Feminist In A Fifties Dress!

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Two rants in two days, I’m not even gonna apologise because sometimes you need to get stuff off your chest right? Oh and if you don’t like swears, you might want to skip out now because there are a few and I was being restrained! Normal boring blogging will resume next week.

‘Old fashioned values’ is a term that quite frankly I despise because half the time it refers to a way of life that was actually quite repressive. Before you go on about manners and courtesy and whatnot, personally I don’t see these as old-fashioned values, they are just values that people should aspire to anyway, regardless of what times we live. This constant harking back to the ‘good old days’ and ‘old fashioned values’ because most people cannot relate as they did not live these time, they are other people’s experiences handed down to us in trust and sometimes you just can;t trust other people’s judgments on things,

Let me explain as to what kicked off this latest rant, so someone shared a video into my facebook feed (yes I know I’m supposed to have quit arsebook but we’ll go into that another time) about a girl who dresses vintage and why. Now as a person who dresses vintage, I found this video highly problematic because it was about dressing for respect and behaving like a lady, so that people, mainly men would treat you like a lady and that if women were more modest than people would respect them more. So basically cover your skin so people don’t think you’re trash! Excuse me, fuck you and the proverbial high horse you rode in on!

Firstly this states that you have to dress a certain way so that men behave themselves, forget that the sexual harassment was just as rife in the 50s as it is today. The fact is you’re saying that women have to take responsibility to curb the actions of others. We are taught from such a young that it’s our fault and that we must behave a certain way because it’s not the responsibility of predators to control themselves. Seriously sister, you could cover yourself from head to toe in the ugliest outfit ever but if someone wants to sexually harass you even just disrespect and judge you, they’re gonna!

It’s snobbery! Making yourself out to be superior because you behave a certain way is just snobbery. You are not better than everyone just because you choose to be more ‘modest’, your friends are not beneath you because their skirt is shorter than yours, you’re just stuck up!

Clothes should be worn because you like them and feel comfortable in them, not because you think people are going to respect you. You can wear the prettiest dress in the world but if you’re a complete arsehole, then the dress is not going to change that fact!

What the fuck is ladylike, not this language for a start but who do you get to dictate what is ladylike. So you want a world where men fall over to hold the doors open for you, carry your shopping, whilst you giggly coyly and sip tea with one picky in the air, go fucking you! But you know also thanks for undoing years of work on trying to eradicate repressive stereotyping like this!

The old days weren’t better, they were different and with far fewer choices. Remember when women couldn’t show leg because it was deemed unacceptable for a lady to do such a thing, as was voting. Or that we couldn’t have our own bank account when we got married and it was automatically transferred to our husbands, or we could get fired for being pregnant, or the fact that to be married you had to be heterosexual because being gay was illegal? Need I go with this, no I don’t think we do?

I also get extremely annoyed when I hear the phrase it’s a generational thing especially when it comes to excusing things like sexism and racism. Firstly no, it’s just ignorant! As long as you are alive in this planet you never not have an excuse to educate and better yourself! Secondly it’s insulting to people of that generation who are not ignorant, racist, sexist and whatever else was shit back in the day. Thirdly I’m sorry being politically correct is such a chore for you, how terrible it must be for you taking into consideration other people’s feeling by not being a total prick!

This is pretty much why I stay away from specific scenes in the vintage world (and just people in general). I have quite a few friends into vintage style and they go to all the rave and riots, I go to Viva Las Vegas but that doesn’t mean we immerse ourselves in a reenactment of they way things were. Dressing in the clothes and dancing to the music doesn’t mean we catapult ourselves back to the past and relieve them authentically, though I have read of some that do and you know what that is fine because choices!

Just so you know, just because I dress like a lady doesn’t mean I act like one, I believe in progression, I believe that people should have choices, I believe that people are born equal and should be treated so, I believe that you shouldn’t be judged by standards from a long time ago, I will stand up for myself, I will say what I feel if I think it needs to be said no matter how becoming of me it is! Be yourself, be true to yourself, don’t be a slave to the patriarchal bullshit! You can still be a feminist in a fiftiess dress you know, they’re not mutually exclusive!

 

You Can’t Sit With Us!

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Sometimes you will come across people who just don’t want to engage with you and you know what? You just have to accept that because not everyone is going to like you or want to be your friend but there seems to be an increasing amount of people getting way above their station on social media and acting like they are way better than everyone else and selective with who they talk to.

Whilst in the most part many people are nice, chat, mind their business and do their own thing, there is that bunch that ruin it for everyone else. There is not a week that goes by where there is not some drama or another in the blogging community. I’ve been blogging since 2009, I have never really taken it seriously or been that committed and that’s the great thing about choices but there is a reason why blogging is never going to be taken as a serious professional due to the lack of professionalism that some people display and not just bloggers but also the PR firms and brands they work with.

