This frank and fantastic post about sex education, including a YouTube video drawing of the internal clitoris. (C/O Steph)
Gaby does lots of really cool stuff like the amazing Hopeless Lingerie and she’s started a new feature on her blog, Spokes ‘N Daggers - Friday Night Movie Night! Each week Gaby talks about a different movie and includes lots of screenshots along with some recommendations like who to watch it with and what to eat while viewing, which reminds me a bit of a cool teen magazine review. She has great taste so you’ll definitely find some gems to watch.
Do any of you guys love trashy tv as much as I do? Well if you do you might like p3p3fr3sh’s YouTube channel with full uploads of E! shows like ’20 Most Shocking Unsolved Crimes’ and ‘Too Young To Kill’.
Who Took The Bomp: Le Tigre on Tour. Watch it on Vimeo here. About 15 mins in some interviewer asks them about Kathleen spray painting ‘Kurt smells like teen spirit’ on Kurt Cobain’s wall in the 90s and I’m like blaaaaah, this interview is in 2004 is that really all you can think to ask them about?! So that interviewer but sucks but Le Tigre are so good and you guys should watch this. If you’re as excited anticipating the release of The Punk Singer as I am, you might also want to watch It Changed My Life: Bikini Kill in the UK, a documentary from 1993 (available to watch in full on vimeo).
I grew up in a small town. These days it’s not so small anymore, every time I go back there now there are more housing estates being built and more people but when I lived there as a child and later as a teenager it was small. I remember when we got the first traffic lights, the first big supermarket, the first fast food places. Being a teenager is hard and being a kind of weird or ‘alternative’ teenager is harder and doing that in a small town is even harder still. I remember being fat, angry, sad, and just generally feeling weird a lot of the time. But, more importantly, I remember when I started to realise that there wasn’t anything wrong with that, with being weird, with liking things that other people didn’t like or didn’t know about or didn’t care about.
In 1999 in a small town in Australia the internet situation was pretty shitty. You couldn’t go on Spotify or YouTube and listen to new bands to find something cool, you could download one song at a time via Kazaar or Limewire on dial-up internet and it would take hours, or longer if one of your siblings got on the computer and paused your song downloads so that theirs would finish faster. Or you could get somebody to give you a lift to the slightly bigger town 20 minutes down the freeway, go to the record store there and order in an album. Then you could go back a week later, pay $30 and pick it up. That’s how I bought my first Hole album, Pretty On The Inside (an album that Courtney herself says is unlistenable but that I still love for being abrasive and noisy and for having some of the best lyrics of any songs ever), when I was 12 or 13 years old. I had this little round blue CD player and I remember lying on the floor in my bedroom next to it listening to that album on full volume over and over. And I remember having a revelation.
Courtney Love herself was a fucking revelation. A woman who was loud and talented and just completely did not give a single fuck what anybody thought. I thought she was incredible and I thought she was onto something. Up until then I had this idea of femininity and how to be a woman and how to be desirable and it all came back to being small, petite, quiet or at least non-threatening, taking up less space, fitting into the stereotypical men’s magazine ideals of ‘pretty’ or ‘sexy’ and here was this beautiful, scary, tough woman who didn’t tick any of those boxes but I just thought she was amazing. So I started to think that maybe there was something wrong with this idea of standard idea of femininity and what a woman should look like, and that maybe I didn’t need to fit into that box and maybe there were entirely different ways to be a woman or to be beautiful.
From Pretty On The Inside I got the rest of Hole’s albums (and EPs and singles and whatever else I could get my hands on) and started reading a lot. One of the first books that really opened my eyes was Angry Women In Rock Volume 1 by Andrea Juno where she interviewed women such as Joan Jett, Chrissie Hynde, Kathleen Hanna and Valerie Agnew (I haven’t read this book since about 2000 so I’m not sure if it would still stand the test of time but I’d love to give it anther read) about music and feminism and Riot Grrl and various other topics. Then I moved on to The Beauty Myth and The Second Sex and other feminist literature (and Poppy Z Brite’s Courtney Love biography which I read so many times that I still know large sections of it by heart). I also started listening to more and more bands fronted by or entirely made up of women – Sleater Kinney, Bratmobile, Bikini Kill, Heavens to Betsy, Babes In Toyland, The Distillers, Veruca Salt, Jack Off Jill, 7 Year Bitch, The Runaways etc and cursing that I was born a few years too late for Riot Grrrl. Female musicians often seem to have a story about when they realised they could do what they’d seen a hundred different men doing on stage and I find those stories so much more interesting and inspiring than the typical male rock star ones, because they never had to overcome the feeling of ‘as a woman there’s no place for me to be doing this’. Women and girls yelling and screaming and singing about rape, abuse, motherhood, hate and everything they were feeling, getting up on stage and throwing in your face, all of that is so much more important and amazing to me than male rock stars doing the same boring shit they’ve been doing forever.
Even with how into riot grrrl and all those bands I was, I always came back to my first love – Hole and Courtney. I printed out pictures of her and stuck them on my school books, I wrote Hole lyrics and Courtney quotes (one of my favourites being “I want every girl in the world to pick up a guitar and start screaming”) on my folders and this did not go down well with my classmates at the only high school in my small town. I was asked why I would like her because she was a whore or a slut or ugly or whatever other shitty words teenagers can think of and I embraced the Courtney Love philosophy – who gives a fuck what anybody else thinks? and printed out more photos of Hole and stuck them on more school books. I was an active member of a Hole message board for most of my teen years, I included Hole songs on every mixtape I made from 1999 til at least 2006, I still know the lyrics to every song, I watched or read every interview and book about them that I could get my hands on. I loved them because they made me feel like I could be tough and strong and interesting and I did not give a fuck what anybody else thought about that.
