Emily Perry-Musgrave

Emily

Northerner with a passion for lingerie, art, guinea pigs and sarcasm.

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Practice some self-preservation: Don’t rewatch Friends!

It’s safe to say that some Friends jokes haven’t aged well in the 14 years since it ended. In included everything from homophobia (remember when Ross was so uncomfortable with a male Nanny he wanted to fire him? Or when he didn’t like that his son Ben chose to play with a Barbie doll?) to having less than a handful of POC characters (even though it was set in New York) throughout it’s ten year run, Friends is horrifically problematic.

Can you imagine a show being created now with a character who’s weight is not only a punchline, but an entire-episode-dedicated worthy joke? And it’s brought up in multiple episodes in the entire series run. And it’s the people closest to her that use it constantly as a source of shame. And even on top of that, she is portrayed a stereotype; unclean, obsessed with food, goofy (that word makes me shudder) and only able to have sexual partners/sexual appetite when she has lost the weight. Monica doesn’t even have a personality until she loses weight.

 

Friends taught a generation that is was okay to make fun of someone’s appearance. There is an episode (The One with the Nap Partners) where Monica finds out that Chandler split up with an ex because she gained weight. Monica spends the majority of the episode scared that if she were to gain weight again that Chandler would leave her also. Preteen me would have agreed that this was of genuine concern for a bride-to-be. Adult me is thinking “Dump your man, dump your friends, burn the apartment down and collect the insurance money”.

Is it safe that Friends is now accessible 24/7 again? Having recently been added to Netfilx, part of me wants to relive the nostalgia. On the other hand, I care far too much about myself to spend those 22 mins an ep in a constant state of vein-popping anger. I’m fairly certain for a lot of people out there Friends was the source of and/or heightened their insecurities and it has been given a platform to continue to do so. It doesn’t help that it also oozes white privilege.

I’m aware there is an argument that there are worse TV shows than Friends for these issues. Sure, probably. But Friends was watched by millions of young people not only in the 90s, but the 2000s too when it was on a constant cycle on E4 and is still watched globally. This is recently history, not the 1960s where jokes like this were expected. There is enormous progress being made breaking down the issues that Friends gleefully endorses. There was even a story line where Monica was shamed for how many men she had slept with but it was part of Joey’s personality to sleep with women and never call them back. They all in their own ways objectified women but Joey caused the most harm. Chandler’s father, who is transgender, was a source of embarrassment for the character and was never once treated with respect or as an opportunity to educate the masses. Chandler didn’t even invite her to his wedding initially, he was that ashamed.

Before you go ahead and rewatch, here’s a refresher of just how gross Friends is without you having to experience it and progressively learn for yourself:

It taught men that they must defend their masculinity at all costs

It taught women to not advance their careers if their boyfriends were jealous

It taught women that sexual assault is a punchline

It taught POC that they have no place on a popular show set in one of the most diverse cities in North America (I can only think of two named characters in Friends that were POC: Dr Charlie Wheeler and she wasn’t in it until the ninth series, and Kristen Lang who moved in down the street and caused Joey and Ross to fight over their affections rather than, y’know, respecting that she was capable of making up her own mind)

It taught parents that they must make their children conform to society’s idea of gender and must stick to the strict guidelines of what is means to be “male” or “female” (there’s only two genders according to Friends)

It taught lesbians that their relationships make men feel insecure abut their masculinity

It taught gay men that they make other men insecure about their masculinity (here is a whopping 50 min video of the homophobia in Friends)

It taught fat women that they are comic relief and will only ever been seen as such until they lose weight

 

Sure, it’s okay to re-watch a series that invokes nostalgia. And if you do decide to sit down and have a watch of your old favourite moments, use them as a talking point with your friends about how and why what they are saying is wrong. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the 90s trap and forget that there is so much wrong with your favourite episode of Friends.

