It was when I was asked by my housemates to sit with them and watch TV that I experienced the overwhelming power of the smart phone. There we were, TV on in the background and all three of us were sat staring at our phone screens: endlessly tapping, scrolling and swiping to our hearts’ content. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing shameful about doing this as I’m sure we all love our phone, but it shocked me that it had got to this point. Not only are we not even watching TV, we’re not even talking. Just silently encompassed in our own little world of Apple and social networking, sending silly snapchats, tweeting profusely and updating our Facebook statuses to whatever we’re doing (or not doing, in our case.)
The addiction to our phones has become something of a norm these days, with any waking moment spent with the device glued to our palm. And when it’s not, we’re praying for any sign of activity to give us an excuse to pick it back up again.
I’m one of those people that hopes for the next great picture to upload to Instagram or Twitter. I love finding that perfect tweet to send instantly from phone. Updating people on your life is what everyone wants to do nowadays. Showing off where they are, what they’re doing, what they’re eating (this is a nasty habit of mine), posting funny tweets praying so hard to get Retweets, posing in a stupid caricature style for likes and much more is life.
Whatever happened to playing with your siblings, going to the park playing on the swings, going for bike rides, playing swingball, playing “Kerby”, making rope swings, playing football on the field until the sun went down, dedicating your day to a Tamagotchi, spending hours trying to figure out how to do a Rubix Cube or making secrets dens out of bed sheets?
All of these things seem to have been replaced with one simple, small device that is no way more fun than any of those things. Childhood has been taken over by the fight to get more followers or how many likes you can get on your profile picture.
I’d chose any of those things over sitting on my phone all day, drooling because the life has been sucked out of me. Don’t use your phone to speak to friends, use it to call them up and meet them. Let the childhood activities commence.
I sent a few questions to Victoria Magrath (you’ll probably know better her as Inthefrow) about her life of blogging.
First of all, how did you get into blogging? Was there something that inspired you to do it? If so, what?
I was inspired to blog after watching a Youtube video by the Beauty Crush, Sammi, and after that I was hooked on Youtube and blogging and everything else surrounding that. I just decided that I wanted to write down what I loved just as much.
Where did the name ‘inthefrow’ come from? Obviously it’s “In the front row” but is that something that you dream of getting, therefore having it as your url?
To be honest, it came from a lyric from an Alanis Morissette song called Front Row. The lyric says, “I’m in the Front Row with Popcorn”, which I had named my first Tumblr Blog. When I came to name my new fashion blog, I decided to use the same name but wanted something shorter and snappier. I figured In the Front Row could be shortened to Inthefrow, and that was it.
I see you’re a lecturer too. How do you manage your time to blog?
I pretty much work two full time jobs right now. Lecturing and working in the daytime, blogging before and after work and then all weekend. So I dont ever take time off from it. But I’m a believer in hard work pays off, so hopefully I’ll see the benefits one day 🙂
What are you aiming to get from blogging? (If you haven’t already achieved that)
I hope to grow my blog as successful as I possibly can of course, and just to keep writing about what I love. Blogging is such a brilliant way to meet inspiring people, so I just want to keep meeting new people, making new friends and widening my future prospects.
Is there anything now that inspires you?
I’m inspired by a lot of things. Fashion, beautiful clothing, stunning scenery, the people I have around me, the prospect of travelling to incredible places. I often spend hours on Tumblr and Instagram looking at imagery and planning my future.
Who are your favourite fashion bloggers at the moment?
My favourite fashion bloggers would probably be Sammi from The Beauty Crush as I adore what she wears, Native Fox, as she is always dressed head to toe in designer and also Angelica Blick. She is just so stunning.
What’s the best part of fashion blogging for you personally?
The best part is probably getting to meet new people and doing things you never usually would. Such as taking trips here and there, modelling for brands, working with brands that you love, going along to amazing events and catching up with everyone. I love it.
What’s your advice to budding fashion bloggers?
