Dove: Poetry Workshop with Hollie McNish at Selfridges Beauty Project

I have recently had an accident with my eye involving the sharp end of a broom, so apologies about the lack of blog posts.  I wanted let you know about the talks and discussions taking place as part of the Selfridges Beauty Project, in association with Dove until 12 June. If you get a chance over the next couple of weeks, you should definitely check them out. I have been to a few of these discussions, but I am writing about my first experience, which was the one that was truly thought provoking and inspiring.

One Friday, a few weeks ago, my evening plans had suddenly changed, so instead of heading home with a bottle of Gin, I thought I would sign up to the Selfridges Dove Poetry Workshop with Hollie McNishone

Too be honest, I was having a bit of a bad day so I wasn’t paying any real attention to what the poetry workshop entailed. The evening started with Hollie reciting some of her poems. Wow! She was incredible! If you are not familiar with her work, Hollie McNish is a published UK poet and spoken word artist whose poetry albums, Touch and Push Kickand a first collection of written poetry Papers have all received critical acclaim. I found her poems to be an incredibly witty and candid account of modern day femininity. She spoke (in an almost rap) about motherhood, the female role in society, and  generally what its like to be a woman today. Some of it was scary, and cringeworthy, especially the way she describes the way the body changes during pregnancy. But fear not, she leaves you with a warm and happy feeling at the end.

After Hollie had made us laugh, and almost cry, we were asked to explore our own creativity, and challenge our own ideas of beauty by writing our own poem… Now hold on a minute, I hadn’t read that part of the memo… 

As I began to look for signs to the nearest emergency exit, I was already partnered up with the lovely Maria.

To compose our own poem, we were asked to complete three tasks –

1. We had 5 minutes to draw our partner on a large piece of paper
2. Write three descriptive sentences about certain features of our partners face, in real depth
3. List four boring facts about our partner 

Finally, we were asked to mix up the facts and descriptions and list them on the back of our 5 minute masterpiece.. et voila! The poem was complete.

To my surprise, the poems everyone had written were incredible. I didn’t know my partner beforehand, but it was amazing how I could pick up her personality traits just by looking at her features in more depth, and combining them with a mundane fact. It was really fun. Reading the poem in front of the class was not so fun, but it was nice to hear other peoples poems to get an insight into their lives.

What I learnt was that beauty really is individual and subjective. We should appreciate and embrace all of the unique colours, shapes, sizes, and features to each individual, and look beyond the conventional norms and ideals. We’re all expected to have the same eyes, nose, cheekbones and smile seen on the covers of magazines and on celebrities, and we all strive for this perfection, but if we all looked the same life would be so boring. 

I left positively enlightened and happy.. And lets just say, I had an amazing weekend! 😉 

For more information, please visit Selfridges 
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