"I'm gonna paint my nails and put my make-up on, it's Saturday and I won't be long."
As I watch "The Devil Wears Prada" for the nth time today, I ask myself "suddenly I see, suddenly I see, why the hell this means so much to me"? Is every girl in this universe meant to look "presentable" all the time? Who is the judge of presentable?
So, I'm going to ask the rhetorical question yet again - why women need such big closets. Let's just blame it all on Cinderella. But, let us be grownups now and for the sake of argument, I would blame "sex and the city" for it, had it been the year 2000. But we are 18 years ahead. The show stopped airing in 2004 and we still are, I'm afraid to say this, 14 years behind. Ironically, I'm a fan of the show because of the bond between the 4 girls. And Samantha is my favorite character. But we will talk about it in a separate post.
But the question remains that why do we have to strive on becoming the fancy creme' brulae' when we could happily be the evergreen jell'o? Even Coco Chanel has said, "Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself". Despite living in a world running towards minimalism, women, let's just say most women, still don't feel complacent with their looks. Therefore, we crave for more and more and more. Surprisingly, most people don't even realize that they have been trapped and categorized as, like it or not, "shopaholics".
Annmarie O' Connor, a fashion journalist and stylist, has tried to take a step in this direction. She provides a closet downsizing service to clear up some long lasting years off your closet. She describes the 9 closet types in her book "The Happy Closet". I have tried to explain the types in short :
1. Impulse buyer - it's the type with justifications like "these are for when I lose the weight"
2. Secret Shopper - Shhhhhhhhh
3. Doomsday prepper - You never know
4. Tired and emotional - Never let go
5. Black Widow - Woman in black
6. Split personality - Got to have them all
7. Martyr mom - "Self-claimed saint" dressing style
8. Sale sniper - "But it's on sale"
9. Perfect 9 - Don't you have any fun?
I think we all fall in either one or more of the above categories.
We all need to just step back and not push ourselves so hard to doll up all the time. Whom are we pleasing? After all, personality always overshadows looks. I can't even remember the number of places that I have read that it's all about inner beauty. So, who cares what you wear and how you look? As long as you are happy with yourself, you don't have to make the mirror happy too. And these days, you don't have to make the camera happy too. All that hard work put in "Baby you're a firework" and "I was born this way" would not have inspired so many women around the world if it had no truth. Right?
We could spend the time, energy and money on better things. Things that are forever other than diamonds like cars which the whole family can use. Things that make us happy other than shoes like kitchen appliances so the entire family can eat well. Things that take up space in the house other than clothes with a better purpose like toys. Things that get your creativity talking other than makeup like art and craft. I literally have tears rolling down my cheeks. I have been so selfish all these years. Seriously? Nope ladies! It's time to get real now.
What was the first thought to cross your mind when you were attracted to somebody? "Phew! Man she is beautiful. I'm going to ask her out?" or "Gosh! He looks like the man of my dreams. You think he would go on a date with me?" or "I need to look nice to myself to be confident in that interview." And that my friends, is the ugly truth. It is great to not go crazy about your looks, but it is absolutely necessary, for your happiness and confidence, to do the bare minimum and not totally ignore the way you look.
I worked in Australia in cancer care for a few years. The most popular charity event that always has a big turnout of patients is called "Look good, Feel better." These events are sessions/classes designed for cancer patients about cosmetics, wigs, clothing, skin care, makeup techniques that could be used and many more styling tips and tricks. Why would cancer patients care about their looks? If you think and really, for one second, try to be in their shoes, you would know what it means. Intensive treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy cause extensive emotional damage along with physical. Skin reacts to cancer treatment in hideous ways. Not to forget, the hair loss could be devastating on top of that. All in all, I am really glad that such a charity exists.
I strongly believe that on one hand the results of a fashion makeover could be surreal on us, if we cross the line, it could even mask our soul. Hence, I believe in "less is more". So if you are going through a difficult phase in life like work deadline, pregnancy, newborn, exam preparation, sickness or even prison like Piper Chapman (Orange is the new black), you can have some statute of limitation. But after that, you've got to stop procrastinating and get out of those trackies and sweatpants and 'the always wearing your hair up' phase. Play with yourself a little and with mindfulness, rationalize your style to become the creme' brulae' or the jell'o. Just pick which one you are as both are delicious. Bon Voyage!
**the heading "creme' brulae' could never be jell'o" is taken from the film "My best friend's wedding."