As it get’s more competitive, the claws get sharper. I won’t lie, I’m not a fan of the term girl gang that gets banded about, I find it to be quite a toxic term and problamtic, I get that the majority of bloggers are females but the term initially comes off quite exclusive. I know they say everyone is welcome but the name suggests otherwise. What starts off as a small community of support and camaraderie, soon gets infected as it grows bigger and it only takes one person to infect the pool and then it all kicks off and as always it’s only a select few that ruin for everyone else, those that are faux and just out to gain something usually for free. or people complain about being left out out because someone else is getting more attention etc, etc, etc.

I’m not a fan of this whole follow for a follow bullshit, it makes absolutely no sense to me! What is the point of having so many followers when hardly any of them interact with you. It’s no big secret that to be successful you have to engage, you are not a rock star, you don’t get to be all aloof and mysterious, you need to interact and engage with people and I’m not just talking hitting a like button to acknowledge their presence! Feeling popular and actually being popular are two different things. Of course the more popular you are the more jealous people will try to take you down and steal your crown from you, which is in part why I’m glad I’m not popular and in other part because I’m too lazy to deal with this shit and I have enough to keep me busy not to need these kind of dramas.

I understand (not from experience) to keep up and interact with lots of followers must be hard but some just comes across as downright rude and of course you don’t have to follow them, though I feel that there is some unwritten obligation to follow people who follow you but again that’s bullshit. It’s called social media not anti social media, if you’re there just to validate your own worth and feel popular due to high numbers then frankly my dear, you’re doing it all wrong. You might pay them a compliment or answer a question they put forward and they don’t respond or even acknowledge it anyway, not even through a like or a thank you but you know that’s also their right, they don’t owe you anything, just like you don’t owe them anything. Chalk it up, move on and find someone who does care.

I get that social media is all about the freedom of speech and everyone is entitled to share their opinion, if you’ve ever followed my twitter feed, you know that I do that a lot (more than I probably should!) but that doesn’t mean people need to respond. If I don’t like something I more often than not just keep scrolling or if really disagree with someone’s opinion I unfollow (usually because they’re a racist bellend). I’ve always been the proverbial outsider even when it comes to the internet. I always seem to be behind on all the popular sites and everyone has already set up their groups, going on meet ups and whatnot and it can be hard to try to integrate without feeling like your gate crashing. Social media is a highly contradictory and volatile ecosystem, sometimes you don’t want to be the one that upsets the balance. But there are tonnes of lovely and welcoming people out there, you will find them and they will find you.

I started blogging like most people did because I could and also as a place to share my opinions and that is just what most of social media is people sharing their opinions, bad comes with good and all that but it’s up to you how you respond to it. Your blog is your blog, you can do whatever you want with it, follow your own path, be you but be the best you that you can be but remember you are human and you are allowed to falter. You are allowed to have your own opinion, you don’t have to follow the pack all the time, stop trying to be someone else because they look popular, looks are deceptive, stats are just numbers, just because someone has 10k followers doesn’t mean they are rich and successful. The internet is just a snapshot, a photograph, you have no idea what is going on outside the frame, more importantly just try and not be a total dick! By all means disagree with people, no one is telling you to lick arse but there is no reason to be a total jerk to someone whose life and livelihood has taken a turn for the worse. You can just jog on and not give you’re two pence worth and on that note that is my two pence worth!

PS this is just my opinion, it doesn’t make me right.

The Problem With Social Media

 

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I’m kind of umming and ahhing about these ‘The Problem With’ post titles, are they really problems or am I just falling into the click bait post title syndrome? Anyway I think social media is a wonderful thing, some people like various members of my family, not so much. I don’t know whether it’s because they don’t understand or don’t want to understand but to me I like social media, I get that’s sometimes it can be a bit all too much in your face and it doesn’t come without its negative sides but when people tell me that people spend too much time on their phones and not connecting with the real world I just get annoyed, not as much as I used to, now it’s more of a whatever eye roll than a seething rant about ignorance and people refusing to adapt.

