In my previous post on Epiphanies I touched upon the theme of how we feel about the way we are dressed and how we imagine we are dressed, as opposed to the reality of how we are dressed. (So that’s what she was on about, you say 😉 ) Implicit in this theme, ( well, implicit as I see it ), is the idea of how we feel about our body image.
Over the years of my lengthening life, I have led myself to believe that I am comfortable and happy in my own skin, but it occurred to me, after reading House of Bethan’s recent post on Gorgeousness (aka this year my body will be gorgeous) that, perhaps, I was fooling myself about my relationship with my body image. After all, I don’t particularly like having my photo taken; I don’t particularly like looking in the mirror at myself; and I don’t like shopping for clothes, at all, and I don’t like wearing make-up or having my hair styled and fancified. I do LIKE buying jewellery though; no worries there.
So I decided to *test* and *challenge* my body image feelings/confidence…..just a little…..by daring to display, to the wide world, my style, or what passes for style in my wardrobe. And I discovered that even to do this was incredibly scary.
Incredibly scary because I come from a puritanical, Protestant tradition that considered too much interest in physical appearance as improper for a well brought up young lady. Feeling/being gorgeous , it was subtlely and quietly implied, was vainglorious, prideful and inappropriate for ordinary, every day persons… ( but perfectly okay for movie stars, princesses and Mother Mary, but not the plebs ). The ideal was to be modest, tidy, neat and plain, and to those standards I have been faithful most of my life….which probably explains why I have rarely, if ever, been complimented on gorgeousness. 😦 About the closest I have come to such compliments was during the years of a very sweet and dear friendship with an elderly Italian gentleman; a professor of ophthalmology whom I met at Queen Elizabeth House at Oxford in 1979. Every time we met, no matter if it were the first or the third time in a day, the Professor would open wide his arms, bring one hand to his heart and exclaim with delight ” Cara, cara, A……, Bella, bella A…..” and, then, take my hand and proclaim to anyone within hearing distance how wonderful I was….the only person in Oxford whose English he could actually understand 🙂 Then we would sit, side by side, in the Common Room, sometimes discussing English words from his dictionary and, sometimes, just sitting, in the silent contentment of friends who need no words. It was gorgeous.
To honour that long-ago time of gorgeousness, and to acknowledge Bethan’s current day call to encourage us to live gorgeously in our bodies, ( and not merely comfortably and just so-so), here are some more of my *being brave * photos of what I will wear today:
the clothing, ( most of it gifted to me);
the accessories: the necklace;
the rings, the earrings and jewels for the wrists 🙂
Phew….so there you have it. Now I am off to flaunt (not) my neat, tidy, plain and simple gorgeousness at the supermarket; *ttfn* otherwise known as ta ta for now 🙂