Woman Power Wednesday: Laragh McCann

Woman Power Wednesday: Laragh McCann

For this week's Woman Power Wednesday, we're looking at the gorgeous Laragh McCann. Laragh is a model who has taken the step into new creative ventures such as directing and photography. Her directorial debut was the incredible My Body, My Choice video for the Repeal campaign, which you can check out here. We caught up with Laragh to chat about the fashion industry, her directing career and her plans for the future. Enjoy! 

Photo from models.com

Do you think being in the fashion industry from such a young age had a positive or negative affect on your view of women?

In hindsight, it gave me a great view of woman. The owners of my first agency in Dublin were two sisters. My first shoot was shot by a woman. Aisling Farinella was the main fashion woman in Ireland when I started. The director of my first international agency in Paris, Ford, was a woman. Some of the biggest and most influential names in the fashion industry are women - Miuccia Prada, Anna Wintour, Pat Mcgrath, Simone Rocha, Katie Grand. The girlfriends I made modelling are to this day my role models.

Modelling is also one of the few industries where women are payed a lot more than men. Although, it’s quite layered, despite being awestruck by the woman in charge in the industry, these strong woman were really fighting against the tide. Fighting against a big picture that makes woman feel like shit. The fashion industry creates an illusion that beauty is a woman’s most powerful asset. That side of things, even though at the time I wasn’t fully aware of what I was feeling, really didn’t make me feel happy.

The actual industry itself is mainly a business and what sells is making women - the main buyers - feel like they need something so it creates an unhealthy dynamic where women always feel inadequate, especially when comparing to unrealistic standards. Although things are changing so much lately, the trend thankfully is for women (and men) to embrace their bodies and also their minds and their creativity.

Photo from fashiongonerogue.com

What made you want to branch out to photography and directing along with modelling?
I always had that interest. In school I loved art and right from the moment I started modelling I became obsessed with all the photographers and the magazines and pretty much from the get go had a camera with me travelling. Constantly being surrounded by creative people in the industry as well really propelled that instinct further and made a career seem possible, much more tangible then if I’d stayed in college I think.

Photo from laraghmccann.com

My Body, My Choice
was your directorial debut, what made you get involved with the project?

Anna Cosgrave of Repeal is one of my best friends. I chatted to her about it when we hung out so I saw the whole campaign come to life from a small idea to what it’s become now. Around the same time I was starting out directing, so it was just a natural occurrence with timing and mutual interests aligning.

Photo from fashionmodelsdirectory.com

What else are you working on for the future?
I’m editing a video for Gemma Dunleavy. She has an amazing EP coming out soon. This is a film piece for a song she wrote, half of which is spoken word about hardships growing up in Dublin. We went to where she grew up around Sheriff Street and all her family and neighbours were a part of it so it feels very special. I’ve written my next short which is in pre production now and I have a spec ad and another music video which are also in pre production.

Photo from laraghmccann.com

What women inspire you?

The woman around me day to day inspire me. A lot of people who aren't in the spotlight, literally mothers, doctors, the nice lady in the post office! I feel hugely inspired by Gemma Dunleavy who writes and produces all her work, Stephanie Dufresne who's an amazing dancer who i've worked with a lot lately, Anna Cosgrave, my housemate Beth! I don’t think you have to look very far or even on Instagram to see incredible and amazing women.

Follow Laragh on Instagram here

Check out her website here

Ciara x 
August 16, 2017 by Ciara Moran
Woman Power Wednesday: Andrea Horan

Woman Power Wednesday: Andrea Horan

For this week's Woman Power Wednesday, we're looking at the amazing Andrea Horan. Andrea is CEO of Tropical Popical, one of the biggest nail bars in Dublin, and founder of The Hunreal Issues, a website dedicated to making important issues more accessible for everyone. We love women like Andrea, who see a space that needs to be filled, whether it's a fun nail bar or political issues, and take the initiative to fill it. We caught up with Andrea to chat beauty, business and being badass.

What pushed you to start The Hunreal Issues?

Mostly alienation. I knew I was a feminist but there was no Irish media, platforms or groups catering to me. And the more I thought about it, I quickly realised that if I was feeling like that, loads of other Irish women were too. There’s so many different types of women but it felt like the feminism that was being represented was a very typical, closed off group of people and I just wanted to open it up a bit. Initially the concept was for a specific media platform but then websites like Jezebel, The Pool etc popped up and they were writing in a v consumer friendly way that was inclusive and cognisant of a wider audience so it was shelved.

Then the general election came rocking around and so many young women I spoke to had no interest in the outcome of it and I figured if I could try and make more women interested in politics, make it more relevant to them, then politicians would care more about this demographic and hopefully women’s issues would become more red line issues at election time.

Do you think the visuals involved in The Hunreal Issues are important to getting the message across?

I grew up in PR and comms so I understand how important good branding is. It plays such a pivotal role when it comes to messaging – it essentially states your intention before you’ve even uttered a word. My exposure to young women is mostly in Tropical Popical where I work and that was the audience I saw most uninterested in politics so with Hunreal I wanted to target the glam gals and I think that’s what you see the minute you look at all of our branding (lovingly done by Sarah Fox).

You have such a good work/life balance. How do you manage to juggle the two?

