Thursday, 13 March 2014

She's (not) in fashion

It’s been a while since I last wrote but last week I saw an article in the paper stating that ‘boobs were no longer in fashion’. This got my heckles up, not because I have reasonable sized boobs and so am therefore no longer fashionable, my body has supposedly not been fashionable on many occasions, (when it was fashionable to be skinny, when it was fashionable to tall and slim, when it was deemed fashionable to look like you took heroin).  

Other friends have had similar problems, some of them were out of fashion when allegedly only women with Christina Hendricks curves were fashionable, others when we were told that big lips were cool and there were those that suffered from not been fashionable when it was deemed that ‘fat bottomed girls make the rocking world go round’ 

What I find even more frustrating is that we all buy into it.  Sit in a room with a group of women for long enough and eventually somebody will start talking about what they like about their body, or more often than not, what they don’t like.  More concerning is the amount of conversations held about what we are and aren’t feeding ourselves.  I admit that I have found myself having these conversations but I have decided, no more.

At my age I feel that these are not conversations that women should be having. In fact they are not the conversations women should be having at any age.  I have a niece and I don’t want her growing up thinking that her body should look a certain way because the media and other women say so.  I know I can’t change the world and I can’t even change the media, but I can change me and make sure that that isn’t the message she hears from me. 

Deep down we all know it’s about how you feel about yourself that’s important and that nobody has ever liked anybody more just because they’ve got thinner thighs, or big boobs (well this may not be true but people who like you more just based on those things are usually the men your mum warned you about).  I’ve never sat with my mates and thought I would love you all a bit more if your bodies were just that little bit more fashionable or if you only consumed limited calories a day.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with watching what you eat and taking care of yourself.  I just feel that they are not things we need to be constantly conversing about, thus giving the impression to younger girls around us that calorie intake is a really important thing to be discussed on a regular basis.

It seems that we have all been conditioned to want to be something we are not.  I have even heard myself saying “I want to be thinner” like some mantra, but when I think about it I have never really wanted to be thinner.   I’ve wanted to be fitter, I’ve wanted to be more toned, and I’ve wanted to be firmer but thinner, not really, I understood a long time ago that I am always going to have boobs and a bum and accepted it.

So I am taking a stand and I am going to say, something that women very rarely say….I love my body, not because I have a flat stomach, I don’t,  and not because I have achieved the elusive thigh gap, I haven’t, but I still love it.

The reason I love it is because it works.  In my lifetime I have seen loss, we all have, people cut down in their prime, people living with life threatening illness or having their lives turned upside down by a cruel twist of fate and it is because of these people that I have decided to embrace my body and accept how it is.  

My body works, it is strong, I exercise to feel strong not to be try and be thin (I’m really not designed that way) I know what to put in it to make it work at its best but sometimes I choose not to do this and decide to eat chocolate, drink too much wine and stuff my face with pizza, but instead of worrying about this for days I have learnt to accept it and move on.

If I live to be old and healthy, and my niece learns from me that her body is beautiful whatever it looks like and yet my body is never deemed fashionable again then I will be happy.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Baby Baby

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front lately what with getting married, going on honeymoon and starting my own business, you could say I have been a little busy and pre-occupied.

Married life is great but, in the six months since we said ‘I do’ something has changed and it is quite disturbing.  People have become obsessed with my womb, I mean totally obsessed.  Prior to marriage the only person who had asked so many questions about my  internal goings on was a  gynecologist and even that’s a lie, they don’t ask that much.

Prior to getting married I had always said I didn’t want children, not because I dislike them (which is the common misconception) just because pregnancy, eternal devotion, dealing with somebody else's bodily functions and pushing something the size of a watermelon through the eye of a needle  had never really appealed to me, oh and I’m quite selfish.  

When I used to tell people this some would give the usual ‘you’ll change your mind’ response, others would just accept it  and some, mainly those with kids going through the terrible twos would say ‘I don’t blame you’, but that’s all changed.  

No longer is my response adequate.  Now some people look at me like some evil person for denying the world of an extra person, because oh yeah I forgot we don’t have enough people in the world.  Others are still going strong on the ‘you’ll change your mind’ response.  Other phrases now being introduced are ‘you’ll regret it’ and ‘oh what about the journalist, you’re denying him’ like we haven’t discussed it and I’m just some heartless cow who has taken it upon herself to be the decider on all important, life changing matters, and my favourite, ‘but you’re 35’.  I’m aware that I am 35, I’m aware that according to the media that this means by now all my eggs have shriveled and died and I am barren but I feel quite strongly that should be nobody’s concern but my own.

My favourite of all lines though, which has been uttered by several people is ‘oh but I’d like you to have one’, seriously is this an adequate response given than none of these people would have to give birth to said child, look after it day in day out, change their life plans or have numerous sleepless nights.  Do they really expect that I am going to say ‘oh my God journalist stop now, we must go procreate as these people would like us to have a child.”?

So to conclude, babies have never been on the agenda but never say never, as my mum pointed out ‘the only way I can see you having a child is if you have an accident’.  Some people may find that shocking but it amused me as it was probably the truth and none of us can say we don’t know anybody who was an accident or a surprise as my mum likes to call me and my brother (accidents are horrible surprises are nice), some of you are probably sitting with accidents/surprises whilst reading this.

So, I don’t know what the future holds but what I do know is that if a baby is decided upon it won’t be because somebody else wants me to have one, it won’t be because I am getting old and time is running out and if I am honest it probably won’t be because I changed my mind.  The one thing I can tell you that for all the questions about my intentions the first person who will know of any change of heart or my need to pee on a stick will be the journalist.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Here comes the bride..... nearly

So, it's the eve of my hen weekend and how do I feel excited, scared and a little overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed that it is all coming around so quickly, but also overwhelmed that so many people have agreed to come along and help me wave goodbye to single life.

