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  • Writer's pictureAlex Sim-Wise

In case you are new, The Brain Edit is my batshit blogging experiment where I try and catalogue my brain the same way I would my house - alphabetically!

Note: I started writing this in September last year and THAT is both how big this category is and also long I have procrastinated on writing it. To be fair I have gone through a lot in that time (mostly Covid) and I did always intend to come back to this but I think my initial aim of a blog a week may have been a tad ambitious, especially keeping in mind my rampant perfectionist tendencies and the weird place I have to go to to write. Another part of it is that I was so bummed out with B being Boring that I started to question whether this is all a worthwhile process, but having gone back and read a few I think it’s worth another go.

OKAY, let’s see if we can smash a bit of C out to try and make my way through this (bloody massive) project. Gawd, what was I thinking? It’s alright though as no-one actually reads this.

Who reads a blog nowadays? We’re all too busy cry wanking ourselves into oblivion over our electricity bills and collective obsolescence in the face of A.I..

C is such a massive one as well, so many things we could cover; Cringe, Cocaine, Cults… but lets just start with:


Everyone loves a cake and I have baked many a cup and birthday cake in my time but my favourite is probably the spread bumhole cake I made for my husband’s 30th birthday, or a cock cake I once made on a whim because someone at the pub I worked at mentioned it was their birthday and I randomly said that I could. So I did and it was EPIC. It was an iced red velvet cock cake with veins and pubes and a happy little face on the bell end. I even put cream cheese frosting inside the balls and up the shaft. If you’re gonna bake a cock cake you have to go ALL IN and do it balls deep. It tasted amazing.

A cock cake with veins and pubes and a smily face on the bell end.
The legendary cock cake.

My grandma taught me to bake when I was a child and it was always my favourite thing to do. Many a summer was spent in her sticky kitchen making cakes and pies and biscuits. She was so good at baking that she didn’t use recipes, she made most of what she made on sight, which is something that I can only aspire to. I don’t think she would approve of the genital cakes that I make but I still remember her creaming the butter and sugar for me in a brown bamboo mixing bowl when my hands got tired. I think of her every time I bake and it makes me miss her so much, but her baking presence also makes me happy that she passed her skills on to me. Cake immortality!

Recently I realised that the reason I like baking cakes is because it is one of the only things I can fully concentrate on and lose myself in. The same goes for knitting. I like how it is a process where you have to get every part right, otherwise your mistakes are obvious, which adds the kind of pressure that I work well under. The same pressure you get from an imminent deadline that forces you to hyper-focus, except this time it’s relaxing.

Also: fun fact. I love baking cakes but I don’t really like eating them, something about the sweetness and the texture grims me out a bit.


Cheating is a big fear of mine, both doing it to others and being on the receiving end of. I guess because I grew up with it happening in my family and saw how utterly destructive and devastating it could be. Of course, in my twenties I had plenty of experiences of being cheated ON - one particular boyfriend, let’s call him The Cheater, had a running count of at least eleven instances (that I knew of), from which I would always take him back because our relationship was disgustingly codependent. I actually have a theory on it that no-one ever talks about or admits, but if you are someone who has abandonment issues, the buzz you get from winning someone back after being cheated on is like crack. I spent my whole twenties in rubbish relationships because of that buzz. I can still feel it now, it felt SO GOOD, but it was hard won, and the lows you have to reach to experience it are, in hindsight, totally not worth it.

When it comes to cheating on other people I have only done it once in my life and HATED it. I would put it up there as one of my top ten worst most horrible experiences, not because of the person I cheated with but because of the fact that I was actively hurting someone by doing it. I guess I just wasn’t expecting it to make me feel abjectly terrible inside - it honestly hadn’t crossed my mind. I thought because said boyfriend had cheated on me (a lot) that I would feel fine or even good because they deserved it. But no, it doesn’t work that way. At least not for me. However, I’m glad that I have experienced doing it because it has made me never want to do it again.

So there you go - my thoughts on cheating, of the relationship kind. My thoughts on cheating in life (like in tests) are pretty similar in that I won’t do that either. I hate being dishonest in general, really. It’s probably the Autism but I find it painful and difficult to lie.


Oh god, cheerleaders. Where to start? I have long held a fascination with cheerleaders, probably due to all the American teen movies I devoured as a kid. Before they were pedo predators on Netflix, cheerleaders were alway seen as the sexy, pretty popular ones - something that I absolutely was NOT - so a special interest was formed.

As with some of my other special interests, as a teen I created this inner narrative where on some other plane I was actually a wildly popular American cheerleader and when times were tough I would retreat into this mental world. I was so obsessed with the idea that I actually I wasn’t some awkward unpopular chav that would wear nude shiny tights with Reebok classics that I begged my parents to let me go to America for real.

Which bizarrely, is exactly what happened.

Chunky baby Sim-Wise
Me, living the American Dream

When I was 17 I was sent to Grove City, Ohio to go and be the world’s laziest Au Pair and while there I got to meet some actual real life cheerleaders. And let me tell you, they were EVERYTHING I had built them to up be and more. For a start their names were ACTUALLY Madison and April, and they were ridiculously tanned and petite and beautiful, just like the films. Madison was blonde and April was brunette and I met them at a pool party at Madison’s house and everything was like a dream. I was so excited to be there. I remember going to the party wearing all new clothes that I had bought from the mall with my au pair money (XOXO black tartan mini skort, Steve Madden mules and a Fiorucci t-shirt). I felt so pale and awkward, but as I walked into the kitchen her older brother who was a college footballer checked me out and I was so thrilled and embarrassed and vaguely terrified that I accidentally walked into a wall.

