Featured

SUCCESS ≠ HAPPINESS

My dad and I when I was a little bean

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concepts of happiness and success lately. When we are young, most of the time life is about being happy and enjoying ourselves. As we grow up and start to familiarise ourselves with the feelings of anxiety, stress, confusion, sadness, etc., our happiness seems to take a back seat. We learn that we have responsibilities in life, such getting a job, which is often linked to success. Today I’d like to discuss not only happiness, but also how success shapes our lives.

In the materialistic world we live today, we are taught that success or the lack of such is what defines us. We hop on the train to success and work our as*es off to prove society that we are worthy. My dad’s the primary example. He’s been an engineer for good thirty years now. Years before I was born, he got a job as a general worker at the local opera in my city where he was building stages for performances. As time passed by, he got promoted to be a technical director. As the opera was going on tours in America, UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, etc., managers from those other operas would offer my dad a job because he was really good at what he did. He never took any of the opportunities because he’s too much of a nationalist and could never imagine living in a different country.

I’m so proud of my dad!

Anyways, about eight years ago, he received a job offer from the National Opera in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. As he accepted to be the technical director of the opera in Sofia, he reached his professional peak. Everyone in the country knew who my dad was, and they knew he was the best in the country at what he did. That’s how he knew he had succeeded in life. I always found this story powerful and inspiring until I realised what success was for my dad. It was twelve to fourteen hours work days, no days off, constant pressure and anxiety. Bare in mind, my dad really loves his job. He highly enjoys embracing his creativity and coming up with different ways to build stages for each performance. Working at the opera in Sofia was something he had a love-hate relationship with. He loved it because of the reason I outlined in the second to last sentence and because working for the National Opera meant he had the budget to create anything his mind could think of. He hated it because of the never-ending work days and the stress mostly about meeting deadlines on time.

After not being allowed to take any time off to fly to England for my graduation last year, my dad had had enough. He came to terms with the fact that success had consumed him to the extent where he could no longer be there to enjoy the happy moments in life. My dad quit his job at the opera and got a job as the technical director at the National Theatre. The theatre is an institution much smaller than the opera, and honestly not as successful, but it’s a place where my dad still gets to do what he loves without all the stress and anxiety.

My dad and mum at my graduation, July 2018

This little story teaches me that SUCCESS ≠ HAPPINESS. When I look back, the happiest moments of my life are the times spent with my family, my friends and my boyfriend. I’m also truly the happiest not when I’m working, but when I’m traveling and exploring. Surely getting work done and achieving my goals feels incredible, but that’s not when I’m happiEST . I’m not saying we shouldn’t be productive and have aims in life, I’m saying it’s good to take a step back and enjoy life a little. Everything in life is about balance after all. But that’s just my personal and biased opinion.

What do you think? What makes you happy? Let me know in the comments down below!

Advertisements
Featured

We all need to work in a service industry at least once in our lives

Over the past three/four years I’ve gained various experience in the service industries. Until about ten months ago I was at university and had to somehow cover my living costs. As you can probably imagine, the easiest way to get a job is to apply for customer service positions. So I did. I worked as a waitress, shop assistant, usher and box office assistant. Trying out various job positions and having to juggle two to three jobs at a time while being a full-time student has taught me a few things I’d like to share with you today!

Related image

Customer service jobs are a lot harder than you might think! I know it might be obvious for some, but I feel like there’s a lot of people who are oblivious to this so I felt the need to include it. Being a waitress was one of the most difficult jobs I’ve had so far. There’s more to it than making sure you don’t mess up with people’s orders or having to be friendly, helpful and understanding at all times. It’s a highly stressful job that requires strong nerves, effective communication and the ability to quickly come up with solutions to various problems. For those of you who don’t know how it works, as a waitress you’re assigned with a section of tables at the beginning of each shift. The basics are getting the drinks order first, then the food order. As soon as you notice people are finished with starters, you need to “mains away” aka give a green flag to the kitchen for sending the main meals. On a busy day you’re likely to get several tables that will order at the same time which can make it quite confusing and stressful for you. There will certainly be times when either you or the kitchen messes up with the order. That, of course, leads to the customer’s complaint. On most occasions when that happens, the meals will be returned to the kitchen and the chefs will have to cook the food again. This can be one of your worst nightmares. Not just because now you most certainly won’t be tipped, but also because if one main gets returned, by the time the customer gets served their “second” main everyone else will have already finished having theirs. Not to mention the rage you might receive from the kitchen staff for slowing them on the other orders. That’s just one of the most obvious examples of things that can go wrong.

