Sunday, 23 March 2014

Untaming My Locks

I have curly hair. And I learned to embrace my curls in my late teens. However, I never really embraced them to their full extent. It would always be my curls, just a little softer, and a little more tame. Since reading this piece on Intothegloss, I decided to take a different approach to my curls. This had been coming for quite some time, but this article really kickstarted it. But first, a bit about my curly haired past:

I had lovely ringlets as a child, and my curls kept tight through primary and high school. They were super curly, but easy enough to manage with the aid of my sister's hair straighteners. I went to an all girls high school with a strict uniform, and part of that uniform was having to have your hair tied up. So for seven years my hair was tied back in low ponytails, messy buns and top knots, leaving little room for learning to style my curly hair. But once I left school and went to university I was able to experiment with my hair, as well as makeup and clothes. I would wear my hair out, chop off the length, grow it long, dye it darker, get a fringe, grow out that fringe. Pretty much anything. Some days my hair was pink, others purple, blonde or brown. But the usual texture of my hair was a blown out curl. I learned to master the hair dryer into making my curls nice and reasonably manageable. Compared to my straight haired friends my hair still seemed unruly and big, but to me it was well controlled. And apart from the occasional day, or when the weather was against me, my hair would stay like this.

I few months ago I went to my hairdresser with bed head. It was early, there was no point in styling my hair before the appointment so I just tied it up. When he let it out he loved it, loved the texture and all that stuff that hair dressers love. So at the end of the appointment when he was about to style my hair, he suggested that instead of the usual soft wave that most hair dressers seemed to do, he suggested leaving my hair in its natural state. So that's what we did, and I was really surprised at how curly my hair could become. He used the diffuser on the hair dryer, twisting and scrunching my hair to a near dry but not quite state, using Davines curl oil and salt spray. I loved it, but I still went back to styling my hair as usual. Until now.

It's only been a week of me wearing my hair in its more natural state, so it's too early for a verdict, especially as I've just changed up my hair washing routine. But for the time being, I am most definitely enjoying walking in the rain without having to worry about the frizz, because really I have a whole head of frizz to embrace!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

International Women's Day

'There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.' -Kofi Annan

If I were to be categorised as any thing, I would be a liberal. I believe in equality, freedom of speech, natural rights, human rights, and I believe that nobody has the right to take away another's natural rights, no matter what gender, race, religion or social class that person is. Respect should be judged on a person's character and their actions, not their gender. I am a feminist, because I believe that even in today's society where I live in a First World Western country, women can still be subjugated to discrimination that previous decades faced. Especially when it comes to sexuality. Music videos, blurred lines, full female nudity on so many television programmes, and the claimed push for gender equality which provides a mask over the fact that there are social customs that are so ingrained in human behaviour through tradition, education and a lack of respect. 

When I celebrate International Women's Day I have been asked why there isn't an International Men's Day. The people that ask this are men, well boys actually, the ones that make kitchen and sandwich jokes, of which neither are funny. And to that I ask if any of those men have ever felt afraid walking past a female stranger on an empty street, even in broad daylight, for fear of sexual harassment. I ask if they have ever been degraded on more than one occasion by catcalls from cars when walking down a street, who yell 'slut' and 'whore', even though you are dressed modestly in jeans and a jumper. The blatant ogling at breasts, bums, and the rape and abuse argument that 'she must have been asking for it'.
I know that some of these acts of degradation and slight that I have experienced are in no means remotely comparable to what many women suffer all around the world in places that seem so foreign to me, where they are not given a voice, and have very different rights. All I know is that if we cannot address the gender inequality in our own countries, let alone our own friendship groups, how is society meant to understand and make a difference in places where women do not have the liberations that we have.

Knowledge is power. The human brain is the most dangerous weapon in the world. But it is also the most effective at promoting change. Happy International Women's Day! xx

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Frankie, Nostalgia, and Fashion Blasphemy.

There is only one magazine that I have bought religiously for years, and it is Frankie. I love it because it's not just about fashion and beauty, but there is a lot of lifestyle and travel in the mix as well, and some very witty articles about the strangest of things. It's an Australian magazine that comes out every two months. It is fully paper, not a glossy page in site, and there is always a free poster and monthly calendar included. For a while the walls in my room were covered with these posters! But since repainting my room all I have on my walls now is the Frankie 2014 wall planner I got with the last issue, and an old poster of John Lennon.

If I was to pick the sections that I read most fondly, it will have to be travel, diy, and usually the homebody section. Some of my favourites from these sections are the mulled wine recipe, how to grow your own succulents, and any of the travel and homebody features. I love seeing how other people live, and Frankie has a knack or finding quirky and interesting people to write about.

There is a male version called Smith Journal, which I sometimes find myself reading when my brother buys it, but Frankie is just the best. Just the right amount of girly with a mix of more stimulating articles. I hate myself for saying this, but sometimes Vogue just doesn't cut it for me. I know...I feel like I will be eating my own words next time my favourite celebrity decides to grace the pages of Vogue.

My mum and I have even got a routine for reading Frankie. I scan through all the pages reading the articles that really stick out to me. Then mum will flick through and have a good read of the more homey sections. After she''s done, I'll spend about a week going through the issue with a fine-tooth comb, devouring every page with my eyes twice over. So Frankie has created some very fond memories for me.

Last summer in their 50th issue they included a section of recipes of cakes and slices which are all absolutely delicious! My favourite was a chocolate cake which had black coffee in it and the most delicious sour cream icing, and it was surprisingly easy and reasonably foolproof to make. So last summer is filled with memories of chocolate cakes for birthdays, weekends, really just whenever I felt like making one. And my family definitely did not complain. That was until they felt that dreaded pinch of clothes slightly too small! Now whenever I make this cake I feel a sense of nostalgia for times passed.

So Frankie, I love you. I only wish you came around more often.