statement cuffs

This post got away from me. Its embarrassingly long. I didn’t realize how many feelings I had about Leroux and the nature of the tragedy that takes place. Namely its this: the saddest part of the book is how quickly things got out of hand for everyone involved. 

To wit– I think a lot of people assume Erik goes into his Angel of Music ploy with a firm plan: 

1) trick Chrstine
2) make her a star
3) kidnapping
4) ?????
5)profit walks in the park.

 Going back to the text I think its within the realm of possibility, but I don’t think we can say Erik’s plan is a hard fact. Likely? Yes. But here me out–

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reylo, a manifesto pt. II: welcome to the rollercoaster ride to hell

Thanks to everyone for your responses to the first reylo, a manifesto post. It was reinvigorating to know that many of you are as new to fandom as I am–coming into it at a similarly adult age, and just as mildly obsessed.

Before we begin I want to acknowledge my mistake in attempting to define our collective (a very glaring logical error). It’s sufficient to say we’re all people who appreciate Rey and Kylo Ren’s dynamic within The Force Awakens, and that we see it as the first step of many which will define the new trilogy. Whatever anyone says, this isn’t speculation as much as it is fact.

Whether we “ship” it, whether or not the hero/villain dynamic remains, redemption or not, ‘reylo’ is about this relationship being a crux of the new story. It is about the age-old battle of light vs. dark taking on a form new to the films but not to the Star Wars universe. In canon we have it represented in the relationships of Quinlan Vos and Asajj Ventress, Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree. In Legends we have Mara Jade and Luke Skywalker, Darth Revan and Bastila Shan, and so many other examples in which opposites clash, attract, and then ultimately work together for the greater good of the galaxy. The chemistry and power in this dynamic is infinitely more interesting than that between cousins or siblings–a fact which seems to have been lost on most …

Dead Red Herring

… which brings us to the one other thing that we agree on almost unanimously: the “Rey Skywalker” theory is dead (and beginning to smell, on account of it being a red herring that was put out of it’s misery months ago). 

Originally posted by gameraboy

Most of the arguments supporting it have been deflated with the release of Claudia Gray’s Bloodline. Foremost among the canonical shifts the book brought is the fact that Rey was left on Jakku a long time before Ben Solo’s fall and Luke’s disappearance which had yet to occur 6 years before TFA. All theories of why or how Luke would have abandoned his child in the hands of Unkar Plutt, on a harsh, remote world–or why she thinks of him only as a myth–involve Gordian knots of speculation, deception, mind erasure, and questionable mothers. The simplest solution is the most likely: she is not his daughter.

That won’t stop people from clinging to the desperate hope that it’s true, but it certainly makes it unlikely. The mere fact that most people presumed Rey Skywalker before and after the film should tell you that this plot point was doomed from conception. If this had been the planned twist of the story, it would show up now as a whimper–not a bang. This is not good storytelling, or at least not as the basis for a franchise worth billions.

So while some may feel it’s too early to celebrate the end of this theory-crafting disaster, I sure as hell am going to. For those of us who’ve spent the last 5 months being told we were incest-loving idiots for even questioning it this news is a sweet, sweet victory. All evidence points elsewise, whether you want to believe it or not. 

If I have to eat my hat in one and half years, so be it. It’s enough for me that in the past few weeks we’ve seen the larger Star Wars fan base begin to imagine a story which doesn’t rely on the false premise of Rey’s parentage. As more of the indentured fans acknowledge this possibility we should also begin to see honest and open discussion on what effect this will have on perceptions of the film and its characters by the general public. 

Before this happens, however, I want to discuss where we stand as a fandom.

This small, but dedicated niche of the Star Wars community emerged out of a need to share our interpretation of the film with others–most specifically those who wouldn’t mock us immediately without hearing what we had to say about it. In the past month we’ve seen a gradual shift in the public attitude towards it–but just barely. In a way, it feels like this battle has only just begun.

In the past we’ve dealt with two issues: the “spiral of silence” which naturally quells opinion, and the need to appeal to authority for clarifications on the new canon. Both have worked together, in a way, to stifle our voices.

We know the appeal to authority can only be resolved by the occasional tidbit from The Powers That Be. As we’ve seen over the past few months, every time one of these breadcrumbs is dropped the whole flock gets excited and, inevitably, agitated.

