Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The Body: What you Should Know

Behind this smile lies discomfort,
massive discomfort
Walking past TopShop the other day (naturally I didn't go in there - those detectors by the front door aren't to catch shoplifters, they're a magnetic field to repel anyone over the age of 35) I saw a picture of BeyoncĂ© wearing what I thought was a swimming costume.  But it wasn't a swimming costume, no, it was a fashion garment so terrible that it brings women like me out in a sweat: THE BODY.

As someone who wore a 'body' for many years (although only one photo survives - see right where I have teemed it with a PVC waistcoat c.1991) I feel that I must pass on the following advice to anyone considering such a purchase.

Things to know before you buy a body

1. They come with poppers.  At the crotch.  Like a baby-gro.  

This will cause one or all of the following:

  • The inability to do it up without either giving yourself a wedgie, trapping your pubic hair or (worse still) your skin.
  • The poppers to release themselves at an inopportune moment, causing the flaps to work their way up to the top of your waistband.  There is no 'tucking in' that will fix this.  You'll have to either excuse yourself or forgo all dignity and forage around in your trousers in the middle of a meeting / at the dinner table.

2. They make going to the toilet impossible

Watch that flap at the back!  It is specifically designed to be the optimal length to get dipped in the toilet / wee'd on.  If this happens you are either going to have to go topless or spend the rest of the day with a wet noonie.

Should you find yourself in that horrible position where there is no loo roll and you have to 'drip dry', doing the poppers up is especially tricky and potentially unpleasant.  What are you going to wipe your fingers on afterwards?  How are you going to unlock the door now you've got wee on your hands?

3. Sometimes you just forget....

Ever seen a woman wander out of a nightclub toilet with a flap of fabric hanging out of the back of her trousers?  Excessive refreshment makes doing up poppers between your legs either too much of a faff or you simply forget there is an extra bit of admin to do before you flush the chain and unlock the toilet door.

4. They will cause a fight between your breasts and your bum

If you've got a daughter involved in gymnastics then you will be fully versed with the 'picking leotard out of bum move'.  This is what you're letting yourself in for (and it's unlikely that you're going to look like a gymnast).  The body is an item of clothing that simultaneously pulls down your tits and carves its way across your buttocks making your backside look like a joint ready for roasting.   You could put on a Wonder Bra to counteract the dragging effect but this then creates a war between your extremities which will cause the gusset to become so taught it will unmercifully chafe your bits until you're forced to un-popper it.  At which point the back flap will come out and you'll have to clutch it between your legs like this....  

Could someone help me please?  My body has unpoppered itself...
Photo from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/36045466/beyonces-ivy-park-clothing-line-crashes-topshop-website

5. They make your life complicated

Do men wear these?  No they do not.  Why not?  Because they're a bloody pain!  The only way to make your fashion life more complicated would be to combine a body with a pair of dungarees. Nobody would do that would they?  Would they?  Aaaarggh!

Friday, 15 April 2016


Basingstoke: Guy Fawkes' Night 1986

A gang of children are hanging out in 'the woods' just in front of the old peoples home where local mothers put on pale blue housecoats and aprons to look after the oldies.

The bonfire has a plank running across the centre of it and boys are riding their bikes through the flames.  Children play catch with firelighters bought from the Co-Op - why pretend you've got a hot potato when you can hold real fire in your hands?  We are out in the dark, unsupervised.

A boy (one of a pair of local twins who I am "not allowed to play with") turns to me and asks "do you want one?".  He is tall and slim, thin lips parting to show sharp teeth as he offers a lit cigarette in his bony hand.  I am eleven and impressionable - I take it.

I put the cigarette in my mouth and suck - the smoke enters my mouth and I cough it out.  It's like eating the remnants of an ashtray (and I should know, having been caught doing exactly that as a baby), I hand the cigarette back and run away.

Woodley: Late 1995

It is late evening and I am cold.  I'm wearing a short silver A-line dress, shiny tights and patent black dolly shoes.  I'm going with a colleague to see a DJ at the After Dark Club but we stop at his local pub first to collect his friend.  The pub is full and I am out of place - my short denim jacket not adequately hiding the fact I am dressed for clubbing, not playing darts.  

I clutch the bottle of Becks that is offered to me and stand close to my colleague.  A man correctly observes that I am "not his girlfriend" but is assured via some choice words that I am there as a friend, not a bit on the side, and that I am not up for grabs.

The man we are waiting for arrives.  He has hair like Action Man, dark brown eyes and neat, straight teeth.  "I thought you were going to be a bloke", he says.  He offers me a Silk Cut and I am hooked.