Oh thank fuck for the following post. It’s a guest post by Sarah Drew Jones, a lifestyle journalist of some gloriousness, and she is taking a big, fat shit on the media who keep barking at us for being, well, big n fat. You can follow her on Twitter @sdj19. So go on. get yourself a cuppa and a fistful of biccies and settle in. You are going to be told…
You’ve had your fun, now it’s time to PAY. Detox. Diet. Exercise. Words that make you want to lie in the road and weep. They’re all over the media right now. If I have to see one more ‘New Year, new you’ headline, I’ll be reaching for something new, alright: I’ll be ripping someone a fresh one, and the only detoxifying thing about it will be the lorry-load of hand sanitiser I’ll need afterwards.
First week of January, and The Detox Police are out in full force. Strident and messianic, they make the Stasi look like Strictly Come Dancing. New Year body fascism dictates that women’s magazines, the Daily Mail and Lorraine Kelly must all queue up to point out just how fat and lazy you are, with a helpful list of ways to shape up, slim down or suicide your way out of this mess, lard-arse.
Fuck the traditional New Year war on women. Isn’t it enough that we’ve just spent two weeks sacrificing our own needs so that the ragtag collection of ungrateful bastards we call family might enjoy a lavish Christmas? No, The Detox Police believe we should also feel guilty about inhaling the cheeseboard during our few precious hours off. Trousers so tight you’re now contemplating a little dalliance with bulimia? Self-esteem so low a spot of self-harming’s starting to appeal? You’re on-message! Lorraine will be thrilled.
Bullies love to hammer home their agenda. Your days of Bailey’s for breakfast are over; that’s not the way to get Gwyneth Paltrow’s figure/a man/any modicum of self-respect, girlfriend. Don’t you know that Jacob’s Creek gives you cancer? That juicing every single one of your meals will make you a sparkier conversationalist? That if you start jogging now – TODAY – you could lose eleven stone and gain 100 IQ points by summer? Get your trainers on, wide-load!
Full disclosure. I am a lifestyle journalist. Over the years, I’ve done my fair share of preaching from The Book of Detox, Yoga and Self-Loathing (available from all good healthcare shops: comes with free colonic irrigation tube). It was almost exclusively rubbish. ‘Detoxing will give you a glow by Valentine’s Day!’ (and by Easter? Rickets). ‘Time to change your life’ (subtext: because you’ve royally fucked up this one, haven’t you, tubster?).
Like all the best war criminals, I was only following orders. Most editors are psychopaths who can’t sleep unless they’ve made women feel hot, visceral shame about themselves. Here’s the thing: ‘New Year, new you’ articles are never directed at men. Blokes, apparently, don’t need to be patronised about their iron levels, or sold lies about diet drinks and the benefits of colour-coding a daily food chart (super-organised or the behaviour of a mentalist, by the way? You decide). Men are free to limp through miserable January unencumbered by the Mail shouting ‘repent now, fatty’ through their letterbox.
Well, this year I’m a detox refusenik. I won’t be writing any propaganda about supplements made of bat sick and concrete. I won’t be water-boarding anyone ‘til they agree to thrice-weekly Extreme Zumba. Like I said, bollocks to the New Year war on women. It may be a new year but I don’t want a new me: I quite like the old one, thanks, and I can muddle along nicely without a load of old toss made up by lazy journalists who think women should pay for their Christmas feasting with famine (and Pilates).
It’s deepest midwinter, we’re all depressed and cold and Cameron, Clegg and Osborne have fucked the economy so thoroughly it’s never going to walk again. Welcome to 2013, everyone. At least let us have a Twix and dream of summer.
So what do you think? Reckon the girl’s got a point? Well, even if you don’t, let us know in the comment box below.