Becky says things about … being a rubbish woman

Firstly, I’m going to neatly gloss over the fact I haven’t blogged in nearly two months by using Stickman’s yoga skills as a distraction.




Thanks, Sticky. You’re a pal.

Sublime listeners, I am rubbish at being a woman. There are so many things that society expects of women that are simply beyond my capabilities as a human being with boobs.

I cannot style my hair. I think I have the wrong type of hair. I think my hair is broken. I am forever gazing enviously at women with whimsical corkscrew curls, with sleek businesslike ‘up-dos’, with fringes that sit happily at their allocated angle, with pins and clips and grips that create veritable fountains of  coiffured abandon – whilst I sit under the humdrum melancholy of a frizzy ponytail.


I have tried, Listener. I have followed YouTube videos to the letter, I have bought contraptions and equipment more reminiscent of open heart surgery than a casual grooming session; I have come dangerously close to breaking my neck as I contort my body in front of the mirror to achieve what bottles and tubes call INSANE VOLUME or GRAVITY-DEFYING BOUNCE (a scientific paradox, I’m sure you’ll agree, as to ‘bounce’ surely means an inevitable descent after an initial ascent, thereby succumbing to gravity and not defying it in the least) – and all to no avail.


Just the other day I bought THERMO ROLLERS, determined to acquire a carefree-wavy-mermaid look. I followed all the instructions. After 20 minutes of looking foolish in front of myself, I unravelled the rollers in quiet anticipation of the twirled glory to come, and achieved the following:


I am also rubbish at nails. I don’t understand how women can keep their nails looking so lovely. I can’t operate nail files, I can’t afford constant manicures, and stick-on nails are surely for the under 18s or the over 80s. I yearn to be able to drum my talons on a desktop, or drape my hand elegantly over my neck to show off my sleek red manicure. My nails look like a hobo’s teeth. Ragged, torn, unkempt finger teeth. This is not a good look.


And what of contouring? That peculiar, Cosmopolitan-induced concept of facial contouring. Drawing lines on your face to make it look more 3d than it already is, to give you a smaller nose or a more defined jawline or a less spatially-consuming forehead? Those girls on YouTube casually flick orange bronzer all over their mug and before I can say ‘Oh gosh, someone should tell her she’s put on way too much and she looks like someone’s tried to draw a map of the North Circular on her face’, she does something flicky and brushy with an enormous brush and she is transformed into a flawless, beauty-pageant superstar. I am filled with confidence at how easy it all is, and attempt to do the same, with the following result:


I forget to moisturise. I would love to be that girl who lovingly swathes her limbs with creamy goodness morning and night, and slips about the world like an oiled nymph, un-plagued by the dreaded freckling of dry skin on tights or the raw, chapped knuckles of a cruel winter. And, on the next level, I would love to remember to exfoliate. I want to buy a loofah and use it, instead of have it mock me from its untouched position in the bathroom cabinet, a devilish symbol of my failure to remove my billions of dead skin cells and reveal the nubile smoothness underneath. I want a life that is not tormented by that silent, watching loofah.


I can’t darn. I have never mended a piece of clothing. I cannot thread a needle. I have tripped over a thousand over-long hemlines, I have trailed them in the mud and crud and hoisted them up like a rebellious princess on the way home from a forbidden rave, and I have endured all this without ever once thinking ‘Maybe I should learn to darn’. I fear my clumsiness and general cack-handedness would render the exercise disproportionately dramatic.


Clumsiness is another foible. I am the most inelegant, elephantine lummox to ever walk the earth. I cannot do anything delicately. The simple act of raising a water bottle to my lips to quench my thirst is done with such vigour, such carelessness, that 11 times out of 10 it results in a terrible over-spill situation which, when I am talking to my boss, or trying to impress a dude, or surrounded by live electrical equipment, can be somewhat trying.


I make more noise performing everyday tasks than a herd of obese T-Rex rushing to the opening of a new fast-food diplodocus restaurant. Cupboard doors bang, Tupperware clatters to the ground, bins tip over, windows break, mirrors shatter, roofing slates explode, children cry. I get so caught up in the whirlwind of my hulking ineptitude that I actually wonder why things are crashing to the ground. If I stopped clodhopping around for one second, I’d realise that the wasteland of devastation around me was actually caused by the fact that I am a hopelessly maladroit bint.


