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Influences

These New Zealanders sure are fun!

By Maddie Smith

I’m in love with Rachel Riley.

Now, all of those of you from the UK or Southern Hemisphere are probably saying “me too”. For everyone else Google her if you aren’t familiar with the programs Countdown or 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

My fiancé knows and accepts that Rachel is the only woman I’d leave her for. The problem is that she would probably leave me for Rachel too! I’m not sure quite how we would resolve that.

What makes Rachel special is that she is the whole package. I doubt there is another woman in the whole world able to wear a dress, any dress, better than her. She has a smile that would melt granite and the best legs in the business, especially when matched with an appropriate dress (as you will see if you Google her). And those are just the fringe things; she has a personality and wit that would be hard to beat. Then there is her incredible mind. She is a mathematician and can work out complex number problems in her head in seconds. A clever woman is a very sexy thing. Fortunately, I have one of those as a fiancé.

Rachel sits in a group of one. But surprisingly, she doesn’t influence my fashion ideas or direction, nor do I want to be like her. No, Rachel really is the fantasy, the perfect woman. I will never have a body like that and couldn’t possibly aspire to emulate her dress sense.

But the key word here is fantasy. I am in the fortunate position of being engaged to the perfect woman. It took me six decades to find her, but the wait was worth it. Being that happy together means we both get to talk about and enjoy Rachel as we perceive her to be. Fantasy intact. The most powerful thing in the world, so I have found, is two people so completely sure of each other that anyone and anything can be talked about without any jealousy or worry. Which is also great fun! Particularly if we both want to wear the same dress we are discussing!

You’ll be happy to know, after getting through that introduction, that this story has a point. And it is this, I think I have a type! And that possibly influences how I try to look as Maddie.

Of course, I could be completely wrong, so let me present the evidence to the jury.

Rachel is pure fantasy so she doesn’t get entered into evidence. However, there was one big influence when I was growing up; it wasn’t Farrah Fawcett, like every other teenage boy of my age, it was absolutely and totally Jaclyn Smith. She was smokin’ hot (and has aged particularly well, just check her website). I was completely smitten, and still am.

But it only hit me this week that the look I seem to be settling on and cultivating for Maddie has so much Jaclyn about it. Personally, I say that’s a good thing. I hadn’t really given it any thought, Until I did …

But is it coincidence or is there more to it? Let me present piece of evidence #2 your honour.

And that is Jacqueline Bisset.

I was seriously into diving for a major part of my first 30 years. The film ‘The Deep’ was one of my favourites. How could anyone not fall in love with Bisset as she looked in that movie! And she is still hot! It seems I never fell out of love with her either …

Now spot the difference – there isn’t a lot is there! It could be argued they are very similar in their overall look. Do I have a type? And has that influenced how I treat Maddie’s look? As usual I’ll over-analyse that question (as I’m doing right now) and come up with no answer at all, probably.

If my two favourite women from the past have influenced me, then it was completely subconscious. That said I couldn’t be happier than having the look of those two to aspire to. I will take note now.

So, the jury is out, and could be for some time.

Which now begs the question – do you girls have influences from your past? Your present? Or do you make your own way in finding your preferred look?

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4 Responses

  1. Well, Maddie, that brightened up my Friday morning no end!

    I too have a bit of a weakness for Rachel Riley and also her predecessor on Countdown, Carol Vorderman (who’s also probably the best advert ever for cosmetic surgery and looks absolutely amazing these days). The problem with Rachel, though, is I gather she’s a bit of a handful in the romance department and those who fall for her end up getting their fingers badly burned!

    And as for the two Jacquelines (to give Ms Smith her full name) – hard to beat! I remember being particularly taken by Jaclyn Smith when she appeared on Charlie’s Angels back in the 70s – I think teenage boys were supposed to lust after Farrah Fawcett-Majors but I was obviously different (in more ways than one as it subsequently turned out!).

    As for influences to answer your question, for me it was the corporate world where I spent 24 years up to 2006. Skirts/dresses and heels were the norm in those days and working, as I did, in a retail bank meant that wherever I worked, there were always plenty of women to inspire me!

    If only they could see me now!

    1. I agree with you Amanda about Carol! How cool would it be to have coffee with those two. Enough brain power to sort out all the problems with the world and enough beauty to stop all traffic. Intelligence really is sexy.
      You can’t beat a good corporate power dressing ensemble. Right with you there! I’m still working my way through Maddie’s best looks (which is setting up another story I’m working on …) There’s just something about a skirt and blouse though …

      My morning could do with brightening; we are about 24 hours from a direct hit from a cyclone. And it’s likely to be the biggest storm of my lifetime so far. That would be bad enough but we are just starting our third week under a State of Emergency after floods 2 weeks ago killed people and destroyed homes and infrastructure. It’s the first time ever I’ve prepared the requisite 3 days of food and water with the expectation that it may actually be required. There have been so many stories of drama, survival, devastation and human kindness from the last two weeks, but I think there will be a whole lot more by next Thursday. And I reckon the vege garden will get destroyed for the third time this year (it will be our second cyclone) but if that’s all that happens it will be a very good result. Saturated ground and strong winds add up to lots of toppled trees I’m picking, meaning no power.
      But if the power stays on, at least I’ll get some writing done. Yesterday the local supermarkets were near empty of essentials. It feels like the day before the country-wide covid lockdown all over again!
      And I have a family member flying in from the UK right in the middle of it on Monday. I think their plane will be landing at the other end of the country …

      So, if you have anything interesting, please brighten away!

  2. Maddie,
    This is very interesting question and it’s one I gave careful thought to . As a professional photogapher I tended to plough my own furrow , I observed what others were doing but still put my own slant on my work , I now do that with my art. It’s obviously my personality as I worked my own style out and dressed as I thought appropriate . I had a soft spot for some women , I’m very much with Amanda on her comments on Rachel Riley and Carol Vorderman .
    I tend to observe women very closely to gain an insight into what makes a woman attractive , beautiful clothes alone aren’t the sole answer , beauty needs to be more than skin deep . I find many male traits alien to being a well rounded, attractive woman

    Are we any different to women having role models or trend setters ? To answer that we only have to look to the fashion industry to realise women are possibly more influenced than men .

    At times we could say being a man is a chore being a woman is a delight .

  3. Hi Teresa. It’s eyes. I’ll melt with the right ones … And intelligence, thus Carol and Rachel.
    One of the most fun things I get up to with my fiancé is to sit in a mall café and watch women go past while we surreptitiously pick apart their dress sense! If only they knew … How lucky am I to be able to do that!

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