Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Feminism: In Which I Have Choice Words for Ann Coulter That I Will Not Use

Can we please agree to never give this woman airtime ever again? She is a hateful woman who has no regard for the rights of people who are not rich, white Republicans. She makes me question my commitment not to say unnecessarily incendiary things about other women, because believe me, I have some choice words for her, but I will refrain from using them just this once. After taking immense heat for calling the President a retard after one of the debates, she went on Piers Morgan's show to defend her position and complain about being censored by the "word police". I cannot with her or anything she says.

The fact that she wants to disfranchise women and is proud of that fact makes me a little sick to my stomach. (Fun fact Ann, that would mean your vote too...) The fact that she has no sensitivity for those with down-syndrome, and can't seem to comprehend how words become bastardized when used derogatively really make me question how she ever became as highly regarded as she is. Her inability to understand that using the word "retard" to insult someone is equating someone you don't like with people with down-syndrome as though something is wrong with that condition really upsets me. She is deliberately obtuse and hateful. As someone commented on the video, "Retard is a verb. To use it as a noun is insulting." I think that's a brilliant way to put it.

In any case, this woman wears on me and my ability to think good things about the world.
Let's never speak of her again.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Photography: In Which I Shoot the NDDCI "Transition" Rehersals

(That's me now, in case you forgot. I did.)

It has been absolutely ages since I've shot anything substantial. Last week(ish), I shot the Noble Douglas Dance Company's rehearsals leading up to their show. It was a great experience, and a lot of good practice. I learned a lot about shooting large groups while remaining inconspicuous and also engaging enough to get good shots. It was exhausting to say the least.

In any case, these are a few of the shots that I did not hate. There are very few of them. Check them out after the jump, and then check out the far superior shots taken by FPF over on the NDDCI facebook page.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

In Which I Am Now BattyMamzelle

So... I did this little thing where I changed the name of my blog.


I know, I'm a pain in the ass. I've been thinking on this for a little while now, and I think this change is for the best. It's going to take me a little while to sort out all of the kinks and update all my links, so pretty please bear with me if things are a little wonky for the rest of the week.

In any case, the new name of my blog is BattyMamzelle. There is a meaning behind it, but I'll wait until I've settled all the technical things before I write a detailed post about it. The new/temporary URL (until I get around to re-purchasing a domain) is All m other networks will change accordingly. ( etc.)

Again, I'm SUPER SORRY that this is happening so suddenly and AGAIN, (I switched to PLola in January)  but I think it's a neccessary change, and I don't plan on changing again. I'm trying to have the old URL redirect here in the meantime, but it remains to be seen if I can figure that out! Hopefully by the end of the week everything will be sorted. Thank you so much for being patient, and I'm SORRY!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Feminism/Uncensored: In Which I Unleash A Sh*tstorm of Ranted Expletives on a Local Radio DJ

Last night I spent about an hour in my car, hate listening to the radio.


I was heading home around 7:30pm and listening to "Raw Nitro" on Boom Champions 94.1 FM with Mr. Smooth and DJ Karey. It was their "Make Up or Break Up" segment, and the topic of conversation was essentially a very crass version of What's your number? Intrigued as I am by discussions of sexuality, I listened, curious to see where it would go. I'm not sure why I thought the session would be in any way enlightened, but I had faith in Trinidad. That faith was shattered last night.

Because THIS:

Listeners were encouraged to call in and disclose their numbers. Fair enough. What was NOT okay was the way in which the female callers were treated after having done so. There was a CLEAR and BIASED dichotomy between the way the men and women were treated and frankly, it was disgusting.

The men had a nice time of it. They called in their numbers, (some bragging upwards of 900 women, I kid thee not) collected their virtual fist-bumps and went on their way.

But the women who called with higher numbers (varying from between 15 to 35 if I remember correctly  were essentially told that no man would ever want to marry them, (because ZOMG WHAT IS A WOMAN WITHOUT A WEDDING RING?!?!?!?) allusions to loose vaginas included, and those with low numbers (usually 3 to 5) were told that they MUST be lying, and to not call in and lie to them.


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

In Which I Am Outraged Almost To the Point of Tears

You hear about things like this happening all the time, but they're mostly anecdotal. You assume that thing couldn't be that bad, and that the person is surely exaggerating.

But then you see something like this and it makes you outraged and frustrated to the point of tears. (Or at least it does if you're like me and you cry when you get angry instead of getting physical.)

People like to think that Obama's mere existence is an indication that people no longer hold racial prejudice. And even though they clearly do, it would be fine if that prejudice wasn't supported by a power dichotomy that had the ability to make life so difficult for people of colour.

This video is about a teenager from Harlem's experience with NYC controversial "Stop and Frisk" policy, the often racial motivations behind each stop, and the pressure of police officers to "fill their quotas". It's horrible the way that the people who are being paid to protect us are being encouraged to victimize and harass us. It's unspeakable to me, and I really can't even say too much more about it right now because I've reached my rage quote for the day.

For all my NYC readers, have you encountered the NYPD's "Stop and Frisk" in your own life, and if so, how did you come away from the experience? Let me know in the comments below.

Editorial: Ellinore and Maria by Mikael Schulz in “Beautiful Color” for Fashion Gone Rogue

 Ellinore and Maria by Mikael Schulz

There really isn't much to say here except "Holy shit that's gorgeous."
Full editorial after the jump.

Editorial: Emma Xie & Claire Collins by Alexander Neumann in Haute Couture for L’Officiel Paris October 2012

Emma Xie and Claire Collins by Alexander Neumann

I haven't posted editorials in quite some time, so I figured I'd get back to that today. I absolutely love this editorial in October's LÓfficiel Paris. It's strong, colourful and very dramatic. Basically everything I love.

What's especially gorgeous about this shoot is the way there are multiple fashion photography tropes going at once. You've got the broken down doll, the dark and dangerous, the aloof and fabulous and the "am I just this fabulous". It amuses me that like everything else, there are still easily identifiable recurring themes in fashion photography. It makes the game a little easier to play and understand. Enjoy the pretty!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Misc. Music: Put Your Graffiti On Me by Kat Graham

Here we are again! I actually had a thoughtfully written piece planned for today, but I'm lazy and I don't feel like finishing it. Really all I want to do is watch last night's episode of Dexter, but I digress.

This installment of Misc. Music stars resident witch in chief Kat Graham. If you're plugged in, you'll know that I'm not being rude. She plays badass, lady-witch Bonnie Bennett on the CW's Vampire Diaries.

In any case, the dance-only video version for Kat's Put Your Graffiti On Me single is pretty hot! Apparently Kat Graham is still pursuing a music career and this was her first single released back in March. Why she insists on doing the music thing is beyond me. She's a great dancer, as evidenced by the video, and she's STUNNING, but her singing is mediocre, and things are clearly not taking off for her. This is probably her fifth "first single". NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION TO YOU KAT... Especially since she seems determined to be known more for her ridiculous daring fashion choices than anything else...

via MTV Style

via MTV Style

But again, I digress.

I actually really love this video/song. The fashion is pretty fab and the choreography is sex on a stick. I may or may not teach it to myself in my spare time. The fashion highlights for me were the plethora of hard-body bras, and that bitching ponytail! Seriously, THAT SHIT IS FIERCE. The original version of the video has a few more awesome moments, but I don't feel like getting into them right now because it's late and I want to go home. But you should definitely click that link I so graciously provided and ogle at Kat's stunning-ness. Also, as a result of this video I have amended my fitness goals as follows: 
Have fantastic ass that looks good in booty shorts.
That's about it really. 
I know. I don't ask for much :) 

What do you think of the video? Did you even know Kat Graham had a music career? What was the fashion highlight of the video for you? Let me know in the comments below!

