Mumsnet: We can’t compete with Trump’s hate – and we shouldn’t

I’m not sure how many Brexits today is supposed to be worth. I started to lose count at around 3am. Then again, the shock is not quite the same as that of the morning of June 24th. If anything, given 2016’s track record, it would have felt odd for the US election to go anything other than terribly wrong.

Perhaps I have no right to be upset. After all, I’m not even American and even if I was, every expression of dismay will be that of a member of the smug liberal elite (since that is now what anyone who is not virulently right-wing has become). Even so, the parallels between politics in the UK and US seem to me overwhelming. We are witnessing a thuggish take-over by far-right bullies who pose as anti-establishment heroes, men who pretend to smash up the system while their own dominance remains untouched.

Donald Trump – just like the UK’s Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage – is someone whose privilege has exempted him from having to follow the same rules as everyone else. He has been able to pose as a rule-breaker even though the normal rules of engagement never applied to him in the first place. Hillary Clinton’s femaleness meant she could never have behaved as Trump did and get away with it. Yet precisely because of this she was dismissed as a member of the elite propping up the establishment. But Donald Trump is the establishment and it is rotten to the core.

Read the full post at Mumsnet. 

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Toxic best friend: Glossy magazines and me

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with glossy magazines. The reason this blog is called Glosswatch is because I originally conceived of it as a place where I’d go to rant about the publications to which I was still, inexplicably, subscribing in 2012.

I knew how these magazines functioned. I could see the way in which, like a toxic best friend, they eroded your confidence by drip-feeding you advice on ways in which to improve yourself. I knew that the solutions they offered were to problems you hadn’t even realised you had. I knew they didn’t really want you to be happy with yourself, since a woman who is happy with herself does not spend vast amounts of money on trying to make herself look like someone else. But I bought them all the same. I’d been buying them for decades.

Twenty-five years ago I used to spend my lunch money on whatever was available in WH Smiths in Penrith. My selection criteria used to be based on how much content a magazine was running about food, weight and diets. If it had an article about eating disorders, ideally illustrated by photographs of anorexic women, I felt I’d struck gold. Day-in-the-life food diaries were also good. Otherwise I’d settle for anything with a special feature on how to make less of yourself. I never actually followed the diets – my own calorie limit tended to be way below the ones on offer – but I liked reading them anyhow. Continue reading