Wednesday, 28 June 2017


 Definition of warpaint
 A pigment or paint traditionally used in some societies,to decorate the face and body before battle.

Sometimes make-up is about projecting strength. Not every make up look needs to be about contouring and neutrals, isn't its nice to look to something loud and obnoxious for inspiration. Like a Warhol painting or the cover of a trashy vintage paperback like Valley of the dolls.

Twiggy by Warhol via pinterest
This week Sleek sent me the i-Divine palette to try. I love Sleek eye-shadows, cruelty free, vegan and incredibly pigmented. This latest palette is like a pop art explosion, hot pinks, bright blues and forest green. 

When using one block colour like a blue or green, I find sticking to a pale lip colour stops it straying into Girlsworld make up territory (although I kind of love Girlsworld make up, the hours I spent applying make-up to that severed head) it's a nice loud smudge of defiant colour which spits in the face of looking too well put together.

Isn't it great how this Fungus the bogeyman shade clashes with my pink hair. In fact despite being bedraggled by rain, this eye shadow refuses to budge. Which matters to me. No one has time for make up that will lift with the whiff of work. Equal pay, world peace and stay fast cosmetics that haven't been tested on sentient beings-my demands are endless.

This make up really deserved a 1960's Gogo dress but instead got an oversized jumper in Smiths green. I would love to say its a relic from my time as a backing singer for the Style Council in the early 1980s (the role I feel I was born to do if only for that bloody DC Lee stealing my thunder oh and being a child) but its fairly new and available from Very.


New 'Colour Me' Tshirt boxes - For Kids, and adults up to 5XL. Each item comes boxed with fabric pens,practice sheets & instructions. 
Available  only  at  Nicky Rockets

All content (text, photos and other) are the property of Perelandra Beedles unless otherwise stated. Please refrain from copying any material without recognition of the author and a link to the source on this blog

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Magical Organisation For The Summer Solstice

This week was the summer solstice. the longest day and always a time that leaves me feeling reinvigorated and excited to rush into the second half of the year.
Along with lots of plans and ideas which I filled up my journal with on that magical night I also decided on a few much needed practical areas that needing addressing in my life-including sorting out my craft supplies.
If like me you are a maker/sewer/crafter you no doubt know how easy it is to end up with box after box of supplies. My office has been overrun with ugly boxes full of ribbon, wool, fabric and all the shiny happy things I enjoy playing with when I craft. It's been in desperate need of a sort out. 
Marie Kondo in her book The Magical Art of Tidying Up says “Tidying ought to be the act of restoring balance between people, their possessions and the house they live in and you know, she might just be onto something. 

As luck would have it, the universe sent me some inspiration in the guise of the team at rattandirect who contacted me to see if I would like one of their lovely 5 drawer Abaca rattan storage racks to help get my crafty ducks in a row as it were.

I wasn't too sure what to expect but when the storage unit arrived I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the look of it and how deep the five drawers are. The rattan makes the handmade unit look very natural and organic meaning it fits really well in any room. 
Aside from the odd lamp I don't think I've ever ordered big furniture online before but the process with rattendirect was so easy I would definitely do it again. Every order includes FREE delivery to mainland UK, with a 2 man white glove delivery service as standard and a choice of days for delivery. You even get a time slot for convenience so there’s no waiting in all day for the delivery to arrive.Properly wrapped it was also really easy to carry the unit up to my office without any scratches or damage. 

fabric swatches now have a home
It has really helped me feel more organised and focused to get all the boxes of stuff which I have been endlessly tripping over into drawers. I've also used the units top as a display area so its totally lifted the room.

You know how much I love candles so have been burning one of my newest ones on top of it as I sit typing away. Its the Chrome candle which was very kindly sent to Nicky by Yankee Candle for fathers day.  

