The gold and silver bibles, belonging to my Mother, have been smuggled into my teenage room like contraband. Here I hold the guidebooks for my impending adulthood; success, love, wealth, beauty and the kind of sex that you’d imagine Fox Mulder having:
Trinny and Susannah’s What Not to Wear Volume 1 and 2.
Amongst their countless rules for clothing, style, and personal image, one was drilled home harder, and more frequently, than any other; Bingo wings.
You see, poor old Susannah has flabby upper arms. Flappy, saggy, sad, old pelican wings. She must cover them up, at all costs, and so must you. Squeeze that rancid, cheap, sausagemeat into a nice cotton and Lycra blend. These misshapen things that you call arms? They have no place in society. How vulgar. How repulsive. No one on earth needs to see those.
Look at Susannah, here, in her fuchsia wrap cardigan demonstrating ‘casual workwear’. Here she is in a green shrug, so tasteful, ready for a cocktail party. Oh Susannah, you look so normal, in your Marks and Spencer 3/4 sleeve taupe linen blazer. Fatty arms be gone!
Now there’s a modern, independent, woman who is destined for a lifetime of six figure salaries, steamy love affairs, glamorous travel and will never, ever, find herself feeling sad, stupid, or lonely.
Fifteen years, and 1,362 Glassons cardigans, later I hear rumours of a man who has quite the thing for chubby upper arms.
Surely such a creature, as mythical and rare as a Unicorn, cannot be real. Trinny and Susannah wouldn’t lie to me. Because if this were true, then why the hell have I been suffering through all of these summers, parties, dancing, and music festivals, with my elbows to my shoulders, sweatily swaddled in cheap synthetic fabrics?
By the time I meet the Unicorn he immediatley devours my naked upper arm flesh so hungrily, so rampantly, so intensely, so absolutely, utterly, wonderfully, that he leaves behind a bruise, large and deep, like a puddle of spilled merlot. It takes a fortnight to disappear.
I examine and photograph his mark each day – a smug and sordid memento of, not only the power of my body, but also that I’d proved those nasty bitches wrong.
Sorry Trinny and Susannah, but it seems that chubby arms will get you everywhere.