Category: Culture

Just Jemima Kirke Being Herself.

You probably know Jemima from her role as Jessa in Lena Dunham’s show GIRLS. In this video, Jemima Kirke talks truthfully about her first role, the pressure she feels as an artist, as well as private thoughts. Like how she had the tremendously feeling of being a mother in her twenties, that simply didn’t feel ready.

“The guilt hit me the second like she came out of me – like, I was her mother, you know. Because I realized – it was like – Oh my god, what did I just do? I just released a suffering person.”

This video is just one part of The What’s Underneath project by StyleLikeU, who, after 8 years of interviews, published their second book called True Style is What’s Underneath: The Self-Acceptance Revolution. They aim to uncover authentic style, which comes from underneath, from your spirit. 

I believe that their interviews show us something very important in times where social media and perfect staged Instagram feeds put on a fake reality. There really is a Self-Acceptance Revolution that slowly spreads the world from corner to corner.

These interviews show us truth, courage, emotions, yes, they show us real, authentic human beings. I am very thankful for the team of StyleLikeU to share their ideas.

© featured image of Jemima Kirke by Cass Bird

I’ve got something to tell You

We’ve been waiting four never-ending years until Haim the band finally published their sophomore album Something To Tell You this summer. Was it worth the wait?

The album cover shows three young women: The sisters Danielle, Este and Alana Haim rock their orange-tinted sunglasses like the rest of their 70s inspired outfits while giving us a patronizing look. Don’t judge an album by its cover, even when it seems to be a bit intimidating. They were probably joking around when this photo captured the moment. All of these impressively stunning photographs are taken by Photographer Laura Jane Coulson.

Eleven tracks whisk us away into a world of smooth 70s rock, R&B and poppy-electronic 80s style that will probably remind you of a mix between Fleetwood Mac, Destiny’s Child and Michael Jackson. Yeah, that’s right.

When you listen to HAIM’s music, you can always be for sure that you will hear weirdly cool noises (gasping, a fax machine, Taylor Swift’s echo in the background of the track Something To Tell you?!).

In comparison to the mostly upbeat music on this album, the lyrics intend to tell us about more serious topics. Every one of the sisters seems to find herself in a different situation – whether it’s heartbreak, finding and losing love, or giving us a retrospective view of what she has learned.

Just know that I want you back
Just know that I want you
I’ll take the fall and the fault in us
I’ll give you all the love I never gave before I left you

Want You Back – the first song of the album makes a bold start. There is no way you can stand or sit still when you listen to it. The echoes and wide-ranged sounds give us an impression of space and freedom which contrasts to the wish “I want you back” and the changing sound during the chorus. Today I was in the middle of nowhere on the tempelhofer feld in Berlin (I decided to go running – I totally forgot how exhausting it is). I found myself dancing weird routines while listening to this track. I just couldn’t help myself. 

You’re just another recovering heart
I wasn’t even gonna try
You wouldn’t even give up time
Could be so easy, you make it hard
Don’t think about love too much
My love is gonna be enough

Little Of Your Love – this is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The catchy beat invites us to dance, the polyphonic singing makes you sing along as loud as you can.

‘Cause I got something to tell you, but I don’t know why – It’s so hard to let you know that we’re not seeing eye to eye – Because I know if I tell you that everything’s alright – Oh, we could stay in this moment, I’d never say goodbye – Oh, I’ll never say goodbye

I could probably go on and on with this list, but I got something to tell you: you need to listen to this album right now and make your own, beautiful opinion about it. Let’s salute to Michael Jackson while we are dancing wildly and let’s reminisce about heartbreak while we are singing to songs that give us such a nostalgic feeling of Fleetwood Mac.

@haimtheband @daniellehaim @estehaim @babyhaim I got something to tell you right now: you kept me crying when I realized you are not playing live in Berlin. I want to be able to say ‘I want you back’, I just want a little of your love. Nothing’s wrong with that. I’m ready for you, you never knew. I found it in silence, while I was walking away. Don’t make this night so long.

© Illustration by janatoldme.com / Jana Malderle

What my Beloved Readers must know

Yes, there is something to it. Writers need to write headlines in a certain way so you, the beloved reader, find them interesting enough to click and start reading. Did you ever think about the tone of those phrases before?

“You must know this … or something bad will happen. You should always do this, but never do that! You really need to know this and that and of course that third thing too if you want to be successful! Better start reading, because you’re already late!”

There is so much pressure, there are so many hints that you might miss out on something if you don’t read that promoted article right now. Headlines play with your feelings, they trigger your fear and longings. They wait for you like a hungry wolf, while you inattentively scroll through your Facebook feed like a careless Bambi in the wild.

