A Letter to My Fresher Self

unnamedAs a recent graduate things are always changing quickly. Friends are packing their bags and leaving to chase their dreams in far flung continents, getting new jobs, new friends and new flats. Today, I lose one of my closest friends to France for a year, where she is going to au pair, get a tan and probably find a ridiculously good looking Frenchman. It’s crazy to think that four years ago we were days away from meeting for the first time in an overcrowded student flat where I would also meet my boyfriend, my future flatmates, and a girl from Hungary that enjoyed stripping on celebratory occasions such as birthdays and Christmas.

This week I was also asked to write an article for Source Magazine, sharing a letter I would write to my eighteen year old self about to embark on Fresher’s Week. To coincide with the launch of my new graduate blog http://callyourgradfriend.wordpress.com/ I thought I would share the letter on TASTE today as a kind of send off to my friend Josie and to all that I’ve learnt in the last four years. Here’s to the next chapter in my life, and to the eighteen year old me, that thought she knew it all (when really she didn’t.)

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Just pause Gossip Girl for one second would you; I have something to say. I know you’re awful with confrontation (you’ll get over that mostly) but this is important. You’re about to go to uni (yay!) and not to sound too much like Mum or anything, but you’ve got a lot to learn.

You’re nervous, that’s okay. In fact it’s GREAT. You are about to be thrown completely out your comfort zone and meet tonnes of people from all over the world, from all sorts of backgrounds and they’re going to force your eyes wide open. Speak to everyone but only surround yourself with people that make you feel totally at ease: you’ll trust them wholly, the jokes will come easily and they’ll happily call you out for being an idiot. If people disappoint you or break your heart, it’s okay to walk away, but give people chances. Have an open mind; be fast to listen and slow to talk (I’m still working on that for us). See those girls in the picture up there? Four years later they’re still going to be your best friends, biggest cheerleaders and ill-advised advisers. Nine times out of ten when you think you are having a full on mental breakdown, you really just need to sit down with them for a pot of tea. Sometimes you’ll need something stronger. You’ll always need biscuits.

 Don’t fight with Mum and call her at least once a week, even if it’s for ten minutes. She wants to hear that you’re okay and looking after yourself now she’s not there. She has great taste in wine and is usually right about most things. Listen to her next time she tells you not to buy that jumper. It really is hideous.

Go to the gym and don’t eat what you want just because you can. Admitting that 50 orange Jaffacakes doesn’t cover your 5 a day will be a big learning curve for you. Surprisingly, so will the challenge of making cheese sauce. Don’t exist on toast, potato wedges and mug cakes even though they’re easy to make. By the time you graduate you’ll be making full roasts and ripping recipes out of magazines but for now, cook some stir-fries and big batches of chilli that you can freeze. When in doubt, buy eggs – scramble them, poach them and omelette them. This will be a big thing for you.

Don’t do all-nighters or drink three Red Bulls before an exam – you’ll see spots and your grade will be rubbish. Go to class even when it’s boring, even when you’re behind and ESPECIALLY when you’re confused. Speak up, ask questions and don’t be afraid to be wrong, that’s how you’ll learn. Hundreds of people will be smarter than you; they’ll know about fishing tariffs and java script but you can tell them which pizza place serves the peperoni under the cheese.

Get on Twitter (it’s going to be big) but don’t obsess about it. Ditto Facebook and Instagram. Use it for keeping in touch with friends and for procrastination, but don’t let likes dictate your life. Change your profile picture only when you look deliriously happy, not when you find one that has a weird angle that makes you look slim-ish.

Never make excuses for what you like or what you want. People are going to say that FOMO is a thing but it’s not – you’re smart enough to know when you need to catch up on sleep, save some money or work on that deadline. That said, don’t be scared to take some chances, go to parties in strange flats and join sports teams and obscure societies. Do work experience, as much as you can– you’re going to love it. And when people tell you there are no jobs left in the industry smile to yourself and think ‘That’s fine, I’m coming after your job.’ Be kind to yourself and others, experiment and take chances. And one last thing: please, please don’t get that fringe you’ve been thinking about.

