Girls, Put Your Armour On

10 Oct

You go ahead, let your hair down.

You’re gonna find yourself somewhere…somehow.

~Corinne Bailey Rae, Put Your Records On 

Hey everybody! I’m shaking my head because I realize this day is not Thursday, no matter how hard I wish for it to be. It’s looking like my “Update Day” really just became my “Think-about-writing-and-maybe-put-together-a-playlist Day”. Thank you for rolling with me. And this essay is gonna be all over the place, just to warn you. So much to talk about–and suddenly I’m feeling like I’ve little time. *pauses to think about it* Pffft. We’ll just write a dozen MOOs to cover it all if we must, ok? Let’s do this.

Fight Like A Girl 

So the title of this essay was rumbling around in mah head, to the tune of Corinne Bailey Rae’s lovely anthem of self-acceptance and our ability to make the choice to move forward even when we are knocked off-balance. The song, Put Your Records On, is on this week’s MOO Music Playlist, though it’s of a completely different genre than its accompanying selections. Do me a favor and sing along when the final swelling chorus erupts, “Girls, put your armour on!”  I found it incredibly satisfying. Or maybe that’s just me and I should put away my hairbrush-microphone and turn off my wind machine (aka floor fan). *ahem*

The message (or war cry) throughout the music (and the following Musings) is universal.

Despite our personal propensities towards introversion or extraversion; impulsivity or premeditation, we can create positive movement as long as we remain true to our personal missions and philosophies. And these personal beliefs and values we construct for ourselves–they are worthy of protection and support. They’re worth fighting for.

*Pauses a moment to breathe in the rain-soaked Fall air* Fall is my favorite time of year. I adore Fall. I live in Cali so I don’t actually see the seasonal shift, but I can feel and smell it…Crisp air stinging–not mine, not really, except when I’m down at the water–your cheeks; scents of wood-burning fires and cinnamon, and the pumpkin patches and jack-o-lantern creativity. This is also my favorite month. Not just because it’s my birthday month, but because October is the month where we have the free reign to #EmbraceOurOther in the form of wholly accepting our #Divergence #ShadowSides #AllThatWeAreAfraidToAdmitOutLoud…at least for one day. The great month of October also has mad boasting rights because it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month….

Every year, approximately 200,000 women and 1,700 men are diagnosed with breast cancer. Of the diagnosed, 40,000 women and 450 men will die. It is highly likely that we know or are connected to at least one person diagnosed with breast disease. It’s a BFD. It’s personal. My SIL’s mother and my own maternal grandmother had breast cancer.

I’m all about cultivating riots of hope here in Other-land, so I’m just gonna ask you all to blast through some of the more sobering statistics and use the knowledge as fuel for pro-activity. Do and be anything you feel comfortable with to spread the word about Breast Cancer Awareness this month. This could mean donating to cancer research organizations; signing up to participate in WALKS for the CURE, volunteering,WEARING PINK or simply SQUEEZING YOUR BOOBIES !! It’s all good  as long as we’re spreading the word, getting educated and having our cha-chas checked out for prevention and detection. Seriously. Get felt up and tell your posse to do the same. Breasts and lives depend on it. 

Armour Up

Speaking of Rebel Warriors and Tough Chicas, let’s check in with our Reigning Other Queen, yes? My, oh my, how she has kept us busy since we’ve last connected! We saw our girl’s long, glossy, Snow White locks when she popped by the Mulberry show in London during Fashion Week last month. We also knew, the creepers we are, that our girl had been working out and received tutelage from equestrian experts in preparation for the physically demanding role of the Rebel Royal Snow. All this preparation for the much-anticipated production of Snow White and the Huntsman. The film’s producers and creators had advised Comic Con audiences in July that SWATH aimed high–Lord of the Rings high; and we saw (and gasped and cheered) when the promotional photos for the film were released. So we knew all about that, or rather, we thought we knew all about it. However, when the photos from the set began surfacing and we caught our first glimpses of  Ms White on a Welsh beach atop her noble, white steed, leading the charge of revolution….? 

brb, gasping and flailing

Chills wound up and down my arms and I may have grown a little misty eyed, not gonna lie. I felt certain when I heard that Kristen took this role that she was meant to take this role. The pictures only confirmed it for me. Who better to represent an intensely courageous, exceptionally convicted, and passionately focused royal rebel than Kristen Jaymes Stewart?

