#Embrace, Uncategorized

#Embrace (Body Image Movement)

On 12 September 2016 I along with 300 (or more) other people I went to see the documentary called #Embrace made by Taryn Burmfitt who has created an entire movement based off it called Body Image Movement.

#Embrace was an awesome documentary about women’s relationships with their own bodies and how mostly women’s emotions toward their bodies ranges between dislike and total self loathing.  The message of the documentary and the Body Image Movement is to learn to love yourself as you are.  You don’t need to be thinner, taller, blonder, bigger bobbed, bigger assed, smaller feet, straight haired, non-glasses wearing or anything else you think is wrong with you, so long as you are fit and healthy you are perfect.

The documentary really does bring home some surprising facts like girls as young as the 5 to 12 age group want to diet because they think they are to fat and they see how obsessive other female relatives are about body weight.  That within a short space of time of western TV programs, movies and magazines ending up in cultures that liked bigger bodied women  it rapidly changed to thin=attractive.  That the message being pushed these days is no longer active=healthy but that thin=health, which is not true you can be a size 22 and be fitter and healthier than someone starving themselves to be a size 10.  Most women are in a healthy weight range between size 12 to size 16 but this is now being labelled as PLUS SIZE for models and clothing.

Mia Freedman is scathing about how when she put out an issue of one of the big name magazines she was chief editor for the photographer wouldn’t put his name on the work, the makeup artist made the apprentice do it, no clothing supplier in Australia would supply products because no one wanted their brand associated with a FAT issue of the magazine.  The models she was trying to cloth were size 12 and she calls it the fashion industries dirty little secret that they are happy to charge more money for “bigger sizes” but they don’t want those clothes put in a magazine.  She goes on to point out that the argument that “women want to only see blond, skinny models” in magazines is crap and can be proven because women are now voting with their wallets and magazine sales are tanking.

However the whole thing did get me thinking about me and my relationship to my body, which at best could be described as “invisible”.  I don’t look in mirrors or weigh my self and so long as my clothes fit I don’t mentally punish myself for not being a size 12 with DD cups and a gap between my thighs.  Oddly I’m not shy about taking my clothes off in a room full of people (ask my friends and they’ll tell horror stories of changing in a store because the fitting rooms were full or getting kicked out of a bar for stripping while dancing on a table).  However put me on a one-on-one intimate relationship setting and suddenly all my insecurities emerge (I’m to fat, my boobs are to small, my ass is to big etc) which might explain why I don’t do one night stand or casual sex I have to trust you before I’m going to get naked with you.

It also got me thinking about other things to do with “Body Image”.  The first one is to do with my religious beliefs.  For those of you who don’t know I’m a practicing Green Witch and have been well most of my life really.  Now considering witch and wicca are mother goddess based belief systems one would think it would be ok to be zaftig (that’s a nice way of saying bigger).  Yeah na I am yet to find one wicca or witch based site that has realistic pictures of witches.  Every frigging site has the fantasy art or photoshopped sexy seductress witch with teeny tiny waist, big boobs, legs up to her armpits and very little clothing on and it is really starting to piss me off to be honest.  You look at any goddess figure from ancient times and she was round and curvaceous and zaftig not some fantasy art Lara Croft doll made up in the imagination of some prepubescent male who’s idea of “woman” = “Barbie”.

The second one is a lot more personal and it hit me today that I’m really really really self conscious about it and goddess love my family but they’ve managed to make me even more self conscious than I used to be about it.  I drool in my sleep and I snore, which lets face it isn’t romantic but it is human.  I can’t do anything about either of these things they are what they are but I’m now so self conscious about them I’m petrified to fall asleep on things like planes and the thought of staying over some guys house or him staying over mine and discovering this horrid thing about me is absolutely mind numbingly painful.  Today while flying down to Sydney from Brisbane I was exhausted and as per normal on a flight I dropped off but the minute I started to really sleep I’d snap awake because I was petrified I’d start snoring.  According to my family we’re not talking a dainty little purring snore its kind of more like being roared at by a T-Rex less than an inch from your face.  I have no idea how I’m going to come to terms with this bit of me that I loath but I’m going to try.