The off-the-cuff statements made by people like J.J. Abrams and Pablo Hidalgo get picked apart until there’s barely anything left before being dismissed as “misdirection” or “misleading.” This response makes sense when we’re dealing with the most tightly guarded, NDA-bound story in film history. If anything, it should make it abundantly clear that we are not going to get the answers we need–or at least not any ones people will sign their souls over for.

So what do we, really, have power over? We can present our theories, our ideas, our thoughts, our interpretations, and our feelings in a clear and logical way. We have the power to stand up for what we believe in–even if it’s as simple and seemingly inconsequential as a different reading of a film.

Hence my question from the end of manifesto pt. 1 remains–and will continue to: how do we take our place within the larger Star Wars fandom as a legitimate faction without compromising the argument that “reylo” is more than just a ship?

I’m going to present a few barriers I’ve seen to this, only to try and spark discussion on this topic. As always–I’m just another person of many. You may not share my agenda, or my experience.  Hopefully you will be interested in adding to it or contradicting it. You’re all a part of this–so many of you much more than I am.

Agree to Disagree

For me, personally, the Tumblr reylo community has been a safe space. Besides the perpetual reposts of NSFW content (enjoyable, of course, but forcing me to hide my phone screen at all times in public) most people in the fandom have approached the topics I’m interested in with intellectual and respectful commentary.

But this little corner of the internet is insular. Homogeneity is comforting even as it can stifle creativity and discourage people from sharing opposing viewpoints. In the worst scenarios it turns people into parodies, repeating the same arguments ad nauseam. This is especially fruitless when directed at those who have no intention of listening.

Originally posted by scarecroe

It’s something I’ve felt very hypocritical of late on, mostly because I’ve waxed pedantic on one medium only to remain silent on all others. But I’ve realized recently that I’ve kept my distance from attempting to represent my viewpoints in a public sphere for a simple reason: the mountain of evidence that I have climbed over the past year isn’t something I’m going to be able to bury others in quickly or concisely. Even if I were blessed with the ability to write a compelling < 500 word argument, the fact that most people will ignore it or deride it is the norm.

Consuming media in today’s age generally means being much too excited for something to come out, processing one’s positive and negative feelings for a few days or weeks, and moving on. A general audience can’t relate to the need to dig through tons of supplementary materials for the little bits of canonical value one needs to shore up theorycrafting bets. The film Prometheus is a wonderful example of why expecting people to experience a story this way doesn’t work. Though we live in an age where trailers give away key plot points and major news networks reveal spoilers we have to assume the average person just doesn’t give a shit.

Originally posted by boysaresuicidal2

Much more than that–while meta-textual content mining is some people’s drug of choice, you can be sure that it is anathema to those who have fixated on their own interpretations as being right.

I’m not limiting this judgement to those who disagree with or dislike “reylo”. Even within our own community we have to combat the entropy that inevitably sets in as we accept one viewpoint over another. Discussions around the #Ashgate and #Reygate events last month (and I will happily continue to support adding -gate to anything as a tongue-in-cheek reminder not to take ourselves too seriously) quickly devolved into how incompetent the writers/creators were in feeding the public misinformation or conflicting narratives.

From an objective view, this minutiae doesn’t really matter. So why does it become end-all be-all for some of us? There’s a simple enough solution: we have to be prepared for differences in our interpretation. Not only that–we should welcome them. Disagreement is what inspires us to create. A stable state generally equals an unchallenged state. This is boring, and if you adhere to the ideal of a Socratic seminar, not good for logical discourse.

Meta is a discussion, not a diatribe. There is always the option to disagree and to do so respectfully and openly. There’s a pithy saying that there are no bad ideas: the real meaning is that it’s easy to criticize. In doing so, we can easily shut down opinions before they are fully formed. It is important for our community to continue to spread the love of discussion. By doing so we’ll drown out the people more concerned with spreading their one-dimensional rhetoric.

On the subject of those loud voices–they aren’t going away any time soon. They are a normal now expected part of fandom culture, and although their behavior can be abhorrent the people behind them are just people. There are very simple and effective ways to deal with them–the first and foremost being to not take them personally, or seriously, unless they deserve it.

Upping the “Anti”

As we’ve witnessed since December–once the initial cacophony of a new fandom begins to fade, a second wave crashes in. As many of these people were unable to find anything to change their minds on their initial takeaway of the film, it’s likely they’ll continue to adhere to their prejudices. They’ll bring their understanding of the material and what they liked about it to the discussion, but unless they are presented with and/or acknowledge past evidence they are going to assume your viewpoint is defined by the same precepts.