So she’s armour-clad and leading her army towards confrontation. *Note* I am spelling the word armor/armour using The Queen’s English because, well, not only is Kristen in Britain working these next several months, and she is a royal rebel portraying a British Royal Rebel, but  also, her “boyfriend is English” (via GQSTEW next week), so I find it so very, very appropriate. This film production is based on the version penned by the Grimm Brothers, not Disney, quite obviously. And because we enjoyed the promo previews at Comic Con, we knew our girl would be suited up and armed with a shield and various badass weaponry. But to actually see her in costume, in character, working on a project unlike anything she has ever participated in before, I had this overwhelming thought:

There. She. Is. 


Kristen Stewart as she is. Beneath the thick, steel barricade of a bodysuit, I believe this is the most congruent, centered, feminine and gracefully assured Kristen I’ve ever seen. She is in her element. She is tackling a complex and ambitious role with ferocity and determination, but in extension of what she loves most about her work: relating to and sharing a story. This story features a girl named Snow who finds strength within to defend her right to believe in what she believes, travel where she wishes, love as she wishes…to defend her right to live authentically.

Armour does provide protection and a near-impenetrable defense mechanism from any external sources intent on harming her. But it also serves as preservation and containment for the strength and capabilities she already has within. 

The Superhero

And these weeks, with the release of the almost-surreal images from the SWATH set and subsequent magazine interviews (that we’ll get to a bit later), I feel as if we’ve witnessed Ms Stewart embrace her multitude of strengths and abilities. And that they and she are worth defending.

While metal suits and sharp weapons can serve as armour, we also can equip ourselves with less tangible defense mechanisms: a sense of humor, a fierce shyness, a really, really ill-timed, bellowing laughter.  Or, like me, a proclivity for skipping town. Really. When uncomfortable and feeling vulnerable, I actually throw myself out into the bigger world and search for a new place–elsewhere. I moved something like seven times in about five years  (I simply refer to those sordid years as ’02 to ’07). It was all about a new apartment, new city, new boys as distraction….

Edward attempting to distract Bella from sexxin... with a staggering game o' chess.

A word about distraction: I became mesmerized and deterred…err distracted when I searched out images to plug-in emphasizing the level of distraction I encountered in the Time Known As ’02 through ’07…

Another example of distraction—–>How great is it that I typed in ‘Distraction’ into Pinterest and this picture came up? As Rob can attest, #DistractionByStew is a common affliction.

The best kind of distraction

I love Rob's blatant disregard for the photoshoot taking place.

Ok, sorry. Armour. Back to talking literal and metaphoric armour. When armour is used as a preserver of valuable internal assets, it can manifest in very impressive boundary-setting, as modeled by our Reigning Other Queen.

She greets inquiries into her personal and family life with radio silence, and perhaps the switching of topics. With Vogue earlier this year, Kristen simply responded to yet another question regarding her relationship with Robert Pattinson:

“It’s not my job”

To physically ground herself, she wears clothes in which she feels comfortable: her standard jeans, hoodie and Chucks. All of this in support and sustenance of  her basic though essential value:

Keep what’s yours, yours.

Another round of "Spot The Other Rebels"...annnnd GO

Preserving and supporting what you value most is a sign of self-respect and self care, something we all struggle with periodically…and for some, like me, sometimes, daily. Lets continue to push through our hesitancy in accepting The Good. Let’s be proactive. Let’s take our cues from our fellow Others around us, like Kristen her partner Robert. Let’s model ways to support and protect ourselves by implementing proactivity and preventative steps. And because it’s October, something proactive you can do is go get your boobies squeezed. It’s all about protection, friends.

A Glamourous Girl

As if we hadn’t already been stunned stupid with the SWATH photos and with images of Her Royal Highness charging forward with a rebel yell, we get a surprise magazine cover too.

Note the article’s title: The Real Kristen Stewart. Nope. Not a coincidence. While apparent to those of us Kristen-supporters for ages now, the fashion and movie industries are finally also recognizing that our Reigning Other Queen is flourishing. Perhaps her “real” persona was half-hidden all these years due to the confinements of her role in Twilight. Or maybe the naturally introverted Stewart was misquoted and misidentified by the Critics and Bullshit People as aloof and disconnected. Probably a combination of all the aforementioned. It’s no wonder she needed a particularly steely brand of armour to survive the brutal attacks of the last four years.

Lace and combat boots, your Highness? #OtherOn

An outtake only because it's just tooooo pretty perhaps?

The 'Real' Kristen Stewart will please stand up. hnnng.

In her Behind-The-Scenes video for the Glamour shoot–like with every other BTS vid (*ahem* Flaunt and W) Kristen is candid and accessible and even more beguiling than meets the eye. She admits she believes her pets talk to her, for Goddess’ sake! Of course I feel a kinship with her on many levels, and talking to my pets as if they would answer me back is just one connection. But it’s an important one.

