Happy Realizations : Shopping Online

As we all know the first step to recovery is recognizing that you have a problem. This is what you hear when you go to addiction meetings and read articles about ‘how to get out of the following addiction’. Sometime back I had a similar realization. I was addicted. But it was not alcohol or drugs or cigarettes. I was addicted to shopping. Not actual physical shopping because that would require for me to get up and go somewhere, I was addicted to shopping online. Esurance_insurance_black_friday_cyber_monday

Most of the times my parents told me how there was a courier arriving for me and my sister every alternate day or every couple of days and every time, I would tell her these are just all the things we need. There’s nothing we are ordering that isn’t something we don’t need. But that wasn’t true now was it. Essentially it would come down to the definition of need. what is need and what is want. And moreover, what is want just because it is offered.

I was first introduced to the world of online luxury shopping by a friend who told me to take a look at a sale going on at Etsy.com. Little did she or I know that her recommendation would take on a whole life of its own.Score-the-Most-Sky-Miles-for-Cyber-Monday-Shopping

Shopping on sites like these requires some speedy finger tapping, confident decision making and of course, a good eye to find what you are looking for. Initially, the learning curve was steep; I didn’t have my saleslady for guidance. Nevermind that I had to learn to be an abstract and a visual thinker. (No fitting rooms or three-way mirrors forces me to use my imagination and trust my gut instinct). I had to learn quickly; the timer on my computer screen flashed a countdown to the sale ending as well as a flashing threat that the contents of my cart would soon expire — never was the saying “You snooze, you lose” more true.

I became a pro. I no longer needed to bring my credit cards to bed, and I became such a regular that I was greeted by first and last name when signing onto my favorite online boutiques. Most importantly, not bringing the credit cards to bed and not having any receipts laying around the house meant that I didn’t have to hide the evidence. I was able to hop back into bed and pick up exactly where I had left off — no checkout line or dirty looks from shoppers also meant less frustration for all of us. My habit went mobile: My phone was quickly synced to online boutiques so that I could multi-task. I’d be working on my assignments, talking to my mother on phone,all while daydreaming about the perfect summer sandals.shopping-addiction

My purchases meant that I am also more excited and eager to get home and check the front door. The goods in these packages are intended for me to excitedly open, admire and appreciate. Our relationship was on of love and presents and happiness.Then i began to think..

Forget meditation and yoga: For many stressed-out people, the best remedy for a stressful day at work or the sting of a painful breakup is the smell of brand-new clothing, the feel of a silk dress and the sound of a credit card being swiped. If you turn to retail therapy in times of anxiety, you’re not alone — according to a recent survey, nearly one in three recently stressed Americans (which accounts for 91% of the general population) shops to deal with stress.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey — an online poll of over 1,000 U.S. adults commissioned by the Huffington Post — found that women were twice as likely as men to use retail therapy as a way to cope with stress (40 percent vs. 19 percent). And in turn, men were more than twice as likely as women (34 percent vs. 16 percent) to say that they had never shopped out of stress and would never consider doing so in the future.

But gender aside, there is one trait many “stress-shoppers” have in common: They tend to seek distracting, temporary fixes to alleviate their stress. HuffPost’s survey found that those who shop to deal with anxiety (versus those who do not) were also…4fa6323f75320679805ac8f6f0b3cd01

  • 46 percent more likely to exercise to cope with stress
  • 86 percent more likely to eat to cope with stress
  • 76 percent more likely to worry about their weight

The more i read, the more i realized, the stress-shoppers are also “stress-eaters” and “stress-exercisers.” Those who used retail therapy tend toward the “flight” side of fight vs. flight, distancing themselves from the stress with an unrelated activity rather than facing it head-on. In contrast, the respondents who said they never shop to deal with stress were more likely to cope by finding the root of their anxiety and confronting it.0175ac455763e6b5ea5362d3b23b5728

“If you’re just buying it because it’s on sale and the clock is ticking down and you have to buy it before someone else does, you have a problem,” said Huffingtonpost, who also describes flash sales as a gateway drug for the would-be shopping addict.

What’s more, there’s a whole shopping online addiction section on WebMD. they say,

From hitting the mall with your girlfriends on a Saturday afternoon, to holiday spending on gifts that go under the tree, shopping could be called one of America’s favorite pastimes.

For most people, it means some new clothes for work or a small trinket for a friend. For others, however, shopping is much more than an enjoyable pastime, and in some cases, it is a real and destructive addiction that can turn into a financial disaster.

