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Monday, 10 January 2011

Dancing on Ice - reflections on women contestants

At 6.30pm last night, I was sitting after a very busy day ready to watch Dancing on Ice.

I love this annual feast of sequins, dance, trauma and triumph. Partly, it reminds me of how my late Mum and I used to see figure skating as essential viewing. Partly, seeing Torvill and Dean takes me back on a Eighties nostalgia trip. Partly, I love these sort of reality shows where people learn a new skill or develop existing talents.

Last night, I reflected on the women who skated and thought how in a way they represent so many of us.

There was Angela Rippon who at 66 years of age was so gutsy to take on such a challenge. I hope that I am confident enough to tackle new challenges in my sixties. She made me think that maybe I should not give up on my idea of being able to drive one day and perhaps booking a lesson might be a useful starting point.

What challenges did you take on later in life?

There was Nadia who to those of us who are overweight is an inspiration after losing so much weight. Just imagine how brilliant she must have felt standing there looking slim and sexy. A success story whether she was voted off or not.

Did you get fit and healthy later in life? Do you hope to in 2011. I know I do.

There was Laura who is not the most well-known celebrity so did not attract as many votes as the better-known ones. She was a fabulous skater for this stage of Dancing on Ice and would have been such a loss to the programme.
Many women are under-estimated when they are young and actually quite good. I know I applied for management jobs in my twenties and really do think my age held me back then.

When were you overlooked in favour of the better-known, the louder, whatever?

There was Kerry Katona who has experienced the highs and lows of fame. She has had well-documented issues with substance misuse, relationships and the like. How brave of her to appear on a show hosted by Philip Schofield after that disastrous interview on ITV This Morning not that long ago. Congratulations to her for taking the risk of appearing in front of a big studio audience and millions of television viewers asking us to give her a break and accept she is changing.

We have all had times when we have let ourselves and our families down. What we need at those times is understanding and support. We need to say sorry but then the only way forward is for our loved ones to say OK, you fucked up but we will work with you for a better future.

When did you come back from a personal crisis? Was it hard to face people after you had done wrong?

Next week, there are more tales of every woman. Denise Welsh is down-to-earth and tells us that she is not perfect and has had problems with drink and has had an affair. She also fights depression which those of us who are fellow sufferers know is amazing in itself.

Have you suffered depression? Do you believe in being honest about your past?

Chloe Madeley also skates next week. As the daughter of Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan, she has been on the telly since she was a baby as their child. Now as a young woman, she needs to establish her own identity as well all do as we make that break from parental ties.

When did you make the break from parental ties? Were you always identified in relation to your parents rather than as a person in your own right?

I could empathise with these women and suspect I am not alone.

Please leave a comment and share your womanly experiences, good and bad but all about living, loving and learning.

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