Until this weekend, Beyonce was my idol. Unequivocally undisputed.
But, on Saturday, I experienced something that I have never encountered before. A woman performing on stage, simply being herself and absolutely owning it.
Little makeup. No hairstyling. Jeans, a simple top and simple make up.
None of the war paint plastered on. No weave. She literally woke up like this. (Well, maybe after some tweaking).
Miranda Hart. Comedienne, actress and generally nice lady.
Miranda entertained the packed out arena, sharing stories of her ‘awkward life moments’– including the uncontrollable farts and limited bladder control that comes after you hit 35 years of age – like a woman chatting with her friends.
My mum and I (who I had taken along as a Mother’s Day gift, Mum had ‘such fun’) cried tears of uncontrollable laughter throughout the two hour-or-so show, and for the hour-long train journey home. In fact, we’re still laughing now.
But, that’s not why Miranda is my new idol.
Not only did Ms Hart share her tales of hilarious woe and her undeniably embarrassing dance moves for the amusement of the audience, she also shared her view on life.
Wouldn’t it be so much better if we let go of the chains of being British and acted like we were six years old again?
Why can’t we dance down the street like we’re in a musical? Or not talk to people we don’t like?
In the spirit of this attitude, throughout the show the audience were encouraged to shake the shackles of the ‘stiff upper lip’in favour of being free – like dancing to Wigfield’s Saturday Night or singing along to Gloria’s I Will Survive. Cue dramatic hand movements from the middle-aged women who’d already hit the white wine; me included, just minus the wine.
I don’t want to be a boring ‘grown up’. I want to wear cat ears to the zoo. I want to eat too much cake. I want to wear cartoon tshirts. And I want to laugh hysterically when I fall over in the street. But, sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t.
So when the 6ft+ comedienne on the stage in front of me showed just how free from the reins of social pressure she is, I was inspired to – as she says – ‘be the best version of myself for the benefit of those around me’.
For someone who struggles with anxiety and lack of confidence for time to time, hearing this hit home. Why should we be embarrassed to do things differently? I have spent many an evening ruing the decisions I have made earlier that day – usually involving a humiliating trip over, deciding to scoot around the office on my wheelie chair or wearing too many different colours in one go. Not any more.
I intend to live by Miranda’s rule of being my best self, but not just for the benefit of those around me; for my own sake.
Expect to see me cracking out a ballet routine, gallop or Beyoncé walk in the very near future.