I went to high tea at the National Gallery of Victoria today with a group of girls I hadn’t met before. We came together because we are all users of the Vogue Forums.
It was really good fun – they were all lovely and the food was great – there are no pictures because the ones I took on my iPhone are blurry.
When I was walking to the shops then train station afterward with one of the girls, she noticed a man staring at me as he walked by and asked whether it happens often.
I hadn’t actually noticed him staring. I hadn’t noticed because it does happens so often.
I can’t think of a day when I’ve gone out and not been stared at. I can’t think of a day when I haven’t had to explain why I look they way I do.
I’m definitely used to it, and as I said, a lot of the time I don’t notice it. Family and friends notice it more than me. But it does annoy me.
Sometimes I see people in conversation, then they see me and stop talking immediately.
Other times people stare and comment to their friends, trying to be discreet but I can always see them turn around to look at me before I’ve even walked past.
People shake their heads at me, probably wondering how I got so sunburnt.
There are kids that see me, stare, point, tell everyone around them how red I am, and their parents sit there and do nothing, or smile and look embarrassed.
I know my looks have scared children. I hate it when they see me then hide behind their parents’ legs.
I can sometimes feel people staring at me from behind – they will stare at me when they are oncoming, and then turn around after they’ve walked past.
Sometimes I feel my presence makes people very uncomfortable. Like they may catch something from me, or they take pity on me.
I hate this.
I deal with it by ignoring them, or smiling at them, or asking if they are ok.
There’s a line in a Darren Hayes song, Setting Sun, that reminds me of when people stare at me.
‘Do I make you hot?
Do I make you uncomfortable?’
Friends and colleagues say people stare at me and ask questions about my appearance because they are concerned and curious.
I take no excuses. Even if they are children.
One should never stare at another person and point.
One should never comment on another’s appearance unless it’s a compliment.
Sometimes I just want to be stared at because someone thinks I am beautiful. Sometimes I just want to be wolf-whistled at.