My Melancholy Life by Mimielle

Counterculture –vs- Subculture, a small conversation with myself

Hey Addicts, Mimielle here from Mimielle.net and I hope the Season of the Curses, unlucky 13 is not setting you back this spring. With Mercury finally out of retrograde now our communications should have become a lot clearer but it’s still good to take some time to think about our words, their meanings, their definitions and most of all their effect and impact…on ourselves, on others…even the words we use in our thoughts to our secret selves have a very big effect.  Choose them carefully if you want the magic of change from within to really take hold and if you are looking to take control of your own destiny, especially if you tend to sometimes feel ‘battered by the fates, unlucky or even yes, maybe cursed.

Today I was thinking about alternative cultures…meaning the walks of life of all kinds that do not quite cleave to the norms or march to the beat of the mainstream…maybe some are only a little different, some are definitely a lot, maybe some are more about style, likes and dislikes, the more superficial differences and then some are more fundamental to our very identity. So when it is a subculture and when are we counterculture revolutionaries, and when is it right to be so and when is it maybe not so important to expend the extra energy on? Let’s take a look:

First I pondered on the word culture itself….

Within society, culture is defined in several ways:

The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.

The ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.

 A refined understanding or appreciation of culture.

The attitudes and behaviour characteristic of a particular social group.

So what is the difference between a subculture and a counterculture and why are they important to both define and note the distinction?

Let’s again define…

A subculture is “A cultural group within a larger culture, often having beliefs or interests at variance with those of the larger culture.”

Whereas a Counterculture is “A way of life and set of attitudes opposed to or at variance with the prevailing social norm.”

(all definitions were taken from the Oxford Living Dictionary.)

So…because a counter-culture implies an actual opposition, covert or overt, it expends a LOT more energy than just a belief or interest, a fashion or even a different lifestyle as defined by a subculture. A person with a subcultural difference can more often still get along in the mainstream world much easier than one with countercultural beliefs, feelings or even a way of being that runs countercultural to the main culture where they live. What does this all mean in a nutshell?

Several things. First of all, hate crimes know no bounds or neat definitions and examples like Sophie Lancaster’s murder began conversations that are still going on.  There is no easy answer to this just a lot of questions that are important to keep asking ourselves, our family and friends and our society

  People with a countercultural foundation belief or state of being often feel as if they have to fight to even have the right to be heard or acknowledged at all or sometimes to even BE at all.

On the other hands, subcultural ennui runs rampant, running the gamut from triviealizing things via meaninglless shouting matches onthe internet to having quiet converasions that may contain the seeds of change.  We do everything from get really angry and lobby and write letters, sometimes we shrug it off, sometimes we write poetry, make art, write plays and dramas about it in order to both act it out n the public arena and to be heard in a creative way, to make an act of revolution in a small way.

The ennui can also be really strong and the feeling of being misunderstood or not heard, a huge influencing factor in our everyday lives but I still do *personally* not think it is not the same as someone who had a countercultural belief or state of being which makes their actual everyday life much more difficult. I have avoided examples because I do not have a strong countercultural standpoint in my life, just a very strong subcultural one. But I have empathy for my friends and loved ones who do live countercultural lives every day, not usually by choice of their own making and I see their struggle and I know it goes deeper than MY own subculture feelings of “other-ness” or “outsider-ness” because I can still blend in if I CHOOSE to without compromising who I am or my core beliefs. Many countercultural revolutionaries cannot. Does that mean the feeling of outsider-ness or other-ness we feel as members of a subculture are diminished? Of course not. At minimum, we have all gotten ‘the look’, the eyeroll, the stares, heard the whispers, maybe been challenged. But I believe turning out in our everyday lives with our subcultural signals is an important part of letting mainstream culture know that the differences, great or small are important.

What do you think, Addicts, when you have the chance to stand out and stand strong, do you take it? I encourage you too. Not to be unsafe or to endanger yourself or others but to push the envelope, to widen that main stream into a bigger river that someday maybe can include us all as we are and as we need and want to be. No matter your sub, counter or mainstream culture Addicts, stay strong and stay beautiful.

