Kevin Myers: What is going on amongst the female sex that so many of its members are prepared to undergo cosmetic surgery?
It's odd how quite random events give one an unexpected insight into the world we live in. A Sunday colour supplement last week showed a terrifying photograph of Brooke Shields, Daryl Hannah and Melanie Griffiths, so botoxed and collagened that they resembled the sewn-on faces of blow-up sex-dolls.
It took the scare about leaking silicon from French-made breast implants to reveal to me just how widespread breast enlargement now is. And it was when I was surrounded at Southampton airport by passengers for a charter flight to Costa del Chav that I made another discovery. The women were all young, with bright orange skin, blonde hair and dark eyebrows; I would have said collars and cuffs didn't match, except these were the kind of girls who don't have cuffs any more. And the heart-breaking thing for a writer of unsuccessful books (such as myself) was that every single woman was reading the memoirs of one Katy Price, aka Jordan, the celebrity non-writer who outsells almost all of us "professional" writers.
Now, Jordan appears more of a barrage-balloon than a human, a showcase of the seamstress's art, though to be sure, her epidermal tapestry is mostly done by men. Her torso looks as if it has been tucked and sucked and nipped and clipped; while every hair has been lasered or razored, shaved, waved or waxed. She is the she-Dalek of our times, a manmade creature bawling "exfoliate, exfoliate" at every turn. And -- grrrr -- she is a best-selling writer, whose books vanish from the supermarket-shelves as if they are being removed by forklifts.