Thursday, February 14, 2013

Where are we? Who's driving? What's this all about?

I wanted to do a little round up today of the aims of this blog - partially because I know there are a bunch of you reading now who weren't reading when I started and because in the three short months I've been doing this, my goals have shifted ever so slightly. There are a couple of major things I am hoping to achieve with this blog, and here they are in no particular order.

1. Want, Take, Have
Buffy fans will recognise this as one of Faith's less sociable philosophies, but in this instance I'm not actually encouraging you to break into firearms stores and steal sweet knives.  Because, as Buffy would say, that would be wrong. I am however fully encouraging you to embrace whatever trappings of femme grab your eye. One of my major motivators in starting this project was the realisation that while I wanted to know more about makeup, and nail polish, and where to find pretty clothes, I felt bad about this desire. I felt guilty, because I was convinced that being interested in physical appearance meant I wasn't allowed to be a feminist anymore. I've written a lot in previous posts about how I worked through this, so for now let's just say I woke up and realised it was nonsense. I want to encourage other women to be able to do this too. Women have so many "rules" thrust on us, and I am very interesting in kicking as many of those rules out of my life as possible. I think every women should be able to express interest in, and enjoy pretty things, without judgement. I don't care if you live in baggy cargos that are two sizes too big for you - if you see a glittery nail polish you want to try, you go for it. I hereby give you permission to want, take, and have. 

2. Let's meet Feminism
If you've read even one of my posts, you'll be aware of how strongly I believe in feminism. It's absolutely crucial, but more specifically, I believe it's everywhere. It's part of everything - but I feel like feminism is discussed over in it’s own corner far too much, where one can be very easily preaching to a static, agreeable choir. There is a place for that, sure. There is always only going to be a certain number of people interested in really unpacking the gender implications of lesbian vampires in seventies Italian exploitation film. *I* find that interesting, but there are a whole lot of people for whom that has no relevance whatsoever. Feminism should be USEFUL. It should be something that makes your life easier, your choices less difficult, your existence as a woman less bound by rules and limitations. But I'm well aware that the perception of feminism from people who've only ever brushed up against it in passing is often one of incomprehensible jargon and discussions that have no relevance to their lives. I want to change that. I will be upfront here - I AM trying to trick some of you. I put up pretty pictures of nail polish, and cosmetics, and then BAM, there's Anais Nin, right in the middle. I want to demonstrate that feminism doesn't have to be off in it's own corner, and perhaps get some people who've never given it much thought before to at least take a look.

3. Let's Go Crazy
This is an aim that has come up quite recently, once I realised how much people enjoy me talking about my crazy. I didn't think it would come up much at first - but the more I wrote, the more I realised my mental health issues are just as integral to the way I view the world as feminism. It also seems to really help other people get a sense of solidarity when I talk about it openly and freely, so that makes it pretty damn worthwhile to me.

4. We Need To Talk
Another issue I've noticed with the way blogging is trending lately is that a lot of (much more popular than mine) blogs have become one way conversations.The Blogger proclaims from on high, and the Commenters tell the Blogger how great they are. 


I mean, if you want to leave a comment that's just "Looks nice", by all means, feel free. I love comments, ALL comments. I love them so much it's a little scary. But what I am really digging about my blogging experience so far is the conversations that have come up. Between me and other bloggers, between me and Twitter, between me and you, my dear readers. I LOVE that shit. It's fascinating and inspiring, and much more encouraging to me than a million comments of "Cool." So, you know, keep it up.You guys rock. 

I don't know if anyone actually uses them, but I've been filing things under specific tags, so you can keep track of the various "streams" I have going on here. 

In My Head - Posts which are largely my pseudo philosophical ramblings.This is where you can find plenty of my opinions on intangible things like feminism, self esteem, fatshion, women in the media, etc etc. 

On My Hands - I'm currently falling deeply in love with all sorts of glorious nail polishes, and love sharing the wonders I have discovered. These posts will be either reviews of polish, or nail art, but with both I am attempting to have something interesting to go in the text with them. For example, when reviewing a polish called Lady of The Lake, I went and found out a bunch of interesting stuff about the actual Lady of The Lake from Arthurian Legend. 
I've recently made the decision to only review indie polish brands here on the blog, with a particular emphasis on Australian brands and new startups. Starting your own business is super hard, and I really want to use the (tiny) platform I have to help out people who are doing great stuff under enormous pressure. There are plenty of other bloggers out there swatching for big brands - they don't need my ten pageviews. But when I do a post about an indie brand, and someone tweets back that they went and bought some right THEN, that makes me enormously happy. I feel like I can actually contribute something when working on that scale. Plus, indie brands are the only ones who can do glitter properly!

On My Face - These are also reviews, of things which go on my face. With this one, there is less of an Australian indie scene to support, but I would like to do that where possible. Mostly I will also be trying to focus on real Absolute Beginner stuff - what kind of skin do you have and how do you find that out? How few products can I possibly use before going to a job interview and still look presentable? Stuff like that.

Show Your Working - These are posts in which I investigate various aspects of the beauty industry - how are wrinkles formed, is toulene in your nail polish really a big deal, can a furiously expensive appliance REALLY make your skin younger...things like that. Basically my attempt to apply some common sense to an area that is frequently overrun with hysteria. 

There are also a couple of sites I have started writing regularly for, and who I encourage you to check out.

The Peach is, in their own words, "an online magazine covering relationships, love, sex, fashion, beauty, body image, feminism, health, lifestyle mental health and lots more." They cover a VERY broad spectrum of topics, but it's a really ambitious idea and I'm really pleased to be helping contribute.
(I actually have an article up there at the moment, all about how much women actually talk as opposed to popular perception.)

The Closet Feminist is a Canadian blog that aims to create a place for fashion articles from a feminist point of view. A lot of it is pretty Canadian-centric, but there are still some very, very clever women writing some very clever things. And, you know, me. There was a blogging group for a while entirely made up of feminist fashion bloggers which is sadly now defunt (missed it!), and I like to think The Closet Feminist can take up where it left off.

Lacquerheads of Oz is a project by a group of Australian nail fanatics, who are attempting to create a one-stop-shop for people who want to learn about polish and nail art. Their scope is HUGE, and they have a bunch of people on board who really know their stuff. And, you know, me, who doesn't know as much as them but can be funny sometimes. They have already put up a leaner version of my  previous post on toxic chemicals in nail polish, and there are a couple more in the works.

Finally, I want to encourage anyone who doesn't know who to ask, or what to ask about makeup, or nail art, or anything femme related, to ask me. I might not always know the answer off the top of my head, but researching random things is one of my favourite pasttimes, so dammit, I will FIND you an answer.
Thank you to everyone who has been reading so far, and thank you to everyone just joining me. I hope to hear from you all soon!

1 comment:

  1. I'm part of a community blog. We write this story, this epic freaking story, and nobody ever comments on it except for other members of the blogging team. We have no idea if other people think it's shite (it definitely isn't) if other people think we're insane (we definitely are) or what the fuck, excuse my French. We get plenty of readers, but only once in a blue moon does anyone ever comment on the story, and he's an old blogging friend.
    I like your blog and will put it in our Blogs we Read section.


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