Sunday, 1 December 2013

A Dirty Way to Clean a Home

I've never been a tidy person, often my flat is a sea of feathers, shoes, discarded clothing, and half drank cups of tea.
My parents didn't have time to be always neat and tidy, chores such as dish washing fell to me and my brother, and we dutifully and disdainfully did so but only while arguing. I'm still terrible at washing dishes but I've gotten pretty good at arguing so I learned at least one lesson there.
As my parents still have little time to themselves to divulge in such things that when, years ago to help make ends meet, I started working as a cleaner while studying at university they became one of my clients, a useful arrangement as hiring a member of your family meant that the usual social stigmata of cleaning up before your cleaner arrived wasn't seen as relevant. Still now I twitch tempted to scrub their cooker when visiting, but I value my hands and would rather avoid that awkward situation.

Now living in London with my boyfriend, who is also a performer, I find less time or energy to unpack and clean, opting instead to order take away and watch countless episodes of 30 Rock. As this is a habit and a pastime we both share the flat can become somewhat unmanageable and lead to our land lady suggesting a cleaner on more than one occasion.
I can understand why, with limited space to walk in our room for suitcases, costumes, and performance equipment, to the pile of dishes, the fruit bowl containing stray onions and packets of crisps, and a bath plug hole filled with various hairs in the other rooms we all share.


In spite of my habits I have tried recently to spring into action, and hope to learn how to become a clean and tidy person, even if this means forcing myself to pour bleach in toilets, get rid of the many things I have accumulated over the years, or even get rid of some clothing and part of my amazing collection of shoes I cannot walk in so are still box fresh.
To know exactly where everything is kept and subscribe to the mantra of a tidy home equals a tidy mind, but the main reason was the offer I received that everyone in the flat seriously considered to a rather worrying degree.

As a performer and sometimes model, I get the occasional email or offer that worry me about the secret fan base I may unknowingly keep.
The latest on my list of offers was for a "maid", a man who longs to scrub my toilet while wearing a French maids outfit, and who longs to straighten up my flat for a small fee. A fee that he would pay to me for the privilege. 
I told my boyfriend who thought we could do with the flat being cleaned by such magical means, my landlady and her son both agreed that it wasn't an offer to refuse. I still subscribe to the idea of having a relatively clean home before allowing anyone indoors, even if it is to clean and also what would I have to do in that situation.

I'm sure I could make a good dominatrix if the desire ever appealed to me, but I would rather sit watching tv while my male maid magically transforms our flat into a somewhat presentable home.
Can a dominatrix be in a onesie and laughing while shouting "Good God, Lemon!" All the while demanding varying levels of food? If so, then sign me up. The flat could do with a good clean.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

A not so Brief Encounter

On Friday night I was in Germany, getting ready for my second act at The Queen Calavera when Beau Rocks came back from doing her act and told me there seemed to be an all male troupe in watching the show. I was intrigued, what kind of show? And in Germany? I wanted to know more.
I introduced myself and was surprised at the mix of Australian and American accents, we spoke and I eventually asked why they were in Hamburg. 
The penny finally dropped (it probably took a while with how tired I was that whole weekend) that this was the cast of Briefs, the show that everyone I know in cabaret was talking about during the summer. We made plans to try and see the show when it was in London but never quite got the chance. A chance meeting with the cast in a small burlesque bar in hamburg seemed surreal but it was lovely to get to meet the cast, drink with the cast, and dance with the cast into the wee hours. 
The highlight on Friday was gogo dancing onstage to Nancy Sinatras 'These Boots Were Made for Walking' with Evil Hate Monkey and the youngest cast member Louis who had all the youthful energy of a 19 year old. 
The cast invited us to see their show the next night, only the second night of the shows run in the Fliegende Bauten theatre near to the Reeperbhan, and we couldn't wait! 

The next day we nursed our hangovers, did a quick Photoshoot and then ran to the show, we were lucky enough to get front row seats next to the stage and waited for the show to begin. Some of the cast came to chat to us while handing out mysterious raffle tickets to everyone in the audience before the show started.
They disappeared and soon the lights dimmed.... Onstage appears a sea of white feathers, opening the show with an amazingly choreographed fan dance number that you would expect to see in a classic musical. The difference being the more modern music, UV lights picking up the feathers, and of course the cast of boys throwing some stunning shapes, poses and gestures with the fans. We were blown away, we whooped and cheered our lungs out and it was only the first act.
The second was Evil Hate Monkey who seemed to dissolve us into hysterics every time he was onstage, the character so perfectly executed, his dedication obvious, energy and skill levels leaving us wide eyed and open mouthed. 

I won't reveal all of the details of the show as this is one event that really has to be seen, an amazing mix of skills, dedicated training, comedy timing, and a fantastic cast that not only were amazing onstage but lovely in person. I haven't talked about much since, and my boyfriend who is also a boylesque performer, is possibly either sick of hearing about it, or dying to see it too. 
The acts ranged from hula hoops, aerial acts, drag queens, insane comedy, and some tricks I have never seen before used in this way (Louis was a particularly shocking act to us, who had cooed over him the night before as any woman nearing her thirties might, but as he refused to tell us what he was going to do onstage we shrieked when we finally did see his act!), acrobatics, genius group numbers, and so so so much more that the time flew by and we just wanted to see it all again.

I highly recommend this show, which is running until January at the Fliegende Bauten, I have worked for nine long years on the stage and never have I seen a show more perfectly executed, with one number flowing into the next, more spectacular, and more fun than this, from opening number to the spectacular finale. We left with sore hands from clapping so much, a sore stomach from laughing so much, and a sore throat from so much cheering throughout the acts. 
If you live near, in or are planing a trip to Hamburg this show needs to be on your to do list, written really big, highlighted, covered in glitter, and surrounded with gold stars.

I shall never look at tightly whiteys in the same way ever again. Also you have to go to find out just what those raffle tickets were for. If anyone needs me, I'll be here planning a sex change so I can get involved!

Monday, 11 November 2013

The loss of the Band in the Brand

On friday Primark released a helpful blog that explains just exactly who those bands are that you can now buy the T-shirts, cushions, even bed spreads of in their store and why they are just so cool. At no point do they suggest any of their albums, or god forbid, listening to them.

To a seasoned music lover such as myself it would read rather patronising but to the average Primark shopper I'm sure its a helpful guide to who's who and what's what.
It opens on the Ramones explaining they wore jeans and had a lot of hair, and are labelled as the first punk band, I would say it was Television in my opinion, the band Malcolm Mclaren liked so much he decided to rip off their look and give it to the Sex Pistols, but this has no matter to the designers, workers, or patrons of Primark.
The only good thing about these designs is at least they have the original logo, Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy all taking pride of place in the circle and no mention of Marky Ramone or, thank god, CJ.

