Monday, 31 May 2010

RIP Tankini


Innovation is a wonderful thing. Practicality is also, as life is not as magazine beachwear shoots would have us believe. The tankini, on paper, should therefore be a saviour to all women, salvation to the many problems incurred by a beach holiday. No more unsightly tummy when frolicking amidst the waves, no more one-size-must-fit-all swimsuits, no more bikini’d philanthropy. Perfection incarnated, right? Wrong.

The tankini is so, so wrong in so many ways. Any woman who believes it to be a solution of any kind needs a stylist’s overhaul immediately. It does not mask one’s poolside dignity, or lack thereof, but merely opens the field for infinite wardrobe malfunctions. Besides, reader, have you ever had the delight of perusing an even vaguely shapely or stylish tankini ensemble? No, of course you haven’t, because tankinis are ubiquitously unflattering. That two inch ring of flesh between the top and the bottom, the catastrophic necklines, the lack of body contour. I have only ever seen a tankini look half decent when there is no gap between the top and the bottom. It may as well be a swimsuit.

Jump into any good swimming pool for further reasons as to why tankinis are the devil’s spawn. The lack of below-breast security means that you may as well have only bought the bottom half anyway. Either way, it all leads back to our tried and tested friends, the bikini or the all-in-one.

Forgive me if this all seems overwhelmingly hyperbolic, but the rules are simple: if you are lucky enough to be lean, toned and body-confident, don a bikini, if you are none of the above, brave a swimsuit and invest in fake tan for your pasty bits. There are some innovations which do not work. And this is one of them.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Mamma Mia/Jeremy Kyle

Last Christmas, 372,000 children received a DVD of the Mamma Mia. In fact, prepare for red faces all round as it is in fact the biggest selling DVD of all time in the UK, to date counting sales of 6 million. Essentially the story of a young woman searching for her father from a choice of a possible three, glossy tans and gleaming white teeth appear to have masked the moral core of the film. If the blonde starlet was a pasty faced, acne ridden, breezer guzzling pikey, would we still sing and dance along as she attempts to discover the true identity of her biological father, after her mother slept with three men, sans contraception? Would we allow our youngest generation to idolize such a pursuit? The truth is, the pretty girl from the idyllic Greek island with the winding vines, clear waters and golden sands is a fa├žade; Mamma Mia is a bronzed, glorified replica of Jeremy Kyle.

There is a sick sense of schadenfreude when we see what a mess the people on this daytime talk show have made of their lives. The ‘my-violent-alocholic-boyfriend-slept-with-my-sister-and-now-she’s-pregnant’ car crash TV upon which we feast is the backbone of Mamma Mia’s concept. Yet this is something we don’t seem to realize. When one young teenager and her guilt-stricken mother sit waiting for the results of the DNA test which will determine the identity of her biological father, we judge. We sit with our condescending eyes and rest gladly that our lives are NOTHING like theirs. Relief that, to the best of our knowledge, our children are at school and not downing WKD blue behind Pound-Stretcher. However millions of parents condone the promiscuity of a mother when she’s having fun in the sun and is being portrayed by Meryl Streep and pursued by Pierce Brosnan.

Does it not say something about the blind obedience of our society; the aesthetic values that we place above those of morality? We have become ‘Hollywoodised’ by the media and our judgments are not based on equality and common sense, but on visual appeal. It’s all singing and dancing until we wake up to our hypocrisy.