Cardi B: The ultimate feminist icon

I love Cardi B, precisely because she represents so much of what society has told us to hate about women.

Earlier this year, Cardi B inked a deal with Atlantic records following the success of Gangsta Bitch Vol. 2. Fast forward to last month and her contagious record “Bodak Yellow” made history by topping the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first female rapper in 19 years to reach No 1. But if you dig a little deeper, Cardi B’s achievement is actually even more momentous.

Her astonishing rise to fame has been described as both a modern fairytale and the millennial manifestation of the American dream. From social media influencer to A-lister, Cardi B has sent reverberations through the music industry.

Of course, relishing in her success isn’t just about whether you like “Bodak Yellow” or whether you’re an advocate for breast and bum augmentation. It’s about celebrating women – those with or without privilege or pedigree – and Cardi B is on top because of pure talent. She is a woman on a mission writing her own narrative and making a way in society for modern-day feminism.

Just a girl from the Bronx, Cardi B began her ascent to fame as a college drop-out.

Aged 18 she became a stripper, then rose up with Instagram to become a reality star and most recently a mainstream rapper.  She has made a name for herself with her unapologetic behaviour and uses social media to speak out on a variety of issues, based on real life experiences.

Feminism isn’t a subject that is talked about in hip-hop, but plenty of artists have fought for and made music to support the fight for women’s rights. From Queen Latifah to Nicki Minaj, Cardi B is the latest female rapper who isn’t afraid to label herself as a feminist. And when it comes to her music, she represents the underdog, encouraging female empowerment.

“When you hear my lyrics, you hear the shots that I throw at people,” she tells XXL referring to Gangsta Bitch Vol. 2. “I throw shots because I always been the underdog. I got rejected so many times and I say it in my lyrics constantly. ‘My ex told me I was never gon’ be sh*t/Lookie, lookie now, lookie now, n*gga I’m that bitch,’ I always got to prove myself, even now. I put that in my music because that’s something that still bothers me.”

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Source / Giphy

She has been praised by both fans and critics for her willingness to speak up and openly defend what being a true feminist means to her. But it has not come without criticism. She has been under severe scrutiny by haters for representing feminism in the ‘wrong way’ because she was a stripper.

“I inspire women to make money. I’m not encouraging women to be a stripper. I’ma tell women to find a niche and make the best out of yourself and make money out of it.”

Unlike other artists, Cardi B finds her inspiration from the women she has been surrounded by, the women that she has seen struggle and her mum in particular.

“My mom, she’s the best woman ever, the best mom in the world. But she was dependant on my dad and when he left, I saw how hard she had to work to take care of us. I knew I didn’t want to work that hard for a little bit of change.”

What Cardi B may not realise is that she has become the inspiration for thousands of people globally. Labelled a ‘feminist shero’ by fans, her frank and honest lyrics about her experience with domestic violence, inspires other survivors and proves that there can be life after leaving a violent situation.

In Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1, the skit ‘Her Perspective’ is a very raw representation of the traumatic experiences survivors of abuse endure on a daily basis. This, along with her commentary in other songs, raises awareness of the realities of how domestic violence can play out in the real world. She touches on this when discussing how becoming a stripper empowered her to move on, a good example of her sex worker inclusive feminism.

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Cardi B for New York Magazine

Perhaps a college drop out, Cardi B proves that you don’t need a degree in politics to have an informed opinion about the political landscape. From discussing the 2016 US presidential elections, she has used her platform to comment on current affairs and does what the American rapper does best – speak out against the status quo.

I love Cardi B, precisely because she represents so much of what society has told us to hate about women.

Sexists will call her a slut, that she sleeps around and climbed in her career by over-sexualising herself and that her music is trash.

Feminists will say she uses her body instead of her mind to get ahead, that she empowers women in the wrong way, because she was a stripper and that she uses the word “bitch” much too often.

But to love Cardi B, you’ve first got to love womanhood in all its shapes and forms – even the womanhood that is considered the worse, because it’s the one with makeup, weaves opposed to natural hair, the one that abides to patriarchy and the male gaze according to what is supposed to be respected in a woman. In order to love Cardi B, you got to give the woman some credit, for being a bad-ass modern feminist.

Originally written and published for Women of Power.