Don’t forget to keep up to date with my new blog here and learn all the best job, flat and life advice for students and graduates that I’m learning along the way!

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How Much Of A Summer Cliché Were You?

As the summer draws to a close and September creeps around the corner, TASTE asks, did you avoid becoming a summer stereotype?  Read below to find out which summer holiday tribe you belong to.

The Couple on the Verge

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You went to Paris to prove to the world (and all your Facebook friends) that you are both in love with a capital L. Pictures show you kissing beneath the Eiffel Tour, wearing matching mouse ears overlooking the Disneyland castle and looking edgy (and in love) outside the Louvre. The reality is that you split up on the first day, spent you trip crying into complex carbs from the local patisserie and got kicked out of Disney for having a screaming match Solange style on the teacups.

Single Girls Holiday

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Basing their annual trip on the WWMICCG motto (Where Would Made In Chelsea’s Cast Go) these twenty-something uni grads channel Millie Mackintosh-come-Moss while lounging in a Croatian villa they found on Airbnb. While they wish they could turn off their iPhones, send postcards and ‘connect’ with one another, instead the day includes hangovers by the pool sipping cheap rose, throwing shade behind a dog-eared Grazia and uploading a constant stream of perfectly executed cliff jumping shots to Twitter/Instagram/Facebook. By night they’re even heavier on the filters and the fake tan application, playing international Tinder and Never Have I Ever. Pass out before midnight on their pool lilo.

Festival Fiend

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Since going to uni you’ve managed shed all evidence of the Gilet glad and Abercrombie obsessed persona you so carefully curated at your private all-girls school. You’ve bagged a boyfriend that does ket and a friend that sells her own ‘garms’ on ASOS Marketplace and now it’s time to up the ante, don your extensive bindi collection and head to some off the wall festival with repetitive music and too many floral headbands. You pay £150 in the hopes that you’ll ‘discover’ the next Klingande. Instead you get drunk on Aperol spritz by noon, unable to leave the tepee that is playing Pharrell’s Happy for the 197th time.

The Long term Lovers

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Dream of joining friends in Berlin but end up alone together in Cornwall B&B (again). Pretend to rather have a holiday that includes egg sandwiches, surfing and Breaking Bad over late night kebabs and warehouse raves. Imagine the weekend will also involve sun, sex and some questionable surfing and connecting as a couple. Instead you pretend to have diarrhoea just so you can dart into a pub and use the wifi for 30 blissfully uninterrupted minutes.

The Yoga Bore

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Reformed wild child who can’t stop telling people how ‘centred’ they are since taking up the stretchy stuff this summer. Longs for Jennifer Anniston arms and the clarity of Hilary Clinton. When not discussing the downward dog to anyone that will listen, Yoga Bore  waxes lyrical about the damaging effects of refined sugar and how important it is to ‘eat clean’. By ‘eating clean’ they are referring to spending three hours and roughly £50 on making ‘healthy’ kale and avocado cheesecake that still contains 99% of their daily fat intake and tastes like burnt grass.

The Gap Yah

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You just finished your last year in school or uni, panicked and booked an overpriced 11 month trip to Australia/ Thailand / Bali to avoid your parents questioning and the threat of pending adult responsibility. You wear those ‘alternative’ trousers you bought last year in Zara but never had the balls to wear and organise the rest of your clothes according to day and activity, fantasizing about zip slides, hot boys and rainforest raves. Instead you spend the first month stranded and broke in rural Oz working as a sheep farmer trying to save up enough to hitchhike to the nearest city so you can email your parents for more cash. You’re not so hopefully about the next ten months.

Sex in the City: How To Date In Glasgow and Edinburgh

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They say Paris is for lovers – so can the romantically inclined please hop back over the channel and leave Edinburgh alone? It bemuses me that the city of Edinburgh has been voted one of the world’s top romantic places and eighth best city break in the world by Wanderlust travel magazine this year. That means despite the rain, the cold and the grumpy locals roughly 6 million couples visit Edinburgh every year.

