A couple of years ago, on a weekend visit to New York, I was in the ladies room at Sardi’s powdering my nose when an older lady asked me where I was from. When I told her I was frorr Dallas, the first thing out of her mouth was “Dallas, the city of beautiful women.”
Our city does have more than its fair share of gorgeous women. I can remember the first aerobics class I ever attended. My friend and I donned our jogging shorts and T-shirts and headed over to The Workout on Lovers Lane. When we walked through the door, I had to take a second look to make sure I was in the right place. For a second, I thought I had stumbled into some kind of fashion show. All around us, women with perfectly coiffed hair and peach manicured nails chatted with each other, probably discussing the day’s shopping. All of them wore darling leotards with matching tights, matching leg warmers, matching headbands, and matching belts worn to create the illusion of a tiny waistline. Oh, and of course, the perfectly applied makeup and the earrings and bracelets could not be ignored.
As class began, my friend and I hurried to the back of the room so we wouldn’t have to undergo the scrutiny of these well-dressed women. We were horrified at the prospect of actually sweating in front of this group. Afterwards, as we unwound in our car, we laughed at what had happened. But, the truly embarrassing part, the part I hesitate to mention, is that the next day I went out and bought a coordinating exercise outfit. And, even worse, I found myself applying lipstick before my next class.
So, maybe I’ve succumbed to the perfect-Dallas-woman concept, but I’m still puzzled at how Dallas women find the energy and determination required to look their best all the time. I saw one of them-a cute blonde in a Bronco-curling her eyelashes at a stoplight one day. It was 10 a.m. on a Saturday. I didn’t even have on mascara.
And why do they do it? The only explanation I can come up with is peer pressure. Why else would these women spend hours beautifying themselves to go exercise? Perhaps they know that if they show up for class without makeup-for that matter, if they go anywhere in public without makeup-they will encounter scores of perfect women who look like the Stepford Wives, painful reminders of what the Dallas woman is supposed to look like.
Noreen Sozio, owner of the Valentino Boutique in Highland Park Village, sums it up well: “Texas women are the most beautiful, well-presented women in the world. In Palm Beach, women go shopping with no makeup or jewelry. But not in Dallas. Here, they wear beautiful clothes and jewelry all the time.”
Maybe someday I’ll move to Palm Beach. In the meantime, though, you can find me in the Simon David parking lot most Monday afternoons applying lipstick in mv Oldsmobile.