L’Oréal Blackett makes conditional New Year's resolutions and switches off her phone
I woke up on 1 January covered in crusted glitter and a strong Prosecco aftertaste in my mouth. I never learn. I took my heavy head into the shower and ceremoniously washed off my stale makeup and the remnants of 2017. It’s usually at this time when I begin to think about the year ahead – my aspirations, goals and all the things I probably should give up (like staying up past 4am to discuss the meaning of life with drunk people). I then re-emerged from the shower ready to make those all-important resolutions – because what’s a New Year without lists?
Whether you find New Year’s resolutions redundant or not, the want to improve oneself is simply part of the human experience.I, spectacularly flawed human, have listed the things I should probably quit in 2018.
‘So your name’s L’Oréal… is it because you’re worth it? Wink emoji,’ reads the one hundredth Tinder message in 2017. ‘I bet you haven’t heard that before, wink emoji.’ I feel like I’m in dating purgatory; forced to engage in clichéd pleasantries time and time again until I give up, join a convent and finally buy that kitten I’ve always wanted. I hate modern dating. I dislike the badly written bios, weird bathroom selfies, the awkward small talk and the unsolicited dick pictures (because what’s internet dating without an ugly, grainy picture of a guy’s ding-a-ling?). Bring back face-to-face encounters in 2018. How about you politely introduce yourself IRL (at this stage, I wouldn’t even mind a cheesy chat up line). Ask me for a drink, I’ll happily split the bill. And if I give you my number, just don’t stick your smartphone down your underwear.
I’m over it. Other than on drag queens or for professional photoshoots, heavy contouring shouldn’t be seen in the daylight - at least the way I do it. The last time I contoured my face I looked like a very detailed venn diagram. So I give up. Tell Kim Kardashian to keep her contouring kits ‘cause I’m over it. This year I’ll perfect the luminous dewy look without looking like I shoved my mug in a vat of Vaseline.
I took more than 400 trips in 2017, though I don't remember the last time I travelled further than Salford Quays.
For the past year, I’ve been voyaging around Manchester as if I’m Miss Daisy and Uber is my faithful chauffeur. According to my Uber receipts, I took more than 400 trips in 2017, though I don't remember the last time I travelled further than Salford Quays. At this point, Manchester’s Uber drivers are up to speed with my current dating life, my hopes, dreams and aspirations. I’m sure Uber appreciate my constant custom but my bank balance would prefer for me to start walking.
USING MY MOBILE IN BED
It all starts innocently enough: a few scrolls here and a few clicks there. Next thing you know you’ve fallen deep into the abyss of the internet watching videos of animals that sound like humans, frat boys pranking unsuspecting strangers and documentaries about women who kill their husbands. It’s 2am. You now can’t sleep (you can’t un-see the video of the dog that barks like a bird). It’s a modern affliction. Fact is it’s likely many insomnia-sufferers simply need to switch off their devices. According to Science Direct ‘studies have shown that being exposed to the blue-and-white light given off by phones, laptops, and other electronic gadgets at night prevents our brains from releasing melatonin, a hormone that tells our bodies it's night-time’. Advice suggests switching your phone off at least an hour before bedtime.
SAYING YES WHEN I REALLY MEAN NO
I don’t know how I found myself at the Printworks over the age of 25, drinking cheap booze out of shit glasses, listening to the R&B musical equivalent to a Greggs pasty (no substance, fine for moment but not good you for in the long run) on a Saturday night but there I was. I didn’t want to be there. I wasn’t enjoying myself. But still, I felt obliged to stay. Even if it's considered a well-known ‘British thing’, the willingness to please in spite of what you really want is not wise in the long run. This year I will puff out my chest, look a friend straight in the eye and say ‘NO’ more often. So here goes: "no, I don’t want to look after your dog – I’m actually scared of dogs" , "no, I do not want to go on a date with your mate – I don’t care how ‘nice’ he is, " and "no, I do not want to go out tonight, I’m watching Netflix and eating my weight in carbs."
BUYING CLOTHES I DON’T NEED
A woman made headlines recently for wearing the same outfit to work for past three years. I am not this woman. Unlike me, she subscribes to the idea that uniformed dressing leads to a productive work life, saves you from decision fatigue and makes life easier overall. Apparently Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg also believe in this ethos. Still, there’s no way I’ll be wearing the same blue suit to work for all eternity – Manchester Confidential's dress code is more free spirited media-type than NHS. Instead, I’ll be adopting a more minimal approach to shopping in 2018. There'll be no more spontaneous shopping trips but more considered buying (with zero ‘buyer’s regret'). I’ll build a smaller, sleeker capsule wardrobe filled with well-paired outfits and every day I’ll look as chic and effortless as an off-duty supermodel (no I won’t).
I’m such a stereotypical millennial it irks me. I’m obsessed with social media and memes, I have more digital friends than IRL friends and I take pictures of my coffee before I drink it. Urgh, I’m so annoying. The problem with living digital and the infuriating need to document everything is there’s no respite from your friends’ perfectly curated highlight reels. I can’t risk not going out in case my friends posts the event to the Internet and I get jealous. So, I rarely turn down an invite – my laundry pile getting larger and larger the more time I spend my nights away from home. My ‘FOMO’ – fear of missing out - is real and it’s exhausting. ‘Living our lives through this virtual filter isn't really living at all -- it only fuels an anxious mindset that we must be 'missing out,' explains Science Daily, which believes FOMO can lead to social anxiety. There’s no shame in staying home in 2018. In fact, I now have FOGO – the fear of going out.
PANICKING ABOUT MY DIET
I fall off the healthy bandwagon every few months. I love working out but I love Dominos pizza just as much. This means I gain weight as easily as I lose it (my waistline works a bit like Stretch Armstrong). That’s life. During a period when losing weight and getting fit is the norm, I fear the intense focus around body image will lead to an unhealthy fixation with my own. Agreed, lets all eat our greens and join the gym again but can we not beat ourselves up if we should find our gobs clamped around a burger in 2018? A diet needs balance, right? Forgive yourself.
Can we not beat ourselves up if we should find our gobs clamped around a burger in 2018?
WORRYING ABOUT AGE
I’ve never done things by the 'correct time'. And I’m not just talking about my punctuality here. I turn 30 in 2018 and I haven’t done much of the things you’re ‘supposed’ to do by that age – you know, ‘adult stuff’. I’m certainly not married or the multi-millionaire I thought I’d be by now. By some opinions, I should be filling the last year of my twenties with relentless dating and considering freezing my eggs. I'm not alone, my age group is in a state of panic. “I’m in the winter of my youth!” exclaimed a friend who turns 30 a few months earlier than I. “I’m leaving for Singapore and never coming back!" said another. "I’m shaving my head!” announced one more. Speaking from experience, the obsession with ticking achievements off by a certain time frame is the cause of major anxiety. It's also extremely limiting. People can find love later in life while some go back to study in their forties. Plus I hear fifty is the new thirty anyway. There’s certainly no 'right time', except in your own time.