Think Pieces

The Tales Of A Baby Face

Posted on 7 min read

 

Making the transition into responsible adulthood is hard, holding on to your childhood nostalgia makes it easier, but being an expectant grown up with the face of an innocent baby filled with honey sweet expressions is probably the worst combination. I’ve just gone twenty three yet I struggle to be seen as anything past fifteen, not only from people around me but from myself when I look at the reflection in the mirror and think “how, just how can I pass through my life stages with no significant change?”.

 

At least I know I’m not on my own,  I can imagine it’s a common problem in this world full of denied maturity and envy towards those teenagers who now tower over your status, skip the awkward development stage and hit ripened full swing (night clubbing and all). So hopefully you can nod along in agreement to my list of 18 stumbling blocks and take comfort in the fact there’s people suffering with the exact same problem…

 

1. “So what subjects do you study at school?” – a guaranteed line spoken every time you’re in the accompaniment of someone you’re not familiar with. It often leads to a silent, inward scream and a pleasant, outward, reasonable correction in the fact the last time you saw a school was when you were on adult collecting duty.

 

2. Looking back at old times – whether you’re sat watching old footage and photos with your family and you have to endure the ‘awww, look at you, you look no different’ comments (as well as the harsh realisation when you see it yourself), or when you remember a past event and end up being accused of lying because hey, you’re not old enough to refresh your memory that far back.

 

3. Getting ID’d for lottery – that’s right, the sheer embarrassment as you reach the front of the oversized supermarket queue to then be told no proof of age, no ticket. It’s hard to keep calm when you get mistaken for an under 16, it’s even harder doing the walk of shame with your head down as you surrender to the reality of not bringing ID because, oh wait, I’m almost in my mid twenties.

 

4. Getting ID’d for alcohol – okay so that’s to be expected, challenge 25 and all that. What’s not okay is shopping with your friends, or your mum, or wait – even your grandma, and ruining the opportunity for their drink fuelling because your young presence is the barrier. “Sorry I can’t serve you if the person next to you doesn’t verify they’re over 18” (note to self: carry identification EVERYWHERE).

 

5. The anxiety around handing your ID over – having your ID available to pass over with a smug smile is all well and great but what’s the point if you’re going to have to deal with this bubble of worry that you’ll be booted out by security because they suspect you are fraud?? Doesn’t matter who it is or where it is, the hesitant waiting game as they check over your passport will always be a trigger of discomfort.

 

6. Being left alone – that’s right, the night is going swimmingly well as you enjoy some quiet drinks back at a friends’ place but it all goes downhill as you decide to hit the bars and you’re the only one who gets turned away because yep you guessed it; forgot ID, bouncer doesn’t think it’s real, still look twelve whilst everyone else looks like a sophisticated lady. Standing like a clown as you wave them off telling them to go on without you wasn’t quite the scenario you had in mind.

 

7. The astonishment when you reveal your age – it could almost be identical to the shock horror of discovering there’s people out there who actually support Donald Trump (this was the only comparison I could think of but it’s pretty accurate). It almost becomes repeated routine for you to giggle through pain as they state the god damn obvious “I’d have taken you way for about 17” “you look way younger” “you have such a young face” yeah cheers for the reminder, like I didn’t know that already.

 

8. You begin to experiment – you know there’s a problem when you start basing your life choices upon the desperate need to appear older. I almost have to turn away at the Disney department in Primark just in case they mistake me for some overjoyed child and I seem to have picked up a habit of switching, changing, and basing my wardrobe on classy feminine pieces that scream out I AM A FULLY GROWN WOMAN.

 

9. No matter how much you dress up, it doesn’t work – you can spend an hour on your face, plant heavy duty high end makeup at every angle, put on your highest heels and swankiest pair of trousers but you’re still going to be that little teddy bear underneath. As much as you’re hoping to hear how hot you look, you will instead be told you look cute. Great, cheers.

