5 problematic aspects about himym

Hi guys 🙂

I’m doing this course about Sitcoms at Uni and have to do an assignment about a topic I can choose, so I thought : Hey I can write something about How I met your mother, I know it by heart anyway. And this is not an exaggeration I quote it all the time and always assume everyone knows what I’m talking about. Which most of the time people don’t because they have a life and have other things to remember than what Lily said that one time in season 4 episode 11, 12:38 min. So while thinking about what aspect I could write about I realized one thing, I had never noticed before: Himym sometimes is super problematic. I only realized that now because when I started watching it I was 15 maybe and not that socially aware and since then I got so used to everything in the series that I just accepted it without really thinking about it. So here are 5 aspects that are especially problematic.

  1. Bodyshaming

Bodyshaming is a huge problem in the media as we all know and looking at Himym, they do it as well. The woman they all date are always super, super skinny and especially Barney mentions all the time how he would never have Sex with a “fat“woman. Bigger girls appear for the sole reason to be made fun of. Let’s take Patrice for example.She just wants to be Robin’s friend, but is treated as if she’s not good enough. She’s actually a super sweet, friendly character, but is constantly portraied as annoying, too loud, too chatty and to clingy. Some of these character traits are often associated with chubbier women.

 

  1. Everyone is white

As you might know the series takes place in New York City. THE New York City. In the USA. Where people of all origins and skintones live. At least in reality. Not in Himym though. While in reality around 30% of NYC inhabitants is white, 25% black and 23% hispanic, you don’t see any of this diversity in the series. While there are some hispanic characters ( mostly women, who are sexualized though) they don’t have any leading roles. Black people almost don’t appear at all, except for Barney’s brother, but you get the feeling that’s only for the sake of a good joke. Also Poc are often stereotyped, for example Asians who have unpronounceable names and only work in sushi shops. We have the 2000s there should be more diversity.

  1. Homosexuality

Yeah there are actually homosexuals, which is good and I like the way how normal it’s treated that Barney’s brother James gets married to a man and they have a happy family and same for Cindy, “The mother’s“ flatmate. Still there is some pretty bad stereotyping going on. Most of the time the gay men are super feminine and super exaggerated. They fit the cliche: Super high, annoying laughter, fashion victim, only hang around in gay bars and drink pink cocktails. Also they hit on the straight maine characters all the time. Like they would do that if they clearly see, they have a girlfriend. I just wish there were more gay men who were portrayed normal and not just there to be laughed at. Lesbians are almost always the really masculine, short haired, don’t care much about hygiene types, for example Robin’s doppelganger or when Barney dresses up as a lesbian. On the other hand there are sexualized, especially by Marshall who gets super turned on by two women getting intimate. Any other sexualities aren’t a thing at all.

  1. Barney Fuckboy Stinson

First of all I love Neil Patrick Harris and the way he plays Barney. He’s a genius comedian. Barney should be more like NPH, so he wouldn’t be as problematic. But lets face it: he isn’t at all. It’s mostly the way he treats women. They’re not humans to him, more like objects he can have fun with and then throw away. He lies and tricks women into sleeping with him and throughout the season you really see him treat them in the most respectless ways. He even wrote a book about his tricks, the playbook. And of course he doesn’t take no for an answer. In one episode he says “Barney Stinson always gets the yes.“ Ever heard about No means No ? Obviously not. But hey it’s all cool, it’s all fun and games, because how great is it to have slept with so many women ? You’re the hero. At least if you’re a dude. Don’t get me wrong I don’t judge anyone for having a lot of sexpartners, if you treat them with respect. If you treat them like something you use for your own benefit and then throw away, yes, then you definitely deserve to be judged.

  1. Women

Sooo here we go probably the biggest point, but I’ll try to keep it short. Well first of all apparently women are super stupid. I’m talking about Barney’s sexpartners, who just believe every freaking unbelievable story he tells them. No woman is that naive and I’m also pretty sure most woman just hang around in bars and wait for the next guy who offers them to have sex with him. Then there’s Lily. Most of the time the way she’s portrayed is fine, she’s cool and follows her career despite having children. There’s one episode though, when she’s pregnant, she becomes totally stupid and can’t get anything right. Well it’s new to me that pregnant women lose their brain. Then we have Robin. Robin is the “cool“, career woman, who doesn’t show feelings and likes stuff lots of men like. Apparently because of that she’s the ultimate woman. For not being that feminine. It’s absolutely fine to be like that, but they shouldn’t have portrayed it as if a woman is better if she’s less of a „typical female“, because by praising her they’re putting femininity down in the progress.

I still love Himym and I will still quote it and watch it and laugh about it. It’s super funny and there are lots of heartwarming moments, but I will criticise it and keep in mind that it isn’t perfect and has problematic aspects. Most programs do, that doesn’t mean you have to stop watching it, but remember to reflect it critically.

Have a lovely rest of the day xx

Alli xx

Pic Sources: http://www.unabhaengige-tester.de/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/how-i-met-your-mother-banner1.png

http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/barney-stinson/images/23591227/title/barney-james-fanart

http://de.how-i-met-your-mother.wikia.com/wiki/Das_Playbook

 

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YouTuber of the month: June ’16

This month my obsession is quite clear to me and some of you might wonder about it. When it comes to YouTube and me I quite enjoy all kind of YouTube videos and channels and if you know me a little bit by now this months favourite shouldn’t be a surprise to you. But enough talking, first things first let me tell you whom I loving: Sorted aka SortedFood.

