Category Archives: Girl Power

I wake up
every morning and I’m writing. I have a coffee in my hand, shampoo lathering in
my hair, the sun creeping up through my window. Every moment is like a 90’s
romcom playlist blaring in my head, but instead of songs it’s words. Words I
create myself, be in in a form of a poem or an investigative piece; the dots
come together and it’s a moment of pure genius. These things I’ve tossed around
my head suddenly, and vividly, make sense.
Yet, this
again changes.

A sentence mulled over and over until it loses
meaning. A phrase at first so delicious and perfect, becomes stale and
dismissive. The lust becomes lacklustre. The chase ends at a disappointing
stop.

Some
writing scares me, for reasons I haven’t quite grasped yet. I think of the
weight in each word as I put them out into the world, thinking “is this the
right way? Could I say this better? Does it even make sense?” I fear expressing
myself wrong, wondering exactly how writers manage to make things just so, finding the most suitable phrase
without rambling. How they condense. How they don’t get scared on people not getting it.
Even when
I’m not physically writing, pen on paper or fingertips on keyboard, I’m
writing. I’m always writing; scribbling words out in my head, drawing lines
through sentences. It happens most when I do the mundane tasks, like cleaning or
being at work. By having my body busy, my mind has time to process fully and
luxuriously what it’s been desperate to do. It increases by tenfold when I have
someone as a muse, writing phrases I never once understood but then I do. When
I think of them, it all makes sense, be it a romantic or a platonic
relationship, it all makes sense. Tossing ideas back and forth before chucking
them overboard. Sometimes I write and write, letting it flow. After I feel elated,
I couldn’t be happier. But then I stop.
I stop
doing the things I’ve only just spoken about in my writing, as if immortalising
these habits kills them off. The gears stop. I don’t know why. It seems as
though the more I confess, the more lost I become. I cannot find salvation in my words, for I’ve given them over to
someone else. They’re no longer mine, but something that can be read on a
screen around the world, picked apart and ridiculed. Something that can be used
against me, or something which creates a division between me and a partner. And
it does. They dig. Find out more than they should. And I’m the one who loses,
because sometimes people cannot really understand the need to have a space in
this online world for only yourself. And this is where it becomes tricky.
It’s like
when I think about something I desperately want to happen, I imagine a person
maybe or an event, every conceivable thing happens to stop the one thing I want
from happening. I stop liking the person as soon as I see they again, even
though my heart tells me how much I miss them. I pass over an event which could
lead me into the event I want to experience. The dreams I dreamt up shatter
before my eyes. The lust is lost. The desire dissipates. Is the Universe
playing a big YOU THOUGHT on me, rising my hopes so high? Does the consistent
let down make the words stop being how they were?

I cannot find salvation in my words, for I’ve
given them over to someone else.

You see, I
adore the connecting on the Internet. I’ve met some very special people through
Twitter, as well as strengthening my relationships with people physically in my
life through social media. I love my life, the people I share it with, those
who make me laugh more than possible so I’ve just got to share that happiness. I want everyone to see. I want to say ‘look!
Look and how funny and fantastic this person is! Appreciate them! Because I don’t
think my appreciation is enough, because they are so bloody great.’ I will snapchat silly moments with friends, I’ll
take videos of those I care for, because I’ll be sitting down one day and it
will all feel more difficult than I thought possible. Those moments of
happiness, of simple silliness help ease the pressure off my chest when it
feels a little harder to breath, to think, to focus.
I think it’s
the confessional nature of my writing; I use my words to connect to people, to
show how we all feel the same at some point, even if it feels like we don’t. I’ve
yet to implement a strong enough filter, to grappled with who is my confidants
and who is my audience. At this time, it feels as though the World is walking
on Her tip toes around broken glass. She feels so fragile, like there are
splinters across Her happening we don’t fully comprehend. And that’s a reason I
struggle with writing, because there’s SO MUCH out there. So much. Every time I
click on my Twitter feed it feels as though I’m being swept away by the news,
by the fears and the panic. I don’t want to add to it sometimes, I can admit
that. Why add onto this fragile system, of panic and worry piled on top of each
other like Jenga blocks?

So what’s
the solution to this? I dig deeper. I
find out what exactly it is I want to say, I edit, I create my art primarily
for myself. I get back to my roots and I
centre myself there.

The drought
is over, because I’m saying it so. I believe this to be a new Era. Let it be
magnificent.

 

Lou x

HAPPY NEW
YEAR MY LOVES!