Her voice is strong and clear. Knowing. 

The Glamour interview, as conducted by the Twilight Saga author Stephenie Meyer, was brief but not without some moments of brilliance. Ms Meyer asks Kristen if she has any advice about relationships to share with the magazine’s readers. Imparting sage words so very Kristen, our Reigning Queen says:

“…being honest and knowing yourself. Don’t be an asshole. That’s my advice. Don’t be mean. Don’t take shit. Don’t settle.”

While our Majestic Misfit wielded her protective gear as a defensive mechanism over the years, I believe we’re watching as she dresses in her armour, that it is not in avoidance, but rather in support and maintenance of all of her luminous qualities.

In celebration of their splendor. It’s an acknowledgement that confidence, conviction, strength, passion, humor, warmth, kindness and accessibility has always been real, and always been present.

She just knows it now. And she will defend it.

We Are Other.

Kristen Is Other.

Others recognize that they are worth the fight.

Embrace Your Other.

*   *   * 

Question(s): What is your armour (protector as well as defense mechanism)?

~Mine is running away into the world….and red, red lipstick. Oh, and a certain pair of knee-high boots.

What do you think of the emergence of Kristen’s SWATH photos? Glamour?

 *    *    *

A/N: We’re doing British GQ next time, folks.  And we’ve got LOTS to talk about: Breaking Dawn Premiere (I’m going!), Sam Bradley (I went! Again!), an Other Art Collaboration and another Giveaway (or two?)….SO MUCH!! I told ya, I’m willing to post a dozen MOOs to cover the greatness that is Kristen’s Rising.

I’m most likely closing down my personal Twitter Account–>@kjn52 by the end of this month. I’m running too many operations right now between Twatter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, WordPress and The Magical Little Practice.
I’ve nothing to hide from you all anyway. You know more about me now than some of my family.
You can chat me up at @MusingsOnOther
Thank Yous, gropes, sloppy kisses to the usual suspects: My Cyber Sisters, Good Reads Girls, MySmut&SmokesSisters, & my Twitter Lovelies of Team Other
Musical Playlist for This Essay:

Glory Box~ Portishead

Roll On~ dntl (featuring Jenny Lewis)

Shake it Out~ Florence + The Machine

Morricone: The Mission~ Yo-Yo Ma

We Won’t Run~ Sarah Blasko

Put Your Records Armour On~ Corinne Bailey Rae

10 Responses to “Girls, Put Your Armour On”

  1. Christine October 19, 2011 at 5:02 am #

    It’s very refreshing to go and read your posts on this site (I have it bookmarked). I am very sorry for my very late comment but I have been really busy last week as it is my Finals week. I am stressed but I did check out the site and saw that you have a new post. Unfortunately, I just breezed through it and promised myself to read it when I am through with my exams.

    But last week is last week, so, here I am! I have to say that despite some heavy points (Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a BFD as you say), I find this post light.

    Like any Kristen Stewart fan, I used to stalk her through youtube and hollywood blolumns (*ahem* maybe I still am 😉 ). And as far as my observations can tell me, I’ll say that Kristen used her uniqueness such as being awkward, uncomfortable, and dress code that doesn’t suit the norm, to prove her realness and a sort of defense mechanism to defend and protect what is hers. Since the start, people has been bashing her for many things like being the subject of Robert Pattison’s affection, portraying Bella, and many other nonsensical things. It gets me so frustrating sometimes to hear my brothers speak of her badly or read comments that criticizes the things that she does which symbolizes her realness and makes her more endearing for me as a fan. I am so happy to watch years pass by as she remains herself despite the criticisms that rains her way. It is such a relief for me to see how, slowly, people come to realize that she is a diamond in the rough. She might not be the best actress in hollywood ( She is actually a good actress and I can’t wait to see her display courage instead of vulnerability in SWATH) but she is one of the most real actresses out there. It is a slap to every hater’s face whenever she acts the way she does, as if saying “this is me, you can’t change me to suit your tastes perfectly”.

    As for me, I would say that I have a lot of defense mechanisms. Sometimes, i get mad or cry when I feel like I can’t handle the situation. Sometimes, I just go, like you, to wherever and clear my head. I always feel awful about getting mad or crying. I won’t normally tell people this but since you don’t really know me and I feel like I can be honest with you, I’m telling you this. Sometimes, I replay things in my head and feel really awful about being weak in the face of troubles. I wish I can be stronger all the time. Which leads to my other defense mechanism – nonchalance. I don’t show emotions to the person hurting me because I believe it gives them pleasure. I keep it to myself and maybe write about it or open up to my gay friend. All three defense mechanisms of mine seem to be destructive, which leads me to believe that I should find a new defense mechanism.

