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

Sunday, 25 September 2016

A Comprehensive Guide to High School Graduation

After many many months, hello again blogosphere! Yes, I've been super MIA recently dealing with my final year of school and all, but I'm super excited to announce that I have FINALLY GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL! It's pretty crazy and I can't quite believe it, but as of Wednesday the 21st of September, I have been free from the confines of secondary education. Sure, I have the HSC coming up in less than three weeks and a bunch of holiday study workshops, but never again do I have to wear my uniform, refrain from doing my nails or wearing make up (not that I really ever did), or be treated like a child slave with no rights. To celebrate the momentous occasion and perhaps give everyone who is yet to finish high school a run down of what to expect, I have decided to guide you all through what went down on graduation day with as much media as possible. So without further ado, here is my comprehensive break down . . .

The last day of school will start off pretty chaotically. Everyone will rebel and do whatever they want, and wreak as much havoc as they can in a last ditch effort to leave their mark on the school and challenge the system.

But eventually, the teachers will manage to gain some semblance of control and gather you all together for one last time, meaning that you're all just sitting there with extreme pent up energy and no way of releasing it.

This is followed by an onslaught of emotional speeches and anecdotes from teachers and student leaders, the good ones leaving your overly energised and emotionally conflicted self watching on like:

While the cheesy, unoriginal and uninspired ones allow you to get in touch with your (not so) inner cynic, and remind you how much you actually want to leave high school.

Then comes the hella nostalgic graduation slideshow (or in our case, epic mockumentary style video) that is guaranteed to hit you in the feels at least once, once again leaving you confused and overwhelmed.

Your school then won't care that you're in a state of emotional turmoil, because all of this will most likely be followed by everyone light-heartedly dancing to either Vitamin C's 'Graduation (Friends Forever)', Alice Cooper's 'School's Out', or if your graduation happens to fall on September 21st as ours did, Earth Wind and Fire's 'September'. So of course, you'll plaster a fake smile on your face and dance through the pain.

It's once again time to suppress everything you're feeling, as graduation certificates - and if traditional methods of academic testing are your thing - merit awards, are ceremoniously given out. The people receiving awards walk across the stage like:

While the people who get nothing want to get it over with as quickly as possible and temporarily lose their will to live.

Then comes perhaps the most epic part of the graduation ceremony - the final time you will get to sing your school song. Everyone will sing like a maniac and it will be glorious.

The entire cohort then proceeds to process out like gods, because gosh darn it, after six years, you've finally conquered high school.

And that's it, you're out of there. You spend a few minutes outside emotionally saying goodbye to all your friends like:

Before bidding farewell to your enemies forever.

And everything's cute and emotional for a while, until you realise that you'll be back at school for pre-HSC holiday classes in three days, and are guaranteed to see each other at least 5 more times before formal.

Then you go home and have to put up with every adult ever telling you how you've now got all these new rights and responsibilities and what not.

And on the outside you're like:

But on the inside you're secretly freaking out because you have no idea how to be an actual person.

Though overall, even though everything's uncertain and changing really quickly, you'll just be happy that high school is officially dead.

And bam, just like that, 13 years of schooling are over. Luckily, I vlogged the whole day, and in addition to that, celebrated the fact that I was graduating by replicating a bunch of iconic teen movie moments at my high school while I still had the chance, all of which I will be posting on my Youtube channel (which you can check out here - you gotta love that cheeky self promotion). And now, it's done. I mean sure, in literally 7 hours I will be back at school from 9 till 3, so it doesn't really feel like much has changed, but I think that I'll slowly start to morph into a real life person. Til' next time . . .

Annabel xx