Beautiful films #2: What Even Is Masculine Style Anyway?

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We’re back with the “Beautiful Films” series!

The first one is here, and it’s about Andie Macdowell’s style in Groundhog Day. But today, it’s all about the clothes in some scenes of one of my favorite film of all time, When Harry Met Sally. The little difference is that I’m equally attracted to Meg Ryan’s style as to Billy Crystal’s clothing choices. Because, come on, wasn’t really the case in Groundhog Day.

What I LOVE in this film is that the characters wear my dream wardrobe : oversized clothes, big shirts, large trousers, blazers, sneakers, big chunky knits. Both Harry and Sally do. As a matter of fact, I think my favorite outfit from the film is Harry’s in this picture.

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White trainers, high waisted jeans and a cream jumper. One of my goals in life is to actually own the exact same outfit one day. We all have silly dreams right? Actually no, it’s not silly. It makes me happy just looking at it. I’d add gold hoop earrings like these ones and voilà! I quite like Meg Ryan’s jumper as well, though I don’t really wear skirt but might give it a go this winter… Actually, let’s be real I won’t, but I will sometimes contemplate the idea.

Would it make me less of a woman to wear men’s clothes? What are men’s clothes anyway? Also why do I feel extremely feminine in what one would call “men’s clothes”?

Speaking of skirts, and the fact that I’m way more inclined to wear a man’s outfit judging from this picture reminds me of an anecdote. When I was a kid and would say funny things my mother would write them down. She has a few post-it notes that she has kept with family pictures. One of these notes says :

Elsa, 4 years and one week old (isn’t it annoying when people say, “oh my son? He’s 38 weeks old!” I understand it makes sense when you’re really small, but 4 years and one week old I mean, what even is that? Anyway.) Seeing a lady wearing a suit I said : “I don’t like it, she’s dressed like a dad.

Well, I strongly disagree with my former self. First off, how stereotypical of me. But also I was 4 so… Still it’s interesting. Would it make me less of a woman to wear men’s clothes? What are men’s clothes anyway? Also why do I feel extremely feminine in what one would call “men’s clothes”? I don’t really have answers I’m afraid. What I do know is that I tend to like and appreciate clothes that would potentially be qualified as more “masculine”. Of course Diane Keaton in Woody Allen’s films is a great exemple of that. It definitely inspired me but I can strongly say, it’s not a phase, I’ve been feeling this way for so long, I shop in men’s sections, I’d gladly steal my partner’s wardrobe (he’s so well dressed as well, it’s almost annoying how chic he is), and when I watch Seinfeld though I find Elaine’s wardrobe interesting, I’m drawn to Jerry’s.

I think it partially has to do with comfort. In fact, I touched on that before.

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On an other note, this cream sweater is perfection and it’s very 2018 if I do say so myself. So in this picture, I’d wear Sally’s outfit. I’d quite like to get myself a similar item for this winter.

You know how sometimes a film is just so damn perfect, you feel sad just thinking what the (your?) world would be without it? Right. Not only the story and dialogues of When Harry Met Sally are phenomenal but the styling is very inspiring and timeless.

Do you come back to a specific film for style inspiration? Did you understand my rambling paragraph about masculine style?

Share your thoughts people!

“Following” These People Won’t Kill Your Vibe : The Podcast Edition.

So, you know by now that I’ve had a Social Media clear out and a little bit of a rant about self-help content. Today I would like to share with you the content I consume that I have found to be truly inspiring and mood lifting! The weekend is getting closer and I know that’s usually when I get the time to catch up on Podcasts, articles etc. But it’s also when I’m often the most vulnerable and therefore tend to compare myself to others. “I did not buy flowers this weekend, why is everyone else getting flowers and hanging around at lovely markets? I did not go out this Sunday, am I a failure? Why is everyone traveling so much, should I travel more? I really fancy junk food tonight, but should I have cooked something  yummy last week so that I only have to re-heat it now and feel great about myself?  

