Having just finished reading an article in the Daily Mail’s “femail” section of its website about the fashion of Grand National, I couldn’t help but feel there was a distinct lack of sisterly solidarity, to the point where it was mocking and condescending. Upon reading the opening sentences, I steeled myself for what I knew what was coming: tired “jokes” and predictable pictures, you would think, by now, the media would have created a new angle to focus upon! Alas, I was subjected to yet another tirade against a group of people whose only wrong was wishing to have a good time! This article was an insult to many things: journalism, women and my deep sense of pride in the city I call home.
Being a Scouse bird myself, I have become immune to the sight of women tottering around the city centre in heels and outfits that seem more suited to a night on the tiles rather than an afternoon on the concrete. In fact, now I appreciate the unwavering persistence with which these women groom themselves to within an inch of their own idea of perfection. The flamboyance and extravagance of Liverpool women’s fashion has long been a source of both awe and humour for outsiders, and Aintree has long been used by the media as a display of these differing opinions. However, this article seemed to me to be a poor excuse for fashion journalism, with petty jibes littering the piece throughout such as the “fact” that ‘over 2,000 litres of fake tan have been sold at the Liverpool One shopping centre ahead of the event’ and ‘Orange dresses to match the fake tans are proving popular”.
Ladies (and gentleman) surely this type of bitchy comment belongs in the playground or the school corridor, not in a nationwide publication?! This is hardly an intelligent or well-thought out piece of writing and is something I would expect to see written in a note passed behind a teacher’s back. Looking through some of the comments left, however, it seems that many of the readers share this mindset, with delightful remarks such as this one from “RebeccaK”: ‘Seriously how rough do some of these ‘ladies’ look….should be renamed Dog’s Dinner Day’.
The article began with several images of women falling over, immediately inviting the reader to have a laugh at their expense. Yes, the Grand National has long been known for scenes such as this, but in recent years the media have honed in on this aspect, making a mockery of the thousands of racegoers who are simply looking for a good time. These women are not z-list celebrities desperate for their image to be plastered over the tabloids, and these images only serve to make these women laughing stocks to hordes of readers across the nation. How many of us here have taken a tumble on a night out, and afterwards begged our friends to remove the incriminating evidence from Facebook?! These women will not have a choice in that matter and it seems they are being harshly judged for something that will probably happen to most girls in a pair of heels at some point in their lives!
The article does give a nod to “a gaggle of good-looking friends” and a small portion of the pictures show a more tasteful side to internationally-renowned horse racing event, but the question remains: why hasn’t this article chosen to highlight more of the classy and beautiful dresses (and behaviour!) that I know where in abundance throughout the entire 3-day event?
These carefully selected images, of women drinking pints or dressed head-to-toe in neon orange are being used unfairly to perpetuate a certain stereotype of northern, and particularly Liverpool women. The treatment given to the girls of the MTV Show “The Valleys” was arguably more well-deserved, but this was clearly a tongue-in-cheek publicity stunt and they seem to be happy to invite the harsh spotlight of the media into their own lives (although that is another article altogether!).
I have no desire to jump up on my high horse (no pun intended!) and I am happy to admit that, yes, I have looked at pictures like these and thought “What the hell are some of these people wearing?” but I have no right to publicly humiliate any of these women, and neither do Toni Jones, Steve Robson and Sara Malm. As both a woman and a proud Liverpudlian, I felt this article did not do the city or the event itself any justice. In terms of fashion and popular culture, Liverpool is a thriving, diverse and exciting city, and it is articles such as this that reinforce such outdated stereotypes. I suggest that next time, this trio takes a much more mature and original approach in their fashion coverage of The Grand National, as they may find that the women of Liverpool have much more to offer than streaky fake tans and ridiculous hats.
Read the full article here
Being the absolute musical theatre nerd I am, I’ve recently been unable to stop listening the The Book of Mormon soundtrack. Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (of South Park fame), expect plenty of tongue in cheek humour and shockingly close to the bone lyrics. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity for a trip to the West End to see it yet, and tickets are selling ridiculously fast!!
Today, and last night, I’ve been feeling sorry for myself because of this sickening cold that has taken hostage of my body.
BUTon the plus side, it has given me an excuse to just curl up in bed and watch Disney films.Like I needed one anyway.
So, here’s to Walt and the gang for cheering me up just when I needed it :)
It’s so depressing looking at old pictures, determined to get that little again!!