I’m so glad it looks like that because it couldn’t be further from the truth! I do however work to what works for me. I’m not into mornings so I don’t start till 11am. But, in saying that, I’m on my phone from 730 or 8 reading the news, filtering what I need to onto social media, responding to anything that’s urgent. The truth is, when you work for yourself you’re never really turned off (apart from when you’re partying!). With the shop as well, I like to make sure I have enough time in there as the whole reason I set up Tropical Popical was to enjoy interacting with people. So when I tell people I don’t work Mondays they forget that I’ll be in Trop over the weekend. If I ever ended up just stuck at my desk on my laptop I’d feel like I’d failed myself or the intentions I set for myself when I set Tropical Popical up.

Everything you do seems to be inspired from providing something for women that wasn’t there previously and making things easier/more fun. Tropical Popical brought a fun new experience of getting your nails done to Dublin and The Hunreal Issues gave women the chance to get involved with topics that directly affect them without the need to be reading lengthy academic pieces every day. Do you think it’s important for women to be able to blend together different aspects of their life, such as getting their nails done while talking about abortion rights?

It’s so funny that this is a question that really only applies to women. Like, you’d never ask a guy if he thinks it’s ok to bring up his politics in the barbers. The fact of the matter is there’s so many aspects of women and we shouldn’t have to compartmentalise them to be acceptable. It’s insanity to think that if we can’t enjoy a more frivolous side to life just because we’re also interested in human rights and politics. And I hate that we have had to almost apologise for enjoying being a woman (whatever that means to anyone) to succeed in ‘serious’ arenas. So yes, if we can talk about women’s need to access abortions over manis, to me that’s perfect.

What sort of affect do you think The Hunreal Issues has had on making feminism more accessible to people? Do you think it's made it more 'okay' to identify as a feminist?

Hopefully we’ve widened the scope of what being an Irish feminist can include.  Personally I think there should be room in a movement for different types of people to be able to identify with it and the more inclusive it is the better. Obviously this carries it’s own problems as the essence of it is diluted as it becomes more mainstream and that’s difficult to deal with if you’re a purist of the movement. But if you want to see the movement grow and the effects of the purer beliefs spread you have to make concessions or it will be held back to a core group. So without apology we tried to consumerise it and widen the reach and make it more palatable for a bigger audience, and if in doing that it became more ‘okay’ for more people to identify as a feminist then brilliant.

You’ve spoken before about being annoyed by the only coverage of women and the election was articles such as ‘how to style your hair for the election.’ Why do you think women’s interest in politics is underestimated?

I think we’ve been on a journey as women (cheesy understatement of the year!) and we’ve come from a place where it was unacceptable to work once you got married; you couldn’t buy a house; you couldn’t have a credit card; you couldn’t voice your opinion – or if you did it wasn’t taken seriously! So for a long time politics wasn’t an issue that concerned women for the most part, we were busy in the home (as our constitution so kindly likes to keep us) and our interests reflected that. But once we started expanding our horizons, our interests; knowledge and passions expanded too.  And when those interests and passions were nurtured – they became a part of what we expect from women. So it’s taken a while for us to find our voices to let everyone else know that we’re interested too so you can’t blame anyone for the underestimation. But now what you see is a more diverse spectrum of coverage in women specific media. And I think the parallels with this and the growth of women in STEM etc just shows you that if we are exposed to it, we’ll become immersed in it and then our interests will be reflected back to us. But if we don’t know we’re interested in it, how will anyone else!

What do you think of those who look down on women who are interested in beauty and fashion or haven’t done a lot of reading on certain issues as being not ‘real’ feminists?

I can totally understand the frustration.  It’s like anything, when you’ve been had clearly defined constraints of what the word means and then someone comes along and moves, or rather widens the goalposts, it’s easy to see how that can be frustrating.  It’s like if you’re a huge Take That fan, we’ll call you a  superfan.  You’ve been to every concert, have every piece of memorabilia, know everything about Mark, Gary, Robbie, Jason and Howard – you’ve practically grown up with them and then someone swoops in and says they’re a super fan but you know they’ve only ever heard their last song.  It’s hard to not let that affect  and diminish your definition of what being a Take That Super Fan is and not let that take away from how much of a super fan you are.  But just because someone is only new to the band doesn’t mean they love them any less passionately. 

Why do you think now finally seems to be the time when people are ready to talk about formally taboo topics abortion and fight for their rights?

Specifically for Ireland, I think the hold the Catholic Church has had on us is loosening… and fast.  We’re becoming more liberal and logic is prevailing over long held belief systems.  Science is advancing and we’re trusting facts over emotionally charged hearsay.  And as this power rolls back, people are becoming braver to challenge things and speak out about things that have been swept under the carpet for so long.  And the more people speak out about what they actually believe in rather than what they’ve been told to believe, it empowers more people to support them and make their own minds up based on information rather than fear.  Fear has held such a powerful role in Ireland for so long and it’s high time we got rid of it.

The Hunreal Issues has given a voice to other views of the Eighth, such as from women who didn’t view their abortion as a traumatic secret, pregnant women who are concerned over the possible consequences of the Eighth during pregnancy or trans men who feared the affect a possible pregnancy would have on their bodies. How important was it to you to a wide range of viewpoints on the topic?

TBH it was simply a case of as I found out about yet another way the 8th was affecting people in Ireland, the more frustrating it became.  There was so many ways that I just didn’t even think about so when they came up I wanted as many other people to know about them too.  You hear Repeal and the 8th Amendment and instantly you think abortion – which obviously makes sense but for me what the 8th represented was someone else controlling my body and having a say in what life I lead and it felt so restrictive.  So sharing these stories illustrates that emotion.  And when I came across the ‘Thank God For Abortion’ campaign in NY, it was so startling to me but the more I engaged with it, the more it made sense to me.  So I understood Viva Ruiz’ goal of ‘repossessing of our own narratives and pulling it back from the dominant extreme right wing "sin" perspective which continues to justify legislating the torture and death of abortion seeking people.  We are broadening the spectrum of this conversation by inhabiting a joyful and authentic place in regards to our own experience with abortion, we hope to inspire others to do the same. We know access to reproductive services are a basic and normal human right.