I have never cleaned my oven, flowers perish in my presence, I do not own an iron, I drink lager from the bottle instead of a delicate G&T by the tumbler, I never dry between my fingers after washing my hands, I obsessively watch Man VS Food instead of The Great British Bake Off, I forget my eyebrows exist, I sneeze like a walrus farting, I leave socks lying around, I don’t know my bra size, I hate ponies and gerbils, I would rather shove my face in a ribeye steak than nibble daintily on a lightly-fried hake fillet, and I have never mastered lipliner.


I’d ask to come back as a bloke and see if I do any better, but I fear that looking after an extremely delicate and vulnerable appendage 24 hours a day would be too much to handle. As it were.


93 thoughts on “Becky says things about … being a rubbish woman

  1. Perhaps there’s a “Lady Refresher Course” that you could take? I mean surely you’re not alone feeling this way? I’d empathize but Women who are polished scare me – I prefer a rib-eye gobbler, that I can understand. Yum.

  2. Funny, I was just looking through my reader yesterday and realized you hadn’t posted in forever! We can be rubbish together. I have no clue what to do with my hair, how to do foundation/concealer and whatever other things people slap on their face to work magic. You’re not alone.

  3. Recently cracked a rib in an attempt to be HERO of NEIGHBOURHOOD by De-foliaging a monster of a bush that was attacking small children, big children and dogs walking old children. You should not have written this painful post [you have no idea how painful] until after I was completely healed or at the very least pain meds were working in over-drive. Or…maybe I just shouldn’t have laughed so hard…

    1. Ohhhhh the old bush pruning. How many major bones have I fractured doing that. I’m sorry I hampered your recovery but, on the bright side, at least the children are safe now. 🙂

  4. I think the image of ‘a herd of obese T-Rex rushing to the opening of a new fast-food diplodocus restaurant’ just might help me get through the day. Welcome back!

  5. I so want to see you on an episode of that BBC show where they take the city girls and try to make them ladies. Half the stuff they made those girls do…floral arranging? Who does that! Hair schmare, nails spails. Just let you be you. By the way…missed you.

  6. I imagine that being a ‘bloke’ as you say is a bit easier since the societal demands for grooming and upkeep aren’t as stringent. Your concerns about the added appendage are really only valid if you have children who are waist-high and consider head-butting a show of endearment.
    And welcome back. You’ve been missed in the reader.

    1. Yeah, I’ve seen many a father grit his teeth, raise his eyes to the heavens, and inwardly curse their children and their head-butting hellos 🙂
      Thank you for reading and for the lovely comment!

  7. Yep, I’m the same. Except that my nails look after themselves.
    Then again I wouldn’t want to be a girly girl, but I would like it if my hair did anything other than flat.

      1. Absolutely, I even tried something called hair clay. Sounds like it would enable you to have a pretty indestructible hair doo, but no. It just made lots of it fall out.

  8. The nice thing about being a dude is that once I leave the house I don’t have to see what I look like until I’m brushing my teeth at night. Nobody expects much from us, and we learn from an early age that looking in a mirror is vain behavior. Wouldn’t it be nice if the same expectations belonged to the fairer sex? Super funny post, your pain is my enjoyment, thanks.

    1. Yep, that would be nice. However, I do know some men who really, REALLY enjoy looking at themselves in the mirror… 😉
      I’m glad that my pain is enjoyable to you – if we can’t amuse others with our pain, then it’d be a pretty sad world 🙂
      Thank you for reading!

  9. Omg this was worth the two month wait!!! Hilarious as ever. Btw is that a chicken on the left side of of Sticky in the death and destruction drawing?!

