Archive | November, 2012

How to make him love you: top tips from women’s magazines

22 Nov

Look at the redhead on the front of this week’s TV Choice magazine. Look at her expression of barely-masked grief at the pain of unrequited love. Many of us have asked the question that’s on her mind countless times before: darling, why don’t you love me? I would say that he probably doesn’t love you because of your innumerable physical and behavioural flaws. Nevertheless, there are ways to make him love you, and I will reveal them today.

I must admit that I have had to draw heavily from trusted secondary sources in putting together the guidance that you will find below. In particular, my gratitude goes out to Cosmopolitan magazine, that pillar of enlightened modern femininity, and therulesrevisited.com website (thank you Naomi for making me aware of this gem), written by, in his own words, a “ridiculously good looking, extremely intelligent” young man, which has a whole range of tips on how women can better their looks and behaviour in order to attract a mate.

As they say, practice makes perfect. I have therefore decided to trial some top tips selected from the best of The Rules Revisited and Cosmopolitan in the worthy endeavour of trying to woo my latest crush, BBC4’s fictional character, Inspector Montalbano, who can be spotted starring in his own series anytime you like on BBC Iplayer.

Mr Montalbano, why don’t you love me?

Spend 75% of your day staring at him

Says Cosmo,

“locking eyes with a guy doesn’t just tell him you’re interested, it can even make him feel like he’s falling in love with you … A study by Zick Rubin, former associate professor at Harvard University, US, found that lovers spent 75% of their time looking at each other … By encouraging him to gaze into your eyes by maintaining eye contact with him, you can lead his brain towards the idea of love. “The last time he stared into someone eyes for long periods of time, he was in love,” says sexpert Dr Pam Spurr … “So in theory, that could trigger his brain to recall feelings of love again”” (from Cosmo UK’s 12 steps to make him fall in love with you).

Biting logic there from Cosmo’s “sexpert” Dr Spurr. As advised, I have spent 75% of my day, that’s 12 of my waking hours, staring at Inspector Montalbano on screen, yet I’m not sure that he’s in love with me yet. Is it because he’s not looking directly at the camera? Will he arrest me for sexual harassment? What to do?

“Pretend you need him”

Cosmo has enlisted the brainpower of Dr Ian Kerner, the author of such seminal works as Overcoming Premature Ejaculation and Passionista: the Empowered Woman’s Guide to Pleasuring her Man, for this one:

““In this day and age when women are fiercely independent, a man can feel less able to give her what she needs – other than sex, what does he have to offer?” says Kerner. “So by relying on him a little – and letting him rely on you too – you’re allowing the bond between you to deepen. A good step towards falling in love.”” (from Cosmo UK’s 12 steps to make him fall in love with you).

As Cosmo points out, I am not sure that Inspector Montalbano can offer much more than his insatiable virility. But, advises Cosmo, he will not fall in love with me if he thinks that. I have therefore emailed him to let him know that I require his help in solving a criminal case in which I am embroiled (solving mysteries is what he does best): someone in the office at work has stolen my mug and I simply cannot bring the culprit to justice without his assistance. I hope, whilst he inspects our work kitchen with yours truly looking needy and vulnerable in the corner, Montalbano will fall head over heels for me.

“Feed him grapes”

According to Cosmo, if you want a man to love you, “feed him grapes”. But “a steak sandwich or baguette with fried onion or mushroom toppings” along with “an ice cold beer” are also viable options for the lady looking to hook a husband. (from Cosmo UK’s 12 steps to make him fall in love with you).

Do not show too much decolletage…or do…?

Says Cosmo, “take off the low-cut crop top … swap it for a contour-hugging top, by all means, but just go easy on how much flesh is on show” (From Cosmo’s Don’t be desperate tips). This is confusing, since, according to The Rules Revisited, “the more a woman dresses like a s***, the more attractive she is” (apologies for the editing out words here, but there are some words used by The Rules author that are so desperately offensive that I cannot even bear to type them). Says The Rules, as long as we “act like good girls”, we are still more likely to find a husband if we “dress like a w****”. What to do? What will Inspector Montalbano prefer? More clothes or less? (From The Rules How to get the Right Kind of Attention article).

Date someone “below you league”

Says Cosmo, “get a date, but make sure it’s with someone several leagues below you in terms of attractiveness … it’ll provide you with invaluable experience of how not to behave like a desperado during a date.” (From Cosmo’s Don’t be desperate tips).

It is hard to say who is below and above me on the attractiveness scale (see The Rules for more on the ten point scale: ten point scale of attractiveness) but I sincerely hope I fall above our cherished leader David Cameron. Assuming that he is, in fact, below me on the scale, then, according to Cosmo, he would be a good target for a date whilst I’m trying to get experience in not acting desperate around Inspector Montalbano.

I have today written to Mr Cameron to ask him to take me for a drink sometime (I hear he’s partial to a whiskey now and then, especially whilst on UK Trade and Investment “missions” to visit the Saudi royals). I await a reply.

Try to look like him and copy his facial expressions

Says Cosmo and their “sexpert” Dr Spurr,

“We may not realise it, but we have a natural tendency to go for people who not only have similar interests and backgrounds to us, but also use similar facial expressions,” says Spurr. Researchers at the University of Liverpool found that we’re more likely to go for people who look similar to us” (from Cosmo UK’s 12 steps to make him fall in love with you).

Since I am now attempting to woo David Cameron (following Cosmo’s advice to date someone below my league in order to get experience for a later date with my target, Montalbano), I have been attempting to look, act and speak like our Prime Minister. This has also been a useful exercise for another reason: I know what our lovechild will look like, should David and I produce one.

Don’t have sex on the first date

Of course, when I do get a date with David Cameron, I will try my utmost to resist his passionate advances, since, if he thinks as The Rules Revisited suggests men do, he will be happy to make love to me but will consequently not wish to pursue a relationship with me due to my evident loose morals. Hypocritical of him? Yes, it would be. But men who maintain sexist double standards are surely the most desirable for natural women since they will encourage us in our mission to always to act in accordance with our strictly assigned gender role. (From The Rules, don’t f*** on a first date).

Put minty lip balm on your breasts

Says Cosmo, to entice your man, all you need to do is “trace your nipples with minty lip balm”. What an excellent idea. I will save this for when I am invited for dinner on Inspector Montalbano’s seaside veranda, or a meeting at Number 10. (From Cosmo’s 25 ways to be boobilicious). On another note, this tip also works well if your breasts have been eating garlic.

 Ignore him

Says Cosmo, “if you see a guy you like and he’s with a couple of other guys you know, say hello the others first (sic.). If you can, make out as though you haven’t noticed him, then suddenly give him a really warm smile hello (sic).” (From Cosmo’s Don’t be desperate tips).

I am going now. I need time to practice my “warm smile hello” in the mirror. They will love me. All of them.

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What women should eat: advice from some French food fascists

5 Nov

By Jo and Rosie

When it comes to behaving like a socially acceptable woman, eating should be one of your number one considerations. Historical and geographical context is important, and proper women must always adjust the figures that God gave them in order to match the most fashionable body shape of the day. Lets take a few cases in point. If you were a Natural Woman born in Mali or Western Sahara, you may have eaten sugar-coated balls of camel fat in order to put on weight and come closer to the local (large) idea of feminine beauty.  If you were born in Victorian England, the chubby, Botticelli-esque cherub figure was de rigour amongst women of the day. Here in Great British Britain of the noughties, the pre-pubescent look is firmly in vogue and is something that we should all be working towards (unless, of course, you are a man, in which case I recommend that you eat lots of meat, preferably beef – British of course – washed down with protein shakes).

Thin is the new curvy. 11 is the new sweet 16. Skinny is the new hourglass. If you want to be the feminine ideal, and as the advert I received through my letterbox the other day suggests (see below), you probably need to slim down (but be prepared to beef your figure out again next season, should the body shape fashion change).

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Thank you Energie gym. I was erring on the side of believing that my bottom was nicely curvy. But no, you were right, it is fat and preventative action must be taken before it gets even larger.

If you can’t afford the surgeon’s knife to correct your overly voluptuous imperfections, then I suggest that you avoid eating, as this is not a feminine activity. There are exceptions, of course. Licking foodstuffs is fine, and can be considered attractive, even provocative (Lolita licking a lollipop is a case in point). Eating salad leaves can also be acceptable as long as you hold your fork in a delicate, feminine fashion.

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Look how pretty and feminine she is. Eating salad makes her so happy. You should also feel, or at least look, happy when eating lettuce.

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Licking lollipops is always feminine yet, as this photograph illustrates, licking other foodstuffs is also good practice.

Clearly, no feminine woman should ever be seen near McDonalds, all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets, doner kebap vans or any other such places of vice and debauchery. If in doubt as to whether or not your dietary habits are suitably ladylike, consult a middle-aged man from the continent with scientific credentials (real or invented), who will be able to tell you what you should eat.  Take the following gentlemen, who have helped millions of women to find their thinspiration through instigating food fascism with their own strict dogmas on what we should and shouldn’t eat and when:

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Your faithful Andalusian woman’s magazine “Woman Today” helps to solve yet another woeful dilemma by helping you decide which middle-age frenchman’s diet is best.

Inspired by these middle-aged Greats, these leaders in food regimes, these rulers of women’s body shapes, two feminine natural women, Ravishing Rosie and Jelicious Joanna, have this week been following the rules of some top food fascists and trying out the coolest diets.

Dukan Diet

The Dukan diet, named after its inventor France’s top nutritionist Dr Pierre Dukan, involves eating excessive spoonfuls of oat bran. Hitherto reserved for horses and mattresses, the fun of oats is championed by Dr Dukan who believes that oat bran embodies “pleasure, flavour (and) enjoyment.” Rather, we found that a diet of oats embodied dryness, insipidity and boredom, which does not necessarily mean that it won’t help you to loose weight.

