Team blog

I still remember the day I bought my first DOLLY mag. The year was 2001 and I was 11 (my mag obsession started early!). My dad had just picked me up from ballet and we went to get hot chips for dinner – extra chicken salt, please – and while we were waiting, I dragged him into the newsagents.

I begged and pleaded and finally got my way. I had my hands on my first issue of DOLLY and little did I know, in 15 years time, I would be working for the coolest thing that had ever come into my life.

While it wasn’t all that long ago (and now, this is where I start to sound old), back in my DOLLY days, things were a little bit different. Here’s what it was like to be a teen in the mid-2000s.

Eight TV shows we WISH they'd bring back!

1. Myspace was EVERYTHING.
Think of it like a clunky Facebook where you could decorate it with colourful backgrounds, your favourite song and you’d rank your friends in a Top 8.

2. All your music was burned to a CD.

3. This was the must-have phone.

4. If you didn’t have a Razor, you had a Nokia 3320.

 

5. Low-riding, flared, ripped jeans were a wardrobe staple.

6. As were Von Dutch hats.

7. Before iTunes existed, we all downloaded our music on Limewire.

8. The TV show we were all obsessed with? Lizzie McGuire.

9. And The Hills because: Lauren Conrad. Why it's GOOD to be called a feminist.

10. Seth Cohen from The O.C was our ultimate crush.

11. And so was Lucas Scott from One Tree Hill.

12. No-one ever admitted it, but afterschool, we all rushed home to watch Arthur.

13. We were all OBSESSED with Harry Potter.

14. You wished you were Lindsay Lohan.

15. Or Britney Spears.

16. Or Marissa Cooper from The O.C.

17. Our lives were changed when Usher released his Confessions album.

18. Impulse body sprays were a staple in every girls' school bag.

19. Ring watches were IT.

20. We all wanted to be cheerleaders after watching Bring It On.

21. Our version of TFIOS was A Walk To Remember.

22. Mean Girls was quoted. All. The Time.


Alli Simpson shares her top confidence tips. And they're awesome.

The definition of a “feminist”? Aside from being a total legend, I reckon it’s someone who believes that women should be equal to men. Full stop. End of story. Thanks for coming.

Reckon women should be paid as much as guys are? If you immediately thought, “hell yes”, you’re a feminist. Agree that ladies shouldn’t face sexual assault and harassment? Congratulations, my friend, you are a feminist.

It’s the most fabulous and necessary of the F-word variety, but Time magazine has proposed that it should be banned.

I know, we’re as baffled as you are. Time asked readers which word they’d like banished from the English language forever, and “feminist” was one of their suggestions. 

Born feminist: Chloe Moretz reveals the sexism she's faced in the movie biz and how she's not buying it. #girlpower

Sure, Time aren’t suggesting that there’s something wrong with feminism itself, but that it’s become “a thing that every celebrity had to state their position on whether this word applies to them”.

Oh, we’re so sorry guys (please note sarcastic tone), but we’re not going to ban the F-word because some people are a little tired of hearing about it.

If you ask me, people need to be saying, preaching it, and writing it MORE.

Why?

Because in 2014, the gender pay gap has risen to a record high. Translation: when you go out into the work force, you’ll be paid 18.2 percent less than a man simply because you’re a female. Unbelievable, right?

Because, according to White Ribbon Australia, one in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence, one in five have experienced harassment in the workplace and one in five women over 18 have been stalked during their lifetime.

Jessie J defends Ariana Grande against claims she's a "diva". Because that's what friends are for.

So yeah, there’s still work to be done in the equality department, and we’ll be shouting about feminism till it happens, thank you very much.

And it turns out Beyonce totally agrees with us (surprised? Didn't think you were).

"We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality," Beyoncé wrote in an essay titled, Gender Equality Is A Myth.

"Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters earn more - commensurate with their qualifications and not their gender. Equality will be achieved when men and women are granted equal pay and equal respect.”

"Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another. So why are we viewed as less than equal? These old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.”

Reach high, DOLLY girls, and if you’re a feminist – don’t be shy to tell the whole world about it. Bey would be proud.

We spoke to Chantelle Baxter about starting her own charity, One Girl, and its annual event, Do It In A Dress.

Frenemies: "friends" who are actually kinda mean and hurt your feelings a lot. They’re friendly enough so everyone in your group would think you were weird if you got mad, but mean enough that you leave feeling low after hanging out.

But frenemies are doing you an accidental favour by teaching you lessons on friendship.

DOLLY's Matt blogs about the 8 TV shows we NEED back in our lives...

