I posted a photo on Instagram over the weekend. It was one where let’s face it, I didn’t look “photo ready”. In a culture where everyone over shares pictures of an ideal beauty that took 20 shots to get right, we all know it’s not real. But the pressure to be beautiful in a socially acceptable way in every image is strong. Even for a woman like me that regularly says screw the patriarchy. I wear what I want, I say what I want and frankly I am Greek and few hairs grow where I don’t want them to but it doesn’t stop me from wearing bright read lipstick. When I get around to removing said hairs I do, but I am in no rush to do it. My arms look soft in this picture, and I am laughing at the antics of my fearless Silvie. Silvie is obsessed with my arms. She is constantly stroking them and she gets upset when I am not wearing a t-shirt. She has been this way since the day she was born. The joy of feeling someone love you unconditionally and is compelled to cuddle with you is all I need. The photo isn’t pretty but it’s real. And real is so important because honestly no one looks like perfectly curated posts of beauty. I’ll try not to cringe at the photo but I am not perfect and a moment of self-loathing catches in my mind. I look at the arms and think wow, how the f@#!% did that happen. But then I remember I am almost 40 and I am here and I own all of my shit.