Complement…

…or insult?

So I came across this little video on the Independent website and was almost instantly incandescent! With good reason!

Here’s why:

  1. The comments “let men be men” and “men are going to be that way, what can you do?” have sickened me down to my core. Firstly the majority of men that I know don’t see catcalling as an inherent part of their “man-ness”. They don’t see shouting unsolicited comments at random strangers solely based on their appearance as at all associated with the fact that they have a penis. Secondly, “men are going to be that way, what can you do?” this sounds like something some twat who works for Nuts magazine would say about a rape case. If we as a society start to adopt this attitude to unwanted attention it will have an extremely detrimental effect on where we draw the lines of consent, sexism and ultimately gender equality. Men are not just “going to be that way”, no man is born a chauvinistic pillock, they learn these specific behaviours through growing up in a society willing to take harassment as par for the course of being a woman!
  2. I am all for dressing to impress, if I have a big meeting I make sure I’m dressed nicely, I put my makeup on and do my hair – I want to make a good impression. That impression is not “you should do business with me because I look sexy” it’s “you should do business with me because you can take me seriously”. Yes I want to look good, but that has nothing to do with looking sexually attractive. So when this hideous excuse for a man says that when he gets dressed in the morning he wants to look in a certain way that is “appealing” to people, all I have to say is FAIL (unless a fake-tanned-over-sized-baby-in-a-suit looking man is appealing – each to their own I suppose). Even if he was a handsome Adonis of a man I would be pushed to find anything appealing about him because I would be too focused on the fact that he’s a complete wanker. Call me crazy but I like to hold standards for people based on their thoughts, opinions and actions, not on the cut or brand of their suit.
  3. If someone were to clap me down the street I wouldn’t be smiling, or feel complimented, I would be intimidated and frankly a wee bit confused.
  4. I almost feel sorry for these women because they’re confusing two very different things. Should someone you know say, “you look nice today” – that’s a compliment, if someone you don’t know shouts “nice arse” at you while you cross the road – that’s harassment. I am confident enough in myself not to yearn for a stranger to find me physically attractive. If these ladies are so deprived of genuine compliments that they have to quaff and Botox themselves to within an inch of their lives and revel in the objectification of their efforts by random men then they need therapy, not a TV show. The other day I was in Boots, wearing my most favourite of all my Marple-style suits and the lady serving me said, “that is a great suit” – that’s a complement! It is a truly great suit! That’s why I bought it! Not because it shows my legs or bottom or booby bits (which incidentally it doesn’t – Marple would never behave in such a way) because it’s frikin awesome! Now if she had said “your bottom looks good in that skirt, I would so love to touch it” I would have been tempted to say, “I have not invited you to comment on my physicality in any way and would thank you kindly not to ever again” because I know the difference between a COMPLIMENT and an OBJECTIFICATION.
  5. The saddest thing about this whole sorry video is that these people are allowed to voice their damaging and ridiculous opinions on a national scale, on a mainstream stage, in the largest country in the world. It’s so important to make sure that we mark this as what it is – just wrong and that we strive to teach the boys and girls of the generation coming after ours that self esteem is not something that is shouted at you across the street, that self respect is not glowing upon the objectification of a crass and rude person, that what you look like does not make you who you are and that it is not okay to shout hideous things at people you don’t know!

Thats not so much my 10 cents as my 100 dollars worth. I don’t like sitting on the fence – long thin planks of wood are not a comfortable thing to place my un-objectified bottom on thank you very much.

Change…

…CHANGE!?

I am currently undertaking a digital marketing course, so not wishing to potentially irrevocably change/ruin the company I work for’s website I thought I’d try a few things out on here before applying them elsewhere. This led me to review my old theme, turns out ‘A Strange Little Town’ (which I originally chose because that’s where I live in my head) doesn’t respond to different screen widths, which is no fun for anyone reading from their tablets or smart phones. So I ignored the autistic part of my head that was saying “DON’T CHANGE! WE HATE CHANGE!” and chose a different theme. However, the nauseating feeling that this created deep in my tummy is yet to subside, therefore I need your help:

 

Please take the poll and let me know what you think. Then I can either put the bad tummy monster to rest or feel safe within the confines of always staying the same! Black and white thinking is the way forward.

Sherlock Style

#FashionFridays!

This week I will be focusing on Camping Attire – my most favourite of fashions.

So camping attire consists of three major groups of clothing: dress-up, layers and woolwear. These three things combined can make for quite wonderful and sometimes experimental couture creations. See below…

Camping Attire!
Poor Robin – completely mental.

This is a perfect example of combining both the layers and woollen look. One starts off with an outfit (usually a perfectly normal one) and then as the evening cools, instead of changing ones attire to a more temperature appropriate outfit, one simply adds more layers on top of the original outfit. It’s quite an effective way of staying stylish and toasty!

Now the below outfit belongs to the traditional “guess what I’m dressed as” Fashion Fridays example…

Medieval Costume

Medieval Princess

This is an example (quite clearly) of Medieval camping, more specifically this was my costumer for our Knights and Princesses themed evening. No medieval princess is complete without something whimisical on her head, a goblet in her hand, an exquisite velvet cloak and some hardcore mist (as the above pictures perfectl demonstrate).

