Is white washing affecting the LGBT community?

Films and TV shows that portray LGBT issues seem to divide opinions all the time. While some movies such as “the kids are alright” and “soldier’s girl” accurately reflect the LGBT communities and issues within that community there are other films that seem to be met with some skepticism including the new releases “jenny’s wedding” and “Stonewall.” A lot of the negative backlash for these movies has been based around the cliché nature of the characters and storylines as well as often missing out some of the really important issues the LGBT community actually face and coming up short on displays of affection between gay characters (yes we want more than just one kiss at the end of the film Hollywood.)

However recently, a lot of the outrage has been due to the lack of POC in these films and films being responsible for completely “white washing” the casts. Stonewall has been the most recent film to be responsible for this and consequently has faced more criticism than praise even before the films release. It’s no secret that those on the frontline of the stonewall riots were in fact people of colour, transgender people and lesbians yet the film’s trailer seems to focus on a cis white male actor (war horse’s Jeremy Irvine.)

The director, an openly gay man has simply stated that the film has been subjected to a little bit of bad marketing and the film does in fact feature POC (though there’s still talk of a big lack of lesbians and transgender people, as well as two POC characters being replaced with a white male character instead.) The statement has done little to reassure people and it’s interesting as well as important to know why.

The LGBT community is still considered an underrepresented group in many ways, so creating another film that only seems to represent gay men and ignores lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people is kind of ignoring ¾ of the LGBT community. As for the white washing, people of colour are also often overlooked in Hollywood, or represented as stereotypes, surely it’s just downright hypocritical for a movie that highlights the struggles of one underrepresented or badly treated community to do exactly the same thing to another group that suffers the same amount of prejudice and bad judgment?

Also I know they are actors, but wouldn’t it be great if we could actually get REAL gay and transgender actors instead of just employing yet another cisgender male?

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Things I Should Have Told Myself At University

Thinking back, there’s a lot of ways my uni experience could have been better, practically I did everything right, I was great with budgeting, on the whole anyway. I didn’t leave essays until the night before (just a week before) and I took advantage of freshers week, but by the end I didn’t have many friends I considered to be lifelong. A lot of that wasn’t my fault, I’m a huge nerd and didn’t find myself at home with the dolled up rich girls who went out every night clubbing and pulling, and I spent a chunk of Uni in New York where I made such good friends and miss them more and more every day. There are things I should have done though that would have helped my life and so I pass on all this advice to you.

Don’t live with a couple (Seriously even if you are with two people you think will end up together don’t live with them). I know it sounds harsh but seriously, within six months of moving in you will feel unwelcome, uncomfortable and more uneasy in your own home than you did in a dorm room. You will be left out and feel like a third wheel and it’s never fun. At least don’t live with just another couple, always live with a group if a couple is involved.

That whole 1 in 3 people find their future husband/wife uni thing may be true (though I doubt it) doesn’t mean it’s right. My experience at uni proved that living in small communities, seeing the same people all the time guarantees relationships ALL the time, but it didn’t make it right. The relationships i witnessed were often obsessive, intense and sometimes downright toxic. I sound like a bad example but, think American pie, Uni/college are meant to be the times you have fun, relax, not take life so seriously. You have all your lives to get into serious relationships and think about marriage and kids, maybe uni is the only chance you get to not be obsessed with that stuff.

Go out more if you feel like your bored! I nearly always skipped out on going out as I just always felt tired and there were a lot of people I wanted to avoid by my second year (uni dramas, ex’s, all that jazz) but now I just wished I would have tried to get friends to go to new places rather than just sit in my room when people just wanted to go to the same club as always.

Spend time in other people’s rooms. It seems weird but it’s a whole lot more fun spending time watching netflix and eating snacks with friends in their rooms compared to doing it alone in your own. Some of my fondest memories of uni was watching bad B movie horrors with one of my guy friends.

Don’t become something you’re not to fit in. I did this when seeing an ex, it wasn’t wise, I made the wrong friends, acted like somebody I wasn’t and guess where it led me? With no real uni friends after me and my ex broke up and they stopped associating me with him. This is a lesson you should carry with you all through your life anyway, never change for somebody else’s benefit, it might help in the short term but in the long term? So not worth it.

Don’t get carried away with your student loan! While those 25% off pizza express vouchers might be a great shout, companies like selfridges telling you that Marc Jacobs bag is down from £650 to £450, it’s probably not the wisest idea to blow a third of your loan on one big purchase. A girl I knew spent her ENTIRE loan in one night, spending it in a club, hiring out the VIP area and ordering bottles, needless to say she was depressed for the rest of the semester, not to mention in extreme hot water with her parents. By all means, take advantage of the discounts on sites like studentbeans and Unidays but just don’t go too crazy, especially if you don’t have the time to get a part time job during your degree.

