Tag Archives: Issue 23

Inspiration: Badass Old Lady Hair

16 Jun

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I can only hope I look this good when I get older. As much as we hate to admit it, there’s a certain stigma that arises when the word ‘old’ is mentioned. But then there are women like this and of course the fabulous Beatrix Ost out there to show us that getting old doesn’t mean playing it safe or sticking with tradition. Stay weird. Don’t be normal.

Until next time,

Daisy

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Ask Us Anything!

15 Jun

Any tips for being a bigger girl during summer? I love my legs but my thighs chafe really bad and tights are just far too hot to wear sometimes!

Rubyyy says: Ohhh girl! I have been there! And because I have, this is easy peasy: in the summertime I will carry a small pot of Vaseline in my bag and apply it before going out to frolic in the sunshine, the jelly will need to be reapplied but won’t break down with sweat and friction like other products. Go get ’em baby! xxx

Malala Yousafzai

14 Jun

“They cannot stop me. I will get my education if it is my home, school or any place. This is our request to all the world. Save our schools. Save our world. Save our Pakistan. Save our Swat.” – Malala Yousafzai

From the above quote and if it not for the reference to her education, anybody would think that Malala Yousafzai was a mature adult. So for those of you who do not know who this incredible person is, she is Pakistani girl of the mere age of 15. She fights for things we take for granted and most of you will remember her for being shot in the head by the Taliban when she was 15 years of age. Here is her story…

Yousafzai was born on 12th July 1997 and grew up in the Pakistani town of Mingora in the Swat District of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Unfortunately, her childhood was unlike ours and being a woman in Pakistan meant enduring many hardships that we are only too lucky not to face. However, Malala was born into a family whose values did not mirror that of the Taliban and she was educated well by her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, who runs a chain of schools, one of which was attended by Malala. He referred to her as special and he was right.

Swat Valley, like other places in Pakistan at the time, was being taken over by the Taliban under rule of Maulana Fazlullah. They were banning simple things that we have everyday access to, such as DVD’s, television, music and shockingly girls’ education. It sounds so backwards because we are lucky enough to have grown up with the ability to learn and I don’t know about you but education is something I’ve always considered a right as opposed to a privilege. I have a right to learn and Malala shared this view and started campaigning for education rights in 2008 when her father took her to a local press club.

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She said “How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education” and continued to state that she would never bow down to Taliban rule. This was covered by news everywhere and everyone listened to her story.

I have to remind you that at the time she said this, she was 11 years old…

When I was 11 years old I was cutting out pictures of Westlife from the coolest teenage magazine of the moment. I am embarrassed to admit that and if any of you repeat that to anyone we will be having words. But that’s how different our childhoods were; problems for me at that age were things like not being allowed out to play later that 7:30pm or my favourite TV show being cancelled. It’s wrong really to think that I saw them as issues when there are children, like Malala, who are desperate for the things we take for granted.

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So, as you can gather this girl is pretty special and following on from her 2008 press coverage, Malala had an opportunity to reach out to people everywhere when she was asked to write a secret diary for the BBC about life for women under Taliban rule. Obviously, this was a very dangerous and risky decision but this girl has an inner strength that I envy, she was risking her life for the sake of getting her message across to the world. Due to this high safety risk, the BBC insisted she blog under a pseudonym name “Gul Makai” and her first entry was posted on 3rd January 2009. The beauty of her blog was that her entries were hand written to be given to reporters to scan and email them in. This makes her situation in my eyes to be more real because of the intimacy of her own handwriting. Snippets from the blog can be found on the BBC website. She’s kind of like the modern day Anne Frank, don’t you think?

Life under Taliban rule was worsening when they banned all girls from attending school after 15th January 2009. They were deadly serious and this was shown through their actions of blowing up more than 100 girls’ schools. She was told by her principal to wear plain clothes to avoid attracting attention.

The ban continued, as did her diary entries but on 21st February, after many peace rallies and protests, the Taliban announced that the ban on women’s education was to be lifted until exams on 17th March 2009.

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This was short lived as peace deals were breaking down and the town’s people were living in tremendous fear, and her blog ended on 12th March 2009. The following month, a Taliban group stated that women aren’t allowed to attend their jobs or markets. The situation was dire and the Yousafzai family were forced to evacuate the town until further notice. Malala’s father was involved in activism to restore the Swat Valley and she was deeply inspired by his work. He is a great role model to his daughter but her strength and passion comes from inside her.