“Compulsive shopping and spending are defined as inappropriate, excessive, and out of control,” says Donald Black, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. “Like other addictions, it basically has to do with impulsiveness and lack of control over one’s impulses. In America, shopping is embedded in our culture; so often, the impulsiveness comes out as excessive shopping.”

Sometimes referred to as “shopoholism,” shopping addiction can wreak havoc on a person’s life, family, and finances. Experts explain to WebMD why shopping can be so addictive, what the warning signs are, and how to stop the cycle of spending.M_Id_449279_Shopping_dicount

So what are the things we should look for when we go n a shopping spree ?

  • Spending over budget. “Often times a person will spend over their budget and get into deep financial trouble, spending well above their income,” says Engs. “The normal person will say, ‘Oops, I can’t afford to buy this or that.’ But not someone who has an addiction,” explains Engs — he or she will not recognize the boundaries of a budget.
  • Compulsive buying. “When a person with a shopping addiction goes shopping, they often compulsively buy, meaning they go for one pair of shoes and come out with 10.”
  • It’s a chronic problem. “A shopping addiction is a continuous problem,” says Engs. “It’s more than two or three months of the year, and more than a once-a-year Christmas spree.”
  • Hiding the problem. “Shopoholics will hide their purchases because they don’t want their significant other to know they bought it because they’ll be criticized,” says Engs. “They may have secret credit card accounts, too. Because this problem affects mostly women, as alcoholism affects mostly men, husbands will all of sudden be told their wife is $20,000-$30,000 in debt and they are responsible, and many times, this comes out in divorce.”

I dont know if you have noticed these signs, but the more I observe, the more i think these all are true too. An addict will display these signs some or the other time.

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  • Shopping or spending money as a result of feeling angry, depressed, anxious, or lonely
  • Having arguments with others about one’s shopping habits
  • Feeling lost without credit cards — actually going into withdrawal without them
  • Buying items on credit, rather than with cash
  • Describing a rush or a feeling of euphoria with spending
  • Feeling guilty, ashamed, or embarrassed after a spending spree
  • Lying about how much money was spent. For instance, owning up to buying something, but lying about how much it actually cost
  • Thinking obsessively about money
  • Spending a lot of time juggling accounts or bills to accommodate spending

Shopaholics actually experience a personal pleasure from the shopping experience rather than the acquisition of new things. This personal pleasure is what drives the addiction. But as all addictions go, is it really giving you any pleasure whatsoever? Its momentary happiness you get when you open the box, but end of the day those things don’t really make any difference do they?wiki

Go out, travel, be with the people you love, take up a photography class, or just any hobby. Unsubscribe those mailing lists from your favorite shopping site, delete your accounts and you’ll find yourself a redeemed person. Dealing with stress is a tough thing to do, but spend and add to the already there stress when you can actually use that time to do all positives too ?

Here are some articles I found while researching for this post.

15 signs you’re hopelessly addicted to shopping online :

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/02/addicted-online-shopping_n_4284130.html?ir=India&adsSiteOverride=in

Its not only me, I’m pretty sure most of us have been trhough this. and its not only you and me, people actually have help groups for the same. look at this.

http://www.addictions.com/shopping/symptoms-online-shopping-addiction/

PS : As promised, I’m going to be adding a small playlist along with every post i write. They are just the songs that kind of enhance the theme I would be talking about.

  • The XX : Crystalised.
  • Third Eye Blind : Semi Charmed Life
  • David Bowie : Breaking Glass
  • Neil Young : The Needle And The Damage Done
  • Three Days Grace : Pain

image references

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-boydeinstein/cyber-dating_b_3086986.html?ir=India&adsSiteOverride=in

http://www.buzzquotes.com/funny-shopping-addiction-quotes

http://web.poptower.com/my-shopping-addiction.htm

http://blog.shopformuseums.com/2012/11/26/shop-cyber-monday-through-shopformuseums-com-and-make-a-difference/

Harry Potter : The Books that live forever

This post comes a little bit late but since the promised topic was going to be Harry Potter, I wanted to make sure i had a good post rather than a hurried one.

“The stories we love best do live in us forever so whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” The magical world of Harry Potter is for anyone. It’s for anyone who’s ever had a bad day and just wishes to escape. It’s for every lover of fantasy and magic. It’s for someone who just wants to curl up, with a cup of hot chocolate and forget the rest of world. It’s a place to escape to, full of magic and wonder beyond anyone’s imagination. It’s for the person who feels alone to finally feel at home and at peace. Anyone who’s ever wanted to be wash away, soaked up into a world of love, friendship, courage, to face the hard times and battle evil, Hogwarts and its world is for you.

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So today is the 18 year anniversary of the day a phenomena called Harry Potter came into the world, all magical and mysterious. No one, not even the author, J K Rowling knew at the moment that it would become such a huge phenomena that it would change an entire generation behind it. Personally for me, J K Rowling changed the world and saved reading and literature. Wall Street Journal reported,

On June 30 that year, a book was published that blew apart one of the iron rules of publishing. Children’s books, a literary agent assured me around this time, when I submitted a proposal, did not sell. Kids had ceased reading, full stop. Only a television tie-in could make chain stores stock a children’s book, and even that was unlikely.

Twelve London publishers turned down “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” before an independent, Bloomsbury, offered J.K. Rowling’s agent, Christopher Little, a paltry advance of £2,500. The original edition appeared on June 30, 1997, in a run of 500 copies, most of which went to public libraries. That’s how few children were expected to read.

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The seventh and final volume, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” published on July 21, 2007, was the fastest-selling book on record, moving 11 million copies in 24 hours, according to an estimate by the BBC. (The second-best-selling novel of that year, Khaled Hosseini’s “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” made headlines for selling a million copies in a week.) In all, Ms. Rowling is believed to have sold more than 450 million books. Her cycle has been published in 67 languages, more than any printed book apart from the Bible.

Not since the serial novels of Charles Dickens in the middle of the 19th century had the works of a single author excited such universal and immediate interest.Over the years Harry Potter has had a huge impact on today’s generation. Those who’ve grown up reading and watching these books and films will carry the memories forever. It got a whole generation reading, believing in something bigger, something amazing, something magical. The amount of description allowed us all  to imagine and see the world that J. K. Rowling has provided on a platter, or id rather say, pages. I for sure was able to picture the common rooms, the classrooms, the grounds and even the secret passageways.And moreover, these snippets of imagination were brought to the big screen and readers could see the magic unfold right before my very eyes. So yes, these books did get a whole generation reading, and those who stuck with Harry “until the very end,” surely will keep reading and watching the films. And yes, I, along with hundreds of thousands of us, am a proud member of that community.

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What makes the harry potter series so special is the fact that J. K. Rowling also made her characters relatable and realistic. We all were able to see characters develop, grow before our own eyes. J. K. Rowling created a world where glasses were cool, and being smart made you stronger. She showed us that it didn’t matter if you wore glasses or if you had bushy hair, or if you had slightly longer teeth and a less money than others. She showed us that you should be accepted for who you are, she took the people that are perhaps ignored at school and made them the heroes. That’s what makes the characters so loveable. Making her characters this way, also allowed the characters to be ‘fleshed’ out. They had their abilities, the ability to learn, to fly, to make others laugh, to cast spells, to fight but also she showed their flaws. This made them very human. Flaws that were relatable, Hermione who’s incredibly book smart but can hardly tell Ron she’s in love with him, Harry who’s the “boy who lived”, “the chosen one”, can hardly talk to the girl he likes. Or Ron, the one who’s the “king”, who gets by on confidence and jokes, who’s loyal and carefree yet he’s stubborn and irrational.

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Harry Potter has reached out to an estimate of 200 countries, spoke out in over 69 languages and has touched the lives of more than 400 million people. It is the phenomenon that ignores race, age, gender or religion and it has brought us together despite all our differences. We are the Harry Potter Generation.” Is there really anymore to be said? Harry Potter is a huge impact on society as it’s the one thing that brought today’s generation together.

So people actually come and ask me what is my favourite part or who is my favourite character or how can one book mean so much and how can it stand for so much. they are just words after all, for all u sceptics out there, i’d just quote JK Rowling back at them and say

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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It doesn’t matter what my favorite book is or who i love more , Harry, Ron, Hermione. end of the day i can love no one more or less and it all comes downs to the fact that the journey is more important than the destination. its how Harry potter was a part of our growing up process. A not so mature version of me wrote this years ago, after the final Harry potter book had just gotten out.

i remember those days,i was 10 …sneaking the books on the bunk bed,creeping in the blankets and reading in a table lamp coz we were refused to read harry potter because of our exams.that sneaking the books to school and in bags n clothes.the things we did for harry potter! it was the one thing that made me feel alive,it made me feel real and it made me the person i am today.i know some people for whom its all ridiculous but for them,i feel nothing but pity as they dont know what theyr missing.this journey..these 10 years were my journey from being the gangly old study freak bookworm to being a person who can get the right from wrong and who can make the right choices.i owe my life to harry potter.those things that you refuse to learn from your parents,i learnt from harry potter.the first thing i learnt -“to a well organized mind,death is nothing bt a next grt adventure” and i follow this in so many ways.i learnt “to judge a person see how he treats his inferiors” i learnt that “help is always provided at hogwarts to he who asks’-to “help will always be provided at hogwarts to he who deserves it”…if i go on listing my learning from this series,i dont think its ever gonna end.the sheer strenght of the characters ,the love and importance of friendship and the audacity to accept your mistakes.its endless.