These candles have been specifically created with woody and masculine scents. Reminiscent of a traditional barbershop, fragrances include Aftershave, Hair Tonic and Sandalwood. I've heard these refered to as "mandles" which made me laugh. one thing is for sure these are  a clean and modern twist on a classic, and the black glass tumblers with brushed metal lids make them a welcome alternative to the more chintzy style of candle we have all become accustomed to.
Yes it was meant for Nicky but I've rather co-opted it because it smells so good. Notes of cardamom, incense and cedar wood make it a really earthy scent which works so well on  summers evening with the window open. 

Setting up this little storage area was also the perfect opportunity to put up my bespoke sign which the wonderful Jill Strong recently created for me.

I absolutely love Jill's work and was so excited when she asked if she could create a bespoke sign for my office. I will be doing a separate post all about her work (she is not only an amazing designer but was also the UK's first female high performance motorbike tester and to top it all is a vegan, what a woman) but couldn't resist setting it up to give you all a glimpse (Jill also has an etsy store if you require any bespoke signs for your home or business)

My office is feeling so fabulous and it seems to be having the desired effect-the writing is definitely flowing.
Check out the beautiful range at rattendirect they currently have a summer sale on with 70% off.
*I never lie to you dear readers. I was gifted these items but opinions remain my own.


New 'Colour Me' Tshirt boxes - For Kids, and adults up to 5XL. Each item comes boxed with fabric pens,practice sheets & instructions. 
Available  only  at  Nicky Rockets

All content (text, photos and other) are the property of Perelandra Beedles unless otherwise stated. Please refrain from copying any material without recognition of the author and a link to the source on this blog

Friday, 23 June 2017

Rejecting The Roles Of The Fat Friend And Comedy Side Kick

We've known for a long time that images of females on screen overwhelmingly promote thin white bodies.
Fat women in film or television are still a rarity, and when they are included,  its a case of always the bridesmaid never the bride (quite literally, when was the last time you saw an overweight  woman as the romantic lead in anything other than My Mad Fat Diary?)
Walt Disney once said "Movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives in the realm of entertainment towards the ideals and objectives of normal adulthood" if we think King Disney has a point, how then do movies and TV shape how fat women view themselves? particularly when we consider what we are watching as we transition from teens to womanhood
The limited fat archetypes presented in the moving image, have I believe, affected how many plus size women feel they must behave to take their place in society. 
If it seems like a stretch consider this. Growing up we copy what we see, both in our real environment and in the universes offered to us via screens. Films and TV are the campfire tales of our generation. Thoughts around how women should behave and interact are deeply ingrained in our psyches via the medium of entertainment.
Even if we are able to distance ourselves from the presented ideals, some of those stereotypes have a tendency to stick. As plus size women try to find their place in a society which is overwhelmingly negative toward them, inhabiting personality traits that are universally accepted can seem like the only way forward.
I don't for one second suggest that fat women make this decision consciously, but as we strive to fit in, wearing some of the approved persona's from the world of film and TV can be as easy as slipping into a pair of slippers.
The adoption (however unwittingly) of some of the characteristics and behaviours presented on screen (scripts usually written by white men it should be noted) can I believe really effect how fat women thrive and take their space as individuals. Its another example of our body shape dictating how we experience the world and how the world experiences us. Here are some of the fat character tropes I feel we are offered on repeat.

The Waterproof Shoulder
To compensate for their perceived lack of physical currency, fat women in film are often represented as being pragmatic, down to earth, carers. Tending to the needs of others (usually thinner, blonder, women) A willingness to take a backseat or be a support act is taken as a given. Fatness we are told, precludes us from being the object of love or the main protagonist. Instead we wait patiently with tubs of ice-cream and a homely hug, just grateful to share in some of the thin, white radiance. Newsflash, your size does not mean you have to always play second fiddle to someone else drama. You are queen of your own kingdom. Be a good friend, yes, but expect some of it back to. To steal from Alanis Morrisette "you are not the doctor"

The Reformed Fatty
Probably best exemplified, by the "Fat Monica" character in Friends. Being a former fatty is usually written into dramas as a dirty secret, a lapse in judgement that has been rectified. To have been fat is presented as far worse than having been a bad friend, a cheat or a murderer. The message is clear-do not slide back, fatness will not win you Chandler Bing. Thinness did that. This message is of course devastating to anyone who struggles to stay within societal norms of an "ideal" weight. To live your life as a "Before' picture, to have even gone from Thin Monica to Fat Monica rather than the reverse is a story we never get to see. We need to stop equating thinness with success and fatness as a temporary problem waiting to be solved.