 

10. Wearing no makeup is off guards – as refreshing and accommodating as it is to brave the bare face and give yourself a break from heavy makeup, you also have to face the consequences of representing a somewhat pre-pubescent individual with even further comments to follow. There’s just no winning here is there?

 

11. You get mistaken for the younger sibling – isn’t it wonderful being the first born, having an advantage over your sibling and using that whenever you want to defeat them in arguments regarding the relevant past? Well it is, unless it’s only you who inherited the baby face genes and there’s absolutely no indication that you’re the eldest, only to your nearest and dearest. To strangers, you’re just another disbelieved gasp and a “god, I thought he/she was older than you”.

 

12. You pass for someone half your age – this is almost a giving, stating the obvious but really delving into the ins and outs. All those adult duties and liabilities you’re burdened with become even more challenging as you have an extra point to prove. Yes, I am pushing the trolley as the main guardian when I’m out shopping, yes I am the person for the job, yes I do wish you’d stop staring at me like I need wrapping in cotton wool and protecting forever.

 

13. Purchasing child tickets on public transport – you’d think this was something to praise the lord for, except somehow saving money is limited because it’s the bus and train drivers who have secret powers to detect your real age. Typically, that’s the only occasion you’ll be seen as an adult and won’t be able to hide but hey, I suppose it’s worth a try and when it works it’s kerching! all round.

 

14. Children are attracted to you – you know what I’m talking about, the longing gazes from the toddlers which can sometimes become intensely awkward as they’re somehow drawn to your petite features; then comes the waving and the smiling and the clinging on once they form this weird bond with you. Maybe that’s why me and children get on so well – I have a ‘friendly’ face they all say. Hmm.

 

15. You naturally fit in around teenagers – it’s a struggle to hang around in groups of twenty-somethings when you portray a youth who’s waiting for their school dinner. It’s easier to associate yourself with the younger folk, in fact you find yourself fitting in more because you’re around people who meet your standards; the standards being small height, juvenile characteristics and the opportunity to use your skilled, fully fledged brain as a run for the mother hen role.

 

16. Men problems – ladies with baby faces, how many times have you missed your chance with the dishiest guy in the room because their vision blurs in your area as he heads straight to the lady who, compared to you, is the Jessica Rabbit to your Meg Griffin? Don’t worry though, I’ll just sit and cry in a corner watching the world go by as the masculine opposite sex completely avoid me in fear of charming a high school kid.

 

17. You can’t be taken seriously – if I had a pound for every time I was dismissed as negligible and my credibility was questioned, then I’d be able to pay for resurfacing of my face to build up an adult image (whatever that may be). Who says I’m not able to help you solve the mystery of your adult problem, or be in charge of a situation? I happen to be an intrigued human, just unfortunately disguised as a child *sigh*.

 

18. Are your parents home? – the final, and in my opinion the most humiliating issue. If I’m 30 and still living at home (which let’s be real will most probably be extremely likely), I’ll still be able to answer the door as I brace myself to confront the inevitable question “is your mum or dad in? I need to speak to an adult”. Well, no; firstly, really bitch, really? Secondly, I am the adult and thirdly, they definitely don’t want to communicate with you about your washing machine cleaning services anyway. If I only I dared fight my corner…

 

But hey, every cloud has a silver lining, right? On the brighter side I may come out the other side remaining as intact as Paul Rudd from his Clueless days to the present time. I’ll even be able to act on the “you’ll be glad of your baby face when you’re 50” remarks I’m told ten times a day, it’s only a matter of time until I see if my disappointment revolves into gratitude of the inability to age. Oh, the delight.

 

Can you relate?

 

Bridie x

 

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20 Simple Ways To Be Kinder

Posted on 6 min read


The devastating events happening right now, this moment, whether reported or hidden, is enough to bring the happiest of people down. The breaking news of hatred, violence, prejudice and dehumanising can often get emotionally draining. I know I’ve gotten to the point where I fear the right to freedom and am constantly reminded of the badness, the senseless acts of tragedy instead of the beauty in the world. It’d be easy for me to focus on the shocking events, to express my deep anger and upset; in fact I was all set on preparing one of my lengthened, ranty Sunday Natter posts (I’m a day late again, give me a telling off for being so useless) but I decided against it last minute. Instead, I thought of turning the tables – taking something bad and making it into a little challenge we can set ourselves to contribute towards adding acceptance, embracing positivity and spreading love across the globe!