       i learnt that friendship and love matter the most.whether it be dumbledore to harry,sirius and harry,james-lupin-sirius, or harry ron n hermione.its sacred.JKR put the sacredness of frnship on paper.in the end when Lord Voldemort is killed,she wrote “he spotted Ginny two tables away;thee would be time to talk later,hours and days,maybe years in which to talk.everywhere he saw he saw families reunited n finally he saw the two people whose company he craved most” their friendship survived all the odds.

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Harry Potter can mean many things to many people. For me, these books were a beacon of light and hope; it was the light at the end of the tunnel. The books and characters made every step of the way easier, and so, that boy with the messy black hair, green eyes and lightning bolt, became my best friend. I, for one still believe that if i’m in trouble or if there’s anything wrong in my life, and i’m out of ways to go ahead, I take out my harry potter books and turn to any of the pages and there it would be. my solution. be it just a joke or a dialogue by Dumbledore, who I believe cam straight from J K Rowling’s heart. Any of those things will lead me to the correct path.  And for that, I’ll be ever thankful to J. K. Rowling. So I ask you, what does Harry Potter mean to you?

I found some really interesting articles and lists while doing my research for this one. Some of them are truly remarkable. For people who’d like to check them out..

Rise and Rise : Yound Adult fiction

It has been a few days and i have been caught up in reading, though reading what, you might ask and I would say. NA and YA Loads and loads of it. It started with Fault in our Stars, I guess and the fascination never got over for me. Its been years and years of YA novels for me now and I must say, I’m still not over them. But the last few days, I got to reading a New adult series, and then proceeded to another and another and it went on and on. The mobile friendly books let me read in the car, in my bed, anywhere really. And so, escape had a new name : New Adult Fiction/Young adult fiction.

Though why NA, i ask myself. It is nothing new, nothing you and I never experienced like with Harry potter and Hogwarts and nothing really out of the box. But theres still this strange hold it has over not only me, but lot of my friends. There are blogs that go on and on about what book to read next after, lets take Colleen Hoover books for an example.

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The best definition I can find is from NA Alley:

We view New Adult fiction (NA) as a category of literature—meaning, it gives readers content expectations, but it does not dictate genre-based criteria. Typically, a novel is considered NA if it encompasses the transition between adolescence—a life stage often depicted in Young Adult (YA) fiction—and true adulthood.

Protagonists generally fall between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six, though exceptions may apply. NA characters are often portrayed experiencing: college, living away from home for the first time, military deployment, apprenticeships, a first steady job, a first serious relationship, etc.

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NA Alley is a great site for those of you NA lovers!Continue reading “Rise and Rise : Yound Adult fiction”

Collection review : GLOBAL DESI Resort 2015

What is it about Indian Fusion that makes it just so hard to Not appreciate  when it comes to fashion ?I had yet not stopped appreciating the previous Elephant inspired collection by Global Desi and they put out the Color me Happy collection. Embodying the brand motto of putting out clothes for a modern woman with a zest of creativity, this collection is the new way to go crazy. Yes, crazy is the right word. it is bold, it is free, it makes a statement for the masses as well as the fashion forwards.

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Image courtsey : http://globaldesi.anitadongre.com/

The first thing that struck me is that the prints are so very fresh, for me, they are a rendition to the Bloomsbury print, UK, reminds me of what Burberry did to it in their Fall winter 2015 collection. The Color me Happy collection is like that. found the dress to be chic and vibrant. It had the youthful appeal while maintaining a certain level of modern flair. it maintains Global Desi’s staples : It was vibrant, unconventional and the bold graphic prints were blended in a stylish array of contemporary silhouettes like dresses, skirts, jumpsuits, maxi dresses, blouses, palazzo pants, and cropped tops.

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The collaboration with Liva seems to be working out well as the hand feel of the fabric is beautiful. it makes you want to wear the clothes if not when you see them, then definitely when you touch them. the Colors have come out to be vivacious and it just sort of emphasizes on the theme to be frank. Makes you feel all free and airy and breathable.

