You’re So Vain (you probably think this post is about you)

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but my idea of beauty differs greatly from that of the media.

Facelifts, Botox injections, teeth whitening and veneers are becoming common place for women these days and for television presenters of a ‘certain age’ it’s expected if they want to keep their jobs. Seemingly women have a shelf life, as opposed to their male counterparts, who’s only other requirement is a pulse. Men can go on presenting into their 80’s but women are put out to pasture on Radio 4 where they can still be heard but not seen.

The message from the media is that old is not beautiful.

As Catherine Tate’s ‘Nan Taylor‘ would say, “WHAT A LOAD OF OLD SHIT!!”

Women are becoming completely obsessed with their looks, desperately trying to eradicate the effects of time for fear of being replaced by a younger woman.

But what is beautiful?

The media portrays surgically altered and photo manipulated women as beautiful and as a result women are aspiring to be something that’s unrealistic.

Bigger boobs, smaller waist, thinner nose, bigger lips, smaller piss flaps, thicker hair, whiter teeth and muff styling – anything to change their appearance.

The result of continually going under the surgeons knife is something that wouldn’t look out of place in Madame Tussaud’s – only the really shit looking waxworks which look nothing like the celebrities they’re meant to be.

Then there’s these two…

I was stunned to read about the ‘Human Barbie‘, Valeria Lukyanova.

Er, what’s going on here then?

There is also Justin Jedlica ,dubbed ‘The Ken Doll” by the media, who has had 140 plastic surgery procedures in the last 15 years including 12 implants in his torso that mimic shapely arm and chest muscles.

According to him his body modification comes from a place of artistic creativity, not a mental illness.

Not deluded in the slightest!

If I was to come face to face with one of these creepy creatures, I’d presume that I’d been mixing my household chemicals again, or that I was actually dead and this was karma paying me for snapping the leg off a Barbie in 1978.

Recently Valeria claimed she wants to live only on light and air.

As you do..

In recent weeks I have not been hungry at all; I’m hoping it’s the final stage before I can subsist on air and light alone.

No, that’ll be the final stage before you die, but I’m sure you’ll look just fabulous in your coffin!

Normally, I’m a ‘whatever floats your boat’ person. If celebs want to take the risks with their looks, it’s tough false tits when it goes wrong but these ‘dolls’, especially the food dodger with her “food nihilism” and her message that surgery is the essence of beauty is alarming. They have a fan base, no doubt made up of perverts and impressionable girls.

For the good of humanity – load her and all the other ‘dolls’, including Ken with his fake pecs, into a rocket, light the boosters and fire em off into space before they have chance to reproduce.

Why in the name of Cher would anybody want to look like a doll? I had a Holly Hobbie once but I don’t want to have freckles tattooed on my face and wear a bonnet!

I’m not sure what alarms me more – the fact that people choose to do this to themselves or that unscrupulous surgeons are willing to exploit what amounts to mental illness. I am all for corrective or reconstructive surgery when it’s about quality of life, but this is insanity.

Celebs will go to extraordinary lengths to hold onto their youthful looks.

Mrs Beckham for instance, is rumored to be using a facial which involves bird poo.

Go sit on Blackpool prom with a tray of chips, Posh – you’ll be graced with more bird shit than you’ll know what to do with!

What’s so wrong with wrinkles anyway? They certainly haven’t done Dame Judi Dench any harm. She is proof that older women can be naturally beautiful and desirable.

I’m hardly Waynetta Slob when it comes to my beauty regime. I do try to look keep myself presentable but a twice weekly exfoliation and tash control is about as radical as it gets.

I’m growing fond of my lines. They show I’ve lived.  Many people don’t live to see their first wrinkle and at 44 I count myself lucky.

And I’m not totally against a little maintenance work here and there. Helen Mirren has had a subtle face and neck lift. The look is natural and in keeping with her age. She’s not trying to look 18 again.

I’ve grown up watching my mother trying to fend off time. She spent that much money on creams and potions, I expected a sympathy card from  L’Oreal when she died.

Her self esteem plummeted as she aged. She didn’t do age. She wasn’t comfortable with it. She’d get stroppy when we playfully ribbed her about it then she’d flounce off upstairs saying, “Sod the lotta yer!”

She had these amazing brown eyes and never looked more beautiful than first thing in the morning before the make up went on. She despised her wrinkles but I loved them, partly because I’d helped to put them there – especially the furrows in her brow.

I prefer natural beauty – amazing eyes and a great smile do it for me.

Maybe if society appreciated older women more, Ma would have been more confident with her looks.

