An Interview With Kimothy Joy

Image provided by Kimothy Joy

I stumbled upon Kimothy Joy’s artwork last month after seeing the awesome illustrations she provided The Huffington Post for their campaign #WeMakeHerstory, which inspired and intrigued me so I set out to find out more, and to of course follow her on Instagram! The collaboration was also partially what inspired some of my own blog posts and collaboration with Caroline from The Kawaii Kollective, who provides me with illustrations for my feminist reading journey (in each blog post I have credited Kimothy Joy for inspiring the artwork).

For those who aren’t familiar with Kimothy Joy she is a Denver-based illustrator who specialises in watercolours and ink drawings. Her work generally centres on female empowerment, usually through painting heroines from the past, and present (like in The Huffington Post series). Her art is art of resistance, as she believes art and creativity can be a powerful force for social change. Therefore, she often partners with companies that aim to make the world a better place for everyone.

It’s unsurprising that the popular items that she sells (for UK readers she sells internationally on Etsy) carry the slogans, ‘Make America Kind Again’, ‘The United States of Nasty Women’, ‘The Future is Female’ and ‘Rise Up’.

Image: @kimothyjoy/ Instagram 

I of course was interested to find out what her favourite quote to live by was as someone who illustrates so many inspiring quotes…
“Find joy in life. Share joy with others.” It’s so simple but very meaningful to me. My mother had it printed out and taped to our fridge during her last year fighting breast cancer. She maintained an overall resolute disposition – determined to find the beauty in her battle. That lesson will also stay with me. And the irony of Joy being my middle name. I think I’ve recently really brought that sentiment into fruition in my own life. I know she’s proud.

How do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration from other women who have found their own voice and found the courage to speak their own truth to the world. This comes from something as casual as coffee dates or via books, music, podcasts, poets, and documentaries. Books written by Maya Angelou, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, or modern day women such as Jessica Bennett’s Feminist Fight Club or We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Currently, I am so utterly moved by the music of Tank and the Bangas, a group from New Orleans. They’re on repeat.

What artists inspire you?
Lately, I’m really inspired by poetry. I don’t think I’m alone in this becoming something the general public is yearning for more and more in these very confusing, conflicting times. Nikita Gill’s work is stunning. So is the poetry of Cleo Wade, Nayyirah Waheed, Warsan Shire, and Rupi Kaur. Their words provide so much understanding, peace, and healing. They inspire a lot of my paintings.

Image: @kimothyjoy/ Instagram

Do you think art and creativity can drive positive social change?
Immensely! Art, music, dance, any creative expression – these are the languages used by us humans that are able to transcend barriers whether they be cultural, racial, gender, whatever. They harness so much power. In challenging times when we’re trying to work out how we feel or what is happening around the world – there is always art and creativity to help us feel heard, connected, understood. Art transcends words. It heals and unites. I have so much faith in its power and magic. It’s the language of our soul.

These words by Maria Popova of Brain Pickings are everything. Keep showing up. ❤️

A post shared by Kimothy Joy (@kimothyjoy) on

Image: @kimothyjoy/ Instagram 

What has been your favourite campaign you have worked on/ supported so far?
My favourite campaign has been the project in which I created art in celebration of Women’s History Month with The Huffington Post. The editors selected a great variety of women, some lesser known; these women peaked my interest and I was happy to get to know them better before painting them. I love that Huffpost used their platform to spread the words and stories of these women.

🔥Alicia Garza🔥 #WeMakeHerstory (🎨: @kimothyjoy) #WomensHistoryMonth

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Image: @HuffPostWomen/ Instagram                                                                                                       

Have you always called yourself a feminist? Has your work always been centred around women’s rights?
I didn’t call myself a feminist in my youth and my work became rooted in feminism before I self-identified as one. Over the last few years as a creative consultant, I chose to partner with organisations that focused on women’s rights and empowerment. I was completely moved by what they were doing especially organisations like Smart Girl who work with middle school girls on building emotional intelligence, mental health awareness, confidence, anti-bullying, etc and Threads Worldwide who promote fair-trade goods and economic opportunity for women around the world. I think I was too busy trying to figure out how to advance the work they were doing that I didn’t stop and categorise myself. I didn’t think to state it publicly or draw a line in the sand. If feminism means believing in equal rights / human rights than it should be a given, right? – something that you don’t have to claim. However, I think it’s important to claim now more than ever because of the negative connotations still associated with it. We need to break down those misconceptions and make it commonplace for all humans to call themselves feminists. It’s a no brainer. It shouldn’t be taboo or divisive. We also need to collectively work to clarify its definition in being inclusive of people of color, the LGBTQI community, etc. and recognize the privilege and disadvantage that groups within the feminist movement are experiencing.

Image: @kimothyjoy/ Instagram

How did you choose the quotes for your series with Huffington Post Women for Women’s History Month?
The editors at The Huffington Post selected the women and quotes then I narrowed down a list that I wanted to paint. I liked the diverse, wide array of people they chose. Some were classic heroines of the past and others were modern day leaders of movements like Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, co-founders of Black Lives Matter and Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood and Illyse Hogue, president of NARAL. I also love that they chose provocative, challenging quotes. Their selections sparked a lot of conversation and engagement online especially regarding intersectional feminism and resistance.

Wise words from @ilyseh 🔥 (🎨: @kimothyjoy) #WeMakeHerstory #WomensHistoryMonth

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Image: @HuffPostWomen/ Instagram                                                                                                          

✊🏽✊🏿✊🏾 @lsarsour #WeMakeHerstory (🎨: @kimothyjoy) #WomensHistoryMonth

A post shared by HuffPost Women (@huffpostwomen) on

Image: @HuffPostWomen/ Instagram      

Who is your favourite author or activist/ quote out of the women you drew?
That’s a hard one! So many gems in that mix. I think it’s a tie between the quote from Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, and Cheryl Strayed who said, “The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of it.” I love that she’s telling us to get in the game, get dirty, show up, be brave, wrestle around with it. Do not shy away from finding your own truths, beliefs, opinions. Give it your all.

What charitable organisations do you support?
I support Southern Poverty Law Center, Emily’s List, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, Move On, and I think I’m missing a few more. I support these organizations by donating a portion of profits from my products to their mission.