The Most Important Films To See As A Young Adult

Mean Girls (2004)

This goes without saying, if you’re around the ages of 18-25 this movie is probably the one you quote the most (even guys know half this movie off by heart) but quotes aside it really was clever writing and had a ton of life lessons thrown in. It’s the movie that shows you how dangerous changing yourself just to fit in with an existing clique can be, not to mention teaching you how two faced girls work so you can stay clear of them. It was also great because the main character wasn’t 100% perfect, in-fact, she was kind of horrible for a lot of the film, showing that high school can bring out the worst in us, so be careful who you befriend, and always be true to yourself.

The Breakfast Club (1985)

I know a lot of people who haven’t seen this film because chances are, it was released well before they were born. Here’s the thing, this movie is just as relatable 30 years later as it was when it was released. People don’t fit so easily in set groups and you can never know who is suffering, even if they are the most popular girl in school or star athlete. Much like most of the thoughts you go through when you are in your twenties, trying to figure out your life and who you are, the breakfast club made us feel more normal as we now know even the generations before us went through those same bad times and they made it through the other side just fine, so we will too!

St Elmo’s Fire (1985)

Let’s all just appreciate the year 1985 AND director Joel Schumacher because he really did give us some amazing teen flicks with great substance and messages. Talk about problems, one of the characters is married with a child  and is an alcoholic,  another only wants to marry his girlfriend to further his political career and another is addicted to drugs and embarks on an affair with her boss, and guess what, they are all 22! If ever you need to feel like your break-up with an ex or argument with a friend is not that bad in the grand scheme of things, look at the problems the guys in this movie faced. It’s harrowing, bittersweet and touching all at the same time and proves that even through the hardest of times, people can still remain great friends.

Spring Breakers (2012)

You might be thinking…. what the hell? This movie is a strange one, the first time I saw it I thought it was just an excuse to see girls in bikini’s, taking drugs and getting involved with gangs but after watching it again I saw how important this movie actually was for young people. The revealing camera shots of the girls makes people feel uncomfortable and slowly but surely the girls find themselves in incredibly dangerous situations and one by one they return home, not being able to handle the “party” lifestyle. It showed the really destructive and more perverse sides of the YOLO lifestyle and it’s really useful in showing younger people where they should draw the line.

Stand By Me (1986)

Other than Mean Girls and spring breakers (obviously), i’m convinced the 80’s was the best time for amazing coming of age movies clearly! Stand by me is one you would think only applies to boys (lots of boy based jokes and male bonding) BUT it’s such a heartwarming movie and shows how strong the bonds of friendship can be as well as highlighting that sometimes, friends can be jerks, but in the long run, over the things that really matter, they are lifelines. On performances alone, obviously River Phoenix was amazing in this one, but Corey Feldman delivered an equally as great performance as troubled, abused Teddy Duchamp. Be warned, you will laugh, you will love, but you will certainly cry!

Obviously this list is subjective and there are plenty others I love and loved growing up, let me know your favourites and the films that truly inspired you and helped you get through young adulthood!

The 10 things I’ve learnt since turning 21

Since finishing university a lot has changed for me, not just academically but just with pretty much everything, from relationships to friendships to dreaded finance so here are the top ten things I’ve learnt since turning 21.

1. There is such a thing as a post university life crisis, it sucks but you will get through it, just hold on!

2. Being comfortable with your body and relationship status is more important than what any women’s lifestyle magazine will tell you, ever.

3. There will be friends you will lose on the way and it’s ok (if you went to uni but have friends who didn’t, you have probably experienced problems with friendships in that regard, but anyone who isn’t happy for you doing your own thing isn’t worth it.)

4. Being single at 21 is ok, it’s sometimes refreshing and actually helps you grow, in the words of the long blondes “you’re only 19 for god’s sake, you don’t need a boyfriend” (though 21 in this case).

5. Just because you’re not a student anymore doesn’t mean the budget lifestyle will disappear. Seriously don’t unsubscribe to Student beans and Unidays just yet, their advice is crucial to your financial survival in the adult world.

6. You will find anyone significantly younger than you naive, possibly foolish, and probably annoying because they really think their 16 year old problems are worse than your adult ones.

7. There are moments when you feel like the twenties is the hardest part of your life and nothing can possibly be harder and guess what, you are ok to think that, I know a lot of people who wouldn’t replay their early twenties again.