 

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Top Beauty Hacks

These are my top beauty hacks that I do on a regular basis and swear by! Try them out and see if they work for you.

Talcum powder instead of dry shampoo

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I don’t respond well to early mornings and my hair does not respond well to dry shampoo. No matter the brand it doesn’t resurrect the greasy state that my hair is constantly in.

An alternative and equally lazy product is talcum powder – the stuff used for babies!

Either tap a small amount onto the palms of your hands and fingers and manually rub it into the greasy areas. Or just shake it out of the bottle – be careful it comes out quick.

Leave it in whilst you shower or do your makeup and using clean hands, shake your head up side down and rubbed it out of your roots. Remember if you’re dark haired to really work it out!

OPI quick dry nail polish spray

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This little product is an absolute beauty saviour!

Although an OPI product, the RapiDry Spray works with any brand of nail varnish and is great for when you’ve got limited drying time but want to do a good paint job.

Combine with fast drying nail varnish and after a 10 minutes from first coat, spray generously over nails and ta-dah! Touch dry!

Top tip: it might be a little pricey, but it lasts for ages – try buying it at an airport next time you’re jetting off on holiday – it’s much cheaper!

Fix your makeup with hairspray

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Perhaps not the most hygienic for your face or skin but it works wonders and is so much cheaper than a makeup fixing spray.

Once all makeup has been applied, simply spray over your face. Keep your eyes and mouth closed though!

Vaseline on your eyelashes

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Not only do I highly recommend taking all makeup off and washing your face thoroughly before bed, but alongside a little moisturiser, my secret to thicker, healthier lashes is vaseline.

Face oils are equally as good – but be careful around the eye area.

Take a swipe of lip balm and simply paste it onto your eyelashes working from root to tip. Leave in overnight!

Got a beauty hack you swear by? Let me know! 

(All Gifs are from Giphy.com)

 

Stop Shaming McDonald Employees.

If i don’t get a grad job I’m sure McDonalds would have me.’ Newsflash – who cares if you got a first – with that attitude McDonalds wouldn’t employ you.

Having overheard a group of what I can only presume were university students, sitting gossiping on the bus, they were hurling ‘jokes’ around about the prospect of working in McDonalds ‘as a last resort’ should they not succeed into employment with their degree.

In particular, one commented how (she’d) ‘rather be unemployed than work in McDonalds.’ 

It made me wonder, as a previous employee of the world-wide restaurant chain, why is their so much sh*t given to people working in McDonalds, and what could people learn about working there?

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McDonald’s is the world’s largest restaurant chain and on 13th November 1974, the first ever McDonald’s was opened in the UK, Woolwich, Southeast London. 

With more than 34,000 restaurants worldwide, it’s the Sunday Times 6th Best Company to work for this year and employs 97,000 people in the UK alone. And I was one of those employees.

People are often surprised to hear that I have worked in this renowned takeaway company (and no they are not a fast-food chain), but I have a lot of gratitude towards the famous Big Mac company and I had a lot of fun times. 

By the age of 17, McDonalds was my second part-time job and it gave me some of the most essential life skills I don’t think I would be able to get anywhere else.

But not everyone has the ability to work at McDonalds. I’m not talking about GCSE grades – although yes it is true you need a Maths and English GCSE at grade C or above to work within the UK. I’m talking about the type of person you have to be to deal with the oh so lovely customers (insert sarcasm) we are faced with serving. 

McDonald’s will break you or make you. 

I’m referring to grown men having a hissy fit and throwing their burger over the counter at me because it had pickles in (no they’re not called a gherkin, they are a pickled cucumber. And no I didn’t take your order.) 

And the fights in the lobby early Sunday morning, when a group of drunk, emotional girls fall out and they start trashing the place. *Security please*

memeThen the look on the customer’s face when he asks for sauce and I tell him politely (and smugly) ‘that’s going to be 5p please’. You should hear the outrage.

‘5p for a sauce? I’ve already spent £15 on two meals I should get it free.’ 

‘You’ve already received two free sauces with your fries, any more will be 5p each PLEASE’ (still smug.) Never seen so many people huff and drive off so fast. 

And of course there are some lovely customers, ever so polite, almost too nice and some start hitting on you.

