Is Talent Subpar To Appearance?

Writing

“As a woman you are constantly fighting against only being valued for your looks, because it becomes a very tenuous thing, to be defined by the gaze of others. And beauty is, by definition, ephemeral: it’s a thing you can’t trap in time. It’s a butterfly: it lives for a second. So to make a lifetime worthwhile and have meaning cannot rest on beauty.” Natalie Portman – Metro Newspaper. 

When I read the Hollywood starlets excerpt in the Metro newspaper several weeks ago on my way home from work, her words resonated with me, not solely for their poetic eloquence but for the more saddening and poignant message they behold. 

In more recent times I have found myself picking up on references regarding appearances, especially those of women. We only have to review the last couple of days with the release of the deeply emotionally charged documentary of Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson to gain but a glimpse into the toxic world of ‘beauty’ in the entertainment industry, or be it, in the world itself. 

Who do we blame? Society or our very own biological clock? Men can spread their seeds long after they receive their pensions, but for women, our reproductive window is much more narrow. Is this therefore reflected in our behaviour towards the upkeep of our appearances? 

Is it society’s fault that on the whole, men are allowed to age gracefully yet women have to perform some sort of witchcraft to try and reverse the hands of time as best they can? Or must Mother Nature hold her hands up?

Whether subconsciously biological or not, how can you justify telling a woman in a girl group to ‘go kill yourself, how can sugar babying be seen as ‘OK’, how can people dying in the living rooms of the homes of their ‘beauticians’ from silicone injections be donned the norm?

Social media has to take some level of responsibility for greenlighting a breeding ground of mental illnesses. These firms are failing us, especially young people. With almost half experiencing cyberbullying on social media, three quarters of which are female. 

Ofcourse social media has its positives but if we stop and think about Instagram in particular for a second, a platform to, predominantly,  share images. As I scroll I’m bombarded by a crusade of images of which are borderline pornographic. Now, I’m not some nun who feels that this kind of content shouldn’t be allowed,  I think embracing your seductive side is absolutely fine but the more I scroll the less diversion I see from this. In other words, the platform seems to be stressing appearance and a certain type of appearance at that. 

In addition to over-sexualised images from individuals who are teens in alot of cases to ‘the face’ of beauty. By this I mean the pouty, overtly contoured bratz doll-esque look which seems to have become the archetypal example of what it means to be ‘beautiful’.

 And to this I say – what happened to originality? Beauty is not one form. Nature makes variation purposefully, to support biological evolution of a species, by creating greater variance, diseases are less likely to wipe out whole populations. So why is our brains now wanting us all to look the same? 

The look which alot of people are going for is borderline disturbing. It’s waxy, too polished and too forced. Haven’t these cookie cut moulds ever heard of a concept called ‘effortless beauty’?

Not to be misconstrued, I love a glam look but when glam becomes the norm what does this say about society’s standards of what beauty really is? 

I don’t have an issue with people wanting to look good, I have an issue of what we are made to think ‘good looking’ really is? 10 minutes on instagram and it can leave you seething with anger as you scan the scenes of scantily cladded blow up dolls sprawled across their newly polished bentleys. Instagram is an arena for falsehood flashy lifestyles, which if you fall down the wrong rabbithole, grows nothing but contempt and concern amongst the lives of normal people, especially young people who are at an age where they can be deemed to be highly influenced by what they see around them. 

No, social media platforms don’t choose what people post, but they can choose to remove what people post. The behemoth Instagram seems to be attempting to begin to put a plan of action in place to tackle the mental health illnesses it has in partial a liability of contributing to through the means of trialing the removal of likes  visible on a post. Let’s hope this paves the path for other social media platforms to follow suit.

It seems like the world has fallen in love with social media, and there’s no way out of it, is there?

Why You & I Both Hate Shopping

Writing

Nothing sinks my heart further into the pit of my stomach than the sight of two mums fighting over the same cable-knit jumper in the ‘Winter’ aisle, or better yet, one of them fighting with yours truly. Not that I would ever buy a cable-knit jumper or anything remotely resembling it but the point still holds, going clothes shopping is like going off to war. Left, right and centre you have the fear of God struck into you by the bullish and brutish ways of the everyday shopper.

I’m not saying every passerby has their heart set on making my shopping experience a living misery, but I am saying that there are a modest few that do, and don’t they do their damndest! Here are 5 of my favourite worse case scenarios when it comes to getting the groceries in:

  1. The Fitting Rooms

You think trying on clothes in a fitting room would be a very ‘individual’ sport (unless ofcourse  you’re one of these people who takes baths with their dogs and showers with their neighbours). Atleast it’s meant to be a solo activity until you are at your most vulnerable, as naked as the day you were born and the changing room curtain suddenly wafts open thanks to the ever-so-speedy shop assistant who keeps racing up and down the changing room corridors collecting coat hangers. The curtains billow as if a tornado has just graced us with its presence all in while your modesty as a result goes out the window. Cheers coat hanger girl, your wind gush running really made my day!

  1. Have A Good Look

Picture reading the tiniest of fonts on a label the size of a postage stamp, you focus with great intent, eyes squinting, beads of sweat drip from your forehead. You need these details! Success! You’ve read that the item isn’t machine washable so you turn to head away from the product only you find yourself cornered from all sides by blank, expressionless, unfamiliar faces. That’s right just as you decided to read the label so too did 5 other people who had nothing better to do with their lives in that moment than to make you feel small and trapped in your little local mall.

