Monday, November 09, 2015

asking for it

"But did you see what she was wearing? She was asking for it."
It's phrases like this, judgements that are passed carelessly and frequently in our society, that Louise O'Neill based her book on. Inspired by the trivialising of sexual assault and victim blaming Louise created Emma O' Donovan, the protagonist of the novel, an eighteen year old girl from County Cork. While the beginning of Asking For It focuses on Emma's daily routine, which isn't very different to that of the average teenager in Ireland, it also establishes an important character trait: her vanity. Emma is completely unlikeable. Constantly concerned over how she looks and making bitchy, passive aggressive comments to her friends she is definitely not your typical shy, easy-going YA central character. I've often found that when authors try to create 'mean' characters they can over-exaggerate their words and actions, making them ridiculous. But Louise (I know it is a bit unprofessional/odd to name authors by their first name but I feel weird using O'Neill for some reason?) manages to make Emma a character you can almost relate to. Or at least understand. So often we see flat, two-dimensional female characters in literature but Emma O' Donovan certainly isn't. Even her narcissism is a flaw that you have to question - is it a fault of her own or society's?

The fact that the reader isn't completely sure on what to make of Emma and whether to root for her or not makes what happens during the middle of the novel, the party scene, so much more powerful. After a house party she wakes up the next morning bruised, outside her house, with absolutely no memory of what happened the night before. Then, revealing photos are uploaded on social media, capturing her in an unresponsive state being sexually assaulted. What follows is a court case and the community shunning Emma and her family, privately judging them for reporting the assault. Sure, she wasn't the nicest person and she did previously have casual sex and she did drink and take drugs and she was wearing a short, low-cut dress. But the point of this book? None of that matters. We may not particularly like Emma but that doesn't make her any less of a victim and it doesn't mean that we can't see the injustice. Emma couldn't consent to sex so therefore she was raped. Of course, not everyone sees it like this and when Emma's case becomes a national news story so many people respond by saying 'what was she expecting?' and 'she should have known better'. So many people blame the victim.

The reason this book is so powerful? It happens. This happens. It is reality. It is based on very real cases of sexual assault and how people have reacted. It's definitely not an easy read because even when I put it down my mind was still thinking about Emma and her family and HOW THIS STILL HAPPENS. WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN? It really does leave you angry and frustrated but it is such an important topic that needed to be introduced to YA fiction. I really would recommend Asking For It to anyone and everyone because it will leave you desperate for a change in how our society views rape and sexual assault, hoping that one day we will grant it the seriousness and importance it deserves.

"They are all innocent until proven guilty. But not me. I am a liar until I am proven honest"
- Emma O' Donovan,  Asking For It

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P.S My first blog post in four months!!! Hey hey hey. This is all very weird. I think I've forgotten how to blog. And I've also missed it a lot. Which doesn't really make sense - if I missed it so much why did I not just do it? Probably a combination of lack of ideas, lack of time and lack of motivation. I  will try not to leave it this long next time!

Saturday, July 04, 2015

what's in my carry-on bag?

It's been over four months since I last hit the 'new post' button and I'd be lying if I said the words are flowing out of me right now. 
For four months the only pieces I've written are essays with a really fixed structure so this whole writing freely thing is weird. My friends repeatedly told me how they hate when bloggers have a whole post dedicated to where they've been and their promises of what's to come - so I'm going to try to skip all that by throwing it in a sentence. AS Levels sucked all of the motivation out of me and the only activity I really had the energy to do in my spare time was watch Netflix (pretty much sums up my summer so far!) School is a pretty common excuse for blogging disappearances but that's the main explanation for my absence. So, in short, sorry!
Since I'm heading off to Portugal tomorrow morning I thought I'd end my blogging hiatus by sharing with you what I packed in my carry-on bag this year.

I'm definitely taking less compared to last year but realistically it's all I'll need and I want to use my small rucksack this time around. My make-up is going in my suitcase so all that's coming with me in my hand luggage is things I'll want on the plane and when we just arrive. Reading material is a must for holidays, to have on the airplane and by the pool, and therefore I'm bringing the latest Glamour magazine and Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella. Since my ears often 'pop' when the plane lands I've got chewing gum in my bag and an Impulse spray so I can freshen up after a morning of travelling. And, of course, I'm taking my polaroid with extra film because hopefully there'll be plenty of photo opportunities abroad.
So there you have it, that's everything in my carry-on bag. Short and (hopefully) sweet. It's currently 2am and I have to wake up for an early morning flight in an hour and a half so my bed is calling me... 

