Clare Tomlinson looks old on TV, Jacquie Beltrao had a facelift - but which one is changing the world?
- Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
If your facelift is for yourself, fine, but Sky TV's Jacquie Beltrao isn't nearly as impressive a role model as older-looking Clare Tomlinson, says Liz Nice
Not feeling good enough is a female disease.
Often, the more fabulous the woman, the less fabulous she feels.
I am not sure why this is.
Some of it comes down to our natural exuberance being squashed out of us when we're young.
'Pipe down. You're too much,' we're told, whenever our emotions burst out of us, as they are wont to do.
But boys get told this too, so there must be more to it.
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The media is often blamed, and certainly the beauty industry and the media itself, with its sneering articles about baby weight and cellulite, don't help.
Meanwhile, there's the fact that society seems to prefer women to be kept under control, in case they 'go too far'.
'You've become a dangerous woman,' my friend James said to be the other day. 'Now that there's no man around to keep you in line, you're a threat to everyone!'
I rather like that. Watch out world! Liz is unleashed!
But all too often, we put ourselves in our own prisons, allowing the love of our men to decree our entire self worth, or giving our bosses and associates the power to decide whether we may believe ourselves to be a success.
Both of these self-flagellations are self-defeating – if your man doesn't value what he has in you, he doesn't deserve your company, while your boss's idea of success may not even be yours, for your life is only a success if you are happy in it, isn't it?
It helps, I find to remember the old adage: 'It's not your job to like me. It's mine.'
So, thus, I read, with a degree of sadness, that Sky Sports presenter Jacquie Beltrao, 53, has had a facelift to 'prolong her career'.
Meanwhile, she said the 'old, fat, wrinkly' male presenters on the channel were 'always going to have a job'.
There's no denying that Jacquie's facelift looks great – and good for her if it has genuinely made her feel better about herself.
But Clare Tomlinson is still on Sky Sports and, let's be honest, these days she looks like an old lady – one who is entirely comfortable with herself, I might add – and no-one bats an eyelid, because she clearly doesn't.
If we allow ourselves to make decisions by the way we see the world, where doors are closed to older, ageing women for example, then we are accepting that we can do nothing to change it.
But if Jacquie were to consider herself fabulous and wonderful exactly as she is, without needing others to confirm that for her, then she might begin a revolution as I like to think Clare is beginning to.
The reason we think women on the telly should be young and attractive is because that is all we have ever known, but if we started seeing more normal, less perfect and certainly more aged female TV role models, in time our expectations would change.
Besides, as my friend Michael said to me today, 'It doesn't matter what the presenters look like, male or female; they all spout the same old rubbish'.
Jacquie Beltrao has just celebrated five years being cancer-free, so she really ought to be feeling pretty impressed with herself.
But if her looks are how she continues to define herself, rather tha her strength in adversity or her presenting skills, she has just given over the power for her own happiness to an often cruel and unforgiving outside world.
I suggest she looks up Dorothy Parker, whose quotes and poems I especially enjoy these days:
In youth it was a way I had
To do my best to please
And change with every passing lad
To suit his theories
But now I know the things I know
And do the things I do;
And if you do not like me so,
To hell, my love, with you!