Right then. HELLO...Here's my first proper 'post', which explains what sort of thing I want to write about....
I was reading Grazia the other day and just got a bit fed up with seeing another skinny baby faced model. I just found it a bit 'same old same old'. It is one of my fave mags but for two weeks on the trot, I felt detached from it. So, I had a naive idea to write to them suggesting they did one issue, entirely made up of 'normal' women. Here is what I wrote - (I haven't sent it to them yet) but I'd like to know your views. Whether you'd be interested in reading about 'normal' women and, well...here it is;
A normal proposition
I have an idea for you. I think you’ll agree it’s fantastic and hasn’t been done before. It’s also cheap and easy.
Whether you’ll take the risk, (although I’m not even sure there is one) is up to you…I think.
I’m just 38. I love Grazia. So do my friends. It’s original and different and stands out from all the others, both on price and demographic. It seems accessible and aspirational in equal measure. But, sometimes, there are too many photo’s of painfully bony, babyish models that it seems to clash with the feel of the mag. Even features on certain ‘normal’ women who have ‘turned their lives around’, seem to be financially more than above average, (I’d be happier and skinnier if I could afford to take two years out and personally finance the rehabilitation, therapy & education of Romanian orphans, knowing my kids were in private education, backed up with the best nanny and a paid for, 5 bed detached to come home to).
It is comforting to read such stories of goodness; and escapism is a big part of why we choose the glossies week in, week out but it would be such a mark of genuine celebration, originality, sisterhood and piece of p*ss, publicity whirring brilliance if, for just one issue, you featured no women below 30 yrs old and relied on personality, photography, hair, make up and will power for the whole mag. Yep, no airbrushing, celebs or genetic super humans, just your average fan. Don’t lose heart there! I have ten amazing women for you, two of which are over 60! .....
Sharon, an incomprehensibly Scottish ex air hostess – figure to die for, sparkly, funny, quick witted, alluring and engaged to her true love. Refers to me as‘Marydoll’. Pure, dead, brilliant. Desperately trying to become a mother but for some reason, cannot. She is new to me, compared to the others but I felt compelled to include her in my list.
Marie, who forgets she’s really a twinkly eyed sauce pot and is primarily a mum of two who coped with the death of her mum last year by turning into the Duracell bunny and is such a ‘head girl’ that she tidied my front room and sowed up a cushion in the time it took me to nip to the kitchen to get the tea & sympathy. She is a human magnet who’s opinion is sort after and advice, second to none - she’d make a great therapist, even though she flailed wildly to ‘Firestarter’ at our sons joint 4th birthday party recently…but after the year she’s had, she needed that.
Beautiful, serene Sarah. One of those friends who looks like she’s wearing Prada when she’s wearing, (‘one piece at a time’!) Primark. Never loses control. Apart from once when I managed to get her drunk on tequila and she couldn’t be sick so I dutifully poked my finger down her throat and then pushed the sick lumps down the plughole. She’s the sole homeowner now, after realising her then fiancé was not the man she thought he was, annoyingly after she’d already started planning & booking their wedding with. Quietly confident, to the point of never to my knowledge, having ever followed anyone, other than herself. 100% reliable, loyal, stylish and cool. Absurdly single.
Sexy Chareen - my friend with council estate roots and showbiz connections. Works in the music industry and is hilariously nonchalant with the current celebs but falls to girly pieces when Noddy or Mr Diamond ring her! Goes to The Brits, then spends the rest of the weekend watching French & Saunders in her ‘Snuggie’. A funny, funny lady who once co wrote some sketches with me and presented them to a famous production company producer but were then ignored for a year before seeing ‘our’ ideas on the small screen! We’re not bitter ;). Char met her Dad once and likened him to an alcoholic Columbo. If she’s in the right mood, she’ll wear a ‘titty top’ and lure men with the ease of a mermaid. If she’s not in the right mood, she’ll sit furiously sipping her vodka and be sooooo rude to any man who dares approach. She’s epileptic and she falls over alot.
Lola – for me hate at first site. A bosses dream - Corporate, organised, bullish, sporty, determined and for two awful years, my team leader… since changing job roles and no longer being my senior, I’ve realised how fantastic she is. In her early twenties, she lost her mum suddenly and is now, maybe because of that, a force to be reckoned with. She’s a real doer and a true inspiration to me, if I could just be bothered and didn’t lose concentration so easily. She doesn’t want kids of her own but is a cool step mum & friend to her husbands 6 ft baby boys. Out of work she’s wild and makes me laugh a lot. She is about to shine I think and I hope (and I never thought I'd say this) that I'm in her team!
Sunny – My auntie who at 60 yrs old is a proper leather clad biker. And a couple of years ago was knocked off her bike by a motorist who was coming out of a side road but not looking, (yep just like in the advert). She suffered numerous injuries including broken wrists and a crushed pelvis and after a long, slow recovery, hopped back on and road into the sunset, well, Sydenham. She See more... is a single mum, loud and vivacious. Oh and can really sing … I remember her getting rave reviews years ago, for her turn as Nancy in a production of Oliver Twist. She can ‘do opera’ too.
Janet – gorgeous, jiggling, genuine Janaaay! Cake baker extraordinaire, with bosoms like rugby balls. She’s always reminded me of a female version of my brother- Anti fashion, (though I say she’s just lacking in taste), often completely misinterpreted and a pagan. Far too crusty to be corporate - she’d be better suited chanting naked around Stonehenge, smeared in her own ‘80% cocoa’, ganache (yes she makes truffles too). She’s currently showing such strength of character by refusing to rise to the bait which is being constantly thrown by a lesser mortal. I feel that more often than not, she is affected by the moon (period face) and I think it’s these weak moments that allow her judgement to slip and befriend the occasional arsehole. When she really, really laughs, her face lights up like a younger, lighter Hattie Jakes. AWW I love my Janet!
Kelly – Little Dolly. Almost ethereal, other worldly, (pixie not troll). As though she has some sort of electric current whirring through her, (either that or she’s just not that interested in what most people are saying)! She transformed herself from being a large, curvy midwife into a teeny tiny, trendy business woman, starting literally skin deep, ironing out ladies like myself and is now delving beyond the dermis, right into the very spirit! She’s a reiki master amongst other things. She actually glows and speaks with breathless, wide eyed enthusiasm. She’s almost childlike in the way that she emulates infectious happiness
Deb, (Me) - I asked Marie & Sarah for positives – Marie said ‘fun to be around, good company, provocative, insecure but appears confident. If I was at a table of people having a discussion, I’d undoubtedly offend one person by being provocative and tactless. Sarah said naughty, mischievious, lovely, funny, impatient, greedy, entertaining, kind to people I like but short with it. Childish, attention seeking – if the attention is not on me I get bored apparently! (sarah laughed a lot at this and seemed to really enjoy saying it). She said I am kind, thoughtful, generous and have loads of good points, it’s just that the bad ones are funnier. Ha HA HAAA…
Jill, (my mum) – when I had just had my son, (he was two weeks old) and found out my partner had been unfaithful/ living a double life, I broke down. I remember sitting in my dressing gown, unwashed, baby on knee and staring vacantly, then bursting into tears. My mum sprung into the middle of the room, clapped her hands and made a song up on the spot… about flatulence. I continued staring, even more vacantly, at her throughout verse one and most of the chorus and then laughed – and laughed and laughed. It was the first time I’d even smiled since finding out the dreadful news. She apologised profusely but said she didn’t know what else to do. My mum is like Sarah, improving with age. Her annoying traits are now just eccentric. My dad complained the milk on his weetabix was off, so my mum drained the sour milk off and reluctantly soaked the same weetabix with fresh milk. She read constantly to me and was a little disappointed that I couldn’t read at 3 & a half, like my brother. I was chosen to read aloud by the headmaster several years running! It’s thanks to my mum that I have such a huge imagination and unfortunately also thanks to her why I have not until now used it wisely, (lack of concentration and direction runs in the family). Mum is at her happiest requesting songs via YouTube, with a small whiskey, (she can’t drink anymore), after a good but small meal, cooked by someone else, (she can’t eat a lot). In fact, come to think of it, she seems happiest when surrounded by friends and family who are all slightly drunk – I think that then mundane reality is comfortably out of the picture. Oh and she refers to spiders as ‘parcrawls’ and front bottoms as ‘bushmowls’.