The other day an actual stranger said to me 'the problem with you is - you're too many things it's confusing'. He was referring to my career and the fact that I like to be involved in a number of different projects. But I went away from the conversation with the sentence ringing in my ears. Why is me being a number of different things such a 'problem' for him?
It got me thinking about whether us humans, and men in particular, like to label a woman up and stick her in a box - like a custard cream in a piece of Tupperware? And woe betide that custard cream if a chocolate digestive accidently gets in too. Does it make us more comfortable if we know exactly where we are with a woman? She's a MUM. That one over there though is a CAREER WOMAN. As for that one, well she just likes to SLEEP WITH MEN. Can't she do all three?!
Let's look at the Beckhams as an example. David and Victoria - both successful. Both parents to four children, both celebrities, and both successful business people in their own right. Now think about the one who's picture regularly appears in magazines alongside captions such as 'Victoria looked tired leaving London fashion week - is being a working mum taking its toll?' And now ask yourself if you've ever seen a caption like that next to a picture of David? I can bet you haven't.
Kate Middleton, or The Duchess of Cambridge is another perfect example. Kate seems to make people nervous. And by people I mean the Royal Family AND the mainstream media. And why? Because she refuses to get in the 'I'm a royal' box and just stay there wearing that one label. As well as being a royal Kate is a loving wife who likes to show affection, she's a daughter, a friend, a fashionista, and was once a party girl. She's also about to be a mum, and a modern one at that. I think her desire to be a woman that wants it all makes people around her twitchy, because she's a woman that takes on and embodies many roles.
My random conversation with the man who knows nothing about me isn't the first time I've come up against the desire for someone else to want to neatly label me. When I made the transition from 'serious news radio journalist' to 'fun muck around and be silly presenter' a LOT of people questioned if I'd be capable of making the change. Why is it impossible that I could actually have a degree of intelligence AND have the capacity to be funny at the same time? An ex- boyfriend once questioned if I could be a mother one day. When I pushed him on the issue he revealed it was because he wasn't sure if career girls could make good mums too. Turned out he preferred the idea of a woman who stayed at home so he could be the breadwinner.
I'm completely used to people (usually men) assuming that I am a bimbo because I have blonde hair. Can I not have blonde hair AND a 1st Class Degree? Is it not possible that I may enjoy watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians AND Panorama? Maybe on a Sunday I like analyse celebrity pictures in Closer and then spend hours grappling with The Telegraph.
Woman are so often labelled and categorised as one thing and one thing only. She's 'blonde', 'brunette', 'a mum', 'curvy', 'a geek', 'a bimbo', 'a career woman'. It's time it changed. The fabulous thing about women is that we can be so many things and do it so well.
So I'm going to stay proud and confident in the fact that 'I am too many things' even if it does confuse people. Yes I am a radio presenter, but I still like to be involved with current affairs and serious news. I enjoy writing things like this for my blog, I run a business from home, I love talking showbiz and one day I want to write a book for children. I am also a girlfriend and would love to be a wife and a mummy one day.
Don't put me in a box - because I won't stay there.