If I dressed the way my husband wanted me to…

My husband falls in the category of broadminded, well-adjusted men with an open world view when it comes to gender roles. He’s not afraid of wearing pink or holding a slightly feminine handmade sling bag, and he encourages me to be more ambitious and thick-skinned in the face of life. Even so, if I allowed him to dress me up, be my stylist as it were, this is what would happen.

I’d mostly wear Westernwear: For my husband, Westernwear on women equates with power dressing. He never approves of me in a kurta-suit or sari, even if they are of the trendy variety. He thinks I look old and old-fashioned in them.

I’d always be in high heels: I guess there are various subliminal, psychological reasons why men like women to wear high heels. Besides adding a more glamorous gait, they also add height. Since I am almost a foot shorter than my husband, he appreciates the equalizing effect of heels.

I’d be colour-blind: Husbands have no idea about how colours work, and it’s not their fault. Apparently they are less sensitive to variances in hues than women are. If I listened to him, I’d be in clashing colours all the time.

I’d never wear lipstick: This is something he quite hates. He thinks I look artificially done up in lipstick. He also insists my lipstick adds chemicals to his bloodstream. Never mind that it also adds chemicals to mine.

I’d never show cleavage: Even if my kurta or shirt neck is a little low, and even if it’s not on purpose, the hubby is quite scandalized and ALWAYS points it out as if it were blasphemy. (No points for guessing that he doesn’t mind if it’s for his eyes only.)

I’d always be in fitting outfits: Contradictorily to the previous point, the husband likes it when I wear outfits that display my curves in all their glory, even if my shape is far from perfect. So skin show is out, but figure display is okay.

I’d always leave my hair open: Maybe this is something in the male gaze, but they seem to like long, open hair. If I tie it up for work, he is still okay with it, but if we’re going for a social outing, then he insists it be let loose.

But, since my husband is NOT my stylist, I still wear Indianwear, flat shoes and lipstick. (Indian fashion and beauty brands can now take a deep breath and thank the urban Indian wife for not listening to her husband all the time.)