A post from my blog Glosswatch, written in response to spotting a rather terrifying new magazine for girls. It led me to wonder what else we could be doing to “help them” make sense of becoming a woman…
Back in my day, preparing for the prom (or the “sixth form social” as we yokels called it) was pretty straightforward. Grab something sparkly Dorothy Perkins, cadge a bottle of kiwi 20/20, a bit of Boots’ 17 lippie (Poncho Pink) et voilà. Party on dudes! (as, alas, we did actually say in the early 1990s).
It’s all different now, though (I say, through pursed old-lady lips). Why, only this lunchtime I spotted a whole glossy magazine – a whole magazine, I tell you – devoted to preparing you for your prom (the “you” here being obviously just the girls. The boys can stick with their illicit alcohol and 17 lippie as usual).
Prom, as it’s helpfully called, is like a bridal magazine, but for proms. In case you didn’t know, bridal magazines are like normal glossy magazines times a million trillion. You have to do everything all the normal glossies tell you to do over the course of your life, but all concentrated into the run-up to ONE DAY. If you do all this, everyone will laugh at you and call you a “bridezilla”. But if you don’t you will be too ugly to have a proper “special day” and the best you can hope for is to go on a diet later and sell your story to Take a Break (“No wonder he slept with the bridesmaid” etc.). Prom is like this, but for proms. To be honest, I don’t know why no one thought of it earlier. There are loads of potential “special days” in a girl’s life. Isn’t it about time the magazine publishers put more effort into helping her prepare for them?
In the spirit of generosity (and cos I just can’t be arsed to launch a magazine myself) I’ve put together a list of suggestions for where the publishers of Prom could go next. No need to thank me. Just make sure you do your best to make those girls feel really special:
Cherry – the glossy for girls preparing to lose their virginity. Specials on bikini waxing, lingerie, blow jobs and keeping your bits nice and tight once they’ve been “broken in”. Bugger all on contraception as that’s not “aspirational” enough.
Success – the magazine for girls aspiring to do well in their GCSEs. Top tips on what to wear for the exam, how to stop yourself sweating unattractively, advice on what to do if your boyfriend “underperforms” (ie fails to live up to his natural potential to gain higher marks than you), and how to get to the front of the Daily Mail‘s annual “photos of fit girls celebrating exam results” special. Nothing on revision as do too much, and you’ll suddenly wake up 40, withered and childless.
Gymslip – every girl’s companion for getting through sports’ day with her dignity and burgeoning sex appeal intact. Includes the gym knicker diet, activities to avoid if you don’t want people to think you’re a lesbian (no shot-put, missus), and how to race racily in the raciest races. Also some free samples from Dove cos they’re, like really behind girls doing sport and having self-esteem or something.
Pain au chocolat – the only glossy to tell you how to have breakfast without looking like a fat, useless, pathetic, stupid minger. Top tip: don’t actually eat any pain au chocolat.
Man, I am on fire. The ideas just keep on coming! Look, publishers of Prom, perhaps this isn’t the time and place. Maybe you’d like to contact me personally?
I’m waiting for your call.
POSTSCRIPT: I wrote that a month ago. They still haven’t called.