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2014: The Year of the Selfie

1 Jan

This is Lilipop.

I am not going to do a review of 2013 for my New Years post, like everyone else seems to be doing, for many reasons – the first of which being I can’t actually remember what I did this year – so instead I am going to talk about a challenge I am going to take part in for the whole of this next year, 2014.

2013 was the year of many things but it was the year I discovered the selfie. Before August I didn’t have Instagram, let alone Sapchat, so the only selfies I took where the odd webcam picture with Jelly or a pic if I couldn’t decide what to wear so needed second opinions (yes, the struggle is real). In August I had the amazing opportunity to go to America for #SPARKCamp13, a 3 day camp for girls in SPARK Movement. Among the many things I got from my gorgeous SPARK sisters, the most relevant thing to this post is – after extensive manipulation they managed to bully me into getting Instagram. After a few days I caved and got Snapchat as well.

Since then selfies have become a part of everyday life. From taking a selfie with my baby sis for the landmark event of buying her first bra to sneaky Snapchats to my American SPARK sisters in my geography lessons, selfies are a part of the way I communicate and commemorate. The media, and even some feminist media (*ahem* JEZABEL *ahem*), calls girls narcissistic and says selfies are a “cry for help” but to me there is nothing more radical than celebrating with a cheeky selfies. To me a selfie says oh yeah gurrrrrrrl its my time to shine! Selfies promote self-acceptance and love, whats not to love?

In 2014 I will be participating in the #365FeministSelfie challenge, to help me continue the ongoing struggle of loving myself in this world of misogynistic advertising, be comfortable with what I perceive as flaws and to celebrate being me! I think it will also be a completely fantastic way of documenting my year. I have created this tumblr blog for the challenge www.365daysoflilipop.tumblr.com so follow if you are a selfie positive gem or just love my face (lets face it, who doesn’t). Jelly will probably be featuring a lot! If you are also participating then I would LOVE to have a chat or see your blog/insta/however you are documenting and if not then I encourage you to increase your selfie production in 2014, the year of the selfie.

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I am not less because i wear a dress

7 Aug

Do you like wearing dresses or make-up or flowers, or anything typically regarded as feminine? That is totally awesome man. Hi five!

Do you like wearing things that are typically regarded as masculine, such as jeans and trainers and suits (sorry, this list is shit, load of “boy” stuff is androgynous)? Aw man, aw man. We should be friends, because me too!

You know what, my opinion is that you should be able to wear whatever you want because clothes are a great way of expressing yourself. You know who says different? Meanies and really not cool people who should be sat on.

I have some serious beef with the concept that your gender defines your clothes. More beef; that dressing feminine is seen as weak and dressing masculine is seen as stronger. You know what that sounds like to me? A whole lot of sexist bullcrap. And you know what we don’t like? That’s right, it’s sexist bullcrap.

Let’s start from the beginning with this concept: fashion and femininity (and everything that the patriarchy says that we can have creativity and freedom in) is weak, say the fore-mentioned meanies (hereby referred to as sexists). Pink and skirts and knitting and floral designs; glitter and lilac and petticoats and high heels; these are seen as signs of an underlying deeply feminine frailty and inability to participate in intelligent discussion and deep thought. And yet, AND YET, if we don’t wear these things (and if we don’t behave in a manner seen as typically feminine) we are now seen as non-sexual and worthy of male contempt in a different way. Although, weirdly enough, women dressing as men are often accepted as “one of the lads” (whether they like it or not) and are thus allowed to be intelligent etc. (although of course there is loads of homophobic crap to talk about here).

More to think about: men’s clothing is typically seen as more androgynous, while women’s clothing is the reserve of bubble-headed fashion worshippers and drag queens. Am I right? (I am right.) Does this sound wrong to you? (This should sound wrong to you). What’s happening here is that women are allowed to become more masculine (see the general acceptance of jeans for anyone in the Western world) because it’s cool to be a man, but men are not allowed to become more feminine, because it’s not cool to be a woman. If you are a woman and you take an interest in fashion, maybe you are a fashion designer or a stylist or something typically fashion related, your career is not taken as seriously as those in other areas. If you are a man and you do one of the careers above, you must be gay. These are the options available to you. Girly girl or camp man; both not taken seriously. This despite the fact that the british fashion industry contributes £21bn a year to the economy, and so to even the untrained eye must be something more than silly girls and silly shoes.

These opinions (and we can all, hopefully, agree that they are bs) are usually limited to the meanies. When someone who says that they are for women’s rights, however, tells me the same thing (but with fancy words) it gets a bit more complicated. They usually say something along the lines of “If you dress like a girly girl, you are submitting to the patriarchy’s ideas of a women. You are letting the side down. You are making them think you are weak, and you will not be taken seriously. Dress like a man instead and don’t take an interest in fashion because these are the roles that they have set for you and you should not fill their expectations.” This does not make any sense, unless you are a misogynistic a-hole, which is weird because these people explicitly campaign against that crap. When I dress like a fairy, or a Disney princess, or when I squee over cute shoes, yes, I am filling the patriarchy’s expectations. What they don’t expect is that I will then become a geneticist and save the world, and when I go to my lectures I will wear a tutu and take notes with a feathery pen. It is possible (entirely possible) to be a babe and simultaneously a radical, smart, passionate, completely non-airheaded human being. These people who say anything different are saying that to be feminine is weak, which is complete shit for everyone ever, of any gender, who take pleasure in what they wear and what they do, be it typically feminine or not.