Sounds familiar?

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Right. Like I said in the title, these people won’t kill your vibe. This week I’m focusing on Podcasts because let’s be honest, I listen to at least one podcast a day, so it’s fair to say I’ve tried and tested a lot of them.

First off, Jules and Sarah The Podcast is probably one of the best piece of content I’ve come across to in the past few years really. It’s funny, heart-warming, inspiring, mood-lifting. Basically the idea is “ Two northerners Sarah and Jules now reside in hectic busy London. Together they waffle about cheese, festive shreds, news from the north and other such wondrous “life changing” information.

Jules is a global celebrity spray tan artist and now has his own Colour Correcting Self Tan brand, Isle of Paradise, and Sarah used to do radio, is a wedding celebrant and has just launched her new project based around the idea of celebrating yourself. They’re both wonderful and I feel like they’re my friends. Sarah’s Instagram stories are my favorite by far, and Jules’s positive thoughts are the best. Massive BABES, biggest crush of the year. It’s on every Friday, go listen!!

Quite a recent interesting discovery is Couples Therapy by Candice and Casey Neistat. It’s exactly what the title suggests. Casey Neistat is film maker extremely popular on Youtube and Candice Pool Neistat is the founder of the jewelry brand Billy and also runs Finn jewelry. They discuss the ups and downs of their marriage, friendship, parenting, and lives in the YouTube spotlight. It’s quite raw and intimate : sometimes makes me uncomfortable, often makes me laugh. It basically makes me reconsider and rethink the notion of couple and relationships which is worth it in my opinion.

Next up is My Dad Wrote a Porno. I’ve already talked about it a few months ago, and I stayed subscribed to it after my clear-out simply because it still makes me laugh out loud on the street which still isn’t my best look but I could not care less. The pitch is “Imagine if your Dad wrote a dirty book. Most people would try to ignore it and pretend it had never happened – but not Jamie Morton. Instead, he’s decided to read it to the world in this brand new comedy podcast. With the help of his friends, James Cooper and Alice Levine, Jamie will be reading a chapter a week and discovering more about his father than he ever bargained for.” Just give it a go, you will not regret it!

My last recommandation is The High Low by Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton. It’s about worldwide news and pop-culture so I find I have to be in the right mindset for it. It’s super smart, I love how Pandora and Dolly both bring their own twist and point of view on cultural news. They often tell the audience about the books they’ve been reading which always makes me want to read more. They’re simply amazing storytellers. It’s also funny sometimes and always enlightening. Great for Saturday mornings!

Next week will be “Following” These People Won’t Kill Your Vibe : The Instagram Edition.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll have a good, relaxing, non-triggering weekend! And if you need a bit of cheering up, I promise these podcasts will help.

The Day “Self-Help Content” Stopped Helping Me

The other day I told my partner, “I’ve heard something on this podcast that really made me think. It goes ” The only difference between you and the people who are successful, is that they’re doing it, you’re not“”. Well, something along those lines anyway. He looked at me and said, “Yeah (sigh), I don’t really connect to that, I mean, this kind of stuff just goes without saying. What’s the point of that kind of affirmation anyway?

I thought he had a point, but to be honest I also thought, because he doesn’t have Instagram or listen to podcasts, “Well, he doesn’t really get it, he’s not familiar with that kind of content. He might see it from a, not hostile per say but “meh” point of view.

A few days later, I heard the exact same sentence on another podcast, and for some reason, it made me feel really angry. I don’t know if I was angry at myself, or the type of content I ingest, or both, but I decided it was all a bit too much. What was? All the “self-help” content I listened to, watched, read about.

*When I talk about self-help here, I know the term probably is too vast, and a business podcast for instance might not be considered like self-help content, but basically to me it means, any content related to how to improve your life, be successful, be better at communicating, be confident etc. Hope it’s clear!

