Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Not paranoid enough about your body?

Angela Epstein* can help. Apparently Cheryl Cole has fat ankles. Yes grab your sick bag (you may also need a magnifying glass to actually spot the "problem"), it's going to get gross. It's going to get gross line-by-line:

"Cheryl Cole and I have never had a great deal in common."

Good point - one of you is a brain-dead vacuous pool of seething hatred towards their fellow humans and the other is Cheryl Cole.

"The X Factor judge is a global superstar with the kind of looks that can bring traffic to a standstill."

Lets not talk about the effect she has on toilet attendants eh?

"I’m a mother of three from Manchester who rarely attracts an admiring glance."

Especially not for your journalism.

"She earns millions of pounds a year; I earn peanuts. You get the picture."

Really? Why debase yourself writing this drivel if you're not well paid for it?

"But after seeing recent pictures of the Geordie singer in the U.S., I realised we share something: cankles."

If only the Daily Fail's website would allow the word to be printed up in tombstone-style lettering?

"The lovely Cheryl may have looked like the perfect pop princess in a perky little dress and sky-scraper heels, but there was no mistaking the unwanted accessory pooling round her feet."

Prepare to vomit. Ready?

Unless a "cankle" is a large amount of someone else's hair glued in to your own to help you make shampoo commercials I really cannot identify the problem here.

"In fact, when I saw the former Girls Aloud singer, I gasped aloud in sympathy."

Think back to ten seconds ago, when you looked at the picture? Did you gasp? No, me either.

"Forget her previous woes (being cuckolded by a philandering former husband or flattened by a dose of malaria), this was worse — much worse."

I'll take the cankles myself, you can keep the malaria, and Ashley Cole.

"And as a cankles sufferer, I should know."

Really to make a fair comparison you have to have also had malaria and been cheated on by a top level footballer.

"Cankles, for the uninitiated (oh lucky, lucky you!), occur when the calf meets the foot in one unapologetic union. It’s a fusion of calf and ankle."

If your calf is not fused to your ankle - seek medical help urgently.

"No elegantly turned, twiglet-thin ankle contours for Cheryl or me. Just one sausage-shaped lump of fat splodged at the bottom of your leg."

There's nothing wrong with Cheryl's legs, really. But even if she had this debilitating deformation, is it really her fault? Should she be pilloried for it?

"Think Hillary Clinton, Cherie Blair, Patsy Kensit and Mischa Barton."

I'm getting: politician, human rights lawyer (actually called Cherie Booth), actress and who the hell is the other one?

"Even the saintly Helen Mirren — who manages to looks stunning in a bikini even though she’s eligible for a bus pass — can’t escape the curse of the cankle."

Is it saintly to look good in a bikini? When did helping the poor and needy go out?

"And my heart just bleeds for her because, unlike any other physical defect — jowls, ugly teeth, a wonky nose, enormous breasts —there’s little you can do about cankles."

Now go outside and ask the first straight guy you see whether enormous breasts are a physical defect? Frankly I tend to find when a gal gets her enormous breasts out everyone stops looking at her wonky nose.

"There is no ointment that can shrink your bones — nor can improving your diet or pounding the gym treadmill really help shrink your ankles in the way they can banish a tummy bulge."

Amputation? Or here's a radical solution, stop worrying about your ankles and focus on world peace.

"As a size ten, I can tell you from painful personal experience that cankles bear little relation to your weight or fitness."

Painful? Really I feel sorry for anyone who pushed themselves to the point of pain because they believed there was something wrong with their size ten ankles.

"After all, Cheryl’s slight frame would suggest she’d be the last person on the planet to exhibit the kind of lower legs usually found on a swollen matriarch down the local bingo hall."

Eww - a "matriarch" - literally a female head of a family - they're the gross ones right?

"In fact — and I try not to seethe with the unfairness of this — I once worked with someone who was as round and bouncy as a TV agony aunt (she even kept a scrunched-up hankie in her hand to complete the look), but come summer, she’d unpeel woolly tights to reveal the daintiest little ankles I’d ever seen."

So she was jealous of you being a size ten and you were jealous of her thin ankles. How the long winter nights must have flown by!

"It didn’t matter how many times a day I’d catch her face-down in a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel. The ankles never put on a pound."

I consider smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels a healthy lunch option. But perhaps you could tell your friend to try lifting it to her mouth, biting and chewing. It's quite hard to graze a stuffed bagel.

"No, the only option for the Cankle Crew is to try to hide the damned things."

