‘In fashion week and every week I’m happy to be Dumpy from Ireland’

Hilary Fannin: It’s liberating to not be caught up in a model lifestyle

“As the woman said, she can’t walk out the ruddy door unless her tan is done, her legs are as smooth as a baby’s bottom, her nails aren’t chipped and she hasn’t a single grey hair showing. It must be bloody exhausting.” Photograph: Arun Nevader/Getty Images

“As the woman said, she can’t walk out the ruddy door unless her tan is done, her legs are as smooth as a baby’s bottom, her nails aren’t chipped and she hasn’t a single grey hair showing. It must be bloody exhausting.” Photograph: Arun Nevader/Getty Images

 

I was waiting for the fish pie to cook, leaning back against the war-torn counter top (it was a complicated recipe) and eating bits of the mashed potato topping that had stuck to the side of the saucepan. 

Beyond the kitchen window, a big bruised sky threatened snow and the valiant purple crocuses that had been knocking around, in a fairly optimistic fashion, for the past few weeks were phoning their agents to ask who the hell had booked their appearance so early in this harsh, raw spring. 

Anyhow, disinclined to clear up my own mess, I instead began reading celebrity claptrap on my phone, an unpleasant habit which I vowed to kick at new year and am still trying to curtail. It led me to a piece about a former Irish model who is currently keeping the wolf from her door by working as a television presenter on a highly successful magazine show which itself features fashion and the ever-reliable celebrity gossip.

In truth, I would have been better employed going out to join those gelid plants in their perishing dance than hanging around the kitchen with my coat on (it was freezing inside too) and reading with growing fascination (and a sizeable wad of lumpen mashed potato in my craw) about this bonny-looking woman’s skirmishes in the grooming games. 

“I can’t be turning up at Fashion Week looking like Dumpy from Ireland in the corner,” the celebrity with the truly lovely hair and the awfully nice teeth and the legs as long as Leitrim was quoted as saying. 

Indeed not, sweetheart. Perish the thought. 

That old “Dumpy from Ireland”, eh? Who’d want to look like her, for pity’s sake? She’s an awful divil altogether, is our Dumpy. 

Look at her! Look at Dumpy! Slumped in the corner with an empty gin bottle and a pinking shears, and her after storming the stage in her pungent sweatpants, head-butting Ralph Lauren in his Polo while simultaneously juggling three Slovenian supermodels and Victoria Beckham’s kneecaps. She’s after wrecking Fashion Week for all those girlies in their 50 shades of yellow, and those pouting boyos in their 90s streetwear and their fun-fur boleros.

It’s too late for sorry now, Dumpy, you with your bulging oxters still glistening with sweat and Swarfega, that stick of Bundoran rock hanging limply from your swollen lips, its long shadow playing across your alarmingly hirsute jaw…

Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, the tortured lives of minor celebrities.

Effortless weight loss

While scraping the last of the now-stone-cold potatoes from the pot, I also learned that the former-model-turned-television-star is at the mercy of effortless weight loss. 

Effortless weight loss?! You’re kidding me? The poor creature. My heart bled for her. It bled all over the onion skins and carrot shavings and potato peelings and the little wigwams of fish skin still littering my counter top. 

“I’m kind of a highly strung person,” the FMTTS (keep up!) is reported to have said. And, apparently, when she gets highly strung, the weight simply “falls off”! (Funny, when I get highly strung, big lumps of bread and butter find their way unbidden to my willing mouth.)

But why wouldn’t our celebrity get stressed from time to time? As the woman said, she can’t walk out the ruddy door unless her tan is done, her legs are as smooth as a baby’s bottom, her nails aren’t chipped and she hasn’t a single grey hair showing. It must be bloody exhausting.

Pity the leggy lovely: she could be sauntering down to the shops to pick up a scratch card and a can of mushy peas, just tootling along minding her own business, calmly considering the sheer daring and ingenuity involved in, say, making stripes so integral to the 2017 spring/summer collection. Next minute, Dumpy from Ireland hurtles over the ditch in a pair of last season’s reworked denims, making mincemeat of her peace of mind and leaving her as highly strung as Julie Andrews’s vocal cords after a sweaty hike up the Zugspitze with Baron von Trapp’s fetching lederhosen in hot pursuit. 

I learned something that day, waiting for the fish pie to cook. I learned to appreciate the privacy of working at the kitchen table. I can go to work with leg hair growing out of my ears, wearing someone else’s pyjama bottoms, my computer keyboard gently sprinkled with crunchy peanut butter, and nobody in the sartorial police would ever know a damn thing.

Yep, I’m with Dumpy from Ireland on this one, happy to slump in my squalid, unfashionable corner. 

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