Growing up in a large Indian community in South Africa, weddings were regular social events. Indian weddings are joyous, colorful, with lots of food, entertainment, dancing and celebrations. For the young ladies, this is also a time to show off the latest fashions in saris, jewelry, shoes and accessories. In the 1960- 1970’s as young girls my sisters, friends and I frequently attended weddings and enjoyed the festivities.
The beautiful bride is always the center of attention, dressed in the latest finery. During our teen years and later as young mothers we dressed up in our best attire. We would plan our outfits, hairstyles and try the latest trends in make-up. Amongst the guests, we would view the fashion styles with varying degrees of admiration, envy, amusement, surprise and generally offer compliments. Privately we would discuss the styles that we thought were good and those that were outrageous with sniggers and giggles.
We paid no attention to the parents of the bride and groom at all!! To us young ladies, this category of folks did not fit into the mold of fashion. We expected them to wear new garments, but never believed that they possessed any interest in style. They were too old we reasoned. As my sister said we regarded them as old “ fuddy duddies”. Could anyone in that age group even be interested in fashion? We also reasoned that anyone old enough to have children being married, were somehow resigned from life and any interest in beauty products and style. They acted prim and proper and solemn on the occasion of their children’s weddings. Rightly so we all thought, considering their age.
Now fast forward to 2008 and I find myself in this category of fuddy-duddies. My eldest son just got married a few weeks ago. Yet my sister and I were in a frenzy of excitement about what to wear, the latest fashions, losing weight, tips for improving the complexion, removing wrinkles, hiding blemishes, hairstyles, coloring the hair, pedicures, manicures, jewelry, wearing stiletto heels, and all sorts of plans to look good.
Will the younger generation be thinking the same way we did, that who will give a second glance to this category of folks? Maybe times have changed and the 50’s are the new 30’s. Is that why we have not changed our outlook very much?
So all that time ago did our parents also attempt to look good and look into the latest fashions?