In order to get away from the depressfest that is Reading (after 7 years at school there and returning there again after University last year, I've sampled all it has to offer. Which is not a whole lot), I've recently moved to Cardiff. I like daffodils, I like rugby and I especially like Welsh men so it seemed like a good fit. Unbeknownst to me though, Cardiff apparently has a little bit of a reputation. I was completely unaware of this until an old school friend who lives here told me that it can be a "bit rough" and contains a "whole lot of wasters." Well I never! This was futher backed up by images by Polish photographer Maciej Dakowicz's exhibition where he documented nights out in Cardiff over four years. Worryingly most of the photographs were of women. And it didn't exactly paint us in the best light.
These pictures showed something all too familiar. From the 90s “ladettes” (remember Zoe Ball drinking Jack Daniels from a bottle on the way to the church for her wedding?) to the ‘
Now I must state before I get going that this blog is not me getting on my high donkey. Horse. Sorry, I mean horse. (It's been so long since I've had the moral high ground, I can't even remember what animal I should be metaphorically sitting on) High horses want nothing to do with me. This is because four years ago I was the worst “ladette” of all. A vodka mainlining, chain-smoking, promiscuous mess of a girl I was (and admittedly, sometimes can still be). Throw in a bunch of persistent mental health problems and frazzled nicotine blonde hair and I was hardly the most attractive of women. You see, the majority of my closest friends are men and I think that somewhere along the way, amidst nights out with five rugby players, I seemed to forget that I was, in fact, a girl. I was always the first one at the bar and the first one to collapse head first into my post-clubbing chicken burger. Add in the fact that my socialising took place in the less-than-lovely town of
1) Don't drink too much
I have fallen asleep in a club, sitting on the toilet. (The bouncers had to come in and remove me.) I have been arrested. I have thrown up in my sleep. And I wondered, incredulously, why the guy (who, unfortunately for him, used to work in the bar that most of this took place in) didn't love me!
Shocking as it may seem, no man finds downing a bottle of vodka (and the events that follow) attractive. A decent man wants a lady who has few glasses of wine, who is fun and let’s loose but can still manage to walk at the end of the evening.
2) Burping and farting are complete no no's
As far as men are concerned, WE DON'T POO. Ever. Lauren Goodger from The Only Way is
3) Shut your mouth occasionally
Don't be emotionally slutty. I am. I used to have the habit of telling every guy I've ever met everything about me. (I can't help, I'm my favourite subject). Whilst my mates might appreciate my self-deprecating honesty (or at least pretend to), men do not. They don't want to have you all figured out by the end of the first drink, that just means you're boring or easy (or in my case, a raving lunatic). So don't tell men you have just met about how your ex screwed you over (he just hears you're bitter) and about other disastrous first dates (he'll think you're hard to please). And oh god, never, EVER mention the number of men you have slept with. Take it from me, whether it's 6 or 60, he'll have an opinion on it and it will rarely be one you're satisfied with.
4) Cover up
Legs or boobs - never both. Men can spot a cracking pair of legs or tits without you having to get them out so don't hoik them up underneath your chin, wear a short skirt and make it skin tight. Less is more. Retain a bit of mystery and cover up a bit. It just sends out the wrong message and ultimately will only ever attract the wrong kind of guy.
5) Be nice
So many girls I come across have gotten into a habit of incessantly bitching and gossiping about people. Generally, men don't care what other men weigh or what they wore on that night out that made them look "sooooooooo fat". Nor do they slag each other off behind each others backs or call each other "sluts" so believe me when I say, they truly don't give a shit if that's all you have to say. Everyone needs to vent occasionally but if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
Derek Blasberg said in his book "Classy", "Even if you are a mess, even if you have become the type of girl no one respects, even if you are a tramp—it’s never too late to turn yourself around and become a lady. There is such a thing as second chances. (And third and fourth, for that matter.) Temptation is as old as time; or at least, the history of temptation extends as far back as the moment Eve gave Adam that serpent’s apple. But what sets the lady apart from the tramp is the ability to acknowledge she needs to clean up her act—and then, of course, the fact that she actually does clean up her act."
So rest assured I'm hardly Mother Theresa. The loud-mouth drunk mess of a girl I once was is still there (it's very difficult to erase loads of tattoos and a criminal record), she's just calmed down a bit (although not in Ibiza. Never in Ibiza). I'd never recommend compromising who are you are pretending to be something you're not - my sense of humour can still put men off and I swear too much - but maybe just keep try to keep the ladette side of you toned down around men. Angelina Jolie may have once been a badass but she only got the long-lasting idyllic relationship once she started acting like a lady. This advice might not secure you your own Brad Pitt but if nothing else, it'll certainly get you a lot more respect.