Have you ever seen someone wear one of your designs?
I’ve seen many photos of people sporting my designs which is the best! I’ll run into people with my tote bags or wearing a t-shirt. It makes me so happy to know these messages resonate with others and they’re proud to share them with me. I’ve never felt so connected to so many (once) strangers before.

Image: @kimothyjoy/ Instagram

Your work is all about positivity, how do you stay positive in the period America is in at the moment? Have you ever received negativity about your work?
This is a real challenge for me, actually. I practice staying positive and actively seeking out things and people who inspire and uplift me. There are days when I feel so low about what’s happening. But then I have to try harder to find a poem that that brings me back to life, or a book, or a story, one act of bravery or love, then I sit down to paint. Then I share it online and find that it helps to heal others, as well. I’ve been being very diligent and intentional about it these last few months. It’s my sacred habit. I love that I can share it with other people who are craving it just as much as me. And yes, I have received some negative feedback about my work, which is expected when you share of yourself online, especially creative work, and your reach expands. The issues that I choose to paint about are usually divisive topics for our country so that invokes strong opinions one way or the other. Art itself is subjective and open to various interpretations. That’s what makes it powerful. Also, I’ve learned to listen to the criticism that starts off from an emotionally correct or respectful place.

Image: @kimothyjoy/ Instagram 

Do you think it is important that feminism remains inclusive of all women (i.e. inclusive of people who identify as non binary and trans women) as I’ve noticed those themes in your work?
Definitely. One of the mainstays of my work is to portray a diverse, all inclusive, array of people. I don’t necessarily include a lot of masculinity in my work, because it just doesn’t come natural to me, but I don’t want to exclude them from my messages, either. It is really important to me to include all ethnicities, sexualities, body types, varying body abilities, ages, trans, non-binary, queer, everyone. Feminism is about passing the mic to the most disenfranchised and marginalised. It’s about demanding human rights from the bottom up, by putting those that are the most threatened at the forefront.

Image: @kimothyjoy/ Instagram 

Image: @kimothyjoy/ Instagram 

What is next for you with your artwork? What are your plans for the future?  
I would love to publish a book of my illustrations. I’d like to partner up with organisations I support and different campaigns to promote positive social change. Whatever I can do to leverage the power of visuals to change minds, perspectives and unite and connect.

Image: @kimothyjoy/ Instagram 

Feminist Reading Journey: Helena Kelly ‘Jane Austen: The Secret Radical’

Image: The Kawaii Kollective

First of all I want to apologise for being so behind with posting, as if you look at my Instagram you will find that the actual book I am reading is several posts ahead of this post! April is deadline time (I’m currently studying for a Masters) so I am afraid I won’t be catching up anytime soon, but be prepared for a serious amount of catch up work in May (I am hoping that May is going to be the month I bombard this website with content). This post then is about the third book in my feminist reading journey ‘Jane Austen: The Secret Radical’ by Helena Kelly.

This book was actually purchased right at the start of my reading journey when I had not really formulated a plan yet to what I wanted to read, but I actually like how it fits into my journey because of the way it paints the secret feminist history of one of the world’s most famous writers: Jane Austen (and I think before I look forward I need to a certain extent look back). Having been a Jane Austen addict in my youth (both of the novels and the various film and TV adaptations); I instantly gravitated towards this book when I saw it in my local Waterstones.

Jane Austen The Secret RadicalImage: April Wilson 

When I saw this book it reminded me of how I wished when I was doing my literature degree that we studied Jane Austen more, and I also was fascinated to see how the author was going to convince me that Jane Austen was a radical. Though I did by no means position her as a conservative or the alt-right icon that was recently bizarrely attributed to her (and has been frequently attributed to her in the past). I always thought for the time period she was in she had to be different and strong willed. After all, she was a female author when they were sparse/ often censored and she allowed her characters to breach class boundaries, which was radical for the time.

I was also interested in reading this book, as although I have read most of Jane’s novels I have to admit I have never read ‘Persuasion’ or ‘Emma’ (though I have seen a TV adaptation of it) so was interested in learning more about the novels, especially ‘Persuasion’ as I often seen it credited as a bit of a dud in the Jane Austen canon.

What was refreshing when reading was that each chapter had an equal amount of attention and care dedicated to it making me want to go out and read each Austen novel again just as much as the other. I have to admit though that it made me want to read ‘Mansfield Park’ again the most because of the complexities surrounding slavery that Kelly reveals lie within the novel that I had not picked up on (seeing the adaptation on ITV starring Billie Piper before reading the novel I think made my reading of the novel clouded by wanting to compare the two). I think it also didn’t help that Britain’s past concerning slavery is often glossed over in the school curriculum. We learn about the Tudors, the Egyptians, the Romans and then we usually end up skipping a great chunk of history and covering the First and Second World War (or at least that is what I remember from my experience).

I have seen and read a lot about American slavery, but British slavery and the true cost of the luxuries that were in Britain at the time are often overlooked, and not mentioned. I studied the effects of the empire in Victorian Britain but Jane Austen belongs to the point in British history that I think has become lost a little in school education (at least from my experiences in the UK).

I think if you are going to take anything from the book it is the desire to read Austen again. Though that doesn’t mean you will want to devour every work she ever wrote. Despite, the merit her novels have in discussing issues relating to the time she lived in; some are still more enjoyable and well written than others.

I for one plan to read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Mansfield Park’ again, as well as delve into ‘Emma’ and ‘Persuasion’ for the first time.

Whether Helena Kelly’s findings are new and revolutionary I do not know. I have not studied Austen enough academically to judge, but either way she gives an accessible starting point to both those used to academic scholarship and to those who are not. Whether you agree with everything she says about Jane Austen’s works or not doesn’t matter as she does her job by making you think about them. You end each chapter wanting to read the work she is talking about and see if your reading will now match hers, or if there will be differences.

In this way Helena Kelly certainly achieves what she intended to do:

“I’ve been working quite hard in this book to convince you Jane is an artist, that her work is carefully considered, structured, themed, that she uses her writing to examine the great issues of the day”.

 – Helena Kelly, ‘Jane Austen: The Secret Radical’ 

That is why the quote I choose and Caroline from The Kawaii Collective very kindly illustrated is one that calls on the reader to read Jane Austen’s novels again, as all Kelly wants is for Jane to have the voice that in her life she was often denied.

Helena Kelly Jane AustenImage: The Kawaii Kollective

This drawing, along with all of my other collaborations with The Kawaii Collective was originally inspired by Kimothy Joy’s collaboration with The Huffington Post.

