Hilary Fannin: From Wags to witches in seven easy steps
This handy guide will lead you to the premium seats and your very own shoebox full of studded Miu Mius ... and beyond
Nuremberg, 2006: Cheryl Tweedy and Victoria Beckham in the golden age of Wags. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
I don’t have a huge amount going on at the moment, and I have been looking for a hobby. With the Euros coming up, I figure there’s never going to be a better time to prise open the Wag can of fake tan and scented lady shavers, you know? The Welsh players might have been instructed to leave the wives and girlfriends at home in the valleys, polishing their mine shafts in preparation for their heroes’ feted returns, but Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has given the nod to the most attractive Wags to hang out with their boys in green. Olé olé olé olé, as they say.
So if you are sick of your mindfulness colouring book, if you have thrown in the towel on your new year’s resolution to master Mandarin or to French polish the cat, you might be interested in my beginner’s guide to Wagdom, designed to lead you to the premium seats and your very own shoebox full of studded Miu Mius.
Remember, folks: God loves a trier.
- One: start by hanging around the VIP areas of expensive nightclubs. Try this dressed in tartan hot pants, preferably ones scanty enough to give you a kidney infection. (I appreciate that this is not necessarily terrific advice for the over-50s, but in truth you are not going to be netting a box-to-box midfielder in your lime-green Crocs and your pyjama bottoms.)
- Two: get a tropical tan. Tans come in bottles. You will also need to vigorously exfoliate, as failure to scour off your bumpy old skin before you apply the tan will leave you looking like a yellowing plucked turkey. (A minor digression here: gin also comes in bottles and is more fun than fake tan.)
- Three: you need long hair. It’s a rule. Worry not, you can buy fake hair in those big chemists with fluorescent lighting, and then clip it in yourself in the photo booth. The hair will fall off, resembling a sudden and violent bout of alopecia. But that’s okay, you will still look terrific, because you will have got up an hour earlier that morning to do your make-up. Listen, sweetie, you no longer put the shagging bins out without your make-up on. Understand? You cannot afford to do anything that ruins the illusion of perfection. Note the word “illusion” here. Illusion is a game of two halves.
- Four: let’s just assume that your tartan backside did the trick and you are now planning the wedding. Be warned: your football nuptials will be built around a prominent magazine’s production schedule. For your part, you will need a footballer to marry and six bridesmaids of similar heights for the production shots – oh, and a celebrity guest list. And yes, Emma from Six is awfully nice, but she does not count as a celebrity.
- Five: you will need to spend the next couple of years lying around on shag-pile carpets in a satin playsuit, clutching dewy-eyed offspring to your surgically inflated breasts and having your photograph taken. (By the way, your children are not allowed to get measles: a cosmetic disaster. And you’re not allowed to get measles or old, but occasionally you can, and may need to, get plastered.)
- Six: after a couple of kids, a couple of holidays in St Barts, a second and possibly third honeymoon in Dubai, after long years of charity auctions (you really didn’t need that alpaca), after a shedload of Botox and a humiliating public scandal when your footballer is caught “playing away” with his cranial masseuse and a slew of new-wave Norwegian knitwear models, you begin to unravel. You notice a gradual dulling of your once-glistening locks, you are no longer be able to ignore that barely perceptible bulge around your waistline, your fingernails splinter, your thighs ripple, your bleached Brazilian breaks for the border. You experience a seismic erosion of confidence. The dog eats your thong. It’s time to hang up your Barbie boots, baby; the because-you’re-worth-it fairy has flown the coop. Nothing makes you feel good any more, not even liposuction. You cast your Dolce and Gabbana clutch bag aside (inadvertently braining the Pomeranian pug), kick off your Gucci ankle boots, throw yourself on the sleigh bed, and weep.
- Seven: it’s all over. He’s a pundit now, the divorce settlement was less than generous, but at least you got to keep the epileptic pug. Your framed hot pants fail to sell at the charity auction, but you have just signed a deal for your memoir and insider guide to Wagdom. Bound to be a bestseller.