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Global Desi is known to come up with intriguing inspirations for their collections. i mean look at their MimoMa collection, or the London Calling one. Its one of my all time favorites. But this one is strong, it is competing with all my previous favorites. what i love about it that, it is open to interpretation, for me its the Spanish Riviera, for you, it might be Holi.. and the possibilities are endless.

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PS : As promised, I’m going to be adding a small playlist along with every post i write. They are just the songs that kind of enhance the theme I would be talking about.

  • Citizen Cope : Sons gonnna rise
  • Lorde : Million Dollar Bills
  • Eve Ft. Swizz Beatz : Tambourine
  • Charli XCX : Boom Clap
  • Pharell WIlliams : Happy (of course! its a cliche but hell yeah it belongs here! )

About Global Desi

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Global Desi is an India-inspired young, colourful, boho-chic brand with global appeal.  Any woman wherever in the world she may be – who loves, lives and breathes the vibrancy of Indian prints and influences will find a little bit of herself in this label. The collection celebrates the modern woman and her zest for creativity. It is for a woman who sets her own rules and her creativity is not bound by anything. She flaunts her identity with pride; is free spirited and leaves a lasting impression. The Global Desi collection is predominantly India-inspired and delves deep into our rich heritage of colours, textures and prints to combine them to create international appeal. Launched in 2008, the brand is currently available at exclusive brand outlets and multi brand stores across the country. Global Desi opened its first outlet in Mauritius in 2013. Plans are underway to open it in other destinations all over the world. For news on new collections, style updates and more log onto www.globaldesi.in

This is where it all began …

So, here it is! A platform of my own! where do i start!? Red hair and other colors is a blog about life, love literature, music and most importantly, Fashion. it may sound old and cliche, but I promise not to male it so. Here goes my first post..

As i was growing up, books and literature have always been a major part of the lifestyle i live in. My parents being English Lit professors has been like a catalyst to my already burning desire to read and read and read till i know it all. yes, there i said it. i aimed to be a Know it all. And today i pride myself on being one.

Call me silly, call me naive, call me anything else you come up with, those books i read growing up has made me what i am today. I go from Hermione to Rory Gilmore to Elizabeth Bennett in a jiffy and that’s just me. how many girls have grown up wanting to be them? there’s just something bout a very strong female character with a penchant for independence that appeals to us all. As i start this blog, I began to reverse think and pin point where did it all began for me. Because the first novel i recall reading was Great Expectations. But I don’t remember falling in love with a character then. so where id it all began?

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Charlotte Bronte : Jane Eyre. That’s where it all started. Some 19th century critics saw Jane Eyre as a feminist manifesto. Through Jane, Bronte exerts feminine power and independence, and when Jane and Rochester are finally married, they do so as equals, with Jane Eyre “her own mistress”. She not only differentiates between wealth and independence, but claims that she will not depend on him. Through Jane, Bronte expresses the notion that “women feel just as men do”, and expresses that a woman cannot live a life of “stagnation” and “rigid restraint”. These views express feminism at a time when “feminism” was unheard of. Throughout the novel, Jane must escape from a dominant male figure who attempts to harm her or force her to abandon her morals or ignore her feelings.

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Not only can Jane Eyre be seen as a feminist manifesto, but more broadly a novel of power to the oppressed class. Jane challenges the notion that poverty is a criminal offense, noting that some of the best people were destitute and deprived. She gives a voice to those who are powerless by exerting her power over those who attempt to repress it. Her sense of justice is innate; she knows what is right and wrong and the reader sympathizes with this, while Bronte simultaneously positions us to see the injustice exerted by the upper, ruling class.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe theme of the supernatural provides a Gothic undercurrent throughout the novel, and Bronte uses it to create an atmosphere of mystery and suspense. There are only one and possibly two unexplained supernatural occurrences in the novel, however, and most apparently supernatural things are revealed as natural occurrences. Bronte explains the supernatural with natural causes, and this makes the occurrences more sinister as they seem to occur in the real world, rather than in a fantasy world of ghosts and vampires.

e0d22c75c518a0d190a76195367b01baMost girls would fall in love with Mr.Darcy when we talk about literature. I have had so many conversations about him  being the perfect romantic hero. But now i realize i have always been drawn to the Anti hero. The dark brooding characters who are not only mysterious but passionate to a fault. Mr.Rochester is my perfect hero. Mr Rochester is a typical Byronic hero. Proud, moody, and somewhat cynical, he has distaste for social institutions and pities himself regarding his marriage to Bertha Mason. He is self-critical and regrets his past libertinism. He is somewhat rebellious, abrupt, and rude, although also educated, perceptive, seductive, and affectionate.