    Lastly, I just want to share that Kristen is unknowingly one of the reasons behind the person that I am today. I don’t want to go emo on you but I’m just saying that her realness, courage in showing who she really helped me a lot. I feel bad when my brothers bash her for her awkwardness because I am awkward. I feel bad when they say she cannot speak her mind properly because I am not fond of telling strangers about myself either. That’s like telling bad stuff about me too because I am somehow just like her in some ways. The armor does serve as protection for her to cultivate the capabilities she already has inside of her. And like you, I like that quote “Don’t be mean. Don’t take shit. Don’t settle.” Those three things say a lot and that is my motto. Don’t be mean to the others, showing your true self to the point of hurting them. Don’t take shit. Being nice doesn’t mean taking shit especially from people who sees the opportunity and abuses it – they had it coming. Don’t settle. You deserve the best just like everyone else. Reach out and give yourself what you deserve. Work for your things. Keep what’s yours, yours.

    Thanks, this is truly a wonderful post.

    P.S. I forgot to mention last time, but after reading everything you had to say about Adele, I listened to her songs. She is great and she has a great personality. Thanks for introducing her music to me. 🙂

  2. pharmgirl15 October 16, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Sigh.. those GlamourStew pictures slay me. Especially the one where she is wearing the black lace shorts and white top. The interview was eclipsed by the pictures (and by the much better and thorough GQUK article a few days later).
    The set pictures from SWATH are helping to get me more excited for this movie. I am an indie movie lover (going to Sundance again this year!) so this type of big budget epic fantasy movie isn’t usually something I look forward to for months. That being said, I will generally see anything Kristen does, as she picks quality work, so I will trust her on this one too. She looks so confident and commanding on that beautiful horse! The pictures of her with the white horse where she appears to be bonding with the animal at the water line are stunning. I find myself looking forward to this project *almost* as much as OTR!
    Lastly, to answer your question… my armor is generally sarcasm in most situations. Has been since I was a kid. I also have a pair of black platform pumps (not Louboutins…yet) that work magic in formal and not-so-formal occasions! 🙂 Your discussion of armor also let my mind drift to security blankets versus armour- for me the line between the two of them is blurry- and I realized that my sarcasm might be a security blanket in some situations and armour in others. Any thoughts on my random tangent?
    Have a great week…. can’t wait to discuss GQ UK (there were lots of good things in that article BESIDES the obvious!)

  3. Emma October 13, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    Love the post and ALL comments!

  4. Joana October 13, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    Put your Armour On…LOVE IT!!!

    I think my main armour might be my brain.I don’t mean to sound full of myself or anything like that, especially among such a smart audience, but I’ve always been able to fight whatever comes my way with either knowledge or sarcasm. If I get attacked, I fight with logic. (I’ve been told more times than once that I put up a great discussion, and that I should be a lawyer. Not happening.) That and a smile always seem to work for me. if I feel need the need for an extra something I’ll weep out some of my favourite clothes.

    SWATH: I can’t wait to see this movie. Really, can’t wait! I say this every time but this is going to be SO amazing. First of all, our girl is going to knock everyone’s socks off! She looks amazing, the feeling that comes across those images is amazing and with all the production in place I have no doubt this is going to be an epic movie!

    Glamour: love, love, love it! She’s so feminine and girly in this shoot. Kind of a very very pretty girl next door that grew up.The short lace skirt, the strapless top, THAT hair, THOSE eyes. She seems so much more confident then say…last year! : ”’)

    October really is the greatest month. THINK PINK EVERYONE!


  5. LCMom October 12, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    Gah! The pictures here slay me utterly! I cant get enough of the interviews either. Its all too much. A gift. Big thanks to our ‘other’ Queen. And, to K for your time and insights here at MOO.. heart u.

  6. As always loved your musings and love Kristen’s strength. I really wish I could paint as I would try to paint some of these awesome pictures of Snow Stew. Hopefully they will make some prints of them as they are so beautiful I would have them framed.
    I too wish I could talk to my animals, but feel like I get many signals from them and can usually feel what mood my horse is in or what he is thinking and this goes for my dog too… I talk to them all the time “ok I may be a little crazy when it comes to animals”.
    I lost a friend to breast cancer and it is sometimes easy to think “I REALLY don’t want to know if something is wrong with me” so I put off being checked until my Great Dr. insists I do have these tests. I always feel better after, the fear of finding something…. when I could get help for something “IF” it is found earlier than later keeps me from getting checked is so irrational so your posting on this helps remind me how important this is.
    My defense mechanism, with any drama…. I remove myself from the situation, I go home turn off my phone, and what helps me most is to go ride my horse “who I talk to don’t forget” lol! Sometimes I feel closer to God riding all by myself, then being in a church.
    Thanks once again for your musings ❤

  7. Crystal Richard (@crystalcrichard) October 11, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    I love when I am having a particularly TRYING day and I take the time to read Musings and it makes every care in the world go away in a quick heartbeat. Truly. You always make a bad day better just by coming and reading your Musings.