An interesting concept: what you wear does not define you. It is not everything about you. It is one of the choices you make about yourself in your decision to show the world what you are like, and so taking an interest in it should not be stigmatised for anyone. Saying that glitter is shallow is saying that women are shallow, and if you say that my extremely cute nail-polish will not stop me from punching you in the face.

Thoughts? Opinions? Does anyone have any idea how I could improve this post, or any alternative ideas to this concept?

That time I dyed my legs purple

29 May

So one Thursday, on the way home from school, I decided I wanted to dye my leg hair purple. It was an amazing experience so I decided to show you what went well and what to avoid.

The first thing you need when dying your leg hair is a pair of legs. Here is an example (my legs):
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It is preferable that the legs you choose have hair on them, as you will be dying the hair.

NEXT you should probably grab an assistant. Here is an example:
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My assistant is Jelly.

And to dye your legs you also need some hair dye. I choose purple, cos its the best colour, but if you want another colour-or several then knock yourself out! I used permanent hair dye because semi permanent comes off on colours and sheets and it wears off really quickly! Here is my hair dye:
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The disadvantage of permanent dye will be discussed later…

Now on with the dying! (You should probably do this in the bathroom)

This is the stuff that was in the box, very artfully arranged by yours truly. Make sure you have everything that the box says it has in it. Chances are you need it.

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You also need some plastic glove things.

Next you need make the dye work or activate it or something. Just read the instructions.

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Here is me making the dye work.

Now put on your plastic gloves otherwise your hands WILL turn purple for at least several days.

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Here is me being precautions with my plastic gloves and my small hands.

*NOTE* If you have leg hair that is not very very blonde and the could you have chosen is not very dark then you will need you bleach your leg hair. You can use regular hair bleach or you can get special body hair bleach. The hair dye I got has magic bleach stuff in them so I didn’t bleach mine.

NOW IT IS TIME. I had never dyed any of my hair before this so I was super nervous but luckily I have my glamorous assistant JELLY who is very experienced. I just put the dye straight on my legs but you should not do this unless you are prepared to have coloured legs for several days.

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Some suggestions I have had to protect skin from getting stained is to put vaseline on your legs before you put the dye on or use semi-permanent dye and then the get-dye-off-skin wipes.

Cover all the parts of your leg that you want to be colourful. I just did my lower leg because that is where most of my leg hair is. Looking back I think it is a better idea to do your whole leg or feet as well or else it looks quite strange.

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Make sure all of the dyeing area is covered and roughly even.

Then do the other leg!

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Yeah… I didn’t do this so well.

Now you have to wait for the time it says on the box before washing the dye off. We had quite a lot of dye left and had half an hour to kill so WE DYED OUR HAIR!

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Here is Jelly with the bleach bits of her hair being dyed.

Okay, so the time is up! I left the dye on for a few minutes more than the box said because I have quite dark hair and that’s what Jelly told me to do but DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND PLEASE DON’T BLAME ME!!

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Here are my legs with the dye on.

So next wash off the dye. If you have used the semi-permanent dye or vaseline then you will need to use wipes to get that off your skin. The semi-permenant dye might still stain your legs a bit but it should come off if you wipe it a lot in 24 hours ish. If you used vaseline then I don’t know what will happen (if you use this method I would love to know if it worked so please let me know!)

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As you can see my legs are still very stained.

I washed my legs a bit more with get-dye-off-skin wipes and it faded a bit.

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Very purple legs.

And here are my legs the next day. They faded a bit but they stayed this colour for about 5 days before fading more than not being purple anymore. The actual hair on my legs is still a bit purple though.

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In conclusion this was an awesome confidence building experience for me as well as a bonding experience for all of my friends we all ended up with at least a bit of us turned purple. I loved having purple legs for the short time they were purple, in spite of the mixed responses I got. To me this is another way to love myself and have fun. When I do dye my legs again (green next time I think) I will definitely be using permanent dye but I will bleach the hair before hand so it shows up better. I apologise for the photography in this post but I hope you are inspired to dye some of your body hair or get creative, I would love to hear about what you get up to or maybe even some pictures!

Creativity Week: Eloise

13 Mar

Hello! This is Lilipop and today I would like to introduce you to the amazing Eloise who, today, is showing us some of the fantastic thisngs she makes.

I’m Eloise and I’m 15. I absolutely love fashion and I think its a great platform to express your personality and individuality. I started making things from about age 10 after my Nan bought me a sewing machine for Christmas one year, I love customising old pieces of clothing and turning them into something completely new. I’d love to go into fashion as a career so I thought that trying to start up a small scale fashion business would be a good idea, and I enjoy making the t-shirts too! Because each t-shirt is completely unique you never have to worry about turning up in the same outfit as anyone else!

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It would be great if you gals could comment on these posts, your opinions and maybe some suggestion or submitions (for another creativity week or for another themed week altogether!). If you want to get in contact with us or any of our lovely creative guests then email Jellypop at jelly.pop@live.co.uk or for more contact information go to the Contact Us page. Eloise’s clothing business, Stomp on the Moon, can be contacted at stomponthemoonclothing@hotmail.co.uk.

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