This month’s Women’s Institute competition was to make a Fascinator. The speaker was a lady who ran a modelling agency and the talk was entitled "Making the Most of Yourself."
Sadly I didn't win any points for this attempt - although I am quite pleased with it and I wore it at a picnic, so my efforts weren't wasted. I made it at midnight the previous night and I suspect that the judge was looking for something a little less 'rural' and a little more flamboyant. The speaker was such a lovely lady and her attitude was so kind and generous. She'd obviously lived a very interesting life, mixing with the higher eschelons of society, but her sincerity was tangible. Whilst recognising the fact that we are all shapes and sizes she stressed that good posture was of benefit to our appearance and also our health. Being on the front row she used me as a model to demonstrate her points - I really wish I'd wore heels! (Not that I ever do wear heels…) Some of what she spoke about was quite easy for me to adopt: Being a flautist means that I'm constantly aware of how I use my diaphragm, but I'd never considered how this could affect my everyday posture. The speaker referred to this as "lift" and encouraged us to not slouch but use these muscles to support a better posture when seated and when standing. This not only creates a more healthy back posture but also encourages a brighter frame of mind and a more positive mentality.
I don't tend to wear scarves but we were shown some clever ways of wearing accessories so as not to look like we were recovering from a bout of the flu. What she was really suggesting was an attention to detail and a bright attitude to the most mundane aspects of life. Even the way we walk can project a more positive and ladylike appearance. What was most refreshing was the genuine kindness in her tips. My son has worked as a model at times and I'm sure you can imagine that it's not always the kindest of environments. The speaker at our meeting was genuinely encouraging and it was readily apparent that she had the best of motives in her suggestions.