Monday, 5 September 2011

The return of Girl Power

       Nope. Absolutely no idea why Janet Street 
        Porter would feel the need to bitch about Kelly...

This week in her Daily Mail Column, Janet Street Porter treated us to this edifying observation: "Kelly Brook is planning to design a new range of bed linen. I hadn’t ever thought of the singer, dancer and swimwear model as a challenger to the Kelly Hoppen home furnishing empire. But Kelly does possess two huge assets that always remind me of those over-stuffed cushions you find strewn on the bedspreads in swanky hotels."

This was accompanied with a picture of Miss Brook looking suitably voluptuous. I'm not sure what point JSP was trying to make, but It SEEMS to be that Kelly can't possibly have any talent at design because she has large breasts. 

And they say feminism is dead!

Astounded as I am that Ms Street Porter would display her childish jealousy so unsubtly, her attitude isn't all that uncommon. I can only assume that women's magazines are run by hideous trolls, so often do they earnestly assure us that really beautiful women MUST be lacking in the brain department, because "they've never had to try". (The unspoken belief being that it would be UNFAIR for one person to be endowed with the gifts of beauty, intelligence AND talent.) 

(There is so much more to say on the subject of misogynistic women's magazines – not least the endless "fat" pictures of formerly slim celebrities to crow over, or the ubiquitous question levelled at the physically flawless "What's your least favourite body part?" – because of course you must have one! The price you pay for your bodily perfection MUST be raging insecurity. And if you don't hate anything yet, we'll print unflattering pictures until you do! Enjoy!)

To be fair, the attitude that nobody is allowed to have it all is not only aimed at women. Mel Gibson was ridiculed for wanting to extend his acting career from action hero to Hamlet, and for making a film about Jesus in the original Aramaic and Latin. Which made it especially satisfying when he delivered the definitive performance of the Danish Prince, and broke the record for pre-ticket sales, respectively. 

These days it's not enough to just be an actor or singer; it is almost compulsory to be both, (and possibly a director and producer as well) and to build a media empire with sidelines in perfume and clothing. Not to mention marriage to a rock star, the odd catwalk strut, DJing session or cookbook. Gwyneth Paltrow does pretty much all of the above, and is roundly criticised for it. (If all else fails, just call someone "smug".) But I get the feeling that Gwynnie isn’t bothered by the green-eyed haters, because living to please yourself is a million times more satisfying than being fawned over by the editors of Heat. 

Meanwhile the sisterhood got a boost this weekend when some mouthy broads on The X Factor hit back at Tulisa for daring to criticise their singing ability. Kelly Rowland stepped up to defend her fellow judge, explaining that she came from "a female group that always talks about how women should come together and they shouldn’t be bitchy towards one another…." How nice to have some solidarity for once! But what's the betting that by next week, the papers are reporting a "feud" between the two ladies? 

Meanwhile, I am enjoying the fact that Janet Street Porter can never again spout any drivel about being a feminist or being supportive of women in any way. No doubt she will soon be complaining that nobody takes her seriously... 

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