To this day my most favourite compliment has to be ‘that colour looks really good on you.’ Sorry? You’re referring to the snot colour, grease stained, sweat patched t-shirt I’m wearing? Righttttttt. *eye roll*

But my favourite encounters of all time has to be the ‘dumb customer’. He or she is someone who tries to insult you with a lower level intelligence than yourself. 

For example, when something goes wrong with their order, or they’ve waited too long or generally don’t get their way they will insult your profession and education.

(Apparently) I have no GCSE’s or education, (apparently) I will be working in McDonalds for the rest of my life (there’s nothing wrong with any of those.)

There was nothing more I loved than explaining to someone (ever so politely to really make them look stupid) that in fact I probably had more GCSE’s than their entire family, I was studying for a degree and was grateful to have a job, be it McDonalds or the Royal Palace. So who’s the one with the issue here? 

Here is where the stigma and sh*t attached to working in McDonalds lies. I am not ashamed to have worked in McDonalds, it was bloody great fun and was really flexible for my education. Yes, sometimes it wasn’t worth the sh*t off the customers, but it was a stepping stone for myself. It provided me invaluable people skills, taught me (some) patience, a dislike for people and an addiction to hard work and earning my own money. 

I sometimes wish society could see what employees who work in these places have to put up, and perhaps they would all be a little nicer (and clear their tray away after eating.)

UnknownJust remember, no employees, no Big Macs. 

88% of official graduates have luckily gone straight into employment according to 2017 government statistics.

As graduation is imminently upon me (yes we’re the last to graduate I know), and overhearing the way these girls slated McDonalds, it made me look back on my education and experience and be thankful. 

Fortunately I was lucky enough to get a job that related to my degree. But there will still be hundreds, if not thousands of post-graduates without any employment, degree related or not. So never rule out any job, McDonalds or not, it could be your stepping stone. 

Enjoyed this? Read my ‘Secrets of a McDonalds Employee‘ 


(Header image copyright of McDonalds, other images Google CR.)

Black Outfit Inspiration for Halloween 2017

Halloween is approaching and there’s nothing more I hate than fancy dress. Trying to think of original funny outfits whilst also trying to still look sexy and stylish is my worst nightmare.

Instead of opting for Harley Quinn like every other girl, why not just wear your favourite colour – black! I’ve scoured the internet for the trendiest and most current pieces in every shade of noir. 


In The Style are renowned for their reality stars and bloggers designing sell-out collections. ITS x Sarah Ashcroft is back and her collection is full of soft delicate colours with jaw dropping fabrics and cuts. 

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Check out this Black Tie Waist Unitard Jumpsuit £29.99. 

This statement jumpsuit is cut in a flattering design to flaunt your figure. Featuring a tie waist to nip you in, a high neck and cut just above the ankle, its simple details are really effective in letting your body do the talking. 

Opt for killer high heels and back comb the b*tch out of your hair. Go bold with face paint and choose a scary design to offset the sexiness of this outfit. 

 


Vinyl is this autumn/winter seasons must have wardrobe essential. From PVC skirts to shiny plastic boots, every brand is making heads turn in the clothes and accessories they are designing in vinyl. 

And it’s no surprise that Missguided are bang on this trend. Their Black Vinyl Trench Coat £50 might be a cheaper alternative to other fashion brands, but what is compromises on price it doesn’t let us down on style. 

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Halloween is a time where girls love to show off their assets in a cheeky and sexy mysterious way. What better statement to make then wearing a Vinyl trench? Team it with thigh high boots, and opt for lace up to add even more sex appeal. 

Of course, it’s up to you whether you wear clothes underneath. But I suggest going for a cute lace bralet and mini skirt or even high waisted pants and fishnet overlay. Add your finishing touch with a masquerade style eye mask and your look is complete!

 


Perhaps you’re on a budget and don’t want to be splashing the cash on clothes, just to rip them up and pour fake blood all over. Finding pieces that you can wear on a regular day out is also a convenient way of being money conscious. 

River Island are already known for their incredible quality and low priced leggings, that miraculously come in all shapes, sizes and lengths. It’s no surprise that they have collaborated their high-selling leggings with a trend of this season. 

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These gorgeous Black Faux Pearl Embellished Leggings £28 are an ideal piece to add a little more detail to make your outfit even more extra. 

