Archive | October, 2012
envious eyes

Jealousy Does Not Become You

(Image Credit)

“Love shouldn’t be about jealousy or anything like that. It should be about commitment and being able to trust that person. If you can’t have that from the get-go, there’s a problem. ” ~ Aaron Carter, showing an unexpected level of wisdom for a Backstreet Boy…*

I’ve spent a good part of this evening talking about the fact some of my long-standing male friends have recently gotten into relationships and how some of their girlfriends have felt moved to voice concerns about those guy’s friendships with me. They apparently perceive me to be some kind of a threat.

Needless to say these women have no reason to be at all suspicious of me. Their boyfriends are in relationships with them and not me because there’s nothing going on between the boyfriends and me. It just so happens that they’re the kinds of women who are inclined to see any other woman who isn’t a part of their particular clique as a potential foe.

Now, personally, I find it impossible to relate to this world view.  Treating the simple business of being female as though it were a competitive sport strikes me as being completely exhausting, not to mention unnecessary. However, it’s something I had to get used to when I was younger and at least eighty percent of my friends were male.

Back then I used to take all of my friend’s new flames out for coffee, and to say, ‘Hey, why don’t you and I bond so you can stop giving Bob a hard time about me, and I can avoid ending up a bitter loner.’

But I never dreamed when I instigated the arrangement that I could be pushing thirty and there’d still be girls who felt they had the right to expect the same deal.

An altogether separate male friend has suggested that he doesn’t think it’s unreasonable for people of any age to feel insecure about the thought of losing their relationships, and that I should just carry on trying to make these grown women feel better. But I disagree.

When you’re young you’re entitled to be insecure, and to do stupid things because of being insecure. It’s a part and parcel of your youth.

But once over the age of twenty-five I don’t believe that it should be acceptable for anyone to go around acting the Othello, and treating people who’ve never shown the slightest inclination to hurt them as potential rivals.

No-one has to justify themselves to you if they aren’t doing anything wrong.

Most people are not Machiavelli.

If you think that your partner is likely to leave you for someone else then, granted, you do have issues.

However, none of those issues have anything to do with anyone who isn’t a part of your relationship. And you have no business taking your insecurities out on an unrelated third-party just because they happen to be going about the normal course of their own social life. A social life in which they probably had no say about your becoming involved.

You should instead be discussing your fears with your significant other and looking to them for reassurance.

If they’re unable to offer this then your time would really be better spent questioning your own choice of paramour than their choice of friends.

If they do, and you can’t seem to accept it, then you should be considering how long you can reasonably expect anyone to want to stick around to play the Desdemona in your relationship. And then dial it back a bit.

In neither scenario is anyone else in any way to blame.

For as long as you plan to treat someone outside of your relationship as the enemy instead of a potential friend they owe you nothing. Which is something else you might want to consider while you’re rethinking your relationship strategy.


*Correction: With thanks to Alex for pointing out that Aaron Carter wasn’t actually in the Backstreet Boys, but is in fact the younger brother of Nick Carter, who was.


Robyn Lawley for Ralph Lauren

Size Is Just A Number

“Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti.” ~ Sophia Loren

So I’ve been reading some of the publicity around Robyn Lawley (above) becoming the first ‘plus size’ face of Ralph Lauren. Plus size of course meaning bigger than sample size, not necessarily big. This in turn got me to thinking about the many conversations about weight and dieting that I’ve had with friends lately. These, along with pretty much every ‘women’s’ magazine I’ve ever read, tend to suggest that a significant proportion of women believe that they would be a lot more attractive if only they could either; lose weight if they perceive themselves to be too large, or gain it if they feel that they are too skinny.

And it has inspired me to share a couple of observations with you.

Due to the medication I’ve had to take for my C-PTSD and depression, and a succession of physical health problems, I’ve fluctuated between a UK size 4 and UK size 16 on a semi-regular basis ever since I was sixteen. So I’ve been pretty much every size that the average western woman is ever likely to either be, or aspire to. I’ve changed my hair colour even more frequently, every six months on average, and can no longer remember what it would be if I let it grow naturally.

Which means that unless people have known me for a really long time they tend not recognise me in all the pictures I have around my flat.

