Yesterday started off well, we had coffee on the front porch and laughed at people driving by – people seem to be in their own little worlds in their cars, forgetting that other people can see them as they sit at the lights picking their noses and squeezing their pimples. It must be the closest you get to seeing them with their masks down.

I went to the yoga open day and loved the studio – very light and airy and friendly staff. I got a 6 class pass for $60 which rocks and booked into a Thursday night course for 6 weeks. I’m committed now. Even doing the short demo class, I felt so much calmer .

Walked into the city and the shopping went well until I hit Target. They have this range called Shape U underwear (ie. corsetry). I’d tried on one of the longer bras a while back but it was the wrong size and I didn’t have to ditz around with sizes. Once you strip off naked in those change rooms though, you realise the mirrors are magnifying mirrors – Fault Magnifying Mirrors.

I forgot all about my good bits – the bits I focus on to get me through life, my legs and …well just the legs really… all I could see was my thick waist, my flat butt and my pointy nose – I hadn’t even realised my nose looked so pointy in profile.

The Shape U underwear did nothing for me – when you push in one bit, it just pushes something else out. I’d rather be a lumpy Kathryn shape than look like a balloon animal made by a clown on crack.

I left Target with a huge black cloud over me. I’ve been lied to all my life. All those magazines that tell you that in 5 easy steps you can have a flat stomach or 12 simple exercises for a thin waist. Its all a big pile of steaming dog turd. You can lose weight, you can exercise to change your shape but it only gets you so far. After that, it’s all genetics and you can’t change your DNA. The only steps that work on that start with a phone call to your local plastic surgeon and who has the money for that.

As I walked in the sun through Carlton Gardens, I remembered – hey, this is the month of ME, I can’t be cracking the sads over this stuff. Like they say, you have to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.

There are things I can do to improve my body and there are things I’m not prepared to do. In this life we all resort to some artifice to enhance our appearance – it’s all shades of grey, its just a question of knowing how far along that line you’re prepared to travel.

If you look at one end of the spectrum being those who do absolutely nothing – no makeup, no hair styling, comfortable shoes – hell not even wearing deodorant to mask their natural smell; the other end being those freaky plastic surgery stories you see in magazines – we all fall somewhere in between.

I could get corsetry to give me a wasp thin waist, I could get but padding to get a hootchie butt (yes, you can buy it, just ask the drag queens), I could learn fancy makeup techniques to make my nose look different but do I want to do any of that.

Years ago I knew a girl who was totally gorgeous. No one ever saw without hours of preparation. One night she was chatting up a girl at a nightclub (being that she was a lesbian). The girl admired Gorgeous Girl’s beautiful hair and GG decided she should ‘fess up and told her it wasn’t her own hair but a hairpiece. So the girl said she had amazing eyelashes. GG admitted the eyelashes were fakes. So on to the teeth, the tan, the colour of her eyes. In the end, GG remembered that old joke about the groom watching his bride undress on their wedding night, taking off everything down to the legs and arms. She freaked out – screaming I’m just a stump, I’m just a stump.

Nobody wants to go around looking like the stump, that’s for sure but how much of things that make us attractive do we want to take off at the end of the night and leave in a jar by the bed?

I want to tell you about the most gorgeous woman I saw all day yesterday. Coming home from the coffee shop, an old woman pushed her shopping cart down my street. She hunched over, old lady style and was dressed in that bland-beige style like women do when they’ve completely given up but in her hair she wore a clip with a big, blue flower. Like underneath some playful girlish still sparked within her.

8 responses to “Artifice

  1. Must have been the day for it, my best mate tried on that same bra/corset thingy in Target and it did nothing. Personally I think she is gorgeous and being African has been blessed with one of those va va voom curves in all the right places bodies and she should celebrate that and not try and squish it into stupid underwear.

    Then she stopped off at a beauty therapy place to talk about microdermabrasion, I told her she should not trust her face to a woman with BLACK french tips.

