This women’s world…

I hate the damn patriarchy. I hate the structures that allow it to continue to function, the men who deny its existence and those who just close their eyes to it. I am tired of rape culture and wage gaps and micro aggressions and attacks on reproductive rights. It all sickens me. However, what angers me most are the women who refuse to join the feminist ranks. The traitors in our midst are worse than the enemy at the gate.

The simple truth is that women must fight for each other. Allies are great, but we cannot rely on anyone else to secure our rights. Although men may care about the treatment of individual women, the have proven that they aren’t all that concerned with our fight for genuine equality. Even so-called decent men exhibit shock when women discuss the nitty gritty of our lives and how misogyny affects us. If almost every woman you know has been sexually assaulted or harassed, how is it possible that almost every man in your life has no idea that it was happening? How can women be cat called, groped and demeaned from the moment the grow boobs and no men ever participate or see it happening? It is isn’t possible. They know. Just like they know we’re side-lined in the work place. They same way they are completely aware that women still carry most of the burden of child rearing and home keeping. Not to mention the emotional labour of explaining this (& oh so many other things). Our patriarchal society is very comfortable for men. Hoping they will tear down their own kingdom is naïve. We have got to have each other’s back.

Shall we start with the basics?
Other women are not the competition. The pie is big enough for everyone to get a slice. You do not have to engage in that ‘I’m not like other girls’ bullshit. Women don’t create anymore drama than men. Female bosses aren’t inherently bitchy. Slut shaming isn’t cool. Trying to distinguish yourself at the expense of the entire sisterhood is a stupid move. Everyone knows what you’re up to and almost no one likes it. You think you’re winning cool girl points with the men folk, but they’ll stomp on you just as quickly as they do anyone other chick who gets in their way. In short, don’t be a desperate pick me. It’s just sad.

Offer genuine solidarity.
Support other women in all aspects of life. Vote for the women who deserve to hold office. Consume the art of talented women. Shout out your friend’s endeavours. Fight for representation with your voice and your purse. Don’t judge women for every little thing. Stay at home Mum’s aren’t better than those with careers outside the home. There is no perfect size. Trans women are women. We’re all real and we’re all just trying out best. If your feminism isn’t intersectional, it’s worthless.

Actions speak louder…
If there is any chance of breaking down the barriers that women face, we must be prepared to stand up for each other in practical ways. We must be willing to stand with our sisters even when it’s difficult. Don’t automatically dismiss reports of misconduct against men that you like. Abusers (of all types) often cultivate a nice guy persona precisely because it makes their predation easier to get away with. Listen and be prepared to question.

Back female colleagues. Shut down mansplaining and the co-opting of ideas. It is so easy for a third party to interject a simple ‘I think X already covered that’. Do not tolerate inappropriate talk. Don’t laugh or ignore sexist ‘banter’. Be clear that you are not amused, and you will not work in a toxic environment. If you witness discrimination, harassment, bullying approach the victim and offer your assistance. Not just a shoulder to cry on, but pragmatic help. Go on record with HR regarding what you’ve witnessed, testify at tribunals etc. This is even more important if the woman in question is also a member of another oppressed group. Use whatever power you hold to institute practices that make your workplace a place that women can thrive. Then fight to have to those polices enforced. Protect and encourage the warranted career progression of women who utilise maternity or family leave. We must be willing to stick our heads above the parapet. Even/especially when we may be the only female voice in a room.

Do not reward collaborators.
This is very simple. Women who purposely back the patriarchy do not deserve your support. If they are willing to inhibit the opportunities of other women for personal gain, they are not worthy of your backing. Don’t vote for, align yourself with or rely on them. A sisterhood of women is a very powerful thing. Devote your energy to building and sustaining your own.

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You know you want it…

I really want to write about the whole Kavanaugh debacle, but I find myself too filled with rage to be coherent. He is the perfect example of how deep misogyny runs. From the tired old ‘why did she wait so long’ & ‘boys will be boys’. To his openly disrespectful treatment of female senators and the hypocrisy surrounding how male displays of belligerence & tears are strong and riveting, whilst a women doing the same would be hysterical and unfit for the public office. It’s the patriarchal home run. The really horrifying thing is I’m not convinced any of it will stop his confirmation. We keep thinking we’ve made progress, but it’s lip service. Crumbs.

I am disgusted. And exhausted.

Someone else summed it better. I’m just going to leave this here.

For the avoidance of doubt, I Believe Her. Dr Blasey Ford is a hero.

