Belfast Telegraph

Sharon Owens: Why body fascists have cheek branding Beatrice pear-shaped

Dear, oh dear, a certain newspaper is at it again: scanning celebrity bodies (mostly female) and pointing out their various faults and failings.

This week it was the turn of Princess Beatrice (20), who appears to have inherited her mother Fergie's rather generous derriere. Mother and daughter were pictured out jogging in Spain and, yes, they do have a similar body-shape.

But you know what? I couldn't care less what shape they are. They both look fine to me. And isn't it nice to see a mother and daughter who are so close they would even go out running together in the first place? No matter about their royal status. They're obviously fit and healthy and, as far as I know, Fergie pays her own way these days. Beatrice is off to university next month after that all-important gap year but still hopes to get in a spot of charity work. Fergie and Beatrice both looked very nice in their post-jog summer frocks. All well and good.

There's far too much aul' nonsense being written about women and their bodies, if you ask me. They're either fat and lumpy like Cherie Blair or thin and spiky like Victoria Beckham. Or having silly great implants fitted (Jodie Marsh) or having their silly great implants taken out (Jordan). Or being filmed having cosmetic breast surgery: Kerry Katona, apparently, is going to treat us to the sight of her bosoms being operated on in the near future.

Some women, horror of horrors, are even having cosmetic surgery ‘down there’ as I witnessed on the telly recently. Not enough to have it all waxed: now you have to have it ‘tidied up’ as well.

It all hit rock bottom for me this week when I watched a TV programme about a 37-year-old journalist who went to LA to have more than 50 botox injections in her face. And some truly bizarre procedure whereby the skin around her eyes was literally sucked with a small plastic funnel until it bled. She was told this would tighten up the bags beneath her eyes. She had to lie down in a darkened room for three days afterwards, applying a mix of ice-water and clear vinegar to her face every three hours to stop her bloody eyes becoming infected. Oh, and during the actual procedure, her eyeballs were covered by protective metal shields, which made her look like she had ball bearings for eyes.

I had to lie down in a darkened room myself to get the gruesome images out of my mind. The poor woman was in so much pain she was crying; yet she said she could feel herself becoming addicted to having ‘work’ done. I reckon she'd have looked just as good if she gave up the ciggies and got a few square meals down her neck. But I'm only a culchie from Tyrone, so what would I know?

Now, men don't give two hoots about all of this carry-on. In fact, when they see a woman with a face-lift, a trout-pout or enormous implants, they tend to think ‘high-maintenance’ and go running in the opposite direction. And the guys who do get turned on by the plastic-fantastic look will readily admit these women are fantasy figures to them. They don't really want to marry a woman who walks like Jessica Rabbit, and whose bosoms keep bouncing for about 20 seconds after they've stopped walking. No, girls, we can't blame the men for this one. Sisters really are doing it for themselves this time.

There's even a clinic somewhere in or near Russia where you can have your legs broken and then re-set so you're taller when the bones knit back together. It's agony, so they tell you, but it's worth it in the end.

Then we have the fake tan phenomenon, the fake nails, the hair extensions, the tattooed-on eyeliner, the brilliant-white dental veneers and the liposuction — it's all just gone too far for me, I'm afraid. Call me old-fashioned but I'm just happy when the sun shines and I can get my laundry all out on the line.

I'm content when my wee family is home and safe and not out somewhere being assaulted by thugs.

Or when Midsomer Murders is on the telly and I have an M&S chicken korma in the fridge

I never thought I'd say this, not being a royal watcher, but good on you, Fergie. The woman seems like a good person. A bit Sloaney, of course, but that's the way she was brought up. Just as I will never, but never, decide to host a posh dinner party, Fergie will never be a working class hero. But at least she loves her children. And she had the sense to get off the celebrity merry-go-round before it was too late. Unlike Lady Diana

So cut Fergie a bit of slack, all you super-snoop hacks out there. And don't call her pear-shaped. And don't slag off Princess Beatrice, either.

Would you rather the pair of them had an eating disorder? I'm getting so tired of all this body-fascism. Give me something new to read about. Thank-you.

Belfast Telegraph


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