The Ginger Nut

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Some people believe ginger to be best served as a side order to sushi.

Sometimes, I’d have to agree.

Although my hair is most definitely veering further towards auburn than tangerine, I still hear whispers of “ginger” from time to time, which, unsurprisingly, does not bother me. This is probably due to such whispers being a seasonal affair as my hair hits the deepest tones of brown in the winter and only hits its peak of naranja after weeks in the sun.

So there I was, August bank holiday, dancing the day away with a rum cocktail in hand, when a man fought his way through the crowd to tell me something. He thought it best to let me know that I was a “fit red head; one of the hardest things to be”. He spent a good while assuring me that I fitted into the “good looking ginger” category, comparing me to Ginny Weasley (a fictional character) and Ed Sheeran (a boy). I laughed, made a joke about being ginger and strolled on. And this, sadly for me, is the norm.

Although such remarks no longer bother me, growing up, I hated my freckles and auburn locks. I wanted nothing more than to wake up looking like Eva Longoria (although I don’t think I’m alone there) and change my entire reflection. However, due to the fact that a friend of mine has the most vibrant of ginger hairs upon her head, and has been lovingly labelled “ginge” by many of her friends, and enjoys it, I have grown to appreciate my titian tones and have forgotten all about my insecurities.

But I’ve also forgotten how serious the topic is too.

Although I believe red hair to be one of those things that you either embrace or sink with, many people have been forced to do the latter without a say. I can’t help but think that if those who heckle gingers in the street switched the hair colour for skin tone or race in their utterances, it would be a different story. I’m not raising the issue of highlights to the same level as a race row, but I really do think the subject could be taken a little more seriously and dealt with using a little more tact. After all, people’s entire school lives have been ruined by such taunts and “Hug a Ginger Day” would not exist if there wasn’t an issue.

But I, too, am to blame for these crimson crimes. I’ve been found to shout “fit ginge!” at the television screen when tangerine tinted men take my fancy (particularly during the Olympics) and I really don’t rate Mick Hucknell’s mop. However, many years on, I am learning to embrace it.

So, the next time you ask someone if they prefer blondes or brunettes, stick red heads in there too. I think you’ll be surprised.

And if you’re still not convinced by ginger hair? I have two words for you:

Emma Stone.

THE HAIR

When Julia Roberts raised her furry underarm at that premiere back in the late nineties, the world gasped. A clever PR stunt? Or a wave to feminism? Either way, she knew what sort of stir she was going to cause when she forgot to shave.

As the two-piece was adorned in the 1950s, women started to minimise the hair they had down there. In the 80s, even less was even more with the throng of the thong. Nowadays, I’m not quite sure what men expect to see beyond the bikini. And to be honest, I couldn’t care less. Not because I am an ardent feminist (which I am) or because I presume men are judgmental pigs (which I don’t), it’s because I have faith in mankind and believe that if a girl decides to go Kate Bush for a while, he will embrace “it” with both hands. Much like if she decides to go as bald as a sphinx, I’d expect him to act accordingly… well, sort of.

It does bewilder me though, how much attention we pay to that small patch of hair between our legs. I, for instance, haven’t cut the hair (on my head) for over a year now and people could not care any less. Had I not paid attention to that hairea below the belt, there would be a completely different reaction altogether. But why do we put so much emphasis on it? As if growing up wasn’t hard enough having to deal with the seemingly overnight arrival of tits and the realisation that you will indeed bleed every month, we’re still having to deal with sprouting hairs and people poking fun at pubes well into adulthood, which is less than ideal.

Yes, my group of friends are admittedly ‘into’ the whole hair removal thing. We religiously shave under our arms, refine our upper lips, trim our bikini line and enjoy being silky smooth. But had we not put pressure on ourselves and each other to do so, would we be more comfortable with going au naturel? Probably. Although I’d be lying if I said that we do it solely for our own benefit. Yes, I would probably wax lyrical anyway but when I’m single; I guess I am a little slack on the hair front. And can guarantee that most of you are too.

But despite my desire to believe that men generally don’t mind what a girl does with her nethers, apparently I’m disappointingly incorrect. And if this is the case boys, the next time you’re annoyed that a girl doesn’t look quite like they do in those movies you watch, I’d just like to let you into a little secret: a good (full) wax costs at least 25 quid, which buys you around five pints of lager in London. Would you sacrifice beer for hair removal?

… I think not. So forgive us if we’d rather engage in stimulating conversation at the pub than have our hairs ripped out of their follicles and pay for the pleasure.

I’m heading over to W1 at the weekend to schmooze around the great wall of vagina. Yes boys, it does exist. I’ll let you know how inadequate/normal I feel at the end of it.

It’ll be hair raising to say the least.

