There is a photograph of my extended family from 1993, celebrating my grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary. I am four years old, sitting in the front, fingers shoved into my mouth. If photos could move, there would be flecks of nail grinding between my teeth, spitting towards the lens like brittle fireworks.
Australian actor Brenna Harding is best known for playing Sue Knight in the television remake of classic coming-of-age film Puberty Blues, a major role she landed at 15. But she was in the public eye at a younger age, when she appeared with her same-sex parents on a segment of Australian children’s program Play School.
Once I was in love with someone I had never met.
We would Skype for four, five, six hours at a time, him in Hong Kong and me in Melbourne, and he would say “you’re my dream girl”, and I would say “when can I see you?”, and he would say “do you want to see me cum for you?”, but it was all wires and codes, so when he said “I love you”, what he was really saying was 1011100011010, or something like that.
But numbers or words didn’t matter, because every Instagram heart said “I love you”, and that fucking annoying Skype sound said “I love you”, and then it was all over before the zeroes and ones ever turned into words that met mid-air.
In the last week, Factory X has come under fire after receiving the lowest possible rating on a report on Australian fashion ethics from Baptist World Aid Australia, covering policies, suppliers, auditing and worker conditions – placing them below companies like Kmart.
This stands in stark contrast to the fairly ambiguous social and ethical compliance policy on the Gorman website, boasting “safe working conditions”, “sustainable living wages” and “fair and equitable treatment”.
Though Gorman was not included in Factory X’s assessment as they have separate supply chains, the parent company received the F grade for choosing not to participate in the survey – which begs the question, why stay tight-lipped if you’ve got nothing to hide?
Feminism is no longer a dirty word for teenagers. From Beyoncé to Tavi Gevinson, young women have a wealth of fearless feminist celebrities to look up to. It’s cool to be a feminist. It wasn’t when I was growing up.
Attending a stuffy suburban private school in the early 2000s, I didn’t know a single feminist. I called girls sluts, and regularly made homophobic, racist and ableist jokes. No one pulled me up on it; and even if they did, I’d have probably ignored them. That all changed when I discovered LiveJournal.
From lingerie to stilettos, uniforms to underwear, people have been getting off on garments for as long as they’ve been, well, getting off. Latex, leather and lace all shout sex, but fashion fetishism doesn’t stop with specialty items—for some, it’s the everyday pieces that turn them on most.
When, at 20, I lost my virginity to my first boyfriend, Carl (not his real name), I’d kissed only one boy before him, and all of my other sexual experiences had taken place either with faceless boys online or inside my own bed, alone with my imagination. I grew up in an extremely traditional Vietnamese family and was sexually curious, but very sheltered. I’d never even used a tampon before—that’s how little experience I had with the insides of my nether regions.