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a thought “One of the best things that ever happened to me is that I’m a woman. That is the way all females should feel” – Marilyn Monroe I have forever been surrounded by strong women and this is something that has helped me appreciate the body that I’ve been blessed with. Predominantly, I feel undeniable pride in simply being a woman – shouldn’t that be enough? Thought: women’s empowerment and independence. We haven’t just recently discovered that we have the strength to stand up for ourselves, in fact, we’ve been doing it forever but now is the time that, as a society, we are voicing it. Instead of sheltering ourselves from the stereotypes and setbacks imposed upon us as women, we should stand up to the sexist limitations that we are sometimes faced with. We can achieve anything that our hearts desire, so, here at Blondie HQ, we’ve decided to explore a small portion of the influential and awe-inspiring women that have helped to make up our everchanging society. These women, who are unapologetically stepping into the spotlight, have created flourishing businesses from the ground up while continuing to chase their unresolved passions – but most importantly, inspiring other women from across the globe. Who says that you have to be physically – or even mentally – strong to be a powerful woman? A woman makes a great leader, a conscious creator and a strong mentor among many other things. Throughout this issue, we’ve highlighted the triumphant strides of women in the fields of well-being, fashion, travel and entertainment. Women worldwide are overcoming setbacks in all areas of their lives and those battles alone give us the power to succeed. Our gender should never be regarded as weak or lesser than, and women should be aware of the strength that they undoubtedly hold – just one thing which I tell myself daily. So in light of International Women’s Day, here is a bolder, braver special edition of Blondie. We’re here to celebrate them, not to preach about them.

A MESS AGE FR OM THE EDITOR GET IN TOUCH Email Instagram blondiemag_ Editor Ellen Howe Sub-Editor Georgette Beacham Art Editor Lois Williams Features Editor Emily Burgan Contributors Kim Tanton Illustrations Editorial While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information at the time of going to press, Blondie does not accept liability for any errors or omissions contained herein. Views expressed in the individual articles within Blondie are those of the contributors and are not necessarily shared by the publishers, who are not responsible for any breach of copyright in the material supplied to Blondie. Images The illustrations used within this publication were created by either the team at Blondie HQ or external contributors. Any images found in this publication were sourced under the Creative Commons Licence. Fonts With thanks to the creators of Bodoni 72, FogtwoNo5, Didot and Gloss Drop. Printing Latimer Trend


women EMPOWER women.



An Essex sweetheart who lived a bumpy life; one of childhood hardship, reality TV and tinged with controversy, but left the world with a legacy: the ‘Jade Goody effect’.

Jade Goody, born in Bermondsey, London, in 1981, spent her early years facing experiences that few of us would understand. Goody’s father, Andrew, was a drug addict and reoffending criminal who spent much of his daughter’s childhood in prison. He and his mother, Jackiey Budden, separated when their daughter was two and in 2005, when Jade Goody was 25, her father died of an overdose. Goody and her mother led a tumultuous relationship, with accusations from Goody that her mother was addicted to drugs and even revealing in her autobiography, Jade: Catch a Falling Star, that she smoked crack cocaine in a desperate bid to shock her mother. She revealed, ‘I felt dirty and disgusting, “How does it make you (Jackiey) feel watching me do this?” I asked.’ But it was in 2002, after Jade Goody’s stint as a dental nurse, where she had her first taste of living life in the spotlight. After some of her hardest years, her infectious personality won her a place as a contestant in the third series of then-Channel 4 programme Big Brother. Although Goody’s time on the reality show led to her own television programmes and a number of lucrative deals, both the media and the public began to disapprove of her. Goody’s perceived lack of decorum left the reality star vulnerable to criticism, which hit its most negative point during and after her second stint on Big Brother in 2007. Goody, along with fellow contestant, Danielle Lloyd, were both accused of racial bullying toward Indian actress, Shilpa Shetty. But it was during Goody’s stint on the Indian reality show Bigg Boss which made one of the most significant marks on both her life and the lives of the British public. On August 19, 2008, the then-28-year-old was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Jade Goody’s determined personality was reflected in her persistent effort to raise awareness for the disease that would eventually end her life. Despite how poorly she became, the deteriorating mother of two attended interviews and television appearances with one purpose in mind: to encourage women to attend their cervical screening. During this time, Jade Goody revealed that she’d ignored a letter from her doctor stating that abnormal cells had been found following her cervical screening. Goody said that the results in this letter left her too scared to visit the hospital; something that she said she later regretted – but passionately urged other women to not do the same. Just seven months since her diagnosis, early in the morning on 22 March – Mother’s Day – Jade Goody, the wife and mother of two, lost the fight for her life. But her life was not in vain, and the legacy that is the ‘Jade Goody effect’ lives on. While cervical screening numbers are again dropping, this profile is to remind us all that, as women, if you are invited to a screening; have abnormal cell results; too embarrassed to attend or whatever the reason: just act on it, because the risk of not knowing could be the ultimate one.



