A few days ago I spotted one of the new M&S ads, with Helen Mirren, Tracey Emin et al. I thought it was interesting and a bit funny, especially given the clientele of M&S (to judge from my local branch) that none of them were grey haired. In truth I wasn't quite sure about Helen Mirren, but I dont THINK that her hair is its natural colour.
Now, I dont think this is the biggest issue facing the world or women today, but as advertising does affect how we think we "should" be etc etc, I gave the ad one little tweet (being careful to register my uncertainty about Dame Helen's coiffure).
This is what I wrote (sorry I haven't quite mastered the art of "capturing" tweets as they appear, onto the blog; but you can check it out on my Twitter feed if you dont believe me):
Women in new M&S ad are a great & feisty bunch. But unless I have mistaken H Mirren's blonde, don't spot a whiff of grey. Women go grey M&S!
That is ALL I said on the subject. But soon Beard's view on this ad was all over the place... in an instructive little parable about how news is made (up) and people's views constructed (and then attacked for what they never actually said). Within 48 hours I was being branded eiter as a heroine standing up for the cause of us older women, or as an academic with so much time on her hands she could afford to waste it on this kind of campaign, or as a batty old harridan who didnt understand advertising (and was being inappropriately disrespectful to Dame Helen).
This for example is what commenter in the Telegraph had to say:
"Oh dear life. What next? demanding Playboy feature septagenarians?"
So how did it happen? Well it's all a question of verbs I think.