Thursday, June 07, 2007

Woman of the Year? Aye right!

Victoria Beckham has been named the UK Woman of the Year. If ever there was a sentence that screamed “What were the judges on?”, there it is.
I know Mrs Beckham has her fair share of fans but I fail to see the appeal. She was famous once for being in the Spice Girls, but what is she famous for now? Being married to a famous hubby? Wearing increasingly ridiculous outfits? Proving that women can survive with absolutely no body fat whatsoever? Making David Dickinson look a wee bit pale?
I hate to bitchy (no, actually that’s untrue, like most women I love a good bitch) but for the love of every thing pure what is it that inspired anyone to name the walking Twiglet their ‘Woman of the Year’?
You see, to me the title of ‘Woman of the Year’ should denote something of substance. It should refer to a woman who has made a positive difference to others. She doesn’t have to be some high and mighty intellectial creature who has brought about world peace, championed the battle against breast cancer or single-handedly saved the NHS from ruin. But surely she has to be something more than a woman who is most famous for wearing a slightly disturbing pout most of the time?
Then again, I’m not sure what I expected from the likes of ‘Glamour’ magazine. I, like many others, enjoy a wee bit of celebrity gossip and if you are going to find out who is doing what, and to whom, you could do worse than pick up a copy of ‘Glamour’.
But their lists of winners at this year’s awards does make painful reading. These are the women that they have deemed worthy of reward and recognition and they include a bag designer, Doctor Who’s assistant and Angelina Jolie for a special ‘Inspiration Award’. (Trust me I am rolling my eyes in an exaggerated “What the fudge is that about’ manner here).
What kind of an example are we giving to women and teenage girls? What are we telling them about what it takes to be successful and/ or popular. Trust me the feelings of inadequacy such awards generate stretch far beyond the remit of teenage girls struggling to find their identity. There are many women of all ages who look at these awards and wonder how on earth they bear any relevance to their lives.
For example Teri Hatcher was named ‘Writer of the Year’. Now I’ve gone on record before as saying I love the bones of Teri Hatcher. I wanted to be her when she was in ‘Lois and Clarke- The New Adventures of Superman’. I had the same bobbed hair cut and based my shoe buying decisions almost entirely on what I thought she would like. If I could swap my mundane existence in Derry for an hour or two on Wysteria Lane in the arms of the gorgeous Milke in ‘Desperate Housewives’ I would jump at the chance.
But the woman can’t write books. I bought her autobiography/ self-help book ‘Burnt Toast’ expecting it to be a funny, moving and scandal laden tome which would inspire further hair cuts, shoe buying expeditions and perhaps contain Dean Cain’s phone number.
It was one of only three books in my life which I have thrown across the room in disgust as I have been so disappointed with it’s content. It was just so mind numbingly bland that I gave up the will to live by chapter 6. It seems Ms Hatcher can’t do witty and quirky unless she has a team of ‘Desperate Housewives’ writers behind her.
There are reams of writers out there worthy of the accolade more than this former Lois Lane. The wonderfully talented Kate Long, the hilarious Marian Keyes - proper writers who’s life ambition and trade is to write, not to throw a book together between love scenes with the gorgeous Mike. But perhaps neither of those women fit into the lollipop headed mould of Ms Hatcher. (Me? Bitter and overweight? You betcha!).
Where were the ‘real’ women in these awards? Was it a pre-requisite to be a size double zero? Against the plethora of aneroxically thin nominees the six months pregnant and curvaceous Charlotte Church looked like an oversized Womble.
Being a part of the media I tend to shy away from arguments which state that our fine institution is solely responsible for a generation of anorexic and/or bulemic girls with low self esteem issues. In this case however, the facts speak for themselves. The women ‘Glamour’ magazine believes we should aspire too are all hold an unhealthy Body Mass Index and their claims to fame are questionable to say the least.
As a woman I demand we get some real heroines. I demand that we have women we can look up to without feeling insecure about ourselves, be it our physical appearance or our intellectual prowess. Where is the UK and Ireland’s answer to Oprah Winfrey- a woman who makes real differences every day between her charitable foundations, book clubs and emphasis on building self esteem?
It’s a sad reflection that the best we can muster up as a nation is Victoria Beckham. So as far as I’m concerned Glamour magazine can keep their Women of the Year Awards. It’s time for some changes.

1 comment:

Alexandra said...

Very true....

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