Fashion

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie appears in Boots’ No7 advert

Boots‘ new No7 advert is one to watch and remember… If you havent seen it yet, get watching by clicking on the red and white play button above. I mean, let’s face it, you’re going to want to see this because it’s got the World’s leading feminist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, fronting it.

Firstly, as a lady, I’d like to start by saying that even I hate the term “feminism” because it makes it sound as though we, females, put ourselves above the male population. That is not true in the slightest! Feminism, in essence, is about equality; the ability to be equals in society, because right now (and previously) that has sadly not been the case… Women should be allowed to do a “man’s job”. Women should be allowed to receive as much pay as a man earns when working in the same role. Females should not be seen as the inferior gender because there shouldn’t even be an inferior:superior ratio to begin with. Feminism isn’t about “us”, it’s about “equality”. Rant over!

Chimamanda, the Nigerian world-renowned and award-winning author who has appeared on Ted Talks‘We Should All Be Feminists‘, which featured in Beyoncé’s ‘Flawless‘ track, is the woman that every lady should aspire to be. She is an ambassador for women’s rights and knows all too well the difficulties we face in employment and society in general.

As far as adverts about female empowerment and validation go, this one is by far the strongest. It sends a clear message that us girls don’t need to “not wear makeup” or “hide” our “high heels” to “be taken seriously”. We should be allowed to exist in a society that accepts us because makeup “doesn’t mean anything, it’s just makeup”. You know what (or who) means something? The lady wearing it. She who wears it, how she composes herself, how she carries herself, how she feels, what she says… Makeup is just an enhancement to our natural beauty, it’s nothing more than that. High heels and/or fitted clothes the same…

It saddens me that Chimamanda ever had to stop wearing makeup and high heels in order to get noticed. But, luckily, she “woke up” and realised that in not doing so she was portraying a “false version” of herself. For many of us, makeup and clothes give us confidence. That’s not to say we’re not confident in our skin, we just happen to love make-up and enjoy looking our best.

I’m extremely glad that she is discussing our relationship with makeup because it’s only skin-deep. Society thinks it runs deeper than that, but it really doesn’t. Let it be a known fact that we are not wearing makeup to “impress someone”, we are not wearing makeup to seduce others, we wear it because we want to.

Speaking in her Ted Talk, Adichie said that the word feminist was “so heavy with baggage, negative baggage. You hate men, you hate bras, you hate African culture.” Instead, she said, she wanted to be identified as a “happy African feminist who does not hate men and who likes lip gloss and who wears high heels for herself but not for men”.

“Sadly, women have learnt to be ashamed and apologetic about pursuits that are seen as traditionally female, such as fashion and make-up.

Chimamanda recently shared a 9,000 word speech on Facebook where she described how best to raise a feminist daughter. You can read it in full HERE.

A snippet of it reads: “If she likes make-up let her wear it; if she likes fashion let her dress up. But if she doesn’t like either let her be … Feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive. It is misogynistic to suggest that they are.

“Sadly, women have learnt to be ashamed and apologetic about pursuits that are seen as traditionally female, such as fashion and make-up.”

During her Ted Talk, Chimamanda also mentioned the pressure of attempting to look less feminine before teaching her first writing class for fear that she wouldn’t be taken seriously.

She said: “I really wanted to wear my shiny lip gloss and my girly skirt but I decided not to.

“Instead I wore a very serious, very manly, and very ugly suit. Because the sad truth is that when it comes to appearance, we start off with men as the standard, as the norm.
“If a man is getting ready for a business meeting, he doesn’t worry about looking too masculine, and therefore not being taken seriously.

“If a woman is getting ready for a business meeting she has to worry about looking too feminine, and what it says, and whether or not it will be taken seriously.”

That is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard… Imagine having to change what you wear for fear of not being listened to? The thought alone is beyond heartbreaking.

When thinking about it, anyone who has ever used the quote: “you can tell a lot about a lady by the way they dress” is being unintentionally sexist, not to mention incorrect. Clothes and makeup are luxuries, they are not necessities. The foundations of life are built on who we are, how we treat people, and the ways in which we act and not which brand of concealer we use. A lady who chooses to dress up and show up is more-often-than-not a lady who has enough time (or makes it) to get ready because she likes taking care of her appearance.

A teacher of mine once said: “if you look good, you feel good and if you feel good, you do good”, never a truer word spoken.

So, ladies, let this advert be a turning point for us in a hope that we begin to be taken seriously with or without makeup on our faces and heels on our feet. Also, this is in no way an advert that’s forcing women to wear makeup. Alicia Keys has rocked the no makeup look for years and we salute her.

Instead, this advert is supposed to empower those that do wear makeup yet feel less worthy than a man who just turns up to work in the same job but gets paid a larger salary or listened to more carefully. It’s also not a dig at men — far from it. Men, you are legends, we love and respect you wholeheartedly. We just want to be seen as equals. We just want there to be no gender inequality, we are one!

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Me wearing my Premadonna Waist Trainer

These waist training corsets have the most slimming and reshaping capability of any in our range. In fact, we’re pretty confident that these corsets are amongst the most serious on the market, outside of specialist medical products. The potential waist reduction is around seven inches for most wearers.