 

There is nothing more important than kindness. You could be the most substantial person on the planet but those who are inspiring, powerful and most of all, kind are always remembered for making a difference. Whether it’s with the biggest or smallest gesture, taking a tiny fraction of time out of your daily life to be randomly nice can not only bring you satisfaction but may just be the reason someone’s decided to get out of bed on a morning and strive for all they are worth. Kindness goes a long way, so here’s twenty ways you can inject some thoughtful, good deeds into your schedule for the benefit of others well being and happiness.

 

1.

Compliment a person with meaning. Tell the lady you cross in the street that you love her outfit, reply to an uploaded photo with a hoard of ego boosting words, tell the first person you meet on a morning that they look lovely today. You should know from experience how rewarding it is to receive such a genuine remark – it can pick you up right away.

 

2.

Offer to help someone in need. Whether that’s with someone struggling with bags in the street, or an elderly neighbour who needs some company and a few groceries from Asda. It’s amiable to offer a hand.

 

3.

Support the work of others. You’ll interact with so many people on a daily basis and probably shrug off their hard work at your convenience. Supporting their trademark is easy peasy; for your local area – buy from their independent company, for the bloggers and vloggers – leave a comment, like, retweet, show your interest and for the campaigns – get behind them as best you can!

 

4.

Acknowledge a homeless person. It breaks my heart every time I pass a bundle of frail and disadvantaged huddled on the floor – I can only imagine how much it means for someone to approach them, talk to them respectively and even offer to buy a hot drink or a bite to eat in their honour.

 

5.

Listen. Being open and aware to someone’s situation makes them feel understood and individually special. Showing empathy and warmth towards a problem they need to get off their chest or even to a story they’re excited to tell – you don’t even need to say a word, your pleasant, friendly expressions and genuine compassion says it all.

 

6.

Contribute to charity. You can volunteer, donate to a cause that is always desperate for help and support or even just go out, raise awareness and impact on the influence. Buy extra food for a food bank, give your old, unwanted clothes to a charity shop – anything charitable is kind and considerate.

 

7.

Surprise a friend with a gift. A gift that really defines them and shows you do pay attention to their likes and dislikes. It doesn’t even have to be for an occasion, proving they’re worth the effort at any giving time will be enlightening.

 

8.

Befriend the lonely person at an event. Social gatherings can be a struggle for some, it’s awkwardly painful to be stood on your own dealing with your shy company whilst everyone else around you is having fun. If you go over and introduce yourself, tell them they can gladly join you, then you’ve gained brownie points in their book. You could even be surprised at the in depth qualities you discover.

 

9.

Remind a loved one just how much you love them. It’s nice to be told how cherished you are, not just face to face but by little indications left around for you to savour in. Write a card with a idolising verse, express your gratitude for their presence, show affection with a bear hug, even write down all the reasons why you love them for them to read when they need cheering up.

 

10.

Offer your seat to someone on public transport. Politeness will always create a strong impression on the judgement the public automatically and inevitably award you. Giving up your seat out of caring goodwill to someone who needs it more is a quick act with a divergence.

 

11.

Tip the waiter or waitress. Admittedly, I’m awful at this. I’m a ‘why should we pay extra’ kinda girl but it’s time for change. Yes, it’s their job to serve you but what’s a few pounds? For some, to have that in their pockets as a thank you for their service means they can deservedly put the money towards something for themselves.

 

12.

Offer your place in the supermarket queue. Graciously tell the person behind you they can go before you, even if that means having to wait longer for your beloved food. Busy supermarkets can be a stressful place for some so if someone around them provides a road to a swift exit, it would be fully appreciated.

 

13.