My mother was a beautiful woman, she just couldn’t see it.

Lets take a look at these crows feet, just look
Sitting on the prettiest eyes
Sixty 25th of Decembers
Fifty-nine 4th of July’s
You can’t have too many good times, children
You can’t have too many lines
Take a good look at these crows feet
Sitting on the prettiest eyes

~ Prettiest Eyes – The Beautiful South

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mumturnedmom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a Mans World

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Women earn less than men in 32 of the 35 major occupations classified by the Office for National Statistics. The three major occupations where women earn more than men – transport drivers, electricians and agricultural workers – are all male dominated. Fewer than 50,000 women are employed in these sectors, compared to 1.5 million men. ~ Source

Sara over at mumturnedmom asks if it’s a mans world?

During the first world war, over 600,000 women took on previously male dominated roles – although women in paid work was by no means new.

During the second world war women, again, showed their worth by taking over the roles previously dominated by men.

In both cases women found that, after the war, the advances that they had made were greatly reduced.

But the woman’s position in society would never be the same.

Before the war a woman’s place was in the home. Her role was to be a good housewife and mother.

Then the wars came the women got stuck in, not just because they had to but also because they wanted to play a useful part in the war effort.

When the war ended in 1945 there were 460,000 women in the military and over 6.5 million in civilian war work.

Without women, our war effort would have been significantly weakened and the outcome may have been different.  Hitler refused to let German women work in the munition factories – going against the advice of his senior industry adviser, Albert Speer.

Many women enjoyed the independence which came from having a job of their own so it must have been a kick in the flaps when the soldiers came home and wanted their jobs back. Women had had a taste of freedom and the thought of being relegated to the kitchen once more didn’t sit well.

Yet, almost 70 years on, we still have a big divide between the sexes when it comes to employment.

It should be simple. If women do the same job as men, they should be paid the same wage.

A woman passed her forklift test at work and started to work alongside men. She formally complained when one of the men refused to change the battery on her truck. She was told it was part of the job description for her to do it. Fair do’s, or should he have done it for her?

Men are discriminated against in quite a few situations..

Screening is available to women for breast and cervical cancers but not for male cancers, prostate or testicular.

While the rate of domestic violence against women is still higher than men, men made up just over a quarter of the victims in 2010 according to the British Crime Survey. That figure doesn’t include the incidents that go unreported like slaps across the face and having to dodge flying plates. Men are not taken as seriously as women and there are fewer refuges.

The law almost always favours the wife/mother over the husband/father.

Fathers have a lot more to do with raising their children than those of a few decades ago, but while the numbers of stay at home dads are on the increase it can be far more socially isolating for them.

If a father looking after his children is the right situation for all involved then what’s the big deal? It’s what’s best for the children that matters and regardless of who is doing what – care giving and bringing home the moolar are equally important roles.

When it comes to equality, there are problems from men and women.

I have worked in factories/ warehouses and almost all of the harassment seen is by middle aged women against young lads.

I know a man who’s wife beat the shit out of him and humiliated him on an a daily basis…in fact, I know quite a few abusive women.

Men suffer at the hands of women too.

I don’t think true equality can ever be achieved because equal means the same and that’s biologically impossible.

Generally, men dominate high powered jobs because they are naturally wired to do it. In the same way that women generally excel at nurturing roles. But it is the case that certain men make great nurturers and certain women make great leaders and providers.

At the end of the day, does it really matter who does what as long as the job gets done?

In some countries women are treated as second class citizens but in certain societies, it’s the women who hold the powerful roles and respect.

I see a lot of hate towards men and I think it’s unfair to tar all men with the same brush because of the rotten apples. There are some evil men out there but evil is by no means unique to them.

A newspaper article in 2010 revealed that annual criminal justice statistics showed that 88,139 women were arrested for violent offences in a single year.

That’s a shit load of angry women!!

The gentler sex?

In general women are the more gentle sex but oestrogen can be as powerful as testosterone when coupled with jealousy or insanity.

Some men need to play the alpha male and leave knuckle trails on the floor but what about the men who beg to spanked on the arse with a rolled up Woman’s Weekly? And if the missus won’t oblige, there are plenty who will!

I’ve no desire to be equal to my OH.

I am not the same as him. I don’t have a penis..well not one that didn’t come with a price tag.

And he can’t ever give birth to anything other than a massive poo!

I’m happy to be different but different doesn’t mean less.

My strength lies elsewhere than physical.

It shouldn’t be a battle of the sexes.

We’re all human beings.

