I am Loving Princess Margaret’s IRL Style

After watching The Crown (in one weekend cause it’s so good people), I was a big fan of Princess Margaret or at least her fictional portrayal… I got to googling and discovered how I much I love her IRL style too! She’s glamorous, whimsical, and unexpected. She wears diamonds and fur like nobodies business one night and pastel prints with statement earrings the next. The photo of her wearing a plaid bonnet and smoking a cigarette is basically my life goal.

Here are a few photos to inspire your Monday:

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A Blog Roundup for the Weekend!

For those who don’t know, I’m a big blog junkie. I love reading blogs, talking about social media, and following my favorite brands wherever the internet takes them. So I’ve decided to round up my favorite things from the blogosphere every week and talk a little bit about them. Anything from editorial photos to influencer business to great articles, I’ll be sharing what caught my eye in the gloriously oversaturated world of digital media.

The Borrower from The Londoner

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Okay, so this is technically from last week, but I really love some of the photos in this post. Great interior shots, cute touch with the FT, and she nicely pulls together the “unisex” selling point of the perfume in a genuine way. I’ve always really admired Rosie for being more adventurous than a lot of other bloggers (unexpected locations, trying new things, showing a little more skin) and I feel like this post is really authentic to her voice: luxurious and sexy, but still a little girl next door. Also, her imagery has been really improving (some of the photos in her ski posts were so editorial!) so I’m really excited to see her keep moving in that direction.

Also, so excited to see her upcoming Austria posts – her instagram photos are insane!

Steps to Snowball by Lakeshore Lady

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Love this outfit post from Chicago’s own Lauren Nolan – it’s classic with a touch of the cut-out trend and seriously gorgeous!

I’m curious about all the Chicago bloggers going to the same event, the Junior Council’s Snowball. I mean, I’m always glad when influencers use their platform to promote something good, just curious as to what brings them all to that particular charity. Would have been nice to hear a little bit about why it’s close to their heart and a call to action, but I feel like so many bloggers are reticent to get even minutely political…

A Week of Outfits: Brooke Williams on Cup of Jo

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I’ve really liked this series since it launched. Personal style is so fun and visible right now and I feel like Joanna knows so many interesting and stylish women (like how?!). I love Brooke’s quirky style and appreciate that Cup of Jo is featuring diverse women in many ways: women of color, tall women, older women, plus-sized women, etc. Joanna always seems responsive to her readers and with everything going on politically, I think she’s stepped up and takes her platform seriously.

Also, I love how Brooke says the first outfit picture above makes her feel like a “flirty intellectual” 😂 Like this is actually my life goal.

That’s all for this week and if you have any posts that you love, send them my way. I’m always on the prowl for new bloggers that I love! Have a great weekend!

Women’s March Madison + 3 Things I’m Pledging to Do

On Saturday I marched with thousands of women and men (and children and grandmas and families) to say that we will not be silent for the next four years. It was the first time since I voted for Hillary Clinton that I felt proud of our politics, that I felt any sort of hope for our future.

After living abroad for so much of the election the divisions here at home came as a shock. The last few months have been hard for a lot of reasons, but watching Trump throw tantrums at the media and scramble to assemble a (white, male) cabinet have been an underlying source of depression.

But the power, excitement, and humor of the Women’s March was so energizing and has me thinking a lot about my own actions and impact on the future. I’ve also seen so many poignant posts about the necessity of intersectional feminism and how much work there is to be done by my demographic (myself included) to support black women, trans women, and indigenous women.

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There’s a lot of discussion about now what – we did the march, but we have to keep the momentum. I’m so excited to see what comes next in this movement and here are a few things that I’m pledging to do:

1. Contact my new local representatives, especially Republican senator Ron Johnson who has consistently voted against access to contraception and abortion. Boooooo.

2. Dedicate a portion of my monthly income to local women’s organizations – I’m coming for you Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and YWCA of Madison!

3. Do more to celebrate the amazing women in my life – call my best friends more, go home for the weekend to hang out with my grandma, reach out to women at work who I find inspiring. Ever since I left Bryn Mawr I’ve felt like I’m missing my community of women, but I have so many great female friends, mentors, and family members right here. It’s time to cultivate these relationships again.

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Did you go to the women’s march? If so, where? I’ve seen so many amazing photos, signs, and stories from Saturday – would love to hear. And if there’s anything that you’re doing as a next step, let me know too! There’s a lot flying around about important actions to take from here and I’m all ears.