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SBS Show - How to Find Love Online, Uncategorized

SBS Show – How to Find Love Online

Generally as a rule I’m not one for just watching TV I tend to bing watch on Netflix while crocheting baby blankets but every now and then I’ll catch an ad for something that I’ll make a point of watching.

On Sunday 12th June I made a point of watching “How To Find Love Online” on SBS (hyperlinked to the On Demand version), mainly because the ad I sore for it made me dead curious.

The official blurb from SBS is – The Internet has transformed every part of our lives and is now changing arguably the most important part – our love lives. Internet dating is now the second most common way that couples meet. But what is the best way to make the online search for love successful? What are the ‘matchmaking’ algorithms that the big companies use? Do they really deliver the goods, or is it just clever marketing and actually a giant con? And is there really any science involved? Dr Hannah Fry and Dr Xand Van Tulleken investigate. (From the UK) (Documentary) G CC.

My main reason for wanting to watch it was because it was a rare view of online dating from a males point of view.  Think about it 99% of blogs, articles, documentaries or books on the subject of online dating are written by women for women and from a women’s point of view.  So a rare glimpse into the male mindset on the subject is a not to be missed opportunity.

I found out some fascinating things watching this show

  1. Men get as frustrated and fed up as women do with the fake profiles, bad dates and being the only single left in your group of family/friends.
  2. E-harmony has one advantage over other sites it’s in-depth (and irritating) questions do weed out narcissistic and sociopathic personalities.  So if anyone you’re on a date with tells you e-harmony couldn’t match them run away very fast.
  3. Photos matter – Doesn’t matter if we girls are looking for a breeder, feeder, toy-boy or travel buddy if they have photos of themselves smiling and doing outdoors activities especially with pets we’re more likely to click “like” than if the photos are idiotic, indoors or unsmiling and the revers is true men like their women healthy, happy and active.
  4. Nice guy profiles don’t cut it – we (the female of the species) apparently prefer the warrior over the caring type so men should put things like “worked in deployed environments” rather than “worked for UN in refugee camps helping abused women” (Are we really that fickle? *ok yeah I am I like men in uniform sigh*)
  5. Suggestion of Like or Dislike works – if someone tells you that these people are perfect for you and you matched really well you’re actually more likely to like them than if you’re told you’ll dislike everyone in the group.
  6. Optimum Stopping Theory will incrust your probability of meeting someone if you’re using a swipe and gripe program like Tinder.

Out of all of the information the Optimum Stopping Theory was the most fascinating.  To put it simply if you give yourself a limit of 100 profiles to view and then swipe no to the first 37 and then stop on the first profile between 38 and 100 you’ve interested in the likelihood of finding true love by 37% better than just randomly swiping like or dislike.  Sounds nuts but when using a swipe and gripe program like Tinder any advantage is helpful.  I really wanted to try this theory but Tinder apparently has some issue working on my phone and keeps putting a pop-up message telling me to log in despite the fact I’m logged in and using the app.

If you’ve never used a program like Tinder you’re wondering why I call it a Swipe and Gripe app.  The way Tinder works is you look at a photo and swipe left for not interested and swipe right for interested and then spend enormous amounts of time griping to your friends about how crap the dates you go on are.

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Mr Cone Head

Mr Cone Head

I’m 99% sure by this stage my file had been marked with the words “fussy” and “problem client” because my final two dates were the last straw and proved to me the dating agency from hell was either struggling to find dates for me to go on or was deliberately sending me on bad dates so I’d give up and go away.

I have very little recollection of this date apart from the fact that Mr Cone Head worked in construction and he had a pet python, which he brought to the date with him and his physical appearance. It was his head or rather the shape of his head that stuck in my mind it was so odd I will probably never forget it.

The bottom half of his face at the jaw area was very square but then at the top of his cheek bones his face narrow inwards. Not unusual you might think since this is what most people’s faces do. However this guy’s face narrowed so sharply that his eye sockets touched in the middle of his face and his forehead was pointed. Since he had a badly receding hairline the fact his forehead ended in a point was very obvious.

