Blog / woman crush wednesday
I happened upon Ashleigh “Bing” Bingham in the same way I have found so many of the fashion blogs I like – Tumblr. I Dream of Dapper was created a few years ago as a response to the binary gender divisions in mainstream fashion. I love that the blog has a page dedicated to it’s purpose, to make sure the message reads loud and clear. “Clothing does not make an individual more of a man; it does not make them less of woman.”
Currently working towards a Doctorate of Education, Bing also writes for the awesome style blog Qwear, AND is a monthly contributor to Autostraddle. You can follow her on Instagram, and browse I Dream of Dapper here.
Body love advocate and feminist Jes Baker has a lot to say. Whether through her blog, The Militant Baker, her TEDx talk, or her upcoming book, she’s doing everything she can to spread her message: Lose the bullshit. Love your body. She writes a lot about self-acceptance in an accessible way, encouraging folks to rethink how they’ve been taught to feel about themselves and shift towards having a positive relationship with their body.
I’ve always been one to enjoy a long hike over a quick run. I used to play baseball as a tween and always enjoyed the innings where I’d be in the outfield, daydreaming and feeling indifferent about the ball coming my way. Team sports were never my thing.
Yoga seemed like the perfect activity for me and it was love at first breath. But when I started practicing yoga I always did it at home, too nervous to take a class and feeling self-conscious about being a beginner. A lot of the videos I watched had different modes depending on experience but I wasn’t really seeing a lot of bodies that looked like mine. When I came across Big Gal Yoga on Instagram, I could instantly feel the positive energy and self-love coming from Valerie. She has been sharing her love of yoga and encouraging folks to give it a try with fun challenges and tips for bigger bodies, and people are loving it. Valerie’s daily poses are gorgeous and inspirational, plus the fashion-lover in me is shouting HELL YEAH for her plethora of colourful yoga gear – she’s always looking tops. Get ready to spend a bunch of time scrolling through her photos!
You can also check out Valerie’s full site here.
I’m not one of those people that started feeling old once I entered my thirties but coming to the realization that The Craft was released almost twenty years ago was a little jarring. I’ll process that later. For now I want to talk about how formative this flick was when I was a witchy 90s teen in a smallish town. Clueless was already out and it was a big deal but for me it was lacking in the sullen teenager vibes. It totally reflected the majority of kids around me who were preppier, sportier, trendier but I wanted smeary makeup and chunky boots. Cue The Craft, which hit the ground running and took over the lives of my friends and I. We couldn’t get enough of the eyeliner and no fucks attitudes, and it was refreshing and reassuring to see girls who looked more like us. It definitely contributed to me embracing myself as the kind of person that burns a lot of incense and spends free time in the woods.
Around Halloween this flick gets put back on the roster and I thought The Craft would be the perfect #wcw to lead us all into October.
I can't for the life of me remember if I've picked Grace Jones as a #wcw since I started doing this column or not. I've been wanting it to be her for quite some time but now that her dishy autobiography "I'll Never Write My Memoirs" is coming out, the timing couldn't be more perfect.
I will certainly read her book and enjoy every minute of it, but I'm far more interested in her personal stories than the beefs with celebs like Miley Cyrus. I guess that's how they're trying to sell her book to a younger audience but COME ON PEOPLE, this woman is incredible.
Grace Jones is the kind of person you refer to with both her first and last name, so that's how it's going to be here. Grace Jones started her career as a model, covering Vogue and the other big mags before delving into film and music. An unapologetic advocate for self-expression and individuality, Grace Jones has been challenging the status quo forever, particularly with her expression of gender and nudity through fashion and art. This year, at 67 years of age, she hula hooped topless at Brooklyn's Afropunk Festival (hula link has NSFW images) for the entire duration of her hit, "Slave to the Rhythm."
If you're familiar with Grace Jones, I'm sure you're looking forward to her new book. If she looks familiar but you don't know much about her, please dedicate some time to watching past interviews and music videos on Youtube. Her influence on pop culture is undeniable, she is a genius.
