Thursday, 22 December 2016

Best New(ish) Saturday Night Live Sketches

Hey hey blogosphere, welcome back! Given that the HSC is now officially dead and has been for some time, TV has become the predominant focus of my life as I covered pretty extensively in my last post. While I mainly waste away my hours tuning in to legit shows with a linear plot line, I do watch the occasional SNL episode every once in a while. Everyone ever always says that it's not as funny as it used to be and has gone down hill since it's hay-day, but honestly, I've always found it a bit hit and miss in terms of sketches. Sometimes they're super funny and relevant, and at other times cringe-worthy and weird. Well readers, get excited, because today, I'm going to save you the effort of watching countless skits on youtube and having to make your own decisions, and list for you some of the best sketches the new episodes of Saturday Night Live have to offer. In advance, you're totally welcome. Your lol-worthy material awaits . . .

Real Housewives of Disney - 2013

I honestly didn't know how accurate this sketch was until I saw my first 'Real Housewives of Beverley Hills' episode a few weeks ago (which, may I just say, did not disappoint). To paraphrase Lizzie McGuire, Disney princesses are honestly what dreams are made of, and reality TV is the perfect blend of total trash and televisual gold, so to combine the two was always going to be amazing. If you want to witness a smack down between Cinderella and Rapunzel, be slayed by Prince Charming's sassy quips and hear all about Jasmine's affair with Iago the parrot, then I highly suggest you check it out immediately.

Crucible Cast Party - 2016

This may actually just be one of my favourite videos ever created. And no, I'm not building it up too much. It's literally a song about the cast after party of a high school production of 'The Crucible', and lovingly makes fun of theatre kids and teenagers and musicals and it's just all too much I can't even deal. As an out and proud musical theatre geek who was actually in a high school production of 'The Crucible' this year, this music video was 100% right up my alley, however I guess if you're a home-schooled, 70 year old cynic whose never seen a musical in their life, then maybe this isn't the sketch for you. Regardless, in my opinion, it's absolutely amazing and you should definitely give it a go.

50 Shades of Grey Auditions - 2013

From the title, you can already tell this is a winner. Basically, in it, the SNL cast pretend to be awkward celebrity pairings auditioning for the movie. Have you ever wondered what Seth Rogen as Christian Grey and Tilda Swinton as Anastasia Steele would look like? Now's your chance to find out. The whole video's awkward and uncomfortable and honestly it's amazing. So please, I urge you, if you have a soul, hop on over and take a look.

High School Theatre Show - 2015

Once again, this is perhaps one of my favourite videos on the internet, and also revolves around a high school drama performance. Perhaps there is a pattern in my interests? Who would've guessed. Anyway, this skit basically parodies every "alternative" teenager ever who wants to make a change and protect social issues such as animal welfare and gender discrimination *cough* low key me *cough*, and does this in the form of a dramatic piece called 'Mirror to America - A Reflection of You'. Basically, it's tumblr in a nutshell. The accuracy of this sketch is actually amazing, and even though it's kinda sorta making fun of people like me who are heavily in to breaking down societal norms (although I don't take myself seriously at all or dress like an emotionally damaged recluse), I'm totally into it and am able to simultaneously relate to the super passionate teens and heckling audience members. Honestly, it's everything, and you need to watch it right now.

Hillary Actually - 2016

This was a segment on the most recent episode of SNL, and it is seriously the best. Literally every video with Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin as Hillary and Trump is the greatest, but this one has to take the cake with its epic popular culture references. Assuming that you're all alive and active participants in the western world, you should all be familiar with the Christmas classic 'Love Actually' (and if not, stop reading and go watch it because you're missing out). Remember that iconic scene when Keira Knightley's husband's best friend confesses his love to her using a series of massive flash cards? Well, SNL have recreated it for the holiday season, with 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (aka, Kate McKinnon). In it, she goes to members of the electoral college, and attempts to persuade to vote for anyone but Donald Trump on Monday the 19th (which sadly, in hindsight, we know didn't work). It's everything you could wish for in a video, and is something you must check out now.

So that's about all I have in stall for y'all. Have a fun binge watch of all of these sketches, and keep in mind that there are heaps of other funny ones that have been made over the years for you to move on to once you've finished with this elite selection. Til' next time . . .

