Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Jess: My New Face/ Britain's Youngest Grannies/ The Virgin Daughters

I've been laptop-less so hence the lack of bloggage; apologies. I'm still without the tools of the trade, but I'm doing a sneaky one at work, shh, don't tell the children.
So with little to do except clean out my cupboards at home, Eminem-stylee, I have been catching up on some taped TV.
I very much enjoyed Jess: My New Face, a documentary about 17-year-old Jess Lee, who was born with a facial disfigurement due to a condition called apert syndrome. hate to be a BBC snob, but the quality of this documentary seemed a lot better than the usual Channel 4/5 churn-outs. She was a likeable character, torn between having surgery to look more 'acceptable' to society and maybe get a boyfriend, and wanting society to change and accept her (good luck). It was touching when her dad spoke of standing between her and the general public to protect her from their stares as a child.
Her deformity wasn't THAT bad anyway, but the surgery she had was quite dramatic. I was surprised they could change her face to that extent and she looked very normal afterwards. However, her own personal choice to have surgery didn't quite gel with her quest to meet other people who differed from the norm and accepted themselves more fully. Did she want people to take her as she was? If the other people she knew who were disfigured were 'beautiful on the inside' then why couldn't people see that beauty in her, too? Of course, this is relative; I don't blame her for having the op. It is a complex philosophical question that won't be answered in Heat magazine anytime soon.
So, Jess went off to meet one girl with a similar condition to her who looked more 'normal' after an op. Then Jess met a striking redhead who was a burns victim and was badly scarred, but somehow still seemed beautiful.
I liked the Japanese albino; she was really stunning. But then I'm the sort of person who sees different i.e. unique as good, not bad. There is a whole sub-section of society who is happy to point and laugh. Well, let them be stupid. And I'm sure Jess will get what she wants in the future, more surgery or not. Not everyone out there is ignorant- just most people.
Talking of which; Britain's Youngest Grannies was at completely the other end of the scale of programming; lowest common denominator stuff. Women who got pregnant at 16, and then their daughters followed suit. These women were only five years older than me, and grannies! Actually though; everyone seemed quite happy with their lot. I thought there would have been more of a judgemental tone; but actually the grannies were (and were portrayed as) quite happy, fun-loving, and good parents. So they also liked nights out on the town having a snog? Fair enough. But as a programme, not very ground-breaking or interesting.
The Virgin Daughters on Channel 4 was a bit of a let-down, too. I normally like all the fire and brimstone, but this was a bit of a damp squib. So the creepy dad who seemed permanantly attached to his daughter's shoulder gets her to parrot crap about STDs and purity. I've heard it all before. As Russell Brand so recently quoted someone else (I've forgotten who); by putting 'SEX' at the forefront of people's brains, even though the message is 'Don't have SEX' it's still 'SEX' that is the key word, and it makes people think about nothing but. That's the key problem with these people; they're obsessed with sex.
Is it a good idea to marry the first guy you kiss and have your first kiss on your wedding day? In a way it sounds magical. It sounds like something out of a fairytale. Yet, generally, it seems it's just the girls who haven't done it before, the blokes have been around the block, because, hey, they're allowed. Bang goes the fairytale.
There's nothing wrong with girls who love their fathers a lot. There is something wrong with fathers pushing their own agendas on their children.
So what have I learnt from these three programmes? Love yourself, don't have kids at 16 and don't marry the first person you snog. Oh. I knew that already.
Come back laptop, I love you.

1 comment:

Chris Stokes said...

Hope you get your laptop back soon. All these programmes passed me by I have to say, although the new face one seems interesting. And can I hazard a guess at Youngest Grannies being a BBC Three offering?