Double Standards


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Every Wednesday lunchtime, I attend Girls IT Club. We never do any IT, instead we just sit and gossip with two of our teachers. However, yesterday we began an argument (although the others call it a 'hearty debate') over whether it was right for a YouTuber to put up a photo of her weight loss three months after giving birth. We were all discussing how amazing it was that she had lost that weight so quickly, whereas our teachers were very quick to jump to the conclusion that it was terrible and scary that we were 'idolising' this woman for how skinny she was, completely missing the point in why we were saying she was amazing. Now the irony within this is that my teachers, two married thirty something year olds, were not ten minutes before talking about what men they found attractive and discussing shirtless photos of them.

These double standards are what is totally wrong with today's society. We live in a world where it is acceptable, in the eyes of a woman, to drool over a man who has been heavily sexualised, such as a Calvin Klein model or a fit actor, but the minute a man says that a woman had nice breasts or a nice arse, they are attacked by angry feminists telling them how wrong and evil they are. The idea of the 'lad mag' is one that is appalling and sickening, but when you think about it, it's just a paper version of the over sexualisation of men that we see online every day. It's the same for pornography; we beg for the porn industry to be destroyed but the second a male celebrities nude is leaked online, women are all over it. But what about when a females nude is leaked? Do we sit there sharing it about and obsess over the size of her boobs? No. We advocate for it to be taken down out of fear of the woman being embarrassed.

The same double standards come to skinny shaming and fat shaming. If a woman is shamed for being confident in her body which may be classed as 'plus size', we rally to make them feel beautiful and tell them to ignore the haters, but when a woman is shamed for being too skinny, whether it's down to herself or not, we just ignore it and shrug because, well, who doesn't want to be skinny? They've got the ideal world. But we argue that we don't hate on them because of their size and that we're only looking out for them, but what if society hates them because we all want to be them?

A few years ago, my crush got a girlfriend and I hated her for no reason apart from the fact I wanted to be in her position. So perhaps this is the reason why we hate people for no reason; because we want to be them. Of course I am sure that every person in the world would want to be skinny and look like Mila Kunis or Kim Kardashian but we know that it will simply never happen and so we accept it and move on. But what about the people who constantly attack Kylie Jenner and tell her that she's famous for no reason? Is it because all they really want is her life? Because I know I would love to have her life. But sadly, we live in a world where the economy is ruined and success only comes to those who are beautiful or rich. It is slowly getting harder and harder for the working and middle classes to succeed and become politicians or bankers.

I live in a era that's slowly being taken over by the Tumblr generation that believes that all women bigger than a size 10 are beautiful and that those who are skinnier are mutants. That men have no feelings and can be manipulated and controlled in whatever way we want and that feminism is the belief in woman being more powerful than men which it quite simply isn't. I am a proud feminist and believe that the treatment of men and women should be the same. That women shouldn't get to drool over men and then moan when a man drools over a female celebrity. We live in a world where it is acceptable for a woman to tell a man that she wants to be fucked by him, and yet the second a man says that a woman is beautiful, we are up in arms and advocating for the man to be publicly shamed. Perhaps this is why the idea of male rape is ridiculed and laughed at, or why suicide takes the lives of 1/4 men in the UK.

Perhaps all of these standards that we push on men to look like Justin Bieber and have a big penis is affecting them more than we are led to believe. Because whilst most media companies are run by men for men, thus being why page three exists, but the internet is constantly overrun by photos of men in their underwear who have been airbrushed to perfection. Men are always seen as being tough and impossible to form but really, these images have exactly the same affect on them as the photos that VS models put up on Instagram have on women. It is demoralising and makes us feel a bit rubbish.


Fan Fiction: How To Do It Right


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I've been writing fan fiction for little over five years now. It's always been a hobby of mine and I have written about a broad range of people, from One Direction to Magneto and Professor X from X Men. I've improved a lot over time and gained a small following who regularly leave comments and likes on my work. It's an amazing feeling when your work gets recognised, but with fan fiction on the rise, it's getting a lot harder to get your work noticed. So I've come up with a few ways to make your fan fiction get as much attraction as possible.

1. Make it as realistic as possible

No one really wants to read a fan fiction where the main character gets adopted by One Direction because it would never happen. When using real people, unless in a completely alternate universe, it's important to make sure that the story you are telling could happen, even if the chances are tiny. AU fan fiction is a different kettle of fish all together; anything can happen. Only in this situation would a fan fiction where you get adopted by One Direction be possible, but when you try and put that situation into reality, it just doesn't seem plausible.

2. Respect the characters

Especially with real life celebrities, it is important that you remember they are real people and not just characters in a book. Therefore, if you are writing a non-AU piece, you have to make sure that the people in it are similar to what they are like in real life, rather than turning them into arseholes. Of course, if you have to for your story, then go ahead but it is important to remember that some of your readers may not understand the concept of fan fiction. I've had friends being questioned on when certain events happened as the reader didn't know that it was fictitious. You're also far more likely to attract more readers if you're portraying the person in a good way rather than a bad, unless your fan fiction is some sort of seriously kinky book.

