I want to return to a favourite topic of mine: women.
Regular readers will know that I love women; I love watching them and talking to them. They fascinate me with their beauty, personality and charm.
My problem is that I simply do not understand them. The women in my life have tried to explain to me how their minds work but, just as I think I have grasped the mechanism that makes them tick, they astound me with behaviour that contradicts everything I thought I had learned.
If you didn’t already know, dear reader, I am forty seven years old and I STILL cannot fathom the machinations of the female psyche.
I would like to discuss an imponderable topic in the world of women: fashion.
I am a man and I know what I like when it comes to women. Physical appearance is important but I am also very fond of intelligent, strong and funny women. Most men are the same. Men are initially attracted to the looks but will only form a lasting relationship if she has intelligence and depth.
I couldn’t, for example, fall for a woman who looked like Megan Fox if she had the IQ of a dung beetle.
Yet sometimes, even the most intelligent women on the planet can fall foul of expectations driven by fashion and beauty magazines. I don’t understand it. I have overheard beautiful women chatting about their problems in this area and my perception is that their IQ drops several points when discussing clothes, makeup and the shape and size of their bodies.
Now that may sound chauvinistic and insulting but that’s the way it appears to me.
Am I wrong?
It’s as if some women simply switch off part of their brains when it comes to decisions in this area and sometimes make terrible choices based on their assessment of what men want, what other women want and what the fashion and beauty industry tells them they ought to want.
To balance things out, men are equally guilty of switching off their brains and allowing their penis to take control of their bodies but that it something for another post.
Women love buying clothes. As a man, I only buy clothes when the rags I am wearing have so many holes that I appear naked when viewed from a distance. Mrs PM steps in way before that happens thankfully, otherwise Manchester would be a city in turmoil: I would become the Mancunian equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster.
There are several things that puzzle me when it comes to female clothing.
Firstly, can somebody explain to me what is going on when it comes to sizes?
When I go into a shop to buy a pair of trousers, I have a rough idea of the size of my waist (34 inches), the size of my leg (30 or 31 inches) and can stroll over to the trouser rack and be pretty sure that the 34 inch regular length trousers will fit me. Similarly, I can stroll to the shirts and deduce that the 16 inch collared shirts will not strangle me and that the 38 inch chest jacket will almost certainly be a perfect fit.
Women have a major problem in this area. They have to go for a size 8,10,12,14,16,18,20 in absolutely every item they want with the exception of shoes.
What the hell is a “size 12”?
12 what exactly?
Inches? Feet? Broom handles? Elephants?
You may mock those latter two units of size but some of the variations in items of clothing vary so much from shop to shop that a size 12 in one shop may be tiny enough to fit a baby chimpanzee while in another shop a size 12 could accommodate a rhinoceros.
What is going on? Can somebody explain this to me?
Correct me if I am wrong but most human beings are completely different shapes and sizes. Thankfully men do not wear all in one outfits like dresses (although some do I suppose). Women are different shapes both at the top half of their bodies and the lower regions.
So how can a dress be a size 12?
This is a constant source of frustration for Mrs PM, for example, and she is definitely not alone.
She can, say, fit into a size 14 top and a size 12 skirt but struggles with dresses because the size 12 may suffocate her while the size 14 can look like a Bedouin tent. I’ve known her to try on a size 14 dress and then beg for me to call search and rescue because she can’t find her way out of it.
I can only surmise that the sizing scale for women’s clothes was conceived by a sadistic madman who did so for a drunken bet.
Fashion magazines haven’t helped matters. I think that shops vary their sizes to make women believe that they are smaller than they are in order to appeal to their vanity or perception of how others see them. A large lady will be delighted if she can go to a shop and squeeze into a size 14 and I imagine will boast to her friends that she is slim enough to do so, even though in that particular shop, a size 14 would fit a horse.
I cannot think of a reason why a shop would design a size 14 that would barely fit a stick insect – perhaps somebody can enlighten me.
One thing is for sure, from my experience of shopping with both W and Mrs PM, the clothes for women that are on sale in your average shopping centre are designed for women who appear only in fashion magazines, i.e. are average height and are built like scarecrows.
All of which leads me nicely on to my next topic – the portrayal of women in fashion magazines and similar female oriented rags.
