I’ll Have What He’s Having

By May 20, 2012 Blog, identity

Hugo Schwyzer, on why having a slim girlfriend is about status rather than attraction:   ‘Eating disorders — and the broader problem of poor body image — aren’t unique to women, nor can they be attributed to one single cause. But it’s undeniable that whatever the truth about men’s desires, young women’s perception of “what guys want” plays a huge part in the pursuit of thinness. While the fashion industry deserves some blame for perpetuating an unattainable ideal, men’s refusal …Read More

Bad Fit

By May 9, 2012 Blog

One of my friends hates clothes shopping.  The way she gets round it is by buying three of every item –  identical in shape and make, but in different sizes. That way, whatever her body’s doing, she’s got something that fits – and since it’s all the same colour, everything matches. She has my sympathy.  Aside from navy t-shirts, (of which I have hundreds), nothing makes me feel more miserable than trying on outfits.  Jeans are the worst. But even …Read More

All The Single Fellas

By March 11, 2012 Blog, identity

I’ve got a stonking female Christian friend.  Properly properly gorgeous – inside and out. I’d practically marry her meself. She’s sold out for Jesus, other-centered, humble, funny and a fox to boot. She’s also single  and has been for a while. But nothing’s happening. And it seems like the Christian guys around her tend to opt for one of two approaches. They either: a.) don’t do anything (even though they might be interested) or b.) forge ahead, whilst trying to keep …Read More

International Women’s Day

By March 8, 2012 Blog

It’s International Women’s Day. But is this just another excuse for the card-makers to reap in their profits: or something more? The first IWD was held on March 19, 1911 in Germany, Austria, Denmark and some other European countries. It was organised by German women as a protest against the Prussian king.  Faced with an armed uprising, he had promised reforms, including votes for women. But he didn’t follow through. Here’s how an eye-witness described the day: ‘Germany and Austria …Read More

Sinking Self

By March 2, 2012 Blog, identity

Here’s a line from one of my favourite poets, Denise Riley: ‘the eyes of the girls are awash with violets pansies are flowering under their tongues they are grouped by the edge of the waves and are anxious to swim and each one is on fire with a passion to achieve herself.’ This passion – to achieve oneself – is something that burns within us all, though I suspect teenage girls feel it most intensely. It’s fed by our longings, …Read More

Depressed? Blame Success.

By February 27, 2012 Blog, identity

Do women struggle with success? Don’t lunge at me – yet. I don’t want to foist my insecurities on an entire gender. I’m not implying that all women are the same.  And I don’t mean that we’re not, objectively speaking, successful. Far from it. But. Despite our achievements.  Despite  the affirmations and the reassurances and the checked-off lists – can we accept it ourselves? Do you ever look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m a success?’ Do you ever compare …Read More

Bigging Up and Doing Down

By January 5, 2012 Blog, identity

Sitting in a cafe earlier, I was ear-wigging on two conversations to my right and left. (Research, I tell you, not nosiness). On my right were three business-men. In their pinstriped glory they exuded testosterone: from the shiny abundance of lego-man hair, to the palpable emissions of Manly Scent.  Man A necked a triple espresso as Man B gesticulated wildly at a pie-chart on his laptop.  Man C tapped notes into his glossy I-phone, punctuating B’s sales pitch with guffaws …Read More

When It’s Murder Being A Man

By November 21, 2011 Blog, identity

What does a ‘real’ man look like? The guy on the billboard, all pecs and ego? The metrosexual with guyliner and man-bag? A misogynist brute, enslaved to his hormones? Mr Fix-it, good with his hands?  The sports-mad Jock, just one of the lads? Is he the darling of rom-com hero:  sensitive, soulful and close to his mum? Or an all-action hero: hard as nails,  with no time for sentiment or weakness? Each day we’re presented with wildly differing images of masculinity. What we’re rarely shown is …Read More

Living The Letter

By October 7, 2011 Blog, identity

What does it mean to be a woman? And how about a Christian one at that? An encyclopedic knowledge of traybakes? A scarlet wardrobe? A gentle and quiet spirit? A love of rom-coms? Or something else? Starting last October, one woman began a fascinating experiment to consider just this. Rachel Held Evans, a Christian feminist from Tennessee, decided to follow the Bible’s instructions for women. Well, nothing strange about that – right? But we’re not just talking about general principles.  We’re talking …Read More

Controlling Women

By September 24, 2011 Blog, identity

(First of all, sorry if posts are still a bit erratic – I think my computer’s on its way out, but we’ll see what happens..) I’m one of life’s micro-managers.  No question about it.  When Glen and I did the Star Wars personality test, he came out as Princess Leia and I was the Emporer.  Neither of us were happy. This is one of the areas I struggle with most.  I’m controlling full-stop.  But in a marriage it just doesn’t …Read More