Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mozzies, body image and other essential issues

The worst thing about the run-up to the hot, hot, hot Dubai summer is the hungry mozzie invasion. These bitey little pests can become mighty annoying - especially if, like me, you're partial to sitting outside in the evening for a glass of something relaxing accompanied by a naughty blast of nicotine.

I've always hated mosquitoes. Unfortunately the feeling isn't mutual - mozzies think I'm delicious. Even coated with thick layers of industrial strength repellent, the little buggers somehow get through. I once spent the night in a very basic cabana in Mexico under a mosquito net, taking the precaution of wearing full length pyjama bottoms tucked into socks with a long sleeved t-shirt and a liberal application of DEET; I woke up in the morning with 53 bites on various parts of my body, including my bum. How? I'm still baffled.

It wouldn't be such a problem, vanity aside, if it wasn't for the fact that I'm allergic to mosquito stings (and most insect bites), which merely serves to add insult to injury. So I'm looking forward to a couple of months of being covered in unsightly red lumps which will go nicely with the various scrapes and bruises I collect on a daily basis... a result of what Alpha calls my complete lack of 'spacial awareness' (a slightly nicer way of saying that I'm a clumsy oaf).

Which leads me neatly on to body image issues. Somehow I seem to have agreed to be interviewed (and photographed...eek!) tomorrow for VIVA's June issue on how I feel about my body. They're planning to cover all shapes and sizes and, since they were obviously running a bit short in the midget category, I got roped in.

Despite being teased about being somewhat smaller than average for most of my life, I have no issue about my (lack of) height. Admittedly, being knee-high to a grasshopper does sometimes present practical problems - such as not being able to reach the higher shelves in the supermarket and, since I started driving a 'mommy tractor' having to stand on tip-toes and hop a bit to shut the car boot. But apart from that, I couldn't care less. And if I do want to stand a bit taller than usual, well, isn't that what heels were invented for?

Height aside, I now look at pictures of myself when I was in my 20s and think I looked pretty good, yet the period during which I was at my physical best was also when I was most insecure about my shape. Bizzarely, I now feel more confident in a bikini than I ever did back then, despite having since produced three children and experienced the inevitable changes that come with the ageing process.

Having kids changed my view of my body and helped me to become more realistic and less self-critical. So what if my legs are more stumpy than supermodel, my cleavage isn't going to stop traffic and my booty will never measure up to Beyonce's? That's fine. Live with it... otherwise the alternative is plastic surgery, which I have no real objection to (each to their own etc) but I'm way too chickensh*t to pursue.

What we tend to forget is that being attractive is so much more than your vital statistics - it's your walk, how you carry yourself, a beaming smile and your unique mannerisms. You can't turn yourself into a 22-year-old Victoria's Secret model, but you can make the best of yourself, be it through exercise, a healthy diet or simply dressing well, all of which helps boost confidence levels. And let's face it, confidence is where it's at - it's the most attractive thing of all. 

6 comments:

Daddy Papersurfer said...

A smoker!!! Thank heavens there are still some sane human beans ... *smokes cigar in a companionable way*

Daddy Papersurfer said...

BTW, I feel extremely confident in a bikini as well. Mind you I've only had two children ...

Anonymous said...

The nicotine in your blood should be even more poisonous to the mosquitoes than it is to you, Alpha and your lovely little kiddies! Whaddyaknow!? Science is discredited! Does that mean that God is trying to tell you something?

Anonymous said...

Probably trying to tell you that smoking is good for you!

juicyfatkin said...

Two of the best repellents I know are not washing and a big strong double G&T. The more you drink the less they bit or the less you notice. Not sure which one is the truth but always worth a try as a G&T at the end of the day is magical.

Louise said...

I know what you mean about the mossies - I have personally contributed to the number of UAE mossies flying around with alcohol poisoning!