All artwork featured in this post is by Ayqa Khan. Follow her work here.
Let’s talk about facial hair; in particular, let’s talk about facial hair on women.
Over the weekend, I posted a selfie to Instagram. I was having a good day, trying out some new makeup, and was feeling myself. It occurred to me, after taking a few shots, that my upper lip hair looked more pronounced than usual. Which is not uncommon in the winter months, as that’s generally when I tend to notice my upper lip hair, as there’s not as much sun around to do its natural bleaching.
Okay, I must confess: I may have slightly misled you with a the title. Clickbaited, you could say, in order to entice you into what I have to say. However, it’s a half-truth, and I want to explain why. A fair warning though: it’s about to get super ranty up in here.
It’s not so much that I hate women’s fiction, or ‘chick lit’ as it’s colloquially nicknamed. I have no problem with female-led, romance-driven stories — just that they’ve been given this name that is so looked down upon. ‘Chick lit’ is seen as fluffy and frivolous, not worthy of praise or merit just because its stories predominantly focus on women and their ‘womanly’ problems.
I remember the first time I walked up Paul Street in London, thinking ‘is everyone going to know that I’m about to walk into a gentlemen’s club?’ This time was no different. As rad as a place 23 is, it still felt incredibly risqué to be approaching the infamous house of tease, even if my intentions were innocent. Still, I was very excited to be swallowed up by the gorgeous interiors, and hearing some equally gorgeous women speak about very important matters.
I interrupt this brief blogging silence to bring you this listicle.
Last year for my birthday, I shared 23 life lessons I had learnt from my short time on this earth so far. This year, I’m turning the heat off myself for a second and sharing with you 24 amazing women who’ve all had a part in inspiring me in some way or another.
Quick disclaimer: this list is not exhaustive, and certainly not in any order. Let’s just hope I live til 100 so I can include so many more on this list.
Also, fun game to play as you read along: drink every time you see the word ‘talented’.
“Everyone knows that if you’re born with a vagina, creepy dudes are just a part of the deal.” Denise, Master of None (S1EP7)
A few weeks ago, Vix Meldrew asked the women of Twitter to share stories of being followed or harassed by men. After recently watching Season 2 of Master of None, I’ve been rewatching Season 1 and was reminded of this particular line.
When I was 18, I was at home in Brighton during a uni break. We lived quite centrally, really close to the station, and town was just a stone’s throw away. I was walking home after some drinks with friends – it wasn’t particularly late, maybe 9 or 10pm – and as I was walking down my street, I noticed a guy at the other end coming towards me. No big deal usually. Usually. I was expecting us to just cross paths swiftly, like you would with any other stranger. But literally the millisecond before I turned to walk up the path to my door, he stopped me.