free spotify playlist
This month’s funky fresh free Spotify playlist is, thankfully, not as awful as the sentence’s alliteration. In fact, I think it is kind of badass (bias, I know). Tying it in with the Ultimate Summer Driving Playlist competition, I have included a mix of covers, mash-ups, cruise music, and songs that will guarantee a booty shake or two.

…if it wasn’t already stuffed in July’s Spotify playlist, I guarantee you Blurred Lines would be the first track this month. How it is possible to not be sick of that song yet?

Click here to listen!

(Download Spotify here. It’s free! )

Track list:
My Life Would Suck Without A Milli by The White Panda
How To Be A Heartbreaker by The Glee Cast
Mirror Maru by Cashmere Cat
Ice Cream by New Young Pony Club
Crazy Kids by Ke$ha
Little Numbers by BOY
Latch by Disclosure and Sam Smith
Butterfly by Crazy Town
You & Me – Baauer Remix by Disclosure and Eliza Doolittle
Go Girl by Pitbull and Trina
White Nights by Oh Land
Rockstar 101 Rihanna and Slash
Shake a Fist by Hot Chip
Fuego by Pitbull

Glee Sarah Jessica Parker
If, like myself, you have watched every episode of Sex and The City and Glee, I advise you to hold onto your office chair: the two are (sort of) becoming one!

This week, the brains behind Glee – Ryan Murphy – announced that Sarah Jessica Parker will guest star in a few episodes of the musical wunderkind next season. Not only that, but she will be playing a “sort of frazzled, eccentric and hilarious” editor!

It screams for the re-introduction of Carrie Bradshaw. SATC fans will remember when Carrie strutted into the Vogue offices – where she was getting paid 50 cents a word (yes, I’m obsessed) – in an asymmettical pinstripe suit from Vivienne Westwood to meet a Vogue Editor/Wintour clone played by Candice Bergen. It is barely a storyline stretch!

Speaking of Anna Wintour, the ice queen herself has been employed to style the wardrobe of Sarah Jessica Parker’s fictional Glee character. I can only expect this is an incredible favour to Anna’s daughter, Bee Shaffer, who works for the company that produces the show. It couldn’t get any more fash-fabulous.

The most excited of my creative juices are flowing. You’re welcome to any of the plot ideas below, Glee writers. You’re ever so welcome.

1. Rachel is sent to the Vogue offices for a make-over.
Say goodbye to your knee-highs and pre-school silhouettes, Miss Berry. You’re now in New York City. Ditch the loafers for Louboutins at the hand of a tutu-wearing fashionista.

2. Santana starts a fashion blog.
To stay in touch with her lady love, Santana starts a blog that is catapulted to international fame. Vogue tries to poach her for their online site. Many musical numbers about life’s crazy twists and turns ensue.

3. Rachel falls in love with Aidan.
Without annoyingly righteous boyfriend Finn by her side, Rachel looks for a similarly small-town homeboy to lust over. The pair bond over a mahogany harp.

4. Mercedes starts a plus-sized riot.
Enraged by the body standards in her September issue, Mercedes flees to New York with the Vogue offices as her target. Who else, in particular, but the pint-sized dot-com Editor? Carrie shall wax lyrical about sample sizes and everyone shall sing songs about being beautiful.

5. Kurt Hummel is Carrie Bradshaw’s assistant.
He falls in friendship lust with her and Stanford, therefore introduces millions of conservative American homes to the fabulous lives of metropolitan homosexuals.

be who you are
Confidence is a funny thing. Funny…and always on my mind. Yesterday, I noticed that in a list of about 10 things I “take in” upon meeting people, I make a point to become conscious of how confident someone else is feeling. I can only assume I’ve been doing this for years, as I tend to overcompensate with friendliness if I can sense someone feels self-conscious.

Contrary to what you may expect, confidence is just as rare in the fashion and beauty industry as it is anywhere else.

It got me thinking about my own level of confidence. The growth of it, to be exact. At 22, I have been told I possess a level of confidence (or a self-assured demeanor) that is few and far between. A confidence that allowed me to move internationally multiple times, pitch to some of the biggest companies in the world, be comfortable when I ‘stand alone’, etcetera. Four years ago, I wasn’t like this.

