L O U
~Predicaments Of Lou~
A place to indulge in low-brow pop culture, ease into high-brow think pieces, devour recommendations of The New Age of news and sigh over fine tailoring. Welcome to #Predicaments. A corner of the Internet for all things high, low, in-between journalism with rays of girl-bossery and millennial contemplations.
The New Age has begun.
Category Archives: Girl Power
suffered from a slump I wasn’t fully aware of suffering from.
mitosis; every grieving American, and woman, became part of me. Their
frustration was my frustration, because it felt like Brexit was happening all
over again, but on a larger than life scale. This was America. Obama’s America.
The country of self-confessed freedom and greatness. A nation that elected a
black man as President for the first time, and the second time after that, and
it felt a lot like progress. Of doing what we are meant to do. Now there is an
ache. An ache of ‘what-could-have-been’. There seemed to be no way to move this
ache, this loss of glass ceiling smashing and love winning. Nothing to
remove the feeling ‘maybe we were asking too much’. And I thought over and over
what exactly it is that I felt.
disappointed. But I will not let this envelope me any longer. Hell no. Instead,
I want to fight. I want to educate
myself further, because being tired and disappointed and overwhelmed are words
that do not hold enough gravity to what I feel. Frustration does not match the
way my whole being is on edge, realising how ill-timed my optimism was. How
wrong it was. How much I’ve lost, how much bigger the fight is.
want more. I want numbers and statistics to flow from my
tongue, like the way water runs down a stream. Smooth, easy, calm. I want
knowledge, all knowing smug knowledge, smirking knowledge, because feelings no
longer matter. Who cares how someone might feel? Feeling is not knowledge. It
does not make moves, it does not pass bills and legal documents, the way
knowledge and words can. It can be flimsy. It can be easily backed into a
corner without knowledge.. Unless they feel the same, deep down, then nothing
will change. It’s the way things are set; how one can make an argument and
deliver it will grandeur, convince you yes
we’re right. It’s a numbers game, a game of manipulation, of deceit, of
downright politics at its core. I want to be calculated. Cutthroat.
Self-aware. I want to be your angry feminist nightmare, because if you thought
I was bad before, you’re in for a treat.
cheering for ‘positivity only!1!’ because at the end of the day, your friends
‘beliefs’ can be, at its core, erasing another persons’ being. And I won’t have
don’t do racism, homophobia or misogyny in this day or generation. It’s not how
we live our lives, because love wins and
the future is female.
power, but those ‘below’ are not dogs and will not be pushed around as if we are
bits of gristle on your plate. We are not blind, nor stupid, nor naïve. You’ve started a fire you can only add
gasoline to. You might feed on who you are, what people think you are, how
much dollar bills you’ve got in that bank. But we are rising and believing and
fighting to have a better future. A future we want. A future of freedom and
greatness, of freedom in our bodies and our decisions, of love and unity, of
building people up, not building up walls to keep them out. The future is ours.
And we will have it how we want it. We will.
at card games.
you try to let hate win, because I’ll be bringing mine. And like Annalise
Keating, I’ll know my shit. So make sure yours is water tight.
Yesterday afternoon Another Man announced their 23rd cover star – Harry Styles. What followed blew my mind.
As my feed filled with remarks on Styles appearance in all three covers, with the first and most commercial being applauded, I began to wonder. Why is this artist still viewed as an object?
We know I’m a fan of Harry Styles’ style. This isn’t new.
You can’t demand feminism in 2016 if you still view an artistic photo shoot as derivative just because you aren’t getting hot and bothered over it.
Why does he have to be hot? Why do we
demand this of man, the ‘man candies’ or #mcm to be six packed and
aesthetically pleasing as possible?
We cry out when women are splashed over the
cover as the New Hot Girl and shriek it’s sexist. But then a magazine cover
comes out with Harry Styles on looking not his usual boyband self. And people
instantly put him down, saying he’s ‘so average looking’ ‘so not sexy at ALL,
I’d rather have Zayn’ or ‘does he think this looks good?’ What if this was
the reaction to a woman like Miley Cyrus at the start of her career post Hannah
Montana? Or Victoria Beckham when she branched into fashion? (Oh wait.)
Illustrated or Playboy. The covers are not made for you to drool over the cover
stars features in a commercial way. Another Man launched in 2005 to cater to
the ever expanding interest in menswear; both the market and the new found
creativity. Regularly Another and Another man magazine create thought-provoking
articles, incredible imagery, stimulating editorials and show frankly
pioneering fashion in menswear. Therefore Another Man is not a magazine of tat
and fodder. It’s a niche magazine for a niche market – one for the intellectual,
creative, adventurous (and some would say hipster) males. So I could then make
the point to the ladies, this photoshoot isn’t even for you.
magazines have so few in comparison to women’s on fashion, art and socially
cultural articles. Men are allowed their own stuff. No biggie.
you think ‘here goes another boybander trying to be more’ and roll your eyes? The
never ending fight young artists and performers battle against – to be seen as have
in grown up. And yet you’ll
lmao and ‘call out’ magazines if a woman’s breasts are more the central focus,
how exactly does that work? Is it because we think, as women, it’s FINALLY time
for men to feel how women have for years? The pressure to look as physically
attractive, sexy and appealing as possible at every moment of every day if we
encounter the opposite sex. As if it’s a punishment that must be passed on,
this dreaded feeling of being constantly ‘on’ cc appearance, which instead of
being squashed down full stop, we shove onto men. And not any man. A man who’s
in arguably the biggest boy band this planet has seen in generations, the fame
of One Direction was unprecedented. A man who was in the limelight at 16 and
presented as a man whore. 16, the age you have turned legal in the eyes of the
law to have sex, 16, an age we still consider girls young, 16, a situation the
country would have roared back if it had been a girl.
lucky lad’ and ‘cheeky’ by the media to get anywhere near Caroline Flack. So
many more women would view this 16 year old boy as a sex object, a boy who
liked cougars. Who –at 16- is readily available. Who still to this day has sat
in interviews and been treated as meat. Gross.
pressed on Harry Styles not being commercially attractive on the three covers
of Another Man magazine. The public has been presented with the image of ‘playboy
Styles’ we forget how exactly is saying that, if there’s any value, if perhaps
Harry Styles is more than who he’s slept with? Like, we demand women to be seen
as more, then we must apply this logic to men as well. You can’t demand
feminism in 2016 if you still view an artistic photo shoot as derivative just
because you aren’t getting hot and bothered over it. It doesn’t work like that.
