Asos: The Bane. And the Love of my life

Asos: The Bane. And the Love of my life

I feel as though I’m in an abusive relationship with Asos.  I try hard to please but ultimately I almost always end up disappointed. I thought that if I showed my loyalty by signing up as a Premier customer, if I gave them money every month in exchange for a frock or two, this would be enough. I thought that my recommendation of them to others would show how much I valued them, but I am starting to feel lately, like I’m not appreciated. At all. Lately, when I’ve gone online to look for a dress, or a top, or some shoes, I am greeted with the much dreaded “Not in Stock”. I cannot take this. This is hugely disappointing. It hurts my heart. If I see something online that I like, I want. Simple as. I don’t really understand “Out of Stock”. Does that mean that they are currently out of stock but they are working very hard indeed to rectify this so that they are no longer Out of Stock?? Sadly in the case of Asos it does not. It simply means that you can pray till your hearts content for that particular item to reappear, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will make an appearance. Moreover, Asos have the crappy policy (unlike John Lewis and other similar online retail sites) of not telling there customers when something is back in stock. This means that I have to be some kind of Asos stalker, and hawk over there page like an obsessed cyber freak. I don’t take kindly to this but if I want said frock (or whatever item of clothing it may be). then I have no choice but to do this. Now this wouldn’t be so bad if I could actually rely on them to provide an accurate account of there stock levels at all times but this isn’t the case, and this has meant that on numerous occasions (and at times of the most agonisingly inconvenient and sometimes highly distressing for me), I have ordered something for Next day Delivery (needless to say because I wanted it imminently for one reason or another), only to sit at home twiddling my thumbs the next day waiting for Fed Ex to arrive with my treasured package, only for it to not bloodywell arrive!!
Then I arrive at work on the Monday morning (because my Asos account is set to go straight to my work inbox which I cannot access outside of working hours), only to be given a poor excuse as to why there incompetence cause me to be out of a garment. Btw, this is a Copy and Pasted message that they probably have written down in an Asos “How to fob off ones customers with minimal effort” manual.
They then proceed to offer me a miniscule sized discount which is supposed to please me no end. This discount though, will expire in about 7 days which means that they are basically trying to pimp me to buy more wares (wares I hasten to add, that they may not even have in bloody stock!). I rightly proceeded to tell them to stick it where the sun don’t shine and sort out there crappy system which means that I can be looking at something that they do not even have! So far this absurd experience has happened to me about 4 times. On one occasion 3 times in a row because I still couldn’t work out whether the item was in stock or not because it allowed me to buy it. As a customer that really should get shares based on the frequency to which I buy from this company, I find this totally unacceptable. How do they run there business with such a lax attitude? surely it cant be rocket science to get a system where the website automatically updates when an item is purchased? I mean John Lewis can do it so why the bloodyhell can’t they? they are purely internet based afterall, it’s not as if you can pop into your nearest shop to get it if you can’t get it on there website. It’s disgraceful. And to top matters off, they protect themselves from hearing people rant at them as they don’t even have a telephone number that you can call!
They infuriate me so much it hurts. And it hurts all the more because I just can’t stop going back. I go back again and again because they always have things that I want on there. Most of my best frocks are from Asos and it pains me to know that they treat me so terribly, offering me a flimsy discount instead of rectifying the problem I have already complained to them on numerous times about!
Anyway *sigh* rant over. I’m off to look to see what New Stock they have!
BLEACH (a Grey Matter)

BLEACH (a Grey Matter)

The rise in the number of women who use illegal creams to lighten there skin is getting higher. The quest for ultimate beauty which is often manifested through the medias perception that to be lighter is to be more beautiful has now reached fever pitch.  Take a look at your average music video and you will oftentimes struggle to find a women darker then a brown paper bag.  Alot of the time the women who are using these dangerous products are seemingly ignorant to the effects that it has on there skin and I feel that it is as important to address the issues for health reasons as for the benefit of our communities due to this growing issue that divides them.
Being lighter oftentimes is deemed more approachable, and therefore more acceptable within society. It can often mean the chance between you being chosen for a job, or being chosen by a partner.  This obviously is not always the case but alot of darker skinned women will tell you that they have experienced this kind of prejudice time and again and how hurtful it has been to them as they have gone through life. And it should come as no surprise  that this complex dates back to slavery. In the times when slavery was prevalent our community separating the slaves based on the colour of their skin was rife, and thus it encouraged the breeding of superiority among the lighter skinned slaves and as a result inferiority among the darker skinned slaves.
Unfortunately, this division still exists.
The psychological reasons for darkskinned women using these products are undeniable.  These are some of the names of bleaching products sold to women on the mass market: Fair & White, Fair & Flawless, Skin Success.
 These are all designed to apparently make the user more “beautiful” and they all insinuate that to be darker is to be less so. Particularly for young women who are most susceptible to society’s stringent ideas on beauty, this can be very misleading. And damaging.  But why is nobody doing anything about it?
A few interesting points:
The melanin found in ethnic skin serves a purpose: It is there to protect against UV Rays which can lead to cancer so stripping the skin of it’s natural immunity is leaving you susceptible to developing this disease.
Steriods, which are found in many skin lightening products as they increase the effectiveness of the cream, can increase acne and pimples.  Steriods also prevent the formation of skin cells which makes the skin layer thin and therefore it is more susceptible to bruising.  Some women’s skin after using these creams become so thin that it is almost transparent. And if that doesn’t scare you then maybe you should hear a list of the active ingredients that go into these creams and what they do to the body:
Hydoquinone is severely toxic. It is used in photo processing, the manufacture of rubber and is an active agent in hair dyes and therefore should definitely not be used on the skin. Hydroquinone thickens skin protein fibres, damaging the connective tissues. The result is a rough and spotty blotchy skin and it is not that effective as some parts of the body will not take to bleaching such as the temples, eyelids, lips and joints.
Immunity: Women who use skin bleaches regularly are more prone to infection like the flu etc as it breaks down there immunity after long periods of usage.
Mercury: contains ammoniated mercury or mercrous chloride as a bleaching agent which are toxic and can result in mercury poisoning.
Surely these effects explain why alot of these products are illegal and are therefore sold illegally under the counter.
 Bleaching isn’t just restricted to Black women though. Alot of Asian women do it aswell. It is a multimillion dollar industry and these companys that make these products will stop at nothing to cash in on peoples insecurities no matter how damaging it is to their health (both mentally and physically).
 Just as it is for the Black women and slavery the reasons for Asian women using these products date back to many years ago where they had a hierarchy structure based on skin colour.  For the women, the lighter you are apparently the more desirable you are, and therefore the more opportunity’s you get including marriage and career success.  Wealthy Asian women often have servants in there households and they are always of a darker skin hue to there employer.
An important thing to remember is that bleaching makes the ageing process quicker! The beauty of melanin is that it keeps the skin healthy and it constantly renews itself so that it is less susceptible to the signs of ageing such as wrinkles.
I see these women who bleach on the bus and they look grim beyond repair. They remind me a little of a bumblebee as they have a yellow pasty skin tone that looks borderline death, combined with dry unwanted patches of darker skin or they look as if they’ve been scrubbed to within a inch of their lives and have an angry red looking pallor. There skin looks as if they’ve had acid thrown over them – not a good look!
Sometimes they try to convince themselves that they are bleaching to get rid of dark patches of skin (or combination skin), but what they haven’t taken into consideration in their choice of a remedy is that they aren’t going to be able to completely eradicate that condition, the only thing bleaching will do infact is to highlight their condition as there skin turns a greyish yellow pallor, the darker patches remain darker, and their acne or spots are red raw. Attractive? I think not.
I don’t know whose telling these women that they look good, but it sometimes begs belief that these women are looking in the mirror and saying to themselves: Oooh yes, I definitely look better now then I did before I bleached up my skin!
It is supposed to look NATURAL and yet it is abundantly obvious when someone has been using bleach.
I wish women would love themselves and each other equally, indeed I wish that men would love women equally and not on the basis of there skin tones. Maybe someday, I certainly hope that someday, history will cease to repeat itself.


Yesterday morning I strolled into EAT for my usual Ham and Jarlsberg Croissant, Cheese Straw and Sponge Cake. I always get a cake. My choices of cake differ depending on my mood but thankfully EAT do a pretty well rounded range of cakes so I never get bored. Alas on this occasion, there were no cakes present and as such concern was mirrored on my face.

