Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The real body

It’s blazing hot summer in Spain and we have two children and friends visiting with their two children. The inevitable circumstance of heat and children means that clothes are discarded and the beach and the water park become destinations of choice.
We’ve been to both places over the last month and it’s been a lovely, timely reminder of what people really look like. When people get to the beach or the water park, it’s a simple process, get the clothes off, maybe leaving the sunglasses on, get in a chair, in the sea, on a slide, on a lounger and enjoy.
This presents a fantastic opportunity for watching people and how refreshing it is to see real bodies at the beach or in the pool.
I know that magazines don’t show me real women and I know that when I watch TV I see a pretty standard shape or size of woman. I know that advertising only presents me with the current model of ‘idealised beauty’. Despite knowing all this, and seeing my own body in the mirror every day, it is easy to forget that woman and people come in all shapes and sizes.
The opportunity to see a broad range of women, large, small, tall, with small breasts, large breast, uneven breasts, large hips, small hips, no hips at all. Curvy women and flattish women and beautiful women who don’t fit the standard model that we see every day in the media. Women with tattoos and piercings and stretch marks and scars. Men with big bellies and small bellies and no bellies at all, men with tattoos and piercings, with long hair and short hair and no hair at all. With visible muscles and hairy chests and hairy backs. This is the real stuff. This is life in all its shades and colours and sizes. With fat and curves and comfort.
Why don’t we see these realities in the media? Why do the tv gurus and the magazine moguls and advertising executives use real bodies and real people for a change. They certainly all look a lot healthier and happier than some of the models seen in advertising recently.
Bring us the real stuff...we can live with it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Perfect summer’s day?

For me, a perfect summer’s day at this present time consists of a visit to the beach with the family. It’s even better when friends are visiting because then we all get to share the pleasures of an idle day. At the moment though, we are family Green Davies in Spain awaiting the next set of visiting friends.
I think a visit to the beach is tied up with family visits of my own childhood to the Gower coast. Bundled into the car with mum and whoever else was interested; dad with his radio, various siblings and later siblings with their children. Picnic loaded up and surfboards, towels, blankets. It always seemed a long way to walk but the weather was always good.
A distinct memory is of my older brother teaching me to surf, or surreptitiously trying to drown me.
I also loved the castle cars that my mum used to build that would be overcome by the incoming tide to screeches of delight from us kids.
We still build castles although the Mediterranean tide does not travel very far either in or out. There’s enough sea movement to fill the big holes that we (usually husband) dig. There is a bit of surf here, enough for the kids to learn to surf safely.
Most importantly, we keep up the traditions of plenty of snacks and sandwiches, castles to play in, and some shade, far more important here in Spain than it ever was on the Gower.

Here's Ste doing dad duty and digging a big hole (does it deserve the dignity of being called Castle?)
Did manage to get some photos of Aoife playing in the castle but they weren't too good, she's not being particularly co operative with photos at the moment, but she did play in it!

This is probably one of our fun things to do, playing in the sea, don't know why we're striking the ridiculous poses, probably because we're enjoying ourselves in a relaxed summer day sort of beachy way

Dad relaxing after busy hole digging. This is the one morning off he's had this week after working hard in school, so he deserves a bit of dad and his book time at the between playing catch, negotiating surfboard sharing between two kids, digging, eating...

More silly dancing in the sea poses, the second was very out of focus but works well in black and white I think

Owain loves a read on the beach, after dancing in the sea and castle building; probably his favourite thing.

Lovely day...friends visiting next week to share seaside fun and frolicks...