Groan. It’s that time of year again, when we young, sprightly females are supposed to get all excited and ditzy and start planning a vast wardrobe of outfits. Or, if we’ve been following the exhausting tips from various women’s magazines and shop windows, we will be terribly busy building a sort of ‘capsule wardrobe’ that will carry us effortlessly ‘from office to bar’ with just the addition of some damagingly high heels and an itty-bitty clutch purse.
Yes, the adverts on television have started, showing gaggles of 20-something women all looking essentially the same, tarting up in tulip dresses of various colours, hair straightened, pins polished, trotting along to a Christmas party. “This is your time, gals!” the adverts seem to scream at us. “Get your legs out and have a little dance!”
I hate this. I hate it because it suggests that we are all the same woman. And that woman is trapped at her desk in her office all year round, stuffed into her work clothes, having a boring, repetitive life, until December, when she gets released and becomes her ‘real self’ or, as one advert disgustingly says, her ‘party me’.
Look, I like a party as much as the next young lady. I even like getting dressed up and feeling glamorous. Of course I do. But I utterly object to this image of young womanhood that seems to become prevalent around Christmas, showing us all giggling and wobbling about and thinking about nothing but sparkly clothes and hair, as though the rest of the year has been a constant round of serious tedium.
For me, the build-up to Christmas seems like the worst possible time to go out to more parties than usual. I mean, for one thing it’s blinking freezing outside. Has anyone else noticed this? Gok Wan wants me to show flesh in a little dress? Darling, it’s snowing. I can’t imagine I’ll look very attractive, or feel in the mood to party, while I turn blue and my knees knock together with the chill. The girls who do fall for the image of the ‘party girl’ are the ones we see teetering about town centres with no coats on in the middle of December – because they don’t want to waste their tequila money on a nightclub’s cloakroom fee! Gosh, whenever I see one of those girls I just want to rush over and wrap my big wool coat around her.
For another thing, television is so good around Christmas. Who wants to go out in an uncomfortable outfit, stalking around in the cold, spending clutch purses full of money, when you could be snuggling down for Strictly Come Dancing, The X Factor, The Apprentice or I’m a Celebrity…?
In my world, the Christmas season has no room for partying. Far from wanting to slip into some killer dress and go out and seduce, my aim is to thoroughly indulge from the comfort of my own home: eat lots of fabulous, seasonal food, drink well, sleep well, enjoy the company of my family, and keep warm by the fire. Ho ho ho.
Miss York is Editor of Grumpy Young Women, the nationally-acclaimed blog of young female writers with bees in their bonnets.