Laying low in the lipstick jungle

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As the only boy of six siblings, I thought I’d pretty much seen it all when it came to girls. That said, nothing quite prepared me for The Art of Genesis Ladies’ Lunch yesterday. I was the first, the only, and quite possibly the last man ever to attend the annual event; so the opportunity to boldly go where no man has gone before proved too good to resist.

The event for me was a game of numbers. The Genesis Appeal – the UK’s only charity entirely dedicated to the prevention of breast cancer – has a goal of making one in ten (the current amount of women suffering from this disease) none in ten.  I was one man in a room filled with almost 300 women; pretty good odds, I thought, of getting by undetected. I was wrong.

No sooner had I sat down than the always lovely host, Ms Michelle Eagleton, decided to announce my presence to the oestrogen-heavy room, leaving my cover well and truly blown.

Thankfully – and this may quite possibly be down to the flowing bottles of bubbly – I was soon accepted into the fold, and let me tell you fellas, when women get together, things happen!

Now a fashion show, art exhibition and raffle for prizes of pamper sessions may sound pretty trivial stuff, but there was a lot more to this than that. Renowned artist, Rosana Ibarrola, has painted images of women who have all been affected by breast cancer. It was these ladies who then took to the catwalk to strut their stuff – and strut it they did!

Whilst there was undeniably a lot of “look at those shoes”, there was an awful lot more of “look at her go!” These women blasted onto that stage with a confidence that said ‘sod you cancer.’ It was a joy to watch and I clearly wasn’t the only one who felt so.

What struck me most was the feeling that these women were bonded together. Not by a disease, but by a will to beat it and a desire to help each other do that. It was a privilege to witness it.