At dinner the other night, we were talking about how we got together with our boyfriends and girlfriends. About what attracted us to the other and what we did to impress them. My story was unusual. Whilst being hopelessly attracted to Mr Connection, I had decided that he was damaged, had baggage and that it wasn’t a good idea to get involved with him. My own baggage played a role in this decision. So in those crazy weeks I did what seemed natural to me… I dressed down and tried to look less attractive. Of course, it didn’t work since he was too busy picturing me naked. Then when we started dating, I purposely did not shave legs, wear pretty undergarments or make-up. It’s what I do. But my male friend asked me (and my female friends generally agree), why wouldn’t I try to present myself in the best light? Why wouldn’t I want to give those hints that I was interested and to appear primped and eager?
This is when I get confused. I don’t exactly know. Something about appearing keen, such as dressing up for a date or wearing sexy lingerie, makes me feel vulnerable. Particularly if he notices and thinks it might be intentional. It would probably make him feel good about himself but somehow it feel I would lose power or display weakness. Whereas, if I appear to not have tried (even if I am actually trying to appear that way), then I still retain my dignity.
I have no qualms about brushing my teeth in preparation for some kissing. Hygiene is of utmost importance so I always make efforts to smell nice. BO or bad breath are the biggest turn-off.
I do feel strange reactions thinking about my dressing down. It feels sad and kind of fake. When I was a teenager, I wore lots of fun and flimsy clothes or outrageous “Emo” (we called it Gothic) clothing. Fashion was fun and I was easily able to deflect unwanted attention. In fact, I revelled in the attention. Then something changed and I became more body conscious, hiding underneath baggy clothes. Then I became older, choosing modest, bland pieces.
But I wore those outfits for me. I never had any luck with men since I was way too shy. The way I dressed never got me a boyfriend. In fact, I was rejected a couple of times. It seems that being able to hold a conversation, be interesting, answer a question, perhaps be funny… is more important than wearing a skimpy number.
Nowadays, I wear workwear much of the time (actual tradespersons workwear or uniform). Jeans and shirts outside of work. Occasionally I dress up. I don’t feel very feminine or goddess-like in my work clothes. Comfortable clothing is sensible for my outdoorsy lifestyle and for the cool weather we get here. Still, I’m aware that it affects how I feel about my femininity and miss the sense of honouring myself with clothes.
Regarding men, the ones I’ve known have never seemed to notice much about what I’ve worn. They are Australian Men, after all. If I’ve worn fancy lingerie, it’s been unnoticed. Dresses and make-up not commented on. Even whether my body is hairy or hairless doesn’t seem to warrant much attention. Certainly not enough to make an effort for a fella. It has to be for me. And I’m mostly a practical kinda gal… except when I go on holiday and suddenly express a desire to wear all those new unworn items in my wardrobe that are impractical and uncomfortable…
I guess I’ve known all along that what I do with my exterior is really mostly for me. Fitting in with society somewhat, being as groomed or as dishevelled as I choose, finding ways to be comfortable and to let my inner goddess shine forth. I just need to be comfortable with being who I am, the choices I make and being true to myself. I don’t need to make more effort, I just need to be okay with my decisions. And if I feel like a make-over or getting dolled-up, that’s okay too. I’d like to be more comfortable with rejection and not be so worried about what others think of me. I’m getting there.