Friday, December 09, 2016

Ladies, I'm worried about us...

It's been talked about a million times, more than that probably, and yet I feel like we're not getting anywhere! I'm worried, I'm worried for women, because we still find beauty something to aspire to.

I don't know how we fix this or get out of this rut, what I do know is that new generations of women are born every second, and they too, especially in the age of social media, will grow up bombarded with images upon images of beautiful women...and they too, like my generation and the generation before, will aspire to look like them.

I wonder if you're thinking I'm writing this cause I'm ugly (if 'ugly actually exists), or some men might stumble on this and think 'she's just another feminist chatting about "inner beauty"', well I don't think I am ugly, I don't think I'm beautiful either...by any standard, all I want is to actually not give a shit! 

I write this because I am a victim of growing up in this world, the world were I need to have a bikini ready body, where wrinkles are cringed at, where wobbles are feared and where spots are thought of as abhorrent! I want to be more than these things! I know, I know, same old right, it's been spoken about so many times, and yet I am still a symptom of it! Because every day when I look in the mirror before showering, I almost cry at the sight. Every day I put on clothes in the hopes I will feel confident and yet an hour into wearing it when I'm out I feel like a stumpy hobbit. Every day I do my make up and hope that this will be the day when I can see my reflection and feel pride in my appearance only to almost sob that I don't! A day when I eat and don't feel immediate guilt that I'm a gross fat bitch. I just...I want to go through a day when this doesn't happen, and I'm worried for us women, because I don't know if this day will ever come.

I have low self esteem, rock bottom confidence, this is very true, and maybe the average woman doesn't have thoughts quite as dark as mine, but I do know that women do have many daily thoughts about their appearance, and that time is wasted, because in the end, it shouldn't matter.

With the help of my friend Laura Jane Williams I started shooting confidence shoots a couple of years ago, something I have gained so much from as much as I hope they have. Initially I get these heartbreaking emails, emails saying how terrified they are but that it's the last straw, they know they have to do something because they are so lacking in confidence it's hard to live a normal life, and then they come for the shoot and I show them just what beauty is. It's not about the adverts that are shoved in our face, or the perfect to the T make up, it's about women being women, about being themselves! The biggest lesson I have learned shooting confidence shoots is that when a women is confident she is beautiful. It doesn't matter what she has going on on the outside, if she owns it, then she's hot. I am not joking, it may sound typical, but fuck me it's true. However, for so many women, including myself, it's not a switch that you can flip. I can't just fake it till I make it, or pretend to be confident, it's been too long, I'm too deep in the pit of my average-ness. 

I don't want my aim (or my possible future daughters' aim) to have an arse like Beyonce, or a thigh gap, or the perfect hair, nails, eyes, teeth, lips, blah blah blah, I don't want that to be my purpose in life! I want to love and be passionate and make art and laugh and be in the moment...instead when I do these things, in the back of my mind is 'I hate the way I look'.

I don't want to sound defeated but it is hard to see this ever changing. I'm not saying that the Kardashian's aren't people to look up to (exactly), but these are some of the women that are plastered everywhere, and I hope I'm wrong, but it seems to me that their appearance is their biggest priority, so what are a young generation of women supposed to think!?

I want to share some things that have made me feel like times could maybe be a changin'. 

1. A plus size lingerie catwalk show video popped up on my feed the other week...I sat and watched the entire thing and after it was finished, me in all my size 12 glory, genuinely felt sexy. 
2. Amy Schumer hit back after negative buzz about her being cast to play Barbie in a film, her instagram post was actually seriously badass and again, I came away feeling powerful and confident! 3. When I watch a Zoella vlog where she's completely sans make up and letting her skin free, regardless of spots, she is still being completely herself like always, this is exactly how we should all be, and I watch it and hope that the 11million people watching will also not give a shit about showing their bare face sometimes, most of the time, all of the time! 

The above does show me that when this content is out there it has a hugely positive affect on people! So please say we will come out of this women, because bloggers are so much more important than how they look, read their content, don't follow cause their make up is always perfect. Musicians and singers are more amazing than what dress they're wearing! Listen to their music, their lyrics! Your school friend or work mate is more than the bag they're carrying! Listen to their thoughts, their laugh! 