Be sure to also check out Caroline’s Etsy shop if you like what you see and want to purchase her art work!

For all Jane Austen fans, ‘Jane Austen: The Secret Radical’ is a great book to read to get you excited about Austen again (though I doubt a lot of people need this encouragement), and a valuable part of my reading journey.

The book I am reading this week is yet to be announced. Be sure to check out my social media channels tomorrow for the announcement!

Last week’s book was Rupi Kaur’s ‘Milk and Honey’.

If you have any suggestions for what I should read next please comment below.

If you are interesting in collaborating with me on this project as well please let me know. My inbox is always open!

Riverdale’s Archie and Miss Grundy and the worrying repeated sexualisation of student-teacher relationships

Image: Riverdale/ The CW/ Netflix 

Student-teacher sexual/romantic relationships are so common in media, particularly in TV that they are regarded as a trope of the genre. So it was unsurprising that the trope showed up in the latest teen drama on Netflix, Riverdale.

What is disappointing about this however isn’t the trope itself but how so far it is being handled. It was stated within the first episode that Archie (KJ Apa) and Betty (Lili Reinhart) are in their Sophomore year at High school. Now I’m not American so I had to do some googling to find out what age that actually is, and according to my findings that puts Archie and Betty at 15-16 years old canonically. Yet, the relationship between Archie and Miss Grundy (Sarah Habel) is heavily sexualised within the show, and depicted as ‘wrong’ but in the sense that the relationship is ultimately romantic. And it is society that does not understand the relationship, and the relationship itself is pure and ultimately acceptable.

And this is a common reoccurring theme when student-teacher relationships are presented on screen. Now, I mentioned the age of Archie before, which although is of importance in terms of consent laws in America (though I know this changes state by state); the real reason Archie cannot consent is because she is his teacher and in a position of power because of that. From the beginning of our schools lives we are taught to always obey the teacher, refer to them formally and treat them with respect. Teachers we are taught have authority over students. Consequently, Archie can never hope to achieve equal power status in their relationship.

In fact, this is shown to a disturbing degree when he stresses (*plot spoilers ahead*) that they need to go to the police about the gun shot they heard on the 4th July, as it could possibly help the police in the case of Jason Blossom’s (Trevor Stines) death but she stresses that they can’t because they’ll both get in trouble, not just her. He could get expelled she stresses. For what? Having an affair with a teacher? He is not the one to blame.

Archie and Mrs GrundyImage: Riverdale/ The CW/ Netflix 

Right from the first sexual encounter we see of them their relationship is treated as something sexual, hot and steamy, just like the windows of the car that fog up in the screen capture that Netflix uses to advertise the show. That this is the image that advertises the show is important. Netflix has done extensive research on what images inspire someone to click on a show, as artwork in a study Netflix conducted in 2014 was revealed to be the biggest influencer to a member’s decision to watch content. It seems pretty obvious why Netflix thinks this image would attract an audience: sex sells. Even sex that in my view would constitute as a sex in a relationship where one half couldn’t fully consent.

One thing I will say in defence of Riverdale is that they make it clear that this relationship cannot last, just like Miss Grundy’s place in Riverdale. However, she manages to escape with no consequences other than losing her job. Although her leaving scene where she smiles at two members of the football team through red heart sunglasses (ironically very reminiscent of Lolita) hints that maybe this is not the first time she has pursued such a relationship, and subsequently that the relationship she had with Archie was not fair to him.

I do really hope that the show will pick up what they have hinted on, as the show has been refreshingly transgressive in other ways (though you’d hope by 2017 this still wouldn’t be something I’d have to call transgressive) with the way they exposed the football players ‘playbook’ and highlighted the very real and scary slut shaming that still happens in schools today (on that note if you haven’t already watch the Netflix documentary Audrie and Daisy do so). Also, the way they handled Archie writing songs for Josie and the Pussycats and the discussion that Josie (Ashleigh Murray) brought up surrounding race, and how although Archie thinks he can understand, but he never can fully relate because he has not been a victim of racism, was brilliant.

Josie RiverdaleImage: Riverdale/ The CW/ Netflix 

Ethel RiverdaleThe playbook storyline also featured Shannon Purser (famous for her role as Barb in Stranger Things) as Ethel. Image: Riverdale/ The CW/ Netflix .

However, in regards to the troubling storyline between Archie and Miss Grundy I am not the only one to think this about the show. Internet superstar, Felicia Day tweeted about the storyline saying: “If the sexes were reversed on Archie and Ms Grundy no one would be ok with this storyline”, followed by the hashtag #callthecopsplease.

Source: @feliciaday/ Twitter 

But in TV world this is not necessarily the case, as you only have to look at the relationship between Aria (Lucy Montgomery) and Ezra (Ian Harding) in Pretty Little Liars. Now, I haven’t watched every season of Pretty Little Liars to know where they end up in their relationship but I’ve seen how their relationship started.

In the TV show at least Ezra mistakes Aria for a college girl (which Aria lets him do), they hit it off, and ‘hook up’ in the bathroom of a bar. However, at school Aria then walks into class to realise the person she ‘hooked up’ with is in fact her English teacher.

Now, as stated this relationship started with Ezra not knowing who Aria was, however, they later end up rekindling their relationship with Ezra knowing full well he is her teacher now. Although, I know he later breaks up the relationship again in what is a bit of a cycle and quits his teacher position so they can have a relationship (ending the teacher-student power dynamic issues); however, that doesn’t change the fact that the added student-teacher part of their relationship is treated like ‘forbidden love’, and something romantic because of the danger behind it.

Romanticising these encounters is dangerous as it makes student-teacher relationships a desirable fantasy in teenager’s minds. Regardless, of what you want to argue about how the relationships I’ve talked about may occupy a more ‘grey’ area; the people watching the show might be in a completely different situation and use the show’s example to justify it.

Now, let me be clear I fight against the standpoint that films and TV cause behaviour we wouldn’t commit without their example. Horror movies in my mind do not a serial killer make but there is a difference between showing violent acts, and condoning the behaviour and making it something desirable.

And student-teacher relationships should not be depicted as desirable because it is a couple that can never hope to have equal footing in their relationship (regardless of any other age issues) and these relationships should not be treated as ‘forbidden romance’ but an unfair, and unequal illusion.

