herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Let's face it, we all look better with our clothes on

Children are smart and often have the truth figured long before they hit puberty and allow life, with all its rules, expectations and let-downs, get in the way and make them forget some of the gems they knew when they were younger.

For example, I realised from the get-go that we all look better in clothes than we do out of them. This explains my prudish nature, aged five, in swimming pool changing rooms. I'd arrive with my one-piece Speedo on under my clothes but would feel utterly discombobulated until it and I were both submerged in the deep end doing lengths. Once showered, I'd do a nifty change under my towel back into my civvies.

Substantial

And nothing has since changed. I now know that not only do we all look better in clothes -- we all look better in regular clothes. I know my arse looks more substantial in my Nike dry-fit pants -- this is because I normally situate myself in the back row of yoga class and so I get a HD TV-style view of other people's arses in certain poses -- most of the girls, even the mega-fit ones, would get a resounding 'yes' if they asked 'does my bum look good in this?' while in Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose. Of course, part of the problem is that we are all hyper-critical of ourselves.

The only 'a-ha' moment any of us ever get is when we look at photos of ourselves from times past and realise that we really did have it going on back in the day. This was the case for Shannon Bradley-Colleary, who was 25 when she posed nude for a photographic gallery show. She hated the pictures and was still obsessing over them 26 years later when she decided to recreate the shoots. Drum roll please: Shannon was horrified.

"Who is that fat, dimpled, wrinkly, broad-flanked person? That can't be me," she wrote.

Well, I've seen the before and after pictures online and she looks fantastic in both.

But, like most of us (Rihanna, right, gets a free pass no matter what she's not wearing), Shannon probably would have looked better in her clothes on both occasions.

Dee O'Keeffe

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