Kiss with Pride

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Absolut has always held strong links the the LGBTQ community. (In fact, the first thing that springs to mind for me is their sponsorship of RuPaul’s Drag race but that probably says more about me than anything else). However, the Kiss with Pride campaign has been created not only to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, but also to spread an awareness of the 72 countries where homosexuality is still illegal.

Photographer Sam Bradly expressed his interest believing it simply to be ‘pure idea’. Additionally, although it was an advertisement campaign it also felt ‘natural and true’. This was reflected in the aims set out by Absolut to allow people to express their freedom.

The advert itself will be place in news and lifestyle magazines all over the world. However, they have also created the #kisswithpride Snapchat filter which will donate £1 to Stonewall every time it’s used.

This campaign was sparked by their short film ‘Equal Love’. Check it out below…

#bleedingwhiletrans

Transgender rights have been at the forefront of the media of late, with a lot of negative aspects surrounding equal rights. Subsequently, today here at VinylOctopus we thought we’d take a look at barriers concerning the transgender community being broken down [instead of put up].

Washington artist Cass Clemmer identifies as being transgender and non binary and recently posted a photo of ‘free bleeding’ online which sparked controversy. The image, uploaded to Instagram, depicts Cass sat on a bench bleeding through their trousers whilst holding the sign ‘periods are not just for women’ followed by the hashtag #bleedingwhiletrans.

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This explores the taboo of transgender individuals menstruating and hits this particular stigma head on. In addition to this, Clemmer had created the Instagram character of ‘Toni the tampon’ which aims to tackle the issues people face understanding their bodies and to avoid the conflicts they at feel with themselves over the issue of gender.

We believe Cass is working towards addressing a really important issue here and really have to commend them. Keep up the good work!

Breaking down the walls of gender

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Fashion is truly ever changing. 27 year old, professional firefighter turned model, Rain Dove is at the forefront, challenging the concept of gender through clothing. It began simply from losing a bet with a friend in which she had to go to the Calvin Klein casting call. Rain was even more surprised when she got a call back as she’d been mistaken for a man.

She explains ‘not only did the cast me for a men’s show but it was for a men’s underwear show’. Not only did she decide to do it – she decided to do it topless!

This saw the launch of her career! However,she still faced a lot of rejection for her appearance which did not clearly fit into one gender role. Rain explains how the fashion industry tried to encourage her to be ‘more like’ the gender they were aiming their campaign towards.

However, due to Rain’s size, height and dimensions she does not typically conform to traditional men’s and women’s clothing sizes. Although she also refuses to change her body proportions or shave, which has resulted in her having to turn down some high-profile jobs. Im spite of this, it clearly hasn’t affected her career too greatly as she has still worked for huge industry names such as Elle and Vogue, without compromising her own identity.

However, this definite divide in gender within fashion could be coming to an end as designers such as Burberry and Julian MacDonald are now combining men’s and women’s wear in their shows. But through this Dove expresses that gender fluidity should not be a trend or a gimmick but designers should be actively trying to break down walls.

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Personally, we have to take out hat off to Rain who is truly carving a path within the fashion world so that others can follow and not face the same hostility.

Let us know what you think…
Do you think clothing will ever be entirely gender neutral?

Sex Sells

Fashion has always been at the forefront of pushing boundaries within society. However, some could debate it sometimes goes too far.

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Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta of fashion brand Eckhaus Latta caused a stir with their 2017 Spring/Summer campaign. This depicted real images of couples having sex with strategically blurred out sections. Eckhaus Latta explains that they wanted to explore the connections between sexuality, relationships and fashion, whilst mirroring the age old notation that ‘sex sells’.

Furthermore, they wanted the images to look as true as possible, explaining that the sweat you see between the participants is exactly that, not oil or a camera trick, but exactly what it appears. They go on to elaborate that the only intervention they had throughout the shoot were small things, such as moving hair or an arm so the ‘sex’ could be seen clearly.

They go in to explain one of the hardest parts was finding people to take part with people struggling to see the relation to clothes.

What do you thing about their advertising campaign?
Did it grab your attention?
Would you buy their clothing?

