If you’re a woman, God help you, you’ll know all about embarrassment. The opportunities are everywhere. Sometimes they’re plain as day – the heel caught in the gutter, the lipstick on the teeth – but sometimes they’re far more cunning – the accidental Instagram like on a five-year-old photo of your ex, or the forgotten baking powder in the collapsed chocolate cake you made lovingly for your new beau. But they all have one thing in common: they reveal you as imperfect. They let a chink of darkness into a man’s perception of you. And, as a keen reader of women’s mags you’ll know this very well: you mustn’t let that happen.
Here’s the Glamourless guide to avoiding literally any sign of imperfection at any time. Ignore this advice at your peril, and at the peril of your chances of future romantic happiness. If not happiness, compromise. If not compromise, survival.
1. Don’t let him see you make-up free
As far as we’re concerned, there will never be a moment safe enough to reveal your true face to your man – giving birth and death bed included. Why break the habit of a lifetime in moments of weakness? Committed Glamourless gals have taken appropriately extreme measures to ensure their naked visages remain safely cocooned at all times.
“My parents thought it was a bit extreme to have make-up perma-glued and tattooed onto my face, but for me it’s been so useful. I don’t have to take it off at night or worry about his reaction come sunrise. And I get an extra three hours in bed every morning. Win win!”
– Persephone, 28, South Kensington
“I set a silent alarm for 5am every time I stay at his, roll onto the carpeted floor, and flee to the bathroom with my make-up bag. I then spend an hour washing myself and trimming all of my body hair in case it’s grown overnight, and then another 55 minutes perfecting my hair and make-up. I then squirrel myself back into bed with him and he’s none the wiser.”
– Hannah, 26, Norwich
2. Look thin during sex without queefing
Sex holds such huge potential for embarrassment. Not only do you find yourself spread eagled, bent over, sweating, nude and vulnerable, but some men actually *look* at you during this whole sorry act. The main thing here is that you’ll want to look thin. But if you breathe in too aggressively, you may create some sort of vagical air vacuum, which makes queefing more likely. And you simply can’t come back from that.
Your best bet is to tense your stomach muscles so you at least look toned even if you don’t look thin. Queefing > fat in the embarrassment stakes, so pick your battles.
3. Don’t drunk text, sext, call, or anything like that
You’re going to do it, we know. You have no self-control. But it is embarrassing. The easiest way to rectify this is to throw your phone in the canal, or hand it over to some older, wiser, longer-in-the-tooth married friend. They will guard it for you in moments of crisis, but may also double up as secretary, which will make you look and feel important to any external callers.
4. Stick to topics you know well and vehemently agree otherwise
Ignorance is embarrassing, but then so is pretending you’ve seen a film when you haven’t and being caught out. In general, stick to topics you know inside out – great white sharks, perhaps, or the regularity of your own menstrual cycle – and flog them. Should an unexpected topic arise, look interested and engaged by tilting your head, narrowing your eyes slightly and nodding deeply, and perhaps it will end soon.
5. Exercise with caution
You absolutely must exercise, of course. How else are you going to stay in perfect physical shape with not the faintest hint of cellulite and/or bingo wing? But you’re going to embarrass yourself when you do exercise. Running is rarely graceful, cycling inherently unladylike, and lifting weights is just asking for trouble. You should take your workouts to the safety of the night, committing to one or two hours per night between 2 and 4am. This is the only way.
How do you avoid embarrassment? Or care to ‘fess up about a particularly embarrassing recent experience? Go on, we’re bored.