Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Spitting in the eye of the beholder

Don't hate us because we're beautiful.

Hate you because you're beautiful? Are you kidding? It's your only saving grace! We hate you because you're simpering, dunderheaded, simplistic, patronising, trivial, superficial, irritating, offensive, overpaid, insipid, braindead, iniquitous, spoiled, halfwitted, meaningless and just plain stupid. We can think of about 762 reasons to hate you, and being beautiful doesn't make the list.

(OK, if we're honest it might sneak in at 761.)

I scrub up all right, possess a certain sleight of hand, can 'pass' as they say... Friends routinely remark upon the attention that I draw in public...

...I was deputy chief leader writer of the Times at the time.

My life is brilliant.

In straight men the reaction can be still more unnerving (and here I have gone beyond buttock-clenching and find myself nail biting and tugging my hair).
Declarations of love at first sight have been the least unpalatable

My love is pure.

Based on my looks, the assumption tends to be that I am ethereal, unworldly, a receptacle for romantic fantasy; or flighty, provocative, somewhere where lust might be parked

I saw an angel.

or flighty, provocative, somewhere where lust might be parked. Beauty, the scant portion I can claim of it, has proved double-edged to say the least.

Of that I'm sure.

'I know I am attractive, and, yes, when I walk down the street people do look at me. I'm tall, muscular and black

You're beautiful.

'I never feel I look good and in a way it's a good thing. The constant insecurity keeps you grounded.'

You're beautiful.

'People who haven't seen me for 10 years are always really surprised in a "Wow, is that really you?" type way.'

You're beautiful, it's true.

If I go to a bar I am never chatted up, where an average-looking friend would be. Men steer clear. I'd think: "Bloody hell. What's wrong with me?" If you are attractive, men are put off.'

I saw your face in a crowded place,

I'm always supposed to have batted my eyelashes, wrapped someone around my little finger, had my way with them. My looks may help me through the door, but they're a liability once I get in there.

And I don't know what to do,

As an actress of 21, loathing the superficiality of her career and the men attracted by it, Pilar Santelices, 28, opted to become a pre-novice nun,

'Cause I'll never be with you.

No really, we don't hate you because you are beautiful. We hate you because you insult us once a month with consumerist trash. We hate you because you serve us a fucked-up facsimile of womanhood and expect us to fill our faces with it. We hate you because you run features with all the insight, wit and verve of THAT fucking song by that creepy half-pint of whinging, wailing subway-stalking, Cockney rhyming slang-monikered twunt.


The facelift king of America

Oh well, here's a surprise. Just in case you've been left feeling a little less than beautiful by the rest of this month's OWM, the solution is at hand. Just $25,000 for each lift; a further $10,000 to lift the eyes, and $10,000 more to lift the brow. It doesn't say how much to hack off your breasts.

Dr Sherrell Aston tells Polly Vernon the secret of a good face-lift and why, if pushed, he'd happily take the knife to his own daughters

Will give a new meaning to the phrase 'they get their good looks from their father.'

He is certainly rich enough to pursue sexily flamboyant lifestyle choices. He exists in a flurry of hand-tailored Brioni suits and Hermès ties. He has been called the Imelda Marcos of the tie world; he owns loads: 'Seventy-five per cent of which are red, not for any special reason'. His shirts are custom-made, as are his shoes. He drives a Porsche

Whoo! Cracking score on our Polly Bingo cards.

His credentials are astounding. 'He does beautiful face-lifts,' says Wendy Lewis, the leading independent plastic-surgery consultant,

You're beautifu... oh don't start that again.

"I'm greeted at Aston's offices by Bernadette McGoldrick, director of operations for this private clinic; an affable, sweet fortysomething redhead, a card-carrying Aston's Angel.

She apologises effusively for his lateness, and gets me a Diet Coke. I snoop round his suite of rooms, which are ornate, mahogany, Baccarat-crystal and rich-rug strewn, the antithesis of the cold, sterile environments one expects from doctors' surgeries. There are tasteful antiques and objets, many of which, Bernadette explains, are gifts from grateful clients. On the walls are endless snaps of Dr and Mrs Aston and celebrity pals - with Prince Charles (in a kilt) at Buckingham Palace, with the Carters, with the Clintons..."

Oh Polly, stop it you're killing us.

"Then Aston arrives. He's dressed in full double-breasted Brioni splendour, a look which enhances the mannered, Rhett Butler-ish dash. I am instantly charmed - just as his detractors and fans alike promised I would be. He's short, he's wiry, he's got a lot of hair, and a smooth face, but doesn't give away much either."

My love is beautiful, my love is pure, I saw an angel, of that I'm... AAAAAAaaaaaargh

Would I 'have an Aston' when the time came? Would I let him slice into the flesh on my face, peel my skin back like a Halloween mask, rootle about with tissue beneath it, repositioning and readjusting it? All because I can't face the fact of ageing? Would I? I actually don't know. I'll get back to you.

You know the answer, we know the answer, who exactly are you trying to kid?

the quiet life of Kerry Katona

We like Kerry Katona lots here at OWMMS. If you disagree - if you think she's some kind of bad role model, if you think she's just a vapid celebrity and some kind of wart on the face of civilisation, then you're just wrong, OK? We care about Kerry. We cry for her in hard times. We vote for her in the jungle. We might even buy her novel.

(OK, that last one was an downright lie, but you get the picture.)

Anyway silly old me because it turns out Kerry Katona is huge out there in red-top country where the real people live

Oh excuse us while we nip out in our tracksuits to Iceland for a bottle of White Lightning, 20 Berkeleys and a copy of the Sun. We wouldn't want to clutter the view for the beautiful people.

Monday, 10 September 2007

They've got the hacks and jodhpurs. We've got the riding crops.

Jodhpurs and jackets

Odd to think that stretchy horse pants are about to re-enter the heady atmosphere of high fashion, but - viewed as part of the broad move towards sporty, high-tech kit - they do make a kind of sense.

Now we hate to break it to you, but there was a box intended for Country Life, and due to an administrative error it got sent to OWM by mistake. (If it's any consolation, there are a couple of hundred inbreds currently Tally-Hoeing across Buckinghamshire wearing Gaultier bondage pants.) Jodhpurs are hideous.

We know it, you know it. Even MC Hammer couldn't pull it off - and his weren't even beige. We have got no taste whatsoever but we do we know jodhpurs are a mistake. That's bad.

4. A Great Big Cocoon Coat

So what if you do end up looking like a balloon poodle? This is fashion, you dimwits.

We could hardly have put it better ourselves. Well said, Mimi. And I guess if you're going to have a name like a poodle, you might as well look like one as well.

Julie Burchill: What I know about men.

I must say I do find the idea of a piece called What I Know About Men rather risibly offensive. I doubt if anyone would have the gall to run a weekly column called What I Know About Blacks/Whites/Asians. When I read the moaning minnie sob-sisters writing that 'All men cheat/lie/smell', you've got to wonder at the sheer bad luck of these broads to consistently hook up with such stinkers.

Hee hee. That's what happens when you get a real writer to offer an opinion. It won't be happening again.

The rules for the Autumn

Out: cleavage We prefer our cotton shirts buttoned up high. A little styling tiplet for you. It's hard. It's androg. We approve.

Like Hell we do. Step Away From The Breasts, OWM, or we might get nasty.

Is this the most powerful woman in fashion?

She's the 'ordinary' woman who's credited with saving our Great British high-street institution. Kate Bostock, ex-grammar-school girl, 50-year-old mother, and the power behind the M&S revival, tells Geraldine Bedell her trade secrets

...but Geraldine ignores those and embarks on self-centred rant about guess what? Clothes, body image and age.

The incredible shrinking model

As New York fashion week kicks off the latest catwalk shows, the guidelines on model weight are debated more furiously than ever. Emily Nussbaum goes Bkstage and begins to suspect the skinny issue might be more loaded than we

And next month in Observer Woman, Emily goes backstage at the eating disorders clinic at Royal Maudsley Hospital. The hospitality isn't as good, the freebies aren't as good, the parties are bloody awful, but at least her readers will get the other side of the story and hey, she's less likely to bump into Nirpal.

