Guardian Girl

Independent Girl

Posted in Fashion, First impressions by guardiangirl on October 26, 2009

I spent most of this weekend at a spa hotel with my Mum (my 30th birthday treat), sauna-ing, steaming, eating and chatting. I’d brought Saturday’s Guardian Weekend magazine with me, so after lunch we headed out into the grounds of the hotel to find something close to a beach in which to pose for that day’s photo. The landscape around the area looked lovely but Mum had the genius idea of photographing me in front of a puddle in the car park, with highly satisfactory results I’d say, wouldn’t you?

Men's knitwear

Men's knitwear


Men's twitwear

Men's twitwear

Since I started this project various onlookers have suggested I take the odd roadtrip through the publishing world to see what influence other newspapers and magazines might have to offer. Most people insisted that if I really wanted to challenge myself I ought to copy every snippet of lifestyle advice in the Sunday Sport or the Daily Mail. This seemed like a highly amusing idea until the realities of living even the Guardian way began to hit home. A slightly interrupted social life and dedication to a rather off-the-wall daily routine I can live with, having been strongly predisposed in this direction for most of my living memory. The thing that has unexpectedly crept up and haunted me, which I’ve mentioned several times before, is the disposable consumption involved.

Every issue Weekend magazine reels out a relentless ticker tape stream of clothes, music, celebrities, soft furnishings, make-up and recipes that clamour for attention, only to be gobbled up/worn once/googled and forgotten by the following Saturday. Apart from learning how to make a passable attempt at cooking most dishes under the sun, being Guardian Girl isn’t necessarily an enriching experience. The photoshoots are fun and I love the cooking but sometimes I feel like I do so much consuming, I barely have time to digest. And as for seeing my friends to do fun stuff, it’s worryingly one-sided. “I’d love to watch that film you’ve been waiting to see for months, but why don’t you come to mine instead? I’m cooking raspberry tarts.” Nice, but a little inflexible for friends who don’t live round the corner/like raspberries/enjoy sitting on a rock-hard sofa in a small flat with no heating being dribbled on by a cat while trying to make friendly conversation.

So to return to the weekend, my mum takes the Independent, which arrived outside our hotel room at her request on Sunday morning. While flicking through the IoS review I noticed its ‘On The Agenda’ section, which makes suggestions for not only clothes and food but also books, events, interesting adventures and so on that are coming up in the near future. Needless to say this caught my eye instantly and I wondered whether it mightn’t be a bad idea to take a holiday on another left-leaning newspaper to compare with the Guardian. It’s certainly one alternative to proving what I probably already know, which is that while I might spend less money and provide more amusement by following the News Of the World, I might also end up with hair extensions, a diet inspired by Cheryl Cole’s favourite healthy snacks and a wardrobe manufactured entirely by underpaid children. Let’s save that for later, I thought, and see whether I become a more useful member of society after a few weeks of Independent action.

In the name of entertainment I will continue to upload as much unselfconscious photographic evidence as possible. So please join me as I embark on the next chapter of Guardian Girl. Independent Girl is born!

(At least for a weeks until Guardian Girl is reborn, the pair of them don lycra outfits and pugil sticks to battle for ethical supremacy while readers watch on with increasing bafflement/boredom, and News of The World Girl rises from the ashes, grinding into oblivion with a Primark stiletto the last vestiges of the greying, powdery husk of my identity.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.)


  • Here we go then, let’s see how long it takes before I’ve spent all my money on tickets to literary festivals and following every page of the Guardian to the letter seems like the best idea I ever had.

4 Responses

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  1. Dexy said, on October 26, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Independent Woman, surely?

    • guardiangirl said, on October 26, 2009 at 2:57 pm

      You’re damn right!
      Independent Woman it is.

  2. dressingmyself said, on October 26, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    I’m looking forward to this!
    Last year on our website ( my colleague wrote a feature on cheap holidays. I am thinking about trying out some of her suggestions next year.
    Meanwhile, I really like your Mum’s idea – and her photo of you is pretty good.

  3. jeff hart said, on March 5, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I have been searching from blog to blog for a good friendly diet for myself. I am in my mid 30s and 35 lbs. over my ideal weight. Must say that gyms don’t work for me, too lazy.

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