Monday, 23 November 2009

Day Six

I thought that Friday night, out on the tiles like a true Brighton Girl would have been the worst point of my week.

Then I thought, perhaps, it would have been those first ten minutes of waking when I remembered drinking quite a bit of liquid courage before standing on a train station, then in a restaurant, then walking up a hill…

But no, really not the worst of it.

The requirements for the day were to get up to London to see various people at various galleries. No casual casual (so no velour) more, sort of smart casual so, 8 inch flippy sort of mini (which, I have discovered actually does flash my derriere a little bit when I walk) boob tube and blazer (ok, I probably shouldn’t have been allowed the blazer, but it was bloody cold.)

As I left the house my parents actually seemed to think I might get assaulted on the way there. Or back. And I don’t really blame them, I stand out a bit in November.

In a decidedly anti-Jordan mode I wandered around the Modernist wonder that is a big black box in the Tate, and it was good. Or something.

Heading along the Strand there began looks as people emerged from their early morning fug and actually made eye contact with the orangeness that is my face. I was beginning to be judge- I don’t really know why, if people were judging, they weren’t judging me, per se, just the person I’m dressing up as. It wasn’t pleasant, but it wasn’t so horrific as to make me run and hide.

Maybe, I console myself, I look a bit like an actress in-between shows, or a presenter, or a member of Girls Aloud. Maybe not.

Running into a very conservative friend dressed in tweed (you can’t make it up) I automatically shout and run up. A good five seconds of confusion and concern (familiar voice but unfamiliar look) fill his face before he works out who I am. Then he laughs at my hair, and pretty much doesn’t stop laughing from there.

Continuing across the trashier tourist parts of town before hitting Bond Street I realise that, with my classier(?) St Tropez tan, curled hair and a big pair of shades, I can just about pull off a Continental glamour look, from afar at least. And I don’t stand out. I am part of the crowd.

Surely this defies the point of the look- to spend hours each day preening and buffing and polishing and planning outfits, just so you look normal. How far away from natural has our population gone? I’m not the bizarre, instead I am, seemingly mundane- really, this is far more disturbing than I thought.

At the Wallace Collection I am met by my cool Aunt who tells me I look like a tramp. But I seem to recall that being a term of endearment from her. Certainly observing Gainsborough’s and a truly shoddy collection of daubings by Hirst I felt observed by the masses. If only Damian was better with a paintbrush.

At a the Selfridge’s Clinique counter, normally a bastion of sensible natural make up, the counter-girl literally screamed when I explained to her what I was doing, and promptly discussed all the intimacies of the Price-Andre-Crossdressingbloke liasons that she had gleaned from this week’s Reveal magazine, and declared her undying love for my lashes. She even collected work colleagues to come and listen to me and look at my makeup. There was love all around for my eyelashes, the excess bronzer, my dexterity with the fake tan. And not one of them thought I looked odd, or thought what I was doing was odd. Admittedly this was a makeup counter, but it was a classy one. I tried to explain that my foundation was NC40, and that Mac only went up to 55, surely this can’t be right? On the upside they gave me LOADS of free skincare to sort out my tortured epidermis beneath the slap as the lash glue is making my eyelid peel.

Strangely, no man I’ve spoken to will admit to fancying her (or me for that matter.) The men who wolf whistle and shout, well admittedly I don’t want to ask, but I suspect that if I walked over and offered them a date/ snog etc that they’d probably run away. Surely the whole brand that is Katie Price was marketed at men? I’ve realised that the people who really like my look are women who are trying to buy into it themselves. From selling sex to men to selling sexuality back to women. Is this post-feminism?

Drinks were fine although was told I look like I’m “30, with something to hide.” I’m surprised as I tend to get ID with makeup on as I look like I’m young but wearing my mother’s make-up to look older. That said I get ID-ed without make-up to. Regardless, this is the oldest anyone has ever described me. Of course Pricey is only 33 herself, but uses a weekly dermabrasion and botox as a way of balancing out those daily sunbeds. I am still thoroughly upset until I finish my second martini that is. And suddenly it seems quite funny.

From here I head on to a dinner party, where, I realise, my charming host has absolutely no idea about my week as Katie. I can’t lie, I feel a little sick. Especially when I realise that I’m not going to know everyone there, and first impressions are so terribly important. Prepping round my cousin’s copious additional bronzer is applied, fishnets are thrown on with my heels as I need to make my outfit ‘distinctive’ (I could have gone for Pricey’s popular one sock look, but thought that I didn’t want to look silly.) The three sets of lashes are still fluttering and off we go.

Praise Yaweh, Buddah, Allah and anyone else who’d like to take credit for making it Halloween. I am, just about, able to get away with the walk from door to car without being solicited as apparently the world and his dog are wearing minis, glitter and fishnet tonight.

I am, it must be said, very lucky to know so many men who are so beautifully well brought-up. ‘Ah, you’re hair’s a little different’ was the worst thing said to me by the host who looked totally bemused, then flummoxed and then ran off to the kitchen before I could explain. Possibly to cry into some lamb.

As I step forward to introduce myself to the other guests I begin to suspect that in heels my skirt doesn’t just flip up at the back. There is real fear in their eyes. Even after explaining the whole stupid premise the suspicion remained. As if halfway through my merlot the sound system would spark to life and tassels would start flying in a clock-wise direction. I can’t say I blame them. The whole thing is farcical, and I can honestly say I wanted the ground to swallow me up.

It take a bottle of wine before the air relaxes, or rather I drank a bottle before I felt relaxed, which is almost the same thing really, isn’t it?

Certainly around the table no-one liked my look, the phrase ‘vulgar and disgusting’ was used, although in all honesty I’m not sure if that was directed at me personally or the general appearance and attitude of my muse.

Surely all the times this look is justified by Miss Price and she claims not to give a damn- well I can’t believe she doesn’t. In fact, to look like this in all sincerity I can’t believe that you are not either incredibly na├»ve (which I am sure she’s not) or deeply savvy and manipulative.

Whether or not the girls who will, invariably, copy her style will realise what they look like (starts with ‘p’ and rhymes with ‘frostitute’) I don’t know. But it certainly splits opinion.

All I can say is thank goodness for red wine otherwise I may have just had to skulk into a corner and die.

The result: a day of two halves, venerated by lots of girls, and totally destroyed by everyone else.

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