Opinion: Media go into gender overdrive

What have John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron all got in common? Easy they all have been Prime Ministers '“ but the key point is they are all men.

Tuesday, 26th July 2016, 11:00 am
Theresa May on the steps of 10 Downing Street with her husband, Philip.

So unlike Theresa May, when they took on the Prime Ministerial crown, they didn’t have to suffer the humiliation of having their feet and ankles displayed in the world-wide media – but poor Mrs May did.

Why? It’s simple, the moment the first whispers in the corridors of power were heard that Theresa was set to go to Number Ten, the media went into gender overdrive.

The pundits scanned lightly over her prospective policies choosing to focus more on her style than her strategies.

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Theresa May in her trademark kitten heels.

Let’s face it would we have seen Michael Gove’s or Liam Fox’s ankles, feet and had hundreds of column inches devoted to their shoes if they had won the leadership challenge?

No male politicians are exempt from such shoe trivia – I can only remember Ken Clarke in recent times being mocked for his love of Hush Puppies!

Theresa favours kitten heels, so what? Like most of us girls she has a cupboard full of shoes, but is that any reason to call her the “Imelda Marcos of Politics”?

Speaking as the owner of several pairs of kitten heels one with leopard trim, dare I say it from the same shop, as our PM, kitten heels are comfortable and fashionable, if like Theresa you are on your feet all day.

Theresa May in her trademark kitten heels.

I for one hope she sets a trend, for I’m fed up of the nude killer heels that have been catapulted into fashion by the Duchess of Cambridge and Nicola Sturgeon, although I must admit to owning a few pairs.

Theresa will also have to watch her waistline or the fashion pundits will be on to her. Put on a few pounds and she’ll be in trouble. But wind back the clock. It was fine for tummies to bulge over trousers in the days of “paunchy” Prescott and Gordon Brown – no one said a word but then they were the other gender!

Her hairdresser and style will be in focus – at least she’ll share those comments with her Foreign Secretary and there’s already people reading all sorts into the fact she loves red nail polish and lipstick.

Well done Theresa for painting your nails red and adding a slash of red lipstick. It really does give you a boost and a feeling of power. It served me well in my days on the national magazines and acted as a warning as when colleagues saw the red they knew the war paint was on and I was ready for battle.

Other media reports say she favours colourful clothing. Colourful clothing I ask you, I’ve never seen her in a Vivien Westwood or Joe Brown creation – now that’s colourful.

Next thing on the agenda will be remarks about her showing a bit of cleavage with the words “at her age”. For goodness sake when you are well over fifty do you have to have a wardrobe of polo necks and pussy bow blouses.

And where our PM shops for her undies will be the next scoop. Did anyone ask where David or Tony bought their boxers or Y-fronts? I just hope she hasn’t been seen with any Agent Provocateur or Victoria’s Secret carrier bags.

But what if she has? Not everyone wants to be like Maggie and buy their knickers from Marks and Spencer. After all it’s no secret that we baby boomers love a bit of undercover provocative glamour as we grow old disgracefully.

So go for it gal! Wear what you want and set your own style Theresa – you’re living proof that life begins at 59!