Monday, 11 June 2007

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.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

In a thoughtful article in the Obs newspaper itself Mary Riddell examines the obsession with anti-ageing and warns that not everyone can grow old gracefully, and that many old people suffer poverty and neglect. It is fear of becoming like them that is fuelling the $13 billion global annual spend on anti-ageing cosmetics.

And yet month after month, OWM is one of the worst culprits in increasing anti-ageing hysteria and helping make women feel bad about themselves...and some of the best-known women journalists and writers are wholeheartedly colluding in this.

In the latest OWM Kathryn Flett boasts in the column at the back of the mag boasts about being told she's "A Mum I'd Like to F*ck" (Milf) and admits "when your next big birthday is 50, a bit of gratutious objectification from the opposite sex [even from an oik in his early 20s who only goes for older women] seems more like a validiation than an affront." We get a double dose of La Flett in the feature on the parts of the body various writers love or hate. She tells us all about her persistent appendage of a tummy, still present after she's lost 2 stone but that she has "nice eyes and very little (amazingly) in the way of cellulite". All very much in her "Grumpy Old Women" mode. Rosie Boycott (a founder of Spare Rib magazine and Virago, remember) recounts the benefits of her experiences with Botox and fillers, courtesy of a newspaper article, and how she may go back for more although if she'd paid the bill for the earlier treatments it would have been more than £2,000. Liz Jones looks utterly miserable staring into the camera as she recalls her breast reduction operation (just as she has in some of her previous newspaper columns). Oh, and the ubiquitous Lionel Shriver on: "My legs are lovely" although modestly admitting: "the sculptural rhythm to these narrow ankles, full calves and slender knees is not of my making." The male contributors to the feature adopt a more carefree attitude - Keith Allen's lady-killing eyes, Will Self's fungus-ridden feet etc. There's a touching piece from Mark Ravenhill about the weird effects of anti-HIV drugs on one's physique and fat distribution, so that he needed an op on his fat neck.

Is the feature meant to be a parody of body fascism and the way it's encouraged by the media?

Belle de Jure said...

I am going to be a real party pooper and treat with scepticism the attempt by OWM to make us feel good about ourselves by showing pictures of a size 16 model in yesterday's edition.

I am, like most intelligent women who enjoy food and don't believe that 51% of the population should be malnourished in order to satisfy the dysfunctional fashion houses, in abhorrence of the skeletal images that adorn our magazines. There has been something of a backlash against this in recent months (i.e. the BMI issue) and the thing has rightly become the subject of considerable debate.

However, for OWM to do this is just a further attempt to pull the wool over our eyes and convince us that it is not the frivolous and vile publication that it clearly is. Evidence? You only have to turn a few pages to see its true colours -- various people (including one of Those who Shall Not be Named) talking about one of their bodily features.

Am I meant to be persuaded that by including a size 16 model the OWM is now a serious publication tackling ruthlessly the issues of the day? Not a bit of it.

I feel a little ungracious saying all of this in light of the post by the F-Word on the subject, and I suppose it should be conceded that more realistic images are a step forward. Thing is, I have never been much of a fan of crumbs from the table...

I suppose I should do a proper post on this...

Belle de Jure said...

Sorry, forgot to add a further point, namely that the image of the size 16 model probably wasn't as airbrushed as pictures of this nature usually are, making the differences more startling...

BLTP said...

May view (I have taken to not buying Observer when the OWM in it) but from the ad . Was that this was the usual nonsense about "larger" women I'd be suprised if the got through the feature without using the phrase "Rubenesque". Also why the fetish clothing? Plus they always swing from one extreme to another it's either boney or 20 stone nothing in between.

Susie said...

I liked this bit:

'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).'

tell you what, girls (and I use that term advisedly :-)), you stop writing crap, everyone'll stop blogging about it. This Observer Woman was the worst one yet. The 'article' about the size-16 models was deeply, deeply embarrassing. I'm starting to think the whole thing is some postmodern parody...

Anonymous said...

The only way I can guarantee myself some intelligent conversation these days is by sitting indoors blogging away ...

Incorruptible

patroclus said...

That magazine disgusts me so much I can barely even open it. How dare they assume that because I'm a woman, all I'm interested in is how I look? I couldn't give a toss about how I look, frankly, and I couldn't give a toss about handbags or Botox or celebrities or Big Brother or any of the rest of the shit that the Observer seems to think that its female readers like.

Maybe a whole bunch of bloggers could meet up and have a ritual burning of the OWM? That would make a nice photo story for the blogs that are supposedly 'out'.

Liz (not jones) said...

Yesterday I went out frolicking in the sunshine and feeling well-disposed toward my fellow man, many many miles from Brazil, wearing my Specsaver sunglasses, a plain t-shirt I bought about five years ago from M&S, a white bra and some leather sandals I’ve had for about six years now. I decided to sit under a shady tree in the park, with people playing tennis nearby, and read The Observer and the penguin modern classic that I’m currently in the middle of whilst quenching my thirst with a can of diet coke. Then I read OWM and my sunny disposition was immediately darkened by the load of half-arsed twaddle that they myopically presume is going to interest the average female Observer reader.

They’ve got a point about Cornettos and Feasts though, but then seeing as I’ve known they were tasty since I was a kid I didn’t really need Cocktail Girl to tell me this.

Spitting Mad said...

Fabulous.

Fabulous fabulous fabulous.

We love the comments. Nearly drunk enough to let rip now. Watch this space.

minxy said...

Is anyone able to 'out' the person who wrote this patronising slurry, as the column had no byline on it? Incidentally, I also loved the fact that the models were wearing clothes that were a bit too small, and not standing in the flattering poses that their slimmer sisters would be put into.

And has anyone written to the editor of OWM to complain, and had a response? I think this issue is the one that will force me to hit the Basildon Bond and green ballpoint...

BLTP said...

re:get a get alife you bloggers nonsense this from a paper with whole section devoted to "blogs" oh and haven't they heard of wireless.

Helen said...

I am right in thinking the OWM doesn't have a letters page?

I'm pretty sure I looked long and hard for one but then, I was also cross-eyed with fury.

Coventry Blogger said...

I'd almost given up looking at blogs other than those my friends write, when I found this - probably on one of those friends' blogs.
What makes it really good to me is not just the subject matter, which is something I chunter on about rather frequently, and that the posts are delightfully well written rants, but that the comments are perceptive and relevant discussions too.
Cheers all!

Spitting Mad said...

That was a lovely comment CB, thank you very much. Completely agree about our brilliant co-spitters in the comments boxes.

delores said...

Can I just add my praise? Every time I read OWM, I am irritated to the point of incoherence, but still I keep buying it. I seem to be compelled to see just how bad it can get. It was such a joy to find this blog and see that ridiculous mag pulled apart in such entertaining fashion. I will definitely buy the T-shirt. Probably a size too small to better display my luscious rolls of back fat and shock any passing fashionistas.