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How to Change Your Ableist Vocabulary Part II: Sarcastic Snowflake Edition

We’re almost at the end of 2017 and yet on a regular basis I’m still hearing and seeing ableist vocabulary used in a malicious way – but also in other situations, used in a naive context. I was sat in a pub yesterday near St Paul’s and heard some bloke use the term “retard” to describe a female colleague whom he was criticising. As soon as I caught that word I couldn’t not look up.

These words catch me off guard constantly because I don’t expect to hear them in an average conversation. While there are many words that are obviously offensive, there are plenty that we still struggle to fully remove from our vocabularies because there isn’t a well known awareness of how and why those words are so uncomfortable for some to hear. Like everything, the more we listen to those who suffer because these phrases, the more we can learn and change.

A continuation of my last post on this topic, below are more phrases and words that we can change:

 

“I have a phobia of…” can be changed to “I am afraid/nervous of…” Some people suffer from PTSD because of phobias and are actively working on a daily basis to manage them. It’s a word that needs to be used only in the most serious and genuine context.  No one will judge you if you admit to being afraid or nervous of something and your feelings are valid.

“Snowflake” can be changed to something along the lines of “Your feelings are valid and I’m sorry I hurt them. I will work to be more sensitive about this topic”. But realistically we know that when somebody calls you a snowflake it means “oh crap, you’re right, I’ve got no argument left”.

“This post gave me cancer” can be changed to “I don’t like this post and I’m also a douchebag with no respect for the 38.5% of people that are diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime”

“LOL triggered” etc. – The terms trigger and trigger warning exist for a reason and it’s not to be mocked or taken out of it’s original context. A big middle finger to those who use it as a punchline when people rely on this phrase to be able to feel safe in almost all conversations/situations. It should be of concern to everyone that people can relapse because of a topic, word or image and be taken incredibly seriously.

When anything vaguely pregnancy related is mentioned and the reaction is “Is there something you want to tell me?” MIND YA OWN DAMN REPRODUCTIVE BUSINESS. Me and my polycystic ovaries are tired of people assuming pregnancy is easy (or wanted) for everyone. For some people being pregnant it is not a positive thing and hearing jokes being made about it can have a huge negative effect.

“This post is autistic.” Using autism as an adjective is doing a disservice to autistic people and continues the stereotype that there is something negative about it.

Unbalanced – My mental illness leaves me constantly feeling like I’m experiencing a balancing act. Certain people may be unpredictable arseholes, but don’t go straight to the assumption they must have a mental illness to be able to act in such a way.

“I look deformed!” – Again, another word which shouldn’t be used as an adjective. Do I really need to explain?

“But why can’t you save money? It’s easy!” – Do people realise how hard it can be for those with disabilities to be able to save money? Do they realise how hard it is to attain life goals, including owning a house or a car, when so many of them don’t accommodate disabilities? A lot of resources go on trying to maintain a lifestyle that is as comfortable as possible with the bare minimum assistance from the government.

“Eat more! It’s Christmas, you’re allowed!”/ “You’re having another helping?!” – Coming up to Christmas it’s so important to be conscious of not forcing people to continue eating if they say they’re full or don’t want any more. Eating disorders are incredibly hard not to relapse into and those that suffer from them shouldn’t have to make excuses when they say they don’t want to eat any more food. Nor should they be judged when they’re comfortable and happy with eating more.  Getting to a place where you’re comfortable with your eating habits can be a long and difficult journey. It should not be undone by flippant comments.

 

Can we please also mention how often people are still assuming that disabilities are only visible? And how often even when arranging social occasions people forget to accommodate all possibilities, from social anxiety to disabled access issues? How is this STILL a problem? The media still perpetuates stereotypes that disabled people can’t have hobbies and claim benefits. Here’s an example (and also an amazing thread on the matter) from twitter:

This post has been sponsored by Emily’s chronic muscle condition that makes her feel like she is going to fart all the time.

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Top 8 Christmas Lingerie Picks

lingerie

Tis the season for treating yourself! You mustn’t forget that during this time of year when you’re almost completely focused on others, you deserve to look after yourself. I have made a list of beautiful lingerie that you can either indulge in now, forward on to someone else or keep saved in your favourites for when the January sales hit!

