Tag Archives: Grazia

Why do mags use girls not women in their shoots..?

midlife

Sometimes I don’t half feel old. Like, really haggard. You know that feeling when everything seems to conspire against you and you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and you get a right shock at the age of the person staring back at as you realise it’s actually yourself your looking at? Yeah. That.

I say this because the other day I was reading a copy of Grazia, the fashion mag, and there was a picture of a girl in the beauty section. I use the word girl because I swear she was about 12 or 13. She was being a model for ‘blusher’, how you can look, ‘rosy cheeked.’ Well, if I was 13 again, I’d look rosy cheeked, too, and probably a bit more awake while I was at it. Ok, so sure, everyone these days looks younger than they are – people off to University seems to look 15 not 18, junior doctors look like should still be at

Grazia - at least having Jen Aniston means there's someone in it closer to my age..
Grazia – at least having Jen Aniston means there’s someone in it closer to my age..

school. And it doesn’t help when my daughters sit at the dinner table and count how many lines they can see on my forehead – I kid you not. You can only imagine how fabulous that makes me feel.

But, devastation aside, what’s the score with the girls in women’s mags? I googled for this column, the average age of a Grazia reader, and,  according to Bauer Media, ‘Grazia has a highly targeted demographic of 25-45 years.’ So that’s not 13 then. I’m (cough) 42, so even by my shabby maths standards, that sits me still in the Grazia demographic arena, so why the young pics? Can we not just be women? Do we have to have youth pressed upon us at all times, as if that is the bee all and end all? And so what is in store for us magazine wise as we age? Stenna stair lift shoots? Saga holiday spreads? All because we are in our 40s?

You hear it all the time – banish wrinkles, cream that take 10 years off. Sure, the pressure is on the chaps, too, but they can rock a haggard look and it gets called sexy. Just take a ganders at Hugh Laurie, wrinkles and all fronting the L’Oreal men’s campaign. Bloody hell. If I fronted a beauty campaign, the media would think it was for an old people’s home.

To be fair to Grazia, it isn’t just them guilty of using very young models in their pages. So, to all mags of Britain and indeed the western world, please, youth is not everything. Using young models all the time only makes us feel pants. We age – deal with it magazines, we have to. Let us age with beauty and a slice of dignity. And for god’s sake, whatever you do, don’t count the wrinkles on my forehead. We’ll leave that joy to my daughters….

What do you think? Post your thoughts below…

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Friday fiction: Part 2 of The Journey (The Dakota Duels trilogy)

It’s “Friday Fact or Fiction”,  where I write a little something for the weekend for you to read, be it fact or, um, fiction. This week, it’s ‘fiction’, with part two of a 1st chapter competition entry – this time it’s young adult fiction.

The Journey (The Dakota Duels Trilogy) – Part 2 (final)

 The train flashed into daylight and Hannah could see her cell. Her fingers moving fast, she tracked her calls, searching for the number. Nothing. Caller ID withheld.

            She thought of the voice – a river, a bolder. It sounded like her father, Isaac, her father, leader of The Order, leader of their group of Christian followers, the group who had been chosen by God, who were the divine righteous ones, who would one day see The Plan God had for them, for all, even for the sinners, the doubters, the non-Christian ones who spat and scorned.  Pressing together her lips, she slipped off her shawl and, folding it four times, she placed it on the table. Outside the Dakota terrain washed by, a watercolour of trucks, land, outhouses, fields appearing like a mirage through the sun. Picking up a discarded pamphlet, Hannah fanned her face, thinking, when her cell vibrated. A text. Bolting, she grabbed the phone and scanned the message.  She felt her mouth drain dry. Four words. Leaning sideways, she glanced up and down the carriage, then back to her cell. Four words: They are watching you.

Her pulse fast, her palms sweating, Hannah opened her rucksack and, seizing the parcel, rammed all her belongings into the bag and zipped it shut. In the seat ahead, a man turned and smiled. Hannah froze. The four words flashed across her eyes. Suddenly, everyone, she felt, was looking at her. This was crazy. Seconds, minutes passed and as her final destination came nearer, she tried to slow her breathing.

            ‘Devil’s Lake next stop,’ announced the tanoy.

            Her cell shrilled. She stared at it. It shrilled again. Hand shaking, she took the call. ‘Hannah!’ the voice shot. ‘It’s Noah. Don’t hang up. The man, the Pilgrim Director you are to meet, he is not who he seems. You are not who you seem. Don’t go with him. When the train pulls in, run, run far. I will contact you when it is clear.’

