Monday, November 11th, 2013
As a woman, you drift through life (well, maybe not ‘drift’, ’cause let’s face it, this shiz is hard), you run up against every day challenges and you battle them head on, because you’re a badass. We deal with sexism, be it outright or that niggly, under-the-surface, casual, uncomfortable sexism. We deal with harassment. We deal with trying to be everything to everybody. But these things we become adept at dealing with. We obviously don’t like it, but we develop systems to cope. But then, as the birthdays tick off, you encounter a new frontier of hassle and discrimination: ageism. For women, it’s real and it starts earlier than you’d think.
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
This summer, I was really pleased to be asked to be involved in the What I See Project. The project aims to celebrate inspiring women from every day life whose stories would otherwise go unacknowledged. They do this by asking the simple question ‘What do you see when you look in the mirror?’ There are women from all walks of life involved in this project and the range of answers to the question is pretty fascinating.
I’m proud of what I see in the mirror these days. That wasn’t always the case, but thankfully it is now.
Check me out over on the What I See Project site and explore some of the stories of the other awesome women on there.
Next up to share her story will be Hannah Chutzpah. Check out her blog here.
And you can contribute your own answer to the ‘what I see’ question over on the site. Get on over there and make your voice heard.
Monday, October 8th, 2012
Our internal dialogue is a funny ol’ thing. It takes us on a journey each and every day – bigging us up during our triumphs, sending us into wallowing states of despair at other times, that pesky little voice dictates how we feel about ourselves for better or worse. Many let the words of others weigh in on their personal value but I disagree – people should really be able to say whatever they want about you, but it’s only how you feel about yourself that matters (I’m not saying people should be complete assholes to you but ultimately, how that effects you says more about you than them). What I’ve noticed, especially among women is that the negative voice chatters loudly away under the surface and I got to thinking the other day, why are we so mean to ourselves?
Monday, April 30th, 2012
When I started running, it was a solitary experience. Running at 5:30am, under the cover of darkness, hoping no one would see me having to take a walk break and nurse a stitch. For my first half marathon in October 2010, Charlie Dark came to my aid and offered to run it with me. Without his support that day, I would most likely still be on the course in floods of tears. That day, I realised the importance of a little encouragement. When I asked if people would like to run my next half marathon in Paris with me, I honestly expected two people to reply. Twenty did. And so, Team Bangs on the Run was born. A happy accident to start with, it has become more than I could ever have imagined.
Friday, April 13th, 2012
What a whirlwind period of awesome it’s been in the life and times of Bangs of late. Racing in Berlin, starting Spikes & Heels, just having so many damn awesome people in my life – I wake up every day high fiving life! To add to it all, myself and two of my Team Bangs on the Run girls are featured in the May issue of Zest Magazine. We did the shoot a month or so back and had an absolute blast doing it (which is pretty evident from the finished product methinks).
Thursday, December 8th, 2011
I’m not sure when it becomes such a benchmark, but it does and it seems to for all women: ‘By 30, I’ll have done X, Y and Z.’ The big 3-0 carries a lot of weight with womankind. It’s not like it’s explicitly said, but we’re expected to have ourselves ‘together’ by thirty. We should be married with kids and a good career. It’s around the mid-20s that the panic starts to set in if you’re not on track to achieve such perfection. Can we give ourselves a break? Exactly what are we in such a rush for?
Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
Women are constantly divided up into factions, by society and increasingly, by ourselves. But the one group that seems to have been gaining ground over the past few years is ‘real women’. This term is constantly bandied about, lest we forget how ‘real women’ should look. But the more I hear it, the more irritating I find it. ‘Real women have curves’? Oh really? So, any woman devoid voluptuous hips and a cup size that runneth over is faking it? Enough of this madness!
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
Fitness is pitched to women purely as a weight loss tool. Like, that’s the only reason we should do it. Not to feel good, not to clear our minds, strengthen our bodies, or be healthy. Our end game should always be weight loss. And this, my friends, is bollocks. Naturally, I’m on a mission to change this silly notion and I invite you all to join the crusade!
Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
The main reason I want to run the Paris Half Marathon is because it’s on March 6th. March 6th was my grandmother’s birthday. She passed away in 2004, aged 94. She was a huge part of my life and even now, I miss her terribly. I’m not sure why I felt like running 13 miles and sweating my ass off on her birthday would somehow honour her memory, but I have an ounce of strength, determination or guts in me, it’s down to her, so I feel she’ll be with me on that day.
I wrote the blog post below three years after she passed. As race day draws nearer and the training gets tougher, she has been on my mind more and more. I’m reposting the post here today to keep me focused. Running for me, is about bettering myself in every way. If I can be even half the woman my grandmother was, well then I’d really be on to something.
Here is the original post, from 2008:
Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010
Balancing womanhood and the workplace can be tough. And I’m not talking about the whole notion of ‘women have to have it all’ – husband, kids, kick ass job. I’m talking about how we often have to bury traits that make us women in favour of walking the tightrope and getting ahead. The recent release of PR mogul Kelly Cutrone’s book, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside, made me wonder, do we have to check out femininity and emotions at the door before the work day?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we should all be blubbering messes if someone doesn’t make our coffee right, but there are times when we need to be a little more aggressive, a little more assertive or a little more vulnerable and as women, being just the right amount of those things to keep everyone happy is hard.
It’s hard of course, because there is a complete double standard when it comes to these things. Men can be assholes and no one bats an eyelid. A woman acts the same way and she’s a bitch, subject to office gossip. You see, for men, they’re just being men, it’s alright if they’re a little pushy and aggressive in getting their points across. For some reason, dependent on the workplace of course, it still ruffles a few feathers if women act the same way.
I haven’t read Kelly Cutrone’s book. From what I’ve seen of this woman, she’s a walking stereotype and often seems to be just unnecessarily mean, relishing making her servants feel uncomfortable and less than. Cutrone, sadly, is similar to many female bosses I’ve had, who for the most part, have been unbearable. (Not for a second am I suggesting I’m a breeze to work with – if you can tell anything from this blog, it’s that I’m very opinionated and I don’t often keep those opinions to myself, which can be problematic). The women I’ve worked for have been insanely bitchy and demanding (with the possible exception of one). As women in power is still a relatively new phenomenon, these women are taking their leadership cues from men, when really the message needs to be that you can be feminine and powerful without being a bitch.
We’ve all been in the bathroom at work and seen a girl in tears and can instantly put it down to one of three things; horrible boss (man or woman), late night break up or she’s the target of a colleague’s plot to destroy her (in her own head) – if she’s particularly unlucky, it’ll be all three. Many of us have had that bathroom cry, because God forbid we express an emotion in the office.
Sooner or later, there’ll come a time where we can be assertive without being perceived as bitchy, passionate about a topic without being perceived as over emotional and disagree on a tactic without being seen as catty. Maybe then we won’t have to go outside to cry. Maybe then, we won’t have to cry at all.