Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Superheroes & Princesses

We let boys play with heroic action figures
Whilst girls play with dolls with 'perfect' figures
We teach girls that they are weak & teach boys to be unrealistically strong
We encourage boys to hide their vulnerability & girls to believe their self image is wrong
We tell girls their power is in their outer beauty & not what goes on underneath their skin
We tell boys their power is in their strength,
So they should bury their emotions deep within
The girl grows up believing she is only as good as her looks,
Not what she learns from books
The boy grows up thinking he is only as good as his wins
& how much money he brings
But do we stifle the growth of men & women, when we raise the boy to be the hard faced hero
& the girl to just be the pretty princess?
Watching the boy tear himself apart trying to be something he's not
Whilst the girl tears herself down in belief that she is less.

© Copyright 2015

Monday, 28 March 2016

No Blood No Bones

Pic taken at Cook Daily; Boxpark, Shoreditch.

So I've been a vegan for 3 months straight now; prior to that I was on a dairy-free pescetarian diet. I'm usually faced with a look of shock when people find out, I guess I don't fit the stereotypical vegan look plus I'm African..what African doesn't eat meat?! Then without fail I'm asked, 'why are you doing this?', 'where do you get your proteins from?' or a very concerned 'do you eat?!'. Yes I do eat, I get very full on a wide range of vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds which also happens to be great sources of healthy 'living' proteins and lastly, being a vegan is not self punishment! Don't get me wrong, being the only vegan in your circle of friends has its challenges and I've often left restaurants still feeling hungry from just dining on chips (a vegan's best friend when the struggle gets real). However, becoming a vegan was not forced, it was a gradual transition both mentally and physically; I didn't just go cold turkey on meat (pun intended). So no, I am not missing Nandos' extra hot peri peri chicken.

Going vegan was a decision I made to embark on a spiritual and physical cleanse. I had been feeding my mind with knowledge of self and becoming increasingly interested in world history in a non-western narrative, particularly African history prior to and during the slave trade, all the details 'coincidently' left out in school. The more I was learning, the more I realised I knew nothing and was living a lie. I wanted to renew my mind and my spirit and I knew the best way to do this was to start eating clean and get rid of all the toxins in my body, after all, you really are what you eat. My friend introducing me to holistic doctor, Dr Sebi, sealed the deal for me. The consumption of slaughtered animals for dead toxic proteins was naturally losing its appeal to me. Restraining from poultry, meat, fish & dairy isn't self torture, in fact the opposite is so, the consumption of these is an act of me mistreating my body not treating myself!

Admittedly, becoming vegan was very much for selfish reasons initially rather than for the love of animals and the environment but a few documentaries on animal slaughter houses, how the dairy industry operates and how humans are destroying the earth made me re-evaluate my reasoning. Now, I'm not like a level 5 vegan out here, I don't even like letting people know about my new veganism craze because I sometimes feel like a hypocrite when I'm munching away at my honey containing granola or when I'm strutting around in leather shoes! Baby steps now...and I've chosen to begin with the health of my body first which I think is a blaady good start in a world that teaches us to take better care of the cars we drive in than the bodies we live our life in! #healthiswealth

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Loose Curls vs Tight Coils; the good and the ugly?

Pic: Esperanza Spalding

Let's talk natural hair. To be more specific, I am referring to afro textured hair that naturally grows from the heads of Africans. African hair comes in diverse beautiful textures; even my sister and I who share the same parents have different textures let alone Africans from different ethnic backgrounds. However, though our textures may vary, I think its safe to say that at face value a majority of Africans have melanin rich hair that coils and stands up. So why do we predominantly see a particular type of natural hair being pushed to the forefront. This idealised natural hair image happens to be the defined loose curls that succumbs to gravity i.e. hair that looks like you could be mixed, or more bluntly put, hair that is closely aligned with European curly hair. A hair type that does not commonly grow from the scalps of many Africans.

