Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How to Martyr Yourself to Fashion

Pic courtesy - HindustanTimes.com



Once you start writing for pleasure, you get into the awful habit of observing people around you. You note down their peculiarities, eavesdrop into their conversations and get a glimpse of their exciting lives of truant maids and unfaithful husbands. An addictive pastime but sometimes you end up displeasing others with your not so flattering observations. It’s the same reason why some of us love reading advice columns (mostly concerning sex) in magazines and dailies where shy adults confide their love for masturbation using a banana skin. Or a gentleman complains about his wife who makes him wear lingerie and bangles and ties his hair into a pony, every time they make love. No, I absolutely did not make these up.

What I am going to write about has nothing to do with people’s bizarre sexual fetishes. It is about the Indian woman’s love for dressing not according to her shape, but just her state of mind. Go to any mall or multiplex and you’ll see a parade of jiggly bottoms and generous tyres spilling out of dresses two sizes too small. I’m always in a fix how to react. While a part of me says a silent yay for women who dress for themselves and not others, the other part of me wonders if they have a mirror at home.

I understand what a liberating feeling it is to slip into an apparel that makes you feel fashionable and sexy, the rest of the world be damned. But knowing what’s in fashion may not necessarily look good on you, is also a great liberator. Just like tights. Someone wise once said, drunks, children and tights never lie. In fact, they betray your secrets and indulgences in the most embarrassing manner. Just because Cheenu looked drop-dead gorgeous in that halter neck red bandage dress and got 450 likes on Facebook, doesn’t mean it will transform you into her glamorous avatar. What she didn’t tell you is, she only eats seeds and leaves and when she’s feeling adventurous, adds a pinch of sugar to her tea. And if your friends insist you look fabulous in that leopard print jumpsuit that makes you feel asthmatic, they are lying. While I understand girlfriends are meant to make you feel good about yourself and call you gorgeous even if you’re anything but that, an occasional dose of honesty is needed. It forces you to move your complacent ass out of your comfort zone.


If the sight of hairy uncles flaunting their paunch in Speedos at your club’s swimming pool makes you flinch, what makes you think your thighs wobbling from under the super short skirt you bought from Mango is a sight for sore eyes? And it’s as true whether you’re 16 or 60.

My take is that we should dress according to our body shape and just that. Especially when there’s no dearth of outfits that lets us make the most of what we’ve got. Yet we insist on conforming to standards of beauty popularized by mainstream media and the fashion industry. Flaunting the hottest new trend meant essentially for reed thin, 6 feet tall models doesn’t make you fashionable. Rather it makes you look like a martyr to fashion.

So, why try to be someone you are not. We women are beautiful. It is our dazzling smile, our eyes that speak a thousand words, tresses that sway sensuously, warm demeanour, a zest for life or the ability to laugh at ourselves that makes us attractive. We certainly don’t need fashion trends to prove a point. Rather, discover your own style and flaunt it with pride.

And, if you are forever in a quandary about what looks good on you, just wear a sari. When draped right, it brings out our graceful best. Plus it looks way better than jeans that makes your muffin top pop out. Or choose a dress that looks good on you and not the mannequin. Just make sure you don’t ask the shop assistant how you look in that dress. They will say what they know will make you buy it.

Being fit or fat is entirely your prerogative. And I am certainly not saying women of a certain weight should dress in sacks. In fact, some of the most gorgeous women I know are far from slim. It’s their personality and attitude that adds to their appeal. They don’t necessarily dress for others. Their confidence reflects in their attire. Be it flowy skirts, tailored pants with long quilted jackets, a dupatta carelessly thrown over their linen shirt – these women carry off everything with élan.

Fat does not equate ugly. But by dressing in outfits not meant for your body-shape does not change your body shape. It simply makes you look ungainly. It is certainly not an assertion of your feminist beliefs. Shouting from rooftops that you’re proud of your booty and then looking like an apple stuck inside a test-tube is certainly not an act of bravado. To me it is lazy subterfuge, just like holding up a soiled sanitary napkin and saying I am proud to bleed. I am neither proud nor ashamed to shed my eggs and certainly don’t have the crying need to prove it to others. It’s a body function that’s as natural as my daily ablutions.

So, if you’re dying to assert your ‘I am an independent woman and care a damn about what you think’ attitude, I am sure there are better ways than squeezing your tummy inside skinnies too tight. Nobody conquered the world in ill-fitting pants!





52 comments:

  1. Why try to be someone you are not. Absolutely.
    And when in doubt, go for the sari. It never let's me down.

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    Replies
    1. Especially when there are so many gorgeous ones to buy.

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  2. Absolutely! Now, I couldn't have put it any better. It makes me flinch when I see women or men in ill-fitting clothes. Why do they do it? I've never understood it. A friend of mine who is on the heavier side said that dressing up in a salwar will automatically slot her as a behenji so she fits in her girth in tights where everything falls out. It is a rather distressing sight. Clothes should flatter you, make you feel confident.