I lived in Ohio for two months and in some ways (like the pool party) it was everything I expected and in other ways it wasn’t. As I was from England I was considered the local oddity and got taken on a lot of “dates” with guys and girls who ran the full popularity spectrum: cheerleaders, basketball players, band geeks, nu metal kids… but they weren’t like UK dates, we would literally just drive to the mall or somewhere and hang out.

I noticed that even though the kids I met were the same age as me, they acted a lot younger and more childishly than I had expected. To me they acted like they were 13 or 14 and it was difficult to find things in common as language differences was a MASSIVE barrier. Early on, in an attempt to impress, I made the mistake of telling Chris, the captain of the basketball team, that I was a “party girl” back home (what was I thinking? I hate parties) and he went totally weird and distant on me before I had to explain to him that in the UK “party girl” means you like going to parties before HE explained that in the US it means you are a rampant slag. Then we had a joke about transatlantic differences and I taught him what “Wanker” meant and he taught me the word “Queef”.

Everyone my age there was a virgin, even Chris. Having grown up in the Coventry environment where sex was widespread and my friends were shagging, drinking, and/or pregnant from age 12, I found the American emphasis on purity and chastity kind of wild. The only people who were actually shagging were the nerds. So, despite my exoticism and that initial interest from the college footballer, Ohio was a very sexless time, which was probably for the best. However Ohio DID introduce me to high school football games and the possibility that I might have ADHD, so there were a few positives. Basically if you have ever watched Friday Night Lights and wondered if high school football games are really like that, I can attest that yes they are and they are possibly the most exciting teenaged social event that I have EVER been to.

After my return from Ohio I was so entranced by American football and cheerleaders that I started plotting ways that I could bring a bit of it to the UK. Which in true Sim-Wise style went totally tits up, so I will save that for another blog.

CHILDREN ( as in Robert Miles’)

Literally only added this as it came on while I was writing this but I have a vivid memory of being in my best friend Lee’s bedroom with her blue 90s striped duvet cover listening to this song when it had first come out with us both rocking back and forth and pretending to play the piano and it being so weird and funny and emotional that we started crying. Just full on bawling to Robert Miles’ Children.

OMG, didn't he die? Now I am sad.


I can’t believe I am putting this in as it’s a real person, but I think it Is key to understanding my psyche. Chris Reilly (always the full name in my head, never just Chris) was the first person that I kissed that I actually fancied. Only trouble was that I only realised this AFTER we had kissed, which was kind of good in a way as if I had realised before I wouldn’t have been able to do it, but bad because it meant I would never be able to do it again. Or at least not for a while until I had aged a few more years (I was 15) and built up a bit of fake confidence… which in hindsight makes me wonder whether I did actually fancy him, because years later I did kiss him again and it was awful.

But I mention Chris because he was the start of my obsession with the unattainable. Many crushes would come and go after Chris but the ones that stuck were the ones I couldn’t have and I think there is probably a lesson in there somewhere in that as soon as I got them I lost interest. There was nothing particularly special about Chris, he was just shy and tall and dark-haired and played football. I find it funny now as my husband looked a lot like him at school and was shy and tall and dark-haired and played football. I definitely have a type and I often think my husband is the amalgamation of everyone I have ever fancied. The final level boss. Like if all that Cum DNA created a person (see: Cum).


It’s quite possible that I am obsessed with chronology - I love nothing more than knowing the order things happened in. You know those pictures you see of autistic children where they have arranged all their toys into a neat ordered colour coordinated line? That’s how my head would LIKE to be with chronology. Everything in its year, month, date order.

Ahh… the DREAM.

Unfortunately I also have ADHD so that kind of order is near impossible.

Trust me, if I was more organised and could remember everything in my life it would all be in there like some demented Panini scrapbook. I can just imagine holding it up: “…and THIS is the time all of my friends spat on me.”


Alex Sim-Wise dressed in a Benetton jumper, Adidas jacket and kickers shoes.
Me dressed up as every "Townie" girl in 1996

As a British person I am fascinated by class. It’s just so weird and pointless and British. Also, having ingratiated myself into a posh people clique at university, it was then that I realised that there is basically NO difference between people of different classes (they all just want to get wasted) just a coded list of pretences. Now, I like a code, as a code is a pattern and a pattern is something that can be learned. So here is what I learned:

Can you learn to be a different class? Yes.

Can you escape the class that you are? No.

Basically I don’t think that you can ever really escape the class that you were born into, because you can’t change your upbringing, it’s in the past. So no matter how well you do or how much money you make, your upbringing will always define you.

As a side note, I was born working class and I am proud to be working class, but I like pretending to be other classes as I think it is fun.


Imagine, if you will, a very cluttered library or a hoarders house and that is what parts (not all) of my house and all of the inside of my head is like… and also what I am trying to avoid by sorting everything in my head the same way that I would sort my house - into nice neat containers. I dunno if it will work, but it’s worth a try!

I hate clutter. Hate hate hate it. But I also find it hard to avoid, because if you have ADHD you have to be able to SEE stuff to know that it is there - which leads to piles of stuff, which leads to bags and boxes of stuff, and ultimately rooms of stuff. Fucking STUFF. I hate it and have literally spent the past year trying to get rid of it all to varying degrees of success.

