Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bikini kill

I would rather slice my tongue many times over with a piece of paper and then squeeze a mix of lemon juice, vinegar and salt over it than go shopping for a bikini. Especially in Winter. But I am going to the Whitsundays next month and I want a new bikini - something that goes with white (hair and skin) - so I had to front up at a surf shop and face the racks and racks of bikinis even though it was freezing cold and I had been hiding under layers for the last few months.

Bikini shopping brings back terrible memories for me from growing up on the coast - a time when looking like this seemed to be the only way to find true happiness:

I never achieved this. But that didn't stop me trying for quite some time. It wasn't until the last few years of high school that I was happy being my own little misfit self and prior to that I wanted what every other teenager wants - not just to fit in, but to be super-duper popular. And the popular girls looked all smiley and perfect and ran along the beach, hand-in-hand, laughing while their gorgeous boyfriends surfed or whatever. (Ok - this may not actually be what they spent their time doing, but what would I know? I was too busy sitting under a tree reading for god's sake!)

This feeling that I won't fit in or look right comes screaming back whenever I step into a surf shop. The girls and guys that work there seem to look exactly like the people I went to school with and the smell of neoprene that hangs in the air still makes me feel a little queasy with feelings of inadequacy. They smile and offer assistance but I can tell that they are actually wondering what a loser like me is doing in their shop.

What also doesn't help in this situation is that, in spite of all my previous experiences, I have unreasonable expectations of what I will look like in a bikini. As if I have somehow acquired the body of a Victoria's Secrets model since my last expedition. Or that the bikinis will now have the ability to disguise, enhance and transform my body as required with only the teensiest bit of lycra.

And so it was whenI went into this shopping nightmare last weekend with the goal of finding a bikini that would make me look amazingly gorgeous - but like I wasn't trying too hard. Something that would make me look like these guys:






    Add to all of this delusional thinking:  dehydrated, pasty-white skin, goose-bumps, red lines that have been imprinted into my belly by my opaque tights, unpedicured feet and a stomach that is trying to digest the lunch I had just 15 minutes ago. Is it any wonder then that I end up shoving arm-fulls of rumpled up lycra at the perfectly perky 16 year old shop assistant (who, unscrupulously, told me I looked "totes hot" in every hideous pair I tried on) and flee the store a trembling, depressed mess? I then had to counter the unhealthy voice in my head that was telling that I should never eat again by listening to the also unhealthy, yet much louder and more awesome-sounding, voice that told me to eat my own weight in jelly beans.

    And I swear I will NEVER go bikini shopping again!

    The great thing is - maybe I won't have to. Last night, in a fit of desperation, I ordered a pretty, cute and nicely priced paisley bikini from without having to go through any of this pain. Of course, it might end up being a total disaster when it arrives and I finally try it on (in the comfort of my own home!) but at least buying it didn't suck every last shred of self-esteem from my pasty, goose-pimply body.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Why don't you liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike me?

    I have set up a facebook page for this blog - yay!

    So now my self-esteem will mostly be derived from how many people "like" my page. You should probably rush over to facebook and like me right now. Or I will cry. Seriously.

    Don't make me cry!!!!

    (I would put a little "like" button on the blog itself but I am technologically impaired and couldn't work it out. Honestly, it is a miracle I am able to keep this blog running at all!)

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Next generation of awesomeness


    Ever since I saw this photo almost 19 years ago, I have been waiting for Frances Bean Cobain, heir to the grunge throne, to grow into something awesome.

    I mean, she is the only daughter of two rock legends, she inherited her dad's giant blue eyes and her mum's endless pout, and her name is Frances BEAN!!!! Surely she was destined for big things.

    And while I am not that sure what exactly it is that she does for a "career" (I think she had an art exhibition a few years ago but apart from that she seems to just fight with her mum and post stuff on twitter), in my eyes, that wait is now over. Frances is now a style icon/ hottie mchottie.

    This became official a couple of weeks ago when Hedi Slimane released a series of GORGEOUS photos of FBC on her website

    This is just one of the photos but you should definitely head to the website to see the rest because it really is a lovely photo shoot.

    I have to admit there were a few moments there over the years that had me worried that she wouldn't live up to her full potential. She seemed kind of awkward, which is fine, but also on occassion she just looked like she was trying too hard. 



    This obvioulsy caused me major sad face.

    But now I am totally in love and my hope has been restored! Hooray for Frances Bean!!

    (PS Is it wrong to be envious of a girl whose father topped himself when she was but a wee little babe and whose mum is a slightly crazed ex crack head? Cos I totally am!)

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Pump it up

    Thanks to an evil lurgy that took over my body this week, I was stuck home from work with little will to do anything but nap, hang out with my cats and watch dvds.

    Following my 90s retrospective last week, I was in the mood to watch some old favourites. And as always when viewing the fashion of decades past, there were many cringe moments. I can remember loving every outfit that Cher and Dionne wore in Clueless when I first saw it. But now - it all just seems so ridiculous! It is kind of like watching a Spice Girls video or something - everything was so bright and impractical.

    So in spite of my declaration of love for Samantha Mathis back in the 90s, when I popped Pump Up the Volume into the dvd player, I was prepared to be at least a little embarrassed by the fact that I used covet her style so whole-heartedly. But colour me surprised - I totally think her outfits in that movie have stood the test of time.

    For those of you who haven't seen it (and you should be hanging your heads in shame and walking yourself  over to Blockbuster - or ordering  it from Amazon or download it or whatever it is that you crazy kids do - lickety-split!), Samantha plays Nora - smart, hot, sassy, sexy poetry-writing Nora who, desperate to break out of her high school hell, sets her sights on the shy boy by day, crazy pirate radio DJ by night played by Christian Slater (more on him later).

    So, of course, a character as cool as Nora's has a pretty off-beat, edgy wardrobe. But then so did Andie in Pretty in Pink and her outfits just seem a little too cray-cray in retrospect.
    (But I guess Andrew McCarthy seemed to dig it so I try not to judge her look too harshly.)

    Nora's, on the other hand, still seems very relevant and cute. It got me dragging out my oversized black jumpers and striped stockings and I desperately want to find a cute blazer like hers to wear over dresses when it starts to warm up a little:


    It has also made me miss having a sharp little black bob. And red lips! (I actually think they probably based Jane Lane from Daria on Nora - the hair, magenta lips, artistic tendencies, sarcastic wit - it is all there.)

    Oh and the other reason to watch it - Christian Slater wearing glasses and reading books (and occassionally taking his shirt off). Hooray!


    For the boys (if any are still reading after noticing that this is another overly-fashion-centric post) - Samantha also takes her shirt off (no bra!!) and she has quite a lovely set of ta-tas. So there is that. (But I am not including a photo of them because I am not that desperate for blog traffic and this is not that kind of blog anyway - but they are out there so google them if you must!)

    And for EVERYONE there is a freaking brilliant soundtrack - The Pixies, Bad Brains, Soundgarden, Above the Law, The Beastie Boys, Leonard Cohen, Ice-T, Sonic Youth - it will blow your tiny little mind!

    Fab on all levels really.

    Saturday, August 6, 2011

    Stuck in a time warp

    I got this really lovely style book a few Christmases ago. It covers different style icons from over the decades - from the 1920s to the 2000s. When I started to pour over the pages of this gorgeous book, I wondered which decade I most identified with style-wise. I was kind of thinking it would be the 40s or 50s. All pale skin, dark lips and carefully put-together outfits. The 60s icons were gorgeous, particularly the photos of Anna Karina, Shirley MacLaine and Edie. But the big names from the 70s and 80s were, for the most part, too gauche for me personally and I had never really been that drawn to them.

    Then - the 90s! Each of the icons in there had spoken to me at some point in my life and had been an object of my adoration. I had been fascinated and inspired by them and can pinpoint outfits in my wardrobe - both from when I was battling through my teens in the 90s and the things that I wear now - that have been directly influenced by every one of the women on those pages.

    I was, quite clearly, a 90s girl.

    Initially, this really disappointed me. I always liked to think that I was a bit more interesting than this - being stylistically stuck in the decade that I grew up in does not really make me seem very sophisticated or chic. And isn't this how the women who now wear mum-jeans started out?

    It isn't just the clothes either. I have been similarly disheartened with the way 90s music keeps drawing me back in. One minute, I think everything is fine - I am buying new stuff from Lykke Li, James Blake, Bat For Lashes - totally down with the kids and still very relevant. But then, BAM! Without even noticing, I am getting all nostalgic and have scrolled my ipod down to Faith No More or Hole or something. Familiar, comforting and soul-destroying all at the same time.

    It reminds me of what Travis said in Clueless:

    "The way I feel about the Rolling Stones is the way my kids are going to feel about Nine Inch Nails, so I really shouldn't torment my Mom anymore, huh?

    I might not have kids, but I am still feeling tormented. 

    Don't get me wrong - I still maintain that, much like 90s music was freaking awesome, the 90s babes were totally hot. Maybe even hotter than the babes of today (with the possible exception of Olivia Wilde who, I am convinced, is some kind of alien - a normal human cannot be that pretty!). And their outfits are still cute and I would wear any one of them right now. In fact, I do still wear very similar ones quite a lot.

    My favourite, most coveted look back in the 90s was Liv Tyler's. She was like some kind of 90s uber-goddess. I don't know a single boy at the time who didn't have lusty feelings for her after watching Empire Records or Stealing Beauty. So naturally, I wanted to be just like her!