Let me tell you about them. Sorted is a British food channel. The founder and the ones who are in front of the camera are Ben (the chef), Mike, Barry and Jamie.

They’re old school mates and after they graduated they all went into different directions but eventually came together again to start their channel ‘Sorted’ in May 2010 (yes I know they had a channel before this one, but I’m only talking about Sorted for now). Since the channel started Ben tries, sometimes more sometimes less successful, to teach the other 3 how to cook and bake mostly with easy recipes. At this point it also has to be pointed out that they actually learnt things in comparison to when they started, so good job Ben :). They post 3 videos per week and they’re probably most known for their Fridgecam which comes out every Sunday at 10am GMT. Fridgecam is created as kinda a vlog for Sorted. In this series they cook something/do challenges or whatever, but also explain what went on on their channel and also Website plus they do a comment of the week (Shout out to James at this point!! ;)). Comment of the week is quite an important part because there they obviously pick a comment of one of their videos which they especially liked and react to it. In their videos tha’st kinda their interaction with their audience but beside of that they’re also known for interaction in the comment section quite a lot with their viewers. They also made their own website which is basically a big community where you can get recipes from, upload recipes, photos of food, interact with each other, read things the Sorted team has posted to a certain topic or simply get the recipes they did in one of their videos. When I look for a recipe SortedFood.com is honestly one of the first addresses I go to. Because of the many videos Sorted have done already plus the whole Community there is most certainly a recipe for what you’re looking for.

But back to YouTube, the reason why I love their videos so much, is because they make cooking videos super funny and also kinda interesting when Ben has one of his geeky moments again. Also because all of them are so different in personalities which makes the whole concept super fun. Although Ben always gets bullied because of his geekyness (is this even a word? :D) and because of his red shorts (yes, you read right, but everybody has their own fashion style, right?! :P). A major point is also that they make cooking (seem) easy and they try to come up with easy recipes, also easy to cook yourself recipes which try to be also on the trends which goes around. They do not only cook but also do challenges or trips which have to do with food. So once they did a ‘Lost and Hungry’ tour all around America and showed the different food in the USA. But they also did like a series where they had a camping trip and showed food which you can do there, or they do challenges like a recent video of theirs where they tried to show how you can make food taste better, or one of their epic food battles where Barry, Mike and Jamie have to come up with a recipe to a certain topic and than cook it in kinda of a cook-off and then the viewers can decide who won in the comments, or they had a series which called ‘Big night in’ and they shared food which you easily can do when you invite some friends over (to be honest still my fav series and I wish they would bring it back! ;)), or they did eye candy or what not. You see the list is almost endless and you definitely can find something which interests you.

I honestly could write down an endless list why I love their channel and everything they do, have I mentioned that they also have brought out cookbooks? No, okay they also do cookbooks which to be honest I like to have every single one of. I might need to start saving for them now! But anyhow, what was I writing about? Ah yeah, why I love them. So yeah I love their videos and blog and basically everything that has to do with them. On this note, they also do cooking equipment which considering I have my own kitchen now, I should get everything from, okay, another reason I should save money! Sorry, I go carried away once again, but you see I really love their videos and I probably have watched every single one at least twice. To be fair I reckon it has been like 5 times or even more, so I basically should be a female version of Ben by now but sadly I’m still a cheap version of Barry, Mike or Jamie.

So if you like cooking videos, or you’re looking for a new recipe or just would like to check them out I can only advise you to go to their channel and website and I promise you, you won’t be disappointed. Once you’re caught in the spiral of Sorted it isn’t easy to leave these 4 individuals again! 😉

 

Places to find them:

YouTube

Website

Twitter

Instgram

Tumblr

Facebook

 

