Saturday, 23 July 2016


Demonising women and liquid gold:

Following from my previous post - let’s see how we can use representations of food to shatter any confidence women have in their bodies! Let’s give our women so many syndromes and stigmas about eating or hunger - a natural, normal human behaviour so we can profit on the fabricated scandal of it all. Huzzah! 

In the media you regularly find women essentially stalked for their body. Have they gained weight, have they lost weight, what diet are they on, how pregnant could they be. Sadly, these types of ‘important’ stories are rife and sell pretty well too. I thought it might be fun to find a prime example of such a headline and analyse it like any normal literary text. 

For today’s masterclass I give you Vanessa Feltz. How dare she feed, the gluttonous creature. 

Click to see the picture in more detail!
God, where do I begin. 

First and foremost, how else are you to consume custard - it is a liquid!

The concept of someone gaining a significant amount of weight simply on the basis of ‘drinking’ custard, it so fantastically ludicrous I couldn’t help but laugh out of shock. Here, the cleverly subtle nuances of the layout of the front cover sensationalises a story to portray horror at the female body. Using the present tense ‘drinking’ to imply she is ‘out of control’, or as the other main headline for another celebrity - Ms. Feltz has gone ‘TOO FAR’. Note the use of caps to really hit it home. In fact, all of the major headlines include little digs at a woman’s weight. ‘Extra’ and ‘Plus’ create this uncomfortable feeling of excess. Using several synonyms on the same page, all of which are in a bold clear font and surrounded by the colour pink (the same colour as the dress Vanessa is wearing in the picture) creates the effect that the reader is Vanessa, subliminally creating this bloated and exacerbated tone to which casts ‘shame’.  

Don’t think I haven’t noticed that despite all of these digs and little shady remarks the publication is called ‘Woman’s Own’… when a woman clearly can’t own her own body. In fact, based on this front cover it seems to me that the only thing women should be ‘owning’ is the ability to cast judgements, shame and disgust on how other people look. 

The ridiculous scrutiny of women has reached the stage where verbs such as ‘drinking’ - which by all accounts is a natural and essential action of functioning like a normal living being has been hyperbolically scrutinised. The result is a conflicting nonsense.  

For those of you who enjoy Game of Thrones like I do - please enjoy this video which I think is wholly appropriate and essentially represents the public humiliation and disgust we as audiences are supposed to feel for Ms. Feltz. Spoiler alert. 

Shame, shame, shame... 

Going back to sonnets, it is almost as if these tropes you would hope is exclusive to the Early Modern sonnets are very much alive and well - just are simply disguised in a new format. However, where a sonnet was designed to demonstrate love and affection - I can't see how this headline can claim to have the same purpose. It seems to be more of a barbed attack with the probable intention to make Vanessa Feltz feel so bad she either starves herself or goes on a comfort eating binge. Either of those options would be fantastic as there could be a follow up article and therefore sell even more copies of the publication. A body shaming self-fulfilling prophecy and lots of publication profit. An easy business plan? I think so!

Who would've thought I would be writing in depth about Vanessa Feltz' alleged eating habits!

This photo was taken in response of such a ridiculous headline. Cheers! 
Vanessa Feltz drinking all of the custard, for shame. accessed from on 04/07/16
Vanessa Feltz playing the media for their own game, fair game! accessed from on 04/07/16
Walk of shame accessed from on 23/07/16

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