Men are not better than women – they are just different.

Women are not better than men – they are just different.

It’s a (Hu)mans world.

“Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.” George Carlin

mumturnedmom

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Don’t Look Back in Anger

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Four years of being bullied at high school came to an abrupt end one day in 1986.

My first day there was the most memorable because an older girl (a younger version of Matilda’s Miss Trunchbull) introduced herself by smacking me hard across the face.

“What was that for?” I asked.

“I don’t like your face!”, she replied.

I told a teacher..

BIG mistake!

The girl was made to apologise to me – publically.

Her eyes narrowed to a couple of slits as she spat out, “I’M SORRY!”.

I knew then that I’d made things worse for myself.

But it wasn’t just her..

I was bullied in the classroom too.

When you try to make yourself invisible – the opposite happens.

Name calling, kicking the back of my chair (and legs) having things thrown at my head happened on a daily basis.

Some teachers were aware of it but when faced with the dilemma of doing their duty as a teacher or having a quiet life – they opted for the latter and turned a blind eye.

Despite the unpleasantness, I had mates and we were close until we fell out over a lad.

Being bullied is one thing but being bullied by your friends cuts deep.

This is where I developed Bulimia.

I had no control over my life.

Every day was a kind of hell.

I woke with a sick feeling in my stomach and I went to bed with the same sense of dread.

English lit was fun (not) because it provided the school knob-heads with entertainment as I blushed and sweated my way through the ordeal of class reading.

At home time, I either had to get out before everyone else or hang back until they’d all gone.

I’d get back home and for a few short hours I was safe.

In those days, we had no internet or mobile phones so at least home was a safe haven.

But the anxiety was always there.

I’d comfort eat, then stick my fingers down my throat or take laxatives to purge the hatred that I felt.

Hatred of myself for being weak.

Hatred of them for being the reason.

I’d cry myself to sleep and dream of them all drowning in a freak accident in the school pool or choking to fucking death on their school dinners.

We all have our limits and that day, I reached mine.

We were coming in from afternoon break and as usual it was a seething mass of acne ridden teenagers all trying to squeeze through the doors at the same time.

Suddenly, I felt myself being shoved forward into the person in front who was not best pleased and shoved me back.

I turned around and there was one of my so called ‘mates’ with a smirk on her face.

My stack – I well and truly blew!

Fight obliterated flight.

All I could think of was battering her face into the floor.

The next few minutes were a blur of scratching, punching and hair pulling –  a proper bitch fight the likes of which I deplored.

I could hear the morons egging her on to ‘smash my face in’ but I was too busy trying to get a punch in to care.

We both gave as good as we got.

One of my least dignified moments…

Before long, we were unceremoniously dragged apart.

The crowd dispersed – the show was over.

We ultimately found ourselves in the deputy head mistress’s office looking like something out of St Trinian’s.

My nails were scattered all over the corridor and I’d still got clumps of her hair in my fist.

My mullet was totally wrecked and I looked like I’d been savaged by a cat!

I struggled to look the deputy head in the eyes.

She looked at the girl and said “I’m not surprised to see you here!”

My former friend was a bit of a gobshite and made regular appearances in the deputy head’s office.

Then the deputy head looked at me.

” I am surprised to see you here!”

When asked how we came to be brawling in the corridor, the girl answered, “We don’t get on anymore, Miss”.

I looked at her.

We’d stayed at each others houses.

We’d shared fags watching Brat Pack movies at the cinema.

We’d both stood and shrieked our heads off at Spandau Ballet in Birmingham.

We were supposed to be friends

But that day we were far from it.

Anger is a part of being human.

It is a natural emotion and anger itself isn’t the problem – it’s how it’s expressed.

I TOTALLY lost the plot and as a consequence, my school record was blemished within a few months of me leaving the shithole.

Worse than that- I had lowered myself to their level.

I should have bit my lip and walked on as I had a hundred times before.

Had I have done so – my dignity (and mullet) would have remained intact.

I will never forget the look of disappointment on the deputy head’s face.

I will never forget the look of bewilderment on my parent’s faces as they read the letter that informed them of their daughter’s unacceptable conduct.

They didn’t know about the bullying and were saddened that I hadn’t confided in them.

But Ma would have gone barreling in there – unleashing a can of whoop-ass the likes of which the school would never recover.

It was my battle.

As it was, the fight marked the end of the bullying.

It seems that violence brings respect but I respect myself more for all the times I walked away.

It took more strength to do that.

Given the circumstances, I would most likely react the same way if I had that time again because it’s about primeval instinct.