YOURS LONDON Red Mesh & Lace Chemise With Extreme Dip Hem

Size 16-32

I’d be quite happy to wear this to go buy milk if I’m honest. At £26 it’s a good treat for under the tree or something to lounge around like a house cat in.

Scantilly Captivate Slate Half Cup Bra

30-38 DD-H

Bra £47, matching knickers from £23

This set is best wrapped in a box with a giant bow. It demands luxury and it’s lace is stunning.

Elomi Sachi Underwired Plunge Bra

32-46 back, cup size DD to JJ

I am so in love with this set! Elomi are starting to broaden the designs of their lingerie and each new set they bring out is better than the last! Elomi is an investment and they are quite honestly the most comfortable bras I have ever worn.

Pretty Secrets Milly Lace Black Mesh Babydoll

36-48 back, cup size B-E

At £24 (and matching knickers for £8) this is certainly excellent value for money and goes up to an amazing 48 back. It’s a beautiful design and is something a bit special.

Sheer Flared Babydoll Black

Size 8-26, £20.99

Practically perfect in every way. A cute edition to anyone’s slip collection if they are a smaller plus size.

Red Satin Floral Print Underwired Plunge Bra

38-48 back, cup size D-G

Satin. Red. Floral. Need I say more? At £26.99, this bra is something that is pretty but practical.  An everyday bra with a difference and stunning matching suspender briefs for £12.99.

Cherish Side Support Bra – Forest

30-42 back, cup size D-J

This bra has side support, which means giving your boobs more of a boost in the forward facing direction. It exists in seven colours in total which means if you find it really works for you, you don’t just have to buy the same again. Forest is my favourite colour, with blush coming in a close second.

GODDESS Adelaide Banded Underwired Bra

34-46 back, cup size G-L

Vintage inspired designs and modern colours are my favourite combination. This is a versatile and easy-to-wear bra that is beautifully classic.

Which pieces will be at the top of your Christmas list? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Christian Siriano

Not only does Christian Siriano know how to dress women of all sizes, he knows how to do it with respect.

Siriano’s career began on Project Runway in 2008 and since then he has dressed everyone from Rihanna to Christina Hendricks to Solange Knowles. His Spring 2018 ready-to-wear collection at New York Fashion Week included plus size models.

While (of course) there wasn’t exactly a model who I could look at and think “That’s me!” he certainly celebrates more than one plus size body type through his clients and on his social media. Representation of plus size women still has a long way to go in high fashion. For a start, designers need to actually start catering to that demographic and then begin to show them on the runway.

Bringing the glamour tonight!! #lesliejones so chic in custom Siriano. #Emmys @bmcstylez

A post shared by Christian Siriano (@csiriano) on

I like to think of Siriano as an ally to not only celebrities that are being refused dresses by fatphobic designers, but also the average woman who are unable to picture themselves in the gowns seen on red carpets. By dressing these women, Siriano is showing an attitude which is taboo amongst a massive amount of designers. The problem is many high fashion magazines and designers can see plus size women as a social statement, as “in vogue” or an accessory for a fashion shoot and choose to represent us in a way we’re not always comfortable with. Siriano has never used us in an exploitative way. That is where the respect comes from. He believes we deserve better and isn’t scared to show that through his clothing.

My favourite thing about Christian Siriano is I look at his designs, whether it’s on a mannequin, Christina Hendricks or a size 4 model: I can see myself in his clothes. I will never look at his designs and think “This will never be me” or “I don’t exist in this scenario”. He see’s beauty in everyone and represents that through the way he dresses them.

Today feels like a pocket kind of day! #weddingwednesday #christiansirianobridal

A post shared by Christian Siriano (@csiriano) on

Can I just point out too, he knows what women want. The above dress has pockets. POCKETS. This guy is a genius incorporating pockets into a huge ombre-pink skirt and it’s still high fashion.

Danielle Brooks has become a force to be reckoned with in terms of fashion and bopo campaigns. She is a close friend of Siriano’s and I truly feel that her association with him cements his body positive point-of-view.