End of story.
both sexes are more than their looks and should be treated as such. A celebrity
isn’t just for you to view and be ‘hot’ and ‘attainable’ as One Direction were
presented when they started, the ‘boys that could be your boyfriend, if you’re
lucky’. Are we even still on that PR, even subconsciously?
photography skills to come into the foreground then don’t knock off Harry
Styles before you try it, as it were. If you hadn’t known the celebrity, if he
had been a model instead, the likelihood is you’d see more of an appeal. There
would be exclamations on how he looks like a young Mick Jagger (have you seen
the moodboard for the Another man shoot? Very early Rolling Stones. And like c’mon.
The second cover?).
you’re getting is the deconstruction of an image 5 years in the making. The
very thing that may be familiar to so many, is being shredded and in the
digital age, this image overhaul has been incredibly well documented.
creating such stimulating and intriguing covers. They show more layers than an
X-Factor boy band member, a new side to Mr Styles we’ve only glimpsed at and I’m
excited to know more. Bye heartthrob, let’s see the Styles of now.
“I don’t always write the way I feel. Sometimes they are just residual feelings that show up again due to lack of closure.”
My hurt is my hurt. And I can use it when and where I see fit.
Please know that while I write this – I am not angry. Not at all. I’m simply passionate about this, because this quote on residue feelings and not writing in the now is what I’ve been wanting to say for so long. I fucking love that quote. I felt something shift inside me when I read it, because it’s it. Everything I have been wanting to say. To explain how I write.
Anne Lamott has a famous quote on writing, saying
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.”
“I don’t always write the way I feel. Sometimes they are just residual feelings that show up again due to lack of closure.”
Own your hurt. It’s yours and yours alone. No one gets to tell you how to talk about it, no one gets to be the person who gives you permission to talk about your hurt. It’s yours. ONLY yours.
“Time to be firm about your own reality.
grabs my hand and squeezes it tightly. We’ve got this.
The room was busy,
incredibly busy and there was a deafening chat going on. You know when you’re
in a nightclub and your friend has to kind-of-but-not-majorly shout to you, so
you can hear them? The #CTRLALTDELETE book launch was a club in a way; a band,
a gathering, a group of kick-ass humans who came together with love to
celebrate a writer who gave nothing, but love to us all. I gazed around, rising
up to my tip-toes in order to grasp the vastness of the room, how many
humans there were with a glass of something in their hand and a smile on their
face, chatting, chatting, chatting. There I was in a room, sharing space
with women who’s words crafted through their keyboards. Women who had
helped shape me, even in a little way. Be it introduce me through social media
to other writers, writers they admired from far-away, or writers who had
grabbed the digital age with both hands and taken a piece for themselves, to
being proud of their work ethic, unashamedly been human in front of the
eyes (and feeds) of many. People who had jobs and careers and people who liked
them, even if it was for the way they wore clothes or said something in a blog
post or article. And then there was me, standing in this room, trying hard to
just take it all it and make the most of it. The most of this moment of
these women I adored, but really all I can think about when I remember this
evening, is how much hope it gave me and how much love surrounded me. This love
wasn’t directed at me, it was for Emma. Emma who had written the book. Emma who
had taken the chance. Emma who had humans around her that loved her, in some
shape or form, who came into this room to celebrate the fact she did it. Emma
was the author.
as though you are shouting into a void, with no clue or indication if anyone is
hearing you and accepting the words you’re saying. With the Internet, this
void grows bigger and you can feel as though your voice gets smaller, even if
only by an decibel. But in this room, although my voice is still small and I’m
in no ways basking in the success so many were, I stood on the side and thought
“I can do this too. I can make something of myself, for myself, with no
rhyme or reason to hold me back.”
only to lean on, but to evoke a burning passion in us, to move and create and
cultivate a life we can be proud of. A life we feel comfortable, supported and
loved in. For a millennial and as part of Generation Z, life is far more
tricky and far more deep than it was in our parents time. With the Internet and
social media, people are connecting far quicker than before. Careers are
being carved, businesses made – the middle man no longer something as an artist,
a writer, or even a business man is needed for success. What is needed is
gritted teeth and determination. It all sounds so simple, a process not unlike
the flow of water from hillside to seaside, yet there’s still things that hold
us back. The pressure of others. The self conscious way we consider
ourselves to be perceived. So the simple becomes entangled in what we
think ‘reality‘ is.
tugging my white top down every now and then, listening to the speeches.
Hearing the reactions and cheering with the rest. As the first time going
somewhere as both an Internet human and a blogger, it felt
bloody amazing. Just to stand there and watch someone’s dreams become a
reality, to see the product of what going out there and just doing The Thing
made. Emma is that human, the complete girl
boss who showed me that night the power of doing what you want, to have drive
and passion. If you haven’t checked her blog out, do so here.
can all do The Thing we dream of doing. Nothing holds you back, as long as you
do like Rihanna and work work work work work.
inviting me Emma. This was magical.