Here is Becky wearing her red dress:
Becky loves her red dress. She’s pretty tall and she stands taller when she’s wearing it.
But someone has pointed out that red is not Becky’s colour…..
“What if I’ve got it wrong? What if I’ve been going round all this time in my beloved dress, and it actually looks shit?”
What, indeed? I reiterate: she doesn’t look shit. But apparently it’s not mine – or even Becky’s – opinion that matters. Becky wants to know what’s ‘right’.
It frustrates me that anyone should be worrying about looking ‘right’. How come there are ‘wrong’ ways to look? Why – for example – is it ‘good’ to look ‘youthful’ in a world where aging is the only thing everybody has in common? Our very culture sets people up for failure.
Anyway. Where were we? Becky’s red dress.
Becky has a solution. She’s going to get her ‘Colours Done.’
That means, she’s found a person prepared to relieve her of quite a lot of cash and drape her with different cloths and tell her which colours are ‘right.’
She is Facebook-fishing for people to go with her.
FFS. I am a strong independent feminist whose confidence is Defintiely Not connected to what I look like. Becky should be like that, too.
My reply is regrettable: I am so scathing that I temporarily forget to reply considerately. Then I remember something. My best-dressed Auntie suggested I got my colours done……
While I hesitate, Bea clears her throat.
Bea is a woman who can always defend her position in an argument. Which must be useful because she has some pretty radical positions. But I wasn’t expecting this:
‘My parents bought me my ‘colours’ as an eighteenth birthday present.
It was possibly the best gift they could have given me.’
Bea says that she spends very little time shopping because she goes straight for the Right colours. She never buys things that she later regrets because she buys the Right Colours.
Moreover, she says she looks great in everything she wears, because she wears the Right Colours.
I nearly fall off my chair. Mostly in admiration. Bea publicly admits that she looks good? Is this a real, live woman talking?
But back to colours.
It is undoubtedly true that some colours suit some people better than others. Even I can see that. A quick google shows that Bea does seem to choose colours that compliment her and perhaps this is linked to the fact that she looks good.
Further, Bea says, ‘Whatever you think about the woo-woo world of colours, I enourage you to support a friend who chooses to invest in herself. She is worth it.’
There is an arugment here. Maybe society shouldn’t make such a ‘thing’ of people’s appearances, but it does. Appearances matter to Bea and Becky. There is no point saying ‘they shouldn’t’: you can’t tell a person what to feel.
So if Becky can hand over some cash and come away feeling that she has done something nice for herself – if it gives her confidence in her wardrobe akin to Bea’s – then perhaps it might be a good use of money?
In fact, what’s my problem? Someone’s going to suggest that Becky picks colours off the clothing rail that compliment her features, not tell her she’s inadequate or should change her weight or inject toxins into her face. Perhaps having your colours done isn’t a slur on feminism…
My sticking point is still the implication that Becky’s current taste in dresses might be labelled inadequate, or ‘wrong.’
This person who ‘does’ your colours – what do you call them, anyway? ‘Colourist’ is a different thing. The ‘Expert’? The ‘Rainbow’? The ‘Oracle’? – how is their opinion ‘right?’ Surely colour is an aesthetic judgement?
I try asking Bea what would have happened if, in a parallel universe, they’d handed her a ‘wrong’ shade of blue as she’d walked out of the door. Would she have led a less successful life?
It’s a difficult question to answer; Bea says she knows intuitively if her colours are ‘off.’
So I try my other criticism of Bea’s arguments: is she sure she doesn’t look good for some other reason? Because of her hair-cut or her figure or her confident stance or because of being in love or because of her engaging eye-contact? Or even the confidence that believing her colours are right has given her?
Bea says that despite all this, she’d look ill wearing beige. Or orange.
Orange isn’t my colour either. My favourite running-top is orange and I know it clashes with my face, espcially when I turn red after a couple of miles. But I wear it because I like it and I defy anyone to say I look ‘wrong’. Wearing my orange top doesn’t damage my self esteem.
So maybe I, too, would benefit from knowing what colours were deemed to suit me best? Even if I still decided to wear orange…..
“How much is it?” asks hubby.
I look at the numbers on the screen.
“I’m not telling you,” I say.
Only stupid people never change their minds in an argument. My curiosity has been piqued and I am going to get my colours done with Becky. Perhaps I will become radicalised: perhaps I will come back discussing ‘better’ or ‘worse’ or ‘my’ or ‘not my’ colours. Using phrases like ‘Spring moving through to Summer.’ But maybe I might learn something, too.
As Bea says, ‘I want to be the best version of myself that I can be.’
Yet no matter whether the Oracle says, there is one thing on which I won’t be moved.
it will always be my opinion that Becky looked fab in this dress: