The good thing about being in a heterosexual relationship, and to be honest finding the virtues is sometimes like clutching at straws, is that men will always be honest about what you look like, in particular what you choose to wear – sometimes to a fault. An enormous, confidence-bashing fault. Female friends, on the other hand, will tell you non-stop bear-face lies, without even batting an eyelid; even if you look worse than a washed up beached whale…in drag. I’ve realised that as a rule, when it comes to fashion, men will tell you how something really looks and women will go out of their way to deceive you – just to save face.
I’m not trying to take the moral high-ground here, I have lied to my friends on countless occasions so not to offend them. Did I think that dress was too risqué for a sit-down dinner event? Hell yes, it was too risqué for a neon-lit strip joint, but would I ever have said that? Of course not. Men on the contrary will never hold-back. Only this morning, as I left for work in what I thought was a very de-rigueur waist-high skirt and soft orange blouse did The Boy raise his ugly head (still resting soundly on the pillow may I add), to tell me I was one name-tag away from being an Easy Jet air stewardess. Wonderful. Just what I wanted – to be wearing an accidental uniform having spent nine years as a waitress trying to get out of one. It’s not the first time he’s come out with such quips either, in the past I’ve also been told my attire resembled that of a 1950s school girl and my favourite bouffant skirt could also double as a lampshade.
It’s not that my other half is a nasty, inconsiderate moron (ahem), it’s just he has that wonderful knack that all men have of coming out with totally honest (presumably meant to be harmless) off-the-cuff remarks at the most inconvenient of times, but it’s actually pretty great. If my friends I visited in London at the weekend had taken the time to tell me I was wearing the most ridiculous fitting bra, I wouldn’t have to now endure a lifetime of tagged Facebook photos looking like I have an entire sock drawer stuffed down my top. And maybe I wouldn’t have gone through the whole of Sixth Form colour-coordinating every single item of clothing if one of my good friends had had the decency to tell me I looked more like a walking shop display than the trend-setting fashionista I imagined in my head. I do recall one male-friend once commenting that he’d be voting me as ‘Most Stylish Girl in the Year’ but seven years on, I realise he was being oh-so-slightly sarcastic. He was one man too subtle for me; I obviously need the absolute harsh truth if it’s going to take effect.
This does raise the question as to which approach is most constructive? Honest yet brutal, or dishonest but kind? To be truthful, if any one of my (girl)friends ever came out with the kind of judgemental comments my boyfriend/brother/dad makes, I’d probably feel inclined to storm off in an overly-exaggerated ‘I’m hurt’ huff. Granted, there’s something refreshing about the blunt-truth but then we all like to feel good about ourselves and a few white lies here and there can achieve this. Perhaps we don’t really need one more than the other – perhaps the balance is just right as it is? Take the good with the bad and continue to wear what we want because let’s face it, if you like it, what else matters? I’ll try to remember this the next time The Boy rolls over in his slumber and makes a remark which has me running around in an angry, semi-naked panic, trying to find something else to wear, thus missing my train and ruining my entire day/life.
Image courtesy of alloy.com