Like most busy people, I have a “to-do” list. I have one for this blog, in fact. A list of potential subject headings on things I want to post about. High on this list was something I was struggling to find a heading for….without seeming….well, like a bit of an old trout.
So, what was making me struggle so much to find a snappy headline? Here goes….. Why do all young girls/women look the same? Same hair, same make-up (what is going on with those brows), same clothes. Where has all the individuality gone? At what point did twenty year old hotties become so insecure about their looks that they headed for Botox injections and fillers in their lips? At what point did a rule get passed that you can only pull that silly, pouty duck face in a photo? What messages are we really sending the young women of today around what it takes to live a happy and successful life, whilst being comfortable in our own skin? The wrong ones in my opinion.
However, none of this was helping me find that all important header for my e-rant. And then someone posted this on Instagram……..
GENIUS. (Annoyingly, why didn’t I think of this? )
We absolutely need to embrace our inner Patsy! In a highly edited/filtered and curated (and in my view, false) world, now – more than ever – we really need to celebrate our individuality, stop masking our “flaws” and be our fabulous (darling) selves. So, just what would Patsy do? Here are her top three rules for life.
Rule #1 – You don’t need someone else’s opinion to validate you. Patsy Stone is a ringing endorsement for the power of self-belief. Yes, she’s flawed but that’s kind of why we love her anyway. Can you honestly imagine her asking anyone (other than maybe Edina) for their opinion as to how she looks? No! She simply doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. I’ll bet she stands in front of the mirror in the morning and says “you’re fabulous darling” and then gets on with her day. Her attitude is one of “take me or leave me” (warts and all) and she’s not interested in putting out a carefully edited version of herself; just for validation. What you see, IS what you get.
Let’s just take a second and compare/contrast mind-set with what we so often see today. Matthew Hussey, the dating and relationships guru, does a great synopsis of the truly self absorbed and insecure way some young females behave nowadays. Talking about online dating apps, he describes how many have literally thousands of selfies on their Instagram feed and profile pages, (none of which look like them because they’re so highly edited and filtered) and then obsessively check them for likes/validation. He goes on to describe how they’ll upload a provocative picture, hashtag it with “beauty is on the inside”, “feelingblessed” and “humble” , whilst totally failing to see the complete irony in those statements. Naturally the women in the room (most of all look like they’re over thirty) see how ridiculous this all is and collapse into fits of laughter.
So here’s the deal. What you see on the Kardashians. What you see on people’s Instagram feeds and Pinterest Boards – is an illusion, produced solely for your consumption. It doesn’t exist. It’s a carefully curated and managed image and its sole purpose is to get your validation or to sell you something. That’s not to say it’s bad necessarily but it has to be used in context. Unfortunately, it seems we’ve kinda gotten out of context with it all and are (quite literally) – taking it literally. Patsy knows life is to be LIVED and that means dealing with the good, the bad and not having to edit out the ‘ugly’ bits (why would you, when you can laugh at them later?). So be kind to yourself and focus only on being the bestest, most fabulous version of YOU. Which leads me nicely into our next rule….
Rule #2 – Loosen up – it’s not that serious. For Patsy and Edina, every single day is an adventure. They grab life by the danglies and by god, they have fun. They’re unapologetic, they’re definitely not PC and they don’t care what you think. They’re fearless…..they’re authentic. Now I’m not suggesting for a moment that you steam-roller your way through life and over people; leaving a trail of devastation in your wake. Being authentic isn’t about disregarding everyone else’s feelings or well-being but nor should you pussy-foot around them either. Dropping the pretence and being your true self is freeing, liberating and will allow you to squeeze each precious drop out of life. This is your ride and if other people don’t like it, well they can just get off.
Rule #3 – You can count your true friends on one hand. Or on one finger, in Patsy’s case. We now live in a time where you can buy Instagram followers and people will tell you “I’ve got 1031 friends on Facebook”. Yeah, because those people really are your friends. But over an alarmingly short space of time, we’re becoming programmed to crave validation from people who a: don’t know us or b: only want to know us because we paid them to or they liked a picture we filtered the bejeesus out of. Surely I am not the only one who sees how truly messed up and shallow this rationale is? You simply can’t choose your friends like you would a piece of furniture on the Ikea website.
On the other hand (and for all of her faults), Patsy is fiercely loyal to Edina. These two don’t do anything without one another, they know everything about each other and if they’re pissed off they don’t put an enigmatic meme up on Facebook and then go take a tonne of moody/pouty selfies. No, instead they have a blazing row, trade a few insults, make up and then share a bottle of Bolly. What makes their relationship so special? They communicate. Face to Face. In the Matthew Hussey piece I mentioned in Rule #1, he talks extensively about how people have lost the art of face to face communication; simply because it’s so easy to hide behind a piece of technology, whilst all the time projecting a false image. However extensive your emoji library; nothing can take the place of human to human interaction. Our tone of voice, body language, facial expression and quirks make us the crazy, individual and wonderful MOFO’s that we are. No, not everyone will appreciate your particular brand of individuality….. but that’s just fine – you never needed their approval anyway.
