LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
18 January 2013
I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar


"I now know that, yes, I am more powerful than my mind can even digest and
understand." George Osborne, PM CallMeDave, Gwyneth Paltrow? Actually it
was Beyonce, but the list is infinite.

The basic problem, ignoring the obvious, is that Beyonce complains to GQ
about sexism while revealing her body as a sex object in seven unsexy photos.
"I've worked harder than probably anyone I know in the music industry. So I
just have to remind myself that I deserve it." Right.

She told the men's magazine she has finally fulfilled her life-long ambition to
become a symbol of success and empowerment for the ladies while
photographed by Terry Richardson who has a reputation for inappropriate
responses to young models and highly sexualised images. Good choice.

It's time for Super Bowl mania when pointless and usually talentless Hollywood
celebs sell the souls they probably don't have to international corporations.
Beyonce has chosen the altruistic and world health promoting Pepsi. And her
rationale is?

In The New York Times Mark Bittman writes that 'Beyonce is "eager, evidently,
to have the Pepsi logo painted on her lips and have a limited-edition Pepsi can
bearing her likeness" as part of a larger $50 million campaign pegged to the
upcoming Super Bowl'. Well. She said women should make their own money -
regardless of how low they have to go. Very.

Beyonce goes on about lack of financial equality for women while she and
Jay-Z created a princess-themed first birthday party for their little princess, Ivy
Blue. £60,000 on white and pink roses. A £1,500 cake. £20,000 worth of
princess costumes and jewellery sets for the tiny attendees. Then they
commissioned a £50,000 diamond-encrusted Barbie for their princess. 160
diamonds. A tiny feminist in the making surely. Small change for the couple
who acquired almost £50 million in a year.

A source close to the millionaires: 'Nothing has been too big or expensive for
their little princess. They wanted her first birthday to set the tone for the rest of
her life." Little princess Ivy Blue should run as fast as she can once she learns
to walk.



Picture This

Another Barbie-princess makes the news. The Duchess of Cambridge's
essence is captured on canvas unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery. Her
first official portrait.

Ex-Waity chose the painter, monarchist Paul Emsley, who won the BP Portrait
Award in 2007 and painted Nelson Mandela. So presumably here's a painter
who presumably knows how to paint.

Ex-W requested her "natural self" be portrayed. And it was. The soft focus
barely hides the smugness, superiority, slyness, steeliness, ambition. The eyes
reveal all. More an air-brushed advert than Emsley's usual warts-and-all
approach. So terribly 'Because I'm worth it'. The gallery director sees it as a
"captivating contemporary image".

The portrait is more Goya than Holbein. Critics took out their palette knives. 'No
context, conventional, dire, vacuous, rotten, sagging, ageing, hamster cheeks,
shampoo-ad hair, a tsunami, a royal mess. Actually, a royal mess would have
been the deceased Lucian Freud.

Ex-W declared: "It's just amazing, I thought it was brilliant." Surely she should
know.
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