So much better when you're...

Glossy Magazines are the Anti-Christ. So are the Gossip rags. It is a well known fact* that the offices of Cosmopolitan are made up of concentric circles and if that isn’t a clue I don’t know what is. Think how many people at Heat magazine are named Adrian.

Even psychologists agree with me. They’ve done all sorts of tests on teenage girls (not the ones involving electricity, sadly) and have found that if you give them a copy of OK magazine and a cup of tea, by the time you come back they will all be deeply miserable and have the self esteem of kipper.
It stands to reason. Looking at pictures of people who are skinnier, happier, richer and more accomplished than you are makes you unhappy. Gloating over pictures of the aforementioned looking fat, depressed, poor and unemployed makes you feel a little better about your own miserable existence because look, it can happen to them too! Then you feel guilty for gloating and eat donuts. It’s a complex and self-defeating circle.
The relationship a woman has with her body is a complicated one. People other than me have expounded knowledgeably on this matter and drawn diagrams explaining why this is so, what causes it and how we should all spend a lot of money rectifying the matter. They long ago learned that we are all suckers who can be blinded by science and made to believe that the years of accumulated fat on our thighs can be magicked away with 18 applications a day of the faecal offerings of the Brioche bird of Vanuatu.

From time to time, the rags will champion a “normal” celebrity. This is the woman we can all aspire to be like because she is Just Like Us. Kate Winslet has always been the ultimate girl who was Just Like Us. We liked that she managed to get rescued from the Titanic by Ioan Griffudd. We liked that she tackled Serious roles. We liked that she was a little bit on the chunky side. We liked that she got narked by people photoshopping her legs.
Now though, there seems to be some sort of row about cellulite on her bottom. I’m not clear what it is all about. I’m not sure I want to. I’m not particularly interested in the presence, or otherwise, of dimples on the girl’s ever lovely rear.

Here is the thing; why are we expected to compare ourselves to these A list celebrities? More to the point, why are we supposed to feel annoyed if they lose weight, get digitally retouched or have some Botox?

I think we all spend far too much time trying to work out what we are “supposed” to look like. All these social networking pages don’t help. All they do is make you feel monumentally unattractive to large numbers of strangers.

Due to my unusually strict upbringing, my idea of what girls are supposed to look like was formed by the great classical works of art. This baby may have much back (as I believe popular parlance has it), but I never minded because so do all those nice ladies in the Titian paintings who have unaccountably lost their clothing. Having spent so much time not minding, I have trouble grasping the idea that I’m supposed to mind, except that I’m not because it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Or something.

There is probably some kind of useful lesson here.




* not actually a fact

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