Picture Source

A letter to the UK

Dear UK,
First I want to say I love you. You have become my home over the past three years and there hasn’t been one second where I didn’t feel at home. I love the culture, the people, the language, the landscapes, the cities and I could go on and on about all the things that make me love you so much.
Now that the referendum is through and there is a chance that our joint life, as I am an EU citizen, will get more harder because some people thought it was a good idea to make an internal power struggle into a country wide referendum, that then turned into a referendum about the general political structure rather than the actual question of the membership of the EU. But what I want you to know is that I don’t love you any less.
You are my home and the place where my heart is and slowly I am starting to get over the feeling of being absolutely devastated over the result of the referendum, because I have come to a realization:
I will not be defeated by an older generation that is trying to prove a point and that lives in a world where you can simply turn back time and have everything the way you had many years before.
My dream is to finish my bachelors degree in Scotland and then to get a Masters degree in either Scotland or England and then hopefully move back to London and get a job somewhere. I know people with similar hopes and dreams and a referendum decided by previous generations should not stop us and won’t do so. I, with this, apologize to your older inhabitants, but we have grown up in a world with less borders and we are not going to accept the building of new ones.
My dad told me today that I should take my youth, my degree and my lucky status of living in places, where you can express your opinion and can change things, to do just that: try to change things.
I know I am just a small person in a huge world but if our generation starts sticking together and starts to voice our opinion, wishes and needs MORE LOUDLY to previous generations, we will get the chance to live in the world we imagine ourselves to live in, whatever that may be in a specific sense, one day.
But above else what we, young people all around the globe need to take from this that WE NEED TO VOTE AND MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD. We need to show the world that we are not an ignorant, only with celebrities obsessed, internet generation, but need to show that one thing that we learned from and through the internet is TOLERANCE, ACCEPTANCE, AND THAT WE ARE NOT ALONE WITH OUR HOPES, DREAMS, and WORRIES. We are probably more united online than many countries are, for example currently you my dear UK. Yes we may fight sometimes, but that happens no matter where you go, but we are also able to spread AWARENESS, SHARE INFORMATION and LOVE more easily. Look at the huge LGBTQ+ movements that are such a huge part of our internet community, look at the support we show to people we people we believe in, yes even if it’s ‘just’ a musician, look at the support on, for example, Tumblr regarding mental health issues. We are there for each other.
When people call us uninformed, they should check out the amounts of information that will be found out in, for example, the One Direction Fandom, within seconds. We can and will do the same about politicians, their policies and current events.
Dear UK, we are a generation that will prove your older generations, and other people all across Europe and the world, wrong, we will find a way to stay connected and to tear down the newly formed borders again, because WE MATTER and our voices and opinions MATTER. We will make our lives COUNT. We will show everyone that we are all EUROPEAN and GLOBAL citizens that will work together to make our future better and brighter. We will fight for our hopes and dreams, we will fight for our opportunities and we will not back down. We will live our lives the way we want it to and we consider to be right for our time. We will find a way to leave our mark on the world and hopefully, dear UK, we will find a way to learn from your mistakes and we will find a way to be closer to each other and to be less divided than you currently is. And most of all I hope that one day future generations will not go through the same struggle of having to tell my generation, that we messed up their future.
I am looking forward to return to you and to figure out a way that we can continue to live together.
I love you, my dear UK.
Katie

[Picture Source]

How to deal with school/uni stress

We’ve all been there, exam period is right around the corner and we should actually study but instead we’re re-watching all of the Games of Thrones episodes or we’re trapped in the big dark holes of YouTube or Tumblr. And let’s face it everything is more interesting than learning about how you multiply pi to sin to tan to whatever or that Napoleon was once attracted to rabbits (this is actually a real fact, not just made up by me!!!). So there is this one time, where you realize you kinda fucked up and you should really study and you get stressed. Or unlike me you’re super organized (hands down to you!) and you actually started revising early enough but still get stressed because you trapped inside studying whilst the sun outside is shinning. So for that case, here are a few tips I like to do when, once again, I’m getting stressed.

1. Do some exercise

I know, I know this might sound stupid, but think about it. All day long you have been locked up behind a screen, a desk or in the library and there’s nothing more satisfying than do some exercise at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter if you train for your next marathon, go to your local gym, go to the pool, take any lessons in yoga, zumba, pilates or whatever floats your boat or you go on a lovely walk with a friend or just on your own with some music. Just do whatever feels best for you, the important thing is to get outside and enjoy yourself for a certain amount of time. You’ll see you’ll feel better afterwards.

Sure you exercised your brain the whole day but your body needs it as much as your brain does. Your body even needs exercise that your brain can fully work!

2. Snacks

I don’t know about you but when I study for a subject I always need some sweets so I can concentrate. I think it’s no news to you that sweets are actually quite bad for yourself. So what I like to do is to grab some fruits, cut them into bit size bits, put them into a bowl and use that as my substitute for sweets. It works just as well as any sweets does and it even is good for you. Once I watched football with my brother I even discovered that mini carrots are a great alternative as well. Next time try and snack on them or on fruit and you’ll see your brain needs to munch on anything to concentrate better, doesn’t matter if that’s fruit, vegs or sweets.

3. Drink enough liquids

Going hand in hand with the snacks, to drink enough is super important when you’re using your brain. Your brain can only totally function when it has enough liquid and you’ll see if it hasn’t you can’t concentrate as much plus not as long as when you drank enough. If you’re like me and you never drink enough just make drinking part of a game. Take a big glass, fill it up and tell yourself that you have to finish it by the end of the page or until the end of the subject. You also can take water and put in any flavour you like. So for example but in some sliced lemon or frozen berries or mint with a bit of celery and ginger, tastes super nice and makes you drink way more than just plain water.

4. Rewards

Always give yourself some rewards so you actually are studying or if you have to learn stupid, boring things you couldn’t care less about, so you actually manage to make it through. Tell yourself that once you learnt two pages you get another piece of fruit, when you finished the next chapter of reading and writing down the important fact you can go to your phone for 10 minutes (we all know this is a dangerous reward but set yourself a timer and actually stop after 10 min) or once you learnt the next 20 French vocab you can go outside and lay in the sun getting an amazing tan. You need to find something you can look forward, make you actually study so you can get though all of it but it isn’t something that you rush studying and in the end you did learn nothing at all.

