The “newly minted” Carrie Johnson is greeting world leaders at the G7 summit this week, says Esther Walker in the I newspaper. The intense scrutiny the PM’s wife is under “makes me shudder”. If women in the public eye do anything other than what’s expected, “it’s dinnertime for anyone with access to the internet who wants to take a bite out of you”. Carrie has been branded a “latter-day Marie Antoinette”, with newspapers obsessing over her dog “while the country effectively burned to the ground”. If my “budget-busting redecoration project” was the subject of a public inquiry, I’d be so anxious that “I would barely be able to swallow, let alone enjoy for a single moment my gold wallpaper or artisanal rattan”. Yet Carrie fearlessly flounces around Westminster with her £1,900 Gucci handbag.
Gwyneth Paltrow is similarly ridiculed. She launched a new Goop jewellery line this week with a topless photoshoot, giving her critics an excuse to pile in. But both women do what they want without apology or shame. Isn’t that “the essential blue-spark spirit of feminism itself”? I’ve only experienced about 0.5% of the “online brickbats” those two get, but the “jangly paranoia” and stress-induced weight loss is horrible. I self-censor in public and I shut down my Twitter account years ago. I wouldn’t want to be either of them, but I envy their indestructibility “like hell”.
Read the full article here.