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Katy Guest: Rant & Rave (09/10/11)



I recently went on a hen weekend with a dozen more-than-averagely-good-looking women. Of these, about half seemed to be unshakeably and bewilderingly convinced that they were fat, wrinkled and ugly. On the train home, I realised that the women with the hugest gaps between their distorted self images and their true, real-life gorgeousness were the ones who were devouring the most women's magazines.

So I do believe that images of airbrushed models are bad for women's self-esteem – even those of us who logically understand that nobody really looks like Megan Fox after eight hours in Photoshop. I mean, I'm completely aware of the technology that goes into these pictures, but I've still had to ban myself from looking at certain magazines because I know that reading them makes me hate myself.

The magazines themselves, however, must believe that their readers are blasé about the digital manipulation of images of women, because increasingly they do it so blatantly. Last week, a glossy, which I choose not to advertise by naming it, carried a cover image of a British actress whose ribcage was suddenly two inches thinner below her bra strap than it was above. If they really want to use computers to draw pictures of beautiful women, then why don't they just do that and stop pretending to show us photos of real human beings? Then those who choose to, could read these new shiny comics, actresses could get on with acting, and everybody else could go back to feeling normal when they look in the mirror.


Can we award national treasure status straight away to Sue Perkins, the presenter and comedian who turns everything that she touches to gold? Most recently, she managed to make cakes and pastries exciting on The Great British Bake Off.

That was straight after she appeared in the Comedy Prom, where it turned out that she can sing, conduct and play the piano at the same time as being funny. And before that, she co-hosted BBC2's The Supersizers Go..., in which she had to act cheerful while eating suet, wearing a corset, and pretending to be married to Giles Coren.

National treasure? The woman deserves beatification.