BONUS | Ursula Nails

I finally did my Ursula makeup in my last video because my gorgeous pal at Nova Nails INSISTED (quite correctly) I needed these nails and I couldn’t not do my makeup while I had these on.

Jaki is a darling friend and I wanted to give her extra thanks for my delightful nails by putting together this wee video for her. Not sponsored or anything, I’m just extra as hell 😀 If you’re in Glasgow (hell, even if you’re not), please feel free to follow/add her at her socials and tell her Mama sent ya 😛

I’ve got another Painting for the Back Row coming up – it should have been filmed 2 weeks ago but I got hit with the flu and am only just now feeling well enough to film. Can’t wait to see how this one turns out!

PAINTING FOR THE BACK ROW: Becoming Ursula

OK OK I DID IT.

Kinda. I’m actually not happy with how this turned out, figures that not performing for a year seriously hampers with my concept of how I prefer my Ursula to look. I’m seriously annoyed I didn’t bring the blue up much higher. Eh, I’ll film it again in a few months and see how that turns out!

As before, I’ve deliberately not mentioned most of the makeup I use. With a few exceptions that I did mention, the makeup I use isn’t even set in stone for me, nevermind the idea you MUST use the same makeup I use should you wish to do this look. Use what you have!

Now that I’ve finally done this, I want to do a few other ‘Painting For The Back Row’ videos, where I film putting on stage makeup for each of my acts. After I’ve completed that (in about 326 years at the rate I’m going!) I’ll redo Ursula. Sound good?

Oh, and my DIVINE nails are by my wonderful friend Jaki at Nova Nails. This was filmed one full week (and 5 days of autumn deep cleaning!) after application but as you can see, they still look wonderful. She didn’t know I would be filming like this, and it’s not an ad, I just wanted to show support to someone who has always been a caring, loving friend. I’m lucky she’s in my life. Check out her socials :

Nova Nails Facebook
Nova Nails Instagram

Catch you poor unfortunate souls later!

Don’t tell me I can’t call myself fat.

My actual reaction when someone tells me off

It’s a pet peeve. Whenever I refer to myself as fat in front of people, I immediately get a barrage of well intended admonishments.

You’re not fat, you’re curvy!

No. I carry more fat around my body than I should. Curvy refers to the body shape, not how much extra fat I have hanging around. People can be fat and curvy, fat and not curvy, curvy but not fat. The term curvy doesn’t equate to fat.

But you’re beautiful!

Why thank you! But just like the word curvy, being beautiful doesn’t mean I’m not fat. That extra fat doesn’t magically disappear when someone sees me as beautiful. The fat in my body is a physical certainty, an absolute fact of being. Beauty is more flexible, a preference in the eye of the beholder.

Don’t put yourself down!

Where did I do that? Calling myself fat is no different to commenting on the colour of my hair, my eyes or my height. It’s a noun with no nefarious purpose past what cultural norms pins on it. If you personally think fat is a bad word, maybe examine why you feel that way instead of telling me what I shouldn’t call my own body. That is more about you than me.

You’re being so negative!

How so? Let’s try something. Oh no – the term ‘dry skin’ is now considered terrible, horrible and no good. Imagine telling someone who has flaky skin that they shouldn’t say dry skin but ‘dehydrated’. Let’s see what the response is when you tell them how beautiful they are because of their sensitive skin. Sounds stupid, doesn’t it? Again, that negativity you ascribe to a word is external to what the word actually means. Fat is just descriptor and without additional negative context surrounding it, it’s silly to assume the person using it is meaning it in a detrimental way.

Does this look like a person who is being negative?

I get it. I understand and appreciate that you’re trying to make sure I don’t put myself down and we’ve all been conditioned to have an immediately adverse reaction to the merest mention of the word fat. I also get that every single one of us is guilty of using self deprecation as method of self harm and most people – especially with the people I (gratefully) surround myself – are sensitive to that. So yeah, I truly do appreciate that trying to remove the word from my vocabulary comes from a good place. In the end though, telling me not to do or say something is still harmful. I’m sure you don’t realise it, because I didn’t for the longest time, but silencing my voice, telling me I shouldn’t use the word I deliberately chose is wrong. It’s unconsciously reinforcing both the word fat as a negative term and that I need to care more about what others think about me than what I think about myself.

Not so shrinking violet over here!

Putting it like that might seem harsh – but it is fair. Yes, words absolutely matter. Yes, we should be more aware of the power of words but equally we should be aware of the power we give to words. When I call myself fat, I’m simply stating a fact, not deliberately putting myself down or looking for validation. Please don’t feel the need to tell me why I’m wrong, and just let it be.