It started with a few success stories about people making it. It would usually go like this “I started from nothing, worked my ass off before and after going to my everyday job, and after a lot of hard work, not seeing my friends, or family because of the amount of work I was dedicated to throw myself into, it finally…worked. See what I did there?

Then I started to see people on Instagram telling their audience, “I know I posted this amazing photo of me on holidays looking glowy and all but just know that right now, I look and/or feel like shit.

I could not stop consuming stories about entrepreneurs, content creators, self-help book writers, people who inspired me. And, don’t get me wrong, some of them still do BUT, we’ll come onto that later.

Then followed, videos, TED talks, articles, Linkedin posts. They were all about the same idea, turned into a statement: you are responsible for your own happiness. Which, let’s be REAL, and nuanced, is so simplistic and just not true. It simply doesn’t take into account, culture, social background, education, life shit, anything. It’s an affirmation making you responsible for your own happiness but it sort of means that, if you’re not happy, well, guess what? That’s on you as well.

Then I started to see people on Instagram telling their audience, “I know I posted this amazing photo of me on holidays looking glowy and all but just know that right now, I look and/or feel like shit.” And everytime I saw that kind of post I thought, “Ok, then Why would you post that amazing looking picture of you in the first place? And then remind us that, hey, it’s not real life folks, don’t forget!” Some say, “I want my account to be positive, I want to spread joy”, etc. Which is a nice thought. Yet, they must be aware that this type of content does not have that much of a positive impact on people if they keep having to apologize for it, or deconstruct the images they put on Social Media for the sake of being honest and more transparent, right?

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It all started to make me feel dizzy, guilty and worst of all, small. I remember walking around in my flat, cleaning or folding my clothes away, listening to this podcast and hearing for the second time in a few days : “The only difference between you and the people who are successful, is that they’re doing it, you’re not“.

I stopped doing what I was doing, and said out loud, “Stop. This had to stop“.

I don’t want to meditate, or maybe I do, but ultimately, do I want to hear about other people LOVING it all the time?

Consuming all this so called “self-help” content was not helping me at all. Years ago I’d be excited about it, it felt really new and full of hope, and I guess in a way, it was really new and full of hope, and probably necessary as well. However that day, I thought, ” Too much “self-help” content is eventually going to fuck me up.

I don’t even think I want to be an entrepreneur. I don’t like to fake it until I make it. I don’t think it’s easier to give up than to pursue your dreams, it’s way more complicated. I don’t like making lists, I always loose them or if I don’t, I forget to tick the boxes. I don’t even like baths and candles, it’s so boring it does not help me to reset at all. I don’t want to meditate, or maybe I do, but ultimately, do I want to hear about other people LOVING it all the time?

I miss raw content, unedited honesty. I miss real life stories. You might argue that culture, online content should or could, amongst other things, make us dream. And I agree. The thing is what I was consuming was not making me dream anymore. Because you know what makes me dream? Real life. With its flaws, errors, misundersantings, wobbles, failures, successes, joys, hopes. All of it. I’m sick of the edited version. I don’t love the word authenticity but I’m going to be crazy and say that, I want more of it.

I want the good, the bad and the ugly.

This post is a bit rambly. You might disagree or think it’s just another rant against society, consumerism, social media, and it might as well be. Oh also, I’m well aware I might be contributing to that, yet aren’t we all? I’m not sitting here judging everyone, I’m just being honest.  Anyway, I’m now choosing very carefully what I watch, read, listen to “self-help” wise, and I’ll share it with you soon. I touched on that a few months ago, and I’ve already done a bit of clear out this summer. But it’s not over.

What do you think about all this? Do you feel the same or not at all?

This space is called Le Beauty Journal and I like to think beautiful things in life can be rough, raw and real. Same goes for happiness and success. Failures and disappointments. We’re just doing our best. Don’t you think we might need less “self-help” if we could just help each other?

It’s the little things you know.