Smile wherever you go. I know it’s difficult to convey cheeriness when your mood represents that of a fish out of water but smiling is infectious. Turning your frown upside down has the ability to catch on to others and to elevate your thoughts and emotions. It’s actually quite exquisite to note the numerous smiles you receive back as you beam at every person you cross paths with!

 

14.

Overuse your manners. There isn’t a limit for the amount you say please and thank you, in fact speaking them until they roll off your tongue is the better option. Manners are the key to human interaction!

 

15.

Realise how lucky you are. If there’s ever a way for you to step back, open your eyes and perceive the aura you’re surrounding by, it’s to consider yourself privileged in every way – because you are, the life you lead is amazing compared to the issues around the world. Beginning to cut the complaining can only lead on to improved joy for both yourself and others around you.

 

16.

Send flowers. To someone you know is going through a difficult time with their health or their general life. Receiving a bunch of beautifully arranged bright colours and fresh scents is bound to alleviate their personal battles, even if it is just for a little while.

 

17.

Praise. Approving someone’s performance, achievements and accomplishments will spur them on to progress further. Tell someone they’re doing amazing, be the one on their feet during an applause, over exaggerate the talent of the child’s unreadable drawing. We all need the confirmation we’re doing well – even if you don’t think it’s the most fantastic piece, still pass your positivity forward for them to relish in.

 

18.

Say yes to the child nagging you to play. As much as you’d like to ignore their wallowing whines and desperate need to always be in action and instead slump back and close your eyes, do the polar opposite. A child needs stimulation and an adult role in their imaginative games will add to their learning. AND, you might even enjoy yourself!

 

19.

Make amends. You can’t hold grudges forever; as tough as it might be to forgive, regaining your trust and allowing peace to flow between you both means you’ll be able to build that tenderness back up to a level you’re content with.

 

20.

Be kind to yourself. Being kind to yourself starts first. You can only share that humanitarian desire to be generous, gentle and good-hearted once you change and become familiar with your own mentality. The rest will swiftly follow.

 

How do you inject kindness into your schedule? I hope this post picked up the miserable Monday vibes!

 

Bridie x

 

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23 Things I’ve Learned in 23 Years

Posted on 4 min read

 

Guess who’s 23 today? Yep, you guessed it – it’s me, the in denial adult who still wishes she was a careless child coming home to watch Tracy Beaker and eat turkey dinosaurs but has to accept that with every passing year comes more burdened responsibilities and a sheer disappointment that growing up really isn’t all that. Aaaaand breathe. There’s no denying birthday’s just aren’t as fun anymore; okay so today’s plans include eating until I pop and spending time with the ones who gave me life but reality caves in once it’s over and unfortunately I can’t spend the rest of the night playing with my Barbie gifts. Saying that; as you develop, you become more familiarised with who you are and the purpose of the world. It’s a funny old place, a terrible, illiberal place at times, but it’s also wonderful and enlightening and you’re never, ever done learning and gaining wisdom. So, in summarised celebration of my birthday, here’s my cliche ’23 things I’ve learned in 23 years’ post.

1.

It’s not about who came and went and cropped up whenever they needed you as bait, it’s about those who came, stayed and never left.

 

2.

Say yes more. Even if you haven’t thought the whole process through, you’re feeling apprehensive, anxious or it turns sour. You can worry about that when the times comes, experience and fun memories are the cure.

 

3.

You are not in love with the guy making you feel a million dollars but going back to his girlfriend, nope. You’ll get over it and soon realise your worth.

 

4.

The answer to all life’s problems is a sing song to Disney. Don’t let anyone ever tell you you are too old because you most definitely are not.

 

5.

A decent skincare and makeup routine is the key to smashing puberty and a regular essential you’ll soon be unable to do without.

 

6.

Find ways to like yourself for you, not for anyone else’s approval. Tearing yourself down and rejecting your self-confidence will do harm in the long run. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re good enough, you can do it. You are capable of much more than you think. Take the chance, you owe yourself.

 

7.

