Review: I Feel Pretty

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Bless ladies nights made for watching chick flicks you’d never dare to watch on your own! “I Feel Pretty” has a 4.6 IMDB rating at the moment (29th of May) so as you’d expect, it’s not a great movie. Still, it’s actually an enjoyable watch after a long day/week at work when the last thing you want to do is think.

The star of “I Feel Pretty” is Amy Schumer so you immediately know that you should expect a comedy. Her character Renee is far from what the standards of beauty teach us about how to be. She is a bit chubby and her sense of style may be questionable. Most importantly, Renee is very insecure, which makes her unsuccessful in her dating and work life. One day she bumps her head at the gym and all of a sudden starts to think she ticks all the boxes the superficial society imposes on us. Can her own percerption of herself, however skewed, change her life?

The premise is, let’s be honest, quite uncomplicated an unrealistic. So what? It still creates lots of entartaining and cringeworthy moments for the main characters and others. Pehaps the strongest criticism of the movie is that it operates on the basis of very simplistic assumptions about inner and outer beauty, love and success. There will be no groundbreaking enlightments after watching it, unless just like the main character you are convinced that if only you were prettier life would have been completely different  and that its the lack of standard beauty that prevents you from making your dreams come true. Well, sorry for the spoiler but it’s really not all about the looks unless you’re a model (and probably not even then).
The oversimplification doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to say about criticising a society that’s so obsessed with not so much looking good as with perfection. The mainstream culture does promote certain standard of beauty and well being that is difficult to achieve. Perhaps the main character’s fixation of achieving it has more to do with the culture than with herself.

I’d not dare to overanalyze, though. It’s a simple, mildly entertaining comedy, which will keep you amused for most of the time. Towards the end it gets painfully predictable and intellectually offensive, to the point that watching it becomes a struggle. Apart from Amy Schumer who’s quite funny and doesn’t mind making fun of herself, the movie is worth watching for Michelle Williams. She’s really entertaining in the role of a seemingly perfect Avery LeClaire.

To sum up, watch the movie but with a bunch of girlfriends and don’t expect too much.

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What Getting a Puppy Taught Me About Potentially Having Children

Laika cuteThere’s no doubt that having a child is a much bigger deal than having a puppy. I doubt I will ever join the ranks of those, who require to be wished “Happy Mother’s Day” on Mother’s Day just because they have a “fur baby”. A baby is a baby and a puppy is a puppy. I do feel it’s taking away from the actual motherhood to claim they’re the same or even closely comparable. Having said that, I have to admit that the plan of getting the puppy had something to do with me checking how I feel about taking on a much bigger responsibility in the foreseeable future. I’ve found out, not surprisingly, that I’m nowhere close to being ready for the following reasons:

1. It requires time

You’d think that puppies aren’t a big deal. You know, you give them their food, water and toys, walk them and play with them from time to time and they pretty much raise themselves. Well, no, or at least no, if you’re aspiring for your puppy not to become the hound of the Baskervilles. You have to spend time to train them not to steal your food so that you can sit down when eating a meal, not to bark at other dogs and humans, not to poo and pee whenever and wherever they feel like it, not to jump and scratch etc In other words, it takes up your free time. Of course, you can also just ignore your puppy and let it do whatever it wants, leaving it on its own in the house for the whole day…but then it’s cruel and why to get a puppy at all? Children definitely require this multiply by a zillion. At this stage of my life I’m not willing to give up any more free time than I already do for the doggo.

2. It’s all about priorities

When you have a child it becomes your priority and it’s understandable. When you get a puppy it’s okay for it not to be your priority. After almost 7 year spent in a foreign countries and millions of problems related to immigration I start to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel workwise. Regardless of what my father-in-law says about the state of my career, I am and always have been career oriented. I need to be happy where I am in life (= professionally) first in order to be a happy mother. At this point in my life having a child would cause me to resent it and that’s not something a child should live with. Thanks to the wonder of contraception we can now decide (if and) when we want to have children to give them the optimal experience of us (because let’s be honest, we’ll fuck them up a bit however hard we try).

3. I take everything seriously and 4. I like to be good at the things I do

My mom says I’ve never been much of a child and I guess it’s true. I’ve always been serious about life. As I commented before in my thoughts before turning 30 I have definitely realised that some things don’t work out and it’s almost never the end of the world. I’m certainly more chilled than I’ve ever been but… it still leaves me quite a serious person. I guess some people just ride life like surfers waves. When dealing with a topic like getting a puppy, they hear this or that from friends, listen to a vet or maybe not even that. In general are chilled and hoping for the best. Not me. I read books and articles for general advice and Google everything to double check. Do you know what kind of peanut butter is good for your puppy and what kind can potentially kill it? Do you know which fruit and vegetables are safe and which can cause potentially long term damage? How much puppy blood on a toy is okay and a sign of healthy teething? Just ask me, I know it ALL now. At the same time I’m not ready to enroll on the course baby101 because I don’t want to just finish it. I want 100% and then to get a Master’s Degree.

