Women, female athletes, competitors…

Hands up, who has watched some of the Winter Olympics?

Nice and high now.

Enjoyed it? Been in awe of the twists, turns, height, pace?

Me too.

I last went skiing two years ago on a school trip (see cover photo) and every year, around this time, I have withdrawal symptoms. Watching the Olympics has been a good antidote.

As the games are drawing to a close I have taken time to reflect. Here are two things that I think could be improved:

1. The squeeling and orgasmic coming from some of the commentators. Eurgh. Excitement yes, hearing your sex noises, no!

2. The way female competitors are referred to as ‘girls’.

Let’s focus on the latter.

This gets on my wick. My partner and I roll our eyes and grumble every time we have watched highlights of the games: it isn’t just at the Olympics we have noticed it. Watch any form of women’s sport and, more times than not, female athletes are referred to as ‘girls’.

Whilst some of those competing are technically still ‘girls’ – the amount of teenage success at the games has been astounding – most are not.

‘Girls’ makes them seem childlike, lesser somehow. Why not refer to them as women, female athletes or, here is a novel idea, remove the gender altogether: athletes; competitors; performers.

Male athletes are less likely to be referred to as boys; commentators opting for men or guys.

Women have a harder time getting the recognition they deserve; just look at how funding was cut from the GB women’s bobsleigh and given to the men’s teams: well that backfired didn’t it?!

Stop the use of ‘girls’ and use more appropriate terms; it could be a simple step to start to address the glaring gender imbalance in many sports.

Curse of the big bazoombas.  

‘You are so lucky to have bigger boobs; I wish mine were bigger.’

NO! No, you really don’t.

Breasts, boobs, boobies, tits, titties, bazookas, bazoombas… whatever you like to call them they are, more often than not, an annoyance.

People with smaller boobs want bigger ones, people with bigger boobs want smaller ones… who is actually happy with what they’ve been given?!

Not I, that’s for sure.

I was always a relatively average size, 34C, that is until Christmas of my first year at uni. Something very strange seemed to happen between the middle of December and the middle of January. I went back to halls in January 2007 to one of my housemates saying ‘crikey, where did they appear from?!’. The curse of the big bazoombas had struct.

Now if you are some who likes to lift and push your baps together for a ‘killer cleavage’ then mine would be perfect. If you are that type of woman I suggest you stop reading.

As a slightly masculine-of-centre female, who prefers jeans and a shirt to dresses and bows, my 34E fat sacks are nothing but hindrance.

Let me explain why…

1. They are only ever going to go south. They are, currently, pert and in the right place but I know the inevitable will happen. Droopy boobies here I come.

2. Bras are like scaffolding for the larger lady. I am not one for fancy, lacy bras so I have, primarily, taken to wearing sports bras to keep my bad boys in place and try to minimise their protrusion from my body.

3. Running can hurt with a sports bra on, let alone without! One time, at university, I played a whole 90 minute football match with just an ordinary bra on as I had forgotten my sports bra. Cue a few days of back ache and a supporter asking another player ‘was your captain wearing a sports bra?’. There was obviously a lot of bouncing happening.

4. Clothing with buttons can be a nightmare. I love a good shirt… checked, pinstriped, patterned… a shirt for every occasion. However, so often there is a tugging and stretching across my oversized mammary glands: cue the button gape. Now, for this, there is a solution. Hallelujah Marks & Sparks and their genius hidden buttons creating a perfect fit over the chest. More shops need to follow M&S’s lead.

5. Bigger boobs make you sweat more: fact! Whilst in Vietnam a couple of summers ago, sweating in the humidity was the norm. However, a line of sweat under your breasts is not a good look.

So thank you mother nature. I have no idea where these delights have come from (no history of gigantic jugs in my immediate family) and I wish I had been dealt a different handful, preferable less of one.

Getting my blogging mojo back

I started this blog just over a year ago. At that time I felt low and anxious after missing out on a promotion at work and needed a way of coping. The idea of a blog had been in the pipeline for a while but there was always a reason to not: work is really busy; I should be using my free time to exercise instead; what if students find out my identity… this list goes on.

Last January I needed an outlet, something only for me. It was the perfect time to start writing; I had lots of ideas, lots of things I wanted to say. I threw myself into the blog setting up twitter and instagram accounts and a facebook page. Soon I had started to connect with people across the globe and my writing diversified: politics, LGBT, gender and fertility treatment.

Fast forward 6 months or so and I was feeling better, my head was in a better place and I had made peace with events at work; the blogging slowed down. That coping mechanism was no longer needed. I thought about my blog often and started lots of posts but very few got to the stage where I was ready to publish.

As 2018 began I decided that I wanted to get my blog back up and running, whilst it was no longer needed as a coping mechanism it was something I wanted to do, something I enjoyed. The words didn’t flow, I found other things to do with my time.

This post is about drawing a line under the silence. I have things I want to write about and I have my blogging mojo back. Being ‘gutsy’ doesn’t just have to be about making statements it can be about celebrating the positive and 2018 is certainly set to be an exciting year.