oh my kale

Monday, 22 September 2014

"To juice or not to juice?"
I half heartedly ponder scrolling through my instagram feed.
Ever the cynic and Kinder Bueno for breakfast eater, there wasn't a single ounce of appeal to a handful of blended kale leaves that I could find.
I searched, I mustered, I sneered at my packet of Quavers, nope - nothing.
"I'll leave it to the food hippies and the experts."
Suddenly it wasn't just the health fanatics drinking their vegetables, it was just about anyone who could afford one of these unspeakably expensive cleanses.
As they flooded my social timelines they also filtered their way into the hands of nearly every pretty 20 something on my commute to work.
'Another fad I'm not buying into' I reasoned, 
until I noticed that waiting in the wings observing these flat stomached fashion editors were teenage girls coveting over the pristine eco-packaging to gain instagram likes quicker than a shopping trip to Celine would and to lose weight fast.

All well and good as a middle class health kick, but what if it was just unnecassarily prying into young minds making them think it was a necessity and not a luxury- a social media prop - a gateway into believing all of your meals should be drinkable, is healthy?
And were there REALLY any health benefits other than weeing every 5 minutes?
Obviously, I had to try it.
I got in touch with the lovely people at FRUVEJU Juice to see if they'd be interested in letting me try one of their cleanses for free (one of the best and most reasonably priced online, I still couldn't afford it myself) and the next day 18 juices arrived at my door.
I was scared, I was unprepared and I was in my pants eating from a carton of leftover chinese.
It was going to go well.

I started the following day and winced at every bottle I opened expecting them all to taste like WholeFoods bin juice, but was desperately surprised when my favourite one was a shade of Kermit the Frog green.
Still denying that Gwyneth Paltrow was lurking somewhere in my second skin, I moaned and contemplated eating my own feet by the time it was lunch.
It got easier and by 11pm I was sat in a bar with friends sipping on a glass of water whilst they finished their 3rd bottle of wine.
Then, something terrible happened.
Truly truly terrible.
I had become so miserable from being hungry that I caved into a glass of wine thinking I deserved it.
One glass lead me to the cheapest drunk I've ever experienced and in turn had to eat an entire Pizza Express order at 3am and Pizza Express aren't even OPEN at that time.
I was a failure.
But there was always day two.
The next two days I managed to stay clean and drink my 6 juices and nothing else, but working 10 hour days and having a healthy social life made it miserable.
These juices would be great if I didn't have to get out of bed for three days.
It really was a new low, I hated everyone around me and contemplated killing just about anyone that tried to cut me up on my commute.
The only good thing that came from starvation was the sparkly glint in other women's eyes on the train at 7:30am who would tilt their pond muck at mine in an early morning cheers.
It was the kind of satisfaction I always dreamt of when the popular girls at school didn't know my name.

In three days, despite the first day slip up, I lost 7lbs and it became terrifyingly easy to see why so many people were using this as a quick weight loss trick.
My stomach was as flat as a pancake, I felt like Karlie Kloss with thighs.
Well, Karlie Kloss with thighs and a chicken nugget problem.

But in all seriousness, these things are to be done carefully.
You don't need to spend £400 for an instagram opportunity when you could just be watching what you put in your body.
Stop drinking Coke and you'll probably notice just as much of a difference in your skin.
Oh my kale, moderation is key.

Falling in Love with East London - Film Photographs

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Where an old city meets the sky it caresses a new London and in between the cobbled streets with two friends I fell in love.
All shot on a Canon AE-1 with Kodak 400 film. 

Tom Thum and Jamie MacDowell

Monday, 8 September 2014

It's a Sunday night and I'm drunk on red wine, by myself.
I say this with no declaration of pride, but instead enveloped by nostalgia.
Two weeks ago I was sat in Edinburgh by myself, on the front row of a show, with a bottle of red wine hidden under my seat.
A year prior, I was in a very similar position, yet that time with company and with fewer expectations.
"I know you love music, so I've sorted out tickets to see this show tonight,"  Jack beamed.
Lost dense in the scenes of a comedy festival, I fizzed with excitement- at last, something I'd understand and would be able to form a real critical review on.
"One of them's a beatboxer."
My heart sunk.
After 15 months of bonding, late night chats, texting and heart to hearts, clearly my best friend didn't know me at all.
"No, give this a chance... you'll love it."
I sat down amidst a roaring crowd, sceptical and a bit peeved. 
I left goose bump ridden and speechless, questioning every ounce of what I knew to be in creativity and artistry. 
A year later, without him, I bought a ticket and watched it again. 

Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum epitomise the talent epidemic that this generation often finds itself on the cusp of, effervescent with passion and untapped skill -  they're still only performing to 200+ with the personal capacity to sell out arenas.
The show rounded to an end and I found myself emotional, a pranging pride and happiness smacked its way at my heart, I was unbearably excited to know this shit still existed, that I could still sit in an intimate venue and walk away with my own personal souvenir, an anecdote that the preponderance of the general public wouldn't have and perhaps a piece of inspired writing that no one else could conjure.