The Hunreal Issues has spoken about the importance of appealing to those in the middle ground regarding abortion rights and not demonising the opposition, even when/if the Eighth is repealed. What do you think is the best way of achieving this?

I think empathy and understanding are key emotions for anyone who is trying to influence anyone to see their point of view.  It’s so easy to get blinded by rage when others opinions affect your life -and I think there is a very important place for rage, it kickstarts action – but in terms of trying to change minds, I always try to put myself in the other persons shoes to understand why they disagree with my point of view.  And when you understand that, it’s easier to reach out to them and try and meet on communal ground.  Of course there’s the extremes who are just never going to even try and meet you halfway and you just have to decide to leave them to it.  That’s why we never engage with trolls or the usual suspects who have no interest in hearing your side of things.

The Repeal campaign has been a huge focus for The Hunreal Issues, what other issues would you like to focus on?

From the outset, our hearts had a vested interest in separating church and state; ending direct provision; our outrageous homeless problem and the corruption in our society.

What plans do you have for the future of The Hunreal Issues?

It’s safe to say it was slightly surprising to find out how much The Hunreal Issues took over my life, I totally underestimated how emotionally involved I would become.  So for now, it’s trying to get balance back into my life so that I’m better equipped to continue it and put measures in place to manage it more successfully.

If you could get one overarching message across with The Hunreal Issues, what would it be? 

That everyone is entitled to have an opinion and just because it’s not how you’d do it, doesn’t mean that’s not the right way for someone else.  Many different voices appealing to different walks of life are better than just one voice appealing to just one group of people.

Follow Andrea on Twitter here and Instagram here 

Follow Tropical Popical on Instagram here

For more information about The Hunreal Issues, visit here

Ciara x
August 02, 2017 by Ciara Moran
Woman Power Wednesday: Jess Brennan

Woman Power Wednesday: Jess Brennan

For this week’s Woman Power Wednesday, we’re looking at the gorgeous Jess Brennan. Jess is a Dublin gal with a huge Instagram following, who seems to pop up at every festival, adding a bit of fun everywhere she goes and generally just giving out seriously positive vibes. But there’s more to Jess than just being an Insta-it girl. One of the best things about Jess is the confidence she has. She dresses exactly how she wants and generally doesn't care what people think of her, which is amazing and something to be admired. By being completely and unapologetically herself, she inspires her thousands of followers to do the same. She regularly encourages her followers to have confidence in themselves without worrying about other people's opinions, something she should be applauded for. It's crazy that in 2017, a time of such feminist political action, someone can still be judged for how they dress. Jess inspires a lot of people and helps them to feel good about themselves, which we think is way more important than what she wears to do her food shop. We got Jess to answer a few questions for us so we could get to know this inspiring babe a little better.

Have you always had the confidence you have now or was it something that grew with time? If so, what was it that helped you?

I definitely haven’t always had this confidence and I would be a long time talking you through what got my confidence to where it is today, but no, I was quite shy when I was younger, all I wanted to do was listen to Eminem on my Walkman. I used to get a lot of hassle from the other girls in my area so I suppose my confidence sprouted from the fact that I came through all that. The other thing that has helped me is my strength of mind and my amazing friends that I’m so blessed to be surrounded by!

What’s your opinion on strangers commenting negatively on the way someone dresses? Do you think social media gives people the sense that they’re entitled to pass judgement?

I think people’s negative opinions on what others wear is induced by having a negative attitude. There’s two types of people in the world; those who give filthy looks and those who get filthy looks. I’m the latter and I always will be. If I see something crazy or different I think ‘deadly, gowan,’ no matter what it is. The fact that someone has committed to what they’re wearing is just whopper in the first place and regardless of how they look, I hope they feel fucking animal! Unfortunately, social media can fuel some negativity in the form of slut shaming etc, which is just a defence mechanism for insecure people. I think those people need to obsess over themselves instead of others, they will find themselves and grow into better people. I love social media but I feel it does smother self growth if used the wrong way

You were recently mentioned in articles, including one by The Sun, for the way you were dressed in Croatia. Do you feel the way you were spoken about was exaggerated and put into a negative context?

Yes of course it was exaggerated, it’s The Sun! But I don’t think it was put into a negative context, I think it depends on the person reading it. If you know me and like me, you read it and think I’m just being hilarious, or if you don’t like me, you’ll find something negative to say about it. The Sun actually asked me to do a follow up interview to tell ‘my side of the story,’ pal, I walked into Lidl to grab a bottle of vodka and a bit of bread!

What women do you feel inspired by?

I am inspired by so many women and men equally. I could give you a load of Instagram handles of people I am inspired by but realistically, the women I am inspired by are all the amazing women in my life. They are absolute superwomen, between the shit they’ve been through, the art they create and the amount of love they inspire. You all know who you are.

In your travels so far this summer, which festival has been your favourite?

Ooh favourite festival is a super hard one! I gain something different and beautiful from each and every one. Body and Soul will forever be one of my favourites, you just can’t beat the Irish buzz. Love International brought me a lot closer to a lot of amazing people and Freqs of Nature reminded me that we are all only a speck in the universe. On the last day I sobbed over nothing for about an hour but I felt cleansed after it. I’m travelling to MoDem Festival tomorrow, so let’s see what that shall bring!