4. I struggle with anxiety (in life but also especially now in relation to the dog)

The truth is that since we got the puppy I’ve been spending a lot of time being afraid I will kill it due to my negligence or some terrible mistake. Did you know that it’s okay to give your puppy an apple but not the seeds as they contain cyanide? Yes, the same things that have been used in many terrible instances in human history to get rid of people. I also obsess about the smallest signs of something being wrong. If the dog limps for five minutes I fight with myself not to research 24h vets in the area just yet. When she gets really scared I wonder whether she can die because of it. I worry about her a lot and always think about the worst case scenario. I’m trying to rewire but it’s just like this mental trail that my mind always chooses. I’m really not ready to worry that I will somehow cause some harm to a little human, especially that avoiding all the harm is completely impossible. I either have to find a way to worry less (I’m already off booze and cigarettes, exercise regularly, cut down on caffeine and meditate so don’t recommend me any of that!) or give up and find someone who doesn’t mind giving me a lifetime supply of meds.

5. It’s a massive responsibility

Having a dog (let alone having a child) is a massive responsibility because it’s another being that depends on you. If you won’t feed it, it’ll be hungry and eventually die. Don’t show it enough love and affection and it’ll get sad and so on and so forth. All of a sudden making all your plans you have to take this being into account. Sure, you can leave a puppy alone but it’s rather upset when you disappear for too long. It doesn’t understand where you are and wonders whether you’ll ever come back. That leaves you with making plans for your longer outings: getting someone who’ll take care of it, dropping it somewhere where someone will take care of it or considering taking it with you. In any case, you always have to think about it. It’s a responsibility and a child is an even bigger one.

In short, the puppy is great (see the pic above) but I’m not ready for more. I see myself being ready maybe somewhere in 5 years or so. The fearmongers who worry about my biological clock: 1) I’m not planning to have biological children and seeing I’ve decided that around 15 I think I’m unlikely to change my mind and 2) should I decide to have biological children later in life: more and more women successfully do so, so please kindly worry about your own uterus. Oh and to those who think it’s selfish, kindly read #englishrosiee’s post about it.

 

 

 

 

How Often Does LOVE Actually Exist Behind Closed Doors ?

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#zlotybaby’s post on the #royalwedding shed some light on the human obsession with weddings. NB: Weddings. Not love. Not the marriage that comes after the wedding. But the event itself. And in some cases, it is a GBP 32 million event. Everyone and his dog seems to feel they should voice an opinion on such events. Whether it’s about Meghan’s hairdo or just a lowly pleb’s bad choice in caterers – I’m sure the ugly aunties, pervy uncles and even the next door neighbour’s cat will have something to say. Oh and don’t even get me started on what people are going to be saying if you aren’t in a rush to get down the aisle, pop out babies or follow the crowd. Breaking with convention (as we saw Harry and Meghan do on a number of levels) is certainly going to get you some backlash from those who did/are doing it RIGHT.

Anyways I’m getting ahead of myself here. This isn’t the post about where I bitch and moan about lavish weddings, I’ll save that one for a rainy day. Getting to the point, what I want to talk about today is how often ‘love’ (in the traditional sense – whatever that is) really exists behind the facade of all the ever-perfect relationships we are bombarded with today. Life these days (like weddings) has become nothing more than a big fat competition – who is the most successful? Who has the best relationship? Who has achieved all those big life goals by the arbitrary deadlines set by society? With that kind of pressure and all the requirements, people strive for in a potential partner  –  I really find it hard to believe that ‘love’ features that heavily in most people’s stories.

Call me a cynic all you want but I think often all the ‘perfection’ we see around us is a bit of an illusion and you only need to start looking beyond those lavish weddings and facebook declarations of love to see that things aren’t all that peachy. Let’s look at things a little more closely.

Long distance marriages

Long distance relationships. Been there, done that. And I can honestly say from experience that they are not much fun. The novelty of playing online battleships and falling asleep with your Skype camera on wears off pretty quickly when you only get to do the deed once every six months! But maybe, I’m just a needy little girl because there are some people that can make it ‘work’ for years and years. Take for instance long distance marriages which feature kids, pets and extravagant holidays but where the couple themselves only meet a couple of times a year. But don’t worry, he got her that Cartier bling she was after so it’s all good.

I get it if your financial situation requires you to take up a lucrative job offer in a butt fuck nowhere in order to support the fam but in some cases, it seems that it is the long-distance element that has allowed the relationship to stand the test of time. Perhaps there could be nothing worse than having to share a whole country with the dude you married. Let’s just say, I’ve probably spent more time with boyfriends from bad relationships that these couples have with the ones they said ‘I do’ to!

And if you can’t emigrate to avoid your spouse remember this is the age of Ashley Madison ….