Jane Eyre made such a huge impact on me. It is the one book that i feel stands for everything i stand for and everything I believe in. It is powerful, filled with ferociousness and individuality, It has a character of its own and the courage to stand out. the novel itself was such a scandal when Bronte published it. It was a slap on the face of class ism, patriarch society of those times and spoke of female liberalism like no other book had till then.

It only seemed appropriate i start my blog with the one thing that turned into my stepping stone to what i am today. It is a dark depressing Gothic tale of tragedy and suffering but it has an intensity rarely seen. For me, its also a classic tale of romance. Do post your comments below on your take on the novel. All criticisms are appreciated.

PS : I’m going to be adding a small playlist along with every post i write. They are just the songs that kind of enhance the theme I would be talking about.

Jane Eyre :

  • Alter Bridge :Broken Wings
  • Bird York : In the Deep
  • Florence+the machine : Cosmic Love

Image courstey :

http://www.cafepress.com/aliceflynn/7654444

https://www.etsy.com/listing/97787468/birdcage-charm-metal-necklace-jane-eyre

http://inspirably.com/quotes/about-jane-eyre/4

http://quote.blog48.com/creative-ways-of-analyzing-jane-eyre-quotes/

Subcultures : Where are they now???

PART I :

Subcultures are meaning systems, modes of expression or life styles developed by groups in subordinate structural positions in response to dominant meaning systems, and which reflect their attempt to solve structural contradictions rising from the wider societal context” says Michael Brake. The significance of subcultures for their participants is that they offer a solution to structural dislocations through the establishment of an achieved identity – the selection of certain elements of style outside of those associated with the ascribed identity offered by work, home, or school. He suggests that the majority of youth pass through life without significant involvement in deviant subcultures. He says that the role of youth culture involves offering symbolic elements that are used by youth to construct an identity outside the restraints of class and education.

In common tongue, You can define subcultures as putting forward a particular statement for your personality. Being bold and showing what you are. The youth came together to make the movement, about their emotions and were not ashamed to show them.

Today, life is too large a phenomenon to define in one emotion or one movement of one revolution. The emotions too widespread, the need to make a statement in all forms, too strong.We are all too busy earning money and fame and we don’t mind letting go of our personality if we have to. I don’t think any of us are really who we say we are. We can bend, and change and even turn who we are completely if requisite. and in general, it is required. So where do we really stand? What are you, as a person what do you like, what do you not like? Are you a rebel, or an introvert, or a real professional?

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The older generations, the decades as we call them in fashion, were the significant times, don’t you think? People defined themselves, they knew who they were and that is precisely why they were not afraid to show it. They were discovering new things and were enthusiastic about it. If it was the disco, it was a full on disco, and if it was the Goth, they were full on Goth They had a thing called fortitude, and the will to bring it forward. They had an opinion and were unafraid to put it forward, even if it meant letting go of their jobs, or even their families.

Style-world insiders are no less wistful recalling those days. “Fashion was its own club; it was personal,” said Ms. Fish, an independent producer of fashion shows. “Behind the scenes, people were talking to each other.” And icons of the day, Kristen McMenamy, Amber Valletta and Ms. Moss, “were not getting their lips done by François Nars while checking their iPhones.”

A nostalgia for that sense of intimacy and belonging is pervasive on the Internet. “Teenagers today don’t know what it’s like to listen to new bands on the radio, then go to basement shows with friends to check them out,” said Lauren Brown, whose blog fashiongrunge.com celebrates a long-gone lifestyle. At 30, Ms. Brown often finds herself waxing sentimental.

We were part of a scene,” she said. “Today, when everybody has their own niche band they’re listening to, it’s hard to determine what a scene is.”

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Sure, it was a decadent time, one that fashion today has romanticized. “Sex and drugs were flying in the night life, especially during Fashion Weeks,” She said. “Still, there was an innocence. People were able to create art and newness, and there weren’t so many megabosses breathing down their necks, demanding, ‘Make that perfume, give us those sunglasses, give us that bag!’ ” but today,  Designers, stylists , models, all of it is a profession and we are all professionals.it is a business, there’s nothing personal about it,its about the mass.

Talking about those times cant be complete without the music scene and the kind of influence it had over the people. So Pearl Jam wrote about domestic abuse, illiteracy, the maltreatment of the mentally ill. Nirvana looked at alienation, rape, stultifying conformity. Alice in Chains dug deeply into the black hole of addiction. Soundgarden pondered the search for meaning in an indifferent universe. Courtney Love wrote ferocious lyrics about misogyny, eating disorders, sexual predators.

