It's supposedly the festive season, but there's plenty of news in the Herald to make one gag at the moment. It would be fantastic if we could get to Christmas without more sadistic deaths of small New Zealanders at the hands of their so-called caregivers, but that seems as unlikely as ever. Ditto the relentless, futile road carnage.
On a lighter note, but still gag-inducing, career politicians with a death grip on the wet noodles of power beam out at us as they take up their umpteenth window-dressing ministerial portfolio.
And then there is the truly inane but also revolting, like this gem about the yummy mummies favoured by the esteemed creators of the Victoria's Secret runway shows.
There have been plenty of disservices done to women down the centuries, admittedly, but appearing in a Victoria's Secret lingerie selection shortly after giving birth is right up there. Thanks a lot, Heidi Klum, Miranda Kerr, etc. for giving mortal women yet one more thing to aspire to - i.
looking good in a lacy teddy five weeks post-partum. At a time where sex itself is probably the furthest thing from the new mother's mind, it is at least comforting to know that we could look at least up for it - if we tried hard enough, that is. That teddy will at least cover the leaking breasts and hemorrhoids, right?
There's plenty of advice from these clothes horses about how to get back to the runway quickly, but never mentioned is the best, most obvious piece of advice - be born naturally thin and beautiful and extremely tall. Genetics plays a large part in not only your figure going in to pregnancy, but your figure coming out of it - as long as you eat reasonably normally.
That is of course where it gets tricky. Breastfeeding in particular makes you ravenous, but whatever feeding system you're using, you're bound to be tired and need frequent energy boosts. I have tried this time to avoid the trap of the last two pregnancies, which is eat for 20 and looking to deal with the consequences at a later date. The first time around, it worked. The second time around, I carried an extra 10 kilos with me for about two years.
This time, armed with the Weight Watchers breastfeeding diet, I am trying to contain the damage as much as possible. The first day on the diet revealed what a challenge that might be, when I wrote down everything I ate and realised an adult male training for a triathlon wouldn't be eating anywhere near as many calories as I was.
The point being that I'm not just one of those women who say "bah humbug" to dieting and detest, on sight, anyone with the luxury of good genes and a sparrow-like appetite. I acknowledge that one has to try and stay around the healthy weight mark - because I know from personal experience as well as general observation of fellow females that the weight slowly creeps on, year upon year, after children, until you get to middle age and you're bordering perilously on obesity.
But as most of us know that we have to keep ourselves in check, do we really need hectoring from the genetically blessed? The types that think that, as they have had a child, are now suddenly "curvaceous" (ie. not a US size 0)?
Yes, it is a minor point to be making at a time of serious news, and in truth women are their own worst enemies in failing to live up to their own ridiculously exacting standards. However, when you have a daughter yourself, you look at her eating and wonder how long it is before she's caught up in the life-long obsession with dieting and perfecting yourself - and hope, in a crazy, fleeting moment, that she can be immune to the destructive forces unleashed by the marketing geniuses at Victoria's Secret and its ilk.