Image result for two broke girls gif waitress
We’ve all had those day when having to be nice to customers is too much

I’m not writing this with the intention to moan about my previous job. In fact, some of the best memories I have are at the restaurant I used to work at. Some great friendships were formed and special moments were created that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I wanted to write this post to make other people become more appreciative of customer service jobs. The jobs I’ve had during the past few years have helped shaped the person I’ve grown to become. Apart from learning to be more patient, kind and considerate, I’ve also developed a thick skin and have certainly become a better communicator. Qualities anyone can benefit from. Some might argue that you can develop those qualities otherwise. However, I believe that one of the best ways to not only grow as a person, but also learn to appreciate all jobs no matter how insignificant they might seem, is to get a job at a service industry.

What is your opinion? Have you ever worked in the service industry? Let me know in the comments down below!

Featured

Made in Chelsea | Reality TV and the notion of Reality Celebrity

Image result for made in chelsea gif

Made in Chelsea (2011- ) does an amazing job at showing us that the reality to reality TV is constructed. The perception that the audience is supposed to get is that there’re no characters in reality TV, it’s just real people showing their real lives. Having been scripted, however, Made in Chelsea (2011- ) does not show us real people being themselves but rather ordinary people, not even proper actors, doing what the producers have asked them to. Thus, I’d argue that those people have become ‘stars’ or ‘celebrities’ simply because they have had the chance to appear on TV and not because they have deserved it. Those people do not stand out to be talented or have any unique skills but have become famous because they’ve made themselves visible through television. This links back to the claim that Holmes (2006) makes about celebrities becoming “increasingly detached from notions of ‘talent’ and ‘hard work’”. In fact, the people from Made in Chelsea (2011- ) were probably never going to be noticed or recognized if it wasn’t for the show itself. What this means is that the nature of their popularity is being “‘well-known’ simply for their ‘well-knowness’” (Boorstin, 1963). The question, however, that probably interests me the most is why people watch reality TV. Having in mind Made in Chelsea (2011- ) is dramatic entertainment and is largely based on confrontation and resolution, do we watch it because we like drama that much? Or because it boosts our confidence to compare ourselves to the ‘real’ people reality TV exposes to us? Or maybe both? I could never tell for sure.

Boorstin, D., (1962) The image. New York: Atheneum.

Holmes, S. (2006) “It’s a jungle out there!: playing the game of fame in celebrity reality TV” in Su Holmes and Sean Redmond (eds) Framing Celebrity: New directions in celebrity culture, Routledge, 45-66

Made In Chelsea (2011- ) E4, Esquire Network.

Featured

The voice inside our head. A blessing or a curse?

There’s an internal voice in our minds that will tell us we’re not good enough. A voice that can never be shut. A voice that we need to learn to live with. A lot of people might criticise me for this, but I don’t necessarily think that voice is all that bad. True, it can lead us to self-destruction, but it can also help us grow and develop. I’ll try to elaborate on this with the help of two examples.

Computer Seriously GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I’ve had a lot of issues with my body. It’s a vicious cycle really. I’ll end up hating on how chubby I am, and so I’ll start eating clean and being more active. As soon as I lose the weight and start somewhat liking how I look, I’ll self-sabotage myself by eating bad food and gaining all that weight back. By now, I’m pretty sure it’s because the voice in my head tells me that despite reaching my goal, I’ll never be able to maintain that dream body of mine because I don’t deserve it. That’s an example of how that voice in our head could lead us to damage ourselves in one way or another.