BTW as a FYI there is a direct correlation between the state of someone’s house and their mental health, hence why firefighters have to refer people to social services if their house is too cluttered. It has it’s own scale and everything. Basically, the way public services see it, the more cluttered someone’s house is, the bigger the health risk and the more likely they are to have emotional issues.

So there’s that.


I never had that love affair with cocaine that everyone else I hung around with in the noughties did. If anything I thought it was a bit overrated. I did it for a bit of course, but I don’t think there was ever a point where it didn’t low key terrify me. Just the idea that one line could randomly kill you was enough for the FEAR to inhabit me every time I did it, so we were never a 100% good match.

I did my first line of coke in 2007. I was in a messy relationship with the cheating guy (mentioned above) whose entire life and social group (and one could argue, personality) revolved around doing lines of coke, preferably ones he hadn’t bought. I guess I wanted to see what the fuss was about and was in a sufficiently miserable place where my desire to self destruct outweighed my considerable drug phobia. So I did it and remember my heart racing and being able to stay up all night and that was about it. After that it essentially became a massive part of my social life for the next year. Every night we would go to a gig, find the afterparty, find someone with drugs to cadge off of, find someone’s house for the after-afterparty, stay up all night being insufferable twats dancing and watching YouTube videos, pass out on someone’s couch at 9am, wake up at 4pm and repeat. There was a big group of us and it was all everyone did. The vampire life.

I guess I did it because I liked feeling like I belonged to a group, and it was fine as long as the coke was communal. But then I moved away from that particular group and started buying my own coke and doing it alone in toilets. I told myself it was for “confidence”, but I had never needed it previously. It became this secret crux, something that I needed to socialise rather than something that was good to have but not totally necessary. That was when I knew I had to quit.

As my friendship group changed from indie boys to metal munters, so too did the drug of choice, and suddenly everyone was doing Mcat, Ketamine, and MDMA. I never liked the idea of Mcat, it made the people who took it look deranged, but I did a lot of Ketamine and MDMA to predictably bad ends. Truth was drugs made us all dull, and I look back on those times with those groups as a big black hole. Sure it was fun and I got a bunch of mental photos out of it, but I wouldn’t go back there if you paid me.


Alex Sim-Wise with cocks painted on her face and forearms
Casual standard cock-inspired party attire.

I love a cock but I have this running joke with my husband that all women have cock amnesia - that we can’t remember what cocks look like aside from the current one we are sucking. I don’t say that to pander to his ego, I just think it is funny.

I only remember vague things about cocks - I remember one that was leaky, one that was brown, one that was long and pale like an undercooked bratwurst and one that looked like a button mushroom - all head and no shaft - but I don’t think I could pick any of them out of a line up.

It’s funny because men spend so much time worrying about their cocks when actually women don’t give a shit. Or maybe I am just saying that from the confident vantage point of someone whose fella has a big one (humble brag). Or MAYBE size doesn’t matter and the only cock we DON’T want is one that is curved upwards, because that bastard will hit the cervix every time and ain’t nobody got time for that.

But seeing as we are on the subject of cocks, and having just watched Betty Blue again, I would just like to add that I LOVE seeing cocks in films. Fucking love it. Flaccid or hard I don’t care, I love that shit. I reckon 99% of cinema would be improved if it had more cock in it.

Don’t want to see that shit in my inbox tho, no.


See Copying.


I don’t necessarily believe in conspiracy theories - I would never sit on the internet arguing that 9/11 is an inside job - but I do believe the royal family is a bunch of pedos and I am open to most theories being true. Having seen how fucking batshit and shady the modern day celebrity system is, I don’t hold out much hope for that world, nor do I believe that humanity is basically good, because it’s not.

Hope for the best but be open to the worst is my motto.


My ability to copy is a quality that I now recognise as my ability to mask. I always found it strange that I found it hard to create something original myself but I could copy other things or people very easily. I think it stems from an exceptional eye for detail and a deep discomfort with being myself, because myself was always weird or too much… so I would find people that I liked or looked up to - usually famous people like Britney or J-Lo - and mirror them as a way to cope and/or fit in.

Later on this developed into boyfriend mirroring - where I would become the person I thought they wanted rather than the person that I actually was. I would develop the same worldview, interests, even sense of humour, to the point where I would start to lose myself and forget who I was. If I am honest, I probably started doing this with my dad. He was hyper-critical and forever finding new hobbies and interests (bowling, horse-riding, skiing, airfix models) that I was expected to join him in, that would then be abandoned after a couple of months. It made it really hard for me to stick at stuff, partly because a lot of the time I couldn’t carry on with a hobby even if I really liked it because I had no-one to support me in doing it once my dad’s initial interest wore off, and partly because, well, I have ADHD.

If you have ever lived with a narcissist then you will know the importance of keeping them placated and of keeping them happy, even though it is an impossible task. Growing up my dad had a very grandiose opinion of himself where he basically saw himself as better than everyone. In his eyes he was always more intelligent and more cultured and he was always ready with a cutting remark for those who were not. I grew to dread those remarks so I tried to be the cultured well-behaved child that he wanted, essentially to avoid verbal and physical abuse. I learned to copy and mask in my own home and while I don’t have to do it with my husband it has been a hard habit to get out of.