I’m sure that everyone at one point goes through their own dressing-up epiphiny, when you find a dress-up character that makes you feel awesome and you’re genuinely considering dressing up as them every single day. I once met a women who had gone to a dress-up party as Lara Croft and found that she so loved being said Playstation heroine that she proceeded to wear the costume to every single dress up party she was invited to as well as on all weekends (but without her thigh guns – voilence has no place on a Sunday). This moment has happened to me a few times, when I made my Jane Austen dress, when I was given my cloak it was made abundantly clear to me that I was made to wear velvet cloaks, the most recent of these revelations came when I decided to throw a Pirate themed party at this years camping trip…

Pirate Dress-Up

As you can see, I make an epic pirate. I should, can and will captain a gallion. It’s happening.

I strongly encourage you to strive for your dress-up epiphany! And I strongly advise you to send me photographic evidence of your struggle towards the truth as well as the triumphant truth itself!

Click here for all other #FashionFridays.

The City of True Love…

…Amsterdam!

City breaks have often disappointed me. I watch films like Midnight in Paris and the dozen or so Audrey Hepburn films set in the same town and think “Oh Dahling, it will be simply DIVINE! Let’s pop on a little plane and go and visit the famous (and terribly chic) City of Love!” Christopher dutifully follows suit and while I get excited about outfits he does all the boring things like book the flights (we have a great team work thing going on in the CooperKelly household). So we get to Paris in a cloud of excitement and romance and look for all the places we’ve seen in the movies only to find that actually there are about 3 or 4 picturesque places in Paris, all of which are hard to locate and take at least a 15 minute journey on the sweaty, smelly Metro to find and all of which a rammed with other similarly excited but strangely disappointed tourists. I don’t react very well to crowds at all, I think the best way to describe my reaction is probably Rain Man – if the sweaty transport and crowds didn’t kill the romance already, Rain Man definitely will.

Apparently the most exciting thing that Chris and I found in Paris.
Apparently the most exciting thing that Chris and I found in Paris.

It turns out that Paris is just another city, full of lovely old buildings, over-priced restaurants and expensive shops – like every other city really (except Milton Keynes), and when producers make movies they choose all the best parts of Paris, close them to tourists, sweep the tramps off the street and pretend the whole of Paris looks just as peaceful and well-lit as this one perfectly organised corner. Disappointing.

So when Chris mentioned we organise another city break I was a wee bit sceptical; I reminded him of the crowds, the sore feet, the 7 Euro glass of orange juice, Rain Man, but he would persist saying that Amsterdam would be a much better city to visit, in which we would have a much better time (plus after three years together he has learned that all it takes to combat Rain Man is the swift removal of my rocking body from the stressful crowd and its quick deposit in the nearest bar furnished with the ability to produce Prosecco and/or gin in less that 2 minutes). And wouldn’t you know it the boy was completely right (I’m as surprised as you are)!

Amsterdam Fittie

We’ve just arrived home from Amsterdam and I can honestly say I’ve completely fallen in love with the place. This time I was careful not to watch any films set in the Dutch capital to ward off Three Streets Syndrome but it turns out that pretty much every street does indeed look like it could be the setting for a very well-lit love scene in a charming film full of very chic costumes! One night we went to a concert in the Botanical Gardens, we found ourselves sat in a beautiful 1912 green house filled with Palm Trees, holding a very generous glass of red wine and listening to a lovely dutch man try to play some pieces of quite famous orchestral work with the use of one rather out of tune piano. Okay so it turns out Beethoven’s 7th really is so much better with the use of a full orchestra (as was intended) but the effort was most ardent and the setting was truly magical. After the concert a lovely lady announced that there was an Edwardian Lily in the lily pond that only ever opens for two nights out of the entire year and that she suspected that tonight might be one of those very special occasions. So after the enthusiastic applause Chris and I scuttled off to the pond with the rest of the retired masses of Amsterdam (we always seem to bring the average age of the places we frequent down – by around 32 years) and lo and behold this lazy little lily had indeed opened its beautiful petals to the summer night. It was a quite remarkable experience.

Amsterdams Botanical Gardens

We went to a handbag museum (I nearly wee’d myself with excitement), had an amazing night drinking cocktails at the most superb cocktail bar (it was meant to be a pre-dinner drink and we left at 1am), saw beautiful and historic paintings, went on a boat cruise, drank fizz on our hotel balcony (and at every other possible opportunity), nearly got run over by bicycles, walked through flea markets and flower markets, I found out that Chris completely loves butterflies (a fact he has hidden from me for three years), and generally fell in love with the city and its citizens.

Love Amsterdam

Butterflies in the Botanical Gardens
That dark sploge on my belt is actually a butterfly! The whole thing excited Chris no end…

The Van Gogh and Rijks Museum

I would highly recommend you go there with anyone you love, or would like to love – a trip to this marvelous place will surely ensure that the wonderful feeling soon presents itself!

 

P.S. If you have any questions about Amsterdam please don’t hesitate to get in touch either on here or via my Twitter, @MillyCooper.