Pinterested?

Last night I fell down a Pinterest rabbit hole and didn’t claw my way out until gone 1am.

I found myself ‘pinning’ for my life – movie typography, film posters, Barbra Streisand when she was young – there’s now a board for most topics. I feel completely frazzled.

Pinterest isn’t a new thing. In fact, it’s pretty much everywhere. I’ve signed up a few times but invariably abandoned it, dismissing it as too twee for me. And it can be – the ‘Pinterest lifestyle’ is something I throw at people as a thinly veiled insult – but it’s also a very handy tool.

I think I was just scared that this very thing would happen – that I’d become obsessed. Now I’m tending to my boards like a beautiful, organised allotment. I’m landscaping dreamy imagery and shirtless photos of Tom Holland like Percy Thrower up in here. (Damn, that reference shows my age).

Villanelle from Killing Eve – oh her wardrobe has a patch of its own. Aubrey Plaza, grab a pew girl. Classic Horror? Get over here.

You get the picture. In some ways it’s a dangerous game. If you spend enough time there, a lot of the aesthetics blend into one. All the decor is perfectly lit, perfectly co-ordinated – nothing like a real apartment. Nobody I know has fifteen thick woollen throws on their futon.

What I’m trying to say is, I’m having fun but I’m quite close to feeling bad that I haven’t hoovered for two weeks (three) and that I don’t have enough tea lights in the utility drawer. Don’t even get me start on the picture perfect beauty of everybody, I’ve had to actively seek out women who look more like me to balance things.

So this new hobby is not without its dark side, like most things – and should be used responsibly. That said, I’ll probably never sleep again but I will have the coolest image garden at my fingertips, dozens of happy places in which to frolic.

Shit. Maybe I should delete the app again.

You can find my profile here. If you want.

FOMO Oh No

I’m anti-social. Honestly, if I were left to my own devices I’d be a full-time hermit living on Cloud 9, never going out and having all my meals and necessities delivered to my door.

Unfortunately, I also have severe FOMO and I like my friends so cannot live out my natural anti-social tendencies to their fullest. I go out with people a lot and I do love it. Sometimes I have to bail because there are too many people in one place, take Pride for instance. One of my favourite times to be living in Brighton and yet I can only bring myself to dip a toe into the festivities before it all gets too much.

I’m not boring I promise, just anxious and crowd-phobic. Yet I look at the Instagram stories of my loved ones having fun and I wish I were wild again, I wish I could be in the midst of it. It’s a bit sad for a 40 year old to be thinking this way but I guess that’s the nature of social media and I sometimes worry I’m going to get left behind, one day I’ll be too old to be part of it and that’s bloody stupid, isn’t it?

What if everyone has so much fun without me that they stop asking me out and I’m forced to sit in night after night for the rest of my life watching re-runs of Friends on a loop, lamenting the good times? You can see the damage I do to myself by thinking this way and continually being logged on?

I know my friends love me and not just for being there socially. I bring more to the table than my appearance at every single social event (hopefully). Quality not quantity and all that.

I think I need to step back and appreciate how lucky I am. That true friendship doesn’t just stop because you’re not there for one do. And doesn’t it make the ones you make it to all the more special? Life’s hard when you’re a contradictory little bitch, innit?

Anyone else suffer from a severe case of FOMO?

Girl, Bye.

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You know what true power is?

Cutting things out of your life that hurt or anger you. No argument, no “Fuck you”, just a “Girl, bye” under your breath and you’re off. I’m currently angry and bewildered by a particular incident that happened on that wonderful barometer of how shit people can be: the internet. Specifically, Facebook.

Someone I know recently posted a status update about ‘promoting plus-size’ (and how wrong it is), and even though I should never be surprised by the general lack of sympathy toward fat people, I did expect better from this individual.

Sadly (not really), she’s no longer going to be part of my life, on any platform or in the flesh (in my case, substantially more flesh). I don’t conform to who she wants me to be nor deserve any sort of respect based on what she’s saying apparently, so I’m stepping out.

I know, I know that us fats are all just asking for trouble being the way we are. We’re all going to die horribly because we wear bigger dress sizes. We certainly don’t live active lives, how can we? We all eat shit, swerve veggies and more or less just mainline Digestives on the sofa in front of the TV day in day out. You got me.

We don’t deserve to dress nicely or enjoy fashion or beauty, life or love. We don’t deserve basic respect either while we’re here. A sweeping statement on Facebook with a Daily Mail supporting link is definitely the way to go to reach people if that’s really what you want to do. And if people are alienated, feel personally let down by your attitude, all the better right? They deserve it, the pigs.

