Monthly Archives: April 2015

All You Need is Factor 30

Dear reader, I am livid.  (Not with you.  You’re a legend.)

Given that we spend our entire lives being bombarded with logos, slogans, jingles, and all other kinds of advertising arse-aches, it would be easy to think that after a while the whole silly circus starts to pass us by.  The brain can only take in so much information, and there’s a hell of a lot of marketing jargon about.

It is with an equal mixture of anger and joy, therefore, that I have seen my friends react with such fury to Protein World’s latest advertising campaign.  If you haven’t seen it, it looks like this:

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I am proud to say that the unanimous response to this horrendous advert seems to be: “YES I AM BLOODY READY.  I LIKE MYSELF THE WAY I AM.”

I am so delighted that the constant dribble of drivel that is today’s advertising industry has not blunted my friends’ sense of righteous anger.  I am so pleased that, despite the beauty industry’s best efforts, my friends are proud of their bodies.  I am hugely satisfied to discover that not one person I know has suggested that any of us are overreacting to this.  It is, purely and simply, not cool to make anyone feel unattractive.

D’you know what?  It can be hard to like your body.  It can be hard to like dimples, cellulite, body hair, scabs, scars, stretch marks, flabby bits, wobbly bits, moles, spots and eczema.  Hard, but not impossible.  Because nobody’s – NOBODY’S – body is (huge enormous sarcastic quotation marks coming up) “perfect”, INCLUDING THE MODEL’S ON THIS FLIPPING POSTER.

The Australian comedian Adam Hills has a brilliant set about a girl he knew who used to edit images for album covers, and how even an incredibly beautiful model was so “not perfect” that his friend had to edit out the model’s legs and draw new ones into the image.  Even the girls who ARE (hang on for the enormous quotation marks again, team) “perfect” ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

So why on earth would the rest of us bother aiming for something so impossible (and ridiculous)?  Even the women who daunt us daily with their flawless skin and flowing locks don’t actually look like their heavily-edited photographs, so what in the name of the Chuckle brothers does any of this have to do with us?  Absolutely sod all.

I’ll tell you what you need to be “beach body ready”.  You need sun cream.  That’s it.

Sign this petition to get rid of the stupid poster, and retweet/share your own version of this if you are proud of your beach body.

Have an amazing day, you naturally stunning human being.

Never Too Old to Feel Like a Disney Princess

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Hello, lovely reader!  I hope that the universe is treating you with kindly good humour today.

I turned twenty-six last week, and it’s been a bit of a surreal experience.  As someone who loves a bargain, I am already mourning the loss of discounts available to the 16-25 age group. (“You want me to pay MORE than £5 for a theatre ticket now?  WHAT KIND OF WORLD ARE WE LIVING IN?!”) Up until this point I have always thought of the ageing process in the same way that I regard the stock market: a baffling, abstract concept that will probably have an impact on my life at some point, but is essentially just a random number thingy.

I’ve only been twenty-six for a few days, but I already think that I’m going to be ok at it.  This is largely because my age may as well be a randomly generated number if my lifestyle, habits and friends are anything to go by.  Here is a list of reasons why your age is inconsequential:

1) Your sense of humour doesn’t really change.  For instance, I love the film Despicable Me, and if there ever comes a day when I don’t laugh at this moment, you have my permission to shoot me.  Funny is funny, no matter how old you are.

2) You will always, always be able to get into ridiculous situations.  I was waiting for a train the other day, and I got my earphones so badly tangled in my hair that I had to go to the station bathrooms and use a mirror to get myself sorted out.  Is that the smooth, sophisticated behaviour of a woman in her mid/late twenties?  Absolutely not.  But things like that will still be happening to us during our retirement, so it’s as well to accept them.

3) Your friends will never see you as your true age.  One of my favourite people on the planet is getting married in a few weeks, and it seems bizarre to me that she is anything other than a twenty-one year-old drama student who enjoys impersonating velociraptors.  (I mean, she still enjoys impersonating velociraptors…but she’s also taking a huge step into adulthood, which is awesome but weird.)  As you get older your friends start to do things that make you even more proud of them, such as relationship commitments and career moves, and you celebrate those with them.  You wouldn’t turn up to your friend’s engagement party and mock them for being elderly, would you?  Precisely.  Age is not important, but life choices are.

4) Speaking of life choices, I would like to address this whole “if you don’t know what you’re doing with your life by the time you hit twenty then you have already failed” myth.  No matter how old you are, you have to make decisions about yourself and your life based on what is going to make you happy and/or be good for you.  If you still don’t know what you want to do when you’ve been out of university for six months or even six years, you are not a freak.  You are totally normal, and you mustn’t panic.  Case in point: my dad is sixty and he just changed jobs, so what does that tell you?

5) When my dad changed jobs, he was delighted to discover that the dress code at his new office was casual.  He is now the proud owner of a pair of “basketball boots”.  This leads me neatly on to my next point: clothes that makes you happy.  As small children we delighted in Disney or superhero costumes; as teenagers we were ecstatic to wear more adult items like heels or suits (or both).  There comes a point in life when we seem to abandon our garment-based glee and exchange it for obligatory outfits: “I need a new dress for this wedding”, “I have to buy some proper work clothes”, etc.  We should enjoy our clothes no matter how old we are.  For example, as I write this I am sporting a very fetching pair of turquoise harem pants, and I feel like Jasmine from Disney’s Aladdin.  I’m not even the slightest bit embarrassed by that.  In fact, I shall probably wear this very outfit to the pub tonight (although perhaps I should abandon the purple slipper socks).

I hope that you are happy in yourself no matter how old you are, and that you can see your future birthdays as opportunities to be proud of everything you’ve achieved.  Now, where is that handsome young man on a magic carpet?

Have a smashing day!