This is an attempt to honestly report on some frankly ridiculous thoughts regarding the way I look, which take up space in my head I frankly don’t have room for and maybe sharing them will help expel them. It is not well written. The grammar is awful. It is not unique, ground breaking and has definitely all been said before. I wish I didn’t spend time thinking about these things because they are insignificant and make me sound shallow and petty, but I do. Just thinking of all the things I could be spending my energy on instead of this makes me wild. But here goes.
My hair is long. It’s low maintenance because it’s healthy but it annoys the fuck out of me because it gets in the way, is too warm in the summer and constantly gets caught in scarves and zips in the winter. I love short hair on women (scruffy bobs are my favourite) yet I keep my hair long because I used to have aforementioned scruffy bob but when I grew it out I got way more compliments and became aware that I was considered more conventionally attractive by most men. When I think like this, the brain I think I have yells BUT YOU DON’T CARE and in fact being considered more conventionally attractive by most men is the hugest pain in the arse because it comes with more unwanted attention from creeps (which again is faulty logic – creeps be creeping because of power, not just sexual desire) but anyway YOU DON’T CARE. But I must do a bit. And it’s frustrating not to know the difference between me genuinely liking my hair long versus liking my hair long because subconsciously I want to be pretty. What the fuck is that about.
I do exercise, mostly in the form of cycling 20 miles a day to work and back, which is motivated by not spending £145 a month on travel. I also go running because it’s the first thing I’ve been disciplined at as an adult (except going to work every day, does that count?) and it makes me feel like a badass. I play netball with some awesome women and always come away from that feeling super. So basically I’m busy burning a lot of calories most weeks which does not in any way feature in my decision to exercise AND YET, and yet, I often don’t compensate by upping my calorie intake meaning I spend a fair bit of time feeling really hungry because I don’t want to put on weight. In fact, the shitty lobe of my brain thinks, you could probably do with losing some. I don’t. I’m generally pretty happy with my lot and feel healthy but it’s clear Heat magazine and all those other terrible, damaging and countless articles and TV programmes have infiltrated my consciousness and staged a coup somewhere along the way. Get the heck out.
I epilate my legs and underarms even though I don’t care if I’m hairy and neither does it bother my partner (I know, I know, it’s just this is what most people ask when I have been hairy in the past ‘doesn’t John mind?’) It hurts and it’s totally boring and I could be doing better things with my time but I do it because it takes less time than all the head space expended on worrying whether strangers will think I’m gross or if I stretch at my desk and my colleagues see my hairy armpits will they no longer take me seriously or whether those teenage boys on the tube are looking and laughing at my legs. Oh and I also epilate the small hairy patch on my feet. WHY.
This sounds like it could be a Vagenda article which makes me even more annoyed. Sorry if you bothered reading this and now want to rip your eyeballs out. I just wanted to share the very small, yet daily, contradictory thoughts that otherwise switched on or ‘aware this is the patriarchy talking’ women have, that clog up and bog down their wicked brains with loads of inane bullshit. If someone who knows better can tell me this stuff will stop bothering me when I reach a specific, magical age that would be grand. Thanks.
Francesca lives in London and spends most of her time looking at books, cats and recipes. You can find Fran’s zine Food Rules! on tumblr: http://veganfoodrules.tumblr.com or you can contact her via email on firstname.lastname@example.org