token girl: like a girl, but better

Monday, 24 January 2005

broadcast as you please

I got into journalism because no other industry would have taken me. I don't know why I'm really doing this and still don't know what I want to do 'for a living'. My talents include taking the piss, writing and not caring. I guess that makes me an ideal worker for the media.

I bungled my English A-level first time around and had to go to Cardiff, which was my insurance offer. This upset me. As I am arrogant I refused to accept I would not be going to London, I re-took the exams I fucked up and passed them. I got an offer to UCL and went there.

I was thrilled to to be living on Gower Street in Bloomsbury and walking in front of the famous dome in WC1. It was amazing to think I was the 'best of the best' - the top few per cent. It fuelled my ego and sent me into a spiral of self love.

Sadly a prolonged bout of mental ilness dented my joy. That period is ongoing.

I got a job at a provincial news agency. This means I do jobs for national papers such as knock on people's door's when their kids dies, or go to the scene of serious accidents. Or speak with corners. Which is nice. I don't give a fuck about anyone I write about. I don't care about their families, if they have died, their kids have died or if anyone has died, including possibly my family (although I've yet to properly test this out.) I pretened to be upset when my grandparents died - that's not bravado or bragging by the way. Please try and believe me.

I didn't pay for university as I was too poor but left with massive debts. My inheritance from the death of my grandparents cleared some of it but there's still a five-figure sum, which is nice.

My job is getting me where I want to be. Where that is is respect and money.

Totally and truly, without and hint of irony whatsover, I can really say that I don't give a fuck about anyone but myself. I have pangs of 'stuff' but I just don't give a rat's arse.

This is an entirely pointless confession.

by 'Budding Journo' december 2004

Thursday, 20 January 2005

the ordinary world

Came in from a rainy Thursday
On the avenue
Thought I heard you talking softly

I turned on the lights, the TV
And the radio
Still I can't escape the ghost of you

What has happened to it all?
Crazy, some are saying
Where is the life that I recognize?
Gone away

But I won't cry for yesterday
There's an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find
And as I try to make my way
To the ordinary world
I will learn to survive

Passion or coincidence
Once prompted you to say
"Pride will tear us both apart"
Well now pride's gone out the window
Cross the rooftops
Run away
Left me in the vacuum of my heart

What is happening to me?
Crazy, some'd say
Where is my friend when I need you most?
Gone away

But I won't cry for yesterday
There's an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find
And as I try to make my way
To the ordinary world
I will learn to survive

Papers in the roadside
Tell of suffering and greed
Here today, forgot tomorrow
Ooh, here besides the news
Of holy war and holy need
Ours is just a little sorrow
It's all gone away

And I don't cry for yesterday
There's an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find
And as I try to make my way
To the ordinary world
I will learn to survive

Every one
Is my world, I will learn to survive
Any one
Is my world, I will learn to survive
Any one
Is my world
Every one
Is my world

Wednesday, 12 January 2005


according to one of the belated obituaries of susan sontag last weekend, she was someone who made 'seeeing every film worth seeing and reading every book worth reading sexy'. sounds like a way to live your life...

the end of the affair

i don't know when it started, but i do know that it's never gone away.

my love affair with american teen culture is, like, so over.

'i'd like to thank my manager, my cat, my fans, er...'

Is there something missing from this snippet of award-ceremony acceptance speech speak? Yes lots, just read on.

This month sees the high profile launch of the exclusive NATIONAL LONDON FASHIONISTA COLLECTIVE, the new union for British stylists and image-makers. Just-approved by the National Trades Union Congress, these integral fashion workers have finally got their well-heeled way and have been granted the right to union representation. The Collective’s impeccably turned-out spokeswoman, known simply as Stef C, like some kind of fake DJ, was kind enough to talk to STF about the nascent organisation’s mission statement.

‘We’ve been given a chance to enhance and promote the position of Stylists both in the industry and within the public sphere,’ she begins very reasonably.
‘THE TIME TO BEAUTIFY OUR URBAN LANDSCAPE IS NOW,’ she explains, ‘ and in the future, the stylist or image consultant is going to be the figure primarily responsible for making that happen, you know? Through ads, photo-shoots, celebrity-styling and, ultimately, the clothes we pick to wear together to make an outfit.’
In the long-term the snappily moniker’d NLFC hope that every British child will eventually be awarded with a stylist when they reach school finishing age, and leave the style-vacuum of school uniform behind them. They hope to pilot schemes in some of London’s least trendy boroughs including Harrow and Ealing over the next 12 months. Year 10&11 students in several schools will be assigned stylists in an unprecedented fashion attack.