The thickness of fabric means no knickers make an appearance and allows you to choose a crop top to partner with. Keep it casual and opt for trainers if you’re planning on dancing into November. 

 

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Another statement legging thats currently trending and selling incredibly well is from Topshop. Their Ribbon Lace Up Leggings £26 are hot hot hot! 

Great price and super flattering, it’s your choice how much flesh you want to show. Looser the ribbon, the more daring sexier look. 

Styled well with trainers, flats, ankle boots or a cute pointed court, they add that extra level of detail to finish off the perfect all-black outfit this Halloween. 

 

 


 

Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 12.01.36.pngNothing says the start of the festive seasons like star patterned pieces. Topshop have designed a cute, sexy and totally versatile Star Glitter Slip Dress £32 that you can wear your way.

Reasonably price the satin button up front and two way v-neck shows one of the sexiest parts of a female without being naked. Whether you choose to wear it solo or add a sheer glitter t-shirt like shown, your feminine side will shine. 

Add a pair of fishnet tights to clash the patterns and opt for a chunky military style ankle boot to rough up the outfit. 

 

Bought any of these pieces or styled them in a better way? Let me know your plans and what you will be wearing for your Halloween festivities! 

(All images have come directly from the brands websites, please see links)

 

Top Tunes of The Week

A new addition to “Too Much Sass To Handle” is going to be a weekly article dedicated to the songs that I play on endless repeat.

This week I think you should check out the following three songs that, in my opinion are pretty incredible.

#3 – Marshmello ft. Khalid – Silence

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Marshmello is quickly establishing himself as one of the strongest new forces in the music industry. The masked DJ who wears a big ass marshmallow on his head (hence the name) has teamed up with the incredibly promising singer Khalid with his latest single ‘Silence’. Incredibly catchy, beautifully crafted with a wicked electro beat.

#2 – Jessie J – Not My Ex

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Powerful and emotive, Jessie J is back with a new self-care album. The Essex born singer, has recently released her newest album ROSE, in the attempt to reunite with her British fans after spending several years living in America and Australia. ‘Not My Ex’ will resonate with many people and the stripped back video makes you focus deeply on the words she has so beautifully written and sang.

#1 – Dave – Question Time

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Rising London rapper Dave has given us the first taste of his upcoming EP, ‘Game Over’ released November 3rd with his political-charged song ‘Question Time.’ We’ve seen a movement with rap, grime and politics integrated and becoming hugely popular with the younger generation. Incredibly relatable and honest, Dave speaks out about the issues that society is experiencing. He pays tribute to those who died in the Grenfell Tower fire and challenges the current Prime Minister, Theresa May and those before her and the competition. I cannot wait to see what his EP brings.

Listen to ‘Question Time’ below – and let me know what you think! 

The Best of British: Autumn Television Favourites

Here in Britain, we produce some of the best television shows aired on our screens. As the autumn leaves have already fallen, we are in the middle of the finest tv drama around.

Here are some of the best for you to catch up on, or look forward to.

Blue Planet II

The legend of nature that is David Attenborough, proves once again that he can unite a national through the love of the planet. Following his 2001’s breathtaking aquatic documentary, Blue Planet II is due for return this winter. BBC One TBA

Watch the full trailer below (copyright of the BBC)

 


Doctor Foster

Series one aired over two years ago and took society by storm. Dr Gemma Foster (played by Suranne Jones) is a woman seemingly in control of her perfect life. A trusted GP, the heart of her town, a woman people can trust. But Gemma’s life exploded.

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Fast forward two real-time years, and the immensely gripping second series, shown on BBC One, began on September 5th, has just finished.

Having not watched the first series, I sat down one Wednesday afternoon ahead of the newest series starting and binged watched the entire first five episodes. No spoilers here,  but this series is a must watch, it will have you screaming at your screens. Everyone will be able to relate, but are you with Gemma, or against her?

The second series has been perfectly set up for a third to return. Watch all the episodes online here: BBC One – Doctor Foster.


The Child in Time

Award winning actor Benedict Cumberbatch stars in Stephen Butchard’s adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel, The Child in Time, a lyrical and heartbreaking exploration of love, loss and the power of things unseen.

A successful writer, struggling with his wife after losing their child in a supermarket sends the marriage onto struggling diverging paths. Coming to BBC One soon.

