Photo courtesy Elaine Livingstone Photography
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the feministest of them all?
Sorry sistas, but it’s certainly not me. Not this month, anyway.
It pains and shames me to ‘fess up, but it looks like I might not register quite as highly on the sisterhood solidarity scale as I’d always imagined. And this coming from a fledgling feminist who was around and actively interested, in a teenage girl power kinda way, at the very dawn of the Sex Discrimination Act in 1975. That’s FORTY years we’ve had to make a world of womanly difference. Another couple of centuries and we should have cracked it…
Sadly, my own one-woman efforts to forge an equality path, to smash glass ceilings, take my rightful place in boardrooms and chuck myself under virtual horses over those four decades may have been for diddly squat. It turns out that I, dear reader, when confronted by a camera, am just as vain as the next cover girl. See, here in this wee corner of the world, the corner where one Weegie wordsmith and female of the species has been banging the equal opps drum for pretty well all of those forty years, we find that the Word Up wumman’s feminist manifesto is, in fact, quick to bend and buckle under the forces of vanity, titivation and conceit.
When I recently booked a (female) photographer to promote and refresh the all-important “brand me” part of this small biz with a set of new snaps for the Word Up website and, ahem, PR machine, the very act put paid, temporarily at least, to the more feminist side of my business mantra. And that’s before I even get onto a lifelong tirade about the tedious and insidious body beautiful industry. Nope, out went the self-confident and cheery communications consultant, and ardent advocate of femininity in all it’s endless shapes, forms and bare-faced beauty, and in came the vainglorious would-be supermodel.
Oh the agony, the indecision… What should I wear? Shoulder-padded power suit or Fred Perry and Sta-prest? How can I hide my menopausal acne? Does my bum look big in this? Shall I wear Spanx or just suck my beer gut in? Sparkly eye shadow or matt? And as for the unfortunate and untimely appearance of a large and painful cold sore, that doozy nearly caused a hissy fit of Naomi Campbell proportions. But going in a huff went west, as did the tattered remains of my commitment to all things au natural, when the top snapper (and placater of divas), said she could just photoshop out the offending viral outbreak. Photoshopped? Me? Jeez, I could just about hear the sistas wailing with despair in all their hairy-armpitted loveliness at the shallow and vanity-ridden relief which broke out all over this middle-aged fizzog…
Thankfully tho, the Kate Moss phase passed in jig time. I mean, it’s nice to look nice, but there’s a limit, innit. As it turns out, neither photoshopping nor plastic surgery were required, or wanted. In the end, this idiotic erstwhile feminist and entrepreneur just checked her gnashers for bits of stray spinach, ran a brush and some product through the rapidly greying barnet, slapped on some slap, wore a clean t-shirt and her biggest smile, and with some relief, went right back to being herself for the camera.
So, sistas, have a heart, and you too, bruvvas. My feminism might be half-baked when faced with my own face, but we’re all entitled to a bit of vanity now and again. Fair dos?