Hazards Of The Trade: A Disclaimer!

We’re nearly 6 months deep into this blog. And I like to pride myself on being as honest as possible without being too blunt or deliberately offensive. Sadly, sometimes this can be a little difficult. What I perceive as inoffensive, someone can take to heart. This is sometimes applicable when you’re talking about something that others consider taboo or that others don’t want to think about at all, or ever again.

I’ve never been one so shy away from what inspires passion in me…I do, however shy away from those who try and put a stopper in my passion or silence me when I know, with all my heart, that I am doing what is right.

Last week, on Tuesday the 8th of March, I celebrated International Women’s Day by doing a besties make-up and taking part in talks for Reclaim The Night: Portsmouth 2016. I gave a small review of the topics covered, a small review of my experience and then said the poem I wrote at the end of my PTSD treatment in 2014.

I think the biggest fear I had was speaking the poem and being rejected. Maybe people would walk out, accuse me of lying, talk throughout or call me names, accuse me of being disgusting or filthy. Not a single part of me feared judgement…but who doesn’t get a little skittish at the thought of an angry mob?

None of this happened. In fact the opposite happened. I was praised for sharing it. I was hugged in thanks of displaying bravery and for showing my strength.

That wasn’t the reason I shared it; Joan Of Arc, I am not. It was to show that we are still having the same discussions, the same arguments. And there are still the same excuses for why a woman is assaulted being uttered under peoples breath.

“Was she drunk?” “Can she prove it?” “What was she wearing?” “She was asking for it.”

2010 to 2016…and there is no change!

Regardless of my reasons, I find it remarkable that I am actually having to fight the corner of me and every other woman in that room, against a rather surprising set of opponents. Often those close to us want to ignore or outright refuse that these things happen at all. No one likes to imagine that someone they love experienced an event that “won’t happen to me”. It is shocking when we sometimes have to prove ourselves to those we love or those who claim to love us, and convince them that we are not lying.

This, in itself, is a true testament as to why I will never shut up. My words and the words of every other woman whom has suffered at the hands of a known or unknown predator must be heard. And not because the reality of human suffering is the most pervasive connection we have; but because human strength is the most powerful influence we have on each other. If you deny our stories, if you deny our experiences (sexual assault, chronic illness, bullying in the work place, an insult to our child rearing, a bad haircut from a crappy hairdresser); then you deny us a very important part of our humanity.
Strength and passion are catching. They’re contagious. Contagious like laughter or someone humming Sheryl Crows “All I Wanna Do”. No one changed the world by keeping their mouths shut; so I’m gonna keep shouting.

So here’s to being offensive. Beware: Shit’s about to get serious again.

Clothes are short cut; short but short of nothing but the word “no”
Is embroidered on me from head-to-toe.
Cross stitch, pearl stitch with not a stitch
On but stinking piss
Seaming down my legs. “You okay?”
No- no way.
Go ‘way.
There. Stay.
And don’t come near.
Because I fear- of course, I fear!

Lonely light. Camera type? No. No dice. A lonely price
for pissing in the private night.
“You okay?”
I’m fine, okay? Stay that way? No, not today.
Skin, black. Night, black. All black. All over, Jack!
All over me.

It doesn’t hurt me, no agony in that cavity
where his fingers have no right to be.
Blind in my prefontal cortex
A dissassociated vortex
Of no thought, every thought;
Distraight notions of how and what I should feel next.
Nothing.

Mind is gone; all is wrong. From this point on we’re physical
and nothing is so trivial
than how long I have to think
and drink in the thought
of the brink being close
and the stench of some unwanted, foreign stink.

His hands crawl upon the former wretch; A motionless wall of flesh
while I become a being, fresh
with primal bite and primitive, spite-
ful screaming to the waking night.
And he will run from what he has done,
from whom he’s done.
As I, with mighty fury, have won.

Tomorrow morning views two inches of local paper’s news:
Girl fucked up in Festing Mews.
And four more years of closing doors
and drunk dance floors; still screaming
while that Girl is reeling
to break free from feeling
every thought, no thought. Nothing.

Empty girl is forever mourning another morning
of empty motion and no emotion.
But not this morning. Nothing for it.
Grin and bare it.
And stare it down this time.
The trial is not behind, or in front but now.
And wow….
I am powerful.

It was disgusting, it was filthy, it happened to me and it was real down to every last word. I am powerful. And I am a force to be reckoned with. And I will make sure others who experienced the same thing know that if one person is capable of such strength then they are too. Comment below to show your support. Write your own blog. Share the strength…

I… Wanna Soak Up The Sun…I wanna tell everyone to lighten up!