Fashion Finds: Historically Accurate Disney Princesses

Artwork © Claire Hummel, 2011

And my childhood obsession with Disney princesses will never cease! Over on pinterest today I discovered these awesome illustrations by Claire Hummel of the princesses with historically accurate costumes. Most of Disney's versions weren't that far off! Me, I just think these illustrations are gorgeous. Pocahontas above jump might be my favourite, but check out Tiana, Mulan, Ariel, Belle and others after the jump!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

In Which I Am Now Peggy Olsen OR I Got A JOB You Guys....

via Freshed Baked Sketches

I am employed. So basically a miracle happened.
I started last Friday, and I'm now officially a copywriter at an advertising firm. I won't say where yet because I don't know if I'm allowed to and I had to sign some scary looking confidentiality contracts...
My middle name is even Margaret.

Okay now that I've indulged myself and compared myself to Peggy Olsen, (as if) I actually really like this job. I mean, it's been a week, so it might be too early for sweeping assessments, but everyone is really nice, the work is fun and challenging, we drink rum on Fridays.... it's pretty sweet! I'm excited to do a little more and have more responsibility because bored is essentially death to me, and I want to feel like I'm earning my keep.

The only thing that sucks is having to get up at 5AM to beat the traffic and get into town on time. I have been sleeping until 10AM for FOUR YEARS. This responsibility shit is HARD. But it's worth it because getting to work early means an awesome parking spot! Basically, I haven't been here long enough to know anything, but so far, I like what I see and I'm excited to do more and learn more.

And I can't wait until I pull a total Peggy and start running my own department!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Changing the Conversation: The Dove "Real Beauty" Campaign and the Debate on "Real" Women

The Image of Real Beauty?
via Lexis Agency

There are many things that bother me in this world. That's why I have a blog. So I can whine about them in peace, and not harass people who don't want to hear about it. But there's something happening in the body politics debate that has been bothering me in the last few months, and I want to lay it out in the open.

The Dove "Real Beauty" campaign is problematic.

In the last few months, I've seen countless advertisements from Dove touting their dedication to "real" beauty and "real" women. Naturally, all the women in the ads are older, curvier, and often, women of colour.

Now, you must be asking yourself what could possibly be my issue with a campaign that seeks to radically change the definition of beauty? Dove's ads have taken women who are typically ignored by major beauty franchises and elevated them to star status. This is what we've been asking for, right? Dove has finally done what no other company would. They listened. So what's the problem?

The problem with Dove's campaign is that it is working on a zero-sum continuum of beauty. Instead of opening the definition of "beauty" to be more inclusive, it is simply changing it to exclude a different subset of women.

The answer to the beauty question isn't "real women have curves", it's "all women are real, and they're all equally beautiful." By labeling older, curvier women as "real", they are automatically labeling younger, more slender bodies as "unreal", which is obviously not okay. Those bodies are just as real. They are simply different.

In situations where one party in a discussion feels marginalized or ignored, it gets very easy to fire back at the other side on a personal level. The fashion industry has long had a preference for younger, more slender and yes, white bodies. But that isn't the fault of young, slender, Caucasian women. There is definitely needs to be a change in the mean demographics of the fashion industry. We've made strides over the years, and there is obviously still a long way to go. But making these women feel as poorly about their bodies as women of colour and size have felt for years does nothing to elevate our cause. All it does is create a different kind of divisiveness that is equally as sinister.

The answer to the body image question isn't to designate an ideal. That will always leave someone feeling left out and slighted. The answer is to be more inclusive. To accept all diverse body types as acceptable and beautiful. By shifting the definition of beauty instead of expanding it, we're just rehashing the same problems.

Dove's campaign is commendable in what it's trying to achieve but it fails in the execution. It's time we become more conscious of the issues facing women in today's world, and be more mindful not to alienate some women in order to appease others.

What do you think? Do you agree that the campaign is problematic? How do you think the campaign can be improved? What would you have done differently? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 8 October 2012