Jayne Dawson: Be happy for this is the year of the wonderfully wonky

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We’re almost a week in now, which I feel is time enough.

A sufficient slice of the year has passed, I think, for us to be able to get the flavour. More than enough really since this is, after all, the age of the instant label.

Very little happens without it being given a name, a hashtag, a Facebook page, and having its photograph taken.

So, in the spirit of the age, I have licked my finger and held it up to test the direction of the prevailing wind – and now I can declare that 2016 is the year of the wonky.

Yes, the wonky.

The not quite ideal, the not quite perfect and the not quite gorgeous are having a moment.

And though moments in the sun are short in our fast-paced world, it is my prediction that this one will last all year.

Am I being brave? Foolhardy? We’ll see. All I can tell you is, it started with veg.

For the longest time our veg, and our fruit, had to be perfect. It had to be glossy, big, symmetrical and photoshoot ready. It had to be, basically, a set of American teeth in fruit and veg form.

Indeed I believe this trend emanated in America and travelled over here. Our European neighbours have always tended to prioritise flavour over looks, but not us.

Or rather not our supermarkets who declared that if our carrots didn’t look like leggy supermodels then we Brits wouldn’t buy them. So the knobbly, the lumpy and the misshapen were cast aside, thrown onto the compost heap.

But then a funny thing happened. We consumers began to question why everything looked perfect, cost a lot, and tasted of nothing.

We started to buy elsewhere, we began to cherish the lumpy and the misshapen. The supermarkets stared after us in disbelief, and then they began to change their minds about the wonky stuff.

This year I predict they will all begin selling it , some of them have declared their intention already.

And as with knobbly carrots, so with knees, and people in general. We imperfect people have begun to fight back.

First there was the row over airbrushing out flaws. Some brave celebrities, from Keira Knightley to Jamie Lee Curtis, had pictures of their real selves published without benefit of being technologically slimmed and smoothed and plumped. I say brave, I can think of much braver actions but, you know, courageous by celebrity standards.

And real people have been doing the same.

New mums have posted pictures of their real stomachs after giving birth, not flattened and held in by shaping undies and covered by a nice frock, but as they really are.

“This is what giving birth really does,” they say. And by saying that and showing that they take the pressure off other new mothers who have soaked up unreal expectations from the pages of a glossy magazine.

Others have joined in. People with cellulite – and that’s almost all of us – have put pictures of their dimply selves on social media.

In a different league, people with scars, amputations, medical devices, have come out of the shadows for us to see. Women who have lost a breast to cancer have allowed the world to gaze upon their unreconstructed selves.

These people are standing unapologetically, expecting acceptance, telling us that their difference does not define them. Which is exactly how it should be.

Even the homes we live in are required to be less perfect. Make Do and Mend has become positively fashionable. Only having stuff that matches or makes a full set is no longer required.

It’s not a worn out sofa, a hotch potch of drinking glasses or a dinner sevie with bits missing that the kids broke, it’s shabby chic.

This is a great trend. From misshapen veg, to scruffy furniture to imperfect people, it is wonderful.

If 2016 does turn out to be the year of the wonky, we will all more perfect for embracing it.

Sarah Champion MP

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