Woman of the week…

This week’s celebrated woman is someone I have the pleasure of knowing. She is a bopo goddess, a thrifting maven, accomplished public speaker & possibly the bubbliest person I’ve ever met. Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you Hayley Angell.

I met Hayley at a blogger event in Glasgow & was instantly impressed by her vintage look. I was also a little intimated by her polished confidence. I don’t find these events very easy. I have a lot of anxiety around new people & situations. I have even more anxiety about hiding my discomfort. The moment I spoke to Hayley I felt more at ease. Her sincere warmth allowed me to collect myself & have a good time.

Taking Shape blogger event, Glasgow

I obviously immediately commenced following her on social media and have done so since. Hayley’s accounts are bursting with life affirming energy. Her honesty about her body positive journey; discarding control garments, trying new activities & generally enjoying her body is inspiring. She recently discussed her experiences as a plus size women taking burlesque classes. Despite outward proclamations of inclusivity she still felt it was assumed that fat women would be less assured. She got the sense that fatter folk were quietly ushered into the background. It takes guts to be open about this stuff. Even more to be honest about how often we convince ourselves that we belong at the back of class. Thus, she used her Instagram account to launch #stepforward a reminder to all plus size people that we are worthy of taking up space & being seen.

The Body Positive community has given me so much. I always want to say thank you to those who inspire me. I also want to spread their work because I know it can bring others happiness. Hayley is one of those fabulous women who can help you change how you see yourself. She is an insta must follow.

Hayley Angell

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Bopo aside Hayley is, as I mentioned, a thrifting magician. Her Instagram is worth following for her second hand style alone. If you need tips on trawling the charity shops for fashion gold, Hayley is your woman. If you simply enjoy seeing a person enjoy themselves & clothes, she is still your gal.

I’ve only met Hayley in person once, but I would not be without her online presence in my life. For a shot of genuine self love, go press those follow buttons.

* Photo credit : Hayley Angell

I feel pretty…

On Friday night I met the Toyboy for a super quick dinner & a terrible movie. I say dinner, I only ended up with sweet potato fries. Plus the film starred Amy Schumer. If I’m honest, it was a poor attempt at Friday nighting. I did manage to get some outfit photos, so all was was not not lost.

It does have to be said, it was good outfit & we did rectify things by watching a bloody good film (anon) when we got home. I picked this retro beauty up on Thursday & could not wait get it on my body. I love that it had a 50’s feel, is my favourite colour & has rare, but beloved pockets. Really big ones, too!

ly h Kerr

Dress – Primark

Cardi – Monsoon

Harness Bra – Pour Moi

I think the harness bra sexes it up just enough for a night time excursion. I also went big on accessories, overall, I felt banging.

Cinema selfie

The film we saw was of course, I Feel Pretty. It is awful as the reviews claimed. Its feminism & body positivity are flawed in all the ways you’ve been reading about. It is also just a bad film. So stupid in places that I actually felt insulted. It is filled with nonsense, dated sexist tropes & a terrible imagining of what could have been (in other hands) an interesting concept. Also, Amy Schumer is trash. Give it a miss.

Ticket stub, nail art, red dress

Things I can’t believe I have to say again… Part 1

It may be a little over optimistic to say that summer is in the way, but I think I can at least say that winter is over. Whilst I can’t wait to enjoy more lazy days in the sun, hot days always give me a moments pause.

The reason for my second guessing is our old friend shame. As much as strive I to love my body there are still so many people who’d rather I didn’t. My body does not fit societal standards of beauty. Scrap that, I don’t even fit societal standards of normal. The fact that I refuse to hide my fat, scarred flesh rocks the normality boat even more vigorously.

It has taken me years to be able to celebrate my form. My ability to wear whatever I please & shed layers in the heat is a hard win victory. I won’t lie I often still have to steel myself to step outside in a vest. Not because I feel ashamed of my a scars or my past or flab or peely wally complexion, but because there are tonnes of folk who really, really want me to.

Staring is a given. Staring combined with nudging a mate & directing them to also have a gawk is also fairly frequent. Less common, but still occuring more than you would think is the person who thinks they should actually comment on my body. Oh & I give them so much to work with. Strangers just love to get angry, sad, concerned and curious about my body. Sometimes I can just shrug that off. Often I will snark back & think these strangers pathetic. However, there are times when for whatever reason, I’m just not up for the judgement of unknown members of the general public. Their stares, nudges & comments ruin my day. I do momentarily feel ashamed and scared and like I should never leave the house again. And, my friends, is not ok.

