Louis Tomlinson and the Baby Drama

I don’t like the term “guilty pleasure”, it often seems to be a cop out for people who don’t want to admit liking something which is considered to be naff (a cheesy movie or uncool band). The closest I have to one is reading the tweets of One Direction fans on Twitter.

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Whenever there is a One Direction related news story I always check Twitter because it’s guaranteed to be trending as the Directioners are legion and tweet happy. Seriously, all the criticisms of social media of making it too easy and immediate to put your foot in your mouth are proven with Directioners who tweet with a visceral, purely emotional style.

It’s fascinating to read because it’s so gloriously raw and unfiltered. When you’re a teenager, as most 1D fans are, everything takes on more resonance and your emotions are far more intense and varying. I blame the hormones. And the result is manic tweets which can express hatred, love and seeming madness. A lot of fans are normal, even witty, but it’s the nutbars who are so fascinating.

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A shrine where Harry threw up. What the hell?

It can get ugly and the Directioners issue death threats with the frequency of a comic book villain. But of late it’s taken a weird, surreal turn.

This is because there is a One Direction conspiracy theory. And it is utterly crazy.

The theory seems to be the work of the “Larry Shippers” a subgroup of Direction fans who “ship” (mentally pairing two people together romantically, can be fictional or real people) two of the band members together, Harry and Louis, hence “Larry”.

This is despite both men having had relationships with women and commented that it’s weird and not true, there is still a branch of the One Direction fandom which believes it is a thing and that the boys are being forced to hide their love.

Firstly, I just want to say, and I know I sound old here, but this shipping two boy band members together seems a new thing. I can’t remember girls at school discussing whether Ronan and Keith were secretly dating or fantasising over them together. Maybe they did, but the  fledgling internet didn’t give them an outlet yet.

It seems odd, but allow me to play amateur psychiatrist for a moment.

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While they may be daydreaming of being with one of the band on some level the fan has realised this is unlikely. However, they want their idol to be happy. But the idea of them with another woman is hard to deal with.

By pairing them together they can have their idols be happy but there’s no woman to be jealous of. It’s a sort of coping mechanism.

Anyway, last year Louis got a girl pregnant and Twitter was awash with Directioners losing it. There was anger and disbelief, and the woman involved, Brianna Jungwirth, got a lot of flak, which wasn’t cool.

The conspiracy theory was that the pregnancy was bogus. Then the baby was born. Then they changed it to that the baby was a fake. And now it’s that Louis isn’t the father of the baby.

The idea is that the band’s management has orchestrated a fake pregnancy in order to cover up the fact that Larry is real. Brianna is, I guess, an actress? And the baby is someone else’s, and all of this is done to cover up the homosexual relationship.

Now, most conspiracy theories are a little nuts, but this one falls down early on because it just doesn’t make sense. Think of all the effort this would take to set up and all the people who might blab. And the reason for it doesn’t work either.

It’s 2016, and 1D are making serious bank. I doubt that if two came out as gay it would hurt their rep that much. Sure, they might take a hit as the anto-gay parents stop their kids listening, and maybe a few fans themselves would bail, but One Direction’s core audience is younger and you’d expect them to be more accepting. Hell, it might even win them a bigger gay audience.

The risk to gain ratio is all off. Faking a pregnancy is tough, and the potential gain from it doesn’t justify it.

The theory has apparently been bubbling away online for a while but it’s blown up recently with Brianna herself commenting on how upsetting reading all the analysis and accusations is (here’s a more detailed look at the theory). I can only imagine how awful it must be to know people are scrutinising your uploads and accusing you of lying.

It even made the front page of a national paper, admittedly The Star but still, it’s bizarre that it got this far.

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Like all conspiracy theories it holds an odd fascination for me as I can’t quite get my head around why people feel like this and am unconvinced by their “evidence”. Like UFO nuts or flat earthers it’s a glimpse into a subsection of society who have some out there ideas.