Ms Blondie Reader 6 Downbelow Way Nether Regions England ULBE OK

15 March 2019

Dear Ms Blondie Reader Very rarely do I now receive anything in the post. In a world that has swiftly turned digital, receiving a rare letter through the door evokes an emotion that is spectacularly similar to the time that I received my very first letter as a nine-year-old. You know, that feeling of sheer importance and righteousness knowing someone has taken the time to produce a letter addressed especially to you and only for you and absolutely not for anyone but YOU. And so because of this, I hold a paper-form letter, carefully addressed to Georgette Beacham, in a much higher and more superior regard. So why, when I receive my third reminder through the door, addressed from my GP inviting me to book the ‘dreaded’ cervical screening (otherwise regarded as a smear), do I swiftly forget about the utmost respect I hold for a letter and brand my health as “not my priority”? Oh, there’s not a day that I’m free for a while and I don’t want to miss out on precious coffee club on a Tuesday. Okay, so when the fuddle-ducks did I decide that shitty coffee club was more important than my health – and potentially my life? But it’s not just me who’s intentionally skipping the test; screening rates in the UK are at their lowest for two decades. TWO DECADES. One in three of us aged 25-29 miss a cervical screening – but why? What is stopping us from taking five minutes out of our time to test for something that could potentially prevent the risk of developing cervical cancer? Doesn’t it seem strange that the very disease we fear the most is the very disease that we don’t consider a priority? And this was the same question that I had to ask myself. But I’m not stupid; we all have similar worries. I’m fully aware that one of the reasons that I didn’t want to make a booking with my local doctors was because I’d rather not get naked from the butt-cheeks down and have my doo-dah poked and prodded – no one wants that. I know that fear is another massive factor too. Fear to show our bodies; fear that the nurse might think we look ‘different’; fear of the unknown; fear that there might be a phone call asking us to come in for further tests because they’ve found abnormal cells. But of those fears, this is our sobering reality: Every year in the UK, more than 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and of those women, 900 die from this devastating disease; a disease that can often be, by having a smear test, prevented. And you know what? Being made frightfully aware that 900 women die a year gave me the ultimate push that I needed to attend my cervical screening. And apart from being a slightly awkward 28-year-old with legs in the air asking nurse Jane if she’d ‘had a nice day’ the whole process was actually fine.


BLNDI No. 123 456 789

15 March 2019

While I pat myself on the back for this personal success, it doesn’t eradicate the very real fears surrounding a cervical screening that many of us still have. So while I was asking Jane how her day was, I also asked her, from her professional point of view, for a response regarding some statistics by the charity, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. By doing this, I’m hoping that her point of view will help you when it comes to your smear experience. - 35% stated they’re embarrassed to attend because of their body shape. Jane said: “I don’t even see your body shape. I ask you to undress your bottom half and lie on the couch with a sheet over your nether-regions all whilst behind a private curtain.” - 34% had concerns over the shape of their vulva. Jane said: “I see hundreds, if not thousands of vulvas every single year – and although not one vulva is the same, it’s not something that I care about. I care about getting the job done in the hope that it’s potentially saving lives.” - 38% were concerned about whether they smelt “normal”. Jane said: “What does normal even smell like anyway? – plus, I’m not that close!” - 31% said they wouldn’t go to an appointment unless they’d waxed or shaved. Jane said: “My job is to put a speculum into your vagina and collect cells from the surface of your cervix -- so how hairy of hair-less you are on the outside makes absolutely no difference to the process.” - 20% would rather not know if something was wrong. Jane said: “In every 20 women, just one result will come back with abnormal cells and those abnormal cells don’t often lead to cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is often curable at an early stage but with that being said, it doesn’t usually give you prominent signs or symptoms, so that’s why it’s important to get checked.” - 30% said they didn’t know where to get the test. Jane said: “Just call your local GP; it’s as easy as that.” And I repeat to you: “Just call your GP; it’s as easy as that”. In my case, it really was as easy as that and trust me, it will be for you, too. So I bring to you, the women of the UK, a letter from Georgette Beacham but addressed to you, asking you to prioritise your own health; your life – as I obnoxiously remind you that you only have one.



Colour me! It looks like kids have a thing or two to teach us... okay, maybe just one thing: colouring. According to tonnes of studies, the therapeutic elements of colouring offer an abundance of benefits. Not only does colouring allow the brain to take some time out from the daily stresses of life but evidence suggests that it can lower stress and anxiety levels, transform negative thoughts into positive ones, encourage mindfulness and finally, offer each of us a well-needed break from technology. Due to these epic benefits, we’ve included this colouring-in page for you to use freely – plus, you can now read your favourite magazine and colour-in all whilst sitting in your favourite coffee shop!


FITSPO OF INSTAGRAM Instagram is the perfect social media platform for expressing your passions and enabling users from all over the world to share their varied interests while creating little communities. Blondie praises the inspirational girls on the medium that have helped redefine women’s fitness.


ne lifestyle that has blown up on Instagram in the past few years is fitness. There are thousands of accounts dedicated to people sharing their own fitness journeys and experiences, with their followers travelling with them, post by post. While we all want to live a happy and healthy lifestyle, sometimes all we need is a kick up the bum and a push in the right direction, or more simply put: motivation. Today, more than ever, there seems to be an emphasis on keeping fit and the importance of staying in shape. As health and diet research progresses, we are more clued up on what is good for our bodies – and what is not! But we also know how tough it can be sometimes. When that alarm is screaming in your face at 6 am and it’s a cold and dreary January morning but you made a New Year’s resolution to get to the gym every day before work, it’s easy to opt for that precious extra hour in bed. Dragging yourself to the gym can sometimes be a near-impossible task, especially when you are unmotivated and unclear on what to do when you get there. With that being said, what if we told you that you could exercise from the comfort of your own home or gain extensive

knowledge on how to use gym equipment, just by using Instagram? Well, we have just the solution for you. The Instagram and fitness collaboration has created the ultimate platform for influencers to share their stories and motivate us to hit the gym ourselves. Social media has opened up a new market for people who are passionate about fitness, enabling them to share their passions with like-minded people. While these girls are admirable for their dedication and drive for staying in shape, it’s their work in promoting a healthy lifestyle to their followers that make them so marvellous, in our eyes. Since the Instagram fitness world blew up, there has been a noticeable cultural shift in what is deemed as feminine and, compared to yesteryears, there is no longer such a pressure on girls to be extra slim. Today, we celebrate all body types and the idea of a woman being muscular and physically strong is something that is no longer frowned upon – and rightly so. Nowadays, women are no longer being labelled as weak and dainty damsels in distress, but are instead defined as whatever we want. What these girls show us is that we can be strong too – and it’s sexy.




