You put your hands on your hips…

Image by Elmer Geissler from Pixabay

Those of you of a certain age will immediately be singing the next line “and bring your knees in tight” from the fabulous Rocky Horror Picture Show. But I want us bring us to the line “Let’s do the time warp again”.

I was looking through my wardrobe recently.  I had bought some new clothes and needed to cram them in the already bulging wardrobe that had items in I hadn’t worn for ages.  I decided to go through the items to confirm whether they were worth keeping any longer or not.  As I took each item out I reminisced about when I last wore it and how it made me feel.  To my surprise I found it made me happier.  With some items I recalled feeling more empowered, confident, more feminine, stronger and at my best.  I guess I had got used to wearing comfortable.  The same few items that circulated through the wash without getting anything else out of the wardrobe to mix it up a little. I ended up keeping all of it. This week I have even been mixing and matching the night before what I’m going to wear the next day, actually thinking quite a lot about the clothes I have and might wear and how they would make me feel. It has had a marked effect on how I feel about myself this week.

In 1981 Ellen Langer, a Harvard psychologist ran an experiment with an older group of men that essentially took them back in time to the late 1950’s.  They lived in a mock up 1950’s environment, all the music, furniture, news and sports, everything was from the 1950s, and they had to talk about things that were happening then as if they were present day.  The results showed that the men felt and even looked younger, they stood taller, had increased dexterity and a new lease of life of someone twenty years younger than they actually were.

This experiment was repeated in 2010 when the BBC recreated the experiment with aging celebrities with similar results.  Langer concluded that when we prime our minds to feel younger, our bodies follow. I wonder whether this was what happened with my wardrobe reminiscing.  Maybe these mini time warps and checking in with our younger selves can be a rediscovery of parts of ourselves that we’ve lost touch with. That’s not to say that we should be always trying to live in the past, but there might be certain things that prompt us into reliving some of our youth that will make us feel and act more youthful and make us feel better in our current day lives. 

I have loved wearing some of the clothes that had got lost in the back of the wardrobe this week.  I feel more lively and “human again”, instead of wearing the same old familiar, comfy clothes that don’t inspire.

Ingrid Fetell Lee urges us to act joyfully:

Our goal shouldn’t be to cling to youth as we get older, but to keep our joy alive by tending our inner child throughout our days while also nurturing our connection to the changing world. In doing so, we balance wisdom with wonder, confidence with curiosity and depth with delight.”


One thought on “You put your hands on your hips…

  1. Sometimes it can be like Christmas discovering new things in the back of the wardrobe. Liked the top you were wearing last night. Can’t wait to get some of my clothes back out of storage, but hope they still fit 🤪


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