Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My avid followers would've spotted a break in the regular schedule; there was no BLEURGH post last wednesday. That's because I turned 25 and was gifted a week long holiday to Turkey! I love travelling and sharing new experiences with the ones I love (and also you guys), so I was thrilled to pack my bags and jet off to the European border/Asia, for some much needed R&R; rest and recuperation. 
Top : BANK | Skirt : H&M
In the week I was away, I was mildly unplugged. That means I hardly checked my social networks; only communicated with my nearest and dearest; and abstained from sifting through hundreds of emails trawling in daily. When I did, I found modern Western life to be consumed with image, frivolities and this 'jumping on the bandwagon' lifestyle. I can illustrate this using the 3 most talked about topics:
1) Kim's 'Break the Internet' PAPER cover - why are we shocked or even willing to discuss this cover as controversial when this woman's fame is founded on a sex tape? NEXT!
2) Solange's White Wedding - Yes, it was a beautiful and effortlessly elegant wedding, but I was so confused waking up to an entire timeline littered with the same image. Geez people! Plant the seed of originality and grow a brain! Must we all post the same thing? NEXT!
3) BandAid 30 - From condescending lyrics to a near white-wash lineup of British talent, I'm not quite sure where to even start with this topic. "Do they know its Christmas?"...I mean, do the artists involved in the project even have a clear cut understanding of the message of Christmas? Because, regardless of what the consumer-product-obsessed-West would have you believe, its not all about Santa, presents and candy canes *sigh* 
Aspendos Bridge, Turkey
Just the thought of sinking back into this culture of comparison and consumerism is unacceptable, so I was thrilled to have gone away and come back with a polished mindset, ready to tackle the future. I'm African, and the concept of R&R is lost on my people. Their idea of R&R is visiting their hometown/village during festive seasons, and I can't knock that because I used to tag along for the ride as a kid and loved the freedom of villa-life. However, having grown up and lived in diaspora only to return to the Motherland occasionally, I have found such villa trips tiresome and taxing. That's not to say I don't enjoy it, or that my parents loathe it, but you spend half your time out there repairing and fixing the home to what it once was, and the other half entertaining the countless guests who'll inevitably drop by upon news of your arrival. No matter how low key you are, these trips seem less of a holiday upon returning to the UK, as you feel spent not just financially but emotionally and physically also.
Necklace (pendant detached) : Wallis | Bag : Warehouse | Sunglasses : Oscar De La Renta
This trip to Turkey however, was God-sent...literally! I'm a Christian, a Historian, an Activist, a Sociologist, Psychologist, Sponge of modern and historical culture...among other things. So I was not even half prepared for this utterly enriching journey. I learned so much about myself as a Christian, a woman and a friend, and left rejuvenated and ready to face the next chapter of my life. Needless to say, this #QuarterCentury chapter of my life is off to a great start!
"Rest is sweet to those who labour" Plutarch

R&R in Turkey

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

This post was inspired by the most recent episode of TOWIE, where Ricky slated his (now ex) girlfriend's bedroom antics as "f*cking boring" (pardon his language). As both my and my friend's jaws dropped to the ground, it opened the dialogue on double standards, sex appeal and the plight of womanhood. 
Dress : ASOS | Heels (not pictured) : Steve Madden
I can't help but look back at some of my judgment in the past on promiscuous females, especially those in the media. These females have been publicly ostracised for their sexual indecency, and made to feel ashamed for openly expressing their sexuality. Again, I will reiterate, I do not condone such behaviour as in the same way men are expected to behave gentlemanly in public, so also should the lady-like standard be held up for females. I am not pitting a gender against the other, merely stating that I wouldn't respect a man who slushed his peen in my face, neither will I accept the same from THOTs. 
Me & Lolli at a wedding
Back to the matter...if these females are cast out for their overtly sexual demeanour, then why is it that same hand (that of a man) points to females again, branding them 'boring' in a negative manner? Men proclaim not to wife hoes because no one is down for the chore of turning a hoe into a housewife. Yet, they are equally unwilling to wife a bore who they'll have to train to turn tricks on the bedroom pole.
Ring & Tennis Bracelet : Swarovski
"A lady in the street but a freak in the sheets" (or its derivative) is probably the most overused rap lyric of all time, and perhaps they're on to something. But I can't help but feel hard done by, as a woman, to have to fit certain criteria for the public and later, in private. Men are just expected to be one thing; gentlemanly. That requires treating your woman as a queen, aspiring to better yourself and your family, etc etc. Yet a woman must fit far too many moulds as wife, mother, lover, to name a few. I blame the likes of Steve Harvey, who have moulded the task of being a woman in the 21st Century as a calculated equation of sussing out how to be "bawdy in thoughts, [yet] precise in words" John Wilmot. It's clear that a man can be himself and still bag a baby momma, a wife and whatever else...but women are conditioned to alter this and taper that, to be deemed appealing to the opposite sex. What's wrong with Jess choosing to remain demure in the bedroom? And the same applies for the alternative...just seems very hypocritical to me. 
Be you a bore or a whore? Be yourself, is all I implore. BLEURGH

