Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Tunesday Tuesday!





Hey guys! Time for my monthly music post where I run down the top ten , show you my own playlist and songs I've been listening too and talk about an artist who I've been loving and who should be more popular, my artist of the month. So let's see what songs some of you've been loving this month.

1) Bang Bang- Jessie J, Niki Minaj
When I first heard this song I wasn't actually that impressed. Three well known, great artists in their field producing what for me was a fairly mediocre song. Having listened to it a few more times however it's started to grow on me and I do think it's a super catchy song and it is really difficult to get out of your head.
2) Changing- Sigma ft Paloma Faith 
I am I massive fan of Paloma faith, I've been in love with her, her voice, her style since Upside Down. maybe I'm a little biased, but I do love this song, it's so lovely and upbeat.
3) Shake it off- Taylor Swift
Ah Twizzle is still in the charts I see with this tune. Still dancing around my bedroom too it and still in love with it.
4) Blame- Calvin Harris ft John Newman
Honestly this chart is looking good so far, I totally dig John's voice but this song didn't really stand out to me in a way, it didn't make me want to rush to buy it anyway.
5) Prayer in C- Lilly Wood and Robin Schulz
I've listened to the remix and the original of this and I think I prefer the original better, the tones are a bit mellower. I really like Lilly's voice I haven't heard a lot from her though before. I really like the lyrics to this I think they're really beautiful, I think it could definitely be sung as a ballad like Kieza's version in the live lounge which is fantastic.
6) I'm not the only one- Sam Smith
Again a massive fan of Sam Smith, he's one of my favourite male singers at the moment and my mum loves him too. This is such a soulful song can't get enough but the video makes me cry
7)Blame it on me- George Ezra
From one of my favourite male singers to another. Since hearing Budapest I  have been addicted to this boy and this song is no exception, his voice and style is just so addictive and cool.
8) Lullaby- Professor Green ft Tori Kelly 
Okay I love this song. I seem to really like the chart this week huh. Tori's voice is a m a z i n g I would just listen to her voice on repeate.
9) Black Widow- Iggy Azalea ft Rita Ora. 
Regular viewers of my blog will know how much I love Rita Ora so obvs I like this song, however it isn't one I'd buy really i just don't like it that much, I kind of expected better somehow of an Iggy and Rita colab.
10) Rude- MAGIC!
Still such a catchy tune and one that I think everyone listens to on repeate.

Okay so that's the top ten!
My playlist: 
1) You - Keaton Henson
2) Butterfly- Christina Perri
3) Secrets- OneRepublic
4) Graffiti on a train- Stereophonics
5) Hunger of the Pine- Alt J (one to watch)
6)Come on Over- Royal blood
7) You'll be Okay- A great big world
8) Ghost in the mirror- Mallory Knox (one to watch)
You can find my september playlist here as well as all my other Tunesday Playlists!

Artist of the month: Royal Blood 
My artist of the month is actually a Band. I have heard of Royal blood before but never really listened to their music. Since they have a new album out I thought I'd finally get round to listening to them and I really like them! They're a British Rock Duo and if you're into rock music I would definitely give them a listen and listen to their newest album!

Okay Guys that's a wrap! See you next month for my next Tunesday and see you later this week for a little beauty review!
Eleanor x

Friday, 26 September 2014

Why I'm a feminist and why you should be too


Hey guys! Today I wanted to write a post on why I am a feminist and why I think many people are too, but without realising or wanting to belong to the "feminist" label. Due to the viral UN video Emma Watson did, there has been a lot of controversy, but also a lot of positive messages and positive feedback. You can watch the video here and I would definitely recommend watching it.

The day I became or rather realised I was a feminist, was the day I realised what feminism was actually about. The problem was so bad that growing up I learned nothing about it and thought feminists were people who got pissed off when you held the door open for them and jumped in front of horses. Learning about feminism as a sociological group in society, did nothing to help me realise what the idea behind it actually was but rather social media finally defined it for me. Put simply, Feminism is the want for gender equality.  More complexly,it is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining establishing and defending equal political, economic, cultural and social rights for woman. Equality.

That's it. Equality, Not hating against girls who have boyfriends. Not hating against girls who wear makeup. Not every feminist is a lesbian. Not people who will rant at you if you hold a door out to them in passing. Feminism is not man hating. It is not wanting to be better than men and yet somehow the word "feminism" has gained negative connotations and even girls not wanting to associate with this label. Why isn't everyone a feminist? Because of these bad connotations and the idea that it is strictly for woman. A long time ago when the idea of feminism was being set up, it was woman fighting for woman because men weren't. But now with a further development of awareness, men want gender equality but refuse to be apart of feminism, scared that it makes them less of a man. Doesn't it make you more of a man by not being sexist, misogynistic and a down right arsehole?