The natural hair movement, a movement that is seeing women of African descent liberate themselves from the European one size fits all standards of hair beauty and embark on a journey of re-discovery. For in many cases, these women received their first 'relaxers' at tender ages, a decision that was made for them, hence have never seen their hair let alone taken care of their hair in its raw state. Sadly however, a movement that should see us start to rekindle the love we should have always had for our hair, is allowing many women to obsess over the manipulation of their hair to help them fit into a new 'natural' standard of hair beauty. 

It is very apparent that we are sneaking our white beauty standards into the natural hair community and so that 'good hair/bad hair' concept is still rearing its ugly head. Texture discrimination, where the good natural hair is the one that has the silky look, soft loose curls that bounces as it falls, and baby hairs that lays for the Gods whilst the kinkier type 4 hair textures only gets a 'good hair' pass with the aid of twist/braid outs and some good strong holding gel. So amongst many you'll find the obsession with styling techniques that create the illusion of a more uniformed looser curl pattern; methods that elongate the hair and combats shrinkage because downward length is still a problematic important measure of good hair; and let us not forget protective styling because apparently there's an evil force out there that doesn't want black women's hair to grow 'white girl hair long' (this force is only against afro hair, of course) so we must 'protect' it. I'm still wondering why I've never heard an Asian girl say she's protective styling to grow her hair. Maybe our hair wasn't designed to fall and hit our waistlines? Maybe it was actually supposed grow out big into the sky rather than down towards the ground. I often wonder if we've actually moved away from the notion of our hair being 'unmanageable', which was a prominent justification for relaxers, to a self love washed up version of the very same notion when we perpetuate that natural hair in an afro state becomes unmanageable and therefore needs to be in stretched out styles to combat this, or that our hair is so fragile it struggles to grow the European kind of long so we must protect it. The fact that we have to go into great measures to get our hair to behave the way we want it to (i.e. more European like) then is it that there is something wrong with our hair for not cooperating or that there may be something wrong in the way we want it to behave? Why is it that we listen to and trust external forces but not our own bodies? Do you listen to and trust your body when it makes your stomach growl from hunger or when it makes your eyes heavy from fatigue? Then why not so when it makes your hair tightly coil and defy gravity?

Pic: Alicia Keys

For black women thinking to transition or big chop, they get hit with a huge disappointment when they see their natural hair and find that it's nappy! It looks nothing like the beautiful natural hair they saved many pictures of throughout their journey. Like I did, they will spend a lot of time trying to master the perfect twist out that just somehow doesn't look like the Instagram/Youtube girl’s hair. Even when a twist out looked somewat like a success in the morning, by noon it would be frizzing up into a fro. So in my case, after numerous failed twist outs, I just resulted to pulling my hair back into a bun and told myself that I'd wear my hair out when it gets longer and starts to fall instead of stand. Imagine that, I was hiding my natural hair because I couldn’t manipulate it to look like the ‘good natural hair’. What was supposed to be me loving and ENJOYING my natural hair resulted in me hiding it because it didn't fit into a white washed natural hair standard of beauty. There is so much beauty in the freedom of letting our hair grow from scalp as it will but if we want to do a twist out today then that’s fine, if we want to do poetic justice braids tomorrow that’s fine too, heck if I want to wear a wig some days or straighten my hair that’s fine. What's not fine is the mindset that our hair must always look a certain type of way to be socially accepted. 

With all that said, I get why we think the way we think and therefore do the things we do. It is of no surprise that we still try to 'tame' our hair, make it easy for others to digest and not appear to be making some sort of political statement because going natural really wasn't me going for a 'black panther look'. It is of no surprise that for a job interview or meetings we feel more comfortable to have our pulled hair back to be taken more seriously...I was always subconsciously told that our hair isn't professional for the corporate world. It is of no surprise, though it saddens me, when my own mother tells me that no man will find me attractive with my afro hair and that I do not look presentable. How your mother viewed your hair, you viewed your hair...she was just regurgitating the views of her own mother and the various female influences in her upbringing. Falling victim to how my mother viewed my hair, and in affect her own hair, I found myself inheriting this mental disorder that plagues the thoughts of many Africans towards their hair. I guess when you hear something enough times, you start to believe it. I am now less ignorant to these negative thoughts that still likes to creep up on me from time to time, white supremacy is a disease we've all been deeply infected by which will require time and active measures to heal from and I say 'heal' because it is abuse, but I digress. 
Natural hair is not fairly appreciated. Looser curl patterns cannot be the sole representation of African hair nor can it be the standard of beautiful African hair when the most honest representation would in fact lend more to the indigenous tightly coiled texture that crowns the head and reaches up to the heavens.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

People aren't what they 'post' to be...

