Miriam’s Musings

Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman

Jesy Nelson (formerly) of girl band Little Mix has decided to part company with the rest of the group explaining, “I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard”. To be honest, I wondered why this young woman, who was (given recent revelations in her BBC documentary Odd One Out) clearly struggling, left it so long to arrive at this life saving decision.

For the past decade, Little Mix have been hailed as the biggest thing since the Spice Girls, however, literally hours after their X-Factor win, every angle of poor Jesy’s body came under scrutiny. According to reports, she received a series of disgusting messages regarding her appearance with one odious creep allegedly writing “You do not deserve to be in this girl band. You deserve to die”.

While I have huge empathy with Jesy, it’s clear that this hugely talented young lady has unfortunately found out the hard way that throughout our lives, we women are constantly and cruelly being evaluated, observed, appraised, criticised and judged solely on how we look.

Indeed, if proof were needed, only this September I was personally ‘skinny-shamed’ by a radiographer in a certain hospital (not Roscommon hospital, the staff there are lovely), who insinuated I was to blame for having osteoporosis.

In Ms. Perfect’s (far from it) opinion, I was “too skinny”. Not content with the insult, this highly unprofessional ignoramus went on to mutter, “you look malnourished, but sure what can you expect from a vegan”. Wow… someone was feeling brave. Now I don’t normally engage in a war of words with an unarmed imbecile, and while I won’t tell you what my actual reply was (because it’s unprintable), I do hope this bitter biddy realises her make-up is never going to cover her dim-wittedness. By the way – it is not my weight, height, diet or body shape that has given me, or any other woman, osteoporosis; in my case it’s my early menopause due to undergoing a life-saving hysterectomy. But I digress… apologies.

I don’t know Jesy and I’ve never really listened to Little Mix. However, I have brought my granddaughter to one of their concerts (remember concerts?) in the 3Arena, and looking at their on-stage ‘antics’ and barely-there outfits, I’d imagine that, like most women, whether in the limelight or not, Jesy sadly fell prey to the social pressures of trying embody society’s version of ‘perfection’.

In fact, sadly I’d imagine that from the very day she joined that group, she began living someone else’s life, allowing others to influence and determine her choices. If I were her mother I’d be relieved beyond words that this beautiful, talented and clever young woman has finally refused to allow herself to become a slave to the illusions of shallow husks like the ones who commented on her appearance.

However, if I were to offer Jesy, my daughters, my granddaughter and any other woman reading this column some advice for 2021, it would be that there are so many positives to being a feisty and fabulous female. Here are just a few:

We’ll always be escorted off a sinking ship first. We can scare the living daylights out of our husbands, male bosses, Gardaí, (the male ones), male members of the judiciary and just about any other male in our lives the second we mention any manner of gynaecological problems. I’ve found the mere whisper of the word ‘tampon’ can reduce most men to tears. Oh and here’s the best one, ladies: we do not, and never will, feel the need to ahem, rearrange our genitalia in public! Woo hoo! Let’s hear it for the sisterhood!



Local TNR charity says ‘thank you’ to readers and supporters

I’m climbing onto my animal welfare soapbox again… am I ever off it? However, this time it’s for a lovely, festive, feel-good reason.

My lovely friends and fellow animal welfare supporters at TNR South Roscommon, a local charity that spays/neuters/provides veterinary care for feral cats, is offering an online ‘thank you’, a gesture of goodwill to everyone who has kindly supported them throughout this hugely difficult year. According to my good pal Orla Hanley, who runs the charity, “the last ten months have been very challenging for charities. For us, a huge part of getting by this year was our two online charity shop pages, TNR Roscommon online charity shop, and Friends of TNR Roscommon, which is open to all other animal charities to use to raise funds, so we’d like to thank all our supporters by holding this online promotion/competition.”

Yes folks, you’ve got it, instead of asking for funds (which they so desperately need and deserve, so please try to donate if you can), TNR South Roscommon are offering a prize of a €30 One for All voucher to those who like their page, share their post and tag three friends.

It’s that simple. If you take two minutes to do this small thing for a very worthy local charity, which, let’s face it, are struggling according to Orla, “you’ll be automatically entered into our competition.” The winner will be selected at random on New Year’s Eve by moi… and I feel so honoured to have been asked to do this, so thank you Orla and the rest of the volunteers for all that you do for the little ferals of this county. Bonne chance everyone!


That feeling you get from a fab haircut – priceless!

It’s a fact: the most cheery, merry and bright Christmas marvel that can happen to any vain, fussy woman (who has, since September, been looking like she’s been wearing a sheepdog on her head), is a visit to a hair salon for a cut and a colour.

Regular readers will know that recently, my darling daughter, who has been my trusted stylist, has branched into aesthetics, putting hair on the backburner, and so I needed to find a new salon locally. That salon was Aphrodite’s in the town, and from the second I walked nervously through their doors to be met by the wonderful aromas of hair dye, shampoo, gels, waxes and hairspray emanating right across each socially distanced booth, I knew I was in good hands.

Thank you to owner Anne for making me feel so relaxed, for sitting down and chatting through my chosen style with me, (an undercut pixie), for being excited about cutting my hair and in general, for being an all-round lovely lady. Big thanks also to colourist Jeanette for doing a super job. Girls, I adore my new ‘do, it makes me feel (and if I say so myself, look) ten years younger. To that end, as I’m in a fab festive mood and feeling giddy and light-hearted, I’d like to inform hubby to ahem, take advantage while stocks last!


And finally…

Wishing every single one of my readers a wonderful, safe, happy and healthy Christmas. See you all in 2021. Thank you for supporting this family-focused, family-run newspaper, and remember to continue to stay local, shop local and look out for each other.