Picnic Ms Grundy ArchieImage: Riverdale/ The CW/ Netflix 

Rewatching The Craft: Why it’s still important

Image: The Craft/ Columbia Pictures 

I was first introduced to The Craft by one of my friends who was just as obsessed with all things 90s and loved the aesthetic of  Buffy the Vampire Slayer as much as I did. Of course, I fell in love with The Craft, one because I have a weakness for 90s fashion (along with 80s- someone please send help), but because of the way it tried to more than just your standard ‘teen’ film. The Craft touched on serious topics and refused to shy away from them.

Last year in fact was The Craft’s 20 year anniversary (I am not enjoying all these 20 year anniversary’s at the moment- they make me feel old, even though I would have only been about 1 years old for most of them!), but I think it’s as good a time as ever to take a look back at all the topics that The Craft covered, and in my opinion tried to show a honest portrayal of.

Before, I start though I think it’s important to mention that the witchcraft elements of the film were realistic, as the scenes were filmed, “with Pat Devin, a Dianic Elder Priestess, on board as technical advisor”. Therefore, “the four main cast members can be seen practising proper Wiccan rituals throughout the movie”. Fairuza Balk who played Nancy, also is reported to have become a practicing Wiccan due to the film. In 1995 she bought the store Panpipes Magical Marketplace after filming (though she no longer owns the shop).  However, in the interview with The Huffington Post, the director Andrew Fleming said that at the time of filming, “she was a practicing Pagan”, something I have seen repeated in other articles about The Craft. Either way, Fairuza out of all the cast members was involved the most with the witchcraft side of the film in her personal life.

Also, the God, Manon, they reference in the film is not real, and according to Fleming in the same interview with The Huffington Post this is, “because it might have been offensive to people if we had used people’s real gods”.

Whether the God they reference is real or not (and I actually agree with their thinking that it is better not to talk about someone else’s God); many credit The Craft for spawning a new generational interest in being a Wiccan, which I think is pretty awesome. The film also made it be cool to different, and standout, or as Nancy infamously says, “We are the weirdos, mister”.

giphy
Source: giphy.com

The Craft then is one of the cult teen films, and this is largely because of the way the film covered several issues that affect teenage life today, and were unapologetic about them.

Racism 

Rochelle (Rachel True) in the film is seen to be the victim of racist bully, Laura Lizzie (Christine Taylor). This is significant because it is Laura who is shown to be in the wrong for her horrible behaviour (though Rochelle’s magical revenge is also shown to be the right path to go down), and Rochelle is shown to be just as beautiful and talented as she is (perhaps even more so). At the time of filming True was just happy to actually have a part, which contained more than one line: “A lot of times, the roles I played, I literally say the words “Are you OK?” So this time I got to play a character who actually had something going on”.

This is depressing in itself, however, it gets worse. Although Rochelle was as much a lead  as Neve Campbell’s character Bonnie was, she recalls that she was not treated the same by the studio during the press junket: “There was a publicity junket that they were only going to take the other three girls to. At the time, 20 years ago, I was like, “Oh, it’s me, it’s me, it must be me.” And now I realize it wasn’t me — it was marketing. They didn’t really think it was going to get a black audience is my guess”.

Therefore, while the film did break boundaries for the time by having a black woman as one of the leads (though its upsetting in itself that this was something boundary breaking), and did give her an actual role instead of make her a side character; it’s important to note that she was not treated the same way by the studio higher ups.

The Craft Bonnie and RochelleImage: The Craft/ Columbia Pictures 

Self harm

The lead character of the film, besides Nancy (Fairuza Balk) is Sarah (Robin Tunney), who reveals to the other girls early on in the film that are scars are from her attempting suicide.

Teen suicide in the 80s had become a epidemic in the media, yet the subject was still not really talked about. Instead, teenagers were lectured on to just say no to suicide (famously satirised by the film The Heathers), but never actually listened to. In the 90s suicide almost became glamourised, along with other dangerous trends such as the ‘heroin chic’ trend for models.

It is refreshing however to see in The Craft that it is not. What we see instead is that Sarah has gone through real pain, but yet she is determined to keep fighting. Cutting becomes something nightmarish, and is the way in which Nancy attempts to kill her. There is nothing glamorous about it. Perhaps, this is why the film has such a large cult audience, it does not attempt to lecture teenagers but actually tries to authentically connect with what teenagers are going through.

The Craft Sarah

Image: The Craft/ Columbia Pictures 

Horrible home life

Nancy is truly the most tormented of the girls. It’s revealed she has a horrible home life in which her mother is an alcoholic and her mother’s boyfriend also appears to be a deadbeat (but actually leaves them a lot of money through his life insurance policy that surprises both Nancy and her mother).

However, even the death of her mother’s boyfriend doesn’t help, as Nancy’s mother remains as frantic as ever. The only happy moment we see between the two of them is when they learn the news about the money, and even then it is tarnished by Nancy’s guilt as she knows she is the one who killed him.

NancyImage: The Craft/ Columbia Pictures 

Toxic masculinity

The film also talks about High School and its damaging culture that means men are still encouraged to date as many women as possible and keep a tally (or play book) of all their conquests. In the film we see Chris (Skreet Ulrich) invite Nancy on a date, which they go on, and he then invites her back to his place, which she refuses. Nevertheless, the next day he tells everyone they had sex, despite it not being true.

The scene very much reminded me of Netflix (and CW)’s Riverdale in which Veronica (Camila Mendes) learns that her date, Chuck Clayton (Jordan Calloway) has been slut shaming her to the rest of the school. She confronts him, but he refuses to stop, so Veronica teams up with the other women in the school to find evidence of the shaming.

This episode also features a character called Ethel who is victim of the slut shaming by the football team, who is played by the awesome (Shannon Purser) of Stranger Things fame. Yes, that’s right Barb! There’s also a little fourth wall shout out in there (seriously just go watch, Riverdale).

What I think is interesting about The Craft in particular is that they make it clear that Chris’s behaviour is largely due to wanting to be accepted by the other guys, as they goad him on, and give him weird looks when he is under enchantment by Sarah so does whatever she says.

They also show that despite his horrible behaviour Sarah still wants his attention (until it gets too much under the enchantment); showing the sad truth about how these cultures operate.

