Daily Mail: Getting Creepier By The Day

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Now we all know that the Mail is a newspaper that loves to denounce the sort of women who wear tight or revealing clothes, whether they're immodest 'ladettes' or women in the public eye who should know better than to do something as 'unprofessional' as wear a short skirt. But it's just as quick to fill its website with stomach-turning, downright creepy pieces on the latest starlet to show some skin.

Consider if you will today's Mail Online. You can ogle Dannii Minogue as she 'shows off her curves in a tight vest'. You can salivate over Ashley Greene as she 'wears nothing but body paint in a sizzling new ad campaign'. Can we call this news? Or just an excuse to feature a lot of pictures of women wearing very little. In recent months things seem to have got worse over at Mail Online, with story after story after story featuring women in 'revealing bikinis/dresses/skirts/lingerie', 'flaunting their figures' and providing 'tantalising glimpses' of their 'perfect curves'. If it wasn't so sad, it would be hilarious that the newspaper which disapproves of just about everything has a great line in features which wouldn't be out of place in a lads' mag.

No matter how hypocritical it gets, one thing stays the same. When the Mail does a story on those terrible women who go out drinking in short skirts, commenters can't wait to weigh in with their opinion on how shameful, how depressing these women are. When the Mail does a story on a woman 'flaunting her figure', commenters can't wait to weigh in with criticisms about her body. Ashley Greene gets a good slagging-off for her 'droopy boobs' (clearly these people have minimum experience of breasts) and 'wonky nostrils'. Yes, you read that correctly. Someone has taken issue with her wonky nostrils. The debate over Greene's body rages on for 154 comments. People who don't like it are denounced as 'prudes', 'feminists' (ha!) and 'moaners'. Occasionally, someone can't quite believe the ridiculousness of it all:

"Is this zoo mag or femail from the Daily Mail?"

Exactly. Of course we all know Femail features are often little more than an excuse for women to make judgements about other womens' bodies and looks, so maybe the two aren't so different after all.

On Saturday, however, the Mail plumbed new depths of creepy with its piece on 15-year-old tennis player Laura Robson. 'Flirty love', begins the headline. The story talks about the 'rapport' between Robson and her doubles partner, 22-year-old Andy Murray, claiming that's she's 'sweetened his mood' and mentioning that Murray is 'newly single'. Remember, 'Daily Mail Reporter', that's a 15-year-old you're writing about. And you're insinuating that there's something going on between her and a 22-year-old. All this in a paper which just loves to get itself in a tizzy about underage sex and young girls having 'inappropriate relationships'. Thankfully most people commenting on the story seemed just as disturbed.

Should we be surprised? After all, this is the newspaper which has a worrying obsession with chronicling the clothes, makeup and exploits of three-year-old Suri Cruise. She may not have started school yet, but little Suri can 'stop traffic' in her high heels. And when she 'ventures out on a chilly night with bare legs', it's cause for a story not dissimilar to one the Mail might produce about a soap star or a member of Girls Aloud. Are you overcome with distaste yet?

If the Mail spent less time creeping us out, maybe its attempts at real news would be a bit more credible.


Monkeh said...

Their obsession with Laura Robson is truly disturbing. I mean, the Suri Cruise thing is pretty bad, but this is a paper that rails against paedophilia...and then salivates disturbingly frequently over two underage girls? All kinds of weird.

Great post!

PhilH said...

I suspect the wonky nostrils comment might be a pisstake.

But with you on all other points. If they just letched, or if they just denounced anything they thought was immoral, that would be rather less disturbing. But they do both. In the same breath.

It's really creepy.

Hannah M said...

You're probably right Phil :P Although it is always difficult to figure out just how serious DM readers are when they make improbably ridiculous comments so you never know!

Akela said...

I have a 15 year old Ranger Guide that helps with scouts. Mature, intelligent and sensible for her age yes but nevertheless still a child. To write about a girl that age in that manner is nothing short of disgraceful.

Anonymous said...


lipsticklori said...

I reckon part of the reason the Mail's website gets so many hits is because there are so many of us visiting to simply gawp in horror at the ridiculous shite they're peddling. It does amuse me slightly that it didn't occur to anyone at the Daily Fail that writing about a 15-year-old and a 22-year-old in that way is a bit, well, wrong.

Hel said...

i think another reason it gets so many hits is the way it looks for any excuse to use the keywords people search the net for (so-and-so sex tape, so-and-so naked, so-and-so topless, etc).
usually they publish the photos (the hypocrisy...) but sometimes the search terms are mentioned in some news story just to get the hits up, even if its a really tenuous link. so a story about a celeb going to a film premiere will have a headline like: "bra model so-and-so attends movie premiere nearly topless in saucy low-cut top just months after naked photos leaked online."

Laura said...

I don't read this newspaper and I don't visit the website, so I had no idea such stories were being written. When it's put in front of me like this it really does show how shocking and absurd it is that this is actually happening, in a -newspaper-.

I'm not terribly surprised though. The world in general seems to be very hypocritical.

Excellent blog by the way. Best blog I have on my google reader.

Hannah Mudge said...

I think it's getting worse by the week. I'm sure that in years gone by it wasn't quite so bad but these days, the misogyny on an everyday basis is so shocking that you can't believe it's in a national 'news'paper.

I'm really glad you enjoy the blog btw, it means a lot to me :)


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