The Lady of Shalott left her looking glass for the real world and died of it.
I kind-of assumed my peers had taken three paces, not died, and all woman kind now was free.
I never was a beauty, and I always assumed that that did not really matter. I assumed that my intelligence (or lack of), my personality and my application of my character to life were what really mattered.
I have always enjoyed clothes, and in some ways I felt a little inferior to women who were genuinely happy to totally disregard dress and appearance. It mattered a little to me, and I assumed that for a new generation it would matter less.
Not so. Arleen Philips is too old to judge ‘Strictly’. (So I won’t be watching, not that I suppose the Beeb cares.) Even in Galston there are spray tans and waxing. Young girls spend a fortune on how they look, and high heels, far from vanishing, seen de rigueur . I am astonished, dismayed. Women trade their ability to run for a better shaped leg. Not just for an evening out, not for dressing up, as though with the contents of the toy box, but for real life situations.
And the tabloids lambaste women in the public eye for failing in some area or other of conventional female dress, or grooming or deportment. Who cares? Well, thousands, apparently.
And two dear friends tell me they mourn the going of their youthful looks. If I do not misunderstand, seriously mourn. Well, sure, I’d like fewer wrinkles, and a better ability to lift, run and work … and there you have it. To me the ability to put in a full day matters a heck of a lot more. Hundreds of times more.
What the heck happened? Should I have been more militant as a girl? A young woman?
I wish we could all grow up and see people and not façades.