Saturday, 16 February 2013

Dammed If You Do And Dammed If You Don't.

This is going to be a bit of rant.

Yesterday I was flicking though some magazines while Peter was busy deciding which bread to buy. Long gone is the 'throw it in the trolley and hope for the best' method of shopping he used to adopt. The last week or so has seen every ingredient read and analysed before the produce ever hits the basket. This is not only annoying, because we never buy any ready meals, but time consuming. Anyway back to the main rant.

I was flicking through some magazines when I came across a section called something like 'celebrity grooming gaffs'. In this article there were several picture of, what looked to me, perfectly turned out women doing everyday things like walking down the street. Each picture contained a circle within which was a magnified piece of their anatomy. One, may heaven forgive her, had chipped nail polish on her big toe. Another had a spot on her chin and the picture that astounded me most showed a woman with three, and I counted, stray hairs on the bridge of her nose. The article went on to roundly lambaste these poor women for being slovenly and wondered how they dared show their faces in such a state.

In the paper this morning there were two more articles, one featured two young women in their twenties who both had surgery on their breasts and bottoms so that they would look like Jennifer Lopez. The results I have to say make them look like cartoon copies of their heroine with bums so overinflated I wonder whether they can ever sit on a chair with their backs flush against the back rest. Not surprisingly these two go on to moan about how they wish they'd never had it done because they don't like the attention they get. So why did they do it? Well partly because of mum's insistence and partly just because they could, even though they had to go to Columbia to get the work done as at fifteen they were to young to get it done in the UK.

The other story featured failing actress Martine McCutcheon who has just been declared bankrupt and celebrated the event by having £500 worth of extensions put in.

So why have these stories made me so cross?

Well, take your ideal woman as prescribed by the cult of celebrity. This woman should be completely hairless except on her head where the hair should be thick and style to within an inch of it's life at all times, regardless of weather conditions of what activity the owner is indulging in. The idea woman should weigh no more than five stone but have gravity defying boobs the size of basketballs and a backside you could rest a cup and saucer on. She must be perfectly made up in this seasons colours and yet also look as though she isn't wearing make up at all. And last but not least she must be dressed in the hottest trends and if at all possible she must not be seen in the same outfit twice, the worst possible crime is wearing an item that is 'out of season'. Fail to follow any of these dictates and you are immediately classed a failure as size twelve Martine found to her cost. Her bum, by the way, is naturally rounded so obviously not good enough.

Now let's look at your average woman. This woman will have hair everywhere, she will remove it only from the bits she will be leaving uncovered. On very, very special occasions she might be tempted to remove more if the pain, embarrassment or cost doesn't put her off first.. The days when she has less than three hairs on the bridge of her nose can be counted on the fingers of one hand as she doesn't have time to examine herself for these small imperfections every day of the week. Her hair will usually be scraped back in a bun or pony tail or on seriously bad hair days covered with a hat. Her hair is only styled on special occasions and is promptly ruined by a puff of wind the minute she steps out of the salon. Makeup consists of a quick coating of mascara and a slick of lipstick as she runs out of the door. Her nail polish is permanently chipped because she has to do her own housework. Her wardrobe is made up of things that suit her and old favourites, as she doesn't have the money to spend on expensive mistakes that she'll only get one wear out of.

The difference between the ideal and reality is now so wide that young girls feel permanently inadequate and their confidence is lower than at any other time in history. More and more are killing themselves in their quest for this perfection, while others are bankrupting themselves and still keep spending as they try to live up to an ideal that does not exist in nature and never has.

When I was a teenager, all of four decades ago, which isn't that long, your brain and your character were the most important thing. Yes there was still pressure to look nice and to be fashionable but our ambitions were to be educated, go onto university or get a good job and make something of ourselves using nothing more than our brains and ambition. They say we women had it tough back then, still fighting to have equal pay with men, still fighting to be allowed to do the same jobs as men but I think it is so much harder today. At least our goals were achievable, all they required was effort.

Today my local police force is bracing itself for trouble. Our local football club Luton Town is playing host to Millwall and previous encounters have not ended well. The last time the teams played at Luton the town center was wrecked and as a result Luton banned away supporters for some time afterwards.

I'm not a football fan but I have lots of friends who are and regularly attend the matches. Some have wisely decided to stay at home for this one while others have decided to chance it, sighting the fact that things have changed since 1985. They certainly have, our society has got more violent for a start and more people think nothing of carrying knives around with them. Please stay safe everyone and lets have a good, safe game.

There is no rugby this weekend and so I will have some time to bake instead but first lunch, a pasta I think and then the ironing, the fun never stops.