Glamour’s Trainwreck Screening and Amy Schumer Q&A (hosted by CAITLIN MORAN!)

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There are some events that are so momentous that they get dubbed religious events. The last known one was the last supper, now we have the Amy Schumer Q&A.

I was lucky enough to win tickets to this amazing event. Was it sheer chance that I bagged this prize? Maybe. But I’d like to think telling Glamour that ‘Amy Schumer is like life itself’ really helped my chances. People in the office compared my screaming to cats in a bag when I found out I had the tickets.

Here’s what went down…

First of all, the evening started off with free drinks, so Glamour had really nailed the whole Schumer vibe of the evening. Second of all, it was in The Mayfair Hotel – which is as classy as balls. So classy that it even had rich business types at the bar, who could make you uncomfortable with their offers of ‘her ladies… take a seat guuurls…’ Mo’ money, mo’ sexism. Real classy stuff.

For the film itself, we were taken to a room that had walls COVERED IN CARPET! There were also NO ADVERTS! Just straight in and it was film time. Schumer fans will not be surprised to hear that the film itself was: magically/hilarious/lady-tastic/touching/life-affirming.

Like Tina Fey and Kristen Wiig before her, Amy Schumer is trailblazing a new path for female comedy. Up until this point, I feel I can’t be the only one who found comedies to be a little samey. The same, tried and tested bits of lad banter. Watching Trainwreck felt fresh, like I was laughing for the first time.

Spoiler alert: there’s a hilarious tampon joke in the film.

Not only was the film funny, but it had real heart in there. Not just between Amy and Bill Hader, but between a daughter and her father, two sisters, and (most importantly) between a woman and herself.

Overall, I think the film will be a classic. This will be the new Bridesmaids. Another example sent to Hollywood so we can say: ‘YOU SEE! Women can be more than just ass on a screen – WE ARE FUCKING HILARIOUS!’

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After the film came the meeting of the Gods – AKA Amy Schumer appeared and was interviewed by Caitlin Moran. Women are so lovely, the first thing these two giants did was gush about each other. Meanwhile I furiously tried to take a good picture of the pair and failed miserably – THANKS SMART PHONE!

 

Some key things I learned from the Amy Schumer interview:

  1. She works very closely with her sister (who was in the audience), with said sister having written some of those hilarious sketches and having produced the film itself. Good job Schumer genes on producing those funny bones.
  2. Judd Apatow sounds like the best. Just an amazing guy producing amazing stuff and not giving a fuck if a woman is creating it. He also sounds like a great husband and father.
  3. Nothing beats just doing the fucking work. It may shock some of you but writing a film sounds hard. When describing her work progress, Amy sugar coated none of it and basically just said she locked herself away for days at a time and just wrote the balls out of that script.
  4. Bill Hader sounds nice.
  5. The film is 55% autobiographical and based on a younger version of Schumer. Her sister is indeed called Kim and her father in the film shares the same illness as her father in real life.
  6. Apparently her Dad got a real kick about the Mum being dead in the film (in real life her Mum is alive).

 

The only downside to the entire night was that my VERY IMPORTANT question was never chosen. So Amy Schumer, if you’re reading this, keep doing you and please tell me what Ezra Miller’s nipple tastes like.

 

Lazarina Nedelcheva AKA Zina Arts

What goes on inside a woman’s mind? It’s a question that has plagued mankind for so long that a film with Mel Gibson was made on the very subject. Yet still this mystery goes unsolved.

Truth is, this question will never get an answer because woman (brace yourself for a bombshell) are all different.

As an example, I point you towards the work of Lazarina Nedelcheva AKA Zina Arts. This artist works on the ideas that float around inside her head and needless to say they are interesting.

Art for me is a way of portraying a feeling, a thought, an opinion or just a point of view, whether it’s mine or someone else’s. I love to be able to create a drawing or a doll or any kind of creature at all that other people would enjoy. I can find inspiration in music,  people, odd things and creatures on the side of the road, art materials, old fabrics. Little things that could be just sitting there in the corner, unnoticeable for others, old and forgotten often are start point for my works. I refer to the oddness of everything.