Annabel xx

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

13 Stages of TV Show Obsession

Hello readers, and welcome back! I have a very exciting announcement to make - the HSC is officially over and I am free to live my life without the burden of secondary study and can therefore post way more often than I have been! Today, I'm going to talk about a subject close to everyone's hearts - television. With all my newly obtained free time, I've been dedicating my days to watching every TV series Netflix has to offer. This excessive binge watching in conjunction with my rather addictive personality has resulted in what was supposed to be a harmless pastime morphing into a hardcore obsession. So that got me thinking, where is the point of no return? When does entertainment dominate your whole life? That, ladies and gentlemen, is the case I have decided to crack for you today. So, without further ado, may I present to you the 13 stages you will go through on your way to total tele-visual obsession . . .

Stage 1: Googling Behind-the-scenes Facts

Did you know that the pictures and videos used in the 'Orange is the New Black' credits are of real life prisoners? And that Piper Kerman, the writer of the book whose story the show is based upon, also features in it? I do. Why? Because finding out these fun tid bits are what this first stage is all about. It's harmless, at first. But then you start getting hooked and want to know everything there is to possibly know about everything that goes on while the cameras are off. However, this is only the beginning. You can still turn back now.


Stage 2: Watching Cast and Crew Interviews

You know you're about to get in deep when you want to check whether the connection between the characters on the show is genuine for the actors in real life or purely fictional. If they totally hate each other? There's hope for you yet. And if they don't? You're instantly propelled into the next stage of obsession.


Stage 3: Following the Entire Cast on All Social Media Platforms

If the cast interviews are on point, you are pretty much guaranteed to want to stalk them on every form of social media to know what's going on in their lives, and to see how much your new favourite cast hang out off set. Even if they never post, it's just nice to know that you'll be there...waiting...for if they ever do.


Stage 4: Watching Other Shows Because the Actors from Shows you Love are in Them

Not to brag, but filmography stalking is my specialty. This method is pretty much how I find every TV show and movie ever. Considering you now follow the cast members from your favourite new show on social media, it's pretty easy to find out what their other projects are. Honestly, I started watching 'Scream Queens' because it had Addie from 'Unfabulous', True from 'True Jackson VP', Cat from 'Victorious' and of course Rachel Berry from 'Glee', and now it's one of my go to programs. Television inspiring television is a truly beautiful thing. And let's face it, if your favourite characters alone are enough of a draw card, your dedication to the show they're originally from is getting pretty intense by this point.

Stage 5: You're Willing to Give Up Sleep to Fit More of the Show into your Day

If you're binge watching your new go to show on Netflix, loving life, and then casually glance at your phone only to discover that it's actually 4:30am, you're in pretty deep. What's even worse is when after looking at the time, you're still not compelled to stop watching, because going to sleep would just mean you take more time away from watching the goings-on of your new fictional family.

Stage 6: You Talk About the Show All the Time to the Point that Others Get Super Bored, but you just Don't Care

Considering you've officially given up sleep and are totally inundated with your new favourite program 100% of the time, on the rare occasion that you actually do talk to other humans, all you will be able to talk about is the show. Whether it's intentional or not, it's all you will be able to think about. So when something comes up in conversation that even vaguely resembles a plot point or a line of dialogue, you'll just start rattling off facts and getting heavily into character analysis, while the normal people in the room will be totally confused and completely zone out. That's friendship.

Stage 7: Show Slang and Phrases Have Become a Part of your Vocabulary

I knew when I casually started using HIMYM terms such as 'revertigo' and 'woo girls', and saluting a rubbish bin whenever I saw the sign 'general waste' that there really wasn't any going back. Be prepared for no one to understand a word you're saying.

Stage 8: You have both Canon and Non-Canon Ships

Shipping canon couples is just the beginning, but when your ships become non-canon? That's when things get real. I mean, it's easy to root for a couple that the show creators have already established for you, like for instance 'The OC's' Summer and Seth, but when you start to get creative and ship say Ryan and Seth, you've left the show's realms of fictional reality and entered into fictional fiction, which is a super hardcore layer of fandom.

Stage 9: You Read or Create Tumblr Conspiracies

That realm of fictional fiction I was talking about with the non-canon ships? Times that by 30, and you've reached tumblr conspiracy theory level. They're actually the best, and stem from fans deconstructing their new go-to show, over-analysing everything, and forming connections that range from plausible to outrageous, and each are just as amazing as the next. I may or may not have posted a few 'Stranger Things' conspiracy theories myself (because seriously where is Eleven?!).

Stage 10: You have a Dance to the Theme Song

It doesn't have to be full on choreography, but certainly can be. It can range from ethereal hand movements to the 'Gossip Girl' theme, to a full on dance routine to the 'Murder She Wrote' theme where you skip around and act out murder mystery scenarios in your lounge room. Whatever the case, by this stage you're pretty invested.

