Friday, 27 July 2007

fantasy v reality

Another pound has disappeared! Half a stone, gone, in less than a month. I've never lost half a stone before. It's a novel experience.

The makeover element of projectforty makes me feel a little uneasy. I flip between the notions of 'beauty is on the inside' and 'I'd kill to look like her'. On the one hand, I truly believe that we are what we do and not what we look like. On the other, I wish some people would stop before they left home, pull their baggy trackies over their floppy bellies and release their greasy hair from its grubby scrunchy. Scraped back hair is rarely a good look. It's just harsh.

We're told not to try to emulate the beauties presented to us by the media. No-one looks like that without airbrushing, starvation or an addiction to smack. We all know this. It's a big beauty conspiracy. But every day we torture ourselves. We pore over those images, compare them with our badly lit holiday snaps and berate ourselves for our physical failings. I should have grown out of this by now - I'm nearly 40 you know.

I found a diary, written, I think when I was 12. It contained a list. Weight: x, target weight: y. Eat less, exercise more. I weighed 7st 6lbs and wanted to weight less than 7st. I'm still doing it now, except I can't bear to reveal the numbers. I was 12. I'd hate to think my daughter would ever think the same thing.

The more high-falluting aspect of projectforty is to look after myself so that she sees it's OK to get older and not look like everyone else. That it's OK to live and choose and enjoy all aspects of life. As media images dominate us, we need to remind ourselves that majority of us are ordinary. There's nothing to stop us being extra-ordinary but that's what we are.

I have a collection of old Vogues. I've read it avidly every month for the last 20 years. I marvel at the beauty of it all and I'm transported to a life of fabulous people and general gorgeousness. After my fix, I pop down to Asda and see if George has designed any new frocks for less than 20 quid.

Watch TV and we see programmes featuring unhappy women looking for something, anything that will make them feel better. It's an epidemic of self-consciousness. It doesn't matter where these women work, how much they earn, how much their families/husbands/friends love them - what they want is T&S to take them to the hairdressers, fiddle with their bra straps and put them in matching separates. Maybe they should be available on the NHS?

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