The Craft Skeet UlrichImage: The Craft/ Columbia Pictures 

Female friendship

If Mean Girls taught us anything (though of course time line wise it came after The Craft) it is that as women we shouldn’t pit ourselves against each other.

Or as Ms. Norbury puts it:

“You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it ok for guys to call you sluts and whores.”

It’s true that you’ll often find harsh criticism about women from other women, though I am happy to say that I am starting to see a culture developing more and more where women support and prop each other up instead of tearing each other down.

It was nice then to see actual female friendship and loyalty between the girls. That is however, until they ultimately turn on Sarah, after she disagrees with them. This was the main part of the film that I wish could have been changed, as it was so refreshing and lovely to see women on screen empowering each other, and supporting each other.

However, it’s not to be because as Sarah deftly puts it in the film what they had however was ultimately not friendship:

“I disagree with them once and they turn their backs on me. It’s not friendship”.

Female friendship The CraftImage: The Craft/ Columbia Pictures 

I only hope that The Craft remake keeps these themes, and makes something as unique and  different as the original. This is a film that most of the crew are bewildered got made, but it did and there is a reason it a cult classic- the characters felt real and were not impossible to live up to.

Hopefully, since it has been revealed that The Craft remake is less of a remake and more of a continuation there is hope. As the director, Douglas Wick told UpRoxx it’s feels more like it’s set, “twenty years later”. He also said, there will be, “callbacks to the original movie, so you will see there is a connection between what happened in the days of The Craft, and how these young women come across this magic many years later”.

It will be interesting then to see if any of the original cast are in the film. Since Fairuza Balk responded on Twitter about the event saying that: “Personally I don’t care for the idea of remakes”.

Source: @fairuza

Source: @fairuza

I think it is fair to see we can probably count Fairuza out, though it is hard to imagine anything associated with The Craft without her. All I can say then for the remake is that they have some big black boots to fill…

black boots the craft    Source: via giphy.com

For anyone interested in reading more about The Craft here is my round up of all the articles mentioning The Craft that I found interesting/ inspiring:

For all of you obsessed with the fashion of the film like me: http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/30973/1/creating-the-cult-fashion-that-defined-the-craft

Background information about the making of The Craft (including an interview with Andrew Fleming and Robin Tunney): https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/mar/01/how-we-made-the-craft-horror-movie-interview

Fun facts and trivia about the film:                       https://www.buzzfeed.com/leonoraepstein/10-weird-things-you-probably-dont-know-about-the-craft?utm_term=.lebA1BjEL#.pr7MQlaRP

Interesting article talking about the significance of each of the filming locations of The Craft (including what has become of the locations now): http://www.laweekly.com/arts/revisiting-the-la-filming-locations-of-the-craft-20-years-later-6870417

Feminist Reading Journey: Sady Doyle ‘Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock and Fear…and Why’

Image: The Kawaii Kollective

So as mentioned in my last post, this year I set myself the challenge of reading for pleasure again, which quickly turned into what I have termed as a feminist reading journey: a chance for me to explore what I define as feminism and learn more about other women’s experiences instead of limiting myself to my own.

The second book that I read as part of my feminist reading journey was ‘Trainwreck: The Women we Love to Hate, Mock and Fear…And Why’ by Sady Doyle. However, I actually cheated a little with this book as I had already read it, as I received it as a christmas present from my boyfriend’s mum. I did though read it again the week I posted about it on Instagram. In fact, I was actually reading it as it was relevant to the essay I was writing for my Masters course (which I am anxiously waiting for my mark back for).

Sady Doyle TrainwreckImage: April Wilson 

‘Trainwreck’ is a powerhouse of a book. For anyone who has ever read women’s magazines, or was brought up on them (I read everything I could get my hands on) you’ll understand the narratives that Doyle is bringing up that these magazines (along with mainstream media) constantly recycle for famous women.

When I was growing up something always made me uneasy about these magazines, and I always gravitated to the fact that maybe it was because they weren’t deemed as very ‘high culture’, and I was someone who enjoyed literary classics (how could I enjoy both?). First of all, I know now that people should stop making these distinctions. You can enjoy whatever you want. Sometimes, we all need to read and watch something that we aren’t completely thinking about the whole time as well (to cool down our brains if you will). Secondly, I think the reason I was uneasy about these magazines was also how they made me feel. Like no one could ever be good enough. You were either too fat or too thin. Rarely, one of the women would be that perfect ‘size’ where they were just right, but they could easily have a big meal or a light lunch and end up swaying into a different category the next week. As someone who had little to no self confidence with the way they looked, especially regarding their weight, these magazines I know no did nothing to help. Unsurprisingly, they just fuelled my obsession making me more addicted to them (I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been in this cycle).

However, I want to make it clear that Doyle’s book does not blame the media solely for turning women into trainwrecks but our patriarchal society that allows women to only exist as binary opposites: the ‘good’ (silent) woman or the ‘bad’ (mad) woman.

One of the reasons I love ‘Trainwreck’ so much is that it talks about how these women shouldn’t be blamed or ashamed for what happened to them (so many times have I heard that Paris Hilton is a spoiled heiress who leaked her own sex tape for fame- everyone seems to ignore when she says how she felt betrayed when the tape was leaked).

Or as she put in her own words, with an interview with Piers Morgan:

“I didn’t want to be known as that, and now when people look at me they think that I’m something I’m not just because of one incident one night with someone who I was in love with. People assume ‘Oh, she’s a slut’ because of one thing that happened to me and it’s hard because I’ll have to live with that for the rest of my life and explain it to my children. And it’s something that’s changed my life forever and I’ll never be able to erase it.”

She also described it, as,”the most embarrassing, humiliating thing that has ever happened to me in my life.”

I also love the way in which the book uses examples from the past, such as Mary Wollstonecraft, and Bille Holiday to show that this is not a new phenomenon; turning women into spectacles and trainwrecks when they become too vocal is nothing new!

In fact, I love this book so much I’ve actually talked about in an article before, in which I discussed the ways in which I believe Beyoncé by choosing to spread the news that she is pregnant herself on Instagram is showing that she is in control of the way she is viewed- she will not become a part of the media’s narrative- she makes the narrative.

When sharing the article on Twitter I was even lucky enough to get a reply from Sady Doyle who not only tweeted the article, but quoted it (I am beyond honoured she took the time out of her day to read this).

