by Jessica Bailey
DNCE's music video for their new song “Toothbrush” has just come out, and it has a lot of people talking. Not for the standard catchy summer-pop riff, but for the fact that the main love interest is a plus sized model named Ashley Graham.
This may have a few eyes rolling, some people will think it's just for publicity, but as a larger lady, I am hopping with joy! We see beautiful shots of Joe Jonas and Ashley frolicking in bed, dancing, and doing the usual music video stuff, but finally I can relate to the girl in the video... her body is a bit like mine! Her curves are unashamedly flaunted throughout, but not in a way that is any different to how thinner bodies are usually portrayed.
With no lyrics that even hint at being “beautiful just the way she is”, this is simply a story of two attractive people being crazily in love. There is no qualifier needed; her weight is irrelevant. It's crazy how I've never seen this before, and also how happy it's made me feel. Ashley's confidence is contagious, and props to Joe for being one of the first to do it. While I will admit Hollywood's version of “plus sized” leaves a lot to be desired, and this woman cannot represent every woman's body who weighs more than 120lbs, seeing a shot of Joe Jonas gently caressing a woman's hips with beautiful rolls in full view made me less petrified of being touched in the same place.
The song itself is fine, i'm sure it will get a lot of radio play, especially with the press the video will get, and it will probably get into the top 10, but i'm sure I, and a lot of other people, will watch this every time we need to feel beautiful, and that's the reason I love it.
By George Dowd
After what feels like forever, the entertainment industry has finally answered our cries. Gone are the days of the damsel in distress. Women are at the forefront, where they belong. Here are some of my favourites...
Hannah Horvath - Girls
Hannah is a character that I actually wasn't sure about at first. She's brash, lazy and so narcissistic it hurts. Lena Dunham's portrayal of the character is so on point that it's hard not to love her, especially given her new found maturity. Season five's final episode seemingly showed Hannah is finally getting her life together, and as a fan of the show, I say that it's about time.
Carol Peletier - The Walking Dead
Carol has gone from a glorified extra, to one of the show's biggest characters. Her journey from battered housewife to kick-ass zombie slayer is a true sight to behold, and is executed perfectly by the creative team behind the Walking Dead. Although they've stumbled with some other female characters, they seem to know exactly what to do with Carol.
Clarke Griffin - The 100
Clarke is a prime example of someone who can't catch a break. After a controversial character death last month, she's been left a shell of the girl she was before. With death seemingly striking down everyone she loves, it'll be interesting to see what else the current season throws at her. Given her history, we know she'll come out the other side stronger than ever.
Laurel Lance - Arrow
A battle with alcoholism, the death of her sister and the reappearance of a dead boyfriend are just a handful of things that she's had to deal with during her four season stint on the show. But Laurel has faced each challenge head on, and has channeled all of that emotion into taking on her own superhero persona, Black Canary, at the end of the last season. Watching her suit up for the first time was incredible, and had me actually screaming in my seat.
Kimmy Schmidt - The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Kimmy is a bright jewel in the crown of Netflix. An incredibly funny character that somehow manages to reject any idea of being a victim, even though her friends and family refuse to see her as anything else. In the newly released second season, Kimmy continues her transition from Mole Woman to Queen of our hearts.
By Laura Allbones
Expressing her feminist, anti-Putin views as lead vocalist in soviet rock and roll band, Bravo, Zhanna Aguzarova later left to become a solo artist. Renowned for her dark and daring dress sense and typically punk persona, she is a Russian icon of the late 80s and still to this day. She is remembered for her admirable attitude and style. Unsurprisingly, Bravo soon collapsed when Aguzarova decided to leave, but nevertheless are still recognized, like Aguzarova, for their fiery political views during the Soviet Union. At the age of 48, the punk queen hasn’t been forgotten, so we take a trip down memory lane and thank her for the huge impact she made during the punk movement in the late 80s. Here, Navy magazine present her top 10 looks throughout the years. Prepare yourself for some serious pattern clashing, on-point layering, crazy clown brows and well gelled hair spikes...
By Ella Squire
By Charlie Dowd
Believe the hype. Somehow, Beyoncé has managed to top her self-titled album. I don't know how she did it, but with sixth album Lemonade, she has. Lemonade premiered on HBO through a stunning, hour-long film that was as much a visual album as it was artistic couples therapy. The film is a celebration of black culture, women, sexuality and raises awareness to incredibly important - and topical - subjects such as #BlackLivesMatter.
However, what has proved to be the most newsworthy take away from the album is the confessional lyrics surrounding the Queen B's marriage to Jay-Z. With rumours of infidelity on his part, and that fight in the elevator, it's tough not to jump to that conclusion. Lemonade is a break up album, without the break up. I'm struggling to sum it up in a few words, so here are some shining moments that'll make you shout YAS.