I think one of the reasons I adore his designs and himself so much is because he doesn’t treat the occurrence of a plus size woman on a runway as “unusual” or “different”. He knows that we have always belonged there and that his designs transcend size, shape, race and age.

I’m crossing my fingers that Christian Siriano does a high street collab and produces some affordable clothes in a massive range of sizes. He has got the potential to become one of the first international plus size, high fashion designers.

 

 

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Let’s Get Creepy With Victorian Photography (Warning: Contains 19th Century Boobs)

The Georgians and Victorians were many things, and that definitely includes morbid – in particular, they were spiritually obsessed with the afterlife. And luckily for them, everything is grimmer in grainy black and white. Their aesthetic was basically “How can we make this normal situation eerie?” Because of this, the context totally changes to an association we’ve consistently had with horror throughout the 20th/21st century. Apparently even Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were fascinated by Spiritualism and the afterlife, participating in seances as early as 1846. Even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes novels, was fascinated by the paranormal. He wrote over sixty books on the subject and a was a member of the British Society for Psychical Research. Britain has a long and rich history with the paranormal and lucky for us photos from that time period still exist. It was a universal obsession, with mediums travelling from the USA to Britain to impress wealthy members of society with their spiritual talents. In fact, the notion of being afraid of death is incredibly 21st century – our ancestors would live life in pursuit of a ‘good death’, and passing on from your physical life to your spiritual life was simply another step in your journey. It was sad to miss people, but it certainly wasn’t something to be afraid of. The Order of the Good Death is an organisation constructed by mortician and YouTuber Caitlin Doughty, and if you would like to learn more about historical ideals and beliefs surrounding death and how a positive relationship with death can work with you in the 21st century, I definitely recommend checking them out! And now back to Victorians…

It was in fashion to be creepy, creeped out or the creeper. I’m certain that this new and interesting concept was so popular for the same reason it is today. We LOVE being scared – just look at how many tickets were sold last month for the premier of IT. So, naturally, every photo the Victorians produced was creepy no matter how innocent the image’s subject was. Using the methods the Victorian’s used (including long exposure times which is why they all looked miserable AF) you can have an adorable puppy turn into a soulless fuzz demon. For example:

creepy

Just an average cute, Maltese puppy turns into…

creepy

OH MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT PUPPY TO MAKE IT SO DEAD BEHIND THE EYES???

creepy

This lass was probably just having a “me” day and chilling in her boudoir with her hopefully flame-resistant drapery. It’s a beautiful photo but legit looks like someone could have taken it through a keyhole. If it wasn’t an early 20th century photo I probably wouldn’t even be thinking this.

creepy

And this lass is just spending some time naked with her marionette. A totally not creepy, completely average scenario.

creepy

Nothing wrong with a witch accessorising her outfit with a curtain tassel, times are hard. This is just an average Saturday night to me. Don’t bother enquiring about joining her coven. I’ve already asked and she said applications are now closed 🙁

creepy

And now onto the amazing (fake) spirit photos. Remember that time Uncle Gerald died and we all wanted to gather around for one last picture with his corpse? Yeah, me neither. Created with double exposure, I’m pretty sure someone said to the ghost “Just look creepy!” threw a blanket on her and this is what the result was. I’ve seen worse, like this next gem…

creepy

It’s awkward when a spirit finally shows up and then totally takes over your stunning head shot by being 50x the size of a living person and blocking your light.

creepy

This is actually a pretty well done image. Grainy image quality? Check. Sinister narrative? Check. Spooky bookcase that could potentially have books on the occult? Check. Skeleton hugging a man that has an enormous moustache? Check. 10/10 would scare again.

creepy

I reckon this lass was a moment before this photo was taken holding an animal which she gave up as a sacrifice. I’m not sure why she’d need to be naked for that but maybe when the gates of hell open it gets a bit toasty so she needed to shed some layers? Either that or she is being literally pulled from a deep slumber and she is incredibly unhappy about it. Either way, I’m not entirely sure it needed to be photographed. But you’d better believe I am glad that it was.