I am also so grateful that the lovely Caroline from The Kawaii Collective (who has been providing me with lovely illustrations of the authors I am reading along with my favourite quotation from the book) illustrated this beautiful drawing of Sady Doyle, surrounded by the women she refuses to let the media demonise (how many of these women can you recognise?).

This drawing, along with all of my other collaborations with  The Kawaii Collective was originally inspired by Kimothy Joy’s collaboration with The Huffington Post!).

Be sure to also check out Caroline’s Etsy shop if you like what you see and want to purchase her art work!

Sady Doyle

Image: The Kawaii Kollective

So I urge you to read ‘Trainwreck’ and then think about the famous women you have seen that are demonised by the media, and think about if the same narrative would still be in place if they were male?

The book I am reading this week is Maya Angelou’s ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’.

Maya I Know WhyImage: April Wilson 

Next week I will be reading Rupi Kaur’s ‘Milk and Honey’.

If you have any suggestions for what I should read next please comment below.

If you are interesting in collaborating with me on this project as well please let me know. My inbox is always open!

Feminist Reading Journey: Carrie Fisher ‘The Princess Diarist’

Image: Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope/ 20th Century Fox 

This year I set myself the challenge to start reading for pleasure again. After doing a degree in English Literature with Film, I kind of lost the time to simply read books for myself, rather than for a particular module. In fact, I’d lost a lot of the enjoyment that reading had previously brought me and since I am at my core a book worm this was unacceptable for me.

I decided to set myself the challenge of reading a book a week because I’m totally crazy and it seemed like a good idea at the time. The first few books I read had no particular theme to them, but then I started seeing more and more books I wanted to read that had a particular theme to them: equality and feminism. So I thought why not make that my theme? Especially since I already wanted to do some more reading around feminism because I consider myself a novice at best, and I feel like reading is the best education.

Also, I know I have a lot to learn, and there are still so many women that have remained hidden to me for me to discover. I don’t want to just rely on my own very limited experience of being a woman, as everyone’s experience is different depending on where you are from, and unfortunately in the world we live in, what colour your skin is, along with your sexual orientation and a lot of other factors.

I know, for example that I as a white woman have had privilege that I did not even realise I had until I started talking to other women in my Masters class about how they have been treated on holiday, or in the airport compared to the way in which I have been treated (of course the different ways I have/ will be treated is not just limited to this example!).

My sexuality is also important here, as I am heterosexual, so have never faced the prejudice that people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community have (I do consider myself an ally of the community, but it would be wrong to say I have had to deal with the same experiences that people who identify as a lesbian have for example), so I need to read about women from this community too. As well as read about the experiences of trans women as well. I want this community to be accepting, and for all of us to fight for equality together, and how can we do this if we aren’t inclusive?

Now, I know a lot of people are ready to attack me for not mentioning men yet, but of course I do not think they are exempt from the discussion. Men are affected by the patriarchy too, of course they are. It makes them think that have to be a real ‘man’ and confirm to the twisted system that is toxic masculinity, and not be able to express their emotions, their sexuality or truly be themselves. Feminism is about equality not women hating men (that is misandry), so men need to be a part of this dialogue as well.

So I want to learn, and for me reading is for me one of the ways I can learn. I started with Carrie Fisher’s novel ‘Princess Diarist’ not out of any preconceived sort of plan but because I realised when Carrie Fisher died that I never had read any of her books, and that was an injustice that she deserved better than.

Carrie Fisher The Princess DiaristImage: April Wilson 

For each book I read I am also excited to announce that I have teamed up with the lovely Caroline from The Kawaii Kollective who will be providing me with lovely illustrations of the authors I am reading along with my favourite quotation from the book (inspired by Kimothy Joy’s collaboration with The Huffington Post!).

Be sure to also check out Caroline’s Etsy shop if you like what you see and want to purchase her art work!

Kawaii Kollective Carrie FisherImage: The Kawaii Kollective

Since I am a bit behind in posting about this here is a list of the books I’ve read so far:

  • Carrie Fisher, ‘The Princess Diarist’
  • Sady Doyle, ‘Trainwreck’
  • Helena Kelly, ‘Jane Austen: The Secret Radical’

Also, I probably shouldn’t be announcing it yet but I’ll announce it a day early just this once, this week’s book I will be reading is Maya Angelou, ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’. If you have any suggestions for what I should read next please comment below. At the moment I was thinking of reading ‘Milk and Honey’ by Rupi Kaur next week!

If you are interesting in collaborating with me on this project as well please let me know. My inbox is always open!

Beauty and the Beast: Film Review

Image: Beauty and the Beast/ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 

I went in absolutely psyched for Beauty and the Beast. Everything I had seen in interviews had gotten me excited that I was going to see a feminist film littered with beautiful costumes (because you know they don’t have to be mutually exclusive), as well as the tying up of loose plot holes from the original film. To a certain extent that is what I got.

To start with the costumes were spectacular. Although, Belle’s dance sequence dress did not initially excite me, as the perils of being in love with cosplay meant that I have seen some truly beautiful original creations (see my previous article for an example), often which replaced the original yellow with gold. All these cosplays had led me to become kind of mutinous and wanting the dress to be in gold instead of the original yellow. With time though the dress grew on me, especially the beautiful gold embroidery details (though the bodice still annoys me, despite that I can see why they changed from the original-there is just something missing about it for me). The dress though does move beautifully, and is undoubtedly beautiful work from the designer Jacqueline Durran (famous for her work in Atonement and Pride and Prejudice), who worked with Emma, to make the dress feel like a cloud: “We wanted the dress to feel like it could float”.

Atonement Keira Knightley Green DressImage: Atonement/ Universal Studios/ Focus Features/ Studio Canal 

Belle Dancing gownImage: Beauty and the Beast/ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 

Float it definitely did, and Emma Watson also definitely pulled off the dancing sequence, which was a complete shot by shot recreation of the original scene that was extremely satisfying if slightly a little bit of a weird nostalgia trip. In fact, the whole film felt like a bit of nostalgia trip, albeit with updated, more period emphasised costumes.

Belle’s costumes also came with a new practicality aspect. Much has been said on how she ditched the ballet slippers for boots, but her blue dress also had handy storage properties in the film (and again made we wish that more dresses would have pockets). Although, Belle does enjoy dressing up for the infamous dance sequence, she is also quick to discard the beautiful yellow dress when the action starts because lets face it a ball gown is not the most practical of items.

