Just came across this (via Jaygee), and was reminded of a recent conversation.
I was looking for the unidentifiable 'something' in leather that might define the indefinable something that is me; all women do, when they go bargain-basement shopping.
Two women entered the shop. One was large, wearing a tight black top that slid off her shoulders and exposed a large expanse of cleavage.
My companion blurted out, meaningfully loud, "How can people dress like this?"
I walked out of the shop.
Fifteen minutes later, she was still thinking about the woman-in-the-off-shoulder-top.
"But how? How do they go about like that? Doesn't anyone tell them?"
I finally countered, "Tell them what?"
"That they can't wear such stuff."
"Says who? She looked happy enough, wearing it."
"But she can't carry it off... she's too big for that kind of dressing... if she was slim and wanted to show off her figure, I'd understand."
"How does it matter? The point is - she was happy. She thought she looked nice."
I changed the subject. I knew my companion would not understand - she's been on a strict diet for weeks. Eats soup for dinner, fruit for breakfast, and tells me to watch my weight.
I remember that woman - or at least, I remember her bare, rounded shoulders. I remember her flashy make-up, her bare smooth skin. I do not remember being disgusted. I remember thinking out an expression my aunt uses often, to great effect - 'Like...WOW!'
I remember thinking 'Wish I had the guts to carry off something like that'.
I envy her her confidence, her desire to flaunt what she has. I envy her the dare-bare act (in a bargain basement! In Delhi!). And yes, I even envy her so much cleavage that it fairly runneth over the edges of her blouse.
Corollary: I see many bare-shouldered women near my office - tall, blonde, skinny girls wearing strappy blouses and short skirts. The funny thing is - I don't remember their faces; I don't envy them.