spacer
The Vacuum - Issue 17 - Fashion spacer The Vacuum - Issue 17 - Fashion
The Fashion of Youth
by Bitsy Sonamabiche
spacer
Staring blearily in the mirror on Sunday morning, I caught an incredulous glimpse of them. There they were, lurking insidiously below my mascara-smeared eyelids - my very first wrinkles. A long night of whisky, fags and shaking my booty had caused them to blossom grimly in the hours before dawn. Never slow to slide into existential angst, I felt a bit overcome by this raw evidence of my own mortality. As the German philosopher Heidegger remarked, we are all beings-towards-death, set inevitably on our individual trajectories towards the unknown. But at least Heidegger didn't have to worry about the prospect of saggy tits.
spacer
It's these mingled feelings of dread and desperation at their quickly-evaporating physical charms that cause women to spend a fortune on age and gravity defying potions: you know, the ones that promise to firm and tone all your flubbery bits. A less well documented phenomenon is that of the thirty- (and indeed forty-) something women who fight the ravages of time by putting their hair in pigtails, or pinning their fringe back with a sweet lickle butterfly clip. The unspoken logic is that the winning cuteness of their accessories will confer the bloom of youth on their faces and bodies. Sometimes it works, if it's done carelessly and un-self-consciously. More often, it just makes them look like prematurely-aged - and rather anxious - five-year-olds.
spacer
The infantilising tactics of these baby-women actually emphasise, rather than play down, their age. There's something not a little heart-breaking in seeing intelligent, beautiful women whose faces show their experience going through the motions of fey girlishness. It all looks a bit effortful. And it has one hell of a dumbing-down effect. If you're over thirty, why not try it at home? Borrow a sparkly plastic clip from your daughter/sister/niece, pop it in your hair and experience the instant brain-numbing effect. I guarantee you won't be able to think of a single interesting remark. You'll just simper and flutter your eyelashes coyly. You might feel a bit of a lisp coming on.
spacer
One of the other challenges the inexorable march of time presents women with is the maintenance of a sufficiently taut fanny. Mothers especially will know what I mean. Squeezing blooming great babies through a 10cm aperture can wreak havoc with one's personal elasticity. Fortunately, a strict regime of pelvic floor exercises can whip your bits back into shape. But fear about the continued youthful exuberance of one's nether regions can strike at any time. Many desperate women resort to using special tiny vaginal weights to strengthen and tone this vital area. So now your yoni can go to the gym too.
spacer
The saddest part is that the older women get, the more the flush of youth seems utterly desirable, and the harder and harder it is to achieve. What was effortless beauty at seventeen, at thirty-five or forty takes a great deal more work to achieve - and it never looks as good. Wouldn't it be wonderful if more women didn't feel the need to cling desperately on to the remnants of girlhood but instead were encouraged to celebrate the delights of an experienced face and body? But hey - I'm only thirty. I've all this ahead of me in the next decade. I may find I'm willing to sell my soul in exchange for a fresh dewy complexion once more wrinkles start appearing in the bathroom mirror. But I promise never to resort to wearing plastic heart-shaped clips in my hair. Ever.
spacer
spacer
home | information | issues | artists & writers | columns | reviews
spacer