I don’t hate myself I just don’t like the way I look
Amanda 47 married with one child. Works full time in admin and has done for the past thirty years.
How are you?
I didn't have a plan for life and I still don’t. If you have plans and they don’t work out then it’s a disappointment. I think it’s best just to see what happens.
How do you feel about kids?
I love them. With hindsight I should have had three.
How do you feel about marriage?
Ah - it’s difficult. I wouldn't do it again!
What’s your most memorable experience?
A few years ago we went away for the first time without our son, I felt a tiny bit of freedom and that I was doing something for me. It was a strange feeling. I wanted to do it so badly but when we got there I was so worried about what was happening at home I couldn't sleep.
What are you dreams?
To live in France; in an idyllic, rustic, house with shutters and potter about all day. Whenever I feel down or in a bad place I go to my house in France (in my head, I don't have a house in France!) it’s a perfect house and has a calming effect on me. My house in France all came about after I’d been in hospital. I’d been really ill and had to stay there for quite a long time. I was on some heavy duty drugs that made me hallucinate, it was very scary. So I created a space in my head to go to to hide from the drug influenced nonsense and since then I use this place in my everyday life.
What brings you down?
The pressure of work and keeping the house going. I don’t particularly get down unless I’m ill. But then again, dieting gets me down. I’m always dieting - I hate it.
What’s your view on body image?
If I could have a face lift and a boob job I would. I don’t hate myself, I just don’t like the way I look. I’m happy with me. It’s just my physical body I’d change. I’m so short and my boobs are so big that when I walk passed a door my boobs get stuck under the door handle (laughing). I know you should be comfortable with your own body but I'm not.
Where does all your energy go?
On my family, work and worrying.
How do you see yourself?
Oh God - fat and old. It’s proper scary to see myself, I don’t know where all the years have gone.
How do you best express yourself?
When I’m at work people can tell what mood I’m in; if my hair is tied up and there’s a can of Coke on my desk - people know I’m stressed because of a deadline. If the Coke can is open before lunch then it’s really kicked off!
Who or what inspires you?
I love the streets in France and Italy, all the old buildings. In fact I’m inspired by anything old.
What do you think about life?
It’s all about reproduction. We bring people into the world and nurture them. It’s weird looking in on ourselves, everybody does the same thing - we’re all robots!
What do you think about death?
I don’t cope with it very well - I go to my little house in France. I’m an emotional person but when death happens I tend not to be as emotional as I should. I have to be strong for everyone else - I cope rather than grieve.
What would you like to leave for the next generation?
A safe world. Don’t always trust what doctors tell you. If your gut makes you feel there’s something wrong, pursue it.
Are you free?
NO! I don’t feel chained up or anything but I can’t just wander off if I want to.