Also, when you peel back the layers of fake interests it can be hard and quite sobering to see who you really are underneath it all. It can make you feel like you have no real interests at all, which is tough. I was actually surprised by how many of my interests were fake or no longer relevant. Comics were a big one. The only comics I actually like are Tank Girl, Junko Mizuno, and Junji Ito, the rest was all boyfriend-led.


I’ve written a lot about Coventry, much to the chagrin of my mum and the people I grew up with. I get it, it tries, but by all accounts it is not the best place in the world, especially not in the eighties. It had a certain small town dog eat dog mentality back then that even now I don’t think it can shake.

I feel a strange pride in coming from Coventry though - it being the hard faced place that it is. I found it character-building. No matter how well you do, someone from Coventry will always try to bring you down a peg or two so I never felt like I could get too big for my boots. I remember at the height of my modelling career going back home to the Old Clarence Pub to show the lads I grew up with my modelling portfolio and being rinsed for having “prickly nips”.

The Coventry that I grew up in was rough, poor, and violent. I saw scenes and put myself in situations back then that looking back were absolutely mad. Even now when I look up people I grew up with, nine times out of ten they are in prison. It’s no wonder that it’s not my first choice place to go back and visit. But I do miss it. There is an honesty in rough people that I like. I find them easier to be around as you know what you are getting. They either like you or they don’t. With more well-mannered people it is hard to tell, they can be more duplicitous and that I struggle with.

Growing up in Coventry made me less afraid. It made me always stand up for myself in a fight. It made me more empathetic and aware of people from different ethnic backgrounds, but it also made the culture shock of going to a posh school in London (and later university) REALLY hard.


What the fuck is Covid? Other than this thing that has made me absolutely terrified of BREATHING. FFS.


As you can see why website is looking quite sparse of late - that is because credit card companies and payment processors are cunts and have deemed the content in my shop “pornographic” despite it very much NOT being pornographic. So fuck them in their stupid beady eyes. As if they are not into internet porn and being shat on.

I mean, honestly. Come ON.


Alex Sim-Wise cringing so hard she is on fire.
Me, cringing so hard I am on fire.

As a child and as a young adult, I used to cringe a lot. I am naturally quite a thoughtful, introverted person prone to awkwardly breaking wind or making social faux pas and for years I would feel the embarrassment of those micro interactions to my very core, until over time I guess I must have grown hardened to it. I literally cringed so much that my cringe function broke, and I became somewhat immune. Now nothing really embarrasses me. Well, not the things you think would embarrass me anyway. I shit myself in public very early on with my husband and don’t remember being embarrassed about it at all.

The only thing I worry about now is interactions and whether I said or did the right thing, because conversational skills are not my strong point.


Fuck me this is getting a bit David Icke. Having said that I did go through a phase of reading his weirdo forum. I guess I just like knowing stuff. That’s why I would hate being in a cult. I like reading about them though, I don’t really know why. My current “special interest” is Mormon cults. I find Mormon men really attractive? Maybe it’s the snazzy uniform or their tendency to kill their entire family in fits of rage. The fittest one is that one in Physical. I don’t know why but I find repression so sexy, maybe because I am (secretly) massively repressed myself.


I once saw this woman argue on YouTube that as a woman you keep a little bit of the DNA of everyone you have ever fucked inside you and while I know it is probably bullshit, it really freaked me out. Imagine that? The way they argued it was so convincing, but I can’t find the video or remember the argument now. I hate the way weird shit like that just sticks in my head.

Cum is so funny looking anyway, I find it simultaneously repulsive and hilarious. It’s like mother nature’s joke. Did you know that when you get it in your eyes the reason it makes them so sore and red is because your eyes are really similar to your eggs and the sperm is trying to penetrate them? I mean that could be bullshit too, but it’s food for thought!

As a side note: I actually like getting cum in my eyes. I am one of the 0.1% of women who enjoy it. I have no idea why.


My brain works in patterns and cycles and it has taken me YEARS to firstly acknowledge that I have them, and secondly figure out what they are. My special interests follow cycles too - they are: Twin Peaks, Rose West, Walt Disney, Bioshock, Bettie Page, Amelie, Martha Stewart, Fred Rogers, Freemasons, Tank Girl, Mormons, Playboy, Marilyn Monroe, child stars that died, Silent Hill, Chippendales, baking, cheerleading, and New Urbanism.

I am currently on a Chippendales cycle, thanks for asking.

In addition to my special interest cycles I have certain private life cycles that make me prone to spiral into depression and while I’m actually in a pretty good place at the moment I am always looking at ways in which I can improve. A lot of staying on top of depression cycles is figuring out what my triggers are when they are not always obvious. I don’t know what these depression cycles are linked to - whether it is the moon or hormones or periods - or whether it is just the way that I am. For me, two of my biggest triggers seem to be dreams and music so I try not to dream or listen to music too much. I know if I start lurking on certain people or making complicated spreadsheets or listening to individual songs repetitively that I must be on a cycle, but sometimes it can take a while for me to realise it is happening. My husband usually notices before I do, because I turn into a ghost.

The only way I can explain the ‘ghost process’ is that if I get scared or if I feel so much that it gets overwhelming, I completely retreat into myself so that externally I become a blank shell. But of course I don’t realise that I have turned into a blank shell because my mind is so active and constantly thinking to the point where everyday life becomes a secondary dream state. I am only present internally to myself, not externally to other people, and real life gets completely zoned out. This mind tunnel is the same place that I have to access to write, which is why I try to avoid doing it, even though the results can be positive.

So that’s it - C. I hope you found it interesting.

Sim xx

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  • Writer's pictureAlex Sim-Wise


Okay, so, Blonde. Or Monroe even, as that is the subject matter.

I feel like I have been threatening a blog about Marilyn Monroe for a while now. After I read Joyce Carol Oates’ book last year I had a lot of feelings about it, but none that I could fully articulate. If you haven’t read it, that book is A LOT - way more misogynistic and exploitative than the Netflix adaptation - but isn’t that always the way with women? We are forever debasing and denigrating each other in ways worse than men could ever manage or imagine.

Still, it was an interesting read. An attempt to get under the skin of what has now become a mythic public entity and seek the core of what made the peculiar societal phenomenon of Marilyn Monroe. It is also trauma porn, so make of that what you will.

So yes, I knew going in that Blonde is a thinly-disguised fictional retelling of Monroe's life, albeit one that had been heavily researched and has some truth in it. I also knew that the book was extremely graphic, so I was intrigued to see how the source material would be interpreted, especially seeing as it was being directed by the guy who brought us CHOPPER!?

I mean, c’mon Hollywood!? WTF.


I have a complicated relationship with Marilyn Monroe. I find her endlessly fascinating and have watched almost every film and read almost every book on her, but I wouldn’t consider myself a “Marilyn Stan”. I feel a Marilyn Stan is a different breed of person entirely, somebody who sees Marilyn as this glamorous but flawed poster child for the broken. A glamourous icon for women who like their stars with a side of schadenfreude.

“Look, even the most beautiful woman in the world was messed up and had problems - she was JUST LIKE ME!'

Except she wasn’t. She was a person in the most unimaginable spotlight, the most sexiest person IN THE WORLD. I don’t think many of us can comprehend the pressures and magnitude of that. Of the kind of attention that brings and the people it attracts. It’s a light that attracts the world’s worst creepy crawlies. It must have been unbearable, especially in a misogyny heavy era like the 1950s.

And that’s not to say misogyny has gone away - it hasn’t - it’s just not as explicit (read: hidden) and more likely to be perpetuated by women, so… how’s that for progress? Yeah, I know. I don’t get it either.

But back to the film. The initial Twitter reactions I saw were all complaining about how graphic and exploitative it was, and - having read the book - I was like oh no, they went all in. But upon watching I was surprised to see that they didn’t. I mean there were some odd creative choices, sure, and it IS trauma heavy. But honestly, I will keep saying this: the book is worse.

I do get the argument of "why must we continually bastardise Marilyn’s memory?" - but the memory itself is the bastard. It’s an image, an idea… it’s not the real person. The “Marilyn Monroe” you know is a lie, a Warhol facsimile on a mass-produced canvas print on the wall of one of life’s victims. To me, a worse travesty is Kim Kardashian wearing (and ruining) her famous dress. But then, would Marilyn really want to be remembered for a dress? Wasn’t she more than what she wore?

As a pop culture cornerstone of the Hollywood studio era, Marilyn Monroe has been romanticised to the point of being unrecognisable as a real person - a cypher for asinine quotes so called “Boss Bitches” and “Full Time Mummy CEOs” share on Facebook with their friends to normalise shitty self-aggrandising behaviour. I’m looking at you, people who perpetuate the “if you can’t have me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best…” bullshit. GOD do I hate that quote. Like most quotes attributed to Monroe, she didn’t even say it. It’s all part of the pop culture mirage, designed to sell shit and make you feel better about yourself.

I have mixed feelings about the film, as I did the book. I don’t think either express much empathy for Marilyn as a person. In fact, I hated the film at first and started to wonder if I should be watching it. I had to stop it halfway through and went back to it this morning. I’ve experienced some of the things portrayed, but I didn’t find it triggering. Compared to the book it was actually quite sensitive. Like I said, the book is worse. SO much forced anal.

I felt that by the second half (and after the weird talking baby) the film improved and I started to get what the director was heavy-handedly trying to do, other than try and make a David Lynch homage. The whole film seemed like a love letter to Lynch. I didn’t know if it was intentional until the last couple of scenes when the music showed its Twin Peaks influences, and then I just KNEW. A ha! Still, it’s no Fire Walk With Me (the quintessential filmic text on trauma) - the difference being that Lynch has empathy.

Overall I thought Ana de Armas was an EXCEPTIONAL Monroe, the best I have seen. I wasn’t convinced on her casting at first but she really excelled and was very convincing. The story was a bit too dreamy and missed out A LOT, I would have liked to have seen more of Monroe's time in the orphanage and her first marriage, rather than a billion abortions but I get why they were there. I liked the scenes with Cass and Eddy.

“But it’s not true!” I hear you say. And neither are those quotes you love so much but you don’t seem bothered about the veracity of those. And anyway, how do you know? You don’t know with absolute certainty either way. Nobody does, it’s all extrapolation like any biopic.

However, there is no doubt in my mind that Marilyn Monroe’s life was incredibly traumatic; from her abusive upbringing to the nature of her fame to her turbulent relationships - these are all well-documented facts. To try and sugar coat or glamourise these parts of her life would be to do her a great disservice. But then, how do you show that trauma? Is there a KIND way of doing it? I don’t know if there is.

This film is a body horror, showing the horrors of owning a “sexy” female body in the public sphere, by showing how your body becomes not your own (hence all the crowd scenes with fans shown as a grasping, baying mob). But by also showing Marilyn’s intimate private moments it showed that at her core she was the same as any of us, and her horrors were the same suffered by all women.

I actually liked the vagina shots. I liked that it showed her body in an unusual, almost clinical way. The way that is a lot of women’s reality - of periods and smear tests and abortions. The side of women that is decidedly unsexy and NEVER SEEN. Why should these things NOT be shown? We should be able to see our own reality presented on screen, hiding them keeps them repressed, secret, and taboo.

Marilyn Monroe suffered greatly with Endometrosis. Her fertility was something she struggled with until her death. In her private sphere these would have been the things that defined her and by all accounts she lived a troubled life and died a troubled death. It’s why we remember her now. Why sugar coat? Do you really hold that pretty image of her so dear?

Marilyn didn’t go through life as helpless or as explicitly looking for her daddy as the film would suggest, but that WAS the core of her trauma. As it is for many people who have experienced abandonment early in life. I suppose I can relate to that on some level, the childhood trauma, the sexy modelling career, the way she strived to be seen as sexy AND a serious person… but the thing I relate to most of all is that she is a complete fabrication. “Marilyn Monroe” as we know her is a fictional character, and THAT is what this film is clumsily trying to get at.

Like I said, Marilyn Monroe is a mirage. As someone who has masked their entire life, fabricating a persona to get ahead and deal with difficult situations is something that I can more than empathise with. The part of the film that touched me the most was when she was sat by the mirror begging for Marilyn to come. It brought me to tears as it is a pathetic situation I have found myself in hundreds of times, of having to switch on the glamour when you really don’t feel like it. It captured the duality of the duty of being sexy personified. No-one, not even Marilyn Monroe, can be sexy all of the time.

And I know my experiences are a minuscule fraction of what she would have experienced, but they are enough that I can relate and empathise in a way that those that haven’t lived that life cannot. Being “sexy” is a heavy burden, one that has many perks, but just as many pitfalls and it is a way of life that can leave you feeling lost.

I see Marilyn Monroe as someone who sought - for her whole life - to find someone who could see her and embrace her as a whole person. As both Norma Jean, AND her creation. It seems to me people could only either see her as one or the other: either Marilyn Monroe, the “dumb blonde” international sex symbol, or Norma Jean, the smart but troubled girl-next-door, never BOTH.

Whether you see her as Marilyn Monroe or Norma Jean, or both like I do, the biggest favour you could do for her legacy is to NOT see her as a dumb quote or a poster child for the broken, but as a complex woman who tried her best to live up to the puritanical ideals of society at large - a task she was doomed to fail as it is impossible. She was given her sex symbol status and did her best with it, but as a traumatised individual she WAS exploited and I think it is fair for this film to show that, as it is something that continues today.

I do think it is important to show the “truth” of these worlds. As a society we are fed lies about the nature of Hollywood and celebrity that don’t represent the reality of it. For many women in the studio system in Hollywood, their reality was brutal. Just look at Judy Garland, Loretta Young, Shirley Temple… the list goes on.

I don’t think Marilyn Monroe’s real life was as extreme as the film (or the book) portrays but I do think her reality was uglier than what many Marilyn Stans can bear to see and we have to ask ourselves why as a society we romanticise women’s lives like this. Why we put certain women on a pedestal and deny their humanity. Why we can only see them as sexy OR intelligent, not as a whole human being.

Women are equally guilty of this, if not more so, which is what makes Oates’ book all the more shocking. If you are looking for the misogyny at the core of this film, look to her, not the director.

Like I said: the book is worse.

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  • Writer's pictureAlex Sim-Wise

Okay I’m back for blog two, and in the week since my brain has only gone and done what it does best which is completely fucking overcomplicate everything. It’s decided that maybe the entire blog itself can be the Brain Edit, and that rather than try and cram everything beginning with B into one long blog I can just keep writing about random topics that pop up, and have a master blog to sort everything into alphabetical order. Heck, I can even upload old blogs and add them to the Brain Edit database, thereby uploading everything in my noggin past and present to the blog equivalent of an external hard drive - which honestly, isn’t a bad idea. Or is it? It’s hard to tell.

If you have already tuned out, I fully understand, I’m sure I will at some point also - but until then, let’s do it. Let’s just blog and see what happens and see how far we get. For continuity’s sake I will still blog about things beginning with B today, but the list won’t be extensive or definitive as I will more than likely add to it at a later date.

So, lets get started with…


Jesus Christ, what a thing to start on. Curse this alphabetical process. If you’re not turned off now, I’m pretty sure you will be by the end of the next paragraph. B.V. is gross and it’s embarrassing, but I’m just going to lean into the embarrassment because that is 100% my coping mechanism.

B.V. is short for Bacterial Vaginosis and it is something me and my friend Von used to bond over back in the day because we both used to get it a lot. At the time it was this weird secret lady problem that no-one every really told you about because it’s rank. It’s not like you get told about it at school or anything, they’re too busy throwing condoms and sanitary towels at you and running away. Due to the dire state of sex education at my school I knew next to nothing about anything, and found talking about anything vagina-related intensely embarrassing as a result, so it was a relief to find a friend like Von who would just shout B.V. at me and make me see the funny side.

