The token woman and the panel show

Four episodes of this season’s BBC1 panel show Would I Lie To You have been broadcast so far, and they all had one thing in common: a token woman. Please forgive me. I don’t mean to underestimate the value these female guests bring to the show, or suggest that they don’t have what it takes to join forces with the regulars who take up a majority of the panel show air time available today (and there’s plenty). In fact, I’ve avoided writing about this simply not to do that, not to make them into a token, a gender and a box ticked. Until I read Elin Grelsson’s column on the topic, that is. Grelsson writes about the artist Marie Capaldis, whose paintings were displayed at the Gothenburg museum of art alongside a sign explaining that...

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Voluptuous doesn’t cut it: androgyne is the new pinup

“In this society, if a man is called a woman, that’s the biggest insult he could get.” The words are Andrej Pejic’s, and he sure has a point. But his life story turns this idea upside down, and then back around again: he has not only been dubbed the prettiest boy in the world – but also, to quote his mother, “the most beautiful girl I’ll ever see in a wedding dress.” It’s a heart-warming story, the one about Bosnian Andrej who as an 8-year-old moved with his mother and siblings to Melbourne in Australia via Serbia, discovering hair dye and make-up along the way, eventually returning to the more androgyny-friendly Europe to realise his dream of becoming a professional model. He is the boy who left his “gender open to...

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What the royal wedding taught us

1. You are what you wear – if you’re a woman If I hear one more fashion editor’s orgasmic praise of the stupidly expensive creation of some ‘it’ designer of the moment, or see another picture of a ridiculous headpiece that does nothing but hinder its owner from entering a building with normal doors (as if that would ever happen on the day of a royal wedding), I think I might throw up. Seriously. The stupidity of one commentator’s outbursts fades in comparison to another’s, and the scrutiny of the bodies and dress senses of the women who were invited to today’s big event seemed endless. Was anyone betting like crazy on what colour suit Prince Charles would wear or what stylist would get the honour of doing Harry’s hair...

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