Beauty uses her brains to win over Oxford Union: Marianne Macdonald listens as Jerry Hall quotes Socrates, Milton and her mother on exploiting your assets

JERRY HALL last night electrified Oxford Union by taking on feminists and former editors to argue it was everyone's duty to exploit their assets.

In the packed chamber she sat with Miss World (Julia Kurochkina), Melissa Bell (Lucy from Neighbours) and Mick Jagger. She wore a skintight, low-cut metallic dress, and the undergraduates' reaction suggested she had won the debate before it had even started.

Opposing the motion 'This House believes it is the duty of everyone to exploit their assets, be they brains, beauty or brawn' were Louise Bagshawe, feminist and author; Mike Maloney, photographer of the year; and David Thomas, former editor of Punch.

Proposing the motion was Pete Gowers, secretary of the Union, who commended Melissa Bell as 'the only character in Neighbours to have a surfboard named after her - because she's good for a ride, but not much else.'

His opponents rolled out arguments including the examples of Asil Nadir, George Walker and Robert Maxwell as proof that exploitation of brains could lead, in the words of the Bible, to wailing and gnashing of teeth.

But the proposers had looks on their side. Julia Kuroch kina, to huge applause, argued that beauty could get women jobs as air hostesses and secretaries, or into interviews 'when they could then show their skills'.

Melissa Bell said: 'Journalists want to exploit me, so why shouldn't I exploit my assets?'

But the star of the evening was always going to be Jerry Hall. The supermodel had clearly done her research, citing in her 'if you've got it, flaunt it' argument sources as diverse as Milton, Socrates, Michelangelo, Helen of Troy and even Pasteur.

'My mother said to me when young you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar,' she drawled. 'I learned early on quite how far looks can get you. Why shouldn't we use our beauty?'

Causing ecstasy in the chamber, the supermodel then applauded the fact that her audience all had 'good brains - some great bodies too', leaving only Mr Thomas to give her a run for her money.

'Jerry Hall once said a woman should be a great cook in the kitchen, a whore in bed and something else I've forgotten in the living room,' he said. 'Aside from the fact you might get confused and start quoting recipes in bed I can't agree. On this basis we could hardly be surprised if you were dropped for a better cook.'

Jerry Hall looked unruffled. After all, Mick Jagger was beside her, proving that even fading supermodels can have the last laugh: as she certainly did when her side won the debate by 394 votes to 283.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
food + drinkClue: You'll either love them or you'll hate them
News
Howard Marks has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer, he has announced
people
Arts and Entertainment
film
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
News
peopleWarning - contains a lot of swearing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: On behalf of a successful academy i...

Investigo: Finance Business Partner

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in providing ...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - West London

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: WEST LONDON - An excellent new opportunity wit...

Recruitment Genius: Florist Shop Manager

£8 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A Florist Shop Manager is required to m...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project