17 May 2015
on pretty young things
What I want to talk about today is: have you noticed how all the female foodie stars are such pretty young things? Or is it just me (noticing, not young and pretty)?
Whether they're clean living, vegan, sugar free or bone-brothing paleos, they're all young and gorgeous, with super-model-wavy hair, chic Breton stripes and skinny jeans, and glowy perfect skin. Even my mother has noticed: Rachel Khoo is such a cute thing, she declares, mesmerising us as much with her perfectly applied red lippie as her ability to blitz up shortcrust dough. Undeniably, enviably beautiful.
Rachel's not the only one, and their TV shows, blogs or books are filled with as many portraits as them as close-ups of their food. It's not enough to be a great cook, you better look dishy too. At least that's what it seems to me.
Don't get me wrong - none of this is sour grapes. Well, maybe I'm a little conflicted. Like the photos I see in Vogue and other glossy magazines I love to read, of models and celebs, I know there is much magic involved (makeup, botox, photoshop) to produce that perfection - but I still can't help compare myself wistfully to these unattainable images. So when I watch or see these female foodies, there is awe and knowing folded thru with perhaps a little envy (especially if I'm having a bad hair day or I'm dagging about in sloppy trackies after a day in high heels).We're savvy enough to decipher what the message is: that their brand of cooking, eating and living not only infuses them with healthful antioxidants and omega 3s, but mega-doses of loveliness too. So maybe it will do the same for us, too?
They are younger, hipper descendants of Nigella Lawson. Do we all remember when she oozed onto our TV screens with her heady, winking sex appeal (interestingly, she was conspicuously visually absent from her early books)? I used to closely observe her movie star eye makeup and wonder where I could find just that shade of lip gloss (I'm a brunette too, but that, unfortunately, is where all physical similarities end). In comparison, I don't think any of us had girl-crushes on Margaret Fulton or Delia Smith, did we?
Recently I was offered the chance to do some appliance demonstrations at a major homewares store (for various reasons, I declined). After my initial ooooh!, I started wondering how I'd cook, smile and talk at the same time (you try it - it's not as easy as Poh et al make it look). And then, what should I wear? Something safe and low key, because that's how locals roll on the weekend? Or something more me, with my pink lippie, a dress and ballet flats (perhaps there is a little of Ms Khoo in me after all). To manicure, or not to manicure? For a moment, that was the burning question.
In the end, it all came to nought, but... oh the decisions and the possibilities. Hats off, I concluded, to all those glossy gals, from the retro super-glam to the no-makeup-makeup chicks. We want to eat and cook like them; perhaps, just a little bit, we want to live and look and be like them too.