Peace out!

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Putting Girls To Werk! 

Hey there. 

So yesterday was International women’s day and I spent it with one of my most beautiful female friends. We spent the entire day watching reruns of RuPaul’s drag race. Why, you may ask? Because nothing makes one feel so feminine than watching several beautiful, fancy drag queens work their way down a runway and that is work with an E. 

We did this so I could conserve my energy because later on in Portsmouth I took part in talks to support the Reclaim The Night movement; started in response to sexual assault and attacks on women in the street who are then blamed for being too drunk, too scantily clad or generally too female for a man to resist raping or abusing her.

RuPaul’s drag race is a celebration of femininity, the female form and challenging gender norms. In response to that my friend allowed me to make her the most draggiest of drag I have ever done with make up. There was nothing much in the thought process. I simply told her to close her eyes and let me work my magic. And her mother absolutely hated it. But she absolutely loved it and that’s what mattered. She felt glamorous, she felt gorgeous, she felt beautiful, she felt powerful.

  

That’s the thing about appearance; when we think of women dressing up we think of us looking at them and we think of how we appreciate how they look rather than thinking about how they feel about how they look. This is the crux of the society that has created a theatre out of a woman’s appearance. Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Look, Now, Americas next top model, The Voice. These shows and magazines pride themselves on playing on people’s appearance in contrast to who they are. 

The first thing I asked the woman because I’ve never done the guys make up yet is what they want me to create and most of the time they will say just do what ever. And I have a problem with that because how I want them to look is not how they feel it’s not who they are it’s not what they want. That would be me creating what I want. And that can change from day to day. That is an accurate representation of how they feel about themselves. 
Obviously I’m a beauty blogger so I’m not exactly a massive advocate of conventional “natural beauty”; but I am an advocate for personal beauty. There is no point in making up a face if the brain behind it can’t carry the look. 

My friend is a drag queen. She is gorgeous, she is sassy, she is charismatic, and she is strong in the face of adversity in a world that would otherwise shun her; so I gave her a delicious pink and yellow look like strawberry lemonade so she could make the world eat it and … we didn’t even leave the house because it ain’t about them out there.

So the next time I’m doing your make up think about the face that you wanna put out to the world, think about who you are, think about what you wanna be on that day. Don’t be confined by the constraints pushed upon you by other people’s interpretations- glitter roots, gradient brows, tape contouring, mink lashes. If you wanna wear bright blue eyeshadow and a neon pink lip because you wholeheartedly believe that the 80s ain’t dead; tell me and I’ll do it. In a dark ass world painted grey, be a girl on fire! 
See you anon! 

Roll up, Roll up!

Time for a catch up guys and dolls!

I’ve been expanding Todayspippa onto other platforms which has been really exciting but also means that I’m having to split my focus a little and move things around! So let’s work out a date night for us; I don’t like that we don’t have enough quality time together! I don’t take you places anymore! I’m sorry! Let me make it up to you!

I have a YouTube channel! It has a grand total of two videos on it at the moment but it’s still a channel. Pretty exciting, eh? I really hope you check it out and tune in, I can’t wait to see what you think and to have your suggestions!

I’m gonna give you thrice-weekly quality updates/reviews/tutorials; what ever I can!

Monday- Vlog

Wednesday- Blog

Friday- Round-up and planning blog!

And as many daily instagrammies as I can give you without you wanting to march to my house and jam my phone up my rectum!

So, yeah! This is the final Monday blog for now! But keep an eye out for Wednesday and Friday and tune in on other social media to check in with Today’s Pippa!

See you later!

The Beelzebub In The Brush Strokes

There is a persistent assumption about make-up; that it’s intention is to fabricate something that doesn’t already have form. It creates cheek bones on a round face, lips from a fine line, push social boundaries that were steady. It is a message to the outside world: “I wish to mask myself”.

And it can be; Kardashian highlighting, instabrows, Kylie Jenner lips. These trends revolutionized makeup and what it means to apply it. Surprisingly enough, I err more towards freshed face looks, doing very little to adjust the shape of my face. Make-up is less a fashion statement for me and more of an enhancement of my best self. And as that changes from day to day, so does my make-up. If I’m feeling in touch with my body (whether that be CFS pain/fatigue or sexy to the nines) I like to embrace that! I want to look tired when I feel tired or look sexy when I feel sexy. If I am feeling more intouch with my imagination, I will replicate that in glitter or assuming a character. I purposefully choose to adjust my outside to suit my inside.