But it’s important to remember the real people involved, and this might be hurtful for them. Also, I don’t envy Louis having to sit his son down at some point and explain all this.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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Do Not Touch The Celebrities

For us regular Joes encounters with celebrities can be a bit overwhelming. We’re used to seeing these people on screen or stage, so for these larger than life to be in Tesco or whatever is a bit of a shock.

Reality TV has changed the nature of celebrity and opened up what was an exclusive club to a wider group but TOWIE, Teen Moms and Big Brother housemates aside most celebs exist on an elevated platform and can be viewed as modern day royalty or the subject of almost religious devotion and idolisation.

I think this is why people can be idiots around celebrities. In my limited interactions with celebrities I’ve managed to keep my head although I do regret bothering Stewart Lee in a Swansea comic shop.

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You can feel the awkwardness

But others seem to not manage this, and I’ve read about two celebrities who have had fans cross the line of manners and personal space.

First up is Norman Reedus who plays crossbow wielding badass Daryl in The Walking Dead. During a photo op at a TWD convention (I must now begin begging MWF to go to one), Reedus was posing with a female fan who admits she “lost her mind”. Turning she bit the actor on the chest and was tossed out of the convention.

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Reedus was naturally freaked out, but seems to have taken it well and won’t press charges, although may be more defensive if/when he poses with a fan again.

The second celebrity to have fans cross a line is Amber Rose, who stated in an interview that she is regularly groped by fans who seem not to realise that’s not cool.

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Rose

Rose said that she thinks people think it’s okay because she’s quite “cool” with fans and takes photos with them. Of course, a photo isn’t permission to cop a feel, and it’s worrying that it even needs to be stated.

Rose’s admission prompted a predictably dimwitted response as people attempted to blame her clothing, as if she has nobody to blame but herself for showing a little bit of skin. I hope these people don’t go to beaches or they’ll probably end up in jail, as they seem to think it’s fine to grab on someone.

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Skimpy clothing is not an invitation, or permission to get busy hands. It’s just what a woman has chosen to wear. Similarly because of Rose’s job as a model and stripper, people think it’s fine. Nope, regardless of job a woman’s body is her own and you don’t touch her without her being okay with it.

I just think folks need to remember that celebrities are still people and that just because they’re in the public eye doesn’t make them public property. Maybe there should be a celebrities commandments or something:

1. Thou shalt not touch without permission.

2. Thou shalt be polite.

3. Thou shalt not take a photo without asking. For it be Creepy.

4. If a celeb is eating, leave them alone.

5. If you can’t think of anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

6. They may not be massively cheerful or friendly, but remember you are a stranger to them and they have their own stuff going on.

7. Even if they make their living getting naked you still don’t get to touch without them saying it’s okay.

8. Make sure you have the right celebrity.

9. As always, don’t be a d**k.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


#FreeKesha: What about the men?

Earlier this week pop star Kesha was in court trying to get released from her contract with Sony and Kemosabe. The situation is horribly ugly for the singer, who finds herself trapped in a deal and obligated to record six more albums with a man who has abused her, producer DJ Luke.

I’ll make no bones about it, I believe and support Kesha and feel the position she finds herself in is disgraceful.

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Kesha

Before anyone cries “innocent until proven guilty”, I understand the concept but in cases of rape it’s a tricky one to apply. Because in presuming the accused innocent we are suggesting that the victim is lying.

Our culture has some serious issues with rape and one major problem is that victims are often placed under the microscope in ways that are grossly unfair, and their accusation is suspected and questioned.

Regardless of dress, lifestyle or profession, rape is rape. Yet, we get comments on how much women have drunk, what they wore or where they went. It all seems to suggest that in some way the victim was “asking for it”. No woman is asking for it.

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Personally, I think the victim should be believed and protected. That should be the starting point and investigation can come later.

False rape claims are rare and a woman has very little to gain from lying, as mentioned it places them under scrutiny and especially in Kesha’s case it doesn’t make sense.

If it was just a case of the relationship being strained she could have merely gritted her teeth and ground out six albums as quickly as possible. If Fleetwood Mac could make Rumours while the members were breaking up, then a personality clash would be easily overcome.