Originally posted by xxchanelx

They may like many of the things that you do. Or maybe they won’t like the same things–but are unfortunately so immature they don’t understand that putting effort into hating something shows a degree of obsession and investment far more advanced than the average fan. Regardless of motive, on Tumblr they’ll use your tags, your anon asks, your spaces, and they will dump their vitriol into the ether like screaming marmots. Here’s an example, courtesy of @ohtze

They are young (or old), they don’t know any better (or maybe they do). They are antis, they are us, they are no one. This is the internet: where everyone is wrong, the points are made up, and trolls are hiding under absolutely every rock. If this troubles you, you might need to consider finding a new sphere to operate within. This is not a gentle place, for anyone.

But that does not mean we can’t make it a better place for everyone. Remember, if a person’s arguments have resorted to ad hominem attacks or other logical fallacies, they have already lost the battle. This is true for all parties involved; becoming antagonistic does not bode well for making a point. I suggest not trying to fight fire with fire unless you are absolutely comfortable with the possibility of being burnt. I do however, suggest informed response.

If you are harassed by certain parties, please make sure you defend yourself with date-stamped screenshots of this behavior (bullies cannot delete screenshots) and use the Tumblr report function when necessary to report hate speech, threats, or other violations of community guidelines.

Much more importantly, for those of you dealing with harassment or bullying from without or within the community, now or in the past, I want to send you a very direct message: we’re here with you. If you need to talk or vent or share what you’ve gone through, please feel free to do so–including privately, to me. I will be happy to listen and empathize, and I’m sure many others witnessing this thread will offer the exact same thing. This is a safe space insofar as we create it to be.

It’s Just a Ride

On a final note, let’s remember that you alone can know and understand your love and appreciation for the film and its characters. Don’t let the judgments or doubts of others interfere upon those ideas. Read them, study them, respond to them (if they deserve it) but don’t think for a moment that someone has it figured out better than you. Or vice versa. The moment you assume that power as it relates to someone, is the moment this ceases to be a community and starts becoming a collective. 

We are not the Borg–we are all going to have different voices, opinions, theories, etc. This strengthens our position vs. undermining it because it completely detonates any criticism that we have not considered all perspectives.

And while I understand the need for validation from the creators and creative executives when there is a large portion of the internet directing baseless prattle in your direction, I want to reassure you that such responses have no bearing on a story that is already written.

The marmots will keep on screaming until no one bothers to listen to them. In the meantime, let’s continue to celebrate the effort the fans have put into understanding and extracting information from the film and supplementary materials. I promise you that at least some of it is right. More than likely, we’re ahead of the curve in recognizing the subtext of the story and having an appreciation for it. When the day comes when the general audience is forced to re-evaluate their perceptions, you can be sure they’ll be looking back through the archives to question what it was they missed.

Originally posted by so-sinnlos-wie-mathe

As one last personal note–I am going to freely admit that I have no idea what I am doing in a fandom. I am the magical age most of you that are also new to this have listed: early 30s. I am the unapologetic casual even as I cosplay and seek out autographs from my favorite comics artists. I’d separated myself from the identity of fan–probably because of how much backlash I experienced as a teenager in embodying it.

As I’ve come to realize my own identity now within a fandom, I’ve begun to realize how deterministic and limiting my original assumption of being a fan was. You don’t have to like everything, or agree with everything, or follow everything, or care about everything, to be a fan.

If you are like me, as you slip into this role you’ll grow more comfortable with its linguistics, with this identity and its quirks. And you’ll also grow to resent it, because it will have an entirely different meaning for other people–people who feel the need to tout the longevity or depth of their interest as some kind of measuring stick by which all others must be judged. Like the people who think their personal megalomania can permeate any farther than their computer screen–they are just marmots. Don’t listen to them. Be a fan as you want to be.

Since this has become part of my identity again, my need to share that with other people has grown. I can’t thank you enough for being the funniest, most whimsical, and most welcoming bunch of people I’ve met in the hell that is the internet. With that said, I’m taking a step back for the months of May and June. I’ll be working on a fan-fiction project that is as near and dear to me as writing meta. I’ll be bolstering my understanding of the films and characters and stories others have put so much time and effort into exploring in order to understand their meaning for me.