Let me take you back to high school. Kind of. As a precursor to this story, I have to explain that due to a few traumatic personal problems, I put in some urgent and hard work to graduate with a Honors diploma a few years before my peers. I left show choir (yes, Glee), musicals (the highlight of my teen life), and the ‘security’ of being a Honors student behind.

In 2008, as the rest of my peers went to prom and graduated, I had already attended college and began to build a successful name for myself. Out of the blue, my Freshman year English teacher invited me to come back to attend a small party at the school where the rest of the Honors class would be looking back at the ‘start’ of high school life (when we were in her class) and the journey from that point.

At that point, it seemed like a great excuse to catch up with friends who I hadn’t seen in months (due to my awkward schedules and travelling) and wish everyone my best as they went off to college. My inner ‘expectations vs reality’ video was numbing.

At this ‘party’:
a) I was stared at (we’re talking “why are you here?” stares) by everyone but two kind friends.
b) A boy – who I barely knew – loudly joked to a table of our peers about the fact that I was wearing heels and had a visible tattoo.
c) I was completely ignored by girls who I had considered to be friends.
d) A Looking Back photo slideshow was presented, and every time I was on screen I would hear a table of former friends snigger and make comments.

I can’t tell you anything else that happened in the hour I was there. The words and actions spread from my stomach to my head like a virus. I left the building and climbed into my friends car. Deciding to miss the event herself, she consoled my apparent hurt (“Who died?!”) by telling me that many of the aforementioned girls had been gossiping about me throughout the school day.

Do they hate me because I’m wearing makeup? Do they hate me because I couldn’t explain why I had to leave? Do they hate me because I’ve gained weight? Do they hate me because they’ve always hated me and I’m only realising now? Then it hit me…they didn’t hate me. Be it jealousy, or self-consciousness, or whatever personal problems cause someone to deflect viciously…I had done nothing to deserve the comments and the comments had nothing to do with me.

With that in mind, I made the decision to stop caring. There and then. To never feel lonely or hurt, I chose confidence as my new priority. I was (and still strive to be) a strong, successful, happy, kind, and optimistic young woman. I was actively pursuing the best I had to offer. There is no room for lack of self-confidence in that formula. No need to justify who I am or what I do.

The mind/matter Seuss philosophy is the purest instigation for confidence, and what I suppose could represent the ‘moral’ of this braindump. Confidence is a) a blanket word to cover everything that defines taking chances, accepting the cards you’ve been dealt, pursuing happiness, AND b) vital.

I hope this helps you find yours.

Dianna Agron Cosmopolitan
Though the tone of my blog is forcefully optimistic, sometimes the What The Hell Flag needs to be raised. Upon seeing the image above, I had to question the motives for Cosmopolitan to so bizarrely Photoshop the beautiful body of Glee star Dianna Agron.

Their September cover shows the naturally stunning actress with a dramatically reduced waist, shrunken left hand, twigged-out arms, and harshly shadowed decolletage. Has Photoshop become such a normality that the media is now chopping, manipulating, and shading to a point of…ugly?

I get the need for polish in post-production as it can add to an artistic image, or correct lighting/’blemishes’ that would detract from the photo. This, however, is just art departments unnecessarily taking twenty pounds off of their cover stars. Is it expected? Is it asked of them? Where does photo editing cross the line into fakery?

Below, the body of Dianna Agron has been left as it is naturally. Gorgeous. Healthy. A body I would have no qualms seeing on the cover of any magazine. Would you?

(She also just dyed her hair pink!)
DIanna Agron Hot
Dianna Agron Pink Hair

Dianna Agron 'The Late Show with David Letterman'
Though I can’t commend her for the seasonality of it all (black velvet in August?!), I am dying over the ensemble Dianna Agron wore on the “Late Show with David Letterman” yesterday. The gorgeous sweetheart-bodiced and peplum-flounced Rosalia bonded dress is by Stella McCartney. A chic, striking look paired with the go-to appearance shoe, YSL’s Tribtoo pumps.

My favourite thing about her ‘look’ has to be the building departure from her Glee character, Quinn Fabray. From the start of Season One/the start of Dianna’s fame, we’ve seen her in outfits that could be interchangeable with her high-school-aged character. After cutting her hair off at the end of Season Two (AESTHETIC LIBERATION!), Dianna’s personal style has been more edgy, playful, and appealing overall. You can see it in her confidence.

Also, hot pink lipstick gets me everytime. Oh, Dianna.
Dianna Agron