She's worth $100m, runs a $400m hedge fund, has two sets of twins and four nannies ...

We're so bored we jus

A Comedy of Errors

The scene: The OWM office, Herbal Hill, London. Summer 2007.

Nicola: Girls, girls, pop your tushes round my desk, poppets, we need to get the September issue planned - I'm meeting Liz for lunch in 35. Eva, are you back with the espressos darling? Ah yes, there you are. Where's Polly?

Polly: Here I am, Nicky.

N: Oh sorry poppet, I couldn't see you for the coatstand. Good job there aren't any coats on it or we'd have lost you forever. Kathryn? Where's Kathryn?

Eva: I last saw her under my desk, testing something called a 'Dinger'

N: Oh not again. Oh well, let's get started. I hate to tell you this girls, but the chaps on the top floor have been going on and on about values and journalistic standards and all that boring stuff again. Suggested we should do something a little more, ya know, intellectual. Something in keeping with traditions of the Observer or some such guff.

E: But we did the Ethical Special they wanted back in the Spring! You remember, the one where we nominated Simon Cowell as an ethical pin-up?

Kathryn: [from under the desk] Hhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmm.

N: I know, darling, I know. But apparently they want more. So I was thinking, why don't we do something on those funny women, you know, the fat, ugly ones. oh, what are they called? F-F-F-something....

E: French and Saunders?

N: No, no, no. Furries? Fannies? Femidoms? FEMINISTS, that's it.

[everyone stares]

E: You can not be serious.

N: Oh I am darling, it would be a hoot. We could get Greg to take some photos of them burning the new Janet Reger collection.

K: Ooooooooouuuuuuuuuuhhh

P: But I met a feminist once, ghastly girl - wore a sapphire blue Cavalli blouse with green eye shadow!

N: I know darling, I know....

E: And Nicky love, they're just so frightfully boring - always going on about equal this and fair that.

N: Ah, but listen, I haven't told you the best part. First of all, we can't have any old ugly people in the magazine, so they'll all have to be about 25, 26 tops, size 12 max and... now this is the brilliant bit - we give them a makeover!

P: Oh yes darling, I love it! We'll get the clothes from D&G and the slap from Liz Arden and...


N: Well sorry poppets, but I ran THAT idea past Hadley at the Guardian - she once made tea for the Guardian Girls' page ya know. Anyway, she knows the sort and it turns out they wouldn't stand for it. Says it will offend their principles or something - heaven knows what that's all about. So instead, we're going to re-brand them. we'll call them the 'New Feminists!'

[rousing music]

Girls, this is our moment! I have a dream. We are going to change the world for women! We will make feminists fashionable again! We will make feminists sexy! When they see the boys falling at their feet these girls will THANK us. Girls - We must reach for the stars - we are going to get the feminists shopping!

P: Hurrah!

E: Hurrah!

K: GGgggrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

E: Now, Nicky love, that's marvellous, but... err, we're not actually going to let them say anything are we?

N: SAY anything? Oh darling don't be ridiculous! Who knows what nonsense they might come out with! No no, we'll put them on a grid - just like we do with the make-up reviews - and give them about ten words at a time, they can't do much harm that way. Half a dozen questions - Lapdancing clubs - IN or OUT? Men - IN or OUT? That kind of thing.

P: We'll still need one of those big long featurey things though. What's that going to be about?

N: Got it covered, poppet. Nirpal just emailed me some links to some of his chums - just the most gorge boys you could imagine - proper rough, they write really hot blogs about how they treat us girls like dirt, find us disgusting, fuck our brains out then kick us out in the morning....

K: OH YaaaAAAAA BABY!!!!!!!!

E: Hmmm yummay!

P: Oh Nicola darling, have I ever told you, you are brilliant?

K: OOOOOOOOooooh damn, it's no use, I've lost it again. I think it only works when it's on a tongue. Anyone have a spare tongue?

E: Kathryn darling, just use your Rabbit and shut the fuck up.

N: Oh look, it's 11.15 already. Lunchtime, poppets. See you all tomorrow.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

The Return of The Lorax

The rules for autumn 2007

In: Thneeds
Most unlikely fashion item of the season? The Thneed.

Way back in the days when the grass was still green
And the pond was still wet and the clouds were still clean
A very great man with a big thinker-upper
Thunked up yours truly, not long after supper.
I wasn't there until that famous day
When he gave me a name, and then something to say.

Pay me attention - hear well if you please
For I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees.
I speak for survival and good common sense
But what I've just heard has been making me tense.
Listen up now, meditate on it later
I bring you sad news of my noble creator.

The Doctor, so clever, so good, wise and brave
Has sent me to say that he spins in his grave
He once wrote a book with a message to fear
So simple and wise it was perfectly clear.
It told of the creatures, the rivers, the breeze,
And the heartbreaking tale of the Truffula Trees.

The Truffula Trees were the loveliest things
The finest example of what nature brings
They brightened the day of quite all who beheld 'em
'Til ignorant imbeciles turned up and felled 'em
Spurred on by money and urged on by greed
They hacked down the Truffula just to make Thneed.

A Thneed was quite useless to man and to beast
But that didn't stop 'em, no, not in the least.
One after one, the trees fell to the axe
So greedy designers made cash to the max.
The Truffulas slaughtered and turned into Thneeds
A silly invention that nobody needs.

I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees.
I speak for the birds and I speak for the bees
I bring you a message from someone you trust
My brilliant creator is sick with disgust
At a vile magazine called Oh Doubleyoo Em
Famous for making its readers spit phlegm

He thought up the Thneed as a valuable lesson
He really did mean it he wasn't just messin'.
The Thneed he imagined with anger and passion
Is now up for sale in the temples of fashion.
Could it be true that the marketing folk
Would market a Thneed as post-modern joke?

High on his cloud up in genius heaven
The Doctor is shedding a tear now - or seven
In deepest depression, the great Dr Seuss
Has tears on his cheeks and his head in a noose.
In one final gesture of deepest despair
He buckles his knees...
...And he steps off his chair.

I am the Lorax, now listen - you must
All that I stand for has crumbled to dust.
To those who advise what to wear for the Autumn
To those who have made 'em and those who have bought 'em
Think on this story. Remember it well.
Think on it hard as you're burning in Hell.

(We would offer the usual apologies to Dr Seuss, but under the circumstances, it's probably not us who should be apologising.)

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Probing the G-Spit

OWM writer goes shopping shock:

"These days, shopping for an erotic dvd and a pair of fluffy handcuffs is just like browsing at Dolce and Gabbana, says Mimi Spencer"

It's called porn you plummy-gobbed twazzock.

We spoke to D & G and they said next time can you mention them 5 times instead of 3, oh and that they hope you like the dress.

Opinion is divided about this feature round at OWMMS. One side of the sofa says it is pretentious, voyeuristic, immature and annoying. The other side of the room says it's pretentious, voyeuristic, immature and annoyingly well-written. Mimi - move on. You can do better. You don't need to write the 952nd article this year about women's new-found sexual confidence.

Buy porn and sex toys - yep, we've all been there. Corsets and lingerie? Who hasn't. Extracting a finger from the backside of a handsome gentleman lying prone in a basement in Piccadilly? Hell, that's a quiet Saturday night.

Kathryn Flett

"Well it hasn't happened to me-but if thats what the G-spot really stands for then I'd be delighted if someone enterprising decided to help me locate it. Ideally in this lifetime"

Kathryn, meet Mimi. Mimi, meet Kathryn.

Seriously, shall we have a whipround to send dear KF to Amora, and find a volunteer to guide her to the interactive G-Spot locater?

And to Mr Anonymous -we feel for you. You must have been *so* bored.

Giles Deacon - How I Get Dressed

"There are probably about six different people I amalgamate into one muse."