Watch the trailer ahead of the first episode (copyright of the BBC)

 


Safe House

The first series of this gripping crime drama impressed audiences back in 2015. As it returns to our tv screens, Christopher Eccleston and Marsha Thomson are back as the couple who turn their beautiful Lake District home into a temporary hide-out for a family on the run.

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Each series is made up of four episodes, each following a different set of guests who are forced to take refuge at the Safe House, whilst re-telling the story of how they came to arrive in the first place.

The first series is available to buy online and on dvd, and catch up on the latest series here: ITV – Safe House 


Liar

A new six-part thriller mystery, created by brothers Harry and Jack Williams, debuted on ITV this autumn. The series stars Joanne Froggatt and Ioan Gruffudd as the leading characters, whose initial attraction leads to a date that has far-reaching consequences.

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Everyone in the cast is lying, but who is the ultimate liar?

First show on ITV on 11th September 2017, you can catch up ahead of the finale here: ITV – Liar 


The Great British Bake Off

If you’ve never heard of GBBO then stop reading now. For everyone who doesn’t live under a rock and co-exisits in society then you’re probably up to date with all the baking beef between BBC One and Channel 4.

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The latest series, after making the risky move to rival Channel 4, is well underway. Who do you think this years winner is?

Missed out on the latest episode? Get your Italian fix here: Channel 4 – The Great British Bake Off


The Last Post

Familiar faces, Jessica Raine and Ben Miles star in the new drama series sex during the mid-sixties. As the Empire crumbles, Major Markham leads a unit of Royal Military Police attempting to hold the line in Aden.

It hits your screens every Sunday on BBC One, and if you’ve missed the first episode, catch up here: BBC One – The Last Post

Watch the trailer here (copyright of the BBC)


Body Guard

A new show created by TV’s king of heart-pounding police drama, Line of Duty, writer Jed Mercurio, is back with a brand new six-part series. Commissioned by BBC One, Body Guard follows a cop from the Royalty and Specialist Protection Unit of the Metropolitan Police who finds himself charged with protecting a high-profile politician.

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, says: “Jed Mercurio has created an original and modern take on the crime genre for BBC One. In his own unique and clever way, the series takes us into the corridors of power in thrilling style – all seen through the eyes of the bodyguard.”

Catch this new gripping drama on BBC One soon.

These are just a few of the awesome dramas on tv right now, perhaps I’ve missed a few. Let me know what your favourites are, and suggest some tv shows I can watch! 

Suit up! It’s all about stripes.

Stripes never go out of fashion and we will be seeing a lot more of them moving into Spring/Summer 2018, with a whole new personality.

In the meantime, they are around for the winter season too! Check out several ways you can wear stripes and the British hughstreet brands you can buy them from!


Modern Classic

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Humbug Stripe Jacket – Topshop – £65

Humbug Stripe Slouch Trousers (also available in wide leg) – Topshop – £50

 

 

 

 

 

 


Black with white stripes

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(Left to right)

Stripe Suit Jacket – Topshop – sale – now £30

Humbug Stripe Sleeveless Jacket – Topshop – £59

Black Wide Leg Trousers – Missguided – £30

If you hate being restricted to suit sets and find that a piece doesn’t flatter a part of your figure, then opting for separates is a much easier – and sometimes more affordable way of wearing a suit. For a casual suited look, wide leg trousers are perfect, add trainers and a t-shirt.


Jumpsuits

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(Left to right)

AX Paris Pinstripe Culotte Jumpsuit – Brand Attic – £30

White Jersey Stripe Jumpsuit – Missguided – £25

Tux Jumpsuit in Pinstrip – ASOS – £49

Choosing a jumpsuit over separates is an easy, stylish outfit choice for anyone running late in the mornings. All nip you in at the waits, and with portrait stripes, they elongate the body and crop off just above the ankle.

 

 


Pop of colour!

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Green Stripe Straight Leg Suit Trousers – Pretty Little Thing – £18

Green Stripe Belted Blazer – Pretty Little Thing – £25

Bought separately, but a must have co-ord! This bright green belted jacket and trouser suit is perfect to shake up a boring old boardroom with colour.

 

 

 

 

(All images used are from the website of the clothing brand – see hyperlinks.)