Other bands mentioned include The Beatles, who wore 60's suits throughout their career apparently, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, and many more whose entire career has been handily whittled down into one unimportant sentence with no mention of the music they created.
If you would like to read these useful descriptions you can do so here -

Primark aren't the only guilty party, H&M selling Guns and Roses, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Joy Division and even The Sex Pistols T-shirts in case butter money isn't quite enough. H&M's main target being the slightly more discerning shopper who prefer the wider ranges of british (and one american bands) music at a slightly higer cost than Primark charges.

Topshop probably selling their band tshirts at a similar price to those once independant music store owners who would stock a wide range of music t-shirts aimed to be bought by people who liked the music. Here you can nab insensitive two armed Def Lepard baseball tops which would be shunned by their one armed drummer, sleeve flapping in the wind uselessly...

Roxy Music, Slayer, David Bowie, Blondie, The Doors, The Who, and many many more have been given this mainstream cheap culture make over and you can now declare you know of music via your chest at the small cost starting from £8.00.
Courntey Love even manages to make yet another quick buck out of her long deceased husband by allowing Nirvana T-shirts to be sold at such a bargain price.

Most of the younger kids wearing these would have heard of these bands somehow, if it's from the cover versions ineptly sang on Glee specialist episodes where they learn week by week that there was music before GaGa, they do still love GaGa tho, and belt out what were once iconic songs to fill a primetime spot on Americas Tuesday night television. 
If they aren't fans of Glee, and these days who isn't, maybe they saw their favourite celebrity wandering the streets wearing a band tshirt that you can buy cheap on the high street, thank god for paparazzi eh, or how else would you know what to wear?!

I remember a time when you had to go to specialist stores to buy tshirts of the bands you liked, usually they wouldnt have your size so you chose to either wait or buy it anyway to cut up and fit to your body. 
I made friends with the guys who owned these shops, I spoke to them a lot and when I could afford the prices it used to cost for such specialist items I would get them as I loved that band and their music so much.

I recall one visit to the store with my then boyfriend at the time where I found a Clash 'Know Your Rights' tshirt in my size, happy as I was my ex declared I had to prove I knew how that song went before I could buy it. Of course I did and was allowed but felt my rights had been exercised that day. I wonder sometimes why it took me so long to leave him, that day should have been the one. 
It was a common thing then that music lovers everywhere would question your knowledge on the bands you were advertising across your person, asking you to name an album, who the band members were, where your ramones T-shirt may come in handy, or tell them your favourite song of that bands back catalogue.     
I wonder sometimes if someone somewhere is still doing this, or if they have all spontaneously combusted after so many recent attempts, leaving behind only a smouldering puddle of resentment. 

I used to own a lot of band T-shirts, and still have some. My favourite was a bright yellow X-ray Spex tshirt that I bought from a small punk shop in liverpool, which featured Poly Styrene dancing across it, which I wore when studying art at university, all chopped up and tied back together. I don't recall whatever happened to it but I wish I still had it. I also bought and wore a Crass tshirt, not being a fan of Crass I admit, but I liked Gee Vaucher the female artist who designed their album covers, so wore it and still have it regardless. 

I keep these tshirts usually tucked away deep in my drawers, a memory of what once was and who I was back then, maybe I'll wear one on a rare occasion but if I ever decend to Primark I will never leave with any of their incarnations. Unless, that is, they make a Rolling Stones Tshirt featuring the Marianne Faithful news paper headlines at the time.
Who can go wrong with a Primark Mars Bar Party?

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The highs and lows of being a stock model

A few years ago I travelled over to St. Helens near Liverpool to do a stock shoot. I was paid for modelling and treated well, they had built a circus themed set with curtains, a hay covered floor, even a swing and we set about doing various poses and styles for the next few hours.
After the shoot I went home, probably drank tea and watched my boyfriend at the time playing Call of Duty with his friends, I can't really remember as it was years ago.

I thought nothing of it for the next year or so, it was just a shoot I had done and as I'd been paid it was just work. Occasionally I'd get a message from someone that they had seen my photo in a company newsletter, then in a magazine, once it even graced the cover of an Australian magazine someone was kind enough to have sent to me. 
I've never just come across them myself, people always found them and let me know, unsure if I knew my image was getting used for such things. I know they are being used but I have no say in the matter, that's what stock photos are for.

Sometimes the results were comical, advertising storage units off the motorways, sometimes kinda cool, as giant banners in a Las Vegas casino. People send me snapshots of these things all the time and it's interesting to see how far they've spread. I'm sure there must be so many more out there in this big wide world I'm not even aware of!

But there's the highs and the lows, I got paid yes, but not that much as I didn't think they would be used as much as they have. Is it down to my stunning good looks (that I apparently stole off either Rita Hayworth or Drew Barrymore depending on individual opinion), the costume which I made myself back in 2010 maybe, with its sparkles and top hat it has appealed to a mass market of people who like girls in top hats? Or the subject matter which seems more or less to be used out of context.

Three examples for you, the first kinda good as it was a giant poster next to the Eiffel Tower and also used in the Paris metro advertising a woman's football team. What whip brandishing ringmasters and football have in common I have no idea, or if it even football it's advertising as I don't speak French and went with what I'm told?!

God knows how big it is, I'm kinda glad I didn't see this myself as I would have stood open mouthed staring trying to figure out just what's going on in this poster and claiming to the locals "Moi! Moi! Est moi!"

The second is one of the lows I shall say, of all the things my face may get put to his wouldn't be one I expect. Maybe I look like someone who has had an issue of this sort before? Maybe I look like someone who gets regular smears? Maybe I just look like a lesbian? I haven't a clue.

Although the advice didn't actually come out of my mouth, it's good advice none the less.
This advert has been doing the rounds for a few years and frequently get sent or mentioned to me. It no longer amuses me I must say, cervical tests are just part of life, wether you choose to do it onscreen or not is your choice.

The last is quite cool, I used to play these games myself but no longer have an xbox or a disposable income so didn't know about this until a friend sent it to me, I friend I used to play alongside online in a previous incarnation of this game. 

Yes that is a gun pointing out a poster of me, which I received alongside a bunch of other screen shots all over the game decal (i got my other half to ask his platoon in planetside 2, that's what they said the right term is) in the new Call of Duty Ghosts that's recently been released.
Of course I posted this online as a "look where I've turned up now!" post but it lead to the usual questions "did you know?" No. "Did you get paid for it?" Well, yes three years ago when I did the stock photos and probably not enough considering how much it's been used. 

I have no regrets for the shoot I did no matter how much it's been used, but if I was to ever do one again, I would most likely charge more.
I'm a stock photo goldmine! 

