Last weekend a friend of my beloved told me I was “dating my own reflection”. “Doppelbangers”. It’s not the first time someone as made this hilarious observation, as everyone from our friends to my mum has taken pleasure in pointing out all our similarities. On a recent date a barman asked us if we were related.
Much as I do love self, vain as I am etc etc, I am really not on board with the assertion that I have decided to date my mirror image. I cannot deny that the two of us are white, brunette, of a similar height, weight and hairstyle… But the same is true for no small proportion of my office. I think the key clincher here is that a year ago no-one would have commented on our uncanny mutual resemblance, because the defining similarity here is not of appearance but of aesthetic: we dress the same.
Up until the beginning of this year I had found myself increasingly disenchanted with my general looks. It probably had root in being bereaved and depressed when I first started university; I was barely leaving my room and subconsciously felt like noone was looking at me anyway, so I found it easier not to care. It seemed inevitable that making an effort with my appearance could yield little reward, and dressing comfortably in baggy jumpers and Converse was a lot simpler than risking looking in the mirror. And yes, perhaps this attitude is better than agonising over what to put on every morning a la Clueless, or my entire income going straight into my wardrobe, but it’s also really not much fun. Not being particularly fussed with what you look like can certainly indicate an unshakeable self-confidence and freedom from the weight of other people’s opinions, but it can also mean the exact opposite; despairing over your ability to look good to the point of complete apathy.
I don’t think any of these truths are self-evident – I simply state them with the benefit of hindsight, wearing the smug opposites of rose-tinted spectacles as I relish feeling aesthetically-pleasing. In my penultimate term at university I bought a pair of heeled boots, and started feeling a lot better about myself. I’ve found clothes I like, that feel good and look good. I got a nose piercing, which is bloody troublesome but made me feel unprecedentedly cool as soon as it went in, and my wardrobe has become an offensive melange of bright colours and too many clashing patterns. I could attribute it all to leaving studenthood behind and forging a new identity for myself, but really the change in attitude is down to a multiplex of reasons (namely losing weight, living with people who go out of their way to tell me how good Im looking all the time, and also, begrudgingly, dating someone who really gives a damn about what they’re wearing).
Either way, life’s big question remains: how many wavey garms is too many wavey garms?
That’s one secret I’ll never tell. XOXO