‘Does my bum really look big in this?’ - little white lies that we all tell
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After all, it didn’t hurt us when we were told by our parents that babies came from gooseberry bushes or that the fairies brought them. Confusing, perhaps, but with no real lasting damage.
The pandemic has made us tell little untruths. “Yes, I’m fine,” I say to people, whilst really wanting to scream out loud over the phone that I’m really fed up!
Hands up, ladies, if you have ever produced a garment from your wardrobe and had a look of great surprise on your face when your husband has stated he has never seen it before. “This old thing,” you say, “I’ve had it ages”!
Or: “It would have been rude not to buy it, it was so cheap!”
Hopefully, you were not lied to in the shop when the assistant stated that “Madam looks lovely in that” or “It instantly has such a slimming effect”!
How many men have sat reluctantly outside a changing room with the hangdog look of a man who has been brought out to shop against his will saying: “That’s lovely dear, really suits you.”
It seems that we lie almost without realising it. “I can’t come in today. I’ve been very sick” - I once worked with a young woman who used that excuse once a month on pay day when we knew she really hit the shops!
Common little white lies can include the casual usage of “I love you”, “I didn’t see your text”, “Yes, I am listening”, “Honestly, I’ve only had one drink”, “I’m just on my way!” and the age-old “No, your bum doesn’t look big in that”.
And we have all known someone who has attributed their change of appearance to diet and exercise, certainly not plastic surgery or Botox!
Sometimes, it can be difficult to get yourself out of a lie.
Especially today when, in the absence of socialising, more people than ever are turning to dating websites.
It seems that age is one thing people most lie about, with their interests another. Listing ‘love of football’ can be a dodgy one with ‘love of cooking’ when toast is your signature dish can really catch you out.
Trying to impress with your love of reading when the only book you ever finished was Fifty Shades of Grey or saying that you don’t really have time to watch television unless it’s a David Attenborough programme, when you are obsessed with Love Island, doesn’t bode well for any future relationship.
And if the object of your affections sends you a photo which you suspect was taken about 20 years ago, well, it could all end in tears!
By and large if you don’t hurt anyone by your little white lies then all well and good. It can be kinder sometimes to lie rather than tell the truth.
Body shaming is a form of bullying today when a person’s physical appearance is criticised. Usually targeted at teenagers and very often on social media, it can give feelings of low self-esteem and send them spirally into depression.
When the 16-year-old Dutch heir to the throne appeared on the cover of a woman’s magazine in Holland, they described her as being ‘plus size’.
It seems that she was very upset by the thoughtless description of her as her weight was something she was having a real battle with.
There have been many cases of serious lying throughout history.
The Piltdown Man fraud in 1912 and the Cottingley Fairies in 1917 are two of particular interest, whilst Anna Andersen was the best known of several imposters claiming to be Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia, youngest daughter of the last Tsar and Tsarina Nicolas and Alexandra who were murdered in July 1918.
The location of the bodies was finally revealed in 1991 with DNA proving that the whole family were buried in the grave.
Adolf Hitler used Nazi propaganda based on fear and hatred with coercion, terror, and mass manipulation to brainwash the German people into believing his lies.
According to myth, young George Washington confessed to cutting down a cherry tree, saying: "I cannot tell a lie”.
But it seems that for every one honest politician there may be 10 who lie, with American presidents at the top of the list.
President from 1971 until his resignation in 1974, Richard Nixon spun a web of lies in what became known as Watergate. He was the first American president to resign but was issued a pardon by his successor Gerald Ford.
The reign of Bill Clinton gave us Monicagate (honestly nothing to do with me!) when he vehemently denied having sexual relations with ‘that woman’, Monica Lewinsky who was an intern in the White House, and which statement was untrue.
Despite his presidency ranking amongst the upper tier of historical rankings of US presidents, he has been subject to criticism for sex scandals and lies.
However, he did receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013 from President Obama.
More recently was the four Donald Trump years when he allegedly told 10,000 lies to include those about abortion, Coronavirus, Muslims, and Barack Obama.
His reassurances to the American people that the virus was getting under control and in any case was 99% harmless in most cases definitely proved to be serious lying.
So, the little white lies about the clothes in our wardrobes are nothing, really!
In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.