Let us know…

Is it cheating?

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For gay men talking to other gay men online has never been easier. Through apps such ad Grindr, Scruff and hornet (just to name a few….and that really is the tip of the iceberg) a conversation with another gay guy is merely a click away. Because of this convenience and accessibility, the lines of what can be perceived as cheating have, for some people, become blurred, so much so that the question is often posed; is it actually cheating?

It’s a difficult one. I pose the scenario, for example, you have been talking to a guy on Grindr, it’s a bit flirty but you have no intention of sleeping with him. He might even send you photo but you won’t send one back. But like I said, you don’t plan on meeting up…so is it cheating?

I guess, one way to look at it would be how would you feel? Would you be fine if your partner were doing the same? But this has one crucial fault at the end of the day…your partner isn’t you! In fact they can be entirely different, opposite in every way. Just because you would be fine with them flirting wth others doesn’t mean it would be the same if the shoe were on the other foot.

Possibly, the only way to truly understand would be to ask your partner what they actually think. Find out from the horse’s mouth as it were. Then surely it couldn’t be misconstrued.

However, intent can also play a huge factor. If you do not intend to meet up or actually do/send anything than how does it differ from merely window shopping on Instagram, or checking a guy out in the street. Possibly, when you introduce the element of intent to go out of your way to do something, then maybe a line would be crossed.

All in all, relationships in general, with the rise of social media and apps aimed at casual encounters muddy the waters, making it extremely difficult to define was is and not OK.

Let us know what you think…
Where is the line?

Waste not, Want not

Occasionally we love to just show you all something cool if we stumble across it, which is exactly what’s happened here so bear with us people.

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In the UK alone, over 34 million water bottles are used every day with only around 50% of them being recycles which in turn has a huge impact on the environment. However, to combat this Skipping Rocks Lab have created ‘OOHO’.

‘OOHO’ is an edible alternative to plastic bottles. It’s formed of a flexible spherical membrane created from seaweed and contains a liquid mix of water, chloride and brown algae extract which aims to hydrate whilst remaining tasty.

Each water module has a shelf life of between 4 – 6 weeks before it begins to decompose, much like a piece of fruit. However, they can be coloured and flavoured in a variety of different combinations. Additionally, they are cheaper to produce than plastic. Although, currently, they are only available at select events although, we expect they could have the potential to become part of our everyday lives.

What do you guys think?

Take a look at the video below to find out more…

Barbie is back, Bitch!

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Barbie has in itself become an iconic image ever since she first launched in the 1959. 1990 in fact, saw the release of the best selling barbie doll. She was created with her signature cascading long platinum blonde hair, white skin, long slender legs and of course that teeny tiny vanishing waist that has since become synonymous with the doll brand.

However, jump forward 16 years and Barbie’s best selling doll is very different.  2016 saw the release of the popular fashionista doll which was not only was Latina, but with a much curvier figure and was brunette, as supposed to the white blonde legacy that had preceded her. However, as successful as her sales were she was a one off doll with a limited release.

In spite of this, over the past 2 years sales at Mattel (the manufacturers of Barbie) have been declining, with consumers pushing for diversity within the range, moving away from the stereotypical image that has since become the brands identity.

Vice President Lisa Mcknght established that ‘the brand was losing relevance’ and had to ‘change the conversation’ to keep with with the customers changing viewpoints. Subsequently, they revamped the fashionista line to include a range of skin tones, hair colours and introduced ‘flat feet’ instead of the constantly contorted feet which allowed barbie to always wear high heeled shoes. This change of brand worked, as 2016 became the first in several years that the sales of Barbie did not suffer a decline.

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Mattel had since made a very conscious effort to change its image and is contributing to do so. 2017 will see the release of a bigger range including a tall African American doll with an Afro, as well as a red headed petite girl and a blue haired doll. Additionally their will be 10 skin tones, 4 body types and 15 various hairstyles to ensure their dolls diversity reflects that of women in real life.

So its clear to see that Barbie is changing. No longer will the public be confronted by an impossible standard of the female form but instead with  more realistic images, that truly represent the diversity of women and their bodies. The next few years will be interesting!