Z removes her clothes in public

It should have snowed, and Ro said that it was snowing in Norwich when he left work, but it’s a cold, bleak rain here tonight. If it freezes, as is forecast, the roads will be treacherous. The Sage went to visit his friend in hospital and I asked him not to be too long as the roads could be nasty – he was dismissive at the time, but arrived home in good time, as he had found that he agreed with me after all.

Dilly and I took the children swimming this afternoon, after a morning in Norwich. They both enjoyed it. Pugsley hasn’t been often before as it’s not that easy managing two together. I have suggested (blimey, I’m a fool) that I might take him along on Wednesday afternoons when I’m looking after him during Squiffany’s dancing lesson. I don’t like swimming pools much, but I can do it. And after all, then I can pretend I’m taking exercise. I’m considering going along on my own account, but the pool’s at the top of a hill – okay, a Suffolk hill, which is not exactly exacting, but it’s a bit much for me as yet.

Elizabeth, a sporty friend of mine, was giving a lesson in a roped-off length of the pool. I shuddered at the sight of these vigorous little children, all getting their hair wet and everything. They seemed to like it.

I wanted to buy a belt as my clothes are settling a few inches lower than usual. It’s remarkable how big most belts are. I’m not exactly small, but many of them would go round me twice. In the end, I found some on the market, labelled 24″-30″, £3 each or two for £5. I put one on, it fitted, I bought two. A lifetime’s supply, unless my waist diminishes below 24″. Which seems to be considered tiny now, but was par for the course in my young day.

14 comments on “Z removes her clothes in public

  1. Chairwoman of the bored

    Yes! I’m always telling Katie that the average British girl had a waist between 24″ and 26″ when I was young, and dragging out old photos of my friends and I wearing weird stuff to prove it.

    And we weren’t sticks either. We all went in and out. Bigger girls went in and too. Curvy meant curvy, and was a compliment, and plump meant a little bit bigger than average, was often prefaced by ‘pleasantly’, and was certainly not code for obese.

    Thank you for allowing me to rant.

  2. Dandelion

    Ah yes, chair, but in those days, clothes had higher waists. “Waist” really meant waist. But these days are the days of the ultra-low-rise hipster jean.

    Also, in those days, people wore a little light corset-type underwear thingybobby, which of course made them go in-and-out a little more than one might otherwise do.

    I just don’t want our modern day girls to feel…wrong.

  3. Dave

    I love the way the weed implies your readers were around in the Victorian era, by the style of the underwear they wore (after all, the 20’s, when Z actually grew up, was the era of the flappers, who apparently had neither waist nor bust).

    I think I had a 24″ waist once. I was a teenager then.

  4. Chairwoman of the bored

    dandelion, I, and other girls of my age, stopped wearing ‘corsetry’ when we stopped wearing stockings and started wearing tights. I was about 20 at the time, and I still had a 25″ waist. If I wore a tight belt, I could comfortably pull it in to 23″.

    And I was not thin. If you see pictures of 50s/60s young women wearing swimsuits, you will see that they have flat stomachs and small waists without being corseted. Shapes have just changed.

    I just hope that evolution doesn’t mean loss of opposable thumbs.

  5. Ad

    You’re getting svelter by the minute z, does the Sage know how lucky he is?

    Not a lot of snow in my part of NoYo, was soooo looking forward to bruising myself by riding on a fertiliser bag filled with a sofa cushion down a steepish snow laden hill. Maybe tomorrow.

    Have the rest of a good weekend.

  6. Z

    Indeed, Dandelion, I’ve spent most of my life feeling…wrong. Like most women, I have an entirely confused body image, and feel sad for my younger self, believing I was fat when I was not.

    The Chairwoman and I are talking about the late 60s and the 70s (by the way, hipsters were fashionable first time round in the 60s) and we didn’t wear any sort of corset, girdle, roll-on, whatever you call it, however light. Our mothers may have continued to do so, but not us.

    I mean the 20s of course. I lied.

    The wide belt will come when I want to emphasise my waist, Brom, just now I want to keep my trousers from falling down. Ad, um actually yes. The Sage’s response has been entirely gratifying.

    Cheers, Dharmabum, how are you?

  7. Dandelion

    Thank you, z, I knew you’d understand what I meant.

    Fashions have changed since the 60’s, but also what bothers me is the homogenising of what consititutes the “correct” female form, or rather, any perpetuation of the myth that there is or ever has been such a thing.

    It may be that women’s bodies’ genuinely did take on a uniform in-and-out shape in the chairwoman’s day. But I sincerely doubt it. I can see no reason or mechanism (apart from a fashion-driven myth to this effect) for why women’s body shapes should have changed or diversified so radically in the course of one generation. It is my contention that we come in all sorts of wonderful shapes and sizes, always have done, and always will. Any claim to the contrary is to my mind divisive and hurtful to those women who don’t or didn’t fit the prevailing “trend”.

    [wave to the dave]

  8. Dandelion

    And I would say, any woman who’s ever posed for a photograph in a swim-suit, then or now, will know perfectly well that they will have been holding their tummy in.


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