5. Learn pattern

For me it’s always super helpful if I have a plan how my day is structured and I study on certain times. So for example before I actually start with studying I make myself a list with what subject I study for at which day and when my exams are. So I know that for example on Monday I have to study for Maths and English, on Tuesday I go over everything I studied on Monday (repeating everything is super important, that’s how your brain can remember things!) and than I study for History and RE, on Wednesday I go over all the things from Monday again so I make sure I really know these things now, repeat everything from Tuesday again and than I study for Maths and French. And so on. For me it’s also extremely important to know when I have to sit down and do things and when I have free time. So I get up at 8am get ready and have breakfast until 9am, then I study until lunchtime (around 1pm or 2pm, depending on how far I came) and then study for around another 2 hours and I’m off for the day. It’s important that you don’t try to learn too much on one day and you have little breaks in between or you and your brain will go mad after a while (believe me I had this occasions a few times ;)).

6. Free time

As you can see my ‘studying day’ finishes at around 3 or 4pm which is actually quite early for some people but if you think realistically it isn’t. You studied for around 6 hours and honestly your brain couldn’t handle more than that. Beside of studying you also need to make sure you have enough time to see your friends, do all you hobbies and just relax for a bit. It doesn’t help you nor your concentration level if you try to study for like 10 hours straight without giving yourself some breaks or some free time. In this time you need to do fun stuff and things you enjoy so you can really efficiently study. It really doesn’t help you if you totally forget your friends in this time or you neglect all of your interests. Surely studying is important to get good grades which are important to get a good you or be able to go to uni or whatever but going totally mad because of learning isn’t helping you either and also not your friends if they feel left out or ignored. It’s important to find a good balance for yourself.

7. Music and dance breaks

When you have your little breaks in between learning I can only advise to grab your iPod, your phone, laptop or whatever turn on some music (preferably extremely loud of course) and dance around in your room and sing along to it. This will help you to forget the stupid maths exercise you can’t solve or the stupid French vocab you just can’t remember. Give yourself a break, do a bit of physical exercise and also do something you like for 10 minutes and let’s be real here, everybody likes to turn on some music and dance around like a crazy person it’s just therapeutic.

8. Relax

Once you studied all day and your head feels like it’s going to explode, just relax. Proper pamper yourself. Get everything together, have a bath, put on a face mask, play some relaxing music, light some candles, put on a hair mask or whatever you like to do when you pamper yourself. Have some me-time. This is as important as studying and seeing your friends and family. Just fully calm down and forget the madness of your life for a few minutes.

9. Grades aren’t everything

Yes, everybody always talked about that grades are super important and you need good grades to get a good job and get into a good university and life is about learning and be the best and blahblahblah. Honestly it isn’t. Sure if you want to go to University you need good grades and everything but it never should take over your life completely because this way you do not learn efficiently and probably lose all of your friends. And those are as important as grades. Once you’re in University you soon will find out that everything is different anyway. Of course having good marks is still important and obviously you want to have good marks because you (hopefully) studying something you are interested in, but here you also realize that having connections and internships and stuff like this is as important as marks.

So relax, no mark can ever define who you are and never will. Studying is of course important but it isn’t the end of the world if you’re also having fun in the time you have to learn all these stupid things you probably will never ever use again in your life.

So I’m off now finishing binge watching all of the videos of my YouTuber fav of this Wednesday (stay tuned for who it is ;)) and think about how I will survive my exam on next Wednesday, tomorrow.

Lots of love,

Jenny xxx

Picture Source

Katie’s #Girl Boss – Gabby Douglas

How often are girls told that you can’t be sporty and be gracious and girly at the same time? How often are girls with more muscles looked at weirdly? I have friends who stopped the sports they loved because they shoulders were getting broad or their thighs too big. To be honest for someone who has always loved her sport and learned a lot of things from it, especially how to be confident, I find these things irritating and frustrating. Because of that I wanted to chose a #GirlBoss who is also a kickass athlete. That’s why I chose Gabby Douglas. She is an American gymnast and she was at 16 the first African- American woman and the first woman of colour of any nationality to win an individual all-around gold medal. Besides that she is also the first American woman ever to win the individual and the team competition in the same Olympics. This is all incredible. Also she wants to be the first American to defend her title in the upcoming Olympics in Rio. Now some may say that gymnastics isn’t a real sport, but if you do please imagine me raising my eyebrows now. According to totalsportsek.com  it is the 4th most challenging sport in the world and they describe it as follows: ” Gymnastics has many forms when it comes to Olympic games and all of them require greater physical fitness and reflexes combine with balance and mental strength like focus to endure difficult body maneuver with grace and control.” So yeah it is a real sport and it is demanding and it looks pretty badass as well.

article-2182780-1459b781000005dc-135_964x684[Picture Source]

So back to Gabby. She was pretty much raised by a single mum and she was the youngest of four siblings. There was never a lot of money around, so Gabby couldn’t start formal training until she was 6 years old, which for gymnastics, is quite old to start. But up until that moment, her sister who had previously done gymnastics had taught Gabby everything she knew and little Gabby went even further and taught herself how to do one handed cartwheels.