The news that a judge refused her appeals to be released is so infuriating and upsetting, as were images of Kesha reduced to tears in court. A young woman is being forced to make a horrible choice- give up the career she has built and loves, or go and work with a man who was physically and emotionally abusive to her.

Nobody should be forced to interact with their abuser and the judge’s ruling seemed more about business than the issues involved.

Really dropping the ball are Sony, who look terrible on this whole thing. Firstly, they seem to be siding with DJ Luke, which is not cool and secondly they appear to be putting profit over Kesha’s wellbeing. Sony could have handled it a lot better. They could have just let Kesha go and cut losses, or else worked something out where Kesha stayed with them but the link to DJ Luke was severed and he would not be involved or profit from her work.

Either option would have left them looking a damn sight better than they do now.

Thankfully there is some support for Kesha, with the #freekesha hashtag spreading online as people call for Sony to let her go and support her in what is a difficult time. She herself has thanked and acknowledged the help of her fans, but for it to really take effect she needs her fellow pop stars to help too.

This unfortunately has thrown up a new issue, one which highlights a clear failing in how we discuss rape. Several female celebrities came out in support including Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, Lily Allen, Lorde and Arianna Grande.

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While this is heartening to see, it turned a bit sour as Demi Lovato used it to apparently snipe at Taylor Swift for doing nothing. Petty point scoring was not a good thing to see.

The question that comes up here is, where are the men?

We expect the other female stars to rally, because of “sisterhood” but yet we let male stars off the book. Why haven’t Kesha’s former collaborators Pitbull and Flo Rida shown their support?

Rape and abuse our uncomfortable subjects, and ones that men have trouble engaging with. It’s not something we have to fear as much, and fear of saying the wrong thing lurks at the back of your mind. But we have to speak out, we need to show Kesha that we support her too, that we condemn the actions of DJ Luke and men like him.

We need to show that we believe those who come forward with allegations of abuse, that we believe they should be heard and the guilty punished. We need to show that we agree that rape is wrong and there are no excuses.

If more men were out there voicing this then perhaps our attitudes towards rape will change. That the discussion will change so that we focus on the issues that lead some men to feel they are entitled to a woman’s body no matter what and not what the woman could/should have done differently.

The victim is never responsible, the one responsible is the person doing the abuse.

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Kesha is in a position many victims of abuse aren’t: she’s rich, successful and has a platform to voice what happened to her. Despite all these advantages the system has failed her and she is still expected to work and make money for her abuser.

I hope that things change, I hope that there is a happy ending for Kesha. I hope that her courage in speaking out helps other victims to do the same and I hope that it can help our society adopt a better and more supportive attitude towards victims.

We need to change. And men need to take part in that. Nobody is saying it’s all men, but it’s too many men and they don’t get made in a vacuum, we need to understand why these men think and act the way they do and what we can do to make sure less of them do.

I stand with Kesha #freekesha

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


What we can learn from Kanye

I know, Kanye West is ridiculous in many ways. The daft shades he used to wear, his awful Brits performance, interrupting Taylor Swift, throwing tantrums and the fact he named his daughter North (at least have a silent K to keep the Kardashian tradition alive).

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Surely, those slat things would be a pain?

He’s also responsible for one of the daftest and least sexy song lyrics about making love. I refer to his guest spot on Katy Perry’s “ET” where he raps:

Imma disrobe you, then imma probe you

I hope his real world pillow talk is better than that, for Kim’s sake.

But let’s not forget that he can do some decent stuff, like calling out George W. Bush after Hurricane Katrina or the fact that he’s had some ace songs (The College Dropout and Late Registration are solid albums).

But the most important thing we can learn from Kanye?

Being confident in what we do.

Most musicians would announce an album through a bit of artwork or a cryptic tweet. But Kanye? He shared a track list for “Swish” and then announced he’s just finished the “best album of all time”.

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That takes balls.

A lot of us are afraid to be confident or proud of what we’ve done. We apologise for trying or dismiss the results as flawed. It’s a bad habit, this need to put ourselves down, to diminish our attempts. It hurts ourselves and the apologising creates a bad impression for others by lowering their expectations and starting off on a negative.