The previous column is a lifestyle and opinion piece and reflects the personal opinions and thoughts of Mimielle and doesn’t represent horroraddicts.net or the other staff members. In this lifestyle column, from time to time, controversy can (and should) erupt and we welcome frank and open discussion and comments as long as everyone remains respectful and civil to one another.

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My Melancholy Life by Mimielle

 

Hey Addicts, Mimielle of the mimielle.net here and I’m so glad to be joining the cast for season 13 “Curse of the Deadline”, I’m calling it! I will have a lot to report on this season including fashion events my fashion picks and reports from the world of Normie fashion. Also, the renaissance of DIY fashion in the blog-o-sphere as I recommend some amazing fashion and DIY YouTubers. The Wickeds, HorrorAddict’s own Wicked Women Writers group has started meeting at a virtual world HQ for HorroAddicts.net in new Babbage, one of the premiere Steampunks estates. Here is the address if you would like to dive into the virtual world to join us!

I’ll additionally be reporting on a horror genre screenwriting workshop as sponsored by Horroraddicts.net and the Wickeds which began April 12.
In a cozy headquarters, you’ll find that the tea is on, the absinthe is louching, the bookshelves are filling up and we have room for fellow Horror authors and those in related genres to put out their books with excerpts, illustrations and a web link to share. When they say that the virtual worlds are a whole new and different place they mean it, and Second Life is a great place to discover creativity of yours and other people’s.

I have started checking the humidity reports as spring and my ball jointed dolls are calling for some painting and the sealants are finicky. Try explaining that to an impatient doll waiting for her face to be painted so her story can be told!

On the real-life side of my social milieu, I will be attending Paradiso a Woodland Arcadia as a VIP in May as well as securing our season tickets to the Kansas City Ballet. We will see Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, Lady of the Camellias and more. Hopefully trips to Kansas City will also include some Lolita fashion meets and Goth nights with the Kansas City Goths and the Absinthe and Poetry Society, The Wormwood Collective. I have some plans to read there this summer. At home, I’m in charge of planning the twice-yearly International Lolita Day outings in June and December. So I will be scouting out local tea, brunch and sweets places so we can venture forth in our frills and I will report to you on everything.

It’s going to be a full and fun season, Addicts. So I hope you’ll come along and watch your step! The Curse of Season 13 is upon us!

My Melancholy Life: CONTROVERSY ISN’T BEAUTIFUL

MyMelancholyLife

So…CONTROVERSY.

Does it seem like some kind of fussing is just everywhere this summer? I mean more than usual even?

It’s the hottest part of the summer here and people are bored so they talk. (and talk and talk). Online, at the coffee shop, in line at the store, at the PokéStop.

controversyoutline2

When the temperatures climb, it seems tempers get shorter and among the wonderments that the internet has brought us in its bag of the cheaper techno-tricks is much more immediate and free access to global gossip.

A 24 hour Entertainment Weekly style of gossip-mongering inundates YouTube and everyone will agree at least to an extent that Tumblr is a mess. Kat von D (and others) called out Jeffree Star who had called out Kylie Jenner earlier in the month. It’s really been a smorgasbord at the Celebrity Circus this July (even leaving OUT the politics!)…

Shots are fired with call-outs, then everyone responds, and then replies to the responses. I have not seen this much kerfuffle since the Lime Crime/Doe Deere scandals.

Behavior, makeup quality, CONTROVERSY! I follow some beauty vloggers but most of the people I like are too busy hauling new products, reviewing summer goodies and anticipating the fall and holiday 2016 collections to get involved in the gossip. My current faves are Lisa Eldridge (professionalism and technique), Tarababyz (for epic hauls). But there are ALSO the entire channels that have popped up to just dish the gossip, spill the tea, read people so harshly and throw a bunch of shade in every direction in the form of ‘having an opinion’.

When did that happen and why are we watching them? Epic views for nothing really more than…mean gossip dished daily? No, I draw the line at this. Maybe you will too after you think about it.