Friday, 8 November 2013

The Amazing Human Milk Detector

Another night of wrenching guts, bloated, sickly and miserable I traced back over everything I had injested that day. Salad? Nope. Soup? Nope, I had made these things myself so knew that no dairy had sneaked into the recipe. Soya milk hot chocolate? Hot chocolate powder? Sometimes made with milk? Oh shit, it thought, it's happened again.
All my life my body has had an amazing ability to detect milk, my youth spent feeling ill most of the time. I turned to veganism about ten years ago, utilizing what passed for websites in 2003 I gave it my best shot, but back then it was limited. A year and a half ago, now living in the urban utopia of London, I decided it would be easier this time around and really went for it head first. 

It worked! No longer was I constantly tired and sick but I then discovered a hidden talent. Cutting out milk completely meant my body could now trace the smallest amounts of milk in any product, it announces itself less regularly but a lot more painfully as time goes on. The smallest drop can lead to me whining and curled up within a matter of a half hour, but these days coeliacs is really where it's at. 

It's frustrating having an unfashionable eating requirement. The supermarket free from aisle is a great example, really it's a small section they like to hide, is it near the jams? The baking products? Or amusingly sometimes, opposite the refrigerated ham.  
On those four to six shelves there's gluten free pasta, breads, crumpets, all butter cookies (butter?! That's really rubbing it in), and more all claiming to be free from wheat. Meanwhile for the lactose intolerant like me? Here's some alpro soya gloop, it's meant to taste like chocolate. 
It tastes like depressed angel delight.

Many resturants and cafés boast of their gluten free products. Pizza Hut have a gluten free pizza base, hummingbird bakery have gluten free cupcakes, most of the products specifically made for vegans have also had gluten free flour shoved in to broaden their market base. Such a shame I'm allergic to gluten free flour, the coeliacs are trying to strangle me with their products, from the inside out. 

Tesco boasts their own free from range, as do sainsburys which are void of everything but not egg. It'll trap you that sneaky egg and reminds me of the worst day date I ever had just last summer.
I was still fresh to London and had arranged a day of walking around Hampstead Heath in the lovely heat that summers day. I should have realised when my sheer light summer dress couldn't hide my stomach ballooning to double it's size something was about to go wrong, I lasted as far as Hampstead station before declaring we should really go to a cafe first, right now, this very minute.... 
I had to rush to the bathroom for an immediate body emergency, I had to stay and see it through to the bitter end, but I had chosen the cafe with only one toilet. Soon French tourists had gathered outside the frosted glass, knocking less and less politely as time passed. They had a child, oh dear god I had to let them in.
I went back to the table where my date had finished his meal and looked very confused. I sat saying nothing and sweated at the table waiting for the tourists to reappear so I could once again take refuge from my body's protests. At last I claimed ownership once again claiming to my date I was a 'bit sick'.
Eventually I decided I had to get my old friend Imodium involved, I ran out of the cafe and eventually found an open corner shop that stocked them. I took them on the way back to the cafe and after 20 minutes of awkward conversation I felt well enough to go walk the Heath. 
It was embarrassing yes, but it saved me from trying to make small talk with the guy who's accent I couldn't really follow, this was probably made more clear on the Heath when I started to just ignore whatever he was saying anyway.
That day I learned, my body also detects egg.

You'd be surprised at the things that contain milk, I am. My mother doesn't believe me the amount of times I've had to ask if there's dairy in things claiming that "surely, there won't be dairy in a tomato soup" before the waitress returns saying it was cooked with butter. I've learned the hard hard locked in a cafe toilet hard way to always check and double check.

And to prove my point, here is a list of things you wouldn't expect milk in -

Salt and pepper Pringles, it's salt. And pepper. So what the milk in there for...?

I used to love these, and I check every time I see them just in case but no, there's always milk in there.
Hint of lime? Lies....

You may have gathered by now, I quite like crisps...
Smokey bacon while they are vegetarian nothing gives that bacony essence more than some milk. 
The roast chicken don't have any in, but do have dried chicken breast so I don't eat them. Mmm powdered meat.

It's not all bad tho, here's some things that don't...!

Yes it's BBQ like, so meaty but actually has a tick on its side that it's suitable for vegans. Good job, get to work on those pepper ones tho.

Oh yes....they don't work with salsa, or any dipping actually but if you miss the feel and look of orange powder stuck to your finger tips this is the way to go.

Now these, tescos own skips style maize snack. 
Real skips? Not vegan.
Fake skips that taste just the same, only come in big bags, and are cheap? Vegan. 

Maybe if my diet consisted of less crisps I would find more to eat.
People use these labels these days as a reason that they are now eating healthy, I cut out bread and now I've lost weight! What're you eating instead then? Oh fruit, vegetables...
I combat this by probably being quite unhealthy. Yes I do eat properly but I can also eat a whole bag of those bad boy fake skips in 10 minutes. 

I do my best, but with society helping the new in Vouge allergy mine is being overlooked. I spend stupid amounts in holland and Barrett's, I know exactly what I can and can't eat when it comes to crisps and buiscuits (jammy dodgers, bourbons, and some supermarket own brand digestives and rich tea all fine) but my list of allergies, even to things that actually don't come out of animals bits, mean I'm the worst dinner party guest ever. 

One day I hope my dietary requirements becomes the new fashionable one to have, we reclaim the free from aisle, cafés and chains pander to us, and the alpro soya gloop cheers up a bit. 
Till then I shall barricade myself at home with home cooked meals, for fear more than anything else.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Why my latest purchase was a typewriter....

I enjoy writing, I always have done since a young age where it was the only school subject I was half decent at. I'm not very academically minded so to be good at anything the school deemed a useful life skill was something I felt proud of.
My family encouraged me but it fell to the wayside somewhat as I started to travel, work, and experience life outside of books. As a child I would take the maximum (six) allowed from the library every week and devour each book one after the other, reading one a day sometimes. I was a lonely child.
Even when I was a student through college and university it was known that if I started a book I would ignore everyone and everything until I was done reading it.

And so I started writing again, I'm aware my posts have quite a varied range as I practice writing, different subject matters and toning my technique but essentially that is what I would like to do, write.
I've always admired writers, especially those who write taken from their own life experiences. Mainly Hunter S. Thompson who I have a tattoo of, and regularly argue that Hunter would be a perfectly acceptable name for our first child.

So I bought a type writer. 
My favourite film is about Hunter S. Thompson, played by Bill Murray called "Where the Buffalo Roam" which it seems hardly anyone I know has heard about, find it, go watch it, enjoy it. 
In the film Thompson (Murray) is shown sitting at a type writer recounting events, smoking cigarettes and teaching his dog to attack an effigy of Richard Nixon. 
The typewriter sticks in my mind, and when I saw this baby blue vintage type writer it decided I needed it, it's still usable but I doubt I will make any attempts to write a novel on it, the tape is dried up and I have no idea which is the correct replacement but it is a reminder to write more often.