Yeah, I know, that’s how it works. That’s how the market works. Writers need to sell their story like a fearless salesman.

Does it really have to be this way? I don’t want you to feel like you’re missing out on something. I want you to feel in good care when you read my headlines. I want to give you honest words and interesting topics. Maybe I need to use that salesman-tactics from time to time, but please be aware:

Those headlines are just headlines. Nobody can tell you how to live your life. It’s your decision and you are brave, bold and beautiful – no matter what they say.

Oh and please go on reading my articles. Thank you. You rock.

7 Hilarious Quotes – The Incredible Jessica James

Okay. I was really impressed when I saw the trailer of the Netflix movie The Incredible Jessica James. I was even more surprised after watching the whole movie by myself. This promising story of Jessica James turns out to be a real motivator, regardless your current life situation. Simply spend 1 hour and 25 minutes of your time and you will feel pretty refreshed afterwards.

The story of Jessica James (played by Jessica Williams) tells the situation of a young woman, who is sort of in this weird transitional phase in her life, trying to make it as a playwright in New York City while juggling several jobs and on top of it all, is trying to recover from a bad break up.

We know that, right?

Besides the topics I listed, there is so much more going on in this story. Jim Strouse & Jessica Williams both formed many little stories around the central character Jessica James, which is not only handling her own struggles, but more the topics of her generation. I am talking: feminism, role models, self-discovery, independence, and the influence of social media concerning our (love) life.

Not to forget to mention: the music. It is funky, upbeat music that spreads good vibes. Especially the music for the baby shower scene was hilarious. Thank you for that, music & sound department!

FINALLY. Here are for you, in my opinion, the best quotes from the movie The Incredible Jessica James, which aired on 28.th July 2017 on Netflix (oh oh  spoiler-alert)…

“This is your one and only life. What do you want to tell people about it? “

“You shouldn’t need other people to validate or define you.”

“…I would literally rather have my period for a thousand years, non-stop, than continue this portion of the conversation.”

“Sort of in this weird transitional phase in my life where I don’t know what I’m gonna do next.”

“So, what? Life is just a series of failures in the first place..”

“It’s my raw feminine energy. It really fucks up the room. Hey, ladies! You’re all queens! Or however you choose to identify.”

J: I just really love theater. You know, I feel like I love it the way that most people love like sports or food…
I love everything about it. I love reading it. I love watching it even when it’s bad. I love teaching it. I especially love making it.
I just… love it all.

B: That’s great. So, whats the problem?

J:I don’t know if it loves me back and that scares the shit out of me.

 

Photographs/Screenshots: © Courtesy Of Netflix.com

A Leather-Free Fashion Industry

It was last week, when I stumbled upon some insanely cheap Zara shoes. Why do their shoes look so fantastic… The pair of shoes I looked at seem to fit very tight, like socks, but the material they are made from are quite depressing: practically the whole shoe is made from fake leather, except for the insole, which is made from goat leather.

Why, oh why would you put leather insoles into a non-leather shoe?!

Okay, aside from the fact that we don’t know a single thing about the quality of the other materials used for this shoe (like polyurethane, polyester and thermoplastic polyurethane), isn’t it a shame to put leather into a non-leather shoe? Is this piece of leather supposed to put some idea of quality into the customer’s mind? Or is this goat leather just so ridiculously cheap that Zara doesn’t give a…? One thing is for sure: Zara, you fail at producing vegan shoes.

Another example is a Mango leather coat with faux fur. Wait a minute. Faux fur stitched on leather? Who would produce such a contradiction? It doesn’t make sense and guess what, it is wrong. Mango is unable to deliver true information concerning their products. On the Mango.uk site the same jacket is described as “fur leather coat”, which makes more sense to me.

Apart from the fact that fashion houses mix up information about materials on their websites, have you ever thought about the possibility that they generally can’t know for certain if a leather product marked with a “cow leather” stamp, is really made out of cow leather and not from a dog’s skin? The truth is: they cannot know for sure, because their production houses receive the leather from a muddled net of suppliers.³

There is no law and no constitution checking the authenticity of the leather skin. It indicates that you, as the customer, may end up wearing real leather, even if your product is declared as fake leather.

