Last week was an ordinary week as weeks go, but it was beautifully adorned by 3 wonderfully bizarre and eclectic surprises that I just had to tell you about.
Fat Bottoms are in!
The first was that fat bottoms are suddenly, gloriously ‘in’. ‘What?’ I hear you exclaim?! Yes, all those of you out there, like me, with thighs slightly wider than their hips, sit up and listen. No, start jumping up and down with gay abandon. Or maybe just sit down, take another sip of coffee and wait for this fad to pass in a Californian nano-second. Yes, apparently Kim Kardashian, from that US reality TV show (of which I know nothing about), the Kardashians, has a huge bum and every skinny minny in LA is wanting one. Requests for ‘bum enhancements’ have increased by 200% since the Armenian-origin family hit the big time, according the i newspaper last Friday. Here’s a picture, if you don’t believe me (of her behind, not the enhancements!):
I had no idea that a top Hollywood female ‘superstar’ actually had a large behind. But then, I don’t read magazines or read certain ‘newspapers’ so why would I?!
But to read that its now becoming fashionable? Oh, there is a God! In all my 43 (very nearly 44) years of living on planet earth, I have NEVER seen this in a British newspaper. I never ever believed the fashion for man-sized hips and bums would ever recede. The only reprieve I’ve experienced from this trend was when I lived for a short while in Uganda where the larger the derriere, the better. Even I, who might have been skinny everywhere else on my body at that time (this was post student days when I’d been living off thin air for 3 years) still had hips and thighs to prevent me slipping a pair of 501s on, and yet I was looked upon with pity by the Ugandans for my ‘small behind’ (!). Oh, how I love the vagaries of global cultural variation. And how I hate the vagaries of modern Western fashion.
Fearful Famous Rockers
The second surprise hit me whilst I was cooking dinner and listening to the news. A piece came on, telling me how Bono from U2 had been forced to apologise to some disgruntled iTunes account holder for having their latest album, Songs of Innocence, downloadable for free on his account. Clearly the man had a)nothing better to do, b) has a large bone to pick with Bono and c) has no taste in music 😉
It was what Bono said as the reason why they ‘gave away’ their album to 500 million people that made me drop my culinary tools and stare at the radio like a wide-mouthed frog:
“A drop of megalomania, a touch of generosity, a dash of self-promotion and a deep fear that these songs that we’ve poured our life into over the last few years mightn’t be heard.”
You what? I found it gob smacking that U2, one of the greatest rock bands of all time, should worry that their album won’t be bought! Their last one No Line on the Horizon sold 5 million copies. And that was a supposed irrelevant, purposeless album according to one critic.
I mean, if they’re worried about being heard in all the “noise out there”, the most revered rock band in operation, how on earth are the rest of us supposed to? Those of us minions with insignificant blogs have reason to wonder if anyone might read them, sure, but U2??
Of course, I suspect that what really lies beneath that incredibly honest confession, was a deep seated fear of losing fame and purpose as they march inexorably toward real old age and obsolescence as a band. When you’ve been that much of an idol, fading into your dotage, even in this age of quasi-reverence for old rockers, must be terrifying. But it reminded me of the truth that so much of our fears lie in our perceptions and insecurities, not the reality…..
What a confession. What a remark.
I can’t help wondering if he would’ve been even more honest to have thrown into that list “a large dollop of self promotion”….
Caro Emerald at the O2 and the Dancing-in-the-Aisles Police
Friday brought more surprises. Two lovely, the other less so.
I headed up to the O2 to join my wonderful OH who’d bought me early birthday present tickets to see my favourite singer, the lovely, super classy, very talented Caro Emerald and band. I first came across her on my 40th birthday when my oldest friend bought for me her first album ‘Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor‘. They hadn’t hit the UK then but had just made it big in Holland where the band are from. I instantly adored the sound which is a brilliant mix of twenties swing, hip hop, jazz, and modern dance tunes. Put it this way, if you like to dance, and you love a bit of classy vintage, you’ll love this. Put.it.on.the.Christmas.list.
Anyway, what came as a beautiful surprise was the fact that she wasn’t super skinny (I’m on this theme rather a lot today!). She had a ‘full figure’ that was curvy and interesting and, more to the point, sent the message that you can be classy, sassy, gorgeous and hit the big time with a voice like smooth chocolate even if you aren’t a size 10 or 12. The fact that she recently had a baby has probably contributed to her voluptuous shape but how many people return to their normal figure straight after a baby? (Kate Middleton, you’ve done nothing to help my point in this).
Even more wonderful was her lovely, down to earth personality that shone through. She clearly was totally unfazed by fame (so far), and marvelled at how many people were crammed into that arena to hear her sing. Their music is so infectious, even the stiffest, two-left foot British male was up and dancing (and I don’t mean my husband, although he did some cajoling ;-). I grinned with delight when we arrived to find our seats were on the end – all the more room to dance in, I thought. Er, lets just say I hadn’t accounted for that less than lovely surprise of O2 staff coming up to us in the middle of a particularly brilliant groove and telling us to “dance in your seats please, not in the (very wide and expansive) walkway”. You what?? I couldn’t believe it. Yes, call me naive, but I go to concerts to dance not sit obediently in my seat. After being told off the second time (it was impossible to just dance in front of your seat) my husband grabbed the guy and asked him to dance. Very funny.
Thankfully this corporate anti-let-your-hair-down nonsense didn’t ruin the atmosphere. To send us all off on our way, Caro gave the most beautiful rendition of Dream a Little Dream, the song she sang as an 11 year old and the moment when she knew she wanted to be a singer.
As we listened spellbound, the entire arena silently waved their mobile phones in the air drinking in every note. “Dreams really do come true”, she said “Tonight is proof.”