As regular readers already know, the Daily Mail is a tabloid paper in the UK targeted largely to women. They have a specific subsection for women called the Femail. Feminists have long accused female targeted publications of making women obsessed about relationship status by focusing so much on it. What feminists fail to consider is that these publications aren’t tools of the patriarchy with a devious plan to change women from just like men into women; they are motivated to sell copy. What sells copy to women is the relationship and/or motherhood status of other women.
Usually this all plays out with a wealth of pictures and articles about a woman kissing her high status husband in public, another strolling along the beach with her man, and mothers with children or expectant mothers. They are true to this same pattern even when selling divorce. Sometimes however they mix it up with a bit of feminist girlpower, and do a story on how a particular woman doesn’t need a man. These latter stories tend to be somewhat convincing when the woman is young and hot. She has opportunity coming out of the woodwork, why should she tie herself down?
Recently the Daily Mail ran a piece about an aging former Page 3 model spending Christmas without a man in her life: She won’t be lonely this Christmas: Katie Price parties with family for her first Christmas as a single woman. As hard as they tried to make this a story of empowerment however, the pathos of reality bled through. Reading the article I learned that Katie Price is the twice divorced unwed mother of three. They claim she is only 32, but if this is true time has been extremely unkind to this woman who at one point at least relied on her looks professionally. I looked for a younger photo of her and found this one taken by Phil Guest in 2004:
But what struck me most wasn’t Ms. Price’s unfortunate high velocity meeting with the wall. Nor was it a professional model trying so hard to look sexy while doing it all wrong. What struck me was how much the photos in the article were at odds with the title and text. I won’t show them here; you have to go there to see them for yourself. We are ostensibly viewing pictures showing how much she doesn’t need a man in her life. Yet we see her in sexually suggestive poses with both her stepfather and her cousin. Don’t blame the paparazzi for taking these candid shots, these are the photos Ms. Price posted on her own Twitter page. But don’t look too hard at the pictures, focus on the copy instead:
Having split from Argentine model Leandro Penna in September, Price is embracing life as a single woman.
She said recently: ‘I’m not frightened, because I’ve got so many friends around me and family and I’m so busy. But you know at night time, when you watch TV and stuff, you want that bit of companionship.’
Um, you go girl?