It hit the Gothic community too this month, over a video “40 Years of Goth Style (in under 4 minutes)”, and the responses and replies to replies. Yes, I also have my opinion about it but no, I really don’t think it merits a video response for people to watch me reacting to it. I’d rather people formed their own opinions from the source, and then discuss them with me. I have toyed with starting a makeup review and alt lifestyle YouTube channel but I really question the content when videos are actually reactions to the source of anything and nothing more than opinion. Possibly helpful when choosing a lipstick or a salad recipe, deadly when forming our actual opinions, views and outlooks about anything very important simply because it IS second hand news, filtered through the reaction of another person first. I can’t get behind that.

If there is anything I have personally learned from seeing these controversies, opinions and reactions come and go is that what I sometimes take away from it has an effect on me. On my mood, on my outlook and on my general way of seeing things. Garbage in, garbage out, so they say.

I DO think it is important to be informed about many things, including being a well-informed consumer and supporting (or not) those people and businesses whose belief and values align with our own to a certain extent but I also feel there is a point when watching this ‘window on the world’ has become just another time-wasting bad habit to somehow get sucked into. It can seem too vivid and sometimes commands too much attention that it really doesn’t deserve when the things in our own lives really can benefit more from our attention. So I say, “Watch but watch wisely and in a limited and aware fashion, be choosey and think for yourself”. Do not just give your attention to these ‘controversies’ for the sake of the latest little tidbit of juicy gossip. It can steal your time and focus!

Mimielle sig, orange

**Some final words of caution for my fellow makeup mavens: Cheap Chinese products, the Ali Express and Ebay “dupes” for more expensive makeup like the Lime Crime Velvetines, many higher end eye shadow and face palettes and popular items like the Kylie Jenner Lip Kits can be tempting, it’s true. But they may or may NOT even be safe to use at all and there is really no way to tell since they are not governed by any cosmetic review board or agencies like the FDA in the US or the European Commission so please be cautious rather than sorry and search for your less expensive dupes at the drugstore or from trusted online companies. Indie brands and lesser known companies like Sugarpill, Notoriously Morbid, Violet Voss and Makeup Monster are amazing lately and Colorpop is fast becoming a trusted budget brand as well, with many great reviews on Temptalia.com.  NYX is a favorite around here, and they have amazing colors and good sales at Ulta. Ingredient labels on products from Ali Express and similar selling agencies may or may NOT even be truthful since they just copy a photo of the packaging so there is no guarantee those cosmetic copy ingredients are even safe to use on your skin, especially on your lips and eyes. Not worth the risk.

 

My Melancholy Life: Amuse Bouche ~ 2 Lolita Fashion Bites

An amuse-bouche [aˌmyzˈbuʃ] (plural amuse-bouches) is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre. Amuse-bouches are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons, but are served gratis and according to the chef’s selection alone. These, often accompanied by a complementing wine, are served both to prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef’s approach to the art of cuisine.

The ‘definition’ has escaped and has been expanded to refer to everything from a little bit of morning sex (see Urban Dictionary) to a lipstick line from Bite Beauty. Basically  a small amount of something that is not enough to satisfy but intended to tease your interest before the main event. I’m going to use it to introduce (but not wax rhapsodic) about some diverse subjects from my hobbies and personal experiences here in my column so I hope you will enjoy it! I am always happy to provide further information so please feel free to ask for further details in a letter to HorrorAddicts@gmail.com. The staff always loves to hear from podcast listeners and all our readers out there.

 

As always, controversy and ‘ruffle kerfluffle’ has erupted in the Lolita Community over the generalizing in the shortened version of this video posted  very recently by Refinery 29 on Facebook but for me, aside from a few points, this sums it up quite well in general terms for people who are not already involved in the fashions. Devotees love to debate the finer points such as “There is a definite section of males who wear Lolita as well”, “It is inspired by the Rococo period of history just as much if not more than by the Victorian period”  and also “It is not a costume” are a few comments I have seen as I glanced through.