I hope 2017
is everything you hope it will be and more, filled with success, happiness and
good health. I’m still riding high after seeing the Women’s March tweets,
filled with love for all of the nasty women who marched. For everyone who
walked the walk, after talking the talk. Who showed up and made it know we won’t
stand for this, not in 2017. If there’s one thing that’s going to happen; a lot
of noise is going to be made.
Oh god, it’s
been a long time since I’ve done this, hasn’t it? I feel like a toddler precariously
balanced on two feet; grabbing at tables, sofas, legs of adults. Hello. It’s
been a while.
I think it’s
fair to say 2016 was a big ‘un in terms of progress for this girl, as well as
the world as we know it. Or did know it. Now I’m not so sure, feeling once
again like a toddler feebly attempting its first steps. This progress has both
moved me forward and brought me back a good few steps. I’m tentatively getting
back in to the everyday grind of New Lou as I lovingly refer to her, gosh it
feels good. Today I picked up a book on not giving a fuck, but my friend Tori
told me to put it straight back down, because I might as well have had wrote
the book. So I still give no fucks over things. Although new developments have occurred
in my life which do use up a lot of my fucks for that day. An allotment of
fucks. It’s a good system to have in place, do you have one? Do try it.

And I’m now
finally with a desk to write at my new flat (four months later, oh god has it
been so long?). My last post was on Rising Back Up after the world had the last
bit of stuffing knocked out of it by 2016. At this point, I was still going
back and forth over a lot of things in my life. Uni in 3rd year has kicked me
down more times than once, the deadline stress has at times been, frankly,
unbearable. And it’s so easy for me to put myself down over being stressed at
uni, because there are people with much faster paced jobs and those doing their
4th year dissertations (you’re very much in my prayers). I don’t
think of uni as my ‘job’ even though I’m a full time student on my concession
card, and really I should be dedicating as much as my time as possible getting this
degree. Otherwise it’s a waste of time, something I muse on regularly. I subconsciously
put the stress of uni on the back seat, when really it’s so bloody stressful at
times. Especially once you factor in jobs, money, the economy, politics,
President Trump being a THING, the whole disappearance of the climate change
and LGBT pages from the US Governments website, the planet dying. Can you tell
I’ve had a lot on my mind?
This last
year has shown me how malleable everything can be, how fragile our world is.
Decisions have been made over things I never thought I’d see in my lifetime and
the stark living of Adulthood has me staring down the barrel end of mother of
all messes. Its not how they tell you in the movies.
There is a
but though.
But even
through this, I’m finding solace in how easily it is for things to break down. Make
things more manageable. It gives me a wider view of all of my options, my wants
and desires. The stuff that is my own and not anyone else’s. It gives me
freedom to know things can change tomorrow. It gives me power. The
ball is in my court now. It always will be. Even if I think it never will be
again.
Right now I
think this semi-hiatus of blogging is disappearing. Like a muscle I haven’t
moved in so long, I’m thinking of my words with an audience in mind, editing
the best I can because 2017 is one I’m pulling together and will be making progress. Real,
tough, unrelenting progress in whatever shape it takes. Words that have been
scribbled on till roll at work and stuffed into pockets, the words tentatively typed
into note form on my phone. They’re all coming slowly together and finding a
place to set themselves down. I’m finding my voice again; on the stuff I really
want to say. And I’m thinking of trips I want to take, friends I miss so much,
clothes I will buy unashamedly and how much I’m loving the silent confidence in
the way I carry myself. How it’s all coming back together once more.

I might
have paced back in forth in terms of progress in 2016, but I’m intact. Whole.
And I think there never will be a day that I’m rocked back to a shell. I’ve
faced worse. So have you. Right now everything is yours for the taking. The
life you want to live? Have it. Take it
for yourself. It’s yours.

It might
sound cheesy and far too simple, because it is. There’s effort behind it. A whole
fuck ton of effort you’ve GOT to care about. But here’s the catch – You’re going to spend your whole life doing
stuff, so putting effort in will occur over and over again. Make some damn
peace with that. It’s not going to change.
You’ve just
got to ask yourself – do you want it
enough?
Hell yes
I fucking do.

Lou x

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Pic; @teenvogue/instagram
In light of last weeks’ Presidential Election, I’ve
suffered from a slump I wasn’t fully aware of suffering from.
 It was an act of
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.
An instagram account and poet you must follow – Nayyirah Waheed.
But mostly? I am tired. I am overwhelmed. I am
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.
I still
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.
I do not want to be cushiony and understanding,
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
that.
Soz not soz, and all that sweet cheeks.
It’s not happening. Didn’t you know it’s 2016? We
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.
There may be a hierarchy and a need for people in
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.
Because love trumps hate, and I’ve always been good
at card games.
Remember that. And bring your argument next time
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.

Lou x

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.)

Another Man magazine is not Sports
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.
And that’s not a bad thing. Men’s
magazines have so few in comparison to women’s on fashion, art and socially
cultural articles. Men are allowed their own stuff. No biggie.
 When you saw those covers did you scoff? Did
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. 
But it was a boy and he was branded ‘a
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.
Maybe that’s why people are so
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.
You want feminism then you realise
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?
If one wants art and fashion, real artistic talent and
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?). 
Instead what
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. 

I must say a large and heartfelt bravo to Another Man, for
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.
And frankly, if a man can work a Gucci floral suit I think he’s more than what you think he is. Just food for thought.

Lou x

Want to send an email? Contact louisenicoleramsay@gmail.com
Twitter; @LouiseRamsay_ click here 

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