8. Having Netflix and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream as your main loves in your life is fine, no matter how many times Netflix asks if you’re ok after watching 8 hours of TV, it’s all good man, it’s all good.

9. Talking to yourself, or more importantly, your pets is a thing to be proud of, a study was recently done that shows people who talk to themselves are generally smarter than those who don’t. Also, you’re pets are the perfect listeners.

10. Travel! I know it can be expensive,and I know you might not want to spend so much time away from your boyfriend or daily routines etc but seeing the world is so important, growing and understanding different cultures is more important than thinking about marriage and kids so young.

Why Miley Cyrus IS a good role model

I remember the first ever pilot episode of Hannah Montana back in 2006, I was eleven, Miley was 12 and I remember quickly becoming obsessed with her. At school I was often teased by a lot of people, even friends for liking her when she was “innocent” and “Disney safe” and then when she went on to cause some controversy. (I’m still teased for liking her now).

She obviously has gained a bit of a bad reputation but has had one since she was around 15. It was around the time she did a provocative photo-shoot for vanity fair and was seen using a “stripping” routine at a VMA’s performance, though I always blamed her management for letting her get involved in projects like that when she was underage, rather than her herself. Regardless, I still loved her, I still loved her talent, her bright personality and yes, I always had a huge crush on her. I always believed that Disney was responsible in making stars into train wrecks when they were younger but they nearly always came through the other end fine. For me I believed Miley Cyrus would be no different. Then obviously the infamous 2013 VMA’s performance with Robin Thicke (Yes the debut of the twerking and tongue routine) blew up and wow, Miley’s credibility was almost completely lost, understandably so. She had failed to showcase her talent and instead just, honestly embarrassed herself in-front of many hard working stars.

However, again I chose to stick it out and support her as let’s face it, she was a child star, she had never had true freedom, she had come from a religious family, not to mention a stereotypical “pageant” mum and her life had been governed by Disney for so long, she was bound to act out. Listening to the song “Robot” from her album “Can’t be tamed” made me realize just how controlled she was as a young star. I went from believing that her VMA performance was a tragic mistake to actually a well thought out publicity stunt that she was happy to do. Why? She still doesn’t regret it and why is that? Because she was desperate to get rid of her Disney reputation and her image as a clean, innocent role model, after all she was 21 at this point, she wasn’t a virgin, she drank, she partied, she smoked weed but let’s face it SO many young people do and she probably didn’t get a chance to get all this stuff out of her system when she was a teen because of Disney practically holding a gun to her head if she failed to live up to her “angel cupcake cutie pie” image. Besides the fact she had gotten so tired of being labeled a bad role model, she kind of got to a point where she no longer cared about what people said and kind of had a “ok you want out of control, i’ll give you out of control” attitude.

She was desperate to erase the idea she was Hannah Montana and not Miley Cyrus, a star in her own right. The simple fact is, people need to stop seeing her as Hannah Montana, they need to stop seeing her as a Disney star and they need to stop seeing her as a child. Make no mistake, she IS a role model, just not the same kind of role model she was 2006-2012. I get it, how can a girl who strips on stage and has a potty mouth be such a good role model? Start examining the reasons why she is a good role model to young adults, rather than kids and tweens.

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Miley Cyrus for Paper magazine, an interview where she spoke about Happy Hippie Foundation

Miley Cyrus has started up her own charity named “Happy Hippie Foundation” a charity organization that fights for homeless youth, LGBTQA youth and other vulnerable populations. Miley Cyrus is not only the founder but she is more involved in her charity than any other aspect of her career as a star. Almost everything she posts now on facebook, instagram and pretty much every other platform of social media is something to do with her charity, she had a new single out that I, a die hard Miley fan didn’t even know about because she spends far more time talking about her charity than promoting her music. That’s so admirable in itself considering 80% of stars are constantly plugging things that get money in their own pockets.

Aside from that every public appearance at events like the VMA’s, Grammy’s, galas etc she ALWAYS brings a date that helps a worthy cause. Last year she brought a homeless man to an awards ceremony and when she won an award for her music, spent her entire speech talking about homeless youth in America and how we should be helping them. Even more recently she brought someone who identifies as agender (non gender specific) and a transgender man along with promoting an array of people and couples with different genders and sexualities on the charity itself. She constantly promotes this idea of acceptance for all and loving each other simply as other human beings rather than shaming those different to you. Not to mention her coming out as genderfluid and bisexual (though I think she’s happier without a label) really helped me come to terms with my own sexuality and feelings towards others.

This month she was also awarded at the amFAR awards, an organisation that promotes awareness and help for AIDS/HIV sufferers where again she gave a ten minute moving speech on how she focuses not on what she’s done, but what there is still left to do in terms of helping others, and also stated there were others that should have got the award instead of her. She also supports feminism greatly and was the one who inducted Joan Jett into the rock & roll hall of fame and spent a good fifteen minutes talking about how much Joan Jett had done for women in music and women in general. What was even better was that it was such a genuine speech and was spoken on a personal level as Miley does have a great friendship with Joan Jett herself. Miley also gets really involved with her fans, making real time for them at meet & greet events and there is not a single decent celebrity who has insulted her or not praised her good will towards others in the past few years.

So with all this you would think everyone would love her right? I mean how can you dislike someone who so clearly devotes so much time and money to others? It’s easy, people seem to always brandish her with the same title every single time. Slut. While I am completely aware that Miley strips and dances provocatively with others, is that really what we are going to judge her on? Her nakedness? Is that really the most important thing people should focus on? Half her nakedness is because she promotes the “free the nipple” movement, which while you don’t have to want to take part in, I think everyone can agree the ridiculousness that is labeling women’s nipples as more sexual than men’s when women are actually the ones who need nipples for a reason. That aside, when it comes to her “slutty” appearance I can’t help but just scream out “WHO CARES???” She is a 22 year old woman who is comfortable in her body, I find the pictures she posts in zit cream and heart shaped pasties on her nipples in order to not get removed on instagram a lot less offensive and provocative than a page 3 model posing seductively purely for the sake of the male gaze.

While nakedness on celebs might be something you look down on period, is it really enough to warrant somebody being a bad role model? It seems that we also judge Miley more than any other female star who does things like this? Beyonce does provocative dance moves and wears revealing clothes or has done in the past and all I see are comments like “omg slay queen” or “bae is so fierce” yet with Miley it’s a different story. Let’s be real, both women, if not all women slay when they comfortable in themselves and doing things for them and not others. Let’s not even get started on the difference between how she is received compared to how a male star posing nude is received, that’s a whole other can of patriarchal worms to open.

If you think somebody cannot be a feminist because they wear too little or too much clothing, you have missed the point of feminism entirely and as for role models, if I had a 22 year old daughter who, yes smoked weed and went out partying like so many other 22 year old’s around her would be doing BUT made time for so many charities and had a level of acceptance for others that everyone should aspire to, Iet’s just say I would be a very proud mother indeed.

Do We Need Labels When It Comes To Sexuality And Gender?

With all these previous relatively unheard of labels suddenly rearing their heads when it comes to sexuality in particular, it begs the question, do we need labels at all nowadays? Before there seemed to just be gay, straight, transgender and bisexual but now along with these labels we have asexual, demisexual, pansexual, questioning, along with genderqueer, genderfluid and probably a whole other host of labels i’m missing out (please forgive me for that).

Trying to explain these labels to both my mums was near on impossible, they just didn’t understand them and why we needed so many. They found it hard to understand the difference between bisexual and pansexual, or how people could identify as BOTH genders and what impact that had on their sexuality. They are both gay women and they still had trouble understanding. The conversation ended with my step-mother simply saying “If everyone can just love everyone with all these labels, why have labels at all? I can’t keep up.”

It’s something to think about, after all there are so many labels and with this new generation of younger people becoming more and more accepting of everyone around them, could we hope for a world where everyone just simply loves humans?

Sadly no, at least not in our lifetimes, there are too many prejudices and hateful people around for anything to be truly accepted. However, while some people hope for a world without labels and actually feel more comfortable not being assigned to one, we should also explore the reasons as to why some people like labels. Sometimes labels get a bad rep and sometimes it’s understandable as many feel discriminated against when they don’t belong to a said label. However, let’s look at the bright side of labels.

First of all, you could say labels are human nature. Humans like to understand things and things are easier to understand when they have a name and a meaning. While I disagree with the term homophobia as I don’t think it’s a fear, as more of a blind hatred half the time, people fear what they don’t understand. So perhaps labels help with erasing some of the hatred, or at least the ignorance. The reason for the desire to create more labels rather than erase them completely is because of one key concept. Community.

The fact of the matter is that the LGBTQA community is, while supportive, full of contrasting interests. Men and women are very different so it’s no surprise that gay women are often nothing like gay men, and the problems that each branch of the community face are very different. The troubles transgender people face can obviously be very different to the troubles a pansexual man faces etc etc. On top of that, some of the sexualities finally being given some attention are not yet formally considered part of the LGBTQA community and are sadly still victims of erasure or ignorance.