    This got me thinking about all these places trying to sell us on the fact that we are not good enough the way we are and we should pay some place to make us “like us but better”

    Pftttt, it’s all a crock

  2. Target change rooms are the pits. Combined with underwear shopping (one of my least favourite pastimes, next to shopping for jeans and shoes) and I would have left with a giant black cloud over my head too.
    I have the problem where if I get a corset type thing, while it might squeeze my waist in, my arse practically doubles in size and my girls turn to pancakes. I’d rather just let the flab roam free as it were and try and down play it’s appearance in less masochistic forms.

  3. Target mirrors have to be the worst that I have ever encountered. I didn’t mind my bum so much till i saw it in there 😉

  4. i agree that bad lighting and dodgy underwear in change rooms is a downer. However it is just target, and there may be a nicer item somewhere else that might be found. i also carry a bit around the midsection, and i did find in an opshop this type stretch pull-in all in one bra peticoat. It looks quite hot with a skirt and a shirt loosely tied over the top. i also found i could wear a loose flowy top over the top and look fairly smooth underneath. I do find that with the fabric smooth the midriff, the boobs get squashed, but i found by cutting a small v section at the back of hte lingerie it worked.
    I am a non fuss type person who is not fond of a lot of fake stuff, but most skinny girls wear a push up bra, most short girls wear heals, so why shouldn’t those of us who want to smooth the curves wear a form fitting lingerie outfit, perhaps for a special night out. i refuse to use the word “girdle”!
    Another thing i found was that one can make the legs and tum, hips look a little more toned by wearing tight tights. YOu just buy a smaller size with some lycra or something in, and cut the toe area out so that the tights can be pulled up to around ankle, if you need extra height for that size. Then wear with slim socks and boots. i also find the lycra helps my circulation and keeps my legs from feeling tired when standing.

    Another perspective regarding losing weight nad exercising, is to remember even if a fashion outfit still does not suit, that a healthy weight really helps ones health.
    i just had a health scare out of the blue this year, and i was aware that had i not taken the time to lose the bulk of the fat and to exercise and get healthy, i might have found that my health thing might have been worse. while my son is grown up like yours, i am glad to still be around for him.
    I hope we all lose a couple more kilos over the warmer weather, and have trimmer midriffs soon. But having said that i do recall some model friends who told me they were mortified to be seen by a man or to look in a mirror without their padded bras, due to being completely flat chested at their very low fat skinny weights. Knowing this helps me realize i do not have to aspire for the complete skinny thing, but probably 5 more kilos of fat loss would help trim the midriff to a nice and even healthier shape. In the meanwhile a V neck with just a glimpse of cleavage can be a great midriff detracter when going for a night out!

  5. LOL yep, I see the funniest things sitting on my bus ride to work. I really can’t handle the greensleeves scenario or the finger wipe down the pants *shudder*. Get a tissue!

    Great news about the yoga place. $10 classes is a bargain too. So glad you booked yourself in for a course. It’ll give you a bit more structure and hopefully push you further with poses you can already do aswell as learning new ones.

    Oooh, and Target makes me feel like that too. I stopped going to their changerooms. They suck. Full stop.

    Love the story of the old woman with a blue flower clip. That says it all 🙂

  6. “a balloon animal made by a clown on crack”


    Am on floor laughing!

  7. I hate the Target Mirrors too. Ugliness personified. And yet, it’s a rare occasion when I bring anything home from Le Target that looks completely different and much more hideous at home in my real mirror. Unlike some items which had been optimistically purchased from stores which lulled me into a false sense of security with their tricky lighting and skinny mirrors…only to reveal their true ugliness when I got them home. “WTF WAS I THINKING!?!”

    That said. If two of the worst things you notice in a godawful Target Mirror are a flat bum and a pointy nose, then you’re doing pretty damn good…

  8. that bra does nothing did i mention nothing for my girls..makes them all weird shaped..and they usually look alright!!hideus might be hte word im looking for

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