You can't judge someone's life based on their social media site because its just a highlight reel; people aren't going to post about their downs in life. A lot of people showcase on their social media sites a life that they are NOT living. Instead of actually living their life, they are trying to convince people they have a great one.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Sexual liberation or sexual objectification?

I like that women want to be in control of their sexualities but surely it doesn't need to be seen in the form of booty hanging out of a leotard (no names..). Whatever happened with being a lady in the streets and a freak in the sheets?! It's sad to see women sell themselves short; as mere sexual appreciations of men. Surely it is not female liberation when it is causing women to become even more imprisoned by their beauty and their bodies.

Are women confusing sexual liberation with objectification? Are we not just re-asserting the very images that are used in our sexual oppression? There must be another way for women to reclaim control over their own bodies in a non contradictory

Sunday, 21 September 2014

You’re a nice guy but…

The ‘nice guy’ is a popular topic of discussion but I thought my take on it was required so here it is in one sentence: being the ‘nice guy’ doesn’t make you the right guy!

It’s as simple as that.

What makes a guy ‘right’ is totally subjective; ticking the ‘nice’ checkbox is certainly a right box to be ticking BUT it’s not the only box we want ticked off! And here, fellas, is why the ‘nice guy’ tends to finish last – he’s just too nice. In other words, he’s exceptional in the ‘nice’ department but scores poorly in other areas we value just as highly yet expects us to overlook it just because he’s a ‘nice guy’. Pssssh…I don’t have to want to be with you just because you’re nice, I think my friends are nice too! Sorry to burst your bubble but the ‘nice’ checkbox doesn’t overrule all; you need to be a nice guy with a whole lot of other things on my list (which I’ve managed to cut down *pats back*, time is ticking!). It’s like going to a phone shop and the sales guy tries to sell you a nice phone but you can't make or receive calls! It being a nice phone no longer has any weight if does not have the basics. Being nice does not overrule!

I felt the need to write this because the other day I witnessed the tragic death of a nice guy and it distresses me to know that nice decent guys think they have to front like they're bad guys to keep a woman interested – you think girls want guys who lie and make them cry? Now that’s just schuuupid! And there’s nothing more annoyingly frustrating than a guy who plays it ‘too cool’; like hello…any more laid back and you’ll be in bed all day! There’s nice and there’s too nice; nice that keeps her smiling all day and too nice that makes her want to throw up because that's all you are and too much of anything can make you sick!

An end needs to be put to cries about nice guys finishing last. Yeah nice guys with no ambition or goals finish last; nice guys with no jobs finish last; nice guys who are pushovers finish last; nice guys who are spineless and lack personality finish last; nice guys with no charm and no confidence finish last; nice guys who are bland and boring finish last; nice guys who wear socks with sandals or think wearing jeans tighter than mine is ok, finish last. You dig? Like really, do u honestly believe a woman would dismiss a Brad Pitt for being 'nice'?! You think if Bradley Cooper was calling/texting me 10 times a day wanting to meet up, surprising me with bouquets, throwing stones outside my window (err actually scrap that, that would creep me out), showing up at my office with a rose in his mouth and a love poem he wrote for me in his hands (a girl can dream) think I’d dismiss him as too nice? Of course I want a nice guy; I don’t want the show no emotion type of dude so I can forever be second guessing how he really feels about me, or the ‘bad boy’ who can’t stay on the right side of the law, or even worse, the man who will happily give me a black eye, you think I want an Ike or a C-Breezy?! Stop with this misconception that women only go for bad boys because if a woman is head over heels in love with a ‘bad boy’, chances are it’s not because he’s bad but because he has attributes that she values.