So back to our original question, why the need for labels? It’s easy, think of each sexuality as a big group of penguins, they huddle together for a common purpose and with others who share the same interests. It’s also to feel safe, grouping together with others who you know are the same as you who share the same sexuality as you means you know you are guaranteed a break from prejudice in your social circle. People like to belong to something, something bigger than themselves and something they can build hobbies, conversations and jokes around. Often people’s sexualities can be a big part of that.

That being said, while labels are important to many, they are not the be all and end all. Sometimes only wanting to belong to a small circle of people that share the same sexuality means you cut yourself off from a lot of people who would have a lot in common with you and accept you for who you are regardless of your sexuality. Staying in a small social circle can also mean that you can slowly become more and more narrow minded when it comes to others and their lifestyles.

The moral of this, it’s fine to be into labels, it’s fine to be against them, but whether you find comfort in labels or freedom without them, embrace all who are willing to embrace you. It’s fine to go to that meet up group with fellow asexuals this weekend, but don’t forget to visit the bars with your straight friends too from time to time.

Madrid 2015 beauty haul 

Hi everyone, apologies for taking so long to update with any posts for a while, I was in Madrid with my best friend for 10 days, the good news is I had some time (and extra cash) to spend on quite a few beauty products while I was there as I was delighted they had a sephora over there, which we in the UK are so sadly deprived of. So without further delay I am just going to share with everyone what I bought along with a small review of each product. 

1. Too faced Boudoir eyes eyeshadow palette 

 

Everyone knows too faced along with urban decay are my fave brands for eyeshadow and I’ve had my eye on this palette for a while. While they are fairly neutral shades they are not as brown and beige orientated as the nudes in the naked palettes and the chocolate bar palettes. This focuses on light pinks, greys and silvers/whites and also on a lot of shimmer. The eyeshadows are great and just as pigmented as the other too faced palettes, I definitely recommend.

2. Too faced Sugar pop palette  
 
Another eyeshadow palette from too faced and this was a fairly new product for too faced summer lineup for 2015. At first I was a little skeptical because of the bright colours, it took me a while to wonder if I could realistically wear the shades as often as I would like, but other than the last two shades (the bright pink and blue) the other shades are really beautiful and perfectly wearable for day and night. As always all the shades are incredibly pigmented and after I got a bit of a tan on holiday, wearing the bright colours was a great change and perfect for an eye catching summer look. (Also the macaroon shade is a personal fave)
3. Nars dual intensity blush in jubilation 

 

Let me start of my saying I was literally in love with this line as soon as it launched as all the colours just looked so beautiful and all complimented each other so well and I also loved the idea of being able to use blushes wet and dry and seeing the different effects. I toyed with getting the straight bronzer and highlighter duo but then remembered I individually own Laguna bronzer by Nars and a highlighter in both the multiple form and liquid form. So I went with this one, the first half of the duo shade can be used as a bronzer and the second half I use as a highlighter but they can be mixer together to create a really multidimensional bronzer. I wanted to try this one because I thought it really complimented my skin while it’s really tanned, however for more pale people who haven’t caught the sun yet, I would just go with the straight bronzer and highlighter duo from this range.

4. Soap and glory love at first blush 

 
I love soap and glory products and this was no exception. My favourite blush used to be benefits hervana but after I used it up I never repurchased it and have been trying to find a dupe for it ever since. For me this is the closest shade to it, it’s obviously more shimmery than hervana as nearly all of soap and glory’s cheek products are shimmery. The different shades of pink, white and light purple make this blush really multi dimensional and for me, it was actually quite subtle despite the shimmer tones. It’s buildable in case you did want to build it up, but for half the price of hervana, it’s definitely worth it!
5. Soap and glory wonderbronze 

  
As it was 3 for 2 on soap and glory in the airport and I had time to spare so I indulged. While this is quite similar to seventeens instant glow shimmer brick it’s far more pigmented and it has a far better shimmer pay off. Much like the other soap and glory cheek products the multi tones just make the bronzer so beautiful, making it look different in different lights. It’s long lasting, pigmented and gives your cheeks a beautiful glow for the summer!

6. Soap and glory peach party blush

 

Pictures don’t really do this product justice, they don’t seem to capture the really warm tones of the blush. With most “peach” toned blushes I find sometimes they can be way too orangey for a lot of skin tones, mostly because coral seems to be the in thing. While I love coral toned beauty products this made such a welcome change. It’s the warmest tones blush ever and is a perfect balance between a blush and bronzer. With brown, orange, rose and silver tones, mixed together it just gives your skin the perfect summer glow, sometimes it can look a little dark so use carefully and perhaps only use for nights out to bring out an extra bit of glow in your skin.