EVERYBODY'S... rushing to get seats on EOS - it's the glam way to fly to NY

Cost of one EOS flight to New York? $6,499. Number of passengers on one EOS Boeing 757? 59. Number of passengers on any other 757? 200. Number of pages devoted to ethical consumerism in the April edition of OWM? 68. Catching out OWM in their rampant, selfish, elitist hypocrisy? Priceless.

Look, even we can remember what we said in April. And we've been drunk the entire time. Just how dim are you people?

My big fat gay wedding.

Ooooh, this could be interesting...

Oh. It's an article about a frock.

(no link at the moment - maybe Ariel saw the company she was keeping...)

Gwen Stefani interview

Ooooh, this could be interesting...

Oh. It's an article about lots of frocks.

"I'm like every other woman. I'm super-vain. I have issues"

No Gwen, you're not. However you have captured the entire spirit of OWM in two short sentences. For months we have been asking who the hell OWM is aimed at - and now we know. Gwen Stefani IS Observer Woman. We've had to strike her from the future fluffer shortlist.

dolly is devastated.

Got nothing to read? Don't cry. We've got all the words you need...

Just filling our beer tanks, sorry for the delay still recovering from our pre holiday waxing (and we got home on monday)

won't be long

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Look into our eyes. We still hate you.

Don't think you can throw us off the scent by hiding your tawdry magazine inside a fake cover. And is it just us, or does Katharine Hamnett have a look in her eyes that says: 'if you even think about using my photo in this car advert I'm going to rip out your liver with a spoon and feed it to my cats.'

We know it's common but we love it anyway

3. Woobs. Like Moobs - man boobs - but on women. They're everywhere!

Look, we know most of your friends have either starved themselves to the shape of a chopstick or else had their breasts hacked off, but moobs on a woman are called 'boobs.' They used to be quite fashionable. Now stop talking wollocks.

5. Ice cream vans The chimes thrill us, decades after we should have outgrown the whole scene. This season, we're particularly enjoying laughing cruelly at the youngsters who hang back from the Mr Whippee-inspired frenzy, crying: 'I'm not allowed! I'm dairy intolerant!'

Oh yes, it's hilarious. The only thing more fun is popping by the children's ward and tying knots in the tubes hanging out of the life support machines. If you time it right they turn the perfect shade of blue to match the new Dolce & Gabbana Allyson handbag. What a giggle.

EVERYBODY'S... logging onto

OK, we know the OWM team are desperate but... .

Irvine Welsh: What I know about women

"When we did Wedding Belles we didn't want to do all that Bridget
Jones shit, about shopping and finding the right man, because very few women are actually obsessed with any of that. Few women are that one-dimensional"

You've never read Observer Woman, have you Irvine?

Hilary Duff: What I know about men

"I'm not, like, a crazy feminist. I think women definitely need men. Like, I couldn't imagine having a girlfriend!"

That's, like, more like it. Like, pay attention Irvine Welsh.

When Polly Met Björk

Here at Spitting Mad HQ, we have a little game we like to play whenever we see that Polly Vernon has been sent to interview someone, we like to call it Polly Bingo. The first round is 'kiss and make-up' and the rules are simple: Count how many words it takes from the beginning before Polly mentions the application of make-up or cosmetics.

"Björk ambles around the chintzy suite of a west London hotel, smearing moisturiser into her face in an inexpert manner..."

Woohoo! Ladies and gentlemen we have a new record - only 11 words wasted. Polly is on form today.

Round 2. Designer name drop. Count how many words it takes before Polly shoehorns in the name of a fashion designer.

"Björk ambles around the chintzy suite of a west London hotel, smearing moisturiser into her face in an inexpert manner. She paws at her cheeks and her forehead, she rubs her upper eyelids aggressively, she drags at her skin. She's wearing a long, embroidered kaftan over metallic-silver leggings, a look she's accessorised with a long necklace, which seems to be made of discarded Barbie-doll limbs. A pair of cracked-silver Vivienne Westwood dolly shoes lie a little to one side"

Ding ding ding! We make that 72 words. Slightly disappointing after such early promise but still comfortably within the first paragraph. Good work.

Round 3. See how far Polly gets into the interview before she starts complaining about how difficult this interviewing malarkey is.

And then there's her logic. For example, she'll say, on the subject of her creative process: 'Music for me is like fact. Like algebra.' And she'll expect you to understand what she means.

But we're not getting on very well. We're having a bit of a row. She's objecting to one of my questions - which I thought was mild enough. I asked her at what point in her career she first felt famous; and she's reacted badly. Really badly.

'What a question!' she says. She laughs, angrily. She looks at me. No one speaks.

That's from the fifth paragraph. Polly babe, you're on fire.

Then: 'That's a bit Hello! magazine, isn't it?'

Hahaha. No Björk , that's a bit Observer Woman magazine. It's not just Irvine Welsh who hasn't read it before is it?

Now, she says: 'I think in Hollywood, if you don't wear black Armani, you get executed immediately. But mostly er, I'm surprised it's still a big deal. I'm surprised journalists are still talking about it.'

We don't have much imagination, I explain. Björk laughs.

We like Björk .

I ask Björk about fashion. She's got strong associations with the industry; Alexander McQueen made her a frock for one of her videos, she's often championed the more challenging designs of people like Rei Kawakubo and Sophia Kokosolaki. Does she love fashion?

'Not really. I don't really like it.'

We like Björk a lot.

"I ask her some more searching questions; and she responds well. Björk's been with Matthew Barney for six years; before that, she'd had a series of relationships, some of which were high-profile."

Erm... some more searching questions? Like 'so, are you going out with anyone at the moment?' Polly, Polly, Polly. Just give it up and talk about shopping like you usually do.

"Björk likes me in the end. We talk about shopping"

Lisa Hilton on cheating

"Nothing kills passion like propinquity"

"My lover and I probably spent more time discussing our work, our friends and our ambitions because we were never mired in the quotidian"

"A certain latitude has always been permitted to men, but sexual appetence in women is regarded with deep suspicion"

Blimey. Did someone get a thesaurus for her birthday?

Well our appetence for spitting bile needs more lubrication. We shall disentangle ourselves from the quotidian until we find ourselves in the propinquity of some more booze.

We haven't even got started on
Paul McKenna yet...

Thursday, 14 June 2007

'In' for the summer

Well they can't say they didn't walk right into this one.

The Rules of Summer 2007
we love the new breed of fash-referencing one-liners which make us look pretty and make others smile.

As you know, we always take our fashion tips straight from OWM. So it gives us great pleasure to present the official Observer Woman Make Me Spit fash-referencing, witty one-liner slogan T-shirt, guaranteed to make you look pretty and make others smile.

They come in two designs... there's the rather rude sounding Pink Lady Ring Fit shirt:

or if pink lady rings don't do it for you for whatever reason, the slightly more demure Unisex Version:

Both are available from the nice people at Vibe2k, on this page here. We are not taking a cut, so you'll pay the same price as we just did. Although if you're the kind of OWM reader who can't enjoy wearing a T-shirt unless it costs £150, do feel free to send us a cheque for the other £138.50 and you can walk the streets of Primrose Hill with your nose held high.

The OWMMS branded jelly sandals and parasols will be here shortly.

If you buy one, do please send us a photo of yourself wearing it. Or hell, send us a picture of yourself not wearing it. This is the internet after all.


UPDATE: After a flash of inspiration from PearlProtein in the comments box, can we also ask you for suggestions for suitable slogans for future T-shirts? To get you started, PP suggested:


There have to be plenty other possibilities.

Monday, 11 June 2007

From the outdoors, frolicking in the sun, feeling well disposed to our fellow man

The Rules of Summer 2007

Out: Blogging

It is the summer. You should not be indoors, posting vicious little blog-pensees all over the internet. You should be outdoors, frolicking in the sunshine, and feeling well-disposed towards your fellow man (you know, like us).