It is a conundrum that must plague those whom see make-up at that attempt to redefine what is. It may simply be an enhancement of what already exists. An unpainted canvase, no matter how big or small, is a masterpiece waiting to be revealed

Make-up, for me, is not a statement of vanity, it is not a reflection of my insecurity. It is a method of expression, a moving element of creativity and a true statement of my inner-self.

Make-up Commandments!

I discovered two things this weekend! 1. As a white girl I have never really gotten the hang of the undertones of black skin; not only that but I don’t have the products available to cater for it…yet! 2. I have folk on facebook, Instagram, blog and twitter and IRL who ask for makeup advice. They ask for “what’s best” for “what I recommend” or “if X brand is better than Y brand”. I’m going to insert now that I am not certified in any way whatsoever to do anyone’s makeup and I am, by no means, the most skilled at doing makeup! My talents lie in bullshit, hording and art…which is, often, bullshitting about stuff you’ve horded! Apply those things to your face, suddenly you’ve got the basic skillset for a well-equiped mediocre makeup artist! I hope I’m selling myself short here; I thrive on low expectation!

Aside from soothing my crippling self-doubt, I mention this because it raised a theory which has been following me around when I look at my collection in comparison to the concise toiletry bags on my friend’s bedside cabinets! Unless you’re a makeup/ beauty guru or blogger, do you need ALL the things? No. And does it really matter what I think is best, what I recommend or which brand is most suitable? No. But what does matter is that you aim for items that suit you best from brands that suit you best. If you’ve got a lot of disposable income then it’s likely you’ll invest in a make-up set full of high-end products. If you’re on a budget then you will have a set of drug-store with a few high-end staples. And if you’re on a tight budget, you might have a drug-store supply! This is simply a broad overview of a spectrum of make-up dependency! There are many in-betweens and it can change conditionally; do you love your lips, do you love your face, do you love your eyes. So many variables!

It’s a science, kids! Listen up! Pencils ready! What I’m getting at is the fact that no make-up guru knows all about what you should own, buy or try; without knowing you personally, they’re really gonna struggle! So! Here are some hard, fast rules!

1. Invest in what you love.

Don’t waste money on loads of eyeshadows in colours that you don’t like or won’t use. If you’re all about nudes then buy yourself a really good pallet of nudes but if you’re not really about playing up the eyes then buy a small pallet of nudes. If you’re all about mastering a decent red lip then devote your funds to a reasonable lip scrub, lip balm, lip pencil and red lipstick! Otherwise it is just money down the drain! Trends are fleeting; if you think bright blue eyeshadow makes you look like a circus time-warp from the 80’s, you’ll feel like a clown! Even common make-up practices might not be up your alley; you don’t have to highlight, strobe, contour, grout or spackle (please don’t google those, they’re not trends…yet), trust me. Especially if you’re quite happy with your face looking the shape it is! Embodying your own idea of beauty will make you feel more confident and then you will look more confident.

2. Clear out and clean up.

Boots, Superdrug, Sephora, Ulta, Debenhams…at the end of the dairy aisle in Tesco. You’re going to succumb to an impulse purchase every so often. My biggest issue is travelling away from home for the day or a week and realising I have forgotten a lipstick to touch up or a mascara on the morning of some party or other! These purchases are great in a pinch but sooner or later they end up gathering dust at the bottom of your makeup bag because they’re just not your go-to product! Another thing is that your products get shifted around (especially when you’re in a rush) so you can end up reaching into your bag for an eyeliner and coming out with a hand that could have been trapped in a Chilean mine-shaft! This can be off-putting when you want to create a look without ending up knee deep in cosmetics or with camo-stripes as foundation! Not only that but lots of nasties grow in un-kempt makeup bags and old products! Devote some time to going through your stash and sift through what is full, empty, clean, dirty, impulse-buy or make-up staple. Wipe your dirty products down, sharpen your pencils before replacing the lids, and wash your bag! It’ll hurt your heart to have wasted the money, and feel tedious, but it’ll save you agro in the long run!

3. Make some space.

This may seem a tad gratuitous, especially if you’re not a makeup fan…and if you’re not then we’re going to have that talk about why you’re here… on the off chance I haven’t swayed you into cosmetic compulsion. But another time! So yeah, space! Whether it be you’re makeup bag, a shelf, a corner, a room or an entire wing; you need a place to keep all your treasures in one place. This is aided by making that space exclusively for the application and removal of makeup! So either there is a mirror in that space or you equip that space with a mirror, it’s one decent way to keep you shiz together! The issue then comes if you’re mates are pre-drinking in the lounge while you’re stuck in the bog (toilet/restroom) or make-up area. This can be combatted in two ways; ensure you’re makeup is portable or engineer the space to be more accommodating! Whatever space you choose, this is how you avoid finding a lipstick under the sofa!

