I was having a barbecue at the house of Melsie and Darren, some relatively new friends the other month. The weather turned a little unpleasant, so we took our nibbles and drinks and adjourned to their extremely tastefully decked-out, living room.
Taking pride of place above their fireplace was an enormous photograph of the lady of the house, lying on a red satin bed, in highly revealing black lingerie. I was taken aback for a few seconds and Melsie noticed I was looking at her sexy portrait. I felt like I’d been sprung perving in their bedroom window.
Melsie – “Do you love it Jase? Best thing I ever did, just for me”. She beamed with pride.
I couldn’t think of anything to say. Being new friends, subtlety was called for, and that’s not my particular area of expertise.
Me – “Wow. That’s… that’s you all right.”
Melsie – “I just smile every time I walk past it.”
Me – “Well I would too. You look very… enthusiastic”.
This was probably not the best word to choose, but I was caught unawares.
I never really understood the upside of the whole sexy-portrait thing. Family shots I get, absolutely, but a single photo of the family mum, seductively displayed, relatively publicly, I just find a bit unusual. I know they are designed to make women feel beautiful, special and the process itself allows them to be spoiled for a day, which happens very rarely in their busy lives. But…
Nobody would ever accuse me of being a prude. Ever. However, in this case I felt a tad awkward standing next to Melsie, her eleven and seven-year old daughters and her husband Darren, smiling as we all admired the massive photo. The likeness of Melsie was… provocative.
Darren – “She mentioned the idea, and I said if it’s something you want darling, just go ahead and do it.”
Me – “I’ll bet you did Dazza, you’re just that sort of giving guy.”
She had her hair teased up and blonded, her lips were bright pink, glossy and were more Angelina Jolie-like than I’d noticed on Melsie before. The black lingerie (with fur trim) and her ample cleavage was very much on display for all and sundry. Melsie was lying on what on closer inspection, appeared to be a rose petal-strewn, heart-shaped, satin bed!
Me (again struggling with what to say in front of the family) – “Is that fox fur?”
Not only did Melsie look to me like one of Heidi Fleiss’s working girls, but the portrait wasn’t even a good likeness. She was so teased, made-up, dyed and airbrushed, that I could barely recognise her. I’m pretty sure good old Dazza feels like he has two women in his life. His lovely wife, mother and wonderful hostess Melsie, and her sexed-up young doppelgänger “Melsie Sweet Stuff”.
Day-to-day, passing that room, I cannot see how it could do anything other than constantly hammer Melsie’s self-esteem. In the photo she looked fantastic, not a hair was out-of-place and not a wrinkle or blemish was present on her skin. She looked slim, young, accommodating and passionate.
What must poor Melsie feel when she looks at herself in the mirror and sees her actual face – a normal mum’s face, a real face with a few crow’s feet, carrying a bit more weight than she probably wishes and looking her age. How is Melsie seriously meant to remain confident and energised when she has to constantly look at the “perfected” Melsie-Sweet-Stuff version of herself every day?
Wouldn’t she feel that people (blokes in particular I suppose) will look at the portrait and think to themselves, she used to be such a hotty!
I suggest all portraits which are hung in living rooms should be ugly and designed to make the real person look good by comparison.
I saw a photo the other day of me at a 50th birthday party, dancing. I felt like a young John Travolta at the time, but seeing the photo later, it was a shocker and if I didn’t know better I’d swear I was fat, double-chinned and bald (I know, I know, I am fat and bald). That’s the photo I would have above my fireplace! One that makes people look at it, turn to me and say, hey Jase, you’re actually looking bloody good today.
If somebody peruses your portrait and then says that, then you’re looking good, feeling good.
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