You may recognise Bertie from her other column, Pretty Girl Bullshit. Do not be alarmed – PGB still exists! You don't cancel magic. But now she's going to be writing a slightly more fashion-centric column for us called Beauty School Dropout. This – in case you can't read, and if you can't then how the hell did you get to this website, sterling effort, really – is that.
There are a lot of things wrong with the internet. There’s an abundance of racism, Russian prison sex game shows, porn sites that break your computer and loads of other illegal, horrible stuff. But, what I’m finding the most offensive today is lifestyle porn.
I swear this evil stuff dribbles from blogs into your brain like really tasteful cement. The constant barrage of high-contrast pictures of women with really shiny hair, and outfits from Whistles is fucking me up. It's forcing me to react in completely the opposite way. Last night I nearly went out wearing flip-flops, knickers and a baseball cap in an act of defiance. Sorry boyfriend.
I understand escapism and aspirational life-style whatevers, but why do successful women’s blogs virtually always revolve around throwing funkee cocktail parties and be able to make soufflé in lingerie while listening to the Ramones and posting on instagram. Where are all the tastefully shot images of women trying to shave their armpits in the kitchen sink because they’re running late? Or of them happy-crying into a ready meal watching Ratatouille?
For this week’s Beauty School Dropout, I've re-created the four most annoying things the internet makes me feel bad about. Then I’m going to tell you exactly why you don’t need to make your own macaroons or leave your intensive conditioner in for four days. Here’s a clue: because you don’t have time.
1: TREAT YOURSELF!!
As obsessed with food that all of these websites always are, you kind of have to assume that if they’re taking that many pictures of elaborate brown-rice sushi rolls, the only things they ever actually eat are Evian and gold leaf. Trust me you’ll be much happier with egg, chips and beans and a lifetime of stressing about not knowing how to join a gym, primarily because you won’t be an asshole. Simple.
2: LIVE IN DOMESTIC BLISS
Let’s be real, nobody likes washing up. I don’t care if your sink is lined with cute little piglets that oink every time you tickle them with a cloth; it’s going to make your hands pruney and you’re going to have to pick scrambled egg out of the plughole. That’s why we invented the dishwasher, because getting a job and earning money should entitle you to not have to scrape month old chocolate pudding off a spoon you found under your bed with your fingernails. Don’t get it twisted, you should not do your washing up in a Nicole Farhi dress, whipping your hair back and forth. From there it’s only a few short steps to opening the door to your boyfriend wearing nothing but the rubber gloves. Shudder.
3: BE A WORKING GIRL
The main problem with this one is that working, to the people who run aspirational lifestyle websites, really is waking up, poaching some eggs, taking some ‘yolk burst’ food porn pictures and curling up in front of Google analytics. As much as they’ll try to convince you that what they do is really, really taxing on their semi-split ends, try not to forget that there really are scarier things in the world than divorce and bread flour. Like Syria, or drills.
4: YOUR HOME IS YOUR CASTLE
Once in a while, you’ll be invited into the Real Lives of the people whose daily routines normally entail receiving *omgsurpriseee!!!* parcels from Harvey Nichols. They will inevitably be interior designing their front room, or as they’ll put it ‘art directing a very exciting personal project’. Be dazzled by their infinite wealth for a few minutes, and then remind yourself that they are forced to express themselves through a khaki and cream wordpress. Also ask yourself this, who is taking the endless stream of pictures? Kind of sinister, right?
Follow Bertie on Twitter: @bertiebrandes