Susie Rushton: The 'trend' for sugar babies is just a bad joke about women

We see Pascal in photographs that accompany all of Brick's features, but is he just an actor? Come to think of it, is Brick herself a fictional creation?

Share

If you don't keep a healthy sense of the absurd about you, these can seem like strange times to be a woman. Last week we had a Channel 4 documentary about "rinsers" – young glamourpusses who use social networking sites to persuade rich men to buy them gifts, apparently for nothing in return.

After scouring the land for three camera-genic babes who actually do this, the producers of Sex, Lies and Rinsing Guys would have us believe that girls like Hollie, Danica and Jeanette represent a social trend. Any fool can see that they don't; but their lurid "stories" do represent a media trend to pore over every last detail of a "phenomenon" which suggests the gold-digging bimbo is alive and well, and all that nasty equality for women business was just a horrid nightmare.

Then yesterday came news about the UK launch of Seekingarrangement.com, the American internet dating site "which links wealthy men with young women" (it also hooks up the inverse arrangement, and plenty of gay men too, but that's not as interesting). One "sugar daddy" signed up is an MP, but most are bankers and businessmen with an average income of £170,000 – and the site claims there are 10 female "sugar babies" to each daddy. Adding a dash of realism to his PR schtick, site founder Brandon Wade reveals earnestly that most of the young women are debt-laden students or single mothers. At last! An alternative to the welfare state that also hits the higher-tax bracket!

We also had Part Three of the Samantha "I'm too beautiful" Brick chronicles in yesterday's Daily Mail: now the newspaper's golden goose has announced she's "proud to be a trophy wife". Last week, Brick was wittering on about immoral French women who constantly try to "steal" her husband Pascal. Yesterday's confessional reveals that Pascal checks her weight, gives her a wardrobe allowance and always opens a car door for her. Despite her presumably bountiful contract with the Mail, one of the highest-paying papers on Fleet Street, Brick insists that Pascal's business somewhere in rural France makes him the breadwinner in their home, "though I still work part-time to keep my wits about me".

Something about Brick doesn't stack up to me. Does Pascal actually exist? We see him in photographs that accompany all of Brick's features, but is he just an actor? Come to think of it, is Brick herself a fictional creation?

I can't deny that it's fun reading that there are still women in the world silly enough to want to set the clock back 60 years, but there have been a couple of times in the past week that I've wondered whether these misogynistic caricatures could be a joke at our own expense.

Now I know why the fans still give Chelsea stick ...

Celery. It's either unappetisingly limp or half-frozen after just one day in my fridge, and I rarely find any good use for it. So I was amazed to see the streets of west London strewn with the stuff this weekend after Chelsea FC paraded in an open-top bus.

A commentator observed that fans were flinging celery at the team, but offered no explanation for its symbolism. Was this a subtle dietary tip for "fat" Frank Lampard? Or an organic-deli, SW3-style alternative to the inflatable banana? Or even a punning protest at the outrageous "salaries" paid to Roman Abramovich's players?

A couple of the Indy's resident Chelsea fans, gracious in victory, have been kind enough to relieve me of my ignorance. A popular theory is that celery-tossing began in the 1980s when Chelsea were struggling; the untended state of the Stamford Bridge pitch led fans to speculate that there might actually be celery growing on the field, which in turn inspired a chant about sex with vegetables. (Ah, the rhetorical inventiveness of the football fan!)

Once the song caught on, it seemed obvious enough to simultaneously fling celery at the players – a tradition lately banned, or at least discouraged. All thoughts of protecting the billion-pound team from vegetal injury were abandoned on Sunday, though. The only remaining question is, should Abramovich now upgrade the club's symbolic veg to something posher – fennel bulbs, say?

s.rushton@independent.co.uk

React Now

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

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ice skating in George Square, Glasgow  

How many Christmas cards have you sent this year?

Simon Kelner
 

Al-Sweady Inquiry: An exercise in greed that blights the lives of brave soldiers

Richard Kemp
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum