We are all Butterflies – Identity & Finding Yourself

Bruce Jenner

Butterflies: Beautiful but fragile, delicate but strong. What appears to be a short existence is full of strength and determination… and survival.

While having some downtime earlier this week, I took the opportunity to watch the Bruce Jenner interview with Dianne Sawyer. Today’s post is a response to the interview and the wider issue of identity and finding yourself.  View Full Post

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YouTube & People that think they know Better

Hey Sweeties,

Today’s post might turn into a bit of a rant as this particular subject has been bubbling away within me for a while; it’s people that think they know better.

In life, there will always be people that know more than you do, always but unless you directly interact with them, you don’t always know who they are and their knowledge isn’t always perceieved by you and others negatively. For whatever reason, they just have a more in depth knowledge of something which is totally fine and for the most part it comes down to a person’s experience. However, for the purposes of this discussion I am focussing on the realm of social media, almost specifically YouTube but I am also seeing this issue cropping up more and more on Instagram as well. Basically, any platform that users can comment on videos, pictures and posts freely but where they do not know the originator of the content personally.

I love that social media creates these new communities of virtual friendships but in equal measure, it brings vast quantities of hate. Trolling is a blog post in itself and not something I am going into now (if at all), but my concern here are comments that are (probably) meant well but cross the line into rude and personal. Admittedly, anyone that creates content -myself included- rightly or wrongly opens themselves up for criticism, both good and bad. If it’s constructive, it’s welcome and just like at work, you learn from it and it helps shape future output. Fortunately however, a blog like this one doesn’t encourage much negativity… or not yet anyway.

Like many of you probably reading this, I subscribe to quite a long list of YouTube channels, no doubt the same ones as you. I don’t comment on the videos but I will often scroll through to see what others have put. Mostly it’s lots of “I love you’s” if it’s the likes of Zoella, Tanya Burr etc. but every now and again you’ll get the odd comment that seems to cut through the charm and gets personal. For the most part it amuses me that some people have the audacity to feel they know better and try to assert it but what’s concerning is when those comments concern that creator’s appearance and/or life which for the commentor, is none of their business.

For example, a few weeks ago, I was watching one of Lily Pebbles’ videos and a viewer made a comment about her eyebrows. This resulted in a couple of others joining in on the conversation, delighted that someone had finally commented on something apparently they all felt needed highlighing/saying. Fortunately, Lily intervened and said that actually she likes her eyebrows exactly how they are. Just writing this paragraph makes me cringe.

I know that in western society, for the most part we are blessed with freedom of speech and social media provides a great platform for this. However, I do think for some, this makes them feel like it gives them a right to be rude and provide comment on anything because they think they know better. They are not! The Lily Pebbles example was just one of many I could pull for the purpose of this post and just one of many, many genres and types of content out there for people to watch and provide opinion on.

But seriously, people need to wind their necks in and not comment on things that literally are of no business to them. How a person presents themselves on camera, writes a post, arranges a photo etc. is up to them. Just because they aren’t doing something the way you would do it, doesn’t mean it is being done wrong. By all means make a suggestion… but keep it at that.

Thoughts?

 

Until next time x

 

 

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My 90s Boy Band Infatuation

Hey Sweeties,

As I write this, I appreciate for some the news of Zayn Malik leaving One Direction is still raw, painful and quite frankly, unthinkable but it’s happened. I’ll be honest; I have never suffered the trauma of witnessing my favourite boy band(s) splitting up or a key member leaving, I will also admit that I am not a fan of One Direction; I’ll leave that to the younger generation. That’s not to say however that their songs aren’t a guilty pleasure of mine when they come on the radio!

I got into popular culture quite late against the rest of my friends so I completely missed the trauma of Take That splitting. I was though gripped by Spice Girls mania, obsessed in fact but in regards to boy bands, the first boy band I remember loving, believe it or not, were brother trio Hanson. Yes everybody I knew judged them on their long hair and for that they were not well received at all so I was a minority fan but I think that’s why I liked them so much. Tell me though that hit, Mmm Bop isn’t one of the best songs to come out of the 90s and their first album, Middle of Nowhere is still up there with my all-time favourites.

Hanson

Swoon!

In my third year at University, I studied a module on Fandom and it’s a shame One Direction madness hadn’t quite taken grip as the fans (Directioners?) would have been great to study rather than The Beatles. I remember seeing a documentary about the fans of One Direction and it was fascinating, almost solely for how a love for a boy band goes far beyond their music, I mean, getting braces just because one of the band members does, how crazy is that and how did a Dentist actually allow it?! Now, fandom builds communities and social media allows fans to come together and stir each other up in their open sharing and even communicate directly with the boys themselves. During my Hanson heyday, I had their documentary (Tulsa, Tokyo and The Middle of Nowhere) on video which I watched countless times over and that’s as close as I got to them. I often wonder -my friends included- what our school days would have been like had social media existed then.

21st century Fandom has no limits and for some, that can seem dangerous and it is but only to the extent when that fan/s is/are going as far as travelling to random places and smuggling themselves into hotels and other property for the sake of a glimpse or to touch their idols. I can understand why, but it’s still stalking and social media opens the door too widely for this. All my information gained about Hanson and other bands at the time was available almost solely through magazines such as Smash Hits! and Top of the Pops, the internet was only in the midst of being born then (man, I am making myself sound so old, ha!). But teenage boy band infatuation is all part of growing up and should only be expected.

Plastering every inch of your bedroom walls with posters is for me the foundation to traditional fandom and it’s something you look back on fondly and compare with friends in later life when looking back on your childhood. I still have some of my favourite posters and pictures saved in the loft. I wonder what fans of today will look back on and remember in years to come?

Which bands did you guys love?

 

Until next time x

 

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Madonna and being Fifty and Fabulous

Madonna Brits

Hey Sweeties,

So, that Madonna fall. Wow. Dare I say I saw it coming? As I was watching the performance unfold, I could see the beginnings of a struggle with the tie of the cape and before I knew it, down she tumbled. The whole world gasped in horror but what a total trooper she was getting back up and continuing the performance!

I took a tumble down some stairs in India a couple of years ago and the next day I had the most amazing purple and green bruise on my arse; I’ll anticipate dear Madge has the same but although I don’t bounce like I did when I was younger, my body can still just about cope with a fall. If Madonna wasn’t in such good shape, I think the situation would have become far more serious. Fifty year olds don’t bounce.

So, yes we can sort of laugh about it like I hope she will look back and do the same in time. But for me, the most horrifying thing, more than the fall itself, was how quickly clips of the incident were being shared on social media and how quickly the jokes started. Seconds must have barely passed before the internet went crazy with people tweeting, ‘had a fall at work that wasn’t your fault?’ We are so quick to jump on failure.

The fall aside, I was thinking about Madonna on the way to work that morning as her new song played on the radio. I don’t dislike her new tune but more to the point, I got to thinking about how many of today’s performers will still be around releasing records when they are in their 50’s? I doubt many if at all. Artists like Madonna, in fact, specifically Madonna –maybe you can sort of add Kylie into the mix- has this amazing way to keep up with the industry; she knows how to keep herself current. Admittedly, I would prefer it if she didn’t draw quite so much attention to her crotch during performances and get her tits out in photo shoots. But hey, whatever she wants to do, she is Madonna after all!

Speaking of strong minded older women, I can’t help but think of Samantha Jones from Sex and the City, the whole 50 and fabulous concept fans saw in the first film… bear with me here!

Imagine Samantha was sat with her iPad and news broke about Madonna’s fall…

Samantha Jones

And someone tells her she can’t wear something on stage/to an event etc….

Sex and the city

Madonna, we salute you!

Until next time x

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A Review of the 2014 Christmas Advertising

Monty the Penguin

Hey Sweeties,

This is going to be one of those posts where you either agree with me or I become your most hated blogger… but I hope this would only be temporary. The last couple of weeks my Sunday chat posts have been tied into quite personal things so I now want to lighten the mood and raise for discussion Christmas advertising, something we all have in common and an opinion on.

Yes I still think it’s a bit early to be mentioning Christmas but we’re all thinking about it so why try to deny the obvious eh?!

Anyway.

Most of you will be unaware but until earlier this year I had another blog (The Passion Queen) which was focussed entirely on (mostly television) advertising because I won’t lie to you, I love it! But in loving it, I am also (mostly) immune to its powers of persuasion and its ability to make even the strongest reduce to tears… particularly at Christmas.

What I am basically trying to say is that Monty the Penguin does nothing for me. Every year John Lewis releases an advert almost solely so that people go mad on social media sharing it and announcing how sore their eyes are after crying so hard. Pathetic. I am sorry but it is. John Lewis does this every single year and I am bored. I am not disputing that Monty (the penguin) is absolutely adorable and the advert as a whole is cute but crying over it? Please.

This year I am also go to throw into this mix Waitrose as they’ve gone all soppy unnecessarily as well.

Christmas is absolutely about sharing the day/festive period with family and present giving is part of that but above all it’s a happy time. It’s about celebration.

For retailers, Christmas is the most lucrative time of the year, they have to get it right to achieve the sales and those like the supermarket brands do generally concentrate their advertising on how they can contribute to making your Christmas great. Even the likes of Iceland and their bizarre hiring of Peter Andre, do ultimately tell you what they’re all about -that they have good food for a great price. The likes of Aldi and Lidl have also come into their own this year and I think Marks & Spencer have been a bit boring for their festive contribution. However, asides from making everyone except me cry, John Lewis from the sounds of things have just done fantastically well in the sale of cuddly toy penguins.

For me, my favourite Christmas advert this year is the one from Sainsburys. Why it has gained so much negative press is beyond me, I can see why some people would have a problem with it but for me, I just think it’s brilliant and it has been made with support from the British Legion. So what’s the problem?

This year marked 100 years since the start of the First World War and I think it is only apt that opportunity is made to remember and show respect for that time and those that lost their lives. Sainsburys have done their bit by reminding us that within the huge loss of lives, there were moments where the conflict at hand wasn’t all sad. The two enemy sides did, for short time, come together and do something human and share… this also happened to be at Christmas. Watching that advert made you stop and realise that it wasn’t soldiers fighting, it was mostly young lads who were one day friends and the next sworn enemies killing each other. Now that is worth crying over. It makes you remember that Christmas is not about a boy with his toy penguin who gets bought another toy penguin that goes viral across the internet; it’s about sharing and being together. I didn’t see one person share the Sainsburys advert on my social feeds.

So yes, how you all feel having realised I don’t like the John Lewis advert I don’t know. But it’s an opinion and we’re all entitled to those. So let me know what you guys think.

Until next time x

 

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