No matter what your weakest point, no matter how much you curse and fight, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. You will get through, you will find the silver lining eventually.

 

8.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Life’s too short not to laugh at every giving opportunity.

 

9.

Sometimes you need to let go in order to be happy. You don’t have to forgive, agree or to relieve all feelings but deal with it maturely, accept you can’t do anything about it and move on.

 

10.

Never take your parents for granted, even throughout those troubled teen years. Cherish their love, care and concern because some day you’ll look back and regret the moments you didn’t appreciate their presence enough.

 

11.

I’ll never have skinny thighs and a small bum and that’s okay. Exercising, eating the right foods and taking care of myself is sufficient. As long as I’m healthy, that’s all that matters.

 

12.

No matter how hard I try to like reality TV and social nights out, I’d much rather stay in, watch and obsess over the soap operas and that’s also okay.

 

13.

Buying low to mid heels instead of stilettos to avoid any kind of stumble is perfectly all right. It isn’t style without comfort.

 

14.

You are allowed to give up on something, whether that’s a toxic person or a challenge you can’t face. That doesn’t make you a failure, it’s fine to be scared and admit defeat – do it for your own well being.

 

15.

Some things just aren’t worth getting upset over. Don’t dwell on a matter that will be forgotten about in days to follow – it will only ruin your mood.

 

16.

Try not to hold grudges, everyone deserves a second chance at proving themselves.

 

17.

Treat yourself, always treat and take care of yourself. A one hour bubble bath? Chocolates and pizza? That new MAC lippy? Just. Do. It.

 

18.

Happiness is in your hands – it’s your decisions that determine your state of mind. Work for it, act on your passions and if it’s making you miserable, create a necessary change to your actions otherwise your demeanour will remain the same.

 

19.

Different doesn’t mean you’re strange, it doesn’t mean you’re better or worse, it just means you’re unique to you. Do your own thing, don’t change to fit in with the crowd, don’t let anyone shame you for your choices.

 

20.

Remember we all become independent at our own speed. Just because a good selection of people your age are moving forward doesn’t mean you need to drastically improve your pace. Take it steady and things will naturally fall into place.

 

21.

Surround yourself with people who build you up and make you want to be a better person. Focus on those who are important, take a big step back and realise if they care, they’ll show it. If they don’t, good riddance.

 

22.

If you ever feel like something needs to be said, say it. Speak your mind, stand up for yourself, stick up for your beliefs. It’s better to be honest and open than hidden away and suffering.

 

23.

Take things one day at time. You can’t predict what’s going to happen, all you can do is treat everyone with the same kindness and accept that things won’t always go smoothly. Life’s a journey, embrace it.

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The Rules On Summer Dressing: Cannot Be Found

Posted on 4 min read

I feel us Brits have been spoiled to a great extent with the soaring temperatures and as known to most in relation to house humidity, ‘sticky weather’ over the past few days, so much so that it’s almost guaranteed it won’t last and by next week any sign of approaching summer will be restored to winter like hibernation mode. All it takes is some beaming sunshine to bring people out of their lairs, for the ice cream by the lake/booze and burgers on the barbecue insta photos and happy mirrored sunnie selfies but unfortunately, hand in hand with that comes the body police because apparently, we still live in a day and age where moralizing comments spout from the mouths of condescending individuals about the way we choose to dress.

Anything past 20 degrees in England means we WILL get over excited (actually, anything above 16 degrees usually means the crop tops are out and the bare legs to follow). It’s only normal to sweep the dust off and bring out the skimpier clothing because when it gets hotter, you get sweatier, and the less clothes you need to bear the often overpowering heat. Right? Right. Only some seem to think the mythical rules solitary apply to a certain one dimensional appearance, the kind that meet their self-proclaimed shallow standards whilst everyone else has to bow down to their demands. And you know what? If there’s an aspect of oppressing and intimidating I loathe so much that I feel the need to talk about it openly, it’s body shaming.