So don’t be a validation junkie, waiting on someone else to give you permission to be fabulous. Be a Patsy. You won’t get more likes but you’ll get more loves.
What does luxury mean to you? If you google “luxury” and view the immediate images that come up, you’ll see yachts, Lamborghini’s, Rolex watches and lots of hot chicks in swimsuits.
Hmmmmm. If that’s your luxury, great! However……
I couldn’t agree more. My luxuries centre around those everyday items that whatever is going on in my life, are omnipresent because they enhance my existence and make me feel better.
All that BS about saving things for a special occasion or “when we have visitors” – seriously, do me a favour. Enjoy your lovely things today, live in the present and stop waiting for someone to give you permission to indulge yourself.
So, in no particular order, here are my top ten everyday luxury items.. (and most of them don’t cost a lot at all!)
Amber Noir candle by Shearers – I have introduced so many friends to this scent, including men. There’s literally nothing else like it. I personally hate synthetic candle smells (like food, honestly makes me feel nauseous) and always gravitate towards those made with natural perfume oils. From their sexy black appearance to the hypnotic and dark scents of tuberose, violets and amber, this candle gets lit within the first ten minutes of me getting home. If you’ve not discovered it, I urge you to try.
Babyliss Big Hair Styler – My biggest gripe about mornings is the time (any amount of time) I have to spend getting ready. So anything that makes helps me get out the door quickly without scaring passers by; is a god send. I literally cannot live without this styler. I’ve had one for about the last six years and the moment the motor burns out due to the excessive use it gets, I’m straight out the door to buy another. If you have thick long hair, it’s going to be your new best-friend.
My Givenchy Antigona tote – The most expensive item on this list has more than earned its keep. I bought it after my pay off from my last corporate job and I agonised over spending so much, I needn’t have worried. After three years of pretty much continual use, it still looks like new. For me, it’s the perfect handbag. It is big enough to hold a netbook, bottle of water, pair of shoes, purse and make-up and it has a shoulder strap. It looks great with casual or smart outfits and mine is an amazing pebbled grey oil-slick leather that throws different colours when the light hits it. I’ve never seen another one and I’ve had buyers for major department stores offer to buy it if I ever sell it. Which I never intend to do.
Coco Noir Perfume – I have around half a dozen fragrances that I dip in and out of but if I had to choose just one, this would be it. I seem to gravitate towards smells that have the word “noir” in them (what this says about me, I do not know) but I would wear this day or night. It’s a floral oriental with a spicy, warm and woody edge and just a couple of sprays last all day.
Louis Vuitton black large square scarf – This goes everywhere with me and I use it all year round. I fell in love with it on a visit to Selfridges and couldn’t get over how soft it was. I tried buying a cheaper version but it just felt scratchy in comparison and in the end, I just took the plunge. I have had mine for years now and I chose the black because the logo is discreet and not at all showy.
Argan oil Night Serum – this stuff is as cheap as chips but oh my, it is literally like a drink of water for the skin. I use it in the day as well as at night as I just love the cooling sensation of putting it on and my skin is just so soft after it has been applied. Great on your hands too.
Egyptian Cotton Bedlinen (White) – no particular brand, it just has to be white and as high a thread-count as possible. I actually quite like miss-matching patterns on bed linen, so quite often you’ll find a stripe with a zigzag at my gaff. I’ve found great buys at QVC and TK Maxx and I’m still using sets I bought seven years ago, despite the fact that they get boil washed and pressed.
Oral B Pro electric toothbrush – Nothing cleans like it and I’ve used one for the past twenty years or more. I’ve tried the imitators but always end up back with the Oral B Pro. Nuff said.
Microsoft Surface Pro netbook – I pretty much love all tech. If I wasn’t limiting this list to ten items my I-Phone and I-Pad would be on it too. I still can’t fully tear myself away from Windows though and for me, this combination of streamline PC with removable keypad just oozes quality. It feels substantial yet will easily slip into a handbag. You can write on the screen and use it as a notepad and when you whip this bad boy out in a meeting; people quite literally salivate. Perfect for travelling as it doubles as a tablet. I’m still eyeing up the large I-Pad pro but for now this beauty has my heart.
My Nike Trainers – at any one time, I have about two pairs on the go – in varying states of being destroyed. I have herniated discs in my back and struggle with heels for any length of time. Plus, having dogs, I walk around 5-7 miles per day, so I need to have something that is comfortable, tough and doesn’t throw my alignment out. For me, no other brand does what Nike can do for me in this area. I’m currently using a pair of Thea Air and a black leather Pegasus Air, both of which get daily hammer and yet come out good as new after a 40 degree cycle in my washing machine. Although I’m sure Nike don’t actually recommend you do this……
What are your daily luxuries? What can’t you live without? What items are you rushing out the door to replace if you run out or they break?