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About Feminism, George Clooney and Incompetent Newspapers

Published October 5, 2014 by The Feminist

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Imagine you are sitting at the table, enjoying your breakfast with a nice cup of strong coffee and some incredible sourdough bread with marmalade, until you suddenly realize that your very own opinion letter got published in that morning’s newspaper.

Your initial reaction: Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God! I’m in the newspaper!

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Your second reaction once you’ve read through your letter and notice that they have LEFT OUT half of it and just printed some vague resemblance to what originally was one hell of an opinion piece:

*&%?*#£}**$&%%$*** (The profanity that come out of my mouth is not suitable for publication)

Yes, that is what I experienced yesterday. There I was, first over the moon with delight that the paper thought my opinion letter was good enough for print, until I realized that they had cut out the most brilliant *coughs modestly* sentences and paragraphs. Admittedly, it might have been a bit too long and it is not like they started altering or re-writing my own sentences (thank God for that!), but for someone with a degree in Languages, who loves spending hours searching for exactly the right wordplay, expressions and linguistic examples of pure beauty, it is incredibly frustrating when they leave out exactly that.

It felt as if they had cut out my core identity. Sure, the message still remains, but what’s the point of writing an opinion piece if you can’t even add some linguistic frivolity?

So out of utter frustration that said newspaper (out of respect, I will not mention which paper)did not publish all of it, I decided to quickly translate it into English and share it with all y’all. (Because at least you guys appreciate my linguistic pompousness!)

So here it is:

#Feminism is more than just a few hashtags

Feminism seems to be everywhere. Emma Watson talks about it. Sheryl Sandberg writes about it. Beyoncé sings about it. Even Karl Lagerfeld – but you can call him Kaiser Karl  – sends his models onto the runway with feminist banners. Conclusion? Feminism had become a fashion trend. At least, that was the conclusion newspaper X made in one of its editorials yesterday. As much as I would love to disagree with the author, reality forces me to concur with his views. To put it in fashion terms, feminism is like an It-bag: fun for one season, but after a while you just get sick of it, throw it onto a pile of unattractive stuff to be ignored for the rest of its sad closet life.

Because the fashion and showbizz industry are trying so hard to lay claim on the entire concept of feminism, the problem of gender inequality is slowly losing its credibility. Didn’t Lagerfeld once open a Twitter account for his own spoiled cat? And didn’t Beyoncé go on tour as “Mrs. Carter”? If the former believes that even his cat has something interesting to share with the public, and if the latter decided to tour the world with a name that more resembles a submissive suburban housewife from the fifties than a modern-day feminist, their call for more women’s rights sounds rather laughable.

However, gender inequality is anything but a joke. Yes, even in Belgium. Marianne Thyssen (a Belgian female politician) may have been appointed as euro commissioner, the amount of women in top corporate jobs remains alarmingly low. And even if they do manage to break through the glass ceiling, they are still often judged on their appearance, rather than their intellectual capacities. Belgium is definitely not the only country that is lagging behind, every Western country still has quite a long way to go.

The perfect way to illustrate this Western hypocrisy towards women’s rights, is to look at George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin’s wedding from last weekend. The wedding of Hollywood’s most obstinate bachelor was all over the news, but what I found all the more striking was how one-dimensional the media reported about the event. One of the only articles that reported about the wedding from a totally different perspective was the internet website thebusinesswomanmedia.com, which topped their article with the following head: “ Internationally acclaimed barrister Amal Alamuddin marries an actor”

Somehow, that just made me giggle. But what was I giggling at? Why is this head so funny? Isn’t the article just stating the truth? The fact that the article’s head was generally seen as an example of the site’s great sense of humor clearly indicates once again how problematic the issue of gender inequality still is. Every single media outlet most of the time talked about Clooney. Of course, the guy is super famous, so in a way it is only “natural” for the media to spend a lot of time covering a superstar, but why is it also “natural” to describe Alamuddin as a “beautiful humanist”, whilst there are plenty of other character traits about her that are probably more interesting? But no, apparently the only newsworthy thing was the fact that she wore an Oscar de la Renta wedding dress.

I’m to blame as well. Because even I, a self-proclaimed modern feminist, felt a slight hint of jealousy when I saw her fabulous, sun-kissed, reaching-into-the-sky legs. Whereas her fabulous brain should have aroused as much –or even greater- jealousy than her looks. The problem, hence, does not only lie with men, but also with us, women. Because we also find it difficult to step away from the rooted assumptions about the relationship between a man and a woman.