Fight or flight.

Thanks for reading.

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.”
~ Michael J Fox

mumturnedmom

Photograph by K J W Photography

This post is linked up to Sara over at mumturnedmom

Rediscovering the Magic

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Childhood is a magical time.

It’s magical because children are looking at the world with fresh eyes – everything is new and exciting.

Imaginary friends, climbing trees, making daisy chains, running, shouting, skipping, dancing, making mud pies, building sandcastles, giggling at anything and everything and not caring what you look like…life at it’s most carefree.

When does the magic stop?

The magic took a direct hit the day I saw my dad putting the presents around the Christmas tree.

The “There is no Santa coz my dad says so” had been doing the rounds at school and that night my fears were confirmed.

I’d slipped downstairs to get a drink of water and through the glass pane in the door – I saw the truth.

There was no Santa.

The whiskey and mince pie were gone but the carrot was there, allbeit half of it missing.

I looked at that carrot the next day with the heavy heart of a child who wished she could turn back time.

It’s a sad moment in a child’s life but just as gutting for parents because it marks the end of that magical part of childhood.

That and the “Santa’s watching you, so behave!” bribe no longer works.

Life was still semi-magical on account of me not having any worries except trying to keep Ma sweet in order to safeguard my pocket money.

But the sparkle had gone.

I’d already boarded the puberty express, not that I understood why I was such a cow.

I morphed into the bitch from the bowels of hell. I HATED THE WORLD!!

And everybody in it except for Duran Duran.

Worry, bills, debt, illness, grief, loss, depression, sadness, bullying – all destroy the magic.

I’m almost 44 now and recently I’ve come to look at the world with tired eyes.

Pain, suffering, fighting, hate, killing, stealing, abuse, lies – a daily bombardment of misery – especially if you read the Daily Mail.

You can’t hide from it.

If you manage to avoid it in the media- you hear it in the cafe, “Did you hear that terrible story on the news?”

Terrible things were happening in the world when I was a child but my parents did their job well – warning me of the dangers in life but protecting me from the horrors.

Another reason why childhood is a magical time is that children instinctively live in the present and I believe that living in the now is where us old gits will rediscover the magic.

Finding the magical in the mundane doesn’t mean taking leave of your senses, it’s the opposite – it’s making the most of them.

We’re not talking Peter Pan here…

Peter Pan only exists in books, movies – and in the form of Cliff Richard.

It’s not about reclaiming your childhood – you can never get that time back.

It’s about living in the moment.

So often we walk around but miss things because we’re too busy thinking of the clothes that need ironing or the guttering that needs repairing.

Boring stuff.

Necessary but boring.

Meanwhile, we’re missing the rainbows.

Living in the moment means keeping distractions to a minimum.

At some point in every day..

Close the laptop.

Turn the PC off.

Switch the mobile to silent.

Use every one of your senses.

Tell yourself that, no matter what you are doing, you will think only about what you are doing.

If you are watching your children play –  watch them playing.

If you are reading a book – lose yourself in the story.

If you are playing some music – put the headphones on and listen to the music without distraction.

Enjoy the food you are eating. Make it a pleasurable experience as opposed to throwing it down your neck before Corrie starts.

Choose foods which tantalise the senses and uplift you – for me, it’s the smell of Earl Grey tea and freshly baked bread.

I’ve lost my way recently. I’ve allowed the difficult situations in my life total head space. I have been the perfect example of living anywhere BUT the moment. I’ve been feeling so shit, it’s almost as if the Dementors have paid me a visit – draining me of every happy thought.

However, while I can’t control the situations, I can control how I deal with them – and when.

I took advantage of little man being home yesterday (due to the strikes) to practice what I’m preaching.

These were my magic moments.

  • Having a snuggly lie in.
  • Enjoying a milkshake and a cake in the cafe.
  • Listening to birdsong and counting how many we could hear.
  • Sitting in the garden under a sun-shade – eating ice lollies.
  • Doing sums on his black board. (I hate sums but he lights up and that’s the magic)
  • Walking the dog with little man swinging his pink Bratz handbag.
  • Hearing a sleepy voice say, “I love you, my lovely mumma.” and feeling my heart fill with love.

The magic that I’m talking about is the feeling that you get with magical moments that you make or those that are unexplained.

The universe is amazing and some of my most magical moments have been out of this world – literally.

When you open your mind – you open up the possibilities.

Do you believe in magic?

Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. ~ Roald Dahl

mumturnedmom

Why don’t you join in the Prompt linky with Sara over at mumturnedmom 

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