I have grappled with the issue of pitting and comparing the actions and/or adversities of one gender by using the other to illustrate, for a long time – but it simply does not sit right with me.

It is like comparing apples with oranges.

For the most part, I believe the intention is generally a positive one (which is a refreshing step toward good), but when perceptions and customs related to gender are so profoundly entrenched, it falls short of accurately addressing the deep-seeded issues of gender disparity.

Exhibit A:


This is a familiar visual representation that now seems to be common practice in highlighting gender-label ridiculousness – namely, a female’s.

There are two issues I have with this sort of juxtaposition:

1. Females have always been represented in this way – used as (sexual) ornaments. Males never have. So when we look at the females in the images, we see ‘normal’ and when we scan across to the males in similar poses, we see humour.

Steve Carell, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert recently did a photo shoot, emphasising the ludicrous poses females are encouraged to do:


Its intentions are admirable but – it’s not the same. It’s just funny.
That humour can (ultimately) also work negatively for the females they’re trying to help, by making them look stupid for participating in their own exploitation; for posing that way in the first place.

I recently saw a snippet of reality TV the other day – one that does renovations on houses. There was a moment where all the contestants had an impromptu dance-off, which lead to the inevitable circle where they strut their stuff in the middle. One of the women chose to be semi-provocative by doing some fetching grinding moves against her partner.
Next was a male. He also did a bit of a provocative dance. It was funny. Everyone laughed.

2. The biggest issue, however, is vulnerability.
When a female is posing sexually, she is vulnerable – her breasts may be practically exposed; she may be bending over something with a short skirt; she may be wearing impossible-to-walk-in-heels (not easy to escape anyone in high heels btw) – you follow my drift.
The males in these representations, however, are not vulnerable.
Their only place of vulnerability is their penis and that is (as always in this current paradigm) *fully* covered.

Everywhere; every time.

How ironic that we seem to find comfort in the male gender – dipped head high in privilege – outlining the woes of the ‘lesser’ gender. Double irony? In most cases it’s statistically males pushing females to pose this way in the first place.

OK, let’s turn the tables; in format as well as gender reversal.

Let’s look at how men are represented and doing the switch.

Exhibit B:


The image above is from the show, Beauty and the Geek. Never before have I witnessed such a blatantly sexist prime-time show; super-gluing more gender stereotypes to an already fragile equation.
Female = sexy, hot and DUMB;
Male = be who you want to be, you can still get a ‘hot’ female.

Can you imagine a show – heck, a REALITY – where we see females who are daggy/geeky/nerds of various body shapes, together with ‘hot’ males?

I can – but know it’s a concept that is (for the most part) a flash in the pan.
I remember through ads that Glee had a moment where an overweight girl was coupled with the hot football player.


I wonder how many people were genuinely comfortable watching that visual?
I say visual because that’s all ANY of this is based on.
It’s irrelevant whether personalities gel or if people have a profound connection, because ultimately that’s not the message that wants to get taught; there’s no money to be made, if females are secure within themselves, after all.

I intensely wish for a more equal and balanced playing field for females and the bottom line is that females are more than just being the packaging for males’ sexual fantasies.

Question #199: Isn’t this world ready – YET – to unlock the wonderful array of possibilities – just by getting past that horrifically limiting idea of females?

I’ll leave you to think.

My next post is my 200th Question.
Bring your thinking caps along.

Deep Breath.


The moment after Christmas dinners and lunches were fully consumed, my Facebook page got littered with images like the following:


…from women.

No men indulged me with feelings of having to diet or comment on the weight they had gained over Christmas. Just women.
Then there was the plethora of women friends commenting on said images, also participating in the merry-go-round of the standard, “Oh, I KNOW! I’m exactly the same.” rigmarole – like it’s the secret password for entering an exclusive club.

And it is exclusive – only women seem to want to wholeheartedly enter.
Just listen,  especially around the ‘festive’ season (particularly when they’re around other women) and see how long it takes before kilos / stomach size etc. is mentioned – even for a moment.