This look, through a male eye, tells a somewhat similar but different story:

My fiance liked the second video and said it was pretty accurate. He wears formal modern clothing to accompany me to Lolita events, meets and teas locally in our private group of friends, at conventions and mostly to meet up with the Kansas City Lolita community, which we are both a happy part of . He was admiring the ensemble the host chose so it is fun to show another view of the fashion too. It’s also nice to clearly show that men have several options and most communities are welcoming if you choose to attend events and seek advice on what to wear (and how to behave) beforehand.

So there are two little tastes of Lolita Fashion for you. What is YOUR first impression when seeing Lolita Fashion? I’d love to hear your thoughts and descriptions, so please leave me a comment if you want to have a little chat! I’ll brew up a pot of tea and set the table…

Mimielle sig, orange

My Melancholy Life: Building an Alternative Capsule Wardrobe

MyMelancholyLife

 

This blog post plays well with my spot in podcast #127 so be sure to tune in for more ideas and chatter and as always, please feel free to mail any of us  questions or comments via horroraddicts@gmail.com. If you want me to answer specifically, please use  “Mimielle” somewhere in the subject line. We always LOVE to hear from you and can often provide several viewpoints and have a good discussion with other listeners, guests and just have fun!

So…on to the fashion talk session this time. A lookbook and DIY section are below, so hang tight after this intro!

Firstly, I mention in the podcast that for Pastel Goths and people who like to mix in lighter  colors, this and next year will be your year to find great pieces and accessories in the Pantone colors of the year, Rose Quartz and Serenity, a light pink and pale baby blue.

PANTONE-Color-of-the-Year-2016

 

pastel goth boot via buzzfeed

Pastel Goth Boots via Buzzfeed

Even for us black-lovers, these colors in crystals or gemstone accents can be beautiful so don’t write them off completely! You can read something about the beliefs in the healing and magical properties of simple beautiful rose quartz stones here.

rose quartz crystal

 

BUT…being the filthy enterprising opportunist that I am I thought, “What if WE alternative wardrobe wearers, seekers and even beginners could use this Normie technique to just sneakily change the way we dress to fit our own style. So between these concepts

  • Minimalism (reason getting rid of things you do not want to wear)

  • DIY (making some things feel more like things you DO want to wear)

  • ‘Tidying’ (another reason for getting rid of things you do not want to wear)

your new capsule wardrobe can be born.

Study up, then get to work, Addicts!

You’ll be fabulous on no time, I am certain of it!

div58

The Lookbook Section

pop of color

Basic Capsule Wardrobe

romantic summer goth

Romantic Summer Goth

strega

Strega

summer Nu-Goth

Summer Nu-Goth

vintage inspired

Vintage Inspired

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The DIY Section

This time we tackle the Jean Problem…fading blacks:

Black Avalanche for overdying your black jeans black again:

I know, I know that music is….well, have some crackers with that cheese bby. But…the technique is sound.

More in-depth tutorial from Rit Studio using the liquid version.

I also found a video for dying a leather purse…I’ll take on the challenge myself on an ugly-colored one from a thrift shop this summer and let you know  how THAT it goes!

When using dye, paint or doing any DIY, ALWAYS be sure you read the CLEAN UP instructions for sinks, your tools and the area, do not re-use the dying pots, utensils, tools or tubs for edibles and wear old clothes or…oops, clothes that you might not mind getting some black on, thereby re-creating the ‘dye and smile’ scenario over and over. It has been known to happen…

I am on the hunt for a dress I can DIY pastel, then use color remover then dye to black as well, that’s a neat trick I have been reading up on so hopefully I will have a lot to report on fashion-wise in our future!

RIT has a new formulation also released to DYE POLYESTER too!! Who knew?!?

More on that later too *makes a note*

 

You can pick up a copy of Horror Addict’s Guide to Life with many more of my tips, tricks and DIYs in addition to these  as well as get a used copy of Ms Kondo’s book  on Amazon while you are shopping (for about USD$6 these days by the way) or probably find it in a nearby library now that the demand for perfectly organized wardrobes is a little passé and we have moved back into our comfortable consumerism, already making our decorating haul lists for Halloween and gift lists for winter holidays.

But that article is for another day!

