textile art 2

Why I should tell you to be summer ready (but can’t bring myself to do it)

I’m in a summer-ready quandary, Kraken lovers. You see, it’s that time of year when we wimmin are repeatedly exhorted to be summer ready. If it’s not coming from ads it’s coming from the meedja so by that standard, I should be exhorting you to be summer ready too, right? RIGHT? After all Kraken Kreations is all about selling accessories to women and I do this through, well, the summer. But here’s the thing: I want to tell you to be summer ready even less than I want Harvey Weinstein to perform my next smear. That’s because, as a business that demands female equality, it feels like a mahoosive betrayal. So… will not telling you to be summer-ready be bad for my business?

Now, personally, I despise everything about the summer ready madness. That could be because I’m already summer ready by virtue of the fact that I’m alive while the seasons transition from spring into autumn. I don’t slide into a catatonic state in May only to awaken, Nosferatu-like, in September. All of which means that you are summer ready too. Go on, check your pulse. Can you feel it bumbling about there in your wrist? If so, congratulations. You’ve achieved summer-ready status. See? It’s THAT easy.

For us women, though, the meaning of ‘summer ready’ has changed. It no longer represents the innate skill of breathing during June, July and August. It now represents a physical metamorphosis that would make Andy Serkis clutch at his chest. And if you aren’t buffing, scrubbing, smoothing, moisturising, sculpting, tweezing, cleansing, exercising, conditioning, waxing, dieting and panicking about the wayward direction of your muff hair while you do it, well, you just aren’t doing it right. I gather that someone suggested this regimen to Kim Jong-un as a method of breaking spy rings but he thought it was waaaay too harsh.

And what’s at the heart of this sun-drenched shitpile? Fear. Just by asking us women if we are summer-ready, advertisers are implying that there’s a broiling zit of a problem if we aren’t. More than that they’re relying on FOMO – the fear of missing out – to make us buy. I mean, imagine if you haven’t buffed your elbows when the rest of your friends have? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? It’s all these advertisers can do to not send Aunt Lydia, from The Handmaid’s Tale, straight into your bathroom to give you 15 lashes with the Commander’s belt.

Worse, the notion of being summer ready doesn’t just boost profits. It ruins summer. The warmth of that mahoosive hydrogen-burning ball cannot possibly be enjoyed unless you have reached emotional, physical and fashionable perfection. Want to sit in your garden while listening to the bees and sipping on Pimms? Well you fucking well can’t because your legs are too ugly. Glad you asked now? And as for making women think that we can’t wear cooling clothes because our un-sculped thighs aren’t fit for public consumption… We may as well go the full handmaid and put hoods on our heads.

My fear? It’s not that I haven’t shaved my hairy toes (c’mon, I’m not the only one). It’s that by telling you that you can’t possibly survive the summer without buying my bags or bunting I’m actually telling you that you, as you are right now, aren’t good enough.

Well, I can’t do it. The idea of me making you hate yourself just so you’ll buy stuff from me actually makes me twitch. And I’m not saying I don’t want you to buy, say, a desktop caddy from me. I do. I really do. I have to afford my cake supply somehow. I just don’t want you to buy from me because you’ll feel like some sort of left-behind unloveable pigdog if you don’t. Seriously, if you don’t want one of my totes because you don’t genuinely love them, go spend your money on something that you DO love.

And I know, I know, this isn’t how a small business should act. Alan Sugar would probably punch me in the throat for this deviant behaviour. But that shifting sand of summer-ready fear? Oooh, it’s about as far from my woman-embracing manifesto as a 1976 copy of Razzle. In fact, if I start moithering you about how well prepared you are for stepping into the daylight tell me. I’ll print off aforementioned manifesto and set fire to it. This approach may not do anything for my profit margin but at least my morality margin will look unseasonably healthy.

Look, the point of Kraken Kreations is to make women feel truly represented in a world which does all but tag our ears with numbers. So if you adore, say, red, I want to help you swathe yourself in crimsons and scarlets. And if I bought into the summer-ready thing all you’d really be doing is representing my profits. I’m proud of every item I make and I’m even prouder that those items are loved by those of you who buy them. That would lose the sheen if I thought I’d drop-kicked your self confidence in the process.

So, summer ready? Nah, you’re alright, ta. I’m pale, even after a week by a Menorcan pool, my toenail paint has chipped, my legs are stubbly and my roots need doing. Yet Interpol hasn’t been called (not that I know of), no one has pointed me out in the street and no shop has, as yet, refused to serve me. It seems, by all intents and purposes, I am more summer ready than the world would have me believe. Well, so are you Kraken lovers. And from where I stand you look glorious. Now put down this blog and get out into the sunlight. That vitamin D is a-wasting.