Frustrated GIFs | Tenor GIF Keyboard

I’ve been studying English for as long as I remember. My mum was obsessed with me knowing another language that she did anything beyond her abilities to make sure I learn English. She signed me up for hundreds of English courses, personal English tutor, etc. I still remember writing the word “elephant” a hundred times because I misspelled it in an assignment. Despite my mum’s endless efforts, I wasn’t as good at English compared to everyone else. Sure I’d get good grades, but they weren’t great for the amount of extensive studying I’d put into English. That continued for years. Years of this internal voice telling me I could never learn English and should give up. But I didn’t. I found more ways in which I could study the language- watching movies/tv series without Bulgarian subtitles, reading books in English, texting my friends in English. Then Youtube started getting big and I got into watching various Youtubes. A few years later I got accepted in a leading UK university and moved to England. Three years later, I graduated with a first from university and English is the language I breathe and speak. That would have never happened if the voice inside my head hadn’t motivated me to study English.

Got A Break, So Breakthrough - Strong Automotive Merchandising

My argument really is that it’s up to you how you’ll respond to that nasty voice saying you’ll never be good enough. If I had obeyed the voice saying I could never learn English and had given up, I wouldn’t be here writing this in English. If I don’t let what the voice inside my head tells me about maintaining my dream body get to me, I’m positive I can keep up the good work. It’s ultimately up to us to decide whether to challenge or conform to the voice turning us against ourselves. The big question is whether that voice is a friend or a foe? It could arguably be both, but at the end of the day, if there’s no one to criticise you, you’ll just be stuck in one place and won’t pursue any kind of development.

Featured

Ramble about my understanding of life

Anyone has probably asked themselves at least once in their lifetime questions, such as “What is life?”, “What’s my purpose in life?”, “What’s the point of living?”. Needless to say the answers to this type of questions are various.

People have been trying to give life a meaning for centuries, yet we cannot be sure if even the brightest minds have managed to successfully give us the right answer. We are left to make sense of life on our own, but there’s no guarantee that whatever we come up with is valid or reasonable.

I’ve spent years pondering what the meaning of life is until one day I came to the conclusion that life is simple and we’re just trying to make it a lot more complicated that it actually is. There’s tens of thousands of studies on how complex humans are, and while that’s something you can’t argue with, I believe we are also simple creatures.

What all living things have in common are three steps. We are born, we live and we die. It doesn’t get more straightforward than this. It’s the “living” part that confuses everyone. All animals need to be moving in order to be living. Protecting themselves, finding food and staying healthy implies being active. Being physically active is what all living things have in common. The main thing that makes us different from other animals is the complexity of our brain. So it makes sense that as well as being physically active, people need to be mentally active in order to be properly executing the “living” part. Living in that sense is constantly learning and moving. That, of course, is just the surface layer of human life.

It’s important to note that developing our brain capacity will help us get to know the person that we are and ultimately what we love (and hate). Finding what you love helps you set and achieve goals, and I would even go as far as to say it gives people purpose in life.

Due to our complex brain we can not only mentally develop ourselves, but we can also feel emotions. Feelings, in my opinion, is by far the best or worst part of living. A lot of our actions are determined by the way we feel. If something that causes negative feelings has happened to us, there’s a chance that our future deeds can be harmful and vice versa. Consequently, feelings can be the foundations of great achievements and grim failures. Humans can utterly control their physical and mental activity, but they can’t fully control their emotions. That’s where it gets tricky for me. So far I’ve come to believe that the best way to deal with feelings is to get to know the person that we are. This way we can maybe try to learn to understand why we feel a certain way which will arguably give us a bit more control over ourselves.

Humans are also the only living creatures we know of that can create intricate relationships. Establishing relationships is a huge part of the human life. To keep it nice and short, people are meant to learn to communicate and live with each other. This means that a lot of our feelings are generated due to human interaction or the lack of such. For me, developing strong personal relationships with other people is just as important as developing my brain capacity. A lot of times we share the happiest and the saddest moments of our lives with other people. I would imagine life is pretty hard without having anyone to share it with. Surely we are not meant to all like each other and get along. However, we are all so different that I would argue we, at least, have a lot to learn from each other.

