Sunday, 3 January 2010

Trophy jeans

A surprisingly large number of women still think that having stunning looks is worth more than just about any other achievement.

Some 29% of women say that slimming enough to get into an old pair of jeans would be more satisfying than sex or getting a promotion. And around 20% say it would be better than a lottery win or a best friend's wedding.

The guilty secret of a good 35% of women is a pair of "trophy" jeans that used to fit and which they're trying to slim back into.

Well, I can totally understand that. I mean, at the end of the day, what really boosts your self-confidence? Knowing you look good or getting more money? Liking what you see in the mirror or a quick bit of nookie? Come on, be honest here....

Actually I used to have a pair of "trophy" jeans myself. They had a 30 inch waist and they were obscenely tight-fitting. When I was brave enough, or rash enough, to go out in them gay men were unusually friendly. And the ruthless fit was doing me a serious injury.

In the end I saw sense, admitted my true size, and reluctantly threw them out (I hasten to add that this was before Jenny came on the scene. She would have saved me from myself before I even stepped out the front door).

But we value looks more than we like to let on. Even if I never passed as a Hollywood heart-throb, I'm glad I'm still thin, I haven't lost my hair, and I'm not racked by a smoker's cough. But I'll leave the trophy jeans to the twenty somethings who still have a chance of slithering into them.

32 comments:

Rummuser said...

Nick, you stole my thunder! I was planning to write exactly on the same subject but you beat me to it. Congratulations!

Grannymar said...

What brought on all this talk about jeans? ;)

Magpie 11 said...

I have a Trophy shirt from about 1972 with a 14 1/2 inch neck...and a pullover or three knitted by my mother.

I have NEVER worn Jeans since I was 10 years old!

Nick said...

Ramana - Well, it would still be interesting to see your take on the subject.

Grannymar - It was a survey of 2200 women done for Special K Cereal.

Magpie - You've never worn jeans since you were ten? You must be practically unique. Yes, my neck size has swollen a bit as well....

e said...

This is so true, especially after the holidays, and a very sad reminder of the sick culture we live in and its impact on self image.

I happily own no trophy clothing and though I work out in a hospital rehab room with one of the goals being firming, toning, strengthening etc, the idea of being that I will improve my health and gain muscle rather than fitting into a certain size pair of jeans.

I saw a documentary recently about the impact of television on other cultures norms of beauty and how these shifted and led to eating disorders where none had existed before (Figi), all due to western influence. It is also known now that kids as young as nine develop body dysmorphic disorder and eating disorders from dieting because they feel "too fat."

I could go on because I've seen some horrible consequences of eating disorders, but the desire to get in trophy pants sometimes leads down a more sinister path and is just the tip.

As Nick pointed out, both men and women often have self image issues.

Putting effort into other things besides looks is important to emphasise.

Nick said...

e - Good for you not having any trophy clothing. Yes, I've read about those countries where western body-images are creating a wave of eating disorders. Quite tragic. An alarming number of young children in the UK have seriously warped attitudes to their bodies which digitally perfected supermodels and celebs are only adding to.

Looks are important but when they turn into a sick obsession there's something very wrong with our culture.

Megan said...

I don't just have a pair of jeans, I have half a closet-full of stuff.

Nick said...

Megan - What, half a closet full of stuff you're trying to get back into? If you've got that many, better just chuck them all out....

Baino said...

29% isn't that many really. I don't have trophy jeans but when I'm trying to lose weight, I use sizing as a motivator. I probably have clothes from size 10-18 in my wardrobe frankly. I mean who doesn't want to fit into a size 12 pair of jeans? I did once lose 30kilos because I wanted to fit into a rather expensive dress but I NEEDED to lose that weight. Back onto it again now after Christmas and yes, I'll probably buy a pair of trophy jeans as a goal.

Nick said...

Baino - Sounds like the real motivator for you isn't something under-sized but something expensive! Losing 30 kilos is pretty impressive. But good luck with the trophy jeans....

Suburbia said...

I have a trophy dress, I can remember feeling very good in it, I doubt I could ever fit into it again, yet I can't quite bring myself to get rid of it! Why is that?!

(a visualising you in your jeans, hee hee!!)

Leah said...

I have come to a place of peace with my post-childbearing boobs and hips. I like to think of myself along the earth mother tip.

I do have a trophy dress, however, and it does fit me...sort of...not entirely...

Wisewebwoman said...