So what's my point? My point is this, when a guy is described as too nice, it generally means he's 'just nice' and not much else. It DOES NOT translate to 'he is absolutely mind-blowingly amazing but my dumbass is totally going to ignore that because...he's too nice'. If a woman genuinely likes a guy, damn right she wants him to be nice! Most often, the ones we like aren't nice enough! Let me just say, there’s no such thing as ‘too nice’ if a guy has a lot going on for himself; being the nice guy is a very strong attribute BUTTTTTTT stands painfully weak on its own.

& that’s all folks.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Beauty does not lie in the Booty!

Whether real or arguably fake (ahem, no names), the big booty mania just seems like it won't go away. Many women in the entertainment industry, most notably the video vixens, have used their astronomical behinds to build a career but now the exploitation of the female booty has reached an all time high, and if I see another naked arse photo on instagram, I think I will do Chris Brown back flips! I’m just so done seeing and hearing discussions on women’s fake arses! The huge fascination with it is quite bizarre, after all, the booty is there to sit on and sh*t from! Ok, ok, I guess it’s not really rocket science why men like the big booty but since this is not a Kama Sutra type of article, I will refrain from elaborating! Thanks to Sir Mix A Lot and almost every mainstream rap video ever made, the ‘I love big butts and I cannot lie’ trait happens to be a common male trait that just won’t budge.

Just to clear it up, I’m not a ‘big booty’ hater, in fact I fill my jeans very nicely if I should say so myself! I’m just irritated with the heavy media attention on a female’s behind and it is now said that demand for bum fat injections have increased; it has gone a tad bit too far don’t you think? Women internalise these images of 'beauty'; I don't particularly like being constantly told that I need double D's, a 23inch waist size and somehow, acquire a midget in my arse! I’m pretty sure many women were more than happy with their derrières until Nicki Minaj along with Kim K and their larger than life behinds came along!

These ‘hate your body and desire a body like this’ messages that are continuously being pushed to us are not easily ignored even for the strong minded, so God knows how its negatively influencing the young and vulnerable. Quite frankly, beauty does not lie in the booty so I would hate for any woman to not feel beautiful enough just because she is lacking in the booty department or any department for that matter. What makes a woman sexy is her confidence but before you can ooze confidence, you firstly need to be content with your body and the soul within it. At the end of the day a true man will never deny a good woman simply because she doesn’t have enough junk in the trunk. As desirable as it may be, we must understand that it only serves to make us more sexually desirable and nothing more; 'ass' is not short for asset ladies. So I suggest you tell all the media messages encouraging you to want a bigger arse…to kiss yo' arse!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Should children be colour conditioned?

Pink or blue? I imagine the question on an expectant parent's mind is whether their newborn baby will be a girl draped in pink or a boy dressed in blue. 'I think I would want the sex of my child to be a surprise when I'm pregnant', the response when I say this is often 'how could you not want to know' or 'but you won't be able to prepare for it properly'. For many, I gather that knowing the sex of the unborn baby matters because from the moment the child is born their gender will determine how they experience life and it will all begin with an innocent colour; pastel pink or baby blue.

It was recently my god-daughter's 6th birthday and at the age of 6, most girls have been sucked into the 'princess phase'. I'm not the biggest fan of princesses so words cannot describe my somewhat joy in hearing that she had asked for a skateboard, Ben 10 watch and a Spiderman toy for her birthday. Her mother was not so amused however, and in her attempt to defer me from buying her daughter something she had asked for she said, 'I don't want my daughter playing with boys' toys!'. I hadn't placed much thought into it before; why are children's toys so gender segregated?

Who says pink is just for girls? Surely by 'pinkifying' girls from the day they are born, we are conditioning children both male and female to associate anything pink with girls right? This seems innocent, however it's not the colour itself that is the issue here, the concern is the things the colour pink is associated with and how it is shaping the gender identity of girls. The pink bib reads 'Daddy's little princess' with hearts and flowers all over it while the blue bib reads 'Mummy's tough guy'. Then there's the toys they play with, girls toys being predominantly princesses and ponies, dolls and prams, kitchen sets, make up and dress up sets etc. In contrast, boys toys include action figures, superheroes, vehicles and construction sets; these help to develop their confidence, competitiveness and control whilst girls toys encourage beauty, romance and nurturing. Boys are told 'that's cool, go and show daddy what you made', while girls are told 'go and show daddy your pretty dress'. What happens in a child's development the more we continue to praise boys for their actions and girls for their looks?