All photos from Jess's Instagram.

Follow Jess on Instagram here. 

Ciara x 
July 26, 2017 by Ciara Moran
Not At Home Ireland

Not At Home Ireland

Photo from facebook.com/NOTATHOMEIRELAND 

Not At Home is a durational art piece by Emma Fraser and Grace Dyas which aims to highlight the struggles faced by those who find themselves in a position where they are forced to travel abroad for a safe abortion. It will be in NCAD in the Dublin Fringe Festival this September.

Between January 1980 and December 2014, at least 163,514 women were forced to travel abroad from Ireland in order to access safe abortion services. For many of those women, this can be one of the loneliest and most daunting experience of their life and one they are often shamed into not speaking about. Not At Home aims to give these women a voice and to connect them through their shared experiences. 

Abortion rights and the Repeal the Eighth campaign is something which is very close to our hearts at Nine Crows. One of our owners Emma is a co-author of Not At Home, and Nine Crows have been involved with the Repeal campaign from the very start. We had such a huge response from all of you when we started stocking the Repeal jumpers, so we know it's a cause that our readers and customers are very much supportive of.

We are sure that many of our customers are women who have already or may in the future find themselves in the position where they need to access abortion services. The fact that laws in our country prevent them from accessing this service safely and legally at home is absolutely unacceptable and something which needs to change. In order to do so, we need to continue the conversation that the Repeal campaign has started and make our voices heard.

Nine Crows is inviting our customers to share their stories with Not At Home. By sharing your story, you are helping to bring about social change regarding abortion. You can do so anonymously if this is what you're comfortable with. If you feel you want to share your story or even share our message you can do so at http://notathomeireland.com/#YourStory

Help us spread the message.
July 13, 2017 by Ciara Moran
Last Minute Longitude Picks

Last Minute Longitude Picks

Longitude is fast approaching and we can't wait! Fashion is one of our favourite parts of the festival season and we love picking out fab outfits to party in but sometimes it can be hard to find the perfect festival accessories, so to help you guys out, we've gathered some of our fave accessories in the store to give you some Longitude style inspo. Enjoy!

For those of you going for a more rock chick look, try out our leather choker and our unreal new octagon sunnies! Match your glitter to one of our gorge bandana bikini's and you're good to go. 

There's so many ways to wear our gorge silk scarves, go for a classic look and tie it around your neck, loop it through your belt or tie it in your hair and pair with one of our fab chokers and funky heart shaped sunglasses. Total festi-babe!

We're obsessed with the Wild Thoughts video here at Nine Crows and we get major festival vibes from RiRi's outfit in it. We think our bandanas, glasses and bamboo hoops are perfect for a Rihanna inspired festival look, just add some fishnet socks and cute henna tattoos for even more festival vibes!

We love the idea of mixing bindis and bikinis for a festival look. Add in some rainbow chokers and rose tinted glasses and you'll look as if you just stepped off the set of a 90s music video, which sounds like festi-goals to us. 

How CUTE is this little pink scarf? We think it looks amazing tied around a classic pair of denim shorts for a gorge boho festival look. All you need is some sunnies and a statement piece of jewellery for the perfect festival outfit. Just don't forget your matching glitter! 

Speaking of glitter, we have plenty here in store! Use our white glitter for a fab inner corner highlight, give yourself some blue glitter roots or maybe a pink glitter lip? Check out the pics below for some inspo. 

Photo from buzzfeed.com    Photo from cosmopolitan.com    Photo from hungertv.com   Photo from picnic.ly 
Photo from instagramcom/ninecrows              Photo from instagram.com/ninecrowsgalway 

Whatever look you're going for at Longitude this year, we have you sorted here at Nine Crows so pop into us either in Dublin at Temple Lane South, or in Galway at Cross Street to get all your last minute bits!

Ciara x
July 12, 2017 by Ciara Moran
Top 10 Instagrams to Follow in July

Top 10 Instagrams to Follow in July

Everyone loves a good oul Instagram stalking sesh, so we've rounded up ten of our fave accounts for you guys to follow. Enjoy!

1. @ainemarryart

Photos from instagram.com/ainemarryart 

Aine's Instagram uses art to show what it's like living with mental illnesses. Her colourful cartoons help to depict the feeling of having constant anxiety and/or depression and how they can affect your everyday life, making them relatable for anyone who struggles with mental health and for anyone who doesn't, it can help them understand how sufferers feel. 

2. @aoifentk 

Photos from instagram.com/aoifentk 

If you don't already follow Aoife on Instagram, you definitely should! You'll get major style inspo from the Dublin based designer/illustrator who posts pictures of her gorge outfits, Be warned though, her minimal, sporty style will give you major wardrobe envy. 

3. @ciaramakesthings

Photos from instagram.com/ciaramakesthings 

This Dublin based artist's Instagram has a variety of amazing works of art, raging from portraits of celebrities such as Beyonce, to feminist pieces focusing on issues such as Repeal the Eighth. Her stunning work gets the message of these pieces across in the most beautiful way.

4. @conorclinch

Photos from instagram.com/conorclinch 

 The London-based Irish photographer has worked with brands such as Adidas, House of Holland and ASOS and his Instagram is full of his stunning images. Even photography legend Rankin is a fan of Conor's work so you know his stuff is good.

