Page 14 - CSA Speaker Bulletin September 2017 | CSA Celebrity Speakers
P. 14


I come from the Industrial North of           Q.You are one of the                        ourselves. I think, professionally,
England where humour is fundamental                         biggest-selling female        things do get easier for women, step
to the culture - it’s a way of going                        authors of the last           by step, but big obstacles to equality
straight to the heart of things and           few decades. Do you believe                 remain, even at the top end of the
debunking any pretentiousness or              that it is becoming easier for              business. These are often very subtle,
nonsense. I always remember a                 women to achieve what they                  and things you only half understand, so
performance of Swan Lake at Leeds             want professionally and do you              it’s important to share experiences and
Variety Theatre where they had a              see yourself as a role model for            build confidence.
rather-overly fancy fake swan full            young women today?
of dancers which got stuck half way                                                       I don’t know if I’m a role model - my
across the stage and someone shouted          I think it’s very hard for young people     goddaughter says her friends are
out in a thick Yorkshire accent, “What’s      to navigate a world where social media      studying me as a Post-Feminist at
up w'it duck, then?”                          has exploded - much harder than when        university - which has naturally gone
                                              I first wrote Bridget. It’s more important  to my head. I always want to be one of
What often seems like the lightest joke       than ever to emphasise the importance       those writers who gets up at 6 am to a
or laugh is really a way of making sense      of human qualities, rather than how         lightly boiled egg, writes for 3 hours at
of life, and getting back on track. In the    many likes you get on Instagram, how        a white table with a single orchid on it,
same way a completed Bridget book             your friends are presenting their very      then prances off to play tennis. But I’m
looks very light and frothy, but it’s like a  best day on their best vacation, or         much more chaotic than that, and as
little duck on the water, underneath the      how everyone looks in their prettiest,      riddled with insecurities and muddle
legs are busily working away. I think         thinnest, photo shopped picture. I’m        as everyone else. So if they see a fairly
humour is one of the loveliest ways           really happy that there seems to be         normal, messy, human woman who has
of navigating life - it brings people         a large audience for Bridget even           done well by writing about a normal
together, celebrates our joint humanity,      amongst young teens: it means they          human woman who’s good to her
avoids tedious uncomfortable                  understand what it is that really makes     friends and knows the importance of
discussions, and it’s happy and fun.          us like and respect our friends and         humour in life, then I’ll be happy. n

"Keep it real and aim
for human rather
than perfect."

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