Stage 11: When Promos for Next Week's Episode Aren't Enough, You Look Up all the Spoilers on the Show's Wikia

Your commitment to the show is obvious when you realise just how much you need to know everything about it. Ordinarily, spoilers are a bad thing, but when the 30 second promo just isn't cutting it and you absolutely must find out exactly what is going down in the next episode, the show's wikia is your next pit stop. Sometimes it has spoilers about the next 5 episodes to come, and if the show is filmed in front of a live studio audience, you have first hand confirmation of the plot lines about to go down. Honestly, I'm not even kidding, Glee Wikia is still my home page despite the show having been off the air for a year. Obsessive habits die hard.

Stage 12: You Want to Name a Pet or a Child After a Character

This next stage is characterised by the integration of fiction into your reality. If the characters in the show you are obsessing over are so phenomenal and profoundly impactful (let's pretend that's a word) that you want them to be a part of your own world, the least you can do is name your child - or fur child - after them.

Stage 13: You Let the Show Influence Your Career Choices 


The final stage involves the ultimate marrying together of fiction and reality, this being when a show means so much to you that you let it dictate your career choices with absolutely no regrets. As a youth, I'm not gonna lie, after binge watching 'Bones', I super wanted to become a forensic anthropologist despite the fact that I hated studying science. Why? Because TV made it look hella interesting. Of course, now I'm aiming for the way more realistic goal of making it on Broadway, but for some people, they never change their mind, and morph fiction and reality together forever.

So that's about it! If you are exhibiting any of these symptoms, then I hate to break it to you, but you are an addict and it's time to embrace it. Til' next time . . .

Annabel xx

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Stop "whingeing" and just do your job: Why this journalist needs to suck it up

Hello readers, and welcome back! As I've spoken about before, having just graduated from high school, I am now forced to undergo the hellish torture that is the HSC. The examinations commenced just under a week ago on Thursday the 13th of October, and in the first two days, everyone in the state of New South Wales was able to knock over 2 units of English. You'd think we'd all be elated and celebrating hard out, right? Wrong. Upon returning home from our exams, we all went online to find that "journalist" Rachel Corbett had posted an "opinion" piece (please take note of my sassy use of inverted commas) on advising students to, and I quote, "stop whingeing (sic) and just do [their] HSC", before going on to individually target kids who have posted on Facebook's HSC Discussion Page 2016 (which is amazing by the way, you totally have to check it out if you already haven't). At the time this article was released, of course I was furious, and my first instincts were to a) send her a string of handwritten complaint letters or b) furiously blog about it. However, in the end, I opted for neither of those options, as in response to the understandable backlash she received from students, parents and teachers alike, Rachel went MIA on all social media services, so I assumed that she was overwhelmed by the hate coming her way, and honestly, I didn't want to make her suicidal or anything. Well, any trepidation I had before has totally vanished, because today, she released a follow up article, in which she painted herself as the victim of supposed vicious online attacks from students. So now, in a fit of rage, I am comprehensively refuting the points she made in relation to our entire cohort in not one, but two articles, through the age-old medium of online blogging. So without further ado, here is my response...

I'm going to start by deconstructing Rachel Corbett's first article, which was originally titled 'Stop whingeing and just do your HSC: Why these kids need to suck it up' (get my reference in the title of this post now?), before being re-published as 'HSC 2016 Facebook group reveals some disturbing things' in her attempt to not only further shift the blame on to us, but to fix her misspelling of the word 'whinging' which was embarrassingly picked up by the same 17 and 18 year olds she was attempting to critique (irony is honestly an amazing thing).

The article begins when she talks about how she has "just lost an hour of [her] life trawling the posts and comments on 'HSC Discussion Group 2016'". First of all, why? Rachel, you can't blame us for your choice to scroll through a page that's intended audience is, as the title suggests, students completing their HSC in 2016, and then have the audacity to critique something you were never supposed to see. Frankly, if you don't like what you see, leave.

She then goes on to say that looking through these posts has made her aware of how "out of touch" she is with "the next generation". This is pretty much the only correct statement she makes, and should be where the article ends.

After that, she starts to pick on kids individually, and forces a bunch of multifaceted students into reductive, stereotypical labels upon first glance, basically damning intersectional celebration of uniqueness in favour of ignorantly judging books by their covers in true second wave feminist fashion (way to show your age).

She deems a female student "the whinger" after she wrote a post on the page talking about how students should receive counselling after enduring the "wrath of the HSC", should have an extra hour to complete the paper, and that teachers should be required to sit the HSC themselves before teaching the course. First of all, this post was not intended to be taken entirely seriously, which Rachel Corbett would have understood if she weren't, as she said, "out of touch" with the vernacular and humour of our generation. Secondly, the student actually brings up some good points, which of course Miss Corbett systematically attempted to shut down.