Or the stop-worrying-and-be-proud-of-the-important-things-that-make-you-great option. Especially if, like Cheryl's, it's a figment of your imagination.

"That is why I’ve spent my life constructing a wardrobe that means my shapeless ankles are out of sight: think thick black tights, loose-fitting trousers and no short, flirty skirts."

Spent a lifetime? Oh well you probably wouldn't have come up with a cure for cancer anyway.

"I dread the summer because that’s the time cankles are almost impossible to conceal — I thank God every sunny day for the maxi-dress: the ultimate in cankle camouflage."

By the way if you're going to play that game - God also gave you the cankles. Or you just evolved that way - though "evolved" seems a little kind for someone who writes rubbish like this.

"Selecting the right footwear is as critical as your clothes. Forget gladiator sandals or dainty ballet pumps. Flat shoes only serve to accentuate fat ankles."

They also serve to make it a heck of a lot easier to get around without developing a massive painful bunion.

"Instead, I live in long, slim-fitting, high-heeled boots — the column of black providing a cankle-disguising optical illusion. I keep these on even when the thermometer nudges 70 degrees."

That must be fun for you. I wear jelly shoes and flip flops and though no doubt this makes my ankles look disgusting at least my face isn't wrinkled up in agony.

"When I do buy high heels, I always select ones with an ankle strap or one across the foot to distract from the flesh beneath."

Why buy high heels when you "live" in boots? Unless, could it be? Is it possible? The Daily Mail has printed a LIE?!!

"I have a favoured pair of black stilettos with heels like a giraffe’s neck and a strap that garottes the skin and leaves a pink welt."

Why not accessorise the pink welt with a matching clutch bag? Perhaps one filled with some sort of medicine that helps you make more rational decisions.

"At times my feet go blue though lack of circulation. But what choice do I have?"

Trainers? Crocs?

"It’s the nearest I can get to ankle corsetry, squeezing the damned things into a shape that Nature denied them."

Really - there are people out there with spina bifida and you're complaining Nature gave you fat ankles?

"Any other tips? Well, I’m told that toning the calves may help — perhaps going on long walks or cycling to shift those fat deposits around the lower leg.And go easy on the salt. Too much sodium can make certain parts of your body bulge, especially your ankles."

But only a few lines ago NOTHING could be done. Now I can switch to a low-sodium diet and go cycling?

"Sitting around for hours (me in front of a computer; Cheryl in front of the next Mariah Carey) can cause blood to pool round the feet and enhance the swelling."

I balance my desk time out by also spending time with my feet over my head, doing yoga or having headboard damaging sex...

"So it’s important to get up every 20 minutes or so to stretch your legs."

But remember NOTHING will work. How can I get up every 20 minutes when MY LIFE IS RUINED?

"If the only thing for it is the plastic surgeon’s knife, some clinics offer laser-assisted liposuction of the lower leg."

Yet another thing I CAN DO? It's like this whole article is just lies!

"An incision is made in the skin and light from the laser is absorbed by fat cells, liquefying them so they can be flushed out by the body."

Sadly surgery can only remove actual problems (tumours, diseased organs), not imaginary ones. Also you might get an infection or take too much anaesthetic and die. Obviously that would be better than having imaginary fat ankles.

"For the more squeamish, the internet is crammed with magic creams and potions promising to fight cankle fat."

OK so I checked - I googled "magic creams and potions for cankle fat". The first result is Ms Epstein's article. Above that it says "did you mean magic creams and potions for ankle fat?". Neither search offers any specific product for ankles and most links are discussing how there is no magic cream that can get rid of fat.

"Do any of these treatments work? I doubt it. As far as I can tell, our hideous little problem is incurable and one we will take to our graves."

"Incurable"? That would imply it's an illness wouldn't it? And look back at the picture of Cheryl and try to decide her ankles are "hideous". What a load of rubbish.

"So my best advice, Cheryl, pet, is simply to take heart from the fact that very few women have it all. If cankles are all you’ve got to worry about, consider yourself blessed."

As you mentioned earlier Angela - she also has malaria and a husband that sleeps around.

"But take it from me: a short skirt, bare legs and heels? I’m afraid it’s not your most flattering look, any more than it’s mine."

Remember women - you should only ever go around in YOUR MOST FLATTERING LOOK. Never the thing you want to wear, the thing that you feel good in, the thing that's comfortable and practical or (like me) the thing that passes the sniff test in the morning! And let me conclude by saying Angela that even from here you DEFINITELY do not pass the sniff test. If they pay you peanuts - it's too much. Stop writing pointless nasty articles and shopping for maxi-dresses and do something useful with your life!