Aaaw diddums. Do you not want to play out anymore? But we were having such fun! Tee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee

In: Slogan t-shirts

Call us lazy, but sometimes it seems to take too much effort to say what you think. Luckily, fashion is kind enough to do it for us. We're not talking vile 'Sex me up' slogans here. Instead we love the new breed of fash-referencing one-liners which make us look pretty and make others smile.

Oh you have just given us a fantastic idea. Watch this space.

Out: Diet Coke

Partly because truly we don't see the appeal of the latest Diet Coke man (he's got an odd teeth-gum arrangement, it freaks us out); partly because San Pellegrino Limonata is much, much more fancy.

The drink you loved last month you love no more, because the man has wonky teeth? Don't blame him - he drinks Diet Coke!

We hate you. We hate you we hate you we hate you.


We know it's common but we like it.

3. Getting drunk in parks in the sun

Good God we agree on something.

4. Sneaking into pub loos

Oh for fuck's sake, squat behind the bushes like the rest of us. Have you been in the toilets at the Bay Horse?

"I wish I Could have been a rock star"

One could be embarrassed by looking at Tom Ford's package if he didn't draw so much attention to it himself. In the 10 years he helmed Gucci, and the four he designed for Yves Saint Laurent, Ford taught American women to become sexual dominants, supplying them the costume of stovepipe trousers and Halston-meets-Elsa Peretti white jersey dresses, as well as leather spankers and sterling-silver handcuffs. Women were personally bewitched by him, the straightest gay man alive; in the way that gay men dream of getting hot, straight guys to play on the other team, women are enticed by Ford because his heavy-duty flirting encourages the fantasy that he could fall for you. 'I feel,' he says breathily, 'that I am keyed into the female consciousness.'

Key into our consciousness, Tom. Focus on it. Got it? Good.

"FUCK OFF you misogynistic, shallow Avon salesman."

We know you have to peddle your eau de toilette to gullible souls but please, have a bit of pride.

We liked the Skoda advert

Beauty Queen

Q: I've recently become a self-employed landscape gardener. At 33, I have good skin and want to ensure that I do not age prematurely because of increased exposure to the elements on a daily basis. Can you recommend a good moisturiser/tinted moisturiser that contains an SPF? I have fair skin, burn easily - and my disposable income is now drastically reduced for the time being!

A: When it comes to make-up, I wouldn't use waterproof mascara all the time - it's too tough on the lashes for every day, all year. What about having your lashes permed and tinted for daytime and then you could use mascara in the evening?

OK, at this point, we have to tell you, we are close to giving up.

We need another drink.

dollymixedup spits from the heart

We're not going to make a habit of this, but dolly has something to say. The usual bile will resume shortly.

"I am a flat-chested size 16 with more cellulite than dover cliffs.

I have sailor tattoos on my right arm, breasts and pussy.

My left arm and right leg, torso and head are covered in scars.

I am a self-harmer in many different ways.

I cut, burn and beat myself, take overdoses.

I have more diagnoses than a Bernard Matthews turkey has sneezes.

I am a woman. I am a woman with many qualities, many talents many skills. And I'm a bit mad. I know I am.

If I were to cut off my breasts, inject toxins into my face, try to revert to puberty, look 30 years younger than my age and spend obscene amounts of money in chasing those rainbows; if I were to deny my gender, despise my gender, then I would be admitted.

And it wouldn't be nice.

I can't stand the way these women want to encourage other women to deface their bodies: the bodies of women. Observer Women.

I might be mad, but I do love being a woman. I am proud to be a woman. I love every fucking scar, every fucking wobble, every fucking crease on my body. Including the ones under my arms.

Self-harm is self-harm is self-harm, however you do it. It is about loathing, and that is not something to be bragging about. It is not pretty, it's not glamorous, it's not fashionable. It doesn't belong alongside handbags and shoes as a lifestyle choice. Whether operations and injections, diets and poisons or 69p razor blades from Netto - it is all self-harm.

When I'm ill, I damage myself. I engage in risky behaviour. I drink, self-medicate and hate myself.

But I don't glamourise it through a national Sunday newspaper. I refuse to be ashamed of who I am - but I do know that self-harm is no solution.

Observer Woman Magazine has the influence to make us as women feel better about ourselves. It could celebrate women as we are. It could love women for infinite reasons. Instead, it tells us that what we are, how we look, what a woman actually IS... is shocking.

Observer Woman is Self-loathing Woman.

Observer Woman - you are much more fucking mad than I am."

Some quotes from OWM:

Liz Jones

"I found big breasts revolting as well as terrifying: pendulous, covered in blue veins. I was scared of everything in those days - talking to boys, swimming lessons where others might glimpse my body or I might drown - and so I thought, it will be far easier to opt out. I starved myself, and so of course I didn't grow breasts; my adolescence consisted of precisely one period


I was in my early twenties, working on a glossy magazine in London, and the starvation thing had got a bit out of hand. At a particularly arduous ballet class one Saturday morning (I did four hours of classes on Saturday, seven hours during the week), I caught sight of my emaciated frame in its pink tights in the mirror and knew I needed help, which I got (eating-disorder clinics, steroids, peanut-butter sandwiches), but no one told me that one of the side effects was that I would grow breasts. Oh God how I hated them. They meant I couldn't run properly each evening, they meant men looked at me, they meant clothes (Azzedine Alaïa bodies, Katharine Hamnett stretchy dresses) looked obscene. I started to hide my breasts (bear in mind that up to, and way beyond this point, no man had ever touched them or seen them);


But then one day, on the bus, I had a revelation. I was reading the very first issue of British Elle magazine (the gloriously flat-chested Yasmin not-yet-Le Bon was on the cover), in which there was a feature that seemed to answer my prayers. It was about the fact that women in Paris were getting breast reductions to achieve that boyish, gamine, high-fashion look, and I thought, of course! Why didn't I think of this? And so, at the age of 29, I had my breasts removed


I can't feel anything in my breasts, and I will never be able to breast-feed (a bit of a moot point, given my two-decade-long sabbatical from men due to my breast phobia), and the scars mean I have never felt liberated by my flatchestedness; I have never been able to sunbathe topless, for example, or wear Versace gowns slashed to the waist, but how often do those situations arise? When I was finally, fleetingly married, my poor husband never got to see or touch my breasts;


Now that I am on my own again I can go back to not being a woman any more. I am alone, I no longer have to play netball or hockey. I no longer have to be seen naked. It's fine, really."

Kathryn Flett:

"I've lost two stones in 12 weeks on a diet not endorsed by any doctor, dietician, scary TV food guru or indeed anybody with half a brain. It amounts to a combination of stress, not eating very much and smoking like a volcano. Happily, Observer Woman readers are far too clever to follow such a patently idiotic prescription for rapid weight loss.

Whatever! This week I am prancing around reacquainting myself with my cheekbones and jaw line while wearing ballet pumps with skinny jeans"

Rosie Boycott,
(Founder, Spare Rib.)

"Two years ago, I was offered the chance to try out non-surgical face treatments for a newspaper article. Even though I hate the pressure that women are under to look good, there's no point in denying how much I try.


I submitted my face to a course of microdermabrasion (a high-powered exfoliation), IPL (intense pulsed light), Restylane injections and Botox. The IPL hurt as it zapped laser-strength light into the skin on my cheeks and round my nose, burning away thread veins that cause uneven, blotchy colour. The Restylane was injected into the grooves on either side of my nose and into the wrinkle between my eyes."

From 'The Next Big Thing'
"We watched our models, Kate Smith and Elizabeth Satherlund, get transformed, made-up, and styled. We watched them pose. We studied early Polaroids. But still, we were shocked by the finished product. The photographs seemed illicit, transgressive. They seemed overtly sexual. Fetishistic, almost. They certainly seemed contrary to today's rules on glossy-magazine aesthetics. So much bosom! So much bottom! Such luscious rolls of back fat! Such extravagant thighs! Aren't there laws against this?


Elizabeth and Kate are in fact both a size 16 - the dress size of the average British woman. They're (young, beautiful, statuesque versions of) us. They're the majority of women that pass us on the street every day. They're the most realistic representation of beauty in town. So of course, their image shouldn't be shocking at all. These photographs shouldn't be a statement, shouldn't be remarkable in any way. But they are."

