March 26, 2009

Couchez avec moi? Non Non Monsieur

Ta Da! May I proudly present, my second and final Vogue article (check out my first, for funsies...), my piece de resistance. Please please please tell me what you think, I love hearing back from you! But if you're going to play, play nice ;)

And as always, accompanied with a nice Polyvore

Assez bien
Assez bien - by Ms M on

Keep your eyes glued to the pavement. Keep them glued; don’t look up! Dear God, please don’t say anything, this is so embarrassing, just please don’t look up.

As a young teenager, I was obsessed with glamour and sophistication. No one else in my year at school had even heard of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and I could practically recite the script. So, the summer before Year Ten; crippled with the stress of finishing SATs, end-of-year examinations and the impending doom of GCSEs, my mum decided to book us tickets on the Eurostar to Paris; the proverbial cherry on top of the delicious sundae that is the fashion world.

I was allowed to pick out a brand new holiday outfit and I spent the stretched out, long summer days leading up to our departure dreaming of streets filled with authentic Parisian café, stalls filled with miniature Eiffel Tower figurines and colour faded postcards and the elaborate window displays of the Holy Trinity: Chanel, Dior and Galliano. Hmm, naïve.

What greeted my innocent eyes instead were streets lined with sex shops, seedy strip joints and the occasional shop front plastered with neon “Peep Show – Girls Girls Girls!” signs, blinking offensively at the hunched tourists scuttling past. I was aware that Paris was the city of love, but this was just ridiculous.

And the trip was off to such a good start too; my mum, ever the flatterer, managed to score a last minute upgrade to first class on the Eurostar. A smile crept across my face as I stared out of the train window, daydreaming about being a rich socialite off to crash at her chic flat in the heart of Paris, whilst trying to decide whether I wanted the fish or the chicken for lunch…

The actual arrival was slightly less magical. As an awkward fourteen year old, full of crippling self awareness, sitting in a café with my mum, munching on cheese toasties, face with a giant sex emporium opposite the street was more than a little surreal. It was embarrassing. At that age, sex was something you giggled about with your friends, not something you openly acknowledged in front of your mother.

Going to an all girls grammar school and not really interacting with any boys, I had never really had to acknowledge my sexuality, and now here it was right in front of me; flashing neon and wearing nipple tassels.

The climax of the trip was definitely going to the Moulin Rouge. Wearing my new black Miss Selfridge dress and applying some pearly, shimmery, pale pink-whatever shade Rimmel eye shadow on my eager eyes, this was my first brush with glamour. Here I was in what was quintessentially Fashion Land, in my very own Little Black Dress, off to the Moulin Rouge. The Moulin Rouge.

Unfortunately again, my insecure teenage would once again get the better of me. Foolishly enough I hadn’t twigged that a renowned home of burlesque might contain a smidge of nudity. Once again, there I was; eyes on the floor, completely horrified at the fact that I was sharing the sight of a near naked dancer with my mother.

As a (somewhat) mature adult now, this saddens me. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I spent most of it staring at the pavement. Why was I so embarrassed?

At school, I was taught to death about just exactly how girls “develop” into women; menstruation this, hormones that, but whilst adults are only to keen to describe the physical transaction, no one really says how you start to think, start to behave as a woman.

To be confronted so blatantly was surreal. With a capital S. To see huge photos plastered on the sides of buildings of bouffanted women with only their hands and skimpy lingerie to cover their modesty was confusing to me. Is this what women are supposed to be like? Is this how all men saw us? Is this what I was supposed to aspire to become?

On the surface, Paris was an immensely fun, completely embarrassing trip, but I really think it left a deep impact on me. It was the first time I really thought about what kind of woman I wanted to be; did I want to be the woman men stared open mouthed at, fantasized about? It confronted me with just how I felt about this raunchy, naughty culture and ultimately how I though about sex and what it meant to be a woman, not just a girl.

I may have still been a girl when I left, but I darn well left a little more aware and a little less naïve. Not bad for £59 return.



Twisted Elegance said...


Bravo! Bravo!

I was once again glued to the screen as I gave myself a manicure and read this amazing article in Vogue. I constantly ask myself that to this day and I'm 20 "Is this how I'm supposed to look?" "Is this what my boyfriend is expecting of me?" "Should I walk around with a corset and panties with 15 inch heels all the time?"

I'm so impressed with your writing. Please do us all the favor and continue to write!

Twiggy Mod said...

Haha yes im the one in geeks, my dress would love it if you were apart of its life....are we weirdos?

Loving this post-as ever missus loubutions- why is it that i do not own a pair? prehaps the disgusting price tag envolved?

love you more than miss alexa chung loves amr alex turner...beat that!!!

have a fab weekend my dearest one x

Twiggy Mod said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Twiggy Mod said...

Try again..

Had to read this again, you are a fantastic lady cake you know.

£59.00 not bad at all to see naked ladies if you ask me!? haha.

and i agree missus, you need to continue this writing talent you have as i berloody love your blog dont I, and you lots, more than paris hilton loves pink!-thats alot right there.

p.s i think you might be my best web friend.

p.p.s my polka tights are from primark haha- cheapos!

twiggs x

Emz said...

haha, it was fun this lol. Paris is so nice! I can't wait till I go!!

Canadian Girl said...

I tagged you

Lizeth said...

Love love your blog. You inspired me to dabble a bit the creative outlet.
Keep up the great posts!