    What is my defense mechanism? I think it’s changed over the years. In university when I was a poor student, it would be a trip to the salon OR in dire times, the hair dye aisle at the local pharmacy and I’d dye my hair some drastic color. If I was blonde, I’d go raven dark or chocolate brown. If I had dark hair, I’d get it re-dyed blonde. That was how I dealt with things.

    As I got older and could afford it, booking plane tickets and planning last minute road trips did the same trick just as well. For instance, i’m heading away to visit the majestic Cabot Trail of Nova Scotia this weekend and trust me – it’s a getaway trip (read: getaway car escaping madness).

    Lastly, I LOVE the breast cancer awareness! I have family who have been affected by it and I long for the day it can be made history!!!

    As always, lovely post. You are amazing ❤

  8. Cheermom October 10, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    Love this MOOsing!! Tying in armour with her SWATH photos?? BRAVO!! Excellent topic!!!

    Thank you for the shout-out for Breast Cancer Awareness. I lost two brave angels this year to this dreaded disease. Lori battled for 20 long years…since she was 21. Watching her fight to be able to see her kids grow up is not something I want any other woman to endure. She is still watching them, but not from the view she wanted. Dawn battled for 5 years. They were both huge supporters and fundraisers for Breast Cancer research.

    Their armour may have given out, but their spirit did not. Now it’s up to us to put our armour on and go into battle.

  9. Mel452 October 10, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    Perfect posting as always about our darling aswell as giving us food for thought.

    I did use the word “food” on purpose. You always feed my soul…I know sappy.

    Surprisingly my armour, or protector, can sometimes be food too – like most. I “fucking love me” some ice-cream with loads of chocolate topping drowned down with a few glasses of bubbles or sangria. Hope to have of that with you one day…

    Its not really armour…but it is some what of a protector. As odd as it seems…my online life. It distracts me from the every day crazy and the various issues that plague it. Whether its hearing about Kristen, Rob or talking to you all about anything, or your days/weeks, it puts a smile on my face or alot of LOL’ing.

    Love ya xxx

  10. Bella/theraingirl October 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    As always KJ, you astound me with your verbose beauty. You always seem to put into words, what I’m thinking. It’s nice to know you’re the spokeshottie for the Krisbians. I appreciate your abilities and I’m glad I can follow along. Now on to the questions.

    What is your armour (protector as well as defense mechanism)?
    My defense mechanism is definitely education. If I’m the smartest one in the room, then no one can make me feel badly for not being beautiful or cute or petite or adorable. I’m okay with my nerd. I also use humor… if I’m making people laugh, they aren’t laughing at me. At least I hope. I’ve spent a lot of time crying lately because I’m not good enough or worth enough and when trying to stay strong, sometimes you forget your armour and you break down. It’s standing again that can show your strength. I’m trying very hard to stand while wounded. I think that can be just as important as your armour. Sometimes a sword can make it through a chink in your armour… but what then?

    What do you think of the emergence of Kristen’s SWATH photos? Glamour?
    The SWatH pictures astounded me. I was excited with the idea of the movie, but I was worried they’d make it into a farce, but from what I’m seeing it will be angsty and dramatic. Poetic pain is Snow’s story. Just what it should be in my opinion. You grow from the pain and learn from the hurt. The rebellion of Snow and the Huntsman should be given it’s due and it looks as though it’s getting it. Stewie is stunning in her gleaming armour and her sodden gown. And the best part for me, seeing her between takes smiling. She looks like she’s really enjoying the role and that means a lot to me. She says she’ll only take roles that speak to her. I appreciate that strength to choose her roles and her movies, to not compromise for money.
    Now if only people would leave her and her boy alone so that they can just enjoy themselves. I wish for them to take time off and hide away in a burrow of London and enjoy their hobo-hipster livelyhoods playing music and reading and maybe make a beautiful green-eyed, potty-mouth boho baby. Just my little dream for the rebel pretties.

    Thank you again, KJ, for your beautiful words and being your incredible self.


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