Author Archives: louramsay

Slow Sundays are...

The creak of bedsprings. The hiss of the coffee percolator. The feeling of arms around your waist, duvets wrapped around your waist, jammies tangled up to your waist. Sluggish subway journeys; faces telling of late nights, great nights, date nights. Speckled around the carriage are faces hungover, pale and chugging fizzy juice. Faces made up with slicked back hair for an early morning shift. Faces bare and faces smiling. Couples with hands locked together, a gentle brush of a thumb across the back of a hand. That is a slow Sunday.

Sundays are for being slow, at least every once and a while. Sundays are for warm croissants, fresh coffee beans, the crinkle of newspapers and the feel of soft pyjamas. Sundays are for taking time to s i m p l y  b e.  To catch your breath after a long, hectic week. Sundays are for slow music, like Florence and the Machine, Banks or Bombay Bicycle Club, Sundays are for open mouth kisses, morning after kisses, brunch greeting kisses, in between laughing kisses.

It's a day of lie-ins and sleepy starts. Breakfast in bed, long hot showers, baths to read or catch up TV, bubbles soaking into skin, When it's sunny, Sundays are for long walks, take away iced coffee, sundresses with bare legs. Soul cleansing pilates classes, easy runs to clear your head. When it rains (and it pours in Scotland) Sundays are for pyjama runs to the corner shop for the papers, or sticking an old childhood movie on. Rainy Sundays are for comfy clothes, walks around local art galleries, museums or a trip to the cinema. They are for meeting friends, for hanging out alone, for warm home-cooked food or takeaway Chinese.

Sundays working on a bar means something a little different, however. It means take away coffee cups still, but the coffee hot to wake you up. It means choosing the music for the day, something slow like smooth jazz, Florence and the Machine, Banks. Even Harry Styles crooning Ever Since New York softly into the afternoon. It means alcohol can't be sold before half 12, by law, so the open goes luxuriously slow; cutting lemons and limes with satisfaction, each piece even and perfect for later gin and tonics, tangly and refreshing. Or cold, dripping Corona's gratefully received.

It means newspapers splayed across bar tops, singly loudly to yourself, dancing around as the lights go up. It means regular faces giving greeting before their regular order, soda generously poured, Love Island discussed and berated,. It means when hungover Kinder Buenos are tactically hidden, text messages to friends desperately sent, a 'God I really need crisps, fizzy juice or some sort of hippy green juice health hazard right now'. The smell of beer never any less musty, but instead of welcoming, it's repelling.   

When stressed, Sunday bar opens are the cure.

 

Everything slows gratefully down, the possibility of a rushed evening peaking round the corner. But the open is a pat on the back, or hair ruffled by a parent, making you feel shrunken down to a child in an Adult Costume. The sort of warmth created when parents are affectionate while you're at home; helping out with the dinner or doing the dishes. It's silent pride at completing small tasks and its discussing politics with colleagues. 

Sundays are for being alone, just for a little bit. It's relishing in the alone - quiet smugness and exaggerated prep, testing out draft coke and pulling the first foamy pint. Sundays are sometimes your Saturday or your Monday. They come in all shapes and sizes, different moods and different livelihoods.

Sundays make you think, make you stretch, make you ache. They can get you moving or hold you stand-still. They make you melancholy. They make you ecstatic. They can feel numb around 4pm; a sort of restlessness that nothing can fix, an itch, a demand for more but the more never known. Sundays demand the most from, you. They demand the least from you. They're your end-of-week, start-of-week, middle-of-the-week.  They're revered for their fondness of avocado toast and poached eggs, smug Insty brunch pics that lead to the inevitable FOMO. They're for wicked hangovers and the day-after dirty martinis.


DRESS LIKE A RAINBOW, DON’T GET TOO LOW

ƒ

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Certain behaviour can occur when one wears a lot of colour and embraces age. Now 21 might sound young to a lot (and old to a faithful few) but this girl has been getting mellow and dressing in more yellow. … Continue reading

I thought my level of uncomfortability over fake empowerment reached its height with Taylor Swift’s depiction of girl power in THAT Bad Blood music video. It turns out, Kendall Jenner can make something worse.

If you have yet to see the new Pepsi ad, encouraging people to ‘live for now moments’ is cringe inducing as one would expect from a soda company (it’s basically sugar and doesn’t taste all that, so they’ve got to make it shiny and new each time to attract our attention). But it’s problematic, for a number of reasons.

