Feature

Where the girls just let themselves go

Why can

Tad SafranThe Times

Why can’t British women be more like Americans? asked Tad Safran in the London Times. English girls are the loveliest on earth when they are teenagers, with roses in their cheeks and luster in their hair. Then they turn 21. “When British women get to the age where they have to make an effort, they appear unable, or uninterested, in rising to the challenge.” Keeping physically fit, dressing attractively, taking care of one’s hair and nails and makeup—these are skills that British women simply do not master. “As with many societal ills, I blame the parents. British mothers do not instruct their daughters the way American mothers do.” In the states, apparently, moms teach girls how to shave their legs and apply mascara. American women bond with one another at nail salons, sharing beauty secrets. Here in Britain, by contrast, women bond with one another at the pub, sharing stories of vomiting out cab windows. There is, of course, an upside to the British style: Our women are far superior as companions “to have a pint and a laugh with,” as they are “neither obsessed with their looks nor insecurely competitive.” But is it too much to ask that they comb their hair for a date?

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