Going back to the questions about the meaning of life, in a few words I think it’s about being physically active, developing our brain potential, getting to know who we are and establishing meaningful relationships. Last but not least, as cheesy as it sounds maybe life really is about the small things. I don’t know about you, but some of the greatest moments of my life so far have been about making someone happy, admiring the beauty of nature, laughing until you no longer can breathe, petting animals, spending time with the people who matter the most, etc. I could be wrong. Maybe none of this matters. I don’t know. Maybe that’s the beauty of life. Not knowing what it’s about.

Maybe all of this will make sense to you, maybe none of it will. As I said in the beginning, the meaning of life is a broad subject that’s been talked about for ages, but there’s a chance we’re not even close to understanding it. Maybe we’re not meant to. Maybe we’re so keen on knowing the answer because our brains are made to make sense of things. But maybe, just maybe we should spend less time trying to explain life and more time living it.

Let me know what you think? I’d love to chat in the comments section down below!

Featured

I moved from the big city to the countryside. Leicester vs Cockermouth. How my life has changed

Hi! This is me 🙂

In the past few months my life has drastically changed. I was living in Leicester, one of the UK’s biggest cities, where I went to university. A few months ago I moved up north to a small rural town Cockermouth. For some people that might not be that much of a change, but for me it was huge. It’s affected my mental health in ways I never thought it would.

I grew up in the second biggest city in Bulgaria- Plovdiv. I know a lot of people may look at this with criticism, but I could have never asked for a happier childhood. Growing up in a big city is another story that I won’t be getting into today, but let me know if you are interested in learning more about that. Anyway, I thought I had to mention it in order for you to be able to make more sense of this post.

Clock Tower, Leicester

After secondary school I moved to a big city in the UK to attend university. It sure was a massive change for me as I moved to another country and had to start from scratch. But it wasn’t that much of a lifestyle change for me.

I know for a fact that a lot of people get intimidated by cities because of how big and populated they are. My boyfriend is the primary example. He strongly dislikes anything that has to do with a city. He gets anxiety when there’s too many people around him. He loses a sense of direction because he gets overwhelmed with the size of cities. Not to forget to mention the traffic. But that’s normal life for me.

Leicester Riverside Festival 2018

Leicester had to offer pretty much everything that I was already familiar with- shops around every corner, big supermarkets, shopping centres, theatres, cinemas, restaurants, etc. The busy life in the city is like a fuel for my productivity. I know it may sound weird, but seeing everything around me constantly move motivates me to keep working and improving myself.

@ Leicester

A couple of months ago, I moved to Cockermouth where my boyfriend had started a life after university. It’s a very small and peaceful town, located in Cumbria. Although I was trying to prepare myself for the sort of lifestyle change I was making, moving to Cockermouth was and still is a shock for me.

I appreciate the beauty and peace that this town offers, however, I can’t disregard the negative ways in which it has affected me. It’s like life’s stopped here. While that’s a good thing if you’re on a holiday and looking for ways to unwind, it can be detrimental for someone who’s young and work-driven.

Cockermouth Castle

As a recent Media and Communications graduate, I’ve had no luck with my attempts to find a job or even internship here. I knew there wouldn’t be as many opportunities in Cumbria, but I was really hoping to find a way to make it work. A couple of weeks ago I got so discouraged and disappointed that I gave up on my job hunt. Ever since I’ve become moody and lazy on top of feeling lost.

@ Cockermouth

The problem for me, however, is not limited to finding a job. Whenever I decide to go for a walk, for instance, I feel like I’m trapped here. I don’t want to go as far as to call it claustrophobia, but I feel like that’s the best way to describe it. I feel isolated and detached from the real world.

I know I can’t blame my mental state on just moving to the countryside. I’m aware every beginning is hard and there’s other factors, such as not having a support system that have affected me in a negative way. However, I believe it’s important to realise what causes the change in someone’s behavior in order to be able to work on improving it. I haven’t given up on trying to get used to living here yet. Life throws challenges at us on a daily basis that make us stronger people.

