Rant Warning

That was the official warning: if you read after this point, it’s your own fault…

Ooh, you’re a glutton for punishment, aren’t you? *nudge*

So. It’s one in the morning, I’m recovering from the most hideous bout of flu I’ve had in recent memory, and I look and feel like something the cat dragged in, hid well, and wasn’t found until someone noticed the smell. Only worse. As a result, my self-confidence, ever a fragile thing, has vanished utterly. Even my eyes (which I’m normally slightly vain about) look, in the words of Terry Pratchett describing Albert’s eyes in Mort, ‘juugly’. I have exactly zero redeeming physical features right now.

No, that’s not the rant, and it’s not a ploy for sympathy or reassurance, I promise. Me and the demons of my looks are old buds. The rant is this:

Western. Standards. Of. Beauty.

I am forty. I am genetically predisposed to short, busty, ampleness, and too lazy to fight the ample part. The lazy also means that right now my legs could double for Chewbacca, my hair is grey (coz I think it looks badass) and growing out from the last time it got a #4 with the clippers (because I am NOT paying £25 to get my hair washed). I hardly ever wear make up any more, and although my nails are currently looking good, that’s because I stopped biting them seven weeks ago and haven’t started again yet. (Yes, ‘yet’. I’m a realist)

I also have, in no particular order:

  • Cellulite
  • Saddlebags
  • Bingo wings
  • Stretch marks
  • Sagging boobs, tum, and bum
  • The start of jowls
  • Wonky little fingers
  • A big nose
  • Assymmetrical ears
  • Invisible brows and lashes
  • Fat lips
  • A lisp
  • And gollum feet***

Now, half of those are genes, and half are the side-effects of various parts of living. All are…’Fixable’, and by currently acceptable standards of beauty, I should really think about it. And as regards the weight, I should for my health. But, and here’s the thing –

I. Don’t. Want. To.

And I am not in any way, shape or form denigrating those women who do – it’s your body, you need to feel comfortable in it for you.

I just wish that we lived in a society that valued Barbie-like perfection less. (And Ken-doll-perfection, too, these days!)

Human beings are wondrous things. Living, breathing canvasses. Their faces and their bodies tell tales as much as their words do. By implying that we must fit into a preconceived set of ideals to be acceptable, by buying into this notion, we rob ourselves of ourselves. 

Having said that – for some people, homogenised Aryan human is how they feel most themselves, and more power to them. For others it’s being the 97-year old lady with unfeasibly-jetblack hair and fingers full of rings. For yet others it’s being that lad who owns every team shirt in home and away colours for the last fifteen seasons.

But for me, I’m coming to realise, it’s about accepting that I’m short, fat and scruffy. Which means that, thirty-five years after I first wished it, I have finally achieved my dream and become What-a-Mess.

From the books by Frank Muir, illustrated by Joseph Wright

(That wasn’t as ranty as I expected, and was in fact more of a late-night brain fart. But ‘brain fart’ wouldn’t sound so snappy as a title. Or would it?)

***Edit:

I forgot to mention

  • Spots
  • Freckles
  • Skin tags on my neck
  • What my sister calls ‘Trans-Am wheel arch nostrils’
  • Regrettable taste in socks
  • A tendency to flirt too much
  • And, oh yeah, I’m hypercritical of myself 😝
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