Women don’t need celeb sob stories

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“I’ve gained four stone in a year and walk around in a bin liner convinced  I have  AIDS and clubfoot. I’m mad. Please buy my book.”

“Besides being fat, I also suffer from anxiety, depression, OCD and hemorrhoids etc.  I’m just like all the other insecure women out there,” so read the endless captions above revelatory newspaper columns,  female blogs and women’s non fiction books.

“My battle with…” .many a self serving, attention seeking ‘celebrity’ has excreted onto a page.

Last week, ‘What not to Wear star Susannah Constantine’, ‘revealed’ her 3 year battle with nits- groundbreaking, while Daily Telegraph columnist Bryony Gordon talked ‘openly’ about her battle with white wine spritzers and being an alcoholic.

Dubbed ‘the real-life Bridget Jones,’ Gordon, whose unique selling point is- I’m a bit crap too, was describing how she had fallen off the wagon at a wedding and was now ‘experiencing that familiar feeling of anxiety, hopelessness and regret that had come to define so much of my adult life.’ Is that not what adult life is about?

I’m always a little wary of those who admit to alcoholism so openly. I know lots of alcoholics. None of them think they’re alcoholics, even if they wait for the off licence to open every day so they can have a shoulder of vodka and a few cans to get the head together. The people who need help the most- certainly from my experiences, reject it furiously and definitely won’t buy a glorified vanity project by a two bit celeb for inspiration. If only it were that simple.

The market for ‘genital warts’ and tell all revelations is a nasty by product of modern post internet life. Celebrities and people I’ve never heard of share everything from their breakfasts to the comings and goings of their sexual organs while presenting their icky peccadillos on a platter for us all to see.

It’s for our benefit of course, so we feel less shit about our lives. Are women so self effacing, they have to rely on other woman’s shortcomings in order to feel good about themselves?

What happened to fabulousness? Can we not find inspiration in someone else’s brilliance. I aspire to be Lauren Bacall or any of the Hollywood Goddesses of old. The glamour, the coolness, the clothes, the walk, everything. Joan Collins and Joanna Lumley are the last of our prodigious role models and there’s no one of greatness coming up the ranks.

In these times of feminist empowerment, does it really boil down to- ‘I’m happier now that another woman is fat, picks her nose in public and has hairy legs?’

Which brings me back to Mrs Gordon, and a piece in which she revealed she was fat and healthy and happier than ever. “After all those years of fearing fat, I now find it rather wonderful.. Since I allowed myself to become overweight, I have never, ever been happier.” I’m sick of reading those kind of misleading articles. Besides putting a massive burden on the health services, its really unpleasant to be obese.

I remember a friend telling me he lost the equivalent of two crates of beer. “I was lugging forty bottles of beer around with me everywhere I went,” he described. Don’t tell me that feels good on a hot day when you’re walking up the stairs. Obesity is an epidemic. By 2030 Ireland could be the fattest nation in Europe with 89 per cent of men and 85 percent of women being overweight according to a recent report by the European Commision. It’s utterly wreckless to make light of it.

I was nearly 20 kg heavier after I had my baby. It’s not in any way abnormal, but it felt uncomfortable. I couldn’t walk into a shop and just buy anything I wanted like before when I weighed 60kg. It took me till now, almost three years later to get back to that weight- I was 5kg over for a few years. I’m 6ft tall so 60kg is seen as malnourished by many. But don’t think I’m miserable drinking diet drinks, foregoing steaks and chocolate. I’m not. In fact, I’m delighted with myself. It feels great.

It’s a worldwide, but little talked about fact that women are more jealous than men. We hate to admit it, but we are. We get a certain amount of Schadenfreude out of seeing a sister put on weight. Some has cellulite, how cool, we smugly think as we look at a magazine cover. We all do it, some even feed of it.

Men, on the other hand, don’t care. They don’t need the same kind of validation. They don’t need to know that a peer has piled on the pounds, or been in a bad relationship in order to feel good about themselves.

They have a nothing box. They live there most of the time. Nothing comes in, certainly not a picture of a guy on the front of a magazine talking about his ingrown toenail.

I think we should aspire to being more fabulous and not buy into this lazy approach to life. Course it’s comforting to know others have imperfections and recognise that they have anxieties too, but it’s gotten out of hand. It’s a money spinner and they don’t really care about us, so why should we care about them. Lets just do our own thing and ignore the herd.

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