I was told recently by a well-meaning ex-boyfriend that I look much slimmer without clothes. With clothes on, apparently, I look a bit overweight. Without them, I have a good figure. Another friend says that I hide under my clothes and am afraid to reveal the good parts of my body! So I was whisked off by friend no. 3 to consult a personal shopper in John Lewis.
I’d like to think that I’m a spiritual person and that clothes don’t matter that much. It’s not what’s on the outside that counts, I tell myself, but what’s in my heart.
My friend Alison is a very spiritual person but she always looks amazing too. She recently gave a talk on loving kindness at the yoga centre in Hebden Bridge. I realised that I’m not always kind to myself: I sometimes eat bad food, I don’t always exercise enough and certainly don’t love myself.
When I say “love myself”, I don’t mean in an arrogant way, thinking that I’m better than others. I mean thinking that I’m as good as the next person. Jesus said love your neighbour as yourself – the implication being that we should love ourselves too.
Perhaps looking after my appearance is part of that self-love too, I thought whilst I waited for Sarah, the personal shopper in John Lewis, to come back with some clothes. Getting divorced and then remaining single for several years has knocked my confidence a bit, I reflected as Sarah came back with her arms full of garments for me to try.
The first item she gave me was a pair of white, cropped jeans. I don’t wear white things, I thought, as I always end up spilling coffee or red wine on them. I have short, fat legs so wearing cropped things is a no-no and as for the size of the jeans – they were tiny. I was never going to look good in them.
Of course, I did. Sarah was right. The jeans fitted and I looked good – and more to the point, felt good – wearing them. She produced tops to go with them, then a lovely dress and a pair of conventional blue jeans. I bought the best items and came home feeling on top of the moon.
“Now you need a new hairstyle to match!” said the ex-boyfriend again. The cheek, I thought. I’ve only just had my hair done!
But then I went online and had a little play on a website called DailyMakeover.com. If new clothes could make me feel so much happier, how about a new hairstyle?
And here are the results! Care to help me choose….?
And here are the various options: