In almost everything, after the first enthusiastic flush of an idea fades, the first step is the hardest. What if I fail? What if I’m not as good at that as I thought I was? What if I let people down who are counting on me to do a good job? What if I don’t reach these ridiculously high bars I set myself? What if what if what – nuuuuaggghh.
Think it, write it down on a piece of paper, and then screw it up, throw it in the bin and just get on with it. My favourite way to take the first step towards something = work on the project for just ten minutes every day. Increments make it easier to start moving and you’ll probably start taking longer once you get stuck in. And if you have trouble remembering, or keeping motivated, use the Commit app to keep you on track.
Truth. But also don’t forget you can question things and not be pessimistic. Sometimes people can’t separate the two – asking “what if” or “why” doesn’t mean you’re not optimistic about the eventual outcome of a project.
Has anyone noticed how many brands have been nailing gender issues in their advertising lately? I’m a little conflicted about it because, yes, in the main, they’re selling products. But I love the fact that you can change the discourse around women’s products, beauty products and the lexicon we use to discuss things that are usually just spray painted pink and handed to us with patronising pat on the head. Sure, some of the ideals in the ads have but a tenuous link to their products (the Always and Pantene ads spring to mind) but doesn’t it make a refreshing change from this dreadful ‘Beauty Patch‘ one by Dove? OMG you mean there’s nothing on there and I have self esteem that you’re saying is my own but actually that came from pretending that there’s some crazy chemical thing that can make me beautiful because that’s basically the formula/life ideal you’ve been selling women since the inception of advertising?
Here’s my run down of my favourite feminist ads of the minute:
1. #ShineStrong – Pantene
The second I saw this I both cringed a deep, deep cringe and immediately loved it, because if there’s a word that I overuse, it’s sorry. Sorry you bumped into me, sorry for speaking and giving an opinion (in a business setting), sorry for having the armrest first, but oh no, you have it. There’s being polite (and erm, British) and then there’s apologising for your existence. Nope. No more.
2. #LikeAGirl – Always
What has throwing “like a girl” got to do with period paddage? Well, I’ve been in marketing for ages so I could probably give you an answer to that question, but I see your point…it’s a bit tenuous. But I literally could not care any less: this ad is so wonderful and simple and to the point that it got someone I love dearly but who thinks feminism isn’t necessary or important, to see its point of view and actually LIKE it. Hi five, Always. Hi five.
3. First Moon party – Hello Flo
This one isn’t obviously about changing discourse, but it still has the same effect – because who’d have thought you could openly discuss periods on tv. And be funny! Think of it as the female version of the amusing Dollar Shave Club ad, except it’s generally more accepted to discuss on TV that men have to shave a face than the fact that women have to deal with a crampy, monthly mess. And not a jar of blue liquid in sight! Nice one Hello Flo.
4. Princess Machine – GoldieBlox
Because girls don’t always want to be a princess in a tower. And spray painting everything pink for girls starts YOUNG. Hey, I’ll tell you what, Riley the (then) 4 year old explains it awesomely.
Phew. I’ll take these ads over ones that tell me I should have softer, smoother, more beautiful armpits. In fact, basically, Dove should just sack their ad team and take hints from these guys – they’re nailing it.
Project 365 is Jennet’s instagram project I came across first, swiftly followed by a couple of Pins from her site. How lush is her work?! Every time it pops up in my feed it’s like I can’t double tap quick enough. Her mix of calligraphy and photography is perfect. I can’t wait until she opens her online shop – some of these beauts are going to make it into the flat for definite!
With a copy of Molly’s (@plurabellemolly on instagram) Modern Calligraphy on order, I can’t wait for it to arrive so I can get started smearing some ink across a page in a pale imitation of her gorgeous style. I remember going through a Calligraphy phase when I was about 10 or so – who’s wishing they’d stuck with it now!? Despite having no space for extraneous stuff in our flat, I’m still tempted to buy one of her address rubber stamps. Because then I really would send people handwritten letters all the time, right?
Not a single user, but a great hashtag started by Design*Sponge, #dslettering is a fab amalgam of real-life lettering. Not just what talented people can etch into paper, but buildings, titles, menus…everything. Which reminds me, when we were hanging out at the Drafthouse this weekend, saw an empty bottle of Einstöck Icelandic white ale, and I’m in love with their branding. I should definitely have got a shot and added it to the feed…oh well, next time!