I went to the proper countryside last weekend. I mean the no phone signal for several days and definitely no Wifi, papershop only open in the morning on Sundays, beep round corners countryside- not the organised, national trust planned with handy loos and maps of pretty walks countryside (though that is very nice too- especially when there are scones).
I had a lovely time, it was a bit like a holiday in the early 1980s, not like Ashes to Ashes though, maybe Bergerac without the nice car.
I couldn't fail to notice that the real country cousins (not the cousins who live in the Peaks or the Cotswolds but who dress like they live in Notting Hill) continue to dress and behave more like women of another time- and have the bodies of another time. Frankly those bodies, which are rounder, less taught, not brown-orange but either a nice milky-white or a proper golden brown, those bodies seem just as popular with the local men folk as the sometimes starved, over gymed bodies of the city.
Clearly not all country girls are fleshy maidens ripe for painting by Botticelli and not all city girls are as slim at Kate Moss and/or as toned as Paula Radcliffe. What is certain though is that far more girls in the towns and cities will feel concerned they don't conform to Kate or Paula look, or if they do they will sometimes go to bizarre lengths in my eyes to achieve that figure (if you don't see your friends because you need to go to the gym every day, if you only eat vegetables ever, limit your calories to 500 to 1000 a day, if you are scared of semi- skimmed when it's just for tea- I mean you).
The girls in the country seemed more comfortable in their skins to me- far, far more relaxed- and actually the men seemed more demonstratively attracted to them- though perhaps you will get more squishing, hugging and the like at a wedding than you would every day.
I guess my real point is that we all either strive very hard to conform to a certain look or feel bad that we don't perhaps and the truth is there are other ways of doing things. If you look back at pictures of the celebrities from the 1980s they aren't as exceptionally waif like as the current crop. Julia Roberts says in Pretty Women she is a US 6- that's a UK size 10. That's slim certainly especially for someone of her height, but it's not emaciated; it's achievable for people who need to eat to get through the day and who don't have all day to devout to regimes of cardio, stretching and toning.
Of course for every Sigourney Weaver you will have an Audrey Hepburn type figure- but when Audrey was playing roles not all actresses looked like her- because films showed women of different sizes- admittedly never anyone plus size as such but of different sizes- but they showed different bodies presumably acknowledging that difference could be beautiful. Now we see a uniform example of how we should look and I think men start to think that is what they should aspire to find.
Sometimes I wish the country would come to the town- and that instead of wearing clothes from the 80s fashion could decide bodies from the 80s (or earlier) were back.