If the idea of dolls and morose naked ladies gets you in the artistic mind set, then perhaps a journey into Zina’s mythical mental zone might be in order. I won’t deny that some of these images gave me the creeps, but there’s something enjoyable about an image that is so topsy turvy that you just can’t tear your eyes away.

I imagine if Mel Gibson saw some of these pictures, What a Woman Wants would have been a very different film.

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If you like the work you’ve seen here, why not help Zina out and vote for her in the Tallenge competition? 

 

 

All artwork was sourced from Zina’s portfolio

My Hero: Lisa Simpson

When you’re asked about your childhood heroes, you want to come across as fairly cultural in your admittance on who made the cut. If you tell people your ten year old self looked up to Hilary Clinton, then you’re giving the impression of being a pretty brainy kid. Likewise, if you say Joan Jett, your cool points will go through the roof.

However, admitting that you looked up to a shaded yellow cartoon character, with hair that’s reminiscent of a pineapple, makes it a lot harder for anyone to picture you as a ‘cool kid’. But loving Lisa Simpson is something I’ll never deny. From her academic know how, to her passionate activism, and even the way she puts up with her family – hands down, Lisa Simpson is my gurl.

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Now, right off the bat, I have to admit that I haven’t been as much of a Simpson’s fanatic as I was as a child. When I talk about The Simpsons, I’m talking about post-the-three-eyed-crow-opening, the old school Simpsons that had obscure literary references, sexual innuendos and morally thematic episodes. It was in these early years that I first fell in love with Lisa Lionheart, the girl who never backed down from a fight.

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Lisa’s main asset has always been her intelligence, and it’s one of the reasons why so many people in the ‘nerd’ community identify with her. It is mentioned that Lisa has an IQ of 159 and, at only eight, she’s a high ranking member of Mensa Springfield. With these big brains, Lisa could have easily become one dimensional, but with big brains came an overwhelming desire to achieve. When she’s unable to attend school due to a teachers’ strike, Lisa goes out of her way to get ‘graded’, forcing Marge to give her an A just to shut her up. She also creates a perpetual motion machine in order to impress Homer, but he chastises her, saying one of my all time favourite lines – “In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!”

It’s this need to please that any high achiever can sympathise with. Even now I cringe when I think about my early school days, and how I would power through math problems just so I go put my hand up first to say I’d finished before everyone else. Not everyone can be part of Mensa, but being a grade brat, now that’s something I can relate to.

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But even though Lisa values her grades so much, she never lets them come between her and her integrity. She wants to earn her rewards. During a The Wind in the Willows test, Lisa cheats and gets her highest grade – A+++. This not only gets her all sorts of praise, but it also lands the school with some extra funding. However, rather than accepting the fruits of her (fake) labour, Lisa confesses her crime in front of everyone! No way would I have had the balls to do that. Sure it got Lisa in trouble at the time, but haven’t we all had moments when we’ve done something a bit shady and then felt guilty for never coming clean? It’s so easy just to accept that you’ve gotten away with something than actually accepting your guilt and getting the weight off your chest.

In fact, this strong moral centre is just want makes Lisa my hero. When I was younger, I had a brief phase of wanting to be a vegetarian. I told my Mum but then the next day the first thing she served me was meat… and I ate it. Because, if I’m honest, I just wasn’t that committed to my own belief system.

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Lisa, on the other hand, stays true to what she believes. She gives up meat despite her carnivorous family. She becomes a Buddha despite living in a predominantly Christian town (although she might want to have a closer look at Buddhism’s treatment of women). And she continues to rock out on her saxophone, even after she’s told her ‘stubby fingers’ will hold her back from greatness.

And don’t even get me started on her feminism! In season five, Lisa is shown going to head to head against the toy giants behind Malibu Stacey after she comes to the conclusion that the doll is presenting a bad role model for young girls. It’s a powerful episode that shows a lot of the faults present in our own worship of character’s like Barbie. The fact that Lisa’s attempts to create a positive female icon fail, highlights a deep, misogynistic flaw in our culture. One that Lisa is not willing to stand for.

