You know those days when you see a headline that is so staggering that you have to check that you’ve taken the right meds? Just in case you really are hallucinating after all? Well I’m having one of those days right now. I can thank the glorious Gods & Monsters for that, for tweeting the cover of the November issue of Tatler, a magazine that is the equivalent of an aristocrat’s rectal polyp. Problem is that this time it has excelled itself on the toff-tugging, baby-pimping, name-humping front by vomiting the following over the nation: Who will Marry Prince George? It’s never to early…
Yup, you read that right, a nine word homage to the complete and utter fucked-upness of the 21st Century magazine world. In fact, I barely know how to begin kicking to death all the different ways in which this headline perverts the birth of a child. At best it’s the most staggering attempt to jump the gun outside of pondering the future of Mick Jagger’s next glitter-strewn ejaculate, at worst it takes an innocent event and infuses it with the sort of sinister overtones that would have made Edgar Allan Poe proud.
To begin with, how is it even vaguely appropriate to muse upon the nuptial future of a fucking infant? Yes, I know that the royal family operates to a different set of rules to normal society but that doesn’t mean that Tatler magazine has to guess whether the many and varied baby bumps of poshos will cough up a future bloody princess. We, in the UK, splutter over those cultures who marry off their progeny at bogglingly premature ages yet one of our magazines is doing it while the meconium is still caking on George’s arse. Even Ron Burgundy would wonder at how we could suck any class from this one.
Then there is the medium-like way in which Tatler has decreed that George will grow up to be a straight man. Yup, just a few months into his life a national magazine has decided that he won’t be gay, bisexual, transgender, happily single or anything in between. Instead he has had his sexuality decided for him by someone desperate to increase their magazine’s readership. It means that even if he is constrained in his lifestyle by his royal role, Tatler has taken the smidge of freedom he has left – his choice of sexual and life partner – and erased it from history before history has been made. Oh, unless, of course, said life partner is a female and a stick thin, long haired, posy-carrying one at that.
Worse, on the day that I write this, Ian Watkins, ex Lost Prophets lead singer and committed paedophile, is sentenced to 35 years for his sexual crimes included the attempted rape of a baby. It’s not just Watkins who is sexualising babies with his twisted logic, though, is it? Fuck no. Tatler’s doing the very same thing, attributing sexual partners to a child who still hasn’t mastered the art of keeping a nappy dry. Of course, Tatler hasn’t committed the crimes that Watkins has (not many people have, to be fair) but its George headline goes a significant way to normalising what Watkins has done. Suddenly projecting strictly adult activities onto babies isn’t just freakish, it’s mainstream and care of your local newsagent.
It’s bad e-fucking-nough that baby girls are married off at every available opportunity in the UK. Nip into the kids’ section of any clothes shop and you’ll see girls’ t-shirts proclaiming how they’ll one day marry their prince. It’s as if Disney is selling crack and the entire population of the world is snorting it through a rolled up “It’s a girl!” greetings card. Now, if Tatler‘s blather is any sign of a trend, boys are about to suffer the same treatment. Yup, from here on in boys can forget clothes with pics of lorries, rockets and monsters. That’s because they’ll soon be draped in faux-tailcoats and buttonholes.
That’s why I wouldn’t touch a copy of Tatler even if my cat was shitting all over the house and I’d run out of absorbent materials. In fact, the greatest stench would come from this headline rather than my moggy’s rumply nook. Prince George may not know who I am or even thank me for it one day, but I bloody hope my own little girl will. If it’s OK with Tatler, I’ll let her live the life she wants to lead and with whomever she chooses to lead it. It wouldn’t fit in with Tatler’s plans for the future but, then again, neither would a truly progressive society.