BRGR, Arrested Development, Macklemore and ‘bikini bodies’:

28 May

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I can’t sleep at night and in the morning I can’t wake up. I admit, it’s a problem. It’s also been making me quite run down, to the point that I ACTUALLY GOT ILL LAST WEEK. I’m usually one of those people who brags about ‘never getting ill’ but irritatingly my body caved and I took a few days off work. I slept, solidly – a full 10 hours each night – for two nights and by the third day I was feeling far better. Seriously, I feel like spending my entire life asleep wouldn’t be a waste in any way. Plus my bed is so darn comfy.

Anyway, moving on. You’d think having two days in bed feeling sorry for myself would have spurred me on to have an amazing weekend when I did finally feel better. Whereas everyone else seemed to cram about 2 weeks worth of activities into one long weekend, I sat around and watched TV. Oh, but not just ANY TV. I watched, like so many others, Arrested Development Season 4 on Netflix. But onto that later. For now, I’ll just catch you up on where I’ve been eating, what I’ve been doing and what I’ve been thinking. You lucky folks, you.

EAT: I went to BRGR with my old work colleagues the other week and I was very drunk. True, not the greatest start to a review you’ll have ever heard, but I believe honestly is the best policy. There are a few BRGR’s in London but (as per usual) I ended up in Soho.

Now, I have started to believe myself to be something of a burger expert. I’ve visited the famous, the not so famous and the infamous burger places of London, so believe me when I say I have a vague idea of what I’m talking about when it comes to a great burger and fries (well, chicken/veggie burgers, but they still totally count before you start rolling your eyes).

brgr

BRGR is good. Better than Byron but it’s still nothing particularly special. Don’t get me wrong: the food was delicious, however if you’re looking for something that really packs a punch and that you won’t forget, BRGR is not the place for you. However, if you want a restaurant with a great atmosphere, that’s reasonably affordable and gives you great quality food, then BRGR is a safe bet. I’m no hipster, but I admit, I like my Soho eateries with a bit of quirk and something a little special on the menu (Patty&Bun put Kimchi in their burger and Meatliquor’s sides are to DIE for).

As I said, there’s nothing wrong at ALL with the food BRGR are serving up. The fries are fries… nice, but nothing special – that is until you order the cheesy fries and then they’re in a league of their own. The chicken burger had the perfect amount of mayo and salad and the chicken was cooked well – not too rubbery or hard. Overall, very yummy. Also, it won’t set you back too much either: I paid around £12 for my burger and fries. As you can see, you get a lotta fries for your buck too. The staff were nice, the atmosphere was good and the food can’t be faulted (unfortunately, as I’ve said, I expect a LOT from a London burger nowadays – this is BRGR’s only downfall though!) Perfect for a date, a meal with friends or, what the hell, admit you have a family and take them there too.

SEE: Ok, now I can move on to Arrested Development. I don’t want to ruin it for those of you who haven’t seen it, but get past the first three or four episodes and it all starts to fall into place. True, this is not a London specific activity, but if you have a good sense of humour then you’ll appreciate the show: and if you didn’t already know about it, you’ll be forever in my debt when you realise how great it is.

Arrested Development works on so many levels: the jokes at times are obvious, or even puerile, but each character is SO well rounded that, despite the fact they’re all egomaniac money-grabbers (c’mon, even Michael from time to time) you can’t help but adore them. You can thank Arrested Development for the greatest running gags (‘…her?’, ‘NO TOUCHING’, ‘I just blew myself’ and ‘loose seal’ are but a few) and as so many of the jokes are based on language and miscommunication, the script is always sharp. All four seasons are currently on Netflix – and you can ever get a free month’s trial at the moment, so you have no excuse.

LISTEN: I first heard about Macklemore around 3 years ago. I heard one song, liked it and then swiftly forgot about it. Then, my friend Ryan showed me the video to Thrift Shop about 2 years ago: the song had all the comedy value of the Lonely Island (when they were good) but communicated a sentiment I could COMPLETELY get behind, and also had a killer hip hop beat. Despite the fact they’re now hugely successful, which means bratty Radio 1 kids buying up tickets to their shows, I still had to go and see them live last night.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are appealing for many reasons aside from the catchy tunes that they are currently producing. They achieved success independent from a record label: type ‘independent rapper’ into Google and you’ll find plenty of stories about how they called all the shots themselves and worked hard to get where they are today. Their ideological standpoint is also something which makes them stand out from the crowd, and it’s a huge reason why the crowd are so pumped to see them.

Thrift Shop calls out designer clothing and the ridiculousness of it all (“$50 for a t-shirt?… That’s what I call getting tricked by a business”), Wing$ encourages us not to form our identities and any sense of worth around brands and our possessions and Same Love is a song for the current gay rights ‘movement’: the song is more poignant than ever in the light of marriage equality across the world coming under review. “It’s human rights for everybody there is no difference“. I fell in love with the song, not only because it spells out so clearly what’s so fucked up about homophobia and gay stereotypes, but also because Macklemore, as a hip hop artist, even criticises his own genre for perpetuating homophobia.

For Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, last night was about more than putting on a great show, it’s about communicating something really important. At the end of Same Love people in the crowd are cheering, holding hands – some are even close to tears. Shouldn’t that be what music does to a person? If you haven’t heard it, listen to Same Love and just TRY to tell me that people shouldn’t be able to love whichever sex they want. I dare ya.

LOVE: Ugh, if I hear the words ‘bikini body’ one more time I’ll scream. SERIOUSLY. I found this image and think it’s great:

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Hadley Freeman addresses the ridiculousness of getting a bikini body in her article for the Guardian. This is her advice:

“1. Take one body, probably yours.

2. Take one bikini, probably yours.

3. Put bikini on body.

4. Go to pool, beach or other bikini-meriting place. (No, the park does not count. To be discussed another week.)

6. The end.”

At the end of the day it’s YOUR BODY. Who gives a fuck if no one else on the beach/by the poor/in the park likes it? They don’t need to look and quite frankly, they shouldn’t be judging anyway. The slimmest girls I know all have cellulite, all have a roll of fat SOMEWHERE and they all stress and diet like there’s no tomorrow. It’s really sad. I used to be the same, but then last year something in me just snapped and I realised so long as I’m cool with my body, who cares, right? If a guy doesn’t like my body, then he ain’t the guy for me. If a random stranger doesn’t like my body… so? Since when do I care about the opinions of people I don’t know when it comes to my body? Eeeeeexactly.

Ladies, and gents: chill out. In the same way you put on your undies each day and don’t stress too much about it, do the same with a bikini or swimming trunks. At the end of the day, it’s just flesh and fat. We’re all made of the same stuff, just slightly different amounts of it.

Personally, I’m not a fan of the skin and bones look the glamour magazines push on us anyway. I have no idea who the woman above is, but her body is absolutely beautiful. Plus I just love the GIF, so sensual. She looks soft and curvy and NORMAL. No fake tan, fake boobs… just a regular ol’ body. She has big thighs with a hint of cellulite. It doesn’t seem to be stopping her: so don’t let it stop you either.

And remember: the sexiest thing in the world is self-confidence.

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