It is not an uncommon occurring for me to be left shouting at my computer after reading something that the Daily Mail has published, particularly at the weekends when I have more time to really read it. But this morning, I was so angry by what I had read that I couldn't even speak. I couldn't even shout, in truth, all I really wanted to do was cry. Front and centre this morning is this headline:
"Vicky looks flawless, until you see unedited images..."
See, I'm not joking. They have shared two images. The first is one that Vicky shared on her Instagram in which she looks slim and smiley and great. The second one is one that one of their low life paps has managed to get of Vicky taking a break from filming in Australia, puffing on her cigarette.
The article then goes on to share photos of Vicky in the jungle last year in a bikini during one of the infamous I'm A Celebrity shower scene (obviously unedited), followed by some photos taken of Vicky in a bikini taken a few months later looking more 'curvy'. (Their words not mine, OBVIOUSLY.)
There is no point to this article other than obviously, to shame Vicky and to bully her.
Did she edit the original image on her Instagram? Probably, but really, can you blame her? As a celebrity in 2016, you share images of yourself on social media, it's just one of those things that happens. There is, as a result, a lot of pressure on everyone to look great all of the time. A bit of a tummy? The Daily Mail will ask if you were the one that ate all of the pies. No makeup? They'll assume that you are in the midst of some personal crisis. A spot? Don't even get me started. The idea of anyone sharing a makeup free, unedited image in this day and age is unheard of, because if you're not perfect, then you're out. It's that simple.
So Vicky shared an image that made her look good. Do I love that she had to photoshop it? No, of course I don't. I hate photoshop so much, I hate that it sets unrealistic beauty standards to those people looking at it, young girls who are aspiring to something that isn't real. But more than that, I hate that women like Vicky are driven to use it. And driven they are. I doubt she's forgotten what happened last time a photo was shown of her looking any bigger than a size 8, she was hung, drawn and quartered for daring to be anything other than perfect, all of the time.
Photoshop, all of this, is just something that happens, because it has to. For the sanity of these women, for them to make it through their lives in the public eye with an ounce of happiness left. And it breaks my heart it really does.
No doubt the lowlife journalist who wrote this article, who opted to write the piece anonymously (quelle surprise), couldn't believe their luck this morning when this image landed on their desk. The opportunity to body shame landed straight in their lap. They probably wrote the article (if you can call it that) with sleep in their eyes, spots galore and the remnants of this morning's pain au chocolate crumbs all over their face. It of course won't have occurred to them that we have always been told that only he without sin should cast the first stone.
Below are two photos of me. The first, I took this morning during my mid-piece fag break. The second is one that I uploaded onto my personal Instagram last night whilst out for my sister's birthday. In the first I am wearing no makeup and have Storm Angus to thank for my frizzy hair. In the second I am posing and obviously edited. #NoFilter isn't really an option anymore is it?
Do with that what you will. Before and after. Real and false. Whatever.
The idea of sharing a photograph of the first image under any other circumstance than to come to another woman's aid? Horrible. I'd honestly be frightened to do it. Because there is always someone in the sidelines waiting to bring you down. There always has been. But when the person waiting to bring you down is the biggest online media publication in the world? That's scary, it really really is.
I hate the Daily Mail, with every fibre of my being, I really do. And what they've done to Vicky Pattinson? Unforgivable.