Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Remaining Stylish Whilst Nude

Is it possible to be stylish while nude? And i mean stylish in the sense of an individual's presentation of their bodily person, not the stylish lifestyle a person lives. Just the person.

I say 'yes'. I can't help but think of Marilyn Monroe's Playboy centerfold. The milky skin, up-to-date and flattering hair and makeup, and sensual pose all telegraph a sense of her style to the viewer. Although even more memorable, because unexpected, are her answers to the reporters' question 'Did you have anything on?' ('I had the radio on.' or 'Chanel No.5.').

Years ago i read an article about Elizabeth Taylor touching upon the beginning of her relationship with Richard Burton. She was incredibly glamorous, he was a star of the British acting stage, they were both married to other people, and the movie they were making was a huge media event on it's own due to the spectacle and budget involved. When word got out that these two fascinating personalities had become romantically entangled, a paparazzi bomb exploded on their location.
Years later Ms. Taylor recalled, while trying to convey the complete lack of any privacy the paparazzi gave her and Burton, 'We couldn't even use the toilet without them trying to take our picture.' 'So what did you do?' 'You learned to pee with style.'

Ms. Taylor's response got me thinking about the limits of personal style. So many of us feel comfortable with our style choices when we're casual, or dressed up, or at work or vacation or before we had the baby or got married or when we were ten years younger - but not in all these aspects. Even though they may be a large part of our life right now. Ms. Taylor had a different approach. Commit to finding your style in all the areas of your life, your life right now, whatever that life throws at you.

This philosophy will appeal to some more than to others. It appeals to me because i've always been fussy about clothes (physically and aesthetically). Other people not so much, because of reasons ranging from lack of interest to intimidation at the amount of work involved. And it does involve work, commitment and creativity. But, you have to get dressed anyway. And life will always come up with crazy new situations for you to cope with. A commitment to finding your own individual style in all the areas of your life expands your range and creativity, and those new challenges start to feel less intimidating. As with any skill, you'll improve with practice.

Soon enough, you may even start to feel comfortable in nothing but your own skin.


  1. I love this! It re-inspires me to carry on my style in more aspects of my life.

    I also love your writing - such a great "voice". I'll be back. :)

    Thanks very much for visiting my blog! I do appreciate it. (And I knew about UCSC's mascot because Vincent Vega wears a t-shirt with the slug on it in "Pulp Fiction").


  2. Ah, you write about two women I have admired for different reasons. MM because of the pure photogenic quality, the fragility, but the steeley resolve - plus, marrying Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller?? That's amazing.
    E. Taylor because of all the personas she portrayed (in National Velvet, A Place in the Sun, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf - and, of course, Cleopatra). She played the shrewish housewife in Virginia Woolf when no one else had gone there from 'beauty queen' roles. Yikes, the picture was 2/3 gone when I suddenly realized that was Elizabeth Taylor on the Screen! Anyhow, good choices for style.

  3. Sheila, thank you so much for your encouraging comments! (mom, you should check out Sheila's blog! she puts together great outfits, and posts lots of pictures from the walks she takes up in British Columbia.)

    That's a great story about your not recognizing Ms. Taylor. i think people forget she was a LOT more than a gorgeous face and body. That quote of hers has stuck in my mind for decades.