Is it really true that young women today want to look like Kim Kardashian, marry a rich footballer and enjoy a life of indolence and pleasure?
Obviously, being young and inexperienced, they can have little idea of what achieving those goals might mean.
Being an avid reader of newspapers I keep up with the lives of the famous and those with aspirations to be in the limelight. The ups and downs of a life of fame or infamy, as sometimes can be the reality, are well documented.
This week was a case in point for those wishing to have the life of reality star Kim Kardashian. Fame has brought her terror after being held up at gunpoint, bound and gagged in her luxury Paris apartment. Within 24 hours she was fleeing back to her home in America minus what is probably her most precious item, her engagement ring which was worth millions. Other jewellery was also stolen in the raid.
This is a women who lives for the limelight but did she expect to pay such a high price for appearing in newspapers and television all around the world? Ms Kardashian is said to be worth £50m. If she continues to travel with her treasures she may need to spend some of that fortune on personal security or leave the baubles at home.
That’s what Clare Balding did when she hosted the Olympics in Rio. Viewers noted she wore no jewellery, not even her wedding ring. Ms Balding said she didn’t risk bringing it or her other jewellery with her as they were items precious to her.
I was brought up with six sisters. We were part of a generation which didn’t have reality television stars. Footballers wives kept well in the background and female tennis stars weren’t regarded as remotely glamorous.
Along came singers like Marianne Faithful and Sandie Shaw and fashion models like Jean Shrimpton and Sandra Howard. A new age of glamour began to emerge, yet, even then those women did not seek publicity. In fact they did much to escape the cameras that followed them.
At school it was drummed into us that we should learn and get a job/career and that’s what we did. We got part-time jobs as weekends to pay for entertainment.
No one told us we must be slim, beautiful and aspire to great wealth. We were allowed to be ourselves. That’s not how young girls think now.
Recent research by the Girl Guides says girls as young as seven feel under pressure to lose weight because `they are being bombarded with images of the perfect body from billboards, videos and toys. The research also revealed that two fifths of those between 7-10years felt they needed to lose weight while half of the young women surveyed between 17 and 21 were dissatisfied with their appearance compared to only 36 per cent in the same survey in 2011.
Alarmingly, the proportion of girls under the age of 10 who ‘actively dislike their looks’ has risen by almost half in that time from nine per cent to 13 per cent.
There have been stories where mums have approved of their young daughters having cosmetic surgery while breast augmentation is nothing new amongst those in their 20’s.
All this dissatisfaction at such a young age is been driven by the publicity passion of the famous. A lot of it began with the launch of one newspaper’s Page 3 girls. Today such a feature would be regarded as misogynist.
Contrived fame is undignified leading to empty lives and sometimes dangerous living.