5. @emmalouisetighe

Photos from instagram.com/emmalouisetighe 

Emma is one of the most glam gals around and of course her Instagram account is just as fab. Her page is full of pictures showing her unreal outfits and gorge fashion inspo pics. Prepare for major envy of this Instaqueen.

6. @grainnebinns

Photos from instagram.com/grainnebinns 

Grainne's Instagram gives out major happy vibes and her account will make you want to dress up in crazy clothes and dance the night away at a festival with your friends. If you want someone with a positive outlook on life and unreal style, Grainne's your gal.

7. @hughmulhern

Photos from instagram.com/hughmulhern 

Hugh is one of the most promising young director's around. This Irish lad has worked on loads of short films and music videos and his Insta features short clips of these along with unreal still images like the ones shown above, which will leave you absolutely blown away by this lad's talent.

8. @jackcarolan

Photos from instagram.com/jackcarolan

Dublin based photographer Jack's Instagram is full of amazing photos, including plenty of Dublin and the people in it. Jack's amazing photography will make you appreciate the city a little bit more and see a bit of beauty that you might have previously missed, as well as just admiring his ability to capture the perfect shot.  

9. @sercawilliams

Photos from instagram.com/sercawilliams 

This gorge gal is a total girlboss. She owns Babooshka beauty which specialises in  hair, braids, dreads, glitter and lashes, and Serca is defo a good advertisement for it. This talented gal's page will have you covering yourself in glitter and dreads and loving it.

10. @yellowbananababe

Photos from instagram.com/yellowbananababe 

We absolutely love Bryana's Instagram here at Nine Crows. You can't help but feel happy when you look on her Insta, with its sunny vibes and Bryana is a complete babe who will leave you with a major girl crush (and possibly craving a banana). 

And don't forget to give us a follow too if you haven't already! 

Ciara x
July 05, 2017 by Ciara Moran
Free the Nipple

Free the Nipple

Photo from twitter.com/freethenipple

The Free the Nipple movement was started in 2013 by Lina Esco after she struggled with the release of her film of the same name which features a group of topless women in New York protesting against the criminalisation of female toplessness. This struggle to get the film widely released motivated Esco to start the Free the Nipple movement which, according to their official website, is a “global campaign of change, focused on the equality, empowerment, and freedom of all human beings” but really it is about so much more than that. It is about women having full rights over their own bodies and the right to be seen as more than a sexual object. On sunny days, men can walk around with no tops on, if anything it’s to be expected when the weather is so warm. The problem with this is that women can go to jail for doing the same thing, purely because women are seen as sexual objects before they are seen as human and it is this attitude which Free the Nipple aims to change.

Photo from her.ie 

It is not nipples themselves that are the problem, it is the sexual objectification of women and the constant double standards in society. A man who wears no top is a man wearing no top, a woman wearing no top is a woman with no shame, a woman committing a crime. There’s actually no Irish law that explicitly states a woman cannot walk around topless, it depends on whether they are being ‘indecent.’ In 2016 Carina Fitzpatrick was forcibly removed by police from Knockanstockan festival for doing what hundreds of men were doing, going topless, however it was her who was deemed ‘indecent.’ Plenty of illegal things worthy of being arrested for happen at festivals such as Knockanstockan, but the person who ended up arrested was the woman who took off her top. Topless men themselves were asking the guards why they weren’t being arrested but they weren’t, unlike the women who preceded to take off their tops and write ‘Free Carina’ on their bodies. Festivals are supposed to be a place where you can be totally uninhabited but women still have to follow rules that men don’t, they have to cover up and be aware that if they dare to wear a revealing top or, God forbid, no top at all, men and women alike will judge them.

Photo from instagram.com/freethenipple

Carina Fitzpatrick was told by the guards to think of the children, an argument often used by those against the Free the Nipple movement. Apparently, children should not be exposed to topless women but if they shouldn’t see topless women, why is it ok for them to see topless men? Children are not born with the idea that women’s breasts are sexual, they do not look at topless men and feel confused or violated so why should they feel that way with topless women? By teaching them that women should not be topless, we are teaching them that the female body is something shameful and gross that should be hidden away until a man asks to see it. Until recently, you couldn’t show a woman breastfeeding on Facebook, graphic videos of war and violence were allowed but a woman feeding her child was not. Women breastfeeding are made feel as if they need to cover up or leave the room to make sure they are not offending anyone but it is not a woman’s job to make sure every person around her is comfortable, a woman feeding her child with a bottle is not outrageously offensive so why should it be any different when a woman is feeding a child with her breasts? Men are allowed remove their tops pretty much whenever they want, women can’t even do it to feed their child.

 Photo from theodysseyonline.com

When a man takes his top off he is seen as hot, when a woman takes her top off she is seen as indecent and pornographic. Topless boys are used as cover boys to sell magazines but the women who do this are branded as sluts. It is up to men to decide when women can and can’t show off their bodies. Men who complain about the Free the Nipple movement are not complaining when they see naked women in porn or during sex because they have decided that in these instances, topless women are ok. Page 3 is ok, strip clubs are ok, porn is ok, but women choosing to show their own bodies whenever they want, even to feed their baby, is not ok. When a woman chooses to show her own boobs in a random Insta selfie or at a festival, instead of in one of the ‘accepted’ ways, this is when the nudity changes from being ‘fashion’ or ‘marketing’ to ‘slutty.’ Men are deciding when the female body is acceptable and we are letting them.

