Sunday, 15 April 2007

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.'


Bowleserised said...

What is the name of the man who wrote this shit?

cinnamon.mcbadger said...

10 quid says he aint no looker himself.

thegirlfrommarz said...

That would be Euan Ferguson.
I always feel he's a reasonable writer, but he does churn out a shedload of bland columns about his life that are of limited interest to anyone other than his immediate family and friends. Probably the fault of the Obs editors who demand this sort of soft features pap from their journalists, rather than his fault.

I think it was okay for Ferguson to question the fact that the ex-supermodel responsible for America's Next Top Model (where 6ft tall, UK size 6 women are told they're too fat, hardly a bastion of confidence-boosting) should be feted as the "cheerleader" for acceptance of a healthy weight.

But... you make an excellent point about how it was phrased. When Ferguson says "[women] 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", doesn't that just sound like "ladies, ladies, you're just doing this to yourselves, you silly things! Stop being such fools, crazily obsessing about your looks - we men will decide who is beautiful, such as the 'luminous'Ms Banks, and the rest of you can just get back to trying to make the best of yourselves as far as your hideous fizzogs and lumpen bodies will allow. Luckily, I, a man, was here to point this out to you."

Bowleserised said...

In many ways, i wouldn't mind if he was saying something utterly misogynist and offensive, as long as he'd make an ounce of effort to write it in a vaguely decent/sparkling manner.

Spitting Mad said...

girlfrommarz - I'm not sure Ferguson really was questioning whether Tyra Banks was the best cheerleader for body awareness (a point I do agree with.)

Seemed to me the piece went:
TB: 'It's wrong for the media to abuse people about their weight.'
EF: 'I agree.'
TB: 'I'm not fat, but even if I was, so what?'
EF: 'I agree.'
TB: 'People should be respected and learn to love themselves however they look.'
EF: 'I agree.'
'Well, unless they're like, fat and ugly of course.'

Spitting Mad said...

But who knows - as bowleserised rightly observed, it's pretty hard to pick out what he's saying anyway. It's not quite as impermeable as the interview with the freaky sex-contract couple, but it's close.

Ally McB xx