HOW much time do you need to get ready to go out? If you’re a bloke, the answer is probably: “However long it takes me to get up off the sofa and walk out the door.” If you’re a woman from Liverpool, the answer is: “Three hours.”
Thankfully, there is a happy medium between these extremes and it comes courtesy of the ladies of West Lothian. In the home of Susan Boyle, the answer to this question is a refreshing: “Fifteen minutes.”
OK, I made up the bit about blokes getting ready – although you know I’m right – but the rest of my facts have been verified by an online beauty company, which asked its customers to estimate the average amount of time they devote to making themselves look glamorous before a big night out.
Liverpudlians took the longest – well, you need to be perfect in case you meet a footballer, don’tcha? – but I was hugely proud to discover that in West Lothian, nobody spends more than a quarter of an hour preparing to paint Livingston red.
I sometimes feel like West Lothian is my spiritual home – I could happily take up permanent residence in McArthurGlen – but now I know why I fit in so well when I go there. It’s because my perfunctory attitude to grooming isn’t merely acceptable, it’s normal.
After all, my sisters, how much effort do we really need to put into this going-out lark? A flick of mascara, a slick of lippy and we’re good to go, aren’t we?
A shower doesn’t count because we’d be having one of those even if we were staying in – so, honestly, what’s left to do?
I’m aware that the Liver burds have a deep-seated need to spray themselves orange, apply false eyelashes and nails, and then paint on a whole new set of eyebrows with black marker pen, but three hours? Really? During the Battle of Britain, they trained fighter pilots in less time than that.
Obviously, in Liverpool, nobody has a full-time job, or children, or they couldn’t possibly set aside so many precious hours purely for the purpose of primping and preening. (Unless, of course, they all have nannies from West Lothian.)
I’m also struggling to see who benefits from this. Not the women, who are frittering their lives away trying to morph into Barbie; and certainly not the men, who are waiting three hours for something that emerges looking like a cross between Donatella Versace and Divine.
I suppose it’s possible that the reason West Lothian girls only spend a few minutes getting ready is because West Lothian boys are saying: “We’re not prepared to hang around for three hours while you make yourselves look like rejects from The Only Way is Essex. So come on!” Nevertheless, thank God for some Scottish sanity.
I’m so proud that West Lothian women are strong enough to defy the diktats of the beauty fascists. Besides, what’s the point of wasting time putting on lipstick when it’s all going to get wiped off on the first piece of chicken out of the Bargain Bucket?
I love the low-maintenance lifestyle, especially when there’s no good reason for going overboard. A top night out in West Lothian is probably going to include a visit to the pub (no point dolling yourself up for that); followed by a movie (no need to put on slap when it’s dark); and end up in a club (ditto – and why bother brushing your teeth when the ultra-violet makes them look so white, anyway?).
Basically, West Lothian girls are saying “accept us as we are!” and I applaud that attitude, but I don’t think it’s confined to West Lothian. Given how many women in the UK are buckling under pressure to graduate from the Colleen Rooney School of Glamour, I think Scots lasses are, for the most part, happy to be natural.
Maybe we’ve been inspired by the Queen of Bare-Faced Beauty herself, Annie Lennox, to realise that less is more; or maybe we’re simply content with being ourselves; or maybe we just can’t be bothered making the effort. Um…let’s say the first two, shall we?
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South