  10. Oh and the “My nails look like a hobo’s teeth” line was my absolute favorite. And then the dentist’s chair and “filling in your left index finger.” Omfg DYING

      1. Baaahahaaaa!! Now don’t go gettin’ yer vulture in a wad! Of course it’s a vulture. I mean, it didn’t look like a chicken which is why I asked if that’s what you were trying to do there. Lol

  11. Hahaha, oh, Becky, how I’ve missed you and sticky. If it weren’t for the fact that you say bloke and duvet and live across the ocean, I’d swear you were my wife writing this. She does have pretty great hair sometimes, but the rest of it? Creepy accurate. I prefer a woman who looks good as she is and doesn’t need all the distractions of colored nails or college style hair dos, whatever that means.

    1. Interestingly, that’s what most guys say – so WHY are we women trying so hard???!!!!
      I’m delighted that the only differences between your wife and I are the fact I say ‘bloke’ and ‘duvet’ 🙂

  12. Ah, what a great post and how familiar so much of it sounds.
    You’re forgiven for not posting in 2 months but only because I laughed (as usual with your posts).

    Btw I had the same problem with my hair until I decided that not all women needed to have long (eh….stringy) hair and got a bob cut. A lot less bad hair days now, I tell you!

  13. At least that guy who wrote the Esquire article will still take you (see Speaker 7’s post) – wait, are you under 42? Otherwise you’re just a crone. I know I’m very close, so I’m making the most of my time before they ship me off to the island (btw I also do none of the stuff that womens are supposed to do according to the woman Bible Cosmo). On the plus side, the island of hags is very accepting. There are no politicians or magazines or celebrities. Oh, I do wish to reach that promised land!

    Oh, and great to see you back. 🙂

    1. I know, I saw Speaker 7’s post – it made me glad that I have hope in middle age 😉
      In the meantime, I’ll just keep worshipping the Cosmo bible and attempting to be a better woman…

  14. Being a woman is a bitch. The upkeep as you get older, mosturizer, waxing and or threading, shaving (particularly womanscaping) , tweezing, getting your hair cut, highlighted, exfoliating, using the right makeup for your completion type, whitening your teeth ( maybe that’s an American thing everyone does it here like you have tea), nails, toes, ears, very inch of us is examined. Anyway, great post. I’m going to go hem lace on the bottom of my jeans…

  15. Being a woman is so complicated these days, isn’t it? I wish I could have a stylist every day to do my hair. Like you, no matter what I do, I think it looks pathetic! And don’t get me started on the facial routine all the steps involved! Besides, ribeye steak is so lovely. I can’t think of a better thing to shove in my face.

    1. Anything to do with your face that involves complicated steps can just get the hell outta town. No time for it. Let’s just shove our faces into slabs of meat and be done with it.

  16. Every time I allow myself to think I should know what to do to take care of my hair, I feel like there is some lady-book I haven’t read or lady-class that I might be failing. And every now and then when I notice women with their eyebrows threaded I think maybe I should be doing that on a weekly basis. But I don’t. And life goes on quite well. I’m busy now. Where would I find time to do that other stuff? How do those women find the extra hours to sit in a salon waiting to get their hair done? I much rather go for a walk in the park. Maybe if my eyebrows grew so long that I was tripping over them. Even then, maybe.

    1. Someone has already suggested a Lady Refresher Course, and I think it’s a great idea. Lady books and lady lessons are much needed. And walking in the park is infinitely preferable to ripping hair off my face.
      Thanks for reading 🙂

  17. It sounds like you’re a normal woman. Or is this the lament of a normal woman? Did I just stick my hand in my mouth? I mean foot. That is, did I just stick my hand in my foot? Why am I so bad at this?

  18. So good to be giggling at the computer screen (to the confusion of my family) again – I don’t even OWN any lady contraptions or spray painting doodads…my daughter asked me what makeup was and I felt terribly inept explaining “it is paint people put on their faces” – to which she asked “like tribal people going into battle”- my response?…..”Yes!”

  19. Where have you been? Goodness you can’t leave us like this!! Glad you are back.

    As for being a woman, you’re funny and a gifted writer so who gives a shit about the rest. I am sold.

  20. I can’t speak for your other readers but I can tell you that *I’VE* certainly noticed that you haven’t blogged in two months.

    Some men (many, actually) aren’t interested in women who are coiffed like poodles or afghan hounds.