1. "Don't Hurt Yourself"
where Bey throws her wedding ring at the screen whilst proclaiming "you know I give you life, if you try this shit again you gonna lose your wife." It is chilling and intense, way over the top in classic B style.
2. "Hold Up"
This was the first point during the film where I lost my shit, like really lost it. Yes, it may have been 2AM and I was dying to sleep, but this brought me back to life. The YeahYeahYeah's sample and pyromania completed the experience for me.
3. "6 Inch" (Feat. The Weeknd)
This song is a JAM. The build up feels like the beginning of an episode of American Horror Story, the chorus feels like a throwback to the self-titled. "Six inch heels, she walked in the club like nobody's business. Damn, she murdered everybody and I was her witness." Slé.
4. "Love Drought"
This shot. It's a beautiful way of summing up the feeling of emptiness Bey is trying to convey, the song itself is an emotional, frustrated cry of "what did I do wrong?"
5. "All Night"
What should really have been the closing track of the album, instead of "Formation." It's a celebratory, emotionally-charged promise to her beau that although they've been on a tumultuous ride, they can still be in love "all night." In a strange way, it feels like a call back to the infamous "Drunk In Love".
Lemonade is Beyoncé at her personal best. It's honest to the point of being too much, but feels like a unique insight beyond the iron curtain and PR machine that usually protects her privacy. It's heartbreakingly fragile, yet terrifyingly fierce, the woman is a force to be reckoned with. Now, let's get in formation. (Cos we slay, no less.)
By Issy MacLennan
Whatever you are expecting when you hear of PVRIS, I can guarantee it will be far from what they actually are. The band is made up of three members: Lynn Gunn, Alex Babinski and Brian MacDonald. They utilise fast and heavy beats that appeal to any audience, and their sound is will catch on very soon.
PVRIS have re-released the original version of their debut album White Noise, as a deluxe edition, giving their audience another opportunity to find meaning in the lyrics and still recognise the fact that (and cringe with me as I say this) rock out to Lynn Gunns' vocals, her soft yet strong voice is definitely something you'll hear more of this year.
Track by Track
1. "You and I" – exclusive to Deluxe only, the use of instruments makes you question how there are only 3 people playing, lyrics undoubtedly beautiful, no wonder they added it onto the album. It’s bloody brilliant
2. "Empty" – exclusive to Deluxe only, one of the slower tracks of the album, calming yet still so strong, like a heavenly choir that decided to cover a rock song
3. "Smoke" – Gunns' voice sounds light and yet fits so well with the heavy instrumentation.
4. "St Patrick" – what PVRIS is probably most well known for, the use of synth doesn’t usually go with a rock song and yet it completes the sound, each instrument used fits so well and creates the sound that is uniquely PVRIS'.
5. "My House" – the heavy guitars lead the track but don’t overrun it, leaving room for the listener to take in every element. One of the less ‘radio friendly’ tracks of the album but still appealing to everyone; demonstrates clearly how Gunn’s voice can vary from light and weightless to darker, more tense but still open and emotionally accessible.
6. "Holy" – essentially giving the musical middle finger. Beautiful and strong, one of the lighter tracks of the album with more synth used, almost disguising the bitterness in the lyrics that question religion so intelligently.
7. "White Noise" – anthemic, instruments and sounds used that would normally be conflicting, work so well together creating a wall of sound.
8. "Fire" – Shows off their heavier side, intelligent lyrics which don't hold anything back from the listener.
9. "Eyelids" – this song is a prime example of how music can affect your body, making your skin shiver, as if it has ingrained itself into you. Beautiful and confessional ballad that shows the listeners exactly how angelic Gunns' voice can be.
10. "Mirrors" – this track is almost supernatural, although not as strong as other songs on the album, it still sticks with you as though the band know exactly how to hook you without trying to force it upon you; a good
contrast to other pieces but still very much their own.
11. "Ghosts" – similar to the previous track, they focus on the drum and guitars but with undertones of keyboards keeping it light for the listeners. The most straightforward track sonically.
12 "Let Them In" – gives Gunn the best opportunity to showcase her range and keeps the listeners on their edge of their seat as Lynn proclaims "I wanna feel something."
13 "You and I" (stripped) – exclusive to Deluxe only, chilling like a punch to the heart and clearly demonstrates that the band are so talented with just ‘simple’ instruments yet retain the edge that creates PVRIS. The perfect, haunting end to the album.
by Molly Hunt
Welcome to the epic showdown we’ve all been waiting for: The Summer Holiday collections are live and showing themselves off on the front line of all online shops and this, is where you’ll find out whose summer looks are fresh AF and whose are, well...not (sorry if you were expecting a rhyme there.)