Body of evidence

We wanted to post something today, really we did. But after obsessing at great length about dolly's toenails and Ally's nostril hair, we were pretty much exhausted. And then, we saw the most bizarre creature we have ever seen. The shock practically killed us.

So much bosom! So much bottom! Such luscious rolls of back fat! Such extravagant thighs! So many exclamation marks!

Suffice to say we might have a thought or two to share tomorrow.

In the meantime, do let the bile begin.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Shit for brains

We feel sick.

Nirpal has just been on This Week on BBC1. The look in his eye suggested he was weighing up a foursome with Andrew, Michael and Diane.

He didn't even have something stupid to say, just grunts.

We want to feed him to the cows to watch them go mad.

"Oh ya, I told her to stop writing that column..."


Spit spit spit spit spit.

OK. That's it. The Liz & Nirpal moratorium begins here. They only do it for attention and we've given them far too much already. From now on all discussion of Those Who Shall Not Be Named will be restricted to the comments below this thread. But let it all spill out. It's therapeutic.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Around the bile-osphere

We know by now that we are far from alone in our feelings about OWM. Thank you all for your comments and support, it does help to spur us on so please keep them coming. We'll soon be distracted by hating the stupid simpering one (there's always one) so we might need you to keep us focussed.

From time to time we get curious as to what others think and go for a scooch around this interweb thing, and every time we find yet more likeminded souls. Take the lovely Oursin who actually makes us wonder if we might have been sleepblogging. But we think she is real and we think we might love her.

Just about everyone has been staring slackjawed at the charms of Nirpal and Liz. We particularly sympathised with Eleanor's overpowering horror.

But the unquestioned bottom-scraping bile-boiler of the month was of course Christa d'Souza's emotional botox burst. Everyone from the feministocracy down has been having their say. From the many, many comments on the topic, we can't help noticing that most of the people who hate Observer Women tend to write with far more insight and style than those who actually write OWM. Take a look at Yarnstorm if you doubt it, and compare it with - well actually with anyone. Although CharonQC comes close. OWMMS regular Jude has a brilliant observation about the Christa cover - the kind of insightful criticism that we would come out with if we actually knew what we were talking about. We also have to pay tribute to other new friends Belle de Jure (who is definitely not a slobby trout, we are convinced) and Sarah Salway. And credit also to Neil for this observation about Christa:

"she is dressed in a denim mini, pink long-sleeved tee and 4-inch wedges... she looks as though she`s about to stomp in a line to Gary Glitter, as though she`s idealised herself in 1974. "

But there is one phenomenon we can't help noticing every time we do a search on OWM. The results fall into two distinct categories - those who hate it with all their hearts, and those who express no opinion. Never yet have we found a blog or forum post by someone who actually likes the thing. You would think that somewhere there would have to be a subculture of strange credit-crazed Fashionistas who eagerly await the arrival of the highlight of their month. But if they are there, we have yet to find them.

Or so we thought {cue dramatic music, dum dum DAAAAH!}

Picture our faces when we typed "Observer Woman" into search engine and somewhere on the second page was a blog with the first sentence:

"I absolutely love Observer Woman magazine so..."

Could this really be true? Does such a creature really exist? With that curious feeling that accompanies a security blanket being dragged out from under your feet, we clicked through on the link and found this.

Which kind of begs a competition.

Can anyone find any blog, forum comment, or other written proof that anyone, anywhere actually enjoys Observer Woman Magazine? We don't just mean a vaguely neutral 'here's something a little bit interesting I saw in the Observer' type comment, we mean a full on endorsement along the lines of

"I absolutely love Observer Woman magazine so..."

The only rule is this: The person writing must not be either an OWM journalist or interviewee. They don't count.

The winner will possibly receive a prize. But probably won't. It depends whether or not dolly can find anything cool for £0.01 on eBay.

And while you're looking, if you find any other interesting stuff about OWM or anything else, do please leave us a comment or drop us a note.

Monday, 14 May 2007

When I am old I shall wear PVC

I do yoga 3 times a week.
Good for you. You're 47.

I wear denim minis
and wedges. I shop in Topshop.
But you're 47.

I am a mother of 2 but I
want the body I had
at 30.

But you're 47. And you have two children.

I will be 50 in 3 years time.
Yes, we know.

I am obsessed by age.
Yes, we know.

But admit it. aren't you too?

Well not really. And what's more, we really don't think you should be either. Christa, you look fantastic. You are 47 years of age and you are stunning. We looked at the woman in the photo on the cover and we saw an attractive middle-aged woman. That's what you are. And that does not mean you have failed.

"Indeed, if you were to look at the photograph on the previous page and tell me you see an attractive middle-aged woman (for that technically is what I am at 46) I'd not be merely insulted, I'd feel, on some level, that I had failed."

(Oops. But is someone fibbing about their age again?)

Christa you are not only attractive, you are extremely successful. But - and we say this with not only your best interests at heart, but personal experience too - you are psychotic. We are not psychiatrists (and would kill ourselves out of duty if we were) but body dysmorphia would probably be the diagnosis. This article is celebrating and justifying mental illness. And not in a good way. You are 47 years old. You cannot have the appearance of a 23 year old any more than you can turn a Netto bag into Prada.

We really aren't in the habit of attacking people for their mental health problems (although dolly has been known to attack herself), so we are not going to condemn or criticise you for the way you feel. But please don't try to normalise this delusion. Don't tell us that it is OK to want to feel like this:

"where one cannot seem to pick up a newspaper or magazine without reading about some granny who has just been vaginally rejuvenated, and where, furthermore, every aspect of life, including politics, is beginning to feel more and more virtual, the decision of a fortyplusser to dress like Peaches Geldof isn't so much a decision she makes as a cultural imperative that has been imposed on her. Be the schlumpy granny at the school gates whom none of the other dads fancy by all means, but only if you don't mind being perceived as something of a freak, or at a socioeconomic disadvantage."

A cultural imperative imposed on her? Imposed on her by whom exactly? By magazines like OWM and Vogue, you crazy, beautiful wingbat. You've just swallowed your own tail. The feeling you describe is called 'gagging.'

So lets talk instead about who, at OWM, decided that 'we all' feel like this and commissioned this exploitative, voyeuristic poison?

Who is this Observer Woman who does yoga 3 times a week, shops at Topshop and is obsessed by age? While we're about it, who is the 'we' in 'We know it's common but we love it anyway'? When you say 'Everybody' is park benching (In Manchester we call it dogging) or customising our dialling tones, who do you mean exactly?

The last time we checked, 'we' don't all live in Notting Hill and surround ourselves with media workers. Last time we looked there were women living and even working in places like Doncaster. And Birmingham. And you know what? Quite a few of them read the Observer. If you caught a train from Euston you might meet some of them. They won't bite.

You're a fashion magazine and we know the game. One percent inspiration and 99% aspiration, but that is no excuse. Just once or twice, at least acknowledge that not all your readers live your insipid, vacuous, cynical (where are the organic T-shirts this month, eh?), superfluous, spoiled, priviliged lives.

Maybe we're just bitter. Or more likely it's not us, it's you.

The Media family round-robin. May 2007

Darling friends

It's been a busy month for the Medias. What with running around from Kate's fantabulous launch to the Anya Hindmarch bag bash, we barely had time to stop off at Boots for some cream before catching up with young Lily at the New Look party (bit of a wash-out, only salvaged by her dad's legendary hospitality, so the less said about that the better.)

So what have we all been up to? Well frankly the youngsters have been a bit of a worry. We've scarcely seen young Polly at all since we last wrote. We think she's going into a bit of a Goth phase. She's got a new friend called Marilyn and they've been spending so much time together. We did wonder if she might be becoming a lesbian. Then when we asked her what they do together all day and she said they just chat and swap make-up tips and that put our minds at ease. You know what she's like.