Self deprecation is fine in moderation, but too much and you’re just undervaluing yourself and sending out the message that it’s fine to trash you, even if it is affectionately.

I get that arrogance is ugly (witness Donald Trump) but surely there’s a halfway point? A place where we big ourselves up more. Where we celebrate our achievements and show our pride in them?

Walk out of an exam announcing you crushed it, present your baking with a flourish, call something you’ve done awesome. Give yourself the kind of praise we heap on others.

Even if you just do it in your head, if you’re worried of looking daft or cocky.

If you don’t love and show pride in what you’ve done, why should others? Own your work, unleash your inner Kanye and blow your own trumpet a little.

Don’t go full Kanye though. Keep a little bit of humour in there, and think hard about what you’re going to name your kids.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


In memory of Alan Rickman. In defence of Emma Watson

This week saw the passing of Alan Rickman, a truly great actor who appeared in many great movies like Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Love Actually, Galaxy Quest, Dogma and Sense & Sensibility, where he oozed dignity and decency as Brandon.

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To a younger generation he will always be known as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter series. Leading the tributes were his former costars, including the former child stars of those films.

Emma Watson tweeted several times, one of which included this image and quote.

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It made sense for Watson, a vocal campaigner for women’s rights to post this but she was soon under attack from various tweeters who felt she was out of line for “pushing her own agenda” and exploiting Rickman’s death.

Frankly these comments are utterly daft and disrespectful. These strangers are attacking someone who actually knew Rickman for years for how they grieve and remember him. As fans it hurt us, but for those who knew him it must have been far worse.

Also, why shouldn’t she post this?

All of us can comment on his acting abilities, and I’m sure Watson will praise his skills as a performer. What she’s doing with this quote is showing that as well as being a marvellous talent he was a decent bloke with sensible views.

The quote shows him in a good light, it shows a man who believed in a equality and unlike many online knew what feminism is about.

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Watson probably chose this message because it echoed her views and also because it’s statements like this that are part of the reason she admired and now mourns Alan Rickman.

Exploiting his death? No, just showing why she respected him.

The sad thing is that people felt the need to attack someone and  object to an “agenda” which is about equality and fairness. Read the above definition, that’s what Watson and Rickman support, equal opportunities and rights for everyone.

If you attack that you’re basically coming out in favour of a system which places some above others just because of their gender, and that’s a crap thing to defend.

So, I think Watson did nothing wrong and those objecting come from a position of ignorance or hostility.

In closing, I just want to say Rest in Peace, Alan Rickman, you were a great actor, I never tired of watching you and thanks for all the great work you left us.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Bowie

I don’t know when I first heard David Bowie, but I have a good idea that it was in my Dad’s car. I think a lot of us get some pop music education from our parents and I’m lucky that my Dad had some decent taste. The Stones, Dylan and Neil Young were all artists I heard first on cassette on family holidays or when my Dad gave me lifts.

My Dad had the first half of The Best of David Bowie. It collected the 60s and 70s stuff. My Dad was an old school Bowie fan.

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To me the album was utterly unique, different from anything I’d heard before. A lot of the songs had a weird, spacey vibe which as a budding geek I was onboard with. I loved that cassette.

There were great story songs like the tragic Major Tom adrift among the stars on “Space Oddity” or “Ziggy Stardust” where Bowie took on numerous voices to tell the story of a band falling apart as their guitarist gets caught up in his own hype. To this day both songs captivate me after uncountable plays, and when the opening chords of “Ziggy” kick in I get a smile on my face.

There were the dystopian lyrics of “Diamond Dogs”, the surreal beauty of the imagery in “Life On Mars?”, the iconic “Changes” and my personal favourite “The Man Who Sold The World”.

Over the years I got to know more about Bowie, the showman with the knack of changing style yet remaining distinctly Bowie. I was less fussed on his later songs with a few exceptions (“Golden Years” and “Heroes”) but he remained an interesting and singular talent.

Other stars of the seventies fell from grace or faded away, either becoming old men of music or else trying to maintain an image they couldn’t pull off anymore. Bowie avoided both of these by keeping going, retaining some of his mystery and in the process cementing his position as a pop culture icon.