            ‘But-’

            The line cut and the train creaked to a halt. She’d arrived. Leaping up, Hannah tried to think fast. Should she listen to him, this Noah? Stumbling forward, she kept her head down, shivering until she heard the whoosh of the door and felt the heavy heat surge in. Disembarking, she stepped on to the platform, pops of sweat trickling down her back. Within three seconds she caught sight of the Pilgrim Director, and, smiling, she began to walk towards him when something made her stop. He was flanked by two unfamiliar men. They are watching you. Something wasn’t right. Truth, she suddenly thought, the ugly truth. Without warning, the two men sped up. Hannah’s breath quickened. Ahead, the Director lost his smile and strode towards her. Noah. Who was he?  Should she run? What was wrong? Turning, she bumped into a passenger, but instead of helping her, he gripped hard.

            ‘Let go!’ she yelled, ripping away from him, her rucksack flying to the ground. Just as she grabbed it, she spotted them, the men, running now towards her. Scrambling upright, she spied the exit and without looking back, she ran as fast as she could.

Copyright © Nikki Owen 2012

Thanks for reading!  I’m on holiday at the moment and will post more fiction when I get back. Have a great weekend!

 

Friday fiction: Part 1 of The Journey (The Dakota Duels trilogy)

It’s “Friday Fact or Fiction”,  where I write a little something for the weekend for you to read, be it fact or, um, fiction. This week, it’s ‘fiction’, with part one of a 1st chapter competition entry – this time it’s young adult fiction.

The Journey (The Dakota Duels Trilogy) – Part 1

Earlier, life had been lighter. Getting on the train at Fargo was fraught, but then it always was when the sun hit 34 degrees and your skirt stuck to your legs like glue after you’d been sat squashed on a bus with no air conditioning for five hours.  Peeling a hair from her mouth, she yawned and flipped open her cell. No messages. She sighed and gazed out of the window.  The Empire Builder. What a strange name for a train. Stretching out her hand she patted the seat to check if the parcel was still there. The envelope rustled under her palm and, reassured, she resumed her gazing. South Dakota was the only state in North America without an Amtrak train service, and for the life of her she couldn’t understand why.

            ‘It is the way it is, Hannah,’ her mother had said to her at the roadside as she prepared to board. ‘After the bus, the train will take you on to North Dakota.’

            Hannah frowned. ‘But why me? Why now?’

            Her mother, a whisper of a woman, reached up and adjusted Hannah’s collar so the white starch circled her neck in the way it was expected. ‘Now, now. We’ve been over this. Your father needs you. You are 18 now, a woman, and as such The Order requires you to make the journey to the annual pilgrimage early, cast your eye on the eligible men.’ Hannah blushed. ‘And besides,’ her mother continued, picking a speck of dust from her daughter’s skirt, ‘you need to deliver the parcel from your father to the Pilgrim Director. Remember your name, Hannah. Remember what it means.’

            ‘Grace of God, mama.’

            ‘Good.’

            Hannah chewed on her lip. ‘Why can’t he mail it?’

            Her mother smiled. ‘Because it is too important.’

            ‘And he trusts me?’

            She nodded. ‘He trusts you.’

 As the train sped forward, Hannah let her eyelids droop, the jostle of the carriage and the crank of the air-conditioning lulling her to sleep.  Around 3p.m. her cell shrilled. Waking with a start, Hannah blinked, then grabbing the phone, she picked up.

            ‘Hello?’

            ‘Hannah?’

            ‘Yes. Hello?’

            ‘My name is Noah…I’m your-’

            The line crackled. ‘I’m sorry,’ said Hannah, one finger in her ear, ‘you’re breaking up.’

            ‘I’m Noah,’ came the voice again.

            Noah? Hannah frowned.  ‘I’m sorry, but, I don’t know a-’

Without warning, what sounded like a gunshot blasted through the line. Hannah jerked up. ‘Hello?’

 ‘Hannah, listen!’ tore the voice. ‘I’m your brother. They’re coming for us. You’ve got to-’

            The carriage suddenly went black and the signal cut. Overhead the lights flickered as the train shot through a tunnel. Hannah’s heart banged against her chest. Brother? He said brother. But why? She had no brothers, church colleagues, yes, families she had grown up with since birth, but no brothers.

Copyright © Nikki Owen 2012

Thanks for reading!  Part two is out next Friday. Have a great weekend!