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On feeling like a girl October 1, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, Makeup/Cosmetics, Travel.
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Generally, I don’t really care how I look when I travel. Let’s be honest – I am not out here to “pull” anyone, I’m here to enjoy a country and experience the best it has to offer. Whether or not I look presentable or not isn’t really the priority here. In addition, I’m travelling. I don’t have that same easy access to girly bits and pieces, to straighteners and hairdryers and far too many pairs of shoes. If I was going to worry about my looks, I would be fighting a losing battle. Plus, if someone I meet is going to judge me based on whether or not they think I look good enough, then my normal approach to life still applies – they simply aren’t worth knowing.

As it happens, I think, most people don’t judge me. I have sported some pretty funky hairstyles these past weeks, I’ve spent nearly every day makeup free and blinking like a newborn foal in the sun, I’ve worn the same clothes all the time (and a secret relief it has been too).

However, that doesn’t stop the girly qualities catching up every now and then. Those days that actually anyone of any gender, of any inclination, can have. The morning when they wake up a little fragile, for some reason not approaching the world with quite the same casual ease as they normally do. And when that happens, you either battle on in your androgyny, or you accept the situation and do something to make yourself feel better. For me, I dyed my hair – no easy feat I belatedly realised, in the restricted facilities of even the best hostel. I also put makeup on – I may rarely wear it, but I have a basic little selection with me for just such an “emergency”.

And today? I feel pretty. People have told me I look nice (OK, drunken people, but who’s counting?!). Tomorrow, I’ll be off the makeup again. But for today, I needed to feel like a girl.

So the hobos love me, at least… August 2, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, Life, Chatter & Politics.
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Hi guys. Sorry for the absence, no internet at home makes for a lack of blog posts! Anyways, expect some self-indulgent introspective pieces this week, as I am having a hard time, but for now…

I have noticed a worrying chain of events. It seems that for some unknown reason in the past few weeks I have become incredibly attractive to a few certain subsets of Leamington’s inhabitants. Not the young, good looking men, nay, but the hobos and the chavs.

How do I know I am attractive to them at the moment? Well, every time I leave the house I receive tooting horns, whistles, and comments of appreciation. I average about 5 comments by the time I reach the cross-roads leading to town. This is flattering, of course, but the incredible specificity of the groups I appear to be appealing to makes me wonder if perhaps I am looking a little bit like a vaguely attractive slightly insane chavvy hobo. Yesterday, for want of a better example, I was called over by a pair of very friendly homeless guys, who proceeded to inform me that if they could have any flower, they would pick me, because I was a rose. Flattering, yes. Poetic, yes. Confusing? Totally!

What I find strange is that I am still dressing like me, in my strange vintage outfits. I am also wearing very little make-up at the moment, rushing out of the house with bare skin and hastily brushed hair. What is it about this image of me that makes the chavs and hobos find me worthy of comment?! Surely, typically, I ought to be plastered in make-up and wearing Uggs?

What on earth has changed so that now I am being found attractive? And why the hell am I only appealing to hobos and chavs?!

Do I look like a homeless chav? Do I?! Do I really?!

Why how strange… June 15, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Life, Chatter & Politics.
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What an odd experience on the way to work today!

I had set off from my current residence, where I am living with the lovely Helen until I find myself somewhere official. Not knowing how long it would take me to find my way amongst the buildings and estates I had given myself rather too much time to get there, meaning I ended up far too early for my lift. As I wandered down to the street corner where I was planning to lurk for 20 minutes (I know, I know, it sounds bad. Don’t worry though, I haven’t set up a sideline in prostitution!), I was stopped by a man who had climbed out of his car and who was running after me.

Assuming he wanted directions, I wandered over to him, where ensued the following conversation:

Him: Sorry! I am about to do something really odd… first off, do you want a strawberry?

Me: (a little perplexed…) Um.. no, but thank you

Him: The second thing is that I just wanted to see if anyone had told you today that you are looking absolutely gorgeous?

Me: Um… (casts mind back over 10 minute walk in case I have forgotten something) nope, they haven’t

Him: Well,I just thought I should let you know how beautiful you are, in case noone else does

After a slightly awkward exchange of thank yous I made my escape, and made my way down to the street where I was meant to be meeting my boss for my lift to work. All the while I was trying desperately to work out if I was a) flattered or b) totally and utterly creeped out! After all, a man in his 40s professing his opinions on the way you look isn’t exactly a common occurrence!

Still, I suppose it is a confidence boost, and I don’t often feel too good about the way I look!