She started competing and did well in competitions all over the country. At age 15, she decided that she wanted to train under the coach Liang Chow, who had trained previous Olympic Champion Shawn Johnson. This swapping of trainers required her to move away from her family in Virginia Beach, Virginia to West Des Moines, Iowa and to live with a host family as it was not possible for her family to move with her.

Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards 2014  - Red Carpet[Picture Source]

From there on she took part in many and various competitions all leading up to the Olympics 2012 in London, where she broke many records when being only 16 years old. Now with the ones in Rio coming up she is going to be someone everyone else has to look out for.

My reason for picking Gabby was initially that I wanted someone who is sporty and while researching I fell in love with her story. She shows that your biggest dreams come true, but her story also shows that it won’t happen when you sit in your room waiting and hoping that something will happen. She shows us that you have to work for your dream and that talent alone is simply not enough for you to reach your dream. Her moving away from her family, who mean the world to her, to chase her dream also shows that sometimes to reach our goals we have to make hard decisions, but yeah nothing in life comes easy and if you really want something you have to fight for it.

gabby-douglas[Picture Source]

If you want to know more details about her here is the link to her website  and check out the film about her on netflix, which I found while doing my research and absolutely loved. One thing I took away from the film was the fact that her family had a vision/dream board at home, making their hopes and dreams visual and I have started to create my own. Writing down or visualising your dreams somehow gives you the power to believe that it can come true and seeing it every day makes you want to work for it.

So what I hope that you take away from this and Gabby’s story is: Screw people saying you can’t reach your goal, screw people who say you shouldn’t do sports because it is not feminine enough and screw being scared to take a chance. Go for whatever you want and do the very best you can. Surround yourself by people who support you and believe in you and the journey won’t feel as bad.

Lots of love,

Katie

Gabby’s beam Routine at the AT&T American Cup 2016: Video

Uneven Bars: Video

Social Media:

Gabby Douglas Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gabbycvdouglas/?hl=en

Gabby Douglas Twitter: https://twitter.com/gabrielledoug?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

 

My Top 10 Tips For An Amazing Instagram Feed

Good day to you,

can we just think about the #Brexit before I’ll write anything else? It just makes me angry and a bit sad to see that elderly people over 65 are having that much of an impact on a decision that has a larger effect on the future of many young adults, who clearly voted for staying in the EU. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be allowed to vote as that wouldn’t have anything to do with democracy, but after all we have an age restriction on when we are allowed to vote so why not think about an age where people should not vote again? Because that’s just not fair and it’s also really damaging for the economy.
But anyways, enough serious talk on this Friday, I don’t want to spoil the start of your weekend. Yesterday Alli told me a friend of her was planning on building a house in around 2 years time with her boyfriend of 1 year. 1 f***ing year. Can we just let that sink in? Like whatever floats your boat mate, that’s what I call commitment. So I pointed out to Alli how I can’t even decide on one coherent Instagram theme, which then sparked the idea of telling you how to step up your Instagram game!

  1. Think about how you want to portray your account or yourself on Instagram

    Do you wanna focus on traveling? On cooking? Or maybe also on fashion related posts? Think about it before deciding on a theme, it will make choosing filters much easier. As for me I actually haven’t decided but I like to stick to travel related posts 🙂 you can barely find food posts on my Instagram.

  2. How do you want to arrange your pictures?

    Putting your posts into a different order can have a huge impact. You might want to reconsider posting two selfies in a row and maybe opt for a flower shot or OOTD in between to break things up a little. You can for example create a second, private account on Instagram and post all your pictures there before uploading them onto your actual Instagram. I would’ve advised you to just use VSCO Cam for that purpose as you can see what your feed will look like but apparently the new update doesn’t include that anymore. (I haven’t updated my VSCO Cam yet and I probably won’t do it either any time soon.)
    A lot of Instagrammers post a picture of themselves or something with a person on it and afterwards a shot with a wider angle, as this gives a nice dynamic to the feed. I did that for some time but stopped now as it’s just annoying to try and take good pictures of yourself when you’re not a full-time blogger.

  3. PUT THE HASHTAGS IN A COMMENT

    Honestly, nothing is more annoying than seeing hundreds of hashtags in the caption. Either put them into a new paragraph (by clicking on the number section of your keyboard, you’ll find the return button there!) or just post your caption and then comment on your own post with hashtags. It has the same effect but it looks much nicer. I mean I am guilty of hashtagging the shit out of my Instagram posts, we all want our posts to get noticed after all.

  4. Think of a funny/witty/deep caption

    There are actually people, like me, who read the captions and enjoy the occasional pun or witty comment. Again, make sure it fits into your theme, if you are one to put quotes in your captions, try to keep that up, if you only like to caption your post with emojis, well then try to be consistent with that as well. People on Instagram then know what to expect when they follow you. (A great example is Geordie Gray @suburbanblues whose captions are literally perfection!!)Bildschirmfoto 2016-06-24 um 18.08.45.png

  5. White backgrounds or undertones can look different on each picture

    If you’re going for a more monochrome feed, remember that some whites in pictures look different than others and it can turn into a jumbled up feed, or the all together aesthetic of the feed isn’t as pleasing. Apps like Snapseed let you brighten up certain areas in a picture so that you can add exposure to darker white spots in the pictures (if that makes sense?) or remove shadows.Bildschirmfoto 2016-06-24 um 18.13.35.png

  6. Mix up textures

    Just play with different dynamics and pictures. A flower might not look as good next to another flower as next to pictures of architecture or clothes. Also just adding this on a side note: Use the straightening option! Your pictures and your Instagram will look much clearer!! Bildschirmfoto 2016-06-24 um 18.06.15.png

  7. Flat lays are always a safe option

    When in doubt about what to post, just make a flat lay of several things, try breaking up straight lines and maybe change up the angle of the picture. It depends on your feed though!