If you think that's bad, you should hear what our dear friend Catherine has been up to. Well you've probably heard already. Been there, seen it, done it. And done it again and again and again. Of course we're a very modern family and don't object. We should really be interested in her stories. But somehow as soon as she starts talking our attention starts to drift. She was telling us one of her stories the other night and I think at one point she mentioned an aubergine. Can't think what that might have been about.

We'd been hoping for better news though from good old William. You can always rely on Wills to raise the tone, and sure enough he threw a party this month. It sounded just marvellous hoot. He invited some adorable friends. Of course it was a high class affair, lots of his writer chums, a few young chaps he met at a party and even a couple of musicians. Grandmama got quite giddy about it. But it turned out that everyone was on such a downer. William started droning on about how men never seem to express their feelings, don't like crying, always insist 'mustn't grumble' right up until the moment they attach the hose to the exhaust. Before we knew where we were, all these handsome young chaps were swapping tales about their divorces and tragedies. As they wept into their Monaco lagers, the sobbing sound was only punctuated by Grannie muttering over her sherry, 'And tell us something we don't know Poirot.'

But it goes from bad to worse. We can't say we didn't see it coming but Liz and Nirpal have finally called it a day. All a bit messy really. We think the final straw was when he realised that he was married to a toxic, self-absorbed fridge who could drive past a motorway pile-up and wonder where the corpse in the fast lane had found those shoes; and she realised that she was married to the single most vile, pathetic, skin-crawling shriveldick ever to plague humanity.

After all that, the trials and travails of poor old Christa just won't go away. We thought she'd sorted this out ten years ago with the boob job. But no, she's having her midlife crisis for the fourth time and is probably going to be spitting goosedown for months because we just called her 'old'. We all know what its like round at the Vogue household. Hard enough to keep the eye of the editor with all those skinny young girls from OWM hanging around in the lobby. She badly needed some advice and professional support for her pathological body dysmorphia this month. So she called Kirsty Young and Lionel Shriver. Must admit we were surprised when Lionel said she doesn't trade on her looks any more. For nine months we thought she was a man. Like that nice Mr Blair. No, the other one.

We'll write again very soon with lots more goss about Christa and some miscellaneous love. But we're now off to consider sponsoring one of those black people we've been reading about. We hear Madonna did it. Now of course we have lots of black friends already. There's Ethan, a frightfully nice chap who comes round in 15 minutes when we ring, but he never stops to chat. We have lots of disabled friends too, and some of our chums are really quite poor. You might wonder why we never talk about them, but you know what it's like - someone will always say something to bring down the tone. And wheelchairs and disfigurements can cause such a palaver, it's just shocking really. The government should do something.

Ciao, beautiful friends.


OWMMS: Note to readers. We counted 15 people interviewed in this month's OWM. Nine were journalists. One was in fashion retail. One was an actor. Three were musicians. One was a celebrity chef. We'll be back soon to ask the question: 'Who is Observer Woman?'

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Old and loving it...............

Due to Euro hangover I'm too dehydrated to spit just now, but I plan to drink. Lots. After the AGM. Ally McB is playing out later too.

thinking lovely thoughts about ladygardens

just not Kathryns

love dolly xxx

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Ethically-Conscious Miscellaneous Hate Page

We know it's common but we love it anyway
1. Fashion Phones.

Hurrah, they've thought of something else they can attach a designer's name to. Whoop de fucking doo.

Would you buy a date from a cad?

For starters, David is a woman in drag. The stubble is definitely painted on. But that aside, do we really need a guide to men who will treat women really badly? What's next month, OWM's Guide to Cruising for a Bruising?

I'm sure the gentlemen in your feature will be very grateful for the free advertising. Doubtless more effective than leaving flyers in phoneboxes.

Katherine Hamnett

We'll confess to a soft spot for Katharine Hamnett. She's on our longlist for future fluffers. But Tesco?

Anatomy of a Marriage

Now then. We could talk about the subject matter, but we'll leave that to the SM lifestyle websites. We could talk about the subjects. Contracts for sexual contact? We can't get past the urge to yell 'YOU FREAKS!' which coming from us is a bit, well scary, frankly. We could ask about the cardboard erection. What? Where's the picture? Frankly we're too bemused to address any of those questions so instead we shall celebrate the fact that the first sentence is about shopping. Indeed the first paragraph is about shopping. In fact, four paragraphs later, we're still talking about shopping. OWM - sometimes our hatred for you almost collapses into affection. Almost, but not quite.

The abuse wasn't about sex. It was about control.

Good to see that OWM is following the advice of Grazia.

"The key is succesful women in trauma. But unlike the Daily Mail, Grazia seems like it is on their side. That's really clever."

What I know about men, by Carol Vorderman

I started to read the Men are from Mars book, because my girlfriend was banging on about it. I only got to about page 11. But my girlfriends have read it cover to cover. And I was: 'Why are you trying to analyse everything?' Because it's very, very simple. The old adage: treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen. That's it. It worked in the Seventies, it works now. But the mobile phone is the killer, not for me, but for my girlfriends, who are always bloody texting! It's too easy, and it's too much! I'd be freaked out by that if I were a man, wouldn't you? The old: 'Oh, he's only sent me 17 texts ...' Leave it for three hours before you reply, will you, not 30 seconds! That's what I'd do. But then, I like my space. I like time out. I don't like to be clung to, and I don't do clingy. Can't do clingy. No.
We haven't read prose like that since we left James Joyce on the 192 bus. Was this interview taken by a journalist or a typist on a cocktail of work experience and crack?


Oh look, you can win a pair of stupidly uncomfortable high heels, in a competition sponsored by Compeed, who make potions to heal the wounds caused by stupidly uncomfortable high heels.

It's not often we say nice things, but we must admit this is genius.

Thanks Tyra

We like Tyra Banks here at OWMMS. She's sassy, sexy (if not really our type) and most importantly she stood up to the bullies.

We looked forward to reading this interview, and truth be told we quite enjoyed it. And then we reached the final column, where we were treated to the midlife crisis of the author.

And it strikes me also, but maybe just because I'm a man, that seldom, if ever, in our conversation did simple looks get mentioned; just weights, and 'body image'. Some women, you see - and why do men know this truth so much more than women? - are simply born lucky: pretty, sexy or with the body shape in vogue for that era, or some times, happily, all three. Men know this, and know it's all a bit unfair, but still go for pretty girls, to the grave. Good-looking women know this too, but don't often mention it, for the obvious reasons; and plain women know it too, but don't often mention it, for the obvious reasons. In the mean time, instead, they talk about body image and worry about a few pounds here and there: and the worlds of cosmetics and fashion and magazines get in on the act, and the lower the self-esteem, the more lucrative the action becomes.

Perhaps, despite the accidental timing, the argument now has the cheerleader it deserves, and I don't mean that in a dismissive way. She is not the fabulous, luminous, leggy Tyra Banks, without qualifications. To have lived that high fashion life and dismiss it so quickly as simple entertainment, not to be taken seriously by women, is wise and honest. To know, as she did, that worrying about a few extra pounds in her exalted position can be seen as a bit silly, but to know also that people listen to her and that she has a much-watched TV show (even one gained, let's face it, on the power of her looks), and still to choose to risk further opprobrium and ridicule by addressing the whole issue, showing us her thighs and asking what is truly wrong with them, is more than a little feisty.

Pretty women look prettier than plain women. Many look much better thin than fat. Every woman can try to look a bit better which is nice, for them, and for men, but when they start to obsess, to constantly compare, to weep, to deny, to break their lives in pursuit of a dream their birth looks will never ever let them have, then it has all gone more than a little bit wacko. As they might say here, in Beverly Hills, it's not exactly rocket surgery ...

'Yeah, OK Tyra, we hear what you're saying. All that stuff about loving yourself, however you look, it goes down well with the proles. But we both know you're not really ugly, you're one of us. Just be grateful you're not one of the fat mingers we flog this shit to. Now stop rocking the boat.'