*Angela and I did the Jeremy Vine show together once before, I forget what it was about but I do remember congratulating her on her sense of irony after she told me women like me were setting the cause of women's equality back decades. Ha ha ha.


Karl said...

Funny comments, but Angela is an easy target and not worthy of the attention.

Why did you not post my reply at being called a troll?

vicbolton said...

Feminism, secularism and a nice light sarcastic rage at the Daily Mail, all in one post - reading it was definitely the best use of a coffee break.

Cruella said...

Dear Karl. Are you ok? Firstly you feel that my blog wastes its attention on Angela Epstein but you in turn have wasted your time reading my comments on Angela Epstein. Go out, breath the fresh spring air, whatever it is, sod the restraining order, go crazy. And I assume you have taken the time to write to the Daily Mail because surprising as this may sound they - as a national newspaper rather than an admittedly very well written blog - are really the ones giving her work attention. They are also the ones paying her.

Now had I not published your comments about being called it troll it would be because my clearly stated comments policy is that I can publish what I like and delete what I like. You should probably have checked this before commenting. However the other reason I haven't published your comments is because you didn't submit any. Maybe it was a dream. Were you also having one about standing by a little bridge? Try not to eat cheese in the evening.

Karl said...

Nonsense! Don’t put yourself down - I enjoyed reading your funny comments. It’s just that I thought you could have chosen a better target, seeing as your audience are hardly going to be Daily Mail readers are they? A better way to attack this moronic thinking might be to post a comment on the DM website.
I was keen to discuss Tracey Emin, and was a bit miffed with that ‘troll’ comment. It’s so ignorant! – a defence for those with a shaky ideology, or a fear of tackling issues which they find unsettling.

Cruella said...

I wasn't putting myself down Karl - I was putting you down. It must be hard to tell from that cave.

Yes I could post comments on the Daily Mail website criticising the Daily Mail but they almost certainly wouldn't get published. Also I don't know if you know but I write a blog. This blog. So I tend to put my comments on my blog. This blog. I'll draw a picture.

And I agreed with the bit about you being a troll, I didn't think it was ignorant. Clearly my article was about the misogyny in Brian Sewell's piece. You were derailing into a discussion of Tracey Emin's work. If you had bothered to read my piece you would see at the top I make it very clear I'm not trying to pass judgement on her artistic merit. But even if you hate her work it's not fair to criticise it simply on the grounds that she's a woman in that sexist way.

Also as I said earlier Karl - you DIDN'T write any such comment. I think you are having a funny turn. Take a nap.

Karl said...

Of course it’s ignorant. So you think I’m a ‘troll’ too! What do you really mean by that?
Why this hostile reaction?
I’ve already stated that I was not defending Brian Sewell’s comments in any way, and I have not said anything derogatory about Tracey Emin or her work. I was just interested in your views.
What’s wrong? I thought my question on why the art establishment chose to champion Emin’s work was quite pertinent and would have been of interest to you and your readers.

Cruella said...

Try some deep breathing exercises Karl. No-one has accused you of "defending" Sewell's comments. The claim made - clearly and repeatedly - is that you were derailing the discussion.

Are you under the impression this is an art critiquing blog? You've made a terrible mistake. It's a feminist blog. So I wrote a piece criticising sexism as it happens in the world of art criticism. That doesn't make me an art critic does it? It makes you troll. Old school definition.

And let me repeat - I didn't delete any of your comments. Another trolling thing to do is to respond to only one point I've made and ignore the others. Back to your tollhouse please, don't eat too many children.

Madison LaChappelle said...

It's so stupid that someone like that can be paid to write something so ridiculous and insulting.
The Daily Mail is full of s**t but even that seems to be sinking to a new low....

annifrangipani said...

I think she'd like us to believe she has her tongue in her cheek, but it's such a ridiculous starting position I just want to shake her.

I feel sorry for the fact there probably are people, well, I know there are, who are so worried about minor aspects of their appearance that they go to lengths to cover up.

The Raw Denim Bar said...

Best use of my Sunday morning. Even translating for German boyfriend was working until of course we got to the subject of cankles at which point he couldn't understand until I showed him my cankles... of course, risking that he may leave me for a smaller ankled girl. . For choosing between Ashley Cole, Malaria and cankles ... they all seem like various forms of Chinese torture methods but I also would choose cankles.