People do not respond well to being bullied. Being hateful (even in the form of faux-health concern) will not help. If anything it will make people far less likely to make the best choices for themselves. It will make them feel like shit. It will stop them living their best lives.

How dare this person promote a love yourself mentality and then screw over all the overweight people on her friends list? Oh wait, maybe she doesn’t have any overweight friends? (She doesn’t now). She is blonde, slim and beautiful after all, and it seems not tolerant of anyone who doesn’t fit a similar ideal?

I haven’t spoken to her about this and I won’t. I’m not interested in a debate. I don’t care what she thinks or says. Chances are that she thinks she’s being helpful and that her arrogant ‘motivation’ comes from a good place. I really don’t care.

Girl, bye.

You can bet I’m exercising this mentality in all areas of my life. Brexit was a good way to measure people’s true selves and unfortunately, a handful of people fell short of what I want in my life.

There are doubtless things I say and do that alienate me from people that I don’t even register and that’s their right too. Life’s too short for bullshit and I’m done.

Click, click – over it.

Get Me Bodied

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Last night I fell into bed at the usual time utterly exhausted. Had I climbed a mountain, or run 10k? Nope, just the usual: spent more than a ‘healthy’ amount of time on Twitter.

I can’t blame my favourite social media app for all these feelings of inertia but a conversation started on there that began to melt my brain, and then got me thinking about all the other negative talk I hear on a day to day basis.

It gets to the point where you can feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders and for a moment there I wanted to shout; “Stop the world, I want to get off!”.

Then I remembered that the new patch on my denim jacket urges me to consider what Kathleen Hanna would do and I know I can’t just lie down until it passes. Not that this blog post will change society in 350 words obviously, but at least I can get it off my chest.

It’s about bodies (who knew?).

The thing that triggered me yesterday was news of a plus-size issue of Glamour magazine. Cool. But apparently, or at least this is how it looks to the outside world, they’d struggled to actually fill an entire issue with ‘acceptable’ women of size so they’d turned to Amy Schumer as one of their poster children.

She’s not plus-size in my eyes but by that stage I didn’t know what dress size she was so, whatever (obviously it wasn’t going to be a large one). Schumer, on social media, reposted the cover with the a “Hey Twitter, what are your thoughts?”. She went on to say she had nothing against being plus-size but that as a US size 6 (plus-size begins at 16), she doesn’t consider herself to be in that category. She also claimed she was never told or asked that she’d be in this edition, and that she’s offended by it.

This whole thing does raise the question of why she’s so bothered about the association to this label, especially when she’s started off by being so body positive. I get that the label is not for some. Ashley Graham wants to be referred to as sexylicious ffs! But from what I’ve seen, Amy has made a career out of fat jokes about herself, I guess she just doesn’t think it’s cool that anyone would consider her that way, beyond herself. It’s just such a mixed message.

I’m not saying she’s wrong for raising the point of how this labeling could affect young people but I just… I’m tired of it all.

Not even to mention the fact that they could have filled this issue with hundreds of incredible fat ladies who aren’t models and made this issue actually something special.

I’m tired of fat people still not having it better in 2016. I’m tired of insidious fat talk seeping into my every day life and never being put in check. I’m tired of Amy Schumer’s poor comic delivery if I’m honest.

Most of all, I’m tired of thinking about my own body all the time. Like, all the shitting time!

Out for drinks on Friday I found myself talking about this vessel I call my body wayyyyyy too much and it was only because one person in my party likes to bring it up. I’m not sure why: to make me feel different? Special? Not good enough? It’s likely not malicious but it’s helped me on my way to typing this out. Shut up about it already!

Normally I’m all for this chatter. I’m getting better at it and I accept myself a hell of a lot more than I did ten/two years/one year/six months/a day ago but sometimes I just feel worn down. I think it’s the beauty industry altogether, with fat just being one branch of it.

And you know what else, I’m a privileged fat person at that – I’m white, at the smaller end of the plus-size spectrum and I’m represented a hell of a lot more in the media and all around than a lot of other women. So I have much less of a right to be moaning right now.

So, before my head falls off (at least I’d lose half a stone, amiright? BOOM):

  • Is it okay to be fat? Yes.
  • Do fat people deserve the same considerations as thin people? Yes.
  • Is it a form of rebellion to love yourself despite the fact people around you are telling you not to? Yes.
  • Is it okay to hate yourself every once in a while, despite all your body po personal achievements? Fuck yes.
  • Is it okay to be thin and beautiful? Yes.
  • Is it okay to opt out of triggering body talk? Always yes.
  • Is it okay to call someone up on their casual fatphobia? Yes.
  • Is it okay to feel down about bodies in general and write an incoherent post about it on your blog? God I hope so.