I prefaced this by saying hard, fast rules…I struggle with the 3rd so these are more like guidelines than actual rules! Though I consider myself a special case…and for “special case” see “lost cause”, I still find myself reaching breaking point and coming back to these 3 basic codes of conduct when it comes to my make-up!

What do you think? Are these some decent commandments?

We Stand On Guard For Thee

A blue maple leaf. For peace and sorrow in Canada. 

  
God bless.

I Think Shit’s Gonna Get Serious.

It’s difficult to admit when you’re having a relapse. That feeling of weakness and utter degradation of having to have your partner, your world, your reason for breathing come into the bedroom to make sure your back is supported by pillows, that you’re not in pain. And you’re extremely aware that you smell similar to the back end of a rhino and you didn’t remove yesterdays make-up. But you keep fighting; you walk tall even though your back is killing you. You stand upright even though it is exhausting and your balance is shot to shit.

I forever speak in riddles, jokes or hyperbole…shall I go for some honesty here? It’s rare so prepare yourself.

I speak in we’s and you’s when I am at my most vulnerable. It is a coping mechanism I created to feel less alone so when I failed at something I could always say “we are trying something new” or “we decided to take a walk”. I is usually reserved for when I screw up.

I is ownership. I is a way of identifying what feelings are mine. I is how my heart beats faster when something has touched me. I is a very strong individual.

But I didn’t come from nothing. I sometimes forget that the path I left behind is strewn with mistakes and problems and paths untravelled and abandoned dreams, relationships, toys, people etc.

I’m rambling. What I am getting at is that I have fought my way through a lot of stuff…and I often fall into old habits of taking my strength for granted. And I think it is something we (I) often do; usually when we (I) want to be taken care of or when we (I) make a mistake or when we (I) long for someone to understand where we’re (I’m) coming from… (See all the ‘we’? I must be hitting a nerve!)

Riley and I had a conversation tonight and, to cut a long (and private) story short, she reminded me of how important learning to love myself was to how my life is now. And how I don’t think I would go back and change anything that has happened in it for the world because I trust that I was doing it for the right reasons at the time. And I love the person that made those decisions then as much as I love myself now. I was doing what I could. I regret some of them, sure. And I would have done things differently if I had the brain and love for myself that I have now. Insert long sentence of self loathing.

But…hindsight is 20/20, lense power adjusted due to experience. Cant have one without the other.

I am going to share something important with you. And it is possibly triggering so please mind the gap- shit’s about to get deep. It’s a poem. And it is a poem that was the turning point in my recovery from before. It was when I became this girl; a girl on fire. I love with wild abandon, I live for the moment and I know my own strength. I think, often, we are too humble and take our strength for granted… so I’m going to type this out to you to remind myself where my strength comes from…and when I discovered it. And maybe it will touch you so you remember where your strength comes from. I wrote this when I first entered recovery for PTSD in 2013.

Clothes are short cut; short but short of nothing but the word “no”
Is embroidered on me from head-to-toe.
Cross stitch, pearl stitch with not a stitch
On but stinking piss
Seaming down my legs. “You okay?”
No- no way.
Go ‘way.
There. Stay.
And don’t come near.
Because I fear- of course, I fear!

Lonely light. Camera type? No. No dice. A lonely price
for pissing in the private night.
“You okay?”
I’m fine, okay? Stay that way? No, not today.
Skin, black. Night, black. All black. All over, Jack!
All over me.

It doesn’t hurt me, no agony in that cavity
where his fingers have no right to be.
Blind in my prefontal cortex
A dissassociated vortex
Of no thought, every thought;
Distraight notions of how and what I should feel next.
Nothing.

Mind is gone; all is wrong. From this point on we’re physical
and nothing is so trivial
than how long I have to think
and drink in the thought
of the brink being close
and the stench of some unwanted, foreign stink.

His hands crawl upon the former wretch; A motionless wall of flesh
while I become a being, fresh
with primal bite and primitive, spite-
ful screaming to the waking night.
And he will run from what he has done,
from whom he’s done.
As I, with mighty fury, have won.

Tomorrow morning views two inches of local paper’s news:
Girl fucked up in Festing Mews.
And four more years of closing doors
and drunk dance floors; still screaming
while that Girl is reeling
to break free from feeling
every thought, no thought. Nothing.

Empty girl is forever mourning another morning
of empty motion and no emotion.
But not this morning. Nothing for it.
Grin and bare it.
And stare it down this time.
The trial is not behind, or in front but now.
And wow….
I am powerful.

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