Well done, Mary Berry! I take my (red) hat off to you

 

Share

I wonder if Mary Berry is a fan of the Jenny Joseph poem, "Warning", which begins: "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple/ With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me …." Ms Berry is of course a style icon and would never wear anything that didn't suit her. But what makes her so cool is that she doesn't seem to care what anyone else thinks of her: she dresses only to please herself. I wouldn't be surprised if, like Jenny Joseph, she spends all her pension "on brandy and summer gloves, and satin sandals, and say[s] we've no money for butter". Apart from the butter. Mary Berry would always have a bit of butter with her brandy.

I cheered last week when Ms Berry won The Oldie magazine's Oldie of the Year Award, and announced: "Being old is lovely because I have grandchildren, and that's an enormous bonus."

She also revealed that she wears hardly any make-up, doesn't use face cream and would never consider Botox. "There are no implants and no tucks," she said. "That's how I think we all should be."

That's how I think we all should be, too, but unfortunately the people in charge of television don't agree, and seem to think that older women should be not seen and not heard. At the same Oldie awards, the broadcaster Nicholas Parsons said that there is no problem with ageism for women in the media because recently he had Sheila Hancock on Just a Minute. "I don't see the pattern," he said.

Really? Perhaps his prescription for spectacles needs updating. To be fair, though, it is not only Sheila Hancock who is allowed out in public. Last week, American Apparel unveiled its news lingerie advert which features a 62-year-old model, in some lingerie. Some people have been startled by this, though I don't know whether it's the fact that women of 62 wear underwear that surprises them.

So alarmed are we by any suggestion of women looking normal that it was seen as an act of great bravery last week when actresses Kate Winslet and Scarlett Johansson were photographed for Vanity Fair wearing no make-up. What we seem to have learned from this is that two extraordinarily good-looking women really are... extraordinarily good-looking. Excellent, I'm happy for them.

No doubt there are deep-seated evolutionary reasons why we subliminally associate good looks with good character, but it's not true. After all, we now understand, thanks to Wendi Deng, that Tony Blair has "really, really good legs" and "butt", and "pierce blue eyes", but personality wise we know he is a complete arse. Women's taste is weird, though. According to a new survey, we find men with wider faces more attractive for short-term relationships. So that's why Bob Crow always looks so pleased with himself....

Clearly, then, we don't get the faces we deserve, and there's not much we can do about the faces we have. In that case, we might as well just ditch the expensive beauty products and perhaps buy a red hat instead.

twitter.com/@katyguest36912

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

An unelectable extremist who hijacked their party has already served as prime minister – her name was Margaret Thatcher

Jacques Peretti
 

I don't blame parents who move to get their child into a good school

Chris Blackhurst
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent