We need to talk about Elle
Demi Moore‘s rise and fall to and from fame have been much documented; here she is in Striptease, like, totes famous. Here she is breaking up with Brucey, and, um becoming less famous. Here she is in Charlie’s Angels getting …
Demi Moore‘s rise and fall to and from fame have been much documented; here she is in Striptease, like, totes famous. Here she is breaking up with Brucey, and, um becoming less famous. Here she is in Charlie’s Angels getting way famous again and having – OMG – the best body ever . . . so far, so yawnsome. There is, of course, a musical interlude in which Demi gets pregnant, takes all of her clothes off and poses for Vanity Fair, causing something akin to a furore and, unfortunately, a thousand copycats.
Now, Moore is married to Ashton Kutcher (who, it has to be said, is the poor man’s Josh Hartnett), has the BEST BODY EVER (these things must always be shouty, in capital letters, because magazines just work that way and it’s best that you don’t ask too many questions in any case) and is REALLY HAPPY with her husband and her, um, “career”. And, to top it all off, she’s on the cover of Elle UK. Behold:
This tiny picture was the only one I could find of the latest cover, so you’ll have to make do – or you could go into any newsagent and check it out, but do not buy it. Here’s why*.
- Moore, coming out with amazing soundbytes such as: “I don’t feel any pressure now to conform. There’s an interesting duality of criticism [been reading the dictionary much?] for getting older – blame for being less desirable, but also judgement if you do look good.” A quick comparison of the two magazine covers above should highlight why this statement is ridiculous.
- Avril Mair. More specifically, Mair’s article, Surgery: Why it’s your right, on page 243 (should you find yourself in a newsagent and strapped for time). I’ll save you the summary, suffice it to quote: “I don’t feel pressured to conform to any kind of beauty ideal and I don’t even mind getting older . . . It’s just that I’ve always thought I could look better.” What is better, Avril? Is better younger? More symmetrical? With plumper lips and a smoother forehead? Because I think you’ll find that is conforming, pure and simple, to an ideal of beauty as presented to us by popular culture. It’s not rocket science, but it helps to understand what you’re purporting to stand up against.
- Kelly Osbourne, feeling, for THE FIRST TIME, like a real woman. Because, despite the fact that, as far as we know, she’s always had a vagina, XY chromosomes and, well, breasts, it took her rapid weight loss from a size 14 to a size 6 for Osbourne to realise that she is woman (hear her roar) and that life is good. It’s all a bit too Lily Allen for my liking.
There are, of course, some redeeming features. Two, to be precise: Garance Doré‘s really beautiful fashion shoot, and Claire Kilroy‘s (and yes, this is total nepotism because Kilroy is Irish) piece about a toxic friendship. Tear out those pages and leave the rest behind. Until fashion magazines that purport to be for women (and are largely written by women) start talking to women as if we’re all deserving of it – wrinkles, extra weight and assymetrical eyebrows be damned – I may be steering clear.
* My reading of fashion magazines has been irrevocably damaged, I should point out, by my reading of Kat Banyard’s excellent and thought-provoking The Equality Illusion, which I really feel everyone should read at least once. Thanks to Banyard I now know exactly how to respond to people who go “isn’t feminism a bit dated?” or “sure what are you giving out about now?” I am in her debt.