Darkened Sweet Hearts

shoes It's come to that time of year where I start to complain about the heat we're currently experiencing in Australia (specifically my little corner of the east coast ) The sun is in full swing at the moment, and joining it is it's close friend humidity! I actually don't mind "disgustingly" hot days, as long as it's a dry heat. When it's a humid heat you can't cool down properly.

hand o hip

This is one of my go to "It's too hot for clothes" outfits. The material of the shirt is a super thin linen, which allows my skin to breathe. I tend to wear a lot of net stockings like these in summer as well. Again, the net allows my skin to breathe.

 

 

More deets

As cute as this outft is, I can't wait until the heat no longer dictates my clothing choices. I prefer a more covered up look, but that's just too hard when it's too hot for clothes.

looking to da syde

I experienced some subtle sexism the other day, and after reading this article earlier this evening (TLDR: A male science teacher told his class that girls aren't as good at physics as boys) it's been weighing on my mind.

Shoe Deets

I was at a party, and this guy was there. This was the first time I'd met him, and he seemed pretty solid. I've been getting pretty into photography this year and he's a semi professional photographer, so we ended up talking about photography. Sort of.

 

 

tea pot

I talked about photography, but he taught me about photography, explaining very rudimentary concepts which I'd practiced (and mastered) on my previous camera (which was a teeny tiny point and shoot) Despite displaying my enthusiasm and knowledge about photography right off the bat it was assumed that my knowledge and understanding was minimal.

We ended up talking about our processes and showing each other some bits of our portfolio (which for me is this blog). He was quite shocked when I told him I took them myself with a tripod and timer, as he'd assumed that Ro took my blog photos.

look up

There was this air of intellectual and artistic dominance that surrounded our entire exchange. Assumptions were made on his end that I was not an artistic equal which, after the assumption that my partner takes my blog photo's, I'm entirely sure were rooted in sexist tendencies. I am entirely sure that he wasn't consciously being sexist, but that's what bothers me most - this ingrained sexism (which I've had the pleasure of observing throughout my professional life).

I know it's just a little thing, but it's the little things that add up over time and snowball into bigger things.

Foresty Creature

shoes There's this girl I follow on instragram, Tilly Baker. Tilly is a certified rainbow princess - beautiful and brightly coloured. Because of this, she stands out. Sometimes when you stand out some people (men in particular) feel entitled to making conversation about your outfit or your body, ignoring all of the verbal and non verbal cues.

 

 

Better face

She posted about this on instagram recently, and her story bought back a memory from last year. I had been cat called 3 times in one day. I talked about it with a male friend, who then proceeded to tell me if I didn't want this sort of attention I shouldn't dress the way that I do.

peekingSo, because some men can't keep their thoughts and opinions about a woman's body to themselves, women aren't allowed to wear bright colours?  Women are not objects to be leered at, even when they're dressed in unconventional ways. This culture of entitlement needs to stop (which is why I'm posting about it!) SO if anything like this happens to you, or has happened to you speak out. Let everyone know that this behaviour is not ok and you will not tolerate it! (End Rant)

Looking behind

I really enjoyed wearing this dress on Monday. A couple of days after I finished the alterations, A film group from our uni started shooting a music video of Shapes as part of their end of year project. It was a really fun process, but this dress was essentially my "film uniform" (which I kept in a bag with the accessories I needed so I'd look pretty much the same every time) (You can watch the video here)

starin

It was nice to be able to play with the way the dress was styled. I used more neutral colours this time to bring out the unusual olive and almost purple blue in the dress.

bow deets

The shoes I have on are shoes I purchased recently when my favourite black oxfords died. They're not quite oxfords, but they're pretty darn close (It's a real task trying to get oxfords for under $60 in Australia in Summer). I had to get these from  the men section *gasp*. They are actually the most comfortable piece of footware I've ever owned.

crouch

Turns out that shoes aren't gendered, meaning, as a lady, I can totally wear "men's" shoes. (The opposite holds true as well, if you're not a lady, you can buy ladies shoes as well!)

looking up

The whole "stuff you put on your body is not gendered" holds true for clothing as well. So if you see a piece of clothing you like, ignore the "gender" associated with it, and wear it proudly!

grump

(My gosh, that was a bit of a segway - In unreleated news, have a lovely evening/morning :) )

Scallops

feets "Everyone's pretty, just not everyone knows they're pretty" These are the wise words of youtuber Kassie King, who is a fabulous youtuber that I watch on occasion. The video this quote is from is a rambly discussion in which Kassie talks about her path to self love and body acceptance as someone who does not fit the "pretty" mold. (if you want to watch the video you can view it here) The above quote a chord with me.  I know so many people who are very beautiful but think the opposite because of how the concept of "pretty" is portrayed.

full body

I know that I come from a place of thin person/white privilege, but, I don't understand why feminine beauty is relegated to tall, long hair, skinny with tanned skin if you're white, but light skin if you're not. I also don't understand why society pressures those who don't fit the feminine beauty standards to either 1) fix themselves so they fit, or 2) feel subhuman because they can't/don't want to conform.