Rachel said that if a person needs couselling throughout their HSC that they're going to basically fail in life, which will be a "real wake up call" for them. Obviously she doesn't remember, but newsflash, the HSC is hella stressful. Not only because of the exams themselves, but because of the pressure put upon students throughout them, and the impact that they potentially have upon getting in to the university course you want, and ultimately, your career (or at least that's what teachers and adults make it out to be). So, at perhaps the most stressful time in a young adult's life when they have to endure hormonal changes, evolving friendships and relationships and the uncertainty of life after high school, we are also bombarded with a bunch of exams said to dictate our future, and depending on how cool your parents or teachers are, pressure both at school and at home to get a good result. I don't know about you, but I find all of this pretty intense and definitely see how this could negatively impact someone's mental health, and therefore don't think counselling is the most outrageous suggestion in the world, although Rachel Corbett would obviously disagree with me.

To the suggestion that students be given an extra hour to complete the exam, Rachel says that if we were given three extra hours, "people would still be complaining". Well actually no, no we wouldn't. According to the Advanced Healthcare Network, people aged between 18 and 25 can write about 33 memorised words per minute under exam conditions, meaning that in Paper 2 for example, students would produce three 1,320 word essays. However, considering that students are being asked to not only answer an unseen question, but refer to two or more texts, provide information regarding audience, purpose and context for each and include textual analysis using around 6 to 12 quotes per essay, this mere 1,320  word limit is simply not enough. My pre-prepared modules essays, for example, are all over 1,500 words in my attempt to cram a year's worth of content in to one exam, and that's without taking in to account my response to the question we get on the day. Therefore, this means that in the HSC, I am practically required to defy science. But, with an extra hour, I would have absolutely no need for complaint. So bam, Rachel Corbett. Try arguing with scientific evidence.

Finally, to the young girl's suggestion that teachers take the HSC before teaching the course, Corbett replied that "everyone who teaches HSC subjects HAS taken the exam" and that "that's how they ended up in the privileged position of teaching someone who thinks they're the only one who's ever been through it". First of all, tone it down, because that statement was unnecessarily sassy. And I'm sorry, but you know you're old when you're calling out those darn, narrow-minded youths for being too self oriented. We're not idiots, we do understand that our teachers have done the HSC or its fancy private school equivalent (*cough* international baccalaureate *cough*) back in the day, and I don't think this girl was for one second insinuating that our teachers are unqualified (or if she was, it was obviously a form of jest that you're once again too "out of touch" to pick up on). But, over the years, the HSC has changed pretty dramatically. There are new texts and new exam formats, the difficulty and ambiguity of which has increased over time. For instance, English paper 1 in the late 90's that Rachel Corbett herself would have completed (assuming she even did it) was much more straight forward, and only included one reading and comprehension text, a broad creative writing stimulus, and a straight forward essay question which students had 50 minutes to complete as opposed to the current 40. Assuming most of our teachers completed their HSC earlier than the late 90's, their exams would have been different again. Now, questions have become more specific, time allocations have changed, and frankly, creativity has been quashed, these changes being something teachers should experience first hand if teaching the course, in order to understand the plights and challenges of students today. Also, as proven by Rachel Corbett herself, the calibre of the HSC obviously wasn't as high as it is now, considering a woman in her 30's who completed the examination is unable to spell the word "whinging", and goes on to ask, "Is the HSC a punish?" as if it makes sense.

Her next target is a boy who she deems to be "the failed stuntman", who posted the photo below on the HSC Discussion Page with the caption 'How to get out of HSC 101: Break your wrist after the first exam ends by jumping off a moving car'.


Okay, number one, the fact that you call him a 'failed' stuntman implies that in order to be successful, he would've had to die and not merely injure himself. Just to be clear, are you advocating teen suicide? Because so far, it seems that you're against counselling and are rooting for this boy to jump off a moving vehicle and kill himself, just saying. Number two, if you honestly think that he deliberately did this with the intention of getting out of having to sit his HSC exams, you are honestly super dumb. Once again, you are making apparent the fact that you are "out of touch" with modern humour (or any type of humour for that matter) abundantly clear. He was making light of the outcome of his situation, which I personally think is a healthy thing to do, and it was pretty obvious to anyone with working brain cells that this was all a joke, so maybe get some perspective.