 Photo from instagram.com/freethenipple

Free the Nipple is something that all women, regardless of sexuality, race or class, can get behind. The movement is not about women wanting to take their tops off and get their boobs out for the lads, it’s about them being seen as a human being and not just a sexual object there for male pleasure. It empowers women to be able to say ‘this is my body that I am in control of, not something for you to stare at or play with.’ Free the Nipple is not about women being able to show their boobs off whenever they want, just like Repeal the Eighth is not about women being able to have abortions whenever they want. It is about giving women the choice and power to make decisions about their own bodies and not have to be seen as a body first and a human second. Women’s bodies are not sexually explicit, they are not dirty, they are just bodies and women are much more than their bodies.

Blog by Ciara Moran
June 28, 2017 by Ciara Moran
Nine Crows Guide to Body and Soul

Nine Crows Guide to Body and Soul

What To Do 


There is so much more to do at Body and Soul than just the music acts, ranging from spa treatments to film screenings. So if you feel like taking a break from dancing with your mates, check out one of the other unreal experiences Body and Soul has to offer.


Photo from bodyandsoul.ie


For some pampering; If the festival living is starting to take its toll and you feel like being pampered, Body and Soul has the Second Nature area where you can do just that. The Sanctuary Therapies offers loads of treatments including acupuncture in case you’re feeling a bit stiff from the weekend’s antics, an Indian head massage to help relieve any sore heads and reiki, perfect if you’re in need of some healing. If you’re feeling a bit grubby and want to get clean as well as relaxed, try the Immerse Spa Experience, which offers a range of water-based treatments including Epsom salt baths, seaweed baths and hot tubs, perfect for washing away the festival grot and relaxing you at the same time. The Naked Juice tent is offering a range of events from exercise classes to motivational talks and there’s also a range of workshops, meditations and classes including yoga and hula-hooping, so you’re sure to find something to interest you.



Photo from centrestage.vodafone.ie


For some laughs; Maybe you’re in need of some chilled comic relief after all the non-stop partying, Body and Soul has you covered with the Vodafone Comedy Tent. This is the tent’s third year at the festival and it has an exciting mixture of Irish and international comedians, including Al Porter, Joanne McNally and Fred Cooke. The comedy tent is always a highly anticipated aspect of the festival and you’d be mad to miss it, so make sure you head over and have a few laughs.


Photo from independent.ie


For some chill time; The non-stop partying at a festival can be draining and sometimes you need to just chill out and relax and where better to do just that than chilling in front of a classic film? For the third year in a row, the Light House Cinema is back at Body and Soul, showing a classic range of films, including My Girl, The Neverending Story, Spiceworld, Stop Making Sense and The Lost Boys. So take some time to rewatch an old favourite or catch a classic that you’ve never seen before, and how cool is it to be able to say you’ve watched Spiceworld outside at a festival? The films will be shown in the Library of Progress Tent every night from 9:30pm.  


Photo from bodyandsoul.ie


For some new experiences; Festivals are known for being the place for a cool new experience and as always, Body and Soul is delivering on that promise. This year they have invited you to “play the forest” with the new technology Mogees. Mogees is an exploration of noise making, currently exhibiting at the Science Gallery at Trinity College and will be at Body and Soul. It is a technology that turns anything into a musical instrument, so you simply tap on any of the marked trees and Mogees will magically turn this into a brand new sound. So you can tell your friends you took part in a scientific experiment and get to become one of the performers, even if it’s only for a few minutes.


 Photo from Facebook.com/bodyandsoulireland


For some culinary fun; As always, Body and Soul is delivering loads for the foodies amongst you. Along with the usual unreal set of food trucks, including the famous Big Blue Bus, they also have Food on Board, which is bringing in plenty of food experts giving talks on topics such as how to stop food waste, a permaculture approach to making recipes and the world of The Happy Pear, among many others. So whether you want to eat some food, get some recipe ideas or just learn more about food in general, Body and Soul has it all.




Who To See


Body and Soul is fast becoming one of Ireland’s best festivals and always has an unreal line up, but this can make it hard to know who to go see, so we’ve rounded up five acts at Body and Soul that you shouldn’t miss, enjoy!


Photo from bodyandsoul.ie


RÜFÜS; These lads from Sydney have been taking over Australia, with both of their albums, Atlas and Bloom, going to number one over there. Australia has a tradition of producing a number of amazing dance acts, including Jagwar Ma, Empire of the Sun and Cut Copy, and these boys are certainly following suit. They deliver an atmospheric, indie, electronic vibe, with an almost Chemical Brothers feel and are guaranteed to put on a good show, so head down and see what the fuss is all about.


Photo from facebook.com/bodyandsoulireland 


La Femme; Another overseas act, La Femme are a French act who went on tour in the States in order to make it big in France, leaving the French (and everyone else) wondering how they had never heard of this band before. The band describe themselves as influenced by the Velvet Underground and Kraftwerk, with a blend of krautrock and psych sounds and are about to undergo a round of French festivals and an Asian tour so be sure to catch them at Body and Soul first.


Photo from residentadvsior.net


King Kong Company;  Last year saw King Kong Company sell out The Academy, receive Pure M’s ‘Best Live Act of 2016’ award and release their self-titled debut album, and now they’re back after a few months break from touring to work on their music and improve their live shows, with what promises to be a knockout performance. The Irish electric group have played at Body and Soul before, in 2014 and 2015, and this year’s set is sure to be just as much of a success.