It consumes females’ lives. C’mon…we’re smarter than that, aren’t we?
What does one gain from having the ‘perfect’ figure?
My real question is:

Is it all just for a compliment? 

Don’t get me wrong, I like to look unique to me and do my best with what I have and if that receives a compliment – that’s nice! – but it’s not the reason why I dress and groom myself.

There have been moments in my life when my weight has blown out a bit (74 kg being my heaviest) but as I am tall, I have always looked pretty good. This is because I have thin legs and any weight gain went on from my stomach and up – the legs and thighs never changed. To the outsider, my legs camouflaged what was going on up top to a degree. Funnily enough, all I could see was my rounded face when I was at my heaviest – which ironically is what I really notice about people; their faces, not bodies.

How do I know I looked good? Because I was complimented as such – even as so far as being called lucky; lucky for having thin legs.
On an intellectual level – isn’t that ridiculous?
I just want to state for the record that the only luck my legs have given me is their ability to take me from place to place – just like every other able-bodied person on the planet.
That’s it.

Furthermore, ever since being at peace with all my bits – which has been quite a few years now – I’ve noticed that if I ever mention anything about my body (not complaining), I am quickly interjected and shot down with phrases such as, “You have nothing to worry about” or “I WISH I had your figure.”
I have to say that it’s bloody frustrating not really being able to simply discuss changes one notices (and we know that it’s always happening with our complicated but wondrous bodies, ladies) without the obligatory “You’re fine” commentary.
There are parts of me that sag, bulge and roll; I have wrinkles and skin pigmentation on my face; I have dark leg hair which is the bane of my existence to remove (see? not so perfect legs) and I have no butt. Side on, my stomach is about the same size as my bottom – very ‘attractive’…
Etcetera and so on.

We’re women.
We all know our flaws (we’re good at believing what we’re told – that it’s how we think of ourselves) – and we all (yes, ALL) have them, because it’s personal and it’s entrenched.
But this is where I want to say that it is exactly our ‘flaws’ that make us unique and beautiful.

My body has not given me a free pass to anything – I have a mortgage (a 70s house in the western suburbs that I got aged 39; you’d think my body would have let me own a house sooner than that); I have a full-time job, two daughters to raise – who can both be very demanding; and the usual ups and downs of life. I can emphatically claim that my body afforded me no special privilege. Nothing.

The things I have gained in life have come from the person within (who is also flawed, by the way).

So if we are just looking for some verbal validation (from as many people as possible):

Question #196: Is it truly worth all this anxiety and self-hate?

Why not try something different when thinking of New Year’s Resolutions?
Please don’t let it have to do with altering yourself. So you over-indulged over Christmas and New Year; you know what to do to balance it out.

Walk tall, don’t negatively talk about your body and see the beauty in every female body you see – especially yours. Imagine the change, if our daughters saw the beauty on all sorts of shapes and sizes the way YOU do. Don’t judge other women or compare yourself, just cultivate your own temple.
How about we women, collectively, make the New Year’s Resolution to blow these soul-destroying and self-hating beauty standards out the window.


I have been using a new word to compliment women and it’s not beautiful – it’s radiant.

Happy New Year, radiant ones!
Go forth and SHINE! x

Deep Breath.

PS I’ll leave you with a clip of Aussie ‘plus-sized’ model (which is ridiculous – she’s a goddess), Robyn Lawley. Forget what she looks like and just listen to her words. Soak them in.

Whether you’re a busy mum at home, a full-time worker or sit somewhere, anywhere, in between these two extremes; whether you have children or not –

Women MUST look after themselves.

Two days ago, at about 3pm, I fainted here at home and took a heavy spill.
It was a combination of three logical components that brought it about – which makes it even more concerning; how quickly we neglect the simple things.

1. No water.
It was a hot day – low 30s – and I hadn’t drunk any water yet.

2. No food.
I was waiting for my cousin (who was visiting from Perth with her fiancé) to have lunch. Their road trip got delayed. At around quarter to three, I was reheating my lunch when they arrived.  So it got put off again.