Behind many of these real-life fairytales, lies a deep, dark and sinister subplot AKA the affair. Even though most people won’t admit it, monogamy is overrated in this age! All those perfect relationships you see happening around you, well, the stats say that 1 in 3 marriages feature some form of infidelity somewhere down the line. Even the Royals aren’t immune!

And the sad truth is that in most instances it won’t even end in divorce. People just carry on. Some choose to turn the other check while others go to couples therapy. And some just seek revenge in the arms of the gardener/maid/car-guard/stripper. What a time to be alive!

But surely noone wants to die alone. So just get a buddy and sleep in different beds …

While women feel the pressure to settle down thanks to that ticking biological clock, there comes a time when even the most eligible of bachelors has to come to terms with the fact that unless he puts a ring on it he is most likely to end up dying alone. It really is a scary thought.

It’s a reasonable motivation to settle down, I suppose. Love doesn’t necessarily have to feature. It’s about finding someone you can tolerate you enough to share their space with you to some extent. Of course, sex, snuggles and the like are going to become too much effort as we age anyway. So why not cut to the chase and set yourself up in separate beds from the go? #truestory!

Yup so, that wonderful thing called LOVE. Well, it is a nice idea and all…But the next time people make you feel sad about the state of your life and the fact that you might not be sticking to the convention just remember that as great as all those social media official relationships look, you just need to scratch the surface to see that things aren’t all that perfect. Love doesn’t always feature in these things and clearly lots of people don’t think it’s a requirement for a ‘functioning’ relationship. But sometimes I guess the facade of these things help because of deep down we are all different degrees of dysfunctional. What I’m saying is people should do whatever makes them happy – marry a pleb, marry a movie star, don’t get married – just live in sin, sleep in separate beds, live in different time zones, whatever. And if you are lucky you may just find a glimmer of love somewhere hidden behind the Facebook pictures, public glorification, etc and if not well just try not to die alone (and get eaten by Alsatians!) 😛

OK Rinsers. How prominently do you think love features in our relationship choices today? Is it all about the facade and reaching major milestones at the given deadline? Or are relationships more about companionship so we don’t need to die alone? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Royal Wedding AKA Hey, It’s Me Complaining About the Royalty Again

the wedding.jpg“Have you watched the Royal wedding?” People ask. “No,” I reply and politely don’t add “Why did you?/Should I?”. I expressed my views about the Royals on this blog before but let me quickly summarize them for you:

  1. I don’t think some people are better than others just because of the family in which they were born. The world makes it very unfair as it is for many people around the world who are born in all sorts of circumstances that make their life difficult. From zero to hero is a myth we like to believe and a statistical anomaly. Life is hard as it is. Archaic concepts such as monarchy make it even more unequal.
  2. Seeing that I don’t believe that the Royals are any better than commoners just because of who their parents are, I don’t understand the ado about them. Fair enough the Queen who has a job is salaried but the rest of them? I also don’t understand why British taxpayers pay for their lavish weddings (or why people need lavish weddings at all).

The core of my disinterest in the Royal Wedding lies my 1) dislike for people’s alleged superiority and a little bit 2) the trend of splurging on weddings in general.

Now, when it comes to watching weddings I’m not particularly interested in any apart from those of people close to my heart. I don’t know Meghan Markle and I don’t know Prince Harry (do you?). I’d perhaps be more interested in a wedding of someone famous who I admire for their achievements. Sure, I’ve indulged in reading some gossip about them. Markle has definitely won some affection from my side for being a rule breaker, ignoring the haters and getting what she wanted. I even Googled Markle’s dress because she’s gorgeous and I was curious how she would like on her wedding day. However, to spend a few hours of my precious lifetime to watch two absolute strangers tying the knot seems ludicrous. Of course, everyone is allowed to waste their time as they wish and I don’t feel in any way superior because I binged on the second season of “13 Reasons Why” instead. Still, apart from them being absolute strangers, they also represent something that in principle I’m opposed to. I’m actually curious why people do watch or care about this wedding at all? Especially people who are not even British? Perhaps those that do can tell me in the comments section.

On the top of all I’ve mentioned, there’s of course all the stuff that Markle can and can’t do now to be considered lady-like. Because, yes, this obsolete institution called Royalty is not only elitist but also sexist. The rules are pretty conservative for men, of course, but I don’t remember reading anywhere about the fact that men have to cover their cleavage, among other things. It does anger me when anyone tells a woman what to wear, even if that person is the Queen of England. If you really think about what being a princess means, I don’t think most women would like to be one. You can’t work, you can’t decide what you wear, you can’t even openly express yourself or own a social media account. Even your husband and children aren’t truly yours to enjoy in peace and your pain such as childbirth doesn’t get the much needed privacy. It seems like quite a big price to pay for a free wedding, even if it’s straight from a fairy tale. Anyway, I do wish the Royal couple all the best just like I’d wish any other couple after their big day.