Ooooh! Oooh! Look! It’s one of my favourite article types. Fresh from the Femail pages of the Daily Mail:
I resent giving the Daily Fail the link for the page views so I’ve just screen shot the article instead.
It’s one of those ‘Oh look, she’s so pretty, she’s so glamorous – we’ll show you how to look the same for less!’ articles. And dutifully they have found copies of the shoes, bag, bracelet, dress, lipstick and necklace.
The cost for the copies, the cheap version of the outfit, comes to £507.80
Oh, ONLY £507.80??? Let me at the stores right now for an outfit costing that much – said no fiscally responsible woman on an average budget EVER.
There’s one other little gem that I want to share from this article though. And it’s a quote about the luscious Naomi and her choice of dress, which she wore to the Oscars this year.
Naomi Watts dazzled on the red carpet of the Oscars in a white, floor-length Calvin Klein number picked out for her by her two sons.
I’m assuming anyone who reads this nonsense has the faintest clue how old Naomi Watts’ sons are, but I didn’t so I had to go look it up and Wiki didn’t disappoint. Born in 2007 and 2008, the little darlings are 7 and 6 years old.
The Daily Mail wrote a grand total of two lines about Naomi’s choice of dress. Why that fact? Why that sentence? Why focus on the fact that her children chose her outfit? It seems such an innocuous little bit of information, but it’s a very busy little sentence doing some subtle and destructive undermining of self esteem in its readers. Let me take you through it bit by bit.
1) It’s a reminder that Naomi Watts manages a career like this, and a social life like this and goes to parties like this looking like THIS all while bringing up two children under the age of 10. Wow. So anyone struggling to manage 20 hours a week at work, doing the tesco run, getting the kids to beavers and making a dinner for a family suddenly feels like one hell of a disorganised mess next to this gorgeous blonde superwoman. Yes, here you are, another reminder that you are not perfect, your life is not perfect and the way you look certainly isn’t perfect. This is perfect – and this is not you.
2) I’ve been shopping with kids. And I’ve attempted to get ready for parties in the same houses as kids. And neither has been a pleasant experience, and I’m not even a parent! I have yet to find a child of that age who can give an unforced opinion on what anyone else other than themselves should wear and their own choices are often dubious (I’ve seen at least one Spiderman at a wedding and at least one Fairy Princess on a day out at a muddy farm yard, both wearing those grins of deep satisfaction that only come from a long won victory in a war of attrition with a parental figure who doesn’t give a damn any more so long as they are wearing clothes.) The fact that Naomi has two kids who apparently care about what she wears and can stand still long enough to make a decision for her and agree with each other on the matter also makes her look like super-mum. Another kick to the average woman’s self esteem.
3) Not only that, but a 6 and 7 year old managed to pick out a dress as beautiful and flawless as that. What did you wear to your last office party again? Oh yes, right it was that disaster of a red dress which wasn’t the right shape for your bum and those black tights with the ladder up the thigh right? Oh dear. Well, at least Naomi Watts’ children have better taste than you facepalm Feel that self esteem sinking lower and lower down the ladder. It’ll be on the floor with your worn out shoes soon.
Now, call me a cynic, but don’t try to tell me for one second that a selection of dresses and matching accouterments hadn’t already been selected and laid out by a personal assistant, stylist, manager or agent in advance. Yet somehow that doesn’t get a mention. The image created by just those few choice words is that somewhere in an immaculate house, two happy and rosy little boys spent an entire afternoon watching their beautiful Mummy flounce through her dress choices in her bedroom, offering cute little opinions and settling on the White Calvin Klein before heading downstairs for milk and biscuits.
The image created is cute, and sweet, and awww worthy. But I doubt that the image is anything like what actually happened. In all likelihood they both picked the white one having shared a glance which, unknown to the parent/assistant, clearly said ‘If we pick the same one we can get out of here, go eat ice cream and get dirty in the park, and Mummy seems to like that one…’
I don’t object to the image. What I don’t like about the Daily Mail’s selected fact choices are the fact that they make other people feel like their own lives, families and clothes are lesser things. And the cynic in me does wonder if they are chosen deliberately for that reason. Because fanfare don’t worry! There’s a cure for that sinking feeling in your boots and stomach! See, we’ve found these lookalike items JUST LIKE what Naomi was wearing and they only cost just over £500 for the whole outfit…
slow clap Well done Daily Mail. Well done. Maximum destruction in minimum wordage dressed up to look like a cute story.*[Got something to say? Submit to Project Shandy]*