Bore or Whore

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"I am learning everyday to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me, and not terrify me" Tracee Ellis Ross
I have been trudging through trying times of late, and I know I am not alone. Darkness seems to have engulfed me, and I struggle daily so hope is not lost. The world seems gloomier, and other people look far more prosperous.  Life has that funny way of reminding us that its not a smooth plane; its full of ups and downs. So I seek solace in the fact that this too shall pass. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and I may not get what I want but I will get what I deserve (which, as a Christian, I believe will be far greater than my wants and hopes).
"If you saw the size of the blessing coming, you would understand the magnitude of the battle you are fighting" Anon.
Shirt : Primark | Joni Jeans : Topshop | Bag : Warehouse | Watch : Guess
"Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out" 
Vaclav Havel
One definition of hope is "desire accompanied by expectation". I agree with that definition to a certain extent, but always believed hope was the marriage of that definition with some element of action. Hope cannot be based on inactivity, as that will be futile. But I am slowly learning that 'hope' is the atheist equivalent of a religious 'faith', and that requires supplication of one's burdens unto God.
"Courage is the choice to act in faith while fear is present" Anon
"By perseverance, the snail reached the Ark" Charles Spurgeon
It's hard because we live in a world that teaches us that our futures are within our autonomous control, and it is dependent on our level of proactivity, or ability to network, or the intuitive judgment of the individual. To a certain extent, all that is still required, but thankfully my faith allows me not to base my failures or flaws solely on myself, but view it as a bigger lesson leading me to a greater accomplishment...and THAT is hope.
"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness" Desmond Tutu

Necklace : Abuja Arts & Crafts Market | Sandals : Enugu Market
"Always keep your head up because if its down you won't be able to see the blessings that have been placed in your life" Anon
Hope is the ray of sunshine that I now find beaming down at me; the realisation that life's trials and tribulations are Job-like lessons serving a greater purpose. Document them if you will, because they will serve as great dinner-table fables in years to come. I am choosing to never lose sight of the struggle so that I can truly appreciate the view at the summit. 
"To live without hope is to cease to live" Fyodor Dostoevsky
"Hope is tomorrow's veneer over today's disappointment" Evan Esar

