The Age Old Question

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Last week I met someone for the first time, and upon meeting him, he asked me how old I was. A pretty standard question. When I replied, telling him I’m 20, his response was,
“aw that’s cute!”

Which is the very reason why I wanted to rant for this week’s blog post. For some reason, whether it’s societal or otherwise, ages must reflect who you are, and if your age is deemed to be “young” it’s “cute” and makes you more immature or something. If you’re over a certain age you have to act a certain way. And it’s just got to a point where it’s become incredibly annoying to me.

Anyone of any age has the potential to be mature or immature, and your age certainly shouldn’t define how “cute” you’re deemed to be. Is being twenty suddenly something adorable, like being a newborn, or is it because my age doesn’t match my face/height/build? I was talking to a friend about this recently and we came to the conclusion makeup has a lot to play in how old you look. I don’t wear any makeup 98% of the time, and the 2% I wear is eye makeup when I’m at a gig or going out for dinner and want to make a bit of an effort. I already have the body of a 13 year old, so coupled with no makeup, it must automatically make me a child, right?¬† I wish it wasn’t right, but there’s an assumption that makeup equals maturity, and of course it does I suppose, most makeup wearers are over the age of 12, but what about people like me? Are we just the abnormal few? Should I start shoving on the contour just so people stop calling me cute when they find out I’m not 13?

Or maybe being 20 is still a childish age anyway, maybe makeup has nothing to do with it, and being 20 is young, even to those who are 23/24 like the guy who called me cute. I have a real issue with being seen as young, I get it I am youngER, I’m not 87 or 42 or even 23. But I think personality should account for more than an age does, yes, age is important but so is who you actually are. You can be 18 and love a board game, like you can be 89 and enjoy listening to Radio 1. I’m 20 and love Midsomer Murders and cosy pyjamas and woodland walks and that’s okay, why shouldn’t it be.

Orrrr maybe being called cute was a compliment, and my media student brain is analysing things far too much, who knows?!

The Grand Tour

A while ago, I wrote a review about the new series of Top Gear, as I was genuinely intrigued as to how the series would go (here’s a link to it if you missed it) and as The Grand Tour, with Jeremy, Richard and James recently came out, I thought it was only fair to review their new show too.

I LOVED IT.

That’s not the end of the review, I do want to say more, but my overriding thought is love. It was everything I hoped it would be, the same boys I’ve spent the last seven years enjoying, messing around in fast cars.

One of the first things I noticed was the studio, well, tent audience reactions to the three of them. Everyone was happy to see them, the audience were loud and genuinely appreciated the jokes the three of them told. When you compare it to the Top Gear audience and what sounded like canned laughter, it really does speak volumes (literally.)

Talking of humour, the show is packed with jokes, both observational and satirical, there’s even slapstick thrown in there too. I mean the track is shaped like the ebola virus and contains an unexploaded bomb- it’s called the ebola-drone for crying outloud, three major celebrities are “killed” and a drone is shot out of the sky. All in the space of an hour. It’s basically a comedy/entertainment/factual show and I love it, it really demonstrates how versatile and talented the three of them are.

The show made me a little bit emotional if I’m honest. If you’re a fan of Jeremy, Richard and James and the opening sequence didn’t make you cry you must have a heart of stone. The way they looked at each other was as if to say “I’m so happy we’re back. This is what we were made to do” and I very much agree with that sentiment.

The one difference I would say is there is less censorship of swearing, if you have young children and don’t want them to hear words like “shit” then sadly you’ll have to give their new show a miss. I don’t have a problem with their language, in fact I think it adds to the show and makes it even more genuine.

The visuals were stunning, both the tent backdrop and their location shoots. I don’t think a laptop or TV screen smaller than 47 inches does it justice, it really belongs in a cinema.

I’m also incredibly pleased with the response to their show on social media, although it’s hardly surprising it did so well. They’re good at their jobs after all.

 

I think for me the worst part of the new show, was watching their promo interviews, so many predictable, pointless questions about the past that they’ve answered 204600 times. MOVE ON PRESS, MOVE ON.

 

 

 

Christmas Competition

 

The time of year is upon us. It’s the time of the big Christmas adverts. We all seem to forget the purpose of these adverts is to make people buy things. The adverts suddenly become films, with promo shoots, behind the scenes videos, hashtags, media coverage, merch and trailers.

And you can see why, the adverts always have so much more meaning, and care and attention put into them. They can be up to 4 minutes long with characters and storylines and they sometimes don’t even feature the brand name till the end. So you can see why it’s easy to forget they’re just marketing tools. As a media student doing a unit on advertising this time of year is basically a godsend.