Photo from bodyandsoul.ie


Bonobo; Body and Soul themselves say that Bonobo aka Simon Green, personifies their “laidback atmosphere and surging energy” so you know his set is going to be a good one. The Brit performer released his sixth album, Migration, this year, which went to number one in the US dance/electronic charts, following in the steps of his last album The North Borders. He has been all over the world delivering a number of amazing performers and for Body and Soul his live band are coming along so the performance is sure to be mind bending. Definitely not one to miss.


Photo from facebook.com/bodyandsoulireland 

Metronomy; Initially a solo DJ act, founding member Joseph Mount eventually asked his cousin and friend to join him for live performances, though he continued writing and recording on his own. Metronomy released Summer ‘08  last year, recorded solely by Mount. The album is full of funky tunes featuring acts such as Robyn and Mix Master Mike. Metronomy will be fresh off the stage at Glastonbury when it comes to the time for Body and Soul, and with a live show known for unreal light shows, you know this will be a good one.




What To Wear


Festivals are always an excuse to take risks with your style and with this year’s theme for Body and Soul being ‘Second Skin,’ it gives you the perfect excuse to embrace your ‘most creative self’ and step into a second skin. Don’t worry if you’re not sure what to wear, we’ve rounded up some of our cutest pieces in store to give you some inspo so be sure to pop into us for all your festival needs.


Baja Babe;




A baja is a festival classic and we have tons of cute ones in store at the minute, including this gorge grey one, ideal paired with some cute vintage sunnies for a casual laid back look. We also have this STUNNING candy striped piece which is perfect for throwing on when the temperatures start to go down and staying festiglam. And for those gals who want to stand out a bit, why not go for our cute short sleeved baja, with some classic denim shorts and some funky sunglasses. Perfect for being a Body and Soul babe.


Get Hot in Hawaiian;



Hawaiian shirts are one of the biggest festival trends this season, they’re unisex, versatile and gorgeously effortless. One of the best things about Hawaiian shirts is the amount of ways you can wear them. They look super cute buttoned up with some shorts, with one of our stunning bralettes underneath or casually tied up. We also have this stunning Hawaiian print t-shirt which looks gorge with some boots and a denim skirt. Rock one of these shirts at Body and Soul and you’ll feel as if you’re on a tropical island, even if it is pouring down.


Halter Top Heaven;



Our halter tops are an absolute essential for any glam festigal. They keep you looking fab, even when you’re roughing it at a festival, and go with absolutely everything. We have some outfit inspo here to give you gals some ideas, will you rock your halter with a studded belt and some leather? Or maybe go for a more boho look with a cute hat and some glam sunnies? For the more daring of you, go full on cowgirl-chic with some of our fab cowboy boots and suede fringed skirts. Whichever way you choose to style them, a cute halter will make sure you’re one of the most glam festival goers in Ballinlough.


Kill it in Crochet;




Another festival essential is crochet, perfect for all you boho babes out there. Crochet always looks cute and is perfect paired with some vintage Calvin Klein denim and a shirt for a very 90’s inspired festival look. Or embrace the creative theme of this year’s Body and Soul and throw a funky colourful waistcoat on top of a crochet top and some shorts, with some colourful sunglasses to perfect the look. Outfits like these will make sure you’re absolute boho festigoals.


Two Piece Dreaming;



You can’t go wrong with one of our amazing two pieces for a festival. Wear them together for a cute coordinated festival look, or mix and match them with some other pieces to change things up a bit. This gorge colourful one gives us major festival vibes and is perfect for looking glam while staying comfy at Body and Soul, perfect for grooving the night away.



Whatever you wear or do or whatever acts you see, just remember that festivals are a place for fun, a place where you can go all out with your outfits and completely be yourself (or step into a ‘second skin’ and be someone else) but most of all where you can have a laugh with your mates and forget about everyday stresses. So be safe, have an unreal time and be sure to catch us at the Dark and Stormy bar between two and four on the Sunday!



June 21, 2017 by Ciara Moran
Why Pride is Still Important in 2017

Why Pride is Still Important in 2017

Despite the fact that Ireland has voted in Marriage Equality and it seems that not being straight and cis-gender is more acceptable than ever, it is important to acknowledge that members of the LGBTQ community continue to face discrimination every day and events such as Pride remain necessary to both show support for the community and to allow a safe space where everyone,regardless of sexuality, age or gender, can feel accepted and loved. It can be easy to think that in more progressive countries, gay people face no problems, but even in Ireland, the first country to vote in Marriage Equality by popular vote, members of the LGBTQ community face regular discrimination and isolation, as shown by the recent vandalisation of The George. To some, Pride is a fun event for dressing up in rainbow clothes and partying the night away, but for many others, it is so much more. It allows people to feel not only accepted, but celebrated, to feel normal in a world which often paints them as anything but. Pride is about so much more than gaypride, it is about liberation, inclusion and support. It is a celebration, a declaration and a haven.

The festival has particular importance for younger gay people. The festival, which includes events such as the kids parade, shows young people struggling with their sexuality that they are normal, that there are other people feeling the same way as them and people will accept and love them, no matter who they are attracted to. For people who are struggling with their sexuality, or on the cusp of coming out, somewhere like Pride can be a source of comfort and confidence. A festival full of people celebrating a part of their personality which may be the very part that makes them feel different or unloveable, helps show people struggling that their sexuality is not something to be hidden, it is something to be proud of. Pride is a way to say ‘this is who I am and I am proud.’