To improve this relationship and to –eventually- reach that dreamed state of gender equality, men as much as women need to concern themselves with this problem. “Gender equality is men’s issue too”, said actress Emma Watson in her speech in front of the United Nations. After her eloquent speech, plenty of male actors supported her campaign by tweeting pictures of themselves holding a piece of paper with the message #HeforShe written on it.  Tom Hiddleston, David Tennant, Eddie Redmayne,… their support definitely gives women’s rights more attention, but I am not naïve and I do realize that much more is needed to really bring about change. Change won’t happen with a couple of hashtags on Twitter. Indeed, Watson’s speech may have gone viral on the internet, but immediately after her speech some wacko hacker also threatened to put some nude pictures of her online.

Needless to say, we’ve still got some work to do. People like Beyoncé and Emma Watson may poke us in the right direction, as long as we don’t realize that feminism is more than a high amount of likes on Facebook, #genderequality will always remain nothing more than a trending topic.

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Shonda Rhimes: the Queen of Awesome Television

Published September 29, 2014 by The Feminist

How-To-Get-Away-With-Murder

Maybe I watch too much television.

I probably watch too much television.

I honestly watch too much television.

How else would you explain the state of utter euphoria I’m in when a brand new series airs on television? No matter how many times I try to reduce my daily dose of drama, there is always something (or in this case: someone) that keeps pulling me back to my beloved screen. And that person is Shonda Rhimes.

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Seriously. I wish I had that woman’s imagination. Just when you thought she couldn’t possibly create something more brilliant/show stopping/jaw dropping than the television wonder that is Scandal, she went on to creating a brand new TV drama, which pilot episode alone was enough to take my breath away and bombard my best friend with “OMG, you’ve got to watch this” texts.

I’m talking about Shonda Rhimes’ brand new How To Get Away With Murder. This show is in every possible way the awesomest of all awesome television.

Why?

  • Viola Davis. Viola. Davis. Vi-o-la. Da-vis.

Needless to say, I love her.

  • The plot is absolutely bonkers. It’s exactly what the title suggests, but in an academic(!) setting. Yes, in this series you actually get taught how to get away with murder. Ha! I’ll tell you one thing, you don’t have an MBA like that here in Belgium!
  • Paris from the Gilmore girls is back! … With a blond bob!

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  • Fiery dialogues full of eloquence and wit (It’s a Shonda Rhimes show so…duh!)
  • Alfred Enoch.

“Who?” I hear y’all ask.

Alfred Enoch!

Those of you who watched the first episode of How To Get Away With Murder probably were searching your memory to find out where you knew one of the main characters – Wes- from.

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Well, dear readers, search no more! Because Wes, Alfred Enoch in real life, is none other than Dean Thomas from the Harry Potter series!

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Whereas little Alfred used to be cute as hell, grown up Alfred is not only cute but smoking hot as well (blimey, that rhymes!)

And Alfred isn’t the only handsome, swoon-worthy fella on the show. On the contrary, there is plenty of man candy to choose from!

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Conclusion, thank you Shonda Rhimes, for once again creating a show that makes us forget about real life and immerses us into a world full of drama and intrigue.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

With the wonderful Grey’s Anatomy, the marvelous Scandal and now the downright brilliant How to Get Away with Murder, there is really no reason left to feel guilty about my TV habits and why I shouldn’t be sitting in front of my tellie each Thursday.

Oscars 2014: Red Carpet Beauties

Published March 3, 2014 by The Feminist

Last night was the night we – fashion divas par excellence– had all been waiting for: the Oscar 2014 red carpet!

Without further ado, here are my favourite looks of the evening.

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Cate Blanchett was one of the big winners of the night. Not just because she won an Oscar for Best Actress for her brilliant performance in Blue Jasmine, but also because she looked like a true modern-day goddess in that Giorgio Armani dress.

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One of the other winners, Hollywood’s newest it-girl Lupita Nyong’o, looked stunning in this low-cut baby blue Prada gown.

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Jennifer Lawrence sticks to Dior like dog hair sticks to Velcro, but in this case her Dior-obsession is completely justified. She looks simply breath-taking in that bright orange gown with peplum effect. Love her short, combed back hair as well!

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I am so jealous of Angelina Jolie. Not just because she is the world’s most beautiful woman, but also because she got to wear Elie Saab Couture! I really need to find myself a Hollywood A-lister, so that I can wear glittery dresses with sheer elements as well.

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Another Hollywood star rocking an elegant short hairdo, it’s Anne Hatheway in Gucci.

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Oh my, Sandra Bullock is the epitome of style and elegance in this magnificently blue Alexander McQueen dress.

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Honestly, I am on the verge of hyperventilating right now. They must have slipped some kind of style pill in everyone’s drink, because literally every actress is bringing her A-game. Julia Roberts, shining in Givenchy Haute Couture, is no exception.

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Emma Watson looks like an old-school Hollywood diva meets fashionable rebel in her figure-hugging Vera Wang dress.

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Dear Jada Pinkett Smith,

Please don’t let your husband’s Razzies bring you down. You look gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous!

