Absolutely Fabulous’ Joanna Lumley: Tips From A Timeless Treasure

Botox, photo-shop, anti-wrinkle products; it can’t be denied that our society glorifies youth to such an extent that we’ll try anything to reverse old age. Even girls as young as eight-years-old feel compelled to airbrush their selfies! It’s time for a change of mind-set; it’s time to embrace our age.

AbFab star, Joanna Lumley, always aimed to be older and wiser rather than younger and prettier: “when I was 13, I wanted to be 20. 20, I wanted to be 50. 50, I wanted to be 80. I love old age. I love old people. It does bring you wisdom.”

Instead of following and favouriting the staged lifestyles of twenty-somethings online and on reality TV, let’s pay attention to a woman who’s lived real life and can offer worthy advice.

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She’s totally badass

Her on (and off) screen bestie, Jennifer Saunders, boasts that Joanna Lumley “never has done what she was told”. Well, aren’t we glad she didn’t? If she’d listened to the fools forcing her to “stay in her place” then the world never would’ve been graced with the fantastic fictional character of Patsy Stone. On top of having her acting efforts dismissed because she started as a model, Lumley was also initially rejected by the comedy market for being too “beautiful and velvety voiced”. By not taking no for an answer, she became living proof that it’s possible for women to be blessed with BOTH beauty and a sense of humour.

She knows a thing or two about hustling

Even once she made the transition into acting, Lumley needed to battle like a badass in order to stop being typecast. Saunders is forever thankful that Lumley ignored the idea that “she could only play pretty girlfriends” because she happened to be pretty and a girl. Almost 50 years later, young actresses continue to fight the casting brackets of stereotypical female roles. To follow in the footsteps of comic genius Jennifer Saunders, women who yearn to play exciting roles often feel the urge to write their own work. Miranda Hart (Miranda) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) are classic examples of this. If it wasn’t for their long hard slog taking self-written comedy shows to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival year-in-year-out, they wouldn’t be where they are today (prime time slots on the BBC!). Moral of the story: when life’s not giving you what you want, take control and create interesting work yourself.

She’s a caring mum and career woman

At the age of 21, Lumley balanced her career with single-parenthood during a time when being unmarried with a child was unacceptable; “[the hospital] actually put me in a separate room in case I upset the married mothers”. Rather than allowing society to shame her, she became a role model demonstrating that women needn’t feel forced to make the dreaded choice of career vs family. So what does she suggest to young women today? Unlike her onscreen persona Patsy (who’s famous for falling out of taxis and drinking the day away), Lumley discourages young girls from adopting this behaviour: “I promise you it is better to look after yourself properly”. Given that she’s in her 70s and still utterly gorgeous inside and out, we’d be silly not to take her advice!

                                                                                                                                                                Words: Natalie Ann Boyd

Instagram: @natalieannboyd

The 90’S Are Back B***hes!

Let’s take a walk down memory lane (or just scroll your Instagram feed). It is undeniable: the 90’s are well and truly back.

From the throwback Instagrams of Kate Moss, to the graphic t-shirts dedicated to retro classics (like Saved By The Bell), it is safe to say the 90’s are totally back. With a love of pop culture and the fashion faux pas of 20 years ago, it seems like today’s millennials are living in the 90’s – and we love it!

Chokers, high-waisted mom jeans, flannel shirts, cropped tops and space buns are all back in style! (We are especially loving the space buns – perfect for a summer music festival).

For many young adults today it was the 90’s that formed them; fashion, music and pop culture-wise. The music of artists like Brandy and Monica taught us how to feel empowered when fighting for our relationships, Madonna gave us our first taste of rebel love, and we found our first crush in young Leo and Johnny. Let’s not forget the modern-day girl power of the Spice Girls that has lead us to becoming empowered feminists today, sticking with our sisters and going after what we want. Memories of glitter spray, diamante denim and scrunchies bring back school discos of old and the days spent before hand preparing your ‘look’.

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It seems like the 90’s carried the best of music, fashion and TV – from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to the pop legends that gifted us That Boy Is Mine and Baby One More Time. No need to wonder why we’re all nostalgic for this decade then!

Who knows, perhaps in a couple of decades, 2017 will be the coolest year to copy!

Words: Dilpreet Taak

Instagram: @dilpreettaak

Debut Dolls Around The Globe: The Lack Of Diversity in the Paris Fashion Industry

This week, #DebutDoll Batty, who hails from Paris, gives you her view of diversity in the Parisian fashion industry.

Fashion is the world where everything can happen. Fashion is my passion; my everything. Since I was a child, working in the fashion industry has been my number one goal.

One thing I have always been concerned about in France is the lack of diversity in this field. Fashion is magical – as a child, this is why I expected it to be a world full of positivity and opportunities. But as I grew older I began to question this: can a black girl succeed in a big magazine? Which mixed race woman has actually succeed  as a fashion director? What is the percentage of African workers in a fashion magazine? At sixteen-years-old, these kind of  questions were in my head all the time.

Today, after working across the world in different aspects of the fashion industry, I have found that my worries about the lack of diversity in fashion is something I had learnt from my Parisienne environment. I have worked incredibly hard to get to where I am in the French fashion industry; I have learnt that I must work twice as hard than others (much like Ronan Pope told Olivia in Scandal).

Image result for olivia Pope and rowan you have to be twice as good at them

Fashion is evolving all the time and anything can happen in the fashion industry – you have a place within it, no matter who you are and where you are from. My advice if you are worried about finding a place in fashion? Don’t give up and try to change the world with your talent.

 Words: Batty Bathily

Twitter: @BattyWR