Saturday, 4 February 2017

A touch of glamour

Call me old-fashioned, but I do like a bit of glamour. That magical quality that attaches itself to certain people and places and things. I know some people scoff at the whole notion of glamour as something entirely artificial and bogus, but I enjoy it anyway. It adds a little sparkle to a sometimes depressing existence.

It's hard to define but I think we all recognise it when we see it. That exciting frisson that hangs over Sydney or Vancouver or Venice. That special something that embraces Lucky Blue Smith or Scarlett Johansson (or whoever does it for you). The dizzy thrill of a favourite scarf or painting or necklace. A quality that transcends ordinary predictable charm or prettiness.

Feminists would argue that glamour, as applied to people, is essentially a sexist concept. Women are expected to be glamorous and dazzling while men can get away with being vaguely presentable. Well, my answer to that is, rather than doing away with female glamour, why don't the men make more of an effort and glam themselves up a bit?

Of course at my grand old age, a lot of things that seemed glamorous when I was young now seem utterly ordinary - like Awards ceremonies and celebrity weddings and fashion parades. Once you're aware of the drudgery and panic and ill-temper that goes on behind the scenes, the illusion of glamour quickly vanishes.

But you can't keep a good idea down, and there's still plenty of glamour to be found. When you least expect it, you stumble on a beautiful old church or someone with effortless style or an exquisite piece of pottery. Suddenly life has been enriched and deepened and the humdrum daily routine forgotten for a while.

A life without glamour would be like a face without a smile.

Pic: Lucky Blue Smith - an American model known for his platinum blond hair


  1. Until I got to the end I thought the picture was a woman!
    I have mixed feelings on this matter. I appreciate female beauty but I prefer the natural look of someone who's comfortable in their own skin to someone hiding behind layers of cosmetics.
    That said, women can look truly stunning with well applied make-up, but I don't think I'd want a partner who was high maintenance.
    In the same way I enjoy looking at exotic cars but I wouldn't want to own one.
    I like a nice wristwatch, and because I live in t-shirt and jeans during the week it feels nice to put in a bit of effort at the weekend.
    As for all that celebrity inspired glitz and glamour - you can keep it.

  2. We live in a world of naysayers, don't we? If someone enjoys doing something to make themselves feel good (makeup, clothing, jewelry, whatever) why in the world would someone else complain about it?

    Just another example of people who preach tolerance being intolerant!

  3. Bijoux: Not sure if that was a dig at me, but if it was I can assure you there's nothing in my comment intended to suggest intolerance - simply personal preferences. People can do what they like as long as they're not hurting anyone else, but it doesn't mean I have to share their ideas.

  4. Dave: I know, he's very androgynous, isn't he? I love ambiguous types who subvert the usual gender stereotypes. I do agree about make-up. In my opinion most women look fine (and more genuine) without make-up, but I guess some women just don't feel confident without it.

    I don't see watches as remotely glamorous. I see them as purely functional. I don't understand all the fuss about Rolexes, Tag Heuers, Tissots etc.

  5. Bijoux: I agree, in general whatever turns you on and all that. As long as it doesn't involve harm to other people (or animals). I do object to people wearing furs, and to cosmetics being tested on animals.

  6. Dave: Was it a dig at you? I don't know. But I think you're right, you're not being intolerant, you're just saying there are things you don't really see the point of.

  7. A life without glamour will be a placid and uneventful one, but long-lived.

  8. Ramana: Eh? Why would a life without glamour be longer-lived than one without? Surely a bit of glamour is fun and inspiring and improves your well-being?

  9. I have very very white blond hair ( my natural colour), long legs and as my husband says the most glamourous green eyes. I love glamour from time to time for special occassions with putting on a nice make up, a sexy cloth, high heals and a big African necklace of colour pearls. My personal glamour outfit.Glamour must be a part of life , makes it brighter but is different for all of us.
    Mia More

  10. Mia: That all sounds very glamorous indeed, especially the African necklace. And I'd love to see those glamorous green eyes! Pictures, pictures, lol. As you say, we all have a different idea of glamour.

  11. No, Dave, I was referring to Nick's post, about feminists criticizing glamour as a sexist concept.

    1. I see. You mean they're concerned about women making themselves look glamorous for the sake of men as opposed to making them feel good about themselves? Pity they feel the need to pass such judgment on others rather than focusing on doing what they feel is right for themselves.

  12. I'm living in s culture where women layer it on and believe in retail therapy. I am often the "beneficiary" of their unworn largesse which I distribute to the needy. Glamour has a huge cost mainly in time frittered but to each his own.
    My question is Why?