Loved up tourists, you have been lied to. If we locals can’t stand half the commotion that goes on during the Fringe then we certainly can’t abide your excessive PDA in front of the castle, blocking our way to the bus stop. In general Edinburgers are reserved, rude, rich and in a rush. We become quickly frustrated with tourists over the festival months, particularly when they come in loved up pairs. We really are not interested in the Jim Carey impersonation show you saw – please don’t give us a flyer. We will not wait for you to get your picture rubbing Greyfiars Bobby’s nose because we are fairly sure that dog, and his lucky nose, is an urban myth solely told to take the piss out of gullible tourists. No talking to us on the trams. No talking about the trams. And certainly no eye contact.

No Edinburgh is not the place to be in a couple abroad– we hate you here. Nor is it the place to be single – yet somewhere along the way pop culture created a terrible, terrible myth: that, Edinburgh, like New York City, is a town of great romance.  As a result hundreds of girls every night are lured out of George St clubs by over confident rugby buggers  and into overpriced taxis. It’s an epidemic.

The problem with Edinburgh boys is that they have no charm but plenty money; hoping to lure you into bed with a vodka and fresh orange and a story nearly always beginning with ‘when I was lifting…’. Exactly the opposite is true in Glasgow – here the boy will spend the taxi money on a chippy for two and bum a cigarette off you in exchange for walking you home safe. See? Pure romance.

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Glasgwegians have manners, spontaneity and, more often than not, a pint in their system. They are friendly, sentimental and best of all they have beards which I am sure you’ll agree is pretty attractive.

Thank goodness then, that Glasgow was voted most romantic city last year by the Royal Mail who noted a 11.7% increase in mail from Glaswegians on the 13 February- an 8% rise over the national average.

But of course, love is (geographically) blind. Whether you are flirting, dating, Tindering or traveling together, there are plenty places to look deep and longingly in to each other eyes, regardless of your location. I guess what I’m trying to say is there will always be sex in the city, whatever the city  and all you really need is a good sense of humour, a willingness to try new things and, just for good measure, TASTE’s official guide to the best date spots in Scotland. So here it is: this one’s for the lovers.

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Eat: Under the Stairs. Tucked under George IV Bridge this unpretentious hide away is the perfect place for a date. Low ceilings and cosy tables – illuminated by flickering candles – provide the atmosphere of what can only be described as a sexual business meeting. In a really good way.

See: The Dalmeny Estate. Just a twenty  minute bike ride from the centre of Edinburgh sits the incredible Dalmeny estate owned by the Earl of Rosebury and the grounds are open to the public. The sprawling 19th century gothic mansion will lead you right to foot of the Fourth Road bridge where you can stop and enjoy a bottle of wine and some fish fresh from the sea. Very Downton.

Do:  You know you’ve got a keeper when a boy suggests a date that doesn’t revolve around drinking or eating. So for the ultimate activity- led date, head up Arthur Seat for spectacular views of the city.

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Eat: Hanoi Bike Club is the ultimate date restaurant – all giant lanterns, flickering lights and snug tables. The place is always stuffed full with young couples enjoying the best Vietnamese food the West End has to offer and the staffs are more than happy to help guide you through the menu. Dishes are best shared – you just know you’re going to make it if you are prepared to split prawn crackers.

See: Kelvingrove museum. In my opinion the ultimate date – where better to get lost than among the shadows of Picasso’s masterpieces and the luring figures of taxidermy? Plus across the road Orlando’s offers out of this world fish and chips which are definitely worth a try.

Do: Now that Glasgow have their very own version of ‘Boris Bikes’ there is no excuse no to get out and explore your city. Head down Kelvin walkway and finish with the Botanics where you can explore the beautiful greenhouses or enjoy an ice cream on the grass.

The Ultimate Guide to Barcelona

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The ultimate dilemma when choosing where to spend you summer holiday: city break or beach retreat? Lucky for you the incredible city of Barcelona offers the best of both worlds: lazy days on sandy beaches, late dinners, even later drinks and more culture than you can shake a stick at. The city is undoubtedly the cultural hub of Spain where an exuberant, young party atmosphere meets some of the twentieth century’s greatest achievements in art and design. It is also 50 quid return on Ryan Air with cheap booze and a beach. With so many dimensions to the city, Barcelona is exactly what you make it – here are TASTE’s top tips for traveling to the iconic city.