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I can’t discuss a Red Carpet showdown without including Kerry Washington. I love the silhouette of her Jason Wu dress, but to be fair, I am far too busy drooling over that gorgeous lipstick colour to be able to pay much attention to her actual outfit.

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Every time I see Meryl Streep, there is one thing that immediately pops into my head: God, I want to look like her when I get old.

Seriously, that woman has got some amazing style genes.

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Everything about Kate Hudson’s dress is simple perfection: the super low-cut cleavage, that shiny creamy white colour, that awesome clutch and that ridiculously stylish cape. I want it. I want it all.

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Now, Belgium may not have won the Oscar for Best Film in a Foreign Language (quel bummer!), but our very own Belgian star looked stunning. Go Veerle Baetens!

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Red Carpet disappointment: Amy Adams. Don’t get me wrong, she still looks absolutely beautiful and it is a nice dress, but frankly, I expected so much more from a fashion queen like Amy.

The Perks of Being Single

Published November 14, 2013 by The Feminist

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Flying solo. There’s probably an entire rainforest of books dedicated to the topic. However, no matter whether you like being a member of singletown or are looking for that special other to share your life with: Being single is not always that easy.

There is that awkward moment when an older relative starts making endless inquiries about settling down and starting a family.

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There is that dreadful realization that your BFF from high school just got engaged (and consequently, you are now forced to look at cheesy photos of the two on Facebook. Barf. )

And then there is that unpleasant and god-awful situation when you go out for a drink with your friend and her guy and suddenly you start to feel like the third wheel. (Get a room! Is that really too much to ask?!)

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Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely if you have someone special in your life. It’s lovely to have someone to share special moments, secrets and affection with. Just don’t rub it in my face.

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Seriously.

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Although this may all sound really cynical, there are a lot of benefits to being single as well. And once you take notice of all these advantages, Singledom will not look so gloomy after all. In fact, being single is something you should cherish, because it is by far the only time in your entire life when you will be able to do whatever you want without someone raining on your parade. Of course, that’s not to say if Mr. Right would suddenly appear on my doorstep (in the form of Leonardo Dicaprio, Henry Cavill or Idris Elba), I wouldn’t ride happily into the sunset with him.

But until that day comes, I will rule the kingdom of Singlehood! And here are 7 great reasons why:

1. You can do whatever you want and you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone
Singledom is a celebration of your inner egomaniac. If you want to sleep until two in the afternoon? Great. If you want to eat a box of chocolates for breakfast? Who cares? If you want to spend an entire night flirting with random strangers in your local pub? There’s no jealous guy stopping you from doing so.

2. You can sleep in the middle of the bed.
You no longer have to fight for the blankets (hurrah!), you no longer have to listen to his snoring (double hurrah!) and you can wear terrifyingly neon green facial masks without having to worry about scaring him off (triple hurrah!)

3. You can be lazy all day if you want
Hallelujah! Now that your single, you’re no longer forced to wake up early on a Saterday morning to watch your boyfriend run after a ball in a less than mediocre game of football. Now, you can spend your Saturday morning doing nothing but treating yourself to some at-home-spa-sessions, including rubbing your entire body in glittery Cocoa and Pistachio body oil. And in the afternoon, it’s just you, your TV and a tub of ice-cream.

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4. You’ve sole control of the remote
Singledom puts all the power in your hands! A New Girl marathon? Why not. Watching the umpteenth re-run of Titanic and still sobbing when Leo dies? Hell yeah!

5. You can turn up the music and dance around the house without someone judging you
Whether it’s the very impressive robot or a twerking show that would even make Miley Cyrus blush, you don’t have to worry about someone frowning at your demonstration of dance skills.

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6. You can organize girly sleepovers in your apartment
Spending your evening in the company of your besties in your pj’s watching Magic Mike whilst gossiping about what-happened-to-high-school-bitch-A or O-my-God-did-you-see-Jennifer-Lawrence’s-new-hairdo and drinking lots of Malibu and eating inappropriately large Chicken Barbecue pizzas…
Is there anything more awesome than that?

7. You can eat whatever you want, whenever you want.
Whether you want to spend an entire week on a health cleanse -drinking nothing but kale smoothies- or just want to eat weird food combinations on weird moments of the day (i.e. spicy corn tortillas with Norwegian smoked salmon at 6 o’ clock in the morning or a bowl of muesli drenched in Baileys at midnight. ), it is all up to you and what your stomach is craving.

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Feel Good Friday: De-Stress your Weekend with these Happy Songs

Published October 4, 2013 by The Feminist

It’s almost weekend: A time usually associated with peaceful tranquility, joyful bliss and the –what I like to call- “art of doing nothing”. It is a truth so damn evident that we often seem to take it for granted. Tell me something, dear readers: when was the last time you actually had a relaxing weekend?

