But I digress.
The item that caught my attention was the one about the 17% increase in cosmetic surgery (since the previous year). Sorry – that should be Aesthetic Enhancement Procedures. This may be to do with the canny trick extreme Capitalism has of normalising the abnormal if it makes a profit. That in itself is dark. Also it seems to reflect the successful campaign waged by the media in commercialising the human body. But – and I would argue this is the worst – it demonstrates the complete victory of the cosmetics industry over common sense. Vested interest has fuelled and then cashed in on the low self-esteem of women and girls more efficiently than ever before. As soon as girls are old enough to understand about their bodies, it seems, they are made to feel insecure about them – and there is money in that.
Many who go under the knife are also under the impression that the ‘alteration’ will improve the way they feel about themselves. That is the basis of many advertisements for cosmetic surgery clinics. Such claims by the beauty butchers and belief by the ‘victims’ is often false – or if true – short-lived. Evidence shows that if someone believes their life will be better if only they are a size D rather than an A and then the magic doesn’t happen – they will actually feel worse. Sometimes they then get hooked on surgery going from one procedure to another in search of that elusive feel-good effect – a win/win for the nasty nippers.
The top ops were boob jobs, face lifts and eye-skin surgery.
In trying to think how to respond to this depressing piece of news I hark back to my first pavement performance at the Edinburgh Fringe. Under a tree outside Saint Giles Cathedral stood the dozen or so folk who braved the torrential summer rain of 2010 while I performed without cover (yes – maybe it should be re-named Saint Amanda’s). I had to explain, as there were Americans in the audience, that in Britain a fanny is a fanny not a bottom but then we were away. Now for any of you who shrivel at the notion of poetry – fear not - it’s just a lightweight humorous piece in simple rhyme form – so calm down.
There’s hair on her fanny and her underarms
She’s too tall /short / thin / fat, devoid of all charms
Should her knickers be bikini or shorts or a thong
She can’t make her eyelashes look three feet long
That hair has a kink - it’s meant to be straight
Or was all that last month – she’s so out of date
There are so many bits that she hates
Flesh is supposed to be always revealed
She needs to be plucked shaved sandpapered and peeled
Half an ounce over the magazine size
She’ll feel like a heifer that’s up for a prize
What are the rules who cooked them up?
Who made this poisoned chalice this half empty cup
From which us saps sup
Should she go Jordan - tits tell-tale and tarty
Skeletal doll posh Becks or Vorderman smarty
Get muscles like Madonna or do glam/trash Cole Tweedy
Or go the whole Katona mad sad and needy
She’ll zombify her face with Botox, inflate her boobs with plastic
Be the gormless, simpering, pouting, fluttering, tottering, dieting, ideal
Then she’ll be
As for the ‘musical’ element – worry not – there is no hairy fanny musical (as yet [as far as I know]). ‘Musical’ refers to my mate Aiadan Clarke’s Hot Words event that is happening at Blakes (opposite The Theatre Royal) in Newcastle this Thursday at 7pm – at which I will contribute a little comedy support set.
World Wide Wait is an epic poetic piece with musical interludes from the fab Joe Moody. The talented Mr. Clarke will lead his Galahad on a crazy geographic and spiritual journey across time and space. In 21st Century homage to T.S. Eliot’s Waste Land, World Wide Wait will definitely be another welcome antidote to our X-factor culture.