Belfast Telegraph

Nuala McKeever: Facing up to image fascism

Deny it if you will, but seeing celeb after celeb having their faces surgically altered does begin to have an effect on you. Subtly perhaps, slowly even, but like it or not, the war of attrition is being won by the forces of tightness.

Two examples this week — Elton John on the front of a glossy mag, holding his baby son and looking like a computer generated two-dimensional model of a human being. Beyond plastic.

And Anne Robinson, being announced as the presenter of a new TV programme about books, presented in a softer, more pastel-shaded version of her Weakest Link harridan.

Gordon Ramsay’s done something to his head. Obama and Cameron are dying their hair. Everyone over the age of 40 is being scrutinised for signs of letting themselves go or having something done.

And it’s very hard to fight the image fascists. I espouse a belief in self-acceptance but then I go into Belfast city centre on a Saturday afternoon and am horrified at just how unattractive real people are, en masse.

Our critical faculties are being seduced by relentless exposure to some standard of what’s acceptable. A standard no-one’s sure where it came from or who created it.

Let’s laugh in the face of this fascism, or there’ll come a time we can’t laugh at all.

Belfast Telegraph

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