As you might have noticed, there is a huge crossover with Victorian photography and erotica. It’s now a well known fact that that time period was filled with absolute filth. After all, how could the uptight, strict and repressed Victorian people stay so when the vibrator was invented in the late 1800s?

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Maxi Dress Round Up!

I’m going to be honest. Maxi dresses are the dress I’m grateful to have when I can’t be bothered to put on tights/shave my legs but need to look at least half interested in what I ended up having to leave the house for. Understated, glamorous, timeless or bold; a maxi dress is the easy way to look like you’ve put 100% effort into your outfit when really you just fancied swishing around like a chiffon covered mermaid while people compliment the beautiful detail that is sewn onto your dress. I can be a lazy dresser, but I know truly that maxi dresses can be jaw-droppingly stunning when the non-lazy dresser get’s their hands on them.

Here’s some of my top picks of maxi dresses available at the moment!

Gatsby lady knows how to do glamour! £59.00 and up to a size 30, the Carolyn dress is a really excellent buy for special occasions. It is a timeless maxi that I would certainly keep forever as it’s a classic and beautiful style. It’d be too special to ever part with. The midnight blue colour and beading combined with the sheer cape means it can be worn all year round, for a wedding in the summer to a New Year’s Eve party.

gatsbylady

The list wouldn’t be complete without a bardot neckline! While not everyone is a fan of bardot styles, this Evans dress is understated but pretty with gorgeous embroidery detail. It’s available in size 14-32. I like that this style of dress makes it seem so effortless to feel stylish. I have a pretty bad habit of having a collection of dresses that I can just pull on without having to do anything else to create an outfit. I’d probably be guilty of wearing this dress to go buy milk in as well as wearing it to birthday meal. No worrying about what I’m wearing on my bottom half as well as not having to deal with zips? Count me in!

maxi dress

I know this says it’s a beach dress, but I would totally wear this as an everyday dress and hopefully startle some prudes on the way. I’ve had my eye on it for ages and I really, really love the sheer panels. A glorious statement can be made with a dress that shows the areas plus size women get told to cover up. Stretchmark-statements are my cup of tea and I would quite happily live in this dress until we reach Winter. It comes in sizes 16-32 and costs £42.00.

maxi dresses

I am in awe of the craft that Gatsbylady involves in their dresses! The lavender colour and delicate detail is pretty breathtaking. A jaw-dropping gown that can do no wrong, especially with understated accessorising. The Dolores dress comes in sizes 6-30 and is £179.00

maxi dresses

I’ve never seen a polka-dot dress look so versatile before! It even has frills. FRILLS. And yet it somehow gets away with being totally glam?! I’d team this with a pair of red heels and lippy if I was going formal, but I reckon this could also be worn with sandals to a BBQ or a laid back lunch. It’s got a vintage charm to it too and I think it’d look cute with some victory rolls. Up to a size 28 and £65.00 isn’t bad for a dress that can make a million outfits.

maxi dresses

This is a really cute, relaxed option. It can be styled differently with a pair of ankle boots and a leather jacket for a smarter look or a denim jacket and trainers for when you’re after something low maintenance. I’m a fan of throwing together things that a bit of a juxtaposition and I think this classic style of a tea dress can definitely worn from everything from a gig to a day at the beach. £30 and up to a size 28, ASOS are usually pretty bang on with their value for money.

maxi dresses

Awesome Autumn colours for this long sleeved maxi from Navabi. Perfect for the cooler days we’re getting now and it can easily be layered up for when the weather really changes. Paisley is pretty unstoppable as a pattern and this dress comes in sizes up to a 32 and costs £143.99. While it’s on the pricier side, it’s an investment in an excellent quality dress that will never age.

maxi dresses

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Plus Size Pink Coats!