So I tried to research this leather & fake leather situation.
Roughly 90 percent of the worldwide shoe production takes place in Asia. Especially Bangladesh is the castle of leather tanneries, where ‘holy’ cows (illegally imported from India) are oftentimes slaughtered on the street in the middle of the night. Afterwards the cowhides are processed in tanneries, where the workers (many of them children) come in contact with toxic chemicals¹. These chemicals, like Chrome salts, are not only damaging the health of the workers, they also pollute the surrounding waterways. It’s unbelievable that this situation in Asia is not on the news every day. Oh, maybe I found out why: Bangladesh’s leather industry is worth a billion dollars a year.²


A child jumps on the waste products that are used to make poultry feed as she plays in a tannery at Hazaribagh in Dhaka October 9, 2012. Courtesy of REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

Unfortunately I could not find any numbers according to the killing of goats for the leather industry, but it is a fact that 75+ million fur-bearing animals are killed for the fur industry every year. On top of these 75+ million we have to add 1 billion rabbits, which are also killed for their fur.³

There is no difference between the fur and the leather industry. Both industries are as cruel as the other one. You may did not know, but cats and dogs are killed for their skin too. If you buy a leather product made in China, you can easily end up wearing the skin of a dog or a cat, because the leather industry in China is not very tidy when it comes to labelling their leather. Maybe you never read “cat leather” or “dog leather” for the fact that nobody would buy a shoe made from a skin which could be from your own pet. Unfortunately those leather types are often used to produce women’s fashion gloves, shoes and many more products that are exported around the world.⁴

Would you wear your pet’s skin? I believe the answer is: no, never!

How come we know all the facts, but most of us end up buying the bad products over and over again? How come we are able to receive the shocking information, but we are not able to stop buying the product at the end of the cruelty-line? How come we live in such a fast-paced world, where social media gives us the chance to share information all around the world, still so many of us just don’t (want to) care?

Here are the last facts in this article, that might change your mind about buying leather products in the future:

  1. Currently 290 million cows are killed every year globally approaching an even more shocking 1 billion.⁵
  2. In order to provide the consumption madness, the industry needs to slaughter 430 million cows annually by 2025.⁵
  3. A “Made in Italy” or “Italian Leather” stamp only means that the product is finished in Italy, the leather could be imported from elsewhere.⁵ It is the same problematic when it comes to the authenticity of the stamp at all. It can be a cat’s, dog’s, goat’s or cow’s skin, even if the product is described to be fake leather.
  4. “Unbeknownst to most, the majority of fur-trimmed items (even pet toys and trinkets) labeled as ‘faux fur’ or ‘synthetic’ is likely real fur, mostly from cats or dogs. It is estimated that more than 10 million dogs and 4 million cats are murdered each year for their fur and meat in China, where there are no governing laws to protect animals.”³

Properly speaking: You don’t have to be vegan to care for this planet. It is unlikely that consumers all over the world will stop buying leather products, stop eating meat and stop drinking milk altogether to minimize the demand. But the consumers can make their buying decision more sustainable by transforming their spending behaviour to a minimum.

Do not forget: we, the consumers, regulate the market. We have the influence to change the industry. Ending this article, I want to quote Jason Baker, Peta’s Vice President and founder of the Indian branch:

“Simply put, there is no such thing as humane leather. No matter where it comes from, leather is the product of a cruel industry. And with so many synthetic materials available today, there’s no need to wear leather at all.”

Don’t you agree? Let me know what you think: is a leather-free fashion industry realizable, or rather a necessity? What is your approach to live in a world without cruelty?

 

¹ reuters.comnews.vice.com, ³ Cryoftheinnocent.com, ⁴ petaasia.com, ⁵ The Guardian

Broken Liquid

When we were children, we were experts in creating worlds in our minds with a little help of our friend called Fantasy. Some people still have this talent to create extraordinary things.

Ben Young is one of them. He is a self-taught artist from New Zealand who now lives in Sydney, Australia. He creates glass sculptures for over 10 years now. Born and raised in New Zealand, the ocean plays a dominant role in his life and his art. Being a boat builder by trade and a keen surfer, he wants to capture the power of the sea and the perfection of a wave. Every sculpture is handmade. But I bet you would not believe each piece is hand drawn, hand cut and handcrafted by Ben himself, layer on layer.

I love watching the two-dimensional shapes evolve into three-dimensional creations and the different way the light plays inside the glass. I love the liquid qualities the glass brings with it. It enables me to play with lighting and watch the glass react.

Below you can see photos of his handmade sculptures made of clear float glass, cast concrete and cast bronze . If you take a closer look at his work you can see the tiny details. When I look at all of them all together it seems to me there is a story connecting each sculpture with one another. If you want to collaborate with Ben Young or comission a glass sculpture, you can contact him through this address ben@brokenliquid.com

All photos © Courtesy of Ben Young