1 @gracefituk London based fitness guru, Grace Beverly, is a 22-year-old Oxford University student whose established Instagram account has seen exponential growth in the last five years. With over one million Instagram followers, Grace’s profile is admired by many as she flaunts her toned and muscular physique in photos and videos uploaded to her page. Her success in the industry comes from her incredible weight loss and musclebuilding journey, helping to inspire others to do the same. Since her social media fame, Grace has not only built an incredible fan base on Instagram but she has also built an incredible business, setting up her own fitness brand that sells resistance bands and online fitness guides while also managing a successful YouTube channel. Oh, and let’s not forget this is all while studying a threeyear music degree – if that’s not motivation goals then we don’t know what is!

2 @lisafiitt What makes fitness influencer, Lisa Lanceford’s profile so attractive is her dedication to providing as much information as possible when it comes to staying in shape. She goes above and beyond for her followers, ensuring that her personal success in the fitness industry is shared. With 1.2 million Instagram followers, plus an additional 17,000 YouTube subscribers, Lisa’s fitness accounts clearly have great success and it shows in the positive responses to her posts. The fitness influencer inspires her followers on a daily basis by posting pictures of her rock-hard abs and educational videos on how she achieves them.

blondiemag_ and 80,085 others View all 211 comments

insta_user27 cool post hun!

3 @nikkiblackketter The original GymShark ambassador for women, Nikki Blackketter’s fitness journey has been immensely popular on Instagram for more years than we can remember. With a mix of fitness and lifestyle-related posts, the Insta-famous American’s account is definitely one for following if you aren’t already. The Los Angeles based fitness model astonishes her fans with her insane figure every day on her Instagram, with each post looking even fiercer than the day before. This 29-year-old fitness babe has a total of 1.9 million Instagram followers who, like us, admire her peachy glutes and funky gym outfits.



4 @tammyhembrow

5 @jenselter

Unless you have been living under a rock, it’s pretty impossible to have not stumbled across Australian beauty Tammy Hembrow on social media.

We couldn’t do a ‘top five’ without including the gorgeous Jen Selter, who, with a whopping 12.7 million Instagram followers, has got to be one of the original Instagram fitness girls of our time.

Perhaps one of the most famous Instagram fitness influencers, Tammy’s fitness journey began just five years ago when the blonde bombshell starting posting about her perfectly peached glutes and washboard abs and the internet went MAD for her!

Nothing short of an Instagram queen, this health and fitness influencer is absolutely killing it with her fitness posts. Just one scroll through her uber-aesthetic profile is enough to motivate you to get up and get your butt to the gym and squat, squat, SQUAT.

Tammy’s now ex-fiancé, Reece Hawkins, was also a personal trainer at the time, and the pair’s social media accounts rapidly grew in popularity, acquiring millions of followers each and the internet branding them the ‘Brad and Ange’ of the fitness world.

Her figure is quite literally out of this world and her obvious motivation and dedication to this lifestyle is truly admirable.

Not only is Tammy an online sensation with 9.4 million Instagram followers but she is also the mother to two beautiful children; is the director of her self-made activewear business and on top of all of this, still finds time to hit the gym every day – wow, we’re tired just thinking about it!

What is so empowering about these fitness influencers is their confidence and pride when it comes to their appearance. For years, girls have been told to stay modest and that vanity is an ugly trait. These girls have such admirable motivation to succeed and better themselves every day to build bodies that they are proud of and admire. What is more beautiful than a girl who loves the body that she is in? Well, here at Blondie HQ, we think that the answer is absolutely nothing.




REWRITING THE RULES OF ROYALTY An actor, an editor-in-chief, a gender equality activist and a humanitarian. Meghan Markle covers all bases when it comes to being a leading lady. Lois Williams takes a look at Megan’s new rules of royalty and why she shouldn’t be wholly defined by her marriage.




t’s difficult to imagine what royal life is like. A trip to the races here; a charity event there; an around the clock chauffeur and probably a horse and carriage as well, right?

Well, although Meghan Markle has had to turn all of her attention toward these royal duties since becoming a part of the Windsor’s, she’s already began to challenge the status quo – and we’re not just referring to the antitraditional lemon and elderflower sponge that Meghan chose for her wedding day sponge; that was just the icing on the cake. Meghan Markle marrying the Duke of Sussex and being a member of the British royal family goes against tradition in itself. Anybody who watches the Netflix-original drama, The Crown, will know that Meghan isn’t exactly what the royals would have considered as eligible in previous years. Being American, a woman of colour, an actress, and once divorced (whatever that denotes), was an unimaginable addition to the family once upon a time. Marrying into, arguably, the world’s most conservative and classist of a family is not really a typical move for a well-known, self-proclaimed feminist. Ruled by modest dress codes and unusual responsibilities, it appears that Meghan could quite possibly be following in the philanthropic steps of Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, and smashing through the royal mould.

Meghan’s royal bio reads that she has a ‘lifelong commitment to causes such as social justice and women’s empowerment’ – but you haven’t seen the latest headline about her dress showing her (whispers) bare shoulders? It’s no secret that the British media have had an unjustified problem with our newbie royal since the announcement of her relationship with Harry. Whether it’s criticising Meghan for her minor protocol slip-ups; her apparent spat with her sisterin-law or her alleged demanding attitude, the press have their demeaning, misogynistic and probably racist headline ready to publish. Is a princess being a vilified by the media? In the words of George Clooney: “We’ve seen how that ends.” At least she’s got the Queen on her side – and we’re not talking about Liz. As American stars Beyoncé and Jay-Z accepted their BRIT Award in February, a portrait of Meghan hung proudly behind them; a nod to the duo’s music video that features the Mona Lisa. Beyoncé also posted on Instagram stated, “In honour of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas. Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy.” By joining the royal family, Meghan’s thoughts and opinions on political matters are unofficially supposed to be hush-hush.


