This evening I’ve whiled away my time in a comfortable dream world – and have been snuggled up in the cinema watching the ‘The Shape of Water’.
It’s rare that something so odd, so obscure, so unusual feels so familiar and so wonderful.
There’s a truly magical world inside the fairy tale confines of this film – and as you unconsciously suspend disbelief and become drawn into the dark, yet tender world that the characters inhabit you can’t help but notice the incidental details.
Throughout the movie the main character picks different coloured shoes to wear – seemingly based on her mood and at the very end one poignantly leaves her foot in a very memorable scene.
The camera doesn’t let you forget the moment and it’s an arresting image.
Although for the most part her clothes don’t define her and what she wears is largely utilitarian there are little moments (such as her shoes) where her character and passion shine through.
It’s interesting to me because clothes and incidental details are something that’s been on my mind recently.
I’ve found myself looking at some rather colourful items of clothing as I’ve lost weight (link) – and I’ve begun to recognise that my recent fascination with looking smart and occasionally a little (ahem) ‘loud’ may not be a new phenomenon.
I’ve always rather liked a Hawaiian shirt for instance – but often felt far too ashamed to wear anything that made me stand out from the crowd any more than I already did at 35 stone.
It’s yet another part of my personality that I lost sight of – suppressed because of the crippling shame I felt in relation to my weight.
As I change and grow (and shrink) I learn more and more about myself with each passing day.
When I initially started shedding the bulk one of the first things I did was begin to wear flamboyant shirts. The only reason that I didn’t do this more was the cost of them and the availability.
As time went on and online retailers and some high street stores became an option for purchases I found more and more items that caught my eye.
I began to buy less muted colours and was drawn to items with a variety of patterns and different palettes.
I purchased one whenever I found something I liked – but sadly none of them lasted very long before they were too big.
On the plus side my continually moving target for clothing enabled me to engage in lots of experiments – and I began bit by bit to rather enjoy looking in the mirror and examining how a particular hue, pattern or cut of fabric looked on me.
I previously hated my reflection – but this enabled me to look past my own self criticism.
If I looked like an idiot – who cared? Most items that I wore were the clothing equivalents of a may flies and quickly fluttered out of my wardrobe into the hands of charity shops sooner rather than later.
Now I’ve even started to wear pink – something (that for some reason) I once vowed never to do…
I find that rather than feeling self conscious and that I am standing out when I would prefer to blend in that I quite like looking like a flamingo…
It’s not just shirts and ties that I’m drawn to though.
On Saturday I found that I was lingering in a shop (that I’d never normally go into in the first place) looking at rather loud trainers – thinking ‘I’m waaay too old for those!’
Then I stopped for a moment.
Am I really?
Probably not as it happens.
I have a significant birthday on the horizon – but I’ve never felt younger and more alive – so why shouldn’t I embrace every single colourful rainbow that I find?
The brutal truth is that without clothing my body clearly shows the signs of a difficult road travelled.
My stomach sags, my inner thighs wobble, my wings are bingo enabled and my butt looks like the Andrex puppy with the air let out of it.
Clothes transport me to another reality – one where I’m not a road map of excess – but instead an example of a smart, fit man who is at ease in his surroundings.
My cufflink obsession is in its infancy – but I can already see that it’s taking hold quickly. I love the fact that you can hide a teeny tiny element of flamboyance in plain sight whilst looking otherwise suited and booted.
I relate to the lady in the film. Her shoes seemed to be a reflection of her inner self and when she wore them she had a spring in her step.
I never previously related to the impulse to add little flashes of the unusual or little beautiful things to the picture of me before – but now I do and honestly I’m revelling in it!
I have limits though. So far the most I’ve paid for a pair of cufflinks is £3 – but today I pushed the boat out and bought some fo £6 from eBay! I’m quite excited! They look REALLY INSANELY COOL!!!
Those are for another day however – and I need to sleep internet.
If you see nothing else at the cinema I suggest you do your mind (and heart) a favour and go out to see this movie – and when you do, make sure you wear something a little colourful 👠