This year, so far, four Christmas adverts have been released. And I’m going to rank them in order, from my least favourite, to favourite.

 

Contrary to most people, this years ad from Sainsburys is my least favourite so far. I felt as though it was a little too long, and I think it needs watching at least twice before you start picking up on the really great character diversity. Although getting James Corden involved is pretty huge and the musical element makes it unique compared to the rest.

It’s so hard for me to order the next three as I really adore them all. But I think the John Lewis one will be the next one. The diversity for the ad is so good (although the gender roles are less good), the dog is a breed that has a negative and incorrect stereotype (if you google Boxer dogs the suggested similar searches are dobermans and pitbulls which also have bad connotations) I wouldn’t be surprised if sales/adoptions of Boxers went up. I’m an animal lover so seeing the cute foxes and hedgehog and squirrels and badgers on a bloody trampoline made me SO happy! But I’m putting it third because they didn’t develop the characters enough to make it 100% emotive.

My next one is the Waitrose Christmas advert, which actually hasn’t taken off as much as it’s parent company John Lewis has, or does every year. But I think it’s extremely cute and actually quite emotional. It follows the journey of a little beautiful robin on its way home, through miles of forest and sea. I don’t want to spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen it, but a big wave happens and I actually gasped and was genuinely worried. Its the shortest of all the ads so far, but it packs in so much storyline. The music is powerful and there’s no speech in it at all. All eyes are on the bird. It made me a little bit teary eyed. But that was nothing compared to the tears I shed for my favourite ad this year.

 

The M&S advert has stolen the show. It’s exploring Mrs Claus which never really happens, she is so girl power it’s amazing, and it’s all about sibling relationships and I cried when I first saw it and continue to get emotional every time I watch it. If you have a sibling, even if you aren’t close, you’ll find it tugs at your heart strings. It’s also quite comedic too, the line about forgetting Australia makes me laugh every time. AND at the end she’s reading 50 Shades of Red. RED. It’s filmed beautifully too, and there’s a cute dog which always helps.

 

 

 

The Dentist

Today I went to the dentist. If you didn’t know, I’m not a big fan of the dentist. Not because I have bad teeth, my teeth are surprisingly good I don’t even have any fillings. But because once I had to have a stubborn baby tooth removed and the dentist gave me numbing gel that literally did nothing, then gave me some lovely injections into my tiny gums. So since then I’ve been very wary of dentists and have little trust in them. So the waiting room is always an anxiety filled time for me. It wasn’t helped today by seeing one boy come in with a cracked tooth caused by him doing handstands in a swimming pool and smashing his face on the floor. As someone with a fear of swimming this story did not help and made me want to cry. Then the radio was playing Steps: Tragedy, which although a cracking song did make me think it was an omen, and my mind played out scenarios of me running out the dentist with no teeth and blood everywhere.

However I am pleased to report that the experience wasn’t too bad. As usual the awkward “where do I look” situation arose, resulting in me counting the ceiling tiles. However this was made harder when the dentist chose to spend the examination telling me about the typical oral cancer patients. It’s awkward talking about cancer at the best of times, but when a bloke is scraping your teeth it certainly does not make it easier. Then we had a lovely chat about that A level student and the John Lewis advert, as he seemed to think the student may have been at my uni. He isn’t.

Then something shocking happened. He decided to do *cue dramatic music* x-rays. He wanted to do them as apparently they’re “something that need to be done every 3 years” so obviously I feared the worst and imagined 1o2 injections and having to be trapped in a radiation filled room. Instead it was basically a checkout scanner. I’ve actually had x-rays on my jaw before, due to my TMJ diagnosis (in laymans terms, my jaw clicks and locks open and it’s generally painful to chew chewy things.) However due to this problem, and the fact I have a tiny head and therefore a small mouth, having my mouth open for prolonged time really hurts, so as you can imagine the dentist is a painful experience. So with the x-ray involving me putting what can only be described as large plastic spoons in the sides of my mouth, you can guess the pain I was in. The plastic dug into my mouth. Thankfully the x-rays only took half a second, and as the dentist liked to inform me “has less background radiation than a two hour flight to Spain.” You are welcome for that pub quiz fact.*

So all in all, the dentist is a slightly painful, nerve inducing experience for me, however I can’t complain as it literally takes less than 5 minutes to have a check-up and I’m very fortunate to live in a place with good dental care.
*may not actually be true, don’t blame me if you don’t win the pub quiz.