I don’t remember running into BBC Woman’s Hour psychologist Susan Quilliam when I stepped onto the Florida beach in my animal print swim top and black skirted bottom. But then, it was hard to see anything from under my wide-brimmed straw hat.
Apparently though, she saw me. Or a reasonable facsimile. I’m basing this on her recent quote in the Daily Mail: “While mature women may effortlessly balance work and family life for 50 weeks of the year, when it comes to holidays even the most self-aware women may find their confidence slipping.”
Come to think of it, maybe she was that bikini-clad number who glared at me as she executed a grand jeté across my flamingo beach towel, finishing with an arabesque as she caught a Frisbee with her buttocks. Or perhaps the young woman sunbathing on her tummy, topless, her “lungs” apparently filled to overflowing with salt-sea air.
Anyway, Ms. Quilliam further implied that boosting the mature woman’s self-confidence on vacation is paramount. And as any mature woman knows there’s but one way to attain a goal as critical as that. It requires a plethora of…clothes, accessories and shoes.
The fact is, those items are so paramount, studies have been conducted. Online retailer isme.com discovered that over half of 50-something women pack, per trip, up to 10 individual outfits. Nearly 100% of those women then stuff their suitcase with 5 pairs of shoes. Add to that 5 handbags (the average most women claim to take on vacation), and you have the making of a stylish, senior sightseer.
Now this next part is just crazy if you ask me. Sixty-five percent of these women, at the end of their holiday, wore half of what they’d packed. What diligence it takes to return home with as little dirty laundry as that. And yet others described that as excessive packing!
Seriously, how’s a woman in her prime to feel good about herself labeled as an “overpacker”? Why, it’s enough to justify her “accidently” mistaking someone’s swim top for a bookmark or stretching her legs at the most inopportune time.
It is, after all, so hard to see anything from under those darn big hats.
~ Diana Black