Rachel's next victims were the people who fell under the categories of "cheaters" or "pathetic trolls", as she stated that these included the students "stupid" enough to post using their "real name" on a "public page" asking questions such as 'How can I cheat on the HSC?' or creating memes and sending them to Board of Studies Director Tom Alegounarias. In addition to that, she provides teenagers with the oh so original platitude that "life isn't all about posting on Snapchat and hanging out with your mates". Salutes for captain obvious all round, because it's not like we haven't heard that one before. Criticising teenagers for their dependence on technology? It's the oldest trick in the book. And hey, at least we use our electronics to access the online dictionary and know how to spell. Regarding the "cheaters" and "pathetic trolls", I feel like I'm repeating myself a lot in this ranty excuse for a blog post, but these are jokes not intended to be taken seriously! No one is actually dumb enough to genuinely ask how to cheat during the HSC. Everyone is just stressed and overwhelmed, and making light of the lack of hope they are feeling by humorously suggesting that cheating is their only solution. But, I repeat, no one is actually walking in to the examination room with the intention of cheating (or at least, no one who is publicly posting about it online). And the memes being created by students? I have to say, they're pretty funny. I mean, I wouldn't expect you to get them Rachel Corbett since you're so "out of touch", but people who actually have a sense of humour are guaranteed to have a laugh. Plus, they celebrate what the page is all about - using the powers of the internet to share in one another's experience of the horror that is the HSC. Most adults have been saying how cool this is that we all get to share our opinions with each other, as they didn't get to do this when they were doing the HSC and had to suffer alone. But oh no, Rachel disagrees. She thinks that we shouldn't make fun of the completely ridiculous short stories that we're asked to analyse comparing boats to whale skeletons (honestly, read text two here for a lol) and instead "suck it up" silently. Well I'm sorry, but no.

She ended her tirade by saying that the "whole reason the HSC is difficult is because it's the way we control competition for university placements", and that there is "nothing wrong with being asked to dedicate a couple of months of your life to preparing for an exam", before going on to highlight that the HSC is not "some kind of conspiracy cooked up by the establishment to break defenseless teenagers and make their life a misery", and finally ending with the kind words "Oh, and one more thing...grow up".

I agree with the fact that there is nothing wrong with taking the time to study for exams, and as a student who has been (despite not needing an ATAR for her future career aspiration might I add), I take offense to the immediate assumption that most people my age aren't. However, the difficulty of the HSC is not justified by its impact upon university placements, and in fact, that is perhaps the exam's largest flaw. Australian end of school exams are some of the hardest in the world, as there is nowhere near as much pressure placed upon America's SAT's or the UK's A Levels. Those are merely another set of yearly exams, whereas the HSC is the most important test an Australian student will ever take. In Asian countries, end of school exams have absolutely no impact upon university placement, as each university has their own set of entrance exams, which allows you to specialise in one particular area directly relevant to the course you are applying for. Therefore, instead of carrying subjects that you may not necessarily be good at to make up 10 units, or learning heaps of content that will never benefit you in the real world, you are only required to take one, highly relevant exam that matters. Plus, the idea that standardised testing has the ability to dictate a person's intellect, and from that, their entrance in to university is absurd, so while the HSC is not "cooked up" to "break defenceless teenagers and make their life a misery", it is certainly succeeding at it. Finally, I think the only person who needs to do some "grow[ing] up" is Rachel Corbett, considering she's the one who made a total fool of herself on national television and got evicted from Big Brother after 4 days, and now desperately attempts to regain attention by spending her time scrolling through and judging a bunch of teenagers who have their whole life ahead of them.

Understandably, I wasn't the only HSC student annoyed by Rachel Corbett's scathing critique of our generation, and so of course, the memes and attention of the HSC Discussion Group 2016 turned to her. Honestly, over the past few days, I have seen some good quality content, examples of which I have included below for your enjoyment:

Plus, the group managed to find some of Rachel Corbett's previous articles, which will seriously make you question her journalistic integrity (kidding, we already knew that was nonexistent), which I have also included below:

And my personal favourite, which I feel sums up her whole opinion piece:

All of this also proves that our entire year group have put more effort in to conducting research than she did into her "wasted" hour of uninformed scrolling. Talk about that awkward moment when a bunch of unqualified 17 year olds are better at your job than you are. 