3. Heat.
The girls were in the pool, so we went out back. I started to clean the pool for the girls and move the vacuum out of the way. I got very hot.

When I went inside, the change of bright to darker light and hot to less-hot, made my head spin. I thought it would pass, so I started to offer my cousin lunch options.

Suddenly my brain froze, turned robotic and shouted, “GET TO YOUR BED! NOW!”

I mumbled something incoherent to my cousin and started to walk down the narrow-ish corridor – my finger tips touching the wall for support.

My knees buckled and I slammed against the wall like I was in a pin-ball machine. That first jolt made me ‘wake’ for a second, which made me straighten up – at which point I blacked out enough to slam my way onto the tiled floor. I can still remember the smack of me hitting the tiles.

My cousin saw me fall and I heard the panic in her voice. I sat up in a daze and it took a while for my mind to start rationalising how I got there. I was covered in sweat.

The injuries were as follows:

 IMG_4270 IMG_4269IMG_4291

I sprained my left ankle, fell heavily just under my right knee, badly bruised my right arm (I rarely bruise) and my left bum bone took a hit.

Question #137: And why do women do this to themselves?

Because we instinctively but other people or other tasks before ourselves. Although all women aren’t like that, it IS the wonderful part of our nature that sometimes gets abused – especially by us.

So, keep up your fluids (especially if you’re in Sydney – just checked the temp. It’s 1.15pm and it’s reached 44.1 C/ 111 F! Hot damn!), eat and stay out of the heat if you can. I know that’s hard for some people – a cool shower, maybe.

Just take care.

Paula x

Well, I’m off to hang the washing. The first pieces I hang will probably be dry by the time I finish the rest.


I’ve had an epiphany – a bit of an ‘a-ha’ moment. Well, it wasn’t so much that I didn’t know it before, but more that I was hit with a simple and succinct realisation.

It’s the simplicity of it that is both liberating and equally terrifying – because regardless of its clarity – we are trapped.

You know all the famous modern icons? – I can’t believe what we call them ‘icons’ for – icons like Kim Kardashian?

We’re paying them.

In turn, they spend the money we give them on ‘perfecting’ themselves:

On make-up – THEY DON’T PAY FOR.

On clothes – THEY DON’T PAY FOR.

On ‘procedures’ – THEY DON’T PAY FOR.

Cars – Technology – ‘Gift Bags’ – EVERYTHING!…they don’t pay.

We do.

And then we worship them for creating the image we can never have (as I wrote in my penultimate post Why it’s worse now) and buy more beauty products, clothes, ‘procedures’ to try to replicate it. In turn, we keep fattening their pay packets, as the beauty industry uses them over and over again – making them icons.


This vicious cycle is not only never-ending – its predatory qualities and hunger appear to be insatiable.

OK, here comes a Shout Out.

We are intelligent beings, ladies – VERY intelligent:

Question #87: So why are we doing it to ourselves? WHY?

And we are doing it from both sides – one side (the majority of us) perpetuate it by BUYING into this mono; limiting; ‘hot’ look, while on the other side, we also have the women who agree to represent us so poorly and participate in our exploitation that way.

It’s a trap.

As a fly is digested slowly in the Venus Fly Trap, so are we.

I don’t know about you, but that’s why this clarity is a tad terrifying to me – because its EFFECTS are devastating. Statistics are showing girls and women spiralling into a world of depression and worse. I even know many mothers who loathe their bodies after growing a human being in them – instead of wearing their shape with a pure sense of pride – of the miracles their bodies are.

But, as I said in response to a comment from the above-mentioned post, EVERYTHING IS TAUGHT. Everything.

So it’s time. Regardless of what’s happened in the past – the only way to move forward is to say, “OK, yes, we used to do it like that or accept things as they are – but not any more.

Do not pay any attention to women like Lara Bingle, who so graciously had the following picture of herself taken (which has also been photoshopped to an inch of its life):

…because as I’ve said to my students at school – ANYONE CAN DO THAT! Anyone can have sex. Anyone can take their clothes off. It’s not a difficult thing to do…and yet we end up rewarding women for doing just that??

The challenging and hard thing is NOT doing it the easy way – through shortcuts – as there’s always a price to pay…

…and ain’t we paying for it now!

The irony being that the money from our pockets, provides the funding for more.

I repeat: Why are we doing it to ourselves?

Deep Breath everyone – it’s going to be a bumpy ride.


Why it’s worse now.

September 2, 2012

I was cooking and my 9 year old daughter was keeping me company, chatting. It was great.

Yesterday, when I let her play on the computer, which is normally some sort of simple game, I went in to find her doing a ‘make-over’ on some cartoon girl. I told her to get off it. She didn’t make a fuss. Bless her.

So we were chatting about that tonight. I said that, in a way, that game was training her to become a girl who grooms herself in a particular way. I said that there was nothing wrong with wearing makeup when she’s older, but that girls and women nowadays were spending A LOT of money to look a particular way.

I said to her that when I was younger, I loved going through women’s magazines but that ‘back then’ the images were of the women as they were. Don’t get me wrong, we were being sold a particular image – thin, glamorous, in the latest looks…thin – BUT they were fairly real. No airbrushing…lots of make-up – but no airbrushing.

Throughout these modern times – since mid-last century – women have always been sold a look; in line with the fashion of the time. And we have always jumped on that wagon, hoping to mirror that look and belong. That’s cool. We are the fairer sex and we like to groom ourselves.

But it’s worse now.

Why? Because the looks and bodies we’re trying to mirror – are altered and unattainable ones.

Simple, isn’t it?

The logic of it is striking and obvious – and yet…

…here we are ladies – watching women on our screens, posters, ads – depicting the shangri-las of looks – that we can’t have because they are simply. not. real.

Question #85: Why is the unaltered image above, not considered beautiful?

Because there are some rolls…like the ones we all have? Because she has a tummy…like most women?

God forbid we represent the general female population in our media!

Now look at the women around you – your friends – your family.

Do you think they’re all ugly?

They must be if they’re not thin, ‘hot’ and sexy…with no wrinkles etc. etc. etc.

But the majority of women DO NOT fit that tiny mould and I’m also pretty sure that you don’t think any such thing about the women in your life. So, if we think the ordinary and remarkable women around us are beautiful:

Question #86: Why are we being passive and tolerate what the media is doing to the representation of women?

And we are being passive.

Just look at what’s been done to the images of the women below – for magazines that women buy:

Even Barbie – or any doll for that matter (Bratz, anyone?) – sells a look to girls from a young age.

It’s up to us to change this. Noone else can do it – certainly not men. That would be as futile as women changing men’s perspectives.

It’s up to us.

Deep Breath.


Beauty is an attitude.

July 31, 2012

I found the following on Facebook and I think it’s simply fantastic:

We are the fairer sex. Yes.

And we should enjoy that…but at what price?

Recently I’ve listened to numerous female students feel down about their looks – thinking they’re not beautiful, which always leaves me feeling aghast because I can’t communicate the beauty I see. They think I’m ‘just saying that’. They also don’t know how to accept a compliment because they simply don’t believe it.

I feel a touch of despair for these girls because the feelings of inadequacy they have about themselves, only proves that the grip the false ideals of beauty has on them – has talons.

In a previous post, A response, I put a photo of me in my final year of high school, aged 17, with very alluring short hair. NOT! The year before this photo was taken – when my hair was a little shorter – my, Catholic, all-girls high school took my year group on a three-day camp, with an all-boys high school.

Now, I was your typical teen – someone who wanted to find a dreamy boyfriend, who would adore me forever…

But I didn’t fit the ‘mould’.

On the camp, I experienced two poignant moments – moments long forgotten, that have recently poked their heads out of my cavernous memory. Due to this resurfacing, I have shared the story with a few…so to those of you who have heard this one already, I ask you for your ever-appreciated patience with me repeating myself!

Moment 1. A group of us were walking up to the boys’ cabins, where you had to walk up a few steps to their long verandah. A boy was standing at the top of these steps saying, “Welcome” to every girl as she stepped up. When I got there he said, “You’re not welcome.”