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TV dinner

Cohen Diet

We considered trialling the Bon Appetit diet with Dr Jean Michel Cohen, since the promise that it allowed you to eat “complex glutens in small quantities” sounded enticing (although I don’t know what it means). However, watching Dr Cohen’s introductory video, (http://www.bon-appetit-diet.com/program-details.asp) his description of the diet experience (“I would also happily like to inform you that the experience will be pleasurable”) sounded somewhat sinister, whilst his explanation of the accompanying exercise regime – “moving a bit more than usual” – sounded underwhelming. We concluded that this was not the diet for us.

5:2 Diet

The 5:2 diet is the latest eating-regime fad for the “on-trend” eater.  Apparently, it makes you live longer, look younger and even avoid Alzheimer’s.  All you have to do is fast for two days per week. As Rosie and I have only allowed ourselves a week to test out the entirety of diets profiled on this blog, we will try the 5:2 diet just for a day, gorging for five hours then fasting for two.

This was by far the most pleasurable of the diets, yet we did not manage to loose any weight. Nevertheless, we will be pleased with the long-term outcome of no Alzheimer’s and living longer, and, unless the light is playing tricks on us, we believe we already look a little younger.

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Rosie completing the “5” stage of the 5:2 diet

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Joanna preparing for the “5” stage of the 5:2 diet (please note that her choice of meal is erroneous and manly, which is certainly not remedied by her choice of ultra-feminine clothing and headgear). All will be washed down with that bottle of Iron-Bru, surely the finest invention of our Scottish neighbours.

Rosie still in the passionate throws of stage 5

Cabbage Soup Diet

As the name suggests, this diet involves eating nothing but cabbage soup. We found the pond-algae green colour far from feminine, and the flatulence that followed was not attractive. We would recommend this diet only if you live alone and do not regularly come into contact with other human beings.

Catfood Diet

Because catfood is my passion (useful video illustrating how to move in a feminine way): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkFv1KZzyMo.

Lets discuss this video. Eva Longoria is a beautiful and feminine woman, but not as beautiful and feminine as a cat. She has realised that she must be more feline if she is to be truly feminine, and thus she takes the lead from her cat, shadowing its movements, mimicking its facial expressions, drinking its milk. Her cat moves in a smooth, sensual, nay, sexual way. It is aloof, yet looks you in the eye with a desirous expression, as if saying “come on boy”. In a nutshell, this advert reminds us that cats are the ultimate femmes fatales, and we should try to be like them in every way.  It is this lesson exactly that has inspired Rosie and myself to invent the Sheba diet. To gain the lithe waist of a cat, you could try eating like one. We tried eating cat food for a day, which resulted in cramps and diarrhoea. In turn, these cat-food-induced stomach issues led to a weight loss of 2 lbs. 2 lbs in one day! Not a bad result. However, if you plan to try the cat food diet at home, please bear in mind the words Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian with the American Dietetic Association, who, with cat food in mind, advises, “it’s OK to satisfy the occasional craving, but you shouldn’t make it a staple of your regular diet” (http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2009-02/can-people-safely-eat-cat-food-0).

Is being female and poor romanticised?

4 Nov

By @sssukiii

Is the success of brands such as Cath Kidston, The Great British Bake off and Kirsty Allsopp promoting the idea that the comforts now available to modern women are likely to be domestic, retro and based in a shoe box sized kitchen?

Does the growing trend towards making do with second best embody a sustainable way of living, or is surviving closer to the poverty line being repackaged and sold back to us?

Living frugally is surely about being in control of the environment and its future. We should be grateful to have a roof over our heads, even if it’s a few metres squared. This is a reasonable idea, but not when statistics show that women are disproportionately affected by austerity measured compared to their male counterparts.

Female unemployment has reach record highs, paving the way for a plethora of profitable brands, tv programmes and marketing campaigns which romanticise being poor and female.

The Rachel Khoo phenomenon is at once entrepreneurial and miraculous and takes thriftiness to new heights of brilliance. In her television series, The Little Paris Kitchen, her ability to remain upbeat and sunny, despite having to wake up every morning and turn her futon into a sofa to welcome guests to her studio flat and restaurant for two, is disquieting as much as admirable.

Let’s entertain the idea that she may be donate some of the wealth created by the TV series to Shelter before she moves into a bigger home.

Kirsty Allsopp’s empire is built on the nation’s strange relationship with aprons, jam and county fairs. So why does this trend feel so forced? Maybe because it feels like a huge step backwards. A trend without a future, perhaps.

Similarly, retro clothes and homeware brand, Cath Kidston romanticises old-school thriftiness behind a cynically overpriced net curtain of nostaligia and domestic comfort. The brand capitalises on girly 50’s floral prints referring to a time when the glass ceiling faced by women in today’s board rooms, would have been replaced by a conservatory skylight perhaps.

Some may argue that the trend towards promoting female frugality is a refreshing alternative to the decadent shopping-focused lifestyle presented to women in recent decades.

On the other hand, does anyone recall seeing women on TV managing their finances effectively and planning their futures? Seeing people being sensible with money perhaps doesn’t make great TV, however I’m sure that quite a few of us aspire to more than living in a dolls house and spending our savings on shoes and cake ingredients. The very tangible trend towards female entrepreneurship is certainly evidence of this, whether our media channels will reflect this is another matter.