Proteopathy, you idiots.
This last week I not only feel old, but I feel as if the planet earth has been sucked into a swirling vortex of virtual reality, where women have finally started to become so much more powerful that we finally make men (and the scared women who feel a bit unsettled because their level of understanding of feminism and of themselves is basic/non-existent) a bit nervous. When I say that I include not just the best of us, but the absolute worst. Even the ones whose grasp on knowledge and wisdom is so tenuous that they've gone almost full circle and started to behave like every other woman is a threat to them - so much so that they just constantly attack anyone who gets too close to the truth of it. I'm not going to name names, because I believe that only gives them (her) more of a platform, but I'm sure you know exactly who I'm talking about - more donkey ride than pedigree racer, but about as horsey as they come. Poor old mare, Hopkins. I'm sure she'd love it if I said I find her face offensive - she's already 'spoken out' (god I hate the terminology the tabloids use) about how she's no oil painting but at least she's thin, yadda yadda yadda, but it's not her face that's the problem. It's her desperation. Methinks she doth protest too much; there's got to be some seriously insecure thoughts bouncing off the echoey walls of her otherwise empty skull for her to so widely miss the point of existence. Never has one so publicly displayed a text book mental illness. The woman's literally screaming for help.
"Well gee, whad'll she say next, folks?!"
Of course I have a lot of extraordinarily talented female (and male, obviously) friends, and most of them can outshine all but a tiny minority of the bumbling fools lobbing insults around on various social media sites (Twitter, 'quelle surprise'!). But paradoxically, talent rarely comes with the most vital accessory - a bulletproof shield and selective hearing. What it does seem to provide though is the appearance of having both, plus often a razor sharp wit. Sometimes wit doesn't cut it.
A certain protein product did it this time.
Across the globe in Siberia, desperate mothers are sending their teenaged girls to modelling castings where they must parade in bikinis in front of men who claim they're doing them some kind of service by judging them purely on their bodies. That's why it's such a nonsense to say that media that reinforces the idea that women should look a certain way is innocent. There's a frankly a stratospheric difference between encouraging obesity and the subtle yet still pretty bloody obvious repetition of the message that a woman isn't 'ready' to enjoy the experience of going to the beach unless she ingests some chemical crap and has visible abs. If you were to do any level of research you'd find that most of the women in the world who work out don't actually have perfect bodies. It's those extremes that are damaging, not the idea of being fit and healthy.
I stupidly bought Grazia magazine last week to get 25% off a dress to wear to a wedding - I wondered if the front cover was just using shock tactics to entice us in to read the then carefully researched stories about women's issues that lay between the covers, so I decided to have a bit of a read and find out.
Firstly, the use of single quotation marks in "Kim to become dad's 'transgender' stylist" was irksome. It's not a made up term. If the rumours are true, then her dad is transgender, not 'transgender' as if this was some fantastical situation invented by a sleb to get more famous. It's not a game Grazia.
Next up was "Grazia election survey: Who's got your vote... And who do you weirdly fancy?" Oh right, sorry yes I forgot - women are too stupid to know who to vote for unless one of them is someone they fancy. Because everything is reduced down to sex, isn't it. Grazia, you idiots.
Next up is "Pret announced you can get your coffee free if you're pretty - boss Clive Schlee revealed that staff can give away free drink to customers at their discretion. He said (allegedly) 'They will decide "I like the guy in that tie" or "I fancy that girl or boy". It's supposed to be a cheaper and simpler alternative to a loyalty card scheme'. Well, hold on a gosh darn minute - that doesn't sound like an official announcement from Pret exactly does it? That's just something the boss dreamed up and then let slip, which is not only nothing like any kind of loyalty scheme ("Being pretty and being loyal in 'not the same thing' shock!!") but it's also sort of encouraging customers to try and hit on staff in order to get their drink for free. Either that, or they only employ people incapable of instigating relationships through conversation, or other more usual methods that have more to do with the person involved than how nice their tie is.
By this point I've lost all hope of finding any decent (or any) journalism in Grazia. I only had to peruse the first few pages to have myself reduced to an object, sexualised, judged and shat out. At least More magazine had position of the month, which was actually pretty informative.
I DO expect companies to be morally as responsible as they can be. I DO expect them to consider that because of the society we live in, there are insecurities shared by the majority of women - even the ones who don't think they do - and to knowingly play to those is the wrong thing to do. I know why young women react angrily when you tell them an image they aspire to is wrong - it's because you're telling them they're insecure. I was exactly that way until I was in my late twenties; and what did it make me? Well, it made me ill actually. The only difference between the teenage me, and the now me is that now I know why I do it. I'd love to say that's half the battle, but it isn't. Something so sewn into the fabric of young womanhood doesn't just wash out when you realise you've been lying to yourself.
The fact that anytime a woman calls out those who perpetuate these stereotypes, naysayers everywhere pipe up with badly worded retorts centred around her being ugly, fat, jealous, hairy, fairy, sexless, unfit, bitchy, snooty, blahhhhhh yadda, zzzz... Sorry I drifted off there - they're just proving her point. "We say you should look like this, and if you say otherwise, we'll say you look like shit. Nerrr Nerrr ner nerr nerrr!"
See? Sounds dumb, doesn't it.