A Whole Year of Pretty Girl Bullshit
Samantha Brick, Todd Akin, Taylor, Cara – this one goes out to you and all the others who made it possible.
Hello, I’m Bertie. This column is basically a place for me to call bullshit on girl related stuff that I think is dumb.
Stop whatever you’re doing – it’s my birthday! Okay, it’s not, it’s Pretty Girl Bullshit’s first birthday but I'm still ready to grab two Smirnies and P-A-R-T-Y. Can you believe this column’s been running for an entire year?! If we were a human child we’d probably be able to walk by now, and manipulate our dads into getting us stuff (I know that’s not just me). Anyway, in order to properly celebrate, because nobody in the office gave me any presents and obviously I "don’t know" about the surprise party yet, I thought this week’s column could eschew the scathing Cher Horowitz diatribes a sec and instead pour forth entirely good vibes.
I don't normally give speeches, and I promise I'm not going to cry, but I want to take a few moments to thank the people who have made this year possible. Without them I'd probably still be unemployed, eating Ben's Cookies in bed with my boyfriend watching reruns of The Hills. So, um, yeah, thanks for rescuing me from that hell.
Here are ten people who've made it interesting to call bullshit on girl related stuff that I think is dumb for the last 12 months.
THANK YOU, SAMANTHA BRICK
Thanks to Samantha Brick and her unshakeable faith in her own shimmering gorgeousness, the entire internet got wise to the fact that the beauty industry has been turning womanhood into an inter-gender loathing competition for decades. What at first seemed like a witch hunt, with the majority of potshots aimed at Brick's personal appearance, in hindsight drew attention to a culture which has been pitting woman against woman based on their attractiveness for way longer than the Mail have understood the meaning of the word "troll". An unlikely hero, Brick unintentionally got people talking about feminism on a much larger scale than they had done for years. I'm not saying you're not completely crazy and wrong, Sam, I'm just saying, you know, IOU.
THANK YOU, AMANDA PLATELL
For writing an article in which you condemned a woman for letting her natural body hair grow, and in the same breath admitted to Veet-ing your entire body. Thank you for taking full responsibility as a main, delusional offender in the crimes against women's self-confidence. I couldn't have done it without you.
THANK YOU, LENA DUNHAM
Genuinely thanks for getting naked on TV and proving that having an actual human body shouldn't make you any less successful. What struck many as unnecessary nudity was actually one of the most refreshing "fuck yous" of the entire year. Yeah, getting your boobs out on telly might not sound like the best way to promote equality, but is there a more emphatic way to prove to the hordes of young people who watch Girls that as important as your body is, it's kind of also just a dumping ground for Oreos and homemade cocktails?
THANK YOU, TODD AKIN
For proving to the world that idiots like you still exist in mainstream American politics, and for causing weeks (if not months) of uproar in wake of your "legitimate rape" comments. While there's no place for celebrating somebody who thinks the female body can automatically shut down if she's genuinely not enjoying her rape :-/, I certainly have time for the guy who catapulted the issue back into the public eye, encouraging people everywhere to respond with the appropriate unrelenting scorn. Drawing attention to Republican America's stifling conservatism when it comes to women's rights is as important as remembering to change your underwear and drinking one soya latte a week. No wait, it's way, way more important than either of those things.
THANK YOU, TAYLOR SWIFT
For getting papped out to dinner with about ten not-nearly-as-famous-but-very-pretty boys in a row all of whom are totally snoggable. Well, apart from Ed Sheeran – you can have him forever, Tay. Anyway, thanks for getting shit done so the rest of us don't have to worry about it, appreciate that.
THANK YOU, MARY BEARD
And in the same breath, thank you Mary Beard for turning the horrid Twitter abuse you experienced into something positive, by refusing to be intimidated by the anonymous masses, and shining a fresh light on cyberbullying. Remember kids, @ing someone on Twitter isn't the same as saying it to their face (although TBH most of the time saying it to someone's face is totally unnecessary, too). Mary Beard has rock star hair, that's the only objective thing about her appearance that anyone should be saying (including you, Sam Brick).
THANK YOU, CARA DELEVINGNE
Well, specifically thank you, Cara Delevingne's (strangely isolated) limbs, each of which have multiple Twitter accounts. How could you perfectly embody the lack of female role models in the media, better than young girls feeling compelled to idolise unconscious lumps of flesh? It feels like it might be (not to judge or anything) but, uh, a slight waste of their lives? While this has been less reported on than some of the other things on this list, I'm confident 2013 is the year of the Strong Female Role Model. I'm standing right here, guys.
THANK YOU, AMERICA'S BUBBLING EXTREMISTS
I know we're neighbours with Northern Ireland and everything, but come on, doesn't the decline in women's rights in America make you a teeny bit proud to be British?
THANK YOU, THE FULL MOON
For showing up every month and channelling cosmic data into my breasts. No education could ever give me the same power to command the written word, and charge my long wanton hair with electric currents that make me both irresistible to men, and chemically poisonous to the touch.
THANK YOU, BRITNEY SPEARS
Always and forever.
Honourable mentions: Aliya Mustafina, pick-up artists the world over, Louise Mensch, the engagement chicken (it didn’t work, but it did genuinely revolutionise how I cook chicken) and anyone who ever reminded me that I really don’t look good with my hair in bunches or wearing eyeshadow. Thank you, seriously. Especially on the eyeshadow thing.
Follow Bertie on Twitter: @bertiebrandes
Previously – This Woman Who Hates Women Just Made my Day
Catch up on a whole year of Pretty Girl Bullshit