I am clumsy. I spill tea. I smile at myself in the mirror and do a little dance. I am probably a lot of things – ditzy, zanny and kooky. But sometimes I have felt the need to downplay this because society shows me examples of immaculate women who look like China dolls and have probably never turned up to meet friends with toothpaste down their top.
Growing up I have been recognised and on occasion appreciated for being a bit crazy (in a good way). Although there have been times when I have felt like I have been shamed for it. My sense of humour is off the wall and I have never been one to open my mouth and say eloquent things 24/7.
When I was a teenager my role models were Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. They looked cool – they wore skinny jeans, lashings of mascara and eyeliner and were never photographed looking less than chic. In hindsight I can see that when I was younger there were no role models that didn’t look like Brigitte Bardot and act a fool. Where were Lena Dunham, Caitlin Moran and Miranda Hart when I was growing up?
It is women like Lena and Caitlin that make me feel ok about myself. They show that you can still make a witty remark, embarrass yourself and yet still be a fully functioning woman. In fact, they prove that being like that is endearing and makes you stand out. Now I feel like it is ok to not have been the most popular girl at school, to have tripped up over my own feet and pull funny faces in photos.
There’s also the model Cara Delevingne who regularly shuns the supermodel-esque picture perfect selfie in favour of one in which tongues are out, the expression is fearless and the vibe is crazy. Her Instagram bio says, ‘Embrace your weirdness. STOP LABELLING, START LIVING’. It is women like this that empower younger girls to be themselves and stop trying to be the person that society expects you to be.
No longer do I feel shamed for not being little Miss Perfect. And it feels liberating – so thank you Lena, Caitlin and Cara.
P.S. Embrace your weirdness. It makes you different.