One of my new years resolutions was 'Be hot'. It was quite a loose list, more like nice motions, one of which was made up from a friend's chat typo ('No Ransom', I liked it, something about not being constrained within your self, reminded me of the letter Sol le Witt wrote to Eva Hesse). The list had a lot about freedom and youth, things I had quit my job and moved location to find in myself again. I was 29, I felt old, tired and bored, I didn't want to look back and have an empty mind, wasted body and absolutely nothing to talk about. I'll be someone who lies on their deathbed and if some young writer doing a piece about the regrets of the dying comes along to question me, they'll be sadly disappointed by my lack of material.
Be hot. What do I mean by that? People still now look at old photos of me from Before him and say, 'I looked hot/cute/etc when'. It was a mixture of untainted youth and chemically applied brightness, and of course we'll ignore the heavy editing involved with the coming of digital images. Anyway, I've moaned about wanting to get back to that Before stage for quite some time. It isn't just about getting a dye job or being a size ten, though these cheats would lead part way there if only by association. It's no longer about the cattle market of Going Out, hitting bars and dance floors with some idea of appropriated sex.
Now, I'm actually taking the focus away from them and putting it back onto me. What makes me worth it? Validation from the inside glows outwards. It follows on from the shunning of definition by the external factors of work or relationships. Those times I 'looked hot' were yes a time when someone was in love with me, but I added that extra layer. I admit it's often easier when someone else has proved you first, you're not starting from scratch, but if you can muster it all from within then that is some heat. I always remember him saying, that seeing a girl out dancing in a bar by herself, doing her own thing, is irrevocably cool (read, hot).
I lead a pretty bodily-praising lifestyle, yoga when warm enough to take socks off, dancing everywhere but the supermarket (big coats hide sneaky street moves). It's not that I'm afraid of letting the world see me. I've been carrying a layer a emotional insulation that I think will drop in time. Starting as physically close to the inside as possible, I've done a fair bit of underwear shopping this week. I've hung out in a variety of changing rooms with perspex walls, feature cut-out doors, or scant curtains, which when coupled with mirrors give outsiders the perfect perve. But I didn't fight it, didn't feel prudish or imperfect. I'm young, vibrant and exciting, and I let you see me. Such openness and candour belongs to everyone. That's hot.