Vicky post-Manhattanification (one must assume)

Aideen here – Happy Wednesday y’all!

So The Sunday Times Style Magazine had a great piece this week. It was the story of Vicky Ward and her Manhattan Make-over.

In brief: Vicky moves to New York. She’s slightly frumpy, wild of mane and got those ‘British’ teeth Americans insist on bitching about. Before long she is a transformed woman, in keeping with the ‘rules’ of how the NYC woman should present herself. She slimmed down, had major dental surgery and got a bitchin haircut which meant she had to give up swimming for life.

Sell out? Ah not at all. Though in the article, you can feel her bristling and getting ready for the criticism. She begins and ends the article saying she knows she’ll be slated by her British peers for conforming to the New York ideal. But she’s not sorry she underwent the metamorphosis she did – and sure, why would she?

Vicky channelling the 90s Bridget Jones look

The story reminded me of my J1 when I was twenty. I started working in a hotel union in mid-town and made great friends with glamorous Heather. Heather was half Italian, tall, slim with a great smile and a great set of gnashers to accompany it. She routinely used her lunch break to get her nail tips retouched and she wore, what to me was boring office attire, but made it dead sexy.

She must have thought I looked ridiculous – which to be fair, I did. Flares, random white shirt, track suit tops… HIDEOUS! I don’t think I looked dreadful all of the time. In my defense there were some cool Miss Sixty wedge heels and a nice Topshop top thrown in here and there… but I did commit one major cardinal sin. I flouted rule number one on page one of How To Fit In In This Town. I had… non-pedicured feet.

But Heather, bless her, never said anything. I guess she just thought we did things differently in Ireland. Heather just focused on whether I was enjoying my summer and making sure I ate properly by bringing me to local eateries and paying for my lunch.

Now, had she said anything, I would have laughed at her. I was a cock-sure student whose home wardrobe consisted of flares, Adidas Gazelles and slouchy jumpers. Back then, I was vaguely aware I looked odd in that 8th Avenue office but I didn’t care. I could say I wish Heather had taken me aside and told me what’s what but the truth is, even if she had, I’d have totally ignored her. I thought Americans and their fastidious grooming was excessive and daft. Don’t get me wrong, I was a girl big into her perfume, lotions and potions and other things pertaining to smelling good but the nails, toes, teeth whitening… it all seemed a bit much at the time. (Read: too expensive)

When I eventually did ditch the student look, I didn’t start getting regular manicures or similar whatnottery. Actually my metamorphosis was mostly based on me hair. But I’m really curious about other people’s ch-ch-ch-changes. Most of us  look and dress differently to how we did in school – so what prompted the make over? Was it the pressure of How-we-do-things-around-here? Was it a new boyfriend? Was it a stint abroad?

Do any of ye, having read the Sunday Times article think Vicky did actually cave and conform to an ideal? Or can you imagine the urge to Sex and the City-ify yourself if you were in a similar situation?

Go on – tell me. Share! We’re all friends here. (insert *emoticon winky face* here)