Now I’m telling you all this because it occurred to me that there’s been no discernible difference in the number of people I’ve met who’ve happened to find me attractive at any point in the last fifteen years.

Well, unless you count lewd comments shouted in the street by the kinds of sleazy, random men whose attention no self-respecting person would ever court. Those peaked dramatically when I was a size 12 blonde wearing a C-cup bra.

But the number of acceptably civil people who’ve approached me to flirt, chat me up, ask me on dates, or attempt to sleep with me has remained basically constant for the last fifteen years. As has the number of people I actually know who have expressed similar kinds of interest in me.

Which would tend to suggest that neither size, nor hair colour, are necessarily crucial factors in determining how attractive a person is.

Nor has my varying size apparently made any difference to anyone’s enthusiasm on seeing me naked. Now I suppose you could argue that this could be accounted for by politeness. However, as the only thing most of the people I’ve slept with have in common is the fact they couldn’t lie convincingly to save their lives, I think this is unlikely.

I think it has far more to do with how the vast majority of people rather like having sex, and are usually pretty happy to be getting some. Also that a similar proportion of people don’t tend to bother putting in the effort in the first place to get to be able to sleep with someone they don’t find attractive.

Now I’m not suggesting that I’ve been equally content with what I’ve seen in the mirror however large or small I’ve looked. I feel that I look best when I look healthiest. And when I’m healthy I’m usually somewhere around a UK size 12.

At my recent birthday party we had a slide show of old photographs, and I’m happy to admit that I felt disappointed seeing how much better I looked a few years ago, before the depression and then the medication to treat the depression, caused me to pile weight on.

What I am saying is that my experience has taught me that, at least for women, our body shape makes far less difference to how attractive others find us, or otherwise perceive us, than we often assume to be the case. My changing appearance seems to have made no greater difference to how successful I have been at work, or how many people like to socialise with me than it has to the amount of people who’ve considered me attractive.

In fact the only notably memorable differences that my shape has made to my life have been when I was a size 4-8 and autumn came; then the cold would somehow get into my bones and stay there all winter. A terribly unpleasant experience that I could not recommend to anybody. And that as a size 14-16 it is much harder to find clothes that suit, or in some stores even fit, my body shape.

So while I would never try to discourage anybody from striving to become a healthier shape, or trying to adopt an appearance that makes them feel more comfortable in their own skin. I would urge women to try to feel more confident about the attractiveness of the body that they’re already in.

After all, if most people were really as unattractive as they think they are, the human race would be teetering on the brink of extinction by now.


GUESS What I Bought?

I actually treated myself to quite a few things for my birthday. My friend and I made the fatal mistake of popping into the Guess shop – just for a look round.

We never end up only looking round. There is nothing that we don’t love in that shop.

Instead I ended up buying this t-shirt…

…which seemed apt.

I’ve been wearing it with black skinny jeans, my Guess necklace, either a pinstriped suit jacket that I bought from Karen Millen about ten years ago or a black leather, biker style jacket from Top Shop, and my new heels. Also by Guess?

They’re a bit brighter and girlier than I’d usually wear, but I like them.

Once again I’m also a sucker for the pretty packaging. I always save the carrier bags I get from Guess, with the glamorous photographs that are printed on them they’re perfect to reuse as gift bags.

My friend cuts hers up and has the pictures in frames around her flat.

Dior Lipgloss

Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss in Flash

I treated myself to a new lip gloss from Dior last week. I’m a sucker for anything shiny that comes in pretty packaging.

It was £21.50 so I might not have bought it if I hadn’t had a £15 Boots voucher, but I love it. It works particularly well with my Pretty Pink Precision Lip Definer by Chanel. It’s a nice, bright, happy colour and gives a nice shimmer. I like it because it’s a bit different from the colours I normally wear.

The packaging somehow makes it look as though there’s more of it than there is, 6.3ml, but you don’t need to put a lot on to get a nice bright colour. It even stays on quite well over an evening of drinks. Although it doesn’t withstand food.

It’s also comfortable and not at all sticky, so there’s no bother about it attracting stray hairs like a magnet.

But like I said before, I really just like it because it’s shiny and comes in pretty packaging.



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