My folk’s main argument is always about communication and that people don’t know how to communicate anymore, it’s impersonal, my argument is that the way people communicate hasn’t really changed, it’s just the format that’s changed. In the old days everyone just read a book or paper to hide on public transport, these days we have headphones and tablets. My parents always comment when we pull out phones to check stuff, asking if we’re talking to each other on our phones, I get they jest but in all honesty I’m getting bored with explaining that no I’m actually dealing with my business which pretty much solely depends on social media, I’m talking to friends halfway across the world because calling is so bloody expensive, or that I’m reading a very interesting article on something or that I’m actually interested in other people’s opinions on things regardless of whether you think that people should keep their opinions to themselves. So I stopped and these days I just nod and carry on. Some people don;t like change and that’s okay but I pretty much ted to find they are the first to complain when they are left behind. That is to also say that they are pretty much a minority, it just doesn’t seem that way because they tend to be the ones who shout the loudest.

You remember in the old days when you called abroad and you had to wait for that minute delay to hear what the other person said but now you switch on your phone and actually see the person you’re talking to? As the bridge generation between baby boomers and millennials I’m versed in both the old and new ways of communication, to me there are no real differences between the two aside what I said before it’s just the format that has changed. Apparently I’m not Gen X, I’m actually a Xennial but that’s a post for another time and I’m not sure I agree yet! It’s all digital the only real difference is that it’s more accessible and given more people a platform to express their views which like everything has it’s good and bad points. Naturally this does not apply to every person on either side of the generation gap, it actually only applies to the few which some how end up being what appears the voice of the majority.

I’ve made quite a few friends on social media, some I consider to be very good friends even though we’ve never met because the ways to communicate have broadened allowing you to share more. Like ‘in real life’ a term which I loathe to use but will for the purpose of this blog, some friendships never last, they fade over time as you grow and change and they only a serve a purpose for a small moment in time. I was reminded recently that people can be very deceptive and manipulative, being sweet and helpful to anyone they want something out of but never actually doing anything for anyone else. They used to only talk to me (crash into my DM box) when they wanted to vomit their problems or grievances somewhere. I felt a boundary was being crossed, especially as they never cared to say hello or ask out I was, it was all about how they were suffering which in all honesty they weren’t. Instead of them apologising for their behaviour, they told me they were sorry that I felt that way and blocked me! Serious to fuck! I guess that’s the easiest option and it’s not that different for IRL where someone would cut you out of their life when you pull them up on their shitty behaviour because in hindsight when reflecting over this very one-sided relationship, that is what narcissists do. I take very little comfort in knowing that they have done this to other people, and when their name crops up in conversations I can’t help but feel for their next potential roadkill as they hurtle down the superhighway on their quest for adoration and validation. I just hope they treat others better but rarely do these types of people learn from their mistakes, it’s always someone else’s fault.

I’m not saying it’s better I’m just saying it’s different and that’s the thing that people don’t seem to understand. I always hear from my parents that they had it better in their day but I disagree, it’s just different. For starters I have no physical comparison only words and to be honest as a woman I don’t think I would have had it better in the old days, for starters I would have had fewer choices and would have to depend more on others because you know as a women we can’t be trusted to have our bank accounts or other shit but no things were better in the old days, when everyone else had fewer choices and less rights.

Anyway I digress, something you’re all used to by now in these ramble posts, I actually read a post about someone stating that they won’t read your blog if the posts are too long, aside the fact the just admitted they can’t be bothered to read, blog snobbery is a whole other issue I could cover in another post, which I might. Social media is not the problem, people are the problem, I’m the problem, you’re the problem, everyone is the problem because of our differences. The problems will always exist regardless of the platform on which they are delivered for the simple fact that people exist. The problems won’t go away unless people change or cease to exist.

 

 

It’s Been Three Years…

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…Since I quit my job and became self-employed! Three whole damn years, can you believe that, and guess what? I almost forgot! I won’t lie it’s been a struggle and I’m still nowhere near where I wanted to be but I’m still going. The last three years have been a learning curve and I have learnt so much. Some days I have just wanted to jack it in because I couldn’t see the point of struggling so hard or it was because I had no idea or clue what I was doing or where I wanted to go! Other days I’m like yeah this is the best and I’m a total boss! Freelance/self-employed life is a roller-coaster of emotions sometimes, like everything it’s full of highs and lows.

Every little sale or get a good feedback slowly erases away the self-doubt but every week of slow sales is a reminder not to get cocky and to keep at it! Not to give up if you fall at the first hurdle or even the second or third hurdle. They say behind every overnight success is at least five-ten years hard work most us won’t ever get to that level of success and will just get by day-to-day.  There will be many ‘failures’ a long the way. Some of them won’t even be failures just bad timing, trends come and go and the bat of an eyelid, blink and something new has taken over.