Where to stay

Barcelona is the perfect city break, whatever you bank account and there are plenty great places to be found on Airbnb – just make sure you read the reviews carefully and don’t get caught out by hefty deposit fees. Not ready to take the Airbnb leap of faith? You can still do Barcelona on a budget.

If you are really strapped for cash, look in to staying at the university accommodation over the summer. Stick to Residencia Universitaria C. R. Bonanovain in El Puxtet, a great location just a little further out the city but full of great bars and cafés that are popular with the Spanish locals and a little more authentic than what’s going on in the centre. The accommodation, broken up into small student flats, is extremely basic – we’re talking singles beds, no towels and a shared bathroom, shower and kitchen.

If you are looking for something a little more luxurious but are still on a budget, its worth looking at Secret Escapes and Lastminute.com where you can find great deals on four star hotels. On my last trip I upgraded from the student halls to stay in Expo Hotel which boasted a roof top pool and terrace and clean modern accommodation located right next to the Barcelona Sants Station train station.

Where to eat

Barcelona is absolutely bursting with bars and restaurants but the standards and prices throughout the city can vary dramatically. It’s always best to have a place in mind rather than being sucked into an overpriced tapas bar on La Rablas. Lucky for you, TASTE has plenty suggestions.

First up Bar Lobo, the perfect metropolitan den, tucked in a corner just off Las Ramblas. The ultra-modern space is large and airy complete with oversized Chinese lanterns and dramatic oak décor. While it’s well worth a visit for the design alone, the cuisine on offer is equally impressive. Come in the afternoon and enjoy a bottle of wine on the terrace or join the city’s young crowd in the evening to try a range of classic tapas dishes.

If Bar Lobo is all about the atmosphere, La Maladrina is all about the food – specifically it’s world class steaks for less than the price of your metro ticket. The best steak dinner I’ve ever had was topped off with a five euro bottle of wine, and shots were offered with the bill as a parting gift – what more could you ask for? Down by the pier, this place is a little off the beaten track, but don’t be misled by its humble interior or lack of tourists. La Malandrina is one of the locals’ best kept secrets so it’s best to get here a little early. The Spanish don’t typically eat till nine or ten so beat the rush and get there for around eight.

Not to be missed are the fabulous bars and well-priced cafes in the EL Puxtet area. Hop on a subway to the north of the city and wander round this quieter neighbourhood filled with bakeries, tapas bars and, best of all, plenty of locals. You can always tell how good a place is by how many Spaniards choose to eat and drink there – and this is especially true in El Puxtet. In the evening, weave through the streets and follow the natives to the most packed out bar and order a goblet of gin and tonic. By day you can’t beat Doctor Coffee – order a café latte and a delicious pastry. For a light afternoon snack or a delicious meal on the cheap, head to the local focaccia joint where you can enjoy beautifully made bread topped with fresh ingredients, all made on site.

What to see

Thanks to Barcelona’s amazing metro system you can pack in all the sites in just a few days. While of course the beach is the highlight of the holiday for many Easyjetters heading out to Barcelona, the atmosphere within the city centre is equally electric and not to be left out.

Start your break with a visit to La Sagrada Familia, a vast Basilica designed by Catalan architect Gaudi, that has remained under construction since 1882. Avoid the swarms of tourists and visit early in the day, where you will experience the beauty of the morning light flooding in through the stained glass windows – an unmissable photo opportunity. Even better, do as I did and use your last metro card of the trip, pitch up several shots the merrier and enjoy a full on midnight photofest.

As I’ve already mentioned, one of the best things about Barcelona is that it’s a city with a beach. Tourists tend to head for Barceloneta, but why not try local favourite Bogatell beach- it’s cleaner, safer and a lot less crowded.