When he turned his head to look at the cakes on display at the counter I discovered his entire head was like this and he actually had a cone shaped head. It was completely bizarre and to be honest a little creepy, I spent most of the date focusing on his pet python so I didn’t stare at his forehead. Honestly it looked like someone had squeezed the top half of his head in a vice and I kept wanting to ask what had happened to make his head like this. However I was raised to have good manners so I didn’t

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Mr Verbal Diarrhoea

Mr Verbal Diarrhoea

Another weekend and another dreaded date organised by the dating agency from hell was fast approaching.  By this stage I’d given up expecting any of these dates to go well but I was still putting my best foot forward and my best foot was normally shod in 4 inch hand made fire engine red heels.  As it turned out this guy was actually quite attractive, not my type thank god because when he opened his mouth the sexy exterior didn’t make up for the verbal diarrhoea.

Basically the first words out of his mouths where how he didn’t date fat chicks he had only agreed to meet me because Carman had personally asked him to do it so the company could meet its contractual obligations. He then went on to ask me if I thought he had any chance of getting it on with Carmen, wasn’t she just the perfect babe, like if she looked that hot in cloths imagine how awesome she would be in the sack and so on and so forth.  Having never met the woman in person I have no idea what she looked like but if she was built and dressed anything like Marry my original consultant when she interviewed this guy then I’m guessing she was cross between hooker and looker.

He then started babbling about how he’d been fat and wasn’t he totally amazing since he got thin, how he wasn’t going to work till he cracked the modelling industry (that was never going to happen he wasn’t that sexy). He then went on to tell me all about his relationship that had broken up because he’d got fat and how that had motivated him to get thin again. How he’d decided dating women was better they were less judgmental than his ex-boyfriend had ever been and so on and so forth.

By this time my eyes had glazed over and I was mentally doing other things like planning what to send my nephews for Christmas. At some point I tuned back in and he was babbling on about working in a pet shop and how it was his job to clean the cages and how when you have to worm the animals all this poo comes out of them and it looks like spaghetti and meat sauce.

Since I couldn’t get this guy to shut up I asked the cafe staff for the the key and directions to the lady’s room with the intention of running away afterward. Didn’t quite work out that way he followed me to the bathroom and was waiting for me when I came out of the ladies room. I seriously thought about turning around and going back inside and climbing out the window to escape but the ladies room is unfortunately on the second floor of the building above the cafe and a fitted skirt and 4 inch heels are not the easiest thing to climb out a window and shimmy down a drain pipe in.  So I ended up going back to the coffee shop with him and after 3 more coffees and 2 hours later I was busting to pee so once again I asked the staff for the key but this time as i collected it I told the waiter to send one of the girls up in a couple of minutes to collect the key.

After I peed I cracked the door opened and listened and sure enough I could here Mr Verbal Diarrhoea chatting to the waitress as they came up the stairs toward the bathrooms.  At this point my fight or flight instinct took over and since running down the stairs would mean going past them I took the only other options I had I cracked open the window, checked no one was below and drooped my beloved 4inch fire engine red heels out the window, climbed out the window and then shimmied down the drain pipe totally ruining one of my favourite pair of stay up stockings in the process.

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Mr My Wife

Mr My Wife

By now I was going on these dates for pure entertainment and with the mindset that what doesn’t kill you would probably make and excellent book someday. The next guy I went on a coffee date with had a mind-set that was just plain scary.

Physically he was really muscled since he spent at least 2 to 4 hours every day at the gym lifting weights and doing muscle sculpting for a rough idea of his muscle mass think Arnold Schwarzenegger in his body building days. Overly muscle guys aren’t normally my thing to start with but when I met this guy I had to bite the inside of my mouth really heard not to burst out laughing the problem was he was only about 5ft (152cm) tall so the muscle mass was badly proportioned. He was nice enough to give me a rose on the coffee date and then screwed it up 5 min later by commenting that someone my size really should only ever drink low or zero fat milk in her coffee.

Turns out he had grown up in a small town near Canberra, moved to Canberra to attend University and had never left. As I found out when I asked more questions he meant it when he said he’d never left Canberra, not even for a weekend away in Sydney or down to the Coast. I asked him what he did for holidays and turns out he took “stay-cations” and booked a hotel room in Canberra and did the tourist things in Canberra. If you’ve ever been to Canberra you would know that there really isn’t all that much to do in the way of “tourist” things let alone for every vacation you’ve ever taken in the 20 years he had lived there.