However, we have a little inkling on what Meghan’s standpoint is with regard to Britain leaving the European Union (Brexit). In 2016, Meghan, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, indirectly commented on Brexit by posting an Instagram picture of a protester whose sign read: ‘If EU leave me now, you take away the biggest part of me’. Further, while members of the family have the right to vote, it is thought that many do not exercise this right because of the Queen, who has to stay neutral. In Meghan’s old blog, the retired American actress posted an article back in 2016 that read: “The right to vote is something for which blood, sweat, and tears have been shed; the struggle was endless for us to have this liberty.” Her passion for this right is something that we hope she will take with her in the next chapter of her life. No fascinator will be able to hide her real stance on global issues but we will reluctantly accept the fact that she won’t be making comments about Donald Trump anytime soon. Despite the political constraints of her new job role, Meghan’s new-found platform has enabled her to spread her humanitarian messages further. The brand-new royal recently mentioned the #MeToo movement at a panel for The Royal Foundation: “Right now, with so many campaigns like #MeToo and Time’s Up, there’s no better time to continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered and people supporting them.” This is one of many, many wonderful things that Meghan has said or done to champion the rights of women in her life. Previously, the Duchess of Sussex has worked on ending the stigma around menstruation, where she wrote an essay highlighting the issue of misinterpretation and misinformation of periods following her visit to India. In a letter for Elle UK, in 2016, she revealed in a powerful statement: “I’ve never wanted to be a lady who lunches — I wanted to be a woman who works” – and this is reflected in her career. Fans still mourn the exit of Meghan’s much-loved character, Rachel Zane, a paralegal from the American legal drama, Suits. Like many actors, Meghan has revealed the struggle that she faced before landing a successful acting role; once dabbling in calligraphy, hosting in a restaurant and even working in a frozen yoghurt shop. These humble beginnings are most definitely not the conventional ones of an eligible Duchess, but you can’t dispute a strong work ethic. Along with her acting career, Meghan has had to retire from her social media platforms which unfortunately for us, means we don’t get to read her intelligent blog insights, look at her travel selfies or follow her commentary on presidential elections. Even so, any royal who has used the dog filter on Snapchat already earns our respect. Much to the dismay of diehard royalists, maybe it’s a good thing that Meghan is a breath of fresh air. With the UK’s divided opinions on the monarchy, Meghan Markle could spark wider interest in the royal family. She has achieved too much in her life to be scrutinised by the press and we should, in her own words: “focus less on glass slippers and more on pushing through glass ceilings.”




Meghan Markle


‘Marlene Dietrich’ isn’t a name that often springs to mind when we think about historical Hollywood icons of the big screen, but for her time, she was the leading lady of the 1930s. Before the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor, German-born Marlene was taking the industry by storm. An actress who soared to stardom after an early career of performing on the tiny stages of Berlin’s nightclubs and rising to exponential success on the big screens of Hollywood – all while changing the face of femininity on her journey. Marlene Dietrich was not only renowned for her distinctive singing voice, her undeniable acting talent and her captivating stage presence, but also for her controversial love life, scandalous sexual exploits and her ‘I do what I want’ attitude. Born in Berlin, Germany, in 1901, Dietrich’s musical talents shone from a young age as she studied violin and classical music at school. During the early 1920s, Dietrich spent many of her young adult years struggling to chase her acting dream, having to pick up small roles in budget productions and being a small-time singer and actress in the clubs and cabaret bars of Berlin. After feeling encapsulated by one of Dietrich’s cabaret performances, German director, Josef Von Steinberg, encouraged Dietrich to audition for his up-coming film, Der Blaue Engel – and of course, the undeniable talent landed the role as leading lady, Lola-Lola. It was the success of this first ever film with speaking roles that led to Marlene Dietrich being a household name. This wasn’t only in Europe, but across the pond in the bright lights of America, where she became an official American citizen in 1930. Much like she did in her native land of Germany, Dietrich stole the hearts of the American public immediately. Regarded by the media as ‘Hollywood’s undisputed empress of desire’, Dietrich’s monumental success sky-rocketed and she quickly became the most sought-after actress in the States. By her 35th birthday, the incredibly famous performer was named as the highest paid woman in the world, earning a minimum of $20,000 a week. Although her successful acting career is admirable, it was Dietrich’s ‘controversial’ sexuality that crowned her the icon that many of us know her as today. Dietrich was openly bisexual and known to have had affairs with both men and women. During her reign of Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s, bisexuality and homosexuality was not something that was accepted among Americans but despite this, the actress’s relationships with both sexes surprisingly enhanced her success as a superstar, as opposed to destroy it. It was then, that Dietrich could really raise eyebrows with her sexuality – but this time, on the big screen. Dietrich made cinematic history as the first woman to kiss another woman on-screen during her performance in the 1930 film, Morocco. Dressed in a suit, tie and top hat, her character tested the strict perceptions of what is meant to be a woman in the 1930s. Her masculine attire and lesbian kiss were both utterly scandalous for the time – what a way to make a statement, right? Her character in the film, Morocco, was said to reflect both Dietrich’s real-life personality and her style very closely. Her fashion was distinguished for her time, wearing masculine style outfits that defied social norms for women. With her suit pants, blazers and top hats, Dietrich was the pioneer for women wearing clothes designed for men and proved we can pull it off just as well (if not even better). The daring actress revolutionised women’s fashion and challenged the image of femininity, proving it’s not all pretty frills and sparkling pearls. Marlene Dietrich was described by all who knew her as confident, feisty, selfassured and rebellious. The Hollywood star carried herself as an unobtainable dream for both the men and women that she was with, alluring them with her individuality and independence. Both in her relationships and her wardrobe, Marlene Dietrich liked to wear the trousers.



Trends: BACK TO THE FUTURE The world of fashion is a funny place. Just when you think a trend has seen its last days, it resurrects in a new light that is as popular as it was all of those decades before. It’s a common conversation in my house when I get dressed for the day. Often, I’ll pair a bodysuit with a pair of distressed denim jeans and my (ridiculously worn out) Stan Smith trainers, my mum will always turn to me and say, “you know, I had a bodysuit just like that back in the day” or with a reminiscent smile on her face, “that used to be all the rage when I was your age and everyone was wearing it”. While it’s nice to see her re-live her days gone by, for a split second I can’t help but be a little miffed that if she’d have kept her leopard print coat from the ‘80s and gifted it to me as a vintage hand-me-down, I may have been able to save on splashing out on a new one.

