Glossy Talk: Anna Bligh for The Women's Weekly
March issue, Anna Bligh has run for cover... the cover of The Australian Women's Weekly. What a comfort for Aussie newsstand browsers as we come to grips with the natural disaster affecting our New Zealand comrades as post-flood, post-cyclone clean-ups continue on our own shores.
The Weekly's news editor Jordan Baker spent a week with Bligh, in the lead-up to Cyclone Yasi and touring with her in Ingham, in order to produce the magazine's comprehensive 10-page profile (with requisite studio, home, woman-at-work and family album shots), 'Taking the country by storm'. We're told Bligh managed to get eight hours' sleep before the cover shoot. Hopefully not too much media attention will be given over to Photoshop (more likely how Bligh managed to fit the shoot into her clean-up-the-state schedule – a bit premature, perhaps?).
While full of the praises of Queenslanders, the feature isn't a fluffy read, addressing both Bligh's political shortcomings, her feminism and her estrangement from her father ("Frankly, he didn't contact me from the time I was 19 years old. He probably didn't know how to make the first move"). The Weekly rounds out its coverage of the cyclone ("19 pages of special reports and pictures") with photographs from the frontline and the stories of locals.
This issue there's also a celebrity portraiture portfolio in aid of anti-bullying campaigning, David Leser spends time with private detective Tiffany Bond, who specialises in catching out cheating husbands (replete with her tell-tale guide to cheating), Sue Smethurst writes 'Play Boy Shane: How sleaze and sex is making him rich', which has the effect of glorifying him while deconstructing his celebrity, and Germaine Greer looks at the evolution of the male pin-up.
All this is juxtaposed with The Weekly's beauty and health director Kelly Baker, who recounts the diary of her nose job, an operation that started with a careless comment made by a former boyfriend years before, and a Kellogg's advertorial called 'Raising Iron Men'.
Perhaps what we need is more stories on how to raise resilient iron women to withstand the Warnies, cheating husbands, bullies and Cyclone Yasi's? As Bligh tells The Weekly, "There are no certainties about anything. You have to be capable of looking after yourself and managing on your own."
Girl With a Satchel