My advice would be to do it, if you’ve got the passion and the time for it. It’s not about the items that you might get free as in most cases it takes time to build up relationships with brands who would like to gift you pieces. It shouldn’t be about that and whats in it for you, it should be about how happy it makes you and how much you enjoy it. If you dont have the passion, you may not continue blogging after a few months, which is what happens to a lot of people unfortunately.
Obviously you appeal mostly to girls, but what is your advice to male fashion bloggers (like myself)?
I love male fashion bloggers. Mainly because they are much rarer and therefore their content is just really exciting and different. I would say that you just need to stay on top of what is coming out, and with the Mens fashion week this year, it looks like the world is paying much more attention to menswear for the future. If you can stay on top of that, make your own predictions and then portray that to your audience, I think youll be on to a winner.
I was at work the other day (I work in the garden centre in Homebase) and the weirdest, most strange thing happened to me.
I was sweeping the yard, minding my own business, just doing my job, when a little boy – he was probably about 5 – approached me, pointed at me and said:
“when I grow up, I want to be like you.”
Just like that.
My heart stopped. (and I think I blushed too.)
It was such a surreal moment that I just froze. Half in embarrassment, half in shock. A young boy wanted to grow up and be just like me, sweeping a yard in an average job?
I also felt quite proud, I let out a small grin at the boy. There I was, innocently working another usual day and something like that happened to brighten it up completely.
His parents killed my mood straight away. They just gave me the slightest look, grabbed the little boy by his arm, mumbled something and hurried off.
And it all happened within 10 seconds. That was it.
I had just been in the strangest daze for god-knows how long and I couldn’t get it off my mind. I kept thinking that I was day-dreaming, my mind helplessly wondering away from the jobs I had lined up to complete for the rest of my shift.
But no, it was real.
It made me realise that whatever job I get, I should be grateful to be in it. I should appreciate what I am doing and thrive for moments just like that to come along and make me feel enlightened, lifting my spirits even on the darkest of days.
Amidst the jet-setting, Chanel-wearing, D&G-worshipping glamorous female model, there is the phenomenon of the male model (no, really!)
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 30 years, you’d know that the appreciation of the men in the modelling world has become increasing more popular. They have rocketed in the modern years as the demand for those certain types of men has been somewhat of a trend.
But making it out as a model isn’t always what it seems to be.
The woman have it easy. If you look “good enough”, you will be passed around to work with everyone. Take Cara Delevingne for example, she has worked for them all: Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Victoria’s Secret, Burberry, DKNY. She really has made it, the one that every girl dreams to be.
But for a guy, there isn’t any significant male model that is setting the mark for them all. We’ve got the likes of David Beckham and James Franco but they have come from a different career and do a bit of modelling on the side. Does this mean that male models can’t have a sole career as being a model or is that just the way it’s happened?
By comparing the lives of the males and the females, I aim to get to the bottom of the issue and see if there really is nothing that can be done to ignite the males modelling career.
Harvey Alexander, a young male model of AMCK Models, has spoken about his experience as making it in the modelling realm. He has only been modelling for 8 months but seems to have made his mark on the casters that are able to pick him out from the crowd. Since his debut for Prada and Kenzo last year, he has been jetting off to New York with his connections to New York Model Management and establishing himself with the big guys.
“Everyone is waiting for that big break. You’ve just gotta have a lot of patience. Waiting! Waiting! Waiting!”
He explains how, most of the time, you’re waiting just to get one email from your agent. But when that all important email comes, you can begin to get excited. An email is like an invitation for these guys.
Harvey is studying English Literature at Kings College London and he admits that fitting the modelling around studies is sometimes quite difficult. An email could come in on a Friday and expect you to travel on the Saturday. Exciting but pressurising. The ability to leave everything at the drop of a hat seems to be a skill when it comes to this.