This now brings us to her article released today entitled 'I never expected a reaction like this'. First of all, really? I mean, you literally spent your entire opinion piece roasting a bunch of super stressed students with mountains of pent up frustration for roasting the Board of Studies, and then don't expect to be roasted in return? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that chain of roasting out. In the article, Rachel basically talks about how she's received a lot of backlash for her original piece (understandably so), and basically goes on to highlight how much high school students suck for sending her "offensive garbage". Admittedly, some of the online trolling did include death threats and cancer jokes, and while this may be a step too far, there is absolutely no way that the threats being made were of a serious nature, but rather the intense reaction of disgruntled, enraged teenagers who felt that they had been wronged by an adult they hoped would be on their side during this time of extreme stress. However, amidst these overreactions, there have been a lot of genuine expressions of concern from students, parents and teachers (not unlike this one) that have been totally ignored, probably because Rachel Corbett has no idea how to respond to people who actually have a leg to stand on. She 'apologises' in the article for people's perceptions of her having "trivialised mental health issues" rather than apologising for actually trivialising them herself, once again placing the blame on everyone else for their misinterpretation of her apparently perfect article. She then goes on to criticise parents who have been contacting her to say that she has been "parading [her]self as a 17-year-old to gain access to a page for high school students", defending herself by stating that "the discussion page is public". Um, sorry to burst your bubble Rachel, but no it isn't. A handful of posts can be seen by the general public, but a user cannot fully access the page without asking to join it and being accepted by current members. So either Rachel did actually parade as a student to view the posts and write a scathing commentary incognito, or she didn't and only looked at the handful of posts publicly available to her and wrote a totally uninformed article about something she's never fully seen. Either way, it doesn't look good.

I think I've finally covered everything I've wanted to say. Thank you for sticking with me through this very long-winded rant, and I profusely apologise to any of my non-Australian readers who probably have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about. I think my biggest problem with Rachel's articles (aside from the fact that they're totally wrong) is that they were released during the HSC, meaning that on top of the stress us students are already forced to face, we have to be met with this brutal attack. But whatever, now that I've gotten my arguments out, I can totally forget about it. Just before I finish up, I wanted to wish everyone in Year 12 this year good luck for the rest of their exams, because guys, we've almost finished! Oh, and one more thing...Rachel Corbett...grow some journalistic integrity. Til' next time . . .

Annabel xx

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Emmy Awards 2016: Best and Worst Dressed

Hello and welcome back blogosphere! Although I'm a tad delayed, I thought that I'd take some time today to talk about the 2016 Emmy Awards. I have to say, even though I'm happy for everyone who was nominated and all that jazz, I'm pretty offended at the fact that the academy totally snubbed 'Orange is the New Black' and 'American Horror Story' this year. I mean, where is the logic? But anyway, I digress. I felt that it was time once again to unleash my inner fashion critic (which is ironic given my previous post about feminism), and talk about who in my opinion were some of the best and worst dressed celebrities at this year's red carpet. Introductory paragraph complete, here are my picks . . .

Best Dressed

Emilia Clarke

There's no denying that Emilia was slaying at this year's red carpet. The shape of her dress was ultra modern and cool, and everything was so simple and elegant that she really couldn't go wrong. She went with a very natural look, and although there perhaps could've been a pop of colour here or there, she honestly looks so good. Plus, she's pretty much goals anyway, so that helps.


Priyanka Chopra

I hear Priyanka Chopra's name thrown around quite a bit, but I'd be lying if I said I was familiar with any of her work. However, what I do know is that she killed it with her Emmy red carpet fashion choices. Red is always a fun way to make a statement, and Priyanka certainly did just that. Her dress is all kinds of awesome, and particularly in this photo, you can see how flowy and elegant it really is. Honestly, I couldn't fault her look.


Laverne Cox

Despite her show being unfairly snubbed (which I am obviously still not over), Laverne showed up and rocked the Emmys red carpet this year. She looks ultra glamorous, and literally dressed like an Emmy award despite the fact that 'Orange is the New Black' wasn't even nominated (have I mentioned that?). Her 1940's, old Hollywood inspired hair complements the super fabulous dress perfectly, and I'm getting so many Beyonce vibes I can't even deal. Overall, I'd say this is definitely a winner.


Viola Davis

Viola Davis seriously brought her A game to the carpet this year. For starters, she's wearing my favourite colour, so how could you possibly go wrong? Secondly, the fit and flare style is super flattering, and the cool bodice detailing is really nice. Honestly, all I can say is despite the fact that she did not win the Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama Series for the second year in a row (which for the record, she totally should have), she killed it on the carpet and won herself a spot on my best dressed list (which is just as, if not more prestigous). Plus, she's mega talented and an amazing human, so I'm extra proud.


Kristin Bell

I wasn't expecting to like this dress as much as I do, but honestly, Kristin looks super amazing. The floral pattern screams autumn, which is very appropriate, and the plunge-neck, fit and flare style is all kinds of flattering. Her hair and make-up are also flawless and complement her outfit perfectly, so really what more could you want from a red carpet ensemble? All in all, a fabulous choice.

