Sunday, 7 November 2010

Glamour Modelling

My current TV guilty pleasure is ITV2’s The Only Way is Essex; it’s erm… think The Hills- but in Essex. I’m not really going to recommend it to you because it is as awful as it sounds- but it got me thinking.

            One of the main characters (can I call them characters? It’s supposed to be real life or something) is a budding glamour model. Amy’s a total Barbie- plastic boobs, hair, eyelashes and a “sunset glow” *cough*orange, and not the brightest bulb in the box. Yet, I don’t see why she would want to be a glamour model. She seems to have a profitable home business as a beautician and obviously she’s getting money and (relative) fame for participating in this programme. So why glamour? And not just why glamour for Amy, why glamour for so many other girls?

            There is a lot of contention over whether page three culture is a progression of women’s liberation- women no longer having to appear prim, proper and passive; or if it’s hugely sexist. I think to a certain extent it is a matter of personal choice, I don’t have a problem with legitimate modelling and that if a woman wants to do that she should be allowed. The most disturbing part of it all, I find- is the amount of young girls whose aspiration is to be a glamour model, girls too young to understand glamour modelling's true purpose. They no longer yearn to be teachers, doctors or even actresses, they want a career based purely on aesthetics and more often than not surgery. Where is the ambition in that? It’s not even like you can really make a lot of money or become  famous from it, even those who read lads mags can refer to probably no more than three glamour models by name- and who wants to be a nameless object?

In the media Jordan/Katie Price is often described as being a brilliant business woman. But really, what more is she than someone that looks good on camera and lived in a jungle for a few weeks? The rest of her success is entirely reliant on the press machine she works so hard to keep focussed on her.

 I can’t help but feel that this shift in female ambition stems from society’s archaic expectation that women should be beautiful before they are clever or talented. Hopefully this will change one day, but I doubt it.

Sorry this is a bit ranty but I felt I needed to say it. Books before looks girls.

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