V’s Guide to Charity Shopping Your Wardrobe

by V.

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photo by david cohen

The concept of ‘fast fashion’ encourages, like so many things in modern society, disposability; you could walk into a charity shop today and find last month’s trends hung up on the rails. We have created an accelerated demand for fashion that is wasteful, environmentally destructive and socially damaging. This is why I choose to buy as many of my clothes and accessories from charity shops or thrift stores. After several years of doing this, the majority of my wardrobe is thrifted, gifted or vintaged and the practice not only cleans a tiny spec of my conscience, but has encouraged me to diversify my style and feel more confident in what I choose to wear.

Charity shops offer cheap clothes and a philanthropic, non-consumerist shopping experience. Even if you regret buying an item, you donated to charity and can just take it to another shop to be re-sold or gift it to a friend—win, win! And the benefits do not stop there: charity shops provide a far more laidback shopping experience than the glossy-floored, glassy-walled, high street stores. The clothing is often not sorted by size, but colour or product; this allows you to forget, more than in most clothes shops, our socialised ideas of fashion and beauty that relate largely to body type. No longer are you comparing your changing room reflection to the hip shopping assistants or the docile mannequins; you’re not shopping for ‘petite’, ‘curve’ or ‘tall’, instead you’re free to try on clothes at your leisure, the primary qualification being how they make you feel.

Continue reading “V’s Guide to Charity Shopping Your Wardrobe”

An Identity in Flux // Notes on Genderfluidity

P writes about her experience of genderfluid identity. 

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Grace Jones, pioneer in Genderfluidity discourse in pop-culture

In June I, very slyly, came out as Genderfluid in a piece which was published on Boshemia Blog as part of the “Letters to June” series.

In the millennial age, a range of newly accepted sexualities and gender identities are becoming more widely accepted, but from my experience, I have found that there seems to still be quite a bit of misunderstanding surrounding what it means to be Genderfluid. Many people I speak with seem to be under the impression that this is a form of Trans, or that it is synonymous with Non-Binary. In this piece, I’m going to do my very best to dispel assumptions about what it means to be Genderfluid, and clarify what exactly Genderfluidity is. Continue reading “An Identity in Flux // Notes on Genderfluidity”

Notes on Regaining Autonomy: Part III

Elisha (P) returns to her poetry-prose installment, Notes on Regaining Autonomy.

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annie spratt

Take a moment to reflect on where you were a year ago;

how vastly different your life is now,

how vastly different you are now,

how immense the gulf between then and now seems.

Remember how you felt as though you would surely drown in that gulf before you got to this point?

And maybe, some days, you still feel like you might drown,

but the difference is that you keep moving.

And for the days when the struggle makes you question your ability to keep your head above the water,

There will be days when you realise how empowering the struggle you’ve overcome can be.

Remember how it felt to be drowning without moving at all?

Continue reading “Notes on Regaining Autonomy: Part III”

Unsex Me Here // On the Power of ‘Evil’ Women in Macbeth

‘Unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe topful of direst cruelty’ (Act 1, Scene 5, lines 39-41)

Halloween is here and something wicked this way comes. B discusses the real power of ‘evil’ women in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is not only a gritty and gruesome drama perfect for spooky autumn nights, it’s a performance of male versus female ambition and how their differences are praised and punished. Macbeth’s main theme is the destruction wrought by unchecked ambition, which is most powerfully expressed in the dichotomy between Macbeth and his female counterparts: Lady Macbeth and the three witches. Intriguingly, female ambition and male ambition is depicted differently and seem to fall into two separate definitions. Macbeth’s portrayal of masculine ambition revolves around cruelty and an insatiable desire for power. While the women of the play also desire power, their ambition reveals itself through their cunning and calculated machinations. They’re far more sophisticated than the troubled Macbeth himself, and yet their cleverness is overlooked and they are remembered in history as being evil. This 17th-century play grimly reveals the conflation between powerful women and evil women.

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Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth, by John Singer Sargent (1889). On display at Tate Britain.

Continue reading “Unsex Me Here // On the Power of ‘Evil’ Women in Macbeth”

Boo-shemia Presents: 11 Things To Truly Spook You This Halloween

Elisha’s guide to a spooktastic Halloween season.

It’s my favourite time of year again: Autumn. The air is crisp and carries the musky scent of falling leaves. The academics are working away at their studies. Many of us are plotting which costumes we will we wear for Halloween or which scary films we’ll watch to get in the Hallows Eve Spirit. There are a plethora of frightening activities and films to enjoy, but there are some real-life woes that are even more frightening. Want to feel truly spooked? Boo-shemia invites you to look no further than the psychological thrill of reality setting in on you like a serial murderer in your basic Halloween flick.

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Continue reading “Boo-shemia Presents: 11 Things To Truly Spook You This Halloween”

What a Soldier Is and Isn’t // Personal Thoughts on the Soldier’s Creed

I am an American Soldier.

NOT: I am a heterosexual, white, male Soldier.

I am a Warrior and a member of a team.

NOT: I am a judge of my teammates’ life choices.

I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.

NOT: I choose who I serve and when.

I will always place the mission first.

NOT: I will put my personal feelings ahead of the end goal.

I will never accept defeat.

NOT: I will give up when my comrades are targeted.

I will never quit.

NOT: I will allow discrimination to go unchallenged.

Continue reading “What a Soldier Is and Isn’t // Personal Thoughts on the Soldier’s Creed”

#MeToo // Why Are You So Surprised??

I am so glad that the #metoo movement has been so cathartic for so many people, and I admire the bravery of all those who have felt able to come forward and disclose their experiences of abuse and/or harassment; equally, let us not forget about those who have not felt able, and those who are just so dang tired of having to rehash and relive their experiences that they chose not to, and those who just want to distance themselves from it as much as they can and exclude it from their identities. It has reaffirmed what we already knew: this is a reality for pretty much all women.

There’s something that still troubles me, though, about the response to this movement; the reaction of men*. Obviously there has been the usual backlash of idiots mocking the movement by trying to join in, but those aren’t the ones I am talking about.

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Continue reading “#MeToo // Why Are You So Surprised??”