Friday, February 09, 2007

Nicky Hambleton-NO!

I watched 10 Years Younger yesterday. They had a guy on who was only 35 but looked like a cross between John Peel and Worzel Gummidge. However, when they finished with him I though he looked older, and I had a few issues with their techniques and opinions.

With the scraggy beard and long hair the guest looked like he was late forties. People confirmed this when they asked the public to speculate on his age. However, when they finished with him he was clean-shaven with messy hair, and had the biggest crow’s feet you ever saw – even bigger than Michele Collins. With his “Kaiser Chiefs” look, the crows feet and contact lenses (I’ll get on to that in a minute) he looked like Cliff Richards – actually 60/70 but trying to dress like his grandkids. And yet the public said he looked late 20s. Were they blind, stupid or bribed? And I wonder how he will manage his job as a rock DJ looking like an indie kid?

My second big hate was that they removed his glasses. As a glasses-wearer I hate it when makeover shows remove the glasses. Are they saying glasses make you look old? Ugly? Poor? With designer frames, rimless and half rimmed glasses available, this is a very lazy method of changing your look and totally undermines the confidence of a huge section of the population.

And then we have hair. I have long hair. I like it because the public and vapid style mags think short hair is “cool” and tell us men over 18 should not grow their hair. What can I say? I’m a rebel. However the “top stylist” on the show decided it had to come off, as they have done with every long-haired bloke who has submitted himself to a makeover show since the history of television. I say that if you are a “top stylist” and cannot find a suitable style or cut to make long hair work on a man, you are a mere barber fit for shaving and short back and sides. If all you can do is copy Heat and Vogue, shame on you, you pander!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The wrong stereotype

Driving home today I was confronted by a Times Online billboard. It had a close-up of a pair of eyes looking through the slit of the full Muslim veil (burkha or hajib? I can never remember). There was also a tagline about discrimination but the exact wording escapes me.

Obviously the eyes and veil have become a sort of visual short-hand for the "great veil debate" (in the Daily Mail at least). However, here in Norfolk we don't have a huge Muslim community, and those that shop in the main centres tend to wear the open face veil. Whether that's for practicality or a concession to living in the UK we'll never know. But its because of this relaxed attitude that when I see eyes peering from a thin slit in black material I don't think "Muslim" I think "ninja". Too many video games and bad films I guess.

And this is why I spent a good five minutes pondering who would be stupid enough to discriminate against a silent killer, before my brain made the mental leap.