Just let me be me


make up

I’m sure that many of you have seen this post do the rounds on Facebook. It crops up quite frequently, a lot of the time posted by women. Sometimes, although rarely, posted by men.
I can usually ignore posts that annoy me, I tend to not waste time thinking about them or commenting on them. But this one really does get on my nerves every time I see it and read some of the judgmental comments that people write.
Please don’t misunderstand me, everyone is entitled to their opinions and I respect that. But this particular make up debate goes on and on and is often instigated by women.

If I didn’t wear make-up I would look at best homeless and at worse close to death.

Whose opinion is that? Mine.
Do I feel pressured into wearing make-up every time I leave the house? Never
Does it really matter to anyone else if I wear make-up so I feel I look better? No
Does that make me vain? I don’t think so.

I admire women who go without make-up, either all the time, or who just wear make-up on special occasions. Because it is their choice, as it is the choice of women who want to wear it every day.

Do I think that some women would look better with a bit of make-up? Yes
Do I also think that some women wear too much make-up or sometimes get it a bit wrong? Yes for sure.

But it is not my business, I would never  judge them or make them feel bad about their choices. I keep my opinions to myself unless asked for advice.

We women need to stick together, support each other and the choices we make. We are all doing the best we can and we should be bigging each other up, not judging or criticising.

In the words of Tanya from Mamma Mia-Here we go again, we should be bolstering…..
So please bolster !


Simply Splendid

I have been in my new job as a research nurse for 4 weeks now and one of the joys of this new venture is the bus journey to and from work. No I am not going completely mad and I’m not usually a lover of public transport. But it has given me the opportunity to read a lot more, I have always been a prolific reader but mainly in bed or in the bath.

I have just finished reading the most amazing book, “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini. This is a story about 2 women in Afghanistan that is so beautifully written it had me crying on the bus, it also invoked feelings of disgust, loathing and anger. But mostly it made me feel extremely lucky for growing up and living in a country where I am free. Free to do what I want to do, to be independent and valued.

Here is a part of the book I would like to share, these are the rules imposed on women in Afghanistan when the Taliban took over power, as written by them;

You will stay inside your homes at all times, it is not proper for women to wander aimlessly about the streets. If you go outside you must be accompanied by a Mahram, a male relative. If you are caught on the streets alone you will be beaten and sent home.

You will not under any circumstances show your face, you will cover with a burqua when outside, if you do not you will be severely beaten.

Cosmetics and jewellery are forbidden

You will not wear charming clothes.

You will not speak unless spoken to.

You will not make eye contact with men.

You will not laugh in public, if you do you will be beaten.

You will not paint your finger nails, if you do you will lose a finger.

Girls are forbidden from attending school, all schools for girls will be closed.

Women are forbidden from working.

If you are found guilty of adultery you will be stoned to death.

The book is heartbreaking as the story of the 2 women’s plight against cruelty, injustice and hardship unfolds in a country desperately trying to make it through relentless adversary.

The author has now set up the Khaled Hosseini Foundation that does fantastic work supporting Afghan nationals returning to to their homeland after fleeing during all the troubles, also re building homes in war torn areas and to help women and children.


All in a great cause

On Saturday a group of mainly women from a few local classes, a couple of husbands were dragged along,  got together to do a charity zumba session. With our zumba instructors for 2 hours we salsa’d, shimmied, jumped, twisted and turned in aid of the charity Women’s Aid.

Women’s Aid is a national charity dedicated to the welfare and protection of women and children who suffer domestic abuse. They have been around for more than 30 years working to promote women’s rights, to try and prevent domestic abuse and to support those affected by this despicable crime.

We had a great time even though we didn’t know half the routines as the instructors took it in turns to lead a routine and we only knew the dances our instructors did in our weekly classes. But that didn’t matter because we still got the exercise trying to catch up!

I did take some photos but I don’t think my fellow zumberers would appreciate being shown online having just done 2 hours of intense exercise, I certainly don’t want to show you all my red face and my sweaty hair stuck to my head!

Here is a link to Women’s Aid website  http://www.womensaid.org.uk



50 shades of grey

At the moment due to being a snow fearing wimp I’ve been watching a bit more TV than usual. One advert in particular has been popping up regularly, the one for “Just for men – Auto Stop”. This wonderful hair dye only takes on average 10 minutes and stops automatically when it gets to the correct shade that suits the lucky man using it.

I can’t help but wonder what the difference is between men’s and women’s hair.

Women have to leave on hair dye for at least 45 minutes, (nearly an hour if roots are as grey as mine!), before that we have to browse hundreds of different brands and shades with names such as golden ash brown, warm chestnut, and light golden auburn hoping to match as closely as possible to our original hair colour, (that I don’t really remember). During the development process we have to keep anxiously checking that the colour is as expected not bright red or green, too light or too dark. Many a time I’ve ended up resembling Morticia because I’ve chosen a shade just a little too dark that looked ok on the expected colour result picture on the back of the box.

Men on the other hand can just pick up one box that says dark, mid or light brown and black, slap it on and it’s all done for them!

Just another one of life’s great ponderables.