Thursday, 10 March 2011

The Mail on women and their bodies

An article in today's Mail asks:

Perhaps the Mail's website could shed some light on that?

For example, on the website today: Britney Spears looks in 'great shape' showing off her 'fantastic form'.

But on the Mail's website in January: Britney Spears looks 'bloated and unkempt'.

On the Mail's website today: Megan Fox 'cuts a glamorous figure' as she 'saunters around in a low cut dress'.

On the Mail's website last week: Megan Fox looks 'gaunt and skeletal' and 'too skinny'.

On the Mail's website last month: Megan Fox 'could wear a paper bag and look good in it thanks to her enviable physique'.

On the Mail's website in the past: Leona Lewis might be 'dumpy' or might have 'killer curves'. Katy Perry might have 'girth' or a 'voluptuous figure'. A 'curvaceous' woman dares to eat dessert. A woman weighing 9st is ridiculed for her 'blubber'.

And on and on...

There are hundreds of such nasty, pointless articles on the Mail website, which criticise famous people - but particularly famous women - who dare go out in casual clothes, or without make-up or without looking exactly how the mean-spirited hacks on the Mail website demand they look at all times.

And tomorrow's Mail front page refers to the 'raddled mug' of supermodel Kate Moss - in exactly the same space where today's edition asked 'Why do we women HATE our bodies?'

(See also Angry Mob's take on this story, which highlights today's page three feature finding fault with the way Kate Moss looks)


  1. If it wasn't so depressing it would be funny.

  2. The Daily Heil. It's like The Sun for the more active Nazi Party member. A risible waste of paper and ink, best used for lining cat litter trays with.

  3. Would have been the icing on the cake* if it had said "Find out Inside" under that question. I wonder how many anti-woman articles they are throwing in readers faces before they get to Penny Smith's theories?

    *not a cake that a woman should eat of course, she'll get fat and her man will leave her...or maybe she should eat it so she doesn't get too skinny and cause her man to leave her, either way, the Mail will be there to poke fun.

  4. You only have to look at the online version of Femail any day of the week to see what the Mail thinks its female readers are interested in: it's almost exclusively celebrity gossip.

  5. Anonymous 11:18 - that's all they are interested in. You ignore the cause and effect thing going on here. Why would the Femail print articles that weren't going to sell them papers? Any woman that wants real news reads something that at least tries to be a newspaper. Papers only print stuff that adds to the bottom line.

    Frankly, I don't know why this blog continues. 90% of the population knows that the tabloids are full of shit, and yet they still buy them. Pointing out the same tabloid bulshit every day is a fruitless exercise - don't like it, don't read it. Let the growing chav underclass have their Daily Mail. If I want news, I can get it somewhere else, thanks.

  6. Anonymous 11.54

    Wow, classism and sexism in one post.

    Women do want more than celebrity gossip thank you very much. The issue is the assumption of news editors that news is for men, and women need their own section because our liddle lady brains can't handle the issues of the day. And because the news rarely reports stories about women, from DV to the rapes in the Congo, to inspiring stories about exciting women.

    Frankly, i don't know why people continue to comment on a blog under the brave, crusading moniker 'anonymous' when they don't see the point of said blog.

  7. In accordance with Daily mail policy in allowing only two categories of anything (Black / White; terrorist / Christian; Cause cancer/ cure cancer; Exploited tax payer / scrounger; etc etc) - with overlaps seriously frowned upon because of the confusion they cause - there are two categories of women; fatties and anorexics.

    See the photos I pulled together here

    Where we can clearly see Jessie J move from one category to the other.

  8. Anonymous 11:54

    It's not just celebrity rubbish that fills the Femail section. They have cookery, diet, beauty and various other topics that the paper has decided women should concern themselves with. Adverts for cosmetics and strange diet programs dressed up as articles are fairly common. In other words the mail has made a section of it's website/paper which says "Women, know your place".

    They don't cater for men who might enjoy cooking, they don't cater for men who may enjoy the celebrity culture, they just dress it all up in a pretty pink bow and sell it off as what women should be interested in.

    The articles which do attract men into the femail section, or even most of the articles about women which make it to the main news site are almost always filled with pictures of them scantily clad and being told off for being scantily clad...unless they are on the "good" list at time of going to press.

    As for saying this blog is useless...well, I suggest you stop coming on it then. This blog and hundreds of others like it clearly have a purpose. They have a very large following and they exist in order to show how terrible our press is. People may expect topless girls and heavily exaggerated stories in a tabloid, but they don't realise they are being totally lied to, sometimes the stories are literally made up in the press office just to fill some column inches.

