It’s that time of year again: all the Christmas weed has been smoked; the tree you stole from the nearby forest has been cast from the house and lies prostrate on the pavement, awaiting the arrival of a council that will never come, and you’ve finally just about made up with everyone in your family after all the festive rows, although a sense of coldness and distance remains, perhaps forever. Plus, you’ve spent all your money and you’ve gained ten pounds for DEIGNING TO ENJOY YOURSELF. Move along, fatty, there’s nothing to see here.
Oh, lugubrious January! Please, could something not arrive to raise me out of this profound, skint, corpulent misery that I’m feeling?
Thankfully, Grazia magazine has brought out a body issue. It’s as though it read our minds and realised that what we really, really needed right now while lying in our pits of post-Christmas doom were skewed perspectives on female body confidence dolled out by journalists in their thirties and forties completely removed from young women’s concerns. HURRAH!
Verily, praise Gold for cover features such as ‘Daisy: Being Skinny Doesn’t Suit Me’, accompanied by pictures of the size 8 ‘thunder thighs’ Daisy looking absolutely amazing but, admittedly quite skinny compared to say, the average UK woman, who is according to most statistics size 14-16. Open up the magazine and start to feel even better as they dedicate four full pages to her ‘soft and rounded’ body and her diet, before signing off with the tidbit that her friend’s mum is Susie Orbach. Yet do they ask Daisy about her views on 21st century womanhood and feminism? Of course not; they’re far more interested in what she eats (‘peanut butter’ and ’snacks’), and the fact that she has tits, those things that sit on the front of your chest and almost always result in your being hailed as a champion of ‘real woman’, simply by nature of owning them.
‘Wow, I feel so much better now,’ you think. ‘That feature about celebs being on holiday that appeared right before it, featuring no less than seven women in bikinis who looked as though they ranged from a size 0 to a size 8 had me staring in my paunch in horror, but then I turned the page and realised that it’s ok to have curves. Thanks, Grazia!’
And there’s more where that came from. Skip past a snoozeanthon piece by Sali Hughes about Twitter outrage, the tediously predictable Chart of Lust, and some nonsense about Kim n’ Kanye’s baby, and you’ll arrive at a fashion feature specialising in hideous skintight gymwear, including a pair of £200 leggings. If that doesn’t motivate you enough, there’s always the feature about the Coachella boat on page 37, in which we see three more women in bikinis, bringing the current total of skantily clad women in Grazia to 17.
After an artifical constructed non-debate about career versus motherhood and a paint-by-numbers Polly Vernon piece about how The Rules are rubbish, we arrive at GET 2013′s HAPPY BODY accompanied by yet another naked broad (18) Apparently a ‘quiet revolution has been going on where we’re favouring a more ‘intelligent’ body shape, whatever the fuck that means (question: if I’m a size 8 does that mean I have a stupid body? I mean, like, sometimes it walks into things) Grazia still haven’t grasped certain things about this generation of young women, so I’m going to level with them here. Listen morons: I don’t want a happy body, an intelligent body shape, or even, got forbid, a happy fucking period. Enough, already.
Turn over the page and we’re greeted by ‘LET’S HERE IT FOR THE (REAL) WOMEN’, accompanied by yet another picture, this time of the same girl, without many clothes on (19), and if you don’t look exactly like her, by definition, you don’t exist, you fictional piece of shit. How happy is your body feeling now, bitch?
The worst thing about this ‘body revolution’ bullshit is that the woman pictured isn’t even that curvy. Not like Kim Kardashian and Lena Dunham (size 12) who are both cited as examples of the trend, but more like Jennifer Lawrence (size 10), who is also held up as ‘atypical’ and ‘obese by Hollywood standards’. We then get a lot of waffle about new types of exercise and about how ‘fit and strong’ are the norm, so basically, they’re just presenting you with another body type to fixate and focus all your energy on (side note: have you seen those fitness fanatic forums? The way they berate one another for not training hard enough is as creepy as anything you’d get on pro-ana.)
So by now the total buff body count has now reached 20, and we’re on page 49, where we’re being told how to ‘be happy with your body’, something which apparently involves wearing fake tan and exercising like a caveman (outdoors, presumably while hunting wooly mammoth) and is something completely different to the ‘caveman diet’ which everyone is going on about, something which involves eating nuts and leaves and, presumably, the wooly mammoth that you hunted and killed earlier than day as part of your new exercise regime as recommended by Grazia. Then you can wash it down with a green pond scum smoothie, a kiwi, a pear, and a floret of broccoli, which are all illustrated and helpfully accompanied by a photograph of the same blonde, lithe model as earlier chowing down on not one, but two steaks. Where’s my fucking steak, Grazia? Oh, steak is only for the skinny people.
After a surprisingly good feature on ‘fat-shionistas’ which is good mainly because it relies almost completely on the testaments of the women themselves, we have ‘You The Fashion Jury’, in which all the women photographed have STUPID BODIES that are no more than a size 8. Likewise the model in the new season 1960s inspired fashion shoot. Her body is also stupid, and although you’re supposed to have one of those new ‘intelligent’ body shapes, Grazia is still subtly making you want to look like her with their creepy doublethink shit. Don’t worry though, you can always indulge in a ‘figure-fixing’ wardrobe if you’re feeling lumpy and unattractive in comparison. Apparently having a big handbag makes you look tiny. TINY! Heels, meanwhile, apparently make your legs look longer, which makes me wonder if Pippa Middleton may have taken over from the Grazia fashion eds and become their new ‘no fucking shit’ correspondent.
To finish off we’re then treated to an article about the new serotonin diet or somesuch, which apparently helps you ‘rebalance your hormones’ post-Christmas, yet again demonstrating how magazines will go out of their way to equate body perfection with emotional wellbeing. This is accompanied by a grumpy looking model in a swimsuit and LEG-LENGTHENING heels, followed by something healthy eating plans which seem to suggest that smoked salmon blinis are the answers to all my problems (a canape diet- oh how fash!)
Phew, after all that my sentient body is feeling not only really really happy but also pretty damn clever too. Plus my period, which is also in a really good mood, starts tomorrow. Perhaps the two of them can form some kind of euphoric reading group where they have snacks and discuss Will Self’s new book while sitting naked on stools. Meanwhile, my brain can occupy itself with its primary functions of masturbating, dribbling, and excreting – it’s obviously not needed. Happy January!
FYI: Here’s the new real, intelligent, curvy body shape you should all be aspiring to. You can thank me later.