Derwent River, Cockermouth

I’m not writing this post with the intention to judge anyone who lives in the countryside. I truly believe both living in the city and the countryside have their pros and cons. I’ve even mentioned some in this piece. I just wanted to share what it feels like for someone who’s so used to the city life to move to a small town. I want my blog to be a place where I can be 100% honest and real. Life is not easy so I want to document both my happy moments and my struggles and be able to look back on my blog and reflect.

Where do you live? Do you like the countryside or the city better? Let me know in the comments down below!

Featured

Diary of a girl in search of herself

Hi! This is me on a holiday in Spain last summer

The hardest part of writing a blog, in my personal opinion, is the first paragraph. There’s so much I want to talk about that it’s hard to begin whenever I try to put it into writing. But, I believe that’s normal. Our thoughts are chaotic. Each piece of writing, on the contrary, is supposed to be systematic, logical and easy to follow. Something I’m yet to master.

I find benefits in writing, such as putting my thoughts in order and and clearing my mind. Writing is therapeutic for me no matter if I’m in a dark place or there’s just something about my day, week or month that I need to get off of my chest. That’s what we’re going to do today.

I’d like to share with you a bit about myself. Up until the last year of secondary school life was straight-forward. I knew what I was supposed to do and I was doing relatively well in life. Then, in senior year it started to get confusing for me. I had to figure out who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life. The problem is that I sometimes feel like I have too many interests and it’s hard when you have to pick one.

The one on the right is me together with two of my high school best friends (excuse the poor quality of the photo)

At the same time, I felt somewhat pressured to attend university, well because that’s what you’re supposed to do after secondary school, right? I didn’t even know if I wanted to go to uni, but I ended up applying anyway because I didn’t have an idea as to what else I could do at that time. As I had no idea what I wanted to pursue in life, I picked a course that was broad, thinking I could narrow it down to what I want to do later on.

I’m the one on the left together with two of my university best friends

Fast-forward three and a half years later, I’m a Media and Communications graduate who still has no calling in life. Sure I liked some modules better than others, but university touches only on the surfaces of certain fields, which would, arguably, suggest getting a job as a journalist, for instance, might not be nearly as enjoyable as it is to study journalism.

Graduation 2018

I worked my part-time jobs for a few months after graduation, thinking it was only temporary and I would seek professional development as soon as I figured out what career I wanted to pursue. But if I have to be honest, that never happened to me. The truth is, sometimes we get so consumed in our everyday life that we end up wasting our lives.

My work colleagues and I at the theatre I used to work at

A couple of months ago I moved to Cumbria to live with my boyfriend, who had found a stable job that makes him happy. I saw moving up north as an opportunity to reflect on my life and finally get on the right track of building a career that I will be happy with. I promised myself I wouldn’t apply for “easy-to-get” part-time jobs at local shops or pubs, but would instead apply for graduate positions. I still hadn’t realised what my professional calling was, but I figured you could never know what you like until you try it.

My boyfriend and I exploring the Lakes on a weekend. The picture is taken at Wasdale.

A few months have passed since I moved to Cumbria, but I’ve had no luck with getting a graduate job. I still feel very lost and confused, but that’s okay. I’m learning to accept my feelings and realise that I’m neither the first, nor the last to feel this way. Any feeling is valid and normal. I’m still young and life is ahead of me. I was so down and depressed these past few weeks, however, that I barely got anything done. I didn’t leave the bed and spent my days watching brainless television all day and eating my emotions. I gained weight, got acne, but most of all, I was miserable.

Wasdale, Lake District

One day I recognised if I wanted to make myself feel better, I simply had to be proactive. Your best friend and worst enemy is, indeed, yourself so it’s up to you to make the decision to either love yourself or turn to the dark side of self-hate. Building a positive relationship with yourself is an ongoing journey, but as they say it’s not about the final destination, but rather the journey itself. You’re the only one you need to strive to outdo. So that’s where I’m at as of right now. I’m focusing on self-love. I’m also trying to force myself to get as many things done in a day as I can. One of my main goals is to become more consistent with my blog and upload five times a week. The reason why is that as I said in the beginning, writing makes me feel better. It helps me in ways I can’t begin to explain.