In primary school, this happened:

“You’re so lucky, Rikki, I wish I didn’t care about how my hair looked.”

Wrong! I cared a lot, actually - to the point where every morning almost ended like this:

 

I felt awful. But it wasn’t my hair that was the problem that day - it was this strange new thing that started creeping into conversations with a fairly new friend. Something very confusing was happening: compliments that managed to hurt my feelings. We had been having a lot of LOLs and good times, but when the laughing stopped, BOOM a hurty compliment was sent my way.  

A few years later Hurty Compliments changed schools and we didn’t keep in contact. Even when she said she’s really going to miss coming over to my "small house because it was so cute compared to her huge house."

Alli Simpson shares her scerets of happiness...

I thought that was the last of it. But I was wrong. Frenemies pop up all through life. See, the ‘friend’ part of frenemies means you don’t see them coming until it’s too late. Comments like this, "You must be so happy hardly anyone follows you on Instagram, it’s way less pressure." Or, "I wish my clothes would fit you, you’d look so cute in this!" tend to be followed by this confusing list of feels:

“Did she actually just say that?”

 

“No way, she’s totally just kidding with me.”

“WHY am I only just thinking of a good comeback now?”

  “Arrrgggghh!”

But here is something the frenemies don’t see coming: they are making YOU a better friend, for two reasons.

1. Weirdly, frenemies actually probably really like you. But, things like jealousy, low self-esteem and even social awkwardness can be why this person is trying to bring you down with their confusing nice/mean words. Drop any need to become defensive and, after you let them know these comments aren’t OK, be the best friend you can find in yourself to be.

2. You know exactly the kind of friend you don’t want to be. Whenever your self-esteem is a little low and you feel like taking it out on a friend, just don’t. Hug it out, remember what it was like to feel all those feels and never let your pals walk away feeling anything but all the love.

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I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m so done with TV. Like, done. The only time I bother to even watch TV is when re-runs of my fave shows are on (even though I have them on DVD and have watched them countless times). Therefore, this blog is a plea, nay, a DEMAND for some of the greatest TV shows of all time to return…

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1. Hannah Montana
I can’t be the only one who misses the days when Miley got the best of both worlds! Before she was the shock queen we know (and fear!) her as today, she was the queen of the Disney channel. Please come back Hannah, Miley needs you!

2. The O.C.
Seth Cohen. Need I say more?

3. That's So Raven
Her one liners made us LOL for days and her facial expressions were priceless.

4. Gossip Girl
It had killer storylines, babin’ characters and Blair and Serena provided us with constant fashion inspo. My heart longs for the day that I’ll once again hear the infamous words, “Xoxo Gossip Girl…” DOLLY's Nikki talks about why it's important to have an opinion.

 

5. Lizzie McGuire
This show legit made our childhoods! OK, so the fashion may seem a little off to our 2014 eyes but hey, it was the noughties, give Lizzie a break!

6. Sabrina The Teenage Witch
The witchin’ classic made me want only two things out of life: a sassy, talking cat and magical powers delivered through a stream of glitter from my fingertips!

7. Friends
Funniest. Show. Ever! I’ve seen every ep at least 15 times (including when they first aired) but I still laugh just as hard each time. Reunion. Now!

8. Charmed
Girl power, sisterhood and magic all rolled up into one charming little package. What more could you want? Other than a comeback ;)

 

Alli Simpson shares her secrets to happiness.

DOLLY blogger Alli Simpson shares her best tips for being your most confident self...


Improving your confidence gives you the freedom to just be YOU; that most authentic you. The YOU that the world deserves to see.

WORK ON YOUR STRENGTHS, LET GO OF WEAKNESSES

It is a good idea to look at what you like and what you don't like; your interests and dislikes. As you learn who you are, you gain confidence in your strengths and can focus on them and nurture them.

Focussing on your strengths boosts your self-esteem and feeling of self-worth. And don't be fooled; we all have some strengths or something that we are good at. Also learn not to be afraid of your weaknesses; again we all have them, no one is perfect. Recognize your weaknesses, accept them, and then let them go.

Alli Simpson reveals the secret to being happier in your life. #amen


YOU ARE WHAT YOU WEAR…

Dress to impress. To dress confidently you have do dress comfortably. Dress in what makes you feel the most “YOU”. Don’t follow trends, wear what you feel good in. If you’re comfortable and happy, you’ll impress every time.  

Be the trendsetter, not the trend follower. Again be honest with yourself; sometimes fashion items or certain trends just don't look good on me. I have to accept it and move onto what works for me. Comfortable equals confident.