    And as you can see from Ms Crazy-pout below, I went to great lengths to try to emulate her (and kind of ended looking more like Alanis Morrisette which was NOT what I wanted):

    The most tragic part is I was also still doing the whole Drew Barrymore eyebrows thing at the same time. Ugh. UGH! I wouldn't have even been able to hook up with Rex Manning with those things on my face! And see how sullen I looked? That is because I had issues. And was misunderstood. And read too much Emily Dickinson and listened to too much Tori Amos and Fiona Apple. Also, it is because Liv was always sulky in Stealing Beauty and I thought it looked cool.

    Anyway, it wasn't just about Liv. Other lovelies from that time that I wanted to be just like included:

    Brenda Walsh aka Shannen Doherty
    An early style-icon of mine, I loved her look and her attitude. And hated Kelly Taylor's guts (and most blondes) as a consequence. 

    Lisa Loeb
    Geek-chic at its finest. I actually ordered a dress off the other day because it reminded me of this one. I cannot WAIT until it arrives.

    Angela Chase aka Clare Danes
    Angela Chase kind of acted out my high school life on tv in an awkward, embarrassing way. And while I didn't get to see the show when I was in high school (it didn't air in Australia until much later), the magazine photos and clips that I had seen fascinated me because she was a similar age to me and yet somehow seemed so cool. Black leggings, baggy dresses, flannel shirts and cherry-red hair soon followed. 

    Samantha Mathis
    Samantha Mathis was always so cool and always around the cutest boys. Also, as you may have noticed, I have always been drawn to anyone in Hollywood with super-pale skin as they seemed like their looks were more accessible to me. (*cough* deluded *cough*)

    Bridget Fonda 
    So cute, tiny and stylish. This is definitely a look that I still like to rock. Even the hat (much to my husband's chagrin).

    Courtney Love 
    I still wear slip dresses with boots and big coats. And, while others think she is just bat-shit crazy, I think she is a style-icon to this day.

    So after flicking through this book, I decided to embrace the 90s look and how I have interpreted and re-interpreted it over the years instead of being embarrassed about being stuck in my past. Plus, it is retro now. Technically, I am ahead of the game.

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    Tatts for young and old

    Even though tattoos are pretty much mainstream nowadays, you still come across quite a few tatt haters. I am personally a fan - so long as they are done right.

    And, as with everything in life, I am down with people not having the same views as me. If you don't want to ink yourself up or if you just don't want to go through the, let's not lie, excruciating pain of having ink-laden needles stab you over and over then that is cool.

    Me getting ink done - the face says it all really

    Not really something you do half-heartedly so I say roll with your bad self.

    Some haters have come up with some sassy soundbites that they like to drop (usually defensively) into discussions about tattoos, including the fabulous: "These days NOT having a tattoo makes you different from everyone else!" Oddly, the people who say this aren't usually all that edgy or underground - I mean they aren't making some kind of ironic statement or anything by not getting tattoos.So, weird. Whatever. But this isn't anywhere near as annoying as the super-judgemental comment that I keep hearing over and over again:

    "I just don't think people think about what they will look like when they are old. I mean, gross."

    The problem with this statement is that it assumes that I plan on looking like this when I am old:

    No disrespect to our lovely Queenie, but I do not. This is seriously unlikely for two main reasons:

    1. If it is even remotely medically possible, I do not plan on ageing. Seriously. I am also in negotiations with the satan as we speak to come to some kind of an arrangement. (Well, as we type I guess. Well, really, I type, you read.); and
    2. If the negotiations breakdown for some reason or they discover Juvederm has some serious side-effects and I do end up *shudder* ageing, I am going to age awesomely. 
    I mean, a few cute, well-placed tattoos are not really going to look out of place if you keep on being awesome and dress like a freaking rockstar. Yep - even when you are old, you can still be super, amazingly cool.

    Don't believe me? Well I plan on drawing on the style of these lovely ladies for my inspiration: Vivienne, Patti and Laurie. All of whom have managed to hold onto their quintessential, punk rock style regardless of their age (rather than, say continuing to dress like a teenager and ignoring the fact that you are starting to look really, really weird. Yes, Madonna - I am talking to you!) 

    1. Vivienne Westwood

    2. Patti Smith


    3. Laurie Anderson


    I have no idea if any of these gorgeous women actually have tattoos, but if they did, they would not look gross just because they were no longer youngsters. They would just be something else that they collected over the course of their amazing lives, something that would stir memories and arouse old stories. Even if they regretted getting them for whatever reason, the tattoos would still be part of them - a decision made at a particular time, maybe representing a period of their lives when maybe they didn't think about what the consequences of their actions were. Or maybe they just got it to prove they were alive.

    Whatever the reason people do or don't get tattoos is usually pretty personal. So if you don't like tattoos, don't get one. If you don't like mine, that is fine too. But don't tell me the only reason you don't like it is because the skin that I have stained will one day be wrinkled - because I am going to rock it regardless of my age.