The ideas and words that fill my head and feel that they must be expressed and shared with the world. Who knows why my head feels the need to express itself in such a manner but all my mind and body wants to do is write more and more, improving, imagining various scenarios and stories that I could explore and hope would interest others. I am always happy receiving feedback, debating and generally talking about such subjects with readers. Yesterday's post lead to a lot of interesting interactions and only makes me yearn more to write, hopefully at a level where my words could even possibly one day sometime god willing be published in good old black and white. Or these days various colours on various colours, but never ever ever will I allow my words to become "comic sans-ed".

I read when time allows, usually stories written about the authors life which is possibly why some of my writings have been quite personal as it's the best experience to draw from, but I just haven't stopped living yet. 
My boyfriend and family are supportive, reading my current blogs and articles and talking to me about the inner workings of it all. My mother asked me today as we caught up over a cup of coffee if I'm getting paid for my writings yet, I'm not, I am stupidly tapping away for free as I'm either very generous, or not so smart. But as she suggests I charge by the word if you've read thus far you all owe me a fair bit by now.

In seriousness now I have come to a crossroads.
I'm happy people have enjoyed and responded to the style, make up, and review posts it is not where my heart lies truthfully. But as they are so well received I feel I should carry them on.
But tucked away along these posts I have turned my hand to articles which fall under a completely different category all together it may not appeal so much to those who want the review posts.
So loyal readers (I assume as much as you've read all the above) do I seperate these types of writings into seperate places or combine the two as I have done thus far? 

Till them I am ready to write...!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Million mask march

Last night people from 477 cities all over the world donned masks, mainly the newest anti-government recognisable symbol of the V for Vendetta guy Fawkes mask made popular from the comic book and then film franchise. Yes a franchise owned by Hollywood company time-warner but originally used for the comic books written by Alan Moore and David Lloyd in 1982. 
The film raised awareness of guy Fawkes and his original plot outside of the uk where it has been a known story and holiday for every man, woman and child but until now has only been a celebration of burning a man at the stake, then decending into firework displays and bonfires which from my earliest memories meant firework safety, scare adverts and warnings, the one sticking in my memory is when my school warned the shell suit wearing that was popular in early 90's Liverpool, was dangerous as the material could light easily and you could burn to death in a shell suit flaming drama.
The masks have been since donned by the group anonymous more known to start with a hashtag and are referred to as "hacktavists" working mainly online, as people marched some websites were reportedly hacked although the details of which and why have not been revealed publicly.

If you wanted to learn more about the marches you should look for the hashtag #millionmaskmarch as to look to the news you will find little to no information, the bbc devoting all of two paragraphs and a closed comment section on their website, the guardian although using twitter to find more information from the people involved and taking over the hashtag have one upped the bbc with three whole paragraphs and an open comment section where people argue over the use of the masks which of course gives some funds to Time - Warner and if Russell brand can be taken seriously as a participant.

All of these things are distractions to the marches themselves, people feel disappointed that there was no to little media coverage but who were they trying to send the message to? The mainstream? The media itself who are aware but have chosen to not cover? Or to the actual government that society is so angry toward?
The marchers of London descended towards Buckingham Palace, possibly confusing many tourists along the way, and met with police barricades protecting our nations figurehead, but isn't that what the gates and her many guards are for? The people of Washington marched to the whitehouse where an American flag was burned which in America is known as the biggest fuck you to America. 
I wonder if that flag was made in China.

Videos and photos from the marches all over the world are now circulating online, I could have easily used a few here but I found it somewhat pointless, photos of burning flags, videos of men either drunk or high on the adrenaline dancing shirtless but masked on the top of statues while screaming "freedom" cheapened the point of these marches. Some cities took it more seriously than others but as with every protest some take it too far, they help to get their fellow protesters labelled as idiots or vandals. They help the media to taint them and miss the point completely.

In Washington a building was defaced with spray paint, windows were broken all by mask wearing individuals which will help the media in their case to brush it under the carpet. 
In the Uk people argued that Russell brand was and I quote a "fag" who is trying to claim the attention to himself. Maybe it is hard to believe that a successful comedian and actor may feel the same as the average joe on the street, but how many protesters can really take this message to the mainstream media, brand being hot topic lately due to arguing on air with Jeremy Paxman has always been rather outspoken, however I do remember a video that he even showed himself on his own tv show of him stripping naked and dancing on top of a car during a previous protest, back when he wasn't a household name. 

I wonder how the writers of the original comic feel about this, are they happy their message came across? Are they sad it took over 30 years to do so? Is Natalie Portman glad she shaved her hair for this?! 
And now we sit and wait to see if anything changes, if only one parliament listen from the many many countries that took part in this than has it been a success? Or have the select few tainted the point of the many? 
We shall have to wait and see.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Nearly home

As the people pushed and gathered around me I decided this train was a loss, I was at highbury and islington and saw that there would be another overground just after this. I had my suitcase at the fullest it may have ever been since I moved to London just a year and a half before, a heavy handbag and a tote bag bursting with the new winter coat I had seemingly prematurely bought.

As the train moved away the station guard seemed to be offering me advice, I smiled at him politely until I realised his advice was less than useless as he suggested I move away from the front doors and further down the platform. "It opens to the exit of my station, it'll take me to right by the ramp so I get get out of the station easier" I claimed, he offered in response that "everyone wants to be at the front, what if there's prams, or bikes, or four other people have suitcases?" His accent was the thick Irish I have to pay close attention to to understand with my genetic bad hearing and the trains coming and going. "It's fine, trust me I do it all the time." He shook his head and walked away still muttering about suitcases and prams.

The train arrived promptly after and I got into position to let people off and get on as quickly as possible, all Londoners know this trick well and usually it works but my plan was scuppered. Large French family, 9 or so kids who I couldn't count due to them constantly moving between three mothers who didn't realise it was up to them to teach their children the manners it would help to stop receiving death stares while vacationing. 

They jumped on, tiny legs becoming ever so close to the wheels of my suitcase, and scarpered to find any remaining seats to take up although they could have easily fit two to each seat. I claimed my orange checkered throne with many bags in tow and started the disdainful tutting that tourists may mistake for birds in neighbouring trees. There are no trees in that station.
I recounted the strange semi argument with the station guard and wondered if he had somehow foretold that the annoyance would not come from being able to get on and off the train, but just using the train itself.
Eventually it came to my stop, and theirs.