The Yoyo Dieter With Low Self Esteem

Possibly one of the most disturbing ways Hollywood deals with fatness is when they write a character who looks perfectly normal, but who is constantly referred to as overweight or fat. Bridget Jones Diary is a classic example of this (another is the character of Benny played by Minnie Driver in Circle of friends, who spoke often of how her weight gain for the part really damaged her early career, she looks to be around a size 12 in that production)
From comedy shots of Bridget's big bottom sliding down a fireman's pole, to her need to wear "big knickers" to hold in her tummy, Bridget's character is written as flaky, undisciplined and quintessentially "the girl next door"
The fact that she is viewed as overweight and that she discusses the numbers on the bathroom scales endlessly is humorous, until you realise its really a comedy about disordered eating and how to maintain relationships with slightly disinterested men.
When the "rakish" Daniel dumps Bridget for a slim American, her response is to start an exercise regime (resulting in her hilariously falling off an exercise bike because you know, fat girls in gyms)  Bridget's endless understanding as she chases after the emotionally unavailable Mark Darcy plays perfectly into the idea that "fat women work harder at relationships" there is a subtext of gratitude and of putting up with shit.

The Loud Funny One

I sometimes wonder if studio execs once sat around a table and having figured out that fat women were keen to see representations of themselves on the screen decided this "Fat women will be permitted but (and this is important) only if they are loud and funny" For me this is one of the most toxic stereotypes that is applied to plus size females on screen. That to earn our seat at the table (which we will probably break, to the mirth of our slimmer co-stars) we will all have to become "Fat Amy" Madcap, without vanity, telling the fat joke before anyone else can. 
I think many, many plus size women have at some point played the "fat Amy" card. cracking pre-emptive jokes about their size, being "jolly" as if a dress label over a 14 means you are a natural comic. Sure lots of fat women are naturally very funny and witty, but often these skills have been honed as a reaction to endless taunts and cruelty. The other side of the coin is that as fat women are simply humans like everyone else (yes really) many don't feel jolly, or want to wise crack. they may be sensitive, keen to merge into the background, careful with words. Characters like Fat Amy may seem progressive, after all they show a fat woman in control, giving zero effs about what anyone thinks about her, but in truth everything about her, even the name she introduces herself with, is a reaction to fatphobia. 

The Emotionally Desperate

Fat women having relationships is either totally ignored in the majority of films and TV or presented as being slightly desperate and sexually aggressive. As much as I love the film Muriel's Wedding the premise is simply that a fat unattractive girl is so desperate to land a handsome husband she agrees to a fake wedding. At times she almost gurns at her soon to be fake husband. The film Bridesmaids also illustrates this beautifully. When main character Annie (who despite being written as being a bit of a mess is still slim and blonde ) is seem to be settling for second best in the relationship department her hook up is with Don Draper in a luxury condo, Megan the fat bridesmaid played by Melissa Macarthy propositions a stranger on a plane and despite all but stripping for him is rejected. Her feelings appear to be unhurt and this is a characterisation you see again and again. The idea that plus size women have thicker skins, that rejections hurt less, that they don't require the emotional depth or connections their thinner counterparts take for granted. Why fat women are never really wooed on screen? We deserve all the wooing.

