July is the traditional time of year when the creative minds in advertising departments decide what perfectly normal physical attribute of a woman’s body they will claim is a horrific blemish needing expensive alteration.
Simon Williams, a marketing consultant who is not allowed to see his own children, explained that finding new ways to create and exploit the insecurities of stressed women was a constant challenge.
“Our high point will always be the thigh gap. But I think I have a strong contender this year. Visible collarbones! This year we are going to generate an incessant media barrage to convince women that a visible collarbone is the ugliest thing ever and that having one makes them worthless as human beings.
“We have social media influencers ready to post Photoshopped images of starlets tagged ‘life goals’. We have several beauty vloggers preparing shows about their collarbone camouflage regimes so as to create the impression that it’s a perfectly sane thing to worry about.
“We will also egg on some feminist writers to pen columns in the Guardian decrying this latest display of double standards. I know it sounds counterproductive but this about getting the message out. For every woman that recognises us for bullshit merchants, three will look into the mirror and doubt themselves. And then we sell them make-up, creams, clothes and workouts.”
Mr Williams was asked if he worried about the impact his industry was having on the mental health of an entire gender and especially young women.
“Quite the opposite. Every teenage anorexic shows how influential I am. Plus, I own a helicopter.
“Fancy a line?”