Last week I wrote a blog post, inspired by a talk at the Cybher conference. It was centered around influential British women appearing on banknotes – or not any more, as the case maybe. In that post I refer to modern day influential women who seem to be the ones that adorn the tabloids or the infamous Sidebar of Shame for specialising in doing nothing spectacular.
I have to admit that I am not enamoured by the style of a show such as The Only Way Is Essex but I appreciate that it is a ‘reality television show’ of modern times and one that totally encapsulates the Andy Warhol quote stating that ‘everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes‘. You are women of a privileged status and young girls look up to you. They see strong women who have an important voice in society, in control of their love lives and have a handle on fashion. They see you as leaders in society and as women of power with their own businesses. Women in the public eye have the (un)fortunate position of being able to set a standard for others to follow.
However, as a parent I am imploring you to consider what you allow to be reported on the small screen and in the ever-popular tabloids. I often wonder why I am left feeling a bit short-changed by your non-scripted media appearances. Maybe it is because when a woman slaps a bloke she expects to get sympathy from her friends yet if the tables were turned the same friends would be horrified. It might be that when an apparent assault did happen in a ‘Marbs’ nightclub, one of your team decided that it wasn’t worth reporting (because it wasn’t captured on camera?). All these reports send out signals to those young people watching and reading.
You are promoting an unachievable image of perfection in grooming (even though I’ve yet to ever see a non-reality-show-participant leave a hair salon with rollers in). Studio-ready make-up looks unnatural in the daylight and darkened eyebrows coupled with fake eyelashes are used simply because Photoshop enhancements are not readily available away from digital media.
You are completely in control of how you are portrayed and how much media interaction there is. It cannot be a happy existence constantly reading negative press and I dread to think what your Twitter experience is like. I want Nanny Pat to take you all to one side and give you a good talking to about ‘The Old Days’ or at least recommend that you all take some acting classes.
In the meantime, enjoy your 15 minutes of fame. Try to make it a better experience, for you, for us, for women of the future. You’re making digital history, after all.
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