How to create the perfect holiday feed on Instagram

Do you ever scroll through Instagram, come across a holiday picture, click on their profile and find that their holiday feed is aesthetically perfect? Well, me too. A holiday feed is made up of a variety of pictures, which could include scenery, food and outfits; they are also all carefully uploaded to complement each other on your profile page. The great thing about a good feed is that not only does it show off your holiday to the extreme, but it can make you look more exciting.

 

 

So, have you got some holiday pictures that haven’t made it to the gram? Or going somewhere soon and want to showcase it perfectly? Well, scroll below to see my top tips to getting that perfect feed.

 

  1. Variety of pictures.

Avoid uploading loads of pictures of yourself consecutively. As I said before, a holiday feed contains all types of pictures, such as from the food you have eaten, to the views you encounter. You can still include pictures of yourself, whether outfit pictures or selfies, just make sure your feed shows variety – perhaps by posting a food picture followed by a picture of a beach.

 

2. Colours

It’s important to have photos with the same colours scheme. You will find it easier to compliment the photos – e.g. a blue sky will go great with blue waves. You can see the effect below.

 

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to use the filters.

The Instagram filters can help your photos attain the same colour. I tend to use the newer filters, as they don’t affect the quality of the photo so much – my favourites are Aden and Slumber. I also reduce their impact; normally I use between 25%-50% of the filter.

 

4. Editing.

As well as the filters, you have a variety of edit options, such as adjusting the brightness, or increasing the warmth of the photo. Don’t neglect these options as they can bring your photos even more to life, especially when you’re taking them on your phone. They can intensify skies or buildings and bring more contrast to your photos in general.

 

  1. If it doesn’t fit, delete it.

You don’t have to keep a photo once you have uploaded it. If it doesn’t fit straight away, delete it. If it doesn’t fit later on with your newer pictures, archive it. It’s a trial and error process. You can also save it as a draft first to see what it will look like as a small square. Daria from justobreathe.com recommended the app Planoly to me, which allows you to see what a photo would look like on your feed without uploading it, which is really useful too.

 

Hope this helps!

Is Hollywood Sexist When It Comes to Lead Roles?

How would you feel if you were matched with someone more than 10 or 20 years older than you? This is the feeling many actresses face. It has become very common in Hollywood films for male leads to be older than their female leads, especially when it comes to love interests.

Magic in the Moonlight (2014) stars Colin Firth, 56. His love interest: Emma Stone, 28 – an astonishing 28 years in between them. When Colin Firth was Emma Stone’s age, she was being born!

And there are many more examples: Pretty Woman (1990) stars Richard Gere who was 18 years older than his love interest Julia Roberts. Angelina Jolie in Mr and Mrs Smith (2005) was 12 years younger than on-screen husband Brad Pitt. Silver Linings Playbook (2012) showed the relationship between Bradley Cooper, 42, and Jennifer Lawrence, 26. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) had an age gap of 16 years between Leonardo DiCaprio, 42, and Margot Robbie, 26.

Even more recently: Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) stars Tom Cruise, 55, alongside his female co-star Rebecca Ferguson, 33. Passengers (2016) stars Jennifer Lawrence who is 26, 11 years younger than Chris Pratt, 37. In Office Christmas Party (2016) Jason Bateman’s love interest Olivia Munn is 12 years younger than him.

So, the questions that begin to arise are: Why are many female leads significantly younger than their male co-stars? Is Hollywood sexist when it comes to lead roles?

Amy Schumer addressed these issues through her satire sketch: ‘Last Fuckable Day’. It stars herself alongside notable actresses Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Patricia Arquette. They celebrate Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ ‘last fuckable day’, a term used to describe the time when the media decide when an actress is no longer seen as ‘fuckable’ to the public eye.

Tina Fey uses examples such as actress Sally Field, who had played Tom Hanks’ love interest in Punchline (1988) yet six years later she played the role of Tom Hanks’ mother in Forrest Gump (1994). She implies that as she had aged, she had lost the ability to be believably sexy and attractive to the audience. Then all three actresses state that they had recently auditioned for the role of ‘Mrs Claus’.

This suggests that the age gaps between male and female leads are due to female actresses not being believably sexy at an older age.

Suicide Squad (2016) portrayed the dark relationship between Harley Quinn and The Joker. The characters were admired globally on social media for their homicidal love, yet Jared Leto is just under 20 years older than Margot Robbie.

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Margot Robbie and Jared Leto at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con International, Image Gage Skidmore on Flickr, Creative Commons licence.

However, despite being 45, Jared Leto was still rated 29th in Glamour’s Most 100 Sexiest Men 2016 – not to mention Chris Pratt, 37, was rated 18th also. This links to the next issue raised in Amy Schumer’s sketch: Men are sexy no matter how old they are. For Harley Quinn to be sexy, her actress had to be in her twenties, yet The Joker’s actor was allowed to be in his forties.

Nonetheless, it has to be said that not all Hollywood films do display an age gap – one being The Hunger Games film series (2012-2015). Jennifer Lawrence, the main protagonist of the film, is 26; she is older than love interest Josh Hutcherson, 24, and one year younger than her other love interest Liam Hemsworth, 27.

Rebecca Ferguson is significantly younger than Tom Cruise in 2015’s Mission Impossible film, yet she is not sexualised and her age does not deteriorate her character’s strengths and power. Kenneth Turan’s review highlights this: “Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson brings a bit of unexpected maturity and substance to the role of the inscrutable Ilsa Faust, an individual who is fully Hunt’s (Tom Cruise) equal, and then some, in derring-do. Yes, she has a scene in a black bikini, but you’d better believe she is wearing it for an operational reason.”

But…

The Hunger Games’ main protagonist was a female who was supposed to be 16, with Josh Hutcherson’s character to be the same age and Liam Hemsworth’s character to be two years older. There were no distinctive age gaps because the film was based on a teen novel and they contextually had to all be around the same age.

Furthermore, Rebecca’s Ferguson portrayed her character well, but it does not excuse the fact that she is 22 years younger than Tom Cruise. Would she had gotten the role as Ilsa Faust if she was ten years older?

Let’s compare to Jennifer Aniston’s most recent roles, who is 48. She starred in Office Christmas Party (2016), as the bitchy older sister – no love interests – and what’s even more ironic is her role as a divorced mother whose husband remarries a younger woman in Mother’s Day (2016) (perhaps the film was predicting Jennifer Aniston’s career; she can’t be seen as sexy anymore so will be dropped for a younger actress).

Ultimately, this infers that once women hit a certain age, in their forties or fifties, they are not seen as attractive by the media. So Rebecca Ferguson getting the part if she was ten years older can be seen as highly doubtful. It is suggested that Hollywood films employ younger actresses to draw more attention and sell more tickets – even if Suicide Squad’s audience at its premier screening was 46% female.

Equal pay is not the only issue actresses face – they are battling equal representation and the end of superficial stereotypes. Is Hollywood sexist by hiring significantly younger actresses? Judging by the amount of films, it certainly comes across that way. One can only wait for the day when middle-aged male leads having female leads or love interests more or less their same age becomes more common in the Hollywood film industry.

 

I stopped wearing makeup for a week

Photo: Manu Camargo.

Some of you may be thinking: ‘a week without makeup? That’s not hard at all.’ But the reality is a lot of us rely on makeup and skincare products on a daily basis. Not everyone goes out with heaps of makeup on. Sometimes it might not even be noticeable on people; you may not see that someone has applied concealer to cover up tired eyes and brighten their face, or drawn over their eyebrows faintly with a natural shade. Whether its over-the-top or natural, is makeup really necessary?

For me personally, I like the art of makeup and like to think of it as a skill. I like it when people give me compliments on how well my contour is blended or the ‘fleekiness’ of my eyebrows. I would not say it is a necessity, but a hobby that many have proven to be very good at.

I decided it was time to follow in the footsteps of Alicia Keys who recently stopped wearing makeup as a message to herself and others that self-confidence is vital.

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Her reasons were explained in Cosmopolitan Magazine:

“Women are brainwashed into feeling like we have to be skinny, or sexy, or desirable, or perfect. One of the many things I was tired of was the constant judgment of women. The constant stereotyping through every medium that makes us feel like being a normal size is not normal, and heaven forbid if you’re plus-size. Or the constant message that being sexy means being naked.”

“Every time I left the house, I would be worried if I didn’t put on makeup: What if someone wanted a picture?? What if they POSTED it??? These were the insecure, superficial, but honest thoughts I was thinking. And all of it, one way or another, was based too much on what other people thought of me.”

I used to think like that – not in the sense that someone would take a picture – seeing someone I knew barefaced. The thought ‘what would they think?’ would run continuously through my mind. I was never the girl who would wear layers of foundation – in fact it is only recently that I have added foundation into my daily routine (read previous blog post); I would always wear mascara and concealer, and tragically when I was around 14-16, I was obsessed with thick, black eyeliner (which looking back looked way too bold on me). I felt conscious of having tired eyes up until the age of 18, where I uncovered a new sense of confidence in myself thanks to new friends and teachers. I stopped wearing mascara to my sixth form. Instead, I would just wear a bb cream and a small amount of concealer under my eyes. That was it. I thought to myself: who am I trying to impress? And the answer was: no one. Makeup should not be used to impress anyone but yourself. I know I do not have to wear makeup to ‘please’ other people, which is exactly why I was confident enough to go a week without wearing any product on my face- not even on my eyebrows.

My week was actually very active. I started on Tuesday 10th, which involved me visiting my nan and then going to a dermatologist appointment in the evening. The next two following days I was working at Accessorize in the City, but that did not affect my decision; in fact, I felt more self-confident and pleased with myself. On the Saturday I visited my boyfriend – which made no difference as he has probably seen me more without makeup. Monday came and I went back to uni (only for a revision session) and enlightened them also with my bare face. And finally, I had work again on the Tuesday.

Overall, I think the most surprising outcome of the week was the fact that nobody noticed. Nobody. No one commented and it made no difference to any of my usual activities. I felt empowered without makeup in the sense that I can be just as confident with a completely natural face as I am with wearing makeup. And this is the message I want to get across: wear makeup for you, and only you. Wear it or do not wear it. It makes no difference to who you are. Do not shame someone for not wearing it and do not shame someone for wearing too much. It makes no difference to their personality and it has nothing to do with anyone else. The key to true beauty is self-confidence and I hope this post helps you endeavour into finding confidence in yourself.