Worst Dressed

 Stacy London

I honestly have no idea who Stacy London is, but from the looks of her dress, I'd say she's an under-payed Spotlight employee. It honestly looks as if she couldn't afford a real dress, so decided to steal random bits of mismatched fabrics and start hacking away at them herself, before haphazardly sewing the pieces together to create what can only be described as a 3rd grade textiles project. Her red carpet stance does not help matters at all, because the awkward leg does nothing but highlight the weirdly placed sheer material. The odd choker or neck tattoo or whatever it is just makes this whole ensemble look as if she's trying way too hard to go for a 'goth chic' look, but has instead achieved 'homemade hobo'. I'm sorry, but no.


Laura Carmichael

 Again, I have no clue who this is, but I know that Laura Carmichael needs some serious fashion guidance. This colour combination does nothing but scream 6 year old birthday party entertainer, and choosing to pair a floor length, tulle skirt with a tied, sleeveless top is never going to be a good look. The random gold clutch clashes with the yellow top, and just further highlights how stupid these colour choices really were. I'm all for taking fashion risks, but whatever happened here was not something that anyone should be proud of. Better luck next time Laura.


Amy Poehler

It pains me to do this because I think Amy Poehler's awesome, but I'm really sorry, this ensemble is just not good. Swamp green is not an easy colour to wear, and unfortunately, when used in a beaded floor-length skirt and poncho combination, it's even harder. This outfit honestly looks as if Amy has just crawled out of a lagoon, and that in the process, bits of algae and swamp matter stuck to her and she couldn't get them off in time for the Emmys. The dress is just baggy and shapeless and does not do Amy justice, and there is absolutely way too much fabric. On the plus side, her hair and make up are on point, but sadly this is not enough to salvage Amy's look. Hopefully you crush it on the next red carpet!


Anna Chlumsky

What even is this? I am super confused. I'm sorry Anna, you were cute and everything in the movie 'My Girl', but I just can't with this. She looks like a pastry, and not even one I'd want to eat. The colour totally washes her out and is super gross, the dress looks like its been inflated, the off the shoulder sleeves are really saggy, and the random cape makes literally no sense considering the dress is above the knee. Other than that, the shoes are okay, I guess. But please Anna, next time, wear literally anything else.


Angela Bassett

I love 'American Horror Story', I really do, but unfortunately Angela, the title of your show is apt in describing your Emmys ensemble. Bright yellow has to be done super well for me to even consider liking it on the red carpet, and honestly, this didn't even come close. The style of the dress kind of looks like one of the robes out of 'Star Wars', and the juxtaposition between the weirdly floppy sleeves and super tight midsection is just odd and not effective at all. Overall, I hate to say it, but this was a definite fashion mishap.

So that's about it y'all. I hope you've found my fashion taste interesting regardless of whether or not you think my opinions are wildly inaccurate, and that this post managed to be vaguely entertaining. If you completely disagree with everything I've said, feel free to let me know as harshly as you want in the comments section. Til' next time . . .

Annabel xx

Monday, 26 September 2016

Struggles of being an Intersectional Femininist

Hello readers, welcome back! As I mentioned previously, I have been rather busy this year with mountains and mountains of school work in preparation for my upcoming HSC examinations, but I've kinda sorta given up on stressing about them and instead decided to put some much needed time into posting again on here. So today, I thought I'd talk about a subject very close to my heart - feminism. Anyone who's had a conversation with me knows that I can talk gender politics until the cows come home (whenever that is), and love name checking feminist theorists like Judith Butler and Deborah Tannen whenever applicable (and to be honest, even when it isn't). However, that doesn't mean it's always easy. Yes, I am a proud feminist and love a good debate, but sometimes, even I have to admit that I find it challenging to apply all of the gender theories I come across into all aspects of my everyday life. So keeping this in mind, may I present to you, some of the struggles of being an intersectional feminist . . .

1. Lobbying for Equality for all Performances of Gender and Sexuality but being the poster child for Heteronormativity

Yes, it sounds like I'm speaking a foreign language, but I promise you, it's all relatively simple. Gender theorist Judith Butler describes gender as being a performance and differentiates it completely from biological sex. Sex basically refers to your biology, and whether or not you have male or female reproductive organs, while gender is thrust upon us by society, for instance the notion that girls wear pink and are highly emotional and in need of saving, while boys wear blue, are completely stoic and act as heroic protectors - all of these being the gender norms we've all become pretty accustomed to. Butler however would argue that if a a man were to wear pink and be super emotionally expressive, he would be performing traditional elements of femininity. The same goes for sexuality.

