Beyonce—Countdown to Overexposure.

I love me a bit of Beyonce every now and then, but this has got to stop!

Ever since she announced her pregnancy at the MTV VMAs in August, there’s been talk of a black woman “doing it the right way”, being “sexy and pregnant” and, of course, whether Bey’s bump is even real!

Seriously, when the world starts speculating that the most anticipated celebrity offspring of the year isn’t being carried by the female half of said celebrity couple, I think it means they’ve officially reached overexposure status. This is even worse than the film clip that spawned a thousand spoofs (“Single Ladies [Put a Ring on It]”) and that whole Taylor Swift-Kanye West debacle.

However, when her latest video was released for “Countdown”, I have to say I did like it. I thought it harkened back to Beyonce’s video for “Why Don’t You Love Me?”, with some Audrey Hepburn, ’60s-esque looks thrown in there, too. But, just like the response to Bey’s performance of “Run the World (Girls)” at the Billboard Awards, the copycat allegations ran thick and fast. She’s like the new Lady Gaga!

What do you think of Beyonce? Still love her or couldn’t care less?

Related: Did Rosie the Riveter Wear Hotpants?

Elsewhere: [Jezebel] Beyonce’s Pregnancy & the Debate Over Black Women “Doing it the Right Way”.

[Jezebel] Pregnance Plots Maternity Clothing Line.

[Jezebel] The Bizarre & Burgeoning Fixation with Fake Baby Bumps.

[Jezebel] Beyonce Accused of Copycat Choreography (Again!).

[MTV] Beyonce’s “Countdown” Video: A Pop-Culture Cheat Sheet.

[Buzzfeed] Beyonce Ripped Off Her Amazing Billboard Music Awards Performance.

Style VS. Fashion.

If you could be fashionable or stylish, which would you choose?

One incorporates fluro, Sass & Bide rats, digital prints and oversized tees; just some of the trends in the past few years that flatter most no one. The other consists of a personal style that transcends the trends. Think Kate Moss, Audrey Hepburn, Nicole Richie and Kate Middleton.

I know which group I would rather belong to, however, when people comment on my clothes, they usually call them trendy. Personally, I can’t think of a bigger insult!

Most of the clothes I buy, or want to buy, are things I’ve been lusting over for years, and are usually vintage or from a myriad of outlets, from “old-lady stores” like Brown Sugar and Blue Illusion, to second-hand markets, to Target, to Sportsgirl. I will admit to buying a plain red cami from Dotti a few weeks ago, but it’s the kind of item I’ll wear for years to come and is quite timeless… well, as timeless as Dotti can be!

One of my friends, whilst rifling through my closet, even commented that I really don’t have that many clothes. I asked why, then, can I not fit them all in. (I have several bags full of clothes hiding at the back of the wardrobe, which I alternate between seasons.) Said friend attempted to recover by saying, “well, you wear the same outfits a lot.” Like the Duchess of Cambridge?! (I wish!)

This is true, though. My favourite pair of shoes are five-year-old electric blue ballet flats that are hanging by a thread. My staple black trench coat for winter is also five years old. Long time Scarlett Woman readers might remember the fantastic mustard yellow dress I picked up at a vintage fair for $30, which is one of my most prized sartorial possessions. I have a marcasite leopard brooch that is permanently affixed to my pleather bomber jacket (about three years old), which I paid a pretty penny for at an antique store… Shall I go on? ;)

Really, the only things I buy frequently in the clothing department are plain white, black and grey tees, jeans, and underwear.

I do like to look good (and my walk to work, where I’m confined to the limits of an unflattering uniform, is always a fashion parade!) but, when it comes down to it, clothes are just clothes, as the sometimes-fashion victim, but usually stylish, Whitney Port said on The Hills.

And you can still have a personal style without subscribing to the skinny jeans, crisp blazer and ballet flat norm of Kate and Nicole.

I have a few co-workers whose style I don’t necessarily like, but who remain true to it. One favours printed tees, badges and Etsy jewellery. Another likes to match her dress to her boots to her tights to her scarf to her hat to her bag. The third is hipster through and through, and has the most amazing collection of bright coats and bags from her grandmother.

These are the items of clothing that quintessentially “belong” to them and their personal style: you can’t find them in Bardot or Myer or Sass & Bide. And even if you could, they ain’t got nothin’ on the original: priceless.

So what I’m trying to say here is that money can’t buy style. Or that fashion fades, style is eternal. Or something. What do you think the difference between “fashion” and “style” is? Can you have both at the same time? Which camp would you rather belong to?

Related: The Way We Wear Vintage Market.

Images via Hills Freak, Saskia 4 Fashion, Franc Trunner, People Style Watch.

Hot Girls Reading Books.

We’ve done the guys, now it’s time for the girls.

You wouldn’t believe what a struggle it was to find pictures of hot chicks reading. You would think there was a stereotype of beautiful women being dumb, wouldn’t you?

There’s non-threatening beauties like Audrey Hepburn, whom most would buy as a smart lady, and drop-dead stunners like Angelina Jolie, who’s proved herself via years of pushing the boundaries in terms of her art and her humanitarian work.

Everyone knows I love Marilyn Monroe, especially images of her laughing in the face of the stereotype surrounding her andGod forbid!reading.

You can’t get much hotter than a supermodel, right? Especially one who has a book on hand for all those idle hours backstage.

Related: Beauty & the Book.

Beauty & the Book, Take 2.

“With a Gun Between Her Legs”: Why Strong (AKA “Sexy” Whilst Being “Strong”) Female Characters Are Bad For Women.

All Eyes on Marilyn.

Fragments of Marilyn Monroe’s Literary Life.