It only takes a shopping trip to our local towns to see the ‘latest’ trends that dominate our high street shops. Well actually, some of us might be naïve in thinking that these ‘latest’ trends are exactly that: the ‘latest’ but in fact, a lot of the time they’ve been inspired and designed from years-worth of inspiration. Perhaps one of the most defining eras for fashion, the 1980s, bought us many timeless trends that will forever be recycled and rebirthed back into style and popularity. The team at Blondie HQ have compiled a list of our favourite ‘80s trends that have resurfaced within the last year and will have you looking totally chic this spring/summer... >>



animal print

Animal print is one trend that will forever have a special place in our wardrobe. It is one of those styles that is undefeatable in terms of popularity and manages to reinvent itself decade after decade.

When animal print first emerged in the fashion world in the 1920s, it was the ultimate symbol of wealth and sophistication. Fast forwards to the ‘80s, we saw celebrities redefine the trend. Sporting zebra print mini dresses and cheetah print bodysuits, Blondie’s (the band, not us!) lead singer and style icon Debbie Harry transformed animal print into something that represented glamour, rebelliousness, and sex appeal. The trend was associated with the punk and rock bands of the time and the ‘80s created a whole new perception of animal print. Today, animal print is prowling the high street once again (if you’ll pardon the pun), with every popular brand incorporating it into their label in one way or another. From jackets to jeans, boots to bags and trousers to t-shirts, it couldn’t be easier to get your paws on some animal print. But at the same time, it isn’t uncommon for people to be apprehensive about slipping into the animal print craze. Let’s just say there’s been a slight

stigma over the years, with some labelling the trend as ‘brash’ and somewhat ‘tacky’ and others even referring to it as the Kat Slater or Pat Butcher look – charming! But don’t be scared to try something a little out of your comfort zone and adding hints to your outfit, such as a handbag or some heeled boots is a great way to start. Wear it right and you could look like you’ve stepped straight off of the catwalk – not Albert Square. There’s no doubt that the reigning queen of print is the undeniably stylish leopard print but in recent years the comeback of alternative prints have made their way to our wardrobes. Most notably, snake print has slithered its way to the top, reining as the most popular pattern of 2019, with thousands of brands, designer to high street, all loving the scaly statement. As trends come and go, it seems that animal print is one that the fashion world will forever cling on to and today, more than ever, the animal print craze has once again dominated the fashion world like never before. You could even say, in the words of eighties rock band Guns’n’Roses, “WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE BABY”.


I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word ‘neon’, my mind immediately jumps straight to the garish and vibrant workout gear of the ‘80s. You know what I mean: the bright green leotards, fluorescent pink leg warmers, matching headband and strikingly orange tights –shudders. Thankfully, the reason that neon has appeared on our list is not due to that particular trend making a comeback but luckily, it’s just the eclectic colours – I know, we were relieved too!

A quick scroll through your Instagram feed will show you just how popular this neon trend really is, with vibrant, glowing dresses, tops, handbags and even trainers dominating the market. Neon will add a pop of colour to any outfit, creating an edgy and fierce look that many are currently loving. With neon being one of the most fashionable trends of the moment, we’re even seeing A-list celebrities rocking the vibrant style and boosting the popularity of this current trend. Take a look at the

queen of Instagram herself, Mrs Kim Kardashian-West, with her Lycra neon statements leaving us all totally shook with just how gorgeous she looks. In recent months, the star has been papped flaunting her hourglass figure in bright pink, yellow, green and orange neon dresses, exuding that distinctive ‘Kim K’ look that we all know and love. Since her neon nights out, many fashion brands like Pretty Little Thing, Missguided and BOOHOO have hopped on the neon bandwagon, selling designs that are inspired by Kim’s style but at a fraction of the price. With summer approaching it’s the perfect excuse to revamp your wardrobe and scrap your dull, colourless winter clothes for something with a bit more to say. Neon is the ideal way to step out of your black themed comfort zone and add a pop of colour to any outfit.


cycle shorts

According to the internet, the return of the cycle short trend has caused quite a lot of controversy, with some branding them the Marmite of the fashion world –you either love them or you hate them.

Back in the ‘80s, cycle shorts were the go-to for a comfortmeets-style outfit choice. Their mix of practicality and versatility made them a staple in wardrobes across the decade, creating a sporty and casual style that was reminiscent of the era. Anyone who was anyone was sporting the cycle short trend and the craze even reached the royal household, with Diana, Princess of Wales, frequently spotted representing the cycle short trend when taking a break from her royal duties. Last year saw many fashion designers recreate the look. Just when we thought cycle shorts were a thing of the past, rapper and fashion designer Kanye West released fashion line, Yeezy, and low and behold, the cycle shorts have made a comeback –and in a big way. Modelled on his wife Kim Kardashian, as well as the rest of his iconic family, cycle shorts have become more and more popular throughout recent years. Kanye West redesigned the trend by adding an alternative grunge look to

the ‘80s classic and revolutionising the style from occasional sporty to everyday streetwear. By pairing with matching sock boots, the Yeezy brand turned what was thought to be a dead and buried ‘80s trend into a 21st-century phenomenon. Kanye has been hailed for breathing new life into a forgotten sportswear classic, and whether we like it or not, it’s marked as a staple part of his trademark street style apparel. As with most fashion phenomena, regular brands and high street stores quickly began to mimic the cycle short trend, making the statement available to everyone. Although the rebirth of the cycle short trend has not come without its backlash, we cannot deny that this trend ticks all of the boxes when it comes to practicality, comfort, style and sophistication. The trend shows no signs of slowing down as we zoom into the summer of 2019, so why not grab yourself a pair?



The ‘80s was an era defined by fashion and trends and it would be difficult to include every single craze that has re-immersed itself onto today’s fashion scene. While the biggest come-backs were in the form of animal print, neon and cycle shorts, it would be rude not to touch on these ‘80s trends that have made a lasting appearance on our high streets.


