Category Archives: Bullying

The “Perfect” Spray Tan

The Perfect Spray Tan  
“Here ya go, just undress and put this on”, she nonchalantly said as she handed me a minuscule ziploc bag which contained what looked suspiciously like a tissue.
“Um, by undress, do you mean all my clothes?”, I stammered, nervously and naively hoping I was misunderstanding her words.
“Of course! But don’t worry, you will still be wearing those.”, she kindly reassured me, pointing to the little baggie I was clutching in my sweaty palm. The baggie that was so tiny that it couldn’t possibly contain anything that even loosely fit the description: clothing.
I laughed nervously and nodded. I attempted to act nonchalant about this whole ‘get naked’ thing, like I do this all the time. I tried, in vain, to be cool by shrugging my shoulders as if to say, “no biggie”. It came out like a giggling seizure.
She shut the door and I exhaled.
Intrepidly, I opened the bag and extracted the ‘undies’ inside.
These were no ordinary undies.
Read the rest of this entry

Insensitive Things That People Say When You Have an Invisible Condition


ADHD Depression Fibromyalgia Colitis

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Six Lessons I Learned from Nelson Mandela

Image Today’s post is syndicated at Bonbon Break – a stunning portal to the internet’s best blogs and fast becoming a second home to me. I hope you’ll take the time to click over and read about my childhood in Apartheid South Africa, my family’s struggle to fight the system and my tribute to Nelson Mandela. Rest in peace, Tata Madiba, your long walk is over. 

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  If you want to see Val Curtis (Editor in Chief of Bonbon Break) and I in yesterday’s episode of Bonbon Break LIVE, click HERE.

Bonbon Break LIVE

It was 2am for me, so you’ll find me in my pyjamas, clutching my daughter’s Nelson Mandela doll and discussing parenting and perceptions of beauty. I also did a live reading of “Damn you, Barbie!” Much to my amazement, I seemed reasonably coherent. Enjoy!
This post was syndicated at Bonbon Break Magazine.
This post was syndicated at Bonbon Break Magazine.
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Myth of the perfect mother.

This morning, the most beautiful picture found its way on to my Facebook newsfeed. It made me smile. It grounded me. It made me proud to be privileged enough to be called “Mum”. Here it is:
From the 4th Trimester Project - "Tara Maki is my hero of the day. She is ex-military and has overcome a serious eating disorder to grow and nourish and set such a glowing example of beauty for her girls Joselyn (3) and Addie (9 months) — at Sonesta Hotel Philadelphia."

Picture courtesy of The 4th Trimester Bodies Project ( – “Tara Maki is my hero of the day. She is ex-military and has overcome a serious eating disorder to grow and nourish and set such a glowing example of beauty for her girls Joselyn (3) and Addie (9 months) — at Sonesta Hotel Philadelphia.”

I was all loved up and happy until I read the horrific caption that went with it: “This picture and a whole swath of others like it have been removed by Facebook and other social media sites for being vulgar.”


My blood is boiling over this. It is so very wrong on multiple levels.

This picture is not pornography.

Know what is pornographic? The countless images that Facebook thrusts on to my newsfeed as ‘suggested’ stories – images of emaciated teenage bodies accompanied by information about the diet pills I should be taking/milkshakes I should be drinking to look like them. These images are vulgar in their message that, somehow, I – a 38 year old mother of three – should aim to look like them. Know what else is vulgar? Read the rest of this entry

Enough Mylie!

Visit Bonbon Break today for my thoughts on this Mylie Cyrus debacle.

Visit Bonbon Break today for my thoughts on this Mylie Cyrus debacle.

If you were an alien visiting the Earth and found yourself in a Western country this past week, you’d have learnt the following things about the People Of Earth:

ONE: Miley Cyrus is Very Important and has magic powers. With a few shakes of her rear (accompanied by an unnaturally long extension of her tongue), this young earthling can make poverty, murder and impending war  d i s a p p e a r. Yep – anyone who witnessed Twerkgate was privy to the instantaneous vanishing of the murdered Syrian children, threats of WWIII and… well… anything of actual importance from world news. Poof!

TWO: Twerking is horrible and slutty. HOWEVER, women should be allowed to twerk to their hearts’ content because we own our bodies, so quit judging and back-off. ALTHOUGH, even though we shouldn’t Judge Miley (poor, poor, poor Miley, naive and expressing her rights) she really did behave like the sluttiest slutty slut from Sluttsville and Read the rest of this entry

Is that your baggage?


I couldn’t believe I was finally here. After a whirlwind six weeks of pre-cooking meals, re-organising of karate/dancing/footy schedules and some serious yanking up of my big girl knickers, I was finally standing at the Qantas check-in counter at the airport. Brand-new red conference handbag slung (so fashionably, people were fainting left and right) over my shoulder and my I’m-still-young-and-hip-dude pink camo backpack at my feet, I lugged my Daddy Bear sized suitcase on to the scale.
“Is this luggage yours?”
I looked up and beamed. “All mine.” I declared. The Qantas lady raised an eyebrow quizzically, “Did you pack it all yourself?” The beam grew, “Yep, every square inch of it!” She looked at me funny (What? Never seen a Mum experiencing the unparalleled joy of a whole suitcase all to herself before?) “Ohhh-kay…” Read the rest of this entry

A letter to a little boy in a scary world.

letter to a little boy in a scary world.

In the light of the George Zimmerman trial over the death of Trayvon Martin, I can’t help but feel sick that we live in a world where race is still an issue, where religion is an issue, where sexual-orientation is still an issue. What a world for our kids to grow up in.  All I can offer is this: A letter to that little brown boy. A letter to my Jewish son. A letter to the obese kid. A letter to the transgendered child. A letter to that weird kid who makes funny noises…. Read the rest of this entry

You are a shit-head.

“Daniel called me an S-WORD HEAD!”

(She actually said “S-word” head because she could NOT bring herself to say, ‘shit’.) Miss M was six years old. She came running to me after school, upset because someone had used *gasp* the S-word. She was horrified and devastated that a child could use THAT word.

It was then that a light bulb switched on and I had an A-HA moment. Read the rest of this entry

Parenting. Like a Ninja.


Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.

Yes….and no.

I have tried to raise my kids with good manners, compassion, respect for other people’s property, the ability to share and a sense of kindness for everyone around them. I thought I was doing the right thing. I wasn’t wrong. If we lived in a perfect world, that is.

Problem: This isn’t a perfect world.

It is a world where other kids are not necessarily taught to say please and thank you, not to swear, to share, to be kind, to not hit. It’s a world where other kids will snatch, steal and be downright cruel. By teaching my kids to always be nice, have I indirectly rendered them incapable of coping in a less than perfect world? I didn’t think so for a long time. I wasn’t that cynical. I was a firm believer in raising my kids to always be kind, polite and certainly, to never hit.

Until Little Man got punched in the guts. In pre-school.

Let me explain. Read the rest of this entry

The Test.

Today’s post is prompted by a writing challenge. It spoke to me. I’d love to hear about your thoughts on this challenge.
You have the choice to erase one incident from your past, as though it never happened. What would you erase and why?
The Test It was 1986, a temperate Summer’s day in Johannesburg, and it was almost time for the school bell to ring for break. I was crazy-obsessed with playing elastics with the girls in my class and looked forward to the chanting, jumping, giggling joy only a ten year old knows. That bell rang, it’s Pavlov’s Dog effect causing excessive shrieking and laughter, and we were dismissed. I ran with a gaggle of little girls to sit under a tree and eat our lunches as quickly as possible (I was not one to ever skip a meal – even for elastics). As we ate, we talked about the important things in life, like whose mother packed them a chocolate (not mine) and who was wearing what colour knickers (don’t do handstands in a dress). Then it started. She was sitting by herself, eating her egg-mayonnaise sandwich. She looked sad. Read the rest of this entry