I got the Boden catalogue through the post yesterday and just out of interest, I picked it up and had a flick through its glossy, well fed, happy, well adjusted pages. I have a thing against Boden (not even against the clothes, although they are a bit ‘Boden’), it is mainly against the catalog and the styling, those models:
“Tatiana – best trait in a man: ‘his own estate in Gloucestershire’’
” Anoushka – favorite place to be: ‘my family’s private beach in the Maldives’”.
It makes me want to rip my eyes out as I read. In this seasons catalogue they have different sections, one of which is a mummy section, yet another way for them to set themselves firmly apart from life as a normal person.
The images show pictures of a ‘mum’ – she is gorgeous, smooth skinned, happy, even though her ‘children’ are apparently tearing a library apart, because obviously she’s the kind of mother that spends time in the library with her kids rather than in the park hoping to wear them out enough to be able to go home and have some peace and quiet, and she’s tearing around after them, in beautiful clothes, there is not a hair out of place, the kids are happy, life is great, she’s not worrying about money, or what to do with them next or their behavior yesterday at her friend’s house and what that friend might think of them now and dinner isn’t a problem because her kids eat anything.
I know it’s a catalogue and I know they are not going to show images of that kind of normality, but I refuse to subscribe to that kind of mentality. It is the images that companies like Boden portray of motherhood and also the scrutiny that our newest, most famous mother is going to be under in the next few weeks that make me cross.
Kate will be expected to be a Boden mother. She will be expected to enjoy every minute, value every second of the endless feeding and changing and napping and screaming. I think back to the early days of me being a mum with my first, and all I did for about 3 weeks was leak and cry. Maybe longer.
Imagine if she feels like that?! I do have sympathy with her (although I’m aware that she’s going to have more help in the first few months than most people have in a lifetime). Every line on her face is going to be scrutinised, every tired smile analysed and heaven forbid she ever admits to sometimes being bored or frustrated. Boden mothers never feel like that, although I suspect that Boden mothers have Au pairs in the beginning and Nannies as the kid gets older too. And Kate has got quite a family to contend with. Imagine having the Queen as your GMIL.
Boden have also pissed me off because they are selling boots which I would chew my right arm off for, but of course not in my size. They get a lot of their clothes and shoes right and I think if you mix them up a bit you can avoid the ‘Boden’ look. These boots really do cut it for me – lovely soft leather, the heel is the right height, the toe the right curve.
Damn you Johnny Boden and Tatiana and Anoushka, you present me with a lifestyle I cannot dream of having, and frankly, don’t want to have and yet you tantalise me with offerings like those boots and those tunics which I don’t want to like but I do. It’s no wonder I start throwing the catalog around the room.
Of course if I were a Boden mother, me and my gorgeous children would cut the catalog up and make wonderful, creative, fun collages out of the pictures of the beautiful women.
Hang on – where are those scissors……