Saturday, 28 November 2009

Here come the girls

Groan. It’s that time of year again, when we young, sprightly females are supposed to get all excited about the impending party season and start planning a vast wardrobe of outfits. Or, if we’ve been following the tips from the exceptionally condescending Gok Wan and from various women’s magazines and shop windows, we will be very busy building a sort of ‘capsule work-party wardrobe’ that can take us effortlessly ‘from office to bar’ with just the addition of some damagingly high heels and an itty-bitty clutch purse.

YUCK. Yes, the adverts on telly have started, showing gaggles of 20-something women all looking essentially the same, tarting up in tulip dresses of various colours, hair straightened, pins polished, trotting along to a Christmas party. “This is your time, gals!” the adverts seem to scream. “Get your legs out and have a little dance!”

I hate this. I hate it because it suggests that we are all the same woman. And that woman is trapped at her desk in her office all year round, wearing her work clothes, having a boring, repetitive life, until she gets released and becomes her ‘real self’ or, as one advert says, her ‘party me’.

Look, I like a party as much as the next woman. I even like getting dressed up and feeling glamorous. Of course I do. But I totally object to this image of young womanhood that seems to become prevalent around Christmas, showing us all giggling and wobbling about and thinking about nothing but sparkly clothes and hair, as though the rest of the year has been a constant round of serious tedium.

For me, the build-up to Christmas seems like the worst possible time to go out to more parties than usual. I mean, for one thing it’s blinking freezing outside. Gok Wan wants me to show flesh in a little dress? I can’t see that looking very attractive when my knees start trembling with the chill. The girls who do fall for the image of the ‘party girl’ are the ones we see teetering about town centres with no coats on – because they don’t want to waste their tequila money on a club’s cloakroom fee! Gosh, whenever I see one of those girls I just want to rush over and wrap my big coat around her.

For another thing, television is so good around Christmas. Who wants to go out in an uncomfortable outfit, stalking around in the cold, spending loads of money, when you could be snuggling down for Strictly Come Dancing, The X Factor or I’m a Celebrity...?

In my world, the Christmas season has no room for partying. Far from wanting to slip into some killer dress and go out and seduce, my aim is to thoroughly indulge from the comfort of my own home: eat lots of fabulous, seasonal food, drink well, sleep well, enjoy the company of my family, and keep warm. Ho ho ho. Read more by Maddie.