A memory that has stayed with me over the years is the special present my father gave my mother in 1975: the book ‘Superwoman’ by Shirley Conran. I was fascinated by her ideas and read it eagerly, discussing many of the issues with my mum.
We both started putting some of those suggestions into practice, and several have had a lasting influence. Four that stand out are: don’t dye your hair, don’t shave your legs, don’t paint your nails, don’t be a slave to fashion.
The idea was that cutting out these activities would save a lot of time that could more usefully be spent in other areas. Bar a few brief flirtations with the dyeing and painting, I have happily lived the last four decades in keep-it-simple mode.
This not a criticism of those who choose otherwise, rather an expression of something that has worked for me over the years. We are all different, and I know that many find great satisfaction and pleasure in pursuing the path of bodily and sartorial elegance.
I admire all the beautifully groomed women, yet I don’t feel the need to be the same. It simply is not high on my list. While I do enjoy the occasional special dress-up and looking as good as possible, I have to admit that for me comfort trumps elegance or fashion most of the time. Maybe I was just born that way…