B.V. makes your vagina smell like metallic fish death - and it’s not necessarily an STD but it kind of is. You get it from shagging smelly boys who don’t wash, and it’s basically your vagina’s way of telling you to stop doing that. It took me quite a while to realise this blatantly obvious fact of life so my alternative solution was to find these little tubes of anti-B.V. magic from Superdrug that you would squirt up yourself and they would make it go away and that was my way of ignoring the real problem of my poor life choices for about ten years.

Obviously I don’t get it anymore because my husband washes twice a day (minimum) but I remember it being quite recurrent among my friendship group way back when in the dirty unwashed Myspace days. I don’t miss it.


Probably not the most appetising choice to segue from B.V. to baking but I do love to bake a cake. Don’t like eating them, mind, but I like making them. You see, my biggest secret is that I am way more Martha Stewart than I ever make out and pretty much always have been because she has ALWAYS been my hero. I’m sure she will get her own blog at some point, but I discovered Martha from reading my grandma’s crafting books in the mid-nineties and through my obsession (back then) with America - which also needs it’s own blog.

So yeah, I am really quite domesticated - which I guess is what happens when you don’t leave the house a lot.


I fucking love Baywatch. I don’t remember ever being able to watch it when I was young (it was too low brow for my parents) but having binged the shit out of it on some free TV channel recently I have to say that it is a true classic of our time that should be studied like Michelangelo’s David. There is a reason it is the most successful syndicated TV show of all time and it’s not just Pamela Anderson’s tits, it’s everything about it: the colours, the slo mo montages EVERY episode, the dad bods… it really had it all. What a dream.


I love a bastard. In fact, one of the reasons I was attracted to my husband initially was that he looked like an old-fashioned bastard from the 1940s, like a Hollywood villain. With his side parting and pencil moustache he just didn’t look like anyone I had seen before (outside of old films) and I found that intriguing. As I got to know him I found out that how weird and out of place and “bastard” something makes him look is actually a positive to him. He does it on purpose, but not in a try hard way. Gawd, nothing worse than a try hard.


Like most washed up models I have had my obligatory flirtation with Benzo addiction, although mine was relatively short-lived and only lasted for 6 months or so in 2010. During the summer of working for MTV in Europe I had to take a lot of flights and while I had never feared flying in the past the law of averages began to creep up on me and I started to get really vivid recurrent nightmares about being in massive plane crashes.

As I had a long haul flight to Japan coming up that I really wanted to go on I went to see my GP and he prescribed me a boatload of Temazepam, telling me to take one an hour before my flight. I did as directed and slept the whole way there, it was great! After taking them for a few flights I started to take them for other things, like when I felt sad or heartbroken (which was quite a lot) because they helped me to forget and again, it was great, until I took too many and had the worst anxiety attack I had ever had in my life and had to stop taking them.

Cool story bro.


I never remember birthdays. Part of my ADHD that I struggle the most with is discalculia. Numbers get mixed up in my head and while I can remember what month someone’s birthday might be in, I can never remember the exact date. Obviously I can remember my own, and my daughter’s, and Von’s (because it is 9/11) - and sometimes my husband’s and my mum’s - but for everyone else I draw a blank. I see it as being part of my time-blindness.

As you get older you realise birthdays aren’t such a big deal anyway. Coming from a family who really held grudges if you forgot a birthday or bought a wrong present, I think I have just completely detached myself from it as a concept and

I don’t really care about birthdays at all.


I’ve written at length about Bjork before but as I am listening to her podcast at the moment I thought I would give her a brief mention as I see her as a human talisman of sorts. Someone in this world like me. I love listening to her podcast and hearing how intuitive yet methodical she is. It sounds silly but it makes me feel less alone.

I remember doing a Myers-Briggs personality test a few years back and being so made up that my personality type (INFP) is the same as Bjork, David Lynch, and Amelie Poulain - all entities I had previously felt a deep kinship with. INFP is a rare personality type that is sensitive, creative, and emotional with an imaginative inner landscape. We are driven by empathy, idealism, and are truth seekers. Basically we just want to help people and are really kind and perceptive but introverted. Like Amelie, which fully explains why watching that film is like a religious experience for me.

As a side note: because I am ADHD I never remember what personality type I am for long periods of time, so every so often I redo the test and it always turns out the same and I find so much comfort in that.


The black box is what I call the place where the bad memories go. It lives (and hides) in the back of my brain, and because it’s so dark back there it’s really hard to see what’s inside it or whether it is a box at all or more of a dumping ground or a living seething dark mass. I’ve done lots of things to try and shine a light on what’s there - including a whole year’s worth of EMDR - but it doesn’t really like me knowing too much and it is always an uphill struggle that after a while I lose motivation for tackling, so like a mould it festers and grows darker.

Part of why I am writing all this is to maybe see if it helps as I don’t think I am alone in having this, I think everyone has a black box and it’s a self-protection mechanism. If you experience anything that is too much, too big or traumatic or overwhelming, this is where your brain will put it to protect you - some unreachable place that it pretends is invisible (its not), where some brain gremlin will sit and stir everything all together just to fuck with you.


Historically, blogging is the way that I cope. Writing about my problems is my way to process and deal with things, and in the past it has worked really well. As I got older I leaned more on therapy, self help, and even medication - but nothing hits the same as a good old blog. And I get that blogging is probably old fashioned now, that I should probably be doing this on TikTok or whatever, but TikTok is full of cunts so I really can’t be arsed with that.


