Join me as I give you a no holds barred insight into the world of fashun blawging, complete with unflattering photographs. Please be upstanding for my five chins.
The Suitcase Debacle
Prior to starting my blog, I had literally no idea how bloggers did it. And by ‘it’ I mean looking like utter worldies every day of the week, finding the only spot of sunshine in the UK, having a competent photog pal with them at all times, being conveniently placed next to a really rad backdrop, wearing insanely beautiful but unbelievably impractical heels 24/7, and just generally having plans that took them outta the house EVERY.DAMN.DAY. Honestly, I avoid plans like the plague; I’m a homebody, through and through. So, yeah, this stuff baffed the hell outta me. ‘Who are these casual goddesses and how the fuck do they never have a patchy tan day? And who the fuck can summon the strength to apply make-up THAT WELL every morning? That shit looks like a lotta work. I mean, it looks ace. But still: a lotta work. It takes me about twenty minutes to achieve semi-even eyebrows, and even then I look like someone’s come along with a marker pen and practiced adjoining lines on my five-head. When will I evolve to become one of these sensational beings? Why am I yet to evolve past ape level? Why is life so unf?’ and so on and so forth. Even when I started blog shooting, I had the wonderful fortune of working with an in-house photographer (hey linzy lou!) and we’d run out on our lunch break and take a few snaps. Bish, bash, bosh. It’s only now – as an essentially unemployed human bean, lacking the joyous adage of an in-house profesh – that I realise how those casual goddesses did it: suitcases. Suitcases filled to the bursting brim with shitloads of outfits, all shot on the one day. I now plan my get-ups (a perplexing task, espesh when one has no new clothes but needs new content), pack my suitcase, drag my ass to a sweet spot in London (usually Notting Hill, ’cause of all the Instagrammable houses and such), meet up with Tiger (my ride or die photog babe) and get cracking. We werk our weary hineys (and my ample luggage) through the glorious streets of West London, looking for covert could-be changing rooms. Then the hard work truly begins.
Putting thin, skin-colour tights on is tricky enough in a well-lit bedroom; they’re fiddly bastards with a penchant for laddering. In order to achieve a ‘smooth-leg’ look, I swear by nude tights. It’s true, I do. If my legs are out, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ve got tights on. My legs aren’t naturally that slinky, they just ain’t. But let me tell you now: applying nude tights whilst changing outta trousers (meaning that at one point in the process you are starkers, but for a thong), in a shrouded spot between a white van and a bush, is no walk in the park; it’s my sartorial Everest. Especially when you spy a peeping Tom checking out your bare batty from within his Porsche. I see you, Porsche peeper. And then, without the aid of a mirror, you must apply the remaining layers of your outfits. Bodysuit (another intricate piece of finery that demands my tits be exposed in order to suit up): on. Shorts: on. Lace-up heels (‘lace-up’ anything is the devil at this point): on. Necklace: on. Hair: bouffed-up. Former outfit: chucked in suitcase. Suitcase: zipped up. Ready, set, GO. *snap, snap, snap* ‘Oh holy fuck, I forgot the sodding belt’. *reopens suitcase* *tight gusset starts to fall below short-line* *forehead moistens with sweat* *weeps at the #firstworld-ness of the situation* *falls into the regalia rabbit-hole, never to be seen again*. You know that phrase ‘the struggle is real’? That was started by a blogger on an outfit shoot.*
*I can’t be sure that that’s true. I made it up. It could be true, though.
The wind! Oh, how I curse the unrelenting wind. I don’t look good with a strong wind behind me. I look fucking preposterous with a strong wind coming at me. I’m all moon-face and no hair. All cheeks and no definition. All five-head and no fringe. Like when a vending machine miraculously dishes you out 2 chocolate bars when you only paid for 1, such is the rarity and magic felt when a gust of almighty wind works in your favour. It’s supposedly an exquisite feeling. Few have ever experienced it. I’m pretty sure it’s a myth.
Bad Photo VS Good Photo Ratio
For anyone who thinks I’m remotely shit-hot or anything near approaching good-looking, let me assure you: I’m not. Wanna know how I can prove it? My Trash folder. It is full to breaking point of absolutely fucking atrocious shots. I have to empty that baby at least two times a week; my Mac simply hasn’t got enough memory to house all of my chins. I can’t say that this is the same for all bloggers – they’re all pretty babe’in, both IRL and online – but for me, at least, the reality is all too real. Of about 300 photos, I find 8 that are acceptable for public viewing. If you’ve ever scrolled through a blogpost and thought ‘fuck me, she fancies herself a bit – she’s got nine photos, all practically identical, in ONE POST’, then please understand that I’m merely celebrating the elements of my face coming together in one moment to create a publishable collection of pixels. It’s the best kind of narcissism; the self-deprecating kind.
Just go to Notting Hill: there are backdrops aplenty and you’ll save yourself a fortune in Oyster card top-ups and consequential deodorant sprays. Don’t waste your time lugging that fluff-ridden luggage around London. Whilst on the subject of fluff, be sure not to get any of it stuck in the zipper. I can’t even explaaain how many feathers have been lost due to poor zipping on my part. I leave the house with a plume and I return with a freshly plucked piece of fabric. Anyways, back to scenery: don’t dilly dally unless you aren’t a sweaty betty. If, like me, you moisten at sub-zero temperatures, the thought of hopping on and off the underground whilst simultaneously dragging your weary tush to different locations – setting up shop behind a white van and having the mental and physical capacity to get dressed – is one that could very well send me running for the hills, nude tights unabashedly hanging around my swollen, sweaty ankles. Sadly, despite its misleading name, there are few hills in Notting Hill. I would more likely run into an intimidating coffee shop and end up tits-deep in overpriced pastries. Protiterole. Moral of the photo: Bin bags have no chill.
These usually come in the form of leering and jeering men; the type of men (‘boys’ would be a more apt description) who think it’s totes appropes to holler obscenities at women on the street. Us laydeez have all had the misfortune of witnessing one of these baboons in the wild – it’s a tragic sight – and, if I could summon my inner jungle monkey, my response would be to hurl shit at them. Maybe next time I will bypass the aforementioned fluff and carry around an arsenal of poop, ready to launch at gross cat-callers. Recently, Tiger and myself were shooting around Notting Hill (obvz) when a group of builders started shouting at us from within their cabin. Yep, you read that right: their cabin. Their branded, company cabin. Fucking idiots. So I made use of their obvious obliviousness and called their manager, explained that I was verbally harassed by their employees, and they got disciplined. #GIRLBOSS, eat ya heart out.
Not all the unwanted guests are despicable, mind you. Sometimes sweet old women make a passing comment. Occasionally you get nice fellas approach who want to know if you’re a model (lol) or, upon realising that that isn’t the case, want you to clarify what the fuck a ‘blogger’ actually is (explaining that you have a website largely dedicated to yourself really makes you realise the self-absorption of it all). The other day a sweet gent struck up a conversation about Big Bird; I was wearing feathers at the time and it reignited his love for the fluffy fella. Apparently Big Bird has made a documentary and has penned an autobiography. Well, not Big Bird. The dude inside Big Bird. Anyways, people like this are a joy to meet and a pleasure to strike up convo with. The former though – the primordial primates – aren’t so much. Very rarely do you get beautiful blonde dogs strolling into shot. But it does happen. And when it does, it’s divine.