Friday, 21 October 2011

I don't think it's about entertainment. I think it's about being ourselves- Diane Sawyer

Hello everybody !! I have to admit, I've had a rather busy month ! I started out as an intern at 'Asian Woman Magazine' and from there i have had an incredible time experiencing different mediums of the media industry. So here's a little bit on everything I've done in the past couple of weeks !

When i started at Asian Woman I had on my shy persona, but that didn't last long as the girls that worked there were lovely company and they seemed genuinely interested in what i wanted to do and where i wanted my career to go. I mentioned that i liked the idea of being a writer, but i still enjoyed being able to immerse myself in the creative media industry which at times is reasonably hard to get into. The girls then mentioned that they helped out at Mumbai Rouge PR, once a week. If i was free the next week, i could come along - and i was free ! Mumbai Rouge was currently in the process (and still is) promoting the hugely successful 'Allah Made Me Funny' tour at London's O2 on November 11th this year. I was incredibly excited to help out with the promotion of this tour, as i had heard about this show being sold out two years ago at the London Apollo. I was invited back a couple times to the PR company, to continue helping out with the event.

At the same time, even though my internship at 'Asian Woman' was over, the girls called me back a couple days a week to help out with organizing locations for photo shoots. Boy have i seen some gorgeous places i would like to visit on the Internet, whilst working there ! ! ! Damn, maybe one day :-) During the next month or so is a crucial time for the team to shoot their fashion and beauty stories, to feature in the next issue for Asian Woman and Asian Bride, set for release early next year. So therefore, the process of casting for models began and i was invited along by Asian Woman's fashion coordinator , to be a part of the process !

For me, that was probably the best part of my intern work so far ! Rachael, the fashion coordinator and Marcus, the casting director from 'The Model's Portal', sat there in a room X-Factor style (not as scary as it seems ). There was a seat for me to complete the line up too, but I was only sitting for 50% of my time there, as my duties included welcoming the models, making them wait outside and fill out a form and calming their nerves ! Chatting to the girls was great- they were so nice and friendly with a real interest in pursuing modelling, either as a hobby or as a career. Some even striked up a conversation with me as to how i managed to get my intern work ! Inside the casting room, the girls shone (some more than others) and it was interesting seeing the range of personalities from the quirky to the seriously bizarre :/ ! All in all, i think we found some great girls for the new beauty and fashion shoots. The new publications are going to look amazing !!

Whilst still working for Asian Woman, i decided to take the plunge with other opportunities. I applied for an editorial internship with 'Cent Magazine'- a digital publication. The next day, they emailed me to ask if i could come in for a 'chat'. A couple days later, I left their offices in Bermondsey, London as their new editorial intern for 2 days a week. I've worked there a couple days so far, and although its very different from Asian Woman , i know I'll learn a lot from the job. Its more arts and literature based with an emphasis on 'thinking outside of the box', and i am basically in charge of my section- so I've had to step up to the plate straight away and contribute to the meetings, research people I've never heard about and come up with unique ideas with aspects of technology in it (seeing as IT IS a digital publication). It is daunting, but i think i can do it !

I also decided to take the plunge with my writing. On the Stylist Magazine's website, i saw a competition for aspiring reporters to write a news article about weird and wacky stories from around the world. I wrote one on my homeland, Pakistan. I emailed it to them and on the day of their deadline, i got an email back saying my news story had been selected to feature in their 'Elsewhere' page for their 100th issue, out early November ! Thinking about how millions of commuters everyday will see my entry (no matter how small it is ) is extremely exciting ! This has just egged me on to enter more competitions and really hope for the best !

Just writing about this, i know I'm blessed to have such an incredible welcoming to the industry. The best piece of advice I've got so far is from casting director and managing director of 'The Constant Group'-Marcus Flemmings, is ' now that your in this business, don't stop, keep going !'- And i totally plan too !

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

I came like Water, and like Wind I go- Edward Fitzgerald

Some people follow fashion trends to be on par with the elite- living up to the latest replaceable slipping trend. Others fall at their ends wit spending too much time on the needs of other people that fashion doesn’t even feature in their social dictionary. In the utmost confusion of today’s varietal fashion trends, feeling like a ‘queen’ is somewhat left to the midst of Queen Latifah’s ‘Covergirl’ range- However, there’s a rise of a new type of fashion configuration- almost declaring an anti-fashion movement with its complete originality. Working with the great British context and the accustomed character we’re born with, is the fiercely fashionable trend of the ‘wind in the hair effect’.