Straight up, I don’t know too much about newest internet sensation, Baddie Winkle. I saw an image of her go by on Instagram a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been watching her pop up all over the place ever since. I’m still learning her story but I can’t argue with a person of any age who is out there doing their own thing and having a good time. In a fashion world where the idea of dressing “age appropriate” is still pushed really hard, I like to see a babe like Baddie Winkle breaking rules and getting attention for it. And come on, isn’t this outfit everything?
You can check out her Instagram account here.
Australian artist Mel Stringer knows babes. Her body positive illustrations often feature adorable gals who don’t want to take your shit. I am forever blown away by how consistently she puts out incredible art and I basically want all of it. All. Of. It.
Mel’s circle of babes that she’s created look like people I want to be friends with and her colour palette is how I want to see the world all the time. If you want to check out more of her work you can hop over to her site. Her Etsy shop is a tad low on stock right now but it looks like she’ll be back September 1 with new jams like her Oh You Yearbook, a series of portraits she’s done over the past twelve months. And yes, she’s got Instagram.
It’s that time of year when stores start pushing fall fashion on us, as if I want to look at cardigans while I’m sitting here generating a ton of boob sweat and eating popsicles. Alas, I browse anyway, sweaters are inevitable and boots are my jam. Maybe I’m actually into it. Okay I am.
The fashion world is driven by trend forecasters and at some point a few companies decided that this season was going to be all about the 70s. Skinny jeans are out and high-waisted flares are in, despite years of magazines telling fat girls they shouldn’t wear them. I have always been inspired by the style of this time, and especially by Stevie Nicks. Her witchy vibes never wavered, through disco, punk, grunge, or whatever was hot at the time.
There is so much that could be said about Stevie’s incredible life. She’s written some of the most beloved songs and inspired so many woman to be whoever they want to be but also be tough. Frankly, she’s a living goddess.
We all know her music so I wanted to share a gorgeous series of Polaroid photos that Stevie has posted on her website. Hazy and ethereal, they’re some legit inspo for getting into the fall mood.
For the last two days, my social media feeds have been blowing up with the story of Kiran Gandhi running the London Marathon this past April. For those who aren’t familiar, this babe ran a full marathon freely bleeding after getting her period on the big day. Unwilling to throw away a year of training but also not wanting to suffer the discomfort of wearing a pad or tampon while running, Kiran wore nothing and in doing so, started a discussion about menstruation and body shaming.
My first reaction when I heard this story was, WHO IS THIS FANTASTIC PERSON? And looking into Kiran’s life a bit further only brought up more evidence that she is a fucking bad ass. After being accepted into the MBA program at Harvard, Kiran was offered a gig playing drums on tour with M.I.A. Unable to decide between these two options, she went with what felt right, what would make her the happiest – she did both. She discovered that following universal cues, going with the flow, and listening to her gut was the key to becoming her best self.
In 2013 Kiran did a TEDx talk about her theory on decision-making. She calls it Atomic Living, and it focuses on being in tune with your surroundings and developing the ability to deviate from plans and change your expectations on the fly. I’m sure this was one of the driving forces behind her choice to bleed through her first marathon and it’s an interesting talk to process.
Big ups to Kiran for jump starting a necessary conversation about menstruation and the accessibility of menstruation products and being an inspiration to folks all over the place. You can watch her TEDx talk here. This is her Instagram account.
We’ve been told for too long that in order to be your best self you’ve got to do a bunch of these things:
- Win strangers over with effortless charm!
- Aim for the top!
- Put your head down and get to work!
- Say stuff like: I’ll sleep when I’m dead!
- Work hard, play harder!
- Impressing people is important!
- Probably something about being good with money!
Montreal-based illustrator Olivia Mew knows where it’s at, and it’s not this. She’s quickly become the go-to retailer for homebodies and chill folks everywhere. Maybe Club President is a better title, since she’s been killing it with Stay Home Club, a clothing and accessory line described as a lifestyle brand for people who have no life. Her stuff has a perfectly distinct vibe, encouraging like-minded people to proudly display their feels with shirts and totes that say things like “boring is best” and “sad sack.”