I’ve narrowed the field down to the UK's 3 big dogs of the online fashion world: Asos, Missguided and Boohoo. All varying degrees of quality and price, I’m mainly taking into account the sheer style of their bikinis, cover ups, sundresses, maxi’s, sandals, sunglasses and so on into infinity (not really) in order to give YOU the best possible options for your summer style.
Now personally, ASOS is absolutely the go-to place for bikinis simply because they stock both own brand and high-street clobber as well, however they have fierce competition in Missguided’s own brand of swimwear which is def more affordable and occasionally more wearable. I mean who wants strappy tan lines all over their body?? ASOS also have, in my opinion, a much better plus size range (Asos Curve) rather than Missguided’s painfully pitiful four options for plus size.
If you’re low on funds however and cant afford a £25 plunge swimsuit with gold hoop detail, Boohoo is your bitch. With their holiday shop screaming ‘FROM ONLY £5’ as its main selling point, it’s the ultimate bargain bin of actually not too bad cozzies (much more basic though, you’re going for price over quality, obvs).
On the other hand, Boohoo slays in the beach cover up department. With Asos and Missguided asking around £20-£30 for their wraps, kaftans and sarongs, Boohoo’s range is, again much more affordable which makes sense because it's literally just something you throw on over your wet bikini?
If you’re spending upwards of £15 on a cover up there is something seriously wrong with your priorities, that’s food money man.
Finally, for accessories, you’re gonna want to head straight over to ASOS for the main parts that will tie together any holiday outfit like hats, sunglasses and sandals. While pricier it is much more important to have quality for these things. Accessories can absolutely make or break an outfit and I dare anyone to disagree with me. For sandals and shoes go to Missguided, they’ve always been on point with their shoe collection and you can find flat flip flops or 6 inch gladiator sandals in equal measure for your day-to-night vacay look.
If you need a cute beach bag to hold all your beach tat Boohoo is the one, although be wary, for they have leather tassel bags advertised on their holiday shop, you neither need nor want that in your summer life.
... Its hard to say who won this battle of the brands, mainly because it doesn't really matter as long as you find what you’re looking for and you look fierce, you work that beach girl.
By Jess Bailey
When I look at my naked face in the mirror, I imagine I feel very similar to how Picasso, or Da Vinci felt when they looked at a blank canvas. Inspired, excited, and ready for the forthcoming challenge. I begin with my base first, cover up all my red bumps, imperfections and uneven skin tone with a magical liquid that bestows me with glowing skin. I feel better already, but I look sort of like an egg, so in comes contour. I chisel, blend, and ombre my face until there is an illusion of chiseled cheekbones, a strong jaw, and a small forehead.
I feel unstoppable, ready to take on the world, and pose for a nude art class. I'm ready for anything. Next comes my brows. These are my Achilles tendon, the key to all my powers. If my brows are on fleek then the rest is history. I get my brush, thinner than Donald Trump's comb-over, run it through my brow powder (Embark, by Mac if you were wondering) and very carefully draw that first line. When it goes right, oh boy... I will literally dance. It's a good omen for the day and nothing can stop me. I carefully, with great delicacy, fill in the rest of my brows with feather like strokes that make me feel more accomplished than Beyonce. Does Beyonce even do her own brows? I do my own brows, and I do them well. Look at me! Charlotte Tilbury move over bitch, I'm the queen.
Now eyes, the real challenge begins. Doing eye make up is more stressful than choosing what to wear; I have far more eye shadow than clothes. Do I go for wearable and muted nudes, or colourful, cut-crease shimmer madness? I painstakingly apply and blend until it looks like one of those Facebook videos that has set the bar SO much higher. It's a masterpiece, making my eyes look somehow bigger and brighter, but at the same time more demure, sexy, and sophisticated. But the battle isn't over yet, oh no. The next part in my transformation is the hurdle where many fall. The path to full on glam is littered with failed eyeliner attempts, and snivelling wrecks of women who just can't get their wings even. I put that out of my mind, square up to the mirror and pick up the eyeliner pot. I look at it in my hands; so small, so malicious, but so necessary. I take a deep breath and steady my hands... this is it, either I will ace this and everyone will be in awe of my eyeliner skills and perfectly blended eyeshadow, or I'm going to be 20 minutes late to work.
