Monday, 10 January 2011

Is Fake the New Chic?

Last weekend, I was invited to a "Super Hero" themed party. Never one to shy away from the opportunity to be the centre of attention, I immediately set about scouring e-bay for a costume that would transform me into my childhood hero, She-Ra (see pic).

In retrospect, my She-Ra obsession has become a template for my self perception in later years. She-Ra is from Amazonia, a land in which glamorous warrior women kicked-ass in an unapologetically feminine fashion. Strength and the hourglass were unanimous and their biceps were almost as large as their bosoms. "When I grow up" I said to myself "I shall exude aggressive and abundant womanliness and I shall smite anyone who attempts to make apologies for that. Hear me roar". (Or my child alterego equivalent, which was more likely "oooh, I love her a bit").

So, decked out in a beautiful whale boned pure white corset (purchased at ridiculously good value from Camden Market), a blonde wig and a plethora of white and gold accessories, I hit the town (accompanied by my sidekick Dangermouse aka BGF Jake).

As I did a passable impression of an unconcerned and casual type person on the escalator at Leicester Square Station, I began to realise that there were two things drawing particular attention. I expected people to stare - It's not exactly usual to see She-Ra on your average commute - But the corset had elevated my already frankly gigantic breasts by about 4 inches (I later used them as a chin rest in a sleepy drunken stupor). The corset was also a 26 inch waisted affair, meaning that, whilst my head was She-Ra, my body was more in the Jessica Rabbit style territory (I also couldn't breathe, I have a new found respect for Victorian women).

The club was filled with the sort of girls who could have found full time work as extras in "The Only Way is Essex". Thoroughly exuberant and rather charming, in their own distinct way, they were engaged in a silent but vigorous competition to see who could model the least fabric whilst technically being "dressed". Acres of tanned flesh, whitened teeth and surgical enhanced breasts bore down on me, as they all demanded to have their photos taken with me. All very fun, and handy practice should I ever find myself a fully fledged celebrity, but I was slightly bemused. Up until that point all I had heard was "oh my god! Oh my God" repeated ad infinitum in high pitched squeals. They were, surely, too young to remember She-Ra, so why the fascination? I channelled my former model self, smiled for the cameras and didn't question it. Their enthusiasm was infectious, and being draped in hot young totty made me the envy of every bloke in the room.

Later, in the loo, I had my answer. "Can I feel them?" one of the Hot Young Things enquired. Without waiting for a response herself and her tribe (she was clearly the Leader) bore down upon me and began an investigation of my 34Hs. "Who did them?" they demanded "how much were they?". "Erm, I hate to break this to you, ladies.....", I responded, "....but the rest of me is sucked in, the boobs haven't been pumped out".

"Oh my God they are AMAZING! They feel AND look fake" said The Leader. She seemed delighted with herself, as if she had just bestowed upon me the most prestigious of compliments. Which left me wondering - When did this baffling reversal of the collective mindset occur? When did "your real breasts looks fake" qualify as a compliment? I remember when "your fake breasts look real" was the observation everyone was chasing.

Worryingly, it seems that unnatural (fake) beauty is the new gold standard. This is a trend I and, I'm informed, a lot of men, would like to see reversed. It's a shame that the Hot Young Things were unable to see what I could - Girls brimming with warmth, friendliness, smiles, giggles and energy that was utterly captivating and had nothing to do with the inches of makeup they were also sporting. That was what made them attractive and it's a quality they can retain throughout their lives, without the assistance of botox.

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