Wednesday, 1 May 2013

A day in the life of someone else

Sometimes it’s nice to step into someone else’s world. Often it’s nice because it’s a good way to escape and experience something different to your everyday life, to get inspired to make changes to your own routine and to make you think beyond the daily routine that you’re often stuck in. Sometimes, though, it’s nice because it makes you realise that actually your life ain’t that bad and that it suits you just fine.

Like tonight, for example. I went to a Harpers Bazaar’s promotional night for Swarovski. I don’t often get the chance to go to these glitzy soirees so I rearranged a few things and seized the opportunity. The deal was sweetened rather by the promise of free drinks and canapés and a goody bag to take home with me (which contained some very useful things, surprisingly).

I have often thought that I would like to get in to the uber- glamorous world of fashion. I like clothes and make-up. I keep up-to-date with the latest style and I definitely love shopping. What’s not to like about a career in the fashion industry?

The main reason, I discovered, is that you have to sacrifice eating apparently. Now I’m not the sort of person who has ever thought of themselves as fat. Of course there are parts of my body that I’m not happy with and I have upped my exercise regime in an effort to get bikini ready in three months’ time, but other than that I’m ok with my size, I’m a healthy size 10 (8-10 on a good day, nearer 12 on a really bad day). Rocking up at this evening drinks reception, however, I felt positively obese.  I should have twigged when the canapés were not very forthcoming that this was not a crowd that like to eat. Once the initial small plate of olives, four cheese sticks and about 6 mouthful sizes of chocolate brownie were were inhaled between four of us, we realised there wasn’t anything else coming out. Thank god for champagne.

We were then treated to a fashion show of Swarovski and Banana Republic’s summer collections. And they were delightful. As Harper’s Retail Editor pointed out, the jewellery did look much better on the models than it did in the display cabinets. There were even a few items I would consider buying. And I’ve noted the key items to add to my summer look (cropped trousers, lemon yellow and a tan- I think I’ll struggle with the latter).

The models however made me feel quite uncomfortable. One of them was actually anorexic. Her rib cage actually protruded further than her breasts and her arms looked like they could snap in two. More canapés would have been useful at this point as it actually made me want to eat. The other two models, who under normal circumstances would be considered too skinny, looked rather healthy in comparison.
This got me thinking; did this model think she looked healthy and attractive? Or was she just stuck in a vicious cycle that was fuelled by the ever image-conscious industry she worked in? Was she happy with the way she looked? Or was she actually looking at us and our rolls of podge in envy?

Asking around, everyone agreed that she was far too thin and people did feel uncomfortable about having to admire the size of this girl as she modelled for us. If so many women think like this, then why is this size zero image constantly burned into our minds and psyche as the way we should look? Surely we should be as repulsed by this image in magazines and on tv as we are in real life. After my experience tonight, I definitely think there should be more images of ‘normal’ sized women in magazines. If for no other reason than to give a realistic impression of how fashion will look on a real woman.

Having said all that, I did pick up some great fashion advice from the night and I would not turn down another evening rubbing shoulders with the well dressed . Top tip of the: pendants on long chains help cut the body and give the impression of being slim. You can guess what my next purchase will be…

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