So, here’s a little advice.

OTHER PEOPLE’S BODIES ARE NOT YOUR BUSINESS.

Your thoughts on other people’s appearance are not important. Strangers do not want to hear them. Your moral judgements are your problem, don’t make them anyone else’s. Likewise your hang ups.

STARING IS RUDE.

Always. There are no excuses. If you find yourself accidentally staring, stop. If you see someone you think looks weird, bad, crazy just remember plenty of people find your visuals unappetising too. Oh & don’t oggle them.

In short, don’t be that person. Don’t be the one who spoils someone’s lovely summer day. You do you & let the rest of world do them.

Body language…

On Tuesday night I braved the first flurries of snow & headed to The Body Shop’s blogger night. I haven’t attended many blogger events recently because they’ve just been a bit too much for me, but I am so glad I pushed myself to get to this one.

Sauchiehall st, Glasgow

The Body Shop really know how to do a blogger night. They had all the usual snacks, fizz & goody bag bases covered. More importantly the actual substance of the evening was fantastic. The staff gave detailed, enthusiastic & succinct presentations on products & campaigns. They really took their time with product demonstrations. I was very impressed with how knowledgeable everyone was & how well they tailored free samples to individual blogger’s needs.

The Body Shop goodie bagi

ly h Kerr

It was a particular delight to discuss skin masks with Dawn. Her product knowledge was spot on & she guided me expertly to the perfect mask for my skin. Along the way we had a really nice talk about body positivity. It was lovely to meet someone so charming, comfortable with herself & supportive of other women. I’ve already given my British Rose fresh plumping mask a try & my face felt divine apres treatment.

Along with discovering new products I was reassured that the Oils of Life range I currently use is a good fit for me. Plus the skin moisture analyser proved how good a job it’s doing. My initial reading was 60% hydration, which I’m told was good. After application of Oils of Life moisturiser & the rose mask it jumped up to 85%. That’s a pretty impressive result.

I was happy to hear that The Body Shop intends to increase it’s vegan reach. They aim to ensure every new product the introduce is entirely vegan. I look forward to seeing this roll out. They also continue their work to end animal testing, which I of course fully support. You can sign their petition here.

Follow up posts on my new Body Shop discoveries will be surfacing as & when I give them a thorough trial.

A fortnight in pictures…

The weeks seem to be flying in, but no matter how many go by it is still winter. I feel like spring will never come. Anyway, the weather freezing weather keeps on, so there is less excitement to share. Nevertheless, I thought I’d give you a peek at my highlight reel.

The Toyboy put on a charity punk vs funk gig to support medical aid in Palestine. I wouldn’t have said that either genre was really my thing, but I actually really enjoyed some of he bands. Dopesickfly & Velveteen Riot being my favourites. I recommend you check them out. The night was a raging success, thanks I’m sure in no small part to my incredible purple lippie.

ly h Kerr

There have been the usual mix of clinic appointments & nights on the sofa. All that time hiding from the cold has given me plenty of opportunity to do my nails & the occasional trips out have been good Project Post it opportunities. Excursions have mostly consisted of eating & cinema. Both are excellent comfort activities. Vegan eating on high street continues to get easier. I am loving this shift because it indicates that veganism continues to rise, but also as it means I can have chocolate cake.

Nail artProject Post It

On the movie front I’m giving a thumbs up to 3 billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri & Black Panther. I am also very much in favour of the reclining chairs at Odeon Luxe. Catch up Cineworld, those seats are a dream for my poor spoonie body. The lazy nights in have yielded recommendations for Britannia & Critical. Both take a minute to get into, but persevere; it’s worth it.

The last week or so has been fairly cocktail laden. Birthday drinks for a friend gave me a chance to finally taste a Candy Floss Martini. A thing I have been hankering after & which absolutely lives up to expectations. Get one. Right now. Some high stress nonsense led to homemade strawberry margaritas with a lot of tequila. Admittedly not a great long term solution, but certainly an ideal way to temporarily let off some steam.

ly h KerrStrawberry Margarita

I got flowers from my Mum, a card from my man & rocked some damn cute looks. I also captured a few beautiful winter moments. Yes, this season can be stunning, but it’s still too bloody cold!

Upside down standard lamps Project Post It

Project Post It

Blurry sunset

Oh & the cats in my life continue to be gorgeous.

Cute cats