Slowly but surely the eyeliner is on, and oh boy if that isn't the most satisfying thing I've ever done then my name isn't Jessica Bailey. I take a few minutes to get Snapchat up, and take (then delete) about 400 pictures of my amazing eyeliner. Entering the home stretch now, we have mascara. A girls best friend. This shit, I have no idea how, but it literally makes everything look 15X better. Mascara is the unifier amongst make up, the one that brings everything together. Mascara is to make up, what gravy is to a Sunday roast... you need it. If you don't use it there is something sinister and wrong with you and I don't want anything to do with it. The last thing is lips, not much to do here. A quick slick of lip balm should do it. I'm only going to work and I don't want to look too overdone, obviously...
By Charlie Dowd
HBO's Girls may cover a range of topics from abortion, to feminism, growing up, yet it's central topic is a friendship group and it's subsequent dynamics. Girls is not the first tv show to focus on the deeply complicated friendships you form as you go into adulthood, before it there was Friends, Skins, Sex & The City, the list goes on and on.
However, you could argue the others present an unrealistic take on how friendship, and friendship groups, truly work. In life, friends can come and go like the weather, a passionate and exciting first year turns into a distant second year. Then it burns out entirely, and you wouldn't say hello when passing on the street. Sometimes though, they stick, you crack the code and the magic happens.
Girls is not about a group of friends that go for breakfast every Saturday, or have secret handshakes, it's about beautifully dysfunctional friendships. It's not a romanticised view, it's real. There are friends that regularly berate each other behind one another's backs, or act so selfishly you wonder how they can even continue to be friends at all. The very closest of my friends drive me to the absolute limit, but I wouldn't have it any other way. A direct quote of mine is "I hate you so much, that's why I love you."
Girls shows a group that don't spend all that much time together, to a point where two of the titular girls (Hannah and Marnie) only shared two conversations in the same frame for the entirety of their recently wrapped season five. Although group chats, and Facebook threads exist, it can be tough to get "the whole gang" together for an evening of putting the world to rights. However, if your names Carrie or Joey, you'd be forgiven for thinking you're being paid to hang out with your friends.
Girls is friendship under a microscope, it's an unflinching view of the good, the bad and the ugly. Everyone can be selfish, loyal, loving, cold, and kind to their very best of friends - and that's just before breakfast. As it enters its final run in 2017, I can't help but feel sad that something so deeply relatable is coming to an end. God bless the Girls.
By Charlie Bouch
You'd have to have been living in a galaxy far, far away to have missed 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a cinematic spectacle that restored the faith of those for whom the saga had been tarnished by a dire trilogy of prequel movies (they weren't all bad, Attack of the Clones had some pretty neat dialogue about sand).
The success of The Force Awakens brought with it the announcement of a number of films separate from the main movies, referred to as the Star Wars anthology series. It was revealed that one of these films would be about the adventures of a young Han Solo, set some time before the events of the character's first appearance in A New Hope. At first I was thrilled, but my initial excitement was marred by the dawning realisation that a new actor would have to play the iconic role of the Millennium Falcon's charismatic pilot. Who could possibly fill those shoes? Along the way many names have been bandied about - Tom Hardy, Dave Franco, Jack Reynor, Miles Teller, Taron Egerton - all great actors in their own right, but in my mind none of them quite fit the bill.
For me the idea of another actor playing Han Solo was sacrilege. It would be like recasting James Bond (OK not the best example but stay with me). Ford brings the role to life in such a way that I don't know where Harrison ends and Han begins. I was very much of the opinion that he was the sole Solo and always would be.
That was until recent rumours emerged of a new front-runner.
Alden Ehrenreich, an actor whose name is damn near impossible to spell correctly without the help of the Google search bar suggestions. His was a name with which I was unfamiliar until mid March, when I went to see the latest Coen brothers flick 'Hail, Caesar!'.
The film itself had a very episodic feel to it, with a large ensemble of characters popping up sporadically throughout. One whose appearance I was constantly anticipating was Ehrenreich's character of Hobie Doyle, a naive young star of the silver screen, innocently following the orders of studio bigwigs whilst remaining unaffected by the excesses of heyday Hollywood. I sat in the theatre engrossed by his performance and wondering why I'd never heard of him before.
As Doyle he displayed a mix charisma and vulnerability that would perfectly fit the frame of a wide eyed young Solo. In terms of appearance he's a dead ringer too, baring a striking resemblance to Harrison Ford that admittedly I hadn't noticed until he was linked to the role, but now I can't believe I didn't see it before.
I'm really hoping that Ehrenreich's rumoured position as favourite for the role turns out to be more than just speculation. If he was given the part I'd be able to cast away my casting concerns once and for all, and gleefully await the adventures of a young Han Solo and his pup Chewie aboard the Millennium Falcon.