As you have probably guessed, I am all for equality with regard to the way men and women perform gender. If a guy wants to wear a dress and cry over romantic comedies? That's totally fine. And if a girl wants to wear a suit and monosyllabically grunt at everyone? That's also super cool. And I am all for everyone being able to express who they truly are no matter where they fall upon the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, because I am super duper accepting and am a massive advocate for equality. But me? I am a typical, privileged, middle class, heterosexual white girl. My favourite colour is pink, I'm easily excitable, I wear nothing but skirts and dresses and am not into dating girls. I am literally a walking cliche. And yes, I have to admit, I feel pretty hypocritical. I know that being anything but who I am just to try and transcend this stupid gender binary and perform elements of masculinity to make a statement would totally defeat the purpose, but I can't help but feel bad for embodying everything that I am also simultaneously critiquing. Ugh.

2. Promoting Female and Male Empowerment but being a sucker for flawed Disney fairytales and Romantic Comedies 

I'm probably going to say it a lot throughout this post, but just to be clear, gender equality is something I fully support and fight hard to achieve. I think that both women and men should be able act however they want and are totally capable of being successful and independent in all aspects of their life without the helping hand of their significant other, however, I also appreciate a wide variety of films. Disney fairytales are absolute classics, there is no denying that. Watching Cinderella find her Prince Charming or Ariel get hitched to Prince Eric is satisfying every time, and while it may not do anything to break down traditional gender roles or defy the heteronormative, patriarchal construct of marriage, it will certainly brighten your afternoon. And it's the same with a good rom com. They always follow the same formula - girl meets guy, guy tries to pursue her, girl tries to fight it, girl and guy eventually end up falling in love and living happily ever after. Again, while these films are cliche and play into gender steretypes, they are super entertaining. And no, absolutely none of the movies mentioned within these genres would pass the Bechdel test in any way, shape or form, but there's no denying that they're heaps of fun to watch, and no matter how hard you try to fight it, will always secretly be a representation of how you want your life to turn out.

3. Opposing the Objectification of Women or Men but also being in to Fashion and Make-Up

I absolutely hate the objectification of both women and men that occurs in the media, and how it creates for everybody unhealthy standards of beauty that they feel they need to live up to, not to mention it renders the complexities of a person irrelevant and forces people to merely focus on a person's physical attributes. This is super wrong, I know that, but at every single red carpet event, I can't help but be brutally honest and comment on everyone's fashion (as you've probably noticed if you've ever read this blog before). Do I feel bad about it and super hypocritical? Yes, yes I do. But that doesn't mean I'm going to stop. It's exactly the same with make up. I believe in a person's right to wear as much or as little make up as they want, and in theory, I know that cosmetics are kind of stupid anyway. I mean, why would you create a bunch of products to go over features you already have to hide all your supposed facial flaws? And the only reason we think we have flaws is because the media has told us we do. So yes, I get that it's a little bit of a scam, but saying that, I still pretty much never leave the house without it on, and spend quite a significant amount of my time on Youtube watching make-up tutorials and stalking Mecca Maxima's website (which I highly recommend, by the way), pretty much just because it's a fun thing to do.

4. Hating when People use Gender Specific Terms Haphazardly but also Doing it Yourself

Saying he or she? That's totally fine. But for instance, if you're hearing a description of someone, and they play a sport or are into cars and you instantly say, "oh, what's HE like?", that's when I get a bit annoyed (especially if they inadvertently guess correctly). The same goes for when a person talks about their significant other, and your automatic assumption is that they're dating someone of the opposite sex. Assuming a person's sex based on their interests or sexuality because it's what you've become most accustomed to is super not cool, and just proves how much social norms have had an impact on our speech patterns. But saying this, I have certainly done it myself more than once. It's hard, okay. We've been bred to speak a certain way by generations of people whose views and ideologies have been constructed by patriarchal societies, and while I have certainly become very conscious of it, it's kind of difficult to police everything you say, and eradicate all assumptions you have. I always try my best, but occasionally I'm going to slip up, and when I do, I'm met with an onslaught of people satirically being like "but isn't gender a construct? did you just assume my gender?". Needless to say, I get pretty frustrated, and to be honest, I don't even know who with.

And that's about all I have for you folks. Yes, being an intersectional feminist is confusing and I feel like I'm a massive hypocrite most of the time, but I'm just going to keep performing gender the way I want to and accept the fact that I am a complicated, super contradictory person and get on with my life. Because at the end of the day, I'm pretty down with equality, and that should be all that matters...right? Til' next time . . .

Annabel xx