Quite frankly I am astounded. Lots of models for these magazines are very pretty but, and let’s be fair to them here, are thinner than my garden rake. And these women are portrayed as the quintessential image of womankind and therefore a target for young impressionable women and girls. I have seen pictures of women who look as if they do not eat and impressionable girls are led to believe that all women should look like this.
I have read about the “quest for size zero”, which I believe is encouraging women to diet beyond the realms that nature intended in order to become the perfect woman.
However, I have a revelation for you: it is utter bollocks and complete horseshit.
I have a message for any ladies out there who strive for size zero under the misguided belief that men (or indeed other sensible women) may find them attractive:
Don’t do it! Be yourself!
Obviously, don't eat so much that you resemble a beached whale. You can still be curvy and attractive without having to pander to the requirements of fashion gurus.
Most men prefer women who are sizes 12 to 16. I love cuddling a woman who, as my dad used to say, “has a bit of meat on her”.
Take Beyoncé for example. I believe she is a size 12 (UK size that is) and she looks fabulous. She is curvy in all the right places.
Louise Redknapp attempted to diet to fit herself into a size zero dress as part of an investigative documentary. Here are the before and after photos. I know which I prefer.
There is a lot of pressure on women and it comes from the cult of celebrity and fashion media and quite frankly it stinks. I am beginning to understand why it is so difficult for women to shop for clothes and also why they have so much difficulty trying to fit the image the faceless so-called gurus and self-obsessed arseholes try to force them into.
My advice, for what it is worth, is to adopt the mantra that I and most normal men live by: be yourself and be normal.
I don’t care too much about my appearance (that much is obvious)!
The only thing that irritates me is my hair (but only because people laugh at it). I strive to be a normal bloke, wearing clothes that I like (not those that fashion gurus tell me I should wear) and I try to maintain an average shaped body. Yes, my stomach is expanding and yes, my body looks nothing like that of Brad Pitt. But I am not a freak (despite my self-deprecating posts saying otherwise). I eat a balanced diet but I don't feel bad about eating chocolate and crisps (although I don't eat them to excess).
I could have spent hours at the gym trying to sculpt my body into the shape of Arnold Schwarzenengger but it would have been pointless. My life wouldn’t have improved and I would have ended up a fat bloater by now.
Women should not strive to be as thin as a rake – adopt the middle ground. Don’t overeat and become too fat but equally don't starve yourself – just be who you are. Men love a cuddle but they don’t like to hug a bag of sticks made of skin.
Crikey – I’m beginning to sound like an agony aunt aren’t I?
I apologise for that – I can only give you the benefit of my thoughts, opinions and desires.
As for the actual clothes that women buy – I simply cannot have an opinion other than it should show off all the greatest assets of the woman’s body.
However, I have one more question: why would a woman wear a skirt?
I am not complaining because a woman with fantastic legs can send my pulse racing like a formula one racing car on speed – and that’s probably why they do it – well not for me personally (I think most women would prefer to cover themselves up in a suit of armour when faced by the prospect of meeting me).
The weather in Great Britain is nothing if not unpredictable and towards the end of September the temperatures plummet. Yet you can guarantee that there will be young women wandering around wearing short skirts exposing their legs to the bitterly cold winds.
In winter, I am very pleased that I wear thick jeans to protect my legs from the cold. Yet what do even sensible women wear? Skirts with only tights for protection against the elements.
And then they complain about being cold.
Am I missing something here?
I’m sure that there are guys who wear skirts – David Beckham famously popped out in a sarong but he was probably enjoying life in a warm place like Madrid or Los Angeles. Also, he is so famous that he could get away with anything (and frequently does).
Of course, there are my fellow island-dwellers, the Scots, who claim to be so hard that they wear big woolly skirts (or as they prefer to call them “kilts”), sporting absolutely nothing underneath the protect their tallywhackers.
No wonder they like the term “Braveheart”. You’d have to be brave to wear a bloody kilt, especially in the middle of a Scottish winter.
Anyway, I’d better stop now before Mad Jack McMad crosses the border to kick seven shades of crap out of me.
I might try interviewing Mrs PM to see if she can shed any light on women and fashion. On second thoughts, perhaps not – she might drag me out shopping illustrate her answers.