But not for me a traditional hen do of strippers, L plates and blow up penises?  No I decided to quote Cypress Hill that ' I ain't going out like that'.  I decided I wanted a classy hen do, well as classy as you can get in a house of 20 women in with enough alcohol to sink a ship.

 I have only four  fears not only for my liver but for other reasons:

  1. Will the bridesmaids have ignored my request for no strippers and no L-Plates? These are all of the reasons that I don't usually enjoy hen dos and so the thought of getting confronted with all of these things are enough to bring me out in a rash, but I have faith in my trusty bridesmaids who have been working hard to make this happen that I am safe. As one of them said to me when quizzed about this "I am brave Becky but, I'm not stupid." 
  2. Will I eat and drink so much that when I go to try on my wedding dress it won't fit?  This is a distinct possibility. Having seen the list of how much food and alcohol is present, and the fact that when drunk I am prone to eating things that are normally not on my list of good food choices. On the plus side my dress fitting isn't for a week so I can gym loads and if all else fails I can have the dress taken out and wobble down the aisle instead of my original idea of floating down with elegance and grace (elegance and grace are probably a bit beyond the imaginations of those that know me well, but a girl can dream)
  3. Will I be capable of work on Monday?  Errr possibly not.  The looking like crap I can cope with, that's what concealor and blusher were invented to disguise.  The two day hangover is possibly harder to avoid and hide.  Worse case scenario I spend the day in a hungover haze and just smile politely and dream of getting home to bed.
  4. And the big one.....Will everybody get on?  20 women, one house what could possibly go wrong?  What if this group made up of my favourite people all decide they can't stand each other?  This will not be good, on the plus side it is a huge house so people can easily run away and hide. If the worst comes to the worst I'll just drink through it.
Putting all these fears aside I honesttly can't wait.  I don't see it as my last night of freedom as that is a bit out dated and the journalist definitely isn't the type to get a ring on my finger and then chain me to the kitchen sink or lock me in the cellar, no matter how much he jokes about such things (well I hope it's a joke)

I see it as a celebration of a new beginning and who better to start it with than the girls I love most who are all going to be with me throughout what will be a fantastic future.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

He liked it so he put a ring on it....

Well followers hell must have frozen over as I am writing this blog to announce I am getting married.  Yes me, getting married.  I never thought I would see the day.  Now don’t get me wrong this is not because I never thought anybody would want to marry me (I’m a confident , independent lady, I never doubted that somebody out there would be brave enough to take on the challenge of taming me).  

No, the shock comes as I never in a million years believed I would find anybody that I would want to marry.  I couldn’t quite fathom why anybody would want to commit to one person forever.   I always believed that I would end up with somebody long-term but the idea of marriage was enough to bring me out in a rash and possibly make me hyperventilate in the same way a claustrophobic would if locked in a cupboard.  Marriage signified to me, trapped.

Obviously this feeling had started to change as whilst I hadn’t spent months dreaming about ‘the big day’ or walking down the aisle, the thought of being with the journalist forever and ever certainly didn’t seem so scary as forever previously had.  

It was lucky that I had started to feel this change as a few days before Christmas the journalist took it upon himself and surprised me with a romantic proposal.  It was amazing, public, exciting and unexpected.  Even better the ring was present, beautiful and everything I wanted it to be (the ring is vitally important when you consider I will be wearing until death do us part).

I did wonder whether things would change once we were engaged and after the initial phase of thinking about how my new name would sound and having to silence people with their questions on whether my stance on having children had changed (jeez some people just don’t know how to let you enjoy the moment) I have had some time to reflect and say yes it does.  It changes things.  Not to the outside world and not even in the most obvious ways.

Now I know some of you romantic types will want me to say that since the proposal I have felt that I have found what I needed to complete me, but I won’t as that would be a big fat lie.  I always felt pretty complete on my own and I think that is partly what appealed to him.  I don’t feel that we are two sides of the same coin or that I have now found what has been missing from my life but it does feel different, both exciting and scary.

It is an odd but lovely feeling knowing that we’ve decided to be together forever and not just by saying it to each other but planning to declare it to the whole world (well in front of family and friends).  I also think it has made us closer, I guess we both now know that it is real and that we love each other despite him knowing that I am not a morning person, I’m messy and can on occasion can put even the biggest diva to shame and that I’m prepared to say forever to him even though he is always late, wears bad trainers and treats his dog like a human (something some of you will think is wonderful but I find weird and amusing in equal measure).
Other things that feel bizarre and not in a romantic lovey dovey sense are knowing that in a few months time when doing surveys I will have to tick the married box and that when men try and chat me up (I assume this will still happen now I am engaged) I don’t have to quickly take a ring from another finger and pretend it is an engagement ring, as I’ve got one.  

In other ways it is quite scary as it makes me feel like a grown up (yes I know I am nearly 35 but still I am 17 at heart and I am not sure 17 year olds marry 43 year olds).  It’s also scary as you wonder will things change, we both think not as we agree the whole reason we are getting married is to declare that we like each other just the way we are thank you.  The only change will be that when I get home steaming drunk from a night with the girls he’ll be there to help me get up the stairs and if he comes home cold from cricket or with a pulled muscle I’ll be there to make him a coffee or run him a bath.

As  Carrie Bradshaw once said and something I always believed “Maybe some women aren't meant to be tamed. Maybe they need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with.” And the fact I have found my somebody to run with is possibly the best thing of all about getting engaged.