Beauty and the Beast

By October 21, 2013 Blog

I was giving my testimony – and afterwards, someone came up to Glen. ‘Funny thing’ he said. ‘As your wife was speaking, her voice reminded me of a girl I used to work with. She was from Northern Ireland too. About the same age – except she was horribly disfigured.’ He paused, then continued. ‘Half way through the talk – I realised.  It’s the same girl’. This is not an isolated incident. Last week, I bumped into someone else who knew …Read More


By July 23, 2013 Blog

Our culture tells us that emaciated is beautiful.  You can never be too thin, right? So we’d expect it to celebrate someone like  Lizzie Velasquez: born with a rare disease that makes it impossible for her to gain weight. Not so. As an eleven year-old girl, she stumbled upon an image on the web that looked like her. It was her. And it had a caption: ‘the ugliest woman on the internet’. Stunned, she scrolled down. The image had been …Read More

Careful What You Wish For

By February 11, 2013 Blog

As a child, I read about geniis who would grant their masters three wishes.  But I only wanted one.  Beauty, I would whisper, give me beauty. I’ve always been afraid of – and fascinated by –  ‘glossy girls’.  Proper ladies, who don’t smell of soup.  Women, not wannabes. The kind who weep delicate pear-shaped tears, instead of honking great rivulets of snotty mascara. Who drive men to distraction and lesser mortals to sugar.  Confident and poised, with shiny, swingy hair and matching …Read More

Body Beautiful

By May 3, 2012 Uncategorized

Is it just me or is going to the hairdressers a bit like medieval torture? An hour spent trying to avoid your own reflection. Sixty minutes fielding questions about your Holiday Plans/Boyfriend/Job/Exotic sex life. (I HAVE NONE OF THESE. NOW DROP IT) A pumping soundtrack.  That you don’t recognise because Yes, You are Old. And No, they won’t switch it to Classic FM. Plus, worst of all… Enough celebrity magazines to sink an ocean liner (along with your self-esteem).   …Read More

Please let me be Beautiful

By March 14, 2012 Blog, identity

Next week I’m speaking at a conference  entitled ‘Beautiful‘. When you hear that word, what springs to mind?  A sunset? A film star? A family member or a friend? Would you ever apply it to yourself? I’m guessing the answer is a resounding ‘no’. In fact, I’d go further.  I wonder if just the idea of being referred to in this way makes you laugh. – Beautiful?  Me?  You must be Joking. Except that, it’s not  funny.  The opposite.  When …Read More

Pick ME, Pick ME!!

By June 20, 2011 Blog

I’ve been moved today by the  sorry tale of social networking site, ‘’, which has been hit by the (brilliantly named) ‘Shrek’ virus.  The site, as you may have guessed, is for a very select membership.  Those wanting to sign up have to pass a rigorous screening process, where existing members vote on whether or not new candidates are good-looking enough to join. It’s like the playground times a million.  And if – oh bliss! – you did make it …Read More

Because She’s Worth It

By June 13, 2011 Blog, identity

Of course, the big news this week has nothing to do with Syria or the NHS.  It’s this: Liz Jones (columnist), has ‘finally got the face I’ve always deserved’.  A bargain too, at only £13,145 (and yes, that’s a comma in the middle, not a dot). Here’s what she got for her money: Botox Excess under-eye fat cut away and skin tightened Light treatment on cheeks and nose Three syringes of ‘filler’ to plump up mouth Own blood injected in …Read More

Bonkers ‘Beauty’

By May 4, 2011 Blog

Fish pedicures. Apparently these have been taking the nation by storm. Not in Eastbourne, they’re not, but maybe that’s just us. Here’s the spec – you put your feet into a tank of fish and they chew off the dead skin. Nice. Skin creams using placentas. Nothing like bovine womb scrapings to boost collagen levels, right girls? Forget your kidneys – for a real detox, try leeching (As recommended by Demi Moore) Bird poo face masks, aka ‘traditional Japanese Geisha …Read More