This badass attitude to go against the norm has also resulted in some of Lisa’s more rebellious behaviour. For instance, remember when she pretended to be a college student? Or the time she became a ‘bad girl’? Or a ‘goth’?

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She also has a taste for the bad boys. Sure, there are the future episodes that show her married to Milhouse (I don’t buy it), but we all know that Lisa’s real love is Nelson Muntz, AKA the school bully. In one episode, Lisa confesses her crush and tries to change Nelson into a nice boy. This doesn’t work out, but throughout the show, the pair seems to reunite again and again, hinting that maybe Nelson will one day change for the better and Lisa can heal his broken-childhood.  Of course, trying to change a boy into something he’s not isn’t cool, but it’s nice that Lisa is capable of these love slip ups just like the rest of us.

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And that’s the great thing about Lisa; even though she’s super smart, super talented, and is obviously going to be the first straight, white, female president, she still has the flaws of any girl her age. She’s whiny, self-righteous, a snob, and sometimes has terrible taste in men. She longs to be cool and her attempts at ‘fitting in’ and making friends can often make us cringe. But at the end of the day, no matter what mistakes she makes, she always tries to put things right and make those around her happy; which makes her a great character for any young woman to look up to.

Even when they’re twenty-one.

 

 

All these images are the property of FOX and where discovered through this tumblr tag

In The Bank: A List of Women That Could be the Face of British Currency

It has recently been announced by the Bank of England that Winston Churchill will replace Elizabeth Fry as the face of £5 notes. Elizabeth Fry, in her time, was a social reformer and the ONLY woman to appear on English currency. With her removal, Britain is once again faced with a sausage fest of legal tender.

Of course, some of you are probably screaming at your laptop screens ‘WHAT ABOUT TEH QUEEN!’

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Yes, the Queen is a woman and yes, she is a feature on our national currency – but is she there for achievement or for her birthright? The Queen will always be on there, no matter what she did or didn’t achieve. Unlike the famous faces of Charles Darwin, Adam Smith, Matthew Boulton or James Watt, she has not been selected on merit. She was simply born at the right time and into the right family.

That’s not to poo-poo old Elizabeth; it just would be nice to see women being recognised on a level playing field as men. After all, there have been plenty of trail blazing women who have carved themselves a place in history while also going against the ever dominating patriarchy. Shouldn’t these women get recognised alongside their male counterparts?

By excluding women from this prestigious form of recognition, Britain is ultimately sending a message that says – well there was that ONE woman who did something, but on the whole, ladies, you just haven’t done that much.

And this message is coming from a country that has pork-swords controlling the major majority of parliament, the British media, and even has meat wands acting as director in all but 16.7% of directorial positions in the business world.

I mean, if poor old Elizabeth Fry was still around I think she would be pretty pissed that our patriarchal society has chosen to keep old Darwin instead of herself, despite his face being the oldest note by two years.

There is currently a petition going around that asks the Bank of England to reconsider its decision to ditch Fry, which I wholeheartedly urge you to sign. However, in the event that Fry is still scrapped, I’ve compiled a list of other famous female faces that might step up to the plate. Just in case Mervyn King is unaware of the amazing women British history has to brag about and needs a little bit of reminding.

I mean, hasn’t Darwin had his day?

Caroline Norton (1808 – 1877)


Coming from an impoverished family with a good name, she was forced into an unhappy marriage under the pressure of the well-being of her family. Her relationship with George Norton involved regular beatings and ended in 1836 when she packed her bags. Shortly after, Norton claimed Caroline to be having an affair with Melbourne and tried to sue the pair – this lawsuit ultimately failed but left Caroline’s reputation in tatters. Norton refused Caroline access to her children but she protested – HARD! Her example of defiance against her ex-husband became instrumental in the passing of the Infant Custody Bill of 1839.

She later carried on her activism by campaigning for and influencing the passing of the Marriage and Divorce Act of 1859. Furthermore, she also published several verses against child labour.  Activism FTW!

