5 Modern Feminist Books to Add to Your Reading List

Modern feminist booksI used to think that feminist books involved academia and Germaine Greer, but over the last year I’ve read some fantastic books with a feminist slant from columnists, comedians and CEOs. Here are some of my favourite modern feminist books that should be on every girl’s bookshelf…

How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

Hand on heart, I’m a serious Caitlin fangirl. I even saw her on tour earlier this summer, queuing for an hour to meet her and babbling away as she defaced the cover of my copy of this book with felt-tip moustache. When How to Be a Woman came out in 2011 I grabbed the first copy I could find a read it within a week. Part autobiographical, part feminist manifesto, the book covers porn, motherhood and abortion with the wit and silliness that anyone familiar with Caitlin’s columns for The Times have come to expect. The main root of her questioning; ‘do the men have to worry about this?’ to decipher if something is sexist or not is so on point, and if you don’t feel like standing on a chair and shouting “I”M A FEMINIST” after reading the first chapter then there’s something wrong with you.

Vagenda: A Zero Tolerance Guide to the Media by Holly Baxter and Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Based on the popular feminist blog of the same name, Vagenda aims to highlight the inequalities and downright sexism within the media. I purchased this book when I went to see a talk by the authors as part of Bristol’s Festival of Ideas series. While I don’t agree with all of it (apparently anyone who likes floral trousers is a fashion victim), there are some serious ‘say what!?’ points in the book, particularly those centred around the link between appearance and how women are portrayed in magazines and advertising.

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

I’ve just finished reading this book (kindly lent to me by Hayley) and after finishing each chapter I would put it down and give a little (internalised) ‘woop!’ Sophia has gone from high school dropout to CEO of a million dollar clothing empire in seven years, and while she makes it clear from the outset that this book ‘isn’t a feminist manifesto’, it’s seriously inspiring. Sophia offers realistic, straight talking advice on how to make it as a #GIRLBOSS, and I guarantee that after reading this you’ll feel like you can take on the world.

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates

Another book I purchased after watching a Festival of Ideas talk, Everyday Sexism is a book that I feel needs to be put on the curriculum. I wrote a full review here but in a nutshell, Laura’s book is a compilation of the entries the Everyday Sexism Project has received and charts just how women, in particular, grow up in the shadow of sexism that follows them around for their whole lives.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Tina Fey’s memoir focuses heavily on her time at Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, but it does so with a heavy helping of what it’s like to be a woman in comedy, a stereotypically male-dominated industry. Her take on beauty regimes, the notion of constantly being in competition with other women and the baffling train of thought that ‘women can’t be funny’ are all addressed with aplomb and a healthy dose of sarcasm in this autobiography.

Have you read any of these books? Let me know if you have any recommendations for similar books.

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Beauty Empties #1

Beauty empties postIt’s rare for me to completely use up beauty products so I’m not sure why I numbered this post, but I seem to have finished using several products at once, so I figured an ‘empties post’ was in order.

I enjoy reading about what my favourite bloggers have used up because it feels like a strong endorsement to say that you’ve used up every last drop of a product. That’s definitely the case with the items on this list, two of which have already been repurchased.

Lip Butter in Candy Apple by Revlon

So good that I’ve already bought another one, this lip product was a surprise hit with me. I let my feelings about the packaging get in the way of trying this for such a long time, despite Lip Butters being such big news in the beauty blogging world when they first came out. I used this till it was impossible to apply from the bullet anymore, and I love the sheer wash of colour it offers. Check out my full review of it here.

Roots hair treatment by Lush

Would you believe I only tried Lush products for the first time this year? I was introduced to the brand at a Bristol blog meet in January and not long afterwards I picked up Roots. I have incredibly dry skin which includes my scalp, and normal shampoos often have ingredients that aggravate my scalp and hairline, so I wanted to try something soothing and cleansing. This mask has three different types of mint in it and, for want of a better word, is very zingy when applied to my scalp, but it cleans my hair like a dream. It’s seriously amazing and I’m already on to my second tub…

Beauty empties summer 2014They’re Real mascara by Benefit

Given that you’re supposed to use up mascaras within six months, I think I must have had this one for at least a year. I first picked a tube up in London not long after its launch and although I was previously a BadGal fan, this quickly became my new favourite. I think it’s down the shape of the brush and the way it applied, though it’s not as lengthening as the Rimmel one I’m currently using.