 

It makes perfectly logical sense to use the nice weather as a chance to express your inner fashionista. For me, I know digging through my wardrobe and then going out shopping because I’ve realised I own next to no summer appropriate non-black garments is a regular occurrence every year and I’m sure that’s the case for many others. Naturally, we’ll opt for the items that reveal at least one part of our body – flaws and all – and actually we’ll be okay with this because A) it allows you to think out of the box when you fancy a style switch, B) it’s a rare occasion to be able to show off your best assets without freezing to death and C) we literally don’t care what anyone thinks. We’ll start off with slut shaming, shall we? The constant insulting digs at women who like to reveal a little cleavage and men labelled as narcissistic if their shirt is whipped off and their defined abs are unveiled. Reality check – it’s old fashioned and quite frankly, boring. Clothes do not define you as a person, they don’t highlight your qualities and speak about your achievements in life but if you’re comfortable and you feel sexy when the sun is shining and the mood is uplifted then go ahead and rock it.

 

Then there’s fat shaming, the obvious main issue here because as equally hurtful skinny shaming is, conventional beauty standards just don’t seem to convey derogatory when a skinny girl is in a bikini. The whole ‘dress for the body you have, not the body you want’ statement is horrific. I can see it now, the rolled eyes at unbuttoned shirts and prominent belly flab, the gasp in horror at thick thighs in shorts, the instructive observation, a tutting sound and a shake of the head to follow “no way should they be wearing that when they’re that size, they need a pair of leggings to cover up” as though they’re next level Beyonce with a degree in vogue. I’m nowhere near at ease with my not totally slim but not totally fat body and struggle with feeling conscious so I know just what it takes to pluck up the courage to venture outside dressed differently to the usual without great worry and I can’t stand to read or hear snide remarks regarding the way someone looks without my blood pressure rising. Some are more sensitively reactive than others (quite frankly, I applaud and envy those who stride with their head held high not letting any torment affect them), you don’t know what it took to overcome their insecurities whilst the recurrent surveillance confirms their confidence fears.

 

How dare you tell another human being (with feelings may I add) to cover up or constraint to hide themselves away just because they don’t measure up to your supposed rights and wrongs? Why are people allowed to make others so distressingly uneasy whilst they push the enforcing societal norms upon them? Do you not understand how patronising this sort of response is? I’m sorry it’s so painful for you to catch a sight of cellulite, I’m sorry the view of scars, marks and even bum cheeks make your eyes burn and a muffin top is so offensive. Is that the worst possible circumstance? That you’re uncomfortable with someone else’s decision making in what they wear, not that said person is content and carefree. It speaks in marginal volumes about objectifying society when unattainable, photo-edited magazine a-listers used to sell sex and the latest diet are classed as ideally fine but the real world displeases us. As the saying goes; if you don’t like it, don’t look.

 

At the end of the day, fashion choices are just that; fashion choices. They’re not limited to a certain constellation nor are they a solid purpose to criticise. Whether it’s an excuse to show off your cracking body, sections of your perfectly imperfect body you’re damn proud of or purely because you want to stay cool – dress for you and you only. Do what you want, make the most of the glorious weather, go all out and buy a swimming pool if you must, just don’t apologise and let anyone stop you from doing your thang!

 

Are you enjoying the sneak peak of summer without judgement?

 

Bridie x

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The Sunday Natter: why we need to stop using mental illness as adjectives

Posted on 4 min read

I’m strongly passionate about mental health. Whether passionate is the right word to use for a genesis that has the ability to impact on living a happy, healthy life I’m not entirely sure but what I do know is I always tread carefully on the subject that is personally important to me and many others around me. There’s already a negative and discriminative stigma surrounding mental health that has a need to be understood to a serious extent so when I hear the classification of an illness that tears apart every inch of your well being used so frivolously, casually and jokey in everyday conversation, I can’t help but feel disappointed, victimised, angry and truthfully, hurt.