“As we go marching, marching, we’re standing proud and tall.
The rising of the women means the rising of us all.
No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life’s glories, bread and roses, bread and roses.”

Bread and Roses, 1911

Louise O’Neill Interviews Lindy West

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Last night, I had the extreme pleasure of going to see Lindy West speak with Irish author Louise O’Neill here in Dublin. The event was part of Lindy’s book tour promoting her memoir, Shrill, but they also talked about body positivity, the #shoutyourabortion campaign, and Lindy’s ideal internet troll.

In their discussion of internet trolling, Lindy’s story for This American Life came up. I immediately remembered the harrowing tale of an internet troll who created a false online account of Lindy’s own father, who had recently passed away, saying horrible things about his ‘daughter’. The story has stuck with me since I heard it over a year ago, but I (dumbly) didn’t even realize that this was the same woman until that moment. Now seeing her in person and watching her light up the entire room, the depth of that story hit me all over again – How could something so horrible happen to someone so vivacious and warm? Are some people truly that threatened by other people’s happiness?

But what makes Lindy incredible is that she did not simply accept this troll and let him continue (although she did talk about when that is totally okay to do too), she actually confronted him and spoke to him for several hours about his own life and how he came to troll her for the last several years. Who confronts and forgives their horrible online trolls?! Lindy West, people. What a badass.

The two went on to discuss Lindy’s new book (which I’m totally picking up now so bravo at successful marketing), where she shares stories of her journey from quiet human to loud and proud fat woman and feminist. Just hearing her speak for that hour, I can tell that her voice is thoughtful, funny, and fierce and I’m excited to see how this translates into her writing. I’ll keep you posted!

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The whole night was actually a fantastic reminder that the feminist world is a rather small one and is full of women who want to help each other out. Because I’m on my own quite a bit, it’s easy to think that maybe I’m the only person thinking about this stuff, maybe I’m the only one feeling this pressure. Especially after leaving Bryn Mawr, where everyone talked about feminism constantly, the real world has seemed so barren in terms of these kinds of conversation. But being in that room with women (and men) who wanted to talk about these issues and share their real stories felt so good – someone even commented that they wanted to bottle up this feeling and carry it with them all the time. And I think that’s the challenge for feminists everywhere: how do we live our values every day in a world that tries to tear them down? To that, I don’t think there is one right answer, but last night definitely reminded me that solidarity is essential in making equality happen and allowing diminished voices to become amplified.

A huge thank you to Louise O’Neill and Lindy West for an incredible evening and a huge boost in my feminist confidence! Also shout out to Irish Tatler for the wine, mini hamburgers, and for sponsoring our sweet selfie – always appreciated!

Introducing… My Master’s Dissertation!

For those of you who don’t know, I’m currently writing my master’s dissertation here at Trinity College Dublin. Just me and 15,000 words all summer… soooo fun… The whole thing has been pretty solitary, which can be tough for me, so I wanted to share some of what I’ve been reading/thinking about/procrastinating with all of you.

Before you start rolling your eyes, I am not writing my dissertation on like 15th century clay pots or the habits of bug mating in South America (although I would probably still read a blog about that). I’m writing about social media, female sexuality, and young adult literature – more specifically, the way social media is used to shame and harm young women who either partake in consensual sex or are raped. So like pretty heavy stuff, right?

And I guess for me, the most important part of writing about this academically is to be able to talk about and share the things that I’m reading and discovering. Because as great as it will be to have another feminist piece of academic criticism on the books, that doesn’t necessarily start the conversation I want to have.

Since writing about my weird email experience (here), I have been completely inspired to make my blog a place of actual real conversation. It was so amazing to feel a sense of solidarity and real talk on the internet instead of trolling and tearing each other down and I want to keep that up. That doesn’t mean everything has to be heavy all the time (I’m sure there will be a fair share of silly/excited/fun posts as well) but I’m really trying to steer myself in the direction of my genuine opinions, which will also be a journey for myself as a person/writer.

SO with all that said, please feel free to give me real/candid/anonymous/whatever makes you comfortable comments on any of this stuff because the blog is just another page on the internet without you…

Now back to the main event!

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Above are just a few of the many books I’ll be reading for my dissertation, including my three primary texts Asking for It by Irish author Louise O’Neill, Gossip Girl the series that inspired the TV show by Cecily Von Ziegesar, and Good Girls by Laura Ruby. All three, in different ways and at varying degrees of technological advancement, deal with young women be criticized for sexual acts (consensual or not) on the internet.

