A reaction against shiny

Michael Leunig

I feel a creeping desire to become shabbier.

Not dye my hair or wear make up. Forget about fashion. Give up trying to be cool.

I’ve spent many years trying to shape myself into something acceptable but the problem is that I’m becoming apathetic about impressing people.

Shininess takes so much work, energy, time and money, and yet adds so little value to my life.

Cartoonist and poet Michael Leunig is often depicted as a woolly jumper wearing hermit, writing and drawing in a mountain house in the Victorian bush. By the sound of it, he spends a lot of time observing nature and giving politicians grief. That all sounds pretty good to me.

Equally attractive are those older women I see around Glebe wearing brightly coloured spectacles and walking their dogs. They don’t appear to be bothered about their outfits despite looking smart and self-possessed.

I don’t want to become completely feral (I don’t think – I’ve never tried) but I feel increasingly repulsed by narcissism.

I wholeheartedly adore beauty and respect everyone’s freedom to present themselves as they wish, but I am on a slippery slope towards becoming a mad gardener, writer and artist with twigs stuck to my jumper and leaves in my hair. I can’t think of anything lovelier.

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