As they took forever to use the station barriers going through in clumps at a time I lost any patience I may have had left, they crowded around walking down the street I was also walking down, children running back and forth while the mothers gossiped about whatever French film star is the latest worth gossiping about. 
My thoughts turned to the fire sticks and fuel in my suitcase and wondered if now was the time to start fire breathing, clearing myself a path and gaining myself murder or GBH charges for at least 12 people, but soon I was free as they had gathered confused about directions outside the one pub you probably wouldn't gather at if you knew the area at all, and I broke free. Almost home.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Ageing disgracefully

Sometimes I like to be able to pretend I'm younger than I am. I'm the wrong side of 25 and add a few years, while working in an industry where youth, energy and the ability to kick your leg over your head can be sometimes useful, now I have to face the dwindling energy, that I may pull something if I kick too high, and that I get sleepy past 1am.

I push through it and it's not completely uncommon for me to crawl onto a night bus home blinking in the sunrise, feeling somewhat ashamed at not having been to bed yet while others I'm commuting with are on their way to work, not from what I consider to be work. Sometimes, I'm paid in alcohol.
I crawl into bed drawing all the curtains and try to pretend it's only midnight, make believing that eight hours sleep doesn't mean I'll wake up at 3pm in the afternoon before lazing on the couch with a take away because "I worked really hard last night".

Luckily I don't look my age, or so it would appear to anyone anytime I try to buy cigarettes or alcohol. Most corner shops don't ask but every supermarket employee whether younger, older or even the same age as me feel obliged to question my age.
As I'm aware from previous encounters the disbelief, I watch for their reactions when they figure out my age as I find it amusing enough to even be requested to prove that I can live the life of nicotine and alcohol infused sin. 
Only if you look over 25!
Some try to play it cool, glancing and without meeting eye contact completing the transaction, mainly women will compliment that I don't look my age to which I reply that I certainly feel it. Just the other day while awaiting a reaction to my birthdate I was met with a loud "gosh!" Which turned into a conversation I have repeated many times about how I'll appreciate it when I'm older.
I am older, I'm older than you thought I was.

I remember maybe a year or two ago a rather young looking man had to ask me, and he asked nervously it would seem but I smiled as I handed over proof of ageing. It was the best reaction I had ever had. His mouth shot open and he seemed to almost jump as he figured the numbers out in his head, I of course started to laugh as the reaction seemed so strange and dramatic. He blushed and allowed me to continue filling my lungs with their much required tar.

One day it'll catch me, that I know for sure, overnight it will seem I drank from the wrong cup in raiders of the lost ark and on that day, I can leave my passport at home.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Tempest storm, burlesque queen...!

When I was a child I hoped that by the age of 21 I would have already lived an amazing life, I was to an extent as I had not long been performing in a then small scene called burlesque, travelling, meeting new people, and honing my craft.
So when I learn of a beautiful inside and outside burlesque super star, who dated Elvis, liaised with JFK, and was friends with Marilyn Monroe all while becoming famous in her own right I feel like she is someone to aspire to, someone who built her craft and made her name when the burlesque scene was booming and yet even now in 2013 she is only the tender age of 21.
Imagine, she has lived 84 adventure filled years full of love, heartbreak, glory and sometimes sadness all while creating a unique stage persona that has not and cannot be matched all while keeping the burlesque scene of America alive. And she's 21!
I am of course talking about the leap year baby that is one of the icons of burlesque then and now, a pioneer of the sexual revolution, miss Tempest Storm. 
She is truly the Queen of Burlesque working in the scene when performers became household names, and hers did, but sometimes for the wrong reasons. Her name was smeared in papers and tabloids of the time when her affair with JFK was revealed to the world, but she kept her head held high and rightfully so.

She started work as a young woman, cotton picking in the fields of Southern Georgia before finding her love for the stage. Her certain, ahem, attributes helped to launch her stardom earning the nickname of owning "the two biggest props in Hollywood" she had a bust that caused envy across the world, and lust in the rich and famous.
Launching her career during the 50's Tempest kept on stripping till into her 80's but it's been quite the career. She was even offered studio contracts with reputable studios MGM, who sadly couldn't see past her relationship and love for an African American Man, in a time when segregation was still the norm she shocked with choosing love in an interracial relationship.

Any burlesque dancer worth her salt knows who Tempest Storm is, and even those who don't know the name will recognise her as the fiery red head alongside Bettie Paige in the cult classic, Teasorama filmed by Irving Klaw. During the making of those films she was the top billed star not only of that movie but of burlesque clubs all over the USA.
She has since worked closely to help bring the always hotly anticipated Exotic World competitions and kept the scene alive for this new generation of performers.

This is all just a snippet of her life and stories, I'm sure there are so many many more and I hope to hear them, as I'm sure you are but for this to happen the help and generosity of burlesque lovers and performers would help to make a documentary of Tempests life, filled with never before revealed footage, photos, and even her personal letters and scrapbooks over the years as well as intimate interviews with Tempest herself.
The film has already won a $7,500 start up fee at pitchfest, and has hit over half of it's required production costs through a kickstarter campaign that ends on the 9th October but there's still some way to go yet. 

There has already been so much interest in the documentary directed by renowned award winning film maker, Nimisha Mukerji and produced by Kaitlyn Regehr and will feature interviews with some of the burlesque queens of today including Lou Lou D'Vil and Dita Von Teese as well as interviews with friends of Elvis and JFK. This is definitely a film I want to see, as one of the last living legends of the age of the sexual revolution, and I'm sure you do too so donate what you can to help make this film a reality.
I am. 

So let's all do what we can, please share this blog, tweet the link for the kickstarter, share it on your Facebook and have this important and amazing story told. 
It's a good thing she's finally hit 21, she can now raise a glass with us all to celebrate not only this film, but her life. 
Go to to read more and of course to donate, there are plenty of goodies in return for donating including previews of the interviews with tempest so far!

Cheers to you Tempest!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Getting heathy to feel happy update two....

So it's been early a month since I posted the original post about joining a gym and eating healthier in the pursuit of happiness, energy, and also to get a bit toned and healthier!
It's been six weeks since I started to go to the gym, and the changes have been noticeable all around, I feel more energetic, usually after a workout so no matter how tired I feel once I've hit the gym I've woken up and feel more perky than if I'd stayed in bed an extra hour.
I still feel more positive and except for maybe the occasional half hour once or twice in that time I haven't felt the usual depression kick in and instead seem to resolve myself to deciding to change things for the better, kick some arse, and not give up.

It hasn't all been easy sailing, I've been keeping track of how many calories I'm burning only to ensure I'm eating enough to level it out and stop my body from freaking out and storing weight but it's been a lot harder than I expected to find enough to eat while not resorting to junk food! 
I'm reading up a lot on healthy eating and exercises so hopefully I'll figure it out and it will get easier with time. But on a vegan diet I shall never give up my carbs!
I've also experienced the odd moment of water retention which goes away after a few days but means you push a little harder worrying that the toning affect is wearing off.