As for my professional calling, I’m still figuring it out. I’m trying to not pressure myself too much and just go with the flow. Most times listening to your instincts and going with your gut is the most right thing to do.

I’d love to hear more about you! Why did you create a blog? Do you find writing as therapeutic as I do? Comment down below!

Featured

Scafell Pike- My experience! I did it all wrong so you don’t have to!

Scafell Pike is 978 metres above sea level, making it the highest mountain in England. Located in the Lake District National Park, it offers breathtaking views and is an experience that will stick with you your whole life. As well as being the highest mountain in England, it is also the highest war memorial dedicated to anyone who sacrificed their lives and died fighting for their country in World War 1.

Today, I would like to share my experience climbing this majestic mountain so you can learn from my mistakes. I have climbed Scafell Pike not once, but twice. Because the first time wasn’t good enough. In fact, it was bad. Let me elaborate.

First time climbing Scafell Pike

I walked up Scafell Pike for the first time in October 2018. My boyfriend took me on a holiday in the Lakes and one day we decided that we would not be fully satisfied with that holiday unless we had climbed, well, England’s highest mountain. It was not planned whatsoever. But we thought not being prepared at all would contribute to the fun of climbing it. Boy, were we wrong.

To start with, the weather was not great. It was bad. Very bad. It was foggy and it was drizzling (or at least when we first started the ascent). The last thing you want when you’re walking up a mountain you’ve never climbed before is poor visibility. Even the drizzle that quickly turned into heavy rain wasn’t that bad despite being wet, cold and not being able to see due to the rain in your eyes.

Here is a photo of me struggling with the last bit of ascent

Scafell Pike is neither the hardest, nor the easiest to climb. However, for people like me who do little to no exercise, walking up felt like I was dead and was being tortured in hell for all my sins. I am not joking when I say I had to stop every 5 to 10 steps because my body couldn’t deal with the ascent. I was literally crying and felt like giving up at least 10 times because I didn’t see a point in doing it giving the weather conditions and our poor preparation. Anyway, to my surprise my boyfriend managed to both keep me going and not get us lost. Pretty much as soon as we reached the top we started to descent, well because first of all, due to the fog there was no view and secondly, it was pouring rain. That’s pretty much how it all went down with my first experience walking up Scafell Pike.

Second time climbing Scafell Pike

In March 2019 my boyfriend and I made the decision to come live in Cumbria. A few weeks after we had moved in, we thought we would make a second attempt at walking up Scafell Pike. This time prepared. We made sure to check the weather, bring a map and a compass as well as waterproof walking boots and tons of water. Although we were prepared, climbing the mountain wasn’t much easier for me compared to the first time. I still had to make millions of stops along the way and felt like I was dying during the whole ascent. One of our main problems was that there was still snow on the mountain so as well as walking over loose eroded ground, once we reached the snow it became extremely slippery. Walking up and down the snowy bit was for sure the most challenging part of the experience. People were using not just their legs, but hands as well. A fair bit even tried sliding down on their bottoms. This time, however, the pleasant surprise of the stunning views from the top made the whole experience worthwhile. It was grandiose. No, in fact, it was so heart-stopping and impressive that I had forgotten about my not so grandiose experience climbing the mountain. Thus, walking up Scafell Pike is the worst and yet the best experience of my life.

The view from the top overlooking Wast Water

Mickledore vs Hollowstones

Both times we walked up Scafell Pike we started the ascent from Wasdale. The first time, however, we took Mickledore ascend, while the second time we picked Hollowstones. Mickledore is more dangerous, in my opinion, because it takes you through a steep and rocky hill. Walking up that bit reminded me of those climbing walls in kids adventure centres that I used to beg my parents to let me climb when I was little. The difference is that back then it looked appealing, and now I had no wish to do it. However, I think taking Mickledore was a faster way of reaching the top. Hollowstones feels like more of a gradual ascent when compared to Mickledore. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very steep and I had to stop every 3 minutes, but it didn’t seem like it was nearly as steep as the first one. In that sense, Hollowstones took a bit longer. Just for reference- both times it took us about 3.5 to 4 hours to walk up and down Scafell Pike so if you’re a beginner like me allow about 4 hours for ascent and descent.