She became involved with various documentaries and interviews regarding her situation, and BBC articles were revealing her blogging identity at the end of 2009. Both her and her father’s actions were becoming recognised and they were slowly becoming viewed as a threat to the Taliban regime.

Her passion and determination to see things through until the end is an admirable quality for someone of her age. Her activism continued with her involvement in the Institute for War and Peace Reporting’s “Open Minds” project, throughout 2010 and 2011, she was Chair of District Child Assembly Swat which was set up to allow children to voice their opinions on their rights and gain enough coverage to make a difference. She was just 13 going on 14, and I know I keep drawing attention to her age but it’s more to remind myself if anything because whilst writing this article I keep thinking I am writing about the long life of an adult political activist because she had already achieved so much is such a short space of time.

Malala became a high risk target when she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2011 and she became a celebrity in Pakistan after being awarded the National Youth Peace Prize in December that year. The Taliban were known to attack civilians who speak out against them and she began receiving death threats but despite this she vowed never to stop working for education for girls. I am so touched by her story because facing that level of danger at the age of 14 is not only unheard of but also with her being a child, it would be assumed that she would be petrified and stop defying to Taliban but if anything these threats pushed her to work harder.

After her refusal to stop, the Taliban agreed in the summer of 2012 to kill her and Malala simply stated:

“I think of it often and imagine the scene clearly. Even if they [the Taliban] come to kill me, I will tell them what they are trying to do is wrong, that education is our basic right.” (Reported in The New Yorker.)

The Taliban were being serious and on 9th October 2012 when Malala was just 15 years old, a Taliban gunman shot Yousafzai in the head on her way home from an exam. The bullet went through her head, neck and ended up in her shoulder.

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With that kind of a wound, she should be dead. But she is still very much alive.

After extensive medical treatment provided in Peshawar, the bullet was removed and there was no sign of paralysis or serious brain damage. She was moved to Rawalpindi and before long she was moving all four limbs and on 15th October 2012 she was moved to the UK for further treatment. Malala was released from hospital on 3rd January 2013 and continues to recover at her temporary home in the UK.

It’s been 7 months since the assassination attempt and she is still a child. She is nearly 16 and has so far been through more than you and I could even imagine. Her hardships and her life of fear is something that could easily spiral someone into a black abyss of depression, anxiety, and fear. Not Malala, she is different and her experiences have only made her stronger. She continues to work with political activists to achieve what she set out to achieve, a basic right to education.

Her fame has provided her with a platform to be a voice for change and she has even launched a charity to fund girls’ education and the first grant will fund education of 40 girls in Pakistan.

This video is an insight into her life after the attack and her announcement of her future plans for the education of children. That’s just the start and again she is 15 so has many years left to make changes.

In this video a reporter translates something Malala has very bravely said:

“I would be willing to sacrifice myself again.”

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She is the most selfless young girl I have every come across and call it fate, call it coincidence but this girl was not meant to die. She is here for a reason and instead of being selfish with her second chance at life; she is spending it devoting herself to the rights of others.

Malala Yousafzai is a phenomenal figure and her actions up until this point prove that she fears nothing and will risk her life again and again to make sure she achieves what she originally set out to achieve.

If this is how she spent her childhood, I cannot wait to see what she does next. I have the upmost respect for her and she is a great role model for all of us to follow.

“Do not be afraid; our fate cannot be taken from us; it is a gift.” – Dante Alighieri, Inferno

About the writer: Melody has just finished a degree in Journalism, Film and Media with a 2:1. She aspires to work with vulnerable women and children subject to domestic, and or other forms of abuse. She is an animal lover and has a small obsession with Fearne Cotton. She is a constant joker and can be found on Twitter.

Niche films to check out!

12 Jun

While I prepare for my article for next issue, here are some fab not very well-known films that I think you should check out!

Repo! The Genetic Opera

With a superb headline cast, including Antony Steward Head, Alexa Vega, Sarah Brightman and cameo by Joan Jett, this film is not to be missed. As the trailer says it is a ‘cult classic’ and while the songs aren’t the best the first time around, they will grow on you and you’ll soon be belting them out with your ipod! However the film was made by the same producers of Saw so the gore won’t be swept under the carpet!

Annie 2

To be honest this is a terrible movie but should be watched just for the terribleness of it all. It’s entertaining because its hilariously bad but that’s what makes it all the fun! With none of the original cast, and a terrifying Daddy Warbucks, this is definitely a must-see for any other crazy nut!