I love that the body acceptance/size acceptance movement is trying to counter the current beauty standards. I love that these movements are gaining more and more traction. I also love that these movements are taking back the word fat. Fat shouldn't be a negative or a positive attribute, it should just be a neutral descriptor, like tall or short. The less we use fat as an insult/negative descriptor, the less "being fat" is seen as the "worst thing ever".

bubbles

Miley Cyrus's recent interview has also spurred on my recent thoughts about how beauty is portrayed in society. I won't say much about the interview as my thought's are still quite muddled, but it's well worth the read. As much as I don't like Miley's work, I'm glad that she's using her fame and influence to have these discussions in such a mature way. It's also lovely to see her have a successful career, whilst breaking away from some of society's celebrity beauty standards.

portrait w coat

On that note, I'd love to share some of my favourite style blogs run by people that don't fit society's beauty standards, but are some of the most beautiful bloggers I've had the pleasure of following.

no legs

Cup Cake This is Georgina Doull who run's a blog called Cupcake's Clothes. I'm still yet to find another person who can style/ pull off pastel as well as she does.  Every portion of every outfit is executed perfectly down to the tiniest detail.

noodle

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset This is Ragini, who run's a Curious Fancy. I remember the week I stumbled upon her blog. I spent hours reading the complete archives. I'd describe the experience like reading a book backwards. I started at the end and worked my way to the beginning. Something that remained a constant through her whole blog was how beautifully she dressed (And still dresses, I mean, look at her outfit yo!)

Headshot

Miss MagFinally we have Marie, who runs the blog Migg Mag. One of my favourite things about reading her blog (apart form her amazing clothes) is how she talks about size acceptance, self love and beauty standards. I find her writing on the topic to be some of the most well written engaging pieces I've ever read on the subject. She also did a fabulous interview for the Style Like U - What's Underneath? Project (which you can't watch here)

landscape without coat

Finally, on a completely unrelated note I sewed a thing last night! I made the skirt I wore today. I cut the fabic before I moved out, and ever since then it had been taunting me. I finally managed to get my sewing room in enough order to be able to use is, which meant I was able to finish my skirt! :D

Cute as a mouse

wpid-pict_20150512_161649.jpg I would like to have a real talk about beauty ideals and body hair. (This is spurred on by a post Buddle and Squeak made on her instagram like a week and a half ago) The TLDR of the situation is this: Everyone has body hair, and no one should make you feel ashamed of how you wear it/try and shame you into wearing it differently.

wpid-pict_20150512_160549.jpg

I was taught by the media and my peers to be ashamed of my body hair at age 12 (which is when I started shaving). The message (which I received loud and clear) was that women don't have body hair, and if you do, you should shave it off because if it's not on your head it's dirty, disgusting and gross. ( I've not actually talked to anyone about this before, but up until recently I was incredibly self conscious about my body hair, particularly on my stomach which has a teeny tiny snail trail of almost invisible hair).

wpid-pict_20150512_160452.jpg

I can remember sitting in sport in year 8 and eavesdropping on a conversation the popular kids were having. They were discussing the girls who were gross because they didn't shave their legs, or they had stubble, or their arm hair was dark. I can remember trying to hide my arms because the hair on my arms was visible and I didn't want to be perceived as gross.  I also used to shave my legs every night to avoid having any sort of leg hair, and let it be known, I didn't shave because I wanted to, I shaved because I thought I had to.

I also remember some close friends of mine being teased because they were late to the shaving party. (I never noticed that they didn't shave until this happened 1) Because they were my friends, and 2) of all the things I cared about, other peoples body hair was incredibly low on my list)

I think the saddest part of this whole situation is that I didn't realise that I had a choice over 1) whether I shaved or not and 2) whether I let my body hair bother me.

wpid-pict_20150512_160953.jpg

(Sorry if this is a bit TMI) My outlook on shaving is very different nowadays. I still shave my pits every night, but that's only because I find it more comfortable. I shave my legs once every 3 or 4 months (only because it feels uncomfy under my tights when I leave it that long). I don't feel ashamed when I wear a bikini and I haven't shaved my legs any more. It's liberating not caring about something so trivial.