    I Googled the North Circular. I wish I was typing this from the North Circular right now. I’m in the wrong town, wrong generation, wrong shoes, wrong everything.

    I’ve lamented for years that I’m a poor excuse for a man. I don’t play sports or go camping. I can’t fix a car and I’m not much of a drinker. I’ve never been able to hop from bed to bed and, in fact, have never once picked up a girl in a pub. I’m the “before” picture in a before/after manly makeover article in GQ.

    Welcome back, you little minx. We love you just the way you are.

    1. Hello friend, nice to see you 🙂
      Well, just like you prefer women who aren’t groomed and coiffed like afghan hounds, I like men who don’t want to run around a field or talk about cars and horse power. BORING.
      So, if we all like each other the way we are…. WHY do we have these ideas of what we ‘should’ be??? Oh society, you are a strange dictator (but one we can happily ignore).

      1. Not so easy to ignore! Everywhere I look are these hyper-masculine sons of bitches. They’re shooting guns. They’re riding loud motorcycles. They’re getting into scrapes with the law. Women love bad boys. It’s a FACT. Society really is a dictator! And I don’t fit the mold.

    1. Well I’d be delighted to be related to you, you excellent gal – and I’d be quite happy to be missing the ‘get my fringe exactly at the optimum angle’ gene 🙂

      1. And the nail polish/shopping/shoe love gene…

        I would also love to be related to you – and I’d hope to get some of your excellent writing skilz

        And I’d live to adopt the word ‘rubbish’ in the British manner, as well. Is that doable?

  21. You are not alone. I don’t fix my hair. I gave up on that ages ago. Now it stays however it dries – air dries because I don’t own a hair dryer. I haven’t painted my nails in decades. I don’t shave my legs but for once every few months. I’ve never worn more make-up than eyeliner and mascara. I grill on a BBQ pit, but I can’t cook on a stove or in an oven. I prefer steak to salad and beer to wine. I forget to cross my legs. I curse. I’m pretty much a bloke with boobs.

  22. Oh, I miss one day’s reading and here you are! Thank goodness. It’s been so lonely on here without Stickman and your wry wit! You have been missed! As for this post, I think the term “lady” needs to be brought into the modern world… thinking anyone smart enough to invent and control man to do her bidding on a blog and smart enough to give him no mouth, is a lady at her very best!

    1. You are lovely 🙂
      And you’re right about the inventing a man thing… I privately consider myself and all-powerful dictatoress from the headquarters of my bedroom, and knowing I have a small stick man who will do EXACTLY as I bid him, is extremely empowering. VOTES FOR WOMEN!! 🙂

  23. I am a disappointment to my hair stylist. When I go in for my haircut, she sighs. After she makes my hair beautiful, she gives me suggestions. It would be easier if I could get my hands to do in the mirror what my mind thinks they could do. And then there are the eyebrows. No I do not want them waxed. I will not suffer for beauty.

  24. I’m glad you are back, first of all. Yay!

    As far as the societal pressures of being a “woman” go, I have decided to focus on being a good human and representing mammals as best I can. 🙂 I never fear rain (waterproof), I never fear being hairy (long Canadian winters), I fed two babies (thanks boobs) and well I guess I just don’t give a care about the things that are hellbent on making me less human.

    I think you are a terrific human!

    Also, you can draw an elaborate stickman like nobody’s business! Sticky is the best!

    1. Totally excellent points, and do you know what? I don’t care about those things either! I have an excellent sense of direction, my hearing is second to none, and I can curl my tongue – who cares if I don’t know how to define my jawline to epic angular levels?!!
      Thanks for reading 🙂

      1. Thanks! Yay!

        You are the best darn you you can be! 😀

        Love the “nailed it” photos of “Pinterest” make up tutorials gone wrong. When the angles are so bad they’re good? Hilarious!

