Wednesday, November 22, 2017

If Sex Sells…I’m Not Buying!

Heart I’m slowly making my way back home, currently writing this from a freezing New York, and the only company I have is a stinking cold. I’ve been listening to Prince and trying to channel Apollonia ahead of a night out, but sadly not getting past Chaka Khan when she wasn’t at her fabulous best. Because I feel lousy I also look like an angry chorizo with a bad wig on, which makes me feel worse, which shows on my face, which makes me look gross….vicious circle.

 


 

I was hoping that one of the beautiful things about getting older (because there are benefits, such as not having to take cr*p from people and not putting up with bad sex!), would be that I no longer cared about what I looked like, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. And I’m pretty sure that there are very very very few women who truly have an “I don’t give a damn” attitude when it comes to appearance. And I’m not talking about being vain, I’m talking normal every day living where us women are our own worst critics. We set ourselves (often ridiculous) goals that are consciously or subconsciously ingrained into us from an early age, and bombard us from every conceivable medium of communication, be it magazines, television, online and other advertising. Our peers and family also have a huge impact and they probably don’t even think about it.

Once upon a time 

Want to buy a new car? Here is a salacious photo of a hot girl looking longingly at some average dude in a sexy motor. Searching for a holiday destination? Notice how much attention is given to bikini-clad females over incredible cultural places in the country you may be interested in. We are assaulted with the images of (largely male created) ideals from the moment we can engage as consumers, and that has a life-long effect on our psyche. For me, my ugly teenage self is never far from me.

Our insecurities are fuelled by a toxic petri dish of fear. In this mix there is the desperate need that most us have to be liked, our constant self criticism, the comparisons we make between ourselves and others, and the belief that if we buy this product/go on that diet/bankrupt ourselves being seen in the ‘right’ places, that our lives will somehow be transformed into the ideal poster-scenes we trick ourselves to believe are reality. This has become an even bigger issue because we are in an age where our very lives are lived through an ongoing filter, making our social media feeds a shiny, happy, idyllic nirvana, where cellulite, bad hair days and spots the size of planets don’t exist. This is why Tinder/Grinder/whatever dating app you are on works. We don’t have to commit to anything because at the touch of a button we can continue to have an ongoing stream of perfect companions. The moment the morning breath, PMS, face-with-no-make-up rear their ugly head, we can simply order a new playmate from the confines of our flawless, pretty sanctuary. I know this works for millions but I find that quite sad. I love people, I love hearing their stories and getting to know them, in all their great and not-so-wonderful history. We all have one. I could never therefore, connect to someone simply by looking at their photo and online sales pitch. Because that’s what it is. And I’m sure there are thousands out there that echo my sentiments

Love yourself Claudia

My first loves had to put up with my psychotic behavior, which I tried to disguise as ‘Latin passion.’ But the reality was that I was hugely insecure and would freak out any time I thought they looked at another girl. In my defense, this is quite a Latin trait- if you are not either dying for eachother, fighting jealous rages or ripping eachother’s clothes off then it’s not a relationship. This is why I’ve never had a Latin partner. The drama generated by the both of us would be too exhausting. Instead my life has always been romantically linked with gorgeously patient Scottish and British boys, with just a touch of Australian and Yankee (because, you know, I’m really into international relations!) Ha. In my formative relationship years my jealous, crazy Latin streak bought nothing but a draining onslaught of suspicion and created self fulfilling prophesies. I would push and push and push them to such an extent that they would either cheat on me or leave, and then I would take some twisted comfort in saying “I told you so,” whist crying myself to sleep for having created that situation in the first place. Tragic. But at least this was real feelings, with real people in my real messed up world. At least they tried to make things work, and didn’t order up a new girl from their phones.

Kiss

The last straw was when I had organized a huge birthday cake as a surprise for my then boyfriend, who was a manager in a high end club. I sashayed in with the giant gateau and security took me to where he was, on a catwalk above the dance floor. He had his back to me so my smile grew wider with each step I took towards him. Just as I got near, I saw that he was talking to a girl (gasp!), and my sexy wiggle became a march. I stomped up to him, shouted out “hey!” and as he turned I smashed the cake in his face. Most of it bounced off and splattered the unsuspecting revelers below us. It’s kind of ironic, not to mention highly annoying, that Steve Aoki gets paid squillions for doing just that, when all I got was security escorting me out of the venue. They struggled though- and not because I was resisting, but because they were bent over with laughter. Yay. I should be on royalties from Aoki. I’m sure he stole that idea from me. Sorry about that people!

Heart  Amor

This little episode made me realise that I had spent my first ten years of dating torturing myself and my boyfriends with my insane jealousy, because I was afraid that they would leave me. I never believed that they could love me as much as they claimed to, because I always felt that there were much prettier/intelligent/from good homes/wealthy whatever other reason I wanted to focus on, girls around, instead of appreciating the good things about myself. What a lot of wasted energy. And whilst I have zero regrets about not being with any of my exes (and I am super great friends with nearly all of them), this was obviously something I had to go through as part of life experience, growth and finding things out about myself and others.

Heart  Re-directed

Not one to do anything by half measures, I’ve ended up evolving into the almost polar opposite of teenage and early 20’s me. I’m someone that balks at the first sign of problems, (sorry, no time for dramas), have clear commitment issues (so I’m told by at least 3 favourite exes), and have no qualms whatsoever about partners going off to do their own thing. Space, for me, makes for a great aphrodisiac!

So- when I seem to have everything relatively sorted out, why am I still concerned about my appearance? Well, lying here with a runny nose puffy face and piggy eyes, I think it’s all to do with CONFIDENCE. The big C. The thing that makes us into either courageous kings or cowardly lions. I have seen the cuddliest (and I’m being kind!) of male and females slay roomfuls of people with their sexual energy. The reediest of boys pull hot mamas, and average souls punching well above their weight, and not because they have fat wallets or purses. Confidence makes us believe in ourselves, and if we can convince us of our worth, we can do that to others.

Quote

When I was in London I felt great because I’m in my home turf. Being with friends, family and colleagues who show me nothing but love makes me believe I can conquer new galaxies. My special friend showers me with compliments and feeds me to keep my “womanly curves,” making me feel like the sexiest girl on the planet. What others put into us gives us the courage and validation to make us feel great. Which means, if someone doesn’t make you feel good you are not keeping the right circle of people around you. My curves, alone and snotty in a cold city are things I detest, but in the right place with a man who adores them…I am the queen of the world.

I’ll let you into another secret. Around 9 months ago I started the research stage of another novel which I was finding challenging to write in spite of my vivid imagination. Inspired by an unexpected break up, it's a tale of revenge and self sabotage when a nice girl goes wrong over 12 months, sleeping around and getting up to no good. 

I tried to get into her character and started off successfully. The first time was fun and exciting, and the second was upsetting because that just isn't me. I felt guilty, not liberated. For the sake of being authentic in my writing I tried to get into her head and I couldn’t because I just can't connect to someone if there is no friendship. Lame, I know. That’s why the idea of tinder and other apps is alien to me. How can there be the magic ingredient of chemistry through a handset? I’m a committed romantic, I feel, live, cherish every moment I am with my loved one…digital love does not work for a tactile, emotional person like me.

Believe

Our perfect imperfections are what make us unique, so celebrate them and tell everyone around you how much they mean to you and what you love about them. It’s such a heartwarming feeling when we make someone genuinely smile… that alone is what makes us all beautiful.

Step away from the filters and love the real you and love your real friends and loved ones!

Toodle pip you gorgeous creatures…

Claud
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Photos by: Claudia Avila-Batchelor

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