In the advert, Kendall Jenner is taking part in a photoshoot wearing a blonde wig and generally looking gorgeous and looking like a model she arguably is. She notices a protest outside but hangs back, posing some more. Then an attractive male cellist player comes along and they make eyes at each other. This is A Moment. He nods encouraging toward the protest. Suddenly, Jenner realises she too can be a part of this protest now. With the approval and encouragement of a boy, she rips off her blonde wig and smears her lipstick, yet her brown locks are still perfectly undone and the lipstick wipes off flawlessly. The blonde wig? Why it’s thrown into a black woman’s arms as Kendall struts off to take part of The Cause. Yet this cause looks oddly similar to many Black Lives Matter protests, just more bubble gum and cutesy. So like, why is Kendall going and not the unnamed black woman?

Oh and the sign’s all have the same tagline of ‘Join The Conversation’. On blue background signs. Because you can LOOK like you’re doing something hastag iconic, but don’t actually go out on a limb and make a stand over a political issue. That’s taking it too far. Stay #onbrand with marketing colours and keep your likability (read; markets) like both Pepsi and Kendall Jenner have done.

When Kendall waltzes through the crowd in impeccably double denim (also blue, hey Pepsi) it is a simple nod at the attractive cellist and she continues to surge to the front. People notice. They sense that Something Is Happening. Kendall breaks away from the crowd. She confidently and oh so bravely walks towards the line of police officers. A POC woman is looking on in awe, because when really making a difference, it’s only wealthy white women who can do it? Wearing her hijab, she eagerly lines her camera out to take a photo of this Iconic Moment. The cop takes a sip from the can and people cheer enthusiastically. This is it! Peace has been created!

And the moral of the ad? We should all be like Kendall Jenner; white, privileged, wealthy, slim, successful, young and most importantly, brave enough to take a stand. To be an ally to the movement. But wait.

Here’s why this ad is problematic; (if you haven’t picked up on my sarcasm yet, you’re in for a ride).

Firstly, Kendall Jenner is white. Yet she is the one that ‘saves’ the protest as she coolly and peacefully hands a cop a can of Pepsi. Forget peace talks! Share a Pepsi! Donald Trump worrying you because you feel like your very existence will be erased? Don’t sweat it, someone might give him a Pepsi! Brexit talks getting tense? They’ll pass round a six pack of Pepsi!

So to make a change, be white.

 

 

Secondly, why be an ally, when you could take over and end a protest conflict-free? As this tweet shows in a rose-tinted-window-smashing way, once you see that you can’t unsee it. Not only does Jenner end the protest, but she also manages to make it all about her. All POC should bow to her, for she is The Saviour. This is not how to be an ally and help POC – it’s undermining their fight by morphing it into a white issue, when it really isn’t a white issue.

 

Thirdly, the fact that the cop only then nods to his friends as if to say ‘hey, these protesters might be just like us!’ Because an attractive, commercialised white woman has handed them a soda, so like, why not think human beings might be the same? What a startling new discovery! Dare we say… Pepsi and Kendall Jenner… just ended racism in one single swoop?

 

It’s around here I’m meant to say ‘when will your fav EVER’ am I right?

 

By commercialising protests this ad, both Pepsi and Kendall Jenner are doing a disservice to all forms of demonstration. Through commercialisation, it loses its very nature of seriousness. The essence of consumerisation is something that takes away the human part of something else. The idea of protest is brought down to a mind-numbingly playful level. The idea of ‘why take part of a protest, when you can buy a can of Pepsi?’ is placed in the minds of the audience. The core fact that this is a reality for millions of people, protesting the right to live their lives they way they should be able to, without fear or intimidation.

Kendall Jenner fake-solving an issue with a can of soda is insulting, demeaning and frankly, far too fucking easy. It makes people think ‘why cause all this fuss?’ if things are so easy to solve. But spoiler; they are not easy to solve. At all. There are years of oppression to work through and understand, to be able to right across the board the state of equal rights. You cannot cutely solve racism. And you cannot make it into a mockery through a feel-good advert.

 

And you really can’t do it through a white owned soda company.

And as cringe-inducing as this ad is, it was also released at possibly the worst time ever - the anniversary of Martin Luther King's death. And all I can really think is - are you kidding me?

If Pepsi did indeed wish to make an advert to show their solidarity and support in a frightening political time, why pick a white wealthy model? Why not have someone who actually uses their platform to speak up on social issues. Because really...

 

When has Kendall Jenner ever spoke up about social issues?

 

Encouraging people to 'go vote' and leaving to speak up about supporting Hillary Clinton until the final days of the election, really isn't cutting it. Especially when you have a platform as big as Jenner does.

 

Let's not praise someone for doing the very least thing possible, call it groundbreaking and make everyone feel good about an ad that does nothing but sell sugar in a can. Let's not let this pass over, because there's a level of responsibility when you have a platform and do the whole 'show not tell' on important social and political issues. You don't get praised for noticing. 

 

People shouldn't be thankful you got a pay-check mimicking their fight for basic human rights.

