So it’s started.
The tweet popped up innocently, like a piece of toast at breakfast. Only this one wasn’t a welcome arrival for me.
Aaaaagggghhh! Nooooooo! Run for the hilllllllls…… (I think that’s enough Ls, don’t you?)
For those of you who aren’t bloggers and haven’t the faintest idea what ‘Britmums’ is, it is not an expat gathering where British mums meet over cups of tea, resist cup cakes and compare notes on how hot it is. No, it’s the biggest get together of British parent bloggers, held every June in London, where we ostensibly gather to listen to clever people talking about how to blog better but in reality fork out £75 to meet up with the pals we’ve got to know over the years, find out who won one of the many awards, grab freebies from the corporate stalls, look lost and resort to twitter to find someone you know but haven’t the foggiest what they look like as you’ve never actually met them before, (breathe), and have a good laugh over prosecco and a meal. (Exhale).
It’s a place heaving with thousands of smiling, lovely, females, with the odd sprinkling of men, that growing group of discerning ‘dad’ bloggers, who last year were rewarded for their bravery by being the sole focus of the media’s attention (see Guardian article last June 24th). Bear Grylls would’ve been proud.
So, this question, this seemingly harmless, this throw away tweet, is to my mind like throwing a hand-grenade into a crowded room. Or chucking a fox into a room of calm white ducks.
Carnage! (to quote the duck from the film Babe)
It has the effect of turning a fantastic, fun, sort-of-useful but definitely worth going to event, into a frenzied fear factory. The ‘Does my Bum Look big in this?’ syndrome gets a run for its money in all its glory. It has the effect of drawing out the worst in us women who are intelligent, compassionate, witty, creative, resourceful and down-right amazing. Yet we also have a terrible tendency to compare, run ourselves down and belittle others in the process if we’re not careful. And to compete for the best, when just being our best is often enough….
The annoying thing is, I wasn’t for one second worried about what to wear until I saw that tweet. I don’t usually think about these things till a few days before, if that. But then I’m not up for an award, so I have no need! But I am beginning to think about it now – a whole 4 weeks before!
I’m now realising that that tweet could have been perfectly practical and reasonable, in the light of the fact that there are so many women going – it was sent to find out what her mates are wearing so she knows how to find them! Hadn’t thought of that!! (apologies to said tweeter). BUT I do remember all too well last year, the torrent of tweets and messages about what people were going to wear, worrying about how to look smart for the daytime and simultaneously stylish for the swish awards that run immediately after the workshops, sandwiched in between by what I like to call The Prosecco Crush.
Just think about, for one minute, this crazy concern for what we’ll wear. Will someone really change their opinion of you based on what you’re wearing? These are probably the only women who have got to know you without knowing what you look like or what you wear. Yes, really! And they’ve decided if they like you or not based on what you write (you know, your blog) NOT what you wear.
That’s quite something in this day and age.
If you’re worried you won’t match up to their expectations of you, don’t. See it as a fantastic lesson in the importance of not judging someone based on their appearance as they come to realise that you’re a superwoman with amazing writing flair, but who dresses in a style that they may not like. But guest what? They still like YOU!
There’s a radical thought.
So ladies, I beseech you: be yourself and wear what you want. Now what you think other’s might want to see you in!
I for one, shall be wearing Chanel no. 5…..