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11 August 2015

ranty pants is back.

top + bag + sandals (old) : primark | skirt*: new look (old)

this post may make no sense, but i'm angry, offended, and i just want to rant. i'll try to make it make sense, but i literally can't promise anything...

so i wore this outfit out on saturday afternoon. i'd spent the best part of the morning trying to sleep off a hangover from a work friend's leaving do the night before, despite my flatmate making all of the noise in all of the world. pre-9am noise is not welcomed on a saturday, ok? that's like, universally accepted, right? laundry, handing washing up, putting clothes away in her wardrobe - purposefully making sure the hangers scraped against the metal pole, no doubt. she made an omelette - i heard her whip the eggs in a bowl from the floor above her. anyway, my point is, i was already feeling a little fragile. 

i'd got up, made a coffee and showered before making the decision to try out the box of hair stripper i'd bought in the week. i have had some suuuper light regrowth coming through for a couple of months now, and what with the broken finger sitch for the best part of two months, i've not been able to dye it myself. and i'm tight, i ain't paying someone to do something i can ~usually do myself. plus, i thought it might be nice to try natural hair for a while.. because it's been about 15 years since i've seen my natural hair colour, and i though a change could be nice.

i was encouraged to try from some great results on others, so away i went. before i did, i decided to read the leaflet within; not to be used on hair with powder bleach, as the bleach will stop the removal. oh. well, at christmas i kinda powder bleached my hair in a stupid home-ombre-job, and wondered if this would count. well of course it counts erica, don't be stupid. well i did it anyway. anyone who's ever used colour b4 or alike will know how long the process of stripping your hair takes. the brand i used (provoke colour remover) only called for 30 mins developing time, 5 mins rinsing time, 5 mins lathering time, 5 mins rinsing time, one more lather and rinse and you're done. i know other brands call for at least 15 mins rinse time, so i did allow a little longer, but good god 15 mins under running water is so dull.

once the hair dried, it was obvious that it had made little affect. my roots and top of my hair were already lighter and perhaps the newer hair there that had only one layer of dye on them came away pretty easily. certainly not back to natural, but a shade or two lighter. the same can't be said for the rest of the hair - the length was where the bleach was over christmas, so i wasn't expecting much, but could tell ~some colour had been removed from this. it's basically now a multi-tonal mess. and i've got no time or money to get it fixed any time soon. sure, i could chuck a brown dye over the top, but surely that defeats the purpose? anyway. frustrated at having wasted such a chunk of my day, i hurried to get dressed so i could head out to some grocery shopping.

still with me? well, here is where i get pitiful and you're kindly asked to make no comment as i'm not looking for your opinion or sympathy or encouragement or anything else. i just literally have words i need to write for fear of imploding.

i threw this outfit on, and did not feel great in it, despite the skirt needing to be pinned at the back because it's now too big, and having to tie the tee up at the front as it's lost its shape in the wash. why didn't i just change? that would have taken too long; i'd planned this outfit, and changing would have literally meant trying on a bunch more things and wasting more time. once i have something in my head, i will make it work. so, this outfit was it, and i did not feel great in it. i've put on a lot of weigh recently, mainly because of my love of food, and because i love and write about food, i get asked to come and eat and write about a lot of food. it's a vicious cycle, and i am seeing the results of it in places i'm not enjoying. i've never really been very body confident, but i'd lost a bit of weight at the start of the year and i felt like i looked good then. i don't feel like i look good now. it's just how i feel.

in an effort to combat the general increase in delicious food consumption, i have been making a concerted effort to walk more. that's mainly because i looooathe 'real' exercise; the gym is the last place on earth i would want to be, i hate how i look in gym gear, i hate sweating, i don't like not being made up. the gym makes me feel terrible about myself. the irony, huh? i also can't run. i'm terribly unfit, and i have a large chest, making running a danger to my own body. whatever, i'm not going to list all the reasons i hate exercise and why i've convinced myself it's ok to not exercise, but i don't. so i decided to walk down to catford - about a twenty minute walk from my place. i do this walk a lot, and i normally chuck headphones in, sunnies on, and zone out and not pay any attention to anyone else.

