Thursday 23 May 2019

Ciara O'Connor: 'Rosanna Davison is missing the irony in her condemnation of Beyoncé's cayenne pepper cleanse'

Model Rosanna Davison
Model Rosanna Davison
Rosanna Davison
Rosanna Davison at the Peter Mark VIP Style Awards 2019 at the Marker Hotel, Dublin.
Rosanna Davison

Ciara O'Connor

In an interview last week, human Mini-Milk Rosanna Davison talked about attempting Beyonce's now-infamous cayenne pepper, maple syrup and water ''cleanse'' some years ago.

Davison joined the ranks of science refuseniks who insist that the organs specifically equipped over millennia of evolution to detoxify our bodies, don't actually know what they're doing and need spicy sugar-water (cheaper than dialysis!) to help them along.

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"I did it for five or six days and for the first few days it was pretty miserable but then I got used to it," she said, which pretty much sums up wellness generally: getting used to the misery.

The interview was unironically headlined a ''warning'' against ''fad diets'', though I'm not sure that simply not eating constitutes ''a diet''. And Rosanna has made a career out of peddling a diet rich in chia puddings and green juices and other faddish not-foods. She follows the kind of vegan, gluten-free diet that makes eating an obsessive full-time job.

Rosanna suggested making ''truffles'' out of cacao and dates and coconut oil instead of cracking into an Easter egg - which sounds like a lot of effort for kidding yourself that sugary fat-balls will a) make you look like Rosanna Davison b) be any better for you than a bit of the Snickers egg that you've been eyeballing for a week.

Anyway, the Beyonce diet turned out to be bulls**t by Rosanna's standards, not because it is socially sanctioned starvation, causing every cell in your body to scream out for the nutrition it so desperately needs to function, but because she put on weight afterwards.

'Everyone knows that hanging out with your own children is terrible — you couldn’t pay most men to do it'
'Everyone knows that hanging out with your own children is terrible — you couldn’t pay most men to do it'

"You're so hungry when you stop it that you end up worse off," which was precisely my experience of pretending that a thimbleful of chia pudding (spoiler: it's not a pudding) was ''breakfast''.

Leave it in the fridge overnight and it will absorb all your hopes and dreams, doubling in size by morning so you can pretend it's not just a single spoonful of seeds and sadness!

*******

Everyone knows that hanging out with your own children is terrible - you couldn't pay most men to do it.

No, really - official statistics show that you literally can't pay men to stay at home with their infants. It emerged last week that many Irish fathers don't take paternity leave - despite the fact that the State has paid fathers two weeks of paternity benefit since 2016.

In fact the number of dads claiming this benefit actually dropped by 10pc last year.

Getting €245 a week for sitting at home with your little one is all well and good in theory, but of course the reality is that once most new parents see the price of buggies, nappies and car seats (CAN YOU PUT A PRICE ON YOUR CHILD'S SAFETY? NO? THEN HAND OVER €500 FOR THE DELUXE MODEL, YOU MONSTER) it doesn't look as sweet a deal.

We do expect an awful lot from men - today, ''10cm dilated'' is no longer an abstract concept for most fathers. They've seen things. Smoking outside for a couple of hours before coming in to their lovely lipsticked wife and counting their newborn's fingers and toes so they can head off to wet the baby's heads has fallen out of favour - it's skin-on-skin baby-wearing or bust.

And while ''paid paternity leave'' is music to the ears of most groovy enlightened millennial beta-males, the question is whether spending hours gazing into the impossible and beauty of your newborn's precious eyes is worth having to have a conversation with Gerard - the ham-faced middle-aged CEO, in which he flamboyantly pretends to have never heard of the concept of ''paternity leave''?

Gerard didn't meet his children until they graduated from university (on his hard-earned dollar) and they turned out fine, thank you very much.

Yeah. I'd say you can keep your €245 and those beautiful moments of early bonding that you'll never get back. Have you seen the price of creches, toddler beds and Micro scooters? Ask Gerard for some overtime - that's exactly the kind of go-getting he likes to see.

*******

It was a week of vicious rumours and Chinese-whisper hysteria, with the news that WhatsApp is apparently working on a feature to stop people screenshotting conversations, and Penneys having to publicly clarify that they're not expanding their business online.

You know how, mystifyingly, false rumours about beloved former children's TV presenters dying periodically pop up and gain traction? So it is with the great Penneys E-Commerce Ruse, with people in their thousands regularly losing their goddamn minds because someone misheard someone else saying that they wished Penneys was online. It's wishful-thinking gone viral.

A spokesperson for Primark told Independent.ie that, "from time to time we will look at click and collect as one possible option to extend our customer service. However, there are no plans in the near future to trial click and collect".

They added that the "combination of in-store design, shopping experience and amazing prices is what makes Primark so attractive".

They're not wrong. It is the physical presence of Primark that makes it so incredible. The uniform lighting and lack of windows and uncanny feeling of having seen everything before, lulls you into gentle but insistent mindless consumerism.

Click and collect would be business suicide for them: people would go online to purchase a pair of €8 heels that they can throw into a bush while staggering back to the hotel room after a wedding, and that's all they'd buy.

Penneys' entire business model is based on people going in for one thing, and coming out with 100 kirby grips, two pairs of slipper socks, a nostalgic Disney nightie, a couple of improbably ''handy'' dresses, a bath mat, a double pack of very frail baby wipes, more slipper socks, a scented candle, a fun beach bag, some false eyelashes, wrapping paper, and a hat that you'll never wear, not even once - you've never worn a hat in your life.

The total will come to an amount that surprises you, because shur wasn't everything only a couple of euro? But you pay it happily anyway, content with your brown paper bag, the satisfying heft of which persuades you that you've basically robbed them.

I have no idea how they'd recreate this online. And honestly, aren't we better off? Those Disney nighties really shouldn't come in adult sizes, anyway.

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