From colour association, children will then move onto word and image associations. What opinions do we think little boys and girls will begin to form of themselves and of each other if words, images and toys associated with power, heroes, action, weapons etc are used with males whilst the associations with females are love, princess, barbies, kitchen sets etc. Children should be granted the choice to make decisions on their actual interests; if my god-daughter wants a skateboard, why should it be marketed as a 'boy's toy'? Why are we limiting children and their imaginations? What boys are interested in vs what girls are interested in are arguably acquired preferences rather than innate.

I believe these early developed gender associations that children make for themselves and each other play a significant part in their adulthood. I'm displeased with the colour conditioning on children; I see how women's plea for equality from their male counterparts may have unawarely began as a child with the colour pink, a colour funny enough once associated with masculinity. For as little girls, anything not pink was not for us to play with and unfortunately everything pink placed us into a narrow minded box of what girls are supposed to do...cook, push prams, dress up, look like barbie then like the princess films aspire to live happily ever after with prince charming. I'm sorry but I want to teach my daughter and son that girls can be pretty and powerful too and for this reason I sure hope my future daughter throws her pink toys out the pram!

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Princess Ideology

Image crisis

Conventionally, princesses have nothing more to offer besides their looks; they are desired and despised for their undeniable beauty. Children watch princesses such as Sleeping Beauty sleep more or less throughout the whole darn thing and then meet the dream man...just for being pretty. By a tender age, young girls have already acquired a mindset that not only is their beauty everything but also a narrow minded definition of what beauty is. Fair skin like Snow White with silky long luscious locks like Rapunzel. I will never forget the day my god-daughter asked her mother for 'princess hair', it saddened me; she was only 4 years old yet this little girl had already learnt that her kinky afro hair was not 'pretty' enough to qualify her as a beautiful princess.

Male validation & female competitiveness

When you think of a princess, you think of a handsome prince. The storyline most often involves a princess being 'rescued' by a prince charming. This conveys a message that a woman's existence is validated by a man resulting in too many women growing up believing they need a man to complete them, rather than to compliment them. Women are not defenceless beauties needing to be saved by a man, no. This also encourages female competitiveness...over men. Remember how Cinderella's ugly stepsisters and stepmother were fighting over the glass slipper in order to be prince charming's wife? Young girls are always wanting and competing to be the princess, the 'it' girl, the one being placed on the pedestal. When a woman is being labelled desirable by men, she is also being despised by women.

'Happily ever after'

'and they lived happily ever after' ...this line right here *shakes head*. Often, their new marriages involves the gain of riches and 'a better life' as we saw with Cinderella. Teaching girls to aspire for marriage and selling them a false dream of being forever happy. Getting engaged/married has become an important life goal for many women and those who have managed to 'achieve' this goal before their 30s think their life is set and even worse, think they are somewhat better than the woman who isn't engaged/married. Becoming a man's wife is not an accomplishment or a ticket to the land of happily ever after that you were told about as a child. Please don't hold yourself up for a huge disappointment when you find that even after marriage, you're still searching for purpose and fulfilment. What princesses forgot to teach is that happiness is not found at destinations, its found on the journey and the journey sure doesn't stop at marriage.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Great Escapes (The Friend Zone)

Some guys have been mercilessly locked up in the friend zone and yes...they are doing life. However, some guys are fortunate to have great escapes. Here are examples of the type of guys who end up in the friend zone but not forever.

• You both realised you liked each other at the wrong time and place
It is unfortunate when you realise your head over heels in like with someone...who already has someone. Sometimes the woman of interest is already in a relationship that she can't easily break away from; after all, it’s a big gamble for her to leave Mr ‘doing all the right things’ for potential Mr Right. So you both just remain friends, then finally all your voodoo and rituals pay off because her relationship snaps and so you fit yourself right in through the crack. Well, hopefully not literally! This is a true example of patience is a virtue and letting something you love go…sometimes it really does come back.

