Pop: Rein priming for mag cover?

The likelihood of Therese Rein winding up on an Aussie glossy magazine cover are about as likely as Susan Boyle landing the cover of British Vogue. But even the accomplished wife of our PM isn't immune to the body image pressures associated with being in the public eye.

What with the likes of Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy – who are both successful in their own right, slim, beautiful and impeccably groomed – setting the standard for First Ladies on the international political stage, and the press analysing your every outfit choice, Rein would have reason to feel the weight of great expectation.

But what does it say about society when we start celebrating the weight loss triumphs of prominent women above their other achievements? When we're keener to know the secrets to their dietary success than their business feats?

The Herald Sun writes: "Therese Rein yesterday shed her beloved oversized jackets to reveal the stunning effects of a recent diet. The noticeably trimmer Ms Rein emerged from St John's Church in Canberra in tight-fitting dark pants, boots and a close-fitting black jacket. While the Herald Sun can confirm Ms Rein has shed many kilos she has refused to divulge the secret of her dietary success."

Back in April, The Daily Telegraph wrote of Rein: "Faced with the daunting task of having to stand next to the "supermodel" of the pack, US First Lady Michelle Obama, at the G20 Summit, Rein went on a weight-loss campaign in recent months and dropped a rumoured 15kg since visiting London a year ago. While the media has been obsessed with her wardrobe, Rein has looked confident in more fitted and flattering outfits in recent days and looks to have finally tamed those unruly curls."

Finally! I mean, how embarrassing to represent your country with unruly curls wearing unflattering outfits. You may have an honours degree in Psychology, oversee a charity devoted to helping small business, the long-term unemployed and disabled, and run a multi-billion dollar business, but, really, it's all about how you look. By the same token, you might be the world's talk-show queen or a brilliant comedian, but we are not prepared to celebrate you until you shed a few surplus kilos. What a truly excellent and inspiring message to be sending young women.

Yours truly,
Girl With a Satchel


Anonymous said...

Well said Erica!

Scarlett Harris said...

This is a brilliant take on First Ladies and the wives of Prime Ministers, and how society is more interested in their looks and fashion sense than their personalities and achievements. Using Oprah and Magda as examples illustrates how this thinking applies also to celebrities and business women. You've really hit the nail on the head, and there would definitely be room to expand this into a full-blown feature article. I could definitely see it in Cosmo, like your most recent article on Disney child stars.

Erica Bartle (nee Holburn) said...

And, meanwhile, on the male side of the media spectrum, the Herald Sun reports on Kevin Rudd's daily prayer ritual.


Presumably, Therese has a faith, too. Will we hear about that, I wonder?

Anonymous said...

Please write this into a full feature Erica! Very well said.