Monday, July 29, 2013

Yes To Modesty Jackets

Unusually this morning, I was awake and in front of the BBC Breakfast news. Two stories caught my eye:

1. CoOp are to stop stocking magazines like FHM and Nuts unless they are to be sold in modesty jackets so that people don't have to look at the covers unless they buy them.

2. Theresa May has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

On the surface, these two stories don't seem linked at all. Right? Well, kind of. I mean, don't panic... I'm not about to publish some excellent conspiracy theory on how prolonged exposure to plastic breasts causes diabetes (although I'm sure if we wanted to run that as an experiment we could find volunteers). It was a small detail that made me think of the link.

When explaining about the Theresa May story, the newsreader said that May had lost two stone earlier in the year - prompting debate that she was intending to run for leader of her party.

I mean my God.

Even a woman as high up in politics as Theresa May is having her body scrutinised to check her fitness for a job that requires very little physical prowess? She's not a bloody horse going to market - why on earth would she need to be 2 stone lighter to have any sway in the House? Is she going to be physically fighting for leadership? If so, crack on, I might start following the battle.

If there's some kind of attractiveness test for our leaders that they're all passing then the rest of the country need to be toning down their collective sexiness because we are making them look bad. Really bad.

In all my years of being vaguely aware of the hideous, skin crawling bullshit that gets written in newspapers and magazines, I have never noticed anyone questioning which of the male contenders for leadership were slim enough to have a chance of being taken seriously.

And this, to me, is a reminder that we still have a long way to go in getting women taken seriously as more than just bodies. If a dust cover on a magazine helps then cover them all up. Women and men and girls and boys have got to know it's not OK to allow physical summation of a woman's worth to supersede  their ability.

Of course women are sexy, I LOVE sexy pictures of women and if I want to buy one (a picture - not a sexy woman) then I want to be able to. But what I don't want is for my little girl to be idling round a supermarket while I check apples for bruises and to be bombarded with these images and to just have it low level impacted on to her consciousness that on top of everything else she's going to achieve it's important for people to think she's sexy. Hide Closer and Now and OK and Grazia as well. Hide it all and tell them they can come out of their covers when they've started printing something interesting about what women have achieved - and made that sexy.

1 comment:

  1. There has been only one occasion I can think of where a man's weight has been an issue for him running for leadership of anything and that man is Chris Christie. Chris Christie looked like a man in a fat suit; such that he might suddenly keel over and die, or be rolled away Willy Wonka style. Theresa May however, I must say, never struck me as having a distinctive weight one way or t'other.