Belle leaving her houseImage: Beauty and the Beast/ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 

Belle Beast Library Image: Beauty and the Beast/ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 

Like her wardrobe choices, Emma Watson’s Belle starts the film very active, though a little bit dismissive of her entire village (who however do generally mock her and won’t let her teacher a young girl to read) because she seeks, “adventure in the great wide somewhere”. She does get an adventure, of sorts (more on that later). We also see her attempt to escape from the Beast’s castle, even before the infamous wolf sequence. We see her shout back to the Beast, and call him out for keeping her hostage (and how messed up that is). She never hides her true feelings for him, or lets him get away with anything.

In comparison, they make the Beast a little bit less active, as for example they tone down  the aggression and violence of the Beast in the West Wing from the original film (which, quite frankly terrified me as a child), and give him a mournful song to sing (‘Evermore’) when Belle goes to rescue her father (letting the lead male be the lovesick character in a refreshing twist).

The BeastImage: Beauty and the Beast/ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 

There were still issues with the film though. I still feel like we did not have enough time actually getting to see the Beast and Belle’s romance, as although there were scenes added that were not in the original film; these focused more on telling us about Belle’s mother, and how the two connect over this (they give the Beast a backstory that sadly involves the death of his mother too). The two also seem to get on well because they are both so different from everyone else. The romantic idea of the only guy that ‘gets’ you is something that appealed to me in my teenage years I have to admit. However, now it’s kind of lost its appeal a little because of the way it isolates characters from the other people that care about them. Also, although few and far between there were people Belle connected with in her, “poor provincial town”. For example, what about the man who gives Belle the books in the local church?

Belle and the Beast’s romance was not the only possible romantic entanglement issue in the film. When I  first heard that Le Fou would be Disney’s first gay character I had a few concerns. Firstly, in the original film Le Fou is literally ‘the fool’, he is supposed to be the joke, and understandably, a lot of people, myself included, didn’t want Disney’s first gay character to be a comedic one.

Don’t get me wrong Le Fou is still a comic character in this film but it is made clear that he is ‘in’ on the joke. From the start when we first see Gaston and Le Fou interact he helps fill in the gaps of Gaston’s knowledge, making the part in the ‘Gaston’ song where he says he can’t spell Gaston’s name because he’s illiteriate still funny, if not a bit confusing considering the earlier knowledge he shows.

This Le Fou also has a moral compass. Unlike, Gaston he is not happy with what happens to Belle’s father (leaving him to die, and then convincing the whole town he is mad), and eventually turns on Gaston when abandoned by him in the battle at the Beast’s castle.

So at this point in the film I was happy with the character. There were a couple coded, and not so coded references that Le Fou is in love with Gaston and that he might prefer male to female company, for example, Gaston asking him why he isn’t married yet, and his winking at other guys during the ‘Gaston’ song, as well as the almost steamy massage he gives to Gaston. Which could have been fine if Disney made up for it in the end by very obviously stating that Le Fou is gay. Instead, we have a moment, albeit slightly longer than the Sulu Star Trek Beyond moment where we see him happy when he ends up dancing with a male partner. The same male partner who when transformed by the wardrobe expresses delight at being dressed in women’s clothing. Mind you there is nothing wrong with that. And there is nothing wrong with him and Le Fou being romantic, it just for me fulfilled too many clichés that the gay character has to be effeminate in some way shape or form.

Le Fou Image: Beauty and the Beast/ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 

When speaking of Le Fou you have to mention Gaston, and it was actually Luke Evan’s Gaston who unashamedly carried the film. He was for one my favourite male singing voice in the film, or as my boyfriend put it: “He’s got pipes”. Gaston’s costume was also beautifully designed (and made me want my boyfriend to cosplay as him, even though he bares more a resemblance to Prince Adam, who is literally the only Disney prince he looks remotely like).

April and MartinPlease ignore the fuzziness (it’s one of the few decent picture of us together). Also, you can’t see it in the photograph but he has long dark blonde hair like Prince Adam. Image: April Wilson

At first I did almost feel a little bit sorry for Gaston (I think Luke Evans has too sympathetic a face), but he quickly turned that round as its slowly revealed how horrible Gaston is and basically stole the show.

GastonImage: Beauty and the Beast/ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 

While, Le Fou may not have been the landmark gay character we hoped for in Disney, it was lovely (if not long overdue) to see Disney’s first interracial kiss between Lumieré (Ewan McGregor) and Plumette (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), showing that Beauty and the Beast got some of its romantic elements spot on.

Speaking of romance let’s go back to the central romance between Belle and the Beast, and the discussions of Stockholm Syndrome that plague it. I actually wrote an article about this before seeing the film regarding Emma Watson’s reactions, and I would say most of what she said is true (though like I mentioned there needed to be more of a build up to their romance). I think also the one thing people miss in these discussions is that yes the Beast starts off being morally suspect but he grows and changes because of Belle (in the end I would say he is not the villain). After all, he lets her go, though I hope Belle would have escaped either way to help her father. If he stayed a ‘Beast’, which the film in the final scenes with Gaston makes it very clear he does not that would be different, but we are supposed to believe the Beast has changed. Though, like I wrote in the article I linked to I am not saying we should dismiss the Stockholm Syndrome question completely, though I feel like the discussion could have been further helped with the ending not being what it was. Ending in the castle made it feel like what she wanted was not to escape where she was because of the people but to be somewhere more opulent and classy. It makes it seem like she cared more about being ‘poor’ rather than being trapped in a patriarchal society. Though you could argue the changing attitudes of the town’s people could be the main factor why the scene is shown to be happy, as her reason for wanting to be free is mostly shown to be her need to escape close minded attitudes (attitudes that in the ending have become more open).

Something there Belle BeastImage: Beauty and the Beast/ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 

However, I feel my main issue with the film could have been resolved if instead of ending with what I am assuming was the wedding between the two (I mean there was a lot of white for it not to be a wedding); if the film ended still showing the wedding but then showed Belle and Adam then leave to go travelling, or maybe seeing them in Paris. Otherwise, it feels like Belle escaped marrying Gaston, only to end up being someone else’s wife, though admittedly someone who wouldn’t (anymore) leave her father to die in the cold.

