Sunday, 14 December 2014

Bikini's, Body Hair and Body Positivity


So Annika, Matilde and I are currently on an amazing holiday with friends and family down at the beach. After the most stressful semester/ few months ever, it seems ridiculous to wake up in the morning and not need to do anything except maybe shower, and failing that I can just throw my bod into the sea. 

Over the past year, I have been learning to accept and embrace my body, and for me that journey has partially meant (at least for now) quitting shaving and seeing what would happen. I have copped a fair bit of bullying for it (mainly from mean-heads on instagram), but for the most part I have enjoyed the whole process. One thing I have discovered is that my most of my hair is BRIGHT ORANGE, and when people comment it's mostly to tell me how pretty the colour is. I used to be teased for having a lot of ginger hair all over my body in primary and high school, but now I'm just trying to own it. Red hair (and all hair) is pretty.  

This isn't to say that you have to grow your hair long or love your body hair-- for starters, I experience privileges of being white that means that I have a different experience of having body hair to some people. I've been bullied for my body hair, sure, but it's never been racialized, and that's really important thing to remember. Body hair isn't the be all and end all of being a feminist, this is just where I'm at right now.

 (I'll just briefly explain that I burst a blood-vessel in my eye which is why I kinda look like a vampire)

This beach trip was actually the first big beach visit that I have made this year with my
 new fuzzy bod. And also the first time I've really felt comfortable in a bikini since I broke up my longstanding and unhealthy relationship with dieting. Now instead of sitting on my towel worrying about my body, I'm actually going swimming, and enjoying the things my body can do, instead of worrying about the space that my body is taking up. And it's still a process, and I still have my doubts, but for the most part, woo-hoo!

It also helps to have a ridiculously cute swimsuit and even more ridiculously cute friends (who also have cute swimsuits...)

This being said, having a pretty swimsuit is not a requirement for feeling good about yourself at the beach. I have in the past felt better in boxer shorts and a big shirt, and one time I went swimming in a long dress and felt like a mermaid. And sometimes if I get the chance I just ditch clothes all together. 

My advice for looking good at the beach would be to just wear whatever makes you feel comfy and happy. Cover-up or strip-down. Go swimming or sit on the beach and read a book. You're not obliged to splash about like you're in a tourism ad. Enjoy your body for whatever it can do. Just don't forget to wear sun-block-I did, and MY BUTT IS ENTIRELY SUNBURNT!!!

And I mean like entirely sunburnt. From the back of my ankles to my butt is red-raw and I can barely sit down. It's put a bit of a damper on my holiday but hey, it's nothing a good friend rubbing aloe-vera on your butt can't help. 

I've realised that quite a few of my followers are on the other side of the world, and seeing us running around in our swimsuits right now must be a bit odd. I'm really sorry. If it helps, I'm actually really envious of the whole White Christmas deal. And for the most part I actually hate the heat. I get heat-rage, and turn into a hideous sweat monster. That bites. 

So yeah, I'd probably go for a bit of cold and snow right now. Being at the beach is good though coz at least I can throw myself into the sea if I feel like I'm turning into heat- monster-Katie.

I mentioned in my last post that I got this swimsuit from an Etsy store called Venderstore, and I super love it. Again, the only thing I would say if you were buying from them is to size down! This bikini (mainly the top) is held on mainly by thousands of rubber bands and sheer will. I'm also lucky that my butt is big enough to really hold anything up.

That's it from me today. Hope you're all having a good week!

Love, Katie xxx

Monday, 8 December 2014

It's Too Hot To Blog/ I Dyed My Hair Green Sort Of


I have been wanting to blog so much lately but I have been just the biggest laziest most stressed-out university student. It has also been a million degrees here in Sydney so motivation to put on cute threads and hop outside for a casual photo-shoot is akin to trying to take selfies in a sauna. So if I were to take outfit photos that were completely representative of reality, it would be a lot of me grumping around in my underwear.

But I thought I would do a catch-up post featuring some photos I have on my phone and on my Instagram, and some recent thoughts and things and stuff just to keep to ball rolling. Is that the correct idiom? Fun fact: I have no idea how to use idioms.

So when I have begrudgingly decided to decorate the perspiration cave I currently reside inside of (read: my body) it has sometimes looked a little bit like this:

This is my favourite dress, and I got it for about $3 at my favourite thrift shop.