For a society that would once stay indoors on a windy day with a hat pulled across their face, sipping a steaming cup of hot chocolate- that hat has long been bared to the temptation of the exquisitely tossed mane, almost a sheath of protective sanctum. It can be viewed as an ornamental decoration, not so much as something you can just toss on which compliments an outfit-more like an extension of the original thrown together accessories. Something you’re born with and with a little bit of fire can rock out to a clean cut ‘cool’. Downplaying the accessorizing, it also fights for the attention of custom. The parallel to the clothes featured on Roberto Cavalli’s S/S 2011 collection features model heavyweight such as Laetitia Casta and Joan Smalls. They’re preened and perfected to find the right balance between the hair and the clothes, taking initiative from the craze that was once environmentally instituted.

The craze of the ‘wind in the hair’ has extensively been associated with high-calibre successful women. Suddenly, the embarrassing dash to catch the train can be viewed as a ‘moment’. A depicted fluttering montage of ‘the new woman’, supporting a flowing whimsical existence. Such the curiosity of this future of feminine sociology, that the dramatization of this different evolving trend has been imitated by the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce as performance art, in the form of hair tossing. The newly bred Willow Smith, also managed to conjure up pre-teen success with her sensationally hit single ‘Whip Ma Hair’, showing that people globally and of all ages can chronicle this idea of the drama-induced hair. And who can forget Tyra Banks? We’ve countlessly seen her reference this trend amongst young assuming models on her smash hit show –‘America’s next top Model’. Being in the business since she was 13, Tyra knows all too well about the aberration this fashion movement can make.

So, if the media make such an impact on us as theorists claim -and if our dearest mummy and daddy claim how much these assumptions are true- we are unapologetically socialised into this hairy fashion situation. Tamed with or without a hairbrush, and setting the heat by how fast we care to walk dependant on the weather and something we’re actually naturally born with? A complete underdog

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see- John Whitehead

‘It’s not about the government telling people what to do. It’s about each of us, in our own families, in our own communities, standing and demanding more for our kids’,-Michelle Obama quoted over a year ago at the start of her ‘Let’s Move’ campaign about childhood obesity.

Mrs. Obama has done an extremely remarkable job of visiting schools, food manufacturers and retailers to reduce the amount of sugar, salt and fat in food products. The effect of which will most inevitably be felt on the newer generation. However the question still lingers- have we accomplished these healthy goals that the first lady adhered us to proceed in? I for one saturated myself in the realms of a highly processed diet dripping in weight gaining components. Selfishly, I consider myself the ‘lucky few’ who managed to invest in the right help at the right time. I now believe that trying to lose and maintain my weight isn’t a ‘diet’ or a ‘quick fix’ but it’s a ‘lifestyle choice’.

Nonetheless, there seems to be the comeback of the ‘traditionalists’. People who stick to their guns and gratify in the lifestyle they’ve immersed themselves in. Society has done an incredible job of giving us hope and the creative freedom of confidence - but it seems that it’s this very confidence that stops people seeing the harm that they are lapsing onto their children. There’s a belief in our own attitudes and feeding our children hearty meals that’s been in our family for years. Who would want to be undoing this hard work that the notion of family and support has carved together? Traditionalism will only be outrun by the futurism of tomorrow in the long run.

The younger generation of children and pre-teens harbour the hope we have left today. They’ve been caught in the middle of these supposedly positive healthy initiatives, the multi-billion dollar health and diet industry and the can-d0-no-wrong attitudes of their loved ones. At this age they’re stuck at the crossroads between the media’s pull and perception of gaunt happiness and fumbling around with the concept of whom they are, that they may well start to take some sort of leadership into feeding themselves foods that are precious to their body. Once they grow up and have children, they’ll hopefully have learnt the fundamentals of healthy eating and pass it onto their children without a hitch. Here’s to seeing, that the future won’t have the chance to be caught in the middle of the epic war battle with food that so many people get lost in nowadays, just because they don’t take time to stop and think.

A flourishing viewpoint is a crucial one as figures that were released in January from the World Health Organisation unveiled that 42 million children under the age of 5 are suffering from obesity worldwide- perhaps a negative consequence of direct globalisation. In the meantime, no matter what initiatives that will be put in place via food companies and school meal policies and by whom, the public won’t adhere to it.
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