That’s OK. I walked through anyway.

Moment 2. In a group session, we were asked what our first impressions were of each other. There was that awkward silence when everyone is shyly looking around or staring at their hands – when one guy, put his hand up, looking straight at the team leader and said, “I thought Paula was really weird because of her hair.”

I didn’t mind. It kind of felt good – no other girl got mentioned. And I knew I wasn’t weird.

Even though I lay my dream of finding my high school sweetheart at this camp to rest (and felt a little bummed), I knew they’d be another time that would present itself…

…and I ceratinly wasn’t going to start growing my hair long and disappear into the crowd – just because two boys weren’t into my look.

Still girls and boys trying to get one another’s attention – no different to today.

So, what IS the difference between then and now? Well, how about the saturation of EVERYTHING…’on tap’?

For women, there seem to be endless amounts of clothes, shoes, make-up, hair products – electrical and chemical, salon services, manicures, pedicures, facials, diet options, diet shakes, hair removal options (shave, wax, laser), Botox, machines that ‘dissolve’ cellulite, surgical procedures…and ALL THAT;

For basically one. general. look.

No wonder girls are in a whirlpool of self-loathing.

A recent report said that women in Australia spend $100, 000 on razors and $30, 000 on waxing – a year.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m one of the razor buyers (since my teens)…but when you look at numbers like that, doesn’t it seem ridiculous? That’s a lot of money.

Question #78: What price do you pay for ‘beauty’? Are you happy yet?

Don’t buy into it! Not through your mind OR your wallets.

Of course those on the receiving end of your spending, don’t want you to stop – so be the sensible, intelligent woman you are and know:

Beauty is an attitude.

It resonates.

By all means enhance – uniquely – do the best with what you’ve been blessed with.

YES – blessed! Don’t lose sight of the big picture.

You don’t need ‘fixing’…and as it says in the image above – you don’t owe it to anyone!

And the only thing you owe to yourself – is to love your unique ‘take’ on beauty.

Deep Breath.


A comment responding to my last blog post, talked about Norman Lindsay’s paintings. This got me thinking about how our perceptions of what is considered beautiful, when thinking about the female form, have changed over the centuries.

In the 17th Century, Peter Rubens was painting women and they were always a little large and hearty.

The following painting, The Three Graces, was painted around 1693:

I think a lot of women can identify with some of the features present in this painting – biggish bums, solid thighs, bumps, creases, folds and boobs that are a bit smaller than what’s happening in the under-carriage. I think Rubens was a ‘bum’ guy because you can see the women depicted in his paintings in much the same way.

Question #67: Is this the ‘natural’ form of a woman?

Maybe. In that day, I’m sure there were ‘fashions’ (as there always are), but I wonder if altering body shape was one of the goals – as it is obsessively today.

Here is a painting, Imperia, by Norman Lindsay. Norman was painting in the early 1900s (this one was 1920). I think he was definitely a ‘breast’ man:

If you have a look at his female subjects, they were very buxom indeed…but they were also big in the thigh area and around the tummy…plus there’s pubic hair. As I wrote in my response to Hannah, I think the waxed/Brazilian of the pubic area is a new, acquired taste…possibly connecting it to a look where women look pre-pubescent?

By looking at these two paintings, if you had either of these bodies – which a lot of women do – you would probably be unhappy with certain parts. Hell, if women have the ‘perfect’ body, they still find something to hate about it – hence all the ‘altering’ that goes on. (Read my last post – The beauty we aspire to, does not come naturally…or cheaply. Click here)

Were these women unhappy with their bodies? I wonder…

When I was in my early 20s (early 1990s) I remember there was a big story in Cosmopolitan about women’s bodies, that has stayed with me all these years later. Over a two page spread, they had photographs of the bodies, front and back, of about fifteen or so women. Their heads weren’t in the picture and they were completely nude with their hands held together in front of their pubic area.