We’re all guilty of it. Hey, I’m the first to admit in the past I’ve more than likely carelessly passed a “I’m so depressed” comment in my juvenile lifetime but as I’ve grown older, as I’ve experienced the gravity of mental illness, become aware of the effects and fallen into a society that unfortunately formulates a psychological disorder as the latest trend and uses terms of mental health as a prevalent in cultural dialogue, I’ve identified the significance in the way we choose our words and I’ve taken action in my mistakes.

 

“She/he went crazy, they’re so bipolar” – there’s a difference between a switch of moods due to a change in decision or a reasonable argument and a rapid, intense, manic depressive state that takes you from high to low in various overwhelming episodes.

 

“I love to stay clean, I’m so OCD” – you can’t be OCD, you have OCD and even then, being particular about how you make your bed or vacuum the carpets is in no way comparable to obsessive and compulsive behaviours that eat away at your thoughts, your imagination and impulses.

 

“Gosh, you nearly gave me a panic attack” – the definition of a panic attack: a sudden overwhelming feeling of acute and disabling anxiety. Possibly the most distressing encounter that can easily turn into a debilitating condition. A startled moment that passes by with a little heart flutter and a giggle does not compensate to the control anxiety can have on your life.

 

“My favourite TV show ended, I’m so depressed” – if you aren’t educated on one of the most common mental health conditions then let me put this straight; depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of deep sadness, loss of interest and affected behaviour. It can leave you paralysingly numb, tired and hopeless – the complete opposite to a brief brisk of sadness that will so easily vanish once you distract yourself.

“She looks anorexic!” – you can’t designate an appearance with an eating disorder. It’s just not credible. Anorexia is an awful disease and nothing to compel to what you consider the norm. That’s ignorant, ridiculing and completely off limits.

 

“OMG I had so much to drink last night, I’m such an alcoholic” – no, no you’re not and if you were, I’m sure you’d be quick to realise it’s not something to speak about so lightly. Please don’t kid and dismiss addiction as your binge drinking antics that may have gotten a tad out of hand on a Friday night.

 

I’m not the politically correct police, there isn’t any law on how you should express your vocabulary and I’m sorry if I do sound so blunt but damn, I am totally fed up of seeing these frivolous ‘I’m glad you’re my friend, we’re both psycho, a slight alcoholic, and have the same mental disorder’ memes roam the internet. Not only is it my pet peeve but ultimately, it can be dangerous. When we use mental illness to describe an individual’s general feelings, personality and a behavioural mood that has no relevance to the actual illness, it only contributes to the stigma, trivialises and takes away the severity of it. These are not traits, an attribute nor an adjective, these are diseases and disorders of the brain. Mental illness is not a source of jest, it’s inappropriate to deliver their clarity in an oversimplified, stereotypical way. To talk about it so insensitively is to mock and undermine the seriousness of these struggles so many people face. To deal with the issue is one thing, to hear rendering of our illness meaninglessly placed into a normal communicative manner as you come to terms with your issues as well as the myths and misunderstandings surrounding it only adds to the difficulty and hesitance of genuine, clinical diagnoses being spoke about and heard. In the long run, it can prevent someone getting the help they so rightly deserve.

 

I’m not trying to belittle the complex and diverse strains of mental illness, my point is if they’re being used as a detrimental figure of speech opposed to an expressive contribution to mental health campaigning then that’s morally wrong. Mental illnesses are not set in stone, there are varying magnitudes that need to be explored, not expressed as a certain, one dimensional phrase. To throw words around like that, you’re blocking the visibility to the world of mental health that is so contingent to a person’s individual battles. What’s standard for you, is someone else’s harsh reality and that can be greatly offensive. Why are we still carelessly egging on the torment of mental illness when we wouldn’t do the same to physical illness?

 

All I’m saying is, please think carefully the next time you speak out. I’m certain plenty fail to realise or even acknowledge the fact they’re almost promoting oppression whilst upsetting people in the process. Once you start to develop an empathy for mental illness, you’ll get a better idea of the need for a change in conception.

What are your thoughts? Have you fallen victim to this type of impetuosity?