A simple yet effective accessory that styles well while adding a little flair and finesse to an outfit. The staple of an ‘80s rock band, headbands and bandanas were an accessory made popular by rock legends such as Bon Jovi, Guns’n’Roses, Def Leppard and KISS. Thanks to these uber-cool rock bands, teenagers of the era admired the look and copied it for themselves. Just ask the parents – young and old – I can almost guarantee you that they sported a rockin’ headband or bandana at a rave or rock concert during their prime. Headbands have made a comeback this spring/summer as a go-to hair accessory and prove perfect for those pesky bad hair days when your hair just will not cooperate. Simply tie in a cute bow over a ponytail or use practically to pull your hair out of our face in a sophisticated down style. Today, headbands are perhaps seen as more of an elegant accessory, with floral designs appearing as the most popular pattern of choice. As well as the conventional headband, bandanas are also a prominent item in most high street stores – but with that said, we think we’ll leave the accommodating mullets firmly in the ’80s, don’t you?


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have noticed that the bodysuit style has swept back into our fashion world in recent years. An ‘80s phenomenon, the bodysuit was – and is – worn by women as an everyday essential, as part of a night out look or just simply to dance around in. Let’s take the film Dirty Dancing for example, you can see back then how the bodysuit trend was worn and how versatile it was in terms of being able to style it up or style it down. Today is very much the same story. Bodysuits are the most flattering yet simple addition to our wardrobes and a piece that can be so casual, yet so elegant. Perfect to pair with trousers and some red-bottomed heels for a night out with the girls or for just chilling out in with your besties on a Saturday night, a bodysuit is the ultimate fashion staple and a trend that is most definitely here to stay.


Amelia Earhart: The world-famous pilot who broke records weekly and led a group of revolutionary female aviators. Born in 1897 in Kansas, United States, Amelia Earhart found her calling at the tender age of 20 after taking a short ride in a plane at an air circus. This ride cost her father 10 dollars; a ride that subsequently bought the pair her legendary career. Amelia worked continuously until she was able to save up 1,000 dollars for flying lessons from the first woman graduate of the Curtiss School of Aviation, Neta Snook. Earhart took her first lesson on January 03, 1921, after becoming the 16th woman to be issued with a pilot’s license. Within just six months, the young pilot managed to save enough money to buy her first plane; a second-hand, bright yellow Kinner Airster biplane, aptly named, ‘The Canary’. Earhart used this two-seater plane to set her very first women’s record by flying to an altitude of 14,000 feet. Amelia Earhart went on to make a name for herself as the first female flight logger to make a transatlantic flight alongside pilot, Wilmer Stultz, and co-pilot/mechanic, Louis Gordon. This landmark flight made headlines worldwide and when the crew returned, they were not only greeted with a huge parade in New York but also received a grand reception at the White House, hosted by the 30th U.S president, Calvin Coolidge. Her records from that flight became Earhart’s first published work, 20 Hrs. 40 Min.: Our Flight in the Friendship – the book that made her a star. Becoming the face of many promotional campaigns, including one for the Transcontinental Air Transport, Earhart endorsed the commercial air industry. After fast becoming an inspiration to many, the female pilot directed her status toward creating professional opportunities for women within aviation, where she served as the president of The Ninety-Nines, an organisation of female pilots. On top of this, Earhart became a visiting faculty member at Purdue University, where her impressive successes enabled her to become a mentor for young female aviation students. In 1931, Earhart married George Putnam, the publicist who brought her into her namemaking transatlantic flight. She had a letter delivered to him stating her terms for their marriage and demanding to retain their status as equal partners. She refused to change her name and referred to the marriage as a ‘partnership’ with ‘dual control’. On July 19, 1937, the extraordinary life of an extraordinary woman ended. During an attempted record-making flight around the world in 1937, Amelia Earhart, her second navigator, Fred Noonan, and her plane, The Electra, vanished. Her mysterious disappearance only strengthened her legend, and there is with no doubt that the world will always remember her for her courage and groundbreaking achievements – both in aviation and for women. In a letter to her husband, written in case a dangerous flight proved to be her last, Amelia Earhart’s brave spirit was clear: “Please know I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must

be but a challenge to others.”




Solo Female Travel:

TRAVELING IN THE BODY THAT YOU’VE BEEN BLESSED WITH Ellen Howe discusses the fear of traveling alone and the stigma attached to women being on their own when abroad. Here’s why you should stop putting off exploring the world.



t is one of the most liberating experiences on the planet, where you hold no responsibilities to anybody but yourself. But, we still find ourselves talking adversely about solo female travel, as opposed to what it should be: violence against women. The misconceptions surrounding solo female travel have nothing to do with the foreign escape and instead, much more to do with existing as a woman in today’s world. In recent times – and thanks to becoming more financially independent – women are able to enter this once-male dominated domain, enabling us to take a leap of faith and do the ultimate: travel alone. What’s more, the liberation surrounding solo travel is the ultimate confidence booster; encouraging our mere selves to pursue an adventurous lifestyle that others only dream of.

But despite being equally prepared for the worst, violence committed against lone, female travelers is still viewed with an opposing opinion when compared to solo male travelers. The trepidation surrounding rape and sexual harassment lingers across the media and news headlines, often insinuating – and potentially as a ‘get out’ clause – that the female traveler is to blame. In reality, it is the violence that is the issue and not choosing to travel alone as a woman.

