Who Do You Dress For In Middle Age?

If you answered that question with a resounding ‘ME’, read on.

There’s always so much gumpf in the media about how women look, or should look.

English: Dita Von Teese photographed by Steve ...
English: Dita Von Teese photographed by Steve Diet Goedde (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The great news for women this week was that pubes are making a comeback – but according to an article in the UK’s Daily Mail recently, The Female Fashion Trends Men Hate, we women are still getting it horribly wrong with our fashion choices.

Apparently, we thought that men liked us looking like hookers in low-cut leopard print dresses, crop tops, mini skirts and fuck-me slingback shoes.

But they don’t…

EVEN WORSE, men thought that we actually care what they think.

According to the survey, men actually want us to look more demure, more girl-next-door… more like our mothers (!) or Kate Middleton or Princess Mary.

Which I find surprising, because I wouldn’t say that those women are the obvious role models for young women today. Surely, they are more likely to be influenced by Kim Kardashian, Lady GaGa or Katy Perry, who all seem super comfortable about exposing flesh? And they certainly don’t seem to have a problem when it comes to attracting men.

Someone should tell Miley though. Her decision to flash her labia recently as a fashion accessory in a barely-there body suit was a misinformed piece of advice from her management.

The thing is, women don’t actually dress for men, do we?

Admittedly, I’m going to sleep much better at night knowing that men prefer women to look ‘natural’, and the fact that I don’t have to change the blade on my razor is a real bonus. But this is bad news for cosmetic manufacturers and hair stylists who play on the fact that we women feel better about ourselves when they have ‘work ’ and their ‘faces son.’

If I’d known men prefer ‘the girl next door’ type, I wouldn’t have bunions on my feet from high heels, straw-like hair from over-dyeing, and orange striped legs. I quite liked being a bit ‘mousey’ back when it was acceptable to be ‘natural’. I felt comfortable with my natural hair colour, porcelain skin, ‘mumsy’ dresses and flat shoes.

I’m a bit confused now. Richard Gere was attracted to Julia Roberts in a mini skirt and high top leather boots, wasn’t he?

And historically we’ve been told that short skirts are provocative, trampy and dangerous because THAT’S WHAT MEN LIKE!

Should I start wearing Laura Ashley to get laid now?

No, I don’t actually believe that women are looking to score a man every time they look in their wardrobe.

Fashion is a form of self-expression, not a pick-up tool.

I like clothes that I feel good in, because they suit my body and my mood. Some days I want to own that leopard print crop top, on other days I want to be Audrey Hepburn. My clothes tell a story about me. They help tell the world who I am. Some men may respond to the conformity and classicism of a Laura Ashley dress, but there are others who see experimentation with fashion as symbolic of creativity and confidence.

Actress Julia Roberts in May 2002.
Actress Julia Roberts in May 2002. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And maybe…hopefully… ultimately… men are attracted to what’s inside those clothes?

I know that Prince Charming only fancied Cinderella in her ball dress and Richard Gere preferred Julia after her make-over – but we all need a little bit of help sometimes.

Just like men do. How they can still believe that we like low-slung trousers, I have no idea.

I’m certain that Kate Middleton wears leopard print lingerie in private and Princess Mary didn’t end up with the royal Brady bunch wearing cottontails.

What Really Happened At The Royal Birth?

That Kate Middleton is one seriously lucky lady. Not only did she land a prince, (in spite of being a commoner), but she also appears to have had the easiest childbirth on record for a first-time mum.

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...
Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbilical cord has not yet been cut. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did I hear correctly – was it really an 8 hour labour? The words ‘lucky biatch’ spring to mind if I’m honest – or is that a treasonable offence?

There will be pregnant women around the globe turning green with envy when the average labour is more like 12 hours, (and realistically that statistic has probably been fictitiously created to prevent a decrease in the population).

Perhaps there really is something special about the Monarchy after all.

Perhaps the Royal sperm has the mystical qualities of Royal Jelly or Royal blood and its powers managed to loosen the tight Royal cervix unnaturally quickly for delivery of the future heir to the throne.

It certainly sounds as though Kate didn’t experience the atypical child-birth horrors that the rest of us mortals experience, (and that none of us likes to talk about during our child-rearing years – not while we may still have to go through the whole bloodbath again).

Forget the Hollywood movies, the vocabulary associated with childbirth of mucus plugs, dilation, transition (which is when pain becomes unbearable fucking pain and you are screaming for someone to put you out of your misery) and labour pain (which still makes me protectively cross my legs rather like when you mention circumcision to men) are descriptive enough for even a blind person to get the picture of what the ordeal is really like.

Mind you, an 8lb+ baby can do some lasting damage, even to a future queen, if it enters the world too quickly.

Those little critters have been known to drag half your pelvic floor out with them in their rush to get to your breast.

But Kate didn’t appear to be too damaged when she faced the press the following day. Not a sign of a waddle. When I had my first baby I couldn’t walk properly for about ten weeks afterwards so I’m guessing that Kate had only the very best seamstress to hand to stitch the Royal bits back together again.

So how did she do it? How did she manage to give birth in eight hours and then look so fucking fabulous a mere 24 hours later? Where were the bags under the eyes, the tears, the leaking nipples and the ‘stitches shuffle’?

I’m so glad she didn’t attempt to disguise the post-uterine swell – women around the world will be thanking her in their millions.

I remember my brother-in-law, (who taught the old man everything he knows), eyeing my bulging stomach the day after Nerd Child was born and asking me when exactly I was going to deliver my baby. Needless to say, I dissolved into a blubbering, hormonal mess.

I’ve been charging him my bills for therapy ever since.

I wonder if Kate fell for the myth of a natural birth, or if she wisely went straight for the epidural.