I’m fat. I’m also 5ft 4in, a dyed redhead, gothy, (yes) curvy, music lover, sore all the damn time, friendly, shy, a homebody and sarcastic as fuck. All this and more. It’s ok to call myself all that. I’m ok with it. Please, be ok with it too.

Mama Silverside is trying. Very, very trying.

I love burlesque. I love being in the audience, love watching videos on social media, love seeing people create and grow in their own artistry. Mostly I adore being on stage and feeling a particular power in having the room in the palm of my hand. I wish all the time I could do it more. And yet, I’ve never evolved past feeling like a newbie, a fraud even. I’m stuck on not believing I am worth even paying because I’m just not good enough. I’ve relied on only doing friend’s shows when they ask, and never go out my way to apply for different shows after I was knocked back a few times in my early days of performing. I let it affect my confidence and just didn’t bother trying again. I know, rationally, that it’s normal and I can’t be what all producers need, but emotionally I let it fester and really I do know better than that.

There’s also certain shows I can’t perform at for reasons that are frankly boring if you’re not me – and I’m ok with it, but I think I’ve also used that as an excuse to not try to get on other cast lists. I worried that people would question my credibility if I wasn’t ever on on the local, regular burly nights. I didn’t want to get into why I wasn’t because it is wholly inappropriate and unprofessional to do that. I assumed people would want to know and I just didn’t want to add to the drama that sometimes infects this otherwise wonderful scene. Basically, I had no proof that it’d even be an issue but I used it as an excuse not to try. That’s on me, not the reasons I used.

Truthfully I’ve used the physical issues I have to not try too. That’s not to say these issues aren’t serious or worth worrying about – but I held on to the fear of further injury while celebrating my friends who push past their own obstacles with determination and strength. I will always cheerlead for those incredibly powerful people who make their complications their bitch. Then I go home, feel bad about not being strong enough and I spiral into feeling more like a fraud and less like someone who can navigate the road to actually being a regular performer. So I don’t. I wallow. Boss move, me.

I think the worst thing I do is complain about it all the damn time. Seriously, I know I’m boring my friends with the constant ‘woe is me’ complaints about wishing I could perform again – especially when I do literally nothing to change that, because I use the aforementioned excuses not to try anyway. I know I’m doing it when I’m doing it but it’s almost like I want people to know the desire is still there but I just can’t. But it’s not that I can’t. Not really. Confession – it’s won’t and I need to accept that I’m doing it to myself. Is the desire still really there when the one thing stopping me is my own self sabotage?

Well, yes. The first step is realising the problem, right? I recognise that I have underlying health issues that definitely affect this particular conundrum. Yes, I do have mental and physical complications that I need to work around. I just need to actually work around them – not use them as a stop sign. I literally just don’t know how to do that yet. How to get out of the mental block of giving up already. How to stop using the excuses that have been a crutch for so long. And learn – finally – how to actually push to get into shows. Not to take it so hard when it doesn’t happen.

Wish me.. not luck. Wish me a kick up the back side. And maybe point me in the direction of producers who would cast a hopelessly out of her depth, but tries really hard, comedy and character plus size stripper?

The No BS List of What I’m Obsessed With Right Now

So my friends Jen and Courtney recently shared their lists of what they’re obsessed with at the moment, and I jumped on the chance to create a relatively easy post because I’m lazy af (see: the rest of the content I create).

Turns out, even writing about stuff I’m obsessed with is hard! Who knew? My own laziness lied to me. I’m sure there’s a lesson in there somewhere. Anyway, onwards!

Making

I’ve just came back from Lorien Trust‘s The Gathering of Nations event. Yup, I’m a LARPer. Yip, it’s just as geeky, crazy and fun as you suspect. Before the event, I was busy making a ton (ok 4) of stuff from scratch, as well as updating and making existing costumes more awesome. I’m going to write a post about it shortly! I’ve since packed away (most of) my kit for the year, but the making bug has not left. There was still some stuff I wanted to make and after my ankle heals (another story!) I’ll be back on my sewing machine, where I plan on making another tunic for Gof, a dress for my sister, a skirt for me and a *something* for my nephew. Here’s just a couple of pics of what I made so far, I’ll get better pics for the other post! (Also yes, my nephew is literally the cutest)

Cooking

Gof and I are currently eating what I’m calling lazy Keto (me, lazy? Groundbreaking). At the moment, it’s just not financially feasible to go 100% Keto but frankly we’re seeing great results in weight loss, energy levels and improved skin already. One of the biggest changes is substituting rice with broccoli rice and frankly, I doubt I’ll ever go back. I was terrible at making rice anyway, but this is SO easy to do. I often say regular rice is simply a carrier for other flavours, whereas broccoli rice enhances the dish with more flavour. My current favourite dish is homemade veg curry with broccoli. So filling and delicious!

