A WOMAN EMPOWERMENT FILLED WEEKEND  – ELLE WEEK-ENDER 2018

Hey guys! How’s it going? Today I want to share with you all a bit about my “ELLE Week-Ender” 2018 London event experience! The idea of going to this event all started when my friend who studies at Parsons got early access tickets to go. When she received the tickets and was offered to take a friend she immediately thought of me which was so so sweet. We decided to go together as she came to London for the weekend for my 18th birthday. The “ELLE WEEKENDER” is Elle’s first ever festival of fashion, beauty, intelligence, and culture. It truly brings amazing people together. The event was hosted at the Saatchi Gallery in London and lasted 3 days from the 30th of November to the 2nd of December. The theme was “Wonder Women” this year and specifically “Woman empowerment.” The event consists of small conventions (to which you need to have tickets to access) that hold panels with guests such as Maisie Williams, Rosie Huntington Whiteley, Eva Chen and more. The venue also has a ton of little clothing pop up stores in the “Elle Market” part. The pop-ups included ‘Ninety Percent,’ ‘Bella Freud,’ ‘Cristina Cipolli’ and a ton of other brands. What was so cool is all the pop-ups had huge discounts. There was also a “Beauty Bar” with brands such as ‘Benefit,’ ‘Philosophy,’ ‘Cloud Nine,’ ‘Charlotte Tilbury’ and a lot more. I, of course, cannot forget to mention the “Elle Edit” room. The “Elle Edit Room” was where you could go and pretend to be a model on the cover of an Elle magazine. The room had a photo booth and you would take a picture with some cool accessories that they had avoidable and then the “ELLE” logo was written at the top (as if it was a real magazine). This was such a cool and fun touch to the event. It was made with a partnership Elle had with Harvey Nichols. On top of everything awesome that I have already mentioned there was also a Wellness Studio hosted by Lululemon and Benefit, which was called “The Playroom.” There were even more things than that… it was crazy cool! There was a lot to see, and everything was truly so beautiful and so, well, ELLE! Before getting into more depth, I would just like to say that the staff there and all the people were so lovely! It was truly a blast!

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Okay, now I will tell you everything in more detail. So first, my friend Lara and I decided to book the panels. We both decided to book two panels on Saturday (for my birthday wink wink). The first panel we saw was the “Sounding Off: The Women Changing the Music Industry” panel with Lady LeShurr, Jessie Ware and Clara Amfo. We then saw a panel that was hosted by Shannon Mahanty, Maisie Williams and the Wonder Women of Gen-Z, with Lena Headey. We arrived at the convention around 9 with two hours of sleep. We, unfortunately, arrived there an hour early without realizing, so we decided to go to a café not far from the convention. After the short wait, we finally went in and checked in where we got our tickets for the panels and a bag full of gifts! We walked around the venue a bit, as we still had 20 minutes before our first panel! While we were waiting we went to see “The Playroom” by Benefit, and it was so fun, to say the least! The whole room was full-on pink, had a glitter shower, a bath full of balls, a huge pink mattress with once again glitter and a makeup bar to get our makeup done! We decided to head to the panel first to make sure to have good seats.

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Here are my thoughts on the first panel:

I thought the first panel (“Sounding Off: The Women Changing the Music Industry”) was the most interesting one. The panel consisted of 3 totally different people who work in the music industry. Firstly there was Jessie Ware who is a white 35-year-old pop singer. She’s pregnant and currently touring. She has kids and is being seen as the older woman of the industry. The second artist was Lady LeShurr who is struggling with being accepted by the industry. LeShurr explained that she is known as the young black woman rapper, she loves to be defined by what she says rather than what she wears (which is most commonly what woman rappers are defined by). She had been recently asked to do a diss track on Nicki Minaj, but she refused as she thinks the best way to succeed is to keep your integrity and keep being true to yourself. LeShurr came from a rough background and looked up to Eminem growing up, and that is how she got into rapping. When she was asked what the most important thing she had done in her career was; it was buying her mom a house. Lady LeShurr also touched on how social media can help anyone in succeeding. Whether you’re in the music, dancing or anything other entertainment industry; social media can always help. She explained that it is much easier to become a creator nowadays as things move so fast! The last speaker was Clara Amfo, a mid 30s black radio host which was cool to see as I expected to see a third artist but it was really interesting to get a radio hosts’ perspective on struggles within the music industry. She talked about diversity within the industry and that the business is lacking representatives from the black female community on social media and in media in general (entertainment and music). Many issues were discussed on the panel, but the common issue was really relatable; women’s rights. I am a woman. Therefore I can relate to this which was really relevant to the Elle weekend theme and wonder women. Many of the top jobs in the industry are owned/lead by middle class old white men who usually don’t understand anything about us millennials. All three woman on the panel touched on how they think that sometimes this can be tough as some of these men can be very sexist and can use their power over them to be sexist. Apparently, on British radio stations, you can’t have two female hosts in a row as people get bored to hear two women in a row. This is completely ridiculous as the radio is in a way supposed to represent society. Many women are bossed around by men who don’t usually know what they’re talking about, or they have a vision you don’t agree with and who therefore treat the woman badly. There are many jobs that a sexist man can fill in the industry such as the technician, the producer, the stylist, the manager etc. So, therefore there is always the opportunity to be sexist. Commonly people believe that when you’re the artist, you’re the one in charge, as it is your vision you’re portraying. But, a lot of the time as a woman it is hard to boss around someone without seeming too bossy. A stereotype of a woman is one that is bossy, sassy, overdramatic and rude. So, this is a stereotype mawomenman are scared to have, so they just ignore comments that are horrible. All three woman also pointed out that they faced many incidents of sexual inequality and weird comments made by men, but, again as they didn’t want to seem bossy or as “the girls who’s angry all the time” they find themselves in a situation where they do not say anything and they take it lightly as a joke but then they regret not having said anything a couple hours later. I believe a woman should always call out a man when they make a sexist comment because that’s not okay. Us as a woman have been taught to shut up and deal with these comments in fear that replying to these comments will lead to aggressive actions, but, we should really try and stand up for ourselves…

