Tag Archives: tacky

Pierdom

Southend Pier by Simon RobertsSouthend-on-Sea, Essex

I’m very fond of the British seaside. Not so much in a twee “OMG, let’s take photos and eat candyfloss!” kind of way – although that can be fun – but because there is so much to genuinely love about these former tourist traps, with their juxtaposed tackiness and architectural charm. I spent a lot of my childhood holidaying in Britain, as opposed to going on package holidays to places like Tenerife or The Costa del Sol. I felt quite envious of my classmates, who got to travel on an aeroplane and were guaranteed sunshine but, looking back, I think that spending rainy days in a caravan in Scotland and having trips out to Morecambe, Southport and Blackpool has made me feel more connected to the place where I was born. As I got older, I began to romanticise the typical English seaside resort because of their mix of joy, despair and faded grandeur. Of course this is present in a lot of small towns, but with the harshness of winter and idyll of summer by the coast, these extremes seem…amplified. This isn’t just some abstract feeling I have either. Although there are exceptions to this trend in prosperous locations, such as Brighton and Poole, the traditional British seaside town has long been in decline – offering the kind of unfashionably kitsch holiday that belongs to your granny and granddad’s halcyon days. A recent report called ‘Turning The Tide‘ details the deprivation present in the UK’s coastal towns – including the ones which haven’t been totally deserted by tourists. In a lot of these towns, the grand old hotels have since been converted into bedsits that are full of transients. Although I will always have a soft spot for Blackpool in particular, the reality of life there is pretty grim. In the series ‘Pierdom’, Simon Roberts focuses on Britain’s iconic Victorian piers, and his lensย captures my feelings about these places perfectly. From wind-bitten, rusting structures to sun-bathed promenades, his photographs evoke the curious charm and essence of the British seaside.Hastings Pier Simon RobertsHastings, East Sussex

Boscombe Pier Simon RobertsBoscombe, Hampshire

Teignmouth Grand Pier Simon RobertsTeignmouth, Devon

Blackpool South Pier Simon RobertsBlackpool, Lancashire

More of Simon Roberts’ brilliant photography is on his websiteย – there are more photographs from the Pierdom series, and you should also have a look at another project he has done called ‘We English‘, which focuses on English tourism in a much broader context.

Sexed Up

According to Mean Girls, “Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it”. I remember a golden age of innocence when, at one time, all the girls who wanted to dress slutty had to either put together their own outfit (the fun option), or choose something boring and obvious and kind of lame from Leg Avenue. But nowadays, you can get all kinds of, um, ‘sexy’ costumes…If you love weiners and weeners, this seductive hotdog costume is definitely for you! Better still, your friends can come along as mustard and ketchup. Mmm, sexy condiments!Looking to score with a younger man? You’ll want to go as a popular children’s cartoon character such as sexy Fozzie or slutface Cookie Monster. If the person you’re trying to impress just happens to be an immature stoner type, you’ll probably want to go as slaggy Brian from Family Guy. Yep, that’s a real thing that someone came up with – dressing a woman up as a sexy male dog cartoon character.If you’re heading to a party where the crowd are maybe a little artsy or pretentious, they’ll appreciate it if you’ve made the effort to go for something a bit more creative. What about going as some kind of promiscuous crayon? On the other hand, you could go as an etch-a-sketch sex object named Sketchy Sally – there’s scope for an excellent ice breaker about “knob twiddling” with that one! Fnar, fnar!Or maybe you could go as a sex rooster or, umm…okay, I honestly have no idea what that pink costume is supposed to be, but at least it looks like Mischa Barton’s getting work again! Go Mischa!