Tuesday, 15 October 2013

No, we won't put it away, actually. Why should we?

I wasn 't going to bother about the whole Miley Cyrus malarkey. If she wants to spend the next couple of months/years of her fame going LOOK AT MY PANTS! LOOK AT MY TITS! LOOK AT MEEEEEEE! then fair play to her.

She's quite nice to look at, if your tastes run to slender, well-styled, young white women. It's a pity her records are so utterly fucking boring.

Thing is, Sinead O'Connor's records are pretty fucking boring, as well. Mandinka was about the only one I ever liked. And her whole schtick and selling point has always been BOOHOO LOOK AT MY AGONY. Which I don't think is any more - or less - empowerfulizing than 'Look at my chuff! Look at my boob job!'

Miley Cyrus is doing the sort of stuff you'd expect from anyone who spent her adolescence being forced to stay squeaky clean and pretend she didn't have a chuff at all. Daniel Radcliffe, don't forget, went straight from Harry Potter to getting his cock out and abusing horses.

Oh FFS. Of course I mean he took the lead role in the play Equus. Whatever Daniel Radcliffe gets his actual jollies from is a) perfectly legal I'm sure and b) none of my business. Or yours. But no one seems to have spent any time wailing at him about how doing That Sort Of Thing would end up with him being prostituted and corrupted and dying in rehab and shit.


I got my kit off to 'further my career', once. Well, once very publicly. Sadly no record of it seems to remain - and of course I have looked. Repeatedly. It was a late night Channel 4 show 20 years ago, featuring a panel of 'names' and a chunk of enthusiastic 'audience-with-something-to-say', all of whom were clothing-free. I'm slightly sorry that the damn thing isn't lurking on Youtube, actually, as from what I remember from actually watching a mate's videotape of it a year or so later, I looked quite nice.

And I don't regret doing it at all. It wasn't the greatest experience of my life - it was freezing cold in the studio, and I developed pleurisy a week later; my parents were seriously annoyed with me and I got choked off by the presenters before I got to say what I wanted to say - but I still feel better about the fact that I did it than I would feel if, looking back now, I remember only bottling out.

I didn't terribly want to do it. I didn't scrabble at the door till they let me in or anything. At the time, I was the editor of a small magazine at a large publishing house, and we had a chap whose job it was to get publicity for the magazines any way that was going, and one of the ways he did so on this occasion was to book me on to this Naked Chat Show. And tell me after it was booked.

I didn't want to do it, but I reckoned I had to. But this was absolutely not because I was a good obedient girl who didn't want to spurn the hard work done by the nice PR man. I didn't want to do it because I was a bit chubby, and a bit pallid, and a bit ungroomed, and I didn't want the watching millions to be going 'Eurgh, look at the fat flabby ugly minger!' I didn't like those thoughts, and I didn't agree with them, and I don't agree with them now. Back then - and today - I've written quite a bit about the fact that most of us don't have 'perfect' bodies, but that our bodies, even imperfect, are still valuable and desirable, and the non-spectacular majority of us still generally manage to attract partners we desire despite their imperfections.

I suspected I was being, if not exactly set up, at least expected by the production crew, to do the 'We're all lovely in our imperfections' role while the cameras lingered on any visual flaws they could find, so I decided to fuck that up a bit. I bought some stick-on tattoos and an eyeliner pencil which I used to write various slogans on myself. I used tons of spray and mousse on my hair (1993, OK?) and put on huge diamante earrings. I swaggered. It was, sort of, a lot of fun: I had a couple of mates with me and I seem to recall a certain amount of free drink being involved.

Having done that myself, I feel very much inclined to be annoyed with those who go on (and on and on) about how women in particular will only be 'respected' if they cover themselves up. Our bodies are just us, and why shouldn't we have fun with ourselves if we want to?

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