‘People just don’t understand the pressure we’re under to look perfect’
On overhearing this from the young woman sitting behind us my friend D and I simultaneously choked on our frothy coffee. We were back in our favourite haunt – the nursery garden cafe, that haven of confectionary depravity and foliage fantasy.
Anyhoo, back to the poor young thing with the perfection complex. It’s not a new conundrum this pressure for perfection, D and myself grew up in the Jane Fonda era, we ‘felt the burn’ more times than a turkey at Thanksgiving. And if wrapping myself in bacofoil would make me look like Barbarella I’d have done it.
So I asked D – ‘who did you want to look like in those days?’
‘Olivia Newton John! Those lycra pants in Grease had a lot to answer for. Then there was the Physical video .. ‘
I wanted to be Jamie Lee Curtis in the movie Perfect. I pulled on my spandex and leg warmers and went to aerobics classes four times a week and once did 3 in one day – that resulted in the bad back I still have to this day! So much for Health & Safety, I now creak my way through yoga and pilates like the old bird that I am.
Then there was Christy Brinkley and Margaux Hemingway glowing from every magazine cover with their white teeth, tanned skin and surfer bodies. I’m praying the money I’ve lavished on my skin in later life will make up for the holidays spent sunbathing in baby oil! Kids these days should be grateful for the fake tan revolution that should literally save their skins ..
Even the ‘imperfect’ beauty of Lauren Hutton, with her banana nose and gap tooth smile, was so far out of reach for us mere mortals. We might not have had Instagram, Facebook and selfies but neither did we have Photoshop, that saviour of any girl over a certain age.
Hopefully women of today have more knowledge and common sense and can avoid our mistakes of the past. We are a whole generation needing hip replacements – thanks Jane Fonda!!