Ethical Cheek Special

Observer Woman has at last seen the wickedness of its own existence. After a dozen issues persuading us to find personal fulfilment and lifelong happiness in the pursuit of hilariously overpriced tat, wrought from the malnourished, bleeding fingertips of child slaves, borne across the planet on a cloud of genocidal fumes belched from the engines of freight airliners, peddled on malnourished bulimic frames in an orgy of noxious chemical glitter - suddenly everything has changed.

The future is ethical. The future is green. And to prove it, we'll go shopping.

We need to ask how this damascene conversion came to pass. Were the editorial staff suddenly overcome by a wave of self-loathing, realise the vacuous futility of their working life and commit themselves to becoming a force for good? Did they organise a work night out to An Inconvenient Truth? Did the Observer's editor-in-chief call them into a meeting and threaten to kick seven shades of mascara out of them if they ever produced an issue like the last one?

Of course not. Observer Woman have suddenly decided that environmental, social and political consciousness is fashionable because it says so in Vogue.

Really. We're not making this up. It's not online, so you'll have to either pick up a copy or take us on trust but the exact quote is:

It's official - fashion can be ethical. The Vogue girls say so. a photo-caption to the accompanying image of some Vogue valkyries wearing about seven grand's worth of clothes and enough chemicals on their face to make Union Carbide feel good about themselves.

This begs a couple of questions. First, what will happen next month, when Vogue (as is their wont) declare that caring about global warming is just so common, and that nylon neon hipsters with sealskin trim are the must have item for May?

Secondly, why don't the entire OWM staff just send their CVs around the publishing houses and be done with it? All this crawling to Grazia and Vogue is getting rather sickening. We eagerly await next month's feature on why Marie Claire's editors should be awarded the Pulitzer Prize, almost as much as we look forward to the day when we see an ex-OWM hackette popping up in the Reader's Page of Take A Break.

But we digress. What thunderflashes of insight does the OWM Ethical Special offer us? How are we going to save the planet? We're going to buy stuff. Lots of stuff. Lovely, yummy expensive stuff. Whether it's a book (£14.99) telling us how to recycle our clothes, or a 'conflict free' diamond ring for £5,330 it doesn't matter, just buy, buy, buy.

Don't get us wrong, we're not on some ultra-deep green soapbox. If you're going to produce a magazine full of laxatives for the purse then we'd rather you plugged stuff that was fairtrade, green, organic, cruelty free and spun out of fairy dust. We are pleased you are running an ethical issue. But it would be nice if we thought, just for one short second, that you actually meant any of it. That you would actually stick with it.

You are wearing your ethical issues as a fashion statement - and you don't even pretend to disguise the fact. Your contribution to our understanding of climate change and the exploitative vagaries of capitalism is a comedy quiz. If you answered mostly A - Good God you actually believe this ethical stuff don't you? What are you doing reading our magazine? Shouldn't you be off sniffing camels or something? If you answered mostly B - Are you actually doing this quiz? Why? If you answered mostly C - Look, don't worry, we don't actually mean this, we're just doing it for a giggle. We'll be back to our usual tricks next month, and we'll include a Matalan special just for you.

Now there are some people who might be reading this blog and saying 'oh come on, don't be so hard on them, they're doing their best.' If you are, then we refer you to our next exhibit: Ethical Pin-Ups. A 'collectors wall chart' to keep the Guardian readers happy. The list of 15 includes the predictable (Al Gore, Stella McCartney); not one but two members of Britain's most gluttenous, energy-intensive, polluting, holiday-homed household; one of Britain's most fervent climate change deniers; a topless model (dolly said we had to link it) who makes love by candlelight; A couple of politicos including David Milliband. ("with those eyes he could ask us to burn our legs for energy and we'd strike the match." Oh really? ) And after they ran out of space on the back of the envelope in the Groucho, they had to fill in the page with Naomi Campbell and Simon Cowell. Not because that pair have any ethical credentials, only because they came as part of the job lot from the photo agency. At the risk of repeating ourselves, really - we're not making this up.

If there is one sentence that encapsulates all the ways in which OWM have got the wrong end of the ethical stick, it is from a photo caption describing the Anya Hindmarch not-plastic bag, limited numbers of which will go on sale in a supermarket next month for a fiver. And the best news is still to come:

Don't tell, but we hear that when they go on sale overseas they'll come in different colours... get the set and save the planet.

NO NO NO NO NO, you braindead bubbleheaded bints. Buying one affordable fairtrade, sustainably-sourced, re-usable shopping bag is an admirable thing to do. Buying six is FUCKING INSANE. Even for the amount of shopping you simpering stuntwits appear to do.

And people wonder why we hate you.


The politics of ethical consumerism are important. We did momentarily consider discussing the details of OWM's ethical stance. We could have ranted about corporate greenwash. We could have brought your attention to the true ethical credentials of some of the brands and individuals featured. We could have dissected the 'gorgeous face of modern environmentalism' represented by the likes of Global Cool (ahem, cough) and discussed the true worth of carbon off-setting schemes that provide the ethical solution to unsustainable lifestyles. But if we were going to do that, we'd have had to stay sober and find lots of serious scientific reports on really boring websites. Then we would have had an invasion of tinfoil-hatted comments box bandits arguing for 300 posts about whether or not George Monbiot is a cunt. And quite frankly we couldn't be bothered so we had another beer and spouted stuff off the top of our heads as usual. Oh shit, we have turned into Kathryn Flett.

Since we're too lazy and stupid to go into the details, we would genuinely appreciate it if any clever people out there could fill in the science bits. Because we're worth it. We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Who are you calling crap?

Well, the new edition of OWM arrived this morning. What can we say? It's dedicated to ethical issues, it contains several interviews with interesting people. It's pretty much everything we had ever hoped for from Observer Woman Magazine.

We have nothing else to say.

Hahahaha. As if.

Give us half an hour's more drinking time and we'll be back.

Monday, 26 March 2007

Spitting Madonna (an inter-issue intermission)

'It's it's it's it's it's it's... What is it?'

'I think it's...'

'Don't think it. You need to know it.'

Are we tripping here?

An innocent schoolgirl being frog-marched to meet the Fasc(ion)ist bully.

Egged on by a pair of leering accomplices, the paste-haired bitch humiliates and debases her victim.

'She's nah-theeng' sneers one of the henchmen, the misogyny dripping from every pore of his being while a hareem of submissive concubines pout in agreement.

'You know what to do,' the bully commands.

Cut away to a back-room where the sweaty-pawed old men slap the victim around a bit before stripping her reluctant frame.

Meanwhile Her Royal Heinous sprawls suggestively, slicing sheet after sheet of an unidentified manuscript through a shredder. (Who knows, maybe the script of her husband's next film.)

Back to the torture chamber and the helpless waif is being looked up and down by the Mistress.

'You made it,' she says, finally.

Her pet worm slithers at her feet.

'No' he hisses. 'YOU made it.'


Well actually a six year-old child in Malaysia probably made it. WHAT THE SHITTING FUCKERY IS GOING ON HERE?

Schoolgirl costumes are all very well in the privacy of your own home. They're even better down the local fetish club. But when it comes to prime-time TV they belong on adverts for Cheesestrings or Yu-Gi-Oh. We'll even let them pass in the Britney video (although it's not a patch on the shaven-head look.) They certainly DON'T belong in a sub-arthouse tribute to Japanese sado-porn, squirted from the washed-out, sold-out imaginings of a once-great pop queen.

Once we almost believed in you. I mean, you were no Geri Halliwell, but you had your moments. You actually seemed to believe in women. Now you are reduced to polyester catsuits.

Cut at the knee.

And we know.... we just know... that down in the offices of OWM, they're wetting their sheets with dreams of catsuits.

Cut at the knee.

Friday, 16 March 2007

We told you it's not just us...

Well this blog soared past its first 1,000 visitors in the first five days since we publicised ourselves (welcome to you each and every one, although you've drunk us dry. Bring a bottle next time).

