independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Claire O’Mahony: Model's homespun advice for women is dangerous, archaic and deeply annoying

Women had a light-bulb moment last week when Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr revealed how to keep a man happy. The 29-year-old, who is married to 'Lord of the Rings' actor Orlando Bloom, delivered a little homespun advice, courtesy of her nan.

"Let's bring it back to my grandma. What she said to me about men: men are very visual, don't forget that. So every day, just put a little make-up on, put on some nice underwear and you'll keep your husband," the model told American chat show host Craig Ferguson, who then declared her "the most awesome wife in America".

" A-ha!" women shouted in unison. "That's where I've been going wrong. I have been sitting around the house in a fleece onesie from Penneys with Sudocrem on my spots. It wasn't about trying to do more things as a couple, striving to achieve a better balance when it comes to domestic chores or not sighing when live snooker is on TV. All I need is some great lingerie and artfully-applied-but-not-too-obvious cosmetics and he'll never leave me. Marital bliss is within my grasp!"

The thing about Kerr's claims is that, of course, there is an element of truth in what she says.

It's a standard piece of marital advice and it should be something mutual. It's not necessarily about one's choice of knickers but it's some act or deed that demonstrates respect and consideration and affection.

But in the main, what Kerr says is silly and deeply, deeply annoying. Silly because, doh, a plunge bra is not a relationship band-aid; and annoying because modern women have enough to contend with without having to factor in a daily selection of appealing underwear and good make-up. When would we ever get time to watch 'Homeland'?

Ultimately, it's a dangerous and archaic message. In a world where children have ambitions to be famous in the same way that they used to want to be vets or astronauts, the last thing any young girl needs is a successful, beautiful model stating that all a woman really has to do is to look pretty.

Kerr's advice is just one of seven million depressing tips being hurled at women as to how they can be more attractive, lose a dress size before Christmas and all the other soul-destroying counsel that is relentlessly peddled.

Adding to the annoyingness of Kerr's remarks is that selling underwear is what she does.

As a Victoria's Secret Angel, she is one of the faces of America's largest lingerie retailer and her success has resulted in her becoming one of the world's top-earning models.

Miranda Kerr saying that women should wear nice underwear is like McDonalds telling us that burgers are delicious. And it might be nicer to think that her remarks were made in the interest of commerce, rather than that there is only what meets the eye in terms of her relationship.

Kerr's relationship advice comes at a very dangerous time of year when it comes to lingerie. The perennially popular present choice from men to women at Christmas, it would seem that underwear is not the gift that keeps on giving, but instead is a complete non-starter.

A recent survey by UK lingerie company Fox and Rose found that men invariably made poor choices when it comes to buying underwear for their partners, with one in five of the 1,600 questioned admitting that they had never worn lingerie they had received as a gift.

If women lounge around the house in oversized, slightly grubby T-shirts with a face mask on, that is their prerogative.

And if they want to wear lovely lingerie and make-up, that is also their decision – but only if they and they alone have purchased that underwear, as opposed to their significant other.

Irish Independent

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