This year, has been a year of dressing up. I don’t think I ever had so many different outfits. Then again, I had fairly good reasons for wearing them.
In April I dusted off, arguably what will always be my favourite sari. It’s Imperial, Cadbury purple and always make me smile. It is also swooshes fabulously on a dance floor when busting a move to Bon Jovi.
Then came the annual international conference of the Association of Teachers of Psychology in July. Every year, I have a think about the dresses for conference, for the gala dinner amongst everything. It is always a great event, dressing up is part of the excitement. I clearly have a thing about vintage inspired swing dresses, so purple was factored in. The came the gala dinner. This was different. I actually wore an Indian outfit, and liked it.
And blimey, it’s been an Indian outfit summer. The weather certainly helped with a massive, Bollywood wedding. A family event that was nearly a year in the planning. With it came the outfits. Quite a few outfits.
So let’s put this into context.
I’ve never done that before. Having these outfits for the wedding, was a big deal. From not being silver-I’ve been going grey since 16, I’m mid thirties now-so having to go back to being raven haired, to wearing outfits that only exist in movies. Outfits that tall, beautiful, model types wear.
I woke up at half two to have my hair and make up done. Looked in the mirror at six, nearly scared myself. That woman in the photos, she really doesn’t look like me.
‘Wow, you look different.’
‘Punam, that you? I almost didn’t recognise you.’
That, that is a big point.
I don’t do glamour. I don’t do hair, make up, eyelashes and swooshing skirts.
But for that day, I felt like a princess. I was still me beneath it all, that’s for certain.
I am not what you see in the Indian bridal mags. That’s an uncomfortable thought, when the world around us is based up on physical appearance. What we look like, is what we get judged on.
Three days after the wedding, I had a massive hair cut. I’ve not coloured my hair since either. I actually got ID’d when my hair was black. It’s been a struggle, trying to defend why I don’t dye my hair. There is sadness too, what with the ID’ing; to look that bit younger. Having silver hair as woman, is viewed as being negative. For a man, not really a problem.
Being me whilst wearing all those of outfits has been incredibly important and still is.