In many countries across the globe there is sensitivity toward sexuality, and as a woman there are many considerations and complications that a man may not have to encounter when planning a solo trip. Periods, sexual health, personal safety and meeting people are all high on the agenda. Despite this, women can sometimes be seen as more adventurous than men, and even more comfortable in their own company. Even more Self-development lingers at our very fingertips when taking the so, there are more times in a woman’s life when responsibilities decision to travel solo. It is one of the most are restrictive. Solo travel offers a break; significant reasons as to why so many women a chance to understand and explore this “As a woman, there are around the globe choose to do it – and wonderful world. whilst opening your eyes to new cultures, many considerations it leaves you feeling enriched with personal So yes, we can all agree that the world is just and complications that growth. But, how can these values be seized as beautiful as it is frightening but despite a man may not have so suddenly with a simply outdated and the fear of potential issues, we should to encounter when unseemly perception on solo female travel? embrace these opportunities and travel planning a solo trip.” in the body that we’ve been blessed with. A woman has decided to travel alone, and When overlooking the macro picture of with the emphasis on the term ‘brave’ being travelling solo, semantics should be irrelevant and the positives used against her, it immediately highlights the stresses and should exceed all else. challenges that are likely to be faced. And now, the woman feels additional doubt and is much more afraid.This perception Curiosity, growth, relaxation and empowerment are just a few of solo female travel still seems to expose some tough of the reasons why we do it. When a group of women were arguments about why it is often deemed as just a ‘senseless asked why they choose to travel alone, 46% said that freedom, idea’. If something bad happens to a woman travelling alone, independence and the chance to do what they want and when the guilt should not lie on the woman’s decision to travel alone they want were significant factors. Others simply didn’t want but instead, on the reality of the global prevalence of violence to wait around for others. Travel is an art that allows us to do against women. things our own way, while finding a careful balance of thinking smart and keeping safe. Yes, women should be vigilant but they also cannot be expected to be dictated by fear. Tour companies worldwide are And perhaps most importantly: to not succumb to the fear. finding that the majority of their female customers are choosing But remember, this is not about domestic vs foreign OR us vs to travel alone. In fact, online searches for ‘solo female travel’ them but instead, about respect for one another, as a human grew by a staggering 52% between the year’s 2016 and 2017. race. The trends of solo female travel and purchasing power are accumulating now more than ever – and with careful planning EH combined with common sense, there’s no reason to have less fun than the boys.


TOP 3 FEMALE-ONLY TRIPS You’re working too hard, summer is looming and no holidays are confirmed. So, what’s the plan? It’s easy. Make one hundred memories with a group of wonderful women; eat, swim, drink, hike, and travel in paradise. Here are Blondie’s top picks for female-only traveling.

1 Morocco

Female travel and female empowerment; two motivations within this unforgettable Moroccan escape. An expedition allowing all women to explore an incredible but often conservative country, starting in Marrakech and hiking off the beaten path to Bougmez Valley, Azourki and Talsanant. According to Intrepid Travel, ‘breaking down barriers, fostering discussion and creating immersive local experiences for women’ is the focus of this limited-edition trip. Step into traditional outfits, have beautiful henna done for you and enjoy the entertainment of local women in cultural ceremonies. Intrepid Travel offers you it’s very first female-only adventure extended over eight days, including seven nights’ accommodation, transfers, food and a range of activities – all for just £675 per person.

4 Iran

Delve into the chance to experience a unique side to traveling, that wouldn’t be at all possible on a mixed-gender trip. Responsible Travel offer a female-only, female focused tour in Iran, with itineraries including visits to the country’s most celebrated sites and opportunities to meet the local women in an authentic way. Experience life as a woman in this section of the world; visit beauty salons, women-only parks and even use women-only carriages on the metro. This life-changing adventure lets you absorb Iranian culture, alongside meeting a selection of inspiring women - all within twelve days, costing £2,035.

2 Bali

Unwind with a slightly longer yet peaceful trip to Indonesia’s tropic, Bali. Bliss Sanctuary have launched its third women’s retreat in Ubud, running across spring and summer and focusing purely on tranquility for female solo travelers. No expectations, no itineraries and of course, no diets. The retreats are all inclusive and offer yoga classes, treatments, massages, food and excursions. It’s time to relax and appreciate the blessing of being a female. These seven nights cost £1,980 per person and also include airport transfers.


3 Iceland

For all of you travel enthusiasts, this 10-night trip to Iceland with travel company Elle Voyage is just what you’ve been looking for. The company offers group tours for solo women who want to discover every corner of the world possible through thrill seeking adventures. From short breaks to longhaul voyages, the company has an entire selection of itineraries with no more than twelve women on each one. This Iceland discovery runs in July each year and allows you to take in each hot spot in Reykjavik, Thingvellie National Park, Strokkuur Heyser and not forgetting visits to Gullfoss’s double waterfall and Silfra Lagoon. The total price of £2,899 per person and includes group transfers, accommodation and dinners.

5 Scotland

Something a little different for this year’s summer adventure: Watching the women’s cycling in Scotland. The very first annual global female cycling event has chosen Scotland as its backdrop, a very unique and undoubtedly scenic experience. The Women’s Tour of Scotland will follow a 217-mile route across the country, showing off what Scotland has to offer as well as promoting the importance of female cycling. With 5,000 participants attending, this is sure to be a powerful and very motivating event.

“A diva is a female version of a hustler� - Beyonce




It has been almost eight years since the release of the final Harry Potter film but still, many find it difficult to detach Emma Watson from the character that she once played; the young know-it-all, Hermione Granger. Perhaps this could be because, actually, there’s little to differentiate? Much like Granger, Watson continues to display unbridled passion, natural talent, and a defiant determination to do things her own way. Born in Paris, in 1990, and raised in Oxfordshire, the 28-year-old attended the Dragon School, Oxford, and trained as an actress at the local branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts. Not only known for her acting and virtuous role in Harry Potter, but Emma Watson boasts many other titles: model, activist and humanitarian – particularly for girls and young women around the world. To this day, Watson is heavily involved in promoting girls’ education, and her humanitarian efforts have taken her as far as Bangladesh and Zambia. Many call her an innovator; the first to do something. This has been justified by winning MTV’s Trailblazer award in 2013, an award that honors young actors who have made their own path in the industry. Watson was also chosen as the 2013 Woman of the Year by British GQ. In her acceptance speech, she expressed: “If you truly put your heart into what you believe in, even if it makes you vulnerable, amazing things can and will happen.” Promoting fair trade as well as organic clothing, the actress became an ambassador for Camfed International, a crusade to educate girls in rural Africa. The United Nations named her as the Woman Goodwill Ambassador – and too right she deserves it. Furthering her achievements, Watson helped launch the UN Women campaign, HeForShe, which calls for men to advocate gender equality. In 2015, Watson was awarded, arguably, her greatest accolade, making it as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. Watson likes to define feminism with a motto that she lives by: “the theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes”. In recent years, Emma Watson has continued to display her contagious passion for feminist involvements, whilst also persevering with her acting career. In 2017, she was the first person to win the MTV Movie and TV Awards’ first gender-neutral award as Best Actor for her performance in Disney’s remake of Beauty and the Beast. She said: “MTV’s move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone but to me, it indicates that acting is about the ability to put yourself in someone else’sshoes. And, that doesn’t need to be separated into two categories.”