The article wanted to know what women AND men felt was a beautiful female body. I remember my eyes gravitating towards this gorgeous, lean and ‘perfect’ body. She had longish legs, small waist and breasts that were just right – not too big and not too small. She looked like a size 10 (quite small here in Australia) and she had my vote.

The following month, the results were in. Out of the wonderful mix of body shapes and sizes, the women and men demonstrated a very definitive preference through their choices.

90% of women (yes, 90) voted the same body I had chosen, as the best. No surprises there! My older self feels disappointed with my younger-me…I was as predictable as the rest of the women…all chasing (and still chasing) one body weight and shape.

The men’s choice, however, was interesting. If memory serves about 86% (still a high number) picked the size 14 girl. She was in proportion BUT there were some serious curves…especially around the thigh, stomach and breast area.

Fascinating. I wonder if the guys of today would choose similarly?

To the young women of today, who are fighting their own battle to belong, feel at peace with themselves and (dare I say) find a way to be in love with their bodies, there’s not much of a mirror out there telling them that their bodies are ALL beautiful in their unique way.

I had a friend post a picture on Facebook of an overstretched and biggish stomach from having children. The image was trying in inspire women to love their untaut tummies due to the fact that they had made and grown a HUMAN BEING inside them – an absolute miracle…BUT most mums I know, don’t have that feeling of tenderness towards their stomachs – quite the opposite, in fact.

Question #68: Why do we do it to ourselves?

When I went to Google images of tummies, I predominantly got two images – a ‘hot’ flat stomach or a pregnant belly. (More hot than not!)

How sad that at the end of that pregnant belly, some women are left with a feeling of self-loathing towards what their body is left with. And when they turn for help, all they see is young, slim, taut and perky. C’mon.


The change happens within you and it CAN if you do the following (and it IS this simple):

Go to the mirror NOW and look at yourself through new eyes!! Woooo Hoooo!!

Deep Breath.


Yesterday (Saturday), on the cover of The Sydney Morning Herald was an article about the top 5 things Australian men and women worry about:


1. My future career 2. My achievements 3. The future 4. What people thought of me 5. Doing well at work or school.


1. My future career 2. The future 3. My weight 4. My achievements 5. What people thought of me.

Although both sexes worry about their career first – it’s curious to see the women’s third concern.

It reads: “Worries about weight ranked highly for women only. That was not surprising,  given the cultural obsession with the appearance of women,  Professor Hudson  said. ”But it is really alarming that 60 per cent of women said they worried  about appearance at levels that interfered with their quality of life.”


Are you one of the 60%?

The fact is that men do not have this worry and we really have to ask ourselves WHY?

Question #42: How are we, as women, contributing to this problem?

That weight worry is ‘interfering with their quality of life’ – is a gloomy statistic.

Is there any hope for change in how we see ourselves?

In regards to worrying, there is a quote I always use with my students:

Worrying, is praying for what you don’t want.

Deep Breath.


Full article: Whttp://www.smh.com.au/national/top-of-worry-list-work-work-work-20120504-1y47u.html#ixzz1u5WZW03W

As I previously mentioned, yesterday was my wedding anniversary – 11 years. Hubby and I decided to have a night in the city, staying overnight in a hotel – possible, thanks to my mum, the overnight babysitter. *very grateful*

After we had dinner in our favourite Spanish restaurant in Liverpool Street, we decided to walk down George Street down to a popular nightclub for a boogie, whilst checking out the city streets of Sydney.

Well, that one kilometre (two-thirds of a mile) walk – as well as inside the nightclub – was certainly an eye-opener. I know that I’ve discussed this at length with you all before, but there’s nothing like seeing things for yourself…it’s quite depressing…

Just about every girl – I would say about 75% – looked EXACTLY the same. I reeeally wanted to take photos of them – but didn’t, so as to respect the girls’ privacy. Ironic, isn’t it? That I care more about respecting them, than they do for themselves…

So I just got on the Net and looked up ‘going-out clothes’ to get an image. The army / flock / plethora of girls I saw everywhere – looked something like this:

(Classic, that this first image uses the word ‘Unique’…)

It was wave after wave of short, short dresses – platform heels of varying colours and height (from high to ridiculously high) – fake tans and boobs out.

