I’ve just noticed an interesting milestone. The blush sitting in my toiletry bag has been with me for nearly 21 years. No, the full point isn’t missing, 21 years. Is that some kind of record in this day and age?
My Mum bought it for me for my first high school ball and it’s accompanied me on my minimalist makeup journey ever since. Ok, it clearly didn’t get much use in the middle 18 years, but it’s still kind of remarkable that it’s stuck by me for so long. It’s nearly reached the end of its days, the mirror dropped out sometime ago, the cover recently disintegrated and I’m starting to scrape out the corners but Mum definitely got her money’s worth.
This isn’t unusual behaviour for me. Many of my clothes have stood the test of time proudly hanging in my wardrobe long enough to go out of fashion and come back in. I’d like to think that it was all to do with my sustainable living persuasions, but it’s a lot more than that.
You see I’ve never really been a fashionista and definitely not a girly girl. I thought that a lot of it had to do with being a sporty person. Olympic champion Flo Jo dispelled that myth never letting athletics get between her and having incredible nails and dangly jewellery.
Was it something to do with what my dad drove into me “Piercing your ears is self mutilation.” Quite possibly. Although I eventually succumbed to self mutilation.
I guess I just always felt a bit funny getting dressed up. I remember the dresses my Mum coerced me into wearing to Sunday mass. The green corduroy skirt and shirt, the brown checked dress accompanied with floppy bows on headbands digging in behind my ears. Nothing’s changed, women still suffer in the name of fashion.
It suited me to dress down and so I became the pants girl. Pants for any occasion in all colours and styles. In late high school I teamed my jeans with Blundstone work boots carefully scuffed and dusted in authentic farm dirt to create the country look.
When I invested in the real deal woollen ugg boots I boldly declared that with these beauties “I could even wear them under jeans.” Whoops, I better watch who I say that around. I was in earshot of a true fashionista. She shot me a quick “No you can’t!”
If I’m really honest with the self-righteous me, it has become more about caring what others think about what I have to say, than how I look. Remember that old saying “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.” Well maybe I’ve taken that to the extreme…a little.
Seriously though, I’m all for people dressing well and looking good, I’m the first to appreciate great style. Yet I was extremely disconcerted when I read comedian Sarah Millican’s account of her experience at last year’s BAFTA awards ceremony. She was given a public dressing down all because of the outfit she’d worn to the event. She was being recognised for her comedic talents, not how well she could pull off a designer label.
In recent years I’ve ditched the pants only policy and ventured back into the world of skirts and dresses. It’s kind of fun getting a little dressed up and being a bit more feminine. But I think I’ll always be the pants girl – ugg boots optional.