Review: The power of pop-culture in Brodie Lancaster’s ‘No Way! Okay, Fine.’

You know how sometimes you meet someone, and they are so unbelievably likeable, smart, funny and consistently insightful that you want to be their best friend forever?

Well, that’s how I now feel about Brodie Lancaster, and we have barely ever spoken in person – instead, I have come to feel like I know Brodie from reading her debut book, No Way! Okay, Fine., which is her non-fiction ode to pop culture, feminism, body positivity and life.

Unlike most memoirs, this book is a real blend of Brodie’s personal history, her insightful analysis of our culture through the lens of feminism, as well as her myriad of thoughts on the impact of popular culture all the way from David Bowie and punk rock through to One Direction, Gilmore Girls and about a billion other sources.

Whilst that premise could have felt scattered, instead the book flows like a great conversation with Brodie, each chapter building on the last to increase the sense of intimacy the reader feels as they delve further into what exactly makes her tick.

The content ranges from heartbreaking, such as Brodie’s very honest descriptions of living in a capitalist, objectifying world with an unconventional body shape, all the way through to utterly hilarious, such as Brodie’s accounts of growing up in Bundaberg as a someone with an ultimately Melbournite core identity.

Brodie’s writing is both clever and concise, while also managing to slip between Millennial slang through to cultural criticism that is so balanced and intelligent that you’ll forget you’re reading about Kanye West. (In fact, the most unexpected outcome of reading No Way! Okay Fine. for me was how it completely changed the way I feel about Kanye. Seriously – my mind was blown).

Crucially, the strand that ties the whole book together is the essence of Brodie’s personality, which is warm, funny, sassy and unbelievably smart. If every Baby Boomer read this book, I imagine they’d have a different perspective on Millennials. Based on No Way! Okay, Fine., the future is in capable hands.

Feminartsy is co-hosting the Canberra launch of No Way! Okay, Fine. with Muse Canberra, on Tuesday 27 June at 6pm. Brodie will be in conversation with Jessica Friedmann. Head to the Muse website to buy a ticket!

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