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    1. But most of us would rather not say it aloud.

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  3. LOL As a fat person who wears jeans all the darn time because I am comfortable in them, I don't know what to say. But then, I never aspired to be a fashionista so I will carry on regardless.

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  4. Well this one is sure to get some strong reactions as for me I will play it safe with -- " No Comments" policy on all matters related to femme fatale. :P :P

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    1. Hehehe...this one is tricky territory.

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  5. "apple stuck inside a test-tube" Hahahaha and yet so true! :D

    It hurts my eye so much when I see people wearing ill fitting clothes. Especially aunties with the "bhudape mein jawani" fetish who try to hide their layers of fat in tight jeans and tops!

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    Replies
    1. Ill-fitting clothes are uncomfortable as hell! But then a lot of us totter on high heels and painful bunions :p

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  6. Totally agree!! Why wear clothes that won't fit you, when you can look gorgeous in clothes of your size?

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    Replies
    1. If stores start putting up this sign, all of them will go out of business.

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  7. There's so much to agree with in this post. Women's lib is all very well but why would anyone voluntarily wear clothes (and shoes) which not only look unpleasant but are uncomfortable as well? I am most comfy in a sari... it hides a lot. Which is fine because there's a lot to hide too. Win-win! :D

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    1. Saris look great on all body shapes. It hides what you want to and yet makes you look so feminine.

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  8. You hit the nail on the head Purba! I hope at least some of those who flaunt their assets that need to be kept hidden read this post, but good advice is seldom followed. Very apt observations and deductions:)

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    Replies
    1. Lol.. I will get nailed for writing this one.

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  9. Disagree on one point -"Nobody conquered the world in ill-fitting pants!" Proof here

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    Replies
    1. Aiyyo, let me go and read your gyaan!

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    2. Hahaha..Napoleon will haunt you in your nightmares.

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  10. It hurts the eye to see wobbly behinds in too tight jeans and tummy bulging out of tight tight tops. I am all for wearing what you want to, but I guess the idea should be to pick and choose sizes and dresses that make you look good. No point in aping fashion is there ! Make your own style ! And BTW I am rather ashamed to say I don't know how to drape a saree !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry, I'll teach you. Just make sure you have a stool for me to stand on.

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  11. It is even more sickening to see really healthy looking women in leggings/jeggings. I wanted to say 'Please ! I beg you! Go home' at many occasions.
    Great post! Truth spoken so hilariously !

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    Replies
    1. The floral ones look hideous!

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  12. Saree is definitely one of the most sophisticated dresses. I meant who can not look graceful in that. I feel we need more straight-forward friends and criticising siblings to dress right. :P

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    Replies
    1. I am willing to loan my worst critic, my brother.

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  13. LOL! Apple stuck inside a test tube indeed! The wriggly, jiggly bulges sagging out in every possible angle has often made my mind go boggly. These situations are often follow the herd attitude.

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  14. Fashion without common sense makes people look like scarecrows.

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  15. Glad that I am not alone who think like that...I dare not say it loud as these days any comment is taken as judgemental. True....sari suits anyone well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why do you think I wrote this one :p

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  16. You should try to write for common people like us, so tough English. Took time to understand that it was for feminist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And men shouldn't read feminist posts?

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  17. Hahaha.. men who answer "Beautiful honey" to their lady love's imposing and threatening question of "how i look sweetie" deserve a bravery award too.

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  18. ..but, but sometimes, we do laugh at their expense. to heart's content. and that is fun :-D

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    Replies
    1. If everyone starts dressing correctly, life will become so boring :p

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  19. Great post, i so agree with u ! These days so many people are equating fat to ugly - boils my blood. On the other hand so many women always buy a size which is to small for them. I think people are in a confused state now, than ever before.


    Keep Blogging !

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    Replies
    1. Some buy a size smaller in the hope they'll fit into it one day.

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  20. Good question there. As a not-so-thin person who lives in jeans I don't think I'm quite in a position to comment - except I never bulge - i just go get a larger pair. It might have something to do with 'a thin person living in a fat person's body'. It's easier/better I think for always-have-been-fat people.

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    Replies
    1. Jeans are no-fuss and great for every occasion especially when you buy the one meant for your body type and pair it with the right top.

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  21. Bang on target.. and with such finesse... :)

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    Replies
    1. Looks like you changed your mind :p

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  22. That's absolutely right on dot. So many people make that mistake and as you said, there is this thin line on what looks good on you versus trying to prove a point that you dress for yourself.

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  23. That's my post but in exactly one sentence 😂

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  24. As a writer, I would have to agree that making yourself a martyr with your passion is not easy to do because you will have to spend more time working with your passion just to accomplish thing that you desired to be achieved, I actually appreciate what you have written in your blog
    CV writing services help – don’t kiss any toads

    ReplyDelete

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