• You've stepped up your gaaame!
This one is for the late bloomers or the 'used to tell they friends I was ugly and wouldn't touch me, then I showed up in that dubbed out buggy, and then they got fussy and they don't remember that' guys - yeah them! They started making money and stepped up their swag to 100. They cleared the acne, the braces fixed up the crooked teeth, gave Harry Potter his glasses back and developed a cool talent along the way. Now they’ve successfully transitioned from ugly geek to panty dropper!

You really think Drake was getting chicks looking like this? When he was just Aubrey? I'm pretty sure he was being placed behind the friend zone bars left, right & centre. If the Take Care album is anything to go by, I’m pretty sure that Drake was the nice guy who finished last. But now with the fame, talent, millions to his name, he is a desirable man to many...I doubt those same women would dismiss him now for being ‘too nice’.

She's reached mid-life crisis...your both still single so why not?!
You’ve got it quite bad; out of all the friend zone great escapes, well your escape just isn't great at all because you’re not even second best at this stage, not even. You’ve been in the friend zone for a good while and had to watch all those different guys come in & out of her life before she finally gave you a second look. It sucks really. But hey, the bright side is, the woman you truly love is all yours now and her bad experiences with men in the past means you'll be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Dorothy Dandridge

Can we take a min to appreciate Dorothy Dandridge please? Why is it that many people don't know about her but know who Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn are? Sigh.. My #wcw for this week

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Beyoncé Branding

Here are 7 branding lessons we can all learn from Beyoncé.

1. A simple yet effective logo and colour theme. The power of Beyoncé's logo also conveys a message of letting the product speak for itself. Quality products don't need a fancy, over-designed presentation which will only serve as noise between the product and the audience. Whenever I see these two colours together I immediately associate it with Beyoncé's latest album; this should be the case with your branding.

2. Use the branding everywhere! Don't only preserve it for the website and the product, place it all over merchandise, videos and at events. Beyoncé had fans all over the world wearing tops with notable lyrics from her latest album, with her logo font and colour theme. A fun and subtle way to promote her album. Think outside the box and be different. Think 'what else can you brand?' that will not only market your product/s but will be liked and used by your fans.

3. Tell people the story behind the brand. After Beyoncé released the album, she began releasing short vids explaining the process of putting the album together and the story behind each song, conveying to the audience that it is a personal album. Storytelling makes the brand become relatable and enables engagement on a emotional level.

4. People respond to visuals. Beyoncé is aware of the power of visuals; not only did she do a music video for each song on the album, she also announced the surprise album with a short video clip via image sharing network Instagram. A similar clip which served as a mock up movie trailer was released to promote her On The Run tour with Jay Z. She is also very active on Tumblr and Youtube, other visual social media networks. Her Tumblr account is incorporated into her main website making it very image driven, further showcasing Beyoncé's love for communication through visuals.

5. Regularly update social media sites, even if its little. Beyoncé demonstrated the power of social media as a marketing tool when she announced her surprise album and the news went viral later resulting in over 1 million in first week album sales. Putting aside the fact that Beyoncé is a megastar with over 12m followers, she has been very active on her social media sites whether it be to make special announcements, regular behind the scenes clips of her Mrs Carter world tour or to post random photos of cupcakes. Either way, keep your social media sites active and don't only use it when you want to promote. The key is to be 'social' and to somewhat humanise your brand which Beyoncé does well with regular posts of her life; it also allows her to control the conversations we have of her brand.

6. Do something for people and get them involved. Beyoncé engages with her fans by encouraging them to take part; whether it be for her charitable campaign #BeyGood or in conversation such as her 'What is pretty?' campaign.

7. Consistency. Piece all your promo together and make sure it is all connected. The last thing you want to do is confuse your audience. Beyoncé's branding is very calculative; everything that is put out into the public is well thought out and connects well to form the bigger picture of her brand.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Give Him A Chance!