Being Fat Makes Us Work Harder On Our Personalities

How often have you heard a fat woman described as being a "really nice person" it seems that to forgive the crime of not being slim, plus size women must work twice as hard at being "good and kind" Summed up brilliantly in the film Shallow Hal  (Gweneth Paltrow "hilariously" wearing a fat suit) we see Jack Black unable to see anything but the beauty inside people and (just for shits and giggles) he "accidentally" dates a fat chick. Its all OK we are told because she is a really "nice person" The problem with this perspective is that it yet again enforces an idea that to be tolerated by the world, we as fat people, must be extra nice. But what if that isn't our temperament? what if you are a bossy, sassy, free thinker? What if you don't particularly want to have to wear your "good nature" as a sort of wristband to allow you entry into the festival of thinness? I'm all for being good to each other but I'm more for women being allowed the freedom to be whoever they want to be and the tired old idea that only with a "pretty face" and  "nice personality" are we acceptable needs to be retired from the silver screen and from life.

So that's my take on the fat stereotypes in TV and film. I would love to hear yours. More importantly what types of characters do you want to see? What’s missing? For me I want plus size superheros, fat women playing roles that never once reference size and yes, a romcom where the fat leading lady can't decide between two lovers and is counselled by her thin friend ( its Sleepless in Seattle the reboot)


New 'Colour Me' Tshirt boxes - For Kids, and adults up to 5XL. Each item comes boxed with fabric pens,practice sheets & instructions. 
Available  only  at  Nicky Rockets

All content (text, photos and other) are the property of Perelandra Beedles unless otherwise stated. Please refrain from copying any material without recognition of the author and a link to the source on this blog

Monday, 12 June 2017

Clothes As Social Identity

Do you ever watch or read something which is so smart and yet so obvious it really makes you pause for thought? 
This happened to me only the other day. I was flicking through a book called  The Fashioned Body: Fashion, Dress and Modern Social Theory  written by a sociologist called  Joanne Entwistle and one line jumped out at me:

 "The social world is a world of dressed bodies,”

Talk about a lightbulb moment. I suddenly felt all kinds of thoughts fall into place. 
If clothing is one of the main ways in which “bodies are made social and given meaning and identity.” plus size women have been at a terrible disadvantage.  Forced to present a version of ourselves which is unimaginative and restricted, simply by virtue of the poor quality and lack of choice in plus size clothing. Boy have we been screwed over.

If we as westerners, solidify our place within communities (work, home, social)  not just by our actions, and behaviours but also by the clothes we wear on our backs, our very place in the world has until recently, been pre-ordained through a simple lack of fashion options.

We've known for years that the clothes we wear can drastically affect how we feel. Its why we don a smart suit for a job interview. And its not just how clothes make us feel, but how they make others feel about us. Being poorly dressed is often viewed as being slightly out of touch or less in control. We call things "old hat" or "old fashioned" to describe the obsolete, the unimportant. 
The problem is when it takes you all your time and energy to find something that will actually fit, you are less likely to be able to follow fashion or tell a fashion "story"
 Its semiotics 101, what we put on in the morning is a fabric sign post for how we want to be interpreted. Oversize tunics, tops featuring cold shoulders  and poor quality leggings say nothing to me about my life (to borrow from The Smiths) and yet they still make up so much of the clothing offer over a size 18.
 This is why its never been more important for us to continue to push for more clothing choices in more sizes every time we get an opportunity. To relentlessly support brands who are doing it well ( navabi, Yours, Plus equals and dare I say my own Nicky Rockets all spring to mind) and gently but firmly encourage brands whose plus size offer either ends at a 22 or is just woeful past a size 18 to do better.

Fat women deserve to represent themselves in an authentic, meaningful way, and only when clothing is widely available that works in every social setting (and that fits their bodies) can this happen. 

Outfit deets
 stripe badge top by Very 
Skirt-Past Season
Lipstick-Shade Envy By Chloe Ferry (vegan and allows you to layer without going bobbly, love it)


Brand New "'Lighting My Way With The Bridges I Burn " Design  available  only  at  Nicky Rockets

All content (text, photos and other) are the property of Perelandra Beedles unless otherwise stated. Please refrain from copying any material without recognition of the author and a link to the source on this blog

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