3. Choose the right site

There's a lot of fan fiction sites out there nowadays, with the big two being Wattpad and Archive Of Our Own. I have found that there is a lot of differences between the two sites. Wattpad tends to be for all fandoms but mainly just straight relationships in the main, big fandoms (especially One Direction.) Wattpad is also the most used, so you're going to get a lot of variety when it comes to quality of the stuff you read; some will be written by 10 year old who are just starting out, whereas some could be written by established authors who have been writing for 20/10 years. I started writing on Wattpad in April 2012, when I was 11. My works got around 30/40 thousand reads even though they were dreadful, but at the time they were the bees knees to a lot of people. That's another thing to bear in mind; most writers have been in the game for. like me, four of five years after climbing on board the fan fiction ship which set sail in 2011. That means there will be a lot of good content getting read and the bad stuff probably won't get as noticed. But don't let that knock you; most fan fiction pieces will get at least 1k readers on Wattpad. 

But moving onto Archive Of Our Own (AO3) which is used by, mainly, established writers who have been in the game for a long time. It is also the home for quirky ships and, from what I've found, a lot more AU stuff. You're not going to get as many readers as AO3 has a lot less users than Wattpad, but you'll still get around 2/3 thousand, unless your fan fiction gets 'famous' when it's more likely to get 200-300k reads. However, if you were to get 'famous' on Wattpad, you'd get over a million. The way of writing on AO3 is a lot trickier and there's a lot more steps to it, so I would defiantly recommend writing on Wattpad fist and then, after you've had a lot of practice, transferring over to AO3.

4. Update regularly

I tend to bulk write in my free periods and then post them over the course of a few days, I upload every other day most of the time, but on occasion I'll post every day and others twice a week; it just depends on how busy I am with school stuff. I write a lot in my free periods to pass the time and on the bus home after school. I love writing so updating regularly is never really a big problem to me. (We're going to ignore the fact I didn't write anything for like three months earlier this year, okay? And all of those abandoned fan fictions taking up room on my AO3 account.) Regularly updating means that you'll get more followers who will interact with you as they will get to know your upload pattern and therefore be ready to read, comment and like the new chapters you put up. Also, don't forget to share what you write on your other social media pages with hashtags such as #wattpad and #fanfiction to try and attract more readers from there.

5. Write what you want to write

This is probably the most important point of this post. Whatever you do, don't follow the crowds. Just write whatever it is you want to write rather than writing what's cool or stories that have been rehashed time and time again. If you write something that's original, both in your fandom and on the site, then you're more likely to get more readers as they're reading something new and different, rather than the same cliche stories they've read over and over again. This is something I found with Homebird; it was something new that I, nor my friends, had ever read before so they were more excited to see what happened as they had no other story lines to assume from. The unoriginality of Resistance was quite a problem when writing it because there was already so many stories like it that I didn't know how to mix it up a bit. It was still well received within the realms of the teeny tiny Kaiser Chiefs fandom, so I guess that's all that matters. But if you do want to write something that has been done hundreds of times before; go for it! At the end of the day, if it's a story you love and want to put your spin on then knock yourself out; you're the one writing it!

So there we have it, my five main tips to writing great fan fiction. Do you write fan fiction too? What are your main tips for new writers? Let me know in the comments below.


Robbie Williams The Heavy Entertainment Show Review


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I have adored and loved Robbie Williams ever since I was a kid. His voice takes me back to a lot of happy times, especially when I saw him live in 2012. But his newest album, The Heavy Entertainment Show, is a far cry from his 2012 number one album Take The Crown which is up there as one of my favourite albums of all time. I'd say it fits hand in hand with Escapology when it comes to combination of tracks.

Robbie's twelfth studio album is one that I am not so sure about. Whilst there are some tracks on there that I love, such as Motherfucker and Mixed Signals, the rest of the album is a bit, well, crap. It's a confusing mix of tracks like Sensitive, which seems to be heavily influenced by Olly Murs' Kiss Me, and Pretty Woman, a track which I immediately skip when it comes up on shuffle. There's also a lot more backing vocals on this album and some features, such as Rufus Wainwright who features on Hotel Crazy. It just seems like Robbie is trying to go in a direction he's really not meant to. 

But it's not all bad. As I said, I love quite a few of the tracks on the album. Motherfucker, the song Robbie wrote for his son Charlton. Whilst it's not as sweet as the song he wrote for Theodora, Go Gentle, I still think that it's a sweet song with a sweet message, even if the title deems it a bit inappropriate. The gentle melody is soothing and calming, whilst the lyrics come straight from Robbie's heart. My personal favourite line is 'We all believe, that you're gonna break the chain', a line that, to me, shows Robbie's belief in his son that he's not going to grow up to be the idiot that he was as a teenager. 

But all in all, I was pretty disappointed by The Heavy Entertainment Show, an album that I was really looking forward to. I wouldn't recommend going out and buying it, but feel free to check it out on Spotify, especially Motherfucker, Mixed Signals and I Don't Want To Hurt You. The three singles from the album aren't that bad, but I would give the rest of the album a miss if I were you. Sorry Robbie.