When feminism attacks: gossip, frocks and haircuts

Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/choir-musical-melody-art-symphony-407220/. Licence: CC0 Public Domain

A little while ago I was at the hairdresser. It’s my little treat. I have a cup of tea and flick through gossip magazines while somebody cuts, washes and dries my hair. A scalp massage once the conditioner goes on is part of the service. I love the scalp massage.

One doesn’t usually come over all feministy at the hairdresser. Nor does one usually spontaneously compose song parodies. But this morning was different. I did both. Continue reading


Self Portrait with Nude: fussing over blushing bottoms

Laura Knight, Self-Portrait with Nude, 2013

Laura Knight was a prolific and successful British artist during her long lifetime (she was 92 when she died), but is now, nearly 50 years after her death, little known outside the art world. Much of her work was until very recently viewed as middlebrow and even a little corny; during her lifetime, as an unashamedly figurative painter in a period dominated by a mostly modernist aesthetic, she was regarded by many of her male colleagues as outmoded; her subject matter commonplace; and her cheerful, flamboyant approach to art and life embarrassing. Continue reading

Cellulite is not a character flaw

Danae, Gustav Klimt, 1908
Danae, Gustav Klimt, 1908

Listen up, people: cellulite is normal for women.

Shall I say it again? Cellulite is normal.

Its presence or absence says nothing about your health, character, mental strength or physical discipline. It is not a personal flaw. It is not a hideous failing. It simply is.

Fit, fat, old, young, white, black, olive and brown women have cellulite. Like freckles, or long eyelashes, or brown hair, cellulite is something that some women have, and some do not.

Continue reading

Letting yourself go

A friend asks ‘When is it ok to let myself go?’ And I respond ‘Whenever the hell you like.’ But thinking about it later, it’s actually a bit more complicated than that.

‘Letting yourself go’ in this context means letting your physical appearance slide – quitting make-up, eschewing hair dye, trading dresses for track suits, ceasing to watch what you eat. And that’s a problem. Our worth as women is measured by our physical attributes. We’re expected to ‘make an effort’. When we don’t, we’re expected to accept a corresponding decrease in our value. Continue reading