I don’t often feel particularly sorry for celebrity women.
I mean they don’t have to open their own car doors, carry their own umbrellas, apply their own make-up, go to the bar for their own drinks or bring up their own children (or in extreme cases not even give birth to their own children).
They can wear as much or as little of their usually donated designer wardrobe of clothes as they want to and cry in public or newspapers if any of the above delights lets them down.
But what they can’t do is wear flat shoes on the red carpets of Cannes during the annual film festival. Boo hoo.
In a month of earthquakes, forest fires, mass murders and all the usual rape and pillage of international warfare it should perhaps seem strange that so many column centimetres and TV time should be dedicated to a should-they-or-they-shouldn’t-they debate about high heels.
At first I couldn’t give a Doc Martens about what these delicate creatures squeezed their carefully manicured pins into but then I read the small print so to speak. Red carpet events are formal events – if you are lucky enough to be invited to one you should stick to the rules or not go to them.
If I get invited to a “black tie” event (not that I actually do anymore!) I might find it all a bit overly stuffy but I don’t turn up in jeans and trainers.
If they are invited to partake of evenings featuring lavish goody bags, more food than their pencil frames can digest, enough alcohol to float any boat and a sneak preview to the films they are starring in, what’s the big deal about being asked to totter along in something they normally love being photographed in.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that they were chirping on about empowerment as they towered above their miniature male counterparts.
‘Oustpoken’ English actress Emily Blunt now reckons “everyone should wear flats” and claims “I just prefer wearing Converse sneakers” (thus guaranteeing herself free pairs of them for the rest of her career).
But it’s clearly a big issue because my daily newspaper of choice (The Independent) even made one of its male reporters don a pair of electric blue size nine four inch stilettos and totter around the city streets like an under dressed trainee drag queen for a few hours. This is the same journal which a good few years ago scoffed haughtily when a former colleague of mine was made to don a monkey costume and pose as Michael Jackson’s chimp by the red top tabloid he had left the safety of The Gazette for.
Anyway let’s see how the young “dahlings” feel about it all when the invitations stop coming or they have to adopt, adapt and improve to keep in the spotlight.
Cast your mind back a few weeks to the red carpet photo opportunity seized by seventysomethings Jane Fonda (77), Robert Redford (78) and Barbra Streisand (73).
They all looked rather worse than a Tussaud’s display left out in the heat for too long. But at what cost to their bulging bank accounts? The Daily Mail – never backwards in coming forward on such issues – reckoned to keep wrinkle free faces, carefully tousled barnets and diamond white dentures cost in the region of £39,600 plus £2,750 annual maintenance for Fonda, £17,250 plus £1.250 annually for Redford and £22,850 plus £4,350 yearly top ups for Streisand.
For the record the work includes cheeks, forehead, nose, eyes, teeth, lips, skin, ears, nose (even Streisand), mouth, chin, neck and bust (not Redford!).
It all makes the flats versus heels debate seem like small change. Or a shoe-in?
Watch out for Lanzarote Hotpot
The Greeks are revolting.
No, that’s not a complaint about the billions of Euros we are regularly bailing them out with, or the way they selfishly keep wanting us to return their Elgin marbles – probably so they can sell them on EEC-bay to ease the country’s financial woes.
No, it’s more the fact that they are in revolt about us pinching their previous monopoly on feta cheese – you know, the tasty white stuff that someone always gets to first in the Morrisons pick your own salad selection.
Not satisfied with English sparkling wine giving Champagne a run for its money in blind taste tests, the Shepherds Purse Creamery in the pretty North Yorkshire market town of Thirsk has recently picked up a gold medal at the Nantwich International Cheese Awards for its sheep’s milk version of feta – the delightfully named Yorkshire Fettle.
It comes hot on the heels (or churn?) of “Supreme Champion” Claxtone Blue (not nearly as humorous a name) in the same awards a year earlier – the British version of mild French blue Saint Agur, and a critically praised Cornish version of brie available from M&S.
But don’t expect Johnny Foreigner to take this culinary conquest in his stride – watch out for Lanzarote Hotpot on a supermarket shelf near you any time now.