I shared a photo on my Facebook blog page this morning that seemed to strike a chord. It was something I found on Instagram that pretty much sums up how I feel every morning.

 

A photo posted by @kay14722 on

For my breakfast this morning I ate some cold pasta out of a bowl from the fridge with my fingers, and a Jaffa cake I found, (in the box), on the floor in the living room.

There was nothing photogenic about any element of that. I didn’t have a casually placed, single large bloom in a glass jar in the background, my carefully painted toe nails were not visible in the edge of the photo, peeking out of my shiny red sandals. There was not a single quirky, vintage, floral table cloth in sight.

I ate though. Calories were consumed. I chewed. I swallowed. 

I know that my job is social media, blah blah, but it pisses me off sometimes that there’s this constant pressure to be beautiful and stylish in everything that you do. The fact is that I’m just not a stylish person. I’m not a very good photographer, I have no real sense of colour, and often I resent the niggling feeling that if my dinner doesn’t get at least two dozen likes then somehow it’s not worth eating.

Of course we all like to look at nice pictures and pretty things, but Instagram often feels to me like an extension of that hideous pressure we put on ourselves to look beautiful. Except that now it’s worse, because not only do we feel the pressure to make ourselves look personally beautiful, but now everything around us has to be too – our breakfast must be styled, our homes chic at all times, our cups of coffee perfectly arranged on a white desk next to a self-help paperback about embracing life and a pencil holder in the shape of a polaroid camera.

Enough already.

In my head right now I am singing ‘here comes the bride’. Take a minute if you will to do the same and get into the right mood.

(Note that I am singing the ‘here comes the bride, all fat and wide’ version, because that’s the only version I know.)

(Another thought – does it even have words?)

Anyway, that’s the kind of mindset I need you in, as today I am sat at home waiting for the arrival of my eBay wedding dress. I have never bought a wedding dress from eBay before; in fact I don’t know if I have even bought a regular dress from eBay before. It’s jolly exciting anyway.

I wish I could tell you all about it and post a picture, but that would rather spoil the whole ‘groom not seeing your dress’ thing wouldn’t it? I could ask him not to look, but what groom is really going to think ‘sure, I’ll let the whole of the internet look, but I’ll be sure to avoid that one blog post.’

I’ve never been into wedding dresses as a thing, so have no idea if it’s even going to suit me. I’ve never looked at wedding dresses for fun, never even tried one on before, even just to pretend. I am a complete wedding dress virgin. Today will be my actual first time. View Post

I’m going to recount a short conversation I had with my boyfriend this weekend. He claims he didn’t say it but I am stating here for the record that he did. I didn’t mind him saying it, he tells me how beautiful I am all the time, it’s fine, but he did say it. Fact.

It went something like this:

Him: “What have you done to your eyebrows?”

Me: “Nothing. What do you mean?”

Him (laughing): “Yes, you have! What have you done? They look weird?”

Me (paranoid): “Nothing!!”

Him (looking more closely): “Oh, maybe you haven’t, I think it’s just that they’re going grey.” View Post

I was having a browse in the Marks and Spencer lingerie section this afternoon. I don’t personally find that M&S bras fit me terribly well, but with Belle approaching those awkward teenage years I thought I would check out the training bra section, just to see what I was getting myself into.

What I was looking for was that next step up from the crop top – something that’s barely worth wearing but that makes the teenager wearing it feel like they’re not just wearing a vest. What I wasn’t expecting to find was padded, underwired bras in a size 28AA.

Padded and underwired??

28AA isn’t even a size, so why on earth does it need underwiring? What the hell would a child need padding for??

I kept looking, sure that I must be missing something, but absolutely every entry level bra they had was either padded or ‘moulded’. I’m not sure what the technical definition of moulded is but it basically seemed to be another word for padded. It certainly wasn’t the soft, flexible cotton I was hoping for.

I asked a member of staff, wondering if I was looking in the wrong section, and even they were confused.

“Hmmm,” she said, “it doesn’t look like we have anything without wire. You don’t really need underwiring at this age.”

No, you do not, so why make teeny tiny underwired bras at all??

“I was really looking for something a little less inappropriate,” I said, “something without padding.”

The sales assistant agreed.

“Absolutely,” she said, “you want something soft and without wires.”

We both looked at the racks of mini push-up bras sadly.

“We don’t have any of those,” she said.

Am I being unreasonable to be so outraged by this? At what point did a design team sit down and think “I know, let’s create a range of underwear for pre-teens, girls barely out of primary school, that completely sexualises them unnecessarily and is uncomfortable! Hoorah!”

Just awful.

I know that I’m not always the best of parents – Belle eats more chocolate chip brioche than is probably good for her, and I’m not known for my consistency – but there are some things I just think of as wrong. Kids playing adult video games is one of these things.

children playing adult video games

Belle likes video games as much as the next 12 year old, but she plays games that involve her designing a stable for a pony and racing it to win rosettes, she isn’t on the streets of America, raping and shooting prostitutes – she is 12 years old.

I was appalled to read today that a shocking 30% of parents admit to buying adult video games for their childrenThirty percent?? Let’s think for a minute and put that into perspective – that’s nearly a third of parents happily letting their impressionable children arm themselves to the hilt and spend their spare time being violent and abusive. I know it’s not real life, but the whole point is that at that age, how easy is it for you to make that distinction? How can we possibly be sure that exposure to violence like this isn’t going to have an impact on our children’s growing minds?

The research was conducted by My Voucher Codes and some of the other findings are just as scary – only 23% of parents would stop a child going to a friend’s house where they knew they would have access to adult video games and only 64% would stop a visiting child playing age inappropriate games in their own home; it seems our children aren’t safe anywhere.

These games have age ratings for a reason – they have been looked at by experts and deemed unsuitable for children. What parent would deliberately want to let their children immerse themselves in these worlds?

How do you feel about children playing adult video games?

Photo credit – video games from file404/shutterstock

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