WHAT IS “HIGHBROW” ANYWAY?

In a culture obsessed with celebrities, those of prolific talent as well as those with a penchant for sex tapes and twerking, the lines between high and lowbrow are blurring. The words “style icon” are coined very loosely around figures in the media deemed to be notoriously “lowbrow” such as the likes of Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus. But with the levels of fame and popularity rising amongst such “clans” of celebrities, is the nature of what is “highbrow” actually changing? And what even is the meaning of “highbrow” nowadays anyway?

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I personlly hate the terms high and lowbrow and the notion that it is already decided for me what is intellectually stimulating and what isn’t. We live in a world where virtually anyone can be famous, for anything. With the rise of YouTube stars such as Zoella and Tanya Burr; those making a name for themselves on Vine such as “King Bach” and Brittany Furlan; even up to the endless amount of bloggers that make themselves “popular” on the various social media platforms available for them to do so. So with all these rising stars and their followings, how do we decipher who is a celebrity and who is not? Is there a universal definition or is it a subjective outlook? Does having a massive following make you “highbrow”? That seems to be the way our society is changing. “Highbrow” used to mean something that is intellectual, cultured and serious. It is questionable as to whether the meaning remains the same, or at least the label of “highbrow” being used too loosely.

The rise of such tabloid figures has also participated in such blurred lines of high/lowbrow in fashion. The “celebrities” that are famous for what some would say “nothing”, are becoming ever more popular, which in turn makes them ever more richer which enables such “stars” to buy into “highbrow” fashion. This simple ability to shop has led certain media outlets to label these “stars” as “fashion icons”. All because they used their money to choose something to wear from a pre-styled mannequin.

Whilst I will be the first to admit my obsession with the Kardashians, my love for “reality” TV knows no bounds when it comes to The Real Housewives and I personally thought Miley’s twerking and tongue waggling incidents of 2013 were pure PR genius, I still feel nostalgic for a time when the Daily Mail weren’t constantly updating the world on who is dating who on TOWIE, or which Z-list “celebrity”, who everyone forgot about eight years ago, is pregnant again. Do we, the consuming public, actually care? Is this what stimulates us, what we consider to be “highbrow”? If not, what are we aiming for? Why don’t we, as intelligent consumers, solely focus on what we deem to REALLY be “highbrow”?

Why? Because we’re too busy discussing the likes of how fat Kim got whilst pregnant.

UPCOMING LIFE CHANGES: GETTING READY FOR UNIVERSITY!

So in the space of two weeks I moved to university in Epsom where I’m studying Fashion Journalism. That is one of the most exhilarating, exciting, scary, ridiculous and utterly fabulous sentences I’ve ever really written about myself. For me, uni has always been something that I’ve never really been all that interested in. The career path I want to go down (fashion journalism) doesn’t actually require a degree; more so experience. But I applied for uni anyway not even all that confident that I would even be accepted; but my school kind of forced the application process on us (because it clearly makes them look better the more of us that get into uni) and so I went along with it, not COMPLETELY keen with the idea, but not knowing what else I would do at that point. So I applied to three places, was invited to interviews and created portfolios (with one helluva fiasco involving my whole portfolio and a broken motherboard ONE WEEK before my interview at my first choice university!!!)

The universities I applied to were:

– The University for the Creative Arts – BA Hons Fashion Journalism
This was my first choice uni, I went to the open day and really felt a good “vibe” from it, the course looked perfect and the points expectation weren’t that high, which was appealing. (I only need a minimum of 240 points or three C’s at A Level)

– Southampton Solent University – BA Hons Writing Fashion and Culture
This was my second choice uni, I really liked it; the course leader was really friendly, the uni had a nice atmosphere and it was centrally located. However it was a looooong way from home which is why it was my second choice.

– Northbrook College – BA Hons Fashion Media and Promotion
I was offered a place at this uni which I ultimately declined. The course seemed fine, but it wasn’t a proper university, just a college with some degree level courses. It was situated in a sleepy-town and had no student accommodation, it was also a looooong way from home.

So to cut a long story short, as I mentioned earlier, I declined my place at Northbrook and had UCA as my first choice with Solent as my second choice with an unconditional offer from UCA. I always planned on taking a gap year out of education to earn money, gain CV recognition and also gain self esteem and come into myself more. School kind of took the life out of me and I needed a break to become more of myself. So having taken that gap year I can now fully vouch for the fact that I am a much more confident person than I was a year ago, much more motivated and emotionally stronger than I ever thought I could be.

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So now I’ve been at uni for a week. What are my first thoughts?

Well…. The run-up to the “big day” (i.e moving day) wasn’t as nerve-wracking as I thought it’d be. At this point, I was really looking forward to going to uni to actually study and gain a degree in something that I absolutely love. As of right now I feel very motivated and excited with, I’m not going to lie, a bit of anxiety mixed in! The first 5 days of being here I suffered with really bad nausea; to the point where even standing up was vomit-inducing. Luckily, all traces of my vomit and pre-vomit have disappeared and I can now enjoy my first weekend as a student! (Sadly, no alcohol for me!)

As much as I miss home comforts such as the security of having my parents around, home cooked meals (!!!), my bed, familiar surroundings and a job with a steady pay; I really do love the idea of living (semi) independently. I’m loving the course, made some cool new fwends, and living 30 mins away from London is a MASSIVE bonus!

Any comments or questions about my course, other fashion-related courses or just uni in general, just leave below or drop me an e-mail! I’d be more than happy to help in such a tiresome and stress-ridden process!

xoxo

p.s. I apologise for the long rambling post!!