  8. NATURAL LIGHT

    All the editing apps in the world won’t make your pic look as good as natural light does. Find a good spot next to a window or wait for the golden hour, when shooting outside, to get the best results.

  9. Blue tones get more likes

    Apparently, posting pictures with blue undertones will get you more likes…I don’t know about that, but if you ever check out my Instagram you’ll notice that I stuck to a blueish theme and ever since I’ve done that my followers have gone up significantly.

  10. Stick to one coherent filter theme

    Doesn’t matter if you’re going dreamy, vintagey like Lauren Conrad on her Instagram or use more white tones, find a filter and stick to it. You might have to readjust exposure or saturation a little when using a filter on selfies or on food but all in all having one filter you’re using can help making your Instagram theme flow together nicely. You can always play around with the Instagram filters (My favorites are „Nashville“ and „Valencia” and if you layer them you can achieve a rosy, dreamy theme) but my all time favorite filters are on VSCO Cam. If you cannot work a theme out on your own search for „Instagram Themes“ on Pinterest or Tumblr or so, it does really help. Always think about if your picture really needs to be edited that much, a subtle change can go a long way.

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I really hope this helps you with your Instagram, remember it has to be fun! If you don’t care about what your theme looks like and you only want to share pictures with your friends anyway, you can just post away happily but I actually enjoy having a coherent instagram theme 🙂
I hope you have the most amazing day and aren’t too bumped out by the #Brexit…we’ll make it work, somehow! Hopefully…Lets just hope and pray it shows US citizens how important it is that as many people as possible vote and do their research so that Trump doesn’t become president.

As always, loads and loads of love,
Lili xx

Instagram: @castawayminds
Twitter: @castaway_minds
Personal Instagram: @lirial_

Featured Image source

Better Weather Album Review

Hello lovely person reading this,

today I need to introduce you to this wonderful album I’ve been listening to on a daily basis since it came out last week. It’s called like the wish we all have for the summer: “Better Weather“. The damnazing (damn+amazing, yeah I just invented that word, because damn, they’re amazing) band we have to thank for this record is australian four piece With Confidence. The Sydney based group started playing together in 2012 (I spot a scheme within my favourite bands) and currently consists of Jayden Seeley who rocks on the bass and has this wonderful voice, you hear on the album, Inigo del Carmen, on the guitar and equally awesome backing vocals, Luke Rockets, with the cool rockstar name and guitar skills that fit that name, and Josh Brozzesi, their super talented drummer. They’re signed to Hopeless Records, which might ring a (Dinner) bell, if you like bands like All time low, Neck Deep, Moose Blood, New Found Glory, Yellowcard, The Wonder Years etc because that’s who the label also works with.So I guess With Confidence are in good company. Talking about good company (wow that connection was like smooth caramel), they were great company on tour for You Me At Six, Marianas Trench, Tonight Alive, As It Is, State Champs and The Wonder years, who they supported. They also had a little Australian tour earlier this year and are gonna play Warped Tour, which is actually goals.

Buuuut lets focus on “Better Weather“. There are ten great songs on the album including single “We’ll be okay“. All you can say about the sound is that it’s really good, fresh and energized pop punk. I love the guitars on the track because they’re almost always present and really good. With “Long Night“ there’s also a super emotional, slow, beautiful ballad on it, just to make sure we’ll all cry. The Album starts with „Voldemort“, which is not only an amazing song title, but also a powerful song about someone who tells his girl, that she won’t have to go through a difficult time alone. Lots of songs on the album, tell you that things will get better and you should fight through. Other topics are of course being lost, love and falling out of love. The lyrics are quite simple but poetic and always on point. My two favourite tracks on “Better Weather“ are “Long Night“and “Waterfall“. “Long Night“ because of it’s deeply emotional character and the lyrics that kinda fit a situation in my life at the moment. I also like, that there are violins and a piano (don’t kill me if I got it wrong), which creates a very special atmosphere. About “Waterfall“ I like that it starts off kinda calm and then builds up and gets really rock and energized. Another thing I like about the album is, that the songs end really special, like you can hear someone walking away and leaving (Long Night,, Keys), People talking like at a Party (Voldemort), or the voice of an answering machine. I love the album because it puts you in a really great mood and is definitely gonna be the soundtrack of my summer. You’ll like them as well if you listen to any of the bands I mentioned above. So tune your airguitars and get your airdrumsticks ready because you’re going to be jumping around in your room in a minute !!