Battle Royale

An adult version of The Hunger Games, in my opinion. In other’s opinions, a bad version of the Hunger Games. With a lot of gore, it does seem very realistic with the storyline, a lot more so than The Hunger Games. Subtitles may put you off, as I have been told, ‘I’m there to watch a film, not read it’. But I think everyone should definitely check it out, to see similar things that are going on in the world rather than burying heads in the sand. We should all witness and stop what is happening in our world.

Imaginareum

Not only because it is made by one of my favourite bands, Nightwish, this film is actually really intelligent. I did have to be accompanied downstairs by my other half because I was terrified of the snowman but apart from that it was incredible to hear some of my favourite songs really fit with the dramatic situations on screen. Great acting along with an incredible storyline, not to be missed!

About the Writer: Becky has just finished a degree in English and Creative Writing and is very happy with her 2:1. She is friendly, bubbly and just so happens to be the co-creator of Yellow Bunting. She hopes you enjoy it and that you get involved!

4 (Sort of) Biopics you should watch

10 Jun

The Notorious Bettie Page

Directed by the Mary Harron who also directed American Psycho, The Notorious Bettie Page uses the hearing at which Page was called to testify as a framing device. Switching between black and white and glorious Technicolor it follows the life of the Queen of Pin Up and Bondage from small town girl with a rough upbringing to the icon she is remembered as. The film mixes raunch with quieter moments of reflection showing Page as a multi faceted character with vulnerability and naivety rather than just a body to be gawped at.

Howl

An arty film with a mosaic like structure. Firstly we have a New York publisher on trial for publishing a collection of poems by Beat Generation icon Allen Ginsberg, then there is Ginsberg being interviewed and reflecting on his life and writing career and this supplemented by flash backs which is interspersed with gorgeous animation and James Franco as Ginsberg reading the eponymous poem. It is visually engaging with a dreamlike feel to it and doesn’t alienate those (like myself) who were unfamiliar with Ginsberg’s work before.

 

All That Jazz

Not strictly a biopic but the life of the main character mirror that of writer/director Bob Fosse to a tee. Fosse juggled editing a biopic about comedian Lenny Bruce with trying to stage the Broadway musical Chicago, hence the title. Similarly, Joe Gideon (played my Roy Schieder) uses a cocktail of drugs and sex to plough through his own fanatic attempts to stage a Broadway Musical and edit a Hollywood film. He isolates everyone around him as he flirts with death (literally. She keeps appearing in dream sequences) and experiences heart complications. It isn’t a musical itself though it does show the performers sings and dancing. However it does have one of the best final scenes of any film I have ever watched.

Adaptation

Again not strictly a biopic by screenwriter Charlie Kaufman makes himself a character in the film and gives himself a fictional twin brother. It follows him struggling to turn the book The Orchid Thief into a film and Kaufman penned the script while struggling to turn The Orchid Thief into a film… Add to that the fact that the real life author of the book is a character in the film (played by Meryl Streep) and some of the book is dramatized and you get a mind bending, oddball film that is worth watching for Nicholas Cage’s portrayal as the goofy Kaufman bothers alone.

About the Writer: Sarah is a filmmaker and writer with an obsession for luscious visuals and a distain for tomatoes (they are a sneaky and untrustworthy foodstuff). If she’s not blogging or tweeting, she’ll be watching films or running around with her video camera

Bikinis

9 Jun

If you follow our tumblr you might’ve seen the brilliant advice we reblogged a few weeks ago: “How to get a bikini body: put a bikini on your body”. Inspired by that here are a few of my picks for the summer.

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1. Panache. Top £31. 30D-38G. Available from ASOS (the ASOS version is slightly different to the top pictured, with a heart replacing the buttons) and Tesco.
Bottoms £16.50. Sizes 8-20. Available from ASOS and Tesco.

2. Miss Selfridge. £26. Sizes 6-16. Available from Miss Selfridge.

3. Pour Moi. Top £24. Available in 32B-36F from ASOS and 30D-38G from Bravissimo.
Bottoms £15. Sizes 8-18. Available from ASOS.

4. John Lewis. Top £12. Sizes 10-20. Available from John Lewis.
Bottoms £12. Sizes 10-20. Available from John Lewis.

5. Zoggs. £35. Sizes 8-22. Available from Zoggs online.

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1. ASOS. Top £16. Sizes 8-16. Available from ASOS.
Bottoms £12. Sizes 8-16. Available from ASOS.

2. Marie Meili. Top £14. Sizes 8-18. Available from ASOS. New Look have a few sizes left on sale here.
Bottoms £12. Sizes 8-18. Available from ASOS. New Look have a few sizes left on sale here.

