'So I Turned Myself To Face me, But I've Never Caught A Glimpse'

Tuesday 19 September, 2000

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. Time for a new look.

In my old job, as the voice of youth for Swizzle.com, I dressed as befits a cutting edge teen style diva. Words - nay, even pictures cannot convey the panache, the elan, of my daily working ensemble. But for you, dear reader, I shall try.

Firstly, on rising from my divan, tossing the hand-embroidered throw aside (careful not to awaken the teenage boy sleeping off the previous night's debauchery beside me): the socks and t-shirt I have been sleeping in all night.

Then, a long black skirt. Under this, some glittery Top Shop legwarmers. No bra, because bras can be damn uncomfortable when hunched over a computer, (yes, yes, even the 100 turquoise net and satin Agent Provocateur ones). Sometimes knickers, depending on the boy. Then, over the whole caboodle, a big fluffy belted cardigan liberated from Warehouse at Gatwick Airport in my shoplifting phase.*

Thus bundled against the cold, I'd cram my trusty leopardskin slippers onto the end of my toes, and commence the 'generation' of a big ol' bundle of teentastic copy. When your employer is in America, and you are in South London, you can do this. Actually, considering the general level of American style, you can probably do this when you're both in America, too.

But now, I am in England, and so is my potential employer. So I am trying a kind of magic. Since I will probably have to leave the house for my new job, I am attempting to look like the kind of person for whom leaving the house presents no style dilemmas at all. I want to resemble the kind of person who strides around all confident and tough, and gets paid shitloads of money to write devastatingly funny articles and to not do any photocopying, answering the phone, or making the tea. Therefore, I am trying to dress the way I imagine that kind of person would dress. And it doesn't involve being bundled up like a big sausage.

So, right now my legs are wearing woollen over-the-knee socks and my new tough boots. My skirt is made of a stiff grey cotton drill and sticks out at a jaunty angle, like a capital A falling from my hips. My top is an old Karen Savage t-shirt I got from a chazza and hacked the sleeves off. It's got a pixellated picture of Marilyn Monroe's face on the front, so I feel it's very appropriate for the new persona. And if the skirt gets tugged down over my hips a little, a tiny strip of tummy is revealed. This strip is probably very traumatising for everyone else, but to my mind it looks - cheeky. As you can see, I am also striving to achieve male levels of self-esteem and self delusion. This will enable me to apply for jobs I won't get and to demand rates of pay far beyond my worth.

(That said, I notice that these aforementioned high levels of male self-esteem are slowly being eroded by magazines like Men's Health, which dissect the male physique as surely as women's mags have dissected the female form for decades. Now I can be as picky as any lad, should I so choose. I am armed with a whole new vocabulary, a whole range of impossible standards I can require a potential partner to meet. Just as males can demand 'cellulite free thighs' in a paramour, now I can require properly defined 'iliac crests' before any stud muffin gets his face between my thighs. Sorry, I've just got high standards, lads. No 'uglies' round my way, thanks. (In my new men's mag persona, I firmly believe all those I class as 'uglies' to be weeping at their missed opportunity for intercourse with moi. Fat belly, big thighs, and all. They're all gaggin' for it, you know. Serious. Guys dig that shit.**))

But I digress. Tough, cool, confident: that's the look. No matter that it does not suit me. No matter that the imaginary content producer would no doubt have that cute l'il fringe that all trendy girls have, not this unfashionably curly mass. No matter that she'd be thin as string by whatever method it is that the Shoreditch Sourpusses employ in order to stay skeletal (something to do with Shoreditch clubs' innovative scratch'n'sniff toilet cisterns, methinks.) No matter that, should I meet her, I'd probably be dreaming of giving her Chinese burns and pulling her fashionably flat hair out by the roots. No matter that I'd hate her, that she is probably a moral and spiritual vacuum seeking to fill the emptiness with a jumble of Evisu jeans, tin scooters, little dogs and Eighties t-shirts. No matter; for at least she has a job, and therefore, I want to be her. Just for a little while.

I'll let you know if I manage it.


*(I smuggled the stolen cardigan across to Amsterdam, not anticipating the blind panic of paranoia I'd find myself in, midair, as I imagined the security guards somehow knew where I was going and had radioed across to the Dutch security men, telling them to apprehend the redhead with the cat-eye glasses in the suspiciously bulky-looking fit'n'flare coat. They didn't, though.)

**Should you require proof of this attitude (in reverse, natch), check out the FHM website, which has a game for the boys to play where they must cross the street avoiding 'uglies' and are guaranteed 'uglies-free' lists of the worlds most beautiful women. You go, boys! No, really. Just go.


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