Respectable News Outlets and Women’s Appearances

Yesterday I posted that trite fashion feature, courtesy of Time Magazine, about women who looked fat at the Golden Globes Award show. I was shocked that a serious news organization would provide exposure to ideas that are more suitable for TMZ or some Livejournal blogs.

Well, fear not, it seems that when it’s about women’s appearances, all bets are off, and even the most respectable organizations will throw in their two cents into the body-shaming bucket. Today’s enlightening piece, courtesy of The Guardian, The year-zero face: is 36 the perfect age for a woman?

The writer, Eva Wiseman, has this to say about Lindsay Lohan:

She had a forehead so taut and shiny it looked like an iPhone 4. Her lips were inflated to the size of a melting Twix, and her cheekbones looked as if they were climbing her jaw in order to dive to their death. Each change to her then 23-year-old face seemed to nod towards youth, but in fact imply age. This isn’t to say she looked old ““ as she bounced down the catwalk, her hair streaming behind her, she seemed to have transcended age ““ she looked like lamb dressed as mutton dressed as duck.

You know what? I don’t care about/for Lindsay Lohan as a Hollywood product. To me, she is inconsequential. Unlike others younger than me, I didn’t grow up with “Mean Girls” or any of her more popular films. But, I care when a woman who is a public figure is used as a punching bag for cheap journalistic tactics. Using Lohan as an example of anything, given her sad history of addictions and apparent mental health related matters, is bad writing, unethical and quite honestly, it is lazy. If we add body-shaming and appearance-policing to the mix, the resulting cocktail is a vomit-inducing Molotov that actually taints the very same platform that gave it space. In this case, The Guardian, a supposedly progressive news outlet.

The article closes down by providing the magical number, the perfect age women in the public eye should aspire to:

Those who balance it right, pap photos suggest, achieve the look of the golden, ageless age: 36. “Some people wake up at 42 and realise they need to return to 36,” says Gerstner. Demi Moore is 48, but, having allegedly had £200,000-worth of surgery (including a knee lift) looks at least a decade younger. “But the people who end up looking best have been planning for it all along.” She recommends an expensive programme of Botox, lip fillers, laser skin resurfacing and glycolic peels for maintenance, all of which, administered well, promise to keep even the tautest 23-year-old looking like a 30-something with a year-zero face.

There is not one shred of critical observation in the entire piece. These are facts, The Guardian tells us. But then again, I shouldn’t expect much from a news site, no matter how progressive or how much of an ally in socia-related causes I thought it to be, that has this on the sidebar:

Editor’s note: RedLightPolitics generously allows us to share her brilliant content under a Creative Commons license.  You can find this post in it’s original context here.

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