I wore this to work after having about an hours sleep, so I look a little sleepy. That's why I have really mastered the look-down-and-away pose.

 The reason I didn't sleep is that it was too hot. Did I mention that it's too hot? Also, the heat attracted about a thousand bugs to my room and I spent the whole night trying to lure them into the hallway by turning off my bedroom lights and switching the hall lights on and then just standing around in the hall like a dork willing them to come out. It didn't work so I got my sleeping bag and camped in the lounge room.

One thing I *have* been doing to fight the heat is trying to find reasonably priced handmade/ thrifted swimsuits. And I have actually had a fairly good experience so far with these little buddies:

This *amazing* swimsuit I bought from an etsy shop called Venderstore for about $50, so that really isn't all too bad considering the week before I accidentally stumbled into a surf shop (I was way out of my element) and the shop assistant somehow convinced me to try on a swimsuit that was $200.  I kind of just sat on the floor of the change room and had an existential crisis.

I realise I have a bit of a wedgie here. Oops.

The only thing about this beauty is that I bought a size too large, so there is some weird bunchy fabric on the front of the briefs and I've so far just tied on the top with thousands of rubber bands before I eventually beg Annika to fix it for me. If you do buy from them, I would suggest *maybe* sizing down- especially if you are in the lower end of the measurements for the size it says you are. There is quite a lot of stretch.

This one (sorry, super grainy photo) I bought from a thrift shop for about $2 and it's probably my favourite one, because it's really damn flattering and comfortable, and makes me feel nice about my bod. 

As well as sometimes draping nice cloth over my hot water bottle-body (I'm probably clutching at straws a bit here for metaphor (did I already mention how damn hot it is in Sydney)), I have done other fun things like going to rallies. Namely, I made my way down to Reclaim The Night Sydney, which was an amazing night, with some incredibly powerful speakers. We gathered, we ate food, we listened to speeches, and then we reclaimed the night, parading through the city making a deserved amount of noise. 

I'm sorry to all the guys who were held up in traffic during the protest, but usually its you holding me up from getting on with my day. I live next to a major road and I cannot walk to the bus/ to work/ to the hardware shop without you yelling out at me or beeping. I'm just trying to catch a bus dude. I'm glad you're discovered how to use the horn on your steering wheel (you press the big button) but I don't really appreciate how you over-use it. 

And all jokes aside, it is really hard to have to watch yourself like that, especially at night, like you're always on the outside of your body looking on. And it's not like you can just tell people to go away a lot of the time, because they don't like that, and start with the "HEY GIRL I'M JUST TRYING TO BE NICE" bullshit. 

I also blocked some frat boy off my Insagram recently after he took it upon himself to comment on a bunch of my pictures calling me a "fucking wookie" (nice man, inventive, can I reclaim that?). I was a bit frustrated so I posted this picture of my very hairy armpits with a bit of a fuck-off caption and it's garnered hundred of likes! So nerrr. 

With all that being said, here are some pictures of my hairy legs in cute socks I have been wearing recently.

The last three pairs are from Top Shop, and the rest I won on eBay. Socks and underwear are the only things that I have lifted my rule about second hand/ strict ethical purchasing, because it is really difficult to find reasonably priced socks made that way and I'm not very good at finding matching thrifted socks. This rule has only just been recently lifted while I have been quite poor, so we will see how I go. Top Shop are trying to be more conscious of their methods of production, so I feel like there is at least progress being made. 

Taking those socks to the beach was probably the wittiest thing I've ever done.

I also tried to dye my hair blue.

It turned green.

and then kind of (?) blue (-ey green)

and now my hair just kind of looks like when you try to put food colouring into your pancakes 'cause you think it will look cute and then all the colour kind of blends into this weird whirlpool of brown-ey red-ey green but ultimately they are fine after you whack on a bunch of maple syrup and eat them with your eyes closed.

Alright, I'm going to leave it here for today. Next blog post will be full of interesting discourse and analysis and gender theory and anthropology debates and... fashion... and it will be great I promise. Or not. At least we have caught up for now!

Leave me a comment and let me know how you've been! I love reading all your comments and am consistently blown away by how clever and interesting everyone is. I seriously get so excited when I read some of your comments about gender and feminism that I am often too panicked to write a response because I don't want to ruin the moment. But I try to reply as soon as I can!

Love to you all. :-)

Katie xxx