Alternative title: How is it that one person can collect so much crap? I fear if things carry on like this I will be on one of those weird TV shows about hoarders; my living room piled floor to ceiling with newspapers, my kitchen covered in rotten food and my shitter buried under cardboard boxes (not that, I suspect, anyone would want to find that ever again given the state of the rest of the house)…I would be found cowering under a pile of plastic bags screaming at the film crew to leave my prized rat droppings alone.
It’s amazing what you find amongst the junk…clothes still tagged but way out of fashion, books you started but never finished, contracts from jobs gone by, cringe-worthy love letters from exes perfect for shredding…And piles upon piles of magazines. So many freaking magazines. Enough magazines to stock doctors surgeries the UK over for years to come!
Magazines that all spout the same inane rubbish that renders you embarrassed for parting with your money to read something you wouldn’t wipe your backside with.
As I flicked through the glossy pages there seemed an all too familiar theme…Weight. Weight gain, weight loss, fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, tips on how to get rid of belly flab/bingo wings/thingo wings, the latest superfoods to speed up burning the fat, exercises you really NEED to be doing, how celebs have managed to lose a stone in a week and how you can too with some magical shit that will harvest your bank balance for everything it is worth. And the pictures, ah the pictures, why they are all glamorous.
Glamorous and fabulous and perfect.
Well…Created to give the impression of perfection.
Airbrushed and edited with complete precision…Exquisite works of art. Not a hair out of place, no wrinkles on show, no hint of acne, no cellulite, no belly rolls, no stretchmarks, no scars…Every conceivable “flaw” erased. Obviously they were erased, how can you sell someone the idea of perfection when what you offer them is anything less than is considered perfection?
It made me realise that the idea of perfection is a poisoned chalice, obsessing about flaws or imperfections and ways in which to minimize them serves only to continue the cycle (until you end up having a meltdown at the Trafford Centre because of a pair of jeans). It makes more sense to embrace them, “warts and all” as the saying goes…Ultimately a far more achievable (and dare I say, happier?) route.
And when I say achievable, I don’t necessarily mean that it is an easy route. Being accepting of yourself can be incredibly difficult (if you’re a regular reader you’ll already be aware of my body image issues), but any step (no matter how small) in that direction is progress, right?
As you can imagine, it was quite cathartic to throw every last article in the recycling bin. I did toy with the idea of burning them and toasting marshmallows over the flames…