Thought I'd repost this article I wrote a while ago...hehe.

Since the title is pretty self-explanatory, I’ll get straight to it. Here are five 'types' of guys that I think women (i.e. women twenty five and over and still single…*looks around* ...oh me!) need to show more love to.

1. Let's face it, the short guys tend to get overlooked (yes pun intended). Most women automatically dismiss a guy whose forehead is considerably lower than hers. The tall woman/short man combo doesn't work for everyone especially if it means sacrificing the baddest heels! Luckily for me, I’m only like 5’2 so I rarely even meet a guy whose shoulders are lower than mine but still, I know even short women often prefer the taller guys. This means tall girls want tall guys and short girls want tall guys, hmmm…basic economics tells me that there just isn’t enough supply to meet demand! So how about we give the vertically challenged, I mean short guys a chance. You may also find that they tend to be more driven and/or have great personalities; maybe traits they were forced to develop in order to compete with their taller counterparts? Maybe. Basically, just because they fall short in height, doesn't mean they fall short in everything else *wink wink*.

2. I remember I always used to say I'd never hook up with a guy I met in a club, then realised it was silly to say I'd never hook up with a guy I met in a club because in order for me to meet him in a club...well my arse would have to be boogying in the club too! Truth is I know I’m not half bad so it would be ignorant to think he isn’t a decent guy just because he’s in the club too; he could be there celebrating his friend’s birthday, doesn’t mean he’s a regular there. I know the club doesn't quite make the ideal scene to meet your ideal man, but to be fair, whether a guy approaches you on the streets, in a supermarket, in a library, art gallery, at a wedding or that Sunday night soca rave you sneak to...let's face it, the reasons will be the same – he was attracted to your appearance. You really think he is approaching you for your mind or a personality he doesn’t know yet? Girl, sitcho arse down!

3. What if you have no respect for his profession? Hmm…by all means, a woman wants a 'successful' man. Now everyone has their own measures of success but I think most women can agree that the man slouching on the sofa relying on jobseekers allowance doesn't quite measure up. There are unfortunately, some professions that people just have no respect for; for example, a friend was telling me about a guy she was once dating but just couldn't take him seriously because of what he did for a living which was playing online polka - she just couldn't respect that! Generally, women want a man with 1. 'a' job 2. a 'good decent' job and 3. preferably a REAL job! Obviously age is a factor when it comes to a guy's profession because him working as a shop floor assistant in a toy store was cute in college but him still working as a shop floor assistant in a toy store now aged 35 is not so cute and most importantly makes you question his drive and ambition (or lack of). So why give the man with the disrespected profession a chance? Well because you don't know the man he’ll become; just because you don’t like where he is now, doesn’t mean you won’t love the man he turns out to be in the future. Find out what he’s about first, he could well be a hard working man with a plan and goals, and maybe this job is just a means to an end for now.

4. I know I said baby daddy’s were one of my biggest turn offs because the thought of him sharing something as precious as a child with another woman kinda sucks…well nothing’s changed, it still sucks! However, if he’s doing everything right, are you really going to let someone who is your perfect match slip away just because he happens to already have a child? Look, it would be much more alarming if he had a child that he wasn’t claiming! Besides, a man with a child may have a certain level maturity that one without has not acquired. If he doesn’t come with the baby mama drama then I say give him a shot and if things go well prep yourself up for some step-monster, I mean step-mother duties.

5. Last but by all means not least, let’s hear out the mature younger dude. Notice I said ‘mature’. I actually know of some guys who got married by the age of 21with NO child involved, they were just ready to settle down early (and no they didn’t have a gun to their heads, I already asked that question). Don’t automatically write him off as irresponsible and immature just because he’s younger. I mean, obviously there is a paedophilia territory that you just don’t cross, just don’t! Overall, older women/younger men relationships can work out...was going to use Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher as an example but can't now, but hey with a MASSIVE age gap of 23 years, I'm impressed that they even maintained a marriage for 6 years. I'll have to settle with the Careys as an example -----and after marriage and two babies in the carriage, they still appear to be going strong. So yeah, don’t go cradle snatching all at once now ladies!