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Sign of the times

Gone are the days when women wore demure clothes. The men also used to dress simpler and were not too worried about the colour of their skin and the shape of their eyebrows. Ravneet Sangha writes

chandigarh Updated: Oct 25, 2012 11:24 IST
Ravneet Sangha

Gone are the days when women wore demure clothes. The men also used to dress simpler and were not too worried about the colour of their skin and the shape of their eyebrows.


Meet today's woman: figure-hugging jeans, legs slathered in the tightest possible way, wearing a Zara top with just the right amount of tantalising cleavage, hinting at forbidden desires or a I-don't-give-a-damn attitude. She is perfectly coiffured, with hair so straight that a man would slide off those tresses. She is dressed from head to toe in designer wear, from Gucci sunglasses to the Louis Vuitton bag and the Omega oyster watch.

Of course, today's woman cannot pick up her own progeny; the maid does it, the baby's too heavy, my dear! But the spondylitis-causing bag is a Pandora's box of wipes, the sun block, the cell phone, without which no self-respecting woman would step out, and of course the mainstay of Indian women the kajal (but, it has to be a Chanel or a Dior stick) and then the gloss, which will be used discreetly to make the pout sexier.

Men have it easy. Just wear a linen shirt and jeans, a bit scruffy, and the loafers. But today's man is a dandy straight from Victorian times; his grooming takes more time than a woman's. He regularly visits the parlour to get the right skin tone (no pores) and eyebrows picked and plucked to have that craggy look.

Today's metrosexual man, or whatever sexual labelling it is, treats his skin to the best treatment available only from Molton Brown or Penhaligon's. He is careless or careful to wear the right clothes. The tie has to be a Burberry, the belt a Bottega and the money clip from Gucci, and mind you, the watch (again a big fat one) from Tag Heuer, and then we come to the biggest status symbol of them all SUVs.

What surprises me is the ease in which men have embraced all this - from mud packs to skin softeners, and special hand creams to hair colouring. It's OK to look good and be normal, but to fight for mirror space with your wife? Well, I always knew I was old-fashioned.

The writer can be contacted @ravneetsangha@hotmail.com