Last year, I received my most favourite Christmas present ever – a Premadonna 87 Waist Trainer. Yes, that’s right, I’ve officially joined the Waist Gang Society! This is the same waist trainer that was worn by Khloe Kardashian – as seen on her Instagram. Well, not the exact one but the same brand, style and version nonetheless…

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I initially put it on my Christmas list on that basis that I’d try it out to see what all the fuss was about. However, I didn’t intend to fall in love with it. I mean, it’s got to the stage where I’d plan nights-out just to wear it under my dress.

Most people use this waist trainer as a way of toning their hips and making the waist more curvaceous. I,  on the other hand, use it as a corset underneath my clothes. This sucks in my tummy, giving the illusion of a flatter frame.

Although, I haven’t noticed a difference in the size of my waist (possibly down to the fact that I presume Santa got me the wrong size), I definitely have seen my stomach flatten after wearing it… So, I guess that’s a plus!

Yes, I admit that I have even wore it to bed once because I was that desperately obsessed. Having said that, I can’t wait to wear it under my workout garms when I hit the gym soon!

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Me in #Balmaination

You may remember that H&M collaborated with Balmain, last year. Well, I was one of the lucky few who got the chance to purchase a piece from the collection. I queued up like everyone else to buy at least one of the products from the exclusive range.

Although I originally wanted the velvet Black and Gold beaded dress (as seen on Kylie Jenner), I tried it on and realised that it wasn’t the one for me. Instead, I opted to go for the Emerald Green velvet dress (as seen on Ellie Goulding). I was won over by this figure-hugging dress because it made some parts of my body look slimmer while accentuating others.

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Kylie Jenner
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Ellie Goulding

Anyway, enough about me, let’s get down to the real reason why I’m writing this… It was revealed last month that H&M has seen a 10pc surge in sales over the Christmas period – beating its rivals. The Swedish company which is famed for its fast-fashion but low cost clothes more than doubled its revenue in December, 2015 in comparison to November and it is suggested that H&M x Balmain may well be the reason!

Having said that, last year wasn’t the first time that H&M joined forces with a premium brand. In 2014, H&M collaborated with Vera Wang on an exclusive line. But, the collaboration with Vera Wang wasn’t as popular as last year’s #Balmaination. Why is that? Well, it’s probably down to the fact that the Kardashians/Jenners were heavily publicised wearing the most luxurious of pieces from Olivier Rousteing’s collection in that year.

 

The Balmain x H&M collaboration was announced at the Billboard Music Awards in May, 2015. Of course, a fashion frenzy followed and everyone counted down the days until November 5th, when the collection was unveiled to the public both in store and online.

 

November 5th came and I headed down to Central London’s Oxford Street to purchase my chosen garment. But, I wasn’t ready for what I was about to endure… Millions of people were queuing up outside the store. The queue was almost a mile long. Apparently, people had been queuing up from the night before, and were given wristbands which allocated them a time to enter the store.

 

I waited patiently until it was my turn, but was one of the last to go in. The whole Balmaination section was bordering on empty, and the crowds outside were becoming hostile. Then, out of nowhere I heard screams as people started forcing their way into the store trying to enter. H&M was forced to close as the shop assistants and managers feared for their safety.

On my way out, I heard that people were checking H&M’s online store, to see if anything was available. But, by that time everything was all sold out… When I got back home, I read that people who had bought something from the range were selling them online for double, triple, or quadruple the price.

Why was everyone going crazy over Balmain? I think it’s the price reduction that clinched it. I checked on Balmain’s website, and dresses are sold at ludicrously unaffordable prices (for working class people). So, seeing that prices were being reduced by H&M meant that there was a higher demand.

My star rating for Balmain’s #Balmaination would be 5***** I absolutely love this dress and cannot wait to show it off on a night out…

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Photo Credit: Topshop

Topshop is a British international fashion retailer providing customers with high-quality clothes, shoes, make-up and accessories at high-street prices. There are currently 500 shops worldwide, 300+ of which are based in the UK; the flagship store being in London’s Oxford Street. This store is owned by the Arcadia Group – founded by Tina and Sir Philip Green but is run by Chief Executive Officer, Katie Foster.

Anyway, that’s enough background information… Now, onto the main the reason why I’m writing this post – its new MOTO Oversized Jacket.

Topshop thinks:

Chanel ultimate ‘90s vibes in this MOTO badged denim jacket. In an oversized fit, it features scattered badge details to the front and back and is finished with a button down placket and pockets. 100% Cotton. Machine wash.

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Photo Credit: Topshop

I think:

This oversized jeans jacket comes in at £50, it’s a wardrobe essential and one that should be bought in time for Summer Sixteen! I am loving its badge detail, giving a circa-90s look to it. Ideally, you can team it up with a nice pair of leather skinnies and some kitten heals. Alternatively, why not try to rock double or triple denim? Only if you’re brave enough!

If I had to rate this product, I’ll give it 3*** because of its ‘oversized’ look. I mean, it does nothing to flatter our torsos but that’s to be expected, I guess…

P.S. Please note that due to popular demand, it’s now only available in size 10 OR 16 [ONLINE], check in store for more sizes.