I guess we all know that Joan Didion said that ‘character – the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life – is the source from which self-respect springs’. J-Diddy is right about most things, after all.
However, it’s something I have been thinking about lately. A lot of our small life choices are connected to our self-respect and vice versa. In short, if you’re living poorly – which I go through phases of doing – something is wrong.
When I’m in a phase of drinking too much, not cooking enough, my house is dirty and I am behind with my work, my self-respect is not doing brilliantly. Of course, then a vicious cycle ensues.
I am saying this mostly because I have been watching a lot of Queer Eye. Yeah, I know there isn’t a lot of it to watch (eight episodes) but I have watched each of them three times. I honestly feel that there is much to be learned from them.
It is true that it is ‘more than a makeover’. Yeah, people can criticise all they like, say that Antoni only slices avocados and Tan just rolls up the sleeves on things. (Actually, no they can’t. Try it. I will fight you.)
It’s about self-respect. It’s about taking the pride in yourself to bother. It’s about making an effort with what you have. That might all sound very basic, but I struggle with it sometimes and so does pretty much everyone else – even if we’re not, as Jonathan would say, totally strugs to func.
Honestly, the power of that programme. It has not only made me laugh, cry and swoon over Antoni in a Strokes T-shirt, it has reminded me that there might be some good left in the world. We should all try our best to live our lives with the grace, kindness and generous spirit of the Fab Five.
So… Use the good bath oil (thanks, Nora). Plant some Pound Shop bulbs in pots. Do a facemask. Paint your toenails and don’t shave your armpits, if you’re me. Wear your best knickers and do a dance around the kitchen. Cook on a Sunday. Light a candle. Keep some herbs on the windowsill. And watch Practical Magic whenever you can.
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