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Hip, hip hooray
The hips don’t lie. You can jiggle the wonky scale on the uneven tiles on the bathroom floor until it co-operates with your fantasy. But when you throw on the cute pin-striped jacket with the top stitching but the skirt gets stuck somewhere between mid-thigh and the gluteus maximus, the hips will always speak the truth.
Mirrors lie, photographs too. And people are the worst.
“Does my butt look big in this?’’ is the most popular question in the world and it is always asked by women. Men ask, indirectly, about their belly, as in, “Like I buy the wrong size? How this shirt so tight? It too tight?’’
But men can take the truth better than women when it comes to fit and fat. Because society allows men to bulge here and there, and to get frayed at the edges. Women are still expected to be glam and fab even if they are busy saving the world.
When a woman asks a man, “Does my butt look big in this?’’ it takes real diligence to get the answer right—but if he has been paying attention, he will lie smoothly.
“You look good in anything, you could go naked and all,’’ is not bad in a moment of crisis.
But it could backfire badly.
A simple “No,’’ with one’s fingers crossed behind the back is probably the safest response. The sweet lie will lend temporary comfort...but the hips will betray us every time.
“Fit the largest part of you and then get the rest of the garment tailored,’’ proclaim Stacy London and Clinton Kelly on every issue of TLC’s What Not to Wear.
Sure, find me a tailor who will narrow the shoulders, shorten the sleeves and nip the waist on my jackets without ruining the garment and also deliver on time, on budget and without steupsing and grumbling while measuring my assets, as in “Gyul, wey you going with all dat size?’’ and I’ll show you an alien from another galaxy.
Who has the time, anyway! Women want to shop and wear—not shop, tailor, cry, wear.
While contemplating these imponderables one morning last week, and praying the seams in my skirt did not rebel, I found the best therapy for all the angst.
There she came, striding confidently in skyscraper platforms across the gleaming foyer of the Hyatt. The bombshell was wearing a sleeveless black top, bright blonde hair and animal-print tights that had been spraypainted onto three layers of her epidermis.
It was Miss Saucy herself, Denise Belfon, smiling like Sunday morning as her considerable dimensions rocked and rolled like a boat confronting the Caribbean underwater volcano Kick ‘em Jenny.
She looked as if she owned the world and the rest of us just had a short lease. No Spandex girdle, no Lycra shape-shifter would dare try to condense her proportions. Such bubbliciousness cannot and ought not to be contained.
The lesson? There are three:
Don’t give the hips a chance to gossip behind your back. Take in front.
Confidence is bigger than any number printed on the label on the waistband of any garment.
Dead or alive, you won’t catch me in anything remotely resembling animal-print tights.
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