GinZing eye cream by Origins

I got this pot of eye cream for free last year when I bought a couple of Origins products. It came in a little travel set and while I was too forgetful to apply it religiously day and night, the slight shimmer to it did brighten my eyes and take the heat off my increasingly prominent dark circles. I picked up a pot of Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado at the airport on the way to Uganda, so I’ll have to see how the two compare.

Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Day Cream by Dr Organic

I received this moisturiser in a goodie bag last year but only started using it a few months ago. I think I waited because I was unfamiliar with Dr Organic, but I was pleasantly surprised as it didn’t upset my ordinarily temperamental (dry and sensitive) skin. Given I only used it in the mornings, I’m surprised at how quickly I raced through it – I can make a moisturiser last a looong time. While I didn’t notice any of the firming and toning claims, I did like that the ingredients were all natural and organic, including plenty of oils such as lemon peel, macadamia seed and rosewood.

Have you tried any of these products before?

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Floral Dresses and Mulberry Bags

pretty floral dress and windy hairIf you’ve ever lived in Bristol you’re probably familiar with Gloucester Road, one of the longest independent high streets in the country. It’s dotted with numerous charity shops,  making it the perfect location for a spot of Saturday afternoon shopping.

On my last visit I picked up several gems, including this floral dress from the new Salvation Army shop. It’s similar to a dress I already own but can you ever really have too many floral dresses!?

This is the first time Effie has appeared on the blog since my Instagram a few months ago. At the moment I’m using a temporary strap as the existing one was too short to be able to wear across the body, but I really want to make my own, a bit like this A Pair & A Spare DIY. I know I won’t be able to buy a matching Mulberry strap, but I think a contrasting camera strap or DIY attempt could look really interesting, and certainly make for a very unique bag.

You can see in the photos that the leaves are already starting to turn in Bristol, but I’m hopeful that summer will stick around for a few more weeks – I’m not ready to embrace A/W yet, even if it does mean an Alexander Wang x H&M collaboration and the excuse to drink hot chocolate every day…

Floral dress – Salvation Army, Gloucester Road / Tan woven blet – vintage / White socks – Matalan / Chelsea boots – c/o Topshop Cabot Circus / Effie bag – Mulberry

Floral dress with acrylic buttonsFloral charity shop dressPastel tower blocksSalvation Army charity shop dressTopshop Chelsea bootsShowing off EffiePastel colours

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Lomo Love: Uganda

Hippo spotting by the NileIt’s time for another slice of Lomo Love, and this one is all about our recent trip to Uganda. I took my Mini Diana lomography camera along for the trip as it was small enough to carry inside my DSLR camera bag, though I had mixed results with it. These images are a small slice of the holiday, mostly shot on safari and in the country’s capital city, Kampala.

The second roll of film snapped inside the camera after just 19 frames, and there are some dark patches on the film (see photo above) that have left me stumped. Usually if a little light gets into the camera, it over exposes the film, so these dark patches are a mystery to me – if any of you have had similar problems with your Diana, let me know in the comments!

Kampala bus parkBusy Kampala streetKayaking down the NileView from 4x4On safariUganda equator lineElephant in Murchison Falls

Denim on Denim

Topshop shirt OOTDI’ve had a hankering for short sleeved denim shirt ever since I saw my friend Hannah wearing one a few months ago. Hannah and I met at university and she works as a fashion designer in London, so whenever we meet up I’m forever pestering her about where her latest outfit is from. She’s also the reason that I bought these so-wrong-they’re-right shoes.

Anywho, since then I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for a chambray or pale denim shirt and I stumbled across this one in the Topshop sale last month. Depending on which side of the fence you sit, I’ve committed the ultimate offence by pairing it with more denim.

These jeans were a clothes swap find and although I haven’t been converted to wearing jeans 24/7 just yet, they are a nice addition to my wardrobe. The scrunchie was a gift handmade by the lovely Beautiful Plumage, who also took these photos.

The backdrop is a rather fitting piece of graffiti by the artist Inkie, which says ‘Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion’ and lives on the side of a building in Southville. So many people have mentioned it to me since it went up a year or so ago, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in the flesh. I didn’t intend on matching my outfit to the graffiti but I think it just about works.

So what do you think? Would you dare to do double denim?

Short-sleeved denim shirt – Topshop / Indigo jeans – clothes swap / White brogues – Matalan / Scrunchie – c/o Beautiful Plumage

Ship-Shape graffiti

HandM backpackBroken window copyDouble denim OOTDShip-Shape Inkie graffitiShip-Shape and Bristol Fashion OOTDTopshop chambray shirt

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