Finally:

  • Is it okay to dislike Amy Schumer (not for this) but still sort of enjoy Trainwreck (2015)? I don’t care what the answer to this one is TBH.

That’s where I am head wise today. If I were given the opportunity to be a brain in a jar for a while I might take them up on it just for another perspective.

One day you know maybe there won’t be the need to assess women by their size and conversations like this will be a thing of the past. I look forward to that day but until then, call me plus, give me clothes that fit and less of the fucking attitude.

What’s on your mind today? ❤

The Ex Factor

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This headline popped up in my inbox this morning: “Facebook begins testing tools to let people manage interactions with exes” and, to paraphrase Miss Carrie Bradshaw, it got me to thinking.

Obviously, before I pour vitriol all over this post, I have to say that I understand this is meant to be a good thing. Apparently it will allow people to hide each other without unfriending or unfollowing. So your ex can post pictures of his/her new love to his/her hearts content and you won’t be able to see it, no siree.

Heaven forbid that you hurt his/her feelings by kicking him/her off your newsfeed though, amiright?

‘Course it works both ways and might leave you feeling more relaxed if you’re the one moving on, leaving the person you used to love in your dust.

I am friends with a few exes. But when I say ex I mean there was a certain degree of interaction and one of them almost broke my heart, but these were never long term loves, nor life ruiners. One of them has revealed himself to be racist so has been swiftly removed but for the most part I’ve picked well in the past and they can stay.

But I don’t need advice on how to deal with my significant ex because he’s lower than low and therefore has no part in my present. It’s bad enough that I still bear the (emotional) scars of years walking on eggshells and years believing I was nothing and nobody because he make me feel that way.

If it hadn’t made me who I am now, I would hit delete on our shared past quicker that it just took me to type the word delete. The thought of ever accidentally bumping into him (I hear he lives in the next town over) fills me with pant-soiling fear. I don’t know what I’d do beyond running as fast I could in the opposite direction. Cry hard. Buy an 8 pack of Brillo pads and scour my skin until it bled, that sort of thing.

It’s not always healthy to try to make people feel good above your own well-being, to always be the bigger person or to take things graciously (and I have to take my own advice here). There are valid reasons for why people despise their exes and I don’t think FB can help you with those. Then again, it’s doubtful you’d still be friends on social media.

I think, block those fuckers and move on, loves. Try not to give them the power they need to thrive. Try and forget. Try and move on, and protect yourself. Trust me, you’ve got plenty of friends so don’t have to be friends with everyone you’ve ever dated.

That’s my view and I know I’m massively biased. I know many people look at this topic very differently and what works for them, works for me.

It’s just you know, I’m still angry.

Quit You

Film Bridget Jones The Edge Of Reason

Hiding from my Facebook timeline

It’s become a thing in our household to quit something we love on New Year’s Eve and stick to it for the duration of the coming year. I’m not sure why, but 2015 was my first year in the ‘game’ and I gave up chocolate, just for shits n’ gigs.

My lovely husband spent 2014 saying no to pork products, and this year is off the beer. His dedication to whatever the fuck the point of this is, is incredible. I suppose I only chose chocolate because I knew it would be hard and I wanted to prove to him (and myself?) that I can do it.

I’ve had about 3 slip ups, alright? But they’re all bought and paid for, none of them are secrets. I still thinks it’s bloody impressive that I haven’t bought chocolate for almost a full year. And don’t worry about me, I’ve still gorged on plenty of sweets and savoury snacks, I’m no fool.

The question is: what to give up this year? G has already committed to crisps, bringing my brother down with him (who incidentally, inspired by Bacon Gate, quit coffee for 2015). I’m thinking biscuits*.

What I’d really like to give up is Facebook. I mean, how hard can it be?

Really hard, I think. I love social media. I’m all about Twitter, all over Instagram and well that’s about it really but FB is a unique waste ground, isn’t it? It seems to have rules of its own and the rules are, there ain’t no rules.

As a result you get a melting pot of startling views, a rich tapestry of hot takes from across the world. For the most part people are fabulous but some of these misguided, uneducated opinions are starting to get me down.

Maybe things I do on FB upset others. I mean maybe there is such a thing as too many photos of men with glittery beards, who knows?

I have to do something drastic soon before my head explodes. I’ve already gone on a blocking spree, hiding a significant amount of people from my timeline.