Fanny Kemble (1809 – 1893)

Fanny was a successful Victorian actress who caught the eye of an American plantation owner called Pierce Mease Butler. The two married and in 1838 the pair travelled back to America to start their life of passion, commitment, hugs, cuddles, and slaves – wait, what?

Kemble on arrival at Butler’s cotton farm quickly realised ‘holy fuck, this guy uses and abuses a lot of slaves’ which quickly killed the romance factor for Fanny. She spent the winter at Butler’s cotton, tobacco, and rice plantations for one year where her marriage slowly fell apart as she documented the extreme cases of abuse she witnessed. Despite Butler threatening her never to publish said journal, Fanny was quick to flip him the bird and bugger off back to England as soon as she could.

Fifteen years later, when the Civil War broke out, she published her anti-slavery Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839 and it became very well known in the United States. In her lifetime she continued to be outspoken against slavery and often donated money (gathered from her public readings) to charities.

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858 – 1928)

The Godmother to angry feminism, Pankhurst is famous for her work as a suffragette and for the many times she was arrested for the cause.

Born in 1858 in Manchester, she married a lovely man called Richard Pankhurst who authored the Married Women’s Property Acts of 1870 and 1882. In 1889, Emmeline founded the Women’s Franchise League and fought for married women and their rights to vote. Later on, in 1903, she forms the more aggressive union WSPU, whose members were the first to be dubbed suffragettes. The WSPU fought hard for women’s rights, especially their right to vote. Window smashing, arson and hunger strikes were all prevalent in the group’s campaigns and Pankhurst became synonymous with the governments ‘Cat and Mouse’ act.

Yet despite her dedication to women’s rights, when war broke out Emmeline instantly refocused her efforts to supporting Britain’s campaign. In 1918, she saw women over 30 given the rights to vote and in 1928 Emmeline passed away having just witnessed women being given equal voting rights to men.

Frances Buss (1827 – 1894)

A headmistress and a pioneer of women’s education, Buss demonstrated that hey, bitches can learn stuff too.

Early on in her life she helped run and teach in her family’s private school. North London Collegiate became a model for girls’ education, with over 200 female students. However, as a privatised school, Buss was unhappy that only the privileged women of society were able to benefit from her schooling. So in 1871 she set up Camden School for Girls, with the aim of providing more affordable education for young women.

In her lifetime she constantly pushed campaigns for the endowment of girls’ schools, and for women, to be allowed to sit public exams and to enter university. She also became the first woman Fellow of the College of Preceptors, which was the only form of public recognition she received.

Octavia Hill (1838 – 1912)

Thanks to the financial failings of her father, Hill grew up in strained circumstances that left her with no formal education. Nevertheless, Hill started work at 14 years old and did so for the welfare of the working classes.

Hill slowly became a social campaigner with a capital S. She was besties with John Rushkin, and he helped invest in some of her welfare theories. One theory being that those in charge should have some personal contact with their tenants and enable said tenants to become self-reliant. She pushed her colleagues to engage with the lower classes, and strongly opposed policies that silenced the workers voices, such as the municipal provision of housing.

If you ever find yourself admiring the pastoral splendour of London’s Hampstead Heath, then you also have Hill to thank for that. Her dedication for providing open spaces for people from a disadvantaged background meant she helped save a lot of suburban woodlands – Hampstead Heath being just one example and Parliament Hill Fields another.

Later in life, she became one of the three founders of the National Trust, which to this day still helps preserve natural beauty and sites of historical interest for future generations. She was also a member of the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws in 1905 and a founding member of the Charity Organisation Society, now referred to as Family Action.

In short, if someone like Hill can’t get on a bank note, then who can?

Hair Crushes

Hair Crush

/he(ə)r/ /krəSH/

Verb

To worship and idealize a person’s hair with a ferocity that can make other people a little bit uncomfortable and feel weird.

Noun

To be the object of someone’s obsession by having the hair of a goddess. These people often deal with excessive touching and internet harassment when it comes to the mass of follicles on their head.

The LadyBitsandBobs’ Hair Crushes

Christina from Trop Rouge 

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Julie Edwards from Deap Vally

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Annie Mac from BBC Radio 1

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Paloma Faith 

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Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow

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