Despite this criticism I did walk out the film bewitched with elements of the film, especially the stunning visuals, as well as the way in which the film depicted the petals falling off the rose, and the way in which this affected everyone enchanted by the curse. I loved the detail of showing that they were slowly becoming less and less human, like the beast (making the artistic choice for the Beast to sound more and more human throughout the song ‘Evermore’ even more compelling), and that more sympathy was given to the characters trapped by the curse with the Beast. Though, I was a little sad when I realised that they cut the ‘Human Again’ song from the film.

Beauty and the Beast is overall a step in the right direction for Disney but I am at the point now when baby steps are not good enough, especially when films like Moana and Brave exist, which show there can be more to Disney women than just romance. I’m not saying we can’t have romance though (I love a good love story as much as the next person), but if we are going to have romance, can we not just #GiveElsaaGirlfriend already?

This Belle ‘Beauty and the Beast’ cosplay is goals

[Image: Laura Beresford Photography]

So I don’t know about you but by now I am beyond hyped for the new Disney live action Beauty and the Beast; and seeing this amazing Belle cosplay from Cait of Cait and Chay is not helping calm me down!

Cait actually first starting cosplaying before she met the other half of her cosplaying duo, and her cosplaying journey actually began with her dad taking her to MCM London Comic Con for a day out when she was about 10 or 11 years old.

But, the first time seeing people in cosplay was not the instant falling in love experience you’d expect: “We actually found it weird! Oh the irony”.

Belle 2I don’t think she finds it weird anymore. [Image: Laura Beresford Photography]

However, as she grew “a bit older and got more into ‘nerdy’ stuff” she “used to go with friends”. The cosplaying part though didn’t come until college when Cait mentioned to her best friend “how it would be fun to go again but dressed as Team Magma from Pokémon”, as she’d “always wanted their uniform!”.

Her first ever cosplay though, like everyone’s first attempt at cosplay was not the standard she pushes herself to today, but still every bit as fun:

“We bought black dresses from H&M on our lunch break at college, and cut up two red hoodies to make the uniform. The sewing was terrible, the hoods didn’t stay up, and our props were tennis balls painted as Pokeballs”.

Belle 3Proof of how cosplay is all about hard work, determination and developing skills over time. [Image: Laura Beresford Photography]

 However, the whole experience was still “great” (as all cosplay no matter your skill level is good cosplay). So great in fact that when Cait and Chay started their relationship they decided to start cosplaying as a couple, as he, “insisted he wanted to be Flynn”. And despite originally having “no plans to make Rapunzel” she ended up getting “a bit carried away”.

13584908_1102080303168948_5573622830304961098_o[Image: Kevin Hennequin Photography]

KlyxmThis wig is basically identical to the film!  [Image: Gallagher Photography]

So let’s face it they are pretty much the cutest Rapunzel and Flynn cosplayers you’ve ever seen. So what was it that made Cait want to cosplay Belle as her next project?

 “At the time we’d recently met another couple that cosplayed Disney characters and we became good friends with them. Myself and the other girl (Tilfey Cosplay) are similar in height, Chay is quite athletic and Tilly’s (now ex) boyfriend was taller and a bit stockier. We chose to do a Frozen group for an upcoming con because of that, and that made us think of what other characters we suited. I’d always had my eye on Belle because she’s a brunette, like me, but I’d always hated her yellow dress. I figured that I could make it gold which is the colour I always wanted it to be anyway, so we ended up choosing Beauty and the Beast, with Chay as Adam, myself as Belle, Tilly’s boyfriend as Gaston and Tilly as one of the Bimbettes- it didn’t end up quite going to plan though in the end”.

Group shot[Image: Catberry Photography] Characters: Claudette, Laurette,  Paulette, Gaston and Belle. Cosplayers: SqueakehB (Claudette), Bon Schweetz Cosplay (Laurette) and Tilfey Cosplay (Paulette), Cait and Chay (Belle and Gaston).

What happened instead is that, “Tilly’s ex boyfriend ended up having to work that whole weekend”, so it “seemed weird that the Bimbettes would be hanging out with Belle and Adam and seemed more realistic that they would be following Gaston who’s following Belle”.

Chay didn’t mind though, as “he loves Gaston” and according to Cait has the “attitude and mannerisms to pull him off” but “in the best way”, of course!

Unsurprisingly, Cait is also definitely looking forward to the live action Beauty and the Beast:

“The latest trailer that came out made me a bit emotional. We get nostalgia really bad, it’s a curse! It’s the whole being reminded of being little. I think I also get a bit more emotional over things once I’ve cosplayed them. Chay of course is obsessed with the new Gaston design…”

I think now is a good time to say that being this awesome at cosplay and posing for stunning photographs does come up with its risks, especially when British weather gets involved in your shoot! As Cait said, it was “absolute freezing” during the Laura Beresford Belle shoot, “but it was worth it”.

Cold Cait[Image: Laura Beresford Photography]

Belle 4It was so totally worth it though. [Image: Laura Beresford Photography]

However, it helped that it was Laura taking the photographs, as they’ve known each other for a long time, and they stopped to “have a lot of fun which helped!”. Though “the best part was the few random passers by who stopped to take photos from a distance”.

Cait said that overall her favourite ever Disney couple is Flynn and Rapunzel, which is also the cosplay of theirs which has got the biggest response, as their “Instagram account was very small” until they “posted some quick WIP (Work in Progress) shots of the new wig I was making”. The image “got over 1k likes and to us that was insane!”.

She said that she would cosplay as Belle again however, but “probably not to London MCM again but I’ve always wanted to go to a Midlands expo, or perhaps a smaller London con”.

Their next convention Cait and Chay will be attending is MCM London Comic Con in May!

And their cosplay plans for the future are definitely numerous so prepared to be delighted!

“We’re currently working on Jolly Holiday Mary Poppins and Bert, and remaking our Rapunzel and Flynn Rider cosplays. After that, we’re planning on making Captain Amelia and Jim Hawkins from Treasure Planet and Elizabeth and Will from Pirates of the Caribbean. Chay wants to try his hand at making Doctor Strange, so when he’s doing that I’ll most likely make Jane from Tarzan”.

Be sure to check out their Instagram to keep up with their progress and get yourself inspired and ready to see Beauty and the Beast!

CaitBelle13[Image: Laura Beresford Photography]

CaitBelle6[Image: Laura Beresford Photography]

CaitBelle7SH[Image: Laura Beresford Photography]