How to Dress: A Girl’s Guide

Well ladies, there is an abundance of beauty standards and ‘rules’ for us to follow. This means choosing what to wear and how to look can be really hard and pretty damn confusing. Luckily for you, I’ve made a wee guide of basic beauty do’s and don’t’s to help keep yourself right. You’re welcome.

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Me, before choosing to rewear one of my 3 staple outfits

Hair: Men like blondes, they’re more fun. But it’ll make you seem stupid and like a bimbo. Brunette? Eugh, how boring. Red head? They’re fiesty and fiery, but, well, that’d make you a “ginger”, yikes. Black? Hmm, emo. A bright colour? Well that’d just make you an attention seeker, wouldn’t it.

You shouldn’t have grey hair, it’ll show your age. If you do, dye it. But not noticeably. You don’t want to look like you’re in denial of your age. Your (not grey) hair should be long, because short hair is for boys. Duh. It should also be healthy and shiny. People should be able to see their reflections in it.

Makeup: Wear it at all times, but it shouldn’t look like you’re wearing makeup. You don’t want to look caked or tacky, do you? It should also be done perfectly. But don’t spend too long in front of the mirror; always looking at yourself makes you seem very self absorbed, you see.

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Nails: They should be perfectly manicured; preferably nude or French. Not red. You don’t want to look like a prostitute, do you? And don’t bite them either, honey; it’s a disgusting habit.

Lips: They should be large and full. If you have fine lips, you can get fillers. But it shouldn’t be noticeable, you don’t want to look like a blow up doll, do you? You can always overline them, but, only if no one will know it’s fake. People will judge you, you Kardashian wannabe.

Boobs: You should have large breasts. This has be natural of course, getting cosmetic surgery will only make you look like a page 3 girl. Who do you think you are, Pamela Anderson?

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Pamela Anderson, not you.

Note: If your boobs are too big, no matter what you wear, it’ll look like you’re trying to “get them out”. People will think it’s an invitation to stare at them and pass crude comments. If they’re too small, people will pass comments and call you things like “pancake tits”. Don’t stuff your bra, though. That’s seen as desperate.

Clothes: They should attract but not invite attention. It wouldn’t be fair to make a man think he can touch you if you don’t want him to. Why would you want to send him mixed signals?

You should wear revealing clothes that show off your body. But not too revealing, that’d make you a slut. Choose outfits carefully, don’t you know your clothes apparently determine whether or not you consent to having sex? You mighn’t realise it, but you could be “asking for it”.

Bras: You should wear bras which show off your assets, men love boobs, ya see. But don’t wear a push-up bra, that’s very misleading. Underwire bras are hella uncomfortable, but they give you a nicer shape. Besides, who doesn’t love getting searched at airport security? Beep.

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Underwear: Choose these carefully, too. Briefs are always a safe bet, but these are so-called “granny pants” and cause a VPL (visible pant line). You shouldn’t have a VPL, so thongs are suitable. Then again, wearing these apparently equals sexual consent, so don’t wear them if you don’t want to sleep with someone. Do you see why you have to choose carefully?

Note: Your underwear may end up being used as evidence in court, so make sure they’re pretty.

Shoes: Wear high heels, these make your bum look more pert and your legs longer, you know. But not too high, you’re not a stripper for God’s sake. And don’t even think about wearing trainers, catch yourself on. Wearing high heels may lead to foot problems such as bunions, but, well, beauty is pain.

Tan: You should have a nice glow so you don’t look sick or anaemic. But not too dark, you don’t want to look fake, of course. And nobody likes that smell. I don’t care what the label says, that’s not “coconut”.

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Handbag: Carry one at all times, your pockets are merely for decoration. This bag must hold all of the essentials that others may need: a tissue, paracetamol, tampons, mints etc. You also need enough room to carry your partner’s possessions too. You don’t want him to have carry these around needlessly, do you?

Wrinkles: You shouldn’t have any wrinkles. You don’t want to look old, do you? If you decide to get botox or dermal fillers (which is pretty vain of you, frankly), it shouldn’t be noticeable. You have to try to revert the natural aging process, but it shouldn’t look like it, silly. Yes, there are anti-wrinkle creams, but do you need to waste so much money on those weird potions? Eugh.

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Attractiveness: Be more attractive than your partner. People have to think he’s lucky to have you. Don’t go out with someone more attractive than you, you don’t want people thinking he could do better.