this skirt isn't structured and so because of that i could feel my belly jiggling when i walked. i was super concious of the tee working its way up with the movement of my body. my thighs were rubbing together. i felt like absolute shit. i put sunglasses on so i didn't have to make eye contact with anyone and headphones on. i was holding a big bag for the charity shop, and a diet coke, and i'd forgotten to actually turn the music ~on, so they were mainly to make me look disinterested. which i was. because i was so focused on how fat and disgusting i felt.

within minutes i came upon a group of boys. teenagers. who unabashedly leered at me, tongues hanging out of their faces. i scrunched my nose up at them, and walked past. mortified that they were probably still watching me walk away. gave a flick of the (multi-tonal) hair as i walked past, just in case they hadn't totally understood my innate disdain toward them, and kept walking. sadly, that was just a taste of what was to come; around the corner, on the opposite side of the street, was a bus stop. hanging out at that bus stop was one horrible human, ~shouting things across the road. for a few seconds i thought he must be mad and shouting nothings at the world, but when i turned my head to face him, i realised he was shouting at me. and that's not even the worst of it. he was thrusting his groin, holding himself, and licking his lips, all ~at ~me.

i literally wanted to die. there were a few others in the bus stop, and others on my side of the road, all who could hear and see what he was doing. mortified, i quickly looked away and kept on walking, wanting to draw no attention to the fact this vile man was objectifying me in a despicable way. at that point, i just wanted to go home, but there was no way i was turning around and walking back past him, so i kept going. every man i saw in my path was a potential threat, and i rushed past them all, noting some second looks from a few - of all ages and races. i literally could not understand how - when i was feeling so fucking low about my looks, that i was drawing this sort of attention to myself? i was in a full length skirt, in a tee covering up all my cleavage, and the only part of my skin on show was a fraction around my belly and my arms and feet. hardly the stuff erotica is made of, and yet for some reason, i was receiving a ~lot more attention that i normally would on that same walk.

or... was i? when i'm confident in myself, and love what i'm wearing, i am 100% sure i give off a "don't give a fuck" vibe to all who encounter me. i probably strut a bit, when my music is on, and i walk with purpose. i stand tall, proud. i don't slouch, or try and hide my belly, or put my head down when i walk. i look strong, and independent, and like you wouldn't want to mess with me. because, despite the inevitable "give us a smile love" and whistles from car windows, i've never ~really been catcalled or objectified on the street. in the day time. on my own. never, ever, ever.

i used to live in catford, and a lot of people had questions. about my safety. about the neighbourhood. about the kind of people who lived in the area. but i'd had no reason to worry myself, in the time i'd lived there, i'd had more ~genuine compliments from men in the street, than worrisome comments about how i was dressed, or how i should smile more, or where was my husband and why wasn't he looking after me like a good man should. genuine compliments. "nice dress miss". "do you need a hand with your shopping miss". "you've a lovely smile miss". never followed up with anything seedy, and so always a thank you returned from me. no need for attitude, because had it come from a woman, what would the problem be?

that's how i look at it. a lot of the time i think we're quick to yell "feminism!" and hate all the men for all the things, but if someone wants to give me a compliment, i'm going to take it. it's why i have instagram after all. if a guy likes my selfie, i'm not going to be offended. if a guy comments with "i like that dress on you *wink*" i might object. it's the same in the real world. i'm all about telling people on the street i like their shoes or dress or bag or whatever, so i'm going to accept other people's compliments in the same way. but there's a line. a very defined and clear line. if you're grabbing your crotch and yelling obscenities at me, i'm not going to respond. not in a nice way, anyway. if you're going to tell me to smile more,  i'm probably going to tell you to mind your own business. if you're giving me a second look because i look faaahbulous, i'm going to sashay away.

god i don't know what my point is, i think we all knew that was going to happen, didn't we. i don't know if i had a point. it certainly wasn't about feeling fat, or how hideous people can be. it wasn't a woe-is-me point about how i'm feeling low at the moment, and it certainly wasn't about feminism or body confidence or sexism. it wasn't about any of that. i think the point was, this is a thing that happened to me on saturday, i hated it, and i don't want it to happen again. the only way to stop it happening again is to make sure i am ~always confident in myself, because when i'm not, i'm letting the team down. the team being me. and you. and us. the more confident we are, the less that behaviour will be accepted. and that behaviour is ~not acceptable.

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