Drinking

Alongside the Keto diet, I’ve also upped my water intake tremendously. I’ve always stuck to drinking squash in my home and dislike buying fizzy drinks because THEN I’LL DRINK IT. My new rule, which I’ve stuck to, is only fizzy when I’m using it as a mixer (although my alcohol intake is very low at the moment) and no more 2ltr bottles in my shopping. It might be more cost effective but when I’m drinking it all it’s hurting my body. My purse doesn’t have health issues. I do. I’m not saying never, I’m allowing myself to have a can here and there – but I’ve wanted one maybe twice in the least month. GOOD THING. But yeah – water and squash is cool and you should do that thing.

Reading

Gof thinks I’m crazy because I can read several different books and keep them seperate. I call it practice. I’m always reading. (Ask about the beans story one day!). Right now I’ve restarted Good Omens – I read it years ago but deliberately didn’t re-read it ahead of the tv adaption so I could enjoy it on it’s own merits. I loved it so much and I’m enjoying reading it now with the actors playing the roles in my mind. I’m also re-reading Treasure Island because my LARP group is a bunch of pirates gentlemen of fortune and I’m trying to combat post-event blues. In the non-fiction section, I’m also reading Lookers Into Bookers, a marketing book written by my friend and old boss, Chris Torres. It’s focused on marketing in the tourism industry, but so much of the advice and information is totally transferable to other sectors and no he did not pay me to say this. I’m just so proud of him.

Playing

Fallout 76. Yup, it’s had its fair share of backlash and it still isn’t perfect – but I really love exploring post-apocalyptic Appalachia. If nothing else, it’s the only online game I’ve truly enjoyed and played long term. I adore the GTA games but I just gave up on the online side within a few weeks of it going live. Too much hassle. For now, I’m enjoying being a good and kind witch in West Virginia. If you’re on Playstation, add me! I’m mamasilverside (shocker).

Take me hoooommmeee, country roooooads….

Enjoying

I’m enjoying watching the colours change for autumn; my favourite season. I really really can’t handle heat so I’ve been hiding indoors over summer. I’m enjoying getting back out for my walks around my neighbourhood as well as just watching my dear green place turn a bit more autumnal.

Glasgow Uni is a mere 5 minutes from my door!

Watching

I finally got into the Derry Girls and holy hell (pun intended) did I do myself wrong by not getting into it earlier. As a Catholic school survivor I find the humour so on point, and although I wasn’t subject to the entirely too scary ‘growing up in The Troubles‘ childhood, Glasgow has a massive Irish community (even if generations removed), and as such has the same sectarian history and culture (essentially Catholic and Protestant fighting each other, a lot of the time literally). I relate all too well to these kids just trying to be normal in abnormal circumstances. I remember wondering why it was wrong to question why it was so important to everyone – and why it was worth the violence we did to each other. I still wonder that.

Hoping

Next month I was supposed to get my third ankle operation; the second on my right ankle. I’ve been waiting since April and was gearing up for it. Last week I was told it had been delayed as my surgeon needed emergency surgery of his own and it threw his schedule out. I’m glad he’s ok – he’s a lovely guy who actually listens to me – but I’m really down about the delay. However, I did say I’d be available at short notice should any cancellations come from now til the end of December (provisionally when my date will be) so I’m hoping that’ll come through. Please hope with me. I’m eager to get my ankle sorted!

Wearing

Layers! Yay autumn! I’ve been pulling out all of my comfiest clothes and making like a fat (not a negative word!) witch. Since I wear mostly black and jewel tones, I focus on textures and there’s no better time to wear them all together than in autumn. From sheer kimono style cardigans to velvet gloves and plaid skirts, chunky sweaters and patterned tights, I get to throw it all on and call it FASHUN, DARLING. The last year or so has really seen me return to my gothy aesthetic and it makes me so happy. I used to care so much about my clothes, then I got really depressed and STARTED WEARING JEANS. I do not suit jeans. Now, I’m back to picking out clothes with intention and it shows. Want a peek at my favourite style? I spend way too much time on Pinterest looking for inspiration, since about 90% of my clothes shopping comes from charity and thrift shops.

Sorting

My house out! I started as a way of preparing for that aforementioned surgery, since I’d be house-bound for a few weeks after it and even the smallest thing would definitely start bugging me. I’m getting rid of so much stuff I simply don’t use or even need and it feels so freeing. Luckily I live in the middle of second hand shop heaven, so they’re benefiting from my clear out! I used to have 4 full boxes of ‘sentimental’ stuff just taking up space – I’ve cleared that down to half of one box. It’s an ongoing process but I’m pretty happy with my progress so far. We have waaaay too much stuff for a one bed flat – and we both have hobbies that involve THINGS; burlesque, general sewing, miniature painting and table top gaming, larp, reading and movies – it all takes up space. We recently got rid of over 100 DVDs but that was less than half of our overall collection so possibly need to do that one again… I’ve just started on the books which is considerably harder since we both love having the physical books instead of online/e-reader copies. We’ll get there. Eventually.