Have a lovely day and I hope the weather gets better 😉

Love Alli xx

With Confidence Twitter: @withconfidence_

With Confidence Instagram: withconfidenceband

Picture sources: http://celebmix.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/hopeless-records-welcomes-with-confidence-01.jpg

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Pros and Cons of Public Transport

 

As someone who is currently commuting to her internship and doesn’t have a car or drivers licence I wanted to discuss my current mode of transport with you. I mean public transport in some places is being made out as the most awful thing ever and I have quite a few friends who freak out if they have to take it, so let’s see if it’s really all that bad. 

One downside certainly is it being busy especially during rush hour. I am quite lucky in that aspect that the train that I have to take isn’t that bad, but if you feel like you are stuck in one where it feels as if you are stacked in a can of sardines, because it’s so crowded and you can’t move, of course it sucks.

Which kind of leads to my next point: if it’s busy it’s super warm and sweaty, not just in the summer and sadly you find out that for some people deodorant is a choice and not a must which definitely doesn’t improve the whole smell situation. And yeah, I admit I have been on plenty of trains and busses that smelled like pee or alcohol and it was definitely not nice.

Another downside of public transport that there are times where train and bus schedules seem to have a life on their own and suddenly some of them decide not to run and turn into huge delays, which is never ever a good thing. I mean the amount of times I stressed about being late because my trains didn’t run  as planned is incredible and while I was an Aupair and had to drop off the child at school by bus and the bus just wouldn’t show and we had to run to another bus stop was uncountable. Like wtf? Why can’t you just come on time! Just because you are having a shit day don’t make me late! 

Another thing that annoys me about public transport are shit times is some areas. Take my 76 years old great aunt for example. She doesn’t feel save driving anymore which is fair enough, but she needs to rely on public transport to leave her village and on the weekend her bus runs 7 times a day between 10am and 7pm. Like every time she wants to be away longer than 7 she needs to take a taxi or has to hope that someone can drive her. Like that sucks. I wouldn’t want to be stuck in a village all the time or pay shit loads for taxis. 

Although another thing is: it can be super expensive. True there are some places around the world where it’s not that bad. Like 1€ for a bus ticket in Italy, but usually it can get super expensive. Like I would use public transport way more often if it wouldn’t be expensive… This month I spend almost 150€ to go to a place 30 minutes away from me and a few other places because my monthly ticket is only valid on my way to work. Like what? In the town where I study in Scotland busses for students aren’t that bad but if you don’t have a student card you pay £2.40 for a SINGLE???? Like what?? 

Anyways let’s talk about the advantages of public transport. And yes believe me there are some at least for me. 

First of the classic it’s good for the environment argument. Cause yes if we all go individually our greenhouse gas emissions will rocket and we’ll destroy our beautiful Earth even quicker than we are currently doing it anyways. 

Secondly, I mean if all trains come when they are supposed to they’ll be certain to not get into traffic jams, surprising I know. But what I am trying to say is that my dad has to travel nearly the same way as me each morning, he takes the car, I take the train. If my trains are not late I am so much quicker than he is because of traffic jams. And in London as well, the tube is so much faster than any car when there is traffic. 

And of course when you don’t have to yell at all these idiots driving at the same time, you have more time to relax and enjoy yourself. Like I find going on trains and busses super relaxing, I can listen to music, read, watch things on my phone, sleep, basically anything I want that is not disturbing everyone else. Which is awesome. Plus it gives me time to wake up in the morning. I used to live really close to school so by the time I got to school I was barely alive. When I am taking public transport I actually have time to feel alive by the time I get to work. And let’s be real, ´Train/ bus thoughts are on a similar level to shower thoughts.

Speaking of work, you can get a lot of things done on the train. For example this blogpost has been written on the train because I actually had time to sit down and think about things while going to work. And I know that’s why my dad likes to take the train to other places in Germany because he can use the travel time as work time.

I know strangers are terrifying and stuff, but sometimes on the train you can meet super interesting people. Like on Sunday when I was traveling to the airport in London on the train I met a very lost, older, Brazilian man who I then ended up helping to get to his terminal and he turned out to be a super lovely and interesting man, like he is a neuroscientist for early childhood development and gets to travel quite a lot and the things he could tell me were amazing. I mean I know that this is not always the case and often enough there are people on the train that I’d love to slap for being super annoying and super loud, but hey you always got the chance to be surrounded by annoying people no matter where you go. 

Another thing I absolutely love is people watching like the man across from me in a suit what is he tapping his foot along to? Is he a secret heavy metal lover? Or is that Taylor Swift coming through his headphones? The woman typing angrily in her phone did she have a fight with her boyfriend, are her parents being impossible again, or did we beat friend sleep with that guy again that she promised to stay away from? That young woman in the suit with the suitcase where is she traveling to? Is she living a jet setting life and is currently on her way to the airport to quickly fly to a business meeting in New York before she then just jumps on a plane to Japan to have lunch with her super successful boyfriend who is a banker in Japan? 

Like making up stories in your head for random people you see on a train can be super fun, because you usually have such a diverse group of people that you can make up any kind of story you want.

I know that I said earlier that public transport can be stupidly expensive, BUT if you take coaches for example they are super cheap. I mean a couple of weeks ago I got a RETURN ticket to London from Scotland that cost me a whole £ 4. Yup, you just read four. I mean no train or plane can compete with that. Yes it takes for ages to do that trip, but again you can basically do anything you want and I quite enjoy it.

