Why We Should Go Easy On Russia

Ever since primary school Jess brought an Anastasia DVD from Woolworths, I have been obsessed with Russia. The fallen monarchy, Winter Palace, Russian dolls- even the Rasputin Cossack dance on that wii Just Dance game- I love it all. The problem is, as I’ve grown up, it’s proved quite a hard love to defend: Russia rigged the election, Russian doping scandal, Russia hates gays, whichever part of the internet you go to (unless it’s, like, Putin’s LinkedIn page) there’s at least one article which aligns with Reagan’s ‘Evil Empire’ view.

So this summer when my Russian friend offered me the chance to visit her hometown Izhevsk I was so excited to finally see whether the media was right.

It wasn’t. Now obviously I’m not denying Chechnya’s gay purge or the fact the government’s corrupt- we’ve all seen the Reggie Yates documentaries- but when we talk about Russia we seem to solely focus on demonising it, which is strange considering every country has flaws and when I visited I was amazed by how normal it felt. So here’s why I think we should go easier on the planet’s largest country:  Continue reading

Was Love Island A Feminist Show?

Like most young adults, I was hooked on Love Island, but while I was watching I couldn’t help thinking about its anti-feminist undertones and so I’ve finally compiled them all and I’m ready to ruin the world’s favourite show. Sorry in advance.

Diversity Fails: When will the media learn that a token black person doesn’t instantly make a show diverse anymore. It’s 2017 and still blindingly obvious that the producers have gone ‘ooh looks a bit like a box of Jacob’s crackers at the moment- let’s add Marcel to prevent bad reviews.’ Usually critics of diversity say ‘well maybe the white heterosexual cis person was just the most qualified for the job’ but that doesn’t work here because you literally just need swimwear and a summer without plans to qualify for the show, which I’m sure many people of colour, members of the LGBT+ community and those with different nationalities all had too.

The Frigid/Slag Divide: Jonny broke up with Camilla because after four weeks because she hadn’t done more than kiss him. Seriously? Four weeks really isn’t that long and it sends such a strange message to girls watching the show who could start feeling pressure to washing machine after the first date in case their partner dumps them. Also, why are we placing the ‘frigid’ label on Cam when actually it could be Jonny’s fault- maybe all his dick went into his personality so there wasn’t much left down there for her to play with? The possibilities are endless. Then on the other end of the spectrum you’ve got an internet calling Amber a slag because she had sex a few times (and one of them involved the instant aphrodisiac of a captain’s hat so we can’t even blame her for that one). Ladies! We can all do this whole love thing at our own speeds. There is no morally right way- let’s drop the labels k.  Continue reading

Why Blogging Is A Waste Of Time

There was a time when I blogged every week. Every single week. I look back at that now and lol too hard because recently I’ve taken a spontaneous month break and before that I was posting anywhere between 0 and 3 times a week. Essentially, I’ve become the unorganised blogger which I vowed I would never be. But then I realised that having a break was actually really nice, because sometimes- for me anyway- blogging is a waste of time. Here’s why:

I have to spend ages online: Whether it’s scheduling tweets to promote myself or hyping up posts about palettes I don’t really care about with heart eye emojis or even just gramming photos for the sake of staying relevant in the algorithm, everything involves the internet. When I’m blogging, I turn my laptop off at the end of the night and my eyes burn because I’ve spent so long staring at a screen. During my blogging breaks life is the opposite- I’m outside working on my tan lines or seeing friends that I’ve neglected, I don’t have to worry about spending an hour in a twitter chat because instead I’m having an actual conversation with the barman in Wetherspoons who’s trying to tell me that they’ve run out of Sourz cherry and so can’t make me yet another pitcher of Purple Rain. Don’t get me wrong, I love connecting with people online but spending hours of my day trying to grow my brand only to find out they haven’t clicked on my links in return makes it a huge Zeitverschwendung. (Yes that’s German for waste of time and yes I’m trying to make use of my German A-level before I forget it all, just roll with it.)  Continue reading