Jamie and Tom are a complete one of a kind, with an anarchic fluency that should make every brotherhood fearful, witty and smart; it's with the most oxymoronic childlike behaviour they pull off one of the more sophisticated and sharp shows I've ever had the pleasure of seeing, three times.
Jamie's wistful words, songwriting so smooth and slick meshed and sifted through Tom's outrageously dexterous demeanour and beatboxing, it all proves flawless. 

Tom and Jamie make me proud as a crowd member, as an acquaintance and as a friend.
I've seen a lot of live music, a lot of live comedy and a lot of live life and none of it quite equates to the experience these guys give. If it's not their inherent, uncontrolled stage presence as friends, it's the showcase of contradictory pieces they throw together in some sort of portfolio patchwork quilt that proves whatever you thought of the music industry and the comedy circuit was so far off the chart.
It's duo's like these that are not only commodities to an industry, but also as people.

Whilst I've written a few, there are no words worthy of these gentleman,
Thank you Jamie and Tom for giving me my spark back.
Fosters are on me next time.

Down and Out in Paris and London - George Orwell

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Six months ago I decided it was beyond ridiculous that I didn't read enough,
so I took on a challenge.
Now, 24 weeks later, I've read just over 27 books.
'Down and Out in Paris and London' is hands down one of the best I've read in a long time.
I am an Orwellian virgin.
Never have I lifted the cover of 'Animal Farm' or perused the pages of '1984', so it's been an absolute pleasure to be introduced to the absolute genius that is George Orwell in one of his most compelling and honest novels.
Semi-autobiographical, it's with a relatively relaxed optimism that George Orwell accounts his life through the twenties.
Roaming through the impoverished Parisian streets, you're thrown in unarmed to bug-ridden bedrooms fit for no more than one despite the six vagrants he usually shares with. 
It's poignant and still incredibly pertinent to the 21st Century, giving an untainted buoyancy despite living very much below the poverty line, Orwell seizes every working opportunity no matter how mundane and every friend no matter how filthy- a rose-coloured introspection on the world he lives in which is often lost in our modern one. It's this insight that helps merge him between being a spectator and participant of the down-and-out ventures as a part-time tramp, constantly pulling you between empathy for his penniless perils and applause for his optimistic omniscience on getting the most from his life despite the minute monetary worth it holds.

A Conscious 'Whats in My Makeup Bag'

Monday, 1 September 2014

"A woman whose smile is open and whose expression is glad has a kind of beauty no matter what she wears" - Anne Raiphe

Hello my name's Charly Cox and I have two massive issues.
1. I am skeptical about the morals and ethics behind beauty blogging.
2. I can't stop buying into it.
I'm scared.

I've grown up furiously taking notes watching beauty vlogs, spending my hard earned cash (and probably my mum's too) on expensive make up that I thought had been kindly explained to me in a multitude of ukelele backed videos.
I like so many others found a safety and solace in knowing these dewy skinned ladies had tried, tested and loved what their sultry soft toned voices were reviewing and I wanted to keep up with them all.
One day I felt a deep pang in my stomach when La Roche Posay Effeclar Duo was out of stock in Boots. 
There's some serious shit going on in the world and I'm curled up in the foetal position down the aisle of a cosmetics store because I can't fight the non existent wrinkles on my face.
That's when I realised I'd been whored out by hauls and needed to rethink. 
Due to the nature of my job and the involvement I've had in the online industry in the last year or so, I've learnt a relatively disgusting amount about the truth behind the products that are being put in the videos we're all quite guilty of religiously transcribing down as though it's a biblical following.
I write this wincing, scared of who I might offend, but in truth this is something that desperately needs to be addressed. 
Most of the products you see are paid placements, some are deals that are signed with brands that can be in excess of £15,000 for a month of agreeing to feature a mascara in each of your posts or videos.
That's serious money.
That's serious money to recommend a product you don't necessarily love, to an increasingly young and self conscious audience.

Needless to say, not every beauty maven is a brand churning devil.
But when do you apply a basic level of social responsibility to not abuse your adoring audience by feeding into their insecurities and bank accounts?
You'd like to think always.

I have halted for so long to show you what's inside my make up bag because it fills me with this fiery discomfort that it might dice and stab a slippery slice of someones insecurity and encourage them to fork out money they could be spending on something much more worthwhile in hope that a side order of being beautiful is served with it.
Just because I put all of this sparkly, pretty shit on my face it's not what makes me beautiful.

You're beautiful without buying the things I've pictured.
But after a chunk of deliberation, a bucket load of requests and what seems like the largest sprinkling of irony I've ever seen- here's what I use to leave the house in the morning without wanting to burst into effervescent tears upon walking past a reflective surface.


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