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

‘This Is Going To Hurt’ – Book of the Week

Heart-breaking, laughter-inducing, page-turning. The best book I have read in a while.

Wow. Just wow. I finished this book last night and needed to take a day to reflect on it before I began writing. I do not think I could thank Adam Kay enough for writing ‘This Is Going To Hurt’. It has given me a whole new view on the NHS and the medical profession in general.

This book is the ingenious collection of diary entries secretly made by a Doctor from his first day on the job all the way until he becomes a consultant. It is a very difficult book to put down as it is a perfect cocktail of one part humour, one part sadness, and one part the infuriating general public. Kay specialises in gynaecology, so his anecdotes range from delivering babies to pulling bizarre things out of private parts.

This book highlights not only the importance of the NHS, but also the many flaws within it. My (already high) respect for our doctors has massively sky-rocketed. We all know that being a doctor is hard work, but this journal really gives such a deep insight into the true exhaustion and exploits they face. We get exposed to the goings-on inside our hospitals, and gain a new perspective on major issues being debated in society now surrounding health care.

I do not want to give too much away, but the ending absolutely blew me away. It came out of nowhere and will probably follow me for a long time. Due to the nature of this book written in fragmented journal entries, it is very easy to put down and pick up when you have time (which works well for me as and English Lit student who barely has time to read what she actually wants to) and so I do genuinely recommend this to anyone, especially those of us in the UK who want a greater insight into our nation’s greatest pride: the NHS.

 

Let me know what you thought of this book below, and let me know if you have any recommendations!

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

‘Enduring Love’ – Book of the Week

First of all, I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/Joyous Kwanzaa/Happy Holidays! Terribly sorry that I didn’t write for a while. I had a lot of essays to complete (including on this novel) however I could not write about it until after I submitted my essay in case I was accused of self-plagiarising! Anyways, I have a lot of posts lined up to make up for my absence!

The reason I focused my essay on ‘Enduring Love’ by Ian McEwan is because it asks more questions than it answers. While our narrator is telling us about how everyone is crazy and obsessive, we as a reader are left to wonder whether it was actually our narrator who was the mad one?

The main concept of the story is that Joe and Clarissa are having a picnic in a field when they notice a hot air balloon carrying a small child goes out of control. Joe and four strangers rush forwards to hold onto the balloon and save the boy. The balloon gets whisked into the air and four of the men drop off, yet a man called John Logan lets go too late and falls to his death. Joe is unable to rationalise the events that happened. One of the other attempted rescuers, named Jed, falls desperately in love with Joe despite them knowing one another. The rest of the text follows Joe making sense of the balloon event, and also trying to prove to Clarissa that Jed is obsessed with him.

McEwan drops so many clues within his twists and turns that cause the reader to doubt everything they read. Joe himself is proven untrustworthy as he contradicts himself and constantly lies to the police. What is going on here?  Is Jed really obsessed with Joe? Is Jed even real? Why does Clarissa not believe Joe for so long? I think you can really see that I enjoyed the uncertainty of this text.

The text also raises issues to do with philosophy, Science vs Religion, Game Theory, mental health and, as the title suggests, love. ‘Enduring Love’ could allude to Joe having to endure Jed’s love, which he does not want nor reciprocate. ‘Enduring Love’ could also suggest that Joe and Clarissa’s love has to endure the difficult events that take place in the book. McEwan plays with form; stream of consciousness, epistolary, various viewpoints and even an appendix with psychological case studies.

I very much recommend this novel to anyone looking for something that will really make them think. Although McEwan’s writing style is fairly simplistic and easy to follow, his actual content holds a great deal of ambiguity and forces the reader to truly think and fill in the narrative gaps. I love a book where I am forced to question not only everything I am told, but the actual narrative-voice itself. I would adore to hear what you thought in the comments down below!

Lots of love, Evie x

‘The Time Machine’ – Book of the Week

“Oh wow, you are blessing us with a second ‘Book of the Week’?” I hear you praise. Yes reader, I feel I need to make up for my sporadic (and by that I mean pretty much not at all) posting recently. Plus, I just finished this book and wanted to share with you my thoughts.

Hollywood owes a great deal to H.G. Wells’s classic ‘The Time Machine’. It has been the inspiration of works such as ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Planet of the Apes’, and even ‘Men In Black III’. Wells was a pioneer of the concept of Time Travel and used his writing to bring it into the mainstream consciousness.

The story goes that an unnamed time traveller goes to the year 802,701 AD and discovers than humans are the shared ancestor to two new species: the Eloi and the Morlocks. The Eloi, the time traveller finds out, were the ruling classes. They are small, fair, beautiful, kind yet also very weak and stupid. The Murlocks were the working classes who now live underground. They are hairy and scary and speak only in grunts and screams. The time traveller spends his time with the Eloi as they look the most human and therefore he feels he can connect with them better. Yet, when he learns more about the Murlocks, he realises that he was unfair to judge them on their appearances as they are in fact closer to the humans the time traveller is used to. They may look like monsters, but they are intelligent and resourceful, and they are strongly family-orientated and hard-working. The time traveller then travels back to current day to tell his friends about his discoveries.

When I first picked up my copy of ‘The Time Machine’ I did not expect it to spark a deep conversation around class issues. A great deal of SciFi texts and films now are more focused on their special-effects, action scenes, and jamming in as many Pop-Culture references as possible instead of aiming to tackle bigger issues that society faces. In Britain today we do still have somewhat of a class structure, however nowadays it is more nuanced, less rigid and more allowing for social mobility. In 1895, when the text was published, ideas about welfare had only really been born. Before this time, the poor man was poor because he is lazy, or he is stupid, or he simply was not a good enough Christian. It was not because the nature of capitalism predisposes certain marginalised groups in society to be able to earn less money than others. Wells’s use of his notability in society to spread important messages regarding class certainly aided bringing the cause to the public’s attention and may have helped in the establishment of welfare and possibly even the free healthcare we benefit from in the UK. It is only a short book but it is packed full of so much whimsy and adventure, and I recommend it to anyone looking to liven up a rainy afternoon.

Let me know in the comments what you thought of this text, I would love to hear! Also, let me know in the comments below what book you would like me to cover next.

Lots of love from Evie x