Asking For It is by far the most recent, published in 2015, and is also the roughest one to read both in terms of sexual violence and patriarchal bullshit. Good Girls also has its fair share of infuriating moments, but promises more resolution and female solidarity than the others. Gossip Girl, I was surprised to learn, is rather different than the TV show, but is still packed with drama, nonetheless.

I have gotten several eye rolls/questioning looks from librarians as I’ve checked these out, so I would like to take a second to defend my choice in academic literature: These are books people read outside of school. Girls read them when they’re 13, adults read them to regress a little at night, people read books like these without an academic lens. But I think it can be dangerous to leave books that are widely consumed by culture (and particularly by young women) completely unexamined. What are these books really saying? Are they empowering or puritanical? Do they show girls that sex is a natural right or something to be feared? I’m not sure yet – that is kind of the point of all this. But I’m not content to let these books be tossed aside by academia simply because they are intended for young women.

As I go through this writing process, I’ll be sharing bits and bobs of what I’m researching hoping that someone else will find it interesting, too. And as a way of keeping my own sanity as I dive into the pits of patriarchal hell.

So let me know what you think! Have you read any of these? What else should I be reading? Seriously, recommendations would be incredibly, amazingly helpful because the internet is a deep dark place… Thanks so much y’all!

International Women’s Day ♀

I know I’m a day late, but I wanted to wish you all a happy International Women’s Day! Trinity has put together an awesome program of events all week long, a few of which I’ve had the chance to photograph, and let me just say the feminist spirit is alive and well in Ireland!

I attended 2 panel discussions yesterday that were amazing – nothing fills up my heart quite like seeing women come together for empowerment, debate, and solidarity. I’ll be sharing more of those discussions next week, but wanted to celebrate some of my favorite female heroes today…

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Top to Bottom:

  1. “Women who Changed Science and the World” by Hydrogene (also love the female scientists artwork from this etsy shop)
  2. Katharine Hepburn loading up, Lady Gaga and Lana Del Rey getting hipster
  3. Painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, “Men put me down as the best woman painter. I think I’m one of the best painters.”
  4. The stately Frida Kahlo, The perfectly askew Patti Smith
  5. Michelle Obama (and the arms that changed a nation)
  6. The blissful Maya Angelou, A vintage Britney Spears
  7. The unstoppable Anna Wintour
  8. Margaret Hamilton with the code she wrote for Apollo 11, the stunning Pina Bausch
  9. Of course, my inspiring, strong, goofy mother 💕

Who are your favorite female role models? So grateful we live in a world with so many amazing women to look up to…

Women Are Liars

A friend of mine recently posted an article on Facebook that immediately caught my attention: “How We Teach Our Kids That Women Are Liars” by Soraya Chemaly on RoleReboot.org

I’m constantly fascinated by the subtle ways that society sends messages and how negative messages about women are subconsciously sent out in mass media. The article summarizes the ways that women are portrayed as liars on television, in music, and on the news and gets into the religious groundwork and political ramifications of the cultural distrust of women (if you care to read the whole thing). But what really stopped me in my tracks were the statistics regarding people my age, college students, on the topic of rape on campuses.

The article states that “wide-scale evidence and multi-country studies…show the incidence of false rape reports to be in the 2%-8% range“, but that when college students were surveyed “they think up to 50% of their female peers lie when they accuse someone of rape”.

I am stunned.

My generation prides themselves on being the most progressive, most socially connected, and most forward thinking generation to date. But how can this possibly be true when we are not only ignoring our peers’ who come forward with experiences of rape, but are distrusting them literally half of the time? When we have a million ways to communicate and examine the lives of others has there really been no increase in empathy or understanding? Have our likes and hearts and favorites and follows all been for nothing?

This, unfortunately, runs parallel with other articles chronicling the distrust and silencing of women in the work place and the lack of support for and media coverage of feminist foreign policies. Feminism has gained a reputation for being a dirty word, but is it becoming a word that will be silenced forever?

For me, all of this only bolsters the importance of women’s stories in the arts, on social networks, and in mass media. We must continue to work against these foundational stories that foster the distrust of women and reveal that women are, in fact, whole people. Only when move away from these constructions of women as two-dimensional liars can we teach children to believe someone based on their character, not their gender.