Monday, January 16, 2006

Hip hip hooray!

There are only certain kinds of reality show that I can stomach, and they do not include the ones where people are tormented to the extent you are squirming in your seat with embarrassment. Some people might get a kick out of this, I don't.

The ones I like are where you see a positive outcome to some negative situation, such as Supernanny or where men and women are given a make-over. Appalling children become normal and happy in the first, and in the second, people with no clue how to make the best of themselves are shown that they can look good with a new haircut, clothes and makeup. The result in both cases is soaring self-confidence, a sense of well-being and a positive outlook that permeates the rest of their entourage.

I had to give myself a bit of a makeover a couple of years ago as I came to terms with splitting from my ex-husband. I had not bought any clothes for some time, wore the minimum of makeup and looked ten years older than I was, mostly because of the traumatic nature of my relationship.

The same time I was realising it was over, I also came across a lady at the flea market who was selling good clothes for peanuts and I dived into the piles to emerge transformed. I grew my hair on the advice of male friends, and went to the Body Shop for a make up session, buying what they suggested.

The result was very satisfactory. I got male attention, which I must say I did appreciate, having gone for far too long without anyone giving me the time of day. I felt I existed, and my friends told me I looked ten years younger. So I know first-hand the effects of restyling oneself.

So, in the spirit of dressing in the modern age, I set out on Saturday in search of low-cut trousers; the ones that sit on the hips, not the ones that barely cover the pubis! Off I went to the Halle aux Vetements, and there I found, to my disbelief that I am a size 36 instead of my usual 38.

Now, I have been a 38 since I was around 18 and I know I have not shrunk, neither have my hips. As my GP said at that time, giving my bum a playful slap, I have good child-bearing hips. He was just off retirement and I should think he was getting in some last opportunities at handling young flesh before it was denied him forevermore... These days he'd be had up on sexual harrassment! I was merely surprised.

Anyway, I digress... So, size 36 is supposed to be for girls with no hips - the straight up and down ones so adored by the fashion world. Usually I cannot get them beyond halfway up my thighs. No, I am a shapely size 38 and if I can now get into a size smaller, it is not due to any merit on my part, but because some serruptitious resizing has been going on in my absence.

Is France getting bigger too? Is seems so, but just so that no one is unduly traumatised, clothes manufacturers just up the sizes and in that way, no one notices that they are getting bigger. The only astonished ones are people like me who suddenly shrink a size even though they need to lose 2kg and start worrying about the effects of early onset osteoporosis (being 42 an' all).

I do look dead trendy though.

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