“I don’t have a job because of my student loan, but I know many guys that have to work to stabilise themselves. You can’t rely on the modelling alone”
For many people, it seems that modelling has to be some sort of hobby when starting out. Making it big doesn’t happen overnight and waiting for that one recommendation from a certain influential person is enough to set the ball rolling. Being spotted and scouted gives the potential of being mentioned to someone else, something that previously mentioned “Queen of the model world” Cara has been involved in.
It seems strange to think that men have the same restrictions within modelling too. Like the women, they are expected to look a certain way for a certain role. Whether it’s an underwear shoot for muscular, buff gentleman or a fashion, catwalk looking for quirky looking guys to parade the collection, then there is a check-list of features that need to be apparent. A strict regime to look good for these roles is essential for the guys as they want to fit the bill for the top shows that they dream of working for.
Walking in one of the Fashion Week’s around the world is an excellent way to get spotted as it is watched from all around the world. This is exactly what Harvey did, he walked for Prada in Milan and this set off the fireworks for the rest. He received countless emails requesting him for shoots and he has been inundated with interest ever since.
The males “not-so glamorous” lifestyle is different from the women’s. There is a lot more pressure for women to get that perfect job that can be enough to trigger a surge of activity.
The women are also genuinely thought to get more money from working as a model. They are able to create their career as a model and have this as their main income. Unlike the men, who are expected to get a job outside of modelling to finance themselves and keep waiting for that big break.
After speaking to a designer who had paraded one of their collections in London Collections:Men, this is what they had to say about the male models:
“I just choose the ones that look the best for the brand, but I do think that the selection process seems quite harsh!”
Choosing from the mass amount of men for the job is a gruelling procedure, having to let people down and simply wish them the best in their search.
Obviously being based all about the men, it’s a great opportunity for the models to try and get that little opportunity to be featured in one of the collections. There are many options that could be available and surely one that appeals to every kind of guy looking to get that opening.
“Is modelling gay?”
That is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to the men’s aspect of modelling. The modern ignorance that creates the idea of homosexuality in modelling has become a question that can’t quite be agreed. It wasn’t until the 80’s that men were photographed topless in fashion magazines, which struck the change between the prejudice and homophobia that was apparent before these times. People assume that working within fashion is a “gay” thing to work in, but modelling is a completely different area. A masculine man could be needed to work half-naked modelling the newest range of Calvin Klein underwear, having to be masculine and sexy to suit the brand. This isn’t gay, this is just a job. The only word that comes to mind is jealousy. Seeing a guy better looking than yourself isn’t exactly something that boosts your self-esteem but calling it “gay” won’t make it any better either. If you see David Beckham half-naked, and admit, who hasn’t, you wouldn’t say “gay” because you know he has a wife and kids – so it shouldn’t be different for any other models. The preconception of their sexuality shouldn’t be a problem, the reason is to probably sell a product.
I don’t know about anyone else, but seeing a guy in a sleek tailored suit screams masculinity.
I think the issue of this is androgyny. Having a guy that has female features automatically sparks a gay, feminine vibe but that is sometimes the look that people are interested in.
There is nothing of this type of issue when it comes to women’s modelling. They are just seen as a perfect role model for girls around the world. Successful, good-looking and aspirational is something that mothers want all of their children to grow up to be. Is modelling an approved career for the girls too though? Busy lifestyle, parading half-naked and a strict health regime seems quite tough just for a job.
This matter doesn’t seem to be the same for the men. They have a more relaxed lifestyle that allows them to be more laid-back in their approach to their job. Most are willing to wait for the right time and being in the background whilst they wait.
The “option system” is something of a blurred area to an inexperienced one like myself. It’s quite straight forward actually and quite polite with the selection process that could be brutal. A model will be contacted for a casting, attend the casting and given the idea of being an option. If you are selected as an option, the client will then decide whether to book you or drop you. On the other hand, if you’re not selected as an option then you’d just wait for the next possible option to come around.
