I was looking through a Facebook newsfeed the other day, when I came across a photograph of a childhood friend from Baku. I thought she looked amazing and decided to flick through the whole album.
That was not a good idea.
First of all, my friend looked too stunning. She has always been a very pretty girl, but I could not help but notice that, after two children, her figure was that of an 18-year old model, her boobs (okay, might have been artificially enhanced, but I am no expert. They could be real, with a very good push-up bra? Who knows, and really, does it even matter? As Husband pointed out “have you ever heard any man complain about boobs being fake?” ) in an expensive low-cut dress looked amazing; and the whole package was, well…pretty glamorous.
Second of all, not just the friend herself, but almost every other girl in her photos looked beautiful and glamorous, too. And it made me think of so many things at the same time. The first and utmost was the reminder that English women do not do glamour well. Okay, let me clarify this, somewhat offensive, statement. English women do a very different, elegant but subtle glamour. I also think that life in the UK, unless you belong to a certain ( don't know which?) circle, does not give British women any chance to dress up in such glittery Oscars style dresses. Husband pointed out women in central London do dress up more than in suburbs. Perhaps. But I have friends in London, too. I am not just a village girl stuck in the hood. I have seen life outside, you know. But nothing I have seen in this country compares to my friend’s photos.
What English women consider glamorous would probably be a Sunday lunch outfit for my friend in Baku. It is important to point out, too, that she clearly spends a lot of money on her looks. Not just the skin tone, the hair and the boobs, but the outfits, from what I know about fashion world (not much, clearly) point out to a very decadent lifestyle. And I have to tell you, that when a woman spends a lot of money on herself, it shows plainly and clearly. It is not something one can easily fake, despite everyone trying their best.
However, I have a few friends in the UK, who most probably have even more money. So, it is not just the money that makes the difference. I kept looking through the photos, and thought that there is a certain cultural thing about looking this glamorous.
I picked a photo with long gowns and amazing shoes on every woman there, with some very revealing cleavages (for what I understood to be Iranian and Azeri women) in the photo; and asked my local friend where she thought we could wear something like that.We laughed hard.
'Let’s look'! I said to her. We opened my Facebook photos. 'Here...', I said, 'Is the breakfast in what is considered a posh and glamorous hotel nearby. With a bunch of other ladies who lunch...'
Oh, we felt glamorous going there! We wore high heels and pretty necklaces, and did our hair! Lets look, I said. Do we look anywhere close to those Azeri/Iranian women? Hell, no! Look at what we are wearing! My Azeri glamorous friend would probably wear something like that at home if she was busy with housework. (Not that she does any, but you get the picture.)
And so it hit me. Living in the UK for this long changed my outlook on what I would consider elegant. Or glamorous. Or sexy..
Whether that is a good or bad influence, my life here affected my understanding of style and fashion. I need to keep reminding myself that UGG boots are neither sexy or elegant. Neither are my Converse trainers.
I remembered a night out with my glamorous Moscow friend, and with horror imagined what she must have thought of me. No wonder she asked if I was happy. She was probably mortified by my flat heels, plain long cardigan and the lack of heavy make-up.
So, whether my pregnancy is affecting my brain, or it is just the sudden realization of how much I have changed; I hereby make a pledge.
Once this baby-making business is over and done with, Scary promises that:
a) She will own and wear some sexy super high heels. Even if she pays for it later with a bad back and sore feet. Even if she only wears them to her friends’ houses and Tesco.
b) She will stop eating until she looks at least almost as skinny as all those women in the photos.
c) She will make effort to spend more time and money on herself, including some properly glamorous outfits. So what if she has nowhere to wear those; and if she did, most of her English friends would think she was a bit of a chushka? Can always blame the cultural differences, that’s what they are for.
d) She will wear more make up and allow herself to show off some cleavage and legs. If those Iranian wives can get away with some very plunging necklines and not get stoned by their husbands, so can Scary in modern Britan, surely.
That, my friends, is the master plan. For now, however, I just bought some pretty pumps. For walking around while I still look like a whale. However! As part of this glamorization of my British wardrobe, I chose the ones with jewels and pretty satin bows. So there!