Aesthetically, they eschewed babes, booze and fast cars for cropped hair, college degrees and ever-present frowns. And they lived out their principles in concrete, courageous ways. Music for them became the ultimate expression and fusion of most of the defining cultural, ideological and social threads of the modern western world. Feminism, liberalism, irony, apathy, cynicism/idealism (those opposite sides of one frustrated coin), anti-authoritarianism, wry post-modernism, and not least a love of dirty, abrasive music; the subcultures reconciled all these into a seminal whole.

Subcultures in pure terms is an attitude, a rebellion against convention, outdated & austere thought and way of living. What one wants to base this mutiny around is a personal choice. One may generalize the sentiment but not the root cause behind it; although there are those distinctive characteristic traits of the sub-culture that constitute the generic periphery of it.

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For that generation, it was more than just music, or fashion: it was subterfuge, knowledge, philosophy, empathy, wit, courage, love, desire and anger, and it saddens me that nothing has truly replaced it. Sure, there will always be musicians who are politically aware, socially concerned, risk-taking; not everyone is Fred Durst. But the days when gender constructs became virtually meaningless, when brains and coolness and sex appeal weren’t incompatible, when mass popular culture transcended humble origins to become something profound, subversive and greater than itself … those days are gone. They’re in the grave with Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley and Kristen Pfaff.

PS : As promised, I’m going to be adding a small playlist along with every post i write. They are just the songs that kind of enhance the theme I would be talking about.

This post however deserves a special list. Here’s a list of the best of the Subcultures and the bands that immortalized them.

Subcultures :

  • Beatles : All you need is Love
  • Led Zeppelin : Kashmir
  • Nirvana : Smells like teen spirit (duhh) / In Bloom
  • Kansas : Dust in the Wind
  • Guns and Roses : November Story
  • Sex pistols : Anarchy in the UK

The second edition of the subculture post will be what Modern day version of these subcultures look like and my attempts to try and recreate them.

Oh! I found this really interesting page where all Subcultures are covered beautifully and distinguished properly. Its a must read for anyone wanting to know all the subcultures in detail.

http://www.snipview.com/q/History_of_subcultures

Image credits :

https://thegritograph.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/research-of-subcultures/

http://thebritishsubcultures.com/

http://www.wendybendoni.com/test/

Grunge : A lost movement

GRUNGE : A movement

Why does popular music change? Why do we, as creators and consumers of music and culture, rebel against what appears to be harmonious and correct? Although the answers to these questions may be many, the musical soundscape of Seattle during the early nineties gives an insight into how the modern generations consume their ever-changing fads. Grunge music started in the mid to late-eighties in the garages of Seattle and epitomized everything mainstream rock at that time did not. After gaining popularity, this genre became trendy in the early nineties and eventually was turned into a culture fad that spread commercially across the US.

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From the generation-defining guitar playing of Jimi Hendrix to the furious riffs first struck by Kurt Cobain, music from Seattle has proven to be both timeless and influential. The city’s most iconic sonic-movement, however, was Grunge. Starting as a fusion of punk’s energy and excitement with metal’s heavy sound, Grunge quickly formed its own identity. Key groups in the early grunge movement include, but are not limited to, the Melvins, Mudhoney, Green River and the U-Men. The early Grunge bands are not given nearly enough credit for the formation of the genre due to the commercial success of their successors, but many had direct influences on later bands and often continued to tour with them.

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Many groups achieved commercial success in Grunge, but four stand out above the rest: Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. What made the grunge movement so unique was that, in addition to coming from the same city, all were acquaintances and often played together either while in different groups or in previous years. Other key aspects of the movement were unkempt appearances consisting of everyday clothing and very few stage antics, both of which clashed with what mainstream rock up to that point had been about.

Grunge is a perfect example of how our preferences for music can shift drastically over a short period of time within one genre of music. While the eighties rock scene was about everything being bigger and flashier, the Grunge movement quickly took the genre back to being about the music. Although change in presentation was instrumental for this shift, the most important aspect to the change came from the music itself. Grunge is heavier, more complex and more emotionally driven than the metal, popular throughout most of the eighties. Without going into detail, overall themes in the music shifted from the glamour/partying lifestyle of the eighties metal bands to darker songs driven by personal issues such as drug abuse. The drug culture played an important role throughout the music movement, but particularly in Grunge as it ended up dismantling it by separating groups with members who were using the drugs heavily and eventually by killing key figures in the movement.