We thought a few people might agree with us about the horror of OWM, but it seems we have scratched open a festering sore on the flesh of Observer readers everywhere. The many heartfelt comments on this site speak for themselves, but hello - all over the country bloggers are tearing our favourite supplement to strips, soaking the tatters in lighter fluid, incinerating them, snorting up the ashes, sneezing them out into a Kleenex and then burning that too. Here are just a few we found on a quick trawl around.

There's a wonderfully spiteful (and avowedly hungover) rant about the Grazia feature from Eilidh, who is clearly a woman after our hearts.

The David Cameron interview incurred suitable wrath from Skimskitta who skewers it with glee:

"What does this article begin with? a dissection of Tory policy? a
view on Cameron's leadership style?, maybe something about the amazingly bungled
handling of the EU under his leadership? No the first 500 words or so deal with
the 'groupies' (which the reporter recognises herself in) waiting 'dreaming of
photo opportunities', then a discussion of how smooth Cameron's cheek is! (no
seriously, an exact quote 'I assume that he shaves, but it is hard to believe he
needs to. He has apple cheeks!') "

But the OWM feature that really sent the blogs foaming though lately has been the 50 Men Who Really Understand Women. There's a very smart (if slightly earnest) feminist critique by Joanna Tocher at The F-Word; an assortment of heavy hits and deft stiletto strokes are delivered by Princess Emmaline ; atommickbrane and incorruptible. But our runaway favourite and brand new number 1 site is Freaky Trigger. They rose to the challenge and turned the tables.

Irrational. Contradictory. Mad. The top 50 is an irrational
list. But what do you expect - it was voted for by men!

We at Freaky Trigger towers were shocked when we saw the
Observer Woman Magazine’s
Top 50 Men Who Really Understand Women article -
it seemed somewhat familiar! Surely, we thought, this couldn’t have been stolen
from an up and coming Freaky Trigger article?? We hereby bring the publication
of of Freaky Trigger’s Top 50 Women Who Really Understand Men forward for your
delectation. In it, you will find women who understand men are drunks, women who
understand their function as breast carriers, women who have carved out new
ground within the fiercely competitive mens footwear market, and women who know
that the true function of men is to be ground under heel like dogs. Your panel
consists of a bunch of flabbergasted male drunks, and one exhausted female drunk
who took dictation.

The list is inspired, but we won't steal their thunder and spoil the surprise. Read for yourself.


Please drop us a line if you spot / create any OWM-related gubbins, or better still, drop it in the comments box. Same goes if you'd like to be added to the esteemed blogroll that is See... it's not just us.

Publications that are better than Observer Woman Magazine: #1 of what could be an extremely long list indeed

This book has just been published for Red Nose Day, after a Herculean effort from Mike at Troubled Diva.

We particularly like the detail that it costs £8.96. Not £8.99, because that would just be common. Minus the cost of paper and ink, about £3.63 of that will go towards feeding Lennie Henry's ego.

We're not in it, but many of the contributors who are in it really, really hate Observer Woman. We know because they told us. And that's good enough for us. We're not normally known for our charitable disposition here at OWMMS, but we will make an exception for this. Why? We can do no better than quote the words of fellow OWM-hater Clare at Boob Pencil:

[Buy it] and that means you can resolutely TURN THE FUCKING TELLY OVER tonight and not watch any of the God-awful not-very-funny drivel we Brits are going to have inflicted upon us, and you can do so with a clear conscience.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

March edition: A short apology.

In our previous expectoration, we may have inadvertently given the impression that one item in the March edition of OWM could actually have been quite interesting.

After careful consideration of the article in question, we now realise that this allegation is completely without foundation.

In the name of the father is in fact seemingly interminable, largely unreadable, mostly unfathomable and ultimately turgid. We solemnly promise all our readers that in the future we will never again make the elementary error of assuming that because something in OWM looks interesting, it will in fact be interesting.

In our defence, we would have been remiss in our duties had we not brought to your attention this particular example of OWM's unrivalled style:

"The carved Charles II staircase is a triumph. It is really not the kind of
place that its owner, however severe her deadlines, can very easily

(thanks to Hysteresis at the Big Chill forum for the spot)

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Miscellaneous hate page


We know it's common but we love it...

4. Gays. Our fag-haggery knows no bounds.

We're spitting too much to speak.

"I spent an hour with Leo"

You're a showbiz journalist. You made a buck interviewing an actor, then persuaded the editors of OWM to pay you to write an article about writing an article? And plug your book at the same time? Marianne MacDonald - we salute you.

How old is too old for the Mini Mini?

Ask J Lo. She's been stepping out in high old style lately. And she's 37.

Wow, can she still walk without a zimmerframe?

"The risk: If your thighs meet in the middle, it's a no."

Women whose thighs don't meet in the middle look like nutcrackers.

"Tight, bright, scary as hell... It's Body Con."

Tight, bright, scary as hell... It's Bobby Conn!

His and hers Viagra

This is quite an achievement. A topic tumescent with humour, passion, eroticism, personal revelation and interpersonal drama, and you manage to make it really, really dull.

We can draw only one conclusion. OWM is a crap shag.

In the name of the father

Actually this looks quite interesting. When we stop spitting we might read it. Go on, tell us we're wrong.

Beauty Queen
Winning question: How do you make your nose appear smaller using just make up?


With powder, like foundation, you place a lighter colour down the top of the nose and darker powder on either side.

OWM Editor: Note to subs. The words 'powder' and 'nose' should never appear in the same sentence.

on the basis of practically no information whatsoever, backed up by a feel-it-in-my-waters sort of hunch, I'd guess...

Kathryn Flett explains the OWM editorial policy in a convenient purse sized nugget.

What's in it for me? OWM's inferiority complex uncovered

What's in it for me?

"I'd much rather read about Jennifer Aniston because she makes me feel hip."

So it's like this. You have somehow persuaded a national newspaper to give you a monthly magazine supplement to play with. Your brief is to tell us what to wear, what to buy, what to like, what to despise.

And how do you do this? You recommend a different magazine, the one you really want to work for. Because unlike you, they know what to wear, what to buy, what to like, what to despise. They're so chic and smart and young. And you're so terribly insecure. If it wasn't for Grazia you'd have to, like, think for yourself.

"The key is succesful women in trauma. But unlike the Daily Mail, Grazia seems like it is on their side. That's really clever."

How remarkably honest. The key is sincerity. If you can fake that you've got it made. If only there were more successful women in trauma, think how much more fun we could have and how much more lovely money we could make.

"Laura Benjamin: 'Lindsey Lohan's rehab is the funniest thing I've ever seen."
Charming. Celebrity Big Brother here we come.

So we've never had it so good?

Imagine this.

As a young girl you grow up being told by OWM that you can go to university, leave and get yourself a good career - possibly as a pop star. By your mid-twenties you'll be earning a six figure salary, forging a path in a previously male-dominated world. You'll own your own flat, a Mulberry handbag and a Marc Jacobns frock.

By thirty you'll decide you want six babies but because you can't find the time you'll go down to the IVF clinic and demand a multiple birth.

You'll be visited regularly by the pixies and fairies who will drop little Vuitton banglets into your champagne glass when you're not looking, you'll have an occasional but deeply satisfying sexual liaison with Santa Claus and your lady bits will emit the fragrance of rose petals while film stars throw themselves at your feet.

Earth calling OWM? Earth calling OWM? It's getting chilly down here.

Who are you trying to kid? You phoned up nine of your richest friends and told them it would be an absolute hoot to do a photoshoot with the gorgeous Jamie Hunter and tell all the hilarious gullible plebs that they too can have a life like yours.

"This dreamed-of life reads like the delusions of a mad woman, of course."

Too damned right it does. You are a mad woman. You're several rings outside Saturn. You're a screwed-up, envy-ridden harridan who thinks IVfuckingF is a fashion statement. You shouldn't be let near a small domestic pet, let alone a magazine. Your trust-funded friends are worse.

There are teenagers throwing tomatoes at the windows of our local laundrette that have more of a clue about life than you do.

And quite frankly, they dress better.