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The Column: Stuck With The Flu and Don’t Tell Me How To Dress

Stuck With The Flu

Hello everyone,

Apologies for my absence on here, I have been so sick with a very bad dose of the flu, and I’m only recovering now.

I spent the last 18 months terrified of catching covid, I forgot about looking after myself in other ways.

A few days into feeling run down I was in bed, with no voice, no energy, and a new cough and cold.

I’ve spent the last two weeks with a temperature, shivers, and the inability to do everyday tasks.

But two PCR tests and two antigen tests told me I didn’t have covid, so I’m left thinking I really ran myself down so much, my immune system kind of gave up on me.

Although I felt really low the last two weeks because I couldn’t do my usual walks, or even complete tasks for work, being sick has got me thinking.

I know so many other entrepreneurs, or “busy people” who say yes to everything, get sick like this.

It’s never a small cold here and there, it’s always dramatic, horrendous, and way worse than it should be.

I was taking vitamins every day, but was I actually looking after myself? No.

I do find it very hard to just stop and sit still on any given day. While my friends take their weekends off from work or go on holidays, I am still always attached to my phone, to my laptop, to my computer.

Not switching off is an illness in itself.

I’ve been this way for a solid decade now. I remember going on holidays to Spain with my ex when I got my first job as a Showbiz Reporter in a national newspaper.

Every morning I went down to the local shop to see if they had Irish newspapers for sale, or even English newspapers that I could read.

I was attached to my BlackBerry like my life depended on it, and to be fair, he wasn’t all that happy about it.

10 years later I have definitely calmed down a bit, but probably not enough. And even though the last while was rough, at least it forced me to rest, something I never truly do.

Don’t Tell Me How To Dress

Now, I can’t believe I even have to say this next part…women should not be judged on what they wear or how they look.

How someone dresses does not represent how professional someone is, how good they are at their jobs, how nice they are as a person.

I was shocked to see this conversation back on social media last weekend after a column focused on the dress sense of certain Irish politicians.

I personally have been judged for far too long on how I dress, how low my tops are or what lengths my skirts are.

Too many times I’ve heard people say “Oh she actually knows her stuff”, or “She’s actually quite intelligent”, why would that be a shocker?

It is very much old Catholic Ireland mentality to judge a woman by how she dresses, how much makeup she wears, what colour her hair is.

I know many people would prefer I wore a covered-up long dress, rather than a short red one, but why would I dress or look differently to please other people?


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A post shared by Alexandra Ryan 👑 (@itsalirose)

I will never forget coming to work about 10 years ago with brown hair. I had decided to die my hair brunette just for a change.

As soon as I got in the lift that morning a female colleague turned to me and said “I love the new hair colour. Much more classy.” I grimaced.

Countless similar comments came my way later that day, it would be the same if I wore a polo neck or a long skirt.

I felt so judged far too many times, and it’s not right.

We are living in a time where people are being more accepting. So why are we still stuck in the past on this?

I, for one, won’t be throwing away my low-cut tops or short skirts anytime soon.

I’d rather be judged on my actual work, thanks.


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