Wednesday 7 July 2010

Market Value ...

Market Value ...

Or - What comes next?...

Or - Photo Therapy Part Two

On: ‘Vanity’ and going from ‘Cute’ to ‘Hot’

OK, I admit: That sounds presumptuous!

To prove my point I again will use a method that has worked once before: The Photo Therapy! I will prove that while the first photo therapy brought me from ‘frumpy’ back to ‘cute’ the second one helped moving me further to ‘hot’, making the photo therapy a sometimes hurtful but utterly advisable and useful tool for self improvement.

Photo Therapy Part One – A Recap

I have been writing about this ‘cute’ thing occasionally already, claiming that being cute definitely makes life easier in many ways. I think it is fair to say that I was a quite cute girl when I was younger and I surely got my share of attention without having to work hard for it.

cute at age 17

Unfortunately I took a detour through the frumpy department at the beginning of my 40s and I was quite sure that ‘the cute’ was gone.

The smile all too often went stale, and the eyes had lost their spark. I know it because hubby used to call me ‘sparkly eyes’, and there was a long period during which I never heard this anymore. Self doubt was ruling life and I truly believed that ‘cute’ had left for good and with it the fun.

I was thinking a lot about which skill or attribute could give back at least some incentive for ‘liking life’. Assertiveness, helpfulness, style,... Style! Style sounds good and rather simple to achieve. So off I went to explore style in clothing, and then thanks to sport style in posture, and later via the first photo shoot style in expression. Since then my ‘Photo Therapy’ idea was always following me around, driving me, advising, pointing...

As long as the eyes of a woman are sparkling, no man will ever notice the wrinkles underneath!

- unknown -

... and at age 44

Now, 5 years on those pictures are worth a fortune for me. Now that I am looking back I can see that for a while I actually got ‘the cute’ back. Another name dear hubby used to call me when I was all dressed up to go out was ‘ Hey Pretty’. All of a sudden I heard it again, and ‘sparkly eyes’ was back as well.

From the amount of pictures I have sitting on my computer now, it seems that I all of a sudden I must have chased the cameras. Before, there were hardly any pictures of me and most of them rather colourless and dull, now even the not so good ones depict ‘fun’. My newly gained vanity seemed to have done me good.

This however was not a continuous state of mind. The most telling pictures are the ones taken at the first photo shoot in 2007 at the gym. They show me in great shape and confidence. From there live moved forward in waves with a little high in 2009 and then a deep dip during winter 2009/2010.

Like five years back I felt time was running out and I felt just old. And again it was Bodybuilding and pictures taking me back on track. And like five years ago Bodybuilding came first and the pictures gave me the confidence to believe what I was feeling already.

Body Image

Body image is a very weird thing. One might lose weight, one might put on muscles, one might transform: The mind still sees the frump, the big rear, the fat legs, the wrinkles. Pictures are able to transform the mind to the same image that the body already has reached.

All those pictures had already shown a pretty, even cute 45 year old, especially when there was a smile; some of them however, already showed first glimpses of a transformation I never thought possible, and I really wanted to explore that further.



Cute means likable, it makes things easy because people respond more kindly on first impression.

Thing just was: As much as I had been missing to be cute, I now wanted more; I needed an edge to it. Well, there are at least two levels to it, I guess. One is being able to be assertive and receiving respect.

This is a nice thing at work and in daily life situations, but there is one other thing I am sure every woman would find interesting to know: Some call it ‘shelf life’ or ‘expiry date’, I like to call it ‘market value’.

The questions are: If I were not married and available on the dating market, on which price range of shelf would they put me, for how long would I have to sit there, and would I sell at all?

There is one thing for sure: I don’t want to compete with the 20 year olds for whom a cute smile and a pout would seal the deal. They are a different league now and this is not my style anymore, but would I have that little bit extra that would make me attractive enough to give me a decent market value?

Don’t worry; hubby is perfectly fine with me posing those questions. I think he even likes the thought that others might desire what he has, he even moved on from ‘ Hey Pretty’ to ‘Hot Chick’; that I take as a first indicator that a second transformation has taken place.


And then the most recent photo shoot revealed this completely new facet of myself, but the finite clue came from two guys who hadn’t seen me for those five years. They were rather amazed about my change of shape, and the compliments already put me on cloud seven. When a bit later I met one of them again he picked up on the conversation and said: ‘My friend said that you look hot!’


The next photo shoot is already scheduled... and I rest my case!