I read an extremely rude article (obviously a daily mail special) about how fashionable it is to be a selfish mother, drink a lot of gin and confess to the moments your mothering has been a little under par. I get it, I write openly about how hard parenthood can be and I want so desperately to remove the stigma that plagues us all with having to be the best at something that is so notoriously hard for many of us but we need to do this with a degree of restraint because glamourising dysfunctional behaviour can be very damaging. The ‘instamum’ fad is something that I follow because it’s somewhat interesting but it is far from my life, I often blog about the difficulties of every day life with a baby and child and all the washing and the bloody bottles and before that the problems I had with boob feeding but it is all required to raise my little humans. I laugh at the size of my butt and the hangover I may have once a year when I dare to make that trip back into normality, BUT to me and many other mums it is not normality! I cannot afford to drink fancy gin infused with the flowers from a Beatrix Potter like garden, I cannot afford the beautiful shoes and all the fancy clothes, I cannot afford to resume my previous job and benefit from some of the freedom that may allow. I am not bitter, I have two gorgeous children and the last thing I want to do is be judgemental but what we should do is take the things we see with a pinch of salt because these mumma’s with the thousands of followers on social media may not be portraying the reality of their life (barely anyone does these days) and in allowing others to see what makes them popular as the norm of their life may lead to the imitation of this and it could become dangerous. Let’s face it all that gin they apparently consume may be a lie, and if it isn’t they may have a really good support network of people that help them out with their busy social life.
Essentially what I am trying to say in the most nonjudgmental way possible is that for the vast majority of us parents we cannot simply (and I do not believe we should either) slip children into our lives, we need to adapt and change to what they need. It is hard to retain your original identity when you have children, and I am not saying that you will never get it back or that at times it is not okay for it to make a comeback whilst you are at the bar drinking shots but that is not the reality your children need as a common occurrence. Children need to come first, that’s right I have to take a back seat with my own needs and wants to fulfil what I want for my children. I choose to populate, I need to ensure that I do it to my best abilities.
I also am suffering from postnatal depression and anxiety and whilst I do my best at as mum I can sometimes see the lifestyles of others who are more confident, outgoing and relaxed mothers and want a slice of that, I know my limitations and I cannot afford myself to slip into the bad habits of lazy parenting because it would be so detrimental for me. Remove the stigma of accepting that some days are a little shit, some weeks, some months even, do not glamorise the notion of being a mother that doesn’t care (not saying that they don’t) is okay. You get me?
I don’t know what it is about these numbers that cause me so much upset but if I am being honest they really do. My body is an issue to me, I don’t like it and I’m almost certain that I never will. This is not a blog that is going to inspire self acceptance or give you some bullshit speech about how perfect you are because quite frankly I’ve just told you hate my body, it’s also unlikely I’ve ever seen your’s, you don’t need my validation it won’t help you at all and lastly it is none of my business. But it is a business, a very lucrative one and if we consider that then maybe we can jump to the conclusion no one has a perfect body because how the fuck would they continue to make money out of us. We are not encouraged or allowed to feel good about ourselves.
Take plus size models for an example, how fucking fabulous do they look? They have their cellulite airbrushed out, they have their hair and makeup done professionally and they have a perfect skin tone all over. So is that the reality of being plus size?
I have never been happy with my weight and the acceptance of it hasn’t been in short supply, my partner loves my body and the way I look but it’s just not enough and I don’t think I’ll ever know what is enough. Some preach self love and I’m not saying that doesn’t work and many of you may have this but I don’t think that the confidence it takes is in huge supply. In short I’m trying and it’s not for me it’s for my daughter, a 7 year old I never want to have the internal conflict and struggle of who she is. I don’t want my son to grow up to become a man not only aware of this type of self doubt but who may use it in an emotionally damaging way.
There are women who work out 7 days a week, there are some that skip meals, there are even some that try to put on weight and those who are happy are often fucking shamed for this. We don’t value confidence but we strive for it
Basically there is no right just wrong, my favourite example of this is shaving adverts where the model shaves a hairless leg because the existence of hair means you’re lazy or dirty or unkempt. I don’t know how I’m going to do it but I’m trying to feel right about being wrong. I’m sharing this not to tell you what you think you want or need to hear, I’m doing it because you’re not alone
Below, I never wear matching underwear, I have a hole in these pants and the red line around my tummy is from my tights. My legs stick together. My skin is blotchy. I don’t like it but I’m going to do what I can to like it.
I don’t know where I am going with this but I wanted to know how we identify with ourselves, what we are and how we use our attributes to relate to others. It comes with a lot of change in how we have grown as a society during recent years, mainly surrounding LGBT 🏳️🌈. I am extremely liberal and embrace all differences in people, I have children and whoever they become in their future I will be proud as long as they are happy, what concerns me is how the evolution of society will affect us moving forward. Mainly with the neutralisation of gender, if we are campaigning to lose the pronouns of our gender what will that do?
I am regularly seeing massive fashion corporations using models of different sexes and varieties where they had previously not been, I embrace men, women, trans but when is it exploitation? When is the use of (for example) plus size models going to become unfashionable and then the fallout seen? Have we considered (with no disrespect or prejudice) the possible negative repercussions of this?
Society regularly evolves, social media has opened up so many avenues of expression, and personally I think that is wonderful however it has also lead me to be highly critical of my life, I can casually delve into the world of others and compare myself to unrealistic standards. I can strive to take on the character of other people but essentially I am myself and it can be hard to embrace that. I see this on the platform of motherhood. It can be painful to scrutinise yourself but to actively allow the media to adopt temporarily something they deem as fashionable about a certain set of people, women, men, mothers, children and use it until it’s no longer wanted can cause damage, I am sure.
I don’t want to see the embracing of ‘LGBT’ to be a phase that is exploited and then disregarded. If we as people allow the influence of neutralisation to evolve we don’t make everyone equal, we make the differences between us indistinguishable. Variety is the spice of life. Do not take this away simply to gain a misguided sense of unity, being liberal and accepting who we all are should be enough, I just really don’t want to see people stripped of their identities.
So this has been playing on my mind for a while but I have yet to decide how best to discuss it, I like people, I do not care about skin colour, sexuality, gender, religion etc. As long as you are a good person I like you. So with that in mind I am not sure why I was angry to see a Transgender model on the new H&M advert? I felt like this was exploitation and then I considered why it could be seen that way.
My mother told me that there is not a part of society that has not been exploited by the fashion industry. And I think I’m offended by all of it? Super skinny models setting unrealistic and unreasonable beauty standards, plus size models that you could argue maybe popularises an unhealthy lifestyle, transgender models being used to suddenly show the liberal minds of the company who had previously been uninterested in this demographic. I don’t know how this could be rectified.
Being that I wanted to start blogging I decided to follow some mum blogs on Instagram and I found that they also set the bar unrealistically high. They often share the pictures of their outfits that as a whole would swallow my maternity pay for the month. It feels like false advertising. @dresslikeamum is the worst, I do believe that maybe it is a blog that allows mothers to see that the freedom of styling themselves should be the same regardless of whether you are a mum but actually it’s not a common depiction of a mother. I don’t understand why we are all trying to advertise our lifestyles? We are walking adverts and unless we feel like someone wants to buy into what we have we can end up feeling pretty low. It’s sad really and to be frank I’m no different just on a smaller more humble budget. So in conclusion can I really feel terrible about the H&M advert?