Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Sharon Owens: We need to turn off TV when Kerry’s on

I promised myself I wouldn’t watch Kerry Katona’s breast reduction operation on MTV.



But of course, and purely in the interests of medical research, I did watch it. And the ordeal that Kerry endured in the name of the body beautiful was truly horrific. By some supreme irony, the nation is obsessed with Kerry Katona, yet she seems to have almost no self-awareness whatsoever. Giggling and joking her way through the documentary, she appeared to be blissfully unaware that she was risking life and limb, essentially for a photo-shoot for Zoo magazine.

I felt physically ill throughout the show but still remained transfixed. The way Kerry disdainfully pulled and prodded her own tummy and bosoms was quite sad. She seemed almost rough with her own body: the body which has produced lovely four children, after all. The way she sat obediently on the trolley in a private clinic, as her husband looked on and the surgeon drew incision lines across her breasts, made me cringe. And the operation itself was surprisingly gruesome. Watching the scalpel pierce the breast tissue was wince making. I had to look away after that, and only opened my eyes in time to see Kerry’s body pieced back together like a patchwork quilt. Nipples removed and stitched back on. A frightening mess of scars, tubes, blood and stitches; and skin that looked loose and dead, like a leg of lamb from the supermarket.

I have to confess that I feel this shockingly explicit documentary has been a good thing. Because hopefully it has exploded the myth of cosmetic surgery once and for all. And if there is still anybody out there, male or female, who thinks it is a glamorous thing to have a breast reduction or indeed an augmentation, then I’d like to hear from them. Seriously, how can any man feel like caressing a body that has been through torture like this? I’ll be having nightmares about Kerry Katona’s breasts for the next six months or maybe even longer.

Husband Mark Croft, far from being the evil genius controlling Kerry that I always thought he was, seemed every bit as bewildered as she was. Perhaps even he is beginning to realise that the pair of them are out of their depth with the glorious carnival of cheap shocks that is Reality TV.

And the result of Kerry’s painful surgery: a hideously embarrassing Marbella photo-shoot for a lads’ mag called Zoo, where the newly blonde Kerry tried to pose sexily in a skimpy swimming costume. Not the most ladylike of activities for a mother-of-four who is also bi-polar. Having just watched Little Dorrit on BBC1, I couldn’t get the image of a Victorian workhouse out of my mind. For this is what Kerry Katona seems to have become: a working class wench exploited for financial gain at every turn. Propped up with pills and jolly hangers-on, trundled from clinic to photo-shoot, Kerry has barely time to kiss her children goodbye before she’s pouting for the cameras and making crude jokes once again. I really feel the time has come for all of us to turn out the lights and leave the theatre.

Kerry’s recently started to slur her words and appear permanently confused and I sincerely hope this doesn’t mean she’s slipping further into her depressive illness. I hope her husband decides to put an end to the circus before it’s too late. I hope that the many thousands of women who watched the show will vow never to go under the knife themselves. And I hope that thousands of men will think twice before buying another lads’ magazine.

There was nothing glamorous about this documentary, in my humble opinion. No sense of feminine mystique or mystery. No sense of the timeless power of femininity or the enduring allure of the female nude. No, this was just a tired, sore body poured into a black bikini and casually snapped for a lowbrow magazine. The worst bit was when Kerry cried out in pain as a nurse removed a drainage tube from inside her breast. I defy any male with an ounce of human decency, to be turned on by breast implants after witnessing such a spectacle. I know I’ll never be able to open a magazine again, and see a model with too-large breast implants, without wincing. In fact, if I ever need a mastectomy I will now refuse to have reconstructive surgery afterwards.

I did feel sorry for Kerry before I watched the show. And I still do. She tries to have a glass of Krug and a cigarette and a good old laugh about her life. But you know things have really gotten out of hand when even the baby of the family looks worried. God bless little Heidi and Kerry’s other three children, is all I can say. What kind of world do they think they have been brought into? Fetching their own biscuits from the kitchen cupboard while Kerry smokes a cigarette and scans through the gossip magazines for negative stories about herself. (Still smoking even though the surgeon warned her that continuing to smoke might hamper the healing process.) And a few days after the op she was frolicking in Marbella, having her hair done and partying with the camera crew. Where will it all end? I am now officially going to stop buying any magazine with Kerry on the cover. I’ve reached my limit and I can’t stomach any more. I wish Kerry and her family all the very best, but as of now, I’ll be going cold turkey on the traffic accident that her life has become.

To any woman considering putting herself through a similar ordeal, I would urge extreme caution. There was nothing sexy about this operation. There was nothing exciting about this operation. Kerry Katona should go and have a lie down in a darkened room and have a serious think about her future, and her children’s future. Because from what I can see it looks about as bleak and miserable as those bags of fat they lipo-sucked out of her jelly-belly at that private clinic.

Dear, oh dear, I never did have much of a stomach for cosmetic surgery.

But now I think it is the final nail in the coffin of feminism. Yes, girls, we are now going backwards, all the way back to the Victorian age, in fact. Whereby we have to attract “the nice gentleman” with a nipped-in waist and a pert set of bosoms and a mischievous smile. Well, no thanks. I’d rather be a spinster and take in washing than have to go through what Kerry Katona just has. As I said, it’s time to turn out the lights and leave the theatre. In every sense of the word.

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