Nowadays because I have this blog and I’m a visible fat woman or whatever I often get asked for tips on confidence and my most used answer is something about not giving a fuck and just doing or wearing what you want to and I think that all comes back to my teen years. My attitudes about body image, feminism, music, fashion – it all goes back to discovering Courtney Love and Hole and Riot Grrrl and realising that you can be loud, big, fat, weird and challenge beauty ideals and that is okay, more than okay – it’s good! It’s good to be weird, it’s good to be different, it’s good to think about things and care about things and not to just heed what you have been taught. Obviously there are many problematic aspects about Courtney Love, Riot Grrl, feminism etc that should be addressed and I think more about that stuff these days but when you’re a thirteen year old girl figuring out that it’s okay to be weird is a pretty powerful thing. I recently watched the documentaries Hit So Hard: The Life and Almost Death of Patty Schemel and Not Bad For A Girl (which you can purchase from here) which both have a lot of footage of Hole performing in the early to mid 1990s and it just brought back so many memories for me. Things like hearing the first riffs of Violet for the very first time, or reading the lyrics to Teenage Whore and being blown away but also things like feeling as though I was the only weird/fat/feminist girl in the world and how much that sucked until I found all these bands and books and ideas and basic punk rock ethos that made me feel better about who I was. I’ve never really wrote much more than ‘here is what I wore today’ on this blog but I would like to so I thought something like this that I feel really strongly about was a good place to start and it’s something that I hope will shed some more light on why I think/dress/behave the way that I do and maybe expose some of you to some bands or ideas that you might not have heard before.
You probably thought you never wanted to see a dead cat smiling but you will - Taxidermy Failures.
I’m Sorry But… a mini series of rejection through the years by Sebastian Gomez de la Torre.
The Tunnel of Love is a private railway that services a fibreboard factory (which is disappointing because I want to ride on that train!) in a small village called Klevan in Ukraine. Apparently young couple come here to make wishes.
I don’t know if other people like reading old articles from New York magazine but I do and I especially enjoyed this one from 1985 about Hollywood’s Brat Pack. Rumor has it that the actors named in the article were furious about being called The Brat Pack, Emilio Estevez even called the writer and told him “You’ve ruined my life” and several friendships in the group ended soon after it was published.
Probably not for everybody but I thought this was fantastic – a fashion photo shoot by photographer Emma Arvida Bystrom for VICE inspired by ‘what happens when you get your period in public’ titled There Will Be Blood. However I thought it was weird of VICE to publish it but then add dumb tags like ‘wtf’ and ‘put a tampon in it’.
Want to know what Courtney Love eats when she’s in New York? Check out her weekly food diary. My favourite line was ‘if I can’t afford Dean & Deluca, I just don’t eat’. Oh Court! And if you’re lucky enough to be in New York City before June 15th go check out her exhibition ‘She’s Not Even Pretty‘ (correct me if I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure Courtney published a zine or two with the same title in the 1990′s).
If you’re as obsessed with the idea of fleeing the city, sustainable living and to a lesser extend living off the grid, as I am you will love Free Cabin Porn. Just as the name suggests, it’s a whole lot of photos of awesome cabins from various places around the world. The beauty pictured above is in Långserud, Sweden.
I’m not really sure what’s going on here but it’s one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen (I found this on tumblr with no proper source but if you know more about it please let me know so I can link it to the correct place).
Ever since I saw Dirty Dancing when I was a kid I’ve wanted to go to the Catskills so the fact that this (beautifully decorated home) is located there just made me love it even more. It’s owned by an artist and a designer and was built from a prefabricated kit home (which, coincidentally, so was the house I grew up in, although that was a lot bigger and made out of slightly less steel).
Waffles the cat. He is a ridiculously cute Scottish Fold who you can find on tumblr, facebook and twitter.
Are fashion bloggers in general (but specifically at MBFWA) redundant? Honestly, I am not interested in fashion week. I know it seems like sitting first row at fashion shows is every ~style blogger~ ‘s (or whatever it is I do here) dream but not mine. I don’t have any interest in working in the fashion industry and it just seems incredibly boring to me. But I know that not everybody shares my opinion and that a lot of people who read fashion blogs or style blogs are very interested in fashion week and want to see the collections and photos from the shows and all of that. So while I don’t share the vitriol for most of the bloggers mentioned I do think this article raised some interesting points – are fashion bloggers obligated to post detailed coverage of the shows they attend (especially for events like MBFWA that are not open to the general public and thus readers who are not involved in the fashion industry cannot attend)? Are their readers more interested in photos of the bloggers outfits than the runways? I don’t know but I do think it’s worth thinking about.
They’re not always TVs and they’re not always in Fitzroy but TVs in Fitzroy is a blog (run by Limedrop’s Nathan Price) documenting the many, many tvs (and other things) decorating the streets in Melbourne’s inner suburbs. You can even submit the ones you’ve found and photographed yourself.
Bodie, California is a ghost town in a state historic park which means that you can go visit it if you’re ever nearby. And why wouldn’t you?! Who doesn’t love ghost towns.