Three reasons to be grateful

Have you ever had one of those weeks when you have too much to do? This is my week. Pressed for time, I even resorted to getting a coffee from the drive through at McDonalds. A new low I felt. However life’s not too bad; here are some good things happening.

1. Soup: this months Donna Hay magazine has some truly delicious soups to try. My favourite so far has been the pea and ham; the bright green soup puts me in a better mood. The recipe calls for sour dough bread crumbs to be sprinkled on top – this is an inspired detail!

2. Inspector George Gently: I’ve recently rediscovered this TV show and am loving it. It’s brilliantly written and you’ll laugh and possibly cry with each episode. I also like feeling I’ve just had a history lesson on 60’s social issues with murder solved. Haven’t had much time but there is a long weekend coming up…

3. Jane Austen: my drama students are performing some scenes from Austen and their enthusiasm is awesome. At first they absolutely HATED Mr Darcy when he snobbed Lizzy. Then they LOVED him when he told her how much he “ardently admired and loved her.” It’s so wonderful for them to be 17 and truly discovering Austen for the first time. I’m grateful to be part of that.

So chin up. Life’s still pretty good.

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Clothes might take away stress

emma11Women love talking about weight. Or we talk about fat, sugar, ‘food guilt’, our legs, arms, bum, breasts, hair, skin, tan and so on… It can be quite boring.

When I was a teenager, I loved watching movies and TV set in the past. Looking back, I liked the way they represented women.

In these “costume drama’s” the emphasis was on a women’s personality rather than her body. These women spent time worrying about being a better person; they wanted to be more kind, confident, rational and wise. All my favourite female characters were witty and intelligent; they could hold their own in any verbal battle. You really can’t get any better than Elizabeth Bennet or Emma Woodhouse!

These women were also beautiful, however their beauty wasn’t about having perfect legs. They could even be beautiful with clothes on. Their clothes covered quite a lot of their body.

Do you remember the moment in Clueless, which is an appropriation of Jane Austens Emma, when Josh realises he loves Cher? She is walking down the stairs, wearing a dress no bigger than a pillow case. And you can tell by his face that he suddenly realises just how ‘hot’ she is.

I always hated that part of the movie. Mr Knightly, from Emma (pictured above)didn’t need to see Emma in a “pillow case dress” to fall in love.

Some people have told me it can be quite empowering to wear less clothes. They say that wearing a shirt that barely covers your undies, or a top that lets your breast nearly topple out, can really show your confidence.

Honestly, that has never rung true for me.

Women, who lived in a time when they covered up, must have been less self-conscious about their bodies. It just makes sense. With more clothing coverage, you wouldn’t have to worry if your tummy was a little flabby or your thighs were a little wide. Contemporary clothes can be quite unforgiving on anyone with womanly curves.

When the average Australian girl spends her summer wearing the teeniest shorts possible, she has so much to worry about. Her legs have to be tanned, toned, waxed, skinny and long. And that’s not taking into account all the other grooming she will need to do on the rest of her body. This is a lot to achieve every day of the week. It might leave little time for having fun and developing her brain power.

She might become very competitive, but it’s not whilst playing sport or doing an exam, it’s about comparing legs.

One of my students told me she used to get up an hour and half earlier in the morning to put on her tan, straighten her hair and do her makeup. She rarely found time do her homework.

Obviously female clothes should be functional; I’m not saying we should return to wearing corsets. However there is so much pressure on women to expose and sell their body. Clothes should just make us look even more beautiful.

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful if women could spend less time fussing about their appearance? Imagine what we could achieve.