I can’t be the only one who is absolutely in love with pink at the moment? Pink hair, pink lipstick, pink nails. Pink pompoms, pink trains and now PINK COATS! Autumn is getting closer and not only does that mean layering up without sweating profusely, but also being able to wear some cute coats! I’ve picked a favourite selection from the first drop of Autumn styles. I want every single one of these!

pink coats

A classic suede jacket that will keep out the chill. They might be a bit high maintenance to look after, but suede jackets are underrated. River Island. Sizes 18-28, £60.00

 

pink coats

 

Something a little bit lighter for warm Autumn evenings! It’s casual but with that mix of delicate detail with the gorgeous embroidery. Now on sale at £38.50! Sizes 10-32.

pink coats

I want this. I want this, I want this. Hands off because it’s mine. Sizes 18-28, £65.00.

pink coats

A cute waterproof! Let’s face it, it’s going to rain and there is a minimum amount of joy to get out of that so looking like an adorable drowned rat is better than just a drowned rat. (PSA: Rats are adorable damp or not) Sizes 18-28, £34.99.

pink coats

It’s a bit rubbish that this jacket only comes up to a size 24. Come on, Forever 21! Step up your game!

pink coats

 

A gilet when you’re happy to risk having cold arms/a warm torso. I’m still struggling to find a sound understanding of gilets as you can probably tell. From what I know from working in retail at a lifestyle brand, they’re good for wearing while “walking the dog”. So if you want to look like the most stylish dog walker in the land, this new look gilet is probably for you! Sizes 18-32 and £39.99.

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Top Ten Plus Size Lingerie Picks Available Online Now

 Top Ten Plus Size Lingerie Picks Online Now

I’m pretty passionate when it comes to plus sizes and their availability when it comes to lingerie. Only recently has a more diverse range of lingerie become accessible in a truly vibrant and fun way. A matter of just a few years ago, I would put in my bra size and find only nursing bras available to me. This made me accommodate bras that fitted incorrectly, instead of brands accommodating me. But, no more! Larger back sizes and cup sizes have finally broken into the mainstream! We have a way to go, but I thank my bullet-bras that I can now wear something that gives me confidence and comfort instead of anxiety and pain.

Here are my top ten picks of plus size lingerie available online at the moment.

LACE_PLUNGING_BODY_Red

Sizes 14-36, this body is versatile and an amazing colour! £19.00 for amazing lace detail and a cute cut out style.

 

Pretty Secrets Bra

 

Not your average floral bra and at £18.00 it’s a bit of a bargain. Sizes 36C to 48DD

 

Curvy Kate Can Can Babydoll

 

The cutest babydoll I’ve ever seen and it has been on my wishlist since I first saw it! Back sizes 32-40 and cup sizes D-J available at £42.00.

 

Venecia Chemise with Lace trim Coral

 

For something a bit different during the Summer nights, a coral coloured chemise sizes 10-26 with pretty lace detailing. £24.99

 

 

 

Curves Black Premium Lattice Front Lace Longline BraA classic black lace bralette from New Look at a totally reasonable £17.99! Sizes 40C to 44E

 

Elomi Raquel Full Cup Berry Bra

 

Getting prepped for Autumn with this stunning berry coloured Elomi bra. Sizes 34G to 44GG and £42.00, Elomi bras are worth the investment as they’re ridiculously comfy and long lasting.

 

Artistry Balcony Bra

 

An amazing value harness bra that does sizes 36C to 48D!Black & Pink Spotted Corset With Mesh & Frill DetailsPolkadots and mesh are a weird combination when done incorrectly, luckily this Bustier from Yours is adorable and in sizes 16 to 30 at £25.00, you can’t really go wrong.

 

Gorgeous Ivory Chemise with Suspender Straps

 

I can’t believe how in love I am with this chemise in ivory. The colour combination is very vintage inspired and would be perfect for a bride or just to wear as something pretty. Sizes 8-26 and £25.99

 

Pretty Secrets 2 Pack Imogen Full Cup Lace Red:White Bras

 

A two pack of bras in colours that are practical (white for under lighter colours and red for a pop of colour when needed!) that are £30.00 for both and go up to back size 50!

 

I hope you’ve found something you love in my top ten picks of inclusively sized lingerie! Is there anything I’ve missed? Please share it with us in the comments!

 

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