Bridie x

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The Sunday Natter: Do We Need To Strip Naked To Empower Our Bodies?

Posted on 4 min read

 

Tell me this, is there a straight answer to a simple yet elevated question? I personally don’t think so. I think there’s so many layers to this taboo subject, and so many misunderstood ones at that. The online world went wild when Kim Kardashian posted not one but two photos of her rawly exposed body and of course in true internet frenzy style, there were some awfully harsh, interrogating comments and outdated attitudes to brush past the point of what could have been a strong and powerful message. Ironically, the most objectifying of hurtled insults spouted from middle aged men and women of the same era and status which in a sense can do more damage than good but the mere fact the topic of nudity sparks such interest proves a valid point.

 

In today’s days and age – an obsessive culture in narrowing a woman’s confidence and courage – why shouldn’t we love ourselves? It shows we shall not be defeated. There is no rule book, and we shouldn’t have to succumb to a gender barrier, either. As women, we’re constantly told everything about us is morally wrong. Too fat, too thin, too introverted, too extroverted, too shallow, too vain. Some high almighty men think it’s okay to lecture us on what part of us should be covered, attempt to silence us and deny the right to exploring and identifying our inner spirit whilst still believing our bodies are single handedly open to be used as sexual objects. It’s accepted for a man to strip naked without fuss but hath a woman do the same and hell breaks loose. Whether fact or figure, this scenario happens on a regular basis as we go about our everyday lives which is why supporting a woman’s choices and freedom to equality is key to importance.

 

That is exactly what it is, a personal choice. What works for some might not work for others and that’s absolutely fine. Allowing a woman to gain control of herself is empowering alone. Although I’m not the slightest bit fussed with Kim K or the latest involved model – I feel so strongly about declaring and embracing the nature of our bodies and fully honour the side to intimacy that attempts to stray away from the sexual attribute and focuses on the core value of power. Nudity is one of the most real aspects of life. Standing in transparent glory with your own figure in view is beautifully dynamic. I, personally, wouldn’t be as confronting with my bare modesty because that’s how I feel and you know what? I most definitely won’t judge you, shame you or tell you what’s right or wrong. Instead I praise you (possibly even positively envy you) and only wish to continue to build my self-assurance to a level I’m happy with.

 

The degrading cruelty that fellow women display to each other never fails to surprise me. Although the subject is poignant and unfortunately controversy can’t be avoided, I’m often puzzled as to why so many people are offended by what other people choose to do with their bodies. Who are we to tell somebody what to do with something that is theirs? Human anatomy included. We should be willing to help women reclaim their space within an area that takes time to switch from vulnerability to being fully in charge of power. Stripping a woman of her prerogatives (no pun intended) is without a doubt contributing towards the policing of women’s bodies. We owe no excuse or apology to anyone. In many cases, when a woman chooses to empower herself it’s not to parade for others, it’s to accept and show your flaws with your head held high. When Kim K hit back at the critics she provided a great argument – “I am a bad role model for being proud of my body”. It’s sad that we consider someone a bad person for seeing light in their self – in fact, it’s quite dangerous for the future generation to base their ideas on this false misinterpretation and it means we’re teaching the incorrect lesson. In my eyes, as the saying goes, if you’ve got it, flaunt it!

 

Whether you feel more comfortable exposing your hidden parts or sheathing in head to toe fabric, it’s all unique to every woman. There is no simple representative image, it’s all a learning process as you grow to make that decision for yourself. None of the autonomic choices are better than the other, it’s the notion of how glorious one feels in her own skin. You have to ask yourself this; what’s right for me? What do I believe in? What do I want? Don’t let society stop you from making that individual settlement. It’s all about understanding how you feel. What’s yours is yours alone and you hold the authority to decide what is beautiful and righteous. If one day I reach a point where I’m compelling enough to release a supposed private and sacred element, then I will go ahead and do so and I won’t let an idiot like Piers Morgan tell me otherwise.

What’re your thoughts? I’d love to know!


Bridie x

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