People will still think that you working for yourself is a doss, and that you pretty much free to drop everything and do stuff because hey working for yourself doesn’t mean you have a work schedule to keep at,  or they ask as an after thought (ie when you mention it) oh how’s that going for you than like they’re asking about the weather or even better, oh you’re still doing that then! or that your silly little craft fairs are not important (yes someone actually said that to me), or customer at markets who declare loudly that they could make this for far less, or customers requesting commissions declaring that there design is a big improvement on yours and expecting you to agree with them! And so on and so on, these are the things that keep you grounded and determined. Proving people wrong has always been my number one motivator.

Yes with freelancing comes a certain level of flexibility but you still have to haul ass to the post office regardless of the weather, there are no sick days, sick benefits or paid holidays. You do end up working longer hours and longer weeks but hey you’re leaving the dream so it doesn’t count, tell that to the bills that need paying.

Comparison is definitely the thief of joy, never compare your journey to anyone else’s, numbers are arbitrary, just because someone has 10,000 followers doesn’t always necessarily mean they are doing better than you, we live in a world where the number of likes seemingly make people look popular but at the end of the day it’s not a true indicator. people obsess over them for the wrong reasons, they paying attention to the wrong numbers,

This year I finally managed to settle on a path after much experimenting and somehow now have two shops to run. Two very different styles of shop which equally reflect my passions in life. Well I say two shops, I’m spending a lot of time setting up one with plans for another but obviously having to do everything myself means this is taking a little longer than I expected. I’m hoping to launch my handmade shop in time for my birthday. It seems kind of nice to start a new venture in a new decade.

I’m feeling a lot more settled, though being self-employed there is always the worry where the next sale/commission is coming from but I’m happy with where I’m at, I’m grateful I never gave up thanks to support of my customers and more so to my excellent cheerleader of a husband, reminding me that I can do this and I’m better at this than I think I am.

Everyday I learn something new and everyday I’m grateful I get to do this, some people have viewed my strong will and stubbornness as a negative but in this case it’s working to my advantage, and I guess that’s all that matters.

 

 

When The Artist Becomes The Muse

Sometime the death of someone famous, a musician or a writer can have a deeply profound effect on us despite them never actually knowing or meeting them. This came up quite a lot in the death of David Bowie. It was the first thing I read when I switched on the internet that morning. The outpouring of love and adoration was non stop. I found myself taking it harder than I’d expected. I mean I’d always like his work, I had even been listening to the new album a few days before and couldn’t help but think he was trying to tell us something in a beautifully haunting way, now we know he was saying goodbye.

People remember artists for different reasons, for Bowie it was mainly that he was different and not afraid to be different, forever reinventing himself, his music, never seemingly afraid to push the boundaries. He made it okay for the rest of us to embrace our weirdness and that being different is okay. However, some people just don’t get and like to ride the waves of controversy just to get their five minutes of fame, I have no idea who Camilla Long is but telling people to stop crying over dead artists and to man the fuck up is probably not the right way to go about getting a readership. Also it turns out she’s a massive hypocrite after tweets surfaced of her crying over other celebrity deaths and really she probably just doesn’t like Bowie.

And then we were hit with a double whammy, Alan Rickman, also 69, also passed away from cancer on the Thursday undoubtedly one of the most talented actors around but because of Monday’s hoohaa people were slightly more reserved about their expressing their grief on line because they didn’t know them in person but I don’t think that matters. Someone was so bold as point out that at least two people die a second and no one cares about them which isn’t exactly fair. To be honest it’s not about not caring it’s about losing a connection. Some people worry that the friends that make on line but don’t interact with in real life aren’t real friends but I beg to differ, you’re still connecting with people, you’re still sharing something, they are still a part of your day, you will no doubt bring them up in conversation at some point or reference something they have messaged or tweeted you, just like you reference a song or a film quote.

The grief does not come from knowing that person, the grief comes from what they taught us about ourselves, for David he taught us it was okay to be who you are, sexually and artistically. Alan Rickman taught us that youth has nothing to do with breaking into Hollywood, that age is a number and you too can be 46 and star in your first film with Bruce Willis and become an icon too. Let’s face it we all loved Gruber more than Maclain!

The spate of deaths including Lemmy from Motorhead which to be honest kind of sideswiped me because I always thought of him as pretty much indestructible, Glen Frey from the Eagles, Natalie Cole, Dale Griffin and John Bradbury has remarkably felt like the grim reaper has a problem with musicians in their late 60s early 70s but even though we know no one is immune to death, it is okay to mourn people you never met because as artists, somehow, someway they helped us at one point in our lives whether it was a song that made you dance, a film that made you laugh or a poem that made you cry. I’m trying to find some way to wrap this up with a profound statement but at the end of the day twitter is full of bullies trying to bring the world down to their level, so mourn all you want, you don’t need anyone’s permission to do so!
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