The Fake Tan

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I’ve just read something a friend has posted about my version of liquid gold and it got me thinking… am I addicted to fake tan?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perma-tangerine. Instead, I like to think of myself as a nice shade of brown, although some might beg to differ. I’d also like to think that I’ve somewhat ‘got the hang of’ applying it but I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing? Now that I’ve fooled the world into thinking I have a gorgeous olive complexion I have to wonder how I’d cope without my cosmetic drug? I’d genuinely rather starve than give up tanning. Yes, my addiction really does go that far.  Surely that’s not normal and I should learn to be happy in my own skin?

I justify it by saying that it’s better than going on sun beds because it’s not going to give me wrinkles but perhaps it not the outside effects which matter. I am now dependant on tanning, so much so that I won’t go out without it. I’m dependent on it, like an addict to heroine.

Some might think of the term ‘tanorexic’ as funny or melodramatic, but I think it’s a little more serious than that. It’s the same as body dysmorphia, except with skin tone. Even if I have one layer of fake tan on, I feel pale. The more I wear it, the more I feel I need it. It’s an addiction and surely any addiction is a bad thing?

Lent starts tomorrow where I have the opportunity to give it up for 40 days and 40 nights but instead I’ve opted for crisps, something that those of you who don’t know me, shouldn’t take lightly. Those little potato chips mean more to me than life itself. But when faced with a choice of a taste sensation or a tanning session, bronzing always wins.

Despite my anxieties surrounding the tan-demic hitting Britain today, until I find out that it’s going to kill me, I don’t really see the harm in applying it every now and again. Try it. You might not have the memories of a holiday in Greece but you’ll look like you’ve had one after a romantic evening in with a tanning mitt and lotion. Your eyes will look a little brighter and your thighs a little thinner, I promise.

I know what I’ll be drizzling on my pancakes this shrove Tuesday…

… just kidding.

Well, sort of.

The Red Lips

large (7)Angelina Jolie and Marylin Monroe are just two of the most gorgeous examples of women that wear red lipstick with ease.

Although there are hundreds more that I could list with ease, I’m not so sure that I can pull it off too.

When I think of myself sporting the red lip look, I envisage Jessica Rabbit, but in reality, I find myself looking more like Jessie Wallace. I have tried for years to figure out what it is that makes me look so goddam awful when donning something other than pale lips. I have questioned the shape of my face, my auburn hair clashing with the colour and even my larger than life gnashers, but I’ve now come to the conclusion that it’s simply an attitude thing. You have to be able to wear the lipstick, not let it wear you. This is where the problem lies.

I like to think that I have a reasonable amount of confidence, but I just can’t seem to shake off the fact that my pout is looking more puke than pukka. Back in the day, people would’ve been able to take bigger chances with fashion but now we’re living in the digital age, pictures of your regretful look will stick around forever… or as long as Facebook is live. There are no second chances with the red smile.

I’ve decided i’m going to brave the vixen look. I refuse to let this lack of rouge-tinted attitude hold me back . I WILL wear red lipstick… and I WILL look like Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge…

Well, a girl can dream can’t she.

The Grey

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So I was looking in the mirror this morning, attempting to control my mane, when I found the first grey hair.

I was already being melodramatic enough about turning 21, being in my third year at university and not having a job lined up for afterwards without this nonsense.

It has to be said, this find tipped me over the funeral planning, will writing edge and I have just written a list of ten things to do before I die; purchasing hair dye being one of them.

But hold on, dad turned grey mid twenties. He still looks good, right? Who cares, whatever happens I’ll end up looking like Cruella.

I’m going to have to keep an eye on Kate Moss to see how she deals with it. In the mean time, I’ll look to the inspirational locks of Granny Rock for tips on making grey hair cool.

The Freckle

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Aged nine, probably wearing tight pink cycling shorts and a Spice Girls tee, I strolled alongside mum in Marks & Spencer, looking for some potatoes. I wasn’t distracted at all by the lovely chocolates or the old school version of Percy Pigs. Instead, I was busy making my skin raw, after bringing a rubber along in an attempt to wipe off all my freckles by the time we arrived back home.

As a child, I hated them.

I want to now be able to say that I love them. That I find them empowering and really attractive. But to be perfectly honest, I cover them up with make up. If I had a few freckles sprinkled across my nose and cheeks, then fine. But I feel that I am more splattered than sprinkled with them, making the main focus of my day to day beauty regime, a way in which to disguise these little genetic defects which live upon my face. And arms. And legs. And back. And tummy. And toes.

I do find freckles intriguing because they are memories created by the sun. They are the times spent travelling in Mexico, family holidays to Europe, a sunny afternoon in the park after school, a week spent at the beach last term; the list is endless. Happy memories are mapped out for me on my body, for everyone to see. Although a deep tan is desired, freckles actually last longer on the skin. They’re signs of good times spent in the sun in a more original form than quickly fading bikini lines or that

Although a deep tan is desired, freckles actually last longer on the skin. They’re signs of good times spent in the sun in a more original form than quickly fading bikini lines or that post-holiday hangover.

I think its time for me to start to embrace my freckles, just as the leopard has had to embrace his spots.