This might seem like it’s dumbing down the process, but hearing a straight up “no” from someone can be heartbreaking, but hearing an option 3 doesn’t hit as hard. Getting up and moving on has to be something of second nature for these guys. You can get knocked down so hard and want to give up, but pushing yourself to persevere could bring that all important number 1 option.
The woman’s selection process has the idea of being a callous one, being as mean as just a “yes” or a “no”. Their competition is much more pressurised as the demand for women models is that much higher than the men.
Ever since the first men appeared in Fashion Weeks around the world, it has shown the many different lifestyles of men and their ways of creating a life for themselves. From the top models that walk for top brands in the catwalks to the smaller names that walk for the similarly small designers appearing in small collection shows such as Fashion Scout. With the modernisation of fashion and modelling it is becoming easier to be scouted and be noticed. (Harvey was spotted whilst in Oxford Street, it’s as easy as that!)
With successes such as International Men’s Day (19th Nov), men have now established their mark in the modelling world and can begin to celebrate their status. It is a day to celebrate heir achievements and contributions, so no reason to feel better about the availability of male models and their achievements within the fashion world.
Overall, the attitude of a male model is more laid back and relaxed than the women’s, which leads to the perception of the “not-so glamorous” life. That doesn’t mean that it’s a less serious field, because it isn’t. The men take it just as serious as the women but that are more willing to be patient and wait for the special big break. There’s plenty of advice to be taken for the upcoming, young male models trying to make big – be positive, go for every little job, it could lead to anything and be patient – there is something out there for everyone.
Products I’m reviewing: The Shaving Solution & Cooling Moisturiser from Blue Beards.
What a delight.
I got sent these products to test out and review and it couldn’t have been better. It was honestly one of the best shaving experiences I’ve had.
I’m only young and don’t have a great, big bushy beard, (yet) but there was enough to get the satisfaction from this product.
Right from the get go, it was set to be a winner. The smell, the feel, the taste. (yep, a little bit got in my mouth!)
It felt divine on my skin. And the shave was smooth. No unexpected catches, no snags and only a few cuts but that’s probably from my rubbish shaving.
Only a small amount of solution was needed to get great coverage over my facial hair and it lathered perfectly.
The shaving complete, I smothered the moisturiser onto my face and it felt heavenly. The smell was so fresh and clean it was like I could feel it working it’s magic. (I also got a bit of this in my mouth, oops, can you tell I’m an amateur?)
My overall experience of using these products was one that I’d definitely recommend. They provided a clean cut shave with no mishaps.
I was reading a post yesterday on Scarphelia and it inspired me to write a post about where life is heading!
Many people ask “What do you want to do after University?” and my answer is still non-existent.
It’s like when you were little and your teacher would ask “Now Liam, what do you want to be when you grow up?” An astronaut, a fireman, a popstar were probably the answers I gave. But growing up, you realise these are ridiculous and you actually have to think of a ‘proper’ job.
I’m in University and still have absolutely no idea what I want to do. I have ideas and dreams but they seem impossible right now. I know people say that nothing is impossible, but at the moment I seem to be stuck in a rut.
And then people ask me why I have a blog? I’m hoping for something to come from it I guess. To make people notice, to see what I have to offer and to see what I am capable of doing – a sort of portfolio.
In my lecture yesterday, my lecturer asked the class who had a blog and what they aimed to achieve from having one. Most people said exactly the same thing, “I’m hoping to get something from it”
It’s true. Everyone is hoping for something to happen.
But I also love the readership of blogs. The people that are there to support you and give you feedback on what you write is beautiful. The relationship in the blogosphere is something that’s special and makes you feel like you can relate to everyone else doing the same thing.
Anywho, back to the subject of finding the right path in life. It’s difficult to focus on where my life is heading at the moment because everything is so up in the air. I’m just taking everyday as it comes, completeing essays and creating those all important contacts that will come in handy when I graduate (which is in just over a year, eek!)
I’m taking life with a pinch of salt and facing every challenge when it approaches. There’s no easy way around life and you just have to play it.