Ray of Hope

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I was fortunate enough to be a guest of the NSPCC and Childline at a private pre-screening of The Judge starring Robert Downey Jr (RDJ), at The May Fair Hotel last week. The Judge chronicles the tale of a seemingly successful corporate lawyer, who is forced to leave his materialistic comforts of a glass house, sexy wife and thriving career in the city, to return to his small town hometown upon receipt of some tragic news. Aside from the melodramatic cross-examination, I believe it was a perfectly depicted family and courtroom drama that highlighted the flaws in humanity and the legal system. I left already placing it on my Top 3 legal films of all time, behind The Devil's Advocate and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Without further adieu, its time for a thematic review in true BLEURGH style.
Blazer : Urban Outfitters | Shirt : TM Lewin | Trousers : Littlewoods | Chelsea Boots : Primark
TIME The Judge's strained relationship with his son following a tumultuous past, is heartbreaking and yet, hopeful. I'm sure there have been some, myself included, who have had difficult relationships with parents in the past (or present). At times, it feels never-ending. There is no light at the end of the tunnel in a heated exchange, and once those words have been spat out venomously it is even harder to retract. Allowing past demons to plague the relationship lands you nowhere but in the pit of regret, malice and anger. In order to truly move forward, one must decide to briefly visit the past but resolve to wipe the slate clean. Words and actions affect not only the parties involved, but put a strain on all connected parties such as siblings and partners, and its better in the grand scheme of things, to let peace reign. Time truly is the healer of all wounds, but active pursuit of a resolve within the time allotted to each of us is a better use of the ticking clock. 
PROJECTION The Judge is RDJ's titled father, who has earned the respect of his peers and those in the community, but lacks it from his son. This is the result of bad decision making in the past, and allowing pride to cloud one's judgment. Learning not to project your disappointments, feelings and insecurities on others is one of the greatest lessons in life. It gives you room to trust, to love and to grow as an individual. And it also helps to avoid resentment and hatred from either party. I was prone to projecting my insecurities on others, and judging them by my actions or thoughts. Once I learned to let each person earn my honest opinion of them based on their own actions, I learned a greater deal about humanity as a result. 
REDEMPTION As a christian, it is my core belief that once tainted, one can ask for redemption and be purified. This has enlightened my outlook on humanity, as I am less judgmental about one's character as a result of one act, trait or flaw. I do not believe we are all born and remain one way. I truly do think it is demeaning not to regard others as multi-dimensional characters; funny, smart, loyal, charismatic, etc. If we have sinned prior, and fallen short of His glory, there is still time and room for change. RDJ perfectly embodies this, as the end of the film shows him reckoning his past and present, with a new future that's brighter. 
"Sometimes you've got to forgive in order to be forgiven" The Judge

The Judge

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I shut my trap when 'Partition' was released as a single and aired on daytime TV worldwide. I bit my tongue when 'Anaconda' broke Vevo records. However, I refuse to pipe down at the soft porn masked as 'pop music' that has infiltrated my screen in the shape of JLo's desperate climb back up the charts in her remix video with Iggy Azaelea for the Booty Remix. I watched her ENews interview, where she championed the rise of the 'booty' in the media, and prided herself for instilling confidence in women with that body shape. I don't knock that, neither will I commend that.
Dress & Turban : Ankara Tie-Dye BIY | Wedges : Primark
You see, women are brought up to pit themselves against each other (post coming soon), so with the rise of the booty comes the ridicule of those (like myself) who lack sufficient junk in the trunk. This is not a woe-is-me article, but dearie me am I sick to death of women's derrières blinding me as I innocently scroll down my social media feeds! I've raved and ranted about the patriarchal society being to blame for female objectification in the media. However, I control my social media account and the content I share on it. The women plastering their bare bottoms for the world to see are also autonomously choosing to do so. There's no PA snapping and sharing. There's no PR Agent sneakily leaking. So why are we, as women, succumbing to this meagre means of upward social mobility?
African Fashion Week, London (Kensington Olympia)
85% of music videos now feature some form of nudity. It should be shocking, but we're all so jaded that this seems like the norm; sex sells. I once remember closing my eyes whenever Bad Intentions came up on MTV Base (looking back, that was probably one of many clues that I'd grow up as a feminist, but I digress), badgering on about how it was unfair that the women were barely clothed, yet the men were decked out in Timberlands and triple layered Tee's. Now, I'm forced to question who is truly to blame? The male directors and artists who want to objectify women as sex objects? Or the women themselves for choosing to use their bodies as means of access into the world of fame and fortune?
Watch : Guess
I am not saying every woman should depend on their intellect to progress in life, because that creates a double standard as there are reputable male models who have done the same. Alas, these male models do not prance around set in schlong socks (a la TOWIE's Bobby Norris), but are cast as the male love interest dressed in fine wears. The closest we have gotten to seeing such, are artistically portrayed as alternative images like the pyramid in Brandy's 'What About Us?' back in the early Noughties. To conclude, the post and this blog has woken up. I no longer point the finger just at men for pedestalising this unrealistic body type and forcing women to endanger themselves undergoing unhealthy surgical procedures to enhance their lacklustre badunks. I also blame the women for choosing to base their slef-worth in their aesthetic appeal alone, and turning their backs (pun intended) on their true potential. 
The booty is beautiful, but so is the mind that crafted the garments to cover it. BLEURGH!!

Booty Beauty

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