panic panic

melanie

I always wanted to be Mel C in my primary school Spice Girls cover band, but since then I have consistently let myself down. rather than a face-kicking whirlwind of grrl power, I’ve become a sickly Melanie in Gone With The Wind, bruising my skin on cotton sheets while hanging onto the thriftiness of Scarlett O’Hara with feeble and lady-like arms and looking admirably at my boring husband Ashley. I almost fainted the other day, which is precisely the kind of leisure the latter Melanie would approve of.

good stress gets you going, making you spray papers with intelligent black dots or tick to-do lists like they are drugs. but even when things start to go my way I seem to scream and close my eyes in bewilderment. it’s a bottom-of-the-well-kind of panic and the walls are all slimy and wet.

I was never meant to be Mel C anyway. I was Victoria and she never sang or danced or did anything impressive except looking sincerely pissed off with everything.

a moonage daydream

nebulae universe

he says meditation is like tumbling into fantasies, like falling out of bed and you control the dream. he has a glass jar-brain, all clear, the membrane like moon shine on the water. it all makes perfect sense, he says.

mine are all muddy. I’m falling ahead of myself, unable to keep up with my self-made dreams that sprawl over the bed sheets, up the wall and out of the window. so unreachable. and the black stains on the wall that remind you of the things you never did.

the concepts are all jumbled up and awkward. I stitch together past and present into a ragdoll with a thread-thin smile and blocked eyes.

my generation

the beginning of 3rd year and I’m dreading graduation. only a few months lie between a perfect landscape of late night creativity and the seemingly endless uphill struggle of full time work. what if dreams fail. what if future plans are swallowed up by a smothering void of youth unemployment. people often ask me what kind of jobs you get with an English lit degree. perhaps you don’t get a job and have to move back home, suddenly revisiting your teenage past, drinking filter coffee, dodging tram fares and owing people fivers.

after paying a fortune for education I’m really looking forward to the next career step; making my mark in the competitive world of unpaid internships.

persona

Image

När jag går ut utan smink, i en tyst protest mot idealens herravälde, inser jag hur mycket jag låter mig påverkas av den feminina skönhetskonstruktionen. Jag får ångestkänslor, för som kvinna ska man vara perfekt. Likt många andra har jag blivit manipulerad sedan barnsben och brottas ständigt med min självbild. Den dagliga sminkningen är ett sätt att passa in och samtidigt framträda från mängden. Kanske en oförarglig rutin, men likväl en irriterande påminnelse om min egen otillräcklighet och en upprepad acceptans av den rådande normen.

Vem man är för sig själv och vem man är inför andra. Ångesten är framkallad av kapitalistiska intressen, då min oduglighet är en anledning att ’förbättra’, att klistra på och konsumera. Vad hände med min frihet? Postfeminismen är en hägring, för ännu är kvinnan en fånge i sitt eget otillräckliga skinn och blir ideligen påtvingad ideal styrda av den fria marknaden.

Politiskt sett har den gamla kvinnorörelsens krav förvandlats och anpassats efter den rådande samhällsstrukturen. Idag värderas därför den självständiga, men ypperligt feminina, yrkeskvinnan över de gamla idéerna om frigörelse och jämlikhet. Kvinnan har blivit en investering för dagens privatiserade konsumtionssamhälle och en nyckel till dess fortgång.  Kvinnan har omvandlats från hemmafru till en oberoende individ med egen ekonomi, men hon är fortfarande inte fri, utan tvärtom hårt reglerad av den feminina skönhetskonstruktionen.

Vi måste därför bli medvetna om skönhetsidealens påverkan och egentliga agenda och vägra lyda dess orimliga krav.

oxford circus circus

it’s topshop saturday rush hour. pre-Christmas consumerism chaos in what seems like an unsupervised mad house. although I’m not employed by the mega brand, but working for one of its struggling concessions, I’m acquired to do one hour fitting room service.  free labour seems strangely attractive to multimillion corporations.

while assisting screaming adolescents trying on identical dresses in five hideous colours (but who will ultimately purchase a tiny bottle of topcoat nail hardener for £3), I‘m simultaneously sensing the stern presence of a polished professional accustomed to less mess and quality customer service. blonde sendré highlights, lip coloured lip stick, faultless autumn nails, the powerful thighs of a horse, leather ankle boots prepared to step on you. she locks eyes with me, inhales the level of my insecurity and injects shot after shot of blame into my pathetic bloodstream. the word sorry flows like red wine-sick from my brainless mouth. “I’m very sorry about that, it’s store policy”, “sorry, there are only six items allowed in the fitting room”, “I’m sorry that someone poked me with a maternity hanger.” my soul gets drained from apologies and ultimately regresses to a disposable fork.

the occasional self-proclaimed humanitarian suffices among the consumer mad. clusters of Gestapo fashionistas are common. once they reported on a ‘disgusting anorexic’ avoiding the fitting room queue by changing on the shop floor. I ignored this so called issue and yearned for more people like her. the nudity stimulates an endless chain of restless children/bored lovers/wealthy grand parents that would otherwise succumb to the manipulative top shop pop music. but most importantly it decreases my work.

the booze blues

attended a swedish-style soiree with my beloved the previous evening. the bonfire night sky sparkled like the intense love life of hot celebrities and we celebrated lavishly with mayfair lights and six cans of stella from the corner shop.

only going to stay at the party for a couple, we said, tomorrow shall reward us. a delusional claim of course and time slipped away like dyed hairs down a shower drain.

so now my insides are outwards and the skin is all over the place trying to patch things together.