Physique: You should be physically fit, with a firm and toned body. But you shouldn’t be muscular, it’s manly and you don’t want people to think you’re on steroids. Men don’t like muscular women either, so put down the weights and pick up the dish cloth, love.

Over-all appearance: Your body is a temple vessel. You are a show piece, a display only. You must always look pristine, but don’t take longer than 20 minutes to get ready. Its not fair to leave people waiting for you. Dress for your audience. Think not what you want to wear, but they want you to wear.

Well, I lied (there’s a first time for everything). This wasn’t really a “guide” for girls, it was more a “this is all the crap we have to put up with on a daily basis” for men. In case you didn’t get that. It’s very hard to get the tone right for these things, you see. And, I have mastered the art of subtly and subliminal messaging, so don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t notice the hints of sarcasm and passive-aggression laden throughout.

But yeah, I didn’t actually tell girls anything here. Because society already tells them these things every day. So next time you even THINK about complaining or asking us why we take so long to get ready, here’s your answer

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The Exclusivity of “Inclusive” Lingerie

Well if you want to see some Victoria’s Secret models in lingerie and heels, then my friend, you have come to the wrong place. Sorry. But, since you’re here, why not have a wee read and you never know, Gigi Hadid might actually feature.

This is pretty much a sequel to my “Exclusivity of “Inclusive” Fashion” post, which was basically me complaining that I can’t buy clothes that fit. But this one’s exploring (not so) “inclusive” lingerie. I can tell you’re on the edge of your seat already.

You. Right now.

The reason I decided to write about this is because I see a lot of people online complaining that they can’t find bras to fit, and that retailers only offer “small” sizes and don’t cater for ‘curvy’ or ‘fuller’ women. I just want to point out that like with clothes, sizing often excludes smaller sizes just as much as larger ones.

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For those of you who may not know, bra cup sizes (the letter) start at AAA – yes, like the batteries. The next size up is AA – also batteries, followed by A- you get the idea. I’m telling you this because most retailers only offer from size A (or in many cases, B) and upwards.

As well as this, the bandwidth (basically the circumference of your back) starts well, at any size, depending how small the person’s frame is. This tends to be any size from 26 inches upwards. But, the sizes offered mostly start at 32 inches. This has lead to people either having to go to elsewhere and look harder for underwear, or buy the bigger size and just get on with it (tumbledrying works too at shrinking them though- you’re welcome).

For the record, I’m not saying that smaller sizes aren’t available, they’re just less readily available. This means that instead of buying a £2 t-shirt bra in Primark (when we still had one 😦 ), I have to go to M&S and pay £6 for one that isn’t as pretty. Basically it means people have to pay more and have less choice.

Although larger sizes are also harder to come by, meaning women have to go elsewhere for their size too; the difference is that there are several “inclusive” brands like Bravissimo, Curvissa and SimplyBe which cater specifically for those with fuller figures. Ah, the old “forget including various groups, only including one additional one makes us inclusive and not exclusive at all” thing again. *sigh*

Anyway, these brands are also more expensive, because the retailers know we’ll just fork out the money because we haven’t really got a choice. If there’s such a demand and so many needing to go to alternative retailers for these sizes, why don’t more brands start offering them? Why are they making it so hard for us to buy things? JUST LET ME SPEND MY MONEY.

Then again, why would you want to increase your customer base, sales and therefore profits? Pffft silly me.

Recently, there’s been a lot of praise and celebration at the launch of Rihanna’s lingerie line ‘SAVAGE X FENTY’ because it catered for a range of sizes and “real” women. It offers multiple shades as well, meaning that several skin tones can wear a ‘nude’ or ‘skin coloured’ bra which is actually, well, skin-coloured(!!) So women no longer have to all wear the one universal shade of beige that somebody decided was all we needed. Who knew such things were possible? But yes, Rihanna’s new line is great, it does cater for a lot more sizes than typical high street retailers, and it does represent women of all shapes and sizes – as long as you’re not below an A cup. Or smaller than a 32. Oh you are? Hmm. Never mind then.

This has led to people (rightly so) asking that other brands follow suit and also cater for “real women”. But that’s my issue. “Real women“. Basically, to be a real woman you have to have big boobs and a bum. Reinforcing the self doubt and unfeminity felt by women who don’t naturally have these assets have. They don’t need or deserve to be made to feel any less validated as a woman than their more curvy peers.

How is showing slim built models any worse than showing those with figures which are unachievable to some without getting cosmetic surgery? Most people can change their weight; but people can’t help it if they naturally have small breasts or bums (and don’t even THINK about telling me to squat, I’m warning you). How can you tell women -especially young, vulnerable girls- that they’re not real women? Do you know how dangerous that is?