I saw many girls struggling to walk in their shoes – but hey, I know that we’ve always had to battle that. These platforms, however, (that we used to refer as pole-dancers’ shoes) are something else.

The thing that saddened me, was seeing the many girls who simply looked awkward – constantly pulling down the dresses that were just barely covering their underpants – the ones who are wearing what they’re supposed to, because all their friends are wearing the same.

As I was walking with my husband, a hetero-male in a sea of ‘easy’, I said to him – “If you were a young man, you’d have countless women to pick from. Who would you pick? (this was a rhetorical question, of course *wink*)

So it’s girls upon girls, groups upon groups – all sending the exact same message – “PICK ME!! PICK ME!! Because I’ll show you the best time.” If that’s not the message, what is it? Actually, it’s irrelevant what girls think it means because that’s the only message the guys are receiving – crystal clear.

The funny thing is that both Hubby and I noticed that it didn’t seem to really matter what the guy looked like – we saw daggy guys, short guys, metero-sexuals etc.etc. – basically a lovely collection of them …with the same type of girl described above… How lucky guys are, to have next to zero pressure about what to wear out – in complete and total comfort – jeans/pants; shirt/t-shirt; flat shoes.

Question #34: Why is this look so important for these young women? Don’t they want to be unique?

I’d looove to hear from anyone who can answer this. No judgement – just a conversation.

The thing is that I’m sure most of these girls go home without having been ‘chosen.’ What then?

WHAT THEN? Little less clothing next time?

So sad and YES…I believe women have gone backwards with the current youth culture. How do we help them?

To tie with the last few posts – I believe EVERYONE on this planet is deserving of wonderful and loving partnerships – if that’s what they want. But when it comes to these young women; until they have the strength and courage to step out and be completely themselves – how is a well-matched guy going to ‘see’ them through the fake clutter?

Deep Breath.


PS It’s back to teaching young minds tomorrow *wink*, so the posts might come a teeny less often – even though I wish I could write every day!

Love to you all. *big smile*

A response.

April 20, 2012

I find myself in a reflective position, due to a few comments. One on my blog and one from a friend.

I received my first ‘critical’ comment from the post – Looks can be deceiving – which I wholeheartedly invite. I want to know how women are feeling and I appreciated receiving it. This woman thought I was being judgemental in that post.

After a friend of mine, Jane, made a comment about it, I went back and re-read the post and the response I got. I’m going through a bit of a personal journey at the moment – with myself, my relationships and with the world at large – and I’m finding moments where I think I see things so clearly…but I just don’t know how to express it. So in lieu of the comments that have come my way, I need to say something; to explain…

…and I’m finding this one a doosey. It’s taken ages to write this post and I still don’t know if I’m getting it right. Here it goes.

In my response to the comment that was left, I said that the effect of the tight grip that mass-media has on us is:

A vast army of insecure women AND men, who are living a melancholic (at times) existence because they don’t stand up to the ‘tick-a-box’ ideal. I find that terribly sad.

I find that terribly sad – That’s not me judging or looking down my nose – it’s quite the opposite; that’s me feeling sad for all of usincluding ME!

Jane mentioned that the woman who responded was explaining that when you’re not ‘chosen’, you start to question things about yourself.

I TOTALLY understand this.

People who know me, may scoff at the fact I just said that. The reason I say this, is because the latter part of Jane’s comment to me was that I am, in fact, in a stable marriage, with a good-looking husband and have communicated how I look good for my age (a month shy of 42), through my blog. So how could I understand those that don’t have this?

Well I have two parts to answer this.

Firstly – this is how I looked in Year 12. For any overseas readers, this is the final year of high school in Australia, aged between 17-18 years old.


I just felt the recoil from you all, as your eyes landed on this…as I always do *wink*

And why is that? Maybe because our perception of beauty has (always) been of a stock standard. There is nothing ‘attractive’ about me at this age and the boys CERTAINLY didn’t come near me. And it wasn’t just that stylish ‘do’ I was sporting, I also dressed like a tomboy. No dresses or skirts, except for my school uniform, that is.