People argue that the word feminism should be disregarded and instead should be called gender equality. But I disagree the word feminism reeks femininity and woman's empowerment to gain equal rights and now this word can be taken further now to include men as this includes them too. Man's problem is the fact that woman do not have gender quality and they should be fighting just as hard.




 I understand of course that it works both ways, men are ridiculed when they show expression or an interest in something that is considered feminine. And although understand this, my feelings are best summed up by a text post i saw on this. Men complaining that feminism does not do enough to support them is like this: imagine two babies, the first baby has one toy and the second has three. You give the first baby two more toys and the second baby complains that you have to give them two more toys in order for it to be equal.

Do you see? I am by no means disregarding that things are easy for men and they have no social norms they have to conform to, but woman's gender inequality is just a lot worse than men's.



It cannot be left without saying that while I am a feminist, I do believe that it misses out the oppression of black woman, and woman of different classes and ethnicities to white middle class. The majority of feminist movements are white middle class people which is why we need to see more Womanism, which is at it's core, social change for black woman and woman of minority ethnic groups. People forget that gender inequality and racial inequality are "bound together" and indeed black feminism would end class, gender and racial inequalities if it were to be more popular and had more recognition from men and western feminists. I want to see feminists off all colours.
I want to see men be able to express themselves.
I want to see the word feminism have positive connotations.
I want to see a world where woman get as much as men in the work place despite the possibility of childbirth
I want to see woman of every background and ethnicity being free from oppression.
I want to see a world where a woman may wear what she chooses no matter how little clothing that may be, and not be told she is asking for rape or sexual assault.
I want to see a rise in black feminism
I want woman to be able to walk down a street without being catcalled at.
I want young girls to grow up feeling empowered, not that the world is run by white men.
I want equality.


I am just a a girl with a blog and not much impact in this world. But I did not realise I was a feminism until I knew what it was and I don't think enough people do either.
Eleanor x


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Confidence

Hey guys! Today's little pause for thought is on confidence. I have never been a particularly confident person, I'm just naturally quite quiet and so confidence was something that I particularly had to work on but it has improved as I've got older. I know that to some people confidence comes naturally but to others having confidence isn't really in their nature. In my experience however confidence is really important, not only for job interviews when you get older, but in every day life. Something which I started to notice when I got older was that if you say something with confidence rather than timidly, people don't really say anything about it. For example if you say that you want to do something and you say it confidently, people are more likely to do it with you. Just the same as if you're arguing and you're speaking confidently you're more likely to be believed and respected. Confidence is really important to have, to be able to express yourself confidently is really needed. Think about times when you backed down from something but should have had the confidence to stand up for yourself. Would the situation had gone better?

People that know me know that I like to voice my opinions a lot, something which I never used to really do. When I was younger I used to go along with what other people said but I started to challenge this and that actually my opinions are just as important. I am just as important. And that is what it boils down to. If you think you're more important than other people then that's arrogant. If you think you're less important, then you'll miss out on opportunities and chances to show what you believe in or to do what you want to. But knowing that you are just as important as everyone else will give you the ability to accept other people, do what you want to do and live your life a lot happier than if you didn't.
Lots of love
Eleanor x

Friday, 12 September 2014

The Mortal Instruments book series review






Hey guys! It's been a little while since I did a book review but I actually have another one planned for next month (She say's having not planned next months blog posts yet.) I have wanted to review these books for a while but always promised myself I would wait until the final book came out.



Characters
 I really loved the characters in this book series. I liked Clary as the main protagonist and I felt like she was a really good lead female. In comparison to other female protagonist's that are in popular YA books at the moment, Clary is one of my favourite. She's very "relatable" in the sense that on the whole of it, she didn't make any decisions I was annoyed about (although there may have been a few.) Plus she had the ability to love which is something that gets lost sometimes in fantasy in that the main character is too cold hearted so it makes the book less enjoyable as I can't put myself in their shoes. Having said that, she wasn't one of the characters in the book that really leaped off the page for me. I also loved the other characters, personally, my favourite character was Magnas as he really came alive for me and I really loved his sense of humour and his comedic relief in the books. I loved Isabelle too, as she was a kickass and loved beauty and fashion which is something quite refreshing and although Jace sometimes irritated me, I also liked his comedic bits, especially when arguing with Simon. I also liked the fact there were gay and lesbian couples in the books which is again something that isn't regularly seen.


