19 January 2014

Can we please stop body shaming? Thanks.

Scrolling through Millie Mackintosh's Instagram comments makes me die a little inside.

At the time of writing, here is her latest image

                       
(Courtesy of @camillamackintosh. I do not own this image. Please don't sue me, I'm poor)

This image, like so many of Millie's, sparked some pretty dire comments such as "Too skinny", "Too much salad, eat a pie" and my personal favourite (sarcasm, btw) "How did you manage to put on a few pounds in the hour? You look better for it".

Now, I'm guilty of this judgemental attitude, too. And I hate myself for it. I saw a girl on the tube the other day with a really prominent thigh gap. Not having a thigh gap myself, and having been conditioned by the media to think "thigh gap = underweight", I felt a little bit threatened by it. Yes, you read that right... I felt threatened by a few inches gap between this stranger's thighs (... Don't be vulgar, people). 

But when did it become okay, this judging? I can't describe how much I hate the covers of certain weeklies where they plaster "IS SHE PREGNANT, OR HAS SHE JUST EATEN A BURGER?"-type garbage all the time. And the hypocrisy of it all! At the beginning of January it was all about getting fit and shaming celebs who weren't a size 10, and now it's all about avoiding the gym and wearing baggier clothes to hide your wobbles. Neither are promoting a healthy attitude. Can we just stop?

In the last week Cosmo has been slammed for its #StopThighGap campaign, and a really eye-opening article has been written by one of my favourite online magazines Vagenda.


And Vagenda's response is here (I strongly recommend reading it): http://vagendamag.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/why-cosmos-wrong-about-thigh-gap.html

While Cosmo has taken it upon itself to try and convince us all that the quest for thigh gap is impossible for most people because it relies on the way you're built (very true), as Vagenda points out, this suggestion doesn't suddenly stop those who have eating issues have said eating issues. It takes more than saying "Starving yourself won't make you Cara Delevigne, so you can stop being mentally ill" which is an unfortunate nuance Cosmo has ignored. Oops.

It's all very sad really, isn't it? A rather pathetic statement, but it is. I feel bad for Millie that people shame her for acting as a pro-Ana role model. When she learnt this she was utterly horrified (understandably). What people forget about celebrities is that they are people, too... Just people who are able to obtain amazing figures through hardcore personal trainers and bespoke eating plans, which the vast majority don't have access to. I'm pretty sure Millie doesn't have the 3pm slump that has her reaching for anything that contains excess sugar and calories. I'm also pretty sure she doesn't have to debate between catching up on "Take Me Out" or working on her abs. She has the time to look great, and she does look great. Deal. With. It.

But anyway. My point (yes, there is one somewhere. This is why I always flailed with my Lit essays: lack of focus) is that some people are naturally slim. Some people have to work really hard to be slim, and some people will never be slim. Some people have junk in their trunks. Some people have thigh gap (I personally like to rock "the mermaid". Very exotic). Whatever. We need to stop looking at everyone and judging them for something we have no business judging them for.

You have no idea about a person just by looking at them. Some people with thigh gaps may be perfectly healthy and they were just born that way. Equally, some people with them may be ill. It's not fair to condemn them, or anybody. If you were worried about a friend, you'd address the issue oh-so sensitively.  You wouldn't go on their instagram and say "Ew, you're skin and bones #eatapie".

From now on I'll make a conscious effort to stop being judgemental and appreciate that everyone is different and unique, etc etc. And you know what? Being different and unique is what makes us all semi-interesting as humans. Great, eh? I just wish the haterz in Millie Mack's instagram would make the same effort, too.

Rant = complete. Over and out.
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1 January 2014

Change what you can, accept what you can't. Hello, 2014!

First things first: happy new year! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season. 

Mine involved copious amounts of eating, drinking, Made in Chelsea book madness, a wine-throwing incident (not thrown by me, or received by me, thank goodness) and my parents making inappropriate comments about my not knowing what a knob of butter is, nor how much counts as "a knob". Hilarious. My helping out with Christmas dinner was a not-so-subtle attempt for my parents to extend my culinary skills to make me "wife material", and I do know what a knob is now, so I'm surely on my way.

                        

                         

Saucy measurement names aside, I have had a great week off spending some quality time with family and friends. The highlight for me was finally getting the chance to see Matilda: The Musical, and we were treated to a VIP-esque theatre experience. This involved us being ushered between a reserved table in the theatre bar and our seats, some free wine, sweets, and ice cream during the interval. And, of course, great seats. All of the actors were superb, and the little girl who played Matilda took my breath away. The girl couldn't have been any older than 8, and she stole the show! I also had a lot of love for the music, apparently written by Tim Minchin. Is there anything that man can't do?

                                   

My New Year's Eve consisted of some overpriced garage wine, a particularly excitable game of ring of fire (when will student games become unacceptable? hopefully never) and a bit of Gangnam style dancing, so fun was had all around. And today consisted of a brain-melting amount of Friends and hangover food. I can't complain. Although clubs are fun to celebrate new year, you can't beat a good old-fashioned house party with some not-quite-set jelly vodka shots and that person who's desperate to push Tequila on everyone (you know who you are).

As you can probably guess, my motto for the new year is in the title. I stayed over in a friend's sister's room the other night and she had stencilled on the wall "Let us change what we can, and accept what we can't" and I couldn't stop thinking about it. Anyone who knows me KNOWS I love myself a good quotation, and this one stuck. It just makes so much sense! If you're not happy with something and you have the power to change it, do it. But on the other hand, if there's something in your life which gets you down but there isn't a darn thing you can do about it, the best thing to do is to learn to accept it. Of course, it's a very idealist quote, and idealist I'm not (I prefer to see myself as a realist, but often get called a pessimist), but it's something to aspire to. And I'm always aspiring to be better.

                                   

Acting on that motto, where do I go from here? What can I do to make 2014 a happy balance of change and acceptance?

Firstly, body image. I will change the fact I'm not feeling too jazzy about myself by hitting the gym (membership courtesy of my parents. I asked for it, in case you're wondering. It wasn't a suggestion by them). BUT I do accept that there's some things I can't change about myself *cough* MY NOSE *cough* my (lack of) chest... Unless I suddenly become rich. But let's face it, that's not going to happen.

       

Secondly, myself. My personality. I can't change myself. In the last year I've noticed I'm either super uptight, or absolutely crazy, often at the wrong times. Also, I constantly need reassurance of my ability/image/attractiveness. So, whilst I will accept that I have my weaknesses, I will try and change the way I handle things. I'm just not sure how to yet. It will be my 2014 personal project.

And finally, my job prospects. Whilst I'm very lucky to be secure in my internship until July, there is no certainty whatsoever that I will land a job afterwards, whether that be a graduate or entry-level role. This is terrifying, and could potentially leave me in a very sticky situation because I need a salary to pay my rent. In this case, I can only try my best and hope to god that my applications appeal to companies, and although it would suck beyond belief if I didn't get a role, I will (somehow) accept that what is done is done, and I can't change that. Don't be fooled, however; in between being rejected and becoming an enlightened being, I will be sobbing over the phone to my family/friends/anyone who will offer sympathy... I'll just have to hope it all works out in the end.

Enough from me. Tomorrow is back to work and back to reality. This month I'll be involved in a launch, and next month is Fashion Scout again (it seems like only yesterday I was working my first fashion week!) amongst catching up with friends and trying to keep my finances under wraps. Not to mention trying to keep warm in this generally grim weather. Is it summer yet?? Sigh.

Until next time :)
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