Why Should Our Eyelashes Be Dark And Long And Our Body Hair Non-existent?

The other day, I was having my legs waxed, and because I find it boring and painful, I started a conversation with the beautician, and the subject was, as it often is, the tyranny of hairless legs. She said, “that’s very true, men don’t have to go through it. I wonder why, it’s so unfair. But I have to say it looks prettier and certainly feels cleaner when your legs are waxed.” I raised an eyebrow. I think I get to hear this sentence every single time I go to the beautician. No it’s not cleaner and why would we look better without it? Isn’t it the most natural state of the body? Also, why the fuck should we always smile and be pretty?

Now, I’m not blaming my beautician. I’m not blaming anyone really. It just makes me really angry to think that female body hair are so stigmatized. Also, to be contradictory because hey, I’m human, I wax and shave and epilate. All of these. And I hate it. But I do like how it looks. So you won’t find any definitive statement about body hair here, just a reflexion on this very summery subject, that I’m forced to face, only wanting to wear dresses and skirts because of the heatwave we’ve been having.

My mum doesn’t have any body hair really, and is a little bit proud about it, which really did not help when as a teen, I had to use Jolen cream on my mustache to dye it blond.

Today, I read a great article on Man Repeller written by Haley Nahman, the piece is titled, “4 Women on Loving and Growing Their Body Hair“. It’s a brilliant conversation, and definitely made me think, yet again, about how absurd having to shave/wax/epilate all the hair on our bodies is. One of the women being interviewed said something that stuck with me, “Your hair is who you come from, just like your eyes, lips and teeth. I love that. When I think about my bush, I think of bodies in the wilderness; we grow a natural blanket of protection.

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This really added a new perspective on my morning which I’ve spent exfoliating and shaving because I’m going away this weekend. Truth be told, when I read the article and scrolled down to see the pictures of hairy women, I was like ” hum, that’s a bit intense isn’t it? Oh wow, that’s how some women look with hair on their legs“. Because you know what? I’ve only, once in my lifetime, seen a woman sporting hair on her legs. I was in SF for a work trip, and this lady on the bus had a gorgeous dress and super long dark legs hair. Isn’t it crazy that it was the first time I’d seen hair on a woman’s legs?

My mum doesn’t have any body hair really, and is a little bit proud about it, which really did not help when as a teen, I had to use Jolen cream on my mustache to dye it blond. I was so envious of her and so self-conscious about my body hair. Though to be fair, she did tried her best to help me out you know, with dealing with those unwanted hair. I think I first got my legs waxed at 13 because she did not want me to shave, and told me that if I kept on waxing, I’d have way less hair as an adult. Of course, one summer, tired of having to watch my hair grow enough so I could get them waxed, I got my first razor, and the rest is history.

Boys definitely did not help with the body hair and stache situation. I grew up in the 90’s, I don’t think it got better, and have no idea how kids deal with it nowadays. But back in the days, it was very painful, and it has ruined the “already-not-that-high” self confidence I had. I’m actually so thankful for beauty bloggers who speak out about how they get rid of their body hair, and also thankful for this article on Man Repeller. You do you, for sure. I believe it’s brave in a way to let your hair go au naturel. I certainly don’t feel like I could do it anytime soon. Yet this article really made me think about the endless conversations about body hair with my beautician, my sisters, my friends… And after reading it, and reminiscing all the hair removal questions that I had when I was a kid, and all the shaming there is around body hair, I kept thinking : “Why should our eyelashes be dark and long and our body hair non-existent?

On that topic, I’d recommend you read Haley Nahman’s article, and read Man Repeller all together because it’s a super smart website. Nadine Baggott and Emma Guns did a good video about hair removal if you feel like you need advice in that department, oh and this conversation on, you guessed it, Man Repeller, is super interesting as well.

Anyway, no real answers but a lot of questions, thank me later right? I’d love to know what you think about this topic though!