Saturday, 26 March 2011

Keeping up appearances

Take a look at me as a teenager in the sixties, didn't I look the same as everyone else of that era? I was pop music mad, lad mad, fashion mad, makeup mad, and hair mad. I wanted to be like Cilla, Sandie, and Lulu, these are my attempts at trying to fit in with the crowd.

Own dyed black hair, with a hairpiece. Pink satin mini dress. Black eyeliner. Pity my toothy grin let me down, ha ha.

Blonde wig. Wrap around dress, orange top and brown skirt, ruffles round neckline.

Own dyed black hair with half wig, wide headband to disguise the join. Black satin long sleeved blouse. Brown imitation suede mini skirt with matching waistcoat laced up the front.

Black half wig, back combed and laquered, typical sixties style. Red patterened satin long sleeved mini dress with white collar and cuffs.

Hair and wig perfectly styled. White lacy blouse and black mini skirt, plenty of eye makeup. Didn't I look fab.

No one knew though, just how much I struggled inside my head. I hated my face, thought I was ugly, no, I knew I was ugly. I tried very hard to fit in and look like my mates. I wanted boys to like me, but they laughed at me. I went through agonies. It was only much later on in life that I realised I suffered from Body Dismorphic Disorder, and thanks to the internet I have been able to read up all the information there is about it. It never goes away completely, but now I can manage it.
So where am I at now? What happened? Who is this strange woman I see?

Cool specs eh! Ha ha. I still despair, but hey, this is what I am stuck with, I'd better stop wasting my life worrying about what other people think of me, and get on with it.
What has prompted me to bring this subject up again? I read in the Daily Mail, I know, crap paper but it's free, an article about Girls Aloud star Nicola Roberts. I don't know much about her singing but she is a pretty girl, or should I say was a pretty girl. Whatever has she done.
Apparently she hasn't had much confidence because she always thought she was the ugly one in the band. I know how she feels. But I am shocked at the lengths these so called stars go to, to tweak what nature has given them, in their quest to fit into a celebrity lifestyle. All I had to do was wear a wig, and put on plenty of slap.
Nicola didn't have ugly teeth, she had a pretty smile. But now she has gone and spoilt it. Her mouth is full, and I mean very full, of pure white, every one of them perfect, piano keys. They are veneers but look like dentures, and they look horrible. Her hair is different, her eyebrows are different, she didn't need all this. There are 450 comments on the article and almost everyone says how awful she looks. Silly, silly girl.
Then I see pictures of Katie Piper, the girl who was so viciously attacked and had acid thrown in her face. She has had to endure hours of surgery, in a bid to put her face back to some kind of normality. But what a lovely girl she is now.
This obsession with looking good really upsets me now, I quite happily walk round like a slob. I chucked my bra away ages ago, ha ha. I'm at that certain age where I am proud to be different, I can be who I want to be, don't have to pretend any more. Thank goodness my name isn't Hyacinth Bucket, the posh woman with the posh house, in Keeping Up With Appearances. I keep up with no one.


  1. With you there, Ilona. The late 60`s/70`s were my teenage years, and I, too, went through agonies, worrying about my appearance. My body image problem was with my weight - in those days a size 16 was verging on `outsize`, and few fashion ranges went up to that size. Now, it`s average. I`ve yo-yo`d all my life, until recently, when I realized - I`m not meant to be a size zero! As long as I`m reasonable fit, and healthy, who cares what anyone else thinks of me?

  2. I've just spent last week reading all your posts. Thank you for sharing your stories.

    I love your travel/walking stories. And your photos are fantastic, meanqueen! I couldn't stop sharing them with my husband. You've inspired me to get moving and start saving even more - no clothes shopping this year - I have enough.

    Again thank you. You won over a regular reader from Sydney.

  3. You are charming naturally while the stars spent a fortune to rehab themselves to be "beautiful"? Crazy world! Love the specs! ~Liz

  4. When I was a little girl I asked my Daddy why it was that when you get to know someone you don't notice they are ugly anymore. I was maybe 6 years old. Know what he said? He told me beauty comes from within and when you get to know and like someone they are pretty.

    I wish you had a Daddy like mine Mean Queen. I have never felt ugly unless I act that way.

  5. I'm sure that you'll take no notice but on those photos Ilona you look just as good as most other girls of that era - and you had FAR better legs than many!
    I was a 5'10" 9.5stone walking cucumber - and by God I wish I could say the same thing now that I'm a walking marrow :O))

  6. "Pity my toothy grin let me down"? You have a lovely smile!

  7. I agree with Jane about the legs. I'd have killed to have a girlfriend with legs like yours! I'm about your age so remember that era almost as clearly as I remember last year - better in fact. Miniskirts, microskirts, hot pants - oh, those hot pants the girls wore used to drive me mad with longing. Thank God for middle age, eh dear?
    I also agree with Mary, beauty is never about outward appearance, but even if it were you'd have nowt to worry about, even now.
    Thanks for sharing.

  8. I loved those photos Ilona. I did laugh when you said you didnt mind looking like a "slob". SOme days I cant remember whether or not I have brushed my hair! but Glastonbury is a very laid back place, which is why I love it.
    You had a lovely figure, I was always plump. I can't see myself binning the bras and not being arrested- go girl!

  9. You lot make me laugh. Kath, I forget to take a hairbrush with me when hostelling. Still, 'bed hair' is all the rage now, ha ha.

    I'm going to do a quick post now, just for Albedo.

  10. Personality is more important than looks Ilona, even though you're not bad looking. I judge everyone on personality and yours always comes shining through as positive, humorous and altogether good. Like you I wear high prescription lenses. I used to be bullied at school for wearing glasses and have been shy ever since about wearing glasses so now wear contact lenses. They make me feel less shy and more confident. Apart from that though, I don't worry about my physical appearance as long as I am healthy and happy. If people don't like me the way I am then that's tough. I think that's the best attitude to have. I feel sorry for all these celebrities who have insecurities about every aspect of their looks and are always competing, undergoing surgery etc. I read the article you mention as well as an article about Amy Winehouse in the Daily Mail a few days ago and she looks terrible compared to how she used to look just four years ago: Fake boobs, fake tan, fake hair and nails and totally anorexic looking, not good at all. Glad I'm not a celeb, they have tons of money but are under too much pressure. After reading the comments about Amy Winehouse I do feel sorry for her, she is always being bullied by society.

  11. Oh my gosh she looks awful. She had lovely teeth before actually, they gave her face character! Now she looks weird. In fact it's made her nose stand out now weirdly! The trouble with veneers is your own teeth underneath are wrecked because it's such an invasive procedure. I can't understand why anyone would want to do it!

  12. Media hype and the constant need of the celebs to be in the lime light creates an uglyness of its own. How sad that these individuals have to resort to such self mutulation.
    Thank god there are truely lovely people like Ilona in this world. Character and spirit are much more attractive than any body enhancements. Individualism rules, ok!!

  13. I used to have a complex about wearing glasses in the 60s, thought no boy would look at me. With being in a cycling club boys were all around me and I just wasn't used to mixing with 'normal' people, since it's a different atmosphere in a club.

    Still good legs, nothing wrong with the smile and many would give their eye teeth for your figure nowadays!

    By the way, have you been to Hartington YHA?

  14. OMG, I would have given my right arm to look like you did in the 60s! You have a beautiful smile and are still an attractive woman. Remember, most people are "sheep" and sheep are fearful of others who aren't sheep.


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