Friday, December 12, 2014

HE’S the type of chap that you could bring home to your mammy. He’s kind, funny, talented, loves women and is very, very nice.

So when Ed Sheerin popped up on The Late Late Toy Show and sang a song with one of his millions of fans and even offered to bring her family over to his Wembley Arena gig next year, I was delighted with him.

“Awww,” my daughter and I signed in unison from the sofa, before spontaneously breaking out into Thinking out loud.

My 15-year-old daughter has clearly grown out of her fascination with Canadian popster Justin Bieber, thank goodness, and has now focussed her attention on musicians and bands who are more than just eye candy.

Hence, her love of Ed, as we like to refer to him at home.

He’s a party animal who knows the who’s who in the rock firmament and yet seems to have the wherewithal to keep himself sane.

“What a great role model he is,” I thought, maternally, to myself. I didn’t share that thought with my daughter, though, for fear that I’d turn her off him.

A few days later, up pops our Ed again. He tends to do that. He just “pops up” in the most incongruous of places, like a Zelig character who seems to appear out of nowhere at prestigious events.

Such as the Victoria’s Secrets fashion show in London last week. For the uninitiated, this fashion show is unlike others in that it’s exclusively about lingerie and uses models with unpronounceable names.

The bevy of beauties pranced down the catwalk to a soundtrack provided by live music. Not only was there Mr Sheerin, but there was also Hozier, our boy from Bray, County Wicklow, as well as Taylor Swift, who looked like a lingerie model herself.

While Hozier looked completely gauche and out of place in the midst of these females, who all have legs up to their necks, Ed sported a grin akin to that of a child in a sweet shop.

I’m convinced that he must have pinched himself to have landed in such high falutin’ company. This is, after all, the show that costs gazillions of dollars to produce and features bras and knickers encrusted with real diamonds, rubies, sapphires and whatever other precious stone that might take the eye out of your head.

The models, such as Karlie Kloss and Candice Swanpoel, are called angels, and last week sported impressive angel wings to re-enforce the fact. The women are also described by industry insiders as “thoroughbreds” as if they were genetically modified and born to wear scanty smalls for a living. When the producer of the show was criticised for using perfect-looking, tall, skinny girls instead of real women with real lumps and bumps, he sniffed that he had to use such paragons of perfection because “after all, you don’t send amateurs to the World Cup”.

But one of the most noteable things about the “angels” is that they’re very hard to tell apart when they’re on the catwalk and wearing next to nothing. They’ve all got the same lithe limbs, glossy tresses, white smiles and small, toned bums and boobs. It’s like they’re homogenised into an image of today’s ideal woman, a role model of beauty that’s to be aspired to.

And it’s all bollocks, really. It’s a fantasy and a dream. If I was looking for a role model for my gorgeous daughter, it would be the little ginger lad, grinning like a mad thing, in the midst of it all.

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