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Hu? Hu? Hu?

i don't know

My guess is that it was a very long time ago. Instead you probably always end up with a hectic frenzy, trying to cram as many chores as possible into those two days and sabotaging your mental health with a ridiculously long to-do list. Don’t get me wrong, organizing one or two weekend endeavors can indeed be quite beneficial for your social life, but you have to make sure that between all the social activities, you still have some time left for the most important person on the planet: yourself.

This is where the following song list comes in, because what better way to de-stress your weekend than with a soundtrack of happy music? Promise me something: when you come home from the office or school this evening, take off your shoes, open up a bottle of Pinot Noir (or something stronger, I don’t care as long as it makes you happy)and put on a couple of happy tunes. I can assure you that –all of a sudden- you will be in a spiritual state of blissful happiness!

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1) I just wanna make love to you- Etta James


No comment. This is just the BEST.SONG.EVER! Forget Coca Cola Light! With this song, you won’t need caffeine to get absurdly happy!

2) Age- Lianne La Havas


Doesn’t this song just make you giggle? The music video is super cute, the melody is superbly cheerful and the lyrics are spot on: “Is it such a problem if he’s old? As long as he does whatever he is told!” So in the very hypothetical situation that Hugh Jackman, George Clooney or Johnny Depp would stand on my doorstep, I at least have some very appropriate lyrics to fall back on 😉

3) Treasure- Bruno Mars


I really can’t see why you wouldn’t looove this song! It has all the right elements to make you smile: sweet lyrics, good funky beat, crazy-ass dance moves and a ridiculously hot singer.
“Pretty girl, you should be smiling!” Oh Bruno, I most certainly am!

4) L-O-V-E – Nat King Cole


If there ever was such a thing as “My life: the Movie” this would so be the soundtrack. This is by far the best cheer-up song on the planet!

5) Talk Dirty- Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz


Admittedly, after a couple of glasses of Pinot Noir all social restraints seem to have left my body and all I want to do is shake my booty in a very Miley Cyrus-like way. *Blush* But hey, it’s Friday night, the weekend has just begun and it is after all supposed to be “me-time”, right? So go ahead, girl! Shake what ya mamma gave ya!

What my shopping trip looked like: hysteric crying, euphoric laughing and Audrey Hepburn trousers

Published April 12, 2013 by The Feminist

zara shopping
A couple of days ago I wrote about a River Island outfit I absolutely adored. Loyal readers among you may remember I asked you all to join me in a “ cyber-telekinesis-séance kinda thing” to make sure that I would actually find the outfit in the River Island store…. (If you don’t recall making such a promise, click here )

Well, guess what, darlings? Your positive mojo didn’t work! I couldn’t find the awesome graphic leggings or the cute lime crop top! I walked through the shop yesterday like a crazy person: hyperventilating, almost bursting out into tears, mumbling to myself: “Fucking hell, it’s not here! Why is it not here?”

For a brief moment, I even felt the urge to throw myself down on the ground, shouting like a big baby.

karen walker tragic

Luckily for me –and the other customers- I was able to get myself together and move on. I asked myself: What would Audrey Hepburn do?

And then I suddenly remembered one of my favorite fashion trends of this season. I have to admit that I tried to forget about this trend because I thought it would be “too fashionable” for Belgium. I’m talking about the check board print trend, inspired by none other than Marc Jacobs. I wrote about it some time ago (if you can’t remember, click here) and although it was love at first sight, I never thought I would be able to find anything that resembled the class and elegance from the Vuitton collection.

But then I went to Zara and totally found what I was looking for! A very elegant pair of checkered trousers! Audrey Hepburn style!

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I also found an amazing yellow sheer blouse with a black bow to go with it and some AWESOME neon pumps!

What do you think? I can almost feel Audrey Hepburn looking down from above in approval! 😉

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Happy New Shoes!

Published January 1, 2013 by The Feminist

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Yes, I could wish you all a happy New Year…

I could wish you a year full of joy and happiness…

Or I could just wish you a whole bunch of awesome new sky-high pumps and stilettos.

Rebel as I am, I prefer doing the latter. Basically, because there is no point denying it: One of the main things that will make us truly happy in 2013, will be shoes. Lots and Lots of shoes!shoe1

High heels make us feel powerful and help us to approach life more confidently, and that is exactly what I would like to see more of in 2013: powerful and confident women!

So hell yeah! Buy those high heels!

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What is that you’re saying? You can’t walk in them? Well, let me end this post by quoting the Master of Heels himself, Christian Louboutin:
“I wouldn’t take it as a compliment if someone looked at one of my shoes and said, ‘Oh, that looks like a comfortable shoe.’ There is a heel that is too high to walk in, certainly. But who cares? You don’t have to walk in high heels.”
Christian Louboutin

Happy New Shoes, dear readers!

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