  1. The Awkward Shuffle

Shopping aisles are no place for claustrophobe’s or anyone who isn’t the width of a shoestring by all accounts. We’ve all been there, heading down the aisle, opposite traffic is on the move towards us fast and steady, we panic, which side to choose? Too late, you and the geriatric have both went left when you quite clearly should’ve went right. You almost clash heads, it could’ve been worse, it could’ve been the lips. This happens to me all the time, I always awkwardly do the same shaky shuffle as I desperately try and dodge another body only to find myself grazing mine against theirs in the most inconvenient of manners. I’m sure you can share this embarrassment atleast once in your life, that is ofcourse if you dare to venture beyond your welcome doormat once in a blue moon. 

  1. Walk The Line

I know that good things come to those who wait but when you’re waiting in line and have an unruly kid upfront and 2 gossiping grannies behind you really do have to weigh up the need to even buy food or clothing at all sometimes. It’s times like this I wish I could just abort the mission of trying to live in a civilised society and run off to the Amazon.

  1. The Cashier

I don’t care if I’m the 250th person you’ve asked ‘would you like a bag?’ to, is it too much to ask that you don’t look like you’ve sucked all the lemons down the fruit and veg aisle? What is with some people that they can’t just fake a smile once in a while even if they’re dying inside? Why does the curse of lethargy and snark strike just as I step up to pay for my camel toe inducing leggings and bottle green V-neck? Check yourself out check out girl! Or I wanna see your damn manager!

 

So tell me, am I being overdramatic or does shopping turn out to be full scale warfare in your eyes also? Let’s just say, I totally get why Amazon has become a multi-billion dollar company.

 

 

The Struggle Of Trying To Eat Healthily

Writing

I would rather bite  my own tongue OFF than put another rice cracker with low fat margarine IN my mouth. You read that correctly, self-maiming seems like a healthier option as oppose to a life full of flavourless feeding habits.  I’m in no way against people being as healthy as they can be, I’m just somewhat reluctant to believe that I can summon myself to a life of carrot sticks and hummus.

Maybe I’m just not imaginative enough with my food choices, perhaps there are a million and one ways to make avocado and toast the reason you get up in the morning, but to me a fry up will forever be the way to my heart (quite literally)! I wouldn’t say I’m overly unhealthy, I indulge in the odd weekend takeaway, I have a biscuit with my cuppa, so where’s the harm in that?

Perhaps my downfall isn’t that I’m eating badly, it’s that I’m not eating enough of the good stuff. I wrote a post yesterday about how I feel tired alot and a big role to play in this is  mental well being, I also want to touch on a physical contributing factor to utter exhaustion – the nutritional value of our foods, or shall I say the lack of. It’s one thing eating enough but we also need to make sure we are getting enough nutrients.  That’s right a plate full of fried chicken, mash potatoes and gravy may actually lead us down a path of osteoporosis before we’re 30 if we’re not careful! So with that being said, where the f*ck can I get these damn nutrients from?!

5 of the most nutritious foods according to science at present (in no rank order, ain’t nobody got time for that):

  1. Salmon

All man may be created equally, but sadly the same cannot be said for all fish. When it comes to healthy oils salmon’s your knight in shining scales. With a dense packing of omega-3 fatty acids, you’ll be solving those crossword puzzles in seconds thanks to the beneficial effects these fatty acids have on brain functionality. Plus others here

  1. Garlic

I don’t care how pungent people find this clove, I f*cking love this stuff. So much so that I eat it raw each morning so that I get more personal space on public transport when commuting to work each morning. (joke). Truth be told, it packs a stench and alot of other mighty benefits also: studies have suggested that the smelly spice helps lower the risk heart disease and some cancers due to its sulphurous compounds. Coined the term ‘Russian Penicillin’, it’s antibacterial properties also help fend off skin conditions too. I’m a fan through and through.

  1. Potatoes

I’m not talking about chips, or mash made with 4 sticks of butter. I’m talking about the humble old potato with the SKINS ON (fibre for digestion and controlling blood glucose levels)! Packed with enough vitamin C to send off scurvy in a heartbeat, you can bet your bottom dollar that making a spud a staple on your plate and in your heart will serve you a world of good in the long run. They contain almost every nutrient you need, from magnesium and potassium to manganese and copper. These tuber treats are basically tasty periodic tables if you ask me.

  1. Seaweed

It’s about time a green veg made an appearance on my list but I’m not going for the predictable Kale or broccoli, which ofocurse are highly nutritious. Instead the weed of the sea gets a healthy high five from me. One of its notable beneficial compounds is its high levels of iodine. You may ask why is iodine important for the body?  Iodine is important for the body in making thyroid hormones. Our thyroid gland plays a major role in regulating many body functions through hormone release including metabolism, digestion and brain development. Specifically, for brain and bone development during pregnancy.

  1. Dark Chocolate

This list seems more bearable than I had anticipated, and no better way to top it off than with the topic of conversation being –  chocolate. But note, white or milk won’t give you the same effect as dark. This is because dark chocolate contains a higher concentration of cocoa solids than it’s milkier cousins (which contain milk solids in addition to cocoa solids thus diluting their concentrations down per bar). It’s in this original cocoa where all the nutrition is stored. One being ‘flavonoids’, very beneficial antioxidants to the body, they are naturally occurring plant pigments and can also help promote blood vessel flexibility thus improving overall cardiovascular functionality.  Your heart loves dark chocolate even if you may not.

Do you eat enough of the 5 above, or even any? I definitely don’t eat enough. But it’s never too late to change that. Hope you enjoy a balanced healthy lifestyle, because you deserve it.