I largely encourage you to pursue something similar, rather than looking for validation externally or arguing with marmots. But if you feel the need to do so please check out the Reylo Meta Library 2.0 and the wide variety of authors and viewpoints which spiderweb away from these works. We have a fabulous group of people within the TFA fandom who support our community and combat disinformation daily: @starwarsnonsense @bastila-bae @ohtze @emperorpalpantene @seankayos @and-then-bam-cassiopeia @oldadastra @reylosource @starwars-hell @peace-passion-reylo @gwendy85 @thehermitsacedia @leicsfox @millicentthecat @official-reylo  @huntedbyacreature @avenrue @dearmisskitty … to name only a scant few of the amazing people in this community. My apologies if this is a short list on account of it being late and my brain being fuzzy–so please feel free to tag additional awesome people in the comments as an introduction for those new to the fandom and welcome them in joining us in Limbo for the next few years. 

Originally posted by absinthundrosen

We have all made a strong case for our reasons in believing in the principles at work here, whether they are canon or not. I can tell you for an absolute fact that people from all sides of the globe wouldn’t have written close to a textbook length volume of interpretative non-fiction without having a very clear and informed understanding of what they’d experienced. 

Nothing matters so much as much as our experience and enjoyment of TFA and the continuation of the new Star Wars canon. And nothing that happens from here until the credits roll on Episode XI is going to change that. So buckle up and enjoy the ride–this is just a ride after all. 

I’m so glad to be on it with you.

To Fall Down and Rust

{Continued from here.}

Mae’s expression shifted slightly as she took in the other woman’s response. She’d been joking. Mostly. But the reaction that her off the cuff statement garnered made her wonder. After all she’d seen enough to know when weird was around.

“Just the usual, you know? Global warmin’. Corrupt leaders. Lack of ice cream……You all right?”

The signs as jewelry
  • Aries: huge gold Egyptian style cuffs
  • Taurus: statement necklaces
  • Gemini: bangles because they can't stay quiet
  • Cancer: silver anklet with a tiny charm
  • Leo: bold gold hoop earrings
  • Virgo: a nice dainty necklace that's still feirce
  • Libra: rings, lots of them
  • Scorpio: multiple necklaces with different lengths
  • Sagittarius: upper arm band that looks like a snake
  • Capricorn: a simple dainty necklace
  • Aquarius: body chains and fake peircings because they're "original"
  • Pisces: a headdress with some precious stone in the middle
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Mawra Hocane looking ethereal in Elan for her appearance at a talk show. I love that she kept the whole look youthful and appropriate for her age; neutral makeup, flirty and feminine skirt, soft wavy curls with a statement ear-cuff by REMA completing the look.

New Year New Me Collection: Your 2014 Style

For these looks:

Look at the different pictures and styles, decide which one works best for you and below are different pieces and articles of clothing you can use to help get the look!

Remember: Don’t Worry about what will “look best on you”. You will look beautiful in the style that you feel most comfortable in and expresses you the best. This is the new year. Challenge yourself to open up to different styles and pieces you were previously afraid to try!

Classy/Vintage

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♥ Tights

♥ Cardigans and Sweaters

♥ Lace

♥ Lots of beige, white, pale pinks, and simple colors

♥ Accessorize- small pieces like lockets or stud earrings

♥ Dresses and skirts

Store for you: TopShop or H&M!

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Girlyღ

ღ Bows!

ღ Dresses (definitely!)

ღ In the winter- comfy sweaters, skater dresses, patterned tights

ღ In the summer- high waisted shorts, flowly skirts, tank tops

ღ Light colors like pastels. Especially light pinks, light blues, and yellows

ღ Floral

Store for you: Forever 21!

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Grunge/Hipster♋

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Combat boots

Beanies

Flannel and denim

Graphic tees and band shirts

Chunky jewelry and lots of braclets

Even dye your hair a fun color like purple or blue! (It draws all eyes to you and you become the immediate center of attention, you also come off as fun and bubbly!)

Store for you: Hot Topic, Thrift Shops, Society 6

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Skater✌

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✌ Beanies and Snapbacks

✌ Vans and Keds

✌ Graphic tees with cut outs (you can do it yourself even!) and a neon colored sports bra underneath!

✌ Short shorts

✌ Knee high sport socks in neon colors

✌ Straighten your hair (just a suggestion!)

✌ Chunky necklaces and feather earrings

✌ Ankle braclets (they’re so cute)

✌ Varsity Jackets and hoodies

Store for you: American Eagle, Hollister, Wet Seal

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Sporty/Tomboy☯

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☯Big varsity shirts with leggings

☯ Blue jeans

☯ Plain white tees

☯Sneakers. I recommend Keds

☯Gray sweat pants

☯Beanies and baseball caps

☯ Fun scarves to add color!

