Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Twiggy Who?

Yes, my mother, at the age of thirteen, did thicken Twiggy's hair, eyebrows and eyelashes, add freckles to her adorable little nose, and play a game of Dots and Boxes with those newly added freckles. How could she have known that Twiggy would remain an icon forty-five years from that day, and that her future daughter might like a pristine version of that famous face to post on her blog? It was simply unforeseen.
Yep, I am still hauling around my July 1967 McCall's, and, lucky you, you get to hear all about it. The cover story is Twiggy Who? by Jean Kerr. It's a tongue-in-cheek essay about, well, Twiggy's twigginess.  It's funny stuff, but I think it is indicative of how women  sometimes think and talk about other women.

Writes Kerr, "I do not go back as far as Lillian Russell, which will surprise my children, but I do remember the friendly 'forties, when we all admired the gorgeously cushioned contours of Ingrid Bergman and mini-skirts were worn only by girls under five. And by Scottish Bagpipers. It was a great time for a size fourteen* to be alive. Even girls who wore size sixteen were taken to dances and occasionally found husbands...I did not expect this age of felicity to last, and it didn't. I watched the fearful descent from substantial Ingrid to wiry Audrey and finally to Mia Farrow, knowing we were going from pillow to post, and I shuddered."

 Such a good photo spread by Otto Storch. I love Twiggy's pose and expression, as well as the cropping of this photo.
Kerr also refers to Twiggy as seeming like "a most delightful young boy." I know Twiggy is generally faulted with ushering in the fashion world's cult of thin, but I really like Twiggy's face and style. She sums up the swinging '60s for me, and I love the fashion! Despite my adoration of her style, I know I am never going to have Twiggy's figure. It is a difficult one to maintain (not even Twiggy maintained it as she matured into a woman - although she still looks great), and I never had it to begin with. I'm going to be honest here - I have fought my body for a long time, and I am tired of it. I am not perfect. I am not the ideal, and I just don't feel like judging myself anymore for not fitting somebody else's idea of perfection. Shoot, I don't feel like less of a woman simply because I am (a lot) more of a woman than Twiggy was in 1967.

Do you notice how Twiggy has wrinkles under her eye and around her mouth? How come faces in magazines have to be as smooth as babies' butts these days? P.S. Yes, the patterned earring is my mom's doing. In this case, I like the addition.
I am not saying I am working on letting myself and all beauty standards go. I am saying I am working on myself for myself, and I am okay with acknowledging that perfection is out of the question. Nor is it the goal (anymore). I know from personal experience that thin women can provoke envy and dissatisfaction with one's own self, but, truly, criticism doesn't make you feel better about yourself. We women have to deal with a lot of pressure, media and otherwise. We do not need to lambaste each other for what we have too much or too little of. Women come in all shapes and sizes. Let's celebrate each other!

Wishing you body love and booty confidence,

Alison :)

*Approximately a size 8 today.

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