Right on, Giles

Ok, I could go on – there was a lot more subjects to discuss in Jen’s post but since I’m quite incapable of writing a brief sentence when a novel will do, I’ll stop here! Please let me know if you also do this kind of post, I’d love to see what you’re up to right now too! See you soon!

10 minute make up (aka fling it on your face and hope for the best)

I constantly talk about doing more videos, but YouTube isn’t making it very welcoming for the people who already create so much awesome content, never mind someone who will admittedly be very very sporadic about it.

For instance, my good friend Courtney, who has been blogging and doing videos for over a decade was recently hit with instant demonetization on her recent Summer Goth Lookbook for no discernable reason. Luckily her appeal went through successfully but she shouldn’t have had to do that in the first place. She creates quality, enjoyable and informative content and I really can’t see what the issue would have been.

My other friend Ali is also constantly battling the powers that be over being paid a fair amount for the content she creates for the platform. She also kills it with her content and she’s insanely (and rightly) popular in her community and her views reflect that. Still, she also needs to go out of her way to make sure her subscribers actually see her content instead of trusting in the supposed tools (ring the bell!) available on YouTube.

I digress, as usual. I have videos sitting on my computer ready to upload but they’re so dear to me that I think I’d actually be really upset if they didn’t do particularly well. I worked hard on them and yet I can’t seem to pull the trigger on actually putting them up.

So instead, I put up this. A no nonsense, low effort but fun video. Why not? It might encourage me to finally get those other ones up – but for now enjoy my ridiculous face for 10 minutes. Have fun!

Autumn falls…

I don’t talk about my spirituality often but I’m feeling closer to my faith than I have all year. This time of year, with the changing of the seasons and the focus of both shedding old thoughts, feelings and physical items while celebrating hearth and home, preparing to get ever more comfortable and cosy for the months ahead, truly make it my favourite time of year.

I’ve always been a homebody, and my mental health is intrinsically linked to how my flat is. Right now, it’s in a state of flux – better than it has been, but still a bit messy and overwhelming at times. I’m making a real effort to go through my home, cutting out the unnecessary and letting go of the things I no longer need. Whether by giving things away, donating to charity or being a little more mercenary and selling – I’ve been finding a certain peace in the conscious decisions to not need so much.

But it’s not all letting things go. I’ve been rediscovering my personal style and I’ve been taking great care and even pride in curating a new wardrobe and home decor. It sounds a bit extra, but shopping with intention and not just necessity has made my heart and soul happy. I’ve mostly stuck to charity shopping for these and I’m happy with that – I may not get everything immediately but it’s almost more exciting to find something I’ve decided on, like I’ve manifested my desires in a way that enriches charities I support, as well as mostly being more unique and less mass manufactured. It’s not always possible, of course – but it’s my priority before I consider other options. It’s never not exciting to wish for something and discover it in a little shop, just waiting for me.

My physical health is going through changes too. Doing a form of lazy Keto with Gof has made me appreciate food again, and has astonished me with the noticeable and immediate difference in how my body reacts to certain foods. Without realising it, being sluggish and feeling heavy within myself had become so normal that when that started lifting I almost felt like a superhero. It’s a process though – I’m currently having a bit of a downswing physically, but mentally I’m ok. It’s weird to feel content even when I’m physically exhausted for no discernible reason. I know it’ll pass though. My focus is still on achieving my goals, I’m just allowing myself a small pause to let my energy build back up. It’s almost too easy to let my mental health be affected by this and I’m actively fighting against that submission to negativity. I’m hopeful that I’m winning that battle more than I lose it. Intention is sometime exhausting, but I won’t be giving myself a hard time for not getting it right all the time.

The changes in my life seem so mundane, so ‘of course’ that it’s easy to not attribute it to the time of year unless you connect those dots, and I do. Call it Mabon, Autumn, Equinox or just coincidence in timing, whatever. For me, it’s a reminder of the close link in the spiritual and physical realms I try to honour. Sitting down and really thinking about my life and my choices also allows me to give thanks for the life I have and to honour the inside and outside influences in that. I am happy in welcoming the changes I manifest as well as the changes coming my way from the wider world. It allows me to be thankful, mindful and accepting.

And on note, tonight I am indulging in some self care; lighting some candles, having some extra skincare steps and listening to meditative music (I adore Ivan Torrent for this!) and generally having a lovely night. I hope you too!