When I grow up, well, I'm 30, so I mean grow out of this low confidence rut, I want to be inspirational, not aspiration, because I don't want anyone to ever want to 'be' me, I'm sick enough of trying to be like everyone else. 

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

My photoshopping friend and his Dadvent Calendar

When you're a creative you tend to have a whole bunch of creative friends, this results in a pretty colourful Facebook feed (no complaints there). The last couple of years my friend Matt Bonito (who is a graphic designer) decided to make his very own advent calendar photoshopping his dad Dom into famous photographs and scenes in films. What started off as him probably being bored at home turned into all his friends now demanding a new calendar every year.

Here's what Matt had to say about it, "I started doing it a couple of years ago, just taking pictures of my dad mucking about around the house. He used to be a teacher at the local high school, which makes him a bit of a local celebrity, so the posts became really popular among my (and his) friends. People now look forward to it every year, and the creative in me means the posts are getting gradually more elaborate as the years go by. We have an audience ranging from surly teenagers to sweet old ladies, so I need to be careful with the quotes I add, as well as some of the subject matter. All the pictures are taken on my phone, and I have to position him in various different positions around the house depending on what sort of lighting is required, so Photoshop ends up doing a lot of the heavy lifting." 

It's pretty much my favourite Christmas advent calendar ever and I felt it was my duty to share with the world.

Here are the images he's manipulated so far this year...




Dom Bonito in the movies (and some telly). 

THE ADVENT CALENDAR.

Starts tomorrow.



The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar 2016, Day 1:

"HEEEERE'S DONNY!"




The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar, Day 2:

"Tell you what sunshine, you tell your made up stories, I'll play my banjo, and we'll see who's most popular" 




The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar, Day 3:

"Cor she looks tasty. I wish I hadn't eaten that fat kid earlier"



The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar, Day 4:

"Oh bloody hell...HAS ANYONE SEEN MY KEYS?" 




The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar, Day 5:

"No...no I'm pretty sure he's talking to me" 




The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar, Day 6:

"Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. I swapped your sand for pasta, so...better get ready to leg it" 


This year isn't over yet of course so keep up with Matt's #dadvent2016 on social media! Twitter and Instagram

If you want to see more now, here is the complete 2015 Dadvent Calendar...




The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 1:

"Cor, she's alright! Glad I cleared the grit out of me ears"



The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 2:

"HELLO WOULD YOU LIKE SOME BANJO PEACE TOO?"



The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 3:

"Oi mate, it's OPEN mic night, let someone else have a go"



The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 4:

"McCaaaartneeeey! You really will be dead in a minute if you and your hippy mates don't move it!"



The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 5:

"Al! Why haven't I leaped yet?!"




The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 6:

"Sorry lad, I don't do requests"



The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 7


The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 8:

"Specific female singer becomes milk thief, 8 letters. Hmmm...."



The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 9:

"OK I think I need to talk to someone about my costume..."




The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 10:

"Loooooool! That's his shopping list mate!"




The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 11:

"Fat bottomed girls you make the rocking world go round!"




The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 12:

"You're alright...you're alright...you're alright..."




The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 13:

"Can anyone else hear Liza Minnelli?"



The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 14:

"Yo there cupcake! Swallow that gum and meet me in the cloakroom in 5, 4, 3, 2...now"



The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 15:

"Oh bloody hell...has anyone seen my keys?"




The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 16:

"Behold! The ravages of age!"




The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 17:

"Phwaor! Let's have a go next!"




The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 18:

"Did someone say 'revolution'?!"



The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 20:

"Hold still love, I missed a spot"



The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 21:

"Someone sitting there mate"



The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 22:

"Look, I can't find your ball. You sure it didn't go over next door's?"




The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 23:

"I got these gifts for you they're up in my bum"



The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 24:


The Dom Bonito Advent Calendar Day 25:

"I'll give you £200 if you call him Alan. Alan Christ"