Hate to blow my own trumpet (lol) but I am really good at blowjobs. Not that you will ever know because it’s definitely not something I would ever share with the world in an audiovisual sense. I’ve been many things but a porn star is not one of them - and that’s not because I think there is any shame in that career choice - more that I am really shy and private about sex stuff and always have been.

Sex has always frightened me on some level so I got good at blow jobs partly as a way out. Early on, probably from age 15 or 16, I saw it as a way to be intimate with someone without really sharing anything private of myself. Everything else would creep me out so blowjobs were my way to diffuse situations and avoid drama, because who doesn’t love a blowjob, right?

To me, blowjobs were super easy to learn, something I could do with anyone (even people I didn’t like) where I wouldn’t be judged for my performance because honestly, unless your name is Tulisa it is really really hard to be shit at blow jobs.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy them because I do… with the right person, of course.


Boobs are so weird. I literally made an entire career with mine and looking at it now, in hindsight, I do find that pretty odd. Like, how was that even a thing? I mean, I do get it - I’m not immune to a pair of nice tits, and you can’t deny that women’s bodies are nice to look at - but so are mens! Why was it so one-sided? Why was it just women’s bodies on Page 3, not mens as well?

Having said that I remember the day I realised the power of tits quite vividly. I’d gone to see my nan in Hatfield and she had bought me (after a lot of begging) a leopard print Wonder Bra from the TK Maxx in the Galleria. First day back to school I wore it under my school shirt and I remember every single boy on the bus just going silent and staring at me until one boy shouted “fuck me, Alex has got TITS”. I was 14 and it felt incredible, just to be noticed like that when previously I had been completely invisible. I’ve probably been chasing that high ever since.

When you have a child you realise what your tits are actually for and it does change things. I won’t go into detail though, as a lot of my fans are creepy about stuff like that and it really grims me out.


Just putting it out there but I have NEVER understood boys, or men (man-boys) and how their minds work… and as you can maybe tell from some of my posts I was not very popular with boys when I was younger. I was popular in a friendship sense and had lots of boy mates, but could never hold the romantic interest of someone I liked. And maybe part of that was my own insecurity. I was painfully shy back then, to the point where I was scared to even look a boy I liked in the face. It was like trying to stare at the blazing hot sun. I thought that if I looked at them they would know from my face that I fancied them and that was something that to me, should always remain secret. I didn’t want the people that I liked to know that I liked them because deep down I thought it was hopeless and that I would be teased or mocked for it. And that is something that came from my parents, from being teased by them over childhood crushes. There is nothing I hate more than being teased, and over time their taunts made me feel like there was something deeply WRONG with love and crushes, creating a link that would trigger feelings of shame and make me feel embarrassed to my core every time I developed a crush on someone.

This is one of the reasons why I relate so hard with the film Amelie, because I had never seen the way that I felt depicted so vividly on screen before - that feeling of wanting something so bad but it being something that felt so dangerously hopeless and self-destructive that the only option was to hide from it. To become a creepy little recluse that when confronted would turn into a puddle of water.


I realise I talk about brains a lot, mainly because I feel like mine is wired up so wrong that I am constantly trying to make sense of it.

I once described my brain to my husband as being like a log cabin. Inside it’s small and cosy and familiar, and outside of it is the dark woods where all the black box memories live. To do anything vaguely human or pleasurable I have to open the windows (or worse, the door) of the cabin a little bit, but as soon as I do the dark memories come hurtling through the woods like the camera from Evil Dead, heading towards the cabin trying to find their way in. It becomes this mad race against time and means I can’t do anything good for very long. Or at least I couldn’t do - I have gotten a bit better.


Back in the late nineties, early aughts Britney was IT for me. The GOAT. She represented everything that I wanted to be, and more. She was sexy but innocent - the ultimate contradiction - and a juxtaposition that at the time I really related to.

And again, I have written at length about Britney before so it is a subject that I would like to revisit at some point in its own blog as she was such a formative influence on my sexuality and career as a glamour model. Without Britney I don’t think I would have gotten into any of it. I just wanted to BE her and I remember spending hours studying and meticulously recreating her makeup and outfits… bringing me onto COPYING - which I will talk about next week.


As an ADHD person I find it super hard to just stay on top of things and organise myself like a normal person. I just don’t have those inner systems that neurotypical people have that help them visualise time or remember to wash or eat or drink. I don’t recognise hunger or thirst, and things like brushing my teeth or having a shower feel overwhelming and composed of too many steps a lot of time. The natural state of my head is a fuzzy mess, and when I close my eyes I struggle to visualise anything at all. I find meditation impossible.

So I bullet journal. And honestly, it is the only thing that has worked so far. I may not be able to do it every single day, and I fall off the wagon a lot with it, but it’s easy to get back started again, and there is something about visually planning and writing everything out by hand on square dotted paper that soothes me.


I went through a massive phase about ten years ago where I got completely obsessed with taking pictures of my own bum hole, which was funny for a while until I realised that it was a knee-jerk response to being sexually assaulted by a friend. So I don’t find bum holes quite so funny anymore (although they are still pretty funny).


Fun fact: I can’t burp. Well, I can, but I find them so terrifying that I have trained my body not to burp. Honestly, not much scares me more than burps - I find them absolutely vile.

And that’s it for B for now! Do you know what? I’ve not been very inspired by B - it’s been pretty BORING so I am holding out for next week’s C - what do you think should go in that one?

Sim xx

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