The worse thing recently though would be tearing a stomach muscle during a workout, it's a lot more painful than I expected and it forced me to take it easy at a time I didn't want to but with that happening on the Monday, I was filming with fellow cabaret folk for the upcoming cabariot video the next day, dancing in a club Thursday, and had four shows in one day on the Saturday! 
Luckily after a week I was back to normal and could start to resume where I had left off. 

This photo is after two weeks of working out regularly, my stomach had already started to tone and my body shifting all it's lumps around. 

This is now, after six weeks I've started to develop some muscle, my waist has started to nip in again and the "love handles" are shrinking. 
I'm working on my core, thighs, and arms a lot and seem to be gaining strength, better balance and a better posture. I still have a way to go yet but the change has become noticeable and had many comments from people I've known a long time.

I want to keep my curves so don't worry I'll never get super skinny or muscley, in fact part of the reason was to gain some weight and although my weight goes up and down each day I've gained nearly a stone in weight, from unhealthy underweight 7 stone to nearly hitting 8 stone in only six weeks.
My stamina has improved (not like that, dirty minders..!) but to explain exactly how unhealthy I was before when I started going to the gym a minute and a half of running on the treadmill would lead to a stitch and I would have to stop. After building it up slowly I can now do ten minutes of running without any pains, shortness of breath or stitches at all. It doesn't sound like much I know but for me it is a huge improvement as I've never been able to run without these problems since I was a child! 

I received so many messages, with support or saying how it inspired them so thanks everyone who got in touch, read the previous and this blog post, and for all the kind words over these past few weeks!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

How getting older makes me feel like a teen....

I'm currently tucked up in bed cuddling a hot water bottle, and no not for the reasons you may be assuming but because of pushing myself too hard at the gym, and managing to tear a stomach muscle. it's rather irritating and fairly painful but also served as a lovely reminder that I'm not indestructible and that I'm also getting older...
I know I'm not that old yet, before anyone starts up reminding me I'm yet to hit thirty, or forty, or have any kids yet etc but the past year has bought about some strange, fairly frustrating and fairly odd body changes that no one warned me about.

I've spoken to many friends and family about it all who may be a little older than me and understand exactly what I'm talking about though I didn't have a clue till it started to happen to me. 
I hit a second puberty, in my late 20's. 

My body tried different weights again, shooting it up and down before finally resting on the shape I'm hoping it sticks with for a while. There were some good points, my boobs grew and changed shape to something I much preferred to their previous incarnation. It was like I received a free and painless boob job, and my "new boobs" seem still to get slightly bigger every passing week. 
This I could get in board with, I had absolutely no problem with this as someone who had previously been considering a boob job but feared the surgery and the costs.

There were also bad points however, mainly to my skin which started to resemble my teenage terrible skin trauma, but instead of suffering me with spots seem to settle on some under the surface red discolouration which looked like it could be spots or scars from acne but wasn't. Instead it was something I couldn't really do anything about at all!
I tried exfoliating, different moisturisers, changed my products repeatedly but settled onto having to apply more make up to hide them as they made me feel rather embarrassed and as someone who still gets regularly questioned for ID (even in clubs I may be dancing in!) I worried they made me actually look like a teenager once again.

The strangest thing I felt about this wasn't the teenage skin, the growing boobs as that's probably more monitored by my other half than me, or the change in figure but that when mentioning it to others of the same or slightly older age as me they knew exactly what I meant, went through it themselves, or still were and it was talked about in such an abrupt yeah that's what it is kind of a way.
But when talking about it to anyone yet to even hit their mid twenties they didn't understand what I was talking about and I worried I was being a scary oracle of the future to them. "You're boobs will grow and you'll hate your skin again, ooooohhhhh!!!" 
This makes me wonder why there was no warning, no tips, no advice, even google doesn't come up with any tips! So here I am going to share some things that have helped me in this second puberty of mine.

1. Get a pot of Lush's Dark Angels face wash, after a year of trying to hide the bad skin which stayed in the same area for over a year (!?!) which changed shades of angry to angrier red using this face was has actually started to fade the discolouration. It will still take a while to disappear completely but with the amount of products and things I tried this is the only one to have made a difference. 
It's inexpensive, vegan, natural, and works, but it is Charcoal black, doesn't rinse of brilliantly and you will find bits of its naturalness has stayed glued to your hairline and neck. 

2. Enjoy your new boobs, I treated myself to new lingerie after finding I'd gained two extra inches (the main change was on the shape so my older bras still fit fine, I just fill them better!) and enjoyed finally having cleavage, a more pleasant shape, and more to play with. Girls play with their own boobs, it's a thing, move on.

3. Don't freak out as your body decides to try and morph into new shapes, it usually just leads to fuller curves as it tries to remind you of your purpose to have children. Bigger boobs and hips? Really subtle body. But that process for me passed very quickly.

4. Talk to your friends and family, it would seem most of them have been there too and while you won't really get tips on now to deal with it, it does help to know you're not the only one and its actually pretty amusing as a conversation topic.

5. Lets all talk about this more, it's so common yet how did I not know it was going to come along? Women's body's go through many hormonal changes but I only knew of three...puberty, pregnancy and menopause. But why there is no information or openness about these in between changey times? Lets not keep it all secret, it's life, it happens, it's not embarrassing or worth hiding so lets relive our youths while we all age a bit....! Hurrah!! 

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Getting healthy to feel happy....

I haven't posted for a while, for which I apologise. I've been going through the wars with depression which three weeks ago really came to a head when all I could do was stay in bed all day, eating nothing but a rather unhealthy mix of Jammie dodgers and chilli Doritos (and yes both of those are vegan..!) but I felt awful for it. I had no energy, I was severely depressed, and I just felt terrible.
Two weeks ago after some long talks and planning with my other half we pushed to make a big change, we joined a gym. 

We started to go along together but then he had to be away and work for a week which would usually lead to me not leaving the house, staying at home alone but instead I got up, made a smoothie and went to the gym for 1-2 hours nearly every day. Already I started to feel more energetic, after only a few days my stomach started to tone, my boobs became more pert and to my delight after worrying about recent butt sagginess, my butt actually lifted...! 

But the change that really were the results I wanted? I felt more positive, I felt active and like I was actually taking care of myself properly for the first time in a long time. 
As well as exercising which I'm now doing between 4-5 times a week at the gym, on those days my energy has been sapped too much or my body needs a gym break I still exercise at home by doing squats, lunges, push ups, crunches, and so on, I'm also making sure that I'm eating and drinking right.

Before I head out to the gym I'll make a super healthy smoothie and drink before and during my work outs. I invested all of £20 in a blender and headed to my local green grocers for fruit and veg. It's been fun trying out different variations, my SO always wants some too if he's coming with me or not, and they make amazing hangover cures...!
I've made so many different types but this one is my favourite and I tweak it every now and then so I shall do a first on here, I shall give you a recipe.

