Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Alex Neil, don't you dare tell me I'm not a pretty sight

The Scottish Government has launched a campaign today called "Drop a glass size", aimed at women to get them to cut their alcohol consumption. The theory is sound enough. Wine glasses come in all shapes and sizes and, of course, if you use a smaller glass, and have the same number of glasses a week, you'll consume less alcohol, which is a good thing.

The method, though, oh dear. Why should we stop drinking? Because it ruins our looks, apparently. Are women not already under enough pressure to look good, to conform to often unattainable standards of beauty? If we're not thin enough with perfect hair, curves, teeth and nails, then we are objects of ridicule screams every tabloid and women's magazine. I mean, how I have the temerity to go out in public, given that I conform to none of it, I don't know. It's enough to drive you to drink....

They've launched an app, the drinking mirror,  too, for your smartphone or tablet which shows you a picture of what the drink will do to you if you don't stop...I can't see how you get it on an iPhone. It's not coming up on search in the App Store and there's no link so I can't see what a dreadful sight I'd look yet. This is the blurb that comes with the app:


Is alcohol ageing you? Deeper wrinkles, red cheeks and weight gain... some of the visible effects of regularly drinking too much are not a pretty sight.
Download the FREE Drinking Mirror iPhone or Android App below and see how dropping a glass size could help you look fabulous.

Do you know what ages women? Age. The passage of time. The appearance of wrinkles and weight gain at least happens as you get older. But women aren't allowed to do that. No, they have to conform.

If they want women to cut drinking, why not base their arguments around something women actually want, not what they feel pressurised to do. I'm thinking of more energy. I know for a fact that I feel more energetic if I haven't had any alcohol than if I have. There isn't a woman in Scotland, I bet, who wouldn't want to feel less knackered and if cutting alcohol consumption can help with that, then it's a guilt free, pressure free way of persuading them to do that.

I get that basing the campaign on appearance may be an effective way of getting into women's psyche. But surely that isn't a good thing. I am annoyed with Alex Neil for signing off on this. Cutting alcohol consumption is always a good thing to do, but I feel insulted and patronised by the ethos of this campaign.

11 comments:

Munguin said...

I’m confused Caron....having read your neo-feminist rant I’m not sure now if you agree that drinking to excess can in fact ruin your looks or not. Or is this just having a pop at the SNP through whatever convoluted and silly prism that comes to hand?

Jennie Rigg said...

Suspect part of what ages (some) women is stress, and stressing about how they look won't help.

Jennie Rigg said...

Munguin: seemed perfectly clear to me. Maybe drinking ruins your looks and maybe it doesn't but surely there are better reasons to put on puritanism than that?

Looks shouldn't matter, at least not to the exclusion of all else, is the point I saw.

PS, I'm English, so didn't even realise this was a dig at the SNP, I thought it was a dig at any idiot who says a woman's looks are her most important attribute.

Caron Lindsay said...

Munguin, it's just a feminist rant, no neo involved.

I just think that if we want to reduce alcohol consumption, we need to put resources into finding out why women drink and tackling those reasons.

I don't think it's right for the state to reinforce the rubbish out there about how looks matter above all else for women,

Anonymous said...

I don't see how this is any different than the "Keep your head screwed on" campaign aimed at young men in Scotland a decade or so ago. The message then was that you will be less attractive to young ladies if you drink too much. Did you complain about that at the time?

The more important point is whether the assertion is backed by research evidence. Just because you find the message unpalatable or don't like the messanger does not invalidate the point being made.

Munguin said...

Jennie maybe I’m not in touch with my feminine side and that’s why I don’t see this with silly feminist rose tinted glasses on. Drinking to excess ruins your looks. That is a fact. Women spend a lot of time and money attempting to accentuate the positive. That is also a fact. To avoid facts and reality so as not to offend wimmin like Caron is simply preposterous. Oh and I can assure you that almost everything that Caron writes regarding the SNP is an effort (mostly a fairly poor one) to twit the SNP. Pathetic I know, but what can you do. Consensus politics seems impossible here in Scotland.

Munguin said...

Caron I’m sorry I was under the impression that feminism had gone out of fashion now that women had got all the things they burnt their bras to get and that this sort of new age right on feminism was more of a silly fashion gimmick that looks for the feminist angle no matter how preposterous and convoluted. As in this item where Caron wears her feminist, proud sister etc credentials on her sleeve and has a pop at the SNP into the bargain. Trebles all round eh!

tris said...

Drinking is a massive problem in Scotland. It costs the country a fortune. It makes problems for our tourist business, as people find that "Downtown" on a Friday or Saturday night is a no go area for anyone who isn't bladdered.

It is an undeniable fact that woman (and to a lesser extent men) spend a fortune buying incredibly expensive moisturisers that over the last few years have started to promise (wrongly probably) that they will remove wrinkles. One thing above everything else which makes people look old.

Tiny bottles at as much as £100 a shout are sold to people who really can't afford them (mainly but not exclusively women) so that they won't end up looking ancient.

Then they get ratted and they dehydrate, and any slight good that these miracle potions have done, disappears out of the window.

Simple psychology: If you want to try to get women to cut down their excessive drinking, little good pointing out that cirrhosis of the liver is a very painful death... but point out that after a night on the drink they look ten years older.

I know which one I'm putting my money on having success.

Men are traditionally less worried about looking older, possibly because many women find older wrinkly, bald, grey men sexually attractive. Very few men find older women with wrinkles and grey hair sexually attractive.

It may be politically incorrect to say it, but by and large it is biology.

And no matter how feminist, and equal we all are, most of us still like to be fancied.

tris said...

Incidentally, I would add to my last comment that, if I wished to persuade a man to cut down on booze, I would talk about big beer guts and brewer's droop, both of which are encumbrances to sex... which is far more important to men than looks.

Jennie Rigg said...

Sorry, Munguin. I thought you had genuinely misunderstood. I didn't realise you were being a purposefully offensive troll; if I had I wouldn't have bothered replying. Do carry on.

Munguin said...

Thanks Jennie touché as they say (or very nearly)! I see you are another one that wants to attribute plain speech as trolling. Maybe the best thing for you to do would be to think you have attained the moral high ground by not responding when you can’t form a cogent response, rather like Caron does herself. So much easier to call me an offensive troll than make any attempt to justify Caron and your ludicrous neo-feminist stance.

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