Any true nineties kid will remember the episode of Friends (The One with the Video Tapes) in which Joey tells the elusive seduction story of him backpacking through Europe  ‘hiking in the foothills of mount Tibidabo’. While visiting the real Mount Tibabdabo might not bring you the luck it brought Joey, it is certainly a sight to see. Standing at 512 meters, it’s the tallest of all of the Collserola mountains and marks the frontier of the Barcelona’s county. It also houses Barcelona’s only theme park with 25 rides, a telecommunications tower and an imposing neo-gothic style Catholic Church.  Natch.  It’s well worth the walk up from Mount Tibabdo metro station and the dizzying height of the funicular to find the best panoramic view of Barcelona (as well as the best candy floss). For something a little closer to sea level, the Barcelona Bunkers offer a full 360º view of the city, revealing everything from the spiralling city street to the glorious beaches. Built in 1937 and used during the air raids in the Civil War, the site has come to be regarded as Barcelona’s most popular secret space.

No visit in Barcelona would be complete without paying a visit to the legendary Parc Guell. The park is a breath-taking space overlooking the city filled with Gaudi’s remarkable architecture and signature mosaics. While general entry to the park is free, unfortunately they now charges for entry to the Monumental zone, the space where all of Gaudi’s work can be found. Depending on how badly you want a picture with a mosaicked lizard, these tickets can be booked online for seven euros,  though it is probably worth mentioning that the average supermarket rose here is a mere two euros.  My tip? Take a peek through the gates and some well angled pictures and head to the nearest supermarket with seven euros in your pocket and sense of smug superiority in your heart.

Where to party

Razzmatazz is probably one of the best known clubs in Barcelona – and for good reason.  This gigantic warehouse club caters for a huge variety of events and tastes, hosting everything from tech house to electro pop. It’s a little off from the centre but revellers can hop on buses straight to the club from outside Corte Ingles in the city centre and often tickets for events can be bought on the beach from Razzmatazz young PR staff.

What to wear (aka how not to look like a tourist)

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1.Hat £10 by Topshop |2. Slit Skirt £155 by Whistles |3. Off the Shoulder Top £20 by Miss Selfridge |4. Black Sandals £65 by Topshop |5. Bracelets £30, £45 and £50 all from HS Samuel

The local girls are naturally dripping in the latest finds from sexy Spanish labels Mango and Zara (and unfortunately the less sexy but equally popular Desigual) and while this is undoubtedly a stylish city, shopping is bound to be your last priority when in Barcelona. Instead pack casual but party ready outfits – heels are a no-no here – the look is one part boho one part raver. By day wear Supergas and cat eyed sunnies with a bag that fits snuggly under your arm or across your body (in other words, don’t let the pickpockets immediately target you.)A snazzy leotard or swimming costume paired with shorts is sure to keep you cool when you’re fighting you way through sweaty ravers in the wee small hours. If sightseeing is more your thing, stack some delicate bracelets and pair them with a floaty skirt and a top that let’s the sun bronze your shoulders.

The local lingo

Catalonians, in general, are a feisty lot. With a history of fighting for their traditions, culture and lately, their independence, the people of Catalonia are no pushovers– add this to a mix of clueless British stag dos on packed out metro and things might get a little heated. The best way to win them over is to speak their language – no matter how feeble your grasp of Catalan. Pronunciation is fairly straightforward and of course, is very similar to Spanish. Still no clue? When in doubt, always praise Messi.

Useful Phrases

Yes Sí

No No

Hello!/Hi! ¡Hola!

Hello Buenos días

Thank you (very much) (Muchas) gracias

You’re welcome De nada

Okay Bien

Please Por favor

Excuse me Perdóneme

Do you speak English?  ¿Habla inglés?

I’m sorry Lo siento/Perdone

I don’t know No lo sé

The Wolf Pack

The original wolf pack may have been badly behaved boys in Vegas and included strippers, tigers and stolen babies, but a fashion wolf pack is so much better don’t you think?

