What your [blank] says about you

As a human being there are millions of factors that have contributed to what makes me me – both genetic and that of outside influence. I think we could all agree on this, right?

In this age of rife narcissism it seems that people require more and more frequent verification of their status as a human being. I often stumble on empty articles that are titled ‘What your hairstyle says about your personality’ and ‘What your best sex position is according to your zodiac sign’. Now, most people that know me would call me a cynic, but to me this is just obvious bullshit, no?

How can me wearing a low pony or a tight bun determine my personality and tell you whether I am more of a Blake Lively or an Ariana Grande? The abundance of these articles tell me there must be an easily influenced audience for such crap. It tells me, and this is solely my opinion, about the need for confirmation that young girls are just as good as the celebrities they admire, that they too have this so called ‘star quality’.

Is this a dumbed down psychology for the masses? I don’t fully understand the purpose of these articles, maybe I am wrong on their audience. Any enlightenment would be appreciated.

Reading Ladies

Although not terribly late in the year, I am proud to say that my New Year Resolution is still in tact and growing stronger by the book – I didn’t choose to quit smoking (though I will one day soon), I most definitely couldn’t make it through January dry and the thought of joining a gym fills me fear and self-consciousness induced mild panic. Instead I resolved to read, not just to read more but read female.

I thought of my previous years literature and realised that the majority of it was written by male authors. My thoughts moved then to wondering which female authors I had a read as an adult, I knew many names but had not really delved into their books. As a child and teenager I had got the most joy from books by female authors – from the heart breaking stories in Marita Conlon-McKenna’s Children of the Famine trilogy, Jacqueline Wilson’s tumultuous family tales to Louise Rennison making my sides split with the teen tales of Georgia Nicolson and her really big knickers. I knew for sure then that this was my year for female literature.

I wouldn’t claim to be the best read person around by a long shot but it was while I was compiling my reading list that I realised how much I had been missing out on. Never had I intentionally avoided female writers, it is just the way it worked out – I can’t blame any outside influences either, I don’t think at least. Over the years, however, I have identified more and more with the feminist movement and was quite disgraced with myself by how little one of my biggest passions, reading, had taken this on board when it seemed such an obvious thing.

Anyway, so far I have read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Tar Baby by Toni Morrison and am about to embark on some Virginia Woolf.

I have a extensive list but suggestions would be welcomed!

KardashianBlocker Anyone?

After having spent the day preaching Maya Angelou poems to my students on International Women’s Day I had positive vibes flying around me. They had been engaged, they had been interested and above all they had something to say on the matter – which isn’t always the case.

My mood has managed to take a dive though. Whilst scrolling through Facebook I was confronted by yet another picture of a Kardashian. Another nude photo. Another argument on Twitter. And for me another eye roll. This time however, I genuinely felt dispirited. I have spoken today of inspirational women, of women that have achieved something great, of women who stood for something worthwhile and yet this click-bait is what is the most read.

I have never understood the phenomenon, I never will. Reality TV has never floated my boat but I know plenty of people that watch it. To me it is bizarre that a large percentage of earth actually gives a shit about this family, they actually give a shit about their actual shit?

I think I’ve waited long enough for their popularity to fade but it doesn’t appear to be happening – my question now is how can I erase them from my line of vision? We have access to Ad Blockers – is there no such invention as a Kardashian Blocker? Please world, I know I don’t stand alone in this, please help!