It’s a pile of crap…..but beautifully lit


Do we make such a fuss about pictures of models being altered to look better? It’s been like that since man could fingerpaint! Henry VIII nearly had the painter executed who presented him a touched up painting of Anne of Cleves. She looked sexy enough to be the equivalent of a Tudor Playboy centre-page spread (but without the staples). The King told the entourage who accompanied the painting that he would offer her his hand in marriage, and retired to his chambers in anticipation of the wedding night, with a royal hard-on that a cat couldn't scratch.

When Anne bowled up at court and became wife number four, she had a face that apparently could curdle milk. So history records even the King of England being fooled by the packaging not matching the product.

However the ones that get me are the lush photos of fast food that are as close to reality as a beauty contestants boobs. We see a burger dripping in some delicious hickory sauce, nestling on a puffy bun sandwiched between an explosion of crisp lettuce, as springy as a bouncy castle, as well as fries standing to attention like golden soldiers. But the real thing looks more like a hockey puck that's been sat on by Kim Kardashian and the lettuce as limp as La Cage aux Folles dancers' handshake. As for the fries, they have all the appeal of a bus driver's sock.

Just as there are legions of professional make-up artists at models photo shoots, there is a similar phalanx of stylists helping to create a fast food ad. These ‘artists’ come complete with tweezers, oils and brushes along with more unusual beauty aids such as blowtorches and knives.

I can so easily imagine our L.K. Bennett wearing stylists with their black roots sprouting under their blond bottle perms, clacking with hushed tones during the shoot.

  • "Do people really think that quarter-pounder wakes up looking that good?"

  • "My chicken nugget lettuce just came here to curl up and dye."

  • "If truth is beauty, that tortilla roll is a goddamned liar."

If anyone can send me a promo-photo of fast food that matches the heart-attack-in-a-sack they just bought for a few dollars, I will post it up!

...and another thing

Quotes from reviews plastered outside a theatre on photos and posters to give plaudits to the play, are another example of the label not quite reflecting what’s in the tin.

The London stage version of ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ proudly displayed a quote from a review “A superbly gripping, genuinely uplifting drama.” The review was referring to the movie and actually completed the sentence by saying ‘in almost every respect the stage version is inferior to the movie’!

One of my favourite theatre stories concerns the Broadway producer David Merrick. With a mega-flop on his hands, he scoured the New York phone book to find people with the same names as the critics, invited them to the show and then displayed their enthusiastic quotes all over the advertising.

...and another thing

The one photo we agree on that never matches with the quality of reality is our passport photo. How is it we all wait until the very last minute to have a fab picture ready to replace the expiring passport. We run off to our corner ‘Snappy Snaps’ shop for a hurried portrait, all bad hair and shitty shirt that will define us for the next dozen years!

I know the manager of a world famous Rock Star, who got a desperate call from his client whilst performing in the UK. His passport was about to expire and the problem was he was due to perform in Germany in a few days. As he was a famous VIP the manager was able to persuade the British passport office to accept a special hand delivered application, with a new photo and form.

The rock star dashed to Heathrow to be met by my friend, his manager, who handed over the new passport. Our legend took one look at his new passport and refused to get on the plane. “That photo of me is shit. I’m going nowhere till I get a passport and photo that shows the real me!” He then ripped the new passport up and left the airport. Shades of another King just not liking reality!!

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One Comment

  1. The News Anchor says:

    Good points indeed – but how could that old devil called love – the Rose tinted glasses and those beer googles not play a part in our perception of what we’re getting. my wife spends many fond hours looking at our wedding photos reminiscing how he felt that’s was finally marrying her George Clooney only to realise in the cold light of day that it was George – but George after the fire(her joke)we still laugh about it after 23 year.

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