I did it, I changed my hair back to my natural colour and I love it. My hair feels super silky soft and healthy and I look and feel like a completely different person, I feel like me again. It’s weird isn’t it, when you change something about yourself and it makes such a difference to how you look and feel. For the first few times when I walked past a mirror I had to do a double take because it didn’t register that it was actually me, but now I’m quite getting used to it.
I love the thought of being natural and not having to worry about colour regrowth and upkeep, I guess that this year for me will be about reconnecting with my roots, excuse the pun, and finding myself again; doing everything that makes me happy, that I and the children enjoy, trying new challenges and pushing my boundaries to be all that I can be and more. We all need motivation in life, to feel happy in our own skin and confident to progress and flourish in whatever path we may choose. And if I can be happy for who and what I am, no holds barred, no fakery or falseness and not having to rely on anyone else in the world but myself, then we’re all capable of being unique and standing on our own two feet. I know that I can’t please everyone, that people will like or dislike me whether I do good or bad, and I won’t ever be able to change how others treat me. But what I can change is how I treat ‘me’, doing what makes me happy in life and being true to myself. And the greatest start to that is stripping myself back and embracing what nature gave me.
Speaking of pleasing others, I had four pictures reported by somebody on Facebook this week, all within a few hours of each other so I presume by the same person. The pictures had been posted days, weeks and even months ago on my private profile in various albums for which I have only adult friends and the general public cannot see. I know full well that whatever I post online is potentially visible to the whole world, and once pictures are posted they may never be removed entirely from the internet, so I think about what I post before I post it, and I wouldn’t put anything up that I would ever be ashamed of. All four of my photos were reported as ‘containing nudity or being pornographic’ which I thought was a joke and it genuinely surprised me as nobody had messaged me to say I had caused offence, and many people, male and female, had commented positively and liked the very same pictures. The pictures were of me working out, one in a vest top and jogging bottoms and one of me doing yoga in my underwear, neither containing porn nor nudity, and I see hundreds of people posting pictures in bikini’s on holiday or fancy dress nights out wearing very little in suggestive poses with rude inflatables or graphic gestures, none of which I do. I was simply doing an abdominal crunch on my back as part of the P90X3 workout routine that I’m doing, which last time I checked didn’t involve any porn! Perhaps that’s on a bonus DVD! I find yoga beautiful, artful and amazing for contouring the body, all of which can’t be shown without exposing your arms, legs and stomach. If someone takes offence in my interests and hobbies then why go so far out of their way to hunt out more of the same?
The other two pictures that were reported were of my boy chihuahua, who just so happens to have genitalia and doesn’t wear underwear because he’s a dog? And also a picture of a mans chest that somebody sent me, no face, no limbs or exposure, just his torso. To find these pictures must have taken hours, and at 2am on a Saturday night the person doing this had clearly gone to some effort to seek them out and file a report on me because I’m snap-happy and post pictures of everything that inspires and interests me through my iphone; from food to nature, my children and my hobbies, just as everyone else does.
It was clear that this person was out to cause trouble for me from the nature of the pictures they reported and the context they were in, there was no reason to take offence from any of them. In my opinion if you don’t like something then you shouldn’t go out of your way to look at it and find more of the same; if you find a certain person offensive or impolite then it’s incredibly simple to unfriend them and remove them and their content from appearing on your newsfeed ever again and affecting your day. To spend hours basically stalking someone and going through their entire profile and pictures in the hope of getting them reported, barred or even removed from a social media site, to me, is quite disturbing. It shows unhealthy tendencies and social ineptness which is not only bullying behaviour but harassment too which treads a fine line with the law these days.
I would therefore like to take a moment to discuss the very serious matter that is stalking and the possible reasons behind people doing it. After a browse around online I’ve discovered there are many kinds of stalkers, the most likely being the intimacy-seeker believing that pursuing somebody will turn into their admiration being returned. The socially awkward stalker has poor social skills and is out of touch with social norms and how to behave acceptably. And the predator stalker is not likely to have met their subject but becomes obsessed and aggressive over somebody, disturbed and often fantasising; all of which can be male or female, against a potential love interest or somebody they see as competition or a threat.
Identifying the signs of stalking is important, as it may start off subtle but can quickly escalate and become quite serious. Signs to watch out for over having a potential stalker are increasing contact online, through messages, emails, comments or likes, or in my case reporting pictures. Their behaviour becomes clingy or forceful and they get upset if you don’t pay them attention or return their gratitude. They also make demands that are unreasonable for the amount of time you may or may not have known them; clearly trawling through and reporting pictures that I posted months ago in the hope of having me blocked or removed from a social media site is their way of expecting to upset or punish me.
There are things that you can do to help to lessen or put an end to stalking behaviour, the most effective being flagging it in public, telling friends and family and making their behaviour public so that they can see how others respond. Perhaps it may have seemed harmless to the person doing it and in realising how others react to their behaviour they may understand how unhealthy it has become. If threats have been made, bullying or aggressive behaviour shown then always involve the police. Social networking sites hold personal information and traces for everyone, even a fake profile can be tracked through an IP address so in reporting the person to the police they can gain access to these details which you may not have otherwise found yourself. Save all content or correspondence that you have with the stalker as this will provide evidence in holding them accountable for their actions and having them appropriately prosecuted. And finally be firm that you do not want anything to do with the stalker, that their behaviour is not helping them in any way and they will not benefit in doing this to you. Stalkers who are rejected often turn aggressive or violent, which is all the more reason to keep all evidence and involve the police who in recent years have taken cyber-bullying and cyber-stalking very seriously as it becomes all the more accessible and dangerous.
In my case it could be several kinds of people who may have felt the need to report my workout and pet images. It could be a disgruntled ex or admirer who doesn’t want me to receive admiration from others, perhaps a girl whose boyfriend has liked one of my photos or statuses and she has therefore seen me as a threat to her relationship and wants to remove me (I’ve had a few girls contact me recently quizzing me!), maybe someone who is struggling to lose weight or have confidence in themselves so they become offended by those who are seen to have achieved more than them, or somebody who just doesn’t like me and would rather see me removed from Facebook altogether rather than unfriend me. Whatever reason I give for somebody to have done this to me, it will all make me look and sound self-centred. After all you can’t have a stalker without having some over the top attention from somebody. I can already envisage people thinking “Who does she think she is? Saying people are jealous of her and she’s in better shape than them! What a cow!” But that’s not what I’m saying at all, I’m simply trying to figure out why someone has it in for me, what I’ve done to offend them and how I can stop their unwanted behaviour. Regardless of what conclusion I come to I’m sure some people will use it as an opportunity to twist the knife in my back if that is their intention; but if somebody came to me in the same situation as mine and asked why this was happening to them, my first response without hesitation would be that someone is clearly jealous and out to cause trouble, and then I would explore the possible reasons behind that jealousy. Could jealousy stem from how old or young another person is that upsets someone, what they look like, how they dress, how they speak, where they grew up, what they own, what job they do, how many children they have, or how they spend their spare time? It’s most likely an ignorant perception rather than reality that ignites jealousy; what people presume about someone instead of basing their opinion on what they’re actually like.
The list is endless, but nonetheless to have any specifics in life is a sure-fire way to compare two people and challenge conflict amongst them through the variable factors of dominance and wealth. Who is seen to do better in each area of life, and who therefore should automatically feel inferior because of it. It happens to children as early as their first days in the playground, to adults in the workplace and no doubt dogs in the street even. We live in a society that thrives on putting others down rather than giving praise. When people see slim, gorgeous celebrities on television, rather than compliment them for their athletic physique and many hours of dedicated training and hard work in their field to have earned their success, people ignore it all and slate them for being too skinny, for looking ugly or for being untalented. Why can’t we celebrate the good in people, give compliments and encourage beauty and happiness. I don’t hate the world for not having the body of a greek goddess or the bank balance of an oil-tycoon, I see somebody doing well and I give them credit where credit’s due. There is no need for hate and jealousy as it won’t ever get you anywhere, people need to learn to use that emotion as a drive to motivate and inspire themselves to go out and achieve it for themselves. Turn your rivals into your idols and strive towards matching their success not trying to put them down to make yourself feel better, because they’ll only ever be one loser where jealousy is concerned. Calling somebody fat won’t make you skinny, calling them ugly won’t make you pretty, and causing somebody else trouble certainly won’t make your life stress free.
I flagged this behaviour in public as well as informing Facebook that I wish this person to be removed from my private profile. I also immediately took screen shots of everybody who was online at the time in order to begin documenting the evidence of identifying this person, fortunately as it was very early in the morning it meant that there weren’t many ‘friends’ active at the time so it has helped massively to limit the possibilities of who it is. I also took the time to delete people who I felt I had little or no contact with anymore, who I didn’t know as well as others and who may be following my profile as a way of monitoring me instead of for the purpose of social interaction. The response I have had from everyone commenting on this issue has been the suggestion of jealousy or fantasising, but all I can say to who has done this is thank you for taking the time to go so far out of your way for me, but if you don’t like what you see then you have no need to look, so please remove yourself from my profile. Should this behaviour continue I will not hesitate to inform the police and have this person reprimanded accodingly. Bullying is a serious and extremely hurtful action that is never excusable and I am very much against it. I would never go out of my way to upset or offend others and I do not expect it, nor will I accept it happening to me.
If you are having problems with a stalker or undesirable behaviour from others I urge you to always speak out, make the matter public and gain support from friends, family, other adults and the police. Do not suffer in silence and do not expect the problem to just go away on it’s own, you have to face bullying head on, make the person aware that their behaviour is unhealthy and do all that you can to have the situation rectified before it escalates and becomes dangerous or detrimental to your own health. If you need advice please contact me and I am happy to help in any way that I can, I am always reachable and respond to all mail that I get. Do not suffer alone.
This week I modelled for a dress designers bridal shoot at Moor Park Mansion in london and wore a beautiful handmade wedding gown for the day; roaming the stunning gardens and fountains, swooping down oak staircases and perching in bay windows holding a bouquet, it was absolutely dreamy. The make up artist and jeweller were at hand tweaking and primping me throughout the day, and I chuckled when people came up to me to congratulate me and tell me what a lovely bride I was. Now I know it probably seems a bit strange having a newly-recruited spinster as a bride, but in a way it was quite therapeutic.
Every girl dreams of a gorgeous white wedding with all of the trimmings, a handmade dress and beautiful jewels, roses, photographers and a mansion in the countryside, and I got just that; only without the stress of the day, or having to please hundreds of guests and actually marry a non-fussed man at the end of it! It was my dream wedding and a beautiful experience that I will remember forever, which in a way has stopped that itch of wanting to get married, because now I can say I’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt without the bill or divorce at the end of it. If you’d have asked me a year ago what my wedding would be like I could only have dreamed of something half as extravagant as this. Now here I am, unmarried but with the most beautiful wedding pictures ever. When it finally comes to having my big day, however many years into the future it may be, I will be happy with the most humblest of days as I’ve already had the wedding of my dreams; fortunately whilst I was still young and slim enough to pull off a nice bespoke dress! Every cloud has a silver lining. Did somebody say cake? 🙂