I'm not particularly sure if there's a moral to this post. I just think that it's silly people spend so much time and energy thinking about/persecuting others for something as silly as a few hairs in places that aren't the top of a head. The only way people will stop caring is if society somehow normalises body hair, and that's only possible if people talk about it (hence why I'm talking about it)

wpid-pict_20150512_161258.jpg

In other news, my band got into Wollombi Music Festival! This is pretty exciting news (especially seeing as this is our first official festival ever) Anyway, if you're interested in a full day of folky fun you can check out the deets here.

wpid-pict_20150512_161545.jpg

Cat Calling 101: What is Cat Calling, Why it's Wrong, and what you can do to stop it.

wpid-pict_20150311_185931.jpg Sorry for my absence! The musical really destroyed me this week (We had 4 shows in 3 days!) I wore this outfit Friday last week, so I'm posting it super late :s

In my absence this week, there have been some fabulous (and not so fabulous discussions) around sexual harassment via cat calling on both blogs I follow, and on my personal facebook feed. As this is a topic close to my heart, I feel like I should weigh in. The only way to stop this sort (and any sort of negative  behaviours really) is to spread the word/educate. So that's what I'm doing!

wpid-pict_20150311_185633.jpg

Two of my favourite bloggers Katie from Buddle and Squeak, and Annika from the Pine Needle Collective posted about cat calling. (I suggest you read their posts before you read mine, because they have some absolutely brilliant things to say on the subject. Katie's post. Annika's post )

Lets start off with a definition of what exactly a cat call is:

http://www.merriam-webster.com: a sound or noise that someone (such as an audience member) makes toward a speaker, performer, athlete, etc., that he or she does not like

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/ 1 A shrill whistle or shout of disapproval made at a public meeting or performance: he walked out to jeers and catcalls

1.1 A loud whistle or a comment of a sexual nature made by a man to a passing woman: women were the objects of catcalls when they walked by the men’s barracks
When a guy gives the wert whirl whistle or yells at a babydoll for the purpose of getting attention and in hopes of a future hookup. This is usually done out of the window of a car. Typically a Pontiac Firebird, or Camaro.99.9% a hookup never arises and it's just the thrill that keeps these going.

So, according to these definitions a cat call is 1) Something that men do to women in order to assert their dominance 2) something to show disapproval towards someone in a loud attention seeking fashion.

wpid-pict_20150311_185721.jpg

"But Jen, how am I as a man supposed to let someone know that I like what their wearing / their physical appearance/ want to let them know they're cool ?" Basically you're not. There are a few main things that factor into making cat calling inappropriate.

1) When I get dressed, the only person I am dressing for is myself. I know I'm not dressed like everyone else. I don't need comments pointing this out to me.  don't care if you mean it as a compliment, it's still not appropriate because

2) "Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them  - Margaret Atwood. This quote was brought to my attention during a feminist debate on facebook and I think it basically sums up the situation beautifully. I, and many of my female friends are scared of men we do not know, especially when travelling alone/ after dark. Literally all of my female friends can tell you storys of when they were cornered by a man/ touched inappropriately/ had obscenities yell at them because they are a woman. I've shared a few of my worst experiences on this very blog. Now, not all men are out to get us, infact, most are probably very nice and do not have a single bad bone in their body, but we don't know that. We can list off countless encounters in which strangers have harrassed us, so to keep ourselves SAFE we have to keep interactions with men we do not know to a minimum, just in case this is the guy that has intentions overpower me/ steal my hand bag/rape me/ murder me. It's a very very very real fear that myself and many others have.

wpid-pict_20150311_185905.jpg

So now you know what cat calling is, and why you shouldn't do it, but you may not know what you can do about it. There's actually quite a bit you can do.

Talk to your friends/family/ social media about your own experiences and how it's made you feel. If something serious/illegal has happened, talk to the police. Tell everyone that will listen that this behaviour is not acceptable, and you will not stand by in silence.

Offer support to those who have experienced harassment. If the event has passed, offer your judgement free shoulder to cry on. Don't comment on what they were wearing/ say they were asking for it, because quite frankly it shouldn't matter what they were wearing. If you see such an event in progress, don't just stand there and watch / ignore it. Go up to the person and give them an out.

And finally, if you practice the disgusting art of cat calling stop. It's not cool, it's not cute, it's not manly, it's not sexy. It is sexual harassment  and completely unacceptable, and completely avoidable.

*Please note I am only talking from experiences I am familiar with. This is an extraordinarily brief introduction to sexual harassment in the form cat calling and what you can do about it. I am also not an expert on the subject (but unfortunately I have lots of practical knowledge from my own experiences / stuff my friends have talked about.)