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For Generation X-ers, male grungers represented all that is good in men. They were the fabled “New Men” with the volume turned up to 10, gentle-natured but discordant and angry. The women were intelligent, non-conformist, cool. Each took the best aspects of their opposite gender and retained the best of their own. Grunge took back loud music from poodle-rock and gave it a heart, soul and brain. It married a love of noise with thoughtfulness and sensitivity, putting a trash soundtrack to lofty principles and uncommon education. It turned old paradigms on their head, like the one that said rock music was made by “real men” and feminism was for ball-busting harpies and emasculated weirdoes.

Grunge wasn’t nihilist or moany – they really did want a better world for everyone. It was misrepresented as being self-absorbed, but actually addressed big themes, things outside the artists’ private concerns – a rare thing in popular music.These bands weren’t restricted by the limits and ideologies of genres like punk, which insist that you write certain kinds of music and lyrics. They didn’t recycle banal cliches but tackled weighty subjects – one could almost describe Soundgarden, for instance, as existential.

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Most grunge bands were politically active. Lollapalooza combined music with information stalls on everything from organic food to voter registration. Pearl Jam fought a ruinous battle with Ticketmaster and refused to make promos; Nirvana constantly antagonised their new, macho audience.

It was a long way from Axl Rose thrusting his crotch in your face on MTV, and of course it couldn’t last. Grunge was replaced by frat-boy rock, pimp-wannabe gangsta rappers and hyper-sexualised Britney/Barbie dolls.

Although the Grunge movement was extremely popular and is still remembered today, it was relatively short lived. Very quickly, the music of Seattle travelled across the United States by way of MTV, and Grunge became a fashion statement/trend in addition to a style of music. Encapsulating the commercialization of the Grunge movement, top designers from New York began to create clothing lines in the “grunge style”, but sold them for hundreds of dollars. It was factors such as this as well as not wanting his music to become commercialized that caused Kurt Cobain to famously wear his “grunge is dead” t-shirt. Unfortunately, as the music industry always does, it commercialized Grunge because it was what was trendy. Through this commercialization, profit instead of good music became the main objective for producing; and fashion industry gained their new muse.

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The irony is that fashion can’t capitalize on grunge, though it certainly tries to capitalize on Grunge, in the way it regularly adopts a phenomenon from the street, chews it up then spits it out 10 times the price. Marc Jacobs’ spring 1993 “grunge” collection at Perry Ellis made headlines, but to the

Seattle backlash it was already a parody of itself and, anyway, it got him fired. Only the conceptual designer Martin Margiela understood this fundamental shift. His runway collection that year used existing materials: a pile of shirts bought at a surplus store.

That doesn’t stop fashion labels from attempting revivals; last fall, with expensive plaid so-called grunge layers (Saint Laurent) and loose, patched jeans (Junya Watanabe) and this spring at Madewell, in pairs of medium-blue, torn and patched jeans by NSF and cult Japanese denim brand Chimala that look a lot like the ones Cobain wore on that MTV red carpet. A Normcore steal at $500 a pair.

James Truman, the editor in chief of Details, the young men’s style magazine that is taking grunge to the masses, said: “To me the thing about grunge is it’s not anti-fashion, it’s un fashion. Punk was anti-fashion. It made a statement. Grunge is about not making a statement, which is why it’s crazy for it to become a fashion statement.”

For all grunge lovers out there, grunge isn’t ripped jeans or a plaid shirt; if it’s anything, grunge is a state of mind, an approach to getting dressed that isn’t buying the right stuff. It can’t be bought, and it won’t be sold.  It is state achieved when the vain attempts to look good are overpowered by the instinct to put forward a word, or try your damned best to make a change.

PS : As promised, I’m going to be adding a small playlist along with every post i write. They are just the songs that kind of enhance the theme I would be talking about.

  • Pearl Jam : Alive
  • Nirvana : Heart shaped Box
  • Soundgarden : Black hole Sun/ Jesus Christ Pose
  • Alice in Chains : Man in the box
  • Nirvana : Lithium 
  • Collective Souls : Shine

Image Courtsey :

http://favim.com/image/1653624/

http://rebloggy.com/post/photography-black-and-white-music-rock-hipster-indie-grunge-arctic-monkeys/87898082293

http://www.tumblr.com/search/grunge%20lifestyle

http://weheartit.com/entry/group/42613973

Nirvana Grunge Band in The World HD Wallpapers

http://rebloggy.com/photography+Black+and+White+text+quotes+hipster+words+vintage+indie+b%26w+Grunge+city+Alternative+soft+grunge/search/bestmatch/page/2

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