You can find my cycling blog here.
The sight of high heels often sends my thoughts into unexpected territories. It blows a storm of yes-buts through the tendrils of my mind. Yes, we should all be left alone to wear what we want, but why would you want to wear high heels? Yes, you may feel sexy in them, but why? Why do you feel something which makes you less able makes you more desirable? Why do we, as a society, look on something which can permanently damage someone else, as beautiful?
I can’t help but think of a world where women are no longer considered second-class humans, possessions even, as one where high heels will be looked on with the same horror now reserved for corsets and foot-binding. I can’t help but think of a world where heels are still considered sexy, as a world with a very big problem indeed.
If you have a strong stomach, click here or on the photo on the right for more on deformities to feet by modern, everyday women’s shoes (right at the end of the article, which is about the now [thank gods] mostly abandoned practice of foot binding).
I am doing a thing: I am looking at those around me, and I am making an effort to not judge. That guy with the clothes: you know, the one that makes you roll your eyes? I am putting brakes on that eye-roll. That girl with the stuff, you know what I’m talking about, the one that makes you smirk. I am giving that smirk a glare and making it scuttle back into its cave.
I am doing this thing because I have learned that someone, somewhere, is going to do the same about me. They are going to look at my face, and if they want, they will have grounds for nudging a friend with an elbow and waggle an eyebrow in my direction. They are going to spot my shoes, my shirt, my hair, my socks, and I guarantee you “they” will have among their ranks members who will find reason for disapproval.No matter what you wear, how you cut your hair, what makeup you do or don’t wear, you look awful to someone somewhere.
And I am they, to someone else, and I decide to rather realise everytime I feel that impulse to disapprove that among “them” there are also those who think what I disapprove of is great, is desirable, is to be emulated. In that way, I hope to become more and more the “they” who respects everyone’s right to tell the story of who they are through what they look like. I want to become part of the “them” that is a safe space where that story is not ripped to shreds with looks, and giggles, and nasty little bladed comments.
Can I hold on to this moment?
Can I captivate the new-born chill,
the knowing we decided we’ll
leave sleepy warmth and dark behind
and footfall through the early quiet?
We don’t mind the misty sky:
beneath our feet, the path is dry.
Across the street, by old stone wall,
some old, big trees drape over all
who join them, briefly, wear the crown
of thousands green leaves looking down
with whispered curiosity
and musings on the world they see.
We step beneath the leafy host
and stop, for this is truly close
to magic. Every leaf above us
gathered every drop of mist
within its reach, rolled it together
for a private, separate weather.
Captured by their wet applause
you and I look up, and pause.
We hear rain fall all around.
Not a drop spills on the ground.
I suppose this is not the best way to start a post, especially if perhaps this is the first of my posts you’ll ever read, if you’ve come across my blog by accident while googling “boobs”. If that is the case, I apologise, but for various reasons I am right now trying to picture what a flying fuck would look like. You see, I know the one big thing about getting older is “I must fight wrinkles, to the death!” and that is kind of literal because they’ll keep coming until you die. The holy grail-level quest status of wrinkle resistance I gather from an advert that is on TV at the moment for some or other miraculous face cream. A bunch of near wrinkle-free women who have committed the mortal sin of not being twenty any more, who have, in fact, probably (gulp!) passed the thirty mark, are not allowed to look in the mirror for an entire week (or is it two?) after starting Miracle Skin Fantastico Ironing Cream or whatever. Eventually they’re allowed to look in a mirror again and are all virtually puddles of ecstasy and in near tears of joy because as far as I can see, they look exactly the same as before. Maybe they were living in fear that wrinkle-free secretly meant their faces would melt off, and they were just so relieved because they didn’t look like this:
I have tried my best to worry about wrinkles, but failed miserably. I am too busy worrying about far more important things. Such as flying fucks, which is what I give, in a rolling doughnut, about wrinkles.
Here is a terrible truth: I am scared of teenagers. When I was one myself, I was scared of all the others because I knew they were all much more together than me and judged me, and gave me an F. From my current mature perspective, I realise I was totally right to feel that way. I was a serious disaster just barely making it through to my second zero-ending birthday without setting fire to myself or something. Now that I am most definitely an adult, which is a very exciting thing to be, I am still terrified of teenagers. They are like that flubber thing in the Robin Williams film, kind of fun and sweet until the bouncy-ness gets just that little bit out of control. My foray into college is like immersion therapy: I am going to be up to my eyeballs in teenagers. And not just any teenagers, I just had to go choose a creative media degree, so it’s all the ones that are even more complicated than usual.
What have I done?!
I’ll keep you informed. I’m sure it will all work out for the best.
When I was a kid, I looked on people around the 40-year-old mark with a kind of awe. They were old, and wise, and I just knew that when I got to that milestone, I’d be just as wise, and old, and amazing. Instead, something even more awesome happened when I trudged past my fortieth birthday. As hard as I have tried to feel old, I don’t. At the same time, there is an undeniable heap of experience I couldn’t help but accumulate. Still, I feel like some kind of visitor to my own head, like someone who accidentally stumbled past the gate guards when they were looking the other way, into a secret world. I also feel as if I have this microphone hidden on my person, through which I can report on all the wonders of this strange new place to mates hiding around the corner outside. So for the sake of anyone who might want to know what I’d tell those mates, I’m starting a new category on this blog: Spy Report.
*looks left and right* Someone’s coming. I’ll have to pretend I belong here for a while. So far, they suspect nothing. Will be back in touch as soon as it’s safe again. Over and out.
When a man does something admirable, he is a word that evokes thoughts of rescue, overcoming odds, perseverance, and riding off into the sunset. When a woman does something admirable, she is a word that is one letter different from – and sounds exactly the same as – a word that evokes images of hollowed eyes, sallow skin, stick-thin arms, needle tracks and nights in gutters. I know this is not intentional, but everytime it crosses my path, I am horrified. I can’t get myself to picture someone I admire no end, and use… that word.
So I won’t. I will never use the word “heroine” again. An admirable man is a hero. An admirable woman is a hero.
That is all.