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Now fashion week is officially underway, street style photographers will be fighting to get the best pics of the various fash packs.
It doesn’t matter if you are part of the French Vogue tribe, all skinny cigarette pants, bed hair and nonchalant sexiness or one of Hollywood’s golden girl gang. Even London have their own fash pack- hello Alexa Chung et al with your scruffy shoes, winged eyelinger and next season everything.
They say friends are the family you get to choose. So go forth and choose a friend (or two) with good taste and a penchant for Marni.
In the meantime I’m holding out for the fashion remake of The Hangover- hopefully featuring Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly, with champagne and evil eyes instead of roofies and bar brawls.

Hungover Headlines

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This week on Hungover Headlines, all your latest celebrity and fashion news: from Beyonce’s diets, JLaw’s Dorrito habit to Sienna Miller’s most candid interview to date.

Things we learnt from Rihanna and Shakira’s new hit single 

Sienna Miller’s ultra candid interview where she talks bad behaviour, Jude Law and growing up.

Jennifer Lawrence got Doritos all over her American Hustle Dress 

‘Fix your waistline and eat that salad!’ What’s wrong with advertising for women?’ 

25 things that makes Glasgow the best city in the UK.

The new Tinder? App returns anonymity to flirting.  

Beyonce’s diets are the most effective I’ve ever tried. 

The best comebacks to sexist comments.

Kate Moss’ tips for being well dressed.

Hungover Headlines

Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 13.57.44This week was a great week for fashion and celebrity stories, from Justin Bieber’s mugshot photo shoot to Vogue releasing the perfect antidote to the Jezebel v  Lena Dunham debate, Taste has got all you need for a Saturday culture catch-up.

Vogue Editor at Large, Hamish Bowles helps Lena Dunham prepare for her first Vogue shoot in the adorable and quirky vid complete with dance moves. 

Kanye’s forces Kim to shrink for Vogue?

Tipsy Carey Mulligan destroys couture. 

Inside Whitney Port’s boho chic LA home. 

Gwen Stefani flaunts her ‘fierce’ baby bump.

Justin Bieber arrested for DUI in Miami…and grins in his mugshot. 

Actress Kristen Wiig teams up with Terry Richardson for the Spring issue of V Magazine.

Kim Kardashian shreds her Dior dress to make it a skirt and top. 

Beyonce vs. Miley

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There are only two things are certain in life: 1) death and 2) sex sells. By the bucket load apparently, if sales of Beyoncé’s self titled album are anything to go by. The album,which features 17 elaborately produced music videos in which Queen Bey writhers about in next to nothing, sold  828,773 copies in three days.  The surprise album which was released on December 13th, deals with darker, more serious themes than her previous albums: bulimia, insecurities of motherhood and marriage, feminism and sex. Lots and lots of sex. The work has been declared “impeccably constructed and calibrated” by Variety, “steamy and sleek” by the New York Times and hailed as sonically addictive by me, who has been listening to it on repeat for almost a month.

While Beyoncé’s critically acclaimed album is still dominating my “Most Played List”, it’s content is hardly suitable for all occasions. I became nervous when my Gran came in the kitchen whilst I was cooking along to the lyrical filth that is ‘Blow’. My friend viewed the album on a public bus and feared people would think she was watching an elaborate and glamorous porno. Clearly, Beyoncé is not one for the understated innuendo. Her album reeks of seduction, skin and scandal. Even Miley Cyrus must have blushed a little listening to  ‘Partition’ in which Beyonce purrs “Driver roll up the partition please, I don’t need you seeing ’yoncé on her knees.”

Ah, and so we come to Miley. Her of the hip shaking, clothes shunning fame. Her outfits are no less modest than what Bey dons in her videos for ‘Yonce’ and co. yet I cringe when I hear Miley cheer that we need to shake it ‘like we at a strip club’, despite proudly (and loudly) singing along with whatever Beyoncé says. To me,  Beyoncé’s album and attitude encompasses a new brand of feminism for the millennial generation, unapologetically domestic and domineering in equal parts. We can please our man, but we please ourselves first Beyoncé growls. She is a “grown woman” and we love her for it.