Books: TOP HOLIDAY READS From contemporary gothic thrillers to hook you in to short stories on murderous mothers and portraits of poverty, in this list that we’ve compiled, you’ll be sure to find a book that will keep you utterly engrossed for hours!



- Ann

Time Alone Rosenbloom anie


hari oor - S D t x e N Couple



Dia ger n a r St hs The Griffit y l - El

e! ly F i n c M e e k a n e t u l M bso I’m A and Emilie ivkin abel R

How to be Invisible - Kate Bush

radise: More a P n i g n i n e Ev Stories in - Lucia Berl




“If the law differentiates on the basis of sex, then how can women and men become equals?”

elicity Jones plays Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this powerful drama, exposing the personal obstacles that the American lawyer faced during the earlier years of her career. The biopic, written by Daniel Stiepleman and directed by Mimi Leder, displays the stark reality of injustice and prejudice faced by women during the last decade, offering an eye-opener to the generations that perhaps haven’t seen the outrageous extremes that half of the population were bound by. In the film, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, mother of two children, Jane and James, and married to sweetheart Martin D Ginsburg (Armie Hammer), displays constant resilience as she earns a law degree while balancing motherhood and caring for her ill husband. But at the face of adversity, an unresisting opportunity arises, with Ruth Bader Ginsburg taking on a ground-breaking tax case with her husband. Far from motivated solely for the success of her career, Ruth’s incessant want for

change was driven by her unwavering sense of responsibility for her daughter and her daughter’s generation. With a progressive storyline that focuses solely on Ruth’s hagiographic effort to change the way the courts view gender discrimination, the film takes the viewer on an emotional, yet informative, journey. While the first half of the film may be slow in developing the foundations for the latter half, the sequence of events allows the viewer to build a relationship with the Ginsburg family and their associates. Director Mimi Lader’s eye for detail is represented in small nods: the Cosmopolitan billboard and the subtle comedic remarks offer a further layer to an already gripping subject. While the film is well-acted and the (mostly) predictable plot makes for relaxed viewing, the relevance and significance of the subject itself allow for constant reminders to the viewer of what was at stake.








ANSWERS: Across: caffeine, march, Markle. Down: lemon, iPhone, wizard, facebook, hero.





Here at Blondie HQ, we are all for celebrating women and their achievements and well, it just wouldn’t be right to not praise the multitalented and beautiful fashion designer, Vera Wang. As inspirational as women come, arguably, Wang is at the top. Not only is she one of the most successful female fashion designers of all time but she also is a driven and hard-working businesswoman, whose drive and determination is evident throughout her career in the fashion industry. Despite her colossal achievements in the world of fashion, Vera Wang’s childhood dream was far from the worldwide name that she is now. It may be a surprise to learn that Wang is not only exceptionally talented at fashion design but is also exceptionally talented on the ice. Now when you think of the name ‘Vera Wang’, an ice rink is probably not the first thing that springs to mind but back in the day, Wang was a keen figure skater and dreamed of making a profession out of dancing on the ice. Her climb into the fashion industry began after she failed to qualify for the United States of America Olympic figure skating team. In an interview with American legend, Oprah Winfrey, Wang admitted that the setback made her revaluate where she was heading in life while desiring for a career that she was passionate about and it was only then that she turned her focus to fashion. And what a decision that was. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College with a degree in history, Vera Wang was almost immediately hired by Vogue magazine and by the age of just twenty-one, she became the youngest editor in the magazine’s history. Not only was she the youngest, but she broke through gender and ethnic barriers in the meantime. At that time, it was rare for a woman to hold such a position but for a woman of Chinese descent? That’s impressive. After 17 years as the fashion editor of Vogue, Wang left in 1987 to further pursue her fashion career. Following her departure from the famous magazine, Wang began to work for esteemed fashion designer, Ralph Lauren, where she spent two years of her life before resigning. What we admire about Vera Wang is her constant desire for change and excitement. She is not one to let the world go by and get stuck in the same routine but instead, she is one to branch out and explore what the world of fashion has to offer. At the age of 40, Wang began her very own fashion line and set her sight on becoming a bridal wear designer and well… need I say more? The queen of bridal couture has designed wedding dresses for all of the big names in Hollywood, including Alicia Keys, Hilary Duff, Kim and Khloe Kardashian to name a few. Wang has now become the most sought-after bridal designer in the world and just taking a peek at her wedding gown collections, it is clear to see why. Her designs emulate elegance and beauty, timeless style and sophistication. In 2018, Vera Wang placed at number 34 in Forbes America’s Richest Self-Made Women, with her revenues estimated at $630 million. Wang built her success over many years of hard work and her determination and drive is nothing short of utterly admirable. Now, with extensive knowledge and years of experience in the industry, Wang’s independent label has soared in popularity, establishing herself, not by the big brand companies that she had worked for in the past, but as Vera Wang. And today, that name alone means so much to the world of fashion.


Who run the World?

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” – Gloria Steinem, world- renowned feminist.


Be there or be 12 -13 July

Profile for lwilliams


Created for a final year university project. By Ellen Howe, Georgette Beacham, Lois Williams and Emily Burgan.


Created for a final year university project. By Ellen Howe, Georgette Beacham, Lois Williams and Emily Burgan.