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Once the panel ended and we had exited the main stage, we decided to go back to Benefit’s Playroom where we got our makeup done and took a glitter shower as well as jumped on a HUGE mattress full of glitter. Then we headed to a few pop-up shops! After that, we headed back to the ground floor where we got our makeup done (again) and hair done at the “ELLE Edit”! We were about to do a mini photoshoot but realized that we were actually late to our second panel. The second panel, as I mentioned previously was Maisie Williams and the Wonder Women of Gen-Z with Lena Headey. So, when we saw the time we ran upstairs to get to our seats!

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Here are my thoughts on that panel:

I really liked the second panel and although it was very different and had a wider perspective I wouldn’t say it was any less interesting. It was mainly focused around Maisie Williams’ life and all the things she’s been through and how she grew in the industry. For those of you that don’t know Maisie is a British actress who is commonly known for her role in ‘Game of Thrones’ (she was only twelve years old when she took on this role). She started talking about the app she created called: ‘Daisie’. The app has had over 40’000 downloads. An app is a place where people can share their content, learn and can start new conversations. She also shared a lot about working on Game of Thrones. She said that she loved training for stunts and it was one of her favorite things to do when she was a kid bored on long days on set. Maisie also talked about how before her mom could even ask her how her day was, they would have to talk about a serious work matter, at only that age of TWELVE!!! That is crazy to me. When I was twelve I was doing nothing with my life and I was watching High School Musical everyday (whilst Maisie was working everyday)! Anyways, Maisie talked about how she lost a lot of friends at that time (when she was working) and she even had to leave school due to not having enough attendance. But, she thinks that you can’t stay friends with every single person you meet in your life (I totally agree with her on this). It’s like when people go away to university, you only stay in contact with your best friends. She said that that happened to her, but when she was only 15. Which I can really relate to. Maisie also said that she truly enjoyed her last days on set and she was ready to let go of her role of Arya even though she loved the show. She also talked about a trip she did where she met a lot of immigrants, she explained that she had heard horrifying stories and that it wasn’t easy but it “had to be done”. It sounded to me like it really was a life-changing experience for her. Then, she talked about the importance of connections and contacts in the entertainment industry and how much social media can help. However, she said that you still have to put in hard work otherwise whatever you do won’t work out (which was also a common point with the previous panel).

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The first panel was aimed at diversity and females in the industry which I really liked, and Maisie’s one was more about her high’s in life and life experiences. They were both interesting in their own ways, and I couldn’t say I enjoyed one more than the other!

Right after the panel, we headed back downstairs to do the mini cover shoot which was honestly so fun! Then we walked around and saw a couple more pop up shops! We ended up leaving at around 3 PM as I had a ‘tea time’ planned with my family for my birthday!

I’m so glad I got to spend my birthday at the first-ever ELLE Weekender! I will make sure to book my tickets if they ever have another one.

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Do you guys read Elle Magazine? I personally do but only on my computer! I used to buy the magazines and read them with my mom when I was little.  I can’t believe I “made it” to the cover hahaha.

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Lot’s of LOVE, as always,

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Tiffany Lea

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Hi, my name is Tiffany Lea. I'm a globetrotter and blogger. I posted every 2 to 3 days about everything ranging from events to travel to movies & tv shows to fashion...! Join me on all my adventures around the world! Instagram: @tiffanyzimmy

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