When I was 17, I wanted so much to look like the sirens on the screen; you know… those film stars.
In my day it was Jane Russell, and Bridget Bardot.
But I was not over endowed in the bust department so bought a circle stitched bra which did little to live up to my dream. The uplifting cones should have had me “out and proud”, instead I had cringe- making dents in mine!
I was quite slim, but we were encouraged in those far off days to wear a girdle.
My dear mother thought this was a great idea, a sort of enforced birth control device.
From waist to rear I felt like re-enforced concrete, hardly an encouragement to get up close and personal. Breathing was optional too. I discarded the deadly garment and bought a frilled suspender belt.
Sexy suspender belts!… they were all the rage.
I had a frilly black one and a white lace one. Even then I was defeated. The little rubber buttons flew off, leaving one suspender dangling, then the nice black seam would swivel sideways, ending up down the side of my leg. I eventually tried instant tan which in those days made my legs orange, another beauty fail.
A little later another figure enhancer was the “chicken fillet” worn inside a wonder bra. These little crescents of foam did wonders for my shape. Until one crept out and ended up under my chin. I had a double fail that night as I danced cheek to cheek with Mr. Wonderful. As I discovered as well as a chicken fillet under my chin, one of the false eyelashes I wore had stuck to his nose. The night did not end well.
I always put effort into my social engagements. Planning a big night, I had the bubble bath, then applied an oatmeal face mask, and had cucumber slices over my eyes. I lay flat on the bed in the darkened room.
Then my three small children found me and let out blood curdling screams!
They thought I was dead. We nearly had to put them into therapy to erase the trauma they suffered.
At a later stage of life, false nails seemed a good idea. Except normal life became a problem. Pulling up pants was difficult. Typing was very hit and miss, mostly miss…
Using a cash machine was also hazardous. My husband watched in awe as I punched in numbers with my knuckles. He said I looked like a gorilla, so I gave up the false nails!
Colouring my hair at home might be cheaper but is a minefield. The colour on the box is not to be trusted. For instance, there was no mention on the box of Fire Engine Red. I wanted a gentle auburn…. Or the gentle wash of lilac I planned that ended up bright purple. I needed a scarf a lot of shampoo and isolation with those two. Then wanting to feel glamorous for our anniversary, I decided to let the hairdresser have free reign and give me an “up do” with a false hair piece.
I waltzed out of the salon feeling great all tendrils and hair spray; to see my husband’s expression, well one look said it all…So I brushed out the glamour and went out looking as I always do.
Yet in spite of my failures, we have been married 62 years, and that must be worth more than beauty.
(c) 2021 - Jacqui Lee