To sum up, in spite of my hardships along the way, the view from the top is breathtaking. You feel like you’re on top of the world surrounded by beauty only nature can amaze us with. No photos or words could convey the magnificence of the mountain or the views from the top. I highly recommend climbing Scafell Pike because despite the difficulties I encountered, I have zero regrets doing it. That, ladies and gentlemen, must count for something having in mind I was literally crying while walking up. But in all seriousness, check the weather forecast, buy a map and a compass, bring a lot of water and food, wear waterproof walking boots and just do it!

Featured

A very simplified explanation of the meaning behind the theme of Met Gala 2019

It wasn’t until last year that I heard about this annual event in New York City known as the Met Ball. It’s a gala that aims at raising funds for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The tickets cost about $30,000 per person and there’s a theme to each gala every year. Today I’d like to focus on this year’s Met Gala.

The theme of 2019 was camp. No, it’s not the meaning of the word camp that we all are familiar with and use in everyday language. Apparently, the term camp was used in the 1960s by Susan Sontag in her essay “Notes on Camp”. She described camp as over-the-top, extravagant and anything that’s not natural or usual. This was the inspiration for the 2019 Met Gala.

The Met Gala does not just intend to raise funds for the Metropolitan Museum, it also strives to celebrate fashion and lets its guests free their imagination when creating looks for the night. When it comes to fashion, I see the Met Gala as a fancier version of the music festival Coachella.

The celebrities who attended the 2019 Met Gala did not disappoint with their looks. Everyone was dressed accordingly to their understanding and interpretation of camp. Some, like Billy Porter, took it as far as being carried to this year’s pink carpet by six shirtless men on a gold and velvet litter. His look was aimed at portraying a “Sun God” and Porter played his character to perfection.

Image result for billy porter met gala 2019

Source: Getty Images

As for me, camp is about being yourself, but taking it to the next level. It’s like being asked to create a theatrical look of yourself. There’s no rules or boundaries. Part of the reason why I wanted to write this piece is because I’ve seen a lot of criticism around some of the looks. A lot of people thought some looks are too much (ex. Cardi B) and others were, well, too simple ( ex. Hailey Bieber).

Image result for cardi b met gala 2019Image result for hailey bieber met gala 2019

Source: The Cut                                                      Source: E! News

I am, by no means, a fashion expert, but I think both these ladies dressed as how they see camp. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to fashion, but because there’s no rules anyone’s opinion is biased. That’s why when I was scrolling through my Instagram and seeing all these looks, I was fascinated to observe how different each person had dressed according to their understanding of the theme. I don’t think we have a right to judge anyone’s look simply because it means we’re criticising them as people. I don’t necessarily believe I fully comprehend camp, but for me it is an art form so I believe the best way to understand it is to just enjoy it.

Having made this disclaimer, I will now give a few more examples of celebrities who attended the Met Ball.

The Queen of extravagance, Lady Gaga, made a 16-minute performance of her appearance on the pink carpet. No, she didn’t wear a meat dress, but her look was far from normal. Gaga surprised us with not one or two, but FOUR looks at this year’s Met Ball.

Image result for lady gaga met gala 2019 dresses

Source: Euronews

Although I can appreciate everyone’s effort with their camp looks, my top favourite one has to be Janelle Monae. Monae dressed accordingly to the theme, yet she managed to portray class and sophistication. This does not mean I found all other looks “ugly”, it simply means Monae’s look is most similar to me as a person and is probably something I would have worn, had I been fortunate enough to be invited to such glorious event.

Image result for eye dress met gala 2019

Source: Footwear News

One of the most phenomenal looks was the one of Michael Urie. He immediately took it to the next level with his half suit half dress look. Not only did he look stunning, but he also did what camp is all about. Being over-the-top and theatrical, which is usually associated with leaving your comfort zone. This look deserves an applause.

Source: Quora

These are just a few examples of 2019 Met Gala looks that I wanted to include in this article just to help portray the vibe of the night. But I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Met Ball. What did you think of the theme? Which look was your favourite? Do you see camp the way I do?