Bowie was cool, there’s no other way to put it. But not the cool of a fleeting trend, a distinctive coolness that stemmed from the fact he was courageous in his individuality. He didn’t chase trends, he was just David Bowie.

His music will endure and continue to be loved and inspire.

Bowie’s death hit me harder than I expected, not just because I loved his music and realised that we’d lost a true legend, but because Bowie had become linked with my own life, his songs had become what I sing to myself, the things that remind me of places and times.

That’s why musician deaths hit us so hard. It’s because their music goes beyond what they’ve made, it becomes entangled in our lives. They become the soundtrack of our lives, so David Bowie is more than just a guy who made great pop music, he was the third passenger in the car when my Dad told me daft jokes, old stories I’d heard a hundred times and talked about movies.

He was there on nights out when I danced like a muppet to his tunes. And he was there on countless bus trips or essay writing sessions when I needed to tune out and daydream. He may be gone, but the music will still be there, and in a way that means Bowie will never die.

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I’m rambling a little now so i’ll just leave it by saying, rest in peace David Bowie.

Top 5 Bowie Songs

5. “Starman”
4. “Life on Mars?”
3. “Space Oddity”
2. “Ziggy Stardust” (the line “making love with his who, Ziggy sucked up into his mind/ like a leper Messiah” is one of my all time favourite lyrics)
1. “The Man Who Sold The World”

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Unpopular Opinion: I’m not that fussed on Beyonce

There seems to be some kind of widespread belief that everybody loves Beyonce. The hyperbolic way she is praised and discussed would mean that aliens visiting Earth could be forgiven for thinking that Queen Bee (that’s the best nickname her fans could come up with? And don’t get me started on “the Bey-hive”) is actually part of global royalty.
Even other celebs have fallen into this, like Anna Kendrick.

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But there’s the thing, personally I don’t think Beyonce is all that great.
I’m not saying she’s bad, she’s obviously a talented performer and seems nice enough, but at some point she went from being the successful one from Destiny’s Child to being this kind of towering icon who seems impervious to criticism or even being discussed with perspective.
Don’t believe me? This is how Buzzfeed wrote about her new song;

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The song in question failed to produce a tear from me, and I wondered if I was alone in finding it dull. The start where Beyonce sings is perfectly fine, she has a great voice, but it’s nowt special and the rest of the song is just an uninspiring dance track.
For me Beyonce’s best song is still “Crazy in Love” from back in 2003. I’ve likes some of the others, but my reaction to most has been “meh”.
I can’t be the only one who thinks that this is a case of a decent artist being hyped up to icon status rather quickly. The entertainment industry runs on hype but the wholesale buying into Beyonce as this pop goddess leaves me puzzled.

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Two of MWF’s friends seem to be fans (I refuse to use the fan group’s name again) and seem to agree with this but I’m unmoved by Beyonce. She’s not terrible, which would be something but there’s something almost mechanical about her career. She does what she does very well but she never seems to push boundaries or try anything drastically different.
And yet no criticism comes her way and her every move is treated as a massive deal and the best thing ever.
Compared with the other female popstars about at the moment she seems lacking in anything approaching an “edge” and, while seeming nice enough, doesn’t capture my attention that much.
What am I missing? Is there some appeal I’m just not getting? Or do others not see what the fuss is about but just get drowned out by the OTT praise and exaggeration.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Book Review: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

I’m a big Carrie Fisher fan. She’s appeared in 5 movies I love (When Harry Met Sally, The Blues Brothers and, of course, the Star Wars trilogy). Off screen she has seemed an interesting person, charming and funny in interviews, even if occasionally shambolic, and so when I saw this on my sister’s bookshelf I eagerly asked to borrow it.
I’m glad I did.

