…My take on that age old cliche!
Earlier on today, I was posed with a rather tricky question by a friend.
The lady in question is glamorous, likes to look good at all times and more mature than myself in years. She has recently invested in some rather expensive blonde hair extensions, spent time perfecting self-tanning techniques and keeps fit by attending pole fitness classes. She seemed happier since making the change, as if lightening her hair had lightened her outlook. She hadn’t been in a relationship for a while, but was waiting for her luck to change. She said that suddenly men were paying her more attention and asking her on dates. I was pleased to see her confidence boosted and to hear she was feeling good.
As we sat there being very British and having a cup of tea, she suddenly asked
“Do you prefer me blonde or dark?”
I considered the question for a few moments and answered
“I prefer to see you happy”
After all, isn’t that what we all want for our friends? For them to enjoy life in whatever way they please? Partnered, single, gay, straight, bisexual, transgendered…As long as they are being true to themselves and not hurting others with their choices, in my opinion they are living the right way.
“That’s not what I asked you, do you prefer me blonde or dark?”
Came her reply, thinking I was fudging the issue.
Now, I’m uncomfortable with naming any one look as ideal. I will confess that long blonde hair and an all over tan do not feature anywhere on my list of Must Haves.
I repeated along the same lines…
“At the moment, you seem to be more positive than I’ve seen you in ages. You’re clearly enjoying life, if your new hairstyle is the reason for this then I love it!”
She seemed pleased with my reply and our conversation quickly turned back to her most recent date. Though in my head, I was still thinking over what makes someone attractive. At the moment, I feel pretty good about myself. I’m not the slimmest I have ever been, but I’m certainly not the largest either. The strange thing is, now I’m actually taking positive steps towards improvement it matters less. I think beauty starts with confidence…An idea that has been with me for well over a decade. Think I really started to appreciate what it meant on starting dance lessons. I became aware of the effect moving my body gracefully had, how good it felt to push myself and the sense of achievement I got from learning something new.
I shouldn’t imagine my appearance is everyone’s vision of The Fairest Of Them All: Am currently rocking black hair with a bright red fringe, wearing less than in previous summers (mainly for practical reasons…It’s bloody boiling out there!) and loving life to boot. I’m working out to feel and look better, hoping to be more toned as a result but still to look feminine and curvaceous. I’m more interested in creating a discernible curve between my bust and my hips than obtaining a six pack…Though have to confess I love the muscle tone starting to show in my legs!
It doesn’t mean that I’m right and my friends striving for perfection are wrong…Or vice versa. I’m just striving to be the best I’ve looked and felt. I believe that any transformation is possible…And that as long as the person making that change still wants to be themselves, it’s healthy to try hard.
The tactful opinions and good advice I had to offer friends deteriorated somewhat as the day went on. Another friend was complaining that while he is superb at helping females shop for flattering outfits, the same keen eye doesn’t extend to shopping for himself.
My helpful response to this was
“So go transvestite then…Ladies clothing will always be more exciting and fun to shop for than gents!”
Despite admitting to once having owned a manly black sarong, he didn’t really go a bundle on the idea.
Nonetheless, I do hope my certificate of commendation from the Tact, Diplomacy and Giving an All-Round Top Answer Society is in the post for my earlier efforts!
There’s never any excuse for deliberately hurting a friend’s feelings. It’s a tough enough world out there without mates having to tear each other to pieces. One day I’ll strike the tricky balance of feeling great and genuinely not caring what others think. I probably won’t blog for a while then, I’ll be busy bottling the formula and selling it for millions!