This smoothie contains a handful of blueberries, great for antioxidant properties, 6 frozen strawberries which cools down the smoothie as well as add some amazing flavour (and on a side note, strawberries whiten teeth, after two weeks or having them nearly every day I'm surprised to say it actually works!), blackberries, raspberries, frozen grapes, kale which may sound gross but in smoothie form you can't taste it at all so I use a handful in every batch. It's basically spinach plus and gives so much energy, and now most supermarkets sell it in bags for only £1! As well as the fruit and veg I add a teaspoon full of a flaxseed, sunflower seed, goji bean and more powder which is full of protein and can be added to a lot, I even throw it on top of salads and potatoes. 
For extra refreshment sometimes I will add some mint leaves too, between the mint and the frozen fruit it is extremely refreshing and really helps to keep the stamina going while working out. 

So as well as smoothies I seem to have a habit of eating a giant salad followed by boiled new potatoes with plenty of butter straight after the gym, the mix of healthy salad leaves followed by a plate of tasty carbs seems to be what my body cries out for after a workout, thank god it's just so delicious anyway! 

After only two weeks there's the health benefits, the visible toning in places, the renewed energy but the main outcome is that I feel happier, people have mentioned lately that I seem happier, I talk more in a positive spin rather than focus on the negative and although my conversations may be in more of a gym geeking out I feel better in conversations as I have something nice to say rather than trying to hide any depression I may be suffering. 

For me this wasn't about losing weight, I'm actually hoping it will help me to gain some as I've previously been underweight in recent years which lead to scary chest pains and a worse mental state. I'm happy to have toned up and hope that I can some more over time but to feel positive again, to feel like I'm achieving on my days off rather than hiding away, and so many many other benefits I'm already feeling it has been completely worth every second. 

That is after only two weeks of working out, I haven't lost any weight from it but my stomach has started to sculpt, but still I won't show my makeup-less face..! 

My secret to hitting the machines longer without counting down the timer has been to add a lot of books onto my ipad to read on some of the machines, so it's lead to me actually reading more too. 

So there you have it, being healthier and actually looking after myself has the most benefit on my mind than anything else. I shall keep it up and update at some point along the line, but now I only have one more thing I need to do health wise...
I need to quit smoking. 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Introverts part two....

There were so many things I could have added, examples, more intricate detailing, and so on that I decided to elaborate more on this subject.
Since I published the previous post yesterday I had a stream of comments from fellow people, performers, models, promoters etcetera telling me they feel the same, that they prefer their own company and like to stay involved more in a happy bubble than go sit awkwardly in a large group. 
But I wonder if these people do similar to me, to gravitate towards extroverted people in the hope that it will help you to somehow gain the confidence and ability to talk to others and somehow by osmosis become an extrovert yourself. 
Once you are an introvert it is highly unlikely you will suddenly change, you can't change your personality and I'm sorry to tell you but being an introvert is part of you. But that is a good thing, that is what makes your conversations (once you get into the swing of them) more interesting, deeper, meaningful, that's what makes you loyal and loving to those you care about rather than surround yourself with acquaintances, that's what makes you use your imagination, be thoughtful, seek knowledge. 
I'm not saying by any means that extroverts are less imaginative or thoughtful, but I do know we probably have more time to do these things as people who prefer to stay in to do such things!
I don't long to be an extrovert, but I do long for sharing drinks with friends without feeling awkward, to not dread going to a party if its friends, strangers, or even family, to feel like a loser because you kill time wandering around alone. It would be nice to just feel comfortable in the presence of others rather than freaking out internally while trying to remain calm. 
If you ever see my eyes darting around a lot when in a group, that's me panicking....!
I feel calmer with my partner by my side, someone's hand to hold onto but still there are occasions when it's just too much and I withdraw from everyone, including him, till I get home and calm down a little. I start to worry that people find me weird or don't like me so I feel strange around them and misinterpret everything as them not wanting me around. If I can't get my words out, feel purposefully excluded, I start to feel more awkward. This has happened on so many occasions and I will share one with you. 
A few years ago I tried to become closer friends with a group of girls that I knew, individually I got on with each of them fine and got on well one to one. But we always used to go to the same gigs and pubs etc. I would usually get there before anyone as I would go for the start of the band, so I would grab a table and a drink. Usually these girls would turn up together and get a table somewhere else, tho I may have had spaces for us all. It made me feel so horrible and I started to refuse to go along, I'd get upset over it and felt like they hated me so I haven't stayed in touch since I moved. I still don't understand why they would do this, if they didn't see me, or just didn't actually like me but to exclude me so really knocked my confidence terribly. If I see similar behaviour in others I immediately give up. 
I wonder if fellow introverts experience such behaviour from others, or if it really is just me.
That is why I have added this example in here. 

But I guess I will never change, and neither will the people around me so I have to learn how to cope, to deal with situations, not take things so personally or maybe just figure if that how some act would I really want them around anyway? Answers on a postcard please....! Okay, a comment will do...

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Coming out to say I'd prefer to stay in....

Yes it's a big secret, well to anyone who sees me onstage probably anyways, but I am an introvert....
I've always been the socially awkward girl at parties, sat in groups, trying to have conversations with people I don't know well enough yet. 
I am no good at small talk, it takes me a long time to get to know people, and more than a handful have admitted to me they thought I was rude or didn't like them when they first met me. Gladly the ones who stuck around got to know me well enough to know that it isn't a personal thing, I rarely click with people instantly and though I work hard to try to fit in and make friends that is exactly how it feels, hard work. 
I never know what to say and even times when I do I find I get talked over, I can't add to conversations because I'm not bold enough and worry what I say isn't important, and usually find myself withdrawing, smiling politely, and waiting till I can just go home again. 
Some days are worse than others, some days I can't bear to leave the house as interacting seems too daunting, I'm writing this due to having one of those days today. I get lonely because the friends I have clicked with live far away and I haven't been as able to click with new people although I do try. 
I have few friends and friendships that have lasted, I hold these friends dearly but I also hold grudges so when I make plans or want to see someone only for them to be cancelled I start withdrawing myself away from them which is sad but I can't seem to help it, I feel betrayed, unimportant, unworthy. 
I try to act more like an extrovert but I find this easier to do with people I don't know so well, I have great nights out with people I've only just met but somewhere between meeting someone, and forming a good friendship I start to self doubt, I become shy, I don't say much and this freaks out the vast majority. 