IT’S IN THE WALK…

An important thing to portray the most confident YOU is your posture. Whether standing or walking, how you carry yourself is a good indicator of how you feel about yourself. Put your shoulders back, stand up tall, use welcoming mannerisms and have a confident smile on your face. Nothing speaks confidence more than that. 

Alli Simpson shares how to get over a breakup

PRACTISE CONFIDENCE…  

Like anything else in life, your confidence will improve with practise. Even if you have to "fake it till you make it"! You can actually train your brain to feel more confident. A great opportunity to do this is when you meet new people. If you were the new kid in school, they would have no idea who you are, so you have an opportunity to show them. 

As you shake someone's hand, introduce yourself, and pay attention when he or she speaks. Watch your internal monologue; if you start doubting yourself, replace your thoughts with more confident ones. Ask yourself what a confident person would do and then try to emulate it.

Don't hide your excellence from the world. Believe in the perfectness of who YOU are and have the confidence to rock it. You have nothing to lose and may just surprise yourself how awesome you are!

Why Cody Simpson is still "a queensland boy at heart...

Ellie

Breakdancing 2.0

11:48AM, Sep 11 2014 Ellie

I’m going to be honest with you, peeps… when I rocked up to Sydney’s State Theatre for the opening night of Red Bull Flying Bach last night, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I mean, the performance was all about breakdancing... to classical music. Uh-huh, classical music. Sounds like a bizarre combo, right? Well, it was bizarre – but in the most awesome of ways.


When the lights dimmed, Bach’s music began to play and the main act shuffled their way on to the stage. Yep, four-time world champion breakdance crew Flying Steps meant business, and they busted out right from the get-go. I couldn’t believe how they made crazy flips in the air, nailing headspins as well as some killer flares look ridiculously easy – especially when it’s not! But aside from the insanely cool breakdancing moves, and a little bit of ballet thrown into the mix, Flying Steps executed their routines both effortlessly and elegantly – you read right, breakdancing is now just as amazing as it is graceful when it’s backed by world-famous piano compositions.

And the coolest thing about the whole experience (a part from discovering my urge to learn how to elbow hop like a boss) was that when I woke up this morning, I could still hear the smooth notes of Bach’s pieces, accompanied by the faint squeaking of sneakers on the State Theatre’s stage. You guys have gotta check this show out; it’s beyond cool and not to mention… the boys are totally cute!

Red Bull Flying Bach 2014 Australian tour dates are as follows:
•    State Theatre, Sydney: 3 shows, 10-12 September
•    Crown Theatre, Perth: 2 shows, 19-20 September
•    QPAC, Brisbane: 2 shows, 25-26 September
•    Arts Centre, Melbourne: 3 shows, 2-4 October
•    Festival Theatre, Adelaide: 1 show, 7 October


This month, DOLLY blogger Alli Simpson shares her top tips for sending a flirty text.

Girls! Ever been stuck on what to text a guy to show him you’re interested?
I came up with a couple flirty text ideas to help you start the conversation with your ultimate crush...


1.  "Morning sleepyhead… Hope you have a great day! x" or "Good Morning" – The fact that you’re texting him first thing lets him know he’s on your mind when you wake up. You also plant the seed to be on his mind that day too!

2. "Sweet dreams" or "Goodnight, Sweet dreams" – In the same way that a "Good morning" text shows him you're thinking of him first thing, this shows he's the last thing you think of at night. Amazing how these simple words can be filled with flirty subtext! Sometimes keeping it simple is best.

3. If it’s his birthday... "Hey, birthday boy! Made your wish yet?" - Stand out from all the other “happy birthday” texts by sending this flirty message instead! It will make him think, which is always a plus!

4. If you’re out somewhere, doing something fun... "Hey you, [explain what you are doing] and finish with "wish you were here!" - This gives him the idea that you are thinking about him, wishing he was by your side – even when you’re doing something fun.

5. A cute way to initiate hang-time... "Can’t study anymore. Save me?" or "This homework is a drag. Save me?" - There’s no sweeter reward after studying all day than seeing the guy you’re into. Your crush will love knowing he’s who you think of when you want to do something fun!

6. If you’re going to a party or a gathering that he will be at also, or even just at school... "Come find me tonight" or "Come find me today, hehe" - This text lets your crush know that you want to see him. It also makes it sound like a fun game, guys dig that.

7. Who says girls can’t ask guys out... "None of my friends want to see (insert movie here) with me tonight, would you be down?" - Text this to your crush right before the weekend. Hello, date night! Simple as that.

