Just this morning I threw it on over my minimal summer sleepwear because my dressing gown was in the wash and I prefer to avoid startling the postman with the sight of my merrily unbound bosoms. And now I feel like a Jane Austen character doing some delicate watercolours in the sunshine in a meadow. I'm pretty sure it makes me look like one too. Or Edina Monsoon.
Having read this and this and this, (thank you Invisible Woman and That's Not My Age for the food for thought) I'm feeling a bit bolshy. I used to think that Trinny and Susannah and Gok were sympathetic and understanding, acknowledging that not everyone is or can be young, tall, slim and modelly, but actually, is that all we're hoping for? Forgiveness for our grave inadequacies? Tight knickers to make us look slimmer so we don't need liposuction?
Just altering the script a little - changing thin to healthy or firm or flattering - is that enough? I would prefer the whole of this misogynistic appearance industry to please get off my back about how I look. Also, I know this undermines my argument, but I would rather look like Germaine Greer, Patti Smith, Grace Jones, Molly Parkin or Zandra Rhodes than any of the automatons proclaiming the new black.
We are all formed and twisted by patriarchy and consumerism and fear, inescapably so. Like many others, I am ambivalent and conflicted about femininity and image and appearance; I refuse to care about it and I can't help caring about it. But some women are living well in it and with it. Swearing and spitting, dancing and raging and not worrying about how it looks, or at least not letting their worries stop them.
I am an ordinary person in my middle years, slightly eccentric, more than a little lazy and I have other stuff to do than worry endlessly if I am putting forward my healthiest, firmest, most flattering self today. I love the creativity and drama and glamour of dressing up, but now I have a chest of drawers to paint, for god's sake. And I need to buy dog food and dental floss.
And on that note, let us all look upon the awesome spectacle of Miss Grace Jones, in her smock.