The idiom du jour is the 'pig in lipstick'. What is most striking about the universal understanding of this uncouth image is the degree to which it incorporates some rather large and unchallenged assumptions. The implication, I think, is that women dissemble. Persona and personality do not necessarily coincide, and we should do well to be cautious when making character judgments of the beneficiaries of makeovers (tax-payer funded or otherwise). Why is this such a female figuration? Are men presumed so straightforward, so bereft of guile, as to be incapable of aesthetic deceipt? Is male character so eminently discernible from the stripes on a suit, the direction of sail derived wholly from the cut of a jib?
We should be foolish to answer in the affirmative. Dressing properly (this is not a prescription, as will become abundantly clear in future posts; I refer merely to deliberateness of choice, not to the weave of one's weskit), is simply incompatible with dressing as if sweeping the dirt under a rug. Clothes do not make the man (so goes the adage), but neither should they obfuscate the character. It is simply dishonest to portray in fabric what one is not in flesh.
Of course, this is not to acquiesce in the other great assumption of the rouged sow image: that 'pigs' cannot be reformed. There is nothing eternal in character, but only what one cultivates and safeguards. For all those boars about to don cashmere on Christmas, spare a moment to ponder the softness, the gentility, which befits it.
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