Sisters are doing it, to themselves

Women are mental.

They are.

This is not a sexist comment, as I am one of these mentalists. If a man says ‘why do women wear perfume and makeup? Because they are ugly and they smell’, it is sexist. If I say it, it is a social comment as to the pressure placed on modern women in relation to their appearance. It is also my favourite joke. A joke with a jag.

In so many ways women are not mental. They run homes and businesses simultaneously. They can converse on world politics and Celebrity Big Brother at the drop of a hat. They mother their children and love their families, they are Delia in the kitchen and E.L. James in the bedroom. They provide shoulders to cry on, wine to laugh over and Olympic gold medals to amaze and inspire. And then someone brings out a camera, and out floods the crazy.

A survey conducted by Photobox last week brought out some sad, but not surprising statistics. While we may be happy to share with our 1500 Facebook friends that little Jonny managed to use the big boy’s toilet, as soon as someone posts a photo of us, all our achievements are reduced to a few hundred mean, mocking pixels. It has happened to me. A couple of weeks ago I was part of a surprise birthday celebration. It took months of planning. People flew in from all over the world. Old stories were told, new friends were made, we even managed to take in a world heritage site amid all the wine. The most memorable part? The fact that two days later one of the revellers posted a photo of me online where I appear to be smuggling a kilo bag of Maris Pipers up my jumper.

Of the 1000 women questioned there was the usual sort of responses. No one likes a photo of themselves in swimwear, older ladies like to hide in the back of a group shot and 40% said that they would avoid getting papped when drink had been taken. That’s a bit unfortunate, for tis when the Cosmo is in the Canon comes out.

Magazines today are still as filled with articles on how to please your man as they were in the 50’s, but when it comes to modern women, self image and photography, we don’t give a fiddlers about what men think- it’s the judging eyes of other women. 90% of those surveyed said that it was the opinion of other women which scared them the most.

This is terrible news, and it is time to stop it. We live in a world where women died in order to get the vote, where cameras are increasingly attached to any old toot you might have in your handbag, and social networking has the power to educate, mobilise and change opinion. Let’s use it all for good. I don’t care whether Andy Murray is Scottish or British, nor do I want my timeline filled with #justiceforcody (although, obviously animal rights is important, before you start..). I do care that ladies are sitting at their desks throughout the land filled with self loathing because Michelle from accounts may have seen ‘that’ photo of them in a frock.

So ladies, lets play nice. Lets have a little love for ourselves, and for our fellow sisters (and brothers). If you see a photo of someone you know, tell them they look pretty, bag of spuds or no. Because we all are pretty in there somewhere.

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