3. H&M. Top £12.99. Sizes 34A-38D. Available from H&M.
Bottoms £7.99. Sizes 8-18. Available from H&M.

4. New Look. Top £12.99. Sizes 6-20. Available from New Look.
Bottoms £9.99. Sizes 6-20. Available from New Look.

About the writer: Catherine is a biology geek by day and cake baker by night. When she’s not in the kitchen you’ll be able to find her writing, tending to her tomato plant or curled up reading one of her many cookbooks.

Beautiful Chaos review

8 Jun

We’re taking a step away from vampires, this time, but we’re not out of the super natural yet. We’re only going as far as Doctor Who.

Now I can hear you asking, you none hard core Whovians, “but Doctor Who is a TV series, why are you reviewing it?”

Well for all of you who don’t know, there are plenty of Doctor Who spin-off books out there. Legitimately written, and commissioned by the BBC themselves, these books are for those Doctor Who fans (or Whovians as they like to be known).

These books are usually written by someone with a connection to the show, who has worked on the show in some form of another which makes them bang on the money.

As of yet, the ones that I have read, I have been impressed with. They usually involve the incarnation of the Doctor that is on the telly at the time, so for instance if Martha Jones is involved, you can be assured that you’re reading about David Tennant’s Doctor. Similarly with this book, Beautiful Chaos by Garry Russell you do feel like you have stepped into an episode of Doctor Who, because right in front of your eyes stands the Doctor and Donna Noble.

Now I am going to level with you, the reason I picked up this book originally was because Gary Russell was in the 70’s TV adaptation of the Famous Five, and with me being a big Famous Five fan, I wanted to read what he had written.

And I wasn’t disappointed at all.

Beautiful Chaos contains my overall, hands down, “watch it space boy”, favourite companion. Miss Donna Noble. (I cry every time I watch her last episode- it’s so damn SAD!)

Anyway it is a well-constructed novel, with the right character personalities shining through. We’ve got Tennent’s bouncy Doctor, complimented by his best friend, Donna Noble who is on fine form as ever.

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We start on a sad note, a rather pensive but beautifully written prologue that takes place after Donna has gone back to being “normal”- I really can’t say more than that because for those of you who haven’t seen Doctor Who, Series Four, I don’t want to give away the ending, because its one massive story curve. If you’re interested, check it out.

Anyway the prologue starts with Donna’s Grandfather, Wilfred Mott- another of the best characters on Doctor Who. He’s sat and watching the stars. Remembering.

Then we bounce forward a month [Time is none linear in Doctor Who], and everything is the way it should be. Donna and the Doctor, back home in Chiswick for a visit, and Wilfred has got some lovely news. He has discovered a new star and asks the Doctor, Donna and his new lady friend along to the celebratory dinner.

The force working against the human race is a huge technological path; in fact it’s the installation of new super fast fibre optics for broadband run by Dara Morgan. You may be able to guess there is something funny going on- on Doctor Who, there always is.

So while Donna is visiting her Grandfather and Mother, and reminding herself why she’s travelling with the Doctor, he is off out, trying to get to the bottom of all the strange activity surrounding these new fibre optics.

It is a brilliantly written, fast paced story, all 236 pages of it. It creates a beautiful story that is rich in detail and plays out exactly like an episode of Doctor Who. For avid watchers of the show you can hear the sharp tones of Donna Noble’s voice, see the wobble of her head, as she gets annoyed with the Doctor and travel with her through another adventure with the Doctor. Russell has also grabbed David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor and wrestled him accurately to the page.

Even as a casual watcher of Doctor Who, this book feels true to the creation and its life. What makes it work so well on paper is the intricate plot, which would not translate well onto screen, but is such a good adventure on paper. The twists and turns are subtle, and more depth is explored, inner monologues are a big part of the book.

To sum up, the plot is good, the prose is easy and flows well, and what more can you want than Doctor Who and a really kick arse leading lady in the form of Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble.

I think I can guarantee that even if you are not a Doctor Who fan (in a big way) you would enjoy this book. You should probably have some background knowledge of the show, as it probably wouldn’t work without it.

Over all, this book deserves a very adventurous 4.5 out of 5 for it’s perfect Doctor Who nature.

ALLONS-Y! 🙂

About the writer: Stef is a 22 year old graduate who has a lifelong obsession with books and reading who also loves music and live theatre. You’re most likely to find her in a book shop or out in London standing at a theatre stage door. She can be found on twitter and running The World of Blyton.