Then things got really creepy when he started going on about how when he got married his wife wouldn’t work. His wife would be a stay at home mum and she would have 3 children, 2 boys and a girl but his wife would have a university degree because then his children would be smart. He would give his wife an allowance every month because women could never seem to manage money and the more you gave them the more they would waste it. Once a year till they had children, which would be exactly 3 years after they were married, he would take his wife on a vacation but only one of those would be overseas and he would pick the location. His wife would go to the gym every day because it would be important for his career for her to look her best and his wife would not be allowed to have a weight issue.

I honestly felt sorry for this “wife” of his because over the years he had created the perfect fantasy in his head about what this “wife” would do, say, look like, act and it seemed to be a cross between Barbie and The Stepford Wife robots. I stopped counting the amount of times he used the term “my wife” when I hit 50 and this date only went for 30 minutes, seriously the guy had issues.

He didn’t suggest we have a second date thank the goddess because I’m not sure I could have thought of a nice way to say “ah no way in hell”.  As it turns out we both told the Dating Agency from Hell that they totally missed the mark on that date as we had zero interests in common and even less interest in each other.  By now I was beginning to realise that Carman wasn’t even interviewing the people she sent me on dates with because when I mentioned he was only 5ft (152cm) tall she said to me “oh really I would never have realised he didn’t sound short on the phone”, I just hung up on her it seemed simpler than pointing out that under the contract I signed with her company she’s supposed to vet these guys in person as suitable candidates before sending me on dates with them.

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RUEA

RUEA or R U Emotionally Available

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This book should be called “The HERE & NOW – are you in it?” because effectively that is what the entire book asks in every single chapter.  The book up to page 79 is a series of short chapters that basically ask if you are living in Dreamland, Utopia, Fantasy Land, The Past or any other place in relationship world that is not right here right now reality.  If you are anywhere other than right here right now reality then you’re not emotionally ready or equipped to handle a new relationship.

A big part of Emotional Availability is apparently transcending from normal human to the evolved species that has connected with it’s EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Apparently Emotional Intelligence is reach if you can answer yes to all of the following:

  • Have a clear understanding of who you are
  • Be able to understand and manage yourself and your emotions
  • Be able to self-reflect
  • Think outside your own reality and have empathy and compassion for others
  • Be able to work through difficult issues in relationships
  • communicate your feelings honestly and openly
  • Be able to listen, comprehend and absorb another persons words
  • be intuitively of another persons emotional needs

Personally I would have called that a checklist for being an ADULT but then again I’ve been on dates where none of the above apply so guess they have a point.  I still don’t see how ticking off all of the above is going to help get me Mr Right unless I present him with the checklist and if he ticks all the boxes then he’s perfect right……..

On the topic of actually finding Mr Right the authors unfortunately peddle the same shit everyone else says, which is basically “get out there and join things and find people to date”.  Join groups, go on blind dates, go online, find a matchmaker, never say no to an invitation for anything and somehow if you’re Emotionally Available he will magically appear and it’ll all be sunshine and roses.  Going to admit this section of the book had me rolling my eyes and thinking oh yeah right and I can shit rainbows because I’ve been there done that I tick all the above boxes for Emotional Intelligence and guess what I’m still single!!!!!

I did have to smile on page 80 when the authors say

“People talk all the time about how much time/effort/money they’ve invested in their education/home/job/hobbies but how often do you hear people talk about how much they’ve invested in their emotional intelligence.  It’s hard to imagine being at a party chatting to someone and them telling you how much they’ve invested in their self improvement like listening skills”.

I have actually heard that conversation while I was in LA last year,  I was eves dropping on the table next to me who were having a dinner party conversation.   One girl was saying something like “it’s not just how you look in this industry it’s about how you express yourself I’ve been taking classes in how to connect more with my audience” I’m not sure how well the classes where going as she totally missed the bored out of my brain expression on the face of the guy she was talking to.

The funnest thing about this book was the art work in it some of which didn’t exactly correspond to the written detail in the chapter it was attached to and in some cases it got the point across far better than the written words.

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