Photo from www.irishtimes.com

Just like the LGBTQ community itself, everyone is welcome at Pride. It is a place which embraces everyone from gay to straight, pansexual to transexual. It is important to remember that while gay, lesbian and bisexual are becoming more and more accepted and normalised, there are many other sexualities and genders that are not as known or accepted, such as pansexual, asexual, polysexual and transexual. Pride celebrates all of these and allows all types of marginalised people worldwide to feel powerful and as if they have a voice. Pride is a way for straight people to lend their support to the community, to acknowledge that straight privilege is dominant in society and show that they want that to change. Pride is a way to educate straight, cis-gender people on LGBTQ culture and help gain more tolerance and acceptance. It is the one place where members of the community are not only accepted, but celebrated. It is a place for them to connect with other members and feel united and strong.

Anyone who thinks there is no need for events like Pride or that being gay is completely accepted in today’s society, need only look at events such as the banning of homosexuality in Russia among many other countries, the Orlando shooting, the refusal by many to accept Caitlyn Jenner as a woman and stop referring to her as Bruce or ‘him,’ or, more close to home, the Vote No campaign in the Marriage Equality referendum. One of their most used arguments was that gay couples should not be parents, many said ‘oh they can be together, but they shouldn’t be allowed have kids, it’s not fair on the kids,’ or that they were destroying the ‘sanctity of marriage’ by daring to try and spend their life with the person they love. Attitudes such as this are the reason events such as Pride are still needed. It is only when members of the LGBTQ community are regarded as exactly the same as everyone else, just as capable of being parents or allowed to get married as they choose, that full equality will have been achieved. Perhaps then Pride will no longer be as important as it is now, but until we reach that point, it is still necessary to get out there and support the cause.

Photo from www.dailyedge.ie

Many people argue that Pride has become a spectacle and perhaps it has, but the overriding message behind it is still there, we are not afraid, we are not different, we are proud. Members of the LGBTQ community are told everyday that they are different, weird, not as important as straight people, they face violence and often subtle discrimination in the form of straight privilege. This can be something like a tv show not being willing to show a gay kiss in comparison to the multiple heterosexual kisses shown without problems, or gay storylines still being a rarity and seen as controversial. Pride is somewhere where members of the LGBTQ community are instead told that they are normal, important, loved and accepted, where their sexuality is not their defining feature which makes them stand out, but simply just another part of the person they are. It is not something to hide, downplay or be ashamed of, it is something to be proud of. Pride allows us to see the LGBTQ community not as numbers, statistics or a caricature, but as real people. It reminds us of the struggle faced by the community, as it can seem bizarre that in 2017 we still need to have something like Pride to let people know that they are just as valued in society as everyone else, but we do and it is getting this message across that is the most important aspect of the festival. Pride reminds us that we still have a long way to go for reaching full equality and acceptance, but reassures us that we are certainly on the right track.

Gay Pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but the right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn’t a Straight Pride movement, be thankful we don’t need one.

For info on this years pride check out dublinpride.ie
June 16, 2017 by Ciara Moran


So after months and months of day dreaming of nothing but sunny festival days, festival season is finally JUST around the corner! We're so excited that we decided to share our top five festival trend picks with you guys and hopefully give you some inspiration for your own fab festiGAL outfits! We can't wait to boogie the nights away at our favourite festivals this Summer.


1. The Glam Festigal

If you're a gal that is all about GLAMOUR but still isn't afraid to rough it at a camping festival, then you seriously NEEEED these absolutely stunning outfits. Our reworked deep v blouses and deep v halters can be worn with literally ANYTHING so they are perfect for festival season! Nothing says festival glam like this uhhhmazing Louis Vuitton deep v halter top and D&G belt which are both available in our Temple Bar store! Can anyone say festiGLAM goals? You'll be sure to turn some heads if you wear these outfits at Electric Picnic or Forbidden Fruit this Summer.


2. The Boho Festigal

A trend that you are sure to see at every festival this Summer, the boho trend is here to stay! Nothing says BOHO BABE like some killer crochet, some delightful denim and our hot halters which are reworked right here in our Dublin offices! These pieces are crazily versatile, they can be worn with pretty much anything from shorts to skirts to jeans! Wear these beautiful boho outfits at Body & Soul or Longitude and you are sure to be absolute festiGOALS.

3. The Grunge Festigal

 The grunge gal style will forever and always be such a key festival festival trend! We're loving these gorgeous grunge and equally effortless outfits. We have tonnes of band tee's, Levi's and fringed pieces online and in store - we swear by these when festival season comes around! Pair yours with your favourite pair of Levi's, or under your grungiest 90's dress to achieve ultimate GRUNGE GAL GOALS. Rock the trend at Castlepalooza or Indiependance and you're sure to look fab af while you frolic freely surrounded by beautiful festival vibes.

4. The Sporty Festigal

One of our all time favourite festival trends is the SPORTY festigal! You'll be so insanely cute and cosy rocking these sports pieces. You'll be able to dance your cute lil butts off all night long in these super cute and equally as comfy branded bits! We've got plenty of Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Puma and Asics online and in store to keep all you modern day Sporty Spices looking HOT AF all festival season long! Bop the night away at Life Festival or A.V.A Festival in these stunning sporty garms.

5. The Hippy Festigal

The hippy trend at festivals has become more and more popular in recent years, nothing says festiGAL quite like these fab 70's hippy inspired lace up pieces! Can we have a minute for these STUNNING lace up tie dye pants and for that gorgeous lace up blouse? You'll be sure to look HOT AS HELL in these beautiful bits. These are all available on our website! Be a babin' hippy beauty in these pieces at Body & Soul or Fuinneamh Festival this summer.

 Blog by Kaitlyn Burke.

May 12, 2017 by Kaitlyn Burke