From men to mid life crises, from Botox to Brazilians, from infertility to infidelity, every week Jacqui Leigh gives her personal take on being a fortysomething woman
SJP's armpits and other woman-bashing tripe
I’m having my toast and looking at a photograph of Sarah Jessica Parker’s armpit.
I have been really good at not looking at the Mail Online but, today, standards have slipped and I’m back here in my dressing gown, flicking through the little pictures, seeing who looks like shit.
But an armpit? Says it all, really.
How low have we sunk (and with shame I include myself here) if a middle aged woman’s slightly wrinkled armpit (slightly wrinkled, not dragging along the pavement) is a fair target for derision on a national website?
She’s 47 for fuck’s sake! It’s an armpit. And it’s not just about armpits. It’s knees and stomachs and veiny hands, any evidence of being a human basically. I’ve got all of those and more and people don’t run screaming or vomiting when they see me. Should I wear a burqa or walk around with a placard apologising for the offence I may have inadvertently caused by a public display of rough elbow skin, or do I just jump under a train right now because I am less than fucking perfect?
What bothers me most is that most of this trash is written by women and the people who suck it up are mostly women.
Sometimes I feel this publication - I hesitate to call it a newspaper - should be sent to some hate crimes tribunal for preaching self loathing to all woman. Now and again they’ll pick on a guy with moobs or a bad hair weave but overwhelmingly it’s women who bear the brunt and it’s written by other women. It’s the fat end of a wedge that is already well established, the endless criticism of women’s appearances, from those who have let themselves go to those, who, shock horror, have had the empty headed audacity to inject Botox or have a facelift.
It’s really sickening. I wonder if I can use the parental controls on my computer to stop myself from any future visits to this site. We women are screwed whatever we do. We’re either ugly and old or vain and empty headed - or all of the above.
In a Guardian advice column last weekend a 43-year-old woman said she was increasingly dissatisfied with her appearance and questioned whether it would be okay to pay for a facelift.
There was a barrage of nasty responses, the majority of which criticised her for being superficial, selfish and pandering to society’s pressure on women to look good. And? Most of that stupid pressure is from other women. I weighed in, telling her to do whatever the hell made her feel better.
Just to show how far this female bullying goes, today, the deeply unlikeable Cherie Blair had a pop at yummy mummies. That’s right Cherie, why not give your own side a kicking. According to the pompous Telegraph, the term 'yummy mummy' is generally used to denote a woman whose husband’s wealth allows her to devote herself full-time to her children and her appearance. Both real and archetypal incarnations are the subject of regular abuse on internet discussions forums.
Yummy mummy. Isn’t that a great way to put women down? We’re either abandoning our kids while we forge selfishly on with our careers or we’re hovering over them while having Botox. Once again. we can’t win.
We’re all different. There’s enough pressure in life already, why must we women make it worse for ourselves? Whatever works for you should be good enough, shouldn’t it?
Now, I’m going to work out how to use that parental control...