This about sums it up, I can't seem to open my mouth at the right time and rarely do I say the right things. I have no filter, I'm too abrupt, too honest and offend people without meaning to. 
If you're reading this and I have ever done any of those things to you then please know it was not my intention. 
Onstage I can be as comical, sexy, and daft as I like to be without this being viewed as a weird trait but more a part of the performance but I do sometimes struggle to interact with people backstage or after shows unless I've had a few drinks to calm my nerves, this is why I love whiskey so much! 
I do like to go out, I like to be sociable on occasion, I'd love to have shopping partners, girls to grab cocktails with, and go dancing with friends but I just don't think I am that kind of girl, I don't know if I will ever be. I like sitting at home with my boyfriend who I'm lucky to have, because he understands these traits, won't try to push me out of my comfort zone, and is willing to be patient but I'm sure he doesn't mind that some nights I would rather watch whole series of tv shows, films, play computer games, find interesting things on Pinterest, and write blogs while ordering take away and sharing wine. 
So now I have shared my personal view point, to my fellow introverts, lets all stay in touch...through the medium of the Internet...

Sunday, 28 July 2013

The worrying mistreatment of women in this day and age.....

Women have always got the short end of the deal for hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of years.
But this year there has been more of an outcry against the mistreatment of women which has made it become more of a socially aware problem. Women are speaking out, confronting those who make lewd comments, striking back at those who use our sex as a power over us. 
The disgusting behaviour seen used towards outspoken female writers and journalists to the point where they are threatened with rape, or worse told they would deserve it is sickening in its manner. Faceless Internet users using comments on articles they disagree with or more likely failed to understand, sending direct tweets to the writers so that their feed is full of threats against them or sexist idiotic comments usually involving sandwiches. (I wonder how many of the men who say such things actually work in a subway, it would explain their obsession) 

So are we not allowed to express our opinion? Why would having one mean we would deserve a terrible crime that can ruin lives? Do male writers get similar threats if their view is disagreed with? 
Using rape as a threat is a way of holding their supposed power over us as they are men, and we are not, who in their right mind would believe that this is an adequate way of expressing their dislike for the women they threaten. I would like to think most who say that wouldn't actually stoop to the low pathetic level a rapist really holds, but even to use it as a threat makes them no better. 
So why is this now a common trend, is it the rise of the Internet making it easy for idiots to make themselves known, or has society really crumbled so badly that these pigs (I no longer want to even refer to them as men, they don't earn that respect to be labelled as intelligent human life) are now multiplying like a wet gremlin? They suit the term gremlins actually if you think of the green scaled creatures that act horribly, I can imagine sunglasses wearing gremlins writing to someone they dislike on twitter with phrases such as "legalize groping, no means yes lolz" while chuckling before running off to cause more mischief. This was an actual tweet sent to Caroline Criado-Parez sent by possibly the dumbest gremlin out there. I added the "lolz" just to highlight the stupidity of the comment, and of the phrase lol.

Just one stupid comment like this causes backlash against the poster, who doesn't seem to take any of the comments on board and instead calls forth his fellow trolls to make such situations elevate. Women shouldn't have to take such abuse, and its terrible that nowadays making your disagreement towards such comments only leads to yet more abuse, worse threats, and more people involving themselves in the tirade of sexist threatening comments. 
So what are we meant to do, just take it..? Ignore it and hope it stops? Or point out that what they are doing is wrong while knowing our protests will fall onto deaf ears? Why within an age when equality is a more viable way of life do we then lose the respect we should hold? 
I refer to equality as only viable in that last sentence as women still are paid less than men in a lot of industries, still seen as the secondary sex in a lot of countries around the world, and that we still have to battle to have any respect in the eyes of the people causing the problem I'm talking about here. 

The last point I shall make I think is probably the most important, that the people using the Internet in such a manner have access to it, a worldwide format which they could use to expand their views and mind, express opinions to millions of people, reach out to different people and cultures yet this is how they chose to use it? These people possibly have smartphones, they may live in places where we expect equality to be something they grew up with, where they would have been taught by their parents and schools to respect each other no matter what yet still this is the manner they choose to represent themselves in for the world to see?

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Weight loss adverts follow me everywhere....

There's been a trend lately, one we all see in the run up to summer of magazines declaring their tips on how to get your body bikini ready, lose 5 lbs in one week, cheat yourself slim, detox diets, etc etc which are frankly bad enough and the reason I rarely buy women's magazines.
The only times I do is before a long train ride and I usually regret it quickly when I feel my IQ points dropping alongside my self esteem. 
Why can't I have perfect skin like them? Why do I have bits that wobble when they don't? Oh wait photoshop, of course we don't all walk around with a magical filter that makes us look like these fake emanciated designer dress wearing coat hangers. 
All my photos are photoshopped, big reveal there, no one has perfect skin, bagless eyes, lack of stretch marks even after three/ four kids. Even I have stretch marks despite having no kids, my arse has sagged slightly now I'm reaching my 30's, I do have wrinkles under that make up somewhere. 
But why do I bring all this up? The worrying fact that even scrolling your Facebook feed and twitter feed will show you pictures of grinning celebrities who have millions of pounds, personal trainers, and access to plastic surgeons without blowing a lifetime of savings but somehow lost weight with this cheap easily accessible diet tip! You sit on the Internet and are a girl, your esteem must be low, just click this link and we will make your skinny dreams come true. 
Well, guess what Internet, I am skinny and what's more, I don't like it. 
I've lost weight lately due to stress, working a lot, travelling and not being able to eat as much as I do when I'm at home. This has taken a toll on my stomach meaning its in pain after I eat, I seem to get none of the nutritional value of the rather healthy food I do eat due to it and it has lead to loss of weight, more worry, more stress and a fair amount of pain. Well, that's a diet tip for you...
So I did what we all do secretly, I googled the problem and the only information google had to offer on my rather worrying situation? More diet tips. 
Since when do we take our choices and personal well being from Internet adverts placed before our eyes in a not even discreet manner? The adverts have grown larger and their content more worrying.
Does my 14 year old sister get the same adverts placed on her feed? Does my mother? How about my other friends, family, and fellow performers? 

Burlesque has always been about loving the body beautiful, and I think it does on the most part. It would be nice if that extended out into society some more rather than having ideal shapes.
How about an ideal happiness, an ideal level of just being healthy, there's such a thing as too skinny, there's such a thing as too fat but these are the extremes. Anything in between should be embraced.
Women bitch about each others weights, I'm sure I've done it myself at some point in my life, we all do and know why? Because we are conditioned to do so.
We are shown from a young age that this one certain look, weight and shape is how we should be, eating disorders are a serious problem that more people would care to admit to. I did at a young age starve myself because of my weight, but the puppy fat stayed until it was good and ready but this is all part of growing up. We change, we grow curves, we lose bumps, even our faces may change shape but this is during the age where eating disorders affect girls the worst, when really we need the food, the iron and minerals and vitamins so please let's have a change of pace here. 
Instead of diets, advertising junk food then advertising weight loss techniques lets have some positive messages that you are all fine, just as you are. Nobody's perfect, and that's what makes life perfect.