The Scottish Government has launched a campaign today called “Drop a glass size”, aimed at women to get them to cut their alcohol consumption. The theory is sound enough. Wine glasses come in all shapes and sizes and, of course, if you use a smaller glass, and have the same number of glasses a week, you’ll consume less alcohol, which is a good thing.
The method, though, oh dear. Why should we stop drinking? Because it ruins our looks, apparently. Are women not already under enough pressure to look good, to conform to often unattainable standards of beauty? If we’re not thin enough with perfect hair, curves, teeth and nails, then we are objects of ridicule screams every tabloid and women’s magazine. I mean, how I have the temerity to go out in public, given that I conform to none of it, I don’t know. It’s enough to drive you to drink….
They’ve launched an app, the drinking mirror, too, for your smartphone or tablet which shows you a picture of what the drink will do to you if you don’t stop…I can’t see how you get it on an iPhone. It’s not coming up on search in the App Store and there’s no link so I can’t see what a dreadful sight I’d look yet. This is the blurb that comes with the app:
Do you know what ages women? Age. The passage of time. The appearance of wrinkles and weight gain at least happens as you get older. But women aren’t allowed to do that. No, they have to conform.
If they want women to cut drinking, why not base their arguments around something women actually want, not what they feel pressurised to do. I’m thinking of more energy. I know for a fact that I feel more energetic if I haven’t had any alcohol than if I have. There isn’t a woman in Scotland, I bet, who wouldn’t want to feel less knackered and if cutting alcohol consumption can help with that, then it’s a guilt free, pressure free way of persuading them to do that.
I get that basing the campaign on appearance may be an effective way of getting into women’s psyche. But surely that isn’t a good thing. I am annoyed with Alex Neil for signing off on this. Cutting alcohol consumption is always a good thing to do, but I feel insulted and patronised by the ethos of this campaign.