So boys steered clear. In fact, I remember that when I was in Year 11, my year group (all girls) went on a camp with a nearby Catholic all-boys’ high school. The boys were in cabins on one side of the camp and the girls on the other. I recall that my girlfriends and I all went across to the boys’ cabins and as we walked up the few steps to their big verandah, a guy was standing there saying, “Welcome…Welcome”, to every girl who passed him. When he saw me he said, “You’re not welcome.” I continued on with the rest of my friends.

I cared and I didn’t care. The part that cared, wondered if I would have to grow my hair long  for boys to find me attractive and the other part thought, “Fuck ’em” – I liked looking a bit different.

But my 20s saw me in a time of MASSIVE insecurity – because I was the classic student in the class of: “Main goal in life  – Marriage and Motherhood 101.” I DID grow my hair out and started wearing skirts and dresses, to make sure I fitted the mould to get to my goal. To be chosen. And there’s no way around changing this because it’s the man who has to propose – he chooses. We wait.

So while we wait, we go through terrible thoughts about ourselves – as I did – and that’s why I understand the feelings of the woman who responded. I do.

Secondly….this is the hard one to articulate…

None of this has anything to do with how I look. Nothing. Yes, I do like clothes and fashion – we are the ‘fairer sex’, after all – but I dress to (hopefully) show some style. If I get a ‘label’ piece of clothing for a bargain – great! If a pair of jeans from K-mart do the trick – excellent! (which they did last week). Fashion is something I want to get into – just not now.

I’m OK with the way I look now because I’m older and wiser. About three years ago I was 10 kgs (22lbs) heavier – after having my girls – and the weight was not budging. But the moment I started to look at myself and be ‘happy’ with what I saw, that the weight started to drop (coupled with some small changes to lifestyle). It came off fast  – it was like my mind was ‘seeing’ my future figure and my body caught up.

But when I was the SAME weight in my 20s, I was SOOO insecure about it all.

Now I can hear some of you saying, “Yeah, but none of that matters – now that you have been chosen.”

I’m married. So what? Lots and lots of people are (in partnerships) – and they all have different ‘looks’.

Yes, after 11 years (tomorrow) married to my husband, we have established a strong family unit – that I love – and is, for the most part, travelling well. But there are A LOT of really yuck days and is, at times, Very. Hard. Work. My girls are still young, so who knows what the teenage years will bring…when they can drive me to insanity now.

Every third marriage,in Australia, ends in divorce* – so why is it so revered? This statistic hasn’t shifted much over the decades – so if it’s not really a third of the population’s cup of tea (statistics don’t lie) – why is it pushed on us since birth?

I know the common answer is loneliness – but aren’t some marriages the loneliest experiences? And if you add kids to the mix, isn’t there a saying that goes, “You’ll feel lonely at times, but you’re never alone.”?

The funny thing is – and this is something I’m going to be blogging about soon – is that I’m surrounded by the most amazing women (aren’t we all? amazing, that is! *wink*) of different ages, looks, talent, marital status, with children and without – of whom I’m in AWE. I go to them for advice, I pick their brains, gas-bag, LOVE their sense of fashion and style, have a laugh, have a boogie and NONE of it, has to do with them fitting a mould. So why look at me and say, “Oh, but you look….(fill in the blank)? Because whatever you put in there – it doesn’t matter – it doesn’t afford me anything.

Question #33: Since when does a look that ‘fits the mould’ guarantee a happy and perfect life?

So my whole point of  Looks can be deceiving, was that it seems unbalanced to want to ALL want the same final goal, all looking the same way. Nature doesn’t make us that way.

My message to you young ones, is that you don’t need to sell yourselves short by being something you’re not – in the hope to get chosen – because you’ll be chosen for the wrong reasons…especially if all you’re offering, through your look, is sex – we can ALL do that. Nothing special.

Deep Breath.