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GRL, Uninterrupted: “Am I The Only Person Still Wearing A Bra?” and Other Thoughts I’ve Had During Lockdown

Am I the only person in the country still wearing a bra?

According to Twitter and pretty much every single one of my friends, yes –  but not by choice, I might add. I live with my boyfriend and his family, which slightly scuppers any plans I may have had to hang loose while riding out the isolation period. I really don’t fancy constantly having to do that weird arm positioning while tucking your chest in dance (you know the one) when you unexpectedly get caught out in the open. But before you cry out for my misfortune…I’m actually not hating it. Don’t shoot!! This is pure testament to the comfort of the Rosie for Autograph range. Also – like remembering to spritz my usual perfume in the mornings – being strapped in is helping me regain a sense of our old, normal world. 

What am I going to do with all this time?

The answer is really quite obvious: what I attempted to do every single school summer holiday: reinvent myself. Oh, how I planned for my return for a new school year. I’d prepare a six-week programme of exercise, beauty regimes, hair changes, style evolutions and personality overhauls. Forget January 1st, September was always my “new year, new me”, when I would hit peak popularity, desirability and general cool-ness. This lockdown period feels remarkably similar. I’ve already resolved to complete the following whilst social distancing: practice my Arabic (very, very limited: the words for hello, I love you, eggs and bread), learn the guitar (I’ve gotten as far as looking at it), and work on my novel (kept this up for a week but have not looked at it since.) I have obviously tried repeating “you are enough as you are” to myself in the mirror, but I can’t shake the idea that I can come out of this better, somehow. 

Why the fuck is every single pair of trousers I own high-waisted?

This is what I say, sometimes out loud, every morning when I pull myself out of bed to get dressed. Yes, they make my ass look fantastic and low-rise is never a good idea, but in this time of global crisis, I’m just not willing to compress myself like I used to. I never thought I’d be passing over my beloved mom jeans and 15” risers, but if I can’t free-boob it, I’ve got to at least allow myself room to breathe properly. I am constantly wishing I bought more cute loungewear before it was consistently out of stock on ASOS but, alas, I must remain loyal to my uniform of faded old jogging bottoms and sweatshirts that I’ve thrifted and made cropped to look Brandy Melville-edgy, but due to my dodgy craft skills, just look a bit wonky and shit. 

I guess I’m now a naturalist.

I typed “naturist” before realising my mistake. Most definitely not one of those (see above: living with my boyfriend’s family) because what I love is not getting ‘em out, but the sky. And the air. And the sun. And the trees. And the breeze. My singular walk a day has given me an appreciation that even growing up in the countryside never did. Suburban London has never looked or seemed more magical. 

I really miss people.

Not just my people, but general human interaction of any kind. Chats with the postman, banter with cashiers. Every person I do see looks, understandably, sick with worry and therefore not in the mood to be greeted. As an extrovert, socializer and attention seeker who thrives in a crowd, it’s something I’m certainly not used to, and I feel less and less connected to the world around me. I’ve read a lot about how social distancing should be rephrased as ‘physical distancing’ because we’re still able to be with the people we love virtually. As much as I love group video calls with the girls and voice-noting every detail of my boring day to my best friend, it’s really just not the same for me. Not at all.  

I am so, so afraid.

Of everything. I don’t want to list my anxieties because I don’t think it would be helpful for anyone to read. I just know that it’s okay to feel the fear – because it’s a natural reaction to what’s happening. Not watching the news, limiting time spent reading Twitter’s takes on when this will be over and ignoring chain messages that family members with good intentions (but bad execution) send are keeping me sane. 

But I am also so, so lucky. 

To be healthy. To be safe. To be able to stay home. To be with my boyfriend. To have loved ones and friends only a video chat away. I will always try to remember this while giving myself the space to experience everything else I feel. I won’t punish myself for worries about my body, social sanity, how this will affect my career, or whether I’ll be able to move out when I’d planned to. I’m not ignorant or vain, I’m re-figuring my entire life out. Just like everybody else. 

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