Saturday, September 10, 2011

She’s So Very…Eye-Popping Popular

Type “Iris Apfel” into Google and you’ll find almost 2 million entries. The fashion icon, famous for her saucer-size eyeglasses, has turned 90 and is more popular than ever, according to a recent NY Times article entitled At 90, Fashions Latest Pop Star. This month, Mrs. Apfel will be selling accessories of her own design on Home Shopping Network. Famous for her highly individualized style, Mrs. Apfel is a wonderful role model for women over 50 who are finding their own personal style. In the Times article, she says that women tell her, “Now that I’ve met you, I feel so liberated.” Secret eccentrics, she says, have learned “that when you don’t dress like everybody else, you don’t have to think like everyone else.” Inspiring words.

Interestingly, Mrs. Apfel reports that straight men are among her fans. “They are so much more romantic than women,” she explains and adds that they seem to share her view that “there is not enough glamor in the world.” It was the second time in a week that I’d come across the opinion that men are more romantic than women. During a recent viewing of the movie Blue Valentine, the Ryan Gosling character say the same thing. My knee-jerk reaction is always to object to such gross generalizations. However, the connection made between romance and glamor interests me. I would have to say my husband expresses his romantic side by giving me glamorous gifts—beautiful watches, clothes, and a little something from Tiffany’s on our anniversary. I’ve tried to reciprocate over the years, but I’m a little too practical to match his outpouring. For me, romance is about those things that money can’t buy, like the bond between a man and woman, being attentive to each other’s needs, keeping each other safe and loved, helping each other grow. It’s not that I think I’m more romantic than my husband or vice versa—it’s just (like so many other things) a different take on romance.

Who do you think are more romantic—men or women?