Stores for you: Urban Outfitters and Attitude 

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Hippie/Boho☮

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☮ Flower crowns, bandanas, and scraves

☮Wear Nuetral colors: Browns, tans, grays and blues with certain color pieces that bring the look together

☮Feather earrings and ear cuffs

☮ Big statement jewelry pieces

☮ Flowy skirts

☮ Two inch strap tank tops

☮ Maxi dresses and High-Low dresses

☮ Sandals and combat boots

Store for you: Thrift Shops, JCPenny, and Free People

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Bold▲

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▲ Bright colors (reds, yellows, oranges, bright greens, and hot pink)

▲chunky, gaudy jewelry

▲ Ripped jeans

▲ Leather pants and high wasted shorts

▲Throw overs and big sweaters

▲Lots of rings (get a lot at the thrift store- they look good and cost less)

▲ Leather boots and high tops

Store for you: Macey’s, Roxy, and Pacsun

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❥Remember: In any fashion choice you must back it up. Wear it with confidence and when people try to tell you it doesn’t look good on you or it doesn’t seem like you, just remind them it’s your life and you will wear what you want to. Let 2014 become your year to find yourself and completely express yourself. You can even mix and match pieces from different looks and create your own, original style.

❥Send me an ASK if you have questions about any of the pieces or stores!

❥Want advice or tips? Message me.

Art Deco Jewelry

Go glam in vintage-inspired statement pieces 

Step up your jewelry game and head back in time to the Art Deco era in Great Gatsby-inspired accessories. One of the glitziest decades, when it comes to its design, Roaring Twenties style will always remain a major influence in fashion. Incorporate new decorative baubles into your collection and shop rhinestone drop earrings, statement necklaces, geometric cuffs, modern rings and more!

Shop Art Deco Jewelry

Earrings

MAWI Art Deco style crest earrings

Art Deco Fringe Drop Earrings

Art Deco Drop Earrings

V JEWELLERY ‘Deco Apollo’ earrings

Deco Drop Earrings

The Great Gatsby Collection Earrings

Blogger Style Spectra wearing art deco-inspired statement earrings.

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BASICALLY THE BFF SQUAD POST - PART 2 | Part 1

These two are my main squeezes, my boos, by babies, my everything. Gaby, the one in the mega hot top bun and statement earring cuffs is my photographer. She paints me like one of those french ladies through the camera. Steph, the one in the super cute peachy pink scarf, is my director. She tells me how to be in BB photos. Without them, I’m nothing. Nothing, I tell you! 

So, we’ve been planning a group shoot with my main boos and this is it. 

wearingAnj: f21 crop top, natasha necklace, zara shoes
Steph: f21 top, asos shoes, gap pants
Gaby: Gianni Bini jacket, tahari shoes

makeup: smashbox photo ready illuminating primer, bare minerals bareskin #15, hardcandy illuminator, nyx eyeshadow natural palette, nyx matte cream lipstain in san paulo, anastasia beverly hills eyebrow pomade in dark brown, nyx matte bronzer, sleek blusher in pumpkin pie & squash 

photographed by ashwin g.

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BASICALLY THE BFF SQUAD POST - PART 1 | Part 2

These two are my main squeezes, my boos, by babies, my everything. Gaby, the one in the mega hot top bun and statement earring cuffs is my photographer. She paints me like one of those french ladies through the camera. Steph, the one in the super cute peachy pink scarf, is my director. She tells me how to be in BB photos. Without them, I’m nothing. Nothing, I tell you! 

So, we’ve been planning a group shoot with my main boos and this is it. 

wearing: Anj: f21 crop top, natasha necklace, zara shoes
Steph: f21 top, asos shoes, gap pants
Gaby: Gianni Bini jacket, tahari shoes


makeup: smashbox photo ready illuminating primer, bare minerals bareskin #15, hardcandy illuminator, nyx eyeshadow natural palette, nyx matte cream lipstain in san paulo, anastasia beverly hills eyebrow pomade in dark brown, nyx matte bronzer, sleek blusher in pumpkin pie & squash 

photographed by ashwin g.

Let us take a moment to admire the Bling Winner of the Night: Russian Pairs Figure Skating Team Maxim Trankov and Tatiana Volosozhar. There is full bling potential not only in her costume but also the accessories: a statement necklace, a bejeweled cuff, and even sparkly hairpins. This costume earns our Bling Seal of Approval.