New Year's resolutions aren't something I really believe in but some things have happened during 2018 that have given me reason to create one. And it's one I hope other women will take on too.
During last year and a bit, the #metoo movement hit full force and awakened something in women that wasn't there before. It made us aware of the sexism, sexual harassment and double standards we've been putting up with our whole lives.
Some of these are things we had been blind to. But the shutters have been opened and once you see it, it can't be unseen. As time goes on my eyes are still opening more and more.
I was in a sports store recently when it really hit me. They were selling an undergarment that smoothed panty lines. Undies, over your undies, if you will. It was something like $35.
Are you fricken' kidding me? With all the things women have to worry about and now they want us to care what strangers are thinking when they look at our a**es?
These people are strangers. Anyone who is a friend of mine isn't going to care if I have a line of undies showing. We have more important things to worry about.
The rage began boiling when it occurred to me that men aren't being made to feel bad about wearing underpants. They aren't expected to care if anyone can see their soft bits bulging around their seams.
No stress about what women think when they look at their a**es from behind.
Oh, look! He must be wearing undies. Ew, that's so gross! Please!
And you don't have to look far to see more of this: a short wander down a supermarket aisle offers plenty more examples.
And although some of the things I mention here can also target men, it is women I am addressing because we are the ones who have been tricked into buying into this bullsh*t in a way that men have not.
Look in the supermarket. The space allocated to men's products is a tiny fraction of what is on offer for women.
Many products claim to be "anti-ageing", they can "firm wrinkles" or give you "whiter teeth" or "100% grey coverage".
Subtle little phrases chipping away at your self-esteem since you were old enough to read a magazine.
Translation: You are not good enough.
Well, guess what? The only thing that really stops ageing is death. Have you thought about that? No amount of cream, or whatever cosmetic procedures you can pay for these days, is going to "anti" the ageing process at all.
How many of your friends say things like how they "can't" wear lipstick because their lips are too thin?
Or force themselves to wear high heels, because they are too short?
We all say (and believe) this stuff all the time.
Stop and ask yourself, why? Who says you are too short?
Some time back, a Kiwi blogger wrote a piece openly discussing having her breasts enlarged because she was "out of proportion". Out of proportion to what? Her own body? Of course, I know exactly what she meant. I have the same "problem".
Except now it just makes me angry about how she (and everyone else with similar complaints) has come to think that.
So, my New Year's resolution is this: Stop seeing this stuff and believing it. Stop taking it on and letting it make you feel inadequate. Call it out.
Stop buying the products (they don't work anyway, I'm betting), unfollow the social media contacts, just stop whatever it is that you are paying for (either with your hard-earned money or your precious time) that is making you feel like sh*t.
And if you're finding it hard to let go (it is easier said than done letting go of a lifetime of trickery), maybe just stop and ask yourself: "Are men walking around worrying about this?"
And if they're not then, please – please - just let it go.