  13. Bijoux: I think feminists have a point about women having to make much more effort with their appearance than men. But as I said, how about men doing the same and becoming equally glamorous? I'm thinking Ziggy Stardust maybe....

  14. www: Retail therapy (impulse shopping to you and me) simply leads to a huge pile of later-discarded clothes, jewellery etc. Why not just stay at home and cook a fabulous meal?

    Dave: Your paranoia overtook you, ha ha. Yes, who cares whether women are glamming up for men's sake or their own?Surely as long as they're enjoying it, that's all that matters.

  15. Glamour is not for me...doesn't do anything at all - except for those flashes of something like a door opening when you see a stunning ceramic...or a beautiful building...or a landscape in a certain light.

  16. I just got my first issue of Vanity Fair, which I subscribed to because they were charging only $5.00 a year for it + a free tote bag, and they have a lot of dirt on Donald, stuff everyone in the NY media knows about that hasn't been of such general interest until now. I'm a gossip lover! This does tend to normalize him, of course, making him seem more like a rogue than a monster, so I'm aware of the danger. They are priceless on the Trump women!
    The perfume smells in the mag knocked me over and I had to put the mag on the deck to air out.
    Well, can't use the giant brain all the time! Take your pleasures when, where and how you can, that's my motto!

  17. I'm a little uncomfortable with blanket statements about what feminists believe. Feminism is simply the position that women should have the same rights and protections under the law as men. Other than that, feminists can pretty much decide for themselves how they feel on any topic, including glamour. I'm a feminist and everything you write makes me assume you are, too. I don't personally have a strong opinion about glamour one way or the other. It's not important to me but I don't care what others do n terms of make-up or what have you. My own personal preference is for people who are a little more low-key and don't put a ton of effort into covering their natural beauty. But that's a preference, not a position statement.

  18. I'm afraid I'm not interested in glamour, but it's just a personal preference. I'd rather play with my toys. :)

  19. I also don't regard my life as humdrum. I think it's rich and rewarding.

  20. Helen: Exactly. Those magic moments when you unexpectedly see something stunningly beautiful.

  21. Hattie: Not much glamour attached to Trump, that's for sure. Just one over-sized bullying sleazebag. He wouldn't know glamour if it slapped him in the face.

    Yes, the perfume samples in women's glossies can be quite overpowering, can't they. Not to mention those women who drench themselves in their favourite perfume and virtually asphyxiate everyone around them!

  22. Agent: My mistake, another of my careless generalisations! I should have said "some feminists", because of course as you say women don't all think alike. I certainly am a feminist, I've been so ever since I discovered the term "feminist", which must have been about 50 years ago!

    I think some of your outfits are very glamorous. Some of those top-end restaurants you go to as well!

  23. Jean: No, I can't see you going for glamour in any shape or form! Though you must appreciate a beautiful piece of pottery or a brilliant painting?

    When I say life is humdrum, I only mean it has a certain predictable routine. But there's plenty to enjoy as well.

  24. when I think of glamour I think of the golden era of Hollywood...
    and those days are long gone.
    they all look alike to me now.
    I mean the modern actors.
    I know that there were sylists and make up involved then...
    and yet it seemed to me that the likes of cary grant and gary cooper and clark gable and fred astaire and carol lombard and barbara stanwyck and gene tierney and their contemporaries of that time were all steeped in glamour. they were simply fun to look at.
    and I've noticed that entire era just seemed glamorous.
    even non film people... in everyday snapshots always seemed to be posing! even now they're interesting to look at.
    and i'm like dave... I had no idea that lucky blue smith was a man! he is beautiful!

  25. Tammy: I think you're right, there was a sort of glamour about Hollywood that doesn't exist any more, despite the razzamatazz of the Oscars and all that. It's hard to think of a contemporary actor who has that sort of quality.

    Lucky Blue Smith is totally gorgeous, isn't he?

  26. Tammy: I think one reason today's film stars don't seem so glamorous is that the endless celebrity gossip means we know all their embarrassing secrets and past misdemeanours and it's hard to paste any glamour on top of all that!

  27. I am glamorous whatever I wear.... even in a tatty old Barbour jacket....

  28. Scarlet: I'll have to take your word for that, but I do think that's a glamorous pose. I love the hair and I love the top. Trés chic et trés élégant, ma cherie!

  29. I think there is room for all sorts. I don't have a gift for that kind of thing but there are some people I'm always pleased to see, they look so interesting and do such cool stuff.

  30. Jenny: Some people just have the knack of looking extra-special, don't they? Unlike us lesser mortals....