8. If you’re feeling very flirty, or a little cheeky... "Serious issue: Can’t stop thinking about you." - If this doesn’t make him smile, then I don’t know what would! A little flattery goes a long way when it comes to flirty texting!

9. "Bored at home... Up for a Sunday Funday?" – Show your crush your spontaneous side with this fun text! He’d love to see he’s who you go to for a fun day!

10. "Hey you" – These two basic words are pretty telling and will make him think of a good response. I prefer it without the winky face, but if you’re feeling extra flirty, why not throw it in?


If you use any of these, Tweet me and let me know how it goes! ;)

Good luck, girls...

Check out my other blogs...

How to get over a breakup

The secret to being happier

It’s been a pretty crazy month in world crises this month and I’ve gotta say, it has really got me down. We’re seeing war, genocide, anti-Semitism and even planes being shot from the sky! I keep having moments of feeling like the whole world is crumbling around us and I actually feel a genuine fear for the future generation.

I guess that is what has prompted me to write this blog. I must say, I’ve gone through a whirlwind of emotions trying to figure out why all of these things are happening. One minute I’m humanitarian Nikki, wanting to form mixed race groups to promote peace and spread the message that our generation will not put up with this craziness! There’s also been angry Nikki, who can’t help but point fingers and try to place blame and quite outwardly hate certain groups. Then there was helpless Nikki, who threw her hands up in the air one day and said “I don’t care about that country or this country I just care about me and my family. I don’t have the energy to invest emotionally in these things, and who am I to think I could make a difference?!” I think I’ve shown my boyfriend every possible side of me now, which I can’t help but feel bad about, and it is with that thought that I realised the following:

Every decision you make, every opinion you generate, every argument you try to win and every side you choose to take; it has a rippling effect. It affects your friends, your family, and your workmates. It also puts you in a position to be attacked from the other side. It drags people into arguments that may not be theirs to fight. In fact, they may not even be yours to fight. But every opinion we have is circumstantial, meaning, it could have quite easily gone the other way. Let me explain…

You may hear your mum and dad at home saying they don’t like certain people, maybe a certain race or religion, because they have done x, y and z. You might then take that opinion to school and spread that opinion to your friends who will believe every word you’re saying. Then they may take that back to their siblings or parents and fuel the flame even more.

The point is, the opinion that your parents had doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an opinion you need to have. They have formed their opinions based on their upbringings and their circles of friends, and as you can see, that is all circumstantial. It isn’t based on fact, or law or anything really credible. It’s just an opinion. And while we should ALWAYS respect our parents, we don’t necessarily need to agree with everything they’re saying.

I wanted to talk about this because I think it is so important, as the youth of this country starts to grow older and form their own thoughts and ideas, we need to break the cycle of circumstantial ideals. What we all need to focus on is acceptance of individuality, race, religion and culture. We are so blessed to live in a country where people from all over the world have found a home, and to maintain that level of multiculturalism we need to realise that we all bleed the same blood. I can be me, and you can be you. We don’t need to press our values on to one another.

We don’t need to force our religion down each other’s throat. We don’t need to hate that person just because someone else thinks we should. We can learn about one another without feeling like we have to follow in each other’s footsteps. We are all perfect just the way we are and if we could break this cycle of Chinese Whispers talking about how the other guy is the bad guy, then maybe we can be excited for the future of not just our beautiful country, but the entire world. So this week I encourage you all!

Go speak to someone at school that you’ve never spoken to before. Make friends with someone that you wouldn’t normally hang out with. Help someone in need and reach out a hand to a group of people you’ve never acknowledged before. Hey, if you want to be really brave, try to make peace with someone you’ve been out of touch with for a while. Find a social media platform and tell your “enemy” that you hope one day we can all live in peace. Because the only thing that’s worse than evil is when peaceful people don’t speak out against evil.

I guess what I’ve had to remind myself in the last few weeks is that there are definitely more good people in the world then there are bad. So if we could all just unite in our goodness, no matter what colour our skin is, then maybe we’ll make a loud enough noise that the bad guys can’t even be heard anymore.

Nikki xx

 
 

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Dolly HQ Blog

Natalie Babic

DOLLY HQ

3:56PM, Nov 18 2014 Natalie Babic

Nat talks about growing up in the noughties.
Edwina Carr

Don't ban "feminist"

1:50PM, Nov 13 2014 Edwina Carr

Time magazine reckons we could do without it, but Beyoncé and I disagree.
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4:34PM, Nov 12 2014 Rikki Hodge-Smith

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