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

the lazy girl's skincare routine

It's no secret that when it comes to skincare I am lazy. 
Like really super lazy. 
Some nights, the bad nights, I just crawl under my duvet and forget about it. I know, madness. After nights out I can barely get changed into pajamas, let alone wash my face! And that's always fun, isn't it? Waking up to panda eyes and foundation on your pillow.
However, most of the time I'll reach for three products that take me all of five minutes to use. And the best part? I can use them in bed while I'm watching Netflix because they're just that easy (and I'm just that lazy!)

Okay, so step one: Get into bed and put on an episode of the TV show you're currently watching. Side note: I spent my midterm binge watching The Office (US) and it's such a good show! If you haven't already watched it then I'd totally recommend you do - you won't regret it! On to the actual skincare, use a cotton wool pad with Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water on it to cleanse your face. This stuff has been pretty popular for some time now, and in my opinion it's totally worth the hype. It easily removes your make-up and leaves your skin feeling so fresh. It's basically the best alternative you'll find to face wipes.

Step two: Now that you're completely bare faced it's time to spritz on some Tea Tree Toner Water. Tea Tree is known for preventing spots - so that's always good. Sometimes I'll switch the Lush toner water for the #MPWR cleansing spray. It was sent to me by a PR company for review and apart from the strange name (why the hashtags? do marketing people assume that teenagers will buy a product if they include a hashtag?) I really like it. It's organic, which is always good when it comes to skincare, and it genuinely feels like it's helping my skin.

Step three: I finish it all off by applying a moisturiser by Simple. TA DAH!

Was that the easiest skincare routine or what? It's pretty low maintenance yet my skin is definitely better because of it. I'm all for fancy cleansers and face masks but on a daily basis I don't have the time or the effort for them - so this is perfect. Now if only I can figure out a way to brush my teeth from the comfort of my bed...

Are you lazy when it comes to skincare too?

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

what's in my bag?

Although what's in my bag posts and videos have been around for years, I've never wrote my own. 
And that's simply because I've never really had a bag. Okay, obviously I've owned bags, quite a few, but none have been a staple that I use with every outfit. Then along came this brown satchel from River Island. Big enough to hold everything I need but still a good size to carry around everywhere. I adore the look of satchels, how they add an instant sleekness to an outfit. So, yeah, this bag is pretty cool and since I've got a collection of 'stuff' in it, I thought I'd share that with you. Cause that's a normal thing to do on the internet apparently. 

♥ I've started taking my fuijifilm polaroid camera with me whenever I leave the house just in case a photo opportunity arises (only five pictures left though... I must order some more off amazon!)

♥ I've had my purse, which is also from River Island, for about three years now so I'll hopefully treat myself to a new one soon.

♥ This month's Vogue is in my bag currently as I bought it while I was in town. How beautiful is Jordan Dunn?

♥ Trident Splash chewing gum. I'm not sure if it's strange to recommend chewing gum but you should try it out if you haven't already, it's so good!

♥ My 2015 planner is in there to encourage me to get organised...

♥ My Iphone, which is actually my sister's old phone, is usually with me although I have to say I'm not as addicted to it as I thought I would be. Still it's nice to finally have a phone again.

And that's everything in my bag right now. It's kinda weird how popular these posts are when you think about it...
Anyway, have you done a what's in my bag post? If so, link it below! I'm nosy! 

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Monday, January 19, 2015

we found wonderland, you and I got lost in it

Skirt, ASOS / Top, ASOS / Shoes, Topshop / Bag, River Island /

Fun fact: when it comes to fashion, I will always love winter more than summer.
I think that's because the clothes are dark (like my soul, mwhaha) and they cover everything. I know I'm not the only one who dreads 'bikini season' since there are whole magazines dedicated to getting your body ready for summer - which sounds like too much effort to me, thanks. Also winter clothes are definitely suitable for the weather in Ireland. Shorts? Not so much. Yet, despite my love for black polo necks and tights, I'm already daydreaming about July and August. Now that Christmas is long gone, only that extra bit of tummy weight remaining, I need something to look forward to. And school is going to be pretty stressful until June with AS levels I imagine. I'm so ready for brighter mornings because getting out of bed is ridiculously hard when even the sun is too tired to rise.
But you know what you can't do during the summer? Build a snowman. ("Do you wanna build a snowman?" ...I'm sorry.) I shall leave you with a picture of this snowmanwoman.

Title song: Wonderland / Taylor Swift

Are you looking forward to summer yet? What do you prefer: winter or summer fashion? 

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