The Fashionistas’ policies are outlined in a 200-page limited edition brochure which has been sponsored by New Look and is published by EMAP (available from all good newsagents). Alongside outlandish demands for the Pope to canonise the very much still ALIVE and still trend-setting Katie Grand, Stef C points out their essential objective – to grab for stylists the recognition they surely deserve.
‘Stylists are the creative visionaries of our age, you know what I mean? These days everyone’s a celeb, for god’s sake; even photographers get their own features in ELLE!’

In addition she’d like to see more artists recognising the fundamental role their stylists play in their respective pathways to success. I suggest Kylie & Kelly Osbourne as examples of this publicly unacknowledged debt.

In the meantime ITV’s essential lazy breakfast treat, This Morning, has overturned all the cast-iron production policies which ensure the programme’s political abstinence and general inoffensiveness by throwing their formidable weight behind the NLFC’s launch. A week of programming will see their ‘Challenge the Stylist’ spot shifting into focus, its on screen time allowance doubled. The usual self-promoters who fill the interview sofa will be replaced by in-depth stylist profiles.
One element of the NLFC’s TV coverage ought to demonstrate just how much their launch has captured the public’s imagination: it has already been the subject of a heated phone-in and studio debate on Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff by TV’s most forthright and intransigent ex-tabloid hack Matthew Wright to little or no avail.
But in a final word Stef C admits how far the young organisation still has to go to establish itself.

‘It’s one thing posing on the dance floor of a club in a fancy frock, but it’s another thing entirely to see your work hanging on a clean white wall in the Tate Modern.’ I agree.

don’t just sit there! Get creative!
Type! Knit! Unpack your sewing kit!
Customise, buttonise and layer!
Accentuate your uniqueness through your threads!

if there were no stylists we’d all be naked and/or ugly

Anna-Marie, May 2003

Monday, 10 January 2005

the wheel of fashion

Friday, 7 January 2005

what the papers said

Anna-Marie, 23, from London

'It's always been my dream to work in publishing. I've been a bookworm since I was a little kid! But I knew that, if I wanted to make my dream come true, I'd need a university degree. So many people want to work in publishing - I needed to stand out from the crowd.

I was thrilled when I was offered a place to study English Literature at University College London, one of the top universities in the country. Even more delighted when I learnt I'd got the A-level grades I needed to get in.

But I was a bit worried too. How was I going to support myself for the next three years? I didn't want to end up with tons of debts that it would take years and years to pay back.

When I looked into it, I found out that I was exempt from tuition fees as I'm from a single parent family. I also found out that I'd be able to take out student loans that would cover my living expenses during my studies.

I started uni in September 1999. Of course, any student can vouch for the fact that unless you're from a rich family, you're going to fall on hard times occasionally! The student loans covered my living expenses - food, accommodation, books and so on - but I got a part-time job in a shop to help me out a little bit more. I've had a few part-time jobs in the past, so it wasn't too hard juggling my work with my studies.

People say that your university years are the best years of your life - and it's true. I wouldn't have missed out on those three years of for anything. I made some really great mates, learnt a lot about life - and of course, walked away with a degree.

My Mum was so proud when she saw me collecting my degree certificate in my mortar board and gown! That was in summer 2002.

I spent the rest of the summer applying for jobs. To my delight, it wasn't long before I was offered a job within a really prestigious publishing house.

So my dream came true. Of course, it didn't come cheap! Yes, I've got debts and I'll be paying them back for the next few years. But I'm not losing sleep over it. Without that degree, I don't think I'd be where I am now. I haven't looked back!'

Wednesday, 5 January 2005

'don't worry, your soul will grow back.'

i thought about what we had spoke about over the past 5 months and it amounted to nothing less than snatches of conversation in kitchens, on mobile phones, in unlikely drinkeries... it wasn't enough and it wouldn't be long before the only communication was via photomessage.

'wish you were here x'