 

 


Welcome to the next chapter of #Predicaments, otherwise known as The New Era. A place to indulge in the low-brown pop culture, ease into high-brow think pieces, wonder in disbelief over disillusions and sigh over fine tailoring. Relish in escapism and revel in fashion tales. In short www.predicamentsoflou.com is going to be a manifestation of my own thoughts and pearls of wisdom, odes to girl-bossery and a corner for contemplations. The interior and exterior of myself. #Predicaments has been a place i've found solace, however this satisfaction for writing has grown from this little bubble of Blogspot and transformed into what you're reading on now.

 

The Main Mood's Of Lou; serious I-think-this-is-modelling-right? face and laughing like a loon. 

As frank as I always am with you, I must confess how negligent i have been with my previous Internet corner. And although some would argue I am not obliged to explain myself, I feel explaining will help me understand as well. Does that make sense? I often fear my rambles are just long monologues of stream of consciousness that wiggle to their own desire of direction, rather than circling back to a conclusion. Anyway, I digress. This past year I've hd the opportunity to write as a columnist at my university newspaper, The Strathclyde Telegraph. Which has been un-fucking-believable.  And every month I would sit down and write. About anything and everything, forcing myself to think of subjects not relevant to simply me, get out and think about what university students as a whole would be interested to read. Because we always want to read the things that we're pulled towards, an itching in our soul saying 'hey this might help us with X'. So I wrote about body image in winter, the stress of deadlines, the fear of failure among a manner of things. Stuff we individually might knock off or toss aside because we think it's too 'understandable' it therefore lacks in value (spoiler; it doesn't). I wrote in a way I'd want to read it, as the no bullshit friend who straight talks you back to sense after the third breakdown that week. I stopped using the 'I' because I didn't want to talk about me anymore. And I think that's when I started to crumble, just a bit.

You see, around my second column Donald Trump was elected President. And then later, he became President and in this period of two months (how was it only two months?) there were a lot of think pieces and a lot of jokes on SNL and a lot of panic. Nerves were wearing down, and for good reason. And it was sort of like my Twitter feed had erupted like a volcano and there were so many tweets of horror and then later, of sarcasm and then Teen Vogue started to boss it, so hope started to bloom. And the #Womensmarch brought me to tears, because things started to feel very possible again and the power of women blew my mind away. Through all of that, I became overwhelmed with third year university coursework and deadlines, juggling classes on top of a job, on top of a social life, on top of simply having time to b r e a t h e. Not to say I didn't have a social life before, but it's sort of magnified and there are so many more people in my life, who I adore and make me laugh, especially at work where it shouldn't feel like escapism so much, but it does. I took some time out of the headspace of a writer because I needed to just do my thing, take a break from stuff I didn't feel the 'need' to do. Because i never want this to be brought down to a mind-numbing obligation, because if I'm to claim the title of Writer I should be doing it through the want to create, nothing else.  And I've adopted this new thing of having fun, for fun sake and only fun, which I'm going to write about because I think now more than ever we've got to get out of our heads and have fun... Have I said the word fun enough?

Anyway. As you can appreciate dear reader, life has been a bit of a whirlwind since I turned 20; I'm not writing to you as a 21 year-old who feels a lot like she's 19 again, in the best way. Third year university has been so many things, I can't think of the words to do the madness justice just yet, and it's not even finished. But what I can say for now is that I have been struggling to decide if my voice is 'enough'. If what I think should be expressed in more than 140 characters and how important it is to get a piece 'right'. How important words are and how conscious I am of everything I say, the gravity it possesses, or lack thereof. I guess you could say that fear people talk about, over doing the ~thing~? I got that, for a while.

But I had also grown out of the space I was occupying. The new #predicaments is a space big enough for everything I want to do and want to say, dare I say it 'worthy' of my words? Well I'm not the person I was when I began blogging, so I think I can have the self-assurance my words have grown in strength the same way my sense of self has. Actually I don't think - I know. And I'm getting (got?) over this budding fear of everything and anything between 'perfect' and 'justified'. Our political and economic climate is a shaky one and the 'woke' celebrity is something increasingly demanded, so this has created a domino effect across all creators, even someone as small as myself. But we're to kid ourselves if we think anyone knows everything. We can't just go and create villains out of everyone, especially ourselves. It's like attempting to find water in the desert, to believe somewhere there are people who have answers and manage to say the most perfect things. We're all just doing whatever we need, and want, to do to keep going. Whatever your religious beliefs, the idea of a deity living among us, able to save us as frankly appealing that sounds, isn't one that will aid us. There's no black and white answer to things, it's all grey. And there will never be one size fits all, for now. But that doesn't mean we have to punish ourselves for not sorting it all out at once. It takes a while to find matching socks after a wash when they all look the same. We can take the time.

I've taken the time. And I'm ready to speak again, on the high-ranking and the trivial.

 

Welcome to The New Era; Predicaments of Lou.

 

I hope you enjoy it.

Lou x