Miley too, believes she is part of the new feminist movement within music. She calls herself “one of the biggest feminists in the world” yet her hyper-sexualisation seems to be directed at the media, not for herself. Her pleas that we should see her twerking and nipple tassels as empowering, somehow fall flat.

We believe in Beyoncé’s evolution because, as Beyoncé says herself, “the children who have grown up listening to me, have grown up…I feel like I have earned the right to be me and express any and every side of myself”. In the behind the scene’s footage of the Beyoncé’s album, Pharrell responds to Beyoncé’s ultra sexy crooning on ‘Rocket’, “Only a momma can talk like that. Only a wife can talk like that. That is your strength.”

Miley’s fans, on the other hand are still children. Miley only shed her Disney persona last year, her change seems driven by media and marketing and not from her own experience. Girls in their twenties cringe at Miley’s over sexualised persona. To us it seems too fake, too try hard.  Miley is the over eager First Year trying to follow the trends and please the 6th Years girls, while Beyoncé is undoubtably our Head Girl. She is the trailblazer, and the game changer, mainly because we trust that she knows what she’s doing.

A wise women once said that talent always comes before tits, and Beyoncé never fails to follow that sage advice. For Miley, however, singing appears an afterthought, something that comes after publicity stunts and raunchy outfits. The Telegraph applauded Beyoncé as “one of the most technically gifted vocalists in pop, with gospel power, hip-hop flow and a huge range” yet Miley’s scaled back performance on the X Factor UK got slammed. Without the twerking, dwarfs or finger licking as distractions, fans found Miley’s voice…well, average. Bow down Miley, and let Queen Bey show you how it’s done. 

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Hard Out Here

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Everyone is getting pretty hot and bothered at the minute over Lily Allen’s new catchy and controversial single ‘Hard out Here’. The internet and papers alike went into meltdown debating the video’s issues with race, feminism and everything else in between. But I think we have an equally pressing issue at hand – does Lily Allen know what it is to be a bitch?

Lily Allen says she has reclaimed the word ‘bitch’ once and for all – she reckons it is nothing short of a compliment.

“Dolly Parton is a bitch. Adele’s a bitch. Angela Merkel is a bitch…Rihanna’s an inspiring bitch, Miley [Cyrus] is a bitch rising…Kate Middleton is not a bitch.”

But I have to disagree, at best Rihanna, Miley et al are ‘betches’ – the diet coke sipping girls who know their credit card numbers off by heart and eat pita pockets but never bread. Kate Middleton is on the other hand, is an extremely bad bitch. She hops on and off carriages, wears McQueen and won’t be  messed with on the hockey field.

Everyone knows no one does Bitchiness like the British. While we have royalty and the Bronte sisters, the rest of the world has the Kardashians, who for all their over tanned skin and glossy hair can never be true bitches.

Prime examples of British Bitchiness at its best include K-Mid’s flawless blowdry, Victoria Beckham’s refusal to smile and women of great power who carry equally great handbags (see the Queen and Maggie Thatcher). Everyone else are amateurs.

The original bad bitch was Princess Margaret. The infamous party girl ordered everyone to address her as ”Ma’am,” except for her closest friends, who were permitted to call her ”Ma’am darling.’ When asked how the Queen was she would reply, “My mother, my sister or my husband?”. How can Gwyneth’s smug love of quinoa and Madonna’s yoga arms compete with a woman who spent most of her life hanging out with rockstars in Mustique, was the first royal to wear a bikini and died watching reruns of Batman?

The true meaning and way of the bitch has not changed much over the years, but naturally some just do it better than other. Some women could never get away with being a bitch – it’s a sensational mix of charm and wickedness and certainly not for the faint hearted. People love to hate them. In real life they are unbearable but in fiction, T.V and film they are an unstoppable force people can’t get enough of. They is nothing more thrilling than watching someone who ought to be well behaved being a bitch instead. No one should be able to guess whether they will shower you with compliments or strangle you with their feathered boa.

At the end of the day all it takes to be a true bad bitch is a love of extravagance and strong spirits, but not pita bread – a bad bitch wouldn’t diet for anybody.