I can so relate Nick having been there with trophy jeans and trophy belts and trophy lingerie, ad finitum.
Eating disorder central.
I thankfully closed up that shop years ago, but it is an incredible obsessive compulsive disorder that takes up 100% of the brain 24/7.
No one lives any kind of life when that is happening.
XO
WWW

Nick said...

Suburbia - Absolutely, you know deep-down you'll probably never lose the pounds, but it's such a fabulous dress....

I can tell you, those jeans were a public outrage!

Leah - Ah yes, earth mother rather than frantically dieting wannabe. That's much more sensible. And another trophy dress that somehow never quite disappears....

www - You're right, serious eating disorders just become a voracious monster pushing the rest of your life on to the back burner. And often the tell-tale signs aren't spotted until it's well advanced.

Thriftcriminal said...

Ha! My days of 30" waist are well gone. My main complaint is that shotokan karate, cycling and hill walking have given me muscular thighs that are utterly unsuited to the currently prevailing cut of jeans. Though I recently discovered, to my chagrin, that one brand will fit, one I despise for the emptiness of their near pure branding culture and piggy-backing on hip-hop popularity. Dammit, bring back late 80's wranglers instead.

Nick said...

Thrifty - Muscular thighs, that's your excuse huh? I won't ask for the odious brand name, won't intrude on private grief etc. I've got two fabulous pairs of black Wranglers, fit me perfectly. Sorry about that.

Thriftcriminal said...

Well, fat is an issue that can be addressed by exercise, fine by me. Muscle on the other hand ......So a waistline is far more solvable than Van-Damme style legs :-)

Nick said...

Thrifty - I see your problem. Well, far better to have a few muscles than to fit into some artificially small pair of jeans....

conortje said...

hehe that is the way to become a gay heart throb. Actually the men in India where quite tight jeans - very 70s :-) Sorry I'm not reading your blog as much - looking forward to sitting down and going through the backlog whenever I get a quiet moment. If such a thing exists in India.

Nick said...

Conor - So Indian men still wear tight jeans? And do they get the same attention from their gay compatriots? Hope your Indian travels are going well. And I hope it's a bit warmer there than our sub-zero temperatures.

Quickroute said...

I had a twenty inch waist until I was thirty something - sadly I approaching a 40 inher now - I scared of reaching old age as a sumo wrestler

Nick said...

Quicky - Twenty inches? That's amazing, how did you manage that? I think it would take an awful lot of serious gorging and massive inactivity to get to Sumo wrestler proportions!

Eternally Distracted said...

I wish my trophy jeans were that small!! I really am in trouble ;0) Fortunately I care not.

Nick said...

Eternally - So does that mean you actually have some trophy jeans or you don't care enough to even have such things? Anyhow, excellent that you care not.

Next up, my blogmates are only allowed to comment if they disclose their current waist size, lol....

conortje said...

there are no gay people in India haven't you heard :-) It was 24 degrees today in Jodhpur - glorious!

Nick said...

Conor - 24 degrees eh? Lucky you. Never heard of Jodhpur. I see it's a popular tourist destination, with some rather spectacular old buildings. I assume you'll take plenty of pics....

tattytiara said...

I'm not sure if I do or not. Until relatively recently all my jeans fit perfectly. Then I quit smoking. I'm still waiting to see if an equilibrium is still being found, but if the clothes I wear when I was a smoker go out of style before they fit I won't keep any trophies. That's a luxury you don't have in a trailer!

Nick said...

Tattytiara - My advice if you're putting on a pound or two is: smaller portion sizes! Didn't realise you were in a trailer, must explore your archives a bit....

Brighid said...

Hi Nick, I'm past working on my trophy Wranglers. Finally came to my senses. Now I'm working on my trophy Lululemon's.
It's frustrating that we are judged by appearances. Try being sixty something, homely, and looking for work.

Nick said...

Brighid - We don't have Lululemons in the UK, except for one outlet in London. I gather they're the sort of athletic kit that's conveniently stretchy and minimises those embarrassing bits!

I'm 62 and also looking for work. Apart from concealed ageism, the dire economic crisis is making it pretty tough. Luckily I have a sugar mummy, lol.

Brighid said...

Nick, you are lucky to have a sugar mummy lol. Himself is working, thank goodness. So I guess we're both a bit lucky.

Nick said...

Brighid - We are indeed. It's probably an advantage to be a couple at such a difficult time.