Mimielle sig, orange

 

My Melancholy Life: Some Resources and Information About Elder Goths

MyMelancholyLife

 

Hey Addicts, Mimielle here following up on one of the questions we received from June in Dead Mail recently June writes

” I feel like I am too old to turn Goth but I just realized I’ve been one all my life without dressing like that. Now that I am 53, I know that people will think I am odd dressing that way at my age. What can I do to ease into the style without freaking out my conservative friends?”

I had quite a bit to say in episode #126 and here are some of the followup links and resources I promised.

 

 

Here is a cross-section of goths over 30, many types, many looks and ways of self-expression!

 

Some capsule wardrobe ideas including pieces that can pass in the “normie” world as well~

Thrift them, shop your closet, have a friends clothing swap night, maybe they have some secret Goth-y things hiding away!

on wednesdays

 

capsule-wardrobe-all-black--640x489

 

The free walk-in beauty services my local Sephora currently offers that could all be done with a more Goth twist:

  • Smoky Eye, (dark and a bit dramatic)
  • Essential Eyeliner (ask for Gothic cat eyes)
  • Polished Brows (arch them!)
  • Flawless Foundation (the perfected base for anything else)

 

…and finally, a couple of shots of my ‘eldergoth’ look, from earlier this year. My main style is Gothic Lolita but I range afield into Shiro (white Goth) and yeah, I have me a Stevie Nicks poncho, boots and some swirly skirts too!

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mimi crystal bridges

To tell you a secret though, I do not feel any more ‘eldergoth’ now than I felt ‘baby-bat’ when I was young and using a sharpie as an eyeliner!

Lagniappe…how a good friend ‘sees’ me in her drawings 🙂

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Mimielle sig, orange

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to “My Melancholy Life”

MyMelancholyLife

Well…it isn’t really always so melancholy but it SOUNDS good right?

Maybe a bit nostalgic, hazy or romantic?

It might be any or all of those sometimes but it will also be my own personal take on any and everything I can find for us to divert, pervert or subvert to make our own dark and beautiful lifestyles more fulfilling, to experience and create, hints, tips and advice to actually help craft a lifestyle.

Emz, our dear and fearless leader did ask me how I would actually portray everything I do, as a lifestyle or in a topic that could encompass it all and she knows me better than I will admit when she came up with this title. I do have a wide range of interests and experience and we do travel to some strange and interesting places, often ranging far but sometimes without ever leaving home at all.

storm trooper

So I hope you will enjoy taking little trips with me! Fill a mug of tea or grab your coffee and perhaps steal a muffin or macaron to nibble and we will sort out and discuss all manner of things together. Would you like to look at my book on Victorian post-mortem photography? Would you like to see through my eyes, a strange and wonderful shop of oddities and hear about how I acquired my taxidermy duckling?

Do you want to learn which are the best false eyelashes and how to put them on or puzzle out some clever answers to those tiresome ‘normie’ questions like “Why is your hair pink?” I’m your girl. I will show you my doll collection this season, I have everything from a tiny Frozen Charlotte reproduction to a 90cm Ball Jointed gentleman doll and many in between. (A secret is I have lost count of exactly HOW many dolls live here with us!)  We will cut up some thrifted treasures and re-style them too, in photos, step-by-step! How about some photography tips to make your photos have a more Victorian or Vintage feel? Gotcha covered.

tintype finished

 

I have a couple of exciting interviews lined up too, one with a London gentleman who crafts very unusual corsets from very unique materials, the other with an up and coming new generation horror writer from New Orleans, she is fabulous so I cannot wait to introduce you to her!

I am also very pleased to assume the Second Life ambassadorship for Horror Addicts and will be opening up a virtual meeting space where we ALL can attend meet-ups together in a our own Horror Addicts virtual space in real time using avatars and sit around and read aloud, talk, type or just hang out. More about that next time, I am having LOTS of fun getting it all ready, just so.

I am delighted to be back with you this season and I know our other Horror Addicts writers and pod-casters have so many delights planned to show and share with you and so I already can tell that this will be the best season ever so hang on, it will be a wild ride!

Mimielle sig, orange