And so it is.

If I am honest, I began today – my 32nd birthday – feeling a little bit sorry for myself; feeling fat, old and broke. But after a wonderfully ordinary day of custom art presents from two very talented monsters; a shortened work day and a cheeky late afternoon nap I remembered something.

I remembered that I don’t actually give a flying &*^%…. (sorry kids, my mum reads this).

You see, I could write you a list of 31 things I learned when I was 31 but we all know I’ll get too bored by the time I got to point 5. And I’m pretty sure everything I’ve learned in the past few years is pretty easy to sum up in a few short sentences.

  • I can do it. I have done it. I will continue to do it. And the people who matter know I can do it as well.
  • Gin is truly delicious, and the more gin I try the more delicious it seems to become.
  • Motherhood is the most complicated adventure I will ever embark on, I may as well enjoy the ride as perfection is not an option.
  • I prefer to be healthy, even if it means eating less cake. However I loathe wasting my time on bad food.
  • I am an extremely ambitious person in ways my younger self never imagined.
  • I like attention.
  • I am not infallible.

Oh look, I made it to 7.

But tonight I packed my kids in the car after tea, even though it was after pj time and took them to my favourite place. I need more of that in my life and less of the other stuff. Because if I can’t now, when will I?

Feminism and being Female.

I do not hesitate in accepting the label “feminist”, but I understand why many do. Equally, I would not hesitate in applying that label to my husband, as well as most people I am honoured to call friends. Despite all of the negative connotations it has gained in the past fifty years, to be feminist is, in my understanding, in its most simplest terms to believe that women are of equal value to men.

And most of us in the West believe that these days, surely?

But there are many things associated with feminism that make me squirm. (Although I must admit there are things with most strong beliefs that make me squirm, always with the extremists).

I recently watched the Dove’s Campaign For Beauty’s latest video Real Beauty Sketches and appreciated it. A few days later I read this.

Initially, reading the blog post I expected to agree with her, because I am used to agreeing to those kinds of opinions. And while I don’t necessarily disagree, I’m not reading to stand behind her and reject what Dove are trying to do. Yes, they are a corporation that are pushing this in part to improve their reputation… And yes, they focus solely on the body and physical beauty. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say there is nothing wrong with physical beauty

It isn’t everything, but they had to focus on something. And I think their underlying argument, flawed as it may be, is an important message. You Are Beautiful. We want to be considered beautiful to look at, not just on the inside. We crave it. Or at least I do, and I thought it wasn’t just me.

I don’t think it undermines the feminist movement. I think the people at Dove are, among other more strategic things, are trying to do a good thing.