This week, the writer trapped between her old left-wing paper and her new fascist one is being forced to think about how bloody imperfect women are. This is a column, by the way, and it's called Part-Time Bastard. She doesn't want to get in trouble while she's two-timing these newspapers so there's no byline. Now you know.
This week there’s been a proper hoo-ha at the left-wing paper. The hoo-ha, started by a columnist, was over “the media’s general approach to journalism.” My left-wing paper likes to write in tongues. By “media” they actually meant my right-wing paper and by “general approach” they meant female confessional journalism. They reckon that this style of journalism is degrading and misogynistic—which it is. But although in previous lives I’ve been 100 percent with my colleague on the left-wing paper, I still felt pretty torn. I mean, the right-wing paper has always been so encouraging to me. I also feel I’ve earned a little me-time. So, this week I tried my hand at degrading myself and my gender.
Largely because I’ve never had cancer and never been anorexic enough to gain the necessary horror stories, I always thought my confessional journalism prowess would be limited. So my opening gambit was a series of first-person beauty pieces. I began by “confessing” to my editor that I’d never had a facial. My editor thought I was joking, and then, upon realizing I wasn’t, decided that this fact in itself would make a good think piece. Deep.
The first treatment was this deep-tissue facial, and the second, perplexingly, was non-invasive Botox. The facial therapist seemed genuinely cross I didn’t wear SPF every day (every day!), which was confusing since at the left-wing paper sun damage is a sign of wealth. I then had to feign public surprise at the results, saying how damaging to my pride my findings were but nonetheless suggesting all readers should “get it done.”
I then started brainstorming a first-slash-third-person health story pegged to that girl who drank so much cabbage soup her body starting eating itself. “Dieting without dying” is its working title and it’s still very much in the embryonic stages. The paper seems fairly keen. “It does,” they said, “sound a little macabre,” but I’m pretty confident they’ll come round to the idea. The paper loves that sort of thing. There are rumors they actually created the PROANA site to back up their eternal rant that teenagers are deranged. So I emailed some girls on PROANA who gave me all sorts of tips on how to hide dinner from their parents and drink their body weight in water. They love to boast about stuff like this. It basically reads like a comprehensive list of how to die slowly, but it makes great copy.