Imagine how it must feel not be able to find underwear to fit, and then be told it’s because you’re not a “real woman”. Not to mention those with alternative gender identities such as trans or intersex, who may require smaller sizes too and already find it hard enough to conform to female beauty standards.

Every identifying female is a “real woman”. End of. Stop telling girls that their natural build, genetics or lifestyle choices make them any less of a woman.

Make small bra sizes available. Make large bra sizes available. Don’t tell women the reason they’re not catered for is because they’re not real women. Stop damaging our girls.

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There you go, happy?

The “F” Word

Bet that got your attention, eh?

Feminism.

What other word would I be talking about? Shame on you.

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Recently, I bought a book about feminism, and reading it made me realise how, for someone who considers themselves to be a ‘feminist’, there’s so much I actually don’t know about the history and topic itself. I then proceeded to buy 4 books on the subject because I wanted to learn a bit more (and I couldn’t choose between them). While reading it, I realised that there is no one type of ‘feminism’ – everyone has their own individual experience and views. It’s not “you’re either this type of feminist, or you’re not a feminist” – it’s the same way that no two people of the same religion have exactly the same religious views/opinions. It’s a very personal thing, and everyone has their own ways of being a feminist.

Yes, there’s the old “Oh so you’re a feminist but you want your dates to pay for your stuff? Doesn’t seem very equal to me.” Well, who doesn’t want free stuff? Pretty sure you’d rather not have to pay for your food either like.

And yes, I like having doors held open for me. I don’t care who holds the door, I just don’t want it hitting my face.

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But anyway, this is basically some of what feminism[s] mean to me.

It means not having to change my name when if I get married. Getting married (if anyone should be so lucky) doesn’t change me or who I am, it doesn’t make me any less “me” and any more my husband. To me, my name represents who I am and what me and my family have been through. If he doesn’t have to change his name, why should I? I’m still me, just with a ring on my finger. I know many people choose to take their partner’s names, and that’s perfectly fine, at the end of the day it’s a choice, and that’s enough for me.

It means identifying as ‘Ms’. On forms and accounts, I tick the ‘Ms’ box, because it’s nobody’s business whether I’m married or not – what difference does it make? What has my ~questionable~ relationship history or status got to do with anything? To me, if a man doesn’t have to state his marital status, then I sure as hell don’t.

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It means not having to choose between having a career or children. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. I don’t want to have to make a decision on which of the two is more important to me, I have a right to have both. Paternal leave to me means that both parents should have equal opportunities to be with their family, and be at work. I want my cake (preferably carrot), and I want to eat it to, please agus thank you.

It means being able to support myself and live independently, not needing a man to “look after me” *que Ne-Yo ‘Miss Independent’*. It means not having to rely on someone else to be able to apply for a mortgage or a bank loan, or have enough money to eat and live comfortably. I don’t want whether or not I live with someone, to decide whether or not I live.

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It means having an education and a career. I am so lucky to have grown up in a time and place where I had equal access to education as males. I know that so many others aren’t as lucky as I am, with millions of girls never setting foot in a school in their lives. I’m so lucky to have been presented with the opportunities I have been, which have enabled me to receive an education and go to university and work. I want the choice and option to choose my future.

It means having opinions and being able to express them. Whether or not views and opinions matter should be based on the merit of what is said, not who says it. Being listened to is a whole other story.

It means supporting other women. It means raising others up, even if it’s something as small as commenting ‘YASSSSS QUEEN’ on an Instagram photo, or telling that stranger in the nightclub toilets that her highlight is “poppin'”. It’s so important to support each other, instead of making everything a competition and tear each other down. Don’t insult your ex’s new girlfriend, feel sorry for the poor girl.

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It means believing in equal domestic responsibilities. Your gender shouldn’t define what you do around the house. All to often, females are subjected to the homemaker role- taking on the majority of cooking, cleaning and childcare responsibilities. I’m not saying that females shouldn’t do any of these, I’m saying that these roles should be shared. Take it in turns, do half each – I don’t think it should be ‘who does what’, but ‘who does what this time‘. Basically, make your own sandwich. And do the dishes after. Merci.

This is just a very brief summary of some of the views I have on the subject, and you may disagree with them, and that’s fine. These are MY opinions which I hold based off MY experiences. I’m not trying to make you share these views, just respect them and understand why I hold them.