Usually they have Lemon Drizzle Cake, which is delightfully lemony and zesty and has little sugar drops sprinkled on top to give it a nice sweet kick. Chocolate Cake, which is rich and chocolaty (thankfully not TOO rich and chocolaty), Banana and Walnut – a great combination that needs no improvements, Carrot Cake, packed with lots of spicy things that give it that classic home baked taste, raisons, sultanas and the works and last but not least, my favourite: Raspberry and White Chocolate: Need I say more?..

Raspberry and White Chocolate Sponge Cake is deeelicious. I particularly love it because it hasn’t presented itself as the typical STRAWBERRY and White Chocolate combination. This pleases me, because ultimately I quite like to think I am quite good at recognising ingredients that go together well both in food, clothes and accessories and perfumery, and this, especially because the white chocolate isn’t as sweet as you’d expect, is a winner: The sponge itself was soft and just on the right side of crumbly, and the raspberry pieces yummy.

So, after seeing that there are literally no cakes whatsoever I march up to the front tills and enquire as to there whereabouts. That is when the shop assistant cheerfully tells me that EAT are infact bringing out a new range of cakes so will be replacing most of the other cakes with these new “Summer Range” cakes. I tell him they’d better not even THINK of tampering with my beloved (Raspberry and White Chocolate). I ask him to confirm whether they plan to do this. He says he isn’t sure.

Now, when I think of possible NEW CAKE combinations I can only imagine them ADDING to, and not REPLACING the ones they already have. Because aside from the fact that it is just very convenient for me to go to EAT (as opposed to Pret, Costa Coffee, or Starbucks) every morning , I actually quite like there food, and in particular, there cakes. And I really cannot imagine in my most creative of minds, just how they could possible improve on what they already have. Not because they are the best cakes in the world by any stretch of the imagination but rather because they are a full range of flavours. The set is complete, they have a little something for everyone, even me who on occasion I’ll admit, can be quite extra curricular with ones choices in cakes and the like. So I had to ask this young guy, honestly: WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE? WHICH CAKE DIRECTION CAN YOU TAKE??

Perhaps you add a Pistachio Cake, or even a classic, perhaps Apple (like Pret) I suggested to him, but you can’t really replace any of the aforementioned. Alas, after more prodding I realised that the poor guy really didn’t know so I had to resign myself to the waiting game and go, for that day at least: CAKELESS.

The following day I walk into the shop and straight over to the section where my cakes usually sit only to be struck down by the almost unbelievable realisation that THEY HAVE CUT ALL OF THE CAKES IN HALF. All of them. Every single one of them. HALF A FUCKING CAKE!!!

Looking further I realise aghast, that they have also removed my beloved, and replaced it with the much shittier and surely inferior cake: Victoria Sponge. Who the hell is going to buy Victoria Sponge unless they are a granny or literally so desperate for tea and cake they just pick up any economy brand cake around?

But ultimately, and I know that this was the thing that pushed me over the edge of reasoning: They were charging this HALF A CAKE, devoid of any redeemable cake (i:e Raspberry and White Chocolate), at the SAME PRICE as the FULL CAKES they were selling the week prior!!

Fury washed over me like a tidal wave. My head could not comprehend such blatant audacity. I felt offended. Do EAT see MUG written across my forehead?? – do they think that I am going to just hand over my hard earned cash like a good little girl to line there pockets and receive a half assed piece of bakery in return? do they think they can get away with such audacious DAYLIGHT ROBBERY? – I don’t bloodywell think so somehow!

I ranted and raved in the shop like an “statutory rights reminding” OAP about the bitterly grim episode that has me out of a cake, and feeling like my loyalty meant fuck all. What’s the point of promoting a shop, as I have regularly done, and promoting there cake range, when they are going to try and charge me the same already extortionately priced fee for a crumb of a baked good I ask ya?

Since then, I have made my feelings abundantly clear to both the shop assistants (who I think secretly are scared of me lol) and to EAT themselves who I sent a very nice email about the fact that they will not see hide nor hair of me or a penny further until they rectify this sordid affair. Moreover, I will tell very  person I know (and I already have started to do so), not to go there.

So I’m demanding that everyone BOYCOTT EAT! THEY ARE TRYING TO EXTORT YOU!!!