My last point is that if you’re commuting on public transport it feels like you belong to a certain group of people and that group of people are the commuter gang and being part of that group actually feels really good. I mean I was terrified of it because it felt like such an adult thing but I am actually finding it quite fun and enjoyable, so my lovely people, don’t be afraid of it. 

Basically what I am trying to say, yes public transport can be annoying and there are some horror stories about the use of public transport, but to be honest it’s not all bad and I absolutely love it and I can actually see me do it for as long as I work because I wouldn’t want the stress of having to drive back after an already stressful day at work.

Lots of love, 

Katie 

[Picture Source]

Negativity against homosexuals

I wanted to write about this topic for a while now because after I watched Troye Sivan’s ‘The Blue Neighbourhood Trilogy‘ I felt really inspired but also saddened. Of course the current events made me want to write it even more. (To read more about this topic check out Katie’s blog post).

So for all of you who aren’t familiar with Troye’s trilogy, it is 3 songs (Wild, Fools and Talk Me Down) where the music videos tells a short story. (Disclaimer: watch the videos first, because I’m going to describe them very shortly now and give away the ending!!!) The topic is about 2 friends who are friends since they are little chaps, eventually fall in love but then one of their father finds it out and forbids him to see the other again and even beats him up. He then wents out with a girlfriend as ‘a normal’ guy would. The two former lovers meet up at the father’s funeral and even then and afterwards he still pretends to be straight. It goes that far that he even commits suicide.

Troye screens a very serious topic there because worldwide gay people suffer with the problem of ignorance and hate towards their sexuality. Furthermore in 2014 “44% of young LGBT people have considered suicide” in the UK, according to a survey published on the BBC website.

We live in a society where you might think it’s okay and normal to live in a same-sex relationship without needing to worry about breaking the law or being hated but sadly this isn’t the case. There are still enough people out there who either aren’t accepting it because of a lack of knowledge or even worse, tolerance.

Everybody always stresses about that you should be the way you want to be and you should express yourself like how you want to be but in the end it’s a lot of talking but only a fair few amount is how you really can be.Even in our generation there is still hate for gay people. Like I grew up in a rural area and I could name at least 5 people from my class in primary school where I’m 100% sure that if I’d ask them what their opinion on gay people or even gay marriage is, they wouldn’t answer with a friendly and accepting answer. And this hasn’t to do with a lack of education. I think most of them finished High School and even a guy I know here in Uni is always saying disrespectful things about gay people (don’t need to mention that I kinda lost hope for them all).

When the USA legalized gay marriage it was a huge step into the right direction but what we forget that beside Canada the US is one of the few countries where same-sex marriage is equal to a ‘usual’ marriage. Here in Germany for example gay people can’t marry. They can ‘verpartnern’ as it is called in German which is basically to live in a domestic partnership. And also in the UK same-sex marriage is only legal since 2014. Everybody always claims that equalizing gay couples is very important but in reality the world is far away from equalizing.

I got remained of that when I watched Troye’s videos. People still get hate because they love a person of the same sex, which for me, growing up in the 90’s and 00’s, is absolute bizarre. We live in the 21st century and it’s truly makes me sad and mad that people need to hide their sexuality, get hate for it, can’t live their lives as they want it to live it or even get killed for it like they have been in Orlando or still in a lot of countries around the world.

For me, living in a western country, it is normal that people can walk down the street holding hands or kissing despite their gender but in so many other countries this isn’t normal and this is something we also need to be remained of. These people would be so much happier if they could walk around in public with their lovers or even could live in a domestic partnership. I kinda think that we in the western countries show some neglect of this. We’re all always want to safe the world and make it a better place but we concentrate that much on the western countries that we forget the many countries where it is forbidden and you can even be sent to prison for being gay or even be killed for it.

A close friend of mine told me and some friends that she is gay and despite me already thinking so, she was scared of telling us because she didn’t know if we would accept her and still see her in the same way we have before she told us. For me it’s crazy because obviously I don’t see her in a different way but for her even needing to worry about it makes me sad. There are also only a few people who knows so because she’s worried what other people in her surrounding would think about it. In situations like this I think about Troy’s songs again. People not excepting that opening up about your sexuality isn’t such a big of a deal. And even I got hate before even though I’m not gay. I don’t know about you but I’m pretty chilled with kissing girls and I think all of us girls have at least kissed one other girlfriend, haven’t we? When I still lived in England I was in a club with some friends and we kinda started giving each other peeks on the lips in a friendship banter. People around us looked at us all the time plus even one person I knew back then started ignoring me and even stopped greeting me when I saw her on the street. This to me is a behaviour I just can’t understand. I mean my friends and I were just messing around and reacting like it’s such a big of a deal is ridiculous to me, even reacting to it is something I can’t understand. We weren’t such good friends that she would have known my sexuality, so ignoring me for kissing another girl is just stupid to me.

I’m glad Troye Sivan made this trilogy to make people aware that this issue is still relevant and from my own experience, the examples I shared with you, prove that it still has relevance in our every day life.

Be open and not only try but make the world a better place, starting with accepting people the way there are!

Lots of love,

Jenny

 

Picture Source