How Life Would Differ In Feminist Utopia

Call yourself a feminist in the UK and, unless you’re chatting to Jeremy Corbyn (moment to appreciate 72% youth voting turnout!!) and the Spice Girls, you’re going to be met with at least some hostility. The most common criticism is that there’s legally nothing a man can do that a woman can’t, proving how we have gender equality aka you can shut up now love and get back in the kitchen instead. The key word of the opposition is legally. This argument reminds me of how when the Civil Rights Act was passed in America this was a de jure change, which meant segregation was illegal; however this couldn’t cause de facto change as socially people had become so accustomed to racism that no law could translate into their realities. In the UK, feminism isn’t needed to overcome sweeping legislative inequalities (from what I’m aware, but hit me up if I’m wrong) we need to focus on All The Small Things, Blink-182 style.

Often we view social changes as insignificant. Catcalling bothers you? Stop whining. You don’t like it when guys approach you in bars? Then start dressing like a homeless barrel. Want a career? Keep your legs closed. But humans are sociable creatures and so if our everyday lives are riddled with, put bluntly, people being shits, then it’s going to have a pretty big impact. I’ve compiled a list to show some of the ways my life would be different in a de facto feminist society.

I wouldn’t dumb myself down: I don’t even know how this happens. I just finished my International Baccalaureate exams, my IQ qualified me for Mensa and I’m 50,000 words into a novel- I’m a smart cookie. Why then do I feel compelled to let men mansplain words I already know or say stuff like *sharp intake of breath* *clutches cheeks* *Disney princess voice* ‘What book was Titanic based on?’ to make them laugh? Is masculinity so fragile that I round off the corners of my brain to make sure it doesn’t damage them? In feminist utopia, I’m shamelessly smart, full stop. Continue reading

Why We’re All Fake AF Bloggers

Last week I tweeted this. I then received a text from my friend, Maria- who’s also a blogger and food instagrammer– saying ‘you really perfected the blogging voice there. You sound nothing like real life. You never use the word ‘ladies’ and the fire emoji makes you cringe.’I realised I had adopted The Blogger Voice.

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed it, or if this is an appropriate way to define it but TBV seems to be when, in order to appeal to your audience, you use a different, less controversial, emoji-fied voice, that is ultimately fake af. It’s the voice that means YouTubers start their video with the strained, high-pitched hiiiii guysssss, or that forces beauty bloggers to looooove a lipstick when conversationally they’d be like ‘oh yeah Velvet Teddy, I’ve tried it, it’s pretty good’. Even when I skimmed Maria’s social media, it was flooded in a tone that sounded nothing like her irl (although hello to that sexy veggie jar). m faf.png

TBV’s influence extends further than voice- how flatlay accounts on instagram are now The Done Thing, or your blog name should be something like ‘your first name followed by your middle name.com’ or ‘random white girl noun and another white girl noun.co.uk.’ In my own tweet, Real Life Jess would say Continue reading

Controversial Thoughts on Sarah Ashcroft

Unless you live under a rock (which tbh would be goals at the moment) then you will have seen your Twitter feed explode with anger at this blogger that no one’s really heard of called Sarah Ashcroft and her interview with Cosmo>. The thing is, I’ve read the piece and, while it comes across as self-indulgent, I don’t disagree with everything she says…

I wanted to offer new and fresh content every post, but it came with a lot of pressure

Firstly, I thought this was a really honest thing to admit. I’m not a fashion blogger but I’ve seen posts from many who say they feel forced to spend all their money on Topshop trends to stay current. I live 75% of my life in pyjamas so my fashion blog would be duller than watching Formula 1. And trust me, that’s dull. So I get where she’s coming from.

I actually turned down ‘real’ jobs because it started to become a standalone thing

Maybe this seems bitchy because she’s using the ironic quote marks, but it’s also largely reflective of modern attitudes. Most people don’t blog with the expectation that it will become their main source of income- it’s often still not viewed as a ‘real’ job and I think this statement merely reflects her similar surprise. Continue reading