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Based on her live show of the same name, Fisher talks about her life and her issues with addiction and mental health. From the show it keeps an amiable, conversational tone and I heard the whole thing in her voice.
The book is written with fantastic openness, Fisher is fantastically honest about her life, revealing details of her family history in a sardonic, indiscreet manner which makes for grey reading.
It’s not just a lurid tell all, filled with big names being dropped, because Fisher’s major focus is herself, her struggles and her stories. That may sound self absorbed but, then again, aren’t all autobiographies?
Fisher tells her story in funny, no-frills episodes, acknowledging that she’s had a strange life and sharing it in a way that feels like someone sitting you down and talking easily with you.
While a joke or sarky aside is never too far away, it does have serious moments, with Fisher talking about her mental health and addictions, but it never gets maudlin or depressing, because Fisher knows she’s lucky in lots of ways and is oddly positive.
It’s a great quick read and shows Fisher’s skills as a writer and is hugely entertaining.
Verdict: Funny, open and wonderfully indiscreet, Fisher is an engaging and amiable narrator who knows her failings and flaws all to well, but still has lots to share. It had me chuckling and it’s one of the best and most honest autobiographies I’ve read. 8/10.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Getting Shirty!: Lady Gaga and the XXX Tee

Lady Gaga isn’t someone who dresses conservatively. In fact her OTT clothing often overshadows her (awesome) music.

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Actually quite normal for Gaga

It’s drawn heat in the past and this week she came under fire for her choice of clothing once more. Gaga was pictured wearing a pink suit and a T-shirt which is rather understated for her.
The problem was that the T-shirt got lots of people worked up because it showed Snow White involved in a dwarf orgy.
Now, this is hardly new territory, anyone who’s ever got lost down one of the net’s many rabbit holes knows that there are plenty of artists out there who specialise in taking beloved childhood characters and putting them in positions usually reserved for X rated fare. I’ve always wondered what the point is. There’s enough live action out there, so why make your own drawn versions?
Anyway, the press got up in arms over it and many didn’t like it. MWG, a massive Disney fan, was unamused, especially as Snow is her favourite of the Disney princesses.

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Snow White in her normal, innocent ways

Personally, I’m not a fan either, though there have been celebrities who have worn far more offensive shirts. Look at the filth Snoop is wearing here:
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But in all seriousness, I’m disappointed in Gaga too.
Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a hysterical “won’t somebody please think of the children?!” post, I just think that Gaga shouldn’t have worn the shirt.
Firstly, its not a good shirt. I haven’t done much research but I’d imagine there are better dirty Disney pictures floating about that you could stick on a shirt. Secondly, it is a bit rude for a morning walk. I’m no prude, but I wouldn’t want to be confronted by the image as I went about my day-to-day, whoever’s wearing it?
But my main objection is that it’s just so bloody stupid and childish.
It’s the kind of shirt you might see and giggle at. You might even daydream about wearing it somewhere fantastically inappropriate (the funeral of a hated enemy, when meeting the Queen etc.) but that little giggle aside you’d leave it on the shelf and move on.
I’ve discussed before that joke shirts are only ever good for one laugh, or normally smile, and that’s it. And a lot of shirts aren’t even that funny. This one isn’t.
It’s also not cool for a woman nearing 30 to be wearing it. I’m 30 and hugely immature, but even I know that it’s a stupid shirt.
It wasn’t always this way. As a teenager (14? 15?) I saw this T-shirt advertised that was a mock up tour shirt. But it wasn’t for a band, it was for Adolf Hitler!
Gods, teen Chris thought that was funny, and edgy, and cool. What a way to look cool and rebellious. I saw it and considered buying it. Thankfully my sister had more sense (as ever) and told me it was stupid, insensitive and not a good idea.
Not long after I came to agree with this, realising it was a stupid, nasty shirt and not funny, but I tell this story to show that I get it. That sometimes we all want to offend just to offend, whether to annoy a specific individual or group (hi, Cardiff fans!) or just to show how cool we are.
I just think that in this instance Gaga was wrong and should grow up and burn the shirt, because I doubt she’ll get much wear out of it.
It’s a shirt a teenage boy would find hilarious and, speaking from experience, most teenage boys are idiots.
Even as a big fan of Lady Gaga I think she made a mistake. But doesn’t everyone?
I’m still a fan and hope to see her live for the 3rd time on her next tour. So, no hard feelings, Gaga?
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


15 Minute Blog: Jamelia makes me uncomfortable

A variation of the 10 minute plan, decided to give myself a little bit more time today. Written in one go, pictures and punctuation sorted later. 

Ex-popstar turned panel show guest Jamelia has landed herself in some hot water this week after some comments she made while appearing on Loose Women. During the show Jamelia made some massively insensitive comments about how shops should stop selling dresses above or below certain sizes.

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This is her quote:

I don’t believe stores should stock clothes below or above a certain weight. They should be made to feel uncomfortable when they go in and can’t find a size.

Understandably, this was not received well, with many attacking Jamelia for creating more negative body image issues and it generally being a cruel policy. Awkwardly for ITV she then appeared on Good Morning Britain where she was part of #SelfieEsteem, the show’s social media campaign to improve body image and make women more confident. The campaign is based on a recent study which revealed that many women take five or six attempts to take a selfie, striving for perfection.

This isn’t a surprise, MWG is sensitive about what photos of her I share online and one of her friends was once drunkenly lamenting the fact that none of her selfies were coming out properly as she tried to Snapchat a young male.

But it’s a bit bad for someone who’s advocating for increased confidence and self esteem has, that same week, said that larger women should be made to feel “uncomfortable”.

Personally, I think Jamelia was bang out of order and her pathetic attempt at an apology on GMB didn’t help. Why would you want to make people feel uncomfortable?

As a fat man, let me tell you something for nothing, feeling uncomfortable while shopping for clothes doesn’t make me want to address my weight, it makes me want to hide away from the world. I remember quite clearly going shopping for shirts for a job interview a few years ago and finding that the shop I went to didn’t stock anything that would fit me. The over gelled staff member was embarrassed, I definitely was and I left with no shirt.

After that 80% of my shopping was done online.

Losing weight is tough. This week we’ve learnt that many short cuts are fake, even dangerous, but I don’t think people get that a major barrier to us bigger folks getting in shape is down to the reactions we face.

When I was running I used to feel painfully self conscious. To that end I’d often run in the early hours or late at night, when less people were about. I knew I looked terrible, red faced and sweating, but I was trying, and had someone laughed or made a comment it would have destroyed me.

Over time I got more comfortable, and by the end I didn’t even care how I looked, because I knew how I felt. I felt good, and I knew I was smaller than I had been at the start. I never reached buff level, but I was slimmer and healthier and I’m determined to start running again soon. A new pair of trainers and I’ll be out there, trying to make up for an extended period when Lazy Chris has been in control.

Jamelia’s comments are indicative of this moronic idea that permeates our society. The idea that fat people don’t feel bad about ourselves already, we do. Finding clothes that fit as a bloke is tough, and I know that for women it can be more difficult due to the variety of body shapes and the stigma around larger dresses. As much as the Tess Munsters of this world do their part to help body confidence and illustrate that beauty isn’t dependent on being thin, it’s an uphill struggle.

Tess Munster- founder of the #effyourbeautystandards campaign.

Tess Munster- founder of the #effyourbeautystandards campaign.

Larger women don’t need to be made to feel worse. Losing weight is tough, and sometimes unnecessary. You can be overweight but still healthy enough to live your life, and at the end of the day it’s your life and your body. There are tons of things in this world that make us feel bad and make life difficult, hating yourself is not something anyone needs.

I feel that Jamelia hasn’t fully understood how insensitive she’s been and her defence of “I’m paid to give my opinions” is bollocks. You have the right to express them and we have a right to criticize them, and GMB should have booted her from the #SelfieEsteem campaign. It’s a shame, because I’ve always thought she was kinda cool before, and always came across well.

We shouldn’t be making people uncomfortable, we should be encouraging them to embrace who they are. If you’re a larger lady or a skinny girl, you’re not left out of being beautiful and you should love yourself.

body confidence

Diversity7

If you want to change for yourself, that’s all good, but we shouldn’t be bullying people to change and feel bad about themselves, because that can push people to dangerous methods and be disastrous.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.