It’s not any one topic either. I’ve bowed out of online friendships (without unfriending because that seems petty and has often come back to bite me on the nose) for all manner of offences. Sexism, racism, all too casual and therefore insidious fat shaming; general, hopeless ignorance. Minion memes.

I’m not perfect by any means. I don’t always get everything right, shock horror. I’m sure you could pick on some of the things I believe in/say/post but for the most part I live by the rule if I don’t know much about something, I’ll leave it alone. And post a photograph of a teapot or something.

So what to do? WHAT TO DO.

Despite the fact I now know just how racist some of my once normal-seeming friends are, I love Facebook for how easy it is to keep everyone together. So maybe I’ll do it, maybe I won’t.

Maybe I’ll just go on blocking people until there’s nobody left.

All I do know is, the one thing worse than Facebook itself? Someone umming and ahhing about leaving it.

What do you guys think?

*No dunk for 12 months 😦

The Voice

Bjork (11)It’s been all go this weekend with family visits, free comedy, eating everything in sight and going to see the new Mad Max (look, my view of busy versus yours may be very different, okay?). It will also be all go this coming weekend with a family wedding and some time away from home at my mother’s.

I want some time to sit down and focus on my blogs (this one and my fledgling blog, Graffiti Bridge). It’s an exciting time for the latter, in that it could be something if I can only determine what that might be, and how to get there. I feel like I need a proper plan though, not something cobbled together on the back of a discarded receipt, especially if I want to a) stand out from the crowd and b) approach actual artists and interview them.

But I’m not in any way done with AVM, this blog is part of who I am and I will never not be here, even if attention sways or slows down to a crawl. My weekly collaboration with Jillian is über fun but is also a great way of keeping up with regular posting. I love reviewing films but I don’t want to lose the heartbeat of my blog either, which includes other topics.

I’m definitely flirting with trying on a new medium for size and that might be recording tiny podcasts and embedding them in my reviews (to begin) and then moving them forward. I love the medium and have been enjoying an array of really entertaining ones, including Bangs and a Bun, No Pun Intended and the daddies, Mark Kermode & Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews lately. I highly recommend them all and also Serial, if you haven’t yet caught it.

I’ve downloaded an Android app called Spreaker Studio which looks easy enough to master and if they work, I’ll probably use Soundcloud. Sounds professional already, right?

So that’s me, looking into phase two for A Voluptuous Mind. I don’t know if it will work, if it will be any good or if anyone will enjoy it but I guess that’s the beauty of trying something new: you just never know.

Until then, have a great week all.

Who Run The World?

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Just a quick meme from me today, with a longer post on this topic later in the week.

This, reposted from @huffpostwomen on Instagram, is just perfect and a very good reminder that there’s enough room in the world for us all.

Sure, sometimes we might need to check ourselves, but as women we should be there to big each other up, encourage and support one another, no matter what.

Again, I sometimes need to take a breath and remember this but it’s very important to me that I live by this mantra. We all should.

💪💋💪💋💪💋

My Weekend in Pictures – March 15

Or rather, my Sunday in pictures. Saturday wasn’t the most photogenic of days, let’s put it that way! Unless you’re interested in the sight of me with a top knot, scrubbing the loo.


A couple of #selfies in there for you as well as some kick ass graffiti and the interior of a great new coffee shop.

I’ve a bit of a headache so I’m going to bed with my book for a bit. These happy pictures will have to represent me today, I’ll offer a better post tomorrow.

I’ve got a couple of mini film reviews to put up later and for once, I’ve actually drawn up a blog schedule, so there’s a lot planned for this week, which is quite exciting for me.

Basically, once I’m shifted this headache, you won’t be able to shut me up. Happy Monday!

New Blogs*: A Round-up of What I’m Reading Right Now – Part 2

img_2046It’s been ages since I did one of these shout out posts but I have been reading some really good blogs lately that are definitely worth a mention.

I hate sharing food and sometimes my time, but I’m kind when it comes to spreading the blog love. I know, I’m just so giving.

Hope you enjoy!

  • Camelia Ophelia – My beautiful and highly talented colleague, and also one of my best friends, has a fashion blog now and I’m so excited about it. Nobody I know can put an outfit together like this girl. It’s great to have her in my life and next to me on a day-to-day basis because, even though I mostly channel bag lady/the MGM cowardly lion chic, I love fashion too and she inspires me to try new things.

Stand out post: I adore them all but I love having a peak into people’s lives so I loved Tatty’s Burns Night post. Just too cool for school and chic to boot.
Read for: Clever outfit ideas from the high street with an injection of luxe. To die for!

Love you girl!

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