Stoicism during childbirth is just so ‘eighties’ now.

I had all the natural childbirth gadgets and remedies at my disposal, but I must admit that the only one to really give me the relief I needed was digging my nails into the old man’s arms as hard as possible.

I mean, WTF was spraying water on my face supposed to do when it felt like someone was shoving hot pokers up my vajayjay?

I remember the old man inadvertently spraying the water into my eyes at one point and slapping him viciously around the face  –  a much more effective form of pain relief.

The Tens machine obviously also needed to be designed with a scale higher than 10 (just saying) to take your mind off the pain; but then just stabbing sharp knives into my lower back might have been an even more effective distraction too. And I never quite understood what exactly that big ball was for, other than to entertain the old man, when all it made me want to do when I sat on it was either pee or throw it at my irritating partner.

I imagine that William was the dutiful husband and father, supporting Kate through the mire of pain, blood and foul language – I’m sure that there was more than a:

‘Gosh darling, I think it might be coming out now. Best tell the Queen.’

Well done, Kate, you’ve produced the heir, so only the ‘spare’ to go now. It looks like you’re a natural.

Kate Middleton: A Tale Of Two Mammaries

Once upon a time, (a very long, long time ago), when I was approaching the age of four and my world innocently revolved around varying tones of pink, anorexically thin Barbies (with unnaturally large breasts) and sugar and spice and all things nice, I fervently believed in fairy tales. That my Prince Charming would someday hunt me down, declare his undying love and as a token of his love, gift me a limitless MasterCard.

But pretty soon I began to meet real men and I wised up matured a bit, experienced a few dissatisfying relationships with some uncommitted, unsavory ‘frogs’ and the cynicism set in. And so, by my mid twenties, I had regretfully reached the conclusion that fairy tales are one of life’s major disappointments, a bit like the Walton family not being real.

I certainly would never have believed it possible that one day a prince from our own Royal Family would marry into the ‘people’! I thought that the Royal Family only mutated with their own ‘posh’ kind, that they liked the uncertainty of in-breeding, of producing offspring who looked suspiciously like their equine forefathers.

We have Diana to thank for the bulldozing of the palace walls. Diana the kindergarten teacher, (who in spite of being the daughter of an Earl, was still depicted as being a little too ‘common’), who managed to break into that Royal enclave and cause some ‘embarrassing episodes’, (the People’s Princess had her own agenda regarding good and evil too). And it was those actions that would ultimately launch the palace into the twenty-first century, force it to evaluate its traditions, to evolve, to develop some new spin and ‘get with the times’. To finally grasp the fact that most of humankind pertain to the idea of egalitarianism.

And the newer, more hip breed of Royals embraced the mess ideals left by Diana, and threatened to shake up the whole historical Royal lineage thing and knock it on its head, and they took some radical (and often misguided) action to try and make themselves appear ‘normal’ to their subjects; like appearing in crass tv shows and courting commoners. Which gave the common man some hope for the first time; a bit like the lottery does. It was suddenly like everyone had an equal chance of shagging a Royal, winning the golden ticket like Charlie Bucket did, and living the fairy tale dream.

Then Kate Middleton appeared on the Royal scene and slammed the winning ball right into the back of the net. She unceremoniously nabbed her prince when he was unprotected by his force of bodyguards, and so it came about that the elements of the fairy tale had to be slightly reworked.

A contemporary version was created in which the setting changed to a Scottish university, where there was a plethora of animated and privileged polo horses, (often referred to as ‘debutantes’), helicopters and ridiculously petite Victoria Beckham dresses with matching nude shoes, and the ugly sisters were replaced by some ugly ginger cousins and an ADHD brother in law, (who was a bit of a laugh really, but who had to be packed off to Afhganistan, for the future well-being of the monarchy).

And the future Queen of England became a modern-day Cinderella, admired by her kingdom for her natural beauty, her flowing chestnut tresses and her attempt to look like ‘one of us’ by wearing the same dress twice. And she was only despised by a handful of bitter old menopausal women who envied her tiny Elizabethan waist a little too much, and the media, who, let’s face it, despise anyone who has created their own fortune. And she became a Royal IT-Girl, who now travels the world by private jet and is the muse of the world’s finest fashion designers. And in return for the adoration and financial support of her public, her only real duties are to make the monarchy look effective and produce an heir.

For as effortlessly entertaining as it must be to have Harry as her brother-in-Law (him being a fellow naturist), duty is indeed the downside of her pact with the palace. For whereas Pippa (the tight assed mentor with the #YOLO attitude in our tale) can court the press and flaunt her assets, Kate has does have some direct responsibilities as future queen. Although coping with William’s bald patch, his snotty extended family, yappy corgis and having to live in Wales are really the only ‘trade-offs’, so it’s not such a bad deal really. Which is why, on those FML days, when all that wealth and adulation gets too much, or the pregnancy test comes back negative AGAIN and she decides unwisely to liberate those pert Royal puppies within the radius of a wide-angled lens, one has to question her wisdom and those of her advisors.

No-one denies that she is entitled to privacy, but her fairy tale is set in the real world where images of Royal breasts are a hot commodity and attract serious gold coinage.

Rogue cameras, the pressure to procreate, and having to deal with sychophants on a daily basis are all annoyances, to be sure, but evil lurks in every fairy tale and maybe our heroine needs to wise up and learn how to resolve conflict, rather than feeding it and whinging about it afterwards.

Time will tell if those evil “grinning perverts”of the paparazzi (The Telegraph) do finally get to Will and Kate, like they did to Diana. I hope not. Let’s hope they get the chance to fulfil the public fantasy and live happily ever after.

The End.

Royal Wedding Souvenir courtesy of sevenyearitchs at www.fllckr.com