        You are welcome. I really do love your blog and Mr. Stickman. 😀

  25. You know, you and John Mayer have the same issue with gravity, so at least that bit is transsexual. The best facial contouring I’ve ever seen has been on folks who paint up their faces for Dia de Los Muertos, so you could consider that as an option. Oh, and I think someone just happened to get a good shot of the oiled nymph here: Double-stick tape does wonders on hems, and up-dos for that matter, and nail biting shows nails who’s the teeth and who’s not. For that hemorrhaging-all-over-the-floor look Sticky is so fond of, you can also gnaw on the cuticles. And, as for all that beer-swilling, destroy-the-world-around-you tendency, there’s always a career as the supernatural villain in one of those epic superhero movies (3D, too, since you got the Muertos contouring makeup down by now). Sticky would make an excellent comic-relief sidekick!

  26. Becky, you’re not a rubbish woman – you’re an awesome woman! You can say witty things about all this stuff and make fun of the whole process while drawing brilliant illustrations.

    P.S. I doubt you ever heard of this, but American TV host Bill O’Reilly found himself in hot water about 10 years ago, and a transcript emerged where he called a loofah a “falafel thing”. So at least you’re more informed than Bill.

    1. And “inelegant, elephantine lummox” – have three more delightful, charming words ever been penned?

      1. That’s a wonderful way to know about him. You’re not missing out. He’s kind of an inelegant, elephantine lummox! 😉

  27. Well, it seems like I fail at being a woman too, because I can’t do/bother with these things either. >.>; I keep telling people I will grow to be your friendly next-door cat ladything.

  28. The thing I struggle with is politeness. Like when someone puts chocolates in the middle of the table and you’re supposed to pretend you don’t want all of them.

    1. That’s a social nightmare, and the way I get round it is pretending to be completely socially unaware and just take them all, then say ‘Oh sorry, did anyone else want one?’ Works every time 🙂

  29. fun read, Becky. Although I’m concerned now as I wasn’t aware that I was supposed to be doing much of this as well. You mean I’m supposed to style my hair? And what was that about moisturizing and eyebrows and thermomwhatnot? Lipliner, you say? Huh. Although I do own an iron. (not saying I use it) And I say damn to darning.

    Can you ask stick to do more yoga again?

  30. So funny and I can relate. I can sew a button back on, of course, it falls off again 3 months later. I don’t even attempt to do anything with my hair.

  31. Honey….I KNOW THEM FEELS. I am 22 years old and I never got the memo that most girls get at 12 about how to make hair look nice. It just isn’t working. I have these freaking baby hair half-bang whispy flyaways that can’t decide that side of my part they want to be on.

    Smoky eye? Ferrgettaboutit. I’m lucky if I can make my eyeshadow look nice and actually stay on my face for more than an hour. I know literally nothing about contouring – for me, “fancy evening makeup” is some foundation, eyeshadow, and lipstick. There’s MORE than that out there? People use THAT stuff for their everyday look?! – and using red nailpolish results in my fingers looking like I’ve bled all over them. I’m the clumsiest person at my workplace, I don’t understand how there can be 10,000 lotions on the market because all lotion is the freaking same, and I am in a constant uphill battle with my eyebrows.

    We need fairy godmothers to follow us around and take care of these things for us. Seriously. I guess, at least this has forced me to build the confidence to say “Screw it” and walk around most days without makeup.

      Do you realise that if we really wanted to, we could use approximately 40 DIFFERENT PRODUCTS on our face at the SAME TIME!!! My face just isn’t big enough for that sort of overcrowding! Stuff to prepare your face for the make up, stuff to SEAL the make up once it’s on, stuff to make that square millimetre by your left ear looks amazing…
      I’m with you all the way.
      And I am going to use the phrase ‘I know them feels’ at least once today 🙂

  32. Reblogged this on My OBT and commented:
    I do not reblog often, so you know this is something special.

    I couldn’t have loved this post more. I suspect Becky and I are very similar. While it’s true that I’m a glad hand with a makeup brush and my hair goes all mermaidy on its own just to be agreeable, I am also a tragic klutz and in denial about the last 100 pounds I acquired (in weight, not wealth). I, too, fall, blunder, break, spill, and set afire. It’s just when I do those things, I leave a pretty smear of makeup behind like a calling card. I’m like fat Barbie after an hour of spinning around in the back yard.

    Anyway, enjoy the perfectly funny and self deprecating Becky who, it turns out, says things.

YOU say things!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s