    I have recommendatory this blog and others to several people, many of whom have stopped funding the lie/spin machine that is the vast majority of National British Newspapers.

  9. Hi Sian,

    My security settings on my browser at work won't allow me to sign in with my google account. My name is Rob, although I don't see how that helps you with alleviating anonymity. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only Rob in the world, so short of giving all my personal details, I will remain anonymous anyway, as indeed are you. The ad hominem attack was noted though.

    Sexist and Classism? Not remotely - I didn't say it was right, I was just pointing out what IS. The proof of the pudding is on a newsstand near you - if there wan't a market for what you'd call sexist reporting, the tabloids wouldn't push it.

    Classism. Yeah, ok, fair play. Although it is fairly self-evident that only stupid people take tabloids seriously, and lack of intelligence/education is far more prevalent in the lower 'classes' then it's a position I can justify.

    I'm sure women do want more from 'their' papers. Which is great. Plenty of choice out there, darling. Why spend your life complaining about something that you don't want anyway? It's like going into an ice-cream shop and asking for chocolate, and when you're told they don't have any, try the shop down the street, you reply: but I want chocolate HERE.

    I'm sure if the Mail suddenly did become a bastion of truth and enlightenment, dropping the celebrity voyeurism, you'd read something else anyway. People who complain about tabloids are people who need something in their lives to complain about. If the tabloids all become perfect, you'd been breathing down Sky's/BBC's neck instead.

    I like McGuffin's blog/dissections. Even though his targets are sitting ducks, I think it displays intelligence and integrity. But it's such a fucking waste of life it's untrue. McGuffin will spend the next twenty years pointing out how much of a arse Littlejohn is....and Littlejohn will still be an arse, and he still won't care.

  10. Why, Rob, is it a waste of time to stand up for something you feel strongly about? Why is it so strange to want a media we can rely on for the TRUTH and not one that fuels hatred and appeals to the bigots in society? If the papers cleaned up their act and TV news got worse then of course we would demand better of them.

    Would you say those in the Middle East and North Africa calling for change are wasting their lives because they live in oppressive countries? I'm sure Tunisians and Egyptians would disagree. Those fighting in Libya are not going to stop until their lunatic leader is gone, should we tell them just to put up with it and go home?

    I think the only problem with these blogs is that they are just that, blogs. They aren't people standing outside printers or newspaper Head Offices demanding change, they aren't people creating an awareness campaign about just how dangerous the press can be when it attacks sections of society like it does in this country. These are things which I think need to happen to get some real change, but it just needs the right support. If groups like the EDL and BNP can gain support by reproducing utter lies printed in scummy papers then is it not right that people stand up for the truth? Hatred and bigotry is never acceptable, especially if it's based on fabrications.

    Tabloid lies and questionable actions are starting to creep out into the open now. The NOTW phone tapping has made major news, 10 0'Clock Live regularly points out the hypocrisy and prejudice in tabloid news too. These blogs are all providing evidence and facts with which one day people will hopefully organise a direct attack on the filthy press with.

  11. And thus surely the debate is why the tabloids are allowed to exist and operate in the way that they do at all because frankly, their publications are offensive. Of course you could read something else, it's not about that, it's about campaigning for an indiscriminate press across the board. There's no tolerance of prejudice of any kind in a broadsheet - why is it acceptable in a tabloid?!

    And education or class is irrelevant, that shouldn't determine what level of base press manipulation you should expect to be subjected to. It is up to the educated to take a lead on this for the benefit of all, not to just turn the other cheek because we're the lucky ones who have a choice.

  12. Thank you to the person who posted just before me for putting it so articulately - I hadn't seen this before I submitted my mini paragraph. But couldn't agree more so my little post seconds it!!

  13. Replies above - persuasive arguments, perfectly reasonable, and acknowledged as such.


  14. lol - I know. It was a ironic dig at your 'sexist' accusation. R.

  15. Anonymous poster 'Rob' - before you take your next breath please rationalise whether your life will "make a difference". What, on a grander scale, will you really achieve or add to the world?

    According to your argument, there is probably no point trying, so why bother? Also I will now use a sexist term to talk about you, a man... hmm. Is there one? Well, I guess that's not at all indicative of a culture which uses sexism against women but not men.

  16. I think this blog should concentrate on pointing out things that are actually false, rather than things it feels offended by: it is a common refrain of the privileged that the Daily Mail is full of lies, whenever it publishes something they don't like. I would vastly prefer documentation of such, rather than worrying about this kind of article.


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