Plot and the ending of the series
(This contains spoilers for the series)
I had a few mixed feelings about the plot line somehow. In the first three books I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the protagonist and antagonist battles and I liked Valentine as a villain and I really enjoyed the twists and turns in the book as it continued something which Clare is a master at. For me however, the rest of the series wasn't so good. I didn't like Sebastian as a villain. The final book insinuated that Clare quite liked Sebastian as before he died he turned good, leaving us with the wish that he hadn't died somehow despite all the horrible things he had done. I felt a little sympathy but no where near enough for me to actually wish he hadn't died. I also didn't like the ending, I reckon this is a fairly debated topic. That moment when they're deciding who should make the sacrifice and Simon looses his memory I think was the wrong choice. I hated that he forgot Clary and didn't get his memory back fully. As much as I love Magnus, for me the ending that made more sense would be if he had died. It makes more sense that that happens but I'm glad it didn't or I would have cried so much! She also brought in Tessa from her other series (which I'll be reading soon) which in my opinion was a little clumsy. I haven't read the other series but I think it's a spoiler in it'self that she appears in this series and it was as if Clare couldn't help herself but bring other characters into the stories which is  little frustrating. Although there were a few things I disliked, the writing was very good and I was often on the edge of my seat while reading it. It was a captivating read and an amazing world that I wished to be apart of.

Love 
I actually liked that Jace and Clary got together and it was predictable. I hate predictable love, I just hate it I think it spoils the book hugely but in this instance I think it worked. Maybe because the other loves in the story aren't predictable at all. I'm not a massive shipper of Isabelle and Simon. I don't know why but for me they just don't go together at all. I am however a huge shipper of Alec and Magnas, if I had to be the teenage girl I am and pick an OTP (One true paring) for every YA book I had read, Malec is it. I like that Magnas is funny how Alec is serious but they work together so well.



Anyway that's about it I think, overall I'll give the series 3.5/5 because although it had a lot of things I disliked about it, I really got into the world Clare created  and I thought the writing and imagery was beautiful. There wasn't anything that I  hated about the book series just a couple of things I would have preferred to happen/ not happen for example I would have preferred Valentine to stay the villain and Sebastian to have died in his place.

I'll see you soon!
Lots of love
Eleanor x

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

All about that base- why it's not offensive to "skinny" people

"This is offensive to skinny people."
"This is promoting bad health."
"This song is not promoting to love your body, it's hypocritical because it's rude to skinny people."
Are just some of the comments I have seen on the youtube video of the song "All about that base" by Meghan Trainor. If you haven't heard the song I suggest you do here so you know what this post is about. This blog wasn't planned but over the last few days my anger at some of these comments have really started to get to me as people are taking this song in completely the wrong way.  Firstly this song is about loving your body no matter what size, this is the main message of the song. The people comenting "This is offensive to skinny people"  are not getting it. For one thing people shouldn't use the word skinny because it's rude, if they cared that much about it they wouldn't be doing that. Secondly, yes this song is about bigger woman being proud of themselves. No this is not offensive. The media tells woman every single day that you need to be skinny to be pretty and just because one song has been released that actually tell's woman they can be bigger everyone gets into an uproar about it? I am completely against body shaming as you know and pretty much every song or every song video are about slim girls. So many films just show slim woman and there is very little positivity for bigger woman. Does anyone particularly complain and say that it's offensive? No, because they'd be hit with a tide of comments saying that of course it's not offensive and how "skinny" is better. And yet when one song is realised about bigger girls, suddenly this is offensive to them. People are particularly annoyed by the line " go tell them skinny bitches that" but fail to remember the next line is "Nah i'm kidding I know ya'll think you're fat but I'm here to tell you that every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top." The song is promoting all body sizes.
Plus there is nothing wrong with celebrating your size. People are saying that if it was the other way round and that the lyrics were "Anti bigger" people then it would be taken off the internet so why is this allowed? But you're forgetting that although songs may not specifically say anything against bigger people, that most song's actually insinuate it.
In conclusion everyone should see this song as a happy and fun song about everyone's body shapes, it may be primarily about bigger woman ,but it is by no means shaming against thinner woman.  
Eleanor x

Friday, 5 September 2014

Exams don't determine you| Colab's wanted!




Hey there! Today I want to talk about exam results and the problem with exams. I think I did a rant on this a while a go and I've wanted to do another since. Coincidently as I planned to do this, I was introduced to a video today which you can watch here, which summed up my feelings too. Many of you will have got results in the summer and some may be ecstatic, others not so and some completely disappointed. For those people who didn't do as well as liked, let this post serve as a little reminder to you that exams do not determine who you are. I myself was not particularly happy with my results, having felt like everybody seemed to have done better than me and thus making me feel like I was a "Failure." But something I cling on to and something which you may need reminding of is that just because you can't do the exam, doesn't make you any less smart. Exams, are not true representations of what you can do. You may not be "academically" smart, but that does not mean you are not clever. Intelligence comes in all shapes and sizes. If someone was bad at maths but great at English you wouldn't call that person thick because clearly maths is not their strong point. It's the same with people who are "Not good" at all subjects. Cleverness has nothing to do with how much you can remember for an exam. What does that determine? That you have a good memory? Intelligence depends on the person. For those of you who are lucky enough to have academic intelligence then that's great, but for some people, academic subjects such as maths, English and science it means it can leave them feeling like failers when in fact this is not true.  That "F" you see on the paper does not determine who you are. Does that F show your kindness? Your ability to give advice? No, it doesn't. It shows how many equations you could remember which lets be honest, you're never going to use again.

For some subjects like maths, you've either got it or you haven't, but for others such as English and art you're exam result is not a measure of how good you are at that subject either. Just because you failed English doesn't mean you're writing skills and ability are not good, it just means you probably needed to work a little more in technique. One of the most famous writers, Rohld Dahl was told by an English teacher that "He had never seen someone who persistently writes words meaning the exact opposite of what is intended." And yet he went on to be an amazing author. As you can see, your exam results are not a determination of you're overall intelligence or even you're ability in the subject.

Everyone has weaknesses and strengths and some people are just not naturally good at school subjects. But that doesn't mean that if you're not, you have a future. In my opinion, life  is about finding what you personally are good at even if its not an academic subject. Not everone can be good at school and that's okay, everyone is different. It does not mean however that you should not put in effort and try your best, but it does mean that because you can not pass subjects, it doesn't make you not smart.
"Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish on it's ability to climb a tree, then it will live it's whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein.



I would like to end this post on a slightly different topic of reaching all you bloggers out there for collaborations. I think colab's are so much fun and creates new friends while promoting your blog and  I have done some in the past and would like to do colab's with many more people, such as guest posts or "interview the blogger" type posts on each others blog's so if you're interested contact me at smitheh01@gmail,com.

Lots of Love,
Eleanor x

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Debate- Are single sex schools better for education?

Hey Guys! Today i wanted to start a new little debating segment on my blog, where once a month (ish) where I'll set up a debate with my opinion and you guys can give your opinions down in the comments and tell me what you think. A lot of the time nowerdays some people don't care enough to for opinions so this is good practice to have a think and form your own opinions even if you've never thought about the topic before.

The topic I wanted to start off with is: "are single sex schools better for education or not?" I had never really thought about this so I wanted to lean more and figure out my own opinion.

 Stats show that boys do better in  mixed schools and girls do better in single sex schools which didn't surprise me too much, because overall girls are doing better in education at most subjects (apart from physics.) Also stats show that most girls have a 'bedroom culture' which means they are more likely to stay in and work hard as opposed to boys who are more likely to go out on school nights and less likely to do homework. If girls were in a single sexed school they will have mainly girl friends meaning they are likely to influence each other to work harder and so preform better. Now this of course is highly stereotypical and is simply what statistics tell us and I know that it isn't always the case as not all girls are hard workers and not all boys are slackers of course but looking at it from a very vague and detached way, that is the reason. Nevertheless in my opinion despite this, girls do better in mixed schools anyway so in terms of performance, I do not think that single sex schools are extremely beneficial to girls education as they seem to be doing better in mixed schools as it is.

Another argument for this is that "boys and girls are an unwanted distraction to each other." Meaning that boys and girls would be spending more time trying to impress each other as opposed to concentrating on their work. I would have to counter this by saying as a member of a mixed sex school, I have never felt like I did worse in class because of trying to "Impress" the opposite sex. I also would imagine that even if you went to a single sex school you would still have contact and have many friends of the opposite sex due to sports clubs or parties you've been to and so there is still chance of you becoming "distracted" by a crush and by thinking of them in class. Nevertheless I have never met anyone who just spent entire lessons purely thinking of someone they liked or had a crush on to the point of their grades actually dropping. Plus no matter what type of school you are always going to have a natter to your mates about boys or girls and wanting to impress them but I don't think that this is necessarily bad nor have I seen it effect someone's performance  massively.

However I do think that sometimes girls in particular do feel better if they are with their own sex and not with males and sometimes it is part of someone's religion to be with the other sex. I am against the claim that single sexed schools are bad because when the person comes out of the school they won't know how to fit in with the rest of society or the opposite sex in the society. I have never known someone come out of a single sexed school and be at a disadvantage in terms of socialisation and "fitting in" because as I said earlier everyone has contact with the opposite sex anyway.

Overall, in my opinion I do not think single sexed schools are better for education. I do not think them worse, but I don't think that they're particularly better either. In terms of performance it is the same, girls out preform boys anyway. I really enjoyed that I went to a mixed school because now I have lots of boy and girl friends and I am glad of that and I have never noticed a downfall in my performance just because I am friends with boys.

What do you think? Do you think they're better or worse or neither?
Until next time,
Eleanor x