 emotions

Finally, based on your choices it offers you various audio guides that they believe will make you feel happier and more mindful

I really like this feature as it feels more personal and is catered to your needs at that time. There are a great deal of audio guides, even if they are short. You can pay for more content and more features if you so wish. Breathe claim to also donate 10% of their earnings to help less privileged kids learn mindfulness practice, which is admirable

I feel like all of these apps have some key benefits and when all three of them are downloaded there are a plethora of different features and methods to help you. Although I personally enjoy Breathe the most for the personalisation aspects, I still will use Calm’s bedtime stories and Headspace’s mindfulness moments to help manage my Anxiety disorder. I hope this article helped some of you guys to use apps as a new way of coping with Anxiety. It is so easy and practical to use for a quick pick-me-up.

My Bedtime Routine – GRWM for bed!

I have received the odd message here and there from you guys asking about my bedtime and morning routine, so I thought I would have a go at writing the former here. This routine is the one that I do every night (when I have time). I have suffered from insomnia in the past due to my anxiety, however I find that when I complete every step of my routine, I generally have a good night’s sleep.

  1. Wipe off my makeup, and use an exfoliater, cleanser and face mask. My skin is super oily and acne-prone so I do adhere to a strict facial routine. You can see what cleanser and face mask I use here. Always apply these products in that order for maximum results!
  2. While the face mask is drying, now is the time I make my hot water bottle. This is specifically a winter routine, but I find that boiling the kettle and filling my water bottle and putting it under my duvet (to warm up the bed for me!!) is the perfect amount of time to leave my facemask on!
  3. Bio-oil, and moisturiser. Bio-Oil is a fairly new addition to my routine, but it is one I now can not go without. I am desperately trying to get rid of my acne marks so I can feel more confident not wearing makeup. I find that not only does it leave my skin gradually looking clearer, but it also has made my skin soooo soft and smooth! It also doesn’t clog my pores or cause breakouts, which is always the worry when something is advertised as an “oil”. Always remember to put moisturiser on as well to keep your skin healthy! Click the picture below to purchase Bio-Oil from Amazon at the lowest price I can find:

60ml Bio-Oil, £9.65

4. Now is the time I brush my hair to ensure that all knots are out and all dead hairs come out. And then, I put my hair into two Dutch plaits. The reason I plait my hair every night is that it makes it lovely and wavey in the morning, plus it stops your hair from knotting or getting in your way when you sleep. Below is a video of how to do a Dutch plait:

 

5. Now is the time that I practise yoga. Again, this is a fairly new addition to my routine, but I find it massively helps get me in the mood for sleeping, and to let go of all the stresses of the day. I generally do around 10-20 minutes of very chilled and easy yoga A video I often follow is below:

6. Make sure you brush your teeth and take any tablets you need to! I always take any daily tablets I need just before bed as I find it is the best time to remember them. I always keep my tablets on my bedside table. Now is the time that I turn off my main light and just have a lamp with a warm glow or perhaps a scented candle by my bed. I read, or I switch my phone to night mode and put the brightness all the way down.

I hope you guys like my bedtime routine and take some steps from this! I know it is a long routine but I just find pleasure in slowly ticking every step off of my list and carving out this time in the day for a little me time.

Let me know down below what your bedtime routines are like and what you guys do to relax before sleeping!

Love from Evie x

Update: Prozac, Conzac – Spilling the Anxie-Tea

I was put onto Fluoxetine (Prozac, 40mg x 1 a day) about two months ago now and I thought it was about time to give you guys an update. You can view my original post here. I was prescribed Prozac to help my mild depression and moderate anxiety disorder, as in the months leading up to my prescription I had massively regressed. My attendance to Uni dropped, I stopped being social and I found it hard to find any energy at all. I cancelled my gym membership, ate a load of crap and gained hella fat. I was having regular panic attacks and could barely leave my bed some days.

Prozac takes around 6-8 weeks to fully kick in which is why I waited so long to give you guys an update. Basically- I am feeling a heck of a lot better! I have had only one mini panic attack during this time, my attendance is back up again and I have started going to the gym again (not as frequently as I like but certainly more than before). I feel generally happier and like a weight has been lifted off of me. I have been a lot more social, and have started being healthier. I don’t feel the need to binge on junk as much, and I find it easier to sleep!

Some cons are that ever since the day I started taking Prozac I have found that I have been rather drowsy 24/7. This does make sense I suppose as it is stopping my anxiety. I mentioned it to my GP and they said it was nothing to worry about and hopefully should pass. It is not as intense as the first month I was on Prozac, but I would say I am certainly feeling drowsy. Additionally, I had my first ever migraine. I am not sure if this is due to the Prozac, but I had never had one before and suddenly 2 weeks into taking Prozac I was awoken at 5am to the sensation that someone what gouging my eyes out and burning the sockets. I couldn’t open my eyes and despite having the curtains closed, lights off, under my covers with sunglasses on everything was still too bright for me. It eventually subsided and after a quick google search I found that this was fairly commonplace for people who have just started Prozac, and I have not had a migraine since.

Overall, I would say that being on Prozac has been a largely positive experience for me. My anxiety and depression have subsided (although they are of course not totally eradicated), and I am finding everyday life more manageable and enjoyable. Of course, this is my experience, and it may be different for everyone, so I would suggest talking to your doctor to see what path they think is best for you. It took me years to be prescribed Prozac, and I am so happy to now be nearly back to normal. I will give another update in a few months (or sooner if anything major happens!)

And now I give the conversation to you guys. Have any of you been put on Prozac, and if so then how was your experience? What non-medicinal methods/treatments do your recommend to me or anyone else suffering with chronic Anxiety and Depression? Let me know your thoughts down below in the comments!

 

Love from Evie x

‘Spark Joy’ – Book of the Week

Note: Sorry I haven’t written in so long! My new term at Uni has started and it is 50 Shades of Cray. I have a whole list of blog post ideas to do though so if you haven’t already then please follow this blog so you never miss a new post!

I’m sure you have heard of the hit cleaning sensation of Marie Kondo. If you haven’t, I implore you to go check out her new Netflix show ‘Tidying-Up with Marie Kondo’. It is such a feel-good show and absolutely inspired me to change my life (as well as this book!) This show and book are not just aimed at slobs or hoarders, they are even aimed at the most “clean freak” amongst us. The KonMarie method is not only about tidying, but also changes your perception of how you treat your possessions and house.

Marie tells us that it is of paramount importance to go through every single item that you own, hold it to your heart and ask yourself “Does This Spark Joy?” (with few exceptions for 100% necessary items such as passports and birth certificates, etc.) If this item does not spark joy for you, then respectfully thank it and give it away/throw it away. By every single item I mean every piece of cutlery, book, sock and shoe. This way, by the end of the process, you are absolutely surrounded by things that make you genuinely happy. I did this method and did give away a massive deal of my items (I would estimate around 70%) but now my space is way less cluttered, and I feel happy everywhere I turn.

Marie also teaches us how to fold clothes in a way that saves space and also that helps us see exactly how many of each clothing item we have. She teaches us how to organise, display and take pride in our items. Ever since picking up this book, I have become obsessed with organising, reorganising, tidying and cleaning. I have a great deal more appreciation for my belongings.

I would absolutely recommend this book and the KonMarie method of tidying to anyone with some patience and a real desire to feel more joy and comfort in their home. This book has genuinely changed my life and I can’t